Archive: Blog Entries from February, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:12PM EST | link | comments (400) |

UPDATE - 3/1@6:32AM: No Rush. Moving on now...

UPDATE - 2/28@5:04PM: From CBC News (thanks Syriux):

... Reports indicate Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and rock band Rush may all perform at the closing, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m. local time. Those names haven't been confirmed ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/28@10:02AM: A commercial for the Olympics closing ceremony was running on NBC last night and they mention Neil Young, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback as performers. I've confirmed that these artists along with Alanis Morrisette were present at the final dress rehearsals but Rush was not. So it looks unlikely at this point that Rush will be performing.

On a positive note, I managed to get some updated information regarding the tour. The band is still working on finalizing a few dates so the announcement could come as early as later this week. They are looking to start in mid-late June at a city/venue in the Southeast US.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/27@9:52AM: This recent Toronto Star article speculates regarding the performers at tomorrow's Olympics closing ceremonies and mentions Rush. They cite Rush's affiliation with the Games' headline talent producer Sam Feldman:

.... Toronto rockers Rush, also members of Feldman's flock, are factoring into the rumour mill, as well. A publicist for the trio cited a non-disclosure agreement when asked to comment on rumours of their involvement. ...

----- snip -----

Things were relatively quiet this past week as Rush fans wait patiently for some kind of official announcement regarding the 2010 tour and also wonder whether any of the rumors are true regarding Rush possibly performing at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony this Sunday. The last I'd heard, the tour announcement was supposed to be coming towards the end of February, which is where we are currently at. But knowing how these things go I wouldn't be surprised if it gets delayed a bit, though I don't see how they could delay much beyond the middle of March if they plan on touring by Summer. There also has not been so much as a peep from the Rush camp since Neil Peart's Canadian Press interview last month, which we can only hope means that they are cooking up something big. I also noticed that Neil Peart's drum tech Lorne Wheaton posted the following to his MySpace page on February 14th: Waiting for decisions to be made..... Hmmm... I wonder what that's all about. If Rush does end up playing the Olympics closing ceremony Sunday night - that may also affect the timing of the tour announcement. Maybe they want to somehow coincide the performance with the announcement or at least wait until shortly after the performance. I continue to hear rumors that Rush will be playing, but in light of how everything went with the opening ceremonies I'm taking everything with a large grain of salt. Here's one positive sign though; closing ceremony producer David Atkins said the following on Wednesday night:

...the three-hour pageant would be a "celebration of Canadian humour, talent and innovation" featuring several well-known Canadian performers and rock bands. "Canada has an embarrassment of riches in those departments," Atkins said ... "It's going to be a very contrasting night to the opening ceremony." Atkins said the globally televised event will capture the "spirit of the Games" and be an occasion for the athletes to "let their hair down." ...

It sounds like the closing ceremony will be a more casual affair than the opening, with a rock-and-roll sort of vibe, so Rush would certainly be a good fit. This CTV article also had the following to add:

... As for who will appear in the closing ceremonies, Michael Bublé is a safe bet, given his huge interest in the Games, the fact that he's local, and that he hasn't done anything official with the Olympics since the torch relay. Shania Twain also carried the torch but has not yet appeared in Vancouver. There are rumours Neil Young will perform. Other big Canadian acts who haven't made an appearance at the Games yet include Avril Lavigne, the Tragically Hip and Rush. Celine Dion's publicist has said she won't participate. ...

We'll just have to wait and see.

In addition to waiting for a tour announcement and the Olympics closing ceremony, we're also awaiting some official word on the Rush documentary, although we've had plenty of unofficial news. On Wednesday Power Windows reported that Rounder films has set a tentative release date of May 18th for the documentary and that we can expect an official announcement shortly. Late last month we received confirmation that the documentary had finally been completed and would be released this Spring - most likely at a film festival(s). Then last week we received word via TNMS member Oz that the theatrical premier would occur at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York which runs from April 21st through May 2nd although this has yet to be confirmed.

Alex Lifeson as a border guard in <i>Suck</i> - photo courtesy suckthemovie.comWe learned earlier this week that Rob Stefaniuk's vampire horror/comedy flick Suck will get its US premier at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX on Wednesday March 17th. The film made its Canadian premier at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and was released to theaters in Canada in October. Alex Lifeson makes an appearance in the movie as a border guard. You can see Alex in the film's trailer at this link (at about the 1:15 mark). Suck was shot entirely in Toronto and also stars Malcolm McDowell, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Moby, Carol Pope, Jessica Pare, Alice Cooper and his daughter Calico, and Dimitri Coates. Alex and Rob Stefaniuk talk about the movie in this 102.1 The Edge interview podcast (at about the 14 minute mark, runs 9 minutes) from just before the Canadian premier. Here are some photos of Alex from the Suck premier: [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]. And here's a bootleg video of Alex at the Suck after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. He joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an 11" x 17" Feedback poster. The contest ends on March 10th and you can sign up to enter at this link. I should also note that they are running a sale on several items including a Permanent Waves t-shirt or Kings Skull t-shirt for just $9.99, and a Rush 2010 wall calendar for only $6.99.

If you watched the Superbowl earlier this month, you may have seen the controversial Dodge Charger commercial Man's Last Stand which depicts various dour-looking men as a voice-over ticks off a list of things they must endure from their spouses/girlfriends so that they are able to drive the car they want; in this case a Dodge Charger. A group of ladies decided to create a spoof of the ad from the female perspective called Woman's Last Stand. One of the things they list as having to endure from their men is:

I will listen to Rush and tell you "Yes, if there were a gold medal for air-drumming you would win it"

You can watch the spoof at this link; the Rush part starts at about the 55-second mark. Thanks to John T for the heads up.

Reader, Rush fan, and composer/performer Ben Sommer recently created a music discovery podcast and blog called Bands Like Rush where bands that have some kind of connection or similarity to Rush are interviewed. To kick off the site, Ben interviewed 2 members of Detroit-based progressive rockers Tiles a few weeks ago. For his next installment Ben interviews Mike Hyder - the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for UK-based prog rockers The Treat who Ben found thanks to a suggestion from RIAB reader MajorSkalle. Ben and Mike spend a good deal of time discussing Rush and the pros/cons of constantly being compared to them. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript at this link, and to find out more about The Treat check out their website.

The March 1st issue of Sports Illustrated contains a Rush mention on page 20 in Dan Patrick's Just my type column where he interviews NBA star Steve Nash:

Dan Patrick: Why wasn't Rush playing the opening ceremonies?

Steve Nash: I don't know. I'm wondering if people feel like their stage act is a little rusty right now, or what.

DP: I gotta have Geddy Lee up there instead of Bryan Adams.

SN: You should have gotten yourself on the committee.

DP: I tried to, but I'm not Canadian. I was pushing for Nelly Furtado.

Thanks to Cygnify at Counterparts for the heads up.

Bryce Shoemaker of Seattle's The Stranger magazine recently announced his intention to conduct a Rush Experiment, where he would immerse himself in Rush - a band he never could get all the way into - for an entire weekend in an attempt to finally understand the band. He then posted his conclusions the following Monday. If you ask me, it sounds like this guy already had a low opinion of the band to start with - and to say his conclusions are a little off the mark is a gross understatement. Thanks to glortiz for the heads up.

Sympatico.ca's inMusic site recently compiled a list of 10 of the Great Canadian Songs of All Time and Rush's The Spirit of Radio made the cut. Here's what they had to say:

This was the leadoff track from the album Permanent Waves, released on January 1st, 1980... thus making this song among the first 80's songs ever released! The track, inspired by a Toronto radio station's slogan (CFNY, The Spirit Of Radio) was an ode to the power of Marconi's medium, and also marked the Canadian power trio's first foray into the world of pop songs (well, as pop as a progressive band like Rush was gonna get at the time). Bristling with electricity, and railing against the format-heavy philosophy of commercial radio - the song made no bones about it's stance: "All this machinery making modern music / Can still be open-hearted / Not so coldly charted / It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah, your honesty / One likes to believe in the freedom of music / But glittering prizes and endless compromises / Shatter the illusion of integrity". Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart commented about it to Billboard magazine: "The Spirit of Radio was actually written as a tribute to all that was good about radio, celebrating my appreciation of magical moments I'd had since childhood, of hearing 'the right song at the right time.' However, the song's celebration of the ideals of radio necessarily seemed like an attack on the reality - on the formulaic, mercenary programming of most radio stations, with music the last of anyone's concerns. And yes, it was really ironic that such a song became popular on radio, though it was a kind of litmus test. Some radio guys who 'got it' could hear the song and think, 'That's the way it ought to be,' while others - the shallow, swaggering salesmen-of-the-air - could be oblivious to the song's meaning and proudly applaud themselves, 'That's about me!'"

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

This weekend Sirius satellite radio's Classic Rewind will be showcasing some of the greatest classic rock guitarists. According to Entertainment Weekly, they've marked the occasion by releasing a list of the top five Guitar Greats from the '70s and '80s and Alex Lifeson makes the list at #2. You can check out the rest of the top 5 at this link. Thanks to Rushman14 at The Rush Forum for the heads up.

Steven Sandor of Vue Weekly takes issue with the choice of Canadian music played at the Winter Olympics in this recent article. He compiles a list of some Canadian music that he thinks should instead be played including Rush's Marathon:

If you want to go classic rock, this is another option. Neil Peart waxes poetic on the spirit of competition and how dreams never die. But at least it's got a beat and Alex Lifeson on guitar. That gives it some Trailer Park Boys cred, right.

Pastor Bret of One Life Network recently used Rush to exemplify his point in part 5 of his article titled What Churches Can Learn From Garage Bands. Thanks to glortiz for the link.

Doctor Who Confidential is a BBC documentary series that was created as a complement to the revived British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. On a recent episode Rush's Countdown is used as background music. They play almost the entire song beginning at about the 4-minute mark in this YouTube clip. Thanks to Reed Lover for the heads up.

Doug J alerted me to a veiled Rush reference in a recent episode of ABC's Lost. In the episode The Substitute (Season 6, episode 4) the character Jacob leads Locke down a ladder to his cave ... Jacob's Ladder! Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog noticed the Rush song reference (and also the Huey Lewis song of the same name) and discuss it in this post and in the 2nd accompanying video clip.

Will C located this FishbowlDC wrap up of a Twitter trash talk session between some NBC and ABC reporters earlier this week that includes a Rush mention.

Bruce Miles follows the Chicago Cub for suburban Chicago's Daily Herald (he also is a RIAB reader) and posted the following to his blog yesterday morning:

There's nothing like walking past the weight room first thing in the morning here at Fitch and hearing Rush music blaring. Had a great mix going that had me checking my bag to make sure nobody stole my iPod. Heard "Limelight," "Red Barchetta," "New World Man," "Distant Early Warning" and a rousing version of "Working Man." I may have even won a convert in Sam Fuld, a youngster who said he likes that classic stuff. The magic music certainly does make your morning mood, to quote "The Spirit of Radio." ...

Butch W noticed a small Rush reference in this Woot.com article discussing the Phillips Tunestick FM transmitter for iPods:

... It's an FM transmitter for your iPod, which allows you to listen in your car to the music you already like from your collection at home. We ask you: How are you supposed to stay in tune with mainstream sensibilities if you don't hear Rush's "Tom Sawyer" in heavy rotation? You're going to be in your own little music-elite world, see, totally out of touch with the real America.

Back in the late 70's and early '80s Rush became friends with Warren Cromartie - a baseball player for the Montreal Expos. The secondary school on the Signals back cover was named after him, and both he and the Expos are thanked in the Signals linernotes. Cromartie had a band in the late 80's called Climb (he played drums) and Geddy made a guest appearance doing some backing vocals on their song Who's Missin Who. Reader RushFanForever dug up the song on YouTube and you can give it a listen at this link. See if you can spot Geddy's contribution.

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

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
10:37AM EST | link | comments (33) |

[Win a Rush Feedback Poster!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an 11" x 17" Feedback poster. The contest ends on March 10th and you can sign up to enter at this link (thanks hermy). I should also note that they are running a sale on several items including a Permanent Waves t-shirt or Kings Skull t-shirt for just $9.99, and a Rush 2010 wall calendar for only $6.99 (thanks Belexes).

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rush: The Documentary: tentative May 18th DVD release
10:22AM EST | link | comments (34) |

UPDATE - 3/12@9:39AM: Power Windows is now reporting that the dvd release has been delayed at least 2 weeks. No surprise there!

Late last month we received confirmation that the long-anticipated Rush documentary had finally been completed and would be released this Spring - most likely at a film festival(s). Then last week we received word via TNMS member Oz that the theatrical premier would occur at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York which runs from April 21st through May 2nd although this has not yet been confirmed. Oz also mentioned that they were discussing a September-ish DVD release date and that this info came straight from filmmaker Scot McFadyen. This was consistent with earlier reports I had heard that the DVD would be released towards the end of this year. However, Power Windows is now reporting that Rounder films has a tentative release date of May 18th for the documentary and that we can expect an official announcement shortly. Hopefully this information is accurate; the earlier the better!

Related Posts:
[Rush documentary update]
[Rush featured in the latest issue of The Walrus]
[Rush documentary reportedly finished]
[Rush: The Documentary sneak peek shown at Windsor film festival]
[Behind-the-scenes Rush documentary pics]
[Rush: The Documentary update]
[Rush: The Documentary working cover, planned 2009 release]
[Rush: The Documentary update]
[Sam Dunn on the upcoming Rush documentary]
[Rush: The Documentary]
[RushCon report]

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

US premier of Suck featuring Alex Lifeson at SXSW
5:27PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Alex Lifeson as a border guard in <i>Suck</i> - photo courtesy suckthemovie.comRob Stefaniuk's vampire horror/comedy flick Suck will get its US premier at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX on Wednesday March 17th. The film made its Canadian premier at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and was released to theaters in Canada in October. Alex Lifeson makes an appearance in the movie as a border guard. You can see Alex in the film's trailer at this link (at about the 1:15 mark). Suck was shot entirely in Toronto and also stars Malcolm McDowell, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Moby, Carol Pope, Jessica Pare, Alice Cooper and his daughter Calico, and Dimitri Coates. Alex and Rob Stefaniuk talk about the movie in this 102.1 The Edge interview podcast (at about the 14 minute mark, runs 9 minutes) from just before the Canadian premier. Here are some photos of Alex from the Suck premier: [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]. And here's a bootleg video of Alex at the Suck after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. He joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack. Here's the trailer:

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson 102.1 The Edge interview now available]
[Alex Lifeson to appear on 102.1 The Edge this week]
[Trailer for Suck featuring Alex Lifeson]
[Alex Lifeson vampire comedy/horror film Suck cameo details]
[Alex Lifeson to appear in vampire comedy/horror film Suck]

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:48PM EST | link | comments (104) |

This past week some more information came trickling in regarding both the expected Rush 2010 tour as well as the upcoming Rush documentary. My sources have recently informed me that Rush plans to begin touring in the late Spring hitting South and North America in 2010 with an extensive Canadian leg including Atlantic Canada, and after taking a break follow this up with a European leg in 2011. Of course, all of this info is unofficial; we should have some kind of official announcement coming in the next couple of weeks. The Rush documentary is rumored to premier at the Tribeca Film Festival in late April and get a DVD release sometime later this year.

Rush of course did not perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver last Friday, but there is still an outside chance we might see them at the closing ceremony. VANOC is being just as tight-lipped with the closing ceremony as with the opening, so I assume we won't really know for sure until the ceremony itself on Sunday, February 28th. While Rush hasn't appeared at the Olympics, a good bit of Rush music has. The Canadian hockey team burst onto the ice Tuesday to the riffs of Rush (thanks chutch15), part of Malignant Narcissism was played and Mix Master Mike spun a little Tom Sawyer during the Men's Halfpipe Qualifiers, and Anthem was played during the Ski Jump on Saturday (thanks Hakky). And although it's moot now, you can go vote for Geddy as the Canadian most deserving of lighting the Olympic torch (thanks robertkincaid96).

35 years ago this past Monday Rush released their 2nd studio album, 1975's Fly By Night. This was Rush's first album with drummer/lyricist Neil Peart and their first album produced by Terry Brown, who would go on to produce all of Rush's albums up through 1982's Signals. It peaked at #113 on the Billboard album charts and was certified both Gold and Platinum by the RIAA on December 1, 1993. In celebration of this momentous event, for the current poll I'm asking everyone what their favorite song off of Fly By Night is. Take the Poll and let us know if you haven't already.

The latest issue of Classic Rock's Prog magazine contains a short feature on Rush producer Terry Brown along with a review of the Working Men live compilation. You can check these out by clicking on the thumbnails. Thanks to MajorSkalle for the heads up and the scans.

Open Court Publishing will soon be releasing a Rush and Philosophy book as part of their popular Culture and Philosophy book series. One of the book's co-editors - Jim Berti - recently launched a blog to go along with the book release and to create a place for folks to discuss Rush and philosophy. You can check it out at this link. Thanks to Rush and Philosophy contributor and RIAB reader Steven Horowitz for the heads up.

Reader John H noted that the Getty Images database contains a ton of great Rush images. Unfortunately they are all watermarked, but they're still fun to browse through.

In the latest edition of online radio show The Used Bin, hosts Brad and Joe dedicate a good portion of the show to discussing Rush (something they do often), specifically the Olympics opening ceremony rumor. You can listen to the podcast at this link. The Olympics bit starts around the 25-minute mark and runs about 5 minutes. They also mention Rush a couple of other times later in the show. I was a guest on the show the week before last and also back in the summer. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

The KnuckleBonz Rock Iconz Rush Starman statue was in attendance at the 2010 Toy Fair in New York this past week and gets featured in this woot.com article discussing rock and roll toys. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.

In a Friday updates post from last month I mentioned that the popular iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge 3 (similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band) was recently released. Several Rush songs are available to play with the game. Reader exit...stage left located this YouTube demonstration of the game which features Rush's YYZ. For more information check out the iTunes store.

Speaking of YYZ, UK-based symphonic progressive metal band Xerath have recorded a cover of Rush's YYZ and posted it to their MySpace page. You can give it a listen at this link. Thanks to BW&BK for the heads up.

Reader Pat R let me know that his wife is a jewelry artist based in Asheville, NC. She recently created a really neat Snakes & Arrows-inspired silver and leather necklace which you can check out at this link.

PhillyMike let me know that in the second hour of The Tony Kornheiser Show on Tuesday, February 16, Rush was discussed. Tony and a couple others on the show were teasing Washington Post sports reporter Liz Clarke about her avowed dislike of all things Canadian. Her longstanding position is that Canadians have not contributed anything of consequence to the arts and humanities. Gary Braun, who's also part of the show, mentioned twice in response that Rush was a Canadian cultural icon. You can listen to the conversation at this link. The Rush bit starts around the 40-minute mark.

Reader emajor7th located this IndyWeek.com article referencing how Clear Channel Raleigh was changing the format of WRDU-FM from country music to Rush Radio. The article is titled Rush Radio: Truth is false and logic lost:

When I first heard that Clear Channel Raleigh was changing the format of WRDU-FM, 106.1 from country music to something called "Rush Radio," I thought: Wouldn't it be cool, in a nerdy way, if the station was devoted solely to the music of Rush? It's a very "satellite radio" sort of concept, but why not? At least RDU would be getting back to its rock roots. No such luck. Instead, the San Antonio-based radio giant Clear Channel has reprogrammed WRDU as a talk station with a daylong cavalcade of conservative stars, headlined by that "talent on loan from God," the gaseous Rush Limbaugh. ...

Rush is a band! :)

Degrassi Junior High was a Canadian TV teen drama series that ran from 1987-1989 on the CBC. The show often used Rush as background music as listed on the Power Windows Rush in Pop Culture page. Reader Sean located YouTube clips to go along with a couple of the listed references:

During the episode "He Ain't Heavy", as Joey takes the demo tape from his band, the Zit Remedy, to the local radio station (C-RAZ) in hopes of that they will play it on the air, "Force 10" is reportedly heard playing 'on the air'. Then, as Joey is trying to give the DJ his demo tape, the very end drum fills of "Limelight" are head.

You can watch the Force 10 piece here (2:55) and the Limelight bit here (6:55).

During the episode "The Whole Truth", as Joey is going through records at the radio station (C-RAZ), after he gets fired and Dr. Sally comes and tells him his tape was good and to keep working, he is listening to his walkman and "Lock And Key" is playing through his headphones.

This one can be seen at this link (1:05).

Sean also located this 2-part interview with Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki which was conducted in December. Rich talks extensively about all of his many Rush-related projects. You can check out part 1 at this link and part 2 here.

Rush legosSatirical online music news site The Umpteenth Times posted an article last week titled Rush to be Immortalized in Lego-form. From the article:

... According to Blokkermansson, children (or lonely middle-aged men) can now create Lego-realizations of many Rush fan favorites, such as the car chase scene in "Red Barchetta," a collapsible "Temples of Syrinx," and the "Bytor and the Snowdog" battle scene. There is also the Legoization of the popular live album, Exit Stage Left, featuring Neil Peart's complete drum and percussion kit at 3,172 bricks. ...

Heck, I'd kill to get a By-tor and the Snow Dog battle scene lego set. All kidding aside, people have been making custom Rush lego sets/figures and selling them on eBay (see picture above) for a while now. Thanks to V for the link.

Speaking of By-tor - in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Fly by Night here's By-tor and the Snow Dog live from the Exit ... Stage Left video:

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

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rush 2010 tour update
9:35PM EST | link | comments (51) |

Information is slowly trickling in regarding Rush's expected 2010 tour. Alex Lifeson kicked off the tour rumors back in September when he said hopefully by next summer, [Rush would] be ready to tour in this NoiseCreep.com interview. Since then, both Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have chimed in with similar statements. Another clue that things were starting to happen occurred back in December when radio stations across the country ran contests to promote the release of the Working Men live compilation where they gave away chances to win tickets to Rush's next tour. And at the end of last month 105.7 WAPL out of Appleton, WI announced on the air that Rush would be playing Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 3rd. They even had a page up on their website promoting the event that has since been taken down. Apparently the date had been confirmed unofficially but the station prematurely announced it. And then in late December I reported hearing that the band was 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. I've just received more information which corroborates this; the band plans to tour South and North America in 2010 with an extensive Canadian leg including Atlantic Canada. In yesterday's Rush documentary update post, I let you know how TNMS member Oz had mentioned in his remarks regarding the documentary that Rush would be touring later this year but that Europe would not be included. I've also heard that it is indeed the case that Europe would not be included this year but that Rush would be following up the North/South American leg of the tour with a European leg in 2011. I am also still expecting the official tour announcement by the end of this month, although I'm not sure whether anything regarding a European leg will be included in this announcement.

Related Posts:
[Neil Peart: new Rush project may not be a full-length album]
[Rush 2010 tour and album update]
[Radio stations giving away Rush 2010 tour tickets?]
[Geddy Lee: Rush in the studio soon, Summer 2010 tour possible]
[Neil Peart news update: Rush to discuss future plans this month]
[Alex Lifeson: new Rush album, tour possible in 2010]

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rush documentary update
5:58PM EST | link | comments (75) |

UPDATE - 2/18@8:27PM: TNMS member Oz who gave the report below also mentions that they are discussing a September-ish DVD release date and that this info came straight from filmmaker Scot McFadyen. Knowing how these things work, September-ish probably really means November-ish. :) It's a good sign though and this jibes with earlier reports I had heard that the DVD would be released towards the end of this year.

Late last month I reported that the long-anticipated Rush documentary had been completed and would likely premier sometime this Spring. A few days later this information was confirmed via a post to the official Banger Films Facebook page:

... the Rush Doc is done and dusted. Look for some announcements and possibly a premiere in the Spring!! January 31 at 4:23pm

Shortly after this confirmation, an article feature on Rush for the March 2010 issue of The Walrus magazine was posted online which discussed the documentary at length. It included several quotes from filmmaker Sam Dunn and also confirmed what I'd mentioned in my late January post; that the movie would contain footage of the Canadian Bandstand gig that Rush played at Laura Secord High School in St. Catharines, ON in 1974 with original drummer John Rutsey on drums.

The National Midday Sun user Oz was lucky enough to get a screening of the film and revealed several details in this post from yesterday:

Was lucky enough to see this last week & have to say I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't the final mixed down version.
Trying to cram 30+ years into 1hr 42 mins, means that invariably the film makers haven't gone into depth over every album, but have focused on what the band perceive to be breakthroughs & turning points. Pleasingly there's a good chunk of the film dedicated to the early days, including previously unseen photo's of Ged & Al as kids & teenagers, interviews with parents, plus footage of the earliest filmed gig with [John Rutsey] at [Laura Secord] High School. Anecdotes & reverence from Gene Simmons,Sebastien Bach, Jack Black, Mike Portnoy, Kim Mitchell, Billy Corgan and more. Interviews with Ray Daniels, Terry Brown, Rupert Hine, Pter Collins, Howard Ungerleider & Liam Birt as well as interviews with Ged & Al & Neil (obviously) with Neil in particular being more open than I'd anticipated. The friendship between the 3 is what resonated the strongest for me. ... Due to Premier at Tribecca Film Festival (New York) ...

So he says it was 1 hour, 42 minutes long although this was not necessarily the final version that he saw. He also mentions that it's due to premier at the Tribecca Film Festival in New York which runs from April 21 through May 2, although this has not been confirmed. I should also add that he later edited his post adding this bit of information regarding the tour:

The other news to come out was the band will be going on the road later this year, however Europe is not included.

We already knew they were touring but this is the first I'd heard that Europe would not be included, although I suspected as much. None of this is official of course. I'm still hearing that the official tour announcement will come before the end of this month.

Related Posts:
[Rush featured in the latest issue of The Walrus]
[Rush documentary reportedly finished]
[Rush: The Documentary sneak peek shown at Windsor film festival]
[Behind-the-scenes Rush documentary pics]
[Rush: The Documentary update]
[Rush: The Documentary working cover, planned 2009 release]
[Rush: The Documentary update]
[Sam Dunn on the upcoming Rush documentary]
[Rush: The Documentary]
[RushCon report]

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rush Olympics opening ceremony non-appearance postmortem
5:31PM EST | link | comments (110) |

Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsUPDATE - 3/1@1:00PM: Rush did not appear at the closing ceremony either despite rumors to the contrary. Outside of the absurd amount of secrecy regarding the performers on VANOC's part, it looks like all the rumors and speculation stemmed from the fact that they were approached by VANOC and asked to take part in the ceremonies in some capacity. I independently confirmed this with Anthem and the fact that they kept citing a non-disclosure agreement also supports this. So since we know they were asked to appear but obviously did not, then they must have either refused up front or backed out at some later point. The exact details are not known.

UPDATE - 2/19@9:48AM: Thanks for all the feedback everybody. Reader jackrelax posted the following in the comments yesterday:

I just spoke with a co-worker who was in Vancouver for the opening ceremonies. He was in attendance at the 2nd of 2 dress rehearsals that took place 2 days before the final show. Rush was never scheduled to attend. There was never a "Ontario" segment in the show. The opening ceremonies were identical to the rehearsal that took place well before the athlete died. Rush was never slotted to perform. Nothing was canceled.

This jibes with a couple of other reports I've received since this post first went up. So my bet is that if there was ever an Ontario segment that included Rush it was either cut long before the ceremony or it's actually part of the closing ceremony, for which - like the opening ceremony - there have been very few details revealed. We also have confirmed that Rush is bound by an NDA and therefore were at the very least approached to perform by VANOC. So they either turned them down completely or will be performing at the closing ceremony (performers for the victory ceremonies have already been announced/finalized). Now if Rush's official tour announcement will indeed occur towards the end of the month, from a purely PR standpoint - an appearance at the closing ceremony on February 28th would make a lot of sense. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

----- snip -----

Rush fans everywhere were disappointed when the band did not perform at Friday night's Winter Olympics opening ceremony as had been rumored. There's been a lot of confusion among fans (me included) as to what happened and why they did not appear, mainly due to the fact that there was never any kind of official announcement regarding the performers; any information obtained prior to the performance itself was rumor and/or speculation. All we know for sure is that they obviously did not perform. Questions remain as to whether they were ever scheduled to appear at all, whether they were scheduled and had their portion cut, whether they will be performing at another time - possibly the closing ceremonies, etc. In light of all this I thought I'd put up a post summarizing events as I know them.

As far as I am aware, the rumor that Rush would be performing first appeared on the Counterparts message board on Friday, February 4th around 3PM in a post from board member Sniglets:

Just heard through a friend who is working with a sound crew that is contracted with NBC that the big rumor today was Rush being tapped to perform in the opening night ceremonies for the Winter Olympics on Feb. 12th as a representation of Canada's culture and music. The song would be a "different version of YYZ" and something representing each province in Canada musically. So obviously Rush is Ontario.

Later that evening at around 9:30PM I independently posted the rumor as I'd heard it from my sources. I was not aware of the Counterparts post until after the fact, but the information was similar. At the time all I had heard was that they would be performing YYZ as part of a larger program showcasing Canadian music. The actual performance did indeed include a segment representing different geographical areas of Canada, which lends credence to the validity of the original rumors as reported here and on Counterparts.

A commercial then aired the following evening on February 5th during NBC's Saturday Night Live promoting the network's Olympic coverage. In the commercial it was mentioned that the opening ceremony performers would include Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado and Sarah McLachlan which later proved to be an accurate but not complete list. Rush was not mentioned but neither were other some of the other performers (K. D. Lang for instance).

A few days later I updated my original post noting the fact that the Headline Talent Producer for the games is Samuel Leon Feldman who happens to represent Rush:

Headline Talent Producer: Samuel Leon Feldman

Through two different companies, Sam Feldman represents more than 175 musical artists such as Nelly Furtado, Rush, Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello. Feldman is also a partner in The Characters Talent Agency, representing Canadian actors such as Molly Parker and Ryan Reynolds.

At the time this seemed to bolster the chances that Rush might be involved. In hindsight I should also note that Joni Mitchell (also represented by Feldman) singing Both Sides Now served as the soundtrack to the portion of the show celebrating the Plains of Canada.

Dress rehearsals for the show at BC Place began the Monday prior to opening ceremony and the organizers were keeping very tight-lipped about everything. No reports of any Rush spottings leaked out but that didn't necessarily rule them out according to this BCLocalNews article:

... Not all the performers were there in person - there were some lip-synching stand-ins, including a performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." ... The lighting of the Olympic cauldron wasn't part of the dress rehearsal - secrets such as how it's lit and other surprises are being withheld for the actual night. ...

So up until this point all we had were vague rumors. Then the Canadian Press published this article on Thursday, February 3rd - the day prior to the ceremony which seemed to all but confirm Rush's involvement:

In an age where news travels as fast as a sled hurtling down a skeleton track, the sustained secrecy surrounding Friday's opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Games is an Olympic feat in of itself.

Only in the past few days have small amounts of information dribbled out as Twitter-happy fans have leaked rehearsal information.

Recent reports indicate that Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan have been spotted rehearsing for the show.

Meanwhile, Rush and 16-year-old Montreal jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky also seem to be involved. A publicist for the veteran Toronto rock trio and Yanofsky herself both responded to questions from The Canadian Press with no-comments, citing non-disclosure agreements.

"NDA, non-disclosure, we're not allowed to say anything," Yanofsky said when asked if she would perform. ...

Nikki Yanofsky did of course end up performing Canada's National Anthem at the ceremony while Rush obviously did not perform. So rather than say no, Rush's publicist said no comment citing a non-disclosure agreement according to the Canadian Press. I took this as the closest thing to a confirmation we were going to get considering all the secrecy surrounding the event, as did several other news sites and blogs such as People Magazine, BW&BN, Power Windows, Cygnus-X1, etc. I've verified with Anthem that Rush were in fact bound by an NDA, which in the very least means that they were approached to perform by VANOC.

Early on the Friday of the opening ceremony my source reported to me that both Closer to the Heart and YYZ had been heard playing repeatedly at the venue late Thursday night. This prompted me to update my post saying that Rush may be playing Closer to the Heart tonight as well. Then that evening prior to the show I heard a report that BBC America had shown Alex and Geddy at BC Place stating We have been informed Rush are to perform sometime tonight with their 70s classic hit Closer To The Heart. I still can't find any independent reference to this online. So if the BBC America report was accurate, Geddy and Alex were at least at the venue Friday night although I haven't been able to get any confirmation of that either. Then came the actual ceremony itself. Just like the rumors had reported, the show contained a series of segments celebrating each major geographic region of Canada, but the Ontario region (Canada's most populous) was curiously not represented. Toward the end of the ceremonies, I received the following information from my source:

... What I'm now hearing is that [the Ontario portion] of the show was scrubbed due to the nature of today's tragic events. Apparently it had a full rock and roll metropolitan vibe to it and was cut for sensitivity. The word is now that Rush may tentatively play at the closing ceremony. ...

The tragic event being the death of Georgian luge slider Nodar Kumaritashvili earlier in the day. Four days after the fact there has still been no official word of any kind regarding whether Rush was ever scheduled to perform, whether they were scheduled but got cut, whether they weren't scheduled to perform but Rush music would be used, etc. We also don't know whether they will be involved with any of the victory ceremonies or closing ceremony, although it seems unlikely at this point. This article at top40charts.com (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net) seems to suggest that Rush will be involved in one of the victory ceremonies:

... On Friday, February 19th, Theory of a Deadman will be joining the ranks of Sarah MacLachlan, Rush, Nelly Furtado, Barenaked Ladies and many other artists given the honor of performing in 'The Victory Concert Series.' ...

But that would contradict this official list of victory ceremony performers released back on December 9th which lists INXS as performing on Ontario night.

