Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas From Your Friends at the Sub Pop Airport Store:
Imagine this scenario: You arrive at the airport, on your way to see relatives for the holiday season. You have already bought and packed presents for each family member, when panic strikes. You have forgotten someone. You remember the stray facts from half-remembered phone conversations with loved ones this last year. Your sister had triplets; your cousin returned from the Peace Corps; your estranged uncle has been welcomed back for Christmas; grandma has a new boyfriend that she’s introducing to the family.
If you are traveling in or out of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this week, there’s no need to fear. Your friends at the Sub Pop airport store have you covered for last-minute gifts. Here are just a few that you can pick up at the store (while supplies last):
Loser Editions of Your Favorite Records:
Did you know that first pressings of new Sub Pop LPs are usually done on colored vinyl? We call this the “Loser Edition,” and the airport store always has a steady supply of the newest releases. You could take home Beach House’s Thank Your Lucky Stars (ultra rare glitter vinyl AND green vinyl), Deaf Wish’s Pain (clear with black), Flake Music’s When You Land Here, It’s Time to Return (orange vinyl), and/or many other varieties for people with differing musical/color tastes. Just look for the gold ‘Loser’ sticker on the front of each LP.
Sleater-Kinney Box Set:
Are you tired of scanning the resale market for last year’s Sleater-Kinney box set, Start Together? After thinking we sold out of box sets last winter, we stumbled upon a few more in a supply closet. Are we the last brick n’ mortar store in the world to have these in stock? Possibly. Do you want the hottest box set from last year, for this year? Here is your chance! We also still have a few Deluxe editions of this year’s superb No Cities to Love LP if you want to go all out and complete the discography.
‘Tis the Drinkin’ Season:
Now that I’m an adult, I’ve learned an important secret about the holidays: they are primarily made tolerable by alcohol. With that in mind, the airport store has plenty of options for you and your lushy-loved ones. Might you consider a Sub Pop branded Stanley flask, so your aunt can always have a supply of peppermint schnapps? And what about later, when you and your siblings want to do shots after dinner talk turns political? There are the always fashionable “Loser” and “Winner” shot glasses in-stock at the store. And why not plan ahead for the morning after, when you’ll need copious amounts of caffeine to feel human again? We also have our own Sub Pop roast of Lighthouse Coffee available for purchase.
Mark Arm Bobbleheads:
What’s a perfect gift for the Mudhoney-loving family member who has everything? We suggest purchasing the brand new Mark Arm bobblehead, er, I mean, ‘throbblehead.’ Who doesn’t want a little buddy to rock out with when you’re spinning all those classic records?
Dank Crystal Candles:
Are you unsure about what to get your quiet relative, the one who usually spends the whole holiday party holed up in his or her room? The airport store is proud to carry Dank Crystal candles in many different scents, each designed to enhance the aura of every room and delicately cover up even the dankest of odors. But what makes the Dank Crystal unique in the crowded candle market? Well, aside from being handmade by Sub Pop’s own Bekah Zietz, each candle has its own purified crystal inside. A Dank Crystal is the perfect present for ensuring some calm and relaxing vibes to conclude the year.
This just represents a small sample of gift ideas you’ll find at the store. We also have countless other items for the Christmas, late-Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa gift-giving season. So, remember to give yourself extra time at the airport for these next few weeks and stop by the Sub Pop airport store. Sales associates are standing by, eager to help all you slackers find the perfect last-minute present.
It’s the end of 2015 as we know it, and I feel fine…
Somewhat unbelievably we, your close personal friends at Sub Pop Records, seem to have survived another year mostly intact. Between new, full-length albums, reissues, singles, and box sets, we are fairly certain that we managed to put out a total of something like 42 releases this year (one of which was a 7-LP box set, a robe and also a chair…). It’s been busy, strange and great.
Thanks for what we assume to be your sustained attention to these efforts. We’re incredibly fortunate to work with a roster of such obvious and varied talent. In an effort to commemorate the year that we’ll soon only dimly recall, we’ve put together a collection of wholly subjective lists of things deemed great by the folks we invited to participate (and who got back to us…).
Here’s hoping you find something great here yourself!
LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on clear vinyl with a white swirl (while supplies last).
