The Head and the Heart
Back in 1986, two guys, Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, formed a little independent label in Seattle that grew out of fanzine called Subterranean Pop started by Bruce earlier that decade. This story could be a lot longer, but the label is Sub Pop, and they were famous for first signing Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney...making Sub Pop synonymous with the 'Seattle sound', and really igniting the whole grunge thing (so you can attribute or blame Sub Pop for 'grunge' )....and of course, 'grunge' erupted.
How did a little label blast into the big time? They went through the British music press. Bruce and Jonathan flew a British music journalist to Seattle to write an article on the local music scene. The British music press became smitten with both the 'Seattle sound' and the label because it was really raw, primal, and just different from what was going on in the UK then...and that is how Sub Pop (and the Seattle scene) exploded
Sub Pop's current roster sounds quite different from the one back then: at least two of the bands are indie folk bands from Seattle - Fleet Foxes and The Head and the Heart. Is the new 'Seattle sound' perhaps a far calmer, folkier sound than the one of 20 years ago? The Head and the Heart met and formed after many open mic nights at Conor Byrne pub (on Ballard Avenue NW, if you're a regular Seatown trekker).
Sub Pop recently released The Head and the Heart's self-titled, debut album, and from it, I played "Coeur d'Alene".
The Head and the Heart are coming to Vancouver! They'll play at Venue next Thursday, May 26th, and I think it's probably one of the only times you'll be able to see them in a place of this size (I'm thinking they could be the next big thing, a la Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons).