Matador Revisionist History: Pavement’s ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’

(Illustration: Jeff Mahannah)

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is Pavement’s record-of-many transitions. From Louder Than You to Random Falls. From Gary Young to Steve West. From indier-than-thou (Matador) to FAKE INDIE (Matador/Atlantic). But most importantly, it’s the album where Pavement would flex the sort of musical and lyrical range that would later make some of you deeply resent everything else the band members ever did solidify their status as a once-in-a-generation phenomena. Except we’re still here talking about it.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’s 1994 release, and I believe it was George Santayana who said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Good thing we’ve got a goddamn photographic memory, because there’s some stuff we went thru trying to get radio stations to play “Cut Your Hair” that NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE FORCED TO RELIVE. So let’s focus on the good times and not get bogged down in gloomy stuff like the journalist last week who asked me (seriously) if Billy Corgan or Scott Weiland still bore a grudge over “Range Life”. I’m sure you think my job is super fucking easy but there’s no simple way of answering a question like that without getting the person on the other end of the phone very very angry, so if you’re ever in that situation, I suggest you handle it exactly the way I did (pretend you’re been stung by a wasp).

Stream Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain / Purchase from the US Matador Webstore HERE.

All orders received today through Thursday, February 21st from the U.S. Matador Webstore that include Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain will receive a free MATADOR REVISIONIST HISTORY slip mat and a reproduction of Pavement’s 1994 press photo (credit: Gail Butensky). Random orders will receive a press photo signed by Stephen Malkmus. UPDATE: press photos are now OUT OF STOCK, orders will still receive the slip mat.

Matador Revisionist History : Considering Unsane’s ‘Total Destruction’

(photo by Michael Galinsky)

stream / order ‘Total Destruction’

What would possess a respected independent label entering an (ill-fated) joint-venture with a major record company to make one of their inaugural releases a record as uncompromisingly unpleasant and visceral as Unsane’s 1994, ‘Total Destruction’ — once again, re-pressed by Matador and now on sale to mark the album’s 25th anniversary? Well, for starters, we were a bunch of arrogant motherfuckers who thought we knew better (MAN, DID THE YEARS BEAT THAT OUT OF US). Also, maybe you had to be there (and I was there — over and over and over again and I have the hearing/brain damage to prove it) but Chris Spencer, Pete Shore and Vincent Signorelli were a devastating force. That we did a somewhat crap job of convincing more than a few people of this is something we’d love to lay at the feet of Atlantic Records…so there you go. It’s everyone’s dream to do what they love and here we are still doing it.

(“Body Bomb” video, directed by Richard Kern)

Fast forward a quarter century later and Unsane are still making sick records, touring the globe (now with Dave Curran in Pete’s spot) and setting an impossibly high bar for a new generation of bands. And Matador’s still working O.T. hoping you won’t be overcome with noxious nostalgia fumes, but not before you jump on a totally destructive a 25% off sale.

Happy 25th Birthday To Yo La Tengo’s “From A Motel 6”

(“From A Motel 6”, directed by Hal Hartley)

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Yo La Tengo’s “From A Motel 6” being released as a single thru the confusing maelstrom of the major label distribution system. It’s also Ira Kaplan’s birthday, and to celebrate both of these historic events we’re offering 25% off ‘Extra Painful’ and ‘There’s A Riot Going On’. Stream “From A Motel 6” and find your territory’s Matador Webstore

Yo La Tengo On Tour :

Tuesday, January 22nd Hi How Are You Day 2019, ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin TX
Wednesday, February 6th Teatro Capitolio, Lisbon PT
Thursday, February 7th Hard Club, Porto PT
Friday, February 8th Sala Capitol, Santiago de Compostela ES
Saturday, February 9th Teatro Victoria Eugenia, San Sebastian ES
Monday, February 11th Sala La Riviera, Madrid ES
Tuesday, February 12th Oasis Club Teatro, Zaragoza
Wednesday, February 13th Sala Apolo, Barcelona ES
Saturday, February 16th L’Aeronef, Lille FR
Sunday, February 17th EartH, Hackney UK
Monday, February 18th EartH, Hackney UK
Tuesday, February 26th Thalia Hall, Chicago IL*

* (Live Score to “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller: a “live documentary” from filmmaker Sam Green.)

