Music Guru Friday: Matt Hires!!

For many of us here, getting to know Matt Hires on the State Lines tour has far exceeded expectations. To be frank, we went for Jason Castro, but we ended up falling in love with Matt Hires (MATT HIRES!!). If you missed the memo, Jason is not going to be performing at the last 3 tour stops (tonight through Sunday), but if you are lucky enough to be in Houston, New Orleans or Birmingham, get yourself a ticket to one of those shows and go go go! How can you understand why Castrocopia has become a hotbed of MattHiresism (Hiresology? Hiresophilia?), if you deny yourself that experience?

And believe me, I speak from experience here. Just a couple of months ago, I was compiling our end of year playlist, which Matt had sent us a contribution for. I recall trying to think of something to write about him and I confess I was a little stumped. All I had to go on was a CD and the promise that he would be touring with Jason… Otherwise, I just thought he was a guy with some music. A cute guy with good music that has been featured on several different popular prime time tv shows… but still more or less an enigma wrapped in a black box. *facepalm*

(Continued after the jump).

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The Most Ill-Conceived Copian Nonsense To Date = Success

tm Jillster

If you just read the blog here and never venture forth to our forum, the following is going to make little to no sense.

For the rest of you…. Copian Victory!

The short of it is… Stephen wanted a scarf. Probably a nice scarf, but he made the mistake of failing to specify that and so was born the Horrible Scarf Project – a group voyage into the outer reaches of hilarity and insanity. Everyone who wanted to participate, from the most adept to the most artfully challenged, mailed a square/triangle/trapezoid- shaped knitted scarf piece to crazydo so she could stitch them together into one horrible and ill-conceived scarf. The rules prohibited sharing of information about the size, color or weight of the scarf piece and so… the scarf was destined for legendary horribleness. And it was. Very.

Crazydo, for her part, did an amazing job stitching together the pieces and making, at least for Stephen, a 20′ scarf that was deemed to look like a skinned muppet in parts. She and LC were able to present the evidence of approaching senility in the better part of our forum dwellers last night in Dallas. Reports are coming in now, and as predicted, Caitlin loved hers, Stephen smiled and Matt announced that we had indeed succeeded in making one ugly scarf. Except we made 3.

Thanks to LC for posting this wonderful picture of Stephen and Caitlin “enjoying” their gift.

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PopAwesome Interview

Here’s a nice interview with PopAwesome.

The song you’re most proud of…

“It Matters To Me.” It was the last song I wrote for the album and it almost didn’t happen. Even after I wrote it, we almost didn’t record it. I feel like it was the little song that could! Fighting for itself the whole way, and in the end, it turned out to be one of the most special tracks.

Lemon Non-Shuffle

Evidenced by the Third Annual Castrocopian Flash Mix Project, one of our less horrible ideas, people seem to like to give other people music… And in this particular case, I seem to be normal. As I prepared to possibly fly to Seattle to visit Maniac and hit the Northwest leg of the State Lines Tour, I thought it might be fun to try to figure out what sort of music my new favorite musician, Matt Hires, might enjoy and carry on the Copian tradition of creating Mix Tapes for a Pretend Boyfriend.

First – I burned the entire Elliott Smith catalog for him. Hey – he said he was starting to listen to Elliott Smith, so why not help a guy out? Second – I tried to work with what I know about Matt Hires…. And as I had to tell him when I gave him this collection, “I don’t know you at all. But…” But I have a little data to work with and with that, I extrapolated. I ended up with 48 songs… Here’s a sampling + a bonus.

Lemon Non-Shuffle

 

1. Sin Fang Bous – Catch The Light
This was my first pick for my playlist because it has a certain Sufjan Stevens/Shins thing going on. I DO know that Matt Hires likes Sufjan Stevens, so I am hoping that he also enjoys this solo project from Sindri Mar Sigfusson of Iceland. Check out the NPR story about Sin Fang Bous.

2. Tom Petty – Asshole
If you change the lyrics to “She’ll do anything to look like an asshole,” this song pretty much describes how dorky I felt after following a band ALL the way across the country. Yeah, I went to visit a friend, but wow does a person feel creepy when asked “YOU again?” Ah well. Okay – so I didn’t add this for that reason. I ALSO know that Matt loves Tom Petty and I wasn’t sure if he’d have this cover of Beck’s song. And you know I sneak my Beck songs in wherever I can, like vitamins!

3. Psapp – Make Up
You know how you have that thing you want to do, but you don’t think you can do it, so you just don’t? For me that thing is making music. I gave up piano and violin years ago. My guitar gently mocks me over there in the corner. And you know how you get a wake up call when you see a story about the kid who lost both his thumbs in a bizarre bandsaw accident, but still manages to play Rachmaninov? And you feel like an asshole? That’s kind of what I felt like when I discovered that Psapp makes their music entirely on toys. I’m sure it’s not any EASIER to do that, but still it makes me think I’m the only one holding me back. And hey! I have a miniature drumset, one trumpet that plays 4 notes, 2 mini keyboards and a ukulele! Nothing’s gonna stop me now!

4. Of Montreal – Forecast Fascist Future
I wanted to throw something on the playlist that was totally off the Matt map, but I hinged this song on the fact that he covers an MGMT song… For some reason, in my mind, the next step over is Of Montreal. He said he’s heard good things about them and was looking forward to listening… I hope he does. This band kicks ass.

5. Matt Hires – You In the End
I love this song. I’m not much for lyrics usually, but Matt’s lyrics are thoughtful, with a false simplicity that hides a darkness. His vocals are smooth, with the occasional warble and the rare gruff growl, which always takes me by surprise. Just when I think I have this Matt person pegged, I find that he’s not at all who I think he is.

I don’t know Matt Hires, but… it’s fun getting to know him. And if you missed out on the growing Matt Hires fandom creeping up in the midst of Castrocopia, then you may not have heard that Castrocopia has birthed a new fansite: http://www.edgeofastar.com – dedicated to Matt Hires. If you’re new to him or already a fan, stop by and see what’s going on. It is made of love. And we’re just getting started.

Pick up a copy of Matt’s Take Us To The Start, Deluxe Edition on ITunes and support some great music.

And if you like any of the above songs, please buy, don’t borrow. They love our admiration, but they have to earn a living.