Happy ARC Day!
Well it's ARC day!
For the unitiated, Deb "Rewriting the Rules" on Rust has been encouraging folks to play ARC -- one of the more obscure Neil Young recordings -- on April 1 each year.
Part of the Arc-Weld release, Arc is 35 minutes of pure distortion and molten feedback from the 1991 Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour.
According to legend, Neil placed a video camera on his amp during the 1991 tour and recorded the beginnings and endings of various songs which were later edited down into the single track of Arc. "It was the sound of the entire band being sucked into this little limiter, being compressed and fuckin' distorted to hell," Neil said.
"Arc is like being inside of a very big thing. I equate Arc to that movie Fantastic Voyage -- it's like a trip through a power chord. The chord may last like five or six seconds, but it takes thirty-five minutes, at the size we're reducing ourselves to, to go through it." – Neil
Arc is a composition of feedback, guitar noise, and vocal fragments that was realized from various shows on the 1991 Neil Young and Crazy Horse US tour, which was originally released with Weld in a special-edition 3-CD set called Arc-Weld. Arc bears no small resemblance to the music of Sonic Youth, which was one of the support acts on the tour.In honor of ARC Day, Rust Radio will be playing ARC continuously for the next 24 hours.
According to an interview with Steve Martin of Agnostic Front that appeared in the December 1991 issue of Pulse! magazine, Arc had its genesis in a film that Neil made called "Muddy Track" (referred to in an interview with David Fricke in the November 28, 1991, issue of Rolling Stone), which consisted of beginnings and endings of various songs from his 1987 European Tour. Neil placed a video camera on his amplifier during the 1987 tour and recorded the beginnings and endings of various songs, that were later edited down into the film's soundtrack. "It was the sound of the entire band being sucked into this little limiter, being compressed and fuckin' distorted to hell," Neil said to Martin, referring to the soundtrack of "Muddy Track". Young showed the video to Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, a noted figure in New York's avant-garde music scene, who suggested that he record an entire album in a similar manner. However, Arc was not recorded through video camera microphones, as was the case with "Muddy Track", but instead was compiled from various professional multi-track recordings made throughout the tour.
Also, if you must have Neil Young's ARC, it is available on Amazon. Although we can't imagine what the impact of listening to a MP3 of ARC on iPod headphones might do?!
NO. MORE. PAIN.
Attend ARC Day NOW!