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.

Belle & Sebastian LIVE CONCERT WEBCAST (is over, but we've got you covered)

If you missed yesterday's INSANELY FANTASTIC live Belle & Sebastian concert webcast from Glasgow, well, what were you THINKING? Watching the band burn through classics and new favorites, my inner 15-year-old-self nearly went into convulsions (ask my coworkers, it was embarrassing).

Though you may have erred horribly and missed the show, 'tis the holiday season, and in the spirit of giving (and forgiving) our friends at NPR have archived the entire show, in audio and video. Hallelujah.

The show was something really special - watch it with someone you love, and have a safe and happy holiday season.

Free remix MP3 from Esben and the Witch

Embracing the spirit of the festive season, Esben and the Witch have merrily handed over a free-download to the Drowned in Sound website, which is available for download here.  Fellow Brits Worried About Satan remixed 'Skeleton Swoon' which originally featured on the very first Demo/EP which the band self released last year.  Daniel from the band also passed on these words about the remix:

"It was not really too much of a decision asking worriedaboutsatan to do a remix, I bought Arrivals when it came out and the atmospherics and pacing were just beautiful and the job they have done on this remix is wonderful, I think they managed to make it sound even more macabre. We were fortunate enough to have them play with us in London recently and not only were they lovely gents but they were absolutely captivating. I imagine this wont be the last time our paths cross creatively (or at least we hope not)."

Perfect Couples & a new A.C. Newman song

A.C. Newman has composed and performed the theme song for the new NBC primetime series Perfect Couples. It's a pretty genius song too - at least the 19 seconds we can hear. Click on the above link for the trailer. Preview aired yesterday; show premieres January as part of NBC's three-hour Thursday comedy block, leading into "The Office."

Kurt Vile & Andrew Earles on The Best Show On WFMU tonight, 9:00PM EST

[caption id="attachment_11697" align="alignnone" width="391" caption="(photo by Shawn Brackbill)"][/caption]

Fans of modern American troubadour Kurt Vile (and we hope that's a category that includes each and every one of you) aren't getting a chance to catch their breath this week. Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement of Mr. Vile's forthcoming opus, Smoke Ring For My Halo, comes the news that Kurt will be appearing tonight on Tom Scharpling's The Best Show On WFMU. Given the Best Show's well-known connection to Kurt's hometown of Philadelphia, we can only imagine what will transpire on this broadcast.

On top of that, Andrew Earles of Earles & Jensen fame will also be in the studio with Tom to discuss his recently published book on the legendary Husker Du.

This explosion of star power starts tonight at 9:00PM EST and goes all the way til midnight, so there's plenty of time for you to tune in at 91.1FM or

TODAY: Belle & Sebastian CONCERT WEBCAST, live from Glasgow - 4PM EST (1PM PST, 9PM GMT)

The day is finally here! Belle & Sebastian: a Holiday Spectacular, live from Glasgow.

Tune in today at NPR ( or The Guardian ( at 4PM EST (1PM PST for Californians and the like, and 9PM GMT in the country of origin) for a full-length Belle & Sebastian concert - a holiday blowout live from Glasgow. Yessssssssss!!!!!!!!!!

We're expecting classic tunes, long-lost favorites, suprises and superjams from the recent Write About Love (buy the album)...Break out the eggnog, this is going to be great.

(Photo by Christoph)

Coming Tuesday, March 8 - Kurt Vile's 'Smoke Ring For My Halo'

Some 17 months ago, a particularly hyperbole-crazed record company functionary gushed about this imprint's signing of "one of the more important figures in American music circa 2009", certainly the sort of poisoned chalice a young musician would have as much trouble living down as the subject of Jon Landau's 1974 claim in The Real Paper, "I have seen rock'n'roll future."

We of course know that in the latter instance, Landau was referring to Paul Williams, and in the former, I was writing about Philadelphia's Kurt Vile.  Through a succession of releases for Matador, Woodsist, Gulcher, Richie and Mexican Summer (not to mention constant touring, both as a headliner an in support of a dizzying range of artists including Ariel Pink, Sonic Youth, Fucked Up, Big Star, The National, Dinosaur Jr.and others) Kurt has quickly established himself as the troubadour du jour for an increasingly large number of clued-in persons.  Though initially praised in some corners for having "absorbed a lifetime's worth of FM rock",  Kurt's music has developed into something less genre/period-specific yet far more focused & powerful.   On March 8, we'll be unveiling the next stage in that development with the LP/CD/digital album, 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' ;  recorded by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) throughout 2010 at various studios in NYC, Hoboken and Philadelphia, the 2nd Kurt Vile full-length for Matador is easily his most ambitious work to date.  Assisted by a cast including but not limited to the Violators, 'Smoke Ring' doesn't merely showcase Kurt's versatility (keep in mind, this is a guy who was once compared to Leonard Cohen, Psychic TV, Tom Petty and Animal Collective --- in the same review), but truly ties otherwise disparate elements together in a way that hopefully causes everyone to seriously re-evaluate the very nature of what they consider to be a classic album.

Or failing that, the sort of album you'll be playing very loud in the car.  Or first thing in the morning. Or perhaps at 3am.  We could call it a record for every mood but you might be far moodier than any of us and that wouldn't be fair.

'Smoke Ring For My Halo' :

A side:
Baby's Arms
Jesus Fever
Puppet To The Man
On Tour
Society Is My Friend

B side:
Runner Ups
In My Time
Peeping Tomboy
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Ghost Town

In the very near future, we'll be making another preview MP3 from 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' available, but until then, you'll have to be satisfied with the titular track from the recently released 7" EP,  "In My Time".     We're planning a special, limited edition version of the 'Smoke Ring' LP but need to keep the details to ourselves for the time being, but expect a formal announcement soon, along with information about Kurt's 2011 live activity.

Kurt Vile "In My Time" [192kbps mp3]

Mr. Butler's wet grinder

This is one of the best infomercials I've ever seen. Stick with it - their product range is wide and deep.

(Also, you now all know what to get me for Christmas.)

If you liked that one, you might also enjoy the commercial below for a tilting wet grinder (industrial size). I mainly found it interesting for the insanely weird background music.

Belle & Sebastian CONCERT WEBCAST: a Holiday Spectacular, live from Glasgow - THIS TUESDAY

We are so pleased to announce that this coming Tuesday December 21 at 9PM GMT/4PM EST, NPR and The Guardian will partner with Matador, Rough Trade and, of course, Belle & Sebastian to bring you a live concert, in it's entirety, from the legendary Barrowland in the band's hometown of Glasgow.

Belle & Sebastian. Live from Glasgow. Oh my God, Merry Christmas!!!!!

The live concert webcast, which promises to include long-lost fan favorites, hits from this year's Write About Love (buy the album) and all manner of festive fun, will be found at and, as well as on NPR's mobile site ( for viewing on your iPhone, Android and iPad.

Let's have a party, people.

Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah Mix CD's, On Sale For One Day Only via

Whether you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift, a belated Hanukkah present or you're just intent on hoarding cool stuff/mementos from 2010's most impressive concert series, the following offer from our friends Yo La Tengo is not to be missed.

On Friday at midnight PST  (Friday 3 am EST), will be offering four of the mix cd's sold exclusively at the 2010 Maxwell's Hanukkah shows, one night apiece -Georgia's (sold 12/7 ), James' (sold 12/5 ), Ira's  (sold 12/6 ) and Joe Puleo's (sold 12/8).  This offer will end at midnight PST on Saturday (3 am EST).

All cd's will be $10 each ppd in the USA (surcharge for elsewhere).  Additionally, there's an optional overnight gift-giver's delight service for the low, low surcharge of $7.  Other than the surcharges, all money (in other words $10 per cd) will be donated to the charities from this year's Hanukkah shows, which can be found here:  (If you're scoring at home, we're absorbing the cost of blank cd's, mailers, US first-class postage, and on-line merchant fees.)

The New Pornographers team with Oxfam for Gulf Coast oil spill awareness

Today, Oxfam and The New Pornographers have announced a partnership to help maintain awareness for the ever-developing struggle in the Gulf Coast region following April's devastating oil spill and ensuing ecological crisis.

