• JH

Episode #71: Grace Under Pressure


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I’m listening to Rush’s Red Sector A over coffee as I write this.

It’s release day – always a bit of a scramble, especially if, as is the case this week, I haven’t done show notes in advance. On the episode I talked about some of the harrowing mishaps I’ve experienced playing drums live. It can be a gong show up there, but you try not to let them see you sweat. Sometimes release day is a gong show too, but fortunately it’s a private gong show, without an audience watching every move you make (or, more accurately for drummers, watching every move the singer makes).

I also talked about Red Sector A and the vibe it captures on the episode, which comes back to me now as I listen. It was loosely inspired by the experiences Geddy Lee’s mom had in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in World War II and, as you might expect, it evokes powerful emotions. I visited the camp on a side trip during a tour in Europe and it evokes powerful emotions too. At the time I didn’t know the Rush connection, but as I was prepping this episode the pieces came together and it seemed like synchronicity to me (there’s that word again). It’s neat how things jumble into place sometimes.

Red Sector A wasn’t included in my list of options for the Rush game, but it’s definitely one of my favourite Rush songs. You’ll have to listen to the episode to see which song ultimately won in the end!

Elsewhere on the episode there’s a little more anxiety talk. I don’t want to overdo that topic, but it remains relevant and I’ve had listeners write in to tell me how much they appreciate my willingness to be open about it. These are stressful times and I hope my candour about my adventures in anxiety helps make it okay for other people to accept and be candid about theirs. Suppressing it isn’t a good long-term solution, so if me talking about it helps you talk about it, that’s a good thing.

Finally, we detour from all of the revelry around anxiety and concentration camps to spin Modern Love - the new album by Whitehorse. As I say in the episode, I have a couple of cool and quirky connections to this band, but I haven’t listened to them all that much until now. I’m glad I sampled the new record, because I like it a lot and Melissa McClelland is a badass (as is her sister Katie, who was my guest in Episode #22). There is a cool darkness about Modern Love that I really dig so, as ever, if you’re looking for something new to check out, you might want to give it a shot. There’s a sample below.

Thanks as always for listening. Feedback, comments, music recommendations, etc. are always welcome. Drop me a line here if you’re so inclined!

And now, here’s Whitehorse.