Wednesday, March 28, 2007

my most favorite-ist (Sir Shakey)

Neil Young will always be *the* one artist that stands above any other for me. Yes, I am aware of certain, some might say...obsession with Bruce Springsteen. He's my fave when it comes to great narrative lyric writing and fun-good-time-rock/seriously perfect songs. He accomplishes a fuck ton through the medium of rock music--he's a crowd-pleaser. He pleases me...hehe. But to be make a *grand declaration*...My love for Mr. Young will never be surpassed. No other musician can do what he does. One-of-a-kind lyrics wise. Power-heavy-lost-in-a-trance-guitar-hero-wise. Music personality-wise: a child-like mischievousness (ususally in the form of a quiet lil' grin and look, when he's strangling and shaking that Deluxe) that can turn to zoned-out-rock-god to sorrowful songwriter, all in one show/album.

The song, "I'm The Ocean" gets me like no other song...of anyone...ever. (I never, ever, ever get sick of it. No matter how many times I listen to it.) Ever since I first heard it (way back in 1995, around the first time I got to see the man play with Crazy Horse) I was blown away by the sheer sound and pomposity of it. It has that driving guitar riff that carries it, and that haunting piano that flutters behind the big, heavy sound. And of course, most powerful of all, Neil's voice and those dream-like, abstract lyrics that tumble and sprawl. I just adore everything about it.

I found this weird little interview with Dave Marsh about the song. Here's a lil' snipet (the part in yellow is *so* Neil and *so* this song):

YOUNG:...I just uh, I just really kind of got caught up in this, in this thing where everything just kept happening, and, and all I could do was just write it down, but it wasn't going backwards, it was going forwards. So, you know, finally I just went, you know, I tried not to think about what I was writing, I just tried to keep going. And now, when I listen to it it's different every time, you know.

MARSH: Well, again, it's one of the, of the really, packed with imagery and a lot of things float by, and there is this wonderful comment about, about not being like other people your age, which ---

YOUNG: Yeah, I always see my, I always see my wife, there's one, there's one part where I always see my wife, every time I hear it, and I see my kids, and uh, and it's real pure, it's right there, you know, that's one of the things I remember about that.

I put on "Mirror Ball" again recently and it all floods back. Pearl Jam serves as a killer band to back this record/concept (I really dig Eddie Vedder's lines in "Peace & Love"). They do a kick-ass job... although I woulda loved to hear Crazy Horse do it up right for "Downtown," a tribute to the San Francisco/Bay Area rock scene of the '60s and '70s. (I fucking love that song, and still grin at the name drops of Led Zepp, Hendrix, et. al.) But it's "I'm the Ocean" that is truly mythic in its greatness for me. And that fucker--I've never seen him do it live! And I've seen him more than five times (I've actually lost track!?) He really shoulda done it for me, doncha think?

I love all the words to this song. So, I share now. (you really gotta *listen* to it, though)

"I'm The Ocean" by Neil Young
I'm an accident
I was driving way too fast
Couldn't stop though
So I let the moment last
I'm for rollin'
I'm for tossin' in my sleep
It's not guilt though
It's not the company I keep

People my age
They don't do the things I do
They go somehwere
While I run away with you
I got my friends
And I got my children too
I got her love
She's got my love too

I can't hear you
But I feel the things you say
I can't see you
But I see what's in my way
Now I'm floatin'
Cause I'm not tied to the ground
Words I've spoken
Seem to leave a hollow sound

On the long plain
See the rider in the night
See the chieftain
See the braves in cool moonlight
Who will love them
When they take another life
Who will hold them
When they tremble from the knife

Voicemail numbers
On an old computer screen
Rows of lovers
Parked forever in a dream
Screaming sirens
Echoing across the bay
To the old boats
From the city far away

Homeless heroes
Walk the streets of their hometown
Rows of zeros
On a field that's turning brown
They play baseball
They play football under lights
They play card games
And we watch them every night

Need distraction
Need romance and candlelight
Need random violence
Need entertainment tonight
Need the evidence
Want the testimony of
Expert witnesses
On the brutal crimes of love

I was too tired
To see the news when I got home
Pulled the curtain
Fell into bed alone
Started dreaming
Saw the rider once again
In the doorway
Where she stood and watched for him
Watched for him

I'm not present
I'm a drug that makes you dream
I'm an Aerostar
I'm a Cutlass Supreme
In the wrong lane
Trying to turn against the flow
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow

I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow
I'm the ocean

1 comment:

jess said...