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Thursday, January 20, 2022

ALBUM REVIEW: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Barn | Waxing Lyrical + BARN N&D Interview

 by Neil Young & Crazy Horse


Here is an album review excerpt of BARN by Neil Young & Crazy Horse | Waxing Lyrical:

But despite what Nils Lofgren brings, the core of Crazy Horse has always been its rhythm section. 

There's never been a rhythm section quite like theirs. Billy Talbot's bass and Ralph Molina's drums are an irreplicable combination. They play with a ragged looseness, a wavering tightness and a near-telepathic 'feel' that produces an organic sound as tangible as moss on rock. These 78-year-old men have been constants throughout Young's 58-year career, and this is their 14th album. They know what they are doing. They have a sound that can be recognised in about half a note. But their predictability never comes at the expense of their vitality, and Barn is an excellent case in point. 

This is possibly the most assured-sounding album Neil and the Horse have recorded since 1990's Ragged Glory.

Unlike Ragged Glory, this isn't the work of a Grunge Godfather, but rather, an old bloke with old mates who still know more than a few things about how to craft a tune. Young's penchant for lyrics that capture their moment of creation have produced some masterpieces over the years, and plenty of cringe-worthy duds that date more quickly than smoked salmon. Here, he's largely got the balance right. This is an album that's very much a product of its time, but it's not hemmed in by it. 'Song of the Seasons' is a fine opener example of this. The reference to the Queen is an engaging one for a few reasons. For one, she's been Queen since Young was seven years old and married since he was two. The passing of her husband is something likely to impact on Young in exactly the same ways as it might anyone else, but soon after Young notes Prince Philip's death, he follows it with 'I feel her banners rippling in the rain', which is an intriguing image, suggestive of a storm, though the storm itself is not mentioned. One can easily infer the grief of an ordinary woman who's lost her partner after 73 years of marriage, but one can also envisage the public stoicism that shields the private pain of a public figurehead. And finally, there is the image of profound change that has reached out and over the wider world as a result of the Covid pandemic. 

The idea that this is an album about how we experience change only strengthens as the album progresses. [ed - emphasis added]

A bold statement that "This is possibly the most assured-sounding album Neil and the Horse have recorded since 1990's Ragged Glory."  But no disagreement that "how we experience change only strengthens as the album progresses."
Crazy Horse, 2021
 photo by dhlovelife

BARN N&D Interview
“smell and see the horse” – Neil Young
BARN: A revealing and beautiful documentary about the making of the new Neil Young with Crazy Horse similarly titled and enthusiastically received album BARN, will begin streaming on YouTube Thurs. Jan. 20.
BARN the documentary film, directed by Daryl Hannah (dhlovelife), catches a rare intimate glimpse this legendary band as they make music in a restored 19th century log barn under the full moon. The film captures Neil and the Horse in an organic way, their easy irreverent humor, their brotherhood, and of course their music, as it was created. BARN intentionally lingers on single shots for entire songs, showing there are no tricks, revealing the raw, organic and spontaneous process of the music bursting to life from unexpected moments. Exquisite changes of light and weather dance in the remote meadow where the barn sits, adding a sweet, mystical magic as the music thumps, reverberates and echoes. The film is infused with the gratitude and joy that permeated the whole experience.
BARN, the new album by Neil Young with Crazy Horse made an instant, overwhelming impact on critics and fans around the world.
“Neil Young and Crazy Horse…Thunderous and ornery on BARN. A great album.” – Rolling Stone
BARN practically feels like a return to the gold standard of Tonight’s The Night, On The Beach, and Rust Never Sleeps.” – Uproxx
BARN - the bruised and battered grandeur that only this band can deliver.” – Wall Street Journal
Produced by The Volume Dealers – Neil Young and Niko Bolas.   
 Produced by The Volume Dealers – Neil Young and Niko Bolas, the album is available on vinyl (special edition), CD, cassette and Deluxe Box set. The special edition vinyl contains 6 behind-the-scenes photographs from the Barn sessions. Available as a numbered first pressing, the Deluxe Box set contains the special edition LP, CD and Blu-ray of the film Barn.
(Watch out for The Greedy Hand, but you'll be supporting Thrasher's Wheat. Thanks!)

BARN: A Band A Brotherhood A Barn
More BARN  by Neil Young & Crazy Horse:
Crazy Horse, 2021
photo by dhlovelife

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At 1/20/2022 12:47:00 PM, Blogger willforestwater said...

I think the review that most captures my feeling on Barn and on many of Neil's other late career albums is Andy Cush's review of Barn in Pitchfork. He obviously loves Neil's music. But he also recognizes the compromises Neil makes in these labors.

Commenting on Barns tunes,he states:

"...on Barn, as on many recent predecessors, the tunes meander along the most obvious routes of the chords that underpin them, rarely going anywhere in particular, and almost never taking the sorts of audacious twists that might lodge them in your heart and mind.
This doesn’t appear to be a case of Young losing his touch, but the result of a deliberate decision to prioritize immediacy over craft."

And that says it all to me. Neils got lots of things on his plate: his archives, his new wife, the fleeting last days of the setting sun, and he's decided that the spontaneity that worked for him for so long is still the lodestar that drives him.

Still, as someone who tentatively picked out After the Gold Rush on piano as a kid when it first came out, completely in awe of his tunesmith abilities, I'd take 1 album to 10 if he'd just take more time to work on his tunes. I listened to John Mellencamp's new album today, and I must say, it blows Barn away for me.

'Welcome Back' at least, still has that old magic!

At 1/20/2022 01:27:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

This much seems right to me: the Pitchfork review points have to be reckoned with directly. That the album and its lyrics/tunes are about how we change is a possibility but I do not think enough real thinking goes into that theme. At some point in his career, Neil did not need to think about it because the emotions/ideas were like a tidal wave. This is no longer the case, there is no song that just blows us over. Secondly, it seems as if Daryl Hannah or someone she knows is writing the praise for the documentary? This seems like a pretty bad idea, let it speak for itself. Social media has become nothing but self-advertisement, confusing the real with what is fake. To me, that has always been Neil's core truth: no attempt at bullshit even if what he says is nonsense (like, for instance, all the nonsense about GMO's)

At 1/20/2022 02:26:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ willforestwater - thanks for PitchFork review. Might you have a link?

No doubt that 'Welcome Back' has that old Horse magic.

@ Abner - we think you're referring to the post's clip from Waxing Lyrical and not PF's review?

Interesting on the DH promo. hmmm

At 1/20/2022 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

No, I was thinking of the Pitchfork review in relation to the waxing business about how the album is about change and how we change. It does not seem to me that enough thought when into that theme if it is the theme.., and so I was in agreement with the Pitchfork review, which I read at least two weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, I like Barn but I think there are serious reasons for thinking that the Pitchfork review is quite good.

At 1/20/2022 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

went into, etc.., sorry for typos, one of those days, no time

At 1/20/2022 05:14:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

With all due respect to Pitchfork , I think the writer has missed something important. Neil isn’t just throwing songs together in a rush to attend to something else. He’s riding a wave of inspiration in order to capture it before it vanishes. He’s been doing this his entire career, and I don’t hear anything on Barn that would suggest otherwise. Perhaps another listen or two would allow the reviewer a better opportunity to actually feel what is happening on this record. I still feel it’s one of the best albums he and Crazy Horse have released in quite some time. But….. everyone is entitled to their opinion…. And this is mine.

Peace 🙏

At 1/20/2022 05:51:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - apologies on confusion w/ the reviews. it seems both address change.

but agree w/ PF review on Neil's "prioritizing immediacy over craft." That seems his modus operandi now for quite some time.

