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Monday, January 27, 2020

So, Neil Young, If Music Can't Change The World, Then Can Voting?

Neil Young Becomes A U.S. Citizen

Last week, Neil Young finally became a U.S. citizen after a delay due to "possible lack of GMC (Good Moral Character)".

Neil Young's primary desire to becoming a U.S. citizen was in order to "vote my conscious on Donald J. Trump".

So, can voting change the world, Neil?

Neil Young @ Berlin Film Festival - Feb. 2008
Photo by Markus Schreiber

At the Berlin Film Festival in Feb. 2008, Neil Young stated in response to an audience question, that music can no longer change the world. The comment was made after the screening of his film "CSNY: Deja Vu".

From the man whose song "Ohio" played a part in helping end the Vietnam war, the reaction was swift, huge and global. (See World Reaction to Neil Young's Statement "Music Can't Change World").

In 2008, many argued passionately that music can in fact change the world, while others argue that it never has and never will.

The worldwide reaction to Neil's response prompted him to make a highly unusual clarification about what it will really take to change the world with a post titled "A Song Alone":
"No one song can change the world. But that doesn't mean it's time to stop singing.

Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song.

This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people's fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am.

My friends write to me don't give up. I am not giving up. I know this is the time for change. But I know that it's not a song. Maybe it was. But it isn't now. It's an action, an accomplishment, a revelation, a new way. I am searching for the people's fuel. Will I find it? Yes. I think so. I don't know why I may have been chosen to help enable a discovery of this magnitude. I know I can only write a song about it when I find it. Until then I can write a song about the search or spend all my time looking. But a song alone will not change the world. Even so, I will keep on singing."
'When the aimless blade of science slashed the pearly gates'


"Living With War": Rock Music's "Fahrenheit 9/11" -
Neil Young Rocks on CNN

This whole reaction is similar to that when Neil commented that he made "Living With War" because today's musical generation wasn't which resulted in an open letter to Neil Young by musician Stephen Smith which in turn resulted in the Songs Of The Times web page.

Pete Townshend discussed Neil's quote that music can not change the world on this YouTube video and didn't necessarily disagree.

On August 7, 2008, in Helsinki, Finland, Neil Young debuted a new song called "Just Singing A Song Won't Change The World" in response to a the uproar he created. Others, nevertheless, haven't lost faith in the power of music, as Amy says:
"Perhaps it’s true that music and musicians don’t change the world the way they or we like to think they can. But individual people create change every day. Some by teaching, some by protesting, some by volunteering time or money. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to make the difference in another’s day. A song won’t change the world dramatically overnight, but it has to start somewhere, and musicians and their music can still do their part even if it’s not a revolution."
What Would Neil Young Do?  
A Battle Raged on the Open Page: Can You Change Your Mind? 
Poster by Jeremy Deller
So, has the time when music could change the world passed? Is it time for science and physics and spirituality to make a difference in this world and to try to save the planet? And does voting matter any more than just singing a song? What gets us closer to our Gods? Music that motivates and inspires us? Or a politician asking for our vote? There are those that argue that mankind is suffering from problems that can not be solved politically -- only spiritually.

Creation of Eve
From The Metaphysics of Creation by Jay Dyer:
Without a tradition and a worldview to inform science, science is not a search for knowledge or truth, but a tool of power politics, enforced by the nastiest oligarchs to their own ends.
Science becomes scientism, the baseless ideology of a technocratic state with no other telos than the perpetuation of the technocratic corporate state itself. Might now makes right, because there is no truth, “truth” is simply made by the entity with the most “stuff,” whether material or virtual. The removal of telos from the world, and thus of the divine from the world, is the replacement with the Great Monadic Particle God of Flux, and his cultus, the fetish of the ever-new. Yet the ever-new that must constantly be churned out constantly denies eternal truth and permanence, and so negates itself nihilistically as irrelevant. Religion then degenerates according to this destructive scientistic spirit, becoming a mirror of the consumerist plastic society in which it dwells. Without a metaphysical basis, science is meaningless. If ultimate reality is irrational, man’s finitely-constructed subjective meaning is a drop in a vast ocean of universal meaninglessness.
Modern man and his scientism are ultimately doomed to nihilism, as the empty promises of scientific progress tell man his life pointless, and with it all of his science.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
The "Virginia Is For Lovers" Concert
Foreman Field @ Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia - August 27, 1974
(Click photo to enlarge)

Back in the '60's and '70's, music was one of the few forms by which political messages could be communicated to a mass audience. Today in the age of instant smart phone communication, music can still has a role.

Music, as with all art, is not made in a vacuum. You can't separate life from the art. All art, no matter when it was made (and no matter how unwittingly) makes a political statement. And, as far as spirituality -- whose version of spirituality? So, for 'science and physics and spirituality' to make a difference in the world, it takes vision. To communicate that vision, it takes art. It's not the format (speech, music) or the platform (radio, internet) but the message, so keep speaking/singing out for the things you want to see changed.

