Saturday, April 30, 2005

Matzah Reviews LIVE (Brother Reade @ Knitting Factory)

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Brother Reade (© Andrew Jacobsen)

"It's refreshing to see rappers without do-rags or spinning belt buckles," comments my companion Jacobsen, before Record Collection's newly signed Brother Reade hit the stage at the Knitting Factory's Divebomb night. Jacobsen's right. With Jimmy on vocals and Erin on turntable, Brother Reade reminded me on Wednesday night what good hip hop sounds like by bringing it back to the basics: one mic, a turntable, and a lot of energy. Minus the ego, Brother Reade's songs were intelligent and targeted subjects more important than smokin' blunts and drinking Henessey.

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(© Matzah)

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(© Matzah)

The indie crowd in attendance were reserved at first (myself included), possibly more concerned with their 3 dollar vodka specials than the music. Into their third song, 'Benji Got the Big Head' (one of the better songs of their set), Brother Reade had the audience in the palms of their hands, begging for more with heads bobbing in unison to Erin's beats. They ended their set with a bang, my personal favorite, 'The Marcie Song,' an anthem set to a floor shaking beat complemented by soothing vocals with provocative lyrics. Unbelievable! But don't just take my word for it, go see Brother Reade perform yourself.

Matzah's Rating:
B+


Set List:
1. Oboe (We Ain't Scared to Hustle)
2. Friday
3. Benji Got the Big Head
4. The Loft Party Classics
5. Seven Leagues
6. The Marcie Song

Friday, April 29, 2005

Motherfuckin' Censorship (Matador Records vs. Paste Magazine)

Is this advertisement for Stephen Malkmus' newest release, Face the Truth, too provocative for media publications?

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Well, the Advertisement Department at Paste Magazine thinks so.

I'm sure Matador Records (Stephen Malkmus' label) is thrilled. Here's what the fine folks at Matador Records have to say:

"We'd like to offer a shout-out (ie. "fuck you") to the cowards and thought-cops at the Ad Dept at Paste Magazine who have deemed our proposed advertisement for 'Face The Truth' to be beyond the bounds of "good taste." God forbid that anything might challenge the sensibilities of Paste's Yep Roc-loving, Starbucks-guzzling, Wes Anderson-worshipping readership. Seriously, if there's anything we or SM have done that is a poor fit with Paste's Ad Dept's narrow worldview, that is the highest compliment we've been paid since the last time Spin refused to run one of our ads."

Personally, I believe that for a magazine like Paste, who "[...] pride ourselves in being the premier magazine for people who still enjoy discovering new music, prize substance and songcraft over fads and manufactured attitude, and appreciate quality music in whatever genre it might inhabit," choose not to run this ad because of it's lack of "good taste," is rediculous; the advertisement obviously complements the album (or at least it's title). My verdict? I'm with Matador on this one. The fine employees at Paste's Ad Department are a bunch of overly sensitive idiots, who prefer to advertise AmericanSingles.com (which can be found on their website here) than promote the music that they claim to enjoy.

What do you think? Is it too provocative? Where should the line be drawn?

Speak up, my readers!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Coachella '05: The Set Times

Well, that time of year has come again, where we can rejoice under the desert sun in overpriced band merch and watch our favorite bands perform. Like a holiday, minus Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, I am excited to be attending Day 1 of Coachella. If any of you are going to Coachella, feel free to comment and let me know.

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SATURDAY (APRIL 30)


MAIN STAGE
1:55-2:40: Buck 65
3-3:50: Raveonettes
4:15-5:05: Snow Patrol
5:30-6:20: Keane
6:45-7:35: Wilco
8-8:50: Weezer
9:15-10:15: Bauhaus
10:40-11:55: Coldplay


OUTDOOR THEATRE
1:40-2:25: Nic Armstrong and the Thieves
2:50-3:35: Jamie Cullum
4-4:45: Eisley
5:10-5:55: Razorlight
6:20-7:10: Rilo Kiley
7:35-8:25: Cafe Tacuba
8:45-9:30: Sage Francis
9:50-10:35: Mercury Rev
11-11:55: Spoon


