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The MataBlog is edited by Matador Records’ co-moaner Gerard Cosloy and individual entries are the work of whoever’s name is next to them. If you enjoyed something in the MataBlog, thank you very much! If there was something you found particularly troubling, please be advised that a) maybe you should read it again and b) the contents of this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions of Matador Records, Beggars Group, the combined staff of either company, nor the Matador artist roster. Opinions are like friends — hardly anyone has one worth listening to.

NYC Girls Fans: Buy The Album, Get A Free Ticket

Sometimes over here at Matador HQ we like to try wacky shit like making videos featuring famous funny guys or buying a single Soda Stream for 15 people to use and then wonder why it runs out of gas after a day and a half.

But this time we're doing something a little more simple and a lot more awesome.


As you already know, Girls are playing Terminal 5 on Saturday January 14. As you probably know, tickets are disappearing faster than (insert Kardashian wedding joke here). So just for you, NYC, we've teamed up with some of the best independent records stores in the Big Apple to offer a FREE TICKET when you purchase a copy of Father, Son, Holy Ghost (while supplies last, of course).

Simple as that. Buy the new album at regular price, get a free ticket to the show at Terminal 5.

Visit Other Music, Generation Records, Sound Fix, Permanent Records or Academy Annex NOW because they've each only got a handful of tickets. Do it. DO IT. See you at the show.

New cat power video, now up



As promised, here's a new video from Cat Power featuring Manny Pacquiao, and directed by Giovanni Ribisi.

Watch the video above and donate with all proceeds going to the Festival Of Children and Ali Forney center. Please share far and wide.

And please tweet to get the word out. Twitter hashtag is #catpowerpacquiao.

Happy holidays y'all.

Get To Know Your Local Independent Retailer Vol. 3 - Retrofit Records

For Volume 3 of our groundbreaking featurette, we dug in with Sharod Bines and Bradley Ellison, the two Floridians who run Retrofit Records. These guys rule and apparently have the kind of taste that would fit right in at Matador HQ. I dig them because they say "motherfucker" a lot.

That photo down the bottom there that's Sharod and Bradley with a special friend. They're clearly radical dudes.

1. Tell us briefly about your store.
SB: Retrofit Records is located in Tallahasee, Florida, in the heart of downtown Tallahassee. Our store is about 950 square feet. Within our small space we host in-store performances, community events like BBQs, potlucks, listening parties, and anything else fun that we can think of! About 95% of our stock consists of new and used vinyl, while the remainder consists of about 60-80 CDs (at any given time), shop related apparel, a few publications, vinyl accessories, and new record players.

2. What got you into the independent record store business?
SB: A love for music and the need to contribute in a bigger way to our city's music scene. That, and we're the only record store in town where you can find new and current released music. Before we opened it was a little embarassing when a band came through town and would ask us to direct them to the nearest record store and we'd have to tell them none exist. Now that we're open, we just direct them to our shop!
BE: Honestly, it also felt necessary for us (instead of anyone else) to start the store. We, to put it bluntly, are music nerds, and our knowledge of music is a little more intense and comprehensive than many other people in our town. So it really came down to who would be capable, willing, and knowledgable enough to present and sell music to our town. Plus,  It's a handy tool for instructing and recommending albums to people based on maybe one band that they are into.

3. Who are some of your favorite contemporary stores?
SB: Radio-Active Records in  Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Vinyl Richie's Wiggly World in Orlando, Fl, and Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA
BE: Aquarius Records

4. How have things been going from a business perspective?
SB: So far things have been great! I don't come from a retail background at all (never even worked a register before now hah), so I was definitely nervous about opening a record shop. However, we actually lucked out, as in, we opened a week after major construction concluded on the main thouroughfare where our shop is located, and we opened a week before fall semester classes started, which really has helped sales and word of mouth regarding the shop. Even one of the universities interviewed us and put the article on the front page of their "Arts & Culture" section, which was really nice! So far this year has been great for us! We're hoping 2012 goes just as smoothly.
BE: Some people have questioned our logic and asked aloud "why start a vinyl store when music sales are on the decline?" We've proved the naysayers wrong pretty quickly by succeeding at our mission.

5. What do you think spells the survival for an independent record store today?
SB: SUPPORT within the community! I can't stress that enough. Considering that we're the only contemporary record store in our city, we'd like to hope that people would treasure something like what we're doing, and would want us to succeed and therefore inspire others within the community to create their own cultural exchange, no matter what form it comes in, be it music, art, culinary, etc... That being said, a large part of the onus lies with us. Part of our job as a record store is to inform and educate the public/scene on what's available. You know, not just what's cool or new, but what's out there beyond mainstream radio and TV.
BE: The size and focus of a store is also important. There's no way a store can survive if it becomes bloated and tries to appeal to everyone's slight whim. We saw a store in town fall apart by trying to grow and grow - Vinyl Fever RIP - but let's face it: with the rise of the Internet, plus with the dreck that passes for mainstream music, most people no longer see the need to buy records. But there are always music fans out there, willing to dig and listen to new things. By keeping small, you can provide a more diverse collection of music and you don't compete with chain stores in any way.
6. What are some of the coolest thing labels have done with you? Instores? Promotions? Sales?
SB: At this point we haven't done as much as we would like to with labels, in fact we want to do a lot MORE! Maybe the labels are waiting to see if we'll be around in a year, or maybe they just want us to buy more inventory haha. It's cool though, the labels we work with send us the usual schwag (posters, promos, limited edition stuff, etc..), which we more than appreciate. Some labels don't send us anything! Either way, we've hosted some really fun in-store shows and events with the likes of Nobunny, Shannon & The Clams, Moon Duo, Jacuzzi Boys, Cheveu, Paul Collins Beat, etc... Oh yeah, almost forgot Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!) came by the store and bought a bunch of records, which was pretty cool!

7. Why do we need record stores?
SB: Who doesn't need a hang spot where you can listen to awesome records?!
BE: Why do we need to breathe? Why do we need to love? Because otherwise, life would be life would merely be a dull, inescapable throbbing pain.

8. What kind of taco is your favorite?
SB: I don't eat tacos often, but I'm a pretty straight forward guy. So I'll have to go with the original: ground beef, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.
BE: Oh my god! The taco, you see, is imperative to life.  I prefer using tempeh and vegetables (done the same way that typically comes in a fajita), adding some guacamole and melting some cheese on the motherfucker.  And before you ask, yes it's in a hard shell.  Goddamn, maybe I should start a Mexican food cart.

9. Who are your top 3 favorite bands right now?
SB: The Spits, Yussuf Jerusalem, and Davila 666!
BE: How cruel, cutting it down to three.  Anyway, lately I've been obsessing over Sun City Girls, Dungen, and The Bug.

10. What is your favorite thing about your store? And you can't say the customers. That's like saying Einstein or Ghandi when asked "If you could meet one person, living or dead..."
SB: Fulfilling one of my dreams! ..and the pride of ownership. It feels really nice to work hard for something and then see it come to fruition, there's nothing like it.
BE: Swag. No but for real, it's what i've wanted to do since I was a kid.

11. What are your goals for the future of your store? Long term and short.
SB: Retrofit Records world domination?!
BE: Surviving and thriving motherfucker!

Cat Power

Visit catpowermusic.com today.

An Announcement Concerning Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah Shows at Maxwell's



(Stephen Hunking's shirt for Yo La Tengo's 2011 Hanukkah shows, available for a limited time from Kung Fu Nation)

The following was posted at Yo La Tengo.com earlier this evening ;

Hi everybody, especially those of you with tickets to next week’s shows,

We strive to make our Hanukkah shows unpredictable, and in one unfortunate regard we’ve outdone ourselves this year. I’m going to be a little vague here, but I had a pretty serious health scare earlier this month. I’m well on the way to recovery, but I’ve not yet been deemed ready to Rock. The good news is . . . well, the good news is I’m on the way to recovery . . . but vis-à-vis next week, the good news is that I’ve been deemed ready to sit in a chair and play the concerts that mean more to me, Georgia and James than most anything else we do together. Our sets will undoubtedly be tweaked accordingly. In other words, if you were hoping to be in attendance for our annual airing of “Mushroom Cloud of Hiss,” I’m afraid that is now zooming up the Unlikely chart with a bullet. But we’re confident that it’s going to be a great eight days. We’re looking forward to seeing you all, and to not answering any questions about what happened to me!

As long as I’ve got your attention, I’ll let you know about one other change this year. We’ve filled the walls of Maxwell’s front room with a bunch of posters and other ephemera from our various closets. Some of it will be for sale (all proceeds to charity) and all of it will hopefully be entertaining.

Hanukkahly yours,
Ira


Walter White Kicks - Because "Air Pollos Hermanos" Doesn't Really Roll Off The Tongue



link courtesy VHS Summer. The W.W. signature Pontiac Aztek is well beyond the means of the average Matador Records-buyer, so perhaps these sneakers are a better holiday option.

Fucked Up - watch David Comes To Life, performed in its entirety, in the round

If you weren't lucky enough to see Fucked Up perform David Comes To Life in New York City last month (or if you can't get to Toronto on Tuesday), OR if you were there and just don't remember it very well, Pitchfork TV has your back.

Happy Holidays - this is so fucking cool:

Matador's Singles Going Home Alone ; A Concept Of Staggering Unoriginality (But You'll Still Wanna Sign Up)



With all due respect to our friends at Sub/Pop, Columbus Discount, HoZac, and I don't know, two dozen other labels who've tried it, we're rolling out a limited edition 7" subscription series in early 2012. A number of years back, some bright Matador exec came up with the title 'Singles Going Home Alone' for a proposed compilation album of the label's early one-off, long out of print singles (Mark Eitzel, Chain Gang, The Schramms, The Pastels, Fire In The Kitchen, etc.)  A few of the artists we approached politely declined (or impolitely told us to fuck off and die) and rather than repair the shattered relationships, we shelved the title.  Until once fine day last October when Robby Morris suggested we do a bunch of one off singles AGAIN, only this time we'll try not to alienate all of the participants.



