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paulthomasanderson
01-12-2010, 04:29 PM
The new album's right around the corner. A talent quite unlike any other.

http://www.viceland.com/int/v16n7/htdocs/annabel-mehran-927/1_large.jpg

http://www.ondarock.it/images/monografie/newsom_ok.jpg

http://stereogum.com/img/joanna_newsom-bam27.jpg

ficklecycle
01-12-2010, 04:36 PM
I approve of this thread.

pancakespancakes
01-12-2010, 04:42 PM
I hope the world has not forgotten about Joanna during her long absence.

bmack86
01-12-2010, 04:45 PM
Joanna is my fave. Still, put something in it besides a bizarre and poorly shot fashion photo.

For example:
zDCqJL-m31c
Back in 2004

hVx_kVtFI9E
in 2007. Check out how much better her voice has gotten.

bS1cNK94tUw
The new song she played at the Disney Concert hall back in 2007

0kM0VVUjRXc
Pretty much every song from Ys got better when she played with the ys Street band, but Cosmia gained a whole new life.

BlackSwan
01-12-2010, 04:48 PM
Panderific. Thanks for posting some real content in here, bmack.

hawkingvsreeve
01-12-2010, 04:49 PM
Cosmia is my fav. The last minute of that song is my favorite part of all of Ys.

pancakespancakes
01-12-2010, 04:50 PM
This is an old classic, one of my videos on all of the 'tube, this song performed as it should be.


My favorite 4 minutes of Joanna:
Xg0kRNTtoZ4

bmack86
01-12-2010, 04:56 PM
And she's funny:

(Interview from the New Statesmen)

1 Does art make a difference?
Aw, sure. Of course there are degrees of extremity to the potential change that art can effect, depending on how many people are able to engage with it. The Beatles made a huge difference in the world. But Henry Darger, Jeff McKissack, Karen Dalton, Pauline Oliveros, Kenneth Patchen – there are so many folks who have made great art and not gotten massively famous for it, yet I think there are all sorts of ways their work informs and shapes other people’s work, and brains, and decisions.

2 Should politics and art mix?
Well, everything mixes, the New Statesman! That’s like asking if a knee-reflex hammer and a quadriceps tendon should “mix”.

3 Is your work for the many or for the few?
That’s for the many/few to say. I just crank out the hot jams.

4 If you were world leader, what would be your first law?
Gravity. I feel like we need to tighten up the constitutional protections that particular law enjoys. It’s a ticking time bomb, if you ask me.

5 Who would be your top advisers?
Cute angel on one shoulder, cute devil on the other.

6What, if anything, would you censor?
Maybe we could all agree to not bust each other’s chops all cut-dang day.

7 If you had to banish one public figure, who would it be?
don’t know, banishment might be a little extreme, but I’d sure like to take that Stephen Hawking dude down a notch or two. Right? Are you with me?

8 What are the rules that you live by?
Basically, “bros before hos”. I feel like if you stay true to that, everything else just kind of falls into place.

9 Do you love your country?
I love William Faulkner, Dolly Parton, fried chicken, Van Dyke Parks, the Grand Canyon, Topanga Canyon, bacon cheeseburgers with horseradish, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grand Ole Opry, Gary Snyder, Gilda Radner, Radio City Music Hall, Big Sur, Ponderosa pines, Southern BBQ, Highway One, Kris Kristofferson, National Arts Club in New York, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Ernest Hemingway, Harriet Tubman, Hearst Castle, Ansel Adams, Kenneth Jay Lane, Yuba River, South Yuba River Citizens League, “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore”, “Hired Hand”, “The Jerk”, “The Sting”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, clambakes, lobster rolls, s'mores, camping in the Sierra Nevadas, land sailing in the Nevada desert, riding horseback in Canyon de Chelly; Walker Percy, Billie Holiday, Drag City, Chez Panisse/Alice Waters/slow food movement, David Crosby, Ralph Lauren,San Francisco Tape Music Center, Albert Brooks, Utah Phillips, Carol Moseley Braun, Bolinas CA, Ashland OR, Lawrence KS, Austin TX, Bainbridge Island WA, Marilyn Monroe, Mills College, Elizabeth Cotton, Carl Sandburg, the Orange Show in Houston, Toni Morrison, Texas Gladden, California College of Ayurvedic Medicine, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Saturday Night Live, Aaron Copland, Barack Obama, Oscar de la Renta, Alan Lomax, Joyce Carol Oates, Fred Neil, Henry Cowell, Barneys New York, Golden Gate Park, Musee Mechanique, Woody Guthrie, Maxfield Parrish, Malibu, Maui, Napa Valley, Terry Riley, drive-in movies, homemade blackberry ice cream from blackberries picked on my property, Lil Wayne, Walt Whitman, Halston, Lavender Ridge Grenache from Lodi CA, Tony Duquette, Julia Morgan, Lotta Crabtree, Empire Mine, North Columbia Schoolhouse, Disneyland, Nevada County Grandmothers for Peace; Roberta Flack, Randy Newman, Mark Helprin, Larry David, Prince; cooking on Thanksgiving; Shel Siverstein, Lee Hazlewood, Lee Radziwill, Jackie Onassis, E.B. White, William Carlos Williams, Jay Z, Ralph Stanley, Allen Ginsberg, Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, RFK, Rosa Parks, Arthur Miller, “The Simpsons”, Julia Child, Henry Miller, Arthur Ashe, Anne Bancroft, The Farm Midwifery Center in TN, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Harry Nilsson, Woodstock, and some other stuff. Buuuut, the ol' U S of A can pull some pretty dick moves. I'm hoping it'll all come out in the wash...

10 Are we all doomed?
If we keep our expectations pretty low I think we might be fine. I mean, we’re definitely all dying at some point. There’s no getting around that. But between now and then, things might start looking up!

rskapcat
01-12-2010, 04:58 PM
If you're going to post any picture, it should be the bathroom picture. :)

And I support this thread. I have my fingers crossed that she will come to Dallas on tour and play at my favorite venue. I will cry.

pancakespancakes
01-12-2010, 05:00 PM
8 What are the rules that you live by?
Basically, “bros before hos”. I feel like if you stay true to that, everything else just kind of falls into place.


Fuckin amazing.

dorkfish
01-12-2010, 05:17 PM
For reals, shame on all of you so far:

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/5967986/Joanna+Newsom+bathroom.jpg

rskapcat
01-12-2010, 05:24 PM
That picture requires this: :cat

bmack86
01-12-2010, 05:29 PM
There are tons of amazing photos of her, but the one that PTA started the thread with is far from one of them. I dislike that photo.

dorkfish
01-12-2010, 06:02 PM
her Australian label is droppin' bombs

Joanna Newsom ‘Have One On Me’ – February 19 on Spunk

Today, Spunk is thrilled to announce the forthcoming Joanna Newsom album ‘Have One On Me’, due for release February 19. This is Joanna’s third full length album and is a sophisticated and enchanting collection of work from this unparalleled talent. Her last record ‘Ys’ was a conceptual masterpiece of ethereal harp, lush vocals and expansive, complex orchestrations arranged by Van Dyke Parks, and was recently voted one of the Albums of the Decade by Pitchfork and Mojo Magazine.

The album is released in Australia via Spunk February 19, and released the rest of the world February 23.

Pixiessp
01-12-2010, 06:08 PM
I like her. It's true.

pancakespancakes
01-12-2010, 06:11 PM
Hahahahaha. Good on ya, Spunk.

So it's not going to be a double album then is it?

paulthomasanderson
01-12-2010, 06:52 PM
her Australian label is droppin' bombs

Joanna Newsom ‘Have One On Me’ – February 19 on Spunk

Today, Spunk is thrilled to announce the forthcoming Joanna Newsom album ‘Have One On Me’, due for release February 19. This is Joanna’s third full length album and is a sophisticated and enchanting collection of work from this unparalleled talent. Her last record ‘Ys’ was a conceptual masterpiece of ethereal harp, lush vocals and expansive, complex orchestrations arranged by Van Dyke Parks, and was recently voted one of the Albums of the Decade by Pitchfork and Mojo Magazine.

The album is released in Australia via Spunk February 19, and released the rest of the world February 23.

Tremendous news. Take notice, GV. This is the year to do it.

kitt kat
01-12-2010, 07:34 PM
There are tons of amazing photos of her, but the one that PTA started the thread with is far from one of them. I dislike that photo.

I dislike it because it doesn't show her talent; she could easily be interpreted as some no-good pop star harlot from that shot by someone unfamiliar with her work.

JoJo Newsom is totally one of the most innovative and brilliant artists of the last decade. Hands down.


And if she played Coachella...I'm there. Front row.

wmgaretjax
01-12-2010, 07:45 PM
i hate photographs that don't show an artist's talent.

bmack86
01-12-2010, 07:46 PM
The updated one shows some of her talent at least: the talent of being extraordinarily good looking.

miscorrections
01-12-2010, 07:49 PM
I think the first one shows her talent of having a nice bum.

bmack86
01-12-2010, 07:52 PM
She does have that

Mr.Nipples
01-12-2010, 08:16 PM
The new album's right around the corner. A talent quite unlike any other.

http://www.viceland.com/int/v16n7/htdocs/annabel-mehran-927/1_large.jpg


http://socialitelife.celebuzz.com/images/ss021606.jpg

TallGuyCM
01-12-2010, 08:18 PM
^ Scott Stapp?

beavington
01-12-2010, 09:02 PM
The new album's right around the corner. A talent quite unlike any other.

http://www.viceland.com/int/v16n7/htdocs/annabel-mehran-927/1_large.jpg

this picture is hot.

but there is something i love about her voice which what i find most annoying about her voice. but i keep listening to her first album a lot.

TallGuyCM
01-12-2010, 09:19 PM
but there is something i love about her voice which what i find most annoying about her voice.

Huh?

paulthomasanderson
01-16-2010, 03:59 PM
According to some message board hearsay, Joanna Newsom’s upcoming Have One On Me was mixed and mastered at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studios — but not by Steve, who produced Ys. (So why the trip to Japan? Recording with Jim O’Rourke, perhaps, but not mixing?) But more interestingly, the anonymous engineer said the album will be quite long — so perhaps her two-and-a-half hour preview in Big Sur last year wasn’t just a tease.

Hm.

TallGuyCM
01-16-2010, 04:02 PM
I had heard Joanna's name mentioned several times before, but had never listened to her material before last weekend. Ys was my first taste of her, and I really enjoyed it. I can see how some are put off by her voice, but I think it fits her voice perfectly and can't wait to see her when she comes to town next.

bmack86
01-16-2010, 04:05 PM
Joanna 2-cd/3-LP release would make me a happy camper.

Alchemy
01-16-2010, 04:26 PM
Just got a couple CDs by Joanna Newsom. She has a little girl accent, but I love the harp enough to look past that. Also, I think that first picture of her shows her talent greatly. I mean, look at those bent fingers. Those things are like spiders for the harp.

wmgaretjax
01-17-2010, 01:39 PM
3 discs.

Still-ill
01-17-2010, 04:03 PM
???

wmgaretjax
01-17-2010, 04:03 PM
That's how long the new album is.

Still-ill
01-17-2010, 04:05 PM
Fan-tastic.

Still-ill
01-17-2010, 04:05 PM
Also:
sL0T1yUYkbs

bmack86
01-17-2010, 05:30 PM
As in 3 CD or 3 LP? February is going to be a very slow month.

wmgaretjax
01-17-2010, 05:32 PM
Not entirely sure... But generally people don't refer to LPs as discs. This info is coming secondhand from someone who supposedly already listened to a promo stream.

I kinda hope it's just 3LP... 3CD is a bit much for anyone...

paulthomasanderson
01-18-2010, 04:42 PM
News:


The National's Bryce Dessner founded the MusicNOW Festival in 2006 to bring adventurous contemporary music to Cincinnati every spring. This year's festival, which goes down March 30-April 1, has some pretty big names attached.

Joanna Newsom doesn't have too many U.S. shows planned, but she'll come to Memorial Hall on March 30.

paulthomasanderson
01-19-2010, 06:20 PM
Here's to hoping she'll be a late add for Friday afternoon.

LooseAtTheZoo
01-19-2010, 06:36 PM
She just announced a Town Hall show in NYC

paulthomasanderson
01-19-2010, 06:42 PM
Videos of her performing new songs in Sydney:

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eb2J3VdSH-8&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eb2J3VdSH-8&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/F11BV5_-sXg&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/F11BV5_-sXg&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/7q-vh18i7RU&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7q-vh18i7RU&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/MH-La_rLA_A&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/MH-La_rLA_A&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

wmgaretjax
01-19-2010, 07:01 PM
i'm not listening to anything. no spoilers for this album. no way.

bmack86
01-19-2010, 09:27 PM
Here's to hoping she'll be a late add for Friday afternoon.

Sincerely hoping she's not there.

paulthomasanderson
01-22-2010, 01:51 PM
Out today:


There hasn't been an extraordinary amount of information revealed about Joanna Newsom's new record, Have One On Me, and what has been let out into the public has been in a slow trickle, leaving us gasping for MORE. Another nugget of information appeared today, with the news that the new record will be a triple album (according to NME).

wmgaretjax
01-22-2010, 02:01 PM
my boy was right... kinda surprised. that's fucking heavy.

sonofhal
01-22-2010, 02:03 PM
I know people who have had promo copies through already, so expect a leakage any day.

wmgaretjax
01-22-2010, 02:04 PM
I know people who have had promo copies through already, so expect a leakage any day.

my friend was dealing with a promo copy. but he said it was an album stream... and the press release just said it was 3CDs.

Still-ill
01-22-2010, 02:22 PM
As to be sensitive to the spoiler-scared users:
Whoa, she plays piano on one track? Very weird seeing her not behind a harp, but it sounds like a good song though.

wmgaretjax
01-22-2010, 02:34 PM
the bounty on what is 300gb

PotVsKtl
01-22-2010, 02:38 PM
As to be sensitive to the spoiler-scared users:
Whoa, she plays piano on one track? Very weird seeing her not behind a harp, but it sounds like a good song though.

She has played piano on multiple tracks throughout her career.

Still-ill
01-22-2010, 02:40 PM
Yeah, on record... I just hadn't seen it live before.


the bounty on what is 300gb
I've contributed a bit to this.

bmack86
01-22-2010, 04:35 PM
She's been doing it quite a bit recently. I think she did it for one song at the Disney, but I might be confusing myself.

bmack86
01-23-2010, 01:12 PM
I think I'm not going to listen to the album until it actually comes out. I guess that partly depends on when it leaks though.

wmgaretjax
01-23-2010, 01:15 PM
I definitely won't listen until there is a good quality rip. No streams. No transcodes.

EnigmaticOddity
01-25-2010, 01:58 PM
A high quality live recording is available on the private tracker dimeadozen.org and on the blog http://fanmaderecordings.blogspot.com which includes some of Joanna's tracks from her upcoming album, recorded at the Sydney Opera House. Included are the songs Jack Rabbit, Have One On Me, Ribbon Bows, In California, Easy, Soft As Chalk, Autumn, and '81. To access the torrent you must register first on the dimeadozen website, then you can access the torrent at http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-d....php?id=286125. There is no membership required for the download from the fanmaderecordings.blogspot.com, however the files are only in MP3 format (VBR @ average 192kbps) as opposed to lossless FLAC.

A sample MP3 of the Sydney Opera House recording of Ribbon Bows can be found at http://www.mediafire.com/?rucnmywzn24

Full setlist

Jack Rabbits
Bridges and Balloons
Have One On Me
Ribbon Bows
In California
Easy
Inflammatory Writ
Soft As Chalk
Autumn
Emily
Peach Plum Pear
'81
The Book of Right-On
Colleen

hawkingvsreeve
01-25-2010, 02:19 PM
No Cosmia?

Blasphemy.

wmgaretjax
01-25-2010, 02:28 PM
happy she is still playing Colleen.

bmack86
01-25-2010, 03:44 PM
I'm gonna check this out, but I'm still torn about listening to the new songs. I just want to see, first, how she's approaching these songs in terms of orchestration, and second, what she does with Inflammatory Writ.

wmgaretjax
01-25-2010, 04:48 PM
let me know about the quality. i might cave if it's spectacular.

bmack86
01-25-2010, 06:04 PM
It sounds every bit as good as any live recording I have by her. The only comparable one that I can think of might be the Green Man Fest recording from 06 or the Paradiso recording from 2007.

And, if y'all aren't sure about Joanna, give this a go and at least check out the version of Inflammatory Writ she does on here. The live version she's been doing since she gathered her band is a fantastic country romp.

bmack86
01-25-2010, 06:06 PM
And, Ryan Francesconi is playing with her and doing the arrangement work for the live show. Anyone who's seen her in the past few years has seen how fucking dynamic he is, and Neil is back on drums. Can't wait for this band to tour.

wmgaretjax
01-25-2010, 06:13 PM
gonna hold out. i can be strong...

pancakespancakes
01-25-2010, 06:16 PM
I'm gonna check out this out. I've never liked "Inflammatory Writ." But that setlist is good lookin.

bmack86
01-25-2010, 06:33 PM
I don't like Inflammatory Writ on album all that much, but the live version is really cool.

dorkfish
01-26-2010, 08:15 AM
DragCity has a song up on their front page. This is the cover art apparently:

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/8131/largeb.jpg

wmgaretjax
01-26-2010, 08:56 AM
direct link to MP3:
http://www.dragcity.com/system/tracks/downloads/4351/original/1-03_81.mp3

BlackSwan
01-26-2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks. Their page was taking forever to load.

bmack86
01-26-2010, 02:55 PM
28 Days.

The studio version of '81 is really good. The new songs on the live recording take the easy warmth of The Milk-Eyed Mender, add the twisting structures of Ys, focus on more melodicism and have absolutely brilliant arrangements. She introduces the band saying that Ryan Francesconi wrote the arrangements for the new album, so my guess is that the album is going to sound fairly similar to what she did live. Easy and Soft as Chalk both brought me to tears on first listen.

Neutral Milk Hotel
01-26-2010, 02:57 PM
Just have to say:

Holy shit a triple LP?!

bmack86
01-26-2010, 02:59 PM
My guess is 16-18 songs. The tracks on the live boot are shorter, but there is an 11 minute one. The download for '81 has it tagged as song 3 of 6 per some blog I got it from.

wmgaretjax
01-26-2010, 03:48 PM
Just have to say:

Holy shit a triple LP?!

no. 3 CD.

TallGuyCM
01-26-2010, 03:50 PM
DragCity has a song up on their front page. This is the cover art apparently:

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/8131/largeb.jpg

I hope the album is more imaginative than the album art.

dorkfish
01-26-2010, 03:50 PM
3 LP, as well: http://www.dragcity.com/products/have-one-on-me

pancakespancakes
01-26-2010, 04:00 PM
I really do not like the album art. But I do not think that is the final official cover.

I said those same two things about Merriweather Post Pavillion a year ago, though...

bmack86
01-26-2010, 04:09 PM
It's the official cover. That's what Drag City told Pitchfork at least. Maybe she'll do something wild with it, like have black on black embossed art between her name and the album title, or the name and title will be cut out and the full sleeve will be behind the black.

TallGuyCM
01-26-2010, 04:12 PM
As long as the music's good, album art is nice but doesn't really matter all that much.

wmgaretjax
01-26-2010, 04:36 PM
3 LP, as well: http://www.dragcity.com/products/have-one-on-me

interesting... either the vinyl version is abridged... or the CDs are very short... 3LPs can pretty much always fit onto 2 CDs... Nowadays you never see more than 25 minutes a side (and that's fairly lo fidelity, with under 20 being optimal)... which is less than the 160 minutes 2 CDs can hold.

dorkfish
01-26-2010, 04:39 PM
Either that or each disc is thematic and ~45 minutes long or so, so they wanted to keep the separate themes on respective discs/vinyl

wmgaretjax
01-26-2010, 04:48 PM
Either that or each disc is thematic and ~45 minutes long or so, so they wanted to keep the separate themes on respective discs/vinyl

Yeah. I think that's my best guess as well.

wmgaretjax
01-26-2010, 04:51 PM
actually. Here is an answer for you:

Disc One:
1 - Easy 06:04
2 - Have One On Me 11:02
3 - '81 03:51
4 - Good Intentions Paving Company 07:02
5 - No Provenance 06:25
6 - Baby Birch 09:30
Total: 43:54

Disc Two:
1 - On A Good Day 01:48
2 - You And Me, Bess 07:12
3 - In California 08:41
4 - Jackrabbits 04:23
5 - Go Long 08:02
6 - Occident 05:31
Total: 35:37

Disc Three:
1 - Soft As Chalk 06:29
2 - Esame 07:56
3 - Autumn 08:01
4 - Ribbon Bows 06:10
5 - Kingfisher 09:11
6 - Does Not Suffice 06:44
Total: 42:31

bmack86
01-26-2010, 05:01 PM
That's exactly what I was picturing. I'm guessing she's doing it 3 cds because she intended for it to be listened to that way.

kitt kat
01-27-2010, 10:14 AM
anyone have a download of 81? the track is off the site :(

bmack86
01-27-2010, 12:43 PM
Kat, I just googled it and found it right away on a few blogs.

kitt kat
01-27-2010, 12:43 PM
Yup found it on youtube when i got back from class.

kitt kat
01-28-2010, 08:50 AM
http://stereogum.com/archives/video/joanna_newsom_previews_have_one_on_me_in_oz_109871 .html

bmack86
01-28-2010, 01:08 PM
Check one page back for the videos. And a good quality bootleg of the whole show.

bmack86
01-28-2010, 03:16 PM
Also, the best article about Ys and Joanna that's been written. It's a long motherfucker, but it's worth the time:
http://www.arthurmag.com/2006/12/23/nearer-the-heart-of-things-erik-davis-on-joanna-newsom-from-arthur-no-25winter-02006/

kitt kat
01-28-2010, 07:54 PM
oooh, guess who might get to interview jojo herself?

