Hello, My Name is Matt...
Issue #01 / February 2020
** Welcome to my very first newsletter.
When I was a little kid my grandpa used to send out a family newsletter on typed, yellow, onion skin, carbon paper. I remember scanning through it each month looking for my name. He used to carry around a small notebook and jot down things of interest as he would go about his day visiting with different people in the family. I found most of what he wrote pretty boring but in retrospect, I see the value in his efforts to foster those connections. This is sort of the idea that I had with this newsletter.
I feel like for at least the past decade music has become more of a numbers game for a lot of folks instead of a way to connect with others and oneself. In the past, I recall much time spent laying on my bed, staring up at the ceiling just listening to music. I also remember debating the moral pitfalls of "selling out" while these days it feels as though many artists can't get in line fast enough to exploit themselves for whatever they see as the next rung on the ladder. I will admit that many lines are infinitely more blurry than they were to me in my twenties. The opportunities that have emerged through DIY culture and the Internet have inspired me to grow and prosper with my art. That's a good thing. But when those means become a distraction from the purpose for which I started playing music in the first place, I know it's time to pause. Thank you for sharing this pause.
Please feel free to write back and let me know what's going on with you or if you have any questions or comments related to my work. Depending on how this goes I'll try to respond as timely as I can. Thanks for your interest and here's to a flowing New Year!
The other guy in the picture?
That's Brian Hurtgen. Brian and I have been playing a select number of Major Matt Mason USA shows together for the past 6 months. I feel very grateful that our paths have crossed. Reasons why things click with some people and not with others when it comes to collaboration is still a bit of a mystery to me. With Brian things just click. I cherish every minute I get a chance to make music with this guy. He's a gifted poet and songwriter in his own right and he's got a super talented daughter named Telly. I look forward to sharing some recorded examples of our work very soon!.
It has been a cold winter in Kansas so far. I'm watching the skin on my hands and feet crack and crease in ways that remind me of a turtle's leg. I have become somewhat of a lotion snob. Thanks to a referral by my friend Julie I recommend Trader Joe's: Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream. It is made with coconut oil, hemp oil, shea butter, and is paraben-free. It has what I would call an old school barbershop soap smell that I find both envigorating and comforting.
MMM 1st Monday Playlist
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Tea0yyi19b3QdYcYJ0zgX?si=o_m4W-mKQK2YUCNXcDga-AFor about a year I've been putting out a monthly playlist of some of my favorite musical discoveries, new and old. I release it on the first Monday of every month paired with a little mindful musing about music. You can always catch the full version here on my blog (https://majormattmasonusa.com/blog/.)
If you just want to hear the music you can subscribe on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Tea0yyi19b3QdYcYJ0zgX?si=nvT1GBs0SMarotlf7CUY3w) to get a new playlist automatically every month. You can also click onmy user link (https://open.spotify.com/user/1230320001?si=xi6M8eWvQuiaoKDdEFyLxA) or search Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.
I know a lot of folks have mixed feelings about Spotify and its payment structure towards artists (https://pitchfork.com/features/oped/how-to-be-a-responsible-music-fan-in-the-age-of-streaming/) . Perhaps, in the future, I'll address this topic more in-depth. For now, "I'm hooked!" It's been about a year since I acquired a blue-tooth speaker and paid account. Without question, they have enhanced my sonic journey immeasurably. And I'm all about the journey.
This is a little video I made with some stock footage of a demo version of the first song I wrote in 2019 called Some Skies Are Blue (https://youtu.be/_5ykjqBj9-w) . It was inspired by a song prompt at a great local open mic called Songlab in North KC at a venue called The Rino (https://www.therinokc.com) . I go more in-depth about the story of the song in the comments section on youtube. Just click the SHOW MORE button under my name.
2019 was a heavy year for a lot of people and I was no exception. This is not the first time in my life I have found great respite amongst the company of songwriters. If videos are your thing you can check out and subscribe to my youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVISxqLtgjTZbYYV8mlNigg?view_as=subscriber) if you like.
https://brokenheartsyndrome.bandcamp.comBroken Heart Syndrome has a rare gig coming up on Valentine's Day. If you are not familiar with BHS it's a band that I have with some incredible local (KC) musicians including Pat Tomek (The Rainmakers) on drums, Todd Grantham (The Quivers) on keyboards and Dave Tanner (Liverpool) on bass. For better or worse, my inner Brian Wilson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Wilson) comes out with this project when it comes to the recording process. So at this point, we have released only two songs. My plan is to release one more before the show. We'll see. You can experience them here: https://brokenheartsyndrome.bandcamp.com
- Feb. 14 - KC, MO @ The Rino / Broken Heart Syndrome (trio) w/ The UK's + Mene Mene
- Feb. 27 – KC, MO @ miniBar / Major Matt Mason USA (band) w/ Red Moon Junkies + Cargo Van
- April 18 – KC, MO @ ” Record Store Day” @ Revolution Records / Major Matt Mason USA (band) + Hellfire Club + more tba
https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/Don't worry, I didn't forget. For those who subscribed and didn't get a sticker, please go here: https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/ to send me your address and I'll be happy to send you one in the mail. In the interest of waste conservation, if you live in the Kansas City area and/ or think you may be seeing me soon just let me know. I'll try to have some on me and I'd be elated to hand-deliver one to you.
Thanks for listening! Please feel free to respond with any comments or questions. Even if you just feel like rappin' or wanna tell me how you're doing, I'd love to hear from you.
Until we meet again,