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Music Music September 7, 2004
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Joanna Newsom
The Milk-Eyed Mender
2004

I've only got a few minutes to write about Joanna Newsom, since it's hotter than a kiln here at Nugget HQ and we must evacuate the premises shortly. It's a shame, really, since Joanna deserves more ink, not less. Here's the story, in short, sharp shots: She plays the harp. She sings in a quavering childlike voice that many listeners either love or loathe (count me among the former). She writes some great lyrics -- Svetlana sucks lemons across from me, / and I am progressing abominably. / And I do not know my own way to the sea / but the saltiest sea knows its own way to me. There were two self-released EPs (Yarn and Glue, Walnut Whales) before Drag City put out The Milk-Eyed Mender. Everyone is pretty much gaga for this unique-sounding record. It will probably end up on many "Best of 2004" lists. Of course, the key is not that it's different, but that it's so incredibly good.


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