Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
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Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
Back in high school I needed to record a news report for our school’s radio station and hunted down a reel of tape to use. As is good practice, I cued it up and gave it a listen in case it was something important.
Well, it was. It was side one of All the World’s a Stage by a band named Rush. I’d never heard of them before, but it grabbed me and I listened to it every day until I found out who it was and where I could buy the album. When I finally got the album and heard side two… I was blown away by this symphonic metal twenty-minute science fiction story. At that moment I became a lifelong Rush fan. I do love my glitch-hop and electro-swing, but no one will ever beat out this Canadian power trio for me.
2112 is my favorite Rush song and it is the title track on an album for the ages. Okay, technically this isn’t a full animation but an animation of the graphic novel set to the music it was inspired by. File it under RC’s Shiny Things.
Rush formed in 1968 in Toronto, Canada though didn’t release a studio album until their self-titled debut record in 1974. That was the only album drummer John Rutsey was on. From 1975’s Fly by Night disc foreward Neil Peart took over the drums joining Geddy Lee’s vocals and bass, and Alex Lifeson’s masterful guitar. He also took over quite a bit of songwriting and wrote long, narrative, songs set in fantasy worlds that I think really played into Lifeson’s virtuosity.
I listen to the albums they did in the 1970’s most often, and my best friend liked the 80’s stuff best, but there isn’t an album without at least one epic track on it.
While their musical style shifted a bit as new electronics were introduced (And Peart’s drum kit grew. It’s really quite impressive) they never bought in to the commercial side of things – think arena rockers and hair bands of the 80’s – and had some struggles for recognition by the industry as a result. While they got some Grammy nominations, they never won. It took until 2013 to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though Canada, being the good and polite folks that they are, inducted them into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
Since I’m already playing fast and loose with the definition of ‘animation’ tonight I might as well go for broke and include this beautifully done video – some animation (of large scale) and some excellent camera work.
Xanadu, from the album A Farewell to Kings.
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