UPDATE - 2/28@6:35PM: I haven't heard anything else about this, but I trust the Power Windows source at Anthem. If they say it's bogus, then it's bogus. So until we hear any offical word, I'm assuming that May 1st is the release date.
UPDATE - 2/28@9:21AM: In a post over at CounterpartsPower Windows is saying that he spoke with a contact at Anthem and they say this claim is bogus. Let's hope they're right. If I hear anything else I'll let you know.
Blabbermouth.net is reporting that the release date of Rush's upcoming album Snakes and Arrows has been pushed back one week to May 8th. This info comes straight from Atlantic records apparently. Oh well... what's one more week? Right?? ARGHH!
UPDATE - 3/1@3:40PM:Lifeson's son points out in the comments this post at the sportsjournalists.com forum from someone who was at the shoot for the commercial. He describes how cool Geddy was as well as gives some more details about the commercial:
Had a chance to meet an early rock hero of mine last week: Geddy Lee.
All you Rush fans (assuming there are some on the board) might like to know that he couldn't have been a nicer, more gracious, down-to-earth, good humored guy. It was a shoot for ESPN fantasy baseball -- Geddy's a HUGE, lifelong baseball fan, and it's a rock-themed baseball commercial, hence his inclusion -- w/ a bizarro cast of Peter Gammons, John Kruk, Gary Sheffield, Buster Olney, Bronson Arroyo (who also has some serious musical chops), Joe Borowski, Jennie Finch, Billy the Marlin, two hot "dancers", Carlos Lee and his distant Canadian cousin (as the two of them joked) Geddy, who was a kid in a candy store with the players and writers. He really knows his baseball, too, and more than held his own talking shop with the ESPN guys, even Gammons (who was a true gentleman, and another hero of mine). Geddy was scheduled to give us a couple hours -- tops -- and stayed about 12, recording lyrics and bass lines for the original music, making sure we had everything we needed from him, afterwards signing a zillion pics, DVDs, CDs, etc. for fellow cast members, crew, everyone. Just a great, great dude -- in fact, the whole cast couldn't have been cooler or un-"diva"-like, all of them staying well beyond their allotted times, all interested in the process & having fun with it.
Anyway, just felt it was worth mentioning here since many stars these days (as you sports journalism pros know better than anyone) can be miles from accommodating...and I thought you Rush fans would get a kick out of hearing about Geddy, especially with their new album/tour around the corner.
--- snip ---
It's certainly no secret to Rush fans that Geddy Lee is an avid baseball fan so this news probably won't come as a big surprise. Veteran sports television and radio talk authority Jim Rome has a show on ESPN called Jim Rome is Burning. Last week (Friday, Feb. 23rd I think) he interviewed Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo. During the interview Arroyo mentioned that he was doing the interview during a break from shooting an ESPN commercial with some other players and Geddy Lee. Jim Rome asked him if Geddy was a baseball fan. Arroyo said that he thought he was and that he remembers seeing him behind home plate in Toronto a lot. Interesting. I couldn't find any more info on when this commercial might air but my guess is just prior to when baseball season starts, which would be later next month. So keep your eyes out for it. Many thanks to reader Doug J for spotting this.
UPDATE - 3/1@12:18AM: I added a couple pics from the article courtesy iluvgeddy05 at The Rush Forum which I was alerted to by the ever helpful MitA. The pics show the boys in the studio at Allaire in New York.
The latest issue of Revolver magazine has an interview with Geddy Lee where he discusses their upcoming album Snakes and Arrows, due out May 1st. He describes the album thusly:
... "It's hard to describe," said Lee. "It's big, it's bold, and I think it's some of the best work we've done in years. I'm really pleased with the quality of the songs, and there's lots of playing on it."...
He also goes on to describe how the band's 2004 EP Feedback influenced the recording process on this latest album:
... "Playing those songs that we loved and grew up on, I think it helped us remember how sometimes it's the simplicity or the directness of an arrangement that really makes a great song," said Lee. "And the other thing is, we played all together in the studio for a lot of the 'Feedback' stuff. That's something that a lot of producers had been pushing us to do for a while but which we hadn't done in years. It was great to turn off the click and just play - you know, not worry so much about being so, quote, metronomic - and that definitely carried over into this record." ...
The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honor that can be presented by the Canadian Government. 10 years ago today Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were given this prestigious honor at Rideau Hall in Ottawa (the official residence of the Governor General of Canada). It marked the first time that the award was given to a group rather than an individual. Here is a transcription of what was said about the band when they were presented with the award. You can also watch the video of this presentation here.
Members of the progressive rock trio Rush. These veterans of the stage have raised over a million dollars for charities such as food banks and The United Way. Their efforts have enhanced an awareness of the plight faced by society's less fortunate, inspiring and awakening the social consciousness of an entire generation. Musicians far and wide have been influenced by the band's accomplishments - a testament to their contribution to popular music.
