R Buckminster Fuller once said, “I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented,” and this would be wholly unremarkable but for the fact that Harry D. Hudson, Sub Pop’s Master of Technolo-something, said nearly this same thing to me about a new product that he is now prepared to offer for sale exclusively on this very website. What is this mysterious invention that will revolutionize the world as we know it? What ungodly creation has Dr. Hudson and the somewhat evil-seeming Professor Fletcher brought to life in their old-timey laboratory? They’re called mp3s! “Mp3” apparently stands for “music product 3”: a mysterious, invisible computer thingy which can be made to produce sounds not unlike music. It is just this sort of devotion to innovative, cutting edge technology that has made Sub Pop Records the unwitting industry leader it is today. Take that, everyone else—Sub Pop has invented the mp3! And now, we’d like to sell some of these things to you.
Since this program is in its infancy we have only a very limited number of mp3s available at this time, and we’re only offering full album downloads. We’re no dummies so we went ahead and mp3’d the big guns—all the Shins albums, the Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, the new Band of Horses and new Iron and Wine albums are all available as downloadable zip files containing 192k mp3s and high quality cover art for $9.90 per album, except for the FOC ep which is a mere $5.94. We will be adding to this list just as soon as we’re able. This is the future—bask in its glory before someone steals our idea. Oh also, please email Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, concerns, or failures.
This coming Friday, October 5th, on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman Iron and Wine will perform the song “The Devil Never Sleeps,” off the above-mentioned new album The Shepherd’s Dog And, as if that weren’t reason enough to watch (which, come on, it is), also appearing on that episode: Angela from The Office and Bob “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” Newhart! Holy crap!
And, then secondly though no less awesomely:
On Friday, October 19th NPR’s World Cafe will be broadcasting a very recently recorded 4 or 5 song performance by and interview with this same, much beloved by us and hopefully also by you, Iron and Wine. To listen to this broadcast, you can:
Find your local NPR radio station here and tune in to listen.
Listen online to the WXPN/Philadelphia stream between 2pm and 4pm Eastern Standard Time here
Or, later that same day the audio will be available on the NPR website here.
Also, as part of NPR’s Live Concert Series, you can hear their recording of the entire show Iron and Wine played in Washington, DC on Sept. 29th here.
Partly because no one has yet figured out how to upload posters to Oink, but also because we rely upon the assumption that some of you might actually pay money for things that we think are really cool, we have recently produced a pretty nice limited-edition Iron and Wine poster set!
This is a set of 3 prints of Sam Beam’s original artwork that was used to create the covers for the new Iron and Wine album The Shepherd’s Dog and the recent Boy with a Coin single. Each set comes in a heavy-duty, silk-screened kraft envelope and one of the prints has been signed by Sam Beam himself.
It feels pretty great to spread good news, doesn’t it? It does! Ready?
We just wanted to let you all know that the long-awaited new record from Iron & Wine will be out on September 25th has us positively jubilant! As if sharing that news isn’t bringing us more than our fair share of joy, gluttons that we are, we have still more for you: If you pre-order the CD or LP through September 25th you’ll get it for $1 off our already low-price. We are clearly not in full possession of our faculties! Plus! (I’m beginning to feel like I’m hosting an infomercial…) We will include a bonus CD with two b-sides (the songs “Serpent Charmer” and “Arms of a Thief”), as well as the stickers and buttons for which we are internationally somewhat famous for giving away to you, dear friends who give us your money.
Here’s some info on the new record…
2005’s Woman King distinguished itself from previous Iron & Wine records with a deepening integration of spiraling, dense opuses with intimate confessionals and with The Shepherd’s Dog this integration is complete. Recorded by Sam Beam with the assistance of longtime producer Brian Deck and engineer Colin Studebaker, The Shepherd’s Dog succeeds in accomplishing a cathartic recasting of the artist’s intentions. The arrangements here are kaleidoscopic and rich. “White Tooth Man” rocks with a desperate, menacing intensity while “Boy with a Coin,” the album’s first single, is darkly playful with a handclap hook tumbling under its cascading melody. The whole album breathes. Its seductive rhythms percolate and undulate, from the Psych-Bhangra-redux of “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” to the album’s last dance-a waltz-“Flightless Bird, American Mouth.” Compositionally, it is Iron & Wine’s most ambitious and accomplished recording to date. It’s also the most satisfying.
On September 11th we let loose the party beast that is the new Go! Team album Proof of Youth, available on CD and LP, and sure to make an appearance on best of 2007 lists all over the world. This record is all about hand claps, double dutch good times, and it features guest appearances by Chuck D, the Rapper’s Delight Club, and that crazy broad from "Bonde de Role ":http://www.myspace.com/bondedorolewho sings about eating dick cheese on a cracker for breakfast. (HINT: If possible, only watch Brazilian bands with a member of CSS serving as translator. Those Bonde kids are nasty!) Anyhoo, did I mention that it’s got Chuck D on it? Chuck D! We are giving you $2 off the already low, low price of $14 if you pre-order it on subpop.com by street date and we’ll also throw in some pins (that’s ‘badges’ to you anglophiles and/or members of The Go! Team) and stickers and junk along with it. I’d like to point out, for anyone who is paying attention, that we will not be giving away free mp3s with the LP version of this particular record and I blame Al Qaeda. Should you happen to want to learn more about The Go! Team band I would suggest you check out their myspace here and some videos here and also this thing here.
Next stop on this party train is the long awaited new release from Iron and Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog, which will also be available on CD and LP. I really like Sam’s increased hair growth, both on the face and the head, and I think he’s really going to turn the heads of quite a few ladies with these new photos. (Is anybody even reading this?!). Think of Sam’s longer hair as a metaphor for The Shepherd’s Dog — it’s just like the old Sam but with more, and by “more” I mean instrumentation! This record has a lot more going on than previous Iron and Wine records but it’s still the good ol’ Sam you’ve come to know and love. Personally I think that this new one is a little more Fleetwood Mac-ish than the others, or am I the only one who thinks Sam Beam sounds like Lindsey Buckingham every once in a while? The Shepherd’s Dog comes with a bonus CD of two b-side tracks “Serpent Charmer” and “Arms of a Thief” as well as $1 off on subpop.com through street date as well as a generous helping of button and sticker.
Also making their debuts during the bitter sweet month of September are two titles from our pals at Hardly Art and DeStijl. Le Loup from Washington DC are Hardly Art’s second release, and you should buy it because a) the band is good and you will like to smoke some doob and listen to this, and b) Nick and Sarah from Hardly Art are just cute as little buttons! I asked Nick what he liked about Le Loup and he said “it is well thought out, intelligent music and it’s not pretentious. I have definitely smoked a doobie and listened to it.” Also be sure to check out the new (old) Michael Yonkers record out on DeStijl and available through Sub Pop. I can’t really do the ol’ Yonks justice by describing his jam to you, but you should look here and here and note that he counts the Hunches, the Hot Snakes, and all of us at the Sub Pop office as his fans.
You know what else is happening in September? Bumbershoot. That’s right, Seattle’s own summer music festival takes place this weekend and The Shins and Grand Archives are playing so you should maybe stop by if you are in town. We literally have a million bands on tour right now (that’s right, literally) so check here to see if one of them is coming to your town. Stay tuned ’til next month when I bring you HALLOWEENCOSTUMESFROMDAYS OF YORE, featuring photos and stories from as many of our bands and employees as I can convince to do this!
What’s hotter’n a flaming, flag-decoupaged bucket of firecrackers on fiery fire? Us. We are literally, figuratively, hormonally, and metaphysically firing on all eight cylinders (or however many it is that we’ve got) here at World HQ this July. For starters, on July 10th, we release Patton Oswalt’sWEREWOLVESANDLOLLIPOPS (for a little while there, we thought that Patton was an Arabian psych-metal band, which is why we signed him, but then we realized that he’s a comedian, so whatever). Iron and Wine’sBoy With A Coin + 2 CD-single, aka the teaser of all teasers for the upcoming fall release of his next full-length, THE SHEPHERD’S DOG, comes out on the 10th, too. But that’s not all, turd burglars! On July 24th, we’re releasing Tiny Vipers’ full-length debut with us, a spare, mesmerizing epic called HANDSACROSSTHEVOID. Tiny Vipers is Seattle’s own Jesy Fortino, and although she is indeed tiny in stature, she’s got crazy strong pipes. On top of the excitement of releasing all these zany records, a gaggle of Sub Pop bands — including Band of Horses, The Album Leaf, Handsome Furs and Tiny Vipers — are on tour summer! It’s the ginchiest summer ever; hotter’n Buster Poindexter making out with Annette Funicello. Or, hotter than that is gross!