Saturday, November 15, 2008

book - The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present

It's not possible to sum up the best songs in just 500 choices. The book barely scratches the surface of worthy songs, but it's a starting place, ideal for people with a light interest in music or those just getting into music. True, there's a lot of lesser-known artists discussed, but you get a feeling that the book is too ambitious to be authoritative and that it would have been much more successful as a website, not limiting itself to just 500 selections. There are numerous websites out there that more or less cover the same material and have selections picked by fans, as well. On the plus side, it's only $18.99 and makes for some good reading, particularly with the stories behind the songs. I had a feeling this book would be a compromise and I was correct, however, I don't regret having bought it. Someone from the blog from closer to near transcribed the entire list.

1977 – 1979

David Bowie – Heroes
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Lou Reed – Street Hassle
Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
Brian Eno – 1/1
The Ramones – Rockaway Beach
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
Television – Marquee Moon
Patti Smith – Rock n Roll Nigger
The Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen
The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love?
Vic Godard and the Subway Sect – Parallel Lines
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
The Adverts – One Chord Wonders
Wire – Ex-Lion Tamer
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
Giorgo Moroder - The Chase
Chic – Good Times
Thelma Houston – Don’t Leave Me This Way
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Parliament – Flash Light
Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
Public Image Ltd. – Public Image
Gang of Four – Damaged Goods
Magazine – Shot by Both Sides
The Cramps – Human Fly
The Misfits – Night of the Living Dead
Wire – Outdoor Miner
Joy Division – Disorder
Althea and Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
Lee Perry – Roast Fish and Cornbread
The Congos – Fisherman
Willie Williams – Armagideon Time
This Heat – 24 Track Loop
The Slits – Typical Girls
The Pop Group – She Is Beyond Good and Evil
The Clash – The Guns of Brixton
James Chance and the Contortions – Contort Yourself
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag
Throbbing Gristle – Hot on the Heels of Love
Devo – Mongoloid
Candido – Jingo
Dinosaur – Kiss Me Again
Machine – There but for the Grace of God Go I
Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
Goblin – Suspiria
Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
AC/DC – Highway to Hell
Van Halen – Runnin’ with the Devil
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
Steely Dan – Deacon Blues
Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
The Only Ones – Another Girl, Another Planet
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
Plastic Bertrand – Ca plane pour moi
The Records – Starry Eyes
Cheap Trick – Surrender
The Cars – Just What I Needed
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Radio Radio
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
XTC – Making Plans for Nigel
Blondie – Atomic
Talking Heads – Memories Can’t Wait

1980 – 1982

Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
Spoonie Gee Meets the Sequence – Monster Jam
The Sugarhill Gang – 8th Wonder
The Treacherous Three – The New Rap Language
The Clash – The Magnificent Seven
Talking Heads – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
Yoko Ono – Walking on Thin Ice
Klein + MBO – Dirty Talk
ESG – Moody
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel
Funky 4+1 – That’s The Joint
Kraftwerk – Numbers/Computer World 2
Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message
Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar
Laurie Anderson – O Superman (For Massenet)
Joy Division – Atmosphere
The Fall – Totally Wired
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Beyond Belief
The Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang
The B-52’s – Private Idaho
Dexys Midnight Runners – There There My Dear
Young Marble Giants – Final Day
Altered Images – Happy Birthday
The Specials – Ghost Town
Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
Bauhaus – Third Uncle
Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
Scritti Politti – The Sweetest Girl
The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
Soft Cell – Tainted Love
The Associates – Party Fears Two
ABC – All of My Heart
New Order – Temptation
The Jam – Town Called Malice
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
The English Beat – Save It for Later
The Go-Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed
Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love
Prince – Dirty Mind
Daryl Hall & John Oates – I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
ABBA – The Day Before You Came
Roxy Music – More Than This
Queen – Under Pressure
Bruce Springsteen – Atlantic City
Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
Bad Brains – Pay to Cum
Minor Threat – Minor Threat
Dead Kennedys – Holiday in Cambodia
Black Flag – Rise Above
Wipers – Youth of America
Flipper – Sex Bomb
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills
Orange Juice – Blue Boy
The Television Personalities – This Angry Silence
The Fall – The Classical
The Clean – Tally Ho!
The Feelies – The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness
R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
Mission of Burma – That’s When I Reach for My Revolver


The Smiths – This Charming Man
Sonic Youth – Death Valley ‘69
Husker Du – Pink Turns to Blue
Meat Puppets – Plateau
The Replacements – I Will Dare
Minutemen – History Lesson (Part II)
R.E.M. – So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
The Cure – Close to Me
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Cities in Dust
Run-D.M.C. – It’s Like That
Crash Crew – On the Radio
Rammelzee vs. K-Rob – Beat Bob
Boogie Down Productions – South Bronx
New Order – Blue Monday
Prince and the Revolution – When Doves Cry
Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)
U2 – New Year’s Day
Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
The Replacements – Bastards of Young
The Mekons – Last Dance
Big Black – Kerosene
Scratch Acid – The Greatest Gift
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?
Cocteau Twins – Lorelei
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Billy Bragg – A New England
Metallica – Battery
Slayer – Angel of Death
Saint Vitus – Clear Windowpane
Einstruzende Neubauten – Halber Mensch
Art of Noise – Beat Box (Diversion One)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
Liquid Liquid – Optimo
Alexander Robotnick – Problemes d’Amour
Shannon – Let the Music Play
Section 25 – Looking from a Hilltop (Restructure)
Madonna – Holiday
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Prince – Kiss
Run-D.M.C. – Rock Box
LL Cool J – I Can’t Live Without My Radio
Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Mantronix – Needle to the Groove
The Go-Betweens – Cattle and Cane
The Chills – Pink Frost
Felt – Primitive Painters
The Smiths – There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Tom Waits – Jockey Full of Bourbon
Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire
Scott Walker – Rawhide
U2 – Bad
Don Henley – The Boys of Summer
Paul Simon – Graceland
Wayne Smith – Under Me Sleng Teng
Anthony “Red” Rose – Tempo
Model 500 – No UFO’s


Mr. Fingers – Can You Feel It
Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings of Life
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray
M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up The Volume
My Blood Valentine – You Made Me Realise
Spacemen 3 – Walking With Jesus
Ride – Dreams Burn Down
Glaxie 500 – Blue Thunder
Happy Mondays – Kinky Afro
The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums
Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot
Dinosaur Jr. – Freak Scene
Butthole Surfers – Human Cannonball
Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
Fugazi – Waiting Room
Audio Two – Top Billin’
Eric B & Rakim – I Know You Got Soul
Public Enemy – Rebel Without a Pause
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Mercy Seat
Ministry – Stigmata
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Head On
The Sugarcubes – Birthday
The Cure – Just Like Heaven
Morrissey – Everyday Is Like Sunday
The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress
The Field Mice – Emma’s House
Another Sunny Day – You Should All Be Murdered
The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl
The Primitives – Crash
The La’s – There She Goes
They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
Superchunk – Slack Motherfucker
Fugazi – Merchandise
The Jesus Lizard – Mouth Breather
Slick Rick – Children’s Story
Gang Starr – Just to Get a Rep
Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
Sal-n-Pepa – Push It
Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies
De La Soul – Me Myself and I
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
Public Enemy – Fight The Power
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
Swans – Beautiful Child
John Zorn – The Sicilian Clan
Prince and the Revolution – If I Was Your Girlfriend
Madonna – Like a Prayer
Deee-Lite – Groove Is in the Heart
Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring
Sinead O’Conner – Nothing Compares 2 U
The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds
The KLF – Wichita Lineman Was a Song I Once Heard
808 State – Pacific State
Orbital – Chime
Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Sileince
My Blood Valentine – Soon
The Vaselines – Son of a Gun
Beat Happening – Indian Summer
Daniel Johnston – Some Things Last a Long Time
Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick
Pixies – Wave of Mutilation


Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Pavement – Summer Babe
Archers of Loaf – Web in Front
Yo La Tengo – From a Motel 6
Sebadoh – The Freed Pig
A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’
Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Tricky – Aftermath (Version 1)
Primal Scream – Higher Than the Sun
Spiritualized – Step into the Breeze
Slowdive – Alison
Aphex Twin – Xtal
Talk Talk – Ascension Day
Slint – Good Morning, Captain
Disco Inferno – The Last Dance
Stereolab – French Disko
Acen – Trip II the Moon Pts. 1 and 2
The Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea
Human Resource – Dominator (Joey Beltram Mix)
Metalheadz – Terminator
Omni Trio – Renegade Snares
Red House Painters – New Jersey
Teenage Fanclub – The Concept
Heavenly – C Is the Heavenly Option
Tindersticks – City Sickness
Unrest – Make Out Club
Tenor Saw/Buju Banton – Ring the Alarm Quick
Dr. Dre – Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang
Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day
2Pac – I Get Around
Souls of Mischief – 93 ‘Til Infinity
Suede – The Drowners
Blur – For Tomorrow
Elastica – Stutter
Ween – Doctor Rock
Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck
Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me
Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Melvins – Hooch
Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’
Pixies – U-Mass
Liz Phair – Divorce Song
PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
The Afghan Whigs – Debonair
Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name
The Lemonheads – It’s a Shame About Ray
Beck – Loser
The Breeders – Cannonball
Nirvana – Scentless Apprentice


Hole – Violet
Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Green Day – Longview
Weezer – Say It Ain’t So
Blur – Girls & Boys
Oasis – Live Forever
Pulp – Common People
The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
Nas – It Ain’t Hard to Tell
Mobb Deep – Shook Ones, Pt. 2
GZA – 4th Chamber
Pavement – Gold Soundz
Built to Spill – Car
Modest Mouse – Broke
Frank Black – Headache
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Bellbottoms
Guided by Voices – I Am a Scientist
Nine Inch Nails – Closer
Bjork – Hyper-Ballad
Beck – Devil’s Haircut
Portishead – Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me)
Saint Etienne – Like a Motorway
Basic Channel – Octagon
Paperclip People – Throw
DJ Shadow – Midnight in a Perfect World
Dr. Octagon – Blue Flowers
Common – I Used to Lover H.E.R.
Jeff Buckley – Grace
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk on the Moon
Low – Words
The Auteurs – Unsolved Child Murder
Jawbox – Savory
Drive Like Jehu – Luau
Brainiac – Pussyfootin’
Napalm Death – Twist the Knife (Slowly)
Darkthrone – En As I Dype Skogen
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Brooklyn Zoo
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gin and Juice
Luniz – I Got 5 on It
Cutty Ranks – Limb by Limb
The Prodigy – No Good (Start the Dance)
Underworld – Born Slippy (NUXX)
The Chemical Brothers – Setting Sun
Daft Punk – Da Funk
Belle and Sebastian – The State I Am In
Elliott Smith – Needle in the Hay
The Magnetic Fields – Take Ecstasy with Me
Palace Music – New Partner
Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend
Tortoise – Gamera
The Sea and Cake – Parasol
Pavement – Rattled by the Rush
Guided by Voices – Game of Pricks
Weezer – El Scorcho


Radiohead – Paranoid Android
Bjork – Joga
The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
Elliott Smith – Between the Bars
Cat Power – Cross Bones Style
The Clientele – Reflections After Jane
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I See a Darkness
Smog – Teenage Spaceship
Silver Jews – Random Rules
Autechre – Arch Carrier
Boards of Canada – Happy Cycling
Herbert – So Now…
Aphex Twin – Windowlicker
Uilab – St. Elmo’s Fire
Air – Le Soleil est Pres du Moi
Massive Attack – Teardrop
Black Star – Respiration
The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize
Outkast – Spottieottiedopaliscious
The Roots – The Next Movement
The Flaming Lips – Waitin’ for a Superman
The Beta Band – Dry the Rain
The Olivia Tremor Control – Hideaway
Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945
Super Furry Animals – Ice Hockey Hair
Stardust – Music Sounds Better with You
Basement Jaxx – Jump n’ Shout
Wilco – Via Chicago
Pulp – This Is Hardcore
Belle and Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane
Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater
Sleater-Kinney – One More Hour
Refused – New Noise
The Dismemberment Plan – The City
Boredoms – Super Shine
Mogwai – Like Herod
Jim O’Rourke – Halfway to a Threeway
Sigur Ros – Svefn-g-Englar


Daft Punk – One More Time
Radiohead – Idioteque
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Storm
The Avalanches – Since I Left You
Broadcast – Come On Let’s Go
Aaliyah – Try Again
Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River
Luomo – Tessio
Vitalic – La Rock 01
Kylie Minogue – Love at First Sight
Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’
Outkast – B.O.B.
Eminem – The Real Slim Shady
Ghostface Killah – Nutmeg
Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
The White Stripes – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
The Strokes – The Modern Age
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Another Morning Stoner
Interpol – Obstacle 1
Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage
Golden Boy with Miss Kittin – Rippin Kittin’
Jurgen Paape – So Weit Wie Noch Nie
Osymyso – Intro-Inspection
The Knife – Heartbeats
LCD Soundystem – Lossing My Edge
The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
The Streets – Weak Become Heroes
Aesop Rock – Daylight
Rjd2 – Good Times Roll Pt. 2
Bright Eyes – The Calendar Hung Itself
Wilco – Poor Places
Queens of the Stonge Age – No One Knows
My Morning Jacket – The Way That He Sings
Modest Mouse – 3rd Planet
Clinic – Distortions
Shellac – Prayer to God
Mclusky – To Hell with Good Intentions
Lightning Bolt – Ride the Sky
The Microphones – The Moon
The New Pornographers – Letter from an Occupant
The Shins – New Slang
The Decemberists – Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect
Radiohead – Life in a Glasshouse
Broken Social Scene – Cause = Time
Deerhoof – This Magnificent Bird Will Rise
Spoon – The Way We Get By
Dizzee Rascal I Luv U
M.O.P. – Ante Up
Clipse – Grindin’
Talib Kweli – Get By
Jay-Z – Takeover


Outkast – Hey Ya
Kanye West – Through The Wire
R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
Beyonce – Crazy In Love
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
!!! – Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)
TV on the Radio – Staring at the Sun
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
The Walkmen – The Rat
Devendra Banhart – A Sight to Behold
Joanna Newsom – Peach, Plum, Pear
Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulaski Day
Antony and the Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
Animal Collective – Leaf House
The Books – Take Time
M83 – Don’t Save Us from the Flames
The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
Annie – Heartbeat
M.I.A. – Galang
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
The Fiery Furnaces – Here Comes the Summer
The Mountain Goats – No Children
The Wrens – She Sends Kisses
Les Savy Fav – The Sweat Descends
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
The Exploding Hearts – Modern Kicks
Art Brut – Formed a Band
Boris – Farewell
Mastodon – Sleeping Giant
Madvillain – America’s Most Blunted
T.I. – What You Know
Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
Amerie – 1 Thing
Ciara – Oh
The Go! Team – The Power Is On
Feist – Mushaboom
Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Wolf Parade – I’ll Believe in Anything
Band of Horses – The Funeral
The Hold Steady – Stuck Between Stations
Beirut – Postcards from Italy
Johnny Boy – You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve
Love Is All – Busy Doing Nothing
Jens Lekman – Black Cab
Christian Falk – Dream On
Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
Justice vs. Simian – We Are Your Friends
Hot Chip – Boy from School
Animal Collective – Grass
Black Dice – Cone Toaster
Liars – The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack
Panda Bear – Bros

Friday, November 14, 2008

film - Quantum of Solace


This film is worthy of a 1/5 rating, but I'm in a generous mood, hence the two stars.

If you were trying to write a spy thriller from scratch, you likely wouldn't come up with a story like this one. It isn't particularly succinct or even compelling. This is quite surprising given that Paul Haggis, a well-known Canadian writer in Hollywood, had a hand in writing the screenplay. Haggis' film Crash was a big winner at the Oscars and the box office, a few years ago.

Bond fights like nobody's business and in that capacity, Daniel Craig is very watchable. Too bad he suffers from what appears to be a permanent bad hair day throughout the film. There are no cool gadgets, but lots of action with doesn't really help make this a film worthy of the Bond franchise. In fact, I'd say this is the worst of the Bond films. There a small homage to the Bond film Goldfinger, but it doesn't involve oil...

If you really must see this film., I'd suggest renting it instead of shelling out $10 or wait for it to appear in the cheap theatres.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Let Today Be For Reflection

Here's a post from the blog of Matthew Good, the musician. I liked and decided to reproduce it here.

Let Today Be For Reflection

What occurred yesterday in the United States will be remembered for centuries to come. The man that stood on that stage in Grant Park in Chicago last night delivered a speech that sent shockwaves of hope from Times Square to Portland, Paris to Tokyo. At sporting events in this country, entire stadiums stood and cheered when the news was announced.

When was the last time you can remember that occurring?

There are naysayers, of course, and there is certainly a long road ahead of President Obama who is inheriting one of the worst Presidential landscapes in American history, but his victory yesterday symbolizes something that was so desperately needed in the United States that it is impossible to ignore. The nation, in the span of a day, went from one of cautious trepidation to one of renewed hope and strengthened belief in itself. Even the staunchest of Republicans are today faced with the reality that the people of the United States did something yesterday that has not occurred often in American history – they voted with their hearts.

As somewhat of a historian, the fact that, in my lifetime, an African American has been elected to the highest office in the United States seems almost a dream. A century ago African Americans faced persecution and intimidation in many parts of the United States if they even attempted to vote. In truth, that reality existed in parts of the country up until the 1960’s. Two hundred years ago, African Americans were largely viewed as property, with most enslaved and living in conditions that we can scarcely imagine possible. And now, in what will be remembered as one of the most historic moments in the nation’s history, an African American has been elected President.

There are those that claim that race should not be a factor, that far too much emphasis has been placed on it, and that it is enough to say that the better candidate won. As an idealist I agree. But as someone that has studied the history of the United States for the better part of twenty five years it is something that cannot be so easily dismissed. In truth, within the context of US history, it is monumental.

While there is no questioning that the majority of African Americans voted for Obama, he would not have secured the victory that he did without considerable and historic support from other ethnicities, predominantly White Americans. And that is something, when placed in historical context, that makes me want to literally get up from this chair and dance around the room. The fact that the people of the United States have elected the first African American President is immensely historic. But what is equally historic is the fact that the American people, no matter their ethnicity, chose a man based on their belief in him, and that race was trumped by that belief. Thus, two occurrences of overwhelmingly historic import occurred in the United States yesterday, producing even more of a reason for jubilation.

Therefore, before the scrutiny begins, let’s take a moment to stop and bask in what has occurred. Because occurrences such as this usually only happen once in a lifetime.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 11:54 am.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Concert Review: Neil Young w/ Death Cab For Cutie & Everest, MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB, 10/16/2008

I had a $75 general admission floor seat, and arrived just before 6 pm, when the doors opened. I quickly made my way to the floor where I parked myself, leaning on a railing at the front, for the whole evening.

The barricades seemed farther from the stage than normal, and I quickly realized that this was done to provide the two guys with video cameras ample room to run around and provide footage for the two large video screens. Additionally, there were two more camera crews nestled above the front of the stage. I must applaud Neil Young for providing everyone with a great view of the show, even if they were sitting as far away as possible. Video screens should be mandatory.

Openers Everest reminded me why I like seeing live bands. They were a bit twangy, with catchy indie-pop songs and reminded me a fair bit of Wilco, the Jeff Tweedy-led Chicago band who had opened for several dates on the current Neil Young tour. I was impressed enough to buy their CD at the merchandise booth.

Death Cab For Cutie are currently among the cream of the crop indie bands and one of my favorites. Lead singer and guitarist Ben Gibbard has a distinctive voice and a dynamite stage presence. Unfortunately, for the first few songs, he had problems getting sound from his guitars. In fact, at one point, guitarist Chris Walla began making small talk with the audience, very obviously buying time as a tech tried to sort out Gibbard's guitar problems. As the sound problems continued, Gibbard actually threw his guitar to the ground and kicked over the suspect electronics gear that he thought was failing. The box was replaced but even as he was strumming, I thought there was no sound from his guitar. I was correct.

Eventually, the tech simply removed the replacement gear. Gibbard is an above average songwriter. On stage, when not singing, he made rapid staccato-like movements as he rapidly danced a bit before returning to the microphone. Death Cab For Cutie are one of the cool indie pop bands out there and have become as hip as what REM used to be, before they became mega-popular.

Around 9:20 pm, Neil Young (born 1945) and band walked on the stage for several electric guitar-based songs before playing some acoustic numbers. Young was stunning on guitar and managed to coax extended solos out of the song. His playing was characterized with monstrous riffs, rapidly flying fingers and tons of cranking of the whammy bar. I have seen many bands this year, but Neil Young is among the most violent attacker of strings that I have seen. He is also a master improviser, making every electric song a sonic and visual spectacle. There's absolutely no one quite like Neil Young.

Musicians know that in order to be remembered, they need to be unique. Not only had Young had a distinct career as a recording artist, but on stage, no one moves like him. Even in his early sixties, he still thrills a crowd by merely picking up his knees and moving his feet. The stage looked quite odd with a cigar store wooden Indian, and very old amplifiers. Oddest of all, however, and never explained by Young, was the man at the back of the stage who painted away on one canvass after another, with his back turned to us. There was no curtain at the back of the stage, and fans sitting behind the stage had a pretty good view.

At the end of the first set, a few guitar picks were being tossed by the band and one landed a few feet to my right, but behind the barricade. A really tall guy in the crowd climbed over the barricade to retrieve the pick and was instantly pounced on by security who just as quickly moved him away. All the while, the entire band looked on from the front of the stage as they had just finished offering up their final bow.

Young reached way back to the 1969 album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, his second solo effort, for the title track as well as "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cowboy In The Sand." Among his other classics were "Heart of Gold,", "Cortez The Killer," "The Needle And The Damage Done," "Old Man," and a ferocious "Rockin' In The Free World," in which Young tore the strings from his guitar and still hammered away on the fretboard for an orgasmic grunge effect. It was a stunning conclusion to a set just shy of two hours.

Young didn't play two songs that I really wanted to hear, "Like A Hurricane," from 1978's American Stars 'n' Bars and the title track from the 1992 album Harvest Moon. More people than usual were leaving their seats for breaks when Young played the pop-flavored newer material like "Sea Change" and "When World Collide." For the encore, they played the Beatles "A Day In The Life," which ended with Young climbing to the back of the stage and hitting the very final note, just as it is on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This subtle move brought down the house and made for a memorable conclusion to Young's sixth concert in Winnipeg, the town where he first began his career in music.

01. Love And Only Love
02. Hey Hey , My My
03. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
04. Powderfinger
05. Spirit Road
06. Cortez The Killer
07. Cinnamon Girl
08. Oh, Lonesome Me
09. Mother Earth
10. The Needle And The Damage Done
11. Unknown Legend
12. Heart Of Gold
13. Old Man
14. Get Back To The Country
15. Just Singing A Song
16. Sea Change
17. When Worlds Collide
18. Cowgirl In The Sand
19. Rockin' In The Free World
20. A Day In The Life

Neil Young - guitar, harmonica, pump organ, vocals
Ben Keith - pedal steel, lap steel, guitar, organ, background vocals
Rick Rosas - bass
Chad Cromwell - drums
Pegi Young - background vocals, vibraphone, piano, guitar
Anthony Crawford - background vocals, piano, guitar, bells
Larry Cragg - banjo

Attendance: 13,000


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