At the time of the sessions that eventually became The Hitchhiker, Neil Young was slowly emerging from one of the darkest periods of his personal and musical life. Afraid of getting type cast as an acoustic lightweight, he had embraced the use of heavy-rock instrumentation, pushing away a fair chunk of his fan base from his Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Harvest period. Coupled with a melancholy mood permeating his life and music that brought on by the death of former Crazy Horse bandmate Danny Whitten, at the time, Young was clearly working through a sea-change in his personal philosophy.The opening song of Hitchhiker, “Pocahontas,” is familiar to fans of Rust Never Sleeps, but this version is infinitely more intimate than any version previously known. Young was very aware of the painful history of the native populations in the Americas and likely identified with their loss of identity. At the time of the song’s writing, these issues were once again on the minds of many Americans, and Young used his trademark nasal vocals to decry American Indians’ treatment and losses.The following tune, “Powderfinger,” continued the vision of forceful loss of culture. The uncertainty of the words is palpable and is a stunning contrast to his innate comfort on the vocals and guitar. On “Captain Kennedy,” his simple percussive taps on the hollow body of his guitar are a powerful touch that echoes the heartbeat and that fade as the protagonist faces his fate. The occasional chuckles and comments before the beginning of these tracks offer an interesting insight into Young’s mood during the recording session as well, like the self-starting thought at the start of “Hawaii.” “Give Me Strength” is the clearest picture of Young’s low emotional ebb, serving as a naked look at his disconnection. The raw nature of the track is part song, part longing for hope.By the time title track “Hitchhiker” rolls around, he seems to accept his place as a transitional force in the lives of everyone around him. With a painful divorce recently completed and a growing alienation from his friends and family, Young seemed in danger of fading away into a drug addled haze. The songs he wrote and recorded for Hitchhiker were clearly him realizing the dangers he faced and repudiating them with all the artistic fight he could muster. While fear of pigeon-holing prevented the release of The Hitchhiker at that point in his career, hearing them now is a wonderful insight into Young’s mindset at the time and moving forward. Though he was loathe to coast on his past successes, he was more than capable of making truly meaningful music in his older styles. That Young decided to fight against creative and personal stagnation and gave us one of the artist’s angriest and most seminal works. Luckily for all of us, we are now gifted with the opportunity to look at what might have been as well as what was. For his thirty-eighth solo record, The Hitchhiker, Neil Young decided to go old school—literally. All the tracks featured on the acoustic album were recorded in a single day in 1976 and have languished in archives ever since. Though some of these tracks were reworked and appeared on later albums, such as Young’s seminal Rust Never Sleeps, the songs were never heard in their original acoustic format—that is, until now. The reasons why this material ended up collecting dust for decades is almost as interesting as the music itself. You can hear The Hitchhiker in its entirety and check out our review of the album below.
This past weekend, Phish headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico for the third edition of their Mexican destination event. This year’s Mexico trip has been widely hailed by fans as the best of the band’s three Mexico runs, with rare bust-outs, long-lost covers, and plenty of improv popping up throughout the three-show engagement. Following their triumphant trip south of the border, the band has shared pro-shot video of the colossal “I Always Wanted It This Way” > “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” sement from the second set of their first of three shows on Thursday.After a set-opening “Soul Planet” and a rare cover of Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon”, played for the first time since the 2010 Halloween Waiting for Columbus costume, the crowd was treated to the longest and most exploratory rendition of “I Always Wanted It This Way” to date. The Page McConnell-penned Big Boat tune got the ride of its life, standing out as the improvisational highlight of Phish’s first night in Mexico. The synth-heavy sound transformed into a light and beachy 20-minute jam that gave all four members time in the spotlight. Jon Fishman communicated to Trey Anastasio with an ear-to-ear grin before McConnell teamed up with Gordon to create a boisterous clavinet/bass concoction. After the noteworthy “IAWITW”, the quartet melted into a slow-tempo “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long”, debuted during the band’s recent Kasvot Växt Halloween set.You can watch pro-shot video of Phish’s Mexican “I Always Wanted It This Way” > “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” below:Phish – “I Always Wanted It This Way” > “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” [Pro-Shot][Video: Phish]Phish will now take the next few months off as the band members head out to perform with various side projects including a number of Trey Anastasio Band dates, the first-ever performances by Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman‘s new Ghosts of the Forest project, and a number of March shows by Mike Gordon‘s solo outfit. All four members of Phish will reunite in June to commence their 2019 summer tour.For a full list of upcoming dates, head here.Setlist: Phish | Barceló Maya | Quintana Roo, Mexico | 2/21/2019Set One: Spock’s Brain, Twist, Free, Who Loves the Sun?, Everything’s Right, We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains, Rise/Come Together, Funky Bitch, SandSet Two: Soul Planet -> Spanish Moon, I Always Wanted It This Way > Death Don’t Hurt Very Long, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Bathtub Gin, The Squirming CoilEncore: Waste, Bold As Love
Chipmunks may look cute, but when they wreak havoc in the landscape their charm quickly fades.A species of small rodent, chipmunks are quite common in Georgia. They are considered minor agricultural pests, but they can cause significant structural damage under patios, stairs and retention walls.Chipmunks are burrowers and their tunnels are usually 20 to 30 feet long and may be more complex in areas where cover is scarce. Chipmunks are usually ground-dwelling critters, but will climb trees and shrubs for food and to escape predators.These little critters consume flower bulbs, seeds, seedlings, grass seed, pet foods and birdseed from bird feeders. Chipmunks also will gnaw on wooden structures, eat garden vegetables, fruits and flowers; clog downspouts and chew on the bark and buds of ornamental plantings.Chipmunks are territorial and rarely become numerous enough to cause a significant amount of damage. However, when the resources are right, populations can reach 20 individuals or more in an urban landscape. When populations reach densities high enough to cause significant damage, homeowners have several options to lessen or even eliminate the damage they cause.While their natural habitat is in open wooded areas with ample food-producing trees and bushes, chipmunks will make their homes around the edges of forests and urban landscapes. In these areas, food and protection are offered by shrubbery, flowers and gardens, allowing chipmunks to thrive and eventually become pests.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recommends following the HERL model of control: habitat modification, exclusion, repellent and lethal control.The first option for mitigating chipmunk damage is habitat modification. In other words, make the landscape less attractive to these scurrying little creatures. This starts by removing any yard debris, wood piles or brush that could be used as denning sites.Often considered a nuisance in its own right, English ivy provides shelter for many rodents, including chipmunks. Treat these areas with foliar and stump-cut herbicide applications of either glyphosate or triclopyr. This can remove cover, thus removing the chipmunk’s habitat.A common mistake seen in landscaping is the continuous planting of trees, shrubs or ground cover. Like English ivy, this pattern provides chipmunks with a continuous, covered corridor. Plantings should be placed away from sidewalks, driveways and foundations to dissuade chipmunks from burrowing under those structures.Next is exclusion. Prevent chipmunks from entering buildings by caulking holes where gas lines, television and internet cables, and air conditioning lines penetrate the house. It’s important to seal off dryer and exhaust vent lines, downspouts and rain gutters with one-quarter-inch hardwire mesh. This prevents chipmunks from building nests in these areas and stops potential damage from water backing up along foundation walls.Homeowners often want to use a spray to get rid of their chipmunk problem, however repellents are rarely the long-term answer.Homeowners frequently use moth balls — naphthalene — to repel a variety of nuisance wildlife, however using moth balls in this way goes against their labeled use and is illegal. Other home remedies that have been temporarily effective are hot sauce, rotten eggs and predator urine.Taste aversion repellents, like Bitrex or Thiram, can be applied to landscape plants to discourage chewing and eating. Other repellents labelled for use against deer and rabbits are also effective. It is important to remember that repellents are temporary control methods and must be changed up frequently so that chipmunks do not become habituated to one particular deterrent.The final action that can be taken is lethal control. Trapping in large, wooden rat traps can be quite effective. These traps are usually baited with peanut butter or an oatmeal-peanut butter mix. Traps should be placed along runways or at burrow openings.Other forms of lethal control include poisons. Treatments registered for use against chipmunks can be found on the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s pesticide product registry.On the legal front, all nongame wildlife is protected in Georgia. It is illegal to kill any species unless specifically permitted by regulations such as hunting and fishing laws. Normally, homeowners can protect their property from mammals causing damage, but it is always a good idea to check first with your local Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.Catching and releasing live animals into unfamiliar territory is not recommended. Live animals also should not be released on county, state or federal lands.