Shearwater-Seventy Four, Seventy Five Matacast

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You may not be aware, but we've got a sort-of regular label podcast where we upload music videos, live performances and various other strange collisions of sound and vision.  It's linked from the Matador homepage, and new content is simultaneously posted on our equally mysterious Youtube account.

The latest post is footage of Shearwater performing their song "Seventy Four Seventy Five" at this year's South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.  The picture may be a little dark, sadly the church that served as the venue was not equipped with klieg lights, but Jonathan Meiburg and company give a characteristically intense performance.

Matastore $5 Spring Cleaning Sale!

For one month only, get select Matador titles for $5 a piece plus shipping and handling from the Matastore.

The music industry is a business of sad realities. Morrissey's hair is one of them. But another is the fact that great records inevitably go out of print. Contracts run out, vinyl is notoriously hard to keep in production, and heck, maybe the world wasn't ready for that Bunnybrains LP after all.

We've got a batch of records a mere month away from graduating from the Matador Records catalog (assembled above for a class portrait). Turn our tearful farewell into your kickass record collection.

Five dollars each, limited quantities available. First ordered, first served, so order early to avoid disappoint. Once these are gone, they're gone for good.

Click here to see all the titles and formats on sale!

Lavender Diamond with strings attached

Lavender Diamond is performing next Thursday at the Redcat theatre in the Disney Concert Hall in LA.  A really special event that will feature Lavender Diamond with an orchestral backing (arrangements written by the band's own Steve Gregoropoulos), this is a one off engagement with Indian Jewelry.  So if you're in the LA area, clear your calender.  There isn't a better way to spend $15 on a Thursday night, not legally anyway. Check out details and buy tickets HERE.

Kurt Vonnegut: So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan. He was 84.

–From the NY Times Obituary 

He'd been mostly retired since publishing "Timequake" in the mid-90s, but still, what a bummer.  I'll just say that Mr. Vonnegut probably had a larger effect on my own developing personality in high school than just about anything else, hometown, parents, and Silkworm included.  Plus he looked like a big muppet.

People tend to steer readers toward "Cat's Cradle" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," but for me "Breakfast of Champions," the essay collection "Wampeters Foma & Granfalloons," and the aforementioned "Timequake" were where it's at.

Salut Mr. Vonnegut, I'm sorry you had to die while George W. Bush was president. 

 

The Ponys play The Bowery: Bums stunned, not an off track to be found

 

I could tell you about how awesome The Ponys sounded at their Bowery Ballroom gig on Monday, but why bother?  I'm an interested party obviously, so if I call them the best parts of the Rolling Stones, Television, and Thurston Moore-penned Sonic Youth sewn together in a Frankenstein's monster-sized dose of R-O-C-K in the USA, it's just not going to have the same impact as when Billy Blogger steals that line in three weeks.  

Instead, I'll let a picture do the talking.  Ladies and Gentleman, let your eyes drift upward to the image of Ponys mainman Jered Gummere howling out "Turn The Lights Out" while covered in silly string.  Note how he's playing the keys so hard his right hand is apparently generating a circle of light.  Bear in mind that this was only three songs in to the set, and the evening only got more rockin' from there.

Buy Early Get Now #3: The Ponys Pre-Order!

Yes!  A third installment of Matador's Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion and this time The Pony's were generous enough to give us some fantastic bonus material exclusively for customers that pre-order their new full length album, and Matador debut, "Turn the Lights Out." 

When you preorder the album, you'll get the following:

– Stream of the album
– Exclusive b-side
– Exclusive live EP download (recorded live at Schubas on 1/12/07)

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– An Exclusive poster designed by Melissa Elias. (SUPPLIES LIMITED)

Here's how it works:  When you pre-order "Turn the Lights Out," you'll receive information and a unique code via email to download the b-side and the exclusive live EP, and then when release date (3/20) rolls around the posters will ship with the album or you can pick them up at participating retailers.

The b-side and show tracks will be revealed 2/15 on buyearlygetnow.com, the official home of this and all future Matador preorders.  As usual, this offer is available through a wide selection of music retailers, as well as through the Matador Store.  The complete list of participating stores can be found at buyearlygetnow.com

Still not sold?  Sample the goods!  Here's a link to listen to a track off of the rockeriffic 'Turn The Lights Out',  "Double Vision"  

Matastore February Special: Buy The Record, Get Bonus Jennifer O’Connor EP Download!

Jennifer O'Connor is currently on the road winning hearts and minds (you can find out where HERE), but even with her heroically busy schedule she may not be coming to a town near you. If that's the case, what better way to get to know this criminally overlooked practioner of the singing and songwriting arts than through her Matador debut, "Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars"? Especially when Matador HQ is throwing in a free download of her recent digital ep, "Another Side of Jennifer O'Connor." This four song ep starts off with a great cover of Bob Dylan's "To Ramona" and moves on to 3 originals, including the unexpectedly rocking (and expectedly awesome) "(Take Me On A Ride Around The) Sun."

