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.

Exclusive Matablog Footage : Hova's Glastonbury Riposte To Noel Gallagher

You've probably already heard about Jay-Z's mock tribute to Oasis' "Wonderwall" at the Glastonbury Festival this past Saturday night. While rock blogs across the globe are showing the same YouTube clip from the BBC3's footage of the event, I'm pleased to say the Matablog editorial staff have discovered secret video of the former Marcy Projects product leading his all-star band through an early morning rehearsal.

Times New Viking live on WFMU tomorrow

Times New Viking perform live on WFMU tomorrow (Tuesday, July 1) . Tune in to Brian Turner's show from 3:00 - 6:00 PM EST, located on the radio dials of those in the NY/NJ areas at 91.1 FM and online for the rest at If you miss it, the broadcast will be available in perpetuity on WFMU's online archives.

New Jaguar Love Dates - SoCal Style

(live at the Green Field festival, pic culled from Jaguar Love's MySpace photo album)

Aug 6 at Que Sera in Long Beach 21+
Aug 8 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim - All Ages

both shows with Crystal Antlers.

New grits; corn chowder

It's been a John Thorne weekend again. First, I cracked open a cloth sack of artisanal grits from a new (to me) producer, Nora Mill Granary in Helen, Georgia. I had been using Anson Mills grits, and am looking forward to doing an A-B shortly. (Yes, that is an original Sprague Tel-Ohmike capacitor bridge in the background of the photo.) While on the Nora Mills site I took the opportunity to order a jar of old-fashioned candy sticks and a jar of their homemade chow-chow. The grits are almost ready; I'll be eating these shortly:

Secondly, I fulfilled a long-held ambition and made corn chowder last night. The section on chowders in Serious Pig is just as long and in-depth as the section on chili (which is what got me food blogging in the first place). The absolutely key ingredient for any chowder is salt pork, which is fatty pork meat that has been brined (so it's similar to corned beef). Ideally you get salt pork belly, but this is a very New England ingredient and is tough to find in New York City, so I had to make do with salt pork from fatback. I could use more lean, frankly. The second thing to know is that real chowder is not thickened - any body comes from the crumbling edges of potatoes cut "thick-thin" (like small axe-heads). Milk - not cream - is used. No corn starch of any kind! Thorne's philosophy exactly resembles that employed by the great Maine chowder makers I've encountered, of which the king is the Maine Diner in Wells, ME. Any trip to Maine should include a stop at this place for their fish chowder.

I made the corn chowder with canned corn, a favorite of my childhood. And it was good, but it tasted of, well, canned corn. Next time I'm going to use fresh corn (though it pains me not to just boil it, which is all that really fresh corn demands). In this recipe, after scraping off the grains, you boil the cobs in the water that will be used for the potatoes... naturally I was unable to do that with the canned version. Look for an update on this, sometime.

Some pix & stuff from the tour with Jamie Lidell

As promised, I am here to do some blogging about the tour we finished a couple of weeks ago in support of Mr. Jamie Lidell.  I'm just beginning to feel recovered from it -we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time.  Going in to the tour, I thought we were different enough as musical acts (Jamie and I) to make for an interesting (albeit, perhaps slightly odd) show. I was actually really excited about doing something different instead of just touring with another singer-songwriter/song-oriented band.  I thought it would be really cool to have two pretty disparate acts on the same bill.  Today, having been through the experience, I'm not sure if it worked or if it can work. It was truly difficult at times, but completely spectacular and revelatory at others.  In all, I'm really glad we did it and I feel like I learned a lot.  

As a music fan, I love it when I go see a show and there are really different types of music on the bill.  It keeps me on my toes and keeps me from being a complacent listener.  But these types of shows happen so rarely.  Why is that?  And why are people so resistant to it?

In any case, I had a great time playing the new songs with my band and getting to meet some new folks (Jamie and his crew were some of the nicest peeps ever)  and especially, playing the fucking 9:30 club in Washington D.C.  I really should do a whole blog post just about this place.  I have never played a better venue. Better in every way.  Good sound?  Check.  Great staff?  Check.  Treated like a human being and not just like the the opening act slime?  Check.  God, the people that run that place deserve to be knighted or something.  When we were leaving, Jon Langmead who plays drums in my band said...."I wish I could live here."  Seriously, that's how great this place and the people who run it are.  

Ok, so here's some of my fave photos from the tour.  If you'd like to see (many) more, you can go to my myspace page where I just uploaded way, way more than you'd probably ever like to see.

Me and Michael Brodlieb (bass) in the van en route to Chicago:

Lidell & crew soundcheck at Bowery:

Set list, big and little:

The back of Chris Lombardi (and us on stage at Bowery):

Ladies and gentlemen, Jon Langmead on drums:

feeling it:

flashing lights:

That's it!  More soon....

Love, JO'C

I Have Seen The Future Of Rock....

