Matablog

Archive for February, 2007

Ponys conquer London (part two)

By Mike on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonic Cathedral is a cool place to play and it feels right for the Ponys further onslaught across this city. The ceiling is crowded with yellow balloons with silver strings dangling onto the audiences heads. Nat who runs the club is DJing and shows some fine rocking selections. So do the Ponys. This band kick proverbial ass. They delve into "rocks rich tapestry" ( (c)Julie Burchill circa 1979) but come up weaving their own distinct and visceral sound. There is the sweeping grandeur of "1209 Seminary" and the stately beauty of  "Shine" balanced by the punchy future rock classic "Double Vision". The gig ended ends in a rock and roll maelstrom and yes indeed they "rock like a hurricane" ( (c) Sharon O'Connell circa 2007).  As they leave the stage Nat cues Television, a fitting salute to The Ponys' power and pedigree. 

“The More Depressed You Look, The More Points You Earn”

By Gerard on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

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Once again, The Times' Sunday Styles section is brutally scooped

The Shredding Of Sanrio

By Gerard on Sunday, February 25th, 2007

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YouTube link courtesy Miwa Okumura. 

Shearwater & Matador

By Gerard on Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

In what proved to be one of our worst kept secrets in recent memory, Matador is pleased to confirm that we've reached agreement on a longterm-ish pact with one of the nation's most wildly original bands, Shearwater of Austin, TX.

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(foreground, l-r, Kim Burke, Jonathan Meiburg, Howard Draper. 2nd row, Thor Harris, Will Sheff)

On April 10, we'll be releasing a new, double-disc (CD and LP) verison of Shearwater's 4th album, 'Palo Santo'. One of 2006's most critically acclaimed long-players is not merely being reissued, but is in fact, reimagined, with 5 re-recorded versions done in December 2006, along with all new art and remastering of the original tracks.   This expanded edition comes with an extra disc containing 8 tracks, some are demos of Palo Santo songs, some are previously unknown compositions, all adding up to a stunning companion piece to the album.

Disc one includes newly recorded versions of "La Dame et la Licorne", "Red Sea, Black Sea", "Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five", "Johnny Viola", and "Hail, Mary".

The album art has been given the deluxe treatment as well, and perhaps we'll even have a jpg to share later today. Impatient types can check out the new version of "Red Sea, Black Sea" (mp3) today.

upcoming live activity :

03-15 Austin, TX – Central Presbyterian Church, 7:30pm (SXSW)
03-16 Austin, TX – Mohawk, 5pm
03-29 Austin, TX – Emo's *
03-30 Baton Rouge, LA – Red Star Bar *
03-31 Birmingham, AL – BottleTree Cafe *
04-01 Murfreesboro, TN – Casa Burrito *
04-02 Durham, NC – Duke Coffee House *
04-03 Wilmington, NC – Bella Festa *
04-04 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel *
04-05 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar *
04-06 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church *
04-07 Cambridge, MA – T.T. the Bear's Place *
04-08 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom *
(* with Xiu Xiu) 

Reunion Mania – Original Vocalists/Frontmen Need Not Apply

By Gerard on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

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If the gullible general public are willing to tolerate AC/DC without Bon Scott and the Dead Kennedys without Jello Biafra, what's the big deal about the Jam reforming….sans Paul Weller?   From the Guardian's Alexis Petridis.

Should you wish, you can see The Jam, with new vocalist Russell Hastings, performing in May. The venues they're playing are some way off Wembley – their appearance at The High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells, represents something of a departure for a venue best-known for its Wednesday afternoon tea dance ("ballroom dancing with Peter Harvey, tea and cake, £6"). Nevertheless, it's clearly a step up for Rick Buckler, who last year was to be found drumming in a Jam tribute act called The Gift (from whence Russell Hastings has also sprung): "you could say that Paul Weller is a tribute band because he plays The Jam's songs live," he suggested at the time.

That seems a bit of a hopeful argument, but perhaps the kind of high-minded principles that Weller espouses are a luxury that a multi-millionaire rock star can afford, but his less successful former cohorts can't.You could argue that – ahem – this is the modern world, and that The Jam touring without Paul Weller fits with the current vogue for musical nostalgia, in which trifling matters like the absence or death of a key member aren't allowed to get in the way of making some cash or, apparently, audience enjoyment: after all, plenty of people are willing to go and see Queen live without Freddie Mercury, so why not The Jam without Weller.

Then again, twenty-five years ago, anyone who publicly suggested that The Jam had anything in common with Queen would have swiftly been kicked to the floor by several pairs of bowling shoes. After all, die hard fans will tell you that what made The Jam special was the fact that were about more than just the music. They were about fashion and politics and, yup, our old friend principles which, with the best will in the world, isn't something that anyone's going to claim of Queen.

With all due respect to Mr. Petridis, I'll happily suggest the Jam and Queen have all sorts of things in common.  Vox amplifiers for one, the crazed nostalgia addiction of their fans for another.

