Sunday, August 17, 2008

we are stardust, billion year old carbon.

on this, the weekend that the world experienced woodstock 39 years ago, i'd like to appreciate a woman who didn't get to go: joni mitchell. as she describes at the beginning of the video below, she stayed back in new york city because her manager thought it more advantageous to appear on a TV show instead. as soon as i heard that story, i felt that she probably regretted that choice the moment it was made. she immediately wrote the song "woodstock" for her friends (a young CS&N) to commemorate the event. most will recognize the more familiar version of woodstock performed by crosby, stills, nash, & young, recorded a few years later. i honestly have no idea how their version came about from the original song. joni mitchell's solo piano version is as haunting as it is hopeful....

i find it unfortunate that there have not been recent pop singers in the soprano range. joni mitchell's soprano sound is naked and gorgeous because she allows her natural vibrato to enhance the melody. i'm easily annoyed by the endless mariah carey-type quick note-hopping at the ends of phrases and carried notes. dont get me wrong, total props to mariah for introducing this sound and performing it incredibly well, it's just that too many damn pop stars are imitating it these days, and not very well!

i've enjoyed listening to joni mature as a singer, because her voice has changed over the years. her voice has grown deeper with time, as i feel mine has too. i'm not the soprano i used to be!

so as i pack today for the big move tuesday, i know who i'll be listening to!


FlyingSinger said...

Cool post! As I wrote recently on my blog, I was washing dishes at a Howard Johnson in Lake George, NY that summer (before my senior year in HS), and a couple of guys I worked with were going to this big outdoor concert a couple of hours south. They asked if I wanted to come along. I didn't know much about it and it would have been tough to convince my parents. I needed the job and the money too. So I didn't go. I realized fairly soon that this was really a big deal and I blew it. So I at least have that in common with Joni, who has always been one of my big songwriting influences.

Good luck with the big move!


Unknown said...

i had a feeling you would enjoy this post, bruce! ;)

Unsui said...

Totally agree on the quality of vocal range of the current Pop lot. Best Luck with the move, Look forward to reading your insights from other side of the pond

Cheers, Mahesh

Eva said...

¿Tuesday?... good luck with the move!. If you need a familiar voice to talk to on the right timezone, just let me know.