The Hughes & Kettner website just posted a great video story on their website which demonstrates just how cool and generous of a guy Alex Lifeson is. Back in January at the winter NAMM show in Los Angeles, Hughes & Kettner had one of their signature Alex Lifeson TriAmps on display. One young fan named Zack Tabori asked if he could play it and proceeded to skillfully jam out some Rush licks. He so thoroughly impressed the Hughes & Kettner represenatives there that they took down his contact info and planned to have Alex send him an autographed picture and some tickets to a show. Alex decided to one-up that offer and just give him one of his amps from the tour instead! There's a video of the whole story including the surprise delivery of the amp to Zack's house which you can watch here. What a cool story! Thanks to Lerxster for the heads up.
UPDATE - 4/10@10:54AM: Here are some details from the official Cue Sheet courtesy Firefighter SAL. Sal also listened to the program and added some notes regarding what Geddy and Alex discussed during the interview segments.
CD Track #1 - Segment #1 - Length: 14:26 In Cue: "Welcome to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..." Geddy and Alex: "Longevity" Song: "Limelight" Geddy: "The Set List" Song: "Workin' Them Angels" Out Cue: "...on the Rush Radio Network."
CD Track #2 - Segment #2 - Length: 15:30 In Cue: "Hey, welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..." Song: "Far Cry" Geddy and Alex: "Wise-Ass Cut-Ups" "Practical Jokes" Song: "Subdivisions" Out Cue: "...on the Rush Radio Network."
CD Track #3 - Segment #3 - Length: 8:52 In Cue: "Welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..." Alex and Geddy: "Stand-out Influential Albums & Times" Song: "Witch Hunt" Alex and Geddy: "Mob Scene Intro" Out Cue: "...the Rush Radio Network."
CD Track #4 -Closing segment - Length: 13:28 In Cue: "Welcome back to Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live..." Geddy: "Great Moments in Rush Catalog" Song: "A Passage To Bangkok" Geddy and Alex: "Spinal-Tap Moments" Song: "Tom Sawyer" Out Cue: "...the Rush Radio Network."
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In the week prior to the release of Snakes & Arrows Live, FMQB Productions will be releasing a one-hour radio special featuring an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson titled Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live. The show will air on select stations from April 11-15th. Here are the details from the site:
Rush are set to unveil Snakes & Arrows Live, a 2-CD set recorded last October at the Netherlands' Ahoy Rotterdam arena. The show took place during the renowned rock trio's five-month world tour after the release of the acclaimed studio album Snakes & Arrows. Rush will release the new live CD to coincide with another four months of concert dates that will see the band traveling North America through mid-July.
Hosted by Lou Brutus, Inside Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live is a one-hour radio special with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, featuring the music of Rush in concert from the Snakes & Arrows Live release. Included in the program are the Rush classics "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," "Subdivisions," "Witch Hunt" and "A Passage to Bangkok," as well as the newest Rush creations "Far Cry" and "Workin' Them Angels."
It's been rumored for some time now that Rush would be playing at the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebration concert this summer. The concert will take place on the Plains of Abraham on August 22nd with Celine Dion headlining. I'd been hearing for a while now that Rush was penciled in as one of the performers, but now it looks like in lieu of performing at this concert they will instead be taking part in the Quebec City Summer Festival concert series at the Scène Bell des Plaines d'Abraham in early July (July 8th is the date I'm hearing). I'm told that the reasoning behind this switch is the band's desire to play an entire show with their complete stage setup as opposed to a shortened set/production at the August 22nd concert (since they aren't the headliner). Details are still being ironed out so there's no official word on this yet. More news as I get it.
In last week's poll I asked you which of Rush's never-played-live 2000-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg. This was a very tight race with Freeze barely eking out a victory with 15.5% of the vote. The next 4 spots went to Faithless (15.1%), We Hold On (13.4%), Vapor Trail (13.4%) and Bravest Face (10%). You can see the complete results here. This week I thought I'd ask you which of the non-Snakes & Arrows songs from the 2007 setlist you'd like to see dropped for the 2008 leg. Take the poll and let us know what you think.
Earlier this week I started accepting questions from readers for a Q&A session with Snakes & Arrows producer and major Rush fan Nick Raskulinecz and I've received nearly 100 submissions already! Thanks for the questions everybody. If you haven't submitted your question yet you can do so at this link. I'll be accepting submissions up until opening night on April 11th.
There's finally a little bit of news to report about the upcoming Sam Dunn/Scott McFadyen Rush documentary. The last we heard was that the filmmakers were looking for old footage from fans and expected to release the documentary later this year. However, DJ Eddie Trunk recently posted an entry in his blog a couple of weeks ago giving his report from Iron Maiden's recent show at the Meadowlands. Here's an excerpt which mentions the documentary:
... After my Maiden interviews were done, it was my turn to be interviewed. Sam Dunn who did the Headbangers Journey film is on the road doing a new doc on Maiden. Look for it end of the year and I did a long interview for the movie about Maiden and my 25 years of playing them on the radio. Should be a cool film as Sam and his crew do great work and they have full access with the band and tour. By the way, after Maiden they told me the next film subject they will do is Rush! ...
So it sounds like this new Iron Maiden documentary will trump the release of the Rush documentary. Indeed, reader Here and now was recently at a live Q&A session with Scott McFadyen following the premier of Global Metal. McFadyen verified that the Iron Maiden documentary will be released first this fall which means the Rush documentary probably won't see a release until next year. He also mentioned that they have over 450 hours of Rush footage to work with!
Reader Pat had given a bottle of The Macallan (indirectly - through Howard Ungerleider) to Neil Peart as a gift at last year's Rush show at Madison Square Garden. After 6 months he was really excited to receive a thank you postcard from the man himself which he's been kind enough to share with us here. Very cool!
Reader Mike from Texas let me know that in the April issue of Classic Rock magazine there is a interview on page 38 with Joe Elliot of Def Leppard. One of the questions is about the influence of Led Zeppelin on Def Lepard's music. Joe says that it was mostly the late Steve Clark who was influenced by Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page's guitar playing. But then he also adds about Steve Clark's influences what is hardly ever mentioned is Rush's Alex Lifeson. Cool - I never knew.
Now for the latest on the vote for Rush front. PwrWndws let me know that WMMR out of Philadelphia is running their annual MM-arch Madness competition. Their voting is by text or phone only. See this link to view the bracket and for contest details. Rush is up against The Hooters in the next round - should be an easy victory.
Chicago's WLUP is also in on the action. Rush has made it to the 3rd round in their March Bandness contest. They're up against Def Lepard next. Their voting is by text or email and you can view the bracket here. Thanks to malterb for the heads up.
The UK's premier digital radio station Planet Rock is on the verge of being shut down and it needs your help. Planet Rock plays a lot of Rush and is one of the few British radio outlets to do so. They even dedicated the entire month of September last year to Rush, and have conducted several great interviews with the band. For more information go visit the Save Planet Rock website. Thanks to Nutty Almond for the information.
That's all for now. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
New contest at Rush.net; win front row tix or a Meet & Greet
ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR OF FRONT ROW TICKETS OR MEET AND GREET PASSES FOR THE 2008 "SNAKES AND ARROWS LIVE" TOUR
* Winners must pay their own travel and lodging expenses * Meet and Greet pass winners must have event tickets * One entry per household per perfomrance * Households can only win (1) one time within a (2) two year period * A drawing from all qualifying entries will determine the award winners * No winning name or award substitutions under any circumstances * Valid photo ID matching winning entry name required to collect awards * Winners must pick up awards in person
Two different prizes will be awarded to two different winners for each city. One prize is a pair of front row tickets to the show and the other prize is a pair of meet and greet passes, meet and greet winners must already possess tickets to the show - without tickets, meet and greet winners will not be able to participate in the meet and greet.
Awards will only be made to households comfirning their acceptance in accordance with the guidelines outlined during the award notification process. NO CHEATING: Mulitple entries made by the same household for the same performance date will result in immediate disqualification. Make sure to check with the members of your household before entering!
UPDATE - 4/4@9:13AM: Tickets are now on sale (thanks Nick).
A few weeks ago we learned via the Buddy Rich Drum Company's MySpace page that there will be another Buddy Rich Memorial Concert taking place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th, 2008. This will be the first Buddy Rich Memorial concert in 10 years; the last one was with Phil Collins back in 1998. Cathy Rich has posted several updates regarding the event to her MySpace page over the last few weeks including the addition of Terry Bozzio to the list of performers, and the unveiling of the first ad for the event. And just this past Tuesday Cathy also made it known that the concert will be the first major event to be televised on Don Lombardi's new venture, the Drum Channel. Thanks to Andy O for the heads up.
"I play a drummer from an up-and-coming heavy metal band (in the 1980s) and I get kicked out right before they make it really big," said Wilson, who is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on The Office.
"Then 20 years later, my life has kind of gone nowhere and I get a second shot at fame by joining my high school nephew's garage rock band.
"So I wear a nice heavy metal wig and I reveal a lot of my butt crack and my torso."
Wilson knows how to play several instruments, but he learned to play the drums specifically for this role, and at one point he went to see legendary Canadian band Rush.
