I found this video on Artforum this morning and had to share. Patti Smith escaped me in my youth. When she released Horses in 1975, I wasn’t even born. By that time she had already made friends with Janis Joplin, met Salvador Dali in the atrium of the Chelsea, and supported Robert Mapplethorpe’s exploration of the New York underworld and iconic rise as a photographer.

All this is in “Just Kids,” which is my favorite read of the last few years. Considering the number of copies I’ve seen cracked in the New York subway since its release in 2010, I safely assume I’m not alone. Still, Smith has never been very accessible to me as a singer. Maybe that means I should listen harder, because this woman is the genuine article, and the way she speaks her cat here borders on shamanic.

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