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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Memories From the Rail: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY - July 21, 2015

Neil Young + Promise of the Real
Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY - July 21, 2015
Photos by Hounds That Howell
(Click photo to enlarge)

Got Jonez?

Here's a photo essay review from Neil Young + Promise of the Real on the 2015 Rebel Content Tour at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY on July 21, 2015 by our dear ol' buddy Hounds That Howell. enjoy.

Standing in the Pit we see Gold Lame…well that image has appeared in a few Neil songs and now Gold Lame streams on stage. Has Neil spun this performance from the Ecorock shows at Red Rocks to the Philadelphia Marathon of duration and musical ferocity at Camden to a Broadway Musical - The Monsanto Years? Now a few miles from Broadway a chorus and Preacher are in the foot lights with the Wizard watching from stage left. Will this show be Storytone meets The Monsanto Years?

It turns out The Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Chorus have won prestigious Theatrical Performance Awards and been awarded jail time for their anti consumerist and earth loving gospel shows and radical performances around the Big Apple. Their powerful soaring voices singing about the agenda of the 99% and their anti Monsanto anthem set the stage perfectly for Neil and the Nephews.

But first a pleasant and engaging interlude with Norah Jones and Puss and Boots. “What does that name mean?” question from the Pit. “Buy the Book and read it,” Catherine Popper scorches the heckler - love it! Norah and her bandmates were a great change up from the fine rootsy twang slow burn songs and lush reverb drenched sound of Band of Horses. Norah is the calm soul, centered in the spirit of the music and Sasha Dobson and Popper lace every song with sexy and smart attitude reminiscent of our beloved Arkansas Girls. It’s not “The Same Old Bullshit” each time they grace the stage. By the way, check out their new album for a great version of Down By The River and they have a fall tour of the mid Atlantic region scheduled.

Exit Puss and Boots enter Farmer John’s Daughter and her Cousin sowing seeds and respecting Mother Earth and her giving ways. There are three movements in the concert. First, well People Want to Hear About Love, and Neil’s Gold Records, so he starts the show with what they want. It's Neil and only Neil and a handful of his hits.

HE strides about the stage or sits at the keyboard in stark white spotlight. Yeah it’s Neil in Black and White. Raw and real.

Now that their jones is satisfied the second movement begins with Neil and Promise of the Real emerging from the smog spread by the crop dusting roadies.

The second movement is mostly Neil's back catalogue of countrified roots rock - perfectly selected songs for a band grown in Willie’s backyard. Biggest differences between Lukas, Micah, Corey, Anthony, Tato and Crazy Horse? Attitude.

POTR can’t believe they’re playing’ with Uncle Neil. The band’s enthusiasm and excitement is palpable from the opening chords of Hold Back the Tears. The greatest band enthusiasm comes through when they perform Walk On (from which Promise of the Real was named) which didn’t for Jones beach.

I don’t remember a Neil band member smiling as much throughout a performance Corey the bassist. He has a youthful innocence and appreciation of being on stage with Neil and this amazing catalogue of songs. He’s living every Rustie’s dream…just give us one set with Neil and we’ll die happy.

Dream - well there have been plenty of dreams about who could provide the musical support to take Neil on his next journey with the Muse. Lukas, MicaH and POTR have done it. Lukas provides a lead guitar to call and respond to Neil last seen in the hands of Stephen.

Neil doesn’t have to carry the whole show any more, just power lead on the legendary anthems. MicaH elevates the guitar section with his electric guitar bowing accenting songs with a steel guitar sound, at other times an electric lute sound provides a dreaminess. Long Grain is smiling.

Tato’s percussion section is a distinctive sound. It adds a new not heard before dimension to a Neil band. At times perhaps a touch reggae and definitely Island breezy it’s great to hear this sensuous new rhythm on Neil standards.

Dreamy Winterlong ends and Neil sheds the big Gretsch and Old Black is slung around his neck. “I think it’s time for a cup of coffee” and Neil kicks off the third movement diving into The Monsanto Years with A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop. Now Rustie land seems to be pretty evenly divided among “no thanks”, “not bad”, “here’s why I love Neil” reviews of TMY. Go see the videos of the show.

The album does not carry the power of the music and the message the way the live performance does. They rock it and rock it hard on stage. They have fun with the new songs - they complement Love and Only Love, Down by the River, Cortez the Killer.

Poetic, romantic, righteous works along side plainly written political social action anthems in the Neil Rock we’ve ridden with Danny, Billy, Ralph and Poncho.

Having seen Neil with MicaH and Lukas at Farm Aid and BSB last fall we were Dreamin’ Man that they would do a project together. From what we hear The Monsanto Years are aging well and will be back on the road soon.

Thanks Hounds That Howell for all of the photos... and WORDS... always between the lines of ages ...as they say. Keep it REAL in the FREE world.

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Review of the Moment: Neil Young and Promise of the Real - Mansfield, July 22, 2015 | RELIX

Neil Young and Promise of the Real
(Click photo to enlarge)

The Review of the Moment is from Neil Young and Promise of the Real in Mansfield (July 22, 2015) | RELIX by Matthew Shelter:
The ever-evolving ruby in the dust that is Neil Young is back on the road this summer, playing a mix of old and new songs with a young, enthusiastic backing band that has lent new energy to the old master. In place of longtime cohorts Crazy Horse, Young is supported this time around by Promise of the Real, a band whose five members include Lukas and Micah Nelson, sons of the legendary Willie Nelson. At the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA, the group unleashed a two-hour-plus, 22-song set that had a little something for everyone.

Young is ostensibly touring behind The Monsanto Years, his 36th studio album, which was released in late June, and he did feature eight of the nine tracks on the new album, but they were sandwiched between a broad sampling of hits and deep cuts from throughout his voluminous catalog.

The show opened with a pair of young women dressed as farm girls wandering the stage, sowing seeds and “watering” a collection of potted plants and flowers. Young’s latest album, for those unfamiliar, is something of a jeremiad against the Monsanto chemical corporation, and these farm girls were clearly meant to symbolize all that is good and pure and, well, un-Monsanto-like. With this pastoral prelude complete, Young quietly slipped behind a piano on the darkened stage and hit the familiar opening chords to “After the Gold Rush.” Young may look his age these days—he’s closing in on 70—but the years have not diminished his voice, which sounds as poignant and evocative as ever.

The opening acoustic portion of the show saw Young alone on stage—clad in baggy, rumpled jeans, a black t-shirt emblazoned with the word “Earth,” and a grey hat that shaded much of his lined and scowling face – strumming through classics like “Heart of Gold,” “Long May You Run” and “Helpless.” After a handful of such songs, the stage was attacked by a swarm of evil, haz-mat-suited villains fogging over the seeds the farm girls had sown with clouds of faux-chemicals.

With that little message delivered, the five members of Promise of the Real came out to join Young. In addition to the Nelson brothers, the band features Corey McCormick on bass, Anthony Logerfo on drums and Tato Melgar on percussion. They played several more acoustic numbers, including beautiful versions of “Unknown Legend” and “From Hank to Hendrix.”

Halfway through the show, Young segued to the electric portion of the set, and wasted little time busting out the jams, striking first on “Words (Between the Lines of Age)” from 1972’s Harvest. There may be no replacing Crazy Horse as a backing band, but Lukas Nelson and the rest of POTR, who all look to be less than half Neil’s age, brought the requisite ragged enthusiasm to the task, and seemed to give Young a jolt of adrenaline.

Young bundled five songs in a row from The Monsanto Years into this part of the set, and however tempting it may be to use this as beer-run time, I’d advise sticking around. Some of the songs may be a tad, shall we say, heavy-handed – their anti-corporate, anti-chemical message about as a subtle as a two-by-four to the face. But when the band left the lyrics behind and just played, the results were incendiary – the extended jams on “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop,” “People Want to Hear About Love” and “Big Box” providing some of the highlights of the night. By the time they returned to the classics for a blistering “Cowgirl in the Sand,” Young and his band were firing on all cylinders, and seemed to be enjoying themselves almost as much as the crowd was. So much so, in fact, that they apparently lost track of the clock, and were suddenly given the high sign that there were only 10 minutes left until the venue’s 11 pm curfew. Young had to forego an encore, and simply stayed on stage to close out the show with a final, extended jam on “Love and Only Love.”