Hopefully this gives people a better idea of the origins of the rumor, how it propagated, and where things stand currently. Unfortunately we still have no official word on this and likely won't for a while given the fact that Rush is bound by an NDA. I'll continue to share any new information I obtain.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy 35th anniversary Fly By Night!
5:27AM EST | link | comments (123) |

35 years ago today Rush released their 2nd studio album, 1975's Fly By Night. This was Rush's first album with drummer/lyricist Neil Peart and their first album produced by Terry Brown, who would go on to produce all of Rush's albums up through 1982's Signals. It peaked at #113 on the Billboard album charts and was certified both Gold and Platinum by the RIAA on December 1, 1993. Neil Peart taking over the lyrical duties led Rush to adopt a more literary-based lyrical style on Fly By Night, differing significantly from their debut album. Songs like Rivendell and By-tor and the Snow Dog are examples of the influence of fantasy literature on Rush's lyrics. Here's an interesting anecdote regarding the origin of By-tor and the Snow Dog from the 2006 Rush biography Chemistry:

... [Howard Ungerleider] moved on to crashing at Ray [Danniel's] house, where he had to suffer Ray's dogs - a German shepherd, which used to look at me and growl, it was always pissed off, and a little, white, fluffy thing, like a snowball, which just jumped up and down, he explains. One day it all got too much - for Howard. I was in Ray's back yard, the fucking snowdog thing was jumping up, and the German shepherd was biting me... Of course when he recounted it to the guys, they thought it was hilarious. A biter, and the Snow Dog, they laughed. Sounds like an epic song!...

In celebration of this momentous event, I thought that for my next poll I'd ask everyone what their favorite song off of Fly By Night is. Take the Poll and let us know. Here's Fly By Night:

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:03AM EST | link | comments (501) |

UPDATE - 2/13@12:26AM: Well, obviously no Rush tonight. Notice how the show was themed around the different provinces of Canada moving from east to west? Also notice how Ontario and the Great Lakes region were skipped over? What I'm now hearing is that this portion of the show was scrubbed due to the nature of today's tragic events. Apparently it had a full rock and roll metropolitan vibe to it and was cut for sensitivity. The word is now that Rush may tentatively play at the closing ceremony. Sorry everybody - I'm as pissed off as you are.

UPDATE - 2/12@6:57PM: BBC America showed Alex and Geddy at BC Place not long ago and said We have been informed Rush are to perform sometime tonight with their 70s classic hit Closer To The Heart (thanks Sean). Not sure if that means they aren't going to play YYZ or if they'll play both songs.

UPDATE - 2/12@11:52AM: I also just learned that they may be playing Closer to the Heart tonight as well. :)

Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsRush fans everywhere are anxiously awaiting the band's expected performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver this evening. Although Rush's management was unable to confirm their appearance due to a non-disclosure agreement, according to this press release from yesterday Rush will indeed be among the performers. From what I've heard they'll be playing a version of YYZ as part of a larger performance showcasing Canadian music. Fittingly enough, today also happens to be the 29th anniversary of the release of Moving Pictures! However, according to this Winnipeg Press article, Geddy may be lip-synching the lyrics. ;) The Chicago Sun Times is running a poll asking readers who they think should perform at the opening ceremony (remember - the lineup of performers hasn't been officially announced). To vote for Rush go to this link (thanks malterb). The opening ceremony will air on NBC beginning at 7:30PM EST tonight.

Earlier this week Neil Peart updated the News page on his website, describing in painstaking detail his experience recording The Hockey Theme for TSN back in December. He gives the entire back story of how the project came to be, how he became involved and his experience recording the song and filming the video including plenty of great behind-the-scene photos and interesting anecdotes. He also posted the quiet version of The Hockey Theme that he refers to in the update to the homepage of his website. Andrew Olson also noticed that the September 2009 article on Neil Peart that appeared in American Motorcyclist has been added to the Articles section of Neil's site at this link.

A couple of weeks ago I reported that the long-anticipated Rush documentary had been completed and will likely premier sometime this Spring. I recently learned (thanks RushFanForever) that this information was confirmed via a post to the official Banger Films Facebook page later that week:

... the Rush Doc is done and dusted. Look for some announcements and possibly a premiere in the Spring!! January 31 at 4:23pm

This past Tuesday I was a guest on weekly internet radio talk show Used Bin Radio. I chatted with hosts Brad and Joe for about 20 minutes about all the exciting things that are currently happening in the world of Rush and had a blast. You can listen to the podcast at this link; my bit begins at about the half-hour mark.

Jeff Whittle and Chris Herin of TilesReader, Rush fan, and composer/performer Ben Sommer recently created a music discovery podcast and blog called Bands Like Rush where bands that have some kind of connection to Rush are interviewed. To kick off the site, Ben interviewed 2 members of Detroit-based progressive rockers Tiles. Besides making great progressive rock music, Tiles has many connections with Rush. Original Rush producer Terry Brown has worked with Tiles since 1997's Fence the Clear, and Rush album artist Hugh Syme has done their last 3 album covers in addition to playing some keyboards on their latest album. Also on their latest album - Fly Paper - Alex Lifeson was a guest musician on the track Sacred & Mundane. I conducted a brief interview with guitarist Chris Herin and producer Terry Brown back when Fly Paper was released which you can check out in this post. Ben's interview is much more lengthy and in-depth; he talks with Chris and bassist Jeff Whittle for around 45 minutes about the band's history, their do-it-yourself approach to making music and running their business, why Tiles is known as the Anvil of Progressive Rock, and the pros and cons of being constantly compared to the band Rush. The interview also includes many amusing anecdotes and stories about their work with Terry, Hugh, and Alex Lifeson and Chris describes how he met Neil Peart at Terry Brown's 60th birthday party. You can read the entire interview or listen to the podcast at this link.

In the wake of The Who's halftime show performance at the Superbowl this past Sunday, the Bleacher Report featured an article where they list 5 othter bands that they think are deserving of this honor. Number 2 on their list was Rush:

RUSH might be the most controversial selection for those who are not fans of the band. However, this is one of the most technical, influential, and greatest rock bands ever to hit the stage. They have reached legendary status even though they are still snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Perhaps no band is better equipped to pull off a similar medley of their music as quickly as RUSH could.

They have still been touring into their late 50's and producing high quality musical releases as well. Most recently drummer Neil Peart was asked to help revamp the Hockey Night in Canada theme music, and has landed the drum set he used to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. This band is from Canada, but they have always toured in the United States.

RUSH is the most capable band of surprising, while making a few new fans.

Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

UK-based digital radio station Planet Rock is conducting a poll to determine the Greatest Live Album of All Time. You can vote for one of Rush's many live albums at this link.

Washington University's Student Life newspaper compiled a list of the Top 10 Power Trios and Rush made the cut at #4. Here's what they said:

They might be the biggest nerds in rock. They might glorify Ayn Rand in song. They might even be Canadian. But despite these shortcomings, Rush is at the center of the prog-rock universe. If you ever wondered what "1984" in space would be like, look no further than "2112." Oh, and two words: Neil Peart. Two more words: best drummer.

Chris McDonald's recently released academic study of Rush - Rush, Rock Music and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown - was reviewed by Ted St. Godard for the Winnipeg Free Press last week. You can read the review at this link and purchase Chris's book at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

RushFanForever also located this review of the Rush road crew documentary Backstage Secrets conducted by RIAB reader Skip Daly for GuitarInternational.com. You can read Skip's very informative review at this link.

Rolling Stone magazine's Rock and Roll Daily blog is running a poll to determine rock's best drummers. You can go make your voice heard and vote for Neil Peart at this link. Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.

A couple of weeks back I mentioned that MusicTap.com recently ran an informal poll to determine the most underrated guitarists. Alex Lifeson was the runaway winner of the poll. Here's what was said:

"An amazing and versatile player that's proven himself time and again, but is rarely listed with the big boys."; "Geddy Lee and Neil Peart get a lot of attention on bass and drums, but Alex seems to get left behind."; "He is often overlooked, but not always. He is one of the best guitarists working in rock. Rush would not be complete without him and he has some of the tastiest solo's ever - "Limelight" might be the best solo ever recorded. Funnily enough, he has gotten more dissonant and harder as he gets older, although his playing is becoming more articulate. If you see them live (or on video), you realize how much he contributes and how comfortable he is with the instrument."; "...appreciated by hardcore musicians and fans of Rush but he would not show up on most people's lists and given the fact that this group has been shunned by the HOF perhaps he does qualify as underrated."

Thanks to Matteo for the heads up.

Speaking of Lerxst, he also made MusicRadar's list of 17 Unsung Les Paul Legends coming in at #2. Here's what they said:

You may well associate Alex Lifeson with an ES-355 (thanks in part to his signature model) as much, if not more than with a Les Paul. And that's one of the reasons the founding member of prog legends Rush didn't make our original countdown. But like many guitarists of his ilk, Lifeson refuses to be tied down to just one model, having dabbled with Strats, PRS Guitars, mandolins and bouzoukis over the years. The top two, however, remain the ES-355 and the Les Paul - and Alex Lifeson deserves a nod for both.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

Rocker Rob Zombie's newest album Hellbilly Deluxe 2 was released last week and contains a track titled Werewolf, Baby which contains an obvious nod to Rush's La Villa Strangiato towards the beginning of the song (at about the 25-second mark). Zombie is a well-known Rush fan; in TV promos for his Halloween 2 movie last year he was wearing a Fly By Night t-shirt, and his remake of the original Halloween movie included Rush's Tom Sawyer on the soundtrack. You can listen to Werewolf, Baby on YouTube at this link. Thanks to AndyV for the heads up.

That's it for this week. Don't forget to look for Rush at tonight's Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rush expected to perform at Winter Olympics opening ceremony
9:15AM EST | link | comments (119) |

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics[McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Rush among artists expected at opening ceremonies]

UPDATE - 2/13@12:32AM: Well, obviously no Rush tonight. Notice how the show was themed around the different provinces of Canada moving from east to west? Also notice how Ontario and the Great Lakes region were skipped over? What I'm now hearing is that this portion of the show was scrubbed due to the nature of today's tragic events. Apparently it had a full rock and roll metropolitan vibe to it and was cut for sensitivity. The word is now that Rush may tentatively play at the closing ceremony. Sorry everybody - I'm as pissed off as you are.

UPDATE - 2/12@6:58PM: BBC America showed Alex and Geddy at BC Place not long ago and said We have been informed Rush are to perform sometime tonight with their 70s classic hit Closer To The Heart (thanks Sean). Not sure if that means they aren't going to play YYZ or if they'll play both songs.

UPDATE - 2/12@11:52AM: I also just learned that they may be playing Closer to the Heart tonight as well. :)

A week ago rumors started flying around that Rush would be performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver tomorrow. Dress rehearsals have been taking place all this week and according to this release from the Canadian Press, Rush is indeed expected to perform:

In an age where news travels as fast as a sled hurtling down a skeleton track, the sustained secrecy surrounding Friday's opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Games is an Olympic feat in of itself.

Only in the past few days have small amounts of information dribbled out as Twitter-happy fans have leaked rehearsal information.

Recent reports indicate that Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan have been spotted rehearsing for the show.

Meanwhile, Rush and 16-year-old Montreal jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky also seem to be involved. A publicist for the veteran Toronto rock trio and Yanofsky herself both responded to questions from The Canadian Press with no-comments, citing non-disclosure agreements.

"NDA, non-disclosure, we're not allowed to say anything," Yanofsky said when asked if she would perform. ...

I think this all but confirms it. My sources inform me that they'll be playing a version of YYZ as part of a larger performance showcasing Canadian music. The opening ceremony will air on NBC beginning at 7:30PM EST tomorrow evening. Thanks to Christopher F for the heads up.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ed to guest on internet talk show Used Bin Radio tonight
12:00PM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 2/10@1:30PM: The podcast is up. You can listen to it at this link. My bit begins at about the half-hour mark and runs for around 20 minutes.

UPDATE - 2/10@12:36PM: I had a great time talking to Brad and Joe last night. Hopefully you got to listen in, but if not a podcast of the show should be available in the next couple of days at this link.

Used Bin Radio is a weekly internet radio talk show geared towards Classic, Modern and Progressive Rock. Hosts Joe and Brad are longtime Rush fans as well as RIAB readers and the subject of Rush often comes up on their show. I was a guest on the August 11, 2009 edition of the program this past summer and had a blast chatting about Rush with the guys. I'll be making a return appearance on tonight's show to talk with them about all the exciting things that are currently happening in the world of Rush. The show airs live on Tuesday nights from 8-10PM PST (11-1 EST) and you can listen live to the program on purerockradio.net and it is also syndicated on progrock.com and redeyeradionetwork.com. Past shows can be listened to via podcast at this link. Listen in if you get a chance. Here's all the info about tonight's show from their newsletter:

Hey kids.
Is your head still spinning from the BIG GAME yesterday?
(Yeah that Chelsea-Arsenal match was pretty serious.
...although I understand there was some U.S. football thing going on as well.)

Anyway. Join us on Tuesday for...
* USED BIN RADIO *

This week we'd like to chat a bit about THE WHO and their half-time set at the SuperBowl. Thumbs Up? Trainwreck? What'd you think? And while we're on the subject, who would YOU like to see hit the stage at the next SuperBowl?

We'll also be joined by ED STENGER, our Great White North correspondent in the RUSH camp, to discuss all the latest, GEDDY, ALEX & NEIL news. Are the guys back at work? New tunes in the works? Rumors of a cease & desist order to prevent Lifeson & Peart from recruiting Michael Buble' for vocal duties. Let's discuss.

And as always, we'll review the latest music news (and a few naked photos of your mom)

We also wanna hear about what YOU'VE been listening to. So join the conversation.

Call us live. (Yes, that's right you'll hear your voice on the radio)
310 840-4438 (this phone number only works during our broadcast hours)
Or send us an email at: usedbinradio@usedbin.com

So join us, this Tuesday (and every Tuesday) for a 120 fun-filled, free-form minutes of tunes... talk... and talk about tunes...

Tuesday February 9
8PM PST (in Los Angeles)
...that's 9pm for you Central people...
...around 11pm for our East Coast pals...
...and 4am Wednesday morning for our British contingent.
.that's 8:30 am Wednesday if you're moving through Kashmir.

Tune in by clicking:
www.purerockradio.net
(Then click "LISTEN" and choose you're preferred audio player)

You can also listen to us on www.progrock.com
catch the podcast at http://purerockradio.org/podcast/?cat=6
follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usedbinradio
check our latest video clips at http://www.youtube.com/usedbinradio
find us on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=325348646

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Neil Peart news update: Neil's Hockey Theme story
4:51PM EST | link | comments (30) |

Neil smiling behind the hockey kit[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: February, 2010 - Fire On Ice]

UPDATE - 2/10@4:14PM: Neil posted the quiet version of The Hockey Theme that he refers to in his update to the homepage of his website.

Neil Peart has once again updated the News page on his website. In this news, weather and sports update, Neil focuses solely on the sports, describing in painstaking detail his experience recording The Hockey Theme for TSN back in December. He gives the entire back story of how the project came to be, how he became involved and his experience recording the song and filming the video. He includes plenty of great behind-the-scene photos and interesting anecdotes as well. All in all a very entertaining read. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

New website features interviews with Bands Like Rush
10:34AM EST | link | comments (23) |

[Interview with the band Tiles - the Anvil of Progressive Rock]

Jeff Whittle and Chris Herin of TilesReader, Rush fan, and composer/performer Ben Sommer recently created a music discovery podcast and blog called Bands Like Rush where bands that have some kind of connection to Rush are interviewed. To kick off the site, Ben interviews 2 members of Detroit-based progressive rockers Tiles. Besides making great progressive rock music, Tiles has many connections with Rush. Original Rush producer Terry Brown has worked with Tiles since 1997's Fence the Clear, and Rush album artist Hugh Syme has done their last 3 album covers in addition to playing some keyboards on their latest album. Also on their latest album - Fly Paper - Alex Lifeson was a guest musician on the track Sacred & Mundane. I conducted a brief interview with guitarist Chris Herin and producer Terry Brown back when Fly Paper was released which you can check out in this post. Ben's interview is much more lengthy and in-depth; he talks with Chris and bassist Jeff Whittle for around 45 minutes about the band's history, their do-it-yourself approach to making music and running their business, why Tiles is known as the Anvil of Progressive Rock, and the pros and cons of being constantly compared to the band Rush. The interview also includes many amusing anecdotes and stories about their work with Terry, Hugh, and Alex Lifeson. Here's Chris discussing how he met Neil Peart at Terry Brown's 60th birthday party:

... So anyway, there were many luminaries from the Toronto music scene there. This was after Alex had recorded for us, so we were kind of hoping Alex would show up. But, he was already wherever Rush was was touring at the time. So Neil Peart comes walking in and ends up being Rush's representative at Terry's party. And, of course, that causes quite a stir because nobody expected him - they all kind of expected Alex and Geddy. But, Neil was the guy that was still left in town from rehearsals. He showed up, and hung out and I got to chit-chat with Neil. He's just a super nice guy too. You kind of see these stories about invading his space, but either he was kind of expecting it and well-prepared - he was very approachable. Afterward, I had passed him on a copy of Flypaper, and a little paperback book that I had picked up in North Carolina about nature, wind - something that a motorcycle guy might like. ...

You can read the entire interview or listen to the podcast at this link. Ben would also like everyone's feedback regarding the interview and suggestions on other bands like Rush he should interview.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:52PM EST | link | comments (52) |

Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsWe were hit with a big Rush rumor yesterday; that Rush will be performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver next Friday, February 12th. The word is that they'll be playing a version of YYZ as part of a larger performance showcasing Canadian music. The opening ceremony will air on NBC beginning at 7:30PM EST on Friday, February 12th. There's been no official confirmation of this or of who any of the performers will be; the organizers are being very tight-lipped about the whole affair.

Last week the tour date rumors started to fly when 105.7 WAPL out of Appleton, WI began announcing on the air that Rush will be playing Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 3rd. They even had a page up on their website promoting the event that has since been taken down. Apparently there was a mix-up and the station jumped the gun on the announcement. So I'm assuming that this information was likely accurate even though it was released prematurely.

As if the Winter Olympics and tour date rumors weren't enough, I've also heard a rumor that one of songs they are working on in the studio is an instrumental track titled The Unfinished Business. It's not clear whether this is in any way related to Rush's 6-minute instrumental The Main Monkey Business from Snakes & Arrows or if it's a completely new track. The original studio version of The Main Monkey Business was reportedly much longer than the version that appeared on the album.

Earlier this morning I posted a great new interview with Neil Peart that was in today's Belleville Intelligencer. They spoke with Neil on a variety of subjects including his recent recording of The Hockey Theme for TSN, the outcome of the band's November meeting and Rush's next project. Neil had a lot of interesting things to say regarding how Rush has adjusted its approach to recording and touring due to the ever-changing state of the music industry. He also mentions how he has garnered some inspiration from Porcupine Tree's latest effort The Incident which includes a 55-minute track. You can read the entire interview at this link. Neil was also recently interviewed for the February 2010 edition of At: Guitar Center magazine. Neil talks about his approach to drumming and writing lyrics, his kit, touring and his views on the current state of the music industry, reiterating much of what he said in the Intelligencer interview. You can read this interview at this link.

Earlier this week we learned that the March 2010 issue of The Walrus magazine contains a feature on Rush titled Living on a Lighted Stage: Are we finally ready to take Rush seriously. It's a 4-page feature that discusses all the attention that Rush has been garnering in recent years, and talks at length about the upcoming Rush documentary. It sounds like the author was given a sneak peek of the film and the article includes many quotes from filmmaker Sam Dunn. It also confirms what I'd mentioned last week; that the movie will contain footage of the Canadian Bandstand gig that Rush played at Laura Secord High School in St. Catharines, ON in 1974 with John Rutsey on drums. The article also talks about author Chris McDonald's recently released academic study of Rush - Rush, Rock Music and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown, RushCon, and includes some remarks from Geddy himself. You can read the entire article on line at this link.

On Wednesday we learned some details regarding the upcoming Rush and Philosophy book that Open Court Publishing will be releasing as part of their popular Culture and Philosophy book series. The table of contents for the book - listing the authors and titles of all the essays it will contain along with section titles - was posted to co-editor Durrell Bowman's website at this link. The book will be divided into 4 sections containing 16 essays with a complete title of Rush and Philosophy: Always Hopeful, Yet Discontent. For all the details check out this post.

Between Sun and Moon handmade jewelry by fellow Rush fan Katy has been turning out Rush inspired jewelry for over 4 years now. All of Katy's pieces are inspired by Rush, named after Rush lyrics and are usually made while she's listening to Rush! Check out her brand new website and webstore. Valentine's day is coming up fast and even if your lover isn't a Rush-lover, they will love a Valentine's Day gift from Between Sun and Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a few of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Your order will come all wrapped up and ready to give along with your personal gift card message. Katy is still offering RushIsABand.com readers Free Priority Mail with any $30 purchase (coupon code: rushisaband) or just email Katy after you place your order and she will adjust it. Order by next Tuesday, February 9th to ensure delivery by Valentine's Day. Thanks Katy!

John at Cygnus-X1.net pointed me to this article posted at the website of ABC affiliate WJRT titled Subdivisions: Listening Room chief learns Rush holds the key to life. The article discusses Rush's Subdivisions and the band's impact on rock music over the years.

Rocker Joan Jett caused quite a flap last week when in several interviews she accused Rush of ridiculing her all-girl 70s band The Runaways when they opened for Rush back in 1977. Jett was making the interview rounds promoting the soon to be released biopic film The Runaways and made the following comments in this JAM! Music article:

... Their Order of Canada is probably safe. But Joan Jett says members of Rush were anything but polite Canucks when the Runaways opened for them in the 1970s. In the new film biopic about the band titled The Runaways, Jett (played by Kristen Stewart) is derided by an unidentified rock group they're opening for. She later retaliates by breaking into their dressing room and urinating on one of their guitars. Jett doesn't hesitate to identify the real-life inspiration for the scene. "Rush! They sat on the side of the stage and laughed at us," Jett says. "That sort of stuff pisses me off." ...

She also said the following in this HitFix.com article (thanks Ant):

... "And by the way, the group that refuses to give the Runaways a sound check in the movie is Rush", Jett said. ...

The Runaways actually attended a party in Rush's honor in December of 1976 as pictured here but didn't tour with them until a couple of months later in February of 1977 where the alleged incident(s) would have taken place.

Reader, Rush fan and life coach Tripp Lanier recently interviewed Esquire and ESPN Magazine's Chris Jones about his experiences with George Clooney, John McCain, various sports stars, etc. Since he's from Canada Lanier asked him if Rush was a great band or the greatest band. It gets a little bumpy at that point; apparently the answer is neither. You can listen to the interview at this link. The Rush bit is right at the end.

Online radio show The Used Bin recently aired an episode titled Bootlegs and a Babaloo. Host Joe Carona discussed how he snuck in backstage through the kitchen entrance at the Great Western Forum back in 1980 on the Permanent Waves Tour to meet Geddy Lee and how he obtained a bootleg recording of the show. He then played a rare live bootleg version of Hemispheres on air in its entirety. You can listen to the episode at this link. The Rush piece runs from about 49:30 to 1:12:10. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up. You may recall that I was a guest on The Used Bin this past August. The hosts are big Rush fans and often discuss the band on the program. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is an annual music festival that has taken place outside Nashville, TN every summer since 2002. This year's official lineup will be announced next Tuesday, February 9th and the festival will take place June 10-13. Reader barboy2112 just noticed this Examiner.com article from back in September which speculates on the 2010 headliners. They include Rush on their list saying the following:

Progressive rock legend Rush has never played Bonnaroo, but their influence is heavily felt every year at the festival, with bands like Umphrey's McGee and Les Claypool listing them as primary influences. Therefore, it's not surprising that Rush is often cited by Bonnaroo fans on their short list of groups they'd like to see headline Bonnaroo. With guitarist Alex Lifeson announcing that Rush will begin work on a new studio album in fall of the year, 2010 seems like a perfect time for Rush to finally make their Bonnaroo appearance. The only thing that makes this slightly unlikely is that Rush hasn't had a radio hit since the 1980's, making them less popular than the typical Friday and Saturday headliners.
Odds of Appearing: 10:1

I doubt this will occur, but stranger things have happened.

Drum Workshop recently posted a video to their YouTube channel where COO John Good takes viewers on a tour of the Drum Workshop booth at the recent NAMM show including Neil Peart's NHL kit which he used for recording The Hockey Theme (thanks RushFanForever).

That's it for this week. Many thanks for all the birthday wishes (I turned 40 yesterday!) Have a great weekend!

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New Neil Peart interview with the Belleville Intelligencer
9:53AM EST | link | comments (30) |

[Back in the limelight]

UPDATE - 2/7@4:05PM: The article was also posted in today's Toronto Sun and several other papers.

UPDATE - 2/6@10:10AM: For some reason the article at the Belleville Intelligencer website has been taken down. No worries though, it also appeared in the St. Catharines Standard.

A new interview with Neil Peart appears in today's edition of the Belleville Intelligencer. They talk with Neil on a variety of subjects including his recent recording of The Hockey Theme for TSN, the outcome of the band's November meeting and Rush's next project:

... What's happening with Rush? I read on your blog that you were going to meet in November to discuss your future. What happened?

