matthew's blog

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Gallery back up, maintenance

Well, I caved, and decided to stick to the old PHP Gallery software rather than going to the new Drupal module. It just represents too many hours of work for me to want to change over. I'll be doing some maintenance to bring it up-to-date, and there's definitely quite a bit of a style change between the main barnson.org site and the Gallery at the moment, but I'll be hacking them both to bring them into line soon.

It's available via the "images & photos" link on the right. Now we just have to find our digital camera so that we can upload more...

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Downtime and Lessons Learned

Well, barnson.org, and its sister site, outlanders-outfit.org, were down over the weekend. It is a brief object lesson on interdependencies in the Internet world; click "read more" for details.

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Home "sick"?

You know, if I weren't a logical person, I would think it's time to stop chewing gum.

I've had three teeth now that have had various problems.

  1. I broke this one in half crunching down on a popcorn kernel. The half that broke off was irreperably shattered when I masticated the next bite.
  2. Another tooth simply fell apart while chewing gum.
  3. And the third tooth, several weeks ago, felt like the middle just dropped out of it while chewing gum. Suddenly, just like tooth two, I had some extra 'crunchies' in my gum out of nowhere, and gum kept sticking to that tooth due to the large hole that just opened up in it.
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Religion, Sunstone, and Good Friends

This has been an interesting week on the religion side. By and large, I've simply preferred to avoid discussing religion due to my somewhat... *ahem*... non-standard beliefs in this predominantly LDS town. However, this week I've had a couple chances to yak with people about it, and while it's been slightly tense and stressful from time to time, overall it's been very positive.

There have been four specific incidents; click "read more" below if you're interested.

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Together Again For The First Time

I have very few friends on the face of this planet. Justin Timpane is one of them. Three of my best friends in high school were Sammy G, Ben Schuman, and Kevin Graham.

So Justin found himself in the possession of a CD, created by Brett Clawson (an acquaintance of his and mine). Sam, Ben, Kevin, and I formed a band in high school called "Wayward Sun". Brett had taken it upon himself to extract the audio from a tape we'd made, entitled "Together Again For The First Time", and put it into CD format. That must have taken hours; I couldn't believe someone would put in that much time.

Well, Justin took it a step further. He ripped all the songs, piped them through Cool Edit, applied some noise reduction and other techniques to restore the sound quality, and here's the result! Unfortunately, our original master was crap, and that's reflected in garbling on a couple of the tracks, but the songs still sound better than they ever did on tape. Click "read more" to read the full description and either download or stream the MP3 files.

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The Genesis of Wayward Sun (repost from old blog)

This is a repost from my old blogging software, Movable Type. I figure, given my planned posting of some old Wayward Sun tunes, it would be good to give a little background here and there.

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February 28, 2003
The Genesis of Wayward Sun

Ever been interested in how the terrifically obscure East-coast band, Wayward Sun, got its start? Read below to find out more. I'm trying to make it moderately entertaining, but it may not be so to anybody but me :)

Wayward Sun, or Two Guys and a Dead Cat

I have a thing for cats. I like them alive, I like them dead... I just think they are cute, fluffy, and the name "cat", rhymes with enough other words that it's pretty convenient at some point to have a cat in most songs.

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For Jenny, For Josh

I wrote "For Jenny, For Josh" a few years ago upon the death of a good friend's son. Josh had a very troubled time for his short life, and his death, although not unexpected, was still heartwrenching. I hope that my little tune brings solace to those who mourned, and honors his memory for his parents and others who've never met him.

I've often though about adding more accompaniment to this piece, and yet may, but by itself the piano seems to work pretty well. Still a work-in-progress, though, as evidenced by several errors in my performance. I'll work on those before I upload this one to Garageband.

Download For Jenny, For Josh.

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New version of My Lady!

OK, so I'm doing recording on a bunch of tunes. I know my one dedicated listener has heard "My Lady" before, but I decided to re-record it so I could get a better arrangement, mix, and recording quality. Hate to put up the same song twice, but the arrangement is different enough that I'm thinking you may take notice!

You can download the new track here. Let me know what you think! I was playing around with mastering options on this one, too, so I'm hoping the overall volume is louder and the song carries more energy.

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No updates, recording

Sorry so few updates. My every spare moment has been occupied recording songs for my demo CD. The next one to hit the site will probably either be "One Man", or "Grasping At Straws", both of them pop/rock tunes. Unfortunately, I've finally come to grips with the fact that, although my singing voice has a pure tone, it's otherwise very bland. So I'm trying to find alternative vocalists, because for me it's the song that matters a whole lot more than who sings it.

Expect post of a tune within the next 3 or 4 days. If I can't get the fast tunes done by that time, I'll probably throw one of my piano solos up -- they are really fast to record :)

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Garageband, reviews, and my take

Garageband, reviews, and my take

EDIT by matthew: Due to comments (read below), and for some reason the insane popularity of this particular page on my weblog, I just want to attach this notice. My opinion on "the day after" my first day reviewing bands on Garageband differs from my opinion today. I still think the average musical quality at Garageband is somewhere between subterranean and ridiculously low, but I still use the site -- which, despite my criticism, shows that I still think it's pretty good despite major flaws. There's nothing better out there of which I'm aware at the moment. This was my "day after" reaction to doing a lot of GB reviews in a row, and the experience really stunk.

Last night I decided to sign up for Garageband.  I'd heard a bit about it, and as a community of musicians who largely spend a lot of their time reviewing other musicians, it sounded very interesting to me.  I went into this with the mindset that I would try to write positive reviews, get exposed to a lot of really great music by artists who are as yet unknown, and upload my music for peer review.

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