Entries tagged with: Neil Young

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Neil Fest

The folks that have brought us Dylan Fest and Petty Fest will be bringing Neil Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music of Neil Young to NYC's Bowery Ballroom on September 13 & 14. As usual for these things, the backing band is The Cabin Down Below Band but the lineup of guests is pretty impressive. Here's the full list of announced performers:

Norah Jones, Ryan Adams, Body/Head, Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Ruby Amanfu, Jakob Dylan, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, Butch Walker, Matt Hitt of The Drowners, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Valerie June, Charles Bradley, Sharon Van Etten, Adam Green, Ryan Miller of Guster, Elvis Perkins, Summer Moon, Danny Masterson, Adam Busch, Michelle Branch, Donald Cumming, Sammy James Jr., Steve Schiltz, Nicole Atkins, Sasha Dobson, Jade Castrinos, Caveman, Danny Clinch, Johnny T, Chase Cohl, Daniel & David Gibson of Streets Of Laredo
Tickets for Neil Fest go on "friends and family" presale on Thursday (8/27) at noon with the general on-sale starting Friday (8/28) at noon. Ticket options include a $1500 VIP option that gets you balcony seating for four, complimentary beer and Jamesons all night, a poster and access to a pre-show party. Proceeds go to Sweet Relief On Behalf Of The Jameson Neighborhood Fund.

Related: Norah Jones, who most recently was seen opening for Neil Young as part of her country band Puss N' Boots, will embark on a tour under her own name this fall. That wraps up with a show at Port Chester, NY's Capitol Theatre on November 8. Tickets for that go on Norah Jones presale on Friday (8/28) at 10 AM with the general on-sale beginning September 9 at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Neil Fest happening in NYC w/ Ryan Adams, Sharon Van Etten, Body/Head, Brian Fallon & more; Norah Jones touring"

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Andrew Sacher

Neil Young

Neil Young played the final NYC-area stop of his tour with backing band Promise of the Real (featuring Willie Nelson's sons) at Jones Beach last night (7/21). The setlists have been pretty similar on this tour, though they do differ a bit from night to night, and last night's set was filled with favorites. They did of course play a lot of the new The Monsanto Years, which rails against the Monsanto corporation (and sometimes Starbucks). Those songs didn't bring the set down or anything, but they weren't the highlights either. What were highlights was seeing Neil come out by himself at the start of the night to play "After the Gold Rush," "Heart of Gold," "Long May You Run" "Old Man" and "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" consecutively on either piano, acoustic guitar, or organ. It wasn't until after those five that the band even came out, and it wasn't until even later that Neil picked up an electric guitar for the first time.

Promise of the Real obviously aren't Crazy Horse or anything, but they did a great job backing him. They brought a lot of energy to the show, and they basically played all the songs the way they sound on record. When they locked into the extended jams on "Down by the River" and "Love and Only Love," they were on fire. Another treat was he gave us a good amount off one of his best "latter day" albums, Harvest Moon, including the title track, "From Hank to Hendrix" and "Unknown Legend." Plus he sprinkled in even more from his most classic era, including "Out on the Weekend," "Words (Between The Lines of Age)" and "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." Really an incredible show.

Fellow Monsanto hater Reverend Billy and Norah Jones' country band Puss N Boots opened. More pictures, and Neil's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Neil Young & Promise of the Real played Jones Beach with Puss N Boots and Reverend Billy (pics, setlist)"

Neil Young @ Susquehanna Bank Center 7/16/2015 (photo via @coreymccormickmusic)
Neil Young at Susquehanna Bank Center 2015

At the Susquehanna Bank Center on Thursday, Nelson, 26, and his youthful band seemingly energized Young, 69, who treated fans to a three-hour-and-15-minute slow burn marathon tour of his career bookended by a pair of his greatest hits.

He opened the show by appearing out of the darkness sitting at his piano for a solo rendition of "After the Goldrush" and wrapped up at midnight with a squealing "Cinnamon Girl" send-off, showing the dynamic range that has marked his more than 50 years in the spotlight.

