Archive for August, 2008

Jerry Wexler, RIP

By Gerard on Friday, August 15th, 2008

Jerry Wexler, one of the pivotal figures in the history of R&B, rock’n'roll and the U.S. music industry, passed away Friday at the age of 91. From Joel Selvin’s obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle :

Wexler was the last living partner in the landmark record label, Atlantic Records, The label’s founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died at age 83 in 2006, brought Wexler to the Atlantic in 1953, where the two produced records together through the ’50s by artists such as the Drifters, Bobby Darin, Clyde McPhatter, LaVern Baker, Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles and others, helping to define the emerging sound of rock ‘n roll.

“My God, the Godfather of R&B creators has stepped behind the curtain and disappeared,” said Solomon Burke in a telephone interview. Wexler always said when asked who was the best performer of his day, “Solomon Burke with a borrowed band”.

Wexler, who would produce important records by Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield, Willie Nelson, Wilson Pickett and others, worked with Ertegun in his first days at Atlantic producing “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean” by Ruth Brown, not only one of the biggest-selling R&B records of the year, but a hit that helped young Atlantic Records survive.

Wexler even gave the music its name. As an editor at trade magazine Billboard, he changed the name of the charts in 1949 from “Race Records” to “Rhythm and Blues.”

“No one really knew how to make a record when I started,” he told the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “You simply went into the studio, turned on the mike and said play.

Coming Soon : Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’ : Original Film Soundtrack

By The Management on Friday, August 15th, 2008

(photograph by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, taken from Lou

We’re thrilled to announce that Matador will be releasing Lou Reed’s Berlin:  Original Film Soundtrack on September 30 (digital) /October 7 (LP/CD), coinciding with the Weinstein Company’s October 6, 2008 DVD release of the Julian Schnabel film.

Upon the 1973 release of Berlin, Lou Reed’s controversial successor to the wildly popular Transformer, Rolling Stone‘s Stephen Davis described it as one of “certain records so patently offensive that one wishes to take some kind of physical vengeance on the artists that perpetrate them…a distorted and degenerate demimonde of paranoia, schizophrenia, degradation, pill-induced violence and suicide.”  A earnest pan, yes, but also a fabulous pull quote.   Thirty years later, the magazine named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Staging Berlin had been discussed for over 30 years, and in December of 2006 it became a reality, over four days at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.  It was the first time Reed performed the album live. The New York Times said that Reed “wasn’t revisiting these songs as oldies or artifacts; he was reinhabiting them…Berlin carried Reed’s music to an ornate extreme, but now its trappings are secondary.  What comes through is the way it feels.”
The film Berlin, by acclaimed painter/director Julian Schnabel (“Basquiat”, “Before Night Falls”, “The Diving Bell & The Butterfly”), documents these historic performances.  Though the album’s harrowing qualities are well documented, the experience of seeing and hearing it brought to life was invigorating.  More information about the film can be found at

Produced by Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner, and featuring musicians like Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones, a seven piece orchestra (including Eyvind Kang and Jane Scarpantoni), and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, this recording magnifies the cinematic quality of the original album.  It also includes the three encores, “Candy Says,” “Rock Minuet,” and “Sweet Jane.”

Berlin remains one of the most alarming and frank highlights of a career marked by innovation and candor. Just as Schnabel’s effort is far more ambitious than your average concert film, this release stands as a majestic and poignant re-imagining of one of the 20th century’s most powerful works.

Lou Reed is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Chevalier Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Government, and the prestigious Hero Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  His incisive, literate approach to popular (and unpopular) music has spanned five decades, with a remarkable lack of complacency. Reed is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential living musicians, and the creative landscape that we survey in 2008 — including much of this label’s back catalog — is very difficult to imagine without his contributions.  More material related to Reed’s career can be found at

Shearwater In NYC, October 20

By Gerard on Friday, August 15th, 2008

(photo from Kayla Kitamorn‘s Flickr stream)

While we’re waiting for a few more confirmations before we can announce all the details of Shearwater’s October run of East Coast dates, tickets for an October 20 show at (Le) Poisson Rouge just went on sale today.  We hope to see you there….but try not to wear too much poison rouge.

Jennifer O’Connor, McCarren Pool, 8/13/08

By Gerard on Thursday, August 14th, 2008

…opening for Wilco, that is, and in front of one of the larger mobs we’ve seen J’OC dazzle to date. That’s Matador alum Chris Brokaw playing guitar on the right, and if you think I’m gonna list all the great bands he’s been in while typing with my thumbs, you’re crazy.

Kind of weird that 3 Matador artists (Jennifer, Yo La Tengo, Times New Viking) are playing McCarren in the pool’s final days as a music venue. Never let it be said this label’s roster doesn’t know how to suck all the life out of a party close things out in style.

Jaguar Love Free In-Store at Looney Tunes!

By Sara McManus on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Jaguar Love will play a night before release in-store at Looney Tunes in West Babylon, NY this Monday, August 18th!

Buy the new album Take Me To The Sea and get a free Jaguar Love Poster!

Free Jaguar Love In-store
Monday, August 18th
6:00 PM
Looney Tunes
31 Brookvale Ave
West Bablyon, NY

Jennifer O’Connor – “Here With Her” Part 2

By Gabe on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

YouTube Preview ImageHere at Matador, we’re counting down the hours to Tuesday’s release of the brand new Jennifer O’Connor album, “Here With Me” (and making due in the meantime with this convenient Rhapsody album stream).

Here’s a little more backstory on the album, where Jennifer discusses the makeup of her crack band.

People, it’s Jennifertime, don’t be late.

Mogwai – “Batcat” Video

By Gerard on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
YouTube Preview Image

Though Pitchfork, Stereogum and Wired all linked to the above clip — directed by Dominic Hailstone — yesterday, for some reason the MySpace video is no longer functioning. So here’s a YouTube clip instead of “Batcat” from the forthcoming Mogwai LP/CD ‘The Hawk Is Howling’, in stores and online on September 23.

The above video along with an animated version of the same song and a film about Mogwai directed by Vincent Moon & Teresa Eggers constitute the DVD portion of the CD/DVD edition of the new album.

Shearwater Live at Florence Gould Hall NYC

By Blake on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

If you missed this truly amazing evening with Shearwater, or just want to see it over and over the show is now readily available. The wonderful people at Baeble Music recorded it and are streaming the first set in which they played Rook in it’s entirety. Here’s a preview of show with the band playing Leviathan, Bound.  Full set can be enjoyed here.

YouTube Preview Image

Jaguar Love Album Preview on MySpace

By Gabe on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

For those who can’t wait until next Tuesday (8/19) to soak in Jaguar Love’s debut album, “Take Me To The Sea”, well, you don’t have to – MySpace and Jaguar Love have your back, and the album is streaming now at the band’s page:

And don’t forget to check out the “Show Us Your Jaguar Love” contest while you’re there – that is, if you like words like “autographed” and “concert tickets”…Who doesn’t, those are great words!

NPR Loves Jennifer

By Dean on Monday, August 11th, 2008

The day is almost done. ALMOST. There’s still time for you to learn that NPR picked our very own Jennifer O’Connor’s “Here With Me” for their song of the day today. See it HERE and listen as you do whatever it is that you do to count out this monday.

“Here With Me” is a song to build a mix tape around. Flawlessly constructed from bare acoustic riffs and crisp beats, the track lets O’Connor’s half-plaintive, half-expectant vocals tell a universal story of desire and hope.”

Nice! We still have a couple of signed LP Jackets available as a free gift for pre-ordering Jennifer’s new album Here With Me, which will hit the streets August 19th!

Click HERE to order a copy for a sale price before street date