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Song for the Rough Week Ahead – Don’t Cry No More Tears

Video – Neil Young and Crazy Horse “Twisted Road”

Offical Video – Walk Like a Giant

We get our first glimpse of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s forthcoming album Psychedelic Pill with the ‘single edit’ of Walk Like A Giant. The track is listed at 16 minutes but this video is only four and a half minutes long…but it is a very powerful four point five. More Barn!

Just a quick reminder that Neil’s autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, is out today.

Like a Hurricane…the Flood of Neil Young Releases

If you happen to be a  Neil Young fan this fall is going to be fun. There are so many new releases coming out soon. First up is his autobiography, ‘Waging Heavy Peace‘ with the moved up release date of September 25. Hopefully it will be better than it’s title…

If you are bucks up there is a deluxe signed edition on Amazon for $500, but with the Amazon discount it is only $337.50. Or if you are one of the 1% and have money to burn, you can donate $1,500 to the Bridge School (totally tax deductible…like you pay taxes, rich bastards) and you will receive a personalized copy signed by Neil…I will stick to the e-reader version.

Next up on October 16 will see the DVD and Blu-ray release of Journeys. It is the latest Jonathan Demme directed Neil Young concert film. This one was filmed on Neil’s solo tour from last year called the Twisted Road. Filmed in Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall it is an up close look at Neil solo and plugged in.

And last, but in no ways least, on October 30 the new double CD from Neil Young and Crazy Horse will see the light of day. Titled Psychedelic Pill it will feature all new original material. It will also be released as a triple vinyl record set. A double CD and triple vinyl release for eight songs (and a bonus mix of the title track)…got to love that. But I don’t love the price tag for the vinyl set…87 bucks. Damn, that is just too much.

Disc One:
1 Driftin’ Back (27:36)
2 Psychedelic Pill (3:26)
3 Ramada Inn (16:49)
4 Born In Ontario (3:49)

Disc Two:
1 Twisted Road (3:28)
2 She’s Always Dancing (8:33)
3 For The Love Of Man (4:13)
4 Walk Like A Giant (16:27)

Bonus Track:
5 Psychedelic Pill (Alternate Mix)

Plus you have the second leg of the Crazy Horse tour, the Bridge School Benefit concerts and Farm Aid…and I bet you can throw in a couple of TV appearances in the mix. Gonna be a fun fall…

Psychedelic Pill

Official Press Release…


August 24, 2012

Psychedelic Pill will be released in October. It was recorded right after Americana at Audio Casa Blanca. A double-CD and triple-vinyl will be released because of the lengths of many of the songs, some of which were previewed in Crazy Horse’s live performances earlier this month. In the spirit of Americana’s release, full length videos for each of the songs will be available and previewed. A recommended high resolution 24/192 full fidelity version of the album Psychedelic Pill will be released on Blu-ray and will include all the videos. The low resolution iTunes downloads will also be accompanied by videos. Thanks for listening.

Looking forward to a three record set…drool…

Concert Review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Lake Tahoe, NV 08-09-2012

I wish I could write some crazy Fear and Loathing style review where I was gulping down handfuls of drugs and drinking gallons of booze as Neil Young played the perfect soundtrack to my ‘under the influence’ swagger, but that would be the farthest from the truth…no drugs or alcohol were consumed on this trip. Although Neil Young did create the almost perfect soundtrack to accompany my many moods of late.

After the short trip up the hill from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe my wife and I spent some time walking around Harvey’s Casino looking for something to eat before the show. Let me give you some advice, if you are looking for a quick bite to eat and you find yourself in Harvey’s you want to stay away from Sierra Choice Deli located on the casino floor…total over-priced tasteless garbage. I am not a food snob but this overpriced soup and sandwich was just was not good.

We did win a little small amount of change while we were in the casino…enough to cover the garbage dinner and pay for a couple of concert T’s. After an hour or so in the casino we made our way out to the back parking lot where the concert amphitheater was located. This was our first time at the venue and although it was no more than a parking lot with bleachers and a stage it seemed just about perfect. Plenty of venders with food and drink to choose from. Easy to get into and afterward easy to get out of…and the weather on the evening of the show was perfect.

After we found where our seats were on the right side of the stage we went to check out the T-shirts and grab a soda before the band came on. The wait in the line for the merchandise table was the only bummer of the night. We waited in what was a haphazard line for 35 minutes, but everyone was courteous and seemed to be in a good mood for the most part, talking about Neil shows they had seen in the past.

We had bleacher seats on the Neil side, back about 100yds or so…right behind the handicap section. Right at 9pm the lights went down and the ‘boys’ took the stage. Everyone looked a little older, carrying a little more weight and some had a little less hair. The sound was strong with Neil’s vocals out front and crystal clear as the band played the opening song, ‘Love and Only Love‘ from the album Ragged Glory from 1991. The song went like this…guitar jam, verse, guitar jam, verse, guitar jam, bridge, guitar jam, verse, guitar jam. After a short 15 minutes the opening song was history. From this one song I knew some people were going to be in for a long night. That opening song set the tone for the evening. This would be a night dominated by the big sounds of crunchy guitars and playful noise. Not that there wouldn’t be heartfelt ballads or acoustic songs (there would be), but the endless ‘Horse Huddles’ were the bread and butter of this show.

Six new or unreleased songs were played. Only one song from the newest album got aired and the biggest ‘hits’ played were Cinnamon Girl and The Needle and the Damage Done. Of the new songs Walk Like a Giant is an epic song and an epic coda. In Tahoe the song clocked in at 23 minutes…approximately the last 7 and a half minutes was a noisy outro with Neil and the band making their instruments scream. As this was going on the guy behind me yelled, ‘Just end it already.’ I was eating it up. That one song made my night.

Walk Like A Giant – Lake Tahoe, NV 08-09-2012

The show did seemed to hit a slight drag right smack dab in the middle of the two hour show. After the initial onslaught of the first four songs we got a two song Neil solo acoustic set then a couple of slower full band songs (both new) and the setlist could have used a mid tempo ‘hit’ between those numbers to keep the crowd placated. But that is my only less than positive observation of the whole night.

The other highlight for me was during a raunchy version of the song ‘Fuckin’ Up‘ when Neil yelled that he was ‘just a fuck-up’ and ‘played only one note’… ‘I can’t play this thing’, he joyously yelled over the Crazy Horse din. It was easy to see that everyone on stage was having a great time. Crazy Horse guitarist Poncho Sampedro was grinning, jumping around and even giving Neil a couple of boots to the ass during the fun jams. For a person aged 66 Neil was acting like a man half his age. Stomping on his foot pedals and strangling shrieks and screams from his guitar, staring at Poncho, laughing with Poncho…

Fuckin’ Up – Tahoe, NV 08-09-2012

Speaking of Poncho, Rolling Stone magazine online published a story where he talked about a new album of original material called Psychedelic Pill which may be in the stores for when the tour resumes in October, but with Neil you never know. He also talked about recording the aforementioned Walk Like a Giant…”We played it one time and the next thing we know we’re doing overdubs. Then he played it for us. The playback just blew our minds. We had no idea we’d done something that big. I imagine it’s about Earth being destroyed by this giant, and we’re screening the planet for survivors and shit. I have all these images going through my head. It’s really crazy.”

Seeing Neil Young in concert is always a treat, but when he is paired up with the Horse it seems like a little something special is put into that one fucking note he plays. It might be just one note, but it is the perfect note in this non-perfect band. The concert was maybe not as mind blowing as when I saw them in 91, but pretty damn close.

Capture the Moment in a Photograph…

Neil Young and Crazy Horse caught in one of the many jams on August 09, 2012 at Lake Tahoe, NV.

Walk Like A Giant

…indeed, the Horse is back. Neil has played three shows into this short first leg of his tour with Crazy Horse and the setlist has not varied except for the encore slot. I have heard the first Red Rocks show and the new songs (six of them) sound pretty damn good. But the stand out song of the new bunch for me is the epic Walk Like A Giant. It has it all…big loud guitars, catchy whistling, beautiful imagery in the lyrics and a feedback coda that goes on forever. This could be the next great song in Neil’s vast musical career. And that just might turn out to be an understatement…the song is just otherworldly.

A partial video has surfaced on You Tube and although the extended ending is missing you will get a feel on this monster.

I am slightly geeked out…

Early last week when the Neil Young and Crazy Horse North American tour was announced I looked at the dates knowing what I would find. Or rather what I would not find…a show around my area of northern California. It had been announced earlier (last month) that Neil and the Horse were headlining one of the nights at the San Francisco music festival called Outside Lands…and bands that play any of the major festivals have to sign a exclusivity clause which forbids the artist from performing in up to a 300 mile radius of the festival. I scanned the dates and sure enough nothing in Northern California except that huge all day festival and I am just not going to fight traffic, fight for parking and wade through the sea of humanity to get something to eat or use the bathroom…even if it is my only chance to see one of my favorite musical artists.

I have seen Neil perform at a couple of his Bridge School concerts but those are always low key acoustic affairs. I have had the pleasure of seeing Neil with Crazy Horse only one time. It was an amazingly brutal experience.

…It was 1991 and Neil was coming out of a pretty horrible decade music wise for him, but he had bounced back with two excellent albums Freedom (from ’89) and Ragged Glory (from ’90). Ragged Glory was made with Crazy Horse and it was a true return to form. He was also being embraced by a new rock movement called ‘Grunge’. They were calling him the Godfather of Grunge and it seemed that Neil was out to wear the title with pride. So when a tour stop was announced for Sacramento I grabbed a ticket.

He had assembled a tour with punks Social Distortion and Sonic Youth opening up the show. One would think that would be signal enough to people that this was not going to be acoustic Neil strumming Heart of Gold and Helpless, but as I listened to the pre-show chatter I knew that most people had no clue what they were in for. Before the show I met up with an older couple that I knew we made arrangements to meet up again after the two opening bands were done to chat about it. I took my seats and watched the hippie crowd sit quietly for Social Distortion. I was wondering what people were thinking. When Sonic Youth hit the stage with their trademark feedback assault I was grinning ear to ear. They were relentless. They were even playing classic rock out of a mic’ed boombox between their numbers…and I noticed boos from the crowd. By the time they finished their set with the feedback assault of the 15 minute Expressway to Yr. Skull the audience was upset and restless…I loved it.

When I met up with my friends again they were aghast at how bad that band was. They told me they were ready for some Neil Young music. I grinned and told them to enjoy it. I left them to head back to their high dollar seats close to the stage. After a short break, the lights went down and something very similar to this happened…

Now imagine that level of playing and distortion played for 95 minutes with little room to catch your breath. They played only 12 songs in that set and Cinnamon Girl was the biggest ‘hit’ out of the bunch. It was incredible and my friends hated it. They hated the opening bands and they hated Neil Young that night. It was one of the better night’s of my life.

So last Sunday night when I looked over the new tour dates I was disappointed, but that is the way it goes.

neil young live on stage screaming

But that all changed on Thursday of last week when Another Planet Entertainment announced Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena (aka the back parking lot at Harvey’s Casino) on Thursday August 9th. Lake Tahoe is a short 90 minute drive from my home and I can’t be happier. Neil is one artist that my wife and I both enjoy, so we are planning on making a long weekend around the concert. Plus the venue is fairly small with a capacity of 7,000, so I’ll be fine with a cheaper bleacher seat…if I can score tickets.

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