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Friday, July 23, 2010

How To Spot A Bogus Concert Review in 3 Easy Steps

As we plow ahead in our never ending quest to separate the wheat from the chaff here, we're sometimes vexed by what we call the "bogus concert review".

First, you might ask is, why in the world would someone write a review of a concert that they didn't even attend in the first place? Well, we might live a thousand years and still not know what that means.

Step #1 - The Stupid Review: A review that has no basis in fact and reveals cluelessness. These are very easy to identify.

From Neil Young concert reviews of Seattle, Washington, July 20, 2010 Anonymous said:
went to the concert in Seattle last night.. sorry but it was a snoozer...his songs were short and he did not play the more famous songs, (might not have the rights) very slow concert.. had a hard time staying awake.. and his opening act all the songs sounded the same. Where as he plays a mean guitar, it was stil boring.... we walked out disapointed. He still has the voice, but as he waled.. the concert was just as slow.. not worth the 86.00.. where can I get a refund???

First, always consider the source. Here, it's Anonymous. Second, "might not have the rights'? Huh? That's a dead giveaway of a bogus review as any casual Neil fan knows about Neil's unrelenting attitude towards the licensing of his work. Third, "slow"? Huh? A slow Neil concert? Whatever that means. Has anyone been to a fast Neil concert? Fourth, asking for a refund. Seriously. I think we've all been to movies and sports events that were lame. How many times did we ask for a refund? If you go to a baseball game and the score is 1-0 and there's one hit and tons of errors, do you ask for a refund because it was bad boring game?

Step #2 - The Belligerent Righteous Review: A review that has an extreme attitude and bias. Fails to mention anything positive whatsoever.

From Neil Young concert reviews of Portland, Oregon, July 19, 2010, Anonymous said:
Hate to dissappoint all you die hard NY fans but I thought he sucked last night. One electric guitar and Niel singing just didn't cut it in my book. Acoustic is ok by yourself but this sounded bad! FYI I first saw Niel with Buffalo Springfield in 67 and have been a loyal fan since.

First, use of the word "suck", probably one of the most immature and anti-intellectual phrases of all time to bring someone down. Second, The review reeks of a condescending attitude towards fellow fans. Third, a fan since the Buffalo Springfield in 67? Yeah, right. We've pointed this out before that no one who has seriously followed Neil's career for decades would ever have this experience or write something like this. The stating of one's bona fides upfront is a technique to establish credibility but often fails miserably and backfires as it exposes the sheer lack of knowledge. Fourth, mis-spelling Neil's name. Duh.

Step #3 - The Entitlement Review: The reviewer spent money and therefore is entitled for the concert to be personally tailored to their preferences.

From Neil Young concert reviews of Oakland, CA, July 11, 2010, Anonymous said:
I saw the first show in Oakland on 7/11 and was disappointed. Dunno why but it was the first time I have ever seen Neil in concert - although have long enjoyed his music - and forked out $200 for each ticket (plus a ridiculous $25 each in "service fees"). Neil played for less than 90 minutes, and barely acknowledged the audience all night. He did not play most of his biggest hits - Heart of Gold, Old Man, Out on the Weekend, etc. instead opting for some obscure stuff. My wife had to ask me what songs they were. Also only two songs on the piano and one on the organ. On the positive side, Neil was mostly brilliant in the songs he chose and the time he played - but I was expecting more.

First, the statements of exact $'s spent and time played as if there were a relationship stated the ticket. Second, again totally bogus facts: "He did not play most of his biggest hits - Heart of Gold, Old Man, Out on the Weekend, etc. instead opting for some obscure stuff." Excuse us? Sample setlist: My My, Hey Hey, Tell Me Why, Helpless, Down By The River, Ohio, After The Gold Rush, I Believe In You, Cortez The Killer, Cinnamon Girl. Hello? That's not classic?

So, you too can play spot the bogus concert review.

We take a tremendous amount of flack whenever we delete comments here on Thrasher's Wheat. And we make no apologies for removing obvious false and misleading information. Help us out by taking on some of these bogus reviewers and call them out.

We're working. We're separating the wheat from the chaff.

UPDATE: "Some Signs that your Concert Review Might Be Flawed" (upon which we will unleash a rhetorical chainsaw.)

CONCERT REVIEW FLAW 1: Citing random agreement with your point as proof that your point is right.

