Monday, May 04, 2009

Old Neil Young

Old man, take a look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were
-- Neil Young, "Old Man," 1971

Comes a time when the hippies start looking old, and for Neil that moment has come. It's okay. He's certainly not going out peacefully or quietly. His latest album, Fork in the Road, reminds me of why I love him. He's cantankerous, ornery, and he plays a great guitar.

There's a bailout comin' but it's not for you/It's for all those creeps hiding what they do," he sings on one song. On another one he asks, "Where did all the money go/Where did all the cash flow?" Let me know if you figure it out, Neil. These rhymes are not going to win him any poetry laurels. But they sure do strike a nerve. I'm going to be reviewing the new one for Paste. Neil hasn't done a thing to impress me in well over ten years, but this one is decent, raw, unpoetic, and pissed off. I'll take that.

I'm also going to be reviewing the long-awaited Archives release. Neil's (reportedly) kept a bunch of goodies in the vault for decades. I look forward to hearing these songs, some of which are legendary.


Pilgrim said...

Neil Young's impressed me in the past ten years. He has continued to step up to the plate to care for a son with a significant disability.
Any more, that's what it takes to impress me.
(Last night, we had supper with a family who's up two to three times a night to turn their son in bed, so he doesn't develop sores.)
This faithfulness of Neil's is no small thing, and it's not in a different world than his music.

Andy Whitman said...

Certainly that's impressive, Julana. I was commenting solely on his music, of course. But yeah, he's a good dude and a good dad. I salute all the parents who sacrifice so much and so willingly to care for their children.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Young is a hard one for me to overly criticize. I avoid the early 80s albums when most of the old schoolers went off the tracks. I have alot of great memories attached to his songs and concerts. The newest album isn't one of my faves but I've listened to it a couple of times so far and have yet to say anything good or bad about it. He seems to have played his cards right over the course of his career. No overdoses, he's not broke and doesn't do tours "reunion" style. That's saying something for a guy his age.


Anonymous said...

He played Jazz Fest in New Orleans last weekend, where his set apparently closed with an 18-minute version of Down By The River and a version of Rockin' in the Free World that was so intense that he ripped the strings from his guitar as it fed back into the crowd. All of this in the daytime, while Guy Clark played on another stage.

Pilgrim said...

Yes, Andy, I know you were commenting on his music. 'ts ok.