FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO COCKFIGHT : NEW CHAVEZ EP OUT TODAY

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(photo : Scott Marshall)

We can’t rightfully call it “decades in the making”. After all, the ‘Cockfighters’ EP has only been at the pressing plant a few months, and said facilities get far too much criticism from laypersons and record company creeps these days, as is. The important thing is that we’re on the precipice of rock history as once again, Clay, Matt, Scott and James have convened (albeit briefly) to remind us their collective skill-set is as unbeatable in 2017 as it was, well, whenever you first heard Chavez. The 12″ EP is out today and is available for physical purchase, download or streaming.

If you’re in NYC, Matt Sweeney and Dave “Ferd” Ferguson will be performing a brief set in the basement of Max Fish at around 8pm. They’ll be giving away copies of ‘Cockfighters’ as well, though not very many. We’re not made of free records (and neither are they), though I’m told we’re mostly water. This doesn’t sound right at all. What’s with all the hair and skin?

TRACK LISTING:
1. The Singer Lied
2. Blank In The Blaze
3. The Bully Boys

2017 TOUR DATES:
YOU WISH

Coming January 13 : CHAVEZ – ‘Cockfighters’ EP

OLE-1109 Chavez Cockfighters


“The Bully Boys”

After a two decade sabbatical, highly revered U.S. quartet CHAVEZ make their hotly rumored return to the rock frontlines with a new 3 song 12”/digital EP, ‘Cockfighters’, released by Matador on January 13 of the new year. Said EP — recorded in 2015 with longtime associate John Agnello —— represents the band’s first new recordings since their 1996 album, ‘Ride the Fader’. Will this EP result in a future full-length? Will Chavez once again exhibit the sort of live form they flashed at 2010’s Matador 21 celebrations? We don’t think you should bet money on it, but on the other hand, if you have a genuine gambling problem, judgmental scolding isn’t going to help anyone. Let’s enjoy this all-too-brief reminder of the band’s genius while we can.

TRACK LISTING:
1. The Singer Lied
2. Blank In The Blaze
3. The Bully Boys

Chavez-photo copy

It is both a blessing and a curse to be born with a penis. Freud knew this. So did Candy Darling. And so, mutatis mutandis, do the men of Chavez. They are phallus-wrestlers of the highest order, as evidenced not only by the muscular sensitivity of their music, but also quite literally by the title of their new EP, Cockfighters. Three songs in nine minutes; a new chapter and a willful engagement with the masculine issues—both hidden and overt—of our time.
To those of you who now implore, “Tell me the tale entire of Chavez,” we would caution that history is one big flaccid schlong draped across us all. Its inches are the measure of humankind’s institutionalized lies. So we don’t want to spend too much time on the past. But, for the sake of completion, we’ll blast through the pertinents real quick: Chavez was an integral part of the Matador records 1990s ejaculation of genius. With a bit more arena-rock in their DNA than most of their labelmates, Chavez took the nervous structures and ruminative lyric modes of the Indie Rock Pleistocene but added, deeper and more effectively than their peers, an injection of glistening testosterone-maximized amperage to the mix.

The band is composed of four Renaissance gents, varied and successful in their non ‘Vez pursuits.

Bassist Scott Marshall is a filmmaker who works and surfs in Malibu each and every day. He is lifelong friends with Anson Williams, which is a true fact you can research if you wish.

Drummer The James Lo, who is distinguished as a human in 2016 by the lack of a Wikipedia page that captures and classifies his essence in digital formaldehyde, is ambivalent about this rock music thing. He spends his time designing sound for contemporary dance and creating bits of hardware and software for music and theater.

Guitarist, riff-writer, and purveyor of harmony vocals Clay Tarver is a screenwriter who has worked on all four seasons of the HBO series Silicon Valley. He won a WGA Award in 2015 and subsequently, as he tells it, “nearly shit [his] pants onstage in a Men’s Warehouse rented tux.”

