Chiang Mai Ensemble expands
The Ensemble and Friends gathered on stage after
the show to receive bouquets of congratulatory flowers from the audience.
The talented musicians of the Chiang Mai Ensemble added a few instruments to
the mix for their Chiang Mai Ensemble and Friends show on June 8, 2013 show
at the AUA auditorium theater. The group tackled difficult and intricate
pieces by Mozart, Prokofiev, and Saint-Saens, with the majority of pieces
coming from Prokofiev.
The Ensemble consisted of Remi Namtip on piano, Xavier Vichitporn on the
flute, Vitsaruth Tawinno on the cello, Chaipruck Mekara on the clarinet,
David Wilson on the piano, Ohm Chantayoon and Pornnapha Chadburud on the
violin, and Siwanad Boonnil on the viola performed such intricate pieces as
Prokofiev’s “Overture on Hebrew Themes”.
The addition of the “friends” in the Chiang Mai Ensemble and Friends made
the evening a great delight for the audience.
The Ensemble on stage performing Prokofiev’s
“Overture on Hebrew Thames” at the concert.
Life at 33 1/3: Drunk and epic
Neil Young: American Stars ‘n Bars (Reprise)
By Carl Meyer
Released: June 1977
(All songs written by Neil Young, except as indicated)
“The Old Country Waltz” – 2:58
“Saddle Up the Palomino” (Neil Young, Tim Drummond, Bobby Charles) – 3:00
“Hey Babe” – 3:35
“Hold Back the Tears” – 4:18
“Bite the Bullet” – 3:30
“Star of Bethlehem” – 2:42
“Will to Love” – 7:11
“Like a Hurricane” – 8:20
“Homegrown” – 2:20
Produced by: Neil Young & David Briggs with Tim Mulligan, Elliot
Personnel: Neil Young, Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, Billy Talbot, Ralph
Molina, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, Karl T. Himmel, Carole
Mayedo, Linda Ronstadt, Nicolette Larson.
of my favorite Neil Young albums. I like him rough and scrawny, and he is
here. The album is a wily stew of fresh material and outtakes. The new
stuff, a kind of country hoe down with fiddle, steel guitar and hollering
barn-girls (Linda Ronstadt and Nicolette Larson) lays claim on side 1.
These ramshackle songs sound like an unpretentious, don’t give a damn,
drunken celebration of life, chewing on a straw and waving a jug of
moonshine in the air. A cousin of the redneck-tracks on side 2 of the later
“Hawks And Doves” (1980). But the lyrics are a strange mix of emotions, part
brokenhearted, part desperate for some intimate encounter (he’s even after
the neighbour’s wife), horny self-pity, drunk on tears and testosterone. The
wonderfully disgusting cover photo was probably shot two seconds after the
band finished playing “Bite The Bullet” (last track on side 1): “Carolina
queen/ She’s a walking love machine./I’d like to make her scream,/When I
bite the bullet./Bite the bullet.”
Side 2, however, is a completely different story. Four outtakes from 1974,
1975 and 1976. The oldest is the delicate, exquisitely beautiful “Star Of
Bethlehem”. The most recent is the 7 minutes long, spooky, rambling love
epic “Will To Love”. Neil uses the metaphor of a salmon swimming upstream to
spawn, and it’s a long journey probably meant as a demo-recording, the
crackling noise you hear is from the fireplace. Neil later tried to
re-record it in the studio, but he couldn’t capture the nerve of the
original, so he decided to use the strange and haunting recording as it was,
warts and all. The contours are hazy, the sound dreamlike.
After the seven hushed, whispery minutes of the magical “Will To Love”, the
album explodes with “Like A Hurricane”. Neil Young’s definitive electrical
outburst. The pace is surprisingly slow, like running under water, the drums
keep Crazy Horse on a tight leash, but the sonic power is simply stunning,
and indeed it does explode, or rather catch fire with the most classic of
all Neil Young’s solos on electric guitar. Slightly distorted and
luminescent it glides through the air, shimmering, weightless, so
electrically beautiful that you feel like crying and getting down on your
knees to thank the guy. Neil Young at his epic best.
The album’s conclusion, “Homegrown,” is from the same session as “Like A
Hurricane”, but rough, tongue-in-cheek and ramshackle as it is, it has much
more in common with the songs on side 1. And thus the circle is complete and
the album achieves a sense of wholeness which really is not there. Neil
cheats and gets away with it. A classic? You bet!
Christopher Stern held the opening of
his exhibition titled “Experiments” at the Meeting Room Art Café on June 1,
2013. The solo exhibit ended on June 15, 2013 at the Wat Kate area gallery
on Chareonrat Road. The series of evocative paintings were in oil and ink,
and featured portraits as well as colorful paintings that to me gave the
feeling of landscapes seen through a different eye. The Meeting Room Art
Café is the latest in Gallery/Cafés to offer local artists an opportunity to
exhibit their works. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)