An Incomplete History of the Musical Relationship Between Joanna Newsom and Robin Pecknold

From the Pope to the Moore.

March 23, 2004 Drag City releases The Milk-Eyed Mender, the debut record of then-22-year-old harpist Joanna Newsom, after Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy) passes the label Newsom's demo. "I was so young when I started [playing harp]," Newsom says via e-mail. "I just loved the harp, and happened to be exposed to it at an opportune moment in my life."

June 3, 2008 Sub Pop releases Fleet Foxes' self-titled, game-changing debut. Baroque pop becomes huge, the Pope declares himself a fan, singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold is folk's new crown prince.

February 22, 2010 The day before Newsom's triple LP, Have One on Me, is released, Pecknold announces that he will open for the harp queen in a weeklong stint in March and April. But the tour dates only cover the Midwest. West Coasters/Seattleites snort with indignation.

March 5, 2010 In anticipation of his upcoming gig, Pecknold performs a cover of Newsom's "On a Good Day" and posts it on his YouTube page. Via Facebook, he asks Newsom's fans to "go easy on me." Will Newsom return the favor? "Blue Spotted Tail" is her favorite Fleet Foxes song, but she told us "I'd be really nervous about covering it. Robin's voice is so iconic. It's hard to imagine anyone else singing those songs."

March 28, 2010 On his first night opening for Newsom in Nashville, Pecknold performs an untitled new song. Seattleites nearly faint with envy and begrudgingly content themselves with the YouTube footage of the song.

June 23, 2010 Newsom and Pecknold announce another weeklong tour together in July and August—this time down the West Coast, including stops in San Diego, L.A., Portland, Vancouver, and, yes, Seattle.

August 4, 2010 The Newsom/Pecknold tour will hit the Moore Theatre. Seattle says "Fucking finally!" So are we getting to know the 21st century's James Taylor/Carole King? "Hey!" Newsom says."James Taylor and Carole Kingarethe 21stcentury version of James Taylor and Carole King." Got it.

ethompson@seattleweekly.com

 
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