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What Record Store Day Means To Me (Pt. II)

By Gerard on Friday, April 18th, 2014

It was very tempting to post Pt. 1 for the 7th year in a row, but it’s getting harder and harder to find anyone old enough to get the joke that Chris and I once worked at Empire Records. Anyhow, as you’re probably aware, tomorrow marks Record Store Day 2014, undoubtedly a hectic afternoon for our many friends in music retail — here’s hoping the staff at Best Buy manages to stay hydrated.

As for the workers and patrons at what I’m told are “independent music shops” (sounds pretty quaint, right?) it seems the event is not without controversy. On one hand, there’s the perennial complaints about flippers, price gougers and most worryingly, the difficulty actual-functioning-in-2014 bands and labels are having getting their spring titles manufactured anywhere near mid-April.   And on the other hand, there’s the opportunity for music lovers to snatch up such quality items as the Cake box set, the “Ghostbusters” 10” or a long overdue Roxette reissue.

All of that said, no matter how shitty your musical taste is where you stand on this divisive issue, it is my fervent hope we can all exercise patience and mutual understanding when we’re queued up tomorrow morning. Just understand that if you get in my way when I’m trying to grab the last copy of this record, you’re going down like Dave Brown.

Matador Alumni Corner : There’s A New Thalia Zedek EP

By Gerard on Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Dear Friends,

Since 1982, I’ve had the privilege of standing around trying to pry my jaw off the floor while Thalia Zedek uses 6 strings and a voice that’s seen/felt-it-all to draw blood and much, much more.  While everything she’s done (Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull, Come) has run the gamut from great to really great her last couple of solo recordings for Thrill Jockey are kinda like Everest or K2 compared to 2001′s ‘Been Here & Gone’ (or as I’ve started calling it, “Lhotse I” — ASK MARK OHE).

Anyhow, the reason I bring this up at 3:30am on a Saturday is because Thalia’s new limited edition EP, ‘Six’ (also available from Thrill Jockey) is apparently only available in very limited numbers and maybe I purchased the last copy in Lower Manhattan, maybe I didn’t.  You shouldn’t take my word for it no matter what.

 

Singles Going Home Alone Update : A) Our Subscription Series Is Totally Awesome, B) Why Haven’t You Signed Up Yet?

By Gerard on Thursday, August 29th, 2013

OK, it seems we’ve been remiss in keeping you up to date with what’s happening with year #2 of our SIngles Going Home Alone subscription 7″ series. As you might recall, 2012′s edition brought limited edition, colored vinyl 7″‘s from Stephen Malkmus & The Jinks / LA Guns (split), OBN III’s, The Men, Wounded Lion, Jesu and Kurt Vile / Meg Baird (another split)…plus a bonus 7″ from the long, lost Boston/Tampa trio Primitive Romance.

At risk of patting ourselves on the back so hard we might end up in traction, we’re feeling like 2013′s lineup to date is even heavier. And when you consider 13 singles weigh almost twice as much as 7, that’s no hollow boast. To recap, here’s what’s come out to date, along with what’s coming soon :

January – Jeffrey Novak – ” I Never Knew I Knew So Much b/w “B-7″

February – Superchunk – “I Hate History” b/w ” Glue” (SS Decontrol)

March – Cian Nugent & The Cosmos – “Hire Purchase (Part I) ” b/w “Hire Purchase (Part II)”

April – Outer Spaces – “I Was Divided ” b/w “Eternally Fifteen”

June – Royal Headache – “Stand And Stare” b/w “Give It All To Me”

July - Bits Of Shit – ” Rider” / “Lazy Cowgirls” / “Total Recall”

August- Lower Plenty / Dick Diver - “At The Very Top” b/w “Altona”

September - Smartboys - “A Different World” b/w “Sacked”

October - Tony Molina – 6 Track EP

Along with a 7″ from Coho Lips before year’s end, we’ll have another 2 singles (plus a bonus surprise) to announce soon. In the meantime, THERE ARE STILL A FEW COPIES OF THESE REMAINING. If you missed out at the start of the year, you can still subscribe and get all of 2013′s 7″‘s so far, plus everything that’s coming between now and December 31st. Ok?   THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR PATIENCE (AND YOUR MONEY) .

Deep Purple, John Prine, The Church & More : Flipping Thru The Bins WIth Kurt Vile

By Gerard on Saturday, June 1st, 2013
YouTube Preview Image

Video courtesy NorthernTransmisisons.com and the good folks at Zulu Records. I am 100% certain no diss of the Pointed Sticks was intended.

There’s Only 8 More Days Until Record Store Day 2013…

By Gerard on Friday, April 12th, 2013

…or, if you prefer, 8 more days to find great records in real record stores before you risk being trampled to death in a Furby-esque frenzy.  Naturally, we think the above LP is worth the hassle.

An Orgy of Self-Congratulation, Grandstanding & Overconsumption : Matador Artists & Staff Select Their 2012 Favorites

By Gerard on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

(above : angry mob reacts to the news that at least two or 3 people didn’t even mention the Total Control 7″)

Around this time every year, your overpaid overworked editor attempts to coax a list of favorite recordings, books, television programs, life events, etc. out of the label’s artist roster and our rock biz colleagues. In the past, the exercise has been an arduous process, fraught with nagging, teeth-gnashing and no shortage of reluctant participants. In more recent times, however, the serial oversharing epidemic that’s run rampant throughout all online activity has infected our bands and staff alike. The rhetorical question, “who fucking asked you?” cannot be applied in this instance, because they were all asked. For some historical perspective, here’s last year’s pile. Questions or comments about our lousy tastes and/or blatant omissions are welcome (but not necessarily appreciated). And away we go!

(more…)

Wrapping Up Singles Going Home Alone 2012 / Introducing SGHA 2013

By Gerard on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The 2012 edition of our Singles Going Home Alone subscription series is almost done and dusted. After 7″‘s from Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks / L.A. Guns, OBN III’s, The Men, Wounded Lion and Jesu, SGHA #6 is Kurt Vile and Meg Baird performing a new version of ‘Constant Hitmaker”s’ “Classic Rock In Spring” backed with the duo’s cover of Michael Chapman‘s “Another Story”.

The 7th and final SGHA single of 2012 is bonus 7″ of two previously unreleased songs from the early 80′s Boston-based/Tampa-formed trio Primitive Romance, “Ice” b/w “Flags Drop”

The Kurt & Meg single will ship to subscribers along with the Primitive Romance single and a special commemorative tote bag in early December. SGHA 12 was limited to 750 copies and is completely sold out. However, we’re taking orders now for next year’s series.

For 2013, we’ll be doing a single every month, plus a special secret bonus 7″ at the conclusion, plus a yet-to-be-determined container for all the singles (wooden box?  carrybag made from human flesh? a tote bag Altamont manufacture for free? ). The first single in the series is a pair of new songs from Cheap Time founder Jeffrey Novak, followed by an entry from Matador alumni Superchunk in February (one original backed with a cover of SS Decontrol’s “Glue”). The tentative schedule looks like this :

Jan 29: Jeffrey Novak – I Never Knew I Knew So Much / B-7
Feb 19: Superchunk – I Hate History / Glue
Mar 26: Cian Nugent – TBA
Apr 23: Lower Plenty / Dick Diver – split 7″
May 21: Bits Of Shit – TBA
June 11: Royal Headache - TBA

Info on the subsequent 6 singles is coming after the New Year, but we’re pretty excited by what we’ve got lined up.

US price for the 13-disc +  MYSTERIOUS carrying case 2013 subscription will be $85 inclusive of shipping (12 X $5 plus $25 shipping) – subscribers will receive one single every month.

Canadian price is $95 inclusive of shipping, also mailed every month

Rest of world is $105 inclusive of shipping, however, we’ll be mailing those orders as installments of 3 singles every 4 months, otherwise the postage costs would be prohibitive.

Just like last time, we’re only making 750 subscriptions available. I think they make an awesome holiday gift, however that’s not meant to be a hint of any sort. I mean, I think I’m getting one for free. But if you don’t work for the label, you might wanna act fast.

SGHA 2013 – subscribe here.

Matablog Greatest Hits : Remembering Record Store Day 2008 (And All The Things It Made Me Remember)

By Gerard on Thursday, April 19th, 2012

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  Patrick and I were having a huge argument via IM the other day over which was our nation’s best fake holiday.  He argued it was Arbor Day.  I insisted it was Take Your Anaconda To Work Day.  Well, it turns out WE WERE BOTH WRONG.  Newcomers to the Matador blog have no doubt noticed our somewhat intense fixation with all things music retailing, but have you ever sat up late at night and wondered exactly where that obsession began?  No?  Really?  It’s of no interest to you whatsoever?   Fine. It’ll be a long time before I share something this personal again. And if I make the mistake of doing so, you can bet I won’t republish it 4 years later. – GC)

What Record Store Day Means To Me – A Personal Journey (April 19, 2008)

Much has been written about Record Store Day, and while I’m loathe to get all gushy in public, even for a significant cause such as this, it might be an appropriate time to add a very personal note.

