manly mansion of matts, joyful jar of jasons, what?

If you know me in reality, you might have heard me mention my  love for my ‘manly mansion of matts’ or ‘joyful jar of jasons’ and wondered what on venus I was talking about. It’s music-related. I enjoy lots of different kinds of music, but don’t particularly like club music or hip hop very much. I lean towards easy-listening, folk-sy, acoustic, singer-songwriter kind of music that pretty much suits any occasion and any mood. And that’s where my manly mansions and joyful jars come in.

I seem to like a lot of Matts and a lot of Jasons. So much so that in my head, I’ll assume anyone named Matt or Jason is a decent musician. My Matts are Matt Nathanson, Matt Wertz, Mat Kearney, Matt Costa, Matt White and Matt Pond PA.  My Jasons include Jason Mraz, Jason Reeves, and Jason Manns.

If you’re interested in knowing what kind of music I like listening to, I’d say you’re probably better off looking at my last.fm page, for which there should be a link on the right column of this page.

I know a lot of people make Top Albums of The Year type entries, a) while the year is just going to end, and b) always seem to talk about albums that everyone else has on lists as well. I somehow have probably listened to just one of two of these albums which I am supposed to have heard and loved greatly, and can’t be bothered to get through all of them anyway.

A lot of my favourite artists released albums last year, and it was quite exciting, because it’s quite rare that so many of them release albums in the same year, and I get to be all excitement and eagerness while waiting because they market the new album incredibly well using Twitter and videos and all kinds of awesome things. I’ve been wanting to talk about the wonderfulness of these albums for a while now, and somehow never got around to doing it before 2011 ended, so here’s me saying this is my bunch of favourite 2011-released albums.

1. Matt Nathanson’s Modern Love

This released sometime in June 2011 I believe. I have loved Matt Nathanson for quite a while now, having enjoyed his Some Mad Hope album when it was out, and then digging through all kinds of things online to find live concerts only to realise he is absolutely thrilling to hear on live recordings because he is ridiculous and hilarious and still really good live. I like how shameless Matt Nathanson is, I like how he doesn’t try very hard to sound smart and he just talks without thinking and says the wrong thing all the time and is completely unapologetic about it. I love that he lives in Bernal Heights in San Francisco (I am rather smitten with San Francisco) and I love that he doesn’t act his age (more like half his age perhaps). I was beyond excited for this album. My excitement made at least four other friends get excited to hear this album. I loved ‘Faster’ the moment I heard it, I loved how groovy it was and with horns! I think I had the whole album playing on repeat for three days when he had it streaming online prior to the official release. This album is upbeat and funky and has moments of serious introspection and Some Mad Hope-esque angst, but it’s been thought through so well, and the placing of songs is perfect. I like how Matt says (on his blog, on his website) that he read lots of Murakami and got inspired by that. I love, love, love listening to this album from start to end. It is good for happy day, it’s good for angsty bad days, it’s great to blast from the stereos. I also won’t forget this album because I can never forget how I dedicated ‘Faster’ to a male friend over live radio in September last year and only thought about the repercussions of having done that much, much later, in true Matt fashion.

2. Matt Wertz’s Weights & Wings

I sort of forget how I discovered Matt Wertz. I believe it was when someone had a couple of songs as part of their ficmix accompanying one of the most epic fanfics I’ve ever read (and am much too emotionally invested in) and I found myself sort of wanting to hear everything this guy has done. I found out I share my birthday with him, which is always a major bonus, and I adored Under Summer Sun.  I got through everything else he had, found a bunch of live concerts, including the one he was giving away free at one point called If It Ain’t Broke (which I think everybody who likes this kind of music needs to listen to, because it is wonderful and one of my favourite live concerts ever) He went on to release While We’re Becoming, which is the first album (well, EP) that I actually own, which I fell in love with as well, and then he says he’s releasing an album March 2011! This album took a little bit of time to grow on me, because some of the songs kind of do sound similar. Matt Wertz tends to fall into the category of musicians who do one kind of music, one kind of song, and all the songs do have a similar feel to them, unlike people like John Mayer and Matt Nathanson. Nevertheless, for someone like me who enjoys this kind of music, it’s still a lovely album. An upbeat start with Don’t Come Easy sets the whole vibe for the album, and there are a lot of songs that I hold close to myself because of the lyrics and what he’s singing about. This fellow has a tendency to do that with his lyrics, latching onto my heart, I mean. I think it’s also a bonus point to Matt that he released a Christmas Album called Snow Globe in October 2011 way before Christmas so that it grew on people, or something. I liked a couple of songs off it, but this isn’t about Christmas albums.

