Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas from Matador

By Patrick on Thursday, December 24th, 2009


Kurt Vile… the perfect hangover cure

By Michael on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009


Friends, Romans, Chicagoans… forget what these guys say, there is no better way to nurse your New Years hangover than with a free instore.

Stop by Permanent Records at 2pm on the first day of the new decade for a very special solo instore by Kurt Vile.

Your friends at Permanent will be providing free pizza, dark beers, big bowls of Excedrin, Bloody Marys, Mimosas and sunglasses… everything you need to beat that throbbing hangover.

Permanent Records
1914 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, Il

And don’t forget, Kurt is opening for The Black Keys at the Riviera on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (night).

A (Post) Hanukkah Special (Crammed Into A Few Days) : Peers & Pals Pick Their Yo La Tengo Favorites (Pt. II)

By Gerard on Monday, December 21st, 2009


(image taken from False 45th, merch from Hanukkah 2007, and a lovely tribute to one of the more shy and retiring Jewish artists of all time)

As you might recall, we polled a number of number of medium-to-high profile Yo La Tengo fans and asked for their favorite YLT song. Said results were supposed to appear in this space during each of Hanukkah’s 8 nights, but after an all too typical Matablog orgy of buck-passing, we’re (ahem) a little late. Also, we suck at math : there are ten total entries instead of 8. Happy belated Hanukkah to all!

JULIA RYDHOLM, The Ladybug Transistor
“Sugarcube” from I Can hear The Heart Beating As One

I have a lot of favorite Yo La Tengo songs, but I am going to single out “Sugarcube”. I love how the song kicks off with a lawless, tumbling drum fill, barrelling into the disciplined, driving, over-driven guitar chords that sustain the frame of the song. I love the song’s metamorphic layers of fuzzy chords, persistent shakers, splashy cymbals, and hazy vocals with Ira’s guitar solos weaving through the lot of it. I love that the song sounds like the blurry, night-windowed artwork on the back of the album. I love that the tension between the head-over-heels drum introduction and the song suddenly trying to get a hold of itself, is mirrored in the lyrics’ struggle with over-the-top acrobatic desperation and trying to keep one’s cool. I love that the lyrics sound like the mantra anyone really feeling something recites to reassure oneself, and wants to, but tries so hard not to plead out loud to the one they want.

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“Stockholm Syndrome” from I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One

This song has that open-chord, campfire-strum that we often use in the Feelies. It also has a hint of a 50′s vibe that appeals to me. Nice solo.


“Black Flowers” from I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

I got married this year, and we used this song for our first dance at the wedding. My wife loves it and I love it and James sings so sweetly on it. I asked him what the lyrics were about, and he told me that it was a message from him today to himself in the past, circa 2005. A message to hang on.

“Saturday” from And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

This song sends me to another place. That’s powerful, huh? The first time I heard it, it was one of those preview tracks you get to download for free before the record comes out. It must have taken me an hour or two to download it and I remember writing a friend at Matador immediately after hearing it the first time and saying “This has got me excited!” I don’t know, I love it. Every hazy, offhand element comes together into one creepy but magical focus that always gets me.

“The Summer” from Fakebook

My favorite Yo La Tengo song is “The Summer,” it just has this lovely vibe to it, a lot of feeling packed into a few words, simple but really effective; the recording too is sweetly moody. I’ve also long been a fan of their version of Gene Clark’s “Tried So Hard,” which just precedes “The Summer” on “Fakebook” — I was pleased many years ago when I requested it at a show and they actually played it! Gene Clark might not have been Jewish, but it would be a good request for one of their Hanukkah shows!

Mission Of Burma – 3 New Eastern US Dates

By Gerard on Friday, December 18th, 2009


(ancient flyer art swiped from The City Record. Very magnanimous of SSD to allow young hopefuls MOB on the above bill)

In addition to the already mentioned 2 night stands at the Bowery Ballroom and the Paradise, Mission Of Burma have confirmed they’ll be visiting the following cities in early 2010 :

Thu, 2/18 – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church
Fri, 2/19 – Richmond VA – Tyler Haynes Commons (Univ of Richmond)
Sat, 2/20 – Washington DC – Black Cat

Ticket/support band info will be posted ..when someone asks me to!  Have a great weekend.

(The Sound, The Speed, The Light, LP/CD and digital album, available from The Matador Store)

(“Innermost” b/w “Here It Comes” MP3/FLAC single, also available from The Matador Store)

The Decade Can’t End Soon Enough (Unless You’re Having Fun) – Matador Artists, Staff And Associates Remember 2009 (Before It’s Done)

By Gerard on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009


(sure, we’re allowed to have an annual holiday party, but who’s supposed to pay for the cleanup?)

