neil young - Terra Nuova

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neil young - Terra Nuova
NeilYoung.com
History Archive
GOODBYE STARBUCKS!!!
I used to line up and get my
latte everyday, but yesterday
was my last one.
Starbucks has teamed up with
Monsanto to sue Vermont, and
stop accurate food labeling.
Tell Starbucks to withdraw
support for the lawsuit -- we have
a right to know what we put in our mouths.
Starbucks doesn't think you have the right to know
what's in your coffee. So it's teamed up with Monsanto to
sue the small U.S. state of Vermont to stop you from
finding out.
Hiding behind the shadowy "Grocery Manufacturers
Association," Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that's
aiming to block a landmark law that requires geneticallymodified ingredients be labeled. Amazingly, it claims
that the law is an assault on corporations' right to free
speech.
Monsanto might not care what we think -- but as a
public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can
generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to
withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure
other companies to do the same.
Vermont is a small, entirely rural state with just
600,000 people. It's a classic David and Goliath fight
between Vermont and Monsanto. Considering that
Starbucks has been progressive on LGBT and labor
issues in the past, it's disappointing that it is working
with the biggest villain of them all, Monsanto.
There's much more at stake
here than just whether GMO
foods will be labeled in a single
U.S. state. Vermont is the very
first state in the U.S. to require
labeling. Dozens of other states
have said that they will follow
this path -- in order to encourage this, we need to ensure
that Vermont's law stands strong.
That's why Monsanto and its new allies are fighting so
hard to kill GMO labeling in Vermont.
But whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should
not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate,
democratic decisions with strong public backing.
SumOfUs is already fighting back -- they helped
Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to
defend themselves against Monsanto's bullying! Help
them by going to SumOfUs and registering to donate or
sign a petition. The next strategic step is to pressure and
call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers
Association, the shadowy body leading the lawsuit. Your
backing can help.
Add your voice now. Tell Starbucks to stop supporting
the lawsuit against Vermont.
Thanks for caring!
Neil Young
Nov 9, 2014
Vancouver BC Canada
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LincVolt
HEAR SONGS FROM THE
ARCHIVES
Experience part of the Archives by clicking here and
listen to tracks like A Man Needs A Maid, Harvest, Heart
Of Gold, and more in the file cabinet!
MIXED PAGES OF
STORYTONE
November 10, 2014
The Storytone records have been a labor of love. Thanks
to all of you who have purchased them. These songs
were written during a period of profound change in my
life. Everything I want to share is there.
First, I recorded the songs at Capitol Records with
my old friends Niko Bolas and Al Schmitt. I sang them
alone with only the instruments I desired to use. There
was no over dubbing or enhancing. The resulting music
is from my heart, directly to you.
Then, I entered the hallowed MGM sound stage
where "The Wizard of Oz" soundtrack was recorded.
Surrounded by the finest musicians in Hollywood, with
arrangements and orchestrations by Christ Walden and
Michael Bearden, I sang seven of the Storytone songs
live for the second time. I sang into Barbara Streisand's
microphone, a perfectly cared-for antique with a
wonderful tone that I loved. I also went to Sunset
Boulevard to record the remaining three songs with a big
band in an old Hollywood studio rebuilt and now known
as East West. All the performances are live with no
added effects or recording. I just stood singing into the
microphone with occasional harmonica notes blown in
between verses, while the musician's played. Sometimes
there were 92 musicians singing and playing live with
me. It was a thrilling experience, both for the freedom of
not playing an instrument while I sang, and for the
beauty of being in the same room and listening as the
music was created. I will never forget it.
The resulting two records are combined into a deluxe
two record set. An orchestra only record is also available
at limited outlets, mostly so the record is available in
large chain stores that dictate what shape art must be in
before they sell it, kind of a sign of the times.
Tim Drummond during CSNY rehearsals, June 1974.
photo by Joel Bernstein
TIM DRUMMOND
April 20, 1940 - January 11, 2015
Rest in Peace Tim. You were a great bass player and
songwriter. You had the fire, the magic. You played with
James Brown, Conway Twitty and and Bob Dylan. You
held the groove for JJ Cale. You played on many of my
records too. I remember your humor, your life, your
quickness, your love. Thanks man!
Neil Young
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This has been a complex experience, and as
sometimes is the case, I have had trouble letting go. The
solo versions have all the intimacy and the orchestrated
versions have the beauty and depth that these songs cried
out for. Mixed Pages of Storytone, a new single special
release album, is the result of a journey through these
songs and feelings, capturing the best of both worlds,
combining them, with the roughness and friction of the
meeting points rubbing together.
Thanks,
Neil Young.
Mixed Pages of Storytone. Available soon in Pono,
Reprise Vinyl, and Itunes.
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PONOMUSIC LAUNCHES
ANOTHER SIDE OF
EQUITY
STAND UP
CROWDFUNDING
September 23, 2014
For as little as $5,000, accredited investors can
There's no time to waste
purchase shares in PonoMusic and become an owner
Time now to.....insist upon:
of the company.
Reversing Citizens United Ruling
August 14, 2014
Decentralized Renewable Energy
PonoMusic's revolution is stirring unprecedented interest
Protecting Intact Ecosystems on Land & in the Ocean
in the music community's highresolution digital music
Humane & Biodiverse Regenerative Biodynamic
market, as the startup's successful Kickstarter campaign Agriculture
recently raised $6.2M from over 18,000 backers the third
Protecting Endangered Species
largest Kickstarter campaign ever far surpassing even the
Curbing Overpopulation
campaign initiated by Oculus Rift.
Realigning our values; People over Profit, Less is
Now Neil Young and PonoMusic are continuing their More, Nothing is Disposable
crowdfunding momentum by launching an equity
& compassion as a 1st response
crowdfunding campaign exclusively on
and of course... love life while you're at it
Crowdfunder.com at PonoMusic on Crowdfunder.
C. Change
Accredited investors can invest as little as $5,000 and
become an equity owner in PonoMusic alongside Neil.
Neil and the team at PonoMusic are excited about
democratizing the investment process of PonoMusic by
giving their Kickstarter backers, and anyone who loves
music, the opportunity to now invest and become an
owner in Pono.
Click here for the full press release.
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by ERAWK
Click here to see this drawing created.
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92-MEMBER
ORCHESTRA & CHOIR
RECORDS "WHO'S
GONNA STAND UP?"
September 20, 2014
What started as a live Crazy Horse song and was
introduced to thousands of audience members wearing
organic cotton EARTH shirts this fall in Europe has now
been recorded live on the old MGM Sound Stage, (Now
SONY), in Hollywood. With over sixty of the music
industry's finest musicians and a thirty-voice choir, this
epic version resonates with a sound that has never been
RICK THE BASS PLAYER
November 9, 2014
It is with great admiration, appreciation and sadness that
I note the passing of Rick Rosas. Rick played on many of
my records, from Rockin in the Free World, Eldorado
and This Note's for you, to Prairie Wind, Living with
War and Who's Gonna Stand Up. There were great live
performances with Rick which will be unveiled in
upcoming Archives releases, chronicling the talent and
soul of one of the greatest musicians to ever play with
me. Heart of Gold and Trunk Show, two motion pictures
featuring Rick and directed by Jonathan Demme, are
among my favorite creations of all time. Trunk Show is
still unreleased.
Rest in Peace Rick.
Lots of love,
Neil
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RICK ROSAS (1949-2014)
On Thursday, November 6th, I lost one of the dearest
friends I had. An original Survivor, RTBP gave me love
and encouragement and support as I progressed from a
shy and timid singer and songwriter on our first record
right through to the making of our last record, Lonely In
A Crowed Room, which he loved and was very proud of.
He was a brother to me as I was a sister to him. Knowing
he was always there on stage at my right shoulder gave
me great comfort and support. He was always there for
me through thick and thin and never let me down.
His loss is a terrible shock to our band of Survivors,
along with his many other dear friends and loved ones.
So respected in the music community, he was truly an
amazing bass player. I was incredibly lucky and honored
to have him in my band and to count him among my
friends.
As with our dear friend, Ben Keith, Rick too passed on
the occasion of the full moon.
His loss is profound and we will always miss him. Our
hearts go out to his long time partner, Elizabeth, and the
rest of his family they suffer through this unexpected and
unthinkable loss.
Sending you love and light as you travel to the other
side Rick.
Love always.
Pegi Log In
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heard on a protest song before.
Neil Young and all of these ninety musicians and
singers recorded the song live together with no overdubs.
Arrangement is by Christopher Walden. Mix is by Al
Schmitt, who is one of the great "eminences grises" of
the American music world, the most decorated
engineer/mixer in Grammy history, and the recording is
produced by "The Volume Dealers."
Listen to it here.
by ERAWK
by ERAWK
NEIL YOUNG TEAMS
WITH CAMPAIGN TO
SAVE THE RAINFOREST
PEGI YOUNG ON THE
ROAD
July 19, 2014
Pegi Young & The Survivors hit the road in California,
supporting their new album, "Lonely In A Crowded
Room" to be released on New West Records, October 28.
Look for Pegi Young & The Survivors at Farm Aid
and the Newport Folk Festival this year.
More info at pegiyoung.com/touring.html
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MR YOUNG GOES TO
WASHINGTON
By Brooks Hays, UPI, April 26, 2014
WASHINGTON -- A little more than a week after the
State Department announced a delay on the final
Keystone XL decision, pipeline opponents got another
boost, this one from rock 'n' roll legend Neil Young.
Young joined the group of ranchers, farmers and
indigenous leaders who have been camped out on the
National Mall for nearly a week protesting the pipeline.
Asked what had motivated him to join the protest,
Young said: "The world, the basis of everything."
Young was quick to point out that each gallon of
gasoline wrung from the Canadian tar-sands adds another
four pounds of CO2 to the atmosphere. "The oil being
taken from the ground in Canada is three times uglier,
three times as damaging as the stuff from Saudi Arabia,"
Young added. "It's time to turn the corner on this abuse."
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SEPARATION OF
CORPORATION AND
STATE
September 1, 2014, from undertheinfluencefilm.com
Under the guise of democracy, huge global
corporations have purchased our politicians and are
writing laws that poison our planet and dismantle our
democratic process. Corporations have usurped
democracy by using their vast wealth to influence
politics and silence the citizen voice in government.
All natural living systems are in rapid decline,
pushing the human race ever closer to extinction. Despite
enacted environmental protections, global corporations
have recklessly abused the four natural resources that we
rely on for life (air, soil, fresh water and oceans) as an
open sewer for their toxic wastes with blatant disregard
for humankind.
Neither the environmental crisis nor the many other
social and economic crises we face can be addressed
until democracy is restored and this cycle of corruption is
broken by corporate money being removed from politics.
"This technology enables the forest to talk to the
world," says Young
By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, July 28, 2014
Just four months after fully funding his Pono Music
campaign via KickStarter, Neil Young has turned his
attention to an even more worthwhile cause: saving the
rainforest. He's teamed up with Rainforest Connection to
help them raise much-needed funds. "[This] is a
technology that's a connection between the rainforest and
you," says Young. "This technology enables the forest to
talk to the world. When the forest is threatened, the forest
can speak and you can hear it."
The central idea behind Rainforest Connection is as
simple as it is brilliant: Old cellphones are retrofitted
with a solar-powered energy source and placed in trees
around the rainforest. When they pick up the sound of
chainsaws, animals in distress or gunshots, they alert
authorities in real time. "Current detection systems rely
on satellites which show rainforest destruction days or
weeks too late," says a note on the group's Kickstarter
page. "Our system provides the world's first real-time
logging/poaching detection system. We can pinpoint
deforestation activity the moment it begins, while
simultaneously streaming the data openly and
immediately to anyone around the world."
Read more here.
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PONOMUSIC
KICKSTARTER
CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS
April 16, 2014
Dear Music lovers,
Pono's mission is to provide the best possible listening
experience of your favorite digital music.
We thank the community for their love and confidence
in making us the 3rd most funded project in Kickstarter
history.
UNDER THE INFLUEN$E focuses on what can and
For more information and PonoMusic pre-orders
is being done by conscious and committed citizens,
(coming soon!), go to www.ponomusic.com.
movements and businesses to reverse the ecological
Thanks for listening.
destruction and take back democracy.
The Folks at PonoMusic
Read more and see the trailer here
People, please go to this link and share. This is how I
feel about what is going on in OUR world. You can learn
here. --NY
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EARTH and PROTECT
T-SHIRTS
You can see the completed Kickstarter Campaign here.
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August 1, 2014
A message from Neil Young:
Friends, on my last tour of Europe, I started to give
our music loving audience free organic cotton t-shirts as
a way to show that we appreciate you. Your shirts' cotton
is grown in the most earth friendly way. Feel it. Isn't it
the best cotton you have ever felt?
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MOTHER OF AN ICON
Young said he and the group of ranchers, farmers and
Native Americans -- known collectively as the Cowboy
and Indian Alliance -- hope the protest sends a strong
message to President Obama and the American people, a
message that the environment needs to be protected.
"Maybe we can make a statement for world history,"
Young said.
The rock icon and the Cowboy and Indian Alliance -including leaders from Native American tribes like the
Dene, Cree and Metis Peoples -- were joined by
protesters from across the United States, as well as
actress and avid environmentalist Daryl Hannah.
Rich Rusk, who hails from Athens, Georgia and
wandered the protest grounds armed with his fly rod, said
he came on behalf of fly fishermen. Rusk serves as the
secretary for the Georgia Climate Change Coalition,
which sent a delegation to join the chorus of
environmental activists.
"We see the impacts of pollution and climate change
on our fish," Rusk said. As a group, fly fisherman come
from a diverse range of political perspectives, Rusk
acknowledged. "But we'll stay together on climate issues
like this."
The Saturday protest featured music and speeches
followed by a procession around the Capitol. The weeklong encampment is expected to end Sunday with a
traditional ceremony led by Tribal elders.
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INDUSTRY AWAKENS TO
THREAT OF CLIMATE
CHANGE
By Coral Davenport, New York Times, January 23, 2014
WASHINGTON -- Coca-Cola has always been more
focused on its economic bottom line than on global
warming, but when the company lost a lucrative
operating license in India because of a serious water
shortage there in 2004, things began to change.
Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke's
balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water
needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced
the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive
force.
"Increased droughts, more unpredictable variability,
Rock lovers owe a big thank-you to Rassy Ragland
Young
By John Einarson, Winnipeg Free Press, April 14, 2013
Before Neil Young was, well, Neil Young, his mother
was already a local celebrity. Appearing weekly on our
television screens, Rassy Ragland was a panelist on the
popular CJAY quiz show Twenty Questions. You might
remember her. She was the one with the dry wit and
coffee-grinder voice.
Much has been made of Neil's famous father,
writer/broadcaster Scott Young, but Rassy had her own
notoriety at a time when Neil and his father were
Here's why your PROTECT & EARTH shirts are
estranged by distance and divorce. She and youngest son
made from organic cotton Neil moved to Winnipeg in August 1960. It would be
Cotton is the most widely used textile crop on
Rassy who encouraged and supported her son's musical
earth - covering almost 5% of Earth's cultivated
aspirations.
land
Edna "Rassy" Ragland Young was able to slip
Cotton is second for most pesticide use of all
comfortably into the Winnipeg social scene (she had
crops & it uses 25% of all of the petrochemical
lived here as a child and had family in the city). She
based pesticides, fungicides and herbicides
enjoyed curling in winter at the Granite Curling Club and
globally
golfing at the Niakwa Golf and Country Club during the
In the US, it takes about 1/3 of a pound of
summer. An avid tennis player, she was often on the
pesticides and herbicides to grow enough
courts at the Winnipeg Canoe Club.
conventional cotton for just one T-shirt.
Rassy Young was a truly unique character. "She was
The Environmental Protection Agency considers absolutely herself and I enjoyed her immensely," recalled
seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in
friend Nola Halter. "She was so funny, marvellously
the United States as "possible," "likely,"
witty and very zany. She had a little blue English car
"probable," or "known" human carcinogens
which she drove in the wrong gear, in the wrong speed,
(acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, in the middle of two lanes, swearing her head off at all
pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin)
these other drivers who got in her way. The road was
These chemicals absorb into the soil which can
hers."
affect nearby crops, get into water supplies and
Read More Here.
rivers and affect many lifeforms downstream
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Because cotton is grown primarily for its fiber, it
is regulated as a non-food crop yet the majority
of the cotton plant in the form of cottonseed,
approximately 60% by weight, ends up in our
food supply.
Most cotton is heavily processed using additional
resources for stripping, waxing, bleaching, dying
and softening
2,700 liters of water is used to grow the cotton
for just 1 t-shirt!!!
( & that doesn't even account for the processing
dying etc....)
That's enough water for 1 person to drink for 900
days or enough water to flush your ( non low
flow) toilet 270 times!
All this & then there's all the energy consumption
as well in growing, manufacturing, processing,
They're free but there is a catch Here's the catch I'm hoping that when you wear your PROTECT /
EARTH t-shirt, you will vow to PROTECT EARTH & to
take a stand for EARTH in the ways that you can.
Today, I have taken the steps to remove sales of nonorganic t-shirts and other products that damage the Earth
from my concerts and my web stores.
I vow to speak up & to do what I can to PROTECT
EARTH.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
100-year floods every two years," said Jeffrey Seabright,
Coke's vice president for environment and water
resources, listing the problems that he said were also
disrupting the company's supply of sugar cane and sugar
beets, as well as citrus for its fruit juices. "When we look
at our most essential ingredients, we see those events as
threats."
Coke reflects a growing view among American
business leaders and mainstream economists who see
global warming as a force that contributes to lower gross
domestic products, higher food and commodity costs,
broken supply chains and increased financial risk. Their
position is at striking odds with the longstanding
argument, advanced by the coal industry and others, that
policies to curb carbon emissions are more economically
harmful than the impact of climate change.
Read more here.
transportation etc....
So ORGANIC COTTON is the wiser option for both the
health of people and the environment
(hemp is even better - especially when in relation to
water consumption, but at the moment it's not as readily
available)
ORGANIC FARMING - uses nontoxic pesticides,
fungicides & herbicides
What you can do -
75 to 80 percent of your garment's lifecycle
impact [the sum of environmental impacts caused
by a product's existence] comes from washing
and drying
consider your laundry habits- they can multiply
Abandoned acoustic guitar reveals sad story of a
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the benefits of organic cotton
Winnipeg rock dreamer who was left behind
By John Einarson, Winnipeg Free Press, January 14,
Some things to try 2013
Rock 'n' roll iconoclast Neil Young never fails to
line dry instead of machine dry & skip ironing
acknowledge Winnipeg as the place where he took his
your t-shirts ( these 2 things can save up to a
first musical steps with several local bands, most notable
1/3rd of you t-shirts carbon footprint)
of those being The Squires. He still holds a great affinity
wash only when you have a full laundry load &
June 13, 2013
for that band. However, what distinguished Young from
less often
Lincvolt is living proof. The big car has a lot to say. An
his bandmates and contemporaries was his singular focus
wash with cold water
86% reduction in Greenhouse Gases per gallon of fossil
use non toxic biodegradable cleaners - they work on making music his life.
fuel if you burn next-generation bio fuel instead of
"At that point, there really wasn't anything more
and they don't damage EARTH
gasoline. That is the future. Cellulosic ethanol. Canada
important in my life than playing music," he muses.
should be ashamed of the Alberta Tar Pits.
PROTECT EARTH
"And it's obvious when you look back at my early years,
-- Neil Young.
Take a personal vow, as I have, to make a difference that's what I was like. I was so driven to make it. I had to
in any way you can. Share the information you find here leave a lot of friends behind to get where I am now,
and elsewhere that illuminates the threats & the solutions especially in the beginning."
to PROTECT EARTH
Bill Edmondson (top) briefly played with Neil Young
& The Squires, but never got to taste fame. (PHOTOS
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COURTESY OF JOHN EINARSON)
One such friend was drummer Bill Edmondson.
Being abandoned by Young haunted him the rest of his
life.
In the fall of 2011, I received an email from Adrien
Sala, looking for information on the late Bill
Edmondson. His friend, Matt Weinstein, had come across
an acoustic guitar in a gig bag abandoned in a West End
"The tar sands have impacted First Nations so badly. I
back alley a year earlier.
am 85 years old and us old people are having such a
"It was leaning up against a BFI bin behind a house
hard time today because this is not what we knew
at 573 Sherbrook St., as if someone had put it out for
growing up. We used to drink the water straight from the
garbage day pickup," recalls Weinstein.
streams and creeks, and now no one can do that. We
He took the guitar back to his apartment.
don't know what is in the water now. I eat very little of
"In the case, along with the guitar, strap, picks and a
the food I grew up on, moose, caribou, fish... it is all sick.
harmonica was an obituary notice and some letters and
We don't even eat the berries and medicines anymore
photographs," says Weinstein. "I recognized the photo of
by ERAWK
because there is too much pollution in the air and the
Neil Young & The Squires, so I knew this guitar
land. When I was growing up people just died of old age,
somehow related to that."
now there are so many sicknesses that were never here
Indeed, it did.
before."
Read More Here.
Don't believe the oil company propaganda you are
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subsidizing? Do something.
ny
LINCVOLT PROVES YOU
DON'T NEED THE TAR
SANDS
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A LETTER HOME
NEIL YOUNG: WAGING
HEAVY INNOVATION
By Henry Doss, Forbes, January 14, 2013
"I am succeeding because people are talking about
how they would do it better."
- Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace
Innovation is not for the faint of heart, nor for those
April 18, 2014
Third Man Records unearths Neil Young's "A Letter
Home."
An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the
past recorded on ancient electro mechanical technology
captures and unleashes the essence of something that
could have been gone forever...... Homer Grosvenor
Available Now on 12" Vinyl At Third Man Records
who lack the capacity for joy. Leading an innovation
culture means living inside of chaos, while maintaining a
focus on cardinal points; operating within demanding
goals and financial requirements while remaining open to
diverse and contradictory points of view; sometimes
"losing your way to find your way." Above all else,
though, authentic leadership is about experiencing and
celebrating the joy of innovation. And if you are looking
for a good role model -- someone who best exemplifies
all the traits of innovation leadership -- you need look no
further than Neil Young.
There are countless books, monographs, studies,
articles and blogs addressing the issues of leadership and
innovation, and more coming every day. But Neil
Young's recently released autobiography, Waging Heavy
Peace, may serve as the best innovation case study out
there. For those who study the "how" of innovation, and
in particular the often mysterious challenge of leading
innovation, Young's life story captures it all in one
compelling read.
Throughout his long and storied career, Neil Young
has been a virtual factory of songs, musical innovation,
ideas, inventions and a near-constant stream of new
product. Lest we miss the obvious, his life and work
would fit the most stringent definition of a successful
business: consistent revenue generation; consistent
innovative product releases; nurturing of intellectual and
human capital; a strong, well-maintained brand. And at
the core of this lifetime of business success are two
critical innovation principles consistently applied, day in
and day out, in real time, in the real world.
First, and foremost, is Young's steady, constant
leadership of his own innovation ecosystem. As with any
authentic leader, his concern is not about himself, or
what he creates, but with how his actions inspire,
challenge and cause others to create. "I am succeeding
because people are talking about how they would do it
better." This quotation from Young's book captures the
essence of innovation leadership better than any other
business, professional or academic study of leadership.
Simply stated, we cause innovation when we are more
concerned about how others are "doing it better," than we
are with ourselves. This is the confounding irony of
leadership - that innovation requires both strong
individual leadership and a powerful commitment to
selflessness. Individual leaders are more successful -and more innovative -- to the degree their focus is on the
success of others before their own.
Second is the "virtual innovation ecosystem" that
Young built around his music and restless inventing.
Throughout his long (and future!) career, he instinctively
nurtured the key elements of innovative ecosystems. His
is a world of learning by doing, of enhancing and
celebrating diversity and building an environment of
trust. The components of innovative systems -- diversity,
trust, iterative experimentation, rapid failure, and so onare well-known and well-studied. These constitute the
"whats" of innovation. Innovation leaders like Neil
Young provide the "how" of innovation, the steady hand
that supports diverse, inquisitive and adventurous
communities through the messiness and chaos of
innovation.
What Neil Young gives us in Waging Heavy Peace is a
compelling story about leading innovative people, and
nurturing the various components of innovative systems
into the proper mix. Any organization would do well to
study this narrative and learn from it. Selfless leadership,
driven by a near-obsessive desire to create, will almost
always lead to good things. And one of those things will
be joy. Keep on rockin' in the free world.
(Henry Doss is a venture capitalist, student, musician
and volunteer in higher education. His firm, T2VC,
builds startups and the ecosystems that grow them. His
university, UNC Charlotte, is a leading research
institution with a small college feel. His band, Amygdala
Hijack, makes sounds.)
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NEIL YOUNG SPEAKS AT
SEMA
November 14, 2013
NEIL YOUNG, FOO
FIGHTERS TO PERFORM
AT NYC'S FREE GLOBAL
FESTIVAL
Neil Young spoke about the replacement of fossil fuels in
By Tara Hall, SoundSpike, August 8, 2012
daily driving with the Bio Electric Transportation model
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black
at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Keys and more will take to the stage late next month at
Click here to watch the video.
New York City's Global Festival, a free event aimed to
bring awareness to extreme poverty.
The music extravaganza, which will also feature
Band of Horses and K'Naan, takes place Sept. 29 on the
Great Lawn of New York City's Central Park.
The Global Poverty Project is hosting the inaugural
Global Festival; the international organization works to
September 16, 2013
end extreme poverty worldwide through education and
advocacy.
Those interested in free tickets need to visit the
event's website to sign up as a Global Citizen and take
action to qualify for the ticket lottery.
"With at least 1.3 billion people living in extreme
poverty on Earth today, there has never been a better time
to become a Global Citizen and do whatever you can to
make a difference for your fellow man," Neil Young said
in a press release.
A small number of VIP packages are available now
via the festival website, with all net proceeds going to the
charity.
Neil Young spoke to the National Farmers Union in
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Washington D.C. about bio-fuels and what CO2 is doing
to our planet.
Click here to watch the video.
NEIL YOUNG SPEAKS TO
THE NATIONAL
FARMERS UNION
TOUR DATES
CANCELLED
August 8, 2013
For immediate release:
Due to an accident involving Crazy Horse, the
remaining dates on the Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour
of Europe and the British isles have been cancelled. We
are sorry for any inconvenience this causes to our fans or
the Festivals where we were scheduled to appear. As you
must be, we too are disappointed at this unfortunate turn
of events.
-- Neil Young and Crazy Horse
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PONO
A few players are now in use experimentally. The
following is a musician's account of hearing PONO:
As a choral singer with the San Diego Master
Chorale, I have had the opportunity to perform with the
San Diego Symphony several times each year - an
ultimate surround sound experience. As I sing my part or
listen during orchestral interludes I am able to hear the
purity of tone of each individual instrument, as well as
the overtones of the orchestra that give such richness to
the sound. In addition, we frequently perform in
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acoustically alive venues such as Saint Paul's Episcopal
Cathedral, where the precision of such works as the Bach
David Miliband, Foreign Secretary of B Minor Mass and his Christmas Oratorio are enriched
the United Kingdom from 2007-2010, with the reverberation of the acoustics of the cathedral.
I have never experienced this quality of sound in a
is a Member of Parliament.
home setting - not even close. However, last night, using
the Pono player and Audeze headphones, I listened to
Incident at a British shop, author unknown, posted
7/17/12
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to
the older woman that she should bring her own shopping
bags because plastic bags weren't good for the
environment. The woman apologized and explained, "We
didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."
The cashier responded, "That's our problem today.
