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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Randomly Blogged: VoodooCast, Pill Drop, Waging Heavy Reviews, & Perfect Hurricanes

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Photo by David Grunfeld, The Times-Picayune |

Neil Young and Crazy Horse highlights will stream Sunday at 9:15 PM CST on Voodoo Experience, Ustream.TV: STREAMING OCT. 27+28.

Having trouble with the "Psychedelic Pill" stream? Check for some playback suggestions here.

Early reviews thus far have been strongly positive.

From Album: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill (Reprise) - Reviews - Music - The Independent by Simmy Richman:
"moments of sublime majesty" making it "the best non-essential album Neil Young has ever made".
From Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, pop album of the week - Telegraph by Thomas H Green:
It’s a loose album, an indulgent album, and not all likeable but, unlike any other outfit of their tenure, they maintain a raw punch as if recording in a local bar for the sheer blast of it. The title track comes on like trashy Sixties garage punk and is the better for it but its three-and-a-half minutes are dwarfed by songs of up to 28 minutes long. These aim for the prolonged attack of live classics such as Like a Hurricane yet don’t quite have the dynamism and, despite rowdy fret-wrangling, often find it difficult to take flight.

Young is in nostalgic, often melancholy mode and lyrically ruminating over the death of the utopian Sixties dream, notably on the 28-minute Driftin’ Back with its heartfelt “Don’t want my MP3”, or the closing Walk Like a Giant, that announces, “Me and some of my friends were trying to change the world … then the weather changed.” She’s Always Dancing is equally impassioned, celebrating a woman who “has the fire but it’s burning out”.
From Neil Young, with Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill (2012) by Nick DeRiso:
Like many of his contemporaries, Neil Young will forever be associated with the 1960s. On Psychedelic Pill, he joins together with Crazy Horse to construct a fiery requiem for the decade, and to chart a path away from its crushing disappointments.

He begins, I think brilliantly, at the end: “Driftin’ Back,” a staggering epitaph for the 1960s, also intrigues because it’s initially presented as an utterly offbeat, pastoral reverie — something that’s maybe as far away as you can get from the familiar garage-rock glories of Crazy Hose. Young, instead, is floating for a time, feather-like, over what appears to be his own jagged personal history.

Then, as the song moves into a shared vocal for the chorus, Crazy Horse finally comes charging forward, and their ass-whipping feedback and skull-dragging rhythms blow apart whatever sense of twilit reverie remains. “Driftin’ Back” surges into a broiling, rough-hewn instrumental segment and when the lyric returns, there is a new edge to Young’s thoughts.

He launches into a more direct accounting of how the broader goals from the ’60s ran aground. Religious leaders are revealed as charlatans, artists are turned into greeting-card product. Crazy Horse again offers its own thunderous musical retort, completing the transformation of “Driftin’ Back” from a moment tinged with regret into a song completely engulfed by thunderous anger. Twenty minutes into this nearly half-hour opus, Young then makes it clear that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg: “When you hear my song now, you only get five percent … Blocking out my anger now, blocking out my thoughts.” From there, this round-house raging against the dying of the light ensues. Even as “Driftin’ Back” seems to slow, a titanic interlocking exchange of guitar with Frank “Poncho” Sampedro renders that anger viscerally real. Young makes one last pass at the chorus, but he sounds spent, almost at a loss for words, so draining has this journey been.

By the end, “Driftin’ Back” has equaled and, in some cases, surpassed so many of the songs that seek to contextualize the 1960s. I’m not sure anyone has better illustrated the impotent fury that followed for those who worked so hard toward change, only to see it all come to such a thudding conclusion.
But not all critics appreciate the pungency that is known as "smell the Horse". From New music review: Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young and Crazy Horse (Reprise) | Montreal Gazette by Bernard Perusse:
The first sign of trouble comes with the opening track. At 28 minutes, Driftin’ Back is about 23 minutes too long, with Neil mostly soloing over two chords, breaking in here and there to rant about the terrible quality of MP3s or threaten to get a hip-hop haircut.

It’s one thing for musical explorers like MIles Davis, Frank Zappa or the Grateful Dead to go on for almost a half hour, but when you have a drummer (the ever-plodding Ralph Molina) who struggles to keep time and pounds away witlessly while the boss explores two or three chords and the seemingly limitless pleasures of sustained feedback, it can be rough going.
In the meantime, "Psychedelic Pill" is now #6 , #5, #4 on Amazon Top 100 List.

