As a blogger, I was an island unto myself — laying down my weekly thoughts to an audience I always hoped would connect with my thoughts and musings.
This was a strategy that proved relatively successful, especially when said audience was comprised of blood relatives or especially close personal friends.
But very honestly, it was hard to cast a wide net week after week to resonate with a broader swath of people.
On occasion, I struck a nerve and got lots of thumbs up/comments from even those that I didn’t have a personal connection to — which was always especially gratifying.
That seemed to happen most when I was blogging about music, be it waxing poetic about Dave Grohl & creative discomfort, writing homages to our dearly departed rock legends, from Bowie to Prince, or even sharing a wacky Mixtape playlist to get sh*t done.
As our old friend Stevie Wonder once said, “Music is a world within itself; with a language we all understand; With an equal opportunity for all to sing, dance and clap our hands.”*
So it makes sense that when I asked my TruCru, Ally and Caroline — a pair of passionate, artistic, musically inclined young women who help me with my weekly vlog — what they wanted to do next, they both very enthusiastically chimed in that a record “must haves” vlog would be amazing.
We made a pact to pick 10 “desert isle” albums each, where if we were stuck listening to those artists and tracks day after day, week after week, year after year, our lives would be richer and better for the experience.
In my mind, the girls would come up with crazy, new music that would be intriguing yet ultimately uninteresting to an old fogey like me.
And my “classic” picks would be as intriguing yet ultimately uninteresting to musical ingenues such as themselves.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to share our record collection picks (vinyl, of course!). I found myself totally engrossed in and engaged with their selections.
I didn’t know Wolf Alice, but they bring me right back to some of my favorite chicks that killed it in the ’90s (and some who still do to this day) like The Breeders, PJ Harvey and even good ol’ Hole.
When Caroline pulled out the seminal Simon & Garfunkel album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme, I had to laugh– not only did she pick a work that pretty much predated even a dinosaur like me, it turned out that we shared the same obsession with the reference to the title track, “Scarborough Fair/Canticle.”
The only difference? Our points of reference: mine was singing the song around a campfire when I was a young girl and Simon & Garfunkel were favorites of my counselors, and Caroline found it through one of her childhood obsessions — The Perks of Being a Wallflower. (The song was on a mixtape playlist created by Charlie, the protagonist.)
We all agreed that anything that has to do with Dave Grohl is all we need (Nirvana, Foo Fighters). And I have a theory about that: Dave is such a rad fanboy himself that his love and passion makes his work accessible AND irresistible to so many.
For this same reason, Jeff Buckley’s Record Collection website was the smash online hit of the summer. Perusing the legend’s favorite albums made me feel like I had so much in common with the incredible musician, now gone nearly 20 years. <<sniff>> (NOTE: Earlier this summer you could easily peruse his collection — doesn’t seem to be working the same way anymore. <<double sniff>>)
That was a marketing initiative, by the way, from Sony Legacy. One of the best ever in my humble opinion.
And I’ll always click on something that mentions music I love and connect with. Hightail, the file sharing and collaboration site, got me just this week by mentioning punk rock in one of its email newsletters.
But enough about music for marketing and back to the most magical thing about music, which is how it incredibly transcends time and space and has the power to touch us all.
And the ability to make genuine connections that bridge generations and bring us together… all I can say (sing?) is Kumbaya, y’all!
So please check out the TruCru and my desert isle record picks — and please share your faves in the comments. I’m always looking to expand my music collection….
* Now that just reminds me how much I love “Songs in the Key of Life,” by Stevie Wonder. And so the record collection grooves on…!