Once upon a time — when the bulk of our internet activity was longer than 140 characters — the Matador website feature periodic news updates (almost all of ‘em brutally late in arrival), along with an informal selection of staff and roster listening favorites. Said feature fell by the wayside when we made the fateful transition to the Matablog some 3 1/2 years ago. But fuck it, it’s the holiday season, and what better way to embrace the spirit of sharing than with a ferocious onslaught of grandstanding, oneupmanship and elitist self-fellatio?

But enough about our plans for Matador’s 21st Anniversary celebrations.  Without further Freddy Adu, here’s an impressive array of ’09/decade favorite records, events & things from some of your most beloved Matador artists and the people who enable them. Dig in, after the jump :


Yo La Tengo & Times New Viking, Tour Revisited

By Todd Netter on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

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As the year comes to an end and the spirit of revisiting things takes us over, we’ve come across the following comment that Jared Phillips (Times New Viking) made to Pitchfork back in January 2008 when discussing life on the road:

I don’t know where the best place we’ve played would be. Probably one of those places that we played with Yo La Tengo that we’ll never get to play again [ laughs ]. Those were all pretty fun but, you know, if it ever happens we’ll be 40 years old by the time we play in a place that big again.

So I guess we’d just like to be the first to say happy 40th to TNV because this coming January good times are rolling through towns from Michigan south to Texas. That’s right like any good combination (chocolate and peanut butter immediately comes to mind), Yo La Tengo and Times New Viking have decided to revisit the road and live performance format together this coming January. If you’re in one of the towns below be sure to catch what should be the chocolate and peanut butter of live shows, for the early part of 2010 at the very least. Tickets are on sale now!!!!

Fri, Jan 22 / Pontiac, MI / Crofoot Ballroom
Sat, Jan 23 / Madison, WI / Barrymore Theatre
Sun, Jan 24 / St. Louis, MO / The Pageant
Tue, Jan 26 / Lawrence, KS / Granada Theatre
Wed, Jan 27 / Tulsa, OK / Cain’s Ballroom
Thu, Jan 28 / Houston, TX / Warehouse Live
Fri, Jan 29 / Austin, TX / Antone’s
Sat, Jan 30 / Dallas, TX / Granada Theatre

Yo Spain & Portugal ! March 2010 YLT Dates

By Judge on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009


Photo swiped from *the get up kid*’s Flickr, used without permission

New Yo La Tengo dates, freshly announced today :


A Hanukkah Special (Crammed Into A Few Days) : Peers & Pals Pick Their Yo La Tengo Favorites (Pt. I)

By Gerard on Monday, December 14th, 2009


(the above tee — designed by Stephen Hunking, based on an original work by Raymond Pettibone, marked Yo La Tengo’s December ’08 eight night stand in Hoboken, and is still available)

Yo La Tengo are taking a rare year off from their annual Hanukkah shows at Maxwell’s —they’re in Japan right now — and as a result, we polled a bunch of famous name YLT fans and asked them to pick their favorite song from the trio’s vast back catalog.  Ideally, we’d planned to roll one of these out each night for 8 days (get it?)….but then the Beggars Group Holiday Party happened….and we all lost our wallets, keys, laptops and senses for a few days.   So we’ll start with 5 today, alright?

CLINT CONLEY, Mission Of Burma
“The Race Is On Again” from ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Am Going To Beat Your Ass’

To me this song is typical of YLT finding their way into a quiet corner of the Indie-sphere that hasn’t been raked over by the hordes, and is theirs alone.   Sweet and beautiful melancholia .   With chord changes that feel fresh every time I hear them.

“Deeper Into Movies” from ‘I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One’

Some YLT songs kinda crack open more and more instrumentally, spiralling up to a total frothing pot of epic noize but never obliterating the fabric of the song and how it’s structured. This one is definitely one of the ceilings in that realm; there’s vocal unity and a swoony melody with a repeated mantra that pokes through as the chaos builds, and it’s really lovely. Anarchic but centered, never forgetting the song and its progression. It’s almost like the Beach Boys backed by a Sonny Sharrock-fronted Rallizes Denudes or something insane that shouldn’t work but does perfectly.


“From A Motel 6” from ‘Painful’

I’ve had the pleasure of playing this with Yo La Tengo a few times. They gave me the job of the slide, which I gleefully took.  A unique song from a unique band. Of course I’m biased, but who ain’t?!

