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.

Kurt Vile Live


(photo courtesy Rez Avissar / Tripwire)

For those in the area, Kurt Vile & the Violators will be playing Brooklyn tonight at Monster Island Basement (128 River St @ Metropolitan Ave) with Girls, Real Estate and Beach Fossils. More details here.

We've got a slew of dates to share below including a July 2 show at the Electric Factory in Philly opening for Sonic Youth and an August 25 show at Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana opening for Built To Spill.

Keep it here for updates on Kurt's full-length Matador release, ‘Childish Prodigy’ (Autumn 2009) and further show information.


Friday June 26 (w/ Violators) @ Monster Island Basement - Brooklyn, NY
w/ Girls

Thursday, July 2 (w/ Violators) @ Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA
w/ Sonic Youth

Saturday, July 4 (w/ Violators) @ 979 Broadway btwn Myrtle Ave & Ditmars St - Brooklyn, NY
Woodsist/Captured Tracks Fest (Outdoors)
w/ The Oh Sees, Vivian Girls, Woods, Dum Dum Girls and more.

Sunday, July 5 (w/ Violators) @ Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA
KRAAK Fest - w/ Jack Rose, Meg Baird and US Girls

Friday, July 17 (w/ Violators) @ Bruars Falls - Brooklyn, NY
w/ Blues Control and Coconuts

Saturday, July 18 (w/ Violators) @ Church - Boston, MA
Homegrown Fest
w/ Blues Control, Bobb Trimble, Gary War and more

Sunday, July 19 (w/ Violators) @ Montague Bookmill - Montague, MA
w/ Blues Control

Thursday, July 23 @ Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
w/ Tyvek and Coconuts

Tuesday, August 11 @ Talking Head Club - Baltimore, MD
w/ Espers

Thursday, August 13 (w/ Violators) @ Transfigurations -  Asheville, NC
Harvest Records Fest

Friday, August 14 @ Cakeshop - NYC, NY

Saturday, August 15 @ Silent Barn - Ridgewood, NY

Sunday, August 16 @ Vox Populi - Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, August 19 (w/ Violators) @ Rittenhouse Square - Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, August 25 @ Galaxy Theatre - Santa Ana, CA
w/ Built To Spill/Woods

Wednesday, August 26 @ The Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
w/ Dungen/Woods

Saturday, August 29 @ Kemado/Mexican Summer/Folk Yeah Festival - Big Sur, CA
w/ Dungen/Woods

Sunday, August 30 @ Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA
w/ Dungen/Woods

Tuesday, September 1 @ TBD - Portland, OR
w/ Dungen/Woods

Tonight At Santos Party House (NYC) : AC Newman


(photo by Caleb Beyers)

onstage at 9:30pm. Hope you can make it. Presented by this member of the witness protection program, apparently.

Coming October 20 : Spiral Stairs' 'The Real Feel'


After a pair of albums under the group nom de plume Preston School Of Industry, Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, makes his bona fide solo debut with an October 20 LP/CD/digital album release of 'The Real Feel' (OLE 858).  Following an extended sojourn in Melbourne, Spiral returned to Seattle rejuvenated at the end of '08, and commenced recording with a collection of pals including members of PSOI, the Posies, guitarist Ian Moore, Gersey, and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew.  Mixed by the Posies' Jon Auer, this album is by far the most crafted and introspective of Spiral's post-Pavement works.

In the words of associate Parker Gibbs, 'The Real Feel', "has a vibe similar to classic 70's albums by Fleetwood Mac ('Then Play On'), Captain Beefhart ('Safe As Milk'), and guitar god Richard Thompson, not to mention Aussie psych rock icons Died Pretty. Comparisons aside, this is 100% Spiral Stairs rock, the same rock that made Pavement the most influential band of the 90"s (take that Hoobastank!) and the same strange, dischordant, playful and melodic Spiral Stairs rock that your parents loved."

"This is indie rock at its best and brightest," continues Gibbs,  "with Spiral Stairs getting back to the basics that have made him a legend in his own mind and to all of the children willing to enter his home."  And on that somewhat troubling note, we'll add the vinyl edition of 'The Real Feel' features a different running order and a limited edition bonus 7".   Live activity throughout the continent of North America is planned for this Autumn, and we'll surely be letting you know more about that in the days and weeks ahead.

The first track we've seen fit to leak from 'The Real Feel' is "Maltese Terrier" (MP3).  Please note no raccoons were harmed during the making of the album artwork.  Not by us, anyway.

Sonic Youth - "No Way" From Fallon (Monday Evening)

For the second time in 3 weeks, we humbly thank the Audio Perv for his uploading prowess.  "No Way" can be found on Sonic Youth's new LP/CD/digital album 'The Eternal', conveniently available from The Matador Store.

Satan Is Boring Dept. : Everyone Already Knows Kenny Loggins Is The Devil

Hey, laugh at this guy all you want, but at least he was out there plugging vinyl at the height of the CD revolution. Video link swiped from Boing Boing.

Nieuwe herring from Holland

Hollandse nieuwe haring

It's Dutch nieuwe haring season, raw fillets of herring from the first catches of the season. I guess you're supposed to drag it through the raw onions and then dip it into your mouth holding it by the tail, but I preferred it the way I got it at various shacks around Amsterdam: on bread and butter with the raw onions on top. It's meltingly delicious, and does not shy away from being raw fish. This is not sushi. It's very robust. Fantastic with beer, probably even better with vodka or champagne. For those of you in New York, Russ & Daughters still has it, flown in fresh from Holland. Get it now - it won't last long.

Sonic Youth - Tonight On NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"


(photograph by Michael Schmelling)

Sonic Youth will be performing "No Way" from 'The Eternal' tonight on NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:30 EST).  Jimmy's other guests are John Legiuzamo and Nick Cannon. Nils, please remember you're supposed to get my Criterion Collection copy

Girls' "Album" out Sept. 22, Rejoice!

Photo by Sandy Kim
We are proud to announce the September 22 release of the debut full-length from Girls, entitled Album. The record will be released by True Panther Sounds, the label that released Girls' debut 7", "Lust For Life," last year, in conjunction with Matador.

Built on the powerful songwriting of Christopher Owens and the ethereal production of Chet "JR" White, Girls recorded Album in a variety of bedrooms and rehearsal studios in their adopted hometown, San Francisco. The resulting 12 tracks are the perfect San Francisco summer record, evoking a narcotic, sunny afternoon in Dolores Park, yet promising the eventual hangover of summer's departure. Album is a redemptive song-cycle about the various characters and desires that color Christopher Owens's life. Described by the band as "honest, loose, ethereal, obnoxious and perfect," it is a sincere tribute to the majesty of great pop music and the healing power of rock and roll.

Album's seven-minute opus, "Hellhole Ratrace," rated by Pitchfork as "one of the 100 best songs of the year," will be available prior to the album's release date on a limited-edition 10" vinyl single.

The video for "Hellhole Ratrace," directed by Aaron Brown, can be seen here
If you are outside the US, Canada and Mexico, please visit the Turnstile site for more information

1. Lust For Life
2. Laura
3. Ghostmouth
4. Goddamn
5. Big Bad Mean Motherfucker
6. Hellhole Ratrace
7. Headache
8. Summertime
9. Lauren Marie
10. Morning Light
11. Curls
12. Darling


God Help The Girl - Streaming Early, Often

Through the auspices of iMeem, you can stream the entire God Help The Girl full-length. The Stuart Murdoch-helmed project is available on LP/CD and digital album now at the Matador Store.

Rage Against The Cage

Hailing from the post-authenticity capital of America, Rage Against The Cage answers the age old question - "What do you get when you boil down the absolute essentials of STP, Candlebox and Collective Soul?"

Full streaming action and lyrics -

Harlem And Matador


(l-r, Coomers, Curtis, Jose. In the background - not sure, but hopefully he won't sue)

It's a poorly kept secret around the office and the band's hometown but one we can finally confirm --- Matador has signed the Austin, TX trio HARLEM to a multi-record, worldwide deal. 

Led by dual vocalists Michael Coomers and Curtis O'Mara (the duo switch between guitar and drums, both onstage and off), Harlem started in Tucson, AZ before relocating to Austin where they've generated a mountain of attention, both with their fantastic live shows and their self-issued 2008 LP/CD 'Free Drugs' (Female Fantasy --- currently available via Matador Direct)

Pitchfork's Roque Strew has hailed Harlem as "a marvel of cartoonishly masculine, crudely analog brevity", while Gorilla Vs. Bear considers 'Free Drugs' to be "super infectious, instantly endearing", and kindly supplying a quote that we'll gladly take out of context, the Austin Chronicle's Audra Schroeder has fallen preil to the album's "anxious, stuttering charm". I know, that all sounds highly suspicious, but anyone who's heard 'Free Drugs' or witnessed Harlem laying waste to any number of shoebox sized venues (some of which, were in fact, shoeboxes) can attest, the band's casual virtuosity is only eclipsed by their otherworldly songwriting skills.

Recently joined by bassist Jose Boyer, Harlem will be recording their 2nd album this summer for release on Matador in 2010.  

Harlem - MySpace

Sonic Youth - "Sacred Trickster" video

The debut video from "The Eternal" makes it's world-premiere today on the homepage of YouTube.

But you can just watch it here. Directed by Tom Surgal.

"The Eternal" is available here.

New UK Yo La Tengo Dates in November


...Does exactly what it says on the tin.

The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo show rolls into London town tonight, for Ornette Coleman's Meltdown.  A first for us Brits, in the band's own words, The Freewheeling Show is something of an interactive experience :

"No set list; instead the audience is encouraged (if not required) to interact with the band, leading we're never quite sure where." So get your questions at the ready.

And the band will be back in the UK in November, no Freewheeling this time, it's back to the good old fashioned rock n roll show.  Dates below :

Fri 6 Nov : SCOTLAND, GLASGOW, ABC1 : / £14

Sat 7 Nov : UK, MANCHESTER, ACADEMY 2 : / £14

Sun 8 Nov : UK, LONDON, THE ROUNDHOUSE : / £17

Newsweek Story That Would Be Widely Re-Bloggified if Not In Newsweek

synewsweekSonic Youth is the top story on Newsweek's site today and this feature will be in the magazine next week.  (direct link)

I usually don't blog about press, but this is a great piece about how culture suffers when art is marginalized, and (if you'll allow me to stretch) the discouraging (and uniquely American?) absorption by purportedly open-minded indie/slacker types of Conservative disdain toward intellectualism and forward-thinking art.

"The retrenchment behind indie lines is more the mainstream's loss than it is Sonic Youth's. So while industry watchers prefer to fret over the declining sales power of Britney Spears's comeback records, the rest of us should be more concerned about what happens when art music sends fewer and fewer ambassadors to the straight world."

It's only a couple weeks into Newsweek's relaunch (in which it concedes weekly news recapping to the Internet, opting instead for "reported narratives" and "argued essays") and hey, looks like a decent strategy so far.

(Photo by Jake Chessum for Newsweek)

Sonic Youth - "Sacred Trickster" on Letterman

We don't know who this "audio perv" person is, but I'm betting it isn't a pseudonym for Paul Schaffer.

Tonight : Sonic Youth On "The Late Show WIth David Letterman"


Sonic Youth will be performing "Sacred Trickster" from the just-released 'The Eternal' tonight on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35 EST). Dave's other guest will be comedian Rick Shapiro Kathy Griffin.

Times New Viking + TJSA + Mad Scene = Greatest Saturday Night Ever


(TNV pic culled from listenmissy's flickr stream)

Times New Viking return to the East Coast this Saturday night at Brooklyn's Bell House, playing alongside the reunited Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and the Mad Scene.  If this clip from 2008 is any indication, Ron House hasn't lost a step, but wouldn't you rather have an informed opinion?

God Help the Girl - "Funny Little Frog" video premiere

June 23 sees the release of the God Help the Girl, a story set to music by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian.

In the latest video from the album, available for purchase here, Stuart seeks out and auditions a group of young singers who ultimately provide the vocal backbone for God Help the Girl.

Fans will recognize "Funny Little Frog" from Belle's most recent album, "The Life Pursuit".

Pavement - Brighten Deluxe on vinyl, June 23

Pavement - Brighten Deluxe 4 LP vinyl

On June 23 we will finally be releasing one of the deluxe Pavement reissues on vinyl. Originally slated to come out at the same time as the double CD last fall, endless production issues held up the package.

You can preorder it HERE

The set contains 4 HQ-120 gram LPs pressed at RTI in a heavy-duty matte-stock folding cardboard gatefold set, as depicted above. It also contains a 16-page 12" by 12" full-color matte-stock booklet, plus a download card for all 48 tracks.

Note! the vinyl contains 8 tracks that would not fit on the CD version (some of which were only discovered after that set was released). They are:

  • Westie Can Drum (Elastica) - previously unreleased recording
  • Stereo (Remix) - remixed by Steve Fisk for the second pressing of the promotional single for radio
  • Agony Of The Stars - unreleased song recorded for the film 'Sweethearts'
  • Birds in the Majic Industry - B-side to "Stereo" CD single (a second, unreleased version was on the double CD of the album, and is also included here)
  • Painted Soldiers - unreleased, live from KCRW 2/25/97
  • What Goes On - a Velvet Underground cover, unreleased, live from KCRW 2/25/97
  • Kris Kraft - unreleased, live from KRW 2/25/97
  • And Then (7" version) - B-side to "Spit On A Stranger" 7"

That last track, the majestic, monumental 7" version of "And Then" (a version of the song also known as "The Hexx") was originally intended to be the opening track of the Brighten The Corners release. The band decided to remove it entirely and relegate it to a B-side at the very last minute.

We know that this is expensive... and we know that many of you have already spent your hard-earned dollars on the double CD version. Unfortunately the economics of producing deluxe sets like this one (in either format), combined with the timing problems that bedevil this kind of release, means that we are not in a position to offer people any discount or buy-back. Sorry. If this one proves successful, then we will move forward with vinyl releases on the previous three deluxe editions.

On a lighter note, some of you may remember our "Date w/ IKEA" contest to mark the CD release, which we called Brighten Your Corners. Home furnishings-challenged fans were encouraged to submit photographs of their sad apartments. The winner, Jenny Bergen of New York, got a date with Bob Nastanovich to the IKEA in Red Hook, courtesy of the free ferry across New York Harbor in the dead of February, along with money to spend on furniture. We filmed the "date" and you can watch it here:

Brighten Your Corners: Date W/ IKEA - Pavement

Preorder Brighten The Corners - deluxe vinyl.

Pavement - Brighten Deluxe 4 LP vinyl set

Pavement - Brighten Deluxe 4 LP vinyl

Sonic Youth's House of Shifting Plates and Ridiculous Juice


In celebration of their new album, The Eternal, Sonic Youth will take over L.A.s hottest new record shop. For one day only, on June 9th, Origami Vinyl will become Sonic Youth's House of Shifting Plates and Ridiculous Juice, as dubbed by the band itself. Origami's wall of featured albums will display selections hand-picked by Thurston, Kim, Lee, Steve and Mark -  ranging from Okkyung Lee to John Lennon - as well as a wide range of Sonic Youth and Sonic Youth related releases. The band has also invited their friends Pocahaunted and Shiloe to play sets at the store. Deathbomb Arc, a local label in Los Angeles that has released some Thurston Moore stuff on vinyl, gave us the following very limited edition goodies to sell in-store:

Gang Wizard / Algebrassiere
split 12"
originally co-released between Deathbomb Arc & Ecstatic Peace
Test pressings packaged in exclusive handmade art by Melissa
From 5:30 till 6:30 on June 9th, Melissa will be in-store to
personalize the art on these for the lucky buyers.

Thurston Moore / Men Who Can't Love
split 12"
originally released as a part of the Thrash Sabbatical box set by
Deathbomb Arc
Overrun of this record from the box set has been hiding at DBA HQ for
some time.
Now repackaged in exclusive handmade art by Josh Taylor.

Origami has also teamed up with local artist, Seizer, to create a special limited edition silkscreen print of the art attached. The art poster will be limited to 50 copies, hand numbered and signed, available for pre-order the day of the event.

As if that weren't enough, Two Boots Pizza will create a special "Eternal" pie that resembles the album's artwork. Slices of this pie will be given away free during the event at Origami. Phil, owner of Two Boots and long-time friend of the band, is excited to be a part of the band's new release.

The details of the event are:
Sonic Youth's House of Shifting Plates and Ridiculous Juice
Tuesday, June 9th from 5.30pm - 9pm
with live performances by Pocahaunted and Shiloe
Limited edition goodies provided by Deathbomb Arc and Not Not Fun
Free "Eternal" Pizza slices provided by Two Boots
+ other SPECIAL surprises
1816 W. Sunset Blvd, Echo Park, Ca 90026

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