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October 2003

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Thrasher's Blog

    Fresh Wheat - 10/29/03

    bridge all photo by Locator
    17th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert Encore

  • The 17th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert was held on October 25th and 26th, 2003 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. Performers included Pearl Jam, Wilco, Willie Nelson, Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional, Incubus, Indigo Girls, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

    More photos, reviews and links on Bridge School Benefit Concert 2003.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/23/03

    Elliott Smith 1969 - 2003

    Very sad news on the passing of Elliott Smith.

    I first heard about Elliott's music from Mary Lou Lord singing his praises. I really admired his indie rock and singer-songwriter-artist temperment. After hearing his ’Miss Misery’ in Good Will Hunting during the closing credits, I started keeping an ear out for him. His 1998 Academy Award nomination performance was definitely a surreal experience for him - and the audience.

    Last we saw him at the 9:30 Club a few years ago, he gave an intensely memorable performance of Figure 8. I recall the quietness of the club as he spoke between songs. Everyone silently strained to hear him mutter introductions to the next songs. And suddenly he'd be so alive.

    Such a loss of an artist who tried so hard to keep it real and true and not selling out.

    More on Elliott Smith's suicide on Thrasher's Blog.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/22/03


    Greendale Film Premeire

    Here's a review from the Mill Valley, CA premeire on 10/12/03 posted on Rust by Robert Clark Young:

      "a new movie genre--of Neil's invention--the independent film music video. Shot in glorious Rustavision, of course. I love that blurry particularized home-movie effect."

    More of Bob the Writer's review on Greendale Film Premeire.

    Commentary on Greendale

    Opinions on Greendale have been in an extreme range of love and hate. Explore the emotions of Greendale. Samples include:

    "'Greendale' looks set to join the pantheon of great Neil Young records"
    "Song story telling in the Homeric tradition"
    "Greendale live made me wanna puke"
    "He gives the finger to all of the people who just want to hear his hits again"
    "An artist at the top of his creativity"

    More Greendale Commentary. Also, see Neil Young Greendale Reviews.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/21/03

    sun & neil
    Surfs Up! Another Greendale Review

    A nice Greendale review from with some concert photos and lots of questions:

      "More than just a narrative, this album rivals some of Neil Young's best and strangest works. Not as deep or dark as 1975's 'Tonight's the Night' with its tragic look at the ups and downs of the drug world, nor as lilting and introspective as the 1970's classic 'After The Goldrush.' But there is weirdness about this album where you would swear Neil was talking to himself about himself. Is he the Grandpa sitting on the porch? Is Sun Green his daughter Amber, ready to leave the Northern California ranch she has grown up on? Is Neil telling us about his writing style we hadn't heard before? Or is it all just bullshit. In fact Neil spells it out very succinctly with the words from the song 'Leave the Driving.'"

    Europe 2003 Tour Page

    Baron's got a nice page with setlists, reviews, and other stuff from the Europe 2003 Greendale tour. From Neil Young interview for German TV 'aspekte' in Oslo on making Greendale:

      "No, I simply started writing. I don't know exactly what happened. I've never written songs with characters in them before. I simply wrote a song and then thought: 'Hey, that's interesting.' And then I wrote another song.

      In the first song, I found it exciting that there were characters with names, that conversed. The next day I wrote a new song with the same characters. When I think about it, I really believe that it's interesting, it's different. I didn't know that when I was doing it was reflections of my thoughts. I'd rather that the film speaks for me, instead of me speaking. Because as a person I'm actually not so well-spoken. The things, the songs, that I create and write, speak with a much clearer voice than I do.

      I'm not a clear person. In me there are many conflicts."

    More on The Making of Greendale page.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/16/03

    croz & neilPHOTO BY BUZZ PERSON
    More Santa Ynez Valley Music Festival

    Great review by Joe Ray over at David Crosby and CPR site on the Benefit for Arts Outreach on 9/28/03. Joe Ray reports:

      "If any of you folks have any of the early CSNY bootlegs from 1969-70, Neil often introduced the song, 'Don't Let It Bring You Down' by saying, 'here's a song guaranteed to bring you right down... ' Well, he did the same introduction tonight after which he commented, 'whenever I hear the record of 1966 ( you mean 69-70 Neil ) or so, I say to my self... you must be one clever guy to think of that... ' The audience also laughed, at least those who have heard the record too...

      Before 'Leave The Driving', Neil introduced his guitar Hank as originally being owned by Hank Williams, 'the next song is a new one because if Hank was still with us he'd be doing new songs too'... The Greendale songs sounded fresh, strong and much more vibrant than the original acoustic versions from the spring European Tour... "

    And this really sounds like something to check out:

      "Neil then asked David to join him on stage to sing a driving version of 'Ohio' with David doing the chant, 'one dead in Ohio, two dead in Ohio, three dead in Ohio, four dead in Ohio... . ' I believe these two guys have never publicly done this song as a duet before. "

    I believe you are correct, sir. Thanks Joe Ray for the report!

    rust radio
    Rust Radio Rules on Neil Covers

    I was truly stunned by the playlist on this past weekend on Rust Radio. 170 Neil songs covered by other artists were loaded into rotation. Many were from the Bridge Tribute album and This Notes For You Too tribute. Or well known like Roxy Music's Like A Hurricane.

