Tag: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell sings California

Thursday, 7 March, 2019

The year was 1969, the date 7 June, and the occasion was the first season of The Johnny Cash show. His guests were the Louisiana fiddle player Doug Kershaw and the singers Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, who played the dulcimer and sang California.

“I met a redneck on a Grecian isle
Who did the goat dance very well
He gave me back my smile
But he kept my camera to sell
Oh the rogue, the red red rogue
He cooked good omelettes and stews
And I might have stayed on with him there
But my heart cried out for you, California
Oh California I’m coming home
Oh make me feel good rock’n roll band
I’m your biggest fan
California, I’m coming home.”

Dawes: The Laurel Canyon sound continued

Saturday, 14 July, 2018

In Laurel Canyon by Michael Walker, which was published in 2006, the author described the eponymous place high in the Hollywood Hills as “the slightly seedy, camp-like neighborhood of serpentine one-lane roads, precipitous hills, fragrant eucalyptus trees, and softly crumbling bungalows set down improbably in the middle of Los Angeles.” There, in 1968, something magical happened when Joni Mitchell was in the ‘hood: “So it was that Nash, Stills, and Crosby sat in Mitchell’s living room on Lookout Mountain, in the heart of Laurel Canyon, in the epicenter of L.A.’s nascent rock music industry, and for the first time, began to sing together.”

It’s been said that the Los Angles rock band Dawes are the continuation of the Laurel Canyon sound by new means. The members are Wylie Gelber, Lee Pardini and the brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith. Living in the Future is the first song on their new album, Passwords, which was released last month.

Note: Passwords has been described as an album “for and about the modern age: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, and the small victories and big losses that give it shape.” Dawes are marketing the album with campaign that encourages fans to search for “passwords” posted across the internet. Once a password is found, it can be entered on the band’s site where each part of the password represents a musical note. When entered correctly, these musical notes play bits from Dawes songs and unlock exclusive content, including a Spotify playlist curated by Griffin Goldsmith.

The other European crisis: milk

Saturday, 21 May, 2016 0 Comments

“Dear Representative of the Media,

The severe turbulence in the milk market makes it increasingly clear that the current reckless EU policy has drastic negative consequences for man and beast alike in the countryside… It is essential to systematically counter the extreme overproduction in the milk market. Political institutions and representatives of producers and industry will be addressing this issue at the hearing in the European Parliament on 25 May.”

So goes the invitation from the European Milk Board. How bad is the situation? In Germany, discount supermarket Aldi has cut the price of milk in its outlets from 59 cents a litre to 46 cents. Other chains have followed, the Hamburger Morgenpost reports. Milk is now cheaper than some brands of mineral water and dairy farmers are getting as little as 18 cents a litre. They say they need at least 40 cents a litre to cover costs.

Having decided to phase out their extravagant support for the coal industry, Europe’s leaders are now under pressure to pump billions into another bottomless pit of sorts: the dairy industry. But the iron law of supply and demand cannot be wished away with handouts. Market rules should apply as much for farmers as for fitters and flight attendants, who must endure disruption, too. The price for cheap milk comes with a significant cost, however. An entire way of life is dying and the ruins of Europe’s abandoned dairy farms will serve as memorials for a lost rural culture. Those of us who were reared in dairyland are familiar with the words of Joni Mitchell: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Pints of milk

Olivia Chaney

Saturday, 25 April, 2015 0 Comments

With her classical background, traditional English repertoire and modern approach, Olivia Chaney is in a category all of her own. On Tuesday, her debut album, The Longest River, will be released and among the gems are two 17th century songs: a setting of There’s Not A Swain by Henry Purcell and a version of the English ballad, The False Bride. This, meanwhile, is by Joni Mitchell.

The urban Mitchell

Saturday, 16 November, 2013 0 Comments

“Night in the city looks pretty to me / Night in the city looks fine / Music comes spilling out into the street / Colors go flashing in time.”

In March 1968, Joni Mitchell released her debut album, Song to a Seagull. The A side was titled “I Came to the City” and the B side, “Out of the City and Down to the Seaside”. From the A side, here’s Night in the City, a celebration of nightlife and its promises. “The young Joni sometimes sounds cloyingly virginal, and the flowery mooncalf affectations grate, but her unique sense of rhythm and melody is already blooming,” wrote Taylor Parkes. Music critics were literate, if somewhat condescending, back then.


Friday, 5 July, 2013 0 Comments

clouds “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still some how
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way.”

Joni Mitchell