Thursday, 9 April 2015

Something's Never Change, Something's Forever Change - 'Hurricane' by Neil Young - 'Tundra Songs' by Kronos Quartet

Something's Never Change, Something's Forever Change ...

 
For all those who come seeking the new; for all those who arrive intending to re-invent Rock and Roll; for all those who desire some passion in an increasingly passionless world, look no further than Neil Young. Here he is yet again, on this storm trooping live recording, demonstrating how the music should be played, how relevant it remains even though much of it is of the past.
Here comes Neil kicking up dust and throwing down challenges left, right and centre even though left, right and centre all look pretty much the same. The radical edge inherent in his music is still sharp enough to cut through the crap and detritus the corporate world with its undemocratic dictates, its love of money, of hoarding wealth, of legally, if immorally, defrauding people of billions in taxes.
Here there is music that supports the downtrodden, the underclass, the environment. In other words things that matter. The only answer the mainstream, the establishment have, is by sideswiping the likes of Neil Young as he too is a millionaire. Far better in my opinion that artists make their money on the back of their talent rather than on the backs of others done undercover of legalities.
 
HurricaneYes, this is the music of the now and the then. It still rocks in a manner only the likes of a few can still genuinely produce. Neil Young is one of them. From full on rockers to introspective soul searchers, to anthemic ball busters, this is the real deal.
 
In the forty nine years or so Neil Young has been making music, he has not once veered away from those things that mattered to him. Through Hippy counter culture, through the Regan era of 'drip feeding,' through the Bushes and out again and into another financial crash, Young has stood up for, and remained true to what he holds true. This music shows it.
 
 
 Something's Never Change, Something's Forever Change...



"The present day composer refuses to die" thus said Edgar Varese. The quote then found acclaim via the works of Frank Zappa. The quote must have resonated somewhat with a band who are surely one of, if not the, most progressive of quartets if not groups - The Kronos Quartet. It was they who commissioned Canadian composer Derek Charke.  

Derek's composition's are electrifying. They gather not the moss of so many. They are very much of the contemporary world even if he, and by default they, owe much to those masters gone before. This album breaks many boundaries with is exploratory, fresh initiatives. The addition of tape loops, of spoken pre-recorded passages is a rare treat as is the playing of the Kronos Quartet.


 
 I can discern no difference between their desire to push ever onward discovering new ways to present music in as pluralistic manner as possible than that of Swans, The Fall, Pere Ubu or the magnificent St. Vincent. Theirs is the old blushing bold with the encouragement of the new. It is here where youth burbles with fresh enthusiasm tempered but not hindered by  tradition. This album, these 'Tundra Songs' leaps high in my regard and already stakes a claim for my album of the year. Many months to go yet but seriously listen to this incredible album.
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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