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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Comment of the Moment: Yonder Stands The Sinner

Can we get it together
Can we still stand side by side
Can we make it last
Like a musical ride?

The Comment of the Moment is from Yonder Stands The Sinner by Greg M.:
You know, I just can't believe that we're still having this discussion of questioning Neil's motives, or the initial effect of anything he does or says. Yes, I am a Neil freak. Yes, I am wired to like anything he does. Yes, I am intolerant of short sighted opinions which don't take everything into account. But speaking as someone who has dissected the subject for 40 years now, I'm sorry, Neil is Neil, and if you don't get that you probably never will.

Spotting a pretender from a mile away is as simple as reading the comments which usually start out something like: "I'm a Neil Young fan, but..." You can't be a true fan of Neil Young and question his motivation. I'm sorry, you can't. You can’t even be a critic and question his motivation. Do I have the ability to read Neil’s thoughts? No, but I’ll stake my own integrity on what I’ve just stated. You don’t have to like what he does, or agree with what he is saying- even assuming you can figure out what he is saying, which in the context of some of these blog posts is a real leap. Does this mean he's perfect, that he doesn't make mistakes, or miss the mark now and then? Of course not. That's what you get from an artist who doesn't work with a net, and that's what lukewarm fans just don't understand.

Besides, in many instances the role of provocateur is simply missed altogether. Many times you don't know what role Neil is adopting, or for what purpose. In these instances he's usually looking for a reaction from people who are otherwise lost in playing with their toys, and need to be provoked to some semblance of critical thinking. Just check out his neutral response to critical and supportive questions alike at the Déjà vu movie press conference.

Look, I understand the reaction some people have listening to some of Neil's stuff for the first time. I hated Tonight's The Night when I first heard it. I didn't get a lot of things over the years when I first heard them. As recently as Chrome Dreams II, it just clanked when I first heard it. It made me uncomfortable. Fallin' Off The Face Of The Earth from Prairie Wind was painful at first. But you know what, I learned a long time ago that if I listened to something I didn't like right away over and over and over, that I would not only eventually see the genius in it but that I would end up really liking it. I took to heart the intent of Living With War, and the Ohio like immediacy of the recording, but also took a pass on the musicality of it. Frankly, I thought it was sloppy, a one off recording that I theoretically appreciated but couldn't really listen to real well. Recently though, I pulled it out and kept it in the CD player for a few weeks, and am now blown away by the power of it on all fronts.

Other posts have said it much better than me, but suffice to say, you dismiss things that you think you don't like at your own peril. If you don't understand this, it's time to move on to another artist who has the ability to calculate your taste and never take the chance of disappointing you.

Trust me, I appreciate that it is not a good thing to walk in lock step, and that it is wrong to simply slap someone down who dares to question whether or not the emperor is running around in his birthday suit, let alone speak it out loud. It's o.k. to feel this way, but I would simply tell you this: when it comes to Neil, please do yourself and everyone else a favor, and refrain from voicing your opinion before you've had a chance to fully digest what Neil is trying to do, both in terms of meaning and musical execution. You may find to your great surprise that your initial reaction was misplaced, in part or in whole. And for God's sake, refrain from commenting on tours and albums which you haven't even heard yet. I mean, give me a break.

I think Thrasher is great, and has its collective heart in the right place, which basically amounts to reveling in the sheer joy of everything Neil represents. But these blogs are so disheartening, and akin to the blogs I have checked out in other places. They seem to attract a smaller but significant minority view which is invariably mean spirited, ignorant, illiterate, ill-informed, and distracting. The positive bloggers get caught up with the negativity (the pot said to the kettle), which of course is what these "trolls" are after to begin with. I just don't have room for it anymore, and plan to confine myself to the news and feature pieces, like the excellent memorial to Dewey Martin, and the Squires remembrance I just read.

I think the lion’s share of Neil fans feel the same way. We have long since chucked the notion of "good" and "bad" that the detractors want to focus on- including those second tier "I like Neil Young, but..." fans. If the critics want to put the time in and hear what we're saying, based on long experience and the tangible proof represented by Neil's career, great, but I'm just not gonna sweat it anymore.

