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.

Lou Reed, 1942-2013

As you've probably read elsewhere, Lou Reed passed away earlier today. It's almost impossible to quantify the impact Lou's music and lyrics have made on this-thing-we're-involved-in ;  arguably, he did more to help shape the sensibilities of this label's roster (and many others' of course) than any other single figure.  Minds blown (repeatedly), lives changed, etc., imagining music (or New York City) without Lou Reed is something we never wanted to contemplate.   Our thoughts are with his family, friends, collaborators and everyone else listening to his records this afternoon.

Antony on Lou Reed's "Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse"

In late 2006, Lou Reed invited a group of musicians and friends to help resurrect his controversial, classic album "Berlin" on a Brooklyn stage.

Among those musicians (and friends) was Antony Hegarty, the angel-voiced singer-songwriter. Below, Antony talks about his experience helping Lou bring the album to the stage, the origins of the pair's friendship and musical bond and his love for the music of "Berlin".

Purchase "Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse" on CD, deluxe gatefold double-vinyl or digital download.

Times New Viking (heart) the Velvets

This past Saturday at the Wexner Center for the Arts, on the campus of THE Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, Times New Viking offered a Valentine to rock and roll and modern art, closing out the museum's six-month-running Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms exhibition with a set of cover songs by the incomparable Velvet Underground.

Joined by Ohio rock legend Mike "Rep" Hummel (guitar/voice) and noise/avant man-about-many-towns C. Spencer Yeh (violin), TNV led an enthusiatic crowd through early Velvets classics including "All Tomorrow's Parties", "Sunday Morning", "Venus in Furs" and a show-stopping "Heroin", with Rep on lead vocals. Set-list courtesy of Beth TNV:

The show actually concluded with an acoustic "After Hours" singalong, featuring members of opener Psychedelic Horseshit as well as a vocal contribution from the one and only Ron House.

On a Valentine's Day in Central Ohio, Times New Viking channeled the deposed spirit of rock and roll's greatest band, and moved the crowd, melding their own distinctive blast-first-second-and-third rock mentality to classic jams never far from anyone's heart.

Lou Reed & Hal Wilner : "Berlin" Screening, Q&A Tonight

Julian Schnabel's ambitious film version of the 2006 Brooklyn performances of Lou Reed's "Berlin" --- the genesis for Matador's double LP/CD release of 'Berlin - Live At St. Ann's Warehouse' --- will be shown tonight (Friday, December 5) at the 92nd Street YMCA's Hudson Street Screening Room as part of their 18 Nights Of Inspiration Series.  Following the film, Lou Reed and producer Hal Wilner will field questions from the audience.

In addition, Lou can be seen being interviewed and performing alongside Elvis Costello on the latter's new Sundance Channel chat program, "Spectacle".   The episode in question premies Wednesday, December 10 at 9pm eastern.

Intended Play sampler Fall 2008: ready to download and burn

Our spring Intended Play label download sampler was a huge hit, so we're doing it again. Just like before, you get a track from one of each of our current and upcoming releases. Seven of the tracks have not been released on MP3 yet, and four of those are from albums that haven't been released yet. The sampler this time is a bit more varied musically, from A.C. Newman's jewel-like pop songscapes to the majestic neo-punk of Fucked Up to the gorgeous female vocals of Jennifer O'Connor to a track from Lou Reed's painstaking, thoughtful, first-ever performance of his controversial classic album 'Berlin.' We also introduce an unreleased song from Pavement's 'Brighten The Corner' sessions, due out on the deluxe edition of that album in November.

Click on the link to get a zipped file of all 13 tracks plus front and back artwork, and burn it yourself (or just listen to it digitally). And support the bands and the label... if you like the track, click on the album title link below to buy (or preorder) the album (or more individual tracks) directly from us.

Intended Play Fall 2008 (zip file)

Track listing:

1. A.C. Newman There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve (from Get Guilty, due out January 20)
2. Belle and Sebastian The State I Am In (BBC Version) (from The BBC Sessions, due out November 18)
3. Jennifer O'Connor Here With Me (from Here With Me, released August 19)
4. Shearwater The Snow Leopard (Remastered) from Rook, released June 3)
5. Lou Reed Caroline Says, Pt. II (Live) (from Berlin: Live At St. Ann's Warehouse, due out November 4)
6. Mogwai The Sun Smells Too Loud (from The Hawk Is Howling, released September 23)
7. Fucked Up No Epiphany (from The Chemistry Of Common Life, released October 7)
8. Jay Reatard An Ugly Death (from Matador Singles '08, released October 7)
9. Jaguar Love Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers (from Take Me To The Sea, released August 19)
10. Pavement Cataracts (from Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Ed., due out December 9)
11. Brightblack Morning Light Oppressions Each (from Motion To Rejoin, released September 23)
12. Times New Viking Call & Respond (from the Stay Awake EP, released October 14)
13. Condo Fucks What'cha Gonna Do About It? (from Fuckbook, due out March 2009)

Lou Reed - "Caroline Says, Pt. II" Video

From the album 'Berlin - Live At St. Ann's Warehouse'. Video footage culled from the Julian Schnabel film, "Lou Reed's Berlin"

Lou Reed - Live On "Late Night With David Letterman", This Friday

Lou Reed will be performing "Caroline Says, Pt. II", from the forthcoming 'Berlin - Live At St. Ann's Warehouse' on Friday's (10/10) edition of CBS' "Late Night With David Letterman". Dave's other guest is Jeremy Piven. Man, how many times a day do you think he's got some stranger coming up to him on the street bellowing, "let's hug it out, bitches"?

Piven, that is. I imagine that sort of thing happens to Lou far less often.

The release date for the LP/CD version of 'Berlin - Live At St. Ann's Warehouse' has been moved to November 4.  However, the album is currently available for digital download from the iTunes Music Store.

Lou Reed: new title, new release date, first MP3

Lou Reed's 'Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse' has a new title and will now be landing in stores on October 21 (September 30 on iTunes). The record contains the first live performance of the controversial 1973 masterwork, 33 years after it originally came out. It was recorded at the filming of Julian Schnabel's 'Berlin' feature length film in December 2006, featuring Antony Hegarty, Sharon Jones and Steve Hunter among other guests, with production from Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner. See the original announcement for the full story behind this remarkable album.

The first MP3 from the record is "Caroline Says, Pt. II." The song is one of Lou Reed's heavier subjects, and it receives an extraordinarily moving rendition here:

"Caroline Says, Pt. II" (192k MP3)

Track listing:

1. Intro
2. Berlin
3. Lady Day
4. Men Of Good Fortune
5. Caroline Says, Pt. I
6. How Do You Think It Feels
7. Oh, Jim
8. Caroline Says, Pt. II
9. The Kids
10. The Bed
11. Sad Song
12. Candy Says
13. Rock Minuet
14. Sweet Jane

Coming Soon : Lou Reed's 'Berlin' : Original Film Soundtrack

(photograph by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, taken from Lou

We're thrilled to announce that Matador will be releasing Lou Reed's Berlin:  Original Film Soundtrack on September 30 (digital) /October 7 (LP/CD), coinciding with the Weinstein Company's October 6, 2008 DVD release of the Julian Schnabel film.
Upon the 1973 release of Berlin, Lou Reed's controversial successor to the wildly popular Transformer, Rolling Stone's Stephen Davis described it as one of "certain records so patently offensive that one wishes to take some kind of physical vengeance on the artists that perpetrate them...a distorted and degenerate demimonde of paranoia, schizophrenia, degradation, pill-induced violence and suicide."  A earnest pan, yes, but also a fabulous pull quote.   Thirty years later, the magazine named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Staging Berlin had been discussed for over 30 years, and in December of 2006 it became a reality, over four days at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.  It was the first time Reed performed the album live. The New York Times said that Reed "wasn't revisiting these songs as oldies or artifacts; he was reinhabiting them...Berlin carried Reed's music to an ornate extreme, but now its trappings are secondary.  What comes through is the way it feels."
The film Berlin, by acclaimed painter/director Julian Schnabel ("Basquiat", "Before Night Falls", "The Diving Bell & The Butterfly"), documents these historic performances.  Though the album's harrowing qualities are well documented, the experience of seeing and hearing it brought to life was invigorating.  More information about the film can be found at

Produced by Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner, and featuring musicians like Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones, a seven piece orchestra (including Eyvind Kang and Jane Scarpantoni), and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, this recording magnifies the cinematic quality of the original album.  It also includes the three encores, "Candy Says," "Rock Minuet," and "Sweet Jane."

Berlin remains one of the most alarming and frank highlights of a career marked by innovation and candor. Just as Schnabel's effort is far more ambitious than your average concert film, this release stands as a majestic and poignant re-imagining of one of the 20th century's most powerful works.

Lou Reed is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Chevalier Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Government, and the prestigious Hero Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  His incisive, literate approach to popular (and unpopular) music has spanned five decades, with a remarkable lack of complacency. Reed is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential living musicians, and the creative landscape that we survey in 2008 --- including much of this label's back catalog --- is very difficult to imagine without his contributions.  More material related to Reed's career can be found at

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