We're planning on 6 singles over the course of 2012, but if we're having fun with this, there's no reason we won't have another batch lined up for 2013. The in the series will be the long-rumored split 7" between Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (left) and L.A. Guns (right), with the former  covering the latter's "Wheels Of Fire" and Tracii & Co. tackling the latter's "Gorgeous George".  We've waited nearly 23 years to tell the world L.A. Guns are Matador Recording Artists, and finally we can say it at parties without lying.



(photo by Zac Sprague)

Edition #2 will be a couple of new songs from Austin, TX's OBN III's whose most recent 'The One & Only' LP (Tic Tac Totally) has made no shortage of 2011 top ten lists.  Well, the good ones, anyway. There's a longish interview with frontman/dictator Orville Neeley in the latest issue of Maximum Rocknroll...and if that sentence seem a tad out of place on the Matablog, well, keep in mind we just said we're putting out a record with L.A. Guns. Surprises are relative.



Single #3 will be a new 7" from NYC's THE MEN, whose amazing 2nd album, 'Leave Home'(Sacred Bones) is (again) one of the current year's finest.  It would be the height of hyperbole to claim this record hasn't left our turntable, though it would be completely truthful to say it has on some occasions, rolled across the room and supplanted whatever else we thought about putting on.

We'll reveal the identities behind singles 4, 5 and 6 pretty soon.  If you wait until then, however, you run the not-so-small risk there won't be any left.

- TAKING ORDERS NOW:

- what you get: 6 subscription only 7"es every other month in 2012, plus a special secret bonus item, a tote bag and 10% off all year long on the Matador Store (which cannot be combined with other discounts)

JANUARY 17 - Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks / L.A. Guns
MARCH 20 - OBN III's
MAY 22 - The Men
JULY 10 - TBA
SEPTEMBER 11 - TBA
NOVEMBER 6 - TBA

- prices (all inclusive of shipping - each 7" will be shipped out separately for release date):

$45 US
$55 Canada
$70 rest of world

Alright. Let the thoroughly off-the-mark speculation about the next 3 singles commence.

If Something Great Comes Out In The Next 17 Days, We Don't Wanna Know ; Matador Artists, Staff & Pals Tie A Bow Around 2011



(trusty 2011 Matador ballot counters voice displeasure over management cancelling a game that required them to drink 27 shots each time Total Control received a vote)

The whole year-end Best-Of thing has gotten completely out of hand. For starters, I hear Sub Pop published theirs on Labor Day. Spin's list featured 4 albums from the same NYC indie in their top 11 ; even Vladimir Putin thinks there's something screwy going on.  Still, even though such polls reek of patronage and self-congratulation, some traditions die hard around here.  And without further ado, we present the 2011 edition of "Hey Check Us Out, We Like Cool Stuff".  It is our fervent hope that after scanning these lists, you'll never again question our cultural superiority find a hidden gem or two thoroughly ignored by the mainstream media. Or failing that, you won't resent us too much.  On behalf of the entire Matador Records family, we thank you for making 2011 one of the least litigious in our history, and here's hoping 2012 is equally crammed with joyous milestones (weddings, births, elective plastic surgeries). Though I'd settle for a new Cat Power album.   Lists after the jump ;



James McNew, Yo La Tengo Inc.

Shintaro Sakamoto, How To Live With A Phantom (Zelone, JP)



Oneida, Absolute II (Jagjaguwar)
Shinji Masuko, Woven Music (Brah)
Tyvek, Nothing Fits (In The Red)
Hail Mary Mallon, Are You Gonna Eat That (Rhymesayers)
Jennifer O'Connor, I Want What You Want (Kiam)
Antietam, Tenth Life (Carrot Top)
Eleventh Dream Day, Riot Now! (Thrill Jockey)
Thee Oh Sees, Castlemania (In The Red)
Salyu, S(o)un(d)beams (Toy's Factory, JP)
Feelies, Here Before (Bar None)
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Island/ Vagrant)
Alvarius B, Baroque Primitiva (Poon Village)
Heidecker & Wood, Starting From Nowhere (Little Record Co.)

Wesley Eisold, Cold Cave

Cut Hands- s/t LP
Cass McCombs- Wit's End LP
Bleached- Searching Through The Past/Electric Chair 7"



Veronica Falls- s/t LP
Ke/Hil- Hellstation LP
Weekend- Red EP



BALACLAVAS - Snake People
DEAD LANGUAGE - s/t
JOHN MAUS - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
LOW THREAT PROFILE - Product #2
MORPHOSIS - What Have We Learned
NICOLAS JAAR - Space Is Only Noise
ROYAL HEADACHE - s/t
TOTAL CONTROL - Henge Beat
THE VACCINES - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
VERONICA FALLS - s/t

EPs: ANDY STOTT, BURIAL, FACTORY FLOOR, GIVE, HOAX, HOLY OTHER, THE ROPES, SHACKLETON, //TENSE//, TROPIC OF CANCER.

Anthony Anzaldo, Ceremony

Top 11 Shows
Prince @ Oracle Arena, Oakland CA. 2/23
Prince @ HP Pavilion, San Jose CA.
Prince @ Oracle Arena, Oakland CA. 2/21
Prince @ Oracle Arena, Oakland CA. 2/24
Dillinger Escape Plan @ Chaos in Tejas
Zola (5/6)
Blaqk audio (1/6)
Negative Approach (11/5)
Furs (5/3)
Kylie (5/21)
Pixies (11/20)
Dillinger (6/4)

Top 10 Singles
Superbass (Nicki Minaj)
We Found Love (Rihanna)
Rumor Has It (Adele)
Seekir (Zola Jesus)
Confetti (Cold Cave)
Without You (David Guetta & Usher)
Extralovable (Prince)
I Hate You (Doe Eye)
The Other Shoe (Fucked Up)
People Are The Same Everywhere (Morrissey)

Dominick Fernow, Cold Cave

cut hands
lulu
ke/hil



genocide organ
simonetti
blackest ever black label
sandwell district cd
the true werwolf/black misery 7"
red hot chili peppers
drive movie soundtrack

Ted Leo

11 (but not all of the) great things of 2011, in no particular order:



1. PUJOL, "Nasty, Brutish, and Short" EP - Nashville trio, fronted by one Daniel Pujol, making tight blasts of noisy power pop with a, dare I say "philosophical?" - YES I DO - "PHILOSOPHICAL" lyrical bent - not unlike a snottier and punker (but still humorous), concerned (but not emo), "Perfect Sound Forever" by some amazing people who, for all I know, may have never even heard "Perfect Sound Forever."
2. PUJOL, Live - all of the above plus better (and Mitch, the bass player's, long red hair flopping about).
3. DOOM (UK) at Chaos in Tejas - bought the "Police Bastard" 7" from somebody running a distro at ABC-NoRio in 1989, and first met Brian, the guitarist, in 1997, when he drove an old band of mine, The Sin Eaters, on our only UK tour.  We began bonding over our mutual respect for our past achievements, but my respect for HIM went nova when he put on Monster Magnet's "Spine of God" followed by Rush's "Caress of Steel" on the night drive from London to Bradford.  2011 in Austin was the only time I've ever seen them live.
4. The fact that DOOM played the ENTIRETY of Crass' "Reality Asylum" as their intro music at Chaos in Tejas, 2011 - *TEARS!!*
5.  Being able to spend a week on the other side of the mic as IFC's roving correspondent at SXSW this year.
6.  Paulie Gee's pizza, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
7.  Jason Pierce (née "Spaceman")'s "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are Floating in Space" (Spiritualized) installation at the Creators' Project Festival, Dumbo, Brooklyn - an audio puzzle, that's secret lay within five different quad mixes arrayed on the floor of a gray open space, lit by four "sun" beams.  Emo?  In the ancient and best sense - a brain-stirring and heart-moving reminder of how music can transport.  Genuis.
8.  Iberia - TL/Rx tour of ONLY Spain and Portugal, via our label over there, La Castañya (Barcelona).  They smoke almost as much as the kids in Florida, and vegan ain't easy, but still, I'd move there before almost anywhere else.
9.  Summer 2011 midwest tour with Tweak Bird - for us, a chance to revisit a lot of "Tyranny of Distance" stuff on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, AND, we got to do it with this amazing heavy psych-punk-doom duo.
10.  Comedy in New York and New Jersey - "The Best Show on WFMU," with Tom Scharpling, "Hot Tub" with Kurt Braunohler & Kristin Schall, Kurt's "Night of the Living," "How Was Your Week?" with Julie Klausner, "You had to be There" with Sara Schaeffer and Nikki Glaser, "Mr. Coconuts," with Gabe Delahaye, "Big Terrific" with Max Silvestri, "Pretty Good Friends," with Eugene Mirman, PLUS Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Wyatt Cenac, Jena Friedman, etc., etc., etc.
11.  Comedy in other places - "The Paul F. Tompkins Show," in LA, Scott Aukerman's "Comedy Death Ray" in LA, John Hodgman EVERYWHERE.