@ Dan - just as we typed above reply back to Abner, we see your comment here.

and agree too about capturing the moment before it evaporates. Neil gets that in his soul. And many of us do get that also.

Maybe we're all just last of a dying breed w/ patience, stamina, experience, taste and wisdom ???.

At 1/20/2022 10:00:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

@Thrasher, my fault, I was unclear. And let it be known that I do not know as much about music as most people here. I do really like Barn and I was not meaning to be negative. I definitely get the catching the moment. I have seen so much "evaporate." "I'm an accident, I was driving way too fast, .......right?

There is an ancient paradox in "letting the moment last" but that is philosophy.

At 1/20/2022 11:15:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Agreed about Mellencamp's 'One Eyed' new record.

At 1/21/2022 01:53:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Speaking only for myself, Song of the Seasons comes close to blowing me over and I’ve found the response to it here oddly cool, for what I’d consider a remarkable latter-day NY ballad. The words are fragmented and scattered at times, but in a way that feels intentional and effectively shaped. The melancholy… the sweeping yet intimate vision… the juxtaposition of images in time and space to create a mood…all quintessential NY qualities, in the case on a theme of aging and change.

From Canerican to Human Race, Tumbling Through the Years to They Might be Lost to Don’t Forget Love, this album is highly concerned with posterity and mortality. Where Neil used to meditate on the struggles of youth and growing, the perennial themes are now inflected with different tensions, rewards, fears of aging. Is this really surprising after 50+ years of music? The open windows in an older person’s soul may be different from those in a young person’s, but Neil’s music—like any art—continues to be about filling in—or at least lighting a way around—these existential openings.

Few sounds are more fitting for this work than “mellow” Neil—which doesn’t mean just acoustic. I’ve written before about the moody, glacial aspect of the Horse, of which I would nominate Colorado as a prime, recent example. From Barn, Welcome Back embodies and distills these qualities.

At 1/21/2022 04:20:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I think it can be the case that as someone ages they become less capable of a focus on mortality and for any number of reasons. I start an essay with a cluster of ideas and generally as I proceed, and if the topic is not a total flop, the ideas grow and get more focus. I am now worried that this process will simply stop or fall apart in the near future. In other words, aging will gradually take the focus away. I am not sure who I am without the ideas happening, which seems both dreadful and inevitable. I extend my worry to others. Perhaps it is the form and content of our worry that reminds us of where we are and who we are. One thing I know for sure is that I will never stop worrying. I always worry about our sons but the worry has changed content. It is amazing how things and people endure in this world.

At 1/21/2022 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

“The words are fragmented and scattered at times, but in a way that feels intentional and effectively shaped. The melancholy… the sweeping yet intimate vision… the juxtaposition of images in time and space to create a mood…all quintessential NY qualities, in the case on a theme of aging and change”.

I couldn’t have said it better……

Barn is a revelation to me. I can relate to the complete vision. Perhaps it’s because Neil is only eleven years my senior that I always seem to resonate with where he’s at. We’ve traveled together for so long, and he’s helped inform how I interact with the world. He’s been like an older brother that’s guiding me through life with his wisdom and experience. I’ve found something remarkable in every single album he’s ever released, and Barn is no exception. And Ian seems to get it as well.

Peace 🙏

At 1/21/2022 10:45:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Smoking meats and fish can actually prolong the edibility just a minor point. Just realized theres a young argentinan woman, Ines Adam who does the most wonderful Tell Me Why. Her voice is like a beautiful siren I would crash the ship into rocks through tears. Lovely. Also a ATGR that couldnt be more perfect

At 1/22/2022 12:58:00 AM, Blogger JWG24 said...

Been a NY fan for 40 years and will always love his music. However, the last few years have been torturous. I last saw him at Red Rocks in 2016 with POTR and it was a great show-great venue. Alas I haven't liked much of the newer material and he's more concerned about politics than music. At some age you just can't pull it off and he's there. But he has to please his wife DH and thats what it's all about now. The only way he can try to stay relative nowadays...

