Hear ye! Hear ye!
“TILDEN” – my 7 song collection is officially released.
Oceans, fire, cello, baroque pop, NYC, my indie-rock roots – a totally new mashup.
“a slice of nautical punk poetry set to cello and performed for a drunken Marie Antoinette birthday party”
Listen here: http://mattloganmusic.bandcamp.com/album/tilden
This one’s dedicated to Ryan Messmore
Cover art by Emily Linstrom
A 2-part set of songs by my solo cello-rock-electronica project –
we were gone
looking back on our regrets
playback on an old cassette
you will be blamed
for taking off too soon
waking up the neighborhood
piling in the backseat
hit the gas and
off we go
we were gone
none of us were wrong
another bridge is calling
the playing field has been
all leveled out
we know we’ve been untrue
never wanted you to be disappointed
we’ll drive on
A Thousand Different Sighs
We have been gone so long
the pull’s too strong
We don’t know when
when we’ll be
be back home again
a thousand different sighs
We every stop we make
our mind does wake
Under open sky
We wish we knew
Knew when we’d
We’d be back again
a thousand different sighs
My musical project, Snazz Mammoth, is a lot of things – sometimes it verges on the folky,
but other times it goes all out – pulling together baroque/classical, rock, and electronica.
Almost every track features the cello.
Here’s the latest!:
My cello/rock/psychedelic/baroque/electronica musical project, Snazz Mammoth, has been on a bit of a hiatus lately, but finally new songs are getting done.
This is the latest, inspired by the invisible history of Lower Manhattan, where the old town has been built on top of over and over again, but where the spirits of New Amsterdam are still everyone, floating just behind the surface.
I’d forgotten about the Chelsea Hotel. Even though I’m in the neighborhood at least once a week, its presence always eludes. Which is appropriate, because as its long-time residents age, and the NY real estate vultures circle, it’s no longer the place it once was – it hasn’t been for decades now.
And it really doesn’t matter. The place “it once was” never really was, except in the stories it created. And these are perpetual, as long as anyone cares to remember.
Without expecting to, I came upon it yesterday. And out of nowhere those old legends began to tumble forth.
It is a magnificent building. One of a kind. Gargantuan, imposing, and gothic, but with touches of grace here and there. If it didn’t already carry so much cultural baggage, it would have made an even more terrifying setting than the Dakota in Rosemary’s Baby,
It opened in 1884, and its roster of short-term and long-term guests and residents is a staggering cross-section of the 20th century’s creative core. Mark Twain and O. Henry were early residents. In 1953, Dylan Thomas died here after his famous binge at the White Horse Tavern. Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road here not long after. Not long after that, Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey in his room here. The 1960’s and 70’s saw Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Stanley Kubrick….
In the 60’s, actress Edie Sedgwick burned her roomed with an unattended cigarette, Warhol filmed Chelsea Girls; and in 1978, Nancy Spungen was found stabbed to death in the room she was sharing with Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.
The litany goes on and on and on, and is the subject of more extensive research than mine.
In high school, during the late ’90’s, a couple of friends and I tried to sneak up the ornate staircase to get a glimpse of one of the rooms. We were stopped, but had a chance to speak with a longtime resident in the lobby, who “had seen it all”.
The Chelsea Hotel has inspired many a song. Here are two favorites:
This past Friday, Colorform, a band I play cello in, performed at the Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn. It’s a great space – a two-story warehouse in the industrial fringes of Greenpoint – A ton of rooms to explore, great exhibits, friendly people, a great vibe, and 10 local bands on two stages.
A great time. The gallery does these parties at least once a month, and they are definitely worth checking out. We’ll be back to perform on April 20.
Shakefist Magazine was at the event and had this to say about Colorform:
“All this was set amongst a backdrop of about 10 local musical acts who suited the event well. The stand out was Colorform, a simple act featuring a female singer with band including an excellent cellist, who sang catchy songs whilst a friend of their’s created a piece from scratch in front of the stage using pastels. A creative and inventive idea that suited the event to a tee.”
For music, and live art, (and to find out about future events and recordings) check out:
“And am I born to die? To lay this body down…”
The sacred harp, a musical instrument bestowed to us by Creation – our human voice.
The concept is at the core of a capella shape-note singing- a distinctively American way of music – this idea that the gift of the voice is heaven-sent and connects us to the divine. With roots in the early 19th century, it was among the first styles of music distinct enough to be unique to the New World. Today it is quite common around the country, but nowhere else more than in its home, the Southern United States.
Shape-note singing is so called because of its notation – to facilitate ease of reading, certain pitches receive a shape that distinguishes them from other notes.
Shape-note singing is an expression of the Sacred Harp. There is more to it than just singing music. Especially in the rural South, the Sacred Harp is way of spirituality and community. There is no audience – each of the four sections face each other in a square. The person leading is constantly changed-up. Technique of singing is far less important than the coming together of voices. Interpretations and embellishment of hymns are passed on aurally to the next generation.
The Sacred Harp is a great example of early America’s quest for a more perfect interpretation of Christianity and society – ideas that are still at the core of this country’s nature.
The raw open harmonies and age-old melodies tear at the soul- they make an intense prayer- sometimes ecstatic, sometimes apocalyptic.
“Idumea” (number 47b of The Sacred Heart Hymnal) has to be one of the most chilling examples of shape-note singing. A powerful confrontation with mortality and the transitory nature of existence.
To lay this body down!
And must my trembling spirit fly
Into a world unknown? A land of deepest shade,
Unpierced by human thought;
The dreary regions of the dead,
Where all things are forgot! Soon as from earth I go,
What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe
Must then my portion be! Waked by the trumpet sound,
I from my grave shall rise;
And see the Judge with glory crowned,
And see the flaming skies!“
Greetings from the Adirondacks! (more on that later)
Tomorrow the band I play cello in, Colorform, is rocking out with a brand new full line-up! If you’re anywhere near NYC, you should definitely check it out. It’s female vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, cello, AND live improvised art.
The show’s at 10pm at:
The Local 269
269 East Houston Street (btw. Aves A and B)
$7 cover (for a whole night of music)
Here is a work that artist Sarah Valeri created from scratch during one of our 45 minute sets:
2 weeks from tonight is NY RawArtists’ Illuminaire where some of my Holga and Diana pictures will be showing. There’s a ton of great artists and creative people involved. More details later, but check out the site, and your tickets now, as these things tend to sell out.