The album, which includes highlights “Oriar”, “Beneath Fields”, “Your Hollows” and “Sudden Lament”, was produced and mixed by the band in San Francisco at The Mansion.
Stereogum says of “Oriar”: “Expressive guitar lines laced with feedback sprawl out again and again without trailing away too far. Meg Baird’s serene voice harkens back to ’60s folk singers, subdued in a way that lends special gravity without being bombastic. Frankly, the group sounds exactly like what psychedelic rock should sound like (see premiere December 15th).”
Heron Oblivion will appear at Austin’s Levitation Festival April 29th-May 1st, and additional live dates will be announced soon.
Kim Gordon included Heron Oblivion on her “Best of 2015” list in the December issue of ARTFORUM and had this to say: “A five-minute sound check, but the best sounds of the night. The rudimentary PA system kept their Pentangle-meets-Bardo-Pond (but with more precision) sound swirling nicely, creating a humming musicality without the sharp edges ever bringing it down to earth.”
[Photo Credit: Alissa Anderson]
More on Heron Oblivion from WFMU’s Brian Turner: Pastoral pummel. Listening to Heron Oblivion’s album feels like sitting in a lovely meadow in the shadow of a dam that’s gonna heave-ho’ any minute. Members of this new San Francisco combo have put in time in both raging and relatively tranquil psychedelic sound units—this is the premise and the synergy behind this very unique and special new album.
On the West Coast side, Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson were together in the mighty Comets on Fire, who spent a large chunk of the mid-2000s playing unbridled, blistering rock worldwide, fueled by a steady dietofamphetaminized Crazy Horse, High Rise, MC5, Chrome, and Fushitsusha. They were molten and melting down at all times—with twin-guitar blowtorch jams inflectedwith Noel’s careening electronic infusions, and songs and structures holding on to the wheel (barely) while destruction ensued. Noel did time afterwards with Sic Alps and Six Organs ofAdmittance, while Miller settled into a new level of interactions with Howlin’ Rain and Feral Ohms. Charlie Saufley resided at the psychedelic pop fringes with his band Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (kindred spirits to Comets to be sure.) He was joined in California by Meg Baird of Philadelphia’s Espers. The East Coast connection, Baird was an already-established leading light in the modern psych-folk canon both in Espers and as a solo artist (most recently releasing the gorgeous Don’t Weigh Down the Light LP on Drag City,) as well as original drummer for Philly’s post-hardcore degenerates Watery Love.
Ethan and Noel were loosely jamming in an improvisational unit called Wicked Mace at this point. Via osmosis, Charlie and Meg came floating in for weekly hangs that still resided in a somewhat free zone. “We just did pure improv’ for a few months under no pressure to ‘be anything’ or ‘be a band’”, says Miller, “I think Noel and I sort of pushed for the idea of Meg on drums, me on bass, and Noel and Charles on guitars just to mix it up a bit, get outside our usual mold a little.” Though Noel and the newfound rhythm section took roles with instruments they were familiar with—but not particularly known for—ideas bubbled up quickly, and each member contributed to the songwriting process. “As expected, Charles and Noel had killer guitar chemistry, incredible fuzz sounds, symbiotic interplay,” Miller recounts. Though a multitude of other parallel musical projects kept the pace slow for the foursome, it moved steadily forward—and down paths much less trodden and familiar for the players involved. It was something new, unfamiliar, and invigorating to say the least. Eventually, seven songs were tracked at Eric Bauer’s San Francisco studio “The Mansion,” and the results are stellar.
Three shades of light run through Heron Oblivion: Baird’s rich, beautiful vocal approach, the locked-horns bass and drums of her and Miller’s streamlined-but-motorik rhythm section, and a twin guitar tapestry that both aligns with the dreaminess of the songs and crackles out of containment to froth over the rim.It’sa seamless but pronounced thing: “Oriar” sports dramatic spires of solos that fly high out of the gate, slowly settling in to lilting verses then exploding again, “Rama” drifts like an Opal/Fairport wedding with more tumbling, syrupy electric lines all around.