Just order "Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars," and within 24 hours, we'll email you a unique code to access the EP!

Love Of Diagrams (and MP3 premieres)

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(photo by Lauren Bamford) The first mp3 from Love of Diagrams is up now and available for your listening pleasure at the following link.The track on offer is called "No Way Out," and comes from the Love of Diagrams EP out January 30th.  It may sound familiar, not just because it's a song so good that it's amazing no one wrote it before, but because it was featured in the late (as in cancelled) prime-time soap opera, "The OC."

…and here's the video:

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We'll have U.S. dates to announce very shortly. 

Catch A Piece Of The Matador Holiday Sale

To celebrate us bringing the Matador store back in house, we’ve been running a holiday sale featuring 11 different Mata-riffic bundles at deep Mata-riffic discounts. Check it out at the Matador Store homepage. Discounted albums include work from Pavement, Cat Power, Brightblack Morning Light, Cornelius, Belle & Sebastian, Guided By Voices, and more.

There's only two days left for your order to be shipped before Christmas, so stop with the procrastination already!

To put it plainly: any order received after noon on Friday, December 22 will NOT be shipped until Monday, January 2.

Thank You To Insound!

After however long it has been, Matador Records is happy to announce that the Matador Store is now being fulfilled in house. 

Insound has been amazing to work with, they’ve done a great job as a fulfillment partner, and we have nothing but respect and gratitude towards them.  They're one of our favorite online record stores, and we'll still be buying records from them. 

But given the increasing complexity of things like our Buy Early Get Now campaigns, and different online sales we want to run (the first of which will be announced as soon as I’m done writing this), it only makes sense for us to take over all operations and allow ourselves the greatest flexibility possible.

Any questions, concerns, or death threats concerning the Matador Store should now be addressed to store@matadorrecords.com, and a FAQ will be up on the store site shortly, if it isn’t already.

Sad Day in Cinema-Robert Altman Dies

From the Associated Press:

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind "M-A-S-H," "Nashville" and "The Player" who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81.

Read the whole story HERE

Say what you will about the man's consistency, and any filmography that includes a Richard Gere gynaecology picture has some problems, but Altman was one of the most fearless directors in history.  I can think of few directors who were so willing to try new things, and fail.  And no one else got away with making such a long string of decently funded, uncompromisingly auteuristic films.  If people like Orson Welles had had Altman's gift for roping studios and stars to back his vision, well, the world might never have known a planet sized Transformer named Omicron.

"M.A.S.H," "Nashville," and "The Player" will inevitably dominate the public conversation, but for my money, his best were "Three Women," and "The Long Goodbye."

Salut, Robert Altman, you were great. 

Cat Power, In Concerto On NPR

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(Chan at Bonaroo, pic taken from Myself Myself)

From the good people of NPR.org:

November 15, 2006 · Cat Power is the music of Chan Marshall, a Southern-born singer-songwriter with a soulful, heart-wrenching voice. In a decade-long career, her music has evolved from spare, angst-ridden rock to lush, warm soul, while always intimate and mesmerizing. Hear Cat Power live online in a full concert, webcast on NPR.org from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club Monday, Nov. 20. Hear the entire show beginning at approximately 7 p.m. ET.

Check out the full details, and, more importantly, find the link to listen HERE

Jennifer O’Connor at Lincoln Center’s Dylan Tribute

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(from left to right : JOC, live at Tampa's Vinyl Fever, crap bass player)

Jennifer O'Connor
will be performing at "The Music Of Bob Dylan" tribute November 9 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. If the repitoire alone doesn't impress you, check out some of the other scheduled acts: Patti Smith, Cat Power, Philip Glass, The Roots, Allen Toussaint, Bob Mould, Ryan Adams, Phil Lesh, Jay Farrar, Lee Ranaldo, Roseanne Cash –Heady company indeed!

Jennifer will be playing a duet with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who some of you might know as the famous friend of Woody Guthrie who isn't Pete Seeger. All the details you could possibly want are at this link.

A taste of Wows to Come

Not one, but two mp3s are posted on the website in connection with Pavement's upcoming deluxe release "Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition." The first, for those new to Pavement, is "Rattled By The Rush," the first single off the album way back when, newly remastered and sounding better than ever.

The second, "Heckler Spray/In The Mouth Of A Desert," isn't even on the release! It comes from Pavement's long-lost live album (OLE 170) which will be available as a bonus download to anyone who participates in the Wow-Out pre-order promotion. The performance is from a Pavement show at the Palace in Hollywood on April 24, 1994, and the entire 17 song show will be available to the Wowed-Out, along with a 7" of unreleased takes, and a Mad Magazine-inspired folding poster.

Full details of how you can Wow-Out will be up shortly, along with participating retailers, but for now check out the downloads on Pavement's music page.