Mathew Sydney

Album Review: The Lillies ROCK!

 

THIS is the kind of music radio needs.  The Lillies’ self-titled album highlights their ability to explore diverse musical styles while staying faithful to their signature sound.  The opening track, “Who Cares,” has HIT written all over it.  An art jazz intro segues into a rockin’ guitar riff that supports Bonoesque vocals and introduces the listener to The Lillies’ world of sonic magic.  “Just Breathe” features powerful lyrical imagery and a passionate guitar solo.  “Maria” illustrates the band’s ability to take Spanish music and make it their own while the captivating “Joany” leaves you wondering about the woman who inspired this haunting tale.

 

Spring

 

There is a story I have been asked by Spirit to tell… and Spirit requires that I tell this story in a certain way.  There are truths which mainstream society has hidden from us.  We have been deceived.  I am being driven to pull away the veils and allow people to see a different side of our history and of our faith.  It is time for us to be set free.

 

Lyrics

 

Yesterday marked the release of "Colleen Mine!"  This is a very special track because it's a fan favorite at my live shows but I seldom perform it anymore because it's the sort of quiet ballad that requires a subdued atmosphere for listeners to be able to hear it.  It's a very old Irish song about unrequited love but I chose to re-title it because "Coinleach Ghlas an Fomhair" is a mouthful... even if you speak Irish Gaelic.

 

Fallen Warrior

 

Like a true warrior, Aaron Swartz availed himself of the final option of a battered and cornered hero.  He took his own life.  I offer my condolences to his family and friends.  I know their grief is overwhelming and bottomless but we need heroes and knights in this world.  We need to be men again and not the obedient trained seals our education system has shaped us into. 

 

Roots

 

Your fearless hero has just returned from The Big Apple.  As much as I love Florida, part of me will always belong to New York.  That is where my family had their start in this country and when I walk amongst the hills of Fort Tryon Park, where the stones themselves always seem to speak to me.  There are so many layers of our nation’s history, my family’s history and, now, of my own personal history enfolded within the shadows of the old castle-like buildings that rise above the Hudson River.

 

If a corporation can outsource my job then I can outsource a corporation's services

 

Dear Honorable Justices...

I do not believe Americans will endure a government that reserves the right to persecute them for selling their old books and junk at the local church rummage sale.  I urge you to review this article by Jennifer Waters in ‘The Liberty Crier’ http://libertycrier.com/government/your-right-to-resell-your-own-stuff-could-become-illegal/.  Consider very carefully the possible repercussions of your ruling.

Sometimes the price we must pay for our freedoms is to endure the freedoms enjoyed by others.

 

'Class Alliance' is smarter than 'Class War'

 

Today I read an article about Leon Cooperman, the Wall Street billionaire who famously wrote a scathing letter to President Obama.

Each and every one of us, high and low, must put aside fear and prejudice.  We must each make a commitment to stop scheming and hating and fighting.  We have the power to stand together.  Because when you and I stand together that will set the tone for the two parties to work together and when we learn to cooperate and to trust we will create a future far greater than any we could possibly imagine.

 

Peace

 

I offer my condolences to the families of all those who have lost loved ones.  Our nation has been in a military war against “terror” for eleven years.  There is no end in sight.  We will never win that way.  We must use new weapons, the kinds of weapons that do not shed blood and wreck destruction but the kinds of weapons that change hearts and minds, the kinds of weapons that destroy the enemy completely by turning him into a friend.  How? By starting within.  By finding peace within yourself.  By finding the peace of mind it takes to recognize that the enemy is an illusion.  There are good people and not so good people in every group: Muslims, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, gays, trannies, blacks, whites, immigrants, billionaires and drug addicts.  When the good people in all these groups overcome their fears and join together we will find that we all want the same things for our children’s children because we are all one family.

 

Dear Ms. Rinehart

 

Dear Ms. Rinehart,

I will be frank.  I was at first offended when I heard the statements you made in the ‘Australian Resources and Investment Magazine.’  My first reaction was that it is the height of poor breeding and low morals for a wealthy heiress to criticize the countless people who are struggling to provide for their families, find work and build a decent future.

A moment later, however, I was inspired.  I believe that you are right.  God bless you for your honesty.  Not only am I grateful for your words but I believe that you have a tremendous gift to offer the world.  No, not your money.  I believe you have a powerful message that will change the lives of millions for the better.

