Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

>> Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seeing as how I can't seem to come up with anything writeworthy today and am feeling on edge (we're having technical difficulties, albeit they're really more like minor inconveniences), how about some Joni Mitchell?

So I have to admit that after yesterday's post, I was really tempted to post "Woodstock" just to be a little perverse, but I was too lazy to dig deeper than the video clip that came up where Joni's lips are disconcertingly out-of-sync with the audio track. So, "Taxi", instead, because Joni Mitchell has that wispy angelic voice and it's a decent song to ungrit your teeth to, basically.

Thinking about if I'd posted "Woodstock", I find myself a touch conflicted over whether to get into my mixed opinions about that epic roll in the mud or just let it go as being too pointless even for this blog. It's not Woodstock per se that's the problem--solid concert, with some fine moments (I've always been especially partial to Richie Havens' set), but my elders' attitude to it that really comprises the problem. The shortish version is that if you were a Gen-Xer coming up in the 1980s it seemed like you had to put up with way too many Boomers musing upon the shallowness of the kids these days compared to how things were In The Sixties, and where was the younger generations' Woodstock? Sort of inevitable, really: much as a child's voice changes to an adult's during puberty, at some point an adult's voice turns into Old Man/Lady Grumpus'. The irony that made it irritating, though, was that our generation's big rock and roll event was the one that aspired to end world hunger while theirs' was the one where a bunch of young entrepreneurs with lousy planning skills watched their get-rich-quick scheme backfire when a bunch of kids tore down their stupid, half-assed fence. Further irony and further irritation came along in the '90s when the same Boomer assholes who hadn't planned on their fence being torn down tried to recoup their 1969 losses by doing sequel festivals in '94 and '99, the first of which was sort of a fiasco and the second of which was actually tragic what with the heatstrokes and rapes. And who gets blamed for that? Those Boomers still trying to pry a buck out of their Underpants Gnomes-style anyone-can-be-a-festival-promoter business plan? Nope, it's these damn kids today (or yesterday, I guess, what with it being twelve years ago), who lack the "spirit of 1969".

So I get irritated by that, yeah, even though I was approaching Grumpusdom by '99, myself, and those kids getting gouged for drinking water in the hot sun were mostly Generation Y or Millennials or whatever they're getting called.

Look, I'm just going to come out and say it: aside from a few great sets by a few great artists (and a coupla okay sets by some not-all-that-great acts), Woodstock kind of sucked. My generation may have been suckers to think music could feed the world, but at least some of us wanted to think bigger than "let's do acid and roll around in the mud and give each other the clap". Bless you, Bob Geldof.

I know, I know, it sounds like I'm doing some hippie-bashing myself. It's really more Boomer-bashing. There are some alright hippies. Joni Mitchell, for instance.

Oh! Which brings me back to: "Woodstock", the song, is awesome. The festival may have been kind of a fiasco, but that hook during the chorus kicks ass. That'll be all.


Tony McDaniel Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7:53:00 PM EDT  

Of course, there's also the irony that Joni didn't actually make it to Woodstock to perform.

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