Mood/Music Monday

While there is nothing I enjoy on this earth quite like writing, it's a solitary act. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for marinating over my thoughts in attempt to understand the world just a little bit better. But sometimes understanding best comes from another perspective.

My friend Troy and I have begun collaborating on a writing project which we're hoping will lead to other things. The thing I like most about Troy is that he challenges the way I think—he presents complex thoughts that take some digestion. In addition to being an all-around wonderful person, Troy is one the absolute most talented musicians I have ever met in my life. He can sit down at a piano or pick up a guitar and make, just, magic. Getting that magic out of him, however, is where I come in.

Discipline is just as important to art as creativity. A book or painting in my head is nothing more than a fleeting thought if I don't act on it. Every artist deserves the opportunity to have her ideas manifested—to hold the living, tangible things her mind's created. That's what I want for every artist, and that's especially what I want for my dear friends.

I don't know if the art I make will ever bear any significance, but art isn't really about significance anyway. True art is the ability to bring out creativity in other people and motivate them to make. The product we end up with, the art if you will, while beautiful, pales in comparison to the effect its making had on the mind of the creator.

I'm confident that the more Troy and I work together, the more we'll motivate one another not just to be more creative people, but to be better people. People who can take on the weight and challenges of the world and funnel them into art. While the prospect is exciting and inspiring, we're not the first to come up with such a concept.

My Mood/Music playlist this week is dedicated to artists who have taken advantage of the beauty of collaboration. There's so much good in this world to be discovered; I like the idea of someone helping me find it.

(Conor Oberst)

Radicalized! Radicalized!
Radical lies! Radical lies!
I’m so surprised my mind’s a tug-o-war
Radicalized! Radicalized!
Radical lies! Radical lies!
It’s no surprise my mind’s not mine no more

Bright Eyes
(Conor Oberst)

Monsters of Folk
(Conor Oberst & Jim James)
The Right Place

My Morning Jacket
(Jim James)

Jim James
State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

The New Basement Tapes
(Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith—and yes, that's Marcus Mumford on vocals)
Kansas City

(Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith)
All Your Favorite Bands

Conor Oberst
(Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith)

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
(Jason Boesel)
I Got The Reason #2

*This might be my favorite song Conor Oberst has written. I say the same thing about Tourist Trap.

Jason Boesel
I Got The Reason