Dave Grohl and I are crouched together on a hot blacktop driveway that encircles the SoCal locale where the photo session for this exclusive S+V cover story is taking place. To the onlookers who shuffle past us and sometimes hover at a respectful distance, it appears as if these two hunched, animated, close-talking bearded longhairs are plotting to take over the world — and perhaps that’s not an entirely wrong assumption.
"From the bottom of our hearts, thank you everyone. I can't wait to answer the 'Is rock and roll dead' question now..." So tweeted @foofighters at midday, and with good reason - the band's hard-charging, all-analog new album Wasting Lightdebuts at #1 this week with 235,000 copies sold here in the States.
If there’s one thing to take away from this past Saturday’s RSD, it’s that there’s a strong and rabid group of record buyers willing to wait in line for hours and hours to willingly spend lots and lots of dough on physical product — and that’s incredibly encouraging in light of what many see as an ever-shrinking tactile music marketplace.
Bottom line: Give them a reason, and they will come. And spend.
“We’ve got about 6,000 songs to play for you tonight,” Geddy Lee said to raucous cheers during the first set break at Rush’s return to Madison Square Garden last night. Well, give or take some 5,974 other choices, the Canadian trio powered through 26 tracks at the NYC stop of the Time Machine 2011 tour. The set has remained the same since the two shows I saw last summer (Jones Beach in July, PNC Bank Arts Center in September), but hold your fire—the musicianship and vigor never waned.
“It’s a timeless record with so much detail,” says surround-sound remix guru Richard Chycki about Rush’s 1981 masterpiece, Moving Pictures. “I’m glad you’ve clued into all of the nuances.” Chycki is referring to what I said to him last week about the PCM 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes he did for MP’s 30th anniversary reissue. Today marks the release of the CD+DVD version, something certainly worth getting if you’re not equipped for Blu-ray — but the much preferred Holy Grail CD+BD version won’t be out until May 3.