Inspiration: Matt Nathanson

My final project for Production II is to make a “Rockumentary” – a 10 minute long documentary on a musician or band. I had pitched two bands and a singer/songwriter – Wild Child, Trampled by Turtles, and Matt Nathanson. The first two were quickly shot down, since there ‘may not be enough material to work off of’, and thus, the Matt Nathanson documentary of 2014 was born.

So I started researching. I spent about twenty minutes reading his Wikipedia page, and started to look at the material I could find online – interviews, live shows, etc. Sadly, I had a bunch of other projects and papers with due dates sooner than what is required for this doc, so Matty Nays took a back seat. 

Now that it’s so close to nearing the end of the semester, I’ve got only a handful of papers and docs left to finish, I’ve finally started buckling down on this project, and giving it the time and research it needs. So in class on Wednesday, while I was working on this project, I spent about $50 on Matt Nathanson’s really old music. Everything. I now own all ten records. Please (1993), Ernst (’97), Not Colored Too Perfect (’98), Still Waiting for Spring (’99), When Everything Meant Everything – EP (2002), At The Point (Live) (’06) (I already owned Beneath These Fireworks (’03), Some Mad Hope (’07), Modern Love (’11), and Last of the Great Pretenders (’13).) And, naturally, as anyone would do with new music, I’ve been listening to it. 

It’s amazing how much Matt Nathanson has improved over the past two decades. His writing of both the lyrics and melodies have gotten so much smoother and refined, and it’s really cool to be able to notice that progression while going through his records. It gives me hope and drive that I, too, will be able to improve that much with my art as I grow up. 

Nathanson has found success, with the thing he loves, just as I aspire to do. In that regard, he is an inspiration to me. Even though I’m not a songwriter by any means, and all I know about music was learned in high school band and bits and pieces of drum corps, I can noticeably tell the difference from 1993 Matt Nathanson to 2014 Matt Nathanson. And even though both are talented and respectable in their own regard, it’s really cool to be able to appreciate the transition, and to see how he got to where he is today.

Well done, Matty Nays. Well done.


Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship. Painfully average marathoner. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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