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 May 3rd: Mdou Moctar - 'Funeral for Justice'

(photo: Ebru Yildiz)

Pre-order 'Funeral For Justice' / Stream "Funeral for Justice"

Out May 3, ‘Funeral for Justice’ is the new album by Mdou Moctar. Recorded at the close of two years spent touring the globe following the release of 2021 breakout ‘Afrique Victime,’ it captures the Nigerien quartet in ferocious form. The music is louder, faster, and more wild. The guitar solos are feedback-scorched and the lyrics are passionately political. Nothing is held back or toned down. Watch a video for the album’s blistering title track HERE. The quartet will perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April and will embark on a headline tour in June with dates in the US, UK, and EU. Find a complete itinerary below.

Damon Locks (Black Monument Ensemble) on ‘Funeral for Justice’:
There is a beauty in listening to music made in the spirit of energetic transformation. When the sounds transform the air and the listener. This record transports the listener into the heart of the music of Mdou Moctar. The blending of intention and motivation creates a burst of sound that embraces and shakes and invites one to dance! It invites one to breathe. It invites one to be in solidarity with the music. It invites one to be in touch with the human condition. What does it mean to be free in these times? Can the world be liberated from the colonial mindstate that has caused such harm and mistrust? Can we mourn our losses yet build anew to form something more astounding, more fantastic? ‘Funeral for Justice’ says we can.

A sound that carries weight makes an impact. A sound that carries time transcends time. We are not only listening to music but we are living through it. We are living with it. We are living in it. The artist sees history and makes poetry from it for the present. Mdou Moctar’s ‘Funeral for Justice’ requests your presence. Show up open to the celebration of life, loved as it should be loved. Experience the exaltation and exuberance. The words speak of ascension, awareness, sorrow, apathy, knowing, and growth. The guitars speak of power, energy, jubilation, transcendency, immediacy, and tradition. The drums and percussion mark the pulse of now as well as a timeless dance that involves us all, as it did those that came before us. The wires that carry the message feel alive with fire and purpose, explosive with possibility. This “funeral” is an acknowledgment. This “funeral” is abundant. This “funeral” overflows into the street filled with dance. This “funeral” stretches late into the night, kicking up the dirt, with the hum of a generator, an ever present member of the rhythm section. This “funeral” is a clarion call for reason and a belief that change is possible.

So join Mdou Moctar in this funeral for justice, knowing rebirth is possible. A new justice is possible. With your voice, your heart, your dance, your stomp, a new justice is born. Mdou Moctar welcomes you with joy and open arms. Be here. Feel here and do, alongside this music. Don’t stand alone, join with others and do. Fight for liberation. Stand against oppression, alongside this music and do!

The songs on ‘Funeral for Justice’ speak unflinchingly to the plight of Niger and of the Tuareg people. "This album is really different for me," explains Moctar, the band’s singer, namesake, and indisputably iconic guitarist. "Now the problems of terrorist violence are more serious in Africa. When the US and Europe came here, they said they're going to help us, but what we see is really different. They never help us to find a solution."

"Mdou Moctar has been a strong anti-colonial band ever since I've been a part of it," says producer and bassist Mikey Coltun, who has been playing with Moctar since 2017. "France came in, fucked up the country, then said ‘you’re free.’ And they’re not." The song ‘Oh France’ tackles this head on: “France veils its actions in cruelty/ We are better without this turbulent relationship/ We must understand their endless lethal games.”

On the lead single and title track, Moctar addresses African leaders directly, bidding them: "Retake control of your countries, rich in resources / Build them and quit sleeping”. The song ‘Sousoume Tamacheq’ deals with the plight of the Tuareg people to which the band belong, and who are mainly spread across three countries: Niger, Mali and Algeria. "Oppressed in all three/In addition to lack of unity, ignorance is the third issue." Another song, ‘Imouhar’, calls on the Tuareg to preserve their Tamasheq language - it's at risk of dying out, and Mdou is one of the few in his community who knows how to write it. "People here are just using French," laments Mdou. "They're starting to forget their own language. We feel like in a hundred years no one will speak good Tamasheq, and that's so scary for us."

Blood Red LP available on the Matador / Mdou stores and at independent record stores outside of the USA

T-shirt available exclusively on the Matador store, available to purchase separately and to bundle with the LP / CD

Picture disc available exclusively at the Mdou / Matador stores

Standard black vinyl and CD available at Matador / Mdou stores and at retailers everywhere

Mdou Moctar in its current iteration is first and foremost a band. Alongside Moctar, it consists of rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and American bassist and producer Mikey Coltun.

The band got their start performing at traditional weddings. These are high energy events – amps are dialed up to 11 and the whole town is invited to attend. "I grew up in the DC punk scene and this is no different," explains Coltun. "It’s a DIY punk show: people bring generators, they crank their amps. Things are broken, but they make it work."

Conveying that energy and feeling of community to a new audience has been an important goal for the band. Their first concerts in the US were sometimes, mistakenly, organized to be tame seated affairs. That’s no longer the case. Over 100s of shows, they’ve proven themselves as one of the world’s most vital rock bands – a group rooted in Tuareg tradition, but undeniably its own singular organism. An Mdou Moctar concert is now recognized to be a place for dancing, if not full-force moshing.

"‘Ilanawas the gateway album, saying that this is a raw rock band. And ‘Afrique Victime’ was a summation of that vision,” says Coltun, who recorded the entire record over five days in a mostly unfurnished house in upstate New York. “With ‘Funeral for Justice’, I really wanted this to shine with the political message because of everything that's going on. As the band got tighter and heavier live, it made sense to capture this urgency and this aggression – it wasn't a forced thing, it was very natural.”

In July 2023 – after ‘Funeral for Justice’ had been completed – Niger’s democratically elected government was deposed in a military coup. The president was placed under house arrest and the nation plunged into a state of chaos and uncertainty. The French have withdrawn. The area continues to be threatened by terrorism. The band – then on tour in the US – was, for a time, unable to return to their families.

"I don't support the coup," explains Mdou, "but I never in my life liked France in my country. I don't hate France or French people, I don't hate American people either, but I don't support their manipulative policies, what they do in Africa. In 2023 we want to be free, we need to smile, you understand?"

'Funeral for Justice' Track List
1. Funeral For Justice
2. Imouhar
3. Takoba
4. Sousoume
5. Imagerhan
6. Tchinta
7. Djallo #1
8. Oh France
9. Modern Slaves

Mdou Moctar on Tour, Dates in Bold On Sale Friday


Sunday, April 14 Coachella, Indio CA
Sunday, April 21 Coachella, Indio CA
Wednesday, June 5 Anchor Rock Club, Atlantic City NJ
Thursday, June 6 The Abbey Bar at ABC, Harrisburg PA
Friday, June 7 Friday Cheers Brown's Island
Saturday, June 8 Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw NC
Sunday, June 9 The Orange Peel, Asheville NC
Tuesday, June 11 Pour House, Charleston SC
Wednesday, June 12 Saturn, Birmingham AL
Thursday, June 13 Terminal West, Atlanta GA
Friday, June 14 Bonnaroo, Manchester TN
Saturday, June 15 The Hi-Fi, Indianapolis IN
Tuesday, June 18 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL
Wednesday, June 19 Magic Bag, Detroit MI
Thursday, June 20 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH
Friday, June 21 Asbury Hall, Buffalo NY
Saturday, June 22 Green River Music Festival, Greenfield MA
Sunday, June 23 Paradise Rock Club, Boston MA
Wednesday, June 26 Warsaw, Brooklyn NY
Thursday, June 27 9:30 Club, Washington DC
Friday, June 28 Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA
Wednesday, July 3 Electric Brixton, London UK
Sunday, July 7 Down The Rabbit Hole, Beuningen NL
Monday, August 19 Festaal Kreuzberg, Berlin DE
Tuesday, August 20 UT Kreuzberg, Leipzig DE
Wednesday, August 21 Ampere, Munich DE
Thursday, August 22 Magnolia Summerstage, Milan IT
Sunday, August 25 Petit Bain, Paris FR
Monday, August 26 OLT Revierenhof, Antwerp BE
Tuesday, August 27 Paradiso, Amsterdam NL
Friday, August 30 End of the Road Festival, Dorset UK
Saturday, August 31 Manchester Psych Fest, Manchester UK
Sunday, September 1 Moseley Folk Festival, Birmingham UK
Monday, September 2 Saint Luke's, Glasgow UK
Tuesday, September 3 Boiler Shop, Newcastle UK
Wednesday, September 4 The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds UK

Mdou Moctar Online
Official site

Fucked Up - '44th & Vanderbilt' EP

(photo by David Waldman)

(stream / download '44th & Vanderbilt' EP)
(stream/purchase 'The Chemistry Of Common Life')

Last fall, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Fucked Up’s ‘The Chemistry of Common Life’ – an era-defining punk LP that also just so happened to be the Canadian band’s Matador Records debut. This Friday, our long-in-the-works orange vinyl 2xLP reissue will finally arrive on shelves.

Today, you can listen to a brand new digital EP, ‘44th & Vanderbilt,’ which compiles three ‘ChemCom’-era session performances with No Age’s excellent remix of “No Epiphany".

We’ve also posted a new episode of the Matador Revisionist History podcast, which finds Mike Haliechuk and Jonah Falco in conversation with former Matador fixture (and current World of Echo proprietor), Natalie Judge. They discuss making the record, recording nine months of overdubs, quitting their day jobs, and asking Michael Stipe to jump on the mic for a Feelies cover at the close of their 12-hour long record release show (spoiler: he passed).

Today, 'The Chemistry of Common Life' remains as conceptually ambitious as it is musically adventurous, pushing through and far beyond the accepted boundaries of punk and hardcore. At the time, we called it “an expansive epic about the mysteries of birth, death, and the origins of life (and re-living). Merging elements of hardcore songwriting with up to 70 tracks of guitars, organs, winds and vocals the music remains iconoclastic and startling.”

Fucked Up Online
Fucked Up website

Kim Gordon - "I'm a Man"

"I'm a Man", directed by Alex Ross Perry
from 'The Collective', out March 8

(stream/download "I'm a Man")
(presave/preorder 'The Collective')

Kim Gordon has released “I’m a Man,” the latest track from her second solo album, 'The Collective'. Atop a dark, churning soundscape, Gordon ruminates on the lost role of “traditional masculinity” and the role of capitalism in its demise.

An evocative video for “I’m a Man” premieres today, serving as a perfect visual accompaniment to the song’s expressive lyrics and pulsing sound. It stars Coco Gordon Moore and Conor Fay and was directed by filmmaker Alex Ross Perry.

(photo by Danielle Neu)

‘The Collective’ Tracklist
02. The Candy House
03. I Don’t Miss My Mind
04. I’m a Man
05. Trophies
06. It’s Dark Inside
07. Psychedelic Orgasm
08. Tree House
09. Shelf Warmer
10. The Believers
11. Dream Dollar

Kim Gordon on Tour

Thursday, March 21 Higher Ground, Burlington VT
Friday, March 22 Black Cat, Washington DC
Saturday, March 23 Knockdown Center, Queens NY ( with Kelsey Lu, L'Rain, Bill Nace + Circuit des Yeux, Full Size, Matt Krefting)
Wednesday, March 27 Regent Theater, Los Angeles CA
Friday, March 29 Ventura Music Hall, Ventura CA
Saturday, March 30 The Fillmore, San Francisco CA

Kim Gordon Online
Official Website

Pavement - 'Crooked Rain Crooked Rain' 30th Anniversary

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the formal release of Pavement’s 2nd album, ‘Crooked Rain Crooked Rain’. While some would prefer to commemorate the occasion with long essays, ill-advised covers or a series of tribute night at City Winery (I suppose that would also entail ill-advised covers, though you could opt for originals “in-the-style of”), your friends at Matador know there’s only two ways you really wanna celebrate ; by buying the album (again) or streaming it (over and over again).

(band photos by Gail Butensky)

stream / purchase 'Crooked Rain Crooked Rain'

Pavement Online
Pavement – official site
Pavement at Bandcamp



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