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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PREVIEW REVIEW: Neil Young, "Live At The Cellar Door" - Uncut

"Live At The Cellar Door"
Neil Young Solo

(#37 #39 Amazon Best Sellers)

Here's an early preview review of Neil Young's upcoming release "Live At The Cellar Door" from by John Mulvey: (Thanks Daniel!)
“I’ve been playing piano seriously for about a year,” he says before “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong”, “and I had it put in my contract that I would only play on a nine foot Steinway grand piano, just for a little eccentricity.” As he’s talking, Young is messing about with the piano strings, an apparently aimless fidgeting that, as he starts talking about getting high, reveals itself to be a kind of theatrically disorienting scene-setting.

Abruptly, the discordance stops and a beautiful version of “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong” emerges, with all its elegiac power intact. One of the great pleasures of “Live At The Cellar Door” is the way it illustrates how malleable Young’s songs can be. “Cinnamon Girl”, for instance, is hardly diminished by that lunging riff being replaced by a quasi-baroque flurry of notes. Listen out, especially, for a powerful moment when Young sings “Loves to dance/Loves to…” and allows himself to be overwhelmed as his playing suddenly shifts from tenderness to a new bluesy intensity. “That’s the first time I ever did that one on the piano,” he notes at the death, and I’m not sure he’s done it again many times since.

Best of all is the version of “Expecting To Fly”. The take on “Sugar Mountain - Live at Canterbury House 1968” shows how Young’s ornate studio confection could be potently reconfigured in a solo context. This piano study, though, is even better; crashing, plangent notes juxtaposed, with disingenuous artlessness, up against the fragility of his voice. Here, too, there’s an intimation of what is to come next, in 1971, as “Expecting To Fly”’s evolves to contain hints of “A Man Needs A Maid”. As is the case so often, it shows Young working over his past to find a lead to pursue into the future.
Also, Uncut will be releasing a Neil Young edition of the Ultimate Music Guide.'s John Mulvey writes:
At 68, Young remains more restless, unpredictable and hyper-productive than any other artist of a comparable age and reputation.

Since 2000, The Rolling Stones have released one new album, while Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney have managed five each. Bruce Springsteen has produced six; Tom Waits, four; Leonard Cohen and David Bowie three apiece. In that time, Young has come up with an autobiography, seven personally-curated archive releases, five films, an environmentally-friendly car and a new audio format, plus the small matter of ten new albums.

It is an eccentric, if not always magnanimously received, body of work that tells the tale of an artist driven to spontaneous creation, whim, rough-hewn experiments and rapid emotional responses that pay little heed to the expectations of his paymasters and, sometimes, his fans.
As we sometimes joke, "That Neil -- such a slacker."



At 11/19/2013 09:54:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

..add to the list a social/cultural morality fable/play/rock opera/meta high school musical, "Greendale"....

At 11/19/2013 09:59:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

ps- add "political" to that list of descriptive adjectives..

...also add two annual benefit concerts (Bridge and FarmAid), as well as the brief reunification of Buffalo Springfield.

But yeah Neil, what have you done for me recently?

At 11/19/2013 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...


oh, right, I'm going to see you in January at Carnegie Hall....

At 11/20/2013 05:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, really looking forward to that "New reviews of 37 remarkable solo albums". Some Neil albums keep growing over the years.

At 11/20/2013 05:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that this review is making me more enthousiastic than I was before. Keep 'em coming, Neil!

At 11/20/2013 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young:

As the sun rises today I wonder. How hard should I try? As I spread awareness of Climate change and make that my priority, am I losing sight of day to day life? Is this more important than making music?

Why should it matter so much to me?

I know what I feel. I am always seeing ways I could improve my own behavior towards preserving Planet Earth. Today I took a ride in a cool old car but I was thinking about the pollution I was causing, not care free like I once was. Then I looked ahead and saw all the other cars. They were mostly brand new but still just like mine. They ran the same way and burned the same dirty fuel as my fifty-five year old car.

Why should I blame myself?

Anyway, there is no other fuel available at gas stations. Big Oil still has the monopoly there.
No Freedom of Choice on that decision exists anywhere near here in corporate run America. That's odd, I thought to myself. Wasn't the president elected on promises of a cleaner renewable energy future?

Isn't Freedom of Choice part of Liberty?

Then I thought about my family. My daughter was just married and I may be a grandfather some day. What about those kids? What will I be doing to make sure they have a better world? The sun rose over the horizon then, blinding me when I looked at it.

How hard should I try?

Paul McCartney:
Remember all the things in the past that seemed insurmountable. Remember Gandhi in India. It seemed like he could never do it – one man in a loin cloth taking on the might of the British Empire – impossible. But he did it. He won. The abolition of slavery, that looked like it would never happen. Civil rights looked like it would never arrive, but it did. South Africa's apartheid looked like it would never end. Mandela being head of a nation like South Africa, which was so white and prejudiced – it would have been unbelievable when I went to school. All of us get a little worn down by it, but the truth is, we are winning. We will win in the same way that people now do have civil rights. We are learning to understand these issues.

At 11/20/2013 03:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, freedom of choice. But not when it comes to life and death issues like health care. What was that song Neil wrote... something about impeaching a President for lying...

I take Neil seriously and respect his work and efforts. But maybe he should be asking how hard should the average citizen try? When the gov spies on them, mandated ethanol ruins their small engines, millions spent landscaping (the still not closed) Guantanamo... the I.R.S. shares personal information. Hey Neil, you think you think you got problems?

At 11/20/2013 06:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may find it hard to change the system for the better, but you can change yourself and lighten the load for all our sake. But don't forget, we're only here once, so play it loud! Thanks Neil for the continued inspiration and individual path.

At 11/20/2013 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each person counts because each person can make themselves better as far as dealing with the Earth and with other living things, including people. Ya, the government lies, but isn't that what history has always shown? Hasn't it always been about what the powerful decide to do until the people rise up?

So life has to be a mixture of joy and work....


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