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    Entries in music (9)

    Monday
    Jun262017

    Get Lucky

    This weekend, a decent, reasonably warm beginning of summer weekend in Western NY, while in the car on my way to either the gym or the gun club or my volunteer work with the homeless, 2013's song of the summer, Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' came on the radio.

    You have to remember 'Get Lucky'. It was peppy, infectious, ubiquitous on the radio and on play lists just a few year's ago. The perfect summer song, probably. For some reason after hearing the song again, and for the first time in a while, I thought about a profile/interview of the guys in Daft Punk, (hardly anyone knows their real names, so I won't bother with them here), that ran in GQ, right around the time when 'Get Lucky' was on high rotation.

    If you don't know much about Daft Punk, you probably know at least this - 'Get Lucky' was their biggest commercial hit, and that Daft Punk are the guys who wear the robot helmets, and have almost never been photographed without them (see pic on right).

    The reasons for the helmets, disguises if you will, are as inscrutable as the performers themselves, but probably are not too hard to at least guess at.

    By wearing the helmets the Daft Punk guys get to concentrate on the art, not some kind of curated image, (actually it is a curated image, it's just one they define and control 100%), and also get to enjoy life outside of Daft Punk and the helmets as more or less 'normal' people. For international pop stars, the ability to walk down a street in New York or Paris or anywhere else and not be bothered by selfie-seeking fans has to be pretty valuable.

    But back to the reason why I thougth about this and wanted to write about a four year-old song and interview.

    In the GQ piece, the writer tries to learn more about how some of the songs on Daft Punk's new album were put together. Specifically, he asks which of the two Daft Punkians were responsible for a particular robot voice sound effect that is present on much of the material, as the effect stands out quite a bit.

    The answer from Daft Punk?

    "It doesn't matter.

    Love that answer. The two guys in Daft Punk have their partnership and process down so much, and are so comfortable with each other's position that they don't need to claim ownership of any particular aspect of the creation. 

    Can you imagine McCartney or Lennon answering a similar question about 'Hey Jude' the same way?

    If you are really, truly, going to have a successful partnership or a team, one that can withstand all the ups and downs that naturally are going to test you, I think the Daft Punk position of 'It doesn't matter who did what, just listen to the result" might be the most important and telling condition for that kind of success.

    If the robot on the left was interested in tying to make sure he got the credit and the acclaim for every element that he specifically contributed to the results, then you don't really have Daft Punk any longer. 

    You have two guys dressed in robot costumes.

    What's the song of summer 2017? 

    Have a great week!

    Sunday
    Oct022016

    Blues Brothers Band members, ranked

    Since I am on the way to Chicago for the HR Technology Conference this week, I thought it would be fun (and be a needed short diversion), to run a Chicago-themed Ranked post.

    And what says Chicago more than the Blues Brothers Band? Well, I suppose plenty of other things are more 'Chicago' than the Blues Brothers, but this was the first idea that came to mind. That, coupled with I only want to spend 10 minutes writing this sealed the deal.

    Quick clarification on the criteria for inclusion - the list is limited to the original lineup of the Blues Brothers Band and who appeared in the first Blues Brothers movie.

    As always the rankings on the blog are unresearched, unscientific, completely subjective, and 100% accurate.

    Here goes:

    10. Murphy 'Murph' Dunne (keyboards) - His role in the movie was meant to be Paul Shaffer's

    9. Donald 'Duck' Dunn (bass) - What are the chances two guys named 'Dunn(e)' would be in the same band? Weird.

    8. Tom 'Bones' Malone (trombone) - How many successful, mainstream bands have actually had a trombone player? Can't be more than 10 in the last 4,000 years.

    7. Willie 'Too Big' Hall (drums) - Played with the Bar-Kays for a while. (that is all I have for Wille Hall trivia)

    6. 'Blue' Lou Marini (saxophone) - Was for a time a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Which seems pretty cool.

    5. Matt 'Guitar' Murphy (guitar) - Pros - Doesn't let Aretha Franklin boss him around, Cons - boring nickname

    4. Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper (guitar) - Doesn't every 'military rank' nickname sound awesome? I want to be called 'The Colonel' or 'The General'

    3. 'Joliet' Jake Blues (lead vocals) - Probably should be #2. 

