I learn what I think when I read what I write.
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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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Letter From My Lady

I wrote "Letter From My Lady" for my wife, Christine, in 1995 while I was living in East Los Angeles. I had picked up a second-hand guitar, and recorded the tune on a low-quality portable tape recorder, inside a half-completed spa room underneath the tiny apartment I shared with three skinny white guys.

This version is slightly better quality :) It still has a few errors, but for what it's worth, you can download the MP3 here.

It's incredibly simple, and my hope is that its brevity is what keeps it from being dull. Let me know what you think! This will be one of the tracks on my next album, currently untitled, due out toward the end of this year.

If you are visiting from Garageband, please note that this tune is not yet finished! I've released it for consumption by family and friends and whomever visits the website, but it's not up for review on Garageband for a very good reason -- it's still a work-in-progress. Thanks.

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Cataclysm

I just had a nap during lunch, and for once actually fell fully asleep rather than just resting.
I had the strangest dream.  Maybe I'll write a song about it one day.  For now, a short story will suffice.

I lived near some indefinite area near the seashore.  It reminded me a great deal of the approach to Seattle -- a long bay of brackish water, surrounded by bright green rounded hills cascading from the impressive mountaintops at the periphery of vision.  The water was still and calm, reflecting the pale blue of the slightly hazy sky dappled with puffy clouds.

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American Fourth of July

BOOM.

That's what a firework is supposed to sound like.

Big. Freaking. BOOM!!!

Well, this year we decided to take up residence in an abandoned cornfield about three-quarters of a mile from the explosions with some friends. We hauled chairs out of vans, set up some portable lawn chairs, and other than some hidden barbed wire biting our ankles, had a pretty fun time.

We could see the Grantsville fireworks clearly, as well as the Tooele County fireworks we'd planned on seeing. There was a mishap with the Tooele County fireworks about halfway through the show, where two massive blooms never left their canisters and exploded on the ground, apparently showering the onlookers with ash and frightening the techs. They were REALLY big boomers. The rest of the show went very slowly as they tried to recover from a major mishap.

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Prognosis: Hypochondriac. Or something.

Went to the neurological specialist. He didn't see any nerve damage (good). He ran a quick neurological exam, having me touch my nose with my eyes closed, walk in a straight line, etc. I felt like I was being examined for drunk driving. Results: I'm Fine, healthy as any overweight 30-year-old has a right to be.

But the fact that my right leg didn't work again this morning when I woke up troubled me. I caught myself before I fell this time, and sat on the bed for a couple of minutes until I felt like it would support my weight. Very weird.

So I have a follow-up MRI scheduled to look at my spinal cord. At this point, the nice thing is that the life-threatening and terribly damaging things have been ruled out. What I'm left with is probably either some sort of residual spinal cord damage from the car accident I was in at 17, or some other non-critical weirdness that maybe we can get to the bottom of.

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