Listen to Papa

Sometimes, inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. This is particularly true of music. At least, that is the case for me. I find listening to a wide variety of music helps me to stay open minded. This helps keep the creative juices flowing, which I then apply to family, work, and play.

Often times, when I’m listening to music, I don’t really hear so much of what is being said. This is rather intentional as I tend to listen to quite a bit of music dominated by rather explicit lyrics. I choose to ignore the expletives and focus on the music itself. However, there are times that I put on my headphones, lean back in my chair, and listen intently on what the artist is saying and try to relate the lyrics to my life. Sure, the artist may have their own meaning for their words, but I have my own interpretation as well.

One group I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately is Papa Roach. I like their aggressive Hip-Hop/Hard Rock blend. Their sound could easily be described as powerful. Thick drums, rapid attack guitar riffs, and aggressive lyrics dominate their style. I liken their lyrical content to teenage angst all grown up.

Putting aside the generalizations of their sound and lyrics, there is one song of theirs that has been stuck in my head a lot. For some reason, I just can’t seem to shake it for long. Tonight, it came to me as I sat down to review the day’s RSS Feeds… This song could be an anthem for those who take the bold step of starting their own online venture. The song is “Not Listening” and here are the lyrics.

Papa Roach – Not Listening

I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I learn, the more I ignore
I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I hear, the more I ignore
No I’m not listening, not anymore, No

Cause You gotta be bigger, be faster, be stronger
if your gonna survive any longer
in this lifetime, it better be the right time
the first time might be your last time
am I a failure if I got nothing to lose
No, I’m not a failure, I got something to prove

Chorus:
I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I learn, the more I ignore
I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I hear, the more I ignore, the more I ignore

Cause I’ve lost my innocence
and I’m a stranger, A life changer
I’m a man that’s not afraid of danger
I walk my own path, and blaze my own trail
because I’m not afraid to derail
I won’t get in line or be a middle man
so f*** you I’ll make my own plan
and I got respect and I dont neglect
the people that i really care to protect
am I a failure if I got nothing to lose
No, I’m not a failure, I got something to prove

[Chorus]

I told you before, won’t listen anymore
I told you before, lets settle the score
I told you before, won’t listen anymore
I told you before, lets settle the score

If not me then who?
If not now then when? X2

[Chorus]

I told you before, wont listen anymore
I told you before, lets settle the score
I told you before, wont listen anymore
I told you before, lets settle the score

Set it off right now
Blow it up, set it off
F*** it up, set it off
Blow it up, Blow it up right now

If reading the lyrics alone are not enough to whet your appetite, here is the studio version of the song.

Taking this song on surface value, it might be a bit difficult for some to get the correlation between this song and starting an online venture. Rightly so. There’s nothing in the lyrics that even remotely implies business or the Internet. However, if you take a moment to step outside the tiny box of taking things literally, you can easily see how this can be related. Let’s break the song down an analyze it a bit closer.

Turn a Deaf Ear to the Naysayers

I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I learn, the more I ignore
I’m not listening, not anymore
The more I hear, the more I ignore
No I’m not listening, not anymore, No

When you announced to your friends and/or family that you were going to start your own online venture/business/blog, how many of them had a pessimistic view? The fact is, a lot of people are pessimistic about online opportunities. Some of this is due to ignorance, and some of this is due to the naysayer’s own failures. Whatever the reason, you cannot allow someone else’s negativity poison your goals. If you believe that you can be successful online, then you can.

Hard Lessons Must Be Learned

Cause You gotta be bigger, be faster, be stronger
if your gonna survive any longer
in this lifetime, it better be the right time
the first time might be your last time
am I a failure if I got nothing to lose
No, I’m not a failure, I got something to prove

If you think for one minute that you’re going to be a success overnight, you are either the luckiest S.O.B. on the face of the earth, or you’ve got a very rude awakening coming, which is most likely. The fact is, starting any venture is work and lots of it. Along with that work comes hard lessons to learn. What the above verse illustrates to me is some of these lessons. Those lessons include:

  • The market is extremely competitive (most markets anyways). Know your competition and be prepared to take them on, toe to toe. You will have to prove how you are the better alternative.
  • There is no better time than now. If you don’t step up and do it now, the opportunity will pass.
  • If you are not truly prepared to take on this challenge, your first attempt could be your last attempt. Make sure you are ready to play the game.
  • Do not waste your time with self-doubt. You are not a failure unless you accept failure.
  • Be prepared to prove yourself. Everyone else is expecting you to prove yourself.

It’s An Uphill Battle. Your Stamina Will Be Tested.

Cause I’ve lost my innocence
and I’m a stranger, A life changer
I’m a man thats not afraid of danger
I walk my own path, and blaze my own trail
because I’m not afraid to derail
I won’t get in line or be a middle man
so f*** you I’ll make my own plan
and I got respect and I dont neglect
the people that i really care to protect
am I a failure if I got nothing to lose
No, I’m not a failure, I got something to prove

  • There is a certain degree of naivetĂ© when you first start out. People may act nice and like they are willing to help, but don’t be foolish. Just like in the physical world, there are people out there that will take every dime you own and wont loose a second of sleep over it.
  • Until you’ve built a name for yourself, you will be a stranger in every place you go online. You have to make your own name. Often times, this requires a significant life change because of the time you have to invest in building your brand/image.
  • There are dangers and calculated risks around every corner. You have to be prepared to face the dangers and take the calculated risks as they come.
  • How much more clear can you get than, “I walk my own path, and blaze my own trail”?
  • You better not be afraid to fail or occasionally get off track because that is a normal part of the process. How you handle these set backs will help determine your success.
  • If you spend your time following the masses, you are just another one of the heard waiting for the slaughter. You have to find your own niche, your own identity, your own style. Being the middleman isn’t much better. It’s like being the Shepard’s dog. You’re not necessarily one of the heard, but you’re also not the one reaping the bulk of the benefits. Instead, the Sheppard throws you scraps for doing the bulk of the work.
  • How many “fool proof plans”, have you read? How many times have you seen a book or site taught *The Plan* for success. Don’t waste your money! Instead, do your homework, find reputable information and devise your own success plan based on your goals. What may be successful for Joe Guru might not net you a single penny. Don’t fall for snake oil.
  • Hard work, dedication, and belief in yourself will show and will earn you respect.
  • Don’t put your family on the back burner while you chase success. Your family is your greatest asset and greatest source of strength. Protect that asset by not neglecting them.
  • Again, because we all need a reminder, you are only a failure if you accept failure.
  • You never stop proving yourself.

I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Gosh Darn It, People Like Me!

If not me then who?
If not now then when?
If not now then when?

  • If YOU don’t go out and make your own success, someone else will take your place. If YOU think YOU can do it, then who has the right to say you cannot?
  • The longer you wait, the less likely you will succeed.
  • Procrastination precedes failure. Waiting until tomorrow is waiting until it is too late.

Can I Get a “G”? Can I Get a “O”? What’s That Spell? GO!

Set it off right now
Blow it up, set it off
F*** it up, set it off
Blow it up, Blow it up right now

You’re still reading this post? Get out there, right now, and forge your path to success!

You’ve read my two cents. Now have your say!
Do you find inspiration in music?
Do you take music literally, or do you filter it through your own perspective?
Do you believe that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration?
After reading this post, do you feel jacked up and ready to take on the world? If not, read it again with the song playing! 🙂

That One Song

Playing Guitar Around a BonfireIt’s no surprise I am a hopeless music lover. You can take my TV, Internet, and books away, but don’t you ever think about taking my music away. It is a huge part of who I am. I use music to relax, to motivate, to reflect, to inspire and to express what my meager words cannot.

That being said, many people have “that one song” that expresses something about them that cannot be expressed in any other way. For me, it goes back to a song I first heard when I was a small boy.

When I was a child, I use to sit around a bonfire with my mother and her old no-name guitar. It was probably 25 years old by the time I was born in 1977. We would usually have a few friends over. It wasn’t anything fancy, but for me those were some of my most cherished memories.

We would sing many songs from Bluegrass, Folk, to Pop Rock. Songs including Fox On The Run by Tom Hazzard, House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals, Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin, and Hotel California by The Eagles. But, the song that always stood out the most to me, the song that has more significance in my life was Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

As a young, impressionable boy, to sit and watch my mother play and sing this song for me, looking me square in the eyes, it had a profound effect that I will never forget. While I cannot play the guitar, yet, it is my hope to one day do this very thing for my son. It may seem corny to some, but these are the simple things that leave the greatest impression.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man – Lyrics

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

[Chorus:]
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Boy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart,
And nothing else.
You can do this,
If you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

Fading to Grey

Of all my passions, of all the things I have spent the most time doing, of all the things I cannot live without, music is very high on the list. While I’m no music expert, I am an audiophile and I simply cannot live without my music.

The last couple days, I’ve been really digging a good mix from one of my favorite bands, Jars of Clay. They are a very talented group with a sound that ranges from mellow and introspective, to up-beat and toe-tapping. While listening to this mix, the thought passed that, if I had one choice of a song to be stuck in my head forever, I would want Fade to Grey from their Much Afraid (1997) album to be it.

I express myself through the music I’m listening to and Fade to Grey is one of those songs that, when I need it the most, lifts me up and puts my feet back on the right path. It is a very emotional song for me as it speaks to my past and present. I won’t go into sappy emotionalism or into an autobiography here. Suffice it to say the lyrics of the song have very deep meaning for me. See lyrics below video.

Fade To Grey

It’s not hard to know what you’re thinking
When you look down on me now
Your trance of love is seeking
To turn this world around
But in my state of blind confusion
No God can pull me out
I see your love is willing
To turn me inside out

And then I see you there
The lonely tears I cry
I wish they’d release me

It’s in despair that I find faith
Summon the night to bow down to day
When ignorance is bliss
Save me from myself

[Chorus:]

And then I see You there
With Your arms open wide and You try to embrace me
These lonely tears I cry
They keep me in chains and I wish they’d release me
Cold is the night but
Colder still is the heart made of stone, turned from clay
And if you follow me
You’ll see all the black, all the white fade to grey

Fade to grey
Fade to grey

[Chorus x 2]

Putting aside the lyrical significance of this song, Fade to Grey is just an all around wonderful song to listen to if you can appreciate music for music’s sake. From the very first note, to the climax, through the chorus and all the way to the end, you feel the passion of this track. This song has such a well written and produced build up that, at its climax, I found tingles running down my spine and I simply could not resist the urge to tap my feet and drum my hands on my knees. Yeah, it’s that good!

In the last few years, I’ve probably heard this song a few hundred times and I’m not kidding when I say I could put it on repeat and play it all day long. Now, from some people, that would be no big surprise, but from me, that’s saying a lot! I rarely like to listen to the same song twice in a day. Often times I won’t play the same song twice in a week. I have a large music collection and I love diversity in music. But this song, of all the songs in my collection, is the one song I would want stuck in my head for eternity, if I could only choose one.

If you are a music lover, you owe it to yourself to check out this album. Even at 18 years old, this album simply rocks!

You’ve read my 20 cents, now it’s your turn!
If you could only pick one song to be stuck in your head for eternity, what song would it be?

7 Bassists That Simply KICK ASS!

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I’m a serious music fan. There’s very few things I love more than a driving beat and some wicked bass work. Here’s a list of some of my favorite bassists of all time strutting their stuff.

Enjoy!