in my college years, i transformed from a gangsta-rap-lovin' high schooler into an embracer of all things alt-rock, specifically music of the "grunge rock" variety. later in life, i moved onto "indie rock" & throughout, many of the artists that i've listened to were signed to sub pop records, the seattle-based label best known for putting out the first nirvana album. BEFORE nevermind. that's right, unhip losers. nirvana had an album called bleach a full two years BEFORE the "teen spirit" song took over MTV. said debut album was kinda good.
if the idea of "grunge music" makes you want to punch somebody in the face, you should probably aim your fist in sub pop's general direction. they got their start putting out albums from seattle-area bands such as mudhoney, green river, soundgarden, tad & the aforementioned nirvana. in recent years, they've been responsible for debut albums from indie bands like the shins & the postal service.
over the past few months, prompted by today's snack-drink combo, i've been constantly listening to a selection of tunes from the sub pop catalog. basically, i took advantage of spotify & created an all-sub pop playlist containing somewhere in the neighborhood of 200+ songs. you can check it out here but if a random, extensive playlist isn't quite your style, here are my top ten fave sub pop songs & the corresponding spotify playlist:
- mudhoney - "touch me i'm sick"
- sebadoh - "not a friend"
- no age - "eraser"
- male bonding - "your contact"
- ugly casanova - "hotcha girls"
- handsome furs - "handsome furs hate this city"
- wolf parade - "fancy claps"
- the thermals - "here’s your future"
- the postal service - "the district sleeps alone tonight"
- nirvana - "school"
with the end of the work week upon us, why not toss on the above sub pop playlist whilst embroiled in this weekend's shenanigans? if nothing, it's a WAY better option than listening to that shitty "call me maybe" song that you were planning on listening to over & over & over again like a friggin zombie.
snack: thai sweet chili potato popchips
drink: elysian loser pale ale
oh, popchips. i remember when you first appeared on the scene back in 2009. you were hot on the blog & hollywood PR scene. shit...you even scored placement as my #10 snack of 2009. we're talkin' BUZZ. during the past year, you've gone beyond your four basic flavors & got a lil' bit crazier, with tastes like your thai sweet chili potato popchips. after striking out with ashton kutcher as your "president of pop culture," you eventually struck outentirely with kutcher & an ad where he played a stereotypical indian dude. luckily, after that failure, this week you announced that katy perry was your new spokesperson. THANK JEBUS that you found a celebrity spokesperson who's known as a staunch arbiter of good taste.
i, for one, am glad that popchips came up with new flavors like the thai sweet chili. after the initial novelty of the fact that you were eating a "popped" chip wore off, the original four flavors were a bit boring when compared to all the other chip flavors on the market. with the thai sweet chili, the flavor's a nice blend of sweet & spicy, with a flavoring that 's made up of both stuff like dried cane syrup & jalapeno pepper. while they're not as addictive as kettle chips' spicy thai chips, they're still pretty tasty. to boot, they're supposed to be "healthy." fyi: the healthy thing doesn't work if you eat the whole bag at once.
when i first laid eyes on today's beverage--the elysian loser pale ale, i was confused. first off, i'd never seen an elysian beer in a 12 oz bottle. SECOND off, when i saw a pale-white label with the word "loser" written across it, i was instantly attracted to it. though it's been around for a few years now, i've never seen it, so i can only assume that it wasn't available in nyc. i mean, when a beer screams "loser" at me, i tend to notice. plus, it's a beer that seattle's elysian brewery created in honor of sub pop's 20+ years of awesomeness and as i mentioned, i sort of like sub pop. it's not a wide release, so i've been finding it randomly over the past few months. most recently, i found it at my self-proclaimed "best bodega in park slope"--5th ave market.
while it's described as a pale ale, for me it really defies the everyday perception of what a pale ale is. it's heavy on the hops & malts, with a slight citrus taste. coming in at 7% ABV, it's not even pale. it's more of an amber color. regardless, the flavor's easy on the palette, so it definitely appeals to a wide range of beer drinkers. overall, i guess it's an "unconventional" pale ale, which is sort of fitting for a record label like sub pop, who's continued to put out unconventionally outstanding music for over two decades. that's a LONG TIME. i mean, shit...katy perry was in diapers when sub pop first formed...& it wasn't even for a rolling stone shoot.