Unlike those of some of his contemporaries, a Neil Young concert never feels like a “greatest hits” money grab. Even when he’s playing his classics, he invests them with the same passion and intensity that has drawn fans to him throughout his long career. He never mails anything in. And for those fans worried that the young kids in Promise of the Real could not fill the shoes of the great Crazy Horse – well, they’re not trying to. But they are more than up to the task of backing the old legend as he makes one more journey across the stage.
Nice review Matthew @ RELIX!

More reviews on Neil Young + Promise of the Real 2015 Rebel Content Tour.

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Photo of the Moment: Neil Young - WayHome Festival, July 24, 2015

Neil Young
July 24 Oro-Medonte, CAN— WayHome Music & Arts Festival
Photo by Brian Banks | musicvice.com
(Click photo to enlarge)

The Photo of the Moment is Neil Young at WayHome Music & Arts Festival on July 24 in Oro-Medonte, CAN by Brian Banks | musicvice.com.

More on last night's edition of Thrasher's Wheat Radio.

Thrasher's Wheat Radio
Tune in on WBKM.org, Saturdays @ 9P EST

The podcast of last night's webcast of Thrasher's Wheat Radio on Wbkm Dot Org is now ready for download. Commentary, discussion and analysis of Neil & The REAL.

Aug 1, 2015 - Summer rolls on into August with Rebel Content reflections. Thrasher's Wheat Radio Hour - 8/1/15 - Episode #141

[To download, right click on link, save target as, pick destination folder: the podcast will download. Select your preferred MP3 audio player and play file.]

Don't be denied!

Tune in details and podcast info @ Thrashers Wheat Radio Hour.

peace & love. stay calm. no fear. use discernment. recognize the illusion. question authority. prepare for the big shift. be the wheat and keep on rockin' in the free world.

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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Neil Young & Promise of the Real - Jones Beach, NY - 7.21.15 - 5 Song Compilation

Neil Young & Promise of the Real at Jones Beach, NY (7.21.15):

0:00 - Words
9:04 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
12:33 - If I Don't Know
17:25 - Love & Only Love (aka - Dancing Crazy Woman!)
18:32 - Cortez The Killer

Thanks RustedTelevisione!

More on Neil Young & Promise of the Real at Jones Beach, NY (7.21.15) and on tonight's edition of Thrasher's Wheat Radio.

Thrasher's Wheat Radio
Tune in on WBKM.org, Saturdays @ 9P EST

Don't be denied!

Tune in details and podcast info @ Thrashers Wheat Radio Hour.

peace & love. stay calm. no fear. use discernment. recognize the illusion. question authority. prepare for the big shift. be the wheat and keep on rockin' in the free world.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Lets keep it going": Neil Young Says To Promise of the Real

Thanks to Promise of the Real for making this tour such a wonderful experience in my life. I love all the bands I have...

Posted by Neil Young on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A wonderful message from Neil Young on his official Facebook page about playing with the band Promise of the Real:
Thanks to Promise of the Real for making this tour such a wonderful experience in my life.
I love all the bands I have played with, but this band (and the multi generational thing) is epic!

The ‪#‎RebelContentTour‬ was an experience I will never forget. Once in a lifetime.
The guys, Lukas, Micah, Corey, Tony and Tato are the greatest!
Amazing how easy and natural it was to rock on the old songs and the brand new ones - from Cortez to Big Box, from Wolf Moon to Out On The Weekend.

We played songs we had never played before
That has never happened to me
the new songs and the hits
& 3-hour performances night after night.
The crew loved it, the band, and people too!

Playing with these guys was a gift -
Such positivity, pure energy & no fear
I loved rocking with Promise of the Real
I love this band
Lets keep it going...

To which Lukas Autry Nelson replied:
Thanks Neil. We love you too man and are here whenever you need us

This seems to indicate that more Neil and Promise of the Real are in our futures! Maybe some more tour dates? Maybe another album?

