MUSIC: NEIL YOUNG, GIFTED AND BACK

HE'S GOT A NEW BACKUP BAND, PEARL JAM, AND A TERRIFIC NEW ALBUM, BUT ROCK'S AGELESS CRANK IS STILL TRAVELING HIS OWN ROAD

Men resemble their cars. Or do cars resemble their men? Either--or both--might hold true of rocker Neil Young as he folds his lanky, cranky frame into the driver's seat of his rust-pocked 1958 Lincoln Continental convertible. The car's been through a lot, and so has Young. The graying, semi-reclusive singer-songwriter was a member of the countrified '60s rock group Buffalo Springfield; one-fourth of the vocal quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; an anti-Nixon protester in the '70s; a sometime Reagan sympathizer in the '80s. Now in the '90s Young is a father figure for a new generation of alternative rockers. He...