Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Matador @ 21!
There was a time in the early/mid nineties when it seemed every other new release I bought was on Matador Records. I’m pretty sure that it must be the indie label which is most represented in my record collection. This past weekend, Matador celebrated it’s twenty-first year of existence in Las Vegas with an all-star cast of past and present bands. Last Tuesday, Matador released a fancy little box set to commemorate the occasion with all the proceeds going to charity. I figured I needed to do my own little tribute to the label, so I put together a Matador Sampler of my own.
Twenty-one songs, all culled from what I think of as Matador’s Golden era: 1991-1999. Not to say that there aren’t some fine artists on the label these days, but these are the artists that made me fall in love with the label and kept me coming back for more. Limiting my choices to a nine year period was also an easy way for me to whittle down the number of possible tracks to 21. I did not include any tracks that are on the new box set, nor are there any tracks which may have appeared on the three previous Matador anniversary compilations: What’s Up Matador?, Everything is Nice, and Matador at 15. So this compilation will serve as a great introduction to the label for those of you unfamiliar, and will work nicely as a companion disc for those of you diehard fans who already picked up the box set.
Matador @ 21!
01. Yo La Tengo, “Stockholm Syndrome” . James McNew takes over lead vocals for this should have been a hit from Hoboken’s finest trio.
02. Silkworm, “Couldn’t You Wait” [1995, Marco Collins Session]. I love, love, love this version of “Couldn’t You Wait”!
03. Guided by Voices, “Little Whirl” . Since I’ve given you all the Pollard you need for awhile, I thought I’d let Tobin Sprout get the spotlight here. From GBV's second album for Matador, Alien Lanes.
04. Bettie Serveert, “Tom Boy” . As if the world needed another reason to visit Amsterdam?
05. Railroad Jerk, “Bang the Drum” . The Fall meets Jon Spencer on this romp-- you'll be singing along the first time through.
06. Chavez, “Unreal is Here” . Matt Sweeney has collaborated with a lot of talented people, but his best work might be the two albums released by Chavez.
07. Cat Power, “Say” . Backed by Australia’s Dirty Three, this is from my favorite Cat Power album, Moon Pix.
08. Cornelius, “Chapter 8 – Seashore and Horizon” . Keigo Oyamada (aka: Cornelius) creates interesting sound-collages and this one features the Apples in Stereo.
09. Tommy Keene, “Tuesday Morning” . Tommy Keene put out two excellent LPs on Matador: Ten Years After (1996) and Isolation Party (1998).
10. Superchunk, “Throwing Things” . This track was previously featured on Burn and Shine in video form when I celebrated North Carolina during Power Pop Month.
11. San Francisco Seals, “Winter Song” . Jangly guitars never sounded so good.
12. Pavement, “Elevate Me Later” . From my favorite Pavement long player: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.
13. Bailterspace, “Untied” . New Zealand’s finest super-group!
14. Spoon, “All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed” . People who don’t like the first two Spoon records are just plain wrong.
15. Come, “Half Life” . Four albums, all on Matador, is all we got from the collaboration of Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw. All of them worth tracking down.
16. Fuck, “To My Gurl” . You have to respect a band that would choose ‘Fuck’ as their moniker. Imagine pitching this band to any label, let alone one that was distributed by Warner’s at the time.
17. Teenage Fanclub, “So Far Gone” . B-Side to their fabulous “God Knows It’s True” single.
18. Guitar Wolf, “Fujiyama Attack” . The needles were most definitely in the red when this garage-stomper was recorded.
19. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Brenda” . Jon Spencer’s schtick has not aged well, at least not for me. For a brief moment there in early 90's, however, I really thought he might save Rock & Roll.
20. Belle & Sebastian, “A Century of Fakers” . Technically this did not get released by Matador until 2000, but since it was a reissue of a band already on the roster, I included it here.
21. Liz Phair, “Glory” . I recently listened to Exile in Guyville for the first time in ages. It still holds up.
Total Time: 1:01:59
Download it here: Matador @21!
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