I think a lot of us have seen this. It usually pops up during debates about Neil's music. It's almost exclusively used to highlight negatives of said songs/concerts, and it usually takes the following form:

Link to biased source that is randomly vague or off-topic.

CONCERT REVIEW FLAW 2: You're a purity troll / anti-Neil-bot / paid shill for something / part of "the usual suspects"

This is an attack on a commenter's credibility and motives for posting comments. The objective is to make people so suspicious of someone that they will forever doubt their words, regardless of validity.

"The grass is green" my ass, Paid Shill! We're not stupid, everyone knows you're in the pocket of Big Crayola!

Sometimes it really is that stupid.

Another objective to this is to eventually drive the target away, or at least get them to stop posting things you can't refute with a calm, logical set of facts and arguments.

Why this is a flaw:

If their argument is so bad, why can't you just attack that instead of the commenter/blogger?

CONCERT REVIEW FLAW 3: This topic has been done to death / I'm tired of this topic

We all have our opinions. Oftentimes, they overlap and someone scoops us. Instead of trying to do IP reverse look-ups so you can find the bastard who ruined your day, you can either move on or cover the topic anyway, trying to add some fresh insight or a new perspective.

If the topic is a particularly popular one, you can bet your ass and six of your goats that someone will come in only to take a dump on everyone in there, proclaiming the topic "played out" and it's "old news" and how they're "tired of reading about a topic they're under no obligation to read about."

Then someone points out that they didn't have to click on the damn blog in the first place, which is somehow a MORTAL INSULT that must be PAID in BLOOD or COVERED in MUSTARD.

This tactic is basically used to dismiss the entire blog because clearly, if 35 people have written about a subject, any and all aspects of said subject have been covered and there's no need to look any further. The user of this tactic might feel that he's performing an important service by keeping the blog from getting cluttered, but in reality they're just being a huge douchebag.

This is often used by a group of people who feel they have been losing some arguments of late, so they want to try and squash the topic itself, because then they'll win the internet or something, I really don't know what their goal is.

Why this is a flaw:

You don't have to read the blog. You really don't.

CONCERT REVIEW FLAW 4: us vs. them mentality / false dichotomy / you either agree with me and are a true Neil fan, or you disagree and you're a Neil sycophant.

This is the biggest one. Most common, most annoying, and most dividing, and it depends heavily on people reading it not realizing that there can very well be more than two sides to every argument (for example, just because you don't think I'm the sexiest user on this site doesn't make you blind; you could just have extremely poor taste).

There have been a lot of well-written pleas for peace, many intelligent musings on the differing factions and what they want. We need some more of those comments, the ones calling for a unifying of the factions and working together to achieve our goals.

If this argument was personified into a physical being, it would hide under children's beds and steal their dreams. It's so mind-numbingly polarizing that there's almost no point in contributing if you don't agree with the premise, since the commenter already proclaimed you to be a Neil sycophant.

It attempts to close off any debate, instead insisting that the author has God Almighty on his side and any dissenters will be cast into the abyss.

It seems as though there are two types of people who use this:

People who are so myopically dedicated to their cause that they take any disagreement as a personal attack, and thus craft their arguments to attack first;

People who doubt that their argument can win on merit alone and so attempt to make people defend their true Neil fan bonafides instead of dealing with the aspects of the argument itself (also known as the "How long have you been beating your wife" technique).


So, can we all agree that the above flaws are designed to destroy all that is good and just about the Neil community, and that the excessive use of them are creating massive rifts between us?

These smear attacks on Neil are often so trite, so formulaic and predictable, so inconsequential and substance-free, so 20th century, so intellectually incoherent that it's basically impossible to get yourself to care enough even to respond ("Canadian, pot smoking, liberal-commie hippie"). The only response we could really muster is a sense of vindication knowing that what we are doing is the right thing if it provokes that kind of reaction from those kinds of Neil-bashers.

But this is how trite, ad hominem, pseudo-centrist smears are always conducted: with adolescent name-calling ("Neil sucks") used as a crutch to avoid substantive discussion -- playground insults ironically employed by those pompously proclaiming themselves to be the only Serious Music Fans in the room.

The Anonymous ones draw attention to themselves by claiming to be an objective, non-ideological analyst of music, but it always takes the form -- as it has here -- of gushing sycophantic praise for the Neil fans, scoffing at criticisms voiced, and disparaging critics as unhinged ideologues.

One has to be deeply ignorant, deeply dishonest or consumed with petulant self-victimization and anti-neil young bigotry to pretend they don't exist.

To ask the question is to answer it, and by itself gives the lie to X's typically anti-Neil need to portray his own favorite music group as the profoundly oppressed band at the hands of the small, marginalized, persecuted group which actually has no audience (it's so unfair how Neil fans always get their way in the discussion group). But whatever else is true, there ought to be a minimum standard of factual accuracy required for these comments. The notion that censorship is exercised only on behalf of anti-Neil fans falls far short of that standard.

There are other attributes of establishment blogs still worth examining -- their faithful devotion to majority critical claims, their endless and reckless use of anonymous sources, the tawdry propaganda pompously and condescendingly justified as provocative objectivity, the suffocatingly narrow viewpoints which are aired -- but the sheer childishness and stunted, numbing vapidity are the overarching characteristics.

Anonymous commenters love to deride 'bloggers' who write anonymously, but at least even anonymous bloggers create pseudonyms that enable ongoing accountability; moreover, many of us anonymous bloggers are just ordinary music fans, with no power, and who are too vulnerable to write under our real names. But Anonymous commenters who will spew insults and criticisms only while protected from accountability are just frightened and weak. The fact that these cowards have to hide while boldly accusing us of being a coward -- the same Anonymous commenter who is willing to step up and criticize Neil Young with his name attached -- is unintended irony so extreme it's hard to express.

Anonymous commenters all feed from the same trough, and their sole allegiance is to their decadent, insular, endlessly narcissist, and deservedly dying pseudo-aristocratic culture. The moral lie and false equivalence/dichotomy are employed recklessly without regard for career damaging implications. Anyone who defends Neil's career must be discredited, impugned and declared to be the enemy. That way, the unpleasant facts can be dismissed away by attacking those who point them out, and fantasies of Neil can be blissfully maintained. Doesn't that also sound familiar?

Neil's decades of achievement in the face of overwhelming obstacles just gets dismissed with a few slothful, totally irresponsible negative reviews from Anonymous commenters and their invisible friends. But that's how "Anonymous commenters" so often work -- Anonymous commenters are allowed to remain hidden while their views and assertions are uncritically amplified in the loudest blogs and bestowed with an authoritative veneer that they absolutely do not merit.

We all have our own ideas and thoughts as to how to achieve our passions, but a damn lot of them are shared goals. We all basically want similar things, so can't we just knuckle down, leave our attitudes at the door and figure out how to work together to build a better Neil community?

(Portions of above have been modified and adapted from The myth of the parasitical bloggers - Glenn Greenwald - Thanks!)

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At 7/23/2010 11:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the eyes of Trasher, Neil has never committed a sin.

he is perfect, and "fans" don't have a right to criticize him.

Is that about right, Trash?

Cough up the Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 7/23/2010 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Campbell said ...

The first two were bogus but the third might have some valid points. I payed $200 to see him at Massey Hall and it was well worth it but would have been livid to pay a $25 service charge for each ticket (which in fairness is probably beyond Neil's control). I'm a big fan and I like most of his stuff - some stuff not so much. For $200 I wanted to hear the gems. Whatever.

Rob Campbell

At 7/23/2010 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny, why do you even bother coming to the've been negative every time you come!

We wouldn't have this necessity for this 'comments policy' and 'blog owner' approval if you were a bit more positive with your comments.
Ticket pricing is what it is... if ya feel Neil is ripping you off, get out a CD/DVD and watch/listen to it at home.

Hey, I'm all for diverse comments and embrace open opinion be them positive or negative..but not every time you post.

Are you REALLY a fan of Neil's?

just my opinion

At 7/23/2010 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am i really a fan of Neil's?
Uh, please.

I think Neil is the most amazing artist whoever lived. Case closed, end of discussion.

I also think Neil makes mistakes, on occasion makes poor decisions, and sometimes rips off his fans.

Does it make me any less of a Neil fan because I think he's human, and not a god?

didn't think so.

Cough up the Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 7/23/2010 11:52:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Thrasher, you're awesome.

Johhny, he's only pointing out the bogus reviews, not making a blanket statement that any and all criticism is wrong.

Rob... define "gem". I know what my gems are. What are yours?