Your generation did not care enough to save our
Roberta Flack singing Killing Me Softly and was amazed
by the purity and fullness of the sound. Her voice was
rich and sonorous and at the same time the instrumental
background allowed the overtones to come through,
along with just enough reverberation.
by David Miliband, Project-Syndicate.org, December 12,
Jane Baker
2012
San Diego Master Chorale
LONDON - Thirty years ago, the Cold War was at its
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height and the United Kingdom had just clawed its way
out of recession. Perhaps those factors explain why, this
week in 1982, when 119 government delegations chose
to sign the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (UNCLOS), the UK was not among them. According
to Donald Rumsfeld, Britain's then-prime minister,
Margaret Thatcher, declared UNCLOS to be "nothing
less than the international nationalization of roughly twothirds of the Earth's surface."
Fifteen years later, when the UK finally acceded to
UNCLOS under a Labour government, the convention
Stay connected with Pono progress as the company
was applying, for the first time in history, an
enters 2013 and launches the first music players and the
internationally agreed legal framework to the majority of
Pono music ecosystem.
coastal waters around the world. Countries' rights to fish,
Get the latest news at MyPono.com
minerals, and other resources were enshrined in law, with
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recourse to international adjudication should disputes
arise. The right of free passage on the high seas was
assured.
Britain and other countries must now learn from,
rather than repeat, the Thatcher government's mistake. A
new debate is emerging about how we govern and
November 30, 2012
exercise stewardship over the high seas - the 45% of the Click Here To Listen to The Podcast at WMMR Radio.
Earth's surface that lies beyond national jurisdictions.
We know that a resource crunch of unprecedented
scale is coming. Non-oil commodity prices have risen
precipitously in the last decade. The high seas can
provide food, minerals, and novel resources for
technology and medicine. But the weaknesses of the
current governance regime, epitomized by rampant
illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, threaten to
undermine the global security and sustainability to which
well managed oceans can contribute.
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Read more here.
THE LAW OF THE SEA'S
NEXT WAVE
PONO
Where Music Lives
NEIL YOUNG
INTERVIEWED
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ON DVD, 'NEIL YOUNG:
JOURNEYS' BRINGS THE
LIVE EXPERIENCE
HOME AND IN YOUR
FACE
environment for future generations."
The old woman replied: "You're right -- our
generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back
then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer
bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant
to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use
the same bottles over and over. So they really were
recycled. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of
buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a
razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green
thing back in our day.
"We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an
escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to
the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower
machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she
was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
"Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because
we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on
a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220
volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes
back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes
from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new
clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn't have the
green thing back in our day.
"Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen
the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a
screen the size of the county of Yorkshire . In the
kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we
didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we
used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not
Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't
fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We
used a push mower that ran on human power. We
exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health
club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But
she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.
"We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we
were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown
in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food
was seasonal and didn't expect that to be bucked by
flying it thousands of air miles around the world. We
actually cooked food that didn't come out of a packet, tin
or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own
vegetables and chop our own salad. But we didn't have
the green thing back then.
"Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids
rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning
their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one
electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets
to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a
computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from
satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the
nearest pizza joint.
"But isn't it sad that the current generation laments
how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't
have the green thing back then?"
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By David Voigt, Examiner.com, October 16, 2012
It's yet another busy week at video stores all across the
land as an onslaught of new releases hits rental outlets
and retailers from coast to coast with the latest and
greatest offerings from the world and elsewhere.
Available today on DVD & Blu-Ray from our friends at
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a road trip/concert
film from director Jonathan Demme as he takes a car trip
with a Canadian musical icon on his way to a gig. It's
time for "Neil Young: Journeys."
Directed by Jonathan Demme
In May 2011, singer Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown
Victoria from his hometown of Omemee, Ontario, to the
heart of downtown Toronto, where he intimately
performed the last two nights of his solo world tour at the
city's iconic Massey Hall. The result is Jonathan
Demme's "Neil Young: Journeys", a documentary that
not only showcases the concert but also intersperses it
with Young's musings from the road trip making for a
personal, retrospective look into the heart of the man that
is Neil Young.
By Edna Gundersen, USA Today, July 3, 2012
NEIL YOUNG AND
SHEPARD FAIREY
CREATE A DEMOCRATIC
UNION
Since this film is 95% concert and only about 5% film,
there is not much to talk about but Demme takes an
intense and personal look at Young while performing by
literally putting at least one camera directly in his face
showing the intense emotion that Young generates on
stage using sparse instruments but still managing to
captivate and enthrall his audience.
Read more here.
LOS ANGELES - Rustic American folk songs and
modern graphic design hardly seem a compatible match,
yet Neil Young and Shepard Fairey couldn't be prouder
of the arranged marriage that brought their artistic
visions together.
Young invited Fairey to create paintings to reflect
each of the 11 songs on Americana, his new album with
Crazy Horse that radically reinvigorates such vintage
nuggets as Oh Susannah, Jesus' Chariot, This Land Is
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Your Land and Clementine. In keeping with Young's
approach, Fairey's depictions entwine visual cues of
bygone times with contemporary graphic forms and bold
orange, red and brown hues.
October 3, 2012
The works will be on display through July 14 at
The third episode of A Rust Trilogy, which began with
L.A.'s Perry Rubenstein Gallery, where the pair recently
Rust Never Sleeps in 1978, and continued with Weld in
attended a preview party celebrating the collaboration.
1990, now concludes with Alchemy in 2012.
Explaining the allure, Fairey, 42, says: "I appreciated
Things have changed, yet they stay the same. Alchemy,
a lot of the social commentary in Neil's music. I loved
like Rust and Weld, finds the boys at another stage of
seeing how he adapted the lyrics and restored older
life's journey.
lyrics. It was a great excuse to do something outside my
Time has taken its toll, yet the spirit seems
stylistic comfort zone. It was a challenge, but a fun and
unstoppable.
exciting one."
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Fairey, renowned for his 2008 Barack Obama Hope
poster, first found fame with his Andre the Giant Has a
Posse and OBEY street art.
"It's about taking art outside the elitist arenas, just the
way music works," says Fairey, who did a portrait of the
August 24, 2012
rock star for his 2010 May Day project. Young in turn
enlisted the artist to design cover art for the 25thanniversary releases of the Bridge School Benefit
Concerts. "Music is a very democratic medium. Art as a
visual corollary should function more the way popular
music does. Neil has made the highest art that's also very
accessible."
When Young embarked on Americana, he turned to
the iconic compositions, digging up controversial verses
that had been discarded over time.
"They're comrades, these songs," he says. "I found
the original lyrics that you didn't hear in kindergarten or
by the Kingston Trio or the New Christy Minstrels."
Young and Crazy Horse, not exactly the choir-boy
types, unleashed their thunder.
"We brought back the dark words," says Young, 66.
"Then we put minor keys on some of the songs to make
them even darker. And then we just beat the hell out of
them. That's what made them urgent.
"These songs have lived for centuries, and there's a
Psychedelic Pill will be released in October. It was
reason for that. You can put your life into the song and
recorded right after Americana at Audio Casa Blanca. A relate. There's a lot of sympathy and protest and
double-CD and triple-vinyl will be released because of
wonderment about the values of things. They're timeless
the lengths of many of the songs, some of which were
and timely, and Shepard's art reflects that."
previewed in Crazy Horse's live performances earlier this
The duo disagreed only once: in the depiction of
month. In the spirit of Americana's release, full length
Gallows Pole, a dusty ballad popularized by Led
videos for each of the songs will be available and
Zeppelin.
previewed. A recommended high resolution 24/192 full
"My ideas were frequently more cynical," Fairey
fidelity version of the album Psychedelic Pill will be
says. "My spin on everything is, 'Look at how the
released on Blu-ray and will include all the videos. The
working man has always suffered and continues to.' On
low resolution iTunes downloads will also be
Gallows Pole, what struck me is how your life can have a
accompanied by videos. Thanks for listening.
specific dollar amount, which is very depressing. Neil
CD Tracklist:
took a more romantic approach and liked the idea of this
Disc 1
sweetheart motivated to ride and save the life of a lover."
1. Driftin Back
Elements of both views are represented on the Pole
2. Psychedelic Pill
canvas. The paintings can be seen in Young's 40-minute
3. Ramada Inn
film, Americana, streaming at NPR.org, and will be
4. Born In Ontario
among visuals for his tour starting Aug. 5.
Disc 2
Fairey plans to make affordable prints available.
1. Twisted Road
What about the originals?
2. She's Always Dancing
"They'll probably go into the homes of the 1%," he
3. For The Love Of Man
says with a laugh.
4. Walk Like A Giant
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5. Psychedelic Pill (Bonus Track Alternate Mix)
NEIL YOUNG DISCUSSES A RUST TRILOGY
NEW PONO SYSTEM ON
LETTERMAN SHOW
September 28, 2012
Click here to watch.
Learn about Pono at mypono.com.
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NEW CRAZY HORSE
ALBUM IN OCTOBER
BRIDGE SCHOOL 2012
LINEUP REVEALED
By Aaron Sankin, Huffington Post, September 10, 2012
In the just over quarter-century that iconic rocker Neil
Young has been putting on his Bridge School Benefit
concert at Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheater, the
list of big name artists who have played the show has
grown to nothing short of staggering. Bruce Springsteen,
Elvis Costello, Elton John, Pearl Jam, David Bowie,
Metallica, Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, R.E.M., Dave
Matthews Band and the Arcade Fire have all graced the
stage.
Late last week, Young unveiled the lineup for the 2012
iteration of his annual fundraiser and, as always, it's a
doozy.
In addition to Young's yearly performance, the twoday music festival will feature performances by Jack
White, Guns N' Roses, The Flaming Lips, Sarah
McLachlan, Foster the People, Lucinda Williams, Steve
Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, k.d. lang & the
Siss Boom Bang and Gary Clark Jr..
The most interesting addition here is the inclusion, for
the first time ever, of the recently revived hair metal
powerhouse Guns N' Roses. Less so because Axl Rose is
actually out and about doing things, but because virtually
all of the performances at Bridge School are acoustic.
Although if Metallica could bring down the house with
an all-acoustic set in 1997, anything's possible.
Founded by Young and his wife Pegi in the mid-1980s,
the Bridge School is non-profit educational facility
located in Hillsborough that works to help people with
severe linguistic and physical impairments participate
more fully in their communities.
The concert will run on the weekend of October 20th
and 21. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 14.
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WILLIE NELSON ON
BOARD FOR RAILROAD
REVIVAL TOUR
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Associated Press, posted August 6, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country legend Willie
Nelson is on board for this year's Railroad Revival Tour.
He'll be joined by Jamey Johnson, Band of Horses and
actor-musician John Reilly and Friends.
The train tour kicks off Oct. 20 in Duluth, Ga., and
runs through Oct. 28 in Oakland, Calif. The artists will
ride in vintage, 1940s railcars. They'll perform in open
air, pop-up concert venues in parks, fields and lots
around the railroad tracks where they stop.
Other stops include Memphis, Tenn.; Oklahoma City,
Old Town Spring, Texas; Tempe, Ariz.; and San Pedro,
Calif.
Tickets are on sale now.
A documentary called Big Easy Express, featuring last Neil Young performs with Crazy Horse at the
MusicCares Person of the Year Tribute to Paul
year's trip with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow
McCartney event in Los Angeles
Medicine Show, is out now on iTunes and DVD.
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June 26, 2012
Singer-songwriter Neil Young and director Jonathan
Demme speak to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about
their new film, "Neil Young Journeys," which takes
viewers back to Young's hometown in Canada just before
he took to the stage to perform.
Watch the interview here.
NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY
HORSE NORTH
AMERICAN TOUR
ANNOUNCED
June 4, 2012
Neil Young and Crazy Horse will launch a North
American arena tour in early October that will run
through early December.
Young and Crazy Horse haven't performed a full
concert together since their Greendale tour wrapped in
March of 2004.
Go to the Tour page to see the concert schedule.
BE PART OF
PROTECTING MOTHER
EARTH
NEIL YOUNG &
JONATHAN DEMME ON
'CBS THIS MORNING'
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NEIL YOUNG'S ON A
ROLL: Q&A WITH ROCK
ICON AND JONATHAN
DEMME
by Phil Gallo, Billboard, June 15, 2012
A film, an album, a tour, a memoir and, quite possibly,
another album have Neil Young's 2012 calendar filled to
the brim. His first album in nine years with Crazy Horse,
"Americana," opened at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 this
by Robert Shepherd, posted July 24, 2012
week, making it his highest charting album since
So-called "Monsanto riders," quietly slipped into the
"Harvest" hit No. 1 in 1972.
multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations
After playing Outside Lands in August, he starts a
bill, would require--not just allow, but require--the
concert tour with Crazy Horse on Oct. 3 in Ontario,
Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for
Canada that runs through Dec. 4. "We've rehearsed five
the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered
songs from 'Americana' and we have some songs from
crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be
our next record," Young says. "The rest of the songs will
halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is
come from our records. Past, present and the future."
completed.
The day before the tour begins, Penguin Group
That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org to
imprint Blue Rider Press will release Young's book
Congress and President Barack Obama, which says:
"Waging Heavy Peace." The film "Neil Young Journeys"
Stop the Monsanto Riders. Unless a citizen's army of
hits theaters June 29 via Sony Pictures Classics. Having
farmers and consumers can stop them, Congress is likely
played the Toronto and Slamdance festivals, it has one
to ram these dangerous riders through any day now.
last festival stop, June 18 and 19 at the Los Angeles Film
Click here to add your name to this petition, and then
Festival.
pass it along to your friends.
Director Jonathan Demme filmed the final two
(The petition was created on SignOn.org)
performances of Young's 2011 solo tour for the 2010
Thanks!
album "Le Noise" for "Journeys" at Toronto's Massey
November 15, 2011
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Hall. It is the third Demme-Young film, following "Heart
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Singer-songwriter Pegi Young's third release, Bracing
of Gold," shot at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium that was
For Impact, spotlights Pegi's beautifully spare and
resonant vocals, world-weary and eloquent lyricism, and released in 2006 and "Neil Young Trunk Show," which
was filmed at Philadelphia's Tower Theater during the
a hushed yet immediate emotional landscape. Bracing
Chrome Dreams II tour in 2007.
For Impact features Pegi and her acclaimed recording
Demme and Young spoke about the film with
and touring band, The Survivors: legendary keyboardist
Billboard last week.
Spooner Oldham, bassist Rick Rosas, guitarist Kevin
How do you see this film fitting in with the other
Holly and drummer Phil Jones.
two?
This album was produced by Pegi Young and The
Jonathan Demme: More than anything, it was a given
Survivors, with the exception of the final track, "Song
that it had to be different in the way 'Trunk Show' was
For A Baby Girl," produced by Elliot Mazer.
completely different from 'Heart of Gold.' The fact that it
Eight of the album's eleven songs are originals
was Neil solo gave us a great step in that direction. It was
written by Pegi, with highlights including, "Flatline
Mama" (featuring a horn section and background vocals good news, bad news. Bad news was that, different as
by The Watson Twins) as well as "No Heart Beat Sound" those films are, they shared a strength and got a lot of
power from seeing the way Neil and the other players
and "Trouble In A Bottle."
Woody Guthrie in New York City.
interact. We don't have that cornerstone. The good news
Neil Young penned the rollicking "Doghouse" and
is that now we had Neil undistracted by any other
contributes background vocals and harmonica on the
instruments. It permitted him to immerse himself in the
track. Neil is also spotlighted on electric guitar during
"Lie" and "Song For A Baby Girl." He adds harmonica to character of these songs in a way that couldn't be
the late bluesman Tarheel Slim's tune, "Number 9 Train." possible if you're also hearing other people play. That
gave us our biggest, unavoidable distinction. The other
The group also covers "I Don't Want To Talk About
Woody Guthrie was shunned by his home state. Now It," a song by Crazy Horse's Danny Whitten that first
thing was we experimented with taking this little road
Oklahoma can finally embrace the singertrip from the little town in north Ontario and see if that
appeared on that group's 1971 album.
songwriter's work.
might provide us with something. It turned out that it
Bracing For Impact is available now on CD and
by Billy Bragg, The Guardian, July 12, 2012
provided us with a whole other story line that would
vinyl at Amazon.com
The construction team that kept hammering away all
make this different from the other two films and all other
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night outside my hotel window in downtown Tulsa are
performance films, from what I can see.
BRACING FOR IMPACT
WOODY GUTHRIE AT
100: THE RETURN OF A
PARIAH
gone by the morning, the fierce glare of the Oklahoma
summer forcing them into the shade to rest. A few blocks
away there are streets full of empty buildings, signs that
the oil boom of the past decade is long past. Tulsa sure
could do with some regeneration.
Woody Guthrie was born not far from here 100 years
ago, and as people all over the world celebrate his life
and work this weekend, Oklahoma has still to come to
terms with the legacy of its wayward son. In this
conservative midwest state, Woody's work is still viewed
through the prism of the McCarthy era, when the state
department accused folk singers of "un-American
activities."
However, it's not what Woody did in the 1940s that
still riles people in these parts. It's what his followers did
in the 60s that made Woody a pariah in his home state.
For Woody was the original singer-songwriter, the first to
use his voice not just to entertain, but to ask why people
should remain dirt poor in a country as rich as the US.
It was Woody's words that prompted the young Robert
Zimmerman to leave his home in the Iron Range of
Minnesota and head for New York. Changing his name to
Bob Dylan and singing as if he came from the red dirt of
Oklahoma, he inspired a generation of articulate young
Americans to unleash a torrent of criticism against the
complacency of their unequal society. The fact that
Woody was a hero to that generation of long-haired
freaks ensured that he and his songs would remain
largely unsung in Oklahoma.
Yet perceptions change. In the 1990s Woody's
daughter, Nora Guthrie, began a labour of love, gathering
up all her father's papers and creating the Woody Guthrie
Archive in New York City. The man who emerged from
the countless boxes of songs, prose and drawings was a
much more complex figure than the Dust Bowl balladeer
of legend.
Read more here.
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Pegi Young & The Survivors on Conan:
more at pegiyoung.com
NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS
(Docu - Canada-U.S.)
By Rob Nelson, Variety, September 15, 2011
A Shakey Pictures, Clinica Estetico production, in
association with SalesForce Films. (International sales:
WME, Los Angeles.) Produced by Jonathan Demme,
Elliot Rabinowitz. Executive producers, Marc Benioff,
Bernard Shakey. Co-producer, Shane Bissett. Directed by
Jonathan Demme.
With: Neil Young, Bob Young, Ben Young.
In "Neil Young Journeys," there's more to the picture
than meets the eye -- namely the sound, whose unique
digital presentation (at twice the normal sampling rate)
brings the titular folk rocker's recorded riffs much closer
to those in live performance. Otherwise largely
redundant, typically well made and entirely welcome,
Jonathan Demme's third concert film of Young captures
the musician's May 2011 solo gig at Toronto's Massey
Hall with less editing than before, as befits the fourmonth rush from production to premiere. Theatrical
markets may not treasure another Young docu within five
years, but DVD sales should sing.
Split between new and old tunes, not counting funny
interstitial scenes of Young driving to the show from his
hometown of Omemee, Ontario, "Journeys" gets so close
to the sixtysomething guitar god that he actually leaves
dribble on the lens, resulting in a mild dose of cinematic
psychedelia. The music seems even trippier (at least in
Toronto presentations), thanks to ultra-rare 96-kilohertz
sound delivery overseen by the audiophilic Young's new
Ponotone outfit. No wonder the first folks introduced in
the docu are wire-stringing techs on Young's "Le Noise"
tour.
Camera (color, HD), Declan Quinn; editor, Glenn
Allen. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Mavericks),
Sept. 12, 2011. Running time: 87 MIN.
NEW NEIL YOUNG DOC
AIMS FOR 'MORE
EMOTIONAL' VERSION
OF LIVE SHOWS
FARM AID RETURNS TO
'We have a lot of respect for each other and work
together as a team,' Young says of director Jonathan
Demme
By Karen Bliss, Rolling Stone, September 14, 2011
There was a tiny camera positioned on Neil Young's
What do you see as your role in the film, Neil?
Neil Young: The playing the songs was what I was
involved in. The way it was framed and evolved was
something that Jonathan and I talked about by doing this
trip in the car. It's not like a normal show -- the show is
like a play. It's a one-man, one-act play, but it's not like a
concert where I would be spinning around doing
whatever I wanted to do. Everything about this show was
planned out like a play usually is. I knew what songs I
was going to do. I knew where I would be walking, what
instruments I would be playing., when they were going
to come out and adjust the amplifier and bring out
different guitars. I knew all of those things because that
was the play.
What would you say were the approaches to
'Heart of Gold' and 'Trunk Show'?
NY: On our first concert film we stopped and reset
the cameras and the stage and redid songs - we were
making a movie about a performance. The whole first
half of that movie was songs nobody had heard before
(from "Prairie Wind"). The crowd was grooving on it and
absorbing the concert. The second movie was a
performance of me with the band. There was no resetting
-- it was all spontaneous, the song list changed.
JD: We shot it like a documentary
NY: Three completely different approaches to doing a
guy with a guitar.
Jonathan, you have said, (the 23-minute version
of) "No Hidden Path" was the centerpiece of "Trunk
Show." Do you feel "Journeys" has a centerpiece?
JD: Without thinking about it, I feel like 'Hitchhiker'
is a centerpiece and that's why it had to move to the end.
I felt that in a certain way, performance wise for Neil,
there's no coming back from 'Hitchhiker.' You're only
allowed one more song after that.
When you say the mode was a play, there's
definitely a build to this film that is play-like.
JD: We changed the order of the songs to suit our
emotional journey, intercut with the car pieces. I didn't
think we were going to do that. I think we have made a
movie that is a worthy cinematic equivalent of an
amazing live show. There was definitely a sense that
there was an emotional narrative that was unfolding.
NY: In that sense it was my brother Bob who decided
the order of the songs.
JD: That's true .
NY: My brother was the one who decided where we
were going to go and how fast we were going to go and
where to stop. Once he decided where the car was gonna
go, that decided the order of the show.
You play the eight songs from "Le Noise" and
eight songs from your catalog. "Ohio," "After the
Goldrush," "Helpless" and "My, My, Hey Hey (Out
of the Blue)" are in the film along with a couple songs
from the "Le Noise" sessions. How did you decide on
which songs to include in the shows and the film?
NY: Those were decisions I made a year earlier. I did
those because I sat down and wondered 'what songs do
you want to play?' They were just ones I wanted to play.
JD: Were they a response to the 'Le Noise' songs?
NY: I think they were just the ones that rose up. They
had to be compatible and in the line with the other ones
so there's kind of a story.
JD: There's a great 'Cortez the Killer' we didn't put in
the movie, but you know we couldn't stand any more
intensity. Maybe that would have been the centerpiece.
NY: It was too much
JD: There's a great 'Cinnamon Girl' but we had
'Cinnamon Girl' in 'Trunk Show.' We didn't want to
duplicate.
With a history of working to advance the quality
of your recordings and the playback, is there
anything being done so that this film is presented to
your specifications?
NY: I understand Sony is equipping some of the
theaters (with high-end) sound systems. There are two
soundtracks for this - one at 48kz, which is the normal
sound standard, and the other at 96, which is half way
toward the top standard.
JD: We were the first to ever be presented in 96 at the
Toronto Film Festival where they brought in a whole
special system for us. Neil makes a big distinction
between the 48 and the 96, but he hears the disparity
PENNSYLVANIA
By Yvonne P Mazzulo, Examiner.com, July 9, 2012
Farm Aid today announced that its annual benefit concert
will return to Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 22 at
Hersheypark Stadium. Farm Aid 2012 will feature Willie
Nelson and fellow Farm Aid board members John
Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews, with Tim
Reynolds, as well as Jack Johnson, ALO, Pegi Young &
The Survivors, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.
Farm Aid has a rich history in Pennsylvania. Farm Aid
has long collaborated with and supported organizations
and organizers in our state who are growing the Good
Food Movement, including innovators at the forefront of
the organic and the Buy Fresh Buy Local movements.
Read more here.
RELEASE
SCHEDULE FOR
"JOURNEYS"
ANNOUNCED
SEE SCHEDULE HERE.
RICHARD BRANSON:
PLUNDERING THE NEW
WILD WEST
If we don't do something now, whales, dolphins,
sharks and coral reefs will become the stuff of history
lessons for our children's children
by Richard Branson, Business Day, June 18, 1012
The oceans are our planet's new frontier, a huge area only
partly explored and little regulated, where both outlaws
and law-abiding citizens are legally plundering the
planet's resources. While 15% to 20% of the earth's land
area is designated as "protected," with status as national
parks or conservation areas, less than 1% of the world's
oceans -- which cover 70% of the surface -- enjoy the
same protections. This needs to change fast, because our
oceans are dying.
Read more here.
main microphone for a pair of shows at Massey Hall in
his hometown of Toronto this past May that gives new
meaning to the phrase "up close and personal" - but it
was all part of Jonathan Demme's plan.
In Neil Young Journeys, Demme's third documentary
on the legendary rocker -- following 2006's Heart of
Gold and 2008's Neil Young Trunk Show -- there are
moments during songs like "Down By The River" and
"Hitchhiker" when the camera angles are so close,
Young's entire face covers the screen, cut off above the
mouth or nose.
"I wanted to be able to pull the viewer into the
narratives of Neil's songs, to really be there onstage,"
Demme told Rolling Stone the day after the world
premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"Performance films can try their hardest to compete with
a live performance -- which we can't -- but we can go in
close and we can get a more emotional version of what
he's doing."
For Journeys - the first movie ever to be recorded at
96 kHz (twice the sound data) - director of photography
Declan Quinn employed six human-operated cameras
and five icon cameras ("the size of a cigarette box") to
capture this one-man show. The concerts were the last
stop on Young's tour for 2010's Le Noise album,
produced by Daniel Lanois. The tiny cameras were also
attached to an organ and a piano for "After The Gold
Rush" and lilting new song "Leia," so that the shot is
through those instruments pointed at Young.
The interesting angles show every crease in the 65year-old's face - his grey five o'clock shadow, the hole in
his straw hat. There's even a spit particle that makes a
prominent appearance on the lens and gives the effect of
someone breathing on glass in winter.
"We had a discussion about when I spit on it and then
it started getting funky," Young told the audience at a
Q&A with Demme following the screening, to laughter.
"And then the lights changed and it turned blue. It gets
psychedelic and I was repeating some phrase over and
over again; the piece of spit is going [makes pulsating
gesture]."
"It looks like a $100,000 special effect," said
Demme.
Young and Demme have known each other since
1993, when the director was working on Philadelphia, his
groundbreaking blockbuster about AIDS and
homophobia. Young wrote "Philadelphia" for the end.
The pair's first major collaboration was Heart of Gold,
shot at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, which required
months of daily talks.
"I always just let him do his thing because his thing is
great and he lets me do my thing too," Young said at the
Q&A. "We have a lot of respect for each other and work
together as a team and we talk to each other, so it's
always fun. It's always good. He loves music and I love
movies."
In addition to the concert footage, Neil Young
Journeys gets its title from the interspersed footage
Demme captured on their day trip around North Ontario,
beginning with Young's childhood hometown of
Omemee. Borrowing a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, the
pair follow Young's older brother, Bob, in his 1991
Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance, as they go down
memory lane: his former home, school (now a park),
Coronation Hall, Scott Young Public School (named after
his father, a prominent sports writer) and other spots.
"I didn't know how we were going to use [the
footage], but I checked and found out that Omemee
wasn't terribly far away," said Demme. "I thought since
we're going to be up there in Toronto, in Ontario, what
happens when you put Neil in an old car, in his old
hometown and drive into town? What will he say? What
will it feel like? What will it look like?"
As they drive, Young starts remembering some funny
stories, staring at boxes of daisies outside the hardware
store and sleeping in a pup tent in his backyard. But
some aren't as sweet: "I think I killed a turtle by sticking
a firecracker up its ass," he says at one point. He also
recalls Goof Whitney, the boy who would give him a
nickel if he ate tar. "It's harsh at first, but it turns into
chocolate," he'd tell the young Young. And there was a
nickel if he went up to a lady and told her she has a fat
ass.
much, much more than people like I would. Today, 48
sounds killer, but what we don't understand is if you get
double the information, double the space, you're going to
feel it more than ever before.
