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February 16th, 2006

Neil Young

A polarizing force in our household is Neil Young. My wife can’t stand him (particularly his voice), while I respect what he’s done for music. Although I will admit that his voice takes a lot of… adaptation. What do you think about Sir Neil?

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Marcus Mackey September 27, 2006, 2:03 am

I do believe that his better days were in CSN&Y… as he blended in better and I think that was their better days overall as a band as everything harmonized real nicely. Some of his own stuff wasn’t terrible (wasn’t anything I’d make a point of going out on a limb to add to my collection either though, even “Southern Man”, while iconic… it slots in under “Hotel California” for me by The Eagles, and incidentally I prefer “The Gypsy Kings” version better), but age hasn’t helped him at all… as he was already on that fine line prior, but now that his vocal talent is degrading due to age… it just doesn’t come off as appealing as it once was, if he ever truly had a “good” voice to begin with. He kind of has a John Prine or Kris Kristoffersen side, a musical genius whose voice is as velvety smooth ::tongue-in-cheek:: as a bunch of feedback over an amp system that’s turned to 11, Spinal Tap-style. I remember the live performance with Neil and Pearl Jam in the 1990’s and kind of was left… flat by it, even as people raved about it for months seemingly. Not that much by Pearl Jam outside of anything off of Ten has really enamored me…. but I still think Vedder could offer more at this age than Young, it’s just a matter of “if” he will. I’m not so sure there either.

It’s kind of like paying $75 for Rolling Stones tickets to me though… it’s not quite a deal today even though people line up in droves for the experience seemingly. I’d rather paid $150 to see them in the 70’s or early 80’s when they were still in their prime and had a tremendous body of work to exhibit, but today… I don’t think I’d pay $40. They’re an iconic band full of legends that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for, but I just can’t see the appeal in this day and age as they’re not the band they once were. There are a lot of unknown or known but relatively “new” bands out there today that will put on a better show with good songs and cost you less $ and play their heart out in their prime or poised to enter their prime… not long since fallen from it and kind of milking it for more than it’s worth at this stage.

It’d also be like paying $100 to see Michael Jordan slap on a Bulls uniform right now and try to take on Lebron James or Iverson. It’d almost be a farce if Jordan was the main allure or reason to be there at this stage of his life, even as much of a Bulls fan as most of us Chicagoans were during his reign and mesmerized by his abilities as we were. I still think, at his height, that he was the most amazing player I’ve ever witnessed… perhaps even more amazing than Walter Payton was at his height as a Bears player IMHO for what he single-handedly brought to the sport and what the sport lost when he left.

Age does take it’s toll musically and physically, sadly… and there doe come a time to “Know when to say when” IMHO. I’m happy they do what makes them happy though, and I’m glad there are people that are willing to pay to see them… but I just can’t see spending that much at this stage as some do. Maybe it’s just my take. ::shrug::

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