Tag Archives: Sub Pop

Washed Out

28 Apr

Let me first reiterate that this site has never been about being first. There’s just too much music and too many critics out there playing that game. We share what we love when we find it, or in this case, when we get around to it. Forgive me for waiting so long to get this out to you. I deserve a sound beating. I’ll take it from Washed Out. It’s a pleasure to be pummeled by Washed Out’s gentle rhythms and epic synth-scapes.

Also known as Ernest Green, Washed Out creates soundtracks for sunsets. He uses a wide, soft-focus brush and paints with generous strokes of hazy vocals and undulating echoes of blisstronic. This album messes with your head—you get swept up into some sort of time warp, making every present moment feel like a past memory. A couple lines from a poem by Geoffrey Hill seem to capture this mood I’m reaching for here, “What paradises and watering-places! / What hurts appeased by the sea’s handsomeness!”

On tour now!

From Within and Without (Sub Pop 2011)
Eyes Be Closed [MP3]
Amor Fati [MP3]

From Life of Leisure (Mexican Summer 2009)
You’ll See It [MP3]
Feel It All Around [MP3]


Fruit Bats

21 Jul

Fruit Bats are releasing their fifth album, Tripper, on August 2, 2011. The song included below is a great indicator of another solid release. Please enjoy.

Fruit Bats – Tangle and Ray from Tripper (2011)


Shan’s original post from 01.27.2006

I’ve been meaning to post the Fruit Bats for a while now because, well, because they’re as reassuring as a warm cup of tea. The acoustic guitar has a lovely lilt to it. The slight, overdubbed vocals don’t demand attention but get it anyway. And the alternately peppy and melancholy rhythms float on and on and on. All in all, you get the sense that the Fruit Bats respect their mothers, and a little motherly love in our indie pop could do us all some good.



Shabazz Palaces

3 May

I don’t know much about Shabazz Palaces. I know that one of the members, Placeer Lazaro, is otherwise known as Ishmael Butler from the hip hop group Digable Planets. I also know that Sub Pop will release their new Album Black Up on June 28.

The song “An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum” is very cool and original sounding, using spaced-out samples mixed with a slow deep beat, definitely not your average hip hop track. Check it out.

Shabazz Palaces – An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum

Velocity Girl

4 Apr

I have this tendency to get addicted to songs to the point that the people around me begin throwing heavy objects at my throat and knee-caps. The detox process consists of playing the song over and over while I write a little narrative of my relationship with that song. Lately, I haven’t detoxed; it’s hard to get back into that habit once you’ve abandoned it. After today I promise not to discuss my lingering absence.

My latest awakening is due to one of my all time favorite roadtrip songs, “Go Coastal”by a forgotten favorite: Velocity Girl. I rolled the song over, along with a gaggle more, in a recent refresh of my exercise playlist (I only listen to that about once a week by the way…) and now I can’t live without it. It took me about 10 listens to re-memorize the lyrics, I’m slow like that, and now I’ll enjoy singing along to it for another 50 or so.

I talked a lot about Velocity Girl in my Sarah Shannon review, and now I’ll reciprocate. After Velocity Girl broke up in ’96 (the same year I brought a child into the world, man, those 14 years flew by), Sarah reappeared with a couple of the velocity boys in Starry Eyes, put out two solo records in ’02 and ’06, sang on a Free Design cover with Styrofoam, brought a couple of children into the world herself, and is now writing and performing songs inspired, I imagine, by those children. I’m gonna call my friends at Yo Gabba Gabba and see what I can do about getting Sarah’s voice stuck in the head of cool kids and parents worldwide!

Forgotten Favorite [MP3]
Go Coastal [MP3]

Velocity Girl at subpop.com

Happy Birthday

6 Apr

Today is my youngest son’s 6th birthday. Happy Birthday Jasper! What more can a six year old ever want on his birthday than a review on 3hive dedicated to him? Maybe he’ll appreciate it more in ten years. When he wakes up he’s gonna be appreciating the chocolate chip muffin I bought him from our local donut shop.

Back to Happy Birthday the band: the fine purveyors of music, Sub Pop, fell in love with Kyle Thomas’ work as King Tuff. He brought on Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus about a year and a half ago to back him up on a bunch of new song’s he’d written. Sub Pop picked them up after they’d played five shows. And this wonderful album is the happy ending to chapter one of Happy Birthday’s hopefully epic journey. The skewed musical note sketched out on the cover together with their label’s name describe the band’s music to a tee. If I had to make up a genre name for Happy Birthday, I’d call it hand-clap doodle rock. They don’t actually use hand-claps on the album, but most of their songs are so fun that you wanna hand-clap your way through them. RIYL: Let’s Active, Daniel Pinkwater.



22 Apr

More rock ‘n’ roll ashes rise! This time the demise of Hot Snakes (itself touting an impressive ancestry) and D.C. underdogs Edsel gives way to Obits, a collision of East and West Coast post post punk. For a bunch of guys who’ve been there and done that Obits maintain a surprising freshness. Rick Froberg continues his sneering vocal attack—imagine Mick Jagger singing for The Germs. Musically, the band takes its cues from, well, wherever it wants to. Sped up surf riffs dominate “Pine On.” One sound remains constant throughout: good old-fashioned rhythm ‘n’ blues. Nowadays we call it rock ‘n’ roll. It never goes out of style.


Fleet Foxes

18 Sep

Jessica and Kat, who unlike me are both young and hip, have been talking about Fleet Foxes since there was snow on the ground. I swear I checked the band out in February and there was nothing available to share, but who knows? Maybe that’s just an excuse for being so late on highlighting a CMJ #1 band, a Rolling Stone favorite, etc. etc. So, here goes: Seattle’s Fleet Foxes offer up fuzzy, old-fashioned-sounding pop songs, vaguely reminiscent of the era depicted in the album cover. (SubPop’s got deep pockets, so I bet Bruegel got a decent commission for this one). With just one EP and one LP under their belts, Fleet Foxes have plenty of time to carve out a little musical turf of their own, and a hipster following ready to hang on faithfully (for a year or two, at least).


Band of Horses

30 Nov

We just got this e-mail from Jared and Stacey Schwartz, and they’re doing this neat thing with a new website, AudioExposure. For every song that visitors add — preferably with a free & legal link — the Schwartz crew is donating a dollar ($1.00) to Critical Exposure, “a DC-based non-profit which teaches students to use the power of documentary
photography to advocate for school reform and social change.” How cool is that?
In looking through the 70+ songs that have already been added, I noticed that Jen from Chicago had posted “The Funeral” by Band of Horses, which leads me to today’s B of H update. When last posted, band of Horses was a recent addition to Sub Pop, with a few demo tracks available for download. Today, I can offer “Is There A Ghost,” the opening track for their latest album, Cease to Begin, as well as “The Great Salt Lake,” and the other links are live and well. The band is touring the US and Europe over the next few months, and that’s about it. Check out AudioExposure and have a nice day!

Is There A Ghost [MP3, 2.7MB, 128kbps]
The Great Salt lake [MP3, 5.4MB, 160kbps]

Original post: 09/01/05
These demo tracks from Horses — or is it Band of Horses? Even after digging around on their website, I’m not sure… — are pleasant and pleasantly genre-defying, hence the Pop/Rock catch-all designation. Try “Funeral” and “Bass Song” for an idea of the cross-section of their ’70s and ’80s influences. Led Zepplin? New Order? Maybe I just need more sleep… Anyway, hopefully the Horses found much audience love on their recent tour with Iron and Wine, and will complete their Sub Pop debut soon.



9 May

Lately there have been all these commercials for the NYC “easy listening” radio station and despite my general aversion to anything “easy” (especially when “listening”), I’ve been fascinated by how calm the woman on the advertisement is. One has to wonder… is it the music? Well I’m not ready to throw in the musical towel yet and so my latest solution to needing a little sonic R&R is going to have to be Dntel. Dntel is definitely not going to make the evening drive line-up next to Celine Dion BUT Dntel is Jimmy Tamborello (also part of The Postal Service and Figurine)–which earns him some cred in my book. His vocals are calmer (and prettier) than Ben Gibbard’s (although BG gets points for style) and the beats are a little lighter and more folky-playful. The end result is that I can’t turn it off. It’s a lovely and complicated melange of bips and tics that also manages to calm and soothe. Interesting. It ain’t easy like I thought I wanted, but it’s just right. As always, some tracks are included here, but the intrepid listener can find the whole album on Dntel’s Myspace page…


The Thermals

22 Mar

Like that sullen kid in high school who was aggressively straight edge and pissed off because no one else knew what it meant, the one who deliberately got every question wrong on the ACT because it’s harder than getting every question right, like Minor Threat 25 years earlier (jeez, is it already that long?), The Thermals have something to say and they want to make sure you don’t miss it. Offering loud, sloppy, aggressive “post-pop-punk” as they like to call it, this Portland band’s brand of anti-establishment, high-octane anger is gaining so much ground it made The New York Times a few weeks ago. The top two tracks below are from their most recent effort, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, recorded by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty. (See, there is a Minor Threat connection.)