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Living with War
April 28, 2006 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Living with War. Neil Young's new album is being streamed over the internet in its entirety. (via TMW)
posted by XQUZYPHYR (131 comments total)

 
This is awesome.

I predict someone in this thread will tell us why it sucks. I predict someone will then tell them why they are mistaken.

I can't wait.
posted by bondcliff at 8:58 AM on April 28, 2006


It seems that after the garden is gone, there will be much buffering.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:58 AM on April 28, 2006


It sucks.

Wait! I keed! I keed!
posted by rinkjustice at 9:02 AM on April 28, 2006


Bondcliff: I think we've done that already.

Neil's brother Robert gave the Globe and Mail's music reviewer a sneak preview earlier this week, his full "review" is here.

The money quotes:

"Living With War is a fierce, comprehensive indictment of the Bush administration and all its failures, at home and abroad, but it doesn't feel like an outsider's dissent. It's the work of someone who clearly identifies with the core values of ordinary Middle Americans who voted for Bush, who sent their sons and daughters to war, and who are beginning to feel betrayed."

And:

"Young supported Reagan, and was one of the first major rock musicians to lend support to the so-called war on terror, in his 2001 song Let's Roll. It would seem to be a challenge for Bush's allies to brush off his attacks on "the shadow man running the government." But the struggle is already skewed in their favour, because most of these songs probably won't make it on to American radio, which is heavily dominated by the ClearChannel empire. Those are the folks, you may remember, who yanked the Dixie Chicks from the airwaves after Natalie Maines dared to criticize the President in front of a microphone.

Young knows all about that, which is why this album will be streamed for free on his website (http://www.neilyoung.com) for a week starting Friday, before a commercial release on Reprise/Warner. It's going to spread on-line, and on college radio, and by word of mouth. It's a media virus, and it's also Young's strongest record in years."
posted by docgonzo at 9:03 AM on April 28, 2006


5 seconds of song...
"Hmm, that's not too bad."
... Buffering
"Ghah!"
5 seconds of song...
"Hmm, that's not too - GHAH!!!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 AM on April 28, 2006


I turned it off in the middle of the second song because I couldn't take the lag. But so far it sounds really good.

Bondcliff: I think we've done that already.

When has that ever stopped us from arguing about a topic?
posted by bondcliff at 9:09 AM on April 28, 2006


i actually don't like Neil Young's music very much, and what this album sounds like is new lyrics over every other album he's ever done (with or without CSN) HOWEVER I love the sentiment and i think the free streaming is SUPER awesomebadass. I wish more artists would do this kind of thing. Hey, just cause i don't like the music, doesn't mean i can't like the idea. I say keep on rockin' in the free world, Neil!
posted by indiebass at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2006


When has that ever stopped us from arguing about a topic?

Heh -- Just noting the thread for the record, nothin' more.
posted by docgonzo at 9:20 AM on April 28, 2006


what this album sounds like is new lyrics over every other album he's ever done

He's always done a lot of music recycling - this can be boring, or (to me) very powerful, as when Harvest Moon built new, older themes over Harvest.

I love that he can change his mind and be wrong. He can be a blowhard, a bore and a boor, and from what I hear, a real jerk. But the open recognition of these facts and what feels to me like a truly open and feelingful humanity redeems all transgression. That and making science fiction folk "grunge" and his Fishbone tshirt.

having said that, and not yet heard the album, I'm worried it will be more in the key of "over simple lecture" and "bombast" than my favorite work of his. But I surely intend to check it out.
posted by freebird at 9:24 AM on April 28, 2006


I don't know if it's just my mood at the moment, but I like it a bunch. I'm not too much for the rock stars saying "Now I will blow my trumpet and the walls will come tumbling down" as an ego protest (Hey did you know George Clooney is concerned about Darfour?) but I do think there is a good place for political music as a soundtrack to a moment, hopefully this is more of the latter.

And yeah, "no war" buffer "no war" buffer, yikes it's 1998 all over again.

Trans is still Neils secret crazy killer album though.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:26 AM on April 28, 2006


I'll <ahem> wait for the torrent album. (do they still make those anymore?)
posted by blue_beetle at 9:27 AM on April 28, 2006


which is why this album will be streamed for free on his website (http://www.neilyoung.com) for a week starting Friday

Free for a week. Heh. That's so cute.
posted by Bonzai at 9:31 AM on April 28, 2006


"Free for a week. Heh. That's so cute."

? I don't get the snark.... explain for the old people please.
posted by HuronBob at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2006


didn't neil young kick off a while back about how all digital music was bunk, and analogue was the only true sound?
posted by slixtream at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2006


Hey, thanks for this post, I was actually just searching for the album after hearing about it yesterday on Sirius.

Speaking of Neil Young, he and his wife will receive honorary doctorates from San Francisco State University for founding and fundraising for The Bridge School.
posted by sarahnade at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2006


Kickass. I hope more people with "clout" start releasing internet only music. Tell the fans, the only money I want is when you come to my show. That would be interesting.
posted by bobjohnsonmilw at 9:40 AM on April 28, 2006


Hey, it doesn't suck at all. In fact it rocks.
posted by unSane at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2006


I hope more people with "clout" start releasing internet only music.

