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Swingin' on the flippety-flop with some 7"s
August 18, 2005 10:43 AM   Subscribe

The Sub Pop Singles Club began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay, cementing its status as a collector's item and making a generation of music geeks feel old.
posted by kyleg (28 comments total)

 
One person in Aberdeen, Buzz Osbourne, had a tape which he played only for those he thought deserved to hear it;

What an insufferable jerk that guy must have been.
posted by jonmc at 10:55 AM on August 18, 2005


well, tapes do wear out ya know...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:08 AM on August 18, 2005


Record store clerks rejoyce!
posted by dr_dank at 11:09 AM on August 18, 2005


nice post. (add a hash mark to the old folks tally for me.)
posted by shoepal at 11:10 AM on August 18, 2005


copies don't.

I honestly have never uderstood the "secret club," approach to music fandom. When I find something I like, I shout about from the rooftops to anyone who'll listen. This guy sounds more like he wanted to create a clique rather than help the music be heard.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on August 18, 2005


Here's Buzz Osbourne.

I'm with jonmc on that whole "secret club" thing. Folks who do that are trying too hard to be cool.
posted by Floydd at 11:19 AM on August 18, 2005


Shame. The Melvins stuff I've heard was great.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on August 18, 2005


Don't tell anyone!
posted by Floydd at 11:29 AM on August 18, 2005


yeah...if i'd have just kept that britney spears single to myself...
posted by spicynuts at 11:32 AM on August 18, 2005


I predict big things for Nirvana.
posted by bdk3clash at 11:32 AM on August 18, 2005


Even though it's snarky indie humor, whoever wrote the copy for the third link was pretty dead on.

"Beginning in April 1998, Sub Pop Records unhesitatingly re-launched the Singles Club and once again provided a reason to live for the countless morbidly lonesome shut-ins of this generation."

But honestly, I'm envious of the collection. I've heard some great b-sides that were from Singles Club releases, and I wish I could have found a page of mp3s to include. (There are downloads from Sub Pop's current artists, but nothing that goes very far back.)
posted by kyleg at 12:10 PM on August 18, 2005


Thanks for the MP3 link, kyleg. I'm downloading the couple Mudhoney songs they have posted out of curiosity. I was a big fan back in the "Touch Me I'm Sick" days, and it'll be interesting to hear them again so many years later. I just wish they had a few TAD songs available for download. I have very fond memories of driving around while listening to "8-Way Santa" back in my college days. It was cathartic, in a way.
posted by ScottUltra at 12:21 PM on August 18, 2005


This is actually pretty awesome; I'm kinda wondering if the "Strychnine" that's on the flip of the Flaming Lips 45 is a cover of the Sonics song; awesome song. I've actually got quite a few versions of that one in mp3; it'd be cool to have, like, a complete set of Strychnines, though. Because some people like water; some people like wine. But me, I like the taste of sweet strychnine.

But yeah -- there's some cool stuff in there, even the bonus section (I'd love the Hype soundtrack with that rare Young Fresh Fellows song...).

And I've never understood the Secret School of Music Fandom, either; I want people to know about really cool music. I want everyone to have a copy of, say, the new Sgt. Major album! (speaking of which, jonmc -- if you don't know about that, you might dig it; it's Kurt Bloch's new project). I want people to know how awesome of a song "Pico and Sepulveda" by Felix Figueroa & His Orchestra (a/k/a Freddie Martin & his Orchestra) is! I want folks to know about The Ditty Bops and how they put out the best record of last year! I want people to know about Blanche and Purty Mouth!

I want people to know about music that is excellent!

And I also want to know about music that I don't know about that's excellent too!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:04 PM on August 18, 2005


Oy.... this post just caused me to break my hip......
posted by spilon at 1:05 PM on August 18, 2005


I want everyone to have a copy of, say, the new Sgt. Major album! (speaking of which, jonmc -- if you don't know about that, you might dig it; it's Kurt Bloch's new project).

Sweet! Thanks. Kurt Bloch rules!
posted by jonmc at 1:20 PM on August 18, 2005


My music recommendations for today,

Roger Alan Wade's My Baby Loves Malt Liquor - The whole album is frickin hillarious, if you go for that sort of juvenile wordplay.

Laura Love's Mahbootay - Best song about body-acceptance I've heard yet.

Ian Brown's Golden Gaze - I'll always be an early Stone Roses fan, and this song brings back alot of that feel for me.


Coincidentally enough, I live about 3 blocks from the Sub-Pop offices. Well currently, they've got a sign in the window saying their space is up for lease, so I'd guess they're moving. And come to think, so am I =p
posted by nomisxid at 1:22 PM on August 18, 2005


If I can play the devil's advocate here for a second, there's more than one to be an insufferable jerk. There's also the kind that trumpets their tastes from the skies so everybody knows how cool they are. That can be pretty grating too.

On topic: Back in 1991 or so, Birdman Sound in Ottawa had most if not all of the Subpop Singles up on the wall. I used to walk in, stare...and drool.

Also on topic, the super-rare fake Sub>Pop Ramones single!
posted by stinkycheese at 1:35 PM on August 18, 2005


it'd be cool to have, like, a complete set of Strychnines,

Do you have the Brandos version (from their excellent 1987 album Honor Among Theives)? It's the first version of the song I ever heard back when I was 16. It's better than the Cramps, but not as good as the Sonics.
posted by jonmc at 1:36 PM on August 18, 2005


audio sample from this page sadly my copy is on cassette. The other tunes are excellent, too. Punky roots rock, sort of a post-Stooges Creedence.
posted by jonmc at 1:40 PM on August 18, 2005


There's also the kind that trumpets their tastes from the skies so everybody knows how cool they are. That can be pretty grating too.

Agreed, but at least the loudmouths are spreading the good word, as they say.
posted by jonmc at 1:41 PM on August 18, 2005


And ironically Kurt Cobain turned more people on to The Melvins than anything else ever did. So there's that.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:44 PM on August 18, 2005


Cool -- hadn't heard the Brandos' version. I actually just checked, and apparently I only have four versions (which was shocking; I thought I had a couple more..): Sonics, Fuzztones, Minus 5, Surf Trio (from the "Here Ain't The Sonics" tribute). I could have sworn I had the Cramps one, too and maybe one or two others. Weird. (I apologize for misrepresenting my collection (but I thought it was bigger too!)! But I stand by it that a All-Strychnine Comp would be awesome.)

And yeah -- I love Sgt. Major. Being in Seattle, I actually get relatively frequent Kurt shows (He's in another band, too, "Once for Kicks", although I think he only plays guitar (previously bass) in that group -- I don't think he writes. They're worth checking out too, though.) I'm big into the Fellows/Fastbacks "collective", as are a bunch of my friends. I actually have one friend who likes Sgt. Major the best out of all the related bands (YFF, Fastbacks, Minus 5, Chris & Tad, Visqueen &c). I think I actually might like Sgt. Major better than the Fastbacks, even (slightly, though -- after all "Truth, Corrosion & Sour Bisquits" would be a contender for best-record-of-last-year too if it weren't an odds-and-sods collection, though a damn fine one). The one sad thing, though, is that it seems no one comes out for the Sgt. Major shows even though they pretty much blow everything away.

And, well, hey, I'm cool with the Loudmouth Blowhards -- it's sort of a win-win situation! If they like good stuff: Hey, they might be annoying, but they can be counted on for good recommendations. If they like bad stuff: It's just really, really funny.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:51 PM on August 18, 2005


(also, "sweet"?! What the hell? My brain must have been somewhere else, or SOMETHING.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:56 PM on August 18, 2005


I was actually in that for awhile. My still-favorite release was the Alice Cooper tribute from 1991:

These Immortal Souls "Luney Tune"
gumball "Under My Wheels"
Sonic Youth "Is It My Body" <-----best one, thanks to Kim's vocal
Laughing Hyena "Public Animal #9"

I haven't had a working turntable in many years, so I haven't been able to hear this in as many years, but I hope to get it copied and put it on a CD someday.
posted by BoringPostcards at 4:32 PM on August 18, 2005


One person in Aberdeen, Buzz Osbourne, had a tape which he played only for those he thought deserved to hear it;

What an insufferable jerk that guy must have been.


Don't badmouth Buzz! You have to realize that he (and Kurt) lived in ABERDEEN...you could get your ass kicked for listening to "faggy punk music."

Half of Nirvana's early music features Kurt railing against the excessive machismo that surrounded him in Aberdeen. When they played their "type" of music at house parties, they were often attacked, or thrown out.

This secret music cult was secret by necessity.

/Melvins fanboy rant
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 4:57 PM on August 18, 2005


Btw, you must have missed the very next sentence:

“They started playing punk rock and had a free concert right behind Thriftways supermarket where Buzz worked,”

Kurt says of the concert, "When I saw them play, it just blew me away. I was instantly a punk rocker...Then I asked Buzz to make me that compilation tape of punk songs...”

Oy, how insufferably jerkish of him!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 5:01 PM on August 18, 2005


Wow. I am old.

Did that whole collection really sell for only $4500?

There are some damn good records in that lot. It's good that someone is preserving the history of those years...
posted by ph00dz at 7:02 PM on August 18, 2005


kyleg: "There are downloads from Sub Pop's current artists, but nothing that goes very far back."

Not only that, but they podcast them as well. Who needs a singles club in this day and age, eh?
posted by tapeguy at 9:15 PM on August 18, 2005


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