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Everyone loves Neil Young. Every person who picks up a guitar is drawn to him, instinctually even. Whether they prefer his softer acoustic singer-songwriter side or his electric i’ll fuck you up with distortion side, a little piece of him is in every player. Matt Mondanile of Ducktails and Real Estate has done something with his cover of Young’s “Look Out For My Love” that is really, really rare. In every guitarists (and arguably musician’s) heart, they love Young so much that they can’t stray too far from him when paying homage to him in a cover. Mondanile has managed to make his treatment sound like a very, very distant cousin of the original.

It’s not that he changes anything in the song, it’s just the texture and tone of it all that sets it apart. The song sounds like it was recorded in a glass house with walls that echo rather than absorb. And his voice is more Kurt Vile than Neil Young. The nasaly-inflections that define Young are nowhere to be found.

He’s also chosen to omit the crazy section at the end of the song when Young attacks you with “You own it!” Perhaps Mondanile wanted to leave you wondering what you were missing. With him, you don’t own it? Or perhaps this is only from a random version… regardless.

Mondanile recorded this song for a benefit album. More details on that at Chocolate Bobka. Purchase the album, which also features Sun Araw and Julian Lynch, among others, at A Fundamental Experiment.


Matt Mondanile: Look Out For My Love

Matador has just made available for one day only Kurt Vile‘s EP, Square Shells. How nice of those folks!

The most interesting song is “Losing Momentum (for Jim Jarmusch), which feels to me like parts of Neil Young’s score to another Jarmusch film, and one of my favorites ever, Dead Man.The sound isn’t the same, it’s more of a vibe. Like being lost in a thick haze of confusion brought on by Peyote.

What do you think?


by David Chiu

Anyone who has followed Neil Young’s 40-plus year career knows this artist can rock in blistering, noisy fashion. On everything from “Like a Hurricane” to  “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Young plays a ferocious guitar. But the musical side of Young that really resonates with me is the warm acoustic one– just his quivering voice and guitar along with the occasional piano and harmonica. When he performs in this intimate setting, a purity in the music and the words emerges that is equal to, or even greater than, the power of the electric guitar charged rock he is equally and deservedly renowned for.

This power is quite evident on Dreamin Man Live ’92, the latest archival recording released, taken from his tour in support of the Harvest Moon album– the sequel to his hit record Harvest (1972).

Dreamin’ Man features the ten songs from Harvest Moon performed unplugged, and they’re all soulful and poignant. “Such a Woman,” for example, is utterly romantic and tender with Young on piano and his harmonica playing providing counterpoint. Equally touching is the song “Harvest Moon.” With its waltz-like rhythm, it’s a tribute to universal love. It retains the powerful imagery of a couple—young or old—somewhere slow dancing in a country field under a bright moonlit sky.

Other moments on Dreamin’ Man touch on the personal, like “Old King,” an ode to Young’s dog that passed away. There’s also the poetic and evocative “Unknown Legend,” about a former waitress with kids, (“Somewhere on a desert highway she rides a Harley-Davidson/Her long blonde hair flyin’ in the wind”), and the country-folk tune “One of These Days,” about old friendships.

Only the last two songs on the live record deviate from the previous introspective ones. “Natural Beauty,” the longest song on Dreamin’ Man at over 11 minutes, could be interpreted as a commentary on the environment. And the urgent and haunting “War of Man” follows in the same vein with its lyrics touching on humanity’s harmful impact towards the earth. (Could these songs have been a precursor to Young’s 2003 story-album, Greendale?)

Like any other great Neil Young acoustic-minded effort, Dreamin’ Man is moving in both the artist’s performance and the sheer honesty of the music. Young has the affect of making a listener emotionally involved– he’s just that genuine and heartfelt.

Vivian Girls are one of the success stories of the Brooklyn music scene. They’ve been around for a few years now, their debut met wide acclaim and they are amping up for a big fall tour in support of their sophomore album, Everything Goes Wrong, out on Sept. 8. Cassie, Katy and Ali play guitar, bass and drums and sing and found some time to discuss pizza, dealing with online “haters,” recording at Fort Tilden and their latent desire to relocate to California. (This is becoming a common refrain.)

The band plays tomorrow at Death by Audio.

When you first formed, what did you expect?
Cassie: We wanted to write short and fast but melodic songs, go on tour, and put out an LP. We expected to tour basement shows and dive bars a few times a year.
Katy: I really wanted for us to be interviewed in Maximum Rock and Roll, which happened last year!

