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Author Topic: Joanna Newsom  (Read 26984 times)

BillAdama

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #50 on: 05 May 2007, 14:01 »

A lot of people in this thread are attacking the album because the lyrics don't always totally make sense.

My input on that:  So?

If you judge a song based on how much sense the lyrics make, 75% of the good music in history is total crap.  The rambling stream of consciousness style of the delivery is a large part of what sets the album apart.  For me it's not the content of the lyrics that make them work so much as the phonetic sound of them, and the way they build up in flourishes and play against the harp.

All the people who hate the album based on the lyrics must also really hate Destroyer.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #51 on: 06 May 2007, 01:23 »

I just downloaded some of her songs. Listening to them now:

It's true, the voice might take some getting used to, but once that you notice how it melds with the melody, you really start to appreciate it. Take "Swansea" (my favorite song of hers right now) for example. There are several instances in which i like to think the lyrics of this song are senseless rambling instead of actual words, and surprisingly, it enhances the experience. This will sound really weird but in some ways, specially when pushing her voice to annoying pitches, she reminds somewhat of scat singing. That part of Lagunitas, Ho Calico and all those names almost made me dismiss the song as unlistenable. Now it is my favorite part, and i have found myself rewinding the song just to hear that biit as much as possible (not good i know).

I think discussing whether she has lyrical prowess or not (which she does) is rather trivial when you notice how her voice is also another instrument in the composition.
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Jedit

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #52 on: 09 May 2007, 04:06 »

"Eccentric".  "Idiosyncratic".  "Takes some getting used to".  "Refreshingly unique".  "Not accessible to a lot of people".  That's the thesaurus entry for "Emperor's New Clothes", isn't it?  All we're missing is "an acquired taste" to have a royal flush in Pseuds.

If you want to listen to her, knock yourself out - it's a free country, at least for now.  But dance around it as you will, we are talking here about a woman whose voice causes physical pain to the trained ear and whose lyrics are bad fifth form poetry (tenth grade to you USanians).  She's not good.  She's not even mediocre.  She's actively bad.

No doubt Ys will be "enshrined as one of the albums of our generation", though - right alongside Backstreet's Back and The Slim Shady EP.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #53 on: 09 May 2007, 04:10 »

So . . . basically you're telling me and those like me that our opinion is wrong?
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Spinless

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #54 on: 09 May 2007, 06:38 »

stuffed he typed before his brain knew what he was doing

I'm sorry sir
I'm rather late in my response, but I guess that's okay as I've had a week of downtime.
Now, that is out of the way, I have listened to Joanna Newsom, she is not for me.
I don't think she's for you either. Apparently Joanna Newsom is for people who take the time to appreciate things, thoughtful and considerate people. What I've seen of you suggest that you have none of these traits.

Even if Dragonforce and Emo is shit (I wouldn't know because I don't listen to either) I would not dismiss everybody who listens to them as being "retarded". It's pretty clear that not everybody who listens to Joanna Newsom is very intelligent or pleasant either.

Pretty much everybody except you (and me) has made an effort to be pleasant in this thread and chosen not to insult people. I'd love to hear your thoughts on music, I'd love to debate and argue with your, unfortunately, as soon as you say that half of the people on this board are "retarded" you're going to lose credibility pretty quick and your opinion won't be worth a damn. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't call everybody that doesn't listen to the same music as you retarded.
Perhaps you meant to direct the insult at me? If you had, I probably wouldn't have bothered to respond to you with more than a sentence, but you seem to have lost the point of your own post and I feel quite sorry for you. I feel like I have to respond like this so you don't make a mistake like that again.
The people of this forum are NICE people. You don't seem like a nice person. I'm worried that if you don't make an effort to be then you won't fit in and a lot of people will dislike you.

I'm sure not all of the music you listen to is like Joanna Newsom. I'm sure that you like 4 minute pop songs with guitar solos too.
I don't find Joanna Newsom all that special. And I explained why. I did so without insulting a single person. I remained (for the most part) polite to all these people that don't share my opinion. Maybe for once, somebody could learn something from me? That would be a very welcome change.

