this special time of year, we would like to wish everyone
receiving this message our most sincere hopes for a happy
holiday and a happier new year. Unless of course, you didn't
buy any of our records or sent us loads of annoying e-mail
about why we've gone all trendy and pulled the plug on rock.
You guys don't deserve a happy holiday.
Y2K Compliancy Update
Unlike Apple Computers, we cannot guarantee that the musicworks
and audiorecordings we've been selling you for the past 10
years are Y2K compliant. They might work... and they might
not. We really have no way of telling. If you wake up on January
1, 2000 and learn that your collection of Matador Recordings
is no longer playable, try not to flip out. These are just
material possessions, surely the melodies will stay in your
memories, however repressed they might be. And besides, it's
a new millenium, time to try new things.
New Year Promotion Cancelled
Our plans to offer free cremation to the first suicide of
the year 2000 have been scrapped. First of all, no one bothered
to tell the marketing department about it -- if you can't
follow procedures, there's no place for you in our new millenium.
But the big reason we had to pull the plug on this plug pulling
promotion is 'cause we couldn't line up the necessary sponsors
to pay for the cremation (college.com wouldn't fall for this
one). If you can wait another year, we might try again in
Grown Man Shares Seed - Exclusive!
It has been very difficult this month to read any of Simon
Reynolds' fascinating observations without being reminded
that his sperm count is higher than his IQ. On behalf of everyone
who has been subjected to his writing, we'd like to congratulate
him on Having Done It With A Lady. Miracle of birth, give
us a break. Dogs and cats do it everyday and they have better
The upcoming YO LA TENGO tour of seated venues (warning:
some of these places just drag folding chairs out of the basement,
check your local listings for full disclosure) will feature
guest players MAC MCCAUGHAN and DAVID KILGOUR.
Now that Yo La Tengo are about to tour as a quintent, perhaps
all of those comparisons to the Police will stop.
S.O.B.'s stands for "sounds of Brazil." At least that's what
my parents told me. ARSONISTS and NON PHIXION
will be tearing it up at this legendary Varick St. venue on
January 29. Kind of like a hip-hop superbowl, without the
Billy Ray Cyrus halftime show (memo to research dept.: please
make sure Billy Ray Cyrus isn't first on the bill.)
re: On-line sales and mail order. We've been asked to plug
2 other highly esteemed sources of Matador music. Our friends
at Bent Crayon carry
many of our titles and lots of other good stuff too.
The other one is Bill Ryan and his company, Don't Be Mean.
A lot of mailorder customers (not you though) seem to be maladjusted
people looking for some sort of human interaction. What better
person to get it from than Bill Ryan. He doesn't have a website
but he does have e-mail.
Don't Be Mean
P.O. Box 301
Hoboken, N.J. 07030
And now, year end vs. rear end. Matador artists and staff
reveal their favorite things from 1999:
Mark Ohe, Matador Records
Little Jimmy Scott at the Jazz Standard, New York
The Snakes (up and coming three-piece)
in a basement in Williamsburg, New York
Bardo Pond at Mercury Lounge, New York
A Nice Weekend In New York,
Matador Records Tenth Anniversary
Kool Keith at Wetlands, New York
"14 Zero Zero" Console 12" - Community/Payola/Virgin
"First come, First served"
- Dr. Doom (aka Kool Keith) dbl lp, Funky Ass Records
"Everything Is Nice" - V/A CD, Matador
"For Beginner Piano" - Plone LP, Matador/Warp
"Jet Generation" - Guitar Wolf LP, Matador/Ki/Oon
"That's What I Call Sweet Music"
- Robert Crumb Presents CD, Songbook Series
"Terror Twilight" - Pavement CD, Matador
"Distortions" - The Litter, LP, Get Hip
"Grow Fins" - Captain Beefheart, Revenant
"Tractor" - Tractor, Repertoire/Dandelion
"The Water Wheel" - Hamza El Din, Nonesuch
"Glacier Travel And Crevasse Rescue"
- Andy Selters, The Mountainners Books
"Street Graphics India"
- Barry Dawson, Thames and Hudson
- Mark Twight and James Martin, the Mountainners Books
"American Alpine Journal 1999"
- the American Alpine Club Press
"All Fourteen Eight-Thousanders"
- Reinhold Messner, the Mountainners Books
working with Deb Orr this (and the last five years) at Matador
weekly (and sometimes weakly) jams with Endless Boogie
finding a great manager in Frankie Valentino at Lucky
Love Management Clay Tarver and Char Hamer's wedding
in Austin, Texas summitting Mt. Washington in February
with Julian Richards Macintosh's introduction of their
G3 the 1999 New York Mets and their post-season bid
moving forward into a new century
Jesper Eklow, Matador Records
A pretty weak year and one feels like a curmudgeon since it's
so easy to compile a list of what wasn't so good this year
but alright, mostly goodstuff from the year 1999:
Overall movies, painting, books and music should all be outlawed,
it's all so pass already. All these artists around, one would
think they could come up with some new form of expressing
themselves. Everyone keep saying you gotta get into the new
vibes - well, show me something new and I'll dig it..
