Tag Archives: Neil Young and Crazy Horse

ALIVE N’ KICKIN’ 2013

Let’s go on with the best of this year.

Checking my daily planner I’ve counted  approximately 46 shows (probably some more I forgot to write down), and 4 festivals attended: Primavera Sound (2/3 days), Kristonfest, Cruïlla, and Siberia. Compared to previous years I’ve been more relaxed this 2013 at the time of choosing which bands to see.

The variety of live shows available in Barcelona is huge lately, hard to cope with, and there are on one hand very expensive tickets for barely 1 hour performances, and on the other hand promoters booking small bands every 6 months which eventually get audience bored. Personally speaking, I reckon those promoters should look after both the bands and the potential audience to start with, assume more risks bringing different bands, and start seeking for sold out shows at less benefit which will ensure bands to feel like coming back and achieve fans loyalty for future shows. Of course I’m not a promoter, and I don’t put my money on the table, but I’ve attended shoes enough as to assure a sold out show for 10 Eur/ticket rules much more than a half empty venue for 22 Wur7ticket, if you understand me. Considering the tight and hard times we’re going through live music must me supported and audience encouraged, and not the other way.

Once this said, let’s talk about my top 5 favorite live shows of the year.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE, Àrenes de Nîmes

neil young

The best show for obvious reasons. You never know when it’ll be the last time you will be able to attend one of his shows, plus this time he was accompanied by his pals, as I had seen them the first time in 1996. Promoters in Spain don’t think it’s worth taking the risk bringing him here, thus we had to move our asses to France. The whole experience was tiring yet very cool, as some guys in Girona hired a mini coach for the trip, and 20 people met by chance only moved by our love for the musician. Patti Smith opened for him offering a surprising excellent show, and then the boss came onto stage and made the old stones of les arenes, vibrate with his tunes.

CLUTCH, Music Hall (BCN)

Even though the set list was reduced due to the early curfew imposed by the venue, the atmosphere, the crowd, the band, the attitude and the powerful songs, and of course, the wonderful companion, contribute to turn this show into something memorable. I felt the fan scent I was missing, the passion and the excitement, and I went crazy.

VALIENT THORR, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

sadat n nitewish

Every time I see these guys on stage I have a crush, really. They are so powerful and straight and on the other hand so good at interacting with the audience, their shows are a blast. I loved ther previous show in 2012 in Madrid, and this one was excellent. There were some friends who had attended the show just because who finished very enthusiastic about the experience.

THE SWORD, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

I was pretty sick of my stomach and had been sleeping 18 hours straight because I felt like shit, so I wasn’t at my best for the show, but as soon as Kyle Shutt started playing his riffs and the crows d started headbanging uniformly as a respond I started to feel better and better and enjoyed lots.

Can’t wait to see them again soon. Here’s their show at the Hellfest few days earlier, so you can get an idea.

ORANGE GOBLIN, Kristonfest (BIO)

chris and toi

What can I say? I’ve attended to their shows since 1998 and always claimed their live act is solid and amusing. Any time I get the chance to see them I’ll be there. I reckon their show at Kristonfest was superior than the previous I had attended years ago at Azkena Rock Festival. No doubt A Eulogy for The Damned has been a great pusher to finally get more recognition and attention, although here in Spain they haven’t been booked for playing at venues yet. A pity.

I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring up. At the moment there are already several awesome shows ahead: Monster Magnet, Red Fang, The Wildhearts…We’ll see.

 

OLD NEIL AND HIS CABALLO LOCO DELIVERED. THE NÎMES CHRONICLES.

It’s taking me too long to assimilate what I witnessed at Les Arenes in Nîmes last Wednesday, but I guess it’s now or never the time for writing about the show Neil Young offered with Crazy Horse I attended. It was so special I don’t think I might be able to explain the experience properly, but I’ll try my best anyway.

neil young

Personally I need to mention two remarkable facts related to the date the concert was held. On one hand that very same date 3 years ago something happened which meant the release from the heaviest burden I’ve ever carried. It was painful and terrible in the beginning, but after the inevitably mourning season, and the period of self catharsis, I learnt to understand that was for the best, thus it’s better to remember this date as a sort of celebration of freedom.

