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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

New Official Video: "Peace Trail" by Neil Young

Last year, Neil Young released Peace Trail -- his second album of 2016. (EARTH was released in June, 2016.)

The first video of the title track consisted of images from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest at Standing Rock. The latest video version consists of animated images of various landscapes and was directed by Darcy Prendergast and Mike Greaney.

The directors wrote to NPR's First Watch: "[We] felt the paint-on-glass technique was the most symbiotic. This approach, combined with the painterly compositions of sweeping American landscapes, is narratively served up as a love letter to the older generation."

For more on "Peace Trail" by Neil Young, see:

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At 3/08/2017 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I love this song along with that one "drifting back" from PP. I also found a YouTube video of a very handsome young hippie lounging in a meadow talking about the things you talk about when you're young, rich, stoned, and carefree. God, it warms my heart to see him so young and carefree sort of what I remember when he toured. It might be circa JTTP & Harvest this side of heaven on Earth but it uploaded a few days ago. It might even be in the Archive DVDs in my tower box set.

At 3/08/2017 09:38:00 PM, Blogger Old rocker Dave said...

Yeah, I love the carefree feel of this tune also. It reminds me of seeing Neil and the Horse in Lake Tahoe for the PP tour. It was actually the Americana tour but they played tunes from the then upcoming PP album. Nothing like drifting to the tunes coming out of old black. But yeah, simpler times. More peaceful times. Wish they would return. Thanks for the post brother!

At 3/08/2017 11:15:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

I very much enjoyed this video, which I just finished watching for the first time. I thought the glass painting animations were a neat new trick. Very nice looking, and they do have an almost three-dimensional aspect, particularly with there's rain moving across the frame. Very engaging and striking.

I also feel the song itself is a highlight of the new record. I wouldn't call it carefree exactly. It's quite energetic. To me, there's an unusual combination of passion ("Ain't taken my last hit yet") and resignation ("I know that things are different now"). As if he's still feeling vital and ready to rip into new material, but also resigned to the sadness and dry spells in between ("I keep plantin' seeds, till something new is growing"). It's all about perseverance, and that instinct that even when things seem uncertain and empty ("Up in the rainbow teepee sky/no one's looking down on you or I"), there's still life to be lived. My music theory is quite limited, but the song seems to have three melodic strands ("Up in the rainbow teepee sky..."; "ain't taken my last hit yet..."; and the chorus, "I think I'll hit the peace trail..."). The singer's strength and resolve increase from one part of the melody to the next, so that the song moves from an uncertain, somewhat uneasy beginning, to the triumphant and impassioned chorus.

There's a great deal of tension and release in this chord progression, and I think one reason this song works is that it's musical structure allows the listener to go on the emotional journey conveyed through the words.

At 3/09/2017 12:25:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

great song. my favorite thing Ive heard on record since Chrome Dreams II.

At 3/09/2017 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Nice creative approach, although I'm not a big fan of music videos. It does convey the message of the song with images that fit the feeling in the music, but I get a far more cinematic experience when I play this song in my living room with my eyes closed.

Yet another example of Neil's ability to create a three dimensional world with words and music. This most resent album will have staying power in my universe, and age with dignity and grace.


At 3/09/2017 11:45:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Today, we are immersed into music videos. Some are really good, like Beyonce's "hold up" which can be very empowering to women. If it objectifies humans, I don't like it.

I've always loved the music videos beginning with "Help" and "Ferry Across the Mersey" because it showed the human side of the musicians. I saw "Journey Through The Past" at least a dozen times when it first came out because I loved the music and it brought me as close as I felt comfortable to the musicians.

At 3/09/2017 11:48:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

The song "Peace Trail" is a borderline great Neil Young song. The lyrics resonate with me, and the music builds, flows and releases beautifully. The song creates a mood landscape that takes me different places every time I listen to it, while at the same time also grounding me.

Basically, it echoes the brilliant dichotomy of Neil and his music. Defiant yet peaceful; Driven yet resolved; Optimistic yet realistic; Obvious yet subtle; Unique yet universal.

"Peace trail" will forever be on my permanent Neil playlist. When shuffled randomly into a mix alongside his classics, it fits in nicely as it's not immediately clear if it's from the 70s, or 90s or 2000s.

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 3/09/2017 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

@(D.) Ian Kertis, I LOVE the old black blasto-rama from the past interwoven into the hypnotic melody & mantra keeping a very steady tempo. One of my new favorites. It's powerful enough to not make me cringe when I hear "rainbow" used as a lyric. I would have gone with spattered or spectral teepee sky.

At 3/09/2017 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

"....Ain't taken my last hit yet...."....ME EITHER!

At 3/10/2017 05:41:00 AM, Blogger Old rocker Dave said...

Be careful there Arthur, big brother Trump may be watching!

At 3/12/2017 08:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reminds me a little of the beautiful animation of Raymond Briggs' classic "The Snowman".

The difference is that "The Snowman" animation benefits from a haunting soundtrack, whereas a song does not benefit from an animation.

To paraphrase Dan Swan above, use your imagination; that's why you've got one. It's kind of like Neil getting into the habit of incessantly peering down at his teleprompter all night, when the sensible thing to do at his age would be to strengthen his weakening memory by memorising the lyrics (even if he makes a few mistakes here and there, ala Bob Dylan). If you get into the habit of not using your muscles then they will decay.

But I guess the video gives some ideas out for people to run with in their own minds.

I like the song a lot, it's got a good feel, but like most of his recent songwriting, it's suffers from some unimaginative blandness. "Something new is growing" (for instance) sounds like a particularly uninspired reading from a very dubious fortune teller.

I do love the production and overall sound, with the organ swell at "the word is full of changes" part creating a really beautiful and moving soundscape. The artistic use of autotune (as a special effect) works well.



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