You may not be aware of this, but did you know the Swedish-American Hall is actually a ski lodge? Or did we miss the weather report that it was going to snow this weekend? The crowd waiting at the sold-out Joanna Newsom Noise Pop show was all bundled up like we live in Minnesota, with a profusion of complicatedly-knitted sweaters, scarves, shawls, and fuzzy hats. They were selling hot cocoa and tea at the drinks counter. People were wearing mukluks and circle skirts. Girls looking for tickets were wearing knit caps and singing outside in two-part harmony with signs saying, "WE NEED TO SEE OUR INSPIRATION!" They should've just had St. Bernards wandering the hall with little rum barrels around their necks too. (It's true that Joanna Newsom did request that people wear alpine sweaters to her last show in New York -- but at least in New York, it was at the time!)
They set up the front half of the auditorium with folding chairs, and for the first three singer-songwriters (Drew O'Doherty, Hudson Bell, and Nicolai Dunger), latecomers sat cross-legged on the floor. Joanna Newsom's harp, covered in canvas, loomed behind the sensitive boys singing solo through the first three sets as the room filled up and the drinks table ran out of hot chocolate.
Gentle guitars and some fierce, fierce harpwork, after the jump.
If we were better with Photoshop, we would have cut and pasted a harp in place of Kimber. Guilfoyle on the Getty carpet with Joanna's (actual) cousin Gavin for the picture here, but alas, you're stuck with an actual picture of Joanna in concert in London from soundgenerator.com