Bruce Pavitt

Sub Pop USA

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Trade paperback book compiling reprints of Sub Pop zine issues #1 through #9, plus Bruce Pavitt’s Sub Pop column from Seattle’s The Rocket, 1983–1988. • Forewords by Calvin Johnson, Ann Powers, Larry Reid, Gerard Cosloy, Charles R. Cross • Over 1,000 recording artists hunted down and hyped in their original indie habitats, including Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, the Wipers, Dinosaur Jr., Run-D.M.C., Slayer, Beastie Boys, Mudhoney…plus an entire nation of inspired amateurs.

In 1979, Bruce Pavitt moved from Chicago to Olympia, Washington, and began programming a show called Subterranean Pop on local community radio station KAOS-FM. In 1980, he launched Subterranean Pop magazine, dedicated to the unsung punk, new wave, and experimental regional bands of the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. Calvin Johnson of K joined the zine’s staff later that year, beginning with the second issue. The Sub Pop zine puzzled punk and new wave fans from major cities; readers were surprised that there were enough bands in the forgotten cities and states to devote a column, let alone an entire fanzine. Even more puzzling was the exclusion of artists like the Clash, Gang of Four, Blondie, or PIL, solely because of their major label associations. Driven by the power of independent thinking, early issues featured impassioned rallying cries for local action that make more sense than ever today, alongside early published artwork by Linda Barry, Charles Burns, and Jad Fair.