Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who’s the Bossa?

or: Blame it on the bossa nova.

Bossa, bossa, bossa.

What’s all this bossa talk about? Well, it’s about bossa. Duh. Do want me to be clearer? Okay. Fine.

It’s about the bossa nova.

More specifically, it’s about “The Distractionation Bossa.” A little tune I wrote for our last video, The Distractionation Index.

Since the theme of the short was somewhat “clinical” I wanted to write background music that had a “Doctor’s Office” feel. You know, Musak. Just a little ditty to invoke feelings of sitting in a waiting room.

Easier said than done.

First of all, say what you want about musak or “elevator music,” the truth is that a vast majority of the music we all try so desperately to tune out is in actuality composed and played by very highly skilled studio musicians. Very highly skilled. In fact, in a lot of cases it’s played by the same people who back up big name artists. Because, let’s face it, a gig is a gig, dad.

Now, at one time, it could have been argued that I was – on my way to becoming – a good instrumentalist. Those days are gone. Now I’m a sometimes saxophone player trying desperately to remember all the correct fingerings. Which is tough enough when I’m paying the saxophone. When I’m trying to play the flute I’m a…well, a saxophone player trying desperately to remember all the correct fingerings.

Lucky for me they’re pretty much the same fingerings. But I still play the flute like a hack saxophone player. Though in my defense, I never really played the flute anyway. Only when the music called for it in jazz band (which was rare).

But my mother bought me a cool vintage 60s flute so I thought I should use it (my aunt gave away my mom’s flute; the one I used in college. But I’m not going to complain about it here in this blog. That would be petty. Even though I used it for 5 years and it had sentimental value. Besides, I’m sure my aunt’s son’s wife’s cousin deserves it more than I do. Awesome.).

The other hurdle I encountered was that I had never written a bossa before.

I listened to a lot of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao and Astrud Gilberto before I started, but that only made things worse since they pretty much invented the genre and no one has done it better since. Big shoes.

By the way, I think the biggest injustice in music is that “Girl from Ipanema” has been dubbed the ultimate elevator tune. My god that song is great! Seriously. I know I’m not helping to sell myself as a “hip and fresh” writer of internet “content” by saying that, but I don’t care. The kids today, with their Jonases and their girl-on-girl kissing, wouldn’t know good music if it were played over the PA system at the local Chico’s!

But I digress. I struggled to write a good bossa. It was tough. However, I persevered. I fought through. I made it out of the dark Brazilian jungle to the shores of Rio. And I did it all for the show!

So, without further ado, I’ll put down my cross and present The Distractionation Bossa:

I’m no studio musician sure, but then again, I don’t have a studio.

So there.


Oh! Don’t forget that our latest video is going to be posted on Monday! Hooray!

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