You’ve been featured in many magazines and blogs. How does it feel?
Cassie: Kind of strange but it’s also fun to gather a collection of magazines with your picture in it. Kind of annoying though when a blog will post about you every other week just to rile up the haters.
Ali: It’s surreal and like Cassie said a ton of fun to collect the magazines you’re in. I’m not really all that phased by the haters anymore. If they have enough time and negative energy to go out of their way to bring you down on a public forum they aren’t worth a reaction.
Katy: It is pretty awesome to get a reaction from people for your music, positive or negative. We all made music for a long time before Vivian Girls which got no attention at all, so it’s a big change that feels nice.

What are your favorite bands and what are you listening to these days?
Cassie: The Wipers, the Bananas, Neil Young, and Sonic Youth are some of my all time favorite bands. These days I’m listening to a lot of Lou Christie, the Beach Boys and the Adolescents.
Ali: Serious Lou Barlow and Courtney Love infatuation going on with me. I listen to every Hole album all day every day. I like how they can take me from being super pissed with Pretty on the Inside to dancing around to Celebrity Skin.
Katy: Right now I’m listening to a lot of Yellow Fever. We are currently working on putting out a record for them. They are one of the best bands around these days. Some of my favorite bands of all time are Nirvana, The Smiths, The Pixies, the Modern Lovers, Minor Threat, and the B-52s.

Pizza or chinese? What kind?
Cassie: Pizza’s more reliable, so I’ll go with that. I really like getting pizza from Domino’s.
Ali: I’m gonna go with pizza. Real pizza though, from a pizzeria.
Katy: Definitely pizza, from anywhere.

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Oh wow damn, woot woot, wump wump. Dead Man screens tonight at BAM, and what a crazy film it is. If you’re a Johnny fan- he’s hotter and more mysterious than ever in this one. And if you’re a Neil Young fan- particularly a fan of his distortion heavy and dark guitar sounds, then you’ll love this movie. Young did the soundtrack. He watched the film (with no sound, and unfinished I believe) and just played along to it. The result is pretty mesmerizing. It sounds like a twisted Western.

Check this….for a taste of what the film looks like, and Neil’s fantastic score:

Neil Young: Guitar Solo 1

click the above link

Neil Young: Guitar Solo 1

Check out this amazing video of Neil Young playing just a few days ago. The man is so old and yet, so agile! Sir Paul comes out to sing with him. What do you think about the differences between the two of them? There are so many of such great contrast it’s not even funny. To make a list would be too much. Paul’s dance moves are very uninspired. But Neil? Holy shit!

This will be the shiiiiit. Too bad I don’t have any TV. Who’s inviting me over?? Next Wednesday, June 10, the show will air as part of PBS’ American Masters series. But wait- isn’t Neil Canadian? Just kidding, he is both American and Canadian.

There’s an awesome preview at PBS. Young narrates this himself, and there are supposedly tons of interviews. I can’t wait.

And here’s a track for you…..

Neil Young: “Hey Hey, My My” Live in the Netherlands, 1989

click the above link

Neil Young: “Hey Hey, My My” Live in the Netherlands, 1989

Aquarium Drunkard has a comparison up for your enjoyment. Neil Young doing “Unknown Legend” and Tunde Adebimpe covering it. Both are sparse treatments- Adebimpe’s version is acoustic!

What do you think? My opinion is that the cover is very pretty, but Neil’s, with the back-up vocals and steel guitar, is best.

Check out the video for “Light a Candle” from Young’s new album, “Fork in the Road.” RS.com is exclusively hosting….

There’s something about Neil Young….

neil1

“After the Goldrush,” Neil Young’s solo album from 1970 is riveting and poetic and understated in many ways. While some songs like “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “Southern Man” are direct and powerful, there are other tracks on the album, like “When You Dance I Can Really Love” and “Tell me Why” that are less frank and clear. Tucked away at the very end of the album, which was largely recorded by Young in his Topanga Canyon home, is a tiny song with a lot of heart. It’s so light after such a meaningful album.

Yes, I’m talking about “Cripple Creek Ferry,” a simple and light-hearted song that sounds like it could be inspired by a drug-induced experience.

I’m not sure if there is any connection between this song and “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band. Anyone know anything on that one?

Neil Young: Cripple Creek Ferry

Click on the above link.

Neil Young: Cripple Creek Ferry

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Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Flooding on Van Brunt Street next to Fairway

Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

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