Joni Mitchell’s Catalog of Albums Now on YouTube: Stream Them Online

2022 — anoth­er dif­fi­cult year for so many — has drawn to a close.

While not a rem­e­dy for all the hard­ships and pri­va­tions we’ve been privy to, Joni Mitchell’s music remains good med­i­cine. Lis­ten­ing to her always makes us feel more con­nect­ed, reflec­tive and calm for at least an hour or two.

Lucky us. The beloved singer-song­writer has giv­en us a New Year’s gift — all her albums post­ed to her offi­cial Youtube chan­nel.

What a love­ly way to ush­er the old year off­stage, and qui­et­ly wel­come the new.

We all have our alle­giances, though many who iden­ti­fy as fans may dis­cov­er they’ve missed a cou­ple releas­es along the way.

She has, to date, released 19 stu­dio albums, 5 live albums, and an EP, as well as inspir­ing 2 trib­ute albums. A recent remark on Elton John’s Rock­et Hour left us hope­ful that more may be in the off­ing.

Sir Elton is but one of many well known musi­cians who are unabashed Mitchell fans. Artists as diverse as Har­ry Styles, k.d. lang, and Her­bie Han­cock have writ­ten songs in response to their favorite Joni cuts.

And the inter­net teems with cov­ers from both heavy hit­ters and unknowns. (See them orga­nized by song title on Mitchel­l’s web­site, where “Both Sides Now” remains the champ with a whop­ping 1576 ren­di­tions.)

Her fourth album, 1971’s Blue, seems to gar­ner the most fer­vent praise…

Tay­lor Swift: She wrote it about her deep­est pains and most haunt­ing demons. Songs like ‘Riv­er,’ which is just about her regrets and doubts of her­self – I think this album is my favorite because it explores some­body’s soul so deeply.”

James Tay­lor:  I said it prob­a­bly too many times that Joni is like, you tap the tree, and you know, it’s like maple syrup. This stuff, this nec­tar comes out of the most unusu­al places.

Jew­el: On Blue, you hear every­thing she expe­ri­enced, the highs and the lows. It’s such a lone­ly album — not in the “I don’t have any friends” sense but in the sense that you’re a lit­tle bit removed, and always watch­ing. It takes a lot of courage to be that hon­est, espe­cial­ly as a woman. 

Prince on The Hiss­ing of Sum­mer Lawns:

It was the last album I loved all the way through.

Boy George on Court and Spark:

I’ve bought this for many peo­ple because it is prob­a­bly her most acces­si­ble [album]. I love unusu­al voic­es and I’ve sat and cried to so many of her songs. My favorite is Car On A Hill because I’ve done what it’s about: wait­ed for the boyfriend to turn up as the cars go by.

Björk on 1977’s dou­ble album, Don Juan’s Reck­less Daugh­ter and Heji­ra:

I think it was that acci­den­tal thing in Ice­land, where the wrong albums arrive to shore, because I was obsessed with Don Juan’s Reck­less Daugh­ter and Heji­ra as a teenag­er. I hear much more of her in those albums. She almost made her own type of music style with those, it’s more a wom­an’s world.”

Sis­ters Danielle and Este Haim on 1974’s live album Miles of Aisles:

There’s a lit­tle bit of every­thing. Songs from all her albums up until then, and she’s play­ing them with the L.A. Express, which was this amaz­ing jazz band… a reimag­in­ing of a lot of her ear­ly work through this jazz lens.

Enjoy a love­ly wan­der through Joni Mitchell’s oeu­vre here. When you click on this page, scroll down to the “Albums & Sin­gles” sec­tion, and then move (from left to right) through the entire discog­ra­phy.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Joni Mitchell Tells Elton John the Sto­ries Behind Her Icon­ic Songs: “Both Sides Now,” “Carey” & More

Watch the Full Set of Joni Mitchell’s Amaz­ing Come­back Per­for­mance at the New­port Folk Fes­ti­val

Songs by Joni Mitchell Re-Imag­ined as Pulp Fic­tion Book Cov­ers & Vin­tage Movie Posters

Hear Demos & Out­takes of Joni Mitchell’s Blue on the 50th Anniver­sary of the Clas­sic Album

How Joni Mitchell Learned to Play Gui­tar Again After a 2015 Brain Aneurysm–and Made It Back to the New­port Folk Fes­ti­val

How Joni Mitchell Wrote “Wood­stock,” the Song that Defined the Leg­endary Music Fes­ti­val, Even Though She Wasn’t There (1969)

