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Joanna Newsom in Prague

September 15, 2007

Joanna Newsom

Originally uploaded by Astral Clouds

Following an afternoon spent absorbing Prague’s spectacular views from the top of Petrin Hill, my ears were graced by the tones of one of my favorite musicians, Joanna Newsom, at the Divadlo Archa theater Friday evening. Joanna Newsom is a member of the American Freak-Folk movement that I have come to love in the past year or so. Her folk songs are defined by the sounds of her harp and child-like voice that people either love or hate. She hails from Northern California, just like me.
I bought the tickets as a birthday present to Jessi earlier this summer as Joanna is one of our favorite musicians whose albums we bonded over this last year living together in New York. Upon arriving in Prague, I mentioned I was going to this show to several kids here and Jessi’s and my little excursion turned into a dozen NYUers realizing the utter genius that is Joanna Newsom live.

The audience was mostly ex-pats from what I could tell. During her opener’s in-between-song banter they asked how many people in the audience were from Prague and only about four people raised their hands. I heard many accents including American, British, Irish and French. It makes me very happy to know that she has such an international following. She deserves such recognition.

The entire set was a transcendent experience with the entire audience caught up in the brilliant arrangements that she and her band put together. She played a good mix of songs off her first album “Milk-Eyed Mender” as well as 4/5 songs from last year’s release “Ys” and one from her latest EP “Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band”.

The whole group of us were in awe as we stumbled out of the theater. I believe Chris defined it the best when he yelled out to her, “You’re a goddess!!!” She was flattered to say the least.

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