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Friday, June 22, 2012

A Neil Young Critic Drifts Into Self-parody

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

A rather brutal review of Neil Young and Crazy Horse's new album Americana on The Herald-Review by Tim Cain.

The review is entitled "Neil Young drifts to self-parody" and begins by citing a litany of other works of self parody such as "Family Guy", “MAD TV,” National Lampoon & even Randy Newman.

We absolutely have no idea where to begin on all of this other than we start off by pointing out the standard detractor approach of trotting out false equivalencies which compares a TV program or magazine to a music album. The mind boggles with the amount of strawman non sequiturs in a single review.

And it all continues to go rapidly downhill from there.

Before we even attempt to delve into all of this, a few things. Once again, a new Neil Young album comes out and suddenly everyone's a Neil expert and begins to lecture him on the validity of his artistic vision.

We saw the pattern establish itself with the Greendale backlash, the Living With War vitriol, the Fork in the Road outrage, and so on.

Looking back at all of this, there seems to be a template approach to Neil critique which often fails to simply grasp the not so simple fact of what is being attempted.

Unfortunately we have yet to complete our review of Americana. We've been listening to the album for weeks now and have played it through several dozen times since - thanks to the bonus discs with the concert tickets -- we now have about 8 copies between home, car, office, etc.

We'll get back to our thoughts on Americana shortly, but back to the The Herald-Review by Tim Cain:
Which brings me to Neil Young’s new album.

Young has been hyping “Americana” for months. It’s a decidedly different step for the rock legend. For the first time, Young has released an album with nothing but other peoples’ songs. And these are songs many people already know in different forms. (In that way, it’s dissimilar to Bruce Springsteen’s “Seeger Sessions” album, which relied on one songwriter.)

Young’s stated purpose was to do what’s been done for centuries with folk music, take the material, give it a slant, and make it palatable for modern audiences. For Young and the Crazy Horse band, longtime collaborators with Young, this album was not going to be a collection of carefully polished museum pieces, but rather a wakeup call, an effort to shake the dust off the songs and our ears and make us hear them for the first time.

At least that’s what Young indicated.

But any illusion of that is dashed by the first song, “Oh Susannah,” the Stephen Foster song from 1848 that remains one of the best-known American compositions ever.

Anyone familiar with Young’s previous work with Crazy Horse, particularly the late 1970s “Rust Never Sleeps” version, is greeted by a familiar sound. A wash of messy-sounding guitars, a thump of percussion, a plodding beat (not always a negative), Young braying vocals while Crazy Horse provides weak, under-amplified backup vocals, three chords, an ongoing danger that the song may stop at any moment because the players dropped something, or forgot how to play, or just lost interest for a moment.

(If you happen to give it a listen, see if the melody from Shocking Blue’s “Venus” fits in perfectly. Which may be Young’s subtle joke. Young’s version closely echoes The Big Three’s 1963 take on “Oh Susannah,” and some listeners believe “Venus” was lifted at least in part from The Big Three.)

They push their way through a number of folk standards: “Tom Dooley” (here called “Tom Dula,” as it was originally known, based on the name of the person the song is about); “Gallows Pole” (also recorded by Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin); Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” They also run through “God Save the Queen” (tacking “My Country ’Tis of Thee” on the end) and, bizarrely, The Silhouettes’ “Get a Job.”

If you didn’t know, you might listen to this album and chuckle after a bit, thinking the flourishes on “Oh Susannah” were too rich, too perfect, too comical to be anything but a parody of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

But it’s not. And it stays that way throughout its running time.

If these guys rehearsed this for more than a few days, it barely shows. If there’s a song here that isn’t a first or second take, they’re trying to fool someone.

Sometimes, an artist does his own best parody.

As we said, it's hard to know where to start here. We could simply shrug and say, critic Tim Cain just doesn't "get" Neil Young. Much like many don't "get" Lady Gaga unless they're a "Little Monster". But that would be too easy.

Fundamentally, we'll just begin with our opinion that the reviewer is missing the entire purpose of the project. The history that is re-interpreted in an unvarnished manner, i.e., a different truth.

