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Sub Pop Turns 25: The Five Essential Albums From the Label

Sub Pop


It’s almost unbelievable to fathom how relevant Sub Pop Records has managed to stay over the course of a quarter century of loving music and supporting original artists. In fact, if you count the company’s roots as a fanzine called Subterranean Pop that co-founder Bruce Pavitt first published back in 1979, it’s been a lot longer than that. But the label, which recently began its official 25th anniversary celebrations with a free Silver Jubilee concert in its birthplace of Seattle, continues to be a focal point for unique and assertive music. Sub Pop’s early history is synonymous with names like Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, which have grown into legacy artists, and the label’s current marquee names like Washed Out, No Age, and The Head and the Heart all have new albums coming soon and are also working toward similar longevity.

The Sub Pop catalog is bursting at the seams with wonderful music, so it can be intimidating to know exactly where to begin. Rdio’s got your back — we point out some of the key highlights below if you are searching for a place to start your own listening party.

FIVE ESSENTIAL SUB POP ALBUMS

  • Nirvana - Bleach
    Before Kurt Cobain and his band became forever music icons, their debut hinted at epic ambitions.

  • The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
    This important rock debut brought enduring cuts like “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang” to the forefront.

  • Postal Service - Give Up
    The boundaries between indie rock and electronic dance music were crystallized and shattered with this release long before the term EDM was invented.

  • Beach House - Bloom
    A dream pop duo from Baltimore, Beach House has captured the world’s imagination with this acclaimed album.

  • Washed Out - Paracosm
    It doesn’t take long to experience a state of being blissed out while listening to the chillwave sounds of Sub Pop’s latest acclaimed artist, also known as Ernest Greene of Georgia. According to the single, “It All Feels Right”.

    You should find something here to stir your soul whether you’re new to the label or have been down since day one. Follow Sub Pop on Rdio to take in the Sub Pop Label Quiz Cliff’s Notes and many more hand-picked playlists.

EventsMusic

Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson Drive The Honda Civic Tour

Honda Civic Tour

Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson are in the driver’s seat of the Honda Civic Tour that’s currently making its way around the country through the summer and fall. For all of you who sing “Moves Like Jagger” and “Since U Been Gone” at the top of your lungs when no one is watching, you may have the opportunity to catch them live on the road. But if not, Rdio is providing the tunes on the tour's site with the Honda Civic Tour Official Playlist, which also includes tunes by supporting acts Tony Lucca and PJ Morton.

Follow the Honda Civic Tour on Rdio and pump up the playlist below to stay up to speed.

EventsMusic

7x7 Picks Outside Lands Festival Anthems

Outside Lands

An estimated 65,000 music lovers (along with Karl the Fog) are expected to roll in to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the annual Outside Lands music and arts festival from August 9-11. Our friends at essential city guide 7x7 have put together this Outside Lands 2013 playlist to acquaint you with the breadth and depth of talent performing, a lineup that includes headliners like Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. And while they may not have set out to predict the hits of the weekend, this 7x7 set will give you a great idea of what songs will be sung at the top of every lung.

Like their picks? Follow 7x7 on Rdio to access 40 playlists (and counting!) that explore nearly everything from Foggy Days to Twerking 101. They’ve got the most excellent playlists even if you’re staying home this weekend.

EventsMusic

15 Songs You Need to Know at Lollapalooza According to Consequence of Sound

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is headed back to Chicago’s Grant Park for the ninth time on August 2-4 with a jaw-droppingly awesome lineup of classic and contemporary bands such as The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, The Postal Service, and New Order. Our friends at Chicago-based music site Consequence of Sound have assembled this Lollapalooza Playlist in order to share the 15 essential songs to know before you go. You don’t have to have a Lollapalooza ticket to get in the know; they’re all great tunes to know anyway, like The Cure’s “Fascination Street,” “If I Had a Tail” by Queens Of The Stone Age, “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons, and “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons.

Listen to the hand-crafted playlist and skim the playlist notes written by Consequence of Sound for the low-down before flying off to the Windy City.


PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Nine Inch Nails - "Came Back Haunted"

Don't be the fan waiting around for "Head Like a Hole" or "March of the Pigs" or "Hurt". Get familiar with the new single and be the up-to-date fanboy that knows the words to the song and acts like it's just as good as "Head Like a Hole" or "March of the Pigs" or "Hurt".

