The Mountain Post is quiet tonight. It is the kind of quiet that reminds me how noisy life is during the day. Its the kind of quiet that lets me get lost for hours in work and thinking. I cherish times like these because it reminds me of the importance of my mind and the calm that it requires. It is important to run fast in my world so I don’t become bored of myself. I’ve  learned throughout the years though, that if you don’t clear your mind along the way — the fast pace isn’t quite as interesting.

The pace this past weekend was intense and challenging. I left the Post shortly after work on Friday for Salt Lake City and three days of recording music at my brother’s studio. I’ve done a few recordings during my lifetime, but nothing significant or memorable in my mind and I want to change that. We scheduled these sessions months ago, in order to produce some recordings for two upcoming releases for Riva Rebels. My brother Lorin and I chose two songs from our collection to record and I’ve been practicing them at home for the past month or so.

One of the most challenging aspects for me was learning how to play to a metronome. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this type of device, its more or less a machine that keeps a steady beat by way of a beeping noise. I spent several nights with my headphones in trying to keep my guitar strumming to the sound of this high-pitched alarm beating at 160 beats per minute. At first it was a daunting task, but I managed to work through it, and my playing has improved tremendously as a result.

Even though my preparations seemed adequate I was still a little concerned going into the session. It wasn’t for any particular reason. I was just a little nervous.

We first worked on a song called “Life Lines.” I wrote this song some time last year as an homage to my adolescent years. When I was about 16 years old a few people introduced me to some music and bands that completely changed my life. They gave me a sense of identity. And those songs led me to see the world differently and try to understand things around me by gaining different perspectives. Still to this day, those same albums and songs bring me back to a center point when I’m feeling lost and help me remember that other people in the world think and digest the world around them in similar ways.

Art is an amazing thing because it can mean everything and nothing at all. The question is are you willing to take the time to try and understand why someone created it?

These are the lyrics to “Life Lines.”

There were two things that happened to me
That changed the way I thought and I wanted to see
The first one, his name was Rude Boy Rob
A San Francisco punk who liked Lambrettas and Ska
He made a mix tape and he gave it to me
Specials, The Selecter and The English Beat
So I bought a black suit and a skinny tie
I played some local shows and lived a checkered life

Those were the days and the nights
When everything came to life
Circle pits and guitar riffs
And everyone came together

The second one she was a beauty
Long stems — she was dirty
It was an era, not a sin
Because we were young and innocent
Then one night she came to me with a record I’d never seen
And those lyrics they spoke to me – “Sound System” & “Unity”

We will be releasing this song as the b-side on a 7-inch record in December on our new label Salt Lick Records. It will only be available on the vinyl version.

The experience of recording felt great to get through this past weekend. It was great to feel that little bit of insecurity that comes with trying something new and then overcoming it. I love that feeling — I believe it makes you stronger.

Have a great week and thanks for checking in.

— J.M.



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