Can someone explain Joanna Newsom to me? I just don't get it.
- joep, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:23 AM (2 weeks ago) -
see there's this bear and a monkey and the wizard of Ys.
- tylerw, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:26 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Just watch this!:
- ksh, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:26 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Note: You should be dying while you watch that.
- Brad Nelson (BradNelson), Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:29 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Jesus that looks difficult.
- Mark, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:31 AM (2 weeks ago) -
There has to be more than technical skill. Do people lose their minds over her for any other reason than she plays the harp and is very cute? The voice is a bit strange and inaccessible for the mainstream, the songs are kind of obtuse and nontraditional... I'm not saying these are bad things but I am wondering if she is more of an aesthetic self-fulfilling choice for fans.
- joep, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:36 AM (2 weeks ago) -
No one listens to her because she's the Yngwie Malmsteen of the harp -- she's isn't! There's no unnecessary display of technical prowess going on in any of her songs; they're all carefully, and painstakingly, composed pieces, and I personally don't hear anything "extraneous" in any of them. In addition to her precise and evocative lyrics, which are only Ren faire bullshit to people who either actively want to dislike her or don't know what close reading is, I love her because her music really is really idiosyncratic, but not in a way that grates, despite what others say. If you can find a way in to the songs that works for you, I think there's always a possibility that the world she's creating will open up to you in a way you might find really compelling and affecting.
- ksh, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:45 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Thanks man, no one has ever taken the time to explain any of this to me. Honestly I haven't listened extensively, so I plan to spend some time with the new one. But the most reasoning to listen I ever get from the trendsters is "she's amazing", with little to no elaboration or points.
- joep, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:53 AM (2 weeks ago) -
She is extremely technically proficient, and I think that contributes to the fullness of melody you might hear otherwise in two talented dueling guitars. Point is that it isn't show-offery, the ambitious compositions serve the song and the melody, as apposed to most jam-bands that have it exactly opposite.
- Evan, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:55 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Hey man, no problem! If you decide to listen to her first LP, Milk-Eyed Mender, first, it's a good idea to keep in mind that it's far more of a scattered and erratically pleasurable affair than Ys. Some songs, like "Sadie," are really compelling mini-narratives backed by the harp, but there's also harpsichord ("Peach, Plumb, Pear") and piano(?) ("Three Little Babes"). It's kind of all over the place, but it has its own charm, and when it hits its stride (the aforementioned "Sadie," "Book of Right-On," and "Sprout and the Bean"), it's awesome. Ys, in my opinion, is great all the way through, so I can only recommend listening to it closely a few times through, then perhaps a few times with the lyric sheet in front of you, and then another time after reading Erik Davis's piece on Ys from Arthur Magazine (http://www.arthurmag.com/2006/12/23/nearer-the-heart-of-things-erik-davis-on-joanna-newsom-from-arthur-no-25winter-02006/). That's just one possible way of trying to approach her music, of course, but I think it could work. Still, some people won't like her stuff no matter how they listen to it, and that's fine too.
- ksh, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 3:03 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Holy f. I watched that Sawdust & Diamonds clip through to the end. I think a certain kind of artist has a kind of singular song that might not be a good jumping off point for a newcomer looking for their way in, but is a perfect summation of their aesthetic/what they're reaching for. Something like Voodoo Child (Slight Return) for Jimi Hendrix or Lover You Should've Come Over for Jeff Buckley. Those are probably bad examples for a lot of people here, but I do think she fits into a kind of capable rockist auteur thing. I mean, a lot of critical narrative hovers around "Well, they could barely [do x] but they overcome  to interesting effect". What happens when they can execute whatever they want? So it's all back on concept? Not sure if I'm explaining this right. I'm just not articulate enough to, um, articulate what I'm getting at.
- ecuador_with_a_c, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 4:29 AM (2 weeks ago) -
Her new look and celebrity stizz isn't vibing with me hard, that said I like her new song much more than anything on Ys so hmmmmmm
- Emily's Cheese, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 8:21 AM (2 weeks ago) -
I've liked her since the Cair Paravel reference on MEM. Haven't listened to Ys more than a few times after an initial enjoyment of it. Her voice doesn't *SQUEAK* before every line on the new single like it does on Ys. That's good at least.
- Sam Weller, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 10:34 AM (2 weeks ago) -
She has another new track up on http://www.dragcity.com/
- Evan, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:01 PM (2 weeks ago) -
Piano and drums!
- Evan, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:09 PM (2 weeks ago) -
wow, based on those 2 songs previewed on drag city i might buy this
- velko, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:17 PM (2 weeks ago) -
She sounds like shes conciously trying not to sing as over the top as he has previously. Maybe shes as bored with freak-folk quirks as most of us are.
- Evan, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:31 PM (2 weeks ago) -
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