October 22, 1999

New Releases

When MOGWAI went into the studio some days back to keep limber, they came out with four songs and said to us, "you will put this together as an EP." We obliged. It's called The Mogwai EP + 2 because it's those four songs, plus 2 tracks from the UK only "No Education = No Future: Fuck the Curfew" EP. Got it? Comes out on Tuesday.

The WARP 10+1,2,3 (Influences, Classics, Remixes) are 3 big records (double CDs, quadruple LPs!) and some of the most elegantly packaged vinyl we've ever seen. Spanning the past 10 years of "electronic adventurism on the part of Warp Records," these albums showcase 1. the sounds that shaped the tastes and artistry of the label early on 2. the early years of dancefloor eclecticism and electronic mayhem, encapsulating many of the early hard-to-find singles and 3. a spectrum of artists remixing a good part of the Warp back catalog. This bounty is available Tuesday. I could go on, but I'll let Warp do that for me.

The Online Sounds of Hip-Hop

Ill Bill (of NON PHIXION) solo tracks "Gangsta Rap" and "How to Kill a Cop" are now available on hiphopjoints.com under the Audio section. And: NON PHIXION has a freestyle you can access from the Freestyle section.

Plus: the ARSONISTS and NON PHIXION's appearance on the 88hiphop.com Fat Beats Radio show last month is up in an audio/video archive.

Everything Is Still Nice

Sad. You'll have to keep waiting. The "Everything Is Nice" DVD (including What's Up, Matador?) has been pushed back one more time to November 23rd. We've been forced to leave off the "Dress Up the DEMOLITION DOLL RODS, Undress KHAN" interactive game because it was taking too long to program.

Finally: More Fodder for the Exploiters

 

 

October 15, 1999

Sony Music Japan's English web site has picked GUITAR WOLF as their featured artist. In addition to the usual fare, they're showing the music videos "Jet Generation" and "Kaminari One" until the last day of the Roaring Blood Tour, Oct. 31. Look for your chance to win Guitar Wolf toys: stickers, badges, a propeller aeroplane.

The CORNELIUS remix of "Tender" is the B side for the next Blur single to be released Nov 8th. Don't anybody tell Mogwai.

The 10 Year festivities keep coming! Warp Records with Soundlab and Other Music have put together a 10 Year show of their own at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday November 19. Call Soundlab at 212-726-1724 or stop into Other Music for more information.

Plaid - Live
Broadcast - Live
PLONE - Live
DJs - To Be Announced


Now! Carrie McLaren Presents:
Top 10 Things Matador Artists Have in Common

1. Dead relatives
2. Lungs
3. They are all functionally literate
4. The weather
5. Land-dwellers
6. No one named Madison, Hunter, or Kit
7. They are all descended from the Black man
8. All share a love of the sea
9. None appear on gigantic cK billboards that cover apt. building windows, contributing to the increasingly bleak downtown vista SOUTH of Houston
10. They are nice


Finally, Lyle would like to ask the Mets to play Tuesday's game against Atlanta all naked because he can't think of any other way to make the game more exciting than last night's win. And if Ricky Henderson feels the need to go home again, Ira can always steal a couple of bases in his place.

See you all Friday.

 

 

October 8, 1999

The Matador 10th Anniversary shows will be up on http://www.cdnow.com/events starting 10/8 and ending 11/15. Upon launch they will put up close to full sets for all the bands except Yo La Tengo, Come and Jega, whose partial sets will go up 10/12. Chavez will not be participating.

This week, we present Gerard Cosloy's take on the 10th Anniversary Nice Weekend in New York. Relax and Enjoy --


New York, New York, a city so nice they named it once and wrote lots of songs about it. Our Nice Weekend In NYC shows were lots of fun and these were the bits I remember:

Thursday, September 23

My previous evening was spent watching the Mets lose to Atlanta on TV while reading the Scott Weiland interview in the new issue of Icon. Fascinating stuff --- Weiland could be the most shallow human being of all time (and Icon usually specializes in this sort of thing). Good Alan Abel piece, plus helpful advice from Weiland, "caffeine is a diuretic". I repeat this on the telephone to Sally who thinks I said "Kathleen is a diabetic", which is confusing in that neither of us know someone named Kathleen.

So yeah, I'm not prepared for the meet & greet mania of night no.1, and from the looks of things, neither is Dylan Nathan. But it takes more than a handful of technical difficulties to stop Jega, a wizard of the gadgets and knobs who suitably rocks the house, or at least the portion that bothered to show up early enough. There is considerable drama and hurt feelings backstage ---- Non Phixion are demanding to go on as soon as possible because they have tickets to a midnight screening of "Runaway Bride". The Arsonists are engaged in a bitter debate over which member of the group is Kris Gillespie's personal favorite. I try to quell the uproar by telling them "this night isn't about who is Kris Gillespie's favorite, this night is about making sure Leonardo DiCaprio's fund manager gets in for free." Well, that was the wrong thing to say and it could take several hours to smooth things over. The performances are blistering, in spite of these distractions, and yes, don't worry, Leo's fund manager did manage to get in.

Red Snapper were very exciting, and boy did I feel stupid for never having seen them before. We get lucky sometimes that way. I'm not sure what I can tell you about Mogwai and Cornelius that you don't already know, but suffice to say, if I had to go deaf to the former and blind to the latter....never mind, I'd rather not. But those were amazing sensory experiences (even after leaving the men's room).

Post-show post-mortem at Max Fish is illuminating in all sorts of ways. I've not been to Max Fish in eons and many one-time fixtures (eg. Ann Marlowe) are nowhere to be seen. Mayor Giuliani is doing an excellent job cleaning up the city.

At 3:30am I get a phone call from Nicole, telling me that Cornelius and band have been screwed out of their hotel rooms by the knuckleheads at the Hotel Pennsylvania (note to all travelers not named Bush: don't stay there. The rooms are filthy, the bugs are huge and Scott Kannberg's room was poorly decorated). Using my powers of persuasion, I convince the manager of the Chinatown Holiday Inn that the Cornelius entourage are traveling biochemists who must secure rooms or they will be unable to solve the West Nile mosquito virus sweeping the city. The manager doesn't know what the West Nile virus is, so I have to go into this whole Yul Brynner impersonation about the frogs and the locusts and the death of the first born, etc. One $500.00 deposit later and the rooms are reserved. Only problem is, Nicole never calls back and no one from Cornelius' band shows up. On the bright side, I now have 5 additional hotel rooms, so if I feel like storing many different things (like kittens) in each, no one can stop me.

Friday, September 24

I ran into DJ Eclipse earlier that day. It seems that local theatres are cancelling their scheduled showings of "Runaway Bride" due to violent incidents at cinemas nationwide. I suggest that Julia Roberts was also in "The Warriors" and no one seems to know what I'm talking about (fucking kids).

The backstage passes supplied by a local stationery shop keep falling off, and you don't want to know what I had to do to gain entry to this event. While Khan is singing it, I'm living it. Next time, we buy laminates.

Not a lot of surprises tonight. Khan's got the moves and some of the audience look like they wanna move to Alaska. The Lynnfield Pioneers + Marc Moore on bass exemplify the word "panache". Guitar Wolf deliver a frenzied variation on the same high-octane set they can play in their sleep. Chavez are always awesome, and tonight they put the "vest" into "devastating." But what is up with these assholes in the VIP area? Who are they? Where did they come from? I didn't put any of them on the guest list (Leo's fund manager can't make it tonight). Really great that all of my friends are sitting around the VFW with nothing to do, meanwhile Matador is footing the bill to entertain some creeps who got lost on the way to Steve Blush's house.

Brett Vapnek is videotaping a series of "funny" interviews with bands asking each other various questions like "who did you have to blow to get signed" and "is that your real hair?" Asking for trouble, I think, but I never thought Bob Nastanovich would be party to this sort of thing. With the cameras rolling, Bob wants to know "how do you feel when people ask Chris Lombardi what you're doing in London and he says 'I have no idea'?" Hoo ha. When people ask me what Chris Lombardi is doing in New York, I tell 'em the cameras I installed in his office are recording 24-7.

Chan Marshall aka "CHAN MARSHALL", came up with another stunner, this time solo-style. A local musical expert had recomended to Chan that she employ the services of a backing troupe, otherwise the rowdy, insensitive fans of Pavement, Chavez and special guests Jackyl, wouldn't be capable of sitting still, shutting up and appreciating Chan's genius. If only our entire roster had the benefit of this sage advice... I'd have more time for television. Speaking of which, Armando Benetiz just walked everyone in the State of Pennslyvania and most of Southern, NJ as well.