At 1/22/2022 02:17:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Barn is his best record for many years, having said that it still contains some stinkers. Dhlovelife seems to be making her mark, I wonder what the rest of the band makes of this?

At 1/22/2022 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I feel there is some judgments being made without any facts to back them up.

Peace 🙏

At 1/22/2022 03:24:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Agreed, Dan (and thanks for your earlier praise!) It’s a little puzzling, I will admit, that the music which inspires you or me so much can such stir such different emotions in others. Still, there’s no one right path for everyone and my reflections are meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive.

My two cents: Barn’s immediate predecessor, The Visitor and Colorado, are both strong albums that reward repeated listening. In fact, I’m not sure Barn would make as much “sense” if I hadn’t heard those albums first. Then again, I find my musical opinions are often slightly out of synch with consensus.

At 1/22/2022 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Ian, yes….. each person must be free to travel their own path, yet I’m always suspicious of consensus because there are so many silent voices out there. My hope is that more people will play Barn a few more times, and then reassess their thoughts. I find that all music (for me) requires several listens before a judgment can be made. Interestingly, I’ve found that the albums that confuse me the most on first listen are usually the ones I eventually fall in love with the most.

Peace 🙏

At 1/23/2022 09:13:00 AM, Blogger Minke said...

As usual, completely off-topic, just some desultory and celebratory musings on a Sunday morning. I had been listening to some recent and not-too-recent records, which set me thinking.

In the comments section of this most enjoyable website I repeatedly read disappointment with NY’s more recent work. Of course everybody is entitled to her or his opinion on this. But it is fun to disagree and bicker over taste, because it sharpens the mind and focusses the appreciation. Now for the little it is worth, according to me the past duodecennial – which I think is the right Anglo term for a 12-year period – has been one of the most adventurous and artistically satisfying periods in Neil Young’s creative career.

Not everything was a success, of course, at least in my eyes and to my ears. I must say that I was not completely taken in by NY’s collaboration with Promise of the Real, which may be a nice band in its own right, but is not a match to NY (with qualifications, as bass player Corey McCormick gives NY a great groove, and Micah Nelson adds madness, but Lukas Nelson, with due respect for his other qualities, has not the solidity of Poncho, the versatility of Nils Lofgren, or the rockin’ swing of Anthony Crawford). Although live the team could be great, the albums don’t make it work for me. But these are exceptions in a record output over the last 12 years that is amazing in its width, its explorative character, and musical greatness.

For some reasons – good ones – I constantly return to Storytone, a record of which I will be a staunch advocate until the end of my days. Especially the solo version is an absolute masterpiece, a true love record for the ages, and I am surprised that it gets so little traction and praise. I may be alone in this, as I read very little approval in these posts, or any mention of it at all. Storytone is excruciatingly intimate at times. Great melodies, tender lyrics. Well-balanced in its architecture and variety. We feel the new spirit and love seeping through. They stick and never fail to move. I guess all songs were recorded solo in one day, in a fascinating parallel to Hitchhiker (– which not coincidentally happens to be one of his greatest archives output of the past years). Similarly great, but less intimate is Peace Trail, which is so much a three-man’s band effort, with the subtle rhythms of bass and drums of Paul Bushnell and Jim Keltner graciously garlanding Neil Young’s intriguingly unsteady beat (which may be one of the secrets of his music making). They make me see prairies and pipelines and First Nations and modern wreckage. A decolonial record if there was ever one made by a white man. Those two are the true highlights of this duodecennial -- but Barn is a great contender.

1 of 2

At 1/23/2022 09:13:00 AM, Blogger Minke said...