At 7/23/2010 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous punkdavid said...

I wouldn't call those "bogus" necessarily. Assholes? Sure. Uninformed? Definitely.

Yeah, the guy who claims to be a fan since 67 and then is shocked, SHOCKED, I TELL YE, that Neil would play a concert like this, is obviously lying about his bona fides, but mostly these are just "Heart of Gold Toe-Tappers" who let themselves get so caught up in their own expectations and monetary output that they were unable to appreciate the show for what it was.

In their defense, it's hard to hear the music from inside one's own ass.


At 7/23/2010 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I (finally) got a great ticket for Minneapolis next week and believe me, any review I post will not be bogus. This will be the first Neil concert in many a time where my wife will not be attending with me. She goes (she's a trooper) and she admires Neil but her taste in music runs more in the Journey-Earth Wind and Fire vein. She said, "Go - have a great transindental time." Thank you, Sweety.

Old Black

At 7/23/2010 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Painter said...

Honestly these complainers give me a migraine. I'm about to see the Edmonton show and I could not care less what's on the setlist I'm just thrilled to have the opportunity to see him in such an intimate venue.

At 7/23/2010 12:40:00 PM, Anonymous zuma said...

thrasher; you rule. thank for puting thes guys in there place. long may you run.

At 7/23/2010 12:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll understand if this doesn't get posted but I've gotta try.I respect that this is your site.Sorry Thrash but the topics here are becoming real snoozers.Wake me when something important comes up peace,oil as a fuel source becoming obsolete,the arrival of Archives vol.2,Neil/Crazy Horse reunion tour.You get the picture.

Rancho Relaxo

At 7/23/2010 01:00:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@Rancho Relaxo:
We'll just tag this as a bogus comment.

Here's what we've done today:

Kick The Slick - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Tunes for Turtles - Houston, TX
Gulf Coast Benefit Show - Saint Petersburg, FL
Save our Seabirds Fundraiser - Sarasota, FL
Reclaim the Coast - Oil Spill Benefit - New York, New York
Dubspot LA: 2011 Showcase & Humane Society Benefit - Los Angeles, CA
Island AID: Grand Island Benefit,Grand Ilse, LA

"Gigs For The Gulf" - -
"Gigs For The Gulf" is a Facebook listing of music benefit gigs for the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher disaster. See EVENT tab for details.

Should we continue?

And what pray tell have you done today to make the world a better place?

because just commenting on a blog won't change the world.


At 7/23/2010 01:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Thrasher! Keep on working, working, working to make this world a better place! RESPECT.
And...Rancho Relaxo... come on man non of the things you mention will happen in our lifetime. You want this site to close down? Well, okay maybe we get Vol. 2 but forget the Horse and World Peace. BSM

At 7/23/2010 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Punkdavid, I am naming my next band The Heart of Gold Toe-Tappers. YES! Awesome.

Johnny, you're always on this "Not a god" trip. WTF? Let's get this straight, alright? If you don't think Neil is a god, then tell me something:


Sorry man, but when Neil touches a guitar, the sky opens up, the oceans part and the earth quakes. Those are all evidence of godhood.

Now that doesn't mean that he doesn't occassionally do something people disagree with, sure, or make mistakes (PERFECT ONES, though!), or that some people don't like his concerts.

But that doesn't make those people who A) don't like his concerts and B) post bogus stuff about the concerts that doesn't make any sense, NOT STUPID, and it certainly doesn't infringe on Neil's status as a god.


At 7/23/2010 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrash constantly criticizes so-called fans for criticizing, i take it a step further - i criticize Thrash for criticizing fans who criticize Neil.

How do you like dem apples, Trash?

Cough Up the Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 7/23/2010 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Dmitri Karamazov said...

Let me resolve this discussion once and for all:

Neil Young is a Rock God. He is likely to be deemed by History as the Greatest, maybe Second Greatest, writer/performer of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Also, he has NEVER, EVER made a bad album. I know, because I have bought them ALL, Reactor, Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’, Old Ways, and Landing on Water: these are all MARVELOUS records. If YOU don’t like his 1980’s work, then guess what: YOU SUK, loser!

Oh, and people who post bogus, stupid reviews also SUK.
Nuff said.


At 7/23/2010 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Ray said...

