Archive: Blog Entries from December, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alex Lifeson makes VH1's 100 Most Shocking Music Moments
9:35PM EST | link | comments (44) |

Justin and Al in court[VH1's 100 Most Shocking Music Moments]

Most Rush fans are already aware that Alex Lifeson and his son Justin were arrested in Naples, FL nearly 6 years ago on New Year's eve 2004 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. The incident ended up making #62 on VH1's list of the 100 Most Shocking Music Moments which was the subject of a special that aired on the channel Monday night. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Alex Lifeson instructional videos for GarageBand available
1:47PM EST | link | comments (50) |

In his Classic Rock presents ... Prog interview this past Summer one of the things Alex Lifeson mentions being involved with during Rush's break from recording/touring was Apple's GarageBand software. GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts, and is included in all shipments of iLife. The most recent version of the software (iLife '09) includes music instruction, allowing users to buy instructional videos by several popular artists such as Sting, Norah Jones and Ben Folds. In the interview Alex describes how he recorded some instructional videos for the software. Alex's GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lessons for Tom Sawyer and Limelight were made available for purchase back in September. His lessons for Working Man and The Spirit of Radio are also now available. For more information about GarageBand, visit Apple's website at this link. You can watch a short preview video of Alex's Tom Sawyer lesson at the Apple GarageBand site or at this link.

Thanks to Joey C for the heads up.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:34AM EST | link | comments (30) |

I'm posting the updates and other random Rush stuff a day early this week due to the Christmas holiday. Things are a bit quiet right now; the calm before the storm would be a good way to describe it. Things are going to get very busy in 2010 for Rush. As it stands right now, it looks like the band will be hitting the studio in January with a tour kicking off in the late Spring. We can look for the official tour announcement in February. For all the details and a couple of tasty rumors, check out this post from yesterday.

The only real news of any significance from this past week was a new interview with Alex Lifeson from Guitar Aficianado. The interview was conducted at Alex's Coppinwood golf course outside Toronto this past Fall (prior to the band's November band meeting in Los Angeles), and for most of the article Alex discusses golf. He does say a little bit about Rush though:

... Lifeson expects Rush to be active again in 2010. He and Lee are planning to flee Toronto's fall chill for a pre-holiday trip to California to visit Peart and meet his new baby daughter, Olivia. They'll talk about a possible new album and summer tour ...

Rush's Working Men live DVD compilation and their R30 blu-ray re-release were mentioned in Monday's USA Today for an article titled Music-video DVDs that make worthy gifts this season. Thanks to Mark S for the heads up.

This past Monday we celebrated International Rush Day - the 21st day of the 12th month or 21/12 as written in many parts of the world. The occasion has become a sort of unofficial Rush holiday in recent years. Thanks to everybody who helped celebrate and attended the Facebook event I'd created.

The second Trailer Park Boys movie - Countdown to Liquor Day - was released to theaters in Canada back in September and Alex Lifeson made a cameo appearance as a cop. This review of the film from the Edmonton Sun describes some details about Alex's role:

... Of course, there's the de rigueur appearance by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, here playing a drunken, undercover cop posing as a transvestite in a gay-prostitute alley (centred around a Chip Wagon that serves alcohol -- man, Halifax is one weird town). ...

The film was released to DVD this past Tuesday. Lerxst also had a cameo as a cop in the first Trailer Park Boys movie and was heavily involved with the soundtrack for that film. Here's the trailer for Countdown to Liquor Day. Thanks to rushtributeband for the reminder.

Reader rosmakloma located this article at the Car Lust blog which discusses Rush's Red Barchetta.

The Rush Backstage Club is clearing out their supply of 2010 Rush wall calendars. You can get one for just $6.99 at this link (thanks thomas).

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) took place last month at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit (affectionately dubbed Chromey) was on display. The kit was purchased on eBay this past Summer and restored to a playable condition by the new owner Dean with the help of Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com. They put the kit on display and allowed attendees to play it themselves for one minute with a donation of $10 to the American Cancer Society. They ended up raising over $1200! Dean wanted to send out a Chromey Christmas Greeting to everyone for their help and support with Chromey at PASIC:

A 2009 Chromey Christmas Greeting

The new owners and Santa would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks to all the Rush fans, drumming community, and the American Cancer Society for their help and support with Chromey at PASIC. A special thanks to Mr. Michael DF Lowe and Mr. Paul Wells for making Chromey's appearance at PASIC possible.

Oh, and for any of you that might be wondering: No, it's not Neil in the Santa suit...

Ashley, Santa & Dean

I leave you this Christmas Eve with Alex Lifeson's rendition of the Little Drummer Boy from the Merry Axemas Christmas compilation:

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates the holiday. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rush 2010 tour and album update
10:07PM EST | link | comments (51) |

More information regarding Rush's 2010 tour and album plans is starting to trickle in. Before getting into the new details I thought I'd summarize what we know so far. Rush met sometime in November for a band meeting to discuss their plans for the upcoming year. Alex mentioned this impending meeting in a recently published interview with Guitar Aficianado from earlier this Fall, reiterating the fact that the band plans to be active in 2010. In the wake of this meeting, Geddy Lee was a special guest at the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day charity event in early December. According to fan reports, at the event Geddy was asked about Rush's plans for an album/tour and replied that Rush plans on entering the studio very, very soon and are hoping to then tour this summer. Since Geddy's comments were made, I've also heard some anonymous reports that a couple members of the Rush road crew have been casually contacted regarding the possibility of going out on tour next year. Adding fuel to the fire, several major radio stations (Chicago's WLUP, Boston's WZLX, Philadelphia's WYSP) recently ran contests to promote the release of the Working Men live compilation where listeners could qualify for a later drawing to win tickets to Rush's next tour. And last week we learned that the biggest FM radio station in Buenos Aires (FM Rock & Pop) had reported that a major local booking agency is working on bringing Rush to Argentina for the next tour. This all jibes with reports I've been hearing from inside sources that the band is currently in the process of nailing down dates for a 2010 tour to start in the late Spring, focusing particularly on first getting to places they missed on the last tour - like South America and Atlantic Canada.

Now for the new details. We've been wondering whether Snakes & Arrows producer Nick Raskulinecz will continue working with Rush for their next album. According to reader spitneye, it looks like this will indeed be the case. He claims to have run into Nick in a Tennessee (Nick is a Knoxville native) grocery store recently and here's what he reported in the comments on last week's Friday updates post:

I live in Franklin, Tennessee and my son and I just ran into Nick Raskulineez at a local grocery store. When I walked past him I immediately recognized him as the producer of the last album Snakes & Arrows so I asked him if he was getting ready to go into the studio with the boys. He looked up with a big smile on his face and said "yes" and said that he just got back from L.A. where they all met and worked out the details. He said that they will be in the studio next month. He said the new album will be like the last album and one of the songs will have a "Natural Science" feel to it.

