Archive for the ‘The Book in Scraps’ Category

Winter 1981.  See SP 5 description on far right.

1981, winter, sub pop 5

The Notorious Green River T-Shirt

Posted: October 19, 2011 in T-shirts

Front and back, from designer Jim Sorenson.  This was the shirt that got my glasses broken in 2008 and Coffin Break tossed from a movie theater twenty years earlier.

From one amazing weekend in August 1989 (from designer Jim Sorenson):

The Rocket Notes, 1986

Posted: October 12, 2011 in The Rocket

In 1986, things were beginning to percolate in the Seattle music scene, particularly in the grunge arena.  The Deep Six compilation, featuring Soundgarden, Green River and others, documented the arrival of the new sound.  But there was a lot of other exciting stuff happening as noted below (btw, note also the prominence of Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, two years before they would launch Sub Pop as a full-time record label.  Finally, note the opening of Reciprocal Recording, which will be the studio’s second go-around.  The new studio set up shop in Ballard and would churn out recordings by Green River, Soundgarden, TAD, Mudhoney, and Nirvana.)

April 1986

“Deep Six LP.  You got it.  It’s slow SLOW and  heavy HEAVY and it’s THE predominant sound of underground Seattle in ’86.  Green River, Sound Garden (sic), The Melvins, Malfunkshun and even Skin Yard prove that you don’t have to live in the suburbs and have a low I.Q. to do some SERIOUS head banging.  As an extra bonus you also get one cut by local sex gods the U-Men.  They is one of their mega-hits but sounds quirky and out of context (a fat slab from skull thumpers My Eye would’ve made more sense).  But enough slack, THIS RECORD ROCKS.”

Bruce Pavitt, “Sub Pop USA,” 23.

May 1986

“Guns N’ Roses, an LA-based rock ‘n’ glam outfit with ex-Seattleite and former 10 Minute Warning charmer Duff McKagen, (sic) has signed a bigtime deal with Geffen Records.”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 7.

Pavitt mentions Monkey Business, Danger Bunny, the Walkabouts, Green Pajamas, and the Fastbacks in his Sub Pop USA column.

June 1986

“Bill Stuber, owner of Triangle Studios, left town in a big hurry on May 10, taking all the studio’s equipment, plus many master tapes bands need for their records.  Aggrieved musicians are hoping Stuber will return the masters at least, before a posse is thrown together…”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 9.

Note article on Metal Church.

“There’s just one catch to studio time that costs nothing.  It usually means you’ll end up with a demo that’s worth nothing.”

Ad for Steve Lawson Productions, 21.

July 1986

“Local acts from the Young Fresh Fellows to the U-Men to Heir Apparent to Sir Mix-A-Lot to the Walkabouts to Green River are frantically touring the land, spreading Seattle gospel across the nation like so much seaweed.  Vinyl is bursting out (or about to) from every sector; the folk “scene” (Jim Page, Mark O’Conner, Uncle Bonsai), the metal “scene” (Metal Church, Queensryche) and always-popular compilation “scene” (Popllama’s 12 Inch Combo Deluxe, the Green M’s Monkey Business, Deep Six).  Such stalwart venues as the Backstage, Fabulous Rainbow and Central Tavern keep pushing a steady diet of local acts down our throats, with new-to-the-“scene” joints the Ditto and University Bistro hot on their heels.”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 7.

Lip Service also talks about Poneman’s KCMU Air Aid nights “were a smashingly successful series of rave-ups,” and Bruce Pavitt’s upcoming Sub/Pop 100 compilation.

Notes Jonathan Poneman as KCMU’s Audio Oasis DJ.

Pavitt recommends Feast’s live and like totally heavy, 23.  Note Pavitt heavily plugs Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Scratch Acid…basically the hip alt rock acts of the period, throughout his various Sub/Pop columns.

“8-Track Recording: new studio opens July 1.  Otari-Revox-Lexicon.  Pro quality at reasonable rates.  RECIPROCAL RECORDING.”

Ad on 34.

August 1986

Reviews describe Green Pajamas as psych revival.

September 1986

October 1986

(Johnny Renton) Lip Service notes that Poneman has taken over as KCMU promotions director.  It also mentions that KCMU received FCC permission to build a new transmitter atop Capitol Hill, and will increase coverage by 400 percent, according to station manager Chris Knab, 7.

November 1986

“The Ditto closed and re-opened in the blink of an eye recently, a premature final night of music on September 28, with the musical antics of Sound Garden (sic), Bundle of Hiss, Weather Theater and more dazzling a capacity crowd.”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 7.

The Rocket Notes, 1984

Posted: October 11, 2011 in The Rocket

Seattle was at its nadir in 1984.  Musicians who wanted a career gave up and left town.  Nothing appeared to be happening.  People who stayed made music for fun, because that was all they were going to get out of it.  It was at this point, when things seemed to bottom out, that the seeds for intensive creativity were sown.  During this period, bands like the Young Fresh Fellows, the Green Pajamas, Soundgarden, Green River, the Walkabouts, the Squirrels, Terry Lee Hale & the Ones, and Girl Trouble (from Tacoma) began to emerge.  The U-Men, arguably Seattle’s most influential band, peaked around this time.  On the surface, however, things seemed pretty bleak:

June 1984 (all local music issue)

“…what this town really needs is one band to blow us all away.  Just one band who can play some new music that captures the imagination of the town, that would turn everything around.”

John Keister, “Who’s Killing Seattle Rock and Roll?  A Rant By John Keister,” 18. 

“What makes this record [The Young Fresh Fellows’ Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest] even more refreshing, is that it comes at a time when I thought the Seattle music scene was dead in the water.  This is undeniably the worst period in the last 10 years for Seattle music (with the exception of heavy metal) – there are fewer bands, fewer clubs and there are almost no bands in the area now making a living off music.  Almost in spite of that I sense a resurgence in an underground movement of bands and the Fellows are the best of the lot.”

Charles R. Cross, (Associate Editor), “New Sounds of the Pacific Northwest: Over 50 Reviews of Northwest Music.” “The Young Fresh Fellows: The Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest, PopLlama,” 27.

Reviews also talk about Feedback which featured “semi-interesting instrumentals” and had Daniel House (later in Skin Yard), Matt Cameron (later in Skin Yard, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam), and Nerm.

July 1984

“Fallout Records & Skateboards will be opening July 2 at 1506 Olive Way on Capitol Hill, under the direction of Bruce Pavitt and Russ Battaglia.  The new EP by Seattle’s U-Men is out on the Bombshelter record label.”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 10.

“If you play Steve Lawson’s phone number on this keyboard, [picture of a touch-tone phone] you’ll get 24-track recording time in a state-of-the-art studio for just $50 an hour.  Any day between 7 pm and 6 am.  Which is about $75 an hour less than you’d pay anywhere else for…more new high tech equipment than you’ll find anywhere north of San Francisco.”

Ad for Steve Lawson Productions recording studio, 25.

“Reciprocal Recording offers high quality 8-track recording services at incomparable prices.  We’ve got good equipment and a versatile space.  Check us out for your next demo or LP project.  $12.50/hr, $10/hr block rate.”

Classified ad for Reciprocal Recording, 38.

August 1984

Noticed Matt Groening listed as an artist.

Original Reciprocal Recording Location

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Other

Site of the first Green River demos, Chris Hanzsek opened the studio in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood in January 1984.  Note the proximity to the train tracks, which caused some interesting issues during recording.

The Original “Air Aid”

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Posters

by KCMU (now KEXP), the University of Washington’s radio station.  From Clay Alien’s Ben Thompson.