MASSIVE NEWS!!! July 18, 2015
This is the ONLY relevant study that unequivocally proves that the Genetic Modification, ITSELF, independent of Roundup, shocks the poor plant, which then goes into oxidative stress and depletes Glutathione, the most important anti-oxidant, and accumulates formaldehyde, a cancer causing chemical. This shows that a GMO is not "substantially equivalent" to the non-GMO.
END OF DEBATE
Read the Study Here TweetGOODBYE 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 genetically-modified 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!
Nov 9, 2014
Vancouver BC Canada
TweetTweetPONOMUSIC LAUNCHES EQUITY CROWDFUNDING For as little as $5,000, accredited investors can purchase shares in PonoMusic and become an owner of the company. August 14, 2014
PonoMusic's revolution is stirring unprecedented interest in the music community's high resolution digital music market, as the startup's successful Kickstarter campaign recently raised $6.2M from over 18,000 backers the third largest Kickstarter campaign ever far surpassing even the campaign initiated by Oculus Rift.
Now Neil Young and PonoMusic are continuing their crowdfunding momentum by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign exclusively on Crowdfunder.com at PonoMusic on Crowdfunder. 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.
Click here to see this drawing created.
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.htmlTweetMR 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."
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 week-long encampment is expected to end Sunday with a traditional ceremony led by Tribal elders.
TweetINDUSTRY 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, 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.
TweetLINCVOLT PROVES YOU DON'T NEED THE TAR SANDS June 13, 2013
Lincvolt is living proof. The big car has a lot to say. An 86% reduction in Greenhouse Gases per gallon of fossil fuel if you burn next-generation bio fuel instead of gasoline. That is the future. Cellulosic ethanol. Canada should be ashamed of the Alberta Tar Pits.
-- Neil Young.
"The tar sands have impacted First Nations so badly. I am 85 years old and us old people are having such a hard time today because this is not what we knew growing up. We used to drink the water straight from the streams and creeks, and now no one can do that. We don't know what is in the water now. I eat very little of the food I grew up on, moose, caribou, fish... it is all sick. We don't even eat the berries and medicines anymore because there is too much pollution in the air and the land. When I was growing up people just died of old age, now there are so many sicknesses that were never here before." Don't believe the oil company propaganda you are subsidizing? Do something.
TweetNEIL 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 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 on- are 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.)
TweetDavid Miliband, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom from 2007-2010, is a Member of Parliament. THE LAW OF THE SEA'S NEXT WAVE by David Miliband, Project-Syndicate.org, December 12, 2012
LONDON - Thirty years ago, the Cold War was at its 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 two-thirds of the Earth's surface."
Fifteen years later, when the UK finally acceded to UNCLOS under a Labour government, the convention was applying, for the first time in history, an internationally agreed legal framework to the majority of coastal waters around the world. Countries' rights to fish, minerals, and other resources were enshrined in law, with 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 exercise stewardship over the high seas - the 45% of the 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.
Read more here.
TweetNEIL YOUNG DISCUSSES NEW PONO SYSTEM ON LETTERMAN SHOW September 28, 2012 Click here to watch.
Learn about Pono at mypono.com.
TweetBRIDGE 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 two-day 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.
TweetWILLIE NELSON ON BOARD FOR RAILROAD REVIVAL TOUR 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 year's trip with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show, is out now on iTunes and DVD.
TweetBE PART OF PROTECTING MOTHER EARTH by Robert Shepherd, posted July 24, 2012
So-called "Monsanto riders," quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require--not just allow, but require--the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org to Congress and President Barack Obama, which says:
Stop the Monsanto Riders. Unless a citizen's army of farmers and consumers can stop them, Congress is likely to ram these dangerous riders through any day now.
Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.
(The petition was created on SignOn.org)
TweetWoody Guthrie in New York City. WOODY GUTHRIE AT 100: THE RETURN OF A PARIAH Woody Guthrie was shunned by his home state. Now Oklahoma can finally embrace the singer-songwriter's work. by Billy Bragg, The Guardian, July 12, 2012
The construction team that kept hammering away all night outside my hotel window in downtown Tulsa are 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.
TweetFARM AID RETURNS TO 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.
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.
NEW NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE ALBUM DUE JUNE 5 March 20, 2012
On June 5th, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will release a very special album titled AMERICANA, which is the first Neil Young & Crazy Horse in nearly nine years.
AMERICANA is collection of classic, American folk songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred to as "protest songs", "murder ballads", or campfire-type 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!
Get A Job
High Flyin' Bird
This Land Is Your Land
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.
PAUL MCCARTNEY GETS HIS STAR ON HOLLY- WOOD WALK OF FAME by Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2012
There's no shortage of stars, real and imagined, visible along Hollywood's Walk of Fame, but even by Tinseltown standards, Paul McCartney ramped up the quotient Thursday in getting his own belated star.
The former Beatle drew several hundred fans who packed a cordoned-off section of Vine Street outside Capitol Records for the ceremony.
He brought several Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member pals along for the ride, including Neil Young, who gave McCartney a cheery introduction, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and pop music power couple Elvis Costello and Diana Krall. Jazz great Herbie Hancock was there as well as musician-producer Don Was and former Electric Light Orchestra leader/Traveling Wilburys member Jeff Lynne. McCartney's wife, Nancy, and son, James, also attended the ceremony.
"Let me tell you a little bit about our friend Paul here just as a musician," said Young, wearing a black leather Buffalo Springfield tour jacket. "When I was in high school and the Beatles came out, I loved the Beatles and 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-year-old 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 YOUNG, WILL.I.AM IN TOKYO Kyodo News, December 15, 2011
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 public-private 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 fast-paced, 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
Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme working on "Journeys" in a New York editing suite, July 2011.
"JOURNEYS" SCREENED IN TORONTO
"Neil Young Journeys" - the new film from Jonathan Demme that captures Neil's 2011 Massey Hall show plus footage on the road in his 1956 Ford Crown Victoria - screened at the Toronto Festival on Monday, September 12, 2011 at Princess Of Wales.
