Neil Young and Crazy Horse, “Arc” (1991): WTF?! Wednesdays

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A mindless artist’s indulgence? Neil Young’s attempt at Metal Machine Music? “Revolution #9,” maybe?

Well, considering that I sort of like the alternates, it hardly matters where “Arc” lands. Mr. Young put together this beautiful mayhem by pasting together walls of feedback and guitar noise from the 1991 Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour. He refers to it as a “compilation compositor,” whatever the heck that means.

I hear this as having more in common with the Greatful Dead/John Oswald vehicle Grayfolded, a two-disc set of overlapping and interwoven bits from various versions of “Dark Star.” And while the surreal element is amped up by the occasional appearance of vocal fragments from “Welfare Mothers,” “Love and Only Love,” and “Like A Hurricane,” what really knocks me out is the savage and visceral nature of the song-ending power chords. They’re real aural punches to the chest.

Maybe more entertaining than this disc are the rabid and unhinged comments on the Internet. “This is NOT art!” Really? Coulda fooled me!

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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