I can't independently confirm all of this, but it sounds plausible and I tend to take spitneye at his word. Nick's remarks seem to indirectly suggest that the band already has several songs written, which would certainly make it easier for them to get a new album out the door in time for a Spring release. I can confirm via my other sources that Rush definitely do plan on entering the studio next month and that an official announcement regarding the tour will be coming in February. One other rumor I'm hearing is that the band is considering using the tour to somehow mark the 30th anniversary of Permanent Waves (the album was released on January 1, 1980) and may even play that album in its entirety in celebration. That's one rumor I really hope turns out to be true! I'm also hearing that the Rush documentary crew will be on hand to film the band in the studio and probably some of the initial dates on the tour, like they were hoping. So my guess is that the documentary won't be out until the summer at the earliest.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New interview with Alex Lifeson in Guitar Aficianado
9:25AM EST | link | comments (36) |

UPDATE - 12/22@4:21PM: I was able to get my hands on a copy of the article (thanks RushFanForever). The interview was conducted at Alex's Coppinwood golf course outside Toronto this past Fall (prior to the band's November band meeting in Los Angeles), and for most of the article Alex discusses golf. He does say a little bit about Rush though:

... Lifeson expects Rush to be active again in 2010. He and Lee are planning to flee Toronto's fall chill for a pre-holiday trip to California to visit Peart and meet his new baby daughter, Olivia. They'll talk about a possible new album and summer tour ...

There are also some great photos of Alex which I've included here (just click on the thumbnails).

----- snip -----

The latest issue of Guitar Aficianado features Alex Lifeson in a piece titled Golfing with Alex Lifeson of Rush. If anyone has read the article or has a copy, please let us know. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy International Rush Day!
7:30AM EST | link | comments (35) |

Today is the 21st day of the 12th month - often written as 21/12 in many parts of the world. The occasion has become a sort of unofficial Rush holiday in recent years. What better excuse do you need to listen to Rush all day long, watch Rush DVDs, wear Rush paraphernalia, etc? To make it especially significant, do something extra special at exactly 9:12PM this evening; 21:12 in military time. It's also the Winter Solstice (First Day of Winter). For all the folks on Facebook: I created an event for International Rush Day here. Happy International Rush Day!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:06PM EST | link | comments (74) |

The Rush tour machine appears to be slowly coming to life once again. Rush met sometime in November for a band meeting to discuss their plans for the upcoming year. In the wake of this meeting, Geddy Lee was a special guest at the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day charity event in early December. According to fan reports, at the event Geddy was asked about Rush's plans for an album/tour and replied that Rush plans on entering the studio very, very soon and are hoping to then tour this summer. Since Geddy's comments were made, I've also heard some anonymous reports that a couple members of the Rush road crew have been casually contacted regarding the possibility of going out on tour next year. Adding fuel to the fire, several major radio stations (Chicago's WLUP, Boston's WZLX, Philadelphia's WYSP) have recently announced contests to promote the release of the Working Men live compilation where they are giving away tickets to Rush's next tour. And just yesterday we learned that the biggest FM radio station in Buenos Aires (FM Rock & Pop) reported earlier this week that a major local booking agency is working on bringing Rush to Argentina for the next tour. This all jibes with reports I've been hearing from inside sources that the band is currently in the process of nailing down dates for a 2010 tour to start in the late Spring, focusing particularly on first getting to places they missed on the last tour - like South America. We should be getting some kind of official announcement early next year. Start saving your pennies! Now the big question is what type of studio release will we see from the band and when.

The Blu-ray version of R30 which contains the complete September 24, 2004 show from Frankfurt, Germany was released a couple of weeks back. The blu-ray version contains all 22 of the tracks included with the original DVD release along with the 8 missing tracks; Bravado, YYZ, The Trees, One Little Victory, Secret Touch, Red Sector A, La Villa Strangiato and By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Unfortunately the blu-ray version does not contain the bonus disc that was included with the original DVD release despite the fact that some retailers mistakenly shipped the item with a sticker stating extensive bonus materials include interviews and rare performance footage. And although there are currently no plans for a European release, Rounder has confirmed that the blu-ray is region-free. If you haven't already ordered your copy, you can do so at this link.

The DarkStar interactive video game which features the music of Rush will finally be seeing the light of day sometime next year. Final beta testing should wrap up in late January and the game is then set to release on PC and MAC in 2010, with console versions tentatively set to follow in late 2010 or possibly 2011. They are still working out a deal with Universal and Atlantic regarding the use of Rush's music, and are asking Rush fans to take a short survey to help speed the process along. To watch a short trailer and take the survey go to this link.

Neil Peart made several recent updates to the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill section of NeilPeart.net. He added a section for turkey recipes and a few more items to the official Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise store at BubbaWares.com; a black and white bowling shirt, a pink bowling shirt, a refrigerator magnet and a hockey jersey. On a related note, one thing I had missed regarding Neil's website was that he updated his background music to go with the theme of his latest news update; Autumn Serenade - a solo warm-up recorded at DW this past November (thanks between2wheels).

A couple of weeks ago Neil Peart recorded a new drum-centric version of The Hockey Theme for The Sports Network (TSN). You can watch a sneak peak of the recording session at this link. He recorded the song on a custom drum kit created for him by DW Drums that featured the logos of all 30 NHL teams. The kit is described in detail in this Drum Workshop article along with an accompanying photo gallery. There's also this article from Sabian's Chris Stankee describing the session which also has an accompanying photo gallery. And RushFanForever located this Flickr gallery of photos from the session. As I'd mentioned above, The Bubba's Bar -n- Grill hockey jersey that Neil is wearing in the preview video is now available for pre-order at Bubbawares.com.

The inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced earlier this week. We already knew that Rush was not one of the nominees, so many Rush fans were rooting for prog-to-pop rockers Genesis or former Rush tourmates KISS (and many Rush fans could not care less). KISS did not end up making the cut but Genesis did, which bodes well for Rush's future chances. On a related subject, Robert Trujillo of 2009 Rock Hall inductee Metallica was recently interviewed by Jon Matsumoto for Mercury News and had the following to say:

... Trujillo says Metallica aims to help other overlooked heavy-metal and hard rock bands gain entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "The most important thing with our induction is to bring awareness to some of the other groups in the hard rock, metal realm," he says. "We've got (Black) Sabbath in the Hall of Fame. So let's bring awareness to bands like UFO and Rush and bands from other parts of the globe. It doesn't have to be centered around Britain or the U.S."

Metallica's Kirk Hammett mentioned Rush as his choice for induction back in January as did bandmate James Hetfield. Hetfield even went so far as to mention Rush in Metallica's Rock Hall acceptance speech earlier this year.

Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson recently penned an article for Sound & Vision Magazine where he lists 20 Albums That Deserve To Be In Surround Sound, one of which is Rush's Moving Pictures. Here's what he had to say about it:

One of my favorite bands at its very peak. Moving Pictures is that rare thing: a 40-minute album without a wasted note or even a weak moment. It was made with relative economy compared with some of the other albums on this list, yet the interplay between the three extraordinary musicians (and the tasteful integration of synthesizers) would be a blast in 5.1.

Steven Wilson is one of the leading proponents of music in surround and is currently remixing the entire King Crimson catalog in 5.1 with the full support of King Crimson founding member Robert Fripp who - along with Alex Lifeson - was a guest musician on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet. There was also a rumor going around earlier this Fall that Wilson might be giving the same treatment to the Rush catalog and that Alex Lifeson is on board with it. I've not heard any update and/or confirmation regarding this. Thanks to robertrobyn at The Rush Forum for the heads up.

Between Sun and Moon jewelryAs I'd mentioned last week, Katy at online handcrafted jewelry store Between Sun & Moon is offering Free US Priority Mail shipping with any $30 purchase to rushisaband readers; just use discount code rushisaband. Get your orders in my the end of today to ensure delivery by Christmas! Even if that special lady in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry from Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them.

Several weeks ago we found out about a new documentary from filmmaker Paul Miil which explores the Niagara music scene of the late 60's and early 70's of which Neil Peart played a major part. It was released late last month and is titled The Big Story of Small Potatoes. Neil Peart was not interviewed for the documentary but Jimmy Johnson, who later became a guitar tech for Alex Lifeson, is interviewed. The film makes reference to several bands that Neil played in including JR Flood - which has a portion of their song Giant Killer (which Neil plays on) included on the soundtrack. The film's website also includes a list of several bands that Neil purportedly played with. Filmmaker Paul Miil wanted me to let everyone know that the film will premier this Sunday, December 20th at 2:30PM at The Golden Pheasant (244 Ontario St. St. Catharines) and admission is free. A surprise VIP will be attending the premier.

Reader RushFanForever recently located this photo of Geddy at Flickr. It's from an October gathering of WorldWide Pants Incorporated in Canada which is David Letterman's film production company. You can check out the photo at this link. I'm not sure who is in the picture with Geddy.

Season 7 of Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force kicked off this past Sunday, December 13th with a Christmas special titled A PE Christmas (episode #701). At one point in the episode Master Shake and Meatwad are in a studio recording a Christmas rap song and they ask the engineer to adjust the EQ, which he does. The conversation then goes like this:

Engineer: how's that?
Meatwad: You're not touching the board. You're just sorta looking at me.
Engineer: Yes - I'm controlling it with my feet.
Master Shake: Of course - like Geddy Lee!

You can watch the episode online at this link. The Rush reference occurs about 30 seconds into the 2nd clip. The show's creators are big Rush fans and have included Rush references in at least 2 other episodes; Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary (episode #214) and The Marines (episode #508). Neil Peart also made a cameo appearance in 2007's Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. Thanks to Anthony for the heads up.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks is a UK game show with a pop and rock music theme. On two recent occasions one of the team captains wore a Rush t-shirt on the show (see the thumbnails). Thanks to Power Windows reader Dylan W for the heads up.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but on an episode of SportsCenter from a few weeks ago Jay Onrait makes his apparent hatred of Geddy Lee known by drawing a picture of himself punching Geddy Lee in the head. It looks like this is probably some kind of joke or taken out of context, but I'm really not sure. You can check out the video on YouTube at this link. Thanks to Simon T for the heads up.

Fly By Night cycling jerseyPrimal Wear - the makers of the Rush 2112 cycling jersey - have just added a Rush Fly by Night jersey to their line of cycling apparel. The jersey retails for $79.95 and you can check it out at this link. Thanks to Robo for the heads up.

Rush and their doubleneck guitars get a mention in this article at Premier Guitar Magazine titled Those Daring Young Men and Their Doubleneck Guitars: A Brief History of Multi-Neck Players:

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush have both used doubleneck instruments onstage and in the studio. Lifeson's original EDS-1275 was broken by a falling speaker horn at a gig at Nassau Coliseum in the late 1970s, but was repaired and repainted afterward. Lifeson gave the guitar to Eric Johnson as a gift, but it was stolen within weeks. Lifeson has since replaced the 1275 with another that he has used only in rehearsals as of this writing.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Speaking of doublenecks and to get us in the mood for a Rush tour, here's Xanadu from Exit ... Stage Left (a personal favorite of mine):

Happy Holidays everyone! Have a great weekend. Rush on!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

DarkStar update and Rush fan survey
12:11PM EST | link | comments (11) |

DarkStar[DarkStar Rush fan survey]

DarkStar is an interactive video game that's been in development for nearly 10 years. It's usually described as more of an interactive movie than a video game because the characters in the game are live actors. The game is of interest to Rush fans because it will feature the music of Rush; about two dozen songs spanning 12 albums. The last update we heard regarding the project was over 2 years ago when it looked like the game was finally on the verge of release, which obviously did not happen. Eric of the Power Windows site has been corresponding with DarkStar director/producer J. Allen Williams who had the following updates to give regarding the project:

We are now negotiating with Universal and Atlantic to include the following songs to be featured in the feature length scifi film that serves as back-story to the project: Anthem, Bastille Day, The Twilight Zone, Cygnus X-1, Cygnus X-1 Book II, Tom Sawyer, YYZ, The Camera Eye, Witch Hunt, Vital Signs, Subdivisions, Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, Red Lenses, Mystic Rhythms, Manhattan Project, Time Stand Still, Test for Echo, Time and Motion, Limbo, One Little Victory and Nocturne. The band and their management has approved the use of all of these songs, but final negotiations must be completed with Universal and Atlantic before we can announce the final songlist. We're hoping we can include this entire list.
- J. Allen Williams/Parallax Studio L.L.C.

Power Windows also reports that DarkStar is completely finished and will wrap up final beta testing in Canada in late January. The game will first be released on PC and MAC in 2010, with console versions tentatively set to follow in late 2010 or possibly 2011. The studio will announce a concrete release date very soon. They are also asking Rush fans to participate in a short survey to help speed the product to market. A substantial level of interest from Rush fans in this survey will bolster the studio's ability to show its publisher (and also Universal and Atlantic) that the fans would like to see the band represented in such a project, and that they would be interested in purchasing it as well. To watch a short trailer and take the survey go to this link.