The only sign of time slowing the still-hard-charging Young was a pink wrap around his right wrist. Everything else was there: his gentle, well-preserved voice, the distinctively eccentric stomps and Crazy Horse-style guitar freakouts. -[Delaware Online

Neil Young, backed by Promise of the Real (Willie Nelson's sons' band), played his first of three NY-area shows on Thursday night (7/16) at Camden, NJ's Susquehanna Bank Center. His new, anti-corporate concept album The Monsanto Years, whose title takes aim at agriculture behemoth Monsanto, plays a big part in the stage show, with roadies dressed as farmers, planting seeds on stage before the show began:
Young's lack of faith in corporate America to heed that was expressed in the next bit of kooky stagecraft: Before POTR took the stage, a team of hazmat suit wearing roadies came on, play acting that they were poisoning all those precious seedlings by spraying them with pesticides. It seemed like the hectoring was about to begin.

But no. Instead it was the start of the next stage in a shambling show that would stretch over three hours, eventually finding time for most of the bluntly artless Monsanto songs, but also taking a winning tour through Young's vast catalog. -[Philly.com]

The three-hour-plus, 28-song show included loads of classics along with all but one of The Monsanto Years' songs. Setlist is below.

Neil Young & Promise of the Real play Bethel Woods on July 17 (where Woodstock was located), and Jones Beach on July 21, both of which are with Norah Jones' country band Puss 'N' Boots. Jones Beach also has fellow Monsanto hater Reverend Billy. Tickets are still available.

Continue reading "Neil Young & Promise of the Real played Camden, NJ's Susquehanna Bank Center (setlist)"

Neil Young removes music

High quality digital music advocate Neil Young is removing his music from streaming services. He says:

Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans.
It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.
It's about sound quality. I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music.
For me, It's about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.
When the quality is back, I'll give it another look. Never say never.
Neil Young
The above photo accompanied his post on Facebook.

Neil Young is on tour and playing three NYC-area shows in the coming days. Reverend Billy opens the Jones Beach one.

Reverend Billy

Neil Young and Promise of the Real (the band featuring Willie Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah) recently released their Monsanto-criticizing album, The Monsanto Years, and will soon be on tour supporting it. The tour includes NYC-area venue Jones Beach on July 21 with Norah Jones' country band Puss 'N' Boots, and that show just got another opener: the anti-capitalist Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir. A press release reads:

Sharing their opposition to Monsanto and Starbucks and Walmart, Reverend Billy and the 40 singing-activists join forces with the radicalized rocker on Tuesday, July 21, at Jones Beach Theater in New York.

...Monsanto is also the Devil of the Church of Stop Shopping. This summer, the Rev & singers will perform "Non-Violent Dramatic Actions" to support a ban on Monsanto's Roundup, the world's most frequently used herbicide. New York City sprayed Monsanto's Carcinogenic Roundup more than 1,300 times on its parks and playgrounds in 2013. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, was declared a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

The tour also includes NJ's Susquehanna Bank Center on July 16 with Band of Horses and Bethel, NY's Bethwell Woods Center for the Arts with Puss 'N' Boots. Tickets for all three of those shows are still available.

Watch a video of Reverend Billy's 'Monsanto is the Devil' at Joe's Pub, with the list of Neil's tour dates, below...

Continue reading "fellow Monsanto hater Reverend Billy opening for Neil Young"

photos by David Andrako

Lucinda Williams

The free Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park continued last night (6/25) with alt-country veteran Lucinda Williams. Lucinda's got records dating back over thirty years, and she gave us some classics, but she's also still putting out worthy music. Last year's Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone was well represented and one reviewer said the best song of the night was off that album. They closed with a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" (attn: Donald Trump). Video of that and more pictures from the show -- including opener Jason Walker -- below...

Continue reading "Lucinda Williams played Prospect Park with Jason Walker, covered "Rockin' in the Free World" (pics, video)"

Donald Trump Neil Young

As you probably heard, Neil Young was upset when Donald Trump used "Rockin' in the Free World" as a theme song announcing his bid for President. As Neil admitted in his statement about Trump's use of his song, he had met with the multi-billionaire a while back when raising money for his Pono music player, and Trump took to Twitter last night night to remind people of that, calling Young a "total hypocrite." In addition to Tweeting the above picture of him and Young at the meeting, Trump tweeted:



Though Canadian and doesn't vote in the US, Young has endorsed Senator Bernie Saunders for president and given him "Rockin' in the Free World" which the candidate has since used at rallies.

Neil Young The Monsanto Years

Neil Young's very politically-charged new album, The Monsanto Years, is out next week (6/29) but you can stream the whole thing right now (via The Guardian). The album, which was made with Willie Nelson's sons' band Promise of the Real, takes aim at industrial food giant Monsanto and other corporations (Donald Trump will probably not try to use any of these cuts as a theme song) -- many of whom (Starbucks, Chevron and Monsanto, among others) have responded to Young's lyrics.

Young's tour will swing through the NY area in July. Stream The Monsanto Years below...

Continue reading "stream Neil Young's 'The Monsanto Years'"

photo: Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Neil Young

Yesterday, Donald Trump used Neil Young's song "Rockin' In The Free World" while announcing his candidacy for presidency, and not long after, a statement went out from Neil's manager saying he was not authorized to do so. Now, Neil wrote a lengthy statement of his own on Facebook. It reads:

Yesterday my song "Rockin in the Free World" was used in a announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission.

A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but It was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service.

Music is a universal language. so I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don't share my beliefs.
But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate - I would have said no.

I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people's.

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption as well as are the proposed trade deals which would further compromise our rights.
These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don't appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don't have children. They don't have feelings or soul. They don't depend on uncontaminated water, clean air or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing - the bottom line.
I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power. When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.
Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues. I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice.
But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge.
Thats why its crucial we all get engaged and get informed.
That's why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.

I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.

Keep on Rockin in the Free World.
Neil Young

You can watch Trump's candidacy announcement video below...

Continue reading "Neil Young gives statement on Donald Trump using "Rockin' In The Free World" during his presidental campaign"

photo: Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Neil Young

Neil Young will release a new album with Promise of the Real, the band featuring Willie Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah, called The Monsanto Years, on June 16. The album criticizes Monsanto, a corporation which genetically engineers seeds that Neil has spoken out against for years.

Neil and Willie's sons are also going on a tour together in support of the album. A few dates will be opened by Band of Horses, including the NJ show on July 16 at Susquehanna Bank Center. They also play Bethel Woods on July 17 (where Woodstock was located) (no opener announced), and Jones Beach on July 21 with Norah Jones' country band Puss 'N' Boots. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (4/24) at 10 AM, and the Jones Beach show has a Ticketmaster presale starting Thursday (4/23) at 10 AM.

All dates are listed, with a video of Neil playing with Lukas Nelson at a recent show, below...

Continue reading "Neil Young making an album & touring w/ Willie Nelson's sons, including shows w/ Band of Horses and Puss 'N' Boots"

photo: Blitzen Trapper at Terminal 5 in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Blitzen Trapper

When Portland folk rockers Blitzen Trapper toured their 2013 album, VII, they included two hometown shows that had them also performing Neil Young's Harvest in full. They recorded it, and will now release Live Harvest on Record Store Day (4/18).

They're also touring again this month, and playing Harvest again at a few stops -- specifically the Chicago, NYC and Nashville locations of City Winery.

The NYC stop happens April 17 with an early and late show. Tickets for both are on sale now.

All dates are listed, with a short clip of Blitzen Trapper playing Neil's "Old Man," below...

Continue reading "Blitzen Trapper touring, performing Neil Young's 'Harvest' on select dates & releasing 'Live Harvest' on RSD"

OST

As mentioned, the Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood did the score for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice which is in theaters now. It includes "Spooks," which was originally to be a Radiohead song and never finished, here performed by Greenwood and Supergrass' Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey with some of Joanna Newsom's narration laid overtop. The rest of Greenwood's score is more traditional orchestration, with lots of strings and wind instruments. The official soundtrack mixes Greenwood's contribution with songs used in the movie, like Can's "Vitamin C," Minnie Ripperton's "Les Fleur" and Neil Young's "Journey Through the Past." You can stream the whole Inherent Vice soundtrack, via Spotify, below...

Continue reading "stream Jonny Greenwood's 'Inherent Vice' soundtrack"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Curran Reynolds w/ Today is the Day at MDF 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Curran Reynolds

Eyehategod/Neurosis/etc-related supergroup Corrections House will kick off their previously-discussed tour with Statiqbloom this weekend. As discussed that tour hits NYC for a sweet show at Saint Vitus on Monday (12/1) with Uniform (ex-The Men, Drunkdriver) and Body Stuff. Tickets for Vitus are still available.

In our initial post, we referred to Body Stuff as a one-man project, and it is indeed the brainchild of local heavy polyglot Curran Reynolds (ex-Today is the Day and much more). Only the live show at Saint Vitus will feature a four-piece lineup including Rush Moody, Ryan Jones and Matt Kepler. Ryan is also ex-TITD and is a member of local rippers Mutilation Rites, who Rush has also joined as a live member. Matt is known for metal-related design projects and also worked at the now-closed Lit Lounge. Body Stuff's self-titled EP, which is streaming below, is a bracing slab of industrially-oriented hardcore, and this band should give it full, brutal expression in a live setting (this is the only show they'll be playing in 2014).

Speaking of Mutilation Rites, they've been added as openers for the previously-discussed Black Breath show happening at Saint Vitus on December 14. Also on that bill is White Widows Pact and Blackest. Tickets are still available. Ryan Jones will also be taking part in the upcoming Brooklyn Rock Lottery on December 6 at Baby's All Right which also includes members of Drive Like Jehu, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Dismemberment Plan, Parquet Courts, and more (tickets).

Meanwhile, Corrections House covered Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" which premiered over at Noisey. Stream that, with their full list of dates and a stream of the Body Stuff EP, below...

Continue reading "Body Stuff playing full-band (mem Mutilation Rites, ex-Today Is The Day) w/ Corrections House; MR playing w/ Black Breath"

IMAGE

We just posted Q Magazine's Best of 2014 albums list and now here's the same from sister publication MOJO. Not only do they share a publisher, but also more than half of same albums appear on both lists. The War on Drugs was #2 here, making war for Beck's Morning Phase in the top spot. Check out the whole list below.

While MOJO is seen as a safe haven for "heritage" acts, there are some records in their Top 10 that don't prominently feature acoustic guitars: coming in at #3 is Sleaford Mods' Divide and Exit. You can catch the Mods' North American live debut this Saturday (11/29) at The Wick with The Gotobeds, The Rogers Sisters and "very special guests" who will be announced closer to the show. Tickets are still available.

MOJO's full Top 50 LPs of 2014 list below...

Continue reading "MOJO's Top 50 LPs of 2014"

Killer

Rock n' roll founding father Jerry Lee Lewis just turned 79 but is still going strong, having just released a new album, Rock & Roll Time, this week (10/27). The record features a bevy of guest stars, including Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Shelby Lynne, and songs include covers of Johnny Cash ("Folsom Prison Blues"), Bob Dylan ("Stepchild"), Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Mississippi Kid"), Chuck Berry ("Little Queenie," "Promised Land"), Jimmie Rodgers ("Blues Like Midnight") and more. You can stream the whole thing via Rdio below.

There's also a new biography on Killer, titled Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, out this week as well. He's in NYC as we speak, celebrating the release of both tonight (10/29) at BB King Blues Club. Tickets are still available. You may have seen Jerry sitting in with Paul Schaffer on Letterman this past Monday (10/27).

Jerry Lee Lewis has a couple other select dates on his calendar. All are listed, along with the new album stream, below...

Continue reading "Jerry Lee Lewis released new album (listen) and book, playing BB King's tonight & other dates"

RSD

As you may know, in addition to the April Record Store Day, there's a RSD Black Friday (November 28) too, with its own exclusive releases. The list for this year's is out now and features releases from The Afghan Whigs, Against Me!, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Decemberists, The Flaming Lips, The Grateful Dead, Green Day, Husker Du, Iron Butterfly, J Mascis, Judas Priest, Jenny Lewis, Mastodon, Metallica, New Order, Conor Oberst, Outkast, Phil Spector, St Vincent, The Doors, Ramones, They Might Be Giants, Johnny Thunders, Wu-Tang Clan, Neil Young and more. Check out the full list here.

Neil Young at Carnegie Hall in January (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Neil Young

Neil Young's already had a very busy year. He filed for divorce, appeared on Chrissie Hynde's album, unveiled his Pono audio system, and released a "low-tech" album on Third Man, to name a few things. Now he's releasing another album, Storeytone, in November via Reprise which he worked on with a full orchestra like he told Billboard he would earlier this year:

"I'd like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live -- a mono recording with one mic," he explains. "I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that's a challenge and it's a sound that's unbelievable, and you can't get it any other way. So I'm into doing that."
The album features his new song "Who's Gonna Stand Up?," which he's currently streaming in three versions: the orchestral version, the live Crazy Horse version, and the live acoustic version that he played at Farm Aid.

Listen to all three below...

Continue reading "Neil Young announces new album, streaming orchestral, live Crazy Horse & live acoustic version of single (listen)"

Pegi & Neil Young at The Bell House in 2010 (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Pegi

Rolling Stone reports that Neil Young is filing for divorce...

Neil Young has filed for divorce from Pegi Young, his wife of 36 years and frequent musical collaborator. A petition for dissolution of marriage was filed by Young in their hometown of San Mateo, California, on July 29th. A hearing is scheduled for December 12th. A rep for Neil Young had no comment.

