A Neil Young Kinda Day

It seems to be happening to me a lot, lately, where I’ll get an artist’s songs in my head and I’ll be hearing them all day long. I apparently have a jukebox in my brain that can easily go from song to song without missing a beat or a note anywhere, playing every song from recall as clear as if it were actually on the stereo. 

This is pretty a cool skill, actually, because I can get away with ‘listening’ to my favourite music anywhere, anytime, without the aid of a radio (or an iPod, if I was cool enough to have one, which so far I apparently am not). But I can even hear loud and obnoxious tunes in places that demand silence, like the library or funeral homes or most workplaces (unless they’re playing those shite Lite FM stations). So maybe this is actually my secret Super Power. Admittedly, I’m not quite sure how I’d use this power to thwart evil, although I could probably bore any foe to death with useless music trivia I seem to have memorized over the years. My kryptonite equivalent could be Céline Dion or any of that other shite “music” these pansy-ass workplace radio stations foist on those too weak to change the channel.

So, today’s artist was Neil Young. I’ve been singing and humming along to a lot of Mr. Young’s catalogue today especially, it seems, the older stuff. So I made my own disc, to match the songs I’d been hearing. Same as I did with the Who songs a little while back.

Yes, I am a geek. You love it.

Now, Neil Young is not for everybody. My lovely wife, for example, has until recently done her best to avoid his music. She has nothing against his talent as a writer or musician. It’s his voice that drives her nuts. Can’t stand it. But not too long ago, sweetheart that she is, she asked me to make a CD for the car so she could try to figure out, during her long daily commute, what all the fuss was about. Of course, in my excitement about the project I went overboard and made an MP3 disc off all his albums from my collection, giving her over 200 songs to chew on. I’m pretty sure she made a couple of stabs at that mountain of amazing tunes and it now languishes in the visor holder in the car. Too much too soon, perhaps. Overload. But it was so hard to stop picking songs!

So with this experience in mind, I decided to pare down, to pick only the songs I had heard today in my head. Turns out, from looking at the track list, that today my brain was mostly pulling from the AWESOME, absolutely must-own double record compilation Decade. Sweet! Then, to make things interesting, I made the disc as close as I could to the more recent hits disc, which I don’t actually own (I have most of those songs already anyway). It’s just a slightly different order to what I’m used to but most of the essential stuff is here, with my disc favouring the songs Joni Mitchell dubbed ‘the Prairie Lope.’ So awesome.

Today was overcast and grey, hovering somewhere just above 0C, with desultory snow from a few days ago lying around on the ground. Winter seems unable to decide if it wants to move in for good yet, instead just hanging around on the porch with its bag at its feet, smoking cigarettes. And in my head, it was a Neil Young kinda day, it seems.

Sure as hell, that’s alright by me.
 

Track Listing:
01 Down By The River
02 Cowgirl In The Sand
03 Cinnamon Girl
04 Helpless
05 After The Goldrush
06 Harvest
07 Southern Man
08 Ohio
09 The Needle And The Damage Done
10 Old Man
11 Heart Of Gold
12 Like A Hurricane
13 Winterlong
14 Tonight’s The Night (Pt.1)
15 Hey Hey
16 Harvest Moon
17 Long May You Run

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