Neutral Milk Hotel
01-28-2010, 07:55 PM
paulthomasanderson?

kitt kat
01-28-2010, 08:00 PM
How'd you know?

bmack86
01-28-2010, 08:21 PM
In person interview or via phone?

If you get to, PM me. I've got questions. She's only behind Boredoms in terms of my absolute adoration musically.

kitt kat
01-28-2010, 08:27 PM
Still waiting on that, but it'll probably be a phoner.

dorkfish
02-01-2010, 09:44 AM
hey, the album cover sucks less than we thought:

http://cdn.pitchfork.com/media/joannacov452.jpg

wmgaretjax
02-01-2010, 09:50 AM
that's worse. i didn't think she could do worse than Ys... but that's it.

bmack86
02-01-2010, 09:56 AM
oh man, I love the Ys cover. I'm gonna wait to actually see it, but that one looks waaaay too packed with stuff. Fitting for a triple album.

Neutral Milk Hotel
02-01-2010, 11:09 AM
hey, the album cover sucks less than we thought:

http://cdn.pitchfork.com/media/joannacov452.jpg

Oh my.

pancakespancakes
02-01-2010, 02:01 PM
I love it. It says a lot about what I hope the music within sounds like.

TallGuyCM
02-01-2010, 02:27 PM
I don't like that font with that cover art.

miscorrections
02-01-2010, 03:01 PM
Put my hold on this at the library. God bless the library system up here.

wmgaretjax
02-02-2010, 11:29 AM
not sure about the increased histrionics in her voice... but i like the direction on this new track. (Good Intentions...)

marooko
02-02-2010, 11:33 AM
The new album's right around the corner. A talent quite unlike any other.

http://www.viceland.com/int/v16n7/htdocs/annabel-mehran-927/1_large.jpg


Hello.

mountmccabe
02-02-2010, 12:15 PM
I understand the title now. She is clearly trying to give away all of the excess stuff she has sitting around.

kitt kat
02-02-2010, 12:29 PM
Drag City has another new song up...and I like it 23948204 times better than the other one. This one KICKS.

PotVsKtl
02-02-2010, 12:34 PM
http://www.dragcity.com/system/tracks/downloads/4364/original/Good_Intentions_Paving_Company.mp3

So good.

hawkingvsreeve
02-02-2010, 12:53 PM
Her vocal technique and execution has improved considerably. She has a great command over her voice on that track.

pancakespancakes
02-02-2010, 01:12 PM
God that's a great song! Shit. Excitement for this album has just increased tenfold.

wmgaretjax
02-02-2010, 01:13 PM
reminds me of after the gold rush era neil young...

bmack86
02-02-2010, 01:19 PM
GODDAMN CONTRACTS! I'm sitting in here, and I really really want to hear this.

pancakespancakes
02-02-2010, 01:21 PM
reminds me of after the gold rush era neil young...

Shit! That's good! I totally hear that.

Still-ill
02-02-2010, 01:25 PM
I'm regretting opening this thread... I'm trying to be strong and not listen.

Still-ill
02-02-2010, 01:26 PM
Fuck.

PotVsKtl
02-02-2010, 01:30 PM
What's the point of not listening to these tracks? I can understand leaks and live performances but these are essentially singles. Do you avoid new singles from albums you're looking forward to as well?

Still-ill
02-02-2010, 01:32 PM
I did for "Scissor".

pancakespancakes
02-02-2010, 01:33 PM
It seems like one of those albums that has to be heard in full to be completely appreciated. That's Joanna's style, anyway.

Still-ill
02-02-2010, 01:38 PM
Her vocal technique and execution has improved considerably. She has a great command over her voice on that track.

You're definitely right. But, I'm not really in love with it yet.

bmack86
02-02-2010, 02:32 PM
Yikes. That was fantastic. This album is going to be so good!

21 days.

mountmccabe
02-02-2010, 03:21 PM
http://www.dragcity.com/system/tracks/downloads/4364/original/Good_Intentions_Paving_Company.mp3

So good.


Oh wow yes

bmack86
02-02-2010, 08:14 PM
Upon my fifth listen, it's better than good, it's amazing. She's made a 7 minute catchy, idiosyncratic song that sounds like something people outside of her niche would listen to. Maybe that's just a fanboy talking, but this sounds like stuff that people who never liked her would love.

Can't wait to see her do this live.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 08:05 AM
It has been far too long since I've seen her. If she does dates in SoCal and not AZ I'ma travelling.

PotVsKtl
02-03-2010, 08:54 AM
Do-o-o-o-o-o-uration.

hawkingvsreeve
02-03-2010, 09:25 AM
Upon my fifth listen, it's better than good, it's amazing. She's made a 7 minute catchy, idiosyncratic song that sounds like something people outside of her niche would listen to. Maybe that's just a fanboy talking, but this sounds like stuff that people who never liked her would love.

Can't wait to see her do this live.

That in addition to a more (at least on this track) refined and restrained vocal part makes this something that has broader appeal. I only listened once because I would like to hear the rest of the record, but I'll give in.

TomAz
02-03-2010, 01:31 PM
First fact: I don't know shit about Joanna Newsom one way or the other. Virtually zero.

Second fact: I heard "Peach, Plum, Pear" the other day and really liked it. Liked it enough for a light bulb to go on and say "I need to get to know this music, all these board people rave about her and I like this song."

Third fact: doing a little research today, I came across the following review of Ys, from Trouser Press (a source I generally respect), and that is less than flattering:


Even taking into account the cyclical nature of pop music, which dictates that each generation's dreck is sure to become its offsprings' camp prize, the ascent of harpist Joanna Newsom to goddess of the Pitchfork-addled indie-rock nation is nothing short of astonishing. Exactly how a performer who embraces many of the early-'70s musical values that were despised and overthrown by the original punks — overlong, overwrought musical suites; an emphasis on mythical, fantasy-based material; a desire to somehow educate and elevate silly old rock music to a higher artistic level — came to be embraced by those who would style themselves as punk's descendants (and on one of the genre's most principled labels) is something which can only be understood through the serpentine history and politics of cool. While she's unquestionably a musician of great talent, the greatest appeal Newsom has is that in today's musical landscape she's unique. Her fans are too young to remember the days when prog was powerful, and how dreary that dominance became. The distance from the '70s, and the animosity with which some now bear the music, are exactly why it's ready to be revived and celebrated.

To be fair, prog-rock was not all bad. In many ways, it's up there with disco as an unjustly maligned genre. The greats — Genesis, King Crimson, Soft Machine, certain Krautrockers — were fueled by the same need to explore and innovate as the Beatles, Bowie, Roxy Music and the Velvet Underground. (What were hour-long improvisations of "Sister Ray" and John Cale's scraping viola if not fore-runners of prog?) If punk failed to eradicate prog, that was never really one of its goals: Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill and Robert Fripp became important and respected players in post-punk. Such latter-day alt-rock luminaries as Radiohead, Sigur Ró, the Flaming Lips, Sufjan Stevens and the Mars Volta all traffic in the vocabulary of prog. But all of those artists at least maintain some connection to rock dynamics and excitement (where prog went wrong was in too often disappearing up its own ass while chasing off after faeries and hobbits and forgetting the "rock" half of "progressive rock."). Which brings us back to Joanna Newsom. Her music may or may not be progressive, but it definitely doesn't rock.

Newsom definitely has a unique vision and has the spine to pursue it, no matter where it might lead. She's a gifted instrumentalist and possesses an odd but beguiling voice that mixes Björk and Victoria Williams. All of Newsom's strength's are showcased on her enchanting debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender. The album gets off to a strong start with the absolutely delightful "Bridges and Balloons," an infectious fairy tale of a journey in a "little wicker beetle-shell." The rest of the album carries on in the same vein, as Newsom delivers one catchy, concise gem of skillful harpistry and eccentric vocals after another, weaving a magical spell of whimsy and wonder. A hallmark recording of the freak folk movement, The Milk-Eyed Mender was a justifiable underground sensation.

The acclaim seemed to go to Newsom's head, and the follow-up reeks of ambition with a capital ART. Gone are the simple, beguiling tunes of the debut, replaced with defiantly overlong opuses — five compositions totaling nearly an hour, though each seems about that long. Song length wouldn't be an issue if Newsom had bothered with anything resembling structure. (At least when old school poppers-turned-proggers Stackridge spent 20 minutes going on about the horrific Slark, they set it to a right jaunty little tune.) On Ys, whose Renaissance Fayre-style painting on the cover recalls the grand old days of Kansas (yikes) and is named for a mythical Celtic kingdom (yegads), Newsom does listeners no such favors, and instead strands them in a meandering hell. She plunks away at her harp and seemingly free-associates lyrics while Van Dyke Parks (an old master at landing work bearing no relation to rock music in the rock section of record stores) provides aimless orchestral squiggles and noodles in the background. It's like being stuck in the seat next to a chatty, batshit backwoods pixie for an 18-hour plane ride. All hope is abandoned after the first five minutes or so of the opener "Emily," which begins promisingly and is moderately mesmerizing until Newsom begins caterwauling about meteorites. After that, the album becomes an exercise in looking at one's watch and wondering how long the damn thing is going to go on. (The presence of Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke shows that somewhere along the line either Newsom or Drag City worried enough about alt-rock credibility to put their indie-god ass-prints on the studio furniture.) As excruciating as The Milk-Eyed Mender was magical, Ys buckles under the hefty weight of its aspirations.


so.. is she really all about faeries and hobbits and meteorites? Am I wasting my time? I am asking sincerely.

wmgaretjax
02-03-2010, 01:34 PM
there is nothing free-association about her lyrics. this reviewer clearly didn't pay attention.

hawkingvsreeve
02-03-2010, 01:42 PM
I enjoy her musically a great deal. I dont think I could recite a single line of her lyrics. The beauty for me is in the instrumentation and the compositions.

PotVsKtl
02-03-2010, 01:43 PM
Svetlana sucks lemons across from me,
and I am progressing abominably.
And I do not know my own way to the sea
but the saltiest sea knows its own way to me.

The city that turns, turns protracted and slow
and I find myself toeing th'embarcadero
and I find myself knowing the things that I knew
which is all that you can know on this side of the blue

And Jamie has eyes black and shiny as boots
and they march at you, two-by-two (re-loo, re-loo)
when she looks at you, you know she's nowhere near through:
it's the kindest heart beating this side of the blue.

And the signifieds butt heads with the signifiers,
and we all fall down slack-jawed to marvel at words!
While across the sky sheet the impossible birds,
in a steady, illiterate movement homewards.

And Gabriel stands beneath forest and moon.
See them rattle & boo, see them shake, see them loom.
See him fashion a cap from a page of Camus;
see him navigate deftly this side of the blue.

And the rest of our lives will the moments accrue
when the shape of their goneness will flare up anew.
when we do what we have to do (re-loo, re-loo)
which is all you can do on this side of the blue

wmgaretjax
02-03-2010, 01:47 PM
I enjoy her musically a great deal. I dont think I could recite a single line of her lyrics. The beauty for me is in the instrumentation and the compositions.

damn. i can sing along with Ys in its entirety. and do.

