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Thursday, March 29, 2012

FIRST LISTEN: "Americana" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - "Americana"
(Zoom Album Cover)

A surprising about of commentary on the upcoming album Americana by Neil Young & Crazy Horse -- even though no one has even heard it -- yet.

The first listen of "Americana" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse is via by John Mulvey:
It begins as you might imagine, with a guitarist who seems about to play a sputtering solo rather than start a song, a drummer trying to work out what time to keep and, gradually, a band lunging towards a tune: “Oh Susannah”.

After a minute or so, you can hear Neil Young shout “Oh Susannah” away from his mic, prompting a choir to start chanting the title. It is at this point that Crazy Horse locate the dogged, heroic sense of purpose that has sustained them, on and off, for a good four decades. They’re moving a fraction faster than usual, in truth: as my colleague John Robinson points out, the call-and-response interplay between Young and the backing singers, aligned to the inexorable “good groove” (as Young calls it in the fade-out), make it all oddly resemble Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Dig Lazarus Dig”.

This is the way “Americana” opens, the latest attempt by Neil Young to variously charm and confound his fans. For those of you who have become exasperated, one way or another, with the path Young has carved this past decade – quixotic, even by his standards – “Americana” may not be quite what you’re looking for. This is undoubtedly the Young who made “Living With War” and “Fork In The Road”, albeit backed by his most heroically truculent rhythm section; all of which is just fine with me.

More from the first listen of "Americana" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse on by John Mulvey.

Labels: , ,


At 3/29/2012 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

By the description sounds pretty good to me. And how bad can it be to "bludgeon" GSTQ?

"the inexorable "good groove"""ragged and capricious and wonderful" "works extremely well" "I keep thinking of "Ragged Glory" "whacked-out vigor" ""Young's
solos are brief, but unflailingly beautiful" "throbbing mena

and for MNOTR, "perhaps hit the stop button before they bludgeon a path through "God Save The Queen"

At 3/29/2012 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

I'm most intrigued to hear what they do with God Save the Queen. I'm British and I HATE our national anthem. I don't like national anthems in general, but ours is particularly awful, musically and lyrically.

The Star Spangled Banner is pretty lousy too though, and Hendrix managed to make that cool, so I'll keep an open mind!

At 3/29/2012 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Powderfinger said...

Waiting with bated breath!

If it as first you don't like it, give it time. Even a couple of years. I have come to love songs of Neil I hated in the 80s & 90s. They kind of grow on me.

Hell, I didn't like Silver & Gold when it came out -- one of my all-time favorites now.

It'll be different, I hope!

At 3/29/2012 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Two months to wait?? Damn...personally I think Living With War had some damn good songs & it stayed in my cd player for many many months...Fork in the Road not as much...I'm predicting smiles all around once the fans have had a good long listen to Americana...

At 3/29/2012 05:44:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

LOL Zuma Band! Nice shout out. Thanks! I'm sort with that guy who thinks the only redeeming quality our "Star Spangled Banner" had was that it inspired Jimi Hendrix to do something about it!

Unfortunately I'll never shake the screaming and bullwhips cracking when I hear "Oh Susannah."

At 3/29/2012 05:56:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

When I was a kid, I asked my teacher what was meant by "the sun so hot, I froze to death." To a kid, the lyrics seemed sort of ridiculous.

My teacher told me that the songwriter was making fun of black people because that's what they did at the time. Of course I didn't believe my teacher so I asked my Dad about it. My Dad said that most of the white culture was very racist back then. He said there are better songs worth singing like "This Land." Thank God, for Woody! He put the "folk" back into folk music.

At 3/30/2012 12:38:00 AM, Blogger mark said...

....... how come some Brit got to hear it 1st ? ... what's up w/that ?

At 3/30/2012 04:53:00 AM, Blogger Simon said...

Neil is a Canadian citizen so it makes perfect sense for him to close Americana with God Save The Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year.
Neil must have listened to it countless times as a child growing up in part of the Commonwealth. It was and still is his national anthem. Maybe Neil and the Horse's version will wind up getting played at the Olympic medal ceremonies.

At 3/30/2012 08:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any details on the vinyl? Will it be outrageously priced like other new Neil vinyl?

At 3/30/2012 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vinyl mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood CA.

NY vinyl is the best sounding vinyl you can get!

At 3/30/2012 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY vinyl is the best sounding vinyl you can get!

Maybe, but it shouldn't be more than 25 dollars (at most), imo.

At 3/30/2012 12:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quality whether you like it or not.

At 3/30/2012 01:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Le Noise at the store for $50. Give me a break. Definitely not a fair price. "Quality" has nothing to do with it. It's gouging.

At 3/30/2012 01:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i paid 35 bucks for fillmore east on 200 g vinyl, and it was worth every cent. for the price of going out for dinner i got an awesome sounding piece of art. stop yer bitchin'.

At 3/30/2012 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most misleading headline ever!!!! Thought I was going to hear Neil and the boys. So pissed.

Btw, All the cry babies need to shut up. Quit with the PC stuff. Just because a non-native uses the name and image of Crazy Horse doesn't mean it is racists.

In the field of opportunity it is plowing time again!

At 3/30/2012 02:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the greatest electric guitarist ever, Jimi Hendrix ALSO plundered the British National Anthem "God Save The Gueen" at his final official UK concert 1970 The Isle Of Wight festival... And immediately sequed into The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which he called "Today's British National anthem"... Heh heh...


-- Eric

At 3/30/2012 03:35:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Right. It's a white man's privilege to exploit the losers in any way they seem fit. I'm sure mot people will appreciate hearing Woody's sarcasm of Americana in "This Land" thank to Neil and his band.

It's not unusual either for white people to trivialize the indigenous genocidal history of death, disease, and starvation so much that hardly anyone thinks about it much because whatever left is turned into steak houses and casinos and band names.

Rock on!

At 3/30/2012 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Excuse me. No one is exploiting anyone in that photograph because the faces were completely removed for public domaine purposes. Rock on.

Back to regularly scheduled program...

At 3/30/2012 05:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok. What do you want me or any other white person to do about the past exactly? I am sorry. Exploitation has taken place over all racial/religious lines throughout history.

And as far as I can tell I can't change what I did ten seconds ago, let alone what my ancestors did 400 years in the past.

At 3/30/2012 08:30:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Just let it go... Thrasher has allowed this site to be turned into a non- stop orgy of PC bull vomited endlessly by a pompous blowhard who has apparently never met an African or Native American. They, to a person, would be either outraged or dissolved in helpless laughter at the parade of naïveté that has engulfed this forum.
There's nothing left here... Walk on.

At 3/31/2012 03:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Quality has nothing to do with it. It's gouging."

So don't buy it. Problem solved. Vinyl's for connoisseurs.


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