Tag Archives: Matador

Pavement – Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement

Pavement - Quarantine The Past: The Best Of PavementPavementQuarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement (Matador)

To call it a cash-in would be a bit of a disservice since 1) nobody really buys cds anymore and 2) those that still do are faced with diminishing floor space, so every cd that is on display seems to be a compilation out of necessity.

With that said, I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone who is growing hard over this year’s Pavement reunion has every track on this “best of” compilation. The best of is in quotations because those very same fans are probably growling at the tracks that were left off Quarantine The Past.

For me, those songs would be “Starlings On The Slipstream, Silence Kid (Kit),” “Fame Throwa” and “Rattled By The Rush.”

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Girls – Album

Girls - AlbumGirlsAlbum (True Panther)

Too often, when you hear a story that tears at your heartstrings, the empathy overtakes any of the faults the person—or in this case, an album—may have. We champion those who have is worse than us, and rightfully so. Those tales of overcoming adversity remind us to appreciate the blessings we may be carelessly taking for granted.

I bring this up because Christopher Owens, the frontman for Girls, has had a pretty tough road up to this point and the mere fact that he’s alive, let alone making music, is amazing. His story, a tale of religious cults, dysfunction, homelessness, and ultimately a rebirth into a life of creativity, should indeed be something to share. There’s plenty of inspiration to taken from his past and his is a story worth repeating.

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Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago

Shearwater - The Golden ArchipelagoShearwaterThe Golden Archipelago (Matador)

The bio sheet that came with the advance copy of Shearwater‘s latest opus The Golden Archipelago recommends that the reviewer listen to the new album “more than once.” Since the band’s last two efforts—2006’s Palo Santos and 2008’s Rook—were slow burners too, I fully understand that Shearwater’s meticulous blend of multi-instrumental arrangements and Jonathan Meiburg’s sweeping vocals may take time to fully unravel. But for me, the repeated listens here will come from pure enjoyment, and to decide which one of these acknowledged trilogy pieces should be considered as the band’s greatest moment.

The surprise here isn’t that The Golden Archipelago continues the greatness of Shearwater’s last two efforts, but that Meiburg has managed to deliver such wonderfully consistent splendor in a relatively short amount of time. At each turn of these past five years, he seems to have spearheaded albums of such impressive scope that one couldn’t help but wonder, “How will he be able to top this?”

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The New Pornographers – Your Hands (Together)

MP3: New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together)” from Together, out May 4 on Matador.

Has A.C. Newman been listening to some Jack White? Power chords and throbbing electric piano kick off the ballsiest song these chipper Canadians have ever recorded. The harmonies, as always, sound great. I hope the whole album is this badass.

New Pornographers: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Cold Cave – Love Comes Close

Cold Cave - Love Comes CloseCold CaveLove Comes Close (Matador)

Some time ago, we were all slack-jawed out how Interpol seemed to channel the darkness of Ian Curtis, that is, until Antics proved that those N.Y.C. fashion plates only had enough material for one great album.

Their label at the time, Matador, recently set the radar on Philadelphia’s Cold Cave—particularly when their debut created enough stir to sell out of their original configurations.

The only reason I bring this up is because if you were one that swooned at Interpol’s Joy Division leanings then you’ll want to check out Cold Cave’s Love Comes Close.

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Fucked Up – Couple Tracks

Fucked Up - Couple TracksFucked UpCouple Tracks (Matador)

There’s nothing wrong with Fucked Up, but I’ll be damned if I can find anything great. The issue for me is—and has always been—that I immediately feel like a crotchety old geezer whenever I hear them. I’m compelled to remind those who champion them that there’s more out there.

It’s straight out of my past and it’s better.

This troubles me because hardcore punk is a young man’s game and—at its most basic—it should leave the listener feeling young, shouldn’t it? Perhaps age has skewed my perspective and maybe I would be better served by allowing the youth their moment.

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What is Indie? And is it dead?

