Blog post by Tripp Lamkins, who I adore:
So I've seen 2 different interviews now with Bruce Pavvit and Jonathon Poneman where they describe the grifters as being at the center of 'the dark years' at Subpop. That they signed us for too much money (even giving out numbers.. which I thought was an industry no-no) and that we were pretty good but not deserving of that kind of money..
well, first off, Bruce was barely even involved with the label the whole time we were there. All the employees at Subpop described Bruce as being this crazy guy who lives out in the mountains and every now and then he would send them some band and say 'sign these guys, they're great' (anyone remember Chixdiggit?) and then everyone at the label had to do so, apparently begrudgingly. They essentially described it as being saddled with him. 'but he's the co-founder of the label so what're you gonna do?'.
secondly, maybe Subpop could have made a return on their investment in us if they, oh I dunno, TRIED! They barely did any advertising. I told them they should take out an ad for us in some Fantagraphics comics (which they used to do all the time) but they didn't. I think they maybe bought some tiny ad space in an issue of Magnet.
They chose Last Man Alive as the 'single' from the record. And we had a big fight with them about it. Well, I had a big fight. Dave seemed pretty pleased with the decision. They tried to placate me by saying that it didn't really matter because nothing we chose would ever really get any airplay. If thats the case why NOT pick a song that is maybe at least SOMEWHAT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BAND'S SOUND! And why then spend $50,000 on a video that will ALSO NEVER BE SEEN OR HEARD.?
Maybe it was because they were such amazingly inept business people? OR maybe they wanted us to tank. Why did they make SO MANY wrong decisions regarding Aint My Lookout? Why did they let Those Bastard Souls do a major tour with Sebadoh exactly when we should've been out touring supporting the record? Me and Scott and Stan were told that Sebadoh didn't want to get blown off the stage by us every night... I have to kinda think that blowing Sebadoh off the stage every night MIGHT'VE BEEN A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT THE NEW RECORD!
But that was Dave dicking us over more than Subpop, they just let it happen.
And what happened right before Full Blown Possession came out? Almost the entire staff left Subpop and a lot of them ended up at Matador. There was a so-called mutiny supposedly spear-headed by Poneman. it seemed to us that they were trying to get out of their deal with Warners by losing a lot of money.
Like I said, maybe they could've made a return on their investment if they'd been better business people. Maybe they didn't want to make a return. From what I saw when we were with them they never worked anything. They had a hit with Sunny Day Real Estate but that was because SDRE did it themselves. They built their own fan-base and did all the hard work (as did we) and then all Subpop had to do was squirt out some records for them and they sold themselves. But we never saw them get off their asses and work anything. What I saw was the staff of Subpop flying all over the country and the world and staying at THEE most posh hotels in whatever city they were in. They friggin LOVED playing Record Company when it meant traveling with the gold card.
So lay off the effing Grifters Pavvitt. Not that you were there but we threw you a friggin touchdown pass with Ain't My Lookout and you fucking fumbled it ON PURPOSE.
And at the same time we had to contend with Dave's not so secretly-scheming to advance TBS. I've read articles where people are saying we'd run our course and that Ain't My Lookout was a bomb. Well let me tell ya it was really hard trying to eek out a little success when your label is sitting on their fat asses doing nothing and at the same time one of the band-members is plotting their exit and stealing tours from you.
And now years later we have to endure this bullshit rewriting of our own friggin history..?! IF YOU DIDN'T THINK WE WERE WORTH THE MONEY YOU SIGNED US FOR THEN WHY DID YOU DO IT? WHY'D YOU STEP INTO A BIDDING WAR IF YOU DIDN'T PLAN ON FOLLOWING THROUGH? DID YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO?
― griftertripp, Thursday, 31 July 2008 15:27 (1 year ago)
― griftertripp, Thursday, 31 July 2008 16:13 (1 year ago)
My name is Joyce Linehan, and I am the President of the Board of Directors of Interim House, as well as the oldest child of Yvonne Linehan, in whose honor we gather here , on what would have been her 75th birthday, to raise money for Interim House, which she founded in 1972, and ran until her death in 1999. On behalf of my brother David and sister Gail – as well as the staff and board of Interim House, I thank you for being here. It means a lot to us to be able to look after our mother’s legacy, and we’re able to do it because of you. We’re humbled by your presence here, and your generosity.
A few weeks before my mother died, she said, and I quote, “Joycie, you’re going to be president of the Interim House Board. Don’t worry, you really don’t have to do anything – just go to a couple of meetings a year, and sign some papers sometimes – just make sure that Angie can run the house the way she wants to.” I wondered – why me? Her other children work in fields closer to hers than I do. She certainly had many trusted friends in and around recovery that would have been better choices. And let’s face it – the closest I’ve ever actually come to working a program was the time I developed a 12-step marketing plan for a Mark Lanegan record. But here we are, almost 9 years, a couple of fundraisers, several grant proposals and dozens of hours of tutorials on ADA compliance later, and I don’t think I am being disrespectful when I say that my mother had an interesting relationship with the truth on this subject. But lately, I’ve begun to realize the mad genius that was my mother. She installed in this position the person close to her who had the least aversion to asking for money. So here we are.
So far tonight, we have raised over $25,000 toward improvements at Interim House, and by the end of the evening, after all of you have bid on the great items in our silent auction on your left there, we hope to raise much more.
I just want to take a minute to thank my friends who helped to plan this event. I was amazed how quickly you all responded when I asked for help. I am going to read your names and I ask that you all stand to be recognized and embarrassed. Ami Bennitt, Bing Broderick, Scott Childress, Michael Creamer, Judy Curley, Toni Elka, Deb Farrar-Parkman, Tom Johnston, Susan Krause, John Maxson, Cathy Moylan, Joanne Ochs, Donna Penn, Anne Renehan and Matthew West. I am grateful for your creativity, energy and ability to lift heavy objects, and fully expect to be asked to reciprocate (just not this week, okay?)
