main image

Rust Never Sleeps & Opinions on Stephen Malkmus

Jim and Greg conduct a Classic Album Dissection of Neil Young's 1979 part acoustic/part electric masterpiece, Rust Never Sleeps.

Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode

Music News

We're going to be honest. Deaths in the musical world are a mixed bag. On one hand, you're sad about the loss of a great figure and sad for their friends and family. But on the other hand, sometimes it takes a loss to make you stop and reconsider that person's contributions. This week Jim and Greg look back at two wonderful songwriters that died on Monday: Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford. Leiber is best known as one half of the duo Leiber & Stoller. Ashford, too, was in a duo with his wife Valerie Simpson. Leiber wrote lyrics for a number of hits in the 1950's and 1960's including "Stand By Me" and "Hound Dog," though not originally for Elvis. Ashford & Simpson penned the tunes "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Let's Go Get Stoned," and their own hit "Solid." Greg particularly likes the song "California Soul" by Marlena Shaw.

classic album dissectionRust Never SleepsRust Never Sleeps available on iTunes

Neil Young Rust Never Sleeps

For our 300th episode, Jim and Greg wanted to do a Classic Album Dissection of one of their favorite records of all time: Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young. The 1979 release was mostly recorded live during Young's 1978 tour, save some overdubs. As Jim and Greg discuss, it was in large part a response to the emerging punk music. How does a classic rocker from the '60s grow and evolve? This is how. As Young sings in "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)," "It's better to burn out, than to fade away."

That song bookends the album, with the middle tracks broken into an acoustic section and an electric one. Jim remarks how brave it was for Young to come out with nothing but an acoustic guitar. He particularly loves the song "Pocahontas," which makes reference to the Native American icon in addition to the Hollywood icon Marlon Brando. Greg chooses to highlight the hard-stomping electric "Powderfinger," which attempts to reconcile America's complicated identity.

reviewMirror TrafficMirror Traffic available on iTunes

Stephen Malkmus Mirror Traffic

Pavement fans eagerly awaited the band's 2010 reunion. And Jim and Greg think they'll be happy to hear Stephen Malkmus' new solo effort Mirror Traffic, as well. It's a return to form in many ways. You'll hear that signature smirk, the short, bursting pop songs and the quizzical lyrics. It was produced by fellow alt-rock idol Beck, and despite Malkmus‘“slacker”rep, there’s a great deal of pop craftsmenship on the album. Both hosts say Buy It.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. The Clovers, Love Potion No. 9, Very Best of the Clovers, Rhino, 1998
  2. Big Mama Thorton, Hound Dog, Hound Dog: The Peacock Recordings, MCA, 1992
  3. Marlena Shaw, California Soul, Spice of Life, Verve, 1969
  4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue), Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  5. Devo, Jocko Homo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Warner Bros., 1978
  6. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue), Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  7. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Sedan Delivery, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  8. Johnny Cash, Pocahontas, Unearthed, American Recordings, 2003
  9. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Welfare Mothers, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  10. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ride My Llama, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  11. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Sail Away, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  12. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Thrasher, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  13. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Pocahontas, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  14. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black), Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  15. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Sedan Delivery, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  16. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Welfare Mothers, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  17. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Powderfinger, Rust Never Sleeps, Reprise, 1979
  18. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, No One Is (As I Are Be), Mirror Traffic, Matador, 2011
  19. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Tigers, Mirror Traffic, Matador, 2011
  20. Tyler Bates, Fever Dream, 300, WEA, 2007
  21. Chromeo, Call Me Up, Fancy Footwork, Vice Records, 2007
  22. The Coasters, Yakety Yak, Baby That Is Rock n' Roll, Snapper UK, 2011
  23. David Bazan, Strange Negotiations, Strange Negotiations, Barsuk, 2011
  24. Washed Out, Amor Fati, Within and Without, Sub Pop, 2011
  25. Howard Jones, Pearl in the Shell, Human's Lib, Elektra, 1984

Footnotes

leiberstoller.com Leiber and Stoller rollingstone.com Leiber obit nytimes.com Nick Ashford obit neilyoung.com Neil Young stephenmalkmus.com Stephen Malkmus