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Thread: Rich Daddy or American Government?

  1. #1

    Rich Daddy or American Government?

    I have a journalist friend that's working on a story about Joanna's first two albums. He's found ample evidence for both theories. Either Joanna was financed by her daddy's millions and/or by the American government (for use in Guantanamo Bay) for her first two masterpieces.

    Another interesting theory he came upon is that she was mostly financed by SNL. They say that's how she actually met her husband! How cute!

    Anyway, his article is going to be published in NYT in a month or two, so that's something to look forward to.

    PS: He was amused when I told him there was a whole sub forum dedicated to Joanna here. Then I told him it had less posts than most threads in OMA and he smiled and said he understood.


  2. #2
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    LOL. Because anyone at the NYT would waste their time writing about an indie musician's album financing. Also we already know Joanna's parents have money. Bye!

  3. #3
    The article actually wasn't supposed to be about Joanna specifically, but about indie musicians and their fandoms in general. Once he came upon Joanna and heard her music, he thought she would make a much more interesting subject!

  4. #4
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Yeah, okay. Cool story bro.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    I won't criticize you for your seething blind hatred of the rich, but the "Joanna Newsom is rich and therefore a manufactured indie star" theory is easily debunked:

    1) MEM and the subsequent tour were about as run-of-the-mill early 00s indie dive bars and Motel 6 as you could get. Her big break didn't come from being bankrolled by her millionaire family, it came from Will Oldham hearing Walnut Whales (CD-R) and passing it on to Drag City who signed her and then...

    2) Financed the recording of Ys, which was pretty much a smash, and a timeless masterpiece, and involved no conspiracies of millionaires.

    As for the government/torture angle, here is a partial list of songs the U.S. military has used to torture people:

    1) The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
    2) Take Your Best Shot - Dope
    3) Dirrty - Christina Aguilera
    4) Babylon - David Grey
    5) I Love You - Barney theme
    6) Saturday Night Fever - The Beegees
    7) Meow Mix Theme
    8) The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson
    9) Harps of Gold - Tori Amos
    10) Fuck Your God - Deicide

    You really think "Flying A Kite" was on the radar of edgy army grunts 15 years ago?

  6. #6
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    YAY FOR THE BAN HAMMER! Bye Felicia!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    I've actually encountered this perspective IRL. People claiming Joanna Newsom fans are essentially Scientologists who don't understand they've been manipulated by her Dad or something. Therefore what follows is the complete retrospective history of Joanna Newsom Backlash (as I can recall right now):

    2005: I picked up her and Bill Callahan from the airport when I was living in Australia. She wasn't as pretty as I expected <---the nadir
    Late 2005: She played "Sprout and the Bean" on Jimmy Kimmel Live. What a sell out!!!
    Mid 2006: OMG have you read this Arthur interview? She talks about going on a vision quest and wolves licking her face.
    Late 2006: Van Dyke Parks? Steve Albini? Jim O'Rourke? 18 minute songs? That cover? MOST PRETENTIOUS PERSON ALIVE
    2007: She's playing the piano now.
    2008: WTF she goes to watch NBA games with SNL people?!?!?!
    2009: ...???
    2010: Triple album for real? Also, WHAT HAPPENED TO LISA SIMPSON AUTHENTICITY
    2011: Andy Samberg WTF
    2012: Andy Samberg WTF
    2013: Andy Samberg WTF
    2014: She's an actress or something now?
    2015: 50 minutes
    2016: BROTHER IS YOUR NEW DRUMMER
    2017: I'm married to a rich Hollywood dude with rich highly-educated parents and I may or may not be pregnant

  8. #8
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Yeah, the normal misogynistic bullshit you'd expect! Second verse same as the first.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    I don't think the backlash has been based on misogyny ("not pretty" excepted). The common thread of her backlash has always been because she's essentially seen as "inauthentic" from an indie perspective. There are other musicians who have more or less followed her trajectory (Jason Molina fits her early narrative to a T--including Will Oldham stroke-of-luck) but it's pretty much impossible to imagine him being embraced by the world of the elite and marrying a millionaire celebrity. If you can blame alcoholism on his failure to become a millionaire indie star like Joanna, but credit his fucked upedness with giving us something real, why are we reticent to credit the social elitism of Joanna Newsom for her brilliant career? This isn't misogyny. Despite what you may have heard, class exists in America too.

    I think this song is as good if not better than Emily, for example...but you know, this was the only world he could access, no astrophysicist sisters or governor uncles, etc.


  10. #10
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    I don't think the backlash has been based on misogyny ("not pretty" excepted). The common thread of her backlash has always been because she's essentially seen as "inauthentic" from an indie perspective. There are other musicians who have more or less followed her trajectory (Jason Molina fits her early narrative to a T--including Will Oldham stroke-of-luck) but it's pretty much impossible to imagine him being embraced by the world of the elite and marrying a millionaire celebrity. If you can blame alcoholism on his failure to become a millionaire indie star like Joanna, but credit his fucked upedness with giving us something real, why are we reticent to credit the social elitism of Joanna Newsom for her brilliant career? This isn't misogyny. Despite what you may have heard, class exists in America too.

    I think this song is as good if not better than Emily, for example...but you know, this was the only world he could access, no astrophysicist sisters or governor uncles, etc.
    I understand that class exists, and I never attempted to say that she might have had opportunities that others didn't, but there is a specific way that female musicians are spoken about that sets my teeth on edge. I see a lot of that with her. A lot. As far as her marrying a celebrity - she had broken in a big way with Ys. Samberg was a second string guy on SNL who was just starting to gain fame. He went to her show, met her, they fell in love. I don't see how that's weird? She was already well known by that point.

    I also think there was a lot of projection on her as part of the freak folk/indie darling movement, when really, she was on her own path.

    I'm still not really sure what you are getting at, though. I mean, yeah she came from money, but certainly that doesn't negate her artistic achievements? She's one of the best musicians working today, I don't really think that is debatable.

    ETA: I also think it would be hard to ignore the fact that she is quite beautiful. I think (sadly) that matters more than class in this case as far as fashion people/celebrities wanting to be around her. Is that fucked up? Yes, it is. But that also gave her an advantage. I mean, you could say the same for Tori Amos - a very beautiful woman with a unique look who was ALSO very talented.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    Joanna Newsom is definitely a great artist and I love every single one of her albums dearly. However, aesthetic evaluation is not the end all be all of fandom, and years later Divers strikes me as just half-good. Her narrative includes no conflict, though she may have struggled in the mansion by the glare of Platinum e-Bay and thesaurus.com at 4 a.m. to find the correctly rhyming word with her chosen diphthong and F chord. Because of the freak-folk trend, she was indeed a pre-packaged "weirdo" from the beginning (LOLharp, Lisa Simpson voice, etc.) and we LOVED HER FOR IT, but anyone with Google knows that Joanna Newsom was never actually weird. All we know is that she's always been a genius superior human forever.

  12. #12
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I disagree with you about Divers, but of course that's subjective. I'm not sure where it ranks for me among her catalog just yet. I think it's also hard for us to know that her narrative has no conflict, since she is a deeply private person. She may not have struggled financially (it should also be noted her parents are doctors, she's not exactly Ivanka Trump level rich here), but it doesn't mean that she hasn't had stuff happen to her. I know many wealthy people who have been deeply, profoundly unhappy and have had a lot of tragic, terrible shit happen to them. I have always been curious about what the series of events were that inspired Ys. I know that her best friend died suddenly...but we don't know how or who or what. This is one of the things i like about her - that there are blank spaces in her narrative. I mean NOW she's fine, obviously. But I question that not much of import ever happened to the woman who wrote Ys. There's a lot of dark pain in that record, and in songs like Baby Birch, too. Unless what you mean by conflict is purely financial, in which case, yeah she could always move back in with mom and dad if shit went south and be just fine.

    As far as her folks, I think it reflects well on them that they saw the talent in their child and nurtured that talent. That matters almost as much as the money (though it helps to HAVE the money to nurture said talent, no question). A supportive and loving family can really make so much difference. Also her dad is an oncologist, which is a pretty boss way to make money IMO. Treating cancer >>>>>>> Trump methods. If anyone in this world should be paid mega cash, I am pretty ok with cancer doctors making it.

    FWIW, I'm from a working class background and in a creative field where many of the successful people I know (very few being Joanna's level of prodigious talent) come from money. It is far easier to get ahead when you can go to the best schools and, like you said, be able to devote the time and detail into your work that many do not have the luxury of doing. Class is a big problem in the arts, in general, and there may be some Joannas and Jason Molinas we never hear from because they are not given the opportunities that others have. I just think that in this particular case, the conversation around Joanna is often very gendered. There are cadres of male musicians who came from wealth who are not criticized for it in the same way, if it is even brought up at all. So I wonder if the attack on her financial background genuinely comes from some demand for authenticity or if it's just an easy way to take a woman artist down a few pegs.

    I know next to nothing about Jason Molina, but I read an article about him just now. What a terribly sad story.

    ETA: There is an article I read where Joanna talked about worrying about being broke when she first started out because she was used to having a house and nice things...she was really honest about it...and I can't find it!

  13. #13
    sing to the moon dAmION's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    Joanna Newsom is definitely a great artist and I love every single one of her albums dearly. However, aesthetic evaluation is not the end all be all of fandom, and years later Divers strikes me as just half-good. Her narrative includes no conflict, though she may have struggled in the mansion by the glare of Platinum e-Bay and thesaurus.com at 4 a.m. to find the correctly rhyming word with her chosen diphthong and F chord. Because of the freak-folk trend, she was indeed a pre-packaged "weirdo" from the beginning (LOLharp, Lisa Simpson voice, etc.) and we LOVED HER FOR IT, but anyone with Google knows that Joanna Newsom was never actually weird. All we know is that she's always been a genius superior human forever.
    But have you listened to The Milk-Eyed Mender? I think that album is weirdness at a high-level. A vocal that sounds like it's combining autism and folk? Weird allusions and metaphors to fruit among other subjects. Just because she wasn't wearing burlap-sack dresses on stage doesn't mean she wasn't channeling something very alternative when she was writing and recording those songs. Even her interviews these days have a touch of the odd.

  14. #14
    Senior Member grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Ime - are you saying Joanna Newsom is pretentious?

    I don't see that at all.

  15. #15
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    As if the American government would have the foresight or imagination to nurture an artist like Joanna Newsom, for torture or otherwise.

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