Tuesday, December 19, 2006

music: pick jaw off floor at Joanna Newsom concert

So after listening to Ys all day we went to the concert. She was jaw-droppingly good, concert of the decade for me (not that we see many concerts). I've never ever seen an artist throw herself into a performance so completely. Just like the New Yorker review said, "Without seeing Newsom’s hands and feet, it is difficult to understand how hard she must work to pluck the strings and press the pedals while reciting by heart a small book’s worth of verse. I haven’t seen a performance of such sustained intensity all year."

She performed some solo songs off "Milk-Eyed Mender", and all of "Ys" but with a weird band (accordion, tambura, saw, glockenspiel, banjo, ...) rather than orchestra. The shrieks and cracks in her recorded vocals are obviously intentional because they were largely absent live. Watching her pour everything into her singing and playing was transporting. The reorchestrations for her band were great, the harp and strings sound from the record spread around the musicians like quadrophonics.

Joanna, please please please please please please release a concert DVD!
"And I miss your precious heart" (Cosmia)

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