[UPDATE 3/7/15:] WE WON!!! Thank you to all of the listeners and musicians that participated in the SAMMYs.
The Syracuse Area Music Awards have been celebrating the Central New York music scene since 1993, and this year they've invited us to the party. Our band has a lot of connections to the region, from our favorite recording studios (More Sound and SubCat) to our favorite spacetime nexuses (Binghamton), and it *feels nice* to have some love going all 'round.
The awards ceremony will take place on March 6th, and is highlighted by Lifetime Achievement Award recipient (and Phish drummer) Jon Fishman.
We're incredibly grateful to have been nominated, and are honored to be included among such talent musical company. Have a listen to Binghamton, as well as our more recent releases, at the Music page.
Johnny Showcase and Buried Beds are highlights from the year in Philadelphia music.
While this year certainly had its ups and downs, I couldn't be happier with the music and performances I got to be a part of. There were some banner moments for me as a drummer, and The Swollen Fox picked two of them in two separate top ten lists.
The Philadelphia music scene is many things, and while not the biggest or most influential, it carries our city's diverse, stalwart artistry. Shout outs go to fellow list mates and musical compadres: TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Perseverance Jazz Band, and Divers - and of course to the other great bands that I didn't see but are great.
In June of this year, I had the distinct pleasure of doing 10 shows on the east coast with Philadelphia's chamber pop wizard band Buried Beds. Touring in support of the magnificently talented Kishi Bashi, we brought our show to the TLA on June 6th, 2014. It my first time playing that stage, and a good time was had by all. The night has been ranked as an Editor's Pick in the Swollen Fox's 2014 in Review top 10, and I'm honored to have been a part of it.
While playing the TLA certainly crossed an item off the ol' bucket list, this August 20th gig is gonna need a bigger bucket. Of funk. A big bucket of funk. I GOT TO OPEN FOR GEORGE CLINTON!!! It was an inconceivable gift to set up my drums and play that night, and the Fox's Elizabeth Thorpe (and the sold out crowd) seemed to agree it was worth remembering. In summary: George. Clinton. Parliament. Funkadelic.
Thanks to the editors, writers, and photographers at The Swollen Fox, and all the killer musicians and bands in Philly. Here's to the New Year!
Read the full article: http://theswollenfox.com/2014-in-review-favorite-concerts/
The new album from the Alex Radus Trio has been nominated for the 16th Annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards' Outstanding Album of 2014. Whoa. If you're a resident of the Lehigh Valley, or a "music industry insider" that works within the scene up there, you are eligible to vote! Click here to cast your ballot.
Get the new album Jewels & Tinware on Amazon.com, and direct at www.alexradus.com.
After some great shows in support of our new release, the Alex Radus Trio has been receiving critical acclaim for Jewels & Tinware. Local music mags Steel Notes and The Elucidator had some great things to say about Alex's songwriting, singing and guitar playing, as well as the "perfect amount of interplay" provided by myself and Dan Manchester.
Click the link below to read the article, and/or check out this little fan-made vid of us chugging through our tune "Night of the Electric Love Phoenix". There are no words to describe how much fun this show was. The Swollen Fox was there to tell the tale, noting our Mystic ability to warm the crowd and keep the funk:
At least the opener, Philadelphia “absurdist soul” band Johnny Showcase, is always in the mood for theatrics... a formidable band with catchy hooks, hilarious lyrics, and great basslines, as Sweeny and Baker have surrounded themselves with The Mystic Ticket—featuring some of Philly’s best musicians—and also enlisted the support of solid backup singers The Truth.... by the chorus of the raunchy "Hit It From The Back," the band had won [the crowd] over.
A year or two ago, I recorded percussion for the soundtrack to this great independent documentary, and it's finally out! The film was screened at the 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival, and is poised to premiere on the west coast this summer. I could explain it to you, but that's what trailers are for right?
What a tour. Sharing the stage with the mega-talented Kishi Bashi, I had the pleasure of spending ten days on the road with Philly's own Buried Beds. Nearly every show was sold out, and the crowds were incredible.
I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be joining Devinyl Records artists Buried Beds on a tour of the east coast this June.
Our friends over at DOA have featured our new single, "Don't Remember Your Name", and it seems that they got it just right. Head over to their blog and read more, and give a listen to the tune on YouTube, SoundCloud, or right here!
The good people over at adequacy.net - who published an exclusive interview with us a few months ago - rated our first single from Binghamton as one of the Best Songs of last year. Here's what they had to say:
"Helmsman Matt Cusack steers this David Bowiesque, epic number with a sure hand, starting off slowly with strummed guitar and low-key vocals that build up in emotive intensity. Certain yearning turns of phrase and song structure shifts recall artists like David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, and Freddie Mercury."
Check out the article, and the rest of the list, over at DOA.
Leading up to our featured concert at the Auburn Public Theater, we had a chance to chat with a local newspaper about our new music.
Click the title above to read the article by David Wilcox
The good folks at Philebrity are hosting their annual Philebrity Awards & Xmas Pageant, and Johnny Showcase is up for one of the most coveted.
GrammyU, the proletariat extension of the music business oligarchy (and was beginning its initial expansion during my time at UArts) is now offering a curated audience-appreciation contest with Grammy Amplifier.
The fine folk at DOA just published a Featured Interview with Matt on their site. It goes pretty in depth about the songs, the sounds, and the brainspace that created our new album. I think they liked the record, too:
"Binghamton is completely pleasing to the ear and the brainspace, from the thoughtful to brisk rhythms, complex and compelling interplay of guitars, contemplative, expressive, and yearning vocal leads, sweet harmonies, and cogent lyrics."
They keep a-rollin' in! Here's a new review of our new album, this time from the music blog Popa's Tunes. Popa wrote about William Gruff a few times in the past - most notably in his retelling of my epic sojourn to and fro the recording studio - and he's got nothing but good things to say about what we released.
"Binghamton is a loose, freewheeling, powerful record from a band that naturally gels together with an abundance of creativity. Each track is hypnotically catchy, and sinks into the subconscious to wander there perpetually."
Well right on. If you haven't already, you best take a listen to the record they're all raving about: Binghamton is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and for your listening pleasure right here on charlieheim.com!
Taking our latent interest in space, the future, and empowering music literally, music blog Bucket Full of Nails seemed to deeply understand the messages we were trying to convey. Of course, you should listen for yourself to see if the "astral" allusions to Philip K. Dick's reality are as clear as they claim. Regardless, when speaking about our tune "Newtons", they offered this fine opine:
"...[Should you] follow William Gruff, a time capsule from today discovered some light years from now won’t tell the story of such modernity. Rather, the physics of love will form the tale read to future generations."