by simon baird

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

joanna news

joanna hangs with andy samberg

joanna is indeed very good (stereogum review)

I saw her two shows at the sydney opera house. it was an amazing experience: first up was Ys, start to finish, with the orchestra, her banjo guy and her drummer. her voice sounds better than it does on cd and I think better than it did twelve months ago I think. she's more confident now in her vocal ability it seems. van dyke parks' over-showy orchestration annoys me a little and some of the louder orchestral sections felt a tiny bit forced or over-done, but I try to go with it. the banjo and tambura (lutey looking mandolin type of thing) was perfect. the sound (at the opera house, who would have thought) was utterly perfect. her drummer does quite a bit of backing vocal which sounds pretty good though his style of playing the percussion feels a little pretentious. all this aside, hearing Ys performed from start to finish with orchestra at the opera house is probably the best thing I've ever seen. I don't think anyone who was there will forget it. of course sawdust and diamonds (sans dyke parks) is a highlight. during only skin bjork (sitting near us but on a different level) is on the edge of her seat and grinning. after cosmia there is an interval. then she's back which her two band members for a set of milk eyed mender songs and new songs. peach, plum pear gets a brilliant new arrangement with lots of tambura. there's a brand new untitled tune with a country music feel, esame (not it's official name, she said it was untitled) done solo (which is turning into one of my favourites) and colleen from the EP. a short encore, sadie (skipped on the friday show) and inflammatory writ and we're filing out onto the concrete steps into circular quay. nerds are trying to convince sound techs to give them the setlist. it's rumoured that after the show there was a sing along backstage with Bjork, the Arcade fire, Andrew Bird and Joanna. But surely it's just a rumour, what with Bjork's sore throat and all. One disappointment, Joanna wore the same two dresses both nights! we'd have liked to see the red one from BAM think!

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