MOJAVE TENT
12:30-1: Sexy Magazines
1:15-2: Gratitude
2:15-3:10: Radio 4
3:35-4:20: Ambulance Ltd
4:50-5:40: The Kills
6:10-6:55: Stereophonics
7:15-8: MF Doom
8:25-9:05: Secret Machines
9:30-10:15: Bloc Party
10:40-11:30: Fantomas


SAHARA TENT
1:30-3:15: Evil Nine
3:15-4:15: DJ Peretz (is Perry Farrell, former member of Jane's Addiction)
4:15-5:15: DJ Narky
5:15-6:30: Tiga
6:30-7:45: UNKLE
7:45-9: Josh Wink
9-10:15: Hernan Cattaneo
10:20-11:50: Chemical Brothers


GOBI TENT
12:30-1:20: Boom Bip
1:35-2:20: Katie Melua
2:35-3:20: K-os
3:40-4:30: M83
4:55-5:45: Immortal Technique
6:05-6:50: Jean Grae
7:15-8:05: Swayzak
8:30-9:20: Four Tet
9:45-10:35: Amp Fiddler
11-11:50: Zap Mama


SUNDAY (SUNDAY APRIL 1)


MAIN STAGE
1:40-2:25 Gram Rabbit
2:50-3:35: Perceptionists
3:55-4:40: Thrice
5:05-5:50: Futureheads
6:15-7:05: Gang of Four
7:35-8:35: New Order
9-10:15: Nine Inch Nails
10:40-11:40: Black Star


OUTDOOR THEATRE
1-1:40: Shout Out Louds
2-2:45: Donavon Frankenreiter
3:05-3:55: Jem
4:20-5:10: Fiery Furnaces
5:30-6:20: Tegan and Sara
6:45-7:35: The Arcade Fire
7:55-8:40: Aesop Rock
8:55-9:40: British Sea Power
10-10:50: The Faint
11:10-12: Bright Eyes


MOJAVE TENT
11:50-12:20: Goodbye Radar
12:40-1:10: Midlake
1:35-2:20: Sloan
2:45-3:35: Autolux
4-4:50: Kasabian
5:15-6:05: The Bravery
6:30-7:20: Roots Manuva
7:45-8:35: Dresden Dolls
8:55-9:40: Pinback
10-10:45: Blood Brothers
11:10-11:55: The Locust


SAHARA TENT
12:30-2: DJ Jun
2-3: Diplo
3-4:15: Matthew Dear
4:15-5:30: Ben Watt
5:30-6:45: Miss Kittin
6:45-8: Junkie XL
8-9:15: Armin Van Buren
9:15-10:15: Roni Size
10:30-11:45: The Prodigy


GOBI TENT
1-1:40: Zion I
1:45-2:30: Subtle
2:55-3:45: Sixtoo
4:10-5: M.I.A.
5:25-6:15: Beans
6:40-7:30: Z-Trip
7:40-8:30: DJ Krush
8:50-9:40: Matmos
10:05-10:50: Wolf Eyes

Monday, April 25, 2005

Matzah's News Bits, including the implosion of Zwan, as narrated by Billy Corgan

The Ironies of 'Indie' Music, complements of the Orlando City Beat

AND

A foreign preview for the release of Last Days, Gus Van Sants loose interpretation of the life and death of Kurt Cobain (Notice Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon towards the end of the trailer.)

AND

Billy Corgan sits down with the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot here.

When asked about his ill-fated band, Zwan, Corgan said:

"The music wasn't the big problem, it was more their attitude: `Why do we have to practice? I'd rather be hanging out at the Rainbo.' Lifestyle stuff. And then you get into what I would call cataclysmic behavioral stuff. Sex acts between band members in public. People carrying drugs across borders. Pajo sleeping with the producer's girlfriend while we were making the record. I just tried to do what I've always done, which is to patch it up and roll it out. You go into a denial state. I got snookered in by really bad people. It's embarrassing to me. But it wised me up to why I play, and who I love, and it made me appreciate my old band even more."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Matzah Interviews Aaron North (of Nine Inch Nails)

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Aaron North (on tour with the Icarus Line in 2004, © Jason Nocito)

