Home / Music / VCV: Matthew Stubbs – “Tube Top Temptation”

VCV: Matthew Stubbs – “Tube Top Temptation”

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I love the idea put forward by Bono in "Miracle Drug" about being able to actually see someone's thoughts take shape as they form from within. It's a concept I often contemplate while listening to instrumental music. These notes, the composition, it sprang forth from somewhere.  It has shape and form. It existed first in someone's mind before it was committed to tape or hard drive to then be pressed or burned to CD for my listening pleasure. I want to know what that's like, when life is breathed into the ideas and the abstractions take form. Add to that curiosity when these wordless songs are given a title. What is it in those sounds that evoked the image or idea described in the worded title? What is the relationship between those words and that song? Sometimes the relationship is tenuous if not outright gibberish, while other times, the connection feels direct and obvious.

I said all of that to say I imagined a slightly different storyline in my head the first time I listened to "Tube Top Temptation," my favorite song on Medford & Main, but my imagination is fully capable of taking that title and these sounds and finding common ground for them.

Stubbs has created a loin-greasing ode to lustful thoughts and the allure of one of the greatest inventions in fashion history, delivered by some of the sleaziest, nastiest, greasiest sax ever. Stubbs’ guitar churns and pleads while Sax Gordon's debauched tenor takes the low road, swinging and barking like a man ready to sell his soul for a cop of the goods. If it sounds unsophisticated and unrefined, it is — in a good way! Actually, that's not entirely true. This is more than the sound of boorish men contemplating bad behavior. There is a swanky little groove fashioned by Gordon and drummer Chris Rivelli.

Bono may have had thoughts more noble in mind when he imagined thoughts taking shape, but I'll bet he's seen a "Tube Top Temptation" once or twice from the stage from which he was performing.  Speaking of performing, check out the video of Stubbs, Gordon, and company bringing the swank to the people:

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About Josh Hathaway

  • love the title

  • Josh Hathaway

    Sir, the title owns and the song is even better. This live performance is a good representation but the song on the CD is really terrific. I love this guy’s approach to blues/roots/soul.

  • Good songs — well-written songs — should paint a picture and tell a full story. At least that’s my opinion. I love being transported by the music. That’s why I can’t tear myself away.

  • Josh Hathaway

    You’re right and it’s so hard to do with words and even more challenging without them. Matt Stubbs is a poet who never speaks.