The evolution of the Sub Pop empire will be examined at Fantagraphics Bookstore in SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz opening Saturday, July 13. These hand made publications serve as exquisite time capsules of early 80s indie culture. I recall sessions at Rosco Louie gallery with Bruce Pavitt and Russ Battaglia in 1981 individually coloring issues of Sub Pop #3 with crayons. The only directive I remember was "Don't stay inside the lines." Covers and random interior pages were scribbled with infantile abandon. Multiple examples of these early Sub Pop zines (with a quaint 80¢ cover price) will be on display.
In 1983 Pavitt migrated north from Olympia to Seattle, enabling him to interact with a larger cultural community. He soon found a home for Sub Pop as a regular feature in TheRocket, where he joined an extended family of talented writers, artists, cartoonists, and graphic designers that would play an important role in the future development of the Sub Pop aesthetic. The second installment of the column in May 1983 featured an early appearance of what would become Sub Pop's signature logo, designed by future Fantagraphics art director DaleYarger. TheRocket regularly ran comix and illustrations by LyndaBarry, CharlesBurns, Matt Groening, GaryPanter, RobertCrumb, GilbertandJaime Hernandez, and PeterBagge, among others. Several examples of these important columns will be featured in the SODA POP exhibition, along with art and artifacts by Barry, Burns, Bagge, DanielClowes, Charles Peterson, JimWoodring, and more.
At 1:00 PM on July 13, I'll moderate a panel discussion, PopGoesSeattle, with Pavitt, Bagge, Peterson and DannyBland on the formative period of the Sub Pop phenomenon. This informal but informative talk will be followed by a short reading by Danny Bland and GregDulli of Afghan Whigs from Bland's debut novel, InCaseWeDie, set in grunge-era Seattle. Patrons at the reading will be the first in the country with the opportunity to acquire this essential book. Russ Battaglia will spin period platters following the reading. Then the real fun begins. Free concerts by Mudhoney, BuilttoSpill, Chad VanGaalen, JMascis, TomPriceDesertClassic, and countless others right outside the bookstore. Don't miss a minute. Arrive early. Stay late. Buy comix!
My first encounter with Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt came when he participated in an art show I co-curated at Rosco Louie gallery called "Famous Artists of the 80s," which opened on New Year's Eve at the dawn of that decade. Bruce contributed a delightfully playful painting rendered on the headboard of a baby crib. Though still a student at Evergreen State College, he came closest to fulfilling the ironic premise of the exhibition.
Pavitt soon began producing his hand crafted Subterranean Pop fanzine, enlisting recent Evergreen alumni Lynda Barry to create the cover of issue 2 and Charles Burns to illustrate the back cover of issue 4. At this point the young editor was anxious to have the esoteric regional music he was promoting available for readers to experience. The inexpensive cassette format with a mini-zine insert ideally suited the dual-purpose publication. He again tapped Burns to draw the cover of the three subsequent cassette releases, and later the cover for the landmark Sub Pop 200 vinyl release.
Pavitt had an intuitive appreciation of the alternative musicians, cartoonists, and graphic designers in the region. As the '80s progressed, these elements combined to create an amazing atmosphere in Seattle that would soon impact popular culture on a global scale.
By the end of the decade I was director of Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art. In 1989 I coerced Pavitt and partner Jonathan Poneman to program a weekend concert series at this space. The shows featured Nirvana, Mudhoney, GWAR, Dwarves, Supersuckers, Tad, Dickless and Cat Butt. It's worth noting that Cat Butt's Danny Bland helped book the bands. None of the acts were named publicly. The event was promoted simply as SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz - a reference to Mudhoney's recent Sub Pop release Superfuzz Bigmuff. (During Mudhoney's raucous set, the audience was showered with 80 pounds of powdered sugar.) In retrospect, this event seemed to suggest that something extraordinary was about to happen.
On Saturday, July 13, the legendary Seattle label commemorates 25 years of going out of business with the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee featuring free concerts by more than 15 amazing bands throughout the historic Georgetown arts community. Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery contributes to the festivities with SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz, an art exhibition, panel discussion and reading fousing on the formative years of Sub Pop, emphasizing the role of regional cartoonists in shaping the attitudes and aesthetics of the emerging youth movement. Don't miss this! Make travel arrangements and hotel reservations now!
SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore examines formative years of Sub Pop coinciding with Sub Pop Silver Jubilee
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee celebration in Georgetown with an exhibition, panel discussion and reading on Saturday, July 13. The show examines the influence of alternative comix, illustration, and graphic design on the legendary music label, which gave rise to the last significant youth movement of the millennium. This event coincides with the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee, a free music festival commemorating 25 years of Sub Pop featuring 15 bands on 3 stages in the Georgetown industrial arts corridor.
The SODA POP exhibition, organized by Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt and Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid, focuses on the formative years of Sub Pop as a hand-crafted zine, cassette label, and column in Seattle music monthly The Rocket, laying the foundation of the grunge phenomenon that would later impact global pop culture. The exhibition features art and artifacts from the formative years of Sub Pop by Lynda Barry, Peter Bagge, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Owen Connell, Charles Peterson, Art Spiegelman, Jim Woodring, and more. The show takes its title from a 1989 concert at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art during Reid’s tenure as director of that organization. Featuring seminal bands like Nirvana, Mudhoney, Dwarves, GWAR, Supersuckers, Tad, Cat Butt, and Dickless, this event foreshadowed the Seattle sound that would soon reverberate around the world.
The exhibition programming includes a panel discussion “Pop Goes Seattle” at 1:00 PM featuring some of the principals of the early Sub Pop period including founder Bruce Pavitt, cartoonist Peter Bagge, photographer Charles Peterson, and author and musician Danny Bland. A book signing will follow the panel. At 2:00 PM, Bland will read passages from his debut novel In Case We Die, a fictional account of the grunge era in Seattle. Danny will be joined by guest reader Greg Dulli, who will later perform music outside the store. A limited number of advance copies of the book will be available at the reading. A companion exhibition, “CP25/SP25: Charles Peterson Presents Twenty Five Photographs from the Vaults in Celebration of Sub Pop's Twenty Fifth” takes place next door at All City Coffee.
The Sub Pop Silver Jubilee features sets by Mudhoney, J. Mascis, Built to Spill, Tom Price Desert Classic, Shabazz Palaces, Father John Misty, Chad VanGaalen and many more. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early. The event also coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. Patrons are encouraged to return the following day for the free Georgetown Garden Walk and Cross Pollinate art and music festival featuring residential garden tours; music by Shivering Timbers, Tummy, Dennis Driscoll; and more.
“SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz” Art and artifacts from the formative years of Sub Pop by Lynda Barry, Peter Bagge, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Owen Connell, Charles Peterson, Art Spiegelman, Jim Woodring, and more. Opening preview Saturday, July 13, noon to 9:00 PM.
“Pop Goes Seattle: The Seminal Years of Sub Pop” Panel discussion with Bruce Pavitt, Peter Bagge, Charles Peterson, Danny Bland, moderated by Larry Reid 1:00 PM, followed by book signing
In Case We Die Reading of Danny Bland's debut novel by the author and guest reader Greg Dulli 2:30 PM, followed by book signing.
Thousands of music fans descended on Georgetown on Friday for Honk Fest West. The festivities began outside Fantagraphics Bookstore with a touching tribute to Kim Thompson and ended with an epic battle between the Seattle Seahawk Blue Thunder drumline and Portland's Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers. Next up is the sensational Sub Pop Silver Jubilee on July 13.
The colorful Georgetown Carnival arts festival enters its 7th year with an eclectic array of entertainment reflecting the sensibilities of one of Seattle's liveliest neighborhoods. This free, family friendly event features diverse music, interactive art, acrobats, circus acts, carnival games and confections, as well as Hazardfactory's world famous Power Tool Races. The fun is from noon to 8:00 PM on Saturday, June 8 in the heart of the historic Georgetown industrial arts corridor.
Don't miss stiltwalkers, aerialists, tall bikes, brass bands, and rock ‘n' roll. Young performers from Georgetown's School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts will be joined by youthful musicians from the Seattle Drum School on the Carnival Stage. Artists from Georgetown's Equinox Studios present intriguing art activities. Sandbox Sports hosts a children's beach party. Students from nearby Cleveland High School screen short films. "Minions" from Despicable Me 2 wander the Carnival grounds. Kids win wonderful prizes at creative carnival games.
Thrill to the spectacle of customized power tools drag racing side-by-side in Hazardfactory's infamous Power Tool Races, concluding with a cacophonous demolition derby. This year's Fantagraphics entry will be unveiled at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, June 1. Sweet!
More than 15 bands perform on 3 stages, including Tom Price Desert Classic (featuring Fantagraphics own Martin Bland), Cute Lepers, The Billy Joe Show, Rocket Surgery, The Gum, Dead Man, and more, along with the grand opening of the Sub Pop Mega Mart in advance of their Silver Jubilee celebration in Georgetown on July 13. The Stables Midway Sideshow and Georgetown Brewing Beer Garden features mature entertainment including burlesque dancers, drag queens, and lounge acts. An additional beer garden is located at the Georgetown Trailer Park Market of Curiosities and music stage.
Plan to spend your whole summer in the enchanting Georgetown district!
