December 19, 2002

Matador website & bulletin board - what fucking happened?
We're still asking ourselves the same question. Listen, if someone from a company called Acme Hosting rings you and offers to host your site for peanuts, make sure you aren't actually talking to a chimpanzee on the telephone. I'm not saying this happened to us or anything, but our site did come down for a couple of days last week. And that's all I'm saying.

Everything should be up and running again shortly (though not shortly enough if you know what I mean). And chimps are very intelligent animals, ask anyone!

Aereogramme - (sleep &) release date
the absolutely epic new CD from glasgow's AEREOGRAMME is called 'Sleep & Release' and shall be hitting shelves on February 18, 2003. You can listen to an MP3 of "Wood" or check out the new Aereogramme site at

Mogwai - we stole these bits from their website (because its easier than making stuff up)
Aah christmas. Its sweet smell permeates our western christian society already

We are still in the process of totally changing the website.we hope to have it ready soon thankyou for your suggestions. Today, Martin (gwai drummer) was undergoing a pacemaker battery replacement operation. It all went fine and he'll be out of hospital tomorrow. He wont however be able to lift a set of sticks for a while however putting our plans for recording back a couple of months. It should still be out next year, we're just going to have to work a good deal harder than we're used to to get it finished. Its unlikely that any of us will see daylight in February. So if anyone has any sunlamps lying around we might need them to keep our tans up.

We've just had the visitation of some Bardo Ponders on holiday and their departure is still troubling us. but weve heard their new album and yous havnae. ha ha.

Master of merchandising Mr. Barry Burns has organised new t-shirts, hoodies and the like so check them out at the shop.

Mogwai Sell Stuff
OK, no-one wanted the QMF. How's about some guitars.
weve been buying more and now have too many to take with us anywhere or have them in my house and have to sell it, but they've been sitting about unused in storage, and an unused guitar is an unhappy guiitar. A rough system of first in, first out is being applied to what ones we're getting rid of.

1) Fender Mexican Stratocaster. Brown sunbursty w white scratch plate. Weve had it for years, it cant really take the rigours of touring, so we've hardly used it recently but when its not getting brutallised every night its a good guitar, Its the one i used on all of Mogwai Young Team, No education = no future (fuck the curfew) and all the touring around that point (if anyone cares). o/o £200 ish.

2) Fender Custom Telecaster (reissue). Black. One of the two that ive been using on everything since i stopped using the above mentioned Strat. Its brilliant. But its getting a bit Tap having two guitars exactly the same that dont get used. o/o £600 ish.

Both of these guitars could be described as well loved. There is moderate to healthy chipping of the paintwork round the edges, but have been well played in and kept in the best working order and are all original hardware as far as im aware, with some replacemts made to electrics as required to keep them in peak riffing condition. They had stickers on them last time i saw them, which we can take off or leave on as you wish.

addendum (17/12/02). Its getting a bit messy regarding offers. We didn't think about correct auctioning etiquette. On Boxing day we'll randomly choose people out of any equal highest offers for the guitars (in the interest of fair randomness i shall appoint my mum to be referee). Sorry to confuse the issue. David Dickinsons we are not.

[Editor's note : the Q&a section at the Mogwai site is so good we should hire those guys to answer our mail (]

The forthcoming Mogwai album, tentively titled 'Bag Of Agony', is due early next summer.The band are currently working on this pending masterpiece with producer Tony Doogan.

Yo La Tengo - the word from James :
"We've been super busy since October, recording a new album (which went great), then preparing for and presenting Hanukkahpalooozathon 2002 (which went totally great), and now mixing our album (which is currently going great). In your face, deadline! Happy holidays, anybody seen "Drumline" yet?"


Elisabeth Esselink, Solex
Best records 2002:

1) Spit Spits on Fire; Handiclaps
2) Fear of a Black Janet; Phantomic
3) Ios; Bulldozers on strike
4) Born to Sweep; Miss Fit
5) Imaginary Songs; The Peetooms

Nils Bernstein, Beggars Group
wire 'read and burn 01' ep
baby turnips
wire 'read and burn 02' ep
fresh ricotta
liars 'they threw us in a trench and stuck a monument on top'
spoon 'kill the moonlight'
marcona almonds
my morning jacket 'chocolate and ice' ep
ripe guavas
velvet teen 'out of the fierce parade'
pasilla chiles
the kills 'black rooster' ep
leg of lamb
savage republic reissues
coriander seed
throwing muses 'throwing muses' (advance cd)
salt licorice

Helen Rush, Matador Records
Matador related things of 2002 that made me laugh.
The first post on the new bulletin board, unfortunately lost due the server crash, but it went something along the lines of ..." this bulletin board sucks" - Classic

The store that had to refuse their order due to UPS needing a check for approximately $20,000 as the shipping people had accidently entered in the invoice # where the total of the order should be. (maybe this is more of an "in" Salesperson joke, but we really laughed and then or course got straight to work sorting out this unfortunate matter.....)

Jay Miller - At our work christmas party Jay asked for A1 sauce (sort of like HP sauce) for his filet mignon w/ a 'hat' of foie gras. The owner of the restaurant was obviously aghast and asked him if he was going to put it on his 'foie gras ' to which Jay replied "What's that? oh that piece of liver, nah i'm not gonna eat that". Jay went on to enjoy A1 sauce & filet mignon w/o the 'hat' of foie gras.

Live Faves
Six Organs of Admittance live @ Flywheel Northampton MA - Ben Chasney appears to be in a trance and you are entranced.

PG Six live at Tonic NYC - PG Six is a waaay talented multi-instrumentalist and singer to boot, whose live performances are amazing.

Dan Brown & Nicholas Vernhes (sp?) live at Free 103 - Brooklyn - set up at the last minute it was a fabulous night all round,Christina Carter, GHQ etc but this performance really stood out.

Orthrelm live @ Tonic NYC - Two people, one playing insane endless fast noodle guitar, the other drumming.
there were some other good ones that escape my memory right now....sorry

Records I've liked & listened to this year but didn't necessarily come out in 2002 & in no particular order
Joshua Burkett - Life Less Lost
Michael Yonkers - Grimwood
Six Organs of Admittance - Dark Noontide
Status Quo - the singles collection 1966-73
Sonic Youth - Murray Street
Dr Ragtime (aka Jack Rose) S/T CDR
and lots more that I've forgotten while writing this list......

Films, Books & plays
Reading Matters - Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Maj SjĖwall & Per WahlĖĖ, P.K Dick.

Film - The Trials of Henry Kissinger - not the greatest documentary I've ever seen, but still an interesting one and I think the only film I paid to see in 2002.

Play - Usually I never go & see plays as there is something about actors overacting that makes me... er... well.... not want to go, never -the-less I have now seen two plays directed by Ingmar Bergman at BAM, this year 'Maria Stuart ' & last year 'Ghost Sonata'. Both were amazing, and if I can get a ticket I'm going next year too.

Todd Netter, Matador Records
The Good:
- Everyone at Beggars.
- Free shows and music.
- GBV in-stores at Amoeba (where you see Drew Barrymore and James King)
- flights that land safely (sorry I'm flying soon)
- being re-hired at Matador (thanks again)
- ARRCO (Calla, The Boggs, & On!Air!Library!) showcase at Tonic on 10/30. The music was great and thanks for the free poster. I have it up.
- Warsaw. Although the sound system is suspect at times, it's just fun to see a show there. Polish beer, perogies, and music all in one place, what a country.
- Amoeba - LA. If you've been there then enough said.
- Brian Jonestown Massacre/Dead Meadow show at the Bowery Ballroom. Anton actually kept it together this time so BJM put on a great performance.
- Hanging at Max Fish with the Soft Boys.
- The Siren Fest. Yes it was overcrowded, beer lines were long, and the trains weren't running correctly but I can enjoy any afternoon out at Coney Island. And the Liars and Mooney Suzuki worked the crowd into a frenzy.
- The Onion.

