(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
This has been a busy week, dear readers. Lots of phone interviews, dinner parties, and soundtrack-slinging at Ye Olde Amoeba Music Hollywood.

I was gabbing with Peaches about her new album last Wednesday. It’s called I Feel Cream (release date in the U.S. is May 5) and it’s a blast! Definitely a departure from its predecessors, in that it’s more diverse in sound and moods. Peaches sings a lot more. There are moments where it sounds like the lovechild of modern R&B and older tracks by darlings of the Industrial genre, Front 242.

Anyway, I asked her about musical influences that might surprise people (it’s already well documented that she loves hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll). This led to her gushing about Joni Mitchell, and this performance in particular, which rocked her world:

That voice! A miracle. I just can’t get enough of it…

She really is one of my favorite things in the world of music, and while not everyone shares my passion for her sound, anyone who appreciates songwriting as a craft must acknowledge that, as a writer of music and lyrics, she remains one of the greatest artists of modern pop music. She’s credited with inventing about 50 different guitar tunings, and the list of musicians who cite her as an influence – Peaches included – reads like a Who’s Who of music.

Her own feelings about the music industry may not be so generous, though they seem to be justified. When asked in a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone: So how do you feel when some people say the whole [music] business is going down the crapper?

Joni Mitchell: I hope it all goes down the crapper. It's top-heavy, it's wasteful. It's an insane business. Now, this is all calculated music. It's calculated for sales, it's sonically calculated, it's rudely calculated. I'm ashamed to be a part of the music business. You know, I just think it's a cesspool.

…Gee whiz, Joni – tell us how you really feel.

I joke, but I only admire her for her frankness. I love her work so much that I’ve not wanted to blog about it. I have this issue with certain artists; I respect them so much that the idea of conveying their brilliance intimidates me. (Notice I’ve never blogged about Jim Nabors?) But Peaches’ excitement over Mitchell was so sincere, so surprising, and, for me, so relatable, that I had to take a moment to at least say, for the record, how totally gay I am for Joni Mitchell.

So there.

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