Archive for December, 2006

In Honor Of Nils Bernstein’s Birthday…

By Gerard on Thursday, December 28th, 2006

….I henceforth declare Matador's offices closed until January 2. 

I realize this is a somewhat bold move, but Nils has done so much for all us, and this special day deserves to be recognized publicly.  Once upon a time, Arizona had a problem with Martin Luther King's birthday, and who knows how many U2 concerts they missed out on. 

The Hardest Working Man In Heaven

By Gerard on Monday, December 25th, 2006


James Brown, 1933-2006 

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"Christmas In Heaven" (mp3, link taken from Loudersoft)

Santa Claus Goes Modern : Xmas & Music, A Lethal Combo

By Gerard on Thursday, December 21st, 2006


This has been some kinda week for learning and yearning. Not only did I find out the excruciating Trans-Siberian Orchestra were led by dudes from Mike Piazza's 4th or 5th fave band, Savatage (above), but Leftsetz has the scoop on the TSO's unlikely genesis (link courtesy Vinyl Mine).

So Jason’s all coked up. And not being able to look at the four walls, knowing he’s going to be up all night, he goes miles to a friend’s house, to do more blow, to get him to the sunshine, until he has to show up at Atlantic for work.

And this guy, he keeps pitching Jason this AWFUL band. Heavy metal noise. Every night, while they’re doing coke, this drug buddy says you’ve got to sign SAVATAGE! Finally, to get the guy off his back, Jason offers him a deal, under one condition, the guy doesn’t harangue him about the act ANY MORE!

And it’s not like Savatage is doing well. After a couple of albums, the deal is the band delivers a record, that THEY pay for, and Atlantic puts it out. The relationship has run its course. But then Jason gets a call saying Scott Shannon is ALL OVER THE RECORD!

Jason protests that this is impossible, that Savatage is a horrible heavy metal band, their record is NEVER gonna appear on Top Forty radio. But then the report comes in that Scott Shannon is TALKING ABOUT THE RECORD, how fucking GREAT IT IS!

Turns out, at the end of the last album, there’s a Christmas track, and THAT’S garnering all the action. So Jason gets Savatage’s producer, Paul O’Neill, on the phone, and tells him to make a whole ALBUM of Christmas music, to come up with a new name, that they’ve got a GOLD MINE! Soon Paul calls back and says he’s got it, "Trans-Siberian Orchestra", what does Jason think?

Jason says he’s clueless, after all he’s a Jew, but it seems fine to him.

But what breaks the record big, after it’s finally recorded, is the appearance on Rosie O’Donnell. Jason calls Bob Daly, who at the time oversees both music and TV, and the TV division produces Rosie’s show. Jason leans on him. And Bob goes around the bookers and gets TSO on the show.

And then all hell breaks loose. A platinum album. Then another.

So some things that start poorly end well. Jason was in rehab when Savatage recorded their debut, he was not heavily invested. He stayed with the band as long as possible, until it no longer made financial sense. And then, when confronted with a moment, a seeming accident of fate, he CAPITALIZED ON IT!

Oh, at first it was difficult. Not working the Savatage album with the Christmas track, there were no PROMOS! Atlantic had to ship sales copies, of which there were very few. But the true genius was in recognizing that this was not an anomaly, that there was a nugget here that was representative of an entire GOLD MINE!

So every Christmas since, for ten years now, Trans-Siberian Orchestra sells hundreds of thousands of albums. And goes on tour, to the point where there are now TWO touring companies, playing ARENAS! Cash is thrown off, people get rich, THIS is why you’re sitting there and Jason’s up in Aspen.</em>

Ahem. If you're hankering for an Xmas musical experience of an entirely different sort, WPRB's Jon Solomon will be doing his annual holiday 24 hour marathon this Sunday.

That Whole Silly Decemberists / Colbert Beef

By Adam F on Thursday, December 21st, 2006

While the newsworthiness of the beef between Stephen Colbert and The Decemberists makes Lindsey v Paris look like a Darfur report in the Economist, I do know that if those wacky Decemberists would have brought in this dude, victory would have been close at hand.

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(ps:  you are looking at Guitar One Magazine's fastest guitar shredder in the world. i can't wait for Early Mike to shred this post in the comments)

The Final Matador News Update of 2006 / Artists & Staff Pick Their Faves

By Gerard on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

There's some major announcements to behold in the last Matador news update of '06, along with a sprawling list of the well-connected & their pals' Favorite Records/Books/Films/Whatever from the year about to conclude.  The second portion of which, if you're too lazy to click on the above link, can be found right here : (more…)

Catch A Piece Of The Matador Holiday Sale

By Nick on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

To celebrate us bringing the Matador store back in house, we’ve been running a holiday sale featuring 11 different Mata-riffic bundles at deep Mata-riffic discounts. Check it out at the Matador Store homepage. Discounted albums include work from Pavement, Cat Power, Brightblack Morning Light, Cornelius, Belle & Sebastian, Guided By Voices, and more.

