Everyone who bothers to read my posts/blogs, is asking themselves who is Matt Jaffe? I’ll get to that.
In May of 1974, rock critic Jon Landau wrote “I saw rock and roll’s future and it’s name is Bruce Springsteen”. Tonight I want to take those words and twist them a bit, tonight I saw a future star of rock and roll, who takes rock and roll’s past and make it come alive, and his name is Matt Jaffe.
Thank you Facebook, thru the social networking I reconnected with an old grade school to high school friend, Howard Jaffe, who has been telling me about his young son Matt and now talented he was for a couple of years now. But playing pretty much exclusively in the Bay Area, I hadn’t had the chance to sample his music. Tonight Matt and the Distractions ( I assume a wink and a nod to Elvis and The Attractions) made their LA debut at a bar in Santa Monica, and not only did I get a chance to see an old friend, this lover of music found some new music to rave about. Not since seeing The White Stripes in their early days have I seen a young band with so much promise, and one that I am sure is going to make it big, one whose music we will be buying in the very near future. Young is the operative word here, Matt is all of 17 and immensely talented. A 7 song set, each and every one written by Matt was incredible. I was dancing and singing to each one, and would own the CD, if there was one (it’s coming). His song writing chops are ridiculous for someone of his age, at one point I whispered to his dad that the song he had just finished playing couldn’t have been written by a 17 year old, he smiled and said he wrote it when he was 13! This is what seeing a prodigy is like, bands/musicians of this age are suppose to be cutting their teeth playing cover songs, not an entire set of their own music. Amazing.
Matt’s guitar playing was stellar, his singing strong, his stage presence was more than professional and poised, he knows what he is doing on a stage and is certainly sure of himself. Their influences are clearly late 1970’s punk/alternative, the music brought me back to Manhattan, 1977, with strong doses of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, smart writing backed by guitar and rhythm. It should be mentioned that fellow bandmates Sammie Fischer on bass and Alex Coltharp on drums were strong compliments to Matt.
Clearly I am not alone in my like of Matt’s music, as in the audience tonight were two mainstays of two legendary rock bands, one of whom is producing the first CD for the band, and the other who has lended a helping hand by contributing to the effort by playing on it.
Go check out the Facebook page for them. If you like that sound, Elvis/Graham, great rock, you will like this band.
Thank you Howard for inviting me, thank you Matt and the Distractions for bringing me back to my youthful rock days by dragging me out on a Monday night for an 11P show, well worth it. Can’t wait to see you back in LA soon.