March 17, 2009

Rust Never Sleeps — Gets Good Mileage, Actually

Neil Young is gearing up for the April 7th release of Fork In The Road — a concept album about cars — and he’s previewing one of its tracks, “Johnny Magic,” in a self-made video that finds him, suitably, behind the wheel of a classic automobile.

In particular, Young is shown cruising in a ‘59 Lincoln Continental, which he recently converted to hybrid technology. And while this lean, mean, eco-friendly machine looks to be one viable way of the future, the rest of this ride — at least by the dilapidated condition of its interior — appears (endearingly) on the verge of collapse.

As for the song, it’s a guitar-heavy rumble — a la “Piece of Crap” or “Dirty Old Man” — that chomps on riffs like crumbs. And the refrain here reaches back to “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)” with its tongue-in-cheek chimes of “Johnny Magic! Johnny Magic!”

All in all, it makes for a fun little film, not least because of Young’s dog, Carl, who chills in the spacious backseat while his cantankerous master rocks out up front. Keep watch for the two-minute mark, when Young busts out an air guitar solo that’s impressive not only for his inimitable fingering style, but also for his ability to keep the car on the road.