Rebirth of Reason

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Post 0

Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 7:56pmSanction this postReply
Woo hoo, Rush! I'm pretty hopped up for some new tunes and maybe to see them in concert again. I'm a long time fan (since the mid-80s) but only saw them for the first time on the Vapor Trails tour in 2002 when I caught 3 shows when they were in the Northeast US. Had to grit my teeth and miss them when they came to Michigan in  2004 for the R30 tour. Had a new job and couldn't slack off or ask for time off right away.

I like what I've heard on the internet, their new song Far Cry. http://www.rush.com/ The lyrics are no doubt inspired by Neil Peart's family tragedies back in the late 1990s, and the resilience that Peart discovered in himself in the aftermath, "on the healing road." http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Rider-Travels-Healing-Road/dp/1550225480/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-4963550-5836825?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174877411&sr=1-1 

One day I feel I'm on top of the world
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back home
One day I feel Iím ahead of the wheel,
And the next it's rolling over me
I can get back on
I can get back home

Having suffered sudden cardiac arrest secondary to genetic heart disease 2 years ago, I've had to "get back on" with life with the knowledge of the ticking time bomb in my chest, so I derive inspiration from Peart's resilient example as well as the optimistic sense of life in so many Rush songs.

I'm glad to read of others' love of Rush. There's not too many of us!

Post 1

Monday, March 26, 2007 - 9:44amSanction this postReply
They're baaaack!!!

I share your enthusiasm, Vincent!

I bought Ghost Rider as soon as it came out...It was a powerful read.
It amazes me how, in his books, (I read The Masked Rider many years ago) Neil Peart writes in a way that exposes his soul completely. He makes you feel like you know him personally, because he is unafraid to let it all out.

I've been a huge fan of RUSH since I was about 11 or 12. I hate to try to pick a favorite album, because they had so many different "eras" that I felt were equally amazing. But every time I try, I always come back to Hemispheres, since it blew me away as a kid, and still does. I even brought the lyrics to Hemispheres to school in the 7th grade to show my friends. (Surprisingly, this did not make me a cool, popular girl. :-) 
Note: Please don't mistake me for one of these purists who thinks only "old, 70's" RUSH is any good, though---nothing could be further from the truth.

You either get RUSH, or you don't. Period. I simply find it impossible not to be excited over their next release, or tour; I saw them both times they came to Chicago to support Vapor Trails.

I'm glad to read of others' love of Rush. There's not too many of us! (Vincent Rozyczko)

Amen to that, brother.

Thanks for posting this, Bridget. I just love an excuse to let my inner RUSH geek out, loud and proud!

(biding my time til the Snakes and Arrows tour graces Chicago... :-)

And Happy (belated) Birthday, Vincent!

(Edited by Erica Schulz on 3/26, 10:04am)

Post 2

Monday, March 26, 2007 - 7:09pmSanction this postReply
 I just love an excuse to let my inner RUSH geek out, loud and proud!

Well, as you-know-who sings, "everybody got to deviate from the norm"!

Thanks for the B-day wishes. it was a relaxing day and I ate lots of gyros here in this hotbed of Mediterranean food. (Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor) Got me prepped and raring to go for a long work week.

Back to Rush:

Surprisingly, this did not make me a cool, popular girl. :-)
I probably don't need to tell you this, but Popular? Shmopular! One of my favorite lines in all of Rush is when Geddy sings in "The Spirit of Radio" of the concept of "happy solitude."

On the other hand, your mention of Peart's Ghost Rider inspired me to dig out my old copy this evening. Reading of the distraught Peart wandering the living room in "search mode" for his lost daughter really hit me hard. I can't imagine anything for the rest of his life will be as hellish as what he went through in 1997-1998, so as the song "Ghost Rider" predicts, "Nothing can stop (him) now".

Anyway, if you've got an inner geek, let her RUSH out. I won't mind!

Post 3

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 2:24pmSanction this postReply
I am going to have to grab that from my bandmate (a HUGE Rush fan, haha), and give it a listen!

You guys should see his friend's (appropriately named) "Rush Van"- they decked it out with all sorts of their bumper stickers and posters, and painted it up themselves, with a liscence plate that says "RUSHVAN" on it. Basically, these guys are planning on following the band on their next tour...might be heading out with them when Rush plays Wisconsin.

Cool, more music to add to my list of "stuff I want to purchase when I'm done paying off this semester of college", haha.

Thanks for the review. *grins*

Post 4

Monday, June 4, 2007 - 11:18pmSanction this postReply
Is this out yet? Can anyone review it? I haven't cared for anything of theirs since "subdivisions" so I am reluctant to shell out without a good reason.


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Post 5

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 6:09pmSanction this postReply
I own Snakes & Arrows.  I have mixed feelings on it.  Frankly, their last several albums have been of little interest to me, and my expectations were low prior to purchasing the album.  With the bar set low, they at least were able to impress me with this album.  Here are some initial comments:

- Lyrically, Peart deals a lot with the subject of religious faith.  His lyrics were inspired by the numerous religious billboards he saw while riding across the U.S. in his motorcycle.  Here's the first verse of the song Faithless:
<SCRIPT type=text/javascript><SCRIPT src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js" type=text/javascript>
I've got my own moral compass to steer by
A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
And all the preaching voices -
Empty vessels of dreams so loud
As they move among the crowd
Fools and thieves are well disguised
In the temple and market place
And the refrain:
I don't have faith in faith
I don't believe in belief
You can call me faithless

But I still cling to hope
And I believe in love
And that's faith enough for me
- There are two instrumentals on this album: The Main Monkey Business and Malignant Narcissism.  The former is the longest instrumental they've written since La Villa Strangiato and features a variety of moods and sections, many of them hypnotic and churning (a brief section of it sounds Tool inspired).  The latter has some hard rockin moments and outstanding bass playing, but it feels a little incomplete as a composition.  I feel like they could have put more into it and made a better ending. 

- While much of the album is rather heavy, there are also many acoustic moments (even a mandolin).  Alex was reportedly inspired by seeing a solo accoustic performance by David Gilmour, and had an extensive conversation with Gilmour afterwards. 

- Peart explores some dark lyrical content on this album, some of it bordering on determinism.  Take the following:
If we're so much the same like I always hear, why such different fortunes and fates
Some of us live in a cloud of fear, some live behind iron gates.

Why such different fortunes and fates, some are blessed and some are cursed
Some live behind iron gates, while others see only the worst.

Some are blessed and some are cursed, the Golden One or scarred from birth.
While others only see the worst, such a lot of pain on the earth.
If I have time, I'll try to  add more commentary, but hopefully that will fuel some discussion.  Anyone else listen to the album yet? 

Post 6

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 6:32pmSanction this postReply

Killed by the Messenger?

Thanks, Pete.

From what you say, I assume I would not like the album, but I will certainly try to get a chance to listen to the instrumentals. And I would still pay to see them in concert, but the closest easy venue to me on this tour is Jones' Beach, which I detest.

I am struck by a thought. I have long argued with a musician friend of mine that lyrics are secondary in music, that if a musical piece has any value, even those who don't speak the language in which it is written will be moved. My friend strongly disagrees. I et the impression that his song-writing is as a whole to him. He seems to see the lyrics and the music as not only integrated in the creative process, but also in the listening experience. So much of what I have heard from Rush post-Tom Sawyer seems to be uninspired music set to forced or even cynical or maudlin lyrics. It makes me wonder if the music is driven no longer by the melody, but by the message. I wonder what might happen if they made an entirely acoustic album? Or what if they made an album where didactic / or even meaningful lyrics were forbidden. I think of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and the Beatles' Abbey Road suite with their almost nonsensensical lyrics but their brilliant sense of life. Are Peart & Co. simply trying too hard?

Would an album with no message have to be a mess?

Ted Keer

Post 7

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 7:07pmSanction this postReply
Would an album with no message have to be a mess?

if an album has no message, whyforth the album?

Post 8

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 9:10pmSanction this postReply

Primarily, music moves us because of the melodic progression. Good songs are often melodies accompanied by lyrics which might stand on their own as poems, and perhaps poems of great merit. But who thinks that "The lion sleeps tonight" is a great song because of its message? A truly bad message might make one hate a son - but even then the tune can get caught in your head. A good tune like "Son of a Preacher Man" is catchy even if you only speak Inupiaq.

I wonder if maybe the guys at Rush have let the message, rather than the melody, become the master?


(Edited by Ted Keer
on 6/05, 9:11pm)

Post 9

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 6:18amSanction this postReply
To write and play a work of music is one thing - and good melody  is a delight.... but a song, by its nature, deals with words, and as such, supposedly a message - else why the dealing with words... if then there is no message, then there seems little value to the song.....  is why, for instance, usually enjoy the instrumental version of a 'song' precisely because the words are so lacking in  worth, as if tacked to the music instead of symbiotic to it...

Post 10

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 9:17amSanction this postReply
Yes, Robert, if you wish to speak specifically of song, then the lyrics are important, and they must fit the song.  But Elton John often wrote great music for which Bernie Taupin later wrote the lyrics.  Not being a composer, I couldn't rightfully opine on how the creative process works.  Yet again, it is essentially the melody that evokes the emotion in the listener, the words can enhance or detract, but a song that has great words and sound like crap would be poor music.


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