As mentioned previously in this space, Matador will be celebrating the label's 21st anniversary this October and this much we can finally confirm : there will be 3 nights of shows starting Friday October 1, and concluding Sunday October 3 at the Palms Casino & Resort In Las Vegas, NV. We'll be dropping further hints about the amazing lineup in the days ahead, but a final announcement and information about how to purchase tickets will be made here at the trusty Matablog on July 5. Are you as psyched as we are? (hopefully yes, because we're getting in for free).
(ADDENDUM - there's been a bit of confusion so just to clear things up, tickets DO NOT GO ON SALE JULY 5. We'll merely be announcing the on sale date/time on July 5. thanks - GC)
It's too hot to cook. It was 96 degrees F today in New York City! Here are a couple of non-labor-intensive dishes. Above is a pre-made, but very fresh, salad mix from a purveyor at the Union Square Greenmarket whose name escapes at the moment. It includes snow pea leaves, a variety of bitter greens, and flowers. I tried to do as little damage as possible with a small amount of good olive oil and red wine vinegar.
The illustration below shows Ruth Rogers's very simple carbonara from her River Cafe cookbook. It uses 3 egg yolks beaten into 60 ml double cream, and emerges flawless every time - much lighter and creamier than Marcella Hazan's version. I enlivened it with some freshly shelled peas - boiled, drained and sprinkled on top at the end.
Harlem take it to the people in the USA again starting this weekend, supporting The Dead Weather on the bulk of the dates:
Friday 25 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
Saturday 26 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
Tuesday 29 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Friday 02 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
Saturday 03 - Vancouver, BC - 917 Main
Sunday 04 - Portland, OR - East End
Friday 09 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo (Part Time Punks)
Saturday 10 - San Diego, CA - Bar Pink
Tuesday 13 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club w/The Dead Weather
Wednesday 14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues Boston w/The Dead Weather
Saturday 17 - Brooklyn, NY - Siren Fest
Monday 19 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues San Diego w/The Dead Weather
Wednesday 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium w/The Dead Weather
Thursday 22 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre w/The Dead Weather
Saturday 24 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom w/The Dead Weather
Sunday 25 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party Festival w/The Dead Weather
Monday 26 - Billings, MT - Babcock Theatre w/The Dead Weather
Wednesday 28 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue w/The Dead Weather
Thursday 29 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave w/The Dead Weather
Friday 30 - Chicago, IL - The Congress Theater w/The Dead Weather
Saturday 31 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore - Detroit w/The Dead Weather
Monday 02 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live! w/The Dead Weather
Tuesday 03 - Brooklyn, NY - Prospect Park Bandshell - Celebrate Brooklyn w/The Dead Weather
Saturday 07 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza & Empty Bottle w/Wavves
Thursday 09-11 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Fest
In the wake of bassist Carlos D's departure from the band following the completion of the new album, Paul, Daniel and Sam have augmented Interpol's touring lineup to included David Pajo (Slint, Papa M, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) on bass and Secret Machines' Brandon Curtis on keyboards. The new quintet will be on display starting tonight in Pittsburgh, with a number of additional dates just confirmed this morning. Though you can expect to see Interpol playing a ton of other North American cities this Autumn, the smaller club dates below are likely to sell out quickly.
Wednesday, June 23 - Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Theatre
Friday, June 25 - Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock
Saturday, June 26 - New York, NY, Creators Project Party, Milk Studios
Friday, July 23 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street Ballroom*
Saturday, July 24 - New Haven, CT - Toad's Place - +
Sunday, July 25 - Baltimore, MD - Ramshead Live - *
Thursday, July 29 - Richmond, VA - The National - +
Friday, July 30 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVA - +
Saturday, July 31 - Atlantic City, NJ - Showboat Atlantic City - House of Blues - #
Wednesday, August 04 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre - +
Thursday, August 05 - Boston, MA - House of Blues - +
Friday, August 06 - Clifton Park, NY - Northern Lights - #
Monday, August 09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis - #
Tuesday, August 10 - Toronto ON - Kook Haus - @
Wednesday, August 11 - Pontiac, MI - Clutch Cargo -+
Friday, August 13 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave - #
Saturday, August 14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue - *
Sunday, August 15 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre - #
Wednesday, August 18 - Charleston, SC - The Music Farm - +
Thursday August 19 - Lake Buena Vista FL - House of Blues - #
@ - on sale June 23
* - on sale June 24
+ - on sale June 25
# - on sale June 26
Interpol - official site
Yesterday, we dropped a bit of a bombshell (said in Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton voice), revealing the Monday release of the full length debut from Seattle songwriter/vocalist Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, 'Learning'. It's usually our habit to drop an MP3 or two prior to commercial availability and while we hardly regret embracing the element of surprise, at the end of the day, we are creatures of habit.
