Friday, December 7, 2012

Tubes, Family, and Christmas

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Merry Christmas everyone!

I do hope you've been having a wonderful time in between two of my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas, obviously). It's been a busy time for me and my family, and I see no signs of a slow-down any time soon - even over school break.

Tonight, my family is going to see the tree lighting in downtown Geneva. It's the kick-off of the annual Santa Lucia Festival. Apparently, she's a Swedish saint who gives out cookies. Awesome. We're gonna try to score a few sweets and watch Santa (not a saint) light this big tree outside the Courthouse on Third Street. (If I ever have another daughter, I might pull for the name Lucy.)

Next up...

What happened last week:

Eleanor, my 15-month-old, got tubes put in her ears. If you're not familiar with the procedure, it's fairly simple, but for a *musician* dad, it's intense. Read about it HERE. It's called a "myringotomy". I'm emotionally drained right now and kinda depressed. Hoping tonight will help.

And what's coming this week:

Two huge recording projects from some friends - one new, one old. Gonna be a lot of work - probably 4-5 full, 8-hour days in the studio before Christmas, but well worth it. I'll be doing tracking and mixing for both recordings.

And last of all:

I've had the weight of the next Restoration Project album on my shoulders for a few months now, with little forward progress. I've started tracking, but haven't really felt "right" about any of what I've done so far. I plan to bring in a couple of friends from Redeemer Fellowship to kind of get some fresh energy and perspective on things.

Gonna be interesting. Gonna be hard work. But I was just reminded again of a belief that I have long held to:

I want to be known as an individual who, by God's grace, has pushed the limits of human capacity - to live, to love, to create.

I look forward to the release of the next Restoration Project album in Spring 2013 and hope it breathes new life into our world.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm Not a Web Designer

I have a love-hate relationship with web design.

I'm not a web designer. I can do professional work, and I can get hired to do web design, but I'm not *in it* every day, if you know what I mean. I've taught myself everything I know about it by reading books and scouring websites for critical "code". (My brother frequently reminds me that HTML isn't "code" in the developer's sense. Or is it?)

WARNING: This post is technical in nature and you might just be bored out of your mind to read on. For those of you not interested in computer graphics, image rendering, or web design, I'd kindly suggest that you stop reading here.

So here's the point of this post today (yes, this is a rant):

iPhones and iPads and MBP's have been out long enough now, but for some reason, NOBODY has written an article that simply explains how to implement "retina graphics" on a website. Seriously. All I want to do is "serve" three different image header files to users that match three, different device specs: user 1: iPhone/iPad, user 2: Retina MacBook, user 3: lo-fi computer screens. Why can't this be easy? It beats me.

Next problem: WordPress (and Blogger) both need to update their platforms to support this function *automatically*. Seriously, Wordpress? You're huge. You don't even have a third-party plug-in that will do this well.

Is it too much to ask that my website looks great on an iPad? I think not.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughts on Kickstarter, My New Campaign, Etc.

I love the idea of Kickstarter. I also hate being a late adopter. Which is part of the reason why you haven't seen a "campaign" from me yet...

But the biggest reason, actually, why I haven't done a campaign is that I am afraid of not getting my project fully funded. And that would mean not getting any money at all to use for the next record - even if the project made it to 95%.

The thing is, I have been motivated out of a fear of a lack of support from my closest friends and family and those of you who love the music I write. And for that I am sorry. Please forgive me.

Beginning September 15th, you all will have an opportunity to support me in a new and unique way. By supporting me and the next record financially, you'll be essentially acting as an old-school benefactor or patron. This sort of an idea to support the arts is not new. It's been around for centuries. Mozart, Wagner, Liszt, Beethoven. Everybody has had them. The patron system is how music got made.

And, in some circles, this sort of financial giving to support the work of others is not just common, but almost expected. Think: christian missionaries. Do I consider myself to be a missionary of sorts? Absolutely. A missionary of music with a message that can hopefully, in some way, make some sense out of this world that we live in.

Today, we're seeing a *huge* arts resurgence - especially with music - where artists are reaching out to their fans to support them. It's huge right now, and it should be. AND, it should continue to be.

I want you to support my music financially. Yes, with money.

And what can I give you in return? Music. And myself. And my deepest thanks. For helping me do what I believe I am meant to do: make music for you.

In just a few, short weeks, I'll be posting all of the details for how you can support me in the coming year. Thank you, thank you for your support.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Searching for a New Apartment - Again

There's something that I have learned very recently (about 11 months ago): Looking for a new place to live is a blessing.

It reminds us of the impermanence of life. 

It reminds me that, in the most real sense possible, I don't really have a home here (not yet, at least). No place will ever give me rest - true rest - rest for my soul.

Transience is life.

Today I spent over an hour driving the streets of Saint Charles, looking for apartments for rent. The booty: three places. That's it. I drove every street in the area where we want to move to, I called all three places, and left three voice messages.

Today I find myself in an interesting situation: Time is short to find a new place. Prospects in our desired location are slim. So now what? Ah! The answer is so simple...

Don't worry. 

I'll let you know how I do, continuing to relish existence in the void of not knowing where I'll be living in six weeks. Update coming soon...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Top 25 Albums of All Time - #7

John Mayer: Continuum. Any questions? Really? Let's put aside what we think about Mr. Mayer's latest record for a minute and try to think about things objectively. This is a great album.

View my whole list here:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Resurrection Power

I'm not getting spiritual on anybody here. I believe that I will be resurrected one day. What!?! You may say. Well, here's the deal: if we're here for 70 or so years and we're gone, and that's totally it, then all of life is a sham. Seventy years is nothing compared with not living - not even existing - for an infinite number of days in the future.

Wow. That feels messed up to think about. Yeah, think about it for a minute. Have you ever done that? I do it too often probably. I think about what it would be like to not exist. To not be.

