Archive: Blog Entries from August, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rush signs with Roadrunner Records
10:59AM EST | link | comments (42) |

[Rush Signs With Roadrunner, Preps New Album for 2012: Exclusive]

UPDATE - 9/1@9:45AM: Just to clarify my comment that this is simply a lateral move for Rush; I meant lateral in an organizational sense, in that the band is simply moving to another label under the Warner Music Group parent company. Indeed, Rush had been under contract with Atlantic to release one more studio album, and Rush's deal with Roadrunner likely would not have been able to happen if Roadrunner and Atlantic had not been with the same parent company. From a marketing standpoint this is probably a good move for Rush, as Atlantic had been doing a poor job promoting the band in recent years. Roadrunner's focus on hard rock and heavy metal bands makes them a much better fit for Rush. Other prog-rock bands currently with Roadrunner Records include Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and Opeth.

UPDATE - 8/31@2:47PM: Here's the official press release from Roadrunner (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 8/31@11:15AM: It should be noted that Roadrunner Records has actually been owned by Warner Music Group since 2006, who also happens to own Rush's previous label - Atlantic Records. And Atlantic Records Group is Roadrunner's US distributor. So in reality this is not as big of a shake-up as it may seem, and is more of a lateral move than anything else.

Billboard.com reported this morning that Rush has signed with Roadrunner Records. From Billboard.com:

... "After years of Roadrunner pursuing the band, Tom Lipsky [President, Lipsky Music LLC] presented a deal that worked and the timing was right," Rush manager Ray Danniels said in an announcement. "We wanted to be at a label focused on the rock genre -- and that's Roadrunner."

Since 1989, the Canadian trio -- Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart -- has released six studio albums through Atlantic, beginning with "Presto" and most recently, 2007's "Snakes & Arrows," which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Before that, the band was at Mercury.

The group's next full-length studio album, a long-gestating work titled "Clockwork Angels," will be released in 2012 on Roadrunner. The delay -- a lead single, "Caravan," was released in June 2010 -- was due to the success of their Time Machine Tour, which just wrapped.

A first Roadrunner release will actually be a live album culled from the blockbuster tour. According to the label, details will be revealed in the coming weeks. Anthem/Universal Music will continue to release their music in Canada only. ...

... "In another life I worked with Rush and their great management team more than 30 years ago and to have Rush finally on the Roadrunner label is a dream come true," said Cees Wessels, Roadrunner Records Chairman.

Lipsky, who brokered the deal, remarked that Rush has a "tradition of excellence and independence, both in the studio and on the live stage, and they remain as prolific today as at any point in their career. We are excited to be their label partners."...

The above mention that the first Roadrunner release will actually be a live album culled from the blockbuster tour seems to confirm that a live CD will be accompanying the release of the band's upcoming live concert DVD Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland. Although it's still not clear whether the CD release will be included with the DVD or released separately. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Excerpts from Classic Rock's Prog magazine Rush feature]
[Alex Lifeson interview from the Toledo Free Press]
[New Geddy Lee radio interview at the UK's 106.1 Rock Radio]
[Short Rush Clockwork Angels feature in March issue of Mojo]
[New Alex Lifeson interview in Guitarist magazine]
[Rush's Caravan makes Amazon's 100 Bestselling Songs of 2010]
[Alex Lifeson interview with Chile's Radio Futuro]
[New interviews with Geddy and Alex from the Brazilian press]
[New Geddy Lee interview with Brazil's TV UOL]

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Neil Peart's Bubba's Book Club recommended reading updated
8:26PM EST | link | comments (5) |

[Bubba's Book Club: ISSUE 16 - September, 2011]

Neil Peart has updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he reviews and recommends books that he's been reading. In this - his 16th installment since the launch of his site - Neil reviews After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley.

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Ready Player One author Ernest Cline talks Rush
3:14PM EST | link | comments (7) |

Ready Player One is a new, critically-acclaimed sci-fi book from author and self-described seventies/eighties protonerd Ernest Cline. Cline is currently on the book tour circuit, traveling around the country in is his Back to the Future-inspired DeLorean and doing a number of interviews promoting the book. Being a '70s/'80s protonerd, it's not surprising that Cline is a Rush fan. He was recently featured on the cover of the Austin Chronicle sporting a Rush Time Machine Tour jersey and was the subject of an article titled The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth. He was also recently interviewed for eMusic (thanks RushFanForever) and had the following to say about Rush and 2112 in particular:

... Rush is like the band for the nerdy outcast kids of the '70s and '80s. Their lyrics are all about being an outcast. Really smart lyrics, too - stuff aimed at more literate people.

[2112] was this epic space fantasy story about a revolt against this totalitarian Federation of Solar Federations. Which was just awesome for a kid who's into Dungeons and Dragons, science fiction and Rush. It's not my favorite Rush [album]; it's not that listenable, but I just appreciate it for its grandiosity and overall epic nerdiness. ...

... [They Might Be Giants] were one of my favorite bands, too. And if you're going to pay tribute to nerdy music you've got to give a shout out to Rush and Devo and They Might Be Giants; they're like the holy trinity of nerd bands. ...

There's also this review in the September 5th issue of Time magazine (thanks 1-2 bucklemyshoe) which also makes mention of Rush:

... "As much fun as it is to see those long-mothballed names again -- and the torrent of references never lets up -- Cline's enthusiasm for geeky minutiae can grown maddeningly fetishistic. When Wade's virtual-world avatar pulls a guitar out of a stone, its a 1974 Gibson Les Paul, 'the exact guitar used by Alex Lifeson during [Rush's] 2112 tour.' (Rush and They Might Be Giants loom large in this 2045; the
re's no sign that, say, hip-hop ever happened.)" ...

For more information on Ready Player One, check out www.readyplayerone.com.

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Official merchandise from Alex Lifeson's Toronto nightclub The Orbit Room now available
1:32PM EST | link | comments (3) |

The Orbit Room Classic t-shirtAlex Lifeson's Toronto nightclub The Orbit Room recently launched a website which is selling official Orbit Room merchandise. There are both men's and women's t-shirts available along with a beer mug or shot glass, all sporting the Orbit Room logo. To check out the store and purchase your official Orbit Room merchandise just go to this link. Thanks to RushFanForever and Jillian for the heads up.

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Geddy Lee makes MSN Canada's list of celebrity sports fans
12:22PM EST | link | comments (5) |

On Thursday of last week MSN Canada posted a photo gallery of celebrity sports fans including Rush's Geddy Lee, whose love of baseball prompted his addition to their list:

When he's not playing bass for Canadian rock legends Rush, Toronto native Geddy Lee likes to unwind with some baseball. An avid collector of cards and memorabilia, Lee is frequently seen at Blue Jays games, catching the action from his exclusive season ticket seats behind home plate. Lee, who enjoys catching games in different cities with his son while Rush is touring North America, is also a hardcore fantasy baseball player. In fact, he's so serious about the hobby that he insists on having high-speed internet access in every venue the band plays so he can keep tabs on his team.

Thanks to anologkid9 for the heads up.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guitar World Poll: Vote for Rush's Grace Under Pressure as Best Guitar Album of 1984
8:22PM EST | link | comments (34) |

Guitar World is running a poll on their website to determine the Best Guitar Album of 1984. Rush's Grace Under Pressure is in the running and needs some help form Rush fans. As of this post Stryper's Yellow and Black Attack and The Scorpions' Love at First Sting are leading the pack with 33% and 28% of the vote respectively. So go vote for Rush! Thanks to RushFanForever, Will C and Professordrums for the heads up.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy birthday Alex Lifeson!
9:37AM EST | link | comments (26) |

UPDATE - 8/29@9:53AM: In celebration of Big Al's birthday, Ultimate Classic Rock posted their list of the 5 Best Alex Lifeson Rush Songs (thanks RushFanForever).

Alex young and oldOn this day back in 1953, our favorite guitarist - Alexandar Zivojinovich (aka Alex Lifeson) - was born in Fernie, British Columbia. He turns 58 today which makes him the youngest member of Rush, being born about a month after Geddy Lee and just under a year after Neil. Next up is Neil, who'll turn 59 on September 12th. In honor of this occasion here's a video taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children of a young Alex Lifeson arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. Happy birthday Lerxst! May you have many more.

