The Rich Girls Are Weeping

31 August 2006

Free association with Joanna Newsom's Ys. So yes, we managed to grab the Pitchfork-oriented leak, along with the rest of the blogosphere. If you're looking for a sample, check out inkiostro, or grab "Emily" from yousendit before someone catches on (sorry!). Yes, it's gorgeous and lovely and the kind of thing I know I'll still be listening to 20 or 30 years from now. Then again, I've been a fan of hers for ages (remind me to tell you about 4th of July 2004 sometime), I've never particulary found her music to be overly fruity and lame, as many of my friends do -- I think it's kind of neat, actually. I was thrilled when I heard that Ys would have contributions from the venerable Van Dyke Parks, Smog-er and new Austinite Bill Callahan, and Jim O'Rourke; I was a little more wary of Steve Albini's involvment, but that seems to have turned out okay as well.

Anyway, we won't say what this makes us think about the P-fork's (lack of professionalism in) maintaining a "sprawling illegal download hub" since most of us seem to get everything illegally anyway -- it mostly just made me annoyed that no one's cracked the copy protection on that Hold Steady record yet. Oooh, was that out loud? Anyway...

The cover: Yes, okay, I admit it: In junior high, I was a total Anne McCaffrey (the fantasy author who wrote all those books about dragons on a planet called Pern, in case you uh, don't know...) nut. Look, I was that weird girl that read in the library every day -- like this is some big shocker. Anyway, the cover of Ys reminds me of the work of Robin Wood, a fantasy artist who did a whole book of portraits called The People of Pern as well as a pretty neat (not Pern related) tarot deck, which is the one I used when I read cards at a crystal shop my senior year of high school after I flunked out of calculus and had a free period in the afternoons (no, really!). This is getting completely irrelevant, but anyway -- once upon a time, before I got even stranger and started reading Bret Easton Ellis and listening to Husker Du and Nine Inch Nails constantly, that book was totally my most prized possession. I think I hung on to it years after I'd lost interest in fantasy "literature" and finally sold it on eBay during a spate of college poverty. It was probably for the best. I may still have that tarot deck though. Needless to say, I am not among the people who are mocking this cover; it makes me totally nostalgic and I kind of wish Joanna'd been around to listen to when I was 16 and totally weird and contrary.

Joanna Newsom -- The Book of Right-On

Van Dyke Parks' string arrangments: What can I say, I adore his work (though the stuff he did with Matthew Sweet a few years back was a bit cringeworthy), and he's a perfect compliment for Joanna's sweeping vision. The songs are fleshed-out, but not overblown. Yet more totally nerdy stuff: I'm really enamored with VDP's live CD from the late 90's, Moonlighting. The most applicable track I have, though, is his contribution to the soundtrack of Robert Altman's The Company; this scored the totally weird modern ballet that's the albatross of the film, Canadian choreographer Robert Desrosiers' The Blue Snake. Oddly enough, there already was a score for The Blue Snake, by John Lang and Ahmed Hassan. Goodness only knows why it wasn't used in the film. Perhaps VDP's was more cinematic.

Van Dyke Parks -- Blue Snake and Zebras


Blogger catdirt said...

aw yeah dragon riders of pern shout out! get that thread! bad thread! baby dragons! pern.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 3:41:00 PM  
Blogger Serenaded Hourly said...

This is one of my favorite posts that you've done. Not just because it's about J. Newsom, either. But, the artwork dorkery, the linkage, the thought-process. I love it.

Also, is it just me, or is she decidedly sounding like a cross between Polly Jean and Coco Rosie? Oh, and Kristin Hersh.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 4:39:00 PM  
Blogger chacal la chaise said...

a very good post indeed and she says she doesn't remember much. ha! she does, she does. she caught herself in the act as this post proves. "you been goofin' wid the beez?"

say babe, speaking of tarot, crystal shops, and high skool...whatever happened to that pomo tarot deck?

Thursday, August 31, 2006 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger Fetal Pig said...

Any chance of an updated link- pretty please!???

Thursday, August 31, 2006 8:26:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Sorry everyone who missed out -- I didn't post that track to YouSendIt, I just hijacked someone else's link, which I found through the cunning use of a little thing called Google. I'm sure someone will post another track again, keep on your toes!

Friday, September 01, 2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Squashed said...

Am I the only one thinking 'Emilys' thospretty is a bit rambling?

Friday, September 01, 2006 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger J Frank Parnell said...

My fave VDP story, although I tangle it by using my own memory, might be Mike Love of the Beach Boys complaining to Brian Wilson that the music he was newly making with VDP was a bit "fruity." Maybe he used a worse word, can't recall.

But I love what VDP does with the score to the cartoons series of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Man it is a fantastic cover. It reminds me of late sixties and early seventies British renaissance inspired folk-rock like Incredible String Band, Pentangle and Fairport Convention.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 7:03:00 PM  

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