It’ll Take Seattle’s KEXP Over 4 Months to Play Every Sub Pop Records Release

Posted on: March 12th, 2018 at 5:08 am by

Photo: February 2012

Seminal Seattle-based indie rock imprint, Sub Pop Records, turns thirty-years-old this August. To celebrate the momentus occasion, the city’s left-of-the-dial station KEXP will embark on a “four-month retrospective.”

What that means is that DJs will play the label’s approximately 1,200 releases from now through the end of July. The math on that is roughly an average of 8.3 songs per day. This so-called Sub Pop “count-up” starts today as part of the KEXP 2018 Spring Fundraising Drive.

“This is going to be a really fun pain in the ass!” said KEXP morning show host John Richards. “We’ll have DJs playing Sub Pop songs an average of 8.3 times a day, 24-7 for the next 4 and a half months – each and every Sub Pop release in the original format whenever possible. Cassette, LP, 7-inch, you name it. It’s going to be a total hassle, and totally worth it to celebrate our friends at Sub Pop.”

Sub Pop co-founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman each had a show on KEXP’s predecessor, KCMU, prior to the formation of the label. Pavitt’s show – Sub Pop USA –  focused on celebrating artists and releases on independent regional labels, while Poneman was one of the first hosts of Audioasis, the local music program that still airs weekly on KEXP. Mark Arm of Sub Pop bands Mudhoney and Green River, and Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil had shows on KCMU, as did Charles Peterson, well-known for capturing iconic photographs of the nascent Seattle grunge scene on behalf of the label.

“Bruce Pavitt and I both had air shifts at the former KCMU. KEXP is sort of KCMU unchained, except that the present KEXP air staff have been trained, get paid and drink fancier coffee,” said Jonathan Poneman.  “KCMU and Sub Pop Records both began as a pastime for music hobbyists who liked to stay indoors and play records. It’s been our good fortune to have successfully nurtured a reciprocal relationship with our hometown, Seattle: by providing great music to our community, people support it and listen.”

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