Joanna Newsom | On Tour thru 12.06

"Monkey and Bear," the second shortest song on the album (granted, it's 9:28), has an 860-word count and only two repeated phrases.

 

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  photo:  Paul O'Valle

 

at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, St. Louis
November 7, 8 p.m.
| 21+

Touring the United States in November, harpist Joanna Newsom will bless St. Louis with a live performance at Blueberry Hill's Duck room Nov. 7. This is Newsom's first headlining tour, her first trip to St. Louis, and her first string of dates in support of the Nov. 14 release of her new five-track, 56-minute album, Ys.

Ys measures up with 2004's The Milk-Eyed Mender, which means it deserves album-of-the-year considerations. However, this time the 24-year-old Newsom might receive her rightful praise from the platform of veteran help assisting her in the studio: Recorded by Steve Albini, Ys was co-produced by Van Dyke Parks and mixed by Jim O'Rourke, and includes a vocal cameo from Bill Callahan (Smog).

In the past, Newsom has performed supporting act duty for headliners such as Cat Power, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Devendra Banhart/Vetiver, and Smog. Although St. Louis seems to dodge massive tours sweeping the U.S., this is the optimum Newsom show to date, and couldn't be held at a better time. This is why:

1. At one week prior to the release of Ys, Newsom will be fully energized to play new highlights like "Emily" and "Only Skin" (all of the album's five tracks are highlights), and can give new life to songs that St. Louis can only guess are getting stale: "Peach Plum Pear," "Book of Right On," and "Sprout and the Bean."

2. Although the Van Dyke Parks orchestral background provides a brilliant element to the album, this will be the fans' only chance to hear the songs partially stripped down for at least another 364 days.

3. Newsom will attempt the incredible feat of reciting several songs worth of lyrics within each Ys track. How incredible? "Monkey and Bear," the second shortest song on the album (granted, it's 9:28), has an 860-word count and only two repeated phrases.

If you have any interest in good new music and you are of any age, go—you'll kick yourself later if you don't.

 

Tour dates: 11/04: Salt Lake City, UT | The Depot; 11/05: Denver, CO | Bluebird Theater ; 11/06: Omaha, NE | Scottish Rite Hall; 11/07: St. Louis, MO | Blueberry Hill's Duck Room; 11/08: Chicago, IL | Logan Square Auditorium; 11/09: Columbus, OH | Little Brother's; 11/10: Cleveland, OH | Beachland Ballroom & Tavern; 11/11: Pittsburgh, PA | Andy Warhol Museum; 11/13: New York, NY | Webster Hall; 11/14: Somerville, MA | Somerville Theatre; 11/15: New Haven, CT | Toad's Place; 11/16: Philadelphia, PA | Sanctuary @ First Unitarian Church; 11/17: Washington, DC | Black Cat; 11/18: Greensboro, NC | Greensboro College; 11/19: Atlanta, GA | Variety Playhouse; 11/20: Nashville, TN | Mercy Lounge; 11/21: Knoxville, TN | Blue Cats; 11/22: Asheville, NC | Diana Wortham Theatre; 11/24: Louisville, KY | Headliners; 11/25: Birmingham, AL | Bottletree; 11/29: Malibu, CA | Malibu Performing Arts Center; 11/30: Los Angeles, CA | El Rey Theatre; 12/01: Santa Cruz, CA | The Rio; 12/03: Portland, OR | Aladdin Theater; 12/04: Seattle, WA | Showbox; 12/05: Vancouver, BC | St. Andrews Wesley Church; 12/11: Norman, OK | University of Oklahoma; 12/14: Marfa, TX | Marfa Ballroom; 12/19: San Francisco, CA | Great American Music Hall; 12/20: San Francisco, CA | Great American Music Hall

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