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Archive for November, 2012

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We are, of course, a little late in reporting this (you can blame Bruce Springsteen for that). But for those who missed it, here are the details on Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s benefit show for the victims of Hurricane Sandy next Thursday in Atlantic City. Tickets went on sale earlier today (and are likely already gone).

From the Warner Bros. press release:

November 29, 2012 – (Atlantic City, NJ) – Neil Young & Crazy Horse have announced that they will perform a special benefit concert on December 6th, 2012, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ, with proceeds going to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Devastated by the damage and displacement caused by hurricane, Young urged: “Come on down here and join in the relief effort.”

Proceeds will go to the AMERICAN RED CROSS HURRICANE SANDY relief effort. For more info go to: redcross.org/hurricane-sandy

Tickets for the event, billed as “A Special Evening With Neil Young & Crazy Horse,” go on sale Friday, November 30 at 10am at TheBorgata.com or by-phone at 866-900-4TIX (4849) and will be priced at $75 and $150. All seating is general admission. Everest will open the show.

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While we were getting our socks rocked off by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band this past Wednesday night at Portland’s Rose Garden, we missed Neil Young’s appearance on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Fortunately for us (and for you, if you also missed the show), and through the magic of the interwebs, we are able to provide links to stream video of the full interview here.

It’s a great interview too. Neil Talks about Pono, Waging Heavy Peace, and the upcoming benefit concert with Crazy Horse for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City next week, among other topics.

Check it out in two parts below (just follow the link boxes).

Thanks, as always, to Comedy Central.

Neil Young On The Daily Show part 1

Neil Young Daily Show part 2

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Somehow, in the midst of the fuzzy afterglow of last weekend’s amazing Neil Young & Crazy Horse show here in Seattle, we neglected to note that this past Monday was Neil Young’s 67th Birthday.

Let this serve as our feeble and unworthy, but nonetheless absolutely sincere, if belated, attempt to right this.

Happy Birthday, Neil. And of course this goes without saying, but Long May You Run.

Old man take a look at my life I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that’s true.

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Concert Review: Neil Young & Crazy Horse At Key Arena, Seattle WA 11/10/12

It’s not often that you leave a rock and roll concert feeling completely exhausted and spent, at least not these days. It is also not the feeling you’d normally associate with seeing a bunch of old geezers like Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

When it comes to older, vintage acts from the classic rock era – at least the ones that still matter – you might expect to walk away from a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show feeling this same sort of giddy, exhilarated post-concert exhaustion. Which is exactly why I continue to go see their shows, even going so far as to travel cross-country to witness them.

But Neil Young? Not even.

Yet, there Neil Young and the venerable Crazy Horse were this past Saturday night at Seattle’s Key Arena – looking and sounding as revved-up, fully engaged, and vital as they ever have in the dozens of times I have seen them over the years.

These guys may be getting up there a bit in years, but you wouldn’t have known it on this night. This was like being shot through a time capsule back to the days of Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory. At this show Neil Young & Crazy Horse played like a bunch of twenty-something kids.

As rock shows go, this was one for the ages.

My feet ache like all hell from standing in the GA section all night (I’m also old enough to remember when they used to call this barbaric viewing arrangement “festival seating”). But damn if it doesn’t hurt so good. As I write this, I am left both physically and emotionally spent. But I am also feeling that special sort of post-concert euphoria that comes only after you know you have just witnessed something that qualifies as truly great.

From the incendiary – and loud! – fifteen minute plus opener “Love And Only Love,” Neil Young & Crazy Horse came out with their guns fully loaded and blazing. From there, they delivered the goods and then some for over two hours.

Drummer Ralph Molina did miss a few spots here and there, particularly on the longer, extended jams. Still, this made for a much rawer take on “Fuckin’ Up,” which started out sounding something like the Black Sabbath version of the song. Neil, Poncho and the rest of Crazy Horse locked into the slightly more downbeat groove like clockwork in no time though, making for one of the better versions of this concert standout that I have ever heard.

The concert was also long – and in this case, we mean that quite literally – on new material from the just released Psychedelic Pill album. But the overall theme was more like a snapshot into Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s gloried past, with one eye locked onto their future. It’s no coincidence that this tour is being labeled as “The Past. The Present. The Future.”

Echoes of such past Crazy Horse tours as the legendary Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory/Weld treks were front and center from the minute you entered the arena. You saw it in everything from the over-sized microphone and Fender amp props from past tours, to the goofy looking stage hands running around in their white doctors coats. There was no mistaking the trippy retro vibe here.

But this was no mere nostalgia trip down hippie lane. Far from it. Even as Neil Young & Crazy Horse acknowledged the past, they seemed to be equally intent on getting back to the future Saturday night at the Key.

On the extended jams from the new Psychedelic Pill album like “Ramada Inn” and especially “Walk Like A Giant,” Neil shredded his ass off. Old Black got quite the workout at this show. Poncho Sampedro, and even usually stoic bassist Billy Talbot (who cracked a rare grin during “Fuckin’ Up”) seemed to be having a pretty great time on the newer songs as well.

The older, crowd pleasing songs were there too of course, including scorching versions of “Powderfinger,” and a nice closing twofer of “Mr. Soul” and “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black).” The encore of “Tonight’s The Night,” was also one of the bluesier takes on this particular concert warhorse that I’ve ever heard.

Occasional lapses in technique aside – which of course is one of this bands most endearing qualities anyway – Neil Young & Crazy Horse have never sounded better than they did this past Saturday night at the Key. Long may they continue to run.

Setlist:
Love And Only Love
Powderfinger
Born In Ontario
Walk Like A Giant
The Needle And The Damage Done
Twisted Road
Singer Without A Song
Ramada Inn
Cinnamon Girl
Fuckin’ Up
Mr. Soul
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)

Encore:
Tonight’s The Night

*Review first published at Blogcritics Magazine.

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Better late than never.

Last month, we posted up all of the videos available up until that time from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s new Psychedelic Pill album. Since then, Neil has released several new clips from the album (including one for his longest officially released song ever, the amazing 27-minute album opener “Driftin’ Back”).

Good gawd, we love this one.

So, we have to admit to a certain laxness in updating this site of late. But now, in the interest of bringing our viewers up to date, we present the rest of the Psychedelic Pill videos, along with some of our quick, initial thoughts.

Ramada Inn (New Version):

The video for this one was already pretty great, and the song — all seventeen minutes of it — is of course, amazing. On this newly updated video, they seem to stick with the overall story arc of the original, but the video itself has been cleaned up quite a bit.

The driving sequences shift nicely from black and white to color, and the overall feel of the video matches up with the song itself much more nicely too (at least, as viewed through our own decidedly “rusted” eyes):

Psychedelic Pill:

We LOVE this song.

And with its strong echoes of “Cinnamon Girl,” one could almost view this as a sequel to that classic. But as the man himself once famously said, “it’s all the same song” anyway.

The way that this video uses vintage footage from what one would assume is the silent picture era, is sure to remind fans of the videos from this year’s earlier Americana album. But just when you are thinking (probably too hard, as we did), the drugs — and their accomapanying psychedelic kaleidoscope images — start to kick in:

Born In Ontario::

Another stark black and white video (with occasional, possibly rare autobiographically based color clips), that not surprisingly, celebrates all things Canadian.

For The Love Of Man:

Like the song itself, the video for “For The Love Of Man” stands somewhat apart from the rest of Psychedelic Pill (although the kaleidoscopic motif makes a reappearance here).

It’s a gorgeous song nonetheless. But one is still left wondering if this particular song wouldn’t have been better suited for a Harvest Moon like project, than for the otherwise psychedelic, Crazy Horse blowout that is Psychedelic Pill:

Driftin’ Back:

The 27 minute opening track of Psychedelic Pill is not only the longest officially released song of Neil Young’s career, but also our hands-on favorite track from the album.

On the video, we especially like the vintage live footage at the beginning. But there is so much more to this song than the extended guitar passages which bookend the lyrics (not that these wouldn’t have been enough to qualify “Driftin’ Back” as the late breaking Neil Young classic we firmly believe that it is).

On this song, Neil’s words play less like traditional song lyrics, and more like the writer’s own abstract thoughts placed randomly within it. It makes even more sense if you read Neil’s book Waging Heavy Peace, which this song plays as a distinct musical counter-piece to.

Absolutely brilliant.

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After what has seemed like a forever-long wait — beginning way back last summer when the tickets first went on sale — it’s almost showtime for all of us long-suffering Rusties here in Seattle. The “Past. Present. Future,” “Alchemy 2012,” or whatever they are calling the Neil Young/Crazy Horse reunion tour these days, finally makes its Seattle stop tonight at Key Arena.

Earlier this week, I purchased one of those soundbar thingies to compliment my HD-TV, and couldn’t think of a better way to test it out than by cranking up my bootleg Weld DVD up good and loud tonight. As I am sure my poor neighbors will confirm, it passed the test with flying colors too.

But for those of you who don’t happen to live on my block, I thought this sampling of videos from the 1991 Ragged Glory/Weld tour might serve as a nice little warmup for tonight.

First up, is this montage of fans from the Weld DVD. Now, I know that Thrasher already put this up on his site earlier this week. But I still couldn’t resist. Somebody really needs to consider an official release for this video.

See if you can pick out such colorful fans as “Chinese hippie guy,” “John Waite guy,” “Bucktooth Headbanger Girl” and “Headband Air-Drummer guy” here (hint: you’ll find them all in the “Fuckin’ Up” section alone):

On The Weld DVD, “Love And Only Love” and “Rockin’ In The Free World” play together in a segueway that serves as the one of the better one-two punches of any Neil Young concert video I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find that exact clip on YouTube, so this version (in two parts) will have to do.

Neil has been opening up most (if not all) of the shows on the current tour with this gem from Ragged Glory, and it sounds as good as ever here:

Of course, it goes without saying in the case of a great segue like this, that you can’t have one without the other. So in the interest of properly capturing the moment, here is the second half of that great sequence from the Weld DVD.

This clip is also notable, because “Bucktooth Headbanger Girl” and the rest of the gang from that video are back in full force here:

See you all tomorrow night at the Key in Seattle (and for you hardcore Rusties, at the pre-show get-together at Floyds Place). We will also have our review of the show up here on the NYFAQ site (and elsewhere) on Sunday.

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