Matablog

Archive for January, 2007

Love Of Diagrams – U.S. Dates

By Gerard on Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

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(in session at WFMU, Spring 2006)

26-Feb-07 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland (with Happy Hollow, Division Day, Sea Wolf)
27-Feb-07 Los Angeles, CA Safari Sam's  (with Georgie James, Check Yo' Ponytail DJ's)
28-Feb-07| San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall (with Sebadoh)
2-Mar-07 Chicago, IL Schuba's (with Bon Savants)
3-Mar-07 Chicago, IL Hideout (with Walk This Way DJ's)
4-Mar-07 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
6-Mar-07 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
7-Mar-07 New York, NY Cake Shop
8-Mar-07 Brooklyn, NY Southpaw

Upcoming Cat Power Solo Dates

By Gerard on Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

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(from straight.com, used without permission)

Fri Feb 2 @ MOMA, NYC (performing after a showing of Doug Aitken's "Sleepwalkers")
Sun Feb 4 Hiro Ballroom
Mon Feb 5 Hiro Ballroom.

February 2 and 4 are already sold out ; tickets for February 5 are available here.

Pretty Girls Make Graves – It’s Been Real

By Gerard on Monday, January 29th, 2007

The following message was posted on Pretty Girls Makes Graves' site earlier today.

We are sorry to announce that our upcoming tour in May will be our last. Nick quit the band and the rest of us feel like it wouldn’t be right to continue on without him. The 5 of us feel very lucky to have met and worked with some truly amazing people over the years. Thank you all so much….

Needless to say, though all of us at brutally exploitive label central are very disappointed by this news….we've known about it for ages! Who says Matador can't keep a secret?

In all seriousness, while one of our fave bands on Earth pulling the plug is a sad occasion, it is also a reminder there's something to be said for going out at the top of your game.  And we're also very confident that our friendship with Andrea, Derek, Jay, Nick and Leona is far from finished, and we eagerly whatever else they've got up their sleeves musically or otherwise.  To say we're fortunate to have been associated with such awesome people would be the understatement of this Monday morning. 

The New Pornographers – confirmed dates

By Gerard on Friday, January 26th, 2007

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(live at Seattle's Sonic Boom)

March 10- Orlando, FL  The Club @ Firestone
March 11-Sunrise, FL @ Langerado Festival
April 28-Indio, CA @ Coachella Festival

Apparently, that Coachella flyer we ran the other day had a couple of inaccuracies. The management of Matador Records regrets the error.

Chan(el)

By Mike on Thursday, January 25th, 2007

In an event that edged on the surreal but certainly was a hugely successful piece of grand theatre Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues rocked the highest echelons of the fashion world on Tuesday providing the music for Chanel's haute coutre cat walk show. Housed in the magnificant and recently restored Grand Palais in Paris the performance took place in a specially constructed arena with the stage high above the models entrance. Proceedings kicked off with Judah, Greg, Eric, Jim and Chan swaggering into a version of "Naked If I Want To". Six men rolled out a huge grey and white carpet  centered with a giant Chanel logo. The models strutted their stuff wearing what to these unschooled eyes looked like opulent and sophisticated yet very pleasing creations. The DDB kicked into a muscular version of "Could We" proving what they bring to the mix (though it doesn't detract from the the album or the Memphis Rhythm Band versions)  creates their own sinuous take on the song. As "Satisfaction" continued the momentum did I notice a flicker of amusement across the concentrated face of Marianne Faithfull watching the models intently from row two? Certainly the woman next to Sean Lennon started taking photos of Cat Power and not the models. The band seamlessly stepped into a gorgeous version of "Tracks of My Tears" which built to a crescendo with Chan singing "you can tell by the look on my face" as the final model commanded the floor in a stunning white coat and gown. The curtains opened and Karl Lagerfeld sat there amongst his team as if they too were an audience watching the show.

So I missed clocking Sigourney Weaver, Madame Chirac, Catherine Deneuve, the French Minister of Culture  oh and Kate Moss but we did see Sofia Coppola and get to take same great photos of Chan with Marianne Faithfull and Karl Lagerfeld.

