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.

Spiral Stairs live Seattle instore


A little while back, Gerard may or may not have mentioned something about Spiral Stairs playing an instore in Seattle (by a while back I mean this morning and by "may or may not have mentioned" I mean he mapped it out in great detail... I just like suspense).

Well, dear friends, here it is... In celebration of the release of his first album under the SS moniker, Spiral is taking Seattle by free-live-instore storm. Check it. Don't wreck it.

Battle For Burma contest winner revealed show.poster

We are very, very happy to announce the winner of the Battle For Burma. The winner, who will be opening for Mission Of Burma at their free show at MIT on Sunday, October 4, is New Haven, CT's own Eula.

Congratulations to Eula, and thanks to everyone who entered the Battle For Burma. Stay tuned for further info.

Spiral Stairs - 2nd MP3 From 'The Real Feel'

SpiralStairs02_PeterEllenby.NEW copy

(photograph by Peter Ellenby)

Y'know, in the midst of all the hoopla surrounding Pavement's return to the concert stage , there's probably a tendency to overlook the forthcoming release of the first album to formally bear the Spiral Stairs nom de plume. Which is a lowdown, dirty shame, as Scott Kannberg has crafted the most (equal parts) brooding-funny-catchy-smart work of his post-Pavement oeuvre in the form of 'The Real Feel'.

"True Love" (192k, MP3) is but one example.

In addition to the following dates (all supporting Bob Mould other than 10/18),  there will be a Spiral Stairs performance at Sonic Boom's Ballard location (2209 NW Market St.) on Wednesday, October 14 (6pm).  Though 'The Real Feel' isn't formally released until October 20, Sonic Boom will have copies of the CD and LP available that day.

10/15 - Neumos - Seattle, WA
10/16 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
10/18 - Treasure Island Music Festival - San Francisco, CA
10/19 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
10/20 - Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA

(preorder 'The Real Feel' on CD or LP from The Matador Store)

Harlem - US Dates (And CMJ, Too)


(l-r : Curtis, Coomers, Jose. Pics taken from Poptartgirl's Flickr page)

OK, we've listed some of the dates below previously, but now we've got extensive CMJ activity for Harlem as well. If you'd like to argue that CMJ is part of America, well, that's going to be a very long discussion between you and I.

While you're mulling it over, Harlem have recently completed recording and mixing of their 2nd album at Costa Mesa, CA's Distillery. For a while there was some suspicion we'd sent them to a real distillery, but all of the invoices checked out (and Chris Lombardi even swung by the place) and hopefully that's the last of our label paranoia for a while. More details surrounding said album will be forthcoming soon.

Fri 10/2/09 Emo’s Austin TX with !!!
Sat 10/3/09 Saturn Bar New Orleans LA
Sun 10/4/09 Alabama Music Box Mobile AL
Mon 10/5/09 Sluggo’s Pensacola FL
Tue 10/6/09 Will’s Pub Orlando FL
Thu 10/8/09 Sweat Records Miami FL
Fri 10/9/09 New World Brewery Ybor City/Tampa FL
Tue 10/13/09 Nightlight Chapel Hill NC
Wed 10/14/09 Talking Head Baltimore MD
Thu 10/15/09 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia PA
Sat 10/17/09 Scion Garage Rock Festival Satyricon Portland OR
Tue 10/20/09 Santos Party House New York NY
Wed 10/21/09 Maxwells Hoboken NJ
Fri 10/23/09 Vice Party @ Public Assembly Brooklyn NY
Sat 10/24/09 After The Jump Party @Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn NY
Tue 10/27/09 DC 9 Washington DC
Wed 10/28/09 JJ’s Bohemia Chattanooga TN
Thu 10/29/09 Hal & Mals Jackson MS
Fri 11/6/09 Fun Fun Fun Fest Austin TX (with Shearwater, Times New Viking, Fucked Up, Mission Of Burma, DRI)

Kurt Vile - stream "Childish Prodigy" in its entirety


Album out 10/6. Hear it now, buy it now (or later).

Mission of Burma - Full album stream (Rhapsody)

Mission of Burma's excellent new album, The Sound, The Speed, The Light isn't out for another week, and some people can't even wait until Tuesday to hail its brilliance.

We have you covered though - Rhapsody is streaming the entire album right now!

