About 10 years ago this past August I remember poking around on the 'net for some Rush news. The summer was just about over and Rush had recently finished up their Test For Echo tour. I was anxious to hear if there was any news on the band reconvening to start recording another album. Much to my dismay, I instead came across a bit of news that made my heart drop to the floor; Neil Peart's only child Selena had been killed in a car accident on August 10, 1997. Outside of feeling absolutely horrible for Neil and his family I also remember thinking, well... that's it for Rush. And when I found out less than a year later that his wife had died of cancer... that pretty much sealed it. I was essentially convinced that Rush was over; I had come to that conclusion in my mind and reluctantly accepted it. I had to content myself with the music they'd made thus far, the possible outside solo project from Alex or Geddy and perhaps a book or two from Neil. A few years later when I heard that the band had been working on new material I about cried for joy. I still didn't believe it though. Until I heard those first few tracks from Vapor Trails there was always some doubt in my mind that it wouldn't happen. And even when Vapor Trails came out I wasn't convinced the band would still tour or even do another album. I was just happy they had done something; anything beyond that was gravy. Well... they thankfully proved me wrong. For the past 5 years they've been doing nothing but pouring on the gravy with one project after another and no end in sight; the Vapor Trails tour, Rush in Rio, Feedback, The 30th anniversary tour, R30, Replay, Snakes & Arrows, The Snakes & Arrows tour, etc. And now 2008 will see the band's 5th Grammy nomination, yet another tour, a live DVD and a Rush documentary. It's definitely going to be another great year for Rush and their fans. Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
New Tiles track featuring Alex Lifeson now available online
UPDATE - 1/9@2:56PM: If you want to grab the mp3 source file for the song (it plays as background music on their website's landing page) you can grab it here. I know a few of you had some trouble getting the song to play. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the info.
Detroit prog rockers Tiles will be releasing their new CD Fly Paper on InsideOut Music in the US next month on January 29th. Alex Lifeson plays on the track Sacred and Mundane which the band has made available for listening on their website at this link (proper plugins required). It's the single-edit version and is about 2-minutes shorter than what's on the official release. All the predominant guitars heard on the track are Alex Lifeson (electric and acoustic). A promotional video for the track was also recently completed and should be released in the run-up to the album's release next month. In addition to featuring Lerxst himself, the album has a couple of other Rush connections; it was produced by former Rush producer Terry Brown and Hugh Syme did the cover (and also plays keyboards on a couple tracks).
Guitar Hero Lego guitar modeled after Geddy Lee jazz bass
I'm closing down the Rush Pub chat area. It's just become too much of a nuisance for me to deal with. While most members who used the Pub were courteous and civil with one another, a few bad apples were not. These folks insisted on consistently getting into childish arguments with one another, using personal attacks and basically acting like 5-year-olds on a playground. I figured a few friendly warnings would put a halt to this behavior but it hasn't. Lately almost every day I recieve some sort of complaint from someone regarding the Pub. I just don't have the time nor the inclination to deal with it anymore. It's started to detract from the primary purpose of this site, which is to be a Rush news feed. This site was never meant to be a message board or a chatroom. There are plenty of other Rush sites that offer these services; Counterparts, The Rush Forum, Rush Tour Forum to name a few. For those of you who want that functionality I highly suggest you sign up at one of these sites and check out what they have to offer.
For those of you who haven't been around since the Pub was set up back in July, here's a little background. Prior to the Pub, people had been using the regular post comments as a sort of "chat" area; they'd post back and forth to each other using just a few words per comment. These chat comments tended to be off topic and would clutter up the post comments. I received a lot of complaints from people about it. Rather than start banning people left and right, I figured that it'd be better to just give these folks who want to conduct this type of chat their own separate area to do so. Thus the "Rush Pub" chat comment thread was born. I then was able to be more strict about the post comments themselves and have them kept on-topic.
So now that the Pub is gone, I will be a little more strict regarding regular comment posts. So I politely ask everyone to continue to try and keep comments related to the topic at hand or at least Rush-related in some way. My definition of Rush-related is pretty loose, so I don't want people to worry too much about that.
So to those of you who enjoyed using the Pub and followed all the rules (the vast majority of users) I'm very sorry that it had to come to this point.
This should be a relatively quick update since not much has happened in the last week; everyone's been busy with the holidays, me included.
First off, the tour. It's been getting some good press and was a featured story on several mainstream news sites earlier this week. I haven't received any new information lately regarding dates/venues other than the news reported earlier this week that some of the South American dates may be in question. Also, the ever-mysterious Drew2112 over at Counterparts is claiming that this tour will be extra special and that it will draw more than 2007 as far as attendance. Drew's info is usually accurate if not annoyingly vague, so there's probably something to it. He's dropped a couple of obscure hints and stated that it's not a farewell tour, but otherwise hasn't given any solid info. He says to stay tuned to Rush.com for details; nothing there yet as of this post though. To join in all the speculation check out this thread at Counterparts.
I'd mentioned back in November that Workin' Them Angels would be released as the next single from Snakes & Arrows in the run-up to the official tour announcement next month. I haven't heard anything from official channels yet, but a few fans have let me know that they've put the song in rotation in at least one major market; Chicago's WLUP.
The Rush Fan Film project (first mentioned here back in June) is finally starting to get off the ground. The site has a YouTube channel and there's a 6+ minute music video for The Main Monkey Business up featuring RushTour.com member's meetups from the North American portion of the Snakes and Arrows tour. You can check it out here. I'm in there for about half a second, signing the RushTour.com banner; if you blink you'll miss it.
If you haven't listened to the lost Power Windows demo tapes yet, be sure to check out this post; alll 8 tracks are now available.
