Terry Matsuoka
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Terry Matsuoka

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Terry Matsuoka, Raw Acoustic Stylee"

As published in the June 8th issue of The Weekly

Terry Matsuoka
Raw Acoustic Stylee
(Crunchy Sandwich Records)

“Music is the most perfect art”
-Albert Camus

It’s always intriguing when an artist crosses over into the world of music. San Diego singer/songwriter Terry Matsuoka is one such individual. Matsuoka, a Fine Arts graduate of San Diego State University, proves that artists can make excellent musicians and musicians can produce critically acclaimed artwork. His work has been featured in a number of exhibits including The Sony Artwalk and the Southern California Regional Exhibition at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Yet, Matsuoka has produced an album of songs also worthy of such critical praise. Raw Acoustic Stylee is a fine collection of acoustic jams recorded without the addition of effects, compressors, distortion, reverberation, or even electricity. This CD truly lives up to its name. The album is somewhat raw and completely acoustic. And, it is damn refreshing in this age of computer-generated beats and over-dubbed samples and guitar riffs. Even the handclaps in the song “Heart in My Hand” are authentic—right down to the occasional out-of-synch clapper. Such warmth is lacking in so much modern music.

Overall, the disc is a pleasant upbeat examination of the trials and tribulations of everyday life. It easily absorbed and very relatable. However, this isn’t a bland acoustic album. The addition of harmonies, creative percussion and a variety of cleverly added musical touches—like the human beat-box on the track “Beans”—set this CD apart. Matsuoka’s singing style is nicely varied as well. He can belt out a soul-felt growl as effectively as a heart-touching melody. The guitar playing is clean and refined. The absence of instantly catchy hooks is only a slight consideration. The hooks are there, you just have to listen to the songs a couple of times to find them.

Raw Acoustic Stylee is like a handmade piece of art. The warmth and craftsmanship offers a direct connection to its creators. And, the emotions of Matsuoka and his bandmates are directly transferred to the listener on this excellent local album.

-Jason Riggs
- The Weekly

"Singer/ songwriter Terry Matsuoka returns for performance at State"

The Daily Aztec
Vol. 92, Issue 10, p. 5
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Aztec Center welcomes alumnus

Singer/ songwriter Terry Matsuoka returns for performance at State

Fernando Ramos
Staff Writer

Whenever the insert booklet is handwritten, you know the band’s not messing around. Such is the case with San Diego State alumnus Terry Matsuoka’s solo album, “Raw Acoustic Stylee”.
The album contains a mixture of gentle satire, beatboxing, unpretentious idealism and gritty guitar licks. Matsuoka creates a uniquely poppy sound that manages to maintain a core that is unmistakably rocking, echoing his former involvement with punk bands.
“I had a lot of influences while growing up,” Matsuoka said. “When I was a kid, I was really into hip-hop and new wave, which was kind of funny, seeing as back in those days you either liked one or the other, and I feel that had a profound impact on me.”
Aside from his musical tastes, Matsuoka’s lyrical style fluctuates between the mournful and the joyous.
The song, “Where Did She Go,” manages to maintain a strangely reassuring quality despite lines such as, “Then she disappeared on me/ like gorillas in the mist/ I looked once again/ who is this cold-ass bitch/ where’s the caring sweet hootchie-coo/ that I once knew.”
It’s a celebration of human pain, not for the sake of the pain itself, but rather a reminder of the experience of being alive.
Also notable is “Big Brother,” a good-natured critique of television culture accompanied by western-style galloping percussion with lines such as, “My friend when no one’s there/ turn the channel when I get scared/ just take me away/ sell me food.”
Despite his criticisms, Matsuoka said he doesn’t see himself as a social commentator.
“Mostly I write about things which I find meaningful, but I’m not consciously trying to be a social activist, which is something pretty common in folk singers historically,” he said.
During live performances, Matsuoka performs live skits in between songs.
His more infamous stunts include drinking poison and pretending to be possessed by Elvis Presley’s ghost.
Matsuoka also makes spontaneous improvisations of songs and has random beatboxing sessions. On the less-extreme end, he engages in casual rapport with the audience on everything from music to emulating old-school video games on his computer.
Matsuoka’s effect on the audience is akin to that of a cool cousin you only see twice a year, yet wished would never leave.
Jason Riggs of The Weekly described Matsuoka’s debut as “(a) handmade piece of art. The warmth and craftsmanship offers a direct connection to its creators.”
With a vivacious attitude and reputation to match, all indications suggest that Matsuoka will deliver a live performance just as compelling as his record.

- The Daily Aztec

"Single In San Diego"

Asia: The Journal of Culture and Commerce
April 1, 2005 Vol. IV, Issue VII, page 14
by Virginia Loh

It's our turn to be heard.

Give a guy a guitar and a mic and all of a sudden, he is HOT! I noticed him when he walked into the room, but he didn't strike my fancy or warrant any attention from me except that he had a huge black bag strapped to his back. Other than that, I barely glanced at him. I was more into my drink. He had passed by my radar un-detected. And, I was the one who missed out. (This rarely happens, by the way. Most times, guys are the ones who miss out because I'm a pretty darn good catch.)

Even though he sat right in front of me the whole night, hours passed before I really saw him. I was in for a surprise and a rude awakening. He was called to the stage and pulled out his guitar from his large black bag. In less than a minute, he transformed into a rock star and I turned into a groupie.

I found myself very attracted to this man whom I had paid little to no attention to until he performed. I felt like a teenager in an MTV video crying and fanning my face with my widespread hands and yelling, "I love you!"

His name is Terry Matsuoka and he is so cute and super talented. He sings, plays guitar, performs beat box, writes his own songs, and is funny. You can check him out at his web site: www.crunchysandwich.com. After his performance, he was 10 times more desirable. To think, if I had only taken the time to talk to him, I could have known him before he became "famous" in my eyes. Afterwards, of course, I was too intimidated to approach him. He had legions of fans and I was just a girl in the crowd.

You could just tell that every woman in the room was looking at him in a different way. After all, he isn't what he seems. Terry had a rock star hiding out in his soul. Seeing him in another setting, casually, I would never have guessed he was so gifted. We let people pass by our lives, unnoticed, all the time. People are rarely who they appear to be. I remember this one time while I was attending the University of Virginia, I used to pass by this guy singing and playing his guitar in the downtown area. Every so often, I'd throw a dollar in his guitar case. I took a summer course on Faulkner and discovered that he was not only my professor, but well-known in academic circles. I had written him off as a homeless person.

Why don't we take the time to realize the talents and potentials that people keep inside of them? We rarely stop our lives to learn about each other. I am the worst at just quitting relationships. Getting to know people is hard work. I retreat when I hit any speed bumps.

How many guys have I let walk out of my life without giving them a chance? How many rock stars and rocket scientists did I pass up? Too many to count. When I am feeling particularly weird, I get into this kick of tracking down ex-boyfriends. One is practically a state governor. One started his own company. Another one is making records. I found something wrong with every single one of them.

We all cling to stereotypes and images of how people should be and what they should do. Such thinking hinders us from really seeing people for who they are. I have to ask myself: What makes me so perfect that I can project these ridiculous expectations onto others? I need to push through outer appearances and be open to discovery.

Because everyone has a rock star living in his or her soul.

by Virginia Loh

Single in San Diego- single@asiamediasandiego.com
Asia, April 1, 2005 Vol. IV, Issue VII, page 14
- Asia: The Journal of Culture and Commerce



Raw Acoustic Stylee- indie pop recorded with only acoustic instruments, no electric and no effects

Totally Rad- soulful alternative with the full band sound, sounds like San Diego



Terry began his solo music career while fronting his band- The Urchin. Playing solo/ acoustic allowed Matsuoka to concentrate on his songwriting and play songs that were a little more laid back than the ones he was playing with his alternative rock band. He began by playing consistently at the Innerchange Coffeehouse in San Diego as his primary venue (at the same time as singer-songwriter Jewel- who eventually recorded her first album there live).

The Urchin eventually broke up and then resurfaced with a different line-up as an even harder edged- Blue Elder. After representing Southern California in the Musician Magazine/ Ticketmaster Showcase, Blue Elder disbanded. Matsuoka's solo acoustic gig represented a more consistent artistic outlet than the band dynamic. Even still, Matsuoka has much experience being a band member. In addition to the aforementioned bands in which he sang and played guitar, he has also done the same in indie rock band- Scapegoat, has rapped and human beatboxed in various acts, played just guitar in the hip hop gospel group- Chosen Generation, bass in punk rock band- Halfwit and drums in punk/ funk band- Funkapotimus and funk/ soul band- Blackmilk.

In 2000, Matsuoka released his first solo CD. Appropriately titled, Raw Acoustic Stylee was recorded “indie-style” in Matsuoka's bedroom with an analog tape machine with no electric instruments (acoustic guitars, upright bass, toy accordion, maracas, cardboard boxes, human beatboxing, etc.). In addition to this, no effects (such as compression or reverb) were used in the recording. Jason Riggs of The Weekly described Raw Acoustic Stylee as "...a handmade piece of art. The warmth and craftsmanship offers a direct connection to its creators... damn refreshing in this age of computer-generated beats and over-dubbed sample and guitar riffs".

On Matsuoka's new album Totally Rad, he takes his alterna-pop to a new level. He uses influences from his love of music like 60's soul, dub reggae, rock-a-billy, and folk blues as stylistic touches to make his own brand of indie pop. Matsuoka brings together his skill and experience performing and recording with different bands by producing and playing all of the instruments on the album (with exception of guest percussion by former Alfred Howard and the K23 Orchestra percussionist Aaron Irwin and human beatbox on one song by longtime collaborator JNav).

Whether solo or with his 5-piece band, Terry Matsuoka's live show is an entirely unique experience in itself. In addition to performing his songs with enthusiasm and passion, his shows can sometimes enter the realm of a variety show. In past performances, Matsuoka has performed stunts like drinking poison, getting possessed by Elvis' ghost and doing dances choreographed by audience members. He also delivers hip hop spoken word and human beatboxes with remarkable ability. He has shared billing with artists as diverse as Steve Poltz, Patricia Barber, The Furious Four, Gregory Page, Carol Bui, Tim Flannery, Vienna Teng, The Far East Movement and Jewel at venues like LeStat's, The Viper Room, Java Joe's, Twiggs and the Casbah and events like the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Kollaboration, Street Scene and the San Diego Music Awards Acoustic Festival.