It'll only be streamed for a week and then offered for sale at your favourite record retailer.

And yes, Neil wrote an op-ed in Harper's back in the mid-90s about how all his albums sounded like shit on CD. It was, allegedly, the reason some of his LPs (the "missing six") weren't available until very recently.
posted by docgonzo at 9:50 AM on April 28, 2006


didn't neil young kick off a while back about how all digital music was bunk, and analogue was the only true sound?
posted by slixtream at 12:35 PM EST on April 28 [!]


Well yeah, analog sound waves are better than digital ones. It's just the medium they're delivered on that kills it.

But Neil was into "digital" music years and years ago, though that album, in my subjective opinion, was horrible.
posted by juiceCake at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2006


Streaming whole albums online isn't exactly underground or "putting it to the man". MTV does it.
posted by smackfu at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2006


Given that, here's Pearl Jam's new one.
posted by smackfu at 10:03 AM on April 28, 2006


Not horrible. Restless Consumer was good. I'll need a second and third listen -- without the aforementioned buffering.

It seems that after the garden is gone, there will be much buffering.

Thanks for the laugh, robocop is bleeding.
posted by mania at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2006


We're sorry, this feature requires the Mozilla ActiveX Plugin. Click here to install.
Err, no thanks.
posted by skallas at 10:09 AM on April 28, 2006


Back and forward buttons would be nice.
posted by emelenjr at 10:14 AM on April 28, 2006


I wouldn't be surprised if this were already avilable elsewhere.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:16 AM on April 28, 2006


Er, available that is.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:16 AM on April 28, 2006


Nuts! I was part-way through track 9 & I lost it:
Network Error (tcp_error)


A communication error occurred: "Operation timed out"
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.

For assistance, contact your network support team.
I suppose there are a lot of straws sucking that stuff down right now.

Anyway, the first 8 tracks are sounding pretty good in my head phones now that I've pulled them out of my cache.

LOL Ripping 8 tracks...makes me feel lke a kid again... I'll get the rest later...
posted by taosbat at 10:16 AM on April 28, 2006


But will it permeate the filter?
Will 12-year-olds be walkin down the street hummin: "Don't need no more lies!" ??

ITMFA
posted by ahimsakid at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2006


I haven't bought a Neil Young album since "Harvest Moon" - which, IMHO, was about the best rock album ever written/perfromed about aging gracefully. I'd buy this one for the subject matter alone - but it's nice to hear that it might actually be worth the money in spite of that.
posted by kgasmart at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2006


thanks for the link. this needs to leak like now...
posted by dig_duggler at 10:23 AM on April 28, 2006


Perhaps I should repeat myself?
posted by stinkycheese at 10:24 AM on April 28, 2006


Good ol' Neil. I'll be buying this album. ("Buying?" "Album?" My age is showing)

Trans is still Neils secret crazy killer album though.

Years ago I wrote a story about my friend Janet getting her first tattoo. Here's how the story ended:

Instantly you decide to get the cover of the Neil Young album "Trans" tattooed across your chest. Then you realize it would be too expensive. Ah, well-- you don't really want to face up to a lifetime of defending "Trans" at public pools.

POOL SCOFFLAW
"Trans?" Hey, pal-- that album eats.

YOU
No, no-- "Transistor Man" isn't a bad song, just give it a chance.

PASSING MOTORIST (Balding, waiting at red light, shouting from his car window)
You know what I think? I think that before he recorded that album ol' Neil got all gooned up on loco weed & then saw four screenings of "Tron" back to back.

YOU
Hey, shut up!


You vault the pool fence & punch the motorist right in his fat yap.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:24 AM on April 28, 2006


I'm amazed there hasn't been a negative post yet, so I'll write one for the trolls who must still be asleep. Guys (and you know who you are), let me know if this passes muster with you:

To Hell with Neil Young! Fuck that commie, leftist, irrelevant old man! Since when has anything an entertainer said been relevant or worthwhile? Hell, he's not even American! He's from like Canadia!

I hope that's good enough. Feel free to use this post as a template for further textual defenestration of mister Young's career and viewpoints.
posted by wakko at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2006


I'm mostly impressed that N.Y. had the self-restraint to wait on this until Bush had really screwed things up enough that no reasonable person could disagree with the sentiment. You know he's wanted to make this album for years, and was just waiting and waiting.

That said, I really like the one song Neil Young wrote that he changes the lyrics, tempo and key on over and over again. Most bands who play the same song all the time in different keys don't have nearly as good a song as Neil.

I'd say one of the only genres that can endure as much of that sort of thing as Neil's without sucking is the blues.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2006


This is LOVELY , a few minutes in and i'd say its on a par with 'ragged glory'......in the interests of balance ..........all is not lost George ! at least you still has Manowar in your corner !
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2006


Perhaps I should repeat myself

It is not leaked dude. I have looked everywhere. Even my super secret places. If you know different puleeze email me to the source...
posted by dig_duggler at 10:34 AM on April 28, 2006


If Neil Young really cared about freedom, the link would be to bittorrentable mp3s.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:36 AM on April 28, 2006


Manowar. Heh. I love the implied white supremacism in that cover. It should be called "Wester European and Scandinavian Warriors of the World."

So yeah. I've never been that into Neil Young but when traffic dies down I'm curious to hear this.
posted by bardic at 10:36 AM on April 28, 2006


OK, OK, here it is.

I was just trying to be subtle.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:37 AM on April 28, 2006


Gracias, stinkycheese.
posted by emelenjr at 10:40 AM on April 28, 2006


That chrisgoesrock site is awesome.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:41 AM on April 28, 2006


gracias. This is really a fine album from my favorite artist.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:43 AM on April 28, 2006


Yes, it pretty much blows everything else out of the water. Scroll down for the Buffalo Springfield set too.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:43 AM on April 28, 2006


The Arzachel is really nice also.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:45 AM on April 28, 2006


Neil Young? More like Neil Old!
posted by gigawhat? at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2006


You know he's wanted to make this album for years...

Maybe, but I bet he would preferred not to have had to.
posted by pax digita at 10:55 AM on April 28, 2006


Maybe, but I bet he would preferred not to have had to.

I'm pretty sure he didn't have to, but I understand what you're saying. But do protest singers really hope that there's nothing to protest?
posted by JekPorkins at 10:58 AM on April 28, 2006


To Hell with Neil Young! Fuck that commie, leftist, irrelevant old man! Since when has anything an entertainer said been relevant or worthwhile? Hell, he's not even American! He's from like Canadia!

That's not the line I would take. I would point out that Neil Young endorsed Ronald Reagan-- the same Ronald Reagan that a few years earlier (as governor of California) had expressed his wish to harm student protestors*. So I guess Neil Young got over Kent State.

* "If there has to be a bloodbath, let's get it over with."
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:59 AM on April 28, 2006


But do protest singers really hope that there's nothing to protest?

*rolls eyes*
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:59 AM on April 28, 2006


Well, it definitely sounds like hurried reworkings of good ol' Neil Young chord sequences, and some of the performances are pretty shaky (how appropriate), but I like it a lot better than the massively overrated "Prairie Wind".

Track 5 (Families) is good.
posted by Decani at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2006


I don't get the snark.... explain for the old people please

First, I am one of the old people.

bittorrent makes everything free.
posted by Bonzai at 11:06 AM on April 28, 2006


I know some here will razz me for this, but believe it or not, a song can make a difference.

It's one thing to touch someone's mind (TNR). It's another to justify their fears and prejudices (talking to you, Rush).

But when you can steal someone's heart, you can change the world.
posted by rougy at 11:09 AM on April 28, 2006


Was Landing on Water worse than Dog eat Dog?
posted by cytherea at 11:10 AM on April 28, 2006


The Restless Consumer is awesome.

Now about those Archives tapes....
posted by dig_duggler at 11:11 AM on April 28, 2006


Trans is still Neils secret crazy killer album though.

Correct.

I've been able to listen to the stream straight through after letting it sit on pause for a while. I'm very pleased with it despite it meeting my expectation of it being a little thin and a little rushed.

I like how he doesn't pretend to have a coherent personality.
posted by Aghast. at 11:13 AM on April 28, 2006


It's another to justify their fears and prejudices (talking to you, Rush).

How dare you insult Neil Young's fellow Canadian rockers like that?! When has Geddy Lee ever justified someone's fears and prejudices against anything other than overly busy basslines?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:14 AM on April 28, 2006


Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:18 AM on April 28, 2006


Wow -- just finished a first listen and I gots to say it's his best work since Hawks and Doves.*


* AKA his best album.
posted by docgonzo at 11:19 AM on April 28, 2006


Jek - I laugh - ha HA!

I'm listening to "Shock and Awe" right now.

Honestly - this is pretty good stuff.

The chorus in the background really adds something to the words.

I wonder if that's a subliminal influence, to hear all of those voices singing the same anthem?
posted by rougy at 11:23 AM on April 28, 2006


The album ends with a pretty strong, traditional rendition of America The Beautiful. I think it's a smart way to end the album.
posted by NationalKato at 11:24 AM on April 28, 2006


er......password anyone ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:28 AM on April 28, 2006


"The album's release is a high-tech, globe-spanning update of a topical song tradition that's much older than recordings: the broadside, a songwriter's rapid response to events of the day. 'They had these songs that everybody knew the melodies to,' Mr. Young said. 'They'd just write new words, and the minstrels would be traveling around spreading the word. Music spreads like wildfire when you do it that way.'" [New York Times]
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on April 28, 2006


