A glamorous misunderstanding: on Joni Mitchell and Mingus (1979)

Mingus, Joni Mitchell

by Julia Selinger

Fundamental Truths are rarely spilt forth from Instagram. But it’s 2017; the Cubs are World Series champions, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and the 2nd Avenue subway is open to the public. It’s safe to say that anything we once knew as True has swiftly and resignedly flown the coop. The particular kernel of Truth I have in mind was casually cast into the world via the Instagram story of blogger-cum-mogul and venerable Cool Girl Tavi Gevinson. The scene: a whirring record player in a downtown apartment. The chunky white text read (excuse my paraphrasing, unavoidable given the transience of the medium), “Adulthood is wearing grey turtlenecks and listening to late Joni Mitchell records.”

Aside from acknowledging the universal truth that everyone looks good in a turtleneck, Gevinson clearly (if tongue-in-cheekily) devises a concise thesis about Mitchell’s discography: that her later work is unflinchingly that of a Grown Ass Woman.

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