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An unofficial news blog for Neil Young fans from Thrasher's Wheat with concert and album updates, reviews, analysis, and other Rock & Roll ramblings. Separating the wheat from the chaff since 1996.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Jonathan Demme Filmed Neil Young Concert at Tower Theatre, Philadelphia: Here's why | Philly.com
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Best Events
(Click photo to enlarge)
From 2010 interview with Jonathan Demme (by Dan DeLuca) when Neil Young Trunk Show was released, just three years after he shot Neil Young: Heart Of Gold in Nashville.
More on Jonathan Demme and Neil Young.
So when you finished Heart of Gold, did you know you wanted to make another Neil Young movie?
Well, I knew I wanted to get back in Neil Young’s world. Then when they went out on tour for Chrome Dreams II in 2007, Elliot Roberts invited me to take a look. The show was lit by (“Trunk Show” lighting designer) Peggy Eisenhauer, and it had a particularly interesting visual quality. ... My only reservation was I didn’t want it to be another Heart of Gold. ... With Heart of Gold, Neil and I were like Siamese twins from the get-go. With this one he just said: Do it.
Heart of Gold is so calm, and Trunk Show is wild and unruly. It’s sort of the yin to Heart of Gold’s yang.
Yeah, and we were honoring Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry with Heart of Gold. With this, in my head I was thinking we should really take a punk approach. Get there, shoot it, in your face, try to capture it. And the thing we were trying to honor was the unhinged spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.
You’ve been to Neil’s live shows, right? I finally got to see him live in the 1990s. Isn’t it true that there’s that thing that happens at a Neil Young rock ‘n’ roll show where you don’t want the song to end? You’re like, “Is this going to be the end? No, they’re building it up again. Here we go. ...” I love that.
In Trunk Show you captured one of those monster jams in its entirety. “No Hidden Path” lasts for 23 minutes.
When we filmed “No Hidden Path,” I thought, obviously this is too long to be in a movie. But what if it could be? So in the cutting room, what we wound up doing was justifying our choices by saying, how do we get “No Hidden Path” in there? There’s no rule that you have to be chronological, or acoustic comes first, and electric last. So we kept alternating, and altering the mood. But it had everything to do with justifying this giant epic in the middle.
Why did you shoot it at the Tower?
Neil’s thing was, “I want to play in theaters where there are lots of ghosts.” Not just rock ‘n’ roll, but classical, vaudeville, whatever. ... You’ll see there’s some grainy footage in there, shot from the balcony. Those are ghost views, suggesting the ghosts came out and watched a little bit of the show. Neil conceived of it as a valentine to performers, and performance. I like that and I was moved by it. The Tower was a two-night stand, and Neil thought it was particularly beautiful. So we jumped on the train from New York and came down, set up and shot.
With Philadelphia, Beloved and now this, that makes three in your Philadelphia oeuvre.
That’s right! And one in the 21st century now.
How did the Tower suit you?
It was great. Don’t we love those shrines? That great marquee. I hadn’t even thought of the need for an exterior shot, but as soon as we rolled up I thought, “OK, that’s in.”
You know, I love this movie. It’s a dreadful thing to say, but I have to say it. I love it and I feel like I’m sucked inside the music by the way some of these (camera operators) shot it.
The cameras linger on Young’s face, and his hands. You made a movie about Neil Young’s face.
Does everybody talk about guitar face, or is that just my wife? No one gives guitar face like Neil Young. And piano face! And I love him for that. He doesn’t care what he looks like. Zero ego. This is actually something he said to me: “I don’t have a bad side, because I don’t have a good side.”
You’ve got a lot of cameras working in this movie, but you never fall into that quick-cutting trap.
If you’ve got fantastic musicians playing, don’t you want to watch them? There’s been some amazing stuff done with the quick-cut style. But I just believe that there are people who want a concert experience — and want to trip out on the music.
Is there going to be a third Neil Young movie?
I’m praying there’s going to be a third. It’s not about matched sets. It’s about trilogies, at least in the world of Neil Young. We’ve bandied a couple of ideas about. We’ve done two, we’ve got to do three.
You use a lot of musicians as actors in your films. Robyn Hitchcock in “The Manchurian Candidate,” Tunde Adebimpe (of TV on the Radio) in “Rachel Getting Married.” Why?
If you get up on stage in front of the microphone and you carry people away with your performance, it’s not going to be that hard to talk good, too.
So what’s your answer to the question, aren’t there enough Neil Young movies already?
The stack is way too little. We need more. Absolutely. We need more.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Jonathan Demme: 1944 - 2017
Photo by Victoria Will/AP
(Click photo to enlarge)
Film Director Jonathan Demme has passed away at age 73.
Jonathan Demme and Neil Young have had a long and highly productive relationship over the years.
