Gotta Be More

He is one of my favorite artists of all time, yet not many people know who is, which is a shame. If you dig modern blues, or funk-infused southern rock, and you don’t know Marc Broussard, where have you been?

To show how much I love Mr. Broussard, I have been to nine of his shows since 2004. Every time he plays anywhere remotely close to me, I simply have to go see him. “Gotta Be More” is from his first EP “Momentary Setback.” Most people know him for “Home,” which is also a great song, but “Gotta Be More” speaks more to the living wide philosophy.

I first discovered Marc when I was walking around a book/music store randomly in 2004. I was in a job that took up most of my life—I’m not kidding, I was working 26 weekends a year—I was worn out, tired and needed a distraction. So on one of my rare, free Saturday nights, I took myself to a movie and walked around this book/music store after. Marc’s first full-length album “Carencro” was playing over the sound system, and I just had to know who he was.

I bought the album that night, and any and all music he has produced has been on constant rotation in my house and car ever since.

I hope y’all are enjoying the Living Wide Soundtrack for Successful Failure thus far. Remember, if you have a song suggestion, I’m open. Make sure to leave the name and why you love it in the comments section below or on Facebook at any time.

People Like Us

For Day 5 of Living Wide’s Soundtrack for Successful Failure, I think a good punch the air song is appropriate. I know not everyone is a pop rock fan, but even if you’re not, you have to admit, Kelly Clarkson does have some talent. At least I hope you’ll admit it, because you’ll be seeing her a few times this month.

The song “People Like Us,” from Clarkson’s recently released greatest hits album, is one of those great “get revved-up songs,” which are important to have in your playlist for days when you’re dragging, feeling sorry for yourself, or trapped in the spiral of a pity party. Just like she says, we all want to throw it away sometimes.

I regularly consider myself a misfit. Truthfully, I’ve never fully fit into any one aspect of my life. I believe one way spiritually, but lean another way politically. I work in a conservative environment, yet I have tattoos and a constant yearning to dye my hair an outrageous shade.

I’ve always had a rebellious streak, a voice in my head that said, “Yes, I agree with you, but… I also think we should level your idea and start fresh.”

“People Like Us” is one of those great reminders that no one is alone. Everyone has a community. Everyone has a mirror who thinks the same way they do, who has shared experiences and can relate. It’s just a matter of being brave enough to find that misfit group of toys where you fit. In all honesty, I’m still looking for mine, but at least I’m still looking.

Flesh and Bone

I’m a bit late with today’s post because I was actually at a concert. Appropriate, right? So, here we are, day 3-ish of Living Wide’s Soundtrack for Successful Failure. How’s everyone feeling so far? I have to admit I am loving the challenge I’ve laid out for myself. Mostly because it has encouraged me to scour the thousands of songs that I personally own and the millions that I simply love to form the perfect playlist of encouragement.

As I said to friends, recently, music has really been speaking into my life of late. Not that it doesn’t always have a place, what I mean to say is I’ve been stumbling across some really great songs/albums/artists that are truly putting my life to beat and my heart to a melody.

One such band is The Killers, whose song “Flesh and Bone” kind of speaks for itself.

When I first heard The Killers many years ago, I thought they were good, but that was about it. Truthfully, I hadn’t given them much thought until I stumbled across them again a few weeks ago while building a playlist for my novel. Yes, I’m that nerdy. Anyway, I listened to their newest album “Battle Born” based on a recommendation, and I fell in love. Not just with a specific song—you’ll be introduced to three throughout the month—but with the whole album. It’s filled with songs of being challenged, tested, defeated and triumphant.

In the chorus, you’ll hear, “What are you afraid of, and what are you made of, flesh and bone.” A great reminder that we are all vulnerable AND strong, which can fortify us as much as it terrifies us. Gotta love the dichotomy.

Still looking for suggestions. Anyone have a Soundtrack suggestion? Make sure to leave a comment.

Anything Could Happen

Woohoo! Here we are at day two of Living Wide’s Soundtrack for Successful Failure. How’s it going so far for everyone?

Today’s song came to me when I was at a really low moment a few months ago. As you all know, at about that time, I made a pretty bold decision to walk away from something that was safe on paper, for something that could have completely blown up in my face. I needed to do something radical, and it terrified me.

Now, I am a firm believer that songs have a habit of coming to us just as we need them, and that’s what Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” was for me; a right place, right time kind of song.

I’m not sure if it was the instrumentation, the melody or the lyrics really, but it was infectious, and it made me start thinking things could get better. Even when at my lowest, there was always hope.

Sometimes that hope is bright, and sometimes that hope is single grain of sand that is irritating enough to eventually produce a pearl. Regardless, it’s hope.

“Anything Could Happen” reminds me that there are no limits other than what we put on ourselves. Anything, truly anything can happen in this life, it’s just a matter of being open to it.

Remember, I’m open to commentary and your suggestions as well. Be sure to bring them on.

Meaning

Thanks for joining me as I kick off Living Wide’s Soundtrack for Successful Failure.  Why a soundtrack for failing successfully, you ask?  Well, in the famed words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

I have never let it be said that I don’t A) laugh at myself or B) admit when I am wrong. In my last post, I detailed how I had to shelve the manuscript I’d worked on for 10 years because it simply wasn’t working… for now.  In admitting that I’d failed, that I simply couldn’t make an idea work, I freed myself to other possibilities. I opened up new opportunities I hadn’t anticipated.

So, in celebration of failing, yet in a good way, I am debuting a playlist of songs that will hopefully encourage you, dear readers, to follow your dreams, even if at first, you fall flat on your face like I did.

First up, Gavin DeGraw’s “Meaning.” I am a little ashamed to admit, only a little, but I first discovered Gavin DeGraw by watching “One Tree Hill” many moons ago. You’ll remember his track “I Don’t Want to Be” was the show’s title song. On the same album, Chariot, is the song “Meaning.”

It contains the line:

“Sometimes our only way is jumping, I hope you’re not afraid of heights.”

If I were ever to get a lyric tattooed on my body, this would be it. Never has one line defined my life succinctly, and it’s an important reminder that not always are we given options, and sometimes those options are radical and scary.

In my endeavor to live wide, I’ve often found that the best decisions I ever made were scary as all get out, and not completely “sane” by most people’s standards. Yet, I don’t regret any of them, and they’ve definitely made life interesting and vastly wide.

What do you think? Has a lyric spoken to you so much you that it made you want to step outside of what is safe? Or, has a song spoken to you so much you wanted it as a permanent reminder on your body? Please share away!