For some reason, Blabbermouth and some other rock news sites are just now reporting that Neil Peart won Drummer of the Year (along with 4 other awards) in DRUM! Magazine's 2007 Drummie Awards. This news first came out back in September and was printed in the November issue of DRUM!. Anyways, several of you emailed me about it so I thought I'd give it another mention. Congrats Neil! ... again. :)
Also, several of you emailed me about the Guitar Legends special edition of Guitar World Magazine which was released a few weeks ago and featured Rush. I'd first mentioned this back in November. Most folks who have picked it up give it rave reviews.
UPDATE - 1/4@11:32AM: I have it on good authority that the South American dates will happen, so there's nothing to worry about on that front. I'm unsure why those Chilean papers reported that the dates were in question. Again.. my sources are assuring me that these dates are still on. I'll let you know of anything else I learn.
Several weeks ago I reported that Rush would be spending around 2 weeks touring South America as part of the 2008 extension of the Snakes & Arrows tour. Indeed, shortly after that several South American newspapers and websites were reporting that Rush was expected to make stops in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Brazil sometime in May. And just last week I let you know that the 7 dates in South America would be at the following venues:
Estadio do Maracana - Rio de Janiero, BRAZIL Estadio do Morumbi - Sao Paulo , BRAZIL Castelao - Fortaleza, BRAZIL Estadio Beira-Rio - Porto Alegre, BRAZIL Estadio de Nacional Chile - Santiago, Chile (May 1) El Monumental - Buenos Aires, Argentina Estadio de Nacional Peru - Lima, Peru (May 4)
The Chile date has been tentatively set for May 1st, the Peru date for May 4th. However, just recently I've received word from several South American fans that some newspapers had been reporting that these dates were now in question. Vinnie2112 let me know that in the El Mercurio from just a few days ago there was an article titled Rush show in Chile remains in suspense. From the article (loose translation):
It was going to be in may, but some adjustments made by the band place some doubt.
It is true that there was no official announcement. But industry insiders, international web sites and the band members themselves, have all stated that the possibility of a latin-american Rush tour was a near certainty and would include a May 1st date at the Estadio de Nacional in Chile
But the long awaited dream by numerous local fans and one of the largest megaevents forecast for 2008 may have to wait. Due to a series of adjustments in the trio's tour, their route through the region will be moved from towards the beginning of the tour, to the second half. Even though the latin dates had been tentatively set for months by the bands management, the band decided to add more concerts in United States for their world tour.
This precipitated problems finding an apropiate venue in Argentina and Chile (the Nacional depends on the futbol calendar) would have atempted against a faster agreement.
Sorry for the translation - my Spanish is not all that great. I'm especially confused by that last paragraph. What I can gather I think is that they still plan on hitting South America but won't be able to do it until later in the summer and don't have the venues finalized yet. This may be why the South American dates were not at all mentioned in the official tour announcement from a couple weeks ago. As always, I'll try to find out as much as I can and let everyone know what I learn.
UPDATE - 1/3@1:15PM: On the right you will now see a very cool photo to go along with the demo that was created by reader Lamb Saag. It's ideal for use as the album art for the demo in iTunes or similar programs. Here's the link to the full-res jpeg.
UPDATE - 12/26@11:33AM: Sorry.. the links to the first 4 tracks were outdated. I fixed them.
In my last updates post I'd mentioned how a lost demo tape of Power Windows had found its way into the hands of some member of the Counterparts message board recently. It all started earlier this month when Counterpeep UltimoGuitaristannounced the existence of this tape. After much vetting and discussion it was ultimately determined to be legit. MitA then obtained a copy of the tape and converted the songs to mp3 over the last week. Here they are for your enjoyment. You can download them via the provided links or just use the player below.
I've been in holiday mode the last few days, thus the reason for a lack of posting. There's not much to report anyways. I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Saturnalia, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus, etc.
UPDATE - 12/23@9:23AM:Grand Designs from the Power Windows lost demo tape is now available (added to the player too). Thanks MitA!
I'm a day late on the updates this week - sorry about that. I've had my hands full the last few days with compiling all the tour venue information I've been receiving. On top of that I had a crazy week at the day job and had a lot of last-minute Christmas stuff to care of. But all is good now; I have plenty of great Rush randomness to share with you all.
The big news of the week was the unofficial list of tour venues that I received. After several corrections and updates the list now contains 48 venues from Alaska to Buenos Aires. About 8 of these are still pending and more may be added in the coming weeks. When it all shakes out there will probably be around 43 and we'll get the official tour itinerary sometime in the 2nd week of January. At this point I only have solid dates for a few of the gigs; April 11 in Puerto Rico (with a possible 2nd show), May 1 in Chile, May 4 in Peru, June 30 in Saratoga Springs, July 4 in Atlantic City and July 14 at Jones Beach. I'm sure more of the dates will be revealed in the coming weeks. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on what I learn. Reader Rico put together a google map of all the venues to help us get our hands around the possible routes the band might take.
Tickets will go on the sale towards the end of January and beginning of February. There will no doubt be a fan presale like on the first leg. I'll be sure to post all the details on that when it becomes available. Reader krlowe is running a small petition to move the presale tickets to will call only to deter scalpers. Apparently this strategy has recently worked for some fans of other bands. Either way, it's worth a shot. To sign the petition go here.
Let's not forget that there was another bit of great news regarding the tour that was sort of lost in all the excitement; an IMAX crew is supposed to be filming one of the shows!
