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Saturday, March 24, 2018

INTERVIEW: Neil Young Talks Art, Algorithms, and Music Saving The World | Noisey

Here's an interview with Neil Young discussing art, algorithms, and the likelihood of music saving the world from "Smoke Some Weed, Take a Walk, and Read This Interview With Neil Young | Noisey by Andrea Domanick.
Noisey: You've recently gone back through your entire back catalog to create the Neil Young Archives. I wonder what it was like to return to all that and think of yourself as a younger man playing music, responding to a changing world.

Neil Young: You know, I don't think about it much. You'd think I'd think about it all the time by looking at the Archives, but really the Archives is just a chronicle, a platform to organize things that have already happened. All I'm really doing is now dealing with shit that I have, and putting it in place. Occasionally, I'll go round and get immersed in things that I've done and just... it's cool to be able to visit them. And it's really cool to be able to hear them, because I don't like to listen now because it sounds so bad. Music has suffered so much at the hands of big tech. Most of the listeners today don't even realize how deprived they are. They are getting music and they love music—that's good. But they're only getting five percent of the sound of the music—especially when you relate it to the classics from the '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s. These new mp3 copies, whatever the Hell they are, I know they're five percent or less. If I was a painter and now we're looking at a bad sepia tone of the full color picture—that's disturbing. That's my fuel. That's why I drive forward with the audio technology.

I'm coming from the past, and I'm saying there's a door that could open or a window that could open. And you guys all who love music and love the whole scene and love everything about it might hear something and feel something that you've never had a chance to. That's my approach now. I go to the record companies and I say: "Why should you restrict access to the golden gates of music—to the crown jewels, these recordings, these ancient fucking recordings of great stuff by Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Glenn Miller, anything. Why should you restrict all of the quality of that to five percent of what it was when it was made? What's the advantage?"

Noisey: How difficult is it for you, then, to feel optimism in your music and in your life when you have such a history of fighting against things like this?

Neil Young: Well, I'm very optimistic that the human spirit can overcome lots of things. I don't think that where we are now is a sign of where we're going. I think this is a low-point—the far end of the pendulum swing. It's not a good thing right now. But my biggest concern right now is not that the guy in charge has no balls and doesn't know how to say goodbye to people and he's a very poor model for our children. That really means a lot to me, but it doesn't mean anything to me compared to the damage he's doing to the environment. That is reckless. That bothers me.

This is all a very, very dark thing that's happening. And people are starting to feel it. I don't like people logging into me [the Archives] from Facebook. If they're going to log in from Facebook, I want to give them the option of reading something about Facebook when they arrive, so they know where they came from. And I still use Facebook because my users, my fans, people who want to know what we're doing, we tell them what we're doing. But you have to go to our place, and you don't have any of the rules, and we're not going to track you and use you. Once you leave that area, you're in a safe area, which is our place. So, we want people to know that we care about that. I mean, when you have algorithms that encourage children under 10 to be into porn...

Noisey: It's so terrifying and dystopian.

Neil Young: It's insane that that exists.It's a misuse of the technology. Technology's meant to make life better. The bad guys now can use the tools the good guy uses, that were made for the good guy. But the bad guy's got them, and the people who make them are very, very, very wrong in saying it's not their responsibility. It is their responsibility, but they don't want to police. They don't want to be that which they put down. But you have to realize there's a responsibility with having power. So you have to be able to let people know what's going on. Let them know.
Read full interview at "Smoke Some Weed, Take a Walk, and Read This Interview With Neil Young | Noisey by Andrea Domanick.

Also, see Neil Young: Tech Giants Rip Off Artists.

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At 3/24/2018 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

My wife and I watched Paradox last night for the first time and I found the visuals to be rather stunning, but the story seemed quite disjointed. This film may need repeated viewings to follow the storyline as it jumps around a bit, yet the intention is clearly about Neil and Daryl's battle to expose the corporate manipulation of our food sources, along with the our worlds fascination and dependence on technology.

The music is spectacular as one would expect from Neil & the Real, especially in regards to Lukas Nelsons vocal tracks. During the campfire scene I noticed that some of the flames were shaped like little angels which I would imagine were done with CGI, but done with restraint.

I think it's interesting that the soundtrack is being released on vinyl a month ahead of the CD. I'm looking forward to hearing it as it was the most memorable aspect of this film. Most of us who have followed Neil's career know that when it comes to movie making, Neil has a style all his own, and this film is no exception. I look forward to watching it again to catch some of it's subtleties that I clearly missed the first go around.

The interview here clearly shows that Neil is not going to change his agenda concerning GMO's or MP3's anytime soon.


At 3/24/2018 06:23:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I love Neil, but I gotta call bull on him here. He says Trump has no balls, which may or may not be true, but Neil doesn't have the balls to tell Facebook to go screw itself. This belief that we would all fail to exist without social media is a joke. Facebook didn't exist not that long ago, yet somehow all of us were able to be fans of Neil and enjoy his art. Believe it or not, you can still do that without Facebook.

And Neil is saying that the awful things that Facebook does won't happen while you're on his site??? Really????

Get off that couch, turn off that TV. Get off of that couch, turn off your MTV.......remember those lyrics? I sure do. Neil should be telling his fans to get off of all things social media, it's becoming an evil plague for the human race. We'd all be better off without it. Hell, we were better off without it for about 2000 or so years, but who's counting?

Rant over.....

At 3/25/2018 11:21:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

I totally agree with Neil about vinyl compared to MP3 and streaming etc and how much better it sounds but sometimes I doubt myself. I'm not sure if I really hear it or not. You'd think that if it was only 5% it would be very noticeable like listening to it on an iPhone speaker or something. Am I wasting my money on Vinyl? Surely there must be studies proving it not just a feeling people have. I still can't believe Pono blew over so fast!

At 3/25/2018 11:27:00 AM, Blogger rightwing said...

I'd like to continue Richard's rant, but I'll keep it short. Neil has this issue with us only getting 5% of the music. I grew up listening to Neil on a crappy record player, cassette tapes and a staticky AM/FM car radio. I appreciate high quality sound, but it was about the high quality song writing and musicianship, for me. I wish he would worry more about the content, and let me worry about how I hear it. I'd rather listen to Tonight's The Night at 5% on a 40 year old cassette, than anything he's released in the last ten years, at 95%.
And he wants Facebook to be the police! They already sensor conservative content. None of us wants a 10 year old. to access porn on the internet, but Neil would change his tune if they started steering people away from his liberal content. Now, revisit Richard's last paragraph, above.


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