January 2008

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drive by truckers

Flagpole has an interview with the leader of one of the greatest bands going today. Mr. Hood is not reluctant to speak his mind. Check out his thoughts on the status quo of the music business:

We didn’t want all this typical “music biz” bullshit going on. So we turned in The Dirty South early, which of course ended being our best-selling record. But they were pissed because it fucked with their two-year cycle, and that was kind of the beginning of the end between us and them, here three albums later. And [there was a] constant battle about side projects and solo projects. They were not at all happy about us doing the Bettye LaVette record, which ended up getting nominated for a Grammy, and that’s really going to help this next record because that’s all happening just as this next one’s coming out. It’s like stuff that can help out the band and its profile. I’d like to find some entity with access to really good distribution where we can piggyback what we’re doing onto that. I think we’re in a position where we can pretty much get whatever we want.

I particularly like the penultimate sentence of that quote, and hope they find a great partner in order to get the music out on their terms. They deserve it.

sub pop

The Seattle Times has a decent piece on SubPop turning 20.

I love this quote from Rod Moody of the Swallows:

They took many, many chances, and were able to dig themselves out of a severe financial crisis. … They were responsible, along with Bill Gates and Howard Schultz, for putting Seattle on the map.

This list of their best-sellers shows just how wrong it is to think of the label as grunge:

Sub Pop Top 10 albums sold

1. Nirvana, “Bleach” (1989), 1.6 million

2. Postal Service, “Give Up” (2003), 902,885

3. The Shins, “Oh Inverted World” (2001), 547,274

4. The Shins, “Wincing The Night Away” (2007), 500,813

5. The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow” (2003), 462,574

6. Hot Hot Heat, “Make Up The Breakdown” (2002), 282,141

7. Sunny Day Real Estate, “Diary” (1994), 226,388

8. Iron & Wine, “Our Endless Numbered Days” (2004), 220,157

9. Iron & Wine, “The Creek Drank The Cradle” (2002), 133,752

10. Iron & Wine, “The Shepherd’s Dog” (2007), 133,490

The label defines the idea of innovate or die.

Here’s to 20 more years of innovation.

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