October 1, 2012
Waging Heavy Peace A Hippie Dream By Neil Young Blue Ride Press. 502 pp. $30. Reviewed by Dan DeLuca Are we in the Golden Age of the rock-and-roll memoir? Maybe. We're at least in the midst of an ongoing wave of 1960s and 1970s heavy hitters in their senescence who are seizing the opportunity to sell books - or e-books - the way they used to sell records. It started with Bob Dylan's Chronicles, Vol. 1 in 2004. It carried on with Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning Just Kids in 2010, and Keith Richards' best-selling Life later that year.
October 3, 2010
Pop Le Noise (Reprise . 1/2) Daniel Lanois productions don't work so well when he bathes the music in so much atmosphere that it sounds as if it's wrapped in gauze. But when the U2 and Emmylou Harris knob-twiddler collaborates with a strong personality - say, Bob Dylan, who reached latter-day high-water marks on Oh Mercy and Time Out Of Mind - Lanois has often succeeded in enabling long-established artists to recast their vision in arresting ways. Such is the case with Le Noise - get the pun?
March 19, 2010 |
Do we really need another Neil Young movie? Fair question. You've got Journey Through the Past (1972), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Weld (1991), and Greendale (2004), among others. And with Neil Young Trunk Show , Jonathan Demme, that most musically empathetic of movie directors, has now made a pair of full-length Young movies, including Heart of Gold (2006), and is planning a third. OK, so maybe need is not the right word. But if you're a fan of the indomitable Canadian rocker - high-pitched voice, proto-grunge guitar, total immersion in the music - then you want to see Neil Young Trunk Show on the big screen, for sure.
December 15, 2008 |
More than four decades into an astounding career, Neil Young still sticks to his countercultural guns. "Love and only love will endure," the Canadian elder statesman insisted on the opening salvo of his tour-de-force performance Friday at the destined-for-demolition Wachovia Spectrum. Two hours later, he blew unsuspecting minds with the Beatles' "A Day In the Life," relishing the opportunity to unleash a squall of feedback at the song's close, and also the chance to give voice to John Lennon's fondest wish: "I'd love to turn you on. " In between, he sat at the pump organ and decried the despoiling of the environment in "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
December 11, 2007 |
Ferocious hippie that he (still) is, Neil Young spent his first hour on stage at the Tower Theater on Sunday singing acoustic songs of fragile beauty that sought spiritual calm and longed for lost innocence. Then, for the next hour and a half, he stood up, plugged in, and tore it all to shreds. At 62, Young remains a legendary iconoclast, a restless tinkerer who's literally always in motion, even when sitting down. His loose-limbed swaying knocked over one of five guitars arranged on a stage that resembled your grandmother's attic, during a terrific "Cowgirl in the Sand" that closed the first half of the highly entertaining evening.
October 1, 2006 |
Superstar-studded benefit concerts are usually haphazard affairs, a cavalcade of marquee acts with little in common other than their shared belief that their music has the power to change the world. What's different about Willie Nelson's annual Farm Aid concert - which sold out the Tweeter Center in Camden yesterday - is that it has continuity, and consistency, on its side. Nelson organized the first Farm Aid in 1985 after Bob Dylan's remarks in support of American farmers at Live Aid in Philadelphia that year.
July 8, 2006 |
Early on in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's three-hour tour-opening show at the Tweeter Center in Camden on Thursday, Neil Young took a break from musically assailing George W. Bush and decrying the human cost of the war in Iraq to address his baby-boomer constituents. "Welcome to CSNY," he said. "Soapbox '06. " The tour by the '60s rockers in their 60s is actually called "Freedom of Speech '06," but Young's alternative title was more to the point. There was a whole lot of proselytizing going on at the Tweeter, between Young's current Living With War album, which was played almost in its entirety, plus vintage, politically minded material from the close-harmonizing quartet's countercultural heyday.
February 12, 2006 |
The first rule of thumb for making a great live concert film, according to Jonathan Demme, is to pretend that it's not a live concert film. "Make the movie for moviegoers," says the director of Stop Making Sense, Swimming to Cambodia, and now, Neil Young: Heart of Gold. "The first giant step in that direction is to pretend that there's no audience there," Demme says. "Don't show 'em. Because you want to create a dream, a musical journey for the moviegoer. You don't need any bystanders to distract you, or interrupt your relationship with what's going on onstage.
September 27, 2005 |
Neil Young is exactly where he wants to be. Dressed in a cowboy suit, playing a guitar that belonged to Hank Williams, the 59-year-old rock-and-roll maverick is on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, his wife, Pegi, by his side, his old friends Emmylou Harris and Spooner Oldham in the band and his son Ben watching from the crowd. He looks out from beneath the brim of his gaucho hat at the worshipful audience in this former church that is country music's most hallowed hall, and takes stock of what's been lost.
April 30, 2004 |
Jed Green, the troubled son of the Green clan of the mythic California town called Greendale, is behind bars for murdering a police officer. In an extended verse sung, with weary earnestness, by Neil Young, he tells his sister Sun Green, "I've got a new song to sing, it's longer than all the others combined, and it doesn't mean a thing. " The same assessment could apply to much of Greendale - Young's odd, allegorical broadside on subjects from terror-war Big Brother fear-mongering to the luridness of TV news to, in heaping helpings, the politics of environmentalism.