Jason Costanzo, The Young
Top Things Projected Onto A Flat Surface Within My Immediate Vicinity In 2011:
The Forgotten Space - Allan Sekula & Noel Burch
"Robinson" trilogy - Patrick Keiller
Japon and Silent Light - Carlos Reygadas
The End Of Eternity - Andrei Yermash
The Sacrifice - A. Tarkovsky (35mm screening, Austin Cinematheque)
Pickpocket - R. Bresson (35mm screening, Paramount Theater, Austin)



Invasion - Hugo Santiago & Jorge Luis Borges
Water and Power - Pat O'Neill
Neil Young & The International Harvesters - 1984 ACL broadcast (screening at Alamo Drafthouse, Austin)
Heritage Of The Owl and A Grin Without Cat - Chris Marker
Sharp Edge Blunt - Leighton Pierce (Union Docs, Brooklyn)

Respect and adieu to: Bert Jansch, Joe Bageant, Raul Ruiz, George Kuchar, Peter Falk

Jeff Jensen



[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDqr5-yaXJY[/youtube]

1.    Call of The Wild is probably the best rock band in 2011 NYC
2.    Big Youth played to less than a hundred people at a high school gymnasium in Brooklyn
3.    The Rae Town street dance in downtown Kingston. Best party scene I ever seen.
4.    I made a Fruitpie the Magician costume for Halloween and won a costume contest. Help save him. http://home.earthlink.net/~fruitpie/
5.    I got drunk and blathered about nothing in particular I mean “acted in a legit movie” with a buncha lovable lugs. It’s called The Comedy.
6.    Favorite bar of 2011…TIE between Cocosone bar on Ishigaki Jima and Roku in Shibuya
7.    Hysteria of Hurricane Irene was pretty funny and thrilling
8.    Top 3 Jeffrey Jensen live “bands”… Ramones cover band Jeffrey and the Hymen; The Jewish and The Complete Faggots (new trio with Allison and Mike Fellows debuting this Friday)
9.    I witnessed Booby Valli perform at Colucci’s Restaurant
10. Omar Souleyman at Santo’s made an impression


Adam Bohl, Matador Direct


I'm always terrible at compiling these lists so I'm not going to overthink things or get too down on myself for everything I left off. 2012 will be the year I keep better track of this stuff (probably not), but here are some LPs and 7"s (that were not associated with Beggars or Matador) that stood out.


1. In The Red Records - I could probably make half of my list with their releases so I'll leave it to one spot, so many great albums this year. Wounded Lion, TV Ghost, Mark Sultan, Thee Oh Sees, etc...
2. Shannon and The Clams - Sleep Talk LP- Really surprised how into this record I am. People into Hunx or Nobunny should really pick this up, they'll probably like it more.
3. Olivia Tremor Control reissued LPs. A little bit of a guilty pleasure, taking me back to my early college days. Nice to finally have these on vinyl though.
4 War On Drugs - Slave Ambient LP. Kurt Vile doesn't make this list because I'm excluding Matador albums but this sister (brother?) band released one hell of an album.
5. Wax Museums - Eye Times LP Totally forgot about these guys and upon hearing this played in the office a few times had to go get myself a copy. Not normally into stuff so punk-y but this ones is really catchy and fun

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-va-tbnXL0[/youtube]

6. Grudge - When Christine Comes Around 7" I wish I bought a lot more of all the great 7" reissues coming out this year on labels like Sing Sing and Last Laugh then I did, but I bought this one, and it rules. One song about smashing faces just isn't enough, give me two.
7. Apache Dropout LP/ Shot Down 7" (someone get me that Mexican Summer one!) Love the album and 7"s really bummed I haven't seen these guys live yet.
8 Happy Thoughts - S/T LP Some of my favorite dudes, glad this thing finally came out even if it does seem a couple years too late and have an awful cover.
9. Howling Hex - Wilson Semiconductor LP I always have a soft spot for NMH, even though I haven't been super into the last few records this one seems pretty great so far, especially the B side.
10. Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming LP It's rad that a killer soul LP can still come out that isn't on some cheesy Mayer Blowhorn tip. It was also awesome seeing him perform in a downpour in Ft. Greene this summer.
11. Dow Jones and The Industrials - Can't Stand The Midwest 7" Great reissue, and also from my hometown, West Lafayette represent.

Helen Rush, Matador Direct

Records (in no particular order):
Graham Lambkin - Amateur Doubles LP
Sidi Toure - Sahel Folk LP
Stan Hubbs - Crystal LP
Meg Baird - Seasons On Earth LP
200 Years - S/T LP (just came out but I LOVE it)
Nathan Salsberg - Affirmed LP
Jakob Olausson - Morning and Sunrise LP
Crystal Stilts - Radiant Door 12"
PG Six - Starry Mind LP
United Waters - Your First Ever River LP
Woods/Kurt Vile split 7"



Soldiers of Fortune - Ball Strength LP
Angus Maclise - Dream Weapon I, II & III LP's
Steve Tilston - An Acoustic Confusion LP

Shows (in no particular order):
Magik Markers/Six Organs Of Admittance - The Stone
White Out with Nels Cline - The Stone
Michael Morley - The Stone
Kim Gordon with Chris Corsano & Yoko Ono - The Stone
Graham Lambkin & Vanessa Rossetto - The Stone
Elisa Ambrogio - The Stone
Lin Culbertson with Marina Rosenfeld & Andrea Parkins - The Stone
Samara Lubelski & Marcia Bassett Duo - A Gallery on the LES
Roe Enney - The Stone & Secret Project Robot
Mira Billotte : Solo Performance with Art Show - Secret Project Robot
P.G Six solo - Union Pool & Zebulon
Glenn Jones - Zebulon
Soldiers of Fortune Record Release - Zebulon
Michael Chapman - Zebulon
Talk Normal - DBA
Thought Forms - DBA
Oneida - in their rehearsal/recording space at Monster Island (Benefit for Japan)
Jason Lescalleet and Graham Lambkin: Air Supply CD Release - Issue Project Room
Alan Lomax - Unseen footage from the Lomax archives - Loft space, Vanderbilt Ave Bklyn
Good:
Getting married to Ian Johnson (it really was the best day)
Sad:
RIP: Bert Jansch & Strindberg (my beautiful cat)

Sonya Kolowrat, Beggars Group

top stuff of 2011.
-going to the Grammys
-going to the Moth with my friend Ben and Mishka Shubaly and then listening to the Moth podcast religiously
-learning how to make a terrarium
-finally watching The Wire
-watching Angus pretend to play any instrument he can get his hands on



-Saskatchewan in the summer
-going to London and seeing Jarvis Cocker in the Rough Trade office
-Getting Jeffrey Lewis in the New York Times
-Lambrusco
-eating the pork belly at Bozu
-turning 40
-Calgel nail art
-Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese - the best book I've read in YEARS.
http://www.amazon.com/Cutting-Stone-Abraham-Verghese/dp/0375714367/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323792026&sr=8-1
-and finally, Patrick Stickles on Twitter.

Gabe Spierer, Beggars Group

Fucked Up - David Comes To Life: none of the albums on this list are ranked, except this one. It was my favorite, most-played record of 2011 and one of the most invigorating rock records I have heard since the last Fucked Up album. Fists were pumped.
Kleenex Girl Wonder - Secret Thinking: Graham Smith has amazed me for many many years , but for him to pull out a classic, this far in...wow. Please check this record out.
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - Mirror Traffic
Discovering DMX after ignoring him in high school and beyond (Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood and It's Dark And Hell Is Hot are especially great). Dude is just mean.
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Maya Evans Judd
Times New Viking - Dancer Equired
Atlas Sound - Parallax
Don Trip and Star Lito - Stepbrothers
Meeting Of Important People - S/T
Gucci Mane - Writing On The Wall 2
Oscar Osceola Spierer
Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes



Pusha T - Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray

Dean Bein, True Panther Sounds

Top !! albums 20!!
Balam Acab- Wonder/Wander (Tri Angle)



The Caretaker- An empty bliss beyond this World (History Always Favours The Winners)
Kurt Vile- Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)
Motion Sickness of Time Travel- Luminaries & Synastry (Digitalis)

Oneohtrix Point Never- Replica (Mexican Summer)
Peaking Lights- 936 (Not Not Fun)
Planningtorock- W (DFA)
Rene Hell- Terminal Symphony (Type)
Real Estate- Days (Domino)
Vybz Kartel- Kingston Story (Mixpak)
The Weeknd- House of Balloons (Self-released)

Top !! Singles/EPs/Mixtapes 20!!
A$AP Rocky- LiveLoveA$AP (Self-released)
Blawan- Getting Me Down (Self-released)
French Montana- Coke Boys 2 (Self-released)
Holy Other- With U (Tri Angle)
Jacques Greene- Another Girl (Lucky Me)
Jamie XX- Far Nearer (Numbers)
Juicy J & Lex Luger- Rubba Band Business 2 (Self-released)
Kwony Cash- Dis One 4 Da Peons (Self-released)
LHF – EP2: The Line Path (Keysound)
Lone- Echolocations (R&S)
Stacy Barthe- Sincerely Yours (Self-released)

Looking forward to:
New records from Beach House, Sun Araw/Congos, SPVCXGHXZTPVRRP, Haxan Cloak, Blondes, The XX, How To Dress Well

Blake Thomas, Beggars Group

BEST OF MY YEAR
Album: Smoke Ring For My Halo - Kurt Vile
Chain Burger: Houston's - Hillstone
Video: Is Tropical - The Greeks
Booze: Pappy Van Winkle 20yr. - Buffalo Trace
Song: 'The Other Shoe' - Fucked Up

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLEo7H9tqSM[/youtube]