The Bad:
- The Osbornes. The Family, the show, the franchise.
- MTV. Especially their award show. Kelly Osborne, GNR, Eminem and Moby fighting, god it was unbearable.
- Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and company. They just scare me.
- Warsaw. Sometimes the sound just sucks.
- Belle and Sebastian at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I know some people were foaming at the mouth over this show but to be honest from where I was standing I didn't like the show that much. Granted I was all the way in the back, under the balcony, with people in my way.
- Haters and all the music haters hate on. (that one is for DM)
- Bon Jovi performing at a football game just about every opportunity he gets.

The Ugly:
- The Faux-Hawk or whatever you call it. You'd wear a real mullet if you had any balls.
- Trent Lott's comments about Stromm Thurmond being President. Hey now that I think of it Senator Thurmond looks pretty ugly himself. 100 years old or not, he is pretty scary looking.
- Har Mar Supestar. This guy is Ron Jeremy's Mini-Me, no question about it. His routine is pretty funny though.
- Con ED and everyone who works there.
- The word electro-clash. Just ugly.

Matt Harmon, Beggars Group
Oneida "Each One Teach One" (Version City )
Tim Barnes "All Acoustic" (Qaukebasket)
High on Fire "Surrounded by Thieves" (Relapse)
Iron and Wine "Creek Drank the Cradle" (Subpop)
The Oranges "On TV" (Lookout)
The Rogers Sisters "Purely Evil" (Troubleman)
Spoon "Kill the Moonlight" (Merge Records)
Destroyer "This Night" (Merge Records)
Ms. Jon Soda "No P Or D" (Morr Music)
Electric Birds "Gradations" (Mille Plateaux)

Christy Simpson, Beggars Group
My Top 10 of 2002 - no order

1. Track Star "Lion Destroyed the Whole World"
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
3. The Cynics "Living is the Best Revenge"
(thank you Dave Martin.)
4. Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery by: Jeffrey I. Richman
(technically not a 2002 book release, but one of the greatest things I saw this year)
5. Spoon "Kill The Moonlight"
6. Clinic "Walking With Thee"
7. Darrell Banks "Darrell Banks is Here" (reissue)
8. Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn by F. Morrone
9. Girl Harbor "Shine On"
10. Mudhoney "Since We Became Translucent"

Che Ryback, Matador Records
RIP Waylon Jennings, ultimate honkey tonk cowboy, one of the last from a dying breed.
RIP James Coburn, a bad mo'fo.
RIP Richard Harris, a man called horse.
RIP Lonnie Donegan, king of the skiffle geetar, one less great Scot.

Music, book, movies and stuff.
Black Sabbath "Sabotage"
Insane bootleg from a Philly show back in the day, all the jams, kicked out. ozzy says "are you high, so am I" doesn't get any better than that.

Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments "no old guy low fi cry"
Kinda old, Smooth sounding record, gotta love that nasal sound from Ron House (who's solo record "obsessed" was also a monster). Every song should be on one o those time life comps that you see at 4 in the morning on any tv station.

PG six "Parlor Tricks And Porch Favorites"
ok this came out last year and may have been on my list, but heck, it's a great record, still worthy of getting a mention.

Fugazi "Live In Heaven"
Been out for a while bootleg style, but a must have for fugazi fans, Recorded live in Germany back in 91 or something, Hot action.

Cat Power "You Are Free"
what can I say, this girl can do no wrong. Yeah.

The Modey Lemon "Modey Lemon"
Dave turned me on to these guys, I didn't get it at first, had no appeal. Then I couldn't get it outta my head, non-stop rock and roll the right way. This Pittsburgh duo put the power in the raw.

