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.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - MySpace Secret Show On Tuesday (Is No Longer A Secret)

Virtual friends of SM & The Jicks received the following missive earlier today :

You will need a wristband to get into the show. Writsbands will be available for pick up at Music Millennium's "east" location between 5:00 and 7:00 P.M. on the day of the show.

Music Millennium's "east" location is at 3158 E Burnside. The telephone number there is (503) 231-8926. They will also have the band's new album, "Real Emotional Trash," on sale for $11.99.

ALSO, wristbands will be available at the club at the normal door times. However, THIS SHOW IS FIRST COME FIRST SERVED, so get there early and stay in line.

Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues, Live On "Morning Becomes Eclectic" Today

It might've required a 6:30 am wakeup call for the band, but when it comes to entertaining the loyal listeners of America's most beloved morning radio program-that-doesn't-feature-Artie Lange, no sacrifice could be too great.  You can hear Cat Power in about an hour from now (say, 11am PST) on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic"

Mission Of Burma vinyl mastering video clip 1

Matador's Jesper Eklow filmed the process of cutting the vinyl for the Mission Of Burma LPs at Sterling Sound from the original tapes. Featuring legendary mastering engineer George Marino, this is the first of several clips we'll be releasing on the subject.

I'll See Patrick's Randomness And Raise Him Something Specific

Family tree connections to The Fluid aside, the above single is the greatest thing that ever happened in the city of Denver other than the time Denny Neagle sang "Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth" at karaoke. Thanks to the folks at Smooch Records, it is now available on the popular compact disc format for a price everyone can afford.  Well, everyone except Denny.

On Thursday's "Tonight Show"...Wanda Sykes!!

If you're not as Syked as we are, please, keep it to yourself. Wanda will be Jay Leno's guest tonight at 11:30pm EST.

(also appearing : Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues).

Random single from the collection

The above is the first chapter in the "random single from the collection" series, which will be happening as long as I can annoy people with it. This one is, appropriately enough, an incredibly boring French-Japanese childrens-lounge music single from 1997, recommended me by Yasuharu Konishi at a store in Tokyo the year it came out. Maybe one day it will be cool.

What do you do with Sammy's leftovers?

I'm sure many of you have grappled with this problem before. After eating (and drinking) at Sammy's Romanian Steakhouse, and you inevitably have some steak left over... how do you heat it up? Because no way that shit's gonna fit in a pan. (See above.) I ended up using aluminum foil in an inventive way. With a little Vouvray (ideally pronounced in the Cockney Wanker accent), steam it a bit, and yeah, it was pretty tasty. Especially served with the dry cauliflower recipe from central-northern Indian I've been promoting hereabouts. Support Sammy's, btw

Yo La Tengo's Continued Covers For Cash Campaign On WFMU, Sunday at 5pm

Happening this coming Sunday (March 2) on WFMU :

"From 5-8pm Gaylord Fields and Bob Brainen mark the halfway point of the WFMU fundraising Marathon by once again enlisting Yo La Tengo to take your calls, pledges and most importantly cover song requests, which will then be brought to life over the air! The band's long history with the WFMU Marathon has proven that Yo La Tengo is unstoppable, and tonight's show is a special longer 3-hour broadcast just in case that extended version of "Hocus Pocus" comes up. Gaylord co-hosts the rest of Bob's show from 8-9pm after the band packs up as well. "

If you're feeling like donating loot to the only non-profitable organization I've ever supported besides Father Bruce Ritter's "Mittens For Boys" campaign, here's where you can do so.

Malkmus/Jicks -'R.E.T.' Preview, New Instore Dates

The whole of 'Real Emotional Trash' (LP/CD, coming March 4) can be heard at the Jicks' MySpace page. Please, someone befriend this band so they can get some decent looking people in their Top Whatever.

In addition, the dashing quartet pictured above will be performing in the following record shops next week :

March 3 - Sonic Boom, Seattle, WA (Ballard location)
March 5 - Amoeba, San Francisco, CA (1855 Haight Street)

Coming June 3 - Shearwater's 'Rook'

After Matador's '07 reissue of the critically acclaimed 'Palo Santo', we've been waiting & wondering about the next Shearwater full-length. We're happy to report the resulting LP/CD 'Rook', not only lives up to the ridiculously high standards set by its predecessor, but should well stand as an early album of the year candidate. Produced by Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg
and recorded by Matthew Barnhart at Denton's Echo Lab this past November and December, 'Rook' is an extraordinarily original work ; only on a handful of occasions have we heard an album this powerful and so rich in detail, both musically and lyrically. Shearwater's knack for the epic is already well documented, but with all due respect to their prior efforts, the broad sweep of 'Rook''s 10 songs is like nothing else you're likely to experience in 2008.

