Hello, thank you.

I am Matthew Bates. Somewhere along the way, many years ago, my nom de guerre became Mat Diablo. Silly, I know. I am professionally interested in the creation, discovery and consumption of music and radio content. I am personally interested in classic motorcycles, anything snow-related, family, and churros.


On John Hughes (and his musical savvy)

One of the perks of my day job is getting to wake up at 5:30a on Sundays. Seriously. I get to host and program Resurrection Sunday on @91x, the cheekily named "flashback" show that I used to religiously listen to as a younger man. The torch was passed to me by the legendary Steve West, (via the legendary Chris Muckley) and that's something I take pretty seriously, believe it or not. 91X may not resemble or even acknowledge it's storied lineage these days, but this is the one time every week that I can connect the proverbial dots, between the "old" 91X and the "new" 91X.

In any case, I felt it only appropriate to curate a musical tribute to John Hughes this past Sunday. In addition to his skills as a writer, producer, and director...the man knew his music. You will be hard pressed to find anyone in the world of modern day music supervision that is so effortlessly in touch with the soundtrack to a generation, much less anyone that can so perfectly align sound with image in just a memorable way.

Was it predictable to start with Simple Minds and finish with Yello? Yep. But I wasnt trying to win hipster points...I merely aimed to evoke some joyful nostalgia amongst those who grew up with the man's work.

In death, as in life- John Hughes' work speaks for itself. Listen below:

John Hughes- A musical retrospective



On quarterly musical obsessions (UPDATED)

I have a pretty solid track record of identifying and presenting musical trends, more or less. It was even the foundation on which I made my living for many years. Im not infallible...I have been very wrong in the past, but I have also been very right.

That said, as I get older- I am less inclined to immediately jump up and proclaim every interesting piece of music to be the next big thing. It's more of a quarterly thing... four or five times a year I find my new favorite song, and I subsequently spend the next few weeks feverishly evangelizing for it.

So far this year i've had 3 new favorite songs.

The first was Empire of the Sun- Walking on a Dream




Then there was Camera Obscura- French Navy

And now... there is Mpho. Her song is called Box N Locks.

Watch video here. (why on earth would you disable embedding with a new artist?)


80's aficionados will immediately recognize the sample from Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins.

Mpho is one Mpho Skeef...from the UK by way of South Africa. Martha and the Muffins gave Mpho full clearance to use the sample, which is not only unusual, but also very smart. The commercial placement and licensing potential of the new version of this song is limitless. I have to imagine that music supervisors worldwide are currently recognizing the potential in this song.

Additionally, its a total summer banger. Does this mean you'll hear it on your local terrestrial radio outlet? Unlikely, at least in the US. Too hard to categorize. Too edgy for pop radio and too pop for "alternative" radio.

So where does the "trendspotting" tag come in? This song is very good, but its not going to start a revolution. I am predicting a renaissance, however. A renaissance of that sweeeeet 80's flange guitar sound. Seriously. I think that flange is going to be the new keyboard in '10.


That said- I think that I have found my final new favorite song for Q4 of 2009. Ladies and Gentlemen, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Baltimore band Yeasayer. This is the video for their new single- Ambling Alp. It is also NSFW...you have been warned.

Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp" video - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.




On new beginnings...

Something new is actually coming to this space.

Something Wonderful.


Just working out some bugs and washing my hands of all my Drupal-related habits. Stand by!


On Xavier Rudd...

One of the more memorable live sessions that I have engaged in with an artist...

Xavier Rudd came into the studio on 6.25.09 in anticipation of his show at the House of Blues. He typically plays with a rather elaborate setup, so I was a bit nervous as to what his technical requirements would be.

He showed up with two incredible South African musicians on bass and percussion/vocals, respectively. Turns out they are Tio Moloantoa and Andile Nquebezelo, the late Lucky Dube's rhythm section, so it was a privilege to see them perform in such a scaled-down environment.

He was incredibly gracious, and afterwards I found out that he was grateful that I didn't hype the pro surfer/musician angle too much. The guy just exudes good spirit.

BTW- I didn't know that he was a devoted barefooter.Pretty cool. He played two songs for us:


Energy Song



Testing music widget integration

Does the music widget work with the Squarespace architecture?


Rolling Stones- Beast of Burden

Radiohead- Street Spirit RMX

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