Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

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
    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!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    aimlessly Celtic
    Posts
    722
    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?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    aimlessly Celtic
    Posts
    722
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    aimlessly Celtic
    Posts
    722
    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.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    aimlessly Celtic
    Posts
    722
    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.

  7. #7
    sing to the moon dAmION's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    LA area.
    Posts
    4,646
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,210
    Ime - are you saying Joanna Newsom is pretentious?

    I don't see that at all.

  9. #9
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,815
    As if the American government would have the foresight or imagination to nurture an artist like Joanna Newsom, for torture or otherwise.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    aimlessly Celtic
    Posts
    722
    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    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.
    Yeah, I can see this now, and that was a great post. I think I was just psyched to see something new in this forum and was arguing for the sake of arguing. Don't internet while drunk.

    And I don't find Joanna Newsom "pretentious" at all. Maybe if she was making middle-of-the-road music while claiming to be reinvent the wheel (looking at you, Kanye and Billy) but she makes incredible music and seems pretty humble about it, so no. Also, her stage banter is A+.

  11. #11
    Only knows desire. Perky Compson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,767
    I admit, I tune out the instant people start critiquing female singer-songwriters for "inauthenticity" by citing their rich parents or husbands. I've seen the same conversation play out with Tori, Joanna, Aimee Mann, Lana Del Rey, Grimes, and I can't remember ever seeing it leveled at male musicians. Class is definitely a huge part of who succeeds in the creative industries, but it's frustrating to see that the only way that conversation ever seems to start (and where it always seems to end) is discrediting a woman.

    Which is to say, great post, Kari.

  12. #12
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,035
    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.
    Oh good god. How the fuck does anyone who isn't OMG WORKING CLASS create art, have opinions, principles, priorities, vote etc?

    I am so sick and fucking tired of everything having to be working-class-based in order to be perceived as authentic or worthy. Newsflash: all societies are tiered, and it's natural. We're not talking one percenters here - we're talking comfortable middle to upper middle class. People who studied, were good at what they were doing and managed to attain a good living standard through their work. You don't have to be poor to be talented. You don't have to be starving or homeless to have problems and conflicts and whatnot. Rich or poor, smart or dumb, skinny or fat, tall or short, we're all born, we eat, sleep, piss, shit, fuck, interact with the world and with others and eventually die. We all experience heartbreak and loss and grief and betrayal and hope and fear and angst and joy and panic and love and hate and not a single fucking one of those feelings and emotions and occurrences is less authentic in a middle class person than in a working class individual.

  13. #13
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,035
    You realize, I'm sure, that I'm not opposing diversity in the arts. What I am specifically referring to, as it should be pretty obvious, is the plethora of reactions outright dismissing talented artists from any field for not coming from a working class background. Or from the streets or whatever. It's like their comparatively privileged beginnings somehow nullify the quality of their work.

    I think that a lot of it, at least in Joanna's case, has to do with some sort of paradoxical anti-intellectualism. I remember discovering artists like her and, say, the Decemberists, back in the mid '00s, and I was really drawn to their geekery: lots of big words, lots of correct grammar, a highly literate approach to songwriting. That style seems to be anathema these days. Joanna always gets great reviews, but never tops major year-end album lists; that honor always goes to some rapper.

  14. #14
    fluid, affectionate, chaste, mature Mackerel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,201
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I think that a lot of it, at least in Joanna's case, has to do with some sort of paradoxical anti-intellectualism. I remember discovering artists like her and, say, the Decemberists, back in the mid '00s, and I was really drawn to their geekery: lots of big words, lots of correct grammar, a highly literate approach to songwriting. That style seems to be anathema these days. Joanna always gets great reviews, but never tops major year-end album lists; that honor always goes to some rapper.
    no inherent race/class bias in generalization that 'some rapper' assumed to be anti-literate, anti-intellectual, no big words, no complexity? /devil's advocate.

  15. #15
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,035
    Show me one single rapper who uses big words and standard grammar in the way Joanna or any comparable artist does.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •