Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rush, I

Rush- Moving Pictures

For me, ‘Tom Sawyer’ is all about the drum fills.

Geddy Lee kills ‘Red Barchetta’ by sounding SO fucking laxadasical and uninspired when he sings the words “adrenaline surge.”

I still play the air bass harmonics every time I hear ‘YYZ.’

The lyric “All the world should be a STAGE!” in ‘Limelight’ is pretty righteous when you’re seein’ Rush play live. It’s no “concert hall!”, but it’s still pretty cool.

The keyboard bit on the beginning of ‘The Camera Eye’ sounds like the band sat down one night in like 1975 and had a meeting about what they thought the future would sound like.

What the hell is the name of song six? I like it well enough.

‘Vital Signs’ is a completely underrated Rush gem.

Rush- Retrospective II

The classic rock part of my music education came from the guys I spent my summers with at camp. When I started working on staff circa: 1989, conventional wisdom nodded towards some of the dinosaurs of classic rock: Triumph, Styx, Boston, Zeppelin (playing the part of the flesh-eating dinosaur), AC/DC and, yes, Rush. Over the years, other music filtered in- I was taught a lot about hip-hop when I was a C.I.T. by some guys from Lowell, and I did my best to bring punk rock to the forefront. Still, though, I’ve got a soft spot for the old stuff.

The guys at camp who were Rush fans were all about it. Rush is one of those bands that doesn’t breed a lot of middle ground- you’re either turned off by Geddy’s high-pitched wailing or you think it’s the shit and buy everything the band ever put out. It should come as no surprise that most of the camp guys fall into the second category- I heard every fucking Rush album in its entirety over the course of a few summers, and not all from the same guy. There were a bunch of different dudes who had the complete discographies at their disposal.

I think Rush and Kiss are a lot alike. Both bands have hugely fanatical fanbases, and both bands have put out like a zillion records each. Thing is that each band averages like one good song per album. There are exceptions, of course, but seeing Rush play live on their last few tours has made my theory clearer. They put out a new record, then go out on tour. As the set progresses, they play one song from each of the past four or five albums- whatever the hit in each case was, with the word hit in quotations- a few from the record they’re touring on, and then the inevitable greatest hits. Some songs are ascribed greater importance as time passes, aging like prog wine, but for the most part, the stuff that’s played is from the same loose group of thirty-ish hit songs.

(Hey angry Rush fans emailing me setlists and angry arguments about the band’s ever-evolving playlist: relax.)

The songs that have reached canon status kick SO much ass, despite the amount of filler that is on each proper band LP. This is stuff that is so cheesy that it transcends normally acceptable limits for sap and obviousness, becoming anthemic in complete lack of subtlety, just like the legions of pimply-faces dorks who see no light other than that thrown from the computer screen they’re hunched over. Any of the songs on either greatest hits album is enough to get all the dudes from the A.V. room pumping fists and playing air drums, trying to emulate Neil (Rush, of course, is right there with the Police and arguably Primus in the category of ‘Bands who have guitarists billed after the bass player and drummer’).


Blogger Dan Coffey said...

It's "All the world's indeed a stage...".

Loved your Rush commentary!


9:31 AM  

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