my music and performances

Joy’s Song

by j on February 12, 2014 · 0 comments

in my music and performances

Let me tell you about a song I just wrote for someone I appreciate and admire. It’s a Valentines Day song.

A few years ago I ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make my second album, FOK DUB. For $100 you got a custom song. Here, finally, I am delivering a song to Joy Haynes, a fantastic artist in her own right, that I know from high school. (Check out this wonderful documentary she produced about a psychiatric hospital in DC.)

custom song for $100She wanted a country song with the chorus: “I’d rather be doing nothing with you than something with someone else.” So I asked her for a list of things she likes to do and here’s what she gave me:

  • play games (boggle, scrabble, cards)
  • drink wine
  • travel
  • eat out
  • act junky (that means watching tv on the couch in my pajamas snuggled under a blanket)
  • go on long walks
  • sleep nine hours a night
  • listen to NPR
  • listen to country music
  • go to any live event (sports, music, theater)
  • read
  • drive with the windows down and the heat on
  • tailgate
  • have intense, life inspiring conversations
  • guffaw
  • go to photo exhibits
  • concoct conspiracy theories
  • keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds
  • never run out of things (toothpaste, milk, whatever)
  • did I mention drinking wine!?!? :-)

What a great list! I put it all into a song, we went back and forth about the ending a bit and viola! Here it is on Soundcloud:

I’d Rather Be Doing Nothing With You (Than Something With Someone Else)

I like to play scrabble on a Saturday night
Go to a game, stop for a bite
Or we could go to a show at this theater I know
I like play cards and I like to drink wine
Put em together with you it’s divine
Let’s take a long walk, sit on the dock
We’ll talk and not talk, then talk and not talk
Cause I’d rather be doin nothin with you than
Something with someone else

I like to cruise around with the windows all down
Feelin the beat with the heat on my feet
There’s always some toothpaste at my place my friend
Intense conversations, inspiration to lend
When you’re not around NPR is my friend
When I’m sick of the news it’s country music again
Or sitting on the couch watching TV
Actin junky in my PJs is OK by me
But I’d rather be doin nothin with you than
Something with someone else

Wander with me to the new gallery
Look at the walls and tell me what you see
Feet on the ground and our head in the clouds
Guffawing along a little too loud
I got my sweet nine of sleep last night
So I’m ready to go, lets find a good show
Conspiracy theories we’ll make up a few
As long as I am doin nothin with you
I’d rather we just threw a party for two
Than rendezvous with somebody else
Let’s me and you, no switcheroo
Yes I’d rather be doing nothing but you
Than anything with anyone else


This song is the realization of several visions I’ve been trying to bring together: It’s a mantra. It’s reggae, it’s dub. It’s got a killer horn section. And it achieves a sort of introspective spirituality I’ve begun chasing a lot lately.

It’s the second song I’ve posted with horns arranged by local legend Mark “Speedy” Gonzales, and by far the most far out song from this session as you’ll hear in the second half when the horns take turns playing through a delay pedal that I was operating. This song shares  the same long, repetitive structure as Lub Dub. I didn’t realize until we were recording it that it is a sort of continuation of that instrumental, this time with meditative lyrics.

I’m not gonna to try to change anyone but myself
I’m not gonna to try to change you, I’m through
I’m not gonna to try to change anyone but myself
I’m gonna try, I’m gonna choose my truths

believed em when they told me i could do, anything i choose, i put my mind to
now it sounds cruel and funny as i’m runin out of time and money
so much less in within our control than I knew in my youth, but now i know the truth
we don’t choose what we believe for a long long time, but when we do it’s divine
I’m not gonna to try to change anyone but myself…

we’re all in way over our heads, taking our meds until we’re dead
thought that there was something i could say but it doesn’t work that way, so i’ll save the cliches
i could waste my time trying to change your mind, by why? it’s written in the sky
no one wants to hear what you think they should do, we just want someone who’s true

I’m not gonna to try to change anyone but myself…

so, i go out and i sit in the sun, close my eyes, turn my hands up the sky
i sit real still for a while, breath real slow, forget everything i know
i see the world as it will be, without me and my misery
unconsciousness connects me to everything else and for a second i get let go of myself

I’m not gonna to try to change anyone but myself…

Jason Molin – vocals and guitar
Gray Parsons – drums
Doug Snyder – bass
Mark Gonzalez – trombone
Dan Bechdolt – sax
Kevin Flatt – trumpet

IMAG2349 horns2


Paige Fest 2013

by j on January 28, 2014 · 0 comments

in my music and performances

I had a great time playing at Paige Fest 2013 and am looking forward to playing it again this May. Mike just posted this video slideshow of pics that starts off with my version of Un Momento Perfecto – recorded on stage last year – as the soundtrack.


Here is Gray Parsons (on piano) and I (on guitar and vocals), practicing for Lacie’s House Concert. Recorded on my phone (on Gray’s piano). Thanks to Kermit the Frog and the Muppets for this classic.


I posted my first demo of this song  in early January just after I wrote it for New Year’s as an ode to finishing, taking care of business, getting things done. Now it’s December and I’ve got it ska’d up for the next album – MANTRAS – with drums, bass, and horns.

I’m thrilled to have collaborated with Grupo Fantasma and Brownout trombonist and horn arranger Mark “Speedy” Gonzales. He brought saxophonist Dan Bechdolt and trumpeter Kevin Flatt over to Tonehaus a few weeks after we recorded drum and bass with my main men Gray Parsons and Doug Snyder.


If you want a more in-depth look at where this song came from, check out the wonderful interview that Legs Magee posted, The Song Is Done: A Conversation with Jason Molin.