You can also watch the CBC news broadcast about the event here. The broadcast shows reactions from fans and the band along with some background on the Order of Canada. It also includes a brief interview with author and Canadian pop culture critic Geoff Pevere (author of Mondo Canuck) where he lovingly refers to the band as tenacious hosers.
I recently located online an 8-minute clip of a one-hour Rush biography special titled The Story of ... Rush which aired on MuchMusic in 2002. The clip features old Rush footage and interviews along with a current (at the time) interview of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson with Bill Welychka at the Anthem offices in Toronto, ON. You can check out the clip here. Thanks to reader Shane for the heads up.
Undeniably the Canadian Godfathers of Prog, Rush evolved from a bare bones barroom rock band into a full-fledged Prog trio before shifting off into more streamlined synth enhanced fare by the late '80s. This album showcases Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neal Pert in fine form as they delivered a conceptual album based on the writings of Ayn Rand. While tracks like "A Passage To Bangkok" may not be exactly Prog, the first side of the album, a whopping 20-minute, 33-second suite broken into seven sections, more than qualifies as a benchmark of the genre.
Here's the top 10:
1. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Atco, 1974) 2. King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (EG, 1969) 3. Aphrodite's Child - 666: The Apocalypse Of Saint John (One Way, 1972) 4. Yes - Close To The Edge (Atlantic Records, 1972) 5. Marillion - Misplaced Childhood (1985) 6. Emerson, Lake And Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery (Atlantic, 1973) 7. Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick (Chrysalis, 1972) 8. Nektar - A Tab In The Ocean (Bellaphon, 1972) 9. Gentle Giant - In A Glass House (Dressed To Kill, 1973) 10. Rush - 2112 (Mercury, 1976)
Earlier this week I put up a post about jazz trio The Bad Plus and how their upcoming album will contain a jazzed-up cover of Tom Sawyer. Today I found this article on the Bad Plus from The Daily Record. It confirms that the Tom Sawyer cover will appear on the new album along with covers of Burt Bacharach's This Guy's in Love with You, David Bowie's Life on Mars, and Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
I found this bootleg of Earthshine from the Vapor Trails tour on YouTube - exact date and venue unknown.
BlogCritics.org's blog critic of the month for February is Tom Johnson, who happens to be a huge Rush fan. He even met his wife through a Rush mailing list (the National Midnight Star I assume). When asked What book/CD/DVD do you have more than one copy of, in case something happens to the original one? he answers like a true Rush fan would:
You know, it's funny, I don't really think like that. I don't really keep backups of stuff. I have "extras" of things in odd ways, such as the fact that I have two copies each of Rush's Signals, Moving Pictures, and 2112. Not because they're all my favorites (although Signals actually is one of my personal faves) but because I have both the standard CD version that you can find in most stores as well as the high-falutin' Mobile Fidelity gold-CD versions that are long out of print now. And I have dual copies of the remasters of their four more recent albums on Atlantic simply because the original booklets are far superior printings (the remasters are very cheap looking scans of the originals.) But this is the only occasion where I've doubled up and kept them.
And this brings up kind of a funny story of having two copies of the same thing - Rush-related again. Back when Roll The Bones came out, I picked it up after whatever classes I was taking at ASU were over and headed to a friend's apartment to listen. Not more than three songs in, the power went out and stayed out until I had to leave, hoping that it would come back on and I could continue listening. It was not to be, and my brand new, unlistened-to Rush CD was bound to be stuck in the CD player hours. There was obviously only one option. I headed right back to the store and bought another copy to listen to until I got back to her place to pick it up a few days later!
One of the coolest clips I've ever seen of 70s-era Rush live is this clip of La Villa Strangiato from a June 4, 1979 show at the Pinkpop festival in Geleen, Holand; the last performance of the Hemispheres European tour. Another clip from this show recently popped up on YouTube. It's only a minute long and in black-and-white but good quality otherwise. It shows a portion of the song 2112: Presentation and then cuts to the last few bars of La Villa Strangiato. Several pans of the crowd are also interspersed. It looks like it might be from a news broadcast of some sort, but I can't be sure. You can check it out here.
I've received several emails about this so I thought I'd finally set the record straight. Rush.com has a new promo image for the Snakes & Arrows album up on their site. It's exactly the same as the first one except that it has a different background image which includes a pic of the band. A lot of fans have speculated that this image was a new one and a possible promo pic for the new album. Well, it's not. The image is actually a few years old and was originally used as the cover image on the 2004 Martin Popoff book Contents Under Pressure. So no new album artwork or pics ... yet.
