Monday, January 05, 2009

Bon Iver in The New Yorker


Bon Iver is profiled an excellent article by Sasha Frere-Jones in the most recent issue of The New Yorker.



This may be the best piece of music writing I've read in a very long time.  It contains all the elements that I'm looking for when writing about music - what does it sound like?  Where does it come from?  What does the artist say about it?  How does the writer experience the music?

Here's a snipped to wet the appitite:

Vernon is intermittently specific. “Skinny Love” begins with a shuffle not so different from the one on “Flume,” and it doesn’t ascend to Heaven so quickly. The choir is contained this time, maybe only a few voices: “Come on skinny love, just last the year. Pour a little salt, we were never here.” Then Vernon’s natural voice resurfaces, to repeat “my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my,” an invocation that skirts both blues and gospel, before the falsetto finishes the stanza with “staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer.” (That’s a cue that this number may be leaving the church.) The song stays fairly small, less adorned than the songs before it, and pauses before Vernon opens up in his natural voice, bound to the earth but revving hard: “And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be fine. And I told you to be balanced, and I told you to be kind. And in the morning I’ll be with you, but it will be a different ‘kind.’ I’ll be holding all the tickets and you’ll be owning all the fines.” Vernon spits out each “told” louder than the words before it—it does not appear that skinny love is something to hold on to.
See?  It's excellent!

The folks at The New Yorker have also tossed in a video interview with Justin Vernon.

Also, NPR has a nice interview here .

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