First/Last-Matt Duncan

December 4, 2013

“Here’s an inventive songwriter who understands how to use retro sounds as a tool, not a crutch. Although Matt Duncan’s soulful (and very well-produced) Beacon sounds like it could have been recorded in the early ’70s with it’s nimble, defined bass parts and close-miked drum sound, the group’s personal stamp is inked with tracks like “Puritan Heart” and “Beacon.” – Tyler Kane PASTE

Check Matt out at his official Website, Facebook, and BandCamp. Matt was featured on the Paste 50 States Project reppin’ Kentucky with his latest release, “Soft Times“. Many thanks to him for taking a few to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • I fear it was “We Can’t Dance” by Genesis. Yikes.
  • Your last album bought?
  • “Odyssey and Oracle” by The Zombies. Not sure how I missed this for 30 years, but it’s blowing my mind right now… almost any song on this record would be the best song on any other record. Does that make sense? (No, it’s crazy.)
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • I’ve had so many favorites. I feel like every album I truly love is sort of a favorite until I wear it out. I guess D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” and MJ’s “Off The Wall” are the only ones I can think of that refuse to wear out. I’ve had at least two copies of each. But as far as recent faves, I’d say “Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren”, “Judee Sill/Heart Food”, “Hejira”, “Aja”, and “Troubadour” (by The Stepkids).
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • I hate to be a hater, but it’s hard to imagine a more dramatic fall from grace than Weezer (after “Pinkerton”). Also, I think “Sgt. Pepper…” kind of sucks.
  • First concert attended?
  • I can’t remember the band’s name, but I know we saw them at the Shriner’s Oleika Temple. They were awful and their guitarist was incredible. After that I just saw Dave Matthews Band at Riverbend a bunch of times before discovering the local all-ages punk scene. After that every show had seven bands on the bill, it was total overload.
  • Last concert?
  • I think the last show I saw was a band called The Fleeting Ends, who are actually Philly dudes. They were killer, and their CD is fantastic. There’s nothing worse than seeing a good band, grabbing their disc, and realizing that they let some “friend with Protools” mangle all their beautiful work. Super solid power-pop stuff, definitely recommended.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • This is another tough one. Hmm… Sharon Jones was a hell of a show. Recently saw a Brooklyn band called Cuddle Magic and they totally blew my mind…
  • Least favorite concert?
  • I saw Atlas Sound once, and he spent half the show just berating the audiencefor being “harder to read than a 1986 issue of The Economist.” Clever jabs do not a decent show make.
  • Any thoughts,experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve only been to Pittsburgh a few times, but I kind of love it. The inclines, that crazy sandwich with the fries on it, the skyline coming around the bend from West Virginia. I actually sing about it in the song ‘All Sails.’

Thanks, Matt. First time I think I ever heard the statement “Sgt. Pepper kind of sucks.” Way to stand your ground, bro. Love it! Also, I totally dig the line in ‘All Sails’, “…rustbelt green in the Summer sun.“