Click here for more information.
NEIL AT DREAMFORCE September 12, 2011
Neil recently was highlighted as a speaker at the Dreamforce convention, where he spoke about how he uses their feature "Chatter."
Watch the interview here! 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 screening of "Neil Young Journeys."
Read a review of the U2 film here.
"LE NOISE" AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY, DVD, CD
Neil Young's new album, produced by Daniel Lanois, is in stores as DVD, CD & vinyl, and online at iTunes. The Blu-Ray version is available exclusively from Amazon.
See video and more here.
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 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 Visit trunkshowmovie.com for more about the film. DREAMIN' MAN NYAPS #12
DREAMIN' MAN, Neil Young Archives Performance Series #12, available now, 17 years after the original release of Harvest Moon.
A closer look at Harvest Moon songs, all performed solo acoustic before the release of Harvest Moon, DREAMIN' MAN contains intimate live performances recorded in concert halls during 1992.
-- NY Times
LES PAUL, GUITAR INNOVATOR, DIES AT 94 By Jon Pareles, The New York Times, 08/13/09
Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. . He was 94.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, the Gibson Guitar Corporation and his family announced. .
Mr. Paul was a remarkable musician as well as a tireless tinkerer. He played guitar alongside leading prewar jazz and pop musicians from Louis Armstrong to Bing Crosby. In the 1930s he began experimenting with guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was probably the first solid-body electric guitar, although there are other claimants. With his guitar and the vocals of his wife, Mary Ford, he used overdubbing, multitrack recording and new electronic effects to create a string of hits in the 1950s.
Mr. Paul's style encompassed the twang of country music, the harmonic richness of jazz and, later, the bite of rock 'n' roll. For all his technological impact, though, he remained a down-home performer whose main goal, he often said, was to make people happy.
Mr. Paul, whose original name was Lester William Polsfuss, was born on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wis. His childhood piano teacher wrote to his mother, "Your boy, Lester, will never learn music." But he picked up harmonica, guitar and banjo by the time he was a teenager and started playing with country bands in the Midwest. In Chicago he performed for radio broadcasts on WLS and led the house band at WJJD; he billed himself as the Wizard of Waukesha, Hot Rod Red and Rhubarb Red.
His interest in gadgets came early. At the age of 10 he devised a harmonica holder from a coat hanger. Soon 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.
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 echo-repeat 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."
NEW "GET AROUND" LONG-FORM VIDEO AVAILABLE! 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 long-form 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.
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 LinkNEIL 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 bio-mobiles. 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 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, bio-fueled/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-a-longs: "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 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.
NEIL YOUNG REPOWERS THE AMERICAN DREAM by Paul Cashmere, 08/10/08
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 fuel-efficient 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 series-hybrid 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 in-your-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.
SINGER FOCUSES ENERGY ON ELECTRIC CAR CNN / The Associated Press
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 mass-produced 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 battery-operated 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 CSNY/DÉJÀ VU Music Video:
CSNY DOCUMENTARY SET FOR SUMMER RELEASE by Suzanne Kayian, LiveDaily, 5/30/08
Neil Young's politically charged documentary film, "CSNY: Deja Vu," is expected to be released July 25 in the US, according to a press release. The documentary was filmed during Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Freedom of Speech 2006" tour of North America.
The tour featured music from Young's controversial "Living With War" CD--an album of protest songs written as a rebuke of President George W. Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Songs from the controversial album are woven together on the new film with archival material, news footage, audience reactions and observations of the issues surrounding the integration of politics and art, according to a statement.
A distribution deal is in the works that will make the film available on the big screen simultaneously with a video-on-demand release. In addition, Netflix will air the film on the "Watch Instantly" streaming service the same day. The band's label is expected to release a DVD version in the fall--prior to the presidential elections. HDNet is expected to air the film the day the DVD is released.
CSNY DOCU HEADED FOR THEATERS by Gregg Goldstein, Hollywood Reporter, 5/14/08
CANNES, France - Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions are finalizing a deal for U.S. rights to the politically charged Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young documentary "CSNY - Deja Vu."
Fortissimo Films, which acquired the film from Shangri-La, has sold rights to 15 more international territories.
The feature, directed by Neil Young, chronicles the rock group's 2006 Freedom of Speech tour in support of Young's "Living in War" album.
The anti-Iraq War theme and songs like "Let's Impeach the President" increasingly polarized audiences as the band traveled through the U.S. Interviews with soldiers and others affected by the war are intercut with the concert footage.
When the film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, the band members expressed a desire to 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 released shortly before the elections through the band's label, Reprise, with HDNet in talks to air the film on the same date.
Fortissimo already has sold the film to Australia, Europe, Israel, Japan and Latin America. Cinetic is handling North American sales.
CSNY/DÉJÀ VU in the press:
Leitner's Mondo 2008 Sundance - Saturday
Digital Content Producer, 1/26/08
Csny Deja Vu (Documentary)
Four Warhorses On Living With War
Hollywood Reporter, 1/27/08
Find The Cost Of Freedom (Of Speech)
Huffington Post, 1/30/08
Neil Young Admits Music Can't Change World
Spiegel Online, 2/08/08
Neil Young: Music Can't Change World
Associated Press, 2/08/08
Sorry, Neil Young, Music Never Could Change The World
Huffington Post, 2/09/08
Neil Young Says Music Has Lost Its Punch
Contra Costa Times, 2/09/08
Change The World? Well, Maybe Not
New York Times, 2/09/08
Music Can Actually Save The World, Sort Of
Rolling Stone, 2/11/08
Unearthing The Gems In The Berlinale Garden
Sydney Morning Herald, 2/12/08
Neil Young Doesn't "Give Up" Despite Not Changing the World
First Look - CSNY/DÉJÀ VU
Neil Young Touts New Tour Documentary
San Jose Mercury News, 2/13/08
The More Things Change...
Roanoke Times, 2/19/08
'The time when music could change the world has passed'
Scotland On Sunday, 2/24/08
Neil Young: On the road again
The Telegraph, 2/29/08
There's No Protester Like An Old Protester
CNN, 3/21/08 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 innocence?