Movie Trailer: Trollhunter - Magnet
Sports: Kansas' Morris Twins - F.O.E.
Live: Fucked Up - Webster Hall
Sandwich: Fried Chicken - Diner Brooklyn
TV show: Game Of Thrones - HBO
Brewery: Ballast Point - San Diego
NYC Burger: Minetta Tavern - MacDougal St.
Work Times: Pitchfork Festival - Chicago
Looking Forward to: Soula Coaster - R. Kelly

Dave Martin, Matador Direct

Albums



1. Psandwich - Northren Psych - Columbus Discount Records
2. Wounded Lion – IVXLCDM – In The Red Records
3. Brain F≠ - Sleep Rough – Grave Mistake / Static Shock Records
4. Mark Sultan – Whatever I Want / Whenever I Want – In The Red Records
5. Apache Dropout – S/T – Family Vinyard
6. The Cynics – Spinning Wheel Motel – Get Hip Records
7. Meg Baird – Seasons On Earth - Drag City Records
8. Times New Viking – Dancer Equired – Merge Records
9. Kim Phuc – Copsucker – Iron Lung Records
10. Urge Overkill – Rock ‘n’ Roll Submarine – UO Records
11. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest – Acony Records
12. Pink Reason – Shit In The Garden – Siltbreeze Records
13. J. Mascis – Several Shades Of Why – Sub Pop Records
14. Wild Flag – S/T – Merge Records
15. Robert Scott – Ends Run Together – Flying Nun
16. Cat’s Eyes – S/T – Polydor
17. Bardo Pond – S/T – Fire
18. Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion – Slumberland Records
19. Cheater Slicks – Live Volume 1 – Columbus Discount Records
20. Case Studies – The World Is Just A Shape to Fill The Night – Sacred Bones
21. The Renderers – Rocket Into Nothing – Ba Da Bing
22. Papercuts – Fading Parade – Sub Pop
23. Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming - Dunham Records
24. Human Eye – They Came From The Sky – Sacred Bones
25. Cakekitchen – Kangaroos In My Top Paddock – Violet Times

Singles
1. Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci – Sony Music
2. OBN III’s – No Way To Rock ‘n Roll -Super Secret Records,  Runnin On Fumes & Heavy Heart 7”s – Tic Tac Totally
3. Cheap Time –Another Time b/w Immediate Future - Cass Records
4. Home Blitz – A.T.K. b/w Last Cycle - Mexican Summer
5. Blues Explosion – Black Betty b/w No Reservations – Shove



6. Double Negative – Hardcore Confusion Vols 1 & 2 – Sorry State Records
7. Thee Cormans – Down Mit Der Fuzz b/w Emergency – In The Red Records
8. The Liminanas – AF3458 - SDZ  / (I’ve Got) Trouble In Mind  - Trouble In Mind
9. Apache Dropout – Shot Down - Trouble In Mind / Radiaton  - Mexican Summer
10. The Everymen – Hello, Nice Evening… - State Capital Records
11. Women In Prison – Strange Waves, Births of Rot b/w Circles & Circles – Hozac
12. Raw Blow – Purple Haze b/w Bawlin – Raw Blow
13. The Mantles – Rasberry Thighs b/w Roman Hat – SDZ Records
14. Timmy’s Organism/ John Wesley Coleman III – Split 7” – Goner Records
15. Slices –Modern Bride b/w Chump Change – Kemado

Reissues or new releases of old music
1. Tyvek – Fast Metabolism – M’Lady’s / Water Wing Records
2. Michael Yonkers Band – Microminature Love – Sub Pop / De Stijl
3. Stan Hubbs – Crystal – Companion / Gloriette Records
4. Michael Chapman – Fully Qualified Survivor – Light In The Attic Records
5. Void – Sessions 1981-83 – Dischord Records
6. Faith – Subject To Change & First Demo – Dischord Records
7. The Bats – Daddy’s Highway – Flying Nun
8. Cheater Slicks – Our Food Is Chaos – Almost Ready Records
9. Träd Gräs Och Stenar – Gardet  12.6.1970 – Subliminal Sounds
10. Los Dug Dugs – S/T & Smog – Lion Productions
11. Dow Jones & the Industrials – Family Vinyard
12. Vernon Wray – Waysted – Sebastian Speaks
13. Limes – Tarantula! – Goner
14. DMZ – Radio Demos – Munster
15. Bloodloss – Lost My Head For Drink – Dirty Knobby Records
16. Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments – Burning Trash b/w Price of My Words – Negative Guest List
17. Guilty Pleasures – Summer Strange – Dusty Medical Records
18. Grudge – When Christine Comes Around b/w I’m Gonna Smash Your Face In – Mighty Mouth
19.  The Embarrassment – Sex Drive b/w Patio Set – Last Laugh Records
20. Lyres – Live At Cantones – Munster

Live Shows
1. Brain F≠ / The Men – 583 Johnson  - August 4th
2. Kim Phuc / Double Negative 583 Johnson - April 30th
3. Reigning Sound – Maxwell’s - February 12th
4. Mark Sultan – Cake Shop - December 1st
5. Cheap Time – Shea Stadium - November 18th
6. Cheap Time / Guitar Wolf  Knitting Factory - May 13th
7. The Cynics – Lone Wolf Café - October 31st
8. Ma’am / Sleepyhead / Schooly D– Maxwell’s  August 5th
9. Scratch Acid – Webster Hall - November 7th
10. Renderers – Cake Shop – September 17th

Mike Venutolo-Mantovani, Matador Direct

Mikerock:



1. Brain F≠ - Sleep Rough (Grave Mistake)
2. Crooked Fingers - Breaks In The Armor (Merge)
3. The Shrine - Featherheads 7" (Eliminator Records)
4. Mark Sultan - Whatever I Want (In The Red)
5. Mark Sultan - Whenever I Want (In The Red)
6. Mastadon - Live At The Aragon (WBR RSD Excluisve)
7. Wild Flag - S/T (Merge)
8. Crisis Of Confirmity - Fistfight In The Parking Lot 7" (Drag City) http://www.hulu.com/watch/126479/saturday-night-live-band-reunion-at-the-wedding
9. Reigning Sound - Abdication... For Your Love EP (Scion A/V)
10. Cat's Eyes - s/t (Polydor)
11. Total Babes - S/T (Old Flame)

Rockshows:
1. Fu Manchu at Santos Party House
2. Guided By Voices New Year's Eve at Irving Plaza
3. Fucked Up in the round at LPR
4. Kurt Vile at Webster Hall
5. tUnE-yArDs at Pitchfork Festival
--

Stuart Davie, Matador Records

Albums:



Royal Headache - s/t
Antlers - Burt Apart
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
Real Estate - Days
Fucked Up - David Comes To Life
J Mascis - Several Shades Of Why
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Iceage - New Brigade
Sea And Cake - The Moonlight Butterfly

Other great stuff in 2011:
Making my first trip to New York and acting the total tourist, only skimming the surface of the city.
Running took over my life a bit this year, I competed in my first race and finished a half marathon in 1:32.52, leaving me to only aim higher for 2012.
My US West coast vacation - I loved Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in different ways and had the greatest 2 weeks.
I didn't spend enough time watching watching enough new tv shows, but BBC's Human Planet and Frozen Planet were both incredible.
I didn't read as much as I should do (again) but Born To Run was a highlight from what I did manage to get through.
I took the plunge and moved in with the girlfriend.  I won't let her put up her ugly painting in our bedroom, whilst she think's the Tim Hecker record is trying to brainwash me.  So far, so good.

Aims for next year:
Run a 1:30 half marathon
Get a ticket for at least one of the London Olympics basketball events
Travel more
Survive the apocalypse and get to go to an NBA game.

Lisa Gottheil, Beggars Group

My top 10 of 2011

1.  The release of Hudson Scott Lewis, born on 2/27.   He's super cute.



2.  Friday Night Lights took over my life for a few months and I fell in love with Tim Riggins.  I miss him and think about him daily.

And in no particular order with the rest of this list:
3.  Titus Andronicus / Fucked Up in the round
4.  Seeing Scratch Acid.    Getting to be their publicist for the tour
5.  Neon Swine
6.  Kicking some ass (by luck) in the Sensative Beggars League.   Go Flatiron Tight-Enz



7.  The return of Sean Avery to the NY Rangers
8. Friendly Fires in Central Park
9.  Ratatat in Central Park
10. Murakami

 

Adam Farrell, marketing (Beggars Group)

A few albums I played a lot....

Cat's Eyes s/t (Downtown/Co-op) [this]



Starlito Ultimate Warrior (Grind Hard Apparel)

Tim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky)

Nicholas Jaar Darkside EP (Clown and Sunset)

The Weeknd House of Balloons (Rapidshare)

Bill Callahan Apocalypse (Drag City)

A couple jams that I played more than all else...
Uncle Murda "The Warning" (watch)
Azealia Banks "212" (watch)

Natalie Judge, Matador Records

Queens Of The Stone Age - la zona rosa, Austin TX - 16th march 2011
Factory Floor - The Citipost Building, London - 25th March 2011

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4lxVMZYSxI[/youtube]

Pulp - Primavera, Barcelona - 27th May 2011
Delorean - On a boat going up and down the Thames - 14th July 2011
Ceremony - Dynamo, Zurich - 28th July 2011

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient
Iceage - New Brigade
The Jesus Lizard - Club

Friday 29th April, 2011 - Getting a day off, thanks to these guys

Jeremy P. Goldstein, Beggars Group

Albums
1. Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still
2. Lowline - Lowline - Townsend
3. Tape The Radio - Heartache and Fear - Hi-Tone
4. Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years - Matador
5. Horrors, The – Skying - XL Recordings
6. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - Mute
7. White Lies – Ritual - Fiction/Geffen/Interscope
8. Chapel Club - Palace - Loog
9. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Sour Mash/Mercury
10. The Wombats - This Modern Glitch - Bright Antenna



Honorary mention: Domino State - Uneasy Lies The Crown - Exhibition (record came out in 2010, but I only found it this year. Would have made my top-5 if I'd heard in on time or it came out this year)

Top-10 Stuff and Things
1t. Parke Trafford Goldstein
1t. Piper Alyssa Goldstein
3. June 6, 2011, 6:45AM and 6:47 AM. The day and time my life changed forever. For the better
4. Eleven Madison Park. Finest restaurant in NYC? Gets my vote
5. Manchester United v. MLS All-Stars. A chance to see United on US soil, from the front row?!?! Yes please, and thank you.
6. Num Pang. Cambodian take the banh mi. Favorite sandwich of the year.
7. The drive from Miami to Key West. Well, parts of it. Some of the smaller keys were amazing to drive around and explore.
8. RBC Coffee. Finally, good coffee below Canal.
9. Wailea, HI. Cheating here, since I won't be there until December 27, but definitely looking forward to some R&R.
10. French Laundry. Again, cheating, but will finally be eating there in the very near future and is there any way it doesn't make the list?

