Title Pending: Keep It To Yourself

January 27, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

When I’m at the beginning of a project, I generally let just one or two people into my process and share my vision, or at least as much of it as I have clearly in mind. They are people who will hold me to the work I’ve committed to rather than just pat me on the … Read More

Title Pending: You Are Always Beginning

January 20, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

The hike to the top of Mt. Diablo is roughly seven and a half miles. And though I know that cognitively, I don’t climb the mountain with that number in mind – I climb it in sections. The first two miles are relatively easy, with a few short hills and plenty of flat ground between. … Read More

Title Pending: Translation

January 15, 2015Creativity, Title Pending

The grease board listed, in red and blue dry-erase marker, all the movements, reps and weights involved in the day’s workout. I was familiar with everything on the board… with the exception of one word. I’d never seen it before in this context. So, I went ahead and took a radical step… I asked what … Read More

Title Pending: Details

January 13, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

At the very end of Pearl Jam’s hit song “Daughter,” the drum track delicately vanishes, the bass track disappears and Vedder’s signature vocals are long gone. All that remains are two guitar parts, playing single-note patterns… and a beat. But the beat isn’t played on a drum kit. Nor is it played on a djem- … Read More

Title Pending: Study A Master

January 6, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

My wife studied studio art in college. And as part of her coursework, she spent a good chunk of time not only looking at but re-painting or re-sculpting pieces by master artists. On the wall near my desk is Amy’s study of Wayne Thiebaud’s “Black Shoes.” I find Thiebaud’s original piece particularly remarkable because the … Read More

Upon The Dawning of a New Year and Turning 41

January 1, 2015Title Pending, Uncategorized

I’m not someone who worries about my age. I worry more about the Raiders and A’s than I do how old I am. That said, I have spent the past three months on Sabbatical, looking backward at the first forty years of my life and wondering/dreaming about what’s next. Author Richard Rohr, in his book Falling Upward, … Read More

Title Pending: Inspiration Fizzles

December 9, 2014Title Pending

Inspiration generally gets me to the foot of the mountain. But once I’m there, inspiration often fizzles because the mountain doesn’t look like the mountain anymore. It looks like a steep hill and lots of short steps carrying a cheese-ob- sessed toddler on my back. It looks like a spreadsheet or a blank page instead … Read More

Title Pending: Are You A Sellout?

December 5, 2014Title Pending

It is easy to romanticize the image of the “starving artist.” But there is no intrinsic value in failure. Just as there is no intrinsic anathema in success. If you choose to sell what you make, then for the sake of all things worth swearing by, don’t believe for a minute that doing so makes … Read More