Image from the videoCHROME 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.
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 12-song 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 & heart-breaking 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 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 un-fillable 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. WARNER REPRISE FAMILY PENALIZED FOR BEING EARLY By Neil Young, Reprise recording artist
Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to 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.
If all artists were compensated equally, and the people decided who had the hits and misses by virtue of number of downloads and plays, there could be no grounds for disagreement that would cause the facilitator of the art to break the conduit between an artist and an audience. That is what has happened to Warner Bros artists caught in You Tube's web. You Tube has a responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist punishing them to make a business point.
It is time for industry wide standards of artist's compensation on the web.
Reprise and Warner Bros artists deserve what artists from other labels are getting. Let the people decide what constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking for a level playing field. Until they get one, these problems may not go away. That is the essence of the issue between Warner Bros Reprise and You Tube.
SPIDER NAMED IN HONOR OF NEIL YOUNG from Science Centric, 5/9/08
An East Carolina University biologist has brought his 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.
"There are rather strict rules about how you name new species," Bond said. "As long as these rules are followed you can give a new species just about any name you please. With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his music and have had a great appreciation of him as an activist for peace and justice."
In 2007, Bond discovered the new spider species in Jefferson Co., Ala, and later co-wrote a paper with Norman I. Platnick, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, on the genus.
Bond received $750,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation in 2005 and 2006 to classify the 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 co-producer 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 under-estimated and deceptive Crazy Horse records of all time, with many songs originally discarded, and then re-recorded 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 ages. This first NYA "Special Edition" is the beginning of a new series of unreleased albums.
"HUMAN HIGHWAY" & "RUST NEVER SLEEPS" ON DVD "Human Highway," co-written, co-directed, and starring Neil Young. Rebuilt director's cut edit from original sources. Sound rebuilt and restored from original sources, 5.1 high resolution surround mix.
"Rust Never Sleeps," the full-length concert film from Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 1978 tour, featuring the legendary hits "Cinnamon Girl," "Like a Hurricane," and the acoustic and electric versions of "Hey Hey, My My." Picture restored from original film negative. New 5.1 high resolution surround mix.
Pre-Order Here, Available June 24 TweetSTREAMING HAS ENDED FOR ME July 15, 2015
I hope this is ok for my fans.
It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.
It's about sound quality. I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music.
For me, It's about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.
When the quality is back, I'll give it another look. Never say never.
TweetMIXED 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.
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.
Mixed Pages of Storytone. Available now in Pono, Reprise Vinyl, and Itunes.
TweetANOTHER SIDE OF STAND UP September 23, 2014 There's no time to waste
Time now to.....insist upon:
Reversing Citizens United Ruling
Decentralized Renewable Energy
Protecting Intact Ecosystems on Land & in the Ocean
Humane & Biodiverse Regenerative Biodynamic Agriculture
Protecting Endangered Species
Realigning our values; People over Profit, Less is More, Nothing is Disposable
& compassion as a 1st response
and of course... love life while you're at it
Tweet92-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 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.
TweetSEPARATION 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.
UNDER THE INFLUEN$E focuses on what can and is being done by conscious and committed citizens, movements and businesses to reverse the ecological destruction and take back democracy.
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 TweetEARTH and PROTECT T-SHIRTS 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?
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 non-organic 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.
Here's why your PROTECT & EARTH shirts are made from organic cotton -
Cotton is the most widely used textile crop on earth - covering almost 5% of Earth's cultivated land
Cotton is second for most pesticide use of all crops & it uses 25% of all of the petrochemical based pesticides, fungicides and herbicides globally
In the US, it takes about 1/3 of a pound of pesticides and herbicides to grow enough conventional cotton for just one T-shirt.
The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in the United States as "possible," "likely," "probable," or "known" human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin)
These chemicals absorb into the soil which can affect nearby crops, get into water supplies and rivers and affect many lifeforms downstream
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, 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 the benefits of organic cotton
Some things to try -
line dry instead of machine dry & skip ironing your t-shirts ( these 2 things can save up to a 1/3rd of you t-shirts carbon footprint)
wash only when you have a full laundry load & less often
wash with cold water
use non toxic biodegradable cleaners - they work and they don't damage EARTH
PROTECT EARTH Take a personal vow, as I have, to make a difference in any way you can. Share the information you find here and elsewhere that illuminates the threats & the solutions to PROTECT EARTH
A LETTER HOME 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 RecordsTweetNEIL YOUNG SPEAKS AT SEMA November 14, 2013
Neil Young spoke about the replacement of fossil fuels in daily driving with the Bio Electric Transportation model at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas. Click here to watch the video.NEIL YOUNG SPEAKS TO THE NATIONAL FARMERS UNION September 16, 2013
Neil Young spoke to the National Farmers Union in Washington D.C. about bio-fuels and what CO2 is doing to our planet. Click here to watch the video.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
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 acoustically alive venues such as Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, where the precision of such works as the Bach B Minor Mass and his Christmas Oratorio are enriched with the reverberation of the acoustics of the cathedral.
I have never experienced this quality of sound in a home setting - not even close. However, last night, using the Pono player and Audeze headphones, I listened to 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.
San Diego Master Chorale
PONO Where Music Lives
Stay connected with Pono progress as the company enters 2013 and launches the first music players and the Pono music ecosystem.
Get the latest news at MyPono.com
TweetNEIL YOUNG INTERVIEWED November 30, 2012 Click Here To Listen to The Podcast at WMMR Radio.
TweetON DVD, 'NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS' BRINGS THE LIVE EXPERIENCE HOME AND IN YOUR FACE 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.
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.
TweetA RUST TRILOGY October 3, 2012
The third episode of A Rust Trilogy, which began with Rust Never Sleeps in 1978, and continued with Weld in 1990, now concludes with Alchemy in 2012.
Things have changed, yet they stay the same. Alchemy, like Rust and Weld, finds the boys at another stage of life's journey.
Time has taken its toll, yet the spirit seems unstoppable.