Hagino Tiger Reid (Hostess, Japan)

Konichiwa, Somethings I remember from 2011.
Adele.
Missing Cheese.
Flea Market selling.
Meeting Gruff Rhys.
Massive Earthquake.
Drinking in Bann, Yutenji.
Yosuke moving to Osaka.
Giving up smoking (I hope).
Watching Pulp at Primavera.
A caravan in Camber Sands.
Lots of aftershock earthquakes.
Gang Gang Dance "Eye Contact".
Fucked Up "David Comes To Life"
Volunteering in the north of Japan.
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 finishing all 3.
Florence And The Machine "Ceremonial"
Been mistaken for a member of Warpaint.
Cycling around Amsterdam with my sisters.
Owning a badge that says "I am a band parent."

Robby Morris, Matador Records

Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder
Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
Destroyer - Kaput
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Iceage - New Brigade
Kim Phuc - Copsucker
Cass McCombs - Wit's End



The Men - Leave Home
Omegas - Blasts of Lunacy
Times New Viking - Dancer Equired
Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer - Re: ECM
War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

Matt Harmon, Beggars Group





Skull Defekts "Peer Amid" LP (Thrill Jockey)
The War on Drugs "Slave Ambient'"(Secretly Canadian)
Fucked Up "David Comes to Life" (Matador Records)
Woods "Sun & Shade" (Woodsist)
v/a "Not the Space You Know, But Between Them" boxset (Three Lobed Recordings)
Amen Dunes "Through Donkey Jaw" (Sacred Bones)
Destroyer "Kaputt" (Merge Records)
Zachary Cale "Noise of Welcome" (All Hands Electric)
FRKWYS VOL. 8 - Blues Control & Laraaji LP (FRKWYS)
Tim Hecker "RAVEDEATH" 1972 (Kranky)
Grouper "AIA: Alien Observer" LP (Yellow Electric)
Ensemble Economique "Crossing the Pass, by Torchlight" (Dekorder)
Group Inerane "Guitars From Agadez 3" CD re-issue (Sublime Frequencies)

Steve Glauber, Matador Direct

favorite tunes from 2011. if anything here is not from 2011, don't really care:
Apache Dropout - s/t LP
Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs Evil LP
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life LP
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo LP
War on Drugs - Slave Ambient LP
Mikal Cronin - s/t LP
OBN III's - s/t EP
Sic Alps - Napa Asylum LP
Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler / The Dream LP
Times New Viking - Dancer Equired LP
Ty Segall - Live in Aisle 5 LP, "Buick Mackane" T. Rex cover
Digital Leather - "Mind Eraser"
WIld Flag - "Romance"

Annette Lee, Beggars Group

2011 - My Highlights
- Pulp at Primavera Festival, Barcelona, nearly 15 years after the first time I saw them live (my first ever concert).
- Learning how to ride a bike.
- Finally seeing big brother walk down the aisle and get hitched.
- Joining the gym, and actually enjoying the benefits of exercise (a lifetime first)
- Memorable trips (for many reasons) to Taiwan, Barcelona, Norfolk, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and Milan.
- Discovering a previously untapped talent for air rifle shooting (thanks Holkham County Fair, Norfolk)
- Japanese culinary heaven at Nobu.



- Mabel the dog. Every office should have one (photo attached)
- The world-famous dumplings at Din Tai Fung, Taipei
- First taste of a kangaroo steak (a very intensely-flavoured red meat, best served medium rare)
- Albums by Beyoncé, Jay-Z/Kanye, PJ Harvey, Frank Ocean
- The entire Formula 1 season and the BBC's brilliant coverage (2012 onwards will not be the same without it).
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Submarine films.
- Gang Gang Dance at Bowery Ballroom - a live-altering experience.



- Getting a dinner plate with my name on it (pic attached, not taken by me I hasten to add). A nice way to end the year.

Jean-Phillippe Aline, Beggars Group

- second trip in Brazil (food, drink, no hangover, beach, daily jog along Ipanema beach with good music on = REAL LIFE)
- sunrise on Angkor Vat Temple, Cambodia, as we say in french : MERVEILLEUX
- my stay at villa medici (definitely want to be an artist)
- finally met GOD aka Sufjan Stevens - best show I attended this year at Olympia, people went mad
- my new turntable
- best singles : I was so r&b this year
motivation by kelly rowland
thinking of you by frank ocean
night air by jamie woon
swear by inc.
hey - king
far nearer - jamie xx

- albums of the year
SBTRKT - SBTRKT
Ben Westbeech - There's more to life than this
Jill Scott -the light of the sun
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Red Hot + Rio - Various

- movie of the year : Polisse
- documentary : Cat Fish (2010)
- best TV show : The Killing



- best music video : A long Time - Mayer Hawthorne
- best restaurants: le pantruche (paris) - cuc gach quan (ho chi minh city)

Ruth Barlow, Beggars Group

Album Highlights/Fav's this year
SBTRKT - SBTRKT
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Ice Age - New Brigade
EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
Jeff The Brotherhood - We Are The Champions
Sharon Van Etten - Epic (technically the year before but new for me_)



Wooden Shijps - West
Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
Eminem - Recovery (sorry but i love it)
Eminem - The Eminem Show (yes this is old)
Dizzee Rascal - Boy in the corner (yes this too)
Dizzee Rascal - Showtime (and this)

Live Highlights/Fav moments
Coldplay at Glastonbury (an actual masterclass in how to play to 100,000 people plus)
SBTRKT at Field Day (genuine good times side of stage party)
Esben and the Witch at SXSW (i think it was the beauty parlour backyard - such intensity at 2.30 in the afternoon should be applauded!)
Odd Future at Don't Mess with Texas at SXSW-  (chaos rating 10/10)
Perfumed Genius in Beijing (cry inducing)
PJ Harvey playing and looking like an apparition at Primavera
Twin Shadow at Scala  (upping their live game every time i see them)
Glasser at XOYO (something clicked)
Edward Sharpe at the Old Vic Tunnels in London (culty and uplifting - loved the 3 nights out of 5 i went to)

Theatre Highlights
Jerusalem, Apollo Theatre London - never seen ANYONE (Mark Rylance) be so good at their job EVER - mention it to me - my eyes will glaze over and jaw will drop again and again
London Road at the National Theatre - if I described what this 'play' was about you'd be confused... It was an amazing and inventive take on language and natural rhythm - so good I went back twice
Julian Barrett's debut in the Chekhov comedy The Government Inspector at The Young Vic - just bawdy, farcical and funny

Book Highlights
The Sisters Brothers - Patrick De Witt - Coen Brothers like Cowboy tale
Tom Robbins - Villa Incognito - just bonkers
Ernest Hemingway - The Man and the Sea - classic should have read years ago



Frank Dikotter - Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's most devastating catastrophe 1958 - 1962 - mind blowing knowledge gain

TV Highlights
Boardwalk Empire - Season Two - artificial violence is funny and i'm a little intrigued by Michael Pitt
The Sopranos from the start - needs to be done ...
Breaking Bad - about to start Season 3 makes me nervy but who've thunk it from Malcolm in the Middle's dad
The Killing -  original Danish Version - didn't need to be as long as it was but brilliantly compelling and Danish is so pretty as a language



Masterchef - the celebrity one, the professionals one and the public one... i sort of love the learning aspect and best of all there is no effort needed in watching a show like this, perfect wind down tv

Other stuff
getting a badass tattoo
The Royal Wedding for the extra bank holiday
Djing at Silent Disco Reading Festival
Travelling to Hong Kong and mainland China for the first time - wowser that was different

and finally

Not so great things of 2011

a newly reformed Pulp at Primavera, Glastonbury & Reading - sorry friends but i wasn't really interested - i enjoyed the first time too much
Feral people taking to the streets to rob and vandalise areas of London
Lewis Hamilton having a mare of grand prix season - stupid red bull and vettel
Rihanna at the O2 -  felt like i was at a gig celebrating her vagina rather than her pop tunes - lame, soulless corporate pop - well done Live Nation

cheers to 2011, bring it on 2012
xx

Kathryn Braddick, Beggars Group

2011 has been a pretty awesome year it's the year I became Mrs Rodger, lost 5 stone (70lb) and choose Josh over Beyonce.  What a year!!

I got married and we had our first dance on a light up dance floor to The National "Fake Empire" (it's a lot longer than you imagine mainly because we hadn't practiced!!)

In a biggest loser direction and to get ready for the wedding we both decided we need to lose a bit of excess flab and managed to just smash it, sadly I had to give up cider :( !

