Watch: Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s ‘Americana’ album, silent film streaming

Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s reunion album “Americana” is streaming in full, though the band is also offering 40-minutes of silence.

Rather, the rockers have released a 40-minute silent film that was crafted partly out of found footage to accompany each of “Americana’s” 11 tracks. The opening scene features Young playing a writer who visits an art gallery — which features works from designer Shepard Fairey — “in hopes of finding illustrations for his new book about great American songs,” according to NPR, which debuted the vid.

Young obviously finds what he’s looking for, and thus starts “Americana,” which is the Crazy-Horseian interpretation on classic songs like “Oh Susanna,” “God Save the Queen” and “This Land Is Your Land.” The remainder of the film is found footage from the silent film era, including works from director D.W. Griffith. Young — under the name Bernard Shakey — directed and cut the film.

It’s a beautiful bit of homage, despite how clunky some covers and re-imaginings on this set can be. Young and his band have done their exploration in the American songbook, and some choices like “Jesus’ Chariot” are fun and functional in having made the cut.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse played their first live show together in eight years this winter. Check out more live dates listed here. “Americana” is out June 5.

For more Young, check out my interview with the veteran songwriter last year, in discussing country music and International Harvesters.

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