Dead Meadow, All the records.
Thee heaviest shit I've heard. Saw 'em play out a few times, one of the few bands that make my stomach get all twisty an shit. The new Sabbath for a new generation.

Neko Case "blacklisted"
Who said country was dead? Shania who? Faith what? Neko spanks 'em and sends 'em running to mommy.

Blue Oyster Cult
All the reissues. Overplayed in the sales office, but whatchu gonna do, it's Blue Oyster Cult.

"How the Scots Invented the modern world or (The true story of how Western Europe's poorest nation created our world and everything in it)." by Arthur Herman
A great book by a guy who has no ties whatsoever with the Country. Damn good read and a lot of interesting stuff. Though I look and sound like Early from the movie "Kalifornia", I'll always be Scottish ya bastard'.

"The body language of Poker (the book of tells)" by Mike Caro
Long outta print, kinda hard to find. But now they are re-pressing it in January, bad news for me if you read it.

MLB 2003 slugfest for PS2
What a ton of fun, nothing like smacking Mike Piazza upside the dome.

I spent $50 on movie tickets this year, I saw 5 movies and they all sucked, here they are in order of suckness.
mothman prophecies
6 legged freaks

Let's hope 2003 kicks my ass

Euvin Weeber, Beggars Group

1. Electric Light Orchestra - Discovery
2. Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado
3. Electric Light Orchestra - Strange Magic (Disc 2)
4. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World
5. Metric- Grow Up and Blow Away EP
6. Notwist - Neon Golden
7. Marc Bolan and T. Rex - 20th Century Boy Collection
8. Beck - Sea Change
9. David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust deluxe remaster
10. Pretty Things - SF Sorrow

Jenn Lanchart, Beggars Group
Top records of the year:
Joseph Arthur/Redemption's Son
Coldplay/A rush of Blood to the Head
Doves/The Last Broadcast
Neil Halstead/Sleeping on Roads
Super Furry Animals/Rings Around the World
Badly Drawn Boy/Have You Fed the Fish & OSD for About a Boy
Lemon Jelly/Lost Horizons
Interpol/Turn on the Bright Lights
Queens Of The Stoneage/Songs for the Deaf

Best live shows this year:
Joseph Arthur, QOTSA, Spiritualized, Manu Chao, Doves,& Layo & Bushwacka! @
the Glastonbury Festival (UK)
The Rapture @ Bowery Ballroom (NYC)
Coldplay @ Jones Beach (NY)
Neil Halstead @ Fez (NYC)

Records I'm most looking forward to in 2003:

Cat Power
Steve Malkmus
Super Furry Animals
Mojave 3

Aereogramme [must be a group choice -- Ed.]
1. Fugazi-›The argument
2. Tom Waits- Alice
3.›Converge- Jane Doe
4. ›..and you will know us by the trail of dead- Source, tags and codes
5. The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi battles the pink robots

Movies- (remember, we get movies a lot later than the U.S)
1. Donnie Darko
2. Bowling for Columbine
3. Lost in La›Mancha
4. One hour photo
5. Talk to her

1. Pissflaps
2. Donkey dick
3. Fudd
4. Fuckpig
5. Arse biscuit

top 5 dvd viewing experiences (in no particular order)
Reign of Blood
Walking with Dinosaurs
The Neverending Story II - The Next Chapter
Walking with Prehistoric Beasts

Top 5 song titles for Lesser songs on new Matador releases (if the songs were going to be named) [thanks Ross]

Ancient Chinese Whack-Off Session
The Dandy in the Fedora
Crushing Your Repulsive Pince-nez Underfoot
Indicators and Indices of Subjugation
Young, Dumb, Full of Cum, and Destroying Your Will to Live

Top 11 Media Experiences (not including DVD)
Foster Parrots - Parrot Sanctuary Visit recording
Eddie Harris - Silver Cycles
Yngwie Malmsteen's Airborne Rage
Green Leaves - Yatta!
Rockstar North - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Anaal Nathrakh - The Codex Negro
Roy Smeck - Guitar Short Films
Prank phone call to 7-11 which (in the end) influences the clerk to start a huge
fire in her store, catching her smock on fire in the process
After Hours telescope use at the Chabot Observatory Oakland, CA
The Bobby Brown / Whitney Houston Breakthru Interview
shirley & Spinoza i-net radio -

Mary Timony
*Quixotic, Mortal Mirror
*Bells of arkhangelsk, Russian bells
*Lederhosen Lucil, Hosemusik
*Deerhoof, Reveille
*Smog, Accumulation None

Patrick Amory, Matador Records
In no particular order, includes reissues

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE- Songs for the Deaf (Interscope CD)
MICK STEVENS - See The Morning (Shadoks dbl LP)
P.G. SIX - Old Man on the Mountain (Amish 7")
ANONYMOUS - Inside the Shadow (Aether CD)
MARGO GURYAN- 25 Demos (Franklin Castle CD)
BLACK SABBATH- Sabotaged (no label 2 1/2 LP box)
SPOON - Kill The Moonlight (Merge CD)
Various - MESSTHETICS series
(Hyped2Death CDs)
Various - FADING YELLOW Vols. 1-3 (Flower Machine CDs)
Original Soundtrack - THE WICKER MAN (Silva Screen CD)
GIRLSCHOOL - The Very Best Of... (Castle Music CD)
BURMA - Paradise, Saturday Afternoon

Dave Martin, Matador Records
top 10 new records:
1. Modey Lemon S/T CD (AF Records) Hands down my most listened to, favorite record of the year. I was so blown away that I listened to nothing but this record for a almost a month. They are also my favorite live band of the year too.

2. Cynics Living Is The Best Revenge› (Get Hip) The new record from Pittsburgh's finest has surpassed my expectaions (secretly very high) right up to record of the year status (well ok, maybe #2.) Their best record since Rock and Roll. A must have record.

3. Reigning Sound Time Bomb High School (In The Red) 2nd record from Greg Cartwright's post Oblivians/Compulsive Gamblers/Deadly Snakes combo. A real winner that goes way beyond the Garage rock ghetto that you may have thought that it resided in.

4. Major Stars Distant Effects (Squealer) I had this on my list last year, but it wasn't actually out yet. The best Major Stars record yet and one of my all time favorite Wayne Rogers/Twisted Village related records.

5. Cheater Slicks Yer Last Record› (In The Red) Umpteenth record by these eternal losers. One of the ultimate documents of the nowhere American experience.

6. Brother JT Spirituals & Maybe We Should Take Some More (Drag City & Birdman) Two great records by one of the best American songwriters of our time.

7. Dan Melchoir's Broke Revue Bitterness, Spite, Rage & Scorn (In The Red) Album # 3 for the Broke Revue (& album #7 or 8 or something for Mr. Melchoir depending on how you're counting) and it's their best one yet. Anyone who thought that Holly Golightly "really steped out of Billy Childish's shadow" is likely to get crushed by Mr. Melchoir as he steamrolls right on out of the Medway scene for good.›

8. Melvins Hostile Ambient Takeover (Ipecac) Could you even name three other bands that have been this consistantly good for this long? One of their best records in a long time.
9. Ron House Obsessed (Moses Carryout) I was so freaked out that I avoided talking to Ron for about a month because I thought that all of this might have been a first person account. It's not. Still very heavy stuff. A heart-wrenching account of a relationship down for the count.

10. Clone Defects Blood On Jupiter (Tom Perkins) They sound like a Detroit version of the Pagans. If that isn't recommendation enough I don't know what is.
Almost:› The Warlocks The Phoenix Album, Taking Pictures Friends Are Ghosts, Mudhoney Since We've Become Translucent, New Bomb Turks The Night Before The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Top 10 new records of old sounds:
1. Half Life All Our Yesterdays (Stab Wound) CD reissue of the first 7" and the very rare live cassette plus a few other tracks. The finest hour of Pittsburgh's long lived hardcore heros. Justifies the hype and then some.