Glastonbury saw me stood in a field of crazy Beyonce fans and having a eureka moment where I turned to my friend and we decided Josh is fitter and Queens Of The Stone Age were to be our headline act.  I still stand by it being the best decision of the weekend - they were amazing!  I watched Beyonce a few days later from the comfort of my sofa.

Other highlights include - Spending valentines with Adain Moffat, 'David Comes to Life' (on repeat), hitting LA & E3 with Brigitte but not her singing along to Adele, Biffy at Sonisphere,  my work hendo being spent in the best three bars in London -  Crobar, Garlic & Shots & finally Big Red, 'How To Be A Woman' written by Caitin Moran.  Bring on twentytwelve!

Hector Montes, Beggars Group

new records in alphabetical order:
Atlas Sound - Parallax (4AD)
The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favors the Winners)
Comet Gain - Howl of the Lonely Crowd (What's Your Rupture?)



Cut Hands - Afro Noise I (Very Friendly)
Deaf Center - Owl Splinters (Type)
Elite Gymnastics - Ruin (Acephale)
The Feelies - Here Before (Bar/None)
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life (Matador)
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky)
Iceage - New Brigade (Escho/Dais/What's Your Rupture?/XL/Abeano/Fat Possum)
The Men - Leave Home (Sacred Bones)
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica (Mexican Summer)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTerPK8JMY[/youtube]

Total Control - Henge Beat (Iron Lung)
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador)
The Weeknd - House of Balloons (self-released)
Wild Beasts - Smother (Domino)

old records in chronological order:
The Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs of Life & Satan Is Real (Light in the Attic)
The Beach Boys - The Smile Sessions (Capitol)
Queen - A Night at the Opera (Island)
Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist (Rvng Intl.)
Art Yard - "The Law" b/w "Something In Your Eyes" 7" (Ride the Snake)
The Art of Noise - Who's Afraid of The Art of Noise? (Salvo/ZZT)
R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant (Capitol)
Arthur Russell - Let's Go Swimming (Audika)
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock (Ba Da Bing)
Disco Inferno - The Five EPs (One Little Indian)

Jeremy Kirkland, Beggars Group

My Top Records of 2011 ( in no particular order)



King Krule - EP
Cat's Eyes - (self titled)
Destroyer - Kaputt
Fucked Up - David Comes To Life
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo

Other things of 2011
Getting married to my lovely wife Elizabeth!

Woo!

Chrissy Stuart, Mattitude Music


Albums (in no particular order):
Fucked Up - David Comes To Life
The Weeknd - House of Balloons
Adele - 21
Iceage - New Brigade
Atlas Sound - Parallax
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo

Little Dragon - Ritual Union
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
Bad Sports - Kings of The Weekend
SBTRKT - SBTRKT
Dirty Beaches - Badlands

Moments:
Straw's Donut Burger in SF
Alexander McQueen at The Met
Ceremony in Boyle Heights
Drive soundtrack
Moving from NYC to California (and not hating it, not even close)
Anything Rebecca Black does
Pierre Huyghe's remake of Brancusi's Sleeping Muse (Frieze Art Fair, London)
Lana Del Rey's lips
Stephen Malkmus sleeping at our office
Date shakes
UT beating A&M in rivalry's final game (hook 'em!)



Living within driving distance to Death Valley
Joy Orbison & Ramadanman at The Roxy
Griffith Park Observatory
Tune-Yards at the Troubadour

Steve Cross, Remote Control



Lost Animal - Lose The Baby
Been holding out for this since Jarrod Quarell use to perform it live with St Helens. Desperate and perhaps
not entirely socially acceptable.

Dick Diver – Head Back
Aged bodies of the Velvets, early Go-Betweens, Modern Lovers, Flying Nun exhumed on the frayed edges
of the Melbourne “scene”.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVNqWZPqxDE[/youtube]

The Field – Is This Power
Ketamine flavoured wooziness. Scores bonus points for the massive Jah Wobble-esque bass line.

Salem – Till The World Ends
Maybe I’m over intellectualising, but this may wikileak the relationship between the vacuous state of
American pop and the apocalyptic cornerstone of US foreign policy.



EMA – California
It’s linear. Patti Smith’s Birdland set in the time of the great suburban meth plague.

Dirty Beaches – True Blue
Late night 50s Americana filtered through a cheap car radio. Plus he has immaculate hair.

Trouble Books & Mark McGuire – Floating Through Summer
“Jams” - the most abused term of the year. Here it kinda works

Stag Hare – Lavender Raven Tears
Golden rule 2011: Don’t trust face painters ascribing spiritual value to their work. They mainly sound like
the Thompson Twins. Stag Hare made me a hypocrite.

Twerps – Who Are You
Something of a sibling to Dick Diver, sharing musical bad posture, mumbled social ineptitude, a lazy
distain and great songs

Eternal Tapestry & Sun Araw – Night Gallery III
Stallones plays keyboards and flute, normally I am flute intolerant.

Patrick Amory, Matador Records





1. Baby Dee LP - Regifted Light (Drag City)
2. Viscount Hidemaro Konoye - Mozart, Haydn DA (Berlin Philharmonic, 1937-38) (Pristine)
3. Robert Scott - Ends Run Together LP (Flying Nun)
4. Cass McCombs - Humor Risk LP (Domino)
5. Milk Music - Beyond Living 12" EP (self-released)
6. Shearwater - The Island Arc Live DA (self-released)
7. Various Artists - Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM 3CD box (Dust-to-Digital)
8. Tonetta - 777 Vol. II LP (Black Tent)
9. Art Yard - The Law 7" (Ride The Snake)
10. Cian Nugent - Doubles LP (VHF)

Gerard Cosloy, Matador Records

Wiccans - Skullduggery (Katorga Works)
Noveller - Glacial Glow (Weird Forest)
Obnox - I'm Bleeding Now (Smog Veil)
Flesh Lights - Muscle Pop (Twistworthy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bwn71khdT4[/youtube]

Jesu - Ascension (Calo Verde)
Tommy Keene - Behind The Parade (Second Motion)
Wounded Lion - IVXLCDM (In The Red)
Video - Leather, Leather (Play Pinball)
Mikal Cronin - s/t (Trouble In Mind)
OBN III's - The One & Only (Tic Tac Totally)
Total Control - Henge Beat (Iron Lung)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eck2HzbGlyU[/youtube]

Mind Spiders - s/t (Dirtnap)
Deaf Wish - Mercy (Radio Records)  (2010, so kill me)
Robert Scott - Ends Run Together (Flying Nun) (see above)
Pygmy Shrews - You People Can All Go Straight To Hell (Jack Shack)
Barreracudas - Nocturnal Missions (Douchemaster)
Factory Star - Enter Castle Perilous (Occulation)
Kitchen's Floor - Look Forward To Nothing (Siltbreeze)
Yussuf Jerusalem - Blast From The Past (Florida's Dying)
Quin Galavis - Should Have Known You (Threadpull)
Witches - Forever (Bakery Oulet)

singles :

Boomgates - Layman's Terms (Smart Guy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rH3MEA4Hmw&rel=0&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="335" width="425">


Creamers - Modern Day (Jolly Dream)
Creamers - Slow Burn (Secret Beach)
Avon Ladies - Guns & Gold (Katorga Works)
Women In Prison - Strange Waves (HoZac)]
Sex Cult - Errand Boy (Goner)
Slices - Modern Bride (Kemado)
Charles Albright - Weight (Permanent)

old bits reissued nicely : Laurice/Grudge (Mighty Mouth), Tyvek (M'Lady's), Art Yard (Ride The Snake), The Gruberger Brothers

live : Unholy Two (Austin, March and May), Deaf Wish (Memphis, September), Wiccans (Austin, July), Mind Spiders (Atlanta, April), Cheap Time (Austin, Memphis, September),  Reigning Sound (NYC, November), Hank Wood & The Hammerheads (NYC, October), Wire (London, February) Hank IV (San Francisco, October), Broken Water (Austin, April), Wax Museums (Austin, March), Brain Idea (Chicago, July), Richard Buckner (Austin, October)

Best (non-human) things in the world : J. Mueller, this guy, this place. That's enough oversharing for one day.

FUCKED UP on Spin cover & #1 Album Of 2011, video premiere, and much much more!

2011 has been bery bery good to Fucked Up, and it just keeps on movin'.


Following similar "Best Of 2011" acclaim from the likes of NPR, MTV, Onion AV Club, Stereogum, Decibel, Chicago Tribune, Magnet, Stereophile, and many more, Spin Magazine has voted David Comes To Life the #1 Album of 2011 and put them on their cover! There's also a new video for "Turn The Season," shot during the original photo shoot for the album artwork and directed by Scott Cudmore (full credits here):



Please watch the Travel Channel tonight at 10/9c when Fucked Up will be on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" Holiday Special (with Christopher Walken and more)!

Speaking of gift-giving, Fucked Up are playing "David Comes To Life" in its entirety in Toronto on Dec 20, and organizing a concert the next night with several Toronto bands; both shows are for charity. Details here. There will also be a split holiday 7" with Sloan, hopefully available at these Toronto shows, limited to just 500, and benefitting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund.

If you're in New York, Fucked Up are playing the Brooklyn Night Bazaar December 16; tickets just $10 and available here.

In other news, you may have missed Fucked Up's appearance on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show earlier this month. Here they are being interviewed & performing "The Other Shoe":



Or maybe you're planning on going on the Bruise Cruise from Miami to The Bahamas Feb 10-13 2012? Damian is cruise director and you can find more info and a holiday gift exchange video with Fucked Up here:

Oh, what else, what else. Mmmm, did I mention MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED is coming out Feb 21? Year Of The Tiger (available for pre-order here or here is the latest in their annual zodiac-themed 12"s, and this one features Jim Jarmusch, Annie-Claude Deschênes, and Austra, but mainly 15 minuted of gorgeous epic crescendoing maximalism from our heroes (and that's just the A-side).

