A few months back, the very good rock band Obits welcomed Alexis Fleisig as their new drummer. (Previous drummer and all-around excellent human Scott Gursky, decided to hang it up a few months before that.) Alexis is in or has been in about 500 bands (Girls Against Boys, Paramount Styles, Bellini, Soulside…) so it’s understandable that he did not realize that as a part of his employment at Obits Music, Filmworks and Probate, Inc., he is now contractually required to make music videos for the band as well. He is, after all, a busy guy. Owing to his respect for a legal, binding contract (it’s all right there, in black and white) and what turns out to be a genuine knack for making music videos, Alexis made a video for the song “Killer” from Obits’ 2011 album Moody, Standard and Poor (which, by the by, Exclaim! recently featured as one of their best punk records of 2011).
—Obits will be performing live at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday, December 30th. This, of course, is New Year’s Eve Eve, the new and much cooler celebratory event that is, we are right now pretending, ALLTHERAGE among many of the trend-setting young people of that borough.
—We recently received and are now offering for sale some more of the popular Les Obits t-shirts!
—Did you know that these same Obits participate in and are very funny in the use of the internet’s seemingly quite popular social media thingamajigs? While that former thing might be surprising and the latter not at all, they do! Like this: Obits on Facebook Obits on Twitter
Thank you for what we might as well assume to be your time and indulgence here.
It’s possible that you are already aware of the very nearly right upon us Romance Awareness Month Tour 2011. This, of course, is a real mouthful of a title. It is also, of course, the tour which will bring both Obits and Disappears to 7 (seven) cities on the west coast, starting tomorrow, August 18th in Vancouver, BC and ending August 25th in San Diego, CA. Mind you, this is the first time Obits have toured on the west coast since their most recent record, Moody, Standard and Poor was released and also the first shows they’ll be playing with their new drummer, Alexis Fleisig. You should totally go.
Here’s the complete list of dates!
bq. Aug 1- Vancouver, BC (Canada) at the Biltmore Cabaret
Aug 19 – Seattle, WA at The Crocodile
Aug 20 – Portland, OR at the Doug Fir Lounge
Aug 22 – San Francisco, CA at Bottom of the Hill
Aug 23 – Visalia, CA at the Cellar Door
Aug 24 – Los Angeles, CA at the Satellite
Aug 25 – San Diego, CA at The Casbah
You should know as well that these Obits have made and will have with them, available for sale on these same tour dates a new and really terrific t-shirt. We understand this to be one of the ancillary, though substantial, benefits of attending live music performances: the opportunity to purchase, from the band themselves, unique merchandise that may well be unavailable elsewhere, ever.
We at Sub Pop Records will be very thoroughly celebrating Record Store Day this year, with a number of releases and events across the country very nearly beyond our meager ability to count. We’ll have limited-edition Record Store Day exclusive releases from Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes and Lower Dens, a free 19-track Sub Pop sampler, and in-store performances by Obits, Low and The Head and the Heart. Plus, the self-titled debut from The Head and the Heart comes out on CD and LP on April 16th as part of Record Store Day. To find a participating store, go here.
Our 2011 label sampler, comes housed in an embossed, die-cut package, and includes 18 art prints with information about each of the artists and a folded poster. Sub Pop would like to give it to you.
1. Daniel Martin Moore “Dark Road” from the album In the Cool of the Day (SP860), available January 2011
2. Aurelio “Tio Sam” from the album Laru Beya (NXA002), available on Next Ambiance January 2011
3. The Twilight Singers “On the Corner” from the album Dynamite Steps (SP844), available February 2011
4. Mogwai “Slight Domestic” from the “Mexican Grand Prix” 7" single on Rock Action Records, available February 2011
5. Papercuts “Do What You Will” from the album Fading Parade (SP885), available February 2011
6. Dum Dum Girls “Wrong Feels Right” from the He Gets Me High EP (SP917), available March 2011
7. J Mascis “Not Enough” from the album Several Shades of Why (SP859), available March 2011
8. Obits “You Gotta Lose” from the album Moody, Standard and Poor (SP857) available March 2011
9. Low “Try to Sleep” from the album C’mon (SP905), available April 2011
10. The Head and the Heart “No One to Let You Down,” previously unreleased. The album The Head and the Heart (SP915) is available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
11. Blitzen Trapper “Maybe Baby” from the “Maybe Baby” 7" single (SP929), available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
12. Lower Dens “Deer Knives” from the “Deer Knives” 7" single (SP927), available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
13. Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues” from the album Helplessness Blues (SP888), available May 2011
14. Chad VanGaalen “Peace on the Rise” from the album Diaper Island (SP871), available May 2011
15. Shabazz Palaces “lost foundling.” This Shabazz Palaces track is not from the album Black Up (SP900), available May 2011
16. Memoryhouse “Sleep Patterns” from The Years EP (SP925), available at some as-yet-undetermined point in 2011
17. Mister Heavenly “Mister Heavenly” from the as-yet-untitled Mister Heavenly debut album (SP926), available August 2011
18. Niki and the Dove “The Fox” From “The Fox” 12" single (SP930), available June 2011
19. Blouse “Shadow” From the “Shadow” 7" single (SP939), available May 2011
Bands Performing in Actual Record Stores The Head and the Heart
Sonic Boom (Ballard), Seattle, WA 3pm (acoustic)
Easy Street (Queen Anne), Seattle, WA 7pm (full band)
Electric Fetus, Minneapolis, MN 4pm
Generation Records, New York, NY time TBC.
