Mix Six: “Life’s a Rush”

Download the full mix HERE

Welly welly, well, well, well. It’s Friday, it’s the beginning of my vacay (We’re spending time in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe), and tonight I’m going to see Rush in concert! I’ve been a big fan of this group since I was a sophomore in high school. I’ll admit up front that they are an acquired taste, but the abilities of the individual members of the group to craft complex, but catchy rocks songs is just so impressive that sometimes you forget you’re listening to hard rock music.

On with it!

“Marathon” (Download) This song is probably my favorite biking song. It’s got a great title for anyone who’s into exercising and needs that little extra boost of energy when you’re faced with a rather daunting hill to climb — and I’m not speaking metaphorically here.

“Red Barchetta” (Download) Well, maybe you’re not an exercise junkie. Maybe you like speed, but you’d rather have the, um, rush of high velocity through mechanical means. Well, this song presents a story set in a highly regulated future world where driving is illegal. And this being a Rush song where the individual is usually railing against some big oppressive authority structure (i.e., the government or a big corporation), we get to enjoy the thrill of thumbing your nose at said authority during the ride.

“Natural Science” (Download) Rush’s drummer and lyricist, Neil Peart, is a devout humanist (if you couldn’t tell). He’s very much inspired by the natural world around him and feels that our evolution as a species (both culturally and, in some ways, physically) is tied to the changes that occur at the micro and macroscopic levels — which this song reflects.

“Ghost of a Chance” (Download) Affirming your atheism doesn’t mean you’re heartless, or that you can’t find mind, body and spiritual satisfaction from the deepest ties that bind us: love.

“Vapor Trails”(Download) Peart lost his daughter and his wife in the space of 9 months. The despair of losing the twin anchors that bind you to this veil of tears could easily drive one into the world of religion to find answers to the questions of why things come into being only to pass away. However, he didn’t. This song reminds us that suffering and loss are at the core of our human existence and sometimes even the most horrible things that happen to us have no deeper explanation other than, “it happens.”

“The Way the Wind Blows” (Download) Rush has been thought of as some kind of right wing band because of Peart’s early love of Ayn Rand and her philosophical views that glorified capitalism, greed, and selfishness. Well, Peart was never really the kind of guy who liked to be lumped into like-minded followers. And when he broke away from his “Randroid” past his political thinking was very muted for a long time. However, in the Age of W, and the Three Card Monty foreign policy that’s been played over and over on the American public, this song has a somewhat surprising political critique what’s going on in the world today.

So there you have it! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

–PK

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