News for Shabazz Palaces

NEWS : TUE, JUL 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Shabazz Palaces ‘Lese Majesty’ Out Today

Lese Majesty, Shabazz Palaces’ mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed follow-up to their 2011 mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed debut record, Black Up, is officially available wherever good records are sold. The record is truly an artistic triumph, and we here at Sub Pop couldn’t be more proud to have released it. If you haven’t had a chance to, maybe take the focus track “#Cake” out for a spin with the embedded player, and then pick up a copy of Lese Majesty from us here at Sub Pop, iTunes, Amazon, or your local independent record store.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : MON, JUL 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Hear the New Shabazz Palaces Song “Forerunner Foray”

July 29th is approaching quickly, and if you’re like many of the people who have already pre-ordered Shabazz Palaces new record, Lese Majesty, from us here at Sub Pop, then you’ve already heard the space-bound ride that is the new song “Forerunner Foray”, because we’re giving all pre-orderers of that record a stream of the record in its entirety. But, if you aren’t one of those well-equipped consumers, than this morning’s Gorilla vs. Bear premiere of the Lese Majesty track is your first go around that mind-bending track. So, head on over there, or press play in the handy embed to hear another piece of the Shabazz Palaces masterpiece, Lese Majesty.

Pre-order Lese Majesty from Sub Pop.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : MON, JUN 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Hear Shabazz Palaces’ New Song #CAKE Now!

You can now listen to Shabazz Palaces’ “#CAKE,” the latest offering from the group’s forthcoming 7-suite, 18-track Lese Majesty, available worldwide on CD / 2xLP / DL July 28th & 29th via Sub Pop. The Not-the-Video video embedded within this blogpost features THEESatisfaction’s Catherine Harris-White and artwork from Christian Petersen of I Want You Magazine (See Pitchfork news story June 23rd).

Shabazz Palaces 2014 summer tour schedule in support of Lese Majesty now includes a performance at Brooklyn’s AFROPUNK Festival on August 23rd. Find a current list of tour dates below, and then, if you can, find your way to one of those shows, you’ll be happy you did.

Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty, the follow up to the groups universally acclaimed label debut Black Up, is a sonic mythmap of new black wave and psychedelia, featuring highlights “They Come In Gold”, “Dawn In Luxor,” “#CAKE,” “Ishmael” and “Forerunner Foray.”

Lese Majesty is available for preorder from Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, and Amazon now.  The double vinyl version is sheathed within a shark skin-like embossed jacket and includes a fold-out poster, and an etching on side D. Preorders from Sub Pop will receive the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the LP on purple vinyl AND a seven-inch featuring the non-album track “The Palace Slide” b/w “The Palace Slide (Instrumental)” while supplies last. Again, while supplies last. Order soon is what I’m trying to say.

Pre-order Lese Majesty from us here.

Tour Dates:
Jul. 28 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
Jul. 29 - Oakland, CA -  The New Parish
Jul. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
Aug. 21 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Aug. 22 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer*
Aug. 23 - Brooklyn, NY - AFROPUNK @ Commodore Barry Park*
Oct. 22-26 - Helsinki, FI - Supermassive Festival
* w/ clipping.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : TUE, MAY 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM

New Shabazz Palaces Track, Album, and Pre-order for ‘Lese Majesty’

Come July 29th, after a three year hiatus from the massively confident and genre-redefining debut Black Up, Shabazz Palaces are back with what is arguably (or if you work at Sub Pop, inarguably) the most anticipated record of the year, Lese Majesty. The record’s 18 tracks are grouped into seven suites, creating an experience for listeners  that is alarmingly interesting while maintaining artistic cohesion. IT’S VERY GOOD IS WHAT WE’RE SAYING. But don’t take our word for it, listen to the lead off track “They Come In Gold”, of which, Gorilla vs. Bear had this to say:

Here’s the long-awaited first track to be unveiled from Shabazz Palaces‘ lush, dizzyingly brilliant new full-length, Lese Majesty. Not necessarily the most representative track on the new record, “They Come in Gold” kicks off with the kind of diamond-hard beat and ominous flow that made Black Up the best album of 2011, but the comparison with the last record ends there. When taken out of the context of the new album, only the song’s brighter, prismatic second half begins to hint at the impossibly deep, singular astral landscape the group has created on Lese Majesty.

