Artist primers: Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Anita Lane

brief introductions to iconic musicians famous & obscure

Life is learning and occasionally I compile playlists which help enable my own musical explorations. I’ll share them with you when I remember to! Here are three playlists about artists whose discographies & deep cuts I wasn’t all that well versed on until I made these here playlists.

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Weird Joni: June 2015

This was originally an episode of my Clocktower Radio show Teenage Kicks—but was later adapted into a Spotify playlist that I try to repost every year around Joni’s birthday. (November 7th if you’re wondering.) She is, of course, an eternal icon, but this was my effort to focus 100% on her music, specifically some of the underheard corners of her discography.

Willie in 120 minutes: August 2019

He’s Willie Nelson. What more do you need me to say?

Anita Lane in 60 minutes: April 2021

Anita Lane was muse to Nick Cave during the years he emerged with the Birthday Party then became eternal with the Bad Seeds. Let’s be honest muse is a problematic word. His tribute to her on his Red Right Hand blog was better than that:

Standing on the street in a baby-doll dress, surrounded by sunshine, laughing and radiating a piercing beauty of such force you stop breathing…

She was the smartest and most talented of all of us, by far….

She thought the best ideas were the ones that never saw the light of day…

Drank gin out of a baby’s bottle.

Despised the concept of the muse but was everybody’s.

Spoke in a child’s voice and was my best friend.

It was both easy and terrifying to love her.

She also co-write some of Cave’s most iconic songs — and made a pair of records herself for Mute, the same record label that documented his projects until the 2010s. This playlist compiles some highlights from her own artistic output — in all its baby doll ephemerality and doomy ambiance.

These playlist includes songs such as…

Joni Mitchell: “The Magdalene Laundries”

Willie Nelson: “I’m A Worried Man”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “From Her To Eternity” — The clip is from Wim Wenders’ Wings Of Desire. Anita Lane co-wrote the song.