"They're not really a hair metal band, but I got to see them on their warmup for their tour and got to meet Neil Peart, who probably is the greatest drummer of all time," Wilson said. "He let me sit behind his kit and play it. So I was initiated in the world of drumming." ...
The movie is titled The Rocker and is currently due to be released late summer.
UPDATE - 4/11@10:53AM: The window for submitting your questions is now closed. I'll be compiling the questions and sending them to Nick and will let everyone know when he gets a chance to answer. Thanks to everybody who submitted a question!
If for any reason you would like to change or rescind your question, just let me know.
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In the first of what I hope will be a regular feature on rushisaband.com, I will be accepting questions from readers for a Q&A session with Snakes & Arrows producer and major Rush fan Nick Raskulinecz. Nick actually agreed to do this a while ago but the timing was never quite right until just recently.
You'll need to be a registered user (just go here - it's free and easy) to submit a question and initially I'll just be allowing one question per user in the interest of fairness (I may open it up to more later depending on the volume of submissions). I'll accept questions for the next 3 weeks or so - up until opening night of the tour in Puerto Rico. I'll then go through the questions, weed out the duplicates and then hand them over to Nick to answer at his leisure. I'll attempt to use everybody's submission but I can't guarantee it - it just depends on how many questions I get. I also can't guarantee that your question will get answered - I'll leave it up to Nick what questions he wants to answer. To submit your question just go use this form.
Before submitting your question, I'd suggest you check out some previous interviews with Nick to familiarize yourself with his background and accomplishments. Here's a list:
UPDATE - 3/25@9:58PM: There are a bunch of great photos from the show posted at the Foo Fighters website. They're mostly backstage and rehearsal shots. Thanks to Neilzy for the heads up.
UPDATE - 3/24@9:41AM: ... and another view (thanks pblaster).
UPDATE - 3/24@9:34AM: ... and yet another vid. This one is from closeup. You gotta love YouTube. Thanks once again to Toronto Writer for finding this.
UPDATE - 3/23@9:31PM: Here's another bootleg vid which also includes the entire Hawkins drum solo and the intro/outro to YYZ (thanks The Professor).
UPDATE - 3/23@10:07AM:Here it is! Thanks to Toronto Writer for the heads up.
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UPDATE - 3/23@10:04AM: There are articles at both JAM! and The Globe and Mail about the show. Thanks to cameron2112 for the links.
Foo Fighters fans who attended last night's show at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto got a BIG surprise about half way through the set. Right at the end of Taylor Hawkins' drum solo Dave Grohl announced that he wanted to introduce a couple of his friends ... Geddy Lee and Alex Fucking Lifeson! (apparently Alex has a middle name I wasn't aware of). Then came the opening chimes of YYZ and they jammed out the entire song. They left immediately afterwards without saying anything but Dave Grohl kept bragging about it for the rest of the show; We just had Rush play at a Foo Fighters concert, Taylor had the balls to play drums for Rush in Rush's hometown, etc. The Foo Fighters are huge Rush fans and got to know the guys through common producer Nick Raskulinecz. Many thanks to the lucky bastards who were at the show and gave me their reports - Brian, Amanda G and dingo. :)
It's three short weeks until the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour kicks off in Puerto Rico. Rush is currently hunkered down in rehearsals at an undisclosed location in the Toronto area. But according to a Puerto Rican reader they'll be heading to San Juan a full one week prior to the show to rehearse there as well (see the Feb. 7 update to this post). As more proof that ticket sales are sluggish for this go-around, Rush is only at #18 on the Pollstar Top 50 Concert List. Not bad, but on the last leg they were consistently in the top 10 (top 5 usually) from when tickets went on sale through to the end of the tour. Maybe things will pick up once folks get their tax rebates or ... if Rush drops a setlist bombshell of some kind.
I've received several setlist rumors over the past couple of weeks and - up until now - I haven't felt confident enough in the information to report it. But just last Friday there was a very interesting rumor posted at The Rush Forum. In it the poster relays some info he received from a friend of his who knows a FEDEX driver in Toronto who is also a Rush fan. Apparently this driver was able to overhear some of Rush's rehearsals while making deliveries to the warehouse where they're rehearsing, and he gives a partial list of some of the songs he heard. I know several of you still won't buy it, but after cross-checking his info with a couple of other rumors I'd heard, and checking with one of my more reliable sources - it definitely sounds legit. And there are 2 songs in particular on the list that I'm almost positive about - the 5th and 10th songs listed. Whether these songs will ultimately make it to the setlist or not is something we'll just have to wait 3 weeks to find out for sure. So if you want to know some of the songs Rush may be currently rehearsing, read (*** SPOILER ALERT ***) below the fold or check out the original thread at The Rush Forum (*** SPOILER ALERT ***).
