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Saturday, April 18, 2015

STEALTH GIG REPORT: Neil Young with The Nelson Brothers - April 16, 2015

Neil Young with The Nelson Brothers - April 16, 2015
SLO Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Photo by donovanreeder on Instagram

Neil Young played a stealth gig with The Nelson Brothers at the SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo, CA this past Thursday night.

With a cover charge of $10, you got Neil Young, Willie Nelson's sons, new songs and some pretty awesome local craft beer.

As noted below, Neil Young, backed by Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas & Micah Nelson and their band Promise of the Real, "delivered two sets of environmentally focused and socially conscious rock". Or even better: "Monsanto basically got punched in the face by Young’s songs."

Here's the setlist from Sugar Mountain:

1. Country Home
2. New Song 1 - People Want To Hear About Love ??*
3. New Song 2 - New Day For The Planet ??*
4. Down By The River
5. New Song 3 - Too Big Too Fail ??*
6. New Song 4 - GMO-Starbucks ??*
7. Walk On
8. New Song 5 - Monsanto ??*
9. New Song 6 - I Don't Know You ??*
10. New Song 7 - Seeds ??*
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
12. New Song 8 - Big Sky/Wolf Moon ??*
13. Love And Only Love
14. New Song 9*
15. New Song 10*
16. Country Home
17. Roll Another Number

* - song debut

Lukas Nelson, Korie Newman and Neil Young

From New Times SLO.com | "Neil Freaking Young"/ by GLEN STARKEY:
Todd and Korie Newman of Good Medicine Presents dropped a super secret show on SLO Town last night—Thursday, April 16—when they welcomed Neil Young to SLO Brew. Young, backed by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real, delivered two sets of environmentally focused and socially conscious rock to a sellout crowd that quickly lined up around the block as news of the last-minute concert spread by word of mouth.

Those who couldn’t get in gathered in the alleyway to listen to Young through the side door, and what they heard was Young rail against his pet causes, from corporations to GMO manufacturers. Monsanto basically got punched in the face by Young’s songs.

What’s amazing is no one seemed to know about the concert until the very last minute.

“Until this afternoon, we weren’t sure if Lukas was bringing his dad Willie or Neil Young,” Good Medicine Presents’ Korie Newman said. “Lukas was going to make the show free but decided at the last minute we should charge something.”

Tickets for the lucky 350 or so fans who got in cost just $10 at the door.

Young wore his trademark fedora and delivered incredible guitar work and his signature vocal sound. Fans packed around the stage, and even trying to get through to the bathrooms proved a struggle, but the crowd was friendly and frankly blown away at what they were witnessing.

From forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/neil-young-unannounced-show-last-night-4-16-15.429599/:
I was doing my radio show last night in Morro Bay and a friend of mine texted me that he was five feet away from Neil Young at SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo. Neil played an unannounced show backed by the Lukas Nelson Band. Tickets were just $10.00 and nothing was revealed about the show until about an hour before show time. SLO Brewing is a small club that holds maybe 300 people. Neil did two sets mostly new material. Among the older songs he did "Country Home", "Down By The River", "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere", "Walk On", "Love And Only Love" and "Roll Another Number". When my radio show ended I headed over to the club and saw Neil do the encore (Roll Another Number). Neil left in one of his cool old cars (Lincoln Continental?). My friend flagged him down and got an album autographed. Pretty amazing. I live three blocks away from the club so I was bummed I had my radio show last night! Anyway, Neil is back to his old tricks.

Those who weren’t in line soon enough to buy one of the $10 tickets gathered in the alley to listen to Neil Young.

Crowds Gather As Word Spreads:
Neil & Willie's Boys Are in Town!

More details tonight on Thrasher's Wheat Radio on Wbkm Dot Org, Saturday, April 18 at 9:00PM ET.

Don't be denied!

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

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

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Neil Young: This Train Is Never Going Back

Neil Young
Photo by Michael Tran

If you have an American Airlines flight this month, you may want to checkout the seat pocket magazine American Way.

There's an article on Neil Young which is rather stream-of-consciousness, admittedly. Nothing wrong with that, we suppose.

And we did find it somewhat curious that an airline magazine would title an article "This Train Is Never Going Back". But as you'll soon see, it all ties together...

Please do me a favor and, in advance, excuse the stream-of-­consciousness nature of this column. It’s an experiment of sorts that was inspired by one of the greatest stream-of-consciousness ­thinkers of the last five decades. And it goes a little something like this:

Back in October, I was driving to work on the same stretch of road that I’ve driven for the past six years. Only these days, what was once a 20-minute commute is now an hour without batting an eye. Seizing on the extra radio time, I was listening to The Howard Stern Show, just like I’ve been doing since my first commute to work in 1999; just like I’ve been doing since my early-morning high-school commute almost 25 years ago.

Stern was interviewing Neil Young, who is, in my opinion, the single greatest songwriter of all time. To hear the world’s greatest celebrity interviewer — a position I’ve held for these 25 years of Stern listening, long before the world discovered his mainstream appeal on America’s Got Talent — interviewing the world’s greatest songwriter is akin to having a lunar eclipse happening in a vortex while waving at a passing comet. On Christmas. It was a moment not to be missed.

Midway through the interview, Stern asked Young about his songwriting process and, more specifically, how he continues to churn out melodic tunes with consequential lyrics after all these years.

“Do you spend hours a day sitting in a room alone somewhere waiting for inspiration?” Stern asked. “When Neil Young is creating, how does it happen?”

“Whatever I’m doing, if I have an idea, I stop doing what I’m doing and I do that. If I thought of something right now — which I’m not — if something came to me, the guitar is right there; I’d just play it a little bit,” Young replied. “The idea is to do it.

“That’s why I like to record things right away. … I don’t want to think. I just want to do it.”

Think about that for a minute. I don’t care if you’re a musician or a writer or a banker or a barber. If you’re doing a job, it was your choice to make. The bedeviling part about work is that too much repetition makes us stale. Finding what works and sticking with it may ensure job security, but each day, that job has a little less luster. Not to get too stream-of-conscious-y, but consider the parallel between your career and your body.

When you were younger, your body was an instrument of success. The ­harder you worked at it, the more sculpted it ­became. When you injured it, you rested it, and it forgave you for the extra strain. Time passed, and that same instrument of success began to go out of tune, first ever so slightly. But then your attempts to dunk were a little more below-the-rim. And then one day, your body just looked at the hoop and said, “Eh, let’s do an outside jump shot instead.” Time came when you ceased playing altogether.

I’m speaking from experience.

Since I’ve been harboring these melancholic feelings spurred by time’s cruel anatomical elapse, I’ve been trying to figure out new ways to shape my body while sharpening my mind. That’s when my new life coaches, Howard Stern and Neil Young, inadvertently explained to my hour-each-way-commuting over-soul how to correct my condition and grow stronger. For although my body went from being made out of steel to resembling a Stay Puft Marshmallow, I’m taking Young’s advice and applying it to my career. The body will come later.

Getting in the groove to write is the hardest part about writing. I imagine the starting point of any profession is the most intimidating. What’s the first chord to play? The first account to open? The first hair to cut? Do we not all find inspiration at the most inopportune times, only to wait for the moment to strike again, usually during another inopportune time? With this column — and, dare I say, future columns and ­stories — when I feel something brewing in my head, I’m going to stop what I’m doing and write. It may come out a little coarse at first, and it might not make sense in the beginning. But it’ll be recorded and ready to be worked on, and it’ll capture the moment that compelled its creation. After all, Neil Young wrote three of his best songs, “Down By the River,” “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Cinnamon Girl” in one day when he was sick with a fever. Maybe it was the fever that caused the creativity, maybe he was bored while laid up, but he felt the music from within.

“Aren’t you afraid when you carry a song around in your head that you’re going to forget it?” Stern asked.

“There’s a danger there,” Young replied, “and you’ve got to keep playing it. And that’s why I like to record things right away so that I get it before I start thinking.”

And that, dear friends, is the ­greener side of the leaf I’ve just turned over. Whenever I feel the flow — on a plane, at the dinner table, watching TV or on my hour long commute — I’m going to grab my notebook, put down my fork, turn off the tube, pull my car over, and write. The raw product might not make sense, as Young described to Stern, but in time, it just might.

“Do you get worried about reviews and people who judge your music?” Stern inquired.

“No,” was Young’s automatic reply. “It’s kind of interesting. I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s them. They’re the ones who are talking, not me.”

And we’re the ones who are listening. For it’s as Neil Young once crooned: “I know in time we’ll meet again/We come and go that way, my friend/It’s part of me and part of you.”

I’ll always be a part of you.

Adam Pitluk
Thanks e2f! And a plane of love to you and yours!


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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Secret Behind Neil Young’s Out Of Print 1982 Album Will Melt Your Heart

Neil Young - TRANS (1982)
Cropped Album Cover

An interesting review of Neil Young's 1982 album TRANS.

Many know the backstory, but many do not know the full story about this much misunderstood album. As we continue to hurtle towards singularity, taking TRANS for spin every now and then isn't such a bad thing.