....and with apologies to Jon Landau, it doesn't look a fucking thing like these guys.  The Independent's Rhodri Marsden calls The Trons, "the most magnificently stupid collision of geekery, music and technology I've seen for quite some time".  Hey, I'll admit they're more charismatic than the Kooks, but that's not saying much. However, I will confess the Trons might be the ultimate Tony Victory wet dream : a band that won't bolt for a major label or ever request an audit. 

Elizabeth David's chicken salad

The only thing better than roast chicken may be the cold chicken left over the next day. I usually eat it in sandwiches of toasted white bread with lettuce, salt, pepper, and a slathering of the jellied juices.

But since the weather has been so stinking lately I decided to take Elizabeth David's suggestion from Is There A Nutmeg In The House? and make chicken salad. Not the usual mayonnaisey thing (though I love that too), but a Provençal inflected thing. The sauce consists of two shallots, chopped, with a handful of flat-leaf parsley, whatever appropriate herbs you have lying around (I used tarragon), salt, pepper, two teaspoons of dijon mustard (I used Maille) and six tablespoons of olive oil. Beat in the sliced chicken pieces. Garnish with hard-boiled egg... as well as cold shrimp, pickles, capers, cucumbers, or whatever else is in the fridge. I served it with the very un-Provençal Levy's Jewish Rye, as well as a big bowl of steamed asparagus.

(I made the hard-boiled eggs using Julia Child's recipe, very involved - the boil, the 17-minute coddle, the 2-minute chill, the 10-second reboil, the 15-20 minute chill etc. Much concern with not darkening the yolks.)

This is a great summer meal. I washed it down with a rosé from the Touraine.

Shearwater In-Store! Friday at Good Records - Dallas

Shearwater is going to play a free in-store at 5:00 pm this Friday, June 27th at Good Records in Dallas!   Start your weekend off right!

Friday, June 27th
5:00 PM
Good Records
1808 Lower Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX

Jennifer O'Connor - New MP3, Upcoming Dates

(photograph by Debora Francis)

The most gratifying thing about our feverish preparations for the August 19 release of Jennifer O'Connor's masterpiece 'Here With Me' (LP/CD)?  With the possible exception of the chef Chris had flown in to prepare company lunches*, the best part so far has been the reactions from the lucky few who've heard the album.  If I had a nickel for every person who has called or written to say "wow, you guys were right.  Jennifer is a world-class, pop songwriting powerhouse"...well, I still wouldn't have enough money to buy a copy of Entertainment Weekly. But keep in mind, they keep raising the prices of these magazines and you can read 'em online, anyway. 

"Here With Me" is the 2nd MP3 we've chosen to leak from the album. Between this and the previously sneak-peaked "Valley Road '86", we're hopeful you'll have a better idea why we've only gotten started making noise about Jennifer's crazy reservoir of talent.

Jennifer will be headlining New York's Mercury Lounge on August 21, with support coming from Dump. Tickets go on sale June 25.  Here's a full list of upcoming dates : 

July 11 - The Slowdown, Omaha, NE
July 12 - Box Awesome, Lincoln, NE
July 13 - Record Bar, Kansas City, MO
July 14 - Mojo's, Columbia, MO
July 15 - Schuba's, Chicago, IL
July 17 - Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
July 19 - Aquarium Dempsey's, Upstairs, Fargo, ND
July 20 - Nuttys' North, SIoux Falls, SD
August 10 - Grand Opera House, Wilmington DE
August 13 - McCarren Pool, Brooklyn NY 
August 25 - Mercury Lounge, NY NY
(July 11-15, July 19-20 supporting Son Ambulance)
(August 10, 13, supporting Wilco)

(preorder 'Here With Me' on LP or CD)

* - sorry. I hallucinated that we'd done an office swap with Revolver Distribution.  

"Scirocco - That Means 'Desert Wind'"

There's a good chance some tortured soul is gonna make one of these videos for EVERY SINGLE TRACK on Earles & Jensen's Just Farr A Laugh, Vol.'s 1 & 2. if you don't finally break down and buy a copy. That's not an idle threat on our part, either.

Coming To A Festival/Tent/Venue Near You

It's the start of the Summer on Alma Road. All the signs are here. Not just because the sun is shining, a sudden addiction to ice cream or my skin looking even more horribly pale than usual, but because there's a constant stream of Matadorian bands making their way across the country.

The Cave Singers are currently living the high life in Amsterdam. Come tomorrow they'll be back hitting London's Bush Hall in West London, then boomeranging up the country and back to the capital next week for the Wireless festival.

Jaguar Love finally hit the UK! They're picking up the Wireless baton from The Cave Singers and playing the Friday of the festival then onward and upward onto Scotland and Ireland.