Aaron North doesn't mess around. While opening for the Distillers, Aaron, playing with the Icarus Line at the time, was hit in the head with a bottle. Chaos ensued, with Aaron, singer Joe Cardamone, and bassist Don Devore in the crowd, beating the shit out of the fan who threw it. Soon thereafter, the fan was ejected from the venue with nothing to show for it, except blood and bruises. The same attitude goes for Aaron's other endeavors. Having started Buddyhead in 1998 with friend Travis Keller, the two have managed to trash the reputations of shitty celebrities and musicians alike, interview cool bands, and put out great records. Now in Nine Inch Nails, Aaron continues with the same passion he began with. He sat down with 'Get the Door, It's Matzah' and talked about Nine Inch Nails, the Icarus Line, Buddyhead, and most importantly, why he cut his hair.

Matzah: What's in your rotation?

Aaron North: In N' Out, Del Taco, Panda Express, Tommy's.

Matzah: Who are your influences as a musician?

Aaron North: I'm a musician? If so, the list would be long and boring. It would start with a bunch of people who could barely play but made the most of it with soul and panache. People such as Ron Asheton, Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett, etc.

M: Could you give us a history of your musicianship/music career?

AN: Started playing guitar when I was 14. Played in a really bad hardcore punk bands through my teens. Played with the Icarus Line people from 1996 to 2004. That about covers it.

M: When did you take a larger interest in music, aside from playing (i.e. interviews, reviews, starting a label)?

AN: Punk rock is what made me really want to be involved in music. Up until discovering that, music seemed way too hard and technical to get caught up in. I liked Guns N' Roses and Metallica, but there was no way I'd ever be able to cut that shit, until I heard Black Flag and I realized I could probably do that stuff myself and it seemed more fun and pertinent anyway than soloing and worrying about technique and all that crap.

M: What are your hobbies besides music?

AN: Mexican food. Sleeping. Dudes.

M: What music blogs do you read? If any?

AN: None. Not a big internet fan.

M: How do you feel about the growing role of the internet in music (filesharing, music blogs, etc)?

AN: I dunno. I don't really participate in the file sharing stuff and I don't participate in or read anything on the internet besides Buddyhead.

M: What role do you play with Buddyhead now that you've joined NIN?

AN: Same as I always have, run the fucker with Travis.

M: Could you give us a brief history of Buddyhead?

AN: Started as something fun to do cos we were bored, about 1998 we put out some records cos we thought it'd be fun and we were bored. Still do it wheneverit seems like fun and we're bored.

M: Something I know a lot of people enjoy about Buddyhead is the gossip column. Short and to the point, but sarcastic and hilarious at the same time, you and Travis have successfully managed to piss off the likes of Fred Durst, among others. Who writes the gossip?

AN: Me and Travis write the gossip.

M: Did you guys ever 'make up' with Fred Durst? Or, better yet, have you had any confrontations with him since?

AN: Naw. That kind of shit isn't even really on my radar anymore.

M: How did the opportunity to join Nine Inch Nails come about?

AN: They asked me to be in the band. I said, "ok."

M: Are you planning to stick with NIN through the summer tour or continue afterwards as a permanent member?

AN: Haven't thought about it.

M: Do you have any plans for after NIN?

AN: Not really. Haven't thought about it.

M: Aside from the money, what are the benefits for you as a musician playing in NIN than in the Icarus Line?

AN: None. What's more important than money?

M: Also, I know that NIN is scheduled to play Coachella on May 1st. How does it feel to be headlining Coachella? Are you nervous?

AN: Hmmmm, not really. Haven't thought about it. I've played festivals before. Playing to that many people isn't nearly as frightening as playing a solo show to a handful of your closest friends.

M: What bands are you excited to see?

AN: Hmmmm, not really too hyper-stoked on any of the bands really. There's some cool stuff I wanna check out, but nothing I'm wetting my pants over.

M: I also wanted to ask you a few questions about your former band, the Icarus Line. When did you officially split with the band?

AN: Late last year.

M: Was the Icarus Line split amicable?

