Title Pending: A Few Thoughts On Cliche

October 30, 2014Creativity, Songwriting, Title Pending

Theologian Walter Brueggemann’s “Hopeful Imagination” is a poetically-charged call to abandon dead words (cliché). In this essay he writes: “Predictable language is a measure of a deadened relationship in which address is reduced to slogan.” The use of cliché can be reflective of a tragic disconnect be- tween an artist and her subject. What may … Read More

Title Pending: Propaganda

October 22, 2014Creativity, Songleading, Title Pending

Nobody likes propaganda and nobody wants to make it. But what if you’ve got something you really want to say? I don’t think the trick is keep your agendas and ideologies in the back-seat like troublesome children. Instead, learn to make art in which your ideologies and agendas have a place of their own without taking over and dominating your work. … Read More

Title Pending: Maturity Is Not About Arrival

October 16, 2014Creativity, Songwriting, Title Pending

In a scene I find both challenging and encouraging, Irving Stone depicts Vincent Van Gogh conversing passionately with his brother, Theo concerning his personal creative development. Pacing the floor wildly, breaking glasses and trashing his own hard-earned work as he rants: Vincent: “Must I give up? Am I through? It looks that way, doesn’t it? Theo: … Read More

Lauryn Hill And Love For An Audience

October 13, 2014Title Pending

This past summer, Lauryn Hill showed up late to a show in Chicago. Someone in the crowd made note of it during her performance. She responded that she didn’t “owe” him anything and that, instead she “did this for love.” The encounter stirred up some very interesting conversation about the relationship between an artist and … Read More

Title Pending: Imitation

October 9, 2014Creativity, Songwriting, Title Pending

Inspiration is a wonderful place to start when making art. But we often move too quickly from being inspired to innovation—making our own thing with (hopefully) our own, unique signature. I believe that imitation is a missing link in much of our artistic development. So, don’t just be inspired by someone’s work. Make it part … Read More

Title Pending: Make Bad Art

September 25, 2014Creativity, Songwriting, Title Pending

Tennis star Andre Agassi initially learned to play the game from his dad. Legend has it that, during those early lessons, Emmanuel Agassi (who had been an Olympic athlete himself) encouraged the young Andre to worry less about the accuracy of his strokes and instead, hit the ball as hard as he could. Someday, he … Read More

Title Pending: Keep Your Encouragements

September 9, 2014Creativity, Songwriting, Title Pending

Over the next few months, I’ll be posting short, video excerpts from Title Pending, the book I’ll release later this year. Title Pending is a look at my creative process and history. It will be available later this year. The above video is a few paragraphs from the book. I hope you find these thoughts helpful in your own … Read More

Title Pending: Have Something To Say? Say It All

August 18, 2014Uncategorized

Later this year, I’ll release a short book I’m calling “Title Pending: Things I Think About When I Make Stuff.” Between now and then, I’m posting previews of the book here at this blog and elsewhere, like the Art House America blog or On Pop Theology.  Below is the third installation (the first is here, the second here). I don’t believe, at … Read More