Granola-rific folk siren Joanna Newsom is one of indie music's few commercially successful singer-harpists. "Few" in this case being interchangeable with "otherwise nonexistent." The California-bred performer fell in love with the instrument at age 4 and never looked back. (Okay, yes, she briefly dated an oboe in high school and had that three-way with a mandolin and a didgeridoo after college, but otherwise she's been totally devout.) One of the other fascinating things about Newsom is her vocal delivery. Variously described as "childlike" and "ethereal," Newsom sings her Appalachian psych-folk compositions like Marianne Faithfull in the throes of deep-regression hypnosis. It's baby-talky and, frankly, a little spooky, but oddly captivating. Newsom's on-the-record fans include Simpsons creator Matt Groening and funnyman boyfriend Andy Samberg. Supporting her latest album, Have One on Me, Newsom is launching a three-month world tour right here in AZ Land. Unfortunately, there's no truth to the rumor that her set list includes an all-harp version of "Dick in a Box."
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Sun., Nov. 7, 2010