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Friday, May 11, 2018

"Muddy Track": Movie Night on Neil Young Archives

Tonight's the "Movie Night"!

Over on Neil Young Archives, "Muddy Track" will be featured on "Movie Night".

From Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective: Neil Young on Film: Muddy Track | Next Projection (thanks romat73!):
he ragged, fly-by-night documentary Muddy Track (1987) follows Neil Young and Crazy Horse through their turbulent 1987 European tour. Young directed the film under his pseudonym Bernard Shakey, and shot much of it himself as well, using a videocamera he named “Otto” early in the tour. Though Muddy Track never received a proper release, the film has been available through fan trading for many years, and some of the footage made its way to Jim Jarmusch’s rockumentary Year of the Horse (1997). Disjointed but entertaining, Muddy Track is part video diary, part travelogue and part rock documentary.

Opening with a scene meant to give the viewer the impression that a documentary crew would be following the tour, Young declares that he wants “only the bad things” in the final film product. He doesn’t quite get his wish, often deliberately; while much of the grousing about a notoriously bad night on stage is included in the film, not a note of this performance is shown. It’s these omissions as well as that after-the-fact, staged moment with a fake film crew that show Young’s insecurity at work. Much of what we know now happened during this tour is hidden from view in Muddy Track, but plenty of internal clashes and diva behavior makes it to the screen to let us know that trouble was afoot.

Amidst the disasters of canceled shows, bad weather and even a riot are lengthy scenes of Young and Crazy Horse on stage, sounding amazing, of course, Young’s voice alternately pensive and savage, the guitars fighting each other, joining in a few moments of gorgeous harmony, then flying off into their own chaotic worlds again. In the hotels or on the bus, the music is simpler, and life is simpler, too, at least when they’re playing. It’s when they start talking, especially in the case of one disgruntled member of Crazy Horse, that it’s easy to forget these guys are anything but a bunch of middle-aged cranks.

Muddy Track offers an interesting look at rock musicians with a complicated history on a difficult tour, and will be a must-see for fans of Neil Young, but offers little for the casual viewer. In terms of filmmaking, Muddy Track indulged in too much cause-and-effect, where a scene early on is included for no reason other than to explain something that happens later. Young is funny but, it must be said, not nearly as funny as he thinks he is, and for someone who complains so vociferously about modern (for 1987) music styles, he falls into music video mode in Muddy Track surprisingly frequently. But between the bad lighting, shaky (or should we say, “Shakey”?) visuals and scenes of poor, beleaguered interviewers unable to keep up with Young’s witty retorts, there is still something in Muddy Track that charms.
Bring your popcorn & play loud.

Labels: , ,


At 5/11/2018 11:35:00 AM, Blogger romat73 said...

Can anyone confirm, is it playing the one time? (8:00 pacific/11:00 eastern)
Or will it be available for 24 hours?
The Movie Night page says "Available starting: May 11th..."

At 5/11/2018 02:16:00 PM, Blogger ForeverYounger said...

Just my .02
The description above is Not nearly as I would recall seeing the movie for the first time in NYC limited release a few years ago.....
was a rough cut, shot w/ a handheld (Super 8?) & does show the trials and travails of life on the road. A tour gone wrong, mostly. It is disjointed "Muddy" & moody. like Neil, like the horse.
As a longtime fan, I absolutely loved the film. especially appreciated the candor. Warts 'n All.

As fer the show time, I believe 11pm refers to the "Left Coast". As with the recent Livestream? Plan on a Loooong, slow burn.

At 5/11/2018 03:35:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

That would be 11 p.m. on the "Right Coast" (Eastern time) - I'm on Pacific Time and it shows 8 p.m. for me. Based on what I've been hearing from others, the Archives page will display the time in your specific area. And apparently the few folks who were able to access the false start last Friday were told the stream was available for 24 hours, hopefully that's how it will work.

At 5/11/2018 04:44:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Yes Babbo, last week the stream was available for 24 hours.

As simple as it sounds, I think the stream was available on my PC last Friday because I hadn't exited out from the site prior to the delay being implemented.

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 5/11/2018 05:34:00 PM, Blogger ForeverYounger said...

Thanks fer the clarification time-wise, length of stream, etc.....

I've also seen it asked here b4: "How to record a stream"?
There is a company called Applian Technologies, they have Video & Audio capture Recording software. it works. I've used P.C. version (think also avail fer a MAC?), it works. and I have NO affiliation w/ company or products. Just say'n. you could also "set it & forget it" if yer NOT a night owl.....
Just make sure you have the storage space. Video eats up A LOT.
The Audio capture product works well also. Limited to 320 kbs. NOT Hi Res.

At 5/12/2018 12:26:00 AM, Blogger ForeverYounger said...

