It’s been more than a minute since I’ve updated my website or said “hello” via the blog. That being said, it’s been a busy and crazy year! A good busy, and there’s a lot to catch up on.
As many of you know I’ve had a pretty big career change, and it’s been a very exciting adventure so far! Since May, I have been the new Program Coordinator for the Des Moines Music Coalition, which is a non-profit organization focused on music and the positive correlation it has on the culture. We put on 80/35, other musical events, and do a lot with music education as well. I’m learning a lot as I go and I think it’s been a great fit. One of my first main objectives working with the DMMC was to bring some sort of local music festival back for Des Moines. While 80/35 does include a decent amount of local music on our stages, I really missed the Gross Domestic Product music festival which had been pretty much discontinued since April of 2017. Little Big Fest had also taken a long hiatus. There is a part of me that notices that these festivals had sort of “served their purpose,” and a lot more local festivals and events had started popping up around the city and such. I like to think the DMMC helped snowball this affect, but I still wanted us to do SOMETHING more focused on local music, and I truthfully missed the excitement that had surrounded GDP in previous years. So with the board’s approval we brought back Gross Domestic Product and I got right to work on it. My intention was to somewhat combine the musical styles of both Little Big Fest and GDP, plus incorporate as much new music that hadn’t been a part of those festivals before as well. I have to say it was an insane amount of work and I put a lot of stress on myself to make sure it was pulled off.
With the help of many we had a very successful event(!) and I met a lot of really great people in the process of building the event, doing promotion, and everything in between. I did a couple of spots on local TV stations like KCCI Channel 8 and We Are Iowa Channel 5 (VIDEO), guested on podcasts like AMP, Pretty Fort, and No Cover with Danny Carman and it was all a blast. Plus I think we started a really cool relationship with ALT 106.3 who are now playing a lot more local music and we were able to open the gates for new music to be added to their programming. I got to hang out on the radio a couple of times with Ron Sorenson at 89.9 KFMG, who are in the same building (Mainframe Studio) the DMMC works out of as well. It’s been great getting to know those guys! Plus, Iowa Public Radio ran a really great article on GDP as well, and continuously support Iowa Music as much as they can.
All of the bands and musical acts were great to work with. They brought a great energy to the show and everyone seemed to support each other throughout the day. We added many fresh faces to the event, some up and coming acts, a hip-hop portion of the day, and as much as we could cram into the day! We had solo acts, hip-hop, rock, metal, Americana, and much more all day. From 2:30-passed midnight, we had over 23 all-Iowa musical acts between the Vaudeville Mews and the 4th Street Theater! Bands seemed happy, the community came out to support the event, and things seemed really well received. It was nice to help breathe some new life into the music scene, though it really wasn’t myself breathing the life into things; it was the artistic endeavors of the those on-stage who WANTED to be a part of the event. While I feel great about the turnout and response, I still look forward to building things bigger and better for the future. I could go on and on about GDP, but if you want to know more about the bands that played visit the DMMC GDP page and check out the acts!
A few of the bands that performed at GDP had been my guests on my NEW PODCAST, In The Birdroom With Jordan Mayland. Yes, I started a podcast. It’s been a little bit of a learning experience, but it’s been great. I have been inviting bands and musical acts into my home studio, Birdroom Studio, to do the show. We chat about their music, history, and whatever else we get into. Plus, the big feature for the show is that each musical guest records some music with me IN THE BIRDROOM, which is definitely my favorite part of each episode. Some bands will rip through a few songs live, some might tear the songs apart a bit and record track by track, while others might do an acoustic take on an original, or let me put my musical fingerprints over their tunes by adding extra instrumentation after they leave. Nonetheless, it’s been great getting to do it and I have to think it’s going well if bands are asking to to come on. I know people are listening…I don’t know who they are, but it’s been a little scary putting myself out there and opening up about things with my audience and guests, but in general it’s been really fun and I hope the music community gets a kick out of it. I am usually putting out one episode every two weeks. I’d sure like to do it weekly, but it does take up a lot of time! After the guests leave I not only have to edit the episode, but I have to write and record intros and outros, and then most importantly finish and mix the songs guests and I put together. My good buddy, Phil Young, has been mastering all of the music from each episode, AND has currently loaned me the beautiful Tascam M-320B mixing console for the podcast, which creates such beautiful tones! Thank, Phil! Check out the shows I’ve done so far by streaming the episodes from our podcast page or find In The Birdroom With Jordan Mayland where you stream podcasts like Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc… I have some super fun guests coming up and look forward to doing more!
