Matador has always been one of, if not, my favorite label(s). Not only do they consistently release some of the best independent music in the world, they're also really freakin' kind to their fans. Back in the day they sold the super rad 2-disc compilation What's Up Matador for a mere $5, which single handedly turned me on to Cat Power, Bettie Servert, Chavez and Spoon. Unlike the major labels, Matador has embraced technology in an extremely progressive manner. Whether it's through their Buy it Early, Get it Now-Executive Package series, or the countless videos, embeddable widgets and free tracks they give away on the Matablog, the NYC label is always hooking the kids up with chronic jams.
Case in point, the Intended 2008 playlist, a .zip file of 12 tracks from Matador's hottest records of '08. With the exception of the Cave Singer's "Helen" (released in Sept. 2007), every song on this collection is as fresh as the organic lettuce at your local co-op (some haven't even been released yet!). Did we mention it's free?
Intended Play 2008 (zip file)
1. Jay Reatard Always Wanting More (from 7″ #3, due out June 17)
2. Times New Viking DROP-OUT (from Rip It Off, released January 22)
3. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Cold Son (from Real Emotional Trash, released March 4)
4. Shearwater Leviathan, Bound (from Rook, due out June 3)
5. Cat Power Metal Heart (from Jukebox, released January 22)
6. Matmos Polychords (from Supreme Balloon, due out May 6)
7. Mission Of Burma That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate (from Vs.: The Definitive Edition, released today, March 18)
8. Jaguar Love Bats Over The Pacific Ocean (from Take Me To The Sea, due out this summer)
9. The Cave Singers Helen (from Invitation Songs, released last September)
10. Dead Meadow I’m Gone (from Old Growth, released February 5)
11. The New Pornographers All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth (live) (from Live From Soho (iTunes Exclusive), released March 11)
12. Earles & Jensen Bleachy Is Back In Town, Look Out (from Just Farr A Laugh Vols. 1 & 2: The Greatest Prank Phone Calls Ever!, due out April 22)
If this mix makes you want to buy the entire Matador back catalog, and it should, check out the Mid-Price Classics series, which offers classic albums like Cornelius' Fantasma and Belle & Sebastian's Tigermilk for as low as $8. A great way to build your collection without breaking your bank account.