"As in the 60's, protest songs risk self-righteousness and preaching only to the converted. Only the most generalized ones outlast the interest in whatever headlines inspired them. There's not a lot of mystery to the songs on 'Living With War'; they make their points as forthrightly as possible. Yet in the Internet era information — not just songs but blogs, videos, photos, drawings, e-mail jottings — is in the paradoxical position of being published worldwide and perhaps archived forever, but also being impulsive and ephemeral. A song for the Internet doesn't have to be one for the ages. Like an old broadside, it just has to get around for its moment, for right now. 'Living With War' — irate, passionate, tuneful, thoughtful and obstinate — is definitely worth a click." [New York Times]
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on April 28, 2006


sgt. - chrisgoesrock.blogspot.com
posted by stinkycheese at 11:30 AM on April 28, 2006


keep on rocking in the freeworld!
posted by nola at 11:32 AM on April 28, 2006


"Let's impeach the president for hijackin our religion and using it to get elected"

!!!
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:33 AM on April 28, 2006


cheers !
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:36 AM on April 28, 2006


"On The Beach" is my favorite Neil Young song. This album is great for the guitar tone alone.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:41 AM on April 28, 2006


I really like the fuzzy "Like a Hurricane" guitar. He hasn't done that in a while.

Prairie Wind was excellent, IMO.

To those complaining that it sounds too much like Neil Young, I say exactly. Innovation solely for innovation's sake is an empty pursuit. At this point in his life, Neil has a voice and a modality that not only strongly identifies his work, but has influenced artists in and across his genre for thirty years, and showed itself applicable to the seasons of a life. Not as easy a thing to do as it may sound like.

That being said: I am a huge NY fan. I like this, I'm proud of him, and it's good work. But I have to admit, I don't think I'll be going back to this in five years, though I will go back toPrairie Wind and Harvest Moon and much of the older stuff. These songs are commendable, but I think they fall into the category of topical writing aimed at a single dimension of expression. That was certainly a conscious choice, and there's nothing wrong with that. Interestingly, it's not the content of the songs, but the structure, that does this. A song like Ohio can achieve timelessness despite being topical, because at its lyrical and musical core that song centers on the grief of an unjust individual loss. The sounds support the idea of anger and pain, and the details then become not just reportage, but also work on an allegorical level.

"Flags of Freedom" is really good, though. I'd like to hear this acoustically.
posted by Miko at 11:48 AM on April 28, 2006


Sounds good and it's a great idea. Things would've been so much better for bands (and fans alike) if they'd embraced the internet in this manner so much earlier. Clear Channel can suck it.
posted by Skygazer at 11:50 AM on April 28, 2006


Hm. By "Exactly", I meant yes it does sound like Neil Young, and that's good. On reread, it wasn't clear.
posted by Miko at 11:51 AM on April 28, 2006


Sure beats that lame-ass Beastie Boys protest song.
posted by NationalKato at 11:55 AM on April 28, 2006


stinkycheese, I must be doing something wrong, I have the .rar file but I can't open. My cutezip should be able to open it. I didn't see a place to use the pw... What am I doing wrong here?
posted by taosbat at 11:55 AM on April 28, 2006


Innovation solely for innovation's sake is an empty pursuit.

i'm with you miko.
posted by nola at 12:01 PM on April 28, 2006


Oh boy. Well, I use UnRarX (which you can get here). Once that's up, I first click where it says Password & enter the password, and then I just drag the .rar file over the UnRarX icon & it unzips. That's for a Mac. I've never opened .rar files on a PC, so I guess somebody else would have to chime in on that score.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:02 PM on April 28, 2006


Neil Young is great and this album is good. I'm halfway through it.

I'm 28 and have been starting to feel ...unprotected... by the 1960s cultural icons retiring, getting older, dying -- leaving the burden of dreaming and changing the world to us. So I'm glad Neil Young is still around and putting out new stuff.

For cultural critique by Neil Young, though, don't miss the song Trans Am -- apocalyptic.
posted by salvia at 12:04 PM on April 28, 2006


Hey Fuzzy Monster, its good that you didn't get that tattoo. The name of the song is transformer man, not transister man!
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:09 PM on April 28, 2006


Salvia: I'm 28 and have been starting to feel ...unprotected... by the 1960s cultural icons retiring, getting older, dying -- leaving the burden of dreaming and changing the world to us. So I'm glad Neil Young is still around and putting out new stuff.


Thanks for articulating that. You are so right on. It's an uneasiness I've been feeling for a while as well. Everytime one of these cultural icons forged in the 60's or even the 50's, 40's and 30's dies out, I seriously wonder if people my age and younger will remember or know what it's like to be truly tolerant and unafraid to express themselves, speak truth to power and a live life they choose (however weird and quirky and strange it may be) and not chosen for them by a religion, madison avenue and or a political party.
posted by Skygazer at 12:21 PM on April 28, 2006


Now on a second listen it rocks pretty fucking good.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:24 PM on April 28, 2006


so i guess this chick was right, after all...
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:24 PM on April 28, 2006


>> ...unprotected... by the 1960s cultural icons retiring, getting older, dying

Nonsense! We have, umm, Rage Against the Machine and Ted Leo to protect us. Okay, we're screwed.

Well, the ideals of a generation die off with that generation. If you can't keep the ship from sinking, arguably you don't deserve to ride on it.
posted by skallas at 12:30 PM on April 28, 2006


No one has the answer,
But one thing is true,
You've got to turn on evil,
When it's coming after you,
You've gotta face it down,
And when it tries to hide,
You've gotta go in after it,
And never be denied,
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.

Let's roll for freedom,
Let's roll for love,
We're going after satan,
On the wings of a dove,
Let's roll for justice,
Let's roll for truth,
Let's not let our children,
Grow up fearful in their youth.


What's that, Neal Young? I can't hear you because my ears are still bleeding. "Let's Roll" will forever be the words by which I identify the psychological campaign of terror our nation has succumbed to.
posted by prostyle at 12:30 PM on April 28, 2006


Yay. I planned to look for it online when it heard (on TV) that it would be there, but I'm lazy, so having it posted to MeFi is much easier!
posted by easternblot at 12:35 PM on April 28, 2006


Wouldn't that have been great if that guy on the plane had said something like "now let's get kicking butts" or something? And then everytime Bush wanted to look macho, he'd have to say "now let's get kicking butts!"And Neil Young would've written a song called "Let's Get Kicking Butts", and...yeah...
posted by stinkycheese at 12:35 PM on April 28, 2006


I can understand going after the terrorists - it's just that's not what we did.

Wish I could skip to "Let's impeach the president". Lame that you can't. What song number is that?
posted by xammerboy at 12:41 PM on April 28, 2006


Everytime one of these cultural icons forged in the 60's or even the 50's, 40's and 30's dies out, I seriously wonder if people my age and younger will remember or know what it's like to be truly tolerant and unafraid to express themselves, speak truth to power and a live life they choose (however weird and quirky and strange it may be) and not chosen for them by a religion, madison avenue and or a political party.

The "fuck you" rebelliousness that at one time reigned in rock has pretty much died completely - with a scant few exceptions, and too many of them over age 30.

Modern metal seems to be about raging against your own angst. Rap seems to be about raging against your rivals. Artists today (and here I'm generalizing, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care) don't seem to lift their eyes above this.

Where's today's MC5, that's what I wanna know.
posted by kgasmart at 12:48 PM on April 28, 2006


Thanks stinkycheese,

WinRAR 3.60 beta 2 [Trial] got 'er done. That's better than the swfs I pulled out of my cache.
posted by taosbat at 12:51 PM on April 28, 2006


Hey Fuzzy Monster, its good that you didn't get that tattoo. The name of the song is transformer man, not transistor man!

D'oh!

I mean, uh... of course I was referring to the unreleased Japanese bootleg version.
*hands self a No-Prize*

Yer-Old-Pal, you are correct: Transformer Man. One of the best songs about autism ever recorded.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:52 PM on April 28, 2006


One of my favorite NY moments was in the Fresh Air Interview when Terri Gross asks him something about whether he thinks The Kids Today See Things Differently Because blah blah blah and he kinda pauses and says something along the lines of "You know, I don't really have any fucking idea." Not like - "those kids are crazy, who knows", more like "I haven't been a kid for decades and have some serious mileage. Why on earth would you ask me?"

That and when a guy at a radio station I worked at told me some horrific story about Neil at a party and what a Bad Person he is - then I heard the song where Neil describes the story and talks about what a Bad Person he is. Awesome.
posted by freebird at 12:59 PM on April 28, 2006


I seriously wonder if people my age and younger will remember or know what it's like to be truly tolerant and unafraid to express themselves, speak truth to power and a live life they choose (however weird and quirky and strange it may be) and not chosen for them by a religion, madison avenue and or a political party.

I just got an interesting take on this from my parents (boomers).

Strangely, they credit the impassioned moral sense that resulted in the protest energy of the 60s to their stricter and more traditional religious upbringing. They simply took religious moral thinking in a different direction. Although they ultimately rejected dogma, found the disconnect between stated religious morals and daily practice quite hypocritical, and therefore became more freethinking, many 60s radicals were unquestionably raised on a diet of hellfire and brimstone.

My own recovering-Catholic mom said that though she despised the idea that as young people, they were not supposed to question Church authority, she did feel that it was a powerful and profound moral sense inculcated by her religious trainig-- a childhood spent focusing on, debating and discussing the idea of right vs. wrong -- that guided her later moral choices as an activitist lefty and made her see herself as someone capable of determining the difference between fair and unfair, praise and blame, hurt and healing.

Verrrry interesting. Those of us brought up by parents who rebelled against religious authority may not attach as much emotional portent to the idea of wrong. We were taught wrong actions were 'not nice', not that wrong actions were a deeply sinful affront to the divinely ordained order of the universe. There is a difference in the moral development of the child as a result, even if the theology is later rejected.

When people look at our situation and ask "Where's the outrage?," perhaps this is the reason.

(I wouldn't argue that the currently fashionable brand of self-aggrandizing evangelism is a substiute, however. That reflects a new and different kind of theology than existed in the boomers' time).
posted by Miko at 12:59 PM on April 28, 2006


I’m one of those old people who loved all the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young stuff from back in the day. I also welcome what has recently been billed as a great musical condemnation of Bush. We need all the indictments of G.W. Bush’s presidency, musical or legal, we can muster these days.

