All posts tagged: Matthew Sweet

The Paul & John - Inner Sunset

ALBUM REVIEW: The Paul & John – Inner Sunset

With a name that knowingly evokes the Beatles and the pinnacle of pop songwriting, The Paul & John set expectations sky-high for their debut album. In Inner Sunset, the fruit of a collaboration between Paul Myers (The Gravelberrys, Flam!, A Wizard A True Star—Todd Rundgren in the Studio) and John Moremen (The Orange Peels, Half Japanese, Roy Loney), they have simply delivered one of the best guitar pop half-hours of 2014. Myers and Moremen, who play every note on the album and share vocal duties, show themselves to be accomplished songwriters  and expert arrangers throughout Inner Sunset, building each song on a foundation of sturdy hooks and memorable moments (the handclaps on the bridge of “Hungry Little Monkey”, the superb duelling guitars on “When I Lost My Way”), pristine harmonies, and clever wordplay (“’77 and the punk rock summer/I was just another of the wannabe Strummers”). While there are echoes of Wilco’s sun-bleached pop circa Summerteeth, Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, the Wondermints’ Bali and Cotton Mather’s masterful Kon Tiki—and the album will certainly appeal to fans of all four—The Paul & John’s Inner Sunset has a unique spiritual …

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The Popdose Interview: Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet may not be the king of pop – the title was pretty much taken before he was ever in contention – but he certainly knows his way around a pop song, and he’s proved it plenty of times over, both as a solo artist and in his choice of covers for the series of albums he’s done with Susanna Hoffs over the past few years. Under the Covers, Volume 3 hits stores on November 12, giving Sweet and Hoffs a chance to venture in the ’80s with their song selection this time around, but it’s also given Popdose a chance to chat with Mr. Sweet a bit more (you may recall that he and Hoffs answered your questions when we spoke to them in conjunction with Volume 2), quizzing him about his ties to R.E.M. and digging as deeply into his back catalog as time would allow. Popdose: So after the success of the first two volumes, was Under the Covers Volume 3 always a given, or was there any hesitation? Matthew Sweet: …

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CD Review: The Big Sweet, “Ultraviolet Rain”

Ohio-based indie band the Big Sweet are very young, they’re teenagers even, but they rock a very sophisticated sound, which is that finely tuned, happily fussed about power pop sound that should be more popular among the general population, and not just music nerds. Youthful music, like the perfectly named Big Sweet, should all be power pop bands, because they don’t have much to worry about, and that’s a theme that permeates the record. I only wish I’d discovered Ultraviolet Rain during the summer – it’s a sunny day, dustry driving kind of record. Ultraviolet Rain does push all the buttons of a power pop album—jangly guitars, crisp drums, tambourine hand claps, instrumental drop outs and interludes (“In and Out of Style”),  and harmonic “woo woos.” And that’s just fine, because there’s nothing wrong with pop music, or wanting to make pop music, and the world needs legitimate, authentic music with a good beat that you can dance to. While throwbacky, the occasional drum machine (programmed by drummer Drew Watson), while is a throwback device, …

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Free Music: Matthew Sweet, “Modern Art”

During a career that stretches back to the mid-’80s, Matthew Sweet has never followed trends, though his landmark 1991 album Girlfriend was responsible for starting one—its bone-dry, caterwauling sonics opening up a wild and picturesque new terrain for restless singer/songwriters to inhabit and explore. Two decades later, Sweet has once again swung for the fences—and connected—with the boldly experimental yet still deeply personal Modern Art. Defiantly unorthodox, but often playfully so, Modern Art is a stealth album, embedded with half-hidden hooks lurking in its recesses, just out of focus, waiting to be discovered. Nope, this is not a one-listen album, but a progressive deepening has always characterized the most memorable longplayers, whose authors rarely put all their cards on the table right away. Related articles Tour Alert: Matthew Sweet Takes ‘Girlfriend’ On the Road (rollingstone.com) Matthew Sweet releasing new album, touring (dates) (brooklynvegan.com) Matthew Sweet on His Ambitious New Record and Taking ‘Girlfriend’ On the Road (rollingstone.com)