In their press release announcing the tour Rush revealed that they'd be revamping the setlist for the 2008 extension. So last week I asked you which of the 4 Snakes & Arrows songs not played on the first leg would you most like to see played on the 2008 leg. There was no runaway winner this time but Faithless ended up coming out on top with 39% of the vote. Rounding out the list was We Hold On with 28%, Bravest Face with 20% and Good News First with 13%. For this week's poll I thought I'd flip that question and ask you which of the 9 Snakes & Arrows songs played on the first leg would you like to see dropped on the second leg (if any). Take the poll and let us know.
Before I start in on the updates and Rush randomness I wanted to take a second to thank everybody who generously donated to the site in the past week. I really appreciate it; every little bit helps. If you want to help out too you can donate via PayPal through this link (or use the button to the right). Any donation of $3 or more and you'll receive a RUSH IS A BAND bumper sticker as a thank you gift.
Now for some items from the past week that you may have missed.
WhistleStop Productions is currently putting the final touches on a 5 part documentary series shot this past summer during the Canadian leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour. The series - to air this Febraury - is called Backstage Secrets and was shot in High Definition and 5.1 surround audio with the full cooperation of the band. Each one-hour episode follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. For details see this post.
If you follow any of the Rush messageboards - especially Counterparts - you may already know about the lost Power Windows demo or live rehearsal tapes. There's an interesting back story to them that's just too involved to get into here. If you're interested, just poke around on Counterparts and you can get caught up. Long story short, there's an old demo tape (possibly a live rehearsal) of Power Windows that found its way into the hands of some Counterpeeps recently - and it's legit. MitA has created digital copies of all 8 songs and is making them available for download via the Counterparts messageboard. So far he's made Emotion Detector, Manhatten Project and Middletown Dreams available. He's releasing one a day up until Christmas. I'll put up a separate post once they're all up. A big thanks to everyone at Counterparts who made these available. You can listen using the player below.
Reader Brian B pointed me to a couple of recent articles in the Buffalo News from music critic and Rush fan Jeff Miers. They both discuss the recent book from Bob Mersereau titled The Top 100 Canadian Albums. The first article is an interview with Bob Mersereau himself where he says this about Rush:
Certainly an institution. The band has a huge following that has been with it forever. In Canada, we feel like Rush is our progressive rock. The band is made up of survivors, of serious musicians who have both a sense of humor about it all, and a high-minded approach to what they do. In Neil Peart, you've got such an extremely literary, agile mind. It doesn't hurt, either, that Rush steadfastly avoided the pitfalls all bands face, and many succumb to. They're the real deal.
Pete pointed me to a recently-launched site called Dear Rockers which encourages fans to pay back musicians for illegally downloading their music. It's actually a very interesting concept. The site tells you to pick an artist and write them a letter, scan or photograph the letter, send it to the website, mail off the letter along with $5 (or more) to the artist and finally to enjoy your new, guilt-free life. :) One of the letters featured on the site is addressed to one Gary Lee Weinrib.
Guitar Player Magazine is currently running their 2007 reader survey and the Alex Lifeson issue is one of the choices for Favorite 2007 Guitar Player Magazine Cover Feature. Most all of the other questions are write-ins. So go vote and write in Rush and Snakes & Arrows where appropriate. You can take the survey at this link. Thanks to Cat for the heads up.
Reader Prince Sphinc-Tor let me know that Howard Stern recently ran a 5-day documentary special on his radio show titled The History of Howard Stern. The first part included never before aired clips of his time on air at Boston University radio station WTBU. In one clip he says Queued up is a single from Rush from their new record Fly By Night, this is Best I can. They go on to play a minute or so of Best I Can with his mother talking over the song about how hard Howrad tried to do his very best. Cool.
Reader rmull's wife was recently watching adventure tourism TV series Globe Trekker and spotted a Counterparts t-shirt on host Megan McCormick.
UPDATE - 1/7@3:09PM: Since this post is getting cluttered with updates, I've started a new one. I'll discontinue updating this post and make any further updates to the new post.
UPDATE - 1/7@9:28AM: According to this there is a date set for that Detroit show I mentioned; June 10th. Thanks to krlowe for the heads up.
UPDATE - 1/4@12:30PM: This article (registration required) seems to confirm an April 30th date for the Monterrey, Mexico show. I'll tag it as no longer pending. Thanks to Carlos for the heads up.
UPDATE - 1/4@9:51AM: Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids is out, Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is in, and the Idaho Center in Boise, Idaho is another Pending date (thanks Brian B). I've updated the list and should have more updates in the next few days.
UPDATE - 12/21@10:59PM: It's been a crazy day (last minute work stuff, Christmas stuff, etc.) so I won't have my regular Updates and other random Rush stuff post ready until tomorrow. I'll have a lot of cool stuff in the update so stay tuned.
UPDATE - 12/21@7:28AM: I'll have my regular Friday Updates post later today. But for now I have some new information regarding venues. The Rhode Island gig is out in favor of the New Hampshire show. And we have a new one ... the SPAC in Saratoga Springs.
UPDATE - 12/20@10:08AM: As several of you pointed out, the Bank of Kentucky Center is currently under construction and probably won't be finished until late July at the earliest. And since the band does not want to extend the tour past July into August/September they've crossed this one off the list. Sorry Kentuckians!
Also, The Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA is now in the mix. This may put the Seattle show in doubt now - so I've switched that to a pending.
Regarding the Philadelphia show mentioned in the Rush press release; I've received a lot of feedback and suggestions from readers about what show they might be referring to. My guess is that the Hershey, PA (just 60 miles outside Philly) show may be what they were referring to. This is just my best guess though.
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UPDATE - 12/19@11:02PM: The pending New Hampshire show would be at the Verizon Wireless Arena (added to the list) sometime in July. That brings us up to 48 possible venues! However, from what I know, there will probably be no more than 43 actual cities covered - so 5 or so of the pending venues will likely be dropped. This will all be based on geography and availability; for instance - if the Rhode Island gig falls through than the New Hampshire gig is more likely to happen and vice versa.
The Jones Beach show is set for July 14 (Bastille Day!).
The band is still penciled in to play the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebration in the week of July 4th - but nothing is definite yet. Also, the original plan was to close out the tour here but that doesn't seem to be the case any longer.
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UPDATE - 12/19@9:42PM: One more thing that I'd forgotten to emphasize in all the excitement; none of this information is in any way official. So I wouldn't bother trying to contact Anthem/SRO about it - it is unlikely to yield any results. :) We'll all get the official word in a few weeks.
UPDATE - 12/19@9:15PM: Yet more updates ... (sorry- I just keep getting new info!) The Rhode Island gig should actually be listed as pending (I updated the list). And good news for Boston fans - TD Banknorth Garden will host Rush in July (I added to the list). There's also a New Hampshire gig pending - not sure of the venue yet though, so I'll keep it off the list for now. Some of you also noted that Van Andel Arena is actually in Grand Rapids - not Detroit (I updated the list). However... don't count Detroit out just yet... :)
And... this is REALLY cool... an IMAX crew will be filming one of the shows!!! Not sure which one yet. Wow.
Also a reminder that - as I reported in November - the official tour date announcement will occur in the 2nd week of January with tickets going on sale at the end of January and early February.
And finally - let's remember that this info is still all subject to changes/additions at this point. I will report anything I find out as soon as I can. One thing that several of you asked about was the Philadelphia show alluded to in the Rush press release and I'm not sure what's up with that. I'll see what I can find out.
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UPDATE - 12/19@7:23PM: Oops! Left out a couple ... see the bottom of the list. Looks like they are going back to Red Rocks too. 46 now!
Just last week Rush officially announced the 2008 extension of the Snakes & Arrows tour. They confirmed that they'd kick off the tour this Spring in Puerto Rico and teased us a little by revealing a few of the cities the tour would cover. I was hoping that I'd get some advance information on more cities/venues and specific dates before year's end. Well... I haven't managed to get any specific dates yet but I did get my hands on a complete list of the venues the band plans on hitting. The list is not in any particular order as the exact dates and routes are still being determined. Venues that are still pending a final decision are indicated with an asterisk (*), while all the other venues are essentially confirmed. The band is also leaving the option open for a second show in Puerto Rico if needed. Again - the list is not in order (except for the Puerto Rico show). Neil Peart drum roll...
Coliseo De Puerto Rico - San Juan, PR (April 11, 2 nights possibly) Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena - Jacksonville, FL Amway Arena - Orlando, Florida Honda Center - Anaheim, CA Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA Jones Beach - Wantagh, NY (July 14) PNC Arts Center - Homdel, NJ Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, LA * Gwinnett Arena - Duluth, GA Giant Center - Hershey, PA Boardwalk Hall - Atlantic City, NJ (July 4th) Scottrade Center - St.Louis, MO Schottenstein Center - Columbus, OH * Jobing.com Arena - Glendale, AZ Ford Center - Oklahoma, OK John Paul Jones Arena - Charlottesville, VA Molson Amphitheater - Toronto, ON Credit Union Centre - Saskatoon, SK * Bank of Kentucky Center - Highland Heights, KY * Carlson Center - Fairbanks, Alaska Sears Centre - Hoffman Estates/Chicago, IL Civic Center - Portland, ME Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, MI Tingley Coliseum - Albuquerque, NM Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX * Everett Events Center - Seattle, WA * U.S. Cellular Arena - Milwaukee, WI * Toyota Center - Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Pavilion - Charlotte, NC Monterrey Arena - Monterrey, MEX (April 30) New England Dodge Music Center - Hartford, CT * Dunkin Donuts Center - Providence, RI * Fed Ex Forum - Memphis, TN Estadio do Maracana - Rio de Janiero, BRAZIL Estadio do Morumbi - Sao Paulo , BRAZIL Castelao - Fortaleza, BRAZIL Estadio Beira-Rio - Porto Alegre, BRAZIL Estadio de Nacional Chile - Santiago, Chile (May 1) El Monumental - Buenos Aires, Argentina Estadio de Nacional Peru - Lima, Peru (May 4) MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB Halifax Metro Centre - Halifax, NS Harbour Station - St.John, New Brunswick Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, Colorado Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino - Las Vegas, Nevada TD Banknorth Garden - Boston, MA (July) Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, NH (July) The Gorge Amphitheater - George, WA SPAC - Saratoga Springs, NY (June 30) Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, MI (June 10) *Idaho Center - Boise, ID
So there you have it; forty-seven forty-eight cities. Now we just need some dates... and the setlist! w00t!
The Permanent Waves Gold Ultradisc - first mentioned here back in August - has finally shipped from MoFi.com. The release date was originally set for November 6th but it kept getting pushed back. Last we heard it wasn't to be released until January, so this is good news that it has finally shipped. Unfortunately Amazon still has it listed as not being released until January 8th, so I'm unsure what will happen with any preorder purchases made through them. Preliminary reports from readers who have received their copies say the sound is great, but the packaging gets mixed reviews. MoFi has also announced that the 180g Vinyl LP version will be shipping in January. Thanks to chutch15 for the heads up.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
New HD TV documentary will focus on Rush road crew
UPDATE - 12/19@6:31PM: Reader Neil C emailed WhistleStop to get some more information on the documentary. I guess that Anthem is working on putting the series together in some kind of box set for fans to purchase. They also stated that it would appear on VOOM HD in the US which contradicts my info regarding it being shown on RAVE HD. Maybe it'll be on both networks?