Now, Jedit. You're smarter than that and you know it. Think a little harder next time. If you are indeed trying to say that Inlander and those like him are wrong, then you haven't thought hard enough about what you want to say.
I think what you meant to say was 'I don't like Joanna Newsom because I think a kid could write her lyrics and her voice is irritating, I doubt her album is going to be remembered as one of the best of our generation'.

PS: Ekmesnz, my music collection would put yours to shame, and not because it's particularly big.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2007, 06:41 by Spinless »
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #55 on: 09 May 2007, 10:57 »

How about everybody stfu, and agree to disagree?

I like her, you don't. Whoopdedo. I think she's great, you think she is terrible. Ok, whatever, it doesn't matter. We have different opinions, and that ok.


It's like the never ending "this is art, this isn't" debate.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #56 on: 09 May 2007, 11:10 »

^as much as I have had my previous notion that art or works of art can contain inherent, objective quality questioned to within an inch of its life, I still doggedly maintain the assertion that criticism can be good or bad. I will hold forth (civilly) on this matter as I see fit.

Quote
a woman whose voice causes physical pain to the trained ear and whose lyrics are bad fifth form poetry

I'm interested in your use of the phrase "trained ear." Trained in what, may I ask? If you're referring to one trained in vocal performance, at least in the widely accepted choral/operatic/classical mode, I can kind of see your point. I've heard a few trained vocalists cringe at a Broadway tune, because the vocal stylings are based on a very different set of criteria. Similarly, if by "trained" you mean well-versed in the musical conventions of our day, let me offer this analogy: in May of 1913, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was premiered in Paris. A riot ensued. Think, too, how Beethoven was received as he began to introduce Romanticism to the Classical crowd.

These are the first examples that come to my head - I'm sure there are comparable examples (though perhaps fewer riots) in the history of popular and rock music.

Also, you may just be using the word "trained" to sound like a smartass. The tone of the rest of your post does not discredit this interpretation.

My point is that, at the end of the day, the voice - anyone's and everyone's - is just an instrument (as has been noted above). That someone's vocalizing differs from the commonly accepted model is insufficient grounds for good criticism of their art. Time has shown us this. In fact, many artists whose work was felt to be uncomfortably different by their contemporaries are in fact considered to be pillars of their musical generation.

As for the repeated assertion to the stunning quality of today's fifth form, 10th grade poetry, I just can't see it. Believe me, I was there, involved with my school literary magazine, just a few years ago.

[edit: demmit, couldn't find any documentation that Cage wrote pieces which called for the destruction/damaging of the instruments involved...could just be something I heard, hard not to believe it though ;) ]
« Last Edit: 09 May 2007, 11:35 by jimbunny »
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Spinless

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #57 on: 09 May 2007, 12:53 »

Emaline, it's okay for us to disagree, that's what creates discussion. A thread where everybody was saying how great JN is would be boring.
The only time it is not okay to disagree on the forums is when you act hostile to the people you disagree with.
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Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #58 on: 09 May 2007, 13:43 »

i am ninety percent sure that is the first time "stfu" was ever typed on this forum
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #59 on: 09 May 2007, 16:25 »

I don't know if I should be sad or glad about the "stfu" thing. I tend to only say it in a joking manner.


And Spinless, I know. I like the whole agree-disagree thing, but when it gets to the point where people are arguing, it gets annoying. Or when someone is trying to force someone to change their opinion, after several failed attempts.


ETA: I hope no one has taken any offense to anything I've said.
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jeph

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #60 on: 09 May 2007, 17:16 »

I keep getting distracted by Johnny C's avatar because it is funny.

GUYS IT IS MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION THAT JOHNNY C'S AVATAR IS BETTER THAN JOANNA NEWSOM *AND* DRAGONFORCE
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SensoryOssuary

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #61 on: 09 May 2007, 18:52 »

joanne newsom is hott
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Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #62 on: 09 May 2007, 20:41 »

JOHNNY C'S AVATAR IS BETTER THAN DRAGONFORCE

jeph

let's not say anything we can't take back jeph
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SeanBateman

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #63 on: 09 May 2007, 20:46 »

she's got booooootay!
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #64 on: 10 May 2007, 06:51 »

I'm interested in your use of the phrase "trained ear." Trained in what, may I ask?

I'm quoting my mother, who took honours in Music specialising in vocal performance and mediaeval instruments and used to sing semi-professionally herself in the 70s.  I've also run Newsom's "singing" past several other pro and semi-pro musos of my acquaintance, and while the reaction was not always as extreme the hatred was universal.

Your arguments regarding the riots following the debut of The Rite of Spring and the initial reception of Romanticism are both facile and spurious.  Stravinsky and Beethoven - and, for that matter, the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis - evoked extreme reactions from the public because what they were doing was radically different to what came before.  Nobody properly understood it, and some of it they found outrageous.  Newsom is not doing anything new or different; she's just Bjork with pretensions.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #65 on: 10 May 2007, 11:27 »

The point is that you're assuming that for Newsom to be a good singer, she has to measure up to a standard of professionalism mandated by an institution of which she isn't necessarily a part. There are many of us for whom that doesn't correlate with being an interesting musician. That's why the musical professionals whom you're citing aren't such convincing authorities in this matter. They've been trained to value certain qualities above others, whereas those of us who don't necessarily care about the technical aspects of music are more inclined to value the kind of passion and personal expression that we hear in artists like Newsom. And I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a place for vocal performances that are grounded in theory, but I for one will choose the Shaggs or Damo Suzuki every single time. ;)

And speaking of facile comparisons, citing Bjork in relation to Joanna Newsom is incredibly lazy. The two are extremely different.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #66 on: 10 May 2007, 12:27 »

Quote
she's just Bjork with pretensions.

What an incredibly easy thing to say. Then again, I'm biased, being a fan of both. I'd ask you to substantiate this claim.

As to my examples...isn't the reaction we're seeing to Newsom's music (of which this thread is a nice microcosm) much like the reaction to The Rite of Spring? The riot wasn't of the entire audience storming the streets of Paris because they all thought the ballet was terrible; they disagreed among themselves (hotly) about its quality. Some of them probably would have claimed that the rough and intensely rhythmic nature of the piece was physically painful and not at all proper to a ballet (or even proper to music). The only reason fistfights aren't breaking here out is because it's over the Internet! (bit of an exaggeration, but still)
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #67 on: 10 May 2007, 13:10 »

First, I'm wondering how Bjork isn't pretentious if Newsom is. I'd say Bjork is more pretentious. For example, she wore a fucking swan around her neck to some awards ceremony a few years back. A swan. And just watch 'Dancer in the Dark' or 'Drawing Restrain 9.' Believe me, she's pretentious.
Also, some of Newsom's lyrics, like the lyrics of many many artists, might not make complete sense to everyone. Music is often very personal and just like poetry the artist may be conveying an idea that isn't accesible or understandable to most people, or anyone besides the artist in some cases. This is not a bad thing. That's what makes art so wonderful. It can be very accesible but it doesn't have to be in order to be unique and excellent. Some of Newsom's lyrics do "make sense " and many are much more ambiguous and possibly meaningless to you or someone else. But surely to Newsom they hold meaning. Just as one wouldn't criticize a modern art piece for not resembling something tangible in the real world, one shouldn't criticize a writer, either or prose, poetry, or lyrics, simply because one cannot easily ascertain what it is that writer is trying to say. That's my two cents anyway.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #68 on: 10 May 2007, 14:34 »

Guys didn't you get the memo

this thread is now about Dragonforce and Johnny C's avatar

not Bjork and Warblegrammoth
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #69 on: 10 May 2007, 15:27 »

what a fucking awesome avatar

let's all meet up with this johnny c character, i bet he's a tiger in the sack
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #70 on: 10 May 2007, 15:46 »

Why the fuck are we arguing about Joanna Newsom?? You like her, you don't, that's fine. But don't tell each other that the other's opinion is wrong. How many times do we have to go over this?? Opinions are subjective, are like assholes, and we're all born with them because we're subjective assholes.

