Archive for the 'friday afternoon’s alright for writing' Category

Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues in Paris

By Gerard on Friday, January 25th, 2008

(photo by Mike Holdsworth)

Our good friend and former colleague Mike Holdsworth reports from Paris :

Cat Power played a show in Paris on her birthday (Jan 21) at the famed  Parisian venue Bataclan. Tickets were changing hands outside for 200 Euros, that’s about 300 of your George Bush dollars. In a short but truly historic show Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues managed to perform a set that ranged across heart rendering passion and through most human emotions including, but not ending in, jealousy and pain. The songs selected were mainly from the new Jukebox album. If Soul Music is passion, tenderness, longing and hurt wrapped up by a great voice and tight band then Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues are Soul in capital letters and the performance of “Lost Someone” was a great example. “Silver Stallions”, one of the highlights on the new album, unfurls with a mean slide guitar and taut solo from Judah Bauer. Together Dirty Delta Blues have matured into a muscular beast. They give the Bad Seeds a run for their money, delivering emphatic and repeated punches at the end of Metal Heart, a song that builds from a gentle beginning into a piledriver. The reworked “Metal Heart’ underlines how good Chan’s songwriting is, on par with any of the covered classics tonight. The version of “He’s Got You” is beautiful but laden with vitriol as Chan stresses the word “you” with real venom live. The evening ended all too soon with Chan handing out white roses. Even the five minutes of the audience calling for more with full house lights on and music playing could not be satisfied due to a strict curfew.

The following day at the Canal Plus TV studios seven songs were recorded for broadcast. In those controlled situations, a small audience and state of the art studio the songs were even better than the Bataclan performance. Watch out for it on Youtube – I am sure it will pop up as soon as it is broadcast in France.

Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues will be appearing on BBC2′s “Later With Jools Holland” on Friday, February 1, as the show celebrates its 200th episode. Other guests that night include Dionne Warwick, Feist and Radiohead.

Some Establishments Will Do Anything To Avoid Feeding The Matador Staff

By Gerard on Friday, January 11th, 2008

Or as Van Morrison might’ve sung had he had the chance, “it’s a marvelous night for a Moondance (Diner to haul ass to Wyoming on the back of a truck”).

I realize Patrick’s culinary skills are intimidating, but this is ridiculous.

Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah Shows

By Gerard on Friday, December 7th, 2007

(photograph by Liz Clayton)

I had the distinct pleasure of attending night no.1 of Yo La Tengo’s annual (well, most years) Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s this past Tuesday. And while it was a terrific show — including performances by Versus, Mark Arm (Mudhoney, Green River, Mr. Epp & The Calculations) and Jon Glaser/Jon Benjamin, I’m in genuine envy of those who managed to hit Wedneday and Thursday’s performances (aided by The Clean and the dB’s, respectively).

Suffice to say there are some amazing surprises in store for the final 5 nights. But if you weren’t fortunate enough to secure a ticket, Ira’s been (ahem) blogging about the experience at Yo La Not for the first or last time, a member of the label family saves their sharpest prose for a site other than the Matablog.

Shat In The (Linkin Park’s) Van!!

By Andrew Earles on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

No square inch of scenery left to chew, no square inch of Shatner’s ass to kiss, and no clips of the interview on YouTube yet, but one can enjoy Mike Patton exploring everything that happened in music between The Infectious Grooves and Linkin Park!

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The Week’s Most Unfortunate Headline

By Gerard on Friday, October 26th, 2007

Sounds kinda glamorous, but surely the Hanson Brothers can do better?

Love Of Diagrams – New MP3, Further US Dates With Enon

By Gerard on Friday, October 5th, 2007

“The Pyramid” from Love of Diagrams’ ‘Mosaic’ CD/LP is now available for your (free) listening pleasure. If you haven’t checked out this amazing Australian trio, well, I’m tempted to say it’s your loss for not heading over to their music page. But that’s a little vindictive, especially as we’re supposed to be a proper business.

