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Music / Matthew Good

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"Hello, time bomb, I'm ready to go off..."
Matthew Frederick Robert Good (born June 29, 1971) 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 '10s 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. note 

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."


Rodchester Kings

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

Matthew Good Band

  • Last of the Ghetto Astronauts (1995)
  • Underdogs (1997)
  • Beautiful Midnight (1999)
  • The Audio of Being (2001)

  • Raygun (EP) (1996)
  • Lo-Fi B-Sides (EP) (1998)
  • Loser Anthems (EP, limited release) (2000)


  • Avalanche (2003)
  • White Light Rock & Roll Review (2004)
  • In a Coma: 1995-2005 (2005)
  • Hospital Music (2007)
  • Live From Massey Hall (2008)
  • Vancouver (2009)
  • Lights of Endangered Species (2011)
  • Arrows of Desire (2013)
  • Chaotic Neutral (2015)
  • I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited (EP) (2016)
  • Something Like A Storm (2017)
  • Moving Walls (2020)

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

  • Angst: Matthew Good excels at this – lyrically, musically and vocally.
  • 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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "Bad Guys Win", from Something Like A Storm. Both the video and the song itself point out that "bad guys" usually have more power, and therefore win over "rebels".
  • Bad Boss: The music video for "Bad Guys Win" from Something Like A Storm features a thinly veiled Take That! aimed at former Fox News executive Roger Ailes. His employees get fed up with him, kick his ass, and drag him out of his own office... and upon their return, they find that he has been replaced by another.
  • 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.
  • Cover Version: "Moon Over Marin" and "True Love Will Find You in the End" on Hospital Music, and "Cloudbusting" on Chaotic Neutral.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Used for maximum horror in the fade-out of "Tripoli."
  • Dying Town: "Last Parade," from Vancouver, according to Word of God.
  • 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 also markedly different in tone, instruments, and lyrics from Good's later work.
    • The shift from band to solo work is also much more pronounced starting with Hospital Music, with a much wider range of sound beyond just "Alt-Rock".
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Hospital Music opens with one ("Champions of Nothing") to devastating effect.
  • Gold Digger: "She's In It for the Money."
  • Hidden Track: "Omissions of the Omen" from Last of the Ghetto Astronauts and "Hopeless" from White Light Rock & Roll Review.
  • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The tracks on Beautiful Midnight are numbered with a time, going through the night, starting at "05:00pm" with "Giant" and ending at "sunup" with "Running For Home".
  • 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).
  • Last Chorus Slow-Down: Used a fair few times in the period from Underdogs to The Audio of Being.
  • Long-Runners: 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: rarely does a song mean the same thing when spoken than it does when it's sung.
  • Manly Tears: Try to find a Canadian older than 25 that doesn't get a little weepy during "Apparitions".
    • In his solo career, he tends to include at least one sad, heartstrings-tugging song per album: "House of Smoke and Mirrors" from Avalanche, "99% Of Us Is Failure" from Hospital Music, "Empty's Theme Park from Vancouver, "Set Me On Fire" from Lights of Endangered Species, "Letters In Wartime" from Arrows of Desire, "Los Alamos" from Chaotic Neutral, "Bullets in a Briefcase" from Something Like A Storm. With the exception of Hospital Music and Lights of Endangered Species, these tracks are all the final tracks on the album as well.
  • Miniscule Rocking: The 54-second "I'm Not Safer Than A Bank" from Hospital Music, with particular emphasis on the "rocking."
  • 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.
    • This is true of more than a few albums: Underdogs, Beautiful Midnight, The Audio of Beingnote , White Light Rock and Roll Review, Arrows of Desire and Chaotic Neutral do not include the album names in any respect.
  • 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.
  • Take That!: "Anti-Pop" was written after executives at Universal requested a marketable single (it ended up being the only single from the album). The lyrics make it clear that the band wasn't too happy with the idea of being forced to write a "radio hit". Ironically, it ended up becoming a pretty popular song for radio play.
    • The video for the song may count as well: while there's an overarching story (involving the theft of a garden gnome that then takes a trip around the world), it's mostly an excuse for Good and his friend, Dale Earnhardt Jr., to do fun stuff on the production budget.
    • The video for "Oh Be Joyful" is definitely this towards the "over-produced" music videos of the time: the entire video is just a video of a fire, with someone occasionally throwing bits of paper into it.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Had It Coming," "We're Long Gone," and "So Close," all from Arrows of Desire
  • Tone Shift: From album to album and occasionally from track to track. The multiple and ultimately dissonant shifts in The Audio Of Being ended up frustrating Matt, who has disavowed several songs on the album.
  • Shout-Out: To The Who's "Young Man Blues" in "So Close."
  • 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, and the solo is cut from the radio edit.
  • Wall of Text: The video for "Weapon" features several that can only be read fully by pausing the video's playback.