...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Before They Were Blogged: M. Ward demo tape

Before M. Ward embarked on his own glowing solo career making mind-bogglingly terrific albums, and before he met Zooey Deschanel and started recording some (She & Him) music and playing festivals with her, Matt was part of a band called Rodriguez in the mid '90s with a strong college circuit following.

During one such university show around 1997, a kind future Fuel/Friends reader happened to pick up a modest cassette tape of solo material that Ward was experimenting with. Two years later, a similar (or maybe the same) collection of songs would end up in the hands of Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), who became fond of this Portland troubadour's warm, stark folk sounds and released his first album Duet For Guitars #2 on his own Ow Om label.

Third in a mini-series of "Before They Were Blogged," it has taken me over a year to realize exactly how buried and forgotten these tunes are. Since my reader actually converted them from that original cassette tape he still has, I'm fairly sure this is an unheard sonic collection -- one that M. Ward's fans will enjoy listening to as much as I have. Unfortunately I don't have much more information to go on other than what my reader tells me, but all the things I love about M. Ward are certainly here in all their humble, honey-drenched, warm, raspy vibrancy.

If The Devil Came And Promised Me Joy
Don't Crack
Made of Glass
Tom Violence
(Sonic Youth cover)
Must Be Waiting
No, You Can Never Make It New Again
Bye Bye Love
(re-working of the Everly Brothers hit)
I'm Going Higher


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At April 04, 2008 7:26 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Early M. Ward, what a great present on this last day of the work week! You're the best.

At April 04, 2008 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you repost the fiest monarch album?

At April 04, 2008 10:14 AM, Blogger Sally Jo Who said...

Can't wait to listen to this. I actually got into his music due to your mentioning him on your site. Thank you.

At April 04, 2008 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really needed this today. You have a knack for timing with your posts. Keep it up.

At April 04, 2008 11:33 AM, Blogger Yon said...

What a wonderful post. I remember when Howe Gelb posted Duet for Guitars #2, and my latter surprise at the quality leap when M. Ward put out his first 'real' album with the help of the some of the Gelb/Calexico crew.

This demo sounds so much more polished than the 'Duet' demos published by OW OM.


At April 04, 2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Caleb said...

....thank you.

Peace. - Caleb

At April 04, 2008 5:34 PM, Blogger Amy said...

wow, what a great find...thanks! in regards to your post below...nada surf have become one of my favorite bands to see live. they're amazing.

At April 05, 2008 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was about to shut off the computer and go to bed, but said to myself "I'll just take a quick look at Fuel/Friends first..."

Now I suspect I'll be up all night...and I can't thank you enough.

At April 09, 2008 8:54 AM, Blogger Gary Wells said...

Very nice. I actually own this cassette. I was part of the small but faithful Rodriguez/Matt Ward fan base in San Luis Obispo. (I'm glad someone posted it on here because I don't have the technology to make my cassettes digital.)

O there are other Ward demos out there, too.... some great stuff. A few of them are in boxes somewhere in my house...

We all knew this he was going somewhere with his music. Great guy. Ridiculous talent.

At April 14, 2008 9:38 PM, Blogger heather said...

thanks Anon for the comment. I did try at one point to contact him via his label (I believe) and never heard anything back. I figured if they didn't want it out there, I'd hear about it.

At April 21, 2008 11:32 AM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Wow, these are exquisite! Thanks so much for sharing them.

At May 24, 2008 8:58 PM, Blogger Davenports said...

Very cool! I too was a fan in the old San Luis days...Funny, I have a Little Wings demo too..Thank you!

At October 15, 2008 9:09 PM, Blogger Jeremy Brugger said...

anyway you could repost this m.ward and the fiest monarch album?

At October 22, 2008 2:25 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

could you repost this audio? not workin' for me...maybe i missed out?!

At December 02, 2008 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi do you think you can repost the zip file? thanks!


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