September 25, 2014

Sub Pop was into haiku before it was cool, and they have the book to prove it


dannybland-iapologizeinadvance-900Perhaps following the lead of Jack White, the venerated record label Sub Pop has decided that music is great and all, but what it really wants is a piece of the sweet, sweet poetry market. Later this month, they’ll be publishing I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I’m Gonna Do, a collection of haiku by musician Danny Bland, accompanied by photography from The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli. In an ellipsis-filled press release on Sub Pop’s page, they write:

A 120-page, full-color, paperback edition.  …Awful Things… originated from work that Bland has posted to his Facebook page, presented here with Dulli’s photographs, some of which appear on his Instagram feed. By capturing these elements in print, ...Awful Things… rescues this material from slipping away downstream in their respective online feeds. Combining the profane and profound, the irreverent and touching, the hilarious and beautiful, …Awful Things… is the perfect hybrid art piece, or complementary physical artifact of these sources.

Bland is also the author of In Case We Die, a novel set in grunge-era Seattle. Though Sub Pop president Jonathan Poneman gives the book a pretty great blurb (“What Danny does to dainty haiku would land a lesser man in the hoosegow.”), my favorite thing about the announcement is probably Dulli’s totally on-brand haiku bio:

dark prince, bon vivant
or is he just a mistake
you haven’t made, yet

However you feel about haiku, there’s a pretty good chance the book will be good. Seattle-based Sub Pop has released some of the best and most influential music of the past 30 years, including Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney in the 1980’s and 90’s, and, more recently, The Postal Service, The Shins, and Flight of the Conchords. They recently opened up their first permanent store in Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport. You can buy the book online at the Sub Pop Mega Mart.


Julia Fleischaker is the director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.