Good times!


Chilaquiles tampiquenos verdes



That's really "tampiqueños" but WordPress chokes on titles with special characters.

This is a straight-up recipe from Diana Kennedy's Essential Cuisines of Mexico. Unlike her tamales recipe which I posted about a couple years back, this one requires no interpretation from the experts. Just make sure you leave your tortillas out a day or so, cut into 6 triangular pieces each, to get properly stale before commencing.

The green in the sauce comes a combination of tomatillos (tomates verdes) and grilled poblano chiles, which are quite mild. The former need to be simmered for a bit to soften them; the latter you need to grill over a flame (an open gas burner works fine) until thoroughly blistered and blackened on all sides. Both go into the food processor with fresh cilantro and epazote (I used dried epazote because that's all I could find) plus white onion and salt.



Then - in a manner surprisingly similar to Thai chile pastes, you fry the sauce in vegetable oil (I'm guessing originally in lard, but I could be wrong - apparently the pre-Hispanic recipes fried the salsa dry), and add some chicken broth.



Next you fry the tortilla triangles until "they just begin to stiffen but not brown" (harder to judge than you might think), bring the sauce to a boil, and stir in the tortilla pieces. You need to find just that right consistency between too crisp and too soggy. As Nils pointed out to me, it's a peculiarly Mexican thing.



Finally an enormous amount of fresh cold items are put on top: roughly chopped cilantro, thinly sliced large radishes, hardboiled eggs, roughly chopped white onion and hand-crumbled queso fresco. It's the contrast between the just-sauced tortilla chips, redolent with the tart smokiness of the sauce, and the crisp fresh ingredients on top, that makes the dish. It's essential to get the balance right. You serve the dish immediately.

Get To Know Your Local Independent Retailer Vol. 2 - Music Millenium

Recently we broke ground on our newest Matablog feature Get To Know Your Local Independent Retailer with L.A. vinyl gurus Origami Vinyl. This week, we travel up the Pacific Coast to Portland for a chat with Terry Currier (pictured below, on the right), owner of Rose City institution Music Millennium.

1. Tell us briefly about your store.
Music Millennium opened on march 15th, 1969. It grew to a full catalog store. Music Millennium pioneered live music in a record store putting in  stage on our 10th Anniversersary with a permanent sound system. We do about 150 live performances a year.

2. What got you into the independent record store business?
I started in record retail in 1972. I did not grow up listening to the radio or recorded music. I played clarinet and was going to go to college on music scholarships. I got a car at 16 1/2 after riding a motorcycle in the rain and snow for the first six months of my 16th year. The radio got me interested in music and 2 weeks before my senior year of high school, I went to my first concert - Leon Russell & The Shelter People. Two weeks later I applied for a job in a record store and they hired me on my enthusiasm and didn't ask me what I knew about music or I would have not got the job. 3 weeks later my girlfriend (met at the store) told me she had a surprise for me that night. It turned out to be a trip to Music Millennium. I went there almost every night after work in my record store job reading album covers back to back, specially their import section. In 1984, after the middle ownership at Music Millennium was going to file bankruptcy, I went to work for the original owner as he assumed the debt and the inventory and building. I bought pieces of of it and eventually bought the whole thing. I paid it off around the dawn of downloading.

3. Who are some of your favorite contemporary stores?
I have so many favorites but Twist & Shout in Denver and Waterloo in Austin have pretty amazing stores. Fingerprints' new store in Long Beach is really incredible. I always gravitate towards the vinyl section of any store i get to visit.

4. How have things been going from a business perspective?
The past decade has been very trying, especially the past couple years. The economy really has been a factor in slowing business the past couple years. It's sad to see stores like Ear-X-Tacy go from being one of the best record stores in the country to having to close.

5. What do you think spells the survival for an independent record store today?
Anyone still doing it is doing it for the right reason - the passion of the music. That is why they are still open. Many indie labels have succeeded in these times and had much success though. I still feel that physical goods are viable and the market could increase with a unified effort. Vinyl is a bright spot as new consumers get into it everyday. Had vinyl stayed around instead of the CD in the late 80's, the industry would have not been effected as much by digital. Everything about vinyl is great; the sound, the covers, the jackets.

6. What are some of the coolest thing labels have done with you? Instores? Promotions? Sales?
We pinch ourselves every once in a while over the instores we have hosted. Joe Strummer, Randy Newman, Soundgarden, Steve Earle, Paul Westerberg, Sleater-Kinney and Keith Emerson!

7. Why do we need record stores?
Record stores use to be community centers. Many still are but to a lesser extent. When you go to a good record store, you are going to get turned on to music you did not even know existed. You browse on the internet, you read magazines, but record store employees that you connect with can make your day. Browsing in a good store you will discover so many things. And for shopping vinyl, especially used, you have a chance to find those coveted pieces you have been looking for  for years or just a fun piece like a "How To Bowl" record or "Music For Your Plants' record. Sure, you can search online but takes the fun out it.

8. What kind of taco is your favorite?
Shrimp. With a real good and flavorful hot sauce. You don't want to hide the flavor of the shrimp, you want to enhance it.

9. Who are your top 3 favorite bands right now?
My favorite albums of 2011 are Unfazed by Delorean and Sky Full of Holes by Fountains of Wayne. You can't go wrong with the new album Viva Voce The Future Will Destroy Us. If i had to name my favorite bands of all-time - The Kinks, Spirit and Mott The Hoople.

10. What is your favorite thing about your store? And you can't say the customers. That's like saying Einstein or Ghandi when asked "If you could meet one person, living or dead..."
The favorite thing about the store is the feel. The store has character. It still has the feel it did 40 years ago. We have tried to preserve that as we have made changes over the years. You can feel the passion of the music as you walk through the store.

11. What are your goals for the future of your store?
The goal is be able to continue to be a great full catalog store.

FEB 7: Ceremony Hysteria 7"


CEREMONY
"Hysteria" b/w "I'm A Bug"
OLE-982


On January 17 2012 February 7*, Rohnert Park CA's CEREMONY will release "Hysteria", their first recording for Matador. The 7" is now available on the Matador store for pre-order (the first 200 orders will receive exclusive clear vinyl). The tracks will also be available for digital purchase.

Catch CEREMONY on tour in Florida next week, and keep your browser pointed at this blog and www.ceremonyhc.com for a lot more exciting news in the coming weeks.

12.8.11
Will's Pub - Orlando, FL

Ceremony
No Friends
Khann
Demoter
Weight Of The World

12.9.11
Churchill's Pub - Miami, FL

Ceremony
No Friends
Merchandise
Rat Bastard
Homestretch

12.10.11
Transitions Art Gallery - Tampa, FL

Ceremony
No Friends
Feral Babies

 

* due to delays at the pressing plant, this is now scheduled for February 7, sorry for any inconvenience

Perfume Genius: new album Put Your Back N 2 It, and new song All Waters



(photo by Angel Ceballos)

COMING FEBRUARY 21: The second album from Seattle's PERFUME GENIUS, entitled Put Your Back N 2 It. Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, is a Seattle singer-songwriter whose 2010 debut Learning established him as one of the most endearing and quietly forceful performers today.

Though Learning’s voyeuristic window into Hadreas’s experiences resonated intensely with many people, Put Your Back N 2 It is much more universal, addressing intimacy, power, family, secrecy, and hope, not just through his impressionistic lyrics, but the music itself, which is as lush as Learning was stark.



Track list:

1. Awol Marine
2. Normal Song
3. No Tear
4. 17
5. Take Me Home
6. Dirge
7. Dark Parts
8. All Waters
9. Hood
10. Put Your Back N2 It
11. Floating Spit
12. Sister Song

Check out the song "All Waters" at the link below:

All Waters (192k mp3)

The album was recorded in England and Seattle with Andrew Morgan and John Goodmanson.

Perfume Genius is currently on tour with the new three-piece lineup on the East Coast of the US, with Beirut:

Monday - 05 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
Wednesday - 07 - Athens, GA - The Georgia Theatre
Thursday - 08 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
Saturday - 10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar
Sunday - 11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar
Tuesday - 13 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
Wednesday - 14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

Preorder the new album from Matador
Preorder the CD from Amazon
Preorder the LP from Amazon
turnstilemusic.net/artists/perfume-genius
Perfume Genius on Facebook

Costello : My New Box Set's A Rip Off



The former Declan McManus was once famously dubbed "Elvis Cosdildo" in a piece of Crypt Records propaganda some years ago, but I suspect there's a particular point that even Tim Warren and the ever prolific Costello might see eye to eye on, to wit, the suggested list price of Costello & The Imposters' 'The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook' being obscenely high (ie. $262.00).  Calling the sum, "either a misprint or a satire", Elvis weighs in with the following ;

All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step.

If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” - a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.

The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.

If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.

To which I'll only add that while we've had no talks with Yo La Tengo about any sort of commercially available document of their own attempts to (ahem) reinvent The Wheel, I can pledge to you, the music-loving public that if such a thing ever comes to pass, you'll PAY NO MORE THAN $250.00. 

Fucked Up will tour with the Foo Fighters, headlining the Bruise Cruise in February



In under a week, Fucked Up will be touring with the Foo Fighters in Australia. They return our hemisphere in February (2/10-13) to headline the second annual Bruise Cruise (for which Damian will also act as the Cruise Director)

Check out all the dates and details below.

