Starting on March 12 and continuing over the next four months, KEXP will be celebrating Sub Pop Records' 30th anniversary by airing tracks off of every release in the label's catalog—more than 1,200 altogether. It's an ambitious effort and a deserving honor for one of the world's most influential and diverse record companies. (Trivia: Both label founders—Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt—DJed at KEXP's forerunner, KCMU, in the 1980s.) The tribute will culminate in conjunction with Sub Pop's 30th-anniversary concert at Alki Beach on August 11. You can follow the progress of this extended homage here.
The endeavor promises many WTF? moments for the station's listeners, who could find themselves immersed in a 30-minute dirge from Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, stunned by a vicious, self-lacerating poem by Steven Jesse Bernstein, discombobulated by an electronic anomaly from Steve Fisk's 999 Levels of Undo, or surprised by many other of the hundreds of oddities sprinkled throughout Sub Pop's catalog.
In a press release, KEXP's John Richards said, "We’ll have DJs playing Sub Pop songs an average of 8.3 times a day, 24-7 for the next 4 and a half months—each and every Sub Pop release in the original format whenever possible. Cassette, LP, 7-inch, you name it. It’s going to be a total hassle, and totally worth it to celebrate our friends at Sub Pop."
Back in 2009, I ran down my what I perceived to be the 12 most overlooked Sub Pop releases in this feature. With the advent of Sub Pop's 30th anniversary, it seems like an opportune time to note the most underappreciated—or, perhaps more accurately, most loved by this blogger—releases from the label since that year. It wasn't easy to narrow the list to 12.
Shabazz Palaces, Lese Majesty (2014)
Koes Barat, Koes Barat (2015)
Heron Oblivion, Heron Oblivion (2016)
Morgan Delt, Phase Zero (2016)
feedtime, The Aberrant Years compilation (2012)
clipping., CLPPNG (2014)
Mudhoney, Vanishing Point (2013)
U-Men, U-Men compilation (2017)
Goat, World Music (2012)
The Gotobeds, Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic (2016)
Rose Windows, The Sun Dogs (2013)
His Electro Blue Voice, Ruthless Sperm (2013)