Taking a page from the Def Jam playbook (no, really!) Drag City is flooding the fourth quarter with jams that we can't say enough about. Just yesterday, Chicago's finest released new albums by Joanna Newsom and White Magic, a new Bonnie 'Prince' Billy 12" and a new EP from Mayo Thompson's the Red Krayola. Shiiiiiit that's a lot of jams.
We celebrated by going to Newsom's late show at Webster Hall. Continuing with the ridiculous comparison to Def Jam, we gotta wonder if any of IDJ's fourth quarter releasers other than Hov - Nas, Jeezy or Ghost - could so thoroughly sell out two separate sets on the same night at Webster Hall. Anyway, Newsom's show was like church - sometimes our jaw dropped, other times our chin dropped; sometimes we were following her every word intently (there are a lot of words), sometimes the mood she set left us spinning off into our own meandering imaginations. It was a triumphantly brave and somehow effortless performance of the kind where you're buzzing from the experience and unable to shake the mood that's been set, but secretly, almost guiltily relieved when it's over.
We have found it interesting and a little curious that seriously every review we have read of Joanna's new record Ys has quoted the same lyric we quoted when we first wrote about the record, the one about the skipping stone and the mica-spangling. Out of all the stanzas on that record is it possible that that one is unanimously the best? Or is it just that everyone is still processing "Emily," the first song on the record? Probably the coolest thing about the show on Monday night is that it has kind of opened up the rest of the record for us - we have finally left "Emily" behind and are currently addicted to "Cosmia": And all those lonely nights down by the river!/ Brought me bread and water, kith and kin/ But in the quiet hour when I am sleepin/ I couldn't keep the night from comin in.
Finally, we've said more than enough about what an awesome record White Magic (Jeezy to Joanna's Jay?) has made. Don't let it go forgotten (ie unheard).