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Jonah Matranga celebrating new book & playing live sets on fall tour

Jonah Matranga
Jonah Matranga in Wiesbaden in July (photo by Ron van Rutten)

Jonah Matranga (of Far, onelinedrawing, New End Original, and more) released the debut EP with his band Camorra (which also features Jawbox’s J Robbins) earlier this year, and he since published a book, Alone Rewinding, which also has an an accompanying USB drive of 36 songs written in conjunction with the book. Jonah says, “This is a book I wrote about raising my daughter while making music for a living. It’s for her, and it’s for anyone that’s helped me raise her by supporting all the music and ideas (that’s you).” Here’s an excerpt from a portion of the book that discusses 9/11:

New End was on tour in the US on 9/11. Hannah had just started second grade. I especially hated being away from her then, but she was safe with Heather, and they sounded okay. It seemed like the teachers talked about it with the kids as best they could.

Our show on the 11th got canceled. We spent the night in Champaign, IL. I sang on the street. The shows over the next few days are some of my favorites. I don’t remember details, I just know the rooms felt palpably different. All the stuff I’d always say about the power of music, community, loving ourselves and each other. It wasn’t that I meant it any more than before, it just seemed to mean more to people for a while.

Our NYC show was going to be a few days later, but Manhattan was locked down and in shock. We hung out at the Equal Vision headquarters in upstate New York. It felt strange being so close, and still having no idea what it might feel like to be in the city. When we got back on the road, we passed by DC. It felt like a tour of the disaster sites.

The Onion’s first issue after the 11th had the headline

God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule

I feel like reading that was the first time I was able to laugh through all the fear, dread, and anger in the air. What happened was incomprehensibly horrible, and the way lots of Americans were responding to it was a more painful and lasting sort of depressing. At a benefit concert, Richard Gere said something sensible about the option of choosing peace in the face of violence, and Madison Square Garden booed him aggressively.

I got asked to be part of a compilation called Sound Relief. My housemate Ian had shown me an old Dylan tune called With God On Our Side, and I was seeing if I could find a decent take on it. The words fit perfectly 50 years later, which is a testament to Dylan’s genius and humanity’s stupidity. I recorded it a cappella for the comp. Sense Field was on it, too. We did a release show for it at a majestic old theater in LA called the El Rey. It felt like a stadium compared to most of the places I was playing then.

Jonah will be supporting the book on tour, which includes both club shows and book events/house shows. There’s a book event/house show in Connecticut on 10/21, and the next day he plays a NYC club show at Mercury Lounge (10/22) with Meghann Wright. Tickets for that show are on AmEx presale now and the public on-sale begins Friday (9/22) at noon. All dates are listed below.

Watch Jonah play the Far classic “Mother Mary” acoustic at a house show in 2012:

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Jonah Matranga — 2017 Tour Dates
SEPTEMBER
Sat 23 Long Beach – House Show/Book Event
Sun 24 San Diego – Whistle Stop – FREE
Tue 26 Los Angeles – Hotel Cafe (2nd Stage)

OCTOBER
Sun 1 San Francisco – House Show/Book Event
Thu 12 Worcester, MA – Ralph’s
Fri 13 Boston, MA – Comicazi
Sun 15 Wilmington, DE 3pm
Sun 15 Wilmington, DE 7pm
Sat 21 Southbury, CT – House Show/Book Event
Sun 22 NYC – Mercury Lounge
Tue 24 Toronto – Cherry Cola’s
Wed 25 Ottawa – Pressed
Thu 26 Hamilton – Casbah
Fri 27 Tillsonburg – Sammy Crenshaw’s

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