Well, in fact, we've just started working on new material. So we plan to get some writing and recording done. And we're considering doing everything this year -- maybe even a bit of touring. We are in action.

And we feel a bit liberated by the state of the music business. Even since 2006, when we started Snakes and Arrows,the album has become less significant in these times of iTunes and shuffle settings and whatnot. But perhaps we can take advantage of that and work in a whole different way. So we decided, when we did meet, that we're not constrained by the patterns of the past, where you spend a year writing and recording, and the next year touring. Anything's possible now; we can record a couple of songs and put them out and then go on tour if we want. So at this point, we're just embarking on writing, but keeping ourselves open to all those other possibilities. One of our early titles for this year was Research and Development. That's where we're at.

So you might start making music in smaller increments?

Or larger. I went to see a band called Porcupine Tree not long ago. And I was talking with (singer-guitarist) Steven Wilson. They just put out a 55- minute piece. That's a finger to the whole iTunes shuffle thing, and he intended it as such. And I thought, 'Yeah, that's another way of rebelling against it -- by just saying no.' There's too much lost in giving up the integrity of an album -- what it represents to you as a musician, and as a human being, for that matter. So I like that approach. That's very possible for a band like us. So there are no limitations; we might go big or we might go small.

Tell me about the new material -- are there songs, or is it just ideas at this point?

Oh, we just literally started. There's nothing to tell, really, except that we're doing it. ...

You can read the entire article online at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rush rumored to perform at Winter Olympics opening ceremony
9:38PM EST | link | comments (51) |

Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsUPDATE - 2/11@9:39AM: It's all but confirmed now according to this release from the Canadian Press.

UPDATE - 2/10@10:33AM: Opening ceremony rehearsals have been taking place this week and so far there's no Rush sighting, but that doesn't necessarily rule them out. From BCLocalNews.com:

... Not all the performers were there in person - there were some lip-synching stand-ins, including a performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." ... The lighting of the Olympic cauldron wasn't part of the dress rehearsal - secrets such as how it's lit and other surprises are being withheld for the actual night. ...

Then there are these details from The Province:

... In a commercial that aired during Saturday Night Live promoting the revamped "We Are the World" single, which was recorded to help raise funds for Haiti and is set to premiere during NBC's Olympic coverage, the network advertised that opening ceremony performers include Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado and Sarah McLachlan. ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/9@3:28PM: Here's a bit of evidence that would seem to bolster the chances that this rumor is true. The Headline Talent Producer for the games is Samuel Leon Feldman who happens to represent Rush. From the Winter Olympics official website (thanks Sean):

Headline Talent Producer: Samuel Leon Feldman

Through two different companies, Sam Feldman represents more than 175 musical artists such as Nelly Furtado, Rush, Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello. Feldman is also a partner in The Characters Talent Agency, representing Canadian actors such as Molly Parker and Ryan Reynolds.

----- snip -----

Rumors are flying around that Rush will be performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver next Friday, February 12th. The word is that they'll be playing a version of YYZ as part of a larger performance showcasing Canadian music. The opening ceremony will air on NBC beginning at 9PM EST on Friday, February 12th. More information as I learn it.

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Rush-inspired handmade jewelry for Valentine's Day
2:20PM EST | link | comments (12) |

Between Sun & Moon - Growing New Ideas WatchBetween Sun and Moon handmade jewelry by fellow Rush fan Katy has been turning out Rush inspired jewelry for over 4 years now. All of Katy's pieces are inspired by Rush, named after Rush lyrics and are usually made while she's listening to Rush! Check out her brand new website and webstore. Valentine's day is coming up fast and even if your lover isn't a Rush-lover, they will love a Valentine's Day gift from Between Sun and Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a few of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Your order will come all wrapped up and ready to give along with your personal gift card message. Katy is still offering RushIsABand.com readers Free Priority Mail with any $30 purchase (coupon code: rushisaband) or just email Katy after you place your order and she will adjust it. Order by Tuesday, February 9th to ensure delivery by Valentine's Day. Thanks Katy!

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rush and Philosophy book details
10:31AM EST | link | comments (58) |

Back in June I let you know that Open Court Publishing had put out a call for papers for a Rush and Philosophy book that they were planning to release as part of their popular Culture and Philosophy book series. The table of contents for the book - listing the authors and titles of all the essays it will contain along with section titles - has been posted to co-editor Durrell Bowman's website at this link. The book will be divided into 4 sections containing 16 essays with a complete title of Rush and Philosophy: Always Hopeful, Yet Discontent:

Rush and Philosophy: Always Hopeful, Yet Discontent

Chicago: Open Court, 2010 - edited by Jim Berti and Durrell Bowman

Introduction - Jim Berti and Durrell Bowman

Part I: "The Blacksmith and the Artist"

1. Rush's Libertarianism Never "Fit the Plan" - Steven Horwitz, Ph.D.; St. Lawrence U.
2. Hardly Rand-y Peart - Deena Weinstein, Ph.D.; DePaul U. and Michael A. Weinstein, Ph.D.; Purdue U.
3. "What Can This Strange Device Be?": Man and Machine in Rush - Timothy Smolko, M.L.S.; U. of Georgia
4. Barenaked Death Metal Trip-Hopping on Industrial Strings - Durrell Bowman, Ph.D.; Kitchener, Ontario

Part II: "I Want to Look Around Me Now"

1. Myth, Mystery, and Mist?: Secular Humanism and Mystical Language in Rush - Chris McDonald, Ph.D.; Cape Breton U.
2. The Inner and Outer Worlds of Minds and Selves - Todd Suomelo, MLIS; Minnetonka, Minnesota
3. Contre Nous: Musical Otherness in Rush - Nicole Biamonte, Ph.D.; U. of Iowa
4. How is Rush Canadian? - Durrell Bowman, Ph.D.; Kitchener, Ontario

Part III: "To the Margin of Error"

1. "Cruising in Prime Time": The Drumming of Neil Peart as Distraction - Nicholas P. Greco, Ph.D.; Providence College and Seminary
2. The Groove of Rush's Complex Rhythms - John J. Sheinbaum, Ph.D.; U. of Denver
3. 'Nailed It!': Virtuosity, YouTube Performance, and Rush's Aesthetics of Replicability - John T. Reuland, Princeton U.
4. From Plato's Cave to Benjamin's Language Forest: On Imitating Rush - Andrew Cole, Ph.D.; U. of Georgia

Part IV: "The Ebb and Flow of Tidal Fortune"

1. Training Listeners to Think, Feel, and Act - Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.; U. at Albany
2. Ghost Riding on the Razor's Edge: Neil Peart's Search for Meaning through Tragedy - Jim Berti, North Colonie Schools, U. at Albany
3. Honey on the Rim of "The Larger Bowl" - Melissa L. Beck, Woodstock Academy
4. "Bearing a Gift Beyond Price": Valuing the Music of Rush - Kayla Kreuger, M.A.; West Virginia U.

The book is expected to release sometime this year but no definitive date has been given.

The Culture and Philosophy book series are collections of essays by academic philosophers exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture. Since its inception in 2000 with Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing the series has published over 40 titles including Lord of the Rings and Philosophy, Star Wars and Philosophy, Bob Dylan and Philosophy and Pink Floyd and Philosophy. Other books on Rush and philosophy include 1998's Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush, 2002's A Simple Kind Mirror: The Lyrical Vision of Rush, and the recently released Rush, Rock Music and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown. Thanks to Steven Horwitz (one of the contributing authors to the Rush and Philosophy book) for the heads up.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Neil Peart interview in latest At: Guitar Center magazine
11:16AM EST | link | comments (51) |

UPDATE - 2/2@8:44PM: The article has been posted online at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

The February 2010 edition of the At: Guitar Center magazine contains a 5-page feature interview with Neil Peart. Neil talks about his approach to drumming and writing lyrics, his kit, touring and his views on the current state of the music industry:

... "I know that the mechanism that brought us up doesn't exist anymore," he says. "For instance, a perfect example of how reversed it is, in those days we made no money touring for a long time, even into the successful years. You counted on record sales and songwriting to make your living. And touring was a way to publicize that. Suddenly, in the last 10, 15 years all that turned around and our income is entirely from touring, and recording is an indulgence. In a band like Rush, no one's going to pay us to make a record. It's going to be an indulgence. Even Snakes & Arrows basically paid for itself and that's it, and if we want to make a living beyond that we have to go on the road and tour."...

You can check out scans of the interview by clicking on the thumbnails above. Thanks to PetieLee for the heads up and the scans.

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