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NEWS - Matt Rendon


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(Recent incarnation of The Resonars live band - Matt Rendon pictured front right)

Been thinking a lot about mixtapes lately. Our daughter had a friend over recently and they were making Spotify mixes for each other on the other's tablets and I was struck by the normalcy of the situation for them. Our daughter loves CDs and cassettes and is getting into LPs - not sure if that's because Lisa & I are telling her they're "cool" or if she's genuinely interested? Time will tell I guess, but by and large it's seeming like their generation has a dwindling reliance on physical media (like it or not). So this is their mixtape. People have expounded (at length) on the idea of "the mixtape" for years now, but here's some thoughts from me. I've been making mix tapes (and later mix CDs) for friends, family and loved ones for decades now. My friends and I used to swap faves back and forth and it was a HUGE part of how I discovered music as a young person. Had I not had older and/or wiser folks with better taste than me guiding me along the way, who knows where I'd be now? They're powerful communicators, despite the fact that you're relying on someone else's words or music to speak for you. The right mixtape can change lives. (I know that sounds fucking cheesy, but I believe it's true - in fact, two mix tapes I made can be credited for helping me to woo Lisa.)

(some of my personal mixtapes that friends made for me that I unearthed from a box in our basement - some of these are 30 years old!)

(some track lists... not showing you the one I made for Lisa. That's private. :) )

We have our friend Layla from San Francisco (former drummer in The Wrong Words, Top Ten, and more) to thank for introducing us to The Resonars. After we'd released the first Wrong Words album, she very graciously left behind three mix CDs in our van of various tracks she'd made for car listening for a Wrong Words tour and tucked away on one of them was a song called "Marina". There was no track listing, so we had to guess the title and assumed it was an unheard late-Sixties pop gem (as it was mixed in with tracks like that). Both Lisa and I were obsessed with it and eventually we had to ask her who it was by. "Oh, that's "Marina" by The Resonars" she said "it's my old friend Matt's band from Tucson. It's just him, really and he's been making albums since the Nineties". We were floored! The "That Evil Drone" LP on Burger had even been out for a couple years by that point and we were kicking ourselves for having been so oblivious - we looked up everything we could and couldn't believe we'd never heard them (him) until then. Matt is (in our opinion) a genius. His music is everything that ticks the boxes for us; memorable and hooky songwriting that fuses the rock dynamism of The Who with the lush vocal harmonies of The Hollies (years later we'd find out that Matt doesn't really count The Hollies as an influence, which blew my mind!) - plus he records everything himself, which - if you've heard The Resonars albums, you know that's an astonishing fact. There's lots of "lone man in the studio" projects out there (especially these days), but it takes a deft hand & a special kind of magic to make it sound as natural & fluid to suspend the disbelief that you're listening to the work of ONE GUY and not a whole band. We eventually got in touch with Matt and told him we'd love to work with him if he was game (thankfully he was) and in a couple of years we finally had the "Long Long Thoughts" EP in our mitts. Right around then he had finally solidified a Resonars live lineup for the first time since the Nineties with some friends and musician ringers in Tucson and they played our SXSW day party at Trailer Space Records (RIP) in 2012. The minute they launched into song and hit those three-part harmonies (perfectly, I might add) I welled up with tears. It was glorious. In the years that followed, Matt would release another Resonars LP on Burger (the fantastic "Crummy Desert Sound" in 2013), and the very excellent Butterscotch Cathedral album (basically The Resonars' "psychedelic" concept album - we had the honor of releasing that in 2015). It would take 'til 2019 until we finally got our Resonars LP proper and it was worth the wait.

So yeah - thanks to Lisa, Layla, Trish, Laura, Scott, Andy, Karen, Jen & Jen (among too many others to list) for all the tunes over the years.

"No Exit" is available on LP HERE

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