Sunday, May 4, 2014

Beck- Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime (live)

Beck channeling Neil Young while covering the Korgis at the behest of Michel Gondry.

Because it’s fun.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ben Gibbard- Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)

Well, gee.  If this doesn’t make me feel better about being awake at 2:30am on a Sunday morning, I don’t know what will.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Johnny Cash and Neil Young - Little Drummer Boy

So this duet really happened.  Kind of amazing that this exists.  I’m starting the Christmas barrage a day early just because this is kinda cool.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Neil Young- Long May You Run (live on Conan’s last Tonight Show)

Stubborn and righteous, there is no entertainer of the last half century who more closely resembles a super-hero than Neil Young.  I’ve been addicted to his live LPs from the 70s lately, especially his Massey Hall show.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
From Paste:

As previously reported, Neil Young and Crazy Horse will reinterpret a number of classic folk tunes on forthcoming album aptly titled Americana. Continuing in this modern twist on traditional American pastimes and culture, Young has enlisted iconic contemporary artist Shepard Fairey to create accompanying images for the LP, which is set for a June 5 release on Warner Brothers.

From Paste:

As previously reported, Neil Young and Crazy Horse will reinterpret a number of classic folk tunes on forthcoming album aptly titled Americana. Continuing in this modern twist on traditional American pastimes and culture, Young has enlisted iconic contemporary artist Shepard Fairey to create accompanying images for the LP, which is set for a June 5 release on Warner Brothers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Now that I’m finally feeling a bit rested and clearheaded, here are some Record Store Day purchases.
The Mynah Birds
A short-lived Motown band from 1966, the MBs featured Neil Young and Rick James (bitch!).  It’s kinda like the Stones or Them, with a little psychedelic feel to it.  It’s pretty great, I think.
New Multitudes
A couple of studio tracks and a couple of demos are on this EP from the alt-country supergroup.  The demos are the real find here.  All lyrics are by Woody Guthrie (whoever that is).
Sufjan Stevens/Rosie Thomas
This is fun stuff from two of my favorite artists.  It makes some generous post-Bon-Iverian use of the auto tuner, which adds an eerie synthetic quality to two of the more painfully earnest voices in indie pop.
Townes Van Zandt
This is a 1987 LP from Townes, and it’s a good one.  The production is refreshingly clean— I had worries about a 1980s Nashville country album that featured a DX-7.  It’s country, though, with some genuinely decent harmonica work, which is pretty rare.
Mates of State
This is an album of covers from indie pop’s durable spouses.  I hadn’t heard any of this, and was a bit worried when a friend told me (post-purchase) that he’d seen them playing this material live and was underwhelmed.  But it’s actually very good, and they make the covers their own.  I still prefer their music when it’s just the two of them playing, but the slightly larger ensemble really works well on this one.
There were other non-purchases that I’ll get when I have a chance— the Uncle Tupelo LPs were pricy, though entirely worth the money.  They should be around a while, though.  There were a couple of killer blues anthologies by Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, and a live Cohen set, which will probably be in my next batch of purchases.  Seeing as I get paid in records, I figured this was the best allocation of my “funds” for the day.
Happy Record Store Day, planet Earth.

Now that I’m finally feeling a bit rested and clearheaded, here are some Record Store Day purchases.

The Mynah Birds

A short-lived Motown band from 1966, the MBs featured Neil Young and Rick James (bitch!).  It’s kinda like the Stones or Them, with a little psychedelic feel to it.  It’s pretty great, I think.

New Multitudes

A couple of studio tracks and a couple of demos are on this EP from the alt-country supergroup.  The demos are the real find here.  All lyrics are by Woody Guthrie (whoever that is).

Sufjan Stevens/Rosie Thomas

This is fun stuff from two of my favorite artists.  It makes some generous post-Bon-Iverian use of the auto tuner, which adds an eerie synthetic quality to two of the more painfully earnest voices in indie pop.

Townes Van Zandt

This is a 1987 LP from Townes, and it’s a good one.  The production is refreshingly clean— I had worries about a 1980s Nashville country album that featured a DX-7.  It’s country, though, with some genuinely decent harmonica work, which is pretty rare.

Mates of State

This is an album of covers from indie pop’s durable spouses.  I hadn’t heard any of this, and was a bit worried when a friend told me (post-purchase) that he’d seen them playing this material live and was underwhelmed.  But it’s actually very good, and they make the covers their own.  I still prefer their music when it’s just the two of them playing, but the slightly larger ensemble really works well on this one.

There were other non-purchases that I’ll get when I have a chance— the Uncle Tupelo LPs were pricy, though entirely worth the money.  They should be around a while, though.  There were a couple of killer blues anthologies by Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, and a live Cohen set, which will probably be in my next batch of purchases.  Seeing as I get paid in records, I figured this was the best allocation of my “funds” for the day.

Happy Record Store Day, planet Earth.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nick Cave- Helpless (Neil Young Cover)

It’s so good to hear one great artist successfully cover another.  Neil Young’s original is one of those tracks which I can’t, in the abstract, imagine being successfully covered.  Yet Nick Cave, as truly brilliant artists are wont to do, proves my doubts wrong.  There’s nothing gimmicky or trite about the way he goes about it, either—  it’s just Nick’s powerful, soulful vocals with amazing musical atmosphere surrounding him. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

J. Tillman- World on a String


Someone who’s relationship to music is solely listening to it may have a hard time understanding the impetus for “covering”, and I can understand why someone could see it as unnecessary/narcissistic, but, to me, performing and recording a song yourself can lend a whole new perspective into why you love it. I view [it] as a natural extension.

Where does Josh Tillman find the time?  He’s still a young guy, but he’s got several albums out, including last year’s incredible Singing Ax.  And he’s done two albums with Fleet Foxes now, and a few EPs thrown in.  There’s a fantastic demo cassette floating around the internet, as well as his cover album of Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night, from which this track is taken.

In a way, I guess he’s a bit like Neil Young himself, who put out an extraordinary number of albums and collaborative projects, especially in his younger days.  Both men have uncanny melodic talents in songwriting, and they share the ability to play sparse solo works and full band arrangements well.  What’s more impressive is that they both possess the sort of voices that are so distinctive, beautiful, and dynamic that their work never gets monotonous or predictable.

Obviously, Tillman is aware of Neil Young, but is Neil Young aware of Tillman?  I’m inclined to think so, since he’s always taken so much interest in the younger generations of musicians.

I’ve posted this link before, but hey, I’ll do it again:  Get your own copy of the cover album here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Can’t sleep at all, and it’s almost morning.  Sigh.  Neil’s sitting up with me, at least.  It’s only castles burning, after all…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

J. Tillman- Tonight’s the Night

One of the reasons I love J. Tillman is that he does things that I would do, if I only had talent and ambition— like covering the entirety of Neil Young’s classic Tonight’s the Night just for fun, and giving away the demos online.  Actually, this is exactly the sort of thing I do all the time.  But my results are never so beautiful or affecting.  Check out the whole album here.