1, 2, skip a few…

Posted: May 12th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Culture | Tags: , | No Comments »

…99, 100.

That’s how I used to count to 100 when I was a kid and trying to be cheeky. In real life, you can rarely skip steps that easily, but sometimes, it works.

Last night I went to see the most charming movie about elderly folks who sing covers of classic and not-so-classic rock songs. It’s called Young@Heart and it reminded me a bit of Buena Vista Social Club set in Massachusetts. Both are movies worth seeing, and calling one’s grandparents immediately afterwards. A little cheesy, yes, but the music is pretty awesome and even a jaded Gen Yer like me can be inspired from time to time.

In one scene that really struck me, one of the singers, Bob Salvini, died of cardiac arrest just before a concert. He was meant to sing a duet of Coldplay’s Fix You with another very ill man, Fred Knittle. Suddenly, Fred has to sing the whole thing alone and doesn’t know Bob’s part.

All throughout the film, there are jokes about how the singers’ own musical tastes turn to opera or classical, except when they’re singing at Young@Heart. When the conductor gives them CDs of Sonic Youth or the Talking Heads, they can’t figure out which side goes up in the CD player.

But when Fred has to learn Fix You, he sits down at his Dell computer and pulls up this video from YouTube! to sing along to.

The result is heartbreakingly beautiful:

Web 2.0 technologies are reaching people for whom the big step is not from analog to digital, Ethernet to wireless, but from ink on paper to pixels on a screen. My grandmother, for example, cannot use a DVD player but she knows that “Google” is a verb and has an email account.

1, 2, skip a few…

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