Joni & Josephine

23:37, Jun 16 2013

I had a lovely weekend actually, thanks for asking. Killing Joke gig on Friday night - one where you could breathe, even. (Review is in today's Dominion Post). And that was the only music outing - but I enjoyed a chance to select records at someone else's house (always fun) and had a social weekend catching up with friends from Hong Kong - even finding time for the Come Dine With Me omnibus - TV's best programme. And if our resident TV blogger doesn't agree with me there I bet our resident food blogger does.  

A 6.00am wake-up call with The Wiggles couldn't dampen my spirit this weekend - actually the joy on Oscar's face as soon as they kicked in with the opening track on their bound-to-be-thrilling-to-a-toddler Hot Potatoes best-of DVD meant that I was perfectly happy to be watching and hearing The Wiggles. They were doing their job; nailing it. He was loving it. And I was loving him loving it. I can take The Wiggles. I get made to listen to a lot worse. I had a mini-Stallone moment as I braced myself for this library-borrowed DVD: They won't break me.

But the best thing, musically, that happened for me this weekend - and I had a blast playing so many favourite albums now I come to think of it - was reconnecting with one old favourite and discovering a brand new one.

Joni Mitchell was recently interviewed and you can watch the whole thing right here - it's nearly two hours long, but it's worth your time. Lovely stories, and a chance to hear more of the whole story because in recent years she's been reduced down to a series of mean-spirited sound bites, picking on Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and has been made to seem like she's fighting for relevance, fighting for artistic survival.

It was a wonderful interview I thought - just nice to hear her voice again. It made me go straight to an old vinyl compilation; one I've been favouring recently.

And then, later in the weekend, I reviewed Portrait, the debut album by Josephine.

Josephine is Josephine Oniyama, a British singer-songwriter. And Portrait is one of my new favourite albums. I love it. Stunning voice, great songs - lots of references, lots of spot-the-influence moments and then on the closing track, House of Mirrors, I heard something in the song that instantly made me think of Joni Mitchell's great work from the 1990s.

Yes, everyone acknowledges that Mitchell had an amazing run in the 1970s - and I'm not sure she ever really got her head around the 1980s (a duet with Billy Idol?!) - but in the 1990s Mitchell released three albums that I love - Night Ride Home, Turbulent Indigo and Taming The Tiger. They're not five-star classics, they're not perfect - but there's some gorgeous songs on these records. And Josephine's final track on Portrait (it features Ed Harcourt on piano by the way - if that's of interest) reminded me of the feel across those albums by Mitchell. So that was nice - making a connection between Joni and Josephine.

Have you heard Josephine's album? Or heard any of her songs? Here's the title track from her debut album. And here's a lively track called Pepper Shaker. I also really like Original Love and What A Day. I hear plenty of Joan Armatrading in her sound and, well, lots of things as I said here.

Anyone else sit through all/most of the Joni interview? What did you think?

What old favourite did you reconnect with this weekend? And what new favourite did you discover?

Blog on the Tracks is on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.