Eric at Power Windows was lucky enough to see a preview of the game with the Rush soundtrack and had this to say:

I have personally viewed about an hour of the cinematics that have gone into Darkstar, and it was intense. I was expecting a 10 minute intro film for a video game, but this is obviously much more than that. Overall, watching a sci-fi space adventure set to the emotional music of RUSH was thrilling. The use of RUSH's music wasn't arbitrarily chosen either. Instead, specific selections were used to coincide with the action and the mood, be it the slow, yet steady introduction of "Cygnus X-1" as a starship approaches, or the thrilling double bass drum intro from "One Little Victory" during a dogfight scene.

He also asked Mr. Williams a few questions regarding the project which you can check out below.

READ MORE...

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Radio stations giving away Rush 2010 tour tickets?
5:40PM EST | link | comments (76) |

UPDATE - 12/17@9:30AM: From what I'm now hearing from my sources, there won't be any kind of official tour announcement until early next year. But the good news is that it sounds like the band is currently in the process of nailing down dates for a 2010 tour to start in the late Spring, focusing particularly on first getting to places they missed on the last tour - like South America. Supporting this is that fact that the biggest FM radio station in Buenos Aires (FM Rock & Pop) reported earlier this week that a major local booking agency is working on bringing Rush to Argentina for the next tour (thanks Martin from Argentina). The wheels are definitely in motion. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, I'd say it's pretty clear that Rush will be touring in 2010. Now the big question is what type of studio release will we see from the band and when.

UPDATE - 12/16@10:38PM: It looks like WYSP in Philadelphia is in on the game too (thanks PwrWndws) ... probably other stations out there as well.

A couple of weeks ago in Toronto Geddy Lee was a special guest at the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day charity event. According to reports from a few lucky fans who were there and spoke to the man himself, Geddy said that Rush plans on entering the studio very, very soon and are hoping to then tour this summer. Since these comments came in the wake of Rush's November band meeting they would seem to hold more weight than Alex Lifeson's prior musings about 2010 album/tour plans in interviews back in the summer. Since Geddy's comments were made, I've also heard some anonymous reports that a couple members of the Rush road crew have been casually contacted regarding the possibility of going out on tour next year. So it definitely sounds like something is brewing. In yet another interesting turn of events, 2 major radio stations - Chicago's WLUP and Boston's WZLX - have both recently announced contests to promote the release of the Working Men live compilation where they are giving away tickets to Rush's next tour. WLUP went as far to say that they are expecting Rush to be in Chicago in 2010 according to their sources and that details will be coming soon. Perhaps they know something we don't? Maybe there will be some type of official announcement in the next week or so. That would indeed be a nice Christmas present from the band. Keep your fingers crossed! Thanks to malterb and Stephen Y for the info.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise at NeilPeart.net
10:06AM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 12/16@9:41AM: It looks like Neil Peart also added some new turkey recipes to the Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill section of his website. He added recipes for
Bubba's Big Bird, Cranberry Jelly, Brutus's Turkey Stock, and Brutus's Turkey Chili. Mmmm.

UPDATE - 12/15@11:51AM: Wow. Our wish came true! Shortly after I posted this, Bubbawares.com started offering the hockey jersey for sale pre-order. You can check it out at this link. Thanks to Progscape for the heads up.

Back in July of this year, Neil Peart launched the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill section of his website at NeilPeart.net. It was created to showcase Neil's love of cooking along with several of his own recipes. Back in October several updates were made to this section including the opening of the official Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise store at BubbaWares.com. The original five items they had for sale were a men's t-shirt, a women's t-shirt, a tote bag, an apron and a baseball hat. They just recently added a few more items just in time for Christmas; a black and white bowling shirt, a pink bowling shirt and a refrigerator magnet. We're also hoping that they will soon offer the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill hockey jersey that Neil Peart was sporting in the preview video for the recording of the new Hockey Theme. Many thanks to Nettie for the heads up.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:17AM EST | link | comments (52) |

The big news of this past week was the full concert blu-ray release of Rush's R30. The blu-ray version contains all 30 tracks in order from Rush's September 24, 2004 show in Frankfurt, Germany including the 8 tracks that were missing from the original DVD release; Bravado, YYZ, The Trees, One Little Victory, Secret Touch, Red Sector A, La Villa Strangiato and By-Tor and the Snow Dog. There was a bit of a hiccup with the blu-ray's packaging however; apparently some retailers (Amazon at least) shipped it with a promo sticker that states Extensive bonus materials include interviews and rare performance footage despite the fact that no bonus material is included.

Neil Peart was also very active in the news this past week. On Monday he recorded a new drum-centric version of The Hockey Theme for The Sports Network (TSN). You can watch a sneak peak of the recording session at this link. He recorded the song on a custom drum kit created for him by DW Drums that featured the logos of all 30 NHL teams. Speaking of DW Drums, over this past weekend the Drum Workshop YouTube channel posted video of a 20-minute discussion between DW's John Good and Neil Peart where they discussed the finer points of drum shell construction. You can watch it at this link. In the video, John discusses constructing a new kit for Neil. Perhaps they were talking about the NHL Logo Kit or maybe a new touring kit? Hmmm... Neil also updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website earlier this week, reviewing 6 new books.

There's nothing new to report regarding a potential 2010 album/tour. But I will say that I've heard some anonymous reports that a couple members of the Rush road crew have been casually contacted regarding the possibility of going out on tour next year; yet another good sign. While we're all anxiously awaiting more news on this front I thought I'd open up discussion on who should produce Rush's next album. Scott14 over at Counterparts came up with a great list of potential producers and I borrowed it for my next poll. So what do you think? Take the Poll and let us know. In my last poll I asked everyone what their favorite song off of Presto was in celebration of the album's recent 20th anniversary. The resounding winner was The Pass with over 30% of the vote. Coming in a respectable 2nd with 18% of the vote was Available Light. You can check out the complete results at this link.

Back in September Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson launched an auction of rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization. The actual Grapes Under Pressure fundraising event took place on Saturday, September 26th and wine critic Tony Aspler was in attendance. GedHed located this article at Aspler's site which includes a description of the event along with some pictures which I've included above.

One of the above photos from the Grapes Under Pressure event pictures Geddy with chef David Lee, who was the winner of the Gold Medal Plates event where Geddy was a guest judge. RushFanForever dug up this Flickr photo from the event which took place on Thursday, November 19th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The new Vertical Horizon album Burning The Days, which features Neil Peart on 3 songs, released a couple of months ago. Neil plays drums on the tracks Save Me From Myself, Even Now (which he also wrote the lyrics for) and Welcome to the Bottom. Vertical Horizon frontman and founder Matt Scannell was recently interviewed for this PopMatters article. The article talks about how Vertical Horizon's song Everything You Want helped inspire Neil Peart to get back into music after suffering the dual tragedies of the passing of both his daughter and his wife over 10 years ago:

If there is any one person that a Rush fan should thank for reuniting the prog-rock giants after the band took a long hiatus in 1997, it's Vertical Horizon's frontman Matt Scannell.

Wait. Who? And from what band was he?

After Rush's drummer, Neil Peart, saw both his daughter Selena and wife Jacqueline pass away within a matter of a year, the legendary rock icon took some much-needed and much-deserved time away from the Canadian trio. As questions arose concerning whether the band would ever manage to return, Peart-who took off on his motorcycle for a journey that lasted somewhere around 55,000 miles-found himself listening to pop radio more than usual. As fate would have it, he happened to fall in love with a song by Vertical Horizon called "Everything You Want," and-according to Scannell, who would later meet and become friends will Peart-the song inspired the drummer to get back into music.

It's true: one of Rush's biggest fans became one of Rush's biggest reasons to return to music.

"Rush is absolutely my favorite band of all time," Scannell said. "So when I met Neil for the first time, and he told me that story, it was the most amazing thing. He just seemed so genuine." ...

Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax was recently interviewed for Ain't It Cool News and had the following to say when asked about their frequent references to prog rock bands on MST3K:

... Beaks: That's kind of a recurring theme on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER: making fun of prog rock bands.

Murphy: You know what it is, don't you? We all felt really guilty for liking the prog rock bands when they were popular. I mean, I saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer in concert. And I saw Yes in concert. But I never saw Rush - which I kind of regret because it turns out I like them more than any of the others.

Beaks: They have aged the best of those groups.

Murphy: That's for sure. They didn't become doughy Englishmen living in manor houses. They're actually working on the road. And it's the same guys, which is kind of cool. ...

MST3K was known for making extensive use of Rush references in their movie commentary voice-overs. Here's a complete list from the Power Windows site. Thanks to Al P for the heads up.

Between Sun & Moon is an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise owned and operated by Rush fan and rushisaband reader Katy. Each uniquely handcrafted piece is named for and inspired by the lyrics of Rush. The Holidays are right around the corner and - as she has done several times in the past - Katy is offering an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers! Even if that special lady in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry from Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Katy is offering Free US Priority Mail shipping with any $30 purchase to rushisaband readers; just use discount code rushisaband and order by December 17th for Christmas delivery. Thanks Katy!

I found a humorous 2112 typo sighting in this recent Belfast Telegraph article on Sarah Palin's likelihood of running for president in 2012. Apparently the author thinks she'll instead be running 100 years later in 2112:

... she is a domestic political goddess, their reflection and representative in the big game. This is why, albeit in a drastically weak ante post field, she is the clear favourite to head the ticket in 2112. ..

Personally, I think I'll be voting for the Solar Federation ticket in 2112. :)

Speaking of 2112, in the latest issue of Spin Magazine there's a feature on page 26 called Spin 20 - Ranking On Pop Culture Since 1998. One of the items reads:

2010 - Only 102 short years till Geddy Lee returns as the messiah.

Thanks to Jason B for the heads up.

Speaking of Geddy Lee, rare book store A Cappella Books recently celebrated its 20th year in business and was featured in this Access Atlanta article. Apparently Geddy is their best customer:

... Our biggest spending customer ... is probably Geddy Lee of Rush. He's an eclectic book collector. He likes Southern literature and Jewish authors, and he has a genuine appreciation for old books.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Rush's Something for Nothing gets quoted in this recent article at OhMyGov.com discussing a new proposed US House Bill:

Many years ago, back when people actually bought records, a wise man once sang the lyrics: "You don't get something for nothing, you can't have freedom for free." Now granted, that "wise man" might have been Geddy Lee of Rush... but do you really think Geddy Lee is any less wise than most of the people in Congress? ...

Here's a blast from the past. One thing from the 80s that you probably don't remember is the short-lived Capacitance Electronic Disc audio/video format. Rush's Exit Stage Left was released in this format and John at Cygnus-X1.net has a copy. He was kind enough to send me a few pics of this rarity. You can check them out by clicking on the thumbnails above.

Chad Bowar of About.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn of San Francisco Bay area metal band Machinehead and Flynn had this to say:

I've been thinking about where to go with the new record, and the mindset. I was talking to [Metallica's] Lars [Ulrich] and James [Hetfield] about their mindset when they were writing "Master Of Puppets". Who were your rivals? Who did you have to be better than? What was driving you to write this insane music? There wasn't a template to follow. They had their influences, but what they did was take it and making it 10 times more extreme. I'm trying to put my headspace into what it would have been like for Slayer or Metallica or Rush or Black Sabbath, people who created a style of music out of something that wasn't there. That's the mindset that I want to get in. ...

Thanks to Blabbermouth.net for the news.

Kelly D located this massive cartoon drawing of famous Canadians by cartoonist Kate Beaton. See if you can locate our favorite Canadian power trio.

Reader Jon F alerted me to the fact that Rush friend and collaborator Ben Mink was responsible for the soundtrack to recently-aired SyFy mini-series Alice.

Yet another Rush friend and collaborator - Kim Mitchell - is shown in this video playing Rush's YYZ on Guitar Hero 2 for the XBox. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

In celebration of the release of R30 on blu-ray I thought I'd share this video that Sean dug up. It's a 22-month old kid playing along with the R30 Overture from the R30 DVD on a drum pad.

My Time Stand Still Rush Calender is busted. I'm working on a fix but I may not be able to get to it for a couple of weeks.

That's all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Neil Peart's recommended reading updated
11:01AM EST | link | comments (10) |

[Bubba's Book Club: ISSUE 14 - December, 2009]

Neil Peart recently updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he reviews and recommends books that he's been reading. In this - his 14th installment since the launch of his site - Neil reviews the following books: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace, The Good Life by Jay McInerney, In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, The Brothers K by David James Duncan and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

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Rush-inspired handcrafted jewelry for Christmas
10:26AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Between Sun and Moon jewelry[Between Sun & Moon handcrafted jewelry inspired by Rush]

Between Sun & Moon is an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise owned and operated by Rush fan and rushisaband reader Katy. Each uniquely handcrafted piece is named for and inspired by the lyrics of Rush. The Holidays are right around the corner and - as she has done several times in the past - Katy is offering an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers! Even if that special lady in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry from Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Katy is offering Free US Priority Mail shipping with any $30 purchase to rushisaband readers; just use discount code rushisaband and order by December 17th for Christmas delivery. Thanks Katy!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Neil Peart records new version of The Hockey Theme for TSN
8:45PM EST | link | comments (25) |

UPDATE - 12/17@9:10PM: Here is yet another gallery of great pics from the session (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 12/15@12:07PM: The Bubba's Bar -n- Grill hockey jersey that Neil is wearing in the preview video is now available for pre-order at Bubbawares.com.

