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Monday, May 16, 2016

Photo of the Moment: Willie Nelson w/ Neil Young + Promise of the Real - New Braunfels, TX, April 26, 2016

Willie Nelson Joins Neil Young + Promise of the Real - New Braunfels, TX, April 26, 2016
Photo by Bill Porter (via Lone Star Music Magazine)

The Photo of the Moment is Willie Nelson joining Neil Young + Promise of the Real at New Braunfels, TX on April 26, 2016 .

Willie, with his sons Lukas and Micah, joined together for 2 songs: "Are There Any More Real Cowboys? and "Okie from Muskogee", in tribute to the late great Merle Haggard who just passed away days ago.

Full review of Neil Young + Promise of the Real in New Braunfels, TX on April 26, 2016 on Lone Star Music Magazine by Richard Skanse.

More on concert at VIDEO: Willie Nelson Joins Neil Young + Promise of the Real - New Braunfels, TX, April 26, 2016 .

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At 5/16/2016 01:08:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Not sure of the best place to post this, but I'm curious if anyone's heard the full length version of Love and Only Love that Neil released on Tidal?

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/16/2016 07:34:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

TopangaD - Can't say we have. But our question is why not PONO?!

At 5/16/2016 08:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like Blu Ray with the Archives NY is moving on from PONO. This time i wasn't hoodwinked.

At 5/17/2016 12:11:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


At 5/17/2016 01:13:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Tidal is a streaming service, Pono is a download service - big difference, can't release a full track preview on Pono.

At 5/17/2016 02:28:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

And Neil's not moving on from Pono (yet, anyway), Earth will be there in full for purchase on June 17:

At 5/17/2016 05:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young announced today he would be standing down as CEO of Pono, to spend more time working on his new low-resolution music player.

The new "Ohno" player is designed to encourage listeners to once again enjoy the full experience of listening to music without being distracted by bitrates and sampling resolutions. Pono music files were notable for having no demonstrable effect on sound quality. The Ohno player will now set out to prove that this really doesn't matter.

"I don't want people listening to my music and losing their way, obsessing over the technical details" said Young, according to a source. "It's really the overall picture that matters, the emotional impact that the music has. To focus just on bitrates and resolutions is like staring at the brush strokes on the Mona Lisa, rather than the painting itself. Many of my best records were made from muddy-sounding rough mixes anyway. This new player will finally allow people to relax and truly, deeply enjoy their music".

Ohno cassettes will be available at all good independent music shops.


At 5/17/2016 12:01:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

And in a later press release, Mr. Young reiterated that he's continuing his life long journey of making music while pursuing his varied interests. Paraphrasing, he said he will continue to do what he wants to, when he wants to, how he wants to, where he wants to and why he wants to.

It may make sense to him, it may not; It may make sense to the critics, it may not; It may make sense to his fans, it may not.

At the age of 70, Mr. Young is still searching and questioning. His questions and answers sometimes resonate, other times he walks on a lonely road.

He understands the primary commodity that no one can possess is unlimited time. He will continue to treat each day as if it's a life and death struggle, because it is. Yesterday's gone and tomorrow's a dream. He's fighting for his music, for his planet, for his right to speak out and for his need to create. He often strikes the wrong chord but it's in search of that unreachable note. That perfect feeling when time just slips away...

Regarding PONO, Mr. Young has said he hears and feels the difference; Others may or may not.

One thing is clear to this observer: For over 50 years, Mr. Young has tapped into something unseen and unheard by others. He's in touch with a source and he is a source. We are all welcome to listen and we are all welcome to move on if we choose.

Mr. Young wrote "Just think of me as one you never figured" back in the 70s. Those words were true then and remain true today.

He also wrote:

Take my advice
don't listen to me

which may or may not be applicable to the way many feel about PONO. As for me, I just hope Mr. Young is happy and healthy and that he still feels the pull.

At 5/17/2016 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't being flippant with my comment above. Neil has made a career out of jumping between extremes, ricocheting around corners, evolving, breaking promises and changing his mind. There's no good reason to suspect the same chameleon-like transformation won't affect his views on sound quality, and of course, A Letter Home goes some way to proving this. I imagine most of us can easily imagine the scenario I described above becoming reality.

I'm also convinced that cassette tapes will make a significant comeback In future. There's been a resurgence in vinyl for a reason, and the portable/tradable aspect of cassettes is a natural extension of that.


At 5/17/2016 02:27:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The full length LAOL is very enjoyable. Its clearly a quite different song than With the Horse.It starts out very much in the vein of Neil and CH, but soon you realize that Neil the guitar player is not so much in the lead, it sounds like Lukas and the rest of POTR are making most of the songs feeling. The african drums are quite distinct in some parts, thats nice. This Version will never make it as the ultimate Version simply because I kind of miss Neils great lead like from the weld Version. But as a different approach to this much played song it is quite refreshing. Theres a great solo by Lukas with Neils guitar filling in. The songs goes into some calmer Territory. And this may be the songs best part. There are many nicec deatails from the Whole band. It have more dynamics than the long improvised songs with the Horse, like Drifting back. The song feels very industrial and ambient. Some parts do feel like it is NOT a Neil Song.

It also quite obvious that many details have been put on in the studio. You know the animal sounds, there are a couple of snippets in the main song, but the last 2 minutes, after Neil and the boys have finished the song, it ends with a outro with many different animal sounds. I quite like this, beacuse its also the last minutes of the album. And throughout the song there is also a some bakground singers singing "Love and only love". I found this annoying at first, but like it now.

Okay... this was not a good description of the song, you see English is not my first Language. But since most of you dont have Tidal I did this.

At 5/17/2016 02:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unknown: On the contrary, your English is excellent. Thank you.

Also, your fondness for Neil's guitar playing on Weld reveals you as a person with exceptionally good taste.


At 5/17/2016 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a version of Love And Only Love where Neil's guitar is very much in the lead (to paraphrase Unknown's excellent comment above), check out this incendiary version from 1991.

Warning: contains no noodling.


At 5/17/2016 02:54:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

TopangaDaze: I really resonate with your statement, "For over 50 years, Mr. Young has tapped into something unseen and unheard by others. He's in touch with a source and he is a source. We are all welcome to listen and we are all welcome to move on if we choose. " I feel this is why Neil's music remains relevant to so many for so long. He creates his art without compromise.

Timothy: Neil hasn't moved away from Blu Ray. Both Human Highway & Rust Never Sleeps are both coming out on Blu Ray.

Scotsman: I enjoyed your Ohno player post. A humorous way for you no make your point. Keep it coming.

At 5/17/2016 03:24:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Hey Scots, I didn't mean to imply that you were being flippant. I enjoyed your creative post and just wanted to respond in a little different manner outside of the usual first person approach.

I think we all agree that Neil marches to his own drummer, and his marching has led to a body of work with few parallels.

Thanks Dan, and art without compromise says it well too...

@ Unknown: Thanks for the description of Love and Only Love. Based on your review, it sounds like there may something for everyone in it to enjoy. At 29 minutes, there should be! If English isn't your 1st language, you must write like Shakespeare in your natural language!! What is your primary language?

Scots: I knew you'd appreciate unknown's fondness for Neil's Weld era guitar playing, but there are some here "with exceptionally good taste" who appreciate a little "noodling" too.

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/17/2016 06:04:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Weld was my very first Neil record. Neils performance at the Mandela concert some months earlier was my very first knowledge of him. Yes, im quite fond of Neils guitarplaying on Weld, and it remains my favourite record ever. Im from Norway.

I wrote that parts of LAOL does not feel like a Neil song. What do I mean with that? Neil have been experimenting with different genres and styles through the years, but we can still feel that behind those masks, not even a bit buried, we still have this unique feeling of a Neil Young record / song. Even Trans ( oddly enough... Its the vocoder songs that feels most neil... The hawaiian songs much less ). I love this new 21 minute song by Brian Eno, the ship, and parts of LAOL does feel a bit in that vein. And there is also a little riffing from a well known Pink Floyd song. So... for me... Its nice to have a song which is not entirly Neil Young... But perhaps more like Promis of the real making a cover... but some may not like this. But I may be exaggerating this point.. Neil is still singing this song with all his passion ( but perhaps a bit slower then 20 years ago, but thats fine, I like ageing as a part of vocal development ).