Guitarist, lyricist, and lead singer Matt Sweeney is a knight errant of studio and stage who has played with everyone from Iggy Pop and Neil Diamond to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Adele, and Run The Jewels. When all us humans have finally moved on from this Earth and are grooving as one spiritual mass to the great afterlife band of eternity, we will surely find Sweeney at the lip of the stage.

For now, in the material world, we walk around in our mortal fleshbags looking for good things to listen to—which is where these new Chavez tunes come in handy. Aside from a scattered drippage of shows and some new vocals on a greatest hits set, this here is the first public utterance from Chavez since 1996. But please put away your hot branding iron that says REUNION in the WranglerⓇ font. You will not be able to use it on the exposed flesh of Chavez because, technically, the band never broke up. They just noticed that the less they did, the more people wanted them. So they became a wee bit diffuse in their approach, getting together now and then over the years to proverbially noodle in the proverbial woodshed.

So this is less a Lazarus vibe then it is, say, a flaming and glorious phoenix kind of a trip. Imagine if Charles Willeford—author of the 1962 cult pulp novel (and literary ancestor to this EP) Cockfighter—clawed himself out of the grave and said, through a gargle of dirt and his own decaying bones, “Hey, folks. I’ve been down there writing the whole time and, here you go: got a new book for y’all here.” This Chavez moment we’re witnessing right now is kind of like that. A much-needed and genuinely ripping jolt of new perspective from artists of experience and wisdom. Thanks, men.

—Jesse Pearson

PREORDER ‘Cockfighters’ here.

Chavez at Facebook.

Coming In January : LP Reissues Of Chavez’ ‘Ride The Fader’ & ‘Gone Glimmering’

(photo : Jesse Peretz)

Here at Matador Records and Filmworks, we’ve long lived by the credo established by our founder, Chris Lombardi, who once declared, “give the people what they want. Especially if it’s easily accomplished and/or lucrative for us.” And with that in mind, we have listened to the pleas and threats of YOU, the music fans still devoted to paying for physical goods, and can finally announce that after 12 long years in the out-of-print wilderness, we’re reissuing both of Chavez’ Matador albums on vinyl on January 20, 2015

(“Break Up Your Band”, from ‘Gone Glimmering’, directed by Scott Marshall)

“It’s not like we’re out to desconstruct rock, but when we started the band, we had an agreement that we wouldn’t play anything that sounded like something we’d heard before.” – MATT SWEENEY (speaking to Billboard in 1996)

“For me, Chavez was this perfect creative beast. We had all these annoyingly strong ideas about what we wanted to do, and we did them. We did them exactly.”
– CLAY TARVER (speaking to The New York Times Magazine in 2011)

(“Unreal Is Here”, from ‘Ride The Fader’, directed by Clay Tarver and Scott Marshall)

The quartet of Tarver, Sweeney and crack rhythm section James Lo and Scott Masciarelli never quite broke up — they just take many years inbetween gigs (and many more years making us wait for a third album). But there’s an awful lot to be said for leaving a flawless recorded legacy behind, and 1995’s ‘Gone Glimmering’ and 1996’s ‘Ride The Fader’ are unbeatable slabs of thinking-person’s loud rock from an era where such sounds were not in short supply. To say both albums have grown in stature and influence years after their release would not be an exaggeration, but that’s precisely why we’re taking brutal advantage of the situation at this very moment.

Preorder from The Matador Store :
‘Gone Glimmering’
‘Ride The Fader’

(via Amazon :
‘Gone Glimmering’
‘Ride The Fader’

Press Releases Of The Ailing Stars (Or, “Chavez Aren’t Playing ATP”)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxa1yOg0nN0[/youtube]

(EDIITOR’S NOTE : the 24 hour rock news cycle isn’t kind to stories of great seriousness, but we’re hopeful the following will serve as a teaching moment of sorts for our younger readers, or the illiterate older people they hang out with. The memo below came to us via Chavez earlier today – GC)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
:

Chavez regrets to announce cancellation of their appearance at September 23’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” / All Tomorrow’s Parties in New York curated by Greg Dulli.

Suffering from what has been called “near lethal exhaustion” due to the band’s heavy touring schedule, guitarist Clay Tarver has checked himself into The Serenities Treatment Center outside of Mesa, Arizona.

The band’s management said only he will be receiving attention for issues he has battled for some time, and released a short statement from the famed guitarist: “I hope to catch my breath, face some demons, and come out kicking more ass than ever. You’re the best.”

Chavez asks “the number one fans in the world” to please respect Tarver’s privacy at this delicate time.

Important Festival News (For Those Who Mysteriously Fail To Read Other Music/News Sites)

If you’re like us (and I suspect you are), YOU LOVE MUSIC FESTIVALS almost as much as you love freedom. And there’s so many that are close to our hearts.  Matador’s Lost Weekend.  Atlamont.  The Gathering Of The Juggalos.  The Cornerstone Festival.  I could go on, but you’ve probably got some illegal downloading to back to, so let’s cut to the chase. Transmission Entertainment’s 7th annual Fun Fun Fun Festival is happening in Austin, TX this coming November 2, 3 and 4, and we’re thrilled to find out at the last minute announce Tanlines, Fucked Up, Paul Banks and The Young are all taking part.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ximSoONlIQ[/youtube]

Likewise,  ATP America’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” weekender (September 21-23) has been moved from Asbury Park, NJ to the glamorous West Side of Manhattan.  The Lee Ranaldo Band and Chavez will be playing, along with a tremendous lineup of performers, none of whom are named Louis C.K.   They’ll all have their hands full measuring up to Richie Blackmore at California Jam (above) , but there’s no harm in trying.

Chavez, A Fan’s Eye View From ATP

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJMinpUppQ[/youtube]

Chavez took part in All Tomorrow’s Parties’ ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ at London’s Alexandra Palace this past weekend, and aside from missing out on Matt, Clay, Scott and James playing to a huge mob, those of stuck stateside also didn’t see Codeine sharing a stage with Slayer. Not at the same time, mind you. I’ve got to assume we’d have heard about that on Twitter.

Kurt Vile, Perfume Genius and Chavez ATP festival fun

Just added to the expanding line-up for ATP curated by The National are Kurt Vile and Perfume Genius, who both return to the UK for the event this December.  In addition to this, Kurt Vile announces his largest UK headline show to date, playing  December 6th at The Forum, London.

December 6th – Kurt Vile, Lower Dens and Dark Dark Dark at The Forum, London – tickets

December 7th-9th – Kurt Vile and Perfume Genius at ATP festival curated by The National

 

Rewind back to now, and this weekend sees Chavez playing the I’ll Be Your Mirror weekender  in London, curated by Mogwai and ATP.  As a little refresher for those of you seeing Chavez on Saturday (4.15pm-5.00pm), here’s the 2006 compilation ‘Better Days Will Haunt You‘ on the Spotify player, below.

Chavez – “You Must Be Stopped”, As Not Seen On Network Television

“You Must Be Stopped” (studio version available on the ‘Better Days Will Haunt You’ 2XCD/DVD set), video courtesy NBC and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”.  Earlier in the day, Chavez taped a version of “Laugh Track” for broadcast, but not before they were prevented from handing out copies of the newly released “Chavez : The Video Game” to every member of Fallon’s studio audience.  We heard something about “not upstaging the country-club pseudo-athlete” who was the program’s other guest.  That’s a pretty harsh way of referring to Alan Cumming, but whatever, we’re not about show biz squabbles.

Chavez To Play Historic Site Of Stabbing-Riot Jersey Venue

(Chavez, photographed sometime between 1956 and 2011)

Having already blown away a global audience with the webcast of their Matador at 21 set, the men of Chavez return to the stage next September 30, playing Asbury Park’s Convention Center as part of the Portishead-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties.   Said auditorium holds a rather special place in rock lore ; in addition to hosting early gigs by the Rolling Stones, Kiss, the Who and Led Zeppelin, the Convention Center was also the host for a 1956 Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers set that ended with three attendees being stabbed.  While we’re hopeful history doesn’t repeat itself, it might be a good idea for Chavez to consider a reenactment/exorcism of sorts — surely there are any number of out of work thespians / supernaturalists (or perhaps a combination of the two) that might be available to assist.  We promise to forward all suggestions to the appropriate persons.

