Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Real Stuff

I have been a banker for most of my adult life. Bankers do a lot of interesting but intangible stuff. True, we help others make things – things you can touch, see and use – but our output consists almost completely of intangibles. The closest we come to creating tangible products is making some really cool plastic credit cards: mine has a photograph of the zone leaders and assistants on Las Ramblas. Pretty cool, no? (Did I really say cool twice?)

So I am always impressed when someone creates something tangible. This blog salutes a couple of El Faro missionaries who have actually made something.

I received in the mail today a small package from Park City. It contained this CD:

Sway, if you don’t already know, is Cody McKinnon and his collaborator, Nathan Innes. It is their first studio-recorded CD, with thirteen great tracks featuring the incredible vocals of Cody arranged by Nathan and accompanied by Nathan on the piano, and a host of great musicians on bass, guitar, violin, drums and several other instruments (including banjo). They cover songs by the Gershwin brothers, Rogers and Hart, Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen, Billy Joel, and even Leonard Cohen. Cody has two original songs on the CD as well. You’ll want to listen to “You Are My Lighthouse.”

Cdbaby.com describes the album with these words:

"Here to Stay" is Sway's much-anticipated, full-fledged studio album. During the summer of 2013, Sway ran a kickstarter campaign, successfully raising the funds necessary to produce the album themselves. Thanks to their supporters, Sway was able to hire top jazz talent to collaborate with on the album. In addition to the vocals of Cody McKinnon and the piano of Nathan Innis, "Here to Stay" features renowned jazz soloists such as David Halliday and Jay Lawrence.

This album epitomizes Sway's basic style: contemporary yet classy. "Here to Stay" returns to the great music of the past and offers a new, more honest approach to modern music. The album includes jazz standards, modern covers, and originals. Comprised of these three main groups, "Here to Stay" is bound to offer something meaningful to everyone.

If you like Michael Buble, you’ll love Sway. You can purchase the MP3 version in the iTunes Store (search “Sway Lighthouse”) or Google Play and cdbaby.com (search “Sway Here To Stay”). If you want something more tangible, you’ll have to email Cody and Nathan at swayjazzmusic@gmail.com. Enjoy!

I also recently received in the mail a small package that contained some small pieces of cloth like this one:

This is a simple but ingenious product: cloths designed to look good as an accessory in your suit coat pocket, but made from high quality microfiber that you can use to clean the screen of your phone or tablet. What I love about them is that they really work – they look good and they are better for cleaning displays than anything I have used, including the cloth that came with my very expensive iPad. I carry one with me everywhere and use one to dress up my wardrobe when wearing a sport coat or suit.

This product is another Kickstarter venture, launched by Jason Fullmer, who, while not an El Faro missionary, had the good taste and good judgment to marry Becca Henderson, one of the great hermanas of the mission.

You can get yours, in the design of your choice, at www.getdeclan.com.

Have you done something tangible, or do you know an El Faro missionary who has done something tangible? Share it with the rest of us by writing to clark.hinckley@gmail.com

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