Streaming Young’s album, I was hoping to hear the anthem of our time. Maybe that one great song is actually on Brother Young’s new anti-war album, but I didn’t endure much more than four cuts to hear it. If the great hit of the day is there, sorry I missed it.

What I did hear was the same three-chord riffs over and over from what sounded like a fair garage band. Then there was this sort of Christian-rock thing going on with Neil whinnying out words I had a hard time hearing. It might be just me.

I, after all, didn’t like the Beatles’ Rubber Soul when it first came out either, “Michelle, my bell…words that go together well.” All I heard then were cheap rhymes. I also once stood in Golden Gate Park watching Jimmy Hendrix playing off the back of a flat-bed truck for free to anyone who would listen. I just didn’t get acid rock. I heard him make what I thought were the most horrible noises I’d ever heard come from a guitar. I walked away shaking my head, predicting Hendrix’s failure.
posted by BillyElmore at 2:07 PM on April 28, 2006


Fuzzy Monster stated "One of the best songs about autism ever recorded."

The other best songs about autism being?

Kids of Whitney High don't count!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:09 PM on April 28, 2006


I used 7-zip and it worked fine, but I am getting a fair amount of distortion. Anybody else hear that? Or is that inherent in mp3's?
posted by DesbaratsDays at 2:32 PM on April 28, 2006


Or is it just me?
posted by DesbaratsDays at 2:33 PM on April 28, 2006


What I did hear was the same three-chord riffs over and over from what sounded like a fair garage band. Then there was this sort of Christian-rock thing going on with Neil whinnying out words I had a hard time hearing. It might be just me.

Well, that pretty much describes every Neil Young album, but this one has a message that's slightly different than the other ones.
posted by JekPorkins at 2:37 PM on April 28, 2006


BillyElmore: I walked away shaking my head, predicting Hendrix’s failure...

You're like the Forrest Gump of the 60's counter-culture.
posted by Skygazer at 2:37 PM on April 28, 2006


My Dad absolutely loves Neil Young. He also loves President Bush an and the War On Terra... I'm very interested to see which way this will push him.
posted by anomie at 2:40 PM on April 28, 2006


I used 7-zip and it worked fine, but I am getting a fair amount of distortion. Anybody else hear that? Or is that inherent in mp3's?

It's a capture of the stream, so it's going to sound kinda crappy...
posted by dig_duggler at 3:14 PM on April 28, 2006


MiltonRandKalman: Good question. I've Asked Metafilter. According to this thread the Andrew Bird song 'Tea and Thorazine' is about autism. I can't vouch for its 'bestness', however-- I've never heard it.

I don't want to get bogged down in semantics here. you know, like if 'Transformer Man' is a really good song about autism, and there are only a handful of songs about autism out there, with some of those songs being better than the others, then it stands to reason that 'Transformer Man' would be among the best. Please allow me to rephrase my statement and say 'Transformer Man' by Neil Young is the best-- and, yes, the only-- song about Autism I've ever heard.

So far. C'mon, Ask Metafilter! Give us some o' those sweet autistic tunes!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 3:16 PM on April 28, 2006


The Andrew Bird song is supurb.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:19 PM on April 28, 2006


I didn't run into the streaming problems everyone else is mentioning, and listened to it twice, back to back. Not Young's best work, musically, but it's powerful. I'd love it if this album was the straw that breaks the camel's back and sends Bush out of the White House the same way Nixon left.
posted by jzb at 3:26 PM on April 28, 2006


There's a version of "Transformer Man" on Neil's MTV Unplugged album where the lyrics are actually comprehensible, FWIW.
posted by Succa at 3:33 PM on April 28, 2006


Greendale, Neil Young's 2003 concept album also took aim at the Bush administration. The album is told as a story about a small California town, but the themes take aim at a lot of the changes in America happening because of George W. Bush.
posted by DragonBoy at 4:22 PM on April 28, 2006


For the most part the 60s cultural icons died with the 60s. (Right around 1973.)

The 60s were the work of the many, not the few. Martin and Malcom might have called for the people, but they were already marching in twos and twenties without protection or media attention.

Our parents who knew the sting of teargas and water hoses are the people we've lost. They're the ones who left. They've died, or more sadly, surrendered.

You want to know where to find today's icons? They're here. Walk out tomorrow and find a few more like thinkers. Changing the world takes three steps. Get pissed. Get out. Get in their faces.

Don't stop until you change it.
posted by ?! at 4:56 PM on April 28, 2006


I'm on it!
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:00 PM on April 28, 2006


Hey can you Free Tibet while you're at it Astro Zombie?

Is Transformer Man really explicitly about autism? I always took it as more generally about "The Modern Human Experience"...I realize distinguishing Autism from Modernity may be mere pedantic hairsplitting, but this *is* MetaFilter.
posted by freebird at 5:17 PM on April 28, 2006


Does anyone thing the arguments he makes are going to run up against the upcoming Iran situation? Because in that case it seems we have a REAL effort to get nukes by a REAL muslim fundamentalist government (Saddam Hussein and Iraq, were, of course, NEITHER).