The Ponys @ The Barfly, Camden

By Ruairi on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

What nobody told me is how loud they are live. Seriously, they are fucking loud. And I spend most of my time at noise shows.

The Ponys took the stage a little late but promised to 'keep making noise til they pull the plug on us', which was still nowhere near long enough for me. Concentrating mostly on material from 'Turn The Lights Out', songs collided into each other, a blur of feedback, furious riffing, and psychedelic bizness that I don't know the correct term for. And then in the middle of all that, they drop in a jaunty keyboard tune, and before you've even finished scratching your head, they're back to the hard stuff, pummeling you with all sorts of garage-rock goodness. I was beaming from burst eardrum to burst eardrum.

Lavender Diamond – Inna World Premiere Style

By Gerard on Monday, February 19th, 2007

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Lavender Diamond – "Open Your Heart" (stream), from the forthcoming CD/LP 'Imagine Our Love' (in stores, May 8, 2007)

(NOTE : We've taken down the MP3 of "Open Your Heart" and now opted for a quicktime stream of the song at the request of Lavender Diamond's UK label, Rough Trade.  We apologize for any inconvenience…and we're looking forward to charging you real money for the physical goods!)

Cat Power at the Brits

By Mike on Friday, February 16th, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the scene on Wednesday night at the glittering Brit Awards, the UK's equivalent of the Grammys. Cat Power was given the accolade of being nominated as Best International Female and both Chan Marshall and co-emperor of Matador Records Chris Lombardi are seen taking it all in. Held at Earls Court (surely the worlds biggest hanger?) home to the Ideal Home Show and various superstar triumphs and disasters over the years, thousands of media industry types and even more pop loving civilians witnessed a roll call of the great and the good (it says here). OK it wasn't the "carnival of mayhem" Russell Brand promised us and we all secretly wished for but there was enough going on to keep us amused and appalled all night. Compere Mr Brand's opening salvo at David Cameron raised him a notch or two to my mind and although he managed the usual percentage of own goal jokes ("Queens vagina" anyone ? I mean anyone?) he carried off the night with ease.Unfortunately Cat Power didn't walk away with the award she so justly deserved but since when has true and authentic quality, style and genuine talent won out against production teams, song doctors and corporate back scratching at such events. (OK a couple of times). But we weren't the only ones that wuz robbed Justin Timberlake over Bob Dylan, don't get me started.
Rumours of strange fluctuations in the telephone voting I am sure are just that. Of course Orson deserved that award – fair and square. And to my mind their acceptance speech was one of the low highlights of the evening that makes the Brits such a memorable entertainment in the pop firmament.

The Arctic Monkeys didn't accept their awards in person but their filmed acceptance speeches first dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz (great cowardly lion by the way) and then as the Village People really did show their humorous side.

I also learnt that British people LOVE Take That. I mean everybody or at least 99% of them and the other 1% are probably in comas. They have obviously transcended every hurdle to become the sort of icon that is unimpeachable (at least until the next tabloid revelation – build em up and shoot them down).

And we finished up with only one staff member missing in action the next day.
 

Times New Viking – March Dates

By Gerard on Monday, February 12th, 2007

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(pic swiped from nebulagirl's Flikr page)

Mar 8 – the Tower   Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 9 – Schuba's, Chicago, Illinois
Mar 10 – Downtown Records  Lafayette, Indiana
Mar 11 – The Ground Floor,   Belleville, Illinois
Mar 14 J & J Pizza, Denton, Texas
Mar 16  – venue TBA, SXSW, Austin, TX
Mar 17 – Sound on Sound, Austin, Texas
Mar 18  -Circle Bar,  New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 21 -  Murphy's, Memphis, Tennessee
Mar 22 – The Funhouse, Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 24  – Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

all dates with Clockcleaner, shows in Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Louisville, TBA.

Buy Early Get Now #3: The Ponys Pre-Order!

By Nick on Monday, February 12th, 2007

Yes!  A third installment of Matador's Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion and this time The Pony's were generous enough to give us some fantastic bonus material exclusively for customers that pre-order their new full length album, and Matador debut, "Turn the Lights Out." 

When you preorder the album, you'll get the following:

- Stream of the album
- Exclusive b-side
- Exclusive live EP download (recorded live at Schubas on 1/12/07)

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- An Exclusive poster designed by Melissa Elias. (SUPPLIES LIMITED)

Here's how it works:  When you pre-order "Turn the Lights Out," you'll receive information and a unique code via email to download the b-side and the exclusive live EP, and then when release date (3/20) rolls around the posters will ship with the album or you can pick them up at participating retailers.

The b-side and show tracks will be revealed 2/15 on buyearlygetnow.com, the official home of this and all future Matador preorders.  As usual, this offer is available through a wide selection of music retailers, as well as through the Matador Store.  The complete list of participating stores can be found at buyearlygetnow.com

Still not sold?  Sample the goods!  Here's a link to listen to a track off of the rockeriffic 'Turn The Lights Out',  "Double Vision"