Our friends at KEXP came up with a pretty epic 30th birthday gift… and it starts today! KEXP will be honoring every Sub Pop catalog release, in chronological order, over the coming months.
Read on for details…
[Photo Credit: David Ryder/Getty Images, via Pitchfork]
via KEXP: SEATTLE, March 8, 2018 – Legendary independent record label Sub Pop will turn 30 years old this year, and Seattle-based public broadcaster and arts organization KEXP will pay tribute to the label with a four-month retrospective. With over 1,200 releases, the station is planning to honor every single catalog number in the history of the Seattle based label. The tribute will wrap up in time for Sub Pop’s 30th anniversary concert at Alki Beach in West Seattle this August.
“Sub Pop and KEXP go back a long way,” said KEXP Chief Content Officer Kevin Cole. “Our histories are intimately connected - we certainly wouldn’t be who we are without the amazing music and incredible community that Sub Pop has helped to create here in Seattle. Sub Pop is family to KEXP.”
Sub Pop co-founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman each had a show on KEXP’s predecessor, KCMU, prior to the formation of the label. Pavitt’s show - Sub Pop USA - focused on celebrating artists and releases on independent regional labels, while Poneman was one of the first hosts of Audioasis, the local music program that still airs weekly on KEXP. Mark Arm of Sub Pop bands Mudhoney and Green River, and Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil had shows on KCMU, as did Charles Peterson, well-known for capturing iconic photographs of the nascent Seattle grunge scene on behalf of the label.
“Bruce Pavitt and I both had air shifts at the former KCMU. KEXP is sort of KCMU unchained, except that the present KEXP air staff have been trained, get paid and drink fancier coffee,” said Jonathan Poneman. “KCMU and Sub Pop Records both began as a pastime for music hobbyists who liked to stay indoors and play records. It’s been our good fortune to have successfully nurtured a reciprocal relationship with our hometown, Seattle: by providing great music to our community, people support it and listen.”
According to an account on HistoryLink, Poneman and Pavitt were first introduced to Nirvana as KCMU DJs, through a demo tape they received from producer Jack Endino. The tape was enough to get the band its first-ever radio airplay for demo versions of ‘Floyd the Barber’ and ‘Paper Cuts,’ songs which would show up over a year later on Bleach. After Sub Pop released Nirvana’s first official single, ‘Love Buzz’, in 1988, Kurt Cobain personally gave a copy to KCMU, and then sat in his car with the radio tuned to the station. When the DJ didn’t put the record on immediately, Cobain found a pay phone and called the station to request it himself.
“Bands were very aware of the role KCMU was playing in helping them out,” said Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil in an oral history of KCMU/KEXP published in CityArts Magazine in 2015. “KCMU was a networking hub for that seminal Seattle scene, Sub Pop and what came to be known as grunge, though I hate that word. It pivoted around KCMU.”
To this day, a strong connection remains. In 2013, KEXP helped celebrate Sub Pop’s 25th Anniversary with a live broadcast of Sub Pop artists performing on top of the Space Needle.
“We probably play more artists from Sub Pop than any other label,” said KEXP’s John Richards, host of The Morning Show on KEXP. “And that’s not necessarily on purpose, or because we feel like we need to play their music - it’s just that good, and their catalog is that deep. Every DJ on KEXP picks their own music, and with Sub Pop, there’s an amazing breadth and variety of killer releases to choose from.”
“Over the past 30 years Sub Pop has been home to the era-defining rock of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney and the label has also had the privilege of releasing music from artists like Shabazz Palaces, whose art is endlessly expansive and whose creativity is unparalleled,” said Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper. “We are so proud to work with so many musicians whose songs have changed our moods, our culture and us as individuals. And we can’t wait to learn what the next 30 years will bring!”
The Sub Pop Count-Up will begin on the first full weekday of KEXP’s 2018 Spring Fundraising Drive, on Monday March 12th. Throughout the following months, KEXP DJs will honor each Sub Pop catalog item in chronological order, including full albums, singles, EPs, compilations, early Sub Pop fan zines, and even a wedding soundtrack. KEXP.ORG will also feature online-exclusive content, interviews and more throughout the four-month tribute.
