Archive for December, 2010

Belle & Sebastian LIVE CONCERT WEBCAST (is over, but we’ve got you covered)

By Gabe on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

If you missed yesterday’s INSANELY FANTASTIC live Belle & Sebastian concert webcast from Glasgow, well, what were you THINKING? Watching the band burn through classics and new favorites, my inner 15-year-old-self nearly went into convulsions (ask my coworkers, it was embarrassing).

Though you may have erred horribly and missed the show, ’tis the holiday season, and in the spirit of giving (and forgiving) our friends at NPR have archived the entire show, in audio and video. Hallelujah.

The show was something really special – watch it with someone you love, and have a safe and happy holiday season.

Free remix MP3 from Esben and the Witch

By Stuart on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Embracing the spirit of the festive season, Esben and the Witch have merrily handed over a free-download to the Drowned in Sound website, which is available for download here.  Fellow Brits Worried About Satan remixed ‘Skeleton Swoon’ which originally featured on the very first Demo/EP which the band self released last year.  Daniel from the band also passed on these words about the remix:

“It was not really too much of a decision asking worriedaboutsatan to do a remix, I bought Arrivals when it came out and the atmospherics and pacing were just beautiful and the job they have done on this remix is wonderful, I think they managed to make it sound even more macabre. We were fortunate enough to have them play with us in London recently and not only were they lovely gents but they were absolutely captivating. I imagine this wont be the last time our paths cross creatively (or at least we hope not).”

Perfect Couples & a new A.C. Newman song

By Patrick on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

A.C. Newman has composed and performed the theme song for the new NBC primetime series Perfect Couples. It’s a pretty genius song too – at least the 19 seconds we can hear. Click on the above link for the trailer. Preview aired yesterday; show premieres January as part of NBC’s three-hour Thursday comedy block, leading into “The Office.”

Kurt Vile & Andrew Earles on The Best Show On WFMU tonight, 9:00PM EST

By Hector on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

(photo by Shawn Brackbill)

Fans of modern American troubadour Kurt Vile (and we hope that’s a category that includes each and every one of you) aren’t getting a chance to catch their breath this week. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of Mr. Vile’s forthcoming opus, Smoke Ring For My Halo, comes the news that Kurt will be appearing tonight on Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show On WFMU. Given the Best Show’s well-known connection to Kurt’s hometown of Philadelphia, we can only imagine what will transpire on this broadcast.

On top of that, Andrew Earles of Earles & Jensen fame will also be in the studio with Tom to discuss his recently published book on the legendary Husker Du.

This explosion of star power starts tonight at 9:00PM EST and goes all the way til midnight, so there’s plenty of time for you to tune in at 91.1FM or

TODAY: Belle & Sebastian CONCERT WEBCAST, live from Glasgow – 4PM EST (1PM PST, 9PM GMT)

By Gabe on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

The day is finally here! Belle & Sebastian: a Holiday Spectacular, live from Glasgow.

Tune in today at NPR ( or The Guardian ( at 4PM EST (1PM PST for Californians and the like, and 9PM GMT in the country of origin) for a full-length Belle & Sebastian concert – a holiday blowout live from Glasgow. Yessssssssss!!!!!!!!!!

We’re expecting classic tunes, long-lost favorites, suprises and superjams from the recent Write About Love (buy the album)…Break out the eggnog, this is going to be great.

(Photo by Christoph)

Coming Tuesday, March 8 – Kurt Vile’s ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’

By Gerard on Monday, December 20th, 2010

Some 17 months ago, a particularly hyperbole-crazed record company functionary gushed about this imprint’s signing of “one of the more important figures in American music circa 2009″, certainly the sort of poisoned chalice a young musician would have as much trouble living down as the subject of Jon Landau’s 1974 claim in The Real Paper, “I have seen rock’n'roll future.”

We of course know that in the latter instance, Landau was referring to Paul Williams, and in the former, I was writing about Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile.  Through a succession of releases for Matador, Woodsist, Gulcher, Richie and Mexican Summer (not to mention constant touring, both as a headliner an in support of a dizzying range of artists including Ariel Pink, Sonic Youth, Fucked Up, Big Star, The National, Dinosaur Jr.and others) Kurt has quickly established himself as the troubadour du jour for an increasingly large number of clued-in persons.  Though initially praised in some corners for having “absorbed a lifetime’s worth of FM rock”,  Kurt’s music has developed into something less genre/period-specific yet far more focused & powerful.   On March 8, we’ll be unveiling the next stage in that development with the LP/CD/digital album, ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ ;  recorded by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) throughout 2010 at various studios in NYC, Hoboken and Philadelphia, the 2nd Kurt Vile full-length for Matador is easily his most ambitious work to date.  Assisted by a cast including but not limited to the Violators, ‘Smoke Ring’ doesn’t merely showcase Kurt’s versatility (keep in mind, this is a guy who was once compared to Leonard Cohen, Psychic TV, Tom Petty and Animal Collective — in the same review), but truly ties otherwise disparate elements together in a way that hopefully causes everyone to seriously re-evaluate the very nature of what they consider to be a classic album.

Or failing that, the sort of album you’ll be playing very loud in the car.  Or first thing in the morning. Or perhaps at 3am.  We could call it a record for every mood but you might be far moodier than any of us and that wouldn’t be fair.

‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ :

A side:
Baby’s Arms
Jesus Fever
Puppet To The Man
On Tour
Society Is My Friend

B side:
Runner Ups
In My Time
Peeping Tomboy
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Ghost Town

In the very near future, we’ll be making another preview MP3 from ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ available, but until then, you’ll have to be satisfied with the titular track from the recently released 7″ EP,  “In My Time”.     We’re planning a special, limited edition version of the ‘Smoke Ring’ LP but need to keep the details to ourselves for the time being, but expect a formal announcement soon, along with information about Kurt’s 2011 live activity.

Kurt Vile “In My Time” [192kbps mp3]

Mr. Butler’s wet grinder

By Patrick on Saturday, December 18th, 2010

This is one of the best infomercials I’ve ever seen. Stick with it – their product range is wide and deep.

(Also, you now all know what to get me for Christmas.)

If you liked that one, you might also enjoy the commercial below for a tilting wet grinder (industrial size). I mainly found it interesting for the insanely weird background music.

Belle & Sebastian CONCERT WEBCAST: a Holiday Spectacular, live from Glasgow – THIS TUESDAY

By Gabe on Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We are so pleased to announce that this coming Tuesday December 21 at 9PM GMT/4PM EST, NPR and The Guardian will partner with Matador, Rough Trade and, of course, Belle & Sebastian to bring you a live concert, in it’s entirety, from the legendary Barrowland in the band’s hometown of Glasgow.

Belle & Sebastian. Live from Glasgow. Oh my God, Merry Christmas!!!!!

The live concert webcast, which promises to include long-lost fan favorites, hits from this year’s Write About Love (buy the album) and all manner of festive fun, will be found at and, as well as on NPR’s mobile site ( for viewing on your iPhone, Android and iPad.

Let’s have a party, people.

Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah Mix CD’s, On Sale For One Day Only via

By Gerard on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Whether you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift, a belated Hanukkah present or you’re just intent on hoarding cool stuff/mementos from 2010′s most impressive concert series, the following offer from our friends Yo La Tengo is not to be missed.

On Friday at midnight PST  (Friday 3 am EST), will be offering four of the mix cd’s sold exclusively at the 2010 Maxwell’s Hanukkah shows, one night apiece -Georgia’s (sold 12/7 ), James’ (sold 12/5 ), Ira’s  (sold 12/6 ) and Joe Puleo’s (sold 12/8).  This offer will end at midnight PST on Saturday (3 am EST).

All cd’s will be $10 each ppd in the USA (surcharge for elsewhere).  Additionally, there’s an optional overnight gift-giver’s delight service for the low, low surcharge of $7.  Other than the surcharges, all money (in other words $10 per cd) will be donated to the charities from this year’s Hanukkah shows, which can be found here:  (If you’re scoring at home, we’re absorbing the cost of blank cd’s, mailers, US first-class postage, and on-line merchant fees.)

The New Pornographers team with Oxfam for Gulf Coast oil spill awareness

By Gabe on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Today, Oxfam and The New Pornographers have announced a partnership to help maintain awareness for the ever-developing struggle in the Gulf Coast region following April’s devastating oil spill and ensuing ecological crisis.