 

The Youth Culture Event Of The Season

By Gerard on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

(thank you, David Scheid)

The Ponys: Live In Chicago

By Adam F on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

The Ponys performing "Double Vision" live at Schubas on January 12, 2007.  Programming note to the Buy Early Get Now faithful:  We recorded this show and will be offering a portion of it as a bonus download in BEGN #3.  Details forthcoming, but stay tuned here for updates.

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 - via Pitchfork.

If Humanity Were Wiped Out Tomorrow

By Gerard on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
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….the whole experience would've been worth it, if only for the above clip (link swiped from WFMU's Beware of The Blog).

On the other end of the spectrum, hasn't it already been established that DMB are too easy a target?

Dead Meadow speaks: report from the recording studio

By Patrick on Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Story and pictures from Steve of Dead Meadow

At the time of writing this paragraph we are in Sunset Sound recording our fifth studio album, third for Matador Records. Sunset Sound is definitely haunted by lots of history. Appearantly the ghost of Jim Morrison walks the secret storage rooms and echo chambers in the fifty-year old studio on the Sunset strip. A vibe and energy to this place that is totally unique and hopefully and energy that can color our new music. Even more than the vibes we have received in this sound temple was that of the energy and evp noises captured indiana.jpgduring our tracking a month earlier in Indiana. In trying to reach out to our more atmospheric side we returned to our drummers families farm/estate in rural Indiana. The natural setting and a chance to "get away from it all" that first brought us there to record "Howls from the Hills" took us back again for this creative endeavor. Instead of tracking in the barn the fall weather forced to move the operation into the nearby original inn/farmhouse that was the basis of the property. For years abandoned (his grandparents who own the land have always lived in a newer house they built on the other side of thefarm) the house was recently rebuilt to be used as a guest house project by our drummers uncle.

A totally empty, beautifully restored and warm farm house was definitely a gwell.jpgreat place to spend the next few weeks tracking the basic instruments. His uncle added some beautiful features that added to the sound and ambience. A huge greatroom with fourteen foot tall ceilings were perfect for the drum sounds. Old cuboards and closets were great isolation rooms. Even an architectual old well was built into the new kitchen floor. Instead of covering the well up with the new construction instead they covered it up with thick glass in a light at the bottom, a perfect reminder of the building past in the now modern updated kitchen, only if you did not watch "The Ring".

The location was perfect but the only problem was the constant haunting issues along the way. At first we did not think of it but as it became consistant there is hidden Evp sounds on some of the guitar sounds and buzzing bits. Even a violin noise from no where and walking when no one was upstairs. Luckily we were recording so we plan to throw some of the sounds on the final piece. I guess it will be something for the heads to trip out to. To add icing on the cake of the story we found out that the last renters of the home that were there before renovations or even Howls were recorded broke their lease do to apparitions. These guys were park rangers and one of them even pulled his gun on hand prints walking towards him in the carpet as he laid in bed… I hope the energy will come across and maybe the good vibes of our music helped this home. I always felt a good vibe even with the weird noises. I like to think as if something was there it was just trying to have it voice on the record.. like "I can play something too."

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the "haunted" vaults above Sunset with tons of old reels (Zippedoodah, Disney stuff and maybe a lost Doors reel????)

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Studio shot.

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my favorite… basketball in the Sunset courtyard.. onthe left is Studio 1, the right Studio 3 and the photois taken from Studio 2..

— Steve Kille

Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Kinky

By Gerard on Friday, January 19th, 2007

From the Associated Press (link swiped from Idolator)

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Hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his second full term in office, Ted Nugent (above) helped him celebrate at a black-tie gala, but not all attendees were pleased by the rocker's performance.

Using machine guns as props, Nugent, 58, appeared onstage as the final act of the inaugural ball wearing a cutoff T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting offensive remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance.

Nugent, a hunting and gun-rights advocate, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday because he was hunting, a spokeswoman said.

Though I am a resident of the State Of Texas, I deplore the Nuge's divisive politics, and would hope in the spirit of brotherhood and tolerance, Mission Of Burma allow Peter Prescott to bust out his rendition of the Amboy Dukes' "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" tonight at Irving Plaza.

Failing that, there's always karaoke after the show. Which, by the way, features Oneida and Parts & Labor in support, so show up before you throw up.

Parsefork: Your Music Taste By Number Just Got Easier

By Adam F on Friday, January 19th, 2007

numbers.jpgShit.  With all those music web sites and blogs and stuff, with all their words and stuff, it gets hurt-your-head confusing which albums to download on OINK.  Finally, the too much time on their hands folks at Wolf-Notes have come up with a better way.  With Parsefork, you can look up and sort album reviews by label, rating, artist and author – skipping all the pesky words completely. (note: and something called standard deviation which sounds like measuring band backlash?) For instance, you can quickly find all the Hollywood distributed Kemado Records' artists who have scored above a 4.0 on Pitchfork or every Cactus album reviewed by TinyMixTapes.  The possibilities are endless.

Go ahead… leave all the words behind.

 

Award for Lifetime Achievement In Photoshop Masking Goes To…

By Adam F on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

….the Pitchfork photo editor.  Trust us.  No one knows better than the record label how hard it must be to book a Cat Power / Yoko Ono photoshoot.    First of all, you have all the Versace fittings for that little award show in a couple of weeks.  As for Yoko, even if you lock it down, finding a reliable ride to the shoot gets harder and harder with each blackmail letter.  So, it's with a deep level of empathy that we heap praise on Pitchfork for hiring The Daily Show's photoshop mask experts to make the impossible come true.   

 

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Pitchfork's New Pitchcast: Indie Publicists Rejoice As Need For Screen Shot Software To Prove Exclusive MP3 WAS On Home Page Goes Bye-Bye.

Cat Power vs The Divas

By Ruairi on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

That's right, peoples. Cat Power has been nominated for a BRIT Award in the Best International Female category. For our US readers, the BRIT awards are kinda like the UK version of the Grammys. Traditionally the domain of millions-selling pop stars, Cat Power has manged to get onto the nomination list by…..well, we're not sure. We're not in the habit of assuming that artists deserving awards might actually get them. We're dumbfounded, in fact, given her competition.

She's up against: Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Nelly Furtado. 

Surely it can't be that industry bigwigs have finally realised that they should give awards to, y'know, really great artists? I mean, what are the chances of that? The only explanation I can think of is voodoo. Practised by members of the Cat Power bulletin board. We salute you, harbringers of dark magick. Well played. 

Lavender Diamond & Matador

By Gerard on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Short of declaring we'll take the entire week off,  nothing could please us more than announcing Matador's signing of Lavender Diamond for North America, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

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Primarily a vehicle for the astonishing vocals and buoyant worldview of Becky Stark, the Los Angeles-based Lavender Diamond's take on the dying art of the perfect pop song is as elemental as it is ambitious — though their forthcoming Matador full-length, Imagine Our Love (due the eighth of May), is more of the latter.

Joined by the crack ensemble of drummer Ron Rege Jr. (an accomplished cartoonist whose work has adorned Lavender Diamond sleeves and posters), guitarist Jeff Rosenberg and pianist Steve Gregoropolous (formerly of The Wild Stares, Wild Stares Chamber Orchestra), Lavender Diamond have stunned audiences across the U.S. with equal portions of deft musicianship, disarming humor, bucketloads of charisma, and most of all…Ms. Stark's mindblowing voice.

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Through their self-released 'The Cavalry Of Light' EP, headlining shows and performances in support of Beck, the Decemberists and other heavyweights, Lavender Diamond have received a ridiculous amount of attention in a very short span.  Some of that attention has included the near-obsessive interest of various Matador owners and staffers, who firmly believe that working with this group is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

(The same could be said, of course, of being pushing out of a speeding car, but we suspect this will be a far more exciting experience.)

