“You gotta hear this one song. It’ll change your life, I swear.”
With that one line, said by Natalie Portman to Zach Braff in 2004’s Garden State, in reference to The Shins’ “New Slang,” a few different things happened.
The Shins, meanwhile, became immensely popular. The album with New Slang on it, “Oh, Inverted, World,” is so good that I’d like to think it would’ve became a classic with or without the movie’s help. But either way, the band owes a debt of gratitude to Zach Braff for expediting their career success.
They repaid the favor 10 years later by contributing a song to another Zach Braff movie, titled Wish I Was Here,set to be released on July 18.
Garden State quickly became a cult classic, primarily among those in the 18-25 age range, who were about to embark into the “real world.” I was 18 when I first saw it, and I’ll admit that the film’s themes definitely resonated with me at the time.
Ten years later, I look back at the film and think maybe it was a little overdramatic with its attempt to romanticize the whole notion of disillusioned youth, a recycled theme heavily explored in the ’80s and ’90s in films like Say Anything and Dazed and Confused.
But it’s still a good movie, and also helped popularize other artists, like Frou Frou. How can anybody forget the classic — even if overly cliché — airport scene with Braff chasing Portman in the airport?
It took a decade for Braff to write, direct and star in another film. It hasn’t even been released yet, and it’s already inspiring artists to write new music. Besides The Shins’ awesome new song, ultimate hipster Bon Iver has also written one. And it’s also good.
Whether this movie is good or not, it’s already brought us good music. And I thank Zach Braff for that.
By the way, I love Bon Iver and his music, but I call him an ultimate hipster because of his 2012 Grammy acceptance speech when it was evident how hard he was trying to make it seem like winning a Grammy didn’t murk his indie vibe. I tried to find the speech on YouTube but it’s not there. So you’ll have to trust me.
*Sticks out his hand like Aladdin did to Princess Jasmine before flying on the magic carpet*
*My cat comes over and licks hand*
I think I’m going to put on giant headphones and listen to The Shins now.