Both Bruce Springsteen and Young were nominated for Academy Award nomination in 1994 for Best Song in a film for Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia". Bruce's nominated song was the film opening "Streets of Philadelphia" and Neil's was the closing title track "Philadelphia".
Bruce Springsteen won the Oscar award for his song "Streets of Philadelphia". In his acceptance speech, Springsteen acknowledged Young and said that the award really deserved to be shared by the other nominee's song.
Demme directed Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Complex Sessions which masterfully captures the group in all their power and beauty.
Recorded at the Complex Studios in Los Angeles, where Neil Young and Crazy Horse had recorded Sleeps With Angels, director Jonathan Demme filmed them performing four songs from the album. Shot over two nights on Oct. 3-4, 1994, the 30-minute video contains "My Heart," "Prime Of Life," "Change Your Mind," and "Piece Of Crap."
Jonathan Demme Talks Neil Young
Some new info on Jonathan Demme's upcoming film "Neil Young Journey".
Looks like there will be a soundtrack CD with new songs and the holdup with the "Trunk Show" release seems to be Warners.
From TIFF: Jonathan Demme Talks Neil Young - Thompson on Hollywood by Anne Thompson:
But the director [Demme] wanted to shoot more than a concert doc, so he took Young on the road in his 1956 Ford Crown Victoria from his home town of Omemee, Ontario to Toronto. “He makes me think of what wandering troubadors must have been like,” says Demme. “Like a Shakespeare company going around with new material by the same author. He has an amazing team of people who make it possible.
He’s an authentic creator, confident performing; he doesn’t censor himself.”
The WB CD for Neil Young Journeys with three new songs should be out before the end of the year. Eight songs are from the Daniel Lanois-produced Le Noise album, and six are reworkings of classic songs.
[Regarding Trunk Show release] Warners has yet to release the DVD. “It’s frustrating,” Demme says.
Jonathan Demme on "Prairie Wind"
Director Jonathan Demme's film on Neil Young "Heart of Gold" premieres at Sundance Film Festival.
Trunk Show by Jonathan Demme to Premiere at SxSW
Jonathan Demme interview on Neil Young Trunk Show film at Toronto Film Festival in September, 2009.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Possible Track Lists for Neil Young's Unreleased "Hitchhiker" Album
Earlier this week, we posted an intriguing image by Gary Burden | rTwerk.com of what appears to be a cover for the unreleased album Neil Young | Hitchhiker.
We know the unreleased album has nine solo acoustic songs, per Neil Young's autobiography Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars.
Naturally, this all generated quite a bit of discussion of what possible songs might be included.
Lone Red Rider suggests:
Ride My Llama
Hold Back The Tears
Too Far Gone
Will to Love
To which Syscrusher said:
If we go with the August '76 date and assume he plays 9 of his newest unreleased songs then the track list might be something like this:Thanks Lone Red Rider, Syscrusher and everyone else who contributed!
One Way Ride
Too Far Gone
Bite The Bullet
Hold Back The Tears
But I have Hitchhiker being written in 1975 at the same time as Cortez The Killer. This opens up the possibilities for a more interesting track list. If I could give him a 9 song set it might go like:
Cortez The Killer
Lookout For My Love
Ride My Llama
So let the speculation continue on Possible Track Lists for Neil Young's Unreleased "Hitchhiker" Album.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
ALBUM COVER: Neil Young | Hitchhiker
Neil Young | Hitchhiker
Album Cover by Gary Burden | rTwerk.com
(Click photo to enlarge)
An intriguing image has been posted by Gary Burden | rTwerk.com of what appears to be a cover for the unreleased album Neil Young | Hitchhiker.
Gary Burden is Neil Young's long time art director and cover graphic artist. Also, credited is Jenice Heo, who is responsible for Art Direction, Design.
Hitchhiker includes solo, acoustic songs recorded in 1976 at the Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, California. Writing in "Special Deluxe", Neil Young's -- second memoir -- he comments on Hitchhiker:
"I spent the night there with David and recorded nine solo acoustic songs, completing a tape I called Hitchhiker.The song "Hitchhiker" was released on Neil Young's 2010 album Le Noise.
It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances. Dean Stockwell, my friend and a great actor who I later worked on Human Highway as a co-director, was with us that night, sitting in the room with me as I laid down all the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer, or coke. Briggs was in the control room, mixing live on his favorite console.
No other details are available at this time, so let the speculation begin.
Leftover Salmon Perform Neil Young Tribute Set on 4-20
On 4-20, Leftover Salmon performed a Neil Young Tribute Set at the Wanee Music Festival in Colorado.
Thanks to videographer Rex Thomson, enjoy videos of the first four songs from the set, including “Comes A Time,” “Cowgirl In The Sand,” “Out On The Weekend,” and “Heart of Gold.”