If you like what’s on offer, we encourage you to either shell out for ‘Mosaic’ in its full-length glory, or make an appropriate donation to a Matador Records approved charity (perhaps the Institute For Wine Research, 304 Hudson St., 7th Fl, NY NY 10013).

There have been a few updates to Love Of Diagrams’ upcoming US tour in support Enon, with the full schedule as follows :

Tue, 10/30 – Seattle – Nectar Lounge
Wed, 10/31 – Portland – Doug Fir Lounge
Thur, 11/1 – San Francisco – Bottom of the Hill
Fri, 11/2 – Pomona, CA – Glass House
Sat, 11/3 – Los Angeles – The Echo
Sun, 11/4 – San Diego – Casbah
Tue, 11/6 – Austin – Emo’s Jr
Wed, 11/7 – Houston – The Proletariat
Thur, 11/ 8 – Baton Rouge – Chelsea’s Cafe
Fri, 11/9 – Tallahassee – Club Downunder
Sat, 11/10 – Tampa – Crowbar Live
Sun, 11/11 – Orlando – Back Booth
Tues, 11/13 – Atlanta – Drunken Unicorn
Wed, 11/14 – Durham, NC – Duke Coffeehouse
Thur, 11/15 – Wash DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
Fri, 11/16 – Philadelphia – Johnny Brenda’s
Sat, 11/17 – New York City – Knitting Factory
Mon, 11/19 – Boston – Great Scott’s
Fri, 11/23 – Chicago – Hideout

Jennifer O’Connor Takes The Covers For Cash Route To Benefit WPRB

By Gerard on Friday, October 5th, 2007

WPRB’s Jon Solomon forwards the following :

See the nice lady above these words? Her name is Jennifer O’Connor and she had a record out on Matador last year that was one of my favorite releases of 2006.

Jennifer will be coming back to WPRB on Wednesday, October 10th to play live on-air during my 2007 WPRB Membership Drive show. She and I were instant messaging yesterday and Jennifer said she would be happy to try and play a slew of covers in exchange for listener pledges during this special program.

However, Jennifer needs some advance warning to try and learn these songs!


If you pledge $103.30 at, you’ll not only get a WPRB shirt and your choice of tote bag or hoodie, but you also can ask Jennifer to play a song for you. Make sure you contact me about what cover you would like to hear.

She’s game.

I’m game.

Are you?


Jon Solomon

Ps. Anyone want to pony up for Jennifer to cover “The Death Of Pop” by The Rub?

Jesus Vs. Kathy G., No Mention Of The BBQ Sauce

By Gerard on Friday, September 21st, 2007

From the Associated Press :


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Sept. 20) – Members of a Christian theater troupe are spreading the word that they're irate about Kathy Griffin's off-color speech in accepting a creative arts Emmy earlier this month.

The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge spent $90,440 on a full-page advertisement in USA Today that ran nationally Monday, proclaiming "enough is enough."

In accepting the Emmy for her Bravo reality show, "My Life on the D-List," Griffin said that "a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."

She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, "This award is my god now!"

"We at The Miracle Theater consider it an honor to stand for Jesus today," the ad said. "We may never win a national award. We may never be household names. We may never be seen in Hollywood. Although others may choose to use their national platform to slander our God, we are honored as professional entertainers to stand for Christ."

Not only were Ms. Griffin's remarks highly offensive, but I'm pretty sure they were word for word lifted from Stephen Malkmus' acceptance speech at the 2007 Plug Awards.

Kanye Does The Impossible…

By Gerard on Friday, September 7th, 2007

….he's made it easy to root for 50 Cent in the countdown to next week's Soundscan.  The following quote is culled from Stereotyped :

“It’s like what if your drawbacks ended up being your superpower? I’ve always had an issue with masculinity. I’m like, ‘I hope this person isn’t looking at me like I’m a faggot ’cause I have some feminine ways.’ Maybe I’m not the guy who kicks off (a fight) in a club. Now I’m a 30-year-old, I’ve accepted that.