In last week's poll I asked you which of Rush's never-played-live 90's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg. The overwhelming winner with over 30% of the vote was Cut To The Chase off of Counterparts. The next three spots went to Everyday Glory (12%), Totem (11%) and Alien Shore (10%) with all the other tracks garnering 5% or less. You can see the complete results here. For this week I'm asking the same question but shifting the focus to post-2000-era Rush which includes only their Vapor Trails and Snakes & Arrows albums. So which of Rush's never-played-live post-2000-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg? Take the poll and let us know what you think.
... When Meatwad unwittingly enlists the Aqua Teens into the Marine Corps, Frylock flees to Canada. In the ATHF universe, "Canada" is merely a red barn, where Jigsaw, the star of the Saw horror movie franchise, taunts and tortures people via a live video feed. In one scene, Jigsaw tries to lure Meatwad into the barn with Want to play a game...I've got all the Rush records!. ...
This past Thursday, March 20th marked the anniversary of Rush's induction into the Juno Awards Hall of Fame back in 1994 (watch the video here). And this coming Monday, March 24th marks the anniversary of Rush's first Juno award which they won back in 1975 for Most Promising Group. This year's Junos will occur in Calgary Alberta from April 4-6. Rush is not up for any awards but Richard Chycki is up for Recording Engineer of the Year for his work on Far Cry.
Legendary guitarist Michael Schenker (formerly of UFO and The Scorpions) recently released an album of cover songs called Doctor, Doctor: The Kulick Sessions and included in the collection is a cover of Rush's Finding My Way. You can listen to a sample of the song at this link. Thanks to GhostWriter at Counterparts for the heads up.
I recently came across a couple of neat Rush spy photos from the last leg of the tour. There's this image of Geddy and Alex arriving for the show in Rotterdam last October (thanks to Vagner for the link). And there's this photo of Neil's bike shot at the Phoenix show by Counterparts member Showdonttell25.
There was a Rush sighting in the latest issue of British Sci-fi/fantasy magazine SFX. They counted down the top sci-fi-related songs and Rush's The Body Electric came it at #8. They did a similar countdown for concept albums and Rush's 2112 came in at #3. Thanks to Slaine mac Roth at The Rush Forum for the heads up.
Alex Lifeson is mentioned in the April 2008 issue of Guitar World in an article on prog-rock on pages 109-110. Here's a transcript:
RUSH INTO THE LIMELIGHT
A powerhouse player, Alex Lifeson remains among the most innovative rock guitarists of the last three decades. His work with the kajillion-selling Canadian power trio Rush is marked by epic and melodic solos, shimmering rhythm parts, and a frequent use of modulation and time-based effects to add dimension to his colorful guitarscapes. Some of Lifeson's best electric solos are in tracks such as the complex instrumental La Villa Strangiato, and Limelight, which includes tasteful whammy-bar effects and strong melodic statements.
In addition to his fiery lead work, Lifeson is also a skilled rhythm guitarist and texturalist. Like the Police's Andy Summers, Lifeson makes extensive use of chorus in his arpeggiated chord progressions. His electric work often sounds like acoustic playing, and his rhythm work is just as developed as his lead playing - which certainly contributes to the success of any power trio, even if that trio includes monster bassist Geddy Lee and powerhouse percussionist Neil Peart. Like many other iconic prog guitarists, Lifeson is a veritable jack of all guitar trades, equally at home with electric, a acoustic, or classical guitars, and always handy at pushing the envelope of rock guitar.
Let's zero in on Lifeson's ability to craft vibrant chord parts that sound full and jangly by checking out Example 6. Instead of playing typical, clunky barre chords, Lifeson often lets the B and high-E strings ring open (provided it suits the tonality), making his six-string guitars sound almost like 12-strings, perhaps adding some stereo chorus to further widen the sound.
"I've always put a lot of emphasis on being a rhythm guitarist," said Lifeson in 1994. "In a three-piece, you have to. You have to fill the space".
There are some more details regarding this summer's RushCon 8. From the website:
... RushCon 8 will be held July 8-10, 2008. This is our first midweek convention, due to the Toronto RUSH show being on a Wednesday. Usually it is held over a weekend. The convention will be held at the Days Hotel & Conference Center - Toronto Downtown at 30 Carlton Street, which has been our official convention hotel and location for several years.
Since this is a midweek convention, we're expecting a slightly smaller crowd. In the past, we have had 150 - 350 ultra-cool RUSH fans attend RushCon. RushCon 8 is a great opportunity to meet everyone and feel the family-like experience of RushCon.
