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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Neil Young Launches PONO in Canada: "Canada is back"

Neil Young - Vancouver, Nov. 23, 2015
(Click photo to enlarge)
Neil Young held a press conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday November 23, 2015 for the Canadian launch of the PonoMusic service.

Young said he doesn’t care if PONO is a “gigantic, fast-moving, super-success,” his mission is simply aimed at generating a resurgence in high-quality music. "The whole mission of this is a labour of love, and we've been banging against a lot of walls with this," he said. "But we're persisting because we have something that is going to endure. Music deserves to be preserved."

Zeke Young, Neil's 43-year-old son, who also works for PonoMusic, said he sees no signs that his father is slowing down as a musician, businessman or activist. "Nope," he chuckled. "He just doesn't stop."

The junior Young said his father's influence extends beyond his fans.

"He has a passion for trying to do better things for the planet and for families," Zeke Young said. "That's what keeps him going. And of course, music."

From The Canadian Press by Tamsyn Burgmann:
Neil Young has declared that "Canada is back" now that a Liberal government has taken charge in Ottawa.

"I'm very happy," said the 70-year-old Canadian who has lived in California for years.

The singer-songwriter was in Vancouver on Monday to debut his high-resolution audio player and online store, under the PonoMusic brand, in Canada.

Young said he's received many emails and phone calls from Canadian friends revelling in the new government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Obviously people are delighted with the change that has taken place. It's very positive news."

He wished the newly minted cabinet well on the same day provincial premiers were meeting in Ottawa to discuss a national strategy on climate change, an issue he has also championed.

He said he's hopeful officials will take different action than the former Conservative government, but then said corporations have more money and power than governments.

"So really, it's up to the people to take the situation into their own hands,"
he said, explaining that consumers have buying power and can change the world through their habits.

"The politicians really don't have the power to change the world."

Young has been a long-time environmental crusader and stirred controversy last year when he used his celebrity status to amplify opposition to Alberta's oilsands.

He held a cross-country tour to get Canadians talking about First Nation treaty and environmental issues. Young later partnered with environmentalist David Suzuki and spoke out against oil pipelines.

Young reflected with optimism on Alberta's new carbon tax introduced by Premier Rachel Notley. On Sunday, Notley announced the province will also phase out coal-fired power plans and cap emissions from the oil sands.

"The carbon tax is capitalism working," Young said, heralding it as a mechanism for slowing down the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

"Anything that does that is a good thing."

The tax is also a good test for the public to see if the government has enough strength and sway to overcome the corporations he believes controls them, he added.
Of course, be sure to read the comments in the Canadian Press, as fellow Canadians bash Neil Young for having an opinion.

Funny thing is how so many of the comments make the case of "who cares what Neil thinks!" while missing the irony therein.

A somewhat typical tweet passing as deep analysis on the internets...

Little do folks like Morgan realize how this sort of ridicule actually validate Neil Young's point and diminish his critics as nothing more than petulant 10 year olds.

The anger and fear over Neil Young's positions continues to demonstrate his long held proposition of "speaking truth to power" regardless of the consequences.

As our friends might say: How could people get so unkind? Really?

More on PONO Music and tar sands and honoring the treaties.

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At 11/25/2015 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Funniest blog in ages here..who said Thrasher took it all too seriously?

At 11/25/2015 08:10:00 AM, Blogger davide said...

Concerning PONO, I am disappointed by the fact that you can legally buy high resolution files of Neil Young back catalogue (from his debut up to Reactor) exclusively through the PONO site, which sells only to residents of United States and starting from today Canada.
I think that it would be quite simple to make these high resolution files available for purchase also from NEIL YOUNG.COM store, which sells everything worldwide (Monsanto Years high resolution files are available for purchase for everybody, and I bought them through NEILYOUNG.COM).
I know a few others fans here in Italy where I live that have bought the PONOPLAYER through the Kickstarter campaign, and that now don't seem to bother very much with the fact that they are unable to buy any music through PONO site. I didn't buy the player, and I have to say that up until today that's the right decision. For me it's not a good thing that a company sells his hardware (the PONOPLAYER) worldwide, and then it tells you "Sorry mate but I can't sell you my software (high resolution music files because you're not form United States or Canada"

At 11/25/2015 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Farmaidians said...

