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.

Coming December 10 : The New Pornographers - 'Mass Romantic' 21st Anniversary Reissue

"Letter From An Occupant"
directed by Michael Dowse

This fall, Matador Records will celebrate the 21st anniversary of The New Pornographers’ debut record and breakout, 'Mass Romantic' (2000), with a limited-edition LP reissue out 12/10.

The album – clocking three singers and 12 effervescent and undeniable power-pop gems – will return to us on red vinyl and will include a bonus 7”, Letter From An Occupant, which includes two rare B-sides, “The End of Medicine” and “When I Was a Baby.”

(STREAM / PREORDER 'Mass Romantic')

What’s more, The New Pornographers will tour the U.S. and Canada this fall playing a series of two-night stands – performing Mass Romantic in its entirety on the first night and running down the equally outstanding Twin Cinema (16th Anniversary!) on the next. Throughout this trip, the band’s lineup will feature AC Newman, Dan Bejar, Joe Seiders, John Collins, Kathryn Calder, and Neko Case, and Todd Fancey.
Everyone wants to be successful but, hand to my heart, I had no delusions of success for The New Pornographers. To be here over 20 years later, still in the game, is something that I simultaneously take for granted (you just get used to it) and feel eternally grateful for. Been here so long that we can do one of those “let’s play that old album all the way through!” gigs. And we are doing just that. 2 nights per city: 1 Mass Romantic, 1 Twin Cinema, plus assorted “hits” from our storied career. Bejar is coming and God knows if we’ll get him again. When he moved to Spain 2 months after Mass Romantic came out, I thought he was done in the band and now 21 years later we’ve convinced him to come along for another ride. Just the nature of our band that it’s a special occasion when all the singers show up. Here’s to you showing up as well! - Carl Newman

The New Pornographers formed in Vancouver in 1997. The whole thing was Carl Newman’s idea – recruiting his favorite local talents Seven Samurai-style for an album that might stand up amidst their already formidable solo careers.

At the time, the parties involved included Newman, Dan Bejar (Destroyer), Neko Case, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Fisher Rose, and Blaine Thurier.

All told, 'Mass Romantic' took three years to complete and was initially released in 2000 on Mint Records. From there, momentum seemed to build one members-only message board post at a time, with a small and vocal crowd of fans giving rise to wider excitement – critical praise, radio play, a Juno Award, Ray Davies jumping on stage at SXSW, and so on.

The old-fashioned record industry-types at Matador first learned of The New Pornographers through a store, Aquarius Records. In its newsletter, the much-missed San Francisco institution called Mass Romantic “absolutely shiningly great power pop” and “recommended for everyone.” The shop stumped for the record fervently – playing it, displaying it, and generally carrying on about the music to all who would listen. In just one year, Aquarius moved somewhere near 200 copies.

Nobody at Matador (well, almost nobody) could argue with that and the label licensed the Mass Romantic for distribution in Europe and, ultimately, signed the band outright, giving the record a wide reissue in 2002.

And plenty of stuff happened after that! What’s important, though, is that The New Pornographers are going on tour, Mass Romantic is turning 21, and the record is back on shelves December 10th

Mass Romantic LP

01 Mass Romantic
02 The Fake Headlines
03 The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism
04 Mystery Hours
05 Jackie
06 Letter From an Occupant
07 To Wild Homes
08 The Body Says No
09 Execution Day
10 Centre For Holy Wars
11 The Mary Martin Show
12 Breakin’ the Law


“Letter From An Occupant” 7”

A1 Letter From An Occupant
B1 The End of Medicine
B2 When I Was A Baby

The New Pornographers on Tour

Monday, November 29 Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock NY #
Tuesday, November 30 Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock NY &
Wednesday, December 1 9:30 Club, Washington DC #
Thursday, December 2 9:30 Club, Washington DC &
Friday, December 3 Webster Hall, New York NY #
Saturday, December 4 Webster Hall, New York NY &
Monday, December 6 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON #
Tuesday, December 7 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON &
Thursday, December 9 Neptune, Seattle WA #
Friday, December 10 Neptune, Seattle WA &
Saturday, December 11 Vogue Theater, Vancouver BC #
Sunday, December 12 Vogue Theater, Vancouver BC &

# Performing Mass Romantic in full
& Performing Twin Cinema in full

Out Today: The Goon Sax - "Mirror II"


(Photo: Hugo Nobay)

The Goon Sax have released their third LP today, titled Mirror II. Available on black vinyl, CD and on limited white vinyl at participating independent record stores. While supplies last, every order of Mirror II from the Matador webstore will include a glossy band photo signed by Riley Jones, Louis Forster and James Harrison, pictured below.