The Popdose Holiday Mixtape 2010

Last Christmas, we gave you our heart, but you were too busy doing real stuff. Hey, it’s perfectly understandable. We launched a “special gift” on Christmas morning 2009 with zero fanfare. Is it any wonder that so few knew something was waiting for them under the Internet tree? And so the year passed into the next, and in-between, several computer failures, server dumps, and general “life-stuff” threatened files and made the prospect for a more, shall we say, extroverted return of the mega-mix in question near impossible. Near, but not quite there. At one point or another, a lightbulb clicked on somewhere and someone decided to put the contents on a DVD-R. They did not have the insight to actually label the disc though, so it was only by happenstance, wishbones and a couple favorable fortune cookies that the contents were recovered. And so, with a bang and not a whimper, we’ve decided to present all of y’all with a big, fat holiday gift early. How about this for a premise — the members of …

Basement Songs: Matthew Sweet, “Girlfriend”

The summer of 1992 continued. Thanks to my good friend, Sally, I had found a worthwhile job working at The Bin, a nonprofit Natural Foods Store that trained mentally and physically handicapped adults basic jobs skills; a stepping stone in preparing them for the real world. Little did I know that this job would be my own stepping stone into the real world. Although my intention was to stick around northeast Ohio until the fall and then move to Los Angeles, I met my future wife, a fellow employee, while working at The Bin. Our love altered my plans, delaying the western move for a year and a half. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As I’ve written previously, 1992 was a year of change in politics, film and especially music. Alternative became the new mainstream and radio stations reflecting this new trend began popping up across the country, even in blue collar Cleveland. At that time, Cleveland’s alternative station was WENZ – The End. While they certainly played the popular tracks by Nirvana, Pearl …

DVD Review: “Mellodrama”

In 1978, a band I was working with was recording an album at A & R Studios in New York City. In the studio was the keyboard called a Mellotron. We never did use it on the album, but I liked to hit the key that made a dog bark because it sounded just like the dog barking at the end of “Caroline No” from Pet Sounds. I was pretty sure that the thing could do more than that, but I didn’t know how to use it, and I didn’t know anything about the years of innovation that led to my smile when I heard that dog bark. Now, thanks to the new documentary being released today, cleverly titled Mellodrama, at least I’m clued in to the instrument’s history. I know how a military electronics technician by the name of Harry Chamberlin built and marketed a keyboard that bore his name back in 1948. I know that he used members of the Lawrence Welk orchestra to record the eight second tape snippets that the machine …

The Friday Mixtape: Beatles Covers Edition!

Well, it’s (almost) the end of Beatles Week, and by now, it’s clear that many of you were just as excited about the remasters and video game as we were — Popdose has broken its own single-day traffic records twice this week — and as sad as we are to see the celebration end, we knew we had to finish our Fab Four tribute in style. And what better way, we ask you, than with a Friday Mixtape of Beatles songs — not the originals, mind you, and not the remasters, but covers done by other artists? What we didn’t realize when we started assembling our little treat was just how many Beatles covers there are. In the course of a single afternoon, the Popdose staff put its hard drives together and came up with an even 100, and that’s just scratching the surface — but it does make for a pretty damn cool Friday afternoon playlist, doesn’t it? Because none of us was willing to sit in front of a screen for several hours …

The Friday Mixtape: 9/04/09

Last week marked the final edition of Tom Werman’s run on our Producers column and, in the course of his finale, he mentioned a special mixtape disc he made for his family and friends. Many readers replied wanting to know which songs he chose as his most indicative productions, the work he was most proud of. We’re hoping maybe to get Tom’s input for a future Friday Mixtape based on those requests. But overall, it’s not a bad idea, is it? A mix themed not so much on a topic, artist or concept, but on the producer involved in the project gives insight to that producer’s choices, inclinations and “sound” and there hasn’t been a producer of recent time as prodigious as Brendan O’Brien. His first high-profile job came with Stone Temple Pilots’ debut disc Core. After that he became Pearl Jam’s de-facto producer for life, starting with Vs., their second offering. He also mixed The Jayhawks’ Hollywood Town Hall and Soundgarden’s Superunknown. Recently he has found himself behind the boards for Mastodon and Bruce …

Bootleg City: Top 17 Songs of the ’90s

For this special edition of Bootleg City, I’m spotlighting the top 17 songs of the ’90s, a decade we can all officially start nostalgicizing on January 1, 2010. Until then we’re in limbo, if you’ll pardon the expression — the untimely deaths of Michael Jackson and John Hughes in the past six weeks have put a damper on the last blast of ’80s nostalgia in this decade. But life goes on, of course, as does pop culture’s never-ending look backward. From top to bottom, here are the top 17 songs: 1. But Anyway (Blues Traveler) 2. Put a Lid on It (Squirrel Nut Zippers) 3. 6th Avenue Heartache (The Wallflowers) 4. It’s a Shame About Ray (Lemonheads) 5. Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow) 6. Hey Dude (Kula Shaker) 7. The Freshmen (The Verve Pipe) 8. The Good Life (Weezer) 9. Where You Get Love (Matthew Sweet) 10. Mom’s a Surfer (a.k.a. My Mom Can Surf) (G. Love & Special Sauce) 11. St. Teresa (Joan Osborne) 12. Low (Cracker) 13. Landslide (Tori Amos) 14. Desperately Wanting (Better …

The Friday Mixtape: 6/19/09

You guys give up, or you thirsty for more? Bobby Jimmy & the Critters – Roaches from Look at All These Roaches [12″] (1986) Bread – The Guitar Man from Guitar Man (1972) George Harrison – It Don’t Come Easy (unreleased) (1971) Matthew Sweet featuring Lindsey Buckingham – Magnet and Steel from Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Album (1998) Rocket Scientists – Gypsy from Revolution Road (2006) Split Enz – I Got You from True Colors (1980) The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime in Clerkenwell from I, Lucifer (2004) War – The Cisco Kid from The World Is a Ghetto (1972) Warren Zevon – Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song) from My Ride’s Here (2002) Jellyfish – Watchin’ the Rain from Fan Club (2002) Marshall Crenshaw – Laughter from Miracle of Science (1996) Sieges Even – Eyes Wide Open from Paramount (2007) The Smithereens – If the Sun Doesn’t Shine from Green Thoughts (1988) Vector – How Many Times from Please Stand By (1988)

Hooks ‘N’ You: Wonderboy, “Napoleon Blown Apart”

I can still remember the first time I became acquainted with the band known as Wonderboy. I was writing for Flash Magazine – the Hampton Roads entertainment publication formerly known as RockFlash – and I’d stopped by their offices to shoot the shit with the editor in chief, Bonn Garrett. When I walked into his office, he handed me a copy of the band’s third album, Napoleon Blown Apart, and said, “Here, this just looks like something you’d like.” The best description of his tone that I can offer is that it was both boisterous and mocking – in other words, he was having fun at my expense (our tastes in music didn’t exactly run parallel) and loving every minute of it – but I have to give the guy credit: though I would come to grow very tired of being teased by him, Bonn generally did know what I’d like, even he himself couldn’t stand it. I’m still not entirely sure what it was about the cover of Napoleon Blown Apart that set him …

Bootleg City: Material Issue in Cleveland, May ’91

Back in 1992, my girlfriend received a 16th-birthday mix tape from a friend of ours named Tai. There were no artists or song titles listed on the cassette label, making the tape something of a mystery gift. My girlfriend and I listened to it while driving (because when you’re 16 you just drive, regardless of whether or not there’s a Point B), and later I borrowed the tape so I could dub the songs I liked onto a cassette of my own. Since I didn’t know the titles of the songs I was adding to my collection, I made up my own: the Stone Roses’ “Elephant Stone” was listed as “In My Dreams”; the Hummingbirds’ “Everything You Said” became “Your Picture”; the Blue Hearts’ “Train-Train” turned into a single “Train”; Blake Babies’ “Out There” was rechristened “I Know It’s Stupid”; and Morrissey’s “Mute Witness” morphed into “That She Saw” (yes, I know I was reaching with that one). One track I did manage to name correctly was “Valerie Loves Me,” by Chicago power-pop trio Material …