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She Is Not Afraid Of You And She Will Beat Your Ass

Joanna_newsomIn our recent and rare interview with Joanna Newsom, the talented harpist went on a good, hearty tangent about being lumped in with a "scene." She didn't mention it by name, but we'd assume it starts with an "f" and ends with a "reak folk."

"I think some people perceive me to part of a movement or something that I don't really associate myself with.  I think there's a lot of fakery, a lot of monkeying and posturing, a handful of kids who just latched right onto what they saw as a scene, and set themselves industriously to the synthesis of a particular vibe, and I'm pretty insulted when i occasionally get credited in the press for having anything to do with the dissemination of that vibe... I'm not part of some epic, bracelet-clanking, eyes-rolled-back, blase, nihilistic scenester cult or anything.  I've seen some awful displays, let me tell you.  I've gone to some shows that have left me feeling heartbroken about the state of music.  A soul-less, mindless, watered-down, image-obsessed, artless stab at John Fahey or Marc Bolan or Karen Dalton or Donovan or Vashti Bunyan is no less lame than, like, Nickelback or whatnot.  There are so many kids who have this energy, you know -- you can tell they were into, like, electroclash five minutes ago, or whatever was big in Williamsburg or Berlin at the time, and now they've grown their beards out and they're doing this thing that they think they understand, but they don't understand at all, and I just find it exhausting to have to consider what they do "music."

"I know that's a b*tchy thing to say but the discussion of this issue requires my being a b*tch for a minute, because I'm sick of being blamed for bad music.  Or associated with bad music.

"That said, there are plenty of people I'm honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with.  I'm not trying to dismiss an entire type of music.  Just fraudulent vampires.  Just vampires."

Williamsburg, Brooklyn could not be reached for comment.

October 2, 2006 | Permalink


First time I've ever read her getting aggravated about something in an interview, I think.. where can I see the whole interview may I ask?

Posted by: Richie | Oct 2, 2006 4:24:20 PM

Joanna Newsome is my hero.


Posted by: konflictofinterest | Oct 5, 2006 1:30:06 PM

wow, she turns into the elder stateswoman of the scene? (or something)

Posted by: squashed | Oct 19, 2006 11:56:21 PM

Thank god. Someone said it perfectly. I love the music and I hate feeling like I'm back in high school. These people suck. Yes, vampires. Go back to listening to DFA please! Ms. Newsome, you rule.

Posted by: jamison | Oct 20, 2006 12:34:05 PM

carlos from interpol is NOT a vampire!

Posted by: i | Oct 20, 2006 5:41:12 PM

what a hypocritical mess. like she's not ripping off karen dalton? or that she's not image obsessed? wearing a dead coyote on her head? no matter what, she's the embodiment of the " soul-less, mindless, watered-down, image-obsessed, artless stab at Karen Dalton or Donovan or Vashti Bunyan"..... hypocrisy!

Posted by: ryan | Oct 26, 2006 4:34:44 PM

i find all this hard to fathom considering that joanna graced the pages of plenty of glossy mags in a lesser-known "electro-rock" san francisco throwback band called The Pleased, 3 years ago that sounded like the Strokes. I can accept that she can grow as an artist, but the fact that she won't let others seems to be the antithesis of everything she's talking about.

Posted by: thundercloud | Oct 27, 2006 1:32:00 PM

'nuff said.

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