A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 4 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #211a - Icarus Allsorts

Further to yesterday's quotation - thanks for emails and comments - it was, as most people stated, a line from Joni Mitchell's Amelia (which I think is from the Hejira album).


Here's Joni, live at Wembley in 1983, with a little help from Michael Landau near the end. Joni is a little bit like Marmite - most people either love her or hate her - I've always been a big fan, though I confess she was sometimes a bit of a shrieker in her early years. I'm intrigued by this clip - if it is from a published DVD then it is one I can't trace - I know there is a CD of the show, but I've never seen it on film before. If you know anything about a DVD, I'd appreciate a nudge.

This is Joni at the height of her powers, I guess, and she had a hell of a band for that tour - apart from Landau, there was Russell Ferrante on keyboards (he of Yellowjackets fame), her husband, Larry Klein, on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. Monsters.

I was gently taken to task for my reference yesterday to the use of a Google search to trace the quote - it was rightly suggested that my turn of phrase was inelegant and impolite and not at all appropriate. I apologise unreservedly; the wording was not in keeping with normal blogging etiquette, and I shall take care in future to avoid all reference to Google. Sorry about that.

[Boring muso bit: if anyone plays guitar and is wondering what on earth Ms Mitchell is doing here, it should be noted that, as with everything else, she has her own way of tuning the thing - it is tuned C-G-C-E-G-C, which gives an interesting sound, though it is not recommended if you wish to play Albeniz, or Wes Montgomery for that matter.]

10 comments:

  1. She played the Isle of Wight festival a couple of years ago, mad as a box of frogs isn't in it. . .

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    1. Yes poetess, painter, songwriter, and eccentric to an extreme level - somehow that's all right - I've never looked for normality in genius. There is a modern fascination with celebrities - they are expected to be just like us (back in the typing pool again) but have dirtier private lives. There is a bit of a cachet in the mad artist - there is a film somewhere of Salvador Dali, who used to have girls wearing chains hanging around his swimming pool, and all that, but I suspect he played it up for the cameras.

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  2. I am a big fan of the splendid Ms Mitchell. While she may be as mad as a cut snake, those of us who play with toy soldiers must be subject to some sanity questions too!

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    1. Sobering, sir - sobering. I'm happy for Ms Mitchell the entertainer to be a little deranged - I believe that living with such a person would be less rewarding. Poor old Joni suffered a serious aneurism last year - I think she is recovering slowly - I don't expect to see many gigs in future, though.

      One album of hers which gets little attention is the one (or maybe it was two?) with orchestrations by Vince Mendoza - one of them (if there were two) was her own songs, and the other was standards - heart-stopping album.

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  3. Hejira is oen of my all-time favourite albums, and for me is the highwater mark of Joni's career. I played that album incessantly to get through grad school. I am not at all technical when it comes to music, but I can recognize her virtuousity - same with her fellow Canadian, Bruce Cockburn, an amazing guitarist.
    Sorry I've taken my eyes off your blog for a while. My loss.

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    1. Hi Michael - agreed Hejira is a great album, and it attained a consistent standard among the songs - some of her earlier ones were lumpy. My fave Joni track - possibly my favourite popular-type song of all time - is one of her more jazzy ones - Edith and the Kingpin, which is on Hissing of Summer Lawns (I think). Larry Carlton and everything - super.

      As a musician, Joni was never very technically outstanding, but she has a harmonic approach and a feel for an atmospheric chord which gives that shiver down the spine. I have regular exchanges with one of my sons about heavy metal - I subscribe to the view that twenty million notes are pointless if they don't say anything - so much of the chops-based athleticism in rock and jazz is very much like reciting irregular verbs at impossible speed - music is a language - what is it they wanted to tell us?

      I'll check out Bruce Cockburn. Thanks.

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  4. Don't get me wrong she's top tomatoe in this household, my dad bought her early albums which I listened to on his Paisley covered knee... Man...

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    1. Excellent - he didn't have a pair of crimson corduroy trousers, by any chance?

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  5. Don't mind a bit of Joni myself!

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    1. A man of taste - but we all knew that already...

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