Pegi is the inspiration for some of Young's most enduring love songs, including "Such a Woman," "Unknown Legend" and "Once an Angel." She began serving as his background singer in the 1990s, sharing the stage with him at the 1994 Academy Awards and numerous tours over the past 20 years. They last performed together at the Bridge School Benefit in October of 2013.

The article also mentions that though Pegi was billed for Farm Aid 2014, she's been removed from the lineup.

Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Farm Aid

The 2014 Farm Aid Concert happens on September 13 in Raleigh, NC. As usual, the Farm Aid founders Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp are playing, and this year's also includes Jack White as a headliner. Also on the bill is Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews, as well as Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jamey Johnson, Delta Rae, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Carlene Carter, Pegi Young & The Survivors, and Insects vs Robots. Tickets are on presale now.

This comes after Jack White's Third Man Records released a Neil Young box set and after rumors that Neil and Jack were releasing an album of duets, which ended up not being true.

photos by Greg Cristman

Drive by Truckers / The Hold Steady @ The Paramount, 6/28/2014
Drive-By Truckers
The Hold Steady

"Throughout the evening, there was a striking contrast between frontmen Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. Hood, who often leaped into the air mid-song, overflowed with emotion as he performed signature tunes like "Box of Spiders" and "Hell No, I Ain't Happy." On the opposite end of the stage, straight man Mike Cooley was a study in detached cool. From the moment he strapped on his black Flying V and launched into the hard bitten lyrics of "Birthday Boy," Cooley's mellow, sardonic attitude oozed from every pore." - [Elmore Magazine]
The separate, ongoing tours of Drive-By Truckers and The Hold Steady converged with two shows in the NY area, first at Asbury Park, NJ's Stone Pony (6/27) then Long Island's The Paramount Theatre (6/28). Both bands have been touring in support of new albums, and they each played sets that highlighted the new stuff while also drawing from much of their enviably vast back-catalogues of material. The two modern rock'n'roll institutions even joined forces for an encore at The Paramount, where they covered Bruce Springsteen ("Adam Raised a Cain"), Neil Young ("Rockin' in the Free World"), and The Jim Carroll Band ("People Who Died").

Check out more pictures from the show, setlists for both bands, and video of that collaborative "Rockin'" encore.

Continue reading "Drive-By Truckers & The Hold Steady played the Stone Pony & The Paramount (pics, setlist & video from The Paramount)"

by Andrew Sacher

Chrissie Hynde

It's your first solo album but in many ways the Pretenders have felt like a solo band for a long time, where they just a flag of convenience?

'I always said the Pretenders is a band. I was getting fucked off with having to defend the name of the band over the years. I was never a solo artist and never wanted to be a solo artist. I like being in a band. That's what I do. What's in a name? interestingly this solo album has been more of a collaboration than my last Pretenders stuff- it's lot more of a collaboration.' [Louder Than War]

The Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde is releasing her first-ever solo album this year. It's called Stockholm, was co-written and produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John, features guest appearances by Neil Young and John McEnroe (!), and will be out on June 10 via Caroline. The first single, "Dark Sunglasses," hearkens back to the power pop/new wave of The Pretenders' prime era, and newer single "You Or No One" gets a little closer to pop balladry (but not like, "I'll Stand By You" levels). Listen to both, with the album tracklist, below.

Chrissie hasn't announced a full solo tour as of yet, but she does have a few upcoming appearances scheduled, including two UK festivals and an in-store at Rough Trade NYC on June 1 at 6 PM. To get into that, you have to pre-order the album from Rough Trade starting May 27. Space is limited.

All currently known dates are listed, with those song streams, below...

Continue reading "Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde releasing a solo LP, playing shows including Rough Trade NYC in-store (dates, streams)"

Neil Young talking Pono @ SXSW (via @allisonleighwalter)
Neil Young

Neil Young talked about his new Pono high-resolution music system yesterday (3/11) at SXSW and cleared up a few things. It uses FLAC files but the sample rate is 192 kHz. (CDs uses 44.1 kHz). (The Toblerone-shaped Pono player will play other formats too.) Said Young:

When all the artists and engineers, all the arrangers and musicians that played on giant tracks by people like Phil Spector, with 12 tambourines and two pianos -- those people were still in the studios in Los Angeles, playing. But all of [that] started to die -- it was the most amazing thing, this vibrant creative culture started to go away. And it was because of the MP3 and the cheapening of the quality to the point where it was practically unrecognizable.
Then things got real awkward. Billboard reports that after Young's speech, Pono CEO John Hamm (not Jon Hamm) opened the floor to questions:
...the last question from the audience shifted the tone of the entire presentation. A young man asked: "What's your cut?" Referring, of course, to Apple's now-famous 30% cut of sales on the iTunes Store.

