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.
Pity The Poor Telemarketers
(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)
It's Official: Las Vegas Is Really Freakin' WeirdThis 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:
Seriously, though, the Pinball Hall of Fame was awesome - after many games of Paperboy, Simpsons Pinball Party and many others, I was ready to take on PUNK! - unfortunately, it wasn't that impressive:
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.
Jennifer O'Connor - Daytrotter Session
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
(above dates supporting Mason Jennings)
October 11 - North Star Bar, Philadelphia, PA
October 13 - Mercury Lounge, NYC, NY
October 14 - Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
October 15 - Bar Night Club, New Haven, CT
(above dates supporting Portastatic)
Nuclear War, It's A Motherfucker
Can someone please text or IM this guy to let him know that Yo La Tengo's 'I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass' is coming out on September 12, 2006...and we'd really, really appreciate it if he'd put a muzzle on this armageddon talk, at least until after the first weeks' Soundscan is in? Thanks!
It's Never Too Late For A Big Life Change
Huh. Well, if Bill O'Reilly needs somewhere to hang out on Yom Kippur, it's atonement-central over at my place.
Early Man - Philly, NYC Dates With Venom
(Mike Conte of Early Man, photo by Cars-R-Coffins)
Early Man will be playing the following Eastern USA dates supporting Venom.
September 5 - Irving Plaza, NY
September 8 - Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
Goatwhore will be 2nd on both nights.
Early Man at MySpace
Early Man - "Death Is The Answer" video
Early Man - "Evil Is" (mp3)
Venom - Live At City Gardens (mp3, link taken from WFMU's Beware Of The Blog)
JO'C ACTIONToday 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 [email protected] 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:
"Whatever it is, this is one of the best albums of the year." Ken Swizter, VILLAGE VOICE
"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:
Label Head Pleads Guilty To GBH
After Mogwai's blistering set at La Route du Rock, I tore into Barry's bottle of Scotch. The backstage area was an ancient Barn of Stone, which in my opinion, was the perfect locale for a rumble!
I know John pinned me to the ground, and I admit the fucker is strong but I was drunk! Anyway, this is what happens when you don't let the boss win : your head goes bam! into L' Ancienne Stone Wall!
Pretty Girls Make Graves - exclusive iTunes EPPretty Girls Make Graves, as captured in the creative hotbed of Los Angeles, CA, 4 songs, $3.96. But you can't put a pricetag on the wonderful feelings deep inside this EP will stir.
1) Pyrite Pedestal
2) The Number
3) Pictures Of A Night Scene
4) Domino Dub Mix
available now from the iTunes Music Store.
New Burma MP3; discographies updated
We've posted a second MP3 from the astonishing new Mission Of Burma album 'The Obliterati.' Entitled "Donna Sumeria," it's in many ways a departure from any work they've done before (and most of the other songs on the album). It was not included in the 'Punctuate' 12" series and therefore was not streamed on htttp://www.obliterati.net either.
Check it out on the Burma music page and let us know what you think (or better yet, just go buy the album - you'll thank yourself):
On another site update note, Nick has posted ultra-complete discographies for most of our active artists. Check the Matador Bulletin Board for the notices of which ones he's gotten to so far, and post there to let us know what releases we've missed (or post here). Or just surf around the site to check active artists' discography pages. Nick's done great work, but this is something you can definitely help us on, especially when it comes to non-Matador releases. Thanks in advance.
"It's Not 1978 Anymore"from Billboard.com's Jonathan Cohen :
Kiss vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley has inked with Universal's New Door imprint for the release of his first solo album since his self-titled 1978 debut (above). "Live To Win" is due Oct. 24; Stanley will support it with a club tour this fall.
"It's not 1978 anymore," Stanley told Billboard.com of the album last November. "It's certainly the same mentality, and certainly I'm a better singer today. My perspective and where I'm at in my life at this point, and what I've experienced and seen, brings something else to the table that wasn't there then. But I still look back on that album as a really great snapshot of who I was and what I was doing then."
Though I'm sure I am not alone in the Matador family in wishing Paul the best of luck with his new recordings, I do fear that no matter how awesome solo album no. 2 is likely to be, it will pale in comparison with Postpunk Junk's sadly no-longer-available 'People Let Me Get This Off My Chest' zip file, an inspiring collection of P.S.'s patented brand of between-song spiel.
I don't wish to tell the talented people at Universal how to do their jobs, but I am certain if they were to include 'People...' as a bonus CD with initial quantities of Paul's latest opus, their first week sales would crack four figures.
Noise Noise NoiseWhen Lucy told us who was supporting Matmos (with Zeena Parkins) at their upcoming London show, I got so giddy that she and Mike could only gaze at me, horrified, as I drooled between exhortations of excitement. As Matador UK's resident noise enthusiast, the news that Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker will be putting the digital smackdown on a pre-Matmos audience is as good as it gets.
Both mainstays of the now partly defunct other 'best record label beginning with M', Mego, Haswell and Hecker have been pushing the envelope for quite some time now. Russell Haswell, A&R for Mego, curated the Easy To Swallow club nights for All Tomorrow's Parties, bringing together people like Mark Stewart, Whitehouse, Autechre, Robert Hood, Earth, Aphex Twin etc for nights of uneasy dancing, and has recorded as Satanstornade with Masami Akita (Merzbow), which resulted in the best album cover ever. His 'Live Salvage' album on Mego is incredible. Florian Hecker (above), along with Yasonao Tone performed one of the most intensely visceral noise shows that I've ever witnessed. His masterpiece, 'Sun Pandamonium' is utterly, utterly terrifying. The centrepiece, 'Stocha Acid Zlook' sounds like pterodactyls swooping above you, with screaming victims in their mouths, occasionally getting close enough to draw blood from your ears. I am not mad, that's exactly what it sounds like. Hecker and Haswell have recorded together once - on the 'Revision' 12". 'Harrowing' is how I'd describe it.
