Official music page and soapbox of Matt Snell

Thursday 16 August 2012

Sunny Side of the Street

I've got a lot of irons in the fire. I'm working on a novel while trying to finish the album I've been promising forever, and performing as often as I can. I'm also getting married in September and feeling all sappy. The other day I started fooling around with a version of Sunny Side of the Street, and I present it to you now so you can share in the dreaminess.

I love the songwriting in old time and early jazz recordings - I assume there was plenty of maudlin crap back then too, but the craft of the songs that has survived is rock solid. It seemed to me I didn't have to do much to make it sell, see what you think:

Alternate Link

Wednesday 15 August 2012

With a Poster Like This We Can't Fail

Things are slow on the blog this summer, but here's the proof I'm still plugging away. The poster below is by the one and only Kate LeDeuce, part of a series of gorgeous posters for the Garnet (231 Hunter St. Peterborough) I'm pretty chuffed to have my name on.

That must be Joel in the hat and bandana, but I'm planning on rocking out like an undead cowboy too. I'll debut a few new tunes and forgo my Luddite tendencies for a more electrified set. The date is Sunday August 19, and I go on at ten. Hope you can make it!

Monday 6 August 2012

Review: In Treatment

 I don't usually do television. Not the dramas, at least - a great tv show is usually only as good as a halfway decent movie. I like how the best films reflect on their subject for two hours or so, answer the big questions or maybe pose a few for homework, and bow out gracefully. Next to that, a fifty-hour multi-season arc seems unnecessary. Worse still, keeping things credible despite a neverending flow of melodrama makes tying it all together next to impossible.

But I was too hasty - I'd never seen In Treatment, a smart, original show that makes the most of its format. Most episodes are shot as two-handers between a therapist and his patients, the former played by no less an actor than Gabriel Byrne (if you haven't seen Miller's Crossing, see it even before In Treatment). The actors playing patients are of a high calibre, too - Blair Underwood as Alex is particularly impressive. The show is so focused on its characters that if it weren't for the difficulty of getting audiences into a theatre night after night, it could almost work for the stage. Each episode represents a day of the week, and on Fridays Byrne's character visits his own therapist (Diane Wiest), and reveals to her the fraught emotions lurking below his composure.

What's amazing is how unmelodramatic it is. Despite a cast of characters who are unanimously depressed, sexually confused, or undergoing messy breakups, there is a realism and a respect to the proceedings. That the psychoanalytic subtexts are working is proven by the long discussions Rebecca and I have after each episode, which often run longer than the episodes themselves. I've never been to a therapy session (honestly) so I can't comment on how accurate the depiction really is, but I'd bet the works it puts most police and doctor shows to shame. Throughout the show you get the sense that Byrne's character is a normal, essentially decent human being, whereas a less sensitive show might make him a serial killer, sex addict, or opium fiend for a little extra dramatic juice.

The writing's good enough to make the characters and individual sessions work, but what's really impressive is how closely they're informed by the main story arc. What happened on Monday affects what happens on Tuesday, and you can't wait until it all comes out on Friday. Producer and developer Rodrigo Garcia deserves a lot of credit for his handling of the material, but if you speak Hebrew you might want to start with BeTipul, the Israeli source material for In Treatment.

So I was full of shit, tv didn't end with Kids in the Hall in 1994. I've only seen the first season of In Treatment thus far, but this is one show where I think I'll actually make it through them all. Anyone interested in psychology, exceptional writing for television, or well-acted drama should check it out.

Thanks to Chris for the recommendation!

Thursday 2 August 2012


I'm back from my travels and I brought you a little something. As usual I took no pictures of family, friends, or landmarks, but I do have a creepy doll, a broken calculator, a slimy seawall, a railroad magnate's chandelier, a traffic sign, an old man on a bull, and a warning about coyotes I'd like to share with you...