Last Wednesday, January 4, Neurosis singer and guitarist Scott Kelly played a solo set at the Empty Bottle. The crowd was small but devoted, and those of us who stayed till the end got a surprise: Yakuza front man Bruce Lamont, who’d opened with a solo set of his own, joined Kelly for a mostly acoustic rendition of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer,” adding a tenor sax part, looped horn drones, and harmony vocals. On Tuesday somebody put a great-quality video of the performance up on YouTube.
In retrospect the chord changes are totally familiar, but at the time I puzzled over the long instrumental intro, trying to place it—all I knew for sure was that it wasn’t a Scott Kelly song. Two lines after Kelly started singing, I leaned over to Monica Kendrick. “Jesus,” I said. “This is ‘Cortez the Killer,’ isn’t it?”
OK, so I’m not the world’s biggest Neil Young fan. It’s not because he isn’t great—there was just so much other stuff to listen to when I was growing up, you know? At any rate, the video is after the jump.