Archive: Blog Entries from July, 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006

Rush's Moving Pictures makes list of Guilty Pleasures
10:48AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Q Magazine: September 2006Q is a music and entertainment magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. The September 2006 issue features a list of Guilty Pleasures; 115 records it's OK to love. In at number 13 is Rush's Moving Pictures. Here's what they have to say about it:

The missing link between Led Zeppelin and The Manics.....
In 1981, few heavy metal bands were outwardly into Talking Heads and new wave. Rush were. But then this Canadian trio were so smart they even had a drummer nicknamed The Professor. By the time of Moving Pictures, their eighth album, the 20-minute songs and onstage robes had gone; in came shinny ties and sleek, emotive hard rock. Red Barchetta is exhilarating; YYZ an instrumental tour-de-force; and Tom Sawyer beloved of one Dave Grohl.

Key Track: Tom Sawyer
See Also: Queensryche - Empire
I WAS THERE (Quote from Geddy) "We'd been writing all these.... overtures! It just seemed wrong. So we said, let's write smaller movies. Its the definitive Rush album".

Rounding out the rest of the list:

12) The Traveling Wilbury's - Vol 1
11) ELO - Out of the Blue
10) Phil Collins - Face Value
9) Simply Red - Stars
8) Dire Straits - Making Movies
7) INXS - Kick
6) ZZ Top - Eliminator
5) Billy Joel - The Stranger
4) Def Leppard - Hysteria
3) Hall & Oates - Private Eyes
2) Supertramp - Breakfast In America
1) Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell

Thanks to The National Midday Sun forum member Analog Rockin Hard for the scan.

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2112 sighting
10:22AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Rushisaband.com reader Jay just saw the new Woody Allen movie, Scoop, and informed me of a 2112 sighting. Apparently the combination to one of the character's wine cellar is 16 2112. Cool.

While we're on the subject of 2112 sightings, I thought I'd point out that 2112 shows up a lot in pop culture. Sometimes the reference is blatantly referring to Rush (such as in the movie School of Rock), and other times the reference is somewhat more subtle (such as in the video game Front Mission 3 which is set in Japan in the year 2112). A great reference for all these various pop culture references (2112 and other Rush-related) is the Power Windows site. He has a whole page dedicated to them.

It's also fun to google 2112 and see how often it shows up in phone numbers, addresses, etc. If anyone can find a 2112 Rush st. address let me know; I looked but couldn't find any. That would be a cool address to have. :)

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The NHRA and Rush
9:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Draconator[Sunday morning nerves...]

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is a drag racing governing body which sets rules in drag racing and host events all over the United States. About a year or so ago, NHRA asked a few drivers to start a blog, the first of which was the Checker Schuck's Kragen (CSK) Funny Car team blog. Today there are 14 team blogs with the CSK blog being the most-read. The manager for CSK is Bob Wilbur who also happens to be a Rush fan who posts on the Counterparts message board as NHRADood. His blog post from yesterday mentions Rush, Counterparts and Counterparts Admin, Ken. Here's an excerpt from the post:

... Finally, I'm getting to mix two of my favorite "worlds" here today. I have my drag racing life, with all my friends out here and all the people who follow us from around the world. I also have other pursuits, like baseball, hockey, and music. When it comes to the music side of things, any of the guys on this team can tell you who my favorite band is. It's that slightly talented Canadian trio, Rush. The Rush fan community is huge too, and is a lot like NHRA in that people who are into the band are WAY into the band.

One of my Rush friends is a guy named Ken Hoffman, who hosts the number one Rush fan website, called "Counterparts," and Ken is here today, along with three other Rush fans who are also NHRA fans. If you're familiar with Nitromater as a drag racing fan, picture that sort of site, only populated by fans of the most talented band in the world. More than 8,000 people are registered at Counterparts, and the message boards there are a lively place. BTW, the band is in the studio these days, working on yet another album. Word from drummer Neil Peart is that what they come up with so far is the "freshest" stuff they've ever done. Ken and I, along with millions of other Rush fanatics (geeks) can't wait. Look for a world tour in 2007! And, if you're into the band or just into good "give and take" about progressive music, sports, or current events, check out Ken's site. The direct link to the main message board page is http://www.rushmessageboard.com/cpmb/index.php

Well, it's all of 11:00 now, so driver introductions are about to get started. My nerves are starting to tingle, I've got my game face on, and it's got to be time to get going soon. Boy we need some success today. I hope I have something good to write about later...

Until then, Wilber out. "Exit the warrior, today's Tom Sawyer..."

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Geddy!
7:00AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Geddy Lee of RushUPDATE - 7/30@10:17AM: Also, this happens to have been the day that Neil Peart officially joined the band back in 1974 - 32 years ago. Happy R32!

On this day in 1953, the world's greatest bass player, Gary Lee Weinrib was born. Happy 53rd birthday Geddy!

