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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comment of the Moment: My Hero – Neil Young | Culturedeluxe

Some nice feedback on the article posted earlier "My Hero – Neil Young" | Culturedeluxe by Kevin Burgess. Here's a Comment of the Moment by S. Horse:
Neil has more soul than Motown...truly.

I also understand why people are more partial to the man's early work; its when many fans were first introduced to his work, in their youth, where all the bad memories have rusted away by the corrosion of time, leaving shiny polished good ones, where they were young, Neil was young and all were stoned. Neil was 'new' then, and many believe, still had something to prove, and perhaps, his songs fit better with the over all mood of the times, but like selective memories, none of these paint the full picture, and like trying to pick one favorite song or album, is complete bullshit.

The thing is if Neil had stopped after Rust Never Sleeps, or continued doing Harvest, or even Tonight's the Night over and over again, this website wouldn't exist, we wouldn't care. We'd consider him to have (maybe) slightly more credibility today than a James Taylor or Jackson Browne, no offence to them or their fans. To understand WHY Neil has so much soul, why he is important, passionate, etc. his whole career must be looked at, all his albums examined as a singular cohesive thing. Without his 80's work his reputation for following his heart, the muse, etc. would not be so strong. Without his 90's work he wouldn't have a whole new generation of fans (like myself) who lend weight to the notion that Neil is just as important, influential, and vital now as he's ever been.

The fact that he's still here and has just put out REALLY one of the best albums of his career just confirms all this and proves the man was never in it for a buck, but rather a true artist who is driven by nothing more than the art. Neil Young is the real deal, if ever there was. He wasn't kidding when he said 'I don't sing for nobody' or when he pulled thousands of copies of Comes a Time because of the track listing, or when he announced his Archives project- we own Vol. 1!

The fairweather fans just don't get this fact or refuse to see the bigger picture. An album like Fork in The Road is just where Neil was at last year- so into Lincvolt, that was what was on his mind so naturally those were the songs that came to him- ya can't call the man a phony nor just 'calling it in'- Fork in the Road is just as valid as a Tonight's the Night- instead of death by drugs, Neil was into Green Energy. each album, as Neil says, is like another painting on the wall, its what the artist was feeling at the time. Some people don't feel the way Neil feels at specific times so maybe one work doesn't speak to them right away- but that doesn't mean its bad or invalid. Give it time, revisit them and I guarantee you may find something you hadn't before.

Shitty Horse

Thanks S.H.!

More reaction to the must read "My Hero – Neil Young" | Culturedeluxe by Kevin Burgess.

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At 10/15/2010 05:42:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Shitty, I think your last sentence sums it up nicely about Neil, the artist and his past "works"...
"give it time, revisit them and I guarantee you may find something you hadn't before."

I often have these "renaissance" sessions where I "rediscover" Neil with past and early albums..and nearly every time I do this.. I nearly always hear a song, a little nuance in an album in a different light and get a whole new appreciation of that I know exactly where you are coming from with your comment Shitty!

enjoy your posts.. doc

At 10/15/2010 07:54:00 AM, Blogger peter said...

agreed completely. it also strikes me how often i notice a certain part of a melody (sometimes just a cadence of only three notes) or a chord changement reminds me of another song. and sometimes just the feel of a song.

it really is one song as Neil said. In that way he really has put out a (still growing!) 'body of work'.

This reminds me: it would be interesting to see what the real Neil-freaks see as is most typical Neil 'sound' througout his career. And I do not mean 'acoustic' or 'electric' but really a 'sound'. A sound in that you hear again and again, in quite a few of his songs, be it from the days of Buffalo Springfield or be it from the Crazy Horse era or just recent.

I myself have already made up my mind about that… and I'm pretty sure a lot of you will agree…

Peter Dees

At 10/15/2010 10:45:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

signature sound?

opening notes to electric Hey Hey My My.

Sends me straight into a 'Neil zone'. From there nearly any Neil feel is available. Not necessarily my favorite song or rendition. But like John Lennon said, you can hear him coming from a mile away.

not sure yet on the 'again and again' sound, that's gonna take a weekend? to figure out Maybe a lifetime...thank god.