I don't see why these are bogus. Wrong, sure. Stupid, yes. But I'm sure every one of those people actually attended those concerts. Maybe some were too drunk to remember specifics or don't know much, but to accuse them of not having been there just because you disagree with their (ill-informed) opinion seems silly.

At 7/23/2010 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He didn't play Oh Caroline or Mandy or Coming to America.He looked really mad. He isn't even American. I've been a huge fan since 'Horse With No Name'

Mr. Disappointment

At 7/23/2010 02:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment was just one man's opinion.We ALL need to just LIGHTEN UP!!Not that it's anybody's business and I'd rather not get into a pissing contest about this subject but...I do give to charities that I believe in. The Bridge School and Farm Aid are 2 of 'em.Not everyone will get this but the following is sung to the tune of the All in the Family song."We sure could use another man like Gerald Ford agaaaaiin."

Rancho Relaxo

At 7/23/2010 03:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll keep my choice of "gems" to myself but I will say this: "gems" does not necessarily mean "hits". I think you know where I am coming from.

BTW: people, it's OK to be critical of the man - it can be a sign of respect. To unconditionally love everything he does is borderline obsession.


At 7/23/2010 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

ask yourself one question

Are you Passionate?

Neil caters to all moods, all ideas, all reactions....just not at the same time.

Who could?

So when you are 'expecting to fly' 'tis better to 'let your guard down' and Open up and let the light back in.

if Neil = Love


Love is like oxygen,
you get too much
you get too high,
not enough
and you're gonna die.
Love gets you high.

At 7/23/2010 03:18:00 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

How can anyone know the existence of this blog and not know what to expect of a NY show at the same time?
In my opinion this site is for NY lovers so as long as he doesn't do a GG Allin of himself i don't understand why dissapointed fans(!) would bother write.Thank Mother Nature he still plays live.
Chris from Québec City.

At 7/23/2010 03:22:00 PM, Anonymous Thos said...

I saw Neil play last night in SENEGAL in AFRICA. It was brilliant because he played TIME FADES AWAY in its entirety. The crowd were on awesome form, and he even played an encore of BORN IN THE USA. I have been a fan of Neil Young since 1829.

And like everybody else on this website, I can't spell for sthi.


At 7/23/2010 03:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil didn't start playing til 1830! get your fax strate.


Long Live and Love Thrasher.
He IS the Wheat!

At 7/23/2010 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Michiel said...

I just visit this website to keep up with the latest NY news: setlists, information about the forthcoming record, but this article is ridiculous. Assuming people didn't attend shows because they leave negative criticism? I'm from Belgium so didn't even get the chance to see the show myself, and based from what I read about it I'm pretty sure I would enjoy it big time. But your attitude towards negative criticism is really annoying, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

At 7/23/2010 04:08:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

I agree Rob, critical is good. I think the point was, though, that the reviewer was complaining about not hearing any "hits", of which many are being played.

And I hereby criticize Johnny Rocket for criticizing Thrash for criticizing fans who criticize Neil, when Thrash is actually only criticizing people who criticize Neil's concerts uncritically.

There's nothing like a good, truly critical and educated negative review that doesn't qualify as "bogus". The problem is that a lot of negative reviews are actually quite UN-critical and uneducated.

I even read some educatedly critical negative reviews of FITR that I decided were fair and balanced (Even though I think FITR is freakin' amazing), but you had to sift through all the ridiculous, idiotic negative reviews written by people who couldn't write a critical review to save their lives to find them.

Same goes for these concerts, which appear to be quite more pleasing to people than FITR was.

At 7/23/2010 05:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this thread is in critical condition


At 7/23/2010 06:08:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

OK, dear readers.

Sigh. Some have totally missed the point here and need to go back & re-read.

Also, bogus does *not* equal negative.

Negative reviews are OK that are sincere, constructive & legitmate.

That is not what this post was about. It is about fake reviews. Pre-fabs.

We didn't even include examples like the Ryman review where someone went on & on about how folks walked out during the performance in droves. We had 3 separate confirmations that this was totally false.

That's what this is about. Bogus, fake & false reviews. Similar to some of the comments on this thread....

At 7/23/2010 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So all you critics sit alone. You're no better'n me, for what you've shown. With your stomach pumps and your hook and ladder dreams. We can get together, for some scenes." Ambulance Blues

-Faith Phillips

At 7/23/2010 08:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, please get over ya paranoia.
You've got a great site going here.