Last October the popular Candian TV show the Trailer Park Boys made its big screen debut in Canada. The movie was a resounding success garnering the highest opening-weekend gross of any English-language homegrown film. Alex Lifeson was heavily involved in the making of the film's soundtrack (Geddy Lee also participated) and also got a cameo as a cop in the movie. The film is also riddled with Rush references including a movie marquee (screenshot supplied by Power Windows) which lists several Rush song titles as movies. In December the news came out that Myriad Pictures of Los Angeles had purchased U.S. and world rights (excluding Canada) for the movie and planned to put the film into commercial release this year. Whether this will actually happen or not I'm unclear on, but yesterday the film was released to DVD in Canada. It is also available via various private vendors in the US and elsewhere. I should also note that the entire film has already been uploaded to YouTube in 10 parts here. Not sure how long they'll be up though, so watch 'em while they're hot!
The latest batch of rumors regarding the new album started floating around the message boards yesterday. They're of the friend-of-a-friend variety so I had some doubts about posting them. But hey! Why the hell not?! It actually all sounds fairly believable. It comes from someone on a Kings X (great band by the way) board who is friends with producer Nick Raskulinecz's assistant. Here's the first post:
I just got off the phone with my boy Louie (Nick's assistant) and he was freaking out. He is a HUGE Rush fan and he said that last night he got to go to the studio to hear the final mix of the new Rush album. It was only him, Nick, the band and about 10 of the band's friends. He's now gotten to hang with them a few times and said he has to keep his cool and not geek out. He said Geddy pulled him aside and said "Your boy Nick is the best young producer we've seen. The sky is the limit for him".
So I asked him his impression of the album and he said "In one word, exciting". He said the jam all over it, a couple of instrumentals that will blow your mind and the pace of the songs is more exciting than they have done in a long, long time. Plus, Nick got them to break out some of the old gear and it made a difference.
All in all, he said he wouldn't say it sounded like old Rush. But he said fans of old Rush will like it alot.
And in a later post he relays this conversation with Nick's assistant:
I just got off the phone with Nick. I've never heard him so fired up about a record he's done. He said he is normally so burned out on material by the time the album is done, but not this time.
And that snippet that we've heard, Alex played the same amp on it that he played on Hemispheres.
He also said they plan on putting it out on vinyl as well, a double album. The album is 60 minutes long.
To quote him: "The instrumentals are sick".
In summary, there are 2 "sick" instrumentals; the album is 60 minutes long; old gear was used (which jibes with an earlier rumor about a mellotron being utilized); Alex used the same amp he used when recording Hemispheres on Far Cry; and the album will be available on vinyl. Rumor or not - this is all great news.
UPDATE - 2/23@10:04PM: Reader Samuel S posted this in the comments but I thought I should call your attention to it. It's a link to the website for Ocean Way Studios (Studio D) where the mixing was done. The site has several great pics. Check it out here.
As we've known for some time now, Richard Chycki was in charge of mixing the upcoming Rush album Snakes and Arrows. Richard has a blog and over the weekend put up a post about the experience of working with Rush and producer Nick Raskulinecz. Here it is:
Since the late fall, I've been in the studio recording and mixing a new CD for Rush with Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour) producing. Recording was completed at Allaire Studios in Shokan, New York during November/December 2006. I mixed the CD in the Neve 88R room (Studio D) at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles.
Experiencing their immense musical talent and personal integrity over the course of an entire CD was truly inspirational. And Nick is such an enthusiastic, focused talent as well -- a rocker through and through too. A small snippet of the first single 'Far Cry' is posted at rush.com .... enjoy the 'hemispheres chord' ... heh heh heh.
As a side note, Rush's R30 DVD has been nominated for a Juno Award for DVD of the Year....
So Richard also sees the Hemispheres comparison! There's also a neat pic of Rush, Nick and Rich in the studio. Thanks to reader Alessandro M for the heads up.
UDPATE - 2/20@4:25PM: The results are in! Thanks to everybody's help, mtb2112 got over 500 completed surveys to work with. To see all the gory details just scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the more link. Otherwise, here's the summary:
Camera Eye - 25.59983 Jacob's Ladder - 11.11279 Entre Nous - 7.75004 Available Light - 5.04734 Freeze - 4.38702 Presto - 4.11870 Vapor Trail - 3.60910 Losing It - 3.56062 Cut to the Chase - 3.50728 The Weapon - 2.96026 Marathon - 2.84010 Enemy Within - 2.72391 Digital Man - 2.45450 Grand Designs - 2.25309 Territories - 2.14813 Alien Shore - 2.13037 Mission - 2.04785 Prime Mover - 1.75696 Totem - 1.68465 Chemistry - 1.29707 Grace to Grace - 1.14363 Turn the Page - 1.13075 How It Is - 1.13009 Everyday Glory - 0.96792 Out of the Cradle - 0.64063 Second Nature - 0.49197 Hand Over Fist - 0.46073 High Water - 0.44092 Carve Away the Stone - 0.41654 Promise - 0.18722
Many, many thanks to mtb2112 for putting this together and compiling the results. If you liked this survey you should also check out the online Rush setlist petition.
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Reader mtb2112 sent me this very interesting Rush survey/questionnaire (for lack of a better term). I'll let him do the explaining:
Below is a link to an exercise designed to evaluate the appeal of Rush songs that have never, or rarely, been performed live. This is much more than the usual 'rank your favorite songs' questionnaire.
This is a form of 'Conjoint' or 'MaxDiff' work that introduces trade- offs into the process. Basically, you'll be presented with multiple "mini sets" of 6 songs- and you pick the one you'd most like to hear and the one you'd least like to hear from each set. Everyone who does this exercise will get different combinations/sets.
I set this up because:
- I do this type of research for a living and I wanted a fun way to gather some data to play with as I'm trying to learn more about this type of analysis.
- Also because I'm genuinely curious about how these results will pan out. If I get enough people to do this, I'll post some results. Send the link to anyone you think is interested and familiar with enough Rush material to offer real opinions.
There are no restrictions on access-- but for data integrity's sake, please don't do it more than once. I have a cap of 300 or so total completes.
More notes, if interested... Due to software and mathematical limitations, only a total of 30 songs are evaluated. To narrow the list, I focused on Permanent Waves material and newer.
I'm very interested to see how the results turn out.
A View from the Palace is one of the better-known pro-shot Rush live bootlegs. It was shot at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan on March 22, 1994. It was taped off of arena's video system for use on the arena scoreboards and broadcast to luxury boxes and suites so the quality is very good for a bootleg. A few songs from this boot began surfacing on YouTube last August. I just located another one - Hemispheres: Prelude which you can watch here. With all the talk of Rush's new Far Cry single snippet sounding like Hemispheres, I thought this video was very timely. Here are some other vids from the same bootlelg:
UPDATE - 2/23@10:36PM: I just noticed this article on the Bad Plus from The Daily Record. It confirms that the Tom Sawyer cover will appear on the new album along with covers of Burt Bacharach's This Guy's in Love with You, David Bowie's Life on Mars, Tears for Fears' and Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
Last week I posted about jazz group the Alex Skolnick Trio and their jazz cover of Tom Sawyer. It seems that their penchant for performing jazz versions of rock songs is not unique. Minnesota-based jazz trio The Bad Plus is also known for this practice. Back in September I received an email from reader Andy S who had recently seen The Bad Plus perform live at The Blue Note in New York. He emailed me because the trio had performed a cover of Tom Sawyer and mentioned that they would be including the song on their next album. I filed this information away for later use, and then last week I got another email about The Bad Plus from reader Dave. The band has a blog and had put up an amusing post about Rush where they mention their cover of Tom Sawyer. The post is a fun little back-and-forth between members Ethan Iverson and drummer David King where they talk about how great a drummer Neil Peart is.
The trio's new album which will include their cover of Tom Sawyer was recorded this past fall and is due out in April. You can find out all about the band at their official site here, and listen to some of their tunes on their MySpace page.
This is a 400 page coffee table book with all of Rush's tour books to date, a total of 15 books. The books have been reproduced and bound together in a black, cloth-wrapped 12" X 12" book. Every cover of every book is printed on cover stock. The front cover is debossed in black and silver foil with the starman logo. There is a two-page introduction written by Neil Peart, detailing his involvement in the design and content of every Rush tour book going back to 1977.
This item retails for $100 USD, so good luck to you!!
This contest closes on February 28th. Our system only accepts one entry per email address.
Good luck! Thanks to reader Charles K for the heads up.
The Rush PR machine has been working overtime since the official news about the new Rush album came out 2 days ago. The press release is plastered all over the net and elsewhere - it's even been spotted on the CNN news crawl. This one from Billboard.com was one of the first and exemplifies most of the ones I've seen so far:
Rush has set a May 1 release date for its 18th studio album, "Snakes & Arrows." The Anthem/Atlantic set will be preceded by the single "Far Cry," which will hit U.S. rock radio outlets in mid-March. "Snakes & Arrows" is the follow-up to 2002's "Vapor Trails."
Drummer Neil Peart previously told Billboard.com some of his lyrics for the new songs were inspired by his motorcycle journeys throughout the United States, chronicled in his book "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums."
"Just seeing the power of evangelical Christianity and contrasting that with the power of fundamentalist religion all over the world in its different forms had a big effect on me," he said.
"You try to put your own way of seeing the world into some kind of congruence with other peoples, and that's difficult for me," he admits. "I mean, I see the world in what I think to be a perfectly obvious and rational way, but when you go out into it and see the way other people think and behave, and express themselves on church signs, you realize, 'Well, I'm not really part of this club.'"
