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.
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For My Sunday Song #48, I am going with my favorite Matt Nathanson song called “Headphones”. The song features singer LOLO and is off Matt’s album ‘Show Me Your Fangs’ released in 2014. It is one of his best albums, so check it out.
The song “Headphones” for me is about putting on my headphones, listening to music and escaping. When you listen to music, it can take all your cares in the world and throw them out the window. With music, you can feel invincible (as the song states). The song is everything I feel about music and how important it is in my life. Heck, I even started a blog where all I talk about is music. I have only known this song for 3 years now, but it is the soundtrack to my feelings on music.
The song is actually about a girl who moves to the big city to have a fresh start. Where everyone around her is concerned with trivial things, she is out there being who she is. Her escape is music and she is happy just sitting around listening to music and not getting caught up in the madness. Matt is great at telling stories and he knocks another one out of the park with this one. Matt is one of the best songwriters out there and I can’t get enough of his music. If you want to hear what Matt Nathanson says about the song, go to USAToday.com and check this article out.
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My Sunday Song #16 is completely different than any other song I have posted on this series. It is one of the strangest and at the same time one of the coolest and best songs I have heard lately. The song is “Bill Murray” by one of my favorite artists, Matt Nathanson. It is off his latest album ‘Show Me Your Fangs’ and worth buying if you don’t already have it.
The official video came out this week and is strange and glorious just like the song. I am going to let Matt explain the song from what he wrote for the posting of the song on Youtube.
Celebrity is such a huge part of our culture. So much so that whenever I’m interviewed I’m asked, without fail, “if you could hang out with one celebrity who would it be?” well, the list is short. it’s really a list of one: Bill Murray. In a Kardashian world, Bill Murray is the anti-Kardashian. he lives his public life in this amazingly unselfconscious, passionate way. makes creative decisions – from what i can tell – based purely on what he WANTS to do and he refuses to play the game of celebrity the way it’s played by everyone else and that is super inspiring. so i wrote this song about Bill and me hanging out for 100 days, Thelma and Louise-ing our way across the world. In the song, Bill rains down sage advice on me about the world and relationships and love, like I imagine he does with his actual, real-life friends.
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My first artist profile is of singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson. I discovered his music when I was listening to an internet radio station. His song “Come on Get Higher” came on and I was instantly drawn to it and wanted to hear more by him. I went and bought the album “Some Mad Hope” and from that point on I was hooked and now a life long fan.
Matt has been around playing since the early 90’s and his first album came out in 1993. I believe I read somewhere that it was songs he had written in high school. I would describe his early stuff as indie/college style music. When I would listen to his older stuff I have to admit I didn’t particular care for his albums in the 90’s, but that is not to say you wouldn’t like it. For me, it is just not something that spoke to me.
But somewhere around 2002 and his E.P. – “When Everything Meant Everything” his songwriting and sound started to click. I could get into these songs. They started speaking to me. Each album after spoke to me more and more and I believe he has hit his stride and his writing and his storytelling just get better and better.
One interesting thing about Matt is he is a closet Metal Head which I think is so cool as his music is far from it. He is a big fan of a lot of the rock acts I grew up with and even appeared on That Metal Show.
I have had the pleasure of seeing him live three times now. Sadly, every time I have seen him, he has been an opening act. I hope to change that one day and see him as the headliner. He and his band sound great live and he has such great stage presence and can really draw in a crowd.
The last time I saw him he was the opening act for Train here in Charlotte at the PNC Pavillion. When he came out the crowd was still filling in and not really there to see him. The way he works the crowd is something to see. His style and brand of humor between songs is magnificent. By the end of his set, the entire arena were on their feet screaming and loving every minute of his performance. They left that night knowing what Matt Nathanson was all about.
Continue reading “Matt Nathanson – Artist Profile”