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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

TONIGHT: Neil Young's New Album Homegrown Streams on The Archives

"Homegrown: Never Known to Fail" by Neil Young

Official Audio for Neil Young's album 'Homegrown' will be available on The Archives tonight @ 9pm PST.
Neil Young's album 'Homegrown' will be released on June 19th.

PRE-ORDER: Neil Young's album "Homegrown"

Neil Young's new album "Homegrown" is now available for pre-order. Release Date: June 19th Pre-Order here (Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)


Official Audio for Neil Young's "Vacancy" from 'Homegrown'.

More on Neil Young's new album "Homegrown" and preview track "Try". Track list and details @ Neil Young's new album "Homegrown".

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At 6/17/2020 12:32:00 AM, Blogger Devan said...

My thoughts thus far:

-Wow, what an odd duck of a record. I was expecting it to be significantly less weird than Tonight's the Night, and it's less down-to-earth than I had imagined. Significantly less accessible than Harvest, Comes a Time, or Harvest Moon.
-Florida is -so- out there. Love it.
-This rendition of Mexico is fantastic. Nails the intimacy of it unlike any other version I've heard.
-White Line is aces.
-I still haven't quite warmed up to Vacancy. It feels like a slightly less-interesting take on World on a String.
-This version of Star of Bethlehem sounds fairly similar to the ASnB version on first blush. Slight mix differences, but nothing major.

At 6/17/2020 04:19:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

I'm waiting 'till Friday for Homegrown: I have enjoyed the last few weeks of anticipation (for Neil's album and Bob's new one) so I might as well keep it going a couple of days longer.

And yes, I use Spotify and I enjoy NYA. I'm not a technophobe Grandpa-style character sitting with a shotgun on my porch (not yet, anyway). But the problem I have with streaming, advance listen or otherwise, is it slickly fits into the ultra-convenient, attention-deficient crowd frenzy "I'm listening to this album whilst scrolling through Twitter and placing an order on Amazon whilst posting on a forum and chatting with Dave on messenger etc etc etc AD INFINITUM" world that we now occupy.

How many of YOU are listening now whilst also reading this comment (*Scotsman smugly prods you in the stomach with finger*)?

What's missing nowadays, both as artists and as listeners, is intense focus and persistence. We're jumping around between so many different things on such a superficial level that our attention span is fried, and the level of our contribution and engagement is sadly diminished.

This, of course, is a huge advantage for those songwriters (including a certain Nobel prize winner) who still have the tenacity to sit down and come up with something as magical as, say, Murder Most Foul.

And I'm as susceptible to all this noise as anyone. But I'm also aware of it. And first things first, If you want to focus, REALLY focus, you should get back towards the habit of listening to albums instead of individual songs. No, it's not the way the world is going and it's harder than it sounds, nowadays. But it's worth it.

Musicians: listen to your own albums. And if you don't have the patience or enthusiasm to listen to your under-cooked, tossed off in 5 minutes concept album about mowing the lawn, then why have the arrogance to expect anyone else to?

More suggestions: read curated blogs (or start your own) - that's where the most passionate and intelligent people are, not to mention the weirdest. Ruthlessly avoid the noise of message boards and chat rooms and Facebook and Twitter. You are an individual, not a scatter-brained lemming following the pack: act accordingly.

Differentiate between substance and chatter. Don't be afraid to engage with those who have ventured a very contrary opinion, but at the same time, don't conclude they are the devil, either.

And go to concerts, not open mic night (when it again becomes sensible to do so). And if you're a musician, then still skip Open Mic (at least some of the time) and instead put on your own show, in your own way. You will still find a way to meet people. And when there's a crowd, stepping away from it to somewhere quieter can be the most sensible thing to do (more so than ever in recent months).

Stop listening to self-appointed pundits or commentators on the internet: none of us know what we are talking about. Or maybe we do, but it's all aggressively filtered through our own personality. So listen, if you like, but make up your own mind.

Buy a vinyl record or a CD or even a lossless download of Homegrown. And no, I'm not in the group that thinks vinyl sounds better than digital, at all: but it's still nice to get something substantial arrive in the post on Saturday morning to show your family or fully enjoy by yourself. But whatever format you choose, play it on a dedicated music player through a decent set of speakers or headphones (I'm using the Sennheiser HD600, which is a world class headphone but also a touch shy in the low bass). Alternatively, play it on the mediocre speakers in your car whilst enjoying the sunset and fully enjoy the lo-fi, "no high expectations" experience. That can work, too.

Relax into it. Turn off the chatter for a few minutes, step away from the crowd and enjoy the richness of life.


At 6/17/2020 04:20:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...


