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.

SWells : Harp "Licked Musician Ass Until It's Tongue Bled"

Middle age has taught me that regardless of my current views on the state of print media, nobody wants to hear about the good old days reading Suburban Relapse and Sick Teen 'til 4am whilst surrounded by vomiting kitty-cats. Look, I already know that Rusty Clarke and Mission Of Burma excepted, most everything I used to love has completely gone to shit. Fortunately for the rest of you, however, former NME/current Guardian scribe Steven Wells (above) isn't quite prepared to take the death of modern rock criticism lying down. "Once music journalism was the playground of punks, pirates, arse bandits, chancers, hardcore lesbian punk bondage freaks, revolutionaries, drug addicts and the borderline insane," writes Wells in the current Philadelphia Weekly. Man, have you ever heard someone so romantic for the glory days of Alternative Press?

Three leading indie music magazines have bitten the dust since the beginning of the year. The spectacularly dull No Depression, the stunningly uninteresting Resonance and the jaw–droppingly mediocre Harp have all recently gone to that great Belle and Sebastian disco in the sky. All of which is great news for anybody who hates mediocrity.

Harp founder Scott Crawford was actually proud of how timid and unambitious and bland his baby was. He described Harp as ”a nice middle ground between the indie–centric Magnet and the dad–rockin’ Paste,” which is not so much a manifesto as a prenatal death rattle.

Full disclosure: I worked for Harp for a while. Publisher Glenn Sabin recently described the magazine as ”irreverent.” It wasn’t. It licked musician ass until its tongue bled. The line ”Joe Strummer must be laughing his rotting cock off,” was cut from a review I wrote of an embarrassingly necrophiliac Clash re–reissue box set because it was ”disrespectful.” And the editor who hired me—admittedly a rampaging punk rock lunatic—was told to clear his desk and vacate the building immediately.

Eventually the dullards reached a dull critical mass. They formed hundreds of dull, white, sexless and punchably smug suburban bands. And they started magazines with names like No Depression and Harp and Resonance and Corduroy. Yes there really is a magazine called Corduroy. One imagines they passed on Beige as too incendiary and Cardigan as just a shade too fucking exciting.

Dead Meadow - Chicago!

Hey Chicago!

You get TWO chances to see Dead Meadow this weekend!

Saturday - May 3rd

1. 3:30 FREE in-store at the Apple Store on N. Michigan Ave.

2. Later that night at The Abbey!

More Dump.

Last week, Dump made a rare live appearance at Maxwell's.  I took a photo as proof.  Dump!Regarding the 7" Gerard so kindly posted about below, you can also get it on the Dump myspace page and in the Matador Store! Love,Jennifer 

New Jennifer O'Connor/Dump Split 7"

shown above, the latest 7" from Jennifer's own Kiam label :   Jennifer O'Connor - "I Was A Race Car Driver", b/w "I Was So Wrong" (Dump remix) and Dump's version of Rose Royce's "I Wanna Get Next To You".  Sleeve art by Mr. James McNew, all copies on beautiful white wax.  Jennifer's peddling these gems for $5 (+ $2 for U.S. shipping), with full details available at the Kiam MySpace page.

West coast burgers — another try

I've recently been obsessing about West Coast burgers, which typically use thinner patties, more toppings and place a greater emphasis on proportion than those from around here. East Coast burgers can be as thick as baseballs, the emphasis is on grilling and quality of meat, and individuals put on their own condiments. My attempt to combine the two failed miserably, so this time I tried to go purist.

For meat I chose fatty ground chuck (grass-fed) from Ceriello's at Grand Central. I formed 4 patties where I would usually make 2 (from slightly under two-thirds of a pound of beef), handling them as little as possible, and making them very thing. Burgers contract and puff up during cooking, so these had to be extremely thin.

I heated a well-seasoned cast iron griddle pan to very high, rubbed it with a little butter, and placed my patties in it. Simultaneously I put English muffins in the toaster. I would have preferred to use the kind of egg-flour (or is it potato-flour?) rolls that you get out West, but these are not the kind of things you can buy at Grand Central or my local deli, and I didn't have time to hit the supermarket. Not that a NYC supermarket would be a slam-dunk for finding those either.

All my eating is really just trying to find an excuse to eat bread-and-butter pickles. But they really are a necessary condiment for West Coast hamburgers.

Other condiments included lettuce, ketchup, French's yellow mustard (pictured) and thinly sliced sweet onion (not).

Result was beyond delicious. Though after second one I ran out of English muffins. Next time I need to apply American cheese (an obvious gaffe here), and that mysterious and wonderful substance SWEET RELISH.

Found! The Real Party Doctor!

A little more malevolent than my mental pic of the good doc, but still follows the script. I'd like to think he'd ride the deer to safety or something....

Missing man found dressed like doctor with dead deer in stolen ambulance

Posted September 28 2005, 9:43 AM EDT

JACKSONVILLE -- A man reported missing from a Florida hospital was found in

North Carolina dressed like a doctor and driving a stolen ambulance with a dead

deer wedged in the back, authorities said.

