Neil Young's new album Living with War has been out for a while, but I've been replaying the song "After the Garden" over and over and over and over again. It's easily the best song on the album. "Let's Impeach the President" is great, too, but despite it's provoking title, it's not as insistent and moving. As a New Orleanian, the song resonates as well with me as "macaca" does with George Allen. Much of our garden is gone. Fortunately, to tempt fate by carrying the metaphor further, there's always another spring. You can hear the entire album for free here. It's worth remarking that giving away music on the Internet, just like you do on the radio, is the successful strategy of our era because it whets your appetite for the actual CD and makes you want to support the artist.
Note: This has gone mostly unremarked, but I think it's critical: Neil Young's marketing approach is innovative and savvy. Like Willy Nelson and the Dixie Chicks, he has a name as big as Bush's that guarantees automatic distribution and sales. And yet, what did he (or his marketing people) do? He made a clever website mocking USA Today that, unlike the paper, keeps visitors abreast of the actual news. He made a MySpace page (MySpace was created to give musicians a way to publicize their work before it because a hangout for horny teens and adults). He let you listen to the song for free. As if that wasn't enough, he put videos on YouTube. That's one smart man. It took the Democrats years to figure out that orgs like MoveOn were on the cutting edge of political advertising (they still haven't figured out how to talk, though). But Neil Young? He was way on up in that biyatch from the get go.