Music reviews AKOSL-PJD 2015
This is a controversial music review for me. For one. I dated the man at one time ( don’t have to hate the man or the music). But I was a fan years before the dating and even though we do not speak and he likely will hate this review I chose to write it anyway. I feel it is deserved and if I am to write a few reviews on the subject there is no way that I could leave this one out of the mix.
He started in a different kind of band, actually a start in a hard on the voice heavy metal screamer way of it. I have have never seen this live nor do I wish to but I have heard recordings and this big voice in screamer mode is pretty terrifying. Not my style but I can see how he managed to round up fans very quickly and young . In the long term of what vocal chords could hold up to and what ended up coming of it, it is nice to see that he changed mode eventually, being a part of the band, Come See My Dead Person. The phase of life in which I first entered into his music world as a fan. I walked into Old Quarter Cafe on Galveston Island on a visit with my ex-husband from Houston . This dinky dingy little place that had obviously defeated a few storms and even more musicians ,who’s faces where plastered on the walls wasn’t much to look at but the faces where pretty welcoming for the most part and the music after I sat down was fantastic…I came in during a break in the live music and ordered a glass of red wine (aweful red wine) A big bear of a man who looked like a bouncer, gruff and non talking walked up behind me and ordered a beer from the long haired bartender. I am not sure he actually spoke words rather than grunted . He was sweaty and dark and somehow eye-catching. I turned and watched him as he walked to the stage and sat down , wearing sweat pants, and sweating like he had just come the gym, and picked up his guitar. I took my seat in a dark back corner and pulled out my ever available notebook and pen and I thought ” geesh, this guy is the singer?” as the rest of the acoustic band formed around him, one being an obvious brother or relative to the big grunting guy. And then the two front singers, brothers after-all come to find, open their mouths and the glorious music came out of them…not only beautiful angel like voices…angels in mourning . Angel’s who knew heart break and love, Angel’s who had lived life, questioned God , and Angel’s who seem to touch your very own deep dark places within your soul. It wasn’t just the sound but the lyrics of the story they sang as well. I remember listening to song after song and being deeply moved by them, later looking them up and realizing that their small acoustic band grew to large depths and great dance-to-lively-music as well. But that night that I walked in I got to watch them stripped away and introduce me to their souls. I walked away feeling as if I’d been introduced to my very own soul. The first full song I had the pleasure of hearing was called Paper Boat’s. If you ever…ever get the pleasure of this long retired song of theirs….know that you likely just had a chance of a lifetime in the music world.
Over time I was able to experience the band on a more fun dancing lively level in great places where people danced to their gypsy music as if no one was watching…as if nobody cared. They would dance until their feet bleed and their hearts swelled and their breath was far too gone. Th bands fingers flew across strings and voices kept up with their energy that they sent out over and shared with the crowd.
Not only did this band have great lyrics and great life behind them but also the musicians in their band, guitar’s, base, drums and vocal’s all had actual talent behind them all that made you just wonder “why aren’t these guys super big?!” But alas…the music industry goes ….
One day long after I had moved to Galveston Island from Houston , living in the Historical Artist Loft’s and surrounded by the great art of the island was I included deeper into the life of the gruff grunting guy I had come to be quite a fan of. Who more than five years later had me finding a hand written note in my winter coat pocket of that first Old Quarter night , words and impressions written during that song Paper Boat. Matt Mejia, as I now knew him as ( better than grunty guy ordering a beer who can sing the songs of angels) had a new show, apart from his actual band, CSMDP, but intertwined in a new project ( I came to learn he keeps many) with a friend and fellow singer/songwriter , Matty Sullivan.Together they had created StroyTeller. A combination of spoken word and song.
When I thought I couldn’t be anymore impressed I sat there blown away. For one , I was at a place in my own artistic writing career of a need of art that moved me and finding a lot of lack-luster happening around me. I sat there, drinking red wine ( what is it with bad red wine on this island anyway?) and thinking ” Yes. THIS is what I needed. This is moving me. This is inspiring me. THIS is what art is supposed to do.” I think after the show I bumbled a quick ” you guy’s sounded great” and walked out. About the first words ever spoken to the grunty guy who intimidated me ever-so slightly. Reminding you of a hungry bear.
A few days later maybe I got a message on facebook, Mr. Grunty-bear himself ! Asking MY opinion of the Storyteller show ( the first of many that I would later even become involved in as a producer for future shows). I, being me, had an open invitation of my opinion? Hell, this man did NOT obviously know me. He received what he later called a novel, of which he said he actually read all of and took into account.
Personal aside. That night I heard old songs done in a new way and new songs I had never heard before that where his solo work and . I learned that M.M. was moving more solo in his music career as well as trying out expansion of collaboration’s with other artists , such as Matty Sullivan. That night I remember hearing There Are Hole’s, Pretty Bird and Strange Bird for the first time and fell purely in love with the music. The rawness of the words and the pure open bleeding behind them . THIS was pure writers jealousy and admiration right here. What makes a good book? When the character bleeds the reader bleeds. When the character cries the reader cries. This is a feat that many writers work very hard for and either have it or they don’t. In the writing of song, Matt Mejia certainly had it.
He has since continued writing many songs. His talent growing and changing and molding story after story to be strummed along to guitar. He has a solo E.P. called OSO, out now with four of his songs that he recorded with SugarHill Studio’s in Austin. Hopefully this guy will continue on with music because even though the world of music as does the world of arts and writing , brings tears….the world often falls in love with that music that comes through it often. Music is to move. This music moves. Job achieved.
Keep it up Matt Mejia. Mr. Grunty.
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