Matablog

Archive for February, 2009

Manufacturing Error Or Major Improvement? – Mark E. Smith’s Latest Crossover Move

By Gerard on Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Brian Turner supplied the link to the story below, which is as good an excuse as any to mention that WFMU’s annual fundraiser starts this Monday, March 2 and runs until March 15.   From the Sun

THEY may share the same surname but that’s it for similarities between angelic Britain’s Got Talent teen FARYL SMITH and gnarled FALL frontman MARK E SMITH.

So imagine Universal Records’ surprise when they received the first shipment of Faryl’s debut CD from the pressing plant.

A cock-up in production meant that instead of delicate balladry in the honeyed tones of their recently signed youngster, what actually ended up on discs bearing her artwork and info were the grumblings of Mark and his fellow Manc veterans’ 2008 album Imperial Wax Solvent.

Needless to say, Universal chiefs weren’t best pleased.

My spy tells me: “They had ordered hundreds of copies and they were staggered by what was on it.

“They have had severe words with the pressing plant.”

Careful followers of Matador quality control are aware we’ve only made mistakes like that about a half dozen times in our history.  

The Chelsea Arts Club

By Patrick on Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Patrick Hughes “Sunlight”

When Chris comes to London, he stays at the Chelsea Arts Club, for some ridiculous rate like £36 a night. He does get a tiny garret room with the bathroom down the hall, but it comes with original Patrick Hughes works hanging next to the bed, and an incredible bar with a massive snooker table, and full of eccentric English types getting totally hammered.

The club was founded by James McNeil Whistler in 1891 as a reaction to the stodgy Arts Club in Mayfair, and cultivates a generally raffish, no dress-up personality. It is crammed to the gills with amazing artwork. Members include Peter Blake (who designed Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Glen Baxter, Gerald Scarfe, and others. It’s in a low, unpretentious white stucco building on a side street in Chelsea, with a small and inconspicuous door.

Pylon’s Randy Bewley, RIP

By Gerard on Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported earlier today that Pylon guitarist/co-founder Randy Bewley (above, far right) passed away yesterday at the age of 53.

Bewley suffered a heart attack while driving in Athens, GA Monday evening.

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Readers of a certain vintage (or perhaps just younger persons with good taste) will recall Bewley’s guitar work on songs like “Cool”, “Volume”,  and “Feast On My Heart” bridging whatever stylistic chasm separated Andy Gill from RIcky Wilson.   DFA’s 2007 reissue of Pylon’s 1980 debut LP, ‘Gyrate’ is a good place to start.

Our thoughts go out to Randy’s friends and family.

A.C. Newman gets up early to play live on the radio, so you don’t have to

By Jeremy P. Goldstein on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Our favorite Canadian songsmith, A.C. Newman, and his gang of traveling minstrels will light up the airwaves and the interweb tomorrow by performing live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic program. Tune in online or if in the greater Southern California region at 89.9 FM at 11:15 AM PST/2:15 PM PST to catch the session live in all its glory.

UK Auto Insurance Co. : Unfamiliar With Iggy’s “Personal Life”

By Gerard on Monday, February 23rd, 2009

At least when Geico refuses to insure cavemen, no one can accuse them of hypocrisy. From Monday’s Daily Mail :

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In the Swiftcover TV advertisements, 61-year-old Iggy prances around topless as he boasts: ‘I got it Swiftcovered. I got insurance on my insurance. Do it. Get a life. Get Swiftcovered.’

But musicians who applied for cover were told their occupation made them ineligible. They are now complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Tim Soong, the 30-year-old bass guitarist in Roguetune, found that ‘entertainers’ are excluded from cover.

Mr Soong, of Kennington, phoned the Guildford-based company, which is part of the Axa insurance group, and said: ‘The customer services operator told me that they don’t insure musicians.

‘When I mentioned Iggy Pop, she said his case was different because he is American.

Part-time music producer Felix Wright, 36, of Maidstone, Kent, has also made a complaint after being turned down for cover on his BMW.

He said: ‘When I asked what Iggy Pop did for a living if I was being rejected as a musician, they said they did not know his personal life and he was not one of their policy holders.’

The Mail’s report adds that prior to Iggy’s commercials, Swiftcover used “Death Wish” director Michael Winner in their advertisements, despite refusing to cover film directors.

Dave’s Record Corner

By Dean on Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Unbeknownst to some of you, we sometimes distribute records for non-Matador labels here at Matador Direct. That means that Dave, our co-head of sales at Matador Direct, cherry-picks his favorite records and gets them out to stores. This often means that some really rare, amazing vinyl comes through our doors that mailorder customers don’t get a chance to pick up. Those dark days are over!

We just launched a new section of the store for Dave to pick his favorite distributed items to make available for mailorder. Most of these are limited edition so we’ll be adding and deleting items as they appear and disappear from our stock. Right now, we have the first two releases from the new Captured Tracks imprint (run by Mike Sniper of Blank Dogs), an incredible African music reissue, the Nodzzz LP, No Bunny, and a rare Rob’s House 7″/DVD set. Get them while you can.

Dave’s Record Corner

Antony on Lou Reed’s “Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse”

By Gabe on Friday, February 20th, 2009

In late 2006, Lou Reed invited a group of musicians and friends to help resurrect his controversial, classic album “Berlin” on a Brooklyn stage.

Among those musicians (and friends) was Antony Hegarty, the angel-voiced singer-songwriter. Below, Antony talks about his experience helping Lou bring the album to the stage, the origins of the pair’s friendship and musical bond and his love for the music of “Berlin”.

Purchase “Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse” on CD, deluxe gatefold double-vinyl or digital download.

Mogwai – North American Dates This Spring

By Gerard on Thursday, February 19th, 2009
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(performing “Scotland’s Shame” from ‘The Hawk Is Howling’, Aula Magna, Lisbon, Feb 5, 2009)

If tickets for all of the dates below aren’t on sale now…they will be soon. Support info coming soon. 

04/​20 Houst​on,​ TX- Numbe​rs
04/​21 New Orlea​ns,​ LA- Repub​lic
04/​22 Birmi​ngham​,​ AL- Workp​lay Theat​re
04/​23 Ashev​ille,​ NC- Orang​e Peel
04/​24 Carrb​oro,​ NC- Cats Cradl​e
04/​25 Phila​delph​ia,​ PA- Troca​dero
04/​27 Brook​lyn,​ NY- Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
04/​28 Brook​lyn,​ NY- Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
04/​29 Brook​lyn,​ NY- Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
05/​01 Bosto​n,​ MA- Wilbu​r Theat​re
05/​02 North​ampto​n,​ MA- Pearl​ Stree​t
05/​03 Montr​eal,​ QUE- Metro​polis​
05/​04 Toron​to,​ ON- Phoen​ix
05/​05 Buffa​lo,​ NY- Tralf​ Music​ Hall
05/​06 Ponti​ac,​ MI- Crofo​ot Ballr​oom
05/​08 Chica​go,​ IL – Congr​ess Theat​re
05/​09 Milwa​ukee,​ WI – Turne​r Hall
05/​10 Minne​apoli​s,​ MN- First​ Avenu​e
05/​11 Omaha​,​ NE- The Slowd​own
05/​12 Denve​r,​ CO- Blueb​ird Theat​re
05/​13 Salt Lake City,​ UT- In The Venue​
05/​15 San Diego​,​ Ca- Belly​ Up Taver​n
05/​16 Los Angel​es,​ CA- Orphe​um Theat​re

Matador Union: Shearwater & The Cave Singers in London

By Judge on Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Following what will surely be an incredible performance at this year’s ATP The Fans Strike Back in May, Matador’s finest Shearwater will headline London’s Union Chapel on May 12th.  With support from The Cave Singers, sure to be playing new material, this will be a Matador double not to be missed.

I love a good poster.

Matador Alumni Corner : The Wild World Of Kustomized

By Gerard on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Not to be outdone by Merge’s recent Volcano Suns reissues, former Kustomized bassist Bob Moses has done an impressive job tying his old band’s history together with a new, posthumous site.  Perhaps the lesser known of Peter Prescott’s post-Mission Of Burma projects, Kustomized was once described by Rolling Stone’s Matt Diehl as “maintaining an almost savage drive…unafraid to wander into the bizarre areas outside rock convention.”   Though the same could be said of Bob Gamere jogging thru the Fenway, Mr. Diehl hit the nail on the head.  Kustomized were awesome and if you didn’t fully absorb their Matador titles at the time, you are a bad, bad person.