Sooner or later, The Promise gets REAL ...

Neil Young + Promise of the Real
Camden, NJ - July 16, 2015
Photo by TW
(Click photo to enlarge)

Also, see all reviews from Neil Young + Promise of the Real 2015 Rebel Content Tour.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dave Grohl Covers Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" - July 4, 2015

Dave Grohl covers Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" with former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, and Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn.

Filmed on July 4, 2015 before Dave Grohl Foo Fighters' 20th anniversary Fourth of July concert at RFK Stadium, Washington, DC.

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The Debate Intensifies Over "The Monsanto Years" by Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Since the release of Neil Young + Promise of the Real's album "The Monsanto Years", we have seen a counter attack here at TW by Monsanto Corporation supporters attempting to confuse the debate over food safety.

Much of this designed to cause average consumers to throw up their hands and declare that this discussion is just too complicated while they continue with their old habits.

So what's the real truth about Monsanto and food safety? As with everything, we say use discernment, think for yourself and ask questions.

In the meantime, here are some details on how the big corporate propaganda campaigns operate on "These Hired “Experts” Are Infiltrating The Media To Confuse You About Food…" (via foodbabe.com):

Every day more people are becoming aware of the chemical pesticides, synthetic food additives, antibiotics, and growth promoting drugs that are used to make conventional food products, and are choosing cleaner organic food thanks to you! People like us are raising up against the companies that are creating these toxic chemicals and boycotting major brands that have been mainstays in American supermarkets for decades. You can find organics just about everywhere now – Walmart, Target, airports, Chipotle, Panera and you can even get organic tea at Wendy’s. It’s obvious that the conventional food sector is not happy about this growth in organic foods and subsequent decline in their profits. They are so unhappy that they’ll spin whatever they can in the media to hold on to their share of the food economy. 

That’s why this brand new report that just came out last month is so important to read: Spinning Food: How Food Industry Front Groups and Covert Communications Are Shaping The Story Of Food by Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappé, and Stacy Malkan.

This report exposes the dirty tactics that Big Food and agrochemical companies have implemented to combat the organic food movement. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stealth public relations (PR) campaigns, using deceptive front groups to push coordinated messages that attack organic food, and activists like me, while defending the continued use of synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, and chemical food additives. We are being bombarded with their messages that are making their way to the pages of the largest media outlets and onto the evening news.

As exposed in their report, four of the largest food and chemical trade associations are spending insane amounts of money – over half a billion dollars from 2009 to 2013! They also uncovered that 14 of the largest front groups working for the industry spent about $126 million during that same time period, often without fully disclosing where their funding comes from. This amount of spending is unprecedented!

Front Groups Spending

graphic on page 9 of report

This just goes to show how much they want to ensure that they can continue profiting off of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and cheap food additives – and to do this, they are doing everything they can to sway public opinion.

What do you think when you hear quotes in the media like these?

“Organic is no better than conventional and not worth the money.”

“U.S. meat production is safe, efficient and does not overuse antibiotics.”

“We need GMOs to feed the world.”

“Organic foodies are elitist.”

Corporate interests are at play!

Who is really telling the story here? Is it a non-profit organization that is working for the public good or for corporate interests? The Big Food and agrochemical companies are relying heavily on front groups to promote these types of messages in the media, and they even go as far as training seemingly independent farmers, bloggers, and scientists to act as expert sources for journalists. Front groups appear to be independent, but are actually run by experienced PR firms or industry trade groups that have their profits hanging in the balance. You’ll often see these front groups and their trained messengers quoted in the media without any mention of their connections to the industries they work for, and without any conflict of interest disclaimers. It’s all a sham!

The Spinning Food report exposes all of the big front groups that are seen quoted in the media, so we can become more aware of their tactics, and more vigilant about looking out for propaganda.

