The Fleeting Fancies of Fledglings [Part 3/3]: The TED Talk

Usually on Friday’s I do the “Time to L.E.A.R.N.” series, but I’m going to hold off for the moment in lieu of this weeks overall subject on “attention span” (or the lack thereof). Don’t worry, there’s still a video involved. I came across this TED talks series about content and the speaker refers to music as part of his overall argument that content has gotten dumber over the decades. This is “People are Getting Smarter, Content is Getting Dumber” presented by Alexander Macris. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this presentation. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring intellectual awareness to the reader.


The Fleeting Fancies of Fledglings [Part 2/3]: The Analysis

In the last blog, the article titled “Teenage Music Listening Habits: The Terrifying Truth” was posted. If you didn’t read the article, you can check it out here:

As promised, here is my analysis on that article, but keep in mind that depending on what side of the coin you’re on, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Before we dig in, let me explain that I totally understand that this article is not representative of EVERY teenager living on planet Earth. However, since this article is published, there must be some sort of majority that feels this way, so let’s dig in:


This article is a good thing simply because if you’re trying to make a quick buck with the 18 and under crowd, then this article will tell you exactly how to do it and I would say to treat this article like GOLD! Ultimately, the formula whittles down to this:

1. Make ONE song that follows popular musical trends.

2. Post it on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Spotify.

3. Cash in.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 if you want more cash.

This formula is simple in its construct and doesn’t require that a person be a musical artist per se, but rather it requires a person to be an awesome engineer possibly with keyboarding experience OR, to a lesser degree, access to musicians. In the article, the first line under “So what do I do with this information” reads:

“Concentrate on one song at a time. Record, release, promote. Rinse and repeat.”

If this is your M.O. then, by all means, go for it. Make your money and go on about your day. You shalt not receiveth a cup of Haterade from me for I have bills too. LOL!


This article can be a bad thing, but, to a greater degree, I think it’s more depressing than anything else. Why? Because a real musical artist is going to do what a real musical artist does… and that is usually not limited to ONE song. When I was 18, we had to buy the whole CD to get to the one song that we heard on the radio. The funny part about that is the one song on the radio probably wasn’t the best song on the entire project. Don’t get it wrong, there were DEFINITELY “dud projects”, but, for the most part, full CD projects were pretty good to the point where you could listen to the entire CD again and again.

But you had to LISTEN TO THE WHOLE CD to find that out.

So this article is a bad thing in the sense that:

1. …teenagers deprive themselves of finding out whether an artist is truly worth their time.
*The sum total of an artist is not the ONE popular song that they created. For example, Bobby McFerrin is a phenomenal singer/musician, but he is only KNOWN for “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”… a song that he himself considered nothing more than a trifle. Speaking of “Happy”, Pharrell is a musical genius as well so I certainly hope he doesn’t get pigeon-holed in the same fashion.

2. …teenagers limit themselves to music that sounds alike.
*Consider this: teenagers listen to ONE song at a time… with no true artist loyalty… and that ONE song probably sounds like every other ONE song downloaded into their MP3 device… which makes for a boring musical lexicon.

3. …teenagers miss out on using the entirety of your brain to regularly challenge their musical tastes.
*How can they KNOW if they like Jazz if they’ve never heard it?

As attention spans are shortened by an MTV-like blizzard of images and sounds, it’s causing music to try to keep up with the fleeting fancies of fledglings because that’s where the fast money is…

…and the music is suffering as a result.


The Fleeting Fancies of Fledglings [Part 1/3]: The Research

I received an email from one of the many music business groups that I’m a part of titled “Teenage Music Listening Habits. The Terrifying Truth.” I read the article and, the way I see it, there are terrifying parts of this article, but there are also nuggets on how to reach a generation with an ever decreasing attention span. In the next post, I will give you my analysis of this article, but definitely check it out first and see what you think.

Teenage Music Listening Habits. The Terrifying Truth

It is a little on the terrifying side though… ENJOY!

Vacay [Part 6/6]: Back to Life, Back to Reality

This blog series comes from a recent vacation that my wife and I took. Had time to clear the old noggin and here’s the “bloggy goodness” that has come as a result. Enjoy!

“Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now, yeah” -Soul II Soul

Coming back from vacation has to be the hardest part of vacation. To return to the rat race that you thought you’d never get away from is sobering (to say the least), but a good vacation is worth it’s weight in gold. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you don’t schedule time off for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you. However, you also have to consider the health benefits of just getting away from it all (even for a little while).

Don’t believe me? Well, check out this article from on the subject:

Vacation. If you don’t do it, you NEED to do it. Don’t delay. Book it today.

(sound advice that I have to constantly give to myself)

Vacay [Part 5/6]: Family Is Everything

This blog series comes from a recent vacation that my wife and I took. Had time to clear the old noggin and here’s the “bloggy goodness” that has come as a result. Enjoy!

When I got married, I inherited the following: another set of parents (the state calls them “in-laws”, but I consider them another set of parents), one additional brother, two additional sisters, three nieces, and one nephew. I’ve been married to my wife for 7+ years meaning that I’ve been around my “familial inheritance” for at least that long (but definitely longer than that). In a nutshell, room and board for our vacation was covered by my wife’s brother and his family–a part of the immediate family we don’t get to see very often because they live a good distance away from us.

That wasn’t the case this time… and it was pretty awesome!

You never feel older than when you go to visit two neices and one nephew that used to be “knee-high to a duck” and can now “look you square in your eyes” because they’re so tall. On top of that, just catching up with everybody was fun. Seeing where everybody is in their lives, goals, dreams, aspirations, achievements, progress, and everything else in-between. So you can imagine that when it was time to go how difficult it was to say goodbye. I mentioned in the last blog about “tearful goodbyes”, but the great thing about a “goodbye” is that the next “hello” will be that much sweeter.

There’s nothing like family and I love mine dearly. Doesn’t mean that everything is great all the time, but it also doesn’t mean that everything is bad all the time either. Family are the people who love you enough to love you through it all.

So to all my readers out there, you should take a minute to send a little neighborly “Hi!” to your family today.

Time to L.E.A.R.N.!

TODAY’S CLIP: In case you don’t know, I’m a fan of Star Trek. I don’t get into the semantics of “Trekkies” versus “Trekkers”, I just like the franchise. Of course, as a musician, I love the music too. Therefore, I’d like to present to you one of my favorite tension based musical passages in the Star Trek movie franchise (at least to me). This is “The Klingon Battle” written by Jerry Goldsmith from “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”.

On a personal note, I love soundtracks from movies (and TV shows) back in the day like this because the music lets you know who is the good guy, who is the bad guy, and when they are at odds with each other. The music follows the ebb and flow of the storyline and so much of that idea has been lost in our modern day movies/TV shows. To me, the musical content has been stripped away and reduced down to unrecognizeable themes that are ONLY intended to evoke emotions.

For example, can anybody sing the theme to “Lost”?

But I’ll bet you can sing the theme to “Full House”… right?

OK… that’s enough of my soapbox. Listen to this clip, grab a Bat’leth, and get to swinging.

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

Vacay [Part 4/6]: A Million Minds, A Million Directions

This blog series comes from a recent vacation that my wife and I took. Had time to clear the old noggin and here’s the “bloggy goodness” that has come as a result. Enjoy!

Have you ever sat in a busy airport and just observe the people? People walking. People running. A little passenger vehicle carrying people who can neither walk or run anymore. People saying their most jubilant “Hello’s” or their most tearful “Goodbye’s”. People here. People there. People everywhere. Needless to say that a million minds moving in a million different directions makes for good people watching.

As my wife and I were waiting for our return flight home to arrive, I sat and took a look at the people all around me. Amongst all the activity, I couldn’t help but wonder what these people were thinking as they moved towards “the next thing”. There’s always a “next thing”, but what about the “right now”?

In an article from titled “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment”, writer Jay Dixit states the following:

“Here’s the most fundamental paradox of all: Mindfulness isn’t a goal, because goals are about the future, but you do have to set the intention of paying attention to what’s happening at the present moment. As you read the words printed on this page, as your eyes distinguish the black squiggles on white paper, as you feel gravity anchoring you to the planet, wake up. Become aware of being alive. And breathe. As you draw your next breath, focus on the rise of your abdomen on the in-breath, the stream of heat through your nostrils on the out-breath. If you’re aware of that feeling right now, as you’re reading this, you’re living in the moment. Nothing happens next. It’s not a destination. This is it. You’re already there.”

Even though this may sound redundant, I urge you to “live in this moment”. Life is too short to whisk it away consumed with the next thing.

To read the full article, please visit: