Twenty years before he made his puzzling film Greendale, Neil Young spent three years and $3 million of his own money making Human Highway, which may be more puzzling and perhaps more charming. Young stars as Lionel, a dim but good-hearted mechanic who dreams of being a rock star, just like his hero Frankie (also played by Young), a dissolute lounge singer. Lionel also pines for Charlotte, a waitress at the diner next door. If he wants to make his move romantically, he doesn't have much time — today's the last day of the world, as the town's nuclear power plant is set to meltdown. Oh, and the staff of said power plant is played by all five members of Devo. Confused? We haven't even mentioned the group sing-alongs, Lionel's fantasy-backing band of wooden Indians yet, or the show-stopping version of "Hey Hey, My My" performed by Lionel and Devo. Human Highway is definitely something else. Apop Records (2831 Cherokee Street; 314-664-6575 or apoprecords.com) screens Young's trippy film for free at 7:30 p.m. as part of its ongoing fifth anniversary celebrations.
Thu., April 23, 2009