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

“Weird Al” Yankovic Breaks Down His Most Iconic Tracks: “Eat It,” “Amish Paradise,” “White and Nerdy,” and His Other Hilarious Songs

Few things could have been more amus­ing to a twelve-year-old in 1996 than an Amish-themed par­o­dy of the late Coo­lio’s por­ten­tous­ly grim life-in-the-hood anthem “Gangsta’s Par­adise.” As luck would have it, “Weird Al” Yankovic released just such a song in 1996, when I hap­pened to be twelve years old myself. Like every­one who’s been a kid at some point in the past 40 years, I grew up hear­ing and appre­ci­at­ing Yankovic’s pro­lif­ic out­put of par­o­dies, pas­tich­es, and even orig­i­nal songs. From “Eat It” to “Smells like Nir­vana” to “White and Nerdy,” there was hard­ly a pop-music phase of my child­hood, ado­les­cence, and ear­ly adult­hood that he did­n’t make fun­ny.

That’s to make fun­ny, as dis­tinct from to make fun of: unlike that of a pre­de­ces­sor in com­e­dy song­writ­ing like Tom Lehrer, Yankovic’s body of work evi­dences not the least ten­den­cy toward harsh­ness or ridicule.

Hence his appeal from his very first record­ing “My Bol­og­o­na,” an accor­dion-based par­o­dy of “My Sharona” record­ed in the bath­room of his col­lege radio sta­tion, to no less an advo­cate of silli­ness than Dr. Demen­to, whose air­play launched the young Weird Al’s career — a career that, as Yankovic acknowl­edges while telling the sto­ries behind his icon­ic songs in the GQ video above, has not gone with­out its strokes of luck.

Yet few liv­ing per­form­ers more clear­ly per­son­i­fy the old apho­rism describ­ing luck as the meet­ing of prepa­ra­tion and oppor­tu­ni­ty. “Weird Al approach­es the com­po­si­tion of his music with some­thing like the holy pas­sion of Michelan­ge­lo paint­ing the ceil­ing of the Sis­tine Chapel,” writes Sam Ander­son in a 2020 New York Times Mag­a­zine pro­file. See­ing Yankovic’s notes for “White & Nerdy” “file felt like watch­ing a super­com­put­er crunch through pos­si­ble chess moves. Every sin­gle vari­able had to be con­sid­ered, in every sin­gle line.” To work in musi­cal form, even the sil­li­est humor demands his total ded­i­ca­tion.

Yankovic has long showed a will­ing­ness straight­for­ward­ly to dis­cuss what it’s like to be Weird Al, as well as what it takes to be Weird Al. For a con­sid­er­ably less straight­for­ward ver­sion, we can watch The Roku Chan­nel’s new Weird: The Al Yankovic Sto­ry. Most biopics take artis­tic lib­er­ties with the lives of their sub­jects, but Weird goes all the way, par­o­dy­ing the very form of the biopic itself while per­form­ing colos­sal (and sure­ly fan-delight­ing) exag­ger­a­tions of the facts of Yankovic’s life. In the GQ video, for exam­ple, he men­tions get­ting the idea for “Like a Sur­geon” by hear­ing Madon­na throw it out in an inter­view; in the trail­er above, Madon­na turns at the door at his opu­lent man­sion, a ver­i­ta­ble suc­cubus ready to drag him into the musi­cal under­world. And it seems a safe bet that things only get Weird­er there­after.

Relat­ed con­tent:

“Weird Al” Yankovic Releas­es “Word Crimes,” a Gram­mar Nerd Par­o­dy of “Blurred Lines”

Two Leg­ends: Weird Al Yankovic “Inter­views” James Brown (1986)

Dr. Demento’s New Punk Album Fea­tures William Shat­ner Singing The Cramps, Weird Al Yankovic Singing The Ramones & Much More

Mon­ty Python’s Eric Idle Breaks Down His Most Icon­ic Char­ac­ters

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

The Archives of the Planet: Explore 72,000 Photos Taken a Century Ago to Document Human Cultures Around the World

The world, we often hear, used to be big­ger. Today, if you feel the faintest twinge of curios­i­ty about a dis­tant place — Bei­jing, Paris, Cam­bo­dia, Egypt — you can near-instan­ta­neous­ly call up count­less hours of high-qual­i­ty video footage shot there, and with only a lit­tle more effort even com­mu­ni­cate in real-time with peo­ple actu­al­ly liv­ing there. This may be the case in the ear­ly twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry, but it cer­tain­ly was­n’t in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth. If you’d want­ed to see the world back then, you either had to trav­el it your­self, an expen­sive and even dan­ger­ous propo­si­tion, or else hire a team of expert pho­tog­ra­phers to go forth and cap­ture it for you.

