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Friday, March 27, 2020

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young's Fireside Sessions #2 | NYA

"Four Strong Winds"
via Neil Young's Fireside Sessions #2 | Neil Young Archives (Thanks HtH!)

Neil Young's "Fireside Sessions #2" continues to play in Hearse Theater | Neil Young Archives.

The 28 minute setlist:
1. Four Strong Winds
2. Angel Baby (unfinished)
3. Birds
4. On The Beach (unfinished)
5. Homefires
6. Words
7. Love And Only Love

via Rusted Moon (Thanks Ralf!)

Here is the Comment of the Moment on NOW PLAYING: Neil Young's Fireside Sessions #2 | NYA by Scotsman:
Bob Dylan casually reminding us all why we care today by generously releasing a very interesting 17-minute track called "Murder Most Foul". It feels like something he's really gone to town with and, on first listen, sort of comes over like a cross between a documentary, a speech and a music playlist set to instrumentation. As with everything he comes up with, it is most certainly worth a listen.

Onto Mr Young.

I'll start with one of my usual cantankerous observations (read to the end before getting upset).

The record-breaking viewing numbers of the Fireside Sessions counts for very little: in fact, you can put a video on YouTube called "THE ULTIMATE FAILS COMPILATION" and fairly straightforwardly get over two hundred million views (yes, this video exists: no, I didn't create it).

Grabbing people's attention for a moment was much harder to do before we all had smart phones.

We live in a world so saturated that the number of choices of how to spend our time (and the sheer number of people) are so numerous that they might as well be unlimited.

And in these conditions, the popular thing isn't always the right one. At the end of all this, McDonald's will still be more popular than that small organic vegan place down the road: the one run by people who care about the environment, about animal welfare, and about you. And you will still have to choose where and what to eat.

And all it takes is an invisible killer, mutated from a bat (though next time it will just as likely be from a factory-farmed animal in the USA, China or Europe) to start effortlessly tearing down the mass-driven and tightly-knitted world that has been built over the last few decades.

Because even in the best-case scenario, the indirect damage of COVID-19 has already been done. Those who come out of this situation still in search of growth and ever-bigger numbers and expansion have probably missed one of the disciplinary points that the world is now harshly inflicting on us.

Neil's old friend John Tyson is probably in this latter category, but the damage his factory farms are doing to the environment and animals could justifiably be described as mass-market criminality. Was this ever the Tyson family's intention? I assume not. Most people aren't evil. But the more huge a system becomes, the more dangerous it becomes. And the more effortless it becomes to sacrifice basic values.

And again, all it takes is something small, something so small that we cannot even see it, to start tearing it all down. Whether that something is a malicious virus deadly to us all, or a single activist handing out flyers on the street.

Focus on the small, zoom in, and you will start to spot where the real influence is now developing.

And sadly, it's only in these times of world-wide crisis that we start to wake up, to really feel alive and appreciate what we have. Even the water we drink and the air we breathe seems to have more flavour; everything is sharper, the music is clearer and more alive.

The most expensive media player in the world can not buy you that sort of humble richness and appreciation. A "house of love", as touchingly brought to life in Neil's song Eternity, is only fully appreciated when it comes under threat, or when you don't have one. And both situations are exhausting and anxiety-inducing.

And it's in these uncertain and anxiety-inducing times that we also start to see who really cares.

My last lengthy comment on Thrasher's blog of 2019 was one about artistic generosity, how it is needed more than ever. And what makes Neil's Fireside Sessions so genuinely special is the sensation of an artist really caring, of generously sharing something with us. Something for us, not just for him.

If this were something simply designed to make the stats go up, to exclusively make money or to promote a self-absorbed agenda, then the value would be entirely lost. In a mass-market world, the precious thing is the caring small details that are getting lost.

The focus, the intensity and quality, the effort (just the right amount and in the right place), the attention to detail. The willingness to open up. The caring.

These Fireside Sessions are a small thing, but they are also a precious thing. And I guarantee you right now that the Weld Series will also be a special thing, at the other end of the musical scale. I hope he goes through with it, because the sheer passion and regimented intensity of those shows is going to delight many of you. Return To Greendale is also something you should be excited about. There is a lot to look forward to, and much to appreciate right now, as well.

