KEXP Exclusive Interview: Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper on The Grunge Hoax of Greatness

Interviews, Local Music, The Morning Show w/ John Richards
Owen Murphy
photo by Owen Murphy

On this day in 1992, the number-one hit song in the U.S. was "How Do You Talk to an Angel" by The Heights. The Jacksons: An American Dream, which chronicled the rise to fame of the Jacksons, premiered on ABC and movies like A River Runs Through It, Glengarry Glen Ross, and the Steven Seagal classic Under Siege were in theaters.

More importantly, it was on this day in history that the "grunge speak" hoax is bought hook, line, and sinker by a reporter from the New York Times after Megan Jasper, a receptionist at the time for Sub Pop Records (now their CEO!), makes up a list of fake slang terms. Under pressure from the writer who wanted to know if grunge fans had their own slang, Jasper shared a set of slang terms that she claimed were associated with the scene in the early 1990s, but which she had, in fact, invented on the spot. The information given by Jasper appeared in the sidebar of a feature article by reporter Rick Marin in The New York Times, revealing him to be the lamestain in the tom-tom club. Listen below and read excerpts from a chat with Jasper and KEXP's Morning Show host John Richards as they swing on the flippity-flop and remember this score.

  • WACK SLACKS: Old ripped jeans
  • FUZZ: Heavy wool sweaters
  • PLATS: Platform shoes
  • KICKERS: Heavy boots
  • BOUND-AND-HAGGED: Staying home on Friday or Saturday night
  • SCORE: Great
  • HARSH REALM: Bummer
  • COB NOBBLER: Loser
  • DISH: Desirable guy
  • LAMESTAIN: Uncool person
  • TOM-TOM CLUB: Uncool outsiders
  • ROCK ON: A happy goodbye

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