Bright lights-a-flashing, Pavement churned and burned through a career retrospective set that should lay to rest those break up rumors, unless you wanna read something into cryptic comments like "thank you, goodnight." People always seem to pogo harder when they hear the oldest songs and for that reason alone I prefer the new stuff.

End of evening revelry at the extremely crowded Shades of Green gets a bit messy; Chris Lombardi is asked to stop climbing on tables, Billy Joel is asked to stop singing over the din (it took a while for me to understand that this was in fact, a jukebox, and the young woman I was berating was not actually, Billy Joel) and Joe Gaer is just asked to stop. I could tell you all kinds of stories about evil behavior on the part of your favorite underground music icons (and if you send me $10 (or sterling equiv.) c/o PO Box 20125, London W10 5WA, I still will), but shall not in this forum as there are persons under the age of 25 reading it.

Saturday, September 25

David Cross is a very funny man. I loved his work on "Saturday Night Live", laughed 'til I puked at "Just Shoot Me".... oh, that's David Spade. He sucks, I hate that guy. Now David Cross, he's a fucking riot. That whole stand-on-stage-mumble-and-introduce-the-bands thing, he's a goddamned pioneer. At least I thought so until Christina made him read some lame "thanks to Apple and CDNow for all their money" speech, which practically got the poor guy booed back to Los Angeles. And what's up with all the booing? Sure, it was a lame spiel, but was anyone's enjoyment of this event really hampered by the CDNow/Apple sponsorship? I mean, other than the kid on the tricycle who was crushed to death by the remote truck.

My personal highlight of the weekend was meeting the one and only Randy Costanza, a one man treasure trove of information and inspiration. Randy claims that Bruno Sammartino was his uncle, which is insanely cool, until you realize that makes David Sammartino his cousin. That isn't so cool.

The musical embarrassment of riches continues: Bardo Pond simulate the end/birth of the planet in unmeasured doses. Come remind us once again that their body of work and virtuosity cannot be taken for granted, not if you want to pretend you know anything about music. The Solex trio specialize in making something very hard sound and look very easy --- mental stimulation shouldn't be this much fun, and usually isn't. Mary Timony gave us a preview of what to expect from her solo debut --- and if this set was anything to go by, her finest recorded moments are in the offing. I'm not sure where the offing is located, but probably in the "T" miscellanious bin, or maybe filed under "Helium." Yo La Tengo, with special guests Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen and Roy Campbell, were a revelation, an inventive twist or 2 on songs we thought we knew pretty well, plus some terrific new material from the upcoming album.

You've probably heard or read a thing or 2 about Yo La Tengo's encore of "Slack Motherfucker" which featured Chris and myself being roasted in brutal fashion by Jon Spencer and "Brett fucking Guerwitz" aka Rob Kennedy of the Workdogs. Yo La Tengo have gone to great lengths to assure me that this stunt had nothing to do with them and was all Jon Spencer's idea. Maybe so, but I didn't see them throwing their instruments down and stomping offstage in protest. Accessories to a crime end up being punished, that's all I have to say about this "we didn't know what he was gonna do" claptrap. And as for Jon.... yeah, really hilarious. First of all, my Pottery Barn gift certificate wasn't even real. And a lap dancer for Chris Lombardi, what an enlightened idea in this day and age. What better way to celebrate the legacy and ideals of a label with so many talented female artists and staff members than by hiring a female stripper? But that's OK, I'm sure everyone realizes this little prank was meant to be in jest and I would like to implore all the artists who tore up their contracts and staff members who resigned at the end of the evening to reconsider (it was all Jon Spencer's idea, we swear to god).

In the aftermath of this incredibly humiliating episode, I forgot that I had 6 hotel rooms at the Chinatown Holiday Inn, and we all ended up back at Shades of Green. I was too busy apologizing for the lap dance incident to notice anything particularly scandalous. Sorry.

All said, this was a chaotic, though spiritually rewarding weekend. Thanks very much to all of you who performed or attended or helped out or just hung around outside trying to scam your way in. We could've done it without you, but not very well.