WhistleStop Productions is currently putting the final touches on a 5 part documentary series shot this past summer during the Canadian leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour. The series is called Backstage Secrets and was shot in High Definition and 5.1 surround audio with the full permission of the band. Each one-hour episode follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. Backstage Secrets will air in February on RUSH HD in Canada - available in HD via satellite on Bell ExpressVu. It will air in the US on RAVE HD. The series features Rush Lighting Director Howard Ungerleider; sound guys Brad Madix and Brent Carpenter; instrument technicians Lorne Weaton, Bobby Huck, Tony Geranios and Russ Ryan; video guys David Davidian and Bob Larkin; and production manager Craig Blazier. Many thanks to David at WhistleStop Productions for sharing this information.
Rush's Snakes & Arrows tour made Billboard's list of the top 25 grossing North American concert tours of 2007, coming in at #25. The list is compiled from North American Boxscores reported from November 15, 2006 through November 13, 2007. Rush's tour netted $29,659,721 in ticket sales; attendance was 517,211 out of a 720,497 capacity; and there were 48 shows (4 sellouts). I'm a little confused regarding the number of shows though. According to my count, there were 49 North American dates - not 48. I have the Red Rocks and Mohegan Sun shows as sellouts - unsure what the other 2 were. I never received any sales figures for the 2 Toronto shows and the Ottawa show though. Regardless, this is good news for Rush and no doubt a big reason they're extending the tour into 2008. The Police and Genesis topped the list grossing 212 million and 129 million respectively. Go to this link (pdf file) to see the complete top 25 rankings. Thanks to malterb for the heads up.
Back in SeptemberThe Canadian Music Scene hosted an online Q&A session with Rush lighting directer Howard Ungerleider. They submitted the questions to Howard after the 2nd Toronto show and posted half of Howard's answers back in October. They finally got around to posting the second half of his answers. You can check them out along with part one of the Q&A session at this link - scroll down to see part two. When asked what he sees for Rush in the future Howard answers:
I must say that they are really enjoying touring this year and I feel that as long as they can play they will continue to produce excellent music as they always have. Remember great painters never stop painting, it is what they do and enjoy.
Be sure to read the whole thing - it's very interesting; great questions along with insightful answers from Howard.
Neil Peart to appear in indie movie Adventures of Power?
Adventures of Power is a new indie film from director Ari Gold (not to be confused with the Entourage character of the same name) that will be appearing at next year's Sundance Film Festival. Ari Gold is best known for his student-Oscar-winning 2000 short film Helicopter. Adventures of Power will star Ari Gold as Power - a small-town copper miner on a quest to become the world's best air drummer. Also starring in the film as a sort of quasi-villain is Adrian Grenier. Why this film might interest Rush fans (other than the fact it's about airdrumming) is that the internet movie database entry for Adventures in Power has Neil Peart listed as appearing in the film playing himself. At this time I have no information on the extent of his involvement; I don't know if it's a brief cameo or if he has a speaking part or what. If this information is accurate it would be Neil's first appearance as a live actor in a film, although he did have a speaking role in last year's animated Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. Thanks to rayman2112 over at the Rush Tour Forum for digging this one up.
Up until yesterday I'd thought this was going to be a relatively quiet week for Rush news. Boy was I wrong! The official announcement of the 2008 extension of the Snakes & Arrows tour was released via Rush.com yesterday. This was no surprise to anybody who follows this site; we've known for quite some time now that the band would be touring in 2008. The surprises came in the form of juicy new details. The tour will kick off in Puerto Rico, head down to South America for a couple weeks and then head back north. My favorite part of the press release was the mention that the band would be revamping the set list!! After the initial post with the press release I gathered some more information (a few more cities) from my source and updated the post with it. So if you haven't seen the update yet be sure to check out the post for all the details.
Now that we know that Rush will be revamping the setlist I thought I'd ask a setlist-related question for the next poll. On the first leg of the tour Rush played 9 of the 13 songs off of Snakes & Arrows. Of the 4 that were not played, which one would you like to see played on the 2008 leg? Take the poll and let us know.
In last week's poll I asked you which of the 5 nominees for the Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy you thought would win. The overwhelming majority of you (nearly 60%) went with the home team and voted for Rush while another 32% thought Bruce Springsteen would win. I'm not holding out too much hope, but I'd love to see them finally win.
The Rush Backstage Club has extended their free USB Flash Drive promotion due to customer demand. With a purchase over $200, you will receive a Free Snakes & Arrows 2 GB USB flash drive. Take note that they are completely sold out of these and even if you do take advantage of the promo, the earliest they'll have more in stock is late January.
Rush's management arm, Anthem, has revamped and relaunched their new website at www.anthementertainmentgroup.com. HOWEVER.. don't go there! The new site was announced in a Rush newsletter sent out yesterday and several fans - myself included - discovered that after visiting the site their computers locked up and spam/virus warnings started popping up. Check out this Counterparts thread for more info. Apparently they are aware of the problem and are working on fixing it. But until it's fixed I highly suggest that you avoid the site.
It's that time of year when everyone and their mother decides to come up with their end-of-year Best Of 2007 lists. Radio stations, websites, magazines, etc. - they all do it. Some decide on their own, others have their readers/listeners decide via polls/surveys. I've compiled a bunch of online polls and lists that readers have sent me and thought I'd cover them here. If you know of any others, please let us know.
First off... let's VOTE FOR RUSH! :)
Reader SumThing let me know that Rockline is running a poll asking listeners Which Classic Rock shows should we air over the Christmas break?. One of the 8 options is Rush and they're currently waay out in front. Rush.com even mentions this poll on their News page. What's confusing is that they say voting ends December 16th, and Rush is still listed as one of the poll options... But on the site's homepage they have already declared Rush the winner and will be re-broadcasting their Rockline appearance on December 19th. Whatever ... fine by me. :)
Eddie Trunk has a reader poll on his home page (scroll down on the right) where he asks What was your favorite hard rock/metal CD of 2007? Rush's Snakes & Arrows is one of the options. Thanks to Robert M for the heads up.
