Matt Good back and touring after short hiatus
Singer/songwriter releases album inspired by life changes, including an overdose and divorce
“Play ‘Symbolistic White Walls!’” someone yelled from the audience, and people began to cheer. Onstage at the Bronson Centre Oct.17, Matthew Good smirked, and simply said “No.” A few years back, as a nod to his reputation, the Canadian rock musician sold shirts at his band’s concerts that read: “I Hear Matt Good is a Real Asshole.” A lot has happened since the Matthew Good Band broke up in 2002, with Good pursuing a successful solo career, as well as establishing himself as a political blogger and human rights activist. His 2007 Nothing to Hide Tour is bringing him across Canada as always, but this time the format he is performing in is a bit different. He is playing solo and acoustically at all the venues he visits, something that is reflective of his new album, Hospital Music, his third solo record and seventh studio release. The record talks about Good’s recent drug overdose — brought on by a nasty divorce — as well as being diagnosed with bipolar disorder after years of suffering
from severe anxiety. Different from Good’s previous releases, Hospital Music offers up lyrics that are a bit more honest and personal, and in turn, a lot more heartbreaking to listen to. The premise is very melancholy (does the song title 99% Of Us Is Failure” tell you anything?), and includes two covers, something Good has never done before. The album also features sound bytes, which he recorded himself using a handheld tape recorder in Vancouver’s Lower East side where he currently lives, on several songs. The track “Girl Wedged Under the Front of a Firebird,” is about this area, said Good. The song is about “one guy just telling a story about a girl who stole 10 dollars of crack, and the guy that she stole it off ran her down with a car. I was standing in front of the Columbia Hotel and saw it,” said Good. Good wrote the material while recovering in the hospital after his overdose. He said he spent the time “looking at past relationships with my ex-wife, with the band, with my old management. [I had] not been that honest with myself.” Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his 30s has changed Good as well. “Finally getting on the right medication has obviously helped considerably...things have gone from plus 10 to negative 10, to plus three to negative three, which is a fantastic thing.” Good has been candid about his recent personal struggles, but that comes as no surprise, since he has always been vocal about telling the public what he thinks, especially when it comes to politics and his
Outspoken and often controversial singer/songwriter Matt Good gets a little more personal on his latest release, showing fans a very different side of him. liberal views. Blogging almost every day about Canadian and global political activities, Good incorporates a lot of political stage banter into his shows. “If you have the opportunity to [impart information] on others, you do it. I’m obviously in a position where I can do it, and a lot of people tend to gravitate towards it.” Highly critical of both Canadian and American politics, Good has also been quite outspoken when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage. While Good made his stop in Ottawa, he won the Youth Role Model Award at the Jer’s Vision Gala Oct. 19, an annual event that aims to promote diversity and bring attention to GLBT issues. “Do I give a shit who fucks who? No, I don’t give a Goddamn who fucks who. I mean, really, you want to marry a man if you’re a man, absolutely. Why shouldn’t you have that right under the law? You should have the same rights under the law as fucking everybody else does. I mean, it’s ridiculous, it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” he said. But Good has received a lot of flak for his uncensored opinions and critics often labelled him as being pretentious. With Hospital Music now fulfilling his contract with Universal, Good said he is not sure where the road will take him musically, or politically, in the near future. “I don’t know what’s next, but I’m sure people will come to me.” Okay, so maybe Matthew Good is a little pretentious, but that’s just part of his charm. K
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the Charlatan • November 1, 2007