3. Mat Kearney’s Young Love

Mat Kearney is a recent musical love interest of mine. I have had Breathe In Breathe Out and “that song from Bones” on my iPod for years now, but never really had a great love for Mat Kearney. Then I stumbled upon the whole City of Black and White album, and found myself liking every single track off it. Plus, he’s a Mat, so in my head, he’s awesome. I started poking around, realised that he was working on a new album, and when it released last year, it pretty much blew my mind. City of Black and White is a mellow album. It’s a little bit sad. It feels like the music that will play in movies when the hero or heroine is walking away from the one they love or driving off into the distance doing the thing they don’t want to do. It’s got a very melancholic feel to it. Then comes along Hey Mama and that’s just, a feast for your ears. You want to clap along, you wanna jive to it, you wanna grin and tap your feet to it. It’s full of life! This album’s much more colourful in that sense. If Black and White is rather dull and muted because it’s associated with monochromes, this album’s more colourful and vibrant. It’s really, really different from City of Black and White and it’s still brilliant. I found it funny that two of the albums I love are called similar things, Young Love/ Modern Love, but in the end, Love is All, so maybe that’s a good thing. Young Love is another album I enjoy listening from start to end. It’s ups and downs are perfect, in that the songs have been put in perfect order for the best listening experience, and again, it’s music for any mood to me. Also, Mat’s video for Hey Mama is very aesthetically appealing and everybody should go see that now. I love the vibe.

4. Pete Murray’s Blue Sky Blue

I do not understand why more people don’t love Pete Murray. He’s Australian. Maybe that’s why he’s less popular in the US and UK, but I don’t like to think of that as a reason not to be known. He’s famous in Australia, and he’s played with John Mayer before. Some people remember him as the guy who sang So Beautiful. Well, I liked So Beautiful, and also found myself liking his whole Feeler album a lot. Blue Sky Blue is Pete Murray’s fourth album I believe, and again, it was one that I had my eye on in 2011. I didn’t love his third album much, but I was willing to give him a chance with this new one. The single ‘Free’ released at a time that made it seem sort of appropriate to myself, and I had it on repeat for quite a long time. The he had a video shot for it completely in Brazil, which is beautiful, and it just encompasses that feeling of shedding your fears and taking things into your hands and being free. I like that the album comes with acoustic, stripped down versions of some of the songs, and in particular, I adore the acoustic version of the titular Blue Sky Blue. I think stripped down acoustics just appeal to me as an individual. With this album it’s pretty clear Pete Murray’s sort of gotten a little older and wiser, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I mean, why not? Not everybody can be like Matt Nathanson and have the mental age of a twenty-year-old kid from the 80’s. But yeah, it’s clear this is a different Pete from his ‘Feeler’ days.

I like going on about the music I love. I’m excited for John Mayer’s Born and Raised, which should be out this year, and sounds like a Bob Dylan album. I’ve been on thesixtyone a lot lately, and it’s been playing some really awesome music for me which is a good thing. As much as I love listening to the same old things I love over and over again, like Barney Stinson says, new is always better! Agree?

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Comments
One Response to “manly mansion of matts, joyful jar of jasons, what?”
  1. Victoria says:

    Wow that’s a lot of Matts ;) I liked one of the songs you recced by him! Umm, I can’t really recall what the name of it was though!

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