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Undemanding Contact

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About Undemanding Contact

  • Birthday 08/05/1962

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  • Gender
  • Location
    South-West London
  • Interests
    Programming, Music, The Sciences, Speculative Fiction, Cooking, the list goes ever on...

Music Fandom

  • Number of Rush Concerts Attended
  • Last Rush Concert Attended
    25th May 2013
  • Favorite Rush Song
    Too many to choose from
  • Favorite Rush Album
    Permanent Waves
  • Best Rush Experience
    Too many to choose from, although the performance of Between the Wheels at Wembley Arena in 2004 (their first gig in the UK for 12 years) was like good sex.
  • Other Favorite Bands
    Too many to choose from
  • Musical Instruments You Play

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  1. To quote Tony R above: ...meet and greet recipients are not real people, apparently. Indeed, and he contradicts hmself later, as in: 20:16 We're addressing equals, not trying to talk down to our audience or be pretentious. ...and then: 21:07 So you think your audience is smart? Yeah, I think they are as smart as we are. That aside, a little humour: 22:26 I ask myself these existential questions on stage sometimes when I'm sitting there thinking first of all 'why am I here?'. Because you were there matey, roll the bones. 22:43 And then wherever we are, I look out at the audience and say, okay, here we are in Phoenix, or here we are in Atlanta or whatever, at least 10,000 Atlanta Heights or Nashville or, you know, Cincinnati or Indianapolis or whatever. I look out at these people sometimes I think, well why are they here? Because we were there matey, because we were there - roll the bones (come on Neil, you wrote the book on this stuff).
  2. I just adore Different Strings. I always loved too how it comprises a slower-paced, more reflective facet of Permanent Waves, snuggled-in there among the flash and thunder of the other fine, fine numbers that make that album what it is. Those who know me well, know that I want this song played at my funeral (as they wheel my remains into the oven, please, no earlier than that); no ifs, no buts, they must play Different Strings. To confirm what others have said in this thread, I have original vinyl of PeW, and the notes credit Ged as the lyricist. Indeed, I always understood it was the last set of lyrics he ever wrote for a Rush song. On the subject matter of the song, I have always felt rather disappointed in reading that people think it is something to do with an actual relationship or relationships as a whole. For me, this is similar to the way that people mistake the meaning of Every Breath You Take by The Police, in that they think it is about two lovers celebrating their union when, in the most extreme interpretation, that song is actually about stalking. As the relevant Wikipedia article states: Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow. "One couple told me 'Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!' I thought, 'Well, good luck.'" By the same token, I think Different Strings is far more profound than a simple celebration of a given relationship, nor is it even about all relationships. To me, it says that of all the things around us in the world, other sentient beings, by dint of their very sentience, possess something to which no rock, river, tree etc. can ever lay claim, where the nature of that 'something' is ineffable. (I'm including dogs, cats, cephalopods etc. here - choose any class of 'sentient being' you want.) Moreover, given its ineffability, the song is saying that we can only ever get some kind of a grip on that 'something' by comparison with other ineffable things, such as the way that great music 'speaks' to us. To explain in detail: there are many in my field - programming - who attempt to explain (away) consciousness (the 'hard problem' in AI - the 'dragon' in the song. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness) as a product of mere computation, when that simply cannot be the case. To wit: Who's come to slay the dragon Come to watch him fall? Making arrows out of pointed words Giant killers at the call In other words, there are those who, by means of penetrating logic and precise language ('arrows' and 'pointed words'), would lay bare the very nature of being. It is something, they would say, that only appears to be ineffable. The song, however, says 'nuts to such machination, it doesn't work anyway', as in: Too much fuss and bother Too much contradiction and confusion Instead, the song says that there is a way to get a handle (if not an understanding) on that ineffable thing: Peel away the mystery Here's a clue to some real motivation ...after which it asserts that, ultimately, our sentience and our recognition of sentience in others is the very root of things. It is not something that we 'possess', it is us ourselves, and we are aware of this (consciously or otherwise): All there really is The two of us And we both know why we've come along ...where we can find similar ineffability in our appreciation of music: Nothing to explain It's a part of us To be found within a song The song (after a cracking solo) then suggests that, in trying to understand consciousness/sentience (call it what you will), people 'over-science' the matter: What happened to our innocence Did it go out of style? Along with our naivete No longer a child After which it rounds things off by saying (with, for me, rare beauty) that, at the root of the matter, and whatever our distinctions, we all share this ineffable 'something': Different eyes see different things Different hearts beat on different strings But there are times