May 20th, 2003

Pretty Girls Make Graves

I don't know what's the more stunning development -- Pretty Girls Make Graves' impending album-of-the-year, 'The New Romance', or the fact that we finally scooped Pitchfork on a story about one of our own bands. Following their breakthrough releases for the Lookout and Dim Mak labels, the Seattle quintet have emerged with their hotly anticipated Matador debut. That 'The New Romance' is as anthemic and explosive as 'Good Health' is no surprise; but the band's compositional skills have grown by leaps and bounds, along with their flair for the dramatic.  

The record features the single "This Is Our Emergency" (coming out in August via Matador UK along with some non-album tracks from a recent radio session). Pretty Girls Make Graves are currently on tour in the US with the Alkaline Trio; they'll be doing European festivals along with club dates supporting the Blood Brothers in August.

Guided By Voices
We're so spoiled for cultural stimulation that we run the risk of taking geniuses for granted. But enough about Jim J. Bullock; the new Guided By Voices CD/LP, 'Earthquake Glue' will be snapping synapses worldwide this August. The remarkable output of Robert Pollard and cohorts might be a bit dizzying, but you'll ignore the new album at your own peril --- this one further establishes Bob P. in the pantheon of classic rock songsmiths and you can get an early taste by checking out the MP3 of "My Kind Of Soldier" here, or the MP3 of "I'll Replace You With Machines" at

Yo La Tengo
YLT are currently occupied with a global tour that encompasses headlining club shows, lots of festivals and more than a few unique events --- a co-headlining show with Calexico at London's Somerset House on July 14th, amongst them. Ira, Georgia and James can be seen peering out from the cover of the latest issue of The Wire,and perhaps this will be food for thought for others in the publishing industry when they see how quickly this edition is snapped up (I think it is fair to say it will be almost impossible to find within a month's time).

Matmos - new album
"We are happy to announce that we've finished our new album, entitled 'The Civil War'. We recorded most of the new record at home, and at the homes of some friends in Los Angeles (Steve Goodfriend and Jim Putnam of Radar Bros. and Mark Lightcap of Acetone/The Warm Inventions) Some synthesizer recordings were made with Keith Fullerton Whitman at the Harvard University Studio for Electro-Acoustic Composition during our residency there. It was an honour to get to play one of the original Serge modular synthesizer built by Ivan Tcherepnin himself. David Grubbs plays some piano which he recorded in New York City at the Rare Book Room. Keenan Lawler recorded some guitar for us in a sewer pipe in Louisville, Kentucky. There's also some location recordings from Hoover, Alabama which we gathered while travelling. The album's design and layout has been done by Rex Ray and looks rather lush. Mark Boswell made a video for our version of "The Stars and Stripes Forever".

Cat Power

Currently on her longest European tour ever, Chan Marshall will be making her UK TV debut this Friday, May 23 on BBC 2's "Later With Jools Holland". Also appearing that night are the Electric Six, the Pretenders and our favorite member of the Power Station, Robert Palmer. An MP3 of "I Don't Blame You", for those who haven't bought or downloaded the album, is now available at our music page.

Check the tour dates section and check it twice -- Mogwai are touring UK clubs as the setup for 'Happy Songs For Happy People' begins, followed by a handful of US shows (NY + W. Coast) topped by an Los Angeles show at the Palladium, a bill including the Magic Band and Mission Of Burma (All Tomorrow's Parties). "Hunted By A Freak" from the aforementioned new LP/CD is available now for download from our MP3 section. Over at, there's some snazzy video footage from the album's recording.

Dead Meadow
Following some well received shows supporting Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Dead Meadow are heading to London for gigs on May 27 (The Underworld) and May 29 (The Metro) as the buzz builds for the 2XLP/1XCD release of 'Shivering King and Others'. An MP3 of "Good Moanin'" is available now from our action-packed audio/video section.

Amidst a score of US radio festivals and overseas open-air events, Interpol will be returning to the small screen on Monday, June 16 when they appear on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Show. We've been assured that Mike Tyson will not be co-hosting that night, but hopefully he'll be watching from home. BREAKING NEWS: CANCELED!

A multi-format single of "Obstacle 1" is coming via Matador UK in August to coincide with Interpol's Carling Weekend dates in Reading and Leeds. If you've not noticed previously, the Floria Sigismondi-directed clip for "Obstacle 1" is up on our video page in streaming Real Player glory.

