The Rush – Rush at Mountain View, CA

Dear Rush fans,

We rule, don’t we? Last night at Mountain View Shoreline was spectacular. The evening was warm enough that it was comfortable during the whole show, which was hot enough it its own right.

The amazing thing to me is the amount of energy and technical expertise these guys continue to have. For a bunch of 50-somethings, they rock. They opened the show with a bunch of classic songs, not commonly played in concerts over the years, like Mission and Digital Man. The crowd, a male-dominated, testosterone-laden bunch of equally 50-somethings (okay, I did see a wide range of people – but it was still mostly men!) went crazy. The women I did talk to were either there for their “men” or they had recently come to Rush. I was surprised that there weren’t more long time women Rush fans. But, after about 13 or 14 concerts or so, I shouldn’t be surprised. Back to the show…. I went with a friend of mine who has been to about four or five shows. His reaction and mine were the same – amazement that Geddy’s voice and their fingers are as nimble and fine as they always have been. If you don’t play music for a living, you may not be aware of just how rare, and difficult, that is to achieve.

The first set was interspersed with just a few pieces from the new album; the second set, however, was almost wholly-comprised of new material. This was good for many reasons. First off, I have to say that I think Snakes and Arrows isn’t one of their best works. The lyrics were far too personal for me and not thematic enough – I couldn’t connect on a general level. However, the music was stunning. This was really brought through by the live performance. What I didn’t get on the album – the stunning play between hard rocking guitar and lyrical poetic harmony – was vivid in a live setting. I felt like, since the first time I heard the album, that I got it.

The guy’s technical ability remains unparalleled. Geddy ripped the bass into shreds on pieces like Natural Science and Freewill. Alex played multiple instruments multiple times – not easy by itself but he was able to jam at the same time – incredible. His fingers flew. Neil is, well, Neil. There really isn’t a rock drummer, besides perhaps Stewart Copeland, that can compare.

Their sound has changed dramatically over the 30+ years, and the subtleties of the work continue to amaze me. While I may not be as impressed with this album as I have others, I admire their ability and passion for the work – it comes through in spades. It was nice to share that admiration with ten thousand of my closest friends. Thanks for a great show, guys!


French music and Perseverance

Persevering… to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. Persist… 1 : to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning2 obsolete : to remain unchanged or fixed in a specified character, condition, or position3 : to be insistent in the repetition or pressing of an utterance (as a question or an opinion)4 : to continue to exist especially past a usual, expected, or normal time.

Gotta love Webster. I think that I don’t have much to persevere for, yet. I’m not working hard enough, part of me says. Part of me is enjoying the freedom of figuring out who and what I am. Part of me needs an income and people to work with/for. I’m sitting in Starbuck’s and balancing the books. The tax forms are done and I’ve got to get stuff printed out for our taxes. The calls have been made to some companies but not all. Some people want to wait until May, others until June. I’m still chasing a couple of others. I have to move out of SSF and down south to drum up more business. That’s just it – I need to do more pounding – more drumming.

Someone wise told me that this is the year of good things for people. I believe I agree. It ‘feels’ that way. I wanted some wise, writer support in my persevering. I found Emerson.

“Finish each day / And be done with it / You have done what you could / Some blunders and / Absurdities have crept in / Forget them as soon as you can / Tomorrow is a new day / You shall begin it serenely / And with too high a spirit / To be encumbered by / Your old nonsense.”

Seems apropos. I love finding out who I am right now. It’s an interesting process. I love French cafe music. Never in a million years did I think I would. I love the seasons and am learning to love Summer. I can find something good in the heat, I think. I like Masonry but I like the balance of my life, too. We’ve been doing too much lately and I need to stay home for a while. Well, not home – I’ve been in the house FAR too much lately. I miss people. I miss friends. I go out and have lunch with people because I’m lonely. Lonely. Me. Go figure. I think it’s time to solve that problem, too.

Perseverance. It’s a word I want to embrace this year but in the best of ways – I don’t want all the trials and tribulations – I just want to keep going, to continue, to PERSIST in being who I am. Human being, not human doing. BEING whatever it is that I am. I’m learning. I guess that’s the best place to be, eh?


Pieces of Eight

Two bits. A Quarter. Thaler. Dahler. Dollar.

I used to love the Styx song, Pieces of Eight. I used to love Styx. Every once in a while I get the urge to listen again. What I loved about them was the words. There always was something pretty cool about their view of the world, their touch of fantasy and realism, and of course, Tommy Shaw was a babe.

Hey, I was 16 – cut me a break.

I’ve always had a thing for words in music. With Rush, it’s always been about the words AND the music (who else could change time 42 times in a song and still make it sound like POETRY!?!) With Styx, it was about the words. Cheap Trick. I know, I’m dating myself, but there it is.

What I was thinking about tonight was the lyrics of Pieces of Eight. And writing erotica. I’ve missed it. I felt like I had a connection there and I have had no time in the past days weeks months years to fulfill that desire. As it were. I miss Sarah, my serialized voyeur. I’ve missed Joey and Spyder, I’ve missed that thrill that comes from putting something terribly sexy down on paper and having to deal with it in “terrible” ways. She smirks. Simply terrible.

I think what I fear, which of course is odd in and of itself, is that I’ve passed it all by. I’m 43 for crissakes! How can it have passed me by? I can still write. And have my business. And do Masonry. The fear comes, I think, from judgment. Will I not be a good person, knowing what I know now about the world, my philosophy, ad infinitum… if I continue to write erotica?

Stupid but true. Me. Who hasn’t really cared what others think and am following my own. Me.

Now that I DO have my own business, I think I’m going to slowly pick up the “pen” again and get this going. I have missed it because it made me feel good to create something beautiful, sexy, and desired. I might even post it here.

If you want me to….