First off, December is a little light compared to the last two months of purchases December was a more normal month of purchases mainly because it is the month for Christmas and my Birthday. For that reason, I have to leave things for people to buy for me as gifts.
The month started out actually on Black Friday and yes, I know that is November. The problem is I couldn’t get these purchases into last months post due to timing issues and Thanksgiving and all. I am sure you won’t mind.
Record Store Black Friday was on November 29th and I got up bright and early to pick up are few things and I got exactly what I was going for and nothing more…I stuck to the plan for once.
First up is the RSD Exclusive Release of Pearl Jam’s MTV Unplugged and you saw that one already at THIS POST!!!!
As you know if you follow this site at all, I am a Matt Nathanson fan. I think he is a fantastic songwriter/singer and an all around marvelous person. I have seen him live only three times and each time he keeps getting better. His live shows are something you have to see as his banter with the crowd is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! He is witty, funny and damn, the man can sing. Matt is also a lyrical painter. He pays so much attention to the lyrical phrasing that it paints such a vivid picture or touches you in ways that only music can do.
Matt Nathanson, the studio musician, is broken down in two categories for me. The 90’s Matt is is an indie rocker that is still trying to find his voice both lyrically and vocally. But the shades of what is to come is in dimly shining in there. Then there is the Matt of 2000’s that has seen his songwriting and singing grow by leaps and bound. He has a confidence that shows in his music and definitely shows when he is on stage. There are those that find his early stuff more raw and pure and it is that, but as you will see with the list, I find his 2000’s self to be the better half.
So, you now have my overall reasoning behind my picks and with that, we need to dive in and rank Matt Nathanson’s albums from The Worst to the one I think is First! And sorry I don’t have all his albums in the Header photo as the site I use only offers 8 frames otherwise I would have had all 10 included.
THE WORST – PLEASE (1993):
Now here is the good news, there really isn’t a bad choice among all the albums, this is all about preference. I have this as the Worst mainly because it is an album with a rough production and Matt’s vocals aren’t quite what they become. And yes I do know that these are mostly demos thus the explaining the quality. The cool thing about it is that the songs were all written while he was in high school or during his freshman year at Pitzer College in California. There are hints of the Matt I grew to love, but it is the one album I go to the least.
I realized I have been making a lot of purchases and yet not everything makes its way on to the site. I figured I would do a wrap up each month of all my purchasing I have made even if they made it on the site during the month or even might make it on to the site down the road.
And this month started out with a bang! A brand new record store opened up in Charlotte, NC called Noble Records. They opened on October 5th which was a Saturday and because of that I got their bright and early. Not grand opening 10am early, but I got there before 11am. I had to take my daughter to her tutoring class at 10 and family comes first…then vinyl…sorry then God, then vinyl!! Okay, maybe more order is skewed, but you get it.
I found two album I have been wanting and I had to grab them as I don’t seem them that often and one was a first pressing (not the RAGE album).
I then found two more albums one I for some reason didn’t have in my collection as it is one of the most popular albums of the 70’s and the other is a 12″ Single from Stryper just in time for Christmas.
One great thing about Matt Nathanson (there are a lot) is that he has been releasing E.P.s in between albums to keep his fans happy. Last year we got the absolutely incredible Def Leppard covers E.P. called ‘Pyromattia’which was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Now he brings us another covers E.P. titled ‘Postcards (from Chicago)’.
Matt took some time while in Chicago to put together another covers release. There are 6 songs from quite a diverse group of artists which makes it a very interesting release. Here is the track list…
Same Drugs (feat. Patrick Stump) – original by Chance the Rapper
Perfect World – original by Liz Phair
Hum Hallelujah – original by Fall Out Boy
Surrender (feat. Richard Marx) – original by Cheap Trick
Hold On to the Nights – original by Richard Marx
Whiskey Bottle – original by Uncle Tupelo
The album is out now on digital and I had to wait for 3 months on the vinyl. It is sweet. It has an autographed postcard of Chicago and it is on a really cool looking Orange Vinyl and here it finally is after the long wait…
July is almost over, but it isn’t going out before giving us one more week of new releases and there a quite a few, but only a few that I am really eager to hear and those that I will listen to when I have time. My choices will be marked in Blue. Tell me what you are looking forward to hearing or what I might have missed as it is known to happen. I hope there is something for your listening pleasure. Thanks and have a great weekend!
Matt Nathanson – Postcards (from Chicago) E.P. – (Acrobat Records): Well if you follow this site, then you know this is a no-brainer for me. I have already ordered the 10″ Orange vinyl and not sure when I will get it, but the digital download was ready for me first thing this morning. Matt, and at times friends, are doing a 6 song E.P. of cover songs and the list is quite diverse from Chance the Rapper to Richard Marx to Cheap Trick. Last year or so he did another that was a complete Def Leppard covers E.P. which was Fan’freaking’tastic. So high hopes for this one.
Soundgarden – Live at the Artists Den – (UMe): Soundgarden is releasing a live show from their 2013 Tour and it will be a full 29 song set and will remind us how great Chris Cornell was as a singer and a frontman. It will be available on Blue Ray, CD, LP and digital. Get the deluxe set to have it all.
For the regulars of my site, they already know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan. For those non-regulars, I will let you know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan. I have been re-exploring his earlier catalog lately and I want to point out a great live set he has available called ‘At the Point’.
‘At the Point’ was recorded, well, at The Point. The Point is an intimate club in Philadelphia, PA. It was recorded in the Summer of 2005 and released in 2006. It is only Matt and his acoustic guitar. Nothing or no one else.
What I love about this album is it is a lot of his old songs from before my discovery of Matt which was around 2007 or so. The album showcases his live performance, his ability to own a crowd, his comedic stylings (he is one funny SOB), his voice and most importantly his songwriting and musicianship.
From such classics as “Church Clothes”, “Answering Machine”, “Curve of the Earth” and “I Saw” to his cover of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” and Drivin’ N Cryin’s “Straight to Hell”, you get lost in his performances as they are delivered so flawlessly and seem so personal. You get laughs as he tells stories that will have you laughing your ass off and you just get an hour and seven minutes of pure enjoyment. This is what a live album should be. Something you can feel and connect with.
It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different. She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds. I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically. This one is no different. It is more pop than country, but still good.
#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’: Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all. If you want to get moving, this will do it.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
Matt Nathanson is one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, no doubt. If I had to list my Top 10 Bands or Artists, Matt would be there along with Kiss and Def Leppard (if you follow me, you know I love those two bands so that is high praise). Why do I love him and his music so much? Well, this album is a shining example of why.
Speaking of the album, this album took a long journey. No, not Matt writing and recording it. A literal long journey. The album was shipped Friday October 5th (the day of release) from Nashville, Tennessee. It stated it would not be to me until Thursday, October 11th which I thought was strange as North Carolina is not that far from Tennessee (well not really far). When I looked up the tracking #, the package suddenly appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now I am not great on geography, but San Juan isn’t anywhere near North Carolina the last time I checked and doesn’t seem the normal traffic route for a package. Needless to say, it din’t arrive by the 11th as stated. The USPS finally corrected themselves and I did receive it on Saturday, October 13th. It could be worse, I might not have ever received it.
‘Sings His Sad Heart’ is exactly that. An album of songs that are about “loss”. Sounds depressing, right? It is far from it. Matt’s pop sensibility is second to none. He can write an album chock full of catchy tunes that stay with you and never leave. His mixture of that pop sound with folk and rock blends so nicely together that his music makes you feel like you have known the songs and the album your whole life.
Welcome to October. Halloween decorations will start going up and Fall should be arriving soon…well I am in the South so I guess we don’t get Fall weather until Christmas. The new releases are still coming fast & furious (great title for a movie franchise…I wonder if it has been done). There are two releases from 2 of my favorite singer songwriters and there are just so many to choose you should be able to find something. My choices are in Blue. Let me know what interests your or I am missing anything so people will know.
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart – (Acrobat Records): Matt Nathanson, what can I say. He is one of my favorite Singer-Songwriters out there today. I have seen him live 3 times (all is an opener…I need to see him as a headliner). This album will be there when I get home on vinyl along with his Def Leppard Cover E.P. on vinyl as well. This will consume most of my listening this weekend. His lyrics are insightful at times, quirky, funny and sometimes damn near brilliant. I can’t say enough good things. Damn…I hope I haven’t built him up too much to disappoint…nah..can’t happen.
Steve Perry – Traces – (Fantasy): The legendary Journey singer is back with his first album in over 20 years and I could not be more excited. I can’t say I am a huge fan of what I have heard so far, but that doesn’t matter. Any new music by this man is welcomed and will be listened to for time to come.