From Review, Setlist, Stream, Download, Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, United Center, Chicago 10/11/12 | The Barn Presents: Charting The World of Live Music - Chicago, IL by steve:
In advance publicity for his autobiography Waging Heavy Peace, Neil Young has been pretty public about his recent abstinence from weed and booze for the first time in just about forever. I’d like to provide (happy?) testimony that this decision has had no material affect on his stage demeanor or ability to perform long, psychedelic noise rock experiments. He comes through with the same twisted up and gnarled expression, the same feedback drenched guitar slashing, the same beautifully angry shouts and haunting asides. Though this is the first full-fledged Crazy Horse tour in many moons, the unit’s ability to craft so much out of so little remains at the heart of their appeal. The group spend the majority of the night in a makeshift huddle in front of the drum riser, seemingly poking and prodding aggressively languid sounds out of each other over the foundation of one of rock’s most timeless catalogs.


One last point. This concludes a run of three shows I’ve seen this fall in stadiums and arenas by established artists. As I mentioned before, the arena is almost a requirement for appreciating Neil’s huge sound, but it was a little off-putting to see so many empty seats (50% capacity?), especially in lieu of the very high ticket price. I would guess that the United Center was half full and nowhere was this as obvious as the General Admission floor. Would cutting ticket prices have produced a packed house? Even at a 50% discount these seats would not be what anybody would call a bargain. I think that in slashing prices, we’d see much happier fans, many more people willing to experience this incredible music and all at the same bottom line for Neil.

What gives?

Live Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Chicago on 10/11/12

In other reviews, from Neil Young’s ‘Waging Heavy Peace’ - By HOWARD HAMPTON:
It’s not a dazzling literary edifice à la Dylan’s “Chronicles” or a tourist-­friendly nostalgia emporium like Patti Smith’s best-of-show outing, “Just Kids.” If you own fewer than a dozen Neil Young albums — and less than half of them feature Crazy Horse — this is probably not the book for you. Even die-hard Young-heads may be discouraged by the bottomless stream of minutiae, repetitious rants, airy-hairy musings and commercials for his Pono music program. If you want to retrace his childhood paper route, however, this is the place to go. And the rhapsodic, tenderly detailed way he speaks of the autos he owns or once owned tells you he would have been a great used-car salesman.

But if his ornery obsessiveness fascinates you in its own right and you perhaps count his coming-of-age-in-death anthem “Powderfinger” as an archetypal Western saga up there with “The Searchers” or “Ride the High Country,” then you’ll have a pretty good time with this book. Young’s voice here is pure, unadulterated Neil, which is not to say it doesn’t have filters. As with his sometimes haphazard albums, the ratio of self-exposure to camouflage is always in flux, carefully calibrated even when its disclosures feel as nakedly warts-and-all as a well-fed body can get. The random gush of information and observation starts to coalesce into patterns; the leapfrogging backward and forward in time is gradually shaped into history, or at least becomes dried handprints in the warped concrete of memory.
“Waging Heavy Peace” is his testimony before an audience conceived of as like-minded, if only as a brotherhood of the incongruous.
From interview Neil Young’s memoir: a gentle hurricane - The Globe and Mail by Sarah Nicole Prickett:
“When you’ve got a lot of memories,” he says, in that harmless growl, “you’ve gotta wonder where they’re all coming from.”

Young seems to wonder much more than he thinks. “Fiction is just as much a reality to me as reality,” he says, later. “It’s just on another level.” He reconsiders momentarily. “Another plane.”

More blowback from the peculiar New Yorker review of "Waging Heavy Peace" book which we chronicled earlier. Another counter response to the review on Paris Review – Helpless: On the Poetry of Neil Young, by Brian Cullman:
There was a fascinating if incomplete musing on the New Yorker website this week regarding Neil Young’s insularity and on the incomprehensible idea that he never reads. It seemed strange that someone who doesn't read would decide to write a book, though it’s often true that writing and reading aren’t necessarily two sides of the same coin. They are often very different coins, operating in very different currencies. When you go to a bank to make change, the exchange rate is never in your favor.
We’d all be better off for having Philip Levine and W. B.Yeats and Isak Dinesen in our libraries and in our heads. But Neil Young operates in a very different and a very special arena. His songs seem to be both post-literate and preliterate in a powerful and distinctly modern way, leapfrogging over logic and seeming to come straight from the unconscious. Maybe not even his unconscious, more out of a collective yearning or out of some deep and mostly hidden national or international dream state. If swamps or lagoons could hum, they'd probably hum Neil Young songs.
Nonetheless, "Waging Heavy Peace" still remains on Amazon's Top 100 List.

