The Suitcase Junket
Matt Lorenz’s vision, manifest in The Suitcase Junket, developed in the tension between the grand and the solitary. Grand in its imagery, sound, and staging. Solitary in its thrift and self-reliance. What instruments he requires, Lorenz builds from scratch and salvage. What parts five players would perform, he performs alone. The spectacle of his one-man set bears constant comparison to legends of showmanship, brilliance, madness, and invention.
While audiences are captivated by his solitary form and the show itself, Lorenz, who homesteads with rescue dogs and chickens in rural Western Massachusetts, is most serious about the songs. He has been building a catalog, writing a world into existence. Solitary on stage and on the road, his mind is crowded with characters, narratives, voices, imagery, sounds as wide and varied as mountain throat singers and roadhouse juke boxes, plus newsreels of the planet’s destruction and salvage. With this 2020 release, The End is New, Lorenz’s grand vision for the song overrides the how of it.
The End is New is an artist expanding his possibilities, collaborating, matching his lyrical power over eleven tracks with the epic sounds and narratives of his imagination. “Black Holes and Overdoses” riffs off the unrelenting news cycle, the numbness that wants for oblivion. “And Then There Was Fire” finds Lorenz reflecting on current events, inspired by the destructive wildfire in Australia, which seems like three years ago at this point, but took place right at the end of last year and beginning of this year. “Light a Candle” is the simmering doom of lost love. “Can’t Look Away” protests the overuse of a planet. “Jesus! King of the Dinosaurs” is a romp poking fun at extremists and biblical timelines.