“Big Day Coming” from ‘Painful’

My all time favorite YLT song (for now) is Big Day Coming.  And the fact that there are two of them only doubles my pleasure. That’s saying quite a bit too as I have over fifty-seven favorite YLT songs. And that, for reasons I won’t go into here, Yo La Tengo will forever be associated with severe stomach cramps and extreme nausea and I STILL love them very much.


“Wizard’s Sleeve” from’Short Bus : Original Soundtrack’

The title still haunts me like a Halloween movie.  Sure, I have many other favorite YLT songs, but play this one for me and I’ll most likely not recognize it.  To me, that really speaks volumes to the special nature of this particular song.

The Golden Archipelago Limited Edition Dossier

By Claire T on Monday, December 14th, 2009


In conjunction with the release of Shearwater’s new album, The Golden Archipelago, singer Jonathan Meiburg and designer Mark Ohe have created a beautiful, full-color, 75-page, 8 x 10.5” dossier as a companion piece that you can obtain only through

1_dossier_interd_stampsThe dossier is a visual guide to the world of the album, primarily composed of photographs and documents collected by JM from islands and other singular places around the world. Among its pages are the national anthem of Bikini Atoll, the story of a charming and fatally obsessed German aviator and explorer, notes from the daily life of a remote Aboriginal village occupied by missionaries, and photographs from an island Jules Verne considered “The End of the World,” where endangered animals remain unafraid of humans. It also features production credits and full lyrics for The Golden Archipelago and its B-sides.

The dossier’s loose, numbered pages will come packaged in a personalized, numbered, heavy-duty envelope fastened with a string tie.

Included here are some images from the dossier. You can also view these images here

And as previously posted, The Golden Archipelago CD (February 23) comes packaged with a redesigned 50-page booklet that is a set of extracts from the dossier. LP pre-orders via our store will ALSO receive a copy of this CD-sized perfect bound book.

Visit here to pledge and learn about the Kickstarter project.

And check out the “damn near perfect” (thanks Pitchfork!) mp3 for Castaways here

Dossier Sample

Dossier Sample 2

Dossier Sample 3

Dossier Sample 4

Dossier Sample 5

Dossier Sample 6

Dossier Sample 7

Dossier Sample 8

Dossier Sample 9

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – New U.S. Dates

By Gerard on Monday, December 14th, 2009


(photo taken from musicazul‘s Flickr stream)

In the two weeks since we announced the details surrounding the March 9 release of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ ‘The Brutalist Bricks’ (LP/CD/digital album), we’ve been swamped with questions — some of them of the angry, hectoring variety that I associate with bad breeding — regarding the band’s touring plans.  As such, you’ll be pleased to see a very busy slate of 2010 tourism for Ted kicks off in March 11 at Cleveland’s venerable Grog Shop, with many more dates to be announced in the weeks and months ahead.

3/11/2010     Cleveland       OH      Grog Shop
3/12/2010     Pontiac         MI      The Crofoot
3/13/2010     Chicago         IL      Bottom Lounge
3/14/2010     Madison WI      High Noon Saloon
3/15/2010     Minneapolis     MN      First Avenue
3/19/2010     Seattle         WA      Neumo’s
3/20/2010     Portland        OR      Doug Fir Lounge (21+)
3/21/2010     Portland        OR      Doug Fir Lounge (all ages matinee)
3/23/2010     San Francisco   CA      Great American Music Hall
3/27/2010     Los Angeles     CA      Troubadour

4/4/2010      Atlanta         GA      The Masquerade
4/5/2010      Carrboro        NC      Cat’s Cradle
4/7/2010      Philadelphia    PA      First Unitarian Church
4/8/2010      Washington      DC      930 Club
4/9/2010      New York        NY      Irving Plaza
4/10/2010     Boston          MA      Paradise

“Even Heroes Have To Die” (192k MP3)

(preorder ‘The Brutalist Bricks’ from The Matador Store)

Yo La Tengo – “Live at Moog”

By Gabe on Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Yo La Tengo launch the brand-new “Live at Moog” series on


“Live at Moog” brings bands into the Moog Music Factory in Asheville, North Carolina, and lets them play with analog toys in service of the bands’ original material.

Check the session out here.

This Christmas just got 10% better

By Michael on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

If you’re anything like us you probably haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, and it’s a good thing you haven’t. Now you can get your friends and family something they will really love and take advantage of a 10% off sale valid through December 15th at the Matador store. Just make sure to enter code ‘holidaze’ at checkout.