If you enjoyed any of these recent films by Neil, share the link with a friend who might also like them. This might be particularly appreciated if they are stuck at home with their Sister-In-Law who they normally only have to tolerate on Boxing Day. And feel free to share this comment, as well.

Take care everyone, please.

As usual Mr Scotsman, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on 2 of our 3 favorite subjects: Bob & Neil. Your insightful contributions -- once again demonstrate that Neil fans/rusties are some of the most knowledgeable and articulate music fans out there. We're honored and humbled to have you here.

The atmospherics and intimacy of these sessions is stunning and gripping. Hopefully this will demonstrate to artists around the world about working closely with dear friends, family and trusted associates to produce their work -- rather than vast crews of highly talented, technically professional perfectionists. (This is meant as a total compliment D.)

More on commentary, setlist on Neil Young's Fireside Sessions #2 | NYA .

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At 3/27/2020 10:10:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

via Rod:

Very Inarestin'!

Four Strong Winds (writen by Ian Tyson when he was still with Sylvia, 1961) was voted in 2005 it looks like as the most popular song in Canadian History. When Neil released this as a single on his 1978 on Comes A Time.

Ian Tyson was on the verge of bankruptsy because Country Music was in the tank and his ranch and cattle near the beautiful town of Longview, along High Way 22 in Alberta were not doing well. The royalties from this song were a great help to Ian Tyson. Of course Cowboy Poetry and traditonal country music would come back after that deep "disco" trough -- but this cover kicked the song into the stratoshere at least up here in Canada and likely North America too. We have had a joke of a winter really and the SW Chinook Winds are blowing in tomorrow. I love the kid coming in and saying: Don't Fuck it up!

Missed the first one, looking foward to the third.

Rod (on the Red Deer)

At 3/27/2020 10:46:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

O M F'g G !
just finished listening to Bob Dylan "Murder Most Foul".

we're in total total shock. FULL DISCLOSURE is coming. coming fast.

It's finally happening. 17 minutes of PURE truth.

Thank you Bob. Here comes the flood ... after winterlong.

we'll have more later. in the meantime, here's the background. buckle up.

the beginning is near.

#NoFear #StayCalm

after the storm comes the son ...

At 3/27/2020 11:07:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Bob Dylan "Murder Most Foul".


Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin' and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, "Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"
"Of course we do. We know who you are."
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You gotta pay debts; we've come to collect
We're gonna kill you with hatred; without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it in your face
We've already got someone here to take your place

The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching; no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone's eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul

Hush, little children. You'll understand
The Beatles are comin'; they're gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry 'cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There's three bums comin' all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I'm going to Woodstock; it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window; let the good times roll
There's a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll
Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don't say Dallas don't love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they've got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street

When you're down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make left-hand turn
I'm going down to the crossroads; gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy. Shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie. Goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, my Scarlet, I don't give a damn

What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby; they oughta know
"Shut your mouth," said the wise old owl
Business is business, and it's a murder most foul

Tommy, can you hear me? I'm the Acid Queen
I'm riding in a long, black limousine
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left; got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body, and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul's not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that
Freedom, oh freedom. Freedom from need
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin'; tell me no lies
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Suzie; let's go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River; let's keep hope alive
Turn the radio on; don't touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles

At 3/27/2020 11:08:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Part #2

You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy. You filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I'm just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I've blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder's film I seen night before
Seen it 33 times, maybe more
It's vile and deceitful. It's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice

The day that they killed him, someone said to me, "Son
The age of the Antichrist has only begun."
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to thrown in the towel
It is what it is, and it's murder most foul
What's new, pussycat? What'd I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's 36 hours past Judgment Day

Wolfman Jack, speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that "Only the Good Die Young"
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
St. James Infirmary and the Port of King James
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too. Play "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker. Play "Scratch My Back."
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

Play "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feeling any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Karl Wirsum, too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow Avenue
Play tragedy, play "Twilight Time"
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and "Another One Bites the Dust"
Play "The Old Rugged Cross" and "In God We Trust"
Ride the pink horse down the long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play "Mystery Train" for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend; play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson. Play Stan Getz
Play "Blue Sky"; play Dickey Betts
Play Hot Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and "All That Jazz"
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play "Cry Me A River" for the Lord of the gods
Play Number 9, play Number 6
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play "Nature Boy"
Play "Down In The Boondocks" for Terry Malloy
Play "It Happened One Night" and "One Night of Sin"
There's 12 Million souls that are listening in
Play "Merchant to Venice", play "Merchants of Death"
Play "Stella by Starlight" for Lady Macbeth

At 3/27/2020 11:08:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Part #3

Don't worry, Mr. President. Help's on the way
Your brothers are coming; there'll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?
Tell them, "We're waiting. Keep coming." We'll get them as well

The field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun
Play "Misty" for me and "That Old Devil Moon"
Play "Anything Goes" and "Memphis in June"
Play "Lonely At the Top" and "Lonely Are the Brave"
Play it for Houdini spinning around his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play "Lucille"
Play "Deep In a Dream", and play "Driving Wheel"
Play "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp
And "A Key to the Highway" for the king on the harp
Play "Marching Through Georgia" and "Dumbaroton's Drums"
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play "Love Me Or Leave Me" by the great Bud Powell
Play "The Blood-stained Banner", play "Murder Most Foul"

At 3/27/2020 11:56:00 AM, Blogger José from Paris said...

Hello from Paris
Thank you for these snowy sessions, but where are the little kids?

At 3/27/2020 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Murder Most Foul is yet another example of the genius that we have come to know as Bob Dylan. 17 minutes of history and wordplay only possible from an artist with that rare ability to communicate emotion through a series of perfectly placed thoughts and observations. This is not music to dance to. This is art at its highest level of expression and execution. Where does he come up with these things? The music driving this song is every bit as profound as the lyrics and provides the cinematography that elevate the intention. A mind blowing work that until today has remained unreleased. Stunning!!!

Peace 🙏

At 3/28/2020 12:11:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

its spelled flavor.

At 3/28/2020 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

It isn't if you are using British English.


At 3/28/2020 03:24:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Re the lyrics, believe it should be:

- Looking far, far away down Gower Avenue (Dylan is a Zevon fan)
- Play Art Pepper, Thelonius Monk (jazz saxman Pepper fits with Monk and Parker)
- Love Field is where his plane touched down (that's where JFK arrived in Dallas)
- Also Scarlett (as in Scarlett O'Hara), Dumbarton's Drums (not Dumbaraton)

At 3/28/2020 06:10:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

i know how you spell it. Im kidding you. I just watched day 2 Fireside. My connection was all out of sync tho. at least it didn't look as bleak as Day 1 w the snowing. Man that was some Game of Thrones Winter is Coming shit I thought. Birds is in my top 10 NY songs.

At 3/28/2020 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Got it!

...yes, it's a great song. I know the outtake Horse version is popular, but I've always enjoyed the original sparse-sounding ATGR Birds. Love the piano performances from that era on Cellar Door too, more so than the guitar-based tracks.

A Scotsman (of a different flavour).

At 3/29/2020 05:15:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. Thank you for this writing.

Music feeds the soul 🇺🇸

At 3/29/2020 11:24:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Babbo B. - thanks for corrections and updates.

Some updates for you:

ANALYSIS: Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul": 17 Minutes of The TRUTH

LYRICS, LINKS: Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul": 17 Minutes of The TRUTH

That 2nd link has a video w/ lyrics sub-title captions is quite helpful w/ decodes.

@ wsanjose01 - Birds was very nice, indeed. we wanted to do another playback on FSS#2, but looks like already taken down. we got so caught up w/ Dylan's masterpiece that we only got a single view. oh well.

so much awesome music and so little time. as they say, a good problem to have.

this too shall pass... so we understand.

remaining cautiously optimistic that we will break on thru to the other side.

all together,
t & t-ette


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