Matador's reissue of 'The Cavalry Of Light' will hit shops on January 30.   In Europe, Lavender Diamond's new recordings will be available via Rough Trade.

We'll have some new U.S. dates to announce shortly.  Prior to that, Lavender Diamond are supporting the Decemberists on their February European tour.

"You Broke My Heart"
(mp3 from 'The Cavalry Of Light")

Lavender Diamond at MySpace

Stylus intervew

Dusted feature

Pavement Fan Of The Month : Ms. Loretta Scars

By Chris on Sunday, January 14th, 2007

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What's better than a Grammy, what could a be a more heart wrenching tribute than a Lifetime Achievement Award? Better than having the Key to the City? A Holiday named after you? A full page Obituary in the New York Times. Forget about a tattoo with your favorite band's logo on your arm. How about changing your name to to a song from one your favorite bands!  I'm not talking about just your first name, hell there's plenty of GLORIA's or SARA's or Maybelline's out there, but how about BOTH first and last names? Now, sure there's gotta be a Captain Jack somewhere down in the Florida Keys, But that's not what we're talking about! While we haven't had a chance to enjoy your "slow love" tributes to the band on the Sliver Screen we trust they are as charming as you seem to be.Cheers Loretta,  for being Pavement's Fan of the Month.

How Does It Feel?

By Gerard on Sunday, January 14th, 2007
Simon Cowell recently opined that he didn't get Bob Dylan. Clearly, he's not heard full justice done to the great man's music and lyrics.  (thanks to Lyle Hysen for the link))

DOUBLE ALBUM SHOWDOWN: TFUL 282′s Mother of All Saints and Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.

By Andrew Earles on Saturday, January 13th, 2007


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Hello. Tusk has a few tracks that predate introspective, 90’s indie rock. That’s Buckingham checking in with “Walk a Thin Line”….the obscenely catchy ballad that sounds like Built To Spill. Mother of All Saints also looked to the future, albeit a future that has yet to occur. Indie rock, or tastemaker rock, or cool shit, or whatever you want to call it, in 2007, SHOULD sound like Mother of All Saints. It doesn’t. Tusk has the ye olde photo of a pesky, perhaps feral dog tearing away at some unlucky chump’s trouser leg. Mother of All Saints has some mouth action, too, but it could pass for a Naked City cover or a later, “mature” offering from Suffocation. It must be noted that Thinking Fellers collectively had a much better sense of humor than John Zorn. Despite being one of the greatest (and weirdest) mainstream pop records of the payola era, the public felt otherwise and Tusk unwittingly helped to destroy the music industry as it was known in 1979. Its “ambitious” recording budget and efficient, non-stop journey from warehouse to cutout bin almost bankrupted Warner Brothers, and led to an industry-wide contract genocide that effectively ended many of the “careers” that resulted from the AOR signing frenzy of ’76 – ’79 (1). When I was nineteen, Mother of All Saints really alienated and disturbed the soon to be vanquished jam band acquaintances (2) that remained lurking in the tiers of my eight-count friend circle. Christ on a crutch, you’d think I was writing a 33 1/3 here, with all of the petty, “aw, me” nostalgia.

  1. Which gave us the Babysitter Rock of 707, New England, Hotel, Sharks, Starz, Stank Business, Horselips, Starcastle, The Tarney-Spencer Band, and Trooper, bless their forgotten hearts.

2. Yes, jam banders existed in 1992. It was their choices that were few: Phish, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors, and the Dead.

If The Ponys Radio Budget Gets Zero’d, Let’s Buy More Banners

By Adam F on Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Gerard vs Bear is reporting that the FCC is "proposing! SHIIIT" to help get radio broadcasters off the payolapayola.jpg hook.  

While details of the Enforcement Bureau's proposal were sketchy, sources said that radio station groups would be required to set aside a certain amount of airtime for music produced independently. The radio groups also would agree to a code of conduct and an education program, the sources said. As part of the deal, the radio broadcasters would not admit to any wrongdoing. 

