Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

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How’s about a shiny new Chad Vangaalen tune for yr ears? “Friendly Aliens / Monopoly Arp” just landed in all the digital music listening places:

What’s the story behind it? According to Chad, “I wrote this song to remind myself that I need be easier on people and ideas in general. To be kind and patient.”

‘Friendly Aliens / Monopoly Arp’ (Release date: November 27th, 2018)

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Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J’s songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.

Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J’s .

He laughs when I tell him I’m surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr’s live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young’s binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man’s shorthand, but it still rings true.

Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze.

J says he’ll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He’ll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he’ll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself – amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I’m so used to playing with stacks. So I’ll stand this time.” I ask if it’s not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it’s weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic.

Elastic Days (Release Date: November 9th, 2018

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Iron & Wine follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with Weed Garden, a collection of material that began about three years ago. The six-song EP features songs that were part of the writing phase for Beast Epic but went unfinished. They were part of a larger narrative for principal songwriter Sam Beam, who ran out of time to get them where they needed to be for inclusion on Beast Epic. Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves Of Galveston”. While on tour last fall, the final pieces of material took shape and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these characters full circle. To resolution. To completion. In January, Beam and company hunkered down in Chicago at The Loft recording studio to capture these six songs. No more, no less.

‘Weed Garden’ (Release date: August 31, 2018)

All customers who pre-order the LP version of ‘Weed Garden’ from the Sub Pop Mega Mart will receive the album on Loser Edition colored vinyl,

On October 12th, 2018, Sub Pop will reissue The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Aheadfor its 10th anniversary as a deluxe edition.The newly remastered set will be available on CD/2xLP/DL and includes the original 10-song effort along with a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era. Keep Your Eyes Ahead: Deluxe Edition was mastered by The Helio Sequence at Helio Sound studio in their hometown of Portland, Oregon.

Deluxe Edition of Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Release date: October 12, 2018)

Upon its release in 2008, the record was warmly received from critics and fans alike. It was named one of the “Top 25 Albums of 2008,” ,Keep Your Eyes Aheadis a shining example of how to go retro while still moving forward.” Washington Post offered this, “Trading its former album’s dense keyboard compositions for a more expansive and organic sound, Keep Your Eyes Aheadis the work of a band commanding its audience’s attention. Stand out tracks like “Hallelujah” and “Can’t Say No” show the band flexing its melodic muscles, branching out into grandiose guitar rock territory without sacrificing the nuance and keyboard flourishes of its early work.”

With #ronasheton ‘s #fender #ronashetonbirthdaybash

J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. fame graced our ears with his new single, “See You At The Movies.” Check out this vibrantly raw new track down below. The song is the first to be released from his forthcoming album Elastic Days, his third full-length solo album for Sub Pop Records. The album will be Mascis’s first solo release since 2014’s Tied to a Star.

Like his earlier solo work, Elastic Days was recorded at J’Mascis’ s own studio with all his own flair. Showing off his artistry, Mascis does almost all the music-making, with Ken (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) on the keyboard and a few guest vocalists, including Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Zoë Randell (Luluc), among others.

“The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums,” explains J Mascis, when asked what fans can expect to be divergent from his previous solo albums. “I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing.” But Elastic Days promises to have more than a good rhythm: We’re looking forward to unexpected hooks and guitar slides that straddle a broad range of genres.

We’ll have to wait until November. 9th for the releases of the album, but before its release, To hype up his audiences, J Mascis will embark on a North American tour with Sub Pop labelmates Luluc as support.

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Road warriors Frankie Cosmos have spent the better part of 2018 on tour in support of their latest and greatest,Vessel, available now worldwide via Sub Pop Records. The band currently have a handful of overseas dates in August including an appearance at the UK’s Green Man Festival on August 19th.

Then on September 13th, Frankie Cosmos will then begin a 20-date North American run with shows in Baltimore, Durham, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Detroit, Pittsburgh, returning to their hometown of New York, playing area shows at White Eagle Hall in New Jersey on October 5th, Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 6th and The Bowery Ballroom on October 7th. These shows will mark the bands first headlining dates in NYC since the release of Vessel.

