Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Sound Below the Norm

In an era of angst, means are questioned and courses altered. The consistency of the day breaks with the weight of troubled nights. In the grey dawn arises a new being. Undistinguished at inception, soon to rise to prominence; the great ones define themselves with morals and motives. Such is the fate of the leaders of a movement oft titled Alternative music. A movement forced to action by the need of purity and a redefinition of why music had removed itself from art. The crucial label of such art is the fuzz left of the dial, where the mainstream is unsure but those who know find revelation and revitalization. A hope just out of sight of the accepted; SUBPOP.

Moments before the hair bands and arena rock drummed the soul from music Bruce Pavitt would share a foresight. He took it upon himself to voice a frustration for that which was being lost with the music industry; heart. Ingenuity and creative prowess had taken a back seat to marketable and sexy. A troubling turn for Pavitt and his like minded. Feeding off the sounds of the Pacific Northwest, Pavitt lended himself to publish magazines preaching the music of the streets, of the kids, and of the next true meaningful stage. His movement grew and bands took notice. SUBPOP would take a risk in the later part of the 80’s and release an EP from a band titled Tad. Upon the release another outfit would participate. This band is Soundgarden and soon music will be changed forever.

Some call it Alternative, for some it’s Grunge, others prefer college radio and the all encompassing is Independent. Indie rock doesn’t have a sound, an image or a template. It cannot be easily catalogued and it certainly does not seek your acceptance. It is a mindset. A belief. A cause. It is the will to create that which most will not accept. It grows from life and speaks to the minds of those willing to listen…you can hear it too if you’re sincere.

The force of a generation in need of a voice took refuge in the bands of SUBPOP and of it’s true message. These bands have transcended genres and time. They are in the very core of our expressive world. Today, as it is on the brink of celebrating 20 years as a record label, SUBPOP is the proud parent to a strong lineage of independent labels that are pushing the norm and challenging the comfortable.

SUBPOP is worthy of it’s praise and of it’s disgust. So successful, SUBPOP has grown much as many of it’s bands have…above the SUB. Despite success, the label has remained true to itself and to the music. Anchored in morals and motives. As angst rerises and new directions sought, SUBPOP will continue to light a way. I for one will continue to follow and so to the future of music.

Nirvana, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, Mudhoney, Sleater-Kinney, Afghan Whigs, Dinosaur Jr., The Jesus and Mary Chain, Rogue Wave, The Shins, Band of Horses, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, Iron and Wine, Wolf Parade, David Cross, Fleet Foxes, Postal Service, The Thermals, Flight of the Conchords, Hansome Furs, No Age, Oxford Collapse, Ugly Casanova, Blitzen Trapper, The White Stripes etc.


1 comment:

Matthew said...

Really had no idea that all of those bands were with SUBPOP...thanks for the insight Lue.