Music Monday, still on a Tuesday – The North Pond Hermit songs

North Pond Hermit Maine woods in winter

As Wyldstyle proclaims in The LEGO Movie that the day of uprising against Lord Business will be known as “Freedom Friday, still on a Tuesday”, this Music Monday post is coming to you on, well, Tuesday. An article appeared on GQ recently about the man known as The North Pond Hermit from Central Maine, which is where I live. And on this subject, over the years, at least three Mainers that I know have written songs about the man. Christopher Knight walked into the woods of North Pond, Maine twenty seven years ago, and lived there in a tent since his capture this year. He spoke only one word to another person in that entire time. He never lit a fire, for fear that his location would be given away, and used only a standard camping tent for shelter. Anyone from Maine will tell you that winter in this state… read more

Music Monday Review: Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam “Everyone’s Invited” – Not just Raffi Rocking Out

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam Everyones Invited album cover

Not just Raffi rocking out Last week, I won a giveaway iTunes copy of Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam’s latest album Everyone’s Invited!. After three listens through with my four year old, my overall impression of Everyone’s Invited! is that is is at the core a great rock album for kids. The rock base differs, in my opinion, than children’s records that are recorded with backing tracks in a rock style. It’s not just Raffi rocking out. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Raffi. I love his world style and my kid loves his music. But he also likes smarter, more modern kid-based music like the great albums done by They Might Be Giants, and Everyone’s Invited appealed to us in some of the same ways. I just get the impression that Jason Didner and his band are rock musicians first and foremost, and great kids’ music… read more

Music Monday ramblings and updates

The Everything Parents Guide To Special Education: a complete step-by-step guide to advocating for your child with special needs, by Amanda Morin, published 2014 by Adams Media

Before I touch on any music-related stuff, I am proud to announce the release of my wife’s second book – The Everything Parent’s Guide To Special Education: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs. It will be available in bookstores starting May 18th, 2014, but the Kindle version is available NOW from Amazon. If you have a child with special needs and are struggling to navigate the special education system, or know someone who is having trouble, please consider buying this book. It’s written to be extremely parent-friendly while explaining all the special education law and terminology that is so confusing to so many people. I hate the term “game changer”, but I really believe that Amanda’s book will be just that. So anyway, we have two very musical children. Both also happen to have special needs. In the past few months, we have bought… read more

What my kids have learned from They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants Here Come The 123s album cover

In 1991, I discovered They Might Be Giants. The album Flood had been released one year prior, and I was hooked after the first listen. More than 20 years later, my kids are now TMBG fans. Being a stay at home dad, I spend a lot of time in the car being taxi driver and running errands. So we listen to a lot of They Might Be Giants. Here are a few things my children have learned from listening to this great duo. My 4 year old and I work on identifying instruments playing on a particular track. He’s gotten very good at it. He can pick out acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, piano, tuba, and banjo. We are working on others. It’s great for kids to learn this. It’s a skill that will serve them well later on. Pine trees are conifers. Again, my 4 year old has… read more

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

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

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