For more than 3 decades, Matador Records has been nestled soemwhere in the top half dozen independent labels. Some years were better than others - everyone's got an opinion, especially the recording artists. Hear their stories on "Matador Revisionist History" and find out what really happened (sort of).
Episode 11 - The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman and Matador's Nils Bernstein on 'Electric Version'
In May, The New Pornographers’ sophomore album ‘Electric Version’ (2003) celebrated its 20th anniversary. A limited blue vinyl reissue hits stands today and we’ve also dedicated this latest episode of our Matador Revisionist History podcast to the record, with the band’s A.C. Newman joining longtime Matador publicist Nils Bernstein for a stroll down memory lane with our host, Matt Sweeney.
They discuss how ‘Electric Version’ defied the un-follow-up-able-ness of ‘Mass Romantic,’ how LA neo-hippies Beachwood Sparks inspired the record’s title, and supply a complete track-by-track walkthrough. “As much as it’s this hard-driving record with these exciting songs that have a lot of information, there’s still a lot of ups and downs and emotional twists and turns,” recalls Bernstein. “It’s just hook after hook after hook.”
The era-appropriate rarity “Turn” – originally a Japan-only bonus track – is now available on streaming services. Newly pristine remasters of the “All For Swinging You Around” and “The Laws Have Changed” music videos are also now on YouTube.
Episode 10 - Pretty Girls Make Graves and Phil Ek on 'The New Romance'
Today, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pretty Girls Make Graves’ sophomore album, The New Romance. Originally released in 2003, this was the Seattle punk band’s Matador Records debut. After more than a decade out of print, the album will return to us in a limited edition white vinyl pressing in stores on November 3. A deluxe digital version also lands today on digital services and features two b-sides “Magic Lights,” newly available on streaming, and a cover of Bow Wow Wow’s home-taping anthem, “C-30 C-60 C-90 Go!”
And what’s more, singer Andrea Zollo and guitarist J. Clark guest on the latest installment of our Matador Revisionist History podcast series alongside producer Phil Ek and our host, Matt Sweeney.
Pretty Girls Make Graves formed in Seattle in 2001. The members – Andrea Zollo, Derek Fudesco, J. Clark, Nick Dewitt, and Nathan Thelen – were already local underground luminaries, owing to their time in punk and hardcore bands like Death Wish Kids, Area 51, and Murder City Devils. The quintet released an EP, a handful of 7” singles, and a full-length, Good Health (Lookout! Records), before getting a cold email from Matador Records founder Chris Lombardi, who may or may not have read a positive review in Pitchfork. A deal was struck and the band decamped to the bucolic Bear Creek studio to track The New Romance with Ek.
On this episode, Zollo and Clark go deep on the band’s early years, talking influences (Drive Like Jehu, Ink & Dagger, Fugazi), rock band do’s / don’ts, and what it’s like to practice riffs in a freezing cold paper maché igloo.
Episode 09 - Bettie Serveert on "Palomine"
Earlier this year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Bettie Serveert’s debut album, ‘Palomine,' first released via Matador in January of 1993. Today, we’re making a bit more noise, bringing you a Serveert-packed episode of the Matador Revisionist History Podcast. This ninth installment features the band’s own Carol van Dyk and Peter Visser in conversation with host Matt Sweeney (Chavez). They discuss Marcel Duchamp, Groningen’s much-loved Vera club, and their first-ever trip to NYC.
Also worth a mention: Our limited-edition translucent orange vinyl reissue of ‘Palomine’ is out now and includes a reproduction of the “Brain Tag” 7” included with the original pressing. A deluxe digital edition of the album is also available via streaming services and features three era-appropriate bonus songs (two of which are drawn from the ‘Brain-Tag’ 7”) – “Smile”, “Maggot”, and “Get The Bird.” Newly remastered versions of the music videos for “Kid’s Allright,” “Palomine,” and “Tom Boy” are available to watch on YouTube.
Interpol's Paul Banks and Spoon's Britt Daniel
Our core philosophy here at Matador Revisionist History HQ is “What you want, once we’re ready.” And this time, we’re really living up to that. Last summer, we celebrated the 20th anniversaries of Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights and Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight – two career-defining records that were released on the very same day in August of 2002.
Around that time, front men Paul Banks and Britt Daniel huddled with our host Matt Sweeney and taped an episode of the RH podcast. Seven months later, we’re finally prepared for you to hear it.
Everybody on this episode goes way, way back: Sweeney met Daniel during Spoon’s first tour. He met Banks when Turn on the Bright Lights was released, which is around the time Banks initially met Daniel. They reminisce about NYC’s Luna Lounge, Paul explains the importance of yelling in an Interpol song, and Britt stakes his claim to the cowboy hat from the “Wild” video.
Yo La Tengo on "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One"
In April, Yo La Tengo’s landmark 1997 album I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One celebrated its 25th anniversary. In this latest episode of our Matador Revisionist History podcast, the band – Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew – joins label co-owner Gerard Cosloy to discuss the record’s history and singular standing within the YLT oeuvre. “We know this is considered a key part of the arc,” explains Kaplan. “If we’re at the merch table and somebody is asking, ‘I don’t have any of your records, which one should I get?’ we know this is the right answer. Whether we feel that way or not, we know we’re supposed to recommend this record.” Further reminiscences include the origin of The Condo F***s, how a fake Brian Brain tribute album spiraled into real-life drama, and why the working title of “The Lie and How We Told It” was “The Hard Singing Song.”
Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg on "Slanted & Enchanted"
The season two premiere of our Revisionist History Podcast: a conversation between Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs, reflecting on their debut album Slanted & Enchanted 30 years later. Speaking to host Matt Sweeney (Chavez), the pair discuss preparing for their upcoming reunion tour, dropping out of college to tour with Sonic Youth, and writing “In the Mouth a Desert” after an Earth Day spent tripping on mescaline.
Love this show!
Was malkmus on that interview?
Was it an interview? Couldn’t tell from all the talking the host did. Good lord. Ask a question and let your guest say something!
Non-professional host/interviewer ruins the vibez
re: Pavement episode. Poor Malkmus and Spiral Stairs, invited to do an interview and had to fight to get a word in over the host’s rambling questions and interruptions.