There’s synergy in life. It’s an idea that is often overdone and overly hyped, but it’s there. To deny it, to not take advantage of it– would be foolish. Jose and I may be many things, but stupid and foolish aren’t usually the terms our detractors use to describe us. And what we are announcing here, today, is a rather textbook case of synergy.
In fact, it is awesome synergy.
Anybody who has been reading Inveterate Media Junkies for the last few months has no doubt become exposed to the marvelously infectious energy that is Geek Girl Underground’s Heidi Ruby Miller. You can’t help it. She’s an awesome talent, a go-getter, an instant self-starter… One of those strong people that reminds you of what you wish you could be and what you need to be.
We want people like that around here. They make all the long hours spent staring at our computer screens and whacking at our keyboards worth it. But the coolest thing– people like Heidi spur us on to do better… To achieve more… To realize that the entity that is Inveterate Media Junkies is only limited by our imaginations and desire to succeed.
So, it should come as no surprise that when Jose and I decided it was finally time to pull the trigger on IMJ’s expansion (that’s what you’re in the middle of, by the way), that we turned to Heidi to ask her if she knew anyone amongst her vast amount of talented friends and colleagues that might want to write for this non-stop juggernaut that we unwittingly birthed in those early morning hours late in October 2010.
What we didn’t count on, what we could have never guessed (but should have)– was how enthusiastic her response would be. (More on that soon.) The other thing we couldn’t have guessed– that she had a writer just as talented and multi-faceted as herself– literally living with her.
Maybe you haven’t already guessed it from the title, but this article is not about Heidi. We’ve already written an article gushing about her. No this article is about introducing Heidi’s equally charismatic husband– novelist, music lover and all-around great guy Jason Jack Miller.
Jason loves music. Jason loves playing guitar. Jason also loves to write. Perfect combination for IMJ’s first official music columnist… Right? We asked Jason to tell us about himself and he was thankfully happy to oblige. What follows is some of the things he wants you to know– showing just what a special person he is and what a great, invaluable addition to Inveterate Media Junkies he undoubtedly will be. (In fact, his first article– about tonight’s Grammy Awards will appear later today in his new IMJ Music Column, aptly titled Jason Jack Miller’s Sound Check™!)
But before we get into the fun stuff, an excerpt extracted from his OFFICIAL IMJ BIOGRAPHY is definitely called for. Since Jason is unlikely to toot his own horn (love that groan inducing music pun?), allow me to do it for him.
Jason’s work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, online, and as part of a travel guide app for mobile phones. He wrote the novels Hellbender and All Saints during his graduate studies at Seton Hill University, where he is now adjunct creative writing faculty. He’s been a whitewater raft guide, played guitar in a garage band and served as a concierge at a five-star resort hotel in Florida. When he isn’t writing he’s on his mountain bike or looking for his next favorite guitar. He is currently writing and recording the soundtrack to his novel, The Devil and Preston Black.
Some other things Jason wants you to know:
His first band was the un-ironically named Phist, a punk/grunge hybrid who played their first show during second period at Tri-Valley High School’s Winter Carnival. Jason had the flu, and drank a bottle of NyQuil that morning, thinking he could deal with being tired better than he could deal with being sick. He was wrong.
Phist’s second show was New Year’s Eve at Friend’s Roller Rink. The opening band played almost 50% of Phist’s covers in their set– Would?, Breed, Career Opportunities and a few others, forcing the band to do an extended Auld Lang Syne jam at midnight.
Played banjo on Dreamachinery, a track on Michael A. Arnzen’s Audiovile.
Bought his first guitar, a Japan-made Fender Strat five dollars a week for almost two years, forcing the late, great Carl Micarelli to revise his store’s layaway policy.
His favorite part-time job was selling music at National Record Mart, which fell into bankruptcy in 2002. Prior to that he worked at American Outfitters, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006. After leaving National Record Mart he went to Waldenbooks, which was operated by Borders, which went belly-up last year.
Worked as a whitewater raft guide on the Lower Yough in Pennsylvania and the Cheat in West Virginia, and never once heard banjo music in the woods.
In a weekend that changed his life forever, he met Gerald Milnes, Folk Arts Coordinator at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College on West Virginia’s Spruce Knob. Gerald is the guy who got Miller hooked on Appalachian music and magic. Miller is pretty sure he witnessed some firsthand Appalachian magic that night on Spruce Knob.
In a few short hours, you’ll be able to read and enjoy the talent of Jason Jack Miller. Just look for this logo and you know you’ll be reading his historic first music column on Inveterate Media Junkies!
Maybe if we’re all really nice, he’ll give us a MP3 to play sometime.