With a film, book, art show, new album and
another in the works coming out, does it feel like
you're busier than ever? Does everything get the
proper amount of attention?
NY: It doesn't bother me because I didn't do them all
at once. It's kind of a blitz I guess. It's better to get it out
rather than hold onto it, because you hold onto it for too
long. New things need to come out. Unless there's
something wrong with them they should come out right
away. I have plenty of old things that I am still holding
onto.
JD: He's on a roll.
NEIL YOUNG AND PATTI
SMITH AT B.E.A.
by Ben Greenman, The New Yorker, June 6, 2012
BookExpo America has its own rock stars: Barbara
Kingsolver, Daniel Handler, Dean Koontz, whose name
was on hundreds of posters on the front doors of the
Javits Center. This year, it also had two actual rock stars:
Neil Young and Patti Smith, who appeared on
Wednesday afternoon at B.E.A. for an onstage
conversation.
Both have new albums out: Young has just released
"Americana," a collection of folk songs such as "Oh
Susanna" and "Clementine" updated as sprawling garagerock and performed with his longtime partners in noise,
Crazy Horse; and Smith has put out "Banga," a collection
that also touches on the American myth by adapting the
journals of Amerigo Vespucci and, for that matter,
includes a cover of Young's "After the Gold Rush." But
they were at B.E.A. doing book business: Young's
memoir "Waging Heavy Peace" is due out in October,
and Smith's "Just Kids" won the National Book Award
for Nonfiction in 2010. And while the two have crossed
paths throughout the years--they sang together at Young's
Bridge Benefit concert in 1996, and they'll join forces
this fall for a tour we (and, we hope, they) are codenaming the Crazy Horses Tour--as Smith has sung, paths
that cross will cross again.
The big room retained for the event--named, in a
triumphant act of generic enthusiasm, the Special Events
Hall--was laid out like a mix of supper club and arena,
reserved tables in front and general admission in back. A
carefully curated set of song was playing: Young's take
on "God Save the Queen," from "Americana," was
appropriate given Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee; the
original of "After the Gold Rush" was fitting in light of
Smith's new cover; and even "Down by the River"
seemed like a little in-joke about the Javits Center's
location on the Hudson. The conversation was called for
noon but rock stars have their own clock, and at 12:25,
after an extended double introduction, they appeared at
stage right. Her hair was braided. He wore a poncho with
brightly colored stripes. They posed for pictures ("It's
like being Sophia Loren," Smith said) and then took their
seats in two black chairs in the center of the stage.
The conversation was warm, low-key, and far from
scripted. From the start, Smith served notice that even
At the Q&A, a man asked Young if he could give him
an envelope from Goof. "Well, say hi to him and his
brother too," said Young. "This is the guy that gave me
that money to walk up to that lady and tell her she has a
fat ass," he reminded the audience. "God know what he
wants me to do now."
Demme plans on using the leftover anecdotes from
that car trip as bonus material for a DVD, but he's happy
with the way they "seasoned in passages of the trip" in
amongst the concert footage: "Neil's songs are so
powerful, that it's great to have a moment of respite after
you've been through 'Ohio' and 'Down By The River.'"
though B.E.A. was hosting the event, books were only
part of a continuum. "Books, albums," she said, "they're
the same. People create things." To that end, she opened
with a discussion of Young's new album, and especially
his cover of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain,"
which he renamed "Jesus's Chariot." "It's part of the folk
process," he said. "Once you say that you can change
anything." Smith led Young through other songs on the
album--the Silhouettes 1957 doo-wop hit "Get A Job,"
Billy Edd Wheeler's "High Flying Bird." "Thinking about
how I first heard that song," Young said, "started off this
album. I was writing the book." He paused. "See: It's all
related to the book." The crowd, unconcerned, laughed
anyway.
Read more here.
AMERICANA BLURAY
AVAILABLE
June 5, 2012
For those of you who want to hear 100 %, of the audio,
the Americana Bluray is the place to get it. Even the new
"mastered for I-tunes" tracks available of CrazyHorse's
Americana will have only 5% of the original audio while
the CD has just 15%. The Bluray has 100%. On the
Bluray you can hear all of the nuances of the CrazyHorse
sound exactly as recorded by John Hanlon at Audio
Casablanca Studio. If you want the best, now you have a
choice. The Americana Bluray also contains 12 videos of
the Americana songs, with an alternate version of
"Clementine," plus documentary footage of the
Americana choir as it was being recorded at East West
Studios in LA.
Get the Bluray "Americana" here.
The only other place to get the quality audio is the
vinyl Americana, which originates from the original
audio masters.
Click here to see the Audio
Casablanca studio as it
plays back "Horseback,"
although you will not be
hearing the audio quality on
this lo res MP3 stream.
NEIL YOUNG GREETED
WARMLY, RECALLS
WHEN T.O. WAS COLDER
By Nick Patch, The Canadian Press, September 13, 2011
TORONTO -- Neil Young received multiple standing
ovations as his new concert film premiered at the Toronto
International Film Festival on Monday, but after the
screening he reminisced on a time when the city was
considerably less friendly to him.
Young was born in Toronto and spent much of his
early life in Ontario before moving to Winnipeg. He
returned in the mid-60s as a fledgling folk musician, and
found a frigid reception.
"You know, I was a complete failure," Young said
during a Q-and-A session following the screening of
"Neil Young Journeys," after claiming that he originally
wound up in Toronto because his car broke down.
"We just tried and tried, but we couldn't get work
here. I got some really terrible reviews."
"But I knew I was good. I was just in the wrong
place."
He was in the right place Monday, as an adoring
audience packed the Princess of Wales Theatre to watch
his latest collaboration with Jonathan Demme, the
Academy Award-winning director of "Silence of the
Lambs" and "Rachel Getting Married."
"Neil Young Journeys" is Demme's third film about
the grizzled rock hero. The previous two presented a
March 20, 2012
sharp contrast. Demme's doleful 2006 flick "Heart of
On June 5th, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will release a
Gold" was dedicated to Young's recently deceased father
very special album titled AMERICANA, which is the
and was recorded not long after Young suffered a brain
first Neil Young & Crazy Horse in nearly nine years.
aneurysm, while 2009's "Neil Young Trunk Show"
presented the more tousled side of Young, with the
rocker slamming his sweat-drenched guitar through a
raucous set.
"Journeys," meanwhile, was recorded this past May,
with Young bringing his solo tour to a close in Toronto's
historic Massey Hall in a gig that offered the full sonic
range. The 65-year-old Young played a sterling set culled
mainly from his latest Daniel Lanois-produced disc "Le
Noise," which earned Young his first-ever Grammy for
music.
During the concert portion of the roughly 90-minute
film, Young is alone onstage (except for a wooden statue
of a native American), shifting effortlessly between an
organ, two pianos and several guitars, performing tunes
including "You Never Call," "Ohio," "Down by the
River" and "Love and War."
But "Journeys" also features wistful footage of Young
travelling on a roadtrip across Ontario in a 1956 Ford
AMERICANA is collection of classic, American folk Crown Victoria. His journey included a tour of Omemee,
songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred where Young pointed out a school named for his father
to as "protest songs", "murder ballads", or campfire-type
NEW NEIL YOUNG &
CRAZY HORSE ALBUM
DUE JUNE 5
SHEPARD FAIREY
PAINTS NEIL YOUNG'S
NEW SONGS
by Robin Cembalest, New York Times, May 7, 2012
The admiration between Shepard Fairey and Neil Young
goes both ways. Mr. Fairey, a longtime fan of the
musician, included him in "May Day," his 2010 show at
Deitch Projects portraying cultural heroes of the left.
Then Mr. Young, who stages an annual benefit concert
for the Bridge School in Northern California, asked Mr.
Fairey to create art for an album marking the concert's
25th anniversary. So the artist wasn't exactly surprised,
he said at the opening of his new show at Pace Prints,
when Mr. Young asked him to make a painting
representing each song in his new album with Crazy
Horse, "Americana." What Mr. Fairey didn't expect was
the intensity of Mr. Young's involvement. For all the
tracks, the artist submitted several digital mockups
inspired by the narrative (none based on an identifiable
original source, he emphasized). Then Mr. Young picked
his favorites. Mr. Fairey said he was also surprised to
learn that "God Save the Queen" is not just a Sex Pistols
song but an old British anthem and the source of the
melody for "My Country 'Tis of Thee." His finished
painting depicts the Queen and Betsy Ross sewing a
combination of British and American flags; its text reads
"God save the land of liberty"-- a phrase with both a dual
origin and a double meaning. "Neil and I talked about
that," Mr. Fairey said. "They left England, and basically
made the same mistakes. In some respect it all blends
together."
The works will be shown in a one-day, private event
next month at the new Perry Rubenstein gallery, which
has just moved from New York to Los Angeles and will
open its new venue on June 1 with a show of Helmut
Newton photographs. The paintings themselves will be
offered for sale, but their images may be used in music
videos for the album or stage design for the tour.
GOLDEN EGGS FROM
BEN YOUNG'S FARM A
BREAKFAST STAR
by Carolyn Jung, San Francisco Chronicle,
March 29, 2012
songs passed down with universal, relatable tales for
everyman.
Stay tuned to hear the first song soon, and info on
how to pre-order Americana! And check out the
tracklisting!
Oh Susannah
Clementine
Tom Dula
Gallows Pole
Get A Job
Travel On
High Flyin' Bird
Jesus' Chariot
This Land Is Your Land
Wayfarin' Stranger
God Save The Queen
NEIL YOUNG REUNITES
WITH CRAZY HORSE
Jambands.com, February 13, 2012
Neil Young & Crazy Horse formally reunited over the
weekend. The group played a cover of The Beatles'
classic "I Saw Her Standing There" during a MusiCares
Gala honoring Sir. Paul McCartney on Friday night. The
gala took place at Los Angeles' Los Angeles Convention
Center on Friday night as part of a series of pre-Grammy
events. Young and Crazy Horse--which features Frank
Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina--have not
shared the stage since March 21, 2004. Young and Crazy
Horse are currently working on two new studio projects,
including an album of re-imagined children's songs.
Young announced the group's return during Sundance in
January and wet fans' appetite by releasing a jammy
rehearsal video a few weeks ago.
(the sports writer Scott Young), a community centre he
used to frequent and a lake where he would catch fish
and turtles and bring them home in a wagon when he was
five years old.
The nostalgic vibe carried over into the post-film
discussion, with Young joined onstage by Demme (who
said that the men had been friends since Young
contributed a song to Demme's 1993 film,
"Philadelphia") and greeted by a string of audience
members who happened to be old chums.
One woman named Mary-Ellen identified herself as a
former classmate, and Young's face immediately lit up.
He remembered winning a sparkly little prize at a fair
back in Grade 4 and giving it to the woman because he
harboured a crush on her.
Later, it turned out that the trinket was actually a dog
collar.
"I still haven't lost my touch," Young joked.
In the film, Young recalled a childhood friend named
Goof who would take advantage of the naive Young in
various ways -- by paying him a nickel to make rude
comments to old ladies, or by convincing him that the
wet tar on the road was chocolate. On Monday, a
representative of Goof's showed up with a mysterious
envelope for Young.
"God knows what he wants me to do now," sighed
Young, who intermittently munched on popcorn while
onstage.
Young said that he's writing a book, so he's been
reflecting on his childhood in Canada pretty frequently of
late.
Meanwhile, he seemed pleased with Demme's latest
effort, saying afterward that he had grown to trust the 67year-old's vision implicitly.
"I always let him just do his thing, because his thing
is great," Young said.
"He loves music, and I love movies."
REVIEW: NEIL YOUNG
JOURNEYS PREMIERES
IN TORONTO
By David McPherson, American Songwriter, September
13th, 2011
When two passionate artists collide with like-minded
visions, the result is a magical piece of filmmaking -- art
for art's sake. This sums up Academy Award-winning
director Jonathan Demme's latest rock documentary, Neil
Young Journeys, which premiered last night at the
Toronto International Film Festival.
by Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2012
While people were gushing over material girl
There's no shortage of stars, real and imagined, visible
Madonna - who struck a pose on the red carpet around
along Hollywood's Walk of Fame, but even by
the block before her feature film W.E. - hometown hero
Tinseltown standards, Paul McCartney ramped up the
Neil Young was in the audience at the Princess of Wales
quotient Thursday in getting his own belated star.
theater around the corner where Demme's movie had its
The former Beatle drew several hundred fans who
global debut.
packed a cordoned-off section of Vine Street outside
Shortly before 7 p.m., Young entered the sold-out
Capitol Records for the ceremony.
theater to a standing ovation; he was accompanied by an
He brought several Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
entourage of family and friends, including his wife Pegi.
member pals along for the ride, including Neil Young,
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was also in the house early
who gave McCartney a cheery introduction, Eagles
to watch the movie before exiting to lead his band in the
guitarist Joe Walsh and pop music power couple Elvis
second of two sold-out shows down the street at the Air
Costello and Diana Krall. Jazz great Herbie Hancock was Canada Centre. (The night before, Young joined the band
there as well as musician-producer Don Was and former on stage for their encore).
Electric Light Orchestra leader/Traveling Wilburys
Demme shot most of the footage for the film this past
member Jeff Lynne. McCartney's wife, Nancy, and son, May over two nights during Young's stop at Toronto's
James, also attended the ceremony.
Massey Hall as part of his Le Noise solo tour.
"Let me tell you a little bit about our friend Paul here
After setting the scene with shots of Massey, the
just as a musician," said Young, wearing a black leather viewer takes a nostalgic ride with Young in his 1956
Buffalo Springfield tour jacket. "When I was in high
Ford Crown Victoria; Young gives the audience a tour of
school and the Beatles came out, I loved the Beatles and Omemee, a sleepy town northeast of Toronto where
PAUL MCCARTNEY GETS
HIS STAR ON HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Ben Young, son of Neil & Pegi Young, delivers organic
eggs from Coastside Ranch in La Honda to chef Charlie
Ayers at Calafia Cafe in Palo Alto.
Photo: Kevin Johnson / The Chronicle
Every Sunday, Charlie Ayers goes through as many
as 1,500 eggs during brunch service at his Calafia Cafe in
Palo Alto.
But there are certain, especially dear eggs that never
get cracked for mere omelets or mundane pancake batter.
Instead, with their pert yolks as brilliant orange as a
tropical sunset, these particular eggs are reserved for a
fitting showcase presentation - sunny side up in all their
glory.
What makes these eggs so special?
They're certified organic. They're from free-range
chickens. And they're produced locally at Coastside
Ranch in La Honda, an egg farm run by Ben Young, the
son of rocker Neil Young and his wife Pegi.
The famed singer-songwriter's middle child, Ben
Young, 33, was born with cerebral palsy. It was he who
in 1986 inspired his parents to help found the Bridge
School in Hillsborough, a nonprofit educational
organization that teaches communications skills to
children with severe disabilities. Every October, Neil &
Pegi Young host the annual Bridge School Benefit
Concerts at Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheatre,
where they are joined by some of the music industry's
biggest names.
Ayers, Google's first executive chef, is no stranger to
the music scene. A regular attendee of the Bridge School
concerts, he also was once the private chef for the
Grateful Dead.
Just after Calafia opened three years ago, Ayers was
chatting with his longtime friend James Olness, who did
the artwork for the restaurant. Olness, archivist for the
late-rock concert promoter Bill Graham, mentioned Ben
Young's egg farm. Since Ayers gets most of his
ingredients from small, local farms, it piqued his interest.
"They had the most beautiful orange yolks. You
could taste that they were the real deal," Ayers says.
"I'm lucky enough to be able to buy them from Ben,
but only during the offseason for the farmers' market,
when it's still the rainy season. That's why I'm always
hoping it rains more."
From about October through April, Ayers buys more
than 2,800 eggs weekly from Ben Young, who delivers
them to Calafia each Friday, with the help of his
assistant, Dustin Cline.
Meeting the customers
Young uses a wheelchair and speaks with the aid of a
computerized communications device. Often, he'll be
dressed in a Calafia T-shirt or beanie for these occasions,
which he relishes because his favorite part of the job is
meeting the folks who adore his eggs.
"I have a hand in every part of the business," he says.
"The most challenging part - besides the tedious
paperwork - is having cerebral palsy. It takes more time
to do things, and some people think I don't understand
them, which can be a challenge. The help of good
friends, though, gets me through any obstacles."
After graduating from Half Moon Bay High School,
Young took some agricultural courses, which led him to
raise alpacas for the 4-H Club. He got the notion to raise
chickens next because they are fairly low maintenance.
In 1999, he started the farm on 3 acres of his family's
ranch. In 2002, it was certified organic. There are still
alpacas aplenty on the farm, too, which guard the
chickens against predators.
I tried to learn how to play like them, and no one could
figure out what Paul was doing on the bass. Not only was
he playing differently because he plays left-handed, he
played notes that no one had put together before -- in a
way that made us stand in awe of this great musician."
"I'm so proud to be doing this," he added. "As a
musician, as a songwriter, Paul's craft and his art are
truly at the top of his game, the way Charlie Chaplin was
an actor. He has an ability to put melodies and feelings
and chords together, but it's the soul that he puts into
everything he does that makes me feel so good and so
happy to be here."
McCartney then stepped to the microphone and first
acknowledged his debt to "three other guys -- so thanks,
John, George and Ringo."
Although Starr, the only other surviving Beatle, lives
in Southern California, McCartney said, "Ringo's a little
under the weather, so he's not here." The comment drew
sighs of disappointment from onlookers.
"When I was growing up in Liverpool and listening
to Buddy Holly and the other rock 'n' roll greats, I never
thought I'd ever come to get a star on the Walk of Fame,"
said McCartney, 69 -- a sentiment probably shared by
members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, who
had been after him to accept the award ever since it was
approved for him in 1993. "But here we are today," he
said. v"Today," not coincidentally, was the 48th
anniversary of the Beatles' game-changing U.S.
television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The
ceremony also came synergistically just two days after
the release of McCartney's latest album, "Kisses on the
Bottom," a collection of mostly pre-rock pop songs he
loved as a child, supplemented by two originals.
Always the Beatle most attuned to business matters,
he closed his succinct speech by telling fans and others
"around the world that I send you all hugs and kisses on
the bottom."
It's a particularly busy week for McCartney: After the
star ceremony, he was slated to do a live performance in
one of Capitol's recording studios to be streamed live at 7
tonight on iTunes and Apple TV. On Friday, he's the
guest of honor at the Recording Academy's annual
MusiCares Person of the Year all-star tribute gala and
fundraiser. And Sunday, he's on tap to perform during the
Grammy Awards telecast.
Many fans who showed up in Hollywood brought
various bits of memorabilia in hopes of snagging an
autograph: One teenage girl had a worn LP copy of his
first solo album, 1970's "McCartney." Others leaned
across metal police barricades with copies of "A Hard
Day's Night," "Beatles for Sale," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band," books, photos and a plethora of other
items.
Only one succeeded: On his way back into the
Capitol building, McCartney spotted Fullerton 18-yearold Paul Madariaga holding up a Hofner bass guitar like
the one McCartney first popularized nearly half a century
ago when he was just out of his teens. McCartney gave a
nod and the instrument was handed to him. The world's
most famous bassist hoisted it aloft, as he often does at
the end of his concerts, scribbled his name across the
front with a hastily supplied Sharpie and passed it back
to Madariaga.
Score one for the kid.
Neil's parents moved in 1949 when he was just fouryears-old; following his parent's separation, his father
Scott, a famous Canadian writer, remained in Omemee
until his death in 2005.
Wearing a Manitoba Moose cap, Young gives us an
intimate glimpse of his early childhood. Neil's brother
Bob joins him for parts of this tour.
Then, it's time for Le Noise -- that's when it gets loud
as the scene shifts to Neil's Massey concerts. After the
movie, Demme reveals that Neil insisted the film be shot
in 96 kilohertz (apparently all movies are shot in 48
kilohertz). The footage shows Young perform most of the
numbers from Le Noise, along with classics such as
"Ohio," "Down By The River," "After the Gold Rush,"
and "Hey, Hey My, My."
The mercurial musician moves between two pianos,
an organ and several of his famed electric guitars: his
Gretsch White Falcon, his customimized Gibson Les
Paul Goldtop (known as Old Black), and other classic
acoustics. Demme's deft directing makes sure every
passionate note and nuance coming from Neil's
instruments are noticed.
One of the more touching numbers, among many
highs, is a new song: "You Never Call," where Young
pays homage to his late friend Larry "L.A." Johnson,
who ran Neil's film company (Shakey Pictures). The film
ends with Neil playing some final notes on the piano and
looking in the rearview mirror of his classic car heading
down the highway.
Following the 90-minute film, which saw the
audience as still as the giant Native American wood
carving that played a central role in the film, Demme, 67,
and Young, 65, came to the stage for an intimate
dialogue.
Except for the same white straw hat he wore in the
film, Young was dressed all in black: t-shirt, leather
jacket, jeans, and boots. Sporting a wry smile, Young
arrived munching on a box of popcorn. Before settling
into the black leather lounge chair next to Demme, he
bowed to the filmmaker best known for directing feature
films Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia.
The audience was a mix of old friends and longtime
fans. During the question and answer period, one woman
revealed she was a grade-school classmate.
As the evening wound down, Young called up his
longtime manager Elliot Roberts to take a bow as well
for his role in the artist's career.
Long may he run.
Neil Young Journeys is expected to arrive in theaters
later this year.
Young says he's pleased to be following in the
footsteps of his father, an environmental and small-farm
advocate who co-founded the benefit concert Farm Aid.
He's proud of his eggs, which he used to enjoy poached
before having to rely on a feeding tube for his
nourishment.
Dozens of eggs a day
These days, Young raises about 250 Red Sex-Links,
similar to Rhode Island Reds, which together lay more
than 100 eggs per day. The hens are all named Georgette
and the roosters George.
"It started as a joke - and stuck," Young says.
Although organic grain is expensive, Young has
managed to reap a modest profit from his business. He
sells the eggs for $5 per dozen to Calafia and to Cafe
Gibraltar in El Granada. The eggs also are available at
Alena Jean nursery in Half Moon Bay for $8 a dozen.
From May through November, the eggs are $7 a dozen at
the Saturday morning farmers' market at Shoreline
Station in Half Moon Bay. They're generally sold out in
less than two hours.
"The chickens are happy. They are outside in the sun,
eating healthy food. I hope people see and taste the
difference," Young says.
With Easter approaching, eggs are sure to star on
more plates than ever.
"It's no different at the farm at Easter," he says.
"People just want more eggs. But our eggs are brown, so
they're not ideal for dyeing."
That may be so. But with their showy color on the
inside, they don't need anything more to dazzle. Just ask
Ayers.
NEIL YOUNG TO SPEAK
AT BOOKEXPO AMERICA
By Maryann Yin, MediaBistro Galleycat, March 19, 2012
Rock legend Neil Young will headline an event at this
year's BookExpo America. "A Conversation with Neil
Young" will take place on June 6th.
Young will be talking
about his forthcoming
memoir Waging Heavy
Peace. When Young's
book deal was first
announced, Young said
that "writing books fit me
like a glove." The event is
free, but seating will be
provided on a first come, first served basis.
BEA show manager Steve Rosato had this statement
in the release: "This appearance will be a highlight of our
show and I am sure it will live on as one of our great all
time moments in BEA history. I have no doubt that on
Wednesday, June 6 at 12 noon just about everyone in the
Javits Center will be packed into the Special Events
Hall!"
MUSIC AND SPIT: NEIL
YOUNG GETS EXTREME
NEIL YOUNG'S MUSIC
CLOSE-UP
By David Germain, Associated Press, September 13,
RESCUE MISSION
NEIL YOUNG, WILL.I.AM
IN TOKYO
Kyodo News, December 15, 2011
2011
TORONTO -- Neil Young's latest concert film is so up
close and personal it leaves the audience viewing the
rocker through his own spit.
"Neil Young Journeys" premiered Monday night at
the Toronto International Film Festival. Afterward,
Young joked with the audience that a tiny camera
mounted on his microphone for the concerts "scared the
hell out of me."
The camera was so close that it caught a glob of the
singer's spittle, creating a blotch on the lens that gives the
By Ina Fried, AllThingsD, January 31, 2012
Neil Young is on a quest to improve upon the MP3 file
that dominates digital music.
Young isn't opposed to the fact music is going digital,
but he says the sound of today's files isn't good enough,
with audio quality at just 5 percent of traditional
recordings.
"My goal is to try to rescue the art form that I've been
practicing for the past 50 years," Young said, speaking at
the D: Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday.
Isn't this a losing battle? Walt Mossberg pressed
Veteran rocker Neil Young speaks during an event at the
U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo on Dec. 14,
2011. Young and Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas, a popular
hip hop group, expressed their desire to support a publicprivate partnership led by the U.S. and the Japanese
governments to aid reconstruction of areas hit by the
March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The initiative
named "Tomodachi" (friends) was forged to support
companies and people affected by the disaster through
cultural exchange and other events in cooperation with
private firms.
NEIL YOUNG AT THE
SWU FESTIVAL
November 7, 2011
Just a one-hour flight from Rio, Sao Paulo is a fastpaced, cosmopolitan megalopolis and Brazil's cultural
center with a lively music and arts scene. This week Sao
Paulo will host the Starts With You Music & Arts
Festival from November 12-14, which features an
impressive line up of global artists playing hip hop,
reggae, rock and world music.
The SWU festival also focuses on a sustainability
theme throughout the event. Appearing for a speaking
engagement is Canadian Rock Icon and Forward
Thinker, Neil Young.
The 2nd Global Forum on Sustainability brings
together 26 speakers for three days of discussions on
environmental, social and economic sustainability. In
addition to Mr. Young, the list of speakers includes
names such as the musician Bob Geldof (creator of Live
Aid), the Nobel Prize for Peace Rigoberta Menchu, the
former Presidential candidate Marina Silva and actress
Daryl Hannah (of the films "Splash" and "Kill Bill").
Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to
watch a special screening of the new concert film by
Jonathan Demme, "Neil Young Journeys."
"JOURNEYS" TO BE
RELEASED BY SONY
CLASSICS IN APRIL 2012
footage a bit of a psychedelic tinge.
Director Jonathan Demme told the audience he
decided to include that sequence in the film, quipping
that it was like a "hundred-thousand-dollar special
effect."
The evening was a homecoming for Young, who
grew up in Ontario north of Toronto. It also allowed
Young and Demme, the Academy Award-winning
director of "The Silence of the Lambs," to reflect on their
nearly 20-year association, which includes the previous
concert films "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" and "Neil
Young Trunk Show."
The two first came together as Demme was finishing
his 1993 drama "Philadelphia," starring Tom Hanks as a
gay lawyer dying of AIDS. Demme said he cut the film's
title sequence to Young's angry rock anthem "Southern
Man," then sent it to Young hoping he would write a
similarly blazing tune to insert in its place.
The filmmaker said he wanted a seal of approval to
pitch the film to "homophobic young white men" and
that an anthem from Young would reassure them because
"Neil thinks this is OK."
Young sent back the slow, melancholy heartwrencher "Philadelphia."
"It was so not a rock anthem," Demme said. "It fit the
end of the movie so well."
That's where he inserted the song, and Demme then
turned to Bruce Springsteen for an opening anthem.
Springsteen sent back another slow weeper, "Streets of
Philadelphia."
Demme conceded that maybe the musicians had
nailed the soul of the film better than he had and put
Springsteen's song at the opening. Springsteen won a
songwriting Oscar for his, while Young's earned a
nomination.
"Neil Young Journeys" captures the singer at
Toronto's historic Massey Hall last May for the closing
two shows of his "Le Noise" tour. Young's music
thunders through the hall as he plays solo on acoustic and
electric guitar, harmonica, piano and organ.
The songs are intercut with a long drive Young took
at the wheel of a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria from his
hometown of Omemee, Ontario, to Massey Hall for one
of the shows.
Along the way, Young comments on the people he
knew and the places he lived growing up, recalling a
boyhood friend who convinced him to eat road tar
because it tasted like chocolate and pointing out a spot
where he killed a turtle with a firecracker.