Neil Young live at the Hollywood Bowl
Photo by Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times / October 17, 2012
(Click photo to enlarge)

Nice photo Gallery of Neil Young & Crazy Horse live at the Hollywood Bowl -

"Rockin' in the Free World"
Bridge 2012 Encore

Photo by Jay Blakesberg Photography | Facebook
(Click photo to enlarge)

Axl Rose and Neil Young
"Don't Let It Bring You Down"
Bridge School Benefit Concert - Oct. 21, 2012
Photo by Miron Mizrahi - Picasa Web Albums
(Click photo to enlarge)

Cool little clip here, apparently Axl did his first live interview in over a decade on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' the other night and the subject of BSB and Neil came up, see the following at 2:00 on the third video (part 3).

Axl was quite deferential to Neil. (Thanks Dan1!)

31. Everybody's Rockin' (1983)
Ranked: Neil Young Albums From Worst to Best |

Music Is Love . A Singer-songwriters Tribute to the Music of CSN&Y

Read Neil Young's Entire Twitter Q&A (visual embeds)

Full Neil Young Twitter transcript @ Young enough now to change my name ...: The full tweet. (full text)

A fight for who gets to claim to be the hometown of Neil Young has broken out across Canada. Not really, but here's something historically amusing: Winnipeg vs. Toronto for Neil Young | Ballast by Andrew Unger (who lives and writes in a dystopian Mennonite town, but feels no Orwellian sense of urgency to escape):
Neil Young’s a legend, and he’s our legend — meaning, Manitoba’s legend. I should know; I have a picture of myself standing in front of his former home on Grosvenor Avenue in Winnipeg. You see, not only am I an asshole, but I’m a geek as well.

You Are Like A Perfect Storm. You Are Like A Hurricane - YouTube

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At 10/28/2012 02:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psychedelic Pill is number 1 on Amazon Germany.
Americana is "Greatest Gainer" at 53 on Billboard 200

At 10/28/2012 05:21:00 PM, Anonymous The RealDOD said...

'Hey, Now,Now,Hey Now,Now I'm Driftin Back'.This is an album for the road,for sure.Nice.Thanks Neil & Co. Kudos to you Thrasher for the faith.Peace.

At 10/28/2012 07:06:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

That guy from the Montreal Gazette has had it out for Molina's drumming for a long time. Can't get a review in without a dig at him.

At 10/29/2012 03:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY Times book review:

At 10/29/2012 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

wow ...

“I have been with some of you for a real long time, and others of you don’t have the foggiest notion what I am or what I stand for,” Mr. Young writes. “I am possibly joining those legions myself.” The fear of oncoming dementia, prompted by his father’s medical history and mysterious cloudy matter on his own brain M.R.I. exam, has forced Mr. Young, 66, into an altered state: sobriety. “I am feeling very fashionable, even trendy, for having stopped smoking and drinking,” he writes. But the change in him is serious. It seems to have interfered with his ability to make music while heightening a desire to get his story told right.

At 10/29/2012 03:49:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is an amazing album from start to finish. In my opinion, As long as Neil is pissing off somebody... He's doing something right. It's when they stop bitching about you that you have become irrelevant.

Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride!

At 11/02/2012 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That sounds like Jimmy Fallon doing me. What the heck does that mean ? It was funny. It really does sound like me. We laughed our asses off! Ben Young thought it was really hysterical. Fallon sounded like a 20 yr old me. Maybe not as good. Maybe better. How about that Jimmy Fallon ? He is a classic. He does me so well I dont have to bother anymore. He looks great and I am an old guy who doesnt want to be on TV. Jimmy has done all my television performances the last year or so. Thank you Jimmy!"

At 11/02/2012 11:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its a good thing ol Neil didnt see the ad in todays San Jose Mercury News, for Frys Electronics, on sale Sony USB Turntable. The first feature listed was , Turn vinyl into MP3 files. that would give him another brain hemorage. write about Fry's ,NY, its gotta be better than Costco.


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