Music Chick with Harp Rocks the Showbox
posted by December 5 at 10:20 AMon
Last night I was among the crowd that packed the Showbox to see singer/songwriter/harpist Joanna Newsom, and she was incredible.
Everything about Newsom’s art seems designed by God to repel me. Her voice sounds like Iris DeMent crossed with Bjork, her songs feature lyrics in Olde English, and she plays a motherfucking harp. Lucky for her and for me, she’s a genius, a true original, making music that’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard and is totally intoxicating.
(Actually, it’s her new record, Ys that’s totally intoxicating; her first record, The Milk-Eyed Mender, just gave me a light buzz.)
I’d end this post by urging all of you to go buy Ys right now, but I know better. Newsom’s peerlessly idiosyncratic musical style divides listeners into lovers and haters, and I’ve already guessed wrong with a couple of friends whose musical tastes I thought I knew. (One of them, a die-hard Kate Bush fan, was all set to attend last night’s show with me based on my ethusiasm alone. Then she tracked down a Newsom song on the web and politely backed out. What kind of Kate Bush fan whines about another artist’s “affectedness”?)