  • St. Lucia - "Elevate"

Fans of M83, The Police, or Tears for Fears should find solace in this South African-turned-Brooklyn outfit's sound. Vocalist and singer-songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler comes off as a scholar of uplifting '80s anthems, and the chorus here is enough of an excuse to stock up on condoms.

  • HAIM - "Falling"

If you've seen them, see 'em again. If you haven't had a chance yet, get there an hour early. If you've never heard of them, listen to "Falling" and then please try and keep going on this playlist, even if you want to just keep repeating this song over and over again.

  • The Postal Service - "A Tattered Line of String"

Song's weak, and proves Give Up is all we ever need (or will get) from them, but recognize this track as a chance to grab a beer or meet up with a friend. Or I don't know, head out early.

  • Imagine Dragons - "It's Time"

Every year, there's a mainstream talent that's bigger than anyone online gives them credit for. Imagine Dragons fits the bill this year, and if you know this track, you'll hear it all weekend on the lips of their many, many, many fans.

  • Vampire Weekend - "Everlasting Arms"

You've heard and memorized "Diane Young", that lyric video for "Step" has 130 views just from you, and "Unbelievers" is old news. Start warming up to "Everlasting Arms", the other catchy track off Modern Vampires of the City. "Hold me...in your everlasting arms," might be a great pick up, too.

  • The Cure - "Fascination Street"

Because Disintegration is still their best album and this song will most definitely be played live.

  • Queens of the Stone Age - "If I Had A Tail"

Why do people call QOTSA sexy? Try and listen to Josh Homme's vocals here without sweating up. The Rolling Stones wish they could still write like this.

  • Baroness - "Take My Bones Away"

They evaded death so they could play music for you. C'MON. This song has a whole new meaning because of that.

  • Deap Vally - "Lies"

Tired of The Black Keys and feel like Jack White hasn't been the same post-Meg White? Deap Vally might work out for you then. They're a two-woman crew that (admittedly unsurprisingly) sounds louder than a two-woman crew. Plus, anyone who gets away unscathed with cliche lines like "And you ain't no friend of mine!" has some sort of edge to them.

  • The Orwells - "Who Needs You"

We're bias. This local Chicago act brings back all the straightforward garage rock worth championing. Lewd vocalist with a heart, young guitarists with a flair for the dust, and a drummer that's shifty like Tommy Ramone — what's not to love? Okay, we're just ones with good tastes. Clearly.

  • Wavves - "Afraid of Heights"

Nathan Williams evolves away from the beach and the skateboards and into something a little deeper. Don't believe us? Check out this one that gets a little existential with regards to spirituality. The hook itself is the drab line: "I'll always be on my own." Being miserable and confused never sounded so posh.

  • The National - "This is the Last Time"

New York royalty, folks. One of the hallmarks of their latest opus, Trouble Will Find Me, "This is the Last Time" is an evolving track that starts somber and funereal and shifts into a steamroller of a ballad. That coda at the end... Yeah.

  • Local Natives - "Heavy Feet"

Why is this playlist getting so depressing? Well, sometimes it takes a broken heart to feel hearty, and "Heavy Feet" does the job. Military percussion, emotional keys, and some of this year's strongest vocal work make this another mandatory viewing from fans and non-fans. Just grab Hummingbird, already.

  • Mumford and Sons - "I Will Wait"

Sorry Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Rogers Park, but you're going to hear 80,000 people singing this song all at once come Saturday night and it'll take more than a few pillows and a handle of Jack Daniels to hide from it. This one could be That Moment everyone talks about later on.

∞  July 29, 2013 — 1:00PM

EventsMusic

Oh, Baby: A Playlist for the New Prince

Oh Baby Playlist

How often do you get to cheer on the birth of a prince? With Kate and William’s new addition to the royal family, we made an Oh Baby! playlist to get you in the celebratory mood. Go ga-ga over classics like Prince’s “Baby, I’m A Star” and Mariah’s “Always Be My Baby” while you wait in baited breath to find out the Prince of Cambridge’s official name. Take a listen and get babies off the brain and into your headphones.

∞  July 23, 2013 — 11:00AM

EventsGiveaways

Win a Weekend with Country’s Best Artists at Watershed Music Festival

Watershed Music Festival

The Gorge in Washington will provide a stellar natural backdrop for country music’s contemporary favorites at Watershed Music Festival on August 2-4. Watershed is an ideal place to discover the range of genre and its brightest new stars in their ascent as country’s leading men Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, and Shooter Jennings take over the outdoor amphitheater.

