Saturday, April 21, 2007

All Tomorrow's Parties - Dirty Three Preview #2 - Joanna Newsom & A Silver Mt. Zion

Hello! So it's getting closer all the time. Some people have started to receive their tickets and the stage times just got announced! Time for two more previews methinks...

Joanna Newsom needs very little introduction. After slowly enchanting what seems like a vast multitude of fans with her debut The Milk-Eyed Mender waaay back in 2004, Newsom's blend of incredibly idiosyncratic singing and harp playing is really unlike anything thats come along for a long time, and it's no wonder that last year's Ys was received with the mass adulation that it really did deserve. She's one of those artists who really make you feel very lucky to be a music fan right now. Of course her sound doesn't come from nowhere; you can sometimes catch hints of different influences here and there; some obvious and others not so obvious sources. I would say that Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan and probably Kate Bush would be major sources of inspiration, but there's also something very indefinable about her that makes every song just that little bit more special than anything by her contemporaries. As most people out there who are fans are probably over-familiar with everything from Newsom's two LPs, I thought i'd put up a few of the early songs that have yet to be re-issued and are kind of hard to find. All three are taken from her 2002 self-released debut EP Walnut Whales.

Joanna Newsom - Erin
Joanna Newsom - Flying A Kite
Joanna Newsom - The Fray

A Silver Mt. Zion are probably the best known of the projects that have come out of the semi-retirement of Godspeed You Black Emperor, of whom Zion man Efrim Menuck was a founding member. It was started by him and a group of other musicians in order to create music that may not have fit well into the Godspeed sound, and since their debut release in 2000 they have released four albums and one EP under various slightly different names. Their music probably most differs from Godspeed's due to the inclusion of a lot more vocals, which seem to give us fans a little more of an insight into Menuck's mind than we could previously interpret from Godspeed's usually wilfully obscure sleevenotes. My favourite album by Zion is probably still their debut, 2000's He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms..., of which the song below is one of the highlights.

A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Angels Standing Guard 'Round the Side of Your Bed


Blogger alex said...

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...

5:39 am, April 22, 2007  
Blogger jamie said...

In 1994 Joanna Newsom was eleven.

6:24 am, April 22, 2007  
Blogger John said...

Wow, that song by A Silver Mt. Zion is quite beautiful. Thanks for that.

10:27 am, April 22, 2007  

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