Matador At 21 – The Lost Weekend : Final Bill, Schedule Info

First of all, we know you’ve been waiting patiently for the information below, and we sincerely apologize for the length of time it took to get it together. But if wanting to put together an even sicker bill than previously announced is a crime, PLEASE LOCK US UP.

1) 50 additional pairs of tickets priced at $250.00 per person  (not including taxes and fees) will be available via a public lottery sometime next week.  We’ll announce the details here and on the 21 site beforehand.

2) Details regarding a limited number of room upgrades will be available at that time.

3) We regret to announce that at present, our supply of VIP tickets has been exhausted.  If that situation changes, we’ll let you know.

4) As rumored in a bunch of places (including this very blog), we’re very happy to confirm the following additions to The Lost Weekend Bill ;  Liz Phair, Times New Viking, Esben and the Witch, Perfume Genius, The Clean, MC’s Jeff Jensen, Bob Nastanovich, Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster, and a late Friday evening presentation by Austin’s Karaoke Underground. The rough schedule can be found below, and is very much subject to change :

Friday:

4 PM: Gala opening party, Hardwood Suite (VIP ticketholders, limited capacity)

MAIN STAGE (The Pearl):

doors open 6 PM, first band (Guitar Wolf) on at 7 PM

Pavement
Sonic Youth
Fucked Up
Chavez
Cold Cave
Guitar Wolf

MC : Jeff Jensen

2am onwards :  Superchunk/Fucked Up/bands TBC,  Hardwood Suite (VIP ticketholders only, capacity limited)
2am onwards :  Karaoke Underground at Little Buddha (open to all ticketholders, space permitting)

Saturday:

MAIN STAGE (The Pearl):

Belle and Sebastian
Spoon
Superchunk
Cat Power
Perfume Genius
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Come
Girls

MC : Bob Nastanovich

2am : Esben and the Witch, Harlem,  Key West Ballroom (open to all ticketholders, space permitting)

Sunday (MATINEE, in Key West Ballroom, open to all ticketholders, capacity limited):

The Clean
Times New Viking
Kurt Vile

Sunday evening :

MAIN STAGE (The Pearl):

Guided By Voices
Yo La Tengo
Liz Phair
The New Pornographers
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Shearwater

MC’s : Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster

Matador at 21: The Lost Weekend takes place at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas from October 1-3, 2010. This event is sponsored by MySpace Music, Altamont and Incase.

“The Lost Weekend” – Matador 21 In Las Vegas, Tickets On Sale This Friday, July 9

Tickets for “The Lost Weekend” aka Matador’s 21st birthday celebrations at The Palms will go on sale this Friday morning at 9am, PST. Here’s the details you’ve been hassling all of us about over the last week (and don’t think we don’t appreciate it)

a) Tickets/Pricing : An initial quantity will be on sale Friday for $SOLD. .After the $SOLD tickets sell out, the price increases to $SOLD.  A Ticketfly.com link will be posted on this site on Thursday, July 8th.  Starting Friday, you’ll have the opportunity to reserve standard rooms at the Palms for the discounted rate of $SOLD per night (the full 3 nights of the festival, only). The rooms feature two double bed and occupancy of up to 4 persons is allowed. The above rate is only available when purchasing tickets thru us. If you are interested in upgrading to a larger room or a suite you will be able to do so after purchasing the standard room. TICKETS FOR THE 3 NIGHTS  + ROOMS are being sold jointly — we’re not selling tickets to the shows separately at this time, nor are we selling tickets for individual nights.