“Because of that I’ve ended up having the No.1 album.”

Before we all rush to judgement, I'm of the opinion the ever-cagey West is just engaging in some conceptual humor.  I seem to recall an almost identical quip, word for word, from Glenn Danzig when 'Black Aria II" entered the Billboard Classical Chart at no. 1 in 1992. 

NY Tabloid Blind Item Of The Week

By Gerard on Friday, August 10th, 2007

From the New York Daily News' Ben Widdicombe, August 8:

"Which troubled, hard-partying Lollapalooza performer cleared out a bathroom over the weekend in Chicago and then smoked what our spy-in-the-stall swears was a crack pipe?"

I cannot fathom what constructive purpose this kind of journalism serves. And secondly, I can't see how anyone who knows the man would characterize James McNew as "troubled". 

Buy Early Get Now Pt. IV : The New Pornographers – Challengers

By Gerard on Friday, June 8th, 2007

We haven't figured out the drum roll sound effects (sorry), and presenting the upcoming 4th album from the New Pornographers, 'Challengers' surely requires special effects that would make Michael Bay dizzy.  So if you wanna hear a strong candidate for 2007's Album Of The Year more than 2 months before street date, here's your big chance : [coolplayer width="250" height="250" autoplay="0" loop="0" charset="GBK" download="0" mediatype=""]begn-4 banner

TWO VERSIONS TO CHOOSE FROM:  "EXECUTIVE EDITION" AND "STANDARD EDITION". As usual, this Buy Early, Get Now preorder is available from a select group of physical and online retailers, listed here Or, you can order direct from Matador.

When you preorder the album with one of them, not only do you reserve a copy of "Challengers," for release date, there's mo' mo' mo'. 

Challengers: Executive Edition (list price $19.99)

* You Get It All + an exclusive, limited edition, CD/CD-R Box Set. 
*Full Album Stream  (available within days of your purchase)
*The Challengers Box-Set A very limited edition Treasury of New Pornography available only to Executive members. Includes three bonus CD-Rs, designed in a deluxe box set package bonus discs.Disc One:  B-Sides, Demos and Alternate MixesDisc Two:  The New Pornographers "Live From The Future"
Disc Three:  Videos, photos and artwork(note: you will download all of this material digitally as part of Buy Early Get Now, so some-assembly is required as some of these recordings haven't even happened yet.)
*Advance notice and exclusive ticket buying links for upcoming New Pornographers dates
*Anything extra that we can scheme up between now and the end of the world.

Challengers: The Standard (Cheapskate) Edition (list price 14.99)
Everything except the box set, the live disc, videos, photos and artwork.
*Full Album Stream Listen to all of Challengers more than 2 months ahead of release
*3 previously unreleased B-Sides
*Advance notice and exclusive ticket buy links for upcoming New Pornographers dates

speaking of which, there's a bunch of New Pornographers shows that are 4-real-confirmed.   And if you'd like a crack at purchasing tickets a week before the general public, your participation in the 'Challengers' portion of Buy Early, Get Now will allow you to do so starting tomorrow. 

Cliffbos, Mandybos and Humperdinkbos

By Annette on Friday, June 8th, 2007

Sir Cliff

From yesterday's Guardian:

A new weapon in the fight against antisocial youth has been discovered: Cliff Richard records.

The organisers of a travelling funfair have found that a few bars of The Young Ones is enough to instantly disperse a gang of unruly teenagers.

"You don't really need Asbos when you've got Cliffbos," said Seth Carter from the family-run Carters Steam Fair.

Last Saturday the travelling funfair was in Hayes, Essex, when Mr Carter became concerned about the intimidating behaviour of a gang of about 20 teenagers dressed in hoodies.

The fair's ploy is the latest use of sonic warfare in tackling antisocial behaviour.

Last year the Local Government Association urged councils to use the "Manilow method" to break up gangs. The recommendation came after the authorities in Sydney, Australia drove away gangs in car parks by playing them Copacabana and Mandy.