Meg’s gorgeous singing resides within an untouchable domain and never struggles, nor has to combat the avalanche of guitars that ebb and flow. The only other record this could be remotely compared to maybe is the Slap Happy Humphrey record on Japan’s Alchemy label years ago, where female vocal melodies combat sick walls of noise guitar. But inthiscase a definite West Coast style reigns—where elements meld rather than stand as opposing black-and-white walls: Even the heights of guitar destruction on Heron’s “Faro” build steadily and organically from the beginning to end.
The group first properly gigged in April of 2014 opening for War On Drugs. They finished the record independently, then inked a deal with Sub Pop in early 2015. Most recently they toured the West Coast with Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs.
What people are saying about Heron Oblivion:
“…A raging new psych band.” - Uncut
“Not much of HO’s music lives online at the moment, but what’s there suggests a group— Ethan Miller, Noel V. Harmonson, Meg Baird, and Charles Saufley—who like to jam for long durations in the fuzzy, fiery guitar-laden zone where Neil Young’s Zuma meets Joe Walsh-era James Gang. (One track is called “Funeral Funk 49,” and while it’s not as funky as James Gang’s 1970 hit, it takes you deeper into trance land.) Heron Oblivion also claim influences from the Japanese power-psych label PSF and UK electric folk rock, and Baird’s vocals counterbalance the swarming sound with a dulcet breeziness. - The Stranger
San Francisco band Heron Oblivion (who just signed with Sub Pop) opened the night. Fronted by singer/drummer Meg Baird of the Espers (and a Philly ex-pat who’s sung backing vocals for Vile), the band set the tone for the night with some moody psych-folk/noise rock that was made all the more impressive when paired with Baird’s powerful, haunting voice. - Three Match Breeze
It’s that time of year again where we thank you for being the best customers imaginable in the world of music-buying peoples far and wide.
In an effort to show our unending appreciate of you, we’ll now attempt to coerce you into spending even more of your hard earned shekels with us this holiday season… by offering 20% off on all* Sub Pop Mega Mart orders over $30 starting today and going all the way ‘til 11:59 pm on January 3rd.
Thank you in advance for your impending (wildly overzealous, we hope) gift buying spree.
*All current pre-orders, the Mark Lanegan boxsets and Eugene Mirman bathrobes are excluded from this 20% off sale. These items do, however, count towards reaching your $30 qualifying order total.
No Fly List: Notes From Sub Pop’s Airport Store (November 2015)
Unthanksgiving at the Airport
Welcome to another dispatch from the Sub Pop store. The months of October and early November bring a relative downtime at the airport, in-between the busier summer vacation and holiday travel seasons. One might assume that we would use this opportunity to re-group, develop plans for improving the store, and/or stockpile winter-wear goods. Instead, I’ve used the lull to stew about all the regrets and perceived slights I’ve experienced this year. In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to type out some things that I am particularly ‘unthankful’ for, because sometimes it’s necessary and cathartic to express your gripes, in order to see how petty/inconsequential/ridiculous they might be. I also strong-armed a few of my co-workers to join me in giving ‘unthanks’ this year. Enjoy!
Here at the store, I am unthankful for the following things:
-Not recognizing the following people until immediately after they left the store:
The members of Poison Idea
-Customers who ask, “Will this t-shirt fit my son/daughter/wife/husband/niece/nephew/dog?”
-The sounds that emanate from occupied stalls in the men’s bathroom(s).
-The man wearing shorts who insisted on showing me his recent jellyfish stings on his legs.
-The question, “Now that Sub Pop has a store in the airport, does that mean they have officially sold out?”
-Waking up early to make a lunch and then forgetting it at home.
-The father who talked on his cellphone for 10 minutes about the consistency/texture/color of his new baby’s bowel movements.
In my personal life, I’m unthankful that my favorite baseball player, Juan Uribe, is no longer employed by my favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. And also that this much-needed scientific device has not been released yet.
- No parks to speak of in Parkland (I know right?)
- Traffic (how original)”
“Here we are again, at the eleventh hour, and of course, I show up at your “E” door-step in my sweatpants and curlers, yielding yet another untimely and, probably unusable, contribution to this months monthly news such and such. I am very sorry of course, but I can grant you no guarantee that this will not be the last incident of this sort, most likely all submissions will arrive in your “in” basket around 6pm of the afternoon following day any deadline given.
