SUB POP U.S.A.: The Subterraneanan Pop Music Anthology, 1980–1988, by Bruce Pavitt


“Sub Pop is the best index there is of American local independent scenes…imaginative and the writing is snappy and descriptive”—New Musical Express, 1981

Currently in Production


Subterranean Pop is a fanzine dedicated to independent recordings from the Northwest and the Midwest. All record reviews are highly prejudiced and reflect the personal tastes of the editor.”
Subterranean Pop #1

“Sub Pop is the best index there is of American local independent scenes…imaginative and the writing is snappy and descriptive”—New Musical Express, 1981

The complete fanzines and Seattle Rocket newspaper columns by Bruce Pavitt; a chronicle of American indie punk, pop, noise, spoken word, hip hop, and metal during the 1980s by the co-founder of Sub Pop Records

ISBN 978-1-935950-11-0
Deluxe 336pp+ flexi-bound art book
Complete reprints of Sub Pop zine issues #1 through #9, plus Bruce Pavitt’s Sub Pop column from Seattle’s The Rocket
Gallery of rare historical images
Forewords by…

In 1979, Bruce Pavitt moved to Olympia, WA, and began programming a show called Subterranean Pop on local community radio station KAOS-FM. Inspired by Olympia’s guide to independent music, Op magazine, Pavitt launched a fanzine version of Subterranean Pop, focusing on music with a punk, new wave, and experimental bent. Calvin Johnson of K Records joined the fanzine’s staff in 1980, beginning with the second issue.

Driven by the power of independent thinking, the Sub Pop zine’s particular field of interest was artists from the Midwest and Northwest. Punk and new wave fans in major cities were puzzled, surprised that there were enough bands in those regions 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, soley because of their major label associations. 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.

From Beat Happening and Pell Mell to early records by the Beastie Boys, Metallica, and Run DMC, Sub Pop was a 1980s independent music bible, written with a diverse appreciation for happening scenes across the USA. In 1986, Pavitt put his ideas into practice, launching Sub Pop Records with the historic Sub Pop 100 compilation and Soundgarden’s first release. While the Sub Pop Records legacy is today legendary, the groundwork and creative wellspring that put Seattle on the musical map is assembled here for the first time.

Bruce Pavitt currently lives in Seattle with his family. He remains engaged in music by periodically speaking at conferences and festivals, consulting with artists and music labels, and working as a DJ. A true music fan, Bruce continues to study music history in every genre. He is also the author of Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989.

Sub Pop #5, Autumn 1981: Side A
Visible Targets – “Just For Money”
Beakers – “What’s Important”
Doug Kahn – “Reagan Speaks For Himself”
Steve Fisk – “Digital Alarm”
Cool Rays – “Diary Of You”
Bruce Pavitt – “Debbie”
Pell Mell – “Spy Vs. Spy”
Jungle Nausea – “Job Club”
Neo Boys – “Dirty White Lies”
Product One – “It Hurts Me To Remember”
Nurses – “Rubber Heads”
Jad Fair – “It Saw Me”

Sub Pop #5, Autumn 1981: Side B
The Bohemians – “Switzer Boy”
Vague-leys – “Sofa or a Chair”
Sport Of Kings – “Sing, Mary, Sing”
The Men – “Men At Work”
Oil Tasters – “Get Out of the Bathroom”
All Night Movies – “Slaughterhouse”
Get Smart! – “Eat, Sleep A-Go-Go”
The Embarrassment – “Lifespan”
Ray Milland – “Tronada”
Church Of The Subgenius – Excerpts

If you are searching for Sub Pop Records, try HERE


  1. :

    Great! Was about time!
    Proudly owner of Touch and Go, Metalion, and We Got Power :)
    Greetings from Ecuador

Add a review