All posts filed under: REVIEWS

Joanna Newsom, a master of lullabies on ‘Divers’

The last of the day’s light had dissolved into the earth and I had drawn the curtains. It was almost quiet; I thought I could hear the humming of engines on the other side of the street but by two in the morning the city tended to have settled into sleep. The sputtering last remnants of a slow burning candle were the room’s only real movement, and as I slipped under the duvet my eyes grew weary for the umpteenth time that day. She sings, as dulcetly as she always does; the words once again plucked from the depths of the pages of the books you find behind boarded up fireplaces – or the bible for that matter. On ‘Anecdotes‘, she strikes up a conversation with a nightjar and observes the world from a distance, in a “state of torpor, waiting out the day while the dew burns away”. I had heard this before: “The cause is Ozymandian / The map of Sapokanikan“. A rhythmic ragtime with the kind of references only an artist of her skill and calibre could …

The blurred lines of documentary with Francofonia, Taxi Tehran and Janis: Little Girl Blue

  Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue (Amy Berg, 2015) – ★★★★☆ Consider this an unfairly biased view, for I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a serious Amy Berg fanboy. The documentary filmmaker has a genius technical form, avoiding  staged ‘interpretations’ of events and instead taking us to the core of the real people behind them. Janis Joplin, much like this year’s music doc star Amy Winehouse, was a playful soul whose emotions made her crumble behind closed doors. Berg gives us the key to those morose moments, but in a way that, unlike most music docs, doesn’t feel wrapped up by it. First and foremost, Little Girl Blue gives us a breathtaking view of a rockstar’s whirlwind career, giving us insight into her heyday from those who loved her most. Berg brings Joplin’s audacious sense of humour to the fore, and we’re left to revel in it before those heartbreaking final moments arrive. For the dedicated fans of her music, Little Girl Blue will deliver a beguiling look into Janis’ life, while not necessarily …