    2. Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin (trumpet) - Vaults way up the list due to his fantastic nickname

    1. Elwood Blues (harmonica) - Takes #1 because the harmonica is cool. And has the single best line in the movie with the 'It's dark and we're wearing sunglasses' bit

    There you have it.

    Of course you can disagree with the list, but of course you would be wrong.

    Happy Sunday and if you are out at HR Tech this week be sure to say hello.

    Saturday
    Jul302016

    How to answer the 'So where do you live?' question

    Quick dispatch from vacation and the beach...

    From the most recent issue of GQ, (no link, not sure if this is online or not, and like I said, I am on vacation and can't be bothered to check).

    From a kind of oral history piece about actor Matt Damon titled 'Damon for Dummies'

    (Actress)  Julia Stiles - After The Bourne Ultimatum came out, there was a premiere in London. Prince, (The Artist), actually came to it, then got tickets for the cast to come see him perform. We were summoned into a room to meet him after the show. Matt (Damon) said, "So you live in Minnesota? I hear you live in Minnesota."

    Damon - Prince said, "I live inside my own heart, Matt Damon."

    Amazing. 

    Not possible to answer that question better. Next time someone asks me where I live I hope I am cool enough to answer like Prince.

    I live inside my own heart.

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday
    Mar222016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 239 - The Human Jukebox Project, #EntryLevelBoss, and Other Stories

    HR Happy Hour 239 - The Human Jukebox Project, #EntryLevelBoss, and Other Stories

    Recorded Friday, March 18, 2016

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Alexa Schoen, Founder, EntryLevelBoss

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour, we welcome Alexa Shoen to the show.  We are thrilled to have Alexa on the show because of her diverse background.  Whether in her role as a freelance Content Strategist & Communications Advisor in Berlin, her newly released album The Human Jukebox Projector her highly successful #EntryLevelBoss movement, Alexa is on the move.  She uses her creativity to inspire others, not only her fellow Millennials, but a whole new generation of people who are looking for inspiration in their careers.  

    We chat with Alexa about the impact of music and how it's possible to collaborate via social using that medium.  We also talk about the ways the #EntryLevelBoss movement is training people to think about work differently.  Please  join hosts Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane and our guest, Alexa Schoen, this week for what will be an interesting and important topic.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun and interesting show, and I hope you check it out.

    Be sure to listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    Wednesday
    May272015

    I deny a problem with my attitude

    You should stop what you are doing right now and watch/listen to 'Work For Food', one of the very best songs from one of the very best bands that never really made it big but absolutely should have, Dramarama.

    In the video, (embedded below, in all its 80s glory), the band's lead singer practically snarls the line 'I deny a problem with my attitude' as he tells the sad tale of how his life hasn't really worked out the way he had hoped for and planned.  It's a pretty sad tale as I said, not just for how things have turned out for the subject of the song, but for how it is almost certain to never get any (or much) better since he can't accept neither the responsibility for his circumstances nor the reality of his situation. But it is easy to miss all of that in the guitars and drums and catchy hook of the song.

    And it is also hard when we are the guy in the song as it were, hard for us to realize sometimes when it is actually us who has the bad attitude or the bad idea or are the one that is simply being a jerk when it is much, much easier to blame the other guy, or our colleagues, or society, or the faceless and uncaring government.

    We all hate Congress, but re-elect 'our' representative something like 90% of the time. Everyone on the road is a terrible driver, (except us). And I can't believe the guy in front of me in the express check-out line has 11 items!  Can't he read the sign that says '10 Items or Fewer?'. We'd never do that...

    The first step in making work, workplaces, heck anywhere better, more civil places is for folks to own up to their own bad attitudes and actions. Admit it, you've been the guy to leave the coffee pot with about 3/4 of an ounce without firing up a fresh pot. Just own up to it. And if we can all start there, and not live in some kind of state of denial about how wonderful we are, things will get better. They have to. Unless all the jerks out there don't cooperate...

    Dramarama, 'Work For Food' (email and RSS subscribers need to click through)

     

     Have a great day!