Coming April 6 : Harlem – ‘Hippies’

By Gerard on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


(photo by Pooneh Ghana)

As mentioned some months ago, the Austin, TX based trio  Harlem had their summer vacation canceled by Matador Records and they ended being forced to work long hours at Costa Mesa’s Distillery in an effort to produce a worthy followup to 2008′s ‘Free Drugs’. Apparently, there are laws against this kind of thing and eventually, the band had to return to their glamorous lifestyle of making club gigs seem like living room shows (and living room shows feel like club shows with better furniture and cheaper drinks).


Now that the dust has cleared, however, the resulting 16-song pop meisterwerk, recorded with the assistance of Mike McHugh, reveals the triumvirate of Coomers, Curtis and Jose in fine fettle. The gents really “knocked it out of the park” as ice hockey fans are so fond of saying, but we remain hopeful, if not confident this album will have great appeal even for those of you who’ve never laced ‘em up.   Harlem’s 2nd album, ‘Hippies’ hits North American record shops, farmers markets and digital storefronts on April 6 on the always popular LP, CD and MP3/FLAC configurations.  Here’s a taste ;

“Friendly Ghost” (192k mp3)

Though Harlem’s early 2010 dates will be announced soon, we’d be remiss in not mentioning they’re playing Austin’s Emo’s tonight in support of labelmate Jay Reatard, and again on December 17 at the Mohawk with Crystal Antlers.   There’s more news to follow very soon (pre-album 7″, videos to make, travel plans to book, tire pressures to check, etc.)

Fucked Up – Do They Know It’s Christmas? benefit single, featuring Yo La Tengo, GZA, Tegan & Sara, Ezra Koenig, Bob Mould and more

By Patrick on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009


If all goes well, on iTunes you’ll be able to purchase Fucked Up’s star-studded cover of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? All proceeds will go to benefit three organizations in Canada working to bring to end to the epidemic of missing and murdered native women.

UPDATE: it’s available! Go HERE

The song is a tongue-in-cheek take on the ’80s classic written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, and features vocals from Yo La Tengo, GZA, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Bob Mould (Husker Du), Tegan & Sara, Andrew W.K., Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), David Cross (comedian) and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene).

Fucked Up’s frontman Damian Abraham, a.k.a. “Pink Eyes”, says “it’s hard to find a balance between the song being a fun, playful holiday classic and the reason we’re putting it out, to benefit organizations dealing with a deadly, serious issue.” Since 1980, there have been 520 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada and many believe the true number to be significantly higher. If compared to the rest of the population their death and disappearance rate would be equivalent to over 18,000 Canadian women and girls missing or murdered. Approximately 50% of the murders and disappearances have occurred during or since 2000.

The three groups that will receive 100% of the proceeds from sales of this song are Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Montreal), DTES Power of Women Group (Vancouver) and Sisters in Spirit (Ottawa).

The recording of this track was funded in full by a portion of the $20,000 award Fucked Up received for winning the Polaris Music Prize for their recent album, The Chemistry of Common Life.

‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ should be available from iTunes on Tuesday December 8, and will be released as a 7″ single with an unreleased Fucked Up song on the b-side in February 2010.

Fucked Up are also releasing a compilation of their many rare singles recorded between 2002 and 2009, Couple Tracks, accompanied by a two-song limited-edition 7″ and in stores on January 26.

Times New Viking – “Born Again Revisited” video

By Gabe on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Today we offer the excellent new video for “Born Again Revisited” from Times New Viking’s like-titled fourth full-length album (buy it here, do it right now, it’s their best yet. In this season of opinions and assholes – everybody’s got ‘em – I’ll say it’s EASILY one of the best records of the year).

The band just finished an adult-sized US tour (take note pretenders to the pavement), with more dates to follow in the new year.

Directed by Pelham Johnston and Brandon Reichard, without further ado – “Born Again Revisited”:

Jeffrey Jensen – Live. In Person. On Stage.

By Gerard on Monday, December 7th, 2009


(above : one of NYC’s most beloved icons/public figures. And on the left, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe)

Jeff Jensen, one half of the terrorist telephonic duo that brought you the monumental comedy recording, ‘Just Farr A Laff (Vol’s 1 & 2)‘, will be making a rare stand-up appearance tomorrow night at Brooklyn’s Bruar Falls. You know the old saying, “how do you get to Bruar Falls?” To tell the truth, I’ve never heard that saying, but here’s a google map link.

