Yonder Stands The Sinner: Here We Go Again
So Neil Young announces another concert tour for Canada this Spring. Someone tagged it the "Oh Canada '09 Tour". We like that. ;)
Of course this brings out the loonies right on cue.
Let's start with good ol' Anonymous who manages to cram all the canards into a single comment:
all big arenas.same tour, big $,hocket [SIC] arenas= boring already.
Play some small venues again and I'll cough up the bucks...... but for another hockey arena show, forget it Neil.Not for the kinda $ you're asking these days.
So, let's see.
Big arenas? Smackdown #1:
"The Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie holds at most 4,000 for a concert. It is in no way a 'big arena'. Saw Bob Dylan there in November, very intimate."
Same tour? Pumped Up responds:
How does anyone know it's the same tour???
Did you see the setlist?"
(Like folks in Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Lethbridge would care anyway since Neil has probably never played those cities before?)
Price complaints? Hmm. $75 for GA is a very fair deal we can say. Basically, you can get a front row spot. We don't know about the opening band(s) yet. We'll probably get 3+ hour show. Like we said before, anyone who complains about that value is out of their mind or cheap or stupid or all of the above.
So why do we bother? Because we don't like folks who come here and spread misinformation. Period.
But the blowback goes on. The whole thread on pushing back the Neil Young is washed up meme generated quite a ferocious reaction similar to previous announcements that Neil is up to something like an album or tour.
We posted a response on all that which precipated another wave accusing us of blind faith. But we persevere here at TW.
From a comment on Those New Songs: Falling From Above by stringman:
I know this is a fan site and all opinions are just that, opinions... well here is one more...
Neil Young is an artist that I don't think will ever be washed up. Neil gives when he wants to give and lays low when that is what he wants to do.
Though i don't love everything he puts out, in that, you wont find me taking a puff and putting any Neil record on the head phones after a long day. Maybe people need to open their mind a tad as to what they are expecting from every song and record. I see any one song and or record as insignificant to the bigger picture of the man's career and dedication to allowing the muse tell him where to go.
Do you like every bit of your favorite comedian or every movie that your director puts out? that would be highly unrealistic. In the Shakey book Neil said something to the effect of wanting to put out the "good and the bad". To me, that is a true artist who is laying all on the line..showing the peaks and valleys, and the transitions.
I was at the Worcester show in December when he did 6 new tunes. You will not get yet another rendition of Cortez like the one that night if Neil wasn't feeling inspired..the inspiration was more likely tapped from his new material then from the love of playing Cortez for the 300 time. i would rather hear an Neil play what he WANTS to play (even if it didn't do it for me) then have him go on autopilot to please the greatest hits fan.i watched many of those "fans" walk out near the end of Greendale and screwed themselves not knowing they were gonna get what they wanted after Neil did what HE wanted.
Keep writing "WASHED UP" music Neil..20 more years of anything from Neil is better then no Neil at all.
From a comment on Be On My Side, I'll Be On Your Side: The Myth of Washed Up Neil by Pinto (or Flounder):
"I just found this quote in a new biography of Stephen King, who is another of my cultural touchstones (and if that brands me as hopelessly lowbrow, I'll accept the label with honor.) King says:'The worst advice I've ever received is 'Don't listen to the critics.' I think that you should, because sometimes they're telling you that something is broken that you can fix. If you stick your head in the sand, you won't have to hear any bad news and you won't have to change what you're doing. But if you listen, sometimes you can get rid of a bad habit. Hey, none of us like critics, but if they're all saying something's a piece of shit, they're right.'"
From a comment on Who's Really Washed Up? by Not Above Suspicion:
Personal taste is, well, personal. If you absolutely hate a song now then you are unlikely ever to love it.
Someone else who may simply be underwhelmed on initial exposure may grow to love it.
Although, I do believe it is possible to make a case that one song is superior to another based on something more than, "I like this one but dislike that one," I'm not persuaded one can label one song great and another terrible without injecting a large measure of personal bias.
There's nothing wrong with personal bias. It would be dull, drab world without it, but with something as subjective as music or songwriting appreciation we should temper our remarks with acknowledgment that our opinion is but one opinion.
That someone else finds more or less merit in a song or performance than do I doesn't mean his opinion is baseless because of his greater or lesser devotion to the artist.
Are people who are fanatical supporters of a guy more likely to like a particular piece of his than those who are not? Obviously, yes.
That, however, may have less to due with slavish sycophancy than with actually liking the piece more on its perceived merits because something about the artist obviously appeals or the person would not be a huge fan.
Neil has a few albums and numerous songs I don't care for at all. I don't jump to the conclusion that people like them would claim to love anything he did just because we have differing opinions of those works.
They may well have a lesser opinion than me of other works which I like.
I like FITR. I also liked Don't Spook the Horse and T-Bone. I can understand others considering them tossed off trivialities, but to me that's kind of missing the point that he's having fun tossing off trivialities.
If you really appreciate Neil, you learn not to take him more seriously than he takes himself.
--Not Above Suspicion
So the beat goes on.