Music Monday Artist To Watch – Jason J Carey

rebirth by jason j carey album cover

I’m devoting this Music Monday entry to introducing you all to a great Maine musician that you need to check out if you like smart and sophisticated songwriting, acoustic music, or are a fan of great guitar playing. Jason J Carey is a friend of mine and one of my guitar heroes. We grew up in adjacent towns here in Maine, and our bands in high school often played the same locations. I’d always watch Jason when I had the chance, frequently trying to learn from his style. Years later, Jason has reinvented his sound and really come into his own with a fantastic solo album, Rebirth, which is available on iTunes. Jason categorizes his songs as simply “Maine music”, which is appropriate, since you can’t really put a label on his style. Songs range from folksy to country, rock, and acoustic music that I can’t really come up with… read more

2013 Has Been A Big Year for Blogs

The Learning Treehouse - helping learning climb to new heights, screenshot of website

2013 has been a big year for blogs in our household. This year, between my wife and I, we launched 3 new sites, My Happy SAHD Life, The Learning Treehouse, and our new fun photoblog Yeti on the Shelf. Earlier this year, my wife Amanda and I introduced The Learning Treehouse, which provides honest reviews of educational and kids products. Amanda is a former teacher, writer, and author of two books, and draws upon her knowledge and experience to make sure that parents know exactly what they are getting when they buy an learning toy, book, or app. Later in this year, several blog components were added to The Learning Treehouse: Let’s Talk Learning and Family Time. Both have great posts and articles to read and they are funny and practical at the same time. Amanda also joined the ranks of the mofy nation, a movement from USA Networks that… read more

Music Monday – Home Recording Hack – Rough Mixes Without Monitors

Alesis M1 Active Mk2 near field monitors

On this Music Monday, I cover a home recording hack that I use out of necessity: I do my rough mixes without reference monitors. The reason: I don’t have any. When I was in school at the University of Maine at Augusta and in my audio engineering studies, we had a nice set of monitors in the control room. We also had the smaller and less-good monitors closer to the mixing console. Some called them the “crummy monitors”. To some they were the “shitty speakers”. I called them the “real speakers”. These “real speakers” were small and of much lower quality than the main monitors, and even than the reference monitors in the live room. They were not junk, but sounded more like your typical home audio setup or good quality car speakers. I used these to mix on more often than not. The problem with getting good mixes using… read more

Non-traditional Family Traditions. And Yetis. And Bacon.

Yeti opens childproof medicine bottle cap and eats all the pills

I have decided to forego this Music Monday to announce a side project that my family has created. With the holidays in full swing, it just seemed to be the right time. More music posts next week. Our family is non-traditional in a lot of ways. This year, we started (on a whim) a non-traditional tradition of our own for the holidays — Yeti on the Shelf. You know that elf that people move each night and pose it doing cute things? That’s great, but it does not work for this family. My son got a Yeti doll the first time we visited Walt Disney World (the only souvenir he wanted), so we decided to pose that around the house instead. Our Yeti seems to get in a lot of trouble, and cause mayhem for the rest of us. It’s irreverent. Sometimes he’s just downright unsafe. Turns out, it’s a… read more

Music Blog Mondays Coming To My Happy SAHD Life

Matchbox cars next to guitar on a couch.

I’ve been reading a lot of dad blogs lately, and I’ve noticed that a lot of these fellows have sections devoted to personal interests. Some write posts about sports, another beer, another has techie stuff, and still another has gaming related entries. Each of these dads use their blogs to express something about themselves that is not necessarily parenthood-related. It creates a much more three dimensional picture of who these men are. I have decided to follow suit and do a music blog on Mondays. Music is my passion. I’ve been a musician since I was 12, which makes that…well a lot of years (without giving away my age, lets just say I am pretty much the “get off my lawn” guy) of music. I am going to start devoting Monday entries to something music, guitar, recording hacks, or home recording related. Hopefully this paints a more realistic picture of… read more