Tag Archives: Brainstorm

How Mind Mapping Helps You to Brainstorm More Great Ideas

There are many ways to plan out projects, ideas, and plans. You could use a simple piece of paper, a digital planning tool, or you could use a mind map.

I first came across mind mapping when I was at school. One of my teachers showed us how to structure an essay, and his method was to create a mind map and develop arguments using the branches of the map, so you never lost sight of the question.

The next time I use mind maps extensively was when I began creating presentations in the early 2000s. As an English communication teacher teaching business executives in Korea to better communicate with their English speaking partners, I was not teaching vocabulary, grammar, and structure—my students already had that. I was teaching more about the culture of communication in the English speaking world.

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With Gratitude for the Boys | Peter Mehit

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Yesterday, l spent the day with some old friends. Marty Austin and Dan Williford are the guitarists from lxt Adux, a band we took through the early eighties club scene in the search of the elusive record contract.

IA 3If you Google the band, you’ll find we have, even still, a following in Italy where we were named one of the premier bands of the eighties on several internet lists. Even though these lists are maintained by someone in their back bedroom, I personally find it a hell of an honor anyone cares that much. And copies of the original vinyl “Brainstorm” album are worth $150/ea if you have them.

We didn’t get the elusive contract because our music was ahead of its time: a kind of a mash up of King Crimson (both phases), Primus and Zappa complete with multiple time signatures and key changes in a time when three power chord hair bands were raking in millions. 

Maybe it would have never been the right time, we were so busy perfecting the ideas and the performance we never really stopped to see if people could tap their foot to what we were doing. After all, one reviewer, giving our album four stars (out of five) starts a glowing 2009 review led with: “Los Angeles based Ixt Adux were yet another late 70s / early 80s US band that had absolutely no chance of commercial success.” 

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Still, it was the most amazing, creative period I’ve ever lived through. For us, it actually was about the craft. We worked at it for seven years and the end everyone moved on to another chapter in their lives two albums and dozens of shows later.

For the most part we stayed in touch through out the years, although we lost touch with Marty. After while, it really started to bother me and eventually I fired a Jungian bottle rocket (subject of another post) and we found him.

The really great thing is we’ve started playing again. Free form jams at first, but eventually we started going back to the material we were working on when we split up. The unfinished business. We’ve been tapping around at it, wire brushing off the rust, digging down into muscle memory to cross the gulf of time.

Yesterday, we worked through some arrangements. The rehearsal discipline from thirty years ago was there, like only a day had gone by. We made some big strides in getting a difficult piece of music back on its feet. It was an awesome day with two of the coolest people I’ll ever know.  I just want the world to know how grateful I am, that we’re alive and together and making music.

It’s like the world has been restored.

For an idea of what the band was like in its native element, check out a 1982 performance at Lincoln Park in Santa Monica of Dan Williford’s previously unreleased Ms. Conception here. – Ed.