At this point, do we really need to talk about Neil Young’s music?
The musician, author and all-around pain-in-the-establishment’s-ass has a back catalog that qualifies his craggy mug to be carved into the Mount Rushmore of American music.
So if you’re wondering what Young’s 2015 release, The Monsanto Years, sounds like: It’s a little folk, it’s a little rock, it’s a little country-folk-rock and it’s altogether louder and more rockin’ than one might expect from a musician of Neil’s vintage.
And of course, along with all that, there’s the voice — a voice as distinctive as a Van Gogh brushstroke, a voice that’s an acquired taste, like a biting agave tequila. But really, what else do we expect from the godfather of grunge?
The Monsanto Years is (no surprise) a collection of tunes that are equal parts protest music and Neil standing on the street corner, ranting to strangers about GMOs and the reviled food mega-corp, Monsanto.
Not that GMOs aren’t a worthy topic to rant about, and you have to give Young credit for having the I’m-Neil-Young-I-do-want-I-want cojones to make a record with couplets like this from the anti-Starbucks screed “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop”: “I want a cuppa coffee, but I don’t want a GMO.”
After all this time, there’s an undeniable, infectious and admirable joy conveyed through the music Young makes. And the prospect of seeing him, backed up by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, is one not to be missed.
Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir join Neil Young and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real 7:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 8, at Matthew Knight Arena; $59.50-$125. All ages.