Like many have pointed out... It seems like Lukas have stepped behind Neil on those last concerts, given Neil more room for being the lead guitarist, and this seem like a very good development..But its very good to have this LAOL from an earlier stage of Neil and POTR.

The more "unmelodic" parts of LAOL feel much more interesting then the last 5-6 minutes of coda on WLAG. I loved Neils dying dinosaur when witnessing it live ... But the studio version were quite trite... Or at least not as effectful as hearing it live.

At 5/17/2016 10:08:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Unknown wrote:

The more "unmelodic" parts of LAOL feel much more interesting then the last 5-6 minutes of coda on WLAG. I loved Neils dying dinosaur when witnessing it live ... But the studio version were quite trite... Or at least not as effectful as hearing it live.
That sounds promising to me. I thought the studio and live versions of Walk Like a Giant were completely over the top, boring and tedious. I'm looking forward to something that feels "more interesting" and must admit I'm curious about the "Pink Floyd riffing" too.

Takk for din innsikt

At 5/18/2016 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walk Like A Giant has a terrible ending, but I do find the rest of the song to be very powerful. Certainly one of the better recent works. It goes somewhere, it takes you on a journey. And crucially, it gets to the heart of the matter; it's patched directly into Neil's soul. No messing about. It's emotional, disturbing and uplifting.

Yet again, this song provides a soundtrack to Waging Heavy Peace. Neil writes of his fears of death, dementia, losing his artistic powers. He writes of watching his warehouse burn to the ground. He fears his mind burning down in a similar fashion. He tells us of his desire to make a record that is as good as the ones from yesteryear, to be great again. He tells us how he wants to make a difference in the world. His electric car and his "Pure Tone" music player. He spends much of the book remembering Briggs and their shared "be great or be gone" philosophy.

All these themes are condensed into Walk Like A Giant. It's one of the most intense Neil Young guitar performances ever captured on studio tape. Not the most eloquent or beautiful performance (at times it feels like it's about to fall apart), but one of the most intense. As is so often the case with his best electric music, the lead guitar is the thrilling sound of a battle raging in Neil Young's mind.

A shame the song didn't go out with a bang, rather than the extended noise ending, which robs the song of so much impact. And unusually, live versions of the song never really surpassed the original. The studio take remains definitive.

...Some good comments to read the last few days, thanks all.


At 5/18/2016 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Interestingly enough, Walk Like a Giant was my son's favorite song when I took him to sadly what's looking like the final Crazy Horse tour. Hope I'm wrong! And yes, there definitely was a Pink Floyd riff played in New Braunfels, can't quite put my finger on it. Will have to go back to the boot to nail it down.

At 5/18/2016 04:08:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Walk Like a Giant is one of my all time favorite songs by Neil. It's filled with brutal honesty and intense passion. The ending for me is a sonic representation of both. The long feedback frenzy is Neil's way of purging energy within the song. A sonic catharsis.

I also totally agree with Scotsman that Walk Like a Giant is the soundtrack for Waging Heavy Peace.

I saw the first show at Red Rocks August 5th 2012 and their performance of Walk Like a Giant was really heavy and intense. After the show, we were walking out of the venue and I got talking to a fellow fan about the show, and he said he thought the ending of that song went on too long. I told him I thought it was just long enough, and he asked me why and I said, "Because that was how long Neil wanted it, and after all it's his song".

At 5/18/2016 06:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Those 2012 Red Rocks shows were excellent, I enjoyed listening to the tapes and watching the videos. You were lucky to be there, Dan.

I'll be honest: I do miss Crazy Horse. And of course, they don't sound quite as good nowadays as they did 25 years ago, when they were in their prime. But I think they are a better backing band than Promise Of The Real. And like Old Neg says, it's very possible we may have heard the last of them. So thank God for concert recordings, permanently capturing their art through the years for us all to enjoy.

I was just watching Country Home from Farm Aid 1994. Seeing Billy lumber around the stage, Poncho grinning and pounding out his signature bar chords....and Neil bobbing up and down, playing some transcendent guitar solo. Magic created out of nowhere. It's just a different class of music: the perfect chemistry between the four of them, the perfect blend of instruments. None of them can really play that well, but despite this they've remained Neil's most popular backing band for nearly 50 years now. That's incredible, isn't it, and of course, it's happened for a reason. Survival of the fittest.

As Neil said: "(Crazy Horse are) top of the heap. I mean, for me, I love Crazy Horse. But if I hear a sound in my head that's not Crazy Horse, I wanna go there. Try it."


At 5/18/2016 09:12:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

I may be way out on a limb here, but I wouldn't be surprised if Crazy Horse (or parts of it) play with Neil at the Desert Trip concert in October.

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/19/2016 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Pabst said...

The Desert Trip shows are already billed as with POTR in a large enough font, but that didn't stop someone on Reddit from claiming CSN would show up because they still tour and they aren't specifically booked on those weekends. (Which, obviously, just furthers my belief that Reddit is a cesspool of uninformed stupidity on the internet. CSN&Y ain't happening, no matter how hard you argue it could happen!)

That said, I'd love for it to be Crazy Horse instead of POTR at those shows.

At 5/19/2016 12:38:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Yes, there's no question that POTR will be the backing band. I just have a feeling that Neil may treat the shows as something special (which he should). It's an ideal moment to trot the Horse out for a few of their signature tunes, perhaps as a grand finale literally and figuratively. I still think another tour with CH is in the offing, but if health concerns and other factors are at play, I think Neil would like another moment in the sun/night air with them. CSNY, no way, not on this stage..

Sure it's wishful thinking, but as Scots has said many times, he feels POTR is good support for Neil on the mellower mid-tempo country/folk/soft rock songs, but that they don't compliment Neil too well on the extended rock forays like CH does.

I've been told by my unreliable sources that Neil is a fan of Thrashers Wheat, so he's likely aware of Scots thoughts and may take heed.

Now, if you're reading this Neil here are a few of my thoughts. Your historic work with CH has been incendiary and legendary and is truly Hall of Fame worthy. That being said, your most recent tours with them has found YOUR style morphing to a sludgier droning unmelodic place.

When you reunite with them, I'd recommend more concise playing throughout and would refrain from the extended false song endings that this longtime fan finds tedious.

That being said,

Take my advice
don't listen to me

because your independent defiant thinking and playing has brought me a lifetime of joy and emotional riches for which I'm eternally grateful. Keep being true to yourself and I'll always be there no matter how rough the ride...

At 5/19/2016 01:07:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

Well, if Neil is going to read these comments... then I hope he's prepared to play Change Your Mind in Rome and/or Desert Trip Weekend #1.

I mean, why not cater to my desires goddamnit?!

(I agree with you on the CH aspect in all regards and would like to see them on the jumbotron from my 10-miles-away-GA tickets!)

At 5/22/2016 03:50:00 PM, Blogger stresswitch said...

Unknown mentioned that part of LAOL sounded like it maybe had "a little riffing from a well known Pink Floyd song" - I've just listened again to the 2015-10-07 show (Portland, OR) and well, maybe my ears are more frazzled than I thought but, somewhere around the 22-minute mark (roughly) I could swear I heard *that* 4-note opening riff from Wish You Were Here - or at least, something very like it! - Just once, maybe twice at the most... It drifted in, it drifted out... Who knows, who cares?! - The whole performance of LAOL is just jaw-droppingly good so maybe my ears were playing tricks!

Anyhoo, I am *so* fired up waiting to hear EARTH in all its glory. First time in ages that I've felt this hyped about a new album - *any* new album, not just a NY album :)

Bring it on!!!



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