Neil has (finally?) got it right.....
Spot on, bullseye!
If this is the future of NYA I will happily be amongst the first PAID subscribers.
Live Streams. CHECK.
Fan Pre-Sales (No Ticket Batatard/ Slave Nation B/S Fees) Double CHECK.
Exclusive videos/ Movie Night. CHECK.
Bravo, Neil. You nailed it bro!
Gr8 ride there too :)
I look forward to what's next. First time/ Long Time.
Personally, I'm gonna cap this nite w/ "Year Of The Horse". I know. Chronologically Out Of Order. Makes Perfect Sense (Nod to Alejandro Escovedo) to me.

At 5/12/2018 12:28:00 AM, Blogger Cat said...

Thanks Neil.
It was just what I wanted, needed, expected.

At 5/12/2018 01:05:00 AM, Blogger David Finkelstein said...

Great. Loved it. Felt like I was on the tour.

At 5/12/2018 01:21:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I’m sort of computer illiterate. Don’t know the ins and outs of how it all works. But I was wondering why is it the archives is unusable on a mobile phone?

At 5/12/2018 12:07:00 PM, Blogger onthebeach said...

Read the lyrics to "My Pledge" and you'll understand why NYA isn't available on mobile phones...I for one loved Muddy Track. It was very interesting to see the Horse argue backstage about harmonies and arrangements. I always just figured CH just did what Neil told them to do...I will be getting a subscription to NYA when it is not longer free...Nice work Neil, indeed.

At 5/12/2018 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Soldier Steve said...

Archives will be available on Mobile in the fall. I use my phone everyday to access the archives.All you do is go to the archives and hit desktop site. You can find the desktop site by going to the upper right side of your phone there is 3 dots hit that and you will see desktop site at the bottom,hit the box and the archives load. Log in with Facebook or Google account. I use Google.

At 5/12/2018 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Art Carey said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/12/2018 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Art Carey said...

Just watched the Muddy track stream on my desktop computer -- and loved the movie. The music scenes were very special and sounded terrific through the computer's external speakers that sit on both sides of the screen.

(I very much doubt that this experience would be anywhere near as wonderful if I'd been looking at it on my phone -- even if I was also using those wireless Apple ear-things.)

At 5/12/2018 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

"Muddy Track" is still working today here but the movie starts above where you click so a bit easy to miss.

Was working press for the two shows before Dayton for "Solo Trans" so looking forward to revisiting that era. The show at the old Pine Knob ran too long so the Shocking Pinks didn't get to play. The road manager, Glen Palmer, asked me backstage if I'd go to the next night in Lansing and have the same seats so I paused, thought about for a few seconds and then said yes, hell yes.

Turns out both nights I sat right in front of Scott & Bob Young. Backstage we chatted at both shows so I got a mention in "Neil & Me" that has a whole chapter on five shows around the filming of "Solo Trans."

That was the night I almost got in a fight with Neil over the publication I worked for at the time but that didn't make "Neil & Me" but is in the Rust archives somewhere.

Oh, "my puny brushes with fame" as Steve Young would say.

At 5/12/2018 02:41:00 PM, Blogger anon said...


Which mobile device do u do this on

Does not work on iPhone 8

At 5/12/2018 04:34:00 PM, Blogger Timmy said...

"Shit...That's our last free concert in Italy, for sure... son-of-a-bitch" - NY said after the concert riot

So did he ever do another free concert in Italy?

At 5/13/2018 07:20:00 AM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

Loved Muddy Track.

I was enjoying that very brief snippet towards the end of the movie where Crazy Horse is rehearsing in a hotel room, Poncho on keys. Does anyone else think this could be American Dream?!!!!! I'd love to see some extended footage of some of these rehearsals and performances.

At 5/14/2018 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Tom said...

I liked that. I think you have to be a pretty hardcore NY fan to enjoy it though. Anyways, I'll post on the line about the subscription later, but having films like this and concert streaming as well as all the songs available seems like a great deal for $19.99 (it will be my first music subscription).

At 5/14/2018 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Soldier Steve said...

Droid Moto Z phone. I access the archives everyday with no problems.

At 5/15/2018 12:30:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Soldier Steve, I think you may be on to something. But when I "request desktop" using my iPhone, it takes me to the login screen and looks like everything's fine, but then after entering my gmail credentials, it just hangs there trying to load (with that irritating red circular thing)...

Much closer than I was before, but as of now it won't load fully on my iPhone.

Good tip though, and I'll try again and again.

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 5/15/2018 09:21:00 PM, Blogger Soldier Steve said...

I get the red album thing spinning too. I sign in Google since I don't have Facebook. If it don't load keep trying it will load the page on mobile after you request desktop site.I log in everyday to see what the song of the day is. Today it's Change Your Mind


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