As part of their efforts to keep the plight of the Gulf Coast at the forefront of social consciousness heading into a new year, The New Pornographers and Oxfam have created a uniquely awesome music video for the NPs tune “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk”, that tells the story of the aftermath of the Gulf Coast oil spill in Louisiana and Oxfam’s advocacy efforts on behalf of communities that rely on the coast for their livelihoods. Check it out and SHARE IT, please:

As we close out another calendar year, The New Pornographers and Oxfam respectfully remind you that the Gulf Coast oil spill was not a “2010 issue”, but remains the devastatingly persistent plight of a region, and truly an entire nation. For continued support of Oxfam’s efforts in the Gulf, check back here regularly.

Man, Are We An Opinionated Bunch Or What? – Matador Artists, Staff & Associates Slam The Lid On 2010

By Gerard on Monday, December 13th, 2010

There’s no shortage of publications, blogs, label websites, etc.,  running their own screwy lists of 2010′s top recordings, events, etc.   How is Matador’s annual entry any different?  Well for starters, our lists are much longer. Thanks for indulging us this year, folks.   The Best Of The Bests Ofs, right after THIS : (more…)

Some dishes from recent months

By Patrick on Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Just some recent cooking… have not had time for regular food posts.

Ruth Rogers’s spaghetti carbonara, from the River Cafe Cookbook, with the addition of fresh spring peas (this was from last May). I recommend the combination.

Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Keralan shrimp with coconut from the sadly out of print A Taste Of India, which covers India’s regional cooking. This is the first time making it that I was able to find a critical ingredient, kodampoli or “fish tamarind.”

It is a dried fruit from southwest coastal India and imparts a complex sour flavor – a more interesting one than regular tamarind.


I served the shrimp with another Keralan dish, a pachadi made with spinach and yogurt. Like many dishes from Kerala, this one plays bitter and spicy chile flavors off the creamy saltiness of the yogurt. It’s a great combination.

Tripe florentine. The recipe comes from Marcella Hazan with some alterations, and is not for the faint of heart. That said, it’s nothing compared to the famous Julia Child episode where she makes tripes à la mode de Caen and has several entire beef stomachs on display to explain exactly what’s going on.

Another Hazan, this one much simpler: spaghetti with tomatoes and tuna. It was summer and I dressed it up with some fresh basil from the garden.

Bourbon Red heritage turkey for Thanksgiving. I did a combination of a dry brine and a very fast roast in a convection oven. Onions and apples inside for moisture, paprika, salt and pepper on the outside, and massive amounts of butter.

Spinach, mushroom and cheese omelet. The recipe is from Miriam Ungerer’s Good Cheap Food, and is all about French technique, which she sets apart from the usual American version with its much browner, dryer outside. Obviously I didn’t completely succeed in avoiding brown. Lots and lots of shaking the pan.

Another one from Ungerer, which she calls poached chicken à la creme but which seems to me like classic American comfort food. Essentially you poach a chicken with its giblets plus vegetables, garlic and herbs until it’s falling apart (much like preparing chicken for tamales), and then use the resulting stock, along reserved fat, heavy cream, lemon juice, sherry and mushrooms to make a luscious sauce. The addition of the peas was my idea.

This is a daunting Persian dish from Najmieh Batmanglij’s New Food Of Life called gormeh sabzi. There are several variations in terms of the meat, but the key ingredients are an enormous amount of fresh herbs (parsley, coriander and chives) which you fry down in oil, and a quantity of dried limes plus fresh lime juice. The dried limes are wonderfully sour and pungent and the aroma of the frying herbs is overwhelming. We made this one with boneless leg of lamb, but it can also be made with lamb shanks, chicken or just kidney beans.

Another Persian dish, this is a variation on rice tahdig where the bottom of the rice pot is lined with potato to form a crust of its own. It’s a nice change from regular tahdig.

“Class Of 1984″ – Unjustly Dicked Out Of The 1982 Academy Awards

By Gerard on Sunday, December 12th, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

Seriously. Who the fuck remembers “E.T.”?  A couple of years ago, I talked the owners of a local tavern into letting me screen Mark Lester’s mindblowing “Class Of 1984″ as part of a makeshift birthday party/film festival.  “Who doesn’t want to see Michael J. Fox get stabbed?” I asked, though as it turned out, attention spans amongst my friends were running low, the volume on the bar’s TV was lower, or perhaps Michael J. Fox wasn’t stabbed nearly enough times.  Either way, this film remains an all-time favorite of mine, and if it couldn’t be part of a holiday tradition for me, perhaps it will become one for you.

