What’s Matt Nathanson doing that Taylor Hicks isn’t?
Thanks to a wildfire word of mouth buzz, Nathanson has built a loyal and impassioned grassroots following that drives countless miles to see him play, tapes his live shows, keeps track of his witty bon mots on fan sites and debates the meaning of his poetic lyrics. His website logs well over a million hits a month.
A million hits a month? Wow..that’s impressive. I’d love to know how many hits Taylorhicks.com gets.
In the past two years alone, Nathanson’s played over 250 live shows, selling out rooms across the country and good-naturedly stealing audiences out from under such heavy hitters as John Mayer, Train, Howie Day, OAR, Maroon 5, Guster, and Five for Fighting. His music has been featured in Road Rules, Dawson’s Creek, and Smallville and he recorded a version of James’ song “Laid” for the American Wedding Soundtrack.
I really wonder what the process for getting a song on a television show entails. While checking that out, I came across this site, which lists the songs heard on different television shows. This would be a great way for Taylor to go. I have heard some great songs that way, and it could open him back up to a television audience, which as we’ve discussed before, has it’s good and bad points. But, hey, it’s publicity, right? But does publicity always equal sales?
Usually when somebody asks me “Where did Taylor Hicks go?” I begrudgingly tell them. But, nobody knows that he’s the Teen Angel. Nobody knows that he’s released a new album. All of the promo for this album has just become an afterthought during a Grease interview. You’ve heard them say that right? “Oh yeah, and you’ve released a new album.” I know I’m going to get the same argument about how Taylor needs to do Grease to tour, but I didn’t think Grease was going to be good for his career last summer, and that feeling hasn’t changed. Bottom line, the music is second. He’s in San Fransisco for three weeks. He’s having one shadow date. One.
Instead of using digital effects and studio tricks, producer Ron Aniello insisted on getting a live feel by letting the songs breathe. “We did everything by feel as opposed to messing with it in Pro Tools,” recalls Nathanson. “It was a great way to make a record. It was relaxing and fun because I felt like I could just be myself.”
That’s an interesting way to record an album. I think that’s what is missing on The Distance. The songs aren’t allowed to breathe. Even though there is less overproduction on this one than the TH one, Taylor is still learning how to record. In the studio, his vocals sound rigid and strained. But on stage, he takes those same lyrics and makes them sound loose and relaxed.
Oh, and it looks like Marc Broussard has a genre of his own too. Marc Broussard’s style is best described as “Bayou Soul,” a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, matched with distinct Southern roots.
Kind of sounds like Modern Whomp, huh?