Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joni Mitchell

She is called the songwriter's songwriter.
There isn't anyone like her.
Her songs are about love and romance.
One of my friends told me about Joni Mitchell and this is the kind of gift that friends do for one another that is greater than any other gift. Her phrasing, and the way these words tie in with the music, the eloquent pauses, the way she hits a note and the music has already hit that note, or she hits a note before the music does, how can I describe this? This hippie chick from the sixties knows no decade though that is the decade when we learned her name. What she says she says so vividly is how the guy who discovered her put it, the same guy behind Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I suppose people played music in cafes at one time, Joni refers to her "dark cafe days". She is a Scorpio and totally feminine but this art of hers goes way past gender. Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows calls her a "goddess" and carries the Blue CD wherever he goes. They recorded one of her songs "Big Yellow Taxi".
There is a coolness sometimes to her music, a jazzy feel, a classical feel, a feeling sometimes of loneliness. Maybe because she is also a painter, she paints pictures with words. I am left with a feeling when listening to her that perfection has been reached, and that this is art. Her later albums have gone on paths that confuse me, not like the simple beauty of her earlier work that I understand so well. As she says in a song:
Condemned to wires and hammers
strike every chord that you feel
that broken trees
and elephant ivories

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