V/A feat. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – What’s Up Matador? (2xLP, US)

26 August 1997 Matador Records OLE-163-1
Side One:
01. Cat Power – Back Of Your Head
02. Come – Strike
03. Railroad Jerk – One Step Forward
04. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Dig My Shit!
05. Guided By Voices – My Thoughts Are A Gas
06. Spoon – Telamon Bridge

Side Two:
01. Pavement – The Killing Moon
02. Silkworm – Hangman
03. Yo la Tengo – Don’t Say A Word (Demo Version)
04. Barbara Manning – The Blood Of Feeling
05. Bettie Serveert – Life Is an Imbecile

Side Three:
01. Liz Phair – Stuck On An Island
02. Alfredo’s Welcome – For Carnation
03. Run On – Days Away
04. Mecca Normal – Hurricane Watch
05. Helium – Lucy

Side Four:
01. Chavez – Theme From “For Russ”
02. Tobin Sprout – Small Parade
03. Liquor Giants – Riverdale
04. Bardo Pond – The Trail
05. Guitar Wolf – Kawasaki ZII 750 Rock ‘n’ Roll
06. Pizzicato Five – Happy Birthday

V/A feat. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - What's Up Matador? (2xLP, US) - Cover
Double vinyl edition in gatefold sleeve with die-cut white paper inner sleeves, also issued as a double CD edition and there was an accompanying What’s Up Matador? video.

The CD edition of this album featured two discs one of which was ‘Favorite Tracks’ and the other titled ‘Unreleased Tracks’ and included everything on this edition with the exception of Liquor Giants and Guitar Wolf.

Includes rare The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion track Dig My Shit which was released on Jukebox Explosion Rockin’ Mid-90s Punkers in 2007.

The Guitar Wolf song Kawasaki ZII 750 Rock ‘n’ Roll was covered by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on I Love Guitar Wolf…Very Much.

A1. Cat Power – Back of Your Head
Writers: Cat Power
Published: Dreading Futures/Doorman (BMI)
Recorded for VPRO, Radio 5 “De Avonden”
Thanks to Barry Kamer and Jan Hiddink
Little Known Fact: Chan Marshall’s name is pronounced just like Sean or Shawn, not like, y’know Jackie Chan. And Cat Power is TWO WORDS (except in cases where it is one word).

A2. Come – Strike
Writers: Come
Published: Weak Lung Music (BMI) Vocals/Guitar: Thalia Zedek
Guitar: Chris Brokaw
With Special Guests: Bass: Tara Jane O’Neil
Drums: Kevin Coultas
Recorded November 1995 at Idful, Chicago and Fort Apache, Cambridge
Engineers: Andy Bryant/John McEntire and Wally Gagel
Mixed at Baby Monster, NYC, by Bruce Goggin
Come: P.O. Box 390453, Cambridge, MA 02139
Little Known Fact: almost everyone with a pulse remembers Thalia Zedek’s great performances with Dangerous Birds, Uzo or Live Skull, but hardly any of you know about guitarist Chris Brokaw’s tenure with the Oberlin group Pay The Man

A3. Railroad Jerk – One Step Forward
Writers: M. Hall
Published: Plastic Fork Music/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Recorded at Tin Pan Alley, New York, May 1996
Mixed at Platinum Island, New York, by Settly
Produced by Railroad Jerk and Settly
Keyboards: Giovanni Fusco
From the Third Rail sessions 1996
Little Known Fact: Vocalist/Guitar Marcellus Hall (who also plays in White Hassele, with RRJ drummer Dave Varenka) is an acclaimed cartoonist whose works have appeared in magazines we cannot afford to advertise in.

A4. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Dig My Shit!
Writers: Spencer/Explosion
Published: [no details]
Advice: If you personally know anyone who refers ton this band as “Spencer Blues”, take them aside and politely explain “that isn’t the name of the band.”
Thanks for your help.

A5. Guided By Voices – My Thoughts Are A Gas
Writers: R. Pollard
Published: Needmore Songs/MCA (BMI)
Recorded: John Shough at Cro-Magnon
Guitar/Vocals: Robert Pollard
Bass: Greg Demos
Drums: Joe Buben
Little Known Fact: Pete Jamison is often referred to as “manager for life”, but there is no law on the books covering this form of servitude.

A6. Spoon – Telamon Bridge
Writers: Spoon
Published: Henry Neuman Songs (BMI)
Recorded: Grant Barger
Little Known Fact: 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.

B1. Pavement – The Killing Moon
Writers: Sergeant/Pattinson/De Freitas/McCulloch
Published: WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Recorded for BBC “Night Session”
Little Known Fact: Former drummer (and M2 fixture) Gary Young has a burgeoning business selling dog houses. Also, the rumour about them all living in the same house is completely untrue.