Keep up the good work, Thrasher.

Greg M

Thanks Greg! It's appreciated whenever we see folks rise up in Neil's defense against unsubstantiated assaults. We can disagree on opinions. But we can't disagree on facts.

More on Sinners Standing Yonder.


At 3/01/2009 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with much of that post but caution against the, "you can't be a true fan of ____, unless you...." mentality.

I have little doubt you are experiencing some drive-by poseurs just looking to stir it up, but I also think "true fans" don't necessarily have to be true to the other fans.

Fans, even "true fans" can experience dissatisfaction (or worse) with some aspects of the performances. Some might not even buy into the argument of other fans that they have to assess performances with the same allowances and from the same perspective as other fans in order for their opinions to matter.

i think we should distinguish between fans who might be less than enthralled, and people just pretending to be fans because they think that gives their attacks more credibility.

Neil says and does controversial things that cause some people to hope we will fail. They are probably kidding themselves if they think posts on the internet will increase the likelihood of that, but the people attempting to create the perception of failure should be distinguished from the fans who just don't like his new songs.

I think most everyone is able to tell who belongs in what category (and I agree many betray their true intent by adding the otherwise superfluous, "I'm a huge fan" claim.)

In any event, I'm just suggesting refraining from anything that has the scent of loyalty oaths or dogma adherence to qualify as a "true fan."

--Not Above Suspicion

At 3/01/2009 02:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alléluia !

At 3/01/2009 03:25:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Some people (not surprisingly from almost exclusively the cadre of his biggest fans) are closely attuned to Neil's "self." Probably because: (a) they are extremely interested i what Neil is feeling and thinking and the songs and albums provide clues that they value in an "extta-musical" sense; and (b) those people just happen to have "selves" that are more similar to Neil.

- Not Above Suspicion

I think you nailed it right here except that by adding, too, there is also a loyal cadre of people who closely identify with the lyrics & musical style more than they do with the artist who is writing these words and music.

At 3/01/2009 03:56:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Mother Nature & Not Above,

Good points.

I think we try and not be too serious about all this. I try not to let folks get me riled up about stuff.

Agree, that wecan't get into this real fan, true fan poseur fan thing.

It's not us vs them.

We can disagree on opinions. But we can't disagree on facts.

So just chillin'!


At 3/01/2009 05:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, How do I start a new subject?

Anyway, Nottingham Arena (in England in case you're geographically challenged) is advertising that tickets go on sale TOMORROW for a Neil Young concert on June 23rd!!!!!!


Back to Europe again ??????


At 3/01/2009 06:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jesus f-ing christ. another post telling everyone the rules of how they should feel about neil and his music. and thrasher giving it a spotlight only makes it appear desperate and lame.

here's some advice for the people who are waaaay too defensive in regards to all forms of criticism of neil:

get a new hobby.

you are clearly spending too much time getting worked up over music. do what neil does, enjoy the things you like to do and screw everything else. i don't see neil crying to the press or the fans over perceived slights. he just plays music, works on his projects and lives his life the best way he knows how. a lot of you could learn a lesson from this.

At 3/01/2009 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Thank you AK, we like his car, too. Is that a problem for you as well?

Did you ever start that apiary?

At 3/01/2009 08:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

like or don't like what you want. just don't expect everyone else to get in lockstep behind you.

why would i start an apiary? i'm a "true fan"!

At 3/01/2009 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Pinto (or Flounder) said...

Oh, hell.. I know I should just let this go, but the sheer cluelessness of this post combined with the "feature" placement of what, after all, is just another brick in the wall of those whose response to an extended period of sub-standard recordings by the object of our mutual devotion is to prescribe endless, repeated listenings in order to achieve the proper state of mindless adoration demands at least a brief rejoinder.

Sorry, Thrasher - love the site, love the fact that you maintain it without commercial sponsorship (there is a place for that type of idealism, even if I would rather you raked in a million bucks by blogging for Pepsi), love that you occasionally seem to recognize that there is a place for honest criticism, but it is a little scary to see the amount of mush on here.

