A generation ago, Seattle made its lo-fi mark on the map of music history, largely thanks to Sub Pop Records and its commitment to bringing grunge to a global audience. This July, the label celebrates its 25th anniversary with a weekend of music and comedy that will benefit charities and great causes.
Most grunge fans know Sub Pop as the label that first signed Nirvana and Soundgarden. But before grunge became a household word, founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman had trouble getting the American media to take notice of the burgeoning Seattle scene and thought they’d have better luck with the tastemaking British press.
They offered to fly British reporter Everett True from Melody Maker to cover the Seattle music scene, and by the time he left, the city had become the hotspot for the latest sound in music.
Sub Pop grew and evolved along with independent music, going on to release Flight of the Conchords’ self-titled, Grammy-winning album “Flight of the Conchords,” and The Postal Service’s “Give Up,” both of which went platinum.
Now the label is celebrating its silver anniversary. On Friday, July 12, Eugene Mirman will host The Silver Jubil-eve 25th Anniversary Comedy Thing (for Charity!) at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. David Cross, Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Kirt Braunohler and others will perform to raise money for a series of local charities. Ticket info can be found here.
Then, on Saturday, July 13, Seattle’s Georgetown District will host an entirely free, all-ages music festival featuring Built To Spill, King Tuff, METZ and other friends of Sub Pop. Meanwhile, Sub Pop’s sister label, Hardly Art, will throw a more intimate show for the 21-and-over crowd at The Mix with Portland post-punk group Hausu, Austin pop duo Deep Time, and more.
Though the festival is free, Sub Pop will be collecting donations. Together with proceeds from Comedy Thing ticket sales, these funds will benefit organizations including 90.3FM KEXP, a University of Washington-owned nonprofit arts organization that champions artists not typically supported by similar organizations or commercial media outlets, as well as Northwest Harvest and Northwest Parkinson’s Parkinson’s Foundation.
Northwest Harvest’s mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people across the state in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. The organization distributed 26 million pounds of food last year. Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation works to establish quality of life for the Northwest Parkinson’s community through awareness, education advocacy and care.
What could be better than celebrating a storied record label with top-notch comedy and music, all while helping three important causes? Watch the trailers below and catch more details about the events here.