2. Michael Yonkers Band Micro Minature Love (De Stijl) Unreal, unreleased record by this Minneapolis weirdo with some of the most over the top guitar overload action ever.

3. Mirrors Hands In My Pockets (Overground) With all of the hype surrounding the Rocket From the Tombs record it's surprising that hardly anyone said boo about this. Incredibly comprehensive overview of this Early Cleveland band's stuff and almost no overlap with stuff already out on Scat (rare for an overground release).

4. Black Sabbath Sabotaged (Boot, no label) Late (1975) golden era recording of an entire show in Philly. Everything that the Past Lives record lacks this has, in spades. Hear four dudes (plus a "half member" on keyboards) who are out of their minds on drugs etc. who could actually be one of the best bands of all time. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

5. Redd Kross Neurotica (Five Foot Two) One of the greatest records of the 80's finally gets a nice reissue. It's safe to say that without this things would have been a lot different.

6. Pink Fairies (Polydor) If you ask me or even if you don't I'd say that the Pink Fairies are one of the most underated bands. I mean sure the original records are real expensive, tons of people have now covered thier songs etc. etc. , but now that there are inexpensive, nicely packaged reissues with great liner notes and photos and essential bonus tracks where's the love?!?! I see the people. I talk to the people. I know that not enough of the people have these records. Before anyone buys another Arkarma release they should be forced to buy these.

7. Stud Cole Burn Baby Burn (Norton) In the first 30 seconds you'll be thinking that this is gonna be the most insane record EVER! Then things settle down and the record becomes merely incredible. It has a nice, undefinable vibe that lives up to the Jack Starr comparison. Essential!

8. V/A Rock'N'Roll Jam '70 (P-Vine) If you were in a band and got together w/a few other bands to have a "Rock'N'Roll Jam" it would include Bill Monroe, Moondog and Led Zeppelin jams, wouldn't it? Here the Mops, Flowers, The Happenings Four & The Golden Cups do it to it. It's almost impossible to tell who is doing what unless you read Japanese, but it's so much fun that you won't really care.›

9. The Girls Live At The Rathskeller 5-17-79 (Abaton Book Company) Since this Boston band only released one single maybe it's ok that no one remembers them. But the single was on Hearthan (Pere Ubu's label) and is fantastic so it isn't ok. Not at all! There was also a great reunion album in the later 80's that was great. This CD proves it (like Steve Ellis & the Starfires proved it!) The Girls were a great band.

10. V/A Twenty Years Of Dischord (Dischord) Disc one is just about perfect. Disc three is essential. The Videos are some the greatest things that I have watched all year. The book is amazing too. The label that made me want to be involved in this end of music.

Favorite "Not quite real" records: [we're still with Dave Martin now, in case you've lost track - Ed.]
1. Boogie Witch S/T CDR New Philly area band with a Fieldhand or two in the lineup. Pretty Things styled R&B raunch done up in a High Rise II styled fiedelity way. Ten on the most intense minutes on record this year. Let's hope they keep it up.

2. Major Stars Early Major Stars CDR Sold on tour and maybe on the Twisted Village website/store. Worth it ten times over for Spongeman.

3. Cobra Verde 1/2 of Easy Listening If John Petkovic ever gets it together to send me the other half of this record it will be a very fine day. The 5 songs that I have so far are great.

4. Modey Lemon Live on WFMU Not really a record, but it does exist and you could go to WFMU's site and listen anytime.

5. Loincloth CDR Pen Rollins of Honor Role, Butterglove and Breadwinner fame. It may just be a Confessor tribute band, but it's a damn good one.

Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai
2002 top 11

1 Malcolm Middleton - album (long complex title)
2 Johnny Cash - The man comes around
3 Nelly - Hot in herre
4 The Magnificents - Digital Dirt ep
5 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Bang ep
6 Yo La Tengo - Nuclear war
7 NORE - Gods favourite
8 Squarepusher - do you know?
9 Trail of Dead - Tags and codes
10 Low - trust
11 Gold Chains - everything

I'm sure there's loads i've forgot but since i'm on the train i can't look. the best film was Donnie Darko and the best book Porno by Irvine Welsh.

Lyle Hysen, Beggars Group
Paul Westerberg -Mono/Stereo
Yo La Tengo - The Sounds of The Sounds Of Silence
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling
Queens of the Stone Age- Songs For The Deaf
Norah Jones - Come Away with Me
Reiging Sound - Time Bomb High School
Josh Rouse - Under Cold Blue Stars
Black Sabbath -Sabbatoged Bootleg
Jason Moran - Modernistic
Smokey and Miho - Smokey and Miho EP
David S. Ware - Quartet - Freedom Suite

Ben Goldberg, Beggars Group
Michael Yonkers - Microminature Love: When I first heard this being played in the sales department, I thought it was some Birthday Party demos. After listening to it for a bit, I was convinced it was some eccentric loner (kind of like your Charlie McAlister/Jad Fair type). I was right about that second notion, but then I was completely amazed to discover he actually recorded this in the late sixties! Here's a really incredible article of what happened to him afterwards.

Six Organs of Admittance - Dark Noontide: More beautiful psych folk stylings by Ben Chasny, which contains "This Hand" - one of the the most striking ballads I've ever heard.

Malachi Constant - Zenith: I never got followed the whole mostly-instrumental-complex-rock thing after Gastr Del Sol disbanded, but this band mixes skill and melody perfectly to make a record which would have gotten a lot more attention a few years ago.

Wire - Read & Burn: I only got the first one at the moment, but they seem to have decided to make the record they never made between Pink Flag and Chairs Missing.

Velvet Teen - Out Of The Fierce Parade: The kids today, with all their whining and pain and heartfelt sentiment! VT have helped me realize that I don't necessarily hate the goal of bands doing this, it's just that most of them can't sing and have no talent. This is what I imagined Jeff Buckley must sound like before I heard him - great vocal range, dynamic compositions, and thoughtful, intelligent musicianship.

Frog Eyes - The Bloody Hand: Canada must always represent at some point, as must the cheap comparisons chart. So, here we go: Brian Ferry fronts a band doing Rock*A*Teens music as interpreted by The Melvins. Gushing vocals astride an intense bass-heavy sound and bombastic drumming. This is the music to play at the part of the movie that shows the serial killer facing personal torment as he dances around naked in his underground lair.

Woven Hand - S/T: Sixteen Horsepower always got a little too happy for me, so I'm glad when their lead singer decided to do a solo record, he kept it nice and dark. Ominous, Western songs which sound very, very isolated.

Ho-Hum - Near and Deat: It always has to come from somewhere, and it seems the idosyncratic crown for this year goes to this Little Rock band. The songs are endlessly mirthful and full of joy, not unlike Strapping Fieldhands on "Wattle & Daub," but then they have these East River Pipe moments of lush melancholy. Completely unpredictable song arrangements that don't lose their melodicism is never a losing approach.

Malcolm Middleton - 5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine: This is less a real album in a complete sense than "songs that probably didn't fit into Arab Strap" (of which Middleton is one half). Given the amazing diversity AS has achieved using a relatively straightforward formula that has yet to stray, it's no surprise that when Middleton stretches beyond those bounds, he still comes up with some beautiful arrangements. Not all downer music, but when your first song is "Crappo The Clown"...

Donnie Darko: I didn't see it until this year, even thought it came out around Halloween last year (bad timing). At first, I considered it a well-made although still Hollywoodish film, but then I couldn't get it out of my mind. The subtlety of story development, done through incredible acting by Jake Gyllenhall and some unpredictable scene editing, plays completely against the outer shell of the film, which seems nothing beyond the four standard genre setups it lays out (psychodrama horror movie, '80s teen comedy, family drama, modern take on "Winesburg, Ohio.")

