February 3, 2003

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.
The 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.
In light of all the vulgarity in today's football advertising, we're proud that Matador could bring some family entertainment to your television screen.

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
Cat Power
Dead Meadow

Also playing in the middle of that bill are our good friends, Merge recording artistes, Spoon.

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
Little Eyes
Nothing But You and Me
Season of the Shark
Today Is the Day
Tiny Birds
How to Make a Baby Elephant Float
Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo
Don't Have to Be So Sad
Winter A-Go-Go
Moonrock Mambo
Let's Be Still
Take Care

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" (hint, hint).

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.

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

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.

Coming in April, the new Arab Strap CD/LP, 'Mondays At The Hug & Pint'

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
Peep Peep
Who Named The Days?
Loch Leven intro
Loch Leven
Act of War
The Week Never Starts Round Here
Pica Luna

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.

1. The Electric Version
2. From Blown Speakers
3. The Laws Have Changed
4. The End of Medicine
5. Loose Translation
6. Chump Change
7. All for Swinging You Around
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

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 cash).

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 Lamacq Live show (5pm EST, 10pm BST). 8 days later, Interpol will be performing live at London's Virgin Megastore at 2pm, Sunday, February 9.

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:


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 Smoke".

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
05 Sheets
06 Animal Midnight
07 Dark Wave
08 Witch Mountain Bridge
09 Craw Song
10 One Percent Of One
11 Us

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'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.

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 :

Donald Rumsfeld

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)



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