On Death Culture at Sea: Barstool Blues


In which The Gay Recluse loves Neil Young.

We always remember when we were only five or six years old and one of our older brothers would play After the Gold Rush by Neil Young.

There’s almost always a raw quality to Neil Young during this era (by which we mean his heyday in the 70s) that allows him to get away with things that other people couldn’t pull off. He’s always subverting the very forms he helped to establish.

He also seemed to understand that the song — the message — was more important than any of its components, so it didn’t really matter if the band wasn’t “tight” or if he sang a few things off key; in short, he pushed the beauty of imperfection to new heights in the context of guitar rock.

We always loved “Barstool Blues,” the song from Zuma. It’s one of those Neil Young records that sounds like it took about three hours to make.

But at least half of the songs are decent, and a couple are timeless.

“Barstool Blues” doesn’t have a chorus or verse, but it’s filled with incredible images, punctuated by the distorted guitars.

We listen to it and have the sense that we are flipping channels between movies of our dreams.

And Neil Young is like: “Who cares. Let’s rock get high!”

He was really at the height of his powers then.

It’s strange to think that he was so much younger then than we are now.

We recorded our version of it anyway.

“Barstool Blues”

Download the MP3 from our new Death Culture at Sea site (this should work, but don’t kill us if it doesn’t!)


Listen on Tumblr.

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