Neils music reminds of watching a waterfall or great sunset or the view from the mountaintop. You get to embrace as it's happening but you just can't put it in your pocket. You have to revisit it to capture it's true essence, and then it continues to be changing and fluid and at the same time as familiar as a favorite memory.

At 10/15/2010 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@SONY - "Neils music reminds of watching a waterfall or great sunset or the view from the mountaintop. "

Exactly. nice

At 10/15/2010 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

For sure, Neil giving us a window into where he was at during the time the music came to him and he recorded it, is ground zero in terms of where the appreciation starts. Infrequently, the full impact is there from the start, e.g. ATG, Harvest, RNS, RG. Very rarely does another listen reveal much more to me than when I first heard them. Invariably, though, successive listens are required before the true genius of the work is fully unearthed. For me this is as true of OTB as it is Trans. I have no problem with this.

Signature sound? Now there is a subject for a whole separate Thrasher post. Hmmmm... Random mix of Crazy Horse and acoustic, the voice, old black? I'd have to really think about this one. I remember the first time I heard Change Your Mind. The local PBS station played it in it's entirety, and I tuned in during the middle of an extended guitar break, and knew almost immediately that Neil had a new album out, because there just isn't another sound like old black. If pressed, I might have to say that sheer musical swerve in the road is Neils signature sound. The anticipation of the first listen through of anything new, to find out from one song to the next, how this work is going to be different than anything else he's ever done. Like I say, I'd really have to think about this one.

Peter, do tell!

A Friend Of Yours

At 10/15/2010 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@Greg - A Friend Of Yours: "Invariably, though, successive listens are required before the true genius of the work is fully unearthed."


Yes, maybe someday a signature sound thread. To go along with favorite band thread. And favorite album thread. And song...

At 10/15/2010 04:30:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Ya know has opened up a whole new world to me for finding rare and obscure footage of not only Neil himself..but other artist doing Neil's songs..sometimes awfully ..but..sometimes surprisingly well...DD langs versions of cohen's hallelujah and Neil's helpless is absolutely beautiful to listen to as is surprisingly Dolly parton,emmylou harris and linda ronstadt doing neil's After the gold rush.

A favourite of mine is a live set in Moteaux back from '92 of Neil with the horse doin
a great version of "goin' home''
if ya get a chance to listen to rthat one makes you appreciation the chemistry that the horse had with Neil..luv it

signature sound?...hmmm that is a hard one...Classic riffs?...yeah heaps of favourites..and he's only gotta start with that one familiar note to know whats comin' with Neil and I luv that with him too!!

appreciative doc

At 10/15/2010 04:34:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

My typing is atrocious I'm half blind these days and miss the appropriate letters(i hate getting old!)
should have obviously been "KD" lang..and Neil live at "Montreaux

sorry Jonathan!

At 10/15/2010 08:13:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Thanks for the tips, Doc. I just caught them on YouTube. I also love YouTube for the rare gems, although just now I was unable to find my favorite YouTube rarity- Neil in concert playing Flying On The Ground Is Wrong on piano. Anyone know how to find that? I hope YouTube hasn't dropped it, you should check it out if you can.

A Friend Of Yours

At 10/15/2010 10:01:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Thank you Thrasher- comment of the moment is always an honour always exciting.
Like Greg, I too had an experience where I turned on the radio, Sirius satellite in this case and I heard only Neil's guitar in a song I'd never heard, but it sounded so angry and very rockin'- I didn't hear any singing- didn't need to- just old black, really heating it up and nice rhythm section, just pounding away making a nice groove THEN I hear a trumpet come in on top of all this. It was Shock and Awe- that was the first I'd heard of Living With War and I was blown away.
You always know when Neil's playing- its always so wide open, (which is how something like a trumpet fits well) so natural and always a grooving melody. For me, Neil electric- especially with crazy horse, reminds of driving alone, along a big, wide road, a little bumpy sometimes but always on the way to somewhere great, no matter how pensive and reflective you can get.
Neils' music is a living thing- it moves, breathes, it feels: ecstatic, sorrowful, gorgeous and bittersweet. You never know where its going but once there it feels like that's were it was always meant to go.