I have to believe in resurrection because it's the only way for me to not be depressed about eminent death. It knocks at the door for us all and there seems to be no way to stop it. I recently tweeted out a couple things regarding life and death - actually, more about how to live... (You have to read the bottom one first.)

So I asked myself the same questions. Here's what I've decided:

1. Yep, I'd do a few things differently.

Here's what I *would* do:

  • Buy that really sweet acoustic guitar I've always wanted but never thought I could afford.
  • Buy a vintage tube amp and jam on it. Cranked.
  • Write music. A lot. Then I'd record it.
  • Go on a trip to somewhere cool with my family.
  • Buy an iPhone.
  • Listen to music constantly.
  • Make my wife take off a couple weeks of work.
  • Finally get that Last Will and Testament written up :)
  • Take lots of pictures.
  • Eat a lots of pizza.
  • Go for a run or hike or something.
  • Say goodbye. Probably have a party.
  • Be really scared.
  • Read the Bible.
  • Share with people about what I think living is all about.
  • Blog about what it's like to know exactly when you're going to die.

And here's what I *wouldn't* do:

  • Waste my time watching movies or TV shows (you know deep down it's just a waste of time)
  • Put off saying sorry.
  • Get upset at my boy for stupid stuff.
  • Worry about backing up hard drives.
  • Record other peoples' music (sorry currently scheduled friends)
  • Teach guitar lessons (sorry students! you know I love ya!)
  • Try to meet the grim reaper early.
  • Check my Facebook wall.
  • Exercise rigorously.
And so, I hope to be resurrected one day. Why? Because I don't want to die. And I have to hope - because the alternative is terrifying.

Here you have it. The resurrected blog. About stuff that I think matters. Because talking about anything else is just like vegging out in front of the box. Get out. Do something. Be intentional. Stop reading my blog.

More posts coming soon, as I see fit.

You can follow me on Twitter, too: @jaymathesmusic

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Signing Off...

Wiki Commons:The_End.jpg
I love writing. Maybe more specifically, I love ranting. I like creative writing, developing a blogging voice, thinking about what to post about, editing posts, forgetting to proof-read posts, finding pictures to go along with my post topics, and the like.

But blogging is not writing music. Or playing music. It's a different creative outlet - one that I think I'm not half-bad at. But not one that I feel I should be spending so much time doing. I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately.

After much deliberating, and with so many things vying for my time at this point in my life, I've decided to focus my minutes more specifically on music for a while - writing and playing it.

To all of my subscribers and followers, I would like to say thank you for keeping up with my blog... I'd also like to let you know that I'm not completely done with this sort of journaling either. I'd like you all to join me on Twitter, following me there (which is here: Yes, it's shorter bursts of words, but words none-the-less. You can also Like me on Facebook, here: And, you can subscribe to my news posts, here Or, of course, I have a monthly newsletter. Sign up here: The point is, you'll still be able to read words from me - just not here.

So please come along! Hop on a different train with me and continue reading with me...

Facebook: News:
My Newsletter:

Also, I still have some unfinished blog business here, too. I do plan to finish up my top 25 albums of all time list, but I may not post that here... I'll make sure you're all able to see it, though.

So here's to a new year of opportunity ahead and 232 posts behind. Cheers!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions for 2012

I'm a fan of new year resolutions.

Here's why:

People rarely slow down to honestly assess their lives these days: where they're at career-wise, the things they value, what they spend their time and money on. Now, some people still don't get it. But I like the fact that, built in to our culture, is a kind of system for self evaluation.

I thought briefly about resolutions this year, and even briefly considered resolving to make no resolutions at all. I finally decided against it. Why? Because people are all messed up and are always in need of improvement; and, when looking in the right places, a very particular type of improvement in your own life is always readily available. What I mean is, by God's grace, we can end this new year with a greater understanding of who we are, the world we live in, and what Christmas really means. (What? Yeah. Life is about Christmas. It's pretty sweet that every year ends on a high note, reminding us about the things that really matter.)

So here are my resolutions for this new year:

1. To consider it one of my highest joys to serve my wife, my children, and my family with humility, generosity, and grace.

2. To take my wife out on a date every month. (Perhaps a modest goal, but one I'm sure she'll like.)

3. To give my wife a kids-free crafting day once a month.

4. To improve my physical, emotional, and mental fitness by exercising my body regularly.

5. To pray for my wife and children daily.

For those of you wondering, I say "new year resolutions" and not "new year's..." because they are my resolutions - not the year's. I want to take ownership of them....

Let's also take a look back at my resolutions from 1/1/2011 and see how I sized up:

1. Read a minimum of four excellent books.

I only read two of the books on my short list for the year, though I did read a few others, too. The two I did read were The Reason for God and Forty Days of Musa Dagh. I'll get to the other two this year, I'm sure.

2. Pray for my family every day.

Totally didn't happen. Utter failure. But it's a good thing that God already knew that.
3. Climb 5.11a.
Also didn't happen - I don't think. But have been climbing a lot more recently. In the last two weeks, I climbed my first 5.10d and V3. My guess is that 5.11a isn't out of my reach, I just haven't had any opportunities to give a climb of that rating a shot. I attempted a 5.11b yesterday, at the end of my climbing session, and couldn't hack it. I got stuck about half-way up. If you have zero idea what I'm talking about, here's a quick intro to how climbs are rated:


You might be wondering about a few things here - why 2012's resolutions don't include anything about climbing or reading. Re: climbing, I still want to climb - and climb harder - but I want to make sure my interest in climbing doesn't overshadow my service to my family. Re: reading, I still will read - and I hope to read more this year than last - but again, I'm not interested in focusing on it. I'll just do it. Hopefully.