Live Aktion: I'm sorry it's all old dusty stuff: Magma, Shaggs,
Monks were all religious experiences and Wizz Jones is still
a stunning performer too. They say Jimmy Scott kicked out
the jams too but my empty wallet (and Gabe) kept me away.
Recent inventions do exist and they drive you to drink: eBay,
What else was good? Uh, Omplatten finally managed to release
Bjorn Olsson's fantastic record so expect people to say that
they've owned Bo Hansson records for years now. Reissues should
not be allowed unless I put them out, so fuck you Creation,
Spriguns of Tolgus, Litter, Captain Beefheart, Trees, Birds,
Treniers, Synanthesia, Roy Harper, Shirley Collins, Blorpesette
etc etc. And homemade CDR bootlegs of bootlegs of the 'rare',
'obscure' and 'totally out' for $25-$30 in evil NYC record
stores - COME ON!!!
Reading is great. Let's pretend that "Memoirs of a Booklegger,"
"Hawker of Morwenstow" and Strindberg's "Inferno" came out
Movies aren't what they used to be either but the Louis Prima
documentary was terrific. Jim Carrey as Andy Kauffman - to
quote you know who: "I COULD PUKE"!
Haven't seen a magazine all year that's been worth reading,
both NY Review of Books and Saveur are declining steadily.
Wait, The Art of Eating is still great, but it was sad to
see that Experimental Musical Instruments stopped publishing
their magazine just because they have a web site now. Music
press quote of the year: "Like a Bergman movie set in a Hoboken
Food is fascinating and just as elitist a hobby as collecting
obscure folk records from the British Isles so i'll keep my
secrets to myself, it's all about learning from one's mistakes.
It's easy to hate, and it's really easy to hate words: eatery,
glaswegian, DJ, joint, millenium, model, whimsical.
Thank you Robert Crumb for saying "Beatiful People, I Hate
Them." And thank you Civil Court of the City of New York for
sending my summons in SPANISH, and a very special thanks a
lot goes to the unknown Matador employee who opened the envelope
it came in and put it in my mail box one month after it was
mailed to me - sorry but I only had 20 days to show up in
court. So I guess I'll see all of you in jail soon since I'll
be there for not showing up in court and the rest of you since
it is a federal offense to open other people's mail. Be nice.
Behave. Watch your back. I will.
Donovan Finn, Matador Records
Top 10 of 99:
- Best Record from 20 years ago I just discovered this year:
The Byrds "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
- Best Restaurant of 99: Canteen in NYC (Already obnoxiously
trendy, but oh, so tasty)
- Rock record of the year: Flaming Lips "The Soft Bulletin"
- Best movie: Tie between the Matrix and Election
- 2nd best movie: Rushmore (or is that 3rd best?)
- Best forwarded email attachment of the year: The French(?)
TV commercial for Nomad cell-phone service. Let's just say
it's true cinema in 20 short seconds.
- Karaoke moment of the year: Robbie Williams singing "Anarchy
in the UK" at the Nasty Little Man karaoke Christmas party.
(And he was GOOD!)
- Runner-up Karaoke moment of the year: Matt, our mild-mannered
webmaster, channeling Axl Rose for his BLAZING rendition of
"Paradise City" at the Matador Xmas party.
- Best schlocky novel I finished in one weekend: The Beach
by Alex Garland
- Best food discovery of 1999: The beauty that is "All You
Can Eat Sushi"
Patrick Amory, Matador Records
Best old-style Italian restaurants in the New York metropolitan
area, with key dishes:
1. Tommaso's of Bensonhurst
-- Sunday Special or T-Rex ossabuco
2. Andy's Colonial Tavern -- linguini with white clam sauce
3. Gino's Italian Cuisine -- rigatoni al segreto (secret sauce)
4. Nicola Paone -- pork chops with vinegar peppers
5. Patsy's Restaurant -- chicken scap on the bone
Carrie McLaren, Matador Records
neil harris _humbug_ (book)
boys don't cry (movie)
permanent food (magazine)
howard gossage (man)
sinusitus (respiratory infection)
self-pity (lifestyle choice)
Stefan Betke, POLE
The Fat Cat label in London got a track which was sent in
under the name of Pole but it actually wasn't Pole. Pole was
in North America touring at that time and Fat Cat thought
it is a track by Pole. They pressed it and sent it out into
the world and when Pole came back from his tour he was suprised
and angry that someone did this under his name. But the the
worst thing ever is that the tracks are so bad and has definetly
nothing to do with Pole, that Stefan is asking himself does
this stupid guy or girl whoever did this understand what he
(Stefan) is doing? If someone knows who it was please let
us now about this.
Farben feat. The Dramatiques (Llang Electronic)
Steve Reich - Drummers Drumming
Meredith Monk - Dolmen Music
Kit Clayton (scape records)
Vladislav Delay - hume
Wunder - karaoke kalk
Neue Music Aus Japan by Thorsten Krmer
Gerard Cosloy, Matador Records
Joel Phelps - Blackbird (Pacifico)
Capitol K - Sounds Of Empire (Planet Mu)
The Replikants - Slickaphonics (Kill Rock Stars)
Couch - Fantasy (Kitty-Yo)
Cobra Verde - Nightlife (Motel)
Darryl Ann - Happy Traum (Excelsior)
DJ Signify - Mixed Messages (no label)
Spoon - The Agony of Lafitte (CDR, unreleased album)
Susumu Yokota - Image 1983-1993 (Leaf)
Cube + Sphere - Great Norwegian Explorers (disko b)
The Muffs - Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow (Honest Don's)
grateful to live in a country where "Action" is not shown
positively visualizing that Visiting Day sucks.
Men of The Year (tie):
Scott Weiland, Ryan Leaf
seismic cultural events:
Mets/Braves, NLCS, Game 5
G. Bush Jr. doing crack (pretty sure Weiland wasn't involved).
have 2 new licensing deals to announce, both of 'em exciting
enough that our teeth are chattering so hard you'd think someone
disconnected the heat. Actually, someone did disconnect the
heat and the last time I used one of those portable space-heater
contraptions I nearly burned down the building. So we're gonna
have to tough it out -- what's a little hypothermia in the
name of art? Coming in February 2000 is the first U.S. release
from CONSOLE, a German quintet led by Martin Gretschmann,
whom some of you might recall (said in Troy McLure voice)
as the keyboardist from The Notwist. "14 Zero Zero" (12"/CD)
is one of the most insanely catchy singles we've ever heard,
electronic or otherwise.
By the time you've heard it 1000 times, it might be even cause
serious problems for you... but the first 999 spins are awesome.
In March, we'll be tacking "14 Zero Zero" onto a reissue of
an older Console album, Rocket In Pocket, a denser, deeper
work than the single might hint at -- think of a haunting,
kinda crackly variation on the Skam styles you've already
absorbed... with melodies that just seep through the wreckage.
Tremendous stuff, courtesy of our friends at Payola.
In March, we'll be releasing a new album by a band we've wanted
to work with for way too long. QUICKSPACE are a London
based quintet who have released a gang of great singles and
two excellent albums on their own Kitty
Kitty Corp. label. The 2nd of these albums, Precious Falling
was reissued in the U.S. last year by Hidden
Agenda and some of us still haven't recovered from it.