UPDATE - 12/14@3:31PM: Here's more info about the NHL kit from the Drum Workshop website, including some great pics (thanks rosmakloma):

... The set is airbrushed in Lacquer Graphics with NHL logos and ultra-custom Ice Blue hardware. DW Custom shop Artist, Louie Garcia comments, Neil told me he wanted to begin a new masterpiece with this kit. He really wanted it to represent the game of hockey, incorporating center ice and the face-off circles. And for the look of ice, we with went with a pearlescent color called Blue Frost. It really is a unique kit"

The set will be seen before each "Hockey Night in Canada" telecast and will also follow around the Stanley cup as it travels from arena to arena. Eventually, the set will wind up in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 12/14@10:57AM: Reader rosmakloma sent me this article from the Sabian website written by Chris Stankee about the recording session. The article has an accompanying photo gallery with a bunch of great pictures from the session.

UPDATE - 12/10@10:17AM: The preview video is now also up on YouTube. I added it to the bottom of the post.

A few weeks ago we found out that Neil Peart would be recording a special new version of The Hockey Theme for The Sports Network (TSN). Late yesterday TSN reported that Peart had finished recording the song at the iconic Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood on Monday. From the press release:

... The new rendition of The Hockey Theme features Peart accompanied by 17 musicians. The Stanley Cup was on hand to both inspire the musicians and to help symbolize The Hockey Theme's significance to the game. To further aid in instilling the hockey state of mind in his fellow musicians, Peart used a custom drum kit created by DW Drums that featured the logos of all 30 NHL teams.

In addition, Peart's trademark cap was specially adorned with the logos of the original six NHL teams. He also wore a hockey jersey featuring his 'Bubba's Bar & Grill' logo on the front with "RUSH" on the nameplate and the number three, in reference to the three members of Rush.

"Touring in Rush, we play all the same arenas as the hockey teams. Having travelled to and performed in nearly all of those arenas, some of them many times, and looking up at the championship banners and retired jerseys, you can't help but soak in the history of each city's team," says Peart.

Peart's version of The Hockey Theme will make its debut in the New Year and will be used during NHL on TSN broadcasts throughout the remainder of the NHL season. ...

Hockey fans apparently got a sneak peak of the recording session during the first intermission of this evening's New York Islanders at Toronto Maple Leafs game. And you can check out the preview yourself at this link or on YouTube at this link. The Hockey Theme is a Canadian theme song written in 1968 by Dolores Claman and is often referred to as Canada's second national anthem. Thanks to Wayne for the heads up.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

R30 full concert blu-ray released today
7:14AM EST | link | comments (82) |

UPDATE - 12/9@1:57PM: Apparently some retailers (Amazon at least) shipped the blu-ray with a promo sticker that states Extensive bonus materials include interviews and rare performance footage despite the fact that no bonus material is included. Just to clarify, the blu-ray does not contain any bonus footage; this has been confirmed by Anthem. The mistake was in the sticker on the packaging. Another point of clarification: all the tracks (the original 22 plus the 8 bonus) are included together in the order they were performed rather than with the 8 new tracks separated.

The Blu-ray version of R30 which contains the complete September 24, 2004 show from Frankfurt, Germany was released today. The blu-ray version contains all 22 of the tracks included with the original DVD release along with the 8 missing tracks; Bravado, YYZ, The Trees, One Little Victory, Secret Touch, Red Sector A, La Villa Strangiato and By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Geddy Lee addressed the omitted tracks in a March 2006 interview with Aardschok Magazine:

... Some of the songs were dropped from R30 due to technical reasons but also we didn't want to have too many similarities with Rush In Rio. Why not? Well, I think now that it was a dumb decision of ours. In fact I regret not having put the whole show on those disks. But I promise you, all those songs that were cut will eventually see the light of day, in some shape or form. ...

Unfortunately the blu-ray version does not contain the bonus disc that was included with the original DVD release. If you haven't already ordered your copy, you can do so at this link.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Video: Neil Peart and John Good of Drum Workshop talk drums
10:54AM EST | link | comments (27) |

A couple of weeks ago I let you know about a short article in the latest issue of Edge Magazine - the official Drum Workshop newsletter - where Neil Peart discussed the finer points of drum shell construction with DW's John Good. A portion of the interview was transcribed and included with the newsletter which you can download at this link (PDF 5MB). Earlier today, the Drum Workshop YouTube channel posted video of the complete 20-minute discussion in 2 parts which you can check out here:

This detailed and technical discussion is fascinating to watch, even if you aren't a drummer. Good stuff. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:17AM EST | link | comments (41) |

UPDATE - 12/7@10:12AM: Reader RushFanForever emailed Brian Greenway himself regarding the video for In the Danger Zone shown below. He confirmed that it's not Alex in the video - it's Greenway mimicking Alex's solo.

UPDATE - 12/5@9:04AM: The Wounded Bird Records website is now saying that Alex Lifeson's Victor solo project is available for purchase.

The chances of a new Rush album and tour in 2010 seem to be getting better and better. Over the Summer Alex Lifeson teased us with talk of Rush getting back in the studio and possibly touring. But fans were a bit skeptical to say the least due to the then impending birth of Neil's new daughter along with Lerxst's penchant for off-the-cuff remarks. Then Neil Peart announced that Rush would be meeting in Los Angeles in November to discuss future plans. Since November came to a close Rush fans have been anxiously awaiting word of what became of that meeting, and we may have received our first rumblings a couple of days ago from Geddy Lee. This past Wednesday in Toronto Geddy was a special guest at the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day charity event. According to reports from a few lucky fans who were there and spoke to the man himself, Geddy said that Rush plans on entering the studio very, very soon and are hoping to then tour this summer. I'd argue that this statement holds a little more weight than Alex's musings over the Summer since they come post-band meeting, and likely mean that Neil Peart is on board as well. Now we just sit and wait with our fingers crossed for the official word.

The full concert Blu-ray version of R30 releases this coming Tuesday, December 8th. The Rush Backstage Club recently listed the item on their website and caused a bit of controversy because their tracklisting included the 8 missing tracks as bonus tracks rather than being integrated into the existing tracks in the order they were performed. Thankfully this seems to have been a mistake on the part of the Rush Backstage Club. Reader sean emailed them and received verification that the content of the blu-ray is the full concert in order and that the extra 8 tracks are not separate from the original 22 tracks. If you haven't already ordered your copy, you can do so at this link.

This past Tuesday the Drum Channel posted the following to their Twitter page:

Neil Peart was in the DC Studios again yesterday filming a special on Classic Rush albums for VH1... look for it soon!

I unfortunately haven't been able to get any more information regarding this. But I'm still assuming that this would have been for one of VH1's Classic Albums documentary specials put out by Eagle Rock Entertainment that they run periodically. I'd first heard a rumor about a year ago that Moving Pictures would be getting the Classic Albums treatment, so perhaps they are finally getting around to it.

Rush's Show Don't Tell off of 1989's Presto is one of the featured tracks on the new Atlantic Records Time Capsule box set which was announced via a press release earlier this week. The numbered, limited edition set comes in a custom-made metallic box and celebrates the label's entire history going back to 1947. It includes nine CDs containing 165 tracks from 141 artists along with several extras such as a 140-page book featuring over 200 rare and/or previously unseen photographs from the Atlantic archives. You can get more information at AtlanticTimeCapsule.com and order your copy at this link. Speaking of Presto, reader RushFanForever noticed that Wolfgang's Vault recently posted a Presto-era interview with Geddy Lee where he discusses the album. You can check it out at this link.

Earlier today we learned that Alex Lifeson's long out-of-print 1996 solo project Victor will be reissued by Wounded Bird Records some time in the near future. Wounded Bird Records specializes in the reissue of albums from the 60's, 70's and early 80's on CD, and all of their releases are properly licensed from the owner of the original masters. The exact release date is not yet known.

A few months ago two new documentaries exploring the Canadian music scene in the '70s and '80s were shown on the CBC over a series of 4 weeks. The documentaries were titled This Beat Goes On and Rise Up respectively. Rush along with several other Canadian artists were featured and the documentaries included new interview segments with Geddy Lee. Reader RushFanForever gave some great reports on the Rush content of each documentary in this post. Both documentaries will be available for purchase on DVD this coming Tuesday, December 8th and can be pre-ordered at the following links: This Beat Goes On, Rise Up. According to BW&BK a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the DVDs will go to support MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which helps to keep music alive in schools across the country.

A few weeks ago we found out about a new documentary from filmmaker Paul Miilm which explores the Niagara music scene of the late 60's and early 70's of which Neil Peart played a major part. It was released late last month and is titled The Big Story of Small Potatoes. Neil Peart was not interviewed for the documentary but Jimmy Johnson, who later became a guitar tech for Alex Lifeson, is interviewed. The film makes reference to several bands that Neil played in including JR Flood - which has a portion of their song Giant Killer (which Neil plays on) included on the soundtrack. The film's website also includes a list of several bands that Neil purportedly played with. Reader RushFanForever recently located an interview with filmmaker Paul Miil where he discusses how he had originally intended the film to focus on Neil Peart:

... Miil originally intended for this to be a documentary on local legend Neil Peart, the drummer of Rush. But as he sought out information on his subject, he continuously got redirected to people who knew people who played in the scene. Talking to these people and scouring through the seemingly endless six-degrees of separation, Miil began to realize that his initial scope was too small, and there was more going on in the region than just Peart's history.
"At that point, I started thinking, 'Wow, maybe I should really be starting to think about doing this on all these bands, as opposed to just the one guy'," said Miil. "Because the one guy, he's not really that interesting - sure, he's famous and everything, but that whole story that I didn't know about - and I grew up here - I think that's a lot more interesting." ...

You can check out the film's trailer at this link and purchase a copy at this link.

While on the subject of Rush documentaries, Backstage Secrets is a 5-part documentary from WhistleStop Productions which aired on HD TV in Canada last year. The documentary follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the Canadian leg of the 2007 Snakes and Arrows tour. We learned a few weeks ago that the series is finally available for purchase through a few online distributors including Amazon. You can purchase the documentary as a home-use 2-disc set for $24.95 at this link.

The 5th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show takes place this coming Wednesday, December 9th at The Mod Club in Toronto. The list of performers has not been released yet, but Alex Lifeson performed at last year's show and it's possible he'll make another appearance. I'll keep an ear out and let you know.

If you read the fascinating post at Power Windows about the Permanent Waves album art that I'd let you know about last week, you'll know that the building on the left of the cover is Murdoch's Bathhouse. From the Power Windows post:

... the cover photo shows waves rushing under the building and splashing over the Galveston Seawall before the building was eventually destroyed by the hurricane. Murdoch's was eventually destroyed once again and has been built and destroyed by hurricane multiple times throughout its history; this closeup photo of the granite markers shows the present state of the most recent incarnation of Murdoch's after being destroyed yet again on Septmeber 13, 2008 by Hurricane Ike (exactly 47 years plus 2 days after the cover photo was taken during Hurricane Carla). ...

Reader Jay thought it would be neat to get a current picture of Murdoch's Bathhouse from Google Maps Streetview and match it up with the Permanent Waves cover. You can see the very interesting result by clicking on the above thumbnails.

Speaking of Permanent Waves, earlier this week we learned that the album will be the subject of an hour-long In The Studio with Redbeard rockumentary radio show the week of January 11th. The show will feature interview segments with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson presumably from past In The Studio interviews where they discuss the album. Permanent Waves celebrates its 30th anniversary this coming January 1st. In The Studio ran a similar special celebrating the 35th anniversary of Rush's debut album back in April and did not include any new interview segments - just bits and pieces from old interviews. For a list of stations and air times go here.

The season 3 finale of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show with Eddie Trunk aired this past Saturday. The guest was original KISS drummer and founding member Peter Criss. In the Throwdown segment Rush's YYZ was pitted against Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick to determine the best rock instrumental. The ensuing discussion caused Peter Criss to dig up some Rush memories which you can check out in this post.

RushFanForever let me know that Guitar World Magazine recently posted an old Alex Lifeson Inquirer interview to their website. The interview originally appeared in their special Guitar Legends issue that was released a couple of years ago. You can check out the interview at this link.

John at Cygnus-X1.net wanted me to let you know that it's time once again for the Cygnus-X1.Net year-end Holiday Rush Contest. This year, the prizes center around the recent release of Rush's Live Compilation Working Men but there are some other great prizes as well. To see the complete prize package and to submit your entry form go to this link. The winner will be selected on or around December 24th. Thanks John!

Classic Rock Revisted recently asked Geddy Lee what he was doing for the Thanksgiving holiday, obviously forgetting that he's Canadian:

We've already had our Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North, we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October.

Thanks RushFanForever for the heads up.

Southgate Michigan rockers Thorofare will be performing a one-time show on December 23rd at The Modern Exchange with the theme Bands That Ought To Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They'll be performing songs by a number of bands including Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Humble Pie, and Rush. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Canadian rocker Gordie Johnson (Grady, Big Sugar) was recently interviewed for Exclaim! Magazine and admits that he ... wanted to play a double-neck Gibson because of Alex Lifeson, not Jimmy Page. Thanks to SaskRushFan for the heads up.

Back in 1988 Alex Lifeson made a guest appearance on Brian Greenway's (April Wine) solo album Serious Business. Lerxst played the guitar solo on the song In the Danger Zone. Reader Jason H located the music video for the song on YouTube. It looks like Alex Lifeson might even appear in the video - they show someone other than Greenway playing the solo but never show their face. Here's the very cheesy 80s video:

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Alex Lifeson solo project Victor reissue coming soon now available
7:43AM EST | link | comments (12) |

UPDATE - 12/5@9:02AM: The Wounded Bird Records website is now saying that Victor is available for purchase.

Power Windows is reporting that Alex Lifeson's long out-of-print 1996 solo project Victor will be reissued by Wounded Bird Records sometime in the near future. Wounded Bird Records specializes in the reissue of albums from the 60's, 70's and early 80's on CD, and all of their releases are properly licensed from the owner of the original masters. The exact release date is not yet known.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Geddy Lee: Rush in the studio soon, Summer 2010 tour possible
12:06PM EST | link | comments (58) |

Geddy Lee was a special guest at the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day charity event yesterday in Toronto. According to reports from a few lucky fans who were there and spoke to the man himself, Geddy said that Rush plans on entering the studio very, very soon and are hoping to then tour this summer. While this is a tentative sort of statement and there has been no official announcement, it's still very encouraging news and seems to corroborate Alex Lifeson's comments from a couple of his interviews over the Summer. In his Prog magazine interview Alex stated the following:

... Tentatively, we start work on the next album in the fall - I did mention it to Ged before he went away on holiday and he sort of looked the other way. Come September and we'll certainly have some plans, we did the last record, or we started on the last album in the fall and I'd like to do that again, start recording maybe. I don't know who might produce, that's some ways off yet. ...

And more recently in an interview with Noisecreep.com Alex said:

... Neil and his wife had a baby just a couple of weeks ago, so he's asked if we can just wait a little bit until he gets settled and see how he feels about getting back to work or when to get back to work. So we're sort of playing it open right now. ... I would guess that sometime in the early fall we would get back together and start writing again, and then hopefully by next summer, we'd be ready to tour.

So all of this leads me to speculate that Neil must have given the thumbs up for getting back to work when the band met in Los Angeles for their November meeting. My guess is that they won't start recording until after the Holidays at the earliest. So assuming all of this is true, we can start speculating about who will produce, where they will record, when the album will be released, when/where they will tour, etc. Let the speculation begin! :)

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Geddy Lee to participate in CIBC's Miracle Day 25th anniversary
7:57AM EST | link | comments (22) |

[Media Advisory - Reminder: CIBC hosts media on trading floor to celebrate 25 years of 'miracles']

UPDATE - 12/3@10:11AM: According to a couple of anonymous sources who attended this event yesterday, Geddy said that Rush will be heading into the studio very, very soon and that they are hoping to then tour this summer. Cool!

Geddy Lee at 2009 CIBC Miracle DayToday is the 25th annual Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Miracle Day - the annual flagship fundraising event for the CIBC Children's Foundation. On Miracle Day CIBC's wholesale banking sales and trading staff and CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisors donate their fees and commissions to Canadian organizations that support kids. The fundraising event has raised over $50 million for more than 1,000 children's charities across Canada since its inception in 1984. Today from 10AM until Noon the CIBC will be hosting the media for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Miracle Day. Among the special guests will be Rush's Geddy Lee. For more information visit www.communitymatters.cibc.com. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rush included on new Atlantic Records Time Capsule box set
4:42PM EST | link | comments (9) |

UPDATE - 12/1@10:14PM: The set can also be purchased at Amazon for slightly cheaper ($174.99) at this link. The Amazon description also includes the entire tracklist which shows Rush's contribution as Show Don't Tell which appears on Disk 7 (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush is one of the featured artists on the new Atlantic Records Time Capsule box set which was announced via a press release yesterday. The numbered, limited edition set comes in a custom-made metallic box and celebrates the label's entire history going back to 1947. It includes nine CDs containing 165 tracks from 141 artists along with several extras such as a 140-page book featuring over 200 rare and/or previously unseen photographs from the Atlantic archives. The set retails for $198 and you can get more information at AtlanticTimeCapsule.com. It's not clear which Rush song(s) will be featured on the set. Rush has been with Atlantic since 1989's Presto which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Thanks to Blabbermouth.net for the news.

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Rush Classic Albums special to air on VH1?
12:18PM EST | link | comments (8) |

About a half hour ago the Drum Channel posted the following to their Twitter page:

Neil Peart was in the DC Studios again yesterday filming a special on Classic Rush albums for VH1... look for it soon!

I'm assuming that this would be for one of VH1's Classic Albums documentary specials put out by Eagle Rock Entertainment that they run periodically. I'd first heard a rumor about a year ago that Moving Pictures would be getting the Classic Albums treatment, so perhaps they are finally getting around to it. More information will be posted here as I learn it.

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KISS's Peter Criss talks Rush on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show
9:46AM EST | link | comments (11) |

The season 3 finale of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show with Eddie Trunk aired this past Saturday. The guest was original KISS drummer and founding member Peter Criss. In the Throwdown segment Rush's YYZ was pitted against Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick to determine the best rock instrumental. The ensuing discussion caused Peter Criss to dig up some Rush memories:

Eddie Trunk: Kiss had some crazy years with Rush on the road, right?

Peter Criss: I consider them brothers. They were like brothers to me. More so than Gene and Ace and Paul. I hung with them personally. Like, after every night we would go out - true story ... and we were in Holiday Inns then, not Ritz Carltons or Four Seasons ... - and we would get on the balcony in a snowstorm, get all the blankets from everybody's room, cover ourselves with them like eskimos and share a bottle of Johnnie Walker red. We got along so great. We talked about our wives - how we missed them, and our kids and how we missed them, and our moms and dads. We got to be really good friends. I love those guys. Those guys could never do wrong in my book.

They ended up unanimously choosing Rush's YYZ as the winner. You can watch the entire episode at the VH1 Classic website here. The particular segment with Peter talking about Rush can be viewed below or at this link.

Geddy and Alex were guests on That Metal Show back in late 2008. This was also the second time that Rush has been the subject of the Throwdown segment; back in season 1 Rush fans were pitted against KISS fans.

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