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Friday, April 2, 2010

Joanna Newsom

Tonight @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

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Iconoclastic California singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom keeps finding new ways to outdo herself. She delighted some critics and confounded others with her 2004 debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender, a collection of harp-led fairyland folk songs, before revealing herself to be more ambitious than anybody could have guessed with 2006’s Ys, a five-track orchestral suite with arrangements by composer Van Dyke Parks. With its shorter songs, Newsom’s new record, Have One On Me, is breezier and more accessible than Ys—but it’s also three discs long, Newsom’s way of saying she hasn’t dialed back her ambitions any.