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Posts Tagged ‘Honor the Treaties’

Calgary, Jack Singer Concert Hall

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REVIEW: Neil Young mesmerizes with once-in-a lifetime show

By Mike Bell, Calgary Herald January 20, 2014

It was somewhat fortuitous timing.

Earlier Sunday morning, one of the Canadian stations carried locally was playing The Simpsons Movie, a film that is, at its very core, under the guise of road trips to Alaska, subplots about the need for family, second chances and redemption, and hidden beneath spider songs about pigs named Plopper, an environmental film.

They make the statement from the outset about the direction they’re headed and the route they’ll travel when a cartoon version of punk band Green Day (redundant, possibly) is shown performing the show’s theme on a barge/stage floating on a lake in front of the enthusiastic citizens of Springfield.

“We’ve been playing for three and a half hours,” says the animated version of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. “Now we’d like just a minute of your time to say something about the environment.”

The band are, of course, booed and bottled and met with angry calls to just shut up and sing.
Which brings us to Neil Young’s sold-out show Sunday night at the Jack Singer Concert Hall.

It follows a complete, sometimes divisive week of interviews, press conferences, pro and con op-eds, attacks, counterattacks and rhetoric as Young and his Honor the Treaties benefit tour made their way across the country to raise money and awareness for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defense Fund as they get set to battle oilsands development in northern Alberta.

After a somewhat feisty press conference earlier in the day, in the petroleum-stoked belly of the beast, the evening concert, the final one of the jaunt, was, for the most part, the opportunity for the legendary artist to shut up and sing. And us to shut up and listen.

Or, to quote lines from the opening song from his performance, From Hank to Hendrix, “Here I am with this old guitar, doin’ what I do.” What he does best.

And, oh, how magically he did it for those lucky enough to find themselves among the few to make their way into the intimate, once-in-a-lifetime, solo acoustic gig.

Young was in remarkable form, in exquisite voice, in a warm, comfortable and giving mood as he sat on the Singer stage, amid a handful of guitars, pianos and other well-worn instruments, plucking from the collection, talking to them, telling some of their stories and histories, and picking tunes from his timeless, well-worn catalogue that still has all of its power intact. In fact, perhaps even more so thanks to the passage of time and effects they’ve had on the man from whence they’ve come.

For proof, all you had to hear were the opening words of Helpless or the dreamy chorus of Only Love Can Break Your Heart — both sending shivers, walking the line between beaten and beatific, haunted and heavenly, sad and sanguine.

The rest of the evening, the bottomless offering of classics saw Young walking those lines with a skill and ease which were disarming and frankly awe-inspiring.

Be it at a piano for Love In Mind, on both banjo and harmonica for Mellow My Mind, playing a pump organ for a dirty and steamy Mr. Soul or the tour-appropriate Pocahontas (which he gave an appropriate lyrical reworking), seated front and centre for Harvest, an unforgettable version of Old Man, the stark and devastating Ohio and a howling take on Southern Man, or standing for the area appropriate cover of Ian Tyson’s Four Strong Winds, it was as if he was crafting the songs for the very first time, in the moment, on this night, in this building, and in our presence.
And if you didn’t feel that, you weren’t listening.

Perhaps the only criticism of the evening could be that while Young kept his part of the bargain, there were some in the audience who had a hard time doing the same. He, for the most part, shut up and played — and when he spoke, did so about the music and his past without agenda — but there were a handful of idiots who refused to keep quiet and listen, yelling out inanities at inopportune moments, hooting and whooping, and at times killing the mood that he had so skilfully set.

But still, that’s on them, not on him. Young had done his talking and was willing to let his music say so, so much more on this night.

And when all was said and done, it was one of the best shows this city has been blessed with in recent memory.

Of this, there can be no sides, no arguments, no debates.

As for opener, Canadian contemporary jazz chanteuse Diana Krall, she, too, was aware of why she and us were gathered together, also acknowledging it during a brief introduction to Let It Rain halfway through her almost hour-long, solo set.

“This song’s all about love,” she said, sitting at one of Young’s keyboards. “So I’ll just shut up and sing.”

She did, again, with a sense of familiarity and looseness that were infused her few originals and many covers — Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate, Cole Porter’s Don’t Fence Me In, Joni Mitchell’s Black Crow, a couple of Tom Waits’s tunes including Take It With Me, and a gorgeous version of The Band’s Ophelia — and made the night something special.

Or that much more special.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/music/REVIEW+Young+mesmerizes+with+once+lifetime+show/9406312/story.html

Twitter Hijacks #NeilYoungLies With Hilarious Results

n-NEIL-YOUNG-large570The backlash to Neil Young’s anti-oilsands crusade now has a slogan Neil Young Lies, a website and a twitter feed which savages the singer’s environmental activism, according to Huffington Post.

