» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

January 17, 2007
Joanna Newsom
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, Calif. 12/18/06

One of the nicest musical experiences I had this past year was being transformed, after much resistance, into a Joanna Newsom fan. After all of the fantastic things said her newest record I figured I owed it to myself to approach her idiosyncratic material again with open ears. Had I not, I would have missed one of the loveliest live performances of 2006.

The first of three sold-out shows at the Great American Music Hall started with an overall air of good fortune, being the first show after several cancellations due to illness. The raucous, adoring audience was eager to claim their hometown status (OK, so the Sierra gold country hamlet Nevada City is her real hometown, but close enough) as Joanna Newsom took the stage with a small crew of musicians ready to tackle the ambitious project of transforming the entire 5 song, 4 side, densely orchestrated Ys into a live experience. Violin, guitar, acoordian, musical saw and varied percussion synched magically with Newsom's masterful harp playing, and as the songs unfolded it became clear that the expansiveness of her new songs was necessary to contain the scope and depth of the language used and stories woven, and that she was fully grown into and comfortable with the expressive power of her voice. The packed crowd remained rapt throughout, and there seemed to be a perfect consonance between the baroque interior of the music hall and the lush ornamentation of the music. The arrangements were so effective, I later found myself wishing I had a live recording when I listened to the album (is it bad to troll for bootlegs when you've already purchased the record?) For an encore, Newsom returned solo to play a few songs from Milk-Eyed Mender, and the audience mouthed along words they knew by heart. It was truly inspiring to see a woman presenting such fearlessly unique and challenging material (by current standards, popular and "indie" both) to so many fans so appreciative, and I feel privileged to have been there.

SEE ALSO: www.joannanewsom.co.uk/
SEE ALSO: www.dragcity.com

Marcy Saude
When she isn't writing post-Marxist critiques of video art or psychoanalytical interpretations of femininity in horror films, Marcy Saude finds spare moments for rock criticism.

See other articles by Marcy Saude.



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