Tag Archives: Music

Never confuse Attitude with Talent:

Never confuse Attitude with Talent:

Attitude:

  1. Manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind:

Talent:

  1. A special natural ability or aptitude:
  2. A capacity for achievement or success; ability:

Sometimes when we see a successful person or a successful team we look for secrets to their success.  Sometimes we look at their personality traits and hope we can identify and isolate what makes them successful.  A lot of times successful people have a certain attitude we can identify with and we think that is the reason they are successful.  I say be careful with confusing Attitude with Talent.  I believe that Talent is the leading indicator of Success.  I think we all have a Talent and it is up to each of us to develop and harness our Talent.  I think the right Attitude can help, but I think Talent is the key.  Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I hope you find today’s topic worthy.

Attitude can come in all shapes and sizes.  Attitudes can be good or bad and can cover a whole range of human emotions.  Attitude can give you confidence and can help make you successful.  But Attitude in and of itself is not Talent.  I believe at the core of every successful team or organization you will find Talent.  Talent alone will not guarantee success; talent has to be harnessed.  Attitude can help harness the power of Talent, for good or bad.  Some will tell you good and bad are relative.  Let’s not stray, Sometimes people identify with an Attitude because it taps into their emotions, but Success is more a product of Talent than Attitude.

Punk Rock vs. Jazz

Some people like Punk Rock and some people like Jazz.  Do not confuse the style of Music with the level of Talent from Musician to Musician and Group to Group.  Some Punk bands have lots more Talent than they are ever given credit for having.  Some Jazz Musicians are given credit they do not deserve purely by association of the company they keep.  The reverse is also true.  Sometimes people like a certain style of music so they give every musician in that category more credit than they may deserve.  Other times people do not like a style of music so they cannot recognize any talent in that segment based not on their knowledge of music, but purely based on their taste in music.  Do not confuse Attitude with Talent.  Many times that most popular artist is not the most talented, case in point Jazz Fusion:  No one can deny the level of talent that has come out of Jazz Fusion, but it did not make it popular.  Again, a Popular Attitude or style does not mean you lack talent, but Pop Music Artists are rarely given credit for having the most Talent.

So the same is true of more than just music.  For me music is a very simple and universal example.  You can look at many different businesses and see many different Management and Leadership styles.  You will find many different words for Attitude, Culture or Passion.  You will find many different justifications for each of these Styles.  I say without Talent, Attitude alone will not get you very far.  Attitude is easy to copy, but Talent has to be developed over time.  To be successful, I honestly believe Talent is always at the core and proper Attitude harnesses this Talent.  Not all types of Attitude will create a Positive Environment, and you may not be able to adjust to all types of Attitudes, Management and Leadership Styles and Environments.  Being able to separate Talent from Attitude will make things easier.  Be careful not to confuse them.  Never confuse Attitude with Talent:

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Some of my favorite Holiday Songs / Videos

1:  Do they know it’s Christmas:

Do they know it’s Christmas:  This Instant Classic from a British All Star Group for Charity is still one of my favorite Holiday Songs.

2:  We Three Kings:

Speaking of Super-groups: This Jazz Super-Group of Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Larry Carlton and Paul Shaffer even had a quick cameo in the “Scrooged Moive”  Who can argue the amount of talent on this track.

3:  Frosty the Snowman:

Usually with the Cocteau Twins there is no hope of understanding what the lead singer is saying.  This Dreamy Alternative Pop is your once chance.

4:  Christmas Time is Here:

Even though this is a cartoon, this is a very lounge-y feeling classic.

5:  The Grinch Song:

Sorry, I have a thing for these cartoon classics.  Maybe this one stretches it a bit, but it isn’t Christmas without the Grinch and Scrooge.

6:  Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy

David Bowie and Bing Crosby, it doesn’t get any better does it?

7:  Last Christmas

Wham was about to split up, but not before dropping this Holiday Favorite.

8:  All I want for Christmas:

Say what you want about Mariah Carey, this one is as good as it gets.

9:  Happy Xmas / War is Over

John Lennon, enough said.

