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Concert Review: Neil Young Comes Home Again. Again. – The Torontoist

Neil Young Toronto 2011

Neil Young Comes Home Again. Again.
By John Semley on May 12, 2011, The Torontoist.

J. Hoberman, film critic for the Village Voice, summed up Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin as “the most eccentric of mainstream filmmakers (or the most accessible of avant-gardists).” It’s a handy turn of phrase that rings true as it is perfectly pithy, and captures the in-between status of Maddin and his work. It can also be, with slight rejigging, applied rather usefully to another slightly off-kilter Canadian artist (and erstwhile Winnipegger), Neil Young. Because Young’s work, even the cottage-rock classics of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, has always existed in a fuzzy intermediary state. At the risk of ripping off Hoberman, Neil Young may well be the most mainstream of outsider artists.

Like a lot of outsider musicians, Young projects that sense of frailty that emboldens audience members at concerts to shout out, “I LOVE YOU NEIL!” not just because they want to express enthusiasm for his music (or, maybe, because they actually love him love him), but because something about him makes them think that he actually needs the encouragement. In his nearly 50 years as a musician, Young’s persona has shifted and flipped around so many times—from shy-seeming singer-songwriter to cokey grunge-rocker, to weird-wacko-whoknowswhat who directed a little-seen movie called Human Highway (starring Devo and Dennis Hopper), to veteran environmentalist, humanitarian, and certified (twice, in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame) rock sage.

Other highlights: An as-yet unreleased song called “Leia,” a beautiful little lullaby to “the little people” performed on upright piano [extra for Randy!]; an absolutely show-stopping rendition of “Cortez the Killer,” one of those long songs that can never be long enough; Jonathan Demme seeming like a really genuinely nice guy.

–> moar on:
torontoist.com/2011/05/neil_young_comes_home_again_again.php
[with great photos by Nancy Paiva ! This photo here, also by Nancy Paiva, who did this wonderful series of Neil photos]

Random Quote

“If you go for a walk in a junkyard, every car is talking to you,” he said. “There are voices. It’s like a cacophony of sound. Every car has got people in them. There are junkers, all piled up, but if you get close to them there’s history in every one of them: the families that grew up in those cars, the kids, the lovers. Everything that happened in those cars, it’s all right there. That’s why I love cars. They all have a soul and story to tell.”
by -- Neil Young, about cars

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