Matthew Good

Matthew Good is a Canadian singer-songwriter, writer, activist, blogger, and constant creator of many stripes. Good's career began in the early 90s with folk-rock outfit The Rodchester Kings. It wasn't until the late '90s and start of The New Tens that Good reached mainstream success as the eponymous "Matthew Good" of Matthew Good Band, shedding the folk-rock genre for various forms of "alternative rock." The band released four albums between 1995 and 2001, garnering much critical and commercial success in Canada (it says something that the ballad "Apparitions" dominated Canadian radio for most of 1998.) His first solo album was released in 2003 to almost universal acclaim, earning Good three Juno Awardsnote , including one for best music video for "Weapon."

In the mid-2000s, Good's personal life fell apart: his wife divorced him, Good experienced profound dysphoric mania, and after hospitalization for a suicide attempt, he voluntarily entered a psychiatric ward for treatment for previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder. While inside, he wrote the bulk of the 2007 release Hospital Music, the last album necessary to fulfill his contract with Universal Music. To the surprise of Good, Universal, and the entire music industry, Hospital Music debuted at number one across all of iTunes with no promotion, hype, or advertising. Unsurprisingly, Universal offered Good a new contract, and since 2007, Good has continued to record, tour, and win awards. At present, he lives near Vancouver and is happily remarried.

Inside (and outside) Canada, Good is perhaps more infamous for his blogging, particularly his post following the 2004 American presidential election and his characterization of Americans, which earned quite a bit of controversy. Over the course of his career, he's maintained a blog of some sort (from the highly personal to the impassioned political). Topics of choice include: the rise of commercialism and the throw-away society; his belief in Canada as more than the puppet states of the United States; human rights issues (national and international); and the search for understanding. He is a vocal supporter of Amnesty International and Ceasefire (an anti-war organization), but his tendency to loan voice to thought earned him a reputation as a pretentious liberal. He embraced the attitude early in his career, appearing on stage during tours wearing a shirt saying "I hear Matt Good is a real asshole."

Fun fact: Good is credited with creating the phrase first world problems — all the way back in 1995.


Rodchester Kings
  • ...And in Closing (1991)
  • Left of Normal (1992)
  • Broken (1993)
  • Euphony (1994)
  • 15 Hours on a September Thursday (1994)

Matthew Good Band


Other Works
  • at last there is nothing left to say: Book. Originally published in 2001, then went out of print until Good's fame picked up again.
  • Numerous blogs and social media content. See the official site for a complete list.

Tropes Relating To and Used by Matthew Good Include
  • Artist Disillusionment: A rare case not aimed at fans so much as the media and cult of celebrity. Good struggled with his sudden celebrity status, to the point of intentionally sabotaging interviews in order to avoid the media.
  • Audience Participation Song: There are many, depending on whether the show is acoustic or full-band, but K-I-C-K-A-S-S is a popular encore chant.
  • Award Snub: The very rare inversion: Matt (or the Matthew Good Band) has won three Juno awards (essentially the Canada version of the Grammys), but refused to accept any of them, or even go to the ceremony. His reasoning is complicated, but his primary reason is that he perceives the Juno Awards as rewarding only those bands that make it big in the United States, rather than actually recognizing artistic merit.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Jenni's Song" was very popular in the United States during the band's Beautiful Midnight tour, but Good swore he'd never play it again due to audiences failing to understand the irony.
  • Bowdlerization: The US version of Beautiful Midnight simply removed words from two titles: "A Boy and His Machine Gun" and "Born to Kill." Guess which words.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Used for maximum horror in the fade-out of "Tripoli."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Good's early work in the folk genre can be quite a surprise if you know him for his rock anthems. Last of the Ghetto Astronauts is markedly different from Good's later work.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Hospital Music opens with one to devastating effect.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The version of Beautiful Midnight released outside of Canada replaced three of the songs with a few songs (and hits) from the previous album, Underdogs. The concept behind the album (each song representing an hour, from 5pm to 6am) is lost on this pressing, especially since the song for midnight itself, "Let's Get It On", is absent from this pressing. As this album was his band's breakthrough into the US audience, Good purposefully sabotaged all of his American press outings by being uncooperative or aloof.
    • Before the release of The Audio of Being, Good was told the record needed a radio-friendly hit. "Anti-Pop" was described by Good as his attempt at writing the worst song possible in order to fulfill this request. While it's arguably out of place on the record, this may be a case of executive-enforced creativity.
    • Matt has gone on record, saying he's never been given as big a budget as he was for Avalanche ever again, due to it not selling as amazingly as the execs had hoped.
  • Gold Digger: "She's In It for the Money."
  • Hidden Track: "Omissions of the Omen" from Last of the Ghetto Astronauts.
  • I Am the Band: Accidental. "Matthew Good Band" was a stand-in name the band attached to their first single, Alabama Motel Room, when it was sent to a local radio station while the band debated the name they wanted. Events made it impossible for them to contact the station before the single aired to change the band name ("Snowaxe"), and they stuck with it.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Good has pulled off more than a few, both on record and live, which is particularly impressive considering he was diagnosed with sarcoidosis and risked surgery that could have destroyed his voice.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Averted. In addition to publishing lyrics, Good enunciates ("livin'/"livid," for one example).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Good's work with The Rodchester Kings remains a case of this. The limited-edition Loser Anthems EP and Lo-Fi B-Sides fit this trope until Good included them on the second, "bonus" CD of In a Coma: 1995-2005 so that the songs would be easily accessible for all fans. For American fans, the "missing" tracks from Beautiful Midnight, and the entirety of Underdogs and Last of the Ghetto Astronauts were this until the advent of Amazon Canada, iTunes, and/or the rise of file-sharing.
  • Last Chorus Slow Down: Used a fair few times in the period from Underdogs to The Audio of Being.
  • Long Runner: 15 Hours on a September Thursday was a demo recorded after The Rodchester Kings won a radio contest and Last of the Ghetto Astronauts was released independently a year later, meaning Good's "mainstream" career began in the mid-90s.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: Numerous. "Hello Time Bomb" may be the most prominent example.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: It would be easier to count the aversions.
  • Manly Tears: Try to find a Canadian older than 25 that doesn't get a little weepy during "Apparitions".
  • Music At Sporting Events: Improbably enough, "Weapon." "Giant" begins as a parody of this, with a cheerleader chant overtop an ominous riff.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The phrase "last of the ghetto astronauts" appears nowhere in the album. The song with the same name was cut from the tracklist prior to release, making it something of a oddity.
  • No Export for You: Last of the Ghetto Astronauts and Underdogs were never released in the United States, and there are significant differences between the Canadian and US editions of Beautiful Midnight. Somewhat justified in that Beautiful Midnight was when the band (and their label) first began to make a push into the American market, but very irritating for fans who found themselves having to order the original CD from Canada.
  • Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Averted. Good's vocal range is huge.
  • Playing the Heart Strings: Any time an orchestra is employed, expect this. Played beautifully throughout Avalanche.
  • Refrain from Assuming: Frequently: "Kickass" is titled "Giant," "You're Not My Girl" is "Anti-Pop," and many, many others.
  • Tone Shift: From album to album and from track to track.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: A subversion of a subversion, and a rare serious example, in "House of Smoke and Mirrors":
    ''And loosely reconditioned to be just so refined
    A last grasp at the life worth living
    In these standard shoes and what's left of my lines''note 
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Good is a fan of ending the album on one of these, particularly one that clocks over five minutes or so. This trope was largely subverted during the Matthew Good Band era due to huge amounts of lyrical dissonance with the occasional straight example. Something of a Discredited Trope since the start of Good's solo career, where has featured gentle songs that aren't about a serial killers.
    • One of the band's largest hits, "Apparitions" is a ballad that goes rock for a guitar solo only.
  • Wall of Text: The video for "Weapon" features several that can only be read fully by pausing the video's playback.