New Times, indeed. Best wishes to Robert Christgau, who today joined the ranks of the unemployed.
In an unrelated note, there’s no truth to the rumor that all future Matablog postings will be handled out of an office in Phoenix that will also be responsible for label blog content from 5 or 6 other mid-size indies looking to cut costs. We thought about it for a few days but apparently we’ll save a lot of money by purchasing fewer ads in regional arts weeklies.
(man conducting a survey on whether or not Phil Esposito lookalikes can thrive in the workplace gets his comeuppance)
The telemarketing wage slaves that have the misfortune of calling me at home used to be peppered with questions like, “what are you wearing right now?” That joke was really funny…until I got someone who was all to happy to tell me what they were wearing.
Anyhow, as befitting someone named Creative Bastard, there are more imaginative, though less salacious ways of dealing with this modern problem (link courtesy Boing Boing)
This past weekend I took a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City to work on achieving one of those fantastic feats I’ve been aiming for my whole life: that’s right, I visited my 47th state out of 50, the lovely state of Nevada. And not only did I visit just any ol’ place in Nevada, I went the entire crapshoot route and touched down in Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery, buffets and, uh, Jimmy Buffett (that’s right, the Margaritaville franchise store is still in full effect on the Strip).
First impressions always help us new arrivals, and Vegas says, “What better way to impress than with slot machines right out the gates?” Resisting the temptation to play my odds (as I’d just ridden JetBlue, I figured I’d already taken enough risks for the day), I went on to my hotel of choice, The Venetian. And really, while in an artificial town in the middle of the Great American Desert, why not stay at a recreation of Italy’s famous city that’s crumbling into the sea? Makes sense, right? Can’t recommend this hotel enough, especially the plush bathrobes (available for you to take home for only a $85 charge).
So many great things happened this past weekend, it’s hard to keep track of ‘em all. Highlights would have to include the visibly methed-out homeless population, the incredibly bad tattoos I saw on tourists of all ages while walking down the Strip, and the fact that if you don’t own a car, you’re not going anywhere. Another Vegas highlight has to be the ridiculous 9/11 tribute fountain at the foot of the fake Statue of Liberty in front of New York, New York that combines quotes from Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt and George W. Bush:
Figuring that something more “high stakes” than pinball was necessary to try, I later hit the blackjack tables ($5 minimum, that’s how we roll) at the dingy Las Vegas Club. Finding myself playing at a table with a guy from Albuquerque with a gigantic bandage on his arm, and two guys from Texas (one drinking a mudslide out of a plastic football) has to be one of the highlights of my life. No, really, it was fun, I broke even and had many free drinks courtesy of one of the most haggard-looking waitresses I’ve ever seen (but she was really nice! honest!). I really recommend checking out some of the downtown (and downtrodden) Vegas casinos – they have their own particular charm, apart from the smell of desperation and crushed cigarettes.
And for those of you reading this who happen to live in Vegas (if you made it this far through my observations on your charming city), don’t forget that Pretty Girls Make Graves play there November 25th with She Wants Revenge.
While we’re still reeling from the recent pile of crazy press for Jennifer O’Connor’s ‘Over The Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars’ (eg. “Sister”, being hailed today by Pitchfork’s Stephen Deusner as “one of the most genuinely affecting pop songs you’ll hear all year”), we’re even happier to share the following : 4 of the album’s gems, recorded in stripped-down form for The Daytrotter Sessions.
the following live dates were just confirmed :
September 7 – Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
September 8 – The Canopy, Urbana, IL
September 9 – House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH
September 10 – Mr. Small’s Theatre, Millvale, PA
September 12 – Drake Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
September 14 – The Space, Portland, ME
September 15 – Pearl Street, Northampton, MA
September 16 – Avalon Ballroom, Boston, MA
September 19 – Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
September 21 – Freebird Cafe, Jacksonville, FL
September 22 – Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale, FL
September 23 – Common Grounds, Gainsville, FL
September 24 – The State Theatre, St. Petersberg, FL
September 28 – Walter’s On Washington, Houston, TX
September 29 – Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX
September 30 – Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX
Today I ask the question, “Is it uncool to post about your own record on the Matablog?” And I respond to myself, “Coolest thing ever!”
Anyway, I was just ordered to matablog this email I sent out to my email list, so here goes people: (oh and if you’d like to sign up for my mailing list, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you these things on a regular basis.)
This is a big week for me. As big weeks in my life thus far go, this might just be the biggest.
My Matador Records debut, “Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars”, hit record stores across the country yesterday.
So, please go buy a few for yourself and your loved ones. It’s most probably available at your local indie shop (which is where I recommend you buy it ifits an option). If not, it’s in every single Borders Music & Books across the country. Whatever your local shop is, if they don’t have it, they should be able to order it with my name, album title and tell them it’s on Matador. And if you’d rather do the online thing hit up amazon.com or insound.com…there’s a bunch of others too.
New Yorkers: the record release party is tomorrow night at Joe’s Pub at 9:30. There are still some tix left so come down and celebrate with us. We will be dressed all fancy and playing the whole record.
Finally, check out some of this ink we’ve been getting:
“Nowadays, ‘must-hear’ albums are supposed to stylistically diverge from the pack. That is, it’s rare for a critic to say that an album is better than the rest solely because of the strength of the songwriting, because the songs capture true-life feelings more completely than those of their peers, and within melodies that are impossible to forgot. But that’s the case here.” — (8.0 of 10), Dave Heaton, POPMATTERS
‘Indie-pop lady says it exactly like she means it : Like Liz Phair at her best, this New York-based singer/songwriter attacks relationship troubles with jangly thriftshop guitars and lyrics that cut away the psychological doublespeak that prevents most coffeehouse crooners from actually saying anything. The highlight of O’Connor’s third album is the excellently titled ‘Bullshit Maze,’ a little marvel of straightforwardness. ‘You’re always asking if it ever gets to be too much for me, ‘ she sings over a beer-buzzed Nashville shuffle. ‘Well, yes, it does.’” – Spin Magazine
OH, and please feel free to forward this email to ALL your friends!
PS. The new website will be up in the next few days and you will be able to stream the whole album there. Until then, you can stream the whole album here: