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The names of the stars: Joanna Newsom

Music and poetry have uttered their first cry into this world together, have shared the same crib, sucked from the same bosom and lived in a marriage of true minds for centuries. At least, that’s what we’re told. One grows up and starts thinking that these are truisms implanted into us from a generation of nostalgic losers. That music has always been accompanied by stock lyrics designed to catch the listener’s ear – the more generic the better. That amid the lines of the lyrics of Neapolitan popular music and the best of pop/rock songs you find just the same commonplace, misogynistic junk about loneliness and being left behind. And yet, for Christ’s sake, at times you get such a punch to the gut when the miracle happens.

For me it was Emily by Joanna Newsom. Time stopped. Who the hell is this Mother Goose voice, blurting out about personal kingdoms and river stones and the order of stars and the surface of the water and meteors and door keys? I found myself in an epiphany, wishing to shake off all the kilograms of skin I carry and stand with all my nerves exposed to the air, in the middle of all my past and my present and my future, part of a large net made up of all those who are related to me, and to whom I’m related. Suddenly all the closeness and the distance were straight before me. And so was absence. And gratitude. A bittersweet dream. It must be the fucking strings – I swallow the bait every time.

Really remarkable.

Let us go! Though we know it’s a hopeless endeavor
The ties that bind, they are barbed and spined and hold us close forever
Though there is nothing would help me come to grips with a sky that is gaping and yawning
There is a song I woke with on my lips as you sailed your great ship towards the morning

joanna newsom @circolo degli artisti - rome 23/9/2007
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by hey, stupido gatto!

3 comments on “The names of the stars: Joanna Newsom

  1. grazie : ) joanna è la mia musicista preferita e fa sempre piacere scoprire nuovi estimatori!

  2. grazie a te, io purtroppo l’ho scoperta esattamente un anno fa, e non ho fatto in tempo per il concerto. ahimè!

  3. il tuo commento sul mio post (http://www.quellochesento.it/2007/02/le-onde-anomale-e-il-mare-calmo/) mi ha fatto ascoltare di nuovo il pezzo dopo quasi 3 anni. Ho avuto le stesse sensazioni di quando l’ho scritto e mi fa piacere leggere qui le tue. Questo vuol dire che è musica senza tempo (cosa rara oggi).

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