Reich in the Freak Zone

image via wikipedia 

Lack of funds, time and all sorts of other obstacles kept me from attending any of the Steve Reich 70th Birthday celebrations at the Barbican, so yesterday's Freak Zone on BBC 6Music was especially agonising, as Reich himself dropped by to discuss his major works. 

If you're a Reich fan (and I sincerely hope you are), you can listen to the show here.

Personally, I find it really heartening that BBC's 'indie' radio station can actually spend a show celebrating a modern composer when they're not playing Italian 60s jazz rock, monster psychedelia, soundtrack funk and pastoral folk.

Brightblack are soooo going to fit in when they're on the show on the 5th November.  

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

Pavement Reish Scheme : Are You Ready To Get Wowed?

As a second installment of Matador's pre-order program (dubbed "Buy Early, Get Now"), we steam full speed ahead with three fan-pandering Pavement gems: a super rare live show, poster, and a very limited 7".

'Wow Out' is simple. When a customer pre-orders "Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition" from a participating store, they will receive information and a unique code via email to download an entire live Pavement show. On November 7th, customers will receive a super limited 7" with previously unreleased versions of "Blackout" and "Extradition" and a ridiculously awesome poster along with their super enhanced edition of Pavement's classic oeuvre.The Download : The download is a show recorded on April 24, 1994 at The Palace in Los Angeles. The set finds the band introducing new songs that eventually made their way on to 'Wowee'. It is a superb recording and according to our exhaustive research, this show is superrare, even among the most ardent of Pavement tape traders and archivists (though if you'd like to challenge this claim, please, knock yourself out)

Pavement at The Palace on April 24, 1994:
Box Elder
Range Life
Brinx Job
Brink of the Clouds
Easily Fooled
Best Friend's Arm
She Believes
Silent Kid
Black Out
Summer Babe
Elevate Me Later
Heckler Spray
In the Mouth a Desert
Fight This Generation
Debris Slide

Two States
Stop Breathing

The Poster :

Remember in the last page of every MAD magazine they had a 'mad fold-in'?  Same idea here only it's a 22" x 28" poster with original artwork by Steve Keene.  All posters will be folded to ensure easy shipping.

The 7":

To make sure we're not becoming too digital, lucky customers will also get a "Wow Out"-only 7" with never before released versions of "Black Out" (a-side) and "Extradition" (b-side). According to Stephen, this version of "Black Out" (which is not the album recording) was recorded around the time 'Crooked Rain' came out. It was originally intended for a compilation curated by Thurston Moore, but that never materialized. Matador's vault plunderers found it on a reel of final mixes from the Random Falls sessions in NYC from early 1994. "Extradition" is a version with different vocals and a slightly different mix from the album version.

The download will be available to the customer within days of purchase and the 7" will ship with the customer's copy of "Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition".

We'll have a complete list of participating stores very, very soon. Until then, if you're a retailer and you'd like to take part, please write us at

Early Man rock corporate whores

Yet another subculture falls to the power of Early Man's live prowess. Snowboarding bowed down en mass to the band last Friday night in Seattle and are now answering to us… stay tuned to a complete line of Matador custom boards, boots  and bindings.

You can read more about it in their corporate news missive

iron_business_man copy.jpg

Here's just one tasty quote: "Black Sabbath's first album, Black Sabbath was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970. Friday the 13th October, 2006 saw the third annual Capita (Snowboarding) Corporate Event, and an earth shaking live performance by heavy metal gods, Early Man."

HUH?  Anyway, we would like to issue an official warning to anyone who straps boots with polyurethane wheels on their feet… you're next!



rainy day tour #2

We are in the midst of our 2nd tour of the season – this one with the fierce force that is Portastatic.  I am sitting in the Holiday Inn lobby in Charlottesville, VA, (where I swear I just heard a MUZAK version of "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G.  – I shit you not) – and it is pouring down rain outside.  We play tonight at the Satellite Ballroom and then tomorrow it is back up to Washington DC.  Back and forth, back and forth.

