February 6, 2007
So, umm, it turns out I'm a fan of Neil Young? WHO KNEW?! I just watched Jonathan Demme's concert documentary Neil Young: Heart of Gold and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't know a single one of Young's tunes (although, it turns out I did know "Old Man" and just didn't know it was him) and even though most of the tracks, shown in this filming of the world premier of his album Prairie Home, are indeed new(ish) I felt like I was getting a wonderful tour from the man himself. And when he started up with one of his older songs (the crowd went wild, so you could tell) I was actually excited. I loved the moments when the camera got distracted by the people in the band (hell, even the man who brings out a bowl of water for Young to wash his harmonica in gets his five or so seconds in the spotlight). I enjoyed the contributions by people like Emmylou Harris (voice of an angel, face of a Ghost Ride) and the way the guitarist looked like Robert Altman.
My only problem with the film is that it is only a concert film. Unlike that other musical doco I recently watched (that'd be Block Party) it doesn't have moments inbetween the songs. The small short bits that there are (just Young talking to the crowd) are wonderful and touching and I wish there was more of it. I wish there was more about the story behind the Prairie Wind album (Young wrote it just after discovering he had a brain aneurysm) of which there is some at the start.
But as it is, it is a lovely companion piece of the similar A Prairie Home Companion. "When God Made Me", "The Painter", "One of These Days" and "Old Man" were my favourite tracks. Try and listen to them if you can. B-