Dates have yet to be announced, but Rush will return to the road for the first time in three years this summer.
UPDATE - 2/17@10:10AM: The inevitable has of course happened - the clip has been turned into an mp3 and passed all over the net. One anonymous reader sent me a link to the clip and you can listen to it using the player above. It's also up on YouTube here. I've also seen it posted to a couple messageboards.
Rush.com has confirmed that the album will indeed be titled Snakes & Arrows and be released on May 1st! Better yet they have a very short but sweet (15 seconds or so, no vocals) sample of the single Far Cry. Just go to Rush.com to check out the clip. Judging by the clip, the new album is indeed heavier and more powerful - very Hemispherical. :)
A couple of months ago the news broke that Alex Lifeson along with King Crimson's Robert Fripp would be making a guest appearance on the new album from British progsters Porcupine Tree. The album will be titled Fear Of A Blank Planet and is due to be released via Atlantic Records on April 24th. The band recently released the track listing for the album and Alex Lifeson appears on track 3. The track is titled Anesthetize, clocks in at 17 minutes and 42 seconds and features a guitar solo from Lerxst. From ign.com:
Venerable post-post-modern/post-millennial neo-prog rock outfit Porcupine Tree will be releasing their latest studio effort, Fear Of A Blank Planet, via Atlantic Records on April 24th, 2007.
The album features six songs that were mixed and mastered by frontman Stephen Wilson. Rush guitarist Alex Lifesone pops up with a numbing guitar solo on "Anesthetize" while legendary King Crimson axe man Robert Fripp drops in on "Way Out There."
The album will be available in stereo and 5.1 versions in both a 2-disc limited special edition, as well as a DVD-Audio release.
Fear Of A Blank Planet Track Listing
1. FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET 2. MY ASHES 3. ANESTHETIZE 4 SENTIMENTAL 5. WAY OUT OF HERE 6. SLEEP TOGETHER
Starwood Amphitheater closing; Rush tour kickoff venue now in doubt
Hmm... this shines some doubt on the rumored tour kickoff date. The Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville, which was where Rush was supposed to kick off the tour, has been closed. All previously scheduled shows have been canceled. So I guess this means that the tour won't be kicking off at the Starwood. From the Tennessean.com:
Starwood Amphitheatre in Antioch has been closed by its parent company, Live Nation, in advance of a likely sale to an undisclosed buyer, a company spokesman confirmed today.
"We are in serious discussions with a buyer for the Starwood Amphitheatre. We have made the decision to close the amphitheatre pending the completion of the deal, which has resulted in the eliminations of several positions from the venue," Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin said in a statement.
The company also confirmed that the potential buyer is not an entertainment company, suggesting that the land will likely go to a real estate developer. Live Nation declined to identify who may be on the other end of the deal or an ageed-upon price for the site. It's unclear who's buying the site or for what purpose. At this point the site is zoned for commercial use.
In closing the 65-acre outdoor venue, Live Nation effectively scrapped Starwood's 2007 concert season, reversing an earlier pledge from the company not to do so. ...
So does this mean that the tour will still kickoff in Nashville but at some other venue? Or somewhere else? If anybody has any insight, please share. Thanks to reader Dustin M and the Power Windows site for the news.
Neil Peart has been very busy on MySpace lately. This past weekend he sent out one bulletin regarding the unconfirmed tour dates that have been leaked to the net (he just confirmed their unconfirmed status) and another concerning an unofficial Rush MySpace page that was claiming to be official (it has since been removed). Over the last couple days he's sent out several more interesing updates. Here they are courtesy readers Peggy and Justin:
Date: Feb 12, 2007 6:19 AM Subject: Once and for all -For the cynics lurking about; Fair enough! Body: For the cynics lurking about; Fair enough! How do you know Neil Peart on MySpace is authentic?
Simple: Rush.com leads to Neilpeart.net Neilpeart.net leads to here.
Clear it up? Good I thought so.
So yes, as I've said many times before using this same reasoning, Neil Peart's MySpace page is indeed official. Then there's this one where he's still going off on the fake Rush page.
Date: Feb 12, 2007 6:36 AM Subject: link Body: Still operates with impunity. Is there not cyber justice??
Thank you all for you support!
And this one is interesting ...
Date: Feb 12, 2007 9:16 PM Subject: I love this free Monday - more questions answered.... Body: I moderate this site as I can, however, my tour Riding Partner and Director of Security for RUSH for eight years (you can read all about in Roadshow) helps me moderate this site.
So yes - sometimes me, Sometimes Michael AKA SPQR.
So Neil does actually moderate the site - with some help from Michael. I kinda thought this was the case but now it's confirmed. As Neil suggests, read Roadshow to learn all about Michael.
