Posts tagged “neil young”

Parody or for-reals? More bad ideas becoming good ones

Neil Young has had an amazing career where musically speaking he’s done just about everything: doo-wop/rockabilly, electro-synth, experimental feedback noise, rock opera, and more.

Rock music (or any media) lends itself to parody, of course. Neil himself has been lovingly lampooned by Jimmy Fallon over the past few years, as Jimmy plays Harvest-era Neil singing some unlikely songs (here, here, here). The collision between artist and material is an easy (and hilarious) one; here’s an SNL classic, Kiddie Metal

But now we have Americana, Neil Young’s latest album. With Crazy Horse (his grungiest of bands), he’s covered old old folk songs, including Oh Susannah, Clementine, She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, and This Land Is Your Land.

Just to be annoying, Neil’s also got a 40-minute silent film to promote the album. He was interviewed on Fresh Air this week, as well.

Of course, there’s no objective measure of this as a “good idea” or a “bad idea” (and for Neil Young, it’s definitely not album sales). But despite my initial grouchy skepticism (that’s gonna suck!) about the concept, I did have “whoah” and “oh wow” smiles when I first heard any of it. So I’m voting good idea for the result, but what an awesome bad idea in the creative process.

Also see Ideas so Bad, They’re Good and my recent Core77 piece The power of Bad Ideas.

Obit for Scott Young

From Canadian Press

Peterborough, Ont. Canadian journalist and author Scott Young has died at the age of 87. Mr. Young, father of pop music icon Neil Young, died Sunday in Kingston, Ont.

He travelled the world covering the Second World War, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and nearly every major sporting event in North America.

“He was someone who preferred to be at home,” Margaret Hogan, his wife of 25 years, said Monday from Kingston.

Mr. Young began his journalism career as a sports reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press. He moved to The Canadian Press in Toronto at the age of 23 after the paper refused to give him a raise. Mr. Young told CP in 1994 that Free Press managing editor George Ferguson told him, “You will never be worth more than $25 a week to the Winnipeg Free Press.”

Mr. Young covered both news and sports for CP, and covered the Second World War from London. In 1957, Mr. Young joined The Globe and Mail as a sports columnist.

He covered Grey Cups, World Series, Stanley Cups, the Olympics and even appeared on Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. Mr. Young also worked for Maclean’s magazine and the Toronto Telegram. He gave up newspapers in 1980.

Apart from his accomplished newspaper career, he also wrote 45 books. His novels and non-fiction work included The Flood, the two Arctic thrillers Murder in a Cold Climate and The Shaman’s Knife, and 1984’s Neil and Me, about his relationship with his famous rock ‘n’ roll son.

Ms. Hogan said her husband hadn’t written anything in years. Peterborough Mayor Sylvia Sutherland said Mr. Young, who owned a farm in nearby Cavan, left a void in the landscape of Canadian journalism.

“He was one of the outstanding journalists of his time,” she said. “He had an incisive intelligence. He knew how to get a good story. I love Scott. I miss him a lot, everybody will. He’s one of the great legends of Canadian journalism and it’s a loss to those of us who love journalism.”


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