The reviewer has not listened to the music in the context of the videos to gain insight into a song like “Oh Susannah” where music is a family focal point to provide relief from the grim times of the Great Depression. And failing to draw the line between yesterday and today's global meltdown. The "Even Greater Depression" of the early 21st century is the story of our lifetime. To miss this point is to fail incredibly.

Or the artwork of Shepard Fairey and Day at the Gallery where the images project populist ideals of the common man against the brutality of the state sponsored repression and economic bondage.

As for some of Cain's musical criticism, arguments could be made about any number of "sloppy" Crazy Horse records from Reactor to Ragged Glory. The raw, ragged Crazy Horse is not for everyone, no doubt. The "a jet plane in a thunderstorm" sound is an acquired taste and those who have witnessed and directly felt in their chest the aural assault that is known as "Crazy Horse-style" know that which we speak.

Lastly, we'll say 2 things. One can never truly evaluate any Neil Young after a single listen or after a single month of listening continuously. Only after a period of considerable time does a Neil Young album's worth become apparent. We'll only mention critical and/or commercial flops like Tonight's The Night or Greendale as examples of albums that were once scorned and deprecated are now considered to be top tier releases.

The second thing to point out is that -- for us -- virtually every studio album,in retrospect, never matches the live concert experience. We maintain that only the the live concert experience captures the true musical power and genius of Neil Young. Neil had transcended being simply just a musician and how he had evolved into a performance artist. About how he creates new art forms by combining music, painting, film, writing and more into something wonderfully new and fun and exciting, i.e., the unbearable lightness of being Neil Young.

The sheer beauty of the freedom to hear The Muse and see The Vista.

So we say, walk on and see you down on the rail this fall.


ps - this blog is my blog, this blog is your blog, this blog was made for you & me.

Neil Young - Austin, TX, June 5, 2010
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


At 6/22/2012 11:31:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/22/2012 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lost me on "artistic vision of Americana," Squirt. I think the band clubbed that poor wabbit before it even got out of the wabbit hole. That'll teach'em from messing with Huckleberry and his gal Clem. Wasn't this the same band credited on a song about getting buried in the past trying to make a good thing last? Here's to one more round of Hurricane, RITFW, Cinnamon Girl, Tonights the Night, and Powderfinger this tour! Ah, there's nothing like a good old fashion nostalgic show of old farts playing songs from 30-40 years LIKE WE HAVENT HEARD THEM EVERY YEAR NOW SINCE NEIL HAS BEEN TOURING.

At 6/22/2012 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

@DalilyDimwit - Crazy Horse wasn't playing with Neil on 'Ambulance Blues'...nice try though...

At 6/22/2012 03:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathonprickface, its really too much to expect Neil's cult understand irony. Yep, they were all there and I'm almost sure they heard the song at least once or twice before it got pressed. That's artistic vision and commitment for ya. Here one day and gone the next. Just like that wittle wabbit.

At 6/22/2012 03:03:00 PM, Blogger setlistthief said...

"all you critics sit alone..."

Thanks for pointing out this review, Thrasher. I really do get a kick out of critics who have no idea what they are critiqueing.

I was particularly struck by this passage: "If these guys rehearsed this for more than a few days, it barely shows. If there’s a song here that isn’t a first or second take, they’re trying to fool someone." Neil's said on a number of occasions that his work with Crazy Horse relies on that spontaneity, that rehearsing a song until its *perfect* essentially kills whatever creative spark or feeling there was in the first place. Mr. Cain doesn't know his subject very well.

And as far as "an ongoing danger that the song may stop at any moment because the players dropped something, or forgot how to play, or just lost interest for a moment" that danger is what keeps us coming back to Neil, over and over. His ability to walk out to the abyss (and sometimes tumble over it) gives Neil's performances a realness and immediacy no other living musician has.

I've just put "Americana" on heavy rotation so I've only formed a few initail impressions. I hear "Powderfinger" in a couple of those folk songs. "High Flyin' Bird" is a NYCH classic that's going to be a live scorcher. "Wayfaring Stranger" is a gorgeous "Boxcar"-like acoustic piece. And in many ways, the remaining songs remind me of Dylan's "Love and Theft." Right now, however, the album doesn't flow for me, but I may get there eventually after a few more listens.