Disable your pop-up blockers, check the album out, and then own it forever.


Kurt Vile on WMUC at 6pm EDT today

[caption id="attachment_6162" align="alignnone" width="411" caption="photo by Shawn Brackbill"]photo by Shawn Brackbill[/caption]

Reasons to tune in to Kurt Vile's interview on WMUC (College Park, MD) tonight at 6pm Eastern:

1. Kurt will be talking about his new album, Childish Prodigy, which is not only better than anything he's ever done but also better than anything most people have ever done.

2. You'll have a chance to win a copy of the aforementioned album.

3. You'll also have a chance to win two tickets to Kurt's show on November 5th at the Black Cat.

4. There is probably at least one other reason.

88.1 FM if you're in the vicinity of College Park, if you only know Maryland from watching The Wire.

London record shopping: still great


Just got back from a trip to London and am happy to report that it is still one of the record shopping capitals of the world. I've had many memorable visits there before, especially to the great Beano's in Croydon when it was still three stories of original UK '60s and '70s pressings at reasonable prices, and of course rummaging around in the back room of Minus Zero for folk private pressings, and a memorably expensive (but totally worth it) trawl through the boxes at Intoxica that netted me original 7"es by the Poets and the Mockingbirds as well a mint Parlophone 1st/2nd matrix original mono Rubber Soul.

But this trip was mostly about shopping for new records. I visited the (relatively) new Rough Trade East in Brick Lane, which is London's answer to Amoeba. Totally great experience - nice people, huge selection (esp of dubstep and funky 12"es), interesting books, lots of space. I bought several singles by the great Ramadanman (thanks Dean) as well as a super-cavernous 12" from Aardvarck (recommended by staff), and a £5.99 CD of Richard & Linda Thompson in concert in 1975 that I somehow missed when it came out last year. Also scored double vinyl of the latest Benin comp from Samy Ben Redjeb's Analog Africa label.

The original Rough Trade shop in Talbot Road off Portobello Market is also still great, though I remain stymied by the cramped upstairs. Downstairs is a different matter though - the vinyl is extremely well chosen and guaranteed to appeal to American buyers who are used to paying through the nose on eBay for decent copies of UK original rock and folk. I decided to spend £10 on Genesis's Selling England By The Pound, and also picked up a dead mint Scott 3 in its gorgeous laminated Philips gatefold. Unfortunately the £30 original UK (with insert!) of The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter was not mint.

On to Stand Out / Minus Zero, which remains as mindblowing as ever. I didn't have a chance to talk to the ever friendly Bill Forsyth, but on the Stand Out side of the shop, Bill Allerton still presides over the greatest collection of UK freakbeat and psych still being offered in a physical location. I spotted a copy of The Hush 7" Grey on the wall, one of my longest-term wants, and correctly guessed its price as being £500. Oh well - pass. Bill immediately remarked, "I have boxes and boxes of that sort of thing under the counter."

On for a quick visit to Intoxica, where they were playing some insanely over the top British humor record that could have been a Vivian Stanshall solo album - I wasn't sure. Crazy Latin records I'd never seen before, plus the Turkish alternate sleeve for Led Zep II on the wall - also for £500, in VG. Pass. Didn't go behind the counter here... the stock is incredible, but I don't have that kind of money to spend at the moment.

Finally up to the top of Portobello Road to Honest Jon's, the best world / dub / ethnic store on earth. The genial Alan Scholefield was behind the counter spinning unbelievable deep reggae cuts and coming out to discuss Trikont comps of Vietnamese street music ("total Bo Diddley"). We grabbed a bunch of the latest Honest Jon's comps - including one compiling '70s bands from Upper Volta - and I scored a Tabu Ley Rochereau record from 1969 and a clean original Fela Ikoyi Blindness Nigerian pressing for £25.

Great day? ABSOLUTELY.

Yo La Tengo on WFMU today at 3pm

You may have noticed that we've been going on a bit about tonight's epic Yo La Tengo show at Roseland in New York City, and well, what can I say? We're excited. Other excited parties, and human beings in general, should tune in to WFMU at 3:00 this afternoon, when Yo La Tengo's always entertaining bassist James McNew will chat by phone with David Suisman on his Inner Ear Detour show. Also, I do believe David will be playing some music from the new album Popular Songs, which as I'm sure you can imagine is a favorite around these parts.