10:  Wonderful Christmas Time

Can’t have John without Paul

11:  This Christmas

I quickly find myself running out of room.  I could go on and on, but I think I am going to leave you with this one.

Back to the Basics, Part Two:

I love playing the Bass Guitar.  I love making music.  I have told me exploits as a Drummer and a Servant Leader.  I have been trying to learn to become a better leader by doing the best I can to help move the group of musicians I jam with forward.  Well this week I learned quite a lesson.  I will share it with you if you will stick around for a minute.  Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.

Have you ever heard of the term, “Fake it until you make it?”  I am not sure I agree with that term.  I believe you should do the best you can, do not be afraid of making mistakes; but learn from the mistakes you make, and keep trying to get better at what you do.  I play the Drums in a Praise Band, because that is what we need the most.  Every now and then I get to play the Bass Guitar.  This week for the second time only I got to play the Bass.

Now as a Drummer, I have tried to make sure everything was good for all the other musicians.  I bring extra Cables, converters and spare batteries to make sure you can clearly hear each instrument.  I have explained to the people in the band that the person running the Sound System can make or break our performance.  The mix of the Sound through the Main System is what the people in the crowd will hear.  We will hear the mix through the stage monitors first, and the sound going out to the crowd will sound like an echo to us on stage.  Everything has to be mixed just right.

I have gotten used to different mixes because I have played different instruments and different styles of music.  It never sounds exactly the same twice.  Most of the time people in the crowd are not 100% sure if what they are hearing is mixed just right, or if it is even being played live at all.  You see people pantomiming to music in the Movies, On TV and even at some Concerts.  A lot of Television Appearances are set to pre-recorded music.  I never much liked watching people fake it on Television or in the Movies.  I really like movies where when you watch the musicians’ they look like they can really play, not just fake it.  I never like watching people fake it on Television or Live.

Ok, quick switch.  Name your five favorite singers.  Now name your five favorite bass players.  Most people can not even name five bass payers.  Most people can not really tell who is playing what on stage.  I can. I am a musician.  Some styles of music are truly built upon what the Bass Player and Drummer are doing.  Usually the best Bass Lines can be found in Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Funk Music.  In other Styles of Music the Bass Player can sit in the back ground and just provide deep notes that sit under what everyone else is doing.  I like playing the Bass in a way the weaves in and out of the mix.  I play the bass in a way that can sit back or take the lead.  I like to play in a way that will push the other musicians’ and add a lot of energy to the music.  I want people to feel what I am playing.

Well because of strange scheduling we did not get to practice with our sound man.  We made it through practice, but there we some sound problems.  Noisy cords that were creating a popping sound in the music.  Because we were not able to really pin point the problem we just did the best we could and got through practice.  During our performance, something went terribly wrong.  The Acoustic Guitar and Bass Guitar were low in the mix to start with, but halfway through the first song the Guitar and Bass were turned completely off in the mix.  We were reduced to playing along, but nothing was coming through the Main System or the Monitors.  We tried to wave to the Sound Man but we could not get his attention.  I was basically faking it.  The keyboards, drums and vocals were the only thing being heard by the crowd.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the music, everyone but me.  The Bass Guitar was plugged directly into the Main System, no Bass Amplifier on Stage.  I knew what I was playing, and I was trying to play to the best of my ability.  I really, really wanted people to feel the Bass parts I was playing.  I wanted to take each song to New Heights.

All the weeks I spent behind the drums making sure everyone else could be heard, and now I was not being heard at all.  Many a Rock Star has walked off the stage when the mix was wrong.  I wanted to sit down the bass and walk off stage.  I had to convince myself that the sound could be fixed at any minute.  I had to fake it.  I had to keep playing not knowing if I would be heard or not.  I have read stories of Guitar players who would jump around and go crazy one night and really concentrate on their playing the next night.  People like to see people jumping around more than really trying to play their best.  I knew what I was playing.  I could hear it in my mind.  No matter how much I tried it would not be heard by anyone else.  I would not be able to make people feel what I was playing.  They would only see what I was trying to play.