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Classic Rock Magazine Rush Replay X 3 Review
10:16PM EST | link | comments (4) |

I transcribed the review of Rush Replay X 3 from Classic Rock Magazine. It's a generally positive review (7 out of 10) although I beg to differ with the reviewer as far as his characterizations of the band, their music and their fans go. His review reads more like an incomplete biography of the band rather than a critique of the Replay DVD set itself (he doesn't even mention the audio quality). All in all, a very weird review. Whatever. Take it for what it is I guess. Thanks to Rush Tour Forum member mrjones for making this available. Here it is.

Three stages of Rush

Rush have defined themselves with recordings of their live performances. Originally it was with the tremendous double albums that came along after every three or four studio releases, each one an event in itself. For those in thrall to the band, these were fetishistic offerings in shining gatefold sleeves, with extended versions of much-loved songs cut into acres of shimmering vinyl. They invited solitary retreat to a darkened room for many hours of geeky aural bliss... (Did Neil hit a different cymbal here? Has Alex tweaked the guitar solo a bit there? What did someone in the crowd just shout at Geddy?).

Those live albums added to the mystique of a band that really should not have had any mystique and yet somehow did. For here were three men who defined 'ordinary'. Compared to totemic performers like Robert Plant or Dave Lee Roth, the Rush trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart looked like three guys who'd arrived in the concert hall by mistake, who'd taken a wrong turn en route to a Trekkie convention or a speed-dating evening.

Rush didn't write songs about sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock'n'roll, either (unless you count Limelight, which thumbed its nose at the entire concept). Instead Peart concentrated first on apocalyptic sci-fi stories (2112, Xanadu) or third-person narratives (Red Barchetta, Tom Sawyer), and later on bigger social targets (Big Money, Subdivisions). And then there was the music; often distant and unapproachable and almost baroque in its complexity.

Yet Rush succeeded because the band, for all its faults, adhered strongly to their own internal logic. Once you 'got' Rush, they simply never disappointed. With every new live album, they'd evolved considerably and always in a straight line. Those live albums of the 70s and 80s - All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left, A Show Of Hands - were landmarks, not contract fillers.

Now the DVD age defines Rush, or so their sales suggest. Their concert films sell in the quantities that their live albums used to. Bedroom headphone porn has become widescreen, surround-sound porn. Rush fans have got kids and houses and consume their concerts in front of the telly. The band have released a series of set-piece shows (Rush in Rio is five-times platinum, R30 three-times platinum), and now the first three of their concert films - Exit Stage Left (1981), Grace Under Pressure (1985) and A Show Of Hands (1988) - have been tarted up and boxed together, or 're-badged', as the great Alan Partridge might put it. An audio CD soundtrack of the Grace Under Pressure show plus reprints of the tour books are also included (although not in this review copy, but we'll take their word for it).

It's enlightening to play them back-to-back. That straight-line evolution is not without humour. In 1981, the band had just cut Moving Pictures, the first of their albums to relect the new decade: out with the 70s sci-fi, in with the glistening techno remoteness of the age. Alex came on stage in a Miami Vice jacket. Geddy stood behind great banks of keyboards. At one point, both he and Alex played double-necked guitars. Neil Peart was just a head bobbing up and down in a sea of drums, cymbals, chimes and other percussive paraphenalia. They still performed Xanadu without knowing winks between them.

By 1985 they had made Signals, their most divisive yet possibly greatest album, and its grander successor Grace Under Pressure (a title Peart pinched from that old macho glumster Hemingway). The corresponding live show was leaner, harder, less celebratory. They all wore Miami Vice gear, and the set list was filled with songs about paranoia - The Enemy Within, Witch Hunt, Distant Early Warning.

By 1988 they still wore the Miami Vice gear; Neil added a provocative plaited ponytail. Yet they were men more at ease with themselves and their place in the world, perhaps because they were now utterly confident that their audience would follow them anywhere they chose to go. In amaong the accomplished new songs, they could scatter bits of 2112 and La Villa Strangiato and they could laugh with glee as they played them.
These three live shows relect an artistic evolution. Given the subsequent personal tragedies endured by Neil Peart and naturally felt by his colleagues too, it must seem entirely insubstantial. The Rush of a decade-and-a-half on are more organic, less hung up, and they can look back on these shows like a family leafing through its photograph album to remember some uncomplicated and resonant times.

- Jon Hotten (7 out of 10)

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rush reference in BBC TV show Saxondale
11:54AM EST | link | comments (2) |

SaxondaleSaxondale is a British TV show about Tommy Saxondale, an ex-roadie with anger management issues and a pest control business. It airs Mondays on the BBC 2 at 10PM. In the latest episode (Episode 6) Rush is mentioned. The episode summary says the following:

Tommy takes on the mighty power of corporate greed, armed only with his integrity and knowledge of Rush lyrics.

