Low-distraction electronic and alternative music for focus and creativity
Listening to Pink Floyd and reflecting on the days when an album was created and consumed as a cohesive whole. That doesn’t seem to be the case much anymore.
It has to start somewhere / It has to start sometime / What better place than here? / What better time than now?
The brilliant and highly introspective conclusion to Bo Burnham’s “Make Happy” show, which I was lucky enough to see live in Cincinnati last November. This closer wasn’t part of the live performance, so it was a nice surprise.
Sadly it looks like this may be the last we hear from him for a while. The New York Times reports:
Mr. Burnham says he plans to take a long break from stand-up to focus on writing, get a movie about a middle schoolgirl off the ground and avoid the stage. He added that the demands on a comic these days mean that people send him tweets asking, “Are you dead?” after he’s been working on a special for a few years. “A band can take a break but a comedian?” he said. “If you’re not on ‘@midnight’ every month you’re Thomas Pynchon.”
I’m going to miss your material, Bo, but I wish you all the best and above all, I hope you’re happy.
Bo Burnham was amazing at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati tonight. Hilarious but also deep and introspective… What a great show.
Quite often, music videos have little to do with the songs they represent. That’s not the case with “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.
When I first heard this song on the radio, I didn’t give it a second thought. But the gorgeous vocals paired with this powerful video took my breath away tonight, nearly bringing me to tears.
The song itself is beautiful in its simplicity. It begins with a four-chord piano accompaniment, later adding an orchestral backing, and finally climaxing with a heartbreaking vocal duet.
The lyrics are open to interpretation, of course, but the video depicts two distinct scenarios:
The first is a couple lying together in bed, clearly amid a mass of tension. She turns away from him as the hook pleads, “Say something, I’m giving up on you.”
And I am feeling so small. / It was over my head, / I know nothing at all. / And I will stumble and fall. / I’m still learning to love, / Just starting to crawl.
The second involves an elderly man whose wife has just died. The hook returns as he gently strokes her forehead: “Say something, I’m giving up on you.” He loses control, giving his love one last hug.
And I will swallow my pride. / You’re the one that I love, / And I’m saying goodbye.
The song climaxes with both men walking away from the respective beds, each having lost the love of their life.
The message? One of those losses was preventable.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so make today count. Tell that special someone you love them. Do something kind. Show someone you care. Say something.
Fifteen years later, this advice continues to resonate with me. Originally published as a column in the Chicago Tribune, Baz Luhrmann borrowed the words (and a song by Rozalla) to produce this musical speech that has impacted my life and doubtless many others.
I try to listen to this at least once a month.
Following this video‘s rise to fame, I felt it would be appropriate to share what the fox actually says:
Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff was a good guess, but sadly incorrect.
When the kids ask, you can tell them that dogs go woof, cats go meow, and foxes go YAGHHHAAAGGHHHHH!