Recently in Music Category
Apparently released last November but somehow just coming to my attention, this record is just wonderful. Recorded and lovingly produced by Mr. Young to his exacting standards, this title is from what is being called the Neil Young Archives with the promise of more to come.
From the on-line store:
This first release is from 1970 and features a Crazy Horse line-up with Danny Whitten, Jack Nitzsche, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina. The show includes an extended "Down By The River" and a 16-minute "Cowgirl In The Sand" (which has previously appeared only on a '90s import). Other songs include Whitten's "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown," as well as "Winterlong," "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "Wonderin'."
The CD/DVD version includes the whole set in High-Resolution audio with photo montages (no video).
The sound is crisp, the energy level high and the mix, especially the vocals with Danny Whitten's great harmony, is very engaging. Not to mention the great guitar work which, when Neil and Whitten get it on, rocks out. Since Whitten died (of a heroin overdose about two years after this recording) the Crazy Horse line up, while now having Frank Sampedro on rythym, who is still great, lacks the challenge that Whitten's guitar work provided.
Highly recommended, five stars, two thumbs up, and all that.
Especially check out the “Silk Road Radio” stream:
At the end of the 13th Century C.E., Marco Polo set out on a legendary journey from Europe to eastern Asia. Looking at rich musical traditions present along the Silk Road (the epic trade routes of Central Asia), music scholars beg the question, “What if Marco Polo had carried a tape recorder?” The central and westeran Asian music played here offers a glimpse of the rich musical life that an intrepid and curious traveler like Marco Polo might find in the lands of the Silk Road today. These tracks span from Xi'an (formerly Chang'an), the capital of ancient China, through central Asia to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and include sounds of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and other Central Eurasian nations and peoples.
While music tracks are playing, a small window is opened and you can click on a link that opens up a web page that shows you “recording info” about the track you are listening to, and let’s you buy the music if you like.
Neil Young's latest album is, to me, in the tradition of Tom Paine's pamphlets in railing against tyranny ... in this case, the war in Iraq and Bush and his gang. The music is energetic and the lyrics speak right to the point. Song titles include Let's Impeach The President, Looking For A Leader. The record closes with a 100 voice choir singing, somewhat cheesily in my mind, but effectively to make a point, America The Beautiful.
Its encouraging to see that many musicians are making records that speak to the dire straights we are in today. Young, acting as the elder statesman that he has become, continuing his tradition of speaking out that started with "Ohio"; remember "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming ... Four dead in O-hi-o". While he lapsed in the '80s in professing support for Reagan ... I am willing to forgive him for that. If nothing else, Neil Young is sincere.
When I was about 11 or 12 and living in Montebello, CA, I had a dream that John Lennon had walked though a door from our garage and was standing in our dining room. Nothing more than that.
As you probably know, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of John’s murder.
Nation columnist David Corn wrote yesterday about and how he reacted to this tragic event by organizing a a demostration for gun control at the NRA in Washington.
The event--as far as such events go--was a success. There was media coverage. Those who had come felt they had done something with their grief and anger. And as almost always happens when a prominent act of gun violence occurs, the topic of handgun was again on the radar screen. Not because of our effort, but we had done our part. However, that moment--like all moments--quickly faded. It is now 25 years later. John Lennon is still dead. (And so is George Harrison.) The NRA years ago moved to a bigger and better headquarters in suburban Virginia. The gun lobby has had its ups and downs, but it's been mostly ups of late (such as the expiration of the ban on assault weapons). Lennon's death, it turns out, was no catalyst for action. And we have still--after all this time--not learned how to stem the tide of gun violence. Which is one of several reasons why this anniversary of Lennon's death is a sad day.
I was strongly affected by the Beatles. I remember being so excited when my dad brought home the "I Want To Hold Your Hand" single (probably the first record I ever owned, although that might have been the Beach Boys "Fun, Fun Fun 'Til My Daddy Took The T-Bird Away") with the four of them on the cover ... Paul intriguingly holding a cigarette! My dad also brought home a Beatles wig for me. My grandfather had given me a a burgudy red Toshiba transitor radio, with a brown leather case. I was glued to that thing, listening to KRLA and KHJ (Boss Radio) especially. Follow the links to take a trip down memory lane. Just reading the DJ names from the '60s is a trip.
George was and is still my favorite Beatle. The "quiet" one. But all of them and their music were and still are very special to me.
John, I miss you.
A new "documentary portrait" of Bob Dylan by Martin Scorsese No Direction Home will air on PBS'S American Masters series, September 26-27 (check local listings) and in the UK on BBC'S Arena series September 26.
The two-part film, which focuses on the singer-songwriter's life and music from 1961-66, includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan's during that time. Dylan talks openly and extensively about this critical period in his career, detailing the journey from his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, to Greenwich Village, New York, where he became the center of a musical and cultural upheaval, the effects of which are still felt today.
For the first time, The Bob Dylan Archives has made available rare treasures from its film, tape and stills collection, including footage from Murray Lerner's film Festival documenting performances at the 1963, 1964 and 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, previously unreleased outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker's famed 1967 documentary Don't Look Back, and interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and many others. In anticipation of the film, members of Dylan's worldwide community of fans also contributed rarities from their own collections.
While I like many of Scorsese's films, he seems to always excel when he deals with music. Remember The Last Waltz, his contributions to to the PBS series "The Blues" and even the musical New York, New York. I'm looking forward to it.
While I'm on the subject of Dylan, the first volume of his memoirs, Chronicals, Vol. 1, is a remarkable book. Different from any musician's biography that you will ever read.
CoverFlow is one of the coolest applications I've seen in a long time. It allows you to visually browse through your digital music collection by virtually "flipping" through the images of album covers. CoverFlow is still in its early stages of development and hopefully the author will integrate it more closely with iTunes. And sorry you PC guys and gals, but it is for Mac only ... which will be a recurring trend on this site.