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Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Comment of the Moment: Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band: A Memoir

Kim Gordon - Girl in a Band: A Memoir

(Click to "Look Inside & Listen")

It's been awhile since we've had a Comment of the Moment here on Thrasher's Wheat.

Not to over analyze things too much, but we see a number of factors coming together in a perfect storm to attribute to the recent drop in reader comments, which we'll get to below.

In the meantime, the Comment of the Moment is from the recent post on Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Mr Henry:
Thanks for highlighting this segment from Kim's book. I've been reading lots of excerpts over the past few weeks, and this is my favorite one. Some of the others have focused too much on old, sensationalized, time-to-move-on information (there were strippers at birthday parties during the Smell The Horse Tour?! I'm shocked, absolutely shocked!) and newer fuel-the-fire tidbits (e.g. more piling on poor Lana del Ray), which seems to have been encouraged by the publisher. I look forward to reading Girl In A Band sometime soon, especially the remembrances of old, dirty NYC days and early Sonic Youth.

The link below has the complete session from last week's visit to the JCC in San Fran, part of the book tour that just completed on Saturday. Kim is interviewed by Carrie Brownstein, and it's enlightening and entertaining in equal measures. As an aside, I saw Sleater Kinney's Boston show last month, and Carrie's guitar playing is even more phenomenal. Can't wait to read her book when it comes out in the Fall.

An interesting note on music writing and pop culture: Kim's book came out the same day as Robert Christgau's new memoir Going Into The City. Not sure if that was just pure coincidence or part of some larger plan. As you might know, during the 80's Robert and Sonic Youth weren't too crazy about each other (see the original title of SY's Kill Yr Idols), but grew much more sympatico after that. I've also read some excerpts from Going Into The City, and there are great stories around the early, early days of seeing Television and The Ramones.

Finally, I just read the full Dylan interview from last month's AARP magazine. Every Dylan interview is an adventure, but this might be the best one I've ever read. To paraphrase an old saying, every decade gets the Dylan interview it deserves...thanks Bob!

“That city I know doesn’t exist anymore, and it’s more alive in my head than it is when I’m there.”
--Kim Gordon from Girl In A Band

"Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers, and no doubt this applies to certain of the recollections I have gathered here."
--Kazuo Ishiguro from A Pale View of Hills

"It made me the listener that I am today. It made me listen for little things: the slamming of the door, the jingling of car keys. The wind blowing through trees, the songs of birds, footsteps, a hammer hitting a nail. Just random sounds. Cows mooing. I could string all that together and make that a song. It made me listen to life in a different way."
--Bob Dylan from interview with Robert Love
AARP The Magazine Feb/March 2015
Thanks, as always Mr H! It's good to hear from you and it's been awhile.

As we mentioned above, there seem to be a number of factors coming together in a perfect storm to attribute the recent drop in reader comments. Over the years, we've seen the dreaded "Facebook Effect" at work where attention spans continue to dwindle and many find engagement levels of clicking a "thumbs up" to be a sufficient demonstration of their thoughts,attitudes and feelings. So comments with sentences and full paragraphs are becoming an increasingly nostalgic memory.

The second factor is the man and the music itself. For whatever variety of reasons, fans just are not as energized and passionate as they once were. Call it burn out or boredom, Neil Young's ability to fire up his community seems to have hit a speed bump over the past year or so. As personal as albums like A Letter Home and Storytone may be, they clearly have not resonated widely.

And last but not least, there is the whole Neil-Pegi-Darryl saga which even we have had trouble coming to terms with and reconciling. Undoubtedly, fans are moving along -- both with and without Neil's music.

Thus far, news in 2015 has been remarkably sparse. In fact -- since we began near daily blogging here at TW back in 2003/4 -- we can not remember such a quiet period extending so long. The last very quiet period actually occurred during the Crazy Horse reunion and the Psychedelic Pill recording sessions. So it is with this in mid that we remain hopeful for the ongoing Nelson Boys recording sessions.

Afterall... good things come to those who wait ... or at least that's been our experience.

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At 3/12/2015 09:31:00 PM, Blogger timothy fontenot said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/13/2015 12:33:00 PM, Blogger Eric Higgins said...

Thrasher, I and certainly many, many others love getting your E-mails whenever they appear around 9:04-9:06 AM EST most mornings. Please do not think THRASHER'S WHEAT is not highly valued. I do think your assessment of the drop-off in comments activity is spot on. All of the things you mention factor in. Nevertheless, you provide a great many of us with something to look forward to, enjoy and appreciate. Even if that "Please prove you're not a robot" crap is one major reason that many of us just read and do not comment so much !!!

At 3/13/2015 03:21:00 PM, Blogger TOM said...

neil is quiet, so are we.

ebb and flow....

At 3/13/2015 07:21:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

From Grey Rider:

Don't get down, we're still with you and Neil. We all need a break once in a while and maybe NY has worn us all out the last couple years. Anyway, I really like Storytone and Neil has told us all more about his marriage dissolution on it than any of has a right to know. You have to admire the honesty and the willingness to share intimate details. Nothing to be concerned about there either. They are all mature adults and will be fine. Neil was preparing us for the change a couple of years ago on Ramada Inn but maybe we didn't get it then. Also have been listening to the podcast of the Harvest the Hope concert recently, specifically the twenty minute long jam of DBTR with the Nelsons. It's tremendous. So, I think we can look forward to good things with them working together. That's all I know right now so keep on thrashing in the free world.

Grey Rider

At 3/14/2015 07:57:00 AM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

I know I pop over everyday to see if there's any news on the new album. Though there hasn't been much Neil news lately, I always click on the last post and check the comments( and yes I've noticed the lack of comments lately) to see if any posters are putting up some new news before it appears as a story on The Wheat. Sometimes that has been the first place I'll hear about a story.

Agree with Grey Rider's comments on Storytone. There was a time where Neil woulda kept such a personal album on the shelf. I feel like he doesn't do that much anymore.

At 3/14/2015 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Thanks so much--you guys always continue to amaze me. It's been a long, hard Winter, but the snow is steadily melting and I can see the ice on the river starting to break when I look out my living room window and don't focus too much on the trees. I'll be back soon....

"We are all in the best seat."
--John Cage

The horse of one neighs happily on
and shies and rushes there,
hooves shaking down blooms, grass,
trampling wildly the fallen flowers.

Where do I go?
I go, I wander in the mountains.
I seek peace for my lonely heart.
I wander homeward, to my abode!
I’ll never wander far.
Still is my heart, awaiting its hour.
The dear earth everywhere blossoms in spring
and grows green anew!
Everywhere and forever blue is the horizon!
Forever ... Forever ...
--Gustav Mahler from Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)
Part IV Von der Schonheit (Of Beauty)
Part VI Der Abschied (The Farewell)

At 3/14/2015 04:56:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Eric - thanks man. Appreciate and good to know how you start each day.

Sorry about the robot business. But we really aren't interested in having robots here. ;)

@TOM - it ebbs... it flows ... feasts and famines. but mostly feasts. lucky us.

@Grey Rider - we try not to let it bring us down... it not even castles burning.

Yes, to appreciate Storytone you do have to admire the honesty and be open to intimacy. Maybe some can't handle the truth?

Nice to hear you're enjoying Harvest the Hope concert. We'll have to go back and check out the DBTR jam. In the meantime, we'll just keep on thrashin' in the free world.

@Syscrusher - thanks. and we are grateful to those of you who are posting news in comments before we can get caught up!

@Mr Henry - our pleasure.

Nice Winter poetry there. Keep singing "The Song of the Earth". We knows who's gonna stand up, right?

At 3/14/2015 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

From Mary:

Hi! I thought I would just drop you a response to say that I love your blog and have wanted to comment from time to time - especially on that Nicolette post you just did, it's great to see her get some (too rare) attention - but I just can't seem to get past the "identify yourself" business. I do not want to establish a Google account as I think they are evil. :) I don't have any of the other options listed. Maybe I'm missing something but I have given up in the past.
But as I see one commenter already said, I still do enjoy reading! Thanks so much.
Thanks Mary. Yes, the "identify thyself" is bit unfortunate but should've been done a long time ago. Although the wheat to chaff ratio has improved quite a bit.

At 3/14/2015 08:37:00 PM, Blogger Dykespanker said...

The problem with the decreased comments is that its a pain to post,and any stray from loving Neil is censured and removed.Sad really it used to fun to come and read what people are thinking,but the flow of it stopped long ago.That being said,I think Neil has another good album if he chooses to do so.


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