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At Sub Pop's 25th, A Crowning Moment For Denton's Baptist Generals

Andi Harman
D Magazine

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Eating Cheetos in Seattle with one of North Texas' most important acts in two decades, an urban artist's answer to light pollution, and more.

Think about how much the music industry's bearing on culture and self-identification has grown since Sub Pop formed 25 years ago. Founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman set off huge paradigm shifts when they birthed signees like Nirvana and Liz Phair into unwitting stardom - all the comfortable anti-s of grunge; the way paved for female songwriters with explicit things to say. The Baptist Generals, who still claim Denton, are the only North Texas act currently signed to the Seattle based-stamp and were invited to play their fiercely lilting songs at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee for the label’s 25th

For all the reverence given acts on the Sub Pop roster, the label celebrated its anniversary by - among many other things - allowing fans to stick their heads through a giant depiction of Sebadoh’s 1994 record Bakesale, faces becoming the iconic baby’s bottomon the cover for photo ops. The city of Seattle and retailers like Nordstrom were in on the up-front commercial celebration. D Magazine scribe Christopher Mosley and photographer Andi Harman brought back a wealth of insight on both the Generals' and the Seattle scene’s curious paths to - and endurance of - success.

Watch the Generals play "Dog That Bit You" in KXT’s studios upon the release of their newest, Jackleg Devotional To The Heart. (That's KXT's Paul Slavens you see behind the keys.)

  • Dallas Singer Akron Watson Among Idols Suing For Discrimination: Dallas native Akron Watson is one of 10 American Idol contestants suing Fox Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, AT&T and Ford Motor Company for racial discrimination. Watson, like the rest of the plaintiffs, is an African-American with a criminal record who was kicked off the show. Though Watson says he disclosed a misdemeanor for possession of marijuana from 2003, he believes it was the reason producers asked him to leave. The $250 million class action suit claims at least seven of nine white contestants with criminal records went on to major success in the music industry after being on the show. [CultureMap]

  • Diversity Journalism And Why We CodeSwitch: NPR's Luis Clemens and Gene Demby  reach out daily via the CodeSwitch blog to find out where racism still exists and how people handle it. Clemens told Think host Krys Boyd yesterday the team got the most unsettling responses to the question: What odd or hilarious, ridiculous question have you been asked? One Jewish person was actually asked, "Where are your horns?" An Asian heard, "Do you see things differently because of the way your eyes are shaped?" Yep. Hear their inventory in the podcast.

  • Let There Be Less Light: Also yesterday on Think, we heard from author Paul Bogard, who laments how tough it’s becoming to find a place where you can look up and see the stars in a black sky untouched by light pollution in The End Of Night. You can hear his conversation with host Krys Boyd here. One caller asked if a proliferation of light gives us all a false sense of security, as the dark shadows cast by it actually makes those areas less safe and divide territory. Today on the Atlantic Cities blog, there’s a great story about “illumination expert” Leni Schwendinger, who’s taken issue with the light distribution in Jackson Heights, Queens. She has treated shifty areas like an underpass next to the back entrance of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and is now conducting LightSeeing tours in the Heights to encourage questions about lighting.

  • Scott Simon Live Tweets From His Mom’s Death Bed: Some might turn to a journal in the final moments of a loved one’s life. NPR’s Scott Simon used Twitter. He  shared his mother’s last days with 1.2 million followers. KERA’s Rick Holter pulled a few of the most touching lines from what's become an elemental obit. Most fitting: “My mother: 'Believe me, those great death bed speeches are written ahead of time."
Lyndsay Knecht is assistant producer for Think.