For what it's worth, I love Joanna Newsom, but as the Silver Jews line goes "all my favorite singers couldn't sing." Didn't it occur to anyone that people might enjoy a girl who sounds like a tone deaf elf?? I mean shit, people like other terrible singers, why is this so different??
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #71 on: 10 May 2007, 20:03 »

It doesn't take a genius to see that opinions are subjective, but that kind of freshman relativism shouldn't dissuade us from arguing about art as we like.
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Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #72 on: 10 May 2007, 20:21 »

I could have been a famous singer,
If I'd had someone else's voice.
But failure's always sounded better,
Let's fuck it up boys. Make some noise!
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jeph

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #73 on: 10 May 2007, 20:35 »

Comparing Bjork and Joanna Newsom is like comparing a weird, artsy apple to a weird, artsy orange.
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Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #74 on: 10 May 2007, 22:20 »

fruit is too pedestrian for those two
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Joseph

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #75 on: 10 May 2007, 23:33 »

Even if it's silly fruits like figs and pomegranites?
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #76 on: 11 May 2007, 02:30 »




What the hell kind of fruit is that?
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Spinless

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #77 on: 11 May 2007, 06:00 »

That's no fruit, it's a pokemon.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #78 on: 11 May 2007, 07:36 »

Just in case anyone actually wants to know, the second one's dragon fruit.  It's surprisingly un-exciting to eat.  I've eaten the other one too, but forget what it's called.  Jack fruit?  Is that something else?  *shrug*
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #79 on: 11 May 2007, 07:59 »

Star fruit would you believe. They're actually not bad, but not so good that you see them as more than a bit of a decoration very often. The dragonfruit is possibly the blandest fruit in the world. You eat it and the only reason you know you're eating it is because you're chewing a little. Not too much though, the pulp is pretty much a paste iirc.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #80 on: 11 May 2007, 09:10 »

You kids wanna get into Lychees. They look cool and they taste all right.
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Spinless

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #81 on: 11 May 2007, 09:18 »

Yeah, but will it evolve into Rosalia, Cradilly or Cherubi?

edit: My research says that it will turn into Carnivine.
« Last Edit: 11 May 2007, 09:39 by Spinless »
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jimbunny

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #82 on: 11 May 2007, 11:24 »

You kids wanna get into Lychees. They look cool and they taste all right.

Indeed.
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Johnny C

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #83 on: 11 May 2007, 11:37 »

for those of you who hate joanna newsom you can pretend she is represented by this fruit:

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #84 on: 11 May 2007, 13:12 »

Is that that really smelly fruit?

I love star fruit, by the way. It's awesome, and kinda sour, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #85 on: 11 May 2007, 13:28 »

Yeah, the insides of that fruit smell like shit, puke and dead things. Plus that outside is as dangerous as you'd think.

Seriously it's like God is telling you "DON'T EAT THIS FRUIT."
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Spinless

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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #86 on: 11 May 2007, 15:11 »

I bet good things would happen if we did. Remember the first time we tested him?
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #87 on: 11 May 2007, 16:09 »

When I was on holiday in Cambodia ("It's tough kid, but it's life") once ther was a funny notice in my hotel room that said "do not eat or even bring durian into your room".  Durian being that smelly fruit.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #88 on: 11 May 2007, 18:25 »

I thought is tasted like amazing though, and that's why it's way expensive.



I could never eat it though. I couldn't get past the smell.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #89 on: 11 May 2007, 19:03 »

Given that the vast majority of flavour is actually derived from your sense of smell, I'm gonna give it a miss.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #90 on: 12 May 2007, 01:46 »

sorry to be all ignoring the fruit here, but...

I saw Angus & Julia Stone in Brisbane when I was there, and i was surprised, cos so much of the show was Julia singing her own stuff in this ANNOYING joanna newsom type voice, which i'm pretty sure was a complete affectation...

if that's how her voice just sounds whens she opens her mouth then i'm fine with it. but if she's DELIBERATELY singing that way, then i'm not following her logic.

that said, this tourist ad that's on tv at the moment to try to make everyone visit melbourne has a joanna newsome song throughout it which really fits very well.
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Re: Joanna Newsom
« Reply #91 on: 14 May 2007, 16:07 »

I'd marry Joanna Newson and devote my entire life to her. Or Tori Amos. Both ideally.

But I digress. I like Oranges - man are THOSE weird fruit!

.me.
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