I gave up trying to signal to the sound made.  I tried to let it go and just have a good time, somewhere between faking it and really playing.  The performance made me realize it is not about me; and if the sound man could not hear what was wrong, no one in the crowd would hear it either.  No one else could tell that the Acoustic Guitar and The Bass Guitar were turn off in the mix.  We were really playing but not being heard.  We were being seen though.  A few people even told me, that they could not hear me in the beginning.  The Bass was actually “On” early in the first song.

The whole thing made me wonder if I could every “fake it” for a TV show.  I am not sure if I could.  I think I would at the very least need an Amplifier turned “On” even if it was not part of the Main Mix.  As much as I wanted to show off my skills to the world, how much will it really matter?  Someone has to really be tuned in as much as I am to what each instrument is doing.  Maybe this is why some many people can just fake it.  Maybe people really do not even really know what they are hearing.  Live or Pre-Recorded.  It is more about liking what they hear more than how it is being made.  I still want to really play; I do not want to fake it.  Maybe this is why more and more bad singers are famous, and why so many acts out there can just put on a tape and jump around.  They just fake it.

The most important thing is to do what is best for the group and move forward.  The lesson is to really tune in that sound system and each sound man to what sounds they are hearing.  The sound man can make or break the mix of the music.  So on wards and upwards in my journey as a leader, sometimes you just have to adapt to the worst possible scenario and keep moving forward.  Next time, there will always be a next time!

My Chilled Out Wired In Lounge Music Mix.

Otherwise known as My Wired in Music Part Two:  Where to begin?  I have Five Ultra Cool CDs that I made a personal Music Mix From.  These are Chilled Out Wired In Tunes that keep me moving, working and focused; even though a lot of people wonder how I can be productive while listening to these tunes.  Some people get it, some people don’t; on to the mix.

CD Number One: Billie HolidayRemixed & Reimagined – Billie Holiday has Nine Grammys Awarded for Historical Impact on Music.  Do I need to say more?  Take one of the most Seminal Jazz Artists of All-Time and have Top Electronic Producers make nice and chilled out lounge mixes.  How cool is that?

CD Number Two:  Nina Simone Remixed & Reimagined – Nina studied at Julliard, was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and recorded what I think is the Greatest Version of the Song – The Look Of Love:  Yeah, Chill her music out with a great Lounge Mix CD.

CD Number Three:  Shirley Bassey –  The Remix Album – Diamonds Are Forever.  It is pretty cool to get to record a James Bond Theme Song.  Shirley Bassey is so cool, she is the only artist to have more than one, she has three.  How cool is that? Remix a bunch of Diamonds!

CD Number Four: Tom JonesGreatest Hits.  Tom Jones is so cool, he makes cool tracks and then takes other people’s cool tracks and remakes them with other cool people.  If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what cool is…

CD Number Five:  SealBest Remixes.  It is cool to have a Greatest Hits Album.  It is Cool to have a Remix Album.  So how cool is it to have a Greatest Remix Album?

 So I took my favorites from each of these and did a “Round Robin Music Mix.”  Now I have to get back to work.

My Wired in Music:

We live in the information age.  Computers are a bigger and bigger part of our daily lives.  Programmers, Analysts, Gamers and Hobbyist, we are all the same when we are staring at that computer screen.  We are all Wired In, Jacked into the system.  Some of us like to set mood music for our travels through cyberspace. You see it more and more in the workplace.  People wearing headphones when they do not want to be distracted, I am one of them.  I like to set mood music when I need to tunnel in and collect data before a report is due.  So, I would like to share with the 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo world some of the Artists and Titles I like to listen to when Wired Into the System.

The Social Network Soundtrack:  How can I not start here?  Who cares how accurate the movie is, I am down with the soundtrack.  A bunch of Instrumental tracks from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  It doesn’t get much better than this: Unless

Tron: Legacy ReconfiguredDaft Punk’s  – Tron Legacy –  Soundtrack Remixed by a bunch of Electronic Artists.  OK, which movie did you like better, which CD did you like better?  Like it matters, all that matters is when I am wired in, my output goes up when I listen to this CD.  So enough from the Big Screen, what about the small screen? 