Rock Hits Y102 out of Berks County, PA will be counting down the Top Classic Rock Artists of All Time at the end of the year. To vote for Rush go to this link and write them in.
102.9 The Hog is running a poll asking listeners which artist they should feature on the upcoming A-Z weekend. Rush is in the running. To vote go here and scroll down. Thanks to Keith C for the heads up.
NPR.org is running a survey to determine the best albums of 2007. Rush's Snakes & Arrows is not on the list, but you can write them in. Go to this link and write in Snakes & Arrows. Thanks to Zutroy for the heads up.
Reader Peart#1 alerted me to the fact that Guitar World Magazine is running their annual reader's poll in the print edition (not online as far as I could tell it's online at this location). Alex Lifeson is up for their Hall of Fame as well as some other categories and Snakes and Arrows is up for an award as well. So if you're a subscriber be sure to vote for Rush!
Snakes & Arrows is the top real album on Classic Rock Magazine's Top 50 Albums of 2007 list. I say that because they gave the top spot to the fictional Guns and Roses album, Chinese Democracy. All I can say is ... WTF?
The DC area's NBC4 has a list of the top 20 albums of 2007 as compiled by DC Scene contributor Chris Gerard. Rush's Snakes & Arrows comes in at #17. Here's what he says about it:
Yes, Rush is still making records, and "Snakes & Arrows" represented a comeback of sorts. Their prior studio effort, 2002's "Vapor Trails," was a murky mess. "Snakes & Arrows" is much crisper, reminiscent of the band's stellar 90s albums "Test for Echo" and "Counterparts," and the material is on par with some of their best. Key tracks: "Far Cry," "Spindrift," "Armor & Sword"
Thanks to apoorvag for the heads up.
Now for some regular old Rush randomness.
As I'd mentioned a couple of days ago, the holidays are upon us! So if you're searching for gift ideas for that special Rush-fan lady (they actually don't even need to be a Rush fan really) in your life, Katy at Between Sun & Moon makes cool handmade jewelry inspired by and named with Rush lyrics. She can even create a custom piece that you can name yourself to make a one-of-a-kind holiday gift. All orders come gift wrapped for free with your own personal gift card message and Katy has graciously offered Free Priority Mail Shipping to rushisaband readers if you use the discount code rushisaband.
Libertarian-minded Reason magazine's Hit and Run blog featured a Rush video - Freewill from Exit...Stage Left - in last week's Friday Political Thread and introduced the video by saying If Geddy Lee's tight pants don't rattle your faith in the Creator, nothing will. :)
A couple weeks back I introduced you to airdrummer extraordinaire - Lance "The Shred" - who amazed us with his YYZ airdrumming skills. He just recently put up an airdrumming vid of Natural Science specifically dedicated to rushisaband.com and its readers. Check it out here.
UPDATE - 12/13@3:50PM: I've just received some more details regarding the dates. As you can see from comparing the information below to what I reported last month and back in September the route that the tour takes is constantly changing during the planning stages. I'd first heard they'd start off in Atlantic City ... then that was scrapped in favor of kicking off in Atlantic Canada. Now it's Puerto Rico. But at least we can be fairly safe in assuming that won't change now that it's been officially announced. From what my source tells me they still plan on a couple Atlantic Canada dates too - they just won't be starting there. Nothing regarding South America was mentioned in the press release either. But from what I know they'll head to South America for a couple weeks after the Puerto Rico show and then head back up north. In addition to the dates mentioned below my source tells me that they'll also be playing at the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey, Jones Beach in New York and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Everything as far as Northeast dates are concerned changed a bit recently due to potential conflicts involving hockey, basketball playoffs and the request by certain venues to book the band at outdoor venues. And I'm also happy to report that Rush does plan on playing a show at the Molson Amphitheater in Toronto, and that they are still on tap to play the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebration in July. More details as I get them.
Well.. the BIG NEWS hinted at yesterday is the official announcement of what we already knew; Rush will be extending the Snakes & Arrows tour in 2008. The official press release confirms much of what we've already heard and adds some new info. From the press release:
RUSH EXTEND WORLD TOUR INTO 2008
TORONTO, ON - December 12, 2007:
After a hugely successful 2007 run, Rush are pleased to announce they will extend their Snakes & Arrows World Tour into 2008. The band will begin rehearsals in March to revamp the set list before kicking off the tour with their first ever appearance in San Juan, Puerto Rico in April.
2008 will see Rush tour in over 40 cities throughout the United States and Canada making stops in many where they haven't performed in well over a decade including: Orlando, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Austin, Jacksonville and Winnipeg to name a few. Along the way, Rush will play new venues in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Seattle and will revisit some familiar ones in Boston, Washington and Charlotte amongst others. Rush fans can look forward to a complete tour announcement in mid January. As details develop more information will be made available at www.rush.com and www.livenation.com. ...