We are planning to have the following events:
Tuesday night: "In the Mood" Mixer - a great place to meet fellow fans, enjoy some hors d'oeuvres, and listen to RUSH!
Wednedsay day: RUSH-based Games and Charity Auction - fun game show style games give you a chance to win cool RUSH prizes, and a RUSH memorabilia auction (including autographed items!) benefitting the Daily Bread Food Bank of Toronto. To date, we have raised $40,000 CND for charity!
Wednesday evening/night: Toronto Harbour boat cruise to the RUSH show!
Thursday day: RUSH fans invade the city - we'll have a couple of optional events, exploring Toronto. ...
Late last yearRush.com added a new video feature to the Multimedia section of the website called The Biggest Fans. They posted Episode 1 back in early December and finally just put up Episode 2. 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 full 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. The barbies then come to life after being electrocuted by Alex's gear. Episode 2 picks up with the Barbies talking about life out on the road with Rush. It ends with another To Be Continued... message, so we should expect more episodes down the road. Thanks to broon for the heads up.
1. Limelight 2. Digital Man 3. Entre Nous 4. Mission 5. Freewill 6. The Main Monkey Business 7. The Larger Bowl 8. Secret Touch 9. Circumstances 10. Between the Wheels 11. Dreamline 12. Far Cry 13. Workin' Them Angels 14. Armor and Sword
1. Spindrift 2. The Way the Wind Blows 3. Subdivisions 4. Natural Science 5. Witch Hunt 6. Malignant Narcissism - De Slagwerker 7. Hope 8. Distant Early Warning 9. The Spirit of Radio 10. Tom Sawyer
11. One Little Victory 12. A Passage to Bangkok 13. YYZ
Thanks to Tricked by Circumstances for the heads up.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Workin' Them Angels live single breaks into the top 30
Rush's new live single of Workin' Them Angels from their upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live album officially impacted radio back on March 10th and has been in rotation at several stations for a few weeks now. It just broke into the top 30 on the Mediabase Mainstream Rock Chart coming in at #30 and on its way up. Make sure to call and/or email your local rock stations and tell them to play the track so we can push that number higher. The Workin' Them Angels single can be purchased at iTunes at this link. Snakes & Arrows Live will be released in just a few weeks on April 8th and is available for pre-order at Amazon and other online vendors.
Blabbermouth is reporting that Rush will be appearing on the nationally syndicated radio show Rockline hosted by Bob Coburn on Wednesday, April 30th at 11:30 PM EST. Fans can talk live with Rush by calling 800-344-ROCK (7625). To find a station near you or to listen to the show live via webcast, go to the Rockline website. Thanks to Peart#1 for the heads up.
UPDATE - 3/18@10:11AM: I fixed the link. The other one seems to be linking to an outdated url or something. I think the old one still will enter you - but you get some weird confirmation page after entering your info.
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new Meet & Greet contest for the upcoming tour. Here are the details from the site:
We will be running several Meet & Greet contest before and during the 2008 Snakes & Arrows Tour. For the concert of their choice, the winner will meet members of the band before the show. These lucky people will have the opportunity to say hello, and have their picture taken with the guys. This is something that adds a big boost to a night at the Rush concert. Winners MUST have their own tickets to the concert. This contest closes at midnight of March 22nd, 2008. Simply enter your info below and we will randomly select the winner at the close of the contest. Our system only accepts one entry per email address. Good luck!
Go to this link to enter. Thanks to snakesarrows for the heads up.
The Canadian Music Scene is allowing readers to submit questions for an upcoming Q&A session with Rush's long-time graphic artist Hugh Syme. Hugh recently celebrated the release of the new Tiles album Fly Paper, for which he designed the cover. He also played keyboards on the tracks Crowded Emptiness and Passing Notes. You can submit your question for Hugh at this link.
Way back in October, The Canadian Music Scene had also taken questions from Rush producer Terry Brown. They have yet to publish his answers but should have them posted sometime next month. Last September they'd conducted a Q&A with Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider which they'd published in 2 parts; part one in October and part two in December. Also, I had a chance myself to ask both Terry Brown and Chris Herin (guitarist from Tiles) a few questions last month. You can check out both of their mini-interviews in this post.
There was not much in the way of Rush news this past week. The band is hunkered down in rehearsals for the upcoming tour which kicks off in Puerto Rico 4 weeks from today! However, there was a good bit of Neil Peart news to report. Last Friday I let you know that the Buddy Rich Drum Company's MySpace page announced that there will be another Buddy Rich Memorial Concert. This one will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th, 2008. The event will feature Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Neil Peart and others. More details will be announced in DRUM! and Traps magazine in early April.
