MIXTAPE: WHEN YOU AWAKE'S TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG
Jody from When You Awake delivers us another in her series of lonesome-wild-riled mixtapes—this one in honor of her Neil Young Tribute Show tonight! Listen above and learn below!
When choosing the next subject for When You Awake’s Tribute Series, I considered all of the options. Should I do one for Dylan? The Stones? Townes Van Zandt? But then having decided upon November, the choice seemed obvious. Who better for an autumn event than the great Neil Young? Add in his musical influence and legacy in L.A.—including Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young—and the decision was made. So this tribute and this mix is dedicated to the one and only Shakey. Keep an eye out for our next tribute coming this spring. I’m thinking The Band. They gave us our namesake after all: “When you awake, you will remember everything…”
1. “Are You Ready For The Country” (from Harvest, 1972)
I can’t think of a better tune to start off this ol’ mixtape than “Are You Ready For The Country.” Waylon Jennings covered it so it’s steeped in whiskey and rebel country folklore and for a Tennessee girl living in Los Angeles and running a country/folk music blog, it’s the perfect anthem. Strangely enough, it turns out the tune has a completely different meaning than the one most often assumed though. In this interview with Young and Jennings in 1984, Young speaks about writing the tune, and it turns out that it is actually about the Uncle Sam poster—as in “Are you ready for the country, cause it’s time to go” (to war), not about leaving city life behind for a taste of the good country life.
2. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969)
Every once in awhile there’s a tune that tons of different bands will pick up and cover. Earlier this year, it was Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You In The End.” Recently, it’s been this Neil Young jam. I swear I’ve heard at least four different bands cover it in the last couple of months.
3. “Walk On” (from On The Beach, 1974)
I usually spin this tune when I DJ over at Foosties for my all girl-dj night Gold Dust. (First and third Thursdays of the month!) It fits in super well between the Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” and Bob Dylan’s “Man In Me.”
4. “Helpless” (from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Déjà Vu, 1970)
What a beautiful, classic song. I don’t really have anything else to say about it as the tune totally speaks for itself.
5. “Too Far Gone” (from Freedom, 1989)
Unlike a number of classic artists who have failed to release anything worthy of mention post-1974, Neil Young has continually put out good work. This tune appeared on his 1989 record Freedom, but could easily have fit in somewhere quite comfortably on Harvest or After the Gold Rush.
6. “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (from After the Gold Rush, 1970)
A truer song has never been writ. I lived in NYC for a summer when I was doing an internship at this record label. I had no money, no air conditioning and only one or two friends to my name. When the heat became unbearable in my 5th floor walk-up in Brooklyn, I would wander over to this lonely little (air conditioned) bar and they would always be playing this song.
7. “Winterlong” (from Homegrown, 1973)
This song was originally recorded for 1973’s unreleased Homegrown album (which was to be the follow-up to Harvest). My brother and his wife choose this tune for a special CD they put together for their wedding, so it always brings up lovely feelings when I hear it.
8. “Harvest Moon” (from Harvest Moon, 1992)
Another later Neil gem. I love the sweeping sounds in the background. This one is the ultimate fall/autumn tune and as such, it has been on repeat at my house for the past month or so.
9. “Expecting to Fly” (from Buffalo Springfield’s Buffalo Springfield Again, 1967)
I had to throw a Buffalo Springfield tune on here. Those sad words mixed in with Jack Nitzsche’s lush and haunting arrangement creates the most beautiful and aching song. Dreamy and hopeful but broken—probably all of the things that he was feeling living in L.A. at the time.
10. “Long May You Run” (from The Stills–Young Band, 1976)
This Neil tune was actually released as a collaboration between Stephen Stills and Neil Young on the 1976 record The Stills–Young Band. The tune was an ode to his 1948 Buick Roadmaster. I always listen to it next to Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”.
WHEN YOU AWAKE PRESENTS A TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG WITH PERFORMANCES OF NEIL YOUNG SONGS BY THE DELTA SPIRIT, JASON SIMON OF DEAD MEADOW, FERRABY LIONHEART, THE PARSON REDHEADS, LESLIE STEVENS (OF LESLIE AND THE BADGERS), THE CHAPIN SISTERS, FAMILY OF THE YEAR, JUSTIN GORDON, RESTAVRANT, SHAKEY GRAVES AND THE DARK HORSE HOUSE BAND (FEATURING MEMBERS OF THE WORLD RECORD, PARSON REDHEADS, THE BROKEN WEST, BEACHWOOD SPARKS, WHISPERING PINES AND LE SWITCH) PLUS DJ TURQUOISE WISDOM AND A PHOTOBOOTH BY STERLING ANDREWS ON FRI., NOV. 20, AT THE BOOTLEG THEATER, 2220 BEVERLY BLVD., LOS ANGELES. 8:30 PM / $10-$12 / 18+. WHENYOUAWAKE.COM.