"Rooks" (mp3)

We'll have more details about 'Rook' in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, Shearwater have confirmed the following US dates in support of Clinic.

FRI 5/9 BOSTON, MA Paradise
SAT 5/10 MONTREAL, QC La Sala Rosa
SUN 5/11 TORONTO, ON Lee's
MON 5/12 CHICAGO, IL Empty Bottle
TUE 5/13 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7th Street Entry
FRI 5/16 SEATTLE, WA Neumos
SAT 5/17 VANCOUVER, BC Richards
SUN 5/18 PORTLAND, OR Doug Fir
MON 5/19 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Independent
TUE 5/20 LOS ANGELES, CA Troubadour

Dead Meadow - New April/May 2008 Dates

4/15   Hoboken NJ Maxwell's
4/16   Washington DC   Black Cat
4/17   Philadelphia PA Johnny Brenda's
4/18     Brooklyn NY             Williamsburg Music Hall
4/19     Danbury CT              Heirloom Arts Theatre
4/20       Boston MA               Middle East Downstairs
4/21      Northampton MA  Iron Horse
4/22  Winooski VT     Higher Ground
4/23    Montreal QC     Club Lambi
4/24    Toronto ON              Lee's Palace
4/25        Buffalo NY              Sound Lab
4/26   Rochester NY            Bug Jar
4/28     Newport KY      Southgate House
4/29    Bloomington IN  Bluebird Nightclub
4/30    Cleveland OH    Beachland Ballroom
5/1     Columbus OH     The Basement
5/2     Detroit  MI     Magic Stick
5/3     Chicago IL      The Abbey               with    Indian  Velcro Lewis
5/5     Madison WI      High Noon Saloon
5/7     Minneapolis MN  7th Street Entry
5/8     Fargo ND                Aquarium
5/9     Sioux City SD           Nutty's
5/10     Iowa City IA    Picador
5/11    Omaha NE        The Waiting Room
5/12    Lawrence KS             Jackpot
5/13     Denver CO       Larimer Lounge
5/15    Salt Lake City UT       Kilby Court
5/16    Boise ID        Neurolux
5/24    San Francisco CA        Slim's

Black pig Berkshire pork chops

I recently wrote here about Ottomanelli on Bleecker Street, a great old-style New York butchers. They have the pork chops pictured above, a heritage breed from Western Massachusetts, 'black pig' Berkshires. This is what pork was like before it became the other white meat. Look at that fat. Liz Hart and I have recently been trading pork strategies for avoiding the overcooked phenomenon, a real danger with modern lean chops - you have maybe 30 seconds after it becomes done but before it becomes dry, and pulling it out during that window can be a matter of pure luck. (See my post about pork chops with vinegar peppers.) Liz recommends brining, and I tried that, with the good old Julia Child spice marinade, and it was great. But I found with these heritage chops, no brining was necessary... nor was there need for that constant worry about hitting the 30 second window. With these well-marbled chops, the fat provides the moisture. They were amazing. And they were also $7.99 a pound. I served 'em with steamed white rice (Carolina) and boiled green beans (a little bit of Lurpak butter and some salt).

Pearl & Dean's Oscar Also-Rans

While Jim DeRogatis will probably hit the roof tonight if "Juno" pulls an Oscar upset,  a recent online poll from Pearl & Dean of some 3000 cinephiles resulted in the following list of "films that should have won an Academy Award but never did."

1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. The Sixth Sense
3. Fight Club
4. Blade Runner
5= It's a Wonderful Life
5= The Great Escape
7= Taxi Driver
7= Psycho
9. Singin' in the Rain
10. Dr Strangelove

The BBC site didn't reveal what came in 11th place, but there had to be at least a couple of votes for another neglected classic.

Northern Indian vegetarian

You always hear about Southern Indian vegetarian - at least in New York - you know, dosai, iddly, sambar etc. It's virtually been trademarked by the restaurants on lower Lexington who now all have rabbinical supervision and have gathered in the orthodox Jewish market. But of course vegetarianism exists all over India... the Vedic cookbook 'Lord Krishna's Cuisine' if anything focuses on the north.

The dish pictured above is evocatively called 'dry cauliflower' and comes from Uttar Pradesh, the north-central part of India. The cauliflower flowerets are flash-fried in oil that's been seasoned with whole spices, then steamed for about 5-10 minutes, covered, in the same pan, and finished with garam masala and amchoor (dried mango powder). The cauliflower is crisp and pungent, its own flavor still there but in contrast with the multiple spices and whole herbs from the cooking.

