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Joni Mitchell: 1960s Experimental Jazz Folk Guitar-Strumming Songbird
Joanna Newsom: Current-Day Experimental Freak Folk Harp-Strumming Canary
How History Repeats Itself: Save for Tori Amos, Joanna Newsom and Joni Mitchell stand as pop music's closest link to the majickal faerie world. The two are similarly polarizing artists: Their dedicated fans wax rhapsodic about their unconventional melodies, their rhythmic experimentation, their lyrical free-form poetry, their innovative arrangements, their adaptation of Appalachian folk influences and, above all, their squiggly streamer-like vocals. Those who hate 'em can't stand the very same qualities. Curiously, each woman was introduced to a wide audience by a well-established male colleague known for his idiosyncratic facial hair: David Crosby helped Mitchell score her first record deal, and Will Oldham connected Newsom with her current label, Drag City.