 

Mr. Mainstream vs. Mr. Conscious

 

I haven’t posted in my blog for a while.  On one hand, I’ve been thinking I should keep it about music; I’ve been meaning to write a review of the Ghost to Falco cd I’ve been listening to (‘Exotic Believers’ ROCKS!).  On the other hand, I feel compelled to use my voice in the service of freedom; I’ve been following Pussy Riot, Julian Assange and (right here in my fair state of Florida) the matter of “voter fraud.”

Sometimes I wish I could just turn on ‘Jersey Shore,’ crack open a beer and forget all about the Republican National Convention, the drug addicts in the apartment buildings behind my house (I can never tell if they are “recovering,” “relapsing” or both) or how I’m going to make enough money to fix the leak in the roof.

My working-class, debt-ridden, Christian relatives are constantly pressuring me to pledge my support for a presidential candidate who has more money than God.  Obama sends me email almost every day asking me for money (I assume the presidential election is an auction and the process of voting is a mere formality) and I’m bending over backwards to get my “fans” to download a free track so that they’ll actually listen to the music into which I’ve poured my heart and soul.

Sometimes I feel like putting a gun to my head.

 

A Former Scout

 

There’s much talk today about The Boy Scouts of America’s decision to maintain their ban on gays.  Although their decision saddens me and I know they are making a grave mistake, they are a private organization and I believe that they do have every right to make such a mistake.  Far from being a tragedy, they have opened the door to a more serious discussion about prejudice, discrimination and equal rights.

I am glad that the US government has not seen fit to ‘force’ or ‘pressure’ TBSA into accepting gay members.  If we are to be a free country, it is important that the government refrain from resorting to coercion.  Imagine, if you will, the resentment, the anger and the passive aggressive reactions that would ensue should TBSA be forced to accept gays.  Personally, I would not want to place my children on the front lines of that battle.  I would much rather live in a world where TBSA willingly accepts openly gay members out of a sense of genuine inclusiveness.  This may take a couple years or even a couple decades but, however long it takes, it is preferable to the alternative.

 

God Bless America

 

 

I used to think Independence Day was bullshit.  I used to think the United States was bullshit.

A bunch of rich, white guys came to this land from Europe, used biological warfare to weaken the native children of this continent, reneged on treaties made with those peoples and then proceeded to attempt cultural genocide through Christian missionary activity.

The treatment of Native Americans at the hands of the US Government is a sin.  And I firmly believe that embracing the values and vision of our native brothers is the key to building a better future for our children.

These same men profited from the sweat, blood and tears of the men and women whom they brought here in chains and treated worse than animals.

The institution of slavery was a sin and the ensuing continued racial prejudice in America is a sin.

Our ancestors, both black and white, built this nation together.  After many centuries of living side-by-side even the “whitest” and “blackest” amongst us are mixed.  I refuse to call myself “black” or “white” or any other such nonsense... such labels are limiting, inaccurate and are the very root of racism.  I am not one ethnicity or another.  My heritage is diverse.  To reject diversity would be to love my father and hate my mother or vice versa.  My ancestors come from many different lands and cultures.  I am mixed.  I am American.

 

Mr. Saverin, I bless you and I forgive you. Now stay the hell out of my country.

 

When I first heard about Eduardo Saverin giving up his US citizenship I was deeply disappointed.  I understand human nature.  Nobody really wants to pay taxes.  And it’s only natural to resent putting money in the pockets and pensions of legislators when so many common men and women are losing their homes.  But if you don’t like what’s going on then do something about it.  Be engaged.  If you are blessed with wealth then use some of it to effect positive change.  We are all connected.  You want to drive on I-95? Then you can pay some taxes to help maintain it.

...

Mr. Saverin, I bless you and I forgive you.  Now stay the hell out of my country.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/senators-unveil-ex-patriot-act-respond-facebooks-saverins-110209401--abc-news-politics.html

 

Album Review: 'RGB' by Virgins

 

Their first full-length album, ‘RGB,’ expands on their live sound with haunting backing tracks and and the kind of creative lead-ins between songs that you seldom see in music today.  Although it is full of great tracks, ‘RGB’ is an album along the lines of Pink Floyd’s ‘Ummagumma’ or Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Future Games.’  To truly appreciate it you must listen to the entire project in the original song order.  The elegant and creative arrangements and production lend the entire project great depth and delicious texture.