Beautiful World Syndicate , Philadelphia 2pm
Earlier this week (Tuesday, March 29th, to be more specific), we at Sub Pop Records enjoyed the great privilege of releasing the new and second album by Obits. It’s called Moody, Standard and Poor, this new Obits album, and we are of the opinion that it is really very exceptional. You can and should listen to two songs from Moody, Standard and Poor (“You Gotta Lose” and “Shift Operator”) on the Obits artist page here on subpop.com, to form your own opinion on the matter. And then, after having done so (or before that even: your call), you should buy this new Obits record from us or your local record shop.
Also! Tomorrow night, April 2nd, Obits will be celebrating the release of Moody, Standard and Poor in a way common to many of our favorite bands: they will be playing a rock show. This Obits record release show will take place at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY and you should do all that you can to attend. Obits’ drummer Scott has also designed and caused to be printed (by Polluted Eyeball, in a limited-edition of 200) a new poster for the occasion! 100 of these will be available at the show tomorrow night and the other 100 will be available here on the Subbe Poppe Internette Concerne at some later date.
Also also! Obits will be playing a special in-store performance for Record Store Day (4/16/11) at NY’s Generation Records.
Sohrab Habibion is one of the singers and guitar players in the just ridiculously great band Obits (whose records are available on the Sub Pop label: surprise!). Obits just happen to have a new record, which was released yesterday, March 29th, 2011, entitled Moody, Standard and Poor . And, in addition to Sohrab being one of the smarter, more thoughtful people we’ve ever met (read this for some indication of what I’m talking about), the occasion of their new album’s release seems about as good an excuse as we need (note: we don’t really need any excuse, so that’s maybe setting the bar a little low…), to mark what we really hope will be the glorious or at least somewhat noticed return of our “For the Record” series. “For the Record”, for the record, is the thing we sometimes do on our website where we convince someone in a band on the label to write a bit about a record from the Sub Pop catalog, and we then attempt to use this as a method of maybe selling you guys some copies of the record in question at what we hope to be a very appealing discount-type price.
No doubt you get the picture already.
So, here’s Sohrab from Obits on The Grifters’ Ain’t My Lookout (fondly and not at all frequently referred to around here as Ain’t My Cookout)…
Band: The Grifters
Record: Ain’t My Lookout
When we told you the first time: February 13, 1996
The first time I heard the Grifters was in ‘92, I think, around the time their “Corolla Hoist” 7" came out. I don’t remember who played it for me, but it really resonated. The slight dissonance of the instrumental interplay with a vocal melody that finally came into focus after about a minute or so of darting around the snare drum and a loose-wristed, ascending guitar line. But it was the b-side to their Soda Pop 7", “She Blows Blasts Of Static”, that really hooked me. It seemed equally informed by classic rock riffs and weirdo, late-70’s art punk. Each time the song fell apart, it returned with even more fervor.
Not much later I got a chance to see the band play at the 15 Minutes Club, one of the less conventional venues in DC at the time. It was a lunchtime soul food kitchen for government employees by day with a bare bones PA for local and touring bands at night. Grifters took the stage pretty casually, fumbled lackadaisically into their set and then proceeded to decimate the two dozen or so people in the room. The songs I knew were only recognizable at points and, in general, it felt like all bets were off. Why wasn’t Stan, the drummer, playing on that part? Was that a phaser on Tripp’s bass guitar? The unspoken and uptight rules that my friends and I had all been following in our bands were left looking for parking spaces on 14th street. It was as if any instrument could start or stop or rudely interrupt the proceedings, but nothing felt gratuitous or indulgent.
Fast forward a few years. The band had released One Sock Missing and Crappin’ You Negative, both of which were terrific albums, filled with moody and memorable songs. “Junkie Blood” still gives me chills. And then “The Eureka” EP came out, which felt like a perfect summation of the band up to that point. They knew how to deconstruct familiar elements and put them back together in slightly askew and strangely beautiful ways. And Dave’s voice sounded like Rod Stewart or Mick Jagger if either had been fans of Wire or the Vibrators. As far as I was concerned, this was the best band in America.
In 1996 I knew a handful of folks who had cell phones and maybe an AOL account, but there were no RSS feeds to follow a band’s tour dates or blogs to blare a PR stream of upcoming releases. So when Ain’t My Lookout was released I only knew about it when I saw it at my local record store. And it was on Sub Pop, a label I respected for putting out Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” 7" and Love Battery’s “Between The Eyes” EP (also Journey To The Center Of Cat Butt, but I’ll save that for another time). I was excited to get the record home and dig into it.
Ain’t My Lookout is a fuller recording than anything the band had done before, but just as woozy and gloriously lopsided as I could’ve hoped for. Long, languorous melodies stretched out over spikes of ugly distortion, bent notes unveiling clearly picked guitar chords and occasional blips that sounded like someone bumped into a Hammond organ. And lyrics. Real lyrics. Words that actually sounded interesting and made me want to follow the character sketches, drunken confessions and angry admonitions and try to understand the inside jokes.
Fourteen years later, quite magically, it all sounds just as fresh. A sloppy marriage of Big Star and The Lurkers, as officiated by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. In my collection they actually fall between Green On Red and the Groundhogs, which is perfect. It’s truly timeless rock’n’roll, so if you don’t have this record already, here’s your chance to get it on the cheap.
For the next 48 hours, you can go HERE to get Ain’t My Lookout at our FTR sale price of $6 CD/$4 Mp3.
Soharab’s own band, Obits, just recently released a fine record of their own, Moody, Standard and Poor and it is oh so conveniently located HERE for your consideration.