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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: Sub Pop

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April 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The Afghan Whigs step back into the light | Concert preview

The Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs perform live Tuesday at Seattle’s Showbox club. Photo by Piper Ferguson.

When The Times last spoke with Greg Dulli two years ago, The Afghan Whigs main man teased about the possibility of new material from his revitalized band.

“If there’s something to say later,” he’d said, “I’m sure we’ll say it.”

There was — and they have.

“Do to the Beast,” their first LP since 1998, hits stores Tuesday — with a celebratory Showbox gig that night.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Ohio, Showbox, Sub Pop

April 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Get your Goat | Concert preview


New Sub Pop signees Goat, from Sweden, perform live in Seattle Monday. Photo courtesy of the band.

Among music nerds, it’s a fun exercise: play some friends an ahead-of-its-time record — like Can’s 1971 Krautrock landmark “Tago Mago” or Big Star’s 1972 power-pop blueprint “#1 Record” — and ask what year they think it’s from.

Goat’s “World Music” inverts this game.

Made in 2013 — but sounding pre-digital era — it’s a dizzying amalgam of hypnotic rhythms, childlike vocals, bongos, organ and wah, drawing upon everything from progressive rock to Indian raga and West African guitar music.

The Swedish group inked a Stateside distribution deal with Seattle’s Sub Pop label last month; they’re in town Monday, headlining Neumos.

Enigmatic types to say the least, Goat doesn’t divulge involved parties’ names — but an anonymous member, speaking on the band’s behalf, answered a handful of questions via email.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop, World | Topics: psychedelic, Sub Pop, Sweden

April 8, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Finally, a Mudhoney biography | Book review

“Mudhoney: The Sound and The Fury From Seattle”

Keith Cameron

Voyageur Press, $19.99


Keith Cameron's book is the first full biography of Mudhoney.

Keith Cameron’s book is the first full biography of Mudhoney.

Green River was Seattle’s seminal grunge band of the 1980s. Kim Neely’s 1998 book “Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story” documented what happened to one half of the group after Green River split in 1987. Now there’s finally a book detailing the events that followed for the other band members, who went on to form Mudhoney.

Keith Cameron, a writer for prestigious UK monthly “Mojo,” was a young aspiring journalist when Mudhoney first toured England in 1989, and, having covered the band from the very beginning, is well-placed to take the reader through the labyrinthine twists and turns of the burgeoning grunge era.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Book review, Mudhoney, Sub Pop

February 4, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The intimate sounds of Rebecca Gates | Concert preview

Rebecca Gates

Portland singer-songwriter-guitarist Rebecca Gates plays Seattle’s Crocodile Back Bar Wednesday. Photo by Matt Kim.

Not many artists are equally comfortable sharing bills with punk rock icons and alt-country troubadours, but Rebecca Gates has done both in Seattle before.

In 1993, her group, The Spinanes, opened for Washington, D.C.’s seminal Fugazi at the Bellevue YMCA. Two years ago, she performed solo on a much larger stage, supporting Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Ryan Adams at Benaroya Hall.

This Wednesday, the Portlander returns to cozier environs, co-headlining The Crocodile Back Bar with local musician Chris Brokaw, formerly of ‘90s cult acts Come and Codeine.


0 Comments | More in Americana, Rock/Pop | Topics: Portland, Sub Pop, The Crocodile

January 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Scotland’s Mogwai forges ahead on “Rave Tapes” | New recordings


Mogwai’s latest album, “Rave Tapes,” hits stores Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Sub Pop Records.

“Rave Tapes”
(Sub Pop)

Mogwai plays slowly, but works quickly.

The Glaswegian quintet’s early output — 1997’s “Young Team,” and 1999’s “Come On Die Young” — was instrumental in defining the post-rock genre, and its awe-inspiring live performances remain among the loudest on Earth.

