What, Did Four Die in Ohio or Something?

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Harp magazine has some details on the new Neil Young record, and it's a long way from Hawks and Doves.

Demme, who filmed the award-winning documentary Neil Young: Heart of Gold, writes in an e-mail, "Neil just finished writing and recording—with no warning—a new album called Living With War. It all happened in three days." …

Details are pretty scarce, but the featured track, titled "Impeach the President," features a rap with Bush's voice set to the choir chanting "flip/flop" and the like.

Young has been outspoken on the president and the war for a while now—unlike the Dixie Chicks, his fanbase isn't enamored of the man from Crawford, either. Up in the air: Whether this album will be as knee-slapping hilarious as Burt Bacharach's At This Time.

In 2003, Jacob Sullum weighed in on the free speech issues of artists making political statements.

UPDATE: I don't know how it slipped my mind, but Young made a poorly-received 9/11 tribute album of sorts, Are You Passionate?, back in 2002. There's probably a John Kerry-Neil Young comparative essay to be written, but out of respect for dead Jesus I won't do that now.

UPDATE: Brian Doherty warned America about the Are You Passionate? 9/11 song, "Let's Roll," in 2002.

NEXT: United Flight 93 Transcript

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  1. I really, really, really want to meet in person one of these people who was a cheerleader for military solutions to terrorism after 9/11 but now is distressed by the war on Iraq and the large-scale violation of American civil liberties so I can smack them across the face and yell, “What the **** did you think was going to happen, moron?!”

  2. Impeach *this,* MoFo!

  3. Tangentally related, I saw the Dixie Chicks new video, which is kind of a Crucible/Cuckoo’s Nest persecution play with a lot of oil running through it. So now it’s okay to write songs about how you feel about what people said about you in response to something you said? I thought that level of self-referentiallism was reserved for the hip hop world.
    Political songs tend to be embarassing. I liked “Heresy” by Rush about the fall of communism, but most just cause uncontrolled wincing. In a world where one out of every three people has a song posted somewhere online, rock stars are trying hard to at least appear that they are still relevant.

  4. Isn’t Neil Young still Canadian? I’m all for impeaching the President and shit but shouldn’t foreigners mind their own business? Why doesn’t he write a song attacking Stephen Harper? There’s plenty of people who write songs attacking US politics, UK politics and even Australian politics (Midnight Oil), but maybe there’s an empty niche to be filled by attacking Canadian politics.

  5. Isn’t Neil Young still Canadian? I’m all for impeaching the President and shit but shouldn’t foreigners mind their own business? Why doesn’t he write a song attacking Stephen Harper? There’s plenty of people who write songs attacking US politics, UK politics and even Australian politics (Midnight Oil), but maybe there’s an empty niche to be filled by attacking Canadian politics.

  6. Why doesn’t he write a song attacking Stephen Harper?

    Nobody would know who he was talking about.

    er…who would he be talking about?

  7. I’ll always respect Young because you never hear one of his songs used to sell stuff. It’s been years and years since I’ve listened to anything he’s come out with, but that probably says more about me than him. Keep On Rockin in the Free World

  8. In a world where one out of every three people has a song posted somewhere online…

    True enough. Check out the satire section of any large OMD and two of every three songs posted is a hackneyed rehash of lefty sour grapes, wherein Bush is the very icon of evil. Most musicians don’t write very well, and when they step into the political arena they invariably embarrass themselves.

  9. Isn’t Neil Young still Canadian? I’m all for impeaching the President and shit but shouldn’t foreigners mind their own business?

    Right, the same way we mind our own business and stay out of foreign affairs.

    It’s not as if decisions/actions of the government of the United States ever effects any foreigners in any significant way.

  10. IMO, 99% of “political” songs are crap, and the more overtly political they get, the crappier they are. You hate Bush – wonderful, fantastic. Is there some reason I need to hear four minutes of you babbling about it? Do you actually have anything new to say or an inspiring way to say it?

  11. “Isn’t Neil Young still Canadian?”

    Yes, but then again, so are many of the neocons lobbying for more American military actions abroad (see, e.g., Mark Steyn, David Frum, etc.), so it all cancels out.

  12. God I hate those filthy Canadians.

  13. Political songs tend to be embarassing.
    Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.

  14. Most laughable political lyrics I heard in the past year has to be from System of a Down “BYOB”.
    “Why don’t the presidents fight the wars? Why do they always send the poor?”

    Riiiight…

  15. My understanding is that Neil Young has lived in the Silicon Valley area for 30+ years. Supposedly has San Jose Sharks season tickets. No idea if he is a US citizen.

  16. He may be a US citizen by now. I was being kind of facetious. I’m still waiting for a Canadian protest song though.

  17. vanya: Neil Young already did an album on Canadian politics; lyrics here: http://www.bosco.net/human-highway/lyrics/lyrics-22.html

  18. Most political songs may be crap, true… but I have to admit to having a weakness for KMFDM’s recent material, especially “New American Century” and “Stars and Stripes”…

  19. Before writing off Neil Young as a knee-jerk liberal (as one may be tempted to do, after reading the above), bear in mind he was a Ronald Reagan fan. Some things in life ain’t that simple (One thing that is simple: The Dixie Chicks suck, not so much because of their politics as their silly “damn, ain’t we cute” posturing. That, and the fact that Natalie Maines is as dumb as a bag of frickin’ hammers).

  20. Jim Walsh is correct about Young’s appreciation for Reagan (Old Ways) and Let’s Roll showed an understanding of the threat murderists (not terrorists: why give ’em that?) pose for all Americans, but Young is a pragmatist first & foremost. He must not believe Bush deserving of our trust as POTUS: he should reconsider any impulsiveness that leads to supporting this “impeachment” nonsense.

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