Friday, June 11, 2010

5 on Friday - Set 18 - By Guest Blogger, Michelle - Sister Extraordinaire

Top 5 RUSH songs – as chosen by Michelle

My sister has seen Rush in concert 8 times: in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario; at Pine Knob outside Detroit, Michigan and in Washington, D.C.

She's the perfect person to bring us today's set. This weekend a new documentary called Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage opens in limited engagements across North America, and will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray June 29th. In honour of this release, I hand the reins over to Michelle for 5 on Friday here at A Piece of My Mind.


RUSH... Canadian Super Group. Guitar, bass and drums. Alex, Geddy, and Neil. As Canadian as beer, hockey, and curling combined. Really.

I became a Rush fan about 23 years ago, quite accidentally, in fact. My high school boyfriend played bass in a band. In rehearsal, they sometimes covered Rush songs, but without vocals. (With good reason, as no one can sing like Geddy. Anyone trying to sing a Rush song automatically sounds stupid).

For the longest time I listened to these songs and grew to love them. What a surprise when I finally heard a real Rush tape. “You mean, there are WORDS to these songs?” I asked, incredulously.

So began my love affair of over twenty years with a group that never ceases to inspire, excite, and entertain their fans. Listening to Rush is like doing a musical jigsaw puzzle in your head. Even with songs you’ve heard a thousand times, it never stops being fun.

Choosing 5 favourite songs is, as any fan will attest, next to impossible. But I’ve compiled a list of songs which mean a lot to me.

1 - Subdivisions

The song that made me a fan. At times this song seems to whoosh past you at light speed. Combined with a haunting melodic theme and dark lyrics, it will disturb you.

In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out

In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out

- Neil Peart

2 - Natural Science

Beautiful, lyric guitar at the beginning... you can almost feel the quiet movement of the water in the tidal pool... then it picks up speed, and very quickly you’re contemplating the entire universe.

The most endangered species
The honest man
Will still survive annihilation

Forming a world
State of integrity
Sensitive, open and strong

Wave after wave
Will flow with the tide
And bury the world as it does

Tide after tide
Will flow and recede
Leaving life to go on as it was

- Neil Peart

3 - Working Man

Awesome, loud, noisy guitar to start, then Neil’s cymbal, then the full band driving their point home: “Seems to me I could live my life much better than I think I am...”

I guess that's why they call me
They call me the working man

I get up at seven, yeah
And I go to work at nine
I got no time for living
Yes, I'm workin' all the time

I get home at five o'clock
And I take myself out a nice, cold beer
Always seem to be wondering
Why there's nothin' goin' down here

- Neil Peart

4 - Freewill

Imagine standing in front of Alex Lifeson as he plays the opening notes of this classic, locking eyes with you as he does. Ask me, I know. (July 2002, Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto). The music is infectious, and the words are ones to live by.

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive

The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

- Neil Peart

5 - 2112

A rock suite in seven sections, which tells an ultimately tragic story about discovery, beauty, and oppression. Musically, nothing showcases the boys’ talents as much as 2112, or Neil’s ability to paint pictures with words. Seeing Rush play this live is a special treat complete with audience participation. A masterpiece of music and lyrics.

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes

It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the brotherhood of man

Oh, what a nice contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand

We are the priests of the Temple of Syrinx

- Neil Peart

Alex, Geddy and Neil, you still rock!

Here's the trailer for Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage:

For more fabulous musical sets, visit Travis at Trav's Thoughts.

Julianne MacLean says Great blog, Michelle! It's so cool that you've seen them 8 times. That's dedication :)

Pamela Callow says Michelle, you are truly a Rush afficionado. Great set!

Jennie Marsland says Ah, the memories! You're right, Rush is the quintessential Canadian band.


Julianne MacLean said...

Great blog, Michelle! It's so cool that you've seen them 8 times. That's dedication :).

Janet said...

What Canadian (who grew up in the 70's/80's) isn't a Rush fan? I know I am - and the songs and videos took me back.

Great set - and nice to meet you, Michelle :)

Pamela Callow said...

Michelle, you are truly a Rush afficionado. Great set!


Linda said...

Tell your sister she done good! That's a great collection of Rush music! 8 times in concert, eh? Wow!

Jennie Marsland said...

Ah, the memories! You're right, Rush is the quintessential Canadian band.

Travis Cody said...

I'm a casual Rush fan...I like some of their stuff but I'm not real conversant with the catalog. Great choice though.