My Backup

That photo is linked to the site I got it from. (Austin City Limits) Trying to remember to give due credit and not break all the fun copyright laws.

I listen to other stuff, too. I always fall back on this girl. I have planned write-ups on why I think “Heavenly Day” is the perfectly structured song; the instrumentality of “Nobody’s Crying”; the pure rawness of “Every Little Bit” and “Sweet Lorraine.” I’ve mentioned before that my degree of fanhood has never elevated to obsession, but in this case, I have to make an exception. I told a friend whenever I’ve recommended Patty to someone else, and he/she isn’t as enthusiastic about her, I get a little offended; a little bit of myself holds a grudge, and a little bit of that someone else is dead to me. Of course I open my mind and appreciate other artists and different types of music. Some people are completely closed off to country, but there really is some good country out there. Some people detest rap, and granted, while that takes a while longer to sort through, you can find some decent stuff there, too. Patty herself interviewed that some of her songs have even fallen by the wayside, but since I’m a fan, if Patty were a genre all unto herself, I’d have my favorites, for sure, but I have definitely picked something from each of my non-favorites that I really like. Sure, some songs aren’t as brilliant, but I would submit that they’re all good. Probably everyone’s least favorite album of her is Flaming Red. “Mary” is on that album – it’s genius. Here’s another song, “Goodbye” I especially connect with:

Occurred to me the other day / You’ve been gone now a couple years / Well I guess it takes a while / For someone to really disappear / I remember where I was / when the word came about you / it was a day much like today / the sky was bright and wide and blue / 

(chorus) And I wonder where you are / and if the pain ends when you die / And I wonder if there was / some better way to say goodbye

Today my heart is big and sore / it’s trying to push right through my skin / I won’t see you anymore / I guess it’s finally sinking in / ‘Cause you can’t make somebody see / with the simple words you say / all their beauty from within / sometimes they just look away 

Chorus

When I hear this song, I think of all the people who I’m no longer in touch with. People I miss. People who were close to me. Patty doesn’t personally know May Anderton, but she knows that May Anderton is not the only one who’s experienced this kind of loss. And Patty put together a simple, powerful lyric and a simple, powerful melody and all of sudden May has found a friend in Patty Griffin, or at least in her music.

Okay, enough of that. I’ve listened to Meg Hutchinson about 10 times. But I mentioned she reminds me of a few other artists. So, it’s time to break out Damien Rice’s O, Dar Williams’s Mortal City, and Gillian Welch’s Soul Journey. I might dig up Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker or Love Is Hell, but then that reminds me of Jeff Buckley, then Rufus Wainwright. Then for some reason, I think of old Feist or Sarah Slean and I think of Sarah Slean at the piano, and that reminds me of Tori Amos and that takes me back to Sarah McLachlan. And don’t even get me started on classical music. Oh, man. Looks like it might get a little overwhelming, but if it does, what’s really so wrong with having too much good music to listen to?

One thought on “My Backup

  1. What a beautiful photo. When we were heading back from Jacksonville the weekend after I visited you, I was playing ‘A Kiss In Time’ and I said to Joe: “You know, I think Patty Griffin has ascended to an even higher level with me, like, Favorite Artist EVER.” I mean that. She just has it all, she is the total package. I love ‘Goodbye’, I’d never heard it until recently. It really does make you think of everyone you’re missing.

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