canada.gif

gb.gif

de.gif

us.gif
Neil Young's new album Peace Trail released on December 12th. Pre-order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
ADVERTISEMENT
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Van Morrison and Neil Young

Van-Morrison-by-greil-marcus.jpg


Veteran music critic Greil Marcus has a new book out on Van Morrison titled "When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison".

In the book there are a couple of refernces to Neil Young. From an interview with author Marcus where he discusses Van Morrison on Blogcritics Music by Donald Gibson:
QUESTION: Given how you describe Morrison in the book, do you see any comparable artist? The one that comes to mind is Neil Young.

MARCUS: Neil Young is probably the best analogy. I think that's really on the mark. Not that they're identical or maybe even that similar, but... There's a moment on "Over and Over" on Ragged Glory where something absolutely extraordinary happens in the middle of the instrumental break. The only way I've ever been able to describe it to myself is that the song turns over. I've only heard that one other time, in one other piece of music. So I don't think it's something anybody can aim for or really replicate.

And if you listen to the Dead Man soundtrack that Neil Young did, which is just him playing guitar, I think you can hear that same sense of trust in the music or in your own ability to find it, but also the willingness to just go out there, poking around in the bushes for days if that's what it takes to find what you're looking for. I love something Neil Young said in the '90s, and he was being interviewed on the radio about grunge. And he said something like, "Ya know, all those old guys who play guitar, they don't know what grunge is." And I'm thinking, All those old guys? [Laughs]

QUESTION: Like Eddie Vedder, he meant?

MARCUS: I don't know what he meant—Neil Young at that time was one of the old guys—but he was saying, "All these old guys, they don't know what this is. They don't understand it. When you play that kind of music, there's no feeling like it anywhere." And he's saying, "I play this music in order to feel myself emotionally respond to the sounds that I'm creating. I'm my own listener." What a wonderful thing.

Now whether Van Morrison is his own listener in the same way, probably not. But they're both people who can be enormously frustrating in terms of making tiresome music, making albums that you never want to listen all the way through let alone ever play again, but that you can't ever write off. You have no idea what they're going to come up with.

Thanks Scott!

Read sample pages on When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison.

More on other artists influencing Neil Young's music. For example:

  • Bob Dylan and Neil Young
  • John Lennon and Neil Young
  • Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young
  • Pearl Jam and Neil Young
  • Joni Mitchell and Neil Young
  • Paul McCartney and Neil Young
  • Keith Richards and Neil Young
  • Jimmy Page and Neil Young
  • Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young

  • Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    12 Comments:

    At 5/12/2010 01:38:00 PM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

    Man, I just love "Over and Over." Pure pop-rock ecstasy. You could dance all night long to that bouncy beat and melody. What a fun song it must be to play.

    I think I understand what Marcus means-just when you think the song couldn't get any "higher, it jumps to a whole new level.

     
    At 5/12/2010 04:15:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

    Agreed - 'Over and Over' is beyond fantastic. Isn't that the track where you can near Poncho and Billy shouting in the background somewhere near the final verse? I'm pretty sure it is.

    That and 'White Line' are two of my favorite Ragged Glory tracks, although the original 'White Line' from the unreleased Chrome Dreams is better in my opinion. Not sure what the original title was since white line is never sung in the original version.

     
    At 5/12/2010 04:16:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

    Of course I meant "hear" not "near".

     
    At 5/12/2010 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "But they're both people who can be enormously frustrating in terms of making tiresome music, making albums that you never want to listen all the way through let alone ever play again, but that you can't ever write off. You have no idea what they're going to come up with."

    The quote above rubs me the wrong way ... seems like exactly like the type of contrived statement a critic would make ... as if somehow their putdowns make them a sophisticated arbiter of how good the artist is ... maybe the fact that the music seems "tiresome" to the critic is because they don't get it ... again, not trying to say everything Neil ever created is perfect, although I've never found any of his music or albums tiresome or so bad I didn't want to listed through it even once, just saying that quote seems superficial and reflects the lacks of the critic much more than the artists ... anyhow, I never understood the value of a critic ... music like Neil's strikes each person uniquely and emotionally why do we need someone who is a so called "expert" telling us how to judge art that is so personal and subjective?

     
    At 5/12/2010 05:49:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

    In my "Rediscovering Neil" Phase,
    (Yes, I do admit to a bit of an hiatus for different reasons), Ragged Glory and Chrome dreams 2 have both been in heavy 'rotation' so to speak.

    There is something about Neil's music that in my eyes really is unique,more then any other artist I've listened to over the years.

    Most artists have that signature album..in some people's eyes that might be say, Van's 'Astral weeks' period ..but Neil..and the beauty of Neil is, there might be an album you've never really appreciated or got into the first time round, but on "rediscovery", found that you couldn't play it often enough ..until the 'earworm' on some tracks was well and truly embedded.

    Yeah, I found that happening on some of the tracks on both 'ragged glory' and 'CD 2' funnily enough.

    This 'renaissance' into Neil's music is probably more documented in his 'Ditch trilogy' phase..but there has been a lot of styles and phases that Neil was influenced by over the years that reflects in the "muse" on his albums he was laying down at the time.(Yep, I'm gettin' sick of that word too).

    So in the end ,it doesn't surprise me that people draw analogies to Neil and his music and sound...
    Van is just another.

    doc

     
    At 5/12/2010 09:46:00 PM, Anonymous Babbo said...

    Original "White Line" title was "River of Pride"

    Babs

     
    At 5/13/2010 04:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Greil has great taste in music but he is writing is often obtuse and harder to understand than some of later period James Joyce.

    He makes a sweeping statement in his book about 15/18 years (one good sweeping statement etc) of bad Van albums. I would argue that there is a similar period for Dylan from about 1978 to 1992 but that period of time includes a couple of my favourite Van albums - Irish Heartbeat and Avalon.

    I'm not sure what Neil albums Greil actually likes. Beside the albums listed in the discography from Stranded it seems that Greil likes Reactor and the Dead Man soundtrack. I seem to recall he liked Harvest Moon though I may be wrong.

    I prefer Robert Christgau's views on Neil's albums. If nothing else I can understand them and the Consumer Guide contains little waste.

    Landing on Water

     
    At 5/13/2010 07:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Neil fans are some the most 'rabid' fans that I have encountered in my life. However, I have a very good friend that puts us Neilsheads to shame when it comes to Van Morrison. Though low in numbers (an assumption) Vanfans have demostrated to me an allegiance and loyalty not seen too often. With good reason I can add. Van is unique in vocal and delivery and is usually accompanied by tremendous players. I also think his limited touring (scarcity) results in high demand here in the states. He is an unparralled gem and worth the investigation.

    - Not Rotten Johnny

     
    At 5/13/2010 10:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love "Over and Over" but I'm not getting at all what he says about the song "turning over". I don't agree. The solos (and I love 'em) are not particularly exploratory as in, say, "Love and Only Love" or "No Hidden Path". Neil is playing his "new" goldtop, outfitted with the B-7 Bigsby and the Firebird pickup. What he does on "Over and Over" is combined switching between the P-90 (neck pickup) and the firebird (bridge pickup), combined with changing tone by switching through the whizzer settings to adjust the volume(s) and tone pots on the 5E3. So, what you get are phrases that are pretty much the same but sound tonally different. Neil is also moving to different positions, so that the solo phrases are played at one moment in an open G position and at the next up on the neck but on the E-A-D strings (such as the riff that opens the song at the 10th and 12 frets on the E and A strings.

    It's a great song (G-C-D repeated, with some slight variation in the measures in the chorus)and it really drives - an excellent example of simplicity as the framework for rocking out and a great format for the Horse. But the guy in the interview is making it out to be something its not. And you know Neil would call all that bullshit. But its not exploratory as a solo (as he is trying to make the point) like some of the other songs on the Ragged Glory - especially "Love and Only Love" and "Love to Burn".

    The thing about Ragged Glory is that it is all one song. Country Home is in G, White Line is in Em, Over and Over is in G, Love to Burn is in Em, Mansion on a Hill is in G, Natural Anthem is in G. G and Em are basically the same scale. Love to Burn and Love and Only Love are basically the same chord progressions. (F*&king Up is in D or Dm.) My point is that the approach to the leads are going to be very similar in all of these songs. Neil is poking around throughout the album on the same song. That's what I think is so cool. He is exploring his leads by changing tones using only volume and tone (which is just selectively dumping frequencies to ground).

