The Friday Morning Listen: The Bill Frisell Band – Lookout For Hope (1987)

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by Mark Saleski

There’s a lot of writing out there about where inspiration comes from. We’ve all read stories about the Muse and how fickle it can be and all of that. For me, the vanishing Muse has most often to do with life situations out of control. Stress shows up and free and easy thought takes a holiday. Though the particulars attached to why a single image/sound/word combination can be nearly impossible to pin down, there are more general things that often bring back that familiar sense of creative forward motion — a magazine article that makes me consider a new angle on something, a piece of art, a movie, a book, a photo, a vacation.

I think of all of these as intellectual changes of scenery. My head is stuck in one place and it needs to go somewhere else, mostly because it has started to spend too much time thinking about its “stuckness.”

I’ve been stuck for a while. Part of it has definitely been the day job, both mine and TheWife™’s. We come home too late, cook dinner too late, and then stare off into space. Creative forward motion is not a part of the scene. A fair amount of time has been spent wondering where this word stuff is all going. Review output is off and, while I’m happy with what I do end up writing, it has been difficult. The right word is: a chore.

The other night I stumbled onto this tremendous video interview with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell has been one of my heroes for a long time. He takes elements of jazz, folk, country, blues, rock, and skronk and spins it into, well, something else. During the interview, I was struck both by Frisell’s genuine & humble nature, and by his passion. When asked where the beginner should start with the recorded history of jazz, he’s eyes widened as he joyfully proclaimed that there is SO much out there.

It’s true, there is so much out there and it has been one of the great pleasures of my life to introduce people to music that I enjoy. Recent musing about “stuckness” has brought me here to Something Else. This is my intellectual change of scenery. We have hopes of taking this writing places. Bringing listeners and musicians together is what it’s all about. Like Mr. Frisell, we have the passion.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Friday Morning Listen, it is my weekly description of the first recording I listen to on Friday as I head out to work. The reasons for my selections are many, and sometimes a little bit mysterious (even to me!). Sometimes I talk about the music, sometimes I don’t. Life is like that — it doesn’t always make sense. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn something, even from the oddest situations and outcomes.

So I’m inviting all of you readers out there to chime in with what you’re listening to this morning. Comment right here. Comment on Facebook. Fling an email. We want to know! Show us your passion…we’ll show you ours.


Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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