The Beatles

In my early teenage years, I discovered the Beatles.  There was something about their music and their personalities that moved me, the way they have moved so many people over the years.  One thing that amazed me is the volume of music they produced during their short ten-year career together.  The Beatles came out with twelve albums over the span of seven years from 1963-1970.  Today, we are very lucky to see a band come out with an album every 3 years.  And most successful bands only have one really good album, with maybe a few good hit songs.  The Beatles had 27 Number 1 hits.  Think about that.  That’s more Number 1 hits than the songs on Lady Gaga’s first two albums.

And if the 27 number 1 hits is not impressive enough, the Beatles had 22 other singles that made it onto the charts as well.  That’s nearly 50 hit songs in less than a decade. 

At their peak (1963-1969), the Beatles were churning out, on average, two albums a year.  And these were not just shoddily slung-together records with filler songs.  These were some of the most transformative albums of a generation.  Some 30 years after the Beatles broke up, these same songs outsold all other modern tracks by a large margin.  (The Beatles “1” album, released in 2000, was the highest selling album of the decade.)

How was it humanly possible for the Beatles to write and record so many quality songs over such a short period of time?

They really loved music.

They did not play for fame.  They did not play for fortune.  Music was not merely their “ticket” to stardom.  It was who they were.

In fact, when they realized that people were coming to their concerts just to see a spectacle rather than listen to their music, they stopped touring.  The Beatles’ last concert was September 1966.

An undying love for music and artistic expression is the only explanation for how the Beatles accomplished what they did.  The vast bulk of their music came after they reached the height of their fame, during the “British Invasion” of 1964.  In modern days, there are a few artists that consistently produce beyond their peak, but most do not.  Most trail off artistically and live on their celebrity status.  If you don’t believe me, go through the archives of the Billboard charts and look to see who were the biggest names in music 5 years ago.  Chances are, you will be amazed at how much has changed.  Even from year to year, the fluctuation is palpable.  If an artist has a big year, they are almost guaranteed to disappear from the airways within the next year or so.

The Beatles could have done that, too.  But instead, they stayed in the studio.  They kept cranking out album after album, year after year.  “Please Please Me” and “With The Beatles” in 1963.  “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Beatles For Sale” in 1964.  “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” in 1965.  “Revolver” in 1966.  “Sgt. Pepper” in 1967.  The White Album in 1968.  “Yellow Submarine” and “Abbey Road” in 1969.  “Let It Be” in 1970.

For eight consecutive years, they produced at least one album and had at least one number 1 hit.  Is there any modern artist who can claim to have done that for 4 years?  3 years?  Two?

But the Beatles were more than just their music.  They were dreamers who believed (perhaps naively) in the hope of a better world.  Just the image of John Lennon conjures up the principles of pacifism and peaceful protest.  Whether you agree with their message or not, you surely can respect them for speaking from the heart.

What the Beatles have come to symbolize, to me at least, is genuineness.  They lived according to their own principles and refused to “sell out.”  (Although let’s be fair, the Beatles were wealthy enough to live however they wanted.)  They were not just some type of corporate machine designed to extract money.  (Although let’s be fair, the music companies have made a lot of money off of them.)  The Beatles were the real deal.  I think people saw that they were real and that is one of the things that has helped them remain so popular over the years.  The Beatles had something that can’t be bought or sold, manufactured in a plant, or taught in a school.  They were genuine.

My Mom’s Fantasy Football Team

This year my mom decided that she wanted a fantasy football team.  My mom has heard so many people (especially me and my dad) talking about it that she figured she might as well have a team of her own if she’s going to have to hear about it for the next four months.  She likes football and watches the games with my dad.  Problem is, she doesn’t know too many of the players.

So I became tasked with the duty of drafting Mom a fantasy football team that was both competitive and enjoyable to watch . . . from a female perspective.  Here’s who I picked for her team.



Tom Brady, Quarterback – New England Patriots



Darren McFadden, Running Back – Oakland Raiders (former Arkansas Razorback)



Reggie Bush, Running Back – Miami Dolphins



Wes Welker, Wide Receiver – New England Patriots



Miles Austin, Wide Receiver – Dallas Cowboys



Greg Jennings, Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers



Tony Gonzalez, Tight End – Atlanta Falcons


Eric Decker, Wide Receiver – Denver Broncos



The Baltimore Ravens Defense



Garrett Hartley, Kicker – New Orleans Saints



Peyton Hillis, Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs (former Arkansas Razorback)



DeAngelo Williams, Running Back – Carolina Panthers



Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens



Donald Brown, Running Back – Indianapolis Colts


And last but not least . . .




Tim Tebow, Quarterback – New York Jets


What do you think, ladies?  Did I do a good job?

Sprinting through the palace hall, he reached the foyer and peered over the balcony at the dancefloor.  His hands gripped the railing as he tried to catch his breath.  His eyes searched through the masqueraders for the girl.

Faces hidden by masks, it was impossible to tell who was who.  Was he even in the right place?  Then he saw her.  The girl in the blush pink dress.  Her sunkissed arms and auburn hair could not be mistaken for another. 

And there she was, dancing with the horse rider from the beach.  Hardly his captive.

The frantic look on his face faded.  He watched stone-faced as the two of them danced, unable to tear his eyes away.

He was not a rescuer at all.  He was a fool.

Playlist: The Moment Before Lift Off

It’s been a while since I’ve made a playlist.  Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything at all.  So let’s skip the pleasantries and get straight to the music (before I lose my train of thought).

I’m very pleased with my new creation if you couldn’t tell by all the balloons and confetti.  Making a playlist is all about selection and arrangement.  But it sure helps when you’re handed the type of cutting edge mainstream content that’s featured on this one.  All the songs seem to belong together (not surprising given they came out around the same time) yet each is unique enough to keep the listener off balance.  And yes, I made it though an entire playlist without an emo song with only one emo song!

Brace yourself for this one.

“The Moment Before Lift Off”

1.  Lights – Ellie Goulding

The next best thing to come out of Britain this year besides the Olympics, and also necessary for seeing in the dark.

2.  Too Close – Alex Clare

This song needs its space.

3.  Midnight City – M83

Cinderella’s least favorite town.

4.  Warrior – Kimbra

There is a reason Kimbra is on this list twice.  I like her voice.  Her songs are distinctly new age, yet oddly familiar.  She’s from New Zealand.  Did I mention I like her voice?

5.  Runaways – The Killers

Because really, aren’t we all just runaways?

6.  So Good – B.o.B.

Lean back with your favorite drink and enjoy this sugar daddy anthem.

7.  Drunk On Love – Rhianna

Rhianna’s blood-love level: 0.16%.  Chris Brown: stone cold sober.

8.  Video – Morgan Page

 If you think the song is good, you should see the . . .

9.  Some Nights – fun.

 If you find a martyr in your bed, you better put that in the song you’re writing.

10.  Stay Away – Secondhand Serenade

 See Song #2.  Also a shout out to the person who introduced me to this band.  You know who you are!

11.  Crushcrushcrush – Paramore

Finally, a song for garbage collectors.

12.  Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye feat. Kimbra

You’ve heard this song.  Chances are you like this song.  Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be on this site.

13.  Turn Me On – David Guetta feat. Nikki Minaj

Co-written by Song #1.

14.  Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities

 Whoever remixed this song (the Adventure Club DJ?) deserves 99% of the credit for its inclusion on this list.  Have you heard the original?  Awful.

15.  Take You There – Sean Kingston

 Actually, I’m going to have to pass on that vacation, Sean.  Feel free to send me some pictures.

16.  We Are Young – fun. feat. Janelle Monae

Designated drivers . . . they’re all so young.