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Soulful Ryan Adams Plays "Neutron Dance" to Make Techies Cry

"I got some time to kill; I tried to pay my hotel bill with bitcoin."

Asa Mathat

When Ryan Adams stepped onstage at the Code Conference, his mission was simple: To stir up emotion through some of his famous soulful strumming. But he knew his audience would be a tough one, so he started with a joke they could get behind.

“I got some time to kill; I tried to pay my hotel bill with bitcoin,” he said, his face hidden behind dark glasses and unruly hair onstage at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

He was introduced by musician and producer Don Was, who argued that music is part of our prelinguistic human nature, which technology tricks with ProTools can muddle.

And as soon as Adams started to play a super-slow version of “Neutron Dance,” the crowd, who’d earlier seen robot demos and discussions of net neutrality, settled right in. If he’d played two songs, there would have been some lighters in the air.

Just no time to
Stop and get away
’Cause I work so hard
To make it every day

Here’s the video of his performance:

And the original Pointer Sisters version here:

This article originally appeared on

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