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Recent Entries
Week #30 - Near Me
Man I dig xkcd
Song-A-Week #29 - Fiary Tales
Why It's So Hard To Write About Radiohead
Another Day, Another Noise Complaint
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October 30, 2007

Week #30 - Near Me

Hey gang - new demo.

Most of my work today was on doing some mixing on the awesomeness seth rouch did on Human Nature and Love. Very cool stuff. Click on that link if you want to hear where that song is going... But you may just want to restrain yourself and wait until its finished. I'm debating not posting any more "work in progress" mixes as these songs get more and more fleshed out, just to keep things surprising when I actually finish them. If you're violently opposed to such and idea, post and let me know. So - choose your destiny, to peek or not to peek, that is some kind of question.

The new tune is kinda neat... I think it would sound good playing with a band. If I had my way, I'd get Chase, John, Seth, and Ian all in the same room to record basics for this one live with me, and kinda get the arrangement more rockin. But right now, it's an okay tune. I like the lyrics. I may have set the tempo a little too fast, since it seems to me that I'm stumbling over my words a bit. Let me know what you think.


Near Me
Copyright 2007 Matthew C Good

I was looking for a reason
to see the change of seasons
through another pair of eyes

One more year of feeling
the cool of the breeze and
I might lose my mind.
I could turn on my car and drive
And we'd start to feel alright

I was staring at the blue tube
thinkin bout the words used
to describe
the place where the land fused
with the sky blues
to divide
the day from the night,
what we've done from what we might

But I'm not gonna go
unless you're near me
It's cold in the night
the days are dreary

But I'm not gonna go
unless you're near me
It's cold in the night
It's cold in the night
It's cold in the night

Visions are haunting,
worse than a bad dream.

Nothing keeps you up late
more than a clean slate.

But I'm not gonna go
unless you're near me
It's cold in the night
the days are dreary

But I'm not gonna go
unless you're near me
It's cold in the night
It's cold in the night
It's cold in the night

Honey, I believe in
this place unlike where we've been


rock and roll.

Posted by pedalboy at 10:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 26, 2007

Man I dig xkcd

string theory

oh man this comic is good.

aim profile

I just had to share those with someone.

Posted by pedalboy at 1:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 23, 2007

Song-A-Week #29 - Fiary Tales

HELLO - song a week is back. I have been slacking off lately, but it is mostly due to me not having the things I needed to get my recording rig rolling in the new place.

Here's a new song that I'm pretty stoked about.... I'm using Kristin's guitar - which you will notice sounds much nicer than my craptacular epiphone.

Fairy Tales
Copyright 2007 Matthew C Good

Fairy tales
are how I will survive
when now and then
I lose my love for life.

Bearing down
are the winter and the night,
struggling with the joy
from the Christmas lights

I know what I want now,
I didn't know at first.
But I still can't tell you,
It takes many forms.

Do you know that feeling
you get when you're haunted
by the ghost of the unknown?
That's what I wanted

From science books
and the arms of a good friend,
cuz make believe
helps me feel alive again

This world is small
if I can fit it in my mind
and pick and choose
and leave the reset behind

Call me dreamer
Call me absurd
I want what can't be
Except in thoughts and words

Do you know that feeling
you get when you're haunted
by the ghost of the unknown?
Do you know that feeling?
That's what I wanted
when I prayed for better dreams.

That's what I wanted...

That's what I wanted.


I used my cool little ghetto-harp, and i think it sounds neat. maybe a little out of tune but this is just a demo, so who cares. I'm thinking this song might be a good closer, lyrically, because it sums up pretty much where i've been trying to go with a lot of my other songs, like worlds unknown, the way off the ground, nostalgia, and to a lesser extent, drive, every time I close my eyes, human nature and love, etc...

Let me know what you think!

Posted by pedalboy at 9:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 12, 2007

Why It's So Hard To Write About Radiohead

Radiohead's newest album "In Rainbows" has been "out" (if you can call it that, considering that there has been NO promotion other than word-of-mouth for the record, and it's not actually sold in any stores) for a little under three days now, and the reviews are piling in. Being the huge fan that I am, I of course have to read all of them. I've been doing this for years now, and I've noticed a trend: Radiohead are an impossible band to write about.

First of all, let's acknowledge what we're dealing with as a starting point... People writing about music is famously said to be like dancing about politics. It is a mismatch of mediums, which is probably why the writing has been reduced to "i like this, it is good" rather than actually cutting deep into any of it. Many of the rock world's writers are no the Bard, either, and this just adds to the problem. Heck, many of the rock world's writers get simple musical stuff (like what time signature a song is in, for example) just plain wrong. We are indeed looking through a glass dimly.

That applies to all music reviews, and yet writing about Radiohead seems harder. There are a number of reasons for this...