I served this with potatoes smothered with shallots, a southern recipe but one that almost could come from Pennsylvania or a similar northern state in the US. Potatoes are cut to thick old-style french-fry size and fried in butter (ghee); the shallots are fried in the remaining shortening; the potatoes come back and are steamed. The only condiments are salt and pepper (the prologue to the recipe says that green chilies are added in India, but I missed that, fortunately or unfortunately). The result was filling and plain; I liked it as a foil to the first dish.

Cauliflower by Madhur Jaffrey, potatoes by Julie Sahnee. Finger by Jesper.

Breaking Down The Fourth Wall With Negative FX

snazzy, albeit brief video footage (above), in honor of Dave Bass' Distortions releasing 'Government War Plans'. OK, maybe it came out a while ago, but I just found a copy the other day.

As far the clip above, I recognize Dave Smalley and Jamie Sciarappa in the chorus line. Who knows? Maybe you're in there, too.

New Pornographers Buy Early Get Now final disc ready for download and burn

(A.C. Newman pic from Move Mountain's Flickr page)

The final disc of the New Pornographers Buy Early Get Now promotion, the Challengers 'Executive Edition' box set, is now ready for download and burning.

You will get both videos ("Challengers" and "Myriad Harbour") along with tons and tons of photos: air-guitar-ing candids, set-lists, cover art mockups, and a massive collection of live photos.

For those of you who didn't get into this the first time, a limited number of Challengers box sets are still available:

Buy from the Matador Store

or from your favorite local retailer.

If you already have the regular edition of Challengers on CD or LP, you can upgrade to the box set - see the option in the Store above (or at your local retailer).

Matmos - Two NYC Shows This Saturday

While we're smack in the middle of planning for the new Matmos LP/CD 'Supreme Ballon' (yesterday's marketing meeting was a doozy -- especially the pronounciation debate over "mobile"), Drew and Martin will be in New York this weekend, presenting two shows at The Stone (Avenue C and 2nd Street) on Saturday night at 8 and 10pm.

Matmos will be performing their version of Robert Ashley's 'Perfect Lives' along with additional material. Tickes are $10 (half price for students between the ages of 13 and 19) and are not available in advance.

Pere Ubu's Jim Jones, RIP

Cleveland guitarist Jim Jones, a member of Pere Ubu from 1987-2002, and a player with bands including Home & Garden, The Mirrors, the Styrenes and the Easter Monkeys passed away on Monday evening. Jones was 57.

(an obituary from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's John Petkovic)

The joy of suet


Just a quick plug for suet, which is the light, crumbly fat from around the kidney and liver. This piece came from O. Ottomanelli on Bleecker. It rendered easily and quickly and smelled delicious - I browned chuck for chili in it. Suet is not easy to find these days, at least in New York.

The Cave Singers - New North American Dates

In addition to a European jaunt with Band Of Horses that starts tomorrow in Glasgow, The Cave Singers have confirmed the following shows in support of their Plug Award nominated 'Invitation Songs' LP/CD. The big rooms are w/ Death Cab, the small rooms, well, without Death Cab.  More summer festivals will be announced soon.

Fri 04/18/08 -Bremerton, WA @ Admiral Theatre*
Sat 04/19/08- Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre*
Mon 04/21/08 -Arcata, CA @ Humboldt State University - Van Duzer Theatre*
Tue 04/22/08 - Davis, CA @ UC Davis - Freeborn Hall*
Wed 04/23/08 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore*
Sat 04/26/08  - Milwaukee WI @ Mad Planet
Sun 04/27/08 - Chicago IL @ Schubas
Mon 04/28/08 - Cleveland OH @ Grog Shop
Wed 04/30/08 - Toronto ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Thu 05/01/08  - Montreal QC @ Casa Del Popolo
Fri 05/02/08  -Ottawa ON @ Zaphods
Sat 05/03/08  - Portland ME @ Space Gallery
Sun 05/04/08 - Boston MA @ Middle East Upstairs
Mon 05/05/08  Brooklyn NY @ Union Hall
Tue 05/06/08 - New York NY @ Mercury Lounge
Wed 05/07/08 - Philadelphia PA @ North Star
Thu 05/08/08 - Washington DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Fri 05/09/08 - Chapel Hill NC @ Local 506
Sun 05/11/08 - Atlanta GA @ The Earl
Tue 05/13/08 - Baton Rouge LA @ Spanish Moon
Wed 05/14/08 - Houston TX @ Walter's on Washington
Thu 05/15/08 - Austin TX @ The Mohawk
Sat 05/17/08   - Phoenix AZ @ Modified
Wed 05/21/08 - Los Angeles CA @ The Echo
Thu 05/22/08 - San Francisco CA @ The Independent
Sat 05/24/08 -Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Sat 08/02/08  0 Portland OR @ Pickathon Roots Music Festival

* - supporting Death Cab For Cutie

Sign up for Matador updates