What is the point?

Why do you do what you do? I don’t mean the fact that you go to work because you need money to pay the bills and take care of the basics. I’m asking why you approach the world and interact with people the way you do. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your mission? Do you have one? Is one necessary?

I’m not encouraging you to be on a constant crusade to convert people. I am, however, getting at how most of us have one or many objectives in life and something or things we hope or need to accomplish. These objectives may live more in your subconscious – some more than others – or they may be written on your sleeve. Either way, I’m sure you are working to accomplish something right now.

Consider your motives. Consider your strategic objective(s) and how you plan to get there. What are your goals?

As I near completion of my first book, and after having read and listened to a lot of Seth Godin and Bob Lefsetz this past week, I am really considering mine.

Why am I writing a book? What is its point? What do I want people to get from it? Who am I trying to reach? Does it matter? Does anyone care?

Oh my. These are the ever-present questions of the creative process.

My upcoming book is called The Music Industry Doesn’t Have To Kill You. I have already had plenty laugh after hearing the title. They respond with sarcastic comments and tell me that is essentially a utopian-type idea.

Others have latched on wholeheartedly.

I have put my personal mission statement together – for this first book, and pretty much anything I write – and it goes like this: To encourage people in the music industry to know history and do excellent work while treating people well.

In other words, you don’t have to be an asshole to be successful. No, not even in the music industry. And it is imperative that you know where we have come from before you try and determine where we should go. Know your history.

Back to you – what are you trying to accomplish? I encourage you to really think about your motives, and do what you need to do to bring your dreams to reality.

Brand Like A Rock Star (book)

Buy this book. It is absolutely fantastic. I don’t care if you’re in the entertainment industry, pharmaceutical industry or automobile industry – this book will help you establish strong brands, and keep business moving forward.

Steve Jones, the author, does a great job of bringing what matters in to perspective. Learn what a brand really is, and how to not screw it up.

My Top 5 Stories through 2010

The following five stories received the most traffic on Clore Chronicles in 2010.

Thank you for reading.

1. My Dolph Ramseur Interview (The Avett Brothers’ Manager). Read it here.

(excerpt): I am a big fan of The Avett Brothers, but there’s this amazing behind-their-scenes dude that deserves significant attention. His name is Dolph Ramseur and he manages The Avett Brothers. I assure you you would want Dolph on your team if you could have him.

Read the full story.

2. Hallowed Ground: Cobo Arena. Read it here.

(excerpt): The live venue is arguably the most important physical location in all of music. It is where fan and star come face-to-face. It is where dreams come true and life-long fans are made.

I have always been fascinated by the history contained inside the halls where we enjoy our favorite bands perform. The “Hallowed Ground” feature is meant to bring attention to the importance of these physical locations, some of the key events that have occurred there and how it has impacted music.

Detroit’s Cobo Arena, sometimes referred to as Cobo Hall, has been the epicenter of countless important moments in music history.

Read the full story.

3. Strange Fruit. Read it here.

(excerpt): The great Billie Holiday most famously performed a song that is often regarded as the first protest song. It is called “Strange Fruit.”

After seeing this picture, a Jewish high school teacher in the Bronx (NYC) named Abel Meeropol, wrote the piece. He did not actually experience the horrific act of lynching, but wrote it as a sign of compassionate understanding.

Read the full story.

4. A Master Behind the Masterpieces: Eddie Kramer. Read it here.

(excerpt): Without Eddie Kramer, we would all be living in a very different world.

Granted, we would have still had Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Stones, KISS, Peter Frampton, and others, but their sound would be considerably different than the audio signals we received that have woven each so deep into the fabric of rock history.

Read the full story.

5. An Anti-Piracy Rant. Read it here.

(excerpt): The more time goes by, the more frustrated I get on the piracy issue. I have tried again and again to “be cool” about it and tell myself that it will be okay, it’s just part of the “new school” way of doing things and it will all work out.

But it’s not. Not even close.

I am all about sharing my stuff and passing my interests off on others, but it never crosses my mind to copy all of my crap and let them have it, music or otherwise. And they should not feel entitled to it.

Read the full story.

My Favorite Songs, Artists & Albums

I love asking people about their favorites, in anything, but especially music. Plenty don’t have a favorite, or at least have never considered the question. Personally, I enjoy attempting to keep a running-list in my head. Some selections change over time, some only get stronger.

As of the end of 2010, here are a few of my top tens in various music categories.

TOP 10 ALL-TIME FAVORITE SONGS:

  1. Piano Man – Billy Joel
  2. Round Here – Counting Crows
  3. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – written by Robert Robinson
  4. Your Song – Elton John
  5. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
  6. Worlds Apart – Jars of Clay
  7. With Or Without You – U2
  8. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  9. Everlong – Foo Fighters
  10. Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night (from the Live at Lollapalooza 2006: The Hold Steady album) – The Hold Steady

TOP 10 ALL-TIME FAVORITE ARTISTS:

  1. Billy Joel
  2. Elton John
  3. Counting Crows
  4. The Hold Steady
  5. Metallica
  6. Guns N’ Roses
  7. Ben Folds
  8. The Normals / Andrew Osenga
  9. Rich Mullins
  10. Foo Fighters

TOP 10 ALL-TIME FAVORITE ALBUMS:

  1. The Stranger – Billy Joel
  2. August and Everything After – Counting Crows
  3. Stay Positive – The Hold Steady
  4. S&M – Metallica
  5. Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
  6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  7. Recovering The Satellites – Counting Crows
  8. Ten – Pearl Jam
  9. Abbey Road – The Beatles
  10. Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd

What are yours?

Thank you, John Ondrasik

I’m taking a sabbatical from writing this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about this platform and the subject matter I attempt to convey, but I am taking a rest. There are a number of reasons why:

  1. I am tired of hearing myself talk in this venue. I want to listen and read. My stack of books, magazines and blogs to read is getting silly.
  2. I am working on a book based on this blog. It is a little tricky to put together an entire book based on the first 200+ posts on this blog whilst keeping new blogs coming. (did I mention I make $0 from any of this?)
  3. I am a little worn out by everyone in our society having a voice. Instead of continuing to add mine, I am going to remove it for a bit. (Sidenote: there are over 200 entries to read here, chances are, you have not read them all).
  4. This takes a lot of work. I do love every minute of it, but see point #2, and I want to see more of my family and friends.
  5. I need new ideas.

Today I was listening to Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik talk to David Hall on my favorite radio station, Lightning 100, in Nashville. John was explaining his song “Slice,” and (summarizing) he said it’s a bit of a call for our culture to not forget about togetherness. That we are so niche-minded these days that we rarely enjoy anything together. The first line from “Slice” says:

There was a time a long, long time ago

Chevys and levees played on the radio

He is referencing the Don McLean classic “American Pie,” which came out at a point in time where everyone was singing the same songs, or at least were very aware of them.

Consider your own life. I am not encouraging anyone to move backwards. Learn, experience, take each and every (new and old) thing in to the fullest extent.

And remember, just because something occurred in the past, that doesn’t make it wrong, uncool or unworthy of being repeated.

New Orleans

I just returned from a wonderful time of turning on, tuning in and dropping out (Timothy Leary) in The Big Easy, hence the noticeable lag on thoughts that may or may not impact people. But I did read Chuck Klosterman’s Eating The Dinosaur, which I highly recommend if Klosterman is your thing.

Either way, here are some photos we took in New Orleans.

My goal

I’ve been challenged this week by C.C. Chapman and Jim Colella. They have each helped me think about my goals: Do I know what they are? Am I working on them? Am I encouraging those around me to accomplish theirs?

So, I’m sharing mine with you, with the intent of being held to it. I certainly have more than one goal, but I currently have a very specific one.

I want to self-publish (at the very least) my first book in 1 year. By June 1, 2011, I want to have my first book ready to print, or already printed.

My current plan is to dig back through my posts on this blog and pull the best and most appropriate content for a “Clore Chronicles: So Far” type of book.

So it begins…

What are your goals?

Clore Chronicles: It’s Been One Year

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been one year since I started Clore Chronicles, but 150 stories later, March 22, 2010 marks my 1-year anniversary. Thank you to each and every one of you that has read, come back to read, commented, tweeted and shared with your friends the side of music covered here.

There are a few people I want to specifically thank for playing editorial and creative roles at times along the way: Sarah Clore, Jim Colella and Jackie Luttrell.

Please stay tuned, there is plenty more to come.

Thanks again.

And, for absolutely no reason other than that I love this song, enjoy Andrew W.K.’s “Never Let Down.”

Dylan’s Song To Woody

I’m out here a thousand miles from my home /

Walkin’ a road other men have gone down

-From Bob Dylan’s “Song To Woody,” from his 1962-album, Bob Dylan

It’s so easy to forget who/what came before your hero(es).

Bob Dylan is one of the greatest songwriters that has ever lived. But someone came before him. Someone influenced him. Someone made him care.

That man is Woody Guthrie.

From a 1985 BBC interview I came across in the book Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, Dylan shares,

“He had a sound…[and] something that needed to be said…I was completely taken over by him. By his spirit, or whatever. You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live, or how to feel…Woody Guthrie was who he was because he came along in the time he came along in. For me he was like a link in a chain. Like I am for other people, and we all are for somebody.”

And take time to listen to Dylan read his poignant poem “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie.” Words can be read here.

The Rolling Stones or The Beatles?

I love this question. I feel it says a lot about a person. It presents two bands so engrained in culture that they are essentially impossible to ignore.

And another thing I love about this question – there is no wrong answer.

A lot of it depends on what appeals to you: longevity as a band, career album sales, #1 radio singles, cultural impact, melody, songwriting, tough-guy image, et al.

As for me? I’ll take the band that stayed together longer.

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