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Thread: Random Joanna stuff

  1. #31
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Finally. She didn't even make Spin's top 40 which was pretty fucking ridiculous as well.

    ETA: She made Stereogum's list at #11 http://stereogum.com/593442/stereogu...es/listomania/

  2. #32
    Junior Member Wanbli's Avatar
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    review and listen to the tracks on Soundcloud
    http://soundcloud.com/versionsofjoan...ons-of-joanna/

  3. #33
    access granted Tyler's Avatar
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    She didn't make Rolling Stone's list.

    eta: never mind, Kari already posted Stereogum's list!

  4. #34
    Junior Member Wanbli's Avatar
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    Rolling Stone has never liked her
    They suck anyway

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Finally. She didn't even make Spin's top 40 which was pretty fucking ridiculous as well.
    Yeah, because clearly Eminem really deserved a spot more than she did. Right.

  6. #36
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Paul Weller won the Uncut Music Award 2010 but Joanna was in the running, and Uncut just posted the "judges' transcript" (critics talking about it)

    Allan Jones: She’s someone Uncut has really championed over the last few years, and rightly so, I think. And I think of the incredible things about this new record is that it actually found an audience; three CDs, a singer-songwriter who’s principle instrument is the harp, and who seems disinclined to write a song under eight minutes long. I don’t think too many people would have predicted that, with the release of this record, she’d be selling out the Albert Hall, but from our point of view at the magazine it’s really encouraging that people are prepared to commit to this kind of music in such volume.

    Hayden Thorpe: She’s absolutely audacious, I think she’s really got to be admired for having the vision and conviction to put out three albums of songs of such length. I saw her first show of the year, in Australia in January, before this album came out and she sat there and played the whole thing, no one had heard these songs before. By the end I was literally exhausted, but I think she’s so unrelenting in that sense. Everything about her seems completely at odds with mainstream acceptance of how songs should be, that they are complex and the dialect is really unusual and archaic. I think she is truly gifted as a musician, breathtaking.

    I like the fact that she’s never marketed herself for her sexiness, it’s never been the focus or the selling point. She’s never tapped into that, because her intellect and her talent overpowers anything like that. I find the whole thing so compelling. I think the best track is “In California”, it’s just so romantic and creates such a myth about the place. I really, really believe in this record, and I believe in her. I think she has a classic album in here, and maybe she’s not quite there yet. She’s almost shooting herself in a foot a little bit by making herself so difficult. If she was to consider marking herself a bit more user-friendly she’d be a more dominant presence in the music world. But she’s getting there, and it’s on her own terms.

    Mark Cooper: I love her world, her musical world; there’s something very abstract and pure about it. She exists in a very free musical space where she’s not trying to be commercial, she’s not following anything that dictates how long you write a song. It’s often meandering because of that, and diffuse, but I love that. I love the range and the reach of it. But I find the whole album a bit overwhelming. How do you get a hold of this record, how do you embrace this much music without feeling slightly like you’re being beaten to death? Sometimes I have difficultly with her whole lyrical and musical persona, I was never a big Kate Bush fan, and there’s something a bit cute about this, I suppose, and maybe a bit American indie kooky that I find, as a vocabularly, a bit stultifying.

    But I admire her breadth as a musician, she’s prodigious in every sense. Ultimately it’s hard for me to love this as an album, because it’s not just an album – it’s a box set! But on a pure level, I think it’s the most admirable music here.

    Tony Wadsworth: You either like her voice or you don’t, and I really do. I don’t think it’s particularly kooky, but it does distract you from the lyrics, maybe softens the blow a little bit, because the lyrics are really deep and strong, quite literary in parts. There’s incredible imagery in there, quite desperately sad in places. The only problem, really, is that there’s so much of it, so I tried to listen to it as three individual albums as a way of trying to get to know it. But I think it’s an unbelievable piece of work, Usually, when people do long songs there’s an element of jamming or stretching, but these are arranged and structured in such a way that it’s clear they’re supposed to be eight-minute songs, you can’t do them any other way, and that’s remarkable.

    Allan: She’s prepared to give the song however it takes to exist.

    Tony: She has no barriers, including commercial ones. Long may she continue to pay no attention to commercial issues, because that’s how she’ll become a legend.

    Phil Manzanera: I think she suffers from the Frank Zappa syndrome of putting out too much stuff. Do I really want to spend two hours in her company? I would much rather have had a 40-minute album from her, with no harp in it. I don’t like the harp, I think it’s one of the problems I have with the record. When she’s singing along to the piano, her voice doesn’t sound so much like Kate Bush. It’s obvious that she’s very innovative, very playful. You can’t fault her for invention, but there’s just too much music to digest at any one time. In some places I found it a bit shrill, a bit hysterical, it can be very, very intense. Ultimately I found it difficult to grasp because there’s so much of it, but there are a lot of pluses in there.

    Danny Kelly: Everything you say about her is true, Allan, and you, Hayden. She’s enormously talented, and I loved the previous record, but I think this one is a bit too confrontational. The concept of the triple album is like she’s daring you not to like it. Well, okay, I’ll take you on, Joanna, but there is too much of it! And it gave me a bloody headache, as she went on and on in Kate Bush’s voice – and I didn’t like Kate Bush’s voice that much. I think “81” is a beautiful song, I play it in the car all the time, and she can, on occasion, turn a lyric that stops you in your tracks, and that’s really good. But there’s just too much of it for me, and it’s not as good as her previous work, in my opinion.

    Hayden: I was surpised to find that all the judges on this panel were male, and a lot of these albums I find very masculine. But I also find myself asking is there, anywhere in music, a male equivalent to Joanna Newsom? Is there anyone out with there with a similar vision, I’m not sure there is.

    Mark: I would say Damon Albarn is the closest among this shortlist, in terms of dancing to the beat of their own drum, in terms of being prepared to be so expansive, so ambitious. She’s certainly set her own landscape, and that’s admirable.

    Danny: Is there an argument here about pleasure? Shouldn’t a record, however great it is, give you some pleasure, as opposed to just cerebral engagement? There are albums on the long list that I got more pure pleasure of out just listening to than I did from being confronted by Joanna and her undoubted talent. When we judge these things we judge the artist and the artistry, but we should also remember that they’re not made in isolation; they are broadcasts attempting to communicate with an audience, and I found Joanna’s record very difficult to receive.

  7. #37
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Oh my fucking god. The Kate Bush thing. Are you shitting me? I can't believe this. Every single female singer songwriter is compared to her no matter what. I am so. over. it. The only song I hear Kate on is Easy, and not even the whole thing.

    This is the same bs Tori went though critically, and it's like...here we are again.

  8. #38
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    It really is the height of laziness. If I was going to draw comparisons between HOOM and previous female songwriters, Kate Bush would not pop into my head to be honest.

  9. #39
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Joni Mitchell makes more sense. But no. Weird chick = Kate Bush. Actually, no. Chick who isn't a pop star = Kate Bush. So annoying. And of course that comes from men.

  10. #40
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I notice it more in the British music press which makes slightly more sense but is still completely lazy and irritating. I do wonder if these people have heard any Kate Bush beyond the obvious hits and possibly Hounds of Love as well. It wouldn't bother me if there actually were similarities but there aren't, apart from "Easy," like you mentioned. I was reminded of Kate on that one but not anywhere else.

    I don't know whether she's even mentioned Kate Bush as an influence? As far as women go I know she likes Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones but the Kate comparison is like lazy critics' supposed safe option as a reference point.

  11. #41
    Don't turn away Partisan's Avatar
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    I actually think there are quite a few moments on Have One On Me that are very Kate Bush. Especially early Kate Bush, both vocally and melodically. I hear it in numerous places, but just for a bridge, for example, or a snippet of a song here and there. I actually think it's a semi-accurate comparison, moreso than most things that get compared to Kate Bush. Overall though, as a full album, I wouldn't say it's Kate Bush-esque. I also agree that there are very Joni Mitchell moments too, especially Good Intentions Paving Company.
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  12. #42
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    There are a few moments where I do hear Kate vocally. A good example is the "Oooooooooo-ooooooo-oooooh" bit of Kingfisher, right before, "We came by..." But I only catch glimpses of it, and musically she really sounds nothing like Kate. If anything, it's some of the high vocals that are comparable for me.

  13. #43
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I disagree totally, but regardless, what is the point of the comparison when talking about the merit of the music? There is none. To say she was ripping off a musician (and practically deny her an award based on that) who was in her heyday nearly (let's face it) 25 years ago is fucking absurd at this point.

  14. #44
    Don't turn away Partisan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I disagree totally, but regardless, what is the point of the comparison when talking about the merit of the music? There is none. To say she was ripping off a musician (and practically deny her an award based on that) who was in her heyday nearly (let's face it) 25 years ago is fucking absurd at this point.
    I agree that it's ridiculous to imply she's ripping off Kate Bush. She's not, and really, the biggest thing I think the album has in common with anything Kate Bush has done is that (even with Kate Bush type moments) it's entirely different than any album I've ever heard (in the same way The Dreaming or Hounds of Love are). I assume the Kate Bush moments are unintentional, and either way, they're endearing. Joanna's still created something completely unique.
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  15. #45
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VardÝger View Post
    I agree that it's ridiculous to imply she's ripping off Kate Bush. She's not, and really, the biggest thing I think the album has in common with anything Kate Bush has done is that (even with Kate Bush type moments) it's entirely different than any album I've ever heard (in the same way The Dreaming or Hounds of Love are). I assume the Kate Bush moments are unintentional, and either way, they're endearing. Joanna's still created something completely unique.
    Agreed. There isn't an album like The Dreaming. There isn't an album like Boys for Pele, for that matter. And there certainly isn't an album like Ys or HOOM. To say any different is insulting to all parties (including Kate!).

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