TweetNEW CRAZY HORSE ALBUM IN OCTOBER August 24, 2012 Psychedelic Pill will be released in October. It was recorded right after Americana
at Audio Casa Blanca. A double-CD and triple-vinyl will be released because of the lengths of many
of the songs, some of which were previewed in Crazy Horse's live performances earlier this month.
In the spirit of Americana's release, full length videos for each of the songs will be available
and previewed. A recommended high resolution 24/192 full fidelity version of the album Psychedelic Pill
will be released on Blu-ray and will include all the videos. The low resolution iTunes downloads will
also be accompanied by videos. Thanks for listening.
1. Driftin Back
2. Psychedelic Pill
3. Ramada Inn
4. Born In Ontario
1. Twisted Road
2. She's Always Dancing
3. For The Love Of Man
4. Walk Like A Giant
5. Psychedelic Pill (Bonus Track Alternate Mix) TweetNeil Young performs with Crazy Horse at the MusicCares Person of the Year Tribute to Paul McCartney event in Los Angeles 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.
TweetBRACING FOR IMPACT November 15, 2011
Singer-songwriter Pegi Young's third release, Bracing For Impact, spotlights Pegi's beautifully spare and resonant vocals, world-weary and eloquent lyricism, and a hushed yet immediate emotional landscape. Bracing For Impact features Pegi and her acclaimed recording and touring band, The Survivors: legendary keyboardist Spooner Oldham, bassist Rick Rosas, guitarist Kevin Holly and drummer Phil Jones.
This album was produced by Pegi Young and The Survivors, with the exception of the final track, "Song For A Baby Girl," produced by Elliot Mazer.
Eight of the album's eleven songs are originals written by Pegi, with highlights including, "Flatline Mama" (featuring a horn section and background vocals by The Watson Twins) as well as "No Heart Beat Sound" and "Trouble In A Bottle."
Neil Young penned the rollicking "Doghouse" and contributes background vocals and harmonica on the track. Neil is also spotlighted on electric guitar during "Lie" and "Song For A Baby Girl." He adds harmonica to the late bluesman Tarheel Slim's tune, "Number 9 Train."
The group also covers "I Don't Want To Talk About It," a song by Crazy Horse's Danny Whitten that first appeared on that group's 1971 album.
Bracing For Impact is available now on CD and vinyl at Amazon.com
Pegi Young & The Survivors on Conan:
more at pegiyoung.comNEIL 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 four-month 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 '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 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 65-year-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.
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.'"
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 sharp contrast. Demme's doleful 2006 flick "Heart of Gold" was dedicated to Young's recently deceased father and was recorded not long after Young suffered a brain 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 Crown Victoria. His journey included a tour of Omemee, where Young pointed out a school named for his father (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 67-year-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.
While people were gushing over material girl Madonna - who struck a pose on the red carpet around the block before her feature film W.E. - hometown hero Neil Young was in the audience at the Princess of Wales theater around the corner where Demme's movie had its global debut.
Shortly before 7 p.m., Young entered the sold-out theater to a standing ovation; he was accompanied by an entourage of family and friends, including his wife Pegi.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was also in the house early to watch the movie before exiting to lead his band in the second of two sold-out shows down the street at the Air Canada Centre. (The night before, Young joined the band on stage for their encore).
Demme shot most of the footage for the film this past May over two nights during Young's stop at Toronto's Massey Hall as part of his Le Noise solo tour.
After setting the scene with shots of Massey, the viewer takes a nostalgic ride with Young in his 1956 Ford Crown Victoria; Young gives the audience a tour of Omemee, a sleepy town northeast of Toronto where Neil's parents moved in 1949 when he was just four-years-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.
MUSIC AND SPIT: NEIL YOUNG GETS EXTREME CLOSE-UP By David Germain, Associated Press, September 13, 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 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 heart-wrencher "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."
Buffalo Springfield Tour Reviews:
(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 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 and traversed the stage with reckless abandon and the crowd responded ecstatically, meeting its hometown heroes with an equally raucous reception.
Though its legacy has been largely overshadowed by the subsequent work of its founders (CSNY, Neil Young, 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 disappoint. Both employed a rugged blend of distortion and sharply sustained notes to create an abrasive and utterly entrancing musical effect. The raw power of the two players was undeniable; Stills with his more 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.
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD FINDS THAT OLD SPARK AT THE WILTERN By Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2011
"I usually have something clever to say," Neil Young told 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 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 decades of accumulated technique, as you were reminded each time the three singers locked into their signature vocal harmonies. ("Do I Have to Come Right Out and 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, fuzz-encrusted 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.
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD REUNITES FOR FIRST TOUR SINCE 1968 By Marco R. della Cava, USA Today, June 2, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. -- His imposing frame cloaked in a fringed leather jacket and wispy hair secured under a Panama hat, Neil Young smirked at the microphone as he summarized the vibe. "We're Buffalo Springfield," he announced to the packed Fox Theater crowd, "and we're from the past."
But Young wasn't entirely correct. Wednesday's concert, which kicked off the band's first tour since it disbanded in 1968, proved to be far more than a mere greatest hits revival as it showcased the musical journeys 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.
Opening with a compelling "On The Way Home," one of the songs that defines this short-lived '60s hit machine with its lilting harmonies and punchy pop sound, Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay (ably backed by drummer Joe Vitale and bass player Rick Rosas, who replaced the late Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer) showed that a successful regrouping at last fall's Bridge School benefit concert was no fluke.
Stills' high lonesome voice anchored "Rock and Roll Woman," while Young's distinctive cry lit up "Burned." But Furay, who stood center stage, reminded everyone he was the linchpin, his plaintive tone painting songs such as "Kind Woman," "Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It" and "Sad Memory" with a soulful brush that had women in the largely Baby Boomer crowd doe-eyed.
"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-Go-Go 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 legacy down. There was jubilant fraternity in the close-harmony 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' grainy tenor in "Rock and Roll Woman."
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 honky-tonk 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 played their last show in May, 1968 in Long Beach, California. In between, they were one of the most gifted and fractious bands of their day, ultimately better known for their precedents - like the strong early whiff of country in their rock - and aftermaths: Crosby Stills and Nash; Furay's great twang-rock band Poco; Young's solo triumphs and eccentricities. The original Springfield, with bassist Bruce Palmer (who died in 2004) and 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.
At the Fox, the first date of a week-long run in California (with more shows reportedly in the offing), Young, Furay and Stills were supported by the strong steady drive of drummer Joe Vitale and bassist Rick Rosas, the rhythm section from the Springfield's reunion debut last fall at Young's Bridge School benefit. The set list also reprised the songs from that show, including Furay's "A Child's Claim to Fame," the strident jangle of Stills' "Go and Say Goodbye" (introduced by Young at the Fox as "the B-side of our first single") and Young's plaintive "Burned." Young couldn't help making repeated jokes about the time that had passed. "You know Rosemary Woods?" he asked at one point, getting puzzled looks from Stills and Furay. "Nixon's secretary?" Young went on. "I wonder if she knows anything about a 44-year gap?" - an arcane reference to a Watergate tape. 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 the original recording. In the final encores - Stills' '67 hit about L.A. martial law, "For What It's Worth" and Young's furious update of America at war with itself, "Rockin' in the Free World" - the two guitarists cranked up the swordsmanship and outrage, Young spiking the former with tremolo-shiver shrieks, Stills taking the second verse in the latter with a ragged-vocal fury. Gillian Welch, who opened the evening with a set of mountain-country rapture accompanied by her husband, guitarist David Rawlings, remarked to the audience that she turned up for the night "pretty cool, calm and collected. Then I heard these guys sound checking. It freaked me out!"
At one point in the Springfield's set, during the waltz-time chorus of "Clancy," Young, Furay and Stills came together in a striking delighted harmony. It was the sound of older men singing with pleasure and a determination 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:
NEIL YOUNG COMES HOME AGAIN. AGAIN. By John Semley, The Torontoist, May 12, 2011
J. Hoberman, film critic for the Village Voice, summed up Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin as "the most eccentric of mainstream filmmakers (or the most accessible of avant-gardists)." It's a handy turn of phrase that rings true as it is perfectly pithy, and captures the in-between status of Maddin and his work. It can also be, with slight rejigging, applied rather usefully to another slightly off-kilter Canadian artist (and erstwhile Winnipegger), Neil Young. Because Young's work, even the cottage-rock classics of the late '60s and '70s, has always existed in a fuzzy intermediary state. At the risk 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 singer-songwriter to cokey grunge-rocker, to weird-wacko-whoknowswhat 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 howevermany-fold now that Young is 65, and many of his classics have passed through the narrows of nostalgia and emerged as full-on laments. It's hard to regard last night's acoustic opener, "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" as anything but an actual dirge for rock music, lodged not as prophecy but as matter-of-fact. And the amended lyrics to "After the Gold Rush" ("Look at mother nature on the run in the twenty-first century") 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 Lanois-produced 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 whenever any artist plays new tunes. And, sure as anything, the muted sing-alongs and eruptive applause-of-recognition that accompanied the opening chords of "Helpless" or "Tell Me Why" died out considerably when Young broke into "Hitchhiker" or encore opener "Walk With Me." But all the feedback loop and hum echoing off the theatre's walls and hanging in the air was, beyond sounding great, almost hypnotic. Ditto watching Young shuffle around the stage, contemplating a guitar or pedal organ before taking a seat at his grand piano, as if the decision about which to play was being divined by some sonic currents rumbling underneath. And cleverly lit by 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.
CONCERT REVIEW: NEIL YOUNG AT TORONTO'S MASSEY HALL By Scott Deveau, National Post, May 11, 2011
For those who have managed to catch a Neil Young concert sometime in the latter phases of his storied five-decade career, you'll know that despite his 65-years of age, he's nowhere near retirement.
Whether it's packing stadiums, or playing to thousands in the open air, the legend of Canadian rock still has plenty of spring in his step, and can rock harder than most hard rockers.
But while I've been lucky enough to see him strut his stuff on stage a handful of times, nothing compares to seeing him live at Massey Hall, the iconic venue in his hometown of Toronto, where he played the first of two back-to-back, sold-out shows Tuesday to close off his North American tour in support his latest record, Le Noise.
The album, his 33rd studio release, came out last fall 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 those same songs were pressed into vinyl following his famous show there in 1971.
Of course, the Toronto gigs this week are going to be likewise immortalized; this time by acclaimed director Jonathan Demme who is shooting the tail end of the tour in Toronto for a DVD, explaining the somewhat dramatic backdrop.
It will be the third in a trilogy of concert films by Demme, that has also included Heart of Gold  and the Trunk Show .
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 stained-glass windows at various stages in the day.
There was no back-up band, but he managed make plenty of noise on his own with a mix of acoustic songs and full out rock n' roll.
At times it was like we'd caught the Canadian singer/songwriter at home in his studio on Saturday night after a couple of whiskeys, playing around with his instruments. He strummed new tracks, like You Never Call, a sad little song about his recently-deceased friend, Larry (L.A.) Johnson. But also played a handful of old hits with more experimental variations, like Cortez the Killer, or disguising the intro to Helpless under some clever finger work, until the opening line, which, of course, carries a special resonance here, nearly brought 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
STRUMMING SOLO, WITH THE REVERB OF A FULL BAND By Ben Ratliff, New York Times, April 25, 2011
"I feel a rumblin' in her ground," Neil Young sang, alone onstage at Avery Fisher Hall, playing his Gretsch White Falcon, sounding the low notes of a strummed chord, muting them a little with the heel of his hand. The song was generally about planet earth but could have been specifically about where he stood. As he struck those low notes, the metal fixtures in the room talked back: the exit 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 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.
NEIL YOUNG PROVES HE 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, 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.
INSTRUMENTS SEASON NEIL YOUNG'S HITS By Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 31, 2010
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.
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 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.
