Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Hitting the TV Jackpot: Rush Hashannah

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on September 30, 2008

Daven or be cast out

Shana Tova, VH1 Classic. It’s hard to say exactly what was done to merit this occasion–aside from the fact that Rush is almost the same word as Rosh, and that VH1C seems to be unusually infatuated with the Jewish Holidays in general. But what they’ve done is to give us 24 hours of Rush (or to be more accurate, I suppose, six hours looped four times) to celebrate the New Year. Classic concerts, discussions with the band courtesy of house loser Eddie Trunk, and of course, plenty of Rush music videos. Now, if you’ve never seen Rush’s classic string of largely forgotten music videos, few thrills are greater–once you get past the relatively low key, mostly in-studio clips for “Limelight” and “Closer to the Heart,” there’s a cornucopia of gloriously cheesy and horrifically dated clips for their mostly forgotten mid-late 80s / early 90s clips. Here’s the three best that I saw:

“The Big Money” (1985)

An enormously gauche mixture of Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing,” Culture Club’s “It’s a Miracle” and the graphics of the original Sim City computer game, it’s fascinating to think that there was no doubt a time when this clip was considered positively cutting edge–like the “Californication” of 1985. Song’s kinda nifty too, in a surprisingly ornate, Trevor Horn-ish sort of way. Rushopoly looks sorta boring, though–the properties don’t even have names or anything.

“Time Stand Still” (1987)

Aimee Mann! I can’t imagine what Rush did to ingratiate themselves to the singer/sonngwriter/domestic abuse activist, but here she is in their one-time technical marvel of a video (presumably) for “Time Stand Still”. Look at the way they’re all sort of floating in the air! Magic, I tellz ya! Nonetheless, it’s one of the better post-classic period Rush songs–still got that sort of jangly power poppiness I love about “Limelight” and “Spirit of Radio,” and it’s nice to know that girls still technically exist in some part of the Rushverse.

“Roll the Bones” (1991)

Rush enter the 90s, and decide that the most graceful way to do it would be to keep the Horn horns, add a funkier, Faith No More bass line, and climax with a, uh…rap. Yes, for their 1991 title track about the nature of chance and the pointlessness of attempting to understand life (“Why are we here? / Because we’re here / Roll the bones”), Geddy, Alex and Neil decide that to get with the kids of today, you need a rap along the lines of Macaulay Culkin’s turn in “Black or White,” and what’s the only thing cooler than  three middle-aged Canadian dudes getting down? Why, if it’s being rapped by a CG skeleton, of course! Wicked!! Victor, if you’re reading this, I think you missed badly on this one in your last two cred-heavy rap mixes.

One Response to “Hitting the TV Jackpot: Rush Hashannah”

  1. Victor said

    Well, only the heaviest-cred rap singles make the mix (i.e. Rappin’ Rodney).

    I guess fellow Jew Geddy Lee would appreciate the Rush Hashanna honor. For me, I can’t wait for Yom Kiss-por

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