TomAz
02-03-2010, 01:48 PM
Svetlana sucks lemons across from me,
and I am progressing abominably.
And I do not know my own way to the sea
but the saltiest sea knows its own way to me.

The city that turns, turns protracted and slow
and I find myself toeing th'embarcadero
and I find myself knowing the things that I knew
which is all that you can know on this side of the blue

And Jamie has eyes black and shiny as boots
and they march at you, two-by-two (re-loo, re-loo)
when she looks at you, you know she's nowhere near through:
it's the kindest heart beating this side of the blue.

And the signifieds butt heads with the signifiers,
and we all fall down slack-jawed to marvel at words!
While across the sky sheet the impossible birds,
in a steady, illiterate movement homewards.

And Gabriel stands beneath forest and moon.
See them rattle & boo, see them shake, see them loom.
See him fashion a cap from a page of Camus;
see him navigate deftly this side of the blue.

And the rest of our lives will the moments accrue
when the shape of their goneness will flare up anew.
when we do what we have to do (re-loo, re-loo)
which is all you can do on this side of the blue

that doesn't read like prog-crap at all. thank you.

hawkingvsreeve
02-03-2010, 01:49 PM
Some parts I know, but only if it's playing while I am reciting it. I'm just really not a lyrics guy unless it's Neko or Okkervil.

pancakespancakes
02-03-2010, 02:24 PM
I'm not a lyrics guy either but her's are definitely an exception.

That review was actually an interesting read... but the guy's missing the point entirely... Joanna is still punk rock. Just like Godspeed, Perfect From Now On, and Tortoise were punk rock.

wmgaretjax
02-03-2010, 02:25 PM
i'm not sure i agree... but i have a hard time even beginning to comprehend how anyone would classify tortoise as punk rock.

pancakespancakes
02-03-2010, 02:31 PM
It's an exaggeration... Their spirit, and their roots, are alternative/underground/post-punk music, and through that lens they look at the world. It shows in their records.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 03:16 PM
Yeah, that doesn't make any sense to me. It sounds like you're using "punk rock" to mean something both rather more and rather less than the standard definition.

PotVsKtl
02-03-2010, 03:17 PM
Punk = DIY. That's it.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 03:40 PM
I don't agree with that article on


what the original punks did
what of those early 70s musical values Joanna delves into
that "educat and elevat[ing] silly old rock music" is a phrase that should ever be used
that Drag City is a punk/post-punk label
that Joanna Newsom is unique in playing extended, somewhat progressive pieces
that it matters at all what music is "powerful" or "domin[ant]"
that the Beatles and David Bowie belong on a list of greatly innovative musicians (unless we're talking about image)
that the Velvets were hinting at Progressive Music with "hour-long improvisations of 'Sister Ray'"
that "Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill and Robert Fripp [were] important and respected players in post-punk"
that it makes any sense to try and knock Joanna because her music "definitely doesn't rock."
that all of her strengths are showcased on [I]The Milk Eyed Mender
that there is anything wrong with "a capital ART"
that the songs on Ys are unstructured
that Van Dyke Parks' arrangements could be called "aimless orchestral squiggles and noodles"
that it makes any sense at all that Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke contributed merely/primarily to add their prestige.


The crux of that article/post seems to be "this isn't straight forward rock and roll so it fails." Fuck that.

Monklish
02-03-2010, 03:41 PM
I don't get that at all. Doesn't the genre kind of lose all meaning at that point?

PotVsKtl
02-03-2010, 03:42 PM
I don't agree with that article on


that David Bowie belongs on a list of greatly innovative musicians (unless we're talking about image)


Dead to me.

Monklish
02-03-2010, 03:44 PM
Also how were the Beatles not innovative? What the fuck sounded like Sgt. Pepper's before Sgt. Pepper's?

pancakespancakes
02-03-2010, 03:45 PM
All I mean to say is that when throwing around the term "prog rock," Joanna (and Tortoise for that matter) are not in the same dimension as a band like Porcupine Tree, and comparisons could not be more surface level.

To try my best to explain the Tortoise thing... they take a hell of a lot more influence from Mission of Burma than they do from Yes.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 03:46 PM
Punk = DIY. That's it.

I agree that what is commonly called the punk revolution was actually a DIY revolution but that doesn't mean that these terms are interchangeable.

I am never going to be able to revise my view of the word "punk" enough such that "Joanna Newsom is a punk rocker" or "Joanna Newsom's music is punk rock" or any such construction makes a lick of sense. There is music what is called punk. There is music what is close. And then, in an entirely different place, is Joanna Newsom.

pancakespancakes
02-03-2010, 03:46 PM
Also how were the Beatles not innovative? What the fuck sounded like Sgt. Pepper's before Sgt. Pepper's?

Heh. You missed a fun thread not very long ago.

PotVsKtl
02-03-2010, 03:48 PM
I agree that what is commonly called the punk revolution was actually a DIY revolution but that doesn't mean that these terms are interchangeable.

I am never going to be able to revise my view of the word "punk" enough such that "Joanna Newsom is a punk rocker" or "Joanna Newsom's music is punk rock" or any such construction makes a lick of sense. There is music what is called punk. There is music what is close. And then, in an entirely different place, is Joanna Newsom.

I'm not arguing that she is. There's no reconciling Ys with a punk identifier.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 03:48 PM
Dead to me.

I love Bowie and you know this but how much of the time was he actually leading, musically?

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 03:53 PM
Also how were the Beatles not innovative? What the fuck sounded like Sgt. Pepper's before Sgt. Pepper's?

Short answer: I didn't say that the Beatles were not innovative. They get singled out like this, though, because they were popular.

Long answer: I'll direct you to the fun thread I started wherein I talked about quitting the Beatles wherein I attracted any number of lurkers (and a few regulars) to come in and post bits of nonsense. I'm still not listening to the Beatles, btw, though there've been a few song plays (4, I think) from mixes.

pancakespancakes
02-03-2010, 03:55 PM
I agree that what is commonly called the punk revolution was actually a DIY revolution but that doesn't mean that these terms are interchangeable.

I am never going to be able to revise my view of the word "punk" enough such that "Joanna Newsom is a punk rocker" or "Joanna Newsom's music is punk rock" or any such construction makes a lick of sense. There is music what is called punk. There is music what is close. And then, in an entirely different place, is Joanna Newsom.

Well I certainly didn't use "punk rock" as a musical term. Perhaps as an aesthetics term? I'm not really sure... but I've said this about her for a pretty long time, not knowing fully what I mean by it... I still hold it, but I realize it's silly.

The roots of Joanna's music has, in my opinion, more in common with post-punk music than it does with early British prog rock. I believe that's all I mean to say.

SoulDischarge
02-03-2010, 03:58 PM
People have been calling people punks (in spirit) who don't make music that could reasonably be called "punk" in any fashion since Captain Beefheart. Don't play dumb.

Monklish
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
Short answer: I didn't say that the Beatles were not innovative. They get singled out like this, though, because they were popular.

Long answer: I'll direct you to the fun thread I started wherein I talked about quitting the Beatles wherein I attracted any number of lurkers (and a few regulars) to come in and post bits of nonsense. I'm still not listening to the Beatles, btw, though there've been a few song plays (4, I think) from mixes.

They get singled out like this because they redefined the sound of rock music for years to come.

bmack86
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
Bowie was innovative in the same way as the Beatles, as a synthesizer of musics and a paragon of style and forward-reaching songs. Maybe he wasn't the first person to write music in most of the styles he worked with, but he wrote it better than a fair amount of the people working in that field.

Tom, that article is dead wrong on all accounts. Joanna's lyrics are as far from free-association as possible. Outside of Monkey and Bear, which is an allegory, her lyrics are all grounded in reality. Cosmia, in particular, is her lament over the death of her best friend. She writes astounding lyrics and really interesting songs. You should definitely check her out. And, if you liked the recorded version of Peach, Plum, Pear, I don't think you'll run into problems with the sound of her voice. She only gets better with each release.

That having been said, I do think there are some valid comparisons between her music and prog. She has no qualms about making grand statements with her work, she gets obscure and cerebral in her lyrical approach at times, and Ys is five really long songs. However, there's something so natural about her music that doesn't really ring out to me when I listen to prog. I would never picture Yes singing about how their father pointed out a way to find the dog star, or make a chorus for a song based on the poem her sister taught her to differentiate meteors, meteorites and meteoroids (her sister is an astronomist, if I remember correctly, and her name is Emily, and she sings on that song). Despite its grandiosity, Ys is very much a personal album.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 04:11 PM
People have been calling people punks (in spirit) who don't make music that could reasonably be called "punk" in any fashion since Captain Beefheart. Don't play dumb.

Beefheart wasn't exclusively playing folk with harps and orchestras, though. And he was playing rock music.


Alternate response: people've been trying to say, hey, there's a better, less confusing way to express what you're after for a long time, too.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 04:14 PM
The roots of Joanna's music has, in my opinion, more in common with post-punk music than it does with early British prog rock. I believe that's all I mean to say.

I think one of the great things about Joanna's music is that it is this difficult to classify what she's doing. Sifting through, I see what you're getting at and while I'mn't sure I agree it's at least close. There is 80s post-punk along side the 70s prog rock along with influence from decades of folk. And country and... whatever.

SoulDischarge
02-03-2010, 04:15 PM
True. Although it's not like pancakes was describing her music to someone who had never heard her or anything, so it's not that confusing. You know what he meant.

bmack86
02-03-2010, 04:18 PM
Beefheart wasn't exclusively playing folk with harps and orchestras, though. And he was playing rock music.


Alternate response: people've been trying to say, hey, there's a better, less confusing way to express what you're after for a long time, too.

I'd argue that Joanna isn't exclusively playing folk either. In fact, outside of some of Milk Eyed Mender, I don't think I'd classify her music as folk at all. I read a comparison to Tom Waits, in that they both follow their own muse and synthesize disparate strains of American music from the past to make their own sound. With Joanna, there's also lots of African influence, especially in the contrapuntal harp rhythms.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 04:22 PM
They get singled out like this because they redefined the sound of rock music for years to come.

This sort of things still makes me gag.



Bowie was innovative in the same way as the Beatles, as a synthesizer of musics and a paragon of style and forward-reaching songs. Maybe he wasn't the first person to write music in most of the styles he worked with, but he wrote it better than a fair amount of the people working in that field.

This I can't really argue with, especially in an unrelated thread.

mountmccabe
02-03-2010, 04:24 PM
True. Although it's not like pancakes was describing her music to someone who had never heard her or anything, so it's not that confusing. You know what he meant.

I've actually only read about Joanna's music.

OK, bad joke. But it seems funnier than my real answer, in that my visceral response was such that I really didn't understand what he meant until several iterations. And it still makes my stomach feel funny.

kitt kat
02-03-2010, 04:36 PM
damn. i can sing along with Ys in its entirety. and do.

Same. It's a fucking epic singalong album.

