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.

Coming October 8 : 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition Of Bardo Pond's 'Amanita'

stream / preorder "Amanita"
stream/download "Shadow Puppet"

"Shadow Puppet"
Video created by Michael Speed
art by Bardo Pond and Michael Gibbons

Directed by Michael Gibbons

(photo by Taylor Crothers)

Formed in 1991, Philadelphia’s Bardo Pond have spent some thirty years mapping guitar music’s outer limits – dialing into extremes of noise, chaos, and harmony in free-form compositions that now unfurl across 12 full-length records and a near-limitless body of EPs, cassettes, and CD-Rs. 

On October 8th, Matador Records will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the quintet’s long out-of-print second album and label debut, 'Amanita', with a newly remastered 2xLP reissue.

Recorded by the lineup of John Gibbons (guitar), Michael Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (voice, flute), Clint Takeda (bass), and Joe Culver (drums), Amanita is the place where the band’s collective spontaneous creativity blazed into maturity. 

“Amanita was a manifesto of everything we were trying to do,” says Michael Gibbons. It was really a template for everything we did later. We were a real unit – just so creative, just making up riffs. There were songs, but they were still rooted in our free-improv base. We had a beauty, but we also had a really strong impulse to be dissonant.”

Even within the heady subcultural micro-verse of ’90s underground zoner-music, the Fishtown-basement-dwelling quintet’s vision of “psychedelia” was singular in its heaviness. “We weren’t interested in the cliched idea of what that term meant,” says Gibbons. "We were very interested in the psychedelic experience as it being a bridge to rebirth.” 

“What’s the chemical your brain releases when you’re overwhelmed? Endorphins. That’s what we were trying to get to when we played these parts." 

Amanita's music is emblematic of that sensibility – 82-minutes of confusion and transcendence. 

The remainder of the band’s Matador catalog – 'Lapsed' (1997), 'Set and Setting' (1999), and 'Dilate' (2001) – will see reissue later this year alongside a 2xLP rarities compilation.

Bardo Pond – now John and Michael Gibbons, Isobell Sollenberger, and Jason Kourkounis – remains active, maintaining a prolific output and performing regularly.

'Amanita' Tracklist
01 Limerick
02 Sentence
03 Tantric Porno
04 Wank
05 The High Frequency
06 Sometimes Words
07 Clean Sweep *
08 Yellow Turban
09 Rumination
10 Be A Fish
11 Tapir Song
12 Brambles *
13 RM

* Previously vinyl only, these tracks will be available on streaming/digital download on the album release date.

Bardo Pond Online :
Bardo Pond website

Matador Revisionist History Podcast - Episode One: Mary Timony, Liz Phair and Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan

(Illustration: Jeff Mahannah)

Today, we are pleased to announce the inaugural episode of the Matador Revisionist History podcast.

It is our hope that this series will add context ­(and content!) to the Revisionist History catalog reissues by calling upon our artists, collaborators, and accomplices to discuss a well-loved Matador ­album celebrating a noteworthy anniversary.

First up: Mary Timony’s Mountains, which has recently turned 20 and is once again available in an expanded and remastered 2xLP edition. She is joined on this episode by Liz Phair and Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan for a wide-ranging 90-minute discussion touching on their respective debut albums, creative processes, and favorite tracks from each other’s catalog.

Stream episode one of The Matador Revisionist History Podcast HERE.

Available now until this Friday, save 25% on Mary Timony's Mountains, Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, and Snail Mail's Lush at the Matador webstore through the link HERE.

And there’s more to come as we close in on significant dates for Kurt Vile, Fucked Up, and The New Pornographers.

Matador Records’ Revisionist History series celebrates the anniversaries of outstanding albums from the label's past with newly remastered reissues accompanied by recently unearthed live footage, unreleased music, photos, and music videos. Last year saw the release of special and extended editions from Guided by Voices, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Chavez, Mary Timony, and Bailter Space. The series will continue in 2021, which will kick off with a reissue of Bardo Pond’s Amanita. More info to follow!

Find more information on the Revisionist History series HERE.

Mary Timony Online

Liz Phair Online
Matador Artist Page

Snail Mail Online

VIDEO : Mdou Moctar - "Tala Tannam" (live)

Mdou Moctar - "Talla Tannam" (live)

Footage shot by: Mamadou Halidou & WH Moustapha / Dynamique image
Audio Recorded by: Mikey Coltun.
Mixed and Mastered by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets

studio version on 'Afrique Victime', out May 21.
“In winter 2020, the Mdou Moctar band met up in Niamey, the capital of Niger, to record a few songs in anticipation of the release of ‘Afrique Victime’. We were staying on the outskirts of town at a friend's home. One day, we quietly set up in front of the house to film a few songs. Despite our relative isolation, the noise of the band inevitably attracted a crowd. What started as the four of us simply playing a few songs for a camera turned into a three-night run of rowdy concerts, bringing in hundreds of eager listeners. Each night, kids from all over the city would line up at our door, rushing over after their final evening prayer. These performances were completely spontaneous and wholly unplanned. Thanks to our audience, we were able to capture the spectacular energy of a typical Niamey concert for you. We're thrilled about it and hope you will be, too. Enjoy!”

stream / download "Tala Tannam" (studio version)
presave / preorder 'Afrique Victime'

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site

Coming April 1: Aquarium Drunkard & Gold Diggers Present Steve Gunn

(photo: Chris Sgroi)

Purchase / Stream The Unseen In Between

On Thursday, April 1, Steve Gunn will premiere his first fully produced streamed concert. Presented by Aquarium Drunkard, this solo set will see Gunn debut two new songs alongside fan favorites performed live from the celebrated Hollywood venue (and former Slayer rehearsal space), Gold Diggers.

The concert was directed by Chris Sgroi (Skirmish Productions) with additional filming and editing by Tom Berninger and produced by Gold Diggers' Tyler Hale.


The set will stream via Noonchorus and will kick off at 8 PM local time. Tickets are $12. A replay will remain available for 48 hours for global audiences to view.

Steve Gunn Online

Out Today : Perfume Genius - 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes' (LP on Records Store Day, June 12)


Today, Perfume Genius releases the 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes' album, a companion album to the 2020 tour de force,  'Set My Heart On Fire Immediately', remixed in original running sequence by Boy Harsher, Jenny Hval, A. G. Cook, Actress, Danny L Harle, Jaakko Eino Kaleivi, Jim-E Stack, Planningtorock, Initial Talk, Nídia, Westerman, Actress, Koreless and Katie Dey. Hadreas has said, "I'm very honored to have all these incredible musicians rework these songs. I felt personally remixed listening to their versions, hearing the spirit of my song completely transformed was very magical. Each one feels like a little portal to a fucked up shared world."

The 2xLP will be pressed on metallic silver vinyl, limited to an edition of 2,500 exclusive to independent  record stores as part of Record Store Day on June 12.

IMMEDIATELY Remixes Tracklist

  1. Whole Life (Jaakko Eino Kalevi Remix)

  2. Describe (A. G. Cook Remix)

  3. Without You (Jim-E Stack)

  4. Jason (Planningtorock Remix)

  5. Leave (Jenny Hval Remix)

  6. On The Floor (Initial Talk Remix)

  7. Your Body Changes Everything (Boy Harsher Remix)

  8. Moonbend (Nidia Remix)

  9. Just a Touch (Danny L Harle Harlecore Remix)

  10. Nothing at All (Westerman Remix)

  11. One More Try (Actress Remix)

  12. Some Dream (Koreless Remix)

  13. Borrowed Light (Katie Dey Remix)

Today, at 1PM PST/4EST Mike Hadreas and Alan Wyffels present Club IMMEDIATELY. Listen to the 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes' album with Mike and Alan. Between tracks, call into the Perfume Genius Loveline with your questions. Plus, special giveaways that include signed LP's and a Playstation 5. Prize winners will be chosen only during the event.


stream / purchase 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes'
stream / purchase 'Set My Heart On Fire Immediately'

Perfume Genius Online

Out Today : Gang Of Four - 77-81 Box Set

After some manufacturing delays, the long-anticipated Gang Of Four 77-81 box set is available in stores today.   A compact disc edition will be available on May 8.

