June 15, 2010

Neil Young//After the Goldrush

I had a magical weekend hanging out on a farm owned by some amazing and enterprising friends. In addition to emptying out a barn and burning its contents in a two-day long bonfire, gardening, checking out pigs, chickens, bees, geese and ducks (one of whom lost his life a little too early but in doing so provided us a delicious dinner) and looking happily out at the ever-beautiful Lake Michigan, we also listened to a lot of Neil Young, namely Harvest. It seemed like each time Erik got up to turn the stereo on, Neil’s voice followed.

I find Neil Young to be an acquired taste. As a kid, I did not enjoy him. I couldn’t figure out why he kept singing “like that.” Now, I can’t even begin to understand my younger thought process. Neil rules. And despite the anti-feminist implications of “A Man Needs a Maid,” he’s especially good for places like farms out in the country or old pickup trucks. You can always skip that one.

This is my favorite Neil Young song. I really enjoy that it’s some kind of hallucinogenic dream vision involving aliens and the environment, but beyond that, is rather hard to pin down. In fact, even Neil couldn't pin it down. Here’s a funny story about this song from Dolly Parton:

Dolly Parton once commented about the making of her version of the song; "when we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn't know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn't know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, 'Hell, I don't know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time.'"

After the Goldrush.mp3

I was lyin' in a burned-out basement,
With a full moon in my eyes.
I was hopin' for a replacement,
When the sun burst through the skies.
There was a band playin' in my head
And I felt like getting high,
Thinkin' about what a friend had said,
I was hopin' it was a lie.
Thinkin' about what a friend had said,
and hopin' it was a lie.


Neil said...

I know what you mean about Neil's voice. People just think he's a terrible singer, instead of the amazing singer he really is.

I think you have to see Neil live to really appreciate how good his voice is.

g said...

Yeah...I really do think that he is an acquired taste, like a fine wine. I hope I'll have the chance to see him live at some point.