Cygnus Visits Local Record Store


It’s April 22. A huge day, as you all well know. It’s, after all, the Feast Day of St. Arwald of the Isle of Wight.

Oh, wait. Maybe that’s not what you’re thinking.

April 22???  Something, something. . .

Oh yes! Eart. . .

No, Record Store Day. That’s it. Record Store Day! No offense to St. Arwald. He was pretty cool.

checker record
Checker Records, Hillsdale.  Photo courtesy of the Hillsdale Collegian.

But, Record Store Day is the day we celebrate the local record stores, owned by families, groups of friends, and entrepreneurs who struggle against the collosal entities of the box stores and the cyber corporations. If you do nothing else today, please buy something from your local record store. My local record store is Checker Records–run by wonderful people and serving excellent coffee as well as good conversation and good humor.

When I found out several weeks ago that Rush would be releasing a special Cygnus album only for Record Store Day, I immediately contacted Checker Records. Yep, they told me, be there by 8.

I arrived about 7:59.

Sadly, my enthusiasm got the best of me, and I kind of jumped–somewhat rudely–in front of a really nice couple who had beat me into the store. When they kindly asked me what I was doing (frankly, if someone had done that to me, I wouldn’t have been nearly as kind).

More than a bit embarrassed, I said, “Oh, I’m sorry! I’m just so eager to get the Rush release for today.”  After all, I’m a Kansas boy.  We’re not good at being ill-mannered.

“Oh, you’re a Rush fan. Well, ok,” they answered.

IMG_1896No joke!

It was wonderful. And, sure enough, the three of us dug through the releases, and they found a copy for me. How great is that? Me the jerk, they the kind! We talked for a bit, and it turns out they’re spending the day cleaning the sides of our local highway and then mushroom hunting. Very cool people.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get their names. But, if they happen to read this. . . . I wish them the best, and I hope to see them again.  I also hope they find some really great mushrooms.

Anyway, thank St. Arwald for the great folks at Checker Records.

So, here I am, and it’s not even 9:30 in the morning, and I’m thoroughly enjoying this remixed and remastered version of Rush Cygnus, Books I and II.

Well, if you live in Hillsdale, make sure you shop at Checker Records. If you live elsewhere, please give your business to the local record store. These people are true entrepreneurs, and they deserve all the support we can give them.

And, you might even find that the Nietzchean struggle between Apollo and Dionysus has a solution. Good old Cygnus. He really never fails us.



And, if you want more progarchy on Rush, here’s a handy list!

Rush – ABC 1974 – Live – 1974 (released 2015) – Review by Craig Breaden

Rush – A Farewell to Kings – 1977 – Review by Kevin McCormick

Rush – Clockwork Angels Tour (Live) – 2013 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – Grace Under Pressure – 1984 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – Power Windows – 1985 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – R40 “Completist” live concerts box set – 2014 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – R40 Live – 2015 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – Rush – 1974 – Reviewed by Craig Breaden

Rush – Test For Echo – 1996 – Review by Brad Birzer

Rush – Vapor Trails Remixed – 2013 – Review by Brad Birzer

Clockwork Angels – Concert review by Brad Birzer (2012)

Kevin J. Anderson – Clockwork Angels – The Comic Scripts – 2014 – Review by Brad Birzer

The Art of Rush – Hugh Syme, written by Stephen Humphries – 2015 – Book Review by Brad Birzer

Neil Peart: The Most Endangered Species – Essay by Brad Birzer (discussion of “Natural Science”)

The Saving Grace of Neil Peart – Essay by Brad Birzer

Brad Birzer’s Top 10 Rush Albums

A Dissenting View on Neil Peart by Erik Heter

The Stoic Wisdom of Neil Peart by Erik Heter


Long to longish progarchist posts on Rush
Hold your Fire -Rush’s finest? by Tad Wert (*progarchy’s single most popular post ever)


Erik Heter on Moving Pictures as Synergy


Discovering Rush on their 40th anniversary by Eric Perry


The first Rush album reviewed by Craig Breaden


A review of A Farewell to Kings by Kevin McCormick


A review of Power Windows by Brad Birzer


Kevin Williams on Clockwork Angels Tour


Brad Birzer on Clockwork Angels Tour


Erik Heter on Clockwork Angels Tour Concert in Texas


A review of Vapor Trails Remixed by Birzer


A review of Grace Under Pressure by Birzer


And, our favorite Rush sites

(please support these incredible sites and the fine humans who run them!)


Power Windows:


Rush Vault:


Rush is a Band:


Cygnus X-1:

2 thoughts on “Cygnus Visits Local Record Store

  1. Sir-Brad……………..I LOVE your writing!!! I LOVE You as a Progger!!! I LOVE You as a human-being!!! But LORD Help you,had You cut yourself in front of ME,to get the NEW Rush-Cygnus album!!! LOL.

    In all seriousness though……………Wow,just goes to show,just how OLD I’m GETTING here!!! Sheeesh,the LAST TIME I even REMEMBER walking into a “Record” store (or Music store of ANY KIND)…………..was WAAAY BACK when I only shaved ONCE a month!!! Haha 🙂

    Anyway,I agree with Sir-Brad here…………..GO OUT and Support Your local Record-Shop (assuming your city/town,even still HAS ANY!?!? Mine does NOT unfortunately) And dig your heels into some “Vintage” Vinyl!!! ~Peace~



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