You can engage with WFMU on the radio dial at 91.1 FM (NYC/East Central NJ) and on WMFU, 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley, Lower Catskills, Western NJ). If those parenthetical locations don't work for you, there's always online listening at

Kurt Vile - Live from Rittenhouse Square

Continuing to spotlight great Kurt/Violators footage (Childish Prodigy is out October 6!), we offer Woodshop Films' tasty take on "Hunchback" from Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia last month (and a great interview too):

Yo La Tengo / An Evening at Roseland Ballroom NYC / Fri, Sept 25

ylt roseland poster

TGIF with YLT.  That's right, this Friday (Sept 25th), should you find yourself in New York City with nothing to do, fear not.  Yo La Tengo return home (or very very close to home) to play a show celebrating their brand new album Popular Songs.

The event is being hosted  by the Daily Show's John Oliver.  Second the Black Lips are opening up for YLT and well those guys never let you down live.  And finally Yo La Tengo.  Their set sounds like one for the ages, as they'll be accompanied by both a string section and a very special, one night only light show by Joshua White & Gary Panter.

And since there are no plans for Hanukkah shows this year, this is your last chance to see YLT in the NYC area this year.  Tickets are still available!

Ted Leo & Matador


(photo by Jody VB)

We're a very fortunate bunch of people over at Matador Records & Filmworks.  Not only do we get to work within a stone's throw of a Trump construction site (and a Chipotle!), but we're also associated with our favorite artists-on-the-planet, some of whom we were crazy, sick fans of long before the opportunity to put out their records was even discussed.   And that's the context in which we'll gladly announcing the signing of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, with a new full-length album tentatively schedule for release in early 2010.

Though a succession of releases for the Gern Blandsten, Ace Fu, Lookout (and most recently) Touch & Go labels, Ted has established himself as one of the best songwriters breathing, regardless of genre. For the sake of argument, however, we'll testify that Leo's marriage of modern punk with classic pop is always subject to revision and reinvention --- if we weren't confident that you'd be blown away, there'd be no need for this conversation. The Pharmacists' fantastic recordings have been supported with kinetic performances on big & small stages  around the globe, and next year should be no exception.

The new album, as yet untitled, was recorded throughout 2009 at Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge. Art and further details to follow.

Kurt Vile - Nothing To See Here...

Oh but there is! Kurt Vile's excellent Childish Prodigy is out 10/6 (pre-order it here and get the "He's Alright" 7" free), and we've noticed there's a wealth of great Kurt video footage floating around these here internets.

Starting today and continuing each day this week we're going to highlight some choice KV video action for your enjoyment. The first clip comes from our friends at Yours Truly and features Kurt giving it to the kids all acoustic-style on the aformentioned "He's Alright", as well as "Breathin' Out".

Times New Viking - album out today and video premiere on Pitchfork

Today we celebrate the release of Born Again Revisited, the fine fourth album by the great Times New Viking. Buy it here, and then buy it for a friend.

Pitchfork is lending a hand, today premiering the brand new video for BAR standout "No Time, No Hope", directed by Pelham Johnston and Brandon Reichard.

The hardest working band in sports is on tour this fall.

"No Time, No Hope":

Fucked Up win the Polaris Music Prize


(photo by Connie Tsang)

Fucked Up are the winners of Canada's Polaris Music Prize. Awarded annually to the best Canadian musical artist, there is only a single artist chosen and it is an highly prestigious award.

Liisa Ladouceur, who oversees the voting for Polaris, talked about the intensity of the process.

“We ask the jury to vote regardless of genre and they truly did,” stated Liisa Ladouceur, Representative of the jury. “Members of the jury believed that the Fucked Up’s Chemistry Of Common Life was not only the best hardcore album of the year, not only the best Canadian album of the year, but was the best album of the year in the world – period.”

The 2009 11-member gala Grand Jury are: Bryan Acker (Herohill), Brendan Murphy (Hour), Stuart Derdeyn (Vancouver Province), Mary Dickie (Elle), Brad Frenette (National Post), Nicholas Jennings (freelance journalist), Robert Mersereau (CBC), Mia Parang (Musique Plus), Ben Rayner (Toronto Star), Brad Wheeler (The Globe And Mail) and Lisa Wilton (Calgary Sun).

For their performance on the show, Fucked Up were joined by Final Fantasy and Lullabye Arkestra. Not to mention Mrs. Falco, better known as Jonah's mom (she plays the flute intro that leads off The Chemistry Of Common Life). You can view their Polaris performance of "Son The Father" on the Much Music site if you visit this link and then expand the "MOST RECENT VIDEO" tab.

Don't forget, Fucked Up will be doing a full-album performance of Chemistry at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on November 5... with additional musicians to truly bring the multiple layers of density and allusiveness that make up that album. Get ticketing info here.

Buy ChemCom.

Kurt Vile - Philly Instore


Kurt Vile, previously described by a hyperbole crazed observer as "one of the more important figures in American music circa 2009" (by all means, feel free to cut and paste that declaration as often as you'd like) commemorates the release of his new LP/CD/digital album 'Childish Prodigy' with the following live events in Philly and NYC (in addition to a full U.S. tour)

AKA in-store, Philadelphia - Kurt solo - Friday, 10/2
Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia  - with the Violators - Saturday, 10/3 (support  : Birds Of Maya, Coconuts)
Mercury Lounge, NYC - with the Violators - Wednesday, 10/7 (support  : Birds Of Maya, Coconuts)

Yo La Tengo on La Blogotheque

Vincent Moon and Co. take on Yo La Tengo. Popular Songs is out now and available for purchase here.

YLT are on tour now with a special show in New York City this Friday.

Cold Cave - UK tour

Cold Cave live

Photo courtesy of nikkisneakers' Flickr

Coming to a British city near you. Don't forget your dancing shoes.

Thursday 29th - Louisiana, Bristol
Friday 30th - Club Evol @ Korova, Liverpool
Saturday 31st - Playdate @ Sneaky Petes, Edinburgh

Sunday 1st - Optimo, Glasgow
Monday 2nd - Liars Club @ Bodega, Nottingham
Tuesday 3rd - White Heat @ Madame Jo Jo's, London
Wednesday 4th - Barfly, London
Thursday 5th - The Corner, Manchester
Friday 6th - Moles, Bath
Saturday 7th - Be @ Proud, London

Julian Plenti - Debut U.S. Tour


After a September 25 date at New York City's Guggenheim Museum, Julian Plenti will be playing the following shows

Sat    14    November    San Diego - House of Blues
Mon    16    November    Seattle - Chop Suey
Tues    17    November    Portland - Wonder Ballroom
Wed    18    November    San Francisco - Great American Music Hall
Thurs    19    November    Los Angeles - El Rey Theatre
Sat    21    November    Chicago - Metro
Mon    23    November    Boston - Paradise Rock Club
Tues    24    November    New York - Bowery Ballroom
Wed    25    November    Brooklyn - Brooklyn Bowl
Fri    27    November    Philadelphia - First Unitarian Church

Support on all dates comes from Brooklyn's I'm In You.  Tickets for the Bowery Ballroom and Brooklyn Bowl shows are on sale now.

Julian Plenti. ' Skyscraper' LP/CD/digital album available from the Matador Store.

Mission Of Burma Day in Boston October 4th - Free show at MIT + The Battle for Burma

[caption id="attachment_6048" align="alignnone" width="397" caption="poster by Brian Kelly"]poster by Brian Kelly[/caption]

I’d like to think that by now you’re all aware that Mission Of Burma’s new album, The Sound The Speed The Light, is coming out on October 6th (and is available for pre-order here). What I can tell you now is that the trio of Clint Conley, Roger Miller & Peter Prescott will be playing a free, all-ages outdoor show on the East Campus Courtyard of MIT just two days earlier, at 2pm on Sunday, October 4th.

Not only is this an unprecedented celebration of Mission Of Burma in their hometown, it’s also an opportunity for YOU (or maybe one of your friends if you’re not musically-inclined) to open for one of the greatest bands of all time. That’s right, it’s the Battle For Burma, an online battle of the bands where your band can vie for an opening slot at this very special show. To submit your band, click on this image below and upload a video of yourselves performing:

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 25, and the winner will be hand-picked by Mission Of Burma. Contest is open to ANY band, as long as you’re cool with playing for free.

More details to come, but for now, mark your calendars, because October 4th is going to be an unusually great day at MIT.

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