Various Artists – What's Up Matador
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
Another document of a time and a place, this time the late 90s with maybe the most reputable indie label of our time. Well, maybe Sub Pop is more reputable, but Matador's pretty close! This one's pretty diverse and has a couple of bands I've never even heard of and most of Matador's heavy hitters. Pavement covers Echo and the Bunnymen's “The Killing Moon” with pretty much awesome results. The GBV track is choice, and Tobin Sprout has a jam on side four! And Guitar Wolf! And the demo version of Yo La Tengo's “Don't Say a Word” which is just fucking plain gorgeous. Early Spoon, with the band really starting to come into their own. A typically pretty Cat Power track. On top of that, the liner notes are have these “Little Known Fact”s written by Matador that are full of sweet praise and...facts. Ex. “Chavez are often described as a “super-group”, but we've never heard of any the bands they were in beforehand. Their “Unreal is Here” video used 15,000 Smashing Pumpkins fans as unpaid extras.” “By the year 2000, every punk rock fan in America will have had the chance to play “Kick Out the Jams” with Guitar Wolf at least once.” “Vocalist Britt Daniel is much better looking without the sunglasses (and you can tell him we said so). If there's a better songwriter alive, please have him send us a tape.” It's sweet, and this is a great compilation full of bands that I like or bands that I should like. Fuck, this Tobin Sprout song is just so, so good. I do not know how that guy does it. The thing is, before I even got obsessed with GBV, his songs were always my favorites. “To Remake the Young Flyer” was the one that made me spend a good couple weeks with the holy trinity of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under the Bushes Under the Stars and started this whole chain reaction of adoration. The Kite Tails even learned the Toby b-side “Dodging Invisible Rays” for a couple of shows! And natch, his solo stuff has always been pretty top notch. Not as frequent as Bobby P's, but most definitely more solid.