NOISE: After the goldrush

Pub date March 17, 2006

About a thousand were said to be turned away from the capacity SXSW Neil Young and Jonathan Demme keynote talk/interview yesterday. Bay Area veteran music writer Jaan Uhelszki did a great job drawing out the insights and animal metaphors from Shakey.


The creative process was on Young’s mind. “You have to stay in the rhythm till it drys up. Commitments are the worst thing for musicians!” Even romantic commitments? asked Uhelszki. “All commitments.” Big laugh.

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Demme said he saw Young’s movie, Greendale, as a challenge to all American filmmakers.

On the terror of presenting Greendale as musical theater to Young arena fans, the songwriter claimed, “If you’re terrified then you know you’re on the right track. It’s good to be scared.”

On the arrival of the Crazy Horse’s muse, Young said, “It starts with a feeling that something’s changing. I hear this massive, distorted, crunching, hideous noise. And it makes me feel like I’m going home.” When he performs with Crazy Horse, he said, “it’s like being in subzero temperatures. It’s when you’re transcending.”