Year In Review, Vol. 8 - Matt Singer

This December, to celebrate the music of 2007, I asked a bunch of the artists I’ve featured on PHW over the last 11 months to share their thoughts on the “year that was”. I asked a mix of my favorite local artists, as well as several larger acts, with the hope of having a diverse assortment of reflections on the music that mattered to the artists that mattered to me.

Matt Singer wrote 2 of my favorite songs of the year without releasing an album of his own. The first, “Stacy J”, simply has to be heard. It’s full of Singer’s precise observational humor and earnests insights, the kind that populate his 2006 album All Us Heathens. Singer has written two fully developed characters in just a few descriptive verses, capturing both the out-of-reach desires of the its namesake, as well as, almost accidentally, the sad lack of direction of the narrator. I dare anyone to listen and not laugh out loud at least once, and then feel sort of touched by the story when it’s over. And then hit repeat. “Stacy J” was released as part of Family Records/Liberated Matter’s Cross Pollination: The Mixtape compilation (available for free download). On a CD that featured really good songs from My Brightest Diamond, The Undisputed Heavyweights, and Kevin Devine, Singer stole the show.

“VHS” is the other one of my favorites, and like “Stacy J”, was a part of almost every play list I made myself this year. Singer’s lyrics are just as sharp here, using the dead technology of VHS tapes as a symbol for a faded love and an aversion to progress in any way. The song graced Antifolk’s brilliantly titled Anticomp Folkilation.

MP3 :: Stacy J.
(from Cross-Pollination: The Mixtape. Download for FREE here)

MP3 :: VHS
(from Anticomp Folkilation. Buy here)
------------------------------------------------Here are a few of Matt Singer’s favorite things:

Favorite Albums of 2007:

Blip Blip BleepWireless :: This album is proof that today’s pop does not suck. So well produced, sowell executed. I highly recommend their live showtoo… there’s always a chance that Sean Han will tossone of his sopping sweat rags at you. That’s got tobe worth something.

Wynn Walent & the FolksUpon Leaving :: This nomination is in no part based on my involvement inmaking this record, but is in some part based on myexperience as Wynn’s friend. I love this man, and Ilove this music. Do pick it up. $5.00 is prettycheap for an item that’s priceless.

Ivan Sandomire :: If You Say SoI say so.

Favorite Live Acts I Saw in 2007:

LowryDespite frighteningly harsh and unbalancedsound at Luna Lounge in August and a chatty crowd atPianos in November, this is easily one of my favoritelive acts. Let the nickel slide Down, down, down,down, Dooowwwwwnnnn….

Here Lies PaThey killed us all dead at Arlene’s Grocery in June.

Wakey!Wakey! & Creaky Boards“Versus” show atSidewalk… I love those two divas.

Favorite stuff to happen to me this year… in noparticular order, maybe:

1. Opening for the Undisputed Heavyweights at Joe’sPub

2. Debuting “Stacy J” at Freddy’s in Brooklyn

3. Picking up a banjo for the first time

4. Starting a new job

5. Leaving the same job

6. Every single show that I have played in Wynn Walent& the Folks

7. Touring the North- and South-east with IvanSandomire

8. Oyster Bay Music Festival

9. Signing with Family Records

10. Bar 4

11. Adding an updated definition of the word, “Poon”to – it stayed up on the site for asolid 2 weeks before they took it down

12. Playing in the Clipperships – chances are you havenever heard of them… perhaps you never will. If so,too bad.

13. Beginning work on the new CD, due in Spring 2008.

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