Posts from 15th June 2001

15
Jun 01

RUSH – “Overture/Temples of Syrinx”

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RUSH – “Overture/Temples of Syrinx”

I like Ayn Rand. Granted, I’ve only read two of her novels and nothing in five years or so but I like what I know. As someone who likes both literature and social programs, this has taken me a long time to admit. There’s something worth preserving in the uncompromising personal individualism she celebrated, the emphasis on self-fulfillment — these things are not so bloody obvious to every 15-year-old, thank you very much. There’s a certain elegance and prettiness to the unfolding of the melodramatic tales of non-conforming heroes. Would I want her books on an undergrad English reading list? God no, what do you think I am? Would I want to live in her uber-capitalist utopia? Well of course not. I wouldn’t live in Orwell’s or Pound’s or Steinbeck’s or Crass’s or Morrissey’s or Ian Curtis’s utopias either but it doesn’t stop me from having enjoyed or enjoying their work. In fact, the idea of a 15-year-old finding himself or herself in Anthem makes me much happier than the idea of a 15-year-old finding himself or herself in Minor Threat.

And I like this too, composed “with acknowledgment to the genius of Ayn Rand.” Its adolescent zeal gives it a metallic force Rush never achieved before or since. The tightly constructed riffs pile one on the other with unabashed bombast before a gentle voice reminds us that “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Then the blaze begins. Geddy Lee declaims with especial stridency the forced collectivism of the evil priests who rule the temples of Syrinx. The music gallops. Its relatively low production values, its violent individualism, its musical aggression, its teenaged conviction are weirdly reminiscent of punk at its best. Excess, virtuosity, pretentiousness — if these qualities are present here they are made immediate and hungry, driven with a sense of mission.

9% of Americans don’t know who Paul McCartney is

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9% of Americans don’t know who Paul McCartney is: given name-recognition factors of politicians, historical figures, Jesus, etc. this is actually staggeringly low. Objectivity also compels me to note that the “biggest fans” (undefined as per BBC Online research-reporting guidelines) of Britney and N’Sync are apparently ‘between 35 and 40’.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS – “My Slow Descent Into Alcoholism”

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THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS – “My Slow Descent Into Alcoholism”

If you’re going to form a band to bring super-fresh power pop values back to indie, would it not be possible to do so without sounding quite so much like “Size Of A Cow” by The Wonder Stuff?

A Thousand Songs – 0881 – 0895

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A Thousand Songs – 0881 – 0895