August 8-12 2019, The Belle & Sebastian Boaty Weekender

Yo La Tengo online :
Yo La Tengo.com
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Coming In January : LP Reissues Of Chavez’ ‘Ride The Fader’ & ‘Gone Glimmering’

(photo : Jesse Peretz)

Here at Matador Records and Filmworks, we’ve long lived by the credo established by our founder, Chris Lombardi, who once declared, “give the people what they want. Especially if it’s easily accomplished and/or lucrative for us.” And with that in mind, we have listened to the pleas and threats of YOU, the music fans still devoted to paying for physical goods, and can finally announce that after 12 long years in the out-of-print wilderness, we’re reissuing both of Chavez’ Matador albums on vinyl on January 20, 2015

(“Break Up Your Band”, from ‘Gone Glimmering’, directed by Scott Marshall)

“It’s not like we’re out to desconstruct rock, but when we started the band, we had an agreement that we wouldn’t play anything that sounded like something we’d heard before.” – MATT SWEENEY (speaking to Billboard in 1996)

“For me, Chavez was this perfect creative beast. We had all these annoyingly strong ideas about what we wanted to do, and we did them. We did them exactly.”
– CLAY TARVER (speaking to The New York Times Magazine in 2011)

(“Unreal Is Here”, from ‘Ride The Fader’, directed by Clay Tarver and Scott Marshall)

The quartet of Tarver, Sweeney and crack rhythm section James Lo and Scott Masciarelli never quite broke up — they just take many years inbetween gigs (and many more years making us wait for a third album). But there’s an awful lot to be said for leaving a flawless recorded legacy behind, and 1995’s ‘Gone Glimmering’ and 1996’s ‘Ride The Fader’ are unbeatable slabs of thinking-person’s loud rock from an era where such sounds were not in short supply. To say both albums have grown in stature and influence years after their release would not be an exaggeration, but that’s precisely why we’re taking brutal advantage of the situation at this very moment.

Preorder from The Matador Store :
‘Gone Glimmering’
‘Ride The Fader’

(via Amazon :
‘Gone Glimmering’
‘Ride The Fader’

Coming 12/3 : A Lower-Than-Low Priced Compilation LP Of Matador 2013 Highlights

OK, we missed Black Friday by a few days, but if that means ONE LESS TRAMPLING this holiday shopping season, it was totally worth it.  On December 3, we’re releasing a limited edition, one-time pressing of a $5.99 list LP , ‘It’s Been A Business Doing Pleasure With You‘, featuring 9 songs from (most of) our 2013 releases. In addition to album tracks from Chelsea Light Moving, Majical Cloudz, Body/Head, Lee Ranaldo & The Dust, Iceage and Kurt Vile, there’s a live version of Queens of the Stone Age performing “If I Had A Tail” at the 2013 iTunes Festival (Roundhouse, London),  Savages’ “City’s Full” from last summer’s KEXP session, and Yo La Tengo performing “Before We Run” in those same KEXP studios.

We don’t have any copies for mail order, sadly, but hopefully you’ll find one at your favorite record store after they’re done sweeping up all the broken glass, blood, etc. from Black Friday.  If you prefer, you can order a digital version of the comp. right now at the Matador Store.

Intended Play 2012 – For The Vinyl-Phobic Amongst, The Price Just Dropped From $2 To Free

(I really don’t see the resemblance)

Back in early January WE SHOCKED THE MUSIC WORLD with news of a $1.98 Matador/True Panther Sounds sampler LP including (mostly) new songs from The Young, Ceremony, Lee Ranaldo Tanlines, Perfume Genius, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Fucked Up, Girls, Cold Cave, Esben and The Witch and Kurt Vile. It’s come to our attention that a) there’s a few stragglers out there who’ve yet to order this limited edition LP, and b) some of you either trashed your record players or simply prefer music in digital form.

So here’s the deal — you can still order the vinyl version from The Matador Store or hound your local retailer who might’ve filed it in THE $2 BIN.  Failing that, here’s a free download of the entire compilation. You’re welcome!

V/A – Intended Play (zip)

The Matablog’s 5th Anniversary : Celebrating 5 Years Of Blatant Self-Promotion

July 26  marks the 5th anniversary of the Matablog’s public debut (after MONTHS of beta-testing), truly a day in that will go down in rock / internet history as the moment blogging finally came to fruition as letting you know about record release parties in cities thousands of miles away a force for social change.  Over these past 5 years, the Matablog has gone from being the #7 or #8 most widely read source for news and information about this label to being somewhere in the top 3 or 4.  It is, however, the number one source of information concerning whatever Patrick has concocted in his well-stocked kitchen that weekend, and if you think you’re gonna get that kind of content from Paste or Metal Sludge.com, think again.

Though I realize many of you would like to credit me alone for the Matablog’s wild success (and I thank each of you for the cards, letters and fruit baskets that arrived today, especially the videogram from former NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer) it couldn’t have happened without the hard work, insight, and passion for THE TRUTH the Matador and Beggars staffs bring to the table, nor without the contributions from our family of recording artists.  It is my fervent hope that in the days to come, the Matablog will continue to serve as a beacon of light in the otherwise dreary world of rock biz puffery.  Frankly, I’d settle for Todd Netter not referring to it as “Mata-blog”, but perhaps that’s something we can target after the 10th anniversary.

Anyhow, enough with all of that insider-baseball bullshit.  There’s no point celebrating a big anniversary without a party, and this weekend Matador has Thurston Moore, Cold Cave and Kurt Vile all appearing at our Matablog 5th Anniversary Bash in Chicago’s Union Park.  I realize there’s a bunch of non-Matador artists on the bill  ;  there might even be banners atop the stages that fail to mention the actual name of the festival, but that’s ok.  Not every record label blog is magnanimous enough to share their weekend in the sun with others, but after all this time you oughta know that we’re all about inclusion.    Here’s to five (hundred) more years!

Bag ‘Em Up


Carry your Matador records around town with fear of dog-earing NO LONGER. We’ve done a lot of vinyl specials recently so now we’re doing a special vinyl container deal.

The bags are size large Dickies record bags with front clip and flap closure, inner and outer pockets and organizers, top handle and adjustable strap. Featuring a high quality embroidery of the Matador logo. They come in black, powder blue, and steel blue.

If you order one of our new, really awesome record bags, plus a piece of vinyl from the store you get free shipping anywhere in the US or Canda. Just enter “lovevinyl” in the promo code line during checkout and you’ll be good to go.

Order HERE

Matador artifacts part 2: Superchunk one-sheet

Click on image for larger view.

This is the one-sheet for Superchunk‘s second album, OLE-035, No Pocky For Kitty, now available on Merge. A one-sheet is industryspeak for a retail sell-sheet. They are to be distinguished from bios, which are directed at press and tend to be more serious (and more frequently vetted by bands, if not actually written by them). A one-sheet is supposed to grab a frazzled buyer’s attention and say “order this record in quantity” with quick and catchy reasons why. It is not a place to meditate on music or art, which is not to say we haven’t done that on occasion.

This one-sheet was probably written by Johan Kugelberg, Matador’s first sales director.

Matador artifacts, part one

Here is part one of an occasional series on Matador artifacts from our history. The Matador Profiles ad series (recently resurrected) ripped off the Creem Profiles ads from the 1970s, which in turn ripped off the Dewars Profiles ads from that period and earlier. Click on the image for a legible version.

Here you can see the ultra-suave Michael Cudahy, singer and main songwriter in Boston’s Christmas, whose album Vortex we released in 1993 (by which time the band had relocated to Las Vegas). Later he was in Combustible Edison, over whom we will politely draw a curtain. He also nearly beat Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings, the 17-show champ, on June 25, 2004. In the early 1980s he helped start the legendary artist-owned label Propeller Records, which released important records by the Dangerous Birds, V;, the Neats, Art Yard, CCCP-TV and many others. (Sadly the Propeller masters were all destroyed in a disastrous fire at Cudahy’s house in Allston many years ago, so HA HA there will be no digital reissues.)