As part of their efforts to keep the plight of the Gulf Coast at the forefront of social consciousness heading into a new year, The New Pornographers and Oxfam have created a uniquely awesome music video for the NPs tune "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk", that tells the story of the aftermath of the Gulf Coast oil spill in Louisiana and Oxfam's advocacy efforts on behalf of communities that rely on the coast for their livelihoods. Check it out and SHARE IT, please:

As we close out another calendar year, The New Pornographers and Oxfam respectfully remind you that the Gulf Coast oil spill was not a "2010 issue", but remains the devastatingly persistent plight of a region, and truly an entire nation. For continued support of Oxfam's efforts in the Gulf, check back here regularly.

Man, Are We An Opinionated Bunch Or What? - Matador Artists, Staff & Associates Slam The Lid On 2010

There's no shortage of publications, blogs, label websites, etc.,  running their own screwy lists of 2010's top recordings, events, etc.   How is Matador's annual entry any different?  Well for starters, our lists are much longer. Thanks for indulging us this year, folks.   The Best Of The Bests Ofs, right after THIS :

Brian Case, The Ponys

Lower Dens - Twin Hand Movement
Easily my most listened to album this year. Initially I picked this up because I thought a friend of mine was in it, turned out he recorded it. So good, hope to do some shows together at some point.
Spoon - Transference
Spoon get better and more popular with every release by constantly evolving. This is their best album in my opinion, one of the few bands out their pushing their fans into new territory.
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Another band that succeeds by changing. At first I was on the fence with some of this but after seeing it live a few times and a few serious headphone sessions I really got the mood and aura of the recording.

Women - Public Strain
This sounds better and different every time I listen to it. I hope they didn't break up.
Anika - Anika
Woke up with this on my ipod one morning - don't remember how I found it but it's easily the coolest music made in 2010.
Weekend - Sport
Like Peter Hook in a Krautrock band. Lots of layers that never layer together, it's great.
Veronica Falls - Both singles
Kinda suprised more people aren't all over this band - they'll have an album our sometime 2011 that will be my favorite for the year.
Brian Eno - Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Was really suprised by this, the guys he's collaborating with are excellent. Everything about this - label, art, music - was really thought out and tasteful.
Soft Moon - Soft Moon
This is sneaking in right at the end of the year, very impressed with this guy.
Thread Pulls - New Thoughts
Heard this on the New Noise Podcast, really sparse - lots of space, just getting into it but I like it a lot.
Beach House - Teen Dream
What a great year for music, this record is perfect.

Andrew Earles

1. Brace Beldon’s commentary…MC’ing Gonerfest VII and ‘tween-song banter at Chaos in Tejas. I welcome a general show of balls as we approach the Great Culture Wars of 2013
2. Chaos in Tejas 2010 – I hate festivals. I love this one.
3. Fucked Up “Heir Apparent”
4. Boris Amplifier Worship reissue (Southern Lord)
5. Ty Segall – Melted (Goner) – Early impressions made me ignore the development Ty has gone through over the past couple of years. Please, more albums that make me look really dumb. Please. That’s not sarcasm.
6. Sailors With Wax Wings (Angel Oven)
7. The Young Voyagers of Legend (Mexican Summer)

8. Kylesa Spiral Shadow (Relapse)
9. Coliseum House With A Curse (Temporary Residence)
10. The completion and publication of my first book.
11. Being at peace with the predictability of the previous ten entries.

Jeffrey Jensen

1.  I like going to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. It’s free. It’s not crowded. You get to see rising talents like the staggeringly gorgeous Mandy Minella. Hubba Hubba!!
2.  Being from Kansas City, I’m a little snobby about BBQ. I’ve never thought anywhere else compared (yes, I’ve been to NC, Memphis and Texas). But I have to say Luling City Market deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bryant’s.
3. I and I got really into drinking Magnum Tonic Wine for the month of February. It’s really hard to find stateside which is probably a good thang.
4. The day the tornado touched down I was stranded in Flushing and eventually wound up at Ilda’s Place II in Elmhurst. This recommendation is directed towards those twits that audibly lament the “lack of grit” in NYC.
5. I purchased this suspiciously unblemished Volvo Wagon off an old man for a song.
6.  I finally found a copy of the Abdul and Cleopatra single by Jonathan Richman which is backed with my SONG OF THE YEAR…..”Carol”.
7. Jimmy Webb’s performance at Stuyvesant High School in July was a treat.
8. Getting vibed by Sasha Spielberg (I swear) at Louie’s Lunch in New Haven stands out.
9.  I was asked to interview one of my heroes the great Tom Wilson on Viva Radio. Buy his LP All-American Boy from his website you fools!!
10. I forgot how much fun it is to attend the Brimfield Antique Show.
11. The publication of Andy’s Husker Du book and the opening of Ian and Jade’s record store (Wombleton) also made 2010 less bleak.

James McNew, Yo La Tengo

"Delocated" season 2
"1000 Cats," by Brett Gelman
John Waters, Role Models
Julie Klausner, I Don't Care About Your Band
Live shows by: Thee Oh Sees, Little Black Egg, De La Soul, Merzbow, Rattle, Sloppy Heads, Nice & Smooth w/ DJ Premier
Yoshitomo Nara, "Nobody's Fool" exhibit at Asia Society NYC

Jonathan Meiburg, Shearwater

Where did you come from, where did you go?: 2010 in flashbacks

- Skyline Drive in Shenandoah
- Moby Dick.  (Not the Bonham version). Why did I wait so long?
- furtive glimpse of fabled 'rock star treatment' in all-you-can-drink press tour of northern Europe (unfortunately wasted on me)
- Hiking 10 miles to my truck through the Utah wilderness the morning of our show at Matador 21
- moment of panic when low-gear 4WD would not disengage (same morning).
- turning into a blithering fanboy in front of a very gracious Liz Phair like it was 1996

- Hiking the Zion Narrows alone
- receiving a cowrie shell from the island of Kili, where the people of Bikini Atoll still await permission to return home after 60+years.
- weathering critical scorn directed at Blue Water White Death album (which I love)
-  Thor's tour rules going viral, to my delight (and chagrin).  I think it was the picture that did it.
-  Making plans to disappear into the tropics
-  Realizing the beauty of the Vox AC30
-  Eating loquats from the tree in Miwa and Reuben's front yard
- "Newly-Weds Song" by Jim Pepper
- "The Reason Young People Use Drugs" by Abner Jay
- "You Fucking People Make Me Sick" by SWANS
- Argiope spider in the prickly pear by my mailbox.  Huge, beautiful, and totally evil.
- Playing the London Barbican, Tavastia in Helsinki, Bowery and WMH in NYC, the unforgettably weird Outland in Columbus, OH, and The Off Festival in Poland...
- ...where I watched Jordan and Kim and our soundman Phil Jones dance onstage with the Flaming Lips.
- Getting robbed in Washington, DC - only consolation was feeling of unease the thieves must have felt when they opened Thor's sketchbook.
- Palo Santo Marron ale by Dogfish Head. I'm pretty sure they had me in mind.
- Planning for The Island Arc performance in January.
- "Cotton-Eyed Joe," performed by Nina Simone

Sandy Miranda, Fucked Up

Pleasant Moments

Six Flags Magic Mountain in January.
Damian breaking edge on tour.
Moscow, Russia (note the super fine statues in the subway).

(all photos by Sandy)

Playing basketball at Matador 21.
All Tomorrow's Parties, Monticello, NY.
Two gratuitous photos of my cat, Buster.
Making new friends and seeing old ones on the hard-to-believe-actually-happened Arcade Fire tour.

Bob Nastanovich, Pavement

Saccharine Trust live, Minehead, UK
The Pie Shop, Felix Street, Auckland
Flemington Racecourse live, Melbourne
The Ring Hotel, Vienna
Poison Control Center live, Kansas City
Hipodromo de Palermo live, Buenos Aires
The Clean live

Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants

Kathryn Braddick, Beggars Group

The year I didn't miss TV and discovered boxsets (a bit late, I know). Two in particular Mad Men & 30 Rock. Mad Men fuelling my love of Don Draper and my desire to grow up to be all hips & tits just like Joan Holloway. 30 Rock fuelling my love for Jack Donaghy and gaining fashion tips from Liz Lemon.