Speaking of rehearsals, in last week's poll I asked you which of Rush's never-played-live 80's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg. It was a close race but the winner with 17% of the vote was Losing It off of Signals. Rounding out the top 5 were Presto (16%), Available Light (15%), Emotion Detector (11%) and Chain Lightning (11%). You can see the complete results here. For this week I'm asking the same question but shifting our focus to 90s-era Rush which includes their Roll the Bones, Counterparts and Test For Echo albums. So which of Rush's never-played-live 90's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg? Take the poll and let us know what you think.
And now for a little horn-tooting... It seems that RushIsABand.com is almost in the top 100 music blogs according to the recently-launched Wikio Blogs site (it's currently number 103). The Wikio site uses an algorithm to rank blogs based on the number and value of links to that site from other blogs. The value of these links depends on the ranking of the blog publishing them. So the value of a link published on a highly ranked blog is more important than a posted link on a blog with a lower ranking. Very cool.
The Rush Is A Band store at Zazzle.com has been up and running for over a week now. I now have a design for dark fabrics and I've added some more items for women and children. Check it out and let me know what you think.
This past Wednesday March 12th was Alex Lifeson and his wife Charlene's 33rd wedding anniversary! They were married a third of a century ago back in 1975 - quite a milestone. Congratulations to the both of them.
This coming Sunday, March 16th marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Rush's first compilation album Archives. Now out of print, the album was nothing more than a repackaging of the band's first three albums. It was certified both Gold and Platinum back in 1995.
It's that time of year; time for radio stations to run their annual Battle of the Bands competitions in celebration of March Madness. Rush is just about always included in the voting and usually does very well. Mark sent me this link to 106.9 The Fox's Bracket of the Bands competition. Rush is seeded in the 14th position and going up against Fleetwood Mac in the first round. So go vote for Rush!
Reader Patti sent me this list from The List Universe. It compiles the top 15 power trios. If ever there was a list made for Rush, this is it. Rush came in at #1 of course. Here's what they said:
Rush redefined the term Power Trio by making more music that anyone ever thought possible with just 3 people onstage. All musical virtuosi on their respective instruments, yet somehow still managing to get together and turn into a whole greater than the sum of it's parts. Hands down, the Mac Daddy of all power trios.
With St. Patty's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd include this video link to a live performance of Tom Sawyer by Celtic Rock Band Carbon Leaf. The video is from a New Year's Eve 2007 show at Toad's Place in Richmond, VA. The song starts about a minute or two into the video. Thanks to reader nat sci for the link.
Rush's new live single of Workin' Them Angels from their upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live album officially impacted radio this past Monday although it's already been in rotation at several stations for the past couple of weeks. It has not yet broken into the top 30 on any charts but it is showing up on both the MediaBase 7-day Jump! Chart and the Radio and Records Most Added Rock chart. Make sure to call and/or email your local rock stations and tell them to play the track. The Workin' Them Angels single can be purchased at iTunes at this link. Snakes & Arrows Live will be released in just a few weeks on April 8th and is available for pre-order at Amazon and other online vendors.
UPDATE - 3/12@11:00AM: I should note that if you just want to purchase the t-shirt separately, you can do so at the Music Today Rush pre-order shop for $25.
The Rush is a Bandpre-sale t-shirt contest sponsored by Music Today came to a close last Friday and the winners were determined yesterday. If you were not familiar with the contest, entries were accepted via a prescribed email address during the pre-sale time period (January 21st through February 29th) and 3 winners were randomly chosen by the folks at Music Today. Without further adieu, the winners are:
1) Tim Bahr from Independence, MO 2) David DeBisschop from Oakley, CA 3) Lara Wismar from Collierville, TN
Congratulations everyone! You should receive your t-shirts in the next 2 or 3 weeks.
... Early in March I will have to start preparing for another series of concerts, a "continuation" of the Snakes and Arrows tour. (The Snakes and Arrows "surge," I call it.)
We had planned to end the tour in Europe last fall, but apparently more people want to see us, or see us again, so we were asked to do more shows. Some of them will be in places we haven't got to for a while, like New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and Winnipeg, and that is nice, plus we plan to make a few changes to the setlist and presentation to freshen it up a little. Although the world knows by now that I'm not crazy about touring, I sure don't discount the good fortune that we can still do it, personally and professionally - that we can play better than ever, and that people will come and see us. That's not something I have ever taken for granted. As I have said to friends who might be having their own work difficulties, "At least if I have to work, I''m glad I can." And not just any old job, of course - pretty much the best job there is - but none-the-less a hard one.
