Two decades ago, a label called Sub Pop burst out of Seattle’s moist vagina, bearing frankincense, myrrh, and a chalice full of gravely throated rockers making tunes fresh for the pressing. Young Sub Pop put out many choice cuts by Nirvana, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, and others as part of its monthly Singles Club. This veritable Club Cool satisfied the wanton urges of nerdy nose-breathing record collectors for five years, until it dropped off the charts in ’93 as mysteriously as the Beaumont Children. In 1995, the Singles Club came back to life and back to reality with new releases from The Jesus & Mary Chain, Modest Mouse, and other fab Northwest Sounders, but met what seemed to be its permanent demise in 2002.
Never you fear, Luddites with disposable income; just like Fawkes the phoenix, this antiquated technology shall rise again. Sub Pop’s calling a temporary end to the club’s lengthy sabbatical and releasing salacious singles on the monthly for an entire calendar year. The goodies are tempting; subscribers can expect 7-inches featuring Unnatural Helpers, Tyvek, Black Mountain, Black Lips, Arthur & Yu, Mika Miko, Blues Control, Notwist, and more. It all kicks off August 15 with twin tracks from Om, but only 1,500 copies will be pressed per mensem. So quick like a bunny, point your clicker here to secure a spot.
And in case you’ve been too busy Swiffering your mint copy of “Big Cheese” to check out the world around you, the Singles Club isn’t the only self-indulgent gimmick Sub Pop’s tossing around to celebrate its emergence from the terrible teens. SP20 Festival, the label’s big b-day bash, features comedy acts, Sub Pop stable performances, and specially brewed Loser Pale Ale, made with love by Elysian Brewery just for the lucky celebrants/ ticket holders. Get more info here.
After somehow sleeping on this announcement for almost a month, I am prepared to spill the beans: Kevin Barnes has posted information about the new of Montreal album on his MySpace blog. He’s titled the album Skeletal Lamping and claims it will be released in October.
In his post, Barnes goes into detail about how the new album will be “unpredictable and, at times, startling, yet always hummable and catchy.” Given the sound of his last couple of records, I sincerely can’t tell whether or not that means Barnes has been rocking his stylistic boat. In any case, come October (or probably earlier when it inevitably leaks) the record-listening public can look forward to something that is “in turns enraging, joyous, discomforting, playful, lovely, unpleasant, freaky, mesmeric... something that came close to capturing the labyrinthine complexity of this human consciousness.” I didn’t know “mesmeric” was a word until just now. Thank you, Kevin Barnes.
UPDATE (07/08): The memorial and donation information can be found here.
An excerpt from an announcement by Jerry DeCicca of The Black Swans:
I have some very sad news to share.
Noel Sayre, my friend and bandmate for 13 years, died early in the morning of July 3rd due to a swimming accident in Portsmouth, Ohio on Tuesday July 1st.
He entered the hospital in a coma and never came out of it, his heart eventually slowing down. In the I.C.U., we listened to Rachmaninoff and Clive Palmer, two of Noel's favorites. He spent his time in the hospital with his close friends and girlfriend, Kristy, who played a big part in his happiness during the last year.
The Sea and Cake Set Date For New Album, Car Alarm; 15-point, JokerMan Font with a Minimum of 938 Pages
In conjunction with the forthcoming, seventh full-length from The Sea and Cake, Car Alarm, we will be giving away the unnecessary car alarm that came with my old 1996 Suzuki Sidekick.
To enter make sure that you meet the following requirements:
- You must be Mexican, illegally living in the United States. (Send picture)
- You must look like Sam Prekop in all physical aspects. (Send picture)
- You must be familiar with everything that The Sea and Cake has ever done, including every mundane detail in each band member's personal life. Put this in essay form, with an annotated bibliography. (Use 15-point, JokerMan font with a minimum of 938 pages.)
- You must be a descendant of Jesus Christ, with scientific proof.
- You must be prepared in an interview to present a Lincoln-Douglas debate over Sea vs. Cake: Which is better?
- You must be a 16-year-old female. (Send picture)
When you are finished send all of your credit card information here.
Car Alarm will be released October 21 on Thrill Jockey.
Car Alarm tracklisting:
[Photo: Megan Holmes]
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
"Oh my god," I thought. "Nada Surf is here." After 12 years of not seeing each other, my very first crush is now standing outside of my hotel room. I look at the door and try to settle the butterflies that have suddenly appeared. I know what is going to happen, but still I haven’t seen Surf for over a decade, and the last I heard was that Surf released an album called Lucky earlier this year on Barsuk. So, of course, I am nervous.
I turn down the TV and get off the bed where I was sitting and walk over to the door. I look out the peephole and see Nada Surf standing there in the hall, casually dressed in a tight blouse and jeans, hair pulled back. I open the door and we gaze at each other for a second.
"Hi," I say.
"Come on in," I say, opening the door and motioning for Surf to enter. Surf smiles and walks by as I catch a whiff of perfume. I close my eyes while it fills my nose with a beautiful aroma. This is finally the night I've been waiting for, the night that will truly be one for the books.
"Can I take a look at your bedroom?" Surf asks.
Suddenly, blood romantically rushes down to my junk, and I'm ready to bone till the break of dawn.
Boy George Cancels Tour, Ticketholders Forced to Stay Home and Shoot up While Listening to Culture Club Tracks on Their Microsoft Zunes
Alas, youthful fans of acid house who understand the significance of Boy George! Since denied a U.S. visa, Boy George recently announced the cancellation of his North American tour this summer.
The tour included an initial performance on The Today Show and a concert for the NY Department of Sanitation Workers at their Family Day in August. (Re: That time The Boy was in trouble with The Law for drugs and had garbage duty.)
The moral of the story? Sanitation workers: Rather than wait for rescheduled dates coming in winter... 2009, grab some tix to BG’s South American tour in September or in Great Britain this October.
The deep-seated moral of the story? The United States ruins everything. Federally-funded Zunes for all!
This is too easy. Usually, I'm a reach-for-the-stars kinda gal, but when a bit of news reads exactly like a practical joke, I can't pass it up. So, you know who Hall and Oates are, and how they're a quintessential example of the ’80s and big hair, yada yada. And, of course, you must also be aware of John Oates' now-defunct mustache, which when around certainly gave Tom Selleck's a run for its money. But wait. Mustaches can't run or have money. Or can they?
Not only does Oates' mustache star in the new crime-fighting cartoon J-Stache independently from its host's face, it also encourages Oates, a domesticated family man, to return to his bang-out rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. "In a cartoon setting, the mustache has its own personality," says John Oates. "Just as I'm represented as the John Oates of today, the mustache is the John Oates of yesterday. The focus of the music will be on the back catalog, but it's an open-ended situation. There's even talk of the mustache trying to bring new bands into the picture."
This sort of makes me want to kiss John Oates in a grassy field, because I don't know how many aging pop stars are willing to get behind a blatant exploitation of their sheer kitsch factor. Rick Astley can come too, I guess... he was pretty chill about the "Rickrolled" phenomenon.
Independent publisher Primary Wave Music Publishing are trying to find a venue for the cartoon now, which may have its debut right here on the internets. The first episode of J-Stache portrays a present-day John Oates opening a new wing of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame devoted to mustachioed rock stars.
(Does anyone else feel like this kinda sorta maybe might be a joke?)
On July 17, Whartscape 2008 will commence in Baltimore, MD. With a mindblowing 72 acts crammed into four days, ticket prices must surely be expensive, right? IIIRRRRNT. Wrong. This idiosyncratic, highly awesome fest is ECONOMICAL to the max. In fact, if you buy individual day tickets at $12 (+ $.67 for the PayPal fee), each act will average to a mere 70Â¢. And if you buy the four-day pass at $40 (+ $1.50 PayPal fee), each performance is reduced to 58Â¢! Can you imagine paying 58Â¢ to see Matmos? Or Oxes? Or Dan Deacon? Or what about Nautical Almanac, Black Dice, WZT Hearts, Ponytail, and Jana Hunter for less than $3? This is the sale of the millennium, readers.
Now, go to Wham City's website, check out the lineup, buy your tickets, and then waddle through the fuzzy warmth starting July 17. E-mail me if you want me to tell you other ways to live your life.
Even if you wanted to, there would be no way to escape all things Oberst this summer and fall. Love him or hate him, Omaha’s son will be hitting every single country over the next few months. No, seriously, I think the only place he isn’t playing is the Middle East. You see, Oberst has a new self-titled record coming out August 4 in the UK on Wichita and August 5 in the U.S. on Merge. And of course he has to tour and support it, because there still may be some people out there who have yet to hear of him.
It’s an Oberst summer:
Late In Breaking News: Robert Pollard New Band Boston Spaceships Set To Release Record, Worry About Being Placed Next To Boston In Record Racks
Most of Robert Pollard's musical activities over the last five or six years have not garnered much of my time. Having read much about Pollard online and in print -- TMT, Inc. demands that I stay on the internet reading about music for 10 hours a day, much to my girlfriend's chagrin -- I think I have been rightly apathetic. People appear to have a blind soft spot for him, which keeps them from writing totally negative reviews (aside from our most recent review, of course), but I haven't seen so many 3-star (6-star if you prefer) reviews in my life. Plus, who can get excited when something new from the man is released every couple months? These aren't fuckin' Chryslers, for god's sake. There are so many records that being a RP fan is a full-time undertaking.
This time around, ol' Bobby has another new band for us, and it is called Boston Spaceships. This one seems a bit -- if not musically, at least quality-wise -- different. That was the impression I got after listening to an MP3 on the band's site and reading the listed influences of Cheap Trick, Wire, Alice Cooper, The dB's on the upcoming record, Brown Submarine. Admittedly, it did get me a little geeked. The LP was recorded in Portland, OR and Kent, OH and is set for release on RP's own GBV, Inc. label September 9. Along with Uncle Bob, the band is rounded out by Chris Slusarenko (GBV, Takeovers) and John Moen (Decemberists, Perhapst), and will also feature Jason Narducy and Tommy Keene in its live incarnation.
Live, yes, I said it. The band is a live entity, which is rare for Pollard in the last couple years. The band will head out on tour a couple weeks after the LP's release, beginning the trek with The High Strung in Cincinnati at the Midpoint Music Festival and wrapping it all up October 18 in Nashville.
* The High Strung