Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Song of the Day: "Bill Murray" by Phantogram

First of all, Bill Murray. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

You have given me so much happiness, simply by acting like life is a joke and then having the good grace to let me think I'm in on it.

 I'll tell you the truth. If we were going by looks alone, you would never have been a leading man. Acne scars and a small mouth. (I promise, that's the worst thing I could ever say about you, and I'm already sorry I said it.)

But your sheer charisma—and now I'm picturing you talking about Dr. Leo Marvin in "What About Bob," championing "the sheer horse sense of the guy"—makes you the ultimate leading man.

You've got a knock-out combination of intelligence, acerbic wit and a mind that one can tell—with just a glance—can't be caged by any dull societal matrix.

And so we believe it when Sigourney Weaver in "Ghostbusters" falls for you, and when Andie McDowell falls for you in "Groundhog Day" and when Scarlett Johanstson more than half falls for you in "Lost in Translation." And now I'm hearing you say "For relaxing times, make it Santori time" as you lift a glass of whiskey.

Why am I writing this blog as though I'm directly addressing Bill Murray? Because I feel it is the most fitting way to show that I am an obsessive Bill Murray fan. I am, by the way, lately cultivating my fan-ship for anything that catches my fancy, from the show "Beat Bobby Flay" to consuming stacks of books to pondering reactivating my withered World of Warcraft account.

This is because it has recently become evident to me that the fan-girl and the fan-boy—call them connoisseurs if you prefer—are truly the happiest among us. Because when they don't get a jolt of adrenaline and serotonin through worldly achievements and approbation, they can just put on their favorite song, show or game. Or, given that here in Southern California it's Renaissance Faire time, they can dress up in breeches or a bustier and immerse themselves in times long past.

So, back to Bill Murray. Which of his movies have I watched over and over, so that I can recite his lines? "Groundhog Day," "What About Bob?" "Ghostbusters," "The Man Who Knew too Little" and "Garfield," to name a few.

I know what you're thinking. Garfield? Why would anyone list a movie starring a cheesey animated tabby (voiced by, you got it, Bill Murray) over, say, a Wes Anderson film. It's because I currently have a 3-year-old who watches the movie over and over, simply because of Bill Murray's smarmy, mocking voice ("You're not just my owner. You're my primary caregiver!"), I don't mind.

Okay, I've lost track of myself. I meant to share my latest song of the day on Battlestar Eclectica. It is "Bill Murray" by Phantogram. The song hails from 2014. 

The lyrics aren't biographical, or even semi-biographical: "Am I lonely? Oh, it feels like/When the day breaks/Am I wanted inside"'Til you feel liked/Wave a goodbye/When you're heart's not in line/Burning Star/Burning Star" and so forth. 

The tune and the words are undoubtedly wistful, which brings me to another aspect of Bill Murray. He has the look and feel of sadness. We understand he's whistling in the dark because life's tough. He had one of his best friends, John Belushi, die when he was a young man and another SNL friend, Gilda Radner, die when he was just a bit older. He fell out with longtime writing and acting partner Harold Ramis, and Harold died before they repaired the rift. 

I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg, but it makes it so we resonate with this great talent and it also allows him to take on rolls that are as serious as they are comedic. 

You may have noticed that I am no longer directing my blog personally to Bill Murray. Who am I kidding? He doesn't know me. Yet. 

But anywho—and now I'm hearing Groundhog Day's Ned Ryerson ("Bing!") saying, 'It's all a crapshoot anywho—the Internet tells me how the song got it's name. Josh Carter, half of the duo that is the alt indie electro rock outfit that is Phantagram. the other half is Sarah Barthel, whose boredly ethereal voice brings to mind just the kind of shoegaze band that would end up on a soundtrack composed by the endlessly hip Sophia Coppola. 

Which brings us full circle to "Lost in Translation," in which Bill Murray is not just a lead actor but an unforgettable lead actor. 

Outside of my husband, I can't think of anyone whose shoulder I'd rather rest my head on.  And now, without further ado, here is "Bill Murray" by Phantogram.

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