In celebration of the bands impending tour dates, Frankie Cosmos have delivered a new video “Duet” which was directed by Eliza Doyle. The new visual stars Greta Kline and depicts a CPR Training video, one in which she becomes completely smitten with an object, and a one-sided romance is born.”

Iron & Wine are following up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with the aptly titled EP,Weed Garden available worldwide on August 31stHaving gone over three years between releases prior toBeast Epic, Weed Garden arrives in short order, but right on time for Iron & Wine fans.

The six-song EP features material that was part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but for various reasons went unfinished. The term “weed garden” could easily imply that which doesn’t belong, for principal songwriter Sam Beam, it was more about getting more “into the weeds” on a creative process to finish the material. Weed Garden serves as the perfect companion piece to last years full length.

While on tour last fall, the final pieces fell into place and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these songs to fruition. Space was created at the top of the year to return to The Loft recording studio in Chicago with the band behind Beast Epic – Joe Adamik, Jim Becker, Rob Burger and Teddy Rankin-Parker. The collection of songs range from urgent (“What Hurts Worse”) to fun (“Rock and Roll Heroes”) to personal (“Talking to Fog”). The tones and themes all feel part of the larger narrative that presented itself on Beast Epic bringing this collection of characters full circle.

Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves of Galveston”.  Widely bootlegged, but never officially released until now, this track is the oldest song on the EP.  It first appeared as an online performance video as part of The Onion’s AV Club“State Songs”. The Weed Garden artwork also features a series of original paintings from Iron & Wine’s principal songwriter Sam Beam.  This cover joins the ranks of previous album covers, Endless Numbered Days, The Shepherd’s Dog, Kiss Each Other Clean and In the Reins that feature his paintings or drawings. 

“Tomorrow on the Runway” Written by Karen Peris and Don Peris / The Innocence Mission (BMI)

From the film “Irreplaceable You” directed by Stephanie Laing available exclusively on Netflix. The original version of the song appears on The Innocence Mission album, “Befriended” (Badman Recording Co.)

‘Weed Garden’ (Release date: August 31, 2018)

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Iron & Wine have shared a new single off their forthcoming EP Weed Garden.

The six-song EP will be released via Sub Pop records on August. 31st, and according to Sam Beam, the band’s main creative force, the title of the new EP stems from getting “into the weeds” of the songwriting process.

The Weed Garden EP will act as the follow-up to Beam’s Beast Epic LP, and you can listen to the first single, “What Hurts Worse,”  Iron & Wine will be releasing the new EP “Weed Garden” – featuring material that was part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but for various reasons went unfinished

Iron & Wine follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with the EP Weed Garden, a collection of material that began about three years ago. The six-song EP features songs that were part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but went unfinished. They were part of a larger narrative for principal songwriter Sam Beam, who ran out of time to get them where they needed to be for inclusion on Beast Epic. Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves of Galveston.”

While on tour in the fall of 2017, the final pieces of material took shape and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these characters full circle. To resolution. To completion. In January of 2018, Beam and company hunkered down in Chicago at The Loft recording studio to capture these six songs.  No more, no less.

Weed Garden joins the good company of previous Iron & Wine EP’s – The Sea & the Rhythm, Woman King, In the Reins – and in 2018’s attention-span challenged world that’s not a bad thing.

‘Weed Garden’ (Release date: August 31, 2018)

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Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker magazine called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world.

Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo.

“The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II.

Angular, ear-piercing and provocative. Imagine the clatter of early Sonic Youth brought up to warp speed.

Forth Wanderers

Pen pals are going out of fashion. In the age of social media, WhatsApp and the like, the thought of crafting a long thoughtful message – one that only your closest confidant will read – sounds archaic, really. But not for Forth Wanderers. The making of the New Jersey band’s second album, their first on cult indie label Sub Pop Records, was crafted via meticulous communications between lead singer Ava Trilling and guitarist Ben Guterl – who actually lived in the same zip code at the time. The pair would send melodies and lyrics back and forth, each adding their piece before the song was in decent-enough shape to demo with the rest of the band. Sure, they probably used the internet, but the result is like listening to the secret correspondence between close friends.

This formula is repeated again and again, but never gets boring. In fact, these might be some of the most well-crafted rock songs you’ll hear all year long.

Forth Wanderers (Release Date: April 27, 2018