The Seattle-based label Sub Pop. responsible for giving us the likes of Tad. Blood Circus and. perhaps most importantly. Mudhoney. the band that brought us the the SupermuffBigfuzz album and the single. Touch Me I'm Sick. have an attitude that the Scottish music scene would do well to emulate. For them it‘s important for bands and the record-buying public to realise that coming from Los Angeles or New York is not the only way to have your music heard.
The label began in 1980. initially as a fanzine and a cassette. and quickly established a dedicated following.
The aim of the fanzine‘s creator. Bruce Pavitt, was to review solely American independent releases and. in particular. specific regions. Intrigued by Pavitt‘s success. local DJ Jonathen Poneman became involved. and the partnership set about the formation of a record label. One ofthe first bands they signed was Soundgarden. who exemplified the whole Sub Pop philosophy — ‘There was no feeling of artiness or pretence; it was just in your face.‘
This directness — some might call it dumbness- manifested itselfin the relationship between the bands and the label; partnerships were built on faith and friendship rather than ten-album deals. in much the same way as Britain’s most successful indie label 4AD works. However. to describe Sub Pop as an indie would be to do them an injustice. ‘Majors are out of touch, indies are ineffective.‘ They see themselves as lying somewhere in between. With a marketing strategy that they claim owes more to Motown or Stax's promotion of a particular regional sound. and their plush penthouse office in the centre of Seattle. they are far removed from the amateurism of most of their British counterparts.
M udhoney play Calton Studios, Edinburgh on 521124.
ROCK 39 JAZZ 35 FOLK 36 CLASSICAL 39
I Meat Puppets: Monsters (SST) The gap between early Firehose and Meat Puppets records of the time was dismayingly slight; but — again. dismayingly — the latter have dropped their jazz. influencesalmost completely. The opening ‘Death by Monsters' isa hilarious. but very cleanly-produced. parody of hardcore. which sets the tongue-in-cheek tone (checkout the wonderfully out-of-date synth on the following track) and moves the Puppets closer to commercial acceptability. It unfortunater leaves stretches of .Ilmisrcrs sounding pretty mundane — they traded in the staccato jazzy fretboard races for this'.’ — and the oceanic final track. while a splendid excursion into dreamy textures. is cold comfort for some ofthe uninspired filler we‘ve had to slog through. (Alastair Mabbott)
Surface (Mercury) After a promising debut album. this is a disappointment. (ioing wholeheartedly for the white soul approach.
the band seem to have left out the funk and rock influences that made Hipsway a much more exciting album. That's not to say it's totally bad. but it's totally lacking in anything earth-shattering. or even different enough. to attract anything other than cursory attention. (John Williamson)
IJJ CalezTravel-Log (Silvertone) For years. it was always Ry (‘ooder's 80/) Till You Drop that I slipped under the needle when stretches of mellow relaxation were required. And here on Travel-1.0g. (‘ale's first LP for six years. are the same rhythm section. Tim Drummond and Jim Kcltner. who have underpinned enough albums of laid-back rootsy sophistication to have annexed the field for themselves. Travel-1.0g rolls along at an unhurried pace. perhaps to fit (‘ale‘s
voice. which barely deviates from its easy-does-it tone whether on an acoustic blues. the ‘Ameriachi‘ of "Tijuana' or the frequent excuses for unexciting solos which pepper the album. Q might well like it. but it's no masterpiece ofeasy listening. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Various: Dance Decade (London)/Various: Italia (RCA) This. then. is how the 1980s will be remembered: "I‘ainted l.ove‘ and ‘Jack Your Body". ‘Smalltown Boy‘ and ‘Push lt' . . .well. in part. Dance Decade isn‘t definitive. being. as our Terence would have it. neither fish nor ﬂesh. but
a good enough slice ofpop
and dance to be investigated. and they‘ve had the taste to include ‘()ops L'pside Your Head. A few more like that and less like Swing
Out Sister and I could recommend this wholeheartedly. Perhaps it would have made a better party album by holding the Dollars and Bananaramas on one disc ofthis double set — the (‘oldcuts and (‘ameos on the other. lmlia. kicking off with Black Box's ‘Ride on Time‘ records a peculiar craze of the late 80s — Italian dancefloor hits. Assuming that it's a fetish which will be even shorter-lived than the Balearic hype of a yearor so back. this could be the definitive compilation. And it's great. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Daniel LanoiszAcadie (WEA)'I‘he French-Canadian producer who. along with Brian Eno. transformed U2 from a band which had completely lost its way into the biggest thingon the planet. brings out a solo album which may surprise those who plug in purely for the [)2 connection. Intimacy is the key word here. Drawing on his roots and love of the music around New Orleans. he's made a reﬂective record that keeps on this side of navel-gazingand comes up with some moving French ballads. accompanied only by the sound ofstrings being gently stroked. which contrast with some ofthe more astral pieces ofsonie sculpture. (Alastair Mabbott)
V BOOK NOW ROCK
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (041 226 4679) Faster Pussycat. 9 Dec; Curiosity Killed The Cat, 11 Dec; Buzzcocks, 12 Dec; The Damned, 15 Dec; The Silencers, 16 Dec; David Byme, 17-18 Dec; Run Rig. 19 Dec;Texas, 20—21 Dec; Lloyd Cole, 19 Feb.
I GLASGOW SECC(041248 3000) Status Duo. 11 Dec; Gary Glitter, 23—24 Dec; Erasure, 18 Jan; Simply Red, 21 Jan; Tanita Tikaram, 10 Feb; Chris Rea, 4 March.
I LIVINGSTON FORUM (0506 419191) Run Rig, 7
Dec; BrotherBeyond. 17
Dec; Gary Glitter, 21 Dec.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE
(031 557 2590) Stranglers,
5 March; Spandau Ballet, 6 March; Everything ButThe Girl, 10 March; James Last, 9April.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(031 2281155) Hawkwind, 13 Dec; Lloyd Cole, 17 Feb.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW KING‘S THEATRE (041 227 5511) Chris Barber Band, 10 Dec. I GLASGOW MITCHELL THEATRE (041 227 5511) Dougie MacLean. 15 Dec. I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S HALL (031 668 2019) Chris BarberBand, 8 Dec; Dick Lee‘s ChamberJazz, 11 Dec.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 228 1155) Pat Metheny Group, 18 Dec.
[GLASGOW CITY HALL (041 227 5511) SNO/Nelson/Brahms, 9 Dec; SCO/Bolton/Messiah. 15 Dec; SNO/Bamert/Brahms, 16 Dec; SNO/Carol Concert, 21.23 Dec; SND/Viennese Night. 4, 6Jan; SOD/American Night, 12 Jan; SNOfThomson/ Rachmaninov,13Jan; SCO/Maxwell Davies/Mozart,19Jan;
SNO/Thomson/Beethoven. 20Jan; SCO/Kraemer/Handel, 24 Jan;
I GLASGOW RSAMD (041 332 5057) Scottish Early Music Consort, 9 Dec; John Currie Singers/Haydn, 18 Dec; Leon Spierer/Jack Kearney, 25 Jan; Elly Ameling/Rudolph Jansen, 15 Feb; SEMC, 16 Feb;John Currie Singers/Weill, 26 Feb; Ralph Kirshbaum/RogerVignoIes. 15 March; John Currie Singers/Charpentier, 2 April.
I GLASGOW SECC(041248 3000) Luciano Pavarotti, 16 May.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (041 332 9000) Scottish Opera/The Merry Widow, 9 Dec; The Marriage of Figaro, 7 Dec; Die Fledermaus, 29, 31 Dec, 3, 4, 6Jan, 21, 24 Feb; Bluebeard's Castle/Oedipus Rex, 24, 27 Jan, 14 Feb,1 March; La Forza del Destino. 13, 17, 20, 22 Feb. 3 March; Salome, 25, 28 April, 11.24.29 May; Cosi Ian Iutte 10, 12, 17, 30 May; Madame Butterfly, 23, 26. 31 May, 2, 5June.
I GLASGOW TRAMWAY (041 227 5511) Scottish Early Music Consort, 22/23 May.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN‘S HALL (031 668 2019) Scottish Early Music Consort, 7 Dec; Scottish Ensemble, 10 Dec; Dick Lee's ChamberJazz, 11 Dec; Gustav Fenyo/Beethoven Sonatas. 9Jan, 6 Feb. 6, 27 March, 1, 22 May. 19 June; Scottish Ensemble, 14 Jan; SCO/Maxwell Davies/ Mozart, 20 Jan; SCO/Kraemer/Handel. 25 Jan; Duke Quartet, 5 Feb; Almeida Ensemble, 7 Feb; Scottish Ensemble, 11 Feb; SEMC, 15 Feb; Hanquidno Group, 12 March; Scottish Ensemble, 18 March; Alfred Brendel, 19 March; SEMC, 31 March; Scottish Ensemble, 8 April; Steven lsserlis/Peter Evans, 8 May; Scottish Ensemble/Tommy Smith, 13 May. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 2281155) SNO/Nelson/Brahms, 8 Dec; SCO/Bolton/Messiah, 14 Dec; SNO/Bamert/Brahms, 15 Dec; SNO/Carol Concert, 22 Dec; ERCU/Messiah, 2 Jan; SNO/Viennese Night, 5 Jan; SCO/American Night, 11 Jan; SNO/Thompson/ Rachmaninov, 12 Jan; SNO/Thompson/Beethoven, 19Jan; SND/Glover/ Beethoven, 26 Jan; ERCU/Mozart, 24 Feb; ERCU/Tippett, 5 May.
24 The List 24 November— 7 December 1989