Amoeblog

(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
fruit
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.

peaches i feel cream

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.

Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 02:23pm | Post a Comment
joni mitchell
Though a heck of a lot of people got to witness the monster festival that was 1969's Woodstock, a notable exception was Joni Mitchell.

Famously, her agent thought it wojoni mitchelluld be a better idea for her to keep her scheduled appearance on the Dick Cavett Show, and so Joni barely missed one of the most celebrated and fabled musical festivals of all time. Upset about not being able to attend, she quickly wrote the eloquent and apt song "Woodstock" based on what others had said about the festival, capturing a moment at least as well as any musician who was actually there.

Growing up in a Crosby Stills Nash Young-heavy household, we never ever listened to Joni Mitchell's version of her own song "Woodstock" at all. I didn't even know she had written it when I was young. Finally, in college I started listening to her music and found her version to be much more haunting and moving than the comparatively light and sunny (and kinda wanky) CSNY version. 

Here she is playing the song at a festival in Big Sur in 1969, just one month after Woodstock. I believe this is the first public performance of "Woodstock" ever. As she says, "Well everybody has heard about Woodstock and maybe a lot of you were there," you can hear the utter regret in her voice. It's a gorgeous performance.


Here's the CSNY version, in case your memory needs recharging:

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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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