For instance, the “U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)” is a front group that’s funded by biotech and chemical companies like DuPont, Dow and Monsanto and they spend about $10 million every year promoting the use of routine antibiotics in farm animals, GMOs, and the safety of chemical synthetic pesticides. They have reportedly trained at least 8,500 farmers and ranchers in 22 states with a spokesperson training program where “participants learn how to engage with consumers, using USFRA talking points and research on consumer attitudes”. These trained spokespeople have been quoted in the media without any disclosure of their ties to this group. For example, this article was published in the Star Tribune listing the author simply as “Suzanne Vold is a Minnesota dairy farmer and mother of three”, when she was actually a trained public messenger for USFRA

They want you to think yoga mat chemicals in our food are safe! 

Marketing messages from the front group “Center for Food Integrity (CFI)” are making their way into the media as well. Their members include the National Restaurant Association (which includes Subway as a member), the American Farm Bureau Federation, and companies like Monsanto and Tyson, with a primary mission to downplay any public concerns about chemical food additives:

“When issues arise, teams are activated to determine how to engage. For example, when Subway responded to pressure from the blogger known as Food Babe and announced it would stop using azodicarbonamide in its bread, an Issues Advisory Team acted quickly to add unbiased, fact-based information to the conversation.” – Center For Food Integrity, August 2014

This is an example of why I have been heavily attacked for campaigning for the removal of food additives – additives that are banned or regulated in other countries because of health risks. They accuse me of all sorts of things – “I’m not qualified”, “I’m not a scientist”, they dig up old errors on my blog that I have removed or corrected and they bring it up over and over again as a way to discredit me. The truth is (as many of you have seen through my campaigns) there are plenty of scientists and consumer organizations (including my advisory council) that back my work and there is a mountain of evidence that synthetic, carcinogenic and neurotoxic insecticides are bad for human health and the environment. 

Other front groups, like the “Alliance for Food and Farming” are funded by conventional produce farmers, and they continually attack EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide on pesticides in conventional produce. Several other front groups like the “Council for Biotechnology Information” and “The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food” advocate for GMOs, and “Keep Food Affordable” advocates for conventional (non-organic) meat and egg producers.

The food and chemical companies will do anything to win over women.

I’m sure you saw or heard about the Monsanto ads that were plastered all over women’s publications like Shape, Parents, and O Magazines earlier this year. They use several tactics like these to get their messages into the public eye, but they mainly target a female audience, because women “account for over 70 percent of consumer spending and are responsible for most food purchasing decisions”. The website “SafeFruitsAndVeggies.com” is funded by the Alliance for Food and Farming (the front group mentioned above that fights for conventional agriculture), and has a huge “MOM’S DESERVE THE TRUTH” banner on their front page, which also links to a “mommy-blogger” post that defends their stance against EWG’s pesticide guide.

Moms deserve the truth pic

The Pork Network warns farmers about “Crunchy Mamas”, demonizing moms who are concerned about the conditions on factory farms. The BlogHer Network conferences (the largest women blogging network in the country) have been sponsored by several Big Food companies and the front group “CommonGround”, in an obvious attempt to influence the content on blogs. Last year, Monsanto paid bloggers $150 to attend a brunch following the BlogHer conference to learn “where your food comes from” and “how farmers are using fewer resources to feed a growing population”. When I spoke at BlogHer Food in May last year, Monsanto and their PR firm were in the audience taking notes feverishly. As a female activist, I’m particularly disgusted with these attempts to try to persuade, undermine, and discredit me and other female bloggers, especially mothers who are trying to change our unhealthy food system. 

What should we do with this information?

I’ve just scratched the surface here on the compelling information found in the free Spinning Food report, so I hope you head on over and read it in its entirety. Familiarize yourself with the key PR players and front groups – and most importantly – share it far and wide!

All of us that are advocating for simpler, organic, and safer food are up against huge corporations (and shady front groups) with deep wallets. It’s going to take all of us together to keep the messages that are circulating in the media truthful and balanced.

Speak up and share this information!

Next time you read a biased piece that tries to convince you that conventional food is better or undermines organics or attacks activists like us, speak up. We all need to use increased scrutiny when reading about these topics in the media.

There is a lot of corporate propaganda out there, but we won’t be swayed, will we?



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(Between the lines of age)