Hi, Not sure where to start. Very happy PONO is here in Canada. I am amazed at the dislike towards Neil Young in the comment section. Are people jealous or pissed off that someone's music and views are still this relevant after 50 years. There really is no other artist that has been this consistent throughout his career. Farm Aid (30 years), Bridge School (soon to be 30 years), Lincvolt, Pono, Kent State, GMO's (Fuck Monsanto), concerns about the environment (Keystone Pipeline and Alberta Tar Sands) and may other causes. Yes, he is outspoken and last time I checked that's one of the greatest freedoms we have here in Canada and the United States. Take a good look around the world and be thankful we still have a voice like Neil Young. Yeah, a lot of us really do give a shit what he says.

At 11/25/2015 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Andy - sorry you missed the point. We do take this stuff seriously. Hey, it's never too late,ya know....

@Davide - that is a bummer. Not sure what the long term stratgey is or where things went off the rails with Kickstarter. Have you ever heard back anything official on Italy's plans. It is kind of amazing that the Canada launch just took place.

@ Farmaidians - nice to hear from the Great North! Yeah, a lot of us really do give a shit what Neil says. thank goodness someone is speaking out and some are actually listening and standing up.

At 11/25/2015 07:35:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

" So really, it's up to the people to take the situation into their own hands,"

Exactly ...... thank-you Neil ... from a Canadian that lives , votes and pays taxes in Canada .
We as Canadians have always done so in spite of foreign Yankee interference in matters of domestic policy and elections . Particularly so when gun toting murderous American Uncle Sams ....... suggest that Canada is now back.
Were we ever gone ? Or did we just go through the natural cycle of allowing weak kneed bleeding heart socialists the reigns for four years ?
Yankee boy , Southern man .... go take your second amendment murderous rights and preach elsewhere .
Pono , too bad , it's really great sounding , just that all your real music I have on vinyl , not worth buying pono to listen to your latest crap !
All the best with your new president Trump , he may have to reconsider building a new wall along the Canadian border . Jihad Justin Trudeau is about to bring in 25,000 Syrians , a noble cause indeed ! Get yer guns out Yankee boys !
Long Live our Gracious Queen ...... Eh !

At 11/27/2015 01:08:00 PM, Blogger Genghis Kon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/27/2015 04:37:00 PM, Blogger nick said...

Some of the tweets above have links to the National Post. For non-Canadians, it's worth mentioning that the National Post is a very conservative newspaper. So I'm not at all surprised by some of the vitriol directed at Neil, as NP readers would consider him a flaming liberal. I don't think such negative comments are reflective of the general public though. (BTW, the other national newspapers are the Globe & Mail, which is centrist, and the Toronto Star [technically not a national paper but it has the highest circulation in Canada] which leans to the left.)

At 11/27/2015 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/28/2015 12:33:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

If Pono Music will be available in Italy, I'll give it a try and buy the music player too. Still I think that the Hi rez thing is just snake's oil and Neil should be focusing on promoting his music better. Sales from his recent releases have been low. He isn't promoting his Bluenote Cafe recordings and this is a shame.

So Tired.

At 11/28/2015 12:54:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

PONO may well offer a better sound but that's debatable - what isn't is that PONO is a failure due to the high price, shape & poor design. This will be gone very soon much like Archives updates.

At 11/29/2015 08:27:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

Gun slinging bible thumping yankee boys , disrespecting Jesus Christ , how fitting !
I thought this cult was all about Peace and Love ?
Or is it about the differences ?
The freedom to drive a gas guzzling car to church , to a theater , to a university or an elementary school ...... without the fear of be shot down , by your own country men protected by your glorious loving 2nd amendment rights .
Join the free world lads !

At 11/29/2015 09:39:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

At 11/30/2015 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

newsflash to EH Connelly - leftists often tend to have no standards at all except double standards.....

At 11/30/2015 06:42:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

Thanks Jonathan , so very much !
The posted article sums it up in fine order .
Left , Right of centrist , I feel it is healthy to be able to discuss all sides , including those that wear Earth T-shirts , and preach about the evils of Canadain oil , not based on science , but self promoting sales of their latest album , pono devices , and millionaire toys like Lintvolt , clearly unattainable to the everyday people .
Pono .... Made in China , now there's a song in there somewhere Eh ?

Neil Young wants to sling arrows , he and this cult of course should expect questions of his accountability and integrity , particularly so when he identifies himself as a Canadian , which he is clearly not !
Ghandi was the last real broker of the free world , that walked the talk .....

At 11/30/2015 11:21:00 PM, Blogger Genghis Kon said...

Alright, so since you have clearly established that you are not a Young fan, my question is: What are you doing here? Do you really think that you are educating us of the evils of Americana and successfully swaying us away from one of our favorite artists? Though I don't agree with all of the man's views, I respect him for the impact his music has had on me, and that is the reason everyone else is here. His visceral style is something that has touched everyone here, and that is something that some enjoy to discuss. Labeling this site as a cult is widely inaccurate, as you will see many contrasting viewpoints here, all making up a diverse community. Returning back to my previous question, why are you wasting your time here? Everyone will respect your opinions if you present them in a respectable manner, and respect ours as well. You have done neither of those two. Do you have anything better to do with your time than put down random music fans? Please, with all due respect, this does not need to continue.

At 12/01/2015 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thank you Genghis and others.

While John "EH" will likely disagree (of course), he seems to be here to be a mere thorn in our side.

But (of course), we are better than that to rise to the bait and allow him and his kind to get under our skin.

We have analysed John "EH" comments before (of course -- see here) and know that while it might seem complex what is happening here, it is actually quite simple: to be disruptive to our community.

We used to be concerned, but now that we fully understand what we are up against, it gives us strength. We know how to deal with the John "EH" types these days. As we have long suspected, the more rabid the John "EH"'s become, the more it reinforces the fact that we here at TW are on the right track.

And Thank You Very Much for Supporting Thrasher's Wheat!!! We love you all.

onward & mahalo

At 12/01/2015 08:12:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

Have long enjoyed the man's music , have long enjoyed the privilege of independent thought .
Next time you bow down to anoint the feet of prophet Neil , ask him ..... when did he ever vote in Canada ?
Lest We Forget !

At 12/01/2015 09:33:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

@ John EH: Finally a post from you that at least on a small level reveals some heartfelt humanity by acknowledging that you enjoy Neil's music. It's much more refreshing than your usual diatribes that appear to be auto-penned solely to elicit negative responses. (Thankfully I've become quite adept at ignoring your posts)!

Now, to some extent, I agree that:

Neil is quite often woefully uninformed;
Neil is quite often all emotion with little restraint;
Neil is quite often inconsistent, or Shakey if you will;
Neil is quite often a man of extremes;
Neil is quite often blind to certain self hypocrisies;
Neil is quite often willfully contrary;

That being said, I consider Neil to be a citizen of the world thanks to his overwhelming contribution to popular music and cultural awareness.

Neil has positively touched the lives of millions of people around the world. As a whole, we are happier, more thoughtful, more fulfilled and more aware thanks to his words, music and humanity.

He has given us all much more than he's taken, and I'm grateful that his unique artistic voice has been a part of our life landscape for roughly 50 years. I just turned 50 and can honestly say that outside of my family and a select few friends, nothing else has meant more to me than Neil's music. It has always elevated me, or restrained me, and has always sustained me.

So, if Neil's a little hypocritical at times it's ok with me. We all are to an extent, but I'm quite confident in saying that very few people have contributed as much to society as Neil Young, the author and performer of the most beautiful political love songs ever created..

Take my advice
Don't listen to me
(but please do a little soul searching, as we all should)

At 12/02/2015 05:36:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

TopangaDaze ..... Well said , and thank-you .

I share your sentiments about the good nature of the man , his genuine contribution to mankind with his offering of music and good will .

In all fairness , my comments have been advanced when the music , the groove is separated from the feel , and turned into a political pulpit .
Cliché I know , live in glass houses , don't throw stones .

I hope you can appreciate the intended humour in this , a story of real whack job Neil Young fan .
Like many others over the years , when possible , have always planned time to experience the incredible , wondrous feel only equalled by wolves howling in Algonquin Park .
In 2009 , Neil was in Kingston Ontario , and of course I had to go .
Was booked into the Holliday Inn along the waterfront , no reservation , with Neil's bus out front .
Was booked into the fifth floor , opened the elevators and knew I was near with the pleasant aroma of Mother Earth in the hallways . ( Big Smile )
Had a sleep , and heard voices outside the room , only to open the door to see the back view of Neil , with his arm over Pegi's shoulder .
I scrambled to put my boots on , and missed the closing doors of the elevator .
Needless to say I waited , like a complete nutbar , for the chambermaid to clean the room . Not to throw anyone under the bus , but I doubt she still works there .
Anyhoos .... came to an agreement , and entered Neil's room , didn't go for the garbage , as that would be to personal . Straight to the pillow case on the bed , and yes to this day I have Neil Young's hair and follicle ( DNA )
Eventually when there are " Oil Rich Indians in space " we will clone the man and send him to Mars , until then I'm going to put it up for sale on E-bay , with all proceeds to fund adequate drinking water and housing to Attawapiskat First Nations in his " Born in Ontario " Province in Canada .
Sincerely John Connelly


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