And this argument --- tl;dr, in class. But someone mentioned African influences, and I read somewhere so long ago that her harp teacher was some sort of theorist/expert in the harmonics of Eastern and African music...and also a champion of polyrhythms so there ya go.

bmack86
02-03-2010, 04:40 PM
The big thing with her first harp teacher was that she taught based on the Kora stylings from the griots in West Africa, with lots of counterpoint and polyrhythms between the two hands. And also lots and lots of improvisation.

suprefan
02-03-2010, 04:43 PM
Just read this tweet



Wow this sucks, Just heard the whole Joanna Newsom tour has been cancelled

bmack86
02-03-2010, 04:48 PM
Where'd you read that? That'd be really bad. If that's the case, I hope everything's alright.

wmgaretjax
02-03-2010, 04:49 PM
noooooo

kitt kat
02-03-2010, 05:19 PM
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

link plz.

EDIT: nvm. don't trust a guy with less than 500+ followers for industry news.

http://twitter.com/DangerousBri

LooseAtTheZoo
02-03-2010, 05:56 PM
I love Bowie and you know this but how much of the time was he actually leading, musically?

I would say Low and Station to Station are both vastly original. But I'm sure you'll be able to point out some clear precedents


Bowie was innovative in the same way as the Beatles, as a synthesizer of musics and a paragon of style and forward-reaching songs. Maybe he wasn't the first person to write music in most of the styles he worked with, but he wrote it better than a fair amount of the people working in that field.



Yes.

Monklish
02-03-2010, 05:59 PM
This sort of things still makes me gag.

You're one of the silliest seemingly educated people I've ever interacted with.

TeamCoachellaHellYeah
02-03-2010, 06:00 PM
People have been calling people punks (in spirit) who don't make music that could reasonably be called "punk" in any fashion since Captain Beefheart. Don't play dumb.

I heard the Captain's name and came in running.

SoulDischarge
02-04-2010, 12:01 AM
He said Captain! I saw wot!

Oh wait, different Captain.

TomAz
02-04-2010, 05:45 AM
And, if you liked the recorded version of Peach, Plum, Pear, I don't think you'll run into problems with the sound of her voice. She only gets better with each release.


That article compared her voice to Bjork and Victoria Williams, both of whom I love. And when I heard Peach Plum Pear, Victoria Williams was the first thing to pop into my mind.

anyway I have downloaded the 2 albums and will draw my own judgments.

and by the way if you don't know, Trouser Press was a fairly significant (to me, at least) publication in the late 70s/early 80s focusing on the punk/new wave movement. That article seems to reflect a lingering obsession with the notion of Punk as Reformation and anyone not playing along is a papist heathen.

mountmccabe
02-04-2010, 06:26 AM
a papist heathen.

This is a fun phrase.


EDIT: By which I mean it conveys certain layers of crazy; evokes a sort of deeply felt fanaticism that gets me to the mindset. I figure that is what you were going for but I guess you never can tell.

mountmccabe
02-04-2010, 06:29 AM
I'd argue that Joanna isn't exclusively playing folk either. In fact, outside of some of Milk Eyed Mender, I don't think I'd classify her music as folk at all. I read a comparison to Tom Waits, in that they both follow their own muse and synthesize disparate strains of American music from the past to make their own sound. With Joanna, there's also lots of African influence, especially in the contrapuntal harp rhythms.

I have been thinking about this and it's a fair point. Folk is about traditionalism and playing to that... her music, as we've been saying, has roots from all over but she isn't playing along, so to speak.

Hmmm.

ShyGuy75
02-04-2010, 06:47 AM
That article compared her voice to Bjork

bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

oh man

bmack86
02-04-2010, 07:15 AM
and by the way if you don't know, Trouser Press was a fairly significant (to me, at least) publication in the late 70s/early 80s focusing on the punk/new wave movement. That article seems to reflect a lingering obsession with the notion of Punk as Reformation and anyone not playing along is a papist heathen.

It seemed to me that they're also focusing on a pretty limited idea of what that reformation should sound like. Because, flash forward to 2004 and, lo and behold, the sounds of the late 70s/early 80s are so ingrained in popular and underground music that it's no longer reactionary, revolutionary or anything of the like. People got (and still get) very verbally abusive when hearing Joanna's music because it's too weird or her voice is horrible or she's just bizarre.

And, yeah, Trouser Press wrote some great articles back then.

BlackSwan
02-04-2010, 07:59 AM
Joanna Newsom
Saturday, April 3
Vic Theatre
Saturday, February 6 at 10am

TomAz
02-04-2010, 08:24 AM
EDIT: By which I mean it conveys certain layers of crazy; evokes a sort of deeply felt fanaticism that gets me to the mindset. I figure that is what you were going for but I guess you never can tell.

That's exactly what I was going for, yes.

TomAz
02-04-2010, 09:06 AM
also, John, do you remember this?


shall we start on the saints now?

Johnny Rotten gets to be Martin Luther.

suprefan
02-04-2010, 10:41 AM
Joanna Newsom
Saturday, April 3
Vic Theatre
Saturday, February 6 at 10am

Youre missing the city...

chicago

kitt kat
02-04-2010, 12:36 PM
Just recorded a snippet of a cover of "good intentions paving co." Had to stop because I was headed to class, but will post it later; hopefully a full cover will come.

So amazing how simple her piano songs are. Paving co is in F, occasional modulation to Cmaj/a min...real easy keys to play in (versus her harp songs that are in odd keys simply because the harp allows for tonal changes with the pedal) but they're still so captivating.

bmack86
02-09-2010, 08:54 AM
Third new song: Kingfisher (http://www.dragcity.com/system/tracks/downloads/4381/original/Kingfisher.mp3)

wmgaretjax
02-09-2010, 10:02 AM
i think i need the album context for this one. not that it's bad... it just feels like it's drifting...

PotVsKtl
02-09-2010, 10:31 AM
I'm not listening to this without a flagon of mead at the jousting yard.

bmack86
02-09-2010, 10:32 AM
I hate that they always leak this on my longest day of class.

mountmccabe
02-09-2010, 10:37 AM
I'm going to be a few minutes late getting back to work.

wmgaretjax
02-09-2010, 10:39 AM
I'm not listening to this without a flagon of mead at the jousting yard.

haha.

kitt kat
02-09-2010, 12:38 PM
Can't listen to it until after 3am. FML.

guedita
02-22-2010, 12:51 PM
I just saw that Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes will be opening for her tour. I really hope she released a CA date soon.

ThomThom
02-22-2010, 09:08 PM
I just saw that Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes will be opening for her tour. I really hope she released a CA date soon.

I'm hoping for one sometime this spring, the Orpheum would be my ideal choice of a venue out here in LA. Also, Pitchfork's review is up...

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13960-have-one-on-me/

TallGuyCM
02-22-2010, 09:20 PM
The Orpheum would be perfect.

bmack86
02-22-2010, 09:24 PM
Disney would be better. But I wouldn't be surprised at the Orpheum at all.

I've been on an old Joanna kick tonight. Listened to Nervous Cop and Don't Make Things by The Pleased. Might go to Yarn and Glue and Walnut Whales next.

wmgaretjax
02-22-2010, 09:26 PM
Pecknold? God dammit. I don't want to sit through that shit...

dorkfish
02-22-2010, 10:12 PM
I'm sure that West Coast won't get Pecknold.

guedita
02-26-2010, 01:56 PM
She'll be performing live on Fallon next Friday, March 5th.

kitt kat
02-26-2010, 11:42 PM
I just saw that Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes will be opening for her tour. I really hope she released a CA date soon.

It's coming. I know.

wmgaretjax
02-28-2010, 07:21 PM
Listening to the new album it struck me that every song is in first person. I remember Monkey and Bear isn't... But aren't all of her other songs in first person as well?

ThomThom
02-28-2010, 08:20 PM
It's coming. I know.

You are slowly turning into the female version of Suprefan.

bmack86
02-28-2010, 08:39 PM
Listening to the new album it struck me that every song is in first person. I remember Monkey and Bear isn't... But aren't all of her other songs in first person as well?

Three Little Babes isn't, but I'm thinking that's the only other one. Oh, and Colleen is kind of an omnipotent 3rd person narrator, but she shifts into Colleen's head every once in awhile.

I listened to her complete catalog while driving back to LA today. It was a blast.

bmack86
03-02-2010, 11:58 PM
First day I haven't listened to Have One On Me in a week.

I can't get Easy, In California, Jackrabbits, Esme, Does Not Suffice, Good Intention Paving Company and '81 out of my head. Literally, they're all swirling around, and I'm jonesing to listen to the album again.

pancakespancakes
03-03-2010, 12:51 PM
Yeah, it's been a week now, can I officially say it? Have One On Me is a perfect 10.

I'm going to be listening to this album for the rest of my life.

bmack86
03-04-2010, 06:55 PM
Okay, I hadn't done this yet. I just listened to some Have One On Me and then put on The Milk-Eyed Mender. The vocal change is stark. It's amazing.

I had read in an interview that she developed vocal chord polyps last year and spent quite a bit of time not being able to talk. When she was all healed up, her voice was different.

Good read (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article7032768.ece)

guedita
03-04-2010, 06:56 PM
It's coming. I know.

I'm still waiting!!

rskapcat
03-05-2010, 05:07 AM
Adorable.


Deeply unfortunately, the song Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, from Annie, has been lodged in my head for 20 years. It’s there permanently. No matter what’s happening it is softly playing in the back of my mind and one fifteenth of my mind is singing along. It is a nightmare.

bmack86
03-06-2010, 09:25 AM
The video of her doing Soft as Chalk is up on Fallon's site. I couldn't help it, tears through most of it. So good.

wmgaretjax
03-06-2010, 09:44 AM
wow. she has her voice nailed down.

bmack86
03-06-2010, 09:48 AM
Yeah. She's always been more impressive live with the vocals, but that was just perfect. And I love watching all her goofy facial expressions, and her cues to Francesconi. Just so damn good.

faxman75
03-08-2010, 08:06 AM
I'm fairly late to this party but i'm in love with this album and just started listening to it yesterday. I never heard her music before this weekend. Jackrabbits is an early favorite of mine.

bmack86
03-08-2010, 09:14 AM
Welcome.

If you like Jackrabbits, once you've absorbed this album (and lord knows it'll take time), I'd recommend going to The Milk-Eyed Mender. It's similar in the intimate approach. And, sure her voice was more free back then, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of the more perfect instruments I've heard.

faxman75
03-08-2010, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the tip Bmack. I would love to see her perform at one of those Church dates in Philly. I need to start focusing more on shows in unique and ideal settings. I regret missing Bon Iver in the cemetary last year, St. Vincent playing some churches and Wilco playing the Saratoga Winery as well.

bmack86
03-08-2010, 09:30 AM
When she tours, you absolutely cannot miss her. Her live shows are out of this world. The only act I've seen that even rivals her sets are Boredoms shows. And, while their sets are all about manic performance and amazing cohesion and left turns, Joanna's shows are amazing by dint of her fantastic power and presence onstage and by the fact that she enhances the songs live.

I'm planning on doing a completely biased Young'uns guide for her sometime soon. I just need to really take in the new one before I write about it.

