Musical Interlude – the Five Greatest Songs

29 06 2013

In a recent late night conversation with a good friend, the topic of music rose to the surface.  The question:  What is your favorite song?  As a person that believes music motivates and enhances your life, it was interesting to consider.

With this blog, my purpose has always been to discuss sales, marketing, business, and so on.  I have a certain formula and pattern that leads to a consistent message.  Well, this close to Independence Day, I am flipping the free bird to consistency and taking a moment to share the songs that I consider the greatest.  I hope you enjoy.

So Lonely – The Police.

A little bit rock, a little bit reggae, a little bit punk – this song blends my favorite genres of music perfectly.

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Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash.

The pain and self-awareness of mistakes made.  The mention of my hometown Reno.  This one gives me chills.

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Bring It On Home To Me – Sam Cooke.

The sad longing for love.  The soulful passion of a beautiful voice.  The simple instrumentation.  If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life, this might be it.

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She Said – The Pharcyde.

You might like hip-hop and you might only be exposed to the crap they play on the radio.  This is a passionate, stylish song to keep your head nodding.

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You Are The Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne.

A week away from my 10th wedding anniversary, this song makes me think of my wonderful wife.  Infinite in her patience, constantly filling my life with love and acceptance, my world is incomplete without her.  The beauty of the song swells my appreciation for my one true love.

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Although these are my Top-5, there is a lot of other music I love.  In this blog, I have written about Snoop, Slash, Beastie Boys, Vokab Kompany, Black Joe Lewis, and others.  I have shared these passions with you.  I encourage you to comment with your favorite song or band.  This blog gets about 3,000 views a month – I’m sure the audience would love to hear your suggestions.

Happy listening!

Brad





Adam Yauch – Leaving a Legacy

11 05 2012

Flying down the highway, windows open, stereo on blast, Beastie Boys bumping – my teenage version of freedom.  The joy of good friends, weird adventures, and great music as the soundtrack to our youthful escapades.  If you were not in high school or college in the 80’s or 90’s then the Beastie Boys might not mean much to you, but you had your soundtrack too.  Yours might have been Springsteen or Elvis or the Beatles, but in my generation, we had the King Ad Rock, Mike D, and MCA.  The Beastie Boys meant rebellion, non-conformity, and pure unadulterated fun.

Last week I was saddened at the early passing of Adam (MCA) Yauch.  Always a shame when a life ends too soon, but in a moment of reflection my sadness quickly faded as I thought about that roadtrip, that party, that concert, those times in college – all those formative moments in my life colored by the sounds of Paul Revere, Sabatoge, Sure Shot, and Root Down.  I still know every single word of the album “Licensed to Ill” – a lot of people reading this do too.

So in that moment of sadness I found myself smiling.  I thought of a quote I’ve heard before:  “People will not remember what you said or what you did – they will remember how you make them feel.”  And that’s exactly what happens when you do something great, something risky, something that has a positive effect on other people’s lives.  You make them feel something – and that feeling never fades.

In that moment I began to reflect on my own life.  How will I be remembered?  How will you?  And beyond that, what did Adam Yauch do that was so special that his actions and his life impacted a generation?  What can we learn from MCA?

Speak your mind, don’t speak to everyone.  The music of the Beastie Boys is not for everyone – if it was, then it wouldn’t be genuine.  It had to be gritty, foul, raucous, and rebellious for certain people to relate to it.  If you speak softly to everyone then you speak powerfully to no one.

Find an uphill battle and start climbing.  How many times did the Beastie Boys hear “white guys can’t rap” or “rappers can’t play instruments” or “rap music won’t last”?  If you’ve got fans, you’ve got critics.  In his own words:  “They got a committee to get me off the block ‘cause I say my rhymes loud and I say ’em nonstop.”  In the path to greatness you will be met with naysayers, doubters, and skeptics.  Use it as fuel for your fire to accomplish something difficult.

Be true to yourself.  Early in their career, the Beasties might have been characterized as rude, crass, and juvenile.  In time, they used those rebellious attitudes to make statements for freedom and equality.  In either case, they pissed people off.  You don’t want to hear about kids partying and causing trouble?  Don’t listen.  You don’t want a rockstar to use their platform for pushing their beliefs?  Don’t follow.  It is the “do what I want” approach that turned these boys to men.  Be bold, be authentic, and celebrate it.

Party.  Speaking of celebration, I know we all are focused and driven and relentless and so on, but dammit, every now and then you gotta break the monotony and appreciate the fruits of your labors.  Sometimes you gotta turn it up and party like your parents are out of town to remind yourself why you work so hard.

Collaborate.  Not only were the Beastie Boys a group of guys that came together to make music – they literally finished each other’s sentences.  Their group approach to trading rhymes branded their style, gave them a unique sound, and changed the game.  Want to be successful?  Get some homies to help you achieve your vision.

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I watched the Beastie Boys on stage at Lollapalooza when I was in college.  I could not believe the way they moved the crowd.  I had never experienced thousands of people rapping in unison along with the artists on stage.  I had never heard bass that loud.  I remember what I was wearing, I remember what I drank, I remember the vibrations in the ground, I remember the friends who took that crazy journey with me.  And I will always, always remember how I felt.  Shout out to the Beasties for that feeling.  Shout out for the lifelong memories.  Shout out to MCA for the reminder to achieve something great.

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