Volume 2-2012



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Learning from Jimmy Iovine

Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine was featured in a recent piece in Rolling Stone, and it was one of those rare celebrity interviews that actually yield insight and useful information for people interested in music production and engineering. READ MORE...

On Selling Songs Through TAXI

Occasionally, as an amateur songwriter, I will open the account I have with TAXI, the Web-based Artists & Repertoire service, check out the listings, usually for those calling for Film & TV soundtrack music, and if I have something that seems like a possible match I will upload an MP3 mix and submit it for consideration. I never get anywhere with this past-time... READ MORE...



(Click here)

New Releases on RARadio: "Last Call" by Jay; "Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; "Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" from Actress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; "Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio; Apteka "Striking Violet"; Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along"; Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"The Musical Meccas of the World"









Original Musical Compositions and Select Covers

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Special Projects






This edition we spotlight L.A. singer-songwriter ANGIE MATTSON,  as she departs on her first extensive national tour.

Angie first came to's attention in 2006. She was listed among the nominees in various categories for that year's L.A. Rock City Awards, and wandering through the contestant sites I came upon her song "Sabine," about an over the edge mother who murders her children then buries them among her flowers. Angie's rich and eerie intonations, coupled with her poet's sense of enveloping exposition ("Ssshhh...the children are sleeping..."), called for additional exploration. I found an interview on line in which she discussed her love of David Lynch films and of trains - she has been photographed, in ruby shoes and a black cocktail dress, lying languidly across the tracks in a Union Pacific rail yard before an oncoming train - and of periods of residence in exotic locales (West Indies, Tokyo...Florida), and each revelation added to her mystique. Or at least so it seemed, but Angie, before departing to promote her LP Given to Sudden Panic and Noisy Retreat, was good enough to sit for one of RAR's torturous inquisitions.  ("Thanks for sending me these questions," she wrote. "I am home now with a chest cold and sore throat that better fucking go away before I leave. Ahhhh!")

It turns out that Angie the enigma may be a vessel one can pour a lot of imagination into, but Angie the person comes across as straight forward and surprisingly sweet. This is a girl has associated with "reservoir dogs" on the strength of her dark downtown vibe and her sophisticated sense of image creation. 

Angie had a small role as Chris Rock's girlfriend in the film Head Of State, and provided soundtrack for the documentary So Goes the Nation, about politics in Ohio leading up to the 2004 presidential election. She also has done fashion modeling, but creating music is where her heart is. There she is the whole package: brains, voice, talent, face and figure. 

This Michigan native, the oldest of eight siblings, has a sneaky way with a lyric and an obvious flare for writing radio-ready hooks. Her music videos reveal her to be a siren ready-made for broad media exposure, but Angie's telegenic appeal is peripheral to her artistic inclinations. The L.A. knockout is a savvy blend.

She will be an interesting one to keep an eye on as she extends her reach outside of her core L.A. community. It will be fascinating to see if the rest of America will "get" Angie Mattson. - RAR


Watch Angie Mattson videos on - click here.






by RAR


You just played SXSW. How was that? Had you played Austin previously?

This was my first time in Austin. It was better than I expected. I went alone and met so many people, everyone is so nice. I played a great show.

You are also off to the east coast. I assume this is in support of your LP? Do you have a plan of action for promotional touring?

Plan of action is just to play great. My management is sending posters and contacting local news places etc. We are all doing online promotion as well.

You have been playing both coasts, and I am wondering if you feel a difference between them. Do audiences in one location “get” Angie Mattson more than audiences in another? What are your “best” towns?

This is my first tour really on the east coast. I think the response is always good. It's harder in cities like New York and LA where there are a million shows every night. The best show? Since they are all well received I would have to say the biggest crowds that came out were in Erie, PA and Muskegon, MI.

I actually got this notion of “getting” Angie Mattson from you (in an email exchange some time back), which I have taken to be revealing. Do you feel that there is some aspect of you and your music that takes a certain perspective, attitude or insight? Can you explain what there is about you and your music that may make this so?

I don't really know exactly what it is. I am an artist and I think all artists create things that live in the standards of their crazy little heads. I do think there is something hopeful in my music.

Nobody likes to be pigeon holed and yet people like me do it to people like you all the time. I routinely describe you as a “noir, Raymond Chandler-like character,” and have associated you with “reservoir dogs,” whatever that means. Does that bother you?

Ha. I'll take it as a compliment.

Or, is it just who you are? You specify, for instance, on your MySpace site that you are located in “Downtown Los Angeles.” Why “downtown?”

When I moved downtown a few years ago it wasn't much more that a wasteland. I can live in a big old converted factory loft space for cheap. It wasn't crowded and had a small community of artists homeless people. It has changed a lot in the past 3 years. A lot! There's video stores now and a grocery store. There are something like 50 building being renovated into fancy lofts. It's getting more expensive too. I may have to relocate.

Your bio seems that of a natural bohemian with an entrepreneurial nature, an urge to travel, and a curious streak. If I got any of that right, how did you become this person? What childhood influences steered you in the direction you have gone?

