Friday, February 24, 2012

Mike's 1000 Entry #3: "What I Got" by Sublime

It's been awhile since I did a "Mike's 1000" entry, but this morning I was singing Sublime's "What I Got," and I was compelled to write about it. I guess I'm not shocked that this song, and the self-titled album it was on, didn't make Moon's list, but at the same time, I think there are arguments for its inclusion. Tracks like "Wrong Way," Santeria," and "What I Got," ubiquitous on alternative radio in the mid-90s, introduced much of a new generation in suburbia to the sound of West Coast ska-punk (and reggae).

"What I Got (Reprise)" was a song in particular that had an impact on me. A combination of the chorus from  "Loving" by Half Pint and the riff from "Lady Madonna" by the Beatles (that second link takes you to a mashup of the two), the resultant song is pure pick me up. Even though the song consists of two chords and a simple solo (the first I ever learned), its back and forth shuffle works perfectly with the workaday blues referred to in the lyrics. The lyrics themselves are the best part; I remember my favorite station growing up, Cleveland's sadly defunct 107.9 The End, used to play this almost every morning, usually right around 7AM when my alarm went off. "Early in the morning/Rising to the streets/Light me up that cigarette and I'll strap shoes on my feet." So what if I didn't smoke and that I had never seen "the streets." Those lyrics got me out of bed everyday.They became a staple of my wake up routine in college (when I actually had to get up by 5 or 530 some days).

A recent revelation I had is that as a leader I need to show up with energy if I want anyone else to be energized, and that to get that feeling of excitement and energy I need to have positive thoughts. My thoughts this morning were dark. I went to bed too late and got up too early, my wife is sick, my son is going through a very dependent phase, and I was not looking forward to the first task of the day at work. I knew if I showed up with this kind of energy, it was going to be a long day for me and everyone I work with.

I have probably sung "What I Got" in the shower more than all other songs combined. This usually happens spontaneously if the mood hits me. Today I forced myself to start singing, and by the end of the song I was feeling pretty good. Good enough that I wanted to sing it again. So I did. Three times before I left the house this morning, and I was positivity embodied. You'd have thought I drank a pot of coffee (or a 5 Hour Energy for those of you who think coffee is too hard to make).

When I was home at Christmas I convinced my buddy to go play an open mic night with me. It was my first time ever doing that, and we did three songs; this was one of them. This song and I have a history, and as I mentioned before, that's important to me. Check it out below.

What I Got Reprise by Sublime on Grooveshark

Buy the song on Amazon

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