Purchase/Stream Mirror II

A very limited quantity of Mirror II t-shirts are still available via the Matador webstore.

The Goon Sax on Tour
Wednesday, September 1 Hare & Hounds, Birmingham UK
Thursday, September 2 Into The Great Wide Open, Vlieland NL
September 2 – 5 End of the Road Festival, Salisbury UK
Monday, September 6 Moth Club, London UK
Tuesday, September 7 Pink Room, Manchester UK
Wednesday, September 8, Mono, Glasgow UK
Sunday, October 10 Sound City, Ipswich UK

The Goon Sax Online
official website

The Goon Sax - "Desire"


directed by Eddie Whelan

Tomorrow, The Goon Sax will release their third album and Matador debut, 'Mirror II'. To mark the occasion, the band has posted a new single and video, “Desire,” which features Riley Jones on lead vocals.

Jones says of the track:
“When I wrote ‘Desire’, I lived with James and Louis in a share house in Paddington, Brisbane called Fantasy Planet. Technically, it was written out like “$ ? a Planet.” It was my friend Tim Green’s reference to the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. In my basic understanding of the way Lacan theorized fantasy, desire is founded upon a lack. The diamond (?) represents all the ways we relate to a lost object: everything above, below, around, more than, less than, with, without, in spite of, and because of it. The cause of our desire is a gap that we are always trying to fill, even while it constantly evades us.

Desire is complex. Unconscious attachments hang on invisible threads. Fantasies and daydreams emerge, dangerous hallucinations cause reckless actions, misremembrance causes total distortion. I think that’s why we have to resort to symbols to express it. This song is my symbol (?). I wanted it to feel as expansive as a Les Rallizes Dénudés song - to reverberate beneath waters that flood all the crevices of the earth, to leave no gap unfilled and I wanted it to be as universal as one of those crushing Elvis songs - so poignant that its sentiment seems to ring out forever, just like Desire.”

presave/preorder 'Mirror II'

(limited quantity of signed photos of The Goon Sax available with purchase of 'Mirror II' from the band's webstore or direct from Matador)

The Goon Sax live :

Wednesday, September 1 Hare & Hounds, Birmingham UK
September 2 – 5 End of the Road Festival, Salisbury UK
Monday, September 6 Moth Club, London UK
Tuesday, September 7 Pink Room, Manchester UK
Wednesday, September 8, Mono, Glasgow UK
Sunday, October 10 Sound City, Ipswich UK

The Goon Sax Online
official website

boygenius - Limited Orange Vinyl EP

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus have announced a new limited variant of their 2018 EP boygenius. The new variant, pressed on orange vinyl and featuring a Japanese obi strip, will be released on September 3rd and is available for pre-order on the Matador webstore and at select Japanese independent retailers.

Pre-order limited orange EP / stream boygenius

boygenius EP
1. Bite The Hand
2. Me & My Dog
3. Souvenir
4. Stay Down
5. Salt In The Wound
6. Ketchum, ID

Julien Baker Online

Phoebe Bridgers online :

Lucy Dacus online :

Coming August 27 : Steve Gunn - 'Other You'

(photo : Stephanie Nicole Smith)
“I came up with this title when we were recording vocals and Rob was very into harmonies. There was a third part and I just couldn’t find the note. I couldn’t vocalize it. He went in and took my voice and put it into his computer program, then he could playback and “sing” the note with my voice using the computer. And he said, ‘Sing to the other you.’ So I was singing along to myself singing a note I couldn’t sing" – Steve Gunn

'Other You' is the sixth studio album by Steve Gunn, scheduled for release August 27. Recorded during two visits to Los Angeles in late 2020 and early 2021, the album was made with veteran producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Cass McCombs, Kurt Vile) at his Mant Studios alongside musician and longtime friend and collaborator Justin Tripp, whose credits include appearances on Gunn’s 'Time Off' and 'Way Out Weather'.

The relocation was in a way more than geographical – the surroundings, warm climate and tight-knit studio team encouraged Gunn to tap into new approaches, techniques and emotional reservoirs, casting off established notions, habits and hangups. A featherlight touch coasts through the album – from the classical guitar and piano interplay and soulful baritone of the title track, nimble drum brush swing at the heart of "Fulton" and "The Painter", slow-burn kosmische rock of "Protection", electric piano pulses and majestic tremolo stabs of "Reflection", to the cascading harps of 'Sugar Kiss’ – it is easily Gunn's brightest and most life-affirming work to date.

He is assisted by contributions come from friends and fellow artists including Julianna Barwick, Mary Lattimore, Bridget St. John, Jeff Parker, Bill MacKay, Ben Bertrand, drummer Ryan Sawyer (Bent Arcana, Tall Firs, Gang Gang Dance), and others.

presave / preorder 'Other You'

stream / download "Other You" and "Reflection"
Steve Gunn’s 'Way Out Weather', from 2014 was not only a career highlight for the artist himself, who had formerly travelled most often in more experimental and more improvisatory musical communities, but it was also an important milestone in the story of contemporary independent music of the rock and roll variety in the world at large. Unapologetically guitar-oriented, with an emphasis on finger-picking and pedal steel, country-and-folk-inflected but without being reductively so, full of reverence for the song as a form, 'Way Out Weather' seemed, as the title suggests, both way out, as in turned on, as in certain great works past of the psychedelic period—Skip Spence, John Fahey, and Doug Sahm—but also way out, as in mapping a way out of rock and roll’s dead ends, its stylistic repetitions. It was a bit of a contemporary masterpiece, unexpected and rich.
And: perhaps most revelatory in retrospect was the singing.

On 'Way Out Weather', Gunn was discovering himself as a singer, and you could hear it happening. The melodies did similar things from song to song, the lyrics as much about texture and kinds of vowel sounds, like waves of semantic possibility. The words appeared amid relaxed instrumental breaks, expansive guitar flights, a hovering, a mood. For all of the beautiful instrumental writing, Gunn’s voice, with its faint evocations of Philly soul and classic country and western, part Marvin Gaye, part Willie Nelson, part Nick Drake, became a thing to delight in, even if unexpected.

After 'Way Out Weather', the artist headed off in different directions. While continuing to investigate improvised and instrumental music, in, e.g., his beloved Gunn-Truscinski Duo, he moved in the song-oriented albums toward an eighties and nineties post-punk sort of a sound, where The Feelies or early Sonic Youth or Television did not seem like outlandish comparisons. 'Eyes on the Lines' (2016), most evidently, is simply a brash and uncompromising rock and roll record about relationships between electric guitar parts, it’s beautiful without being punctilious, lyrical and elevated without ever being pretentious or self-conscious. And 'The Unseen In Between' (2019) reversed course toward the acoustic guitar, and toward much more ambitious melodies. As with the prior two albums, Gunn seemed drawn to lines of verse in trimeter and tetrameter, three and four beats, and the lyrics were familiarly abstract, more about waves of meaning, allusive, and yet you could begin to see where he was going, what idea of songcraft was rising up like a morning flecked with clouds, in which the shadows dappled the landscape, in which a feeling, above all, washed over you.

And thus the beginning of a shined-up, mid-sixties pop apotheosis, a state of high songwriting accomplishment, on Gunn’s new album 'Other You'. It’s a journey that can’t help but summon up 'Way Out Weather', the transformative ambition of that earlier record, its refreshing set of ideas about what was interesting about psychedelia, a love for the guitar as an instrument, but even more so here, on 'Other You', we have melody, timbral originality, a keen ear for production. Above all, the voice and lyrics take a new front seat on 'Other You', right where we can hear them. Gunn has allowed himself to be more apparent, like the Michael Stipe who suddenly appeared out of the murk on 'Document'. There’s a person inhabiting these songs, a subjectivity, not just one of the best guitarists in contemporary music, not just a reporter with a winsome observational genius, here, a singer-songwriter, with a first-person voice, even if the songs seem rarely or only glancingly confessional. Now we have beautiful shimmering melodies, great melodies, and also that aching voice, at the tenor edge, and harmonies, singing up front.

Then which is the “other” promised by the album, might we ask? An artist who is restless to try new things, and to move confidently in the direction of new techniques, new ways of playing, evident especially in some bright new textural flavors, like Mary Lattimore’s harp on the instrumental “Sugar Kiss,” the backward guitar solo on the title track, the synthesizers that abound, the Wurlitzer electric piano that anchors the blue-eyed soul of “Reflection,” the waves of keyboards on the bittersweet “Ever Feel That Way,” with its faint traces of Tropicalia, the snare drums wandering far afield. Other You aspires to the highest accomplishments of songcraft, in melody, and in arrangement, including even a modernist palette, a contemporary buffet of sonic backdrops that deepens any preconceptions we might have about Gunn’s normally historical gaze.

