Joanna Newsom Readies Have One On Me

Stephen Blackwell :: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 12:40 pm

Joanna Newsom, the effete hippie who in 2008 was overexposed to nauseating tedium, has announced the release of her new album, Have One On Me. It will be released on Drag City February 23rd. Additionally, Newsom has announced a show in New York City on March 18th.

I’m not great at keeping up with dating gossip, but I’m under the impression Newsom is still with Andy Samberg. The significant-other litmus test is a longstanding tradition of the songwriter. I wonder how Samberg reacts when Newsom asks, “Hey, you want to hear something I’ve been working on?” pulls out a gigantic harp, then fiddles away her latest eight-minute esoteric opus? It’s gotta be a bit like “Dracula’s Lament.” After the first two minutes he probably just starts rolling with it.

11 Responses to “Joanna Newsom Readies Have One On Me”
  1. Let’s grant, just for fun, that’s she’s indeed been overexposed. It seems confused and confusing to peg her overexposure to the year 2008: her last full-length was released in 2006, her last EP was released in 2007, and she played few live shows in 2008. Her songs did pop up in one movie and a couple commercials in 2008-is that the overexposure you’re talking about?

    Also, I don’t think you’re using the word ‘effete’ correctly. Is there an OED sitting around the offices of Death Plus Sign Taxes?

    Posted by: Hollis January 20th, 2010 at 1:05 pm
  2. You’re totally right — last full length was in 2006. Why all the New York Times write-ups in 2008 for “a few live shows” I’ll never know. Thank god she wasn’t touring. Let’s not forget the 2008 Beautiful People Paper cover. She was beautiful in 2006, when her record came out, but she sure as shit wasn’t dating someone famous. Effete, among other things, means overrefined. It’s probably not the best word to use to describe an Armani-wearing, classically trained harpist, right?

    Posted by: Stephen Blackwell January 20th, 2010 at 4:47 pm
  3. Is your point that her 2008 exposure (and perhaps more importantly, the *sort* of exposure she got) was out of whack with her 2008 productivity? That rather modest point seems a bit more plausible; I just didn’t read the initial post that way, which may be entirely my bad.

    Plus, isn’t Bill Callahan sorta famous? I don’t know quite when they broke up, but a lot of the considerable ‘06-’07 JN coverage dealt directly or indirectly with that topic. Anyway, just meant as further evidence that 2008 seems like a strange choice for “Year of Undeserved JN Overexposure.” Even if I’m right, it’s a nitpick. But hey-I’m an asshole.

    Speaking of which…’effete’: hauling out the trusty Garner’s Modern American Usage, which says that the “sophisticated and snobbish” usage is an instance of slipshod extension from the term’s traditional meaning (worn out, barren, exhausted). Garner thinks it’s probably best to avoid the term altogether.

    But even if we just sub in ‘overrefined’, I still don’t think it’s the right word, especially to modify ‘hippie’, unless one or both of those words is meant ironically. Yes, she wears Armani, and yes, she’s a “classically” trained harpist (though she’s not exactly ReniĂ©). But dude, you’ve heard her sing/talk, right? Overrefined people tend not to have prominent speech impediments and singing voices that sound like weird old ladies-and I say this as a rabid Newsom fan.

    Anyhow, I hope I don’t come incorrect; your site and magazine are both excellent. All this nitpicking is probably going proxy for a more interesting debate to be had about the aesthetic merit of JN’s work. But since I haven’t figured out how to get paid for my thoughts about music yet, I’ll probably just have that debate with myself. Upside: I always win!

    Posted by: Hollis January 20th, 2010 at 7:27 pm
  4. Well said, Hollis. I think YOU should be writing about Joanna Newsom since Mr. Blackwell clearly isn’t as knowledgeable or objective about her as you are.

    (BTW: Blackwell’s snarky piece is filed under the NEWS heading, not OPINION.)

    Posted by: Bob K. January 21st, 2010 at 11:36 am
  5. Jeez — remind me to never write an unkind word about Joanna Newsom ever again. Sorry guys! She’s the best! I’ll have the exact same opinion as everyone else on the planet starting today!

    Posted by: Stephen Blackwell January 21st, 2010 at 11:42 am
  6. Maybe Andy Samberg feels privileged to get to hear her play her beautiful songs.. just a thought. He must like her, after all.

    Posted by: Jessie January 21st, 2010 at 2:36 pm
  7. Dude-and by ‘dude’ I mean ‘Mr. Blackwell’-if I got exercised over every ‘unkind word’ written about JN in the music press, I’d never sleep. She’s polarizing in about 12 different ways, and I’ve read some merciless takedowns of her stuff that were also thoughtful and well written.

    I was just responding to what seemed (to me, anyway) like an oddly-placed, oddly-expressed, not-particularly-thoughtful swipe. Unless I inadvertently invaded the privacy of your modest/chaste soul, there ain’t no call for sarcasm.

    Posted by: Hollis January 21st, 2010 at 3:58 pm
  8. Hollis, care to link to those thoughtful, merciless takedowns? I’m feeling open minded today.

    Posted by: Marygrace January 21st, 2010 at 4:38 pm
  9. Some of them came in email conversations with buddies, so those aren’t linkable. As for the rest…hoo-boy. My memory is as weak as my Innernette skills, and I dunno whether these comments are HTML-enabled or whatever, but here goes (grits teeth):

    Robert Christgau’s blurb on Ys is a model of compression and wit (surprise!), even though I heartily disagree with his view. It’s here.

    A writeup on Trouser Press isn’t so compressed or so witty, but makes some serious points about the kind of prog-folk JN got into on Ys; that’s here.

    Ian Watson wrote a good piece (which, again, to be clear, I totally disagree with) that pushes some rather different buttons; it’s here.

    Others…I remember a writeup Rolling Stone did when Pitchfork’s 2006 list came out-as I recall, it was more merciless than thoughtful, but still pretty well written. The original RS review was unkind. Tim Perlich wrote a fairly harsh review that wasn’t pants-on-head retarded. Would an old-school line break work?

    Anyway, that’s all that memory and hasty Googling turns up. Keep in mind all these takedowns are, despite their virtues, terribly mistaken. Now I must click ’submit’ and watch the hyperlinks fail.

    Posted by: Hollis January 21st, 2010 at 6:25 pm
  10. That’s a Roger on the hyperlinks, and a Giant No on the old-school line breaks. Or else I bollocksed those up.

    Posted by: Hollis January 21st, 2010 at 6:27 pm
  11. you wrote more than an unkind word- it’s a snide little slam piece that isn’t clever, insightful, or anything but hateful.
    so you don’t like Joanna Newsom- wow- what an independent thinker. what a renegade you are.
    i have to agree you expressed yourself oddly.
    “Joanna Newsom was overexposed to nauseating tedium…”
    how? By reading your articles?

    Posted by: David January 22nd, 2010 at 4:06 pm