I'd rather be dead than cool.Paste magazine asks the musical question, Is Indie Dead? It’s well worth reading, although the first page—with all its Nietzsche references and comparing “indie” to “God”—is a bit of a struggle…especially with our collective “tl;dr” attitude. But there are lots of insightful comments from folks like Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon, Sleater-Kinney‘s Carrie Brownstein, Sebadoh‘s Lou Barlow, and the actual guy who put Nick Drake‘s “Pink Moon” in that 2000 VW commercial.

Michael Azzerad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life, breaks it down:

“The term ‘indie’ originally referred to labels which had no connection whatsoever to the major labels,” Azerrad says. “That used to be a meaningful distinction, because the underground wanted nothing to do with corporate America. Obviously, things have changed.” What’s changed is this: In addition to direct relationships like Sub Pop’s with Warner, most of the labels now widely considered to be “indie” powerhouses—like Domino, Merge and Matador—are distributed by the Alternative Distribution Alliance, majority-owned by Warner. This means that acts like Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, Spoon, Arcade Fire and others noted as the seminal “indie” acts of our time are not actually “indie” at all. (Even Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the eponymous label founded by the band that became famous in 2005 for having no label, is distributed by the ADA.) Azerrad distinguishes these artists as part of a broader genre of “indie rock,” defined as a “genre which takes as its antecedents the truly indie rock of preceding generations,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the fiscal status of the label on which it is released. It should really be called ‘indie-influenced rock.'” The designation “indie” he reserves for artists making music on labels that remain wholly independent.

These days, most people don’t make that same distinction, perhaps because they don’t share Azerrad’s interest in semantics or his knowledge of history.

That’s hardcore. Maybe too hardcore. I agree with Brownstein who thinks that “the artistic and business decisions of the Matadors and the Sub Pops speak for themselves.” I’d throw Merge into there too, regardless who distributes their records. At least as long as they’re not more than 49% owned by a major label…right?

Tomato, tomahto. Indie, schmindie. Does it even matter? As long as the music is good, does anybody even care? Short anwer: yes.

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Jay Reatard, Dead at 29

Jay Reatard, singles

We don’t have a lot of information yet, but the Memphis Commercial Appeal and other news outlets are reporting that Jay Reatard died in his sleep last night.

Memphis musician Jimmy Jay Lindsey Jr., better known as Jay Reatard, was found dead in his Midtown home this morning, according to family and friends. He was 29.

Memphis police have opened a death investigation, spokesman Jennifer Robinson said. Lindsey was found around 3:30 a.m. at his home, Robinson said.

I’ve only been tuned into Reatard for a little over a year. But the two albums he’s released in that time really made me think he had a bright future ahead of him. Sad to find out that’s not to be the case. Here’s a nice roundup from the Village Voice.

MP3s:

Jay Reatard – “Wounded”

Jay Reatard – “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me”

Jay Reatard – “Always Wanting More”

Jay Reatard – “See/Saw”

Jay Reatard: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

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Pavement – Gold Soundz

MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz” from Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement, due March 9 on Matador. Originally from 1994’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

Matador is holding a Guess The Track Listing Contest where if you guess all 23 tracks correctly, you can win stuff like tickets and records. Can you feel that slacker revival bubbling under? I think a girl just tried to show me Madonna’s pap smear

Pavement: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

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Shearwater – Castaways

MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways” from The Golden Archipelago, due February 23 on Matador.

Am I going deaf or does this sound unmastered…or something? It’s decidedly lo-fi, the vocals are buried in the mix, and it just doesn’t sound good. Is it just me? But Matador is doing some cool stuff for this release, including bundling up a higher-bitrate MP3 or FLAC with the single artwork and “dossier pages.”

The CD comes packaged with a 50-page perfect-bound book that is a set of extracts from a dossier of records, photos, regulations and images collected by Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg. […] Serious researchers will have a way to obtain the actual, full-sized, full-color 73-page dossier in its special envelope – this will be announced soon, so keep your eyes on this space.

Fancy! You don’t hear about too many dossiers in the history of rock and roll…

Shearwater: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

FTC Disclosure: Glorious Noise didn’t receive a damn thing from the artist, label, or publicist for writing this.