During the show Tommy quotes Rush while talking to the executive of a pesticides company:

The glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity ... Track 1, side 1, The Hemispheres album by Rush. Do yourself a favor and download it. Delete one of your Dido tracks

Yeah, wrong album - which is probably part of the joke. It's a funny show. The entire episode is up on YouTube. You can watch it in three parts here. The bit where he quotes Rush is in part 3 about 3 minutes in.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rush Replay X 3 Review
10:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[DVD Verdict: Rush Replay X 3 Review]

This review of Rush Replay X 3 comes from DVD Verdict and is very positive: their "judgement" is an 89/100. Here's their summary:

... Long-standing Rush faithful may not find much "new" material here to get excited about and some have bemoaned the fact that these concert films weren't extended beyond their original video counterparts. Nonetheless, this set goes a long way to preserve the Rush legacy in the digital medium and serves as an excellent vehicle to help newer fans acquaint themselves with some of the history of this always progressing band. Seriously recommended. ...

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rush makes the WaPost crossword puzzle
3:03PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Rush made the Washington Post's Sunday crossword puzzle this past weekend. 81 down. Rock's Rush, e.g. 4 letters. Can you guess the answer? I think I've got it - although I'm horrible at Crossword puzzles. Thanks to Rush Tour Forum member Señor Hubo for digging this up.

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More ranting from Alex Lifeson: Counterparts tour Closer to the Heart rants
9:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Alex Lifeson Live Rants Videos]

If you've seen Rush on their last 2 tours, then you probably remember Alex Lifeson's hilarious ranting during La Villa Strangiato. YouTube user tst4eko recently uploaded a bunch of bootleg vids of these rants which you can check out here. On the Counterparts tour, Alex also did some ranting during Closer to the Heart. The ranting wasn't as extensive or strange as the La Villa rants, but it was still funny; he'd start singing the chorus to the song (usually substituting Closer to your house for Closer to the Heart), then introduce the band (the orchestra as he would usually call it) as miscellaneous famous people (he often would introduce himself as Fabio). Anyways, tst4eko uploaded several of these Closer to the Heart rants to YouTube a couple days ago. You can check them all out here.

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Short video clip from a 1992 Neil Peart drum workshop
9:12AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Neil Peart drum workshop[Neil Peart drum workshop clip - Irvine Meadows, 1992]

UPDATE - 7/27@10:30AM: Andy O posted some more background information involving this workshop on his website yesterday.:

This clinic took place in Irvine Meadows, CA, during the Roll the Bones tour. My understanding is Neil gave this clinic to Percussion Institute of Technology students.

Neil has only given two drum clinics that I know of. The other he describes in this article, The Quest for New Drums.

Thanks Andy!

I found this short clip on YouTube from a drum workshop that Neil Peart put on at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in California in 1992. It's short but sweet. You can watch it here.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

New Live Videos: 20 short bootleg clips from various tours
1:08PM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've just added 20 short bootleg clips to the Rush Live Videos page courtesy Leandroleg over at YouTube. The earliest is from 1976, the latest from 2004 and they run the gambit as far as quality goes. Unfortunately they're only clips, not full songs; each runs about 1 minute or so. Even so, they're fun to watch. You can check them all out here. Enjoy.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The latest Rush strangeness from MitA
10:56AM EST | link | comments (3) |


MitA has added several new pieces of Rush oddities and strangeness to his Rush oddities site in recent weeks. He's also revamped the design and moved everything to his musicintheabstract.org domain. It looks great. These latest couple of batches include several hidden guitar parts from various songs, the recovered fadeout ending to The Big Money, the isolated piano portion of Different Strings, an unreleased early Rush song (Garden Road), Billy Sheehan jamming with Neil and Alex (previously mentioned in this post), an early version of Broon's Bane and, from the archives, a hidden Alex guitar solo from Driven. You can listen to them using the player above. And be sure to visit MitA's Rush Oddities site and check out the archives; there's a lot of cool stuff to see and listen to.

He's also added a couple of pics: the Mazda 323 Rush Series car and Geddy Hiking in Costa Rica.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

R30 nominated for several 2006 DVD awards
10:43AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Home Video: FogoLabs nets nine DVD noms]

The 2006 Annual DVD Awards ceremony will occur on August 8 in Los Angeles and be hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin. Montreal production house FogoLabs, who are reponsible for putting together the R30 DVD, received nine nominations; several of which are for R30. From Playback:

Fogo, headed by brothers Pierre and François Lamoureux, garnered two nominations in the best music performance category and seven more in four independent technical categories for menu design, video presentation, authoring design and audio presentation.

The shop's Rush: R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour and The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Extravaganza vie against Paramount Home Entertainment's Neil Young: Heart of Gold and others for best musical. Rush butts heads with Fogo's Collective Soul: Home DVD in the menu design and video presentation categories, and is nommed against Fogo's Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis: A Duo Occasion in the audio presentation category. R30 is the lone title by the Lamoureuxs up for authoring design.

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New version of Windows codenamed Rush due out in 2112
9:40AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Microsoft establishes 12 principles for Windows development]

Mac users will particularly like this one. Microsoft has announced 12 principles by which the company will guide its development of the Windows desktop platform, starting with Windows Vista and beyond. The MacDailyNews puts its own spin on this news and comes up with the real 12 principles for Windows development. Rush fans will especially like principle #7:

#7. We will travel to WWDC annually to see what we can steal learn from Apple for our next version of Windows, codenamed "Rush," due late 2112.

