Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jam of the day: "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"

Artist: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Album: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Song: "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"
Released: May 14, 1969
Label: Reprise

Man, Neil Young is somethin' else. This is hard-driving folk rock at its finest, all the way back from 1969. I found a used copy of this LP at Jerry's a few months ago and picked it up, thinking at the time, "Hey, I haven't really listened to a lot of Neil in my life, maybe I should check this out." I'm really glad I made that decision. There are a few skips on this scratchy copy I have, but who cares, I've played this like every other day since then. It jumps right in with the handclaps and epic riff of "Cinnamon Girl", and when the beautiful "Round & Round" winds to an end and the first quiet guitar strum of "Down By The River" kicks in and I know that this awesome jam is about to run its course, building a 9+ minute folk rock freakout … yeah, definite eargasm.

But the song I want to mention is the title track, another wonderful gem of a folk rock song. The "la la la" falsetto sticks in your head, and I've found myself singing it out loud while walking/riding around town lately. The bass is bouncy and playful, the guitar is as catchy as anything else ever, and the overall mood of the song is perfect for those times when I've just put the album on and stretched out on my couch and stared out the window at the rain clouds, trying to forget about everything else. By chance, the song was also mentioned on an episode of NPR's All Songs Considered that I listened to just the other day, whence the impetus for the post. They were looking for songs that represented "summer" for listeners, and one lady sent in a perfect description of why this song always signals, for her, the return to her small town life in the summer, going back home and seeing the same people that all know each other. Listen to the podcast; this story starts at the 11:15 mark. It is really a perfect story. This is why we like music. Seriously, listen to her story.

"Everybody seems to wonder what it's like down here / I gotta get away from this day-to-day runnin' around / Everybody knows this is nowhere"

Buy Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: Insound / Amazon / iTunes / eMusic

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