Education?  Codes of conduct?  No more trips to see Nickelback live at Squaw Valley?  Exoneration at a high cost for the Hinder-hugging-set.  And all Pete Doherty had to do was write a hot single.

Full details, and some banner ads targeting you if you happen to be a member of the Academy, at HollywoodReporter.com.

Matador Movie Club: Old Joy

By Ruairi on Thursday, January 11th, 2007

I've been lazy in documenting all our recent activities, but here's a quick recap of the Matador Movie Club's movements over the past month or so:

  • 20th December: Screening of R Kelly's 'Trapped In The Closet Pts 1-12'. This was a disaster. I expected loads of people to come and enjoy Mr Kelly's melodramatic opus, but sadly it was the worst-attended screening I've ever been to. And I once saw 'Robin Hood' (the Patrick Bergin version) halfway up a hill in Donegal. Disappointing. Still, Mike and Lucy were impressed. 
  • 21st December: Pre-Beggars Xmas Party, the Matador Movie Club got ourselves in the party mood by going to see 'Zidaine',  a 90-minute art film consisting of 17 cameras all focussed on Zinedine Zidaine during a football match. Do any of us like football? No. But we love Mogwai, who provided the soundtrack. Indeed, the sound is the most impressive thing about 'Zidaine', particularly on a big loud Cinema sound system. Otherwise, it's a thought-provoking, but difficult piece of work – I felt like I'd learnt something about Zidaine by the time the film was over, but to be fair I didn't know anything about him before I went in. Now I know he's a footballer who scowls a lot. The poor guy looks like he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders. For 90 minutes. If that sounds like your kinda movie, it's out on DVD here in the UK this week.

And last night, the first Matador Movie Club outing of 2007 was to see a screening of 'Old Joy', which was scored by Yo La Tengo (meaning they did the music, not sorted out the tickets for us. I'm using film terms, keep up with me now). 'Old Joy' is the first film I've seen by Kelly Reichert, but I had been informed her style was in line with those of Harmony Korine, Vincent Gallo or Gus Van Sant's slower flicks (some of you have already started falling asleep, I'm sure). But I like films by the aforementioned auteurs, so I was psyched for another film where nothing happens for a while. Artfully. 

'Old Joy' stars Will Oldham (yeah, him) as Kurt, the kind of guy you used to hang out with when you were a teenager and probably wouldn't be that surprised if you found out that he was now homeless. Kurt calls up his friend Mark and invites him on a trip to the woods, where he's heard theres a really good hot springs. So they go. Uh-huh, that's the plot. But the plot's not that important, it's a film about the nuances of friendship, how it deteriorates and the emotions surrounding, to paraphrase Will Oldham himself,  'the letting go' of a relationship. To tell you any more about the film would probably involve me spoiling all the beautiful little details therein, and over-analysing it WAY too much. Will Oldham and Daniel London are effortlessly believable in their roles, relatable but distant in a very real way. The photography's wonderful – I love films that capture the universiality of working-class towns. And, of course, Yo La Tengo's score compliments the mood of the film perfectly – mournful, but strident. The twanging guitars took me back to 'Return To Hot Chicken' from 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating…', so I was very happy indeed. 

In essence if you think you can handle a very slow film in which not a great deal happens, you'll be rewarded with a gentle, contemplative film about friendship and growing older. And you get to see Will Oldham in the nude, if you're interested in that kind of thing. Hot!

 

Love Of Diagrams (and MP3 premieres)

By Nick on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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(photo by Lauren Bamford) The first mp3 from Love of Diagrams is up now and available for your listening pleasure at the following link.The track on offer is called "No Way Out," and comes from the Love of Diagrams EP out January 30th.  It may sound familiar, not just because it's a song so good that it's amazing no one wrote it before, but because it was featured in the late (as in cancelled) prime-time soap opera, "The OC."

…and here's the video:

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We'll have U.S. dates to announce very shortly.