Festival passes are completely sold out, but we’ve got three pairs of three-day passes reserved for Rdio lovers. Throwing your hat into the ring is a breeze: Like Rdio’s Facebook page and hit enter here. Enter between now and July 24th and you could be on your way to Watershed. Read the Official Rules for more details.

While you’re waiting on your chance to win, follow Watershed on Rdio and listen to the mammoth Watershed Music Festival playlist, which contains songs from all the headliners plus a deep look at performers such as Terri Clark, Thompson Square, Blackberry Smoke, and more.

Picture it now: You and a friend could be experiencing one of country music’s leading fests in one of the most beautiful venues in the country. Good luck!

∞  July 17, 2013 — 11:00AM

EventsMusic

For Your SDCC Trek: A Playlist to Save the World

Superhero Playlist

Do you have long underwear hiding under your threads? Thanks to Comic Con happening tomorrow in San Diego, you don’t need to keep your alter ego a secret. The largest science fiction, fantasy and superhero convention in the world is kicking off and we’ve got the unofficial soundtrack. Take a listen to Prince’s “Batdance”, the Ramones’ “Spiderman” and the instant classic “Wonderboy” from Tenacious D on our Songs to Save the World to Playlist. Each song pays tribute to the guys and gals that were spider bitten, hurled from space, or dropped in toxic waste only to brush themselves off and kick some butt. Listen now and wear your spandex with pride.

∞  July 17, 2013 — 9:00AM

Events

Giddy Up: Take the Faster Horses Playlist For a Ride

Faster Horses

A galloping good time awaits at the Faster Horses Festival, the epic three-day camping and country music event stationed at Michigan International Speedway on July 19-21. We’ve rounded up the best songs from featured artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and Thompson Square in the official Faster Horses 2013 playlist. Follow Faster Horses on Rdio and press play for a taste of what revelers in Brooklyn, Michigan will be experiencing this weekend whether you’re off to the races or staying in with your headphones.

∞  July 15, 2013 — 1:00PM

EventsMusic

Get Amped for Pitchfork Music Festival With The Official Playlist

Pitchfork

The annual Pitchfork Music Festival comes to Chicago on July 19-21, and Rdio will be live on the scene so stop by and say hello! But for those of you outside Illinois, you don’t have to be in the Windy City to get in on the musical action.

Whether or not you’re planning to be with your 14,999 closest friends at Union Park, you can get ready for this momentous musical event with the official Pitchfork Festival 2013 playlist. Press play to rock over two and a half hours of headlining sounds from the likes of R. Kelly, Bjork, M.I.A., The Breeders, and Sky Ferreira, and follow Pitchfork on Rdio for more hand-picked sets.

∞  July 10, 2013 — 10:00AM

EventsMusic

The Fall and Rise of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me Film Opens Today

Big Star

The greatest band of the ‘70s may be one you’ve never heard of. Find out about the tragedy and legend of Memphis band, Big Star, in the new documentary, Nothing Can Hurt Me. The film trains a lens on Big Star’s baffling commercial failure, unraveling of lead singer/guitarist, Alex Chilton, and sudden death of singer/songwriter Chris Bell. The band’s debut album, satirically titled #1 Record includes “In the Streets” later used for the popular TV show That ‘70s Show intro song and “Thirteen”, one of the most beautiful young love sonnets that’s been covered by a slew of artists including Elliott Smith, Wilco, Kathryn Williams, and Garbage.

What should have been a skyrocketing-to-fame debut of Big Star fizzled out quickly as distribution problems made it hard for anyone to find a copy of the album. The quartet’s next record, Radio City met the same sales disappointment. By the time Chilton recorded Third/Sister Lovers the Big Star sound had unwoven from Beatles-esque power pop into a haunting and open wound of a record.

The film, Nothing Can Hurt Me takes an unfiltered look at Chilton’s fall from the spotlight and the subsequent creation of a painfully honest album that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the ‘80s and ‘90s. It wasn’t until REM, The Bangles, Elliott Smith, Raconteurs, and others cited their inspiration from Big Star that their albums were salvaged from anonymity and recognized as pure vinyl gold. All three LPs now live on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Nothing Can Hurt Me premiers today in select theaters.

As a tribute to the new film and our love for Big Star we’ve put together 13 Going on 13: A Big Star Tribute featuring a few of their seminal songs covered by some all-time great artists. You can also check out the soundtrack for the film with previously unreleased tracks.

∞  July 3, 2013 — 3:00PM