Monday, April 30, 2012

Environmental/Political Song of the Day

Subdivisions by Rush

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone

Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone
Subdivisions --
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
Subdivisions --
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth
The unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of youth

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights...

Oh, the delicious irony. I knowingly live in the suburbs and curse my existence. Sadly, it's mostly out of financial necessity. But even that necessity is becoming less and less so. In the suburbs, you have less access to mass transit and less access to the things we actually like to do. As you've seen from this blog, we're always downtown anyway: protest marches, art museum, ballgames, farmer's market, the Audubon Society, etc.

Rush (the band that is) kicks ass. This song sounds awesome but has great lyrics. I particularly like,

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone

The organization of living is just a metaphor for people's opinions. This song is from 1982, but just as relevant today.


wunelle said...

I've always known of Neal Peart from years of Modern Drummer surveys where he came out on the top of the rock drummer heap. I always have had such trouble with Geddy Lee's voice, and that was the gateway through which I could not pass to enter the world of Rush. (This is especially odd, since I love Supertramp's Roger Hodgson, who has a similar voice, I suppose. I guess I'm just VERY particular about voices.)

But this song could sway me. The drumming is awesome, as is the rest of it. And Geddy doesn't sound like a hamster! ;-) And the lyrics DO resonate.

dbackdad said...

Yeah, Neal Peart is basically ridiculous. Nobody should have that much talent. I've always liked 3 piece bands like Rush, The Police and Cream because of the extreme level of musicianship that all the band members have to have to make it work.

It's funny that you commented on Geddy's voice, which I admit took some getting used to. I don't mind it. But, exactly opposite of you, I have never been able to get into Supertramp because of Hodgson's voice.

I really got into Rush in college because a girl that I was good friends with (and still talk to) played bass in a band that I used to hang out with. And Limelight was a fixture in their sets.

wunelle said...

What I love about a trio is, typically, the burden placed on the non-rhythm-section member--Andy Summers, Edward Van Halen. They have to cover the whole ground that way. I see Geddy Lee gets around this by being accomplished as both a bassist and on keys.

Drummer wise, I think I'm always more taken by minimalism than with the kind of gargantuan kit favored by Peart or Mike Portnoy or Bill Cobham. But Peart is so athletic and powerful and so very inventive, he's worth the price of admission all on his own.

Maybe I'll raid the library and import several of their albums.

My wife HATES Roger Hodgson, and my ex couldn't stand him either! Alas, I am unmoved! ;-)