“Do you love me? Will you remember?”
August 10, 2015 8:43 AM   Subscribe

 
This might be the most Joanna Newsom song yet. Possibly even the most Joanna Newsom it's possible for a song to be.
posted by dng at 8:51 AM on August 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I love the song! YAY NEW NEWSOM! Thank you for posting this. That video, tho, grahh. Lipsyncing and walking around? Really?
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:54 AM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wonderful. Feels somehow like a coda to Good Intentions Paving Company (which is basically my favorite song ever).
posted by threeants at 8:59 AM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


JOANNA NEWSOM
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:15 AM on August 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


As much as I loathe coverage of woman artists--especially JN--that mentions/focuses on their looks...Joanna's hair looks so great here. And I love that she has the sleepy eye-bags in the first few shots. She's mortal, and stunning.
posted by witchen at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This might be the most Joanna Newsom song yet. Possibly even the most Joanna Newsom it's possible for a song to be.

I dunno, not enough harp.
posted by dis_integration at 9:49 AM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


This might be the most Joanna Newsom song yet.
The new Newsom is the sum of the old Newsom.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:05 AM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Her lyricism is almost the antithesis of lazy.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know I’d be interested in seeing a Joanna Newsom free-style.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:15 AM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


directed by P.T. Anderson.

Weird. His movies are in focus.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:27 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This might be the most Joanna Newsom song yet. Possibly even the most Joanna Newsom it's possible for a song to be.

I dunno, not enough harp.

Plus, it's under 10 minutes long.
posted by Pistache at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Shivers down my spine.

Joanna Newsom is a desert island artist for me. Give me The Milk-Eyed Mender, Ys, and Have One On Me for my desert island and I'll get by okay.
posted by naju at 10:44 AM on August 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


where all of the twenty-thousand attending your foot fall
and the causes they died for are lost in the idling bird calls,
and the records they left are cryptic at best,
lost in obsolescence.
The text will not yield, nor x-ray reveal
with any fluorescence
where the hand of the master begins and ends.
Holy shit.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2015 [11 favorites]


I did not expect spend half an hour learning about the history of Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park when I woke up this morning. Super excited for new Newsom!
posted by Makwa at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Working through these lyrics is hugely rewarding. (Don't miss the mess of Wikipedia links at the end of the lyrics page.)

No other songwriter today is this much of a poet. No one. And her sound is all her own as well. She's incredible.
posted by painquale at 11:08 AM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


For all the allusions and dense poetry, she is really capable of tearing your heart out. Baby Birch in particular just guts me. It might be the most powerful song about abortion ever recorded.
posted by naju at 11:14 AM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks. I do miss a bit of the Milk-Eyed Mender quirk, the "meaty mitts" and swimming "sweetly like a herring." It's all so serious and portentous now.
posted by msalt at 11:34 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's an alternate article about florry walker that I found much easier to read than the one linked from the lyrics page. This song is great, I can't believe there's a new album coming so soon. Hurray hurray what great news today!
posted by wyndham at 11:36 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wonderful. Feels somehow like a coda to Good Intentions Paving Company (which is basically my favorite song ever).

In that case I'll be saving this song for a quiet special moment all by myself.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:12 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


one of my favorite Joanna Newsom things is when interviewers are like "wow, very magic, much twee, so elf" and she's all "I live in California and enjoy shopping for sunglasses and am married to a doofy mainstream comedian, fuck off"
posted by threeants at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2015 [11 favorites]


In that case I'll be saving this song for a quiet special moment all by myself.

So jealous; I wish I could hear that song a first ~50 times again!
posted by threeants at 12:24 PM on August 10, 2015


Oh, what a lovely song! She was unknown to me, and I feel like I stumbled upon a gem just now. And the lyrics are just so dense with meaning and beautifully crafted (and hard for this ESL speaker to follow...)

This is probably not an original comparison, but she reminded me of Kate Bush, who I very much enjoy, both in the vocal delivery and the demanding lyrics.
posted by Harald74 at 12:32 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


i respect the art and craft, but ...

the futility and vanity of existence, the hollowness and uselessness of fame, fortune and power and she's so damned CHIPPER about it

besides, ernest thayer had as much to say about it as shelley did
posted by pyramid termite at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2015


milk eyed mender will always be my favorite but i like this quite a bit and i'm excited for the album.
posted by nadawi at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


And now I'm convinced that this whole thing is a MeFi setup of some kind; when I look her up on Spotify, all I get is the Muppets Show Theme. Da fuq?
posted by Harald74 at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2015


Having now listened to this like 10 times, I am very very excited for the upcoming album, oh yes.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2015


She's married to Andy Samberg?? UGH, woman I wish I were!!
posted by easter queen at 12:50 PM on August 10, 2015


when I look her up on Spotify, all I get is the Muppets Show Theme. Da fuq?

Yeah, her work has never been on any streaming services, near as I can tell. It's a shame. I heartily recommend the vinyl albums, though, if you have a turntable. Ys and Have One On Me are really lavish and beautiful.
posted by naju at 12:53 PM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm currently listening to Milk-Eyed Mender full album on youtube, and based on the preview window Ys is on there too.
posted by wyndham at 12:58 PM on August 10, 2015


Thanks. I do miss a bit of the Milk-Eyed Mender quirk, the "meaty mitts" and swimming "sweetly like a herring." It's all so serious and portentous now.

I don't know, I think that's maybe a charge you could level at Ys, but less so with Have One on Me. I think she's just matured in a way where, yeah, her stylistic grounding is in the serious and the epic, but she's managed to create moments of humor and playfulness inside of that. I guess I should note, though, that my interest in The Milk-Eyed Mender is mostly academic: interesting as a waypoint in her artistic development, but I can't really imagine listening to it for its own sake (except for maybe "The Book of Right-On", I love that song).

But, man. I am so excited about this. I think she's the most virtuosic songwriter we have, and it's so cool to be around to see her work.
posted by invitapriore at 12:59 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thrilled for there to be more Joanna Newsom! The entire new album, Divers, is scheduled to be released October 23rd.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2015


I remain amazed that Steve Albini produced Ys.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:08 PM on August 10, 2015


I don't think he did produce it, I think he just recorded it. I think Joanna Newsom and Van Dyke Parks produced it, arranged it.

And Jim O'Rourke was involved somewhere as well.
posted by dng at 1:12 PM on August 10, 2015


I dunno, not enough harp.

Plus, it's under 10 minutes long.


That's where she went with Have One on Me, though, so that's no shocker. In fact, the song sounds like a b-side to that album (although her voice here sounds more Milk-Eyed or Ys, a lot less polished than on HOOM). As a harp guy myself, I'm a little sad at the move away from the instrument (because listening to her play, and knowing how crazy some of it is, is quite a thrill), but since HOOM she's clearly interested in exploring some other spaces as an artist than "quirky harp poet", so, y'know, go her!
posted by curious nu at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Have One On Me definitely took me a lot longer to get into than her other albums, and I love it more each time I listen to it, it's a phenomenal album. Ys, though, that took its place on the list of my absolute favorite albums the first time I heard it. Which quickly turned into dozens of times in a couple days, just sitting there with the lyrics sheet and headphones on and listening over and over - I think the only other album in recent years I've had that reaction to has been Owen Pallett's Heartland but not nearly to the extent of Ys. The end section of "Sawdust & Diamonds" after the return of that damnable bell, or the bit about the finch in "Only Skin" or the part of "Monkey & Bear" where Ursula finally gets free of that awful monkey give me goosebumps just thinking about them.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


naju: near as I can tell (this interview,) Joanna's label Drag City doesn't license any of their music for streaming.

dng: I think my nominee for Most Newsom Song is Colleen, off of the Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street band EP, because:
  • it's about a woman who remembers she's a whale
  • actual yelps
  • Bruce Springsteen puns
  • it's remarkably Celtic, but not unpleasantly so
  • someone made a comic out of it.
posted by heeeraldo at 3:32 PM on August 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


I love the Decemberists, or at least loved them quite a lot for a long time, even though I've drifted away with their last few albums. Lyrically, "Colleen" is a better Decemberists song than any actual Decemberists song, and it isn't even trying to be one.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:37 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


This sounds great. I don't want to be that one guy, but I always liked her first two EP/CD-R things the best (Walnut Whales and Yarn and Glue), which she then re-recorded most of the songs on for Milk-Eyed Mender. Ys is way too baroque and proggy for me, losing both the spare instrumentation and the simplicity of the song structures in a way that I've always thought is kind of damaging to the lyrics. Anyways, I'd recommend that people who like Milk-Eyed Mender seek out the first two albums; her voice isn't nearly as polished and she doesn't hit some of the notes, but the overall sound seems a lot nicer with a few rough edges left in there.
posted by whir at 5:52 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting that the lyrics page notes it was first performed in 2012; written much closer to HOOM than now. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the album holds. (and how many discs it has.)
posted by kaibutsu at 8:47 PM on August 10, 2015


(and how many discs it has.)

The track list, with times
posted by Going To Maine at 9:07 PM on August 10, 2015


(Thanks for the link. Apparently the answer is one disc, unless you buy it on LP. Also, I just learned that pre-ordering digital downloads is a thing you can do. Not sure why one would do it, but it is, apparently, an option.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:42 PM on August 10, 2015


You ask "How Joanna Newsom could this be?" And the answer is none, none more Newsom.
posted by jonp72 at 8:57 AM on August 11, 2015


So, Newful.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2015


Ys, though, that took its place on the list of my absolute favorite albums the first time I heard it.

Me too! I bought it from a recommendation without having heard any of it, put on earphones and hit play and heard the meadowlark, and the chim-choo-ree, and the spaaaaaaaarow and I'm pretty sure my eyes became cartoon-character eyes and I wondered where this music had been all my life, and about an hour later And I miss your precious heart, and miss, and miss, and miss, and miss, and miss, and miss, and miss, and miss your heart and then I was just a wreck and then I listened to the album on repeat for just about ever. It's so, so good.

At the end of that year, I read a review in Stylus magazine that summarized it: "Joanna broke the spines of a shelf full of thesauri and fairytales just to say My heart is powerfully fucked-up right now" which is a line I've been thinking about for how in the world can it almost be ten years good grief.
posted by davidjmcgee at 2:16 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do miss a bit of the Milk-Eyed Mender quirk, the "meaty mitts" and swimming "sweetly like a herring." It's all so serious and portentous now.

Oh, I don't know! I think that may be missing some of the recent fun/quirk, and some of the portentousness earlier! Have One On Me gave us
I said to you,
Honey, just open your heart,
when I've got trouble
even opening a honey jar.
and Milk-Eyed Mender gave us
While across the great plains,
keening lovely & awful,
ululate the lost Great American Novels —
An unlawful lot, left to stutter and freeze, floodlit.*
That's one of my favorite things about it. It's almost always both simultaneously: upbeat and playful, and absolutely assured of imminent doom**.

*this verse is my favorite lyric ever of anything
**I absolutely may be projecting

posted by davidjmcgee at 2:22 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


re: Ys: the bit with the giving the dead bird a tree burial in Only Skin brings me pretty close to tears every time (like.. right now). It's ridiculous. The bird is fine! I know it's fine! I've listened to this stupid song a hundred times, and that passage still kills me.
posted by curious nu at 2:32 PM on August 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pretty sure the pizza shop she dips into after Cafe Wha? is the same one Louis CK emerges from in the intro to Louie. Can someone confirm?
posted by timshel at 11:54 PM on August 11, 2015


No, she's walking through a Gray's Papaya. (Not sure which one... there are like a billion of them in New York.) Louis gets a slice from Ben's Pizzeria, which is just north of the Comedy Cellar.
posted by painquale at 4:54 AM on August 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure Joanna dips into the Papaya Dog on the corner of 6th Avenue and West 4th (just South of IFC, which she walks past moments earlier).

Also: There's only one Gray's Papaya Left in NYC
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:10 AM on August 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


That one was my guess too, as it's right by Washington Square Park. And oh yeah, Papaya Dog, not Gray's. I get all the Papaya places confused.

It means that she's just couple of blocks away from Louis' pizza place.
posted by painquale at 9:50 AM on August 12, 2015


Great discussion at The Stranger.
posted by naju at 12:32 PM on August 12, 2015


> Lyrically, "Colleen" is a better Decemberists song than any actual Decemberists song, and it isn't even trying to be one.

Ha! Just like Blind Melon's "No Rain" is the best song (not) on the Grateful Dead's album "Anthem of the Sun."
posted by msalt at 7:12 PM on August 12, 2015


Also, "Do you love me? Will you remember?" makes me think of this. Perhaps only Joanna Newsom can save us from aliens.
posted by curious nu at 8:40 AM on August 13, 2015


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