Special thanks should go to the following who went above and beyond ala Bob Beamon: Kris Gillespie for his supervision of all production/gig disasters, Christina Zafiris, for finagling all the sponsorship loot and making sure this event was publicized up the kazoo, Jesper Eklow for coming up with the whole "everything is nice" concept and making sure the products in question actually existed, Mark Ohe for making it all look pretty, Jackie Farry, for running the stage the way U.S. Grant ran the Union Army, Nicole Harper for finding all the invisible hotel rooms, CDNow and College.Com for paying for the webcast, Apple for manufacturing a graphite iMac (about fucking time), Bill Ryan for moving the units, David Cross for letting us soak up the glamour, Irving Plaza for letting us soak up their very expensive drinks, and Jim Romeo for being so goddamned helpful.

Gerard Cosloy

 

 

October 1, 1999



The weekend's events went smashingly well; thanks to all the fans and the bands who made this a wonderful time. For those of you who missed the webcast, look to www.cdnow.com/events for an archive of most of the sets by October 8th, possibly sooner. YO LA TENGO promised to pick at least one song for the site.

Also look next week to us for a complete photo and interview fest with all your favorite Matador acts. For now, we bring you candid snapshots and MP3 interview clips with Chan Marshal and Chavez on how they came to know Matador, childhood scars, and kegs of beer.

Matt Sweeny and James Lo of CHAVEZ talk about the first bands they ever formed.

Chan Marshall (CAT POWER) talks about how she came to know Matador.

Matt and James talk about childhood scars.

Matt and James talk about the first Matador records they bought.

James hates weddings. I only asked him about cake.

Now we'd like to share some personal moments, reflections on the days past, and funny things we overheard in the crowd.

"The only good band they have anymore is Chavez."

"Mogwai would be good if they had some vocals, and if their songs weren't so long."

"It's pretty stupid that Yo La Tengo played "Slack Motherfucker." Superchunk hates Matador."

"Yeah, it doesn't matter. Smoke that right here. We're in the VIP section, man."

"How did this asshole get his own TV show?"
-- overheard while David Cross was onstage.

Donnovan shares his favorite moment:
My favorite moment was watching a former Matador intern as he begged Dave Martin to buy him a beer. This, of course, was after drinking at least 10 beers throughout the evening and then having his wristband cut off his arm by a bartender who decided he'd had a few too many. When Dave declined, he moved on, shouting to anyone who would listen, "I'm 17 and I'm drunk! Isn't that SO funny? Will you buy me a beer?"

And from Melissa:
MOGWAI, during "Like Herod," in the quiet lull before the song explodes: a hush falls over every one in anticipation and some kid brillantly yells "STUART, DON'T DO IT!" Stuart lost it, almost dropped the ball on the whole song because he was laughing so hard.

Melissa would also like to point out: I have read only one review of the event that does not mention Beck and Kim Gordon being at the show on Friday.


Tearing It Up

THE ARSONISTS and NON PHIXION will be appearing live on WSOU's "Over Ya Head" radio show Sunday, Oct 3 from 10pm-12mid. Tune in to 89.5 from points in the 5 boroughs and North Jersey or http://www.nj.com/wsou/ from points beyond to hear host Trademark and the boys tear it up. Not really sure what they have up their sleeve but it is the show's one-year anniversary so I'm sure it'll be a party.

Plus! THE ARSONISTS' Pyromaniax/Backdraft is now on The Box. Call and request #583. Then make sure you watch it. It's a phenomenal video. Really.


Matador in Movies

You are only allowed to watch one of the following, because too much bad television will ruin your ability to go out and enjoy things. "New Rose Hotel," the new Abel Ferrara flick opens today and features "In This Hole" by CAT POWER. Sunday and Monday, catch songs by THE LYNNFIELD PIONEERS and THE ARSONISTS in our favorite USA schlockfest, "GvsE." Next Friday's "Mission Hill" will feature PAVEMENT and CAT POWER tracks; THE LYNNFIELD PIONEERS show up again in "Shasta McNasty" on October 7th. And "Suits" opened last week with the ol' RAILROAD JERK favorite "Bang the Drum." Hope this will keep you occupied until the bands can come to your town. Pretend. It helps.

 

 

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