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Archive for April, 2009

That’s Kinda Cool

simplifymedia-logoI was thinking last night that it would be cool to share some music with someone else, not illegally giving them the files (ahem) but streaming my music so someone else could listen and enjoy some tunes they themselves don’t have. I thought that was only possible if both parties were on the same network.

However, it turns out my thoughts were wrong. I found SimplifyMedia, a free download that allows you to share your music with anyone else on just about any platform. This is also handy if you want to have your music on your home computer available to you when you’re away from home. That only works if your computer is left on, but the option is still nice.

No files are uploaded or transferred; your library is viewable/listenable by whomever you grant permission. Pretty cool idea. And I especially love that it’s free.

After giving it a test run yesterday on iTunes I can say that it does just what it says. Pretty fun. And apparently it’s not just for iTunes – it can also be used with Winamp, Front Row, Window Media Player and you can connect with your computer or iPhone or iPod Touch.

Go, technology, go.

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Yeah, I’m a little jealous… Even though I know the President could wipe the court with me.

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Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.

Do it or don’t do it.

It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.

This is the closing thought to Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art. This work is a quick read meant to kick you square in the butt, to wake you up and drive you to stare down whatever it is that stops you from creating, stops you from being who you were meant to be.

I can make all the excuses in the world for not dreaming, for not creating, composing, imagining. But they’d still be excuses and I’ll still have done nothing.

Put aside fear and dream.

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nr20070208bI love Patty Griffin. She is easily one of my favorite artists of all time and is definitely in my top three now and has been for quite a while. She brings a winning brand of folk/country/rock and does so with an incredible voice and excellent songwriting. With a combination like that, is it any wonder why I dig her so much?

I recently learned that she was playing a couple of shows here in Texas this week. Unfortunately, they’re a few hours away and while I strongly considered making the trip for both shows I’ve decided it’s probably best for me to hold off for now for sake of funds and driving safety. A bit disappointing, yes.

So, in honor of Patty being in town I dedicate today’s “Sounds For My Soul” to her. This first song is called “Long Ride Home,” a pure Patty classic from the great album 1,000 Kisses.

patty-griffin-1000-kisses

http://www.joshuapthomas.com/07LongRideHome.mp3″

And because Patty Griffin is so great, let’s share another song, eh? This one is called “Rain” also from the 1,000 Kisses album. The recording below is her performing the song live, taken from her A Kiss In Time record. If I had to pick my all-time favorite song from any artist right now, today, I think “Rain” would top the list.

album-a-kiss-in-time

http://www.joshuapthomas.com/05Rain.mp3″

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Previous entries of SFMS:

Pt. I
Pt. II
Pt. III
Pt. IV
Pt. V

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There’s Always Enough

12253682169bt79tWith every passing day I grow more and more convinced that life can never relied on to be “normal,” that when we reach some level of stability it’s not necessarily the way it’s supposed to be, it’s just one experience before the next one.

I don’t say this pessimistically, I say it to reflect on how to deal with life. My goal can’t be about achieving normalcy, whatever that is, but about finding my footing in the ever-changing scenery of highs and lows that is life.

Things will always happen. Amazing things are in store during the journey. Unbelievable pain may await us as well. Disappointment is sure to visit us along with joy unspeakable. That is life. I can’t find my stability in only the positive, comfortable places; I have to master standing upright from the quiet through the chaos.

The pain may melt away. Disappointment can be reversed. But where do I find my footing while I’m there? I can’t dwell on my lack of career/house/wealth/stuff/prestige/authority because I’ll be depressed until it all changes. I need to embrace the good that is definitely around me, that is always around me. The good of my family, the good of my prosperity that more than half the world will never taste, the good of a forgiving, loving God.

There’s always enough good. I have to purposefully find it. I have to cling on to it with everything I have lest I be swept away by the noise of the negative which is constantly clamoring for attention.

There’s always enough.

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A sign of the times? I can hear Martin Bashir now…

cl-guitar-trade

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Happy birthday, Rich. I’m thrilled to say that I really like you more now than I ever have before.

Looking forward to another memorable year ahead.

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