We all know Homegrown will be great, we all know roughly what to expect (or do we?!), so this might be one of those rare occasions where I don't have too much to say. I'll certainly be enjoying it. But I'm also really interested in Bob's new album: I thought the hallucinogenic, multi-layered tapestry of Murder Most Foul was extraordinary. I'll be back to share a few thoughts in due course.

For now I will say this: it's not every week we get a new Dylan album AND a legendary unreleased Neil Young album. Enjoy them. And preferably, put down your phone for a couple of hours in order to do so.


At 6/17/2020 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Art Carey said...

So far I've only heard Separate Ways -- the drums seem way louder and up front than I'd expect them to be. Has this album been remixed?

At 6/17/2020 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/17/2020 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Scotsman- I'm going grumpy grandpa on front porch: read books not blogs of any sort, and don't use a kindle. Live with the book for several months, inhabit it, focus on every last detail, but also be careful about what book you choose! If mature enough, a good place to start is with "The Sound and the Fury" because the first section will MAKE anyone focus. Turn off the television, get rid of the stupid ear buds (and, by the way, learn to properly say hello to other human beings), and read a good book.

At 6/17/2020 03:59:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/17/2020 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/17/2020 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Much like Bill Bentley’s article on The Contrarian front page today, I also grew up during a time when all the music I listened to was on 45 rpm’s. It wasn’t until The Beatles released Meet The Beatles on Capitol that I became familiar with the 12” long player. I agree with his assessment of the lure of the album as a important physical article, and it certainly has became a huge influence in carving out the person I am today. The importance that the LP has been regarded in my life can never be underestimated. I too have seen all the different formats come and go throughout the years, yet the vinyl record has never lost its allure on me.

The album still holds a magical place in my heart, and soul. The really great ones always seem to provided me with a special and unique journey. They've had something important to say while creating a visual experience. Those special records manage to work their way in to ones subconscious, and have become part of my DNA. The record album was meant to be heard in its entirety and artists have worked really hard on a specific sequencing of the songs for a reason. It's a journey which begins with the opening track, and then how it moves forward to the next song, and then the next, till the end. The real classics always have perfect sequencing, and there is always a clear intention to how those songs worked together.

Homegrown is one of those albums. The sequencing is just a perfect mix of contrast and relief, both lyrically and musically. The album carries the listener on a journey, and I could not be more impressed. I completely understand where Scotsman is coming from by waiting to hear this on vinyl come this Friday, but I have really been looking forward to hearing this one record for so long, I just couldn't wait. So I took the time last night to sit down and really listen. After only one listen, I can honestly say, this is one of Neil’s best records. It drew me in from the moment it started, and it never wavered. Every song has a part to play in the journey, and what a remarkable journey it is. It reminded me of hearing some of my all time favorite records for the very first time, when after the last song ended, I knew I had just experienced something extraordinary.

Even though it was a only a high resolution stream, the sound quality was actually very good. I can’t wait until Friday to finally hear this one on vinyl and really get the chance to FEEL it.


P.S. 4Th times a charm..... I had editing issues.

At 6/18/2020 01:02:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Just finished my first listen ... lots of mixed feelings ... I know I'm going to love virtually anything that Neil does especially circa early/mid '70s ... that said, its mixed with a sense of regret that it sat on the shelf for 4+ decades while parts of it were spliced and diced ... Star of Bethlehem is a good as it gets for me but my context is somewhere else not on Homegrown ... and so I experience the songs in an uneven way ... Try and Mexico connect me back to the '07-'08 theatre shows, etc ... the experience of hearing it is splintered ... now, comparing it to Hitchiker, that album knocked me out from the first listen albeit its apples to oranges ... need 5-10 laps to get a true feel ... this Journey w Neil is never dull and he does what he does, I'm just along for the ride and I have no complaints!

At 6/18/2020 04:26:00 AM, Blogger Floyd said...

After a first listen. It's a biographical concept album right?

Break-up – Escape – Drugs – Bad trip – Casual encounters/trying to find personal connection – Return/Healing – Reconciliation – Acceptance.

I haven't dug into the lyrics deeply or read too much about the album, so I may be way off. But this is my first impression.

I love it.

At 6/18/2020 05:24:00 AM, Blogger Thos said...

Thanks for your extended rant Scotsman! I'm not sure it's your job to dictate how others should listen to (or create) music, but always fun to read your opinions.

I went for a run through some moorland while listening to Homegrown for the first time, which was pretty perfect.

What a record. Even if the songs were terrible (they aren't), the mixing is divine - even through the iphone NYA app it sounds warm and comforting, like a hazy summers evening. This creates a nice contrast with the lyrics which veer between bitter, confused and sad. Even Homegrown, which I always heard as a simple drug song, sounds insincere on this record, as if an attempt at escapism from the realities of what is actually going on in Neil's life. The album is uneven in a way that sounds completely controlled and holds together superbly (like Zuma).

I'm no reviewer but I can honestly say I am gobsmacked how good this is; certainly I'd put it in his top 10 albums of all time - I did not expect that.

So although a bit earlier than planned, and not in pristine vinyl, I recommend listening to Homegrown soon and would love to hear everyone's thoughts on the record soon.

Besides, if you listen to Homegrown early, that means you can spend Friday listening to Dylan's new one...

At 6/18/2020 07:51:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

AS: Sounds good to me! I prefer "real" books to kindle too -


At 6/18/2020 08:01:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Dan1: great point that it would have been a different experience heard in the context of 1975, without association to later performances and without a 45 year build-up of anticipation.

("Good to see you!").


At 6/18/2020 08:29:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thos: I could preface every sentence with "in my opinion", but my rants are long enough as it is without pointlessly watering them down.

Glad you are enjoying Neil's album.

All: My point wasn't that it is essential to wait for the physical release: quite often I enjoy the pre-release streams myself. I'm just enjoying an extra couple of days' wait in this instance.

I was more widely condemning the attention-divided, scatter-brained world that we've all found ourselves sucked into in recent years. And yes, the internet has provided plenty of good things, too: but most of these good things aren't aggressively watering down our level of focus, or selling our souls to advertisers in exchange for our continual and anxious use of social media. In a world increasingly dominated by constant new sources grasping for our cheap attention without reward, the ability to relax into something more substantial remains a truly valuable trait.

And it is true that it is easier to focus on a blu-ray disc, a vinyl record, a CD or even a download than it is on yet another app on your phone that will be constantly interrupted by text messages, notifications etc etc etc.


At 6/19/2020 06:43:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

I think Homegrown sounds amazing, much better than other versions of some of the songs I've heard and the bass sounds fantastic.. Reminds me of Harvest where you feel like you're inside the songs looking out but too many songs seems to fade out half way through. Neil's best songs are the longest and it seems like the engineer had enough half way thru most of them and just turned down the volume. But the real reason I won't get it on vinyl is the album cover. I see vinyl albums as art and half the amazing bands and artists I've discovered were albums I bought unheard just for the cover and fell in love with the music. I hate good albums with horrible covers and it's the reason I didn't listen to Harvest until I'd heard almost all Neil's other albums. Such a lame boring album cover that Neil wouldn't equal again for years. Imagine if On the Beach had a cover like Peace Trail. It wouldn't be the same at all. Or if After the Gold Rush had a cover like Hawkes and Doves. Unlike many singers Neil doesn't seem to have any creative interest or input on the album covers at all and they're truly all over the place from the most brilliant and beautiful to a total waster of paper. I'm sure some people might find Homegrown's cover to be a nice cute drawing worthy of the wait but I don't get it. I don't think it is interesting or attractive and definitely not worthy of an album like this and would hate to look at it leaning on my stereo for the next three months so I'll gladly skip it and paste the art of my choice on the MP3s like I've done with so many of his other albums. Better than looking at that crap for the rest of my life.

At 6/20/2020 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ mrtew : ?????????

At 6/21/2020 09:21:00 AM, Blogger TS said...

Wow. Thats just like.... your opinion man. Honestly I think Neil's Album Covers are some of the best most original in the biz. Gary Burden is an amazing artist and I don't know if he did Homegrown, but that's one of my favorites! The vinyl is going to be a centrepiece for the next while in my collection.

The album itself is more than I ever wanted. This version of White Line... it takes me places..

At 6/21/2020 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I think it is hard to miss that the Homegrown album art has elements of the grotesque. The dog, the kid eating the corn, the corn itself, is all strange and distorted in various ways. The songs, many of them anyway, are anything but in the norm. Neil has a heartache but it is expressed from his very distressing perspective, one that is singular with the music, and in ways that stand antithetical to the generic. And yet, I think we can comprehend what the mood and tones that surface. Think of it this way: he makes Tonight's The Night, soaked in grief, dismay, and a very disturbing honesty. Homegrown is made around the same time? We are talking about nightmares on top of nightmares. That album cover is horrifying/grotesque.

At 6/22/2020 05:32:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

From a couple of responses I'm thinking I wasn't clear. I think half of NY's album covers are beautiful brilliant timeless classics and the other half are horrible boring hideous wastes of paper. It's the inconsistency that makes me think that Neil doesn't care about them and they just ended up being a great photo or a lame scrawl drawing depending on who happened to do the cover that year.


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