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Jonah Matranga - Livin SmallPosted Friday, December 11, 2009, at 8:50 AM
Jess & Jonah - the Bottleneck,
Lawrence, KS, 2003
Jonah Matranga creates beautiful, heartfelt, enormous lyrics and guitar hooks. The music is full of passion and power; simple, yet perfect. He embeds his heart and life into the sounds he emanates. His interaction with everyone around him (before, during, after shows) is alluring.
Jonah isn't huge or nationally popular. That's how he wants it. Maybe I'm selfish, but that's how I like it too. Jonah is very personable. He's awe-inspiring and ready to give his art to the world.
San Francisco is home to Jonah. In 1991, he began his early career in Sacramento with the band Far. Far released Listening Game in 1992, Quick in 1994, Tin Cans with Strings to You in 1996 and Water & Solutions in 1998. Far disbanded in December of '98. Lend your ears to Job's Eyes from Tin Cans.
Soon after, Jonah began to preform under the moniker onelinedrawing, his solo project. He released two EPs Sketchy EP #1 and Sketchy EP #2. Also in 2000, Always New Jan-Jun 2000 and Always New Jul-Dec 2000 were released.
In 2000, New End Original was formed. New End Original is an anagram of onelinedrawing, and it's music is mostly early onelinedrawing tracks. Backed with a live band, Jonah toured the nation. Unfortunately, only one album was released, Thriller, in 2001.
After the demise of New End Original, Jonah fell back to his solo muse. In 2001, he released Always New 2001. In 2002, Visitor was released and in 2004 The Volunteers was released, both through Jade Tree Records. Give Livin' Small a listen from The Volunteers.
In 2005, Jonah released There's a Lot in Here, a CD/DVD. This piece features recordings of classic songs from onelinedrawing and New End Original. This release is a look into the past and future of Jonah's endeavors. It shows his rock style along with his intimate, "home" life.
Later in 2005, Sketchy EP #3 was released. In 2006, The Three Sketchys was released. The Three Sketchys is an anthology containing his three "sketchy" albums. The song Oh, I'm So Lucky, off Sketchy EP #3 shows Jonah's ability to improv musically and include his fans into his projects. In 2007, Jonah released a full length, titled And.
Earlier this year, Far regrouped and signed to Vagrant Records. They are finishing up their fifth full-length, titled At Night We Live and plan an early 2010 release. This is some of the most beautiful news I've heard this year. They released a cover of Ginuwine's Pony.
Give any of it a listen. Jonah gives all his grace and passion through his voice, lyrics and guitar. He appreciates his audience and hopes to share his timeless accomplishments. This probably isn't as much as I wanted to write, but I know you've been waiting for more music reviews, and I could write a book about this man. An amazing, talented person, really.
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Jessica is the webmaster for Missouri Valley College and past graphic designer for The Marshall Democrat-News. She participated in the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and currently enjoys creating promotional art for local bands and venues.