"Learning" (160k mp3)
'Learning' is available today on LP, CD, MP3 or FLAC from The Matador Store
"Heartbreaking, rip-your-toenails out bleakness is part of the charm...a fragile, fucked-up little wonder." (9/10), Camille Pia, NME
"'Learning' is a bruised and suggestive affair; of catharsis and rare, redemptive beauty, which ranks as one of the most uniquely endearing and quietly forceful debut albums of recent years." (9/10), James Skinner, Drowned In Sound
Today, Monday June 21*, Matador is releasing the debut full-length album (LP/CD/digital) from Seattle's Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius. 'Learning' is a home recording as stark, haunting and downright jarring as any we've heard ; harrowing personal stories laid atop unshakable minor-key melodies, we've been obsessed with Hadreas' songs for months and have a sneaking suspicion more than a few of you will have a similar reaction. Actually, a cursory trip around the the internet reveals all sorts of reactions, and while it would be tempting to cobble together the long and varied list of iconic artists Perfume Genius has already been compared to, none of that means anything compared to laying in bed listening to 'Learning' at 2am. If you'd prefer to go for a drive while playing the album, that's ok, too. We're not here to police your activity.
You can stream 'Learning' starting today at the Perfume Genius MySpace page. There are a pair of Perfume Genius shows in NYC next month ;
Tue, July 20 - 92Y, Tribeca, NY, NY (tickets)
Fri, July 23 - Glasslands, Brooklyn, NY (with Melati Malay) (tickets)
'Learning' is available today on LP, CD, MP3 or FLAC from The Matador Store
*- 'Learning' is available in the UK thru Turnstile
They are looking to enforce a noise limiter on the venue which would mean any amplified equipment played would trip the limiter and effectively end all live music at the Freebutt.
Over the years they've had a load of Matador bands play, with Fucked Up and Times New viking having played there recently and they've booked the Brighton show of the upcoming Shearwater tour, so it means a lot to us here to not see such a decent place go under. Although many of you reading this might be far away I'd urge you to take 2 minutes out of your day to sign the petition against this happening here and you can read more about the story on the Freebutt's blog. Thanks!
...to make way for the fish-preparation skills of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists bassist Marty Violence. Video clip courtesy of Food Punk.
I posted some time ago about Marcella Hazan's extremely simple (and not particularly Italian) roast chicken recipe. I make this all the time and have refined the procedure a bit. The result is absolute perfection these days.
Here's the modified recipe - the key is to observe the ratio of weight to cooking time to the letter, to really loosen and puncture the lemons (whose purpose I now understand better), and to follow the trussing instructions to a tee. The addition of good paprika adds a really nice color and a smoky undertone. The higher temperature at the end leaves you with a really golden-brown, crackly skin - just be sure to disable the smoke detector before that part.
one 2.85 - 3.85 lb whole chicken (preferably Murray's)
two small lemons
good, fresh Hungarian semi-sharp paprika (e.g. from The Spice House)
coarse sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove giblets and neck, pat chicken completely dry with paper towels, both inside and out. Put two tablespoons salt in a mortar, add a generous dump of the semi-sharp paprika, and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Grind with pestle. Season chicken thoroughly all over, inside and out. (You don't need to use all the seasoning - it may get too salty - just make sure you have covered with a thin layer.)
