Monday, January 30, 2012


Distractions can kill dreams faster than almost anything. I know many people (myself included at times), that have had huge dreams, but because of financial constraints, time, or location, have become distracted from pursuing those dreams.

The scenario typically goes like this:

If I only had X amount of dollars, I could truly pursue that dream.
I'll take a job (or jobs) as a means to an end in accomplishing that dream.
5-10 years later, I'm still in a job that was only meant to propel me into making my dreams a reality, and now I'm convinced its too late to pursue that original dream.

This works itself out in every landscape. I see it abundant in our political system now...

It seems like in this election cycle, there are more GOP primary debates than ever. I would argue that this is very calculated. Because the debates are most often network debates (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, PBS, etc), the amount of time, focus, and criticism (and trust me, there's plenty of deserving criticism) that surrounds a possible candidate distracts us from the reality of politics that is happening in congress and in the White House.

While we focus on a possible candidate, gas prices inch up to near-national highs, and it receives little to no air time. Our lowest rated congress sits and does nothing, and all we discuss is who said what at the most recent debate.

Distraction works!

So maybe use this next time you have a dream and feel the need to pursue it:

1. Dream
2. Draw out a vision
3. Fail often and FAIL FORWARD
4. Re-access
5. Dream more...(repeat as necessary)

But whatever you do, resist distraction!


Saturday, January 28, 2012


Unlike my childhood, my kids don't wake up and run to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Instead, they grab the iPad and watch their favorite episodes of Angelina Ballerina, Wonder Pets, and Inspector Gadget, all cuddled up together on Cora's bed.

But hey, as long as it buys Kate and I another 30 minutes in bed, I'm cool with that!

Have a wonderful weekend.


Friday, January 27, 2012

They Reappear

Here's the FINAL video from the LIVE DVD. It was such a fun concert/shoot that I'll never forget! It was a privaledge and honor to play with the talented Jeremy Larson, Darren King (Mutemath), & Stacy DuPree (Eisley & Sucre)...not to mention all of the other great string players!



Thursday, January 26, 2012


Here's another clip from the LIVE DVD...enjoy it! Tomorrow will bring this series to a close. Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Intervention + Remission

Here's another couple tunes from the LIVE DVD.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Empire + Provoke + Day Residue + Circadian Cues

Here's another couple videos from the LIVE DVD I played violin on with Jeremy Larson.

I failed to have mentioned before, but I was dying during this concert. Kate and I had a "kid free" weekend as we prepped and performed, but both of us got sick - real sick. I was running a 104 degree temperature the entire night. You can see it in the second video. During the cello solos I'm just trying not to collapse :-) Actually Cora asked me, "Dad, you don't look're all puffed!" So, I'm not sure a 104 degree temperature makes you puffy - that could just be my proclivity for donuts and MSG...

Nonetheless, enjoy!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Murmur Exhale + Doe Eyed Children + Bedside Manner + Night Terrors

Here's installment #3 of the LIVE DVD from the show I played violin with Jeremy Larson, Darren King (Mutemath), and Stacy DuPree (Eisley). Enjoy!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ricochet + Half Speed

Here's another clip from the LIVE DVD I did with Jeremy Larson last year...


Saturday, January 21, 2012


Over the next few days I'll be posting video from the LIVE DVD I did with Jeremy Larson, Darren King (Mutemath), & Stacy DuPree (Eisley). It was amazing to play violin for this amazing performance!

Here's #1: Descending...


Thursday, January 19, 2012


I saw Moneyball this week and absolutely loved it! Maybe not because of the acting or the history, but because of the underlying story.

Brad Pitt's character was unsatisfied with status quo and wasn't willing to hope for different results without making fundamental changes to the A's organization. He pleads with his scouting staff to get rid of the proverbial box. They could not. They were bound to a fixed system.

Enter Jonah Hill's character that didn't even consider the box, or the system that the scouts were bound to. Instead he changed the way baseball was played. The risk was great, and the failures were many. But in the end the result changed the culture of the game.

Watch it. Live it in your own context.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Real vs. Surreal

I want to pose an idea.

We should live a life based in the real, not the surreal. The surreal supposes unrealistic grandeur, which is posed in many forms as reality, but is in fact scripted, and fantasy. Reality is tangible, gritty, and effective. Surreality is not - it is blinding and lacks truth.

Let me toss you a few ideas of how culture succumbs to the surreal versus the real... (these examples may frustrate you, but that's kind of the point)

-Reality Television: there's no reality in 24 hour cameras, scripted scenarios, larger-than-life characters; and yet many try and emulate our reality tv stars.

-Planned Obsolescence: this is the manufacturing model that produces products with a planned life-span, which forces the consumer to re-buy "new and better" products. It makes sense on paper, but eventually the consumer will no longer tolerate it, and the companies that produce products that last and endure, will win. The pendulum is finally swinging in the right direction here!

