I’ve been listening to this song a lot, lately. Actually, more or less on permanent loop. Let’s face it: despite taking a few music classes in my day, I’ve never been one to appreciate the complexity endemic to the art. It always strikes me on the surface, the operative questions being things like “does this sound good?” and “what feeling does it provoke?”
So I’m pretty easy to manipulate, aurally. Give me that simple melody, those plaintive vocals, the nigh-meaningless lyrics (Patrick Monahan wrote the lyrics based on what he thought Burning Man might be like, having never attended. Its relevance is based entirely on his perception of the theory behind the event, rather than the event itself. Actually, I think I prefer that.)
Give me the sudden switchover from ukulele to guitar for just that one bar (measure? See, this is how I know I should have paid attention in Intro to Music.)
Just give me the joy of those clapping hands, that five syllable “hey.” Give me the camp (I’m so gangster, I’m so thug).
I don’t know why I haven’t just bought the song yet, instead of looping it on YouTube time and again, but something about knowing that, at any time, I can simply switch tabs and see the goofy dance, the earnest movements, and indulge in the video’s implied story… It’s like having a companion.
That’s what music is to me. It’s not just someone’s ideas, someone’s words, but it’s an almost spiritual presence, an ethereal gasp of someone else’s being projected into my mind. It’s a partner, a creative fellow who works alongside me, inspires me, sometimes annoys and derails me, but whom I welcome into my sanctum readily and warmly.