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the lasting legacy of the late European Pop artist Guy Peellaert with a luscious new book and exhibition this Saturday, May 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Guy Peellaert: The Adventures of Jodelle and Fragments of the Pop Years includes his colorful avant garde comix and collaborations with celebrities like Serge Gainsbourg, Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, Wim Wenders, David Bowie, Martin Scorsese, and others, which left an indelible mark on contemporary culture.
The book and display features Peellaert’s stunning 1965 comic album The Adventures of Jodelle, newly translated by Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson, and examines the breadth of the artist’s work in comics, illustration, graphic design, dance, film, and fashion.
The opening at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, May 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM includes musical entertainment by K recording artist Angelo Spencer performing lyrical French-language songs. Pop Art aficionados, Francophiles, and music fans alike will appreciate this event, which coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at the corner of Airport Way S.) only minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
This summer ends with a blast at Bumbershoot! The Northwest's foremost arts festival features the premiere of Fantagraphics Follies, showcasing diverse works from some of Seattle's most notorious cartoonists. Don't miss your favorite Fantagraphics artists appearing on stage in the lively variety show format of a late-night talk show at the colorful Labor Day weekend event.
The entertainment begins big with Jim Woodring demonstrating his prowess with a giant quill pen. Fine artist (and finer cartoonist) Eroyn Franklin puts on a shadow puppet show, followed by the hilarious comix comedy routine of Kelly Froh. Ellen Forneyplays Marbles before her stint on the couch, and Danny Bland reads In Case We Die. Peter Bagge's pop combo Can You Imagine? featuring Steve Fisk performs the role of house band as Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry "Letterman" Reid plays host. Big fun for all ages.
Make hotel reservations now for the alternative music event of the decade. Sub Pop celebrates 25 years of rockin' the world with a free concert featuring 15 bands right outside our Georgetown bookstore on July 13. The official line-up as announced by Tad Doyle, Kim Thayil, Mark Arm, and Jack Endino will be complemented by some amazing guests. (We'll leave it to your imagination, but read Tad's lips at the end of the video for a clue.)
While serving as director of Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art in 1989, I somehow coerced Sub Pop moguls Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman into programming a weekend of music at our downtown space. The show featured Nirvana, Mudhoney, Gwar, TAD, Dwarves, Dickless, Supersuckers, and other awesome acts. CoCA intern Owen Connell created this memorable poster and wheat pasted them all over town. These shows seemed cathartic somehow. Maybe you had to be there. If you weren't, you're in luck...
I'm reviving this concept for an exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore coinciding with Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee on July 13. Focusing on the formative years of Sub Pop, the show examines the intersection of comix and music in Seattle beginning with the birth of Sub Pop in 1980. It includes art and artifacts by Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Peter Bagge, Art Spiegelman, Charles Peterson, Daniel Clowes, and many more. Danny Bland will read from his new novel In Case We Die set in Seattle's grunge era. This'll rock hard! More details will be revealed later, but schedule your summer vacation accordingly.
You don't have to wait until summer to enjoy Sub Pop's contribution to modern music. This Saturday is Record Store Day and our retail partners Georgetown Records will have the special Sub Pop 1000 vinyl LP, as well as exclusive Record Store Day offerings from local label Light in the Attic including Roky Erickson, PiL, and Mercury Rev. Please come by, and wherever you are -- support your local record store!
A flock of rock stars descended on Fantagraphics Bookstore yesterday following a video shoot for the forthcoming Sub Pop Silver Jubilee celebrating 25 years of the storied Seattle record label. From left: producer and musician Jack Endino, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, brother TAD Doyle, and (former Fantagraphics staffer) Mudhoney front man Mark Arm.
Mark your calendars - and make hotel reservations - for Saturday, July 13 when Sub Pop presents 15 bands on two stages of free, all-ages entertainment right outside our bookstore. Inside the store, Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid is teaming with Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt for an exhibition focusing on the formative years of the Sub Pop phenomenon, including seminal works from cartoonists that would later become legends in their own right. This event also marks the world premiere of Danny Bland's highly anticipated first novel In Case We Die, from the world's greatest pop culture publisher. Time your summer vacation accordingly.
Join us this Saturday, March 23 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM for the 2nd annual Georgetown Music March. Just as the monthly Art Attack draws attention to the visual arts in Georgetown, the Music March features the many musicians that live, work, and play in the historic arts community. Over a dozen eclectic acts will perform all over the neighborhood. All shows are free and most venues are all ages.
Among the many highlights will be Clyde Petersen's Your Heart Breaks at Fantagraphics Bookstore, Blue Star Creeper on the Trailer Park Stage, Earl Brooks at Calamity Jane's, and Jack Endino's Rocket Surgery, featuring former Fantagraphics marketing assistant Allison Maryatt at the MIX. Come early for comix and stay late for another evening of raucous revelry in Georgetown.
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