Ken Leighton 8 p.m., Feb. 21
Sound description: Indie acoustic soul.
RIYL: The Urchin, Blue Elder, Scapegoat, Chosen Generation, Halfwit, Funkapotimus, Blackmilk, Ben Harper, the Jayhawks, Crowded House, Elliott Smith, Beck, Jack Johnson, Aimee Mann, Ray LaMontagne, Wilco, Sublime, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jon Mayer, the Decemberists, Lee Dorsey, Jonathan Richman, Money Mark, Willie West, Bill Withers, Squeeze, the Shins, Bright Eyes, the Ingredients
Influences: Beck, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Tom Waits, Jon Brion, Butch Vig, Rick Rubin, the Neptunes, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Doug E. Fresh, De La Soul, Jonathan Richman
Terry Matsuoka began his music career fronting the Urchin (which later evolved into Blue Elder), as well as playing in indie rock band Scapegoat, hip-hop gospel group Chosen Generation, punk rock band Halfwit, punk/funk group Funkapotimus, and funk/soul band Blackmilk. He began performing solo at area venues like Innerchange Coffeehouse.
On record, 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."
His debut solo CD, 2000's Raw Acoustic Stylee, was recorded in Matsuoka's bedroom with an analog tape machine and no electric instruments, using only acoustic guitars, upright bass, toy accordion, maracas, cardboard boxes, and human beatboxing.
On his 2006 album 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.
Totally Rad features Matsuoka playing all instruments (except for percussion by Aaron Irwin on “El Cajon” and percussion by Irwin and human beatbox by Joe Naval on “Sour Cream and Chives”). Those instruments include acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, pianica, and Rhodes keyboard. The album includes a song called "Black Mountain Road."
For his 2014 Handmade album, Matsuoka worked with producer/recording engineer Glenn Suravech. Female vocals were provided by singer-songwriters Joannie Mendenhall and Catherine Nguyen, as well as cello playing from Jan Elie. Matsuoka also had his bandmates play on the album, with Rodney Jones on drum tracks and bass playing from longtime Lindsey Yung collaborator Chad Tuthill.
As of 2017, Matsuoka was also playing with the Ingredients.