Quickspace, founded by former Th' Faith Healers guitarist
Tom Cullinan, have long employed Neu-ish repetition and a
sound that's equal parts beauty and violence, but the newer
stuff is spinning into directions we're having trouble keeping
up with. Said one commentator, "you'll feel yourself being
propelled by a primal force called pop ecstasy (hey, remember
that?) down an autobahn of hallucino-distorto-joy." Sheesh,
I wish we hadn't mentioned that, but what's a little hyperbole
in the name of heating? But even for those of you who long
ago swore off the happy smokes, Quickspace are amazing. The
new album The Death Of Quickspace is coming in March, followed
by the band's first North American tour.
The Klublife New Music Show
page has a streaming real audio broadcast with RED SNAPPER's
Ali Friend talking about their remix of Sabres of Paradise's
"Wilmot" on the Warp 10 Remixes compilation. In other Warp
news, there's a brand new Two Lone Swordsmen 12" EP called
A Virus With Shoes that's available now on import.
Prior to the arrival of KHAN's sprawling Passport compilation,
the man of action will be making a short trip to Germany for
live dates, then returning to NYC for shows at Collective
Unconsious (12/16) and the Mercury Lounge (12/17). We'll have
information next week about Khan's "Karoake" project after
we figure out what it is.
LIVE HUMAN are toiling away in a place they like to
call "the studio" working on their Matador debut. Prior to
this monumental release, Hip Hop Slam will be reissuing last
year's Monosterosis on March 12. No less an authority than
Damon Albarn has called Live Human his favorite new British
band, which is no small achievement seeing as they are from
Following some East Coast dates, the ARSONISTS will
be returning to Europe for live activity in February and March.
We received a strange letter today from someone who alleges
that John "Earthquake" Tenta is a huge Arsonists fan. What
are we supposed to do with this information? It wouldn't hurt
if some of you people thought twice before writing to us.
As you might've read elsewhere, the new album from THE
FOR CARNATION will be released early next year on Touch
& Go (U.S.) and Domino (Europe). We'd love to tell you
all the inside stuff that led to Brian deciding to release
this album with another label, but that would result in all
sorts of hostility and bad language. This is a festive time
of year and we will not let this disappointment get in the
way of spreading the message of love.
YO LA TENGO recently thrilled a capacity crowd at London's
Queen Elizabeth Hall, previewing some new songs from the upcoming
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. Sadly, Billy Bragg
played as well. Did I just step into a time tunnel of some
sort? This past month in London, live attractions have included
B. Bragg, Squeeze, Duran Duran, the Angelic Upstarts and Sid
Griffin. At least the Angelic Upstarts are still going. Yo
La Tengo will have a new limited edition 10" coming out in
Europe on January 31; "Saturday" from the new album, plus
2 non-album selections, "Danelectro 2" and "Danelectro 3".
Look for news about Yo La Tengo's forthcoming tour of sit-down
venues in the fancy cultural sections of your local papers.
Video autuer Brett Vapnek (SPOON, CAT POWER,
HELIUM) will be the subject of a online chat session
at Insound (http://www.insound.com) on Tuesday, December 21
at 9pm (EST). Supposedly this event is meant to promote the
release of Matador's Everything Is Nice DVD and VHS, and lord
knows the guys who actually run the label are way too shy
to participate in such an event. So they've invited Brett,
who better to tell the story of Matador then someone who directed
a handful of rarely seen videos for the label? And there's
nothing more fun than chatting on Insound, trust us.
The Holiday Season Is Upon Us, which is really just a way
of saying "Christmas" without offending most of the entertainment
industry. During this special time of year, we would like
everyone to ponder some staggering statistics. Each year,
more suicides are committed during the Super Bowl than any
other day of the year. More spouses are abused on Christmas
Day than any other day of the year. We don't have any documentation
for these claims, but we've heard them repeated so many times
now, we should prefer to accept them as facts. Please please
please, before you either kill yourself or raise a hand in
anger, remember -- there are so many other days of the year.