Hotel coffee sucks and I need more napping.  Someone bring the beats and I will get to rapping.  Ok, I'm clearly out of my mind.  Here are the tour dates,

with portastatic:

tues oct 17 charlottesville, va  satellite ballroom
wed oct 18 washington, dc      black cat backstage
thurs oct 19 durham, nc         duke coffeehouse
fri oct 20 mt. pleasant, sc       village tavern
sat oct 21 atlanta, ga            the earl

with the mountain goats:

mon oct 23 st. louis, mo  the gargoyle at washington university
tues oct 24 springfield, mo randy bacon gallery
thurs oct 26 norman, ok the opolis
fri oct 27  lubbock, tx jake's back room
sat oct 28 denton, tx rubber gloves
sun oct 29 austin, tx the parish
tues oct 31 baton rouge, la spanish moon
weds nov 1 birmingham, al  the bottle tree
fri nov 3 atlanta ga, the earl
sat nov 4 st. augustine, fl cafe eleven
sun nov 5 sarasota, fl new college
mon nov 6 tallahassee, fl club downunder at florida state
wed nov 8 columbia, sc the art garage  (this is my birthday, feel free to send presents)


Bombs Away On The Long Island Music Hall Of Fame

(with apologies to Ron House)

(Alec Baldwin and Billy Joel show their appreciation for the All-Star salute to Peppi Marchello)

Newsday's Rafer Guzman has the scoop on the inaugural induction ceremonies for the Long Island Music Hall of Fame this past weekend, in which Billy Joel, Joan Jett, Dee Snider and Perry Como were honored. 

Inside the 1,200-seat theater, guests and musicians alike crowded together to watch the night's first act, Mountain, featuring Leslie West on guitar, Corky Laing on drums and bassist Richie Scarlet. The trio kicked off with a version of its most famous song, "Mississippi Queen," then segued into the dark, bluesy "Nantucket Sleigh Ride." West ended the brief show with a Jimi Hendrix-style take on "The Star-Spangled Banner."

After being introduced by Alec Baldwin, final inductee Joel summed up the region in a speech that touched on everyone from Albert Einstein to Joey Buttafuoco, calling Long Island "a clash of cultures," and an "island of extremes."

While no disrepect to the above superstars is intended, there are some glaring omissions.  How about Chuck D. or Hank Shocklee?  Phantom Tollbooth?  Controlled Bleeding? The Nihilistics?  A lifetime achievment award for Lyle Hysen?

Seriously, perhaps someone other than Robert Haber should've been in charge.  

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”

You Can’t Pick Your Fans, But There’s No Harm In Trying

buckley.jpg bullwinkle.jpg

(one of the above might be a friend of Yo La Tengo. Hint : It isn't the guy on the left)

Currently laying waste to the Mountain Regions, Yo La Tengo took time out from their busy schedule to forward the following bulletin:

A fan sent us this link, with the apt subject line: Horrors! 

Your request for songs to add to an NRO soundtrack is the perfect Friday afternoon diversion.  So here are a few tunes that popped into my mind, leading off with my strongest candidate.

“My Little Corner of the World”-Yo La Tengo (This great song really ought to  be the theme for The Corner.  Sample lyrics:  “And if you care to stay in my little corner of the world/We could hide away in my little corner of the world/I always knew that I'd find someone like you/So welcome to my little corner of the world.”

May we respectfully but firmly state on record that the only Corner we wholeheartedly endorse is Bullwinkle's, and that the National Review Online's is to put it gently, not in second place.   What's the legal term for Cease and Desist?

Matador Purchases Youse Tube

I realize that many of you were skeptical when you opened the newspapers this morning. "MATADOR BUYS B&W CONSOLE TV FOR $16.95" screamed the headlines, and yes, I suppose this does seem weird. Won't the technology be obsolete in a few years?  Didn't we already make a similar error when we dropped $25.00 USD on a full range of Radio Shack Flavor Radios?

It's ok. Laugh all you want.  We truly believe the Philco has lots of potential, and no matter how many amazing advancements our friends in Sillicon Valley come up with, there's one fact they can't possibly deny : Scott Clark has never looked right in color.  

Matmos – North America Tour Starts In Mere Minutes

Matmos and So Percussion perform at Whitney Live event_0605171016123-am.jpg

(pic swiped from The Walker Art Center)

The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd.  To paraphrase Hugo Chavez, we can almost smell the sulpher from here, such is the devilish musical mosaic weaved by Martin, Drew and So Percussion.

10.06.06 Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus OH
10.07.06 Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh PA
10.08.06 St. George the Martyr Church – Music Gallery Toronto On
10.09.06 St. George the Martyr Church – Music Gallery Toronto On
10.10.06 Le National Montreal Qu
10.11.06 The International House Philadelphia PA
10.12.06 Boston Museum Of Fine Arts Boston MA
10.13.06 Symphony Space – Leonard Nimoy Thalia New York NY
10.14.06 Symphony Space – Leonard Nimoy Thalia New York NY
10.17.06 Jensen RecCenter Los Angeles CA
10.18.06 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
10.20.06 Holocene Portland OR
10.21.06 The Triple Door Seattle WA

Matador Technical Support Notice: YLT Digital Booklets

matador technical support

By way of a couple level-headed emails (and one not-so…the same guy who didn't like this), it's come to our attention that the QuickTime booklets that we gave our Season Pass holders and that came for free with your iTunes purchase of "I Am Not…." are not working.  After ten minutes of blaming ourselves incessantly and moping around guilt-ridden, we were relieved to discover that the problem is not our fault.  It seems like Apple – in a spat of anti-competitive, techno-poo-poo-ery – has disabled Flash support as a default in their latest release of QuickTime 7.  So try this:   1.  Open up QuickTime.  2. Go to "QuickTime" preferences.  3.  Under "Advanced", check "enable flash support".  4.  Open the booklet.  5. Revel in multi-media glory. 

Yo La Tengo at The Times BFI London Film Festival Oct 31

I think my ears are still ringing from the incredible loudness of the New Jersey Yo La Tengo show and I can still taste the buttery yumminess of the ‘Ass’ cookies (or should I say ‘arse’) baked by a friend of the band presented to Ira after the show. No, they certainly didn’t taste like ass. The Loewes Theatre was resplendent in it’s shabby chic, I especially liked the display of old candy wrappers they had discovered during the renovations, perhaps we should shove some ass cookies or Yo La Tengo flyers behind the seats to be unearthed in another hundred years.

Speaking of asses, has anyone seen the new John Cameron Mitchell movie “Shortbus”? I hear there’s a lot of ass in that one, although it has received several very positive reviews so I’m rather looking forward to seeing it, not least because the ass-kickers themselves, Yo La Tengo, scored it. Of course it hasn’t come out here in the UK yet but it is being debuted at The Times BFI London Film Festival later this month. As it happens to nearly coincide with Yo La Tengo’s extensive European tour the band have been invited to participate in a special event at the Film Festival where they discuss their contribution and composition for movies on October 31st. The focus will be on both “Shortbus” and the new Kelly Reichardt film starring Will Oldham, “Old Joy” also screening at the festival, whilst showing clips of other movie projects including the soundtracks for “Game 6” and “Junebug” as well as their cameos in “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “The Book Of Life”. A must for all Yo La Tengo-fan-cinefiles and burgeoning film composers. Perhaps we can get some ‘Ass’ cupcakes for that one…

More info here:

Let’s not forget, of course, the upcoming dates:


Tue 7 – Cardiff – Point

Wed 8 – Gateshead – Sage

Thu 9 – Cambridge – Junction

Sat 11 – London – Forum