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Rush As Songwriters – Jacob Moon Tribute

Well Rush was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 28, 2010.  From an article in Monday’s Toronto Sun, Neil Peart discusses the song Subdivisions:

“It’s a very unusual song construction lyrically and musically that we managed to make work,” [Peart] said. “It was written at a time when we weren’t working, so to speak. We were mixing a live album and we just started playing around and wrote a song for fun. Although it’s very serious in it’s musical structure, one of the most complicated actually that we’ve had in terms of arrangement drum part alone, it’s a really intricate drum part to play and consequently I still love playing it almost 30 years later and that’s a good testament.”

Peart is also stoked that YouTube sensation Jacob Moon, who plays Subdivisions entirely by himself on a Hamilton building rooftop, is among three artists paying tribute to Rush Sunday night.

“We all shared Jacob Moon’s performance of Subdivisions quite a long time ago and sent it to each other, ‘Hey have you seen this?’ because it’s such a beautiful cover. The imaginative way that he uses the little cassette player to get my voice in there. It’s superb. And it is that kind of song. It’s a singer-songwriter’s song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation.”

And here is the YouTube video… May the Muse be with you Neil, Rush and Jacob:

Back with Elvis Costello

It’s been too long since I’ve posted… just busy work-wise and sad personal-wise to deal with my blogs but I’m excited about Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show finally being shown in Canada on CTV!

I first posted about this a while back and more recently here

I won’t repeat what was said in my past posts, only to add that the National Post carried this article today on the show.

I enjoyed the article and am really looking forward to the show. I hope you’ll watch it too… Some quotes from the article follow:

“They try to compare it to a talk show, but [David] Letterman goes on five times a week with three people every night,” Costello, 54, says. “I could never go on that often — there aren’t that many witty people in the world.”

“Any host, really, just has to set the scene,” says Costello, who writes every show and draws upon his huge musical knowledge in talking with guests such as Herbie Hancock and Elton John. “I steer the conversation toward a subject I’m interested in — that’s really all I’m suited to do.”

Costello’s onstage familiarity with jamming gives his show an improvised feel. What began with a dependence on a teleprompter gave way to playing with his guests by ear.

“The show really changed with Bill Clinton,” says Costello, explaining how the former U. S. president’s people informed him he’d only have 45 minutes to shoot. However, the famed raconteur and, according to Costello, quite able saxophonist made it clear he was in no hurry to leave.

“I’d only written about 20 minutes of questions, but found the last part of our program was the best bit,” he says. “I still spend loads of time researching, but perhaps I’m not the weak conversationalist I thought I was.”

May the Muse be with you… this Friday at 10:00 p.m. on CTV (and for 13 shows in total!)

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Akbar to Springsteen?

I read an interesting article involving a “guest” of a federal medical facility in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, who hijacked a plane and forced it to Cuba almost 30 years ago… He then discovered that he didn’t like Cuba and raised a ruckus there so the Cubans shipped him off to Miami in 1981 where he stood trial for air piracy and was sentenced to 50 years…

Muhammad Akbar, born Gerald Leland Marity, was an honourably discharged soldier who served two tours of duty in Vietnam (1966-67). He joined the Black Muslim movement upon returning to the U.S. but fell off the rails… he sought asylum at the Irani and Iraqi embassies in Mexico prior to his hijacking crime… they both turned him down…

Why is this in my blog… Akbar is suing (he does this a lot) the government and his caregivers for stifling his songwriting career. His claim?

“I’m a damn good Black Songwriter who happens to be a Muslim and an airplane hi-jacker (sic) serving a 50 year sentence,” he wrote. “I’ve decided to direct my Lyrics to Ms. Britney Spears, Pink, Bruce Springstein (sic) the best in the world of pop music. This has infuriated the staff here at the prison into breaking the law.

“So far,” he continues, “30 of my letters and songs have been delayed, tampered, and opened for the obstruction of justice by the defendants and not reached Ms. Spears, Pink, or Springstrein (sic) and I want it to stop immediately.”

“And I want these three entertainers notified as to what’s going on by the courts,” he demands in his petition. He says that when he complained to the warden’s office and others, “I was told that I was paranoid and having dilusions (sic).”

Akbar wants a judge to investigate his claims, and he also says he wants $50,000 for pain and suffering, although it appears from his filing that he initially valued his pain and suffering at $30,000, then upped the value and wrote a “5” over the “3.”

Enough said… sometimes the Muse is NOT with us…

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