The Ring: The same can be said for this movie as the one above regarding how it plays along with, but subtly against, genre conventions. Also, again, stellar acting from the lead (Naomi Watts) and a chilling build in the story line. The original Japanese version didn't strike me as quite so dread-inspiring (save the backwards filming of the little girl during a key scene crawling in a Kabuki-robotic manner), but maybe it's only because I saw this first. The sequel in Japan totally sucked (it goes from Freudian to New Agey papp) so hopefully they won't follow the outline as they work on a new one here.

James McNew, Yo La Tengo
my year pretty much looked like this:
spongebob squarepants
outkast, "the whole world" & "land of 1,000,000 drums"
lambchop, is a woman
david kilgour, a feather in the engine
ulf lohmann, because before
el-p, fantastic damage
archer prewitt, three
sue garner, shadyside
jean grae, "thank ya"
may i help you (dumbass) (upright citizens brigade)
cee-lo, "getttin' grown"
deerhoof, reveille
definitive jux presents vol. 2
versus, the dishes, aesop rock, mission of burma, mr. show, todd barry, girls' guitar club, clap attack, soundtrackapella! (live)

M. Ward
bowling for columbine
lambchop "my blue wave"
tom waits "alice"
nick cave on piano in seattle
cat power on guitar in tivoli
victoria williams sings some ol songs
bright eyes "trees get wheeled away"
disco rollerskaters in central park
giant sand "oggle"
carlos forster family (advance EP)

Gerard Cosloy, Matador Records

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) (I'm pulling a donnie darko like Ben G. and listing this one two years in a row --- it sounded much better on CD and heavy-yet-affordable vinyl than it did on 3rd generation CDR).
Consonant - s/t (Fenway)
Richard Buckner - Impasse (Overcoat)
Wire - Read & Burn 01 and 02 (Pink Flag)
James Orr Complex -ep (Rock Action)
Black Dice - Beaches & Canyons (DFA)
Sonic Youth - Murray Street (Universal)
Damien Jurado & Gathered In Song - I Break Chairs (Sub Pop)
Destroyer - This Night (Merge)
Fucking Champs - V (Drag City)
Jackie-O Motherfucker - Change (Textile)
The Girls - Live At The Rathskeller (Abaton Book Co.)
Greg Davis - Arbor (Carpark)
Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither (Planet Mu)
Outhud- S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D.(Kranky)
Pedro The Lion - Control (Jade Tree)
Seachange- Superfuck EP (Radiate)
Just Farr A Laugh (Failed Pilot)
Andrew Pekler - Station To Station (scape)


Unwound, Bardo Pond, Wilco, Jackie-O Motherfucker and Califone at ATP LA.
Mission Of Burma, Shellac, Silkworm, Consonant, The Ex Orkestra, ATP Camber Sands
Mission Of Burma, Paradise, Boston (January)
Television, Royal Festival Hall, London
Seachange,The Metro, London
Wire, ICA, London

Ugly Things, BB Gun.

Tom Scharpling's ( "The Best Show On WFMU", Tuesdays, 8-11pm est.

dumbing down dept:
Longwave (not as punk as The Fixx, worse songs too), The Libertines (they must've ripped off the Ohio band's name because "The Sucky Ones" was also taken), no mute button for Max Kellerman on "Around The Horn" (if you put this show in a time capsule, future generations will wonder we all didn't overdose on excedrin), "The Shield" (dipshit dialogue and the most aggressive array of outdated stereotypes since "Police Story" went off the air).



1998 J F M A M J J A S O N D
1999 J F M A M J J A S O N D
2000 J F M A M J J A S O N D
2001 J F M A M J J A S O N D
2002 J F M A M J J A S O N D
2003 J F M A M J J A S O N D