Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sub Pop Records

The Unknown Legend

I’m not much of a label man. Besides the fact I’m not big into wearing ABERCROMBIE stamped across my chest (I will wear the brand I just won’t advertise for them; I guess I just don’t want to sell out to the man.) I know the bare minimum of basic record label knowledge. U2 and the Killers are on Island records, along with the Bravery and Jimmy Eat World. An old record label trivia fact is that Led Zeppelin formed their own “Swan Song” record label in 1974 (before their own Physical Graffiti was released on it as their first Swan Song record and not Atlantic) and the first ever record released as a Swan Song was Bad Company’s self titled debut of ’74.

Now that right there seems almost impressive to know, but other than that about the last thing I will look up on a musical artist is their label. However, lately, I have been noticing (out of pure peripheral thought) that many of my favorite indie bands are on the label Sub Pop. Wolf Parade, The Shins, Fruit Bats, Iron & Wine, The Rapture, The Album Leaf, The Postal Service, Rogue Wave and Hot Hot Heat (their first album, Make Up The Breakdown) have all released on Sub Pop. Even Nirvana (yes, the Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic bearing trio turned legend) released early Eps and “Bleach” (the album before the legendary Nevermind) on Sub Pop records. This label is my favorite, and I’m not even a label guy.

Independently created music is exploding onto the musical scene as a genre and its because of labels like Sub Pop. Companies such as Sub Pop, Domino, Lizard King, Touch and Go, No Fun, and EMI (a division of Capitol records) are recruiting more and more barely known bands and becoming “for real” record companies.

Sub Pop is kickin’ out the jams, Rogue Wave becoming more and more recognized and Iron and Wine’s Samuel Beam (the main man behind I&W’s magic) is practically the spokes man for the label. Sticking the Sub Pop cute little black and white logo on every product he sells, or practically owns.

I know, that as soon as I get any of my own stuff recorded, be it solo, a one man band project, or a compilation with my buddies (you can bet The Swingers debut will be on Sub Pop) I will be sending anything I want to Sub Pop. This label obviously knows what they are doing and hopefully I could be at one of those lovely little indie band group events and meet my heroes. Either way, you have to look into Sub Pop for yourself, they are one of the biggest masked faces in the music industry as we know it. They have a website ( You can buy merchandise, find out tours and get directed to your favorite bands website.

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