Better Business, Better Life: James Pants' Top 10 Musical Moments of Inspiration

Let me first start by saying that 2012 will be our year. Gone are the mental trappings and false ceilings that box us into a mere two-dimensional existence. This will be the year that we shed those fears and inhibitions that imprison us into submission and wilt our creativity. This is the year that moments like the ones below, whether in the board room or in our personal lives, can come to fruition if we just follow one simple rule - believe.

1. Angie Fovame - Fovame (I’m Scared)

One of the things that bothers me so much with the current musical climate is that no one dances authentically anymore. All the current videos with dancing in them are over-choreographed, over-styled, cookie-cutter shams. Angie shows us that she doesn't play that game. Instead, she dances to her own rhythm, demonstrating raw spirit and determination in process (despite the tough audience in the back). Go Angie!

2. Senri Kawaguchi - Something Like This

While most Japanese girls spend their time memorizing 3nin Matsuri or  Sexy Zone, Senri learns the charts for the Yellowjackets, Allan Holdsworth and Casiopea. This is a power-market-move of the nth degree. We all know that fusion music is making a big run for its money in 2012, and it looks like it's going to be a bumper, bull-market year for Senri. Trust your gut.

3. Die Egozentrischen 2 - Computerschlagzeug

I should first mention that Felix Kubin (appearing in his first band, Die Egozentrischen 2) is only like 12 in this video from 1984. I should also mention that it doesn’t appear they are using any sequencers, and instead playing the synths with impressive speed. What is most notable however, is the fact that the duo seems to be getting a lackluster response from the German audience... Yet what do they do? They play harder. A lesson we can all take to heart when the going gets tough.

4. Tim Jackson - Blue Devils Tenor Solo

When I was in high school, if you wanted to be in jazz band (which I was), you had to do marching band.  I played the snare drum during half-time at American football games and hated every minute of it. We wore sequins and feathers in our hair. Tim Jackson is different though. He continued the struggle through marching band, thrived, and now he's the world champion tenor drum player and has his own line of drumsticks. Perseverance really does pay off. I only wish I had learned this lesson earlier.

5. Whitehaven High School Marching Band - I'd Rather Be With You

Since we are still on the marching band theme, I should mention that the one I played in didn't just do football games - in the springtime we had to do parades. Which was fine until the street kids decided to throw rocks at us. As our repertoire consisted of John Philip Sousa and songs from the Aladdin motion picture, I can't fully blame them. I bet if our marching band had been this cool and busted out Bootsy tunes, the street kids would have approved. There is a lesson that can be learned here. Sometimes innovating your way out of an unpleasant situation can bring about surprisingly positive results. [Ed. note - embedding is disabled for this video, so click through to watch.]

6. Laurie Spiegel - Improvisation on a "Concerto Generator"

Pete Seeger thought the electric guitar was the end of music. If only he saw this! A full concerto at the touch of a button, a rotation of a knob, and a slide of the fader. However, while all the critics of the time were probably hooting and hollering, Laurie just kept on touching those buttons to her heart's satisfaction - and probably got a fat check from Bell Labs in the process. Look at her, you can tell she doesn't crumble under pressure. It is the size of one's will that determines success, not Pete Seeger.

7. Unknown Soviet Girls - Unintelligible Soviet Lyrics

First off, I will gladly buy ANY album that sounds like this. I wish music was this honest right now. I wish people would just put out albums of stick-beating and squealing. That is humanity at it's rawest form anyways. And sometimes getting back to basics means getting back in business. On a side note, what is that guy in black doing?

8. Mesquit Rodeo - Tribal Pointy Boots

Frosty from dublab hipped me to this movement. Basically, what you are about to see is a group of grown men in a rodeo arena dancing to baile-techno, taking their clothes off and wearing insanely pointy boots. And this whole scene is considered very gangster in Mexico somehow. The lesson? If your competition starts making pointy boots, you just make yours pointier. Do not accept defeat.

9. Vangelis - Improvisations With A Painter And A Dancer

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (aka Vangelis) is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in electronic music, whether it be soundtracks, experimental pieces, pop music, or orchestral numbers. And how did the synthesist get to this point? By surrounding himself with inspiring people and collaborating across platforms. I call this the Papthanassiou Productivity Quotient.

10. Superstar & Star - I Ain't Missing You

Not only does Neville Lawrence (aka Superstar) give you information on how to order his CDs, he includes his personal address and personal phone number with every YouTube upload. He also commissions interviews and news features about himself. This is all in addition to producing, writing, performing, filming, manufacturing and distributing each song he creates. Some might call this vertical integration and 360-degree marketing. I simply call it excellence.

By James Pants on January 5, 2012

On a different note