Chromeo Dan Deacon Fleet Foxes Green River Imaginary Scoop Jose Gonzalez M83 Monotonix Sera Cahoone The Blakes The Flaming Lips

Kyle Johnson's Top Ten Live Music Photos of 2008

Editor's note: TIG photographer Kyle Johnson has been quite busy this year. Taking the impeccable press and editorial photos as well as covering shows and festivals for TIG, Kyle has amassed a great portfolio for 2008.

Here's a recap of his personal favs from the past year:


Photo by Kyle Johnson

Grunge Lives in 2008! Green River at SP20 Festival



Photo by Kyle Johnson

M83 at the Triple Door


Photo by Kyle Johnson

Monotonix at Satiricon MusicFest NW



Photo by Kyle Johnson

 Chromeo at CHBP Saturday



Photo by Kyle Johnson

Jose Gonzales at The Triple Door


Photo by Kyle Johnson Dan Deacon at Bumbershoot



Photo by Kyle Johnson

Fleet Foxes Live at CHBP Saturday



Photo by Kyle Johnson

The Blakes at Sasquatch Festival


Photo by Kyle Johnson

Jay Kardong (of Sera Cahoones Band) at KEXP



Photo by Kyle Johnson

The Flaming Lips at Sasquatch Festival

Green River Imaginary Scoop Marymoor Park Sub Pop

New term coined at SP20?

While we were extolling the praises of the Green River show at SP20 tonight, we (imaginary stella and I) debated over whether the band could actually be called a "supergroup" as that name is normally reserved for bands made up of stars of other great bands.

We decided that a more appropriate term for Green River is "reverse supergroup" as it was a minor band that spawned several other major bands.

Put that in your rock lexicon and smoke it.


PS – Can we think of any other reverse supergroups? Or is there already a term for this that we just don't know?

Green River Live Show Review Marymoor Park

Sub Pop 20: Green River

When I was 15 — not old enough to drive, but old enough to have a burning passion for music growing inside me — I spent much of my free time hanging with friends, listening to records, loitering around coffee shops, and toiling through record stores on the Ave (it's true – not much has changed).

One fateful day, while rifling through the ever-stellar used bin at Cellophane, back in its old location a few blocks south on University Ave, I struck up a conversation with one of the clerks. I was on a mission to find anything and everything "grunge"—excluding the sludge left in the used bins at another used record store on the Ave (which I won't name to protect the innocent. But I think you know where I mean.)

This dude proceeded to rundown Seattle rock history in two minutes. He was tossing out names like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney (duh, duh, and duh). He mentioned Mother Love Bone and Malfunkshun (check for the former; a bit of a head-scratch on the latter). The U-Men (who?). Oh, and Green River, this super-group of sorts that featured members of these now larger-than-life bands. I had lost him by those last two, but being impressionable and hungry for anything and everything, I latched on with zest and had to find some Green River.

Green River 

We landed on the topic of the now infamous Deep Six comp, which collected tracks by many of those now legendary bands. Cellophane didn't have a copy (and had they, it would've been way out of my no-after-school-job budget). But the guy promised that he'd dub me a copy (yep, on cassette) and if I'd only swing by the store in the next couple of days, he'd have it waiting for me.

I credit that clerk – whose name I've long since forgotten – for awakening me to the sound that defined our city for the better portion of a decade and put us on the musical map indefinitely. Without realizing it, he effectively set the stage for every band I'd soon come to love, or at least appreciate for their impact on the local scene. Really, that dubbed tape probably ruined me, because since that time I've spent endless hours and countless dollars trying to track down seminal recordings, scouring for band history, and so on.

Fast forward to 2008, and it all adds up to me having waited a long, long, LONG time to see Green River.

Green River 

The path they blazed – and the mark they left on Seattle music history — is undeniably deep.

Formed in 1984, the band (check this cast – some of who rotated in over the band's tenure: Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Bruce Fairweather, and Alex Vincent {Shumway}) laid the foundation for what would come next. Without Green River, who knows if the world ever would have seen Mudhoney, Love Battery, Mother Love Bone, or Pearl Jam?

Green River 

Tonight, edging toward the end of this stellar two-day fete in honor of Sub Pop's birthday, the band that was once only the stuff of lore took the stage and became reality. There stood Arm, Ament, Fairweather, Turner, Gossard, and Shumway in the flesh. For a little longer than their allotted 40 minutes, they churned out song after song of sludgy, dirty, ooze-worthy rock that made some journo 15 years ago refer to this as "grunge." As the set picked up pace, hungry youngsters hoisted themselves on stage and jumped into the crowd to surf. Others thrashed to begin the requisite mosh pit. While yet others lifted their hands in the air, digital cameras at outstretched arms' length, trying to document this whole endeavor. As yesterday during The Vaselines' set, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden stood stage right, rocking out along with the rest of us at this moment.