Hamm, after a flustered moment, responded: "It surprises most people that everyone who buys music from the record labels pays exactly the same amount." To which several audience members shouted, "What?!"

"That's a delicate question, isn't it?" Young asked. After which Hamm turned to the moderator, slightly flushed at this point, and said, "We can end it." "You can answer the question if you like," Snider said. Hamm shook his head slightly before Snider closed the discussion.

Perhaps his cut will be addressed by the time the Pono goes on presale this Saturday (3/15) via via Kickstarter. Watch a demo video below.

Speaking of SXSW, most of us at BV are here as we speak. You can follow our exploits via @BVSXSW and @BVAustin and on our @BrooklynVegan Instagram and @BV Austin Instagram.

Pono Kickstarter video below...

Continue reading "Neil Young talked Pono @ SXSW...until money came up"

No 'Zune' jokes, please
Pono

Neil Young has been working on his own digital music format and player for a while and has just announced details. Originally called "PureTone," the company is now called Pono and promises "the highest-quality digital music to discerning, passionate consumers, who wish to experience music the way the artists intended, with emotion, detail and power intact."

What that entails is a new lossless music format and also its own portable high-resolution digital-music player (pictured above) that holds 128 gigs of music, which comes out to "about 100-500 high-resolution digital-music albums, depending on the resolution and length of the original recording." You can use memory cards for additional music. There's also an iTunes-like Pono interface.

While the lossless Pono format may only appeal to audiophile types, the player might hold some interest for others. One of the biggest criticisms lobbed at the iPod was it's not-very-good internal amplifier and digital-to-analog converter. So if you've always wanted a better-sounding player... this could be it. There are some questions, such as "Will this also play my MP3s?," "Will I have to repurchase albums I already own in other formats," "Can I rip my CDs into the Pono format," "Is there cloud storage?," "Can I play Words With Friends on it?" and "If this all goes belly-up do I get my money back?" Those remain unanswered but you can pre-order your Pono player starting March 15 via Kickstarter.

Some of those questions might be addressed by Neil Young himself who will talk about Pono on Tuesday (3/11) at SXSW.

Neil @ Carnegie Hall recently (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Neil Young

It was widely reported last week that Neil and Jack were getting together, but Neil Young just posted the following to his Facebook. "False Rumours: Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets. We are certain those rumours have no basis in truth." Well, that's too bad!

HOWEVER, Jack White's label Third Man Records reports today that,

Third Man Records unearths NEIL YOUNG's A LETTER HOME

An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever. -- Homer Grosvenor

That's kind of vague, but Rolling Stone seems to confirm that "Neil Young's Low-Tech New Album 'A Letter Home' [is] Due in March"! Neil told Rolling Stone, "it's one of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had."

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Neil Young surrounded @ Carnegie Hall on 1/9/2014
Neil Young @ Carnegie Hall

Neil Young has just one night left -- tonight (1/10) -- of his four-night run at Carnegie Hall. We already posted videos and setlists of the first two nights, and now we've got a set of pictures of night 3, which happened last night (1/9), in this post. The shows have seen Neil in solo mode, focusing mostly on his early '70s era. Here's what the NY Times had to say:

At times, there was a rustling quiet while Mr. Young fiddled with his harmonicas; these moments were often punctuated by exhortations or song requests. ("You guys finished?" Mr. Young groused at one point, shooting a look toward the balcony. "No, you paid real good money to get in here, so you should be able to listen to each other.")

But whatever tensions gathered around the stage, they served a function, notably when Mr. Young was unpacking songs with a social or political bent. The tune that got derailed by the offbeat clapping, and then successfully restarted, was "Ohio," which he wrote in response to the 1970 Kent State shootings, and recorded as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It led into a grave, potent version of "Southern Man," with Mr. Young tightening his voice into a blade as he spit the lyrics "I heard screamin'/And bullwhips cracking."

More pictures of night 3, along with a few videos and the setlist (which have basically been the same each night) from that show, below...

Continue reading "Neil Young continued his Carnegie Hall run (night 3 pics, videos & setlist), wraps it up tonight"

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