30 Throwbacks in 30 Days: The Best Matthew Santos Songs You've Never Heard
The first thing you should know about Matthew Santos is that he is a prolific song writer. His songs often stem from life experiences and tend to circle around the complexities of love and relationships. Also, they tend to pop up in clusters around specific stages in his life. He may write several songs about a specific time period and then never write about it again. It is also worth noting that Matt tends to move on very quickly from the emotional gratification he experiences from writing and playing a song. Once he has sufficiently expressed himself it becomes more and more difficult to conjure up those same emotions, and the song looses its appeal to him. It is usually at that point that others are just beginning to really know the song and have already been affected by a powerful live performance of that song.
Not many people have had the privilege of listening to the transformation of his music throughout the years, from bedroom rehearsals and coffee shop performances to rough recordings and ultimately lavish productions of once simple melodies.
It is because of my appreciation for these powerful, deeply emotional, and often forgotten songs that I have decided to relive some of the magic by listening to one “throwback” a day for 30 days and posting the song to my Twitter feed for everyone to remember (for the few people that can), and partly to reintroduce them to those that might not know just how many Matthew Santos songs are really out there. And it is also worth noting that these are only a small sampling of the songs that have actually been played for an audience at some point in time, but no official recoding exists. I firmly believe that there are hundreds more that not a single sole has ever heard, besides Matt of course. Below is the list of songs— some of which I admittedly do not have a recording of, but still thought to be worthy of remembrance. The lovely and talented Aviva Jaye has also helped in rounding out this list to an even 30.
I can’t remember if I have shared this before, but it doesn’t hurt to share it now. On January 3rd, 2010, I examined what it means to start a new year:
It seems that most people feel like a new year represents a new start, a fresh beginning, an unused opportunity to create something exciting and different. You create a plan or goal, or set guidelines by which to measure your progress or activity throughout the year, or for the rest of your life. Some people set goals about weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating, all of which usually stem from the overindulgence and debaucherous activities over the past several weeks, if not months. Others set loftier goals about life achievements, debt, artistic endeavours, travel, gadget purchases, vacations, and so on. We spend our time reflecting on the year, or in the case of the end of a decade, the last ten years, looking back on failures and wins we say, “this is what I’ve learned,” or “look how far we’ve come,” and then proceed to press on and continue living our lives, some of us striving to blaze a trail, others simply aspiring to survive the next one. I have often splashed about this space, this interconnected place, within myself sometimes flailing, sometimes laughing, sometimes angry and frustrated, and often times crying on the inside. This space is where I long to create something of value and importance and significance, to shape, to shift, to incite, to uplift or simply support. This is what I do. I challenge myself and others. I’m searching for an outlet, a means to an end, a place or space to use my voice for its intended purpose in life, which in all honesty I have no idea what that is. I am searching for ways to utilize my greatest talent, one that I often take for granted and even abuse on occasion, something I fear and crave at all times, writing. Writing is both a source of complete comfort and gut wrenching apprehension. I suppose if it were anything else, anything less, it wouldn’t be as important or meaningful to me. So in this year, two thousand ten, there are many things I will set my mind and my sights to. There will be many goals, far and wide that I will attempt to conquer. There will be many journeys I will set fourth on, and I hope to share these experiences with you. I hope to share my story. I hope to share my ups and downs. I hope to share my successes and failures. Through it all, I hope to share my lessons learned and find a place for this voice I have inside of me. Through it all, I hope to be effected by everything. Salvador Dali once said, “Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.” In the end, I hope to find my way.
Today is October 23rd, 2010, and somehow I feel further away from discovering that “place” I’ve been looking for. Right at this moment (especially after having just read my thoughts from over nine months ago), I feel that overwhelming sense of optimism from earlier in the year fading away to reveal emptiness and loss. I feel just as lost as I did in January and frustrated with myself for not having figured it all out by now. I have to admit this reflection was inspired by a Senior Writer at Fast Company, Ellen McGirt. I don’t really feel I have earned the right to call her a colleague, but we do work for the same magazine. Ellen delivered an extremely personal TEDx presentation in Greenville, SC earlier in the year. She spoke on how her life was transformed as a result of her willingness to “show up,” in life— to meet people, to talk with them, and to provide a safe space where anyone can be themselves even for as little as 15 minutes. She ended on a particular note that struck a deep nerve, "Go out into the world and just be who you are, what a gift you are going to be." I must admit I started to cry. As someone who endlessly tries to challenge myself and the world around me, the one thing I can’t seem to overcome is finding a direction for my life. The implication in Ellen’s story, that somehow just being myself is enough, is both comforting and terrifying. I don’t want to fail. I hope to one day embrace the notion of stillness and inner peace, though restless I remain. In the end, I hope to find my way.