Thursday, September 4, 2008

Self/Matt Mahaffey

I try and promote this group wherever I can, and since I'm using lyrics from one of the songs as this blog's title (from the song with the same name as my email address), I thought I'd start this blog out with a little praise for my favorite group/performer. One of the links I'm posting goes to the audio/video section of the group's official fan site. You'll be able to download 5 full b-side albums, 14 full live shows, 10 videos, and 33 miscellaneous songs.

It's difficult to describe this band, because each album (4 have been released since '96, and one was completed but killed by the suits) is different from the last. Here's Mahaffey's (frontman and brainchild behind the group) biography from the site:

and here's the wikipedia page:

I first heard Self in '96. Two singles, Cannon and So Low, were in decent rotation on two stations in Nashville, Thunder 94 and 103 KDF (both stations have long since undergone content changes). At the time, Nashville had a free summer concert, Dancin' in the District, every Thursday night. Self was headlining one night, and I went. They were crazy awesome live. And they had life-size Star Wars cut-outs on stage! After that, I bought their/his (Mahaffey did just about everything on the first CD solo and later got the group together to tour, and Self eventually evolved from a person to a group) debut CD, Subliminal Plastic Motives, and listened to it constantly. I think the CD is very much a product of its time, but still ahead of the curve. I'd classify it as post-grunge rock (think more Smashing Pumpkins and Beck rather than Pearl Jam and Nirvana), but it utilized sampling at a time when I remember sampling only being used in rap.

Mr. Mahaffey has weathered out the past 12 years pretty well, but he never attained the recognition that his die-hard fans think he deserves. He's done some soundtrack work (Dead Man on Campus, Shrek ...2?, and he's currently doing the music for the Nickelodeon series Ni Hao Kai Lan), collaborated with the lead singer of God Lives Underwater to form Wired All Wrong, provided loyal fans with a treasure trove of unreleased music for free (see link below), worked with Beck, recorded some commercial jingles, and has done a lot of work on the production side of the music biz.

Whether or not Mahaffey releases any more Self projects, his music will always be something I'll be able to pop in and enjoy, mainly because each release is so different from the previous one. If you've got some time and some hard-drive space, I recommend visiting the fan site and downloading some of his music.

The music is here:

I highly recommend checking this group out. You've got nothing to's free!

Listening to: Disturbed - Torn
via FoxyTunes

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