B2. Silkworm – Hangman
Writers: The Walkabouts
Published: 1991 Fire and Skill (BMI)
Recorded 10/9/92 by Tim Midgett on cassette four-track
Played by Andy Cohen, Michael Dahiquist, Tim Midgett, Joel Phelps
From a forthcoming Silkworm Quartet retrospective (OLE 159), tentatively entitled Even a Blind Chicken Finds a Kernel of Corn Now and Then
Little Known Fact: Prior to forming Silkworm, Andy and Tim each played in a Missoula band called Einheit. No relation to the Neubauten guy, but if it sells some extra records, believe whatever you want.

B3. Yo la Tengo – Don’t Say A Word (Demo Version)
Writers: Hubley
Published: Roshashauna Music (BMI)
Little Known Fact: The band has been featured on at least 6 major movie soundtracks. More reliable than Kenny Loggins, and almost always as good. They only band in Matador history to have a video rejected by the record company (the company wasn’t Matador, by the way).

B4. Barbara Manning – The Blood Of Feeling
Music: B. Manning/Cole Marquis/Corey Allan Porter
Words: B. Manning
Published: Published: Barbara Manning Music (BMI)
Performed: Manning/Marquis/Porter
Little Known Fact: Although everyone knows that’s she’s played with musicians ranging from Roy Montgomery to Chris Knox, hardly anyone knows that she once live next door to R.K.L.

B5. Bettie Serveert – Life Is an Imbecile
Music: Bettie Serveery
Lyrics: Carol van Dijk
Published: Sander Blom Music (VIRGIN/EMI)
Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, NY 1996
Produced/Mixed: Bruce Goggin
Engineered: Dave Voigt
Little Known Fact: Their name is culled from the instructional program starring tennis great Betty Stove, Besides, there was already a band from San Francisco called Rene Richards.

C1. Liz Phair – Stuck On An Island
Writers: Liz Phair
Published: Sony Tunes (ASCAP)
The Band: Alain Johanes/Chris Wagoner/Joey Waronker
Little Known Fact: Her second album was almost called Feed The Buddha, talk about a close call. Also, everyone cites her Girly Sound cassette as her ticket to Matador, but we never heard the entire thing until it got bootlegged on CD years later.

C2. The For Carnation – Alfredo’s Welcome
Writers: B. Walford/B.McMahan
Published: Neatly Folded Music (BMI)
Recording Engineer: Grant Barger
Little Known Fact: Led by Slint founder Brian McMahan, The For Carnation’s beautifully crafted music and elaborately packaged records have pioneered the use of the term “mini-LP” around the Matador offices.

C3. Run On – Days Away
Writers: Run On
Published: Run On (BMI)
Marimba/Sequencer/Synth: Rick Brown
Vocal/Guitar: Sue Garner
Guitar/Organ: Alan Licht
The Producer: Ira Kaplan
Recorded in the top of the barn at Black Dirt Studios by Brad Morrison, mixed with Wharton Tiers at Fun City
“Days Away” originally released (on 7″ vinyl with two other songs) as AJAX 037. Ajax Records, P.O. Box 802293, Chicago, Il 60680.
Little Known Fact: With their rich history of solo work and participation in groups like Fish & Roses, Love Child, Les Batteries, The Shams, Timber, V-Effect, Vietnam, The Biggest Square Thing, Blues Humans and Love, you could probably call them a supergroup.

C4. Mecca Normal – Hurricane Watch
Writers: Lester/Smith
Published: SOCAN
Guitar: David Lester
Guitar/Vocals: Jean Smith
Drums: Peter Jefferies
Recorded at Sounds Fine To Me Studios
Little Known Fact: Maybe this is more like an opinion than fact, but author/vocalist Jean Smith and guitar dynamo David Lester are one of the most dangerous and exciting live bands of all time. But if you’re really into trivia, David’s brother Ken was DOA’s long-time manager.

C5. Helium – Lucy
Writers: [no details]
Published: Loud Pink Birdsongs (ASCAP)
Previously released on Pop narcotic
Little Known Fact: Some members of this group have well-known histories (Mary’s work with Autoclave, Ash’s past and present contributions to Polvo), but hardly anyone talks about Shawn’s drumming with Dumptruck and we can’t figure out why.

D1. Chavez – Theme From “For Russ”
Writers: Chavez
Published: 1996 Fist of Tarver (BMI), All Time Lo (ASCAP)
Co-produced: Bryce Goggin
Little Known Fact: Chavez are often described as a “super-group”, but we’ve never heard of any of the bands they were in beforehand. Their “Unreal Is Here” video used 15,000 Smashing Pumpkins fans as unpaid extras.

D2. Tobin Sprout – Small Parade
Writers: T. Sprout
Published: I’m A Cowboy Songs (BMI)
Recorded on 8-Track in the basement
Vocals/Acoustic Guitar/Bass/Drums/Casio/Piano: Tobin Sprout
Little Known Fact: In Addition to his solo work and recordings with Guided By Voices, Tobin is one half of the mysterious Nightwalker project.