OLD, NEW SONGS FOREVER YOUNG Legendary rocker delivers in first of back-to-back shows By Rob Williams, Winnipeg Free Press, July 27, 2010
Neil Young has never been one to stay on the beaten path.
He's an iconoclast who follows nobody. He does what he wants, when he wants and remains an unpredictable artist who has managed the rare feat of continuing to be fascinating, diverse and relevant for more than four decades while never latching on to a trend, fashion or fad.
It's been a long, winding, and sometimes confounding, journey, and once again the Twisted Road that is Young's life, and name of his current tour, brought him back to the Centennial Concert Hall Monday for the 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 immediately launched into an acoustic version of My My, 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.
"You're in heaven, we're working," he sang.
The crowd sat in rapt silence and hung on every world of Peaceful Valley, a twangy tale about the bloody settling of the American West and its environmental aftermath and the laidback Love and War, a topic he has explored numerous times over the years to great effect, even if he declares, "When I sing about love and war I don't really know what I'm singing."
He pulled out Old Black -- his 1953 Les Paul -- for a typically heavy and distorted version of the spine-chilling Down by the River and stayed in the zone for Hitchhiker, an autobiographical song he debuted in 1992, but has never officially released.
He strapped on his Gretsch White Falcon as he dismantled the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young staple Ohio and rebuilt it from the ground up sans harmonies, giving it a slight menacing vibe before another new one, Sign of Love, a melodic love song built on power chords.
Young didn't introduce any of the songs, new or old, and rarely acknowledged the crowd.
"This is a song for all the little people who couldn't 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 carnivalesque take on After the Gold Rush, then moving over to a grand piano for a stripped down I Believe in You.
It's impossible to know how the new songs will sound when they are officially released -- they could be the same or radically altered -- but one of the highlights of the new selections was Rumblin', a tense, unpredictable mid-tempo rocker that veered from atmospheric, throbbing verses that reverberated through the hall to a chugging chorus punctuated by occasional feedback.
It was that moment, something you wouldn't hear or feel clearly at a venue other than a theatre, that made last night's show special and should evoke the same feelings when Young returns to the concert hall to do it all again tonight.
Young finished the show with Cinnamon Girl, Old Man and Walk With Me.
REVIEW: YOUNG CONTINUES TO CHALLENGE AUDIENCE By Heath McCoy, Calgary Herald, July 25, 2010
Neil Young has always been one to challenge his audience, constantly shifting gears artistically whether folks liked it or not.
He stubbornly follows his own path and to hell with what anybody else wants.
That's what we love about the iconic Canadian folk-rocker 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 & Young songs, Helpless, which had people singing along softly.
Then came a handful of new songs, highlighted by Peaceful Valley with it's epic, almost doomy acoustic guitar pattern and the poignant Love and War.
On these numbers, as throughout the evening, Young's distinctive, creaky falsetto was both tender and full of grit, ringing with soul and authority.
Young brought out his electric guitar seven songs into the night for a potent version of his murder ballad Down By The River. Though the song wasn't quite as blistering without the accompaniment of his eternally on-again off-again rock band Crazy Horse, it was bloody heavy just the same. (The same had to be said for his version of Cinnamon Girl later in the evening which was fantastic, even if the pounding beat of drummer Ralph Molina was missed).
Such electricity burned down the path for the doomy Hitchhiker, an excellent unreleased tune that apparently dates back to the '90s.
Next up was another CSNY hit, Ohio, reborn without the golden harmonies of Crosby, Still and Nash. Instead, the song was carried by its guitar lick, which has never sounded so harsh and seething.
After that came another couple of sharp turns, with Young taking to one of his keyboards for the almost quaint new piano pop number, Leia. He followed that with one of his great epics, After the Gold Rush, played on a pump organ which gave it a trippy, psychedelic vibe.
Another moment in the concert that left fans awestruck was Young's new version of Cortez the Killer. Once again stripped of the power of Crazy Horse, Young completely deconstructed the song, rebuilding it on sparse, jagged waves of electricity and feedback which highlighted his unique voice as a guitarist.
Vividly re-imagined runs at Young's most revered tunes and a collection of new songs that show great 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.
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 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 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 ever-present 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.
CONCERT REVIEW: NEIL YOUNG REMINDS US WHY HE'S A LEGEND 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 "Helpless." From there it was on to unexplored territory: the darkly humorous "You Never Call" ("You're up in heaven with nothing to do/the ultimate vacation with no back pain"), memorializing the recent death of a longtime friend and associate, L.A. Johnson; "Peaceful Valley," a polemic on the costs of America's westward expansion; a somber, compelling anti-war hymn, "Love and War," which is every bit as good as his hurriedly produced "Living With War" album was disappointing.
The balance of the show alternated between old and new: the oft-covered Young/Crazy Horse rocker, "Down by the River" gave way to the new, comparatively unremarkable "Hitchhiker." Young smoldered into the anti-war anthem "Ohio" as he prowled and paced across the stage. Two sweetly humble debut tracks followed: "Sign of Love" ("We both have silver hair/and a little less 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 number from the 1970 "After The Gold Rush" album, "I 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 -- like the crowd -- was as energetic and as passionate as ever, but he too is increasingly jowly and gray. He couldn't hit the very top notes on "Down by the River," and "Cinnamon Girl" was tuned low to avoid any problems. Not that anyone among the respectful gathering seemed to care or even notice.
Scottish folk singer Bert Jansch, who fronted the 1960s and '70s band Pentangle, opened the show. His brilliant finger-picking and relaxed flow over a range of original and cover tunes with Irish traditional and American blues themes was a perfect appetizer to Young's main course.
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 100-minute 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.
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 world-weariness 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 decades-old 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.
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!
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!
TweetRICK 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,
TweetRICK 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.
NEIL YOUNG TEAMS WITH CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE RAINFOREST "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. TweetPONOMUSIC 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.
For more information and PonoMusic pre-orders (coming soon!), go to www.ponomusic.com.
Thanks for listening.
The Folks at PonoMusic
You can see the completed Kickstarter Campaign here.
