What happens when Neil Young and Patti Smith sit down and talk? Truth bombs get dropped on everyone, that’s what. Check out what some excerpts from the New Yorker:
Neil Young on learning about writing from his father (Canadian Novelist): ….I asked him what he was writing and he told me he wasn’t quite sure. He said, ‘When you sit down and start writing all kinds of things happen.’”Neil on Ohio: …. “When we put the song out,” he said, “it was kind of the social networking of the day, the way it could get played on radio so quickly. We had pressed it on acetates, so you only got seven or eight plays out of them.”
Neil being an old man:….. First, he worried over the ever-presence of YouTube, and how it has reduced the freedom of an artist to operate onstage. “I used to try out new songs on stage,” he said. “You might think of something when you’re out there and try it. You do that now and there’s a video of it, and people say he can’t even remember his own songs.” Next, he discussed the lamentable quality of digital music. “I was talking about my new record the other day to an interviewer who knew lots of things, or thought he did,” he said. “And he said that the new record sounded very underproduced. ‘What did you listen to it on?’ I asked him, and of course it was an MP3 on a Mac. We used to struggle to make these things sound great. It’s like reducing a Picasso to wallpaper. Who did that? You can hardly see. You can hardly feel it.”
Neil on Patti and Neil:….“I think they actually are quite similar,” Young said. “I’m a highway and landscapes. You’re a city and painted bricks and lots of people. I’m travelling and you are, too, but I’m on the road and you’re travelling down streets.”
As the conversation wound down, Young once again worried over the creep of technology. “The decline of improvisation in music,” he said, “coincided with the decline of resolution in digital feedback. Now things are more condensed and organized. There’s even the ugly word ‘quantized.’ The technology we’ve been burdened with by content providers is very, very, very stifling and very neglectful of the muse.” – More here.