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Category Archives: Rush

Ready Player One – A Book Review

Just ask anyone close to me, like my bride, my kids, my pastor. They will tell you that I am a geek. But in the
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loving sense of the word. Like the word “nerd”, geek can be defined as someone heavily interested in a hobby, or technology. There are book geeks, train model geeks, music geeks, even gardening geeks. But you usually don’t find many folks who are geeks of multiple persuasions. that would be me. You also are hard pressed to find any fictional books that appeal to someone of this persuasion until now.

Anyone who’s been around me in the last few weeks will have heard me jabbering in praise-worthy tones about a book I’ve been reading. (It’s actually an audio book I’ve been listening to.) Well I finally finished it. The book is “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. I discovered this book after reading a reading list posting from a blog site that I frequent called “The Blazing Center“. This blogger is somewhat of a multiple geek as well, and I highly recommend you bookmark his blog.

“Ready Player One” appeals to my geekdom on many levels. First of all it’s setting is futuristic. It is centered around technology, in particular, computer technology. It is about gaming, 80’s culture, 80’s music, early computer game consoles, and Rush. Yes, Rush the rock trio from the “great white North”. and in my humble opinion, the greatest rock band in history. All of which I know much about. The characters in the book, like me can not only quote the lyrics from any rock band from the 80’s, but give you album release name, band member names, publisher, and year of release. They can also quote verbatim all the lines from staple geek movies like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“, “Weird Science“, “Short Circuit“, and “War Games“.

I totally recommend this book for anyone who has the slightest bit of geek in them. If you lived through the eighties, and survived it, this will bring back such memories that you will think you are back among the big hair, 8 bit video games, and Rubik’s Cube junkies of the past. I just can’t help myself. Below is a Rush video that is mentioned in the book. Enjoy!

 
 

Music review Tuesday

I’ve been looking forward to this review since I began musicRush - Snakes & Arrows review Tuesday. Today I am reviewing a new album from a band I grew up listening to. Rush has been around since the early 70’s. I still remember the first time I heard the song “Working Man” with its hard driving guitar and bass, and the killer long guitar solo. “Working Man” became their anthem song for many years to come. I can still hear my mom yelling for me to TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN. The high pitched vocals of Geddy Lee used to wear on her nerves. (Sorry mom) Rush has been the epitome of the power trio. Their progressive rock style has been imitated but never duplicated. There are many bands today who make the claim to have been influenced by Rush. In a recent interview Geddy Lee said “It’s ironic that bands that have been influenced by our playing or our past have some instruction for us, too. They help us grow.”

The new album is called “Snakes & Arrows” (release date was May 1st, 2007) and I will definitely say it is a return to their progressive rock roots. It is the return of Alex Lifeson and his famous guitar riffs beginning with the first track “Far Cry” to the last track “We Hold On”. Gone, is what I refer to as, the feminization of Rush, the keyboards and synthesizers. The trademark Geddy Lee vocals have been more subdued over the years but that comes with maturity. With the absence of the keyboards Geddy seems to have rediscovered the progressive bass rhythm he is known for. Who can write about Rush without adding an intentional nod to Neil Peart one of the best rock drummers, ever? Neil is also the lyricist for the band and this album is replete with his intelligent lyrics.

As I previously mentioned I would characterize this album a return to the Rush we all grew to love, who had all but disappeared after the “Moving Pictures” album. It’s not they stopped recording after that album but with the turn toward prominent keyboards in their songs the songs began to all sound alike. It is a delight to hear the return of Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing which is much more prominent on this release. Highlights on this album are hard to come up with since it is such a revitalized Rush release. The first track “Far Cry” got my attention the first time I heard it. Hoping beyond hope that they had returned to the driving guitar sound they made them great. “Armor and Sword”, “The Main Monkey Business (an instrumental track to rival “YYZ” of old) are great examples of their progressiveness. The guitar genius of Alex Lifeson shines in “The Way the Wind Blows” as it starts with some great blues guitar and then transforms itself throughout the track. The other instrumental track on the album is “Malignant Narcissism” which is short and rockin’ song highlighting each of the band members playing prowess. I can’t say enough about this album so I will leave it at this, it will be in my MP3 player for some time to come. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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Check out the full length video from “Far Cry”

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2007 in Music Review, Rush, Snakes & Arrows