Let's break this down. The first thing that caught my eye was the statement that they'd begin rehearsals in March to REVAMP THE SETLIST! Woohoo!! That's what I wanted to hear. They also confirm the April Puerto Rico date and reveal that they'll be kicking off the tour there, contrary to the rumors that they'd start off in Atlantic Canada. The following cities in the US/Canada are mentioned as some of the over 40 stops on the tour: Orlando, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Austin, Jacksonville, Winnipeg, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Washington and Charlotte. They also confirm that the complete tour itinerary will be announced in mid-January as I'd announced last month. Fantastic. What a great Christmas present from Rush. :)
The Washington D.C. branch of The Paul Green School of Rock will be performing two Rush tribute shows at The Santa Fe Cafe in College Park, Maryland, on Friday January 4th and Saturday January 5th from 7-9PM. The Paul Green School of Rock is a rock music program for kids which was the brainchild of musician/entrepreneur Paul Green. It was first established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1998 but now has branches all across the nation. The school was the subject of an award-winning 2004 documentary titled Rock School, and is often cited as the inspiration for the 2003 Jack Black movie School of Rock. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.
It's that time of year again. The holidays are just around the corner so it's time to buy your favorite Rush fan a gift. But what do you get them? They already have 6 copies of Snakes & Arrows by now, the Rush Backstage Club has sold out of their Snakes & Arrows USB flash sticks and tickets for the 2008 leg won't go on sale until next year. How about some cool Rush-themed jewelry?! Katy at Between Sun & Moon makes cool handmade jewelry inspired by and named with Rush lyrics. She can even create a custom piece that you can name yourself to make a one-of-a-kind holiday gift. All orders come gift wrapped for free with your own personal gift card message and Katy has graciously offered Free Priority Mail Shipping to rushisaband readers if you use the discount code rushisaband. So start shopping!
Rush.com has added another video to its Multimedia section. This time they talk to Greg the lighting guy for a couple of minutes about his role as part of the Snakes & Arrows tour machine. Thanks to reader texanmgm for the heads up.
Highlighting this past week in Rush news was the announcement yesterday of Rush's Malignant Narcissism as a nominee for the 50th annual Grammy AwardsBest Rock Instrumental Performance category. It's the fifth such time that a Rush song has been nominated in this category although they have yet to win. Maybe this will be their lucky year? The Grammy Awards will be held on February 10, 2008, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on CBS at 8PM. Rush's competition in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category are Metallica's The Ecstasy Of Gold, Joe Satriani's Always With Me, Always With You, Bruce Springsteen's Once Upon A Time In The West and Steve Vai's The Attitude Song. So who do you think will win? Take the poll and let us know.
Earlier this week Neil Peart supplied his fans with yet another news update on his official website. There's not much in the way of news however; it's just more of Neil describing his travels between shows on the European leg of the tour. It's an interesting read if you haven't checked it out yet.
Rush.com has a new video feature up in its Multimedia section called The Biggest Fans. Episode 1 features Alex Lifeson and his barbie dolls and is absolutely hilarious if not a tad bizarre. If you haven't seen it yet be sure to head on over to Rush.com and do so - it is not to be missed.
Over the holidays, Canadian music channel MuchMoreMusic will be counting down the top 50 music videos of the '80s as chosen by viewers. Rush has 2 videos in the running; Subdivisions and Distant Early Warning. To vote go to this link.
We have some more confirmation regarding the Puerto Rico Rush show slated for April 11 at the Colise de Puerto Rico. According to reader Luis, at the Papa Roach show last week at this venue promoter Larry Stein confirmed that Rush had been booked for this date.
I have a cool update regarding the Rush to Fight AIDs project. For those of you who don't know, the project was an effort to collect toiletries and personal hygiene products for AIDs patients from Rush fans out on the Snakes & Arrows tour. The project was the brainchild of Rush fan Jessica; a volunteer at the Southern Colorado AIDS Project (S-CAP). The project was a huge success and garnered the attention of the band and their crew, who collected their own toiletries on the tour and donated them. Neil's buddy and riding partner Brutus recently commented on the Project in a MySpace bulletin he'd sent out via his MySpace page:
This is to all of you who may be travelling and staying in hotels on your journey. I found out about this cause when I travelled with Rush in Europe. Neil told me to collect all the shampoo, body wash, lotion and soap from the hotels we'd be staying at. Seeing as how I was doing that anyway.....(Hey! It was free, already) I had to ask him why. He told me that Patrick McLoughlin, the guy who does all the merch for the band , had organized an effort to collect these unguents and balms for an organization/group/ philanthropist called "The Rush to Fight Aids". The whole band and crew got into it and I guess bootles of bottles and bars were amassed. You'll have to go to their "MySpace" (Check out "The Rush to Fight Aids" on my friends list) to see the positive affect it had . They tell the story there much better than I could here. I think it's great that people like these take their time to help those in need and it didn't hurt a bit! I've already asked and been given forgiveness for keeping a keepsake from the Hotel de Paris....check out the slippers...but we all have our weak moments. Plus I get to smell nice for someone special. Not to make light however. This seems to be an easy way to make a difference in the life of someone who could use our help. Peace, out.
Well said Brutus. A big thumbs up goes out to Jess for getting the ball rolling on this project and making it such a huge success. And it's not over! You can still contribute in many ways. Just check out the project's MySpace page for details.
Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the Top 50 songs over 7 minutes long ... doesn't contain any Rush. Big surprise there. My guess is that if they ran a list of the Top 50 songs by a Canadian progressive rock trio Rush wouldn't be on that list either. Sheesh...
... This was not long ago at the bustling One restaurant in Yorkville, where the two Lees-in-a-pod were spotted "deep in conversation," as one spy puts it. At last, at last -- someone spouted when I passed on this tidbit to them-- the truth is out!Geddy and Susur are long-lost brothers!
Well, perhaps, only in a Farrelly Brothers movie.
What could have the world-famous Rush rocker and the Iron Chef-combating rock-star chef have been talking about? Well, we'll just let you caress your imagination about that -- but it could easily have been about their respective swings. Both Toronto-dwelling Lees are tennis-mad and have been known to play several times a week. ...
