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  • Location
    Maryland, USA
  • Interests
    Music and other arts, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, engineering, math, hiking, trail-running, high-performance driving, tennis
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Music Fandom

  • Musical Instruments You Play
    Guitar, drums, bass
  1. I've been reading the book "Rush and Philosophy" and can recommend it. It has deepened my appreciation of both Rush and Neil, both the music and lyrics. I didn't really realize how much they've influenced me over the past four decades until I read this book.
  2. Me too. I’m still crying for him. Then I feel guilty about it because I’m not his family and never met him. But I’m truly so sad he’s gone. This is really a hard one to cope with. It's understandable, and so many of us share your ongoing sadness ... Neil was a poet who spoke to our minds and touched our hearts. On the drums, he was an innovator who gave us masterpieces of music (in wonderfully synergistic collaboration with Geddy and Alex), inspired awe, and motivated countless musicians to work hard and develop their own musical artistry. As a person, he was an adventurous, inquisitive, creative, and resilient Renaissance man who served as an exemplar of what it means to live life well, through all of its ups and downs. Among those who know Neil's life and work, he will never be forgotten.
  3. It will take me a while to come up with my full list, but Permanent Waves is certainly among those tied for 1st place. I just listened to it, and decades after first hearing it, I consider it to be as close to perfection as an album can get. Off the charts in every dimension, and it all comes together to create a masterpiece for the ages. This is the sort of album that made Rush seem like gods in the minds of their fans.
  4. Having a child at 57 years old, there was little chance that he would be around for these events. Neil's parents must be around 90 now, if he lived as long as them he very probably would be around for these events... It's not just about being around, parents also need to have health and energy to spend time with their kids and take care of them until they can be fully independent, without putting a burden on their kids due to their own health issues. Agreed. Not fair for any child to have parents as old as other children's grandparents. Neil appreciated science, and he probably would have understood the evolutionary reasons for why male and female fertility and sex drive start to drop off in middle age, with prime years to have children being in the 20s and 30s.
  5. Having a child at 57 years old, there was little chance that he would be around for these events. Neil's parents must be around 90 now, if he lived as long as them he very probably would be around for these events... It's not just about being around, parents also need to have health and energy to spend time with their kids and take care of them until they can be fully independent, without putting a burden on their kids due to their own health issues.
  6. I finished listening to the 16-hour audiobook of Ghost Rider today. The travel stories were interesting, but the theme that runs through the book is the immense grief and despair and dark shadow that Neil went through for a period of years (which the narrator doesn't really do justice to), which is reflected in his many tears and occasional feelings of disdain for ordinary people. It was a bit too easy to put myself in Neil's shoes (for reasons I won't go into), so experiencing this book was painful for me, and I'm glad to have gotten to the end. The book ends with the happy story of Neil meeting and marrying Carrie, and returning to a much more positive state of mind and heart, but of course that ending is now bittersweet too, knowing that Neil got only two decades with Carrie and only a decade with his second daughter. But on a positive note, Neil's story does illustrate how a person can experience terrible tragedy and be brought very low for a long time, but with resilience they can come out the other side - never give up! I guess, in the end, we can also take consolation in knowing that the vast majority of Neil's 67 years were good years living life the way he wanted to, and in the process he gave the world many gifts through his art and the example of how he lived his life.
  7. Having a child at 57 years old, there was little chance that he would be around for these events. Agreed, risky to have a child at that age. But I can understand his decision to do so. So terrible for his wife and daughter.
  8. I was just listening to Dream Theater's cover of Xanadu. They did a great job, except that the drums don't cut it. Mike Mangini is a monster drummer, yet he's unable to get close to the precision feel of Neil's playing. Neil was THE MAN when it came to drumming.
  9. Since Neil's passing, I've summoned the courage to (try to) play drums along with Rush albums, including albums which didn't resonate with me as much (post Power Windows). In the past week, I've played along with Hold Your Fire and Presto a few times, and I'm enjoying those albums more and more. I'm realizing that the experience playing one of the instruments and being 'inside' the music is different than just listening to the music and being 'outside' it. This may partly explain why Rush liked all of the music they made, and enjoyed playing much of it countless times live, whereas many of their fans like the albums quite unequally.
  10. Very sorry to hear it. Lyle was great. Too many people passing away too young ... :(
  11. Not listened to any Rush for a good few weeks and wasnt overly traumatised by Neil's death, was like he'd been gone a while anyway but, just gave Earthshine a hard blast when it came up on YT and was in awe once again at the majesty of this man's playing and lyrics. Tonight was the first time i felt a real sense of grief :( Different forms of coping, man. It was just the opposite for me. I was instantly shocked and I fell in some kind of Rush-therapy-listening mode, over the last few weeks. I listened to all the studio material, back and forth, and I threw some fine bootlegs in between. Now that he's gone, those live recordings showed me a new facet of appreciation that I haven't known before. I love the man even more now! I may be a weirdo but I will never lie. I slept with my Neil Peart 747 drumsticks one night after hearing the news. I get it. I bought a pair of those drumsticks after Neil passed. I tried them the other day, and found them too heavy for me - I guess Neil was pretty strong to be able to move those sticks so fast.
  12. I can see your point about some of the albums being overplayed. That made the older albums a bit stale for me too, but I'm listening to Rush differently now that I'm rediscovering them, and that's making those albums sound fresher to me, which is increasing my appreciation for them. I'm noticing things I didn't notice before, and I'm paying more attention to the lyrics than ever before. I think the incredible brilliance of those albums, which don't sound dated decades later, is part of the reason for Rush's fan base remaining so strong in the past couple decades, and I predict that Rush will be a band people still talk about a century from now, just as we still talk about Stravinsky, Beethoven, Rembrandt, etc. While I consider Geddy to have been an excellent singer whose vocals I always loved on the older albums, I agree that, with age, he has inevitably struggled with higher notes, which reduces my enjoyment of the vocals from the past 10-15 years. Of course, in the end, this is all personal and subjective. If a piece of music doesn't resonate with a particular listener (such as a music critic), that doesn't make the music objectively bad. And if someone likes a piece of music that many people don't like, that's good for that person, and they don't need to justify or defend why they like it. What's interesting about Rush is that they created music which appeals extremely strongly to a subset of listeners, even decades after the music was created. I think that makes Rush quite special.
  13. With Neil's passing, I'm rediscovering Rush by listening to the albums, contemplating the lyrics, reading books about Neil and Rush, etc. It's partly a trip down memory lane, since I listened to a lot of Rush from the late 1970s through the 1980s. I loved (and still love) all of the studio albums from Rush to Power Windows, and I listened to them all many times. Starting with Hold Your Fire, the albums didn't grab me as much because they either had a softer, sweeter, pop aspect, or when the albums had heavier tracks, those tracks didn't strike me as having the same brooding intensity and creative fire as the older albums. So by the late 1980s, I wasn't listening to Rush nearly as much, though I still considered them to be close to my heart, and I've remained a lifelong fan. I'm now going back and listening to the albums from Hold Your Fire onward again (some of which I've hardly listened to), and they're starting to grow on me, but I don't know if I'll ever develop the same fondness for them as the older albums. This may be partly due to the stylistic changes I mentioned. It may also be partly due to the older albums being part of the 'soundtrack of my youth' and therefore imprinted on me in a way that no subsequent albums could be, i.e. a result of my personal history and how that lined up with Rush's album releases. Related to this aspect, I wonder if I'm dealing with a self-imposed obstacle of expecting Rush albums to have certain characteristics because they're Rush albums, so the albums don't resonate as much with me if they don't have those characteristics, whereas I might enjoy the albums more if I just listened to them as music, without thinking of them as Rush albums. I'm trying to approach the albums with this kind of open mind, but it's hard to do because Geddy's voice always reminds me that I'm listening to Rush. I'm curious about the thoughts and experiences of you all regarding all of this.
  14. Same for me. Just watched it, and 10x more impact now than when I watched it before. My wife isn't really a Rush fan, but she watched it with me and liked it.
  15. I've been continuing to play drums along with Rush tracks (using Roland e-drums, so it's easy to mix the tracks and my drums), and have made some observations: - Neil's drum sound is fairly dry, without booming reverb, etc. This makes the sound of the drums quite clear, with each piece of the kit easy to pick out. It also means that, in order for the drums to sound powerful, you have to play with power - Neil didn't cheat! - Neil's drum fills are highly musical, and they integrate perfectly into the music. In fact, the fills are essential to the music, since Rush music tends to have a lot of content (hence the question "how can three guys make so much music?!"), and the fills provide musical content in places where it wouldn't sound right for the guitar, bass, and vocals to do so. - Aside from the necessary drum fills, Neil's playing was often on the understated side. He definitely didn't overplay in general. I feel like Neil's baseline of slight understatement brought the fills into sharper relief. - Air/mind drumming Rush songs for years and decades will actually help you play the drum parts on real drums! I played along with 2112 yesterday, which I haven't listened to for years and which I've never before attempted to play drums along with, and it was a bit eerie how readily I at least got the gist of most of the drum parts right on the first try. Playing along with the drum parts reinforces my (subjective) opinion that Neil was the greatest drummer ever in any 'rock' genre. Lots of other drummers have had chops, but no one else has had Neil's combination of chops, composition, precision, innovation, and musicality.
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