Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rush to Judgement

I generally try to stay away from negative musical criticism here, because, as a musician, I know how hard it is just to get heard. And musical taste vary widely and are based on personal opinion. (I mentioned the other day that I didn't like the Doors, which caused a bit of a ruckus. Truth is, I think "Love Me Two Times" is a great song, and I like "Roadhouse Blues" and "L. A. Woman" so they don't really have a blanket suckitude from me.)

There was a concert special the other night featuring RUSH. I couldn't look away. It was like watching a bad car wreck. They, in my opinion, have blanket suckitude. Here's why: They've spent 40 years showing off. To me, it sounds like they write songs by stringing together a bunch of different riffs that are (somewhat) physically challenging to play. They don't ever lay down a groove. They jump from 4 to 5 to 4 to seven to reggae and back again. (Three Canadians have the audacity to put a reggae interlude in that song where Getty Lee screeches "Concert Halls!!!" and "of salesmen, of salesmen, of salesMEN!!!!") And kids who have only been playing for two years can't figure out how to play their stuff and then they quit taking lessons and from then on they think that Neal Peart is the greatest drummer of all time. He's a fine drummer, but he's in a band of Canadians who play art rock with a singer that sounds like a shreiking girl.

I've never been a fan of the art rock with the singer that sounds like a shreiking girl.

Let's examine one song that is the polar opposite of everything RUSH has ever done. That is "Mannish Boy" by McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters. Guitar, Bass, Keys, Harmonica and Drums playing the same five-note riff in unison for five minutes. Nobody plays one single extra note. I could teach you how to play that song in two minutes. But it would take a lifetime for you to play it like that. For my money, there is more grease and soul and groove and musicality in that five minutes than there is in forty combined years of RUSH.

So let's review

RUSH: "Todays Tom Sawyer, Mean mean pride."

Muddy Waters: "I can make love to you woman, in five minutes time. Ain't that a man!"


At 6:25 PM , Blogger Aunt B said...

This might very well be the perfect post. It bashes Rush and lauds Muddy Waters. What more could a girl want?

At 8:30 PM , Blogger newscoma said...

I agree with B.
Wonderful post and I do agree with you on the universal sucktitude of Rush.
Ever see the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode where they rose Geddy Lee.
Laughed out loud.

At 8:38 PM , Blogger ceeelcee said...

I have never agreed more with anything you have ever posted! Well-done, buddy.

I think we need a treatise on your opinion of Styx next.

At 9:43 PM , Blogger Lynnster said...

Rush was one of those bands that I was always quick to change the station on in the '70s & '80s. There was always some stoner dude in my realm who thought they were God but I never could stand them.

One of the first days I knew I must be getting old was some day in the late '90s that some station played "Tom Sawyer" and I didn't change the station and felt somewhat nostalgic. Then I thought, "Ugh!" (But I still didn't change the station... eek!)

At 12:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude. Neil Peart is God.

Kidding. And thanks for the great post. I'm listening to some Muddy Waters now.

At 7:54 AM , Blogger Kat Coble said...

It's wrong to admit that I want to go get "Tom Sawyer" on iTunes right now, isn't it?

At 7:09 AM , Blogger Exador said...

My older sister was a Rush fan, so I had to listen to it during that Moving Pictures phase.
They sound like a cat being tortured to me. Never understood how they got paid for making that noise.

At 8:41 PM , Blogger Pee Wee said...


Being a Rush fan I still couldn't agree with you more.

Muddy Waters is the real thing though........


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