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Archive for the 'other labels and their fables' Category

Interpol’s Sam Fogarino covers Charlie Pickett

By Gerard on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Chicago’s venerable Bloodshot Records is celebrating a 20th anniversary, and the newly released ‘While No One Was Looking : Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records’ compilation features Interpol’s Sam Fogarino covering “I Liked It A Lot”, by Miami’s Charlie Pickett (above).

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.

Wear the Good-Cause Hat: Anna Ives vs. Cancer

By Andrew Earles on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Anna Ives is the very young, very adorable daughter of Zac and Amy Ives. Zac is co-owner of Goner Records, the singer for Final Solutions, and a flat-out great guy. The Goner Records BBS is currently holding an auction while Zac, Amy, and Anna are in Boston, where the latter is receiving specialized radiation treatment. The auction is to help offset the Ives’ mounting hospital bills. I’m here to encourage Matablog readers to either bid on some of the great finds that have made it to the block, and to offer their own donated items for auction. All of the needed information, including Anna’s story, can be found HERE.

The auction can be found HERE.

Read the Memphis Commercial Appeal story about Anna…

Additional questions not answered by those links can be directed to Eric Friedl: efriedl@gmail.com

Thanks!

Don’t Feel Too Bad, Tom Zutaut…

By Gerard on Friday, November 28th, 2008

(above : world famous perfectionist/ingrate)

…Chris and I still get chucked out of Dee-Lite listening parties.   What’s all this about?  According to a post at the endlessly entertaining Metal Sludge.com, former Geffen A&R exec Tom Zutaut was physically removed from a listening party for the new Guns ‘n’ Roses opus, ‘Chinese Democracy’.

“Yeah, sadly it is true that I was escorted out of the Roxy by a beefy security guy just prior to the last three songs of the playback. I did stand on the sidewalk and hear the last three anyway.

“It is sad and disappointing to me that those around Axl would lie to him to fuel his hatred towards me with imaginary events used to drive a wedge between us. I love him deeply, will always love him and wish only the greatest success to one of the world’s last true creative musical sparks with a god-given voice. I am proud of my contributions to his career and am always there for him should he one day become enlightened to the truth of what surrounds him. It is also sad that he doesn’t mention the hard work I put in on my short involvement with ‘Chinese Democracy’ with even a ‘Thank You’ considering lesser players are credited or thanked in the liner notes — even those who ridiculed him, belittled and made fun of him behind his back while I defended his genius ’til those around him poisoned him against me with distortions and lies.

“I wear his hatred as a badge of honor as it would be far worse for him not to care at all.”

Mr. Zutaut has a substantial connection to the Matador Records family tree, having signed Tommy Keene to Geffen, and many years later, starting the now defunct label known as The Enclave, home to the initial US release of Belle & Sebastian’s ‘Are You Feeling SInister?’. As such, we can promise him that if he’d ever like to attend one of our listening parties, we’d love to have him along.

Congrats To Third Eye Blind On Discovering Their Own Paradigm

By Gerard on Monday, November 17th, 2008

In announcing their upcoming indie / digital-only EP, the auteurs behind such hits as “Semi-Charmed Life” and uh….whatever their other hit was, have penned the most confusing, self-congratulatory press release this side of my early draft for the Condo Fucks’ ‘Fuckbook’.

Becoming superstars took its toll on the band members’ psyches, and as 3EB ground through the star-making machinery, they eventually found themselves losing creative control of their music and their image, until one day in 2004 they woke up and realized they didn’t recognize themselves anymore. It was then that they decided it was time to take a break — time to take a look inside, re-evaluate who they were as artists, and get back in touch with themselves and their music.

3EB have been inspired by the possibilities and potential that new media provide, and are discovering their own paradigm on how they create and reach people with music. They have toured consistently over the past two years, and sold out every show, playing in front of crowds of up to 11,000 fans, in response to an entirely new fan-base who have discovered this music on the web.

These new fans have proved that, despite a 5-year hiatus between albums, 3EB has in fact deepened its connection with its community.

It’s a pretty amazing piece of work, and aside from their publicist deserving a raise (if not combat pay), we’re now left to ponder the following : just what sort of groundbreaking stuff would these schmoes have come up with had they not “lost creative control of their music”?

Matador Alumni Corner Update

By Gerard on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

We really oughta do these more often. Don’t call it a comeback, these folks have been here for years. Or somewhere else for months.

  

1) Early ManTouring like crazy and there’s a new EP on the Jarboe-tastic The End.

2) Jacob Morris, formerly one of the key characters beyond the dearly missed Double.  New EP on Rcrd Lbl

3) 18th DyeNew album and US tour.

Kevin Shields, Lee Mavers Fuck Off

By Gerard on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008



“Art and commerce have always made strange bedfellows,” Gould told EW.com. “When they asked Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, they didn’t say, ‘Can you do it in the fourth quarter?’ so they can make their numbers. Great art sometimes takes time.”

Paging Davide Tiso.

By Gerard on Friday, October 17th, 2008

…would you be interested in writing bios, one-sheets or sticker blurbs for a NY-based independent label?  If so, please get in touch.  From The Gauntlet.com :

EPHEL DUATH has never been one to take the traditional approach to creating music and their latest effort takes this outlook even further. THROUGH MY DOG’S EYES is based on a bizarre concept conjured up by guitarist and founding member DAVIDE TISO, in which the entire album is written from the perspective of a dog. TISO explains: “I wrote a few short stories and it was really fun for me to imagine myself as a dog and to imagine the world from a dog’s perspective. The challenge was to translate the words into lyrics.”



From opening track ‘Gift’, which TISO describes as being about “A cat that the dog kills for the owner as a gift, and he asks the owner if he is happy with the present”, to the thought-provoking ‘Promenade’, a song about a walk in the park which takes a twist when the owner questions himself as to why he’s not as carefree and happy with life as his dog is, the barking mad brilliance runs throughout the course of the whole album. “Every song is a window into the dog’s mind or an event,” TISO continues, “The album touches on a lot of things, both deep and sometimes silly.”

It’s not only the lyrics in THROUGH MY DOG’S EYES which are written from the dog’s perspective – rather the entire album, including the music, is based around this unique and previously unexplored concept. “The music in this case is the soundtrack of the thoughts of the dog – at times you can hear the dog running,” TISO elaborates.

Shred Yr Face : The Skinny

By Judge on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

So we already brought you a teaser of info about the forthcoming triple-fun-shot-fest that is SHREDYRFACE. Now here’s the full lowdown :

WEBSITE:
SHREDYRFACE.COM
This will be regularly updated on the road by all bands, showing you exactly what goes on on tour. So keep heading back there for updates and exclusives.

LOGO:

INFO:
Times New Viking, No Age and Los Campesinos! travel across the UK in a big old bus, singing show tunes and making noise. Often individually, occasionally together. We’re pretty sure a bit of Kumbaya will be going down.

DATES :
October
14 Brighton, England – Komedia
15 Liverpool, England – Academy 2
16 Leeds, England – Irish Centre
17 Dublin, Ireland – Whelans
18 Glasgow, Scotland – School of Arts
19 London, England – Pure Groove (in-store) (3 p.m.)
19 London, England – Beyond Retro (in-store) (5 p.m.)
19 London, England – Rough Trade East (in-store) (7 p.m.)
20 London, England – Electric Ballroom
21 Bristol, England – Fleece

7″ ACTION :
The three bands have got their collective heads together for a limited edition tour 7″ that will be available from the Coalition group of indie stores in the UK.
Tracklisting :
01 Los Campesinos!: “Death to Los Campesinos! (Napoleon III Remix)”
02 No Age: “Revolving Credit for Kitty”
03 Times New Viking: “Anything Could Happen” (The Clean cover)

INSTORE(S) :
As well as all this, there’s gonna be some super hot instore action where you can get up close and personal with each band. Maybe you’ll even get sweated on by Beth?