So you have asked for us to submit a list of some of the things things for which we were not so thankful for this year, leaning in the direction of funny. I am afraid my friend that I cannot grant you the wish that you desire. For, after an exceedingly large quantity of pondering, and a few glasses of Tang drink, I can’t, for the life of me, conjure up even one thing that I am unthankful for. I seem to busting at my pant legs with a sort of humble Gratitude for all, and all of my existence and the universe, and all of the whatnot of this sometimes crazy world we all have to live in. So apologize, I can’t fulfill this months request, at least not with this stupid brain.
I can however list a few of the wonderful things from this year that I, so very graciously, give thanks for. For example, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my family. This time of year you can’t avoid thinking about family. I always remember all of those good times we had while we were growing up, all of the holidays we spent together, and the summers too. How lucky am I to have been born into such a loving and caring group of individuals? I do kind of wish Randy was dead though.
I can no longer submit to useless negative emotions that can overwhelm you and withhold the marvelous wonders and joys that life has to give, such as, cats! What furry, kind and, beautiful beasts, so cute and small but bigger than rats and not as loyal as a dogs. Our cat, Tab, turned 5 this year and although I am deathly allergic to her fur and dander, and I really wish she would use the scratching post instead of the couch. I am really grateful the vet has the means to fight off her cancerous lesions thereby sustaining her life for a mere $500 dollars a session, ensuring that my wife and I will have a furry friend who tracks it’s cat bathroom sand throughout our once odor free home, for many years to come.
The point Is, who am I to complain when there is so much suffering out there and I have so much in my life like, tinnitus, my illiterate mail man who doesn’t really “get” what numbers mean, and what about traffic?
Life is a gift and I have no complaints, only gratitude.
If this is too long just put “White Sauce,” why does everybody put it on everything? What’s the deal with that?
Sub Pop is pleased to announce the signing of Arbor Labor Union, the Athens/Atlanta, Georgia band, who will release its label debut worldwide in the spring of 2016.
The group (who formerly performed under the moniker Pinecones) released their debut record, Sings For You Now (listen here), in May, 2015 on LP format via Athens, GA label Arrowhawk Records. The band, comprised of Brain Atoms (Guitars), Ryan Evers (Bass), Ben Salie (Drums) and Bo Orr (Vox/Guitar) create angular and unapologetic rock and roll.
You can hear various singles from their LP Sings For You Now right over here.
Arbor Labor Union have scheduled a show supporting In The Red recording artists Wand tomorrow night, November 17th in Athens, GA at the 40 Watt. Additional live dates will be announced very soon.
More on Arbor Labor Union: Once upon a time rock n roll music was insane. Several times before you have heard and perhaps proclaimed that “music is the truth.” This band called Arbor Labor Union honors this notion. I’ve been in an audience and seen them sneak their music close to the truth. The atom has reviewed their songs and said “this band speaks to the core” and “on this we are not divided”.
Guitar player Brain Atoms always wears green and taps his foot to the stage in hopes it turns into a porch. Bass player Ryan Evers pumps the tonal artery and stirs the cosmic dirt with his welcome grin. Singer and Guitar player Bo Orr sings the wisdom of unknowing and kicks through blind dimensions. Drummer Ben Salie invokes the shaman beat and whips layers of lava lamp cymbal vibrations. All of these men have agreed and that is beautiful. If you pay attention, you might notice all of their songs are about their songs, and that is beautiful. They believe in handshakes, repetition, and friendship. They are lifelong friends, and they play that sound.
What people are saying about Arbor Labor Union (fka Pinecones):
“Listening to the interplay between physical, spiritual, and musical existence hammered out across these 11 tracks is one of the most challenging, intriguing tasks I’ve undertaken this year. Few albums demand your attention and interaction the way Sings For You Now does.” - Stereogum
“It’s not so much a sounds, there’s no twang or drawl, but an attitude. Their dooming riffs and impassioned rambles carry smolder like the heat of the southern sun.” - Consequence of Sound
“I’m not sure how to describe the group’s raspy, repetitious rock and roll other than to say it is no goddamn joke. It’s also tremendously exciting. The songs on Play Cosmic Hits cull from bands like Lungfish, Wire and The Ex but feel exhilaratingly fresh” [Pinecones Play Cosmic Hits] – Flagpole Magazine