PotVsKtl
03-08-2010, 10:45 AM
ZV0PfHemuvs

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 01:30 PM
Yeah. She's always been more impressive live with the vocals, but that was just perfect. And I love watching all her goofy facial expressions, and her cues to Francesconi. Just so damn good.

I'm extremely new to Joanna's music, and the Fallon video was the first of anything I've seen her do live. The facial expressions were odd at first, as if she was only able to sing out of either side of her mouth.

But after a minute or two, they became endearing in a strange way.

I picked up Have One On Me on cd, as well as her first two albums this morning. I haven't listened to more than a few songs off of Ys so far, and I really just want to hear her songs how they were meant to be heard, right off of cd and with my brand new speakers.

hawkingvsreeve
03-08-2010, 01:55 PM
And what speakers would those be?

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 01:56 PM
And what speakers would those be?

http://news.digitaltrends.com/images/stories/2008/09/5851/altec-lansing-intros-ipod-gear-pc-speakers-1.jpg

hawkingvsreeve
03-08-2010, 01:58 PM
She is so gorgeous.

hawkingvsreeve
03-08-2010, 01:59 PM
Interesting design. Are they computer speakers?

leo01g
03-08-2010, 02:00 PM
I downloaded Have One On Me last night and it's truly amazing. Her voice is so beautiful.

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 02:02 PM
Interesting design. Are they computer speakers?

Yeah. They have built-in subwoofers in the bottom of each speaker. My apartment isn't big enough for a computer desk, so I have my laptop on the bar near my kitchen. And the bar is probably 1/2 foot to a foot higher than most desks, so I was worried that the cord wouldn't be long enough that goes from the speakers down to the subwoofer on the floor, so I got those.

Oh, and they're $125 on Altec's site, but $49.99 on Amazon.

hawkingvsreeve
03-08-2010, 02:36 PM
Awesome. Let me know how they sound once they are broken in.

bmack86
03-08-2010, 03:47 PM
I love seeing people post in here calling her voice beautiful. It's nice to finally have some people agree with me on that point.

Chris, I think she was straining her voice on the Fallon song. Afterwards, when they were doing the outro, he went over and talked to her and she immediately grabbed her throat and shook her head. But, she's also usually pretty goofy on stage, in a very endearing way.

PotVsKtl
03-08-2010, 03:57 PM
I love seeing people post in here calling her voice beautiful. It's nice to finally have some people agree with me on that point.

Chris, I think she was straining her voice on the Fallon song. Afterwards, when they were doing the outro, he went over and talked to her and she immediately grabbed her throat and shook her head. But, she's also usually pretty goofy on stage, in a very endearing way.

Those faces she's making mean that she's straining her voice every time she sings. It's not her natural voice or she wouldn't need to contort her head geometry to make it come out.

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 04:54 PM
Oh ok. I thought maybe that's how she is all the time on stage. Regardless, "Soft as Chalk" is a charming song and aside from the singing she seemed comfortable playing it live.

Are there usually only 2 others on stage with her? I found it interesting that for as minimal as the percussion was, that the guitarist had an even lesser role.

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 06:35 PM
Oh come on!!! This disappoints me greatly, I'm assuming this is common knowledge for most in this thread.


In late 2007, [Andy] Samberg began dating Joanna Newsom, an independent musician.[2] The couple was confirmed to still be dating as of February 2010.[3]

bmack86
03-08-2010, 06:43 PM
It depends. The standard band she had with her on the Ys tour was Her, Ryan Francesconi (the dude on the guitar, and the guy who wrote the orchestration for the new album), Neal Morgan on drums and then a girl playing various bowed and plucked string instruments and another chick who did backup vocals. When she introduced the band on a bootleg I heard of a recent show in Australia, she had an extra string and a few horns.

PotVsKtl
03-08-2010, 08:28 PM
Oh ok. I thought maybe that's how she is all the time on stage.

Yes. Hence the "every time she sings" portion of my sentence.

TallGuyCM
03-08-2010, 09:24 PM
Yes. Hence the "every time she sings" portion of my sentence.

Hence why I barely skimmed over your post while moving onto more helpful input.

TomAz
03-09-2010, 07:24 AM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/03/02/magazine/07newsom_span/07newsom_span-articleLarge-v2.jpg

Really nice article in Sunday's NYT Magazine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Newsom-t.html

Bryan are you from somewhere near Nevada City?

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/03/07/magazine/07newsom_2/07newsom_2-popup.jpg

Article below:





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

March 7, 2010
Joanna Newsom, the Changeling
By JODY ROSEN
LARK CAMP is a weeklong gathering of folk musicians held each summer in the Mendocino Woodlands, on the California coast, 150 miles north of San Francisco. Part music-and-dance academy, part freewheeling hoedown, Lark Camp brings together specialists in American and world-music traditions — Cajun fiddlers, hula dancers, Andean panpipe experts, Galician accordionists — who teach workshops and lead late-night jam sessions around campfires beneath the stretching redwoods.

Joanna Newsom, a singer, songwriter and harpist who is one of indie music’s leading lights, first went to Lark Camp when she was around 12. (She has been a frequent attendee ever since.) It was there, as a young teenager in the mid-1990s, that Newsom had what she calls her transformative musical experience. The camp’s harp teacher, Diana Stork, recognized that Newsom was an unusually gifted young player. She was steeped in Celtic and classical harp repertory; she had begun to compose her own instrumental pieces. “Joanna had a great imagination, and a beautiful lyrical sense, a very nice sense of chordal accompaniment,” Stork says. “The one thing that I really thought I could share with her was polyrhythms.”

Stork showed Newsom a style adapted from the harplike West African kora — tricky polymetric patterns in which the player plucks out different rhythms with each hand. “That was when I started obsessing,” Newsom told me recently. At Lark Camp, she practiced the technique for hours on end. “Everybody would be lining up for dinner at night,” Stork recalls, “and Joanna would still be there, alone with her harp in the woods, playing and playing, trying to get it.”

A willowy girl strumming a harp in the forest gloaming: it’s a scene that sums up the Joanna Newsom mystique. From the moment she came to prominence, with the release of her 2004 debut album, “The Milk-Eyed Mender,” Newsom has been regarded as an exotic. The rock audience had never seen her like: a beautiful young woman, perched on a chair at the lip of a nightclub stage, plinking the 47 strings of a contraption 10 times as large as a Gibson Les Paul. The effect was heightened by Newsom’s brash singing voice — which has been likened to Kate Bush’s and Lisa Simpson’s — and by her extravagantly literary lyrics, which are packed with pastoral imagery, showy rhymes and archaisms.

Early publicity photos captured Newsom gazing into the murk on the edge of the woods, and her roots in Nevada City, a bucolic Northern California town with a reputation as a counterculture bastion, added to the aura. The music press quickly agreed on a cliché: Newsom was an earth child, an enchanted rustic, sprinkling pixie dust with each pluck of her harp strings.

But look again at the teenager with her harp in the Mendocino forest. Was she a wood sprite? Or was she woodshedding: a serious musician, diligently, obsessively, honing her skills?

“If there’s a musical idea you’re obsessing over, in order to work it out, you keep playing constantly, and you turn into a shredder,” Newsom told me when I met her recently in Nevada City. “Lark Camp was really about people jamming, sharing ideas and showing off. And that was really my way in — that chest-puffing, folk-camp-shredder mentality.”

Newsom and I were in the bar of National Hotel, a landmarked building on Nevada City’s hilly main drag. It was early January, and Newsom was doing a final series of rehearsals with her band before heading to Australia for the first leg of a tour to support her third album, a 3-CD opus titled “Have One on Me.” In person, Newsom comes off as neither an ethereal “hippie-dippy” nor a fearsome shredder. She is a trim, petite woman with large green eyes and waist-length light brown hair. She was wearing a gray dress, cinched with a big belt and an eyepopping necklace that she bought in New York — a dozen or so antique watch faces strung together on a gold chain. The necklace fit in nicely with the surroundings at the National Hotel, whose décor might be described as Funky Victoriana.

We met at the National at Newsom’s suggestion. She lives outside Nevada City, in a house that she bought a few years ago. Newsom is fiercely protective of her privacy. When I arrived in town it was unclear whether I would get to see New*som’s home; permission was eventually granted, with a strong proviso from her publicist that I was not to describe the exterior in any way that might give an overly zealous fan clues to its location. Newsom is similarly guarded about her work. I told Newsom that her bandmate Ryan Francesconi, a composer and multi-instrumentalist who arranged the songs on “Have One on Me,” had e-mailed me the notes he took in preparation for scoring the album’s title track. She was visibly irked. “I’m kinda bummed about that,” she said. “I like listeners to form their own theories.”

There is no shortage of Joanna Newsom Theory. Newsom is among the most critically lionized American musicians to emerge in the past decade. (This year, Roan Press published “Visions of Joanna Newsom,” featuring essays by Dave Eggers and other admirers.) She is certainly one of the most singular. She’s a classically trained virtuoso on an instrument with little meaningful popular-music lineage. She writes sprawling songs, unhinged from verse-chorus pop form and crammed full-to-bursting with lyrics that owe more to John Donne and Anne Sexton than to any songwriting sources. All of this would seem to relegate Newsom to the high-art avant-garde hinterlands. Yet she is an indie-rock star: “The Milk-Eyed Mender” and “Ys” (pronounced “ees”), from 2007, sold 200,000 and 250,000 copies respectively, huge numbers for independent-label releases, especially in the anemic 21st-century record marketplace. But sales figures don’t tell the whole story; her popularity is a phenomenon of depth, not breadth. To the members of her cult, Newsom inspires the kind of exegetical fervor that Bob Dylan did in 1966 — fandom on the high-rock album-era model, with devotees who pore over the runes of lyric sheets like Talmudists.

What they find in Newsom’s songs, above all, is a place. Her work hovers between genres, traditions, eras — between folk and pop and art song, with hints of Celtic ballads and Charles Ives and West African griot music filtering through the tunes. But the where of her songs is unmistakable. Newsom is a landscape painter: from the start, her songs have overflowed with flora and fauna, with refracted fairytale visions of Nevada City and environs. She calls “Have One on Me,” which was released in late February, her “early ’70s California singer-songwriter album,” citing influences like Joni Mitchell’s “For the Roses” and Graham Nash’s “Songs for Beginners.” It’s also the record in which Newsom writes most explicitly about her home turf.

“This record deals a lot with the idea of home and hometown,” Newsom said. “People have described me as being so informed by the nature and the magic of this place. I think on this album I’m exploring that — I’m working through that idea. There’s a lot of mythologizing of Nevada City as this utopian magical hippieland.”

Nevada City, a town of about 3,000 in the Sierra foothills, 60 miles northeast of Sacramento, is one of those odd corners of rural America that, spiritually speaking, sits to the left of cities like San Francisco and New York. Founded in 1849 as a Gold Rush boomtown, it became, in the late 1960s and ’70s, a hot spot of a different sort — a magnet for artists, back-to-the-landers and other left-of-center refugees from the Bay Area and Los Angeles, lured by cheap real estate and the splendor of wooded ridges that rise above the Yuba River’s south fork. The minimalist composer Terry Riley moved to Nevada City; the Beat poet and Zen Buddhist Gary Snyder settled nearby. In 1968, Swami Kriyananda, a disciple of the Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, founded the Ananda Village commune on several hundred forested acres a bit outside town.