    I would love to see someone who really gets into the structure of the music and tone to evaluate Neil's playing. Larry Cragg is probably the most informed.

    Old Black

     
    At 5/13/2010 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So all you critics sit alone
    You're no better than me
    for what you've shown.
    With your stomach pump and
    your hook and ladder dreams
    We could get together
    for some scenes.

     
    At 5/13/2010 07:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I don't know that much about Greil Marcus, but I've always enjoyed his take on the few things I have heard him talk about in the past. That being said, there's a quote from Ranier Maria Rilke on the subject of criticism that I think applies nicely to even rock criticism, and definitely to a lot of criticism in general when it comes to Neil, here on TW and elsewhere:

    "Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren’t all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe, most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

    Read as little as possible of literary criticism- such things are either partisan opinions, which have become petrified and meaningless, hardened and empty of life, or else they are just clever word-games, in which one view wins today, and tomorrow the opposite view. Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them."

    Sometimes, it really is as simple as the artist being their own "listener", and for me this is the highest form of art there is, and why I invariably end up loving just about anything Neil does. Before anything else it is personal, real and honest, and we are just along for the ride. I for one am grateful enough not to make any demands.

    I agree with some of the other posters about "Ragged Glory", and the Marcus reference to "Over And Over", he may be referring to "Love And Only Love", or "Love To Burn". There is a moment in "Over And Over" that might be what he's talking about, but there's no way to get at what's going on there in the confines of a blog. Maybe someone can describe it, but not me. It'd be interesting to know a little more what Marcus means with that terminology.

    Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

     
    At 5/14/2010 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

    I've seen Van Morrison a number of times, but the first time was the best. It was April 1971 and one of my first concerts. To this day, it remains one of the best shows that I have ever seen. Tupelo Honey was the album that everyone was listening to at the time, and it was what we were all expecting to hear.

    But instead of playing to everyone's expectations, Van was already onto something else, a new kind of music that he was calling Caledonia Soul. We were hearing the songs that would be on Saint Dominic's Preview and he was playing and singing long meditative versions of each one.

    No one even recognized Van when he first came on stage; he'd cut his hair and shaved his beard, and was pretty much blending in with the large and incredible band that he had assembled to play. The concert lasted a couple of hours and Van was obviously in another world while he was performing. The band left the stage and would then come back to encore...six times!!!

    The show was at a large old movie theater in Providence and there were less than a thousand people there at the peak. By about the fourth encore, most of the audience was half way out the door when they would come back on, and we'd then scramble back for another great number.

    I've been reading the new book and enjoying it greatly. Greil Marcus always has great insights and observations about music, and is able to see many of the undercurrents that make things so much more interesting and understandable. I especially loved Invisible Republic, which I read when it first came out and again a couple times since then.

    Thanks very much to Thrasher for highlighting this work and especially the comparisons with Neil. Both artists are able to sometimes tap into a place that is mystical and timeless...and their best recordings and live performances are completely in the moment.

     

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    <-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

    Willie for a Nobel!

    Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
    for Farm Aid and his work on
    alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.


    Demand justice for Aaron:
    Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution


    Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



    Please Help Support Independent Media &
    Non-Corporate Advertising
    This Blog's For You!


    The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

    It's Been Called The
    "Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy

    time-fades-away-banner2a

    Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
    Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


    broken-arrow-mag-new-logo.gif

    Neil Young Appreciation Society


    sugar-mtn-logo.jpg
    Sugar Mountain

    Neil Young Setlists
    rust-radio-new
    Rust Radio


    bumpersticker-neil-concert.jpg


    i-l-ove-neil-young-sm.jpg
    Bands Covering Neil Young songs


    bumper-sticker-live-music-better-sm.jpg


    ny-times-logo.jpg
    Official Neil Young News Site

    bridgeschool_logo
    The Bridge School


    The Bridge School Concerts
    25th Anniversary Edition

    **100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

    farm-aid-logo.gif
    Farm Aid

    Stop factory farms
    Go family farms!

