By BRIAN BINGAMAN
It’s OK if you’re still in love with Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend.”
In fact, the last time he was on stage at the Sellersville Theater, Sweet was touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1991 album that landed him on MTV, by playing it in its entirety.
Although “Girlfriend” does have extraordinarily crafted songs that compel you to stop what you’re doing and listen — “I’ve Been Waiting,” “Divine Intervention” and the title track, to name a few — Sweet’s current “rock show” branches out into other episodes of Beatles-, Big Star-, R.E.M.- and Neil Young-influenced alterna-power pop from albums like “100% Fun” and “Altered Beast,” and a career that stretches all the way back to the mid-’80s.
However, because the songs from “Girlfriend” are still fresh for Sweet’s four-piece band, thanks to the anniversary tour, he said in a phone interview from his home in Lincoln, Neb. that the set list for an upcoming show Sunday July 13 at Sellersville was probably going to be “‘Girlfriend’ heavy.”
“I like that it means so much to people,” said Sweet, 49.
Sweet’s last album of new music came out in 2011, but thanks to a just-announced Kickstarter campaign, that’s going to change. While no songs have been written for the project, he did say that one of the incentives for the crowdsourced donors was going to be demo versions of the new songs. “When I make records, I have little of it planned. It starts with a (thematic) feel. I feel like it’s going to be good and fresh,” he said.
A newcomer to Kickstarter, Sweet said it was cool to engage fans while creating new music. “It’s the feeling that they’re a part of it, and you can’t take that away from them,” he said.
Check www.matthewsweet.com for updates.
Last year he collaborated with Susanna Hoffs (best known as the lead singer of The Bangles) on an album of ‘80s covers. The duo’s “Under the Covers” series has also explored their favorite songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s. When asked if there would be more, Sweet said that it was ultimately up to the record label that released the recordings, Shout! Factory, because, he said, “it was their idea.”
“Never say never. Susanna and I have known each other a long time,” he added.
Another songwriter and musician Sweet has crossed paths with over the years, Tommy Keene, will present his music as the opening act.
Among Sweet’s other notable collaborations over the years was a band project in 2002-2003 with singer/songwriters Shawn Mullins (“Lullaby”) and Pete Droge (“If You Don’t Love Me I’ll Kill Myself”) called The Thorns.
“I don’t really have anything currently planned (like that), but I’m certainly open to something if it opens up at the time. The Thorns was a specific thing. Pete and Shawn were already working together (before I joined),” he said.
Sweet recalled the first bands he was in during the early ‘80s. He had moved from Nebraska to the “humid” and “Gothic” Athens, Ga. Hometown heroes The B-52’s had unleashed two albums on an unsuspecting public, and R.E.M. — whom Sweet met after they played a show in Lincoln — wasn’t far from releasing their first album.
“At the time, it was really cool. There was this new thing happening. The woman who ran the boarding house where I lived was friends with (The B-52’s). I was this wide-eyed kid,” he said.
Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.
IF YOU GO
WHAT; Matthew Sweet, with opener Tommy Keene.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. July 13.
WHERE: Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 W. Temple Ave. at Main Street, Sellersville.
TICKETS: $29.50 and $45.
INFO: Call (215) 257-5808 or visit www.st94.com.