Matt's MP3 Archive:
After I realized that my web hosting account wouldn't let me directly access files in a directory, without having a web link, I realized I'd need to make a little web page, and thought why not turn it into something with documentation. Sort of an anthology of my recordings...
For my 20th birthday I received a 4-Track tape recorder from my parents. Turned out to be the best gift I ever received, and at a time where my musical explorations where taking off. Layering up vocals and guitars, and mixing bass/drum tracks offered huge amounts of musical and songwriting creativity to develop.
Kedge - Five song EP
In early '97, I recorded 5 tunes on the 4-Track, and consider them an EP collection. My heavy Nirvana influence is readily heard, in particular the verse/chorus dynamics. I'll list them in the order they appeared on my final tape mix. Each of these was peformed by Kedge (my bro Nick on drums, high school friend Brendan Williams on bass, and I on guitar/vocals) at Awhagapooluza, a swimming pool fund-raiser for Owego Free Academy in late spring of '97.
Caucus Race. Still the only song I know that uses EADF#BE tuning. I remember creating the verse, and realzing I needed a lower note on the G string to play it, so I detuned the string, and the rest of the song became fairly fluid to play. The post-chorus was tricky to play (I hear some slop on the recording), and is one of the few parts of songs of mine I don't remember how to play (though I could re-figure it out if need be). Nick on drums, me on bass. Lyrics are a bundle of fun nonsense.
Of note: My original vocals for this song were surprising weak compared to the rest of the songs, though I didn't notice it (must have had a weak ear for quality at the time). I gave the tape to the band Nothing Doll (my rock heros in Ithaca), and they said it was great, but couldn't understand why the vocals were so bad on the first song. I listened again, months after the recording, and was a bit embaressed at the vocals, and re-did them later in the year. The extra singing experience may be noticible in these vocals compared to the rest of the tracks.
Note #2: The title "Caucus Race" comes from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland chapter where the Dodo bird leads other animals and Alice in an endless circular race. It was Carroll's jab at the effect of government caucuses.
"See the string burn quickly now, the prize will be for you.
Red and brown, the stripes don't hide, the dots are green and blue.
Hate the sky and and love the dark blue ocean sinking through.
Winner of the caucus race and loser to the rest."
Nothing. Ranks up as one of my all-time best tunes. It's traveled with me from band to band, and remains a classic. Mellow cool verse, dischordant rocking chorus, sparse apathatic lyrics with a touch of angst. Brendan wrote and recorded the bass, whose dropping walkdowns in the chorus greatly helped define the song. Nick on drums. It's been performed accousticly in Willard Straight, Cornell fall '98. If only a high quality recording could do it justice...
"I know there is a message here to say to you.
Just let me pry it off my mind, a kindness due.
It seems that I am lost inside myself again.
The way it always seems to end..."
Fantasy. My first cohesive completed song I've written. First performed at Owego Free Academy's Spring Fling spring '96 (our one original tune that show). When I came up with the verse I had Nirvana's "Come As You Are" as inspiration, and wanted to find a catchy riff. Brendan on bass, Nick on drums.
Notes: "Don't want to find an exit yet. Just roam around the black lit trees." Lyric refers to the enchanted forests in Alice In Wonderland. In particular an image from the woods in the Disney film where Tweedle Dee/Dum, and the Chesire Cat exist.
Glum. Most dischordant/dark of the 5 songs. Has a beautiful chorus with non-standard chords that is a lot of fun to play (would be better acoustic). Has an early guitar solo from me. Brendan on bass, Nick on drums.
Rainy Day. This was the 2nd song I ever completed writing. Lyrics are an allegory for loneliness about a old book on a shelf that desires to be read. After re-listening recently, I was surprised at the panning tremelo guitar movement from right to left and back during the post chorus. A cool effect by manually rotating the pan knob during mix down on that track. Nick on drums. Me on bass.
Kedge BONUS Track:One Day. This mellow versed, hard rockin'chorus song was recorded months after the first five songs above, but was learned in time to perform at Awahgapooluza. "One Day" featured my first wide use of harmonies on a recording. Some great depression/angst filled lyrics. Nick did great of the drums, especially given drums were always recorded last, and he had to stay in-sync with sometimes sloppy non-metronome based meter. The post chorus is a spasm of musical rage, that would have been great to play live as a band more often. The couple of times we did play this at a show, it was our closing song. A great way to finish a gig.
"There's just one day left in me,
shut behind the door.
Need more casuality.
Under heavy stone."
Kedge live at Awahgapooluza - Spring Break '97Patella. Written by Brendan, this instrumental jazzy dissonent jam song, with a killer slap bass line, was the one solid recording from Kedge's biggest show. I'm proud of the extended guitar solo, as I had only been playing guitar for a couple of years, but some how hashed out something cool with a few days practice.
Post Kedge 4-Track Recordings
Zero G. Recorded late fall '97, my most Nirvana-y tune. Very simple chord-wise, but fun and poppy. A cool guitar solo on the outro. Surprising that I fit guitar, bass, drums (Nick), guiar, guitar solo, vocals, and additional 2 part harmonies, all on just 4-tracks. In fact I had to fit all but the drums onto 3 tracks, so I could record Nick's drums in summer '98. Impressive work, old self!
Notes: The lyrics evolved from just general frustration based on the 1st original verse, into a story about a water blob in zero gravity that won't fall into my hand, with the addition of the 2nd verse.
Causeway. Recorded late fall '97 while on co-op in Marlborough, MA. Really fluid mellow verse with a melodic bass line. Chorus and interlude would be better acoustic, but catchy. This was long untitled, but I recently decided to name it Causeway, which was a back road in Marlboro on the way to work, with trees overhanging. The overall feel of the song reminds me of that scene and time.
Live show recordings:
Home Studio recordings:
Ponder. This was an old Kedge song, written in '97, and played at Awahgapooluza. I began recording it in early 2000, and made a Beach Boy-ish harmony background for the chorus but eventually left the song to focus on newer projects. Over '07-'08 I revisited it, and touched up a couple harmony tracks, and added bass, and made an MP3. I had envisioned more layering originally, but decided that a simple and rough version was better than none at all. I can remember working on lyrics to this in Hollister Hall lobby at Cornell freshman year.