Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big Yellow Taxi 2007 (Joni Mitchell)

"In order to be optimistic, you have to be irrational" ~ Joni Mitchell - god, I love this!

Two CDs (one *by* Joni and the other *about* her) being released the same day (today!) - guess you can guess where I'm headed immediately after work (zippity... :-)

[ADDED 9/25, 7:15 p.m.: Since Starbucks is basically the reason this new Joni disc saw the light of day (no pun intended), I figured I’d stop at the one directly on my route home from work to buy Shine – I walked in, looked on all the counters… and the music carousel... and didn’t see it. I asked the nice young barista and he looked puzzled… and then apologetic – “we definitely have the CD, but I just forgot to put it out!”.

I politely but emphatically told the guy, “this is a very big deal – it’s been ten years since Joni recorded an album of all-new material. Starbucks all over the country were celebrating the occasion today between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. - I can’t believe I am the first person asking for it, at 6:00 p.m. on the release date.” He pointed to a 7” x 9” poster confirming what I had just stated – rather than treat me like an obsessive-compulsive fan, he seemed to understand. He called someone else to staff the register while he went in search, coming back with one for me and a handful to display front and center, temporarily replacing something else – I then asked him what they’d be doing with the poster after today. He slipped it out of the frame and gave it to me – I grinned… broadly…

As I was paying for the CD, as well as a venti Pumpkin Spice Latte (cinnamon freak that I am – yum!), I made sure to get eye contact with him, placed my hand over my heart and said, “thank you so much” – he smiled back… and I’d like to think maybe he’ll do a bit of PR the rest of the night/week/month on this most auspicious musical offering (or he could very well get lots of mileage talking about the old hippie chick Joni freak nutcase that came into his store earlier tonight… :-)

I listened to the first song, an instrumental, on my way home and just wept at the beauty… of the notes and of her gift to us – it’s definitely Ms. Mitchell’s "voice", even without the words… and I am so looking forward to hearing more...

P.S. I'll go up to Best Buy later to get the new Herbie - he can wait...

From the Joni Mitchell website:

On September 25, Starbucks will host an intimate "Lunch and Listen" event to celebrate "Shine." From 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, more than 6,500 Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will participate in the event by playing "Shine" along with a retrospective of classics which have made Joni one of the most beloved singer/songwriters of our time. "Shine" will be available at Starbucks locations and traditional music retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada on September 25 and in global markets the week of September 24. "Shine" is already receiving glowing accolades from the press, check out the library for all the latest reviews.


Head over to the LiveDaily website and be one of the first to hear Herbie Hancock's Joni tribute, which the New York Times says "delivers an intimate reinvention issuing from someplace deep inside the music." Describing the great work of Herbie's core band on the record (Herbie, sax genius Wayne Shorter, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Dave Holland and guitarist Lionel Loueke), the Times goes on to say:

They also support a handful of vocalists, ranging from the wistful young singer-songwriters Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones (on "River" and "Court and Spark" respectively) to the spectral poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen ("The Jungle Line"). Tina Turner takes a mesmerizing turn on "Edith and the Kingpin," while the Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza offers a respectful "Amelia." Then there is Ms. Mitchell herself. "If she's not a jazz singer, I don't know who is," Mr. Hancock said. "Her phrasing on 'Tea Leaf Prophecy' is unbelievable."

I want to tell you that the world
is still beautiful.
I tell you that despite
children raped on city streets,
shot down in school rooms,
despite the slow poisons seeping
from old and hidden sins
into our air, soil, water,
despite the thinning film
that encloses our aching world.
Despite my own terror and despair.

I want you to know that spring
is no small thing, that
the tender grasses curling
like a baby's fine hairs around
your fingers are a recurring
miracle. I want to tell you
that the river rocks shine
like God, that the crisp
voices of the orange and gold
October leaves are laughing at death,

I want to remind you to look
beneath the grass, to note
the fragile hieroglyphs
of ant, snail, beetle. I want
you to understand that you
are no more and no less necessary
than the brown recluse, the ruby-
throated hummingbird, the humpback
whale, the profligate mimosa.

I want to say, like Neruda,
that I am waiting for
"a great and common tenderness",
that I still believe
we are capable of attention,
that anyone who notices the world
must want to save it.

QUOTE: "Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime, therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history, therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone, therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own, therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness." ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

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