Sunday, June 5, 2011

Whatever Happened to the Successors of...

...the minstrel poets of my youth (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Joan Baez, etc., etc.)?

I'm sitting here in 2011 listening to Joni Mitchell's Clouds, an album I first listened to over 40 years ago, in the late '60s.  So far as I'm aware, there's nothing like that sort of poetic music, with meaningful and thought-provoking lyrics, being produced today.  Am I just unaware of it?  Or is it really that much out of fashion today?
Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on every one
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions that I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

My parents thought of Joni Mitchell as radical, and would not let me play her albums in our house. I had a record player (with a tube amplifier and electrodynamic speakers!) set up in an old chicken shack that we converted to an electronic workshop for me. There I could play all that radical music, like Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, and (gasp) Three Dog Night!

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