Maybe I won't be listening to "Americana" next year at this time, but right now I'm absolutely intrigued by what Neil's done this time around. Honestly, I thought Neil would never work with Crazy Horse again. Glad I was mistaken.

At 6/22/2012 03:24:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

First this guy spends two uselessly long introductory paragraphs relating to the reader his version of the back-story behind the album.

He then claims that any "illusion" of the "effort to shake the dust off the songs and our ears and make us hear them for the first time" is "dashed" by the first song.

He doesn't bother to explain how, except to bizarrely compare "Oh Susannah" to the album Rust Never Sleeps.

He then bizarrely veers off into how the melody for the song Venus was lifted from the Big 3's version of Oh Susannah.

He goes on to describe a partial list of the songs, during which the only subjective word he uses is the adverb "bizarrely".

Finally, he finishes off the article with two short revelatory statements about his feelings, which bizarrely appear to contradict each other.

1) The author feels that the songs sound like a comical parody of Neil and the Horse, describing "Oh Susannah" as "too rich" and "too perfect".

2) The author feels that the songs sound under-rehearsed.

So which is it? Too perfect, or under-rehearsed? Or too perfectly under-rehearsed? How do these two contradictory concepts relate and how does that make the band sound like a parody of itself?

I would have to agree that this review bizarrely comes off as a sad parody of itself.

It barely even qualifies as a review. It's more like someone making fun of something that they don't understand.

Also, I can't stand when the word "bizarre" in any form is used in an article.

At 6/22/2012 03:31:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Daylily, I think Ralph Molina played on Ambulance Blues. Billy Talbot may have been there, but Poncho isn't listed anywhere on that album.

So, no, not the same band.

I get your irony, but I think it oversimplifies the point of this album. Neil isn't getting stuck in his own past, he's resurrecting the roots of American music into a new form. It's a whole different thing, the way I see it.

At 6/22/2012 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Where to begin, indeed ...
First off, Thrasher, this critic is not comparing music to TV or magazines, or calling "Family Guy" or the Lampoon self-parodies. He begins by discussing musical parody in various mediums, what works and doesn't, what's fair and isn't. ("Southern California Brings Me Down" is, by the way, a minor masterpiece.)
From there, he uses the musical parody concept as a way to express his feelings about "Americana." He seems to have a very clear grasp of what Neil is trying to accomplish with the album, he simply doesn't care for the execution (not that the review is perfectly executed itself). Indeed, for better or worse, the rawness and sloppiness of the Horse is on primo display here (which isn't surprising since these are essentially warm-up sessions for the "real" album to come). Some people enjoy that approach, some don't - all are entitled to their opinions.
You seem to argue that any reviews of Neil's work are invalid on their face, since the albums can't be evaluated for many years and the recordings are superseded by the live performances. While there is truth to both of those points, the fact remains that "Americana" is being marketed right now, independent of live performances, to a mass audience (not just the Neil faithful), people who simply want to listen to the music, not watch videos or analyze historical context or sociopolitical implications. Those are the folks who the critics are writing for, and many of them will be interested in hearing what other people have to say (particularly critics whose tastes match theirs, based on previous experience) before they cough up their bucks.
While I personally enjoy "Americana," I can see how many people might not, and they deserve some fair warning about what to expect. Neil has every right to follow his muse, and those in the listening public - including critics - have every right to decide whether they want to follow him or not.

p.s. - It's Shepard Fairey, not Fairy.

At 6/22/2012 04:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6/22/2012 06:44:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Oh, this is part of a larger article about parody. I overlooked that part. I should have followed the link.

Why bring this up in an article about parody, though? It's NOT a parody.

The sloppiness of the Horse is partially on display.

The author didn't get as far as High Flyin' Bird during his one dismissive listen, obviously, which doesn't sound sloppy to me at all. It sounds damn inspired.

At 6/22/2012 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Babbo - that was a very nice spot analysis in your comment...well done...

Daylilydummy - you spelled my name wrong...

Ben Keith played bass on AB and Poncho is not credited...

At 6/22/2012 07:55:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

spot on Babbo

At 6/22/2012 09:11:00 PM, Blogger tuned4life said...

