Welcome to the first installment of “A Form of Paying Attention”—a monthly column by me, for you, containing information about Sub Pop and Sub Pop related goings-on, which will be remarkably similar to the column that was here before but with a new and improved title. I’d like to congratulate Matt ‘Epsonality’ Olsen of Los Angeles, CA for coming up with the winning entry in my “name this column” contest!* As the winner he will receive many fabulous prizes, all of which come from the very nearly warehouse-sized Sub Pop warehouse and do not include cash, Turtle Wax, the Ts in Q, or, regrettably, Ski-doos or personal watercrafts of any type.
February is here, and it’s a LEAPYEAR! This is exciting as it only happens once every 72 years or something. And we are celebrating this rare and marvelous 29-day anomaly by releasing two incredible records this month—"Kelley Stoltz’s Circular Sounds_":http://www.subpop.com/artists/kelley_stoltz and "_The Grand Archives by Grand Archives.":http://www.subpop.com/artists/grand_archives Kelley’s record comes out February 5th and I vigorously suggest that you purchase it as it’s his best to date. If you buy it from us directly we’ll throw in a bonus disc with four songs that you can’t get anywhere else and some buttons and stickers. If you live in Australia, the US, or Canada make sure to go see Kelley on tour. You won’t be sorry. Go here for more Kelley business.
The Grand Archives is the highly anticipated first release from Grand Archives, the new project of Mat Brooke of Carissa’s Wierd and Band of Horses fame. These dudes went from opening some local mid-week show to opening for Modest Mouse in a single bound, so I suggest you check this out immediately. The LP version of the album comes with a bonus 7” single, but we’ll include said 7” single with ALL orders if you pre-order before February 19th. If you order the vinyl version you’ll get free mp3s of the album as well as buttons and stickers. Woah! Grand Archives will be touring the US—click here to see if they’re coming to your town.
Sub Pop turns 20 this year and I’ve heard rumors of lots of surprises this year including, but not limited to, a crazy huge show in the summer sometime and a limited-time-only rebirth of the somewhat legendary Singles Club. Stay tuned for more.
Honorable Mention goes to Chris Jacobs for his entry “Going Through Your Purse”.
So my boss just comes over to my desk and says to me, “Lacey, are you going to do a new Pandering? It’s a new year and we need a new Pandering, right?” You know what I say? It’s time for a new name for this piece of shit column and I need some serious help coming up with something clever/not dumb. I know some people read this thing from time to time so please help me out and I will reward the winning name with some Sub Pop junk such as a tshirt or a tote bag or something.
Speaking of Sub Pop, the new Helio Sequence record is so good that it’s the only thing we’re putting out this month. Seriously. Go here to check it out and purchase it. I’m pretty sure we’re giving away a bonus disc with some outtakes, etc., but one of my resolutions for 2008 was to not remember anything, so, you know, I’m not sure.
Hey, Sub Pop is going to the Sundance Film Festival in a few weeks and we’re having a party at the Star Bar on the 18th so come by if you’re in town. There will be performances from The Helio Sequence,Kelley Stoltz, and Daniel Martin Moore plus loads and loads of celebrities and snow. See you on the slopes, suckers.
November is the month in which you are supposed to harvest the fruits of your labor and give thanks for nature’s great bounty and all that crap so that’s what we’re gonna do. Since I don’t really feel like going over each and every musical fruit that we’ve produced in 2007, (after all, what will I write about next month?), I am going to go ahead and give thanks for the the fact that the two releases that we’ve got for November are both a) awesome, and b) on vinyl only! November 6th is the official release day for both the new 7 incher by Kelley Stoltz which is “Your Reverie” b/w “Owl Service” as well as the live Mudhoney LP appropriately entitled “Live Mud”. Take that, Digital Age! Speaking of, we’ve recently started selling mp3s of some of your favorite Sub Pop artists and we’ll be adding more and more in the months to come. You can read lots more about that HERE!
Speaking of being thankful, I have conducted a short, informal poll of the Sub Pop staff to find out what people around here are going to be appreciative of this holiday season: Mark Arm says “I don’t have time for this.”, Chris Jacobs says “Uh…hmmmm. Coffee?”, Kate Jackson says “Oooh, that’s a lot of pressure. Are you asking everyone?! Okay, my Jack Russel Terrier.”, Andy Kotowicz says, “This is so lame. How about my family? My little family?”, Jaimi Chapelle says “On Halloween? I don’t know, what?”, Carly Starr says “Oh, does everybody have to do this? SHIT.”, Dick Lang says “(complete silence)”, Steve Manning wouldn’t answer his phone, Jeff Kleinsmith says “Do I need to tell you that right now? My kids!”, Stuart Fletcher says “Jesus! Right now? I guess Jesus. And Seattle has great films. I love the cinema.”, Alissa Gallivan could not be reached for comment, nor could Sasha Morgan, Tony Kiewel, Jen Czeisler, Eric Brown, Megan Jasper, Andrew Sullivan, Sam Sawyer, or Jonathan Poneman, but Sue Busch says “What? Why? I’m thankful that my dog sleeps through the night.”, Angelina Saez says “No.”, Dean Whitmore says “Oh God. No, I can’t really right now.”, Dusty Summers says “My baby!”, Stuart Meyer says “Oh Lordy—Davey? Is that too gay?”, Dean Hudson says “Oh, which holiday? Tofurkey.” Me? I am glad this is over. Happy Turkey Day, turkeys.
In a move that has nothing whatsoever to do with our staggering weed intake, we at Sub Pop Records have taken steps to become entirely green-powered. What this effectively means is that, through our purchase of Green Tags, we are paying the difference between the cost of renewable energy and that of fossil fuel-generated energy, and in doing that, helping to shift the overall energy mix toward more renewable resources.
Here’s the somewhat interesting story behind how we became such hippies:
The guy there on the right is our own Andrew Sullivan. Like many recent college graduates, Andrew lives in what might charitably be referred to as a “shithole,” with 5-7 roommates, ranging in degrees of familiarity from life-long pals to “who is that sleeping in the tub?”. He enjoys late nights, loud rock music, street wrestling, world travel, the company of the fairer sex, and donkey shows. More often than not, dude sleeps in a pile of beer and/or Sparks™ cans. Completely unrelatedly, he also works here, explaining the internet to his benighted and slow-witted elder co-workers. Makes sense so far, right? Here’s the thing: Though money is forever tight at the squat, about a year ago Andrew opted to start paying extra on his electric bill every month to offset the additional cost of renewable energy (which is not subsidized up the proverbial wazoo by our government the way that fossil fuel and nuclear energy are).
What’s more, our own Kelley Stoltz did a very similar thing with the energy used to record his Below the Branches album earlier this year. And, Below the Branches not only shows off Kelley’s chops as a progressive thinker, but as an artist as well: “In concise, perpetually tuneful songs, his voice echoes the Kinks’ Ray Davies, while the sun-dazed reverberations of the Beach Boys meet the music-hall bounce of the Beatles” (The New York Times). The press release about Kelley’s album being the very first recorded using 100% renewable energy, as certified by Green-e, is right here.
Kids do the darnedest things, right?
Right! But, Andrew didn’t stop there. Further motivated by Kelley’s example, he went on to persuade the powers that be here at Sub Pop that we should do the same. And, with the help of the exceedingly nice folks at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (who we’d say very nice things about solely for their seemingly inexhaustible patience in explaining all of this stuff to us) and Green-e/the Center for Resource Solutions, Sub Pop is now the first record label in the US to be 100% powered by green/renewable energy.
We are surpassingly proud of both Andrew and Kelley (to say nothing of our increasingly high opinion of ourselves…). But, the real take-home on this one is like so:
If a very-nearly starving punk-rock Bohemian like Andrew, AND an incredibly talented, though as-yet-not-exactly-a-household-name musician like Kelley, AND a somewhat dysfunctional, medium-sized record label like Sub Pop can all manage some small effort at promoting climate recovery (and not hastening really scary stuff like this), what, exactly, is your excuse?
The official press release is here. You should read it and, shortly thereafter, you should do something about it.