The Heroes Soundtrack:   Some people don’t like the soundtrack, but when I mix these tracks in with tracks from the two soundtracks listed above, they just all play nice together.  As far as the TV show goes, I loved the first season and then I kind of lost touch.

So where do you go from here?  Maybe away from Soundtracks and to the Land of Compilations:  OK try these on for size.  Winter Chill Vol. 2 – Jazz Lounge Vol. 2:   The Volume 2’s are just a coincidence.  What is not a coincidence is mixing these tracks into a custom play list with the music aforementioned.  Basically I go all Track Ones, then all Track Twos in a Rotation until I have cycled through all the Discs.  Yes, lot’s of Futuristic Music and Futuristic Themes, but I am talking about setting the mood for Jacking In aren’t I?

So while you’re at it: Pure Moods:   Pure Moods is a sampler CD of all those Themes from all those Movies and all those Shows, you will know what Movies and Shows I am talking about the minute you take a listen.   Great music for the wired in experience.

Sure there is plenty more music I listen to when I am searching the Inter and Intra Nets for all the things I need to get through my work day.  Love it or hate it is not the point.  The point is to tune out the world around me and get as much done as quickly as possible.  For me this stuff works.  Your list may be totally different, that’s cool.  That’s the point, you set the mood for yourself.

Maximum Muscle Madness – The Music

Maximum Muscle Madness – The Music

What music do you listen to when you workout?  This is a rhetorical question because this post is about the music I listen to when I work out.  Most of the Workout DVD’s and Tapes and Shows are set to some kind of music.  The Biggest Loser has a CD series.  There are tons of Workout Playlists on iTunes.  So the link between Music and Exercise is well established and marketed. 

My music choices probably say a lot about me as a person, but it now way parts the whole picture, just a part of it.  So here is a shameless plug for the songs that I can think of, off the top of my head, that are somewhere on my MP3 player in no particular order.

Higher Love Depeche Mode

So during this album and tour Depeche Mode were a mess.  The lead singer was suicidal, one keyboard player left the band after the tour and fans thought the group would fall apart. And yet they are singing a song about Faith and Devotion.  The slow burn of Higher Love for me makes it a perfect song to come up in the middle of any workout set, treadmill, exercise bike, or lifting weights.

Johnny Cage Mortal KombatThe Immortals

Call me crazy, but I like the 1st Music CD to the Mortal Kombat Game Series.  The Immortals were Underground Techno Stars who spun off to do this CD.  So if live were a video game, I would want to be like Johnny Cage, or at the least I like working out to his theme song.

My Time WWF: The Music Vol. 4

I hated this song, the first time I heard it.  The Rock was my favorite WWF/WWE Wrestler at the time, and this song was a Triple H / Chyna entrance theme.  But the song grew on me when I added a bunch of wrestling entrance themes to my workout mix, and it has been a favorite ever since.

Technologicque Park Orbital

The song and the group appeared in a Vin Diesel movie at a rave scene.  I love techno music, and I really love techno music that fits during a workout.

Down In ItNine Inch Nails

This song remains a great example of why you need good headphones to listen through.  The Bass Drum will just sound tiny on cheap headphones.  The song also keeps me pretty pumped up!

So, it is not a complete list, just a couple of examples of the extremes I go through to create a soundtrack I can control in the gym, or while I am out runningIt’s my world, it’s my play list.

Runner’s Log: Dec 8th

Another week has passed.  I am in pain and in my pain I have found there are two types of pain:  Good Pain that is earned through sweat, determination and a sense of accomplishment; and Bad Pain which punishes unfairly. 

My body aches; my legs hurt, my back, my sides, my arms all ache, but do not cry for me because I would not have it any other way.  Running in the winter makes you strong for spring, or at least that is what I have convinced myself.  A couple of good days, a day off here and there, and I begin to think I am making progress. 

I set out last night to run a few laps around the apartments after dinner. 

There are steps to this process, getting changed, two layers of socks, my sweats, two layers of sweatshirts, My MP3 player and headphones, my gloves, my hat, my trusty new pair of outdoor running shows, and off I go.  Tonight my lungs do not want to co-operate.  I have barely run 100 yards and can’t seem to catch my breath.  Picking music that keeps my pumped up helps, but this is not looking good so early in the run.  The last couple of times out I was able to jog 6 to 8 laps before starting to run one walk one… but tonight feels different. 