Today, Nevada City’s Miner Forty-Niner past jostles up against the New Age present. The Nevada Theater, California’s oldest theater building, sits paces away from a shop called Soul Support, which advertises “Body and Soul Services” and wares including copper faeries and wands. When I told Newsom about a middle-aged woman I saw at a local cafe, dripping in heavy turquoise jewelry and talking loudly about reiki healing, she laughed. “There are a lot of amazing tantric cougars in this town,” she said.

Newsom fits a certain profile of a Nevada City native. She is a daughter of progressive-minded professionals who relocated here in 1981. Her parents, both doctors, moved to town from the Bay Area. (Her distant cousin Gavin Newsom is mayor of San Francisco.) She grew up with her older brother and younger sister in a big house in the hills, on rambling wooded acreage with views of vineyards and the snow-topped Sierra Buttes.

Newsom told me she was a “dreamy but melancholy” child, whose parents encouraged her ambitions and nurtured her iconoclasm. She doesn’t remember what drew her to the harp, but she started begging her parents for lessons at age 4 and began her studies a few years later. She also had a spiritual streak, which her parents likewise indulged. When she was 18, in the middle of her senior year of high school, she decided that she needed “some sort of ritual marker of the end of childhood.” Her plan was to camp in the open air for three days and nights, eating little, seeing no one, communing with the great outdoors. Newsom’s mother sanctioned her missing school and helped her daughter scout out a place by the Yuba, in the middle of 35 wild acres owned by family friends.

“I hesitate to speak about it because it sounds so corny, but one of my goals out there was to find a spirit-animal,” Newsom told me. “On the third day, I was kind of delirious. I’d only eaten a little rice. I’d just slept and looked at a river for three days. I was prepared to be visited by my spirit animal — I was just sitting there, saying some sort of prayer, inviting that presence into my life. And then I saw three white wolves charging down at me. I thought maybe I was hallucinating; but I was also prepared to die. But the wolves ran up and started licking my face. Then I remembered that the daughter of the woman who owned the property kept domesticated wolves.” A few hours later, Newsom hiked out of the woods and went home. Her mother had organized a celebratory dance party for Newsom and her girlfriends. She strung up lights and served four kinds of cake.

“A lot of people don’t want to leave because they feel so defined by being from here,” New*som said. Many of Newsom’s family and her childhood friends still live in Nevada City. One evening, while we were eating dinner in an Italian restaurant, a hulking young man in a hooded sweatshirt and a Mohawk stopped at our table; he was Newsom’s second cousin. The friendly guy who served me at a cafe on Broad Street turned out to be Pete Newsom, Joanna’s brother, a drummer and keyboardist who has played in the singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart’s band. He has been pulling a few barista shifts while working on a solo project, an album of Michael Jackson-inspired dance music.

Newsom herself never really left home, except for the few years she spent at Mills College in Oakland, where she studied musical composition and creative writing before dropping out. It was there that her career as a recording artist began, more or less by accident. Newsom made some rough recordings of songs she had written for voice and harp and opened a few shows at Bay Area clubs for her friend Banhart. Bonnie (Prince) Billy — a k a the indie-folk star Will Oldham — heard Newsom’s demos and asked her to tour with him. Soon after, Oldham’s label, the Chicago-based indie stalwart Drag City, signed Newsom to a record deal.

Critics branded her music “freak folk,” lumping her with Banhart and other upstarts whose psychedelic leanings and flowing tresses harked back to the woollier folk rock of the late 1960s. Newsom was called an “elfin princess,” a “faerie queen,” a “weird waif,” an “innocent flower,” a “childlike chanteuse.” There was a time when the media chatter drove Newsom to distraction. In a 2006 interview with the arts-and-culture magazine Stop Smiling, she said, “I have friends in my hometown, and a few in other places, but I’m not part of some epic, bracelet-clanking, eyes-rolled-back, blasé, nihilistic scenester cult.”

Today, Newsom told me, she regrets letting the press coverage get under her skin. “I was fresh out of women’s college and I was bummed at everyone saying that my songs were innocent and nursery-rhyme-like,” she told me. “When people would put me and Devendra Banhart in the same sentence, they were coding his eccentricities as world-weary and ‘witchy’ and coding my eccentricities as childlike and naïve. I felt like it minimized my intelligence. But I think in my defensiveness I disavowed some realities that I should not have disavowed. I think that there’s always going to be an element of my experience of the world — as much as I feel this as a deficiency — that is unprotected, unbuffered.”

ewsom’s songs, full of roiling emotions and jumpy harmonies, do feel unbuffered. But innocent and childlike? Those qualities are not foreign to indie rock, which over the past decade has been gripped in certain quarters by childhood nostalgia and a cult of the twee. But the vigor and intensity of Newsom’s music sets it apart. As a musician — in pure “chops” terms — Newsom has more in common with people like Eddie Van Halen and Wynton Marsalis than with indie stars like Banhart and the Decemberists. “I still don’t think most people realize quite how great a musician she is,” says Neal Morgan, who drums in Newsom’s touring band. Her style blends the luminous arpeggios of the classical- and folk-harp traditions with African syncopation — crisp, snappy, interlocking rhythms. (Newsom has virilized the harp, bringing a funky pulse to a dowdy drawing-room instrument.) To see Newsom perform a song like “Sawdust and Diamonds,” a 10-minute-long ballad from “Ys,” is to witness a display of virtuosity that verges on a circus sideshow stunt. Newsom picks out a bass part with her left hand and plays melody lines and chords with her right, while working the harp’s pedals with her feet and delivering 121 lines of phantasmagorical verse in a tune that madly flutters and swoops around the beat.

Ryan Francesconi transcribed many of the vocal and harp parts while working on “Have One on Me.” “Her phrasing with the vocal is really hard to write down,” he told me. “The rhythms are so subtle — so subtly off the beat all the time. And that’s a really interesting thing, because her harp is very precise, yet the vocal floats on top, and has a really separate feeling. The things she can do independently while playing the harp are humbling.”

“The Milk-Eyed Mender,” Newsom’s mostly voice-and-harp debut, was an almost ferociously spunky and bright-sided collection of songs. It is also shredder-chest-puffing par excellence — as showoffy as any rap record and as drunk on rhyme. The critics who cast Newsom as flower child were not listening hard to an album full of surreal wit (“And the hexes heat covertly/Like a slow low-flying turkey/Like a Texan drying jerky”) and punch lines (“I killed my dinner with karate—/Kick ’em in the face, taste the body”). But amid the whimsy was wisdom. In “Sadie,” a ballad with a distinct Appalachian flavor, Newsom sings lines that could speak for thousands of musicians who’ve drawn on the deep well of American folk music: “This is an old song/These are old blues/This is not my tune/But it’s mine to use.”

With “Ys,” Newsom seemed to loose herself from any recognizable tradition. In form and in feeling, “Ys” is epic. The album’s five tracks range in length from 7 to 17 minutes, with melodies that weave and dart through lurching harmonic shifts, bolstered by arrangements for a full symphony orchestra. The songs move between private confessions and cosmic parables. There’s an eerie fable about a bear and monkey, meditations on astronomy, elegies for the dead and stormy love songs. Newsom’s lyrics are flamboyantly, at times self-parodyingly, poetic: thick with adjectives and highfalutin language (“gibbering wave,” “hydrocephalitic listlessness,” “insatiable shadow”), archaisms (“thee,” “fain”), and tongue-twisting couplets not generally found in 21st-century pop songs, or in the 21st century, period. “Ys” was, in short, an artistic undertaking of the sort that risks total pratfalling humiliation. That Newsom would try it in the first place is sheer chutzpah; that she pulled it off (at least for some) is a triumph of inventiveness and craft and smarts. But “Ys” also has an ineffable quality that is Newsom’s hallmark: a beauty, flowing through her voice and tunes and most ostentatious poetic flights, rooted in mysteriousness — in music that, on some level, feels as vast and unknowable as, well, a sea full of gibbering waves.

Newsom has told interviewers that “Ys” was a kind of allegory — that its songs were elaborately coded narratives based on events in her personal life, including the death of a childhood friend and an illness in her family. “I was in a pretty bananas place,” Newsom says now of that time, deliberately keeping things vague. “And a lot of that had to do with some really sad stuff that was going on in my life. And also some really ecstatic stuff that was going in my life.”

Newsom lives in a small house, set back from a residential road and ringed by trees. It has a quaint, cottagelike feel. Inside, a cluster of pleasant rooms spreads out across a single floor. The pièce de résistance is a nook that juts off the dining room: a tiny little room with three exposures, where Newsom’s harp is enthroned. For recording and touring, she rents a harp; this instrument, which she uses for rehearsal, is the Joanna New*som ur-harp, the first and only one she has ever owned. “It doesn’t have a very good sound,” she told me. “I mean, it’s Lyon & Healy, they only make good harps, but in their range it’s their student model, and it’s old and beat up. I’ve had it since eighth grade. I’m saving up for a new one. It costs $50,000, and that’s with a discount.”

If it feels as if she still hasn’t totally moved in, that may be because, for Newsom, home decoration is a permanent, pleasurable work in progress. Newsom is a collector. She is a lifelong insomniac — she says that she goes to bed “somewhere in the 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. window” — and often spends the wee hours looking for antiques online. Her taste leans toward Victoriana and Deco and taxidermy; she has a particular fondness for the opulent Orientalism of the interiors at Hearst Castle, William Randolph Hearst’s estate in San Simeon, Calif.

For the cover photo of “Have One on Me,” Newsom dragged many of her belongings into her living room — a stuffed peacock, a leopard-print ottoman, tchotchkes and clothes and rugs and partitions — and arranged them on and around her couch, which sits in front of a wall-hung 18th-century tapestry. It’s a cabinet of curiosities, with Newsom mounted in the middle: stretched out on the sofa wearing a strapless dress and a flapper headband, peering back at the viewer, sphinxlike, with mascara-ringed eyes.

It's a mysterious image, and a glamorous one — a tableau worthy of a shape-shifting pop diva like Lady Gaga. Newsom has been a bohemian style icon for years, but lately she has also popped up in the world of high fashion. She has been spotted at fashion-week after-parties and photographed by a popular street-style blog wearing a Comme des Garçons trench coat. She appeared in a W magazine spread wearing vampy black silk shorts by Giorgio Armani. Newsom even licensed her 2004 single “Sprout and the Bean” to Victoria’s Secret for use in a “Dream Angel” push-up-bra TV commercial.

These developments have not gone unnoticed in the indie-rock blogosphere, where interest in Newsom is rabid and the lines of hipster cred are policed with a Stasi-like vigilance. In November, a post on the music blog Stereogum griped, “Joanna Newsom’s in the midst of a clear shift from the forests to the fashion set.”