Matador Alumni News:
SILKWORM are mastering a new album over the holidays
for release on Touch & Go.
TARA KEY (Babylon Dance Band) has a new collaboration
album with Rick Rizzo (Eleventh Dream Day) just out on Thrill
Jockey. BARBARA MANNING and The Go-Luckys have a tremendous
new CD, Homeless Where The Heart Is that just came out on
the Naiv label. A well-respected
jackass wrote in the latest issue of The Wire (the one with
Morticia Adams on the cover) that Barbara was "unceremoniously
dumped" by this label. With this observation in mind, the
next time we part ways with an artist we love and respect,
we will do so CEREMONIOUSLY. Big party hats. Bulk e-mails
and press releases explaining the whole thing to aging journalists
and personal friends of the artist.
Former BETTIE SERVEERT drummer Berend Dubbe is the
mastermind behind one of 1999's finest insane pop records,
Bauer 'On The Move.' (Excelsior)
Bob Pollard and Doug Gillard of GUIDED BY VOICES have
a new duo/ duet/ just-the-two-of-'em album called Speak Kindly
on the Recordhead label. Once again, these gentlemen have
taken classic pop songwriting to "the next level."
SPOON have just released a new 2 song CD single, "The
Agony Of Laffitte" b/w "Laffitte Don't Fail Me Know" (Saddle
Creek) which commemorates their less-than-happy time at
Elektra Records by naming names and kicking ass. Or at least
naming names. This is what you might call a ceremonious rebuttal.
But there's so much more to this brilliant group than rock
career voyeurism; just like Oasis, Spoon are shopping a new
album these days and whoever puts it out will probably sell
a zillion records. The Oasis album, that is. But Spoon are
the better band.
We are very sorry to announce that due to decreased demand
and internal disorders (digestive problems, mostly), Matador
is discontinuing its direct mail order service. Actually,
our indirect mail order service is also cancelled. We will
fill all orders that were sent to us as of 12/1/99 and anything
sent afterwards will be returned/refunded. We are quite sad
about this -- everyone in our company remembers that magical
feeling of placing your cash in an envelope and waiting for
that wondrous package to arrive -- issues of Feminine Mystique,
special-order trusses, rare Beanie Babies, etc. We know exactly
how you feel. With our sympathy in mind, we refer you to the
following mail order and in-online outlets. (By the way, we
can't be held responsible if any of them fuck you over.)
-- If you can browse for 30 minutes without spending any money...
good for you! Thriftiness is a virtue!
-- The terrific NYC shop with a filing system everyone loves.
-- These guys put the "n" back in "indie". And how about those
chats! Can someone explain why I was asked to plug Insound
twice this week? Are they launching an IPO or something?
-- Undercutting the universe. Favorites of the Matador Bulletin
Board. Any company that pays Mike McGonigal to write about
music must be very good.
These guys offer the personal touch. A small, growing outfit
that you'll love to get behind.
-- OK, they've only got our vinyl. But that's better than
-- The house that Ric Menck built. OK, that isn't fair, but
it was the funniest thing I could think of on deadline.
So give these folks a try. And who knows? After we get tons
of letters complaining about the dismantling of mail order,
and we find out that Amazon didn't send you free stickers,
maybe we'll reconsider. But don't bet on it.
Listening choices of the sleek and satisfied:
Jesper Eklow, Matador
Joakim Skogsberg - Jola Rota (Gump) LP
Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins - Avocet (Exlibris) LP
George Thorogood and the Destroyers (Rounder) LP
Lou Reed - Street Hassle (Arista) LP
- Chopin Preludes (Deutsche Gramophone) LP
The Treniers - They Rock! They Roll! They Swing! The Best
of The Treniers (Legacy) CD
Dave Martin, Matador
Boredoms "Creation, Vision, Newsun" box and single CD. You
need them both.
Flesheaters "Ashes Of Time" CD. Upsetter records is back!!!!