-Ethanol: over 40% of our corn production is being used for an alternative fuel that burns faster and worse than gasoline. We simply cannot sustain an economy that burns its food, while people are starving.

-War: the idea that, "if we just kill enough of the enemy," we will win over the hearts and minds of those we are in conflict with, and peace will reign is a lie. History shows that redemptive violence will never bring peace.

-Ending Poverty: It's estimated that $150 Billion dollars could end global poverty (bringing food, clean water, shelter, medicine, and education to the impoverished world). The surreal says that "we'll never end poverty." In fact, it would be a drop in the bucket. The US alone spent $14 Billion bailing out our auto manufacturers, $700 Billion on the bank bailout, and over $2.4 Trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Money is not the issue!

-Consumption: this is the lie that if we just have more, we'll be happy.

I believe that the cure is more creativity! When our leaders stop expecting new results while employing failed methods, we will start to resemble reality, and true, tangible change will occur.

Please feel free to chime in. I want your thoughts!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday is for Transformational Creativity

My buddy Brandon showed this to me a while back. It'd brilliant! It shows the transformational nature of creativity. Love it and spread it around!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tomorrow at The Duck Room (St. Louis, MO)

I really hope to see you there!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thoughts on Snow.

Living in St. Louis this year means we have yet to see any snow. But I'm going to write about it anyway today - maybe in hopes of an eventual snowfall...

I think snow is a perfect metaphor for creativity. Early on as children, we loved the idea of getting a foot of snow dumped on us. We watched the windows impatiently as the first flurries of winter fell. We stayed up and watched the nightly news for the possibility of school closings. We woke up to crisp mornings and no matter the wind chill demanded to go outside and create snowmen, snow angels, snow forts, and go sledding.

But as we grew up, snow brought us tension. It meant shoveling and slow traffic. It meant longer lines at the store (as if this snow was going to be a wintry' apocalypse).

As with creativity, what was once enthusiastic and natural, has become tamed and even hated.

But as the snow falls this year, take a few moments to look through a densely wooded area. You can see everything. Snow exposes what was once camouflaged. The crispness of the air is rejuvenating. The snow can beckon creativity, newness, freshness, while also causing stress and retreat. So it goes with creativity.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012 you?

Empathy Week: iEmpathize and Universities from iEmpathize on Vimeo.

iEmpathize is an amazing organization that works to raise awareness and put an end to the sex trade. Please check out their site HERE!

I have been humbled to have been their feature musician at 2 of their recent events, and now have music featured on their national promo videos.

I look forward to a future with the great folks at iEmpathize!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Cora is 4!!!

Today is Cora's birthday. She's 4! It's unreal, really. She's gotten so mature, her character is forming as a true compassionate and empathetic individual, and she's got more creativity than I could ever hope for.

Happy birthday Cora!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mad Props.

I gotta' give some mad props to one of the most creative guys I know. He's a photographer, a web designer, a maverick editor and manipulator, a soothsayer, a collaborator, a soaker, and has been my friend since seventh grade honors choir.

He's the guy behind my website and makes me (and it) look way cooler than we are...

Check out Brandon Schultz's work here and here. If you need web, photo, or any other creative work done, get Brandon on your side.

Thanks a million Brandon!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Essence...Don't Condition it Away!

I believe that we are all created creative. I know some of you will argue that you don't have a creative bone in your body, but I would disagree. Because I believe that we were created in the image of the Creator God (Genesis 1:27), our essence is that of creativity.

This struck me again last week as I was sitting on a bench at the park. I watched kid after kid, use the swings as vines - climbing tools to the frame, that became the kids' jungle. I watched kids climb up the exterior of the tubular slides pretending to be Spiderman. I watched kids make up fantastical plot lines for the make believe games they were playing.

Then I watched as parent after parent stopped the kids from swinging from the ropes of the swings, stopped them from climbing the exterior of the slides, and all of the sad faces associated with the parental intervention.

I believe that what I saw, was the creative in each of us being quelled by adulthood. We've all been told not to do things (granted some of it is for our safety), but imagine a world that was dream-free, danger-free, and creativity-free. It wouldn't be much of a world.

So the next time you see your kids being creative in their surroundings, watch and learn from them. Soak up as much as you can, and above all, help them to flourish in their creativity. It's in our basic human makeup. Don't condition it away!


Monday, January 2, 2012

This Year.

Welcome to 2012!

This year I'm going to focus the blog content a bit more to all things creativity. You might be thinking that's too limiting, but let me explain. I believe that creativity encompasses everything from art to politics, child raising to nation building, songwriting to conflict...the list goes on and on.

So this year, I promise to give you small blips of ideas that surround the creative process, propels ideas forward, and creates culture. I promise to fail often, but to fail forward. I promise to be diverse in subject matter. I promise to start and hopefully continue the conversation. And I promise to say things that will create tension.

This year will be a great one - even if the Mayan's are right...