Well, here it is…my first review. Which LP to play? Which drink to pour? The decision is proving rather overwhelming. What will people think? I’m beginning to know what goes through a woman’s head deciding what to wear when going out for a simple dinner with friends! It’s a simple fucking decision…just don’t over think it…like going in on goal in a hockey shootout. You overthink it and chances are you’ll put the puck in the stands (my specialty btw).
OK, so I’m going with what I’m currently enjoying the most these days. That makes the decision very easy. I’ve decided to spin my original Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere pressing by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. I’m admittedly a late comer to Neil Young. My oldest memory of Young is CSN&Y’s American Dream back in my teens. I didn’t care much for the song but the part in the video where he runs into the bedroom with his guitar blaring always made me laugh. And to be honest, I never gave him the time of day back in the early 90s when he was the “grandfather (or was it godfather?) of grunge”. About 6 months ago I picked up Lee Hulko cut of Harvest and I’ve been a convert ever sense. Neil Young fucking rocks, period. Since then I’ve been able to pick up several more of his original pressings, with this being my latest pickup, and the first with Crazy Horse. It also happens to be the first LP I played on my new MX110 setup. I’ve had it about 3 weeks as of this writing and I’ve played every other day. I’m looking forward to playing it again, with my body starting to have a Pavlovian response whenever I cue an LP I’m currently digging.
Purchased about a month ago, it seems I won on eBay roulette. The outer jacket is a NM and includes the original inner sleeve. Both sides of the vinyl are a beautiful, strong VG+ with lots of gloss and shine and no marks that would induce an ounce of concern. If not for a bit of “spidering” an easy NM grade.
Artist: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Title: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog: RS 6349
Notes: gatefold, two tone Reprise labels
Side 1 – 30910 RS-6349 A 1A A20
Side 2 – 30911 RS-6349 B 1A E5
Pressing Plant: ?
Paired with tonight’s listen is a Dalwhinnie 15 year old Highland Scotch. I have my brother in law to thank for this one. He recommended this a few months ago and I quickly liquidated my first bottle…looks like this second bottle will probably last just as long short. Picked this up at the Orlando Duty Free back in January with the fam visting Mickey & the gang. Damn I love Duty Free, you pay a third less and get a 1L bottle.
This is one easy drinking, tasty single malt. If you’re not paying attention you can easily polish a third of the bottle without ever noticing. There’s no peat or smokiness in the Dalwhinnie (a scotch characteristic by the way that I’m not terribly fond of). I’m not going to embarrass myself with trying to come up with what I “smell and taste”, but when I sniff the dram I breathe deep and hold it in like a joint and when I take a sip I can never let it sit on my tongue long enough. Yum.
Yup, it’s the favorite whiskey in my cupboard. If I had the scratch, it would be my everyday sipping whiskey. But alas, at 90 bucks a bottle…I’ll have to save it for special occasions like this.
Before I purchased this LP, the only song I was familiar with was Cinammon Girl. The song starts and I immediately start bobbing my head. Is that clapping or percussion during the first minute of the song? Like all my other Neil Young records, his vocals come through with an unqualified sweetness and clarity. Not a peep of surface noise as the song ends with a right channel guitar solo and a single “whoo!” I turn the volume up. The next song, EKTIN is a good example of a song I wouldn’t give the time of day during my younger “indie only” days. What an amazing tune. I don’t know if it’s the record or the tubes (or some synergetic energy between them) but the sound is HEAVEN. AMAZING. The “la la la’s” are reminiscent of a Beatles song I can’t remember at the moment. Two songs in and I’m thinking to myself that these songs are waaaaay too short. Unfortunately the record starts with tics as Round & Round begins, but ends after about 20 seconds. I discover thinking to myself if Robin Lane was hot or not back in 1969. I have no idea what she looks like.
Damn! The tics come in and out for almost two minutes but the song is still honey. The two guitars (or is it three?) are holy heaven on this tune. And near the end of the song, who’s the high vocal in the right channel? Sounds female, but Robin’s coming out of the left speaker….hmmmm. The next song, Down By The River is currently my fav Neil Young song…a song I never heard until 3 weeks ago. Everything about this one is notable; the textures are awesome, the bass, the dueling guitars across the left & right channels, the vocal harmonies. This recording feels like a live gig. I wonder which channel is Neil and which is Danny…anyone? Wicked bass btw, reminds me of the opening bass riff on Harvest. More “la la la’s”. I shot her dead. Damn.
Except for the intermittent tic’ing on song 3, this side played dead quiet.
Side 2 opens with probably my least fav song on the LP, but the bass is still awesome! And I hear the first guitar solo mixed in the center. The second song, Running Dry, actually starts out sounding like a Ween song I used to dig called Buenas Tardes Amigo and then finishes with the violin that sounds eerily like the Velvet Underground. Keep in mind I may be getting drunk. A little vinyl noise between track but luckily dies out as Cowgirl in the Sand starts. Once again you get dueling left & right guitars and I’m thinking how both sides end on a high. The sparring guitars sound great, but find myself drifting to the bass & cymbals. And similar to the end of side one, this song has the feel of a live jam.
The LP and scotch were both fantastic. I give the album full marks from both a musical and sonic perspective. There were one or two songs I didn’t care for on the flip side but the rest I really dug and more than compensated. And like all my other Neil Young records the mix, mastering, etc are top notch. I recommend any fan to bring back their empties to save up for this 45 year old record. As for the Dalwhinnie, I better start saving for my next bottle…
The Fine Print:
This was not a review of the aforementioned vinyl LP or alcoholic drink, but a personal reflection on my experience of listening and imbibing. Such factors such as vinyl condition, pressing, intoxication, room size, rig, stylus wear and mastering may result in a different listening experience.