You said it yourself, a few days ago, when you said that it might be a long time before we heard another classic. Do you think there's a chance that maybe, just maybe, if those of us who have lived with and loved this guy for forty years, stood up and said "This is not good music, Neil." that maybe there is just the tiniest possibility that it might have a positive effect?

Anyone who has ever been in a position of power, whether it's supervising one employee, or a hundred, or thousand, if they have any real insight, understands how utterly corrupting it can be. When your subjects (employees, in this case) spend their days thinking that their best option is to figure out what you want to hear and spout it back at you, you can pretty easily get used to hearing only the sound of your own voice. When Neil sits down and writes a bunch of songs in a few hours because he needs or wants to fill up an album; when real melodies are replaced by fragments of melodies, and when we accept this and tell ourselves and others that it's just Neil being Neil and that it's our fault if we think it sounds like crap, we're doing him a disservice.

I wish people would grow a pair and realize that if they think something sucks they just might be right. (It's not me, Neil, it's you.)

Love and affection, regardless.

At 3/01/2009 10:45:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Yes, AK, you are a true fan ... but you broke through the mold.

Tell me, again, what your gonna do with that old Neil stand up after you kick the bucket?

Put it in a museum, right? Charge a dollar and half just to see it?

Here's the label:

"Donated by the estate of AK because like Neil Young he didn't give a shit about anything except for his family, friends, & and his rock-n-roll"

At 3/02/2009 12:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher is great and I totally appreciate TW as a wonderful site for fans of Neil Young. (BTW, he's also a personal friend of mine whom I cherish deeply.)

But, I must say, it is perfectly all right for fans to say they don't like whatever Neil is delivering. Saying that one "didn't like Tonight's The Night" and thinks it's great now doesn't mean that not liking some of the current songs makes them great. That line of thinking is totally illogical.

Anyway, Neil is just Neil. He's provided so much for me that a blip now and then in his catalog does not detract from the whole. That being said, I think that musically, his new songs leave much to be desired overall. Sorry to offend those of you in the "Neil can do no wrong" camp.

Peace and love,

Expecting To Fly

At 3/02/2009 02:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much is being said for an album that hasn't been released yet.
Neil's music feels great so how do you know how it feels by reading lyrics on a website.
Can't wait to see him in Kelowna, BC

At 3/02/2009 06:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great posts Pinto and Mike. The irony of all this is that I'm sure that Neil himself would rather have people around him that give honest opinions about his work, which is probably why he was so close to Briggs. People around here are queueing up to play the role of Neil's champion when he probably doesn't even want one...

At 3/02/2009 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Hey Peter,

What looks like a giant queue up to shmoozefest is really just a lovefest celebrating his accomplishment as musician, faithful steward of the planet, and just a nice guy.

Neil has surrounded himself with objective but supportive people which probably accounts for his longevity reaching across all age groups. Why would you assume he's looking for what you or I say here online?

I mean he shows gratitude and disbelief that so many people are still interested in his music, but I don't think he's ever been solicitous about what his fans think or the material he continues to release to the public.

If anything, he is slowly assimilating into that natural role of witty, but bumbling educator-commentator that comes with age and experience, while still humbling himself as a novice by throwing those age old questions about life in the songs he still writes...

There's always been a duality about this guy... but he's genuine and sincere most of all.

At 3/02/2009 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the needle continues to skip....

I still think the presentation of FITR blasting into our collective face on the internet for nothing is the main story. We'll all respond from our personal bias as to what we like, what we want, what we think he should be doing. But this next album is the soundtrack to 'his' current moment. How easy it it for YOU/ME to switch gears when we're 'into' something that is capturing our attention and efforts. It's like having a baby - can you relate to all your old ways and thinkings when that baby is near, or born, or first growing? You're captured, or least you should be. It's the birth of new creativity from a personal perspective and is as uniquely individual as the DNA that puts it there and channels it out.

I guess if it ain't your cup of tea, go out and do it yourself.


At 3/02/2009 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People oversly obsessed with Neil.. especially at the ages of the psychophants here... obviously have problems and little in their lives. Grow up!

At 3/02/2009 11:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like I got through.

