Yes. I’ve been looking forward to writing about this song because in some ways, it’s the one that started crystalizing my music obsession. I’d grown up with music, but now I was establishing my own tastes.
Every time I hear this song, I remember the first time I heard it. I was sitting in the car way back when, listening to the Alt Nation radio station, and “Very Busy People” came on. Eric Victorino’s voice has a grainy quality that perfectly fits the song. Its lyrics, and the synthesizer overlay, have this empty feeling that always gets me. Even though they’re talking about being so very busy, all they’re doing is eating pizza, listening to music, and drinking too much. It’s sad, especially the gross lyric about Photoshopping. That’s the only part of the song I don’t like.
And yet, despite the irony of the song’s lyrics versus its title, there’s an odd sort of hope to it, too. After all, “We might be sprawled out on the floor/But we still make lovely company.” You almost want to meet the people that Victorino is talking about. (They show up again elsewhere in the Get Sharp album, with the song “Internet Killed the Video Star.” In that song, they’re disco-dancing, not caring about the past – or even, it seems, the future.)
What, then, is the message of “Very Busy People”? To me, it’s living in the moment and making your own fun. “That Donnie Darko DVD has been repeating for a week/And we know every single word.” It’s a song that really encapsulates being a teenager, which is probably why I liked it so much. And honestly, I still do.