Since 1996

     Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
     Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
About Us

Album Reviews
Movie Reviews
Concert Reviews
Book Reviews

Top 10
Contact Us


The Crossing - May 2007 Edition

Welcome back. The Rock keeps rolling at a frantic pace this year and it can be hard to keep up. I hope The Crossing is able to help...

       ARTIST of the MONTH:

Rush - This month kicks off with the 18th full-length studio album from the Toronto progressive rock, power trio Rush. Geddy, Alex, Neil. You know ‘em or so you should. They are quite simply one of the greatest bands ever. That’s a fact. You can’t dispute it. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say, even if you think you completely hate Rush, you actually don’t because no-one can possibly dislike a band who has put out songs of this caliber for as long as they have and not respect them for it! There simply aren’t too many bands who have lasted 33 years and are still playing not only at the top of their game, but are still evolving. The new release, entitled Snakes & Arrows, is testament to a musical legacy dedicated to drive, individuality and musical virtuosity underpinning a unique, creative voice brought to you by drummer/lyricist extraordinaire Neil Peart and sung by bassist/vocalist extraordinaire Geddy Lee. Add the always inventive extraordinaire Alex Lifeson to the mix on guitar and you’ve got a band who ‘has’ influenced your band, provided they play even relatively intricate rock music within the past 30+ years. Not to say that Rush invented progressive rock. Far from it. In the early days, Rush were influenced by bands like Yes and Led Zeppelin. But now, Rush is an institution that either you ‘get’ or you don’t get. I’ve thought for a long time that basically Rush has three types of fans: a.) those that are fully aware that Rush are one of the greatest bands ever, b.) those that generally consider themselves not fans based on not liking Geddy’s voice all that much and c.) those fans who have only ever thought Rush has one song in their 33 year existence, namely ‘Tom Sawyer’ off of the breakout album Moving Pictures from 1981. If you fall into the category of ‘a’, I’ll see you at the show. If you fall into the category of ‘b’, I ‘hope’ to see you at the show. And if you fall into the category of ‘c’, please do not attend any Rush shows! Okay, I’m kidding...there’s room enough for everyone. Sitting on the lawn would be good though! Rush, Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel, 2112, A Farewell To Kings,  hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, Presto, Roll The Bones, Counterparts, Test For Echo, Vapor Trails and now, Snakes & Arrows. A massive catalog of songs. An ever-evolving reflection of Life. In the Summer of 1997, Neil Peart lost his only daughter, Selena to a jeep accident. By the Spring of 1998, his wife Jackie died due to grief induced cancer. Neil has since remarried after sufficiently recovering from these tragedies and almost chucking it all in the space of years after these tragic events. Having climbed out of the abyss, Snakes & Arrows marks the second full-length release since these tragedies and further explores themes of beliefs and faith all with the trademark ‘musical virtuosity’. To know Rush now is to appreciate where they have come from. Rush also have an EP of covers of 60’s classics entitled Feedback and five live documents entitled All The World’s A Stage, Exit...Stage Left, A Show Of Hands, Different Stages and Rush In Rio. A trio of individuals and friends doing it their way and fearlessly riding down the Road of Life. Geddy, Alex and Neil, here’s to you!!!

There are many other artists releasing new material in addition to Rush. You should have no problem finding something to your liking. Let’s let er rip! 

       Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

     * Dearborn - “Always In Disguise”
     * Tokyo Police Club - “A Lesson In Crime”
     * Taylor Sorensen & The Trigger Code - “They May Lock Us Up, They May Make Us Bleed”
     * The Little Ones - “Sing Song” (EP.)
     * Elliott Murphy - “Coming Home Again”
     * Mary Weiss - “Dangerous Game” (Former member of the Shangri-La’s.)
     * Richard Shindell - “South of Delia” (Covers project.) 
     * John Prine & Mac Wiseman - “Standard Songs for Average People” 
     * Graham Parker - “103 In the Shade” (Live.)
     * Richard Dobson - “Back at the Red Shack” 
     * Mary Karlzen - “Wanderlust Diaries”
     * Dave Alvin - “Live from Austin, Texas”
     * Guy Clark - “Live from Austin, Texas”
     * Various Artists - “We All Love Ennio Morricone” (Featuring Metallica, Roger Waters and Bruce Springsteen among others.)
     * Tsunami: The Aftermath - DVD
     * Planet Earth - Five DVD set from the BBC. (Guaranteed to be awesome!)
     * Tears of the Black Tiger - DVD


     * Rush - “Snakes & Arrows” (DVD audio disc available 5/22.)
     * Tori Amos - “American Doll Posse”
     * Elizabeth Cook - “Balls”
     * Derek Webb - “The Ringing Bell”
     * Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - “Baby 81”
     * Dinosaur Jr. - “Beyond”
     * Doyle Bramhall II - “Foodland”
     * Feist - “The Reminder”
     * Jon McLaughlin - “Indiana”
     * Warren Zevon - “Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings”
     * Elvis Costello - a few remastered reissues.
     * James - “Fresh As A Daisy: the Singles” (Import; 2 CD set.)
     * Ocean Colour Scene - “On The Leyline” (Import.)
     * Dreamgirls - DVD
     * Little Children - DVD
     * The Good German - DVD
     * Happily N’Ever After - DVD
     * Alpha Dog - DVD
     * The Hitcher - DVD
     * Old Joy - DVD


     * Dolores O’Riordan - “Are You Listening?” (Voice of The Cranberries.)
     * Elliott Smith - “New Moon” (2 CD rarities compilation.)
     * Manic Street Preachers - “Send Away The Tigers” (Import.)
     * Travis - “Boy With No Name” 
     * Pigeon Detectives - “Wait For Me” (Import.)
     * Bjork - “Volta”
     * Keren Ann - “S/T”
     * Mice Parade - “S/T”
     * Rush Of Fools - “S/T”
     * Terry Adams - “Rhythm Spell”
     * Jimmy LaFave - “Cimarron Manifesto”
     * The Sea and Cake - “Everybody”
     * The Mystery Jets - “Zoo Time”
     * The Brakes - “The Beatific Visions”
     * Megadeth - “United Abominations”
     * Living Colour - “On Stage at World Cafe” (DVD.)
     * Rhett Miller - “On Stage at World Cafe” (DVD.) 
     * Miss Potter - DVD
     * Because I Said So - DVD
     * Catch And Release - DVD
     * Breaking and Entering - DVD
     * Music And Lyrics - DVD


     * Wilco - “Sky Blue Sky”
     * Rufus Wainwright - “Release The Stars”
     * Joe Strummer - “Future Is Unwritten” (Soundtrack.)
     * Satellite Party - “Ultra Payloaded” (New Perry Farrell band.)
     * Blacktop Mourning - “No Regret”
     * Linkin Park - “Minutes To Midnight”
     * The Afghan Whigs - “Unbreakable: A Retrospective”
     * The Scorpions - “Humanity Hour, Vol.1” (Import.) 
     * The Horrors - “Strange House” (Import.)
     * Bruce Robison - “It Came From San Antonio”
     * Ann Savoy - “If Dreams Come True”
     * Gretchen Wilson - “One Of The Boys”
     * Genesis - many reissues w/DVD’s
     * Various Artists - “The Sandanista Project: Tribute to The Clash”
     * Pan’s Labyrinth - DVD
     * The Fountain - DVD
     * The Painted Veil - DVD
     * Army Of Shadows - DVD
     * The Dead Girl - DVD
     * The Last Sin Eater - DVD
     * Stomp The Yard - DVD


     * Ozzy Osbourne - “Black Rain” (Clean and sober Ozzy?)
     * Maroon 5 - “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long”
     * Fiction Plane - “Left Side Of The Brain” (Joe Sumner’s band; son of Sting.)
     * Tim Armstrong - “A Poet’s Life” (Singer of Rancid.)
     * Wheat - “Everyday I Said a Prayer...” 
     * The National - “Boxer”
     * Joan Osborne - “Breakfast In Bed”
     * Meg Baird - “Dear Companion”
     * Peter Searcy - “Spark”
     * Adrienne Young - “Room To Grow”
     * Loudon Wainwright III - “Strange Weirdos”
     * Voxtrot - “S/T”
     * Jeff Buckley - “Amazing Grace” (DVD.)
     * Steve Forbert - “On Stage at World Cafe” (DVD.)
     * Letters From Iwo Jima - DVD
     * Apocalypto - DVD
     * Venus - DVD
     * Epic Movie - DVD


     * Johnette Napolitano - “Scarred” (Voice of Concrete Blonde.)
     * Richard Thompson - “Sweet Warrior”
     * Gary Moore - “Close As You Get”
     * Juliana Hatfield & Frank Smith - “Sittin’ In A Tree” 
     * David Surkamp - “Dancing on the Edge of a Teacup” (Import.)


     * Paul McCartney - “Memory Almost Full”
     * Ryan Adams - “Easy Tiger”
     * Chris Cornell - “Carry On” (Former singer of Audioslave/Soundgarden; includes the Casino Royale main title song ‘You Know My Name’ and a cover of 
        Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’; produced by Steve Lillywhite of U2/Big Country fame.)
     * Dream Theater - “Systematic Chaos”
     * Stroke 9 - “Last of the International Playboys”
     * Cinematic Orchestra - “Ma Fleur”
     * The Long Blondes - “Someone To Drive You Home”
     * Mae - “Singularity”
     * Tesla - “Real To Reel” (Covers project; two volumes available.)
     * Poison - “Poison’d” (Covers project covering some unlikely people.)
     * Stevie Nicks - “Live at Red Rocks” (DVD.)
     * Bruce Springsteen - “Live in Dublin with the Sessions Band” (2CD/2DVD set.)
     * After The Wedding - DVD
     * Norbit - DVD
     * The Messengers - DVD


     * Paula Cole - “Courage”
     * The Traveling Wilburys - “S/T” (2 CD reissue.)
     * Breach - DVD
     * Glastonbury - DVD
     * Ghost Rider - DVD
     * Primeval - DVD

     * The White Stripes - “Icky Thump”
     * Bon Jovi - “Lost Highway” (The New Jersey band goes Country.)
     * Tomahawk - “Anonymous”
     * Brad Paisley - “5th Gear”
     * Straylight Run - “The Needles, the Space”
     * Chemical Brothers - “We Are The Night”
     * Andrea Corr - “Ten Feet High”
     * Al Stewart - many remastered reissues
     * Bridge To Terabithia - DVD
     * The Wind That Shakes The Barley - DVD 
     * Factory Girl - DVD


     * Queensryche - “Mindcrime at the Moore” (2 CD’s/2 DVD’s; the Seattle quintet performs all of Operation: Mindcrime I and II at the Moore Theater in Seattle.)
     * Queens of the Stone Age - “Era Vulgaris”
     * Nick Lowe - “At My Age”
     * Steve Vai - “Sound Theories”
     * Lifehouse - “Who We Are”
     * The Editors - “An End Has A Start” (Import.)
     * U2 - “Popmart: Live in Mexico City” (DVD.) 


     * Velvet Revolver - “Libertad”


     * The Smashing Pumpkins - “Zeitgeist”
     * Buffalo Tom - “Three Easy Pieces”
     * Eisley - “Combinations” (Tentative date.)
     * Crowded House - “Time On Earth”
     * Jason Isbell - “Sirens of the Ditch” (Formerly of Drive By Truckers.)
     * They Might Be Giants - “The Else”
     * The Astronaut Farmer - DVD


     * Suzanne Vega - “Beauty & Crime”
     * The Rocket Summer - “Do You Feel”
     * The Number 23 - DVD (7+17=24...nope!)


      This one needs no introduction...

      Begin the day 
       With a friendly voice
       A companion, unobtrusive
       Plays that song that’s so elusive
       And the magic music makes your morning mood

       Off on your way
       Hit the open road
       There is magic at your fingers
       For the Spirit ever lingers
       Undemanding contact 
       In your happy solitude
       Invisible airwaves
       Crackle with life
       Bright antennae bristle
       With the energy
       Emotional feedback
       On a timeless wavelength
       Bearing a gift beyond price ~
       Almost free...

       All this machinery
       Making modern music
       Can still be open-hearted
       Not so coldly charted
       It’s really just a question
       Of your honesty
       One likes to believe 
       In the freedom of music
       But glittering prizes
       And endless compromises
       Shatter the illusion
       Of integrity

      ‘For the words of the profits,
       Are written on the studio wall,
       Concert hall ~
       Echoes with the sounds... 
       Of salesmen.
         Neil Peart (Rush), the song ‘The Spirit of Radio’ off the album, Permanent Waves.

       Have a great May! See you in June...

       Chris Barlow


 Copyright © 1996 - 2007 The Phantom Tollbooth