Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Songs I Used to Think Were Awesome, Part 8



For a while, I couldn't make my mind up about Rush. Sometimes I'd listen to them, and they sounded like the most amazing band I'd ever heard. Other times, I'd listen to the same record and think it sounded dull and sterile. This was when I was around 13-14, and my ideas about music were still crystalizing. Anyway, case in point was hearing the overture from 2112 as part of a Rush set during a "Rock Block Weekend" or something. I couldn't believe how good it was, and I rushed out and found a copy the next day. When I took it home and listened to it, it did nothing for me.

What finally helped me make up my mind--maybe a better way to say it might be "what finally helped me understand these feelings I was having"--was this snarky piece of writing in an old issue of Creem. When I say "old issue," it was one I had had for a couple years, but I didn't really like Creem much in my tweens, wasn't quite ready for their irreverent attitude toward musicians. But I when I reread this piece, not only did I find it hilarious, but I knew that it was correct, and I suddenly understood what I didn't like about Rush (this would probably have been about the same time I started listeneing to punk).

I'm glad someone posted the piece online so I could revisit it. Kordosh is funny, but not a very good writer, and the interview with Peart is preposterously confrontational. Of course, there's probably nobody in rock that I'd rather read such an obnoxious hitpiece on (When asked by another interviewer if he would write an album about Howard Roarke, we get this: "I think I have," Peart said, "I think everything I do has Howard Roark in it, you know, as much as anything. The person I write for is Howard Roark."). And there are some funny lines in there, but it reads a lot like the sort of stuff I wrote in high school (probably because I was immitating Kordosh's style). One of the funnier lines, contrasting pretentious asshole Neal Peart with normal guy Alex Lifeson: "I asked them both why they don't put their pictures on their album covers. "We're not selling ourselves," said Peart. "Well, their inside the album," said Lifeson"

Anyway, truth is, over the years, I've ended up feeling pretty much neutral on Rush. They're not really my kind of thing, but they're good at what they do, and they have some stuff I like ("Working Man," "Bastille Day," "Tom Sawyer," "Passage to Bangcock," "The Trees" (despite it's idiotic political message), "YYZ," and in fact most of Alex Lifeson's guitar solos). But I still think "Hemispheres" is the worst piece of recorded music I've ever heard, and "2112" is probably not far behind.

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