TweetMOTHER OF AN ICON 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 estranged by distance and divorce. She and youngest son Neil moved to Winnipeg in August 1960. It would be Rassy who encouraged and supported her son's musical aspirations.
Edna "Rassy" Ragland Young was able to slip comfortably into the Winnipeg social scene (she had lived here as a child and had family in the city). She enjoyed curling in winter at the Granite Curling Club and golfing at the Niakwa Golf and Country Club during the summer. An avid tennis player, she was often on the courts at the Winnipeg Canoe Club.
Rassy Young was a truly unique character. "She was absolutely herself and I enjoyed her immensely," recalled friend Nola Halter. "She was so funny, marvellously witty and very zany. She had a little blue English car which she drove in the wrong gear, in the wrong speed, in the middle of two lanes, swearing her head off at all these other drivers who got in her way. The road was hers."
Read More Here.
TweetTHE ROAD NOT TAKEN Abandoned acoustic guitar reveals sad story of a Winnipeg rock dreamer who was left behind By John Einarson, Winnipeg Free Press, January 14, 2013
Rock 'n' roll iconoclast Neil Young never fails to acknowledge Winnipeg as the place where he took his first musical steps with several local bands, most notable of those being The Squires. He still holds a great affinity for that band. However, what distinguished Young from his bandmates and contemporaries was his singular focus on making music his life.
"At that point, there really wasn't anything more important in my life than playing music," he muses. "And it's obvious when you look back at my early years, that's what I was like. I was so driven to make it. I had to leave a lot of friends behind to get where I am now, especially in the beginning."
Bill Edmondson (top) briefly played with Neil Young & The Squires, but never got to taste fame. (PHOTOS 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 back alley a year earlier.
"It was leaning up against a BFI bin behind a house at 573 Sherbrook St., as if someone had put it out for garbage day pickup," recalls Weinstein.
He took the guitar back to his apartment.
"In the case, along with the guitar, strap, picks and a harmonica was an obituary notice and some letters and photographs," says Weinstein. "I recognized the photo of Neil Young & The Squires, so I knew this guitar somehow related to that."
Indeed, it did.
Read More Here.
TweetNEIL YOUNG, FOO FIGHTERS TO PERFORM AT NYC'S FREE GLOBAL FESTIVAL By Tara Hall, SoundSpike, August 8, 2012
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys and more will take to the stage late next month at 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 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.
TweetIncident 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 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?"
TweetNEIL YOUNG AND SHEPARD FAIREY CREATE A DEMOCRATIC UNION By Edna Gundersen, USA Today, July 3, 2012
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 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.
The works will be on display through July 14 at L.A.'s Perry Rubenstein Gallery, where the pair recently attended a preview party celebrating the collaboration.
Explaining the allure, Fairey, 42, says: "I appreciated a lot of the social commentary in Neil's music. I loved seeing how he adapted the lyrics and restored older lyrics. It was a great excuse to do something outside my stylistic comfort zone. It was a challenge, but a fun and exciting one."
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 rock star for his 2010 May Day project. Young in turn enlisted the artist to design cover art for the 25th-anniversary 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 reason for that. You can put your life into the song and relate. There's a lot of sympathy and protest and wonderment about the values of things. They're timeless and timely, and Shepard's art reflects that."
The duo disagreed only once: in the depiction of Gallows Pole, a dusty ballad popularized by Led Zeppelin.
"My ideas were frequently more cynical," Fairey says. "My spin on everything is, 'Look at how the working man has always suffered and continues to.' On Gallows Pole, what struck me is how your life can have a specific dollar amount, which is very depressing. Neil took a more romantic approach and liked the idea of this sweetheart motivated to ride and save the life of a lover."
Elements of both views are represented on the Pole canvas. The paintings can be seen in Young's 40-minute film, Americana, streaming at NPR.org, and will be among visuals for his tour starting Aug. 5.
Fairey plans to make affordable prints available. What about the originals?
"They'll probably go into the homes of the 1%," he says with a laugh.
TweetNEIL YOUNG & JONATHAN DEMME ON 'CBS THIS MORNING' 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'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 week, making it his highest charting album since "Harvest" hit No. 1 in 1972.
After playing Outside Lands in August, he starts a concert tour with Crazy Horse on Oct. 3 in Ontario, Canada that runs through Dec. 4. "We've rehearsed five songs from 'Americana' and we have some songs from our next record," Young says. "The rest of the songs will come from our records. Past, present and the future."
The day before the tour begins, Penguin Group imprint Blue Rider Press will release Young's book "Waging Heavy Peace." The film "Neil Young Journeys" hits theaters June 29 via Sony Pictures Classics. Having played the Toronto and Slamdance festivals, it has one last festival stop, June 18 and 19 at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Director Jonathan Demme filmed the final two performances of Young's 2011 solo tour for the 2010 album "Le Noise" for "Journeys" at Toronto's Massey Hall. It is the third Demme-Young film, following "Heart of Gold," shot at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium that was released in 2006 and "Neil Young Trunk Show," which was filmed at Philadelphia's Tower Theater during the Chrome Dreams II tour in 2007.
Demme and Young spoke about the film with Billboard last week.
How do you see this film fitting in with the other two? Jonathan Demme: More than anything, it was a given that it had to be different in the way 'Trunk Show' was completely different from 'Heart of Gold.' The fact that it was Neil solo gave us a great step in that direction. It was good news, bad news. Bad news was that, different as those films are, they shared a strength and got a lot of power from seeing the way Neil and the other players interact. We don't have that cornerstone. The good news is that now we had Neil undistracted by any other instruments. It permitted him to immerse himself in the character of these songs in a way that couldn't be possible if you're also hearing other people play. That gave us our biggest, unavoidable distinction. The other thing was we experimented with taking this little road trip from the little town in north Ontario and see if that might provide us with something. It turned out that it provided us with a whole other story line that would make this different from the other two films and all other performance films, from what I can see.
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 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 garage-rock 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 code-naming 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 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.
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 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.
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!"
NEIL YOUNG'S MUSIC RESCUE MISSION 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 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."
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 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.
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 great-grandchildren.
A MESSAGE FROM NEIL YOUNG 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 there. This is what recording companies were born to give you and in 2012 they will deliver.
-- Neil Young
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 recordings over the last 50 years. We are so fortunate to have these as memories and lasting documents of his greatness and grace. He started out on a homemade steel guitar he fashioned himself from a piece of wood and left over parts. He loved his music and his life and cherished his many friends and soul mates.
He leaves behind his wonderful daughter Heidi, and his grandchildren who he loved so much, DJ, Rachel, James, Meredith, Aubrey, Fletcher and Caroline.
May he rest in Peace.
Neil Young ARCHIVES TEAM WORKS HARD ON VOLUME 2 July 23, 2010
The NYA team, headed by Will Mitchell and Hannah Johnson, is digging through material supplied by numerous sources, including newspapers, writers, fans, bootleg audio collectors and photographers (special thanks to photographer/collector Joel Bernstein). Much work has been done and there is much left to do. Using the template designed by the late Larry Johnson, the whole team is pushing forward.
Special thanks to audio engineers John Nowland, Tim Mulligan and the team at Redwood Digital for the unbelievable amount of work that has been accomplished so far. Volume 2 promises even more content than Volume 1, with many unreleased tracks.
Four unreleased albums from this period are being rebuilt and will be available in the NYA Special Release Series. Chrome Dreams, Homegrown and Oceanside-Countryside 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.
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 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 singer-songwriter'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 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 re-powering the American Dream.
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 Concert series for 24 years. His fundraising efforts, as well as guidance and support of the Bridge School web site and video operations was unwavering. His love and support for the families and students of the Bridge school will be happily remembered and deeply missed.
Larry Johnson, a seminal artist in his generation, is survived by two beautiful children, Ben Johnson and Hannah Johnson, and their mother, twice married and divorced, who he loved dearly, music contractor Leslie Morris.
NYA VOLUME 1 PACKAGE PROBLEMS Neil Young, December 19, 2009
We are aware of package problems with the box that the NYA V1 set comes in. Some users have experienced boxes where the book and/or Disc pack have fallen into the slots in the box and are difficult to recover without damaging the box further. If you have this problem, just email email@example.com and get a new box free. Thanks for your understanding. I am personally very sorry that is has happened to some users.
RE-ISSUE OF A MASTER: FURNACE MFG COMPLETES PRESSING OF NEIL YOUNG'S OFFICIAL RELEASE SERIES DISC 1-4 BOX SET
Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) November 22, 2009 -- Furnace MFG is proud to announce the pressing completion of Neil Young's first four albums on 180 gram audiophile quality vinyl in limited edition box sets. Each box set (and all corresponding jackets included within) are numbered with gold foil stamps and limited to 3,000 units. The records were pressed by the Pallas Group in Germany - arguably the finest vinyl pressing facility in the world.
Neil Young's self-titled solo album was first released in 1969. That was followed by "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" also in 1969. The following year saw the 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 high-quality 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 years of working vinyl releases, I was shocked at just how incredible these Neil Young re-masters sound. There is no doubt in my mind that when listening to these recordings on the new, upgraded vinyl format, it will be as close as anyone will audibly come to actually being in the studio listening to the original master tapes. It now sounds as if you are in the room with Neil during the session."
The limited edition Neil Young Official Release Series Disc 1-4 Box Set will be available on November 24th exclusively at www.becausesoundmatters.com or www.neilyoung.com
About Furnace MFG: In business since 1996, Furnace MFG (www.furnacemfg.com/vinyl) is a recognized leader in CD and DVD duplication, replication, and vinyl record manufacturing and packaging.
NEIL YOUNG'S FIRST 4 ALBUMS REMASTERED By Guy Listener, July 15, 2009
Yesterday Reprise Records released re-mastered versions of the first four Neil Young albums on CD, Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After The Gold Rush and Harvest.
This set of discs mark the first time since the advent of the CD format that listeners have been able to experience improved CD versions of these classic records. The 4 discs are also the initial release in the NYA ORS (Neil Young Archives Original Release Series) program.
(Click here to view/download a desktop wallpaper image of the four CD Covers.)
Each of one these albums were meticulously transferred from the original analog master tapes using the finest equipment and the shortest signal path at Redwood Digital by John Nowland.
These HDCD® 24-bit 176kHz digital transfers were assembled and then mastered by Tim Mulligan in what has become the standard for diligent and conscientious mastering techniques.
Once the mastering stage was complete, a sample rate conversion utilizing a Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 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.
- 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"
"I'll wait for the vinyl"
-GregK Ann Arbor MI
An early review of After the Gold Rush at Amazon.com:
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 "remastered from the original analog tapes...because sound matters", and they are right. Someday pre-packaged music will be gone and the younger generation doesn't give a rat's behind about sound quality so we have to get the best sounding versions while we can. Yes, I'm getting old and crotchety, I admit it. Now get off my lawn!
OUT OF THE BLUE AND INTO THE BLACK - RENAISSANCE VIA NEIL YOUNG'S ARCHIVES by Kandia Crazy Horse
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 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 seven-year 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 (1946-2004) 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 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 twice-removed 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-but-halcyon 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 something you can own by buying things, or conversely, by becoming a product fashioned in the style of the '70s. There are plenty of people dying to make a buck off that. It's sad how commodified music has become, how people just do it to be it, instead of doing it because they are it. Neil refused to be bought or sold or owned in his own time, like any of the greats."
As for Young followers on the blackhand side, they may not be legion but today -- more than four decades after he was meant to produce Love's masterpiece Forever Changes (Elektra, 1967) and long after his road dawgin' with former Malibu neighbor Booker T. Jones -- there are more than you might think. Richie Havens still cut what might rate as the best-ever Young cover: his desperate, electric, heavy metal "The Loner" on Mixed 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?
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 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 1920 1080 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, hand-drawn 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 member-offers 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 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 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
3200 Main Street
Dallas, Texas 75226
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?
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 pro-planet. 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 story-telling 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/Comic-Con_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.
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.