Another semi-professional (literally) activity this season has been getting back to playing the marimba. My old beginner's instrument had been disassembled and stored for a few years, but I was moved to set it up again in my front hallway, which is like a small chapel (a chapel to nature, with big windows open to the view of white forest and lake). The marimba had a warm resonance in that setting, as I riffed on my older exercises, "Pieces of Eight" and "Momo's Dance Party," and improvised more-or-less aimlessly on some new ideas. Just for fun.
As usual, there's not much in the way of news in Neil's news update, but it's still an interesting read as always. He does however indirectly verify that the band is now in rehearsals - as I'd mentioned on Friday. Thanks to billsrhythm for the heads up.
According to the Buddy Rich Drum Company's MySpace page there will be another Buddy Rich Memorial Concert taking place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th, 2008. The event will feature Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Neil Peart and others. More details will be announced in DRUM! and Traps magazine in early April. Many thanks to Asif for the heads up.
After tomorrow, tickets for every show on the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour will be on sale to the general public. There is however still an outside chance of them adding a second show at a venue or two depending on how ticket sales go; Puerto Rico and Toronto come to mind as a couple of possibilities. But for the time being, pre-sales are over and the countdown to opening night in Puerto Rico begins - 5 weeks from today on April 11th.
Ticket sales are still a bit sluggish but picking up in some markets. Some good news is that Ft.Lauderdale, Orlando, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Dallas have seen a surge in ticket sales over the last 2 weeks and should expect to go over the 10,000 ticket mark. However, there are currently over a dozen shows that have only sold around 5,000 seats, the worst being Hershey at just barely over 4,000 tickets. Atlantic City also is not fairing well and has yet to sell out its 5,200 seats. Hopefully things will pick up. They do seem to be advertising the tour as demonstrated by this commercial for the tour that reader the2112 saw during South Park a couple weeks back. Banners advertising the tour have also been spotted at several NHL hockey games - they must figure hockey fans like Rush... a valid assumption I'd guess. :)
In last week's poll I asked you which of Rush's never-played-live 70's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg. I should first point out that I just realized I included Different Strings on the 70s-era list even though it was released in 1980 (barely though - it was January). My bad. And guess what song won with 29% of the vote? ... Different Strings of course. The number 2 spot surprised me a bit; The Fountain of Lamneth with 21% of the vote. That was my selection actually - I love that song. Next was Making Memories with 12%. The rest of the tracks had less than 10% each. You can see the complete results here. For this week I'm asking the same question but shifting our focus to 80s-era Rush. So which of Rush's never-played-live 80's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg? Take the poll and let us know what you think.
Despite a few hiccups, I was able to launch the Rush is a Band store earlier this week. You can purchase from a variety of apparel items such as t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts for both men and women. You can even get a RushIsABand mousepad or mug! The items are all fully customizable so you can add your RIAB username, or some lyrics... or whatever you can come up with - and about 20% of the price goes towards supporting the site. So go take a look around when you get a chance. If there are any items you'd like to have me add to the store, let me know. I'll be adding more stuff over the next several weeks, and I'm working on a design for black shirts too.
There's been a Rush sighting on yet another Cartoon Network Adult Swim show. Xavier: Renegade Angel joins the ranks of other cartoons on the network that have contained Rush references such as Sealab 2021 , Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman and Squidbillies. In episode 6 of season 1 (titled World of Hurt, BC) which first aired on December 9th, 2007 the main character Xavier goes back in time by eating bacon and smoking (because it takes minutes off of your life ... get it?). He then regurgitates the bacon to go back to the future. However... he goes a bit too far to the year ... you guessed it - 2112! He then eats some more bacon to get back to the right time. Sounds pretty wacky. Thanks to Codackussell for the heads up.
In my updates post from a couple weeks back I mentioned how Neil Peart's original Tama Kit is currently owned by a guy named Adam Roderick who won it in the Modern Drummer giveaway back in the 1980s. He uses the kit in tribute shows to Rush with his band Trilogy. Trilogy guitarist Chris Meek saw the post and sent me this link which includes some pictures Adam gave him from way back when he won the kit. Neil's drum tech at the time Larry Allen delivered the kit to Adam's house, and Adam was later able to meet Neil at a show on the GUP tour. Very cool stuff.
Here's an interesting Rush history-related tidbit; reader Richie has a close friend who owns Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta. It turns out that the mixing console in Studio 11 is the very same board that was in Le Studio. From their website:
The centerpiece of Tree Sound Studios is an SSL 4000 E/G console, serial #11 - the eleventh SSL ever made! This console has some of the coolest vibes, having been Le Studio's A room console, installed in 1980. One of the first bands to use it was Rush for the recording of "Moving Pictures". They also worked on it for some of "Exit...Stage Left" and "Signals". The Police also utilized old #11 for some of the recording of "Synchronicity" and "Ghost in the Machine". The console lived at Le Studio until it was sold in 1985 and changed hands several times until 1991 when it ended up at Chesire Sound in Atlanta. Tree Sound acquired the console in 1993, where it continues to yield great sounding records, and will cruise on into the next century.
