PSA: Benefit For Rogue Wave Drummer

Pat (drummer in Rogue Wave) has been dealing with kidney problems for quite some time (this is his second kidney transplant).

On September 30th 2006, Rogue Wave will host a benefit concert at The Independent in San Francisco to raise money for drummer Pat Spurgeon, who is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. The benefit concert will feature performances by Rogue Wave, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie,) Matthew Caws (Nada Surf,) Ryan Miller (Guster,) John Vanderslice, and other special guests. Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snickett) will MC the event.

Expect a nice ole package of CDs to raffle off, kids.

Puddlegum has more details.

Official Rogue Wave site

I Am Not Afraid Of The Billboard Top 200 : Yo La Tengo, #66 With A Bullet

Rarely do we break into regular programming around here to toot our own horn when it comes to something as crass as actual-record-sales, but this is kind of a special occasion. The new Yo La Tengo CD / 2 X LP / digital wacky-pack ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’ enters this week’s Billboard Top 200 at no. 66, making it the highest chart entry and best first-week seller of the band’s illustrious career.

Though I’d like congratulate Ira, Georgia and James on this commercial achievement, clearly, a big share of the credit is due to Matador’s hard working street team.

If you had any difficulty finding copies of Mastodon’s excellent ‘Blood Mountain’ last week, I sincerely apologize. We’re just doing our job.

If you’d like to join the celebration from the comfort of your own lonely hovel, we’re accepting video submissions at iamnotafraidofyouandiwillbeatyourass.com. This could be your big chance to become as big a global internet sensation as these guys.

Pavement – Wowee Zowee revisited

Not since Mo Levy had John Lennon round to the barn for some beers has a record label been nearly as vault-plundering as Matador’s treatment of Pavement’s classic oeuvre. Well, I suppose Mystic and Cog Sinister come to mind, but as neither have blogs (or crack art deparments), I’ll leave them out of the discussion.

In the rich tradition of our mega-deluxxxe reissues of ‘Slanted & Enchanted’ and ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’, we’re pleased to announce the November 7 re-release of Pavement’s widely misunderstood 3rd album, ‘Wowee Zowee’, henceforth entitled, ‘Wowee Zowee : Sordid Sentinels Edition’

the full track listing :

Disc 1
01 We Dance
02 Rattled by the Rush
03 Black Out
04 Brinx Job
05 Grounded
06 Serpentine Pad
07 Motion Suggests Itself
08 Father to a Sister Of Thought
09 Extradition
10 Best Friend’s Arm
11 Grave Architecture
12 AT & T
13 Flux = Rad
14 Fight This Generation
15 Kennel District
16 Pueblo
17 Half a Canyon
18 Western Homes
19 Sordid [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
20 Brink of the Clouds [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
21 False Skorpion [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
22 Easily Fooled [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
23 Kris Kraft [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
24 Mussle Rock [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
25 Give It a Day [Pacific Trim EP]
26 Gangsters & Pranksters [Pacific Trim EP]
27 Saganaw [Pacific Trim EP]
28 I Love Perth [Pacific Trim EP]
29 Sentinel [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]

Disc 2
01 Sensitive Euro Man [I Shot Andy Warhol soundtrack]
02 Stray Fire [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
03 Fight This Generation [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
04 Easily Fooled [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
05 Soul Food [Wowee Zowee jam session w/Doug Easley on piano]
06 It’s a Hectic World [from Homage to Descendents tribute album]
07 Kris Kraft [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
08 Golden Boys/Serpentine Pad [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
09 Painted Soldiers [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
10 I Love Perth [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
11 Dancing With the Elders [from Medusa Cyclone/Pavement split 7″]
12 Half a Canyon [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
13 Best Friend’s Arm [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
14 Brink of the Clouds/Candylad [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
15 Unfair [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
16 Eaily Fooled [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
17 Heaven Is a Truck [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
18 Box Elder [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
19 No More Kings [from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks comp]
20 Painted Soldiers [from Kids in the Hall in Brain Candy soundtrack]
21 We Dance (alternate mix) [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]

The sort of lavish, jaw-dropping packaging that you’ve come to expect from our previous Pavement reissues? We’re on it. Cryptic hints of a band reunion that may or may not occur this decade? You can get them somewhere else, we’re not trading in such conjecture. But there’s more than enough meat to chew on here, and I for one am looking forward to a nifty trip down memory lane to the day in 1996 when Larry Clark suggested (with a straight face) that Tom Surgal “should be put in jail” for the “Rattled By The Rush” video.

Tom of course, had the last laugh. He wasn’t the one who directed “Bully”.

Yes, We Know The Bulletin Board’s Down

Yes, we know the bulletin board’s down. I received 2,428 automated emails about it between 7:34 PM and 12:19 AM Eastern tonight. One is generated every time someone tries to view a forum or post. If nothing else, it shows how popular our BB is.

We have notified our server admin and hope to be back up tomorrow morning. Nothing is likely to happen tonight (or this morning for those of you in time zones further east).

We Get Your Letters

Mr. Tough

Sure. We get some letters. A lot of letters. Like this classic one. But, this latest might take the cake. Why? Because it’s not restraining order worthy nor is it demanding money back in exchange for returning some downloads. No, the stars have aligned for this Mr. Tough and this one band (who he seems to own more than one album from):

Dear (Matador)
Hi. I am a citizen of Glagow in Scotland, and my name (as you may see) is Michael Tough. Interestingly, Yo La Tengo’s latest single release in the UK is entitled Mr. Tough. I have been aware of Yo La Tengo since I bought their single Danelectro (version 2 of which is on the playlist for my funeral – when it comes), and have purchased a couple of albums since, namely Prisoners Of Love and the current I Am Not Afraid Of You….
I tried to purchase the single Mr. Tough, but none of the major or independent stores in Glasgow had it listed, leading me to believe it is only available as a download. Would this be correct?

The point I am trying to get round to, though, is this; would there be any promotional material available for the current single? It is not every day that a record is realeased with one’s name as its title, and this ‘novelty’ holds an appeal. I saw some cover art for the single on a couple of download sites, but am reluctant to print and copy it on to a t-shirt, for example, for copyright reasons. As I now have the song on hard copy twice (once on the album and once, ironically, from a free new-release compilation CD given away by HMV when I bought the album) I see less need to buy the single if indeed it is available on hard copy.

If there might be any promo items with the Mr. Tough text and imagery that are lying around the office and looking for a home with a real Mr. Tough (by name only, and not so much by nature to be honest) then I would be happy to provide that home and very appreciative. In the offchance that you could please help me in my quest, may I provide a postal address upon request at a later time? Thankyou for taking the time to read this essentially begging letter, and I hope it doesn’t bother you .

Yours

Mr. Michael Tough

We have since learned he has a cousin Ronnie. Can someone get this guy onto that helicopter?

Related: Yo La Tengo do Mr. Tough (YouTube)

If They Could Pull Off Rawkus, Anything’s Possible

The LA Times’ Lorenza Muño on Fox’s new Christian film division.

In February, Yordy unveiled the FoxFaith logo at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, bringing the normally skeptical crowd to its feet. Seeing the label on the big screen formalized the commitment from Fox, Yordy said.

Three years earlier, the idea of launching a Christian label at Fox was considered a joke, but Yordy said the use of humor helped win the convention-goers’ trust this time around.

“The approach we took was … ‘At Fox, you may know us for our quality family programming,’ ” Yordy said he told the audience, against a backdrop of video clips from Paris Hilton’s “The Simple Life” and the reality show “Temptation Island.”

“The room just died laughing,” he said. “I said to them, ‘That is exactly what you expect from Fox. But that is not what we at FoxFaith are”

FoxFaith’s biggest splash came in July at the International Christian Retail Show in Denver, the largest annual gathering of Christian retailers in the nation.

Inside a massive white tent across from the Denver Convention Center, a studio-sponsored event had all the earmarks of a Hollywood fete: a lavish buffet, an exclusive movie preview of 20th Century Fox’s upcoming family-friendly horse drama “Flicka” and acrobats from Cirque du Soleil. Because it was a Christian convention, no alcohol was served and the performers’ costumes were inspected to ensure demure necklines.

Learning Something New Every Day

Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan is being interviewed on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” at this very moment by John Schaefer.

Earlier in the program, a researcher from the University of Leicester was asked to characterize the typical Yo La Tengo fan.  He presumed that he or she would be highly educated, not particuarly highly-paid, and most curiously, not a pet owner.

With all due respect, what the fuck?

If You Made Bob Rock’s Kids Cry, Shame On You

Surely you don’t need an excuse to read Blabbermouth.net several times a day?

Producer Bob Rock recently told Reuters that he feels “20 years younger” after his split with METALLICA, whose albums he had produced since 1991.

The Canadian producer parted company with the metal titan earlier this year and is now devoting his energies to other artists and a return to his own recording career.

According to the 52-year-old Rock, “My life is now about my wife and kids, and recording other bands.”

Rock first teamed with METALLICA for its self-titled 1991 album (aka “The Black Album”). The Elektra set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 281 weeks. Rock helmed METALLICA’s subsequent albums, through 2003’s “St. Anger”.