Basically, I'm as excited as it's possible to be without bursting.
Insane Kraftwerk radio performance from Bremen 1971. The band featured the merry men from Neu! at that particular event so yes, indeed, you need to investigate this.
Hat Tip: Brian Turner/WFMU
On a more contemporary level, a truly great live show from Finland's finest, Circle (well, never forget the mighty Hurriganes, of course, or, er, The Rutto, for that matter), from their triumphant 2006 US tour.
Hat Tip: No Quarter
Very Funny, But At Least We're Not Responsible For April Wine
Nothing like a low blow or 2 directed at the lower 48 to get your weekend started (link courtesy Boing Boing). Even if Bruce McCulloch got to the point a little faster.
Paging Stuart Murdoch!In the snail mail days, this would've made the Matador Wall Of Shame, easy.
We are currently looking for 6 artists to write 6 songs over the course of the next six months with Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe. We are looking for songs to be written that can go from rock to alt to pop.
Please contact Jason Spies with questions and or artist submissions:
10th Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music
568 Broadway, Suite 608
New York, NY 10012
p: (212) 334-3160 ext. 107
f: (212) 334-3285
Motley Crue* Meat Loaf* Blondie* Yes* Everclear* The New Cars* Hanson* Buckcherry* Marion Raven* Jonny Lives* Exies*
Retreat Hell, I Just Got Here. Sometimes, You've Gotta Kill The Good VibesMatt Ashare of the Boston Phoenix, on TV On The Radio recent appearance at a free Boston gig supporting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
TV on the Radio had to go and ruin the good vibes by ending their set with a salvo against the Marines, who had signed on as one of the event’s sponsors. Now this is no place for a political rant, but it’s worth noting — no, it’s crucial to understand, lest we fully repeat the mistakes of Viet Nam — that the Marines, Army reserves, and Navy and Air Force pilots currently fighting George Bush’s wars in the Middle East are doing just that, carrying out plans handed down by their commander in chief and doing their best not to get the asses blown to hell in the process. Soldiers take orders: they don’t make policy. To blame them for the mess in Iraq is to tacitly let the bureaucrats and politicians really responsible for the debacle off the hook.
I wasn't at the gig, so I'll have to take Ashare's word about the rant in question. But differentiating between George W. and the rank & file doesn't address the issue of whether or not TVOR --- or any band with a conscience, brain or guts --- should be a-ok with a military recruiting presence at their show. If the Phoenix has no problem with it, that's their decision to make, but if the band wanted to disassociate themselves from the sponsor, I'm not unsympathetic.
It should also be mentioned there's a sure-fire way to avoid carrying out the plans of the Commander In Chief and not get your ass blown to hell in the process : don't join the military.
More Fun from the World of Music JournalismThose bastions of corporate journalistic integrity - that's right, MTV News (a division of Viacom, Inc.) - are reporting the following hilariousness involving the new Mastodon album:
There's a certain English journalist that Mastodon's drummer, Bränn Dailor (above), would love to meet. But there'd be no handshake between the two men, given the Brit is the one behind the online leak of the Atlanta metallers' forthcoming album, Blood Mountain, last week.
"Hopefully one day, he'll introduce himself," Dailor joked about the journalist, who claimed he was one of the band's biggest fans. "[Our record label] traced it back to the guy who did it, and he got fired from wherever he was working. It's just so stupid. And it's such a sh---y copy. It sounds like sh--. I'm not concerned with record sales, because I think that if anyone's looking for it online to download it and listen to it, when it comes out [on September 12], they'll buy it anyways. They're fans.
"My problem is, I can equate it to when I was 11 years old," he continued, relaying a story about discovering his Christmas presents in his mother's closet a month before the holiday. "I wrapped it all back up, and then Christmas came, and I went downstairs, and I knew everything I was going to get. And that sucked. It totally ruined the whole thing. Up until then, I had never done that before and I was always really excited to wake up and open that first present. But that wasn't awesome, and I never did it again.
"When I was a kid, you had to wait for that Iron Maiden record," he recalled. "The whole thing was, this is the day it comes out, and you cannot have it before that day. But these days, with the Internet, everything just leaks. I urge people not to download it if they see it there, but I understand if they do. I want people to be excited for it and to hear it for the first time and hear it the way it was supposed to be heard."
I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the new Mastodon, as are a lot of people, but I can wait. Though if it is anything like the Christmas Day when my mom got me the G.I. Joe USS Flagg Aircraft Carrier and the damn thing was missing half the parts, I can wait.
Furthermore, the MTV.com story has this hilarious tidbit about their recent video shoot:
Mastodon traveled 1,000 feet below the ground to complete the video inside Ruby Falls, and when it begins airing next month, expect to see lots of yetis, sasquatch and Dailor banging away on his drum kit under a 100-foot-tall, blood-red waterfall. Rej even shot footage atop Atlanta's Stone Mountain, with "a bunch of people in crazy yeti costumes and sh--," Dailor said. "We've cornered the market on the sasquatch and the yeti. No other band can use it."
Defunct yet totally awesome mid-1990s NYC band Ruby Falls and super-great Yeti publisher Mike McGonigal were unavailable for comment.
Headline Of The Day
Thank you, United Press International.