    But many were obscure gems. Cuts ranged from Duran Duran doing Needle and the Damage Done, Hole mangling Cinnamon Girl, Indigo Girls rockin out on Down By The River, Toris Amos wailing 'Heart of Gold' and The Jayhawks doing Expecting To Fly from their current tour.

    rustOver on Rust folks are discussing their favorite Neil cover. Maybe somebody will setup a tally?

    Well, hope this one gets featured on another weekend sometime again Roel.

    Being The Rain
    Over on the Rusted Highway they're discussing how to Be the Rain. Folks discuss what they can do in practical terms to be environmentally sensitive. Using fewer chemicals, less gas, producing less trash. It's really great that Neil's music can motivate folks to take positive steps.

    So just go out and be the rain.

    Also on Rusted Highway The Weird Commercial Successful Songs of Neil Young posted by Syscrusher:

      "Heart of Gold' - What most fanatics don't realize is that at the same time this was a commercial hit , the song 'A horse With No Name' by America was also a hit and the public thought that' Heart of Gold 'and 'A Horse with No Name 'were sang by the same artist ! Weird !!

      'A Lotta Love' Sang by the since deceased Nicolette Larson was played so much on the radio that it made me sick--doesnt the public realize that this is not Neil's best??

      'The Needle and the Damage Done' - A favorite of the FM jockeys to play on the radio.

      'Long May You Run' both the general public and the fanatics agree!! this is a great song!!

      'Harvest Moon' I can't count the number of times I've been at the Supermarket and heard this song over the intercom !

      'From Hank to Hendrix' And I've heard this song over the intercom at the supermarket too.

      'Downtown' Whats weird is I'm finding the fanatics are not so enthused by 'Mirrorball' but I personally love Mirrorball. Whats weird is the song 'Downtown' was a huge commercial success for a short period and they played this song on the radio quite a bit for a short time period though.

      'This Notes For You' --Was a wild craze for a while on MTV."

    Talkin About A Revolution

    And over on Human Highway well, they're talking about Iraq, Bush, medical marijuana and folks' favorite Neil album. Never a dull moment out in the Neil community.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/11/03

    More "On the Beach" Reviews

    From Americana UK Reviews - July 2003, a great web site on, anti-folk, and alt.power-pop:

      "On the Beach" stands up amongst all of the great records of the Seventies, representing the dark height of the singer songwriters, and you can feel the tensions created by the passing of the Crosby generation and the rumbling dissatisfaction of the proto-punks in it's grooves. Who would have thought he would have gone on to be the "Godfather of Grunge"? Well, listening to this record, I for one would believe this man capable of anything he wanted to achieve in music. "

    More from Americana and the sound that Neil Young influenced at Thrasher's Blog.

    pj & neil
    Pearl Jam and Neil Young
    Pearl Jam and Neil's collaborations go back a number of years. With PJ's upcoming appearance at The Bridge Concerts (their 5th appearance), here's a Pearl Jam and Neil Young page chronicling their relationship.

    Fresh Wheat - 10/10/03

    Greendale and Shakey
    From Australia, an article on the upcoming tour Down Under. An interesting juxtaposition regarding Neil's artistic freedom and others regarding Greendale and the Shakey bio:

      "But the new work is also meant as a metaphor for America at large. Young, a contradictory figure of the counter culture who came out in favour of Reagan-era Republicanism because of its focus on family values, now cites the erosion of civil liberties post-September 11 as a major concern. 'The political climate and the policies of the country ... all these things that are happening in the US, they're all part of the story.'

      Yet some might say a concern with civil liberties is a little out of sync with Young's highly publicised efforts to block biographer Jimmy McDonough's biography Shakey. The book started out as a collaborative effort but, after several years research, came to an abrupt halt when Young tried to prevent publication. In response, McDonough sued his subject for $2 million. The matter was eventually settled out of court and the book appeared in 2002. "

    More from The Age at Ain't gettin' old, ain't gettin' younger -

    Fresh Wheat - 10/6/03

    Missing 4
    I really like this comparison of Neil. Appropriate for the baseball season. From a review of the Missing 4 ( On the Beach / American Stars 'n' Bars / Hawks & Doves / Re-ac-tor) at Pitchfork:

      "Still, attention must be paid to the most impressive feat of Young's career: an all-but-perfect streak of very good-to-excellent albums that spanned an incredible, and unparalleled, eleven years. To put it another way, from 1969-1979, Neil Young was rock's Joe Dimaggio."

    Fresh Wheat - Updated 10/2/03

    australia flag
    Australia Greendale Tour Dates
    Greendale goes down under. From BNB, Australia 2003 Tour Dates have been announced:

    11/19 - Brisbane
    11/21 - Sydney
    11/22 - Melbourne

    For updates, check Baron's Crazy Kangaroo - Neil Young tour 2003 in Australia page.

    The Australia leg follows the Japan Tour 2003 dates.

    more barn
    More Barn!
    The legendary More Barn T-shirts are back. See More Barn! for gear and the full story of Neil's response to "How's the sound?"

    Lucinda Williams & The Jayhawks

    Here's a concert review of Lucinda Williams & The Jayhawks on at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.

    Greendale Style Poll
    So which Greendale "style" do you prefer? Unplugged, plugged, or studio?
    Express your opinion! Take the Greendale "style" poll.

    In the previous poll, we asked "How will Neil Young's Greendale rate in 10 years?" A classic like Rust Never Sleeps? Or a throw-away/Geffen-like release?

    Last we checked, an overwhelming majority thought Greendale would become a classic. To check the latest opinion results, go to Poll page.

    See September 2003 news for more on Neil Young's Greendale.

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