Five Firsts: Matt Durfee of Palatypus

Matt DurfeeNAME: Matt Durfee
BAND AFFILIATION: Matt Durfee & the Rattling Baddlies, Palatypus

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Hmmmm, tough to say, owned many tapes early on, but the first one I bought for myself was probably Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey.” I remember getting yelled at for singing along with it in while I had headphones on when we were vacationing in Florida. Apparently, I didn’t get the concept that only YOU can hear headphones… The cooler album would’ve been Zep’s “Houses of the Holy,” which I owned and played down to nothing around the same time, but since I think I stole it from my dad’s cassette collection, can’t really claim that I “bought” that one.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … REM at the T.U. Center, back when it was some other Corporate Sponsored Arena. Two things really stick out in my memory about this show; the tickets went on sale thru a lottery system, and my dad was super psyched to finagle our ticket purchases into another guys’ block of tickets who had drawn a lower number. This appeared to be some mythical feat, like he’d beaten the devil at poker. I also remember the two guys smoking a joint behind us, they seemed like the baddest-assed dudes on the planet to me.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Trombone. I wanted to play drums SOOOO badly in 4th grade when I signed up for school band, but was told that too many other kids had signed up, and that I should try a brass instrument. I played trombone until I graduated high school. And all those drummers that had signed up before me?? Only two of them were still in band at that point…

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Cripes… I rocked a Lemonheads song at a school talent show, can’t for the life of me say which one it was – either “It’s a Shame About Ray” or “Ceiling Fan in My Spoon.” The second half of my act consisted of me playing Nirvana’s “Polly” while my “bandmate” danced around the stage in a gas mask and fell flopping onto the floor in some kind of worm dance. It was some pretty heavy, interpretive stuff…

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Uncle Remus. We were a terrible attempt at neo-jazz-pop. I wrote some of the filthiest lyrics I could just for the shock value of it (remember, I was like 15 or so). Some shining examples of my lyrical prowess that come to mind? “I’ll get Mother Teresa on her knees…,” “Don’t need the smell of a rotten vagina, my elixir is your saliva…” (I like to hope that I’ve grown a little since then). We recorded a three song demo and a live set, both of which mercifully disappeared. I insisted on layering this banjo track on one of the tunes, and our drummer edited it out on his copy of the tape. The bassist had to kill the volume repeatedly on one song when he listened to the three-song demo at home because he didn’t want his mother to be subjected to my terrible lyrics… Most of the guys in the group are still pretty musically involved: Bill Mattison is a member of the area rock band Union Boots, and our keyboardist, Andy Carballeira (who was the most naturally gifted), plays in the Left Ear Trio, a killer group out of Boston who happen to find their way to Justin’s in Albany once in a while. It’s nice to know that almost 15 years later, we still have our hearts in the same place.

Matt Durfee will be pulling a double-header on Saturday afternoon at the Pearl-Palooza street festival on North Pearl Street in Albany. He will be performing solo at 2pm and as a member of the acoustic duo Palatypus at 3:30pm. Durfee’s Palatypus musical partner M.R. Poulopoulos will also perform a solo set at 12:45pm. (Read Poulopoulos’ Five Firsts here.) All three performances will take place at the Envy Lounge. Admission is free.

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