Cold Cave live on KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic, today at 11:15AM PST / 2:15PM EST

By Hector on Monday, December 7th, 2009
(photo by Jayme Thornton)

(photo by Jayme Thornton)

The gentlemen and lady of Cold Cave just capped off a great run of West Coast tour dates with two shows in Los Angeles. They’ll be back in more frigid northeastern climes soon, but before that they’ll be making an appearance on KCRW‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic at 11:15AM PST / 2:15 EST. Angelenos should listen at 89.9FM; Non-gelenos can join the party at

Cold Cave just released the limited edition Death Comes Close 12″ EP. Both it and their full-length debut, Love Comes Close, are available at our webstore.

Seafood risotto

By Patrick on Saturday, December 5th, 2009


This turned out so well that I’m actually going to post a recipe – something I don’t usually do, because I generally cook from cookbooks and posting recipes is a copyright violation, even if they’ve been tweaked. This one I really made up, triangulating of course from established recipes, my own experience making (non-seafood) risotto, and available ingredients.

Before anyone makes risotto, I recommend that they consult “Desperately Resisting Risotto” by John Thorne in Pot On The Fire, for covering basics, concepts and exploding myths (you don’t have to stir the whole time). As always it’s also an entertaining and thought-provoking read.

I tried to buy fish stock today and failed. So I ended up making my own. I’d bought 1/2 lb wild shrimp from Mexican, unpeeled, and about 5 large Atlantic scallops. I peeled and deveined the shrimp, reserving the shells, and put the shells and half of one of the shrimp to boil in 5 1/2 cups water, 2 bay leaves, 2 smashed cloves garlic, 1 coarsely chopped small onion, and whatever fresh herbs and vegetables I had lying around. In this case it was supermarket flat-leaf parsley, and the last surviving herbs out in the garden: sage and chervil, plus half a zucchini, coarsely chopped. I added 1/2 cup dry vermouth and a splash of dry sherry, brought the whole thing to a boil, skimmed foam, and then kept it gently boiling over medium heat until the stock reduced to 2 cups, and strained it, and then put it back on the heat at just under a simmer. I also brought 5 cups of water to boil in the kettle.

Meanwhile I chopped the scallops into about 5-6 pieces each and the shrimp into 3 pieces. I also chopped a few shallots finely until I had about 3/4 cup (be prepared to tear up – onions are nothing compared to shallots in that dept), and some more fresh sage from the garden. The shallots and sage were then set to saute in 5 tbs well-heated good olive oil. When golden and transparent (4-6 min), I added 1 cup carnaroli rice, and stirred until the rice was toasty-smelling and the tops of the kernels transparent (2-3 min).

Next I added 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Sancerre) to the rice and stirred until it evaporated, and then started adding 1/2 cup boiling stock at a time to the rice, and stirred / left it sit until it evaporated, then added more, for about 20 minutes. When the stock ran out, I started adding 1/2 cup water. In the middle of this process, I added a relatively small amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. At 20 minutes, you need to start tasting the rice kernels to see that they are done – a subjective process, because some people like more al dente risotto and some like it more well done a la regular rice. Towards the end of the 20 minutes I heated up another 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauteed the shrimp and scallops in them until opaque – 3 minutes at most – and added them to the rice, cooking the mixture for another 3 minutes or so and seasoning well with salt, freshly ground black pepper and some freshly ground Italian dried red peppers as well.

Serve in heated bowls. Sprinkle freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley on the top and serve.


Jay Reatard – “There Is No Sun”, Live At Criminal Records

By Gerard on Friday, December 4th, 2009
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Things got a little out of hand during a Criminal Records (ATL) instore earlier this week when dozens of shoppers were whipped into a frenzy by one of the more controversial, polarizing performers of our era.  But enough about Wyclef Jean’s visit to Euclid Avenue, Jay Reatard’s performance yesterday was yet another public demonstration of genius-level songcraft.  And there’s more to come along the tour route.     (‘Watch Me Fall’ – available on LP, CD and digital files from The Matador Store)

Cold Cave in LA this weekend, get a limited-edition mixtape

By Robby on Friday, December 4th, 2009

image poached from Johnny Hanel‘s flickr

Los Angelans, make note:

At this weekend’s Cold Cave shows, the first 100 lucky attendees will receive a limited edition cassette tape with a mix curated by Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold and manufactured in conjunction with the folks at FYF Fest. Rumor has it that these cassettes contain a very special demo recording by Cold Cave but we can’t confirm or deny that. You’ll just have to find out for yourself. Each cassette is hand numbered and will only be made available at these shows.

Friday, December 4th (TONIGHT!)
Cold Cave
Abe Vigoda
Former Ghosts
@ Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd.
LA, CA 90041


Sunday, December 6
Cold Cave
Nite Jewel
@ Echo
1822 Sunset Blvd
LA, CA 90026