The LGA produced a list of 20 songs that would deter teenagers. Top of the list was Release Me, by Englebert Humperdinck. Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine appeared at number 19.



Lavender Diamond – An Official Report

By Becky on Friday, May 18th, 2007


(Becky Stark, live at San Diego's M-Theory Records, pic taken from Javan's Flickr collection, used sans permission)

Hello world of all you gentle people!

As i write to you I am in the fair city of Seattle!  Home of all the best new revolutions and i'd like to report that there's another good one coming.  Although, I have to say, it's kind of mean to say that some revolutions are better than others- in fact- it might be downright false so I'll just say- here's to all the revolutions-  each and every one of them- except i guess that some revolutions are sort of terrible- well – maybe we can have a discussion about the nature of revolutions and which ones are the "best"!  i mean, when i say "best" what i really mean is that those are the ones that make me excited!  and also – i will say briefly- although seriously we could talk forever about this-  that the revolutions i like best are the ones that create  new feelings and experiences of equality-  freedom- celebration–  inifinite possibilites-  respect for all people–  respect for the earth–  open communication—   and kindness!  ok-  i'm rambling a little bit!   this is supposed to be an official report !
but so-

actually-  speaking of revolution i have two good ideas for new revolutions-
ok – call me corny(  you won't be the first) but i think it would be great to have a friendship revolution.  ok i will briefly describe the friendship revolution:

it's simple-  the friendship revolution is a new way of being where everyone is friendly to each other.  it's simple but just think of it!  it's makes me excited!  say for instance, that you heard ( not necessarily from me) that there was a revolution of friendliness afoot!  that people all over the world were indiscriminately expressing love and friendliness to each other! wouldn't you be psyched and want to join in on the fun?  wouldn't you want to feel the weight lifted off your heart as you were given free license to love?  well-  here at lavender diamond we'd like to announce that anyone who wants one will be issued an official license to express love and appreciation.   we'll send it to you in the mail, or the email- or you can download it from our website. (um.. i'll have to work on that)  that way- anytime you are feeling sad or disconnected, you can remember that you are part of the revolution and you have license to be friendly, express love, see the beauty in the world, etc., etc.,  ok so  pretend you didn't hear it from me but  it's true that kindness and gentleness are spreading like wildfire!  can't be contained!  the population's gone wild!  friendliness for no reason!  people loving each other!  inexplicable! uncontrollable!  the winds of change blowing the raging blaze of kindness!
ok- that is the first revolution-

and the second one-

well- maybe i'll leave the second one for next time that's probably enough for now-
but oh!  hey! our record came out!   hooray!  one million thanks to matador and also to rough trade records,  our other home!  we are really proud of this record-  i think it sounds just like us! we put all our love into it-   we hope you enjoy listening to it and it makes you feel good and gives you strength!

last week we went on a little tour of the west coast and played in record stores!  it was really fun!  blake from matador came with us.  no one told us that he is a mystical spiritual healer!   in a nutshell – blake healed is all!   we had a blast!  two especially funny things happened:

1) ron fell off the stage at sonic boom  records in seattle!  it would have been tragic if he had hurt himself but he landed on someone's desk on their files and his feet only were left on the stage.  it was hilarious!  the stage is very small, by the way- and steve warned him- but ron is a very passionate drummer! this maybe wasn't as bad as when i slipped on a drum stick and fell down onstage in berlin- ok fell down is not the right description-  i flew into the air  after flailing my arms around trying to catch my balance and then my legs went up vertical to ground and i landed flat on my back like a cartoon prat fall- oh my  god- !  good thing we are all safe.  

2) when we played at music millenium in portland i was a few minutes late and the rest of the best was already there and as i walked in they were playing the record and i got confused and i thought they had started without me-  except that my voice was playing over the stereo.  i guess this is testament to the fact that a) the record sounds just like us! and b) i am  a tiny bit crazy.

oh god, there is so much more to report!  i really have to start writing in more often!  our dear beloved guitarist jeff rosenberg had to leave our band.  we are so sad.  but we've found someone to play with us and his name is devon williams.  we call him devon williams the great.  i'll have to tell the full story later about how we found him but i'll tell you now that it was  mysterious!  in any event, devon was with us last week for the instore tour and we made a little video in the van.  it's ridiculous.  if anyone wants to see it-  um ..  let me know.  it's a psychedelic experimental comedy.  we are going to make lots of comedy videos on our tour!
oh! and we had a great time at both amoeba records stores in sf and la.  there's nothing like amoeba records!   i guess we'll have to make more records so that we can play more in-stores! or – um- play at other record stores.  oh! and also we had a wonderful time at m-theory records in san diego!  san diego is like a little paradise.  the people were listening so close!  we ate at  a place called jimmy carter's restaurant – with no apparent relationship to jimmy carter at all except for the name.   it was weird!  then we saw the silver daggers play at a punk house downtown.  oh my god!  the silver daggers are incredible!  everyone should listen to their new record!  in general my report about the instore tour is that the world is a beautiful place!  seriously, every place we went  it was exquisite.  and i'm not exaggerating!  ok it is spring and i was told that we were experiencing particularly beautiful days, but still my report, based on our recent experience, is that the world is a beautiful place.

ok- oh! and i'm doing some solo shows with my friend miranda july!  in seattle, portland and nyc.  the one in new york is with miranda and david byrne!  i'm so excited. the theme of the night is belonging and i'm going to see if everyone will sing a song together -  the audience and everyone!  singing together with a lot of people feels amazing!  it's true!
ok- well- now i'm off to see the wizard- just kidding – off to to a concert tonight with miranda!  she's going to read from her new book which is beautiful!  everyone should read it.  it's called "no one belongs here more than you."  i love her so much ! and i love you, too- whoever you are-

peace all you wild people!

love, becky

A Fond Farewell To 625 Broadway…

By Gerard on Friday, April 27th, 2007

(photo courtesy the Mark Ohe archives)

After a decade on the 12th floor (and more than 17 years in the 'hood), today marks Matador's final day at 625 Broadway.  On Monday, we'll be moving to our new fancy digs with our pals from the Beggars Group — and dig is the operative world.  Much of the staff will be wielding shovels all weekend. 

Though we've had our gripes over the years, I cannot claim 625 wasn't good to us.  We had a great view of a Diana Ross photo shoot, once.  And over the years, our glamorous neighbors on the other floors have included video game firms, failed dot coms and the mysteriously dubbed "Juvenille Lingerie".  We never did quite turn Gonzalez y Gonzalez into our local (ie. we're not crazy), but we did manage to stay on the block long enough to bear witness to the closing and reopening of no fewer than 3 Blimpies. 

Anyhow, bye bye to the place and the all the lovely ghosts that stomp through the hallway each day.

UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK : Matador Records, 304 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013

Harris On The Death of “Maoist Certainties”

By Gerard on Friday, March 30th, 2007

When it comes to rock snobbery, is nothing sacred? Or more to the point, have the tribunals for Aesthetic Crimes been told to go home early on Friday?  The Guardian's John Harris is particuarly miffed that proponents of "towelling headbands and songs called things like Expresso Love" aren't enough to sound the Uncool Alarm.


