What we're about to share with you is incredibly special, and a write up seems unnecessary. Instead, I'd like to tell you a story.
It's simply impossible to return every email that TGE gets, but when the music of Matthew Cassillo landed in my inbox I was struck. His music as John Parker Jr. and Family Ghosts intrigued me, and he was even more fun and gracious when I asked if we could do an interview. I'm always humbled that anyone at all wants to be part of a blog from my bedroom, and Matthew was one of those people; supportive, kind, and talented as heck. He supported TGE as long as I can remember, and I'll never forget that.
Today I am excited and honored to present a collection of John Paul Jr. remixes created by Woozles. Last month, Matthew passed away, and if you have yet to discover his work, now is the time. In addition to the collection of songs, Woozles aka Conor has enclosed a letter he wrote.
In case I don't ever say this enough: Please know that if you've ever supported this blog, said a kind word, participated in an interview or one of my weird feature ideas, you have changed my life. I love you.
"I recently learned that my friend Matthew Cassillo, who performed music as John Parker, Jr. sadly passed away from a rare form of Colorectal cancer at the age of 28.
Matthew was one of my biggest and earliest supporters. Around the same time I released my first LP, Ember, he released an album called Pseudocide. It was a simple album that was just his voice, an acoustic guitar, drum machine tracks, and some bass melodic bass parts. I absolutely fell in love with it though. I highly recommend listening to that original LP because it’s extremely raw, honest, and beautiful.
We both hit it off and found that we had a lot in common. He lived in Connecticut for a while and that’s something we bonded over. Sadly, I never got the chance to meet him in person, but we always said we would do a Woozles and John Parker, Jr. tour together eventually. It’s devastating to me that I never got the chance to meet him because he truly was one of the funniest and most genuine people I’ve ever interacted with. Every single time I had a new idea with a song I would send it to him and he'd always take the time to listen to it thoroughly and offer incredibly thoughtful feedback. I'd always look forward to hearing his demos as well because he was always able to capture feelings in words that I only wish that I could. He was an incredible musician and I can't emphasize enough how much of an impact my friendship with him helped me as a musician, and simply with being a better person in general.
At the beginning of 2017 I “remixed” a number of songs from his Pseudocide album. He really loved them and last year we released “Not Present” as a single on Soundcloud. We were planning on releasing the rest of the remixes in conjunction with each other and even playing a few shows together in support of them, but both of our schedules and the distance between us got in the way. These still sound a little like rough versions to me, but these are the versions that Matthew heard and approved of, so these are the ones I feel comfortable releasing.
With the permission of his girlfriend, in his memory I’m sharing these remixes I did of his songs. If you listen to these they don’t sound like remixes unless you’ve heard the originals, but I hope you can appreciate his lyrics and beautiful melodies.
Any money made from these remixes is going straight to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. If you could share this music though to hopefully let more people hear his talent, that would really and truly mean the world to me.
Tell your friends you love them now because you never know if you’ll get the chance again."