New Tunes Tuesday/Unsigned Artist of the Week

This is Chad. Chad is Emperor X and Emperor X is awesome. Emperor X is our Unsigned Artist of the Week from our show last Thursday. Let's learn a little bit about Emperor X.

The first time I saw Chad Matheny play was this past summer at a house show near Boston College. We stood in a dingy basement light by one half-functioning strobe light and drank PBR sold (no doubt illegally) for $1. The room was littered with garbage, odd markings on the cement floor and large, stone walls, and a few questionable pieces of furniture--like a half-destroyed mattress and a rocking chair deco-ed with bottle caps. No matter the atmosphere, nor his surroundings, Chad knew how to get people excited.

He gave no introduction until the end of his set. He and Jeremy from Pretty & Nice just started singing--or kind of yelling, for that matter. It immediately grabbed your attention. Anyone who had a tall PBR can to their lips immediately stopped chugging, mesmerized by the passion and the intensity booming from the center of the room. Emperor X strummed on his weary acoustic guitar faster and harder than I've seen, and filled the neighborhood with his heavy voice, despite his relatively small body.

If he is to be compared to anyone, it must be said that he is the Ben Folds of acoustic guitar. He's got some heavy hardware on his eyes, and he doesn't fit into the mold of the picturesque singer/song-writer or rockstar. He's got some quirks, but they are quickly overlooked by his stellar performance ability and songwriting. Needless to say, I came away a fan.

Here's a video of Emperor X playing "Raytracer," one of my favorites, at some park somewhere in America. Elliott Smith fans--watch out for the Either/Or reference.

Also, go check out his website,, where you can download some songs off the several albums and EPs he's put out over the past few years.