D3. Liquor Giants – Riverdale
Writer: Ward Dotson
Published: Doorman (BMI)
Recorded Summer 1996
Vocals/Saxophone: Ward Dotson
Guitar: Mark McNally
Bass: Mark McRoarty
Drums: Matt Simon
Little Known Fact: Guitarist/Vocalist Ward Dotson has alreadu made out personal hall of fame as a founding member of the Gun Club and Pontiac Brothers. He’s already made 3 great albums under the Liquor Giants moniker with a 4th coming next year.

D4. Bardo Pond – The Trail
Writers: Bardo Pond
Published: Doorman (BMI)
Recorded: Cycle Sounds 1/97
Guitar: Michael Gibbons
Bass: Clint Takeda
Vocals: Isobel Sollenberger
Drums: Joe Culver
Guitar: John Gibbons
Produced: J. Cox and Bardo Pond
Little Known Fact: Their ’97 collaboration album with Roy Montgomery under the name Hash Jar Tempo (Drunken Fish) makes a fine companion piece to their Amanita album, also, we realize many children are buying this record and we’d like to point out that the label does not condone the possession of illegal substances (unless you brought enough for everyone).

D5. Guitar Wolf – Kawasaki ZII 750 Rock ‘n’ Roll
Writers: Guitar Wolf
Published: Young Wild Aliens (ASCAP)
Recorded at CBGB, NYC, May 1, 1997
Produced/Mixed: Steve Baise
Engineered: Jamie Gorman
Guitar Wolf is G.V. Seiji, B.V. Billy and DR. Toru
Kawasaki ZII Rock ‘n’ Roll also appears on OLE-271-7
Little Known Fact: First time we heard their Goner LP, we thought the speakers were broken. Turns out, the speakers were broken, but it wasn’t Guitar Wolf’s fault. 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.

D6. Pizzicato Five – Happy Birthday
Writers: Konishi
Published: Columbia Music (BMI)
“This song was composed for the TV commercial for the P’Paprco (Japanese department store) Spring ’96 Campaign. The arrangement was done by NORAYAMA Tatsuya. SHINDO Mitsuo created the visual images, such as posters and TV commercials based on a butterfly motif. I wrote lyrics based on that concept. The song was released as a limited 7″ for the campaign.” – KONISHI Yasuharu
Little Known Fact: The group’s music was used for a U.S. perfume advertisement starring Iggy Pop.


“What is a record label? What are “recoupables”? What is “indie cred?” Who is Ricky Luanda? Where is my mail order?

Everyday, we receive countless letters, faxes and electronic mail messages from children who want to know “what’s up?” And although we try the best we can to answer their questions individually (especially if they send pictures), we couldn’t possibly satisfy everyone. Enter award-winning film maker Clay Tarver. Clay (who also plays guitar in Chavez) conceived of an instructional (yet entertaining) film that would introduce young people to the world of Matador. With the help of cable television fixture Bill Boggs (perhaps you’ve seen his work as a pitch man for the 18″ satellite dish) and a New Jersey elementary school audience, Tarver’s film answers all the questions you’ve ever had about Matador, its origins, the bands and their way of life.

The companion double LP that you’re holding, should serve as an easy initiation to this strange, but very responsible record label. For the hard-core fan, this album’s plethora of rare and/or unreleased material, should ensure hours of listening pleasure, in not a decent resale value.

From the label’s inception in 1989, Matador’s aesthetic has been defined by the musical tastes of company founder Chris Lombardi, and his partner Gerard Cosloy. Said tastes have ranged from brutal power of the Unsane, to the exotica stylings of Pizzicato Five. While the label has never been defined by one particular sound, the common denominator has always been the quality and individuality of the artists themselves. Matador’s success to date is completely due to the ingenuity and hard work of these artists…we thank them it was a benefit record for Boy’s Town.

Matador’s humble roots are similar to that of most do-it-yourself independents. Although documenting the music creations of our favorite artists is our main motivation, we also hope that in some small way our efforts offer encouragement to others…letting everyone know that with an $80,000.00 loan and two major label infusions of cash, you can do it too!

A label is only as strong as its roster, and without the talents of our bands, we might as well start a clothing line (don’t think we haven’t considered it). That said, can never forget the wonderful people who made all this possible: our lawyers.

Accuton 2000″

“What’s Up Matador was compiled, realized and executed during a span of too many years by the following people, amongst others:

Conceptualization: Chris Lombardi

Indoctrination: Gerard Cosloy

Execution: Patrick Amory

Medication: Mark Ohe

Meditation: Jesper Eklow

Perspiration: Isaac Bess

Dehydration: Esther Oliver

Collection: Kris Gillespie

Mystification: Andrea Goldman

Interrogation: Rusty Clarke

Manipulation: Christina Zafiris

Criminalization: Lenard & Gonzalez

Inspiration: Cured Meats

Mastered By SAE Mastering

Video written and directed by Clay Tarver

Thanks to everyone at Matador, all the participating artists, and their lawyers”

ARTWORK: [unknown]

BARCODE: 7 44861 01632 8

B: “OLE-163-1-B”
D: “OLE-163-1-D”