Wednesday, April 28, 2010

...On Setting Oil in the Ocean on Fire

Photo courtesy of NASA

Does anybody else think this is a bad idea?

I have another bad idea: let's continue to use oil to power our world.

Question: are oil companies truly seeking the best interests of us all or are they ultimately, simply, just trying to protect their bottom line?

Final question (back to my original topic): If you set the oil on fire, will the fire spread all the way back to the off-shore well, consequently blowing up the offending broken pipe itself, along with the very oil source this company has tapped?

Okay, I lied. One more question: who foots the bill for this clean-up - the oil company or taxpayers?

Good overview article about this thing here:

It turns out that BP owns the well, and they're responsible for the clean-up bill. Hardly enough, if you ask me.

One final comment: I *think* I *barely* remember when this other spill happened, about twenty years ago:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Remembering Music Theory

Today, for the first time in a couple of years, probably, I sat down at the piano with my music advanced music theory book in hand. I opened it. I read. I played a few chords. I can't believe how much has slipped away of these past few years. All composers should never forget - and the best do - that there is a myriad of tools at our disposal.

Today, I needed a refresher on augmented 6th chords. Don't worry if you have no idea what I'm talking about. This is just a group of three chords that composers use to move a piece of music to a new key.

It was awesome. It's the first time in a long time that I've been excited about composing non-popular music (unpopular music?) like orchestral stuff and jazz. Anyway, it made me want to go back to school to study music as a grad student.

I doubt that will happen.

Anyway, if you've been thinking about going back to school, I'd love to hear from you about what you'd like to study and what school you think you'd like to go to.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Poem for 1 AM

Zombie brain started just about an hour ago
That means all decisions are indecisions
Or at least that's what should be so

No man is as productive at 1 AM as at 10
I struggle to think clearly now
Though I swear I'm focused on the task at hand

Just minutes more til I break the omnipotence barrier
We all seem to know more about everything
Temptations become a blare in your ear

Your muscles have stiffened up, you discover
As you adjust in your seat, in front of your monitor
You now feel uncertain, and shudder:

Should I have gone to bed hours ago and chosen sleep over an exam, a paper, my ego, straining for that higher grade - or any grade at all?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blog Migration Pains

Okay, so I think I probably mentioned a few weeks ago that I have to come up with a fix for my website home page, so that I can update news on it. Blogger is discontinuing a feature of their website that I have been using for as long as I can remember - probably since 2006.

No biggie, I thought, three weeks ago. Well, now that I'm starting to get my hands dirty in this process, I'm finding that finding a solution is a much more complicated process than I had originally thought.

I don't care about static or dynamic whatever. What I care about are: 1) being able to update the site whenever I want without using HTML coding and 2) incorporating/allowing user feedback and commenting. My current setup only really allows for #1 of these two things, and, while I'm at it, I'd like to come up with a solution for both.

I'm looking in to Wordpress. Actually, I have it installed right now. But the issue I'm having is getting this new home page WP blog to match the rest of my existing website. From what I've seen, it looks like I'd have to create my own custom theme, which would basically mean designing a whole new website architecture/structure - even to get everything to look exactly as it does now - if I wanted to use WP.

Bottom line there: I'm a freakin' songwriter - not a web designer; and I can say with all certainty that in the past six years, I have spent way too much time working on web design junk...

Am I missing something here, or is it not that easy for me to just migrate to Wordpress, considering that I have primarily used a static HTML FTP publishing system and not a dynamic, DB-driven one?

Okay, so I might be talking over your heads right now. I hope that's not the case. Any help on this issue would be super-helpful.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Quick! Say something before it's tomorrow. Why? Because every day that you put it off is another day when fear defeats you. Also, I hate waiting for change. No, John Mayer, I'm not waiting on the world to change. But don't worry, I still like you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Live Show Retooling Continues

Each week, I continue to set aside time to working on improving my live show. Over the past couple of months, I've been working hard to incorporate my new friend, Mr. iMac. I just recorded a video of me rehearsing my song "For Nothing", using an Apogee Gio pedal, MIDI keyboard, and Apple's Logic Pro software. I'm still working out the kinks, but this should give you a taste of where I'm headed with all of this shenanigans:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comcast Promo Rates Forever!?!?!

About six months ago, I set up internet service with Comcast. At that time, the sales associate I spoke with said that I would be able to easily extend my promotional rate - an unlimited number of times - by simply calling Comcast the month before my current promotion ended to request an extension. Yes, an extension of my current promo - not a new one. I wasn't really sure about any of this, but I took it in stride...

And so, it has now been five and a half months, and I just called Comcast this evening. A cool girl named Dominique said that she'll have to call me back tomorrow, after she speaks with the sales department, to see about extending my offer. So far, so good. I should get a call tomorrow around 4 PM! We'll see. I have high hopes and low self esteem. (Yeah, I know that that doesn't make any sense.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Special Thank You to The Gap

On Friday night, I took a stroll down to my local Gap store to cash in a few certificates I received from the company for free jeans. Yes, free Gap jeans. It was my payment for driving my but up to Racine, Wisconsin, last summer, to perform for The Gap's Born to Play artist performance series.

Let me say that my experience at The Gap was superb. Thank you so much, Stephanie and Sanja, for letting me hang out with you in the store, after hours, trying on jeans and shirts, to make sure that I got just what I needed for my photoshoot on Saturday. You two were awesome! In fact, you were so awesome that I'd like to give you each a free download of my album, Glimmer. The only issue is, I don't have your email addresses... So, if you're reading this, please send it on over to this email address: email {at} jaymathes {dot} com.

You two are awesome! Thank you so much! I'll post pics from the shoot soon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eight Hours, New Vocals

Over the past two days, I have spent eight hours recording vocals and mixing for one of my new songs. It's called "So Far", and it will be up on sometime in the next two weeks.

Maybe it's just me, but I totally feel like I am a biased listener when I listen to my own music. I can play some of my recordings side-by-side with those from major artists and hear the difference, but not know whether the difference is bad or good or just different. Their guitars have slightly different tones, their vocals are just a bit more perfect, and my drums are never "Jimmy drums".

I guess what I'm saying is I'll let you know when I post the song, and I'd love to get your input about it. You can love it or hate it, but feel free to post a little something here...