Wednesday 26 January 2011

When It Gets You

I love when something gets me. I discovered Patty Griffin a few days ago. I was on YouTube looking for something completely different-- and after clicking away and opening up tabs, it landed on one of her songs. I just knew straight away. Wow.

Here's the song I'm listening to right now.

It's new and fresh to me. But wow, she really resonates. That song has 7,000 views on YouTube. That's all it takes. You can upload a video that has only 9 views, but if it means something to you, it will mean something to someone else if and when they find it. We get so caught up in success and being discovered that we forget that it's really about this. It's about feeling something. And it's not a big thing -- it's not Johnny Depp running around on a ship or Megan Fox not wearing much in Transformers. What we're really about, is this stuff. That's why we love watching films and making films. People say they want to be 'discovered' as if they're hoping for the Spielberg phone call -- but really what people need is that one email from a girl in India who accidentally found your video when researching an assignment about rocks; and she just absolutely loves and adores the very thing you're doing. And it's not because of your camera angles, it's because of the essence of what you did. The most beautiful stuff is simple. Chaplin didn't win us over by blowing things up, he won us over by standing next to a girl and smiling.

And that's why I'm responding so strongly to Patty Griffin.

She's real. She sounds like the one who got away. Or the one you haven't met yet. Or the emotion you've yet to put into your writing. She's something you don't find a lot of when you're going about your bustling life in London or wherever it is you are. I have listened to this song, "Forgiveness" about twenty times in the last two days. I'm not at that stage of taking in the lyrics yet; I'm just taking in the feelings, and emotions and some-other-part-of-its-essence-that-i've-not-figured-out-yet. This song is gonna last a fair while for me.

Everyone I know is stressing about what their next job will be, and if they'll ever write that script, and if they'll ever get to act in a commercial, or if they'll ever get to stop acting in commercials. But they forget, we all forget --- it's about something smaller. It's about that feeling we got when Tim Robbins burrowed through that hole in his cell; it's about that little smile your favorite actress did when she picked up her Oscar, it's about that little bit of piano three and a half minutes into your favorite song. That's it! That's why we're here. We want to get closer to it. We want to touch it, and if we're blessed enough, we want to create it for other people.

Your favorite songs and movies help remind you of that. But I think it's at it's strongest when you find something new. But it has to be something that absolutely and completely agrees with the very core of who you are as a human being. It doesn't happen often. But when it does: You know about it. Like you all knew when I blogged endlessly about 'Adventureland' when I discovered it. It just agreed with everything I agree with. It presented a world back to me that I believe in, long for, and love. The same with Patti Griffin these past few days.

Let's not spend too long bitching about the stuff we don't like -- because it has a knack of absolutely consuming us. Instead we need to be hungry and chase down every thing we could possibly love like completely ruthless animals ---- because that's where the magic is. When I was a kid, I'd stay up all night recording great songs from the radio onto cassettes. When I was a teenager, I'd rent every single video that was in the rental store. That kind of goes away as you get older. I mean, a lot of people tell everyone about their passion and knowledge but deep down, by and large, it kinda calms down and we go a bit mad at ourselves for not spending as many nights and days obsessing over the things we love. 

But those places are where the magic is. It's where the fuel is that reminds you why you do what you do, and it reminds you of how perfect a film can be, or how moving a song; and it hits you like a bolt.

Care to share?


  1. How do you manage to write like this so often? amazing

  2. I've never heard of that song before. I agree with the previous comment though, it's amazing how you can write so creatively so often. P.s. I just posted some links to some videos my brother did. I know you have an obsession with films, and I think you might appreciate it. :) Have a good day, kid!

  3. She is, indeed, marvelous. I saw her many, many years ago in Boston, before she had done anything commercially remarkable. Although, she was then, and continues to be, so very remarkable without vulgar commerciality.

  4. you are great, kid