Please don't police it to the hilt.
They are only words and opinions.. embrace them all and stop playing one wheatie off against the other.
"bogus ,fake and false reviews, similar to the comments on this thread"
a comment is a it positive or negative... they are all out there for all to see... just let'm ride and let the rest of us adjudicate their credibility'

just my opinion

At 7/23/2010 09:04:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

"Love me Daddy...."...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...A bit surprised to see you feeding the troll.

At 7/23/2010 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea when the new album release date is?

At 7/23/2010 11:34:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

Thrasher, I feel your pain. Holy Jesus, what the hell? What kinda dumb-ass, shit eatin commie-bastards are on this site?
Great post Thrasher- I found it really, really interesting and it’s yet another example of how the future of society and the human psyche is totally fucked. It amazing what people decide to spend their time doing; making false claims to screw with other people? Why? Actually spending TIME- the one thing (besides cash) we could always use more of (unless you’re in the slammer with big bubba as your celly)- typing lies, then other retards come on and bitch that there should be even more bullshit and lies on here and how DARE thrasher delete it. People have big balls and big opinions on the internet, too bad they have no brains. I guess us Americans (and everyone else) have become so accustomed to reading and believe any bullshit printed that they need it; in fact, they thrive on it, feed on it and can’t live without phony baloney crap, like a junky jonezin to drop the plunger. It’s sad. Come on now people- I don’t think it is a crime (yet) to actually use your brains and THINK. Do something constructive. If I hated Neil, I most likely would have never even heard of this site, yet non Neil fans come here in droves. The wonders never cease! Even if I went to a Neil show and was disappointed I'm pretty sure I wouldn’t waste my time coming on here an writing negative shit about it...why? Because I'm not out to ruin someone else’s good time. Let them draw their own opinion. Don’t put people on a bummer after they spent good money for a ticket and have yet to see a show. If you’re so sure the shows suck then be confident that others will come to that same opinion. If you must come on and criticize, (and I believe Thrasher when he says this) make it constructive, rational and intelligent. Discussing the likes and dislikes of an Art is convoluted and usually pretentious talk to begin with. Don’t make it worse by only adding “its sucks, he sucks, he shoulda played Heart of Gold” MUTHA FUCKING SHIT DAMN IT… THE GOD DAMN HEART OF GOLD AND OLD MAN SHIT IS GETTING OLD! If Neil NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, played HEART OF GOLD and OLD MAN AGAIN I’d be perfectly content with it. I welcome it. Here’s a little tip, which I guess bears repeating over and over and over: Neil doesn’t do what YOU want! The man NEVER DOES. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but he never did, and he older now and I’m sure much more stuck in his ways, so I’m making a educated guess here, (and I too, like Dmitri Karamazov bought absolutely every single album by Neil, on Vinyl no less), and perhaps going out on a limb, but HE NEVER WILL! Don’t buy the tickets if you think he's gonna play only your favorite. I don’t want to hear your favorite; I want Neil to play what he wants. Is that so hard to get? You should go get a band so you can play what everyone else wants and see how long people take you seriously. If you want predictable go see Steve Miller. I can guarantee you that he will play the Joker- every single night!
Thrash, I just don’t know any more man. I just don’t. Keep fighting the GOOD fight.
Goodnight to all you dum-dums.

At 7/24/2010 12:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You of course forgot to mention one other type of review Thrasher - and this one shows up much more frequently than the other examples. I'm referring to the 'Over The Top' review, and no wonder there's no criticism of this one - it's pro Neil! Here's a snippet of the kind of ridiculous comment that will help y'all spot an OTT review:

"I think 7 news songs played overall; and they are all amazing and instant classics"

Amazing? Instant classics? Oh, please - someone make her stop!

At 7/24/2010 01:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might live a thousand years and not [understand Human Beings]


At 7/24/2010 04:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been down this road so many times before on this site, that I long ago got it out of my system, and just as long ago opted out of the process of beating my head against a brick wall trying to combat the negative posters, not because they are negative per se, but because they reveal a basic ignorance of Neil and his art. Where “negativity” takes place in the context of facts and basic accuracy, as against a predominately positive view by most Neil fans, what can you say? We disagree, that’s cool. I don’t have the need anymore to ponder whether or not negative comments are bogus, or simply misinformed, except to say that I am aware that there are trolls who for reasons known only to them feel the need to disrupt a forum which doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it unapologetically is- a Neil Young appreciation site. Those of us who “know” Neil, to the limited extent that we can, know him through an in depth knowledge of his words and music, by his oft stated opinions about his art and the world he interacts with in creating it, and by simple deductive conclusions based on what he isn’t, relative to other performers. We don’t come to TW to bitch, we come to take advantage of Thrashers hard work in keeping us up to date on things, and to turn the screw of our “obsession” in unique and informative ways.

Whether the negativity I come across is the result of simple ignorance, willful disregard of accuracy employed as a tactic in a strategy to serve a pet idea, or a petulant insistence that the art be more about the audience than the artist, or that the negativity is made up wholesale by a bogus review, I just don’t care anymore. For the most part, the why and wherefore doesn’t matter to me. It registers with me as a negative take, and I move on. You can call it fawning, you can beat the dead horse of “Neil as God”, that no informed Neil Young fan would ever seriously advance, or you can call it sycophancy. Hell, you can talk until you’re blue in the face for all I care. I rest on what 99% of all Neil fans rest on: if you don’t understand Neil, you probably never will, and it is not our job to make you do so. If you don’t like everything Neil does, fine, just don’t try to use misinformation in an attempt to ruin our enjoyment, of which we have no need to defend. Thrasher is well within the bounds of the spirit of this site to call out obvious red herrings- concert reviews by people who obviously never attended the concert they purport to write about so negatively. Are some of these examples real contrary opinions, as opposed to actual bogus comments? I don’t know, but I’ll defer to Thrasher, who deals with these things on an intimate and daily basis. I think where there is smoke there is fire, but that I would rather revel in the fact that Neil is still performing, still producing original material, still gives a shit, and still has the ability to take us along for the ride. Those of us who “get it” don’t need to convince each other, we’re just happy to share our enjoyment with each other.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 7/24/2010 04:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been down this road so many times before on this site, that I long ago got it out of my system, and just as long ago opted out of the process of beating my head against a brick wall trying to combat the negative posters, not because they are negative per se, but because they reveal a basic ignorance of Neil and his art. Where “negativity” takes place in the context of facts and basic accuracy, as against a predominately positive view by most Neil fans, what can you say? We disagree, that’s cool. I don’t have the need anymore to ponder whether or not negative comments are bogus, or simply misinformed, except to say that I am aware that there are trolls who for reasons known only to them feel the need to disrupt a forum which doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it unapologetically is- a Neil Young appreciation site. Those of us who “know” Neil, to the limited extent that we can, know him through an in depth knowledge of his words and music, by his oft stated opinions about his art and the world he interacts with in creating it, and by simple deductive conclusions based on what he isn’t, relative to other performers. We don’t come to TW to bitch, we come to take advantage of Thrashers hard work in keeping us up to date on things, and to turn the screw of our “obsession” in unique and informative ways.

At 7/24/2010 10:43:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

As far as "a lot of posters comming here to post negative stuff"..It's just some troll (maybe...a big maybe 2 trolls but I doubt it). He/she thinks they are smart by posting anonymously, then sign some bs name below, then respond to their own post, same style, and they think they are oh so clever. Maybe Thrash should set it up like can choose to read all the positive comments in one section or, read all the negative comments in the negative section. This way the troll can have all the fun to himself. Responding back and forth to himself all day long (can you imagine that temper tantrum) got a feeling that tonights show is really going to suck...I wonder what Neil will and won't play?...I bet you the ticket prices and the distance people traveled to see such a short show won't be worth it. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Neil will be bummed and or pissed at such a crappy crowd. Why doesn't he just always play with The Horse already?...pps...I gues you should place this post in the "negative " posting section of the forum.

At 7/24/2010 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg M...well said as usual.

The beauty of life and one's tastes in... be it music, sport, women, men cars, houses etc etc are all different.
We all have different tastes and attitudes,beliefs and ideals, personalities ,ethics and morals...and that is the beauty within itself...diversity IS the spice of life..we are not clones..we all have our own little quirks and idiosynchrocies.

Yes and we all have different tastes in the music that appeals to us.
This IS a forum we're one can praise, criticise, opinionate, debate anything that is Neil and I hope and feel that anybody that makes the effort to visit and comment on this wonderful site, does so with the integrity and conviction of ones thoughts of Neil, in the same way that Neil approaches his music and his passions...whatever they be at the time.

just my opinion

At 7/24/2010 02:21:00 PM, Anonymous Thos said...

