Life has been crazy busy lately. I like to be busy and there are a lot of good things going on recently, but it’s been sort of insane!
It’s been such a great and rewarding experience continuing work in the education programs at the Des Moines Music Coalition, and we have plans on growing the after-school music programs in both Hip-Hop and Rock. As the Program Coordinator with the DMMC it’s been wonderful working with our incredibly talented and passionate Hip-Hop team. It’s a genre and a world I didn’t grow up in and I’m so thankful to have Dom Russell/Chill Mac as our Hip-Hop team leader. He’s so great with the students, has so much to offer, and is always patient and real with our classes. We’ve brought in AMMIXES as a new instructor, and the students absolutely love recording with him. It’s really brought a new purpose and created new goals for the class and I love hearing them throw down with what they’ve put together.
We’re also starting up a Rock Band after-school class at Merrill Middle School soon, which I will be leading with the help of Ryan Stier (Extravision). This will be the first after-school Rock Band class the DMMC has done, and I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise to some youngsters in the near future!
As some of you know I have a podcast called, In The Birdroom with Jordan Mayland that I put out every two weeks with the DMMC. It’s been so fun getting to know local musicians more and even more fun recording and collaborating with my guests. I host the show in my home studio, Birdroom Studio, and I’ve met some really talented folks doing the show. I’m really appreciative of those who have listened and mention the show to me. I’m glad it’s something people in the music scene look forward to! You can check out episodes on our DMMC website, my new In The Birdroom page, or stream episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher. I’m trying to get things syncing up with other podcast hosting sites as well.
I love the music that has come out of the show and it’s certainly a highlight for me each episode. Most guests/bands come in, we have some fun chatting, and then we record for a while. I often collaborate with everyone by adding my own musical touches on their tunes. For instance, Contakta came in and rocked a few tunes, and I went back and added some fun guitar parts. I specifically obsessed over the guitar solo to their song “If You Can.” Check it out that song at the 25:20 mark on episode 14! Or check out the tune Joryn Brown and I ripped through on the 25:42 marking on episode 13. It was a riff I had in my back pocket for the last few years and we jammed the tune just two times and this was the version we went with. Nonetheless, each episode has excellent music and interesting takes of my guest’s tunes. Thanks to my buddy, Phil Young, for not only mastering all of the music we record, but for also supplying tons of behind the scenes recording knowledge and lending me the beautiful Tascam M320B console we record through as well as some essential microphones. Head to www.phillipjamesyoung.com to reach out to Phil, who is now engineering out of The Sonic Factory.
We also pressed a limited vinyl record with vIAnyl Records that included one song from each of my 2019 guests. I don’t know if we’re selling more of the vinyls, but the FULL TWENTY-THREE SONG ALBUM of all of the music done on the show from 2019 will be released sometime soon! I’m calling it MUSIC FROM IN THE BIRDROOM, and we’ll get it streaming on your favorite streaming sites and available for purchase on the DMMC Bandcamp site soon. I’m honestly super stoked for people to be able to check out all of the tunes from the episodes in one album, and the music from the 2020 season is all sounding really great as well. I’m tempted to continue releasing the music as shows come out, but we’ll gather more of the 2020 music soon enough for another release hopefully. If you get a chance check out the show, subscribe, and share it with your friends who might dig a show dedicated to the Des Moines and Iowa music community.
Speaking of the Sonic Factory, TiRES recently spent some time in the recording studio, concentrating on three tunes we had been working on in 2019. We debuted the three songs at our set at the M-Shop in January, and I can’t wait to not only finish the recordings, but to play out more. We took a little turn from our usual TiRES style format, but we’re all pretty excited about what we’ve put together. While Phil has been the primary songwriter in TiRES and Chris, Cory and I throw down over his grooves, these three new tunes are songs I brought into the band for the first time. It’s so great to have their support and share the same excitement about the songs. It’s hard not to share the tunes with folks already, but good things coming from TiRES in 2020!
Being so busy with work, DMMC events, music education classes, and everything else, I’m still tinkering around with my solo album currently titled, The Color Of My Soul.
In The Birdroom has certainly allowed me to scratch my creative itch, but it’s time I finish the full album soon so I can stop adding new songs to it! It’s easy to put it off when you’re busy with other tempting projects, but I’ll have news on the album soon and I plan on hopefully share another track or so in the near future.
I have recently decided to step away from performing longer sets at breweries, wineries, and special events…but I will be playing a set that I’m pretty excited about soon. I will be opening up for the Heligoats at The Lift here in Des Moines March 24th, and I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone to experiment with a full on synthesizer set. I keep cranking out riffs and ideas while practicing ideas, but at the same time this will be very improvised and abstract at times. I’ve always wanted to have the guts to play a noise show or an improvised set, so this is will be me taking the leap away from what I am used to. I hope to see some friends come out and I really hope people dig it. I think it will be fun. Here’s the Facebook Event.
Ok, that’s enough for now, but I will try to continue to update the website a bit more moving forward. Time for extra points!
Currently listening to: Tame Impala – The Slow Rush. I’m so happy I picked up the vinyl from ZZZ Records. Some people might say “it’s no Currents,” but I am really impressed with the direction of this album. I especially dig the songs “It Might Be Time,” “One More Year,” and “Lost In Yesterday.” I love how the album is crafted. It’s undeniably Kevin Parker/Tame Impala and still has a progressive feeling to it. I hope to see Tame Impala this Summer if I get the time and chance.
TV Show: Succession on HBO has blown me away. We re-watched the first season to prep for season two and I was able to I pick up so much more and look forward to season three. The acting, power trips, and the high-class lifestyle is all very enticing, and it’s fun to root for many anti-heroes on this show!
Movies: I’ve been diving hard into the Marvel Cinematic Universe lately via Disney +.
For whatever reason, Captain America was never my goto, but after Infinity War and seeing his complete arc, I wanted to re-watch the earlier films and it just turned into me re-watching many, if not all all, of the MCU movies. As much as I’ve always been a DC guy, the Marvel movies are, of course, so damn good. The character development, the small details of the stories intertwining briefly, but very importantly, into the other films, is something that is just so fun and brilliantly thought out and crafted. I’ve become a big fan of Captain Rodgers recently. I just took in The Avengers for the…oh, I don’t know…5th time(?) since it came out. It not only holds up, but it means so much more going back to it later. But if you asked me what my favorite part of the movie was, the little giggly kid in me would say, “The part when Hulk freaks out and just starts smashing all the bad guys!” I’m not wrong. It’s worth the wait and it’s also great to see Banner hold off on ever giving into “the other guy,” and finally have SOME control of The Incredible Hulk.
Favorite Foods: I’m a big fan of The Rueben in many restaurants in town, but I’ve really enjoyed “The Earl” at The Royal Mile. I always get The Earl with a side of mashed potatoes and a pint of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. And while I am trying to prep more food from home during the work week I would almost always be very happy to eat at The Walnut downtown. Their chipotle tacos are supreme, they have a great Rueben, and I dig their burgers too! No let downs yet. I also appreciate that they don’t force a side on the food order, but allow an option to add fries or a side. Instead of upping the order to $12.99 with a side, the prices seem fair and usually under $10 for something tasty and satisfying!
What’s grinding my gears: Roadblocks. Things in the way. Working hard to accomplish a vision and then, slam, roadblock. You get me? Cheers.
Album Cover Design by Jacy Leopold/House of Leopold.