Music: Soda and Salt by James McMurtry

A review of the song “Soda and Salt” by James McMurtry. First, the guitar work on the intro is awesome! The music in this song makes me want to get up and dance immediately. If only I could play guitar like this. Then, when the band comes in – yes!

The surprises keep coming, it’s like reading a crime novel, you want to hear what comes next all the way through the song. Surprise – a trombone solo! And then there’s the lyrics, so good.

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Artist / Musician / Band: James McMurtry
Song: Soda and Salt
Album: Walk Between the Raindrops
Genre: Rock and folk-rock, Americana, singer songwriter, guitarist
From: Fort Worth, TX
Where to buy or purchase: Direct from his website, iTunes

Creativity: Ted Talk, Elusive Creative Genius

photo of Elizabeth Gilbert from Ted Talk on creativityThis TED Talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius” by Elizabeth Gilbert contains very intriguing concepts on creativity through genius and muse. The TED website summarizes the talk with the catch line “…the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” genius.”¬†

Evidently in ancient Greece and ancient Rome people did not believe creativity came from human beings but that humans were a vessel capturing ideas from outside themselves. The beauty of this concept is removal of intense pressure from the artist.

“If your work was brilliant you couldn’t take all the credit for it, everybody knew that you had this disembodied genius who had helped you. If your work bombed, not entirely your fault, you know? Everyone knew your genius was kind of lame.”

The story Elizabeth tells at 10:10 about American poet Ruth Stone and a poem coming at her from over the landscape and shaking the earth underneath her feet is amazing.

Those of you who have experienced bursts of creativity where a song or a painting is completed in one setting, will likely recognize how the result just “happened”. It reminds me of the Keith Richards “Satisfaction” story.

(read the TED transcript)

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Speaker: Author, Elizabeth Gilbert
Topic: Creativity
Genre: Literature
From: Connecticut

Music: First Aid Kit, My Silver Lining

The song My Silver Lining struck me immediately when I heard it on the radio in my car. Thank you to local radio KXT 91.7 for playing new music. (First Aid Kit live on KXT with interview)

Musicians of First Aid KitFirst, the vocals are great. Who could tell the singers are so young with such aged quality and delivery? It was a shock to me. Second, once I saw live performance video, it was a pleasant surprise to see they actually play the instruments in the band and on the recording and play them well. And finally, the lyrics do what the best lyrics do. Here is an excerpt on lyrics by Sean Hartley that captures this idea, “Lyrics are poetry that are meant to be heard, and understood, in real time. …[that] strive to be simple and clear, to express the feelings of the heart and the head in a way that is effortless, …” (see full quote)

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Musicians: Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg
Band: First Aid Kit
Song: My Silver Lining
Album: Stay Gold
Genre: Folk Pop, Americana, Alt-Country
From: Sweden
Where to buy or purchase their music: Direct from their website, iTunes

Why Thoughts and Phrases

Thoughts and Phrases reminds me of a category that could be found on Wheel of Fortune. I envision this website to be a collection of just that – any group of words, or even a single word, maybe just a song – in this sense it is roughly synonymous with expression.

One thing about expression. It is an indication of feeling, spirit, reaction – but more importantly, it is temporary and fleeting.

This website is meant to explore moods and ideas in the moment they are relevant, similar to a Polaroid. A later visit serves to call up a memory of a time/place and allows for a vantage with different eyes.