For you and me When all such things agree For me, Different Strings is a celebration of being and the recognition of being in others, and is one of the most profound and philosophical pieces of music that has existed in all of human history (like a lot of Rush material). I think its lyrics and music should be engraved on the body of the next probe we send out of the solar system (as in the 'golden record' they bolted to each of the Voyager probes). This would give an extraterrestrial race that intercepted the spacecraft in question a fighting chance of seeing that us trousered apes understand (understood?) the bigger questions that intelligent life can ask. Hell, they can simply bolt a copy of Permanent Waves to the damn thing and have done with it - those aliens need to know we have taste. I think also that the song has a clear connection to The Angel's Share on My Favorite Headache - also written (obviously) by our dear Ged. The term "angels' share" refers to the alcohol vapour that escapes from whiskey barrels as the liquor matures, but if you listen to the lyrics on that song (and it took a good while for me to realise this), you can see that the title is an allusion to the notion of a person's 'spirit'. If you like, the bit that departs the body upon death (not that I hold with that particular model - known as 'dualism'). This is clear (to me) because that song, like Different Strings, also refers to the inexplicability of being. To wit: All those things we cannot know We dream, we hypothesise ...and (if there is only a 'scientific' explanation for it all): If we are only members of the Human race No supernatural beings from a supernatural place ...after which it lays it on the line (no equivocation - good-old Ged): If you can solve the problem Come and tell me to my face When this understanding of The Angel's Share slotted into place in the mind of this particular trousered ape - in the context of what I hold the meaning of Different Strings to be - it occurred to me that Ged is far more than simply(!) a very decent bloke, and one of the very finest rock musicians ever to walk the face of the Earth; he is also an intelligent, deeply thoughtful, philosophical man. This, in turn, gives us a clue as to why Rush 'worked' so very, very well. If you put two intelligent, thoughtful, philosophical musicians together, where (among other confluent roles) the one writes the lyrics (Neil) and the other sings those lyrics, then you need only light the blue touch-paper and stand well back. I could, of course, be entirely wrong about all of the above - I understand from what Neil said that many interpretations of the lyrics to The Trees are very wide of the mark. Whatever the case, however, they are still playing Different Strings as they wheel me into the oven or I will rise from my box and play them Tom Sawyer… and Freewill… and Entre Nous… and Secret Touch… and The Pass... and… [Made a few minor edits for clarity]
  3. I have not posted to the Rush forum in something like ten years. Now it is my moral duty to do so, so that I may pay my respects. I always wondered how I would feel when I heard, decades into the future, that one of the members of Rush had passed away. Now I know, far sooner than I ever wanted to know, and it feels awful. I am surprised to find myself grieving over the loss of a man I never met. Yet, of course, we have all met the band members indirectly, through their peerless music, and I am heartened to see that so many others across the world are moved like I am by Neil's passing. Nor is his loss felt in just the English-speaking world. A very good Turkish friend of mine in Istanbul sent me a FaceBook post earlier from a Turkish Rush fan. Here is some of what he said in Turkish: ...Peart'in yazdığı sözlerin beni kaç defa hayata bağladığını... ... Ama şunu biliyorum ki Rush'ın müziği ve sözleri olmasaydı bugün bu satırları yazdığım durumda olamazdım. Ve yine biliyorum ki, dünyada aynen benim gibi hisseden ve bugün derinden üzüntü duyan belki yüzbinlerce kişi var. Toprağın bol olsun, sevgili Neil. Kalpten teşekkürler.. Çok güzellik kattın bu dünyaya. And here, courtesy of Google's translator, is the English: ...How many times Peart's words have brought me to life... ...I know that without Rush's music and lyrics I wouldn't be able to write these lines today. And I also know that there are maybe hundreds of thousands of people in the world who feel just like me and are deeply sad today. Good land, dear Neil. Thank you from the heart .. You have added a lot of beauty to this world. My sentiments precisely, although I am inclined to think that it is millions rather than hundreds of thousands. Geddy Lee says in the interview on the Rush in Rio DVD: ''We are musicians; it's not that noble a thing to do..." but I disagree deeply with that statement. If you are a member of a band like Rush, it is a noble thing to do - a very noble thing. Peart's incredible drumming, and his sensational lyrics - like no others you will ever hear - reached out from far across the world and moved small and insignificant people like me profoundly and permanently; they made such a huge, lasting difference to my little life. And so, when I think of the contributions that people make in this world, I see individuals at one end of the spectrum like the terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Centre in 2001 - I would only urinate on pathetic little men like that, if I could be bothered, as I hold them and their 'contribution' in such deep contempt. Then I see at the other end of the spectrum the giants of Human civilisation - people like Lee, Lifeson and Peart - and I treasure fondly the priceless contribution such titans make. Such a sad old time this is. Thank you Neil for your contribution, thank you for your undemanding contact. Richard
