Music

40 Songs That Have Meaning

Happy 40th birthday to me!  I’m 40 years young today.

I thought of creating a forty things I’ve learned in the past 40 years type post but I thought it would be much more fitting to talk about the music that has inspired me over the past 40 years.

For those of you who don’t know, I come from a very musical background.  I studied Music in school and University and even took music lessons outside of school.  But beyond that, the radio is always on or I’m shuffling through my extensive iTunes Collection.

Music has a powerful effect on me and has been an intrinsic part of the good and bad times in my life.

So over the next few weeks (okay let’s face it, maybe months!) we’re going to take a musical journey through my life and experience the songs that have had an impact or some meaning in my life.  Enjoy!
Los Pollitos Dicen Pio

My mom used to sing this to me as a baby.  I was born in Venezuela and spent the first two years of my life in Caracas before moving to Canada.  I spoke Spanish as a young child and didn’t speak much English until I started school.  This song was guaranteed to soothe me when I was little.  And I still sing it to myself when I’m not feeling well.
Sesame Street: Sing

I credit Sesame Street and the songs they sing with helping me learn enough English to get by on my first day of Kindergarten.  Here’s one of my favorites… and I suspect the reason why I become a singer.
Tony Bennett: I Left My Heart In San Francisco

In [...]

Friday Funny: World’s Greatest Bass Player

It’s finally Friday! That means it’s time for another Friday Funny. This week’s Friday Funny comes to me courtesy of George Takei, via my old Junior High School friend, Dallis, the coding monkey behind ADC Online Marketing. Thanks Dallis… and sorry for calling you a coding monkey but in my neck of the woods (read: my head), that’s a compliment.

Happy Valentine’s Day

The tunes have been cranking all day today and I’ll be honest, I’ve stopped a couple of times to belt out a love song or two (actually at last count it was 7!).

Music speaks to me at an almost primal level.  It has the power to instantly connect me to a memory or an emotion.  I chalk it up to being a musician at heart.

Wherever you are today and whomever you love, I hope you have musical Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a sample of the songs that made me stop in my tracks and sing along:
Adele: To Make You Feel My Love

Etta James: My Funny Valentine

Whitney Houston: I Believe In You & Me

 

Lessons From Michael Jakson’s “This Is It”

I went to the movies last night.  Yes I know – shocker ;-)  I saw Michael Jackson’s This Is It and all I can say is “Wow, wow, WOW!”  I feel his loss all the more now that I realize the extent of his talent.

As I sat in the theater, mesmerized by this incredible talent,  was struck by a few observations that apply to any business:

1. Know Your Business Inside & Out: MJ knew every note of his music and could hear and direct every part.  There’s a scene where he’s singing the bass line to the Bass Player, telling him exactly what he wanted to hear.

He had a hand in the selection of dancers.  And directed lighting cues and the selection of video images and more.  He knew every aspect of his business.  Even if he didn’t handle everything himself, he knew every aspect of his business.

2. Have A Clear Vision: MJ had a clear vision of what he wanted to hear and see.  He had a deep understanding of every movement that his body made and how it accented the music.  He had an even greater understanding of stillness or silence in a performance.

There’s a scene in the movie where a sizzle happens on a marquis and then opened up onto a City Scape  The director called cut because the musicians missed their cue.  MJ corrected him and said they were waiting for his cue.  The director expressed concern that they needed to start at a specific point in the video that was being projected onto the screen behind Michael.  “How will you know?” and Michael replied “I’ll just feel it”  [...]