Pick up a guitar, write some songs. Record your stuff. Put yourself out there. Then criticize. I've been there FYI.


At 3/02/2009 11:29:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Hi e2f!

Nice to hear from you, buddy.

All I gotta say is that everything is totally cool as long as we ALL agree to disagree politely. (That wasn't directed at you whatsoever. You're a true dignified gentleman).

My only concern here is whether you love or hate stuff, make a coherent, non-rant argument.

Saying lyrics/melody suck, just doesn't cut much more than "I love all things Neil!".

As always, I tremendously value your appreciation of Neil's music and support of TW over the many years.

Be the wheat.

At 3/02/2009 11:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mother nature-lol. nice label.

i'm just hoping my neil stand up can survive another couple of decades. he'll always cost nothing to visit. the hard part is actually getting here to see it.

At 3/02/2009 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thrasher-a "non-rant argument"???? let's not hold people to a higher standard than neil holds himself too. i happen to enjoy neil's full length rant titled "living with war". neil enjoys a non-coherent rant every now and then. so do i. they often make for the most entertaining reading.

At 3/02/2009 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Pinto, that's a great posting man, and a great way of saying we should not reduce ourselves to mindless disciples of Neil on this blog. It would be a disservice to Neil, to ourselves, and to Thrasher.

At 3/03/2009 05:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess it’s my turn to join the “rejoinders”. A lot of people made a lot of good points, which set me to rethinking and trying to expand my perspective about what I wrote and why I wrote it. I agree that it’s not a good idea to demand lockstep devotion to anyone who we think can do no wrong, which you should at least admit I took the time to point out. To restate myself, doing some “wrong” is what you get from an artist who works without a net. I don’t see this as a negative. I also agree that it’s not a subject anyone should get bent out of shape about, and that we could all “take a page out of Neil’s book” and just go on about our business. I don’t think I’m bent out of shape, just interested in adding my point of view now and then. You can take it or leave it, and it won’t bother me, so long as we can retain a civil tone. As to the need to “grow up”, I think it’s fair to say that we all have our problems, even those of us of advanced ages, but that this should not preclude our joining in the conversation as long as we are not “obsessed and have nothing else to live for.” So let me try to imperfectly make a few more points to make what I wrote hopefully a little clearer, even though I’m sure I’ll only muddy the waters still more here and there.

I did not write in defense of Neil. I think a lot of people made a great point that Neil is basically impervious to criticism. He knows it’s out there, and remains unapologetic and undeterred- just another in a long train of admirable qualities that I appreciate about the man. In any event, I feel certain that he would find any such “defense” laughable, and a waste of time. Likewise, I don’t think taking into consideration even constructive criticism from blogs such as this would alter the result of the muses’ next visit. I don’t think Neil questions it too closely, and therefore neither should we. If you doubt this, then consider that Neil went off on his own many times despite a pointed lack of support from David Briggs.

I wrote in defense of my own frustration at what I saw as short sighted opinions in terms of Neil’s perceived motivations, and some perceived intolerance that Neil’s music of late does not conform with what I consider to be unfair expectations, given the nature of the artist and the man. My frustration stems from expressions of criticism, which no one is immune to, not even Neil, from points of view that in my eyes couldn’t possibly take into consideration the whole picture. There are certain things that even “sycophants” can legitimately recognize as red flags in terms of a basic lack of understanding, e.g. that he ever puts out a record or goes out on tour for the motivation of making money. Does he enjoy the money and the opportunities it affords him? I have no doubt, but that’s not why he does it, and that’s where I start to stray toward the definition of a “true” fan. A “true” fan would never make this mistake.

One of the things I unsuccessfully tried to say is that it is alright to criticize, but only if you know what you’re talking about, and only if you’ve given the music a fair chance, rather than relegating it to your first impression. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a good percentage of Neil’s music does not lend itself to first impressions. It can be a little like a wine that needs time to age. In the end you may still feel it tastes like shit, but you’ll never really know for sure unless you’ve given it the requisite time to develop. Beyond this, relative to parts of Neil’s catalogue which don’t “rise” to the heights of what some people think they should, I don’t care. I still love it because it’s Neil being Neil. I know that there’s “more to the picture than meets the eye.”

I think it’s fair to dispute the either/or notion of what it means to be a fan. Since it was me who made the mistake of using the term, and in the spirit of intellectual honesty, let me define what I think a “true” Neil Young fan is, and then opt out of the mistake, by using a better term- maybe the “optimal” Neil Young fan- all the time acknowledging that there are all sorts of Neil fans who don’t fit this description. A “true” Neil Young fan does not view the music as the only criteria for being a fan. In the case of Neil, the “optimal” fan recognizes that any Neil Young work represents multiple other things beyond simple musicality: muse, the need to communicate something personal, honesty, fertile ground to experiment, discover and rediscover, the presentation of “snapshot” moments in his life, obsessions which need to be seen through to there logical conclusions, and many other things like the unique ability to express things in a musical form. When I was much younger, I climbed a huge rock with some friends. After we got up to a certain height, we realized that we were far enough from the ground that any fall would probably be curtains for us. It was the first time I understood the concept. We all had an interesting story to tell for sure, but when Neil had a brush with death we got Prairie Wind. I remember the braying about that one too, just another disappointment for “fans” who wanted another Rust Never Sleeps or Zuma. Has the appreciation for the artist’s ability to paint a musical picture of a personal perspective evaporated because the music doesn’t sound a certain way? O.K., you appreciate it, but you just don’t like how it sounds at first. Can you be open to letting it grow on you a little, and let time reveal a different perspective? Maybe I’m just a sycophant, but it’s always worked for me.

When I was in school, I took a class on public art, and was very critical of some of the examples we studied. After a while the teacher pointed out that until I knew what the intent behind the commission for the project was, what the parameters were, that it was ignorant to make a judgment. But you appreciate the intent you say, you just don’t like that it’s not melodic enough. Here’s where the “optimal” fan and some other fans depart ways. The “optimal” fan knows that the intent is always there, and that like as not it resulted from some form of immediacy, be it muse or a newspaper article or a relationship breakup or scenes of body bags in the dark of night. Next, we know that sometimes the music is more accessible than not, and vice versa. Finally, we know that the intent and the music link up in haphazard ways. Sometimes you get a Philadelphia, sometimes you get a Fork In The Road. But the “optimal” fan doesn’t care, because we got something that we didn’t have before, something that has the mark of a man who cares. I’m sure I’m mangling the metaphor, but to me it’s a classic case of a “rose by any other name”. It may look or sound different, but it’s still Neil.

As to an “extended period of sub-standard recordings” that require extended listening to facilitate a “mindless adoration”, I think this is at once disrespectful to the music and the listener. Neil once commented in defense of his Geffen years that he liked the albums despite everything, and likened them to the period pieces of an artist. They represent something even if that is not immediately apparent to the viewer. Likewise, it is not “mindless adoration” to make the attempt to appreciate something from someone who has so often rewarded us for our efforts in the past. Besides, who’s to say what “sucks” and what doesn’t? So what if it doesn’t “sound” good, or isn’t “deep” enough? Who’s to say? Anyway, some people are going to like the new stuff, and others won’t, and that’s o.k. As one post said: “Saying that one "didn't like Tonight's The Night" and thinks it's great now doesn't mean that not liking some of the current songs makes them great. That line of thinking is totally illogical.” Point well taken, but I’m still going to bide my time and give the new stuff the chance it deserves.

One post summed up a lot for me in describing the latest music as a “current moment”, akin to being “into something that is capturing our attention and efforts… You’re captured, or at least you should be.” Beautifully said. As regards Neil’s newest stuff, why not be captured by Neil being captured? And there’s the rub. Different degrees of fans place demands on the music that it must conform to their own taste. The art must be more about the audience than the artist. I remember the Greendale concert I attended at the Rosemont outside Chicago. I was talking to the couple next to me who didn’t know much about Neil, and even less about Greendale. After giving a loose description of the project, and admitting to my own uncertainty, they asked me if I was expecting to like the show or not. I replied that I was going to love the show because I love Neil. And there’s the bottom line, really. The “optimal” fan is very rarely disappointed or surprised by anything Neil does because we know what he’s doing. He’s giving us a glimpse of himself and a unique perspective about the world around us in a very cool way, through his music. To the extent that I react to my frustration (as opposed to racing to the defense of Neil), it is because too often people don’t take much of what I’m saying into account when they make their comments. That’s o.k., only don’t take offense when it is pointed out that these comments are diminished by the absence of the larger perspective which “optimal” fans have a clearer understanding of.

I hope all of you who wrote such great comments can appreciate my sometimes tongue in cheek approach.

All the best to all of you Neil Young fans- Greg M

At 3/03/2009 07:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contrary to the original poster who stated he hated Tonights the Night at first...... Well I still rememebr the first time I heard Tonights the Night.I loved it and thought it was the best thing Neil ever released ! So I'm not sure how much of a real Neil fan you are.
anyway, fork in the road is a total piece of shit.Go listen to it 25,000 times and you'll get used to it and say how good it is, but it's still a piece of shit.
Reality is definately lacking on this site when i read so many people rationalizing about this piece of shit album.It sucks folks.
Just say it sucks and move on.

At 3/03/2009 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Have you listened to "Get Behind the Wheel?"

Oh my! That is total funk! "Light A Candle" is so pretty.

"Fork in the Road" is really a cruising song.

And if you saw Neil do "Johnny Magic" it would change your mind.

The guy can still boogy.

At 3/03/2009 07:22:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I keep hearing the chorus "in Wichitaaaaaaaaaw"

You cannot help from singing along on this one, really.

At 3/03/2009 07:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg M...Other then a 'novel', that was beautifully written and I think, sums up both sides of the coin.
It still amazes me how one man, one artist, can muster up soo much debate, critical analysis and diverse opinions of his life's work as a musician and campaigner of the many causes he persues. Everyone it seems wants to be a Neil Analyst.So here's my slant!

Forget 'Shakey' and the other biographies that have been written
about the man,his life path has been written in an autobiography by virtue of the music threads, twists and turns represented in the albums he has released. The lyrics in the songs of each album released chronologically depict each facet of his life..the highs, the lows, the joys, the disappointments and the passions.Some of his music is full of love, some dark, some haunting and to some, utter crap.
So here we are at the Fork in the road!..Neil's latest passion and obvious influence to his current 'muse'(buzz word of the moment) is his lincvolt project, hence his current batch of songs and lyrics.. not everyone's cup of tea.. but nonetheless its where Neil's 'at' at the moment..who knows what the next chapter of his automusical biography will album of nursing home songs?
Where ever his 'muse' takes him I suppose.
An 'optimal' fan...yeah.. thats a good way of puttin it..but always a fan and admirer of his life's work...I hope the final chapter is still a long ,long away!

At 3/03/2009 01:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that many would want Neil's next phase to be that of the "depressed, misunderstood, artist" so that the muse will channel such passionate songs as "Birds", "Tell Me Why", "A Man Needs a Maid", or "Ambulance Blues" - sorry, folks, it ain't gonna happen - apparently, Neil recovered from his first adolescence. Now, he's been handed the keys to the car.

At 3/03/2009 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...


"depressed, misunderstood, artist"

Like we don't have enough right now, right?


At 3/03/2009 03:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we should all be entitled to write our own version of "piece of crap".

criticism does not need to be qualified in any way shape or form to be legitimate. neil's lww album is basically an extremely dumbed down swipe at bush. a deserved swipe. but a really fucking dumb one. i think that is a large part of it's appeal. along with the aforementioned "piece of crap" and also "prisoners of rock and roll" among others, criticism can be done without a dissertation.

that is the failing of thrasher's viewpoint and his misguided attempts to defend neil. neil isn't above taking foolish swipes at things he doesn't like either. the guy isn't a scholar, he's basically a guy without a high level education, a lot of money and a good heart which leads him to do things he feels is positive.....most of the time. most of time because a guy who follows only his muse leaves a lot of wreckage in his wake (see: bob dylan).

to me, it's all water off a duck's back.