Every now and then, Chris and myself are asked by young persons or hungry-4-facts journalists just how we got our respective starts in the music industry. Chris, as you all know, was the first helmsman to be banned from the America’s Cup for using performance enhancing drugs. His subsequent tell-all, ‘Juiced : On A Boat’, while critically panned, was a huge best-seller in 1989. Along with receiving rightful credit for the widesweeping changes-to-come in competitive sailing, Chris used the book’s profits to finance Matador’s earliest recordings.

My own roots are a tad less spectacular. For one crazy summer, I worked in my hometown record store. It wasn’t as big or as successful as Music Town, but it really had a terrific vibe. My boss, Joe Reeves (above, right), was a really inspiring kind of guy. I hear he’s moved on to things other than music, but I’ll always remember the way he kept the store alive, much the way I’ll always remember all the great music I was turned onto by the rest of the staff. Toad The Wet Sprocket. Better Than Ezra….ok, actually, I can’t remember any others. But surely that’s enough.

It was an awesome work environment and we’ve done everything possible to try and recall the ethos of that cool indie shop and try to apply it to the important work we do every day at Matador Records and Filmworks. I even wanted to borrow the store’s old slogan, “We’re Selling Music, But We’re Not Selling Out”, but Patrick argued it was kind of a dumb cliche. I dunno. I guess you had to be there. That’s the difference between me and him. I still remember what it was like to hear Toad The Wet Sprocket for the first time.

Anyhow, enjoy Record Store Day. And if you know of any cities or states where this occasion isn’t being marked, please let us know and we’ll make sure U2 never play there again.

‘Singles Going Home Alone’ Update : Wounded Lion 7″ Coming In July

By Gerard on Monday, February 13th, 2012

Devoted/obsessive/desperate readers of this blog will recall back in mid December when we announced the launch of the Matador subscription 7″ series, aka ‘Singles Going Home Alone’ (Matador’s Singles Going Home Alone ; A Concept Of Staggering Unoriginality (But You’ll Still Wanna Sign Up) . Earlier this month, we released the first edition in the 2012 series, a split between Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and peers/pals LA Guns.

(photo by Joseph O’Neil)

The purpose of this note is to remind you this is a limited edition series and if you don’t sign up soon, subsequent editions will be lost to the mysterious world of eBay, lopsided trades and brutal price gouging.  And that’s just the shit I’ll be putting you through with my extra copies.   If you sign up now, you’ll still get the Jicks/LA Guns curio masterpiece and you’re enlisted right in time for a March 7″ from Austin’s OBN III’s, a May 2012 single from The Men (Brooklyn)  and you’ll also receive two new songs in July from WOUNDED LION (above), the oft-instrumental-trading, genius quintet from Los Angeles whose two In The Red albums were amongst the finest of 2010 and 2011 respectively.

SGHA participants #5 and #6 will be revealed soon. But by then, it might be WAY TOO LATE for you.  So stop fucking around and give us your money.    (thanks)

Ceremony – New album Zoo out in March, listen to Hysteria

By Patrick on Friday, January 6th, 2012

Rohnert Park, California’s CEREMONY will be releasing their fourth album, entitled Zoo, on March 6, 2012. Working with producer John Goodmanson, the band have refined their jagged sound while continuing to pursue themes of exurban alienation and confinement. Their previous three albums on the Malfunction and Bridge 9 labels are widely seen as the most compelling, unusual and progressive hardcore of the last five years, and we are incredibly excited to be working with them.

L-R: Anthony Anzaldo (guitar), Ross Farrar (vocals), Jake Casarotti (drums), Andy Nelson (bass, guitar), Justin Davis (bass)

(photo by Ceremony)

Back in December, we announced the 7″ of “Hysteria,” the lead track on the album, backed with the non-LP Urinals cover “I’m A Bug.” Now you can listen to an MP3 of “Hysteria” here:

Hysteria (192k mp3)

Also coming out on March 6 will be the second single from the album, “Adult” backed with the non-album original song “Start Over.” You can preorder it separately, or as part of one of the complicated bundle deals below.

The first 300 copies of Zoo will be on red vinyl exclusively for webstore preorders, and the first 200 copies of “Adult” will be on clear. These have already sold out. Orders going forward will get black vinyl.

Look for an announcement very soon: there’s going to be a special NYC event happening in early February.

matadorrecords.com/ceremony
Ceremony website