On the Beach – Neil Young

Well, we live in a trailer, at the edge of town. You never see us ’cause we don’t come around.
2003 was many things for many people, SARS, Iraq War, The Human Genome Project completed, the year of Johnny Cash’s death and the almost legendary On the Beach finally available on CD. Very few artists would have the confidence in leaving albums effectively unavailable in the age of itunes (Kraftwerk do this too, but they are attempting to write their early albums out of their postmodern brand).
It was like being a teenager all over again waiting for this to be released on CD, then ironically I have just realised that this is only the 3rd or 4th time I have listened to it. Walk On is a great opening track, I think he played it quite a bit live in 2000/2001, I think it would still slot nicely into his set today.
My favourite track on this album though by a mile is Revolution Blues, dark, complex and bloody, great stuff.
Hidden gem; Ambulance Blues (sounding suspiciously like Uncle Lou)

Weld – Neil Young

When I saw those big fake fender amps at the Newcastle Arena last week I knew we were in for a Weldish (that is old English for big loud 20 minute guitar feedback improvisations) experience. Before the gig I apologised to my higher hearing register and kicked back to listen to 2 hours of improvised feedback. I left the arena for 20 minutes to get some air, when I came back I could swear Neil was playing the same chord, and everyone seemed to have aged about a decade.
This is a great, turn it up, album and contains, for me, the best officially released version of Cortez the Killer. The only problem playing this album is that the opening riff of Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) always gets stuck in my head for about a week.
Micro review; I like feedback as much as the next man of a nervous disposition and stammer, but come on Nelly, you could have had 3 more tracks in there if you turned that amp down.