Tuesday, November 30th, 2004
Thrashers Wheat reports that Michael Moore has directed a new video for Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World”, which is being re-released as a single from his Greatest Hits. See the video here. Interspersing footage from Fahrenheit 9/11 and live performances from Neil’s recent Greendale tour, it’s a pretty severe edit of the song and it plays more like a commercial for the film than a video for the song. Consider that Neil’s Weld tour, which spawned a live album, came during the height of the first Gulf War and made this song a protest anthem of sorts, and now almost fifteen years later, a second Gulf War led by Bush Jr provides fresh, yet familiar, visuals for a second video. Well, that’s just messed.
Neil’s always been politically unpredictable, having gone from 70s hippie to a vocal Reagan-ite in the 80s (and alienating much of his longtime hippie audience, though his musical output over the same era certainly accomplished the same goal) to unofficially participating in this year’s Vote For Change tour. By unofficial, I mean that though he wasn’t technically one of the musical acts trying to oust Dubya (unsuccessfully, if you’ve been living in a cave), he did make a number of guest appearances at several shows. The man is almost 60, and yet somehow he’s still got the same fire in him that he had thirty years ago. Respect, Neil. Pitchfork has a review of Greatest Hits, which intrigues me for the DVD mixes of all the tracks but I still think any Neil neophyte would be better off with Decade and Live Rust as starting points.
It’s Stylus’ turn to talk to Dean Wareham about Luna’s breakup. This interview is pretty good, though. The west coast leg of their farewell tour is now being finalized and it looks like they will culminate in a couple final shows at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City in mid- to late-February.
An update on Jayhawksfanpage.com drops the tantilizing nugget that there may be some Golden Smog sessions taking place in the new year. If true, this is good news. It’s been far too long since the boys got together for Weird Tales.
Y’all know I love the shoegaze, right? Course you do. So you can believe me when I say I was pleasantly surprised to discover Sweden’s Fathom 5 – their lovely dream-pop sound harkens back to the sounds of classic Ride and Slowdive in a way that few modern bands who claim the same influence do – more often than not, acts that pledge allegiance to studying their sneakers use that as an excuse to play one chord for hours at excruciatingly high volume, completely neglecting the delicate melodicism that was just as much a hallmark of the genre. Of course, rather vague or simplistic lyrics were also characteristic of the original shoegaze movement, and Fathom 5 also follow suit there, but we’ll let that go for now. Sample Fathom 5’s mp3s here – it’s quite good stuff.
The Washington Post (bugmenot: firstname.lastname@example.org/purplehair) has some advice for Americans who said, jokingly or not, that they were going to flee to Canada after November 2 – don’t. Before all my fellow Canuckistanians get up in arms about it, I have to say that the article makes some good points. I’m as proud as the next hoser of my country, but the Smug Canadian is just as true a stereotype as the Ugly American, and it embarrasses me. And since I can’t think of a way to say “Americans are actually nice people!” without sounding utterly patronizing, I won’t. But they are. Well, most of them. And by most I mean some. And by some, I mean I have a list…
But on a more positive nationalist note, former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas has been voted The Greatest Canadian in a CBC poll. Douglas is best known for being the father of Canada’s socialized medicare system, an accomplishment which often overshadows his equally impressive feats of saving Santa Claus from the Martians and being Joe Perry’s replacement in Aerosmith during the early 1980s. My personal choice for Greatest Canadian (and to bring things full circle) was Neil Young. Yeah, universal health care is good, if you’re into that sort of thing, but “Cinnamon Girl” is GREAT. Dah dah dah dah! Duh-da-da-da-duuuuh…
np – The House Of Love / A Spy In The House Of Love