@NeilYoungLies launched yesterday with this tweet:

NEW SITE exposing @NeilYoungLies in his campaign of abusing celebrity status to wage a campaign of deceit & propaganda against #cdn oilsands.

But their #NeilYoungLies hashtag was quickly, and hilariously, hijacked by snarky Twitter users.

Check out the hilarious tweets at  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/21/neil-young-oilsands-twitter-neilyounglies_n_4637955.html.

Here’s a few:

“The Cinnamon Girl was actually nutmeg.”

“Cortez was aquitted of all charges.”

“Flying Mother Nature’s silver seed to a new home in the sun. Impossible. No one can live in the sun.”

“Rust sometimes sleeps.”

“You don’t resemble a hurricane in any way.”

“No! Not everybody knows this is nowhere!”

“‘Down by the river, I shot my baby dead.'” Neil Young has NEVER been found guilty of murder. Who is he covering for?”

—-

The NeilYoungLies.CA initiator:

NeilYoungLies-admin

***

“Science is the roadmap, Science cannot be ignored as inconvenient.”

Neil’s extended speech before  Jan. 12, 2014 Massey Hall concert

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Oil sands supporters protest Neil Young show in Calgary

Neil-Young-Calgary protesters

Protestor Merle Terlesky, left (wearing toque) talking to Neil Young associate Dave Toms. Photo: Christopher Walsh.

Oil sands supporters protest Neil Young show in Calgary
Christopher Walsh | January 19, 2014

Neil Young says concerts got Canadians talking about oil sands, which equals success

A half dozen oil sands supporters took to the street outside the Jack Singer Concert Hall Sunday night in anticipation of the Neil Young Calgary show to protest the rock legend’s comments about the Alberta oil sands that they call “lies.”

“We want Neil to know we’re here,” said Merle Terlesky outside the final Honour the Treaties show of the tour. “We’re not here to shut him down, we just want him to tell the truth.”

Terlesky and other protesters say Young’s comments surrounding the development of Alberta’s oil sands are ill-informed and don’t reflect what the oil sands means for Alberta and the rest of the country.  Neil Young came under fire last week for comparing the oil sands to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. His four-city tour which wrapped up Sunday in Calgary was meant to raise funds for the Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation’s legal battle to hault further development of the oil sands area.

The protesters said Sunday that Neil Young has confused his message about the oil sands and First Nations’ treaties.

“I’m a proud Albertan.  I think Neil Young has a right to free speech, but he needs to tell the truth and separate the issues of the natives and the oil sands,” Terlesky said.

“It’s interesting that they say it’s not about the oil, it’s about the treaties; but all they’re doing is slamming oil,” said protest organizer Craig Chandler. “We got some people down here because we want to stop the lies and get the facts out.”

The group handed out info flyers and held signs that read, “stop the lies” and “proud of the Alberta oil patch.”

Arguments with concert-goers and Aboriginals were heated, but remained peaceful  .“We don’t want to shut anything down,” Dave Toms told the oil sands supporters. “We just want you to clean up your mess. They’ll never fix it up the way it was.”

Toms, also known as “The Passenger” on the Neil Young website promoting Young’s electric car the LincVolt, said he respected the protesters’ opinions but that he was concerned about the environmental impacts of future oil sands development.

“Throw out the oppressors,” he told Terlesky. “This is an occupied city, dude, occupied by big oil and the CAPP.”

At a press conference earlier in the day, Neil Young told reporters the Honour the Treaties tour has accomplished what it set out to do by raising well over $75,000 for the Fort Chipewyan First Nations’ legal defence fund and raising awareness about the oil sands and aboriginal rights.

read all: beaconnews.ca/calgary/2014/01/oil-sands-supporters-protest-neil-young-show-in-calgary/

Prominent Canadian Artists and Scientists Sign On to Stand with ACFN

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Prominent Canadian Artists and Scientists Sign On to Stand With Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation In Oilsands Expansion Fight

Support Comes Hours After Wildly Successful Neil Young Fundraising Concert Series Nets In Excess of $500,000

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Jan 20, 2014) – Not even a full day after Neil Young’s incredibly successful “Honour the Treaties” Tour, which raised more than half a million dollars to help the Athabasca Chipewyan challenge further tar sands encroachment within their traditional homelands, a noted group of Canadian authors, musicians, and climate scientists released a letter of support to the campaign, noting “the time has come for Canada to decide if we want a future where First Nations rights and title are honoured, agreements with other countries to protect the climate are honoured, and our laws are not written by powerful oil companies.”

The letter was signed by more than 20 notable Canadians, including actor Neve Campbell, writers Joseph Boyden and Michael Ondaatje, dancer and member of the Order of Canada Margi Gillis and climate scientist Dr. Danny Harvey.

“I applaud Neil Young’s efforts to raise awareness of these critical issues. Further expansion of tar sands operations is simply incompatible with our climate obligations and moral responsibilities,” said climate scientist Dr. Danny Harvey.

Young’s tour was designed to draw international attention to the Canadian government’s failure to respect treaties made with First Nations, and to highlight the growing environmental impacts in Alberta from oil sands development. The tour sparked a national conversation that featured Prime Minister Stephen Harper and oil executives criticizing Young but ignoring the issues he raised about the consequences of violating Treaty rights in the pursuit to further exploit the oil sands.

The tour has now raised $500,000 for the Athabasca Chipewyan legal challenges.

“The Federal Government’s continued approval of new tar sands mines such as Shell’s Jackpine mine despite the devastating environmental impacts and inadequate consultation with First Nations is insulting and unlawful. We are encouraged and grateful for all the support we are receiving from across Canada. This is just the beginning,” said Chief Allan Adam of the ACFN.
It is clear that First Nations bear the brunt of environmental impacts from oil sands development. For parts of the year 80% of the traditional territory of the ACFN and Mikisew Cree is inaccessible due to oil sands development and studies show 30% increase in cancer rates of the residents of Fort Chipewyan. Further south, the Beaver Lake Cree First Nations claim 20,000 treaty violations.

The impacts to climate change from oil sands development are striking. Greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil sands now exceed the total emissions from 85 countries and are rising. More oil sands growth would make it impossible for Canada to meet its goal of a 17% reduction of carbon pollution from 2005 levels by 2020, meaning that Canada would not meet its international obligations to reduce emissions.

ACFN will use the funds from the concerts and crowd-sourced funds for their legal defense to protect and preserve their homelands north of Fort McMurray. The ACFN recognizes the need for economic development however there is simply a need for true balance and respect of environmental, Treaty and Aboriginal rights in the pursuit of these goals. In 2014, ACFN will likely participate in two hearings – for the Shell Pierre River mine and for the Teck Resources Frontier Mine — and continue their challenge of both the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan and the Jackpine mine decision.

Full text of the open letter:

On his Honour the Treaties tour, Neil Young is doing what poets do – forcing us to examine ourselves. This is hard enough on a personal level and it can be even more difficult when we are being asked to examine the direction in which our country is headed.

The time has come for Canada to decide if we want a future where First Nations rights and title are honoured, agreements with other countries to protect the climate are honoured, and our laws are not written by powerful oil companies. Or not.

Neil’s tour has triggered the Prime Minister’s Office and oil company executives. They have come out swinging because they know that this is a hard conversation and they might lose. But that should not stop the conversation from happening.

Instead of focusing on Neil Young’s celebrity, Prime Minister Harper should inform Canadians how he plans to honour the treaties with First Nations. This means ensuring the water, land, air, and climate are protected so the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations and other First Nations communities be able to hunt, fish, gather plants and live off the land. Canada signed a treaty with them 114 years ago, and this must be honoured.

The world is watching as we decide who we will become. Will we disregard the treaties we have with First Nations? Will we continue to allow oil companies to persuade our government to gut laws, silence scientists, and disassemble civil society in order to allow reckless expansion of the oil sands?

We are proud to stand with Neil Young as he challenges us all to think about these larger, more profound and humane questions.

Now is the time for leadership and to honour promises that we have made, not personal attacks.

Michael Ondaatje, author, Officer of the Order of Canada
Margi Gillis, dancer, Member of the Order of Canada
Clayton Ruby, lawyer, Member of the Order of Canada
Dr. David Suzuki, scientist, Companion of the Order of Canada
Dr. David Schindler, scientist, Officer of the Order of Canada
Stephen Lewis, Companion of the Order of Canada
Joseph Boyden, author
Gord Downie, musician
Sarah Harmer, musician
Naomi Klein, author
Dr. John Stone, scientist
Tzeporah Berman, author
Amanda Boyden, author
Neve Campbell, actor
Wade Davis, author
Dr. Danny Harvey, climate scientist
J.B. MacKinnon, author
Dan Managan, musician
Sid Marty, author
Andrew Nikiforuk, author
Rick Smith, author
John Valliant, author
Ronald Wright, author

Additional resources:

  • http://thefirelightgroup.com/projects/as-long-as-the-rivers-flow-athabasca-river-knowledge-use-and-change/
  • http://www.ualberta.ca/~avnish/rls-2009-02-06-fort-chipewyan-study.pdf
  • http://www.beaverlakecreenation.ca/upload/documents/statementofclaim.pdf
  • http://www.ec.gc.ca/Publications/253AE6E6-5E73-4AFC-81B7-9CF440D5D2C5/793-Canada%27s-Emissions-Trends-2012_e_01.pdf
  • http://ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=en&n=F60DB708

***

Please donate to help the First Nation's battle 
against the Alberta tar sands..
http://www.honourtheacfn.ca/

Random Quote

Dream up, dream up, let me fill your cup
With the promise of a man.

by -- Neil Young

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