Pre-order Lese Majesty from Sub Pop

All customers who pre-order the LP version of Lese Majesty will receive the limited, “Loser Edition” of the album on purple-colored vinyl. In addition, customers who pre-order will also receive the following, while supplies last:

-A bonus 7-inch featuring the unreleased track ”
The Palace Slide” on the the a-side, and an instrumental version on the b-side.*
-An instant download of the first single,They Come in Gold”.
-Advance access to stream Lese Majesty in full, 1 month before street date, from your account.

Lese Majesty Tracklisting:

Suite 1: The Phasing Shift
01 Dawn In Luxor
02 Forerunner Foray
03 They Come In Gold

Suite 2: Touch & Agree
04 Solemn Swears
05 Harem Aria
06 Noetic Noiromantics

07 The Ballad of Lt. Major Winnings

Suite 3: Palace War Council Meeting
08 Soundview
09 Ishmael
10 Down 155th in the MCM Snorkel

Suite 4: Pleasure Milieu
11 Divine of Form
12 #Cake

Suite 5: Federal Bureau Boys
13 Colluding Oligarchs
14 Suspicion of a Shape

Suite 6: High Climb To The Gallows
15 Mind Glitch Keytar Theme
16 Motion Sickness

Suite 7: Murkings On The Oxblood Starway
17 New Black Wave
18 Sonic Myth Map For the Trip Back

Posted by Sam Sawyer

THU, AUG 29, 2013 at 3:59 AM

People! It’s The Return of “People Who Work Here” Starring Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler


When it comes to listening to the public, we here at Sub Pop like to stick our fingers into our ears and make a really loud humming noise, both literally and metaphorically. But, the recent hue and cry to resurrect our old “People Who Work Here” column has finally become too much for even us to ignore. “People Who Work Here” is, of course, the long-running and even longer-dormant column in which we crawl inside the heads of the weirdos who call Sub Pop HQ home for something like forty hours (give or take—usually take) each week. As the column’s original author is now too busy running our Licensing Department (way to go, Lacey Swain!) to be bothered with this sort of thing, we’ve drafted our new (and former) receptionist to take over as staff interviewer. His name is Derek Erdman and he claims to have a degree in English. You be the judge!

The first subject of the new “People Who Work Here” is, naturally, the newest (and, arguably, most famous) addition to the Sub Pop family, Ishmael Butler. Ish was no stranger to Sub Pop when he accepted the job; he’s also 1/2 of Shabazz Palaces! So far, a number of the ladies (and most likely some dudes, too) in the office have described Ish as “hunky,” and his commanding demeanor has office meetings running much more smoothly. We could go on and on, or you could just read more below.

Derek: Hello, Ish! Wait… I guess I should ask if it’s okay to call you Ish… Is it? Also, do you have any other nicknames? Anything from your childhood, or anything that you didn’t like to be called?
Ish: My friends call me Ish, you can call me Pookie or Carmine until friendship.

D: Did you have a favorite toy as a child? If so, what was it?
I: My favorite toy as a child: cigarettes.

D: What about cartoons, did you watch them as a kid? What did you like? What was your TV like? Mine was a giant wooden thing, it must have weighed 500 lbs.
I: Cartoons, of course, I’m normal. My favorites: all Looney Tunes; Sylvester, Yosemite, Daffy, Bugs, Foghorn. These beings laid the foundation for my philosophical outlook and also of course how I relate to women.

D: What about your first bike? What was it like?
I: I’d love to talk about my first bike but I’m under a sponsorship contract with Alex at 20/20 and I can’t mention any other bike or say the word bicycle.

D: One of my favorite things to know about a person: what is your favorite thing to eat? I’m really particular to Triscuits with cottage cheese on top. Do you have any food combinations that you’re fond of? Are there foods that you really don’t like at all?
I: I like to combine food with hunger, it’s a little something I do.

D: What about pet peeves about other people eating? I don’t mind when people chew with their mouth open, but I’m aware that it bothers some people. I floss my teeth while working at the front desk, does that bother you?
I: I don’t like when people say “sorry” for shit that there is no need to be sorry about. And yes, your flossing bothers us all, bro.

