Tag Archives: neil young

Review: The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

I and Love and You

The Avett Brothers are all about feeling. On Emotionalism, their last proper full length, the Avetts certainly didn’t shy away from feeling; they celebrated it. The songs from Emotionalism were mostly led by banjo, upright bass, occasional strings and the just-twangy-enough vocals of one or both brothers. Everything about that setup said these guys were playing bluegrass music, but what came out of the speakers felt different.

That element, that unique style of bluegrass that sounded more like an alt-country-influenced indie band, clearly set the Avetts apart from anything I’d ever heard before. But there was more to them than that. There were also those straightforward and heartfelt lyrics, melodies that felt nostalgic and comforting, and an overall sense that these guys grew up loving American music and wanted to make it their own, to take it somewhere new while keeping everything that was great about it intact. Continue reading

Poetic Memory: The Rest (List)

The Rest

The last time Ontario, Canada’s The Rest played at the Casbah, we missed it. But we won’t make that mistake again. After all, according to their MySpace page, The Rest like all the things that we like: doing push-ups, shooting each other with water guns, howling at the moon, and delicious Thai food. (More details below.) We have other reasons, too. For one, their new album, Everything All At Once, is amazing. For another, they graciously agreed to write the latest installment of Poetic Memory. Also, they use the word “rascal” in their lyrics.

We’ve featured The Rest on our podcast a few times, but in case you missed it, here are a couple of MP3s. The wondrously haunting “Drinking Again” is definitely one of our favorite songs of 2009. Also, be sure to check out “Everything All At Once“, the epic titular track from their new album.

Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email. Continue reading

‘Fork’ is Neil Young’s ‘Version of Twitter’

Neil Young - Fork in the RoadI hated it less than I thought I would: this 2.5-star Pop & Hiss review pretty much sums up my feelings about Fork in the Road, Neil Young’s new album.

The album is part public service announcement, part condemnation of the status quo and part reflection of the risks and rewards of letting go of ideas when their time has passed. The outcome is more noteworthy for Young’s stinging guitar work, passionate vocals and his powerhouse band’s accompaniment than for finely crafted songs that add considerably to Young’s estimable body of work.

To some extent, the lyrics simply establish a framework for the musical excursions, which are mostly Young’s signature brand of grinding rock. Along the way, the music picks up bits of funk and blues boogie. The most poignant number is “Light a Candle,” for which Young briefly unplugs to sing sweetly about the possibility of inner transformation.