There’s much to recommend about “Class Of 1984″ ;  the ferocious, self-righteous over-acting of Perry King as concerned educator Andrew Norris ;  Timothy Van Patten (son of dog-food magnate Dick, “Salami” from the equally brilliant “The White Shadow” and in more recent years, a key, behind-the-scenes contributor to “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire”) as faux-punk gangleader Stegman ; Roddy McDowell as an increasingly cynical science teacher who ultimately turns a gun on his teenage tormentors ; a musical cameo from Teenage Head, essentially giving away the film’s Toronto location.   But why listen to me?   If I celebrated Xmas and/or hadn’t already purchased a copy, I’d be asking Satan Santa for the newly published “Destroy All Movies!” (Fantagraphics Books), in which the amazing tome’s co-author, Zack Carlson, hails “Class Of 1984″ as “just a perfect exploitation movie.”

“Originally slapped with an X rating, it’s relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, grimy sex, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! Exaggerated or not, the gang practically wrote the textbook for countless delinquent groups that would terrorize big-screen high schools through the 80′s and beyond. There’s a consistent, pervasive air of innocent helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre.”

“And it’s fun, thinking of you like a movie star”

By Catherine on Friday, December 10th, 2010

I don’t really know what it means to be in love, and as they say, write what you know.  Since I am to write about love, I will focus on something I love to have and am very well acquainted with: Crushes.

These are pictures of the three-ring binder I had in 7th grade.  I saw “Speed” in the summer of 1994 just after graduating from elementary school, and became absolutely smitten with Keanu Reeves.  I spent that summer daydreaming about how I was going to marry Keanu when I was 24 (only after I had retired from modeling, of course).  Did you know that Keanu was born in Beirut, Lebanon and that the name means “cool breeze over the mountain” in Hawaiian (thanks for the education, Bop Magazine!)?  Anyway, I thought about the trips my future husband and I would take, made sketches of the types of dresses I planned to don at future red carpet events, and imagined how great it would someday be to hobnob with celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels and Dennis Hopper (12 year-old me imagined the cast of “Speed” to be the best of friends, I would later become aware of things like press junkets).

This intense “love” lasted a grand total of 6 months, until a viewing of “Newsies” ushered in a new era where Christian Bale reigned supreme over my 13 year-old heart.  Well, along with Ethan Hawke, Brad Pitt, Brad Renfo (RIP) and Jared Leto, who were also, like, really, really cute and stuff.

1996 (age 14) was the year I had my first boyfriend, kiss, drink, joint etc. and things like celebrity crushes temporarily fell by the wayside.  I watched “Dazed and Confused” all the time, read Siddhartha, and made my dad stand in line to get me tickets to see the Sex Pistols during their Filthy Lucre reunion tour, cus I was, like, into punk rock and stuff, but like, had to rehearse for my 8th grade graduation, right, and I was, like, afraid it would sell out if I went after school.  It was all very Lindsay Weir in “Freaks and Geeks,” I even started wearing an army jacket and had the same haircut!

Ah, speaking of “Freaks and Geeks,” my current celebrity crush is James Franco.  Actually… strike the first statement of this blog post from the record – I added “Eat Pray Love” to my Netflix queue.  That’s LOVE.

A Date With Bob In London

By Judge on Friday, December 10th, 2010

Bob Nastanovich photographed by Fiona, used without permission (sorry!)

Aside from his usual role being an all-round nice guy and multi-talented musician with Pavement, many do not know that Mr. Nastanovich is also an accomplished DJ and musical connoisseur.  He will be putting this knowledge and his adept mixing techniques to the test this weekend in London.  DJing alongside Jon McArthur, Bob will be playing some records from 8-11pm this Sunday, December 12th, at one of Matador UK’s favourite drinking establishments, The Mucky Pup, in Islington.  Described on their myspace page as “The Best Pub On Queen’s Head Street” (it’s the only pub on Queen’s Head Street), I can attest to the fact that The Pup is fully qualified at housing people who like good music, good people and good ale.

The Mucky Pup, 39 Queen’s Head Street (off Essex Rd)
Islington London N1 8NQ
Tel: 0207 226 2572

About Love

By Dave on Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Before I start I should acknowledge that my photo heavy and link-tastic post is directly inspired from noted blogger Ira Kaplan.

I was originally going to write about one of my true loves:  record stores.  I met my wife in a record store and my life still revolves around them, but this year there was a bigger theme than records in my life.

Going places and being with the people you love.

