Morning Commute: Joanna Newsom


I’m a germaphobe. In the morning, when trying to claim some space in a train car on the way to work, I really need to have both my hands available. Because as much as I’d like to kick back and read, it’s more comfortable to just lean on what’s around than have to transfer whatever gnarliness exists on handles to the book/magazine I’ll eventually be reading in my CLEAN bed later that night. Here’s what I listened to on the way to work.

While Newsom's not exactly a rock musician and the Tripwire's technically a rodeo reserved for rock 'n rollers, it's clear that this week has been her week in the musicnerdiverse. (Just check the message boards, dudes! They don't lie!) But regardless of where you stand on her voice or her weapon of choice, there's little denying she's extraordinary. Actually, fuck that: she's daring. I was definitely once part of the camp that found what she did "unlistenable" and over-the-top and I dragged my heels most of the way, no matter how gifted she clearly was/is, no matter inviting those string beds of Ys were. I could never really envision a scenario in which I'd want to put that record on and just sit with it, let alone have Newsom soundtrack anything that required some focus. But at some point, I stopped being a big baby. I met her half-way. Because Newsom's while records aren't pop records, they are for the aurally inquisitive and what's more comforting, no, what's more exciting than that feeling? You know? As fast as the jokes have been flying last week and this on how insanely long Have One On Me can feel or is, it's a gift to just know that between every layer of poesy and left-field flourish there are small corners in which you can disappear, make your own. You can hide there. Curl up and just stay. You can be as weird as you like.

Stream: Have One On Me

Morning Commute: Joanna Newsom