Reader crusher87 let me know that 92.3 K-Rock in New York is running their March Bandness competition. Rush is one of the contenders, so go vote for them if you get a chance. And while you're at it, go vote for Neil Peart in this poll too (thanks Tim A).
Reader Victor S pointed me to the Red Ferns Music Library site which has many amazing shots of Rush posted. Just go to the site and do a search on Rush.
... 70s-set comedies remain relevant because of a universal theme of old meeting new -- albeit a "new" often ridiculously dressed and grooving to Rush. ...
Baseball season is nearly upon us so reader The Clansman 2112 has started a fantasy baseball league at yahoo.com especially for Rush fans. You can join up by going to this link and entering the league ID and password (ID # 155895, Password: atmsite). You also need to have a Yahoo account.
The 3 lucky winners of the MusicToday-sponsored RIAB contest will be chosen sometime in the next few days. I should have the list sometime next week. That's all for now. Have a great weekend!
UPDATE - 3/6@4:55PM: I forgot to mention this before. For those of you who already ordered stuff from CafePress I assume that your orders will still be fulfilled. I'm waiting on confirmation of that though. Again, sorry about the confusion.
UPDATE - 3/6@3:40PM: I moved the store from CafePress to Zazzle because I became frustrated with CafePress's customer service. They were giving me a lot of grief about copyright stuff. So I decided to move the store to Zazzle.com - who I probably should have used in the first place. They have a much better interface and - better yet - allow buyers to customize the products themselves. So folks can add their username or some other personalization to the products, or shift things around if they don't like the look of it. Sorry about the mix-up. Right now I just have a few shirts ported over to the store, but I'll be adding more stuff over the next couple of days.
UPDATE - 3/6@12:28PM: There's currently an issue with the store. I'm working with CafePress to correct it and will let you know when it's back up.
You asked for it so I finally delivered. The Rush is a Band store at Zazzle is now open for business. You can purchase a variety of apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts for men, women and children too. You can even get a RushIsABand mousepad or mug! The design is simple - like the site design itself - and loosely based on the RushIsABand bumper sticker; black & white with no Rush logos of any kind (to avoid copyright issues).
I chose CafePress [edit: Zazzle] because they have a good reputation and take care of all the distribution themselves [plus they allow customization]. For right now I'm only offering shirts for the most part, but if there's something you'd like to see me add to the store, just let me know.
Several folks have been bugging me about making some t-shirts available for some time now, so I'm glad to finally have something to offer. I also encourage people to make their own RushIsABand stuff for personal use if you don't feel like buying my stuff; I don't mind that at all. Buying stuff from the store is also another way you can support RushIsABand.com; about 20% of the purchase price goes towards supporting the site.
The Workin' Them Angels Live single from Rush's upcoming double live CD Snakes & Arrows Live is now available on iTunes. You can get it at this link (thanks to ac91 for the heads up). The single is already in rotation at several radio stations nationwide and is scheduled to officially impact radio on March 10th. As I'd mentioned on Friday, the copy of the single that's being mailed out to radio stations contains 3 versions of the song; the radio-edit album version (4:19), the live version (5:03) and the full album version (4:55). John over at Cygnus-x1.net was kind enough to make scans of his copy of the single available; just click on the thumbnails to your right to view the scans.
We already were informed of the fan pre-sale information for Charlotte over the weekend, but here is the official announcement from Music Today along with all the details about the Snakes & Arrows Live pre-order promotion. This will be the last Music Today fan pre-sale assuming no further shows are added. After this weekend all shows for the 2008 leg will be on sale to the general public.
1. Visit the RUSH Presale Website and enter your email address in the box where it says "Enter Email Address"
2. You will receive an e-mail from Tix@musictoday.com entitled "Rush Fan Community Email Validation." Open this e-mail and visit the validation link included in the e-mail.
3. You will then be redirected from the validation e-mail link back to the RUSH Presale Website. The registration for presale tickets is now complete (Note: You will have to enter your e-mail address again during a later step in the process to purchase tickets.)
* Grand prize winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased. Every city will have one meet and greet winner!
* 5 First Prize winners will receive a HARD COVER TOUR BOOK, comprising of every RUSH tour program from 1977-2004. The book will be personally autographed to the winners by the band. In addition, each of these 5 winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased.