February 22, 2014
Off for a few days break so I skim through CDs and pick out The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell. Could be my favourite of hers. What is it about Joni? Words, tunes, that sometime harsh sometime soothing voice, the guitar tunings, the dedication to following her notion to the bitter end – see Paprika Plains. She got under my skin at the age of 14 which is why I like her unreservedly (until Mingus that is, a bit like Scary Monsters with Bowie, an amazing run of albums then a swoop into a unfathomable chasm) and have no notion as to why others don’t. I don’t understand why Laura Marling gets compared to her; two very different planets to my ears.
Here’s a live version of Harry’s House. What intrigues me here is how she plays her guitar with such nonchalance, yet coaxes out a huge sound, and over the top sings a maudlin tricky tale with the waxen face of disinterest, as if she was doing the washing up.
Joni taught me much about being brave lyrically. Thanks Joni, now go do the dishes: