Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Joanna Newsome's The Milk Eyed Mender just keeps blowing me away. There are points, like with any great record, of just listening and being astonished. I think a feeling of astonishment, almost being overwhelmed is important. And I don't mean technical or special effects or that type of thing. The Raincoats for instance, are astonishing. Just listening to them make music together on their first record, is astonishing. But yeah about Joanna Newsome's music, there's just something about the synthesis of the voice, the instrument and the words, that feels so new, so rare. But there's a natural openness. She has an emotional dexterity within the music. Like say, Monk, the music is very complex and very moving at the same time. There's music in the whole body. Ecstatic. It doesn't have to be a mystical or a religious fervor, just a human making sound matter in the air. And contact. Basic intimacy, as in 'I to you and you to me' (Frank O'Hara). Joanna Newsome's music is enigmatic at the same time tho, I grant you. Meaning simply she doesn't hold your hold. But this gives you more to key into every listen. And you can also passively listen. Its just a wonderful sound to have in the air of one's immediate environment. And everything's in the air. When you make a sound you put it into the air. Joanna Newsome puts her perception, her experience of being alive and knowing others are alive into the air, like in any art.