Until a few moments ago, Morgantown was a fictitious place that existed solely in Joni Mitchell’s Morning Morgantown song, or at least that’s what I thought. It turns out over 70,000 people call it home with 29,000 of those being students at the University of West Virginia (US). Apparently it was a short time spent studying at this university that provided Joni Mitchell with her inspiration for the song. Puh! Shows what I know!
I have always been particularly fond of Morning Morgantown. Joni’s lyrics paint vivid images of a 1960's American town at the beginning of its day. Sleepy people ride around on buses, there are little cafes where you can pass time sipping "tea and lemonade", you might "wink at total strangers passing", and buy "a wooden bird with painted wings" (?!). Although Joni confesses she could be describing any town, "Morning any town you name, Morning's just the same", Morgantown is the one she chose to sing about and having not been alive to experience 1960's America, it's sounds like the kind of town that I think I would have liked to have woken up in back then. It's for this reason I’m not sure I'd ever be able to bring myself to visiting present day Morgantown. It’s not that I think there would be anything wrong with the town, I just wouldn't want to shatter the image of the place my mind wonders to whenever I listen to the song. Until today, Joni's Morgantown only had a population of about 500 people. Oh boy, I already know too much. See what I mean?
Morning Morgantown is the opening track on Joni Mitchell's third album Ladies of the Canyon (1970).
I keep spelling the name of my favourite new Django Django song incorrectly. It's spelt 'Hail Bop' not 'Hale-Bopp' as in the great comet of 1997 discovered by Mr Hale and Mr Bopp. It is still a tribute to that dirty great crusty gaseous snowball in the sky, but with a clever little play on words to catch people like me out when we're searching for it on the internet. I'm picking up little hints of Weezer meets Man or Astro-Man and I unapologetically love it. The song is taken from their recently released self titled album and is in the running as one of favourites of 2012 so far.
If Hale-Bopp survives it's trip around the sun without melting it won't be back until around the year 4588, by that time I'm fairly certain you, me and Django Django will all be kicking up daisies (or whatever flowers are around then). Maybe we'll have colonised the moon? The last time comet Hale-Bopp visited we hadn't even built Stonehenge. Amazing.
You know it's a good year when M Ward releases a new album. Here's a song called 'The First Time I Ran Away' from his forthcoming album, A Wasteland Companion out on April 10th. I can't wait to hear the whole album and to see him at the Leicester Square Theatre in March. His EOTR performance was up there in my top 5 shows of last year. This guy can play.