"So my environmental roots are not that deep,"
Young jokes in the film.
Young marvels pensively how his childhood region
has changed, buildings vanished and new developments
grown up all around.
"It's all gone," Young says. "It's in my head. That's
why you don't have to worry when you lose friends.
`Cause they're still in your head. Still in your heart."
Young remembers departed friends in the film's
performances, which lean heavily toward material from
recent albums. But the film also features solo renditions
of Young classics such as "Down by the River," `'After
the Gold Rush" and "Ohio," a protest tune about the
National Guard shootings at Kent State in 1970 which is
accompanied by archival footage of the tragedy and
photos of the four students slain there.
After the film, Young recalled his early days as a
failed musician in Toronto and summed up his long
collaboration with filmmaker Demme.
"He loves music," Young said. "And I love movies."
Young.
"No," Young insisted, saying that what is needed is
just a better music-playing device -- a better iPod, if you
will. Who is going to produce this? Mossberg asked.
"Some rich guy," Young said.
Young said that Internet-based sound files are the
way music is discovered these days.
"I look at the Internet as the new radio," Young said.
"I look at radio as gone ... Piracy is the new radio, that's
how music gets around."
Buffalo Springfield Tour Reviews:
By The Canadian Press, September 12, 2011
TORONTO - Ian Munro, whose half-century career at
The Canadian Press news agency took him from Morse
telegraphy to the beginnings of the computerized
newsroom, has died at the age of 98.
He died Saturday of heart problems in Sunnybrook
Hospital.
Munro spent 50 years with the news service, starting
as a copy boy and retiring as the head of its technical
operations on his 65th birthday.
He was born in Toronto in 1913. His Scottish
immigrant father enlisted in the Canadian army during
the First World War and was killed at Passchendaele.
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme working on
(Wiltern Theater; 2,200 capacity; $250 top)
By Matt Kivel, Variety, June 6, 2011
Presented by Live Nation. Performers: Richie Furay,
Steven Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas, Joe Vitale. Also
Appearing: David Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Reviewed June 5, 2011.
"Hi, we're Buffalo Springfield ... we're from the
past," Neil Young declared, three songs into his reunited
band's Sunday evening set. The statement was delivered
SLAMDANCE FILM
FESTIVAL TO PRESENT
DOCUMENTARIES
ABOUT NEIL YOUNG,
STAN LEE
By Gregg Kilday, Hollywood Reporter, December 21,
2011
Documentaries about Neil Young and Stan Lee and a
"lost" television pilot directed by Ed Wood are among
the Special Screenings and Shorts Programs that will be
featured as part of the 18th annual Slamdance Film
Festival, which runs Jan. 20-26 in Park City, Utah.
As the festival released the latest additions to its
lineup Wednesday, it announced such titles as Jonathan
Demme's Neil Young Journeys; Will Hess, Nikki Frakes
and Terry Dougas' With Great Power: The Stan Lee
Story; and Wood's Final Curtain.
Read more here.
IAN MUNRO, NEWS
AGENCY VET, DIES AT 98;
WENT FROM MORSE
CODE TO COMPUTERS
"Journeys" in a New York editing suite, July 2011.
with a playful sense of irony, but also with a nostalgic
enthusiasm that would characterize much of the group's
energetic performance. In fact, the famous bandleaders -Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Young -- seemed to simply
revel in revisiting the music and collaborators of their
earliest years. The aging singer/guitarists traded solos
"Neil Young Journeys" - the new film from Jonathan
Demme that captures Neil's 2011 Massey Hall show plus and traversed the stage with reckless abandon and the
crowd responded ecstatically, meeting its hometown
footage on the road in his 1956 Ford Crown Victoria screened at the Toronto Festival on Monday, September heroes with an equally raucous reception.
Though its legacy has been largely overshadowed by
12, 2011 at Princess Of Wales.
the subsequent work of its founders (CSNY, Neil Young,
Click here for more information.
Poco, Manassas) Buffalo Springfield marked an
important sea change in the evolution of popular rock
and roll. Though initially drawing from many of the
same inspirations as the Byrds -- Brit pop and Americana
-- Buffalo Springfield would quickly grow into a more
idiosyncratic sound that helped usher in a wave of
psychedelic music framed in folk-rock structures.
Famously dysfunctional, the band only lasted for two
years in the mid-'60s, recording three albums -- most
notably 1967's "Buffalo Springfield Again," a dense and
varied recording, brimming with imaginative
arrangements and pristinely-constructed songs.
Sunday's set list drew from each of the three records,
evenly splitting vocal duties between Furay, Young and
Stills. Out of the three singers, Young's trembling tenor
held up the best, retaining all the clarity and earnestness
of his halcyon days. As was the band's custom in the
'60s, Furay took the lead on a number of Young-penned
tunes, infusing the strange narratives with a clarity and
efficiency that showcased Young's ability to write pop
hooks clearly capable of competing on a mainstream
level. Standouts included the exuberant blue-eyed pop of
"On the Way Home," the jarring time-signature shuffle of
"Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" and Young's
pastoral masterpiece "Broken Arrow." On the latter
composition, drummer Joe Vitale punched holes into the
song's acoustic skeleton, adding startling dynamics to the
otherwise minimal arrangement.
Part of Buffalo Springfield's legend as a live act lays
in the famously combustible guitar interplay between
Stills and Young, and the two dynamic soloists did not
September 12, 2011
disappoint. Both employed a rugged blend of distortion
Neil recently was highlighted as a speaker at the
and sharply sustained notes to create an abrasive and
Dreamforce convention, where he spoke about how he
utterly entrancing musical effect. The raw power of the
uses their feature "Chatter."
two players was undeniable; Stills with his more
Watch the interview here!
technically-sound, blues-inflected runs, and Young with
his childlike bursts of noise and jagged, repeated riffs.
The dueling guitars really opened up during the
band's encore, which included the top-10 hit "For What
It's Worth" and Young's own "Rockin' in the Free World,"
which capped the set with an appropriate blend of hubris
and unabashed enthusiasm. For a group of industry vets,
they seem to have recaptured and reconnected with a
youthful magnetism rarely seen on "reunion tours" of this
magnitude.
Opening country duo Gillian Welch and David
Rawlings brought impeccable harmonies and intricate
Appalachian-styled guitar to a collection of intimate folk
songs.
"JOURNEYS" SCREENED
IN TORONTO
NEIL AT DREAMFORCE
The family returned to Scotland briefly, then came
back to Canada, where Ian quit school at 15 to join The
Canadian Press.
At the time, the staccato rattle of Morse code
dominated the newsroom. By the time he left, he had
helped usher in the computer age.
Munro worked his way up through the
communications side of the business. He was there for
the introduction of teletype machines, teletypesetting
systems and the early wirephoto machines that
transmitted news photographs.
Within 10 years of joining the company he was a
communications mechanic and by 1938 he was
overseeing night operations. He spent most of his career
in Toronto, with brief stints in London, Ont., Hamilton,
Ottawa and Montreal.
In 1967, he was named general traffic chief,
supervising the communications services that brought
news, photos and audio material to newspapers and radio
and TV stations across the country.
Keith Kincaid, a retired CP president who worked
closely with Munro on the computerization effort, called
him "one of a kind."
"CP was the first news organization in Canada to take
baby steps into the world of computerized editing,"
Kincaid said, and Munro was a key player.
Munro learned his trade on the job, reading
voraciously.
"Everything he knew about the new technology was
self-taught, and he knew a lot," Kincaid said.
"He always kept his composure in stressful times,
continuing to smile even when things didn't always go
well in the early days of newsroom computing and
frustrated editors were noisily grumpy."
Munro made many friends during his long career.
Among them was Scott Young, the Toronto journalist,
novelist and sportswriter.
In his 1984 book Neil and Me, about his relationship
with his son, rocker Neil Young, the writer claimed Neil
was conceived on the living room floor in Ian's mother's
house during a visit.
Munro's son, Scott, who was named after the author,
said that was a family story retold with glee over the
years.
Scott also said his father was deeply involved in
setting up news communications systems for the
Montreal Olympics in 1976.
"This was an interesting assignment, as his French
was so limited as to be non-existent. The Montreal
bureau had to create bilingual washrooms, when it
became evident that Ian did not recognize 'hommes' and
'femmes.'
"Afterward, the bureau presented him with the
special signs."
Munro worked as a telecommunications consultant
for some years after his retirement.
"After that, he pretty much devoted his life to caring
for my mother, Lola who suffered from Alzheimer's
disease for many years, and to enjoying his family, of
whom he was immensely proud. Mom and dad were
married for 62 years," Scott said.
Lola died in 2002 and Munro is survived by Scott,
his older sister Janice, four grandchildren, and two greatgrandchildren.
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
FINDS THAT OLD SPARK
AT THE WILTERN
A MESSAGE FROM NEIL
By Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2011
"I usually have something clever to say," Neil Young told YOUNG
U2 OPENS FOR NEIL
September 10, 2011
U2's documentary "From The Sky Down" opened this
weekend at the Toronto Film Festival, just before the
the audience between songs Saturday night at the Wiltern
theater. "But not tonight -- we're too close to home."
The occasion was the first L.A. concert in more than
40 years by Buffalo Springfield, the short-lived yet
highly influential late-'60s outfit that launched Young,
Stephen Stills and Richie Furay into the country-rock
cosmos. And close to home these lifers certainly were:
Blazing a trail for future West Coast superstars such as
the Eagles and Jackson Browne, Buffalo Springfield
made its name in cozy West Hollywood clubs such as the
Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go, less than 10 miles
from the Wiltern, where the band arrived Saturday after a
pair of gigs in Oakland.
The reunion tour stops at the Santa Barbara Bowl on
Tuesday and Wednesday, then travels to Tennessee for
May 17, 2011
2012 will be the year that record companies release High
Resolution Audio. This is huge for our industry. Since
the advent of the CD, listeners have been deprived of the
full experience of listening. With the introduction of
MP3s via online music services, listeners were further
deprived.
The spirituality and soul of music is truly found when
the sound engulfs you and that is just what 2012 will
bring. It is a physical thing, a relief that you feel when
you finally hear music the way artists and producers did
when they created it in the studio. The sound engulfs you
and your senses open up allowing you to truly feel the
deep emotion in the music of some of our finest artists.
From Frank Sinatra to the Black Keys, the feeling is
screening of "Neil Young Journeys."
Read a review of the U2 film here.
this weekend's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
Yet if Saturday's sold-out homecoming had all the
makings of a trapped-in-amber nostalgia-thon, Buffalo
Springfield could scarcely have seemed less concerned
with upholding its legacy. Filled out by bassist Rick
Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale (stand-ins for the late
Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin, respectively), the band
tore through material from its three studio albums -enduring numbers such as Young's "I Am a Child" and
Furay's "Kind Woman" but also lesser-known selections
such as Stills' "Everybody's Wrong" -- with the kind of
abandon not often seen on the back-from-the-dead
circuit.
"Rumors of our breakup have been greatly
exaggerated," Young cracked at one point, and his joke
got at the appealing no-big-deal-ness of the 100-minute
show. When a light box behind Vitale malfunctioned and
set off a potentially seizure-inducing strobe effect,
nobody even mentioned what might have been a serious
threat to this crowd of graying old-timers.
Behind the perceived informality, of course, lay
Neil Young's new album, produced by Daniel Lanois, is
in stores as DVD, CD & vinyl, and online at iTunes. The decades of accumulated technique, as you were reminded
Blu-Ray version is available exclusively from Amazon. each time the three singers locked into their signature
vocal harmonies. ("Do I Have to Come Right Out and
See video and more here.
Say It" was especially lovely.) And in "Go and Say
Goodbye," Young and Stills traded interlaced guitar licks
in an apparently intuitive way that reflected the many
years they've spent playing together.
Thankfully, though, the musicians telegraphed zero
interest in the rock-canonical nonsense that weighs down
so many reunion acts. Indeed, several times at the
Wiltern they seemed determined to undermine their
collective reputation as jingle-jangle forebears: After
Young introduced it as a song he wrote on his bathroom
floor one night upon returning home from the Whisky,
Buffalo Springfield gave "Mr. Soul" a stomping, fuzzencrusted reading that was almost comical in its intensity.
In its encore, the band remade "For What It's Worth" -"Our Top 10 hit," Young sniffed -- as a low-slung
swamp-soul jam with growling lead vocals from Stills.
"Nice to see you again," Young said after that
number, again resisting the urge to say anything clever.
Was he overpowered by the significance of the moment?
Maybe. More likely, he was getting a job done.
there. This is what recording companies were born to
give you and in 2012 they will deliver.
-- Neil Young
"LE NOISE" AVAILABLE
ON BLU-RAY, DVD, CD
NEIL YOUNG'S
ENVIROPOCALYPTIC
COMIC TERRORIZES
GREENDALE
By Scott Thill, Wired.com, June 16, 2010
Neil Young's stirring Greendale started life in 2003 as a
crunchy concept album about the enviropocalypse, and
quickly became an indie film. The inevitable graphic
novel arrives in bookstores Wednesday, viralizing the
War on Terra for comics geeks and new adopters.
"Neil gave us a lot of freedom to interpret the story,
so I think of our Greendale like a cover song," artist Cliff
Chiang told Wired.com in an e-mail. "[Greendale writer
Joshua Dysart] and I wanted to create something that
readers unfamiliar with the music could appreciate, but
also give fans an alternative look at the album."
What the comic distinctly offers, as one can see in the
exclusive panels above and below, are hazily nightmarish
specters of environmental dread and lost innocence.
Young's epic rock opera, recorded with his long-time
collaborators in Crazy Horse, conjured dark pictures of a
rural community torn apart by oil wars and dumb media.
Chiang's subdued, surreal art delivers an arresting visual
dimension to the rock legend's spiral narrative that's as
whimsical as it is fearsome.
"The CIA did studies on different media and their
effectiveness in transmitting propaganda," Dysart told
Wired.com in an e-mail. "And it turned out that comics
were cheap to make and distribute and caused a lasting
impact in the mind of the reader. We're a hypervisual
animal, and you don't need anything to receive the
message in a comic but functioning eyes."
The same applies to those comics -- like Dysart,
Chiang and Young's Greendale, published by DC
Comics' mature imprint Vertigo -- that would employ
hypervisuals to critique the new millennium's mounting
lower photo - L.A. Johnson
BEN KEITH
July 29, 2010
On the full moon, the Thunder moon, the world lost one
of the greatest musicians of all time. Ben was 73 years
old the night he died on Broken Arrow Ranch in
California, his happy home for the last years of his life.
Ben played with Patsy Cline, Faron Young, Hawkshaw
Hawkins, Ian Tyson and many other music greats. A
great American, the quiet giant, he moved gently through
the world, with kindness and grace.
My wife Pegi was lucky to share his last performance
a few weeks back in San Francisco, where Ben was
playing in her band, supporting her and lending his spirit
to her every word as she sang her songs for us.
Of course, in Nashville Ben Keith is legendary, one
of the last of the original country greats, the man behind
the song. No one will ever fill his shoes. He has
countless friends and admirers. They all miss him as
much as I do. I will miss him every time I look to my
side, remembering him, my brother and fellow traveler.
Thankfully, Ben's masterful playing can be seen and
heard in two Johnathon Demme pictures: "Heart of
Gold" and "Trunk Show," as well as countless great
By Marco R. della Cava, USA Today, June 2, 2011
recordings over the last 50 years. We are so fortunate to
OAKLAND, Calif. -- His imposing frame cloaked in a
have these as memories and lasting documents of his
fringed leather jacket and wispy hair secured under a
greatness and grace. He started out on a homemade steel
Panama hat, Neil Young smirked at the microphone as he guitar he fashioned himself from a piece of wood and left
summarized the vibe. "We're Buffalo Springfield," he
over parts. He loved his music and his life and cherished
announced to the packed Fox Theater crowd, "and we're his many friends and soul mates.
from the past."
He leaves behind his wonderful daughter Heidi, and
But Young wasn't entirely correct. Wednesday's
his grandchildren who he loved so much, DJ, Rachel,
concert, which kicked off the band's first tour since it
James, Meredith, Aubrey, Fletcher and Caroline.
disbanded in 1968, proved to be far more than a mere
May he rest in Peace.
greatest hits revival as it showcased the musical journeys
Neil Young
of its three surviving members through a tight, 18-song
set that ranged from mellow to monstrous. Meanwhile,
the smell of marijuana wafted through the ornate 1920s
theater with golden walls and large statues that look like
cat Buddhas.
The tour continues to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara
before hitting the Bonnaroo Music Festival June 11.
July 23, 2010
Opening with a compelling "On The Way Home,"
The NYA team, headed by Will Mitchell and Hannah
one of the songs that defines this short-lived '60s hit
Johnson, is digging through material supplied by
machine with its lilting harmonies and punchy pop
numerous sources, including newspapers, writers, fans,
sound, Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay (ably
bootleg audio collectors and photographers (special
backed by drummer Joe Vitale and bass player Rick
thanks to photographer/collector Joel Bernstein). Much
Rosas, who replaced the late Dewey Martin and Bruce
work has been done and there is much left to do. Using
Palmer) showed that a successful regrouping at last fall's the template designed by the late Larry Johnson, the
Bridge School benefit concert was no fluke.
whole team is pushing forward.
Stills' high lonesome voice anchored "Rock and Roll
Special thanks to audio engineers John Nowland, Tim
Woman," while Young's distinctive cry lit up "Burned." Mulligan and the team at Redwood Digital for the
But Furay, who stood center stage, reminded everyone he unbelievable amount of work that has been accomplished
was the linchpin, his plaintive tone painting songs such
so far. Volume 2 promises even more content than
as "Kind Woman," "Do I Have to Come Right Out and
Volume 1, with many unreleased tracks.
Say It" and "Sad Memory" with a soulful brush that had
Four unreleased albums from this period are being
women in the largely Baby Boomer crowd doe-eyed.
rebuilt and will be available in the NYA Special Release
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
REUNITES FOR FIRST
TOUR SINCE 1968
ARCHIVES TEAM
WORKS HARD ON
VOLUME 2
ills.
"I would say comics are a perfect vehicle for that,"
Dysart said, "if only because we're egalitarian in our
mode of production and consumption. Much of the
medium is stuck in a spandex ghetto. But that's largely
due to the limited perception the American consumer has
of comics. The truth is we are limited only by our
readership, not by our ability as a medium."
Greendale's politicized metafiction kicks into
overdrive when Young's devilishly grinning mug shows
up on the face of the narrative's evil stranger, who arrives
in town to terrorize the Earth-sensitive Green family with
rapacious scams and lethally bad luck. Young's die-hard
fans can probably spot the rock legend's avatar elsewhere
in the comic.
"I should point out that Jed Green also resembles
Neil from the early '70s," Chiang said. "We wanted you
to feel [Young's] presence throughout the book."
Chiang and Dysart, who's also penning DC's
perpetual war comic Unknown Soldier, have been Young
fans for a while. They've admired both his views and his
music, and been chiefly impressed by the songwriter's
willingness to express both with compelling conviction.
In an increasingly turbulent new millennium -- where
even legendarily apolitical bands like the Pixies are being
called "cultural terrorists" for canceling a tour stop in
Israel, while traditionally hyperpolitical bands like Rage
Against the Machine are launching sonic strikes at
Arizona -- rocktivist lifers like Young are beacons in a
mind-numbing popscape.
"I'm a huge fan of Neil," Dysart said. "He comes
from an era when music was considered an instrument of
social change. To ask him to be something different
would be asking a bird to take a bus south for the winter.
But his work speaks to the humanist arc. First and
foremost, his songs are about the politics of being
human."
NEIL YOUNG TRUNK
SHOW REVIEWS:
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Hollywood Reporter
New York Times
Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Inquirer
San Francisco Chronicle
Seattle Times
Washington Post
"We grew up with their music, so to hear it live is just
amazing," said Sheri Barschi, 53, of New York, who
convinced her childhood friend Jodi Coren, 54, to leave
Miami and rendezvous with her in the Bay Area for this
show. "Look at her, she's dancing like she's 12."
Coren stopped long enough to point out she was
wearing the same embroidered jeans she sported against
her parents' wishes as a teen. "I wouldn't have missed this
for anything," she said.
On stage, the motif was far simpler. Beneath a sign
bearing the band's name, Young and company had
assembled a few vintage Fender amplifiers and a scruffy
upright piano that shone beneath a Tiffany-style lamp.
The only nod to extravagance was the trio's many guitar
changes, which included Fender Stratocasters and Flying
Vs (Stills), a black Gibson Les Paul (Young's weapon of
choice) and a vast assortment of electrified acoustic
guitars (for all three).
One of the most interesting byproducts of seeing
Buffalo Springfield in concert is being able to instantly
hear why they could not last. Any Furay tune announces
his soft-rock future in Poco. Hear Young sing "I Am A
Child" and you sense the inevitability of his solo career.
And when Stills blasts out "Bluebird," you know that his
melding with David Crosby and Graham Nash (and later
Young) was pre-ordained. But mostly, one is amazed at
the sheer quality of music from a bunch of guys in their
20s who, for the most part, were in their first band.
Indeed, much of Buffalo Springfield's success four
decades back can be attributed to catchy harmonizing
atop astutely constructed chord progressions. But that
pop music formula was occasionally chased from the
room Wednesday, never more so than when Young
thundered through "Mr. Soul," stomping across the stage
like a T. rex who missed dinner. Dueling with Stills while
Furay looked on amazed, these men seemed more like
boys, grinning wildly as they pushed each other to the
sonic edge.
Fun ruled the night, from the frequent smiles to the
impromptu quips. Taking his time introducing "Do I
Have To," Young seemed like he was stalling. He smiled,
then joked, "Hey, we only know about 10 songs, so we
have to really stretch things out."
The 90-minute show wrapped with a three-song
encore featuring Young's mixed-tempo "Broken Arrow,"
Stills' iconic "For What It's Worth" and closing with
Young's anthemic post-Springfield tune, "Rockin' In The
Free World."
Afterward, backstage, a joyful Furay said the show
was nothing short of a time machine.
"I felt I was back at (Los Angeles') Whiskey-a-GoGo forty-odd years ago, singing to my wife," he said.
"What amazes me is that the songs still hold up so many
years later."
Furay said the trio rehearsed "for a solid week." For
Stills, that was enough. "At a certain point we all felt
like, let's just get out there and do it," he said.
There were no Whiskey flashbacks for Stills, though.
"Nah, back then we were young and small and we just
hoped people wouldn't leave the show," he said with a
laugh.
Nearby, Young, nursing a cold beer, grinned.
"Sometimes," he said, "it's good to be from the past."
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
LAUNCH FIRST TOUR IN
43 YEARS
By David Fricke, Rolling Stone, June 2, 2011
"Thank you, we're Buffalo Springfield," Neil Young
announced early in the band's June 1st show at the Fox
Theater in Oakland, the opening date of the Springfield's
first tour since the spring of 1968. "We're from the past,"
Young added drily.
They were not - he could have added without fear of
contradiction - stuck in it. For nearly two hours, in a
performance comprised almost entirely of songs from
nearly half a century ago, Buffalo Springfield's surviving
members and original vocal-songwriting front line Young and singer-guitarists Stephen Stills and Richie
Furay - played like a band genuinely reborn: thrilled to
be on stage again, determined not to let their songs or
Series. Chrome Dreams, Homegrown and OceansideCountryside are the three unreleased studio albums. Also
from this period is the unreleased Odeon-Budokan live
recording produced by David Briggs and Tim Mulligan.
These albums initially will be released in vinyl from
analog masters as they originally were created for that
format. So now is the time to get your new phonograph
player. The new players, built with today's technology,
are exceptionally good.
NYTIMES
DANIEL LANOIS AND
FRIEND IN
MOTORCYCLE
ACCIDENT
Los Angeles, June 7, 2010
Daniel Lanois, songwriter, recording artist, producer and
producer of my current recording project, was in a
serious motorcycle accident very recently. He is in the
hospital with multiple injuries but will fully recover,
according to doctors. He will not require surgery. Mr.
Lanois was forced to swerve out of the way of a vehicle
suddenly entering the roadway right in his course. When
he avoided colliding with the vehicle, his motorcycle hit
a roadside electrical power box and a violent crash
followed.
Mr. Lanois' female passenger was also injured, with
broken bones in her leg and arm. They were both very
lucky to survive and come away with relatively easy to
treat injuries, although the recovery time will be painful
at times. I am very grateful that there was no loss of life.
NY
L.A. JOHNSON
REMEMBERED
L.A. Johnson, a man who invented a new language with
his movies about music and changed the way we saw
rock & roll, died suddenly January 21, 2010, in Northern
California. Over the course of over 40 years and
countless collaborations with Neil Young and others,
Johnson's prodigious talents as a producer, director,
cinematographer and sound editor, among many other
abilities including producer of Young's recently released
Archives: Volume I collection, made him one of the most
respected creative people in his field, and included an
Academy Award nomination for Best Sound for his work
NEIL YOUNG TRUNK
SHOW
legacy down. There was jubilant fraternity in the closeharmony singing, especially by Young and Furay in the
soft vocal rain at the end of "On the Way Home" and
their gleaming Morse-code flourishes behind Stills'
Visit trunkshowmovie.com for more about the
grainy tenor in "Rock and Roll Woman."
film.
There was also nerve. After a 14-song set that veered
from "Hot Dusty Roads" and "Everybody's Wrong," a
pair of gritty Stills numbers from deep inside the 1966
debut LP, Buffalo Springfield, to Furay's great lost ballad
"Sad Memory" from 1967's Buffalo Springfield Again,
Young opened the encore by leading the group through
"Broken Arrow," his epic frontier daydream at the end of
Again. A complex studio creation, it was recorded by
Young as a solo piece, with session men, and never
performed live in the Springfield's first lifetime. Tonight,
the song featured Stills at the piano, Furay flying next to
Young in the chorus harmonies and its original honkytonk country coda. This was more than exciting
resurrection - it was a kind of justice, the way the
Springfield would have played and recorded Young's
suite if they hadn't been so busy falling apart at the time.
Formed in the spring of 1966, Buffalo Springfield
NYAPS #12
played their last show in May, 1968 in Long Beach,
DREAMIN' MAN, Neil Young Archives Performance
California. In between, they were one of the most gifted
Series #12, available now, 17 years after the original
and fractious bands of their day, ultimately better known
release of Harvest Moon.
for their precedents - like the strong early whiff of
A closer look at Harvest Moon songs, all performed
country in their rock - and aftermaths: Crosby Stills and
solo acoustic before the release of Harvest Moon,
Nash; Furay's great twang-rock band Poco; Young's solo
DREAMIN' MAN contains intimate live performances
triumphs and eccentricities. The original Springfield,
recorded in concert halls during 1992.
with bassist Bruce Palmer (who died in 2004) and
-- NY Times
drummer Dewey Martin (who passed away in 2009),
made only one album, 1966's Buffalo Springfield, before
tensions set in and Young started his comings and goings.
Again and 1968's Last Time Around were more like
anthologies, comprised of songs made by versions of the
group, depending on who wrote the song and led the
session.
By Jon Pareles, The New York Times, 08/13/09
At the Fox, the first date of a week-long run in
Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solidCalifornia (with more shows reportedly in the offing),
body electric guitar and recording studio innovations
Young, Furay and Stills were supported by the strong
changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died
steady drive of drummer Joe Vitale and bassist Rick
Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. . He was 94.
Rosas, the rhythm section from the Springfield's reunion
The cause was complications of pneumonia, the
debut last fall at Young's Bridge School benefit. The set
Gibson Guitar Corporation and his family announced. .
list also reprised the songs from that show, including
Mr. Paul was a remarkable musician as well as a
Furay's "A Child's Claim to Fame," the strident jangle of
tireless tinkerer. He played guitar alongside leading
Stills' "Go and Say Goodbye" (introduced by Young at
prewar jazz and pop musicians from Louis Armstrong to
the Fox as "the B-side of our first single") and Young's
Bing Crosby. In the 1930s he began experimenting with
plaintive "Burned." Young couldn't help making repeated
guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was
jokes about the time that had passed. "You know
probably the first solid-body electric guitar, although
Rosemary Woods?" he asked at one point, getting
there are other claimants. With his guitar and the vocals
puzzled looks from Stills and Furay. "Nixon's secretary?"
of his wife, Mary Ford, he used overdubbing, multitrack
Young went on. "I wonder if she knows anything about a
recording and new electronic effects to create a string of
44-year gap?" - an arcane reference to a Watergate tape.
hits in the 1950s.
Furay, who has been a pastor in Colorado since the early
Eighties, turned to Young. "Forty four years? That's how
long I've been married," he said, before singing his Last
Time Around waltz "Kind Woman," with Young at the
piano and Stills punctuating Furay's bright strong vocal
with machine-gun bursts of flamenco strumming.
Some of the most striking moments of the night came
in the way this Springfield readdressed their younger
selves: the addition of Young's mourning-Seventies
harmonica in "I Am a Child"; the way he punched up the
fuzz on his guitar in "Mr. Soul," as if he was playing it
with Crazy Horse, and traded verses in "Nowadays
Clancy Can't Even Sing" with Furay, the lead vocalist on
Mr. Paul's style encompassed the twang of country
the original recording. In the final encores - Stills' '67 hit
music, the harmonic richness of jazz and, later, the bite
about L.A. martial law, "For What It's Worth" and
of rock 'n' roll. For all his technological impact, though,
Young's furious update of America at war with itself,
he remained a down-home performer whose main goal,
"Rockin' in the Free World" - the two guitarists cranked
he often said, was to make people happy.
up the swordsmanship and outrage, Young spiking the
Mr. Paul, whose original name was Lester William
former with tremolo-shiver shrieks, Stills taking the
Polsfuss, was born on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wis.
second verse in the latter with a ragged-vocal fury.
His childhood piano teacher wrote to his mother, "Your
Gillian Welch, who opened the evening with a set of
boy, Lester, will never learn music." But he picked up
mountain-country rapture accompanied by her husband,
harmonica, guitar and banjo by the time he was a
guitarist David Rawlings, remarked to the audience that
teenager and started playing with country bands in the
she turned up for the night "pretty cool, calm and
Midwest. In Chicago he performed for radio broadcasts
collected. Then I heard these guys sound checking. It
on WLS and led the house band at WJJD; he billed
freaked me out!"
himself as the Wizard of Waukesha, Hot Rod Red and
At one point in the Springfield's set, during the waltzRhubarb Red.
time chorus of "Clancy," Young, Furay and Stills came
His interest in gadgets came early. At the age of 10
together in a striking delighted harmony. It was the sound
he devised a harmonica holder from a coat hanger. Soon
of older men singing with pleasure and a determination
DREAMIN' MAN
LES PAUL, GUITAR
INNOVATOR,
DIES AT 94
on Michael Wadleigh's documentary film "Woodstock".
The way he saw and felt music was always original and
inventive. L.A. Johnson never settled for the road already
taken, he would rather take off after his own muse.
Larry Alderman Johnson was born June 11, 1947 in
Ft. Benning, Georgia. A self-described "army brat," he
learned early of how to live a life on the move, which
equipped him uniquely for the rock & roll lifestyle. His
early influences were working with the East Coast
contingent that included Martin Scorsese, Brian dePalma,
Thelma Schumaker and L.M. Kit Carson during the late
1960s, fueled by an energetic political sensibility and
street-smart visual moves.
It's appropriate that one of Johnson's first film credits
is for the documentary "Woodstock" in 1970. At that
culture-defining event he was working with director
Michael Wadleigh and legendary cinematographer David
Meyers, recording and filming the three days that would
change music forever. He grasped the overwhelming
power of rock music captured on film, and also saw how
being in the right place at the right time is one of
moviemaking's most decisive elements. Meeting Neil
Young at Woodstock would begin a four-decades long
partnership that continued right up to the present, with
the release of the Grammy Award-nominated "Neil
Young Archives: Volume I" Blu-Ray box set, which has
been described as a groundbreaking work combining all
the various mediums of music, film and print in a way
that has never been done. Mr. Johnson was instrumental
in creating this revolutionary new Blu-Ray Media
platform, which may very well be recognized as the
enduring standard to experience music and other
historical events in the digital age.
As the '70s began, L.A. Johnson worked alongside
his life long friend and mentor Cinematographer David
Meyers as a sound recordist on a new style of films being
produced in Hollywood, a combination of music and
documentaries that included "Marjoe" and, later, Bob
Dylan's "Renaldo and Clara". After the huge surprise
success of the Woodstock film, Johnson began
visualizing a revolutionary type of cinema that combined
the improvisatory excitement of rock and the realistic
elements of film. He and Young, again working with
David Meyers, produced "Journey Through the Past,"
which was a cinema verite exploration of life inside the
rock & roll world that is considered a futuristic work
even today. That was the filmmaker's true strength:
music had set him free to find his own voice. Johnson
never looked to traditional filmmaking techniques for
direction. He was too busy creating his own. Being one
of the line producers on Martin Scorcese's "The Last
Waltz" allowed Johnson to help capture what many
consider to be one of the finest concert films ever. It also
opened the door for his second officially released
production with Young and Meyers, "Rust Never Sleeps"
in 1979.
The following year Johnson produced "Shadows and
Light" for Joni Mitchell, which captured that singersongwriter's creativity like never before. Often cited as
one of the great music documentaries, it also began a
decade of producing the Bernard Shakey-directed
dramatic film "Human Highway" and "Solo Trans" with
Neil Young. It was obvious that Johnson, Young and
their collaborators were creating a new type of film
work, and were clearly in the throes of a freedom of style
that let them follow their muse. They didn't look to plug
their films into any set framework, instead letting the
originality become the most important component.
Many other movies would follow, including Jim
Jarmush's "Year of the Horse" (1997) "Silver and Gold"
(2000), "Greendale" (2003), "CSNY/Deja vu" (2008) and
Jonathan Demme's "Neil Young Trunk Show" (2009),
and well as co-producing the recent Neil Young albums
"Greendale" and the politically driven "Living with
War". Along the way, L.A. Johnson worked with many
other artists and events, and never lost the eye and ear of
an original artist, one unafraid to listen to himself first.
Even more, he also kept his playful spirit and sense of
afterward he made his first amplified guitar by opening
the back of a Sears acoustic model and inserting, behind
the strings, the pickup from a dismantled Victrola. With
the record player on, the acoustic guitar became an
electric one. Later, he built his own pickup from ham
radio earphone parts and assembled a recording machine
using a Cadillac flywheel and the belt from a dentist's
drill.
From country music Mr. Paul moved into jazz,
influenced by players like Django Reinhardt and Eddie
Lang, who were using amplified hollow-body guitars to
play hornlike single-note solo lines. He formed the Les
Paul Trio in 1936 and moved to New York, where he was
heard regularly on Fred Waring's radio show from 1938
to 1941.
In 1940 or 1941 -- the exact date is unknown -- , Mr.
Paul made his guitar breakthrough. Seeking to create
electronically sustained notes on the guitar, he attached
strings and two pickups to a wooden board with a guitar
neck. "The log," as he called it, if not the first solid-body
electric guitar, became the most influential one.
"You could go out and eat and come back and the
note would still be sounding," Mr. Paul once said.
The odd-looking instrument drew derision when he
first played it in public, so he hid the works inside a
conventional-looking guitar. But the log was a
conceptual turning point. With no acoustic resonance of
its own, it was designed to generate an electronic signal
that could be amplified and processed -- the beginning of
a sonic transformation of the world's music.
Mr. Paul was drafted in 1942 and worked in
California for the Armed Forces Radio Service,
accompanying Rudy Vallee, Kate Smith and others.
When he was discharged in 1943, he was hired as a staff
musician for NBC radio in Los Angeles. His trio toured
with the Andrews Sisters and backed Nat King Cole and
Bing Crosby, with whom he recorded the hit "It's Been a
Long, Long Time" in 1945. Crosby encouraged Mr. Paul
to build his own recording studio, and so he did, in his
garage in Los Angeles.
There he experimented with recording techniques,
using them to create not realistic replicas of a
performance but electronically enhanced fabrications.
Toying with his mother's old Victrola had shown him that
changing the speed of a recording could alter both pitch
and timbre. He could record at half-speed and replay the
results at normal speed, creating the illusion of
superhuman agility. He altered instrumental textures
through microphone positioning and reverberation.
Technology and studio effects, he realized, were
instruments themselves.
He also noticed that by playing along with previous
recordings, he could become a one-man ensemble. As
early as his 1948 hit "Lover," he made elaborate,
multilayered recordings, using two acetate disc
machines, which demanded that each layer of music be
captured in a single take. From discs he moved to
magnetic tape, and in the late 1950s he built the first
eight-track multitrack recorder. Each track could be
recorded and altered separately, without affecting the
others. The machine ushered in the modern recording
era.
In 1947 Mr. Paul teamed up with Colleen Summers,
who had been singing with Gene Autry's band. He
changed her name to Mary Ford, a name found in a
telephone book.
They were touring in 1948 when Mr. Paul's car
skidded off an icy bridge. Among his many injuries, his
right elbow was shattered; once set, it would be
immovable for life. Mr. Paul had it set at an angle,
slightly less than 90 degrees, so that he could continue to
play guitar.
Mr. Paul, whose first marriage, to Virginia, had ended
in divorce, married Ms. Ford in 1949. They had a
television show, "Les Paul and Mary Ford at Home,"
which was broadcast from their living room until 1958.
They began recording together, mixing multiple layers of
Ms. Ford's vocals with Mr. Paul's guitars and effects, and
the dizzying results became hits in the early 1950s.
Among their more than three dozen hits, "Mockingbird
Hill," "How High the Moon" and "The World Is Waiting
for the Sunrise" in 1951 and "Vaya Con Dios" in 1953
were million-sellers.
to do honor to their beginnings and legend. This was
music from the past. But as they embraced it tonight, it
never sounded more alive.
Solo Tour Reviews:
humor, the things that sparked his heart for a lifetime
spent doing what he loved best: listening to music and
making movies. He leaves in production the Shakey
Pictures film "Lincvolt" a musical documentary about repowering the American Dream.
NEIL YOUNG COMES
HOME AGAIN. AGAIN.
In addition to his movie and record making, Larry
found time to contribute his talent and guidance to the
Bridge School Board of Directors and was instrumental
in production of the video elements of the Bridge School
By John Semley, The Torontoist, May 12, 2011
Concert series for 24 years. His fundraising efforts, as
J. Hoberman, film critic for the Village Voice, summed
well as guidance and support of the Bridge School web
up Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin as "the most
site and video operations was unwavering. His love and
eccentric of mainstream filmmakers (or the most
accessible of avant-gardists)." It's a handy turn of phrase support for the families and students of the Bridge school
that rings true as it is perfectly pithy, and captures the in- will be happily remembered and deeply missed.
between status of Maddin and his work. It can also be,
Larry Johnson, a seminal artist in his generation, is
with slight rejigging, applied rather usefully to another
survived by two beautiful children, Ben Johnson and
slightly off-kilter Canadian artist (and erstwhile
Winnipegger), Neil Young. Because Young's work, even Hannah Johnson, and their mother, twice married and
divorced, who he loved dearly, music contractor Leslie
the cottage-rock classics of the late '60s and '70s, has
always existed in a fuzzy intermediary state. At the risk Morris.
of ripping off Hoberman, Neil Young may well be the
most mainstream of outsider artists.
Like a lot of outsider musicians, Young projects that
sense of frailty that emboldens audience members at
concerts to shout out, "I LOVE YOU NEIL!" not just
because they want to express enthusiasm for his music
(or, maybe, because they actually love him love him), but
because something about him makes them think that he
actually needs the encouragement. In his nearly 50 years
as a musician, Young's persona has shifted and flipped
around so many times--from shy-seeming singersongwriter to cokey grunge-rocker, to weird-wackowhoknowswhat who directed a little-seen movie called
Human Highway (starring Devo and Dennis Hopper), to
veteran environmentalist, humanitarian, and certified
(twice, in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame) rock sage.
There's a lot of mystery and enigma involved when
Neil Young plays a solo set at Massey Hall, like he did
last night and the night before--because Massey is where
he famously performed 40 years ago after returning
home from a sojourn south to the States, adopting the
role of Canada's prodigal son returned. In that 1971
show, Young worked through a mess of new material that
would end up largely comprising his seminal 1972
album, Harvest. Since then, Massey's always seemed like
a check-in point for Young, a weigh station where
Toronto fans new and old can mark his progress, belt out
requests (most of which go unheeded), and tell Neil just
how much they love him. And of course all this
excitement, electricity, and anxiety gets compounded
Neil Young, December 19, 2009
howevermany-fold now that Young is 65, and many of
his classics have passed through the narrows of nostalgia We are aware of package problems with the box that the
NYA V1 set comes in. Some users have experienced
and emerged as full-on laments. It's hard to regard last
boxes where the book and/or Disc pack have fallen into
night's acoustic opener, "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the
the slots in the box and are difficult to recover without
Blue)" as anything but an actual dirge for rock music,
damaging the box further. If you have this problem, just
lodged not as prophecy but as matter-of-fact. And the
email [email protected] and get a new box free.
amended lyrics to "After the Gold Rush" ("Look at
Thanks for your understanding. I am personally very
mother nature on the run in the twenty-first century")
sorry that is has happened to some users.
similarly spoke for themselves.
What most surprised (and impressed) about Young's
shambling one-man show wasn't how well his classics
hold up--even if their tenor seems to have transmuted
almost entirely (or, at least, deepened in their poignancy
and elegiac relevance)--but how well his new material
comes off live. Though last year's Daniel Lanoisproduced Le Noise disappointed some (though certainly
not the Juno committee, which crowned it Adult
Alternative Album of the Year, among other things), the
folk-fuzz numbers proved some of the most arresting.
There's sometimes a sense of strained patience
Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) November 22, 2009 -- Furnace
whenever any artist plays new tunes. And, sure as
MFG is proud to announce the pressing completion of
anything, the muted sing-alongs and eruptive applauseNeil Young's first four albums on 180 gram audiophile
of-recognition that accompanied the opening chords of
"Helpless" or "Tell Me Why" died out considerably when quality vinyl in limited edition box sets. Each box set
(and all corresponding jackets included within) are
Young broke into "Hitchhiker" or encore opener "Walk
With Me." But all the feedback loop and hum echoing off numbered with gold foil stamps and limited to 3,000
units. The records were pressed by the Pallas Group in
the theatre's walls and hanging in the air was, beyond
Germany - arguably the finest vinyl pressing facility in
sounding great, almost hypnotic. Ditto watching Young
shuffle around the stage, contemplating a guitar or pedal the world.
Neil Young's self-titled solo album was first released
organ before taking a seat at his grand piano, as if the
decision about which to play was being divined by some in 1969. That was followed by "Everybody Knows This
sonic currents rumbling underneath. And cleverly lit by is Nowhere" also in 1969. The following year saw the
NYA VOLUME 1
PACKAGE PROBLEMS
RE-ISSUE OF A MASTER:
FURNACE MFG
COMPLETES PRESSING
OF NEIL YOUNG'S
OFFICIAL RELEASE
SERIES DISC 1-4 BOX SET
Some of their music was recorded with microphones
hanging in various rooms of the house, including one
over the kitchen sink, so that Ms. Ford could record
vocals while washing dishes. Mr. Paul also recorded
instrumentals on his own, including the hits
"Whispering," "Tiger Rag" and "Meet Mister Callaghan"
in 1951 and 1952.
The Gibson company hired Mr. Paul to design a Les
Paul model guitar in the early 1950s, and variations of
the first 1952 model have sold steadily ever since,
accounting at one point for half of the privately held
company's total sales. Built with Mr. Paul's patented
pickups, his design is prized for its clarity and sustained
tone. It has been used by musicians like Led Zeppelin's
Jimmy Page and Slash of Guns N' Roses. The Les Paul
Standard version is unchanged since 1958, the company
says. In the mid-1950s, Mr. Paul and Ms. Ford moved to
a house in Mahwah, N.J., where Mr. Paul eventually
installed both film and recording studios and amassed a
collection of hundreds of guitars.
The couple's string of hits ended in 1961, and they
were divorced in 1964. Ms. Ford died in 1977. Mr. Paul
is survived by three sons, Lester (Rus) G. Paul, Gene W.
Paul and Robert (Bobby) R. Paul; a daughter, Colleen
Wess; his companion, Arlene Palmer; five grandchildren;
and five great-grandchildren.In 1964, Mr. Paul
underwent surgery for a broken eardrum, and he began
suffering from arthritis in 1965. Through the 1960s he
concentrated on designing guitars for Gibson. He
invented and patented various pickups and transducers,
as well as devices like the Les Paulverizer, an echorepeat device, which he introduced in 1974. In the late
1970s he made two albums with the dean of country
guitarists, Chet Atkins.
In 1981 Mr. Paul underwent a quintuple-bypass heart
operation. After recuperating, he returned to performing,
though the progress of his arthritis forced him to relearn
the guitar. In 1983 he started to play weekly
performances at Fat Tuesday's, an intimate Manhattan
jazz club. "I was always happiest playing in a club," he
said in a 1987 interview. "So I decided to find a nice little
club in New York that I would be happy to play in."
After Fat Tuesday's closed in 1995, he moved his
Monday-night residency to Iridium. He performed there
until early June; guest stars have been appearing with his
trio since then and will continue to do so indefinitely, a
spokesman for the club said.
At his shows he used one of his own customized
guitars, which included a microphone on a gooseneck
pointing toward his mouth so that he could talk through
the guitar. In his sets he would mix reminiscences,
wisecracks and comments with versions of jazz
standards. Guests -- famous and unknown -- showed up
to pay homage or test themselves against him. Despite
paralysis in some fingers on both hands, he retained
some of his remarkable speed and fluency. Mr. Paul also
performed regularly at jazz festivals through the 1980s.
He recorded a final album, "American Made, World
Played" (Capitol), to celebrate his 90th birthday in 2005.
It featured guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Keith
Richards, Jeff Beck, Sting, Joe Perry of Aerosmith and
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. The album brought him two
Grammy Awards: for best pop instrumental performance
and best rock instrumental performance. He had already
won recognition from the Grammy trustees for technical
achievements and another performance Grammy in 1976,
for the album "Chester and Lester," made with Chet
Atkins.
In recent years, he said he was working on another
major invention but would not reveal what it was.
"Honestly, I never strove to be an Edison," he said in
a 1991 interview in The New York Times. "The only
reason I invented these things was because I didn't have
them and neither did anyone else. I had no choice,
really."
the film crew (quarterbacked by Jonathan Demme) there
to capture Young's performance, last night's Massey
concert struck that too-rare balance between being eerie
and expressionistic and still somehow honest.
In a lot of ways, Neil Young at 65 seems like the
definitive Neil Young. Even for those who came of age
with him, he's always had the halfway-outsider status of
some old trooper. And seeing Young alone, working
through a setlist that seemed highly deliberate (though
certainly unbalanced, especially for those who came to
hear the hits) and taking his sweet time swapping out
guitars (including his standby Les Paul Old Black) and
harmonica rigs seems fitting. True to his character, you
could say. Certainly more so than seeing him hammer
through the chorus of "Rockin' in the Free World" ca.
2008 while doddering frat-looking dudes pumped their
overpriced beers in the air in a strange show of respect,
spilling the stuff all over the sticky floors of the Air
Canada Centre (been there).
Other highlights: An as-yet unreleased song called
"Leia," a beautiful little lullaby to "the little people"
performed on upright piano; an absolutely show-stopping
rendition of "Cortez the Killer," one of those long songs
that can never be long enough; Jonathan Demme
seeming like a really genuinely nice guy.
release of "After the Gold Rush" and finally in 1972,
"Harvest" was released and reached both critical and
commercial success.
Warner Bros. Music selected Furnace MFG to press
the vinyl records, hand-stamp each individual jacket and
box set with a unique number in gold leaf, and assemble
the final product for distribution and sale to customers.
The entire project is limited to just 3,000 box sets. Once
the box sets are gone, this limited edition configuration
will no longer be available.
The records were pressed at Furnace's German
partner - the Pallas Group on 180 gram audiophile
quality vinyl. Pallas has a long history of extremely highquality vinyl pressing and is considered the plant of
choice for many audiophile record labels throughout the
world.
Tom Biery, General Manager of Warner Bros.
Records and vinyl enthusiast commented: "In all my
By Scott Deveau, National Post, May 11, 2011
years of working vinyl releases, I was shocked at just
For those who have managed to catch a Neil Young
how incredible these Neil Young re-masters sound. There
concert sometime in the latter phases of his storied five- is no doubt in my mind that when listening to these
decade career, you'll know that despite his 65-years of
recordings on the new, upgraded vinyl format, it will be
age, he's nowhere near retirement.
as close as anyone will audibly come to actually being in
Whether it's packing stadiums, or playing to
the studio listening to the original master tapes. It now
thousands in the open air, the legend of Canadian rock
sounds as if you are in the room with Neil during the
still has plenty of spring in his step, and can rock harder session."
than most hard rockers.
The limited edition Neil Young Official Release
But while I've been lucky enough to see him strut his Series Disc 1-4 Box Set will be available on November
stuff on stage a handful of times, nothing compares to
24th exclusively at www.becausesoundmatters.com or
seeing him live at Massey Hall, the iconic venue in his
www.neilyoung.com
hometown of Toronto, where he played the first of two
About Furnace MFG: In business since 1996,
back-to-back, sold-out shows Tuesday to close off his
Furnace MFG (www.furnacemfg.com/vinyl) is a
North American tour in support his latest record, Le
recognized leader in CD and DVD duplication,
Noise.
replication, and vinyl record manufacturing and
The album, his 33rd studio release, came out last fall packaging.
and was produced by fellow Canuck, Daniel Lanois.
Young plays Massey Hall like it's one of his beat up
guitars. He rattles around the bones of the Old Lady of
Shuter Street with his six strings on tracks like Down By
the River and Tell Me Why as if a day hasn't passed since
By Guy Listener, July 15, 2009
those same songs were pressed into vinyl following his
Yesterday Reprise Records released re-mastered versions
famous show there in 1971.
of the first four Neil Young albums on CD, Neil Young,
Of course, the Toronto gigs this week are going to be
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After The Gold Rush
likewise immortalized; this time by acclaimed director
and Harvest.
Jonathan Demme who is shooting the tail end of the tour
This set of discs mark the first time since the advent
in Toronto for a DVD, explaining the somewhat dramatic
of the CD format that listeners have been able to
backdrop.
experience improved CD versions of these classic
It will be the third in a trilogy of concert films by
records. The 4 discs are also the initial release in the
Demme, that has also included Heart of Gold [2006] and
NYA ORS (Neil Young Archives Original Release
the Trunk Show [2009].
Series) program.
The concert at Massey was just Young bathed in
lamplight with four electric and acoustic guitars, two
pianos, an organ perched on a riser, a few amps, and
handful of harmonicas. Oh, and a big, carved wooden
sculpture of a Native American.
In the background, four panels mimic giant stainedglass windows at various stages in the day.
There was no back-up band, but he managed make
(Click here
plenty of noise on his own with a mix of acoustic songs to view/download a desktop wallpaper image of the four
and full out rock n' roll.
CD Covers.)
At times it was like we'd caught the Canadian
Each of one these albums were meticulously
singer/songwriter at home in his studio on Saturday night transferred from the original analog master tapes using
after a couple of whiskeys, playing around with his
the finest equipment and the shortest signal path at
instruments. He strummed new tracks, like You Never
Redwood Digital by John Nowland.
Call, a sad little song about his recently-deceased friend,
These HDCD® 24-bit 176kHz digital transfers were
Larry (L.A.) Johnson. But also played a handful of old
assembled and then mastered by Tim Mulligan in what
hits with more experimental variations, like Cortez the
has become the standard for diligent and conscientious
Killer, or disguising the intro to Helpless under some
mastering techniques.
clever finger work, until the opening line, which, of
Once the mastering stage was complete, a sample rate
course, carries a special resonance here, nearly brought
conversion utilizing a Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model
CONCERT REVIEW: NEIL
YOUNG AT TORONTO'S
MASSEY HALL
NEIL YOUNG'S FIRST 4
ALBUMS REMASTERED
NEW "GET AROUND"
LONG-FORM VIDEO
AVAILABLE!
down the house.
The fourth wall was seldom broken during the show,
with Young's only real interaction with crowd coming
before the song Leia, when he joked it was being
dedicated to all the little kids who couldn't make it to the
show because mom said "no."
"But Grandpa was able to make it," he said with a
self-reflexive laugh.
The result was an intimate, almost nostalgic show,
that exposed the vulnerability of a man looking back on
his life through the rearview mirror.
As he sang on Love and War, "There have been songs
about love. I sang songs about war. Since the backstreets
of Toronto. I sang for justice and I hit a bad chord. But I
still try to sing about love and war."
Judging by the four standing ovations he received
Tuesday night, including one when he took the stage, that
has been more than enough.
Verdict: You'd be foolish to miss the Legend himself
in such a legendary venue
By Scoop Asphalt
The Video premiere of GET AROUND, featuring ALL
the music of "Fork in the Road" will be available at
12:01 AM PST Tuesday April 7, worldwide. This longform video runs 43 minutes and was shot on a Texas
Highway between La Grange and Austin shortly before
"South By Southwest" extravaganza began in Austin.
2 processor resulted in the HDCD® 16-bit 44.1kHz CD
master.
In the coming months the public can expect
audiophile quality 140 gram and 180 gram vinyl editions
of these records followed by high resolution 24 bit/ 192
kHz digital editions in Blu-ray.
We will be covering the NYA ORS Blu-ray releases
in a separate article. These releases will match NYA
quality.
As of this writing, the CD re-masters of Neil Young,
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After The Gold Rush
and Harvest have only been on the street one day, but
listeners on the Internet boards are already chiming in
with opinions.
From the Steve Hoffman Music Forums:
"I can't stop listening to 'After The Gold Rush' - it's a
revelation! Like being transported several (and I mean
several) generations closer to the master. I keep hearing
details I never knew were there; harmony vocal parts,
bass lines etc.
Bravo!"
- OneBit Cambridge ON Canada
"Could be just my system but to me these remasters
stomp the originals every way possible especially in
openess and dynamics" -Tomd Chandler,AZ
"I'll wait for the vinyl"
-GregK Ann Arbor MI
An early review of After the Gold Rush at Amazon.com:
GET AROUND will not be available anywhere else
because of its long running time exceeding the
capabilities of most major outlets. The long form video
also will be available with High Definition Sound as part
of a new Blu-Ray currently in post-production at Shakey
Pictures.
The new GET AROUND Blu-Ray includes all of the
videos made for Fork. Shakey Pictures hopes you enjoy
taking a ride in Lincvolt with Neil as he sings the entire
"Fork in the Road" album plus the additional bonus
track, "Get Around."
Click here for Trailer & Video Link
NEIL YOUNG - FORK IN
THE ROAD
by Mike Ragogna, April 6, 2009
"Takin' a trip across the USA, gonna see a lot of people
along the way," sings Neil Young on "When Worlds
Collide," the first song of his new ten-track travelogue,
Fork In The Road. Following the full-throttle activism of
his previous album, Living With War (Young's indictment
of the U.S.'s Middle-East occupations and the Bush
administration), this time out, the socially-conscious
artist offers a road map of sorts to a nation (and world)
currently choosing its future direction. Like Living With
War, there are plenty of guitars a-janglin' and a proper
dose of finger-waggin'; but Fork In The Road is more
interested in focusing on the joy that is our love affair
with cars, Young's own passion that led to the creation of
LincVolt technology that converts gas guzzlers into biomobiles. The album comes fully-loaded with "car"
metaphors and allegories (just like this paragraph), but
it's a fun ride for Young's usual passengers as well as
anyone just checking out what's under the hood.
First off, "When Worlds Collide" shows us the path
we've traveled, where "wrong is right," "truth is fiction,"
and how "strange things happen when worlds collide."
However, there is no rowdy "Let's Impeach The
I just want to comment on the remastering of this album,
which is absolutely incredible. The liner notes state it
was remastered from the original analog tapes and was
an analog to HDCD 24 Bit 176 KHZ digital
transfer...uh...sounds good to me! This album sounds so
far superior to the original CD pressing that it made my
weak car speakers sound like they had had a Bose
makeover. I remember hearing some of the album tracks
on the Archives boxset and noticing how incredible they
sounded. I had hoped they would do the same treatment
to his catalog and it appears they are beginning to.
So enjoy these incredible remasters. The sticker on
the outside of the packaging stated that is was
By Ben Ratliff, New York Times, April 25, 2011
"remastered from the original analog tapes...because
"I feel a rumblin' in her ground," Neil Young sang, alone sound matters", and they are right. Someday preonstage at Avery Fisher Hall, playing his Gretsch White packaged music will be gone and the younger generation
Falcon, sounding the low notes of a strummed chord,
doesn't give a rat's behind about sound quality so we
muting them a little with the heel of his hand. The song
have to get the best sounding versions while we can. Yes,
was generally about planet earth but could have been
I'm getting old and crotchety, I admit it. Now get off my
specifically about where he stood. As he struck those low lawn!
notes, the metal fixtures in the room talked back: the exit
-Aladinsane
signs, the lighting plates and possibly the balcony
railings all rattled like rivets in a cymbal.
Mr. Young has done solo tours before. They usually
involve acoustic guitars, beat-up pianos and
contemplative looks at his instruments between songs.
They're fine. But his current tour connects to a recent
record, "Le Noise," which makes songwriting secondary
to sound.
He played new and old songs on Sunday, including
several from his work with Crazy Horse, his electric
band. He got into it by degrees. First, a few plain
acoustic-guitar songs, straight into the microphone: "Hey
Hey My My (Into the Black)," "Tell Me Why." Then a
few on an acoustic with pickup, using amplifiers: "You
Never Call" -- new and unreleased, a minor-key
complaint to someone in heaven -- and "Love and War."
And then the full effect. It wasn't much to look at. He
switched off between his usual instruments, the White
Falcon and a black Gibson Les Paul, through two Fender
deluxe amplifiers. Playing "Down by the River," he
flipped his guitar's selector switch up and down between
verses and choruses. Occasionally he hit a pedal to
engage a slow and subtle phase effect. That was all, or at
least all you could see.
The reverb -- in the amplifiers, not in the room -took on an extraordinary quality, as if the implied space
in the music became a little more real. The sound seemed
giant-size but not painful: it didn't fire at you, it
STRUMMING SOLO,
WITH THE REVERB OF A
FULL BAND
President" fist-shaking, it's all Obama-cool fist-bumping.
Among the retro, garage rock 'n' roll and bluesy rockers
embedded here, Young offers catchy chants such as
"Cough Up The Bucks"'s repeated title that plays off its
main theme, "Where did all the money go? Where did all
the cash flow? Where did all the revenues stream?" The
answer is found in the song's opening line, "It's all about
my car, it's all about my girl...it's all about my world,"
and aware of that reality, Young launches into his
solution in "Johnny Magic," the story of an "inventor"
and the Wichita, Kansas, company that converted his
1959 Lincoln Continental into an efficient, biofueled/battery-powered vehicle.
In November 2008, Young told the San Francisco
Chronicle's Al Saracevic, "All we're doing is showing
that you can run a car like this at 100 miles per gallon or
more," and "Johnny Magic" expands that intention to
widescreen proportions as Young travels to Washington
and, Mr. Smith-style, takes Congress on a ride in his
"Heavy Metal Continental." On that topic, "Fuel Line"
gives us another shout-a-long with its tag "Keep fillin'
that fuel line, keep fillin' that old fuel line" that can be
interpreted as both sarcasm (like "go on, keep wasting
gas, moron") and suggestion (as in "we can fill 'er up on
bio-fuel 'til she pukes"). "Get Behind The Wheel" is yet
another car tribute that can be taken two ways: literally,
as Young's simple statement, "Gotta get behind the wheel
in the morning and drive," or as his pitch to get our metal
mates up to green specs since we spend so much time
riding and adoring them.
Fork In The Road's more sensitive tracks use their
slower tempos and reduced production thump to bring
home philosophies like, "You know that the end is not in
sight...you can never take your eyes off the road" ("Off
The Road"), "You can sing about change while you're
makin' your own...just singing a song won't change the
world" ("Just Singing A Song"), and "Instead of cursing
the darkness, light a candle for where we're goin', there's
something ahead worth lookin' for," from the album's
angelic Harvest/After The Gold Rush love child, "Light A
Candle." But for the most part, the album rocks along
courtesy of Neil Young (guitars and vocals), Anthony
Crawford (electric, acoustic, and lap steel guitars,
Hammond B-3, background vocals), Rick Rosas (bass),
Chad Cromwell (drums), and wife, Pegi Young (vibes,
acoustic guitar, background vocals). It was produced by
the artist and Niko Bolas (alias "The Volume Dealers"),
and it was recorded in NYC's Legacy Studios and
London's famous RAK Studios.
Neil Young's sense of humor shines in scattered lines
throughout (as well as on all of the album's associated
videos), but, weirdly, Fork In The Road's title track is as
serious as it is goofy. Its well-conceived randomness
breaks into one of the album's most memorable sing-alongs: "There's a bailout comin' but it's not for you, it's
for all those creeps hidin' what they do." All true, and the
Young/Bubba hybrid of "Fork In The Road" (featured on
the best intentionally bloggy video this side of YouTube)
rants and rolls about change and choices, such as when
he addresses the horrors of a flat-screen repossession that
results in a hole in the wall and missing a Raiders game.
The track's most commendable "thank God someone's
saying that" moment (and probably iTunes' least favorite)
is when Young offers up the ugly truth about online
sound quality: "Download this...sounds like s*%#." And
whether it be about everyone having to adjust what they
do to make money ("My friend has a pickup...he takes
his wife to beauty school, now she's doin' nails..."),
bringing the troops home ("They're all still there in a
f#%*ing war, it's no good, whose idea was that?"),
staying positive ("I've got hope, but you can't eat
hope..."), or even about his own career ("My sales have
tanked, but I've still got you, thanks..."), Young's mission
on this and every song on the album is to make you
think, and maybe even re-consider some out-of-the-box,
"wacky" ideas--you know, like bio-fuel car conversions.
Many will appreciate Fork In The Road's altruism,
and it would be refreshing if Neil Young disciples (such
as the musically prolific Matthew Sweet) dedicated
whole projects to the causes of their hearts. However,
many will feel that this album is just a mile-marker along
Young's journey to his next epiphany. But remember how
the futuristic/controversial Trans endeared itself to a
enveloped you. Mr. Young's shows generally suggest
sophisticated thinking about frequencies and pain
thresholds, but this was something else again.
There were keyboard instruments onstage, too: worn
spinet and baby-grand pianos, and a pump organ.
Presumably, he's carrying them around the country; he
played them for one song each. (At the spinet, he
performed a plinky new song, "Leia," about adults
watching a child playing: "Captured falling leaves from
the branches of the music tree/She's a baby with a drum
making music that the soul can see.") These were pauses
between deep draughts of guitar, where the concert's
action lay.
Mr. Young is 65 now, and his newer songs reference
loss and age and the endurance of love. But they also
reference war and natural disaster. He's not a wistful old
man; he's tense and obdurate even in the presence of
pleasant or affirming words. Singing the first lines of
"Sign of Love," presumably written for his wife -"When we go for a little walk/out on the land/When
we're just walkin' and holdin' hands/You can take it as a
sign of love" -- he bared his teeth and looked ready to
bite.
The Les Paul's dark, fat, mattelike sound felt doomed
out and righteous, to be admired from afar, but the
Gretsch's was something you'd want to take home and
live with: brighter, more expressive, more fluent with its
feedback. (He shook the Gretsch, holding it by the
headstock and swinging it near the amplifier, toward the
end of "Walk With Me," his encore.) Even alone, Mr.
Young played all his songs at their regular, unnervingly
slouchy tempos, with his bizarre articulation of picking
and strumming. And even for the Crazy Horse songs, no
Crazy Horse was needed. It has often been said that Neil
Young's work boils down to a guy alone with his guitar.
Usually in that formulation the guitar is acoustic. I think
that formulation may be wrong.
OUT OF THE BLUE AND
INTO THE BLACK RENAISSANCE VIA NEIL
NEIL YOUNG PROVES HE YOUNG'S ARCHIVES
by Kandia Crazy Horse
CAN CARRY A SHOW
ALONE AT HARD ROCK
By Andrew Abramson, Palm Beach Post, September 24,
2010
Every so often there's a concert your gut tells you not to
miss, but you almost skip because it's an hour's drive
away on a work night. A friend talks you into going (or
you snag a credential), and you leave wondering how
you nearly missed out on a master doing something
special.
Until Thursday, I had never seen Neil Young.
Although he tours semi-frequently, he hadn't swung
through Florida since 2003 when he played Cruzan
Amphitheatre with Crazy Horse. Even my parents (much
closer in age to Neil than to me), who saw many of the
great acts stop by the Miami Jai Alai, Hollywood
Sportatorium and Dinner Key Auditorium, were seeing
their first Neil Young show.
This concert, at Hard Rock in Hollywood, billed solo
Neil Young, and I envisioned a two-hour acoustic set of
Neil young and old -- an impressive feat in itself
considering Young has one of the most distinct falsetto
voices that would seem prone to burning out at 64.
He opens with "My, My Hey Hey," "Tell Me Why"
and "Helpless," and he clearly hasn't burned out or faded
away. Young can carry a two-hour show completely on
his own.
The surprise if you weren't expecting it is that he
goes electric, perfecting a one-man band that performs
nearly the same set every night with technical precision.
His Daniel Lanois-produced album Le Noise, hitting
stores and the Internet next week, also features Young
alone with just his thoughts and a really loud guitar.
Young sampled his new tracks with mixed response,
but fans' wishes were granted with classics reworked: A
dark, haunting "Down By The River," a psychedelic,
futuristic "After the Goldrush" with Neil on harmonica
and organ replacing "in the 1970s" with "in the 21st
century." Young, a techie, has kept up with the times.
If you're a casual Neil Young fan, you probably knew
two-thirds of the songs, and you knew them well. With
"Cortez the Killer" and "Cinnamon Girl" to close the set,
ESSAY This is the briar patch, the place from which all
funky thangs flow. On the anniversary of the death of my
Afro-Algonquin Southern (re)belle mother, my bare feet
are planted in the dirt. Since it's also the last days of
Black Music Month, I am out of my head, thoughts
swirling across the amber waves pondering the
intersections of family, flesh, and funk, questing after
new sounds and cultural concepts even as I journey into
my sonic past. The last time it seems I was so enmeshed
and empowered by cultural renaissance was just over 21
years ago, when Neil Young first heralded his now
released Archives project, and I embraced the notion that
Neil Young's work is black music.
My late mother was a restless adventurer born in
Virginia -- and I perceive Neil Young as the same via
osmosis from his maternal grandfather, Bill Ragland, a
Virginian émigré to the Great North and scion of the
Southern planter class from Petersburg. The Neil Young I
love most is the direct heir of aspects of Daddy Ragland's
personal lore: he had the first radio and gramophone in
Winnipeg, Canada; he fiercely retained his American
citizenship while big pimpin' in Manitoba
(foreshadowing his grandson's famous Canadian
retentions despite residing in California).
Daddy Ragland boasted that his grandfather had freed
the enslaved Africans on the family plantation. But he
was also descended from the original British invaders
who established Virginia Colony, destroying my people's
lifeways and ecology in process, setting precedents for
America's current crises around violence, resources, and
the environment. The glories and tensions in Young's
family fables would appear to be the benefactor of much
of his catalog's leading lights: "Southern Man," "Cortez
the Killer," "After the Gold Rush," "Country Girl,"
"Pocahontas," "Here We Are In the Years," "Alabama,"
"Broken Arrow," "Powderfinger," and "Down By the
River."
Young's internal narrative of ur-Americana (literally
carried on the blood) is enacted again and again and
younger, more open-minded generation than the previous
one who just wanted their favorite rockstar to keep
grunging along or, in the very least, write "Heart Of
Gold-Part X"? Well, now Young is no longer merely
dreaming about those silver spaceships...he's making his
own and riding in them, and this time, Mother Nature
doesn't have to be on the run. After living with war for
years, with the effects of global warming becoming more
apparent, and feeling the consequences of funding every
consumer and Wall Street whim, we finally are
experiencing some of those scary forecasts that now
place our future in that proverbial fork in the road. All
Neil Young wants is for us to choose our path wisely and
drive down it efficiently.
and "Old Man" to open the encore, Young drove it home.
He plays less than two hours, but you hardly noticed.
New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint gave Floridians a
rare treat with his own solo piano performance to open
the night.
There aren't many celebrated musicians playing an
intense one-man show, and Young can showcase his raw,
natural ability to rock.
When the great ones come to town, you have to go
with your instincts, and catch the concert despite minor
inconveniences. Neil Young, beloved by several
generations over five decades, shouldn't be missed.
by Paul Cashmere, 08/10/08
Neil Young played a solo show at the Riverside Theater
on Friday night, but he brought along a band's worth of
instruments.
There were acoustic and electric guitars, an upright
piano, a grand piano, a pump organ and a cigar-store
wooden Indian.
Only the Indian was a prop. The rest were important,
because they helped Young turn a set list of fan favorites
into an exploration of his long career and his
characteristic restlessness.
It was a deliberate restlessness, expressed in the way
he paused between songs, as though mentally shuffling
the possible combinations (song x with instrument y, or
song y with instrument z?).
And it was a restlessness counterbalanced by his
utterly recognizable singing voice, the sound of childlike
plaintiveness hitched to adult experience.
From the opening words of the opening number, "My
My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)," his voice was,
incongruously, a clear and strong quaver.
The music paralleled the incongruity as Young's
small modifications to familiar songs opened up space
for intimate reconsiderations of them.
For example, "Ohio" was still noisy, but its angry
protest felt less accusatory and more distressed, while
"Old Man" added the weight of Young's own years to its
yearning for love.
Young's other additions to the music often came in
the form of effects pedals and other devices, but he
always used technology to enhance the tone of the
moment, such as when drifting reverb suggested the
bobbing of sailing ships in "Cortez the Killer."
His restlessness wasn't always positive: A handful of
new, unrecorded songs were generally underwritten first
drafts papered over by noise.
At his best, though, Young was more fully formed on
his own than most musicians are with bands behind
them, and the crowd, which filled the Riverside to
capacity, respected his authority.
Many did not, unfortunately, extend the same respect
to support act Bert Jansch, whose darkly beautiful British
folk and intricate guitar-playing were muffled by chatter.
Jansch could have used some of Young's extra
instruments - but he shouldn't have had to compete with
the audience.
INSTRUMENTS SEASON
NEIL YOUNG REPOWERS NEIL YOUNG'S HITS
By Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July
THE AMERICAN DREAM 31, 2010
Motorist of the 21st Century won't be relegated to the
torture of the Smart car if Neil Young has his way.
The rock star and movie maker is behind a project
called Linc Volt, a means of transforming the classic
American gas guzzling cars of the 50s and 60s into fuelefficient automobiles.
L.A. Johnson, the head of Young's Shakey Pictures,
spent the last week in Adelaide in South Australia
working with Uli Kruger, one of the scientists involved
in the development of the project.
Kruger is a researcher in the field of thermodynamics
and holds several patents in the field of efficiency
enhancement technologies for Diesel engines.
Young and motor mechanic Jonathan Goodwin have
been working on the reconstruction of the engine of a
1959 Lincoln Continental Mk IV convertible in the USA
and have converted its original engine into a new serieshybrid system. The car has gone from getting 9 miles to
the gallon to now achieving around 100 miles to the
gallon. (editor's note: Lincvolt has reached up to 60 mpg
with CNG as a primary fuel. The goal is most efficient
cleanest burn of a domestic fuel to power a generator
charging batteries on the go).
"Neil says he is repowering the American dream,"
Johnson tells Undercover.
Once the project is complete, it will be possible for
what is affectionately now as "The Yank Tank" to
achieve better mileage that a Toyota Corolla.
Johnson runs Shakey Pictures and is producing a
documentary of the Linc Volt. He was also the producer
of the current Shakey Pictures movie 'Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young : Deja vu', filmed during the 2006
Freedom of Speech tour.
The movie is not a concert movie, instead it is an inyour-face protest at the madness of the Bush regime told
as only David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and
Neil Young can tell.
Johnson says he understands why it is still up to the
Neil Young's of the world to be political with music.
"There is no draft anymore. The government has become
clever in realising that by eliminating the draft, they can
eliminate the protest but despite that we have had more
than 2000 artists submit songs to the Living With War
website," he says.
He points out that Pink's 'Dear Mr President' has been
one of the most powerful protest songs of the current
generation.
Johnson is also working on Young's much talked
about Archive project. "Neil was always going to release
it in the highest quality there was. When we started it, we
did not know what that quality would be but we now
know it is Blu-Ray". The collection will also be available
on DVD.
The Archive will include everything Neil Young has
ever made, including movies. 'Weld and 'Human
Highway' will be part of the archive," he says. "When
you reach that part of the time-line, those movies will be
there".
The first part of the Neil Young Archive will be
released later this year.
RESTLESS, WISTFUL
YOUNG IS WONDERFUL
Neil Young looked back and looked ahead, putting the
music front and center while showcasing a sweet
sound.
By Jon Bream, Star Tribune, July 30, 2010
Neil Young is restless. That's a good thing. Especially at
age 64.
While his fans may flock to his sold-out concerts for
nostalgia, he's there for the now and the new. On
Thursday night at Northrop Auditorium, one-third of his
repertoire was drawn from "Twisted Road," a new album
expected this fall. And his pot-stained oldies -- two from
the 1960s, eight from the '70s, including two Crosby,
Stills, Nash & Young chestnuts -- were mostly
reimagined because this was a solo show, just that
familiar high lonesome voice, accompanied by acoustic
refashioned throughout Reprise's 10-disc Neil Young
Archives -- Vol. 1 (1963-1972), a collection that traces his
odyssey from Ventures acolyte and early earnest folkie to
embryonic trickster of eco-metal. The epic nature of
Young's work, akin to a late modern, machine age
substitute for Greek myth -- at least for the hippie,
Coastopian jet-set -- was once lost on me. The voice
beaming over the radio waves in "Helpless" and "Sugar
Mountain" was repellent to these ears, raised in the 1970s
when Mother Nature was on the run and the last
universally-recognized golden era of black music
abounded with diverse male songbirds (Ronnie Dyson,
Carl Anderson) and badass lovemen (Teddy Pendergrass,
Eddie Levert). But one day, after yet another wearisome
visit to a coffeehouse festooned with Harry Chapin songs
and some showoff girl's fey rendition of "Helpless," I
encountered three Neil Young masterpieces that forever
altered my hearing: "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even
Sing," "Broken Arrow," and "Cinnamon Girl." I became
a Buffalo Springfield devotee for life.
What also went down? Somehow, pre-Web and
locked away in the wilds with limited resources, I
discovered my favorite bit of rock trivia: Neil Young was
in a band with Rick James signed to Motown for a sevenyear deal, the Mynah Birds. Young's engagements with
psych, punk, and grunge are well-documented -- even if
most shirk the challenge of unpacking his electro output - but the lurking presence of the funk in his aesthetic is
often ignored. Now, I ain't saying ole Neil could come
down to my former hood and swing with a Chocolate
City go-go outfit (maybe he could trouble the funk?), but
on "Go Ahead and Cry," the ringing of his unleashed
1970s guitar sound is already evident. The sublime
meeting of Young's thang with "The Sound of Young
America" makes one lament how differently (black) rock
history might have looked had the Mynah Birds
triumphed at Hitsville.
My view is that Young couldn't have written some of
his best songs, like "Cinnamon Girl" and "Mr. Soul,"
plus freakery I dig such as "Sea of Madness," without
that brief spell at Motown. (It's interesting to imagine
former auto-line worker Berry Gordy and car enthusiast
Young rapping by chance). In a weird way, the shades of
Young that appeared on the pop stage and relentlessly
morphed between "Clancy" and "When You Dance I Can
Really Love" seem to coexist with turn-of-the-'70s
Motown mavericks who also flirted with polemics, space
rock, and soul yodeling: Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder,
Eddie Kendricks.
The Mynah Birds are sadly absent from volume one
of Archives, despite a fleeting citation in its
chronological timeline. But a few months before the box
set dropped I acquired my grail of Mynah Birds tracks,
and the picture of Young as a potential R&B artist who
brought some of the Motown sensibility to bear upon the
aesthetics of his next band, the Buffalo Springfield,
emerged tantalizingly. Alongside it was the turbulent
back story of the striving front man Ricky James
Matthews (a Mick Jagger acolyte who later renamed
himself), who failed to gain support for his hybrid vision
of black rock even as his old bandmate soared from the
ashes of Woodstock Nation.
Aside from the future Super Freak, Young's key ace
boons on the funk express were Bruce Palmer (19462004) and Danny Whitten (1943-72) -- besides Stephen
Stills, the stars of this first set. Palmer, a native of
Toronto who shared a deep spiritual bond with Young,
had been in an all-black Canadian band led by Billy
Clarkson even prior to his membership in the Mynah
Birds. He subsequently brought his low-end theories to
the Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (before
being replaced by young Motown bassist Greg Reeves);
and Young's thwarted revolutionary electronic project
Trans (Geffen, 1982). Palmer also reunited with Rick
James after the Springfield's implosion, producing the
beautiful psych-jazz classic The Cycle Is Complete
(Verve, 1971), a rival to Skip Spence's Oar (Columbia,
1969).
Columbus, Ga.,-bred Whitten might still be Young's
most fabled collaborator. His premature death by heroin
overdose inspired "The Needle and the Damage Done"
(included amongst other Harvest tracks on disc eight of
Vol. 1) and the dark and stark standout of the "Ditch
SINGER FOCUSES
ENERGY ON ELECTRIC
CAR
CNN / The Associated Press
06/03/08
Neil Young, the rocker who provided some of the
soundtrack to Vietnam-era protests, is again trying to
change the world -- with his car.
Young has teamed up with Johnathan Goodwin, a
Wichita mechanic who has developed a national
reputation for re-engineering the power units of big cars
to get more horsepower but use less fuel.
The two are looking to convert Young's 1959 Lincoln
Continental convertible to operate on an electric battery.
Ultimately, they said, they want the Continental to
provide a model for the world's first affordable massproduced electric-powered automobile.
"Johnathan and this car are going to make history,"
Young told The Wichita Eagle.
"We're going to change the world; we're going to
create a car that will allow us to stop giving our wealth to
other countries for petroleum."
Young has poured about $120,000 so far into the
project, Goodwin said.
What's more, the prototype power system worked
during a 12-mile test drive of the car last week -- albeit
with a few glitches. iReport.com: See a 20-mile commute
in 106 seconds
"She was awesome," Young said of the batteryoperated car. "Her acceleration was incredible, she
moved with hardly a sound; it was so quiet we could hear
the wind through the tags of other cars."
The drive almost ended in disaster when Goodwin,
who controls acceleration with a knob in the back seat,
twisted it the wrong way while approaching an entrance
ramp and the vehicle lurched toward the rear of another
car.
Young, in the passenger seat, was able to hit the
brakes in time.
"Still needs work," said Goodwin, 37.
Young, 62, said he came across taped interviews of
Goodwin eight months ago on the Internet, including a
segment for the MTV show "Pimp My Ride." Goodwin's
clientele includes California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who had Goodwin work on his
Hummer.
Young said he set out wanting his car to be able to
use biodiesel, but later asked Goodwin whether they
could instead power it with batteries and use it as a
template to make electric cars more mainstream.
"The technology to make a practical and affordable
electric car has been around for a long time," Goodwin
said. "There are all sorts of ways of doing it and all sorts
of ways to work out how to make it work on a national
scale."
For Young, the project may finally complete a
mission he set for himself with his music.
"You know, I thought long ago you could change the
world by writing songs," he said.
"But you can't change the world by writing songs.
Oh, you can inspire a few people, get some of them to
change their thinking about something. But you can't
change the world by writing songs.
"But we could change it with this car."
CSNY/DÉJÀ VU
AVAILABLE NOW ON
DVD
and electric guitar, piano and pump organ and occasional
harmonica.
Mixing retrospective and reimagination with
intimacy and urgency made for a special evening, a very
special evening. But then, Young always tries to make
his concerts special -- whether theatrical arena spectacles
or one-man theater shows. In 1992 at the Orpheum, he
offered a solo acoustic performance. In 1999, he returned
there, surrounded by a semi-circle of stringed
instruments and pianos. At Northrop, he sat on a stool,
with an acoustic guitar to either side of him and a glass
of water in which to dip his harmonica. Later, roadies
brought out electric guitars -- Old Black, his 1953 Les
Paul and a Gretsch White Falcon (from his days with
Buffalo Springfield) -- and he moved around to upright
and baby grand pianos as well as to the "After the Gold
Rush" pump organ.
While Young may have been restless enough to
introduce new material from "Twisted Road" (which he
made with producer Daniel Lanois) long before its time,
he delivered those tunes and his classics with a relaxed
tone and a gentle grace. "Rumblin'," a "Twisted Road"
tirade about environmental concerns, was a seething
rocker ready to explode but didn't. Similarly, during the
ensuing 1975 nugget "Cortez the Killer," you could sense
the thunder inside Young's guitar wanting to be
unleashed. But it never happened.
Whether he was the scathing social commentator or
the hopelessly sentimental lovebird, Young sang with a
pronounced sweetness on Thursday. His voice was less
warbly and whiney than in the past. His acoustic guitar
had a new sound for his new tunes, thanks to an electric
pickup that elevated the bass notes while he strummed
flamenco and spaghetti Western passages. But his words
had many of the same old messages, about the
environment, love within families and, of course, war.
"I sang for justice and hit a bad chord," he sang in the
new "Love and War." "But I'm still trying to sing about
love and war."
He introduced the piano ditty "Leia" as a song for the
little tots who aren't here tonight. It was the only time he
spoke, other than saying "thank you" and dedicating the
1972 classic "Old Man" to Ben Keith, his longtime pedal
steel guitarist who died this week. "Leia," an ode to a
granddaughter, made the perfect bookend to "Old Man,"
a reflection on his dad and fatherhood. The new and the
old, restless and relaxed, wistful and wonderful.
Trilogy," Tonight's the Night (Reprise, 1975), which will
feature in the next Archives installment. Even before
starting the Laurel Canyon-based Rockets (which
became Crazy Horse), Whitten had been a live R&B
dancer and seems to have restored some genuine
Southern rock 'n' soul flava to the mix of his boy twiceremoved from Dixie. Every time I hear the vainglorious
funk bomb that is "Cinnamon Girl," I recognize that
element is there and regret Whitten's passing even more.
I first and foremost swear fealty to Buffalo
Springfield. But for all his seemingly mercurial guises,
the plaid-and-denim-clad Young who conjured
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Reprise, 1969) and
the songs from the Ditch in company with Crazy Horse
and other canyon pickers appears to be the most enduring
direct influence on later generations. To try to make
sense of Young's legend, I consulted an amen corner:
Harry Weinger, VP of A&R at Universal Motown; famed
Harvest producer Elliot Mazer; and young J. Tillman.
I also saw my Alabama-bred friend Patterson Hood at
the Bowery Ballroom, bringing an element of Stills and
Young's guitar duels and Young's volume to the stage,
backed by the Screwtopians. Brother Hood's chief band,
Drive-By Truckers, came to most folks' attention with
2001's Sept. 12 Soul Dump release Southern Rock
Opera, a sprawling masterwork in two acts that dealt
with -- among other Southern myths -- the complex
relationship between Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd icon
Ronnie Van Zant (see "Ronnie and Neil"). When we
discussed the Archives before the gig, Patterson
professed to be waiting on tenterhooks for the next
volume, due to the Ditch releases: TTN, Time Fades
Away (Reprise, 1973), and my favorite, On the Beach
(Reprise, 1974).
Tillman -- Pacific Northwest-dwelling solo artist and
multi-instrumentalist member of Fleet Foxes -- was
illuminating on the subject of Young as artistic forebear.
This year, the Foxes were summoned by Young to tour
with him and perform at his annual Bridge School
benefit, even as Tillman promoted Vacilando Territory
Blues (Bella Union) and began to develop his next solo
recording Year In the Kingdom. Kindly, he paused amid
all this flurry to speak on Young's influence when we
crossed paths earlier this year:
"Neil is a figure to follow and not follow. Following
him is kind of antithetical to the spirit of his music, but
it's hard to resist the mythology ...
"Neil's understanding of the technical side of the
recording process, and his obsession with gear and tone,
stands in total contrast to his completely intuitive
approach to making records." he continued. "Each of his
records has an environment that is as big a part of the
record as the songs. Recording in a barn, an SIR storage
space, doing honey-slides with Rusty Kershaw - he
always positions himself for moments of magic."
Despite Young's great capacity for harnessing magic,
what Archives demonstrates beyond the master's
curatorial intent is the vast gulf between the violent-buthalcyon time that begat his earliest works and now, when
ever more plastic reigns in our common culture. When I
cited surprise at a sudden small surge in younger folk and
country-rockin' artists who profess overt adoration of and
respect for Buffalo Springfield and Stills' Manassas,
Tillman voiced skepticism:
"Our generation has been told that we can buy
authenticity. Advertising is so enmeshed in our thought
life we've developed Stockholm syndrome. People buy
the idea of the '60s and '70s like a product, like it's
Legendary rocker delivers in first of back-to-back
something you can own by buying things, or conversely,
shows
by becoming a product fashioned in the style of the '70s.
By Rob Williams, Winnipeg Free Press, July 27, 2010
There are plenty of people dying to make a buck off that.
Neil Young has never been one to stay on the beaten
It's sad how commodified music has become, how people
path.
just do it to be it, instead of doing it because they are it.
He's an iconoclast who follows nobody. He does
Neil refused to be bought or sold or owned in his own
what he wants, when he wants and remains an
time, like any of the greats."
unpredictable artist who has managed the rare feat of
As for Young followers on the blackhand side, they
continuing to be fascinating, diverse and relevant for
may not be legion but today -- more than four decades
more than four decades while never latching on to a
after he was meant to produce Love's masterpiece
trend, fashion or fad.
Forever Changes (Elektra, 1967) and long after his road
It's been a long, winding, and sometimes
dawgin' with former Malibu neighbor Booker T. Jones -confounding, journey, and once again the Twisted Road there are more than you might think. Richie Havens still
that is Young's life, and name of his current tour, brought cut what might rate as the best-ever Young cover: his
him back to the Centennial Concert Hall Monday for the desperate, electric, heavy metal "The Loner" on Mixed
OLD, NEW SONGS
FOREVER YOUNG
CSNY/DÉJÀ VU Music Video:
first of two shows in the city where he lived as a teenager
and formed his first bands before moving to Toronto, and
eventually Los Angeles, to follow his musical muse.
His last show in Winnipeg was an incendiary affair
with a full band at the MTS Centre in October, 2008, but
this time around it is just Young as it was the last time he
played a solo show at the same venue in 1972.
And true to form, the 64-year-old was again offering
something different for the sold-out crowd at the Concert
Hall, some who paid $250 for the privilege, with a
selection of new songs set for a forthcoming release
mixed in with old favourites that have stood the test of
time.
The stage was packed with an assortment of
instruments and amps, including two pianos and a pump
organ along with chandeliers and a wooden statue of an
Aztec warrior.
Young walked onto the stage to a standing ovation,
acknowledged the reception with a bow, sat down and
You can order the soundtrack CD here.
immediately launched into an acoustic version of My My,
More Info at csny-dejavu.com
Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) off the 1979 classic Rust
Never Sleeps.
He stayed on the acoustic guitar for Tell Me Why and
a gorgeous version of Helpless before a trio of mellow
new songs that showed off his storytelling skills starting
with You Never Call, a melancholy ballad about the
recent death of his friend Larry (L.A.) Johnson, who is
now on vacation, according to Young.
by Suzanne Kayian, LiveDaily, 5/30/08
"You're in heaven, we're working," he sang.
Neil Young's politically charged documentary film,
The crowd sat in rapt silence and hung on every
"CSNY: Deja Vu," is expected to be released July 25 in
world of Peaceful Valley, a twangy tale about the bloody
the US, according to a press release. The documentary
settling of the American West and its environmental
was filmed during Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's
aftermath and the laidback Love and War, a topic he has
"Freedom of Speech 2006" tour of North America.
explored numerous times over the years to great effect,
The tour featured music from Young's controversial
even if he declares, "When I sing about love and war I
"Living With War" CD--an album of protest songs
written as a rebuke of President George W. Bush and the don't really know what I'm singing."
He pulled out Old Black -- his 1953 Les Paul -- for a
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Songs from the
controversial album are woven together on the new film typically heavy and distorted version of the spinewith archival material, news footage, audience reactions chilling Down by the River and stayed in the zone for
Hitchhiker, an autobiographical song he debuted in 1992,
and observations of the issues surrounding the
but has never officially released.
integration of politics and art, according to a statement.
He strapped on his Gretsch White Falcon as he
A distribution deal is in the works that will make the
dismantled the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young staple
film available on the big screen simultaneously with a
video-on-demand release. In addition, Netflix will air the Ohio and rebuilt it from the ground up sans harmonies,
film on the "Watch Instantly" streaming service the same giving it a slight menacing vibe before another new one,
Sign of Love, a melodic love song built on power chords.
day. The band's label is expected to release a DVD
Young didn't introduce any of the songs, new or old,
version in the fall--prior to the presidential elections.
and rarely acknowledged the crowd.
HDNet is expected to air the film the day the DVD is
"This is a song for all the little people who couldn't
released.
be here tonight because they're too little," he said while
seated at a piano for bouncy childhood ditty Leia.
To numerous shouts of "Neil we love you!" and, for
whatever reason, just plain "Neil!" he said "I'm not really
here," before sitting at the pump organ for a
by Gregg Goldstein, Hollywood Reporter, 5/14/08
CANNES, France - Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions carnivalesque take on After the Gold Rush, then moving
over to a grand piano for a stripped down I Believe in
are finalizing a deal for U.S. rights to the politically
You.
charged Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young documentary
It's impossible to know how the new songs will
"CSNY - Deja Vu."
sound when they are officially released -- they could be
Fortissimo Films, which acquired the film from
the same or radically altered -- but one of the highlights
Shangri-La, has sold rights to 15 more international
of the new selections was Rumblin', a tense,
territories.
unpredictable mid-tempo rocker that veered from
The feature, directed by Neil Young, chronicles the
rock group's 2006 Freedom of Speech tour in support of atmospheric, throbbing verses that reverberated through
the hall to a chugging chorus punctuated by occasional
Young's "Living in War" album.
feedback.
The anti-Iraq War theme and songs like "Let's
It was that moment, something you wouldn't hear or
Impeach the President" increasingly polarized audiences
feel clearly at a venue other than a theatre, that made last
as the band traveled through the U.S. Interviews with
soldiers and others affected by the war are intercut with night's show special and should evoke the same feelings
when Young returns to the concert hall to do it all again
the concert footage.
When the film premiered in January at the Sundance tonight.
Young finished the show with Cinnamon Girl, Old
Film Festival, the band members expressed a desire to
Man and Walk With Me.
release it before the November elections in order to
encourage debate. The proposed deal would certainly get
it seen.
In July, Roadside will release it theatrically in 15
cities, with Lionsgate handling a simultaneous
nationwide video-on-demand release and, via potential
partner Netflix, streaming video. The DVD will be
By Heath McCoy, Calgary Herald, July 25, 2010
released shortly before the elections through the band's
label, Reprise, with HDNet in talks to air the film on the Neil Young has always been one to challenge his
audience, constantly shifting gears artistically whether
same date.
folks liked it or not.
Fortissimo already has sold the film to Australia,
He stubbornly follows his own path and to hell with
CSNY DOCUMENTARY
SET FOR SUMMER
RELEASE
CSNY DOCU HEADED
FOR THEATERS
REVIEW: YOUNG
CONTINUES TO
CHALLENGE AUDIENCE
Bag II (Stormy Forest, 1974). The other week I attended
a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and after the
show, when Roots' guitarist Kirk Douglas spotted the
behemoth Archives box I was toting, he ripped a few
blazing riffs from "Cinnamon Girl."
Outlaws don't always go out in a blaze of glory.
Some, like Young, abide, too ornery for entropy to
overtake them. I expect him to continue restlessly
exploring where he and Sudanese bluenote sound
intersect in the eye of the volt. As for the native rights
supporter who came off like the inscrutable brave in
Buffalo Springfield's dynamic cowboy movie -- but who
totes a cigar store Indian onstage? The rebel in me that
thrills to Young's peculiarly suhthuhn quixotic qualities
and access to American African's obsession with
freedom wants him to account for these lyrics about my
ancestral sovereign Wahunsunacock's martyred daughter,
Matoaka:
I wish I was a trapper
I would give a thousand pelts
To sleep with Pocahontas
And find out how she felt
In the mornin' on the fields of green
In the homeland we've never seen.
Hey now hey ... my my my. Aren't we both, the
contested bodies, still looking for America?
SPOTLIGHT
Neil Young: Archives Vol. I
1963-1972
by Bob Gendron
Neil Young's Archives Vol. I 10-disc multimedia box set
is the stuff of dreams. Specifically made for the Blu-ray
disc format (the compilation is also available on 10-disc
DVD and 8-CD sets, respectively), it is the most
groundbreaking music release in decades-an immersive
intersection of sound, vision, and interactivity that will
change how bands present their history and how fans
experience art.
For years nothing more than a rumor that became
legendary for the myriad delays caused by the absence of
a suitable technology, the set reaffirms Young's
brilliance, ambition, and imagination. Not there was ever
any doubt. That the Canadian native possessed the
foresight to commence this project in earnest nearly four
decades ago, and then execute it with such intelligent
design and loving enthusiasm, staggers the senses. And
that's exactly what Archives Vol. I does from beginning
to end.
The first of four planned chronological sets intended
to document nearly every aspect of Young's peerless
career, Archives Vol. I spans 1963-1972 and includes 128
songs (48 of which are previously unreleased), more than
four dozen bonus tracks, the debut non-theatrical release
of the 1973 film Journey Through the Past, and, most
strikingly, mind-blowing 24-bit/192kHz stereo PCM
sound remastered from the original master tapes. A giant
box with a "secret stash" compartment, 236-page
hardbound book, foldout poster, and custom keeper for
the sleeved discs complete the impressive physical
package. The ingenious manner in which the material is
presented onscreen (and, by extension, on your stereo) is
Europe, Israel, Japan and Latin America. Cinetic is
handling North American sales.
what anybody else wants.
That's what we love about the iconic Canadian folkrocker and that's what has frustrated us about him too,
because at times, his twists and turns have been more
confounding than pleasing.
Saturday night at a sold out Jubilee Auditorium the
64-year-old took us down another Twisted Road (hence,
the name of the tour), performing solo and introducing
the audience to a large number of tunes they'd never
heard before from his upcoming album.
It could very well have been one of those crazily
frustrating Neil moments. (If he had tried to pull off the
same show at the cavernous Saddledome, it might have
been a disaster. The intimacy of a smaller venue was
needed for this gig). Luckily, the concert was anything
but frustrating.
Rather, there was a whole lot of magic happening on
this night. I have to say that it was one of the most
unforgettable and impacting gigs I've ever seen.
With the stage decked out in pianos, guitars, candles
and dimly lit chandeliers, along with the wooden statue
of an Aztec warrior, Young arrived just after nine with
one of his most beloved classics My My, Hey Hey (Out
of the Blue).
Dipping his harmonica into a glass of water and then
shaking it off like an old dog shaking the water from its
shaggy hide, Young then proceeded with the first
acoustic portion of his set. Included therein was a
beautiful version of one his greatest Crosby, Stills, Nash
Leitner's Mondo 2008 Sundance - Saturday
& Young songs, Helpless, which had people singing
Digital Content Producer, 1/26/08
along softly.
Csny Deja Vu (Documentary)
Then came a handful of new songs, highlighted by
Variety, 1/27/08
Peaceful Valley with it's epic, almost doomy acoustic
Four Warhorses On Living With War
guitar pattern and the poignant Love and War.
Hollywood Reporter, 1/27/08
On these numbers, as throughout the evening,
Find The Cost Of Freedom (Of Speech)
Young's distinctive, creaky falsetto was both tender and
Huffington Post, 1/30/08
full of grit, ringing with soul and authority.
Neil Young Admits Music Can't Change World
Young brought out his electric guitar seven songs into
Spiegel Online, 2/08/08
the night for a potent version of his murder ballad Down
Neil Young: Music Can't Change World
By The River. Though the song wasn't quite as blistering
Associated Press, 2/08/08
without the accompaniment of his eternally on-again offSorry, Neil Young, Music Never Could Change The
again rock band Crazy Horse, it was bloody heavy just
World
the same. (The same had to be said for his version of
Huffington Post, 2/09/08
Cinnamon Girl later in the evening which was fantastic,
Neil Young Says Music Has Lost Its Punch
even if the pounding beat of drummer Ralph Molina was
Contra Costa Times, 2/09/08
missed).
Change The World? Well, Maybe Not
Such electricity burned down the path for the doomy
New York Times, 2/09/08
Hitchhiker, an excellent unreleased tune that apparently
Music Can Actually Save The World, Sort Of
dates back to the '90s.
Rolling Stone, 2/11/08
Next up was another CSNY hit, Ohio, reborn without
Unearthing The Gems In The Berlinale Garden
the golden harmonies of Crosby, Still and Nash. Instead,
Sydney Morning Herald, 2/12/08
Neil Young Doesn't "Give Up" Despite Not Changing the the song was carried by its guitar lick, which has never
sounded so harsh and seething.
World
After that came another couple of sharp turns, with
Exclaim, 2/12/08
Young taking to one of his keyboards for the almost
First Look - CSNY/DÉJÀ VU
quaint new piano pop number, Leia. He followed that
Uncut, 2/12/08
with one of his great epics, After the Gold Rush, played
Neil Young Touts New Tour Documentary
on a pump organ which gave it a trippy, psychedelic
San Jose Mercury News, 2/13/08
vibe.
The More Things Change...
Another moment in the concert that left fans
Roanoke Times, 2/19/08
awestruck was Young's new version of Cortez the Killer.
'The time when music could change the world has
Once again stripped of the power of Crazy Horse, Young
passed'
completely deconstructed the song, rebuilding it on
Scotland On Sunday, 2/24/08
sparse, jagged waves of electricity and feedback which
Neil Young: On the road again
highlighted his unique voice as a guitarist.
The Telegraph, 2/29/08
Vividly re-imagined runs at Young's most revered
There's No Protester Like An Old Protester
tunes and a collection of new songs that show great
CNN, 3/21/08
promise (I can't wait to hear their recorded versions)
made Saturday night's concert one that will live with the
fans for years to come.
CSNY/DÉJÀ VU
in the press:
MTV Once Played So Many
Music Videos They Could
Afford To Ban Some
from idolator.com, July 10 2007
MTV has a history of banning would-be popular videos,
but it was 19 years ago this week that one of the
network's most peculiar censorship decisions took place.
Neil Young's "This Note's for You" was denied play on
the network due to a fear of offending valuable
advertisers. No nudity, no blood, no graphic drug use-just ad parodies. Did 1988 mark the end of our
even better.
Almost everything is organized in a virtual file
cabinet in which every song has its own folder. Click on
the song title and a folder opens up, revealing every
detail pertaining to the tune (musician credits, recording
date, record label and catalog number (if applicable), and
cover art) as well as a set of subfolders. While the latter
vary according to the song, they hold a wealth of
memorabilia, documents, and photos. Certain tracks also
come with audio and/or video logs-bonus media that
comprise live footage, radio interviews, concert banter,
promotional spots, and television appearances.
If all that wasn't enough, each disc includes a
timeline, a thoroughly engrossing pursuit that encourages
user navigation and includes thumbtacks that, when
clicked, open extra archival aural and video material. The
timeline is also where all future BD Live downloads will
appear. Only available on Blu-ray, Young intends on
making additional content available for free as it is
discovered and restored, meaning that Archives Vol. I
could grow infinitely in scope. This potential is alone
worth the investment in the advanced technology, and it
seems Young is sincere in making good on the promise.
Written Young biographies that speak to what happened
in his life during the time period on each particular disc
and assortment of other menu options, including an
audio/video setup helper that ensures that televisions are
properly displaying the 19201080 content, round out the
menu choices.
In terms of exploring new avenues for presenting
content, it seems nothing has been forgotten. Not even
footage of Young perusing his own archives alongside
photographer Joel Bernstein and producer L.A. Johnson.
As he sifts through a seemingly endless stacks and
spreads of photos, papers, and paraphernalia, Young's
blunt comments and astute reflections serve as some of
the most revealing matter in the box. Cleverly, the
moments are all "hidden" as Easter Eggs amidst the
menus. Other Easter Egg content is scattered amidst the
song files, be it an unreleased take of "I Believe In You"
with Young jingling sleigh bells or a jaunty alternative
version of "When You Dance, I Can Really Love" that
comes across as more raw (and country) than the
original.
And it's the pairing of Young's incomparable music
with corresponding historical records-original lyric
manuscripts, never-before-seen photos, radio ad sheets,
rare 45rpm single artwork, setlists, tape boxes, handdrawn sketches, newspaper articles, concert and album
reviews, advertisements, show programs-that makes
Archives Vol. I. a journey that's like nothing else. The
opportunity to explore, browse, and watch Young's
amazing evolution-on this volume, we see him from his
time with the clean-cut high-school band the Squires to
his tenure in Buffalo Springfield before his subsequent
stretch as an idiosyncratic solo artist, Crazy Horse
associate, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young memberoffers unparalleled insight and unlimited depth.
There are too many highlights to mention, too many
surprises to list. Just as it should be: One of Archives'
biggest achievements is the way it invites the user to
peruse, loiter, and sample at their own leisure. Yes, this
major creative excavation is meant to be savored, but it's
difficult not to want to devour everything. Young and
Johnson even provided a listening-only option where
tracks play straight through as they would on a CD while
a period home-playback mechanism (i.e., reel-to-reel
tape deck or old phonograph) "plays" the tune and
doubles as a screen saver. Witty.
Yet Archives Vol. I is as much a visual as a sonic
undertaking. Despite the early periods covered,
illuminating video footage abounds. One of the set's
priceless entries shows Young strolling into a Hollywood
record store, finding a CSNY bootleg LP, confronting the
clerk, and literally taking the album out of the shop.
Viewers are also treated to watching CSNY perform
"Down By the River" on ABC's The Music Scene in
1969; Young strolling unannounced into a Greenwich
Village coffeehouse to play a few songs; CSNY singing
"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" onstage in June
1970, with Stephen Stills plucking a double bass; Young
working with the London Symphony Orchestra on "A
Man Needs a Maid"; Harvest recording sessions inside
innocence?
Image from the video
CHROME DREAMS
by Jef Michael Piehler, sidestreetrecords.com
Perhaps it was the aborted tour with long-time band-mate
Stephen Stills, or the scrapped CSNY recording sessions
that preceded those ill-fated shows, or maybe it was the
upcoming tour with CRAZY HORSE, but late summer
1976 found Neil holed up at the ranch, sorting out his
career by choosing the final songs for his retrospective
3LP set, tentatively titled "Decade."
Scheduled for release in early November, Decade test
pressings were sent to reviewers & covers (for in-store
displays) were sent to record stores. As November, and
then December came and went, Neil fans and retailers
were left wonderin' if rumours of a drug overdose were
true, and if so, would Reprise cancel the dicey 3LP set
and release an easy-money greatest hits "memorial
album"?
With no word one way or the other, "Decade"displays
came down & Christmas displays went up. Neil would
prove the rumors false 6 months later by finally releasing
a new album -but to the shock of retailers, it would only
be single LP titled "American stars 'n bars," instead of
the highly anticipated "Best of" 3LP they were expecting.
Unlike the unreleased "Homegrown"LP, very little
was known about any "Chrome Dreams" LP. First
mentioned in the Sept.9, 1976 Rolling Stone in a blurb
about a 10-date CRAZY HORSE tour that's
....."scheduled for November, just about when he'll
release his next LP, planned as Chrome Dreams."
Johnny Rogan mentions the LP in his book as an
early version of "American stars n bars" that "...had
(been) altered considerably ...by the time it was released
in June 1977." ...and that was it; "Chrome Dreams" was
never mentioned in the press again & it was assumed to
be just another pencil sketched song-list album.
Out of the blue, reports from Germany in July 1992
claimed that the acetate of the legendary album had
surfaced. Initial "proof" came by way of xeroxed "test
pressing data sheet" which provided more information
about "Chrome Dreams" than anyone had ever imagined.
Unfortunately, the data sheet had been created by the
record dealer/Neil Young collector that "discovered" the
acetate in 1992. The sheet's design was meant to be both
easy to read/understand, and a ridiculing joke aimed at
"detailed-information-fanatic" collectors --but nobody
got the joke, and most collectors dismissed the acetate
and any stories about this "unreleased Chrome Dreams
album" as fake. Their loss; detailed information about the
unreleased/previously unknown studio recordings was so
impressive that even NYA archivist Joel Bernstein
conceded to the accuracy of the information.
Photos of the labels proved that the acetate really did
exist, and we all assumed that it was just a matter of time
before a bootleg CD would appear so we could finally
hear this thing.
NEIL YOUNG BRINGS
MIX OF NEW AND
CLASSIC TO EDMONTON
By Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal, July 24, 2010
EDMONTON -- Some artists are just so impossibly
weighted down with reverence that you hardly know
where to begin as a music writer.
Not that someone like Neil Young would care for the
idea of being revered; he's ignored just about every rule
of the careerist rocker, disdaining a commercial path
while happily testing his fans with any number of strange
musical detours.
He invariably returns to what his core audience likes
best, though; his first offerings at the Jube weren't in any
was a test for the 2,500 in attendance. They were three of
most beloved acoustic song, My My, Hey Hey, Tell Me
Why, and Helpless, played close to the recorded versions.
This was classic rock Neil Young, still possessing that
unearthly voice, though down an octave or so on certain
numbers.
All three are undeniably great, but you have to
wonder what Young thinks when he sings the key line in
My My, Hey Hey, the one about how it's better to burn
out than to fade away. Maybe it's the reason why he's
never allowed himself to be turned into just a gentle
folky playing toe tappers for those lost in the '70s, and
possibly why he then changed to completely new,
unrecorded tunes You Never Call, Peaceful Valley and
Love and War.
They're too fresh to be graded, and who knows how
the vocalist's Broken Arrow Ranch barn, complete with
musicians perched on hay bales; Young observing the
printing of his album covers at a record-pressing plant;
and more.
Using the various "support" elements (radio
interviews, timeline, etc.) as reference points, Young's
music assumes greater relevance and gains in stature.
Ideas behind songs and arrangements, as well as reasons
and regrets, unfold with narrative clarity and frank
humor. Archives Vol. I removes much of the opaque
divide between Young and his audience, allowing for
unmatched transparency and enhanced perspective. The
inspiration behind "Old Man," decisions behind the
flawed remixing of Young's solo debut, motives for the
singer's move to Topanga Canyon (and later, Broken
Arrow Ranch), initial ideas for what became Harvest,
and feelings on subjects ranging from everything to
Buffalo Springfield's breakup to songwriting to his own
image are all divulged.
"It's interesting how I contradict myself over time,"
Young observes at one point, the statement indicative of
the set's enormous span and informative nature. From the
start, it's clear that Archives was as revealing to Young as
it is for the fan. And it's the singer's hands-on
involvement, whip-smart commentary, and willingness to
share so many riches and memories that remove ego
from the equation. What could've been a monumental
celebration of self is instead a fascinating portrait of a
pioneering artist that's forever evaded labels, rules, and
convention. Even at 10 discs, Archives Vol. I leaves you
wanting more-a testament to both Young's superior body
of work (in addition to the entirety of Live at the
Fillmore East and Live at Massey Hall releases, nearly
every song from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,
After the Goldrush, and Harvest are here) and the
project's spare-no-time-or-money-expenses quality.
And nowhere is that attribute more manifest than in
the sonics. The warmth, richness, fullness, airiness,
separation, body, extension, detail, intimacy, tonality,
depth, dimensionality, clarity, and sheer life-like presence
that these recordings convey defy expectation and
transcend limitation. At every step, whether on 1965's
"The Sultan" or a wowing, previously unheard 1971
version of "Dance Dance Dance" with Graham Nash, the
sound is room-filling, balanced, natural, lively, and
utterly engaging. Digital has never been better.
Neither has any box set in recent memory. In
Archives, Young and company have gone beyond their
realm. They've created a platform that other artists can
use to assemble their own music-based multimedia
scrapbook. Think of what Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and
Bob Dylan could do with this format! Until that happens,
Young has established a precedent that may be
impossible to top, and he's not yet even halfway through.
GREENDALE HITS
STAGE IN DALLAS!
"Greendale Will Have You Revved Up To Save The
Planet" -- Dallas Morning News (read review)
"Dallas Troupe Takes A Crack At Rock Opera" -Fort Worth Star-Telegram (read review)
GREENDALE ON TO NEW
YORK!
Will be performed July 23-26
NY Times
Undermain Theatre, through special arrangement with
Wixen Music Publishing, is pleased to announce the
transfer of its production of Neil Young's Greendale to
this summers Ice Factory Festival presented by Soho
Sure enough, a year later the bootleg CD was
released in Germany; unlike same/similar-titled CDs to
follow, this first bootleg CD is the original acetate, with a
couple of (unlisted) "hidden" tracks at the end of the 12song program.
Authenticity of the "album" remained a subject for
debate until some months later when I acquired the actual
acetate. It's a bit noisier than the CD, but it sure sounds
better.
Most-importantly, whatever this "album" was
supposed to be called, this acetate is positively
legitimate, as described in this article and of
immeasurable historical importance, period.
Made up mostly of songs recorded between
September '75- November 1976 at Indigo Studios Malibu Canyon, CA, the album starts off with an
"alternate" version of "Pocahontas." This solo acoustic
version is in fact the same take as on "Rust Never
Sleeps" (July 1979) --minus the overdubs. "Will To
Love"("American stars 'n bars"),"Star 0f Bethlehem"
("Decade" October 1977) and "Like A Hurricane" ("stars
'n bars") sound much brighter, though they're all released
takes.
Side 1 ends with a studio version of "Too Far Gone."
At first it seems as if this is just a "warm-up" version
before the tape rolled for the 1989 "Freedom" recording.
In fact, the tempo is so similar that this take is only 10
seconds shorter than the released version! Unlike the
released version, the sparse arrangement & hung-over
performance that shuffles along under the lyrics with
Neil reciting each line matter-of-factly, as if just-written.
Side two opens with an alternate version of "Hold
Back The Tears," which was apparently recorded around
the same date as"Too Far Gone." Unlike the "stars 'n
bars" version, this take is considerably slower, and
definitely more intense.
"Homegrown" follows, & even though this is the
same take as the "stars 'n bars" LP, the mix is noticeably
different. The guitars are pushed way up-front and have a
"crisp distorted" sound. "Captain Kennedy" ("Hawks &
Doves" 0ct. 1980) is next, with the well-known March
31, 1976 Hammersmith Odeon - London, U.K. version of
"Stringman" right after. Often bootlegged, but just
another famous unreleased song until 1993's "unplugged"
album. This song was performed often during the 1976
U.K. tour, but never recorded in a studio (or performed
again,until 1993).
An AMAZING example of TEXTBOOK
"NEILYOUNG WITH CRAZY HORSE" follows with
the STUDIO VERSION of "Sedan Delivery" that makes
the "Rust" version sound like an "Old Ways" out-take!
This plodding, ragged & LOUD performance would've
fit just as well on "Times Square" or "Eldorado" as it
does here.
It's a matter of personal opinion, but for me, the next
track is the highlight of the album: the "Powderfinger"
"studio demo." The stunningly-simple-but-brilliant
acoustic performance defines "Neil the storyteller" at his
very best. Additionally, this take isn't "better" than the
"Rust" version; it simply stands apart as a completely
different and, somehow, far-more-desperate & heartbreaking song, absolutely perfect from start to finish.
Even so, it'd be hard to find a better closing track to
this set than"Look Out For My Love." Lost in the shuffle
of the "Comes A Time" tapestry (October 1978), this
haunting wordplay proves to be the perfect summary of
the thunder & lightning that came before it.
Had it been released, "Chrome Dreams" might have
the recorded versions will sound, but it's clear that Young
is impatient to get them out there. Which is as it should
be; still, he did make otherwise sure to fill up his hour
and a half long set with identifiable hits. Wandering a
stage that could only be called gothic thrift shop, he
turned from parlour piano (a slightly cloying newer song,
Leia) to organ (After the Gold Rush) to baby grand (I
Believe in You) and then electric guitar (Cinnamon Girl,
Rumblin'), satisfying audience hunger while at times
reinventing many of his older offerings.
Unlike Dylan, though, he doesn't radically
reinterpret, and no matter what he plays it's instantly
recognizable as him. Just two chords, Em and A,
chugged in the Crazy Horse rhythm, and you instantly
know he's starting into Down By the River.
A high point for many at his electric concert last year
was a grinding, loud, near hallucinatory Cortez the
Killer; some might debate it, but Cortez stood as a
memorable highlight Friday night as well. By and large
ignoring rhythm, he let the song float on whammy bar
sustain, banging the body of his guitar, falling into near
silence between verses. At moments he sounded not
unlike Rowland S. Howard, guitarist for The Birthday
Party, twisting short, barbed wire leads through gently
strummed, distorted chords.
This is why he's revered by so many, the stamp of
weirdness that keeps Young from being just elevator
muzak for baby boomers. Just when you think he's going
to stroll down memory lane, he sits you with something
strange, forcing you to reconsider a song you've heard a
thousand times.
Slotting in acoustic guitar master Bert Jansch as his
opener certainly had to have forced Young to kick up the
intensity a few more notches. A legend in the folk world,
Jansch is also held in high regard by rockers like Young
and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, who took a great deal
from Jansch's arrangement of the traditional
Blackwaterside for his band's knock off, Black Mountain
Side. While Young was silent for almost the entirety of
his set, Jansch was a little more gregarious, adding just a
touch of wry humour to the proceedings. He was in fine
form throughout, especially on the bluesy Ducking and
Diving, terrific on Blackwaterside and abashed in his
acknowledgment of the crowd's enthusiastic welcome.
NEIL YOUNG STARES
OLD AGE IN THE FACE,
LAST NIGHT AT THE
PARAMOUNT
By Brian J Barr, Seattle Weekly, July 21 2010
It was a bright summer West Coast evening, but Neil
Young was full of darkness last night. Not "bad mood
Neil" darkness, mind you. Instead, the songs were
weighted with that sort of downcast brooding he
employed on Sleeps With Angels and, especially, his
soundtrack to the film Dead Man. Whether it was an old
crowd-pleaser like "Cortez the Killer" or new songs like
"Love and War" and "Peaceful Valley", one could sense
storm clouds surfacing from inside the man singing
them--but they were laced with golden tones, as well.
Neil strode onto Paramount's stage in his fedora,
sport jacket, and jeans. He paced rather mindfully about
the stage, but by the time he sat down with his acoustic
and launched into "My My Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" it
was obvious he would spend most of the night in his own
world. Clearly, his voice is in top condition these days, as
he rounded out vowels in his tinny stoner drawl and
made the verses ring out like bells.
He fulfilled casual fans' wishes for classics early on
by following "My My Hey Hey" with "Tell Me Why"
and "Helpless," but soon tore into "You Never Call", a
ponderous song about the death of his longtime friend
L.A. Johnson. The song was acoustic, but damned heavy,
reverberating gloom-and-doom low notes that evoked
those aforementioned inner-turmoil clouds. He carried
that mood into the next couple of songs, "Love and War"
and "Peaceful Valley", both summing up one of the
night's themes--we humans, capable of such greatness,
really have a knack for fucking shit up, especially nature.
These were powerful numbers, especially "Peaceful
Think Tank at the Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster St. in New
York City.
Undermain Theatre Presents
Theatrical Premiere of Neil
Young's Greendale
The Undermain Theatre through special arrangement
with Wixen music publishing is pleased to announce the
theatrical premiere of Neil Young's Greendale. The rock
opera by the legendary singer - songwriter will be
adapted for the stage by the Undermain Theatre in the
spring of 2008. This song cycle has been compared to
Thornton Wilder's Our Town and Sherwood Anderson's
Winesberg Ohio as a portrait of the changing face of
small town America. Performed with a live band and
sung by an ensemble cast, Greendale explores the lives
of three generations of the Green family through themes
ranging from corruption to mass media consolidation to
environmentalism. Described by Neil Young as a
"musical novel," Greendale was released in 2003 as an
album, a film, and a rock tour. It is soon to be published
as a graphic novel and this spring it will be produced as a
play premiering at Undermain.
"The listener is left practically breathless with the
beauty, hope, pathos and power of the music and the
story." - Neil Strauss, New York Times
Voted one of the best albums of 2003 by Rolling
Stone magazine music critics.
March 29 - May 3, 2008
Previews March 26, 27, 28
Undermain Theatre
3200 Main Street
Dallas, Texas 75226
http://www.undermain.org./
Box Office: 214-747-5515
Greendale At Comic Giant
DC
by Eric Millikin, talkaboutcomics.com
Outspoken musician and political activist Neil Young is
putting his anti-war and environmental convictions into a
graphic novel... The legendary artist, renowned for his
strong anti-George W. Bush sentiments, has made it clear
that the project will be just as biting politically as the rest
of his artistic catalogue, said writer and collaborator
Joshua Dysart...
Dysart, who describes his own political leanings as
"left of Lenin," says the graphic novel's theme is
decidedly anti-war and pro-planet. The story is set in the
fictional town of Greendale on the eve of the Iraq
invasion in 2003. "It's just sort of a smorgasbord of the
political reality of that moment of 2003 when we went
into Iraq," Dysart said Thursday in a telephone interview
from his home Los Angeles.
The novel has been two years in the making and will
be published by the DC Comics subsidiary Vertigo.
Joshua Dysart On Neil
Young's Greendale At
Vertigo
by Steve Ekstrom, newsarama.com
After discussing Josh Dysart's upcoming Unknown
Soldier project at Vertigo, Newsarama got the lowdown
on his collaborative effort with music legend Neil Young
and his critically acclaimed album from 2003, Greendale,
which also spawned a critically acclaimed film of the
same name.
In this part of the interview with Newsarama, Dysart
discusses collaborating with Neil Young on a graphic
novel also titled Greendale and the distinction of his
project amidst two critically successful projects from
other areas of the entertainment industry involving a little
fictional town set in northern California.
Newsarama: Changing gears - tell us about your graphic
novel project involving Neil Young's Greendale album
from 2003 - your project actually takes place in this
fictional town created by Young, correct?
stood today as one of Neil Young's best records ever. The
bar-room characters amidst historical references &
passionate love songs creates a magical atmosphere. But
like most first drafts, the perception of what's important
& what isn't must be left to the artist, and not to the
record company bean counters or the whims of the
artists' "biggest" fans. As near-perfect as "Chrome
Dreams" might seem, it's release would've created unfillable holes in other near-perfect albums like "American
stars 'n bars," "Comes A Time" and "Rust Never Sleeps."
In any event, this "album" of rough sketches stands
as a unique historical document, long-lost somewhere in
the pages of Neil Young's amazingly-brilliant career; and
at the top of the "ESSENTIAL Neil Young tapes" list.
WINNER DECLARED IN
JOHNNY MAGIC
CONTEST
Liza Piontek's version of "Johnny Magic" picked as top
Make-Your-Own Video after a week of voting.
See more results and all the videos here.
Valley," which was reminiscent of his time-traveling
songs "Trans Am" and "Pocahontas" in the way it
rendered historical ugliness relevant to modern times.
The night's centerpiece was inarguably his raging
take on "Hitchhiker," one of his unearthed gems that
served as a harrowing bit of autobiography that glances
over his odd life while cataloging all the drugs he's
ingested along the way. Other great moments followed-"Leia", a piano-pop song presumably about his new
granddaughter; "Sign of Love" an echo-y electric rocker
about love and faith; a bleak, ambient re-working of
"Cortez the Killer"; an absolutely lovely solo piano take
on "I Believe In You".
But for me, "Hitchhiker" was the moment I kept
returning to. There is a bone-chilling element in that song
that I can't quite put my finger on, one that was everpresent throughout his entire performance. The song
burned with that raging defiance present in all of his best
work. But since the song (on its surface) is little more
than a look back on his life, well, why all the rage?
"Hitchhiker", like the rest of the show seemed to be
about staring old age in the face. Gone is the comfortable
middle-aged nostalgia of Harvest Moon and Silver &
Gold. Fuck that. These days, friends and relatives are
dead or dying off, grandchildren are being born, Neil will
be 65 this November. And after all these years, humans
are still capable of such waste and beauty. Life is weird,
even weirder with age, and Neil--thank God--is still here
to sing about it.
That said, this forthcoming Daniel Lanois-produced
album of Neil's should be a real stunner.
WARNER REPRISE
FAMILY PENALIZED FOR
CONCERT REVIEW: NEIL
BEING EARLY
YOUNG REMINDS US
By Neil Young, Reprise recording artist
Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to
WHY HE'S A LEGEND
embrace You Tube. You Tube was in its fledgling stages
when Warner made an early deal to work with them.
Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for
their artists at You Tube.
So You Tube is the new radio.....but not quite.
Radio used to introduce music to the masses and was
crucial to every new release, with identical compensation
for every artist and label. Since You Tube has given some
labels better deals that others, the Media Giant is treating
artists unequally, depending on which label they are on.
Today's web world has created a new way. Artists
today can go directly to the people. There is nothing
standing between the artists and their audience. Freedom
of expression reigns. People today feel that they should
be able to get all the music and art that they want, from
the artists who they appreciate. When that conduit is
broken, the connection is weakened.
By Michael C. Zusman, The Oregonian, July 20, 2010
In this age of instant fame and ceaseless news cycle,
the "icon" label gets tossed around with reckless
abandon. As Neil Young demonstrated Monday night at
the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, he's the real deal -- a
modern folk-rock legend without peer.
Through career turns spanning four decades with
Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Crazy
Horse; and on his own, Young's timeless tenor has
seamlessly weaved tales of love, dishonor, death and
despair while often focusing on his passionate disdain for
war and environmental destruction.
Monday night's 90-minute, 18-song show was no
exception. Young mixed examples from his thick book of
classics with abundant new material. Onstage, it was
Young -- outfitted in white Panama hat, long white linen
jacket and well-worn jeans -- and his musical gear: a
collection of acoustic and electric guitars, two pianos and
the pipe organ that has seemingly traveled with him
forever.
Young opened with three crowd-pleasers: "My, My,
Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue)," "Tell Me Why" and
If all artists were compensated equally, and the
"Helpless." From there it was on to unexplored territory:
people decided who had the hits and misses by virtue of the darkly humorous "You Never Call" ("You're up in
number of downloads and plays, there could be no
heaven with nothing to do/the ultimate vacation with no
grounds for disagreement that would cause the facilitator back pain"), memorializing the recent death of a
of the art to break the conduit between an artist and an
longtime friend and associate, L.A. Johnson; "Peaceful
audience. That is what has happened to Warner Bros
Valley," a polemic on the costs of America's westward
artists caught in You Tube's web. You Tube has a
expansion; a somber, compelling anti-war hymn, "Love
responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist and War," which is every bit as good as his hurriedly
punishing them to make a business point.
produced "Living With War" album was disappointing.
It is time for industry wide standards of artist's
The balance of the show alternated between old and
compensation on the web.
new: the oft-covered Young/Crazy Horse rocker, "Down
Reprise and Warner Bros artists deserve what artists by the River" gave way to the new, comparatively
from other labels are getting. Let the people decide what unremarkable "Hitchhiker." Young smoldered into the
constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking anti-war anthem "Ohio" as he prowled and paced across
for a level playing field. Until they get one, these
the stage. Two sweetly humble debut tracks followed:
problems may not go away. That is the essence of the
"Sign of Love" ("We both have silver hair/and a little less
issue between Warner Bros Reprise and You Tube.
time/but there still are roses on the vine") and "Leia,"
played on the tinkly tuned upright piano.
Next, Young stepped up to the pipe organ as
aficionados accurately anticipated "After the Gold Rush,"
which Young played in a spare, calliope-like arrangement
with harmonica accents, moving into another timeless
from Science Centric, 5/9/08
number from the 1970 "After The Gold Rush" album, "I
An East Carolina University biologist has brought his
SPIDER NAMED IN
HONOR OF NEIL YOUNG
JD: Yes. It takes place on the eve of the invasion of Iraq
and it's the story of a young high school girl on the road
to finding her inner-activist in a small fictional town set
in northern California. Two truly incredible things are
about to take place in this town: one is that a visitor of
supernatural proportions is arriving to shake things down
to their very foundations. The other is that our
protagonist is about to discover something miraculous
about herself and all the women in her family.
Unlike the Unknown Soldier, there will be nothing
ambiguous about the politics of this book at all.
Everyone knows Neil Young is left of Lennon and I'm
looking forward to being unapologetically leftist right
along with him. The book will be anti-war and proplanet. It will be humanist and righteous and fun and sad
and hopeful-assuming I don't screw it up.
NRAMA: Is Neil Young directly or indirectly involved
with this project? Do you have his endorsement?
JD: Absolutely. He is directly involved. I pitched him
my take. We got notes back from him. I even met his
whole family-his son and daughter, his wife, and of
course, the man himself. (Crosby, Stills and Nash were
also there, but now I'm just namedropping... heh). He's a
wonderful, wonderful person-when I met him it felt like
he'd been in my life forever; which, through his music, I
guess he has.
NRAMA: Will there be characters from Young's album/
film involved in your project?
JD: Yup, characters and situations but there's a storytelling element in the Greendale art book that didn't
really make it into the film or the album. So, that's what
I've focused on for the graphic novel. We're not just
stringing the stories from the album together. It will be
very different from the previous incarnations of the
material. A little bit traditional Vertigo, a little bit Dysart,
a whole lot Greendale.
NRAMA: Which songs from Greendale resonated with
you the most?
JD: The album is, to a large degree, a story; so, it's hard
to pick out favorites and separate them from their role in
whole piece. The sort of meta-sensibility of the first
song, "Falling From Above", is very engaging. "Devil's
Sidewalk" personifies the crunchy, clumsy, marching,
majestic attitude and sound of the whole album. "Leave
the Driving" is probably the best example of storytelling,
especially when it juxtaposes the actions of Jed-actions
that will destroy his whole life-with the larger
observation of global paranoia in the second half of the
song. I dig that humming punk rock rattle of an E in the
otherwise slow ballad "Bandit"; which, out of context is
probably my favorite song on the album. "Grandpa's
Interview" has my favorite scene in the whole story.
Grandpa's rage at the television crews sort of becomes a
huge tirade against this sense of misplaced obligation we
feel towards the media machine. "Sun Green" is an epic
piece of music, and a success if only for this one line,
"Hey Mister Clean, you're dirty now too!" You can bet
that will find its way into the book. That's almost the
whole album, huh? I should stop.
continued... Please see
http://www.newsarama.com/ComicCon_07/DC/Greendale.html for the rest of this story
NEIL'S VENUE TUNING
1-800 GETLOUD
from the Rocky Mountain News
If Mark Knopfler's guitar tone sounds a little cleaner and
a little sweeter when he plays Red Rocks in June, he (and
his fans) will have Neil Young to thank.
When Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played Red
Rocks two years ago, Young demanded "to talk to
somebody," said director of operations Tad Bowman,
who ended up being that somebody.
"He explained that he thought we had some
electromagnetic interference issues," Bowman said. "The
(electrical) transformers for years had been right
underneath the stage" and Young felt the magnetic field
they created affected the tone of the instruments a few
feet above them onstage.
So this year bigger, better transformers will power
Red Rocks - and they've been relocated away from the
stage area.
admiration of Neil Young to a whole new class. Or
species, to be exact. Jason Bond, an ECU professor of
biology, has named a newly discovered trapdoor spider,
Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, after the legendary rock star.
Believe In You." A new eco-themed song, "Rumblin',"
laments global climate change and a slew of other
environmental tribulations from Mother Earth's
perspective with the refrain, "I feel the rumblin' in her
ground."
Two favorites, "Cortez the Killer" and "Cinnamon
Girl," closed the main set. Young played two encore
tunes, "Old Man" from his 1972 album, "Harvest," and a
last new song, "Walk With Me," which he closed with
feedback effects and a back-and-forth swing of his
Gretsch White Falcon guitar reminiscent of the pendulum
on an old grandfather clock.
The symbolism of that guitar swing -- the inevitable
passage of time -- was an unavoidable subtext throughout
the show. The crowd was mostly grayish. At 64, Young "There are rather strict rules about how you name
- like the crowd -- was as energetic and as passionate as
new species," Bond said. "As long as these rules are
ever, but he too is increasingly jowly and gray. He
followed you can give a new species just about any name couldn't hit the very top notes on "Down by the River,"
you please. With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his and "Cinnamon Girl" was tuned low to avoid any
music and have had a great appreciation of him as an
problems. Not that anyone among the respectful
activist for peace and justice."
gathering seemed to care or even notice.
In 2007, Bond discovered the new spider species in
Scottish folk singer Bert Jansch, who fronted the
Jefferson Co., Ala, and later co-wrote a paper with
1960s and '70s band Pentangle, opened the show. His
Norman I. Platnick, curator at the American Museum of brilliant finger-picking and relaxed flow over a range of
Natural History in New York, on the genus.
original and cover tunes with Irish traditional and
Bond received $750,000 in grants from the National American blues themes was a perfect appetizer to
Science Foundation in 2005 and 2006 to classify the
Young's main course.
trapdoor spider species and contribute to the foundation's
Tree of Life project. He is both a spider systematist someone who studies organisms and how they are
classified - and taxonomist - someone who classifies new
species.
Spiders in the trapdoor genus are distinguished on the
basis of differences in genitalia, Bond said, from one
species to the next. He confirmed through the spider's
DNA that the Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi is an
identifiable, separate species of spider within the
trapdoor genus.
CRAZY HORSE "TOAST"
NY Times
In 2000, Crazy Horse was in San Francisco, south of
Market street, at an old studio called "Toast." Coltrane
had recorded there, among many other jazz greats,
known and unknown. The Dot Com boom was
happening and buildings were being bought and turned
into lofts or torn down completely and rebuilt. New
money was everywhere. Toast was a target. The place
was a little run down and sort of on its last legs.
To a man, if you asked Crazy Horse about these
sessions, you would learn that it was a depressing
atmosphere and things were not going well. The band
recorded there for months and came up with very little.
Nothing, other than one song, "Goin' Home" was ever
finished. But a lot was started. Several of the songs
written at Toast showed up on the "Are You Passionate"
album with Booker T. and the MGs. But that album met
with mixed reaction.
Now, years later, John Hanlon, the original coproducer with Neil, is at work mixing all of the Toast
material. Many songs share a bluesy, jazz-tinged vibe as
a common thread. Three solid rockers are interspersed in
the mix. Other songs are long with extensive
explorations between verses, a Crazy Horse trademark,
kind of like a down-played Tonight's the Night, except
these songs deal directly with love and loss, not drugs.
The ambient atmosphere, foggy, blue and desolate,
pervades many of the tracks, if not all, with Tommy
Brea's muted trumpet and dusky male and female
counter-part BGs occasionally surfacing from Poncho
and Ralph on one side, Nancy Hall and Pegi Young on
the other. A cool and sleepy lounge piano rises in the fog
occasionally.
The result of this is perhaps one of the most underestimated and deceptive Crazy Horse records of all time,
with many songs originally discarded, and then rerecorded with Booker T. and the MGs. The original
performances now surface again through a foggy past.
Like an abstract painting, lyrical images of a love lost
and maybe even destroyed forever just refuse to die,
creating a landscape littered with half-broken dreams and
promises.
"Toast" is coming, a dark Crazy Horse classic for the
CONCERT REVIEW: NEIL
YOUNG CAPTIVATES,
AND BARELY
ACKNOWLEDGES, DAVIS
AUDIENCE
By Carla Meyer, Sacramento Bee, July 16, 2010
Neil Young's harmonica on his opening number "My My,
Hey Hey" sounded so rich and so perfectly suited to the
Mondavi Center's acoustics that it brought tears to one's
eyes.
Young matched this transportive moment on two
other occasions during a solo show Thursday night:
When he played organ and harmonica on "After the Gold
Rush" and when he performed "Cortez the Killer," which
is basically one long, gorgeous guitar solo.
Three once-in-a-lifetime moments during a 100minute set helped compensate for Young's lack of
acknowledgment of the audience.
Wearing a straw hat and loose-fitting tan blazer that
lent him a Northern California/Southern gentleman air,
Young, a San Mateo County resident, often regarded the
floor rather than the crowd.
That crowd at times ignored the cold shoulder and
the elegant Mondavi atmosphere and treated the concert
like a regular ol' rock show. They shouted requests. They
whooped. They had paid upward of $200 for tickets.
Someone yelled, "Welcome to Davis!" -- thereby
relieving Young of the visiting performer's most basic
responsibility: name-checking the town he or she just
landed in.
Young finally responded, to a commentary too
extensive to ignore. But apart from hearing him say,
"This is what I do," Young's response was difficult to
decipher, as were the guy's comments. For audience
members hanging on all of Young's 10 words, the lack of
clarity disappointed.
NEIL YOUNG ROCKS
JAVAONE
from C-Net News
SAN FRANCISCO--At JavaOne here, Neil Young
showed off his multimedia project that chronicles his
music career and uses Java to do so.
Young said he tried to do the project on DVD, but
users couldn't watch the high-resolution video and listen
to the music at the same time. With Java and Blu-ray, the
content can be updated and offer the best viewing and
listening experience, as well as great navigation and
design. "Storage is the only limit," Young said, and
recommended the Sony's PlayStation 3 as the best way to
view his project.
Users will be able to download any archival
materials, which are automatically assigned to their place
in a chronological time line, Young said.
In a meeting with a few press members following the
JavaOne keynote, Young talked about the Archive
project, which goes back to the late 1980s. The first
stage, he said, was collecting the materials.
"I am kind of a pack rat," he said, adding that over
the years he's accumulated a lot of unreleased material. "I
only give the record company what I want people to hear
at the time. So I have a lot of unreleased material. Putting
it all together tells a much different story than just what
has been produced (for public consumption)."
Click here to read more and see a replay of the speech.
ages. This first NYA "Special Edition" is the beginning
of a new series of unreleased albums.
As little as Young revealed of his personality, he laid
everything bare musically. Unlike aging musicians who
forgo their more demanding songs in concert, Young, 64,
tore into his. His crunchy/sublime guitar work overcame
occasional sound glitches that arose once he plugged in
his electric guitar. (His set included acoustic guitar and
piano as well).
Among Young's instruments, his voice stood out
most. That quavering, love-it-or-hate it voice has
benefited from never having been perfect in the first
place.
Young did not hit every note during his performance
of "Cinnamon Girl" Thursday night. But he didn't hit
every note when he recorded the song.
What he captured, on both occasions, was an
intensity of feeling. Young's ability to impart raw
emotion has only improved with the years. The worldweariness of his voice now seems haunting rather than
prescient.
Young's political songs have become too meta - the
new tune "Love and War" is less about either than about
how Young previously has sung about both. Other
unfamiliar songs he played Thursday night offered
interesting moments. Yet none was so captivating that
one didn't wish Young would sing "Old Man" instead.
Such is the trouble with loving a veteran artist still
trying to grow. You want the hits, and he wants you to
please be quiet and appreciate his artistry. What's lovely
about the Young version of this classic push-pull is that
Young's mastery is such that once he takes the stage,
there's no way a fan can lose.
REVIEW: NEIL YOUNG
PERFORMS SHORT, BUT
SWEET SET AT FOX
By Jim Harrington, Oakland Tribune, 07/12/2010
There might not be another rocker in the game that can
deliver a more thrilling solo show than Neil Young.
He can just sit on a stool with an acoustic guitar in
his hands and unleash one mesmerizing song after
another. Then he'll move over to the piano or the organ-or, perhaps, grab an electric guitar--and the whole
process repeats. His lyrics, so thoughtfully poetic and
imaginatively accessible, tug at the heart and stimulate
the brain with equal force.
Some of his selections, of course, are more effective
than others, but nothing in his song book is without some
kind of merit.
Indeed, there were moments of pure brilliance during
his concert on Sunday--the first of three nights at the Fox
Theater in Oakland. (Young will also perform Monday
and Wednesday at the Fox, as well as Thursday at UC
Davis.) That said, however, the capacity crowd was a bit
shortchanged by the 64-year-old rocker.
It may have been Walt Disney that coined the phrase
"Always leave them wanting more," but it's a motto that
Young has apparently taken to heart when it comes to
local audiences. For six years, he'd skipped over the Bay
Area with his regular solo tours--since performing back
in 2004 at the Berkeley Community Theatre--and only
made brief appearances at his annual Bridge School
Benefit concerts at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in
Mountain View.
When local fans finally got to experience the real
deal, on opening night of the Fox run, what they received
was a mere 85-minute set. That's a paltry showing for the
high ticket price, which topped out at $200 per ducat. A
two-set offering, sans an opening act, would've been
much more appropriate.
Young did, however, make the most of his time. He
strolled out onstage in a very casual manner--dressed in
well-worn jeans, a black T-shirt and a white hat and coat-sat down on a stool, grabbed his acoustic guitar and
immediately jumped into "Hey Hey, My My (Into the
Black)," from 1979's "Rust Never Sleeps." The rendition
was powerfully hypnotic, full of haunting lines that have
been sung, and heard, hundreds of times, yet still
somehow achingly poignant.
He followed with another solo gem, "Tell Me Why"
(from 1970's "After the Gold Rush"), before venturing
into the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young oeuvre for
"Ohio," a protest song that still manages to resonate 40
years after the killings at Kent State that inspired the
lyrics. The mood brightened when Young performed one
of his more humorous recent songs, "You Never Call,"
which boasts a lyric about the NHL's Detroit Red Wings
that drew a loud "boo!" from all the San Jose Sharks fans
in attendance.
Young was all business as he shuffled between two
pianos, an organ and both electric and acoustic guitars.
He barely spoke, but his songs said volumes to the fans
that sang along--often in a fashion approaching a
reverential whisper--to words that have meant so much to
them over the years.
Young's voice, while far from being a technical
marvel, conveyed an almost unbearable amount of
emotion. That's how he was able to make such decadesold selections as "After the Gold Rush" and "I Believe in
You" (also from "Gold Rush") sound so fresh.
After closing the main set with a rollicking take on
the classic "Cinnamon Girl" (from 1969's "Everybody
Knows This is Nowhere"), which featured some of
Young's most ferocious electric guitar work of the night,
the star left the stage and then, as predicted, returned for
an encore.
Since he'd only been onstage for 80 minutes, it
seemed plausible that Young would deliver a lengthy
encore. That didn't happen. It was only a one-song
offering, of the new song "Walk With Me," and then he
was gone again.
And, yes, he left us wanting more.