In addition, remastered version of 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold' are available on streaming services starting today.

At 1opm eastern today (Friday, March 12)  Tim Burgess' "Tim's Twitter Listening Party" turns the program's attention to 'Entertainment!'

In addition, at 2pm eastern, Jon King and Hugo Burnham will take part in an Reddit AMA.

77-81 Tracklist

A1. Ether
A2. Natural’s Not In It
A3. Not Great Men
A4. Damaged Goods
A5. Return The Gift
A6. Guns Before Butter
B1. I Found That Essence Rare
B2. Glass
B3. Contract
B4. At Home He’s A Tourist
B5. 5.45
B6. Love Like Anthrax
Solid Gold
A1. Paralysed
A2. What We All Want
A3. If I Could Keep It For Myself
A4. Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time
A5. Why Theory?
B1. Cheeseburger
B2. The Republic
B3. In The Ditch
B4. A Hole In The Wallet
B5. He’d Send In The ArmySingles
A1. To Hell With Poverty
A2. It’s Her Factory
A3. Armalite Rifle
B1. Capital (It Fails Us Now)
B2. History’s Bunk!
B3. Cheeseburger (Live) *
B4. What We All Want (Live) **Live at Hammersmith PalaisLive at American Indian Center 1980
A1. Not Great Men
A2. Contract
A3. Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time
A4. Damaged Goods
B1. He’d Send In The Army
B2. Guns Before Butter
B3. 5.45
C1. Anthrax
C2. It’s Her Factory
C3. Ether
C4. Natural’s Not In It
D1. At Home He’s A Tourist
D2. Rosanne
D3. Return The Gift
D4. GlassCassetteSIDE A -The Early Demos (Various)I) Rehearsal Room – Leeds, 1977-78The Things You Do
What You Ask For
Armalite Rifle
Love Like Anthrax
Silence Is Not Useful
Disco Sound
Damaged Goods

II) Cargo Demos – Cargo Studio, Rochdale

Song One
Song Two

iii) The Tapes – Poiydor Studios, Jan 1978

Essence Rare
Return The Gift
Corked Up With The Ether

SIDE B – Abbey Road DemosFrom 5th January 1981 - (single track from cassette)

Why Theory
Dog’s Breath

stream / purchase Gang Of Four 77-81

Gang Of Four 77-81 online :
Gang Of Four / Matador Records

Gang Of Four online

Spoon - "Breakdown" / "A Face In The Crowd" (Live)

Out today, Spoon has released live recordings of two Tom Petty covers, "Breakdown" and "A Face in the Crowd" captured last October at The Catacomb in Austin TX.

Both songs are available to stream / purchase through the link HERE.

Video captured by Peter Simonite, Scott Cremeens & Chris Rusch, edited by Sabrina Nichols. Audio recorded by Britt Daniel and mixed by Jim Eno.

Spoon online
Official Site

Now Streaming - Stephen Malkmus and Von Spar - 'Can's 'Ege Bamyasi'"

Handwriting/Artwork by David Shrigley

(Video: Tom Schreiber,Edit: Gesa Gadow, Project idea & management: Jan Lankisch)

Stephen Malkmus & Von Spar's perfomance of CAN’s 'Ege Bamyasi', recorded live at Weekend Fest 2012 (and originally released on green and red vinyl editions for Record Store Day 2013 )is now available digitally for the first time

stream/download 'Can's 'Ege Bamyasi'

Stephen Malkmus Online
official website

Von Spar Online

Lucy Dacus - "Thumbs"

photo by Marin Leong

stream / download "Thumbs"

The last few years have been tremendous for Lucy Dacus. Today, she continues the momentum with a heart wrenching new single, “Thumbs.” The song debuted live following its creation in fall 2018 and has since become a fan favorite, so much so that it has its own dedicated Twitter account. In spirit of the anticipation and love for the song, prior to its official release, Dacus surprised 100 random fans with a hand-assembled VHS tape with a recording of “Thumbs.” The track showcases Dacus’ evocative and profound storytelling, her voice magnetic over scaled back synth and mellotron.

Written during a 15 minute car ride to dinner in Nashville, Dacus says: “Like most songs I write, I wasn’t expecting it and it made me feel weird, almost sick. It tells the story of a day I had with a friend during our freshman year of college, a significant day, but not one that I had thought of for years. I started playing it live a month or so later during the boygenius tour after Phoebe and Julien encouraged me to. I knew I wanted a long time to get used to playing it since it made me feel shaky, so I ended sets with it for about half the shows I played in 2019. Before I played it, I would ask the audience to please not record it, a request that seems to have been respected, which I'm grateful for."

“Thumbs” Lyrics

You hung up the phone
and I asked you what was wrong.
Your dad has come to town.
He’d like to meet.
I said, “You don’t have to see him,”
but for whatever reason, you can’t tell him no.

So we meet him at a bar.
You were holding my hand hard.
He ordered rum and coke.
I can’t drink either anymore.
He hadn’t seen you since the fifth grade.
Now you’re nineteen and you’re 5’8”.
He said, “Honey, you sure look great.
Do you get the checks I send on your birthday?”

I would kill him
if you let me.
I would kill him
quick and easy.
Your nails are digging into my knee.
I don’t know how you keep smiling.

I love your eyes
and he has ‘em.
Or you have his
‘cause he was first.
I imagine my thumbs on the irises
pressing in
until they burst.

I clear my throat and say we oughta get home.
He offers us a ride.
I reply, “No, that’s alright.”
When we leave, you feel him watching,
so we walk a mile in the wrong direction.

I would kill him
if you let me.
I would kill him
quick and easy.
Your nails are digging into my knee.
I don’t know how you keep smiling.
I don’t know how you keep smiling.
I don’t know how you keep smiling.
I wanna take your face between my hands
and say:

You two are connected by a pure coincidence.
Bound to him by blood, but baby, it’s all relative.
You’ve been in his fist ever since you were a kid,
but you don’t owe him shit even if he said you did.
You don’t owe him shit even if he said you did.

Lucy Dacus Online

VIDEO : Julien Baker - Performing 3 Songs From 'Little Oblivions' On "CBS This Morning"


Earlier today (Saturday, March 6) Julien Baker and band performed 3 songs from her universally acclaimed 'Little Oblivions' for the Saturday Sessions edition of "CBS This Morning.

"Faith Healer"

"Heat Wave"

stream / purchase  'Little Oblivions'

Julien Baker Online

Perfume Genius - "Describe" (A. G. Cook Remix)

"Describe" (A. G. Cook remix)
(directed by Jack Wedge and Will Freudenheim)

Today Perfume Genius reveals A. G. Cook’s remix of his single “Describe.” The track is taken off the forthcoming 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes' album which is set for digital release on March 12 and in stores on June 12 (Record Store Day).

stream / download "Describe" (A. G. Cook remix)
presave / preorder 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes'
stream / purchase 'Set My Heart On Fire Immediately'

Perfume Genius Online

Julien Baker - "Hardline" (from NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers")

On Monday night (March 1), Julien Baker and band performed "Hardline" on NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers". The studio version of "Hardline" can be found on the new album, 'Little Oblivions', out now and available everywhere.

stream / purchase  'Little Oblivions'

Julien Baker Online

Coming May 21 : Mdou Moctar - 'Afrique Victime'

"Tala Tannam", video directed by Cem Misirlioglu
Footage shot by WH Moustapha (Dynamique Image) & Mikey Coltun

(photo : WH Moustapha)

On May 21, Matador Records will release 'Afrique Victime', the long-awaited new album by Mdou Moctar.

With ‘Afrique Victime’ the prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar rips a new hole in the sky ­– boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and “rock music” by melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations on love, religion, women's rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers.

Mdou’s home is Agadez, a desert village in rural Niger. Inspired by traditional Tuareg melodies and YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen’s six string techniques, he mastered the guitar and created his own burning style. A born charismatic, Mdou went on to tell his story as an aspiring artist by writing, producing, and starring in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai – which translates to “Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It” – winning the approval of his family and his community. The word and the sound travelled across West Africa via mobile phone data cards, a popular form of local music distribution. Grueling DIY world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds followed, including 2019’s landmark Ilana: The Creator, which earned Mdou an ecstatic international audience.

'Afrique Victime' is result of the combined efforts of Mdou and the members of the band that shares his name. His crucial collaborator is Ahmoudou Madassane, who’s been his rhythm guitarist since 2008. Their two guitars are an alchemical combination. As a songwriter, producer, and recording artist Ahmoudou is the premier musical ambassador to Tuaregs in Niger ­– empowering young musicians with instruments, recording opportunities, and visas. Masassane helped form the revolutionary first woman-fronted Tuareg guitar band Les Filles De Illighadad, whose debut album and tours caused an international sensation in 2019.

The band’s youngest member is prodigal drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, also a member of both the well-known Niger band, Sultanat Star De L'air, and the longest running wedding band in Agadez, Etran De L'air. Souleymane’s playing on this album ferociously sets a new standard for the “rock” drum set.

Producer and bassist Mikey Coltun flies 20 hours from Brooklyn, NYC, then takes a 28-hour bus ride to reach Agadez so the band can practice and record. With no support from a major label or a manager, they made this journey out of Niger every time they toured. In the past three years, Mikey’s played over 500 shows on three continents as Mdou Moctar’s bassist, road manager, producer/recording engineer, and friend. Coltun recorded and produced 'Afrique Victime' around the band’s travels in 2019 ­– working in studios, apartments, hotel rooms, venue backstages, and in field recordings in Niger.

Recording and honing songs as a touring outfit forged a live wire new sound. If Ilana was a late ’60s early ’70s ZZ Top and Black Sabbath record – 'Afrique Victime' is mid-’70s to early ’80s Van Halen meets Black Flag meets Black Uhuru. The ferocity of Moctar’s electric guitar and the band's hypnotic rhythm section are on awe-inspiring display “Chismiten” and the mournful yet incandescent title track. Elsewhere, Moctar finds inspiration in highlighting lesser-known facets of the group: “While people have gotten to know Mdou Moctar as a rock band, there is a whole different set of music with this band done on acoustic guitars, which we wanted to incorporate into this album in order to go through a sonic journey,” he says. Mdou pays homage to one of his heroes Abdallah Ag Oumbadagou, the legendary Niger musician and political revolutionary, on songs “Habibti” and “Layla”. “Abdallah was a contemporary of Tinariwen and helped to pioneer the sound of Tuareg guitar music blended with drum machines and electronic sounds”.

“From prison to Nobel prize. They ceded to Mandela / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening? “Moctar asks on the title track. “I want the world to know that we are making music to promote world peace and be with everyone on the same level, fighting against racism”, he says. “All colors and genders are equal. Women, men and children all suffer in the desert due to the colonization by France and therefore there is a lack of the basics - hospitals, drinking water, schools.”

The needs of Agadez are a major part of what drives Moctar as an artist and promoting the region’s youth through music is an especially personal cause. “I know what it’s like to have been in that position,” he says, “to not have the support of your family, or the money for guitars or strings, it’s really hard. I have a lot of support from the younger generation, because I help them out a lot. When I get back from tour, I give them gear that I bought while I was away so they can go out and form their own bands.”