Leon Holliman Jr., 37, was reported missing from a River Region Human Services

facility in Jacksonville last month. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol found

him driving the ambulance with the deer on Sunday.

``I don't know how the man got it up in there,'' said Sgt. Robert Pearson. ``It

was a six point buck.''

It wasn't known where Holliman got the deer, which had been dead for some time, Pearson said.

Authorities tracked the stolen ambulance through three rural North Carolina counties and one county in southern Virginia before its tires were punctured and it wound up in a ditch, Pearson said.

Holliman was admitted to a North Carolina hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Police said they would decide whether to charge Holliman after that evaluation is complete.

Jicks From Above

For those of us who didn't spend the weekend baking away in the Coachella sun, a friend of the Matablog sent along some photos of our first experiment with skywriting. To celebrate Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks' performance we emblazoned the skies with their name. It went so well that we'll be floating triumphantly above every summer festival this year! Keep an eye on the sky!

Incidentally, we are currently running a Stephen Malkmus Bundle Sale. You can get all 4 Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks CDs (Stephen Malkmus, Pig Lib, Face The Truth, Real Emotional Trash) plus a free rare 7" flexi of "Jojo's Jacket", all for $40. Supplies of the flexi-7" are very limited.

Order HERE

Times New Viking To Tour The (Western) World.

Time to line up all you pretty people, Times New Viking are coming in for the kill. Ugly people you need not worry, TNV have lined up over 2 months of tour dates for you. Miscreants, child prodigies, Rock n Roll hall of famers, Lebron James and music fans the world over are encouraged to attend as well. And to all who are worried that they may just be too pretty for Times New Viking, well simply look in the mirror and repeat after me..."I'm good enough and I'm smart enough and darn it people like me". That always seems to answer any questions we have.

Fri, May 09 Proud Gallery, London (Vice Calling)
Sun, May 11 All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands (ATP vs. Pitchfork)
Mon, May 12 Louisiana, Bristol
Wed, May 14 Barden's Boudoir, Dalston, London
Thur, May 15 Old Blue Last, London (Stag & Dagger Festival)
Fri, May 16 Great Escape Festival, Brighton (DiS stage)
Sat, May 17 Great Escape Festival, Brighton (Bosh)
Mon, May 19 Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (plus Super Furry Animals DJs)
Tues, May 20 Korova, Liverpool
Wed, May 21 Corsica Studios, London (with Lovvers)
Thur, May 22 The Common Place, Leeds
Fri, May 23 Studio 24, Edinburgh
Sat, May 24 Captain's Rest, Glasgow
Mon, May 26 Andrew's Lane Theatre, Dublin
Sat, May 31 Primavera Sound '08, Barcelona

Wed, June 04 Bloomington, IN Waldron Art Center
Thur, June 05 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
Fri, June 06 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
Sat, June 07 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
Mon, June 09 Missoula, MT The Badlander
Tues, June 10 Seattle, WA Neumo's
Wed, June 11 Portland, OR Doug Fir
Fri, June 13 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Sat, June 14 Visalia, CA Howie & Sons Pizza
Sun, June 15 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
Tues, June 17 San Diego, CA Casbah
Wed, June 18 Tempe, AZ Modified
Thur, June 19 El Paso, TX Hush Gallery
Fri, June 20 Austin, TX Emo's
Sat, June 21 Dallas, TX Club Dada
Sun, June 22 Memphis, TN Hi Tone
Mon, June 23 Atlanta, GA The Earl
Wed, June 25 Washington, DC Rock N Roll
Thur, June 26 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's
Fri, June 27 New York, NY Whitney Museum
Sat, June 28 Providence, RI The Living Room
Sun, June 29 Boston, MA Great Scott
Mon, June 30 Montreal, QUE Divan Orange
Tues, July 01 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern
Sun, July 20 Chicago, IL Pitchfork Festival

On Behalf Of Sammy Hagar, We Demand A Recount

(we all have different ways of coping with disappointment)

It's a good thing American insurance companies don't commission these sort of polls --- you don't see the folks at Blender hawking cheap policies, do you?  From the Daily Mail :

Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" was voted the number one driving anthem in a survey of more than 2,000 motorists, it was revealed yesterday.

However, the song was unlikely to awaken the speed demons. The survey, by Saga Motor Insurance, found drivers who listened to blues numbers were most likely to be caught speeding.

And comparatively mild country songs were the next most likely to induce drivers to speed, followed by reggae and hip-hop, and then classical.

According to the poll 49 per cent of those who listened to blues and 45 per cent who tuned in to country had committed a speeding offence.

Runner-up to Meat Loaf in the in-car charts was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, with Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild third and Queen's Don't Stop me Now fourth.

