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posts about Neil Young’s activism, politically and environmentally

NPR streams The Monsanto Years: “Taut” and “snarly”

10407532_760324400706134_8756850788598829929_nNPR writer Tom Moon seems to like Neil Young’s latest release: “The Monsanto Years.” NPR is streaming the album on its website at:

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/21/415234582/first-listen-neil-young-promise-of-the-real-the-monsanto-years

We’ve heard enough about it for months now. The album will be officially released June 30.

Moon writes:

“Having written some of the rock era’s most tender odes to love and devotion, Young, now 69, might well be a little conflicted. He understands how love can be an escape; he appreciates the notion of the love song as a salve for the soul. But he’s a chronicler of his times, and there’s so much going on in the world, from the erosion of basic freedoms to the erosion of the soil, and he feels a responsibility to sound the alarm. The title line is repeated often, in unwaveringly consonant ’60s-Coke-commercial vocal harmonies — a contrast to the acidic voice Young uses to inventory the many unpleasant realities that have riled him up.”

He calls the song: “People Want To Hear About Love”  the most artful moment on The Monsanto Years, Young’s 36th studio album as a solo artist. “Taut” is his word for it, and Young is describes as “Snarly.”

“Here, we have a series of taut and stone-simple Neil Young songs that fit together under a catchall concept (about companies wielding extraordinary influence over many aspects of our quality of life), each powered by its own supply of righteous fury. Enjoyment of it probably depends less on whether you agree with Young’s positions than on how much tolerance you have for a mantra, repeated frequently, using the three syllables that make up the trade name Monsanto. It also helps to like your harangues set to three-chord rock and expressed through triadic melodies. This is not subtle, Harvest Moon Neil, brooding at the piano. This is ornery, snarly Neil. Give him a megaphone and a transcript of these lyrics, put him on a street corner and watch what happens.”

Decide for yourself.

Read more, and listen here:

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/21/415234582/first-listen-neil-young-promise-of-the-real-the-monsanto-years

“I make music for people, not for candidates,” Young says

Neil and Donald TrumpHere is a statement made by Neil Young posted on his Facebook page on June 17, regarding presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s use of the song “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World”  during is announcement that he is running for U.S. president:

 

Yesterday my song “Rockin in the Free World” was used in a announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission.

A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but It was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service.

Music is a universal language. so I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don’t share my beliefs.

But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate – I would have said no.

I am Canadian and I don’t vote in the United States, but more importantly I don’t like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people’s.

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption as well as are the proposed trade deals which would further compromise our rights.
These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don’t have children. They don’t have feelings or soul. They don’t depend on uncontaminated water, clean air or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing – the bottom line.
I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power. When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.
Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues. I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice.
But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge.
Thats why its crucial we all get engaged and get informed.
That’s why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.

I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.

Keep on Rockin in the Free World.
Neil Young

 

Monsanto issues statement about Young’s GMO war

Monsanto: “Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young.  Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable.  We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.”

Statement to BillBoardbiz

The agrochemical company Monsanto has fired back at Neil Young for his album ‘The Monsanto Years.’

“The farmer knows he’s got to grow what he can sell, Monsanto, Monsanto / So he signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto, Monsanto,” Young sings on the title track. “Every year he buys the patented seeds / Poison-ready they’re what the corporation needs, Monsanto.”

An article in Rolling Stone states: The Monsanto Years (which comes out on June 29th) also takes on Starbucks for their use of GMOs. “Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling,” the company said. “As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.”

Chevron refused to comment on Young’s lyrics, though Walmart did bite. “As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour,” they told Billboard. “We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life.”

Neil Young and Promise of the Real kick off their North American summer tour July 5th at the Marcus Ampitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/monsanto-says-that-neil-youngs-new-lp-is-based-on-myths-20150616#ixzz3dH2dFUmE

Neil tells Trump, don’t stump with my song

Keep on rockin in the free worldWhen Donald Trump strode on to the stage at Trump Tower on Tuesday to announce that he would enter the Republican race for president, a rock and roll anthem blared: Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” reported Mother Jones On June 16.

David Corn writes: “It was an odd choice, given that the 1989 song seemed to slam a Republican administration for not giving a damn about the poor.  And Young has taken exception to Trump’s appropriation of his tune.”

A statement issued to Mother Jones for Young by his longtime manager Elliot Roberts suggests Young was not pleased by Trump’s use of the song:

Donald Trump’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” was not authorized. Mr. Young is a longtime supporter of Bernie Sanders.

Source: <a href="http://m try this site.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/neil-young-donald-trump-bernie-sanders” target=”_blank”>http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/neil-young-donald-trump-bernie-sanders

New York Post article says Young, Greenpeace are starving the world

golden-riceAn article printed in New York Post on June 14 by Owen Paterson, says Neil Young and Green Peace are working to starve the world’s poor.

Paterson is the Conservative Member of Parliament for North Shropshire. He was UK secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs from 2012 to 2014.

Paterson writes: “The aging songwriter is following the lead of activists who claim that GMOs are harmful to health, farmers and the environment. This is tragically wrong. In reality, GMOs can save millions of lives. It’s the environmentalists who are doing real harm.”

He gives the example of  Golden Rice, a miracle grain enhanced with Vitamin A-producing beta-carotene, and say the rice could save many lives in third world countries.

“But the ongoing opposition of anti-GMO activist groups and their lavish scare campaign with its combined global war chest estimated to exceed $500 million a year have kept Golden Rice off the global market,” he writes.

Paterson said instead of bashing companies that are trying to save lives, Young ought to use his star power to convince the NGO community to do the right thing and support giving the developing world the GMO tools it needs to feed its growing, and tragically malnourished, populations.

Read more at: http://nypost.com/2015/06/14/how-neil-young-greenpeace-work-to-starve-the-worlds-poor/

 

Random Quote

Like Bob Dylan, with whom he is most comparable, Young periodically falls in and out of favor with public taste, but at no point in the past has that stunted his ambition.
by Mark Guarino, Chicago Daily Herald, 29 Aug 2003.

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