Matador Records – Revisionist History

Director: Various dirs.
USA / 2020 / approx. 120 min

Last screened on Mon, Sep 28

Since 1989, Matador Records has been a vital source for some of the greatest music of all time. This idiosyncratic Revisionist History program provides a guided audiovisual tour through that history led by the label’s heads and head of video content, featuring a large assortment of celebrated musical artists like Liz Phair, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, and Spoon. “People tend to presume this is our cheeky way of rewriting the label’s storied past to make it even more (ahem) storied,” says Matador, “to somehow portray ourselves or the recording artists in some glamorous or outlandish fashion. You know, the time Jon Spencer slept with a Cadillac. Johan had four slices of pizza before 11:30 am, that kind of thing. The sorry fact of the matter is that we’ve had to resort to spinning new label fables because we simply cannot remember what happened so many years ago. Seriously. Whether it was the self-medication, the PTSD, the blows to the head, there’s like a million guys named Dan, all of the above, I don’t fucking know. It’s a nightmare. And It’s not as though anyone is going to fact check this stuff.”

Speakers: Brett Vapnek, Gerard Cosloy, Chris Lombardi, Gabe Spierer, Yo La Tengo

1. What’s Up Matador (1997)
Written and Directed by Clay Tarver
2. Liz Phair – “Never Said” (1994)
Directed by Katy Maguire; editor: Jim Staskauskas
3. Chavez – “Break Up Your Band” (1995)
Video directed by Scott Marshall, concept by Chavez
4. Bailter Space – “Splat” (1993)
Directed by Julie Hermelin
5. Pavement – “Father to a Sister of Thought” (1995)
Directed By John Kelsey
6. Yo La Tengo – “Tom Courtenay” (1995)
Directed by Phil Morrison
7. Jay Reatard – “It’s So Easy” (2008)
Video shot by Adam Farrell in the Matador office; thanks to Adam Shore
8. Sonic Youth – “Sacred Trickster” (2009)
Directed by Tom Surgal
9. Kurt Vile – “Freak Train” (2009)
Directed by Danny Gonzalez
10. Spoon – “Not Turning Off” (1996)
Directed by Brett Vapnek
11. Pavement – New Zealand TV item (1993)
From TV3’s In Focus. Filmed in Dunedin and Auckland by Andrew Moore, with help from Phillip Moore and Dominic Stones.
12. Mary Timony – “Dream Machine” (2000)
Directed by Brett Vapnek
13. Guided By Voices “Quality of Armor” w/Matt Sweeney (2010)
Live at Matador 21, Las Vegas
14. Pavement – “Grounded” (1999)
Filmed live in Manchester UK
15. Guided By Voices – “Watch Me Jumpstart (1995)
Produced and Directed by Banks Tarver