Iain Cameron's Diary
"Click here to access the Fruitful Album" - Click here to visit Music for the Highveld Project

The Highveld Project

Get your own
 diary at DiaryLand.com! contact me older entries

2005-03-05 - 9:30 a.m.

I stayed in to nurse my cold and dragged myself out to get some shopping. Luckily FOPP had a 1984 DVD of Miss M just in. It opens with Wild Things Run Fast and a cartoon version of Raised on Robbery. Its interesting the way the solos have crossed the threshold to semiotic impact on this DVD relative to the semantic approach on the Santa Barabara vid.

She offers herself within the visual language of the time apparently without irony – but then so did Hall and Oates. What is she getting at when she talks about ‘laughing at how our perfection would always be denied’.

I had been talking to Paul W about her cultural position n the 80s – without the advantage of this document. She must have been in her early 40s. There s a version of Sweet Bird which is just as well cos most weeks I cant get out of my head.

I once flew from Detroit to LA reading about Miss M and the guy in the seat next to me remarked on it. He was into Georgia O Keefe and he had discovered Miss M because she bought a few of the pix.

Maybe its irony – they hammer their way through Banquet from For the Roses. Bunuel is cross-cut. Discrete ? (Not quite). Another view:

‘Fans of the reclusive artist—this critic included—know that there are really two divergent musical personalities constantly struggling within Mitchell and her musical canon. One is the pop chanteuse; the gal who penned such glorious anthemic examples of three-minute majesty as "Big Yellow Taxi," "Both Sides Now," and "Woodstock." Then there is the experimental jive jazz torch, a lady working out her complex internal issues in equally perplexing time-shifts and arcane chord changes. That both antagonist entities can work together so well over the course of nearly four decades is a miracle.’
It is this very component, the no-frills facets of her 1983 concert performances, that makes Refuge of the Roads so special. This is a soul-stirring collection of Mitchell at her most magical and magnificent. As she moves through the first four songs in the set, we are whisked away on the intricate shapes and epic open spaces she evokes with her words and musings. With a husky voice that suggests both wisdom and loss, ancient spirituality and mellowing wine, Mitchell draws you into the cosmos to which she's calling, helping you experience the infinite emotions her sonic images paint. By the time she is stomping to "You're So Square" or bringing the bop with the magnificent Mingus track "God Must Be a Boogie Man," she has won us over.
As the final tracks build in power to the sonorous solo reading of the classic "Woodstock," the outside world has vanished, and Mitchell has moved us into a new realm of the spirit revived and the soul nourished. Sure, we fans miss the radio-friendly ramblings that made her, at one time, the queen of thought-provoking folk pioneers (in many ways, she is the equivalent of a female Bob Dylan in poetry and passion). But well-known tunes like "Free Man in Paris," "Help Me," or "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio" would probably sound out of place on this set list. Mitchell is out to suggest a mood here, using specific songs to intone a timeless, tender quality. Along with the effective, understated play of her band (husband Klein bends his bass strings like a groom caressing a newlywed bride), Refuge of the Roads is not just a concert: it's a happening as an otherworldly state of being.’
They set For Free in early 80s London – ho ho ho. Mrs C is at Covent Garden with her lawyer partner friend from Clapham.
Another view:

Worth thirteen pounds of anyones money however suspect the earnings.

previous - next