KEXP is a music-focused nonprofit arts organization serving music lovers and artists through in-person, broadcast, and online music programming. KEXP operates one of the most influential listener-supported music radio stations in the country, KEXP-FM, Seattle. More than 200,000 listeners from around the world tune in to the station each week over the air and online. On KEXP’s YouTube channel, videos of exclusive in-studio performances garner more than 2.4 million views per week. KEXP produces hundreds of live performances and music events each year, many of which are open to public audiences at no charge. More information at kexp.org.
Chad VanGaalen’s latest and greatest record, Shrink Dust, has been pelted with many favorable accolades from the music glitteratti in the short time that it’s been available on record store shelves, and with good reason, it’s really G-D great (don’t take my word from it, read some of the accolades below). Chad recently took to the Seattle-based radio station,KEXP, for a live, in-studio performance, and true to form, Chad delivered an amazing, beautiful, charming, funny, and weird one-man-band-style show. Check that out in the embedded player.
See Chad with a full band at any one of these fine venues:
June 15 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios* June 17 - San Francisco, CA - Brick & Mortar Music Hall* June 18 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo* June 19 - Oakland, CA - LEO’S* June 20 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bond’s Garage* June 21 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern* June 22 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett* Aug. 31 - North Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival Sep. 01 - London, UK - Oslo Sep. 02 - Paris, FR - Point FMR Sep. 04 - Gent, BE - DOK Sep. 06 - Vlieland, NL - Into the Great Wide Open Festival Sep. 07 - Hamburg, DE - Aalhaus Sep. 08 - Berlin, DE - Kantine Berghain Sep. 09 - Arhus, DK - Radar Sep. 11- Stockholm, SE - Stacken Sep. 12 - Copenhagen, DK - Ideal Bar Sep. 13 - Cologne, DE - King Georg Sep. 14 - Amsterdam, NL - DOK Sep. 15 - Tilburg, NL - Incubate
* w/ Cousins
What People Have Said About Chad VanGaalen’s Shrink Dust:
“His latest, Shrink Dust,
is possibly his best, and certainly his most confident…Chad VanGaalen’s
world is weird, but never just for weird’s sake—his creations spring
from deep inside the singular, twisted mind of their creator, and Shrink Dust is the closest we’ve come yet to getting inside his head.” [Review] - Pitchfork
“It’s like if Dali and Kafka got lost at an MGMT concert…Ever the tinkerer, Shrink Dustexpands
VanGaalen’s immense talents to even more uncharted, exciting territory.
The record deals with some hefty topics, but they don’t seem as
insurmountable through VanGaalen’s lens.” [Review] - Consequence of Sound
album that wears its weirdness on its sleeve, but it’s the best kind of
weird, and a joy to listen to.” [Review, 8/10] - FILTER
something deeply relatable about the flawed protagonists of ‘Weighed
Sin’ and ‘Monster’, whose callow whimsy masks a more disquieting
melancholia. This madcap might raise the occasional laugh, but inside
he’s crying, and for all your voyeuristic unease, you won’t be able to
look away. [Review, 8/10] -NME
it’s eccentrically charming and something that he proves elsewhere time
and again, with the cooed loveliness of the ominously titled ‘Evil’, as
well as the swirling refrain and sprawling, gossamer of inﬂuences found
on ‘Cosmic Destroyer’, making for wondrously ﬂoaty highpoints.” [Review, 8/10] -Loud & Quiet
those who like their space-age folk rock with a strong sense of
humility, it doesn’t get much chiller than this.” [Review, 8/10]- Exclaim!
Gaalen is basically a visionary with a guitar, a lot of oddball
instruments and recording gear, and this album is meditative and spooky,
an appealing continuation of his fire-hose like output.” [Review] - Relix
takes you on something of a journey, veering from country to garage
rock to something almost literally out-of-this-world.” [Review, 4 / 5] -Music OMH
In very remarkable news, Sub Pop artists, Mudhoney, J Mascis (J’s flight was unfortunately delayed and he will not be able to perform today) and Sera Cahoone are playing ON TOP of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle tomorrow, July 11th accompanying a remote broadcast by our dear friends at KEXP. From 12-5:30PM tomorrow, KEXP DJs John Richards and Kevin Cole will broadcast live from the Space Needle’s observation deck, jamming some Sub Pop tunes and generally kicking off the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee weekend with the rare sort of aplomb that posting up for the day on top of the Space Needle can bring.
The entire event will culminate in the first-ever live music performances from atop the Space Needle featuring solo sets from J Mascis and Sera Cahoone, and a fully plugged-in performance from Mudhoney. You will be able to live-stream video and audio from the broadcast via KEXP.orgall day tomorrowTODAY!
There will also be interview highlights from label founder Bruce Pavitt, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, photographer Charles Peterson, and legendary producer Jack Endino. Also, I’m told that there will be surprises.
The FREE Sub Pop Silver Jubilee Schedule:
Saturday, July 13th; Georgetown, Seattle, WA, USA
12th Avenue S and S Bailey
9am to noon – Yagya Opening Blessing
Sub Stage (at S. Homer Street)
8:30 pm – Built to Spill
7:15 pm – Mudhoney
6:00 pm – J Mascis
5:00 pm – METZ
3:45 pm – Pissed Jeans
2:30 pm – King Tuff
1:30 pm – Shearwater
(Beer Garden opens at noon)
Pop Stage (at S. Vale St.)
7:45 pm – Father John Misty
6:30 pm – Greg Dulli
5:20 pm – Shabazz Palaces
4:10 pm – The Baptist Generals
3:00 pm – clipping.
Elysian Stage (at the S. Lucile St. overpass)
7:30 pm – TBA
6:15 pm – Chad VanGaalen
5:00 pm – The Catheters
4:00 pm – Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (this is TAD’s new band)
3:00 pm – Jack Endino’s Earthworm
2:00 pm – The Tom Price Desert Classic (Tom Price was in the legendary U-Men)
1:00 pm – David Buhler (The mind behind Loser Pale Ale and partner at Elysian Brewing)
(Beer Garden open at noon)
The Mix: The Hardly Art Sideshow Jubilee
(at 6006 12th Ave. S.)
12:30 am – TBA
11:30 pm – Deep Time
10:30 pm – Protomartyr
9:30 pm – Hausu
Three notable Seattle groups, KEXP, Seattle Theatre Group, and a lesser-known organization called Starbucks Coffee, have gotten together to put on a concert series they’re calling ‘Little Big Show’, created to benefit Seattle’s arts organizations. This Friday, April 20th, our own Poor Moon are playing with Real Estate at the Neptune. 100% of ticket sales benefit Coyote Central. What we’re saying is, buy tickets, Seattle.
The Head and the Heart released their self-titled full length on April 16th, which also marked the 3rd Annual Record Store Day. To commemorate this momentous occasion the band performed two in-stores in their hometown of Seattle, WA. The first, was an acoustic set at Sonic Boom Records, and the second, a fully plugged in jammer at Queen Anne’s Easy Street Records. Working closely with the folks at KEXP to capture these performances we now present you an insider look into a day in the life of Seattle’s own The Head and the Heart. Click here to watch the first of a series of segments showcasing the bands foot stomping performances and day to day chatter.
But wait! There’s more, as it is time to set your DVRS, as The Head and the Heart will be performing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on May 18th. Click here for more information on the show.
The band, who have been on the road since February and have no plans to slow down anytime soon, are currently playing shows on the West Coast meeting up with ex Sub Popper/dear friend, Iron & Wine in late Mate/early June and Portland’s, The Decemberists in mid July, with a performance at this years Sasquatch Music Festival in late May.
Wednesday, July 7th, show your support for KEXP at a Community Meeting at the Seattle Center House.
KEXP is one of nine organizations that recently submitted proposals to redevelop the Fun Forest area at Seattle Center. Our vision for the area includes green space, hundreds of free in-studio performances, an artists lounge, a busking program for local musicians and more.
To learn more about our proposal—and to make your voice heard—please join us at Seattle Center on Wednesday, July 7 at the Center House. Stop by at 4:30 to visit our info table and stick around to share your thoughts at the public forum from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.