In this next one he mentions the tour:
Date: Feb 12, 2007 8:56 PM Subject: Tour dates... Body: The dates are not confirmed yet, that's why they are not on rush.com. So far it seems the first show will begin in Nashville June 13th...
Don't hold us to it.
Management is still working!
Again, he's saying basically the same thing we've been hearing for the past week or so; the tour will probably start on June 13th in Nashville - but nothing's been finalized yet. And here's the last one ... victory at last against the evil Rush impersonator! :)
Date: Feb 12, 2007 7:21 PM Subject: Since people are asking... Body: RUSH, as a band, does not have a page on MySpace, nor do Gedd or Alex. There are many fan sites which is fine, but only one Official site run by Neil and his office.
PS: http://www.myspace.com/rushband is GONE!
Thanks to all!
It's both very cool and very uncharacteristic that Neil Peart seems so into the whole internet thing now. I certainly welcome it. I think I'll finally have to get a MySpace page set up for rushisaband just so I can get these bulletins.
Classic Rock station 98.5 WNCX out of my beautiful hometown of Cleveland, Ohio is running a contest to determine the Greatest Band of All Time. Rush is on the ballot, so go vote! Thanks to reader Charles K for the heads upl
NASHVILLE, TN - SESAC, the nation's fastest growing performing rights organization, has signed legendary rock group, RUSH for U.S. representation. One of the music world's most successful and revered rock bands, RUSH has been a mainstay on rock stations for more than three decades accumulating multiple platinum and an astonishing 24 gold albums. The band has also dominated the radio airwaves with such smash singles as perennial favorites "Tom Sawyer" and "Closer To The Heart". With a live show matched by few in the industry, RUSH has also established themselves as one of the most popular touring bands ever.
"SESAC couldn't be more excited to sign RUSH to our incredible roster of affiliates," says Pat Collins, President/COO, SESAC. "RUSH is a truly iconic band that continues to create incredible music and entertain hundreds of thousands of fans at their live concert events so signing an act of their stature is a thrill. We are honored to have RUSH in the SESAC family."
"Signing with SESAC was a natural for RUSH," says SRO Management's VP, Pegi Cecconi. "SESAC represents some incredible artists so the band knew they would be in great hands and feel honored to be part of an amazing team." ...
SESAC and other performance rights organizations exist to collect and distribute royalties on behalf of audio and video artists, for performances of their copyrighted works under copyright law. Thanks to reader George F for passing on the news.
Word: The legendary Pick Of Destiny. Who's had it before you?
JB: Mozart had it. Beethoven had it. Robert Johnson had it. The Beatles had it. KG: Chuck Berry didn't have it, he was just really good. Did not need it. Elvis had it and tried to eat it. JB: Little Jimmy Morrison had it. Richard Marx did not have it. A-Ha had it for like one song.
Word: Who's got it now?
Have moustachioed prog-metallers Rush ever had it? Their 1976 album 2112 has a pretty similar story line.
JB: No. The truth is, the pick has never made it to Canada. They just wouldn't know what to do with it. I'll tell you this though. If Rush had had it, their lyrics would have been a lot better.
As you probably know by now, Neil Peart has an official page on MySpace and occasionally will send out a bulletin to his friends. In a couple of bulletins that went out yesterday he addressed some of the recent Rush rumors. The first dealt with all the unconfirmed tour dates that were leaked to the Net earlier this week:
From: Neil Peart Subject: Myths and Up & Coming Facts Body: My trusty MySpace Music Soldiers, Tour dates floating around are not confirmed. Check out Rush.com for the confirmed 2007 tour schedule! We can't wait to see you on the road! -NEP
So Neil basically confirms that the unconfirmed tour dates are unconfirmed. :) Don't worry Neil - we already knew that. The second bulletin deals with this unofficial MySpace page which claims to be the official Rush page. I had figured that it wasn't and didn't even bother to mention it here. But Mr. Peart felt obliged to address it and says the following:
From: Neil Peart Subject: I hate it when this happens... Yet another site is pretending to be the "Official RUSH" page. Users even leave messages to band mates there. To clear the air.... Body: There is NO official RUSH page on MySpace. Poor users. Lied to. Lonely Page maker... I am sure someone knows a way to remove this? http://www.myspace.com/rushband
So unless you hear it from one of the official Rush sites like Rush.com, Rush.net or NeilPeart.net, don't believe stuff like this. More than likely Neil Peart will send out a bulletin about it when it happens long before we see it on Rush.com or Rush.net though. These sites have been next to useless when it comes to Rush news. But props to Neil for keeping us all informed. Thanks goes to readers Neil C and Peggy for the heads up.
UPDATE - 2/12@2:24PM:Power Windows found a previously recorded live version of the song here. In this version, which is not on the album, Tom Sawyer is more easily recognizable - especially towards the end.
