Interview with The Economist
The Economist has a great new interview with Joanna Newsom! Here’s a lovely quote from Joanna about her song meanings:
“I get mad at myself after doing interviews about song meanings; I always feel like I articulated myself badly and clumsily. It takes me months to land upon what I consider to be the best, most musical way to possibly express an idea or a story, and I find I’m just not capable of reiterating that same idea or story, on the spot, concisely, in the context of an interview. Then, my failed attempts at that conversation invariably feel like an act of faithlessness, in my not allowing the listener to discover a song’s meaning on his or her own. The whole point of writing a song is that, in its completed form, it should be the only way in the whole world of saying that one particular thing. If I could properly explain that story or idea in an interview then it wouldn’t need to be a song. I’m obviously not a big pop star, but the people who do like my music like it for reasons that I want to respect and show gratitude for, and I think that I do neither by explaining, and botching, my song meanings in an interview.”
Read the full interview here!
Posted on January 07, 2011 @ 5:00 PM. Leave a comment?
Year in Review
This article picks Have One on Me as the best album of the year! Here’s what it says:
Three discs, 18 tracks, two hours plus … and I’m left wanting more. More of that distinctive voice. More of that delicate harp. More of those unconventional folk arrangements. After Have One’s February release, everything else was left battling for second.
The same author also has an article on how he made his list which can be read here! Here’s what he says about his choice for number one:
Some years, the toughest part of the process is picking my Album of the Year, the record (yes, I still like calling them records) that will anchor the list from its No. 1 position. Not an issue this time. Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me has been my clear pick since I first heard it in February. When I enjoy an album 10 months later as much or more than I did initially, I take it as a pretty good sign I’ll still cherish it 10 years from now. I like everything about Have One: its sprawling format (three discs, 18 tracks, 124 minutes), the variety of its compositions, the way Newsom powerfully harnessed her unusual voice this time out. I found 2004’s The Milk-Eyed Mender intriguing, and even though 2006’s Ys has always felt severely overwrought to me, it does contain moments of brilliance. Yet I’ve surely already listened to Have One more than both of those combined.
I don’t agree about Ys being overwrought (it’s still my favorite), but it’s nice to see Have One On Me getting the praise it deserves!
Posted on December 31, 2010 @ 7:39 PM. Leave a comment?
Favorite 50 Albums of 2010
Have One On Me is listed at #7 on this list of the top 50 albums of 2010! Here’s the excerpt:
An outsider artist no more, Joanna Newsom came into her own with Have One On Me. Rather than further develop the Ren-Faire aesthetic of 2006’s Ys or the idiosyncratic folk of The Milk-Eyed Mender, her 2004 debut, Newsom drew from an almost unthinkable (for her, at least) range of influences — Laurel Canyon 70s soft-rock, Dixieland jazz, 80s alternative, religious hymns — to create her most accomplished album to date. Newsom’s sylvan vocals still might’ve been too shrill for those not yet converted to her cult, but Have One On Me, despite its marathon length, was more accessible than anything she’d recorded previously. Stretching the Lisa Simpson-limitations of her vocal abilities was a risk, but it paid off marvelously on full-blooded songs like “Good Intentions Paving Company” and “Baby Birch.” Have One On Me was an embarrassment of riches, and those who continued to refuse its charms were only poorer for their stubborn resistance.
Posted on December 29, 2010 @ 10:48 PM. Leave a comment?
Joanna Newsom Tribute Album
A Joanna Newsom tribute album called Versions of Joanna is going to be released in December. A tracklisting is below:
01. Francesco Santocono—“‘81”
02. A Voice Heard on Baer Mountain—“Autumn”
03. Sarah Katheryn—“Baby Birch”
04. Joel Cathey—“Book of Right-On”
05. Guy Buttery—“Book of Right-On” (instrumental)
06. Josh Mann—“Bridges & Balloons”
07. Chris Leeds—“Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie”
08. Ian Cooke—“Colleen”
09. This Is Deer Country—“Easy”
10. Doublewuzzy—“Flying a Kite”
11. Rosa Hinksman—“In California”
12. White Elephant Gift Exchange—“Inflammatory Writ”
13. Ian Cooke—“Monkey & Bear”
14. Billy Bragg—“On a Good Day”
15. Kristina Forrer—“On a Good Day”
16. Owen Pallett—“Peach, Plum, Pear”
17. M. Ward—“Sadie”
18. Ben Sollee—“Sawdust & Diamonds”
19. David Miele—“Soft as Chalk”
20. The Moscow Coup Attempt—“Sprout and the Bean”
21. Melissa Stylianou—“Swansea”
22. Jennifer Schmitt—“This Side of the Blue”
You can hear a preview of M. Ward’s version of “Sadie” and learn more about the album here!
Posted on November 18, 2010 @ 11:04 AM. Leave a comment?
There’s Something about Joanna
There’s a lovely new article about Joanna Newsom that can be read here! A cute excerpt is below:
Clearly, she is an intriguing figure. And while that has earned Newsom a dedicated, almost obsessive fan-base, it’s also led to some intense media scrutiny. Much of it has portrayed the singer as otherworldly, a delicate elfin princess or fairy. But for her part, Newsom is down to earth, courteous and friendly, thoughtful and articulate in her responses and, well, pretty normal. She admits “the elf thing” used to get under her skin, but sees it as an inevitable part of celebrity.
“Every person I know who makes music has that headline, has the thing that is said of them that feels somehow oddly derogatory without necessarily coming from a place of negativity,” she says calmly.
It’s obvious that Newsom has developed a sense of humor about the whole thing, too.
“I was trying to use it to my advantage a few months ago,” she admits with a chuckle. “I was trying to launch a pretty heavy campaign to get the people making The Hobbit to let me audition. I just wanted to see if they would let me be an elf. I feel like if I’m going to have to deal with this f—king elf thing forever, I should at least be able to enjoy myself by getting to live in Middle Earth for a while.”
The article has lots more great quotes from Joanna in it, so be sure to read the full article!
Posted on November 17, 2010 @ 4:35 PM. Leave a comment?