For many music lovers in the Louisville area, Matthew Sweet is a must see show, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Girlfriend (1991) and promoting his latest release, Modern Art, under Missing Piece record label. In honor of the anniversary of Girlfriend, Sweet played the album in its entirety, profoundly pleasing the audience. The crowd gathered at the stage, staking claims to prime concert real estate as Sandy Owens for WFPK introduced Sweets. Taking the stage dressed in comfortable black, the aura of the 1960’s still very prevalent as he strums a vintage guitar, probably on the road with him since the early 90’s which was very cool! The band was in tune, and not just musically. The guys really showed a true love of the music; soulful renditions of all the songs. They must have been tired from traveling, but no one in the audience knew it.
The new album is a mixture of Sweet, tunes that come together in a very organic fashion. Sweet reflects, “In the past, I’d make deliberate changes of structure and normalize things”, this time he let the music and lyrics take him where they may. Modern Art brings together the best of the past and hopes of the future, connecting the human spirit to inspiration. The music offered on this newest release allows the listener to see and hear humanity. One can almost see the wheels turning in Sweet’s head as he lays down the tracks.
The onset of Sweet’s musical career began as a teenager in Lincoln, Nebraska and continued as he went to college in Athens, Georgia. The infamous music scene in Athens gave Sweets the proper setting to get in a groove with the likes of Michael Stripe from R.E.M. and David Pierce of Oh-OK. Under DB Records, Sound Castles (1994) hit the scene as the first full length offering from Sweet as he and David Pierce sang as “The Buzz of Delight”. Columbia Records signed Sweet in 1985, and released Inside (1996). Enter A&M Records, exit Earth (1989). It was in 1991 when Sweet hit the sweet spot. Sweet released Girlfriend in October 1991, yes; it’s been 20 years, under Zoo Entertainment and was received with glowing reviews; featured on MTV, MuchMusic, and Night Tracks. Sweet went on to record Son of Altered Beast (1994), 100% Fun (1995), and Blue Sky on Mars (1997) under Zoo Entertainment.
From 1997 until now Sweet released many other notable albums, including a collaborative set, Under the Covers Vol.1 (2006) and Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009), under Shout! Factory, on which he worked with Susanna Hoffs, the rhythm guitarist and vocalist for The Bangles. A great treasure for Sweet was being credited with the music and lyrics from “Girlfriends”, a play of the same title. The most recent album from Sweet, Modern Art, was released in September of this year and he has not stopped touring since. Matthew’s music is readily available, and matthewsweet.com is the first place to go looking for great chill music, jammin’ pop, and reflections of 1960’s music