There's a Rush reference in The Onion's recently released book Our Dumb World Atlas. In the section on Canada there's a mark on the Canadian map with the caption:
Crowd from 1975 "Fly By Night" tour still waiting for Neil Peart to finish drum solo.
You gotta love The Onion! Thanks to coventry815 at the Rush Tour Forum for the heads up.
As reported back in September, Detroit progsters Tiles will be releasing their new CD Fly Paper on InsideOut Music in the US on January 29, 2008. The album has several Rush connections; it was produced by former Rush producer Terry Brown, Hugh Syme did the cover (and also plays keyboards on a couple tracks) and to top it all off Alex Lifeson himself makes a guest appearance on the track Sacred & Mundane. A promotional video for the Alex Lifeson track was recently completed and should be released in the run-up to the album's release next month. The band also recently distributed hundreds of cardboard-sleeved promo copies of the album throughout North America and Europe, and the reviews are starting to roll in; there's one from Total Rock (UK), Prog Planet (Denmark) and Get Ready To Rock (UK). Mike over at Progscape Radio also got his hands on one of these promo copies and will be playing the album on his radio show next Tuesday at 8PM. Be sure to listen in at the Progscape Radio website. The album is also now available for preorder at this link.
Always With Me, Always With You Joe Satriani Track from: Satriani Live! [Epic/Red Ink]
Once Upon A Time In The West Bruce Springsteen Track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone [Sony Classical]
The Attitude Song Steve Vai Track from: Sound Theories Vol. I & II [Epic/Red Ink]
----- snip -----
Canoe.ca is reporting that, for the 5th time in their illustrious career, Rush has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category. As of this moment it's unclear which song was nominated but my guess is The Main Monkey Business (possibly Malignant Narcissism). The Grammy website is experiencing major server problems so I have not been able to see the entire list. With this new revelation, I had to shut down the current poll where I ask the question Will Rush be nominated for a Grammy?. The results were fairly evenly distributed with the majority (32%) saying that they'll be nominated but not win. Another 26% say they will win and the rest of you think they wouldn't be nominated or just don't care. Rush's past nominations in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category were for YYZ in 1981, Where's My Thing? in 1992, Leave That Thing Alone in 1995 and O Baterista in 2004. They have lost every time. Maybe the 5th time's a charm?
Rock photographer Ross Halfin states in a diary entry from last week that he finally has all of his Rush pictures posted up on his site. Go here to check them all out. There's a whole series of the band and crew goofing off backstage along with boatloads of great shots from the tour.
Over the holidays, Canadian music channel MuchMoreMusic will be counting down the top 50 music videos of the '80s as chosen by viewers. Rush has 2 videos in the running; Subdivisions and Distant Early Warning. To vote go to this link. Thanks to The Clansman 2112 for the heads up.
Rush.com has added some new content to the Multimedia section of the website. They finally have the Rush Radio section online although there's not much there yet. You can listen to Tom Sawyer, The Big Money, The Temples of Syrinx and the version of Closer to the Heart with Ed Robertson (Bare Naked Ladies) and Bubbles from The Trailer Park Boys (recorded for the Tsunami benefit telethon). But the real treat is the addition of a new video feature called The Biggest Fans. Episode 1 starts off with a long intro with A Farewell to Kings playing in the background while the camera pans over a candlelit room in what appears to be some kind of stately mansion. It then stops to focus on Alex Lifeson in some sort of military getup sitting in a chair across from a stuffed deer while drinking a big glass of wine. Alex then goes into an introductory rant for about a minute and a half utilizing a number of different accents. The episode itself finally begins with Alex's guitar tech - Bucky - explaining the purpose of Alex's stage right Barbie display... then it gets weird. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.
Neil Peart has updated his news page at his website - just a few weeks after his last update. There's not much in the way of news in this update; it's just more of Neil describing his travels between shows on the European leg. He mentions purchasing several postcards to mail out with thank you messages to fans who gave him gifts on the tour. Indeed, I've received emails from a few fans who received one of these postcards. This installment is titled The Hour of Arriving. Here are the last few paragraphs:
... Back in April of this year, just before the Snakes and Arrows tour, I did a TV interview for the Canadian music channel, MuchMusic. The cameraman placed the interviewer and me in the rehearsal hall, in front of my drums, where I had been laboring for several weeks by then. Some of the interviewer's questions seemed to angle toward a certain starry-eyed view of my work, especially the touring side of it, and I tried to explain to him that I didn't consider touring, or even drumming, to be my life.
He seemed perplexed, and to appraise me as clearly jaded and cynical, because his next question was, "When did you start to feel that way?"
I paused to think for a couple of seconds, then was glad to feel the mental light bulb illuminate a true and clear answer. I was able to answer honestly, "About a month into the first tour, in 1974." That really was when I started to feel that touring was "not enough," and turned to reading books as a way to make more use of the days and nights.
Partly out of sheer contrariness, but partly out of a desire for context, I often refer to playing the drums, with deliberate disrespect, as "the job"-hitting things with sticks. Obviously it means much more to me than that, and has been a central focus in my life. But still, it seems rather sad to hear anyone say that their work is their life.
Not family and friends? Not reading and writing? Not hiking or cross-country skiing or birdwatching or motorcycle riding or swimming?
I don't think so.
Earlier in the tour, when we played in Portland, Oregon, someone in the audience had apparently seen that interview, and ventured to disagree publicly with my opinion on the subject of my life. Far back on the stage-left side of the house I saw a large sign, in big block letters, "NP-THIS IS YOUR LIFE."
Well, thanks, but no thanks.
Of course it's just my opinion, but to me, my life is not dedicated to the place, but to the journey, and to the hour of arriving.
All the while knowing that, all too soon, there will come the hour of departing.