D: Do you remember your very first introduction to music? What was the setting? Who else was involved? Do you still re-visit that music today?
I: My first introduction to music: I was in the 9th grade and my girlfriend was in the 12th grade. She told me to walk her to her friend’s house during lunch. When we got there she had the key and we were the only ones there. She played a song for me that I had not heard until that day. Yes, I revisit that music. I’m going to listen to it when I get home.

D: What about your first introduction to Sub Pop—do you remember that?
I: The first time I came to the offices I chilled in Andy’s [Kotowicz] cube for Hella. He was playing cut after ridiculous cut. His eyes sparkling behind his glasses, talking about songs like I would talk about a girl I love.

D: What did you expect working at Sub Pop to be like?
I: I thought it would be like I had seen Tony K. doing it around town, you know, getting in free to shows, getting twisted backstage, throwing drinks in bouncers’ faces, making a fool of myself and it being ok because “I work at the Sub, bitch.” But there’re all kinds of meetings and shit.

D: How is being an employee at Sub Pop compared to being an artist on the label?
I: I expected working here to be serious and fun.

D: What advice would you give other new employees of Sub Pop? What about the ones that have been here FOREVER?
I: New employees: try to use the bathroom before lunch. Old employees: form a band called Power Trip but spell it PWr tRYp and whisper to the new employees how you should be “singin’ lead, man.”

D: Any advice you have for musicians who’d like to be signed by Sub Pop? How about for people who want to get a job here?
I: If you want to get a job here don’t try sleeping your way to the top. IT DOESNT WORK. You just get a few t-shirts and when they say you’re on the all access list, you’re not.

D: Do you have any ideas for new Sub Pop merchandise? I’ve been thinking Sub Pop shower curtains would be a good idea.
I: Sup Pop stem cell samples from bands!

D: Thanks, Ish! And welcome aboard this sinking (since 1988) ship!

Posted by Sam Sawyer

FRI, MAY 24, 2013 at 5:46 AM

Getting To Know Us: J Mascis & Shabazz Palaces

In this second installment of Getting to Know Us, the self-serving, Sub Pop Silver Jubilee Festival-promoting column in which we talk about some of the world class artists who are playing our (free (to you)) birthday party taking place on Saturday, July 13th in Seattle’s esteemed Georgetown Neighborhood. This week, we would like to show you about the majestic J Mascis and the enigmatic Shabazz Palaces.

Chances are that if you know who we are (just to clarify, we’re the t-shirt and record manufacturer, Sub Pop), you are already well aware of who J Mascis is. As one of the shreddiest forces on the planet and singer of the pioneering band Dinosaur Jr., J has been creating some of the noisiest and most wonderful (in this blog poster’s opinion, at least) music for the better part of like, 15 decades or so. He’s also been involved with J Mascis + The Fog, Witch, Deep Wound, Upsidedown Cross, Sweet Apple, and most importantly (for the sake of this Silver Jubilee related blog post, at least), simply J Mascis. J’s most recent solo record, Several Shades of Why, came out on Sub Pop in 2011 to much critical acclaim, and quickly became a favorite among the staff at Sub Pop. In case you missed that record, here’s a link to the video for “Not Enough”, created by J’s labelmate, Chad VanGaalen.

Shabazz Palaces are an enigmatic hip-hop duo, bucking every trend in the modern rap game (take for example them signing with a record label not at all known for putting out hip hop records). They’re led by Palaceer Lazaro, also known as Ishmael Butler, a member of the pioneering 90’s rap group, Digable Planets and are rounded off with the multi-instrumental brilliance of Tendai Maraire. Shabazz Palaces’ debut full-length, Black Up, was released in 2011 amidst a frenzy of excitement and hype and according to universal critical acclaim, well exceeded the hype in its delivery. In case you needed proof of their prowess, we’ve attached a video for their song “Are You… Were You… Can You… (Felt)” off of Black Up.

Perhaps it feels a little desperate to attempt to sell you on an altogether FREE MUSIC FESTIVAL put on by a record label representing such historically and presently great artists, we wouldn’t be Sub Pop Records (and t-shirts!) if we weren’t trying to sell you something. So, on July 13th, we hope you’ll join us at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee however you can and watch these three artists do their thing.For free.

Click here for more information on the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee.

Posted by Sam Sawyer