Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Joanna Newsom Sounds Like Specific Cartoon Characters

Like many of you, I am a big Joanna Newsom fan. One of my great regrets was missing her show at BAM when I visited New York a few months back. (Had tickets but a death in the family forced me to skip the show.) But anyway, I often recommend her to friends regardless of their taste in music. When I do this, I usually have to offer the caveat: "She kind of sounds like Lisa Simpson when she sings." And this is generally true, as heard on "Sadie," the highlight from her first album The Milk-Eyed Mender.



But today I was listening to The Milk-Eyed Mender in my car (I've quickly learned that is is the medium by which music is heard in Los Angeles-- a car stereo), and I came to an important realization. (I hope you're sitting down as you read this.) On certain tracks, Joanna Newsom sounds much more like Butters from South Park. Check out "Inflammatory Writ."



I will of course be publishing these findings in a major academic journal this fall, but I wanted to give you all a sneak preview since my discovery is likely to send shock waves through the industry. At the very least, it will rival my 1994 treatise on the manifold similarities between the voices of J Mascis and Elmer Fudd.

7 comments:

Eric said...

Yeah, I dunno. Call me closeminded or whatever, but I cannot get over the fucking voice. How old is she???

drischord said...

I think she's in her 20's. She's dating Bill Callahan aka Smog. (You don't need me to tell you that. It was all over Pitchfork a few months back.) Love his music too.

William said...

She is in her mid-20's, and the last I heard was that she has been spending a lot of time with Andy Samberg from SNL. I could post links, but a few minutes of googling for yourself should verify what I've said. By the way, she sounds wonderful to me.

dr. kittybrains said...

Another random reader! Yipes! Someone has a Newsom 'Google Alert'...

William said...

Exactly!

Eric said...

Ha. Just to be clear for everyone, including, our readers, my "how old is she" question was what we call "rhetorical." I can use wikipedia, don't worry.

And I'm not saying she's objectively bad-- it's just personal taste. Everyone else thinks she's a genius, and I'm sure she is. I just can't get into it because of the voice.

William said...

eric, I don't have a problem with anyone not liking Joanna's voice. After all, it is decidedly different. In fact, I would be surprised if everyone liked it, considering that I can recognize the qualities there that are likely to irritate many people. I just happen to be one of the few who fell in love with her voice instantly, and that was during my first listen over three years ago. It was the strangeness that first caught my attention. So, I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not you are being close-minded, or feel like you have to explain.