So I’m driving from my weight loss surgery class to the Supercuts in Tewksbury and I’m listening to the Envy of None record.

Spy House is playing and it gets to that moment when the guitar launches out from under the mix and Alex Lifeson reminds us that he’s the greatest guitarist ever. That moment.

I may be in a fragile state right now and that might explain why I got super emotional and a smile lit my face and my eyes grew damp and I literally asked myself who would I even be without Alex Lifeson?

Yeah. That moment. Let’s all give thanks that Alex keeps blessing us with his presence.

Envy of None

Go. Now. Make this a part of your life.

Not being much of a synth-pop guy, when I listen to this I think of some of the Smashing Pumpkins stuff that Flood produced, or maybe some of the post-Actung Baby electronic stuff U2 did. Wait… wasn’t that Flood too? Or was that Brian Eno? I don’t know. I heard an interview with Andy Curran where he said it sounds like Depeche Mode or The Cure. That works too.

So there I am, listening for the first time and really enjoying it purely on a holy-shit-this-hook-is-infectious level. I wasn’t hearing any stand out guitar parts, but I knew that was coming. Alex Lifeson (as well as everyone else involved in the album) has made a big deal out of the fact that he’s playing the guitar without ever sounding like a guitar. He’s basically a guitar synth player rather than just a guitar player. Then you get to Spy House, track five, and there’s a stretch of about four bars where he just shreds like the Guitar God he is, and then it’s back to synthy stuff.

I imagine Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew sitting in a room together listening. They both nod their head in approval. Then they look at each other and nod their heads in agreement. Then they look over at Alex Lifeson and nod in solidarity. Yeah. I’m 100% sure that exact thing happened.

No go and listen to it.

Big Day for Prog Fans Tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for prog rock fans.

I mentioned earlier that we are supposed to get a new Pink Floyd single tomorrow. We are also getting some new Alex Lifeson.

Envy of None’s album comes out tomorrow. It won’t sound even the tiniest bit like Rush, and based on the press they’ve been doing thus far, half the time you won’t hear guitar. Instead you’ll be hearing some other non-guitar sound that was actually played on a guitar.

I think the heroic Mr Lifeson may be embracing his inner Robert Fripp. Frankly, I am 100% here for it.

Yes indeed, it’s going to be a good day for prog fans.

Lerxst Amps Interview

I was feeling curious about the amplifier line Alex Lifeson released 2-3 years ago. They are way too powerful for my use (though I now know they can step down from 50 to 25 watts which makes them more interesting) so I didn’t look very close when they were first released.

Today I decided to poke around and I found this interview. Speaking as both a Rush fanatic and a gear nerd, this video is literally Gold.

He talks about stage volume and monitor mix preferences! Oh my god the gear dirt he shares! Can you believe it? Wow!

Envy of None

I don’t think I realized how much I needed this.

Sure it’s not Rush. There will never be new Rush. Even if they spend the next 50 years slowly but surely emptying the vaults, there will never actually be new Rush. Why? Because the universe sucks, that’s why. This, though… when you listen to this and hear a guitar, or a sound that doesn’t sound like a guitar but was actually played on a guitar, what you are likely hearing is Alex Lifeson.

I very much needed this.