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Updated: December 29, 2023

‘Cowboy Bebop’ & other music to rock your New Year's Eve from the Mainebiz 40 Under 40 playlist

Man on red carpet Photo / Soubanh Phanthay Mainebiz 40 Under 40 honoree Dustyn Bailey set the tone for the night with "Tank!" by the Seatbelts, from the "Cowboy Bebop" album, as his walk-up music.

Looking for some cool tunes to rock your New Year’s Eve? Look no further than the Mainebiz 40 Under 40 music playlist to party like it’s 2024.

From Judy Garland out of Hollywood’s Golden Age to classic rockers and contemporary rappers, the artists and their melodies are as eclectic as this year’s group of honorees. Each selected a red carpet walk-up song for November’s glitz-and-glam event that some likened to the Academy Awards.

Setting the tone for the night, Dustyn Bailey boogied up to the stage to the fast-paced theme song from Japanese anime series "Cowboy Bebop."

An ad man with political ambitions, Bailey enlisted help from friends and family to make his choice.

“I had about 20 suggestions and they ranged wildly,” he said. “I had everything from ‘A Real Hero’ by College, to ‘Guile's Theme’ from Capcom's audio team, to ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis & the News.”

His ultimate pick: “Tank!” by the Seatbelts, from the “Cowboy Bebop" album.

“It’s bombastic and fast — just like me,” said Bailey, an account director and partner at Anania Bailey whose audacious goal is to serve as Maine’s governor or senator one day.

“After realizing I was the first to walk down the red carpet, I wanted to have something that captured my energy and my old soul,” he added. “A speedy jazz song was just the right choice for me, my industry and how I do business.”

The man in the gray suit and white sunglasses was a tough act to follow.

While dancing was not a requirement, several others were moved to get into the groove. That includes Kendra Batchelder of WAVED Medical LLC, who chose Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

“I liked the song’s beat and lyrics,” she said, “but I mainly picked it because it is about dancing, having fun and being happy.”

Woman dancing
Photo / Soubanh Phanthay
Kendra Batchelder of WAVED Medical LLC makes her entrance to “Can't Stop the Feeling," by Justin Timberlake.

A song celebrating womanhood was the choice of Katie Shorey, director of engagement, Live + Work in Maine and president of Startup Maine. Her pick: “I Am Woman,” by Emmi Meli, which sounds nothing like the 1972 song of the same name by the late Helen Reddy.

Woman holding award
Photo / Soubanh Phanthay
Katie Shorey with her award on the big night.

“I love the sheer power and ownership of being a woman in the lyrics,” Shorey said of Meli’s tune. “I subscribe to the idea that we can be many things at once — emotional, assertive, creative, fearless — but I also believe in the strength and value of being a woman."

Shorey added that “I hope to be a cheerleader for others who continue to inspire and amaze me, so that’s why I picked that song."

For music therapist and entrepreneur Kate Beever of Maine Music and Health LLC, her song choice was inspired by a Pink concert.
“I chose Pink's ‘Never Gonna Not Dance Again,’ which is a terrible line for literature, but fits rhythmically into the song,” Beever said. "I've been working on my 'bucket list’ of 40 new experiences before I turn 40, and seeing a big pop concert was on that list. My friend flew me to L.A. to see Pink in concert, and it was really inspiring. It reminded me of how important it is to be yourself, and celebrate your own wins, however small, because as an entrepreneur it may be that no one else is there to recognize them. This song stuck in my head after the show, and the message is to keep dancing.”

Where to get the playlist

For those wanting to dance into the New Year and well beyond, the full Mainebiz 40 under 40 Spotify playlist can be downloaded here. See if you can recall or guess who chose which ditty.

Find profiles of all the 2023 honorees here. We’ll do it again in 2024 with a whole new group of movers and shakers as the alumni club grows.

Woman on red carpet
Photo / Soubanh Phanthay
Kate Beever of Maine Music and Health LLC went with a song by Pink for her red-carpet entry.

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