Fri, Dec 2 , 2011 , Melbourne  , AU , AAMI Park (with Foo Fighters)
Sat, Dec 3 , 2011 , Melbourne  , AU , AAMI Park (with Foo Fighters)
Mon, Dec 5 , 2011 , Adelaide  , AU , Cricket Ground (with Foo Fighters)
Thu, Dec 8 , 2011 , Sydney  , AU , Football Stadium (with Foo Fighters)
Fri, Dec 9, 2011, Brisbane, AU, Alhambra Lounge (FU headlining)
Sat, Dec 10 , 2011 , Gold Coast  , AU , Metricon Stadium (with Foo Fighters)
Tue, Dec 13 , 2011 , Auckland  , AU , Western Springs  (with Foo Fighters)

Tue, Dec 20, 2011, Toronto, CA, The Great Hall (performing 'David Comes To Life')

Fri, Feb 10 - 13 2012 ,  Miami FL - Nassau Bahamas    Bruise Cruise Festival (with King Khan & The Shrines, The Soft Pack, The Dirtbombs, Thee Oh Sees, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Mikal Cronin, The Togas and more)

Girls - For No One session debuts

Today For No One, along with Refinery 29, brings us a lovely rendition of "Love Like A River" from Father, Son, Holy Ghost. The album is on sale for $6.99 at Amazon (the sale ends tomorrow, so hurry!). The session:



As announced, Girls will release an insane new 7" on December 6th, and you can pre-order it now.

Finally, Girls have two of their biggest ever US shows coming up soon: Tuesday December 6th at the Fonda in LA (tickets) and Saturday Jan 14th at Terminal 5 in NYC (buy tickets or win them from Refinery 29). If you live in Santa Ana, you aren't left out, either.

Sopa de lima



Sopa de lima, or lime soup, is a Yucatecan dish. This version is from Wednesday's New York Times article by David Tanis, a welcom reprieve from a rather sad front page piece focusing on gluttony... did you know it takes a 42-mile walk to burn off the calories from a typical Thanksgiving feaast, blahhhhhh I don't care.



Obviously you can use the leavings from any poultry feast. However as Tanis points out, turkeys were domesticated in Mexico centuries earlier than they were here, and even exported to Europe before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. Still, the hard part is the first part: roast a large bird and have sufficient leavings. In this case, I had roasted a 14-pound turkey using a combination of the Russ Parsons dry brine and Elmer Grossman's Hungarian-American steam-foil-bag technique from Saveur, and had a hefty, meaty carcass, an unused neck (long story) and quite a few meaty bones.



I simmered these into a broth as per Tanis's recommendation last night. I also left some tortillas from one of the vendors at Essex Street Market out to stale. That was the limit of my prep - most of the rest of the stuff was here around the house.



The recipe calls for roasting and grinding cumin, coriander seed and black pepper, which go into a mirepoix of (white) onion, celery and carrot, along with a cinnamon stick, garlic and salt. (Sidenote: when did Mexican and Caribbean cuisines pick up these spices? Presumably from the India trade, because cumin, coriander seed, black pepper and cinnamon are so clearly subcontinental in origin? Or?) You add the broth to that and simmer 15 minutes - an intoxicating 15 minutes, I might add. A man explained to me on Thanksgiving Day that smelling food is one-half the way to eating it, and he is absolutely right.



The rest is completely straightforward and as per Tanis's article. I put in a pinch of Mexican oregano because I had some and because Diana Kennedy calls for it in her recipe which is, however, entirely different. The one thing I'd add is that you should not stint on the salt, even if you started with a well-brined turkey and despite the fact that the recipe calls for unsalted broth. Whatever salt is in the turkey is well diluted by the 12 cups of water, and you will need plenty more.



I love how green the garnishes are in certain Mexican dishes. I completely spaced on the avocado - it would have been nice, I'm sure, but I didn't miss it. This dish is just fantastic.

Operation Matador



From the Paris Desk:
Thanksgiving in Paris with Cat Power at Le Studio....
What amazing tunes will be revealed ?
Stay tuned, vibes are strong
CL

Get To Know Your Local Indie Retailer Vol. 1 - Origami Vinyl

A few weeks back we posted a little piece about how - contrary to the general perception - there are plenty of independent record stores out there who are doing just fine. That post was met with such excited fervor that we've decided to go one step further and profile some of those stores who are out there in your town, slinging rock and taking names. For our first installment we caught up with Neil Schield, owner of one of our favorite new record shops, Origami Vinyl in Los Angeles; a small store who pack a ton of punch and are really beginning to cultivate their own community in the Echo Park area.

1. Tell us briefly about your store.
Origami Vinyl is a new and used vinyl shop located in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. We opened on April 3rd, 2009 and feature a ton of amazing in-stores, a robust selection of local music, and are very active in our local community. Our shop is only 400 square feet but packs in a very diverse curated collection of independent music from a wide range of genres.



2. What got you into the independent record store business?
It started as a dream in high school that became more of a fantasy once I started my career in the music industry out of college. After being in the industry for 10 years, I was laid off twice within a matter of 2 years. I was pretty over the whole corporate landscape. Down and out and not sure where to take my career, I had a yard sale to purge some things I didn’t need, including a bunch of LPs that my parents had given me that I didn’t really listen to. That yard sale changed my life. Within hours I had sold nearly 40 records and was amazed by how many people were interested in the records I didn’t want. An old man who lived across the street came over in amazement that I had records. He had a little building in front of his house that used to be a store front. I made some joke to him that he should let me rent that front building out and turn it into a record store. He laughed and said no.

But something in me started to think that maybe it wasn’t such a far fetched idea. A couple weeks later I really started to give the dream much more thought and approached the old man again. He politely declined, but I was determined to figure this thing out. I went down the street to my friend Jeff’s bar, El Prado in Echo Park. He asked me what I had been up to and I told him about my subsequent layoffs. He asked what my next plans were, and I said I was having this crazy idea about opening a record store. His eyes lit up and he told me that him and Mitchell Frank, who also co-own The Echo, had just purchased the building next door to The Echo and were looking for a tenant. The record store would be perfect there. The next morning we met at the space and shook hands on it.  Within 9 months, on April 3rd, 2009, the shop opened it’s doors.

3. Who are some of your favorite contemporary stores?
Mississippi Records in Portland is by far my favorite. I love the personality of that shop. It's so small and quaint, yet has such a tremendous amount of amazing music.  I really respect Aquarius Records in San Francisco. They are one of the best shops to turn you on to unknown/obscure music. I've always enjoyed their level of knowledge and recommendations.

4. How have things been going from a business perspective?
It's pretty crazy. I never was sure what to expect. I didn't lay out a business plan or anything, but we have been blown away by the amount of support, press, and foot traffic that come through our shop. It's been the most fulfilling decision I have ever made in my life. I'm constantly learning all the nuances of owning a retail shop and the unpredicatbility of sales trends, but the challenge makes it that much more fun.

5. What do you think spells the survival for an independent record store today?
Community. It's our mission to be as active with our local community as possible. As a record store I believe you have to have some sort of responsibility to support your local music scene. We pride ourselves on that. Any band that wants to take the time to release something on vinyl, our doors are open for them to sell it here, promote it here, play an in-store here. Without local independent bands we wouldn't exist.

In addition to this its extremely important to get involved with local non-profit organizations, support local education institutions, work with other local retailers and the chambers of commerce, and DJ at local venues and bars.

I also believe the future of independent record stores must be based on smaller, more curated, neighborhood shops, than big, huge warehouses of music. There's been a major movement over the course of the last few years to support small local retailers, and we feel that. People really appreciate customer service. Having an approachable, knowledgeable staff, that get excited that they share the same interests as the customer is extremely important.

6. What are some of the coolest thing labels have done with you? Instores? Promotions? Sales?
The most memorable and maybe the most infamous, was our in-store with Jonsi. Not only was it the most amazing performance we've ever hosted, but the fact that it will never happen again was pretty special. I feel bad that he was so uncomfortable being so close to his fans, but at the same time, I hope he realizes in retrospect how magical that night was for everyone that witnessed it.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.



Another rad thing is 2 months after the store opened, we had one of my favorite bands of all time, Sonic Youth, completely take over the shop to celebrate their album, The Eternal. SY came up with a new store name and sign, hand selected their favorite records to sell and had 2 bands they curated to play the shop. It was insane!

Other than, we have hosted numerous epic in-stores with bands like Florence and the Machine, Superchunk, Ben Harper, Holy Fuck, Lou Barlow, Entrance Band, Dengue Fever, Youth Lagoon, Yuck, Male Bonding, The Strange Boys, Eleanor Friedberger, J Tillman, The Growlers, and so many more.

7. Why do we need record stores?
Because we're fun people to loiter with.

8. What kind of taco is your favorite?
Al Pastor from Taco Zone in Echo Park.

9. Who are your top 3 favorite bands right now?
I'd say the top 3 albums of the year for me are from Bill Callahan, PJ Harvey, and Tune-Yards.

10. What is your favorite thing about your store? And you can't say the customers. That's like saying Einstein or Ghandi when asked "If you could meet one person, living or dead..."
Knowing that my dream came true.

11.Tell us about the used and collectible action you have going on over there?
We are pretty selective about what we bring in but we have some gems right now from Can, dEUS, Tom Waits, The Germs, Chuck Berry, Felt, Amon Duul, Kraut, Galaxie 500, Godflesh, Sun Ra, Mogwai, Lydia Lunch and more!


12. What are your goals for the future of your store? Long term and short.
Short term: Open an online store that focuses on LA based bands and artists. Long term: Origami East...hello Brooklyn!?

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