"Donated by the estate of AK because like Neil Young he didn't give a shit about anything except for his family, friends, & and his rock-n-roll"

At 3/03/2009 03:43:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Oh AK, interesting comment there.

If you're going to write something with the hopes of it crossing all ideologies, intelligences, and interests, how could Neil have made LWW any more simple without it becoming trivial?

And remember, too, that sometimes even brilliance can radiate from what appears to be the most dull or blunt surfaces.

At 3/03/2009 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

... and I don't see Thrasher deifying Neil or making him look anything more than what he is.

He just likes the guy's music like the rest of us.

At 3/03/2009 04:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with you last statement mother nature. thrasher is not deifying neil. just being a little overzealous in defense of neil.

as i stated in a previous post, i haven't heard anything but the title cut "fork in the road". i'm waiting to hear the album for myself. but if someone wants to bash the album and neil's motivation---so be it. i'll make up my own mind about the album when it's out. let the criticism of neil fly. true, false, warranted or unwarranted. shit, if he survived landing on water, arc and prairie wind (ooooh--cheap shot!) i have the feeling fork in the road will weather the storm just fine.

At 3/03/2009 04:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the guy isn't a scholar, he's basically a guy without a high level education"

That's a helluva stretch. You sure?

Scholar: a learned person.

Who's more educated in their field? I'd trade in the "scholar" for the 'tool man' on almost any job or endevour.

It's the streets vs. the books. I'd say the road has educated him, coupled with his strong passions.

Lets see, train switches for the handicapped, crazy footboard for Old Black, gas hog conversion of a 59 continental to LincVolt, etc.

Now of course he's finding the best techies to put 'his' ideas in place. Most do when their 'working on the railroad all the live long day'.

Creativity and high itelligence frequently go hand in hand.

Mistakes? sure. Guts? more than most.

At 3/03/2009 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Sony, I think you're misunderstanding AK's point.

Your taking one sentence out of context. Read what he says in that entire paragraph:

the guy isn't a scholar, he's basically a guy without a high level education, a lot of money and a good heart which leads him to do things he feels is positive.....most of the time. most of time because a guy who follows only his muse leaves a lot of wreckage in his wake

And Thrasher IMO has always done a good job keeping things in perspective here.

At 3/03/2009 10:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To kill a mockingbird is a sin. They were sent here to sing us songs and give us joy.

At 3/03/2009 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you sure? I missed it?

"the guy isn't a scholar, he's basically a guy without a high level education"

At 3/04/2009 09:10:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Hey Sony,

Are you confusing intelligence, philanthropy, and leadership with being scholarly?

Intelligence is not a single entity as it was thought. There exists within each human a multitude of intelligences, very independent of each other. Each intelligence has its own strengths and limits.

Neil possesses an obvious spacial, intrapersonal, existential, and musical intelligence. He can peel away at truth or feeling down to the core. He "feels" his way through life.

He is also very philanthropic, as you pointed out demonstrating obvious leadership qualities.

Whether his highly developed "intelligences" or "leadership" or or "philanthropy" qualify him to be a "scholar" is stretching it a bit and only by the most narrow, simplified definition of the word.

Pie for strength!
Pie for scholars!

At 3/04/2009 09:25:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/04/2009 03:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Crosby said in 4 way street....sheer profoundatory!(sic)

At 3/04/2009 05:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

spelling revision: "Profundity!"..
before the spelling police arrest me!
Oh and by the way thrash.. I worked out why I couldn't get on from home for a while.. every time I hit the 'i' on my keyboard at home the number '8' comes up as well.. and because my typed password is hidden, I can't check what I have typed....."I'm not a smart man ..Jenny..but i know what blog is."
Forrest dip

At 3/05/2009 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this mnotr's blog?

At 3/10/2009 09:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are you confusing intelligence, philanthropy, and leadership with being scholarly?"


to say he isn't scholorly or is without a high level education misses the mark completely. He didn't inherit his knowledge - he learned it. Paid his dues. Road rash. A Harvard diploma isn't the only way to 'earn' an education. I'm responding to the judgement in the initial comment that's all.

Intelligence, inspiration, (insanity - you name it) is different than 'an education'


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