Green River 

Were Green River great? It's difficult to conjure the band as truly great songwriters; it's always challenging to discern greatness through all that muck. But the band chugged through riffs, wailed on hotlicks, screamed out verses, and made fists soar into the air all around me. So yes, they absolutely achieved their goal and set right oodles of music-lovers' hearts around me who no doubt always felt jilted that they never got to see this band live. Huge grins crept across all six band members' faces throughout their set — more than once, I caught Ament and Fairweather, and Turner and Gossard, exchanging looks of pure joy. Clearly it was good to be so appreciated. And appreciated they were: after the set, the band doled out probably a hundred shirts emblazoned with their name. The fans swarmed the stage trying to get a piece of collateral to prove that yes, this really did happen.

Green River 

Given the amazing response, I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again. Completely worth the multi-decade-long wait.

Green River 

Fleet Foxes Frausdots Grand Archives Green River Hot Hot Heat Imaginary Scoop Mudhoney Murder City Devils Nirvana Rogue Wave Seaweed Sub Pop The Constantines The Postal Service The Shins The Thermals Velocity Girl

Happy birthday, Sub Pop! Fave 20 releases of all time

It's a common practice among music critics and fans alike to make lists. Here, in tribute to the Seattle label's 20 years of not going out of business, are my favorite 20 releases from Sub Pop from the past two decades. I encourage you to check out their catalog and provide yours, too.

For my list, I mostly considered full-lengths save for a few key exceptions. You of course don't have to do the same. And this list is of favorites. Feel free to take a different spin, like "most important" or "most influential" or whatnot.

Mine are listed alphabetically by artist so that I didn't have to pick between a few of my favorite records of all time.

Let the discussion begin.

The Constantines Tournament of Hearts SP669

Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes SP777

Frausdots Couture, Couture, Couture SP642

Friends of Dean Martinez The Shadow of Your Smile SP306

Grand Archives Grand Archives SP754

Green River Dry as a Bone 011

Hot Hot Heat Make Up the Breakdown SP599

The Murder City Devils The Murder City Devils SBL9001

Mudhoney Superfuzz Bigmuff SP021

Mudhoney "Touch Me I'm Sick/Sweet Young Thing" SP018

Nirvana Bleach SP034

Nirvana "Love Buzz"/"Big Cheese" SP023

The Postal Service Give Up SP595

Rogue Wave Out of the Shadow SP650

Seaweed Despised SP110

The Shins Chutes Too Narrow SP625

Soundgarden Screaming Life/Fopp SP12

Sunny Day Real Estate Diary SP246

The Thermals The Body ,The Blood, The Machine SP703

Velocity Girl Simpatico! SP247

Honorable Mention Artists:

  • The Fastbacks
  • Hazel
  • Helio Sequence
  • Hush Harbor
  • Mark Lanegan
  • L7
  • Love Battery
  • Pond
  • Red Stars Theory
  • The Spinanes
  • Tad
  • Ugly Casanova

Green River Imaginary Scoop Sub Pop

Sub Pop 20th birthday bash details

Mark from Seattle Sound magazine just posted this link in another blog comment on TIG, and the info was too good to stay so buried. What's the info, you ask? Why, it's Seattle Sound giving some GREAT scoop about the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary Festival!

Here's what Mark had to say. Emphasis mine: 

According to a reputable source very close to the festival, who was plied with booze until he gave up the goose, plans for Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary Festival are in full swing. The dates are set, the location has been chosen and bands are being booked. We’ll tell you all we know soon. First, though, it’s important to note that the festival is just one (large) step in Sub Pop’s celebratory waltz.

Hundreds of freeloading music fans and industry folk packed Hattie’s Hat on Tuesday night to kick-off the record label’s year-long celebration with free drinks, shop-talk, chocolate eclaires and a possible Gary Busse citing (word has it that photos were taken… we’re still waiting). VH1 honored Sub Pop the day before (on the label’s actual 20th Anniversay) by posting 20 years worth of Sub Pop music videos. On the label’s side, there is word that the much-loved Singles Club will make a return appearance. And then there of course will be more of the high quality releases the label has been giving the world for 15 (nonconsecutive) years.

But the festival will be the manifestation of the celebration. And here, in bullet points, are the details we squeezed from our source (their accuracy is questionable, as there were free drinks):

  • The festival will officially take place July 12 & 13 at the 640-acre Marymoor Park in Redmond, with performances going both day and night
  • Bands performing will cover the history of the label’s roster, include two reunion performances. One will be the much-ballyhooed return of Green River. The second, according to this recent news story from the Denver Post will be the Fluid, Sub Pop’s first non-local signing from way back in 1985.
  • There will likely be a Sub Pop comedy night at a yet-to-be-named venue separate from the music festivities.
  • There could possibly also be some shows at clubs around Seattle leading up to the festivities, though details on this were very vague.

Stay tuned for corrections, clarification and additional information as it becomes available.

This is all VERY exciting. Here's hoping it's all true!