Amoeblog

Songs Are Like Tattoos: Blue by Joni Mitchell

Posted by Miss Ess, December 26, 2008 06:15pm | Post a Comment
joni mitchell
Speaking of Wintertime, another album that always calls to me when the skies turn grey and the temperature drops is Joni Mitchell's Blue -- maybe because the song "River" is the best Christmas-themed song ever, maybe because the chill in the air always makes me feel more introspective, maybe because it's one of the best albums through and through...I inevitably put it on the turntable as the holidays approach.

Each song is a confession, a poem, a truth. Although I love the whole record, side two is really where my heart lies, starting with "California" and running through "Last Time I Saw Richard." All in all, the tracks capture the whole heady feeling of falling in love-- the anticipation and longing, the obsessive and insatiable qualities of it all. "River" is a break from that falling, looking back on ajoni mitchell david crosby relationship failure with loss and regret. After jumping right back into love with "A Case of You," side two then winds down with "Last Time I Saw Richard," a song about the bitterness of one who has found and lost love and understands its mechanics, countered by the unstoppable dreamy hope of a romantic still searching. Even though this album is celebrated by music fans world-wide and has been for decades, I somehow always feel like it was written just for me every time I put it on. That's how the best albums always feel, I think.

Even though the December sky has turned grey, I can still see touches of blue out there.

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TVLP

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 4, 2008 09:20am | Post a Comment
Bobby Sherman Getting Together lp coverRay Conniff Tv Themes LP coverone to one forward your emotions lp coverJoni Mitchell Wild Thing's Run Fast LP cover
John Stewart Punch the Big Guy LP coverTony Randall and Jack Klugman the Odd Couple Sings LP coverSelecter Celebrate the Bullet LP coverJohn Stewart Punch the Big Guy LP back cover
Kelly Osbourne One Word Lp coverMeet Robert Clary Lp coverSuburbs lp covermara akate cover
Glen Campbell it's the world gone crazy lp coverVideo All Stars TV Jazz themes lp coverWho Hooligans LP coverGeorge Harrison Brainwashed Lp cover
Ian Matthews Spot Of Interference lp coverLegendary Stardust Cowboy LP coverRush Power Windows LabelJ Geils Band Flashback LP cover

The Circle Game

Posted by Miss Ess, September 18, 2008 06:31pm | Post a Comment
I love it when musicians write something new in response to another artist's song. One great artist inspiring another is what makes the world go round, in a way, and it's fun to find examples of artists reacting to one another's work.

One of the more famous examples of this is "Sweet Home Alabama," Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1974 response to Neil Young's earlier songs slamming stereotypical Southern racism, "Southern Man" and "Alabama." Neil apparently loved it when he heard his name in the track, as the bands were friendly:

"Well I heard Mr Young sing about it
Well I heard old Neil put her down
Well I hope Neil Young will remember
Southern Man don't need him around anyhow..."

 
 

Apparently Neil Young is extremely inspiring, because the other song that springs to mind as being written in response to a great song is Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," which she wrote for Neil after hearing his "Sugar Mountain." Both songs are about growing older and youth slipping by. The two songwriters met back in 1964, the same year 19 year old Neil wrote "Sugar Mountain," which contains the line "You can't be 20/on Sugar Mountain." Joni's response in "The Circle Game": "So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty/ Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true/There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty/Before the last revolving year is through."

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Little Earthquakes

Posted by Miss Ess, September 18, 2008 02:05pm | Post a Comment
It's crazy what a little nostalgia can do sometimes:

tori amos piano

After reading the list of the Gayest Albums of All Time, according to Out Magazine, I realized I hadn't listened to Tori Amos in about 10 years, so I dragged out my old Little Earthquakes CD, ripped it onto little earthquakes tori amosmy controversial I-Pod and went out for a stroll down my street, feeling a bit blue.

Within about 2 seconds of hearing "Crucify" I was feeling giddy, taken back to another time and place, but also hearing the songs in a new light since it'd been so long. Little Earthquakes is an incredible record. Between the raw lyrics and the acoustic piano, when it came out in 1992 it was like nothblue joni mitchelling else of its time. I feel like it sliced through all the other overblown stuff out there (like Michael Jackson and Guns N Roses), utterly idiosyncratic, and then managed to float alone above it all. I don't know how I'd forgotten how delicious a record it is. Walking down the street with Tori whispering and crooning in my ear, simultaneously brutally honest and seductive, the entire timbre of my day changed. It's that kind of album.

I remember reading Tori was influenced by Joni Mitchell's Blue, and now, years later, having become a fan of that record as well, I can really see what she meant. Both Little Earthquakes and Blue are extraordinarily confessional, sincere and frank. And favorites of mine.

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The Cros: I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here...

Posted by Miss Ess, May 8, 2008 12:04pm | Post a Comment
David Crosby has a well-earned reputation for being an angelic-faced bad boy, a drug addicted ego david crosby mug shotfreak. His work throughout the 60s and early 70s was mostly within the confines of The Byrds or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. There is one record though, that to me is the standout among all the work of both of those bands, and it technically belongs to Crosby alone.
 
Crosby's first solo record, If I Could Only Remember My Name, as far as I am concerned, is one of the best albums ever created in the first place. It's an oddity for sure, and it seems miraculous that it was ever made. The album was recorded in San Francisco's Tenderloin in 1970/71. Sonically it's pure Cros-- heavy on the mystical harmonies, musically meandering all over the place-- but it also has guest appearances by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Jedavid crosby solo if i could only remember my namerry Garcia, and Jorma Kaukonen, among many others. One of the best parts about the record is laying back, letting the sound float around you and then hearing intermittent vocals from Joni and Neil washing in and out of different songs. Though this is a solo album, the feeling of the record is often one of hazy collaboration, of seamless blending toward a greater vision. Someone needs to write a book about these recording sessions, if anyone can remember them!

The title just seems so fittingly Crosby! It always kind of cracks me up. The early 70s were a particularly drug-addled period for him. I recently read that he was referring to reincarnation with the title, not general confusion...but if you listen closely to the lyrics they seem to often reference being overwhelmed by city life, distrust and paranoia. All of this is presented in gorgeous, hooky tracks, so you could easily miss some of the more heavy themes. On the positive side of the lyrics, there are tracks like the beautiful and hippy-ish "Music Is Love." Check out this awesome performance of "Traction in the Rain" by Crosby and Graham Nash. This was on the BBC before the record was even recorded.

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