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Archive for the 'other labels and their fables' Category

Light In The Attic hits the road…with some doucher we used to know

By Gabe on Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Venerable and esteemed American record-reissue label Light In The Attic has ventured out on the highways and byways of the Northwest and Pacific Coast regions to visit a whopping 58 record retail establishments – many of whom we at Matador and Matador Direct work with every day.

We salute LITA for their dedication to quality, curation, craftsmansip…and for giving former Matador warehouse troll Jon Treneff an excuse to make his internet comedy debut. Here’s the first installment in LITA’s roadtrip video series (cuz if you aren’t doing content, you just can’t be content) – check here for more video updates from LITA, and patronize America’s great (and medium-great) record stores.

Green Day Out Buy Early Get Nows Us

By Adam F on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

photo: Nabil Ayers

If Feist would finally confirm to host the first-ever “Christoper Pell Lombardi Awards For Excellence In Convoluted Marketing Schemes”, the fourth installment of Buy Early Get Now (aka The New Ps “Box Of Air”) would finally get its due in the Lifetime Achievement category.   (Note:  Dave Martin still maintains that only time will help folks discover BEGN #4′s genius, and Dave knows both time and genius.)

So here we are, five years and two IHeartRadio Festivals later…and the majors have finally decided to embark on the trail toward customer confusion that we so dutifully blazed.   To wit, Green Day’s foray into the world of selling futures in music.

And because other members of the Matador family have done a far better job lampooning Billie and friends, I’ll leave only a link to this space where we can all watch customer ire unfold in real time:

 

Fish, Meet Barrel : Dee Snider’s Salute To Broadway Musicals

By Gerard on Monday, April 30th, 2012

Far be it for me to suggest that Hall of Famer (well, Long Island Music Hall Of Famer) Dee Snider’s new career turn is the worst idea in the entire history of civilization. For instance, it’s not nearly as bad an idea as Ft. Worth’s Complete playing a tiny club instead of the hockey arenas they were destined to headline.   And there’s New Coke.  Or the soundtrack to ‘Brain Candy’ the Bay Of Pigs Invasion.  I could probably go on for at least another two or three minutes, but I think you have the idea.  Some people are gonna give Dee Snider a lot of grief over this, but I bet it’s not even in the top 20 worst ideas of all time.

RIP, Great Purveyor Of Production Values, Working On “Spec”

By Gerard on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
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Au revoir, to “Soul Train” creator Don Corneilus, who made his exit from this cruel world earlier this morning. While “Soul Train”‘s status as the the longest, continuously running first-run syndicated program in television history will no doubt be cited in Don’s obits, it was his star turn as independent label magnate Mo Fuzz in Bill Fishman’s 1988 comedy, “Tapeheads”, that provided a fledgling Matador Records with a genuine role model.

Costello : My New Box Set’s A Rip Off

By Gerard on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
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The former Declan McManus was once famously dubbed “Elvis Cosdildo” in a piece of Crypt Records propaganda some years ago, but I suspect there’s a particular point that even Tim Warren and the ever prolific Costello might see eye to eye on, to wit, the suggested list price of Costello & The Imposters’ ‘The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ being obscenely high (ie. $262.00).  Calling the sum, “either a misprint or a satire”, Elvis weighs in with the following ;

All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping – when there are really bigger fish to filet these days – we are taking the following unusual step.

If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” – a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.

The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.

If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.

To which I’ll only add that while we’ve had no talks with Yo La Tengo about any sort of commercially available document of their own attempts to (ahem) reinvent The Wheel, I can pledge to you, the music-loving public that if such a thing ever comes to pass, you’ll PAY NO MORE THAN $250.00. 

Snap, Crackle, Pop : The Condo Fucks (with The Great Gaylord) at Norton 25

By Gerard on Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Norton Records is celebrating their 25th anniversary this weekend with a star-studded, 4-night bill at Brooklyn’s Bell House.  We’d like to congratulate Billy Miller and Miriam Linna on their stewardship of one of the planet’s finest labels ; if anyone has done more to document real rock’n'roll, old & new, please don’t tell us about it because we’re running out of room in the record library. The Condo Fucks and longtime associate The Great Gaylord (Fields) were just one of the Friday highlights ; Gaylord wearing earplugs is kind of Rocky Marciano donning a protective headgear. He might be safe, but the rest of us won’t be the same for days.

Pioneer Of Encouraging You To Replace Your Entire Music Collection (Narrowly) Outlasted By His Most Famous Invention

By Gerard on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

(Ohga with his final innovation, a device that converts Mariah Carey’s photograph to pure energy)

thanks to Mark Ohe for the link to the following news item from the BBC :

The former president and chairman of Sony, Norio Ohga, who was credited with developing the compact disc, has died aged 81, the company has said.

Ohga, who led the company from 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

During the development of the CD, it was Ohga who pushed for a disc that was 12cm (4.8in) in diameter, because it provided sufficient capacity at 75 minutes to store all of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Sony sold the world’s first CD in 1982 and CDs overtook LP record sales in Japan five years later. Ohga’s specifications are still used today, and have shaped formats developed since, including MiniDisc and DVD.

In 1989, he oversaw the $3.4bn purchase of Hollywood studios Columbia Pictures, which was criticised as unwise and costly at the time.

Ohga also presided over the launch of Sony’s game business, which went on to develop the successful “PlayStation” console.

Jay Reatard – Shattered Records Tour – Fall 2009; “Watch Me Fall” now streaming on AOL Spinner

By Todd Netter on Monday, August 10th, 2009

Jay Reatard live photo-by Jeff Allen

So what has already shaped up as the Summer of Jay Reatard (a documentary, a new album, and a free + all ages in-store tour to name a few major things) is quickly becoming the Autumn of Reatard as well. Perhaps we should simply declare 2009, the year of Jay Reatard?

What can’t be debated is that Jay has put together an allstar line-up to celebrate his own label, Shattered Records. This fall Jay and his friends take to the road for a run of memoriable shows, packed full of unique and terrific bands, headlined each night by Jay himself.

For more about this tour continue to check JayReatard.com for details.

Jay’s new album Watch Me Fall is currently streaming in it’s entirety on AOL’s Spinner.com, be sure to have a listen!

Mon Sep 28 – Chicago – Empty Bottle
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Tue Sep 29 – Toronto – The Reverb
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Wed Sep 30 – Montreal – La Sala Rossa
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Thu Oct 1 – NYC – Le Poisson Rouge
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Fri Oct 2 – Boston – Harpers Ferry
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Sat Oct 3 – Baltimore – Ottobar
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Useless Eaters

Thu Oct 15 – Seattle – Crocodile Cafe
Jay Reatard, Box Elders, Cheap Time, Lover!

Mon Oct 19 – San Francisco – Great American Music Hall
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Digital Leather

Tue Oct 20 – San Diego – The Casbah
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Digital Leather

Wed Oct 21 – Los Angeles – El Rey Theater
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Box Elders, Digital Leather

for info about the bands touring with Jay then please check out their myspace pages:

No Bunny

Hunx & His Punx

Box Elders

Useless Eaters

Digital Leather

Manufacturing Error Or Major Improvement? – Mark E. Smith’s Latest Crossover Move

By Gerard on Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Brian Turner supplied the link to the story below, which is as good an excuse as any to mention that WFMU’s annual fundraiser starts this Monday, March 2 and runs until March 15.   From the Sun

THEY may share the same surname but that’s it for similarities between angelic Britain’s Got Talent teen FARYL SMITH and gnarled FALL frontman MARK E SMITH.

So imagine Universal Records’ surprise when they received the first shipment of Faryl’s debut CD from the pressing plant.

A cock-up in production meant that instead of delicate balladry in the honeyed tones of their recently signed youngster, what actually ended up on discs bearing her artwork and info were the grumblings of Mark and his fellow Manc veterans’ 2008 album Imperial Wax Solvent.

Needless to say, Universal chiefs weren’t best pleased.

My spy tells me: “They had ordered hundreds of copies and they were staggered by what was on it.

“They have had severe words with the pressing plant.”

Careful followers of Matador quality control are aware we’ve only made mistakes like that about a half dozen times in our history.  

Suddenly, Tony Victory Seems Like An A-OK Label Dude

By Gerard on Monday, February 16th, 2009

From last Wednesday’s Guardian, here’s a SFW excerpt from Alex Hoban’s profile of Japanese boy band factory Johnny’s Jimusho, and the company’s scary founder, “the 77-year-old Don Of Dubiousness, Johnny Kitagawa.”

If graduating from a Junior Johnny to a mere Johnny sounds about as glamorous as pulling slippery condoms on to cucumbers in biology class, then it’s fitting, as being a Johnny’s protégé is hardly a ticket to artistic maturity or even financial security. Most of Johnny’s recording artists are paid a base salary for their efforts, receive no royalties and have no rights to any of their music, their image or even the group’s name. After a few years in the spotlight, many Johnny’s bands are dropped without fanfare, and their members swiftly descend into obscurity and, most probably, depression.

So far, so cut-throat, but there is an even darker element to this whole grim business. Kitagawa claimed he works only with boy bands because they are “easier to handle”, which would be fine if he didn’t mean it literally. Rumours had always been rife of him engaging with unsavoury activities with the boys under his care, and in 1988 Kita Koji, one of the original members of the Four Seasons, published an exposé that accued Kitagawa of sexual harassment and rape. Opening the flood gates, similar accusations from other ex-members came to light, with fresh exposés being published right up to this decade.