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Neil Young at the Fox, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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You never quite know what you’re going to get from Neil Young at any given moment -- which is both frustrating and, more often, intriguing.

It’s already been a busy year for Young, who starred in his girlfriend Daryl Hannah’s Netflix film “Paradox” and composed and released a soundtrack album to accompany it. He also launched his Archives, an online site featuring not only his catalog but a wealth of previously unreleased material -- with more coming. And he dipped into his vaults for a “Tonight’s The Night Live” concert album from 1973.

Of course, Young has been playing live, too. He brought Crazy Horse back to life during May for a couple of shows in California, and now he’s on the road for a short series of solo acoustic dates, digging into his catalog for rarely played material from his own work as well as with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young...

• After a highly publicized divorce from his wife Pegi after 36 years of marriage, Young, 72, said during a recent interview in Austin, Texas, says that he’s “just moving on” with Hannah, including the “Paradox” film project. “Things are good right now because I’m with Daryl and we’re very happy and it’s kind of a new beginning for me. I’m still in touch with my family and everything, the kids, so everything’s good...Just a lot going on, enjoying everything.”

• Like his abandoned streaming service Pono, Young’s Archives -- which will move to a for-pay platform sometime this summer -- uses the highest audio quality available as a counter to MP3 and other low-resolution technology.” “It’s an ongoing search, and it’s really a mission for me. We’re really just trying to open up windows so people can see what’s out there. We have the best-sounding streaming in the world on this site. There’s no reason why a hippie from Canada should have this (expletive) site. I don’t have millions of dollars. But it didn’t cost that much. There’s no reason why all the music in the world can’t sound this way. The only reason is money; The record companies want three times as much for the high res tracks as they do for the (inferior) tracks they’re selling. That’s stupid, because a minimal fraction of their sales is high-res music. Why not price it like MP3s and let people decide what they want, because they’d sell more music and people would have a chance to hear the real music.”

• Young resurrected Crazy Horse earlier this year after a long layoff, and he also expects to play again with Promise of the Real, the group led by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas. “They’re both great bands. Each one has its advantage over the other. The band I’m playing with will affect the material I write when I’m with that band, or if I’m going to be with a different band and do different material. But I write what’s in my head and I don’t know who I’m going to be playing with. It’s a very good situation to be in, and it’s a temporary situation every time because everything’s not going to last forever.”

• With a long history of political and environmental activism and commentary, Young is, not surprisingly, unhappy with the current state of affairs in the U.S. “It’s a (expletive) mess. (Donald Trump) is bent on destroying the environment. He has absolutely no knowledge of what’s real. He’s decided because he doesn’t believe in science he can lead the country with no regards for science and recklessness. All the stuff he’s changed...the other tasteless (stuff) he does, it’s not important compared to those other things. I don’t know how America is sleeping through this.”

• In a posting on his web site, Young writes glowingly about Detroit’s Fox Theatre, where he’s performed many times before: “The beautiful Fox Theatre, lovingly restored by my friend, Dick Kughn and his friends who love Detroit so much. The Motor City, where I first recorded with the Mynah Birds on Motown in 1965, where I appeared in a Hootenanny at the Chessmate Club on Livernois and wrote songs in the White Castle across the street; where I played the Masonic Hall with CSNY’s first tour, and where I have so many great friends at Ford. I’m still trying to get High-Resolution music into cars! Imagine that.”

If You Go:

• Neil Young and John Hammond

• 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 3.

• The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

• Tickets start at $49.50.

• Call 313-471-6611 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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