Friday, August 12, 2016

News from outer space?

And the grey hairs rock yet another version of Dame Bowie's songs.

Perusing the interwebz when I should be doing something better (yet again), I stumbled upon the Young @ Heart Youtube page. After playing a couple songs, I went further into the rabbit hole and found their tribute to David Bowie, which they performed on April 15, 2016 (according to the info provided on the video page).

I have to say, as much as His death still strikes a chord, if the group's rendition of Space Oddity and Let's Dance, doesn't make you smile (especially the latter), then you've got issues. That music director (Bob) sure knows how to pick 'em. I nearly fell off my chair when (spoiler alert) the group did their sway dance during the actual sway lines ("Let's sway, while colour lights up your face / Let's sway, sway through the crowd to an empty space", / "Let's sway, you could look into my eyes / Let's sway, under the moonlight, this serious moonlight"). I was laughing that hard... just watching them be two steps short of doing the Funky Chicken.

For those not in the know, Young @ Heart is a choral group out of Northampton, Massachusetts. The youngest person in this group is typically the music director (Bob), and he's in his early 60s. They do have some "young" band members, but the singers' ages span 70 to 100. They've traveled the world, and have sung a ton of songs. I first found out about them when their Young At Heart documentary was on the TV. They are truly a surprising group of people, as Bob's choices of music is entertaining, to say the least... especially when a few octogenarians pipe up with their dismay.

For example, in the documentary, Bob is trying to go over (crap... I'm blanking out on the song, sorry) and a few members as asking why everyone has to be involved; why must they sing this particular song? Bob's answer was pretty much short and simple - because they have to. He wants them to be able to have a range of music so they can appeal to all generations. Although, truth be told, this movie shows his affinity towards Talking Heads. If I recall correctly, it's even admitted that he doesn't stop short of trying to sneak in a few David Byrne songs. It doesn't help that according to their website, Mr. Byrne has done quite a few things with them. Must be nice! Good for them!

All in all, I think they have done quite well in covering all the songs they have (Fix You by Coldplay, One Day by Matisyahu [with Chicago Children's Choir & Hampshire Young People's Chorus] and Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd for example). Some are a little questionable (based on why one person sang a song versus another person... it's a matter of that singer's range, not the song, IMO). However, you have to keep in mind, these people aren't 20 years old anymore, nor are they "classically trained". It started as something to do and to keep a rowdy group of seniors busy (yes, I have to remind myself that too, when I listen to them).

Here's to another 34 years...


The Video:

See also:

David Bowie Amazon page

I'm so high it makes my brain whirl...