Throughout, the presence of producer Rob Schnapf, whose well-known credits include Beck Hansen’s early recordings, and the work of Elliott Smith, is fully integrated into the whole of 'Other You', resulting not only in a sound-bed of instrumental washes that Gunn has not used before, but also in making sure the voices are in the front, that the singer is right where you can feel him, so that the songs can be understood compositionally for what they are, likewise the poetry. And we might speak also, especially, of the keys (and bass) of Justin Tripp, also an important player on 'Way Out Weather', whose arrangement ideas are an especial flavor on every track. But, most of all: this Steve Gunn, the one up front, is a really gifted singer, slinky, gentle, but with a brassy quality, beautiful, with a great falsetto, he’s not just a guitarist, nor a songwriter of compositions that rely on guitar, he’s a guy who can turn a line, a Fred Neil for the 2020s, masterful and moving and unpredictable and bittersweet, who makes the words last, and who makes hooks count, who can write a memorable chorus, the kind that causes you to want to return and listen again.

Once before, this Steve Gunn made a career-statement, in 2014, said something about what music could do, what its legacy was, what its purpose could be now. It’s really seldom that an artist gets to do that twice, certainly unlikely that it can happen so quickly after the last truly exceptional album, and yet Steve Gunn has done exactly that on Other You, made something new and memorable.
You could imagine listening to 'Other You' on a trans-continental rail journey, or while summiting a mountain range, or while going through an enormous stack of your grandparents’ snapshots, or while baking a cake that has no particular occasion, or while sitting out a pandemic, or while realizing, looking out that window, that it’s okay to set aside your regrets, in this beautiful, hovering now, and listen. - Rick Moody

'Other You' track list

  • Other You

  • Fulton

  • Morning River

  • Good Wind

  • Circuit Rider

  • On The Way

  • Protection

  • The Painter

  • Reflection

  • Sugar Kiss

  • Ever Feel That Way

Steve Gunn on Tour

Thursday, July 22 The Bell House, Brooklyn NY *
Friday, July 23 Catskill Brewery, Livingston Manor NY *
Saturday, July 24 Backside 405, Burlington VT *
Sunday, July 25 Lions Club, Peaks Island ME *
Monday, July 26 Nova Arts, Keene NH *
Tuesday, July 27 Folk On, Newport RI *
Thursday, July 29 Cafe Nine, New Haven CT *
Thursday, December 2 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL #
Friday, December 3 Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN #
Saturday, December 4 Cactus Club, Milwaukee WI #
Sunday, December 5 Lakeside Inn, Lakeside MI #
Tuesday, December 7 Third Man, Nashville TN #
Wednesday, December 8 Terminal West, Atlanta GA #
Thursday, December 9 Recover Brands, Charlotte NC #
Friday, December 10 The Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville NC #
Saturday, December 11 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC #
Sunday, December 12 Creative Alliance, Baltimore MD #
Tuesday, December 14 The Sinclair, Cambridge MA #
Wednesday, December 15 Gateway City Arts, Holyok
Thursday, December 16 Tubby's, Kingston NY #
Friday, December 17 Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore PA #
Saturday, December 18 Bowery Ballroom, New York NY #

* w/ William Tyler
# w/ Jeff Parker

Steve Gunn Online

Fucked Up - "David Comes To Life" European Tour

Fucked Up have added European dates to their forthcoming tour performing David Comes To Life in full for the album's 10th anniversary. A limited pressing of David Comes To Life on lightbulb yellow vinyl will be issued on December 10th.

Stream / Pre-order 10th Anniversary Vinyl Edition of David Comes To Life

Fucked Up on Tour, New Dates in Bold on Sale Wednesday
Wednesday, January 19 Club Saw, Ottawa ON
Thursday, January 20 Bar Le Ritz, Montreal QC
Friday, January 21 Sinclair, Boston MA
Saturday, January 22 Brooklyn Made, Brooklyn NY
Sunday, January 23 Underground Arts, Philadelphia PA
Monday, January 24 Union Stage, Washington DC
Tuesday, January 25 Mr. Smalls, Pittsburgh PA
Wednesday, January 26 Ace of Cups, Columbus OH
Friday, January 28 Shelter, Detroit MI
Saturday, February 5  Great Hall, Toronto ON
Tuesday, March 29 The Joiners, Southampton UK
Wednesday, March 30 Scala, London UK
Thursday, March 31 Metronome, Nottingham UK
Friday, April 1 Exchange, Bristol UK
Saturday, April 2 District, Liverpool UK
Sunday, April 3 Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds UK
Monday, April 4 Stereo, Glasgow UK
Tuesday, April 5 Gorilla, Manchester UK
Wednesday, April 6 Castle & Falcon, Birmingham UK
Thursday, April  7 Grand Social, Dublin IE

Fucked Up Online
Fucked Up website
David Comes To Life blog

Sign up for Matador updates