Wash and dry lemons, then loosen their insides by rolling them with both hands pressed firmly on top until you can feel that the juice is flowing. Pierce them deeply all over at least 20 times each with the trussing needle. Insert into cavity of chicken.
Sew chicken closed with 18" twine. If lemons don't quite fit, use skin flaps and the pope's nose to close the gap (I never remove any fat). Sew tightly. Truss legs tightly together so that they are pressed firmly against the breast (you may need the help of someone's finger to get the knot right).
Place chicken upside-down (legs facing DOWN) in a glass baking dish and put in oven. Cook for 30 minutes at 350.
Remove chicken from oven and rapidly turn over (legs facing UP). Return to oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes (for a 3-3.85 lb chicken) or for an additional 25 minutes (for an under-3 lb chicken).
Now turn heat up to 450. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carve. Save the juices that run onto the carving board and pour them over the chicken (and over the white rice, which I strongly recommend serving with this dish) - they are "perfectly delicious," to quote Marcella.
Note: No basting is needed! Again, to quote Marcella, "This bird is self-basting."
I'm not certain why this recipe is always such a success, but I think it's due to the following:
- The salt opens the pores inside the cavity
- The punctured lemons inside the trussed-up cavity baste the upside-down breast in the first phase, keeping it moist
- The trussed legs protect the breast from drying out on the other side
- Because the breast is both moist and protected, it's possible to cook the dark meat to the degree required for doneness
- The paprika lends the skin an appetizing reddish-brown color - appearance is a huge part of what makes things tasty!
Try it and report back!
Ted Leo's solo instore at Generation Records in the Village tonight was a huge success, rammed to the gills and featuring a full hour plus set. Ted played pre- and post- Pharmacists songs, including "One Polaroid A Day," "Ativan Eyes" and "The Mighty Sparrow" from his latest album The Brutalist Bricks. Ted also played Misfits, Eddie & The Hot Rods and Nick Lowe covers. It was one of the packed-est (and hottest) instores I've been to in some time, and the crowd was riveted.
Don't miss TL&RX dates coming up starting in Milford CT (easily reachable via Metro North, as Ted pointed out) tomorrow night - check the tours pages for more details. And keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming video for "Bottled In Cork" directed by Tom Scharpling. It promises to be memorable.
While at Generation we noticed some classic record store graffiti behind the counter that we had to photograph. Enjoy.
True Panther is incredibly excited to announce that on August 24th Magic Kids' debut album Memphis will see the bright, gleaming and summery light of day. Recorded in the Memphis studio of Doug Easley over the course of several months it is an attempt to re-frame the city, not as the home of musical eras long-gone, but a place where crumbling neighborhoods hidden BBQ places, and closed-down roller rinks are all enveloped by a thick summer air, and a sense of MAGIC.
What Magic Kids share with last century's masters- Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks-- is a belief in the promise of the pop song; in the ability to take a tiny and simple melodic gem, a small moment of wide-eyed sincerity, and translate it into something that is bursting with life. The arrangements and colors hinted at with their singles on Goner and Fat Possum, are in full bloom on the album. There are touches of late 80s Britpop, the Delphonics' heartbreaking harmonies, ELO's grandeur, and Belle & Sebastian's intimacy. And MEMPHIS. While home to artists that range across genres- the music of the city is honest, robust and joyful- often made by iconoclastic, rebellious and larger-than life musicians. This is the Memphis where Magic Kids were born, where Bennett, Al, Ben, Michael, and Will grew up playing in garage bands, hanging around Goner Records and listening to records. It's also the city that houses the orchestra of musicians they called upon to realize the sound and ambitions planned for this new collection of songs.
Memphis reminds us of some of the first exciting moments of becoming a lifelong music listener. The excitement, sounds, lush harmonies, and celebration. Their music isn't positive because of the difficulties of life, but in spite of them. They are close to our hearts because they believe that no matter what the circumstances are, deliberate hard work and ambition mixed with joyous honesty still make it possible to craft classic, beautiful, and eternal pop music.
