Posts Tagged ‘Neil Young’

Sightings: Quilt, “Sugar Mountain”

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Although the first wave of psychedelic rockers are thought of as the ultimate sex, drugs and rock n’ roll generation, what makes their music special for me is its sense of innocence and idealistic exploration. Through the lens of our murky era, that time period when rebellion was as simple as challenging the laughably rigid ideals of the 1950s is certainly thought of fondly. Quilt, a band from contemporary Massachusetts, evokes the spirit of that era through their sound, and the enchanted feeling of their lyrical content. Their male and female vocal harmonies specifically evoke Jefferson Airplane. This track is from a compilation of contemporary musicians doing Neil Young covers, called Headed for the Ditch. The other artists represented include Emily Reo, Foxes in Fiction, and Teen Daze, to name a few. “Sugar Mountain” is a great fit for Quilt, and their version stays relatively true to the pleasantly nostalgic country rock of the original version. The freedom and innocence of the Summer of Love might be a cultural memory, but when I listen to Quilt it doesn’t seem so out of reach.

Quilt, “Sugar Mountain”

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Words: Samantha Cornwell
Headed For The Ditch is available for free from the Universal Electricity blog

Sightings: Sun Araw “Thrasher” (Neil Young Cover)

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The Woods Teaser Two from Team G on Vimeo.

Lately I’ve had a number of discussions about covers. The question seems to be how much value they have, and what an artist can do to filter a cover through their own distinct voice. It seems as though Sun Araw has really tapped into something with his recent Neil Young covers. On his European tour this Fall, he performed a piercing, scrappy rendition of “Barstool Blues” from 1975’s Zuma. Now he’s done it again with this mystical rendition of “Thrasher” from 1979s Rust Never Sleeps. The track is from the soundtrack to Michael Lessner’s new film The Woods, which appears to be a generational meditation about a quest to break free from material culture. This version of the song frames the original’s themes of loss and crumbling ideals in an even more mournful way. Another layer is added by the fact that this track represents the Los Angeles of the present paying homage to one of the most notable artists of the city’s past. As the song seeps over me, I imagine a meeting of ghosts on a smog filled night over Laurel Canyon.

Sun Araw, “Thrasher”

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Sightings: A Fundamental Experiment Benefit LP

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I haven’t seen JMW in years, but I will always remember him as the formidable skateboarder, line-cook extraordinare, cosmic guitar shredder, and all around big-hearted bro with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a rickety duplex for a short time back in Western Mass. Late last fall, JMW took a bad fall from a three-story building in San Francisco. Though he survived to tell the story, life after the accident has meant countless broken bones, months of recurring surgeries, and thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses that he will be potentially be paying off for the rest of his life. Now JMW has always had a very tight group of loving and equally big-hearted friends, and I was extremely touched to receive an email this week from M. Erikson — another former roommate, and the other half of Sudden Oak — about a limited run benefit L.P. that he put out this week to help take some of the edge off. Named after a tome by French spiritual surrealist RenĂ© Daumal, A Fundamental Experiment is ten-track compilation of Neil Young covers by a group of artists in JMW’s extended friend circle, including Matt Mondanile of Real Estate/Ducktails, Sun Araw, Julian Lynch, The Laurentide Ice Sheet, and several other talented folks hailing from both coasts of this wide land. Somehow I have no doubt that the Father of Grunge himself would approve. Submissions by Julian Lynch and Matt Mondanile below.

SIDE A
1) Julian Lynch – Sedan Delivery
2) Metal Rouge – Helpless
3) Sam Goldberg – Transformer Man
4) Swanox – Thrasher
5) Sun Araw – Barstool Blues

SIDE B
1) Stag Hare – Cortez the Killer
2) Laurentide Ice Sheet – Southern Man
3) Trevor Healy – Round and Round
4) Avocet – Expecting to Fly
5) Matt Mondanile – Look Out For My Love

Julian Lynch, “Sedan Delivery”

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Matt Mondanile, “Look Out For My Love”

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Edition of 300. Pick up a copy and learn more about the project via the Fundamental Experiment blog.