(ADDENDUM -i) A limited number of 3-day tickets priced at  $SOLD—with no Palms reservation required — will be available Friday morning at 9am PST  via Ticketfly.com

ii)  if, for example, you’re buying 4 tickets to the shows, the $SOLD per night hotel fee can cover up to 4 people.  $SOLD over 3 nights divided by 4 is hopefully not an crazy amount to charge for rooms in a world class resort).

B) VIP tickets. A limited number of VIP packages will be available at $SOLD — details about what you’ll get for the $SOLD are forthcoming. You’ll have the ability to upgrade from the regular tickets, assuming the VIP tickets aren’t sold out.

C) Venue. The room in question is the 2100 seat Pearl at the Palms.

D) MORE BANDS. OK, we’re working on it. But in addition to the 19 artists confirmed on the above poster, we can confirm the original lineup of COME — Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Sean O’Brien and Arthur Johnson — will be participating. Actually, we already know who some of the other bands are, we’re just trying to drag this out.    MORE MATABLOG CONTENT between now and October!

E) Set times –  we’ll post these the week before the event.

F) These shows are open to all ages.  However, access to the casino floor is limited to those 21 and over.

F) WHAT ABOUT LAS VEGAS HUMANS?  Las Vegas’ Zia Records is selling 50 tickets to “The Lost Weekend” starting Friday, July 9.  You’ll need a Nevada I.D.  Reservations at the Palms are not required to purchase these tickets.

(ADDENDUM II :

INFORMATION FOR TICKETS AVAILABLE IN LAS VEGAS

Zia Records

4225 South Eastern Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89119-5485

702-735-4942

Zia Records

4503 W. SAHARA

LAS VEGAS, NV 89102

702-233-4942

Tickets will go onsale at both stores at 10:00am on Friday, July 9th via lottery. By overwhelming demand by Nevada Residents we will be increasing the amount of tickets available (50 X 2 = 100) . There is a two ticket limit. Nevada state ID required for purchase. Any questions please email 21@matadorecords.com

Matador 21 In Las Vegas, Oct. 1-3 : Let The Crazy Speculation Begin

As mentioned previously in this space, Matador will be celebrating the label’s 21st anniversary this October and this much we can finally confirm : there will be 3 nights of shows starting Friday October 1, and concluding Sunday October 3 at the Palms Casino & Resort In Las Vegas, NV. We’ll be dropping further hints about the amazing lineup in the days ahead, but a final announcement and information about how to purchase tickets will be made here at the trusty Matablog on July 5. Are you as psyched as we are?  (hopefully yes, because we’re getting in for free).

(ADDENDUM – there’s been a bit of confusion so just to clear things up, tickets DO NOT GO ON SALE JULY 5.  We’ll merely be announcing the on sale date/time on July 5.  thanks – GC)

Men Of Chavez (.com) Brought To Life

When thinking about how to best interactivate the two luxurious booklets in the "Better Days Will Haunt You" 2-CD set, we had a few ideas. Chauncey, our marketing intern, suggested a fancy sticker thing where everyone could make their own artwork!!! Our grumpy direct sales staff shut that down faster than you can say "gimmicky way to paint a turd."

Then Donovan at our indie PR company suggested that we run a blog contest to design a t-shirt inspired by the artwork. Our art director said, "silly indie publicists, we already have the greatest t-shirt design of ALL-TIME."

Finally, we just kicked it over to interactivator extraordinaire, Sergio (who did this and that), and the boy went all Delgado and hit one out_of_the_park.

Remember the times, the laffs and the Men at MenOfChavez.com.

Meta or Not? AMG’s Chavez Bio Screams Nick Sylvester

(thanks to Frank for the tip).  

Before the days of monkeys peeing into their mouths, Nick Sylvester would treat us to quasi-more-thoughtful meta-reviews of albums none of us should otherwise notice. So, this one has our meta-radars on full alert.

AMG on Chavez:  Betters Days Are NOW With NBC's New Must See Monday!!!

Just in case an editor actually decides to show up today, the full article is after the jump… Continue reading “Meta or Not? AMG’s Chavez Bio Screams Nick Sylvester”