The Alex Skolnick Trio is an experimental jazz band formed by former Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick in 2001. They are known for their inventive jazz take on hard rock and heavy metal classics. Their new album Last Day in Paradise will be released on March 15th. It consists of seven original compositions along with three arrangements of hard rock standards including Rush's Tom Sawyer. You can listen to this heavily "jazzified" and barely recognizable version of Tom Sawyer at this location or use the player above. For more information and audio samples go here.
Friday, February 9, 2007
New Rush single Far Cry to hit radio on March 19-20
Apparently Rush and the Foo Fighters got together to watch the Superbowl this past Sunday at producer Nick Raskulinecz's house. In an MTV.com article about Prince's covering of the Foo Fighters tune Best of You at this year's Superbowl halftime show, Foo drummer Taylor Hawkins states the following:
"Dude, I have no idea why he did it, but I'd love to find out," Hawkins laughed."I mean, the thought went through my head that maybe he was doing it as a sort of 'F--- you' to us, or maybe he really likes the song. Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince covering one of our songs - and actually doing it better than we did."
Hawkins said he was clueless about Prince's plans to work "Best of You" into his Super Bowl set. "I was watching the game at our producer [Nick] Raskulinecz's house, and since he's doing the new Rush album, all the guys from the band were there," he said. "I mean, I'm outside smoking a cigarette with [Rush drummer] Neil Peart and someone sticks their head outside and goes, 'Uh, dude, Prince is doing your song.' " Hawkins said he hasn't heard from anyone in Prince's camp about the cover (neither has MTV News, which made several attempts to contact him about his Super Bowl medley).
The nominees for the 2007 Juno Awardshave been announced and Rush's live DVD R30 is up for music DVD of the year. The individuals involved are Pierre Lamoureux, Pegi Cecconi, Ray Danniels, Allan Weinrib and, of course, Rush. Ray Daniels will also be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame as I reported last December. Here's the blurb from the website:
Allan Weinrib - The executive producer/producer of the Rush R30 DVD is Rush singer/bassist Geddy Lee's brother. In 2004, Weinrib won Music DVD of the Year for Rush In Rio.
Pegi Cecconi - The one-of-a-kind Cecconi works at S.R.O. Management Inc., a management firm and part of Anthem Entertainment Group - an international recording, publishing and merchandising enterprise.
The president and C.E.O. of S.R.O. Management Inc., the management arm of Anthem Entertainment Group, will be inducted into the 2007 Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. He began his career in the music industry booking bands in Toronto. In 1971, he became Canadian rock band Rush's agent and manager and launched Moon Records (later renamed Anthem) to release Rush's self-titled debut.
Rush - The trio is working on its 18th original album since the trio formed in 1968 and released its eponymously-titled debut in 1974. The band has since sold more than 36 million albums worldwide and continues to be one of the top-grossing international touring acts. The last time Rush was in the studio to record original material was for 2002's Vapor Trails. R30 is a live 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD and CD set.
Pierre Lamoureux - Quebec's Lamoureux is the producer of Rush's R30, Killing Joke's XXV Gathering!, Stray Cats' Rumble In Brixton, The Who's Live In Boston, executive producer of Deep Purple's Perihelion - Live In Florida and The Who Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
This is the hardcover edition of Neil's book The Masked Rider. Neil has autographed the inside of this book. This contest closes on February 15th, so get your entries in now! Our system only accepts one entry per email address.
Good luck! Thanks to reader Charles K for the heads up.
New album, tour rumors: single March 13th, tour kickoff June 13th
UPDATE - 2/8@11:08AM: I put these in the comments but I thought they were important enough to stick up here too. Power Windows via his mysterious contact has heard of several more rumored dates. They are as follows:
Jun. 13 - Nashville, TN @ Starwood Amphitheater Jun. 15 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Sound Advice Amphitheater Jun. 16 - Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheater @ Florida State Fairgrounds Jun. 18 - Atlanta, GA @ HiFi Buys Amphitheater Jun. 19 - Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Jun. 27 - Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center Jul. 02 - Wantaugh, NY @ Jones Beach Amphitheater Jul. 04 - Darien Lake, NY @ Six Flags Jul. 07 - Homdel, NJ @ PNC Arts Center
... and there's a possibility that they'll play in Maine for the first time in 20 years. Thanks PW!
-- snip --
The latest album and tour rumors hit the web yesterday evening. Apparently this comes from a source at Atlantic Records but I'm unclear on the exact origin at this time. The album title will be Snakes and Arrows with the first single titled Far Cry (possibly Farcry) to be released on March 13th. This would mean that the album will likely be released a few weeks later in early/mid April, which is consistent with what's been reported so far. As far as the tour goes, Power Windows is reporting that the tour will kickoff on Wednesday June 13th at the Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.
The Word and the Pictures was a two-volume book published in England as a supplemental tour book for the Hemispheres tour. Volume 1 was published in 1979 and Volume 2 in 1980 but both have long been out of print. The books contain pictures of Rush alongside facsimiles of Neil Peart's original lyric sheets. Back in March of last yearAndrew Olson posted all of Volume 1 on his Neil Peart site. He recently did the same with Volume 2. What's particularly cool is this Flash-driven slideshow scan of the entire book. Thanks Andy!
Snakes Alive! - Rush in a rush over new studio album
Long-running Canadian rockers Rush are adding the final touches to their 18th full-length studio album, which will be titled either Snakes and Arrows or Snakes and Ladders when it is released via Atlantic Records in late April/early May.
Co-produced with Nick Raskulinecz (who has previously worked with Foo Fighters, Tenacious D and Stone Sour), Rush recorded the album in 30 days flat - their speediest finish since A Farewell to Kings in 1977. A 'making of' DVD is also likely to be released.
Drummer Neil Peart said recently that the albums' lyrics were inspired by his motorbike trips across America, stories later captured in literary form in a book called Roadshow: Landscape With Drums.
The trio expect to spend most of the year on the road, and undertake a lengthy North American tour kicking off in mid-June; European and South American shows are pencilled in for early 2008.
Now into their 33rd year as recordind artists, Rush are once again overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. "I couldn't care less. Look who's up for induction. It's a joke" guitarist Alex Lifeson said of the snub.
To hear a different side of Alex check out track 3 on our cover CD.
A couple of weeks ago in my From my Readers post, I mentioned a post at the USAToday.com Listen Up music blog (run by Ken Barnes) which addressed the recent inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The comments on the post were full of comments about Rush which prompted Barnes to put up a follow-up post where he discussed Rush's Soundscan record sales from 1991 to the present. He points out that fans seem to prefer the old stuff. They've bought over a million copies of Moving Pictures and nearly 900,000 copies of 1976's 2112 since 1991; more than the numbers for Test for Echo and Vapor Trails combined. Here's the entire post:
Last week, as part of the series of answers to your sales questions, we looked at Donna Summer's sales figures in the SoundScan era (late '91 to now). Continuing with a mini-series on your favorite should-be-Hall-of-Famers, today's sales list deals with Rush. (Next week, Kiss.) Of course, sales isn't necessarily a criterion for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inclusion, but they're a telling indicator of continuing popularity.
Like Summer, Rush's peak came before the SoundScan era -- the trio ran off 19 straight gold or platinum albums before SoundScan started tabulating sales, with 1981's Moving Pictures being certified as quadruple platinum. Most of the sales for those albums are lost in the mists of prehistory. But the band has still racked up sizable sales for its entire catalog in the SoundScan era.
The long list, chronologically arranged, follows. Rush (1974): 197,000 Fly by Night (1975): 219,000 Caress of Steel (1975): 193,000 2112 (1976): 848,000 All the World's a Stage (1976): 246,000 A Farewell to Kings (1977): 258,000 Hemispheres (1978): 269,000 Permanent Waves (1980): 283,000 Moving Pictures (1981): 1.20 million Exit Stage Left (1981): 542,000 Signals (1982): 305,000 Grace Under Pressure (1984): 201,000 Power Windows (1985): 181,000 Hold Your Fire (1987): 232,000 Show of Hands (1989): 173,000 Presto (1989): 152,000 Chronicles (1990): 825,000 Roll the Bones (1991): 1.15 million Counterparts (1993): 772,000 Test for Echo (1996): 490,000 Retrospectives I: 1974-1980 (1997): 168,000 Retrospectives II: 1981-87 (1997): 203,000 Different Stages (1998): 277,000 Vapor Trails (2002): 338,000 Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits (2003): 502,000 Rush in Rio (2003): 144,000 Feedback (2004): 160,000 (my favorite Rush album, if that means anything. One of the best covers albums)
So what can we conclude from this data?
1. Rush sure has a lot of albums 2. Fans prefer the old stuff to the new stuff: No album of new material has topped 500,000 since 1993's Counterparts. 3. But fans really buy that old stuff, snapping up a number of hits collections and retrospectives in various configurations, all with sales in six figures. Plus, selling nearly 900,000 copies of 1976's sci-fi concept album 2112 since 1991 is a really impressive achievement.
Very interesting. Many thanks to Counterparts member The Pass for the heads up.
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Rush-inspired jewelry for Valentine's Day at Between Sun and Moon
Back before Christmas I mentioned Between Sun and Moon in a post about Rush-themed merchandise. It's an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise. The site owner, Katy, kindly offered an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers. The coupon is good through the end of 2007. So with Valentine's Day fast approaching now would be a great time to take advantage of it. Just enter the discount code RUSHISABAND for Free Shipping with a $30.00 purchase! Thanks Katy!