photo from ghostwriter on flickr
went to joanna newsom's late show at webster hall last night. just like the knife, newsom is an artist who's album has been in semi-permanent rotation in my itunes for a long time now, but whom i had never seen live. yikes! what a great night! diametrically opposed to the swedish duo in terms of stage show, joanna and her small troupe of players kept the sold out crowd absolutely enthralled for the duration of the show with little more than quiet elegance. after opening with milk eyed favorites "bridges and balloons" and "the book of right-on", she proceeded to play through Ys (released today) in its entirety. previewing new material is always something of a crapshoot, especially for an artist with such a devoted following who are practically foaming at the mouth to hear their favorite i-know-all-the-words-and-inflections song. but newsom positively killed.
in high-waist jeans, hair to her ass, a wifebeater and suspenders, joanna does not cut an imposing figure. as soon as the nymph grasps her harp and opens her mouth, however, she simply radiates with an energy that is as delicate as it is exuberant.
after running through Ys, joanna returned to the stage by herself and treated us to a closing couplet of "sadie" and "peach, plum, pear".
joanna newsom - sadie
joanna newsom - book of right-on
oh, and if you haven't copped Ys yet, do it.