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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greendale: "Neil Young's Avatar"


Greendale: "Neil Young's Avatar"

Happy Earth Day!

Here at Thrasher's Wheat, we're observing Earth Day by playing Neil Young's Greendale. Kinda like playing ARC on April 1!

But in all seriousness, we try and make everyday Earth Day on this blog. Some may note the badge on the lower right sidebar that states that "This Blog Fights Climate Change". And we like to talk about Sun Green and Earth Brown's mission to save Alaska from time to time.

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge

As we've argued repeatedly over the years about the vastly underrated and under appreciated Greendale, the inconvenient truth of Greendale was that Sun Green -- and Neil Young -- were right.


And -- inconveniently -- the job is bigger than saving just Alaska.

From Venice Magazine interview (February 2004) on making a difference:
YOUNG: "Well, I think it is incumbent upon me, with Greendale out there, to do everything that I can to try to live up to Sun Green's vision of what the world should be like, and the kind of changes people should make. Which is more like, "Put your money where your mouth is.

And it's slow, a painfully slow process, but one of the things that we are doing is starting to power our vehicles for this next tour with bio-fuel that has no emissions that damage the ozone, 75 to 80% less pollution than normal diesel, and we'll just try to make a statement that, "Hey, this is something you can do right now, I could be driving around in my SUV or Hummer burning vegetable oil." The thing everybody hates about those is how wasteful they are. The fact that it's big, it's in the way, it's macho, and it's polluting the fucking planet and wasting fuel while it's doing it, it's pouring gallons and gallons of gasoline through one of these things, that's what bothers people."

And that's only one reason why we applaud the LincVolt project.


The inconvenient truth of Greendale is that regardless of whether you loved it or hated it, it was "the most important album of 2003, the musical equivalent of Silent Spring".

Now that is clear that the classic capitalist economic model is seriously flawed we need to understand how best to re-engineer our societies. Because we have now reached the fork in the road and must make a serious choice -- continue in the direction were heading or choose the hidden path which is less traveled.

Here's what we said on our Fork in the Road Reviews: Got A Potbelly
Recently, we wrote about how the initial consensus around Neil Young's Greendale and Living With War was that they were flawed and misguided. Our opinion was that Fork in the Road seemed to be falling right into the same mindset. But we maintain that the three works together actually constitute a cohesive trilogy that may just validate Neil's early 21st century work.

There's an intriguing arc between the three albums. With Greendale , Neil sounds the alarm that something has gone terribly wrong on a number of fronts. Living With War was a direct confrontation of the need for a call to action. Fork in the Road -- the 3rd installment of the trilogy -- reveals Neil coming to grips with the fact that first you recognize a problem, then you call out the need to address it, and finally you do something about it.

Mother Earth by Neil Young

Oh, Mother Earth,
With your fields of green
Once more laid down
by the hungry hand
How long can you
give and not receive
And feed this world
ruled by greed
And feed this world
ruled by greed.

Oh, ball of fire
In the summer sky
Your healing light,
your parade of days
Are they betrayed
by the men of power
Who hold this world
in their changing hands
They hold the world
in their changing hands.

Oh, freedom land
Can you let this go
Down to the streets
where the numbers grow
Respect Mother Earth
and her giving ways
Or trade away
our children's days
Or trade away
our children's days.

Respect Mother Earth
and her giving ways
Or trade away
our children's days.

Neil Young has been performing "Mother Earth" at each of his concerts over the past year or so.


So, if you never really figured out what 2003's Greendale was all about -- or if you missed the stageplay concert -- then take a few moments and watch this video of "Be The Rain".

Be the Rain. Be the Change. Be the Wheat.

Be A Goddess in the Planet Wars.

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents; it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

-- Ancient Indian Proverb.


At 4/22/2010 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

Oh yes, the magnificent beauty of Greendale. Last time I saw this was late in the tour in Boston and I was walking along the side, stage right. Ben was sitting about 100 feet away and I gave him a big wave...and he looked at me and gave me a wonderful smile back. Real life is made of such moments.....

At 4/23/2010 01:22:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

I saw Greendale a number of times and it got better and better each time. I think it was one of his greatest works ever. The difference between live and the produced cd is night and day. It speaks volumes about the world we live in. Truly inspired.


At 4/23/2010 11:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greendale was indeed the best CD of 2003 and is vastly underrated. That was an interesting year for me personally and Greendale really helped. Saw the show several times and it was fantastic. Neil really needs to release one of those shows on DVD; I like the movie, but the show was spectacular!

At 4/23/2010 04:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That video still makes me tear up every time I watch it.

One of eleven thousand

At 4/24/2010 01:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Greendale" is the best Neil Young album since "Rust Never Sleeps".


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