October
14 Brighton Resident – No Age
16 Leeds Crash – Times New Viking
19 London Pure Groove (3pm)
19 London Beyond Retro (5pm)
19 London Rough Trade East (7pm)
22 Manchester Piccadilly – Los Campesinos!

So this is where it gets a little confusing. You’ll already get TNV up at the Leeds Crash store, but as well as that, all three bands will play a store of their choice around London on October 19th. They’ll hit Pure Groove at 3 p.m., Beyond Retro at 5 p.m., and Rough Trade East at 7 p.m., but its currently a big secret as to who plays where. So why not go to all?

ONE LAST THING :
Seattle artist Carlos Ruiz has designed a t-shirt and a limited edition silkscreened poster for the Shred Yr Face tour, both of which will be available at the shows and at Coalition stores. So get down there early and bag your own piece of history.

Lars : The Customer Is Always Wrong

By Gerard on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
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(above  :  not Lars Ulrich)

“Like DethKlok,” writes Wired’s Elliot Van Bushrick, “Metallica has its every action scrutinized to an extent other bands can only dream of, as if one misstep by the group were capable of causing a worldwide economic meltdown.” Or perhaps, they’re even worse at coping with public criticism than a certain independent record label?

The band’s loquacious drummer Lars Ulrich says fans need to quit bellyaching, accept the released version of the ‘Death Magnetic’ and stop signing an over 12,000 names-strong petition to have the album re-mixed and re-released.

Ulrich told Blender, “Listen, there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records. [Producer] Rick Rubin’s whole thing is to try and get it to sound lively, to get it sound loud, to get it to sound exciting, to get it to jump out of the speakers. Of course, I’ve heard that there are a few people complaining. But I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days in my car, and it sounds fuckin’ smokin’.”

He said that in the online world, negative comments reverberate stronger than positive ones. “The Internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice. Listen, I can’t keep up with this shit. Part of being in Metallica is that there’s always somebody who’s got a problem with something that you’re doing: ‘James Hetfield had something for breakfast that I don’t like.’ That’s part of the ride.”

Some Of Your Best Friends Might Already Be Fucked Jordan Catalano

By Gerard on Monday, August 18th, 2008

(thespian/rocker while playing the part of John Lennon’s assassin a typical independent label executive, and on the right, after hunger strike to protest non-payment of royalties)

If you think the fact that we have sold in excess of 2 million records and have never been paid a penny is pretty unbelievable, well, so do we. And the fact that EMI informed us that not only aren’t they going to pay us AT ALL but that we are still 1.4 million dollars in debt to them is even crazier. That the next record we make will be used to pay off that old supposed debt just makes you start wondering what is going on. Shouldn’t a record company be able to turn a profit from selling that many records? Or, at the very least, break even? We think so.
Jared Leto, 30 Seconds To Mars.

Harsh stuff, indeed, however Leto fails to disclose in his response to Virgin/EMI’s $30 million suit against his band precisely how much 30 Seconds To Mars were advanced against royalties.  It does seem rather fucked that a record company couldn’t turn a profit on two million sales. However, it’s entirely possible that enough dough was dropped signing the band, recording their horrible records and promoting & marketing said recordings , that EMI did in fact, lose money on the deal.

Which doesn’t necessarily mean Leto and pals aren’t owed anything, either. But if he’s unwilling to specify which portion of EMI/Virgin’s spending on his behalf was recoupable and which wasn’t, this is just a dopey exercise in posturing. But I remain hopeful 30 Seconds To Mars can resume their career with an artist-friendly label, one that unlike the revolving chair scenario at publicly held EMI, has had the same visionary leadership in place since the label’s inception.

If Tony Victory would like to pay me a finder’s fee, I’ll gladly donate it to charity.