Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Thing About Things

The internet does weird things to me.

A few weeks ago, Amanda Palmer put up a sound only recording of a brand new song on her bandcamp website, I think it was.  She'd performed it for the first time at a live concert and someone there had recorded it, possibly on a cell phone, and made the recording available to her.

As you might imagine, that recording wasn't all that great.  Hardly ideal circumstances for such a thing.

But the song... the song grabbed me.  It's titled The Thing About Things.

Without specialized software it wasn't even downloadable... you could only listen to it on the website.  I really liked it.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, maybe even a month.  I find out that now she's made it downloadable.  And that she has recorded - but not yet released - a better version of it in a studio.  I downloaded the concert version, and am waiting for the song to appear somewhere that I can actually get a good version, for which I will happily give her money.

Fast forward some more.  Today, on Amanda's blog - which is in my RSS reader - I see a new post.  It's the text of a speech she gave about writing.  She gave the speech after a poem she dashed off after the Boston bombing horror caused a kerfluffle, and I'd already watched the speech elsewhere.  It's quite good, and a reminder to me to keep creating, and that there are a lot of people in the world who judge without understanding.  Here's a link to it.  If you're an artist or creator of any sort, you really should watch it:

Anyway, as I'd already watched - and been moved by - that speech, I just skimmed the blog post. But down at the bottom I found a link to a post by someone who runs Grub Street, which is the writer's organization that Amanda was speaking too.  Amanda said it was a good post, so I read it too.  And it was.  The author talks about some points Amanda raised - about how writers feel validated and who decides what you're doing is worthwhile.  Good stuff.  Chase that link too.

Now, in that post, there was an embedded video of Amanda playing her Ukulele Song, which is very funny, and worth a listen too.  I've heard it before, several times, and figured I'd listen again.  And it was worth it.  Again, chase the link.

Are you getting how my morning was going yet?

Anyway, the Ukulele song finished up and Vimeo handed me a list of other videos I might be interested in, and there was a link to Amanda playing The Thing About Things.  The first version I heard was Amanda and her piano, and despite being a bad recording it brought tears to my eyes.  This recording is Amanda and her ukulele, and once again, I cried.  It's a much better recording of the song, and she sings it with passion, which is her trademark in my mind.

And so, in my meandering way, with lots of diversions, here, finally, is the point of this blog post: Amanda Palmer's The Thing About Things, performed live at Grub Street in Boston.

May it bring you joy, and maybe a few tears as you remember someone, somewhere.


Edit 6/25/13 - corrected the link to The Thing About Things... Not sure how it was wrong unless Vimeo changed it on me.