0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Some Hall & Oates fans drunkenly start a Super PAC in the duo's honor; the duo quickly says they can't go for that (no can do). Plus, The Killers are one group Mitt Romney enjoys (allegedly) and Neil Armstrong's death brings up Pink Floyd's moon landing jam at the BBC and leads NBC to tell the world Neil Young is dead.
2 Comments · Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Film, as a medium, provides writers and directors the opportunity to tell great stories. But sometimes, as is the case with Jonathan Demme's latest effort, Neil Young Journeys, film simply goes along for the ride with an even greater storyteller as he does his thing.
by Brian Baker
Posted In: Reviews
at 11:16 AM | Permalink
It has become both fashionable and profitable for artists in the later stages of their careers to release albums comprised of old standards or covers of instantly recognizable Pop hits. Leave it to Neil Young to follow that convention and then knock it upside its head. On Americana, Young resurrects Crazy Horse, his longtime and long dormant backing band and the foil for realizing some of his grimiest, grittiest Garage Rock fantasies, with the express purpose of revisiting some of America’s most beloved Folk odes, Blues tales and campfire singalongs.The irony of the album’s title is that while Young retains the familiar lyrics to chestnuts like “Oh Susannah,” “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Tom Dula,” and “Jesus’ Chariot” (better known as “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain”), he completely guts the songs’ classic melodies in favor of Crazy Horse’s noisy bluster and squall, reconfiguring the jaunty tunes to fit his well documented musical universe. There is a seriousness of intent to Americana (Folk and Blues have long detailed the country’s ills in song and Young has selected an interesting set list in that context) but there is also a hootenanny jam quality to the sessions; the songs typically end with comments by Young and the band about the sweet chaos they’ve just created. The exceptions are fascinating; although the standard Crazy Horse murk and howl are evident on The Silhouettes’ “Get a Job,” Young and company retain the Doo-Wop hit’s famous backing vocals and melody lines, a pattern repeated on “Travel On,” “Wayfarin’ Stranger” and “This Land is Your Land” (because how many liberties can you take with Woody Guthrie?). Young and Crazy Horse are having so much fun on Americana, it almost plays like a Jimmy Fallon sketch, but clearly the fun is in the performance and not at the expense of the song, although finishing with “God Save the Queen” (and a children’s chorus singing the American rewrite, “My Country ’Tis of Thee”) could easily be perceived as a pointed and appropriate political jab. Whether playing anarchic deconstructionists or faithful translators, Americana is tattooed with Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s indelible and singular stamp.
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Music History
at 12:42 PM | Permalink
Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour begins and Prince turns 54
On this date in 1988, Bob Dylan kicked off his current tour. That's right — when Dylan picks up his touring schedule on June 30 in the U.K., he will be entering the 24th YEAR of his "Never Ending Tour." The "Never Ending Tour" was a nickname that first popped up during an interview for Q Magazine with writer Adrian Deevoy. Deevoy asked Dylan about touring and how he seems to go from one trek to the next without much of a break. "Oh, it's all the same tour," Dylan replied. The interviewer asked, "It's the Never Ending Tour?" to which Dylan said, dismissively, "Yeah, yeah." The tour that started on this day 24 years ago in Concord, Calif., (with Neil Young sitting in on guitar!) was originally called the Innerstate 88 tour. Now, as a sort of ongoing joke, fans and writers refer to all of his touring under the "Never Ending" umbrella. Crotchety Dylan reportedly doesn't like the tag. He wrote in the liner notes to World Gone Wrong that, while there WAS a Never Ending Tour, it did end — in 1991 when guitarist G. E. Smith left the band. In 2009, Dylan told Rolling Stone, "Critics should know there is no such thing as forever. Does anybody call Henry Ford a Never Ending Car Builder? Anybody ever say that Duke Ellington was on a Never Ending Bandstand Tour? These days, people are lucky to have a job. Any job. So critics might be uncomfortable with my working so much. Anybody with a trade can work as long as they want. A carpenter, an electrician. They don't necessarily need to retire."Chill, Bob! I think "Never Ending Tour" is rarely if ever used in a derogatory term (except maybe by Dylan's pencil mustache wrangler).That June 7 date was far from the first time Dylan and Young played together. Check out the audio from a jam between the two geniuses from 1975.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a June 7 birthday include Steubenville, Ohio favorite son Dean Martin (1917); Welsh sex god Tom Jones (1940); Cincinnati native and one of the more powerful men in the music biz, L.A. Reid (1956); lead singer and guitarist for "College Rock" superstars Violent Femmes, Gordon Gano (1963); Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro (1967); and all-time American music great, Prince (1958). Prince Nelson Rogers is 54 today and he's one person you would not be blowing smoke ass-ward by saying he looks to be in his early 30s. Prince is not only responsible for some of the best songs of the past 50 years; he's also released at least three instant-classic albums — Purple Rain, 1999 and the masterwork Sign o' the Times (which is in my personal Top 10 all-time greatest albums). Tomorrow night at Mayday in Northside you can celebrate the Artist Formerly Known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince's birthday. The club is hosting a Prince dance party — DJs playing all Prince, all night long. For free. Sounds like heaven.Here is one of the many stand-out tracks from Sign, the rocking and righteous "The Cross." 11 The Cross - LoveSexy Tour Dortmund 1988 by samsarax
May 3 • Aronoff Center for the Arts
0 Comments · Monday, April 25, 2011
Considering the level of reverence Bert Jansch elicits from Boomer Rock icons like Neil Young and Jimmy Page, it’s surprising to learn that the 67-year-old Scottish guitarist/singer/songwriter is their contemporary rather than their elder. But by 1965, when Young, Page (and Donovan, another Jansch acolyte) were still searching for their musical direction, Jansch had already made one of his greatest albums, as important as any to ever come out of the British Folk revival.