What I don't understand is why anyone who comments here, whether positively or negatively, wouldn't sign their comments. Like 10:48 above me, whose comments I agree with - if they had signed it I wouldn't have to quote the exact time they made their comment!

I can't be bothered to set up a Google ID or whatever, but I always sign my comments so people can respond if they want to - seems to make sense.

You don't even have to use your real name folks! (though as it happens, I do).


At 7/24/2010 03:40:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

This is a great thread.

And yes, awesome posts by Greg M. and ShittyHorse... Lucid, intelligent, and you both hit the nail dead-on, as usual.

Except that there ain't nothing wrong with us shit-eating commie bastards. Being a card-carrying shit-eating communist, I resent that. Us commies can understand Neil too.


At 7/24/2010 04:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thos...if you only knew...if you only knew!

just my opinion

At 7/24/2010 10:46:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@6:52 comment that was deleted...

Just a reminder, this blog is not for you.

At 7/25/2010 05:10:00 AM, Anonymous Thos said...


Got it mate.

Spot the unobservant one here!


At 7/25/2010 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMHO, I think its important to make a distinction between bogus comments, bonehead comments, and sincere negative opinions or reviews. Bogus comments are ones where a troll implies people were streaming out mid-concert when in fact they weren't. Those people, in my view, shouldn't be welcome here. Bonehead comments are one's where people are surprised that Neil is playing lots of new songs or they're surprised that ticket prices are so high, when in fact there is a sub $100 option and particularly if he's playing small venues. The bonehead comments are less disingenuous (than the bogus ones) but often still seem detract rather than add to the conversation on the blog where people are generally congregating to have a positive Neil experience. The bonehead comments often come from people who simply want to find a place to complain because the ticket price/set list/venue/Neil's demeanor/choice of band/his hairstyle, ect... didn't meet their expectations. Maybe this uproar is also targeting these comments. My view of the reviews Thrasher highlighted are that most fit into the bonehead category if not the bogus one.

I certainly try to contribute to beating back these types of comments when possible and I support the uproar against them. At the same time I hope we leave room for the legitimate fan to express thoughtful criticism as it does add to the conversation. While Neil is in my view more perfect than virtually any other musical artist I can think of he's human and some of what he does is better some worse. I'll be the first to admit I didn't click with the FITR tunes (other than FITR itself and the viral video which I thought was genious). Granted, I reserve the right to eventually understand where he's coming from on those, but I don't feel I need to be bashful in saying they weren't the highlight for me during the fall '08 shows. That's not adding much insight but my point is that if the point is to rid the site of bogus and bonehead comments I hope we don't inadvertently create an atmosphere intolerant of genuine dissent / thoughtful criticism / or even a community where a sincere fan can't post a review among fellow Rusties that isn't glowing or that might express disappointment with the performance.

Anyhow, Kudos to Thrasher -- this is my favorite site on the net and where I come first. Thrasher thanks for all the hard work, it would be tough enough to put together this masterpiece of a site without the trolls, I can only imagine how hard it is to have to constantly separate the wheat from the chaff.


At 7/25/2010 12:38:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Thanks for your thoughts & I think you caught our drift on this.

"I hope we don't inadvertently create an atmosphere intolerant of genuine dissent / thoughtful criticism / or even a community where a sincere fan can't post a review among fellow Rusties that isn't glowing or that might express disappointment with the performance. "

Absolutely. That was not the intent. Negative reviews are OK that are sincere, constructive & legitmate.

peace & chill

At 7/25/2010 11:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, agreed on all points, especially the lines Thrasher quoted. I could stand to be a little more open to genuine/constructive criticism, or individual opinions about peoples likes and dislikes, especially when they state it as you do: "Granted, I reserve the right to eventually understand where he's coming from on those, but I don't feel I need to be bashful in saying they weren't the highlight for me during the fall '08 shows." I just get frustrated that there isn't more criticism of this nature, well, not that that there isn't more criticism, but... O.K., I'll just shut up now.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 7/28/2010 05:12:00 AM, Anonymous R. Sullivan said...

I've seen a few of these around the internet lately. Thanks for providing a field guide on them.


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