In other words, all the lies/fake arguments the Bushies made about Iraq, might well turn out to be really applicable to Iran.

We might see the very same rhetoric, but this time actually indeed backed up not only with facts but with Iranian govt giving those facts away for free.

Oh the ironies. But my question is, will this cause problems for the Neil Young style anti-war activism, then? Will be interesting to see.
posted by jak68 at 5:22 PM on April 28, 2006


er, thing = think.
posted by jak68 at 5:22 PM on April 28, 2006


"You're like the Forrest Gump of the 60's counter-culture."

I think the Jimmy Hendrix moment happened in 1967 on the same day I hopped on another truck with Frank Zappa, who was playing that day with Mamma Cass, and was calling his group "The Mothers of Invention."

I was a Navy photographer and had hitchhiked from Moffett Field to photograph Hippies during the "Summer Of Love" as if they were zoo creatures. What saved me from trashing my mind with LSD was my short hair and navy shoes. Everyone thought I was a cop with a camera.

Guy comes up and tells me my mind is trapped inside a little black box. He's stoned out of his mind, but I don't even know what being stoned is yet. I think he's crazy. I think everyone is crazy, in fact. I get scared.

Another guy keeps chasing me asking if I would mind photographing Jefferson Airplane. I don't know what a Jefferson Airplane is. A cute chick who I later find was Grace Slick gives me a nod, but I run from the crazies.

Yea, I suppose I am Forest Gump. I have photographic evidence.
posted by BillyElmore at 6:02 PM on April 28, 2006


This rocks seriously on many levels. I especially dig "Shock and Awe" and "Let's Impeach the President". Even if it doesn't resonate like "Ohio" or "Woodstock" did back in the day (and help spur the end of our latest corp war) it will make great soundtrack for the Iraq War movies in 10 yrs or so (assuming anyone is still around). It is also ironic that the same dude is singin for the same reason with so little time between history's repeat cycle.

Lyrics Here (annoying scrolling lyrics that is)
posted by HyperBlue at 6:32 PM on April 28, 2006


I've put up non-annoying, non-scrolling lyrics at my site, if anyone wants them.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:21 PM on April 28, 2006


Our parents who knew the sting of teargas and water hoses are the people we've lost. They're the ones who left. They've died, or more sadly, surrendered.

posted by ?! at 5:56 PM MST on April 28 [!]


Well, I'm not dead yet...I'm on MeFi! And... when I passed this picture around, most of the feedback I got was: You are still such a radical...

And we did...

This is a much worse war environment than it was in the Viet Nam era. Those presidents had some care for the Nation.

I'm not a Granny yet...nuts!

Damned to be right and unheeded...
posted by taosbat at 7:48 PM on April 28, 2006


Never been a big Neil Young fan. Wasn't a hater, either. Respected the man's work. I have to say, I'm liking this album a lot (on first listen).
For me, the thing that strikes me is that it really rings true. You can usually tell when an artist is just phoning in his emotions. Just writing to the current zeitgeist. You can hear the earnestness in these songs. The guy means it. And it shows.
Already on the iPod.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:21 PM on April 28, 2006


"This is what it has come to. They are forgetful. They have amnesia. They blame the wrong leaders. They are proud of their opposition. And they couldn't be more wrong."

John Gibson, Fox News. (watch video for slurred version)
posted by piscatorius at 9:07 PM on April 28, 2006


i've listened to 4 songs so far ... and all i can say is the the right brothers can kiss neil young's ass
posted by pyramid termite at 9:12 PM on April 28, 2006


ok, i've heard the whole thing ... for the most part, it's a good, but not great neil young album, although i have the feeling that "the restless consumer" and "after the garden" will grow on me ... but "flags of freedom" is one of the best songs he's ever written ... it could well become a standard ... "roger and out" would be great, too ... except that it's "helpless" with a slightly different melody line ... he also stole "shock and awe" from rem's "the one i love" ... but considering they stole that from "hey, hey, my, my", i guess we could call it even

"let's impeach the president" is a little too obvious for its own good, i think

and it's clear to me that john gibson didn't listen very closely to this album ... a eulogy for an old friend who went to vietnam and died (roger and out) is anything but forgetful ... neil shows respect for soldiers, respect for the families, and respect for america (and not just by tacking on america the beautiful at the end)

but then respect isn't something that the hard core political people are into these days
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on April 28, 2006


FUCK NEIL YOUNG

Bandwagon jumping pussy.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:56 PM on April 28, 2006


John Gibson, Fox News. (watch video for slurred version)
posted by piscatorius at 12:07 AM EST on April 29 [!]

Hilarious and sad. This bloke still connects 9/11 with Iraq, and no doubt initially made the false connection as well. Fox News continues it's utter buffoonery.
posted by juiceCake at 10:51 PM on April 28, 2006


for no one in particular - i said this:

"It's one thing to touch someone's mind (TNR). It's another to justify their fears and prejudices (talking to you, Rush)."

Time for liberals to open their mouths.
posted by rougy at 12:06 AM on April 29, 2006


After listening to it twice through...

After The Garden, and Shock And Awe are the favorites. Lookin' For A Leader, and Roger And Out are also pretty good.

