earth album preorder ad.jpg  
canada.gif

gb.gif

de.gif

us.gif
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
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
ADVERTISEMENT
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Friday, February 05, 2016

"The Musical Transcendence of Neil Young" by author Martin Halliwell


Here is a rather excellent essay by author Martin Halliwell which explores Neil Young’s long-running fascination with dreams.

From The Musical Transcendence of Neil Young by author Martin Halliwell:
Dreams for Young are sometimes a puzzle to solve and at other times a new geography to explore, corresponding to the two dominant dream theories of the 1960s: the Freudian theory in which dreams are a working through of repressed psychic matter; and the existential humanist view of dreams as an alternative topography. Dreaming is rarely a doorway to the state of lost innocence for which Young yearns in “Sugar Mountain,” but it has the capacity to transport the singer and the listener elsewhere. Through the act of dreaming Young can drift purposefully, pulling together sounds, images and colours in creative ways, and can explore the twists and turns of the unconscious where one image blurs with the next. The nature of dreams means that their shape keeps morphing. This can lead the dreamer towards deeper meaning, but can also drift away into impressions and noise. At times Young searches for direction–such as the quest on his 2007 track “Spirit Road” to discover the “long highway” within — and at other times escapes from meaning into a play of imagery and sound.

We can identify this second trend in one of Young’s early dream songs, “Broken Arrow.” This six-minute coda to the second Buffalo Springfield album Buffalo Springfield Again seems to be inspired by the early-summer release of The Beatles’ concept album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, leading Young to incorporate crowd noises from a Beatles concert and the opening distorted snippet of a live performance of “Mr Soul,” sung by drummer Dewey Martin. Despite its musical variety there is little input from the band, except for backing vocals by Richie Furay, added after Young had recorded the song in September 1967. Its power stems from Young’s sound experiments and the visually arresting figure of a Native American standing alone on a riverbank with an empty quiver. This image of the ‘vanishing Indian’ with a broken arrow suggests either surrender to an unstoppable force or an offering of peace. What makes this a mysterious image is that there is no discernible enemy in sight; instead the verses describe a triad of social pressures (fame, adolescence and marriage) as if modern social organization has defeated the nobility of the Native American.

The question “did you see him in the river?” incorporates the listener in a historical story in which nature is replaced by social ritual. This transition is reinforced by the river imagery, which seems more urban than rural and permits the figure no room to flourish. The complex phrasing that Young uses to describe the unarmed Native American is developed in the song’s structure, where forward movement is interrupted by sound snippets: the burst of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the end of the first verse, the military drums in the second and the closing lounge jazz suggest that the Native American’s voice is difficult to hear beneath layers of cultural sediment. But the subjects of each verse also find it hard to sustain their stories: the concert audience waits expectantly outside in the rain; the anxious adolescent “hangs up his eyelids” and the king and queen vanish in the midst of a wedding parade. Each new scene takes us back to the haunting image of the Native American with his broken arrow; only the fade-out heartbeat suggests that his spirit survives in the face of debilitating modern forces.

The three parts of “Broken Arrow” constitute probably the most formally arranged track of Young’s career. More often he prefers to work fluidly with themes and sensations that meld into one another, as they do on another three-part song, “Country Girl (Medley),” from CSNY’s Déjà Vu album. Taking a more domestic subject as its focus, the song is nevertheless mythical. It links back to “Broken Arrow” via the short song “Down Down Down,” which he had recorded with Buffalo Springfield but not released. This track has two moods: the first stems from the chorus of “Broken Arrow,” but with the enigmatic Native American replaced by a mysterious woman; the second mood stems from a set of unanswerable questions which Young revisits in “Country Girl.” There are echoes of “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” in the singer’s frustrated attempt to see and think clearly, but here the questions cluster around the motives of the female figure who has committed a transgression that seems to require the singer’s forgiveness. We have seen these elements before. The woman in the river is a similar kind of beckoning figure to the “Cowgirl in the Sand” and arouses suspicions that she has been sharing her love around. But in “Down Down Down” it seems as if the singer, too, has been unfaithful or has let her down. The lyric suggests equivalence between the two, but also confusion on behalf of the singer, particularly about the sequence of events, which words have meaning and who is most to blame.
Full excerpt at The Musical Transcendence of Neil Young by author Martin Halliwell.

Also, Martin Halliwell's new book is titled Neil Young: American Traveller (Reverb).

For more on Neil Young's dreams, also see:

All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun
Flying mother nature's silver seed
To a new home in the sun
Flying mother nature's silver seed
To a new home



Labels: ,


Links to this post:

Create a Link

1 Comments:

At 2/08/2016 04:40:00 AM, Blogger Joe Street said...

That essay really made me listen afresh to Broken Arrow. Great stuff. I'll definitely read the book.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.


Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution


Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising


This Blog's For You!


The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media


It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy

time-fades-away-banner2a

Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


broken-arrow-mag-new-logo.gif

Neil Young Appreciation Society


sugar-mtn-logo.jpg
Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
rust-radio-new
Rust Radio


bumpersticker-neil-concert.jpg


i-l-ove-neil-young-sm.jpg
Bands Covering Neil Young songs


bumper-sticker-live-music-better-sm.jpg


This Blog's For You!

ny-times-logo.jpg
Official Neil Young News Site

bridgeschool_logo
The Bridge School


The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

farm-aid-logo.gif
Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

linda-eastman-neil-young-sugar-mtn-sm.jpg
The Essential Neil Young

neil-young-sleeveless.jpg
Fans Favorite Neil Albums

neil-young-heart-of-gold-film-still
Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads


Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
amazon-neil-store.GIF
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - Amazon.com us.gif
Canada - Amazon.ca canada.gif
United Kingdom - Amazon.uk gb.gif
Germany - Amazon.de de.gif







Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates



2015 Rebel Content Tour


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

jttp-film-poster-sm.jpg
Neil Young Films

musicares-neil-young-2010.jpg
2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

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.

live-rust-promo-poster.jpg



trans-promo




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

paul-neil-bridge2004-sat-sfc-kkomenich-sm.jpg
Paul McCartney and Neil Young

woodstock-poster.jpg


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

lennon_peace_liberty
John Lennon and Neil Young


"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
csny-1974-poster.jpg
The Supergroup of the 20th Century



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

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

buffalo-springfield-poster.jpg
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



2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

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


dylan-young-crop
Bob and Neil

weld
So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


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

concert-pass-europe-2003-solo.jpg


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

emmylou-harris-neil-young-0305-crop
Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

wilco-062305-wide-background.jpg
Wilco and Neil Young

bluenotes-pass-young88crewlam-sm.jpg

bruce-springsteen-neil-young-bridge-oct-1986.jpg
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

europe87concertpass


elton-john-neil-young-crop-sm.jpg
Elton John and Neil Young

ronnie-vanzant-neil.jpg
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


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

powderfinger
"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
neil-sad.jpg
Wisconsin-solidarity.jpg
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up


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

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

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

willie_picnic_poster_070503



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)

Freedom:
freedom-video
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
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

csny2k-plate.jpg
the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists


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

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
#NullifyNSA
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

Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


churchsign


Share

Words

(Between the lines of age)

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

~~ John & Paul


Namaste