Its studio recordings, though, have grown increasingly tough to pin down — post-post-rock? — and its eighth LP, “Rave Tapes,” out Tuesday on Seattle’s Sub Pop label, is no exception.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Mogwai, Scotland, Sub Pop

December 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Bruce Pavitt book signing draws Seattle music personalities

The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Georgetown was packed full last night, with well-wishers eager to celebrate the publication of “Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989,” by Sub Pop records co-founder Bruce Pavitt.

Bruce Pavitt addresses the audience as Sub Pop photographer Charles Peterson kneels to take his picture. (Gillian G. Gaar)

Bruce Pavitt addresses the audience as Sub Pop photographer Charles Peterson kneels to take his picture. (Gillian G. Gaar)

Business was so brisk that sales of the book, a photo-journal of Sub Pop bands Nirvana, Mudhoney and Tad on tour, were limited to one per person. “So there will be enough to go around,” bookstore manager Larry Reid explained.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Experiencing Nirvana", Bruce Pavitt, Mudhoney

November 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Nirvana in Europe, 1989 | Book review and author appearance

Colosseum1NIRV-frontIn November 1989, Sub Pop Records co-founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman headed to Europe to see how three of the label’s bands — Nirvana, Mudhoney and Tad — were faring on their overseas tours. Fortuitously, Pavitt brought along his Olympus pocket camera to document the trip.

What Pavitt ended up capturing was, he said, “a true turning point in the international stature of the Seattle music scene.” This was two years before Nirvana’s explosive success in the fall of 1991 with the release of its major label debut, “Nevermind.”

Pavitt’s photos first appeared in “Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe 1989,” a self-published e-book that came out last year. The book was then picked up by Brooklyn-based publisher Bazillion Points, which is reissuing it in physical form this month.

Pavitt will read from the book and sign copies at a release party Saturday at the Fantagraphics Bookstore in Georgetown. Seattle photographer Charles Peterson will D.J., and prints of Pavitt’s photos will be auctioned, the proceeds benefiting Seattle’s all-ages club The VERA Project.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Experiencing Nirvana", Bruce Pavitt, Kurt Cobain

November 26, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Early days of grunge on Soundgarden reissue | New CDs

Soundgarden, ‘Screaming Life/Fopp’ (Sub Pop) In 1990, Soundgarden’s first two EPs were combined in one release; this reissue adds “Sub Pop Rock City,” from the 1988 “Sub Pop 200” compilation, for good measure (all the tracks have been remastered as well). Surprisingly for this multi-million selling band, these records had been out of print for some time….


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Green River, Ohio Players, Soundgarden

November 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Punk professionals Obits and Survival Knife rock Neumos | Concert review

Survival Knife

Olympia, Washington’s Survival Knife. Photo by Roger Stanley.

By now, the 1990s band reunion is so commonplace it’s cliché, but San Diego’s Drive Like Jehu and Olympia’s Unwound are notable holdouts.

Their respective head honchos, Rick Froberg and Justin Trosper (pictured, far right), are too busy looking ahead to romanticize the past, and their newish projects — Froberg’s Obits, and Trosper’s Survival Knife — joined forces Friday at Neumos for a display of aggressive, airtight rock’n’roll, hold the nostalgia.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Neumos, Olympia, Sub Pop

November 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Don’t call Sub Pop’s Obits garage-rock | Concert preview


Obits — Rick Froberg, Greg Simpson, Sohrab Habibion and Alexis Fleisig, from left — plays Neumos Friday. Photo by Fleisig.

Obits guitarist Sohrab Habibion would like to be clear.

“We are not a garage-rock band. That substance-free party music is fake youth culture sponsored by corporations. Eventually Scion will move onto something else, and Pabst Blue Ribbon will find a different youth group to exploit.”

Lest fans of the lo-fi punk subgenre du jour take offense, understand the men of Obits, who headline Neumos Friday, have been in the game long enough to recognize a fad.


0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: New York, punk, Sub Pop

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