That didn’t turn out so badly, did it? From our perspective the paying customers and bands at last weekend’s Matador 21 celebrations at The Palms (NOT SHOWN ABOVE, sheesh!) had a great time. So did we — ridiculously so. I think I can speak on behalf of Chris, Patrick and Martin when I say the 72 whirlwind was equal parts humbling, gratifying and inspiring — the overwhelming majority of performances were scorchers (feel free to rate ’em yourself in the comments area) and we couldn’t have been more psyched to be surrounded by such a crazy bunch of friends, old and new, from around the world. That so many of you went to such lengths to attend this event is not something we’re gonna forget for a very long time.
We’ve got a mountain of people to thank and if I’ve left anyone out, please take it easy on me BECAUSE MY HEAD STILL HURTS FROM SUNDAY. To our co-promoter, FYF Fest (Sean Carlson, Phil Hoelting, Mariko Jones) gracias for believing this could actually work. To our hosts, The Palms Resort & Casino, you couldn’t have been more gracious or helpful (especially when you removed the “PRIME RIB SPECIAL” text and replaced it with “MATADOR 21 : SOLD OUT” on the marquee). Though the auspices of MySpace Music, millions of viewers around the globe were able to see Mitch Mitchell nearly get his lights punched out some amazing shows. Altamont – thanks for the cool tote bags (and for not cursing us, with, y’know, Altamont-esque vibes) , Incase, thanks for the iPhone cases. Sailor Jerry, Miller and Black Star — despite nearly killing a few of us, we’re thanking you as well.
Transmission‘s Graham Williams and Johnny Sarkis performed tireless troubleshooting duties just hours after opening a new venue in Austin, TX. David Scheid became “THE FIXER” in ways that had no impact on Sunday’s NFL schedule, but heroically assisted our efforts over the weekend in ways we can barely quantify. I’ve already thanked Nils Bernstein, Gabe Spierer and Adam Farrell privately, so I’ll not embarrass them by citing their brilliant work in this public space. Winston Case’s excursions into the Matador video vaults might’ve exposed him to asbestos, bed bugs and VIDEO MADNESS, but such sacrifices kept us entertained between bands. Archivist Jesper Eklow and former design geniuses, Mark Ohe and Frank Longo, helped assemble many of the fantastic materials that were on dazzling display over the course of the weekend. We thank Zia Records and Origami Records for setting up show in the lobby, and patiently answering my inquiry about that “fuck you” song I’ve heard so much about (weirdly, that record wasn’t for sale).
Our masters of ceremonies for the weekend were thrown to the lions and somehow emerged unscathed ; Jeffrey Jensen, Bob Nastanovich, Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster, thank you so much for sparing all 2300 ticket holders the “humor” of Jay Mohr. On the DJ front, we commend Mike Haliechuk, James McNew, Dean Bein, Rusty Clarke and Dave Martin for supplying excellent pre-recorded entertainment. Karaoke Underground made their Las Vegas debut late Saturday and Sunday nights and with assistance from such members of the Matador roster as Ted Leo, Sandy Miranda, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, showed the Matador at 21 attendees what Austin residents have known for ages (ie. K.U.’s shows-are-tops, so thanks, Kaleb & Hannah).
An attempt to do something on this scale wasn’t gonna be without hiccups — or wild coughing spasms. But by the time Guided By Voices had concluded their 30 song set early Monday morning, we felt like The Lost Weekend was everything we’d hoped for and a little bit more. You might feel otherwise, and perhaps someday there will be an open forum of some sort where you can freely express your dissent. Until that day arrives, however, everyone who wasn’t there will just have to trust me when I say Matador At 21 Was A Blast (and now I need a cold washcloth). To the people who care so much about our artists and label, thank you for sharing it with us.