I trudge on, struggling through the first two laps; I just can’t catch the right pace, my legs hurt bad… time to walk a lap.  The later at night it gets, the colder it gets here in Michigan, in December, so I walk fast to try to stay warm, warm up, not quit, any of the above.  I have to clinch my fists and then straighten out my fingers over and over… I don’t want my hands get cold. 

The music helps keep me going.  Goofy music that keeps me moving, WWF Wrestler Themes, Video Game Techno Tracks, Underground Electronic Music, it all works for me.  I am in my “Own Private Idaho” and it is cold, and windy, and dark.  I swing my arms as I walk a lap, then I am ready to run another lap, no giving up here.

My lungs feel better, my legs do not.  I just try to settle in to a good pace… Each lap is about a ½ of a mile.  Not to bad, but nothing to brag about.  Just keep a steady pace, remind myself I want to lose Ten Pounds before New Years, and Ten More between New Years and Spring Thaw; and it happens one day at a time, one lap at a time.  My Stomach Hurts, my sides hurt but I run on.

I need to push it tonight; tomorrow my step-daughter is in a Holiday Concert, so I got to keep going tonight.  Run a lap, walk a lap, run a lap, and walk a lap.  Clinch my fists, and swing my arms.  Try to catch my breath and push past the pain.  Convince myself it all makes me stronger, and a funny thing starts to happen, my sides, my back, my stomach, my legs just are not hurting as much as when I started, my lungs are not burning as much, I am not quite sweating, but I am not as cold either. 

As it gets later, it gets colder, I can feel it getting colder when the wind wipes between the buildings or when I turn into the wind on each lap; but I can control these temperature swings with my pace, just keep a decent pace.  Run a lap, walk a lap and do not go gently into that good night.

I am losing count of my laps, I am cold and it is getting darker, but I feel good.  One more lap and I feel good enough to call it a night.  One more day that I can say, I am not there yet but I am getting closer.  One day at a time, one lap at time, one pound at a time; so until next time!

Create a place for yourself and control your music choices.

Does the music you listen to affect your mood.

Of course it does, we listen to happy music when we are happy; and we listen to sad music when we are sad.  We condition ourselves with the music and the music conditions us.  We listen to certain styles of music when we are young, and discover what we think is New music as we age, and when we get older we realize it all been done before, it has just been given a shiny new coat of paint.

Uplifting music is written in Major Keys with Ascending Progressions, Depressing Music is written in Minor Keys with Descending Progressions.  Can it affect your moods, sure it can.  To what effect, that depends on strength of the mind of the listener.  When we want to reminisce about the past, we put on the Good Old Time Records.  When we are up for the weekend, maybe we want to hear something fun and new.  Music is used in Movies, TV, Advertising and Radio to get us to get up and buy or buy in to things. 

So what we listen to can condition us without our knowledge; or if we are strong minded, when can use this conditioning to our advantage.  When I have a lot of work to get done, I have certain playlists I listen to at work.  Because I work in a Technical Field, I like to listen to Techno Movie Soundtrack type stuff that makes me feel like I can control the Matrix.  When I workout, I like to listen to up tempo music that sets the pace and the mood.

So when you want to relax or reflect, listen to the music that will let you do so, but don’t let it trap you in… Don’t listen to depressing music and stay depressed.  Listen to it to get over your depression and then get back into the positive, motivational kind of stuff that sends a “Can Do” message into your brain.  We could spend all day talking about the subconscious effect music can have on you, and how skillful musicians and producers use certain techniques to convey certain feelings; or I can just say, be smart about your music choices and use them to your advantage.

Like what you like because you like it, and do not let the tastes of your friends lead you down a path you don’t want to go.  If you get the most done while listening to something only you like, load it on your favorite electronic gizmo and put on your headphones and have at it.  Control your choices, control your moods and control your outcomes.  Don’t let the world control your thinking, create a place for yourself and control your music choices.