Tag Archives: Matador Records

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Steve Gunn Kicks Off Tour at Home at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 10th, 2016

Steve Gunn and the Outliners – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 9, 2016

Steve Gunn and the Outliners – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 9, 2016
Steve Gunn is a guitarists’ guitarist, much in the same way that there are comedians’ comedians (Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Louis CK). He’s earned the respect and admiration of Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, Wilco and the guy who I buy strings from in the guitar shop off Carmine St. Gunn falls somewhere on the guitar family tree under John Fahey, the legendary master of Americana ragas, and he certainly shares his ability to hold down meditative rhythms while stringing a different melody through them. That he’s able to sing on top of it all (something Fahey rarely did) makes the skill all the more impressive. Back from a recent European tour, Gunn returned home to Brooklyn—at Music Hall of Williamsburg—last night, kicking off his American tour in promotion of the excellent Eyes on the Lineshis Matador debut.

Gunn began as a guitarist for Kurt Vile’s Violators, and Vile got his own start as a guitarist for the War on Drugs. If this tradition holds up, stay tuned for an amazing debut from Jim Elkington, who embellishes Gunn’s tunes with artful twangs of his slide guitar. Elkington and Gunn proved to be impressively skilled, trading guitar solos in an epic call-and-response session off the jams of “Park Bench Smile.” Both made use of racks of guitars and a healthy number of pedals to bleed just the right sound out of their noodling. “Ancient Jules” showcased some of the finest riffs to have come out thus far in 2016, searing through a steady on-the-road flowing rhythm. Mid-set, the crowd started yelling, “More Steve!” “More Steve?” replied Gunn. “What does that even mean? Oh, turn me up?”

The set wound down with just Elkington and Gunn on acoustic guitars for a stripped-down version of the beautiful “Wildwood.” The full band returned for the encore with “Way Out Weather” with Gunn’s guitar drifting in and out of the song like a gentle breeze.
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Influential Indie Rocker Thalia Zedek Plays Mercury Lounge

December 11th, 2013

Thalia Zedek was born in Washington, D.C., but her music career didn’t take off until she moved to Boston in 1979 and became part of that city’s fertile underground-rock scene. The singer-songwriter-guitarist was part of several bands before she made the move to go solo in 2001, releasing Been Here and Gone on Matador Records to some considerable acclaim. Said Pitchfork: “A long way from her days spent with Come, Uzi, and Live Skull, Been Here and Gone seems the mature and reminiscent record of an aged career, like Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now or Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.” Eschewing quantity for quality, the brooding rocker put out her fourth solo album, Via (stream it below), earlier this year. PopMatters says Zedek (above, performing “1926”) “has given us another rumbling, sweet, muscled set of tunes, as resilient as they are beautiful, and showed us that just because you’re in between, doesn’t mean you’re on the fence.” See her play the late show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.

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Fully Reunited, Come Play The Bowery Ballroom Tonight

June 28th, 2013

Way back in 1990, Thalia Zedek (vocals and guitar), Chris Brokaw (guitar and vocals), Arthur Johnson (drums) and Sean O’Brien (bass) were all playing in different bands when they met through a mutual acquaintance in Boston. They began jamming together and formed the dark blues-rock outfit Come. Two years later, their acclaimed debut, Eleven: Eleven, was recorded in little more than a week and released on Matador Records. Entertainment Weekly glowingly referred to it as “a captivating blast of ennui and feedback that may be Matador’s finest moment yet.” Not only did the album receive some serious media love, big-time musicians like Kurt Cobain, Bob Mould and J Mascis all publicly praised it. Three more excellent—and almost as equally dark—albums followed: After Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell came out in 1994, Johnson and O’Brien left the band. Several musicians filled in on 1996’s Near-Life Experience, before Winston Bramen (bass) and Daniel Coughlin (drums) joined Come for their fourth full-length, Gently, Down the Stream, which came out in 1998. But then other than a few reunions over the years, that was pretty much it … until recently. On the heals of its 20th anniversary, Eleven: Eleven, which had long been out of print and much sought after, has been reissued, and the original lineup of Come (above, doing “Dead Molly,” “Submerge,” “Bell” and “William” in France) is back together. And now, after all these years, you can finally see them onstage again tonight at The Bowery Ballroom.

 

 

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Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving Play The Bowery Ballroom

April 3rd, 2013

When NYC music icons Sonic Youth broke up—or at least went on hiatus—in 2011, no one really knew what to expect of the group’s members. But, fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long to find out what vocalist-guitarist Thurston Moore would do. Which, in this case, was start another band, Chelsea Light Moving, with bassist Samara Lubelski, drummer John Moloney and guitarist Keith Wood. Their acclaimed self-titled debut album (stream it below), filled with thrashing guitars and counterculture references aplenty, came out last month on Matador Records. And Chelsea Light Moving (above, playing “Burroughs” for KEXP FM last month at SXSW) are now winding down their tour, but you can still see them this Friday at The Bowery Ballroom.