Joanna Newsom Sang “He Needs Me” at a ‘Punch-Drunk Love’ Screening This Weekend


Joanna Newsom helped close out a screening of Punch-Drunk Love in Los Angeles Saturday with a cover of “He Needs Me,” the song from the film’s closing credits.

Held at the Ace Hotel, the screening featured the film’s composer, Jon Brion, leading a live performance of the score by the Wordless Music Orchestra. According to Pitchfork, Newsom joined the orchestra for an unannounced performance during the film’s final credits.

The version of “He Needs Me” from Punch-Drunk Love is, itself, a cover. The original was performed by Shelley Duvall in the 1980 film, Popeye. Brion recorded the Punch-Drunk Love version.

Brion will hold a similar screening with musical accompaniment at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York March 19.

In the meantime, here are clips of Newsom’s performance compiled from social media.

It’s worth noting that Joanna Newsom and Paul Thomas Anderson have an existing relationship, as he directed the video for “Divers,” from Newsom’s recent album of the same name. Newsom also served as narrator for and made a brief appearance in Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in 2014.