Merry Christmas Everyone! Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating the holiday and Happy Holidays to those that do not. Here is Hobbit getting into the spirit. I hope that everyone can spend some time with family, friends, and loved ones this holiday.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Since moving to
Spirit of Radio Live in Rio
I can’t tell you the first time that I heard a Rush song, although I think that it was probably “Tom Sawyer”, “Spirit of Radio”, or “Free Will”, but I’ve listened to Rush for almost 30 years. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them on three different tours and would never tire of seeing and hearing them live. No doubt that if you’ve listened to classic rock, enough you’ve probably heard Geddy Lee’s high pitched voice that has become a signature sound for the band. He is one of the premiere bass players in rock music and a lot of bass players out there have picked up the bass in large part because of him. Neil Peart has been the band’s drummer and lyricist going back to 1974. There is little doubt that he is one of rock’s best drummers. Alex Lifeson has often been overshadowed by Geddy Lee and Neil, but he is an integral part of Rush.
Closer to the Heart Live in Rio
Unlike a lot of other bands, Rush has been able to evolve and reinvent itself over the years. In their earlier days they were more of a Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band, later on they became more progressive, they went through a synthesizer stage, they went into back to their roots stage where they were more guitar driven. They've even incorporated a little rap into their repertoire (Roll The Bones).
Roll the Bones Live in Rio
Over the years Rush has come up with some pretty good lyrics. Neil Peart has been the primary lyricist of Rush over the years. Nobody's Hero shows society's obsession with celebrity over actual heros. Trees has long been one of my favorite Rush songs, in it there is conflict between the Oaks and Maples. In Free Will we see that even indecision is a decision. Ghost of a Chance talks about destiny and choices. I've included some lyrics that I have found interesting below.
From Nobody's Hero...
As the years went by we drifted apart
When I heard that he was gone I felt a shadow cross my heart
But he's nobody's Hero
- Saves a drowning child
- Cures a wasting disease Hero
- Lands a crippled airplane
- Solves great mysteries
- Not the handsome actor who plays the hero's role
- Not the glamour girl
who'd love to sell her soul
The trouble with the maples
and they're quite convinced they're right
they say the Oaks are just too lofty
and they grab up all the light
but the Oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade
and the trees are all kept equalby hatchet, axe, and saw.
Trees Live in Rio
From Free Will...
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice
Freewill Live in Rio
From Ghost of a Chance…
Like a million little doorways
All the choices we made
All the stages we passed through
All the roles we played
For so many different directions
Our separate paths might have turned
With every door that we opened
Every bridge that we burned
I don’t believe in destiny
Or the guiding hand of fate
I don’t believe in forever
Or love as a mystical state
I don’t believe in the stars or the planets
Or Angels watching from above
I believe there’s a ghost of a chance
Rush is an incredible band live. You can tell by watching the videos included here (most all of them are recorded in Rio) that the crowds really get into the music. Like many rock concerts there are the obligatory solos but Rush solos are anything but called in. Watching YYZ below or many of the other videos, you get a taste for how amazing the band is live.
YYZ Live in Brazil
Rush has produced so many albums over the years it is hard to narrow down and essential list of Rush albums that you should have, but I have made an attempt. Here are some strategies that you might follow if you have to narrow down your selections from the 30+ albums that are out there.
All The World’s a Stage…
Exit Stage Left…
A Show of Hands…
Different Stages: Live
If you only wish to buy one album, Chronicles is probably your best bet. It has highlights of the band from the beginning (like Working Man, Fly By Night, and Finding My Way) up until 1990, when it was recorded. Of course 1990 is almost 19 years ago, so there are a lot of CDs that Rush recorded after this that you would miss!
2112, Moving Pictures, and Power Windows are all albums that many Rush fans would agree should be in your collection. 2112 was originally release in 1976 and it includes 2112, A Passage To Bangkok, Something For Nothing, and more. Moving Pictures was originally released in 1981 includes Tom Sawyer, Rec Barchetta, YYZ, LImelight, and others. Power Windows was originally released in 1985 includes Big Money, Manhattan Project, Marathon, Territories, Mystic Rhythms, and others.
I saw Rush on their Presto, Roll The Bones, and Counterpart tours, so I'm somewhat partial to these albums. With the albums Rush moves from the synthesizer era to alternative. Presto was originally released in 1989 and includes Show Don't Tell, The Pass, Presto, Superconductor, Red Tide, Hand Over Fist, Available Light, and others. Roll The Bones was originally released in 1991 and includes Dreamline, Bravado, Face Up, Ghost Of A Chance, Neurotica, and others. Counterparts was originally released in 1993 and includes Animate, Stick It Out, Cut To The Chase, Nobodys Hero, Alien Shores, The Speed of Love, Cold Fire, and others.
Roll The Bones…
Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Feedback, and Snakes & Arrows are all what I consider to be the most recent Rush albums. Each of them has some good songs although the degree that they're liked by Rush fans does vary. Test For Echo was originally released in 1996 and includes Test For Echo, Driven, and others. Vapor Trails was originally released in 2002 and includes One Little Victory, Ghost Rider, Vapor Trails, and others. This album comes after Neil Peart lost his
daughter (in a automobile accident) and his wife (from cancer), so you can hear the influence of these events in Peart's writing. Feedback was originally released in 2004 and includes Rush covers of Summertime Blues, Heart Full Of Soul, The Seeker, Shapes of Things, Crossroads, and others. This album is Rush paying homage to some of their influences with them covering songs from the 60's. Snakes & Arrows was originally released in 2007 and includes Far Cry, The Larger Bowl, The Way the Wind Blows, and others.
Test for Echo…
Snakes & Arrows…
So I hope that you've enjoyed my 2008 Rush Day. I hope that you'll go listen or watch Rush. If you'd like to catch up with the band you can find their tour schedule and other news at their official website, you can read about them at Wikipedia, and if you'd like to play their music on your guitar you can find many of their songs at Chordie (I'm sure that some of the better music stores also have Rush sheet music as well). So I'll leave you now with Rush playing 2112 Live in Rio.
2112 Live in Rio
Friday, December 19, 2008
Five couples were cast to open restaurants and after a series of competitions, one restaurant would be selected to stay open. Restaurants opened in
The concept for the show appears to go back to
My early favorites on the German show were the couples from
I’m looking forward to see who wins and wonder if there will be another season. Tonight we’ll find out if the Grinzekatze or the Graurocks will stay open. Gutten appetite!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Today is Knut's second birthday. You might have forgotten him by now, but he is the polar bear whose mother refused to take care of him and he became an overnight celebrity shortly afterwards. While the spotlights have faded and most of the cuteness has warn off, he still is a large attraction at the Berlin Zoo. In honor of his second birthday I've assembled some videos that I have found on him, from when he was a little bear cub to his first birthday.
Knut on CNN and ProSeiben (a German Network, so the last part of the video is in German)
Here is an adorable song song by a younger fan of Knut
Knut at six months old
Knut at one year old
I hope that you've enjoyed this look at Knut. If you're ever in Berlin, why not go to the zoo and pay him a visit. By the way I heard that Knut might become a father in a little while as had had been mated with a couple of other bears at the zoo. You can also visit Knut's website or read about him at Wikipedia. Happy Birthday, Knut!