A few years back, every girl in the generalized Echo Park area looked like Joanna Newsom. Somehow a thistle, cat tail, feather, or found organic object would improbably attach itself to a tangle of hair. Moccasins fashioned from vegan suede were home to ten toes most likely strategically mussed with organic, free-range (if that's possible) soil to suggest that community gardening had taken place over the weekend. This was all Joanna Newsom's fault. We assume.
The (cringe) hippiester followers of the House of Newsom were (and probably are) spacey, everybody-let's-hug kinds of (sorta) free thinkers whose THC levels couldn't boil up a juicy piece of rage if their Vespas depended on it.
Alas, their queen has fallen from grace.
That's right. Joanna Newsom got mad. Apparently. Sort of. In her own way, I guess.
Yes, the word dumbass is involved.
Here are some choice excerpts of her (kinda) vitriolic rant, plus five adorably shrill cats who sound like Joanna Newsom.
“I'm mystified by the laziness of people looking at how she presents herself, and somehow assuming that implies there's a high level of intelligence in the songwriting. Her approach to image is really interesting, but you listen to the music, and you just hear glow sticks.
Smart outlets for musical journalism give her all this credit, like she's the new Madonna […] Although I'm coming from a perspective of also thinking Madonna is not great at all. I'm like, fair enough: she is the new Madonna, but Madonna's a dumb-ass!”
Newsom later sent an e-mail to The Guardian clarifying her statement:
“I may have contradicted myself. My problem isn't actually with Lady Gaga. But there's not much in her music to distinguish it from other glossy, formulaic pop. She just happens to wear slightly weirder outfits than Britney Spears.
But they're not that weird– they're mostly just skimpy. She's fully marketing her body/sexuality; she's just doing it while wearing, like, a 'fierce' telephone hair-hat. Her sexuality has no scuzziness, no frank raunchiness, in the way that, say, Peaches, or even Grace Jones, have– she's Arty Spice! And, meanwhile, she seems to take herself so oddly seriously, the way she talks about her music in the third person, like she's Brecht or something. She just makes me miss Cyndi Lauper. […]
I shouldn't have called Madonna a dumb-ass. Her music and she have just gotten so boring to me, this last decade. I think maybe she doesn't hold her money very gracefully, the way some people can't hold their drink. But one thing she is surely not is dumb.
[Ed.'s note: Everything Joanna Newsome mewled in her interview and clarification seems pretty sensible to us, actually. What do you think?]