Says Coltun: “In Agadez the music and feeling at Tuareg weddings is exactly like the best of Western DIY/Punk shows. It's loud, energetic and powerful. There is a sense of everyone helping out. Tuaregs are a tight community. If you're Tuareg you're considered family.”

The music listeners are the beneficiaries of the staggeringly powerful do-it-yourself musical ethic of Mdou Moctar – the man and the band – who’ve worked so hard to bring the spirits of families and communities in Niger to the West. Afrique Victime sounds and feels like a Tuareg hand reaching down from the sky, and we are very lucky for this chance to get lifted.

'Afrique Victime' is now available for pre-order on LP (standard black vinyl, picture disc and multiple colored vinyl editions) and compact disc. There's also a t-shirt bundle.

stream / download "Tala Tannam"
presave / preorder 'Afrique Victime'

'Afrique Victime' Tracklist
1. Chismiten
2. Taliat
3. Ya Habibti
4. Tala Tannam
5. Untitled
6. Asdikte Akal
7. Layla
8. Afrique Victime
9. Bismilahi Atagah

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site

Gang of Four - 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold' LP & CD Reissues

"Gang of Four, in a way, were the great missing link that led us all down a road of austerity of sound, and discipline of method.
You could be fooled into thinking they are minimalist, but these are keenly arranged tracks that trade on the currency of suspense, and the power of reduction. The lyrical layer is poetic, passionate and painfully human." - Brendan Canty, Fugazi

“When I was 14, no album gave me more excitement than Entertainment! It was the first album that I wore out the vinyl grooves on. I learned the words and could "sing" along with it. Songs Of The Free and Solid Gold followed suit. Gill and King, along with Boon, McCulloch and Stipe, were rock gods for me. "
Bob Nastanovich, Pavement

On April 23, Matador Records will reissue two of Gang of Four’s critical early works, 'Entertainment! '(1979) and 'Solid Gold' (1981). Both have been remastered from the original analog tapes and will be made available on LP and CD.

Gang of Four’s debut record, 'Entertainment!', remains one of the most beloved and influential works of its era (or any era, really) – an unparalleled collection of songs that has left an indelible mark on generations of bands, producers, and artists.

The group’s second album, 'Solid Gold', celebrates its 40th anniversary today.

It boasts a much deeper, bass heavy sound and contains the singles "Outside the Trains Don't Run On Time" and "He'd Send In The Army."

'Entertainment!'and 'Solid Gold' are also collected in 'GANG OF FOUR: 77-81', due out March 12 on LP and April 23 on CD.

This stunning limited-edition box set gathers Gang of Four’s influential early work – the two aforementioned full-lengths, an exclusive singles LP, and an exclusive double LP of the never officially released 'Live at American Indian Center 1980'. Additionally, the package includes two new badges, a C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities and studio demos from 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold', and an epic 100-page, full-color hardbound book.

The book details the history and legacy of the original Gang of Four with never-before-seen photos, contributions from surviving original band members, rare posters, ephemera, flyers, essays, artwork, liner notes and more. It also marks the first official publication of their lyrics.

The CD version of the box will not include the badges or the C90. The demo recordings will instead be made available through a download code.

stream / purchase : 'Entertainment!'
stream / purchase :  'Solid Gold'
stream / purchase 'Gang of Four '77-'81'

A new tribute album, 'The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four', will be released in May via Gill Music and features contributions from Flea and John Frusciante, Warpaint, La Roux, and more.

This month, 'Solid Gold' and 'Entertainment!' will be featured on #timstwitterlisteningparty, where Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham, and Jon King will comment on the songs throughout playback. Tune in for those at 6pm GMT on 3/1 and 3/12 respectively.

Gang of Four  '77-81 online :
Gang Of Four / Matador Records

Gang of Four official Facebook
Gang of Four official Twitter
Gang of Four official Instagram

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