Friday, October 31, 2008 

Come back

My review of the new Dears went up at PopMatters, err, a few days ago. It's been a busy week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 

"Just dead flesh"

As promised, here's a link to my contribution to PopMatters' epic series of essays on Night of the Living Dead for its 40th anniversary. Don't forget to check out the rest of the special section. The quality is uniformly excellent, and I'm very happy my piece was included (and also that, upon reading it now, it holds up okay).

Monday, October 27, 2008 

Trust me / Believe me

I still think Send is a bit underrated, although admittedly moreso if you don't have the first two Read & Burn EPs.



At PopMatters this week, our massive, truly impressive section on Night of the Living Dead for it's 40th anniversary gets off the ground today; the introduction alone is fantastic. I say "our" because, unless the editors forgot to tell me something, I have an essay in it. It'll be up later in the week and I'll link to it then, but there's already six great essays up, including the introductory one by a certain George A. Romero.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 

You can't moan, can you?

So a while back I saw the Wedding Present live in Toronto; I also wrote it up for PopMatters, here. It was a pretty great show, which I hope I got across.

(The Thing I Like Best About Him… instrumental intro)
It’s for You
Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk
You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends
Blue Eyes
Snake Eyes
Sports Car
Spider-Man on Hollywood
You Turn Me On (Cinerama ‘Cover’)
Interstate 5
My Favourite Dress
Model, Actress, Whatever…
The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend
Boo Boo

Monday, October 20, 2008 

Been busy

Sorry, haven't been around much. If you want something to keep you busy...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 

I guess it's that time of year again, eh?

We're closing in on the end, and I guess I'll have to do some sort of top whatever list for PopMatters, Pazz & Jop et al soon. I've got to marshal some thoughts, as all I've got now is a fairly large and unwieldy candidates list. It's weird - I've had a great year, music-wise, but when I look at my list I feel oddly uninspired. It feels kind of like I'm either forgetting a bunch of stuff (...I don't think so) or something like that. I also feel like a lot of my picks this year are kind of depressingly mainstream, at least for the critical community I tend to hang around in, although there's lots of stuff that's not here that's likely to be widely picked. And I don't know, liking stuff other people overlook isn't exactly laudable - I just feel boring this year.

Number one with a bullet:
Samamidon – All Is Well

Likely to rate high (no real order, though):
Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
The Kills – Midnight Boom
Portishead – Third
Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster… (haven't played the second one yet)
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
TV on the Radio – Dear Science (I am not a huge fan of their other material, but I really, really like this for some reason)
Foals – Antidotes
Stars Like Fleas – The Ken Burns Effect
Vampire Weekend – s/t

Still in contention (also in no order):
Delays – Everything's the Rush
The Wedding Present – El Rey
Festival – Come, Arrow, Come!
Earth – The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull
Flying Lotus – Los Angeles
The Bug – London Zoo
Horse Feathers – House With No Home
Retribution Gospel Choir – s/t
Wire – Object 47
Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
The Dodos – Exciter
Demons – Invisible Darkness
Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista
Matmos – Supreme Balloon
Free Blood - The Singles

See what I mean?


You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar

I may be on hold with the student loan people, but at least they're playing the Human League.

Thursday, October 09, 2008 

Much the same way the sun steals the snow

My review of the new (and wonderful) Horse Feathers record is up today at PopMatters.



This is about the best use possible for Simpsons quotations.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 

Lost blossoms

My brief review of the new Harold Budd record (with Clive Wright) is up today at PopMatters.


Embodied cognition

It seems as though lonely people prefer warm drinks and snacks, and people who feel guilty about misbehaviour tend to want to wash their hands. There's an interesting but sketchy article at Scientific American about it.

Monday, October 06, 2008 

Thoughts on watching an assload of TV

(aside from The Wire, which I am watching on DVD and is of course utter genius)

- The Office is one I sometimes find hard to watch, but I love love love Amy Ryan, and I adore the idea of Jim taking Michael under his wing. The weight loss competition episode they started with was awesome on a couple of different levels, and it actually feels like they're still switching things up a little bit.

- Speaking of switching things up, the big speech on the premiere (2 hours, for fuck's sake!) of Grey's Anatomy about how they've been getting sloppy and complacent was a bit obvious, and certainly the show is still frustrating (and, let's face it, is at best an unusually charming-at-times soap opera), but at this point I'm still tentatively in the game if only to see if they're going to keep up seeing how much they can pulverize all of the characters with their history and baggage. But mostly because at this point I could probably watch a show just about George and Lexi, especially if the latter continues to be able to emit near-palpable levels of please-just-kiss-me-already every second she's on screen with the former. But knowing this show, they'll fuck that up in a week or two, things will get even sloppier/sappier/convoluted than before, and I'll finally kick the habit. Although they could delay me a month or so if they'd switch up the fucking soundtrack (the Wedding Present would fit nicely at times, honestly).

- Fringe is hitting the same spot for me that The X-Files used to hit, and I'd watch Lance Reddick in just about anything, but it's way too early to tell whether the compelling weirdness/mystery of all this Pattern stuff is going to add up to anything. But Lost at least suggests that Abrams should have some clue of how to give us a couple of cool seasons before it all flames out.

- I miss 30 Rock and am eager for it to return.

- House actually feels different this season, thank christ. But jeeze, put the new people on the credits already. Chase and Cameron are barely in the show anymore, and that's fine, but their prominence in the credits makes me worry they're going to start backpedalling to the old old status quo. I hope the Wilson stuff sticks, honestly. And more Cuddy, please. But I like the new P.I. guy, and really, this is still a disease-of-the-week show, and it's still good at that. They could have gotten more than one good moment out of Felicia Day though, I'm pretty sure.

- NCIS continues to have good character bits, is competent, has shooting in it sometimes. It's comfort food. Look, I don't read Tom Clancy novels or anything, okay?

- I haven't watched Heroes yet. I'm not sure I want to, but I'll give the premiere a chance, I guess.

- The Ultimate Fighter is going to be a fucking trainwreck, isn't it? Good fights, though.

- Life looks interesting. What the hell, I've started taping it.

- I've only seen the first episode of Dexter, but they seem to be well on track in terms of keeping things interesting the way they did last year. I just can't tell if I still care as much. How long can they keep this going? How long can they? Less voiceover angsting as well, please. But still - thrillingly high quality for such a high concept show.

- I wouldn't watch half this crap if I didn't own a PVR, and I have the sneaking suspicion by the end of the season I won't be watching all of it. There's not enough hours in the day, and the break has made me realize how little I missed some of these. But they're right there! And when I get home from work, sometimes I'm tired and lazy! And I love serial entertainment! Base pleasures will be the death of us all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008 


It took a while, but my review of the Facts About Funerals disc is up at PopMatters today. I liked-not-loved it, but I can see it really appealing to people I know.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 


I've got a review of the new Mercury Rev up at PopMatters, as well as a piece lauding the Walkmen album A Hundred Miles Off up at What Was It Anyway?


Nothing matters when she's dancing

If you told me I was ever going to care in any capacity about a UK TV show called Strictly Come Dancing (ugh), I would not have believed you. But such are the powers of writing at William 'Bloody' Swygart's command. Rockitimists, the blog he's posting about the show on, is filled with a bunch of friends/colleagues, and it's been quite good recently, if you like reading about music you should probably bookmark it.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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