I think exploring the forests in Michigan as a kid. There's no real exciting world there so you create one. Incredible things can be found there. And then the trees are cut down and houses are built. By then I had a drivers license and a car so I just drove away.

I sense in you that quality of “courage of self reliance,” which in my experience is often found in a person with a deep affection for solitude. Are you courageously self reliant? Inclined to solitude?

I like to be able to 'do it all myself' as a back up. It's a survival technique. I like solitude in doses and I truly enjoy it. I like to have someone to share experiences with though. It makes it more real.

At the risk of eroding your enigmatic appeal, what three words might you use to describe yourself?

Shy, simple, funny

As a male, I often wonder if females who pursue careers in entertainment or arts don’t feel a little weird about what I perceive to be an entirely different set of pressures. Or does being “objectified” just come with being a girl? Does this create any conflicts for you?

I don't feel objectified. If someone wants to drool or jerk off to me, they're the silly dogs not me.

Along those lines, you don’t come across to me as being particularly focused on intimate relations, and yet your songs and videos are all intoxicating along those lines. Is there duplicity of nature at work here? Is that girl in those videos you? Or do you view video performances as character portrayals?

I am a very intimate person when I choose to be. I think my music and videos are very honest.

What has been the process for coming up with your videos? Are you in control of those images? Or do you have management that directs these important image-creating vehicles? Do you work with someone to create the product we know as Angie Mattson?

I figure its best to just be me and if someone wants to make a video out of it great. I tried to create a video that was more stylized and now I don't show it cause I feel like its not me. All my videos were done with film maker's I know, and they were collaborative efforts.

All of this image conversation relates to who you are within yourself. You strike me as intensely distracted, or maybe just intense. I sense an edgy thing about you that doesn’t completely square with your history as a “free spirit.” Are you an easy person to be around? Do you keep friends?

I have a handful of friends who are amazing. We laugh a lot. They live all over the country unfortunately. When I find a close friend, they will be there forever. My sister is my closest friend. I am slightly edgy cause I value my time and space.

What is most important to you right now? Is there something in your life that is your all-consuming focus?

Well right now my music and my lover.

Are you in a happy place these days? Or do you feel on the way to happiness?

I am happy right now.

You have lived many places. Where is best for you? And why?

I think I need to get out of the city. I am not sure what is best for me. It's on my mind a lot right now. I think I may need to live in two places at once or on the road.

I sometimes wonder if it isn’t unfortunate that Leslie Feist, with her now almost iconic red Guild archtop guitar, surfaced almost simultaneously with you. (I think she’s a little older.) I really like the posters of you with your own red archtop. Is it just that girls with long dark hair look good with red guitars? Any thoughts on this parallel image?

I like to play lots of different guitars so it doesn't bother me at all. I think long dark haired girls look good with any guitar. I've never actually played a show with my red guitar.

I think you started playing guitar a little later than most who go on to pursue playing the instrument professionally. You are photographed with a range of guitar models. Are you a guitar nerd, to any extent? Do you have a number of guitars and, if so, what is your favorite? Why?

I have only 6 guitars. They all sound so different. I will be a guitar nerd when I can afford to be. There are so many I want! My favorite now that I play actually belongs to my Producer Nathan Larson. It's a pink 1961 Guild starfire. My favorite acoustic I own is a mahogany Martin D-15.

Your name, by the way, strikes me as great in itself. It pops right off the tongue and looks great on paper and on screen. I’d even go so far as to say it “looks” like you, sort of sharp and angular and stretchy. Is the name “Angie Mattson” on a birth certificate somewhere, or is this more clever marketing? What is your real name?

This is my real name. I often wondered If I should have done the one name thing. Maybe one day I'll just be Mattson.

You know how when you are a kid people ask you what you want to be when you grow up? Are you now grown up? And are you the person you had thought you would be? Or wanted to be?

When I was a kid I always answered "Movie Star" I never wavered from that. I guess I was a little off. I feel I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

Your tune “On the Bay” is quite touching, and quite different from what I know of your tunes. Is that autobiographical as it sounds?

Yes. My dad passed a away a few years ago, and it was hard. I realized how much of what I did was to make him proud. So for a while I wasn't sure why I was doing anything.

Now that I think of it, “Thank You” is quite filled with humility as well. Is that an impulse within you these days? Or during the period those tunes were written?

That was written for someone specific that I am very grateful to. That song could be sung to a lot of people I know though.

You recorded parts of Sudden Panic and Noisy Retreat in Sweden. That seems a long way to go to a studio. How did that come about?

The person (Nathan Larson) I chose to produce my record lived between there and NY. He had a studio in Sweden so we just decided to go there. Plus how amazing is it to go record music in Sweden?!

Are you “political” and do you vote? Who is your presidential candidate preference?

I do vote. Democrat. I like Hilary and Obama both. Maybe leaning towards Obama.

If there is a main issue of interest to you in this year’s elections, what would it be?

Healthcare and the war.

What might we expect to see or hear from you in 2008?

Lot's of touring. You'll hear some new songs on the road.











Learn more about Angie Mattson by visiting Angie Mattson's MySpace.





©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), May, 2012