Primavera, Primavara, Primavara this was the first year I'd ever been. What more could you want, nice weather, ace bands and a festival full of sunbunt indie boys!

The Matador @ 21 boxset on shuffle, reigniting my love for Pavement and the joy of them being followed by Fucked Up soundtracking my epic daily commutes across London and the daily fuck ups of TFL.

The year I favoured Twitter over Facebook, I finally settled on a name and had enough with the 100's of holiday shots of people you barely know or even like for that matter. Twitter is short and to the point. There are two very good reasons to be on twitter: @dianainheaven - I am looking forward to her narration of the royal wedding next year and @ViztopTips advise & tips on everything you ever need to know.

The year me & Mat moved into our own flat (no more shared houses for me) and my demand for a huge ruby bit of bling came true and we got engaged!

Adam Farrell, Beggars Group


Black Breath - 'Heavy Breathing' (Southern Lord)
Earl Sweatshirt - 'Earl' (OFWGKTA / Sendspace)
Big K.R.I.T. - 'K.R.I.T. Wuz Here' (Rapidshare)
Lower Dens - 'Twin-Hand Movement' (Gnomonsong)
Field Music - 'Measure' (Memphis Industries)

Rick Ross - "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)"
Dylan LeBlanc - "Emma Hartley"
Earl Sweatshirt - "epaR"
The Sugar Stems - "Next to You"

Pulling up to The Palms
Pulling away from The Palms
And special props to my wife for helping to bring Lute into the world. Couldn't have done it without her!

Jeremy Goldstein, Beggars Group

Top 10 records

1. Sound of Guns - What Came From Fire - Distiller. UK guitar rock that would fit in perfectly in 1995. Which is obviously right up my alley.
2. Hurts - Happiness - RCA. Depeche Mode meets Spandau Ballet meets Human League? Super dramatic, super stylized '80s-esque synthpop.
3. Dinosaur Pile-Up - Growing Pains - Friends Vs. Records. Some English lads listened a lot to Nirvana's Nevermind and then decided to rock their own poppier version.
4. Union Sound Set - Start/Stop - Mighty Atom. Reminiscent of early Elbow, plus the singer is a United fan. So there's that.

5. Makaras Pen - Makaras Pen - Projekt. First of three shoegaze records on my list. Like a FAR less creepy Cranes. Just be wary of the videos.
6. Exit Calm - Exit Calm - Sonic Unyon. Up the shoegaze revival. So ready for it. And so it seems, are Exit Calm. 1990 was never referenced so wondrously.
7. Film School - Fission - Hi-Speed Soul. More shoegazy and Lorelei Plotcyzk's vocals sound like Shop Assistants/Motorcycle Boy's Alex Taylor, whose voice is like gold to me.
8. Jonsi - Go - XL. I love Sigur Ros, so of course I love this. His voice is truly amazing.
9. Middle Class Rut - No Name No Color - Bright Antenna. Duo that sounds like Fugazi meets Jane's Addiction. And from Sacramento, so they probably like Scandia.
10. The National - High Violet - 4AD. Brooklyn's faves write another extra-dense record that rewards the listener for immersion with new layers to unwrap on each play.

Top 10 stuff

1. My wife. I know I gave her a shout in my Write About Love entry, but just humor me. Anyone who puts up with my ass AND is as awesome as she is deserves another mention or 10. Also deserving of top billing in 2010: Monkey and Kitty.
2. The Tofu Delight at Paseo in Seattle. The best vegetarian sandwich I've ever eaten. Total game changer. Like go straight there from the airport game changer. Like take foodporn shots when you are there and taunt your friends who aren't there game changer.
3. Matador at 21 party in Las Vegas. Are you kidding me? How could this weekend have been any better? Great bands, great shows, great hotel rooms, and great vibes. Lombardi, Gerard, and Patrick: congratulations. You threw the best party in the history of the world.
4. Cicada in London. Still as delicious as ever. Especially the chilli-salt squid and the chilli tofu.
5. The World Cup. Some of the matches may have been boring, but three matches a day for like two weeks? Make it happen every year! Watching video of the reactions to Landon Donovan's last gasp goal in the USA-Algeria match still makes me tear up.
6. Blue Bottle, Stumptown, and Intelligentsia coffees. You make trips to SF, Portland, Seattle, LA, and Chicago so much better.
7. Eze, France. An amazing Medieval city perched high above the Mediterranean off the road connecting Monaco and Nice. A must visit on the Cote D'Azur.
8. Vampire Weekend's Contra debuting at #1 on the Billboard top-200. First time for an indie band that had never been on a major. Such a great way to kick off the year.
9. The Ted Leo and the Pharmacists record release show/karaoke event. One of the most fun gives I've attended in ages. And I don't even like karaoke.
10. The recent(ish) upswing in the preponderance of proper cocktail bars, in NYC and around the country. Nice to know you can get a well-made cocktail in so many cities.

Matt Harmon
, Beggars Group

Teenage Fanclub - Shadows (Merge)
Lower Dens - Twin Hand Movement (Gnomesong)
Glasser - Ring (True Panther Sounds)
Ensemble Economique - Psychical (Not Not Fun)
Johann Johannsson - And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound of Bees LP (Type)
Joshua Abrams - Natural Information LP (Eremite)
Sun Araw - Off Duty 12" (Woodsist)
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Variations for oud & synthesizer 7" (No label)
Destroyer - Archer on the Beach 12" (Merge Records)
Woods At Echo Lake (Woodsist)

Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here (Editions Mego)
Expo 70 - Where Does Your Mind Go (Immune Recordings)

Jeremy Kirkland, Beggars Group

Deerhunter-  Halcyon Digest
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Before Today
The John Lennon Reissues (dang they sound good!)

The War On Drugs -  Future Weather
Girls - Broken Dreams Club
Glasser - Ring
The Bob Dylan Mono Boxed Set
Reading Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw 3 times
Going to Matador at 21 in Las Vegas- I think I'm still recovering from Vegas, I basically got to see all my favorite a vegas...over and over. Kind of one of the best times I've ever had.
Seeing Kanye West at The Bowery Ballroom- Because rants sound better in person!
Getting engaged to my beautiful fiancee Elizabeth

Sonya Kolowrat, Beggars Group

1) Greg Cartwright and all he does: The Oblivians, Reigning Sound, The Parting Gifts and more.

2) Superchunk - their new album is SO good, and they blew my mind in Vegas.
3) Las Vegas for Matador at 21 - I was so excited to get to go to this...thanks GC, CL and PA!
4) Speaking of Vegas, TED LEO - is this guy the hardest working man in show business or what? He deserves a LOT of respect and everyone's love and if you haven't bought his records, you are dumb.
5) Boston - I revisited Boston for the first time in way too long, for a sad reason (RIP Billy Ruane), but this town is special and the music scene there is so tight and supportive. It was nice to visit again and I hope that my next visit there is soon.
6) NPR Story Of The Day/PRI This American Life - thanks to listening to these shows on my iphone to/from work, I am able to drown out all the douchebags next to me on the subway.
7) Eskuche headphones - these headphones are swank and make me feel a lot cooler than I really am on said subway.
8/9) Ariel Pink/Deerhunter - These dudes are too smart for their own good, and make beautiful records. They are only on the same line because they are both 4AD releases, and even though I didn't work on them, everyone around me they get to share.
10) Momofuku Milk Bar - yum. Rosemary soft serve? Crack pie?  Cinnamon bun pie? 'nuff said.

Jonathan Lang
, Beggars Group

Albums: In No Particular Order...

Clinging To A Scheme - The Radio Dept.
Ring - Glasser
Disconnect From Desire - School of Seven Bells
High Violet - The National
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
Contra - Vampire Weekend
Autumn Again - A Sunny Day In Glasgow
The ArchAndroid - Janelle Monae
Loud - Rihanna
Body Talk - Robyn
Black Noise - Pantha Du Prince
Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter
Write About Love - Belle and Sebastian
Thank Me Later - Drake
Hippies - Harlem
The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens

Some my favorite tracks this year:

Roman's Revenge - Nicki Minaj Featuring Eminem:  Although Pink Friday was somewhat of a letdown, it was nice to hear both Nicki and Eminem sound downright nutso. Not to mention the sick and twisted off-kilter beat laid down by Swizz Beatz is off-setting in its own right. Why couldn't Pink Friday be all like this?!

Fountain Stairs - Deerhunter: By the time Halcyon Digests hits this track, it almost feels like the band is taking a victory lap with it's righteous anthemic guitar led chorus.  I mean they just had a career moment a track before with Helicopter!  But there isn't a moment on the rest of the record that gives off this much warmth and a feeling of instant nostalgia like this one. A fuzzy hazy memory is propelled forward into clarity with charging drums and forceful guitar bliss.6t

Sentimental X's - Broken Social Scene

Oh, Maker - Janelle Monae: An amazing cut from an album seemingly overflowing with them, it was hard to pick one. I chose "Oh, Maker" solely for Janelle's vocals. Her vocal runs are gorgeous, and never feel forced. She's one of those people seemingly born to create amazing music, and I have no doubt that she'll continue to do so.

Diplomat's Son - Vampire Weekend: If you would have told me 3 years ago when I saw Vampire Weekend play their first album release show that they would have put out a track as weird as "Diplomat's Son" I wouldn't have believed you. But after hearing Contra, it all makes perfect sense. The whole record is the perfect balance indie-pop and eccentricities that run much deeper than mashing together genres. Listen to how easily this track just dumps production ideas on top of one another, that all blend together seamlessly with the story being told. Definitely one of the best tracks of the year

Lemonworld - The National: While most of High Violet feels like you are being walloped with an emotional sledgehammer(not that I'm complaining), I found solace in the warmth emanating from this track. The band puts their guns away for a little while, and dials one down. The interplay between the muted but steady drumming, and the almost dubby(!) guitars all coupled with slight orchestration simmering underneath it all makes "Lemonworld" feel like a warm light in the storm that is High Violet.

Monster - Kanye West Featuring Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver: Oh man, I went insane when this track came out. Particularly because Nicki's verse is as delirious as it is amazing.  She rhymes Tonka, Wonka, Gangsta, and Sri Lanka in the first bar of her verse, and is able to switch from furious fire monster, to teasing her detractors in playful child's voice all within one minute of a verse. This track sums up almost everything that is amazing about Nicki Minaj. Her ability to pack more personality into 40 seconds of a song then most people can do in entire album, all while instilling fear and making you laugh, and spitting fire to boot. In her own words "The Best Bitch Doin' It"

Only Girl (In The World) - Rihanna: Stargate and Rihanna continue to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to making serious pop jams. "Rude Boy" paired her icy robotic vocals with island rhythms all packaged around a ridiculously well constructed & tight pop song. "Only Girl" continues Stargate & Rihanna's winning streak with a four-on-the-floor beat backed by ALMOST cheesy Eurodisco synths. The chorus is a home run, allowing Rihanna's vocals to soar above the mix, something that she never does in her songs. While she may not have the most interesting persona as some of the other Divas out there, she's the only one that consistently puts out jams, all while keeping it interesting.

TV Shows

Community (NBC) - This show is the best thing on TV right now hands down.

Breaking Bad (AMC) - Season 3 took this show to "The Wire & The Sopranos level"
Mad Men (AMC) - While not my favorite season of this show, it had the best episode of the series run so far. "The Suitcase" was a serious achievement for a series full of em.
The Walking Dead (AMC) - Although only 6 episodes so far, this show was awesome and I can't wait for more.
Futurama (Comedy Central) - A welcome return to the funniest cartoon on TV.

Annette Lee
, Beggars Group

2010 - the highlights
The birth of my nephew Oliver James Murray
Krakow adventures (mostly fuelled by vodka and Vogues, by necessity rather than enjoyment) *
Moroccan adventures (Men of Morocco please note - I do not answer to the names "China", "Japan" and "Sexy") #
Norfolk Broads adventures (lessons learned: never EVER drink and drive a boat; don't set off on a camping expedition at midnight, you will get lost; wearing a T-shirt bearing the word "BULLSHIT" won't go down well amongst the locals in a quiet seaside town)
A priceless mid-winter 48 hours with Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti in LA where I appeared to bring the British weather with me (it was still warmer than our summers in the UK. Figures.).
The National finally getting the attention they deserve.
Bands that I actually care about reforming (stand up Take That, Pulp, Godspeed You! Black Emperor)
Getting sunburn - sunburn! actual sun! - at a highly memorable Glastonbury
ATP (of course)
Deerhunter at Webster Hall, NYC.
Being beaten at bowling by a four year old boy (a new low)
Getting sucked back into Twitter again
Mad Men season 4 (I fully endorse the idea of martini lunches please bosses)
Many many weddings. Please guys, stop getting married.

* There is a reason why tourists don't go there in January - because it's TOO FUCKING COLD.
# There is a reason why tourists don't go there in July - because it's TOO FUCKING HOT.

Hector Montes, Beggars Group

Twenty-one things that provided brief respites from the endlessly terror-vomiting Hellscape of life on Earth in the year 2010 (with selected comments):
1. Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, NV, October 1 - 3: Not just the musical event of a lifetime, but an opportunity for some top-notch tweets.
2. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

3. Tyvek - Nothing Fits: 100% pure adrenaline (with apologies to the Point Break marketing team, wherever they are).
4. Lazy Sundays with Colleen and Bucket, the two loveliest ladies in Brooklyn.
5. Community
6. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
7. Watching Brett Favre come to the realization that he definitely should have retired last year.
8. Tristan Perich - 1-Bit Symphony: On this list as both composition and artifact (leaning perhaps a bit more toward the latter).
9. The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter / The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall (Omnibus Edition): I wouldn’t say that Mark E. Smith has aged gracefully, but a listen to the massive Wonderful And Frightening reissue reminds us that grace was never really his thing anyway.
10. Touch And Go: The Complete Hardcore Punk Zine ’79-’83
11. Netflix streaming
12. Michael Kupperman. That Snake ‘n’ Bacon wasn’t a massive hit for Adult Swim is an indictment of our entire lousy culture.
13. Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago: “People ask me what kind of music we play and I say, ‘Well...’” - Jonathan Meiburg, onstage at Shearwater’s 11/12/10 Music Hall of Williamsburg show
14. Pantha du Prince - Black Noise
15. Man…or Astro-man? reunion shows. I have to commend any band that has the balls to sell “space dust” at their merch table.
16. Tom McCarthy - C
17. Glasser - Ring
18. Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi
19. Yo La Tengo at Maxwell’s for night 7 of Hanukkah, 12/7/10, with openers Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang and Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler, plus Nels Cline playing second guitar for most of YLT’s set.
20. Three records that should have been on my list last year but weren’t: Shit And Shine - 229-2299 Girls Against Shit!; Wild Beasts - Two Dancers; Mi Ami - Watersports.
21. Christopher Hitchens publicly coming to terms with his own mortality. I hope I can still write about him in the present tense this time next year.

Todd Netter, Beggars Group

Great, Memorable, and simply Moments in Matador History: 2010
High Point = Matador 21, The Lost Weekend.  WOW what a great time! I'm so happy I was able to attend + celebrate with everyone. Congrats again Gerard, Chris, and Patrick.
Low Point = Jimmy Lee Lindsey's premature and unfortunate death.  A life lived on his on terms.  We'll remember you forever.
In No Particular Order or Relevance:
Yo La Tengo = the Hanukkah shows were back at Maxwell's this year.
Pavement = reunion tour, saw them 4 times (Pomona/Fox Theater, Coachella, NY Summer Stage, & Matador 21 in Vegas).
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists = the Bottled In Cork video. I think Ted is onto something with this Musical Theater idea.

The New Pornographers = meeting a real astronaut (Michael J Massimino) at the Letterman Show.
Harlem = Victim's of Sonic Attack party at Charlie's Bar during SXSW.
Glasser = her Fader cover, amazing!
Esben & The Witch = the Marching Song video, I still have bruises from watching that.
Kurt Vile = Square Shells EP for free (even if it was just for one day), as Crazy Eddie might say...we're INSANE.
Belle & Sebastian = Write about love campaign.  I didn't myself but I love everyone who did.
Mission of Burma = their Aquarium Drunkard session, especially Dirt.
Fucked Up = Natalie Judge's stage dive at Red 7 in Austin during SXSW.
Guided By Voices = New Year's Eve at Irving Plaza in NYC!?!?

Non-Matador Bands/Albums I liked this year a little more than other bands/albums I also liked.  In no particular order of course.
Superchunk "Majesty Shredding"
Bear In Heaven "Beast Rest Forth Mouth"
Sufjan Stevens "The Age of Adz"
Fresh & Onlys "Play It Strange"
Matthew Dear "Black City"
Twin Shadow "Forget"
Caribou "Swim"
Surfer Blood "Astro Coast"

5 songs from 2010 that have me excited for new music in 2011:
Smith Westerns "Weekend"
Times New Viking "Try Harder"
Dirty Gold "California Sunrise"
Asura "Silver Trees"
Ganglians "My House"

Hagino Tiger Reid (Hostess, Japan)

Konichiwa,?Somethings I remember from 2010.

Chris Chu.
Jonsi "Go".
Plum Wine.
Cycling in Tokyo.
Climbing Mount Fuji.
Jay Z at Summersonic.
The xx - just in general.
Finally getting Ariel Pink.
Pavement at Studio Coast.
Mogwai at Metamorphosis.
My first Japanese boyfriend.
Tokyo Disney Land with my x.
Eating too much Japanese Purin.
Touhachi and Kinfolk in Nakameguro.
Mount Kimbie album "Crooks and Lovers".
Weekend away at Zushi, Beach near Tokyo.
Beach House "Teen Dream" is an amazing album.
Listening to full albums and watching shows sober.
Listening to Interpol full blast on the way to Fuji Rock.
Watching Japan make it to the final 16 of the World Cup.
Feeling the powerful goth vibes from Zola Jesus "Stridulum II"
Wanting to marry gay men Perfume Genius and Owen Pallett.
Rostam of Vampire Weekend, becoming my Japanese brother.
Finishing reading my first novel in Japanese. Haruki Murakami IQ84
Witnessing two car crashes at the same place on consecutive nights.
Listening to "England" from The National's "High Violet" and feeling sad.
Feeling Homesick after watching Arcade Fire's "The Wilderness Downtown".
Japanese food, thank you Ramen, Gyoza, Yakiniku, Nabe, Sushi, Niku Jaga etc.
Watching Matador 21 online from Tokyo with Natalie Judge Matador in Las Vegas.
Lots of fun taking visiting bands to Golden Ball Takoyaki Bar and Roku
Bar in Shibuya.
Moving from London to Tokyo and working for Matador/Beggars has been
fun. Here is to 2011.

Steve Glauber, Matador Direct

Favorite Records...
Ty Segall - Melted
Intelligence - Males
Tyvek - Nothing Fits
Tame Impala - Inner Speaker
APHG - Before Today
Clinic tracks "I'm Aware," "Forever (Demis' Blues)
Idle Times - s/t
Big Boi track "Tangerine" when he goes "likelikelikelike Michael Jordan..."
Wounded Lion - s/t
Harlem - Hippies

Strange Boys - Be Brave
Prince Rama - Shadow Temple
Hackamore Brick track "Oh! Those Sweet Bananas"
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Top Shows...
Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Pissed Jeans... Cake Shop
Pissed Jeans... Knitting Factory
Pavement... Central Park
Tim and Eric Chrimbus Spectacular... BB Theater
Yo La Tengo, Jim Gaffigan, Parting Gifts... Maxwells, Hanukkah Night #2
Ted Leo Karaoke Night... Knitting Factory
Strange Boys, Gentleman Jesse... Bowery Ballroom
Bong Kong... The Charleston
Nobunny... Knitting Factory
Paul F. Tompkins... Bell House
Ty Segall... Cake Shop
Deerhunter... Webster Hall
My Morning Jacket doing Tennessee Fire, Dungen... Terminal 5
New Pornographers twice with my dad... Terminal 5
Matador @ 21, duh

Dave Martin
, Matador Direct


Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion - In the Red
Tyvek - Nothing Fits - In the Red
Wounded Lion -S/T - In the Red
Mantles - Pink Information - Mexican Summer
Beach Fossils - S/T - Captured Tracks
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush To Relax - Goner
Sweet Apple - Love & Desperation - Tee Pee
Devo - Something For Everybody - Warner Brothers
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk - Vanguard
Idle Times - S/T - Hozac
Endless Boogie - Full House Head - No Quarter
White Mystery - S/T - White Mystery
Nobunny - First Blood - Goner
The Young - Voyagers Of Legend - Mexican Summer
Sex Church - 6 Songs By.. - Convulsive
Intelligence - Males - In the Red
Ex-Humans - S/T - Rob's House Records
Liminanas - S/T - Trouble In Mind
Disappears - Lux - Kranky
Superchunk - Majesty Shredding - Merge
The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter - Domino
Mount Carmel - S/T - Siltbreeze
Fabulous Diamonds - II - Siltbreeze
Cheap Time - Fantastic Explanations (And Similar Situations) - In the Red
Native Cats - Always On - Ride The Snake


Gibson Bros. - Build A Raft - Columbus Discount Records
Dynamic Truths - Understanding Is Overated - Little Black Cloud
Ron House - Blind Boy In The Back Seat - Columbus Discount Records
Mike Rep & the Quotas - Stupor Hiatus Vol. 2 - Siltbreeze
Goverment Issue - Boycott Stabb - The Complete Sessions - Dischord
Pärson Sound - 3xLP box - Subliminal Sounds
Velvet Underground - The Quine Tapes - Sundazed
Druids of Stonehenge - Creation - Sundazed
Rationals - Fan Club Album & On The Floor - Big Beat
Jimi Hendrix - West Coast Seattle Boy box - Sony
A-Frames - 3 3 3 - S-S Records
UFO - Official Bootleg Box Set 1975-1982
Dead C - Clyma Est Mort & The Dead Sea Perform Max Harris - Ba Da Bing/JagJaguwar
Tony Joe White - That On The Road Look: Live - Rhino Handmade
Aguaturbia S/T & Volumen 2 - Lion Productions
Speed Glue & Shinki - Eve & S/T - Phoenix
White Boy & the Average Rat Band - S/T - "Roach Records"
Endtables - S/T - Drag City
Kaleidoscope - S/T - Shadocks
V/A - Been Here All My Days - Mississippi


Deaf Wish - Mercy LP - Somebody please put this out in the States, or give me $ to.
Superchunk - Majesty Shredding & Live at Bowery - totalled every other '90's Alt-Geez reunion tour on the circuit this year.
TNV - forthcoming LP, blows doors
Silk Flowers - Ltd. Form - the new New Romantic
Anika - s/t - Not traditionally a Portishead supporter, but this is too good to deny.
Tyvek - Nothing Hurts - ok, maybe this is the best hardcore/punk record of the year too.

Old School Fools:

Flying Nun reissues
Finally seeing Chavez - in the back of a dive bar
Dadawah - Peace and Love reissue
Finally seeing Unrest
Royal Trux - vinyl reissues
Irmin Schmidt/Can - Kamasutra Soundtrack
Neu - Neu '86
Dischord Reissues
Ngozi Family - 45,000 Volts

Non-rock that ruled:

Meeting my girlfriend
Going to jail
Getting out of jail
Gabe Spierier and Maya Judd
Gabe and Maya's wedding
Falling in love with New York
Leaving New York
Pepe Rosso proscuitto di parma panini
Original Jamaican Jerk in Bed-Stuy
X'ian Famous Foods - Buckwheat Cold Noodles and Cumin Lamb Burger
Porto Rico Coffee - still holding it down

Goodbye, 2010. Soon Forward.

Michael Venutolo-Mantovani, Matador Direct

10. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding (Merge)
9. Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love (Matador)
8. Happy Birthday - Happy Birthday (Sub Pop)
7. Pantha du Prince - Black Noise (Rough Trade)
6. Fucked Up - Couple Tracks: Singles 2001-2009 (Matador)
5. The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion (In The Red)
4. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor (XL Recordings)
3. Dylan LeBlanc - Pauper's Field (Rough Trade)
2. Black Breath - Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord)

1. Sharon Van Etten - Epic (Ba Da Bing)

JEFF The Brotherhood - Mellow Out b/w Heavy Days (Infinity Cat)
Bruce Springsteen - Save My Love b/w Because The Night (Columbia)
Meemaw - Glass Elevator EP (Infinity Cat)
Mannequin Men - Hobby Girl b/w See/Saw (HoZac)
Kurt Vile - He's Alright (Matador)

Mosties (Old records I listened to this year more than any other):
Bill Fox - Shelter From The Smoke (Scat)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - The Jimi Hendrix Experience Box Set (Legacy/Experience Hendrix)
Chavez - Ride The Fader (Matador)
Beastie Boys - To The 5 Boroughs (Capitol)
Jay Reatard - Singles 2006-2007 (In The Red)
Drive Like Jehu - Drive Like Jehu (Cargo Music/Headhunter Records)
Otis Redding - The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (Volt/Atco)

My Morning Jacket - Sasquatch (Seattle)
tUnE-yArDs - Bell House (Brooklyn)
Guided By Voices - Matador @ 21 (Las Vegas)
Pavement - Central Park. Which night? Pick 'em. Though the lightning storm was pretty darn special. (NYC)
Titus Andronicus - Pitchfork Festival (Chicago)
Jim James - The Beacon Theater for T-Bone Burnett's Speaking Clock Revue (NYC)
Fucked Up - Northside Festival (Brooklyn)
Kurt Vile - Knitting Factory (NYC)
Ariel Pink - Vintage Vinyl Instore (St. Louis)

The National High Violet Annex
Dylan LeBlanc Instore Tour
Ted Leo Birthday Karaoke
Watching Pavement from the stage. Never. EVER. Thought that'd happen.
Matador @ 21 - The Lost Weekend
Fucked Up covering The Sex Pistols "Bodies"
Bob Pollard before GBV's Vegas Encore - "Turn that fucking sign back on... the Club's still open." Gave me goosebumps.
Dinosaur Feathers at Sasquatch
El Guincho's Bombay: The Movie
Becoming an uncle again... Welcome to The Party, Lance Michael Hugelmeyer aka "The Hammer"

Dean Bein, True Panther Sounds

Top 10 Footlongs
Ariel Pink and Haunted Graffiti- Before Today (4AD)
Arp and Anthony Moore- Frkyws 3 (RVNG)
Autre Ne Veut- s/t (Olde English Spelling Bee)
Beach House- Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
Cinema Red + Blue s/t (What's Your Rupture?)
Gil Scott-Heron- I'm New Here (XL)
Oneohtrix Point Never- Returnal (Editions Mego)
Sade- Soldier Of Love (Sony)
V/A Shangaan Electro (Honest Jon's)
Waka Flocka Flame- Flockavelli (1017 Brick Squad )

Top 10 Singles/EP's/Mini-subs
Actress- Ghosts Have a Heaven (Honest Jon's)
Dom- Sun Bronzed Greek Gods (Burning Mill)
Dominant Legs- Young At Life and Love (Lefse)
Girl Unit- Wut (Night Slugs)
James Blake- CMYK (R&S)
Fantastic Mr. Fox- Evelyn EP (Black Acre Recordings)
Hype Williams- Do 'Roids and Kill E'rything (self-released)
Joy Orbison- The Shrew Would've Cushioned the Blow (Aus Music)
Pariah- Safehouses (R&S)


Wet Illustrated- Born Stoked 7" (Corvette City)

Patrick Amory, Matador Records

Baby Dee - A Book of Songs for Anne Marie LP (Drag City)
Arp & Anthony Moore - Vol. 3 LP (Rvng/Frkwys)

Ceremony - Rohnert Park LP (Bridge 9)
Tyvek - Nothing Fits LP (In The Red)
Ariel Pink - Before Today LP (4AD)
Young Governor - Old Hat 7" (Tough Love split with Let's Wrestle)
Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here? dbl (Editions Mego)
Kris Kristofferson - Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends: The Publishing Demos (1968-72) dbl LP (Light In The Attic)
The Endtables - The Endtables 12" EP (Drag City)
T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo - Lincoln Center show (Sunday July 11)
The Judge's stage dive at the Fucked Up show at Red 7, SXSW (Saturday March 20)
Ceremony - Roxy (LA) show (Saturday November 13)
Ebirac - 4LPs + Box of Boricua 7"es (Numero Group)
Iron Man - The Passage CD+DVD (Shadow Kingdom)
Bullion - Say Goodbye To What 7" (One Handed)
Circle Of Ourobourus - Tree of Knowledge LP+7" (Hospital Productions)
Arturo Toscanini & the NBC Symphony Orchestra et. al. - Verdi 'Requiem' in stereo CD (Pristine Classical)

Nils Bernstein, Matador Records

Castevet - Mounds of Ash
Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street reissue
Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
Perfume Genius - Learning
Janelle Monae - just, like, in general
The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter
Spoon - Transference
Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation
seeing Come at Matador At 21

Stuart Davie, Matador Records

My top 5's (which I might look back on and laugh at in a years time....)

(non Matador) Albums
Superchunk - Majesty Shredding

Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork
Envy - Recitation
Beach House - Teen Dream
Paul Baribeau - Unbearable

(non Matador) Gigs
Beach House @ Bush Hall
The xx @ Shepherds Bush Empire
The National @ Royal Albert Hall
Maps & Atlases @ Cargo
Factory Floor @ The Lexington
*Godspeed @ The Troxy is next week, I have high, high hopes for that too.

Records I missed/re-discoveries
Q and not U
Hot Snakes
The Little Ones
Shitty Limits
Meet Me In St Louis

TV shows
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Curb Your Enthusiasm
30 Rock
The Inbetweeners

Matador @ 21. Highlight of the year.
Reading Festival. Reliving my youth.
Running a sub 45 minute 10k. Felt like I was dying, but lived to tell the tale.
Managing to leave the UK for the first time in nearly 7 (!) years, visiting an amazing beach and Paris of the first time.
The 'Flat 11' perfect autumn Sunday with friends.

Vegas highlights
(apparently) Playing Jose from Harlem at basketball in the Hardwood suite. Just wish I could remember it.
Mike V. 7am, Saturday morning. 'The balcony photo'.
Archers of Loaf karaoke singalong on the last night
Esben failing at gambling, winning at free beers.
High on sugar and beer, low on sleep, jumping around to Piebald in my room at about 9 am on Saturday all alone.

Vegas lo-lights
Waking up with a monumental hangover to a series of messages from an (increasingly frustrated) Nils. Sorry Nils.
Nearly being sick on Esben and the Witch. Sorry Esben.
Meeting Ted Leo, not remembering we'd (apparently) been talking for quite a while for the night before. Sorry Ted.
Throwing Claire in a bath, fully clothed. Sorry Claire (I still blame Robby).
Having my first american burrito from Taco Bell (actually about 1am, stuck in Virginia on the way home). Worst burrito ever.

Natalie Judge
, Matador Records

5 things, thought about in 5 minutes, that happened this year, which were pretty good.

VEGAS (Pretty sure everyone is going to write this) I finally got to see Chavez and GBV.
5 Weddings in one year - I have them down to a fine art now. Special mention goes to Gabe - my first wedding off UK soil.
Watching Pavement play The Hexx at Brixton Academy.
Sonar with Delorean - Taking a flight with Alex Pasternak of Lemonade DJing at the front -
Smittys. This should be in my list every year.

Robby Morris, Matador Records

alphabetically: bonnie prince billy & the cairo gang, ceremony, emeralds/mark mcguire, endless boogie, masayoshi fujita & jan jelinek, liars, lower dens, john roberts, ty segall, superchunk, the young

Natalie Noyes, Matador Records

TOP 10 ALBUMS 2010
1. The National - High Violet (4AD)
2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (Merge)

3. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam)
4. Scissor Sisters - Night Work (Polydor)
5. Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love (Matador)
6.  Diamond Rings - Special Affections (Secret City)
7. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (Modular)
8. Delorean - Subiza (True Panther)
9. Interpol - s/t (Matador)
10. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here (XL Recordings)

1. Matador at 21 - The Palms, Las Vegas NV (10/01/10 - 10/03/10)
2. Arcade Fire - Madison Square Garden, NYC (08/05/10)
3. Kanye West - Bowery Ballroom, NYC (11/23/10)
4. The National - BAM Opera House, Brooklyn (05/15/10)
5. Peter Hook & The Light perform "Unknown Pleasures" - Webster Hall, NYC (12/03/10)
6. The National / Yo La Tengo - Maxwell's, Hoboken NJ (12/08/10)
7. Lady Gaga - TD Banknorth Garden, Boston MA (07/02/10)
8. LCD Soundsystem - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (04/08/10)
9. Interpol - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (09/10/10)
10. Mumford & Sons - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (05/17/10)

*Honorable Mention - Live Shows*
Mayer Hawthorne & The Country / Gordon Voidwell - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (10/18/10)
Jonsi - Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC (11/10/10)
Ninjasonik / The Death Set / Cerebral Ballzy / Unstoppable Death Machines / Team Robespierre - Pianos, NYC (04/20/10)
Diamond Rings - Mercury Lounge, NYC (12/06/10)
City Riots / Boy & Bear - Mercury Lounge, NYC (11/08/10)

Gerard Cosloy, Matador Records

bigger records (in diameter)
Tyvek - Nothing Fits (In The Red)
The Young - Voyagers Of Legend (Mexican Summer)
Bare Wires - Seeking Love (South Paw)
John Wesley Coleman - Bad Lady Goes To Jail (Goner)

Bottomless Pit - Blood Under The Bridge  (Comedy Minus One)
Running - s/t  LP  (Permanent)
Circle Pit - Bruise Constellation (Siltbreeze)
Total Abuse - Mutt  (P.P.M.)
James Arthur's Manhunt -s/t (Arraght)
Dikes Of Holland - s/t   (Sundae)
Wounded Lion  s/t  LP (In The Red) and "Pointed Sticks" 7" (Trouble In Mind)
Drunkdriver - 'Self-Titled LP'
Black Bug - s/t  (FDH)
Deskonocidos - En La Oscuridad LP (Todo Destrucdio / Trabuc)
Phantom Payn Days - s/t LP (De Stijl)
Ex-Humans-s/t (Rob's House)
Endless Boogie - Full House Head (No Quarter)

smaller records (in diameter)
Cruddy - "Berlin Wall" / "Running Rats" 7" (Let's Pretend)
Mind Spiders - World Destroyed 7" (Dirtnap)
A Giant Dog - "The Grand" (Sundae)

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Boomgates - "Bright Idea" (RIP Society)

archival works :
Ozzie - The Parabolic Rock (S-S)
Crushed Butler  - Uncrushed  (Radio Heartbeat)
Les Rallizes Denudes - Heavier Than A Death In The Family / Blind Baby Has It's Mother's Eyes LP's (Phoenix)
Jesu - Heartache & Dethroned (Hydra Head)

live :

Lamps (Portland, August, Memphis, September)
Louis C.K. (Paramount Theatre, Austin, November)
Drunkdriver,   (Austin, March)
Wounded Lion (Los Angeles, April)
Ty Segall, (Emo's, Austin, July)
Cum Stain, (Austin, July, Portland, August)
The Muffs (Austin, March)
Wire (Barcelona, May)
Retribution Gospel Choir (Austin, February)
The Marked Men (Denton, June)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring (Austin, June)
OBN III's / A Giant Dog / Flesh Lights (too many times...or perhaps not nearly enough, Austin, throughout 2010)
Cloud Nothings (Chicago, July)
Grinderman (Memphis, November)

Wish You Were Here :  Jay Reatard, Billy Ruane

Some dishes from recent months

Just some recent cooking... have not had time for regular food posts.

Ruth Rogers's spaghetti carbonara, from the River Cafe Cookbook, with the addition of fresh spring peas (this was from last May). I recommend the combination.

Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Keralan shrimp with coconut from the sadly out of print A Taste Of India, which covers India's regional cooking. This is the first time making it that I was able to find a critical ingredient, kodampoli or "fish tamarind."

It is a dried fruit from southwest coastal India and imparts a complex sour flavor - a more interesting one than regular tamarind.


I served the shrimp with another Keralan dish, a pachadi made with spinach and yogurt. Like many dishes from Kerala, this one plays bitter and spicy chile flavors off the creamy saltiness of the yogurt. It's a great combination.

Tripe florentine. The recipe comes from Marcella Hazan with some alterations, and is not for the faint of heart. That said, it's nothing compared to the famous Julia Child episode where she makes tripes à la mode de Caen and has several entire beef stomachs on display to explain exactly what's going on.

Another Hazan, this one much simpler: spaghetti with tomatoes and tuna. It was summer and I dressed it up with some fresh basil from the garden.

Bourbon Red heritage turkey for Thanksgiving. I did a combination of a dry brine and a very fast roast in a convection oven. Onions and apples inside for moisture, paprika, salt and pepper on the outside, and massive amounts of butter.

Spinach, mushroom and cheese omelet. The recipe is from Miriam Ungerer's Good Cheap Food, and is all about French technique, which she sets apart from the usual American version with its much browner, dryer outside. Obviously I didn't completely succeed in avoiding brown. Lots and lots of shaking the pan.

Another one from Ungerer, which she calls poached chicken à la creme but which seems to me like classic American comfort food. Essentially you poach a chicken with its giblets plus vegetables, garlic and herbs until it's falling apart (much like preparing chicken for tamales), and then use the resulting stock, along reserved fat, heavy cream, lemon juice, sherry and mushrooms to make a luscious sauce. The addition of the peas was my idea.

This is a daunting Persian dish from Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food Of Life called gormeh sabzi. There are several variations in terms of the meat, but the key ingredients are an enormous amount of fresh herbs (parsley, coriander and chives) which you fry down in oil, and a quantity of dried limes plus fresh lime juice. The dried limes are wonderfully sour and pungent and the aroma of the frying herbs is overwhelming. We made this one with boneless leg of lamb, but it can also be made with lamb shanks, chicken or just kidney beans.

Another Persian dish, this is a variation on rice tahdig where the bottom of the rice pot is lined with potato to form a crust of its own. It's a nice change from regular tahdig.

"Class Of 1984" - Unjustly Dicked Out Of The 1982 Academy Awards

Seriously. Who the fuck remembers "E.T."?  A couple of years ago, I talked the owners of a local tavern into letting me screen Mark Lester's mindblowing "Class Of 1984" as part of a makeshift birthday party/film festival.  "Who doesn't want to see Michael J. Fox get stabbed?" I asked, though as it turned out, attention spans amongst my friends were running low, the volume on the bar's TV was lower, or perhaps Michael J. Fox wasn't stabbed nearly enough times.  Either way, this film remains an all-time favorite of mine, and if it couldn't be part of a holiday tradition for me, perhaps it will become one for you.

There's much to recommend about "Class Of 1984" ;  the ferocious, self-righteous over-acting of Perry King as concerned educator Andrew Norris ;  Timothy Van Patten (son of dog-food magnate Dick, "Salami" from the equally brilliant "The White Shadow" and in more recent years, a key, behind-the-scenes contributor to "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire") as faux-punk gangleader Stegman ; Roddy McDowell as an increasingly cynical science teacher who ultimately turns a gun on his teenage tormentors ; a musical cameo from Teenage Head, essentially giving away the film's Toronto location.   But why listen to me?   If I celebrated Xmas and/or hadn't already purchased a copy, I'd be asking Satan Santa for the newly published "Destroy All Movies!" (Fantagraphics Books), in which the amazing tome's co-author, Zack Carlson, hails "Class Of 1984" as "just a perfect exploitation movie."

"Originally slapped with an X rating, it's relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, grimy sex, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! Exaggerated or not, the gang practically wrote the textbook for countless delinquent groups that would terrorize big-screen high schools through the 80's and beyond. There's a consistent, pervasive air of innocent helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre."

"And it's fun, thinking of you like a movie star"

I don’t really know what it means to be in love, and as they say, write what you know.  Since I am to write about love, I will focus on something I love to have and am very well acquainted with: Crushes.

These are pictures of the three-ring binder I had in 7th grade.  I saw “Speed” in the summer of 1994 just after graduating from elementary school, and became absolutely smitten with Keanu Reeves.  I spent that summer daydreaming about how I was going to marry Keanu when I was 24 (only after I had retired from modeling, of course).  Did you know that Keanu was born in Beirut, Lebanon and that the name means "cool breeze over the mountain" in Hawaiian (thanks for the education, Bop Magazine!)?  Anyway, I thought about the trips my future husband and I would take, made sketches of the types of dresses I planned to don at future red carpet events, and imagined how great it would someday be to hobnob with celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels and Dennis Hopper (12 year-old me imagined the cast of "Speed" to be the best of friends, I would later become aware of things like press junkets).

This intense “love” lasted a grand total of 6 months, until a viewing of “Newsies” ushered in a new era where Christian Bale reigned supreme over my 13 year-old heart.  Well, along with Ethan Hawke, Brad Pitt, Brad Renfo (RIP) and Jared Leto, who were also, like, really, really cute and stuff.

1996 (age 14) was the year I had my first boyfriend, kiss, drink, joint etc. and things like celebrity crushes temporarily fell by the wayside.  I watched "Dazed and Confused" all the time, read Siddhartha, and made my dad stand in line to get me tickets to see the Sex Pistols during their Filthy Lucre reunion tour, cus I was, like, into punk rock and stuff, but like, had to rehearse for my 8th grade graduation, right, and I was, like, afraid it would sell out if I went after school.  It was all very Lindsay Weir in "Freaks and Geeks," I even started wearing an army jacket and had the same haircut!

Ah, speaking of "Freaks and Geeks," my current celebrity crush is James Franco.  Actually… strike the first statement of this blog post from the record – I added "Eat Pray Love" to my Netflix queue.  That’s LOVE.

A Date With Bob In London

Bob Nastanovich photographed by Fiona, used without permission (sorry!)

Aside from his usual role being an all-round nice guy and multi-talented musician with Pavement, many do not know that Mr. Nastanovich is also an accomplished DJ and musical connoisseur.  He will be putting this knowledge and his adept mixing techniques to the test this weekend in London.  DJing alongside Jon McArthur, Bob will be playing some records from 8-11pm this Sunday, December 12th, at one of Matador UK's favourite drinking establishments, The Mucky Pup, in Islington.  Described on their myspace page as "The Best Pub On Queen's Head Street" (it's the only pub on Queen's Head Street), I can attest to the fact that The Pup is fully qualified at housing people who like good music, good people and good ale.

The Mucky Pup, 39 Queen's Head Street (off Essex Rd)
Islington London N1 8NQ
Tel: 0207 226 2572

About Love

Before I start I should acknowledge that my photo heavy and link-tastic post is directly inspired from noted blogger Ira Kaplan.

I was originally going to write about one of my true loves:  record stores.  I met my wife in a record store and my life still revolves around them, but this year there was a bigger theme than records in my life.

Going places and being with the people you love.

My wife’s family is from Butler, PA and we spent two weeks there this summer doing a whole lot of nothing. It was great.  We went to a Bluesox game, we went to the drive in (Photo from noted Bulter native CongoEels flickr.)  We went to Moraine state park to ride bikes, swim and have a picnic.  It all ruled.

Some other places I went:

Columbus, Ohio.  I finally saw the Gibson Bros and it was fantastic.

The Adirondacks

I love a good wedding and this was one of the best in recent memory, must have something to do with the day.  The whole weekend was all so beautiful.  We went swimming in this lake.

It was cold and awesome.

Scituate, MA

I grew up nowhere near the ocean so a clambake was nothing more than an Elvis joke.  In real life it is so much more

The Lost Weekend

I’d never been to Las Vegas, I’m far to scared to actually gamble (too many records I want to buy with that money.) Everything related to the weekend wasz fantastic, but I never expected to be so taken with the surroundings.

My final trip of the year is going to be the best one yet, but it is supposed to be a surprise so if you see my parents don’t tell them.

Perfume Genius "Lookout, Lookout" video directed by Patrick Sher, NYC show

Click above to watch the first proper video for Perfume Genius, for the song "Lookout, Lookout" (via Pitchfork). Directed by Patrick Sher and shot in Portland.

Perfume Genius has also just announced one more NYC show before the end of the year, supporting Light Asylum at a secret space in Bushwick next Wednesday, December 15. The $28 tickets include free hors d'oeuvres and three free drinks. Go to envelopefamily to buy tickets; location information will be included with purchase confirmation.

For those of you who missed it, yesterday we re-released the Learning album in a special slipcase edition with new artwork and three new tracks. You can buy it from us:


or from your favorite local record store or online retailer. Check out an MP3 of Dreeem, one of the new tracks, HERE

Matador 21% Discount (with free shipping) like... NOW!

To celebrate our 21st year we are offering up a 21% discount on every order at the Matador store.

In addition, we'll throw in FREE SHIPPING on any orders over $50.

Simply enter code Matador21 at checkout for the discount and select the free shipping option (Sorry, US customers only) Code valid through Dec. 16.

Set list

Thanks to Brushback.

Red Red Wine I Love You Right From The Start...

I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings. My favorite white strapless dress with the lace overlay suddenly started to itch and I was overwhelmed with this feeling of insecurity. Should I have worn this dress and not the purple A line with the big bow? My hair has completely fallen from dancing and is now getting in my face. My foot is slipping out of my kitten heels every step we take. I died them bright white to match my favorite dress, which I'm now seriously reconsidering. I think my stockings are starting to fall.

I felt his hand brush against my arm as it slowly made it's way in to my hand. I was relieved to feel it was moist, he must be nervous too. He stopped. Turned to face me. I could feel his eyes on me. I was too scared to look at him. The carpet was a dark green with a pretty flower pattern. How long can I avoid his eyes? Is the carpet really that entertaining? If I look at him will he read my thoughts? Will he know everything I'm thinking. He'll know how I feel about him. Then everyone will know. He moved closer to me. He smelled sweet. There was a faint smell of the cologne he had put on earlier that night, mixed with the chocolate cake they served for dessert and the clean smell of fabric softener. His hand tightened around mine and I knew. It was time to face my fate. I looked up from the floor and caught his gaze. He smiled. It was that same smile that brought me away to this hallway, away from my parents, away from my friends, and away from the party. It was that smile that made me question myself, intensely wish he'd like me and daydream about this very moment. He started to lean towards me. I watched him close his eyes. I did the same. I felt his warm breath get closer and his lips gently rest upon mine. It was over in moments. It went so quickly. So perfectly. I wish I hadn't been so scared. Why was I so scared?

I followed him back in to the banquet hall, giddy and slightly embarrassed. They all knew. They had to know. I was lost, completely in love. Thankfully, we managed to make it back in time for UB40s "Red, Red Wine." The night was nearing to an end. Just thinking about waiting to see him again at school on Monday already seemed like an eternity.

My mom called my name and instantly I snapped out of my daze.

It was so many years ago now but I remember it like it was yesterday. My first kiss. It was the beginning of my first love. Everything was so innocent. We had no idea about consequence, about pain, about a heart broken! I just loved for the sake of loving and it was incredible.

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