It's An All-Matmos Friday (So Far, Anyway) : New European Dates Confirmed

june 08

6 bristol venn festival
8 london beaconfield gallery
9 london beaconfield gallery with carter/tutti
12 dublin future days festival
15 amsterdam holland festival special program stockhausen mikrophonie
17 berlin festhall kreuzberg with carter / tutti
18 praha archa teatro
19 wienna szene wien
20 lubljana teatro
21 barcelona sonar festival

Matmos - Video for "Exciter Lamp and the Variable Band"

from the upcoming LP/CD 'Supreme Balloon' due out May 6, directed by M.C. Schmidt.

(preorder album)

Matador & Jay Reatard : This Is What We Like To Call A Press Release

(photo by Jeff Allen)

Matador is pleased to announce the signing of a multi-album, worldwide, exclusive recording agreement with prolific Memphis people person Jay Reatard. The label was already engaged in a series of limited-edition 7" releases, to be compiled on CD for fall release. The first 7", "See/Saw," is already sold out; the second, "Painted Shut," is due out on May 20. Jay will be recording in August for a brand-new studio album out in early 2009. (His former label, In The Red, is releasing a compilation of early singles in June.)

Shearwater - 'Rook' Tour, Starting June 13

(above, sleeve art to the limited edition "Rooks" b/w "The Rainbow" 7", available starting at the May 5 Florence Gould Concert Hall show in NY)

As we're getting ready for the June 3 release of Shearwater's 'Rook' LP/CD, major live events in New York and Austin and a May tour supporting Clinic, we'd be remiss if we didn't spill the beans on a headlining tour starting in June :

13-Atlanta @ Earl
14-Chapel Hill @ Local 506
15-Washington DC @ Black Cat
17-Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda's
19-Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
21-Danbury, CT @ Heirloom Arts Theatre
24-Chicago, IL @ Mansion
27-Fort Worth, TX @ Lola's

Further U.S. dates, and quite likely some UK/European activity, will be detailed shortly.

Rescheduled Cat Power Dates, Pt. I

Hey...we'll have news about the US dates that are being moved to October pretty soon. Until then, the following shows, previously planned for this week, have been rescheduled as follows :

Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues

Mon    05.05.08     Mexico City (MX)    Lunario
Wed    05.07.08     Bogotá (CO)    Teatro ECCI

In Case You Didn't Check Out TV Guide Today

Tonight on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien", Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew ---- otherwise known as internationally famous pop trio Yo La Tengo --- will serve as part of the backing ensemble for Merge recording artists She & Him, aka M. Ward and Zoey Deschanel.

She & Him are not to be confused with the obscure noise rock due You & It, nor the semi-popular Y&T.

Dead Meadow - Free Apple Chicago In-Store!

Dead Meadow is going to play a Free in-store at the Apple Store on North Michigan Ave in Chicago!

Saturday, May 3rd at 3:30pm!

Mission Of Burma — "Trem Two" — Live 1983


Extracted from the companion DVD to 'Vs.' Live at their final all-ages show in Boston at the Bradford Hotel, March 12, 1983.

Jaguar Love (Hearts) The West Coast...

...and the West Coast shall (heart) them. It is written! Consider it confirmed!

Sunday, May 25, 2008                Pomona, CA                Glass House
Tuesday, May 27, 2008                Los Angeles, CA            The Echo
Wednesday, May 28, 2008        San Diego, CA                    Beauty Bar
Thursday, May 29, 2008              San Francisco, CA           Popscene
Friday, May 30, 2008                    Modesto, CA                             Fat Cat
Saturday, May 31, 2008                Eugene                            The Indigo District
Monday, June 02, 2008                Vancouver, BC                      Richards on Richards
Tuesday, June 03, 2008                Portland, OR                      Hawthorne Theatre
Wednesday, June 04, 2008        Seattle, WA                             Neumos

"Bats Over The Pacific Ocean" (mp3)

Do They Know It's Record Store Day?

On my trip up to SUNY Purchase this weekend to see Fucked Up I stopped off in Port Chester, the last town in New York on the Long Island Sound before you hit the Connecticut border. To my and Dean's surprise, the town is totally Latin American now... almost all the businesses were Peruvian, Ecuadorean, Colombian or Mexican. Pupuserias, grosserias, a "meateria" and lots of long-distance phone card places. We had a nice Peruvian meal - half pollo a la brasa, that spicy green sauce, some potatoes in a thick yellow sauce with half hard-boiled eggs, sopa de pescado, and Mexican coke (made with sugar instead of corn syrup).

Of course it was Record Store Day and we wished we could have visited Vinyl Solution but it went out of business a long time ago, so instead we checked out 2 bootleg CDR/DVD shops with tons of chicha and cumbia CDRs. We tried to explain to the owners that it was Record Store Day but our Spanish wasn't good enough, and that made me think that someone should record a song called "Do They Know It's Record Store Day?" and we will give a special Matador prize to the best version. Submit MP3s to [email protected], please. (Only of that song.)

The cultural contrast between Port Chester and Purchase (and especially the town in between, Harrison) was extreme, even more Greenwich to the north of it. I need to get out to the suburbs more - they're getting weirder.

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