From Unicorn Booty:
Thematically, Trans addresses communication and control – themes which had poignant significance in Young’s life. Young’s sons were born with a very strong cerebral palsy and could not speak or communicate. He’d recently bought a vocoder and a Synclavier (a sequencing synthesizer perhaps best known from Frank Zappa’s use in Jazz From Hell). Young noticed how his son Ben would react when he’d speak through a vocoder — Trans was an attempt to communicate with him.

While Trans was a commentary on his sons’ condition — many of the distorted, processed vocals are difficult to discern — it’s not just his sons’. Neil himself also seems to be having trouble communicating on this album. In the album’s planning stage, he initially wanted to include a video explaining what he was getting at. In his words, the video would be “all of the electronic-voice people were working in a hospital, and the one thing they were trying to do is teach this little baby to push a button”; perhaps his metaphor for an acoustic musician surrounded by an increasingly technological culture.
Thanks Unicorn Booty! To know is to appreciate.

Neil Young: We R In Control Unofficial Music Video

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective: Neil Young on Screen

The Bernard Shakey Retrospective: Neil Young on Screen from IFC Center on Vimeo.

Coming up at IFC Center in New York City this month will be Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective: Neil Young on Screen.

This is pretty unique and an opportunity to see and hear on the big screen some rare Neil Young films, including the premiere of MUDDY TRACK, the chronicle of the 1987 European tour with Crazy Horse.

Long one of folk and rock’s most respected artists, Neil Young—under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey—has also been making films for over four decades, from concert movies JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST (1974) and RUST NEVER SLEEPS (1979), to GREENDALE (2003) and other fiction features. This weeklong survey offers a rare opportunity to discover another side of Young’s creative genius, both behind and in front of the camera. The program includes weeklong NYC theatrical premiere engagements of MUDDY TRACK (1987), a one-of-a-kind chronicle of a European tour with Crazy Horse, and the newly restored director’s cut of HUMAN HIGHWAY (1982), a wildly anarchic satire of Cold War America starring Young, Dean Stockwell, Sally Kirkland, Russ Tamblyn and Devo. Also screening are Young’s two collaborations with Jim Jarmusch: DEAD MAN (1995), for which Young provided the stunning, feedback-heavy score, and YEAR OF THE HORSE (1997), a kaleidoscopic doc portrait of Young and Crazy Horse during their 1996 world tour.
+ Solo Trans + A Day at the Gallery & Neil Young Trunk Show

Screenings from Friday, April 17 - Thursday, April 23.

Neil Young in his manager’s office in Santa Monica, Calif., with artwork by Joni Mitchell
Credit Amy Dickerson for The New York Times

From interview with Neil Young in NY Times by JOHN ANDERSON:
“Human Highway,” which is set in the fictional, irradiated Linear Valley, possesses a dire view of the environment and an utter disregard for what was considered commercial cinema.

“At the time we made the film, I was really into Godard, so I wanted it to be real slow,” Mr. Young said, smiling. “I thought that was going to be really funny. And it was. To me. I was killing myself.” Others, he concedes, didn’t quite agree.

“Really, I had no idea what I was doing at all,” said Mr. Young, now 69. “It was a discovery, and a great thing to do, but then it came out and nothing happened with it.”


“I love the art of acting,” he said. “I love it. I’ve done a few things, and people have a little trouble disassociating me from the character, so that’s a hurdle I have to overcome.” Whatever character he plays, he said, “I have to get by the fact that I’m Neil Young. It’s not like getting by the fact that you’re Tom Hanks or something, because everybody’s used to the fact that Tom Hanks is going to be different people.”

He added that he would love to continue acting: “I’m available. I can’t get a job. What’s going on?”
The Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective: Neil Young on Screen

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Blitzen Trapper Performing Neil Young's 'Harvest' Album on Tour

Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper at Terminal 5 - 2014
Photo by Greg Cristman

The band Blitzen Trapper will be performing Neil Young's 'Harvest' album while on tour this month.

Blitzen Trapper -- 2015 Tour Dates

April 11: Columbia, S.C. -- River Rocks Festival
April 12: Asheville, N.C. -- Grey Eagle
April 13: Indianapolis, Ind. -- Radio Radio
April 14: Chicago, Ill. -- City Winery Blitzen Trapper Performs Harvest (2 shows)
April 15: Columbus, -- Ohio A&R Bar
April 16: Wilmington, Del. -- World Cafe Live Upstairs
April 17: New York, N.Y. -- City Winery Blitzen Trapper Performs Harvest (2 shows)
April 18: Washington, D.C. -- Black Cat
April 19: Charlotte, N.C. -- Visulite Theater
April 20: Nashville, Tenn. -- City Winery Blitzen Trapper Performs Harvest

Thanks Brooklyn Vegan!


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Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

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Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrasment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV

2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

speak truth to power

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel


Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong?
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?




(Between the lines of age)