In Between Stations
Excerpts from a review by Sean Piccoli, pop-music writer, Tribune Wire Services: 'An intriguing collection of spoken-word pieces set to responsive percussion and loops... 'As it's title suggests, the album is concerned with flux and transition -- things continuously scattering and regrouping to ends unknown. The rhythms provide continuity as well as a flexible, sympathetic consort to the language. Matza speaks words that are chosen not just for what pictures they might evoke, but often their phonic similarities... 'This is where the words themselves seem to be in cahoots, swapping code and winking at one another like traffic lights as they carry -- and alter -- thoughts along the linguistic chain. This is not a groundbreaking form of manipulation; verbal association is as old and familiar as child's play. But the Weeds do it with an attention to form that is both structured and, within the edifice, free-ranging. The words then go off the range altogether by slipping into the listener's brain and bouncing around in ways that encourage new, spontaneous word-gaming. 'Playing along at home might yield utter nonsense or a vision of the listener's own making. But this leap from author to audience is where spoken-word has, to my mind, an advantage over music in it's provocative power: Stripped to a bare soundtrack, or none at all, words without melodies and chords to suggest their meanings become more actively and creatively engaged by the listener. 'For anyone who thinks we are all, as somebody once said, 'creatures of art,' spoken word as heard on In Between Stations proves that one person's finished portrait can be another's palette. 'That, or I have become one of those people who sees hidden messages in the newspaper...' The Weeds is the brainchild of poet/spoken-word artist Adam Matza. The project is dedicated to the spoken word, the written word, experimental rhythm-based music and improvisational performance. Pioneers in the South Florida spoken-word scene, The Weeds take audiences on an emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey through the urban-jungle. From January of 1996 through the end of 1997 and again in 2003-4, The Weeds, featuring a revolving cast of talented musicians, played most of the prestigious nightclubs, coffeehouses, taverns, bookstores and record stores in South Florida, as well as participating in major festivals and events. Often controversial, The Weeds built a strong following and received extensive media coverage, garnering positive reviews for their live performances, as well as their debut release 'Beer,' the 1997 cult classic featuring 16 live, studio and radio show performances. After a sabbatical starting in late 1997, the Weeds returned to the studio and stage in 2003, releasing a new CD titled 'In Between Stations.' The Weeds adhere to the Miles Davis ethos of 'don't play what you know, play what you don't know.' The Weeds is fronted by Matza, whose intense, sometimes confrontational, style captured the imagination and emotions of audiences from the time he hit the South Florida scene in 1989, a time when few people had heard of spoken-word. In 1993, Matza formed and fronted the original, spoken-word based Baboons, which at the time was one of the most popular and infamous bands in South Florida. During his time as a Baboon, the group won the 1994 Jammy Award for Best World Music Group and he also appeared on Roosterhead's 1994 Jammy Award Winning CD 'Traditional Cock,' collaborating with the late Michael Kennedy on a version of 'Our Potential Legacy.' The year was rounded out when New Times Miami named the open mic at Blue Steele in South Beach as Best Open Mic in Miami, singling out Matza's performances as 'in-your-face-poetry.' From 1989-1994, Matza wrote for the Associated Press, the Miami Herald and XS Magazine (which was later renamed CityLink) and ran two popular open mics - 'Bandemonium' on South Beach (1991) and 'Wide Open Mic' in Fort Lauderdale (1994). As Promotions Manager for Squeeze nightclub (1994-1997), he was a co-founder of the explosively successful XS Music Festival, as well as many other music and art events. In 1995, Matza released 'Weeds,' a collection of poetry spanning a decade. New Falcon Publishing picked up the rights to publish Matza's poetry in late 1995, and two poems appear in the 1996 anthology 'Rebels & Devils: The Psychology of Liberation,' alongside works by William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson, among others. In May of 1997, Matza organized and produced 'Poetry-Palooza,' a 10-hour spoken-word marathon featuring more than 100 South Florida poets, writers, storytellers and spoken-word artists. The event drew hundreds of people and raised money for Kids in Distress, a Fort Lauderdale-based charitable organization. Later that year, Matza organized 'The Freedom of Expression Rally' on the streets of downtown Hollywood, again attracting hundreds and featuring several of the top poets and musicians in the region. CityLink Magazine named Matza 'Best Poet' in South Florida in 1998. Matza moved to San Francisco in 2004 and performed at the 2005 North Beach Festival, as well as open mics in the Haight Ashbury district. Matza moved back to South Florida in 2007 and is currently living in the 'hood in Deerfield Beach. He is working on his next CD.