 

Album Review: 'Lived In' by Richard Cortez

 

Get ready to fall in love!  Richard Cortez’s latest album, Lived In, is a beautifully recorded presentation of his live performance.  Featuring the favorites, “Be Alright” and “Craving Something Beautiful,” what really makes this album a keeper is the beauty of Cortez’s charm.  Whether through his passionate singing, his inspired guitar work or his gentle and honest repartee, each track sparkles with the artist’s sincere and endearing personality.  Cortez’s writing is rich with emotional texture.  His words, like all good poetry, paint pictures so vivid that the listener is transported in time and place.  With this live recording,  the brief introductions and low-key jokes interspersed between numbers reveal even more of the personal stories which inspired these songs.  Cortez is both witty and sweet, “You should be a therapist, not a mechanic,” he quips between songs.  The album includes such gems as “The Next Best Thing,” a ‘head bopping’ upbeat song about friends with benefits and “Separate Ways,” a heartbreaking story of unrequited love.  Lived In is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift from an irresistible artist who is bound to capture your heart.

Explore the music of Richard Cortez at Wollenbergrecords.com

 

ANTI-PIRACY OR ANTI-FREEDOM? - SOPA/PIPA

 

As a recording artist, of course I prefer that people buy my music and that they not copy and give away my songs for free but I would rather be a starving artist in a free world than a wealthy mogul in a world where the government has the power to shut down my website and shut down my voice without due process. I encourage you to carefully consider the so-called "anti-piracy" bill, SOPA; you must draw your own conclusions but I urge you to ask your representatives to stop SOPA/PIPA.

 

Album Review: 'Deep Elevation' by Felicia Rose

 

“Deeper and deeper,” and “higher and higher” is just where Felicia Rose takes us on her newest album, ‘Deep Elevation.’  In a departure from the multi-layered harmonies and and lush arrangements of 2009’s ‘Indigo,’ ‘Deep Elevation’ stands out for its roots-rock, jam-band flavor.  This is the first Felicia Rose album to truly capture the passion of her live performance.  Even the Santana-inspired stylings of lead guitarist, Phill Fest, take a back seat with Rose in complete control as never before.  Percussionists Casey Buckley (of The People Upstairs) and Petro Bass provide the perfect balance that makes you want to kick off your shoes and dance in the surf.  Subtitled, ‘12 Songs for 2012,’ this album features a number of stand-out tracks.  From the reggae flavor of “No More War” to the bossa nova beat of “Angel Child,” it is evident that recording in south Florida has lent this project a definite Caribbean feel.  “When Will the Cycle Pass” reveals a songwriter who is not afraid to confront her own weaknesses and to even poke fun at her own humanity.  This is hot music with a precious message; as Rose clearly states in the lead track, “Walk in Faith!”

 

New Beginnings

 

It was just over a year ago, November of 2010, when I launched the first Mathew Sydney website.  That was an exciting time.  I was performing steady gigs at Mother Earth Coffee & Gifts, Bar Lake Worth and at Mojito's (later Luna Lounge and now The Speakeasy).  And that was when I released Drank Too Much... the EP with the bathtub and the cowboy hat :-)

Well it's a new year, which means a new site, a new look and, at long last, a new album... my first full-length studio album... 'The Game.'  Finally, through the support of the folks at Saturn Sound Studios and local musicians, I've been able to develop the kind of rock sound I dreamed of when I originally wrote all of these songs.  I hope to have the new album available for sale on by February 21st followed by a release concert and event at Club Mara on Saturday the 25th!

Until then, if you'd like to get a taste of the new sound, I'm giving away the first single from the new album.  You can download "You Know My Name" here.  Thank you for supporting independent music!

 

Deep Elevation

 

It was an honor and a pleasure to introduce Felicia Rose and her band at the beautiful Mos' Art Theatre last night!  You can watch video from the performance on her website, courtesy of LDLTV.  Overall it was an amazing event and the perfect launch for Felicia's latest album, 'Deep Elevation!'  Felicia produces powerful, rockin' music with an even more powerful message, which is very close to my heart.  One of my favorite tracks from her new album, "Walk in Faith," pretty much says it all!