Billie Eilish’s Radio Show is a Masterpiece

From the beginning of humanity two of the most important features of our society have been family and music. Family and music survived the cognitive, agricultural and industrial revolution. Musician Billie Eilish and her Dad have created the perfect exhibition of the importance of family life and music. The Me and Dad Radio Show offers 6 hours and 30 minutes of discussion with the O’Connell Family covering meditations, memories and analysis of certain songs. Musicians featured are Radiohead, Christine Aguilera, Britney Spears, Mumford and Sons, Baxter Drury, Jorja Smith, Phoebe Bridges, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. 

I have met various Americans that have a natural attitude of responsibility and leadership. They exude a confidence tailored to being at the centre of the modern world. Traditionally the British aristocracy have been known to have possessed ‘noblesse oblige’, the sense that privilege demands leadership and responsibility. Orwell in 1941 wrote that the English ruling class were ‘morally fairly sound’ because they were always ready to be killed in a time of war. Absent of political discussion, the O’Connell family exhibit the confidence and intelligence that planet is seeking from the planet’s most powerful nation. They embody and communicate the idea and style of American that Trump did so much to destroy. Listening to these 6 radio shows, I’m flooded with memories of the America seen in documentary films like Gimme Shelter, Woodstock, The Beatles in America and The Last Waltz, televisions shows like Mad Men, and songs like Simon and Garfunkel’s America, The Band’s The Weight and The Doors’ LA Woman

Patrick O’Connell, Billie’s Dad, is wise and traditionally Californian. He’s got a very good knowledge of music built from the foundation of The Beatles. His descriptions of America feel like the calmer parts of Scorsese and Tarantino, commenting on George Harrison’s writing style and the cultural significance of Dean Martin. 

Maggie Baird, Billie’s mum, has a beautiful voice, slightly deeper than Billie’s. The songs she selects are intimately connected with family memories telling the most adorable story of her father being in love with Peggy Lee. 

Finneas, Billie’s Brother, has intelligence, esteem and confidence mixed with self deprecation and sincerity. Finneas’ keen networking mind is demonstrated with the swagger of someone with great command of music and the industry. 

And then we have Billie. She’s got an incredible knowledge of culture, sounding like an individual who has spent thousands of hours watching MTV, VH1 Classic and Kerrang as a child. Billie’s memory for lyrics are great. Her command and appreciation of the English language is beautiful. She’s sarcastic and witty in her word play, applied in conversation and in the deconstruction of selected songs that she often harmonises and sings with.

The collective imagination is built from our musical memories of California, New York, London and Paris. We lust for the princes and princesses that make our dream reality. We want Lana Del Ray, the Strokes and Frank Sinatra from New York, David Bowie and the Clash from London, Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg from Paris and today in California, we want Odd Future, The Beach Boys, The Doors and Billie Eilish.

The great American stories on family are very often concerned with the Mafia, like in the Godfather and the Sopranos, or ridicule, as with The Simpsons and Family Guy. These radio shows are a masterpiece. The O’Connell’s are performers and orators. They are a family with good connection to one another, communicated through a love and affection for music. I I would love to have Apple publish these Radio Shows on Audible or iTunes to have the joy of sharing them with all who aren’t Apple Music subscribers. 

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