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Monday, March 28, 2011

Homage is not enough

For my IPP, I plan on making a concept album, that is, writing 10 songs that tell a story, picking the best 4 over the plot arc, and turning them into an EP. The album is an homage to, you guessed it, Rush, but apparently it's vague and un-envisionable, to make up words.

I'm curious to know what people think. The idea for the story is that the Sun, being the giver of life essentially, has gotten a swelled head. It's mad with power and simply a tyrant, beating on the Moon and making life hell for its slaves, the White Dwarves (a small species of star that is weak in nature, but pleantiful). The Moon finally gets sick of "owing" the Sun (because the Sun gives the light to Moon, and in this case, Linkin Park, it is assuming that the Moon's "gonna owe it one") and decides to rally the White Dwarves and Comets and other heavenly bodies in order to permanently extinguish the Sun so that the heavenly bodies may be free.

My question is: What literary genre would you say this type of story belongs to? I'm simply curious, because apparently I haven't a fucking clue.

This album is an homage to Rush's "2112," a brilliant look at closed-mindedness and how it leads to tyranny. The song "2112," tells the story of a guy who finds a guitar in a forest, in a time when music has been banned and eradicated. It's essentially a "fight the powers that be," type of tale that I really enjoy and can sometimes relate to on different levels. Peart has won awards for writing it, because it is, simply put, brilliant. I know I've reviewed it before, but have a listen to "2112," and bask in its glory, read the lyrics, and even tell me what genre you think it fits under.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The montage tune

For my montage for TV class I have been waffling with ideas for the past week. I did some filming over the weekend and only ended up with 15 minutes of footage, thus making that idea a complete cock-up and not exactly viable anymore. So I was going to go with plan A (what I did this past weekend was actually my second choice), which is to film myself drumming along with "Beneath, Between, and Behind," from "Fly By Night."

I was originally going to simply drum to it and maybe film the opening guitar lick, but film all of it from different angles and sink them up with shots and stuff. Then it occurred to me today in class that it may become rather boring if I simply do a drumming video. It would soon look like I'm reusing footage and for those who don't enjoy drumming, it would simply become tedious to look at. So, Dean gave me this awesome idea to film myself putting together the kit, which gave me the idea to throw in both playing and assembly. I think it's a pretty neat idea now and already have shots planned and way better ideas than I had. Thanks a bunch, Dean. 

Not only is "Beneath, Between, and Behind," my favourite tune off that album, but it's also just a rockin' tune in general. It's old Rush and still has that 70s feel where you can still hear some of their influences coming through. It was the first Rush tune I could ever drum all the way through and has a really interesting drum pattern and overall feel, with a bunch of musical shots that should give me some interesting options for cuts and whatnot. Looking forward to it now.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Influencing a generation

This post isn't really about a Rush tune, but it is about Neil Peart: one of the greatest rock drummers and overall drummers of all time. The Foo Fighters are coming out with a new album soon and there has been a single released called "Rope." The tune is absolutely unreal, and pretty heavy for the Foo Fighters. Grohl has brought some Them Crooked Vultures back with him and it's some really interesting stuff.

During the chorus of "Rope," I was sitting there bobbing my head along when I noticed a rather distinct ride pattern being played by Mr. Hawkins. I jumped back in the YouTube timeline and wouldn't you know it, but Hawkins' ride pattern was the exact same as Peart's in "Spirit of Radio." How friggin' awesome is that? I know that Taylor Hawkins is a big Rush fan, often being seen in Rush t-shirts and having played YYZ with Grohl, Geddy Lee, and Alex Lifeson. "Rope," is a great tune, but now that this pattern just stands out in all its glory, the song is that much better. Have a listen:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Don't leave this one alone

Rush has been nominated for a few Grammys, two of them for instrumental tracks. This one is from 1993's "Counterparts." It was after Geddy's keyboard phase, when their new producer wanted to really bring the band back to its power trio roots. And that this album did. It's a great listen and deals with a lot of interesting subject matter like sexuality and love. "Leave That Thing Alone," is the aforementioned instrumental. It is absolutely sublime. The bass groove in it is great, the guitar playing is some of Lifeson's finest and Peart, as always, blows me away. Oh and that bass! Damn! So smooth and sexy. Check it out:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Found it

If by "thing," Rush, you meant groove, then you need not beg the question. If you meant unreal instrumental tune, you once again need not beg the question. From 1991's "Roll the Bones," (which I just bought, which might explain why I'm doing so many songs from that album) "Where's My Thing," is a Grammy-nominated instrumental that is just as timeless as all of the band's other instrumental tunes.

"Where's My Thing," is once again prog-rock at its absolute finest. It starts with this back-and-forth between guitar and bass that just sets up the energy of this phenomenal piece. Then Peart kicks in and this bass groove-driven tune kicks it in and takes off into this sweet, up-tempo rock with some style changes and time signature changes that are so characteristic of Rush. There's some funk, some jazz, some rock, literally something for everyone. There's the epic synth breakdown and it just consumes you as a music-lover. If you like instrumentals and just want something to listen to, that is, really listen to, check out "Where's My Thing." Also, the guitar part isn't really all that hard for a Rush tune, so one almost feels good about his or herself when figuring it out. To play a Rush song all the way through on any of the three instruments is a feat in and of itself.

This song is subtitled "Part IV: Gangster of Boats Trilogy." It's Pearts little bit of humour that he randomly injects into some of his tunes. He randomly has different "parts," which make some songs seem like bits of a series, but they're often out of order and whatnot. I believe the "Fear" series has only parts I, II, and IV written. Kind of random, but it gives fans even more to look at and find interest in with respect to the greatest band on Earth. There. I may not have said it before, but I have now. I was trying to be somewhat objective, but to hell with it. Rush is the greatest.