Purple Magazine
— S/S 2007 issue 7

San Francisco

Joanna Newsom, in a summer CHLOÉ dress. Photo by Todd Cole


Visions of Joanna Newsom — harpist, pianist, harpsichordist, singer and songwriter. Her second album Ys, released last November, features arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, production by Steve Albini, and mixing by Jim O’Rourke of the Drag City label.

True or false: When Joanna Newsom takes out the trash, she clangs the trash can lids loudly to scare away any bears that might be in the area.

True or false: Joanna Newsom takes out the trash.

True or false: Bears.

When Joanna plays with the London Symphony Orchestra next year she will wear:

a) Jeans.

b) A real nice vintage gown.

c) You, gutted. (Your friends will be amazed to see you up there, playing the harp so hypnotically. They didn’t even know you were musical.)

True or false: You.

Now then. Are Joanna’s skin, hair, and eyes basically all variations on the same color, and is that color the color of a deer, and is that deer standing by a river, very still, listening?

No, the deer is crashing through the woods, at breakneck speed, but not in fear.

It runs past death and insults and caring.

It keeps on going.

It’s gone. She’s the color of a gone deer.

When she sings that part about “filling her long ears with beads,”  “long ears” is a metaphor for

a) a vagina

b) a vagina

c) a vagina

Or, is she saying bees? Long ears with bees. That’s probably it. Nevermind the previous question.

In any case, my God. My word. My oh my.

True or false: Stunning.


[Table of contents]

S/S 2007 issue 7

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