My wife’s family is from Butler, PA and we spent two weeks there this summer doing a whole lot of nothing. It was great.  We went to a Bluesox game, we went to the drive in (Photo from noted Bulter native CongoEels flickr.)  We went to Moraine state park to ride bikes, swim and have a picnic.  It all ruled.

Some other places I went:

Columbus, Ohio.  I finally saw the Gibson Bros and it was fantastic.

The Adirondacks

I love a good wedding and this was one of the best in recent memory, must have something to do with the day.  The whole weekend was all so beautiful.  We went swimming in this lake.

It was cold and awesome.

Scituate, MA

I grew up nowhere near the ocean so a clambake was nothing more than an Elvis joke.  In real life it is so much more

The Lost Weekend

I’d never been to Las Vegas, I’m far to scared to actually gamble (too many records I want to buy with that money.) Everything related to the weekend wasz fantastic, but I never expected to be so taken with the surroundings.

My final trip of the year is going to be the best one yet, but it is supposed to be a surprise so if you see my parents don’t tell them.

Perfume Genius “Lookout, Lookout” video directed by Patrick Sher, NYC show

By Patrick on Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Click above to watch the first proper video for Perfume Genius, for the song “Lookout, Lookout” (via Pitchfork). Directed by Patrick Sher and shot in Portland.

Perfume Genius has also just announced one more NYC show before the end of the year, supporting Light Asylum at a secret space in Bushwick next Wednesday, December 15. The $28 tickets include free hors d’oeuvres and three free drinks. Go to envelopefamily to buy tickets; location information will be included with purchase confirmation.

For those of you who missed it, yesterday we re-released the Learning album in a special slipcase edition with new artwork and three new tracks. You can buy it from us:


or from your favorite local record store or online retailer. Check out an MP3 of Dreeem, one of the new tracks, HERE

Matador 21% Discount (with free shipping) like… NOW!

By Michael on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

To celebrate our 21st year we are offering up a 21% discount on every order at the Matador store.

In addition, we’ll throw in FREE SHIPPING on any orders over $50.

Simply enter code Matador21 at checkout for the discount and select the free shipping option (Sorry, US customers only) Code valid through Dec. 16.

Set list

By Patrick on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Thanks to Brushback.

Red Red Wine I Love You Right From The Start…

By Brigitte on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings. My favorite white strapless dress with the lace overlay suddenly started to itch and I was overwhelmed with this feeling of insecurity. Should I have worn this dress and not the purple A line with the big bow? My hair has completely fallen from dancing and is now getting in my face. My foot is slipping out of my kitten heels every step we take. I died them bright white to match my favorite dress, which I’m now seriously reconsidering. I think my stockings are starting to fall.

I felt his hand brush against my arm as it slowly made it’s way in to my hand. I was relieved to feel it was moist, he must be nervous too. He stopped. Turned to face me. I could feel his eyes on me. I was too scared to look at him. The carpet was a dark green with a pretty flower pattern. How long can I avoid his eyes? Is the carpet really that entertaining? If I look at him will he read my thoughts? Will he know everything I’m thinking. He’ll know how I feel about him. Then everyone will know. He moved closer to me. He smelled sweet. There was a faint smell of the cologne he had put on earlier that night, mixed with the chocolate cake they served for dessert and the clean smell of fabric softener. His hand tightened around mine and I knew. It was time to face my fate. I looked up from the floor and caught his gaze. He smiled. It was that same smile that brought me away to this hallway, away from my parents, away from my friends, and away from the party. It was that smile that made me question myself, intensely wish he’d like me and daydream about this very moment. He started to lean towards me. I watched him close his eyes. I did the same. I felt his warm breath get closer and his lips gently rest upon mine. It was over in moments. It went so quickly. So perfectly. I wish I hadn’t been so scared. Why was I so scared?

I followed him back in to the banquet hall, giddy and slightly embarrassed. They all knew. They had to know. I was lost, completely in love. Thankfully, we managed to make it back in time for UB40s “Red, Red Wine.” The night was nearing to an end. Just thinking about waiting to see him again at school on Monday already seemed like an eternity.

My mom called my name and instantly I snapped out of my daze.

It was so many years ago now but I remember it like it was yesterday. My first kiss. It was the beginning of my first love. Everything was so innocent. We had no idea about consequence, about pain, about a heart broken! I just loved for the sake of loving and it was incredible.