First of all, every single review (even from music magazines) that I have so far read about the album spent OVER HALF the review talking about the cool little trick radiohead played with the "pay what you think it is worth" business model. This is neet, and if there was ever any doubt that radiohead are a socially conscious band that cares deeply about the music, there isn't anymore, after they stuck their money where their mouth is. Incidentally, they aren't going broke off this. I heard a report this morning that they've had 1.2 million downloads already. For a reference, consider that John Mayer's strong effort CONTINUUM has not sold that many yet. Consider that Mayer's album has been out many, many times the 3-day length that In Rainbows has been out. Radiohead reports that over 2/3 of the downloaders have paid an average of $10 for the record. With the massively-reduced overhead they are enjoying by being free of a label, it is not hard to do the math and see that they will not need to he clipping coupons any time soon.

And there I go, starting my "review" off with economics talk. I had to address it, but it IS hard to resist the urge to ramble.

Radiohead's music, even for a die-hard fan like myself, is not easily grasped at first. I've listened to the album probably about ten times now, and I'm still getting used to it and finding things that I love. On first listen, its not typically gonna give you the same kind of immediate "pretty song" feelings that a lot of bands do, which is precisely why 1997's ok computer is still a freaking great album. They age well.

But that's also a problem for rock critics. Especially with EVERYONE on the planet having to wait to the same day to hear the songs, reviewers had to stay up late and get in a scant few listens before firing off their reviews to their editors. For a band that makes such beautiful, foreign music, this certainly doesn't make the critics job any easier.

Of course the obvious point here is that Radiohead makes "Wierd" music. The easies trend to spot while reading a conglomeration of reviews is that the same track that magazine X thinks is an absolute low-point, website Y thinks is the very best on the track. Or of the whole band. Half the rock world thinks radiohead's music is ALWAYS brash, depressing - the other half thinks its the most life-affirming music out there. The Guardian review claims that they have had a "consistent album" since OK COMPUTER, but the wide consensus is that KID A is a "concept album," and a successful one at that - by definition it would need to be consistent. So I hear that "All I Need" drags. Then I hear its one of their best tracks. You can listen to any of these people because, with Radiohead, you are so far outside of the realm of preference that its pointless to mention it.

There are other reasons why its hard to write about radiohead. Thom sorta has "press moodswings." They are judicious with their communication at times. They only put out an album every few years, it seems. They seem to conform to a non-Russion version of the Holy Fool, speaking in all kinds of nonsense, yet truthful nonsense. Lets just say there are a lot of reasons Radiohead reviews are usually pretty poor reflections of the thing itself.

That said, here's my brief summation:

WOW - poppy? At least it would be poppy, if it weren't for all the wierd dronging happening everywhere. But this album has the best use of strings I think I have ever heard. Johnny learned some serious stuff since HTTT. And they are EVERYWHERE! Its glorious. (they claim they are influenced by Berlioz, and since Johnny is actually a Composer-in-Residence, it probably is not a facetious claim). Really, really good feeling songs, more present sounds than usual, and what may really blow you away is the energy in the songs. Wow. Anyway, I love it, and the first time I heard the song "Nude" i thought "Finally - 'somewhere over the rainbow' has some competition for the best song of the 20th century."

And then I realized this is the 21st century, a fact that Thom later confirmed on "Jigsaw Falling Into Place."

Posted by pedalboy at 6:57 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 10, 2007


Here are some items on note, regarding free music.

1) Radiohead dropped a new album today (IN RAINBOWS). It is requiring all of my energy to wait until tonight to listen to it. I'm sure it's phenomenal though. You can go to and pay whatever price you want to for the digital download, even nothing if you so desire. You could pay a penny if you like, just to give it a listen. I suggest that you check it out, as radiohead is not likely to disappoint if you give them more than one listen.

2) My last two albums (The Falling Action and The Shortest Distance Between Two Points) are now available in their entirety for free as downloads on my ugly, outdated website. They are still for sale for $5 (plus $1 shipping), but if you just wanna grab the downloads, I encourage you to do that too. This of course means that you are free to burn/rip/give away/upload/share the files with whomever you like, so hopefully I'll get a little promotion out of this. The idea here being to build buzz for whatever new stuff may follow.

3) I've redesigned my homepage, so you can now pop on over and see what's new in the MattLife. I've got summaries of any recent blogs up there, thumbnails of recently-added images to my gallery, and a shortcuts to recent podcasts. Give it a look-see and let me know what you think. I hate php, and this required me to confront that beastly demon in a more in-depth manner.

Posted by pedalboy at 12:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 5, 2007

Another Day, Another Noise Complaint

Last evening I brought all my recording junk over to Seth's place. His roommate was gone for the week, so we both took that as a sign to go make some loud noises. We set up his drums in the living room and crammed all my recording gear in there with 'em. And I donned my earplugs...