Funny.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Crank calling Geddy Lee
1:35PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Friendly Rich Show[Too close for comfort]

The Friendly Rich Show is a 75-minute stage show created by Richard Marsella and David Hannan. Over the last year they have been presenting the show on a monthly basis at Luna Lounge in Toronto. They're bringing their show to Montreal for a week and there was a write-up on the show in the Montreal Mirror. Apparently these guys like to pick on Geddy Lee. In describing the "crank call" portion of the show the article states:

... A feature of the show that's maybe a little too appealing to kids is the recurrent crank call. A local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise might be the unhappy recipient of inquiries about breasts, while an evangelical hotline might get the third degree about made-up illnesses. Another repeat target was Rush singer/bassist Geddy Lee, who once found a drunken collective singalong of "Closer to the Heart" on his answering machine. "He hates me. He absolutely hates me," chuckles Marsella. "I consider him to be a bit of a cartoon character. He's not real to me, even though he's a living, breathing human. He really got mad at me, so I stopped out of respect." ...

Poor Geddy. What I really want to know is, how did he get Geddy's number? :)

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2006 Rush Midwest TabCon details
10:20AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Rush TabconI meant to post this a while ago but forgot. Sorry Rich! Anyways, the dates and participants have been announced for the 2006 Rush Midwest TabCon. The event will be held September 15-17 at St. Francis High School "Little Theater" in St. Francis, WI. For more information on what Rush TabCons are all about, visit the homepage here. You can also view a bunch of performances from past TabCons here.

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Rush featured in VH1's I Love the 70s: Volume 2
10:17AM EST | link | comments (1) |

VH1 recently launched Volume 2 of their hit series I Love the 70s, and a couple of episodes make mention of Rush. In the episode focusing on 1974, Alex Lifeson is named as one of the three "guitar gods" of 1974. In the 1976 show, when talking about laser shows, Rush is also mentioned and a short clip of the band is shown.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dream Theater/Tiles soundcheck Rush jam session
10:12AM EST | link | comments (4) |

[Dream Theater / Tiles soundcheck Rush jam session]

As I've mentioned before, prog-metal band Dream Theater are huge Rush fans and often play Rush covers during their live shows. Drummer Mike Portnoy and friends (Paul Gilbert, Sean Malone, and Jason McMaster) even performed an entire Rush tribute show last year in Chicago which, as I recently posted, will be available on CD and DVD soon from MikePortnoy.com. Another prog-rock band that are huge Rush fans is Tiles from Detroit, MI who have worked with former Rush producer Terry Brown. In 1999 Tiles toured with Dream Theater in Europe. I recently located a video on YouTube of a soundcheck Rush jam session involving members of both bands. You can watch it here. The author explains the video:

Chris Herin [Tiles guitarist] and Mike Portnoy [DT drummer] ran through more Rush tunes with John Petrucci [DT guitarist] on bass and Pat DeLeon screeching an occasional vocal. Then some Zeppelin and improvisation before Jeff Whittle joined on bass for a Police medley.
"The place was so small that people could hear our sound check jam from outside the venue," says Chris Herin. "It was kind of funny because the doors were not opened yet, but the crowd applauded after each song we did. Most of it's captured on video and is fun to watch. I wish James Labrie or Paul Rarick would've ventured out for some vocals!"

The YouTube video is a shortened version. You can obtain the full 12-minute version from the author, anjilinexile.

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New Rush Backstage Club contest
9:49AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Autographed Replay X 3[Win An Autographed Replay X3 DVD!!]

There's another Rush Backstage Club contest. The winner of the last contest (Replay X3 Work Jacket) was Donald Sewell from South Carolina. Here are the details:

Sign up to win an autographed Replay X3 DVD. This was signed by Geddy, Alex and Neil when they were recently in Toronto.

Good Luck!!

The winner will be announced on August 1st, 2006.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

RushCon article in the St. Catherines Standard
10:25AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Rolling his bones to a sacred rock 'n' roll location; Japan may be home, but Port Dalhousie is never too far away for Rush fan Seiji Harada]

I found this article in the St. Catherines Standard online. In case you don't know, Port Dalhousie near St. Catherines, ON is the childhood home of Neil Peart. RushCon's Sunday activity was a bus trip to Lakeside Park (from the song) in Port Dalhousie. I was at RushCon but I didn't make this event. Matthew Van Dongen of the Standard spoke with many of the RushCon entourage including Seiji Harada (who I had the honor of meeting Friday night) who comes all the way from Japan every year.

... Harada has made the trip to all six RushCons. Initially, he didn't speak a lot of English, so communication with his fellow fans was a challenge. He could, however, sing songs from every Rush album from memory, noted Irwin. And in this crowd, as long as you know the language of Rush, you're going to have plenty of friends. "Every album is fantastic. Progressive. One of a kind," said a beaming Harada, who has improved his language skills with every trip. Being surrounded by folks who understand that feeling is worth the trip alone, according to Harada. "That is my favourite (part.) The affection of people," he said. The music, of course, is also great. ...