During a recent idle hour on YouTube, I came across an item that therefore caused me no end of amazement. As part of their ongoing quest to bury the memory of the camp, sprightly little pop group who authored such pearls as Mr Brightside, The Killers were captured – on More 4's Live From Abbey Road – reverentially covering the Straits' aforementioned bit of Shakespearian wonderment, attempting to mimic the Knopf's self-taught finger-plucking genius (no chance), and talking about their distant childhood memories of that great music business behemoth, 1985's Brothers in Arms.Thus, I was reminded once again that cool no longer rules, and we are living through the tyranny of what might be called the New Wrong. A few examples: Sean Rowley's Guilty Pleasures franchise is expanding so fast that it will soon have to simply rename itself Pleasures. Its latest in-concert wheeze found the audience dancing to the consummate bilge of Toto's 1982 Africa, and specially-invited musicians covering songs by the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Neil Diamond and Electric Light Orchestra. Further down the age range, among music's current hot hopes are the supposedly cutting-edge Enter Shikari and a gang of Brummies called the Twang; their very different touchstones are the uber-wrong dance attraction Faithless and Joshua Tree/string vest-era U2. Whether we blame the government, the iPod, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, it's true: the Maoist certainties of yesteryear are gone forever.

Whether or not you agree with Harris' implication the Killers have achieved tastemaker status, how about the suggestion anyone should feel guility for liking Neil Diamond or ELO? Compared to Killers, anyway. 

Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Kinky

By Gerard on Friday, January 19th, 2007

From the Associated Press (link swiped from Idolator)

Ted Nugent 01.jpg

Hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his second full term in office, Ted Nugent (above) helped him celebrate at a black-tie gala, but not all attendees were pleased by the rocker's performance.

Using machine guns as props, Nugent, 58, appeared onstage as the final act of the inaugural ball wearing a cutoff T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting offensive remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance.

Nugent, a hunting and gun-rights advocate, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday because he was hunting, a spokeswoman said.

Though I am a resident of the State Of Texas, I deplore the Nuge's divisive politics, and would hope in the spirit of brotherhood and tolerance, Mission Of Burma allow Peter Prescott to bust out his rendition of the Amboy Dukes' "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" tonight at Irving Plaza.

Failing that, there's always karaoke after the show. Which, by the way, features Oneida and Parts & Labor in support, so show up before you throw up.

If The Ponys Radio Budget Gets Zero’d, Let’s Buy More Banners

By Adam F on Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Gerard vs Bear is reporting that the FCC is "proposing! SHIIIT" to help get radio broadcasters off the payolapayola.jpg hook.  

While details of the Enforcement Bureau's proposal were sketchy, sources said that radio station groups would be required to set aside a certain amount of airtime for music produced independently. The radio groups also would agree to a code of conduct and an education program, the sources said. As part of the deal, the radio broadcasters would not admit to any wrongdoing. 

Education?  Codes of conduct?  No more trips to see Nickelback live at Squaw Valley?  Exoneration at a high cost for the Hinder-hugging-set.  And all Pete Doherty had to do was write a hot single.

Full details, and some banner ads targeting you if you happen to be a member of the Academy, at

Ahmet Ertegun, RIP

By Gerard on Friday, December 15th, 2006


The late founder of Atlantic Records was eulogized today as a man who "exerted a sweeping influence on postwar US popular music," (The Times), "a marvellous man, very witty, a great raconteur," (Mick Jagger) and "a passionate connoisseur of music who was beloved by many of his artists and peers for his personal panache and his encyclopedic knowledge of music, especially jazz and rhythm and blues." (Geoff Bocher and Randy Lewis, LA Times).

Our good friend at Where Is The Hotel shall recall Ertegun as the man responsible for The Melvins' 'Houdini'.

Though I do not think this is technically correct, we stand in awe of Ertegun's cultural contributions just the same.

An Open Letter To Our Alien Overlords

By Gerard on Friday, December 1st, 2006

hinder_01l.gif f77357mq9mi.jpg

Dear Captors-to be,

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time. You've been monitoring our movements via the World Web Interweb and once you caught wind of the Hinder/Eddie Money hookup, there were no remaining questions about humanity's inability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, shit and shinola.

Though I wish it had never come to this, I pledge to do my very best in polishing your spacecraft, sweeping the streets and burying my fellow humans. 

Your humble servant,



I Am Busy Blogging Right Now

By Adam F on Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I have gotten out of two marketing meetings just this week using this line.

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(link via Anthony Hype Machine)