  4. QUOTE (treeduck @ Apr 6 2012, 11:22 PM)QUOTE (Undemanding Contact @ Apr 6 2012, 01:17 PM) Whatever Rush turn out, it will never be as pitiful as the last offering from AC/DC. It was like they shoved all of their past stuff into a blender, pureed it, and then poured it into moulds before leaving to set - pathetic - I could pretty-much predict a given chord-change even though I had never heard the song in question. Regarding our fine guys: I am really optimistic. They never repeat themselves, that is a given, so there is always hope that there is plenty more rocket sauce in the bottle. That's why people listen to AC/DC though, if they did what you wanted they wouldn't be AC/DC anymore and they'd piss all their fans off and be less successful... Why did you expect anything else from them after nearly 40 years? There's plenty of bands out there that provide multiple chord changes, why don't you follow them instead and forget about AC/DC? With due respect mate, I think you misunderstood part of what I was saying: I didn't expect any better from AC/DC in their last offering - it was precisely what I expected - although I did hope that they would do something a little more notable. If I recall correctly, the Wikipedia page on AC/DC carries a quote from Angus Young where he says words to the effect of: 'If you can't express it in three chords then it is not expressable', which, to me, is 24-carat bollocks; I would have thought that the person who came up with the riff to Back in Black (for example) would have a considerably more sophisticated take on things. Truth is that questions over AD/DC are moot for me anyway because I am not a massive AC/DC fan - I was just pitching in with a comparison that I snatched out of the air. Ultimately, I hope that Rush break the mould once more by showing the 'Aged-Band Principle' (the point behind the OP's OP) to be a probablility only and never a certainty.
  5. 'No' is the simple answer. Red Barchetta is not about bonking, it is a thrilling tale of motorised derring-do. It is not an analogue of bonking, nor a parody of bonking. It is not about Olympic bonking (a concept mooted initially in the satirical puppet-show Spitting Image on British TV in the 1980s), nor does it encompass allegorical bonking, metaphorical bonking, philosophical bonking, licit bonking, illicit bonking, or bonking outdoors in the backs of cars (there's a Rush song that deals with that already). It does not concern the horrors that befall you when you are caught bonking or, hell bells, catch someone else bonking your boy-/girl-friend without your permission. It does not cover quantum-theoretical bonking, bonking while travelling faster than the speed of light, bonking in a TARDIS, or bonking an unsuspecting CERN scientist while being given a guided tour of the Large Hadron Collider. This is not a song about sex; moreover, while I am sorry to cause disappointment, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the guy, his uncle, the fireside they end up sitting beside, or the automobile in question is gay. ...And nor is the car an allegory of a penis. As Sigmund Freud himself once said: 'Sometimes a Rush song about a car is just a Rush song about a car, so, in my view, anybody who thinks otherwise is, well, bonkers....
  6. Whatever Rush turn out, it will never be as pitiful as the last offering from AC/DC. It was like they shoved all of their past stuff into a blender, pureed it, and then poured it into moulds before leaving to set - pathetic - I could pretty-much predict a given chord-change even though I had never heard the song in question. Regarding our fine guys: I am really optimistic. They never repeat themselves, that is a given, so there is always hope that there is plenty more rocket sauce in the bottle.
  7. QUOTE (treeduck @ Nov 27 2011, 02:44 AM) Oh and I like the Permanent Waves Kelly D avatar... Actually... so do I. I think it is one of the best in the entire forum.
  8. QUOTE (presto123 @ Mar 7 2012, 06:57 AM)What is a lifestyle record? Perhaps he really meant 'A Lifeson Record'. I.e. Big Al's creative juices were flowing so much that he blew the other two's ideas out of the water (apologies for the mixed metaphors).
  9. I think I take the prize here (unless someone can better this): I've got the Feedback CD, but I've never listened to it.
  10. QUOTE (EmotionDetector @ Feb 9 2012, 07:17 PM)...In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life... I really like the sound of that.
  11. Permanent Waves. Although Hemispheres and Moving Pictures (on either side temporally) come a very close second. Why? That chorused distortion in Big Al's guitar. Ged's voice, in whatever incarnation, is a given in the sound of Rush. Similarly with Our Man Neil: big, capable, accomplished percussion. But, to me, Al's guitar on Permanent Waves 'sounds like the cover looks'. By that, I mean the grey colour and the big crashing-wave on the album-cover is almost synasthetic (as in: 'sounds as colours', 'words as tastes'. See the Wikipedia article if you want more on this). To me, that album sounds like it looks: grey, crunchy, spacey chorused-distortion - sensational - I will never be able to get too much of that sound. Notably, Alex said in an interview some years ago that 'it took a long time to get that out of my system'. When I read that, I thought 'What? Are you nuts?'...
  12. QUOTE (furie @ Feb 1 2012, 08:06 PM)So did the europeans do a Rush day on Jan 02, 2012? I think we had all had enough of Christmas and New Year by that point - you could call it 'festivity-fatigue'. Whatever the case, Happy Rush Day to all my fine, fellow Rush fans, whatever way you write your dates.
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