Superdeformed: Matthew Sweet’s Altered Beast Demos

This is not a music or mp3 blog, but I am a huge fan of Matthew Sweet. His Girlfriend album was one of the first CDs (not tapes) I bought with my own money and we named our youngest daughter Evangeline after the song of the same name on that album.

Needless to say, I like his music a little bit.

Now I come to find that he’s almost finished with a new album, Modern Art, which appears to feature album artwork of his cat sculptures. I can’t wait. But the thing that got me thinking about Matthew Sweet this week was listening to his unreleased demos for the Altered Beast album, code-named Superdeformed 1 & 2.

I’ve had his Son of Altered Beast EP for some time and I’m pretty sure I’ve had various mp3s of his copious demo albums for both Girlfriend and Altered Beast at some point but for whatever reason I’d nearly forgotten them.

This week I’ve re-discovered both Superdeformed 1 & Superdeformed 2 thanks to The Hype Machine.

Standout tracks (for me) are “Long Way To Go (Speed of Light)” and “Born in Sin” off the first CD.

So many of the other unreleased tracks are so good, you can see how they informed subsequent albums. “Bovine Connection” seems like “Cats vs. Dogs” off of Kimi Ga Suki Raifu, “It’s True” steals a riff from “Girlfriend”, “You’re Mean” could be a track off “Living Things” and “Girls” is a straight up tribute to Big Star’s “September Gurls

The second CD has some more well-known tracks that weren’t on his full-length albums. Tracks like “Ultrasuede” and the eponymous “Superdeformed” are both good but I really enjoy the atmospheric trippiness of “Money” and the effects on “Eskimo”. Those latter songs really remind me of “In Reverse“.

Superdeformed 1 & 2 are really great additions to your music library if you’re a Matthew Sweet fan. They really show how prolific and experimental he was/is.

Here are track listings (courtesy of Jon Relph):

Superdeformed 1:

Superdeformed 1
Superdeformed 1
  1. Long Way to Go [Speed of Light]
  2. Dinosaur Act
  3. Devil with the Green Eyes
  4. Reaching Out
  5. Do It Again
  6. In Too Deep
  7. Evergreen
  8. Bovine Connection
  9. Time Capsule
  10. Born in Sin
  11. Put It Together [Finding Out]
  12. Fantasy World
  13. You’re Mean
  14. It’s True [Something’s Got to Give]
  15. Girls [Cobra Girls]

Superdeformed 2:

Superdeformed 2
Superdeformed 2
  1. Ugly Truth
  2. Falling
  3. Eskimo
  4. Ultrasuede
  5. Money [Marnie]
  6. Superdeformed
  7. Wait And See [Open Eyes]
  8. Idiot Child
  9. So Blue [Finally So Blue]
  10. Weekend Outlaw
  11. What Do You Know [What Do You Know?]
  12. The End
  13. Trace Of Love
  14. Drugs

Happy Listening!


So this is a little train-of-blog that I hope you’ll indulge me in.

I spent a small fraction of my morning updating a “Web 2.0” document that basically categorizes and catalogs sites that fit into the “Web 2.0” mold. I taught a class on the topic yesterday (similar to my blogging presentation) so I owe folks here 2 PowerPoints.

I know.

Anyhow, one of the sites I added to my list was Muxtape, a cool, retro-themed, one-hit-wonder of a Web 2.0 site that I’d heard about and even visited but not used.

Then Kottke’s post showed up in my feed reader and I spent some of the best 2:42 of my life. Several times over, indeed.

Minutes later I saw Thomas’ post and now I’m hooked. Incidentally, Tony had somehow dropped off my reading list. Rectified now.

The proposition, interface and site are simple. That’s the appeal.

It speaks to those of us who made mixtapes (and CDs) and want to perhaps share our abiding musical love but aren’t willing to start a music blog and get snarfed up by The Hype Machine.

As a side note, I’ll be using The Hype Machine to find the mp3s for my own as-yet-undone Muxtape. Wish me luck.

Anyhow, try the site out. It really does give you that mixtape/CD comp feel despite being all “social media”/”Web 2.0”.

Enjoy your Wednesday!