Living With War felt... off to me. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe the lyrics? I like the bits where no one was singing...

Restless Consumer is pretty good, but I just started laughing when Neil shouted, "Don't need no side effects like diarrhea or sexual death." I can almost hear the clunk sound his pen made when that came out.

Families just felt too thin, like it was only part of a song. For all that's been made of how quickly the album was made, this is the only song that feels like it. Flags Of Freedom also felt a little off in terms of quality.

I think I'll like Let's Impeach The President more when I've got a higher quality version. I had trouble making out which Bush quotes were being used a couple times under the audio compression fragments.

I expected America The Beautiful to come off as a bit of cheese to close out the album. The choir starts off somewhat mellow-and-pretty, but when they really start to get into it... Damn.

Overall: Great, but not Best. Ever.

As a side note, I found the singer's account of the choir session extremely moving. "Like Church, only way awesomer" is how almost all musical performances should be.
posted by sparkletone at 12:13 AM on April 29, 2006


You know?

The more I listen to this - I hear inspration.

I hear a song - then I think - yeah, that's the one.

Then I hear another song, and it awakens me differently.

"Flags of Freedom Flying"

And harmonica atop.

Hmmmm....maybe if Rush did more drugs he's cut a counter album. Ya think?
posted by rougy at 12:38 AM on April 29, 2006


Ya think?

I don't know. I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about, so it's a bit tricky to respond.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 AM on April 29, 2006


Is Transformer Man really explicitly about autism? I always took it as more generally about "The Modern Human Experience"...I realize distinguishing Autism from Modernity may be mere pedantic hairsplitting, but this *is* MetaFilter.
posted by freebird


Actually, it turns out this song is about Cerebral Palsy. Which makes Transformer Man the best song about Cerebral Palsy I've ever heard. Thanks to rpn for setting me straight in this thread. I knew the song was about one of Neil Young's sons, and I knew Neil Young founded The Bridge School, which does a lot of work with autistic children, so that's how I mistakenly linked the song with autism.

So... anyone got any more good songs about Cerebral Palsy?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:20 AM on April 29, 2006


High quality version has leaked if you can find it :)

After listening to it a few times I love it. Don't know how much is due to someone finally articulating (well, imo) a lot of people's feelings in a really great rock record. Also helps that it comes from my favorite artist of all time...
posted by dig_duggler at 8:42 AM on April 29, 2006


I've been listening to it non-stop.
While it has its mawkish moments here and there ("Lookin' For a Leader" and "Restless Consumer" just don't grab me), I think it has a place in the top ten of Young's discography.
In addition to the sincerity, anger, and vitality - and there's joy in there, too - the touches of past albums, especially Tonight's The Night(But happy!) and Greendale(But cohesive!) marks it as being a culmination and a celebration of Young's career.

I sound like an Amazon commenter, don't I?

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2006


Finally getting around to it. . .

I love this "sound," the Les Paul played through very dirty Marshalls. . .juxtapposed to his high tenor voice, over a simple rhythm track.

The quality of the songs is not first rate Neil, but it's also a far sight better than On the Beach or Time Fades Away.

I am very very glad he's doing this. . .it feels like an "event" to me.
posted by Danf at 1:27 PM on April 29, 2006


I'm 28 and have been starting to feel ...unprotected... by the 1960s cultural icons retiring, getting older, dying -- leaving the burden of dreaming and changing the world to us. So I'm glad Neil Young is still around and putting out new stuff.

No doubt! Who do we have to look out for us? It scares me how conservative people my age (28) and a bit younger tend to be.

At the same time, the generation that gave us Neil Young also gave us G. W. Bush, so who the fuck knows?

The "fuck you" rebelliousness that at one time reigned in rock has pretty much died completely - with a scant few exceptions, and too many of them over age 30.

Yeah, it's weird to think that music was once something other then a way for bands to get laid.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:46 PM on April 29, 2006


BillyElmore, I'd love to see some of your pictures.
posted by chococat at 2:10 PM on April 29, 2006


I'll have to do some scanning, did the first part of that task, digging files this a.m. Found the Frank Zappa/ Cass Elliott shot, and others.

I published my 60's portfolio in Spain's Foto a few years back. It was also published in Brazil's Iris Photo. Not much published here in the states. I wrote a story claiming I was the last Beatnik and the first Hippie to go along with the images. It was translated into Spanish and Portuguese but I lost the English to a hard drive crash.

I think, I'll put up a page, as the best way.... or Flickr, or, whatever. I can't actually post my own stuff here as a FPP, I understand.

E-mail me with advice: begann@hotmail.com

I’ll go scan.
posted by BillyElmore at 4:04 PM on April 29, 2006


I can't actually post my own stuff here as a FPP, I understand.

Why not submit the page to projects? Those photos sound interesting.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:37 PM on April 29, 2006


Well now I have lots of old Black and white images scanned to low res, and I'll do a project to share. That Projects sounds like the ticket. Too bad I lost so much copy, might have to write a bit too. BE
posted by BillyElmore at 8:18 PM on April 29, 2006


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