2 of 2

For what it’s worth, I listen to this latter-day NY as somebody that is admirably able to reinvent himself, who keeps on learning to work with the new qualities that his experiences and his maturing and ageing capabilities give him. His Sprechgesang is great – I wish he would use it more – his lower voice intriguing, his faltering high pitch either chilling or extremely delicate. His gradually diminishing vocal capacities give a great patina and depth to his songs. He needs less and less accompaniment, which is borne out by Storytone solo and Peace Trail. He exploits this sparseness very well on Barn too. For that reason he ushered Nils Lofgren to the piano instead of adding a second guitar. Now even he even adjusted his electric guitar playing to this – which makes “Welcome Back” such a compelling masterpiece. Don’t get me wrong – he also has his old grunge spirit intact, but I don’t think that forms the essence of his recent style.

Having followed NY for 40 plus years now, I have learned to listen with new ears every time he came with a new record. They grow on you. They need time, sometimes even years, to be fully grasped and appreciated. I am always amazed at how this works. It seems as if Neil Young is always ahead of your taste. He is in the lead, and leaves you gasping at first, but later on you learn the steps and you kind of follow.

Now looking back over the past 12 years, it amazes me how outstanding and innovative his output has been in this . Fork in the Road is a great, and greatly underrated record. It’s crisp, fun, unpretentious but not ordinary. LeNoise is unique in Neil Young’s oeuvre and does not fail to grab you at the throat, the loudness and power of a one man’s orchestra, with a series of unfailingly great songs. Then Psychedelic Pill, reanimating Crazy Horse in a way that is completely over the top, but works like a 72-hour train ride across continents. I talked about Storytone and Peace Trail, which are absolutely mind-blowing NY late brilliance galore. And the duodecennial ends with Colorado, which actually is an extraordinarily good record – and Barn. When I listen to Colorado, it is still with the ears of Peace Trail, but played by his coffee grinding pals of CH. It is too early for me to give a full evaluation of Barn. It is still growing. But it seems that Neil Young reinvented Crazy Horse, and Crazy Horse reshaped him. On the first listens, the record seemed less coherent and balanced than Colorado, but it contains more highlights than its predecessor, and intriguingly, some of the songs that did not particularly appeal at first listen, continue to grow on me. I may be a slow adapter.

In all, the past 12 years have been a fantastic ride and his output, so disappointing to some, to me forms a true monument to the creative powers of an artist working in the lingering dusk of the northern Summer. I wonder how a ‘best of’ of post-2009 would sound. In any case, put Storytone solo on a pedestal. Did you pay attention, you lazy bunch of writing rock critics?

Sorry to have bored you. Great Sunday to all and T&T in particular.

At 1/23/2022 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Minke : Thanks for adding your insightful comments to the conversation. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my admiration of Neil’s twenty first century output.

Peace 🙏

At 1/23/2022 11:04:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Ian/MR, Abner, Dan & All - we intended to add a few more thoughts on your comments. But Minke stole the show!

@ Minke - A most excellent comment Minke, not off-topic whatsoever and never boring.

Thanks so much for putting these thoughts together on Neil’s duodecennial albums. Such an intriguing angle of analysis and delightful perspective.

We'll just make the point that th is sort of approach to listening to an artist's output over a long period is really quite fascinating. Yes, we receive incremental bites every year, but stepping back for the long arc of history is truly enlightening and what keeps many rusties and grainers coming back for more.

Therefore COTM @

Thanks again and enjoy your Sunday wherever you are!

At 1/23/2022 03:29:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature On The Run said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1/24/2022 10:46:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ MNOTR - well, this was intended for MNOTR, but seems she deleted her comment.

Just going to say good to see you Mother! It's been awhile. We know you've been on the run, but thought you were catching your breath. Well, off you go again....

At 1/24/2022 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I prefer art that focuses on human limitation in ways that generate species-knowledge. Stories often do this, and the best stories do it incredibly well. Most often, such stories are quite grim and dark- just think of a list of great novels. There is nothing cheerful in the best of them but there are elements of desperate and insightful humor. So I come at some of these issues from a different angle than many. I have to go with Americana as purely great Neil. I did not think about the sloppiness of the music or the endings of songs because I am unable to judge it, the endings seemed fine to me. But, "Clementine" is beautifully tragic and Neil's grimy guitar and the uneven chorus ("oh my darling") sparkles with irony and human desperation. The song, in Neil's hands, does not flinch and we are confronted with ourselves- like it or not. Our fears and our failures going hand in hand and not resolving the tensions, but holding them together.