A little bit about how the rest of the evening is going to go. In just a minute, we will be presenting the Yvonne Linehan Awards for Public Service in Substance Abuse Recovery to three men who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the staff and residents of Interim House. After that – high rollers take note - Rep. Marty Walsh will present a live auction for two very special items – a pair of tickets to sit in Theo Epstein’s personal box for a Red Sox game this season, donated by Theo’s A Foundation to be Named Later, as well as a guided tour of the White House with Congressman Stephen Lynch, including lunch in the member’s dining room (he’s buying). Then, the silent auction will close and you can check out your booty. Following that, please join us in the lounge next door, for readings by five of my favorite writers, who all graciously volunteered their time to be here– Michael Patrick MacDonald, George Pelecanos, Joe Pernice, Tom Perrotta and Warren Zanes. I am not sure what each of them is reading from, except for Warren, who told me he’d be reading from his new book about his experiences as an American living in Cleveland. Oh, and Joe is reading from his new book that has a not terribly charming female character that works for a large independent record label that he swears isn’t me. And of course I believe him.
But right now, I have the honor of introducing a man I admire very much who is going to present an award to another man I admire. In the spring of 2006, then-candidate Deval Patrick spent a day in Dorchester, visiting various agencies and groups and listening to people’s concerns. As part of that day, we arranged for him to have dinner at Interim House, and I got to eavesdrop as he sat with about 10 residents, listening to them talk about their struggles with addiction, and relaying some very personal stories about his own family’s struggles with the same issues. Granted, I was a strong supporter before, but watching him with these guys gave me the assurance that he understood the issues around substance abuse - knew that it was a public health issue more than a law enforcement issue – understood the ways that it feeds into other issues like domestic violence, crime, child abuse and so on – had seen for himself the damage it could do to families. As I said, I was already voting for him anyway, but I think it’s safe to say that anyone in that house who was still sober come election time voted for him as well. Please join me in welcoming, the Governor of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Deval Patrick.
Now to present the next award, please welcome my little brother – Dr. David Linehan.
To present the final award, please welcome the Executive Director of Interim House, Angela Fonseca.
My name is Joyce Linehan and on behalf of the Dorchester Arts Collaborative and our presenting partner for this event, the Dorchester Historical Society, I am pleased to welcome you to this, our second event in our Corita Kent Lecture series.
Before we get started, I need to thank a few people. There was a great committee involved in the planning of this, including many of my fellow board members from the Dorchester Arts Collaborative, Earl Taylor from the Dorchester Historical Society and Karen Fegley, who designed our printed program. I'd also like to thank the Commonwealth Museum for providing us with this space. We're a resourceful bunch, but we do have to pay for some things, so we had to raise some money. We're very grateful to our sponsors - Mt Washington Bank and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.
Our lecture series is named for Corita, the artist who created the rainbow gas tank you undoubtedly saw on your way in here, and in a way that I didn't understand when we first started planning this event, there is a real connection between that tank and the conversation you're going to hear tonight. Some of us who live here have decided that we were going to reclaim the gas tank, and Corita, in all of their contested glory. On the one hand, here's this giant piece of art - reportedly the biggest copyrighted object in the world - by one of the most famous graphic artists in the U.S. at the time the tank was painted in 1971. But the reality is that it’s a rainbow on a gas tank full of LNG, placed on a site that was once part of an oceanfront community, until Morrissey Boulevard was built - I think in the 40's, separating the community from its beach. My mother, who grew up on King Street always thought of herself as living close to the ocean, while I, growing up just a few streets away, always thought of the other side of Morrissey Boulevard as another planet. At any rate, we're claiming the tank now, as well as the University, the JFK Library, this building and all of the other great resources on this side of the boulevard as being part of our neighborhood of Dorchester.
I'm one of those Irish-Americans who wanted nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day growing up. You wouldn't catch me dead in green (anything but black actually in those days) and I completely rejected what I saw as knuckleheaded nationalism. But as Michael so eloquently expresses in Easter Rising, one can't help but embrace one's Irishness once there is an understanding of the actual history. Once you have an understanding that insularity and community are two very different sides of the same coin, it's easier to reconcile the two. As Michael and I have been talking about this event, we've also been hatching all kinds of plans for reclaiming St. Patrick's Day, making it less about beer and shamrocks and more about our actual culture. And tonight, you're going to see our first humble stab at that. Tonight, no matter what your background, you'll be embracing your Irishness, the gas tank, Columbia Point, and this side of Morrissey Boulevard.
Michael Patrick MacDonald is a gifted writer, and the author of the huge bestseller "All Souls." His most recent book "Easter Rising," is a sequel to All Souls, and is just out in paperback, and available for sale here. Michael grew up South Boston, though I believe his family actually lived in Columbia Point when he was born (a fact that has been used against him by detractors trying to claim that he's not "from" Southie.)
Michael will be interviewed by Joe Keohane, an editor at Boston Magazine and a native of Quincy, an actual beachfront community. A former hotel employee, bookseller, gas-pumper, musician, and office drone, Joe joined the staff of Boston Magazine last year after serving as editor in chief of the Weekly Dig for four years. His writing has also appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, The New York Times Book Review, Conde Nast Portfolio, Slate.com and other publications.
We'll start with a conversation between Joe and Michael, followed by audience Q & A and Michael will be available to sign books for a little while afterwards.
We're very pleased to welcome Michael Patrick MacDonald and Joe Keohane to the Commonwealth Museum.