This first song "Summer" is a slightly more restrained and nuanced than what you may have heard before. In the words of the band "this song isn't 'fun in the summertime' kind of summer, but more the wistful, fighting-loneliness-with-your-friends kind of summer." We felt like sharing this one because honestly, it's torture watching summer days blaze by without people having this mellow anthem at their disposal. So here we go. Enjoy the summer!
(Photo by Alejandra Sabillon)
There has been some complaining that the hot dog pics were making people feel too hungry or something, so I've uploaded this instructional placeholder image to bump them down to the next level. The person who was complaining sometimes looks like the guy with the tongue out in the middle, so hopefully this will offer some kind of matablog solace.
In the Pioneer Valley, the foot-long dog rules, served of course in top-loaded New England style buns. Tom's Hot Dogs in Whately, Mass. offers a steamed-foot-long, as shown above. I had one with yellow mustard and onion, one with ketchup and relish. Their homemade baked beans are also superb, redolent of molasses and flecked with pork and spices.
Not far away, in Leeds, Mass., is Scotti's, housed in a long, twin-peaked roadside building. Scotti's serves the same steamed franks (what brand are these?), but the recommended toppings here are chili and cheese:
The cheese is just very slightly melted from contact with the hot dog and the hot chili. The bun is not heated, grilled or steamed at all (very different from what you'd find in coastal New England). It's absolutely delicious, the dog's natural casing bursting with a crisp snap, and the aromatic chili and cheese just folding right in.
About an hour away, across the hills into the Berkshires, you can find the highly idiosyncratic Teo's Hotdog Restaurant. Located off the highway in a difficult-to-find, nondescript strip mall, Teo's is actually a super-real blue collar bar that also serves hot dogs. MINI-hot dogs:
It's normal to order 6-8 of these, and wash them down with an ice-cold Bud served in a chilled goblet. All the other diners gave every impression of having eaten there every Thursday for the past 20 years. The dogs came in top-loaded buns (which surprised me this close to New York State) with a fine, bitter chili and onion topping.
When I returned to the city I found myself possessed with the desire to make hot dogs. For some reason I bought top-loaded buns (which I do love) but Sabrett's hot dogs. Sabrett's are classic NYC all-beef wieners, the kind you get from stands around the city. When I first moved to New York in the '80s, Gerard, who had been living here for a couple of years, had become a hot dog connoisseur, and explained to me that the stands mainly sold two brands: Sabrett's and Golden "D". He preferred Sabrett's, as do I, and told me that the brand on the stand's umbrella could be misleading: you need to look at the brand on the sticker on the side of the stand. I'm not sure whether this rule still holds. In fact, I'm not sure that Golden "D" hot dogs are still made. I still love Sabrett's dogs, and unlike most of my friends and co-workers, am happy to get a "grey-water dog" from a stand around town, loaded up with brown mustard and sauerkraut and served on a steamed side-loading bun.
ANYWAY, I decided to grill the buns in butter like we do in Eastern Mass. and in Maine. Loaded 'em up with the Sabrett's dogs, which you cook by dropping into boiling water, bringing back to a boil, covering, and letting sit off the heat for 7 minutes. The first toppings I used were French's yellow mustard, ketchup and sweet relish, plus a side of bread and butter pickles:
Although the St. Peter's ale washed them down just fine, there was something schizophrenic about having a salty, garlicky all-beef New York hot dog with yellow mustard, ketchup and relish in a buttery, grilled New England roll!
Even the best hot dogs are really condiment delivery systems, so I pulled out everything I had in the fridge, including an extra large sack of super-adulterated, heavily flavored Sabrett's sauerkraut:
(Actually I forebore from pulling out European mustards, including two superb Irish ones that Fiona gave me - just seemed the wrong place for them.)
The magical combination for these dogs turned out to be the Sabrett's sauerkraut with Mr. Mustard's HOT mustard:
Love the design of that Mr. Mustard label. And of course, I steamed the buns this time - simply by putting them into a steaming steamer for about 45 seconds and then removing them with a pair of tongs.
This has been a brief survey of just a couple types of Northeastern hot dogs. There are of course many, many varieties nationwide, from Coney Islands to Michigans to char polishes. Serious Eats is doing a nationwide survey of them. I'm just going to name and link some of my favorite places:
Boston: First place mention has to go to the legendary Speed's Hot Dogs. But I'm also a huge fan of The Wieners Circle on North Clark. It even has its own Wikipedia entry now. Just heaven (and basically an entire salad) on a roll - one that magically holds together with perfect proportions and explosions of flavor.
Los Angeles: California dogs are wonderful. My favorite in SoCal was Tail o' the Pup, located in a building actually shaped like a hot dog. With typical lack of respect for their cultural heritage, the Californians have actually evicted the place. The structure has been put in storage for now. WTF? It's not like they don't have enough space down there. Not that New York is much better about this kind of thing (see: Gino's Italian Cuisine closing... to be replaced by a cupcake place called Sprinkles???!?! O tempora, o mores...)
HI. Most of you are probably aware by now that it's soccer season. Soccer season occurs when actual soccer season is over, and the world cup happens. Another thing that happens is charity soccer games. We are involved in one next week, and it's like this:
Right To Play is an international organization aimed at empowering and building skills of children in the developing world through sport, focusing specifically on girls, people with disabilities, children affected with HIV/AIDS, refugees and street kids. The organization uses soccer in 23 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America to promote things like education, health promotion and disease prevention, and community development.
When people say "sports are stupid", besides the fact that sports are in fact mostly great, this is one of the ways they are actually important as well. Sport is something that touches people everywhere on the planet, and is as culturally prevalent and important as music. The ridiculous global lead up to the world cup this year should help explain what I mean. Kids everywhere in the world want to lead happy and productive lives, and in most cases just want to play soccer.
Anyhow, we're taking part in a NXNE soccer (football) game next week to benefit Right To Play - a bunch of music people are playing against a bunch of industry people (you can see the lineup HERE) including Rick The Temp. Players are being sponsored individually to raise money, so if this sounds like the kind of thing that might be up your alley, you can go
to donate money, even if its like $5, or even if you are reading this blog in Djibouti on vacation.
And/Also if you are in Toronto, you can come watch the game. It's Sunday June 20th at BMO Field.
[via 10,000 Marbles' Looking For Gold blog]
The rock world has seen all sorts of momentous reunions no one would've predicted recently. Sammy Hager and Michael Anthony. DRI. The Faces with original vocalist Mick Hucknall and bassist Glen Matlock (hey, look it up!). But I feel very safe in saying none of the above pack the punch of the following newsflash : Original Pavement drummer Gary Young (above) will be behind the kit, accompanying SM, Spiral, Mark Ibold, Steve West and Bob Nastanovich on Thursday, June 24 at Stockton, CA"s Bob Hope Theatre. You know, the same Stockton concert somebody who may or may not edit this blog used as a cheap excuse to pick on a hardworking reporter who was just trying to do his job. Tickets are still available, but they won't be forever. You might wanna think about flying in.
Anyhow, it was that exchange that came to mind when I saw the auction above earlier today. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has an unusually impressive c.v. ; offspring of Miss Lillian, brother to beer magnate Billy, Nobel Peace Prize winner, his tireless work for Habitat For Humanity, inspiration for one of the great pop recordings of the last century, etc.....but playing the guitar was not high on the list. When can we look forward to an auction featuring an Obama-inked B.C. Rich Warlock?
After a steady stream of remixes for Cold Cave's "Life Magazine", a vinyl piece collecting each of them is available in stores now. We've to date witnessed Pantha Du Prince, Arthur Baker, Optimo and Delorean take a crack at manipulating "Life Magazine"'s elements through each of their unique visions. The final track on the EP is Cold Cave member, Dominick Fernow's ecstatic arrangement under the nom-de-plume of his longstanding project, Prurient.
Life Magazine (Prurient Remix) [160 kbps]
You can find the "Life Magazine" 12" in Matador's store, in music retailers across the world and on Cold Cave's merch table.
Thursday 17 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle w/Hair Police, Locrian
Saturday 19 Toronto, ON Wrongbar
Sunday 20 Montreal, QC Le Belmont