The next big move for me with the DMMC is to work on building our Music Education Programs. We have an excellent Summer Camp program that focuses on Hip-Hop and Rock/Pop, plus we’ve been busy with the after-school Hip-Hop program at Meredith Middle School. I’d love to add a rock portion of that after-school programming, get some more instruments in the hands of kids, and pass on our knowledge to young Padawan learners. Plus, we’re in the throws of the end of the year funding campaign for those types of programs. If you would like to know more on how to help kids get involved in our music education programs, or if you have extra money to help put towards the cause please consider donating by visiting THIS page. Read up, learn more, and try to help if you can! Funding the arts is not necessarily easy and definitely not free to put on. The after-school classes are FREE to middle students and the Summer Camps are quite affordable, and we have scholarship opportunities for those who might not be able to afford the two-week camps. I’m grateful to be able to reach children who might not have the financial situation to be included normally, or students who might want a different type of musical opportunity than your usual school concert band or chorus classes, which I do feel are completely amazing and important. Our programs are just different. We bring in professional hip-hop instructors, musicians, and musical educators who I feel do a great job reaching students on a personal level you don’t see other places often. It’s very special to be involved, and I hope to continue to grow the program at Meredith and other schools!
In other musical news, Volcano Boys put out our record, You Don’t Love Me! Yes! It’s now available on beautiful red vinyl, or you can find it streaming on your usual music streaming sites. We are really happy with the results. The album sounds great thanks to Kevin Neal/Redd No.7 Studio, who recorded and mixed the record. Thanks again to Phil Young for the extra recording/mixing help on “Lonely Ghost.” We had a couple of fun release shows in early October to celebrate the release. If you’re interested in purchasing the vinyl, head over to our bandcamp page, order it there, and we’ll ship it out asap! We’re going to take about a month off from practicing, booking shows, and come back recharged a bit more in 2020. I have a lot of tunes, riffs, and ideas to move on with V-Boys that I’m excited about.
Also, TiRES are back from hibernation and we have been making some music recently again with some super fun plans for the future. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ve brought in a few tunes to the band and we’re experimenting with a different direction momentarily. It’s been a GREAT collaboration so far and I’m excited to announce a show or so sometime soon! The practices have been a blast, we’ve got some new gear mojo help and things look bright for the band. Ah, screw it…we’re playing January 24th at the M-Shop, so just put it on your calendar and join us for a fun event!
Previously this year I had planned on releasing my solo album by this point, but with the new job, the podcast, Volcano Boys album release, and other musical endeavors, I just had to put that on the back-burner for the time being. BUT, I did release TWO songs from that upcoming album a few months ago, so go check out “Become What I Become” and “Oliver!” I’ve got about 15 songs currently recorded and mostly finished that I sent over to a good friend to help me organize and put together a track-list with me. It will be nice to get someone else’s opinion on the songs, as it’s really easy for me to be be either completely biased about them or completely surprised certain songs stick out more than others.
Ok, this is getting long. A few more things!…
Join me December 14th at Firetrucker Brewery for a special holiday show I’m calling Merry Synthmas. In previous years I enjoyed including some holiday music into my solo set around this time, but this year I want to try something different. I still plan on doing a lot of original material that evening, but I will include a special Holiday portion of the event with more backing tracks, synthesizers, and who knows what else. I haven’t had a lot of time to prep, but I’m still really looking forward to it! Should be a fun time!
- The Mandalorian
It’s everything. Classic Star Wars universe, a little more ruthless, Baby Yoda, mystery…I look forward to this show weekly! Of course I jumped on ordering Disney+ and it hasn’t disappointed (besides ESPN+ not streaming live ESPN NFL football). The wife and I are rewatching all of the Star Wars movies before The Rise Of Skywalker. I think she’s humoring me a bit, but we suffered through the prequels, and we’re moving onto Solo, Rogue One, and then obviously finishing it up with the original trilogy, and onto TFA and TLJ. I’m deep into Star Wars world with the movies, The Mandalorian, a bit of Battlefront II on PS4, and now being able to stream Rebels as well! Being a big fan of The Clone Wars and continuing with Rebels now, I think it helped me enjoy the prequels a bit more by tying those worlds together a bit more, yet I must say I’m really looking forward to the original trilogy, the newbies, and of course the finale to the Skywalker saga. May the force be with you.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
Ok, yeah, I’m dorking out pretty hard in sci-fi “Star World,” but after seeing some promotion for Picard and knowing TNG was on Netflix I dove in pretty hard a few months ago. It’s been a pretty awesome ride! I love this world. Of course, I remember the characters a bit from growing up and seeing Star Trek on in the later hours, but it’s been fun to get to know better. Great character development and I appreciate the returning characters and the deep philosophical questions the show brings up. I think Seth McFarland has done a great job bringing up thoughtful moral conflicts in his sci-fi starship parody The Orville, as well, but it’s been great getting to know Picard, Riker, Data, and the gang a lot more. The seasons are long, and I believe on the final season now, with a some movies to get into at some point, but I’m almost there! Live long and prosper.
Favorite Current Sandwich: The Earl at The Royal Mile.
Favorite Current Song: It Might Be Time by Tame Impala.
Favorite Current Drink: White Claw, Pseudo Sue from Toppling Goliath, Titos.
Future Podcast Guests: The Vahnevants, Han Solo Project, Nicholas Nioti.