 On the other hand, and closely related to the show,  a date, July the 19th 1996, when I first time saw Neil Young at a festival in the UK named Phoenix, located in Stradford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. Seems it was yesterday when I spent more than 2 hours on my own marveled by the show, in a moment I was only acquainted with a couple of Young’s songs. How could I imagine almost 20 years later I’d be in the same situation?

At the end of 2012, after the release of Psychedelic Pill, tour dates with Crazy Horse in Europe were announced, and of course, following the latest trend, no Spanish city was scheduled. It was this guy I’m acquainted with, who started commenting he had just purchased a ticket for the French city. To be honest I’m not very good at geography, thus I didn’t think of it as a possibility , but the truth is that 450-500km by car do not seem so hard if you can arrange a comfy trip. I actually got my ticket on Xmas as a self present, not sure how I’d organize for a trip to a not very common destination as Nîmes.

7 months passed and finally there was this mini bus departing from Girona, packed with 25 Young’s diehard fans. Some had seen him abroad, others at Primavera Sound in 2009 but there were many who hadn’t had the chance to attend one of his shows in the past. The atmosphere during the journey was amazing, and as we were getting closer to our destination, the soundtrack just focused on our heroes.

I can’t recall when was the last time I joined an organized coach trip to attend a show. The most memorable was the first, to see GN’R in 1993, for obvious reasons. One of the best experiences in my life. This time it was different. I had seen uncle Neil a couple of times already, and joining this expedition had to do more with a matter of need rather than for pleasure, as I wasn’t very close to anyone, even though I had some acquaintances. It was positive after all because everyone’s motivation was the Canadian with Crazy Horse, and I’m very grateful to the guys who made spend their time in arranging everything for giving me the possibility to join them. Everything was fantastic.

The place where the concert took place was an ancient bullfighting square, Les Arenes. Quite beautiful and magnificent even though I’m not very pro bullfighting as you can imagine. Spain is divided on this regard, with supporters defending it as a traditional art part of our national culture, and haters considering it a major exhibition of animal brutality.

Anyway, when we arrived it was raining and this place was open air. For a while we were scared this might ruin the whole show, but fortunately the forces of nature favorite us, and eventually it quit, leaving a terrible almost unbearable warm humidity.

Never been into Patti Smith at all, in fact I’d say I’ve never liked her. In essence I’ve always thought of one of these artists belonging to a generation which succeeded in times of social and political instability becoming some sort of symbol for freedom and vindication against the establishment. What remains from those times? Not much but a bunch of songs, memorable performances  and lots of imagery.

I still remember reading Smith’s declarations when Pope Francis was sworn in, saying she’d been praying and cried out of happiness when Francis was the name chosen. WTF? Really.

patti smith

Anyway, I was expecting a boring show but it turn out to be just the opposite. The old lady is definitely a pro, hers is a proper rock show, her band was quite fine, and the 75 minute set list, of course including her major hits, Dancing Barefoot, April Fool, Because the Night and People Have the Power, was a very intense one. She is a great front woman and a very expressive performer, who didn’t forget about Amy Winehouse when introducing This is the Girl, or Edward Snowden (Edward Snowden where are you? With your clings and arrows…WTF!), but went too far dedicating a song to Manolete, the bullfighter, and praising the wonders of the noble art of man vs bull. At the end of the day, everybody surrenders to the folklore of bullfighting…still she managed to divert the audience’s attention to Pissing in the River and Banga, which were fantastic. The final medley of Land with Gloria for closing the show drove Les Arenes nuts, with everybody dancing and singing. Hats Off to Patti Smith!!! I swallow my words.

In barely 15 minutes the stage was ready for Neil and Crazy Horse. You should have seen 20 people setting everything ready restless and perfectly organized. I’ve seldom witnessed such fast change of bands on stage, with all the gear, amps, floor covers, techs…impressive.

French people are very impatient. You might regard this as a negative generalization, but it’s just the opposite. They’re not used to wait and love punctuality in shows and other public events. Thus, a bit of buzz was enough for the band coming to stage.

They were occupying a small part of a not very huge stage., very close to each other as if rehearsing. Despite his grumpy face, Neil seemed to be enjoying the show and the company of his old mates. Love and Only Love of Ragged Glory and Powderfinger of Rust Never Sleeps were the two classic songs chosen as the starters of what was to become a memorable night.

neil young 2

Psychedelic Pill was to introduce the self title album to be followed by Walk Like a Giant, which wass the first song to blow our heads. The days after I found myself whistling the melody all the time. it was amazing. After Young’s distortion minutes simulating some sort of hurricane or storm, a radical change in rhythm came with a more acoustic set, including Hey Hey My My, a cover of Blowing in the Wind, Heart of GoldComes a Time…Their last album was very present, they also played Ramada Inn, but still they managed to recover some classic  songs. Unfortunately being such a prolific discography, it was impossible to cover all the songs we’d all love to hear, but still, listening again to Cinnamon Girl, the overwhelming anthem Rockin’ in the Free World or Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, was a pleasure and a very touching experience.

I’ve been thinking about this show quite often these past days. It was definitely worth attending, and I’m glad about doing it by myself, so to speak. I was surrounded by people I was acquainted with, but at the end of the day I was on my own enjoying this show at 100% with no distractions. I’d dare to say everybody was in the same situation, completely charmed by the music, the unique voice of Neil, the harp and acoustic guitar, and that sublime distorted guitar he masterly plays.

neil young 3

If you get the chance to see them, please do not hesitate doing it for a sec. I swear this is worth living.

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012

digging-through-vinyl-records-lp

This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.

BestRecords2012

Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!

ABANDON JALOPY – DEATH & JOY

What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/27/album-of-week-12-death-joy/

CANCER BATS – DEAD SET ON LIVING

One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/04/27/albums-of-week-16-1965-dead-set-on-living/

 

LUCERO – WOMEN & WORK

Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/21/album-of-week-11-women-work/

MARK LANEGAN – BLUES FUNERAL

blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/02/13/album-of-weeks-5-6-blues-funeral/

JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS

Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/05/31/album-of-week-21-blunderbuss/

ORANGE GOBLIN – A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/12/12/album-of-week-48-a-eulogy-for-the-damned/

THE HANGMEN – EAST OF WESTERN

EAST OF WESTERN

This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.

LANA DEL REY – BORN TO DIE

I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/08/30/the-day-i-surrendered-to-the-hype/

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – HANDWRITTEN

 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/07/18/i-knew-handwritten-wouldnt-fail-me/

CALEXICO – ALGIERS

Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/11/14/album-of-week-43-algiers-calexico-on-stage/

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/10/17/uncle-neil-and-crazy-horse-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world/

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!

UNCLE NEIL AND CRAZY HORSE ARE READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD

I’m sorry for not updating these days, but i’m working on all the posts related to the Film Festival I atended last week. I finally watched 9 films I’m reviewing little by little for Popcorn and Movies. I told you I wanted to recover and update it regularly again.

Probably some of you are already aware of the release of the last album of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, at the end of this month. If you weren’t, now you know 😉

Last week, the first official video of the single Ramada Inn was launched. I think I listened to it about 3-4 times straight. 17 minutes of trip, absolutely recommendable.

My main e-mail account receives lots of newletters from film, music, photography and magazine sites. I have to admit I don’t read most of them, otherwise I’d be hooked reading all the time, and usually depending on the subject I choose to read them or not. I recently subscribed to a magazine I saw a friend of mine usually share links from, so I decided to give it a chance. This magazine is a bitch as it’s unclear on its contents in the newsletters, thus I’m checking them all out.

There was a full set of Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Austin City Limits Music Festival available, which I’m listening to right now, and it confirms the axiom he’s been singing about for so many years

Rock n’ Roll Will Never Die

Yeah, he might be getting old, that’s the law, but friends, you gotta see and listen for yourselves, Neil Young and The Crazy Horse sound stunning. It doesn’t matter whether they are playing old or new stuff, the neat backing vocals and double melodies, the intensity of Young’s heartfelt singing, the raw sound of his distorted guitar… there are passages of the show which are overwhelming.

Not sure whether they’ll tour Europe next year, some say it’s possible, and others talk about the rumour of Young being too tired. I don’t know what to think, I can only cross my fingers and pray, to the Harvest Moon maybe, for a visit.

As for this performance, the chemistry among Young and the Horses remains intact, and they’re perfectly fit for touring or conquering the world.

I’m very excited for the upcoming album, and for any future events. It’s great feeling his presence and noticing his activity on the newsfeed. Yeah, I’m very glad!

So, here you are Neil Young at ACL, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed

** Actually is not the full set, it’s cut during Fuckin’ Up (pity! nchst!)