They also spoke with Chad of the tribute band Toronto Airport (one of the better Rush tributes out there).

... Fans had live entertainment all weekend, courtesy of Florida-based Rush tribute band Toronto Airport. Don't expect to understand the name unless you're a true Rush fan. The call letters of the Toronto Airport are YYZ - the name of a popular instrumental piece on Rush's Moving Pictures album. "Normally, not very many people get it," said bassist Chad Kulscar. "Here, most people get it." Kulscar said the band has played several RushCon events - and although it's fun, it's also "intimidating. If you make a mistake, everyone will know," he laughs. "They know the music. Everyone here knows everything." ...

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Neil Peart mentioned in article about drummers who made a difference
10:09AM EST | link | comments (2) |

[The beat goes on -- thanks to these guys]

Neil Peart and Rush are mentioned in this article from the Vancover Sun on drummers who made a significant impact on their respective bands. Here's what they have to say:

... To fully understand his value in Rush, one needs only to listen to the Toronto band's pre-Peart output, a plodding self-titled debut from 1974. After he replaced John Rutsey that same year, Peart immediately assumed the role of primary lyricist, which, in addition to his legendary drumming skills, helped make Rush a famous prog-rock power trio. ...

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Dream Theater drummer's 2005 Rush tribute show in Chicago soon available on CD/DVD
10:38AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy recently issued the following update via his official web site:

I am just wrapping up work on the DVD of my Rush tribute show from last year... so in the coming weeks 'Cygnus & The Sea Monsters - One Night In Chicago' will be available on CD and DVD exclusively from the online store here at MikePortnoy.com.

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Alex's La Villa rants
10:31AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[La Villa Rants Videos]

UPDATE: 7/19@3:51PM: They're up on the site now - and they have a home all of their own here. These are really hilarious - definitely check them out.

YouTube user tst4eko just uploaded a bunch of bootleg vids of Alex Lifeson's rants during La Villa Strangiato from the last 2 tours. I haven't had time to get them up on my Live Videos page yet, but you can check them all out here.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Back from RushCon
10:28PM EST | link | comments (1) |

UPDATE, 7/17@8:20PM: I added plenty of pictures to the post this morning (as you can see)... but had forgotten to mention it 'til now. I'm also finally feeling rested after a lazy afternoon at home with my 10-month-old.

I'm back from Rushcon and I'm tired ... so forgive me if I ramble or am slightly incoherent. I finished my last report just before we all headed off to the Orbit Room for a private party before the Tribute band show. We all gathered outside the hotel at 6:30 and they hauled us all down the street to Little Italy in an old yellow school bus - which caused me to have flashbacks to my school days. As we all got off the bus in front of the Orbit Room we received many confused looks from people dining on outside patios nearby. The Orbit Room, like Anthem Records, is hard to spot if you don't know what you're looking for. It's tucked in the heart of Toronto's Little Italy cleverly hidden above a dentist's office. There's a sign out front but it's easily missed. For the next 2 hours, everyone drank, ate and conversed - and wondered whether Lerxst would show up (he didn't). The club is quite small and has a tiny little stage where live bands play. There's also a nice patio out back where the smokers can congregate.

At 8:15 we all piled back on the bus and headed to the Marquee Events Theater where the tribute band would be playing. It's a good venue with a large open floor - there was plenty of room to accomodate all the RushCon attendees and a few other stragglers. Toronto Airport came on stage at a little after 10 and immediately pounded out the entire Moving Pictures album - in order ... which was really cool. I didn't keep track of the exact setlist, but they also played Spirit of Radio, Freewill and Natural Science off of Permanent Waves. Some other selections were Distant Early Warning, Circumstances, Xanadu, The Trees, Leave That Thing Alone!, Subdivisions, The Analog Kid and a medley toward the end of the night which I'm a little fuzzy on; I had racked up quite a collection of empty Moosehead bottles by then. But it started out with 2112: Overture and ended with 2112: Grand Finale; and there was a lot of older stuff thrown in the middle. Oh yeah... there was also a very kickass drum solo. All in all the band was very good. My only complaints were that they didn't do 2112 in its entirety and they didn't do Bastille Day (how could they not do Bastille Day on the day after Bastille Day?!?). But those are only minor complaints - everyone, especially the band, seemed to have a great time (I know I did).

I opted out of the Lakeside Park tour slated for today although I was tempted. I'm sure they all had a great time. I live close enough to St . Catherines that I can give myself a tour someday.

I have plenty of pictures too - but no time to post them today... must get sleep. Fortunately I took the day off tomorrow.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

RushCon Update
5:36PM EST | link | comments (1) |

My brother and I arrived in Toronto yesterday afternoon around 4 - then we drove around the hotel for a while in search of the parking garage. We finally found the entrance after calling the front desk, unpacked our stuff and checked into the Days Inn Toronto. The only Friday night activity was the "In the Mood" mixer which started around 8 - so we had plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and have a couple beers. We found a nice pub nearby the hotel, had a meal and some beers. It was a hot day in Toronto (close to 90) so it was nice to unwind in an air-conditioned bar with a cold beer.

At 7:30 we headed back to the hotel, signed in to the Conference, got our badges and waited for the mixer to start. There was a decent crowd; at least 100 people. The mixer was fun. They had a large projector screen and soundsystem set up for showing videos as people showed up. And they also had plenty of finger food and a cash bar. Once everyone was gathered, the organizers gave a short welcome announcement and commenced the activities. They first showed a synch-up video of a portion of Disney's Fantasia (the beginning) played with 2112 as the music. I'd never seen this before and, unlike the Willy Wonka 2112 synch, I was very impressed; it worked well.

There also was a kimono contest, door prizes (I didn't win) and some silly Rush-themed games. But for the most part, people drank and talked about Rush. I met a lot of great people; some whom I've only known previously online by their various Rush forum screennames. I was really pleased that I finally got to meet MitA, who runs the Rush Oddities site. And I met a lot of Rush fans from Texas, including John and David of Dallas-based Rush tribute band Anthem. After too-much beer we finally went to sleep.

We awoke this morning around 9, ate breakfast and headed to the Rush matinee at 11am. The organizers did a great job of putting together Rush-related material from TV, movies and pop culture into a nice little video presentation. Most of the clips I had already seen online (many of them are on my Rush TV page). But I was pleased to see many things I'd never seen before including the 1986 Rush-inspired sci-fi cartoon The Body Electric.

After the movies we walked down the street to Anthem Records for a short little tour. The building is not marked and is difficult to spot unless you know what you're looking for. The walls are covered with gold and platinum records from Rush and other bands. It was a really neat experience.

Tonight we'll be having a private little party at Alex Lifeson's club, The Orbit Room, before heading over to see Toronto Airport at the Marquee Events Theater. More updates coming tomorrow.

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Live from RushCon6
10:55AM EST | link | comments (1) |

I made it. The good news is that I had no problem accessing the hotel's wireless network. The bad news is that I've hardly had any time to post anything. This post will have to be quick too. The short of it is - I'm having a great time. I've met a lot of great people and I took a lot of pictures which I will post asap. I'm off to tour Anthem Records right now. After that I'll have a longer break before the evening's festivities and I'll write a more detailed post.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Bastille Day! I'm off to RushCon!
7:20AM EST | link | comments (5) |

First off, it's Bastille Day. So pop in the Caress of Steel CD, crank up the volume and sing along with Geddy:

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth
But they're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Free the dungeons of the innocent
The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

And we're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Sing, o choirs of cacophony
The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise.

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine - claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
Power isn't all that money buys

Ok. Now that we have that out of the way ... not only is it Bastille Day, but RushCon 6 kicks off tonight in beautiful Toronto, Ontario; the Mecca of Rush fandom. And I'll be there! I'm going to pack up my laptop and the hotel has free wireless, so barring any unforseen disasters, I should be able to blog from the Con. I'll also have my digital camera and designated cameraman (my brother). If you're going I hope to see you there - I'll drink a beer with you. I realize now that I should have made up a Rush is a Band t-shirt to wear or something - so people could spot me. I guess I could just write "RUSH IS A BAND" on my forehead ... but that would be overkill. Maybe for RushCon 7. Anyways - I look like that weird square headshot (that I really need to update) in the upper right of this page. However, my head is not actually square- it's triangular. And I'll be wearing my white 2112 tour-shirt (my kimono is in the wash). Enough already. The road beckons. See you in Toronto.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Willy Wonka 2112
9:32AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Wonka 2112[Willy Wonka 2112]

If you, like me, grew up in the 70s no doubt you are familiar with the 1971 cult classic movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And, since you're reading this website you should also be very familiar with Rush's breakthrough 1976 album 2112. But what you may not be familiar with is the Willy Wonka 2112 phenomenon. What the hell is that you ask? Well - in the same spirit that discovered Dark Side of the Rainbow (playing Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" while watching "The Wizard Of Oz"), someone discovered back in 1999 that if you play 2112 while watching Willy Wonka beginning at a point near the entrance into the factory wonderful things happen. Personally, I'm not all that impressed. There are a few parts where things synch up really well (especially at the end), but otherwise I just don't see it. Anyways, someone posted the portion of Willy Wonka synched up with 2112 on YouTube. You can watch it here. If nothing else you get to watch part of a really cool movie while listening to 2112 - not a bad way to spend 20 minutes in my opinion. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New live video: New World Man from the Grace Under Pressure Video
12:15PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Grace Under Pressure - New World Man[New World Man live from the Grace Under Pressure video]

New World Man off of the Grace Under Pressure Video was recently uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it here. Enjoy.

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New Music Videos: In the Mood/Finding My Way, Xanadu
9:27AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Alex, Geddy on DK Rock ConcertI just located a couple of vintage Rush music videos on YouTube, courtesy fredhoffman1968. The first is an early performance from 1975 on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert TV show where the band performs In the Mood and Finding My Way. You can watch it here. They also performed Best I Can during that performance, which can be seen here.