A behind-the-scenes look at that tumultuous project was featured in the following year’s unflinching documentary “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”. A petition that some 1,500 fans signed subsequently was posted online calling for METALLICA to dump Rock, claiming he had too much influence on the band’s sound.

“The criticism was hurtful for my kids, who read it and don’t understand the circumstances,” Rock says. “Sometimes, even with a great coach, a team keeps losing. You have to get new blood in there.”

Matmos, Live @ Koko, London, 17/09/06

First up, I’ve got to apologize for these pictures. Between myself and Mike, we managed to make concert photos look like surveillance footage. I’ve seen clearer photos of the Loch Ness monster. Mike did get this photo of Martin wearing a rather lovely cushion/hat afterwards, though.
Second up (is that a term?), I must apologize for the lack of Haswell/Hecker noize action. You may remember a few weeks ago I did a post extolling the virtues of Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker, whom I thought were supporting Matmos at the Koko show. Well, they weren’t. Sorry. It had nothing to do with me or the men of Matmos. Haswell/Hecker are performing as support for Sunn 0))) and Burning Star Core at this year’s Frieze festival, though, and I’ll be there, so you can berate me in person if it makes you feel better.

Anyways, on to Matmos. They do occupy that strange area of performance where it seems equally appropriate that they play seated venues or club spaces. Although I had my reservations, Koko turned out to be perfect – a very theatrical venue that normally plays host to indie rock and A-list celebrity pop shows decked out in chairs for a show by a band who bridge the muscal gap between…well, everything, really.

Current collaboroator Zeena Parkins did a couple of pieces on her own first, and she is now my favourite working harpist (screw you Newsom). Eschewing any normal sounds you might hear emanating from a harp, Parkins instead built loops of buzzing string drone, and blasting waves of noise by attacking her instrument with what looked like a pumice stone. It was very different from what I’d heard from her in the past, and I’d love to see a full set from her. Like NOW.

Zeena returned to the stage about 15 minutes later and began reading from Valerie Solanis’ ‘S.C.U.M’ Manifesto. And then on came Martin and Drew, aided by Nate Boyce and began to build a room-rattling take on ‘Tract For Valerie Solanis’ – I really cannot emphasise enough just how powerful the bass was last night (you know when you can feel it in your teeth?). Nate’s visuals for this involved the bizarre sight of a rose slowly opening out of a cow’s uterus, which was as funny and disturbing as the song itself. They proceeded to charge through a fairly dance-heavy set (maybe cause it was a seated show), and I was ecstatic to hear them do ‘YTTE’ from ‘The Civil War’, replete with all sorts of abstract harp strums from Ms Parkins. ‘Rag For William S Burroughs’ was denser and shorter than it’s album incarnation, and ‘Steam And Sequins For Larry Levan’ climaxed with all four performers hammering away on bongos and triangle for maximum disco action, coupled with Nate’s epilepsy-inducing visuals – I didn’t see, but surely someone must have been dancing on the bar. Surely.

Watching the first season of ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ and listening to composer Carl Stalling this weekend was a perfect setup for going to see Matmos – they’re all artists who apply all their academic enthusiasm to bending high-culture (Fry & Laurie: literature & language, Stalling: orchestral composition, Matmos: music concrete) into inappropriate, populist and occasionally silly shapes without forfeiting any of their fierce intelligence. This is even more apparent for Matmos live – it’s usually about halfway through the gig when after being blindsided by the music itself, I start to think ‘Hang on, how the hell are they doing this?’. And apparently, it involves sticking metal tubes into dry ice.

In conclusion, it was a fun and baffling night out.

For The Wire Set

About two years ago, I fell deeply in love with The Wire. You can’t even describe it in words. Sordid twists on corruption, taciturn civil servants and then…that drug experiment with all those drugs. So, why not start a whole blog dedicated to understanding it. Well, someone already beat me to the punch. Behold….the Heaven and Here blog. (you’ll recognize some contributors including the editor of world-class b-ball blog… Free Darko.)

Oh, and some accompaniment music – “JSBX: Do You Wanna Get It (mp3)”

People, Let Him Get Even More Off His Chest – Paul Stanley Update

Say what you want about Kiss’ Paul Stanley, but he can never be accused of not knowing where his contributions measure against rock’s other legends. From Billboard’s Gary Graff :

Stanley confirms that one of the ideas being discussed is a traveling version of the orchestral shows Kiss played in 2003 in Australia, which resulted in the “Kiss Symphony” CD and DVD releases.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility,” says Stanley, who welcomed his second son, Colin, with wife Erin on Sept. 6. “Anything’s possible, but we’re far away from conforming or committing to something like that. I’ll let you know when it’s true.”