The blogs have also been abuzz about New*som’s romantic life. For the past couple of years, she has reportedly been keeping company with Andy Samberg, the “Saturday Night Live” star. The couple have been photographed on the streets of Manhattan, at LAX, at the Emmys. Her previous relationship with Bill Callahan, who has released acclaimed records under his own name and the moniker Smog, was news in indie circles, but Samberg registers in a pop-culture mainstream that previously took little notice of New*som. People magazine included “Andy and Joanna” in a feature titled, “They’re With the Band: Stars’ Indie-Rock Romances.”

For her part, Newsom refused to discuss Samberg — or, rather, she talked about him without talking about him. She admitted that she’s spending much of her time these days in New York, where Samberg lives, and is struggling with homesickness. “I understand why it’s noteworthy,” she continued, leaving the “it” ambiguous. “It somehow impacts the overall picture in a way that nothing I was involved in before did. It changes the portrait somehow.”

“Have One on Me,” widely acclaimed by critics since its release, alters the Joanna Newsom portrait, too. It is less epic than “Ys,” but more sprawling; the 18 songs clock in at an average of seven minutes each. Newsom hadn’t planned to write so many long songs. “I worry about the length creating a barrier between listeners and the songs, where it feels like too much information and they can’t find their way in,” she said.

But if you have time — and a decent pair of headphones — “Have One on Me” opens up to you. On “Ys,” the ornate orchestration, by the legendary composer and songwriter Van Dyke Parks, sometimes swamped the songs, but here Ryan Francesconi’s arrangements get the proportions right and splash in surprising colors, adding Bulgarian Tambura and other Balkan accents to strings, brass and woodwinds. Most of the songs stretch out and meander, steering clear of verse-chorus structures, but there are moments when “Have One on Me” comes as close as Newsom has to the symmetries of traditional pop-song form.

Newsom explained that there is a vague thematic logic to the album’s three-disc structure, tracing the morning, day and night of a single 24 hours. The record opens with an idyllic vision of lovers entwined in the boudoir and ends with a blunt romantic post-mortem and images of an empty bed. Newsom watchers are sure to find autobiographical resonances in these songs. “It doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to know who’s she’s talking about,” Francesconi told me.

But scouring the lyrics for Newsom’s boyfriends, current and former, will get her explicators only so far. Ask Newsom about her songwriting influences, and she will cite novelists like Faulkner and Nabokov; her songs often present themselves as puzzles, with fractured narrative voices and meanings that can be teased out only through repeated close listening.

Exhibit A on “Have One on Me” is the title track. It moves from dreamy harp arpeggios to Old West saloon-song stylings to jaunty tarantellalike passages and beyond, through 11 minutes of whiplashing tempo and time-signature changes. The song’s meaning was a mystery to me until I got hold of the lyric sheet and realized it was about Lola Montez, the Irish-born dancer and actress who wowed theatrical audiences on three continents and led one of the 19th century’s most tumultuous romantic lives. (Her lovers included Franz Liszt and King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her countess of Lansfeld.)

Montez was also, as it happens, a resident of Nevada County, Calif., in the peak Gold Rush years. “I’ve been interested in Lola Montez since I was little,” Newsom told me. From 1853 to 1855, Montez lived in a small cottage in Grass Valley, a town next door to Nevada City. She performed her famous “spider dance”— a burlesque in which she shook rubber tarantulas out of her raised skirts — at the Nevada Theater. Today her portrait hangs in the lobby of the National Hotel. The highest point in Nevada County, rearing up on the horizon northeast of the house where Newsom grew up, is named for Montez: Mount Lola.

“I’m obviously identifying her story with my story to some extent,” Newsom said. “To be a woman and to be a performer at that time meant something very different than it does now, but I’m also interested in what the similarities are. I was interested in the fact that she was constantly traveling and constantly having to start over and make a new life for herself. And her connection to this town is very important to me.”

In other words, “Have One on Me,” like so many of Newsom’s songs, is bound up with the mythos of Nevada City. Travel, distance, exile, the yearning for home — Newsom returns to these themes repeatedly. The album’s emotional centerpiece is “In California,” a slow-boiling ballad sung in the voice of woman torn between longing for her far-flung lover and the siren call of her homeland. “If you want to know how Joanna feels about Nevada City,” Ryan Francesconi told me, “just read the lyrics to ‘In California’ very closely. It’s all in there — her relationship to her land, and her relationship of being in this place while people she loves are far away.”

But Newsom’s song transcends the personal and particular to connect to some of the deepest strains in American popular music, to Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” and Victorian-parlor ballad plaints and the desolate nostalgia of blues and “Georgia on My Mind”: a tradition of odes to home and hearth that spans three centuries. The key moment of “In California” comes after a crashing string-and-tympani crescendo, when the instruments abruptly drop away, leaving Newsom alone with violins, crooning in the uppermost part of her register:

Some nights I just never go to sleep at all, and I stand, shaking in my doorway like a sentinel, all alone, bracing like the bow upon a ship, and fully abandoning any thought of anywhere but home, my home.

Earlier, Newsom told me: “I was the only person in my group of friends growing up who didn't feel a huge urge to leave. I didn’t want to leave — I wanted to go to college nearby so I could come home every weekend. I’m not really a traveler, by nature. It’s ironic to me that my career path forces me to travel so much. I never had that itch, that feeling, like, ‘There must be something more out there!’

“I really would have preferred,” she said, “if everything I need to do in this life would just come to my front door.”

Jody Rosen, the music critic for Slate, is writing a book about the Knowledge, London's taxi-driver examination.



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bmack86
03-09-2010, 07:48 AM
Tom, I'm from a few hours south. I never knew where Nevada City was, but we always passed through Grass Valley

PotVsKtl
03-09-2010, 07:14 PM
After further evaluation I've upgraded my review of Have One On Me from "Should have been a single album" to "Could have been a double album but whatever" to "Well, I've been listening to this non-stop for 2 weeks."

bmack86
03-09-2010, 07:29 PM
It snuck up on me. I'd finish listening to it, walk away, and realize that I had a song stuck in my head that I hadn't even cared about much on first listen.

wmgaretjax
03-09-2010, 07:45 PM
it snuck up on me too... i realized i'd listened to it 7 times on my computer and in various bits and pieces another 3 times on vinyl.

mountmccabe
03-09-2010, 08:05 PM
NPR All Songs Considered or All Concerts Considered or whatever the fuck is broadcasting/archiving as an mp3 Joanna live from some DC club on March 23.

softbulletin
03-09-2010, 08:11 PM
That article just got me really excited to see her this weekend, thanks for posting.

TallGuyCM
03-09-2010, 08:12 PM
That article just got me really excited to see her this weekend, thanks for posting.

You have tickets and you weren't already excited to see her this weekend?????

softbulletin
03-09-2010, 08:20 PM
Of course I was already really excited, but that article made me even more excited if possible.

TallGuyCM
03-09-2010, 10:44 PM
Of course I was already really excited, but that article made me even more excited if possible.

Please report back after the show! I look forward to hearing your review.

wmgaretjax
03-15-2010, 08:51 AM
Grand Rapids:

1. Jackrabbits ("Have One..." disc 2)
2. Have One On Me ("Have One..." disc 1)
3. Easy ("Have One..." disc 1)
4. Inflammatory Writ ("Milk-Eyed Mender," 2004)
5. Soft As Chalk ("Have One..." disc 3)
6. In California ("Have One..." disc 2)
7. The Book of Right-On ("Milk-Eyed...")
8. Emily ("Ys," 2006)
9. Baby Birch ("Have One..."disc 1)
10. Peach, Plum, Pear ("Milk-Eyed...")
Encore: Occident ("Have One..." disc 2)

hawkingvsreeve
03-15-2010, 09:42 AM
Certainly not the setlist I would prefer.

kreutz2112
03-15-2010, 09:51 AM
I like her choices from Have One, but I'd like to see 1 more from Ys and 1 more from Milk-Eyed. I'm not sure why I even care, since I'm not seeing her anytime soon.

wmgaretjax
03-15-2010, 10:03 AM
The selection from HOOM is pretty legit barring Easy... I say she ditches Milk-Eyed Mender in favor of another Ys track and Colleen.

TallGuyCM
03-15-2010, 08:52 PM
That's awesome she played both "Jackrabbits" and "Baby Birch", those are my two favorites off of HOOM.

wmgaretjax
03-23-2010, 06:12 PM
live on NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124711752

dorkfish
03-23-2010, 06:15 PM
now it's "Have One On Me"

liquidsnake28
03-29-2010, 01:19 PM
So I just saw her two nights ago and she's REALLY not that good guys. I'm familiar with her work and all of her songs sounded great but she's just. not. that. amazing. Plain and simple. Tomorrow night I'm debating between seeing her or Jedi Mind Tricks.

Grant
03-29-2010, 01:32 PM
ehhh I'd probably go with Joanna if it were her or Jedi Mind Tricks. But I don't even care for Joanna that much... I don't see what's so great about her.

PotVsKtl
03-29-2010, 01:57 PM
So I just saw her two nights ago and she's REALLY not that good guys. I'm familiar with her work and all of her songs sounded great but she's just. not. that. amazing. Plain and simple. Tomorrow night I'm debating between seeing her or Jedi Mind Tricks.

You do realize some of us have seen her before, right?

liquidsnake28
03-29-2010, 02:19 PM
Yes, Pot. Of course I realize that. I'm assuming most of the people who look at this thread have not had the privledge to see her yet. I just don't want bmack's crazy, elated review of her performance to disappoint anyone.

Grant, she is definitely great. Just not Radiohead/Pixies great. I listened to Legacy of Blood and Violent By Design about 50 times each. Chances are I'm going with the automatically inferior live hip hop show just because of my connection with their music.

wmgaretjax
03-29-2010, 02:26 PM
wait... are you comparing a singer/songwriter harpist to radiohead and the pixies? i don't even think bryan would think to do that.

PotVsKtl
03-29-2010, 02:26 PM
I've only seen her as an opener and she performed about as well as I'd expect an essentially solo artist to perform in a live setting. Your appreciation for the music itself is going to decide how you react so clearly bmack as fanboy #1 is going to love it. I did as well.

mountmccabe
03-29-2010, 06:42 PM
I saw her as an opener as well and had no idea who she was and her's was by far the best set that evening. I went home with her CD that night, nothing from anybody else.

I can only imagine how my reaction might be now that she's released more albums and I've listened to them and connected with them.

bmack86
03-29-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm staying away from this one. My position is well known.

TeamCoachellaHellYeah
03-29-2010, 10:39 PM
I'm staying away from this one. My position is well known.

that's

what

she

said?

mountmccabe
03-30-2010, 04:38 AM
And the live show from DC is available for download now.

liquidsnake28
03-30-2010, 05:21 AM
wait... are you comparing a singer/songwriter harpist to radiohead and the pixies? i don't even think bryan would think to do that.

I'm being completely objective, comparing show to show, which he was doing. He was wrong.

wmgaretjax
03-30-2010, 05:56 AM
Objective. Is that what qualified evaluation of music is?

liquidsnake28
03-30-2010, 06:16 AM
Relax. He said she put on the best show he's ever seen besides Boredoms, an experimental band. I respectfully question that as I have seen many shows that were much better. That is all.

C DUB YA
03-30-2010, 06:38 AM
Saw her last night - it was pretty great.