VINYL DIARY #12: Fuck You Matmos! Let’s Have A Beer

bread vinyl diary 12 fuck you matmos beer vinyl junkies

Woke up grumpy.  Coffee, spliff, turn on the stereo. My facebook feed greeted me with the latest music news:

Matmos Perform A Set of Destroying Bread LPs at the WFMU Record Fair

fuck you matmos

Nice. I wonder what books they would burn. Look everyone! Matmos have decided which art is worth publicly destroying, brought to you by the tastemakers at WFMU!

You can’t polish that turd, the stench singes the nose hairs, the picture screams douchebag. Why engage further? It’s not that people aren’t allowed to have opinions on art, we all like what we like. The public display, though. The blatant arrogance of destroying the art of another for publicity, complete with a catchy headline to reel in the clicks. This doesn’t make them cool, it makes them dipshits of the highest order. Ditto to those who put their call letters behind it.

I don’t hate Matmos. I’ve yet to enjoy the experience of listening to their music. Can’t hate what you don’t know and hate is a pretty strong sentiment anyhow. They might be great guys in real life too, wouldn’t know.  But this….stunt?  Let’s call it the steaming pile of elitist horseshit that it is. If there’s a point beyond that picture and title, it’s been lost in translation.

This ain’t about championing the music of Bread either. Beyond 2 or 3 spins of a thrift store compilation or recognizing a well loved AM nugget, I am ignorant. What chafes me is that reputable artists would team up with an equally reputable radio station, to publicly gangbang music they deem unworthy.  Pass the album on to someone who’ll enjoy it fer Chrissakes, pay it forward! Shouldn’t the entire process of serving art necessarily be precluded by a deep reverence for it?


“I hear kids today are getting into yacht rock but I’m not sure if it’s just bad-mustache level irony or because they’re taking Thundercat seriously.”

I’ll fully cop to taking this personally, it’s a massive pet peeve. I’ve spent my entire life listening to close spirited dipshits make empirical pronouncements about what good music is. The internet has made pundits of every simpleton with a smartphone and data plan, myself included.  Hint: the good stuff is what they like, the bad stuff is what they don’t. These pundits exist in the real world as well. How many of you have spoken to people who’s idea of a conversation is to talk about what sucks? They’re sure fun to hang around with at parties, aren’t they?  Scuse me, I gotta go get some more Cheetos, make my fingers orange. Nice speaking to you.

Hey Matmos, does a Cher lp get spared by the hammer?  How about Air Supply or Christopher Cross? I hear kids today are getting into yacht rock but I’m not sure if it’s just bad-mustache level irony or because they’re taking Thundercat seriously.  Keeping track of what’s cool has to be exhausting, I’m already sleepy as it is.  Let me know where the line is, so I can start giving a shit at the appropriate time.  In the meanwhile, I’ve got some terrible-to-someone records to listen to.

Don’t let these guys into a bookstore.  Please.

P.S. The anger thing?  Just a stunt to keep you reading. You’re still reading so it worked, right? Clickbait, I get it. Much like bad mustaches and perhaps yacht rock, the irony often gets lost. We can’t poo poo on Thundercat yet, he’s cool for now. Maybe next year.


WFMU caught a ton of shit for the post in question, I wasn’t alone in my misunderstanding. Their counterpoint is valid. Here it is, no edits:

Brian Turner (WFMU) · Friends with Jamie Saft and 12 others

Do some research about Matmos next time you make grand pronouncements. Their entire modus operandi is about the transmogrification of sounds from one source to another, artfully with deconstruction and equal parts construction shifting meanings and purpose. They see pop music and academia with equal excitement. The concept of taking a record like this and breaking it up was to use the act itself as a source material to sample and loop for an entirely new sound of their design. It was a very cheerfully done reclaiming and conquering of something antiquated and allowing people to hear music from it an entirely new way. They do the same thing with every object they approach from washing machines to field sounds of surgeries, tap dancers etc etc etc. Feeling threatened by this just indicates a fairly walled-in concept of what music is and should be presented as, something quite prominent at antique dealers’ forums like record fairs, which is precisely why this performance was brilliant.

Fair enough. I didn’t dig further, it’s true. I’m perfectly comfortable eating the humble pie, the menu at the window told me I’d hate what they were serving inside, so I didn’t go in.  Sorry Matmos, ditto Brian and WFMU. The title threw me off and I missed the point entirely. Makes me wish we were in a Heineken commercial together. We’d work it out, I’m sure.