Just a few examples:
White line/River of pride
Beautiful Bluebird
I'm The Ocean
Barstool Blues
Over and Over
and (definitely) Goin' Home

At 10/16/2010 02:50:00 AM, Blogger john said...

Signature sound?Well yes,his voice is pretty constant,and although it has changed over the years is remarkably well preserved.Old Black is another constant.

The thing is that Neil as an artist is perpetually on the move,but knows his limitations - he even named a band The Restless (aka The Lost Dogs).His music is is constantly shifting from album to album as he follows the muse.He cannot be pinned down and easily categorised.

His music is very much tied in with his personality.When he gets bored with something he just drops it like a ham sandwich(!) and moves onto some new project which quite often is completely different.

The only predictable thing about Neil is his unpredictability - that could be said to be his signature.Can we predict his next move after Le Noise? Full band or acoustic,or more solo electric?

At 10/16/2010 02:44:00 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Hey doc, glad you`ve enjoying the delights of youtube! It`s highly addictive though isn`t it?! Yes, `Goin` Home` with the Horse is one of my favourites too, and I don`t want to nitpick but wasn`t that from 2001? Or is my poor memory failing me?!

Neil`s signature sound, now that`s really got me thinking....his distinctive voice and singing of course, his style of guitar playing which is so recognisable but hard to pin down
, and maybe his use of minor chords? I`ll keep mulling that one over......I`d love to hear what you think Peter, please tell!


At 10/16/2010 04:34:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Yeah,you're right Jilly!...but hey?...what's10yrs between friends?


At 10/17/2010 05:39:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Too true doc, especially as it`s all one song anyway!

@ john, talking about not being able to predict what Neil will do next, one thing I thought was interesting in the interview with Neil and Lanois (apart from all of it!), was when Neil implied he would be doing more solo work. He was explaining why making Le Noise was such fun, and mentioned that there was no `teaching` involved. `Nobody to have to teach the song to…..and if they don`t get it right you`re screwed ….and then having to deal with that……I`m finished with……I didn`t want to do that…`. It was probably just how he was feeling at the time and maybe we shouldn`t read too much into it, but I thought it was interesting all the same.


At 10/17/2010 03:35:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Jill..its a sign!!......



At 10/17/2010 03:55:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

..."when I go for a little talk
....out with my fans
....I keep'm guessing about all my plans!!

you can take it as a sign above
when I'm singin at you

I'll be singin to you for a long long time..its a sign above!

So we're all gettin' old and grey
and have a little more time
to put our praises up on line!
its a sign of love!!

when ya sittin there strummin that way..and we're lookin' ay you
we'll be lookin at you for a long long time..even from above even from above

when we first heard you..
and we weren't quite a faaan!

it wasn't long before before you were our man!..its a sign of love!!
...never get enough..a sign of love!!

sorry. I'll never do it again!


At 10/18/2010 03:41:00 AM, Blogger peter said...

My choice of Neils signature sound is really short. I didn't mean his voice or his distorted guitar or a particular song. I meant the use of a very short 'chord-progression' played in a way that's instantly Neil. He uses it in a lot of songs. I can not put it in words quite right as English is not my native language and I am not a schooled musician but the best example of it is in Expecting To Fly: you have this intro of strings that's getting louder and louder and then all of a sudden there's this pedalsteelsound coming out of the fog - 'tadaaa' and then the first verse starts. You hear it again at the beginning of every verse.

That to me is Neils 'trademark' and it's just the most sad ánd happy sound I've heard. Being about 16 years old when I first heard it must have helped quite a bit…

Just listen to his songs and you'll notice he uses it quiet often. I heard it pass on Le Noise too if I'm not mistaken.

Peter Dees

At 10/18/2010 08:44:00 AM, Blogger peter said...

Oh yeah, and Doc: although I think he's the total opposite as a guitar player and I don't like this style of guitar playing at all there's a quite remarkable cover of Cortez (which btw to me is Neils 'signature' song) on Youtube on which Joe Satriani pulls the strings.
Grace Potter sings very, very good and… there's a great trumpet!

(Youtube is great! I recently even found a clip of Neil at the Ritz with the Danny Shea band. Sound's not that good but sure a lot of fun!)

Peter D.


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