Friday 4 London, Wireless Festival
Saturday 5 Brighton, Audio
Monday 7 Bristol, Academy 2
Tuesday 8 London, 100 Club
Wednesday 9 Leeds, Cockpit
Thursday 10 Manchester, Roadhouse
Friday 12 Balado, Scotland T In The Park
Saturday 13 Punchestown, Ireland Oxygen Festival

Matador's Victory Dance For When Earles and Jensen Soundscans Boom

Here is a taster of how we are going to celebrate when the Earles and Jensen Soundscans accelerate, this is just the tip of the iceberg wait till they totally take off then our pecks will really be glistening

Roast chicken

Is there anything better than roast chicken? I make it all the time but haven't posted about it because it seems so boring. That said, it's one of those dishes for which there are a million different recipes (high heat, low heat, fast, slow, combination, covered, uncovered, baste, no-baste etc.) and I'm pretty sure I've found the perfect one.

Strangely it's in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking, a cookbook that really is essential, but this recipe doesn't appear to be Italian at all. My copy opens right up to it.

It's very simple: you take a good 3-pound chicken (preferably Murray's or Bell & Evans if you live in the US; those of you in the UK probably have many more options), wash it inside and out, pat it dry, and rub inside and out with kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. Then take 2 small lemons, wash them and roll them on the counter to loosen them up, puncture them each in at least 20 places, place them inside the chicken and truss it up closely (but not tightly). Place breast down in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Then turn it over carefully and cook for another 30-35 minutes; raise the heat to 400 and cook for another 20 minutes. This bird is self-basting - no need to do anything else. Remove and serve.

The Cave Singers - Black Cab Session

Thanks to Annette for the link.  I'd like to see someone shoot the Cave Singers in a subway car. And that's not a Bernie Goetz reference, either. 


A simple but delicious lemonade recipe put together from multiple Internet recommendations:

Put a pitcher of good tap water in the fridge. Slowly heat 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water to make simple syrup. Using a knife, carefully cut several strips of lemon peel with as little of the pith as possible, and heat that with the sugar and water. Let the syrup cool. Juice 6-8 organic lemons. Add to the cooled syrup/lemon peel mixture, and add the cold water to taste. Put in some torn spearmint leaves and some lemon wedges. Add ice, stir, and serve immediately.

There's Only One Blockbuster I Wanna See This Summer

...and it's not "The Dark Knight", "Hancock" or even "Space Chimps".  Instead, much like the rest of you, I'm breathlessly awaiting the release of Chain Gang's long-awaited "Mondo Manhattan". There's every chance I'll be writing these same words 12 months from now, but there's worse things than watching this trailer, or basking in Ricky Luanda's spirited narration.

The New Pornographers' Touring : Additions, Subtractions

OK, first the bad news. Upcoming New Pornographers appearances in Spain and Belgium have been cancelled, much to the band's deep regret.  On the sunnier side, there's a bunch of large and larger events below happening later this summer, including an NP's-curated festival that has some of us non-western canadians reconsidering our summer travel plans.


7- northampton ma @ calvin theater with grizzly bear
8 - Liberty State Park, NJ, All Points West Festival
9-phily, pa @ the electric factory w/ andrew bird
30-sf, ca @ slow food nation festival with gnarls barkley
31-vancouver, bc @ the stanley park singing exhibition - malkin bowl w/ neko case, destroyer, andrew bird, deerhoof, the evaporators

1 - vancouver, bc@ the stanley park singing exhibition w/ stevie jackson of belle and sebastian,the 1900s, visqueen, and special guest

He's Out Of Order, She's Out Of Order, The Whole Damn Trial Is Out Of Order

Let this serve as a cautionary tale for the entire Matador roster; vomiting on the audience will not be tolerated in Judge Judy's court of (faux) law.

Jaguar Love : Weisbaden's All It's Cracked Up To Be

(pic taken from Ledleef's Flickr stream)

Cody posted the following at  Jaguar Love's MySpace page earlier today :

Wed. June 18th 2008

Jaguar Love European Tour

2:06 PM

We are just over a week into our European tour. Things are going well so far I'd say. It's about 2 in the afternoon. We are in Koln, Germany today and the sun is burning good and hot. We all woke up a little dazed and sweaty this morning, but I have to admit its a nice change from the throes of the seemingly constant Northwest drizzle in our home of Portland. Spirits are high. Zane, J and Craig are all off to the music store to pick up some supplies, Johnny and Amy are stomping around the city somewhere, Jessie is in the shower and I'm sitting backstage at Luxor on a black leather love seat writing this. We've been playing a bunch of festivals so far on this trip (which I love), but last night we played our own headlining show. It felt great to be inside a club. It was in Weisbaden, Germany. Weisbaden is a pretty great city. Apparently after World War Two the US decided to stay there for a while and it kept it from getting bombed, so the city is well preserved. Like any European city there is a square with commercial shopping and the like but on the outskirts its pretty rad. Really beautiful homes and buildings. The club we played is called Schlachthof. It's a collective run by 16 people and really amazing. After the show was pretty chill. I think some of us are still trying to shake off the jet lag blues. Give it a few more days…

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