    linda-eastman-neil-young-sugar-mtn-sm.jpg
    The Essential Neil Young

    neil-young-sleeveless.jpg
    Fans Favorite Neil Albums

    neil-young-heart-of-gold-film-still
    Top 50 MP3
    Neil Young Song Downloads


    Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
    amazon-neil-store.GIF
    Support Thrasher's Wheat
    via Purchases from:
    United States - Amazon.com us.gif
    Canada - Amazon.ca canada.gif
    United Kingdom - Amazon.uk gb.gif
    Germany - Amazon.de de.gif




    Neil Young Songbook Project

    Neil Young + Promise of the Real

    Europe 2016 Tour Dates



    2015 Rebel Content Tour


    Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

    Fall 2012 N. America Tour
    Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
    Summer 2013 Europe Tour

    Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse

    Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

    jttp-film-poster-sm.jpg
    Neil Young Films

    musicares-neil-young-2010.jpg
    2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

    Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
    Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
    which helps musicians in need of
    financial and medical assistance.

    live-rust-promo-poster.jpg



    trans-promo




    Neil Young FAQ:
    Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
    "an indispensable reference"

    paul-neil-bridge2004-sat-sfc-kkomenich-sm.jpg
    Paul McCartney and Neil Young

    woodstock-poster.jpg


    "You can make a difference
    If you really a try"

    lennon_peace_liberty
    John Lennon and Neil Young


    "hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
    csny-1974-poster.jpg
    The Supergroup of the 20th Century



    Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

    eddie & neil
    Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

    buffalo-springfield-poster.jpg
    Revisiting The Significance of
    The Buffalo Springfield


    "The revolution will not be televised"
    ... it will be blogged, streamed,
    tweeted, shared and liked
    The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

    Turn Off Your TV



    2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
    Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

    Kurt Cobain
    Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

    Neil Young's Feedback:
    An Acquired Taste?

    Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
    by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

    "the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

    neil & joni
    Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

    europe 1987.jpg


    dylan-young-crop
    Bob and Neil

    weld
    So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


    Four Dead in Ohio
    kent state
    So What Really Happened at Kent State?

    concert-pass-europe-2003-solo.jpg


    dissent is not treason
    Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

    Rockin' In The Free World

    Sing Truth to Power

    emmylou-harris-neil-young-0305-crop
    Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

    wilco-062305-wide-background.jpg
    Wilco and Neil Young

    bluenotes-pass-young88crewlam-sm.jpg

    bruce-springsteen-neil-young-bridge-oct-1986.jpg
    Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

    europe87concertpass


    elton-john-neil-young-crop-sm.jpg
    Elton John and Neil Young

    ronnie-vanzant-neil.jpg
    Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


    Neil Young Nation -
    "The definitive Neil Young fan book"

    powderfinger
    "Powderfinger"
    What does the song mean?

    Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
    neil-sad.jpg
    Wisconsin-solidarity.jpg
    I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

    UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


    When Neil Young is Playing,
    You Shut the Fuck Up


    Class War:
    They Started It and We'll Finish It...
    peacefully

    A battle raged on the open page...
    No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

    "What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


    "I've Got The Revolution Blues"

    Willie Nelson & Neil Young
    Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



    John Mellencamp:
    Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

    willie_picnic_poster_070503



    Love and Only Love

    "Thinking about what a friend had said,
    I was hoping it was a lie"


    We're All On
    A Journey Through the Past


    Neil Young's Moon Songs
    Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
    (we can handle it... try us)

    Freedom:
    freedom-video
    Does Anything Else Really Matter?

    "Nobody's free until everybody's free."
    ~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

    Here Comes "The Big Shift"

    Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
    "It's all illusion anyway."

    Propaganda = Mind Control
    NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
    Guess what?
    "Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
    Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
    Be The Rain, Be The Change

    csny2k-plate.jpg
    the truth will set you free
    This Machine Kills Fascists


    war is not the answer
    yet we are
    Still Living With War

    "greed is NOT good"
    Occupy the Music

    Hey Big Brother!
    Stop Spying On Us!
    Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

    The Achilles Heel
    #NullifyNSA
    Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
    “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
    ~~ Bob Marley

    The Essence of "The Doubters"



    Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

    Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
    Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
    "consciousness is near"
    What's So Funny About
    Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


    churchsign


    Share

    Words

    (Between the lines of age)

    And in the end, the love you take
    Is equal to the love you make

    ~~ John & Paul


    Namaste