Albert Kahn, a suc­cess­ful French banker and spec­u­la­tor, did both. A few years after mak­ing his own trip around the world, tak­ing stere­o­graph­ic pho­tos and even motion-pic­ture footage along the way, he came up with the idea for a project called Les archives de la planète, or The Archives of the Plan­et.

Direct­ed by the geo­g­ra­ph­er Jean Brun­hes (and influ­enced by the philoso­pher Hen­ri Berg­son, a friend of Kah­n’s), Les archives de la planète spent most of the nine­teen-tens and nine­teen-twen­ties dis­patch­ing pho­tog­ra­phers to var­i­ous ends of the earth on few­er than four con­ti­nents: Europe, Amer­i­ca, Asia, and Africa. And if you click on those links, you can see the pro­jec­t’s pho­tos from the rel­e­vant regions your­self.

Hav­ing been dig­i­tized, the fruits of Les archives de la planète now reside online, at the web site of the Albert Kahn Muse­um. You can browse its col­lec­tion there, or on this image por­tal, where you can view fea­tured pho­tos or access whichev­er part of the world in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry you’d like to see. (Just make sure to do it in French.) The online archive con­tains a large chunk of the 72,000 autochrome pic­tures tak­en in 50 coun­tries by Kah­n’s pho­tog­ra­phers before he was wiped out by the stock mar­ket crash of 1929. Made freely avail­able in high res­o­lu­tion a cen­tu­ry after the height of his project, these vivid and evoca­tive pic­tures remind us that, how­ev­er small the world has become, the past remains a for­eign coun­try.

via Art­Net News/Petapix­el

Relat­ed con­tent:

Around the World in 1896: 40 Min­utes of Real Footage Lets You Vis­it Paris, New York, Venice, Rome, Budapest & More

Footage of Cities Around the World in the 1890s: Lon­don, Tokyo, New York, Venice, Moscow & More

Behold the Pho­tographs of John Thom­son, the First West­ern Pho­tog­ra­ph­er to Trav­el Wide­ly Through Chi­na (1870s)

How Vivid­ly Col­orized Pho­tos Helped Intro­duce Japan to the World in the 19th Cen­tu­ry

1850s Japan Comes to Life in 3D, Col­or Pho­tos: See the Stereo­scop­ic Pho­tog­ra­phy of T. Ena­mi

Petite Planète: Dis­cov­er Chris Marker’s Influ­en­tial 1950s Trav­el Pho­to­book Series

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

How the Ancient Romans Built Their Roads, the Lifelines of Their Vast Empire

At its peak in the sec­ond cen­tu­ry, the Roman Empire dom­i­nat­ed near­ly two mil­lion square miles of the world. As with most such grand achieve­ments, it could­n’t have hap­pened with­out the devel­op­ment of cer­tain tech­nolo­gies. The long reach of the Eter­nal City was made pos­si­ble in large part by the hum­ble tech­nol­o­gy of the road — or at least it looks like a hum­ble tech­nol­o­gy here in the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry. Roads exist­ed before the Roman Empire, of course, but the Romans built them to new stan­dards of length, capac­i­ty, and dura­bil­i­ty. How they did it so gets explained in the short video above.

On a rep­re­sen­ta­tive stretch of Roman-road-to be, says the nar­ra­tor, a “wide area would be defor­est­ed.” Then “the top­soil would be removed until a sol­id base was found.” Atop that base, work­ers laid down curbs at the width deter­mined by the road plan, then filled the gap between them with a foun­da­tion of large stones.

Atop the large stones went a lay­er of small­er stones mixed with fine aggre­gates, and final­ly the grav­el, sand, and clay that made up the sur­face. All of this was accom­plished with the old-fash­ioned pow­er of man and ani­mal, using tip­per carts to pour out the mate­ri­als and oth­er tools to spread and com­pact them.

Roman road-builders did­n’t just use any old rocks and dirt, but “care­ful­ly select­ed mate­ri­als of the high­est qual­i­ty” — includ­ing for­mi­da­bly long-last­ing Roman con­crete, the secrets of whose stur­di­ness have only been ful­ly under­stood in the past decade. In anoth­er inge­nious design choice recent­ly dis­cov­ered, “ditch­es were placed to pre­vent access to the road from unau­tho­rized vehi­cles,” as well as to widen the periph­er­al view of the road­’s users. In the video just above, civ­il-engi­neer­ing spe­cial­ist Isaac Moreno Gal­lo takes a clos­er look at a sec­tion of a real Roman road being exca­vat­ed where it will inter­sect with a mod­ern high­way under con­struc­tion. The new road will sure­ly stand for a long time to come — but will it inspire fas­ci­na­tion a cou­ple mil­len­nia from now?

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Roman Roads and Bridges You Can Still Trav­el Today

How to Make Roman Con­crete, One of Human Civilization’s Longest-Last­ing Build­ing Mate­ri­als

The First Tran­sit Map: a Close Look at the Sub­way-Style Tab­u­la Peutin­ge­ri­ana of the 5th-Cen­tu­ry Roman Empire

How Did Roman Aque­ducts Work?: The Most Impres­sive Achieve­ment of Ancient Rome’s Infra­struc­ture, Explained

The Roads of Ancient Rome Visu­al­ized in the Style of Mod­ern Sub­way Maps

The Roman Roads of Britain Visu­al­ized as a Sub­way Map

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Paul McCartney Explains How Bach Influenced “Blackbird”

If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

For most of human­i­ty, this might mean nab­bing a lick or two from Paul McCart­ney’s play­book.

For Paul McCart­ney, it meant bor­row­ing from Bach — the fifth move­ment from Suite in E minor for Lute, to be spe­cif­ic.

As he explained dur­ing the above 2005 appear­ance on the Parkin­son Show, when he and his bud­dy, George Har­ri­son, used to sit around teach­ing them­selves basic rock n’ roll chords, their show off move was a bit of semi-clas­si­cal fin­ger­pick­ing that Sir Paul mod­est­ly claimed to be “not very good at:”

It was actu­al­ly clas­si­cal but we made it semi.

Thus­ly did the chord pro­gres­sions of Bach’s Bour­ree in E minor  — a piece which “I nev­er knew the title of, which George and I had learned to play at an ear­ly age; he bet­ter than me actu­al­ly”  — inspire Black­bird:

Part of its struc­ture is a par­tic­u­lar har­mon­ic thing between the melody and the bass line which intrigued me. Bach was always one of our favorite com­posers; we felt we had a lot in com­mon with him. For some rea­son we thought his music was very sim­i­lar to ours and we latched on to him amaz­ing­ly quick­ly. We also liked the sto­ries of him being the church organ­ist and wop­ping this stuff out week­ly, which was rather sim­i­lar to what we were doing. We were very pleased to hear that…The fin­ger­pick­ing style was some­thing we admired in Chet Atkins, par­tic­u­lar­ly in a piece called Tram­bone, though it was also played by Col­in Man­ley, from a group called The Remo Four. They’d start­ed out in Liv­er­pool around the same time as The Bea­t­les.

This decep­tive­ly slow burn, now a sta­ple of Sir Paul’s setlists, debuted as a solo acoustic track on the White Album.

Bach’s Bour­ree in E minor also inspired Jethro Tull and, hilar­i­ous­ly, Tena­cious D.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Watch Pre­cious­ly Rare Footage of Paul McCart­ney Record­ing “Black­bird” at Abbey Road Stu­dios (1968)

When the Bea­t­les Refused to Play Before Seg­re­gat­ed Audi­ences on Their First U.S. Tour (1964)

The Bea­t­les’ ‘Black­bird’ Sung in the Indige­nous Mi’kmaq Lan­guage

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

Miley Cyrus & David Byrne Perform David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on New Year’s Eve

Last night, Miley Cyrus and David Byrne per­formed David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on the NBC hol­i­day spe­cial Miley’s New Year’s Eve Par­ty. And they also treat­ed view­ers to a per­for­mance of “Everybody’s Com­ing to My House,” from Byrne’s 2018 album Amer­i­can Utopia. Not a bad way to send off 2022.

Before leav­ing 2022 behind, we’ll also flag anoth­er Miley Cyrus collaboration–a per­for­mance from this sum­mer’s cel­e­bra­tion of the life of Tay­lor Hawkins. Below, watch her take the stage with Def Lep­pard and per­form “Pho­to­graph” at the 3:45. No doubt, she can sing.

Hap­py 2023.

Relat­ed Con­tent

How David Byrne and Bri­an Eno Make Music Togeth­er: A Short Doc­u­men­tary

Watch a Very Ner­vous, 23-Year-Old David Byrne and Talk­ing Heads Per­form­ing Live in NYC (1976)

Watch David Byrne Lead a Mas­sive Choir in Singing David Bowie’s “Heroes”

David Byrne’s Grad­u­a­tion Speech Offers Trou­bling and Encour­ag­ing Advice for Stu­dents in the Arts

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