Harry Partch, Gustavo Romero, Diamanda Galas, Pacific Strings, inside the opera, best organs, best pianos, the composer, the concertmaster, the piano tuner, the tenor, the symphony player’s wife
Various Authors 6:22 p.m., Sept. 24
1) There Goes My Baby
2) Black Mountain Road
3) You'd Be Surprised
4) El Cajon
5) Penny Cup
6) Sour Cream and Chives
7) They're All Busy Now
8) If I Could
10) You'd Be Surprised (acoustic)
Terry Matsuoka hits high, soulful notes on seduction songs, and his lyrics are crunchy-beautiful. From "There Goes My Baby," Matsuoka croons the lines, "She's got my thoughts in knots/ my heart in combat gear. She's got automatic machine gun talk/ She's got a pair of angry ears."
On Totally Rad, Matsuoka's lyrics give a nod to buses from UTC and surfing at the beaches, and a gritty ballad to the city of El Cajon growls with heavy-fuzz electric guitar. Musically, there's beatbox and rapping along with surf chords and beach-rhythm bongos -- every flavor of Southern California.
On this album -- his second -- Matsuoka seems hesitant of his talent and has no need to be. If Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson can break the national scene with similar, less-inspired music, then Matsuoka can build some confidence in his vocals and do the same, or better.
--- Hometown CD Review 9-6-07