I met a 58 year old woman who used to have copy of Harvest. Other than "Old Man" She couldn't remember any of the other songs. She was unfamiliar with any of Neil's other stuff. We have been on a couple of long road trips together. I did the driving, She was in charge of running the Cassette deck. I had recorded most of Neils stuff from the earliest to Americana. She was absolutely blown away with Neil's catalog. She especially liked the Live stuff with crazy horse. I'm not sure whether She likes OH Susannah or not.She told Me She listened to it a week ago and still can't get it out of Her head. I've got tickets to Cleveland, Kingston, and Toronto. She wants to go to all 3 of the concerts with Me. I have more copies of Americana than I know what to do with. I don't know about anyone else but October seems like a long time to wait. Doug S.

At 6/22/2012 09:18:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Thrasher, this is as good an analysis as I remember from you, which is saying a lot, and there’s very little that I can add. Well done. Babbo, you make a lot of good points, I really enjoyed your take, although I’m not convinced that Cain has a “very clear grasp of what Neil is trying to accomplish with the album”. In terms of the role of the reviewer tho, and the impossibility of definitively summing things up without giving the music a chance to breathe over time, I wouldn’t mind it so much if it was obvious that the review was coming from someone demonstrating more than only a cursory knowledge of Neil and CH. But in this case it obviously is not, and therefore Matthew sums it up best with, “I would have to agree that this review bizarrely comes off as a sad parody of itself”- a parody of a reviewer who doesn’t really know what he is talking about.

A Friend Of Yours

At 6/23/2012 09:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think John Q public is gonna buy raising roots of Americana music hot air and hype after experiencing something like "other voices." John Q can smell a stinker and a critic doesn't need to understand a musicians MO to give a review. Hendrix needed heroin to do his thing and everyone was fine with the results.

At 6/23/2012 09:39:00 AM, Blogger asg said...

NONE of you get it, sometimes *I* don't get it either...Music is subjective, there are no absolutes...what you think may think is the work of a genius, *I* may think is the work of a moron...and vice versa...ya don't like something? don't buy it...yer afraid the NY/CH shows are gonna be all-AMERICANA shows ? don't go...Neil owes us nothing...

At 6/23/2012 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Right on asg, and Babbo!

I wonder, though, who is this John Q. Public? Is Mr. Public of a single mind when it comes to music?

I'm going to do an experiment. I'm gonna take Americana around to people who I know are not Neil Young fans, and I'm going to play some tracks for them, and see what they think. Then I'll get back to y'all, once I get a sample of John Q.'s musical sensitivities. I guess the public doesn't like stuff that sounds loose and dirty?

What about Damn This Town by John Hiatt. That is all over Radio Woodstock up here. It's dirty, it's loose and crazy, and it's a fun distorto-blues song.

In any case, a good review is going to assess this album track by track, because all the tracks have such different vibes. Some of them sound pretty tight, some sound loose. Some are sprawling and wild, some are more contained sounding.

I was really struck last night listening to Gallows Pole and High Flying Bird.

Gallows Pole starts out with a basic but tight adherence to the rhythmic structure of the song, and kind of evolves throughout, until by the end Neil is inserting these interesting guitar bits and weird, vibrato enunciations of the word "hangin'". It evolves into something more interesting and experimental. And the use of the choir is really spooky. By the time the song is over it's hooked me.

High Flyin' Bird just sounds really inspired, and not at all like it's about to fall apart, or unrehearsed, IMO.

But... I think this reviewer only listened intently to a couple of minutes of the album before making a flippant judgement call.

The only thing I agree with him about is the cover of Get a Job, but I certainly don't consider it "bizarre". More like something I'd totally expect out of Neil and the Horse, which is another thing that gives this reviewer away as someone who doesn't understand what he's reviewing. It's the Piece of Crap or Welfare Mothers of the album.

At 6/23/2012 11:29:00 AM, Blogger sugarmtn said...

I don't understand the negative review of Mr. Cain's review. Seems like a perfectly legitimate point of view to me.