The New Pornographers
Wild praise and the ringing of cash registers greeted the 6 May release of 'The Electric Version' ---- though some would have you believe the real story was Neko Case's winning some 'Women of Indie Music Who Are Photographed' competition sponsored by a publication whose name we can't mention. With no disrespect intended towards said magazine or its readership, we at Matador pride ourselves on being a Family Record Label (translation : some of us have members of our families who will kill us if we're caught looking at the website that gave Neko the award --- so we ignore it for the articles) so instead we'll concentrate on The New Pornographers' upcoming tour:

MON 6/2 SALT LAKE CITY, UT Liquid Joe's
TUE 6/3 DENVER, CO Gothic
THU 6/5 PHOENIX, AZ Nita's
FRI 6/6 TUCSON, AZ Riatlo Theatre
SAT 6/7 SAN DIEGO, CA Casbah
SUN 6/8 LOS ANGELES, CA Knitting Factory
THU 6/12 PORTLAND, OR Aladdin Theatre
FRI 6/13 VANCOUVER, BC Commodore
SAT 6/14 SEATTLE, WA Showbox

TUE 7/1 CALGARY, AB The Whiskey
THU 7/3 REGINA, SK The State
SAT 7/5 MINNEAPOLIS, MN First Avenue
MON 7/7 DETROIT, MI Magic Stick
TUE 7/8 TORONTO, ON Phoenix
WED 7/9 QUEBEC CITY, QC Cabaret du Capitole
THU 7/10 BOSTON, MA Middle East
FRI 7/11 NEW YORK, NY Bowery Ballroom
SAT 7/12 NEW YORK, NY Bowery Ballroom
MON 7/14 COLUMBUS, OH Little Brothers
TUE 7/15 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland

The band will be making their US network TV debut on CBS' 'Late Night With David Letterman' on Tuesday, June 17. An MP3 of "The New Face Of Zero & One" is up now on our audio page.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Perhaps you've seen the tv commercials, those that say "real people really win Matador online competitions". Like the time we gave away Ricky Luanda's house (perhaps we should've found him somewhere else to live first). So we were thrilled to award Mike Guillen a brand new iPod for his winning entry in the Stephen Malkmus trivia contest. We're in the process of loading up Mike's new iPod with some Gordon Lightfoot rarities, but we promise he'll have it soon. In the meantime, there's a new SM/Jicks UK single of 'Dark Wave' (taken from 'Pig Lib') along with the bonus tracks from the US value-add CD. There are some heavy rumours about August dates supporting a world famous-yet-not-sucky-at-all arena act (hint : not Audioslave!) that we can neither confirm or deny, because fuck it, we're not Pollstar. Do we come round to your place of work and knock the mineral water bottle out of your mouth?

Our friends at Chemikal Underground are about to release a new Aereogramme CD EP. Since we're bringing in a limited quantity for sale to Matador's direct retail accounts, here's the C.U. press release summing things up :

"Following on from Aereogramme's well received album 'Sleep and Release' earlier this year we proudly present the Livers & Lungs EP.

"The EP sounds great and is pretty varied, as you'd expect from the band. Track 1, 'Indiscretion # 243', is taken from the album. All the others are exclusive to this release.

"Early morning hotel room sessions and sound-checks were utilised to get tracks 2 & 4 completed between Boston and Cleveland on the first part of Aereogramme's US tour at the end of March. 'Inhalation Blues' was recorded at the end of 2002 as an exclusive bonus track for the Japanese version of 'Sleep and Release', this version has been tidied up a little and given a well deserved airing.

"'Thriller' (track 4). Yes, it is a cover of Michael Jackson's famous tune. The band tackled this first for John Peel in February. However, they felt compelled to give it another go feeling that the version on the Peel Session just didn't live up to their own rigorous expectations."

"Livers & Lungs EP"

1. Indiscretion #243
2. Asthma Came Home for Christmas
3. Inhalation Blues
4. Thriller

Mark Eitzel
(editor's note : the following comments by Mark Eitzel do not necessarily reflect the views of Matador Records' management, staff, artist roster or their pets).

"This director in Toronto has offered me to be in his documentary entitled 'I, Curmudgeon'. How come they don't offer me the documentary 'I, Bon Vivant' - I mean I could really get my teeth into that.

"Just want everyone to know that I DID NOT cancel the tour with the Sea and The Cake. The truth is I NEVER CONFIRMED IT! We were talking about doing it but I couldn't make it work. I keep getting these emails from people who wonder why I cancelled. I DID NOT CANCEL!!!! I WAS NEVER ON THE BILL!!!!!!!

"Recently I have decided to dress up my image a little and have taken to wearing the suit and tie that my sister and brother and law bought for me last christmas. On my last tour of Spain I was checking into a hotel in A Coruna where there was a large anti fascist rally going on outside. It seems that some old fascists had rented a room in the hotel to watch a video of some old fascist from 20 years ago. The people in the rally thought that it was a meeting of 'young fascists' and they wanted to duke it out with them. As we left the hotel some time later the anti fascists outside who I think felt cheated by the lack of fascists (they should go to Ohio) actually thought (because of my suit and tie) that I was one of the 'young' fascists which I guess is sort of a backhanded compliment and they threw a few sticks and tried to polaroid me - but I want to tell the town of A Coruna who I'm sure have been waiting for this - that I am really not a fascist. Sorry. Though I visited Franco's tomb and thought it was kind of amazing.

"Well thats it for now. And also tell the people who run the US website that I would refer to be replaced on the show by a much more sultry 50's star. Replace me with a Joan Crawford type - not Donna Fucking Reed. (Also I wanna steal that 'Eitzel doll' picture for my web site!!)."



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