At 1/24/2022 03:19:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Abner, Thanks for the fresh take on Americana—I think I recognize the mood you’re referring to, though I associate it more with Gallows Pole, High Flying Bird, or the anguished insistence of Tom Dula.

I feel I should detail my response to Barn just a bit. Song of the Seasons and Welcome Back had immediate impact for me, but the rest of the album has orbited around those poles (feel like I’m mixing metaphors clumsily here), taking a little longer to take shape for me. So my Barn experience is a little less intense or instantaneous than some but the highs, when they hit, are considerable. Maybe my response has a little to do with the fact that I rate the Visitor highly (higher than Peace Trail, for instance) and take a more measured approach to the Horse?

It’s not simply a case of leaning towards softer Neil, however, as I find Prairie Wind slightly laden and sentimental. CDII is more balanced, in my opinion, and a good example of Neil skillfully blending his different sounds. Goldrush achieves this balance, too, albeit in a quite different way. Some of my favorite moments on both albums (No hidden Path) are thoroughly electric. I just crave emotional impetus and range behind the noise.

At 1/24/2022 04:35:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Ian, Clementine, at the end, raises the question of redemption, as to whether or not it is even possible. I actually had forgotten the name of that song, "High Flying Bird." This raises similar questions about our shared humanity. I'm the Ocean, Song X, and Act of Love are, in general, about our possibilities and limitations, the question of whether or not peace can ever really even be achieved (unlikely at best). Better to look squarely at these facts. Cormac McCarthy and Ray Carver are writers who raise similar questions, they make us face up to ourselves. So much of what appeals to people, that is considered art, is appeasement or nostalgia, worthless for self-understanding and perhaps even a distill cause of violence. I am right now working on an essay that focuses on commercial landscape art (a big seller) that is all nostalgia or "what people want to see." The artist makes us see what we do not want to see or have not yet seen (and "see" here refers broadly to forms of cognition, ranging from ecology to sociology).

At 1/24/2022 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

"so I kissed her little sister and forgot my Clementine"----

At 1/25/2022 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Mick Funz said...

Neil Young album reviews are no longer about the latest Neil Young album but about the reviewer's feelings and where they are in their life.

BARN is the most whatever Crazy Horse album since Ragged Glory? Really? Moreso than Sleeps With Angels or Broken Arrow or PP? Ha ha.

Music fans now arrange their opinions around other people's opinions and, often, invent enthusiasms based on other people's criticism. Every album now has a selection of fans who swear it's his best album in years and we all need to listen again to hear the truth.


At 1/25/2022 12:14:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Abner, Although you're discussing Clementine, the NY song your comments really remind me of is Powderfinger: the tragedy of lost potential, the question of redemption. Clementine certainly holds all these facets. Yet, like many people, I first knew Clementine as a childhood singalong, where no one really thought about the words. If there's any fly in the ointment here, it's that songs like Clementine have been watered down enough, from a cultural standpoint, to obscure these connections.

To Mick Funz's comment, I think all criticism or reviews are, to some degree, a kind of triangulation between artist, text (art), and audience. Not always in that order. The best, most insightful and productive critical writing is really about this dynamic, so we learn about ourselves as well as the piece of art at hand.

At 1/25/2022 12:15:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - You wrote: "I prefer art that focuses on human limitation in ways that generate species-knowledge."

On 1st read, of course, who doesn't? Then on 2nd thought ...

@ Ian/MR - can't say how much we do enjoy the bantering that goes on here @ TW.

We realize it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Freedom of Speech, different strokes for different folks ...

