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Danielj

Joni Mitchell

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Joni Mitchell

At the Faculty of Music

October 27, 2004

Montreal, October 18, 2004 ? As part of the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Music Teaching at McGill University, and on the occasion of her being conferred a Doctor of Music honoris causa, the Faculty of Music will pay a tribute to the great Canadian songwriter, singer, musician, poet and painter Joni Mitchell on Wednesday, October 27, 2004.

Born in Alberta and raised in Saskatoon, Ms. Mitchell is among the most influential women of her generation. Her unique melodies and vocal styles have inspired many performers. She has produced over twenty albums and collaborated with such musicians as Herbie Hancock and Charles Mingus. Her music has been recorded by Buffy Ste. Marie, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, k d lang and Joshua Redman, to name just a few. Multi-Grammy winner, inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Juno Hall of Fame, she was granted the Century Award for creative achievement by the Billboard Magazine, the Sweden?s Polar Music Prize and the Governor General?s Performing Arts Award.

On October 27, 2004, from 10:00am to 6:00pm in Redpath Hall, musicologists, critic, visual arts and performing artists will gather to Explore the Art and the Music of Joni Mitchell. Guests speakers include Lloyd Whitesell (Music, McGill University), Jennifer Rycenga (Comparative Religious Studies, San Jose State University), Daniel Sonenberg (Music, University of Southern Maine), and Howie Klein (former president, Reprise Records). The complete symposium program can be consulted at www.mcgill.ca/music/events/jmitchell_symposium/ .

The Honorary Degree Ceremony conferring the degree of Doctor in Music honoris causa to Ms. Mitchell will be held at 8:00pm in Pollack Hall. A limited number of passes will be available through the Pollack Hall Box Office (398-4547) from October 25, 2004 at 12:00 (noon).

I realize we're a bit behind on this but i saw a program on it last night on CBC and it was touching.

Joni Mitchell was an amazing poet, one of the best of our time. I'm just wondering what people think of her here.

I also heard this song on the radio over the holidays, and it was one of the deepest songs I'd ever heard.

River

It?s coming on christmas

They?re cutting down trees

They?re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace

Oh I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

But it don?t snow here

It stays pretty green

I?m going to make a lot of money

Then I?m going to quit this crazy scene

I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long

I would teach my feet to fly

Oh I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me

You know, he put me at ease

And he loved me so naughty

Made me weak in the knees

Oh I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

I?m so hard to handle

I?m selfish and I?m sad

Now I?ve gone and lost the best baby

That I ever had

Oh I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long

I would teach my feet to fly

Oh I wish I had a river

I made my baby say goodbye

It?s coming on christmas

They?re cutting down trees

They?re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace

I wish I had a river

I could skate away on

It was revealed in 1997 that she had put a baby up for adoption. Dhe dated Neil Young y'know...What a baby that would be.

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Go Joni, Go Joni, Go Joni!

Joni Mitchell is an awesome songwriter and a great singer as well. I have most of her albums/CD's and listen to her frequently. I always feel a little smarter after listening to Joni. She puts me in the mood to create. I place her among the great poets of music, right beside Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, Don McLean and some others.

I knew she'd had a relationship with Neil Young, though I didn't know it was a romantic one. I know that she wrote "The Circle Game" for him.

Daniel, I agree that River is a deep,touching song. Oddly, they only play it around the Holidays when it's not a "holiday" song at all. It merely takes place around Christmastime. A singer named Kenny Lattimore does a beautiful version of this song on Peter White's Songs Of The Season ( yeah, a Christmas album) CD from a few years ago.

Anyway, I'm a big Joni Mitchell fan and any accolades that come her way are richly deserved. You Canadians are all right, ya know?

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Oh I know.

I heard it on a radio storyteller program, The Vynil Cafe.

I forget who sang it but it was on boxing day. It was unbelievable.

Say UncleJoe, what is her best album? I have Dog Eat Dog and

Court And Spark on vynil...

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Daniel, as far as her best I pretty much agree with BluesBoy. Blue and Miles Of Aisles are great. If you want a nice cross-section of hits from her albums up to about 2000 look for Joni Mitchell Hits.

It's got several great songs from Chelsea Morning to Chinese Restaurant/Unchained Melody.

Check out the CD and all 15 tracks here>>>

Joni Mitchell Hits

Later stuff such as Hejira and Taming The Tiger are worth a listen, too. I also like Court and Spark. Save that vinyl, it may be worth something one day.

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I always loved Joni Mitchell, and always felt she is really underrated, at least in Europe. Thanks for this thread, Dani. I gotta go, I´ll catch a white taxi and come back home now...

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edna's comment about Joni Mitchell being under-rated in Europe could likely apply to the entire world.

She is recognized, of course, as those many citations in the October '04 release attest, but, her real contributions as a singer, musician, poet, innovator/pioneer etc. etc. are still under-valued it seems.

She and Leonard Cohen are not only Canada's top modern songwriters, they're among the world's greatest. And, though Joni is appreciated, even revered, by many, she can still be sold short.

Maybe it's because she's a woman, and so honest and uncompromising.

In any event, "River" is a gorgeous song - and the album, "Blue", from which it comes is timeless. You'd have been hearing Harmony Trowbridge's version on the Vinyl Cafe. She and the very young Canadian blues artist, Jimmy Bowskill, were touring with Stuart McLean this winter.

Harmony, formerly of Vancouver, is based in Toronto - but I don't know of any web-presence for her. You can regularly catch her live if you're in Hogtown.

A version of "River" that CBC played a lot this winter, (mostly on North by Northwest and The Roundup) was by Allison Crowe - an artist with whom I have the privilege and pleasure of working. You can hear Allison's rendition @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/River.mp3

One of the things I most enjoy about Joni Mitchell, apart from the great music she has given us, is her candor about the music business. She and Janis Ian tell it straight.

Here's some Joni quotes from recent times:

"They're not looking for talent. They're looking for a look and a willingness to cooperate. And a woman my age, no matter how well preserved, no longer has the look. And I've never had a willingness to cooperate."

"As long as they look good, they can pitch-correct them now - they can interior-decorate their music. The artists don't have to play anything, - they can cheat, buy songs and put their name on them, so they can build the illusions that the are creative. And because [the record companies] made you, they can kiss you off."

"I hope it all goes down the crapper. It's top-heavy, it's wasteful. It's an insane business. Now, this is all calculated music. It's calculated for sales, it's sonically calculated, it's rudely calculated. I'm ashamed to be a part of the music business. You know, I just think it's a cesspool."

It's these sort of withering assessments of the industry that have made Joni Mitchell less-than-a-fave with the powers that be, and, have likely helped her remain under-rated in the mainstream despite her profound achievements.

She's taken the road less travelled.

cheers, Adrian

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Adrian that was a really good post, but you aren't going to put "Allison Crowe" in each and every post, are you?

And Joni is is an class of her own, no rendition can match any of her originals! :blah:

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Hi Benita ~

Indeed, Joni is without peer for a host of reasons! :D And, unlike such contemporaries as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, her singing has been as broadly appreciated as her song-writing.

(As per your question, Allison's name appears in this thread, as, I hope you'll agree, it's abundantly relevant, and adds, to the discussion. So, no worries!)

cheers, Ad

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(As per your question, Allison's name appears in this thread, as, I hope you'll agree, it's abundantly relevant, and adds, to the discussion. So, no worries!)

That wasn't actually what I asked! I said that I hoped you weren't going to feature Allisons name in each and every post you made.

I didn't really find it added to the discussion actually :: maybe you should read my post again?

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ah, well what would be the point of answering a question like that - since it's very easy for you to check my post history and find the context and content of things (and learn that what you fear is not the case)?

Accentuate the positive! :)

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ah, well what would be the point of answering a question like that - since it's very easy for you to check my post history and find the context and content of things (and learn that what you fear is not the case)?

Accentuate the positive! :)

Hmm..no comment.

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:) Approaching people without prejudice is, I hope, commonplace.

And, perhaps, for folks not in Canada, some details could be made more evident - eg. the Vinyl Cafe is a popular show on CBC Radio, which is our version of the BBC, and CBC programs have been playing River (and so it flows...)

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Yay! I was just getting an inkling you weren't giving me a fair hearing. Glad to know that's not so ( :

Here's a Joni tidbit that may seem a little distant from the specifics of this thread so far, but, it may still be of interest - there's going to be a Joni Mitchell CD in the Starbucks "Artists Choice" series, to be released, reportedly, around Valentine's Day this year. (This is the series that collects artists' own fave song picks - of others - for an album ie. we'll get to hear those songs that inspire Joni.)

cheers, Ad

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I was at a friend of mine's house earlier this evening, engaging in a couple of barley pops and some mother nature, and he had on a DVD of Joni from 1979 recorded live in Santa Barbara, CA. It is called "Shadows and Light" and it is available in the commercial marketplace. Her backing band at the time was a who's who of jazz - Pat Metheny on Guitar, Jaco Pastorius on bass, Micheal Brecker on sax, and Danny Elias on drums. It is absolutely phenomenal.

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When the subject came up last month, I could not find a web presence for Harmony Trowbridge, the artist you heard, Daniel, on Stu Maclean's Vinyl Cafe peforming Joni's "River". Well, I've just had the pleasure of hearing from Harmony, and can now report that you read her lyrics, find about her gigs and upcoming album release @ http://www.harmonytrowbridge.net

And, should you be in the Toronto area, she'll be celebrating the release of "Amoraphobe" every Wednesday this March at 10 pm upstairs at the Rivoli (for the Maple Lounge)!

cheers, Ad

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I need to combine a few comments here, but I have a Neil Young bootleg where he does an Unreleased song (I think) called "Sweet Joni From Saskatoon". It is an absolutely wonderful song....and Joni is wonderful too! :beatnik:

I found the lyrics for Neil's tribute to Joni....

~Title: Sweet Joanie

Artist: Neil Young

~From: 'Unsung Hero' bootleg

Words and Chords by rcwoods@scrg.cs.tcd.ie (cal woods)

My guitar could be half a step low, or the tape a half-step high...

Chorus:

A D

Sweet Joanie, from Saskatoon

E

Here's a ring for your finger

D

That looks like the sun

A

But it feels like the moon

Sweet Joanie, from Saskatoon

Don't go, Don't go

so/too? soon

Verse:

A Em7

Who lives in an old hotel

D E

By the ancient ruins?

F#m

Only time can tell

D

Time can tell

Verse:

'Go easy' the doorman said

The floor is slippery

So 'watch your head'

This message read

Chorus:

Sweet Joanie, from Saskatoon

Here's a ring for your finger

That shines like the sun

But it feels like the moon

Chorus:

Sweet Joanie, from Saskatoon

Don't go, Don't go

so/too soon

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