Tell me if you know. I can’t stop listening to this astonishing song recommended by my brilliant friend Joe in Brooklyn, an amazing, musical man with ranging, eclectic taste. How did he know I would love it so much? Lucky me for having friends like this. Sometimes you are just fortunate for no good reason.
“Good Intentions Paving Company,” by Joanna Newsom is the most beautiful, weird, raw, surprising song I’ve heard in a long time. And yet, I recognize that it might me hugely annoying to other people.
And, although I can’t see when I listen because the tears almost instantly blur my vision (the song is so beautiful and “mysterious” as Joe described it), I’m moved to try to stitch it, the beautiful lyrics and the strange, fluttering, surprising vocalizing, the changing tempos, the moods.
It feels like a layered tapestry, this song. It makes me feel like something cracked open inside me. And I didn’t know that I could crack open any more. I’m going to be nothing but a pile of shards at the end of my short existence. How to stitch these layered emotions… No clue, but I will try.
I think Newsom, this artist (at least as far a this song goes) lives in such a crazy, free, open, honesty and fearlessness. And I know that I can (as much as anyone who supports herself by working for a corporation) live in this kind of honesty… I always have, often to my own detriment. But to live in this kind of fearlessness to say and create whatever I can possibly imagine… I want to be in that place in my life. I crave it. I’m not there, now. But, I am getting closer by inches…
My favorite line, squeaked out in a scary high register without any apologies on her part, is:
“And am in love with the hook
Upon which everyone hangs”
When you’re in love with the thing holding us all up and it is not defined… it is a hard way to live.