One of the podcasts I listen to is 99% Invisible, which is about design and how it affects and influences our lives (it’s way more interesting than the summary makes it sound). I am still making my way through a LARGE backlog of episodes, so I’m still years behind in my listening. Every so often, podmaster Roman Mars will include an episode from one of Radiotopia’s other podcasts and it’s always fun to get a sample. Song Exploder is one of the most frequent add-ons. I like this one because it panders to the music geek in me. An 99PI from a couple of years ago included a Song Exploder about a song by an artist called The Long Winters that was already a couple of years old when it originally aired.
Yeah, I could’ve been way more concise with how I worded that. One of my creative writing teachers called it “shielding your nouns,” a phenomenon that stems from trying to write about something that is profoundly uncomfortable or emotional. That’s what this song is.
“The Commander Thinks Aloud” is about the Columbia disaster. It is almost as devastating as the explosion that destroyed the shuttle. I downloaded the song today, but not after some soul-searching. I don’t know that I ever want to hear this song again, but I cannot forget it. It is a stunning piece of work, in the sense that you will feel a little bit like you got hit over the head with a two by four. It is also a very good piece of art. Do not listen to it if you are depressed. Do not listen to it if you have not braced yourself sufficiently. This is not an experience for the faint of heart. But it is an experience worth having at least once.