Wolfgang Voigt "20 to 2000" November CD
Hank Williams "Live At The Grand OLE Opry" Dbl CD. Lots of
comedy skits!? and racism
V/A "Nummer Een" CD
Hermann & Kleine - Transalpin E.P. (City Centre Offices)
Roads To Space Travel - Ballad/Jazz Waltz (Amish)
Faultline - Closer, Colder (Leaf)
Joel Phelps - Blackbird (Pacifico)
Cobra Verde - Nightlife (Motel)
DJ Paul Nice - Definition of Nice (Bomb Hip Hop)
Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai
1) Sleep - Jerusalem
2) The Cure - Disintegration
3) Smog - Mantarays of Time
4) Low - Christmas
5) Dr Dre - 2001
Keith McIvor, Mount Florida
1) Nina Simone - Sugar Is Sweeter (RCA)
2) The Birthday Party - Mutiny In Heaven (Mute)
3) Golden - Rhythm Beat Jazz
- Songhai Surprise (Slowdime 26)
4) Isolee - I Owe You (Playhouse)
5) Monolake - Fragile (Monolake)
Patrick Amory, Matador Records
1. Inspectah Deck - Uncontrolled Substance CD (Loud)
2. Pererin - Haul Ar Yr Eira (Face the Dawn)
3. Loudest Whisper
- Children of Lir CD (Si-Wan/Kissing Spell)
4. Replikants - "The Cyberghetto" MP3 (Kill Rock Stars)
5. Eddie Palmieri - The Sun of Latin Music LP (Coco)
6. Console - Tunnelvision CDEP (Payola)
7. The Litter - Distortions LP (Get Hip)
8. Folque - Kjempene P Dovrefjell CD (Pan)
9. Folque - Folque CD (Pan)
10. Pierrot Lunaire - Pierrot Lunaire LP (Si-Wan)
Scott Kannberg, Pavement
Smog - Knock Knock
Delgados - Peloton
Glasgow, the night Scotland beat England.
Golden Retriever - Relationships
Oranger - Lay your burdens down
We polled various artists and staffers to find out what they
wanted for Christmas/Haunukah etc. Sadly, only a few responded.
1 A playstation
2 Nick Drake Box Set (vinyl)
3 Celtic Slippers
4 swimming goggles
5 Sonic Youth for all tomorrows parties
1 foreskin reattachment
(I'll take someone else's if you can't find mine)
2 subscription to Spin
3 that's it for me. I hate being greedy. One of my cats is
lonely and I think he'd like a python.
POWER has a new record for y'all. She's calling it "The
Covers Record" because, yes, it's all covers. It features
Chan's take on 12 tracks by The Rolling Stones, Michael Hurley,
Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, Nina Simone and Cat Power among
others. Covering herself? Yup. That's how good it'll be. Due
in stores March 21, 2000.
In the meantime, Cat Power will be touring in Australia. Mushroom
will be re-releasing "Moon Pix" in anticipation of the tour
with these three bonus tracks: "Kingsport Town" - Radio Aligre
Sessions France 10/98; "Schizophrenia's Weighted Me Down"
- from the UK CD5 of "Nude As The News"; "Sea Of Love" - from
Everything Is Nice. Those of us outside the Southern Pacific
archipelago will have to claw our way through the import bins.
You've been asking for CHAVEZ updates. We've been curious,
too. Seems the high profile rockers are occupying their time
with the mundane chores of day to day life. Grocery shopping,
phone answering, and shower taking top the short list. "I've
been paying a lot of bills," says James Lo, drummer. We'll
bring you more exciting reports as they arrive.
Stefan Betke has started his own record label. From the website:
"~scape records is
a new label from Berlin, which intends to concentrate on exactly
this modern city dub. Founded and managed by Stefan Betke
who has (under the name POLE) established and developed
this sound during the last two years like no other with his
releases on Kiff SM and DIN and through various respected
remixes." His first release was a 12" by Californian Kit Clayton
"Nek Purpalet" this past summer and now a full length LP/CD
by Clayton called "Nek Sanalet." Dave Martin tells us it fits
into the "Modern city dub" parameters very well.
And finally, look for a half dozen East Coast stops next week
from the ARSONISTS. Already confirmed on the 11th in
Baltimore and 15th in Boston (see tour dates). Check the site
for a complete list.
See you next week...