“2112" by Rush which clocks in at 20:33
I. Overture - Picture this. Seventeen years ago I was but a 13 year old boy. I loved girls who loved hairspray. I loved Hungry Howie's pizza, sci-fi/horror movies, wearing my hair a bit long in the back, and Rush. Each of these loves took over at any given time but for a solid year my girlfriends had gravity-defying bangs and Rush was my "favorite" band. Their instrumental wizardy, and wizard loving Dungeons & Dragons fan base, resonated with me just as much as it did every other kid who had played in the school band (or a band) and rode his Diamondback to the mall twice a week.
II. The Temples of Syrinx - Putting together my first band I knew I couldn't go wrong with Jason on drums. Was he any good? Shit if I knew. But he could fucking air drum "YYZ". No, seriously. He would play the shit out of drums in the air along with "YYZ" and it looked like he totally knew how to actually play the song. He rocked out so hard that it'd get me playing air guitar along with him. Once (during the "The Temples of Syrinx" part of "2112") his older sister walked in on an air-Rush jam session and left the room laughing. She went and told her mom, I suppose, and they both returned to laugh further and snap pictures. That was a family reaction but any stranger who might've wandered in on us would've been floored by our talent. This I know. We made sure it looked like we hit every note and we seriously rocked HARD. Our mullets would thrash about as we jumped and danced and rocked. Jason would air twirl, then toss and catch, his pretend drumsticks. This kid was going to be a superstar someday, clearly, so he was in the band before there even was a band.
III. Discovery - Two years removed from the band I was in with Jason (we never had a name but did produce one kick-ass song "Rockin' All Night") I met the first girl who'd really impact my life musically. She was smarter than me, older than me, and knew more about great music than I did. (If that ain't hot shit I don't know what is) It wasn't like me to let one person so completely impact my taste in music but I was at a crossroads. It was time for my tastes to evolve or else I might end up selling pewter roleplaying figurines at the local hobby shop. Needless to say, I paid attention to what she liked and disliked. On one of my first dates with her I wrote "Rush Rules" with my finger on the fogged-up windshield of her car. Laughter. She laughed at me and then crossed out the "rules" and replaced it with "sucks". I knew she was right. I was a boorish dork and she a classy genius. A few short months later I found myself listening to all of HER favorite bands (like The Smiths) and my musical world would never be the same.
IV. Presentation - Freshmen in college need money. During my second semester in college I decided that a great way to get money would be to sell my collection of Rush albums. After all, I hadn't listened to them in years. The easy decision was to sell ALL of the albums I owned except their greatest hits collection Chronicles. This would garner me maximum income while still maintaining a Rush safety net in case I felt the need to revisit musical sci-fi geekdom.
V. Oracle: The Dream - No joke, that night that I sold all of my Rush albums for (like) $65 I had a dream. I dreamed of old-school synthesizers, that I desperately wanted to own, and of how I was going to use them to create my OWN sci-fi themed album in the vein of 2112. Seller's remorse crept into my dream and the next morning I repurchased my copy of 2112 from the store I'd sold it to.
VI. Soliloquy - Why the numbered/titled headings? The titles seem to relate to the titles of the movements of this song but none of this has really been about the actual song. This post is long. This song is long. Why are these people still reading this? What are they going to say about a 20+ Rush song? What happened here? Things are constructively falling apart? Will there be a revolt? An uprising?
We "can no longer live under the control of the federation, but there is no other place to go."
VII. Grand Finale - The truth is I love this song and I love the memories of my mullet years. I love 2112 as an album and I'm so glad I went back and bought that CD the day after I sold it. Now, I also have the album on vinyl. While it's not one of the most listened to records I own, it is one of my favorites. Also, I did end up creating a science fiction themed synth album years ago (that, rightfully, nobody ever heard) that was loosely inspired by 2112 and I recently began a program to re-purchase ALL of my lost Rush albums on vinyl. There's no shame in flying your inner math nerd/Rush fan geek flag from time to time and I'll betcha this 20 minute song will either satiate your time-changey sci-fi metal desires for a few months or will inspire you to dust off your 20 sided dice and Throne of Bloodstone module for some good old fashioned fantasy roleplaying. Bit of advice...if it's the latter, you might want to keep it to yourself. Definitely don't go and write nearly 1,000 words about it, whatever you do.
Buy 2112 [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] HERE on Amazon.
EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"
Big Brother & the Holding Company - "Ball And Chain"
The Stone Roses - "I Am The Resurrection"
DJ Shadow - "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain"
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - “Cowgirl in the Sand”
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Sir Psycho Sexy”
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”
Bob Marley & The Wailers - “Exodus” (1984 12" Mix)
Charalambides - “Two Birds"
Explosions In The Sky - "Memorial"
07 September 2006
“2112" by Rush which clocks in at 20:33