@ Mick - no doubt, you have a legitimate point about re viewer's feelings over the music itself.

Not sure if you're referring to published reviews vs comments such as those on this blog?

Regarding comments on this blog, frankly, we think that folks really do enjoy expressing their feelings about the music thru the prism of their lives, sharing contrarian opinions, and exercising their freedom of speech.

Our view is that yes, many fans are heading into the sunset direction like Neil and The Horse. These are profound times we live in.

An aside here.

Sometimes the question comes up from younger, new Neil fans about where to start or direction in listening sequence or fave period.

What we suggest is that whatever age one might be to try and listen chronologically to Neil's catalog. Like if you're 19, listen to Sugar Mountain. If you're 29 Rust Never Sleeps. If you're 49, Ragged Glory, etc. IOW, let Neil's life spool out musically in your own real parallel life.

Because that's how it worked for those more aligned w/ Neil's age. Many of us have grown old w/ Neil so this all makes sense. His music was our soundtrack of life.

Lastly -- At the moment -- we plan to pull out another published review upon which to explore your theory.

stay tuned


At 1/25/2022 12:40:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Thrasher, I am assuming that you are not trying to agitate me... (joke) ... but with respect to your first question, "who doesn't"? How about 99.999% of "consumers" and "citizens" who assume "facts" about human existence such as "free will." I have spent long hours on the philosophical question of self-knowledge, which is brutally hard and then "species knowledge" is even harder. Ian's example in the above- "and I just turned 22..." the song moves toward the inevitability of tragedy, which necessarily contains the critical question of free will and the nature of human agency (just one example here). So much that we consider "art" as a culture does not even orbit this center of gravity. It is about self-congratulations, bathos, nostalgia, and then just plain nonsense, generally taking us away from species-knowledge. Just consider all the people who deny "human caused climate change." How does an artist confront these issues, which is a large part of what we have been discussing and one answer is: not overtly or obviously, which has been part of Neil's problem with his lyrics. Art must confront differently... species-knowledge is just my phrase for the human condition and I don't think the questions are currently being asked in any serious ways.

At 1/25/2022 01:56:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - to be clear, definitely not trying to agitate. Lord knows enuf of that going on already in the world.

So in all seriousness here, if we've read this right, we agree w/ you. However, we'd say also that most consumers are not like us. We really do try and examine our art from every angle to gain as much joy and understanding as possible about ourselves, the artist and our worlds.

I feel that you're much more knowledgeable around this "art appreciation" subject. We just dabble about here on TW, although we've written in great depth here on the subject over the years as well, as you know.

At 1/25/2022 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I agree with you Thrasher!!! The people on TW are great, I love being here, this is why I shared my ideas, I would not have otherwise, no interest in offending and 99.9999 bullshit was hyperbole!!

At 1/25/2022 03:49:00 PM, Blogger winterlong said...

So well put.
Apart from a few treasured moments..."you wear my love like a favourite sweater", it is just a captured band rehearsal.
The songs are majority hackneyed and throwaway pub blues based tunes.
Not much to craft even if time was lovingly spent.
Nothing tranacendent or heart piercing for me. Same with the movie for it. Just does not go anywhere near sacred space out of time magic which the Horse is well capable of.
Now as to capturing live transcendence, a few years back...Melbourne Australia at the Plenery and at the larger arena..oh my! Yes. A version of Dangerbird that floated mid air, hovered and swooped. Then Sedan Delivery. What I really want is to see the promised movie of that touring year.
What happened to it? Psychedelic pill...Walk like a giant.
I'm so grateful I saw those shows because I think it is all over.
This album does not cut it. But we have so much treasure already stored away. So much to be grateful for.
I just re-bought an album I used to own.
El Dorado. Don't cry my sweet love.
We can always meet up with Neil or Neil and Horse with a little time travel and a music player.

At 1/25/2022 03:51:00 PM, Blogger winterlong said...

I could not disagree more.
Ah well.


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