New Kiss music is another matter, however. Stanley says as far as he’s concerned, trying to make a new album in the shadow of Kiss’ classic repertoire is, at the very least, a challenge. “The fact is, [fans] may tolerate the new songs, but it’s the old ones you want to hear,” he notes. “I think Jimmy Page and Robert Plant found that out. The [Rolling] Stones certainly know it. The Who certainly know it. So unless you’re willing to go into the studio accepting that how your album will be received will never match your expectations, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.”

Early Man – Demolition Derby, The Final Crash

In the history of motion pictures, there is no shortage of lost classics. Be it Erich Von Stroheim’s “Greed,” or Orson Welles’ original cut of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” coulda, shoulda, woulda been masterpieces have slipped through the cracks of time for as long as movies existed. But for the year, no lost classic has been so lost, or so classic as the 3rd episode of the Early Man demolition derby. Metal fans, fans of crashing cars, and especially fans of crashing cars while listening to metal have been walking around with an Early Man shaped hole in their hearts, seemingly destined to wait in cruel anticipation forever.

The wait is over my friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present the electrifying conclusion to the Early Man car-wrecking saga. Once thought lost for all time, a print was discovered behind some stuff in our office. It is presented here, in sumptuous streaming video, for your viewing pleasure.

Cat Power – Tickets For Taping of PBS’ “Austin City Limits”

(poster art from an LA show that was rescheduled, designed by Francesca Montanari)

Cat Power and The Memphis Rhythm Band are hitting my adopted hometown of Austin, TX for this weekend’s sprawling Austin City Limits Festival (Cat Power on Friday, The New Pornographers on Sunday. Not appearing : Color Me Badd) with an addition show at Stubbs’ Barbecue Sunday evening.

And like they say during the daily casualty briefings, “but wait, there’s more.” Chan and the Memphis Rhythm Band will be taping a studio performance for PBS’ “Austin City Limits” this coming Monday (September 18) at 8pm.   A limited number of tickets are being made available to the public this Friday at noon at the studios of KLRU.

KLRU is located on the University of Texas campus at the corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. There is a limit of two tickets per person. Please note that Austin City Limits cannot guarantee admission, even if you hold a ticket, probably because they’re smart and would like to avoid liability.

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

From the AP :

Britain celebrated its first Roald Dahl Day on Wednesday to mark the 90th birthday of the much-loved author of children’s classics “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

Children and parents across Britain participated with parties and book-readings this week to celebrate the writer, who died in 1990.

A special train ferried fans from London to Great Missenden, 35 miles west of the city, where Dahl lived for more than 30 years.

Guides from the Roald Dahl Museum conducted tours of the town, stopping to read passages from stories and pointed out landmarks that inspired scenes from Dahl’s books, including the library where Matilda reads and Sophie’s orphanage from the “BFG,” the Big Friendly Giant.

Dahl is survived by sons Jeff and Bobby.

In a completely unrelated story, U.S. authorites have cancelled “Ann Marlowe Day” and are investigating links to the author’s works and outbreaks of projectile vomiting.

More Burma Tour News: Eugene, Oregon Scene Report

Bringing it back to the days of Maximum Rock n’ Roll style DIY, yet keeping it current with today’s (Rupert Murdoch-owned) technology, our good friends at Fenway Recordings have just shared the following amazing news regarding Mission of Burma’s engagement at Eugene, Oregon’s WOW Hall on Sunday, September 17 with 50 Foot Wave:

Mission of Burma recieved a message on Myspace a couple of weeks ago from a high school band called The Tunnel Kings. They stated that they were huge fans and would like to open for them for the 17th of Sept in their home town; Eugene, OR.

Roger Miller checked them out and liked what he heard. As of yesterday- the Tunnel Kings are confirmed. Here is the original email from The Tunnel Kings:


Hey,

My name is River Donaghey and my band, The Tunnel Kings (above), and I are huge fans. We’re all sophmores in high school in Eugene, OR and we just noticed that you are heading down here for a show at the WOW Hall on September 17th. If there is any way you guys might consider letting us open for you, it would be a amazing opporitunity for the band. So go listen to our stuff and if you like what you hear throw me a message back.

Thanks!

River
—–

The Tunnel Kings’ Myspace site is at the following URL: www.myspace.com/thetunnelkings. Congratulations to River and his crew for taking the initiative!

An Open Letter To The Matador Street Team

(FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY : Gerard, do NOT PUT THIS ON THE BLOG)

Dear Team,

Strong first day numbers for Yo La Tengo’s ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, as expected, what with that fucking whirly-bird contest and all the good press we paid for. But before you dislocate your shoulders patting yourselvess on the fucking back, keep in mind that we’re still fighting a losing battle at the big boxes, where this album is still pretty hard to find.

I’m expecting a progress report no later than 3pm today about what sort of mischief our regional kids have been up to in the past 24 hours. I thought we’d made the point that hiding the new John Mayer, Black Keys and Mars Volta CD’s wasn’t merely some kind of rock biz sabotage mission, but could in fact, be framed as an “us vs. them” schism. Indie vs. major. Indie vs. other indie. Me vs. you. You vs. not having a fucking job. Please don’t make me spell this out for you any further.

I’m also told there is no stock at the Borders on Church Street. Enough with the excuses, already, it’s been five fucking years.

OK. I’m off to lift weights. You can reach me on the Fuckberry. I want digital pix of those Black Keys and Mars Volta discs hidden in the country section, I’m not kidding around.

You should be very afraid of me and I will kick your ass.

That was a joke, by the way. You’d better fucking laugh.

Tony Matador

The Coral Sea Sessions

So, I’ve spent the last 2 nights at the Royal Festival Hall, watching Patti Smith and Kevin Shields’ “Coral Sea Sessions”. This is a repeat of the collaboration between Smith n’Shields from last year’s Meltdown Festival, where Patti basically read out sections of her poetry book ‘The Coral Sea’, whilst Kevin played guitar in the background. The shows were split in two – the first part being Patti playing protest songs (on Monday) and songs about death (on Tuesday) with her co-writer Tony Shannahan, an incredible Italian cellist, and Jason Pierce from Spiritualized. The themes overlapped on both nights, but kind of erred towards the mawkish on Monday – lots of ‘a mother’s grief’-type anti-war songs, totally earnest I’m sure, but a lttle too earnest for me. On both nights she played a new song ‘Without Chains’ about a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, which was full o’mistakes on the first night, and on the second night Patti sang te chorus as ‘In chains’ as opposed to ‘Without chains’. I thought this was an interesting version on the lyrics until she halted everything towards the end of the song and said ‘Hang on, it’s supposd to be ‘Without chains’! Why did you let me go on singing it as ‘In Chains’?’, to which Shannahan shrugged, embaressed. It’s heartening to see even professional musicians feeling too polite to point out mistakes to their boss on stage. Also on both nights, Kevin Shields joined the band for the final song of the first part, which was a circling dirge, and rather beautiful at that. Not sure if Shields had a hand in writing it, but it did sound MBV-esque in it’s minimal melody and droning momentum.

Now, the real meat of the two evenings was the second half: The Coral Sea. The format was pretty much the same as the Meltdown performance – Patti reads poetry over Kevin’s ebb, flow, delay and decayed guitar, mirroring the nautical footage on screen above them (shot by Jem Cohen – whose 9/11 skyline footage during the first half was pretty haunting). Basically, have you ever wanted to hear a 30-minute version of ‘To Here Knows When’? I know I have. Regularly. Shields’ guitar work was the beautifully droney undulating waves of sound stuff you can only find on ‘Loveless’, and seeing him play live is illuminating – you hear just how little of ‘Loveless’ was studio trickery. He’s really that good with effects pedals. Being the My Bloody Valentine obsessive I am, I didn’t really pay a great deal of attention to Patti’s poetry – for me, it was the background noise – but she gave a spirited performance, spitting words out in anger (and just spitting generally). The text wasn’t particularly verbose – it gave a straightforward voice to the anguish of illness and fear of death that the subject (Smith’s friend, the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe whose death from AIDS is the story of The Coral Sea) must have felt. But, for me, it was all about seeing Shields do something other than trigger samples for Primal Scream. When the drones began to get louder, and Patti had to shout her words over the gorgeous din that he was making…. well, it’s as close as anyone’s going to get to seeing MBV again. *sigh*

First Chavez MP3s posted

The first Chavez MP3s have posted (all are the remastered versions from the upcoming box).

For those new to the band, check out “The Guard Attacks/Unreal Is Here,” tracks 2 and 3 from 1996’s ‘Ride The Fader,’ now tracks 2 and 3 on the second CD of ‘Better Days Will Haunt You.’


For fans who might have missed the 1995 CDEP, check out the awesome “You Faded,” one of the non-album B-sides from the ‘Pentagram Ring’ EP, above… now track 13 on the first CD of the new box.

All songs can be found at the link below.

http://www.matadorrecords.com/chavez/music.html