AN: I dunno. I didn't stick around for a reaction. I just quit. You'd have to ask them.

M: Have you heard the new Icarus Line material ('Fashion Fever' maybe?) If so, what do you think of their direction?

AN: Haven't heard any new stuff from them. Hasn't really peaked my interest to check anything out.

M: Do you keep in touch with anyone from the band?

AN: No.

Fan Questions:

1. Why'd you cut your hair?

AN: I wasn't born with long hair y'know. I was starting to look like I was either a wrestler, or homeless, or both. Not cool.

2. Choose one to have sex with, one to marry, one to kill: Travis Keller [of Buddyhead], Trent Reznor [of Nine Inch Nails], Joe Cardamone [of Icarus Line].

AN: I wouldn't want to fuck, marry, or kill any of those people. Sorry.

3. Were you a dork in high school?

AN: No. The dorks were the ones who actually went.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Matzah Reviews + LA Weekly Interviews Gang of Four

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The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
[Now Available for Purchase on ITunes]

After hearing 'Blue Orchid,' I first thought to myself, "Why does Jack White sound so pre-pubescent?" 'Blue Orchid' exemplifies not only Jack White's unusually high voice, but also Meg White's elementary drumming (it's amazing to me that she can keep time, barely.) The song's cheap thrill lies in Jack White's guitar, which leaves you dissatisfied midway through the song. Somehow, the White Stripes typically provide filler in their sound, despite using simply a guitar and drums. 'Blue Orchid' lacks that filler, leaving their sound lacking. You'd think you could hear something like this at a high school battle of the bands, with Meg White's simple drumming and Jack White's repetitive guitar. Instead, the White Stripes graciously provide us with 'Blue Orchid' by mainstream means. Though they may have scored a hit with the teenage 'indie' crowd, 'Blue Orchid' lacks emotional or intellectual depth and ends in a short, anti climactic manner at 2:37. Simply put, press skip next time this dull song pops up on your IPod.

Matzah's Rating:
C-/D+

PLUS

LA Weekly interviews Gang of Four here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors - It's Coachella Time + UPDATE!

It's almost that time of year again, when everybody flocks to Indio, California for Coachella. In addition to the festival itself, some of the featured Coachella bands play 'secret' shows. Though nothing is confirmed at the moment, Wilco, Weezer and Gang of Four are all rumored to play. I will keep you all posted, and for more news, you can check out Ambitious Outsiders.

UPDATE:
Thursday, April 28 - Bauhaus @ the Glass House ($25)
Tickets Available at Ticketmaster

PLUS:

LA Weekly's guide to Coachella '05.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Matzah Reviews

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Karen O. & Squeak E. Clean - Hello Tomorrow (Adidas Version)
[Now Available for Purchase on ITunes]

Let me begin with the observation that 'Hello Tomorrow' is a strange fucking song. Originally set to a bizarre Adidas commercial directed by Karen O's boyfriend, indie filmmaker Spike Jonze, the song holds less weight alone than it does paired with the Adidas commercial. The first song from a secret side project between Squeak E. Clean Productions and Yeah Yeah Yeah's frontwoman Karen O, 'Hello Tomorrow' is definitely spacy, with Karen O's distant vocals, calm acoustic guitar, and echoing xylaphone. As it picks up with added piano and violin, the song becomes more interesting. The piano and violin almost bring 'Hello Tomorrow' back to the listener, making the music sound less distant. Listening to this song, you can't help but feel isolated in a fantasy world, as Karen O's voice surrounds you and encourages you to "Go where the lights go dark." 'Hello Tomorrow' would better complement an acid trip or a delusional state, but otherwise, this song is better forgotten.

Matzah's Rating:
C+

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Matzah's Shows To Watch Out For - April Edition

Looking at the music calendar, it's looks as if I'm going to be pretty busy going to shows at the Echo and the Smell. The gem of this month is Coachella Day 1, featuring Wilco, Keane, Weezer, Snow Patrol, Doves, Coldplay, and a Bauhaus reunion. With so many bands playing on one day, you can't go wrong, even if you think Weezer plays predictable anthems for preteens (cough, cough, 'Beverly Hills'), and if Coldplay, Keane, Rilo Kiley, Snow Patrol and Eisely are too boring for you. Aside from the aforementioned, also playing are the NME 'hype' bands (Bloc Party, Razorlight) and the indie rappers (MF Doom, Buck 65, Sage Francis). No harm in paying $81, not to mention brutal TicketMaster "service" fees, to see some 44 bands play, right? Anyway, here are the dates for the rest of this month:

Friday, April 22 - Rolling Blackouts, The Starvations, The Orphans @ the Smell
***Saturday, April 23 - Simon Dawes, Black Black, Revalators @ the Echo ($7)
Sunday, April 24 - Bullet Train to Vegas @ the Smell
Monday, April 25 - The Mae Shi @ Spaceland (Free)
Friday, April 29 - Radio Vago @ El Cid ($5 @ door)
Saturday, April 30 - Willowz, Tsk Tsk, sO sO sO @ the Smell ($5 @ door)
***Saturday, April 30 - Coachella Music Festival, Day 1 @ Empire Polo Fields ($81.00)

Support Live Music! Take care.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Welcome Back, Matzah + GUEST POST: Evan Weiss

Well folks, I'm back. Somehow, I lost contact with you amongst my Ojai Trip, Spring Break, and my recent college excursion to NYC. For this, I apologize.

As you may or may not have noticed, I am using a new blog site, Blogger.com. I made the switch from LiveJournal.com to Blogger.com in hopes of making 'Get the Door, It's Matzah' more professional. I have a few guest posts and reviews planned, so be on the look out.

With that being said, I have a new guest post from a new guest writer and I, for one, am really excited. A few days ago, Evan Weiss (of Wires on Fire) graciously wrote a guest post for my blog. Lead singer and guitarist, Evan anchors the band's 'in your face' style of punk with his wavering, screaming vocals. The band's debut 6 song EP, 'Homewrecker,' has been in heavy rotation for me in the past few months (and to think, it still hasn't lost it's kick!) As far as I know, the band is planning a split release (in June) with Record Collection's Mean Reds and a west coast co-headlining tour in the summer in support of the release. In addition, UK label Bloodloss Collective also plans to release a Wires on Fire 7" (in June). Again, big thanks to Evan Weiss for his guest post:

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Evan Weiss

I was looking through my collection of music, trying to decide what to write about... then I saw a gem that I havent listened to in years... here we go:

Stikky - Spamthology Volume 1
Sound Pollution Records

When I was in the 8th grade I was in a band called War Wagon with my good friend who we called DoRF. He was into lots of crust, thrash, and political punk. He turned me onto this record, and I played it a lot. Stikky featured Chris Dodge, who later went on to form bay area trash legends, Spazz. Stikky were part of the late 80's Berkeley scene (they played with Op Ivy, Neurosis, released records on Lookout, etc..) I never hear anyone talk about them (maybe for good reason, haha), and almost forgot about them until I was at the Lookout! Records office and saw a framed Stikky photo on the wall. YES! Fast, silly, punk music, with a great sense of humor. Lyrically, they often attacked the scene from which they came from. My favorite line comes from "Band In DC" (Bad Brains reference... get it?). "Ian McKaye to copy we try, our master, our lord, our Rasta Far I." Other great song titles include "Girls Suck," "Girls Still Suck," "Tim Yohannan's Christmas Present" "Cheese Is Fantastic," "Cheese Is Still Fantastic," "I Love Fonzie," and "Floppy Ass." 48 songs! Check it out. At times I can be pretty nostalgic, and this record brings me back to a really fun time in my life, when I was discovering a whole new world of music I never knew existed.


Thanks Evan.


In Other News:

a MUST Read: The Columbia Spectator talks with Adam Shore (of Vice Records) here.

AND

The Icarus Line released a new song, 'Fashion Fever,' on their website, Separate the Sounds. Give it a listen.

AND

I just discovered a relatively new blog, devoted to the music industry, called Coolfer.

AND

Fanzine Terminal Boredom talks to Mark Sultan (of BBQ and Spaceshits fame):

Keep your eyes open people. 'Get the Door, It's Matzah' is back!