There's only two days left for your order to be shipped before Christmas, so stop with the procrastination already!

To put it plainly: any order received after noon on Friday, December 22 will NOT be shipped until Monday, January 2.

I’m selling the shirt off of my back. No, seriously.

By Early Mike on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
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I always knew it would come to this. But I needed to take drastic measures, so…my favorite shirt is up for grabs.


BTW – If this sort of retarded shit is your cup of tea, I'm just getting started. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. You can subscribe via:

Early Mike - The Early Mike Show

Jennifer O’Connor – 2007 Solo Dates

By Gerard on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006


(from The Wrong Way's Flikr page, photo used without permission)

Jennifer O'Connor's
3rd album proper, 'Over the Mountain, Across the Valley, and Back to the Stars' remains one of '06's finest, most criminally overlooked works.  Because Jennifer isn't the type to hold a grudge (not like some people), she'll be giving you yet another chance to catch the boat you're in danger of missing with her following shows in support of Kevin Devine.

24-Middletown, Connecticut @  Wesleyan University
25-Buffalo, NY @ Mowhawk Place
26-Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
27-Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop2
9-Toronto, ONT @ Lee's Palace
30-Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
31-Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection

1-Bloomington, IN @ WIUX Indiana University
2-Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
3-Madison, WI @ The Annex
4-Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
6-Ames, IA @ Iowa State University
7-Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
8-Columbia, MO @ Mojo's
9-St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
10-Urbana, IL @ Canopy Club
11-Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
13-Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
14-Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
15-Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
16-Washington DC @ The Rock and Roll Hotel
17-New York, NY @ The Knitting Factory
21-Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian
22-Boston, MA @ Great Scott
23-Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
24-Hamden, CT @ The Space

In addition, you can catch Jennifer, sans Mr. Devine, on the following dates :

December 29 – New World Brewery, Tampa, FL
January 5 – Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
January 10 – The Living Room, NYC, NY (with Anders Parker)

When Bloggin’ Happens To Hard Workin’ Folk

By Adam F on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

web sheriff mouse padWe think Eric Marathonpacks might have a problem.  Over the course of the past week, he's managed to write what, in the blogging world, might be considered a "tome" on 19 of his favorite 2006 albums (honors to Belle), as well as to crank out 4 (count 'em – FOUR) 70 minute mix mp3s.  In doing so, the only problem he might actually have is the post- year- end- bandwidth- blues as the Web Sheriff seems a little too pre-occupied sending out mouse pads rather than C&Ds this holiday season.   

Marathonpacks:  I Just Didn't Have 20

Marathonpacks:  Packin' It Into 70 Minutes (x) Four 

More Proof that New York Is Getting Soft

By Joel on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Our good friends at the New York Post are reporting this morning that Limelight, the once-infamous nightclub, will be resurrected as a mini-mall:

December 19, 2006 — The former Episcopal church that once housed the sacrilegious Limelight nightclub will be born again – as a retail mini-mall.


Now known as the Avalon nightclub, the legendary 12,000-square-foot venue on Sixth Avenue at West 20th Street will shutter its doors in early 2007.

"The landlord has decided that he doesn't want to go forward with another nightclub," said broker Frank Terzulli, of Winnick Realty Group.

"He's going to cut it up for retail tenants and a restaurant with patio seating."

Terzulli added, "The area is becoming more upscale with high-priced condos and stores, and that will make it more difficult to get permits from the community board" for a nightclub…

Sources say international discount-clothing retailer H&M is the likely main tenant for the space, which features triple-height ceilings and mezzanine levels.

A representative for Winnick would not confirm any specific names, since no leases have yet been signed.

Limelight, founded in the deconsecrated church in 1983, hosted some of clubland's wildest parties in the '80s and early '90s under now-deported club king Peter Gatien (above).

In 1996, federal agents charged that Limelight was a "drug supermarket" and shut it down.

Gatien was acquitted of racketeering and drug charges but convicted of tax evasion. He spent time in jail and was eventually deported to his native Canada.

That same year, one of the club's flamboyant promoters, Michael Alig, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing Angel Melendez, a club regular and reputed drug dealer over a money dispute. He's still in jail.

Limelight reopened under new management but was shuttered again in 2002.

It came back to life in November of that year as the short-lived Estate. Avalon followed a few months later.

My only memory of the place is seeing Mogwai play there last year, but I'm sure other Mata-folks would be happy to share anything they might possibly remember (as long as the statute of limitations are up).