It's not naive to think that music and art will change the world, Neil. It's naive to think we CAN'T.

Neil Young, Neil Young (2004)
Life As A Neil Fan
Photo by Melanie Schiff

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Story Behind Why Neil Young Has Never Won a Major GRAMMY Award

"Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"
Jenice Heo, Neil Young, and Gary Burden

Grammy Award Pre-telecast Ceremony, Los Angeles, Jan 31, 2010
Photo by Matt Sayles/Associated Press

During Neil Young's 50+ years recording career, he has been awarded only a single Grammy Award in a musical category.

Zero Grammys for Buffalo Springfield or Crosby Stills Nash and Young or Crazy Horse. Neil Young's first Grammy nomination did not come until 1989, for the video for “This Note’s For You”. we started exploring this question back in 2006 on Neil Young and Emmylou Harris: Guess who has 11 Grammy Awards and which one has zero?. Neil Young's 1st Grammy win (in a non-musical category) finally came 4 years later in 2010 when he won his very first Grammy Award in a pre-telecast ceremony in Los Angeles. The award, for best art direction on a boxed or special limited edition package, was shared among Mr. Young and his art directors Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for the boxed set “Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972).”

"Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"
Jenice Heo, Gary Burden & Neil Young, and

Grammy Award Pre-telecast Ceremony, Los Angeles, Jan 31, 2010

Note, the Grammy was for a boxset design -- not the music inside the box. Or the breakthrough technology. Or just the release itself. Year after year after year, we've have blogged on the injustice of the Grammy Awards handed out by industry elites, so none of any of this should come as a surprise to anyone.

But, as G.B. observed:
"A friend of mine noted that Neil Young winning for packaging is like Martin Scorsese winning an Oscar for costume design."
Also, in 2010 Neil Young was honored as MusiCares Person Of The Year for his incredible commitment to charitable work and worthy causes.

Neil Portnow, President of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences & Neil Young
Neil Young: MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
January 29, 2010 - Los Angeles, California

Neil Young's 1st Grammy win in a musical category finally came the next year in 2011 for Rock Song "Angry World".

1st Grammy Win!
2011 Rock Song: "Angry World," Neil Young

So just remember that tonight while watching the Grammy Awards. And what is the story behind why Neil Young has never won a major GRAMMY Award?

Could it be the awards are rigged? Is there corruption on the highest floors of the GRAMMYs? Shocking, we know. Again, secrecy, a lack of transparency, and a complete disregard for the TRUTH are the root cause for the dismal state of affairs in the music industry.

Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan has now made claims against the Recording Academy (which confirm these observations above) after she was put on administrative leave just days ago.

Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan

From The Grammys Are Rigged According to Ousted CEO by Tiffany Fitzhenry:
“Conflicts of interest and self dealing are rampant” [at the Recording Academy] according to ousted CEO Deborah Dugan.

Dugan filed an incendiary complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the institution that presides over the Grammys and wields arguably more power over the whole of the music industry than any other entity on the planet.

Some of the more shocking claims lodged by Dugan in the complaint:

• The Grammy voting process is allegedly “ripe with corruption” and allows nomination committee members to “push forward artists with whom they have relationships.” The complaint states, “It is not unusual for artists who have relationships with Board members and who ranked at the bottom of the initial 20-artist list to end up receiving nominations.”

• The Recording Academy also allegedly “manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys [Ken Ehrlich] wants a particular song performed during the show.”
As the gap between what we suspected and corroborating info hastens "The Big Shift", truth (and wheat) is coming. Truth that will transform us all.

Dave Matthews, Neil Young and Pegi Young
The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Event
Village Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California - January 21st, 2014
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Image
(Click photo to enlarge)

In 2014, Neil Young accepted the President's Merit Award from the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs.

In Young's acceptance speech, he covered a lot of ground discussing the recording process relative to producers and artists.

Here is what Matthew L. said in reaction to the injustice and outrage (one of the milder responses.):
Oh come on, people, they deserve the award for such great art direction. The artistry is awesome. I agree that Neil deserves a Grammy for his music, and doesn't get half the overall recognition he deserves, but that shouldn't take anything away from the artists who did such a fine job creating the packaging for the Archives.

It's beautiful.

What y'all need to understand is that mainstream people in our society and the music industry aren't looking for creativity or the quality of personal expression, or your ability to channel the universe in music.

They are much more shallow than that. The people want what's sold to them, they want to be part of the popular crowd, they aren't interested in identifying personally with a song in a profound, emotional way.

They far outnumber the people who enjoy music because it moves them or titillates their minds, because of how it effects them personally, both emotionally and intellectually.

The music industry, by-and-large, plays to this tendency. It releases shallow garbage, people buy it and pretend they like it in order to satisfy their need to be accepted. This is mainstream American pop culture we're talking about here, not the land of smart, thoughtful, multidimensional individuals.

So obviously the chances of Neil Young winning a Grammy are much, much slimmer than Taylor Swift, even though he writes better music. Neil writes better music than almost anyone. It's not about good music - it's about popularity. It's about who sold the most albums because they were aggressively marketed by the industry to the shallow mainstream cult of popularity.

I'd be happy if Neil Young did get the recognition he deserved, but Neil isn't after recognition (thank GOD, because his music wouldn't be half as good as it is), and he doesn't need it, so who really cares?

In some sense it might even be a travesty to award him a Grammy, considering that winning one basically indicates that you're simplistic and derivative enough to easily market to sheep.
More on Gary Burden Receives Grammy Nomination for NYA Design.

Also, Gary Burden’s blog has fascinating entries about this project with respect to design, sustainability and collaboration.

Also, see Neil Young Honored As MusiCares Person Of The Year.

Neil Portnow, President of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences & Neil Young
Neil Young: MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
January 29, 2010 - Los Angeles, California

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

TOUR DATES: Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real - THE NAKED GARDEN TOUR 2020

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real have announced dates for The Naked Garden Tour 2020.

Lukas Nelson
Farm Aid 2019 - Alpine Valley, Wisconsin
Photo by thrashette

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Concert Tour Pass of the Moment: Neil Young & Crazy Horse 1987 Europe Tour #CrazyHorse4HOF

Neil Young & Crazy Horse 1987 Europe Concert Tour Pass

The Concert Tour Pass of the Moment is from Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 1987 European Tour.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse's turbulent 1987 European tour is documented in the film Muddy Track, which has been featured recently on NYA.

Directed under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, Neil Young shot much of it himself with a camera he called “Otto”.

More on Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 1987 European tour and the documentary film Muddy Track.

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


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Thursday, January 23, 2020

CITIZEN NEIL: Neil Young Becomes A U.S. Citizen


Last year, the application by Canadian Neil Young to become a U.S. citizen was delayed due to "possible lack of GMC (Good Moral Character)".

In a posting on Neil Young Archives, Neil has just now posted a photo of him saluting the US flag, with a caption: "I'm Happy To Report In. Vote Your Conscience."

View this post on Instagram

💥 🇨🇦🇺🇸💥 peace

A post shared by Neil Young Archives (@neilyoungarchives) on

CITIZEN NEIL, welcome to the U.S.of A. !

Neil Young

Last year, in a posting on Neil Young Archives: "I Have Been Very Successful In My Life", Neil revealed that his initial citizenship interview went fine, but due to a technicality, another interview was required by the USCIS because of his "marijuana related activities".

In October 2019, Neil Young said in an interview: “I’ve passed all the tests; I’ve got my appointment, and if everything goes as planned, I’ll be taking the oath of citizenship” shortly after turning 74 on Nov. 12." Neil continues to be optimistic on becoming a U.S. citizen in order to "vote my conscious on Donald J. Trump".

Image via Rusted Moon

In the meantime, President Donald J. Trump continues to use Neil Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" at his campaign rallies as.

Neil Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" starts @ ~1:50 - ~6:30

President Trump used Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" at a campaign rally in Lexington, KY on Nov. 4, 2019.

Naturally, Daryl Hannah is not pleased.

Nor is Crazy Horse's Nils Lofgren pleased.

"This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me"

CITIZEN NEIL, welcome to the U.S.of A. ! ☮️ ♥️

Neil Young & Daryl Hannah March for ERA on January 20, 2018

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Neil Young's Archives: The Archives as Art | NYA

A rather provocative opinion posted on Neil Young's Times Contrarian NYA: The Archives as Art | Times Contrarian by Prof. Chris Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College in Dublin.

Prof. Morash posits that Neil Young's Archives project is not just a music streaming service but an entire architecture of an artist's body of work ecosystem.

The digital service is a "new kind of art form ... a pioneering example ... to explore the old in new ways". Prof. Morash uses literary analysis to make the point between great works of literature and NYA as a philosophical concept of time travel between past, present and future.

Just last week, we posted an in-depth review of Neil Young's quest to push the boundaries of sound into new frontiers on How Neil Young's Eccentric Online Home Was Born | Fortune by Morgan Enos. The article noted that NYA's approach is "not conventional” using a retro style design.

Neil Young requested his Archives "[not] look like a website."

We have also explored this aspect of Greendale as a revolutionary new art form, as well. With 2003's Greendale ,some critics went as far as saying that Young had broken new ground by creating an entirely unique art form -- the "audio novel". From New York Times article 'Have You Heard the New Neil Young Novel?' by Madison Smartt Bell:
"Mr. Young has always been remarkable for his creative resilience, and this time he really has done something new, rendering into this combination of print and audio a novel that is surprisingly sophisticated and satisfyingly complete."
Making Greendale
Neil Young Filming Greendale Actors Grandpa & Jed

More on NYA: The Archives as Art | Times Contrarian and COMING SOON: Goin' To Greendale | Neil Young Archives | BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND.

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