At 6/23/2012 12:02:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

While Neil used several guest artists in the making of 'On The Beach', Ralph appeared on five of the eight recordings while Billy performed on only one, 'Walk On'. This obviously wouldn't qualify as a Crazy horse LP. Typically I would post a rant on a subject such as this, however, I believe Thrasher pretty much said all there needs to be said and I concur. For your brilliant post, I nominate Thrasher for 'comment of the moment' on this one ... Thanks, Thrasher for your insight on an artist that most critics 'just don't get' and really never have at least as long as I've been reading reviews.

At 6/23/2012 02:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on thrashin', Thrasher... Your THRASHER'S WHEAT E-mails are something that makes me want to get out of bed every morning.

I have a request-- Please do us all a favor and ban "Daylily" and "no one" from posting... His obvious NY hatred is glaring from every post he makes... Are "Mother Nature On The Run" and "Pinto" and " Flounder" all in the same anti-Neil gang or are they schizophrenic-personality-disorder symptoms of the same sick mind?

I am NOT in favor of censorship and I realize that if you deleted this fuck-nut's ability to slag NY on your own web-site, it would open you up to more criticism, from alternate IP addresses.

But I can tell you with certainty that some of us are getting SO TIRED of this cyber-terrorism.

The final straw for myself was when he claimed that Jimi was a junkie... ANYONE who knows ANYTHING is aware of the fact that Hendrix smoked and tripped like a madman, but he DETESTED hard drugs.

PLEASE-- Off with the wannabe trouble-makers' heads...


Peace & Love

-- Eric

At 6/23/2012 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Thanks, sugarmt, for summing up what I was trying to say in two concise sentences. The issue isn't whether the critic is right or wrong, whether "Americana" is good or bad, it's his right to express his opinion, and to have his words analyzed fairly and accurately.

At 6/23/2012 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Paul Dionne said...

Daylilly Dallas - "Hendrix needed heroin to do his thing and everyone was fine with the results." Huh, where ever did you get that? Jimi was not particularly ever a heroin addict; he was an involved participant of the times, which was heavily use of drugs most of the time, but no, not "needed heroin to do his thing". Babbo, that is one of the most cogent comments I have ever read on Thrasher's - I agree completely. By the way, what I've heard of Americana is definitely not the "a jet plane in a thunderstorm" sound of the old CH - psaul dionne

At 6/23/2012 05:00:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Babbo B. - Just so folks know, our response to Babbo is here on Comment of the Moment: A Neil Young Critic Drifts Into Self-parody.

At 6/23/2012 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

And thanks, Thrasher, for your gracious reponse to my remarks, and for all you do to keep this site going.

At 6/23/2012 08:53:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

I'm sure your belly rub will arrive via email from Thrasher shortly. If you had the ability to comprehend the written word better than you write it you would have discovered that none of the individuals you referenced (except maybe for the Daylily guy) have ever been guilty of bashing Neil Young (using a definition of "bashing" as criticism without thought or logic.) There has been some fairly aggressive criticism of the hypocritical bullshit that passes as discourse on this site ( and welcome to that campfire, partner) but your use of the term "cyber-terrorism" tells us everything anyone would ever need to know about your adolescent sensibility. Pinto(or Flounder) was a poster who defined the terms of the discussion about NY's post-classic career; Mother Nature loved(s) Neil passionately but somehow got lost along the way, and I have followed and loved him since hearing Everybody Knows for the first time in 1969. I think he deserves nothing less than a completely objective response from his devotees and that objectivity is feared like a toxic virus by the lapdogs who like to think of themselves as the gentry of this social circle. It is my pleasure to crap on their (and your) patent leather loafers. Enjoy your belly rub.

