HAPPY NEW YEAR + A MONTH :
Sorry these things are running so late but between the server
crash last month, impending war and Interpol on the Jack Paar
Show, maintaining the news hasn't been easy. It hasn't been
easy to do our jobs with these inspector dudes poking their
noses around our peaceful daily business and none of us can
understand why our cars were torched following the Raiders'
Super Bowl defeat (particularly as we don't have offices in
Oakland). But we would like to thank all of you who called
or e-mailed to express your enthusiasm for the Matador Records
commercials that aired during last Sunday's NFL Title Game.
light of all the vulgarity in today's football advertising,
we're proud that Matador could bring some family entertainment
to your television screen.
ad, featuring Stephen Malkmus, James McNew, Chan Marshall,
Jerry Glanville (http://www.coachglanville.com)
and former MTV fixture Dan Cortez, seemed to really
capture the imagination of the American public.
DEATH IS NOT NICE DEPT. :
The recent untimely deaths of Joe Strummer and Jam Master Jay
have been noted far and wide and both musical visionaries have
been justly hailed & eulogized in manners befitting their contributions.
But contributions made on a scale not-quite-as-global aren't
any less meaningful. So with that in mind, let's have a moment
of consideration of 2 for the late Laura Carter, formerly of
Athens, GA's Bar-b-q Killers and later on, Radial Recording
artists Jackonuts. Carter, one of the most compelling live performers
and inspirational characters I've had the privilege to know,
passed away in December. Laura was the real deal in ways that
her records didn't adequately showcase; it truly sucks that
we don't have access to a time travel machine because a Jackonuts
gig would really hit the spot right about now.
Our thoughts are with Laura's friends & family.
We (heart) rock conventions almost as much as we (heart) rock
convention. And to prove that point again after a one year absence
from our favorite industry event, several of Matador's big players
will be performing during this year's South
By Southwest Music Festival. The following lineup is confirmed
for Friday, March 14 at Stubb's BBQ, Austin, TX:
Yo La Tengo
Also playing in the middle of that bill are our good friends,
Merge recording artistes, Spoon.
YO LA TENGO :
After months of fingernail chomping we can confirm the new Yo
La Tengo album is scheduled for CD/2XLP release on April 7 (April
8 for Europe). Entitled 'Summer Sun', the album's track listing
is as follows :
Beach Party Tonight
Nothing But You and Me
Season of the Shark
Today Is the Day
How to Make a Baby Elephant Float
Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo
Don't Have to Be So Sad
Let's Be Still
The album was produced by longtime YLT associate Roger Moutenot
at Nashville's Alex The Great and features guest appearances
from Lambchop's Paul Niehaus, Roy
Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Katie Gentile
(ex- Run On) and Tim Harris (Antietam) amongst others.
In other Yo La Tengo news, Georgia Hubley will be taking part
in the U.S. premiere of David Thomas' rogue opera, "Mirror Man",
happening at UCLA's Freud Playhouse on Saturday, February 22
(other performers featured will include David Thomas, Frank
Black, Van Dyke Parks, Bob Holman and others). This is part
of Pere Ubu's Disastodrome
series of events that will also include the first Rocket From
The Tombs performances in 27 years.
Following Yo La Tengo's SXSW appearance, the band will be jetting
back to New Jersey to appear on Gaylord Fields' WFMU
program, helping to raise funds for the station by performing
covers for cash. The notion that WFMU has enough money to go
around is a very nasty rumor (its that metal station at Seton
Hall that has access to unlimited funds thanks to their pact
with the devil) and even if it were true, it is easily worth
$50 to hear Yo La Tengo performing Stacy Q's "Two Of Hearts"
There are a handful of other YLT dates up in the tour dates
section as well.
"Don't Have To Be So Sad", from the forthcoming 'Summer Sun',
is available now for download.
DEAD MEADOW :
I'm shuddering with anticipation just typing these words. Or
maybe it's the food poisoning. Either way, the new Dead Meadow
album, their fourth and first for Matador, is due June 8 and
it's called 'Shivering King and Others'. Said album will redefine
"heavy" in ways Heavy D or William "Refrigerator" Perry never
envisioned (though they were each pretty visionary in their
respective fields). The Only Power Trio on Earth (with all due
respect to Belle & Sebastian --- who are divisible by three
if they add or subtract members), Dead Meadow's new record fulfils
the promise made by the DC band's explosive live shows and then
some. Check the tour dates section for details on their February
shows, and if you're in NYC, check them out 2/20 at the Mercury
Lounge with J Mascis & The Fog.
2/20 at Mercury Lounge w/ J Mascis
GUIDED BY VOICES :
A virtual plethora of Bob Pollard projex this time around. Let's
recap everything we should've told you about at Xmas time :
1) Circus Devils - The Harold Pig Memorial (Fading Captain #25).
Robert Pollard + Todd & Tim Tobias. A concept album (surprise!)
about a late, lamented biker.
2) Robert Pollard - Motel Of Fools (Fading Captain #26). Another
mind-blowing solo effort from Pollard + past/present GBV associates.
3) Phantom Tollbooth - Beard Of Lightning (Off Records). Phantom
Tollbooth's finest album, 1988's 'Power Toy', by the original
PT trio of Dave Rick, Gerard Smith and Jon Cotes is reimagined
by Robert Pollard adding new vocals and lyrics. Who amongst
us has not wondered what that album would've sounded like if
Bob had travelled back in time and forced his way into the studio?
Phew. Exhausted yet? We hope not, because later this year we'll
be unveiling a brand new Guided By Voices studio album, 'Live
Like Kings Forever'. When we inevitably call it the best GBV
album since whichever GBV album-is-your-favorite, we'll mean
it more than ever.
ARAB STRAP :
Coming in April, the new Arab Strap CD/LP, 'Mondays At The Hug
the 5th studio album from the Glaswegian duo of Aidan Moffat
and Malcom Middleton might be the most ambitious and bracing
of their brief, action-packed career. While not entirely departing
from Arab Strap's tried & tested equation of relationship-autopsies
set to a disco beat, 'Mondays...' is so brutally focused, both
lyrically and musically, that this might as well be the band's
first album (and we mean that in a good way). Both principals
seem revitalized following their recent solo forays and if this
isn't an early contender for the Best Album of 2003, that's
only because competition between artists is so terribly wrong
(just ask Marlon Brando). On tour this April with Bright Eyes.
track listing :
The Shy Retirer
Meanwhile, At The Bar, A Drunkard Muses
Fucking Little Bastards
Who Named The Days?
Loch Leven intro
Act of War
The Week Never Starts Round Here
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS :
Here at Matador HQ we've had to order an extra big prescription
of Calm The Fuck Down Pills because we've just completed a licensing
agreement with Mint Records
to release the longawaited 2nd album from THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
in the USA. This May, Carl Newman, Kurt Dahle, Blaine Thurier,
Neko Case, Dan Bejar, John Collins and Todd Fancey return with the 2nd New
Pornographers album, 'Electric Version' the long anticipated
followup to the Juno Award winning 'Mass Romantic' ---an album
acclaimed far and wide as one of 2001's finest (despite being
released in 2000). Ever bit as infectious & explosive as this
supergroup's debut, 'Electric Version' is a hyperkinetic pop
masterpiece crammed with more information than most bands manage
in a lifetime.
7. All for Swinging You Around
The Electric Version
2. From Blown Speakers
3. The Laws Have Changed
4. The End of Medicine
5. Loose Translation
6. Chump Change
8. The New Face of Zero and One
9. Testament to Youth in Verse
10. It's Only Divine Right
11. Ballad of a Comeback Kid
12. July Jones
13. Miss Teen Wordpower
JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION :
Following last week's shows at New York's Bowery Ballroom, the
Blues Explosion are currently on a headlining tour of the UK,
including a show at the South Bank's Royal Festival Hall commissioned
by Mojo Magazine. Said gig will feature a genuine throwdown
between the band and soul legend Solomon Burke.
There's a great story about James Brown once paying Solomon
Burke to bail on his half of a double bill, but we all know
that Jon Spencer is not likely to shirk from a challenge or
a collaboration (and besides, he doesn't carry around that much
You can catch JSBX in their first network TV appearance ever
when they appear on NBC's 'Last
Call With Carson Daly', Tuesday February 4 at 1:30 am (EST).
In the wake of appearances on 'Late Nite With David Letterman'
and 'Carson Daly Is On Daily' (ed note: Nils, please fact-check
this program name, I don't want any of those TV booking people
blackballing our bands for another 5 years again. I swear I'll
kill myself if that happens), Interpol have another round of
US touring scheduled to start in mid February. Those dates will
immediately follow Interpol's participation in the ongoing NME
Awards Tour of the UK, alongside the Datsuns, Polyphonic Spree
and The Thrills. Anybody else think that the Polyphonic Killing
Spree is a better name for a band? Shame they didn't ask me.
Portions of Interpol's set tonight (afternoon for those of us
in the US) will be broadcast on the BBC's Radio One during the
Live show (5pm EST, 10pm BST). 8 days later, Interpol will
be performing live at London's Virgin Megastore at 2pm, Sunday,
On April 7, Matador Europe will be releasing a 7"/CD single
of "Say Hello To The Angels" backed with a demo version of "NYC"
and one to-be-determined track on the CD. Said single will be
available in the US via Matador's direct retail arm and via
online sales through our US and Europe shops.
Interpol's website has relaunched with a superelegant new look
and lots of new stuff:
CAT POWER :
The official mini-site for 'You Are Free' launched today. Stream
one song daily from the new album, plus play with fun graphics:
With all sorts of wild accolades being tossed around concerning
Chan's forthcoming album, there's an extended Cat Power tour
starting in mid-February (check the tour dates section). We
are happy to welcome the following talented players to the 2003
Cat Power touring band :
Will Fratesi - drums
Coleman Lewis - guitar
Margaret White - violin, bass, keyboards.
While in the UK for a promotional visit, Chan recorded a Peel
Session at Maida Vale and the results will be heard on John
Peel's BBC Radio One show,Wednesday, February 12 (5pm EST).
As always, the show can be heard via Real Player.
Since we're on the subject, here's a link to a particularly
good Cat Power site done by a devoted fan :
A previously unreleased Cat Power performance, "Some Fur", filmed
live at Brooklyn's Warsaw last year, can be found on the DVD
version of "Benjamin
STEPHEN MALKMUS :
We'd like to sincerely thank Pitchfork
for providing so many details about the upcoming SM & Jicks
CD/LP during our absence. Though we do take issue with any claims
that the reception to the MP3 of "Us"
was anything but favourable (several correspondents have even
sent us their lunch money in thanks --- not necessary, of course,
but we appreciate the gesture). For the 1% of the persons reading
this that do not read Pitchfork 7 or 8 times a day, the following
is the track listing for the forthcoming 'Pig Lib' CD/LP (March)
01 Water and a Seat
02 Ramp of Death
03 (Do Not Feed The) Oyster
04 Vanessa From Queens
06 Animal Midnight
07 Dark Wave
08 Witch Mountain Bridge
09 Craw Song
10 One Percent Of One
Stephen & crew have the following shows confirmed, with more
to come throughout this spring and beyond :
02-25 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's (Noise Pop Festival)
05-16 Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom
05-25 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Check the tour page for updates.
With 'Sleep & Release' about to hit the shops in 2 weeks time,
Aereogramme will be playing a handful of headlining gigs on
the East Coast before heading off to do a full North American
tour in support of The Delgados. Currently touring the UK with
the Delgados, Aereogramme have a Peel Session slated for broadcast
on February 19.
An MP3 of "Wood" from 'Sleep & Release',
is available for download now.
MARY TIMONY :
Mary's first European tour in almost 3 years kicks off this
weekend (check the tour dates section for details). Mary provides
the score for "As
Daylight Breaks",a documentary film based on the life of
Jacob Sontag, a child suffering from Canavan
Disease. The film, directed by Stefanie Sasson, chronicles
his mother's (Jordana Sontag) crusade to save him. The soundtrack
album comes out in May on the Couture
label. Interpol, Yo La Tengo and others are on the same album.
MATADOR-RELATED, BUT NOT ON MATADOR!
Mark Eitzel has a new album on the Tonguemaster
label, 'The Ugly American', an album that features some of Mark's
best known American Music Club compositions reinvented by Mark
and a band led by noted composer & arranger Manolis Famellos.
Matador alumnus Barbara Manning has a new CD with her excellent
band The Go-Luckys, 'Transatlantic Trips' on the Return
To Sender label.
Former Matador recording artist Stefan Betke, aka POLE, has
a new CD/12", '45/45' coming out shortly on Mute.
listening piles of the well connected :
The Exploited - "Blown To Bits"
Venom - "Warhead"
The Insane - "El Salvador"
Yo La Tengo - "Nuclear War" (not familiar with the Sun Ra version)
Ground Zero - "Born To Be Bombed"
The Avengers - "The American In Me"
Khan - "Say Goodbye" (Tommy Franks mix)
(sorry, that's all we have room for this time)