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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Neil Young: The Uncompromising Spirit of a Native Son


Great article on Neil Young and what the man is all about from All About Jazz "Neil Young: The Uncompromising Spirit of a Native Son" by Lloyd Peterson:
"There are those faster of guitar and more technically sound, but Young's genius lies in his ability to transcend genre and style with his own creative spirit. He is Rodin with a piece of rock, Picasso with paint brush and Dostoevsky with pen. And like the great ones before him, his work is immediately identifiable and cannot be judged by technique alone.

He is a rare artist whose every note, every word, every musical nuance is brutally honest, a relentless and intense creative spirit, unwilling to bend in the search for higher truths; a genius with extraordinary depth and clarity."

Must read on All About Jazz.

More on why Neil Young matters today.

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At 3/15/2009 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Shittyhorse said...

RIGHT ON! Neil Young IS a Picasso...and while he maybe misunderstood at times by some...there are those relatively few of us who understand what Neil is about and what he does. There is such emotion and SOUL in his EVERY SONG, EVERY VERSE HE SINGS, EVERY SOLO BLASTED AND SHREDDED FROM OLD BLACK, EVERY NOTE, EVERY PROJECT, ALBUM AND MOVIE! To me Neil's career and work is a gift to all of us who are smart enough to accept it! NEIL YOUNG HAS MORE SOUL THAN MOTOWN! LONG MAY HE RUN!

At 3/15/2009 09:03:00 PM, Blogger Pinto (or Flounder) said...

there are those relatively few of us who understand what Neil is about and what he does

Neil's career and work is a gift to all of us who are smart enough to accept it!

FYI - it's this kind of crap that makes it difficult to have a rational discussion on your site.

Ah hell, I was going to expand on that thought but, really, any comment that flies in the face of the kind of mindless idolatry like Shittypants espouses brings down the house and so...

I really love the passion behind your eloquent and enthusiastic endorsement of Neil's environmental concerns. I admire your devotion to the artist. I would love to spend hours and thousands of words debating the relative merits of "Will to love" and "I'm the Ocean". I would love to carry the torch for "Depression Blues", my own favorite least-listened-to Neil classic. But I get so tired of the "those of us who are smart enough" party line. And, frankly, as a late-comer to the Thrasher's Wheat discussion board, I don't blame you for not giving a shit about whatever the hell I'm thinking.

But I'll just sing out, once again, to gently express the opinion that Neil, or maybe someone in Neil's circle, may actually be paying attention,
we're not doing Neil, or ourselves, any favors, by ignoring the fact that maybe it's possible to be a "real", (if maybe not "optimal"), from a commercial standpoint, Neil fan without buying into the line that every single note he lays down is golden.
I have listened to the car songs. I have kind of come to the conclusion that they have a certain Greendaleish charm. I love Greendale.

But can we please acknowledge that these are not "songs" in the sense of the word that would inspire any other artist to sing them? And can we then discuss what that means in terms of Neil's career?

Look, I really admire what you have done with this site. A few years ago, I applied for a job as Executive Director of a foundation that controlled a natural resource that I thought was capable of being transformed from a local to a national treasure. The founders ran the foundation as a little private club and I tried to tell them that they could have so much more, that they were the conservators of a gift that God had given to the world. They opted to keep it as a private club.

For better or worse (and I think, my friend, better)you are the current conservator of the Neil Young legend and foundation. I would hope that you would appreciate the responsibility that status confers upon you and search, most of all, for the truth, not the legend.

Best always

P (or F)

At 3/15/2009 09:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil is more like Vincent Van Gogh, he weaves music at differnt sight lines, honest but not normal. Neil is not normal, genius is a little odd and Neil is a genius, and we love him for being odd. Paint the picture Neil, we love you and run hard. I can't wait for the new album. Jeannie

At 3/15/2009 11:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Thrasher! Great article, its a pleasure to see how much the author appreciates Neil...

Pinto, with no disrespect intended, you have registered your views more than a few times... at some point one has to wonder if these comments are about Neil or about your being uncomfortable about the site and the fact fans congregate here to revel in Neil and his art .... there's nothing wrong with disagreements and with differences of opinions but I'm not sure that every thread needs to have discord, disagreement and negativity. Also, I like to think that our comments here are important but we should keep it in perspective ... I don't think it makes any difference to Neil if we all praise or haze him ... one of his great qualities is that he doesn't tune in and he doesn't care what the critics say. Its misguided to think that for the sake of helping Neil we must all dissect every note critically ...

SH in my view is simply expressing his adulation for Neil and for how consistently Neil puts tremendous emotion and soul into his work ... If you read his post carefully he's not saying every note is golden, just that every note has SOUL.

In the end, the "truth" is clearly subjective ... If some people can't be satisfied with what Neil has done over the past two years (never ending tour - acoustic, electric, small venues, big venues, music festivals), interviews, documentaries, blogs, internet videos, Lincoln Volt, new albums, new songs, Archives releases (Massey, Filmore East), Blue Ray anticipation, Archives Guy, then they'll never be satisfied ... but I like to think that many congregate here on TW to celebrate the man and his art. And let's face it, there's bountiful reasons to be thrilled with what Neil's doing and its a pleasure to come on the site, catch up on what's happening with Neil (Thanks Thrasher! there's no one who does it better) and simply enjoy seeing what fans are thinking.

On that note, I'd love to hear your thoughts on "I'm the Ocean"


At 3/20/2009 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He is Rodin with a piece of rock, Picasso with paint brush and Dostoevsky with pen."

Cheezus, people, let's not lose our heads.


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