At 6/24/2012 01:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knows one when I hears one. Can there be others like me who don't swoon and fret. It doesn't take getting used to or a few times to get his songs. His stuff when it's the real deal grabs you by the throat and knock the wind outta you. If the Critic or JohnPublic dont feel what Neil wanted them to feel, there's nothing anyone can do about it. But don't lay your holier than thou attitude like you got one over them.I did buy Americana and started lurking to see what others are saying. Its all bullet points and stay on the message and Neil was never like that. And don't tell a person like me who WAS THERE when Neil was blowing everyone out of the water with his c'mon baby let's go downtown, 14 junkies, and cripple creek ferry. The material, edginess, immediacy, rawness, lyrics, ang ragged glory. Even the good ( not great) stuff cuts right thru you. To the guy calling Me stupid about Hendricks addictions, Doesn't matter what substance Hendrix used, what mattered was that journey he took you on with his guitar. Every song was a new level. Not the same. So when a critic or a John public says or writes that he didn't get it, what he's saying is that it didn't go the next level. . Sure, there was some familiar rust in the first few bars, hesitations, and such, but it didn't go to the next level. If you kids are dancing to clementine and whatever, well then I guess ol Neil still got but for me I have to let this sail by because it is patty cake compared to what he is capable of. And to that one guy who's pissed because of the double standard he sees in what Neil says, what he does, and what he writes.. I agree with you. He is so out of touch with reality that he believes all the excuses people make for him when he puts out garbage. Sure, I'll see him few times this year but it will be the first time I'll be chuckling to myself watching all his moronic fans jumping up and down while daddy is playing patty cake with the boys. (thrasher is censoring my comments and it would be an honor to be banned from this sight because you guys don't kno nothing about rocknroll because your so worried about typos and being honest about what youre not hearing .

At 6/24/2012 12:40:00 PM, Anonymous ahpost said...

I started reading Mr. Cain's review with some mild interest, although I've made up my mind about Americana - it sounds great to me. And I'd underline the word sound. Anyway, Cain lost me right away when he compared it to Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, "which relied on one songwriter". Can't take seriously anyone who announces how poorly informed he is. Who is this songwriter? Mr Traditional? Does he think Pete Seeger wrote those songs ? Please!
I can't get past that, sorry.

At 6/24/2012 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cannot compare the Seeger sessions to anything. It is a masterpiece. Americana is a half baked whim based on limitations, not on genius. There is no creative vision because it's been done over so many times. Dust them off and give new life? Why that's a bunch of snake oil. That the pirated talking .

At 6/24/2012 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous ahpost said...

Opinions are just that, anon., but first, S.S a masterpiece?? A fine turn, a lot of fun, but hardly a masterpiece, my opinion - and I attended several of those live shows, among many dozens of fine Bruce shows. Second, to say that there's no creative vision because it's been done, etc., what ar you talking about? Too bad if you miss perceiving any creative vision, your loss - in my opinion.

At 6/24/2012 09:51:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

ok - I'm a musician who has played and recorded many NY songs over the years. Here's my take.

I luv Neils body of work - his music has ranged from sublime to ordinary over decades. Most of it is great imo but there's some duds along the way. He's anything but consistent, very changeable, always does what HE wants and these are things I've come to greatly admire in him.

Enter Americana - I luv Crazy Horse, luv Neil, but not the songs. Never have been a fan of any of them except My Land is Your land by WG.

I understand & appreciate exactly what Neil attempted but I find the songs ordinary and "God Save The Queen" has always been awful imo. Neil improves this list of duds but that not enough to make a good CD.

I wish he'd just do his own songs hehe but Neil will always do what he wants.

The review by the alleged "Critic" is just another ignorant load of xxxx. I'm sure Neil couldn't care less what he said and neither should we

At 6/24/2012 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The musical execution of Seeger Sessions embodies and respects the power of the message and the passion of the messenger which is why it is a masterpiece for Bruce Springsteen.

The critic Cain was just pointing out that people should not confuse this Americana album with what previous musicians have accomplished in the past like Seeger Sessions. It was a disclaimer like don't be fooled by what other great artists have attempted to do in paying homage to our musical past.

Cain is being kind acknowledging there's at least some elements of ragged glory and rust he heard in a few songs but Americana overall does not fully capture the band's potential. It's child play and embarrassing what little effort was made. The material falls short of the band's potential.

At 6/26/2012 05:01:00 PM, Blogger peter d. said...

You know, it's the sheer arrogance that leaves me speechless... Go and try to play one f#cking note that has the same impact as any note CH with or without NY has ever played...

...falls short of the bands fiull potential...
...little effort...

At least you got one word right:



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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.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



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

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


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

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

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

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

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 & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

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

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

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

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

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

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

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

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

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



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)

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
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

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

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
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?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

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

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat