In the 1990s, when Sub Pop first came to national attention, there was a lot of talk about opposition to corporate culture, strict morality and boring ideas of beautiful music. Now we’re deep into confusing times, when it’s harder to see the boundaries between what’s ‘counter’ and what’s on top. Seattle culture thrives partly because once-underground, grassroots or marginal entities — not only Sub Pop, but radio stations like KEXP, all ages venues like the Vera Project and arts organizations like the Seattle Theater Group — have matured and learned to operate within the system. The very idea of selling out seems totally passé. Unlike that other, ubiquitous Seattle success story, Starbucks, which quickly became generic as it expanded internationally, these smaller organizations managed to walk a fine line between the corporate and the grassroots.