I can still remember the first time I ever heard a Bo Burnham song. It was May of 2007, and I had just finished my freshman year at SUNY Cortland. A couple close friends of mine were down visiting us from Boston for my sister's sweet 16 party. It was after that party (and a few dozen Captain and cokes) that my friend Dane took control of the keyboard, and navigated us to a YouTube video of a then 16 year old kid he went to school with. The song was called "3.14 Apple Pi" and after one listen I was sold.
Who is this kid? What is he like? And where could I find more of his work?
Quick answer to the above questions- his name was Bo Burnham, a tall, lanky and incredibly smart artist/song writer/rapper from Hamilton, Mass, and all of his homemade videos could be found on his YouTube channel. Immediately, I insisted we watch every other video he had posted, and began sending links of him to all of my friends. Not only did I think this guy was absolutely hilarious, but I could tell he was going to be famous one day, and it's always nice to be ahead of the curve with people like that. We watched his videos all summer long, and I continued to follow him, and spread the word about his videos. Sure enough, within a year he was preforming nationally, and I even got the chance to meet up with him before a July, 2008 show in New York City where he opened up for another favorite comic of mine, Joel McHale.
Fast forward two and a half years to present day, October 18th, 2010, the eve of his second album release, "Words, Words, Words". He has since then singed a multiple album record deal with Comedy Central, released an album that reached #1 on the comedy charts (March, 09's Bo Burnham), preformed all over the college circuit and at venues across the country, befriended Judd Apatow and even had a role in Funny People, had two Comedy Central presents specials, and along with preforming/recording is in the process of writing an "R" rated High-School Musical-esq comedy with Seth Rogan. With all his credentials, the thing about Bo that continues to impress me the most, is his innate intelligence and absolute mastery of the English language. If you get a chance to catch his latest comedy central special, watch for 15 minutes and I guarantee you will marvel at his once-in-a-generation word skills.
Now I could blog all night, or posts hours and hours of footage of him on this to try to emphasize my points on why you should check him out, or laugh at his jokes, but I'm not here to do that. The real reason I'm writing this is because one of the songs from his latest special just really hit me, and I feel like it needs to be heard, and appreciated. The song is called "Art is Dead", and it is one the most honest depictions of celebrity lifestyle I have ever heard. Rarely do you hear an artist speak so truthfully, or be this self-aware. It just goes to show that although all the incest, gay and asian jokes may be hilarious, there is a lot more to Bo then meets the eye, and he is not going away anytime soon.
"Art is dead, so people think you're funny,
How do you get those people's money?
Art is dead, we're rolling in dough,
While Carlin rolls in his grave, in his grave, in his grave"