I had a chance to check out some cool new music last night. I saw the listing at the 1/2 Lounge for Matthew Bryan Hagen playing solo songs and it made my mind wonder. The show was scheduled from 7-9. I worked until 7, got home around quarter after, got back out the door around 7:30 and waked into the lounge about quarter of 8. Matt was onstage playing an electric guitar and singing dark songs about the Devil and things like that. The songs had a bit of the noir side of the High Breaks sound crossed with a more singer songwriter structure. The lyrics had the feel of the theme from True Blood, though not as cheery. The one about grinding the bones to make your bread was especially memorable. The music had a very cool feel and flow and I loved it from the moment I walked in. A few songs had an odd effect where at the end he kept playing but faded the songs out. I’ve only ever heard a live song fade out when Genesis did it with Supper’s Ready on the Seconds Out album. I was tremendously amused when Matt later pulled out a dark tale of what one might be hiding in one’s wardrobe. All of the songs felt like skeletons of what might come, and that realization added a nice extra edge to the music.
When he finished the last of the new songs, he pulled out a few covers. He pulled out an old Lendway song that I couldn’t quite place, but really enjoyed. He pulled out a couple of Ween covers, Devil’s Sweat and Buenos Tardes Amigo. Both songs nicely fit in with his new original songs.
After that he did the wardrobe change and music change and did a short set of MC Hagen songs. He slow rapped some amusing songs with a stern Jer Coons waving menacingly in the background. Jer had just produced a couple of the songs so it was cool that he was there in support of Matt. After his four rap songs that was the end of the show. I chatted with both for a couple of minutes then headed out. It’s so great to hear some of the new music that is heading our way. And, all I had to do to find it was get myself out the door.