This time we got five songs done. Not bad since we didn't actually hit record until about 7:00 or 7:30... Oh man but was I tired by the end of the night... It was somewhere around 1 am I think when we quit. Which is late for me these days. When I have to get up for work the next day (and bring bagels, at that).

Here's what we worked on:

Every Time I Close My Eyes
Pretty standard cool drumming on this one. Seth did a cool part on the instrumental part before the last verse.

Pretty Darrrrrrn Great. Think the drums on 'Wolf at the Door' mixed with Ringo Starr, but played by a jazz drummer. something like that.

Not Yourself
Brushes - sounds AWESOME.

Maybe Not
I think there's some cross stick in this one, kinda perky happy sounding, which realllly works nicely with the stupid-depressing lyrics.

Human Nature and Love
Probably my favorite drumming of the night... REALLY awesome stuff. I was initially thinking that the stuff on this song would have to be REALLY light - and it sort of is - but the drumming is a little bit like Glenn Kotche's (Wilco), in that its not about the beat, but more about an ensemble of percussion instruments. I won't give it all away, but we did some reallly cool stuff on this song.

Recording Notes:

Last time we did this, I draped a comforter over the kick drum and put the soundeluxe outside the kick, but I didn't end up liking that sound very much after I took it home. I remembered how I had liked the sound of the old "NS10 speaker as a microphone" trick for kick drums. So I asked if he had any kind of speaker laying around... He pulled out this radioshack guitar amp (!!). It would work, if we would affix the bare wires from my cut-up mic cable (especially for this purpose) and get em to stay. A lot of speakers have clamps, so it isn't a problem, but not this one. We ended up using some little paper clippy things to mash the contacts together. Gotta love ghetto recording. Can't tell at all from the sound though. Big, deep, "round" bass drum sound.

Speaking of the bass drum, Seth got all new heads for his kit - and the kick head was this special thingy. It had deadening rings on the front head, with the intended purpose, that you wouldn't need to put a pillow or anything inside the drum. Well, that didn't really work out quite like they said, because the back head rang a lot. We ended up putting some padding in there anyway. After we did this, the system really worked great though, because it gave us a lot of flexibility. For songs like 'Chris' and 'Human Nature and Love,' we could just remove one of those foam rings real quick and suddenly, the drum resonated a lot more. Real nice for controlling that stuff.

Input List:

  1. Kick Inside - AKG D112
  2. Kick Outside - RadioShack Guitar Amplifier
  3. Snare Top - Modified (transformerless) SM57
  4. Snare Bottom - RODE NT5
  5. Hi-hat - SM57 (I tried an nt5, but it was clipping out my preamps, no matter what I did. So I had to sacrifice some quality)
  6. All 3 Toms - Seth's cool Shure mini-condenser guys - cant remember the numers now.
  7. Overheads - Seth's SM81's, equidistant from the snare (for phase, nice little trick)
  8. Room - Soundeluxe u195. Moved it into the adjacent room for a few tunes.

Sound clips posted sooner or later. That brings the list of songs with drums up to:

The Way off the Ground
Worlds Unknown
Not Yourself
Is This What You Really Want
Any Happier
Hold On
Every Time I Close My Eyes
Maybe Not
Human Nature and Love

Please continue the discussion of which of the remaining songs need drums, and which of all the songs i've demo'd (or others you know i have but haven't demo'd yet) you would like to see on an album. Thanks!

Posted by pedalboy at 2:13 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 3, 2007


Inspired by jen and julia's blogs.... seems like a good idea.

Good things about Nashville

Large State Parks right next to my apartment
Lower property values (compared to Chicago)
My job
My window at my job
Some tasty eats - Loveless Cafe, Logans Roadhouse
My college friends Ian, Mandy, and Seth that moved down here
Seth playing drums on my tunes
Ian playing bass on my tunes
Free parking most places
Fewer crowds
The Nashville Zoo. kristin and I are zoo geeks.
The Weather - mild winters = awesome.
No state income tax

Things I miss about Chicago

Cities that are aligned in grids.
Cities that are well-planned and have managed their growth better than certain *cough* other cities I know of...
Cities with cool museums and lots of green space downtown.
Other friends, social groups I've already fit myself into, a church where people knew me, a certain feeling of belonging or ownership of certain places.
Not being intimidated (as badly) by the musicians I'm surrounded with.
Drivers who are not absolute morons.
People who can drive in snow.
People who do not close the schools on "threat of snow"
People who do not cause a run on the downtown grocery store on the very same "threat"
Family - esp. when things got rough with the cars, I felt the downside to being "on my own."
Tong's Tiki Hut. Never found a place to replace it.
A statewide sales tax that was NOT nearly 10%.
the "studio" in my basement where I could haul in a whole band to record if i wanted to.


Its pretty out here and I like it. feels good to summarize the good and bad about the new and old places, because then its not rattling around in your brain anymore... And maybe you can start being more "at home" in the new place.

Posted by pedalboy at 1:14 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack