The Best Parts of Sub Pop's 25th Anniversary

Sub Pop Records took over Georgetown Saturday for its Silver Jubilee, celebrating 25 years of iconic record making. In keeping with the fan's history of the iconic record label that we published last week, we asked a few fans in attendance for their favorite moments, below. And we had the very talented Chona Kasinger capture some more memorable moments with her camera. Thanks for the free show, Sub Pop! See you in five years for the big 3-0!

Gary Mula
Sound Engineer, Columbia City Theater
As we walked into the Elysian Stage area I began to see all the familiar faces of the grunge scene: Danny Peters, Mark Arm, Dan Blossom, Matt Fox, Tad Doyle and so on. Felt like a home coming. Jack Endino's Earthworm rocked it so hard I grinned ear to ear. Seeing the mastery that he's added to so many memorable albums coming out of his hands and voice spoke so much about what's inside that guy. His version of Link Wray's “Rumble” sealed the deal… seeing him rest the head stock of his Stratocaster on his amp to increase the sustain!! Then Tad Doyle's band the Brothers of the Sonic Cloth came on with that crazy vocal Tuvan throat singing thing for his intro and right into the chug rhythms that is unmistakably TAD. It all made me very happy!

Kwab Copeland
Booker, Reverb Fest
Pissed Jeans is a perfect rock ‘n’ roll band, Shabazz Palaces were great, and Josh Tillman's Neil Diamond impression was pretty spot on, but the most inspiring thing about the Jubilee was the Mega Mart, its beautiful memorials to Andy Kotowicz and Chris Takino, and Tim Hayes from Fallout working at the counter.

Jason Marqusee
Barista, Voxx Coffee
I picked up some of the Sublime Frequencies records in Kansas while I was in school there. The Ecstatic Sounds of Jmaa el Fnaa is one of my favorite albums. When I approached the label’s stand [at the Mega Mart], I pointed to the record on the table and told the clerk that it changed my life. He said, "Thanks. I had a great time recording it."

Josef Olson
Student, University of Otago
My favorite moment at the Silver Jubilee was a toss up between Father John Misty closing out the Pop Stage with his extended arms wrapped around his mic stand like a rock ‘n' roll Jesus or walking into the Sub Pop listening room to witness a group of festival-goers listening to a skipping Shins record.

Todd Hamm
Contributor, Seattle Weekly
Watching Brothers of the Sonic Cloth from the freeway overpass with my kids, since the stage was 21-plus, was great for me. My nine year-old (who's learning guitar) said that was his favorite show of the day. I hope he turns out like Tad. Mostly. Also, METZ was just as great as the last time I saw them, which is pretty fucking good. I asked my oldest if he thought METZ was "cool" or "silly," and he said "both." Shabazz Palaces was way crowded for a dude lugging a couple of kids, but it's some of the most amazing shit ever, so we dealt with it like a family of badasses, and got down respectably. The icing was seeing Tim Hayes (of the late Fallout record store) running the register at the Mega Mart (we're friends with his kids (hi Tim!)). He's a class act, like you didn't know.

Abbey Simmons
Co-founder, Sound on the Sound
It’s hard to pin down a highlight for such an idyllic Seattle day. To see 10s of thousands of people—from babes in arms to old punks wearing Coffin Break t-shirts—come together to celebrate a homegrown record label, the way other cities might celebrate a championship sports team, felt quintessentially Seattle. But musically, the highlight of my day was seeing the Baptist Generals. After releasing a record on Sub Pop in 2003, the Denton, TX band was dormant for a decade. Their second Sub Pop album, Jackleg Devotional to the Heart, is my favorite release of 2013 and their set, my most anticipated performance of the year. It was imperfectly perfect. They didn't play the song I most wanted to hear, lead singer Chris Flemmons' amp blew a few songs in, they didn't have nearly the crowd I hoped they would, and I got horribly sunburned standing there. But when Flemmons' sang "Broken Glass" (…and all these false starts and our pitifully glassy hearts reduced to shards ... but there's beauty in 100 pieces) it felt like he was singing just to me and I got to thank him afterwards. What more could I ever want?

Greg Franklin
Contributor, Seattle Weekly
Aside from megacrowds toward the end of the day, Sub Pop pretty much threw the best party I've ever seen in Seattle. The weather was perfect, the lineup was stellar, and the ability to brown bag a PBR for 2 bucks from some kind souls on the street (rather than jamming into a crowded beer garden) was the icing on the cake; it was orderly chaos, which fit beautifully with Georgetown's (and Sub Pop's) somewhat lawless vibe. As far as music went, it got no better than the back-to-back pummeling given to the crowd by Pissed Jeans and Metz. For me, the foundations of Sub Pop's history are in aggressive and oblique walls of feral noise, and watching these two younger upstart bands proudly carrying that torch in the heat of the day was a pretty solid indication that we'll be getting together in another 25 years to do this all again.

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