Neil Young: Rockin In The Free World (1989)
How do you pick one Neil Young song? Do you choose acoustic Neil or noisy Neil? There’s a world between “See The Sky About To Rain” and “Cortex The Killer”, but both would be contenders for me. “Rockin In The Free World” has arguably become the fist-pumping highlight of his electric shows; it’s Neil’s “Born To Run”. I hope he doesn’t get tired of playing it any time soon.
Thom Yorke: Harrowdown Hill (2006)
Harrowdown Hill was Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s first solo single, from his CD “The Eraser”. Yorke has confirmed that the song refers to the suspicious death of David Kelly, a British scientist. Kelly had engaged in off-the-record discussions with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan about the British government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He was identified publicly as Gilligan’s source and appeared on 15 July 2003 before a parliamentary foreign affairs select committee. Two days later, Kelly was found dead on Harrowdown Hill.
Yeasayer: Fingers Never Bleed (2012)
Yeasayer were one the bands on my must-see list for Laneway 2013 in Auckland, and they didn’t disappoint. “Fingers Never Bleed” is from their 2012 CD, “Fragrant World”, initially made available to fans via an internet scavenger hunt. The band would send clues via their twitter stream three weeks prior to the official release. In an interview with fastcocreate.com, lead vocalist Chris Keating described the band as “still a niche kind of band, even if I’m not sure what that niche is.”
Weird Al Yankovic: Bob (2003)
I was all set to find the clip for Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise“, when I came across “Bob” – Al’s tribute to Bob Dylan and the power of the palindrome. Ideally this would be written in palindromes too, but I’ll have to leave that to Al. Dammit, I’m mad! Weird Al’s video is based on Dylan’s original film clip for Subterranean Homesick Blues, released in 1965, and generally regarded as one of the first promotional music videos. Al managed to squeeze one final palindrome into the song’s title.