Neil Young has a new video for his rendition of “Oh Susannah,” and you can contribute to it, if you have an Instagram account. Just take a photo of something that you consider to be classic “Americana,” tag the image #neilyoungamericana and be sure to add your location. Your photo (credited to your Instagram name) will be tagged on an interactive map, and your image will also be pulled into a video slideshow that plays while you listen to Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s unique take on the classic song. (Your Instagram image appears at the bottom of the screen when your photo is shown). Check out the map and the video here.

Warner Brothers Records Vice President of Interactive Marketing Jeff Watson says that he didn’t need to convince Neil Young and his team to try the Instagram idea. “It was an extremely easy sell to Neil. Neil is so far ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and new ways of thinking, that he understood this immediately.” Young has actually taken other steps into the world of social media: in June of 2010, he shocked fans by posting to Facebook, saying “I have been thinking about adding vampire blues to my show but I would rather do it with a band. This is my first posting. Thanks for being there.” (“Vampire Blues” is a rarely performed obscurity from his 1974 album On The Beach.)

Watson says that he never asked Young to try Facebook. Rather, “Neil actually called me to find out how to post to Facebook! He’s always looking for different ways for people to engage with his art. He ‘gets’ it more than most artists, in my opinion, and is always pushing to think differently.”

“Different” certainly describes Young’s upcoming album, Americana. The record features Young and Crazy Horse giving their garage rock spin on American standards like “Oh Susannah,” “Clementine” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Americana comes out June 5. No tour has been announced, but Neil Young & Crazy Horse are booked for San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival in August and The Austin City Limits Festival in Texas in October.

Instagram is the iPhone App that allows you to take a photo, apply different filters or effects to that photo, and then share it to various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram itself. Photos are square, much like classic Polaroid classic instamatic photos. Facebook recently acquired Instagram for a reported $1 billion dollars. The app is now available for Android as well.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local


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