Posts tagged 'Stones Throw'

The Miracle

“Where do all these melodies come from?
Where do all these melodies run from
to then find solace in sun, son?
Honestly? I’m stumped.
All I know is somehow when I’m stuck,
I’m un-stuck.
Maybe it’s dumb luck, I give up;
I’m just as dumbstruck.”

Steve first sent us this video in the spring but, truth be told, I didn’t take the time to really dive in and pay attention to what was going on until a few days ago. Don’t make the same mistake.

I never really caught on to what the song was about because I was too fixated on the visuals. For whatever dumb reason I tend to not like when shot footage and animation are combined unless they’re seamlessly mixed together. That’s certainly not a rule, just a general prejudice rooted in the sticky cellar of my psyche. When I was a child I used to separate my food into neat little piles; the stuff I liked least was eaten first and, when it was finished, the next mound in the hierarchy of flavor was tackled until my favorite was last on the plate. It sounds dumb now that I’m typing it out but, at the time, this behavior seemed perfectly logical. I was a little obsessed by the process to the point that I’d have a mini freak-out if different foods touched each other.

To enjoy something on it’s own terms is, to me at least, fundamentally satisfying. I find that both sobriety and intoxication are agreeable in their own way but to be either one or the other for too long a span of time spurs a vague discomfort as each plays an integral role in calibrating the poles of my consciousness.

Yin and yang, bruh.

So, separate and tackle in turn. If shot footage and hand-drawn animation are fused into one film, why wouldn’t you want to make the finished product look as homogeneous as possible? You know, invest the necessary time and attention to do a proper blend; apply some craft ‘n shit. This is probably why I glossed over the attached when I first saw it. But I didn’t dismiss could I? Mr. Steven Smith himself made it for goddamn Stones Throw and, seeing as I’m a big fan of both, decided to tuck it away and return later. On a recent trip to the Midwest I did just that and, away from the pressures of work, had time to properly marinate in what was going on.

Anyways, the song is about the creative process and – even though Homeboy Sandman is specifically referring to his methodology for writing rhymes – the themes he covers are pretty universal to anyone who makes things. At it’s core, creating something is a frustrating mix of volition and luck. You’ve got to do what you can to get the ball rolling but ultimately, what’s going on isn’t completely within your control. It’s haphazard and messy and inexact and – for beings whose evolutionary success depended primarily on an ability to exert dominance over the surrounding environment – supremely frustrating.

“I think ‘What is this melody meaning to me?’
The answer might come in a week.
The answer might come immediately.
What is the recipe?”

Lyrically, it’s a tightly-packed, mad, stream-of-consciousness tumble and the accompanying grab-bag of colorful, whacked-out visuals heighten the sense of anticipation for what he’ll say next. It took me until the ninth or tenth viewing to finally notice that the only shot footage is of Sandman’s head, the physical case for an internal universe of grey matter that simultaneously contains both the hindering, fickle spontaneity of his creative muse and the honed mastery of language that eventually liberates and externalizes it.

At that moment everything shifted; the heterogeneous, sharp-edged contrast of the visuals morphed from the thing I didn’t like to my absolute favorite part. Maybe you’ll like it, too?


For more Steven Smith-created goodness just click here. If this is the first you’re hearing of Stones Throw listen to this and then go buy some albums.

[ Homeboy Sandman - The Miracle ]


“The rules are simple. Pick any song from Stones Throw’s catalog. Edit your own video using any footage you want, upload it to, and add it to our Vimeo group: You can do anything you like as long as it’s CREATIVE - shoot new footage, animation, found footage, or combination. Our deadline is July 1, 2011…more

We’re huge fans of Stones Throw and were beyond excited to find out that they’re throwing an open-to-all video contest to celebrate their 15th anniversary. The video above was submitted by Steven Smith for the J Dilla (RIP) joint, ‘Geekdown’ and we absolutely love it. Hopefully there’s lots more like it from other creative fans on the way.

A huge, massive thanks goes to one of our readers, Victoria, for the heads-up on this one – CHEERS!

[ J Dilla - Geekdown ]