For our May 2019 session we celebrate Neil Young classic “After The Gold Rush”!
The ’60s were barely over and the ’70s just starting when Neil Young recorded a requiem for the era. The mournful title track to his third album, After the Gold Rush (which was released on Sept. 19, 1970), is ostensibly an ode to the environment, but viewed from other angles, deeper implications surface.
It’s also the end of an early chapter in Young’s career. After breaking from Buffalo Springfield and releasing his debut solo album in 1968, the singer-songwriter would begin what would become the first of many career left turns. On 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, he plugged in and scraped away at the scabs with the young Crazy Horse.
But by the following year, when he was set to make a follow-up LP, he had fired them (but retained a few songs they had already laid down) and retreated to his basement in Topanga, Calif., where he started recording tracks for the follow-up record, a 360-degree turn into acoustic country and folk music with a group of musicians whose approach was a bit more delicate.
Rubbing against the plugged-in numbers left over from the Crazy Horse sessions, the new songs — which featured 18-year-old Nils Lofgren on guitar and piano, an instrument he was mostly unfamiliar with — helped create a ragged and almost disjointed record that’s never quite sure if it’s electric or acoustic, part of the ’60s or part of the ’70s.
And it’s a brilliant juxtaposition, one that gives After the Gold Rush a feeling of frustration and resignation. It’s a romantic album too — the soft “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is a highlight — but the sting of “Southern Man,” which immediately follows in the track listing, tempers the mood.
Time and Date: Sunday May 19th 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Songbyrd, 2477 18th st NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States
Audio Menu provided by Audioism.
REGA Planar 3 turntable with Elys MM Cartridge, REGA Fono MM Phono Preamp, Audioism MicroZOTL Preamp (David Berning Design), Audioism Venue-Class Playback System, Xcilica HD System Processor, Audioism ZOTL Amplifiers (David Berning Design), Class AB Hybrid Amplification for Subs, WyWires Audio Interconnects
The post Classic Album Sundays Washington D.C. Presents Neil Young ‘After The Goldrush’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.
We’re set to experience one of the best hiphop albums of all time. Celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary in April, Nas’s Illmatic was a game-changing record which helped kick-start the resurgence of New York hiphop in the mid ’90s. It’s an album that struggles between optimism and nihilism, the mood shifting, between lines and songs, at a moments notice, as Nas strives to realise his world-beating ambitions in the midst of conflict and deprivation. Far from allowing teenage angst to overwhelm him, the rapper is often alarmingly cool headed and pragmatic, even when cold despondency seeps in through the cracks.
Please note this is a seated event starting at 12 (noon) sharp, kicking off with context music and a proper introduction. Full album playback starts at 1pm. Food and drinks will be available, and anyone who comes for CAS will get in free to the following dance party, which starts at 3pm at Nowadays.
New York City
Time and Date: Sunday May 19th 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Nowadays, 56-06 Cooper Ave. Ridgewood, NY 11385
Barbie Bertisch, Paul Raffaele
Only love can break your heart! Join us as we put our hearts on our sleeves and sink into Neil Young’s watershed third album, first released in 1970 – and just as emotionally gripping and spine-tingling today as it was then. Presented in full, on vinyl and in audiophile hi-fi in the plush Velvet Lounge at The Beauchamp Hotel, it’ll be the perfect listening experience for a cosy autumn Sunday evening.
Note: there will be more added to this program – watch this space.
As it’s now autumn, we’ll be opening our doors one hour earlier than we do in the summer, at 5pm.
Time and Date: Sunday May 19th 5:00pm – 8:30pm
The Beauchamp Hotel, 265-267 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
J.P. Ducharne (The Mancusian Circus), Jim Poe (Deep House Australia)
The post Classic Album Sundays Sydney Presents Neil Young ‘After The Gold Rush’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.
Neave Trio Does Astor Piazzolla ProudReview by: Jens F. Laurson
Artistic Quality: ?Sound Quality: ?The ungainly stiff shrink-wrap. The cheap jewel case. The cluttered Word-Press-level design job on the booklet. The unprofessional and unflattering picture: All these hallmarks of a vanity production (or at least an amateurish one) bode ill for this release. In happy contrast, the music-making of
Join our community to be in with a chance of winning a vinyl copy of Neil Young After The Gold Rush and a pair of Klipsch R6 earbuds.
Join our community here.
We will contact a lucky winner at the end of May. All you have to do is join the community to be in with a chance!
The post Neil Young ‘After The Gold Rush’ Vinyl and Klipsch R6 Earbuds Giveaway appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.
By the end of the 1960s Neil Young was catching the ear of many influential figures – not least his old band mate Stephen Stills, who was now part of the Grammy-winning folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills & Nash. The band were keen to have him onboard as a sideman, but Young was insistent that he be given a full title credit as a condition for his contributions. Stills frequently found himself fighting with Young for control over the band’s songwriting, and has famously said that the latter “wanted to play folk music in a rock band.”
Young’s dogged self-determination, despite its interpersonal downfalls, was a major artistic virtue that fed directly into what was perhaps his first true masterpiece. After The Gold Rush had its beginnings in an unlikely place. Dean Stockwell, a former child star of the ‘40s and ‘50s, had been encouraged by his friend Dennis Hopper to write a screenplay whilst the pair were in the jungles of Peru producing a film entitled The Last Movie. Hopper assured Stockwell that he had the relevant connections to help get the film made, and once back in the US the latter retreated to his home at Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles Mountains to commence the writing process.
A fellow resident of the canyon and a close friend of Stockwell’s, Young was suffering through a prolonged period of writer’s block and was under growing pressure from his label to record an album of new material. After learning of the writer’s creative endeavour he was intrigued to learn more and asked Stockwell if he could read a draft of the story. The script, which has since been lost, was an unconventional, non-linear narrative with religious and psychedelic undertones. It loosely detailed an end-of-the-world scenario centred on the local Californian environment, in which a biblical flood threatened to pull the state into the ocean. Captivated by this messy but intriguing tale, Young recalls: “I was writing a lot of songs at the time, and some of them seemed like they would fit right in with the story.”
Ironically Hopper’s proximity to the project scared off any interested executives, and before long the film seemed destined to remain in limbo. Nonetheless, Young was fired up and undeterred, commencing work immediately on what he imagined to be the soundtrack of this deeply counter-cultural Hollywood film. Finding time to write and record was difficult, as large swathes of 1970 were blocked out by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s huge US Tour and further live obligations with Crazy Horse. In the precious gaps between shows, Young made initial recordings at Hollywood’s Sunset Studios, yielding “I Believe In You” and “Oh Lonesome Me” but quickly realised he preferred the atmosphere of the Canyon, continuing the process at the home studio set up in his lead-lined basement. It was here that his ensemble of bassist Greg Reeves, drummer Ralph Molina, and guitarist Nils Lofgren assembled.
The studio was a small and sweaty space, adjoined to a side control room from which producer David Briggs kept an eye on proceedings. The youngest of the ensemble, eighteen year-old Lofgren was brought in to play keyboards despite being a relative novice at the time of recording, highlighting Young’s unconventional laid back approach. Accordingly the musician recalls that “Neil didn’t mind rehearsing a bit” but they “didn’t belabour stuff.” It’s often considered that Young was attempting to merge musicians from both Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse on this album, and Stephen Stills even appears on “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” to provide backing vocals.
The basement’s make-shift setup influenced the stark and plaintive sound of After The Gold Rush. Young featured solo on piano throughout the album, most notably on the title track which is often praised as the centrepiece of the album. Charting a surreal and fantastical course through three verses, the song starts in a medieval era of knights and peasants and ends in outer space with the remnants of humanity, after the world has descended into apocalypse.
The song was designed to directly mirror the plot of the proposed film, and Young invited Stockwell to sit in on some of the album’s sessions. The writer was impressed: “If you could calculate the amount of human energy that goes into the making of one of his songs, you would have a really fucking high number, man.”
Explaining his thoughts behind the environmentally conscious song Young recalls: “I recognise in it now this thread that goes through a lotta my songs that’s this time-travel thing… When I look out the window, the first thing that comes to my mind is the way this place looked a hundred years ago.”
But stepping out of the failed film’s shadow, After The Gold Rush as a whole fits neatly into Young’s continued development as one of the finest songwriters of the North American tradition. Young’s ability to convey nuanced emotion through potently simple chord sequences and unvarnished yet poetic lyrics is exemplified on songs such as “Birds” and “Only Love…”, which highlight the often overlooked yet effortless sonic beauty of his music. The fact that the album allows such space for this aspect of Young’s work to blossom reveals why it remains one of the most beloved in his expansive catalogue.
Despite producing no major hits and suffering a ferociously critical review from Rolling Stone, the album truly kicked off Young’s celebrated solo career, preceding game-changing albums, such as 1972’s Harvest, and was quickly re-considered as one of the finest albums of the 1970s by the very publications who had tore it to pieces just a few years prior. It’s a testament to how swiftly Young’s career was ascending – from folk-rock’s resilient underdog to one of the standard-bearers of the great American songbook.