The second video is a real treat. It's an in-studio performance of Xanadu from 1977 which you can check out here.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Nickelback drummer credits Neil Peart
3:10PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Daniel Adair[Canada's Nickelback in Maine]

Former 3 Doors Down drummer Daniel Adair is the latest addition to Canadian post-grunge rock group Nickelback. He replaced Ryan Vikedal who left the band last year. The band is currently on tour and Andrew Neff of the Bangor Daily News recently spoke with Adair. He had this to say about how he started drumming:

... Adair, who first started practicing with drums when he was 13 after listening to his sister's copy of the Hemispheres album by Canadian supergroup Rush and finding himself transfixed by the ability and sound of Rush's drummer.

"Neil Peart of Rush was the reason I wanted to learn to play drums," he said. "I'll never play like him, but I've wanted to learn all I can and practice as much as I can to be as good as I can be." ...

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And yet another Rush Replay Contest
12:54PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Contest: Rush Replay X3 DVD Giveaway]

There's another one. Yes, another Rush Replay X 3 contest. This one is from Starpulse.com. If you're a real Rush fan you should already have the DVD, otherwise here's your chance to finally get it - for free even. Good luck. ;)

Related Posts:
[Another Rush Replay Contest]
[Yet another Rush Backstage Club contest]
[Enter the Rush Replay X 3 Sweepstakes]

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New Rush wallpaper at Panacea
10:32AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Alex Guitar Panacea Art[Panacea: Rush Art]

The Panacea Rush art page has been updated again with a few more high-quality wallpapers. There's one Alex Tribute with pics and quotes from his 2006 Guitar Player interview, one Geddy tribute titled "Success" and a Replay-themed wallpaper. Great stuff as usual.

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Don't like Rush? ... the OSU Sentinel staff will beat you up
9:35AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Be Chrool to your Scuel! Forget class, metal music can teach you everything worth knowing]

Here's a little article in the OSU Sentinel which talks about some great bands and the "lessons" that can be learned from them. They mention Journey, G'n'R, Motley Crue and, of course, Rush.

Maybe you think Rush is a dork band. Maybe you can't get past Geddy Lee's vocals. Maybe you just totally suck. Don't let any of these facts keep you from listening to this rad band. I could tell you about how much you'll learn about integrity, creativity, and stuff like that from their awesome lyrics, but the most valuable lesson you can learn is that if you don't like Rush, The Sentinel staff will consider coming to your house to beat you up.

Hell yeah.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

New live video: Driven bootleg from Test for Echo tour
10:55AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Live bootleg - Nov. 20 1996 San Antonio[Driven live bootleg from Test for Echo tour]

I just located this live video bootleg of Driven on YouTube. It's from a November 20, 1996 show in San Antonio Jose on the Test for Echo tour. You can watch it here.

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Counterparts Message Board is back!
10:38AM EST | link | comments (2) |

As many of you may know, the ever popular Counterparts message board died back in early May due to their web hosting company being bought out and the new company screwing up royally. Well, the good news is that Counterparts is back up and running. The bad news is that none of the old posts/data are there. So it looks like if you were a member you'll have to re-register. It sorta sucks that all the old data isn't there; I had heard rumors that they did have the old data and were going to be able to restore it. Whatever. I'm glad it's back. Thanks to board member MiriyaB for the heads up.

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

New Live Video: Lock and Key from A Show of Hands laser disc
8:35AM EST | link | comments (5) |

[Lock and Key live from A Show of Hands]

In the run up to the release of Rush Replay X 3 one of the burning questions asked by fans was whether Lock and Key would appear on the A Show of Hands DVD included with the box set. It was not included on the original VHS release but was included on the laser disc version. Ultimately it was revealed that the Replay DVDs would mirror the tracklist of the VHS releases, and that's exactly what was delivered. Why? Who knows. Anyways, the live version of Lock and Key taken from the A Show of Hands laser disc was recently uploaded to YouTube (thanks RareRushReview!). You can watch it here.

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Friday, July 7, 2006

New live videos from Rush in Rio: Bravado and The Pass
9:41AM EST | link | comments (1) |

I've added 2 live videos from Rush in Rio to the Rush Live Videos page (thanks brnrmstr). You can watch them at the following links:

[Bravado]
[The Pass]

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2 Lukewarm Rush Replay X 3 Reviews
9:25AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Here are 2 somewhat negative reviews of Rush Replay X 3. This one from the Winnipeg Sun asks the question Just how many of their live shows do we really need on video?. I say, all of them! :) It goes on to state:

... here's what's not so good: The video quality is dodgy, especially on the '81 show, which looks like it was dubbed off an overplayed old tape. There are no bonus clips or Easter eggs we can find. The period in question wasn't the band's peak, so unless you're in the mood for synth-rockers like Red Sector A and Distant Early Warning, it's kinda dull. The animation, lasers and post-production effects that were cutting-edge at the time now look cheesy. The sport coats and '80s hairstyles (Neil Peart with a rat-tail?!) are cheesier. Cheesiest of all: Virtually no drum solos. ...

As far as the video quality goes, what do they expect? It was filmed in 1981! I'm a little tired of all the whining about the video quality. And they don't even mention the fantastic sound quality. I do agree about how it sucks that there are no bonus clips or Easter eggs. They still give it 3 out of 5 stars though.

There's also this review from Seatle magazine, The Stranger, which says:

... Rush are better heard than seen-not that Peart's gargantuan drum kit and Lee's woodchuck-tail mullet aren't impressive visuals. But only fanboys will get a repeated kick out of seeing Lee and Lifeson do that arena-rock move of simultaneously bobbing their side-by-side bodies in time with the music. Everyone else will want to just close their eyes, slap on headphones, and listen to the greatness of "The Spirit of Radio." ...

Better heard than seen? Bah! I say.

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Rush TV: Alex Lifeson on the Golf Channel's Personal Lessons
8:45AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Alex Lifeson on the Golf Channel[Alex Lifeson appearance on the Golf Channel's Personal Lessons]

As I reported last week, Alex Lifeson was featured in the debut of the Golf Channel's new show, Personal Lessons, this past Monday. Alex and his friend, professional golfer Rocco Mediate, played a round of golf, along with an amateur partner, at Tuscany Reserve in Naples, Fla. Mediate provided on-course tips, advice and instruction. Ferret over at the Rush Tour Forum was kind enough to upload portions of the episode to YouTube. You can watch them here.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

For Sale: Le Studio
3:50PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Rush at Le Studio[For Sale: large property domain in Morin-Heights, Quebec]

Have a couple of million bucks lying around? You can buy Le Studio in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains of Quebec where Rush recorded many of their albums including Moving Pictures. The place has been abandoned for some time now but was recently put up for sale. I see why Neil Peart called the Laurentian Mountains his ultimate landscape, dreamscape and soulscape (link); it's certainly a breathtakingly beautiful place. Maybe Alex, Geddy and Neil will buy it. If not, I figure if we all throw in a few thousand we might be able to swing it. Hat tip to PW Guitarist over at The Rush Forum for finding this.

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New live videos: 1990-era bootlegs
10:00AM EST | link | comments (3) |

UPDATE - 7/5@1:04PM: Reader Ian noticed my error in reporting that the rehearsal video was Spirit of Radio. It is, of course, Freewill (the post is now corrected). Sorry- it was a long holiday weekend. He also noticed that the live bootleg of Spirit of Radio was from the Counterparts tour rather than Roll the Bones. Thanks Ian!

I located a couple of bootleg Rush videos from the early 1990s era on YouTube recently, and also uploaded one myself. The first is from a soundcheck on the Presto tour recorded on May 17, 1990. This one is fun to watch; the boys play portions of several songs including Subdivisions and Xanadu, and joke around with the tech crew. The second is a video of the band rehearsing The Spirit of Radio Freewill prior to the Roll the Bones tour in 1991. And the one I uploaded is a video of the band performing Spirit of Radio on the Roll the Bones Counterparts tour (I think) - although I'm not sure of the exact date or venue. You can view these videos at the following links:

[Soundcheck bootleg video from Presto tour]
[Freewill bootleg rehearsal video from Roll the Bones tour]
[Spirit of Radio live bootleg from Counterparts tour]

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Monday, July 3, 2006

New Rush Backstage Club contest
9:20AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Rush Replay jacket[Win A Limited Edition Replay X3 Jacket!!]

The winners of the Replay X 3 Poster Pack have been announced and there is now a new contest up at the Rush Backstage Club. The prize in this new contest is a limited edition Replay X 3 jacket. Here are the details:

Sign up to win a Limited Edition Replay X3 Work Jacket. This jacket is embroidered with the Replay X3 logo and is not available in stores anywhere. The jacket made by Dickies and is customized for Rush! We may call this a "work" jacket, but we suggest just hanging out and looking cool.

Good Luck!!

The winner will be announced on July 15th, 2006.

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Saturday, July 1, 2006

Rush reference in popular online comic, PvP
3:50PM EST | link | comments (0) |

PVP comic Rush reference[PvP: Strip for Friday, 30 June 2006]

PvP (aka Player vs. Player) is a popular online comic strip created by Scott Kurtz. It chronicles the adventures of a fictional video game magazine company and its employees and gets around 100,000 visitors daily. Yesterday's strip contained an unmistakable Rush reference. Check out the poster behind the character Scott. Many thanks to reader Eric M. for sending me the link.

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Happy Canada Day!
8:45AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Geddy Lee at the 1993 All-Star Game[Geddy Lee sings O Canada at 1993 All-Star Game]

Today is Canada Day; Canada's national holiday. In celebration I uploaded this video of Geddy Lee singing the Canadian National Anthem, O Canada to YouTube. You can watch it here. I hope all you Canadians out there have a nice holiday weekend - and the same goes for all you Americans (like me) celebrating the 4th of July this weekend. Here are the lyrics to O Canada so you can all sing along with Geddy.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

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