Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Under the Covers, Vol. 2

It might be a bit old skool of me, but I love learning about new music by reading magazines. I learn what's being released, read the review, and then find the music on itunes.

Sure, I read a few music blogs and listen to Pandora which are also helpful in finding new music. But given the captivating powers magazines have on me during my workouts, I find that my time investment in periodicals sends me searching for music frequently.

Last week, I learned that Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (from The Bangles) released a new CD of 70's cover tunes called Under the Covers, Vol. 2. While googling for information about the album, I learned that their first volume of this sort, covering 60's songs, had only sold 32,000 copies since its release in 2006. As a result, I'm a bit surprised that this project was greenlit and funded, but I'm thrilled that it was.

I have been a Matthew Sweet fan since 1991. For me, his albums Girlfriend and Altered Beast are two of the quintessential albums of my college years. I saw him play at Lupo's in Providence back in '93 or '94, and remember him pleasing the crowd with two separate encore sets of four songs each.

In the years since, I've found myself enjoying a song or two from each of Matthew Sweet's subsequent releases, but nothing struck me like those two albums.

So I previewed some of the tracks in itunes, and found myself liking almost everything from Under the Covers, Vol. 2. His and Susannah's harmonies are killer, and their terrific song choices make sense - lots of 70's power pop.

Among my favorites:

The Raspberries - Go All the Way
Todd Rundgren - Hello, It's Me
Yes - I've Seen All Good People
Blondie - Dreaming
Derek & The Dominos - Bell Bottom Blues

Susanna sings lead on Bell Bottom Blues, and it's very cool to hear a female voice interpret this one.

The Blondie track is on the deluxe edition of the album, which I didn't realize was available until I had already downloaded the full "regular" release, so I picked up that song and Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding." I also circled back to the Volume 1 release, and found "The Kids Are Alright" by The Who, "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young, and "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and The Papas as standout tracks worthy of purchase.

I'm assuming they will tour in support of the album, so I need to investigate a bit more. If so, and if they find themselves here in Boston, I'll be one of the first in line for tickets!

1 comment:

limelightmagazine said...

Just letting you know that Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs will be performing live at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., on Nov. 13. You can get tickets at It's going to be a great show.