There's also this from John over at Cygnus-X1.net:

In celebration of Alex's 58th birthday, Jonathan Alan Hill spearheaded a movement to have fans supply what they felt were some of Alex's finest songs; creating a playlist for his birthday. Jonathan coordinated the effort over at the Cygnus-X1.Net Facebook Group Page.

Additionally, Ken Shipley of RushRadio.Org will be featuring the selected playlist beginning at 11 AM CST on the 27th.

The playlist includes tracks from nearly every Rush album and highlights Alex incredible abilities over the decades. Many thanks to Jonathan, Ken, Kelly, and all the folks that participated with this tribute to our favorite guitarist.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:16PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandIt was another quiet week in Rush-land. The big news of the week was another delay in the release of Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert DVD/Blu-ray. The release has been pushed back 2 weeks from October 25th to Tuesday, November 8th. Don't be surprised if it gets pushed back at least one more time, but it should definitely be out in time for Christmas. The region-free DVD/Blu-ray will have a running time of 164 minutes and the cover art is the familiar Time Machine Tour design with the text Live in Cleveland printed over the countdown timer which is set to 2011. Bonus features will include outtakes from the intro, intermission and outro videos from the Time Machine Tour along with the full clip 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, portions of which were included in the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. It's not clear whether this would just be the same 2 clips of Working Man and Best I Can that were also included as extras in the documentary, or if it will include the entire show (or more unreleased footage at least). The bonus features will also include some of Rush's 1976 black and white bootleg video of their performance in Passaic, NJ. Again, it's not clear what full clip means in this context. The video was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, and engineered by Rich Chycki. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon (DVD, Blu-ray).

Rush ABC 1974Speaking of Rush live shows in Cleveland, according to a catalog entry at UK online music store Plastichead.com, Left Field Media will be releasing a CD of Rush's live WMMS radio broadcast of their August 26th, 1974 show at the Cleveland Agora titled Rush ABC 1974. This broadcast has been available as a bootleg for many years, but this may be the first legal release (legal according to UK laws at least). The CD is set to release on October 24th in the UK and as of right now it doesn't look like it will be made available in the US or Canada. I should also note that this was Rush's first recorded performance in the US as well as their first recorded performance with Neil Peart on drums who had only just joined the band a month prior to the show. A young Donna Halper - who was the music director at WMMS at the time - introduced the band before the show and the band dedicated Working Man to her. The broadcast also includes recordings of the two unreleased Rush tracks Fancy Dancer and Garden Road.

If any of you regularly access rushisaband.com via a mobile device you may have noticed some changes in the past week. I've recently launched a stripped-down mobile version of the website that mobile users will be automatically redirected to. Mobile users who still want access to the full site can still do so however. For now the mobile site only has blog entries, but I have plans to add some tour-related content hopefully in time for Rush's 2012 tour. Please check it out on your mobile device and let me know what you think. In other site-related news, rushisaband.com now has close to 4500 Twitter followers along with nearly 3000 Facebook followers!

The September edition of warehouse club Costco's Costco Connection magazine contains a short interview with Geddy Lee. You can read it online at this link. They are also running a contest where you can win a Fender Geddy Lee jazz bass or a signed 2011 Moving Pictures limited edition lithograph. For a chance to win just email your name, address and daytime phone number with a subject line of either Fender Geddy Lee Bass or Moving Pictures Litho respectively to giveaway@costco.com. For contest details just refer to the right sidebar on this page.

Rush: Changing HemispheresUK multimedia publisher Abstract Sounds Books is set to release a 116-page hardcover book and 4-DVD set titled Rush: Changing Hemispheres on Monday, September 26th in the UK according to Play.com. This release is not an official Rush release and has not been approved by the band. It's not clear whether the set will be released at all in the US/Canada and very few details regarding the content are known at this time. It's quite possible that this is just a repackaging of previously released material; perhaps a re-purposing of the lackluster 2006 set Inside Rush: Music in Review 1974-1981. So if you are looking to purchase this, proceed with caution.

The official 2012 Rush wall calendar put out by NMR Distribution which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of 1982's Signals began shipping from Amazon earlier this week. You can order your copy at this link. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned all of the images from the calendar and made them available online at this link.

Earlier this summer Orange Amplifiers put together a fund-raising charity auction called Music Aid for Joplin to benefit victims of the May 22nd US tornado disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The online auction kicked off on June 18th and ended this past week. Among the items up for bid were a 14-inch Sabian Paragon Crash cymbal signed by Neil Peart and personalized with the winner's name that sold for £550, and an Orange CR50BXT bass amp signed by Geddy Lee that went for £700.

Eric at the Power Windows site launched a Rush transcript archive this past weekend. The archive is a comprehensive collection of hundreds of transcripts of Rush related magazine and newspaper articles, radio programs, concert reviews, tour books and more, dating back as far as 1974 and listed in chronological order. You can read some background on the archive, what it contains and how it came about at this link. If you have any old magazines or clippings with Rush news stories/interviews in them that aren't already listed in the archive, please send them on over to Eric at this email address. Many thanks to Eric for putting together this great resource for Rush fans.

Noisecreep recently posted in no particular order their list of the Top 10 All-time Canadian Hard Rock Bands and - not surprisingly - Rush made the cut. Here's what they had to say:

Rush formed in 1968 in the quiet suburb of Willowdale in Toronto. More than 40 years later, singer-bassist-keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Yeah, yeah, you're gonna argue that Rush is prog-rock, right? True, they are progressive and unlike any other band out there with its intricacies and musicianship. But at its core, the trio rocks - hard.

Essential Song: 'Tom Sawyer'

Next week they'll be posting their list of the top 10 Canadian power trios whose name begins with R - I predict that Rush will make this list too. :)

Joe Pernice of indie rock band the Pernice Brothers was recently interviewed for the Vienna Patch and had some not-so-nice things to say about Geddy Lee. Joe now lives in Toronto and when asked about how he likes living there he had this to say:

... "I go to see The Blue Jays play, whenever my beloved Red Sox are in town," the die-hard Bostonian said. "It's mostly great, even if there's one glitch. I really can't stand the band, Rush. And almost every time I'm at a game, so is (Rush singer) Geddy Lee. And they have to put his big, ridiculous face up on the Jumbotron. Man, that can really wreck your day." ...

Reader Asif K noticed a Rush Time Machine Tour t-shirt sighting in this Daily Mail article covering President Barack Obama's recent vacation at Martha's Vineyard. One of the island residents waiting to get a glimpse of the President's motorcade is pictured wearing a Rush t-shirt.

Steve Austin of Nashville-based metal band Today is the Day was recently interviewed for Exclaim magazine and had the following to say when asked what comes to mind when thinking of Canada:

... I think of Montreal and the fact that it's a pretty damn cool city, it's a pretty European city. I of course think of Geddy Lee and Rush, because I love the band Rush a whole lot. Then I also think of other suck bands, like Triumph, that tried to be like Rush. And then I of course think of Bob and Doug, the beer drinking fools that had the movie a long time ago. ...

Wired.com's Michael Calore mentions Rush and Geddy Lee in a recent review of the Moog Tauras 3:

I saw an original Moog Taurus synthesizer in a magazine when I was a kid. I didn't know what it was. Given the bulk and odd shape - a black box sitting on the floor with horizontal slats sticking out - I assumed it was some sort of fancy shoe shine machine Geddy Lee used to polish his Mithril-tipped boots. ... The original Taurus was produced for just five years, from 1976 to 1981. Not long, but long enough to become a hit, especially among the progressive rock and space rock alchemists - Rush, Genesis, Yes, ELO, King Crimson - who were already experimenting with early analog synthesizers (and various substances). ...

Since earlier this year reader Mitch K has been hosting a radio show on 92.1 WPTS in Pittsburgh called the Mind of Mitch. The show focuses on progressive rock and Rush is prominently featured - typically more towards their B-side material. The show has been moved to a new and better time slot. It now runs every Monday afternoon from 2-4PM. You can listen live online at this link.

Reader Out of the Shockwave dug up an old 2005 Metal Sludge interview with legendary Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. At one point Geezer is asked to rate 10 different bassists on a scale from 1-10, and he gave Geddy the highest rating saying Geddy Lee's gotta be at least a 9.

Back in January we learned that Lerxst would appear in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's new indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. The film is an adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. Alex will be playing the role of Dr. Michael Figg; a character made specifically for the film who works in a mental hospital where Billy Boyd's character Woodsy is committed for a breakdown after consuming too much Ecstasy. The filmmakers had planned to debut the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, but the film has not yet been officially added to the schedule. The cast & crew screening of the film will take place at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, ON on Saturday, September 10th at 4PM. Tickets can be purchased at this link. There's no word on whether Alex will be in attendance, but it's certainly possible. You can watch a short clip of Alex Lifeson as Dr. Figg at the film's YouTube channel here. The clip runs about 1 minute and features respected psychiatrist Dr. Michael Figg discussing his radical new treatment.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson, tomorrow happens to be his 58th birthday and in honor of this occasion I'll close out this week's post with a video taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children of a young Alex Lifeson arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. Happy birthday Lerxst!!

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

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New Geddy Lee interview in the Costco Connection
9:42AM EST | link | comments (7) |

The September edition of warehouse club Costco's Costco Connection magazine contains a short interview with Geddy Lee. You can read it online at this link. Here's a transcription of the interview:

Costco Connection: You're Rush's main vocalist and bass player, but you also play keyboards, control sequences and work bass pedals with your feet. Given the technical mastery all those duties require and the sheer difficulty of it all, have you ever thougt about bringing in other musicians to share some of your workload?

Geddy Lee: Oh yeah [laughs], I used to bring it up at the beginning of every tour because there were times when it felt quite daunting to have to deal with all the electronic appartatus when I really just wanted to sing and play bass. So, yeah, I've had to wrestle with that question quite often. But, in the end, we're quite a tight unit, the three of us. And we just kind of figure that our fans would rather see us up there with our technology rather than see us fill up the stage with sidemen. We opted to go the difficult route. But I did get them [guitaris Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart] to share some of the sequencing responsibilities. So that helps a bit.

Costco Connection: Even just singing and playing bass is very difficult for most musicians. Was that a trick for you in the beginning?

Geddy Lee: Yeah, especially on some of our songs. Sometimes you write a song that has a really cool riff, and then you write the melody later, and record it separately. Then when you go to rehearse it, you go, "How do I do this?" because one part has very little in common with the other part. It's hard to get your brain synchronized ... you kind of split your brain in two, and, if you practice it enough, it starts to come naturally. Sometimes you have to compromise a bass part a tiny bit to let it fit more comfortably into your brain pattern, but generally I've found it's like Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule [Author Malcolm Gladwell says that the best way to achieve success in any field is to spend 10,000 hours honing your craft]. Just keep playing it, [and you will] eventually get it.

They are also running a contest where you can win a Fender Geddy Lee jazz bass or a signed 2011 Moving Pictures limited edition lithograph. For a chance to win just email your name, address and daytime phone number with a subject line of either Fender Geddy Lee Bass or Moving Pictures Litho respectively to giveaway@costco.com. For contest details just refer to the right sidebar on this page. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Left Field Media to release CD of 1974 Rush live radio broadcast
5:36PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Rush ABC 1974According to a catalog entry at UK online music store Plastichead.com, Left Field Media will be releasing a CD of Rush's live WMMS radio broadcast of their August 26th, 1974 show at the Cleveland Agora titled Rush ABC 1974. This broadcast has been available as a bootleg for many years, but this seems to be the first legal release - at least in the UK. There's no word on whether this will be made available in the US and Canada. The CD is set to release on October 24th in the UK. I should also note that this was Rush's first recorded performance in the US as well as the first recorded performance with Neil Peart on drums, and a young Donna Halper - who was the music director at WMMS at the time - introduced the band. Thanks to GotRush? for the heads up.

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Rush makes Noisecreep's list of the Top 10 All-time Canadian Hard Rock Bands
8:33AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Noisecreep recently posted in no particular order their list of the Top 10 All-time Canadian Hard Rock Bands and Rush made the cut. Here's what they had to say:

Rush formed in 1968 in the quiet suburb of Willowdale in Toronto. More than 40 years later, singer-bassist-keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Yeah, yeah, you're gonna argue that Rush is prog-rock, right? True, they are progressive and unlike any other band out there with its intricacies and musicianship. But at its core, the trio rocks - hard.

Essential Song: 'Tom Sawyer'

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rush Changing Hemispheres book plus 4-DVD set coming soon
3:30PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Rush: Changing HemispheresUK multimedia publisher Abstract Sounds Books is set to release a 116-page hardcover book and 4-DVD set titled Rush: Changing Hemispheres on Monday, September 26th in the UK. From Play.com:

This is the true story of Rush from humble Canadian beginnings through to international super stardom. Featuring a masterful and comprehensive text packed with great photographs of the band this unique production also includes four documentary DVDs packed with candid audio interviews with the band members compared and contrasted with the views of a leading team of music journalists, insiders and musicologists.

This uncensored and independent title has not been viewed or approved by the band or its management and is completely free to tell the unvarnished story of Rush as it really happened. The contents of this amazing book and DVD combination are completely essential reading and viewing for Rush fans everywhere.

It's not clear whether the set will be released in the US/Canada and very few details regarding the content are known at this time. It's quite possible that this is just a repackaging of previously released material; perhaps a re-purposing of the lackluster 2006 set Inside Rush: Music in Review 1974-1981. So if you are looking to purchase this, proceed with caution. More information as I learn it. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net and Alan D for the heads up.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray release date pushed back to November 8th
11:12AM EST | link | comments (27) |

UPDATE - 9/7@10:21AM: Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki posted the following on Twitter recently:

Previewed the Rush Cleveland show w Ged and management in a listening theater. RAWK!

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/31@12:34PM: Rush recently signed with Roadrunner Records and the press release mentions that the first Roadrunner release will actually be a live album culled from the blockbuster tour. This seems to confirm that a live CD will be accompanying the release of the DVD. Although it's still not clear whether the CD release will be included with the DVD or released separately.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandAccording to Amazon.com, the release date for Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert DVD/Blu-ray has been pushed back 2 weeks from October 25th to Tuesday, November 8th. The region-free DVD/Blu-ray will have a running time of 164 minutes and the cover art is the familiar Time Machine Tour design with the text Live in Cleveland printed over the countdown timer which is set to 2011. Bonus features will include outtakes from the intro, intermission and outro videos from the Time Machine Tour along with the full clip 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, portions of which were included in the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. It's not clear whether this would just be the same 2 clips of Working Man and Best I Can that were also included as extras in the documentary, or if it will include the entire show (or more unreleased footage at least). The bonus features will also include some of Rush's 1976 black and white bootleg video of their performance in Passaic, NJ. Again, it's not clear what full clip means in this context. The video was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, and engineered by Rich Chycki. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon (DVD, Blu-ray). Thanks to Mark S for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray details, bonus features]
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland Blu-ray now available for pre-order]
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray release date pushed back to October 25th]
[Rush Time Machine live DVD now available for pre-order]
[Rush Cleveland live DVD/Blu-ray to be titled Time Machine, releases on September 27th]
[Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Orange amplifiers Music Aid for Joplin charity auction ends this week
10:11AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Earlier this summer Orange Amplifiers put together a fund-raising charity auction called Music Aid for Joplin to benefit victims of the May 22nd US tornado disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The online auction kicked off on June 18th and ends this week. Among the items up for bidding are a 14-inch Sabian Paragon Crash cymbal signed by Neil Peart and personalized with the winner's name, and an Orange CR50BXT bass amp signed by Geddy Lee. For more information or to bid on these items go to FameBureau.com.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rush transcript archive now available at the Power Windows website
11:29AM EST | link | comments (18) |

Power Windows Rush transcript archiveA Rush transcript archive has just been added to the list of features already available to Rush fans over at the Power Windows Rush fansite. The archive is a comprehensive collection of hundreds of transcripts of Rush related magazine and newspaper articles, radio programs, concert reviews, tour books and more, dating back as far as 1974 and listed in chronological order. Here's the back story from site administrator Eric:

Last month I began working on updating the "News Archives" for the albums released since 2000. This has led to a major project, the creation of "The Rush Transcript Archive"; but first, some quick back history.

The individual album News Archives began back in 2000 with the release of My Favorite Headache, when I began keeping track of various online news transcripts and the like. I later created similar archives for Vapor Trails, Feedback, Snakes, etc. Over time, however, those News Archives got lost in the depths of my various pages and were not exactly easy to find, especially to new or infrequent users to this site. With that in mind, I decided to move most of the contents of these News Archives to a single centralized page.

I quickly went to work on it and soon realized something was lacking...there was very little online content from before the year 2000. This problem was easily solved, however. As a member of the National Midnight Star mailing list, I remembered receiving transcripts of everything from magazine and newspaper articles to radio interviews and more, all shared from Rush fans from around the globe via TNMS. To flush out the pre-2000 content, the old NMS transcripts have been invaluable (note, the National Midnight Star website used to contain many transcripts as well, but it is now offline and sadly much of this content may be permamently lost!). In addition to TNMS, I have hundreds of news clippings to be found in my Tour Archive, some of which were also worthy of transcribing. And of course, I've been collecting various magazines featuring Rush through the years. I've been working on transcribing these as well, and many have also been transcribed already by other Rush websites and messageboards. So that's the back story. ...

Be sure to check out the transcript archive when you get a chance. If you have any old magazines or clippings with Rush news stories/interviews in them that aren't already listed in the archive, please send them on over to Eric at this email address. This is a great resource for the Rush fan community. Thanks Eric!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:15PM EST | link | comments (16) |

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandMore details regarding Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert video were revealed this past week via the DVD's Amazon UK listing. The region-free DVD/Blu-ray will release on Tuesday, October 25th and have a running time of 164 minutes. The cover art is the familiar Time Machine Tour design with the text Live in Cleveland printed over the countdown timer which is set to 2011. Bonus features will include outtakes from the intro, intermission and outro videos from the Time Machine Tour along with the full clip 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, portions of which were included in the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. It's not clear whether this would just be the same 2 clips of Working Man and Best I Can that were also included as extras in the documentary, or if it will include the entire show (or more unreleased footage at least). The bonus features will also include some of Rush's 1976 black and white bootleg video of their performance in Passaic, NJ. Again, it's not clear what full clip means in this context. The video was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, and engineered by Rich Chycki. In related news, Chycki recently tweeted in response to question from @ScottSabol regarding the DVD/Blu-ray that the Audio is done!!. There was also this news story from Cleveland ABC news affiliate WEWS earlier in the week covering the DVD release. There isn't any new information in the article but it's nice to see the DVD getting some press.

Topher Grace and Richard Gere in The DoubleWe learned earlier this year of Alex Lifeson's involvement with the film score for a new spy thriller due out next month starring Topher Grace and Richard Gere titled The Double. The film was co-written by Derek Haas and director Michael Brandt and features original music by film composer John Debney with a little help from Alex Lifeson. Alex plays guitar on the score throughout the movie and also wrote the outro track which is titled Don't Look Back according to movie co-writer Derek Haas, who posted the information to The Rush Forum earlier this week. Haas has promised to post the track online at some point if he can get permission, although he hasn't been able to yet. We had already been aware from reports earlier this year that Scarlet Sins vocalist Sylvya NuVynska and Skinny Puppy founding member cEvin Key also play on the outro track, and that Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki handled the mixing duties. Some still shots from the movie were just recently released and the film will be released to theaters in the US on September 23rd. Haas also posted the following to The Rush Forum regarding how Alex became involved with the film:

... Michael and I got to know Alex and Geddy when they were in LA finishing Snakes & Arrows. Alex is a movie-buff and literature-buff and he expressed interest in scoring films. (I hope you detect my admiration shining through... he's truly one of the greatest guys I've ever met. Geddy too, but that's a different story.) As we were putting THE DOUBLE together, Michael and I told Alex we'd love for him to be included any way he wanted. We did the movie for very little money so we weren't going to be able to afford him but we wanted to throw it out there. He was between the two tours so he asked us to send him the latest cut of the film and he started talking to the composer (Debney) via email and the phone. Then he just went to town... the guy is astonishing. And generous. The single is definitely not a RUSH song but you can sure hear Alex's distinctive "voice" all over it. ...

Speaking of Alex, last year Lerxst produced 3 tracks for Toronto band the David Barrett Trio that were released digitally over the past several months; Hollowbody (iTunes, Amazon), Sonar (iTunes, Amazon) and Disappearance (iTunes, Amazon). David Barrett spoke with Alex Lifeson back on the Snakes & Arrows tour for an interview that he posted portions of to YouTube last week. Alex talks with David about acoustic guitars and recording Snakes and Arrows. You can listen to the 6-and-a-half minute interview at this link. All three of the Lifeson-produced tracks mentioned above can be heard on SoundCloud at this link. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. The Trio is asking for assistance to fund their project via RocketHub at this link. Please help them out if you can.

Alex also was brought up in a recent Gibson interview with guitarist Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down. At one point in the interview he's asked the question Who has really impressed you in the business? and here was his response:

... Alex Lifeson has become a good friend of mine. He's been really inspirational to me. He's a great guy. It was awesome to be able to work with Alex. We did some recording with Alex. I never thought I'd be playing guitar with Alex Lifeson. Great guy. Great musician. ...

Alex produced 3 songs for 3 Doors Down back in 2000. You can watch the interview at this link at about the 1:30 mark.

Alex Lifeson and his mulletAnd last and also least on the list of Alex Lifeson news for the week, GuitarSquid posted their list of the Top 10 Guitarist Mullets last Friday, and coming in at #10 was Alex Lifeson. From the article:

Although the mullet and its many variations are often identified with Canadians, hockey players in general, Australians and trailer parks South of the Mason Dixon line, let's not forget that gutiarists are a worthy subgroup for categorizing notable mullets. Many a guitarslinger has kept it all-business in the front and party-hardy in the back. ...

10. Alex Lifeson - Lifeson has been around long enough to have survived a number of hindsightful hair-don'ts, but his Hold Your Fire-era mullet is a perfect specimen of mid-'80s Canadian variety.

Neil Peart's latest book Far and Away: A Prize every time was first released in hardcover this past April and became available in paperback earlier this week along with a Kindle edition that released a couple of weeks ago. The CBC will be re-airing Neil Peart's June appearance on Strombo where he discusses the book on this evening's program. In celebration of the re-airing they are running a contest where Canadian residents could win a signed hardcover edition of Far and Away. To enter the contest just go to this link. You can purchase your copy of Far and Away in your preferred format at Amazon.com (hardcover, paperback, Kindle).

Earlier this summer I let you know that Mead Calendars would be releasing a 16-month Rush 2012 wall calendar which depicts a different album cover for each month as shown here. The calendar is now available for purchase and can be ordered through Amazon.com at this link. There's also the official 2012 Rush wall calendar put out by NMR Distribution that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of 1982's Signals. This Signals-themed calendar is currently available for pre-order through Amazon and other retailers and is slated for a September 1st release.

Reader Colin W sent me this video advertisement for Glasgow-based self-storage company Abra Storage. The worker featured in the video is wearing a Rush Time Machine Tour t-shirt.

Gibson.com recently posted their list of the 50 Greatest Songs of the '80s as chosen by their editors, writers and readers. Rush did not make their top 50 list, but they also posted a list of the top 25 songs of the '80s as chosen strictly by Gibson.com readers. Rush's Tom Sawyer did make that list, coming in at #22. You can check out the complete results at Gibson.com at this link.

Video editor Glen Lazarro recently posted a story to the 99 Tigers blog where he takes a humorous look back on the making of Rush's Time Stand Still video. The post also includes this spoof version of the video which Lazarro introduces with the line This is a Brilliant Spoof of the Rush video. It really skewers the editor. Me.

Austin Chronicle: Ernest ClineToday's edition of the Austin Chronicle features sci-fi author Ernest Cline on the cover sporting a Rush Time Machine Tour jersey. The author is the subject of an article titled The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth which discusses Cline's latest book Ready Player One which released this past week (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush fan site RushWeb.net was recently relaunched after a long hiatus. From the site's about page:

Rushweb.net started in 2000 as a source for news for Rush fans. After a few year hiatus, Rushweb.net is back!

Rushweb.net was credited for breaking the news about Geddy Lee's solo album. Rushweb.net also interview Geddy Lee about My Favourite Headache, a first for Rush fan sites.

We have a lot of exciting things planned for this recreated version of Rushweb.net. Stay tuned!

Check it out when you get a chance.

We learned on Wednesday that syndicated guitar radio show The Chop Shop will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a 2-hour radio tribute show next month. Host Steve Black will talk with a number of rock celebrities including Rush's Geddy Lee as they reflect back on 9/11. The special will be available to all US radio stations and air on or around 9/11 weekend depending on the particular radio station's scheduling. For a list of Chop Shop affiliate stations go here. The show will also be available to stream online for free on 9/12 for all Chop Shop mailing list subscribers. To sign up for their free mailing list just go to their home page.

While on the subject of Geddy, reader garcost48 let me know that acerbic rock photographer Ross Halfin makes an unflattering mention of Geddy Lee in his August 1st diary entry:

A day where The Master has to educate the uneducated. Brad Tolinski Editor and friend was telling me he'd never heard Budgie or Sabotage by Sabbath...? I made the "heathen" listen to Never Turn Your Back On A Friend at 8.30 am. 'It sounds like the first Rush album only way better and the bassist is a better-looking Geddy Lee', if you can imagine a good looking Geddy Lee. ...

And rounding out our Geddy Lee news for the week, Global TV in Canada ran a news story Tuesday on the push to expand mobile food truck service in Toronto. Leading the charge is Zane Caplansky of Caplansky's Deli - one of Geddy Lee's favorite spots to eat in Toronto. At one point in the story Geddy is interviewed while having a bite to eat at Caplansky's and has the following to say about the subject at hand:

Geddy: I think it's great. The more talented food makers we have on the streets of Toronto, the better the city's going to be.

Newscaster: Now when the lead singer of Rush - Geddy Lee - is making the suggestion, perhaps City Hall had better listen. ...

You can watch the video below or at this link. Geddy comes in at about the 1:50 mark.

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

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Video editor Glen Lazarro on the making of Rush's Time Stand Still music video
8:28AM EST | link | comments (33) |

Video editor Glen Lazarro recently posted a story to the 99 Tigers blog where he takes a look back on the making of Rush's Time Stand Still video. From the post:

Producer Stuart Samuels called Sales Executive Steve Ostrow to book me for 7 days straight. I would have to be available 24 hours a day. Zbigniew Rybcznski wanted the freedom of working around-the-clock on two Music Videos. One for Rush and one for Mr. Mister. He wanted to, as he said, "Edit Live." ... His early work was shot and edited on film but lately he had become enamored with Video effects and had shot his last few projects on Videotape. I personally thought he seemed more concerned with technology rather that esthetics.

An edit suite was set up in the control room of National's largest stage where I would live for the next seven days. You can see the edit suite at 2:17 in the Rush Video. Zibig moved his wife and children into one of the green rooms. Rush and Aimee Mann moved into adjoining rooms. I got a room in a Holiday Inn across the street from National I never saw.

Zibig had shot footage of country landscapes for Rush and the idea was to shoot short pieces of Rush performing the song against green screen and composite them together. When we started working he decided that he loved the stage and wanted to composite Rush over that instead. I suggested that we shoot them live in the stage but Zibig wanted everyone to "float" around the stage. He also insisted that everything had to happen "live." Each new layer would be placed on top of the preceding layer without making protection copies or "laying off" a copy, as we used to say. The green screen footage was shot with the same giant studio camera Aimee Mann is using in the Video. Zibig would give some vague direction to Rush, I would set up the effects, play the audio track and press record and multiple One-Inch tape machines would roll up on the third floor. For 3 days in a row. It didn't matter what time it was. If Zibig got an idea at 3 in the morning he would wake everyone up (I was sleeping in the control room) and we would all go to work. We started on Saturday morning and on Tuesday night we finished. ...

The post also includes this spoof version of the video which Lazarro introduces with the line This is a Brilliant Spoof of the Rush video. It really skewers the editor. Me. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down on working with Alex Lifeson
11:06AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Guitarist Matt Roberts of American rock band 3 Doors Down was recently interviewed for Gibson.com. At one point in the interview he's asked the question Who has really impressed you in the business? and here was his response:

... Alex Lifeson has become a good friend of mine. He's been really inspirational to me. He's a great guy. It was awesome to be able to work with Alex. We did some recording with Alex. I never thought I'd be playing guitar with Alex Lifeson. Great guy. Great musician. ...

Alex produced 3 songs for 3 Doors Down back in 2000. You can watch the interview below or at this link at about the 1:30 mark. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Rush 2012 wall calendars available
9:30AM EST | link | comments (7) |

Earlier this summer I let you know that Mead Calendars would be releasing a 16-month Rush 2012 wall calendar which depicts a different album cover for each month as shown here. The calendar is now available for purchase and can be ordered through Amazon.com at this link. There's also the official 2012 Rush wall calendar put out by NMR Distribution that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of 1982's Signals. This Signals-themed calendar is currently available for pre-order through Amazon and other retailers and is slated for a September 1st release.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Geddy Lee to participate in Chop Shop Radio's 9/11 tribute show
4:51PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Chop Shop RadioSyndicated guitar radio show The Chop Shop will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a 2-hour radio tribute show next month. Host Steve Black will talk with a number of rock celebrities including Rush's Geddy Lee as they reflect back on 9/11. From RBR.com:

Envision Radio Networks' The Chop Shop is commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a free two hour radio tribute. Host Steve Black will talk with some of rock's biggest names as they reflect back on where they were 10 years ago on 9/11. Recollections will come from Vernon Reid from Living Colour who was close enough to see the burning buildings; Eric Johnson who had just flown into Alberta, Canada where he would be stuck for several days, and Angus Clarke from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra who was on the R-Train in Manhattan. This emotional two hour special will also include stories from rockers Geddy Lee, Steve Vai, Keith Nelson of Buckcherry, Ben Wells from Black Stone Cherry and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

The special will be available to all US radio stations and air on or around 9/11 weekend depending on the particular radio station's scheduling. For a list of Chop Shop affiliate stations go here. The show will also be available to stream online for free on 9/12 for all Chop Shop mailing list subscribers. To sign up for their free mailing list just go to their home page.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

David Barrett interviews Alex Lifeson
8:55PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Last year Alex Lifeson produced 3 tracks for Toronto band the David Barrett Trio that were released digitally over the past several months; Hollowbody (iTunes, Amazon), Sonar (iTunes, Amazon) and Disappearance (iTunes, Amazon). David Barrett spoke with Alex Lifeson back on the Snakes & Arrows tour for an interview that he just posted portions of to YouTube last week. Alex talks with David about acoustic guitars and recording Snakes and Arrows. You can listen to the 6-and-a-half minute interview below or at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

All three of the Lifeson-produced tracks mentioned above can be heard on SoundCloud at this link. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. The Trio is asking for assistance to fund their project via RocketHub at this link. Please help them out if you can.

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Geddy Lee featured in news story on Toronto mobile food trucks
3:56PM EST | link | comments (8) |

UPDATE - 8/16@4:51PM: Here's a related story from The Forward that also mentions Geddy Lee.

Global TV in Canada ran a news story yesterday on the push to expand mobile food truck service in Toronto (thanks Louis G). Leading the charge is Zane Caplansky of Caplansky's Deli - one of Geddy Lee's favorite spots to eat in Toronto. At one point in the story Geddy is interviewed while having a bite to eat at Caplansky's and has the following to say about the subject at hand:

Geddy: I think it's great. The more talented food makers we have on the streets of Toronto, the better the city's going to be.

Newscaster: Now when the lead singer of Rush - Geddy Lee - is making the suggestion, perhaps City Hall had better listen. ...

You can watch the video below or at this link. Geddy comes in at about the 1:50 mark.

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Alex Lifeson The Double film score project update
2:58PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Topher Grace and Richard Gere in The DoubleUPDATE - 8/17@2:39PM: Derek Haas on how Alex became involved with the film via a post on The Rush Forum:

... How this came about: Michael and I got to know Alex and Geddy when they were in LA finishing Snakes & Arrows. Alex is a movie-buff and literature-buff and he expressed interest in scoring films. (I hope you detect my admiration shining through... he's truly one of the greatest guys I've ever met. Geddy too, but that's a different story.) As we were putting THE DOUBLE together, Michael and I told Alex we'd love for him to be included any way he wanted. We did the movie for very little money so we weren't going to be able to afford him but we wanted to throw it out there. He was between the two tours so he asked us to send him the latest cut of the film and he started talking to the composer (Debney) via email and the phone. Then he just went to town... the guy is astonishing. And generous. The single is definitely not a RUSH song but you can sure here Alex's distinctive "voice" all over it. Still working it out on posting it. Really sorry I jumped the gun.

----- snip -----

We learned earlier this year of Alex Lifeson's involvement with the film score for a new spy thriller due out next month starring Topher Grace and Richard Gere titled The Double. The film was co-written by Derek Haas and director Michael Brandt and features original music by film composer John Debney with a little help from Alex Lifeson. Alex plays guitar on the score throughout the movie and also wrote the outro track which is titled Don't Look Back according to movie co-writer Derek Haas, who posted the information to The Rush Forum yesterday evening (thanks RushFanForever). Haas has promised to post the track online at some point although hasn't as of this post. We had already been aware from reports earlier this year that Scarlet Sins vocalist Sylvya NuVynska and Skinny Puppy founding member cEvin Key also play on the outro track, and that Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki handled the mixing duties. Some still shots from the movie were just recently released and the film will be released to theaters in the US on September 23rd.

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Neil Peart's Far and Away paperback edition now available
12:11PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Neil Peart's latest book Far and Away: A Prize every time was first released in hardcover this past April and is now also available in paperback along with a Kindle edition that released a couple of weeks ago. The CBC will be re-airing Neil Peart's June appearance on Strombo this coming Friday, August 19th where he discusses the book. In celebration of the re-airing they are running a contest where Canadian residents could win a signed hardcover edition of Far and Away. To enter the contest just go to this link. You can purchase your copy of Far and Away in your preferred format at Amazon.com (hardcover, paperback, Kindle).

Related Posts:
[Win a signed copy of Neil Peart's Far and Away]
[Neil Peart's Strombo interview now online]
[Neil Peart's Far and Away: A Prize Every Time released]
[Neil Peart Far and Away limited edition hardcover]
[New Neil Peart news update: new instructional DVD, new book]
[New book from Neil Peart: Far and Away: A Prize Every Time]

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray details, bonus features
7:33PM EST | link | comments (25) |

UPDATE - 8/16@12:22PM: Here's a story from Cleveland ABC news affiliate WEWS covering the DVD release (thanks RushFanForever). No new information but it's nice to see the DVD getting some press.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandRush's upcoming live DVD/Blu-ray of their April 15th, 2011 performance in Cleveland, Ohio is titled Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland and is slated for release on Tuesday, October 25th (DVD, Blu-ray). Up until this point we only knew the title, the release date, that it was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, and engineered by Rich Chycki. But just recently some more details along with the cover art were posted to the Amazon UK listing for the DVD:

Rush's Time Machine shows in 2010 / 11 were one of the most anticipated tours ever. Celebrating 30 years since the 1981 release of their classic bestselling album Moving Pictures the band performed the entire album live for the first time as the centrepiece of the concerts. The shows also featured favourite tracks from across their lengthy career and two new songs expected to feature on their next studio album. As ever the concerts were a visual feast and sounded great with the band playing at the top of their form. Reviews for the tour have been amazing from both fans and critics alike and this DVD release is guaranteed to appeal to Rush fans everywhere. Bonus Features Alternative ending for The Real History Of Rush: Episode 2 ; Outtakes from History Of Rush: Episodes 2 & 17 ; Outtakes from I Still Love You Man ; Live from Laura Secord Secondary School (full clip from BLTS); Live from Passaic, NJ (full clip from BLTS).

So the bonus features will consist of outtakes from the intro, intermission and outro videos from the Time Machine Tour along with the full clip 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, portions of which were included in the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. It's not clear whether this would just be the same 2 clips of Working Man and Best I Can that were also included as extras in the documentary, or if it will include the entire show (or more unreleased footage at least). The bonus features will also include some of Rush's 1976 black and white bootleg video of their performance in Passaic, NJ. Again, it's not clear what full clip means in this context. The DVD/Blu-ray is also listed as being region free and with a running time of 164 minutes. The cover art is the familiar Time Machine Tour design with the text Live in Cleveland printed over the countdown timer which is set to 2011. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon (DVD, Blu-ray). Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland Blu-ray now available for pre-order]
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray release date pushed back to October 25th]
[Rush Time Machine live DVD now available for pre-order]
[Rush Cleveland live DVD/Blu-ray to be titled Time Machine, releases on September 27th]
[Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Rush's Tom Sawyer makes Gibson.com's readers poll for Greatest Song of the '80s
4:46PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Gibson.com recently posted their list of the 50 Greatest Songs of the '80s as chosen by their editors, writers and readers. Rush did not make their top 50 list, but they also posted a list of the top 25 songs of the '80s as chosen strictly by Gibson.com readers. Rush's Tom Sawyer did make that list, coming in at #22. You can check out the complete results at Gibson.com at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Win a signed copy of Neil Peart's Far and Away
2:46PM EST | link | comments (9) |

UPDATE - 8/15@2:59PM: It looks like the contest is only open to Canadian residents. :(

Back in June Neil Peart was a guest on the CBC's Strombo where he spoke about a number of subjects including drumming, the early days of Rush opening for other acts like KISS and Aerosmith, motorcycling, touring and his new book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time. The CBC will be re-airing the episode with Neil this coming Friday, August 19th and in celebration are running a contest where you could win a signed copy of Far and Away (thanks RushFanForever). To enter the contest just go to this link.

The complete episode with Neil is available for viewing online at the Strombo website. There's also a track-by-track breakdown of Moving Pictures posted online that was not included in the telecast along with this 4-and-a-half minute preview video, portions of which were also not included in the telecast.

Far and Away: A Prize Every Time was recently made availabe for the Kindle. You can get your Kindle version at this link or order a hardback edition here.

Related Posts:
[Neil Peart's Strombo interview now online]
[Neil Peart's Far and Away: A Prize Every Time released]
[Neil Peart Far and Away limited edition hardcover]
[New Neil Peart news update: new instructional DVD, new book]
[New book from Neil Peart: Far and Away: A Prize Every Time]

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alex Lifeson makes GuitarSquid's Top 10 Guitarist Mullets list
4:43PM EST | link | comments (13) |

Alex Lifeson and his mulletGuitarSquid posted their list of the Top 10 Guitarist Mullets on Friday, and coming in at #10 was Alex Lifeson. From the article:

Although the mullet and its many variations are often identified with Canadians, hockey players in general, Australians and trailer parks South of the Mason Dixon line, let's not forget that gutiarists are a worthy subgroup for categorizing notable mullets. Many a guitarslinger has kept it all-business in the front and party-hardy in the back. ...

10. Alex Lifeson - Lifeson has been around long enough to have survived a number of hindsightful hair-don'ts, but his Hold Your Fire-era mullet is a perfect specimen of mid-'80s Canadian variety.

Thanks to Max Mobley for the heads up.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:10PM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 8/12@12:47PM: John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire Alex Lifeson Vintage Guitar interview at this link. Thanks John!

Neil Peart at KoSA 2011 drum workshopIt's summer vacation season for Rush and their fans, so there wasn't too much Rush news to report this past week. Alex Lifeson is using some of his free time to watch rather than participate in some good live music; he was spotted at the Foo Fighters show in Toronto this past Tuesday. The Foos acknowledged Alex (check out this video at around the 6-minute mark) - who was watching from the side of the stage - and dedicated their song Cold Day in the Sun to Rush. Unfortunately Alex did not perform with the band like he and Geddy had done back at the Foo Fighters' 2008 show in Toronto. Geddy was not spotted at Tuesday's show, but reader Andrew W did spot him on Monday evening at One Fusion Restaurant in Yorkville having dinner with some friends. Neil Peart spent some of his vacation giving an unannounced 1-hour drum class at The 16th Annual KoSA International Percussion Workshop, Camp & Festival at Castleton State College in Castleton, VT a couple of weeks ago. The Pro-mark drumsticks website posted a short article along with some photographs covering the event earlier this week:

Pro-Mark artist Neil Peart of Rush made a special guest appearance at the recent KoSA Summer Camp and Workshop at Castleton College in Vermont. The camp is world renowned among drummers and lets students live, learn and work with some of the finest drummers, percussionists and musicians in the world. Neil gave a master class and performed for the camp along with other KoSA faculty like Jimmy Cobb, Zoro, Dom Famularo, Aldo Mazza, Memo Acevedo, Aiyun Huang, Marcus Santos, Allan Molnar, Michael Wimberly, Jim Royle, Carmine Appice, Jeff Salisbury and more!

You can check out the photos at this link. I'm sure Neil is also taking advantage of his downtime to spend some quality time with his family, especially his daughter Olivia who turns 2 years old today. Happy birthday Olivia!!

Time Machine Live Blu-rayThe DVD version of Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert video was made available for pre-order through Amazon.com a couple of weeks ago and as of this past week the Blu-ray version is also available for pre-order. The video was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, engineered by Rich Chycki and is being released on October 25th by Concord Records. No other details have been released as of yet. If you haven't already, you can pre-order your copy at Amazon (DVD, Blu-ray).

Vintage Guitar September, 2011Earlier this week I posted a few excerpts from Alex Lifeson's September, 2011 cover feature in Vintage Guitar magazine. Most of the questions in the 3-page interview focus on Alex's various guitars that he's used throughout the years, but they also ask Alex about a range of other subjects including his thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

It's not a big concern. It's a business that makes a lot of money and I have no problem with that, but it's not a real representation of what rock music is about. There are certainly a lot of bands in there that I admire, like Led Zeppelin and U2. But if we're not wanted there, I really don't care. Being inducted is not going to change my life at all.

He was also asked about his early influences, specifically his thoughts on Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton:

Oh, from the very beginning, Hendrix blew my mind. He was just amazing. There was no thinking about ever reaching his level. Everything he did seemed so nuanced and out of this world, especially at that time. You could never replicate that tone, or how he played those things. I certainly didn't have the dexterity to do it. As a kid, Clapton's solos seemed a littler easier and more approachable. I remember sitting at my record player and moving the needle back and forth to get the solo in "Spoonful." But there was nothing I could do with Hendrix.

When asked about Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album, Alex had the following to say:

Well, our intent was to have it out this year, but after we started it, we thought, "Let's go on a short tour, get in shape, then finish it." Then the tour did so well that there was pressure on us to do another run, then we decided to do another leg. We'll take a few months off after it's finished, and complete songwriting. Geddy and I are working on several new songs to balance out the six we've already written.

You can read the entire article in the September, 2011 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine.

Speaking of Alex, Guitar World magazine posted excerpts from an old 1996 interview with Alex Lifeson earlier this week where Lerxst dissects several key songs from Rush's past. Starting with 1975's Anthem and working his way up through 1996's Test for Echo, Alex discusses 11 different Rush tracks, specifically focusing on the guitar parts. You can read the article at this link.

Last month Audio Fidelity released a limited edition 24 Karat Gold CD version of Rush's Roll the Bones. This was the first Rush release from Audio Fidelity although another company - Mobile Fidelity - had previously released limited edition Gold CD versions of 4 other Rush albums; 2112, Moving Pictures, Signals and most recently Permanent Waves. Greg Barbrick recently reviewed the Roll the Bones Gold CD release for Blogcritics.org (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net) and had the following to say about it:

... The first step is the remastering phase, which is done from the original tapes. Once this task is complete, the digital master is etched onto the glass disc surface in real time by laser. From this, the CD is made out of real gold, rather than the standard and often imperfect aluminum. The end result is a remarkably clean and "warm" sounding product, with the original analog depth intact, as well as the convenience and precision of digital technology. ... This new Audio Fidelity 24K + Gold Edition CD sounds much better to me than my 20-year old original disc does. I played a favorite cut, the instrumental "Where's My Thing?" from each version to compare, and the differences were surprisingly noticable. To paraphrase Charlie Sheen, this audiophile Roll The Bones CD is "Winning." ...

Audio Fidelity has also indicated that there would be more Rush releases coming in the future. You can order your copy of the Roll the Bones Gold CD at this link.

Eddie Trunk's debut book Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was released this past April. The book discusses Trunk's most essential hard rock and heavy metal artists and includes an entire chapter devoted to Rush. Eddie Trunk has been a radio and TV personality in the world of hard rock and heavy metal for more than twenty-five years. He is currently the host of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show and also has two weekly radio shows; Eddie Trunk Live on Sirius/XM radio's Boneyard channel, and the FM-syndicated Eddie Trunk Rocks. Trunk is a huge Rush fan and has been one of the loudest proponents for getting them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were guests on the first season of That Metal Show back in 2009. He also interviewed Geddy and Alex for VH1 Hangin' With back in 2005 and Neil Peart for the same program back in 2006. Trunk was recently interviewed for NoiseCreep.com and relayed an interesting story about when he interviewed Neil for VH1:

I was working at VH-1 Classic. I'd interviewed Geddy and Alex, twice, and you know, Neil is shy and reserved and does not really do interviews. I'd gotten a call from a book publisher doing press for one of Neil's books, about him biking all over the country after the tragic loss of his wife and daughter. Neil wanted the interview to be with me because he'd seen me talk to Geddy and Alex and he felt like he trusted me- that I 'got' the band. It was a great honor. He showed up at the door with zero entourage. Just wearing a backpack and a baseball cap - the most unassuming guy in the world. You'd never know it was him. After, he went out for a smoke and I went outside with him. We kept talking out there, in the heart of New York City, and not one person passing by realized who it was. Just amazing.

You can read the complete interview at this link.

Gibson.com posted their list of The Top 10 Unusual Rock Star Hobbies to their website this past Wednesday. Coming in at number 7 was Geddy Lee's hobby of collecting baseball memorabilia:

In the Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary, bass player/vocalist Geddy Lee explains how his love of baseball grew as a way of letting off steam with something not related to music. He found himself watching a lot of baseball in hotel rooms between gigs, and from there he began to amass an impressive collection of baseball memorabilia. In 2008, he donated his collection of almost 200 autographed Negro League baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Lee also is an avid wine collector.

You can check out the entire list at this link.

I first mentioned in a Friday updates post back in May that NMR Distribution was releasing a new set of Rush-themed playing cards that have photos of the band on the front face and a yellow on blue Rush logo on the back. These playing cards are now available for purchase both via Amazon and at the Rush Backstage Club.

Andrew Olson has added a bunch of new and updated replica drum kits to his Neil Peart replicas page over at his Neil Peart fansite. And John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned a couple of old Neil Peart interviews from Rhythm magazine: this March, 1987 interview and this March, 1995 interview. Eric at the Power Windows site has also been busy scanning/transcribing old Rush magazine interviews. Some recent editions to his collection include this 2002 Guitar World interview titled Happy Trails, this 2006 Ontario Golf interview with Alex Lifeson, and this July, 2007 Bass Guitar interview with Geddy Lee. Thanks guys!

Neil Peart's latest book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time is also now available for the Kindle. You can order your Kindle copy at this link. Thanks to Andrew Olson for the heads up.

Reader Brian C located an amusing Rush mention in the movie review for the critically panned 2003 film Gigli over at Jabootu.net - a webisite dedicated to savoring the very bottom of the cinematic bell curve since 1997. At one point the reviewer describes the film as follows:

... Seriously, this movie is why people kill themselves. This is the Rush song "Losing It" personified. How do you go from [directing the movie] Scent of a Woman to [directing] the mesmerizingly pathetic Gigli and still want to live? ...

Reader Andrew W noticed this funny video commercial on the official Yamaha ATV Canada website featuring the characters Dougie and Donny. At the beginning of the video the pair are chopping some wood and singing (badly) Rush's Working Man. You can watch the video here.

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine (August 18th, The Sheepdogs on the cover) contains an article singing the praises of the new AMC television series Breaking Bad titled The Work Ethic of Breaking Bad (thanks Art). The article contains the following reference comparing the show to Rush:

... If The Sopranos was the Stones and The Wire was Zeppelin, then Breaking Bad is Rush. Walter White is just a geek trapped in a conform-or-be-cast-out world, riding on through the friction of the day. But he chooses to exercise his free will- if only by cooking up his private recipe for insanely strong blue meth. ...

Reader gaijin97 noticed this article in Science magazine concerning the recent confirmation by astronomers that Cygnus-X1 is indeed a black hole. The article is titled The Fate of the First Black Hole and makes mention of Rush:

The Canadian rock band Rush knows its astronomy. In a lengthy 1977 song, the musicians proclaimed Cygnus X-1, an x-ray emitting object thousands of light-years away, a black hole where voyagers venture "through the void to be destroyed"-even though physicist Stephen Hawking had bet against the black hole's existence. This year, astronomers proved Rush right by establishing that Cygnus X-1 does indeed harbor a black hole, a dead star whose great gravity lets nothing, not even light, escape. Now that result has inspired a forecast for the system's future: The black hole will swallow even more mass from an unfortunate star circling it, then likely dash away on its own when its companion explodes. ...

Metal band Careless was recently interviewed for a feature in Northeast PA's Weekender magazine. Bass player Nolan Ayers had the following to say regarding Rush's influence on the band:

... As a bassist, two of my major influences were Geddy Lee of Rush and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. I wore the grooves off 'All The World's A Stage.' That's really where I learned how to play. I copped all of their stuff. And I still love it to this day. ...

Here's a bootleg video of Alex and Geddy performing YYZ with the Foo Fighters back in March of 2008 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto:

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

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alex Lifeson attends Foo Fighters show in Toronto last night
1:56PM EST | link | comments (13) |

The Foo Fighters with Alex and Geddy back in 2008UPDATE - 8/12@9:59AM: Here's a bootleg video of the Foo Fighters playing Monkey Wrench from Tuesday's show. At about the 6-minute mark you can make out Dave Grohl mentioning Alex (thanks jw).

Last night the Foo Fighters played a show at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON and Alex Lifeson was in attendance, watching the show from the side of the stage. Reader Habs2112 reports that at one point Dave Grohl introduced Alex offstage, although Alex did not come out. Dave got down on his knees and did the I'm not worthy bow when introducing him and jokingly remarked that it was hard to play lead guitar when Alex Lifeson was watching. They then dedicated the Foos' song Cold Day in the Sun to Rush. Taylor Hawkins was also wearing a Rush t-shirt. If anyone has any other details to share, including photos or video, please let us know. Thanks to Habs2112 for the report. Back in 2008 when the Foo Fighters played Toronto, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson made a surprise appearance and performed YYZ with the band (video here).

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Geddy Lee makes Gibson's list of The Top 10 Unusual Rock Star Hobbies
10:15AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Gibson.com posted their list of The Top 10 Unusual Rock Star Hobbies to their website earlier today. Coming in at number 7 is Geddy Lee's hobby of collecting baseball memorabilia:

In the Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary, bass player/vocalist Geddy Lee explains how his love of baseball grew as a way of letting off steam with something not related to music. He found himself watching a lot of baseball in hotel rooms between gigs, and from there he began to amass an impressive collection of baseball memorabilia. In 2008, he donated his collection of almost 200 autographed Negro League baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Lee also is an avid wine collector.

You can check out the entire list at this link.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vintage Guitar magazine Alex Lifeson cover feature
10:12PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Vintage Guitar September, 2011UPDATE - 8/12@12:53PM: John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire Alex Lifeson Vintage Guitar interview at this link. Thanks John!

We learned last month that Alex Lifeson is the subject of a cover feature in the September, 2011 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine, on newsstands now. Thanks to reader Kelly M I've obtained some partial scans of the article and was able to transcribe portions of it. Most of the questions in the 3-page interview focus on Alex's various guitars throughout the years, but they also ask Alex about a range of other subjects including his thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

It's not a big concern. It's a business that makes a lot of money and I have no problem with that, but it's not a real representation of what rock music is about. There are certainly a lot of bands in there that I admire, like Led Zeppelin and U2. But if we're not wanted there, I really don't care. Being inducted is not going to change my life at all.

He was also asked about his early influences, specifically his thoughts on Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton:

Oh, from the very beginning, Hendrix blew my mind. He was just amazing. There was no thinking about ever reaching his level. Everything he did seemed so nuanced and out of this world, especially at that time. You could never replicate that tone, or how he played those things. I certainly didn't have the dexterity to do it. As a kid, Clapton's solos seemed a littler easier and more approachable. I remember sitting at my record player and moving the needle back and forth to get the solo in "Spoonful." But there was nothing I could do with Hendrix.

When asked about Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album, Alex had the following to say:

Well, our intent was to have it out this year, but after we started it, we thought, "Let's go on a short tour, get in shape, then finish it." Then the tour did so well that there was pressure on us to do another run, then we decided to do another leg. We'll take a few months off after it's finished, and complete songwriting. Geddy and I are working on several new songs to balance out the six we've already written.

You can read the entire article in the September, 2011 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine.

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Eddie Trunk talks Rush in new Noisecreep interview
1:34PM EST | link | comments (15) |

Eddie Trunk's debut book Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was released this past April. The book discusses Trunk's most essential hard rock and heavy metal artists and includes an entire chapter devoted to Rush. Eddie Trunk has been a radio and TV personality in the world of hard rock and heavy metal for more than twenty-five years. He is currently the host of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show and also has two weekly radio shows; Eddie Trunk Live on Sirius/XM radio's Boneyard channel, and the FM-syndicated Eddie Trunk Rocks. Trunk is a huge Rush fan and has been one of the loudest proponents for getting them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were guests on the first season of That Metal Show back in 2009. He also interviewed Geddy and Alex for VH1 Hangin' With back in 2005 and Neil Peart for the same program back in 2006. Trunk was recently interviewed for NoiseCreep.com and relayed an interesting story about when he interviewed Neil for VH1:

I was working at VH-1 Classic. I'd interviewed Geddy and Alex, twice, and you know, Neil is shy and reserved and does not really do interviews. I'd gotten a call from a book publisher doing press for one of Neil's books, about him biking all over the country after the tragic loss of his wife and daughter. Neil wanted the interview to be with me because he'd seen me talk to Geddy and Alex and he felt like he trusted me- that I 'got' the band. It was a great honor. He showed up at the door with zero entourage. Just wearing a backpack and a baseball cap - the most unassuming guy in the world. You'd never know it was him. After, he went out for a smoke and I went outside with him. We kept talking out there, in the heart of New York City, and not one person passing by realized who it was. Just amazing.

You can read the complete interview at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson dissects 11 key Rush songs for Guitar World magazine
12:45PM EST | link | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 8/9@12:57PM: Although the article states that they spoke with Alex back in 2008, it's actually taken from this 1996 Guitar World interview with Alex Lifeson (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

Back in 2008 Guitar World magazine interviewed Alex Lifeson and asked him to dissect several key songs from Rush's past. A few days ago they re-printed the interview for a feature on their website which you can check out at this link. Starting with 1975's Anthem and working his way up through 1996's Test for Echo, Alex discusses 11 different Rush tracks, specifically focusing on the guitar parts. Here's what he had to say about Rush's ambitious 1978 instrumental masterpiece La Villa Strangiato:

"We wrote this one on the road. We used our soundchecks to run through songs that we were going to record; then, when we would have a few days off we'd start recording. This song was recorded in one take, with all of us in the same room. We had baffles up around the guitar, bass and drums, and we would look at each other for the cues. My solo in the middle section was overdubbed after we recorded the basic tracks. I played a solo while we did the first take and rerecorded it later. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the other solo ghosted in the background. That was a fun exercise in developing a lot of different sections in an instrumental. It gave everyone the chance to stretch out.

"By that time I had my ES-355, and my acoustics were a Gibson Dove, J-55 and a B-45 12-string. I had my Marshall in the studio. I had the Twin and two Hiwatts, which I was also using live, but the Marshall was my real workhorse. The Boss Chorus unit had just come out at that time, but I think I used a Roland JC-120 for the chorus sound here. Hemispheres was the first of many 'chorus' albums."

You can read the entire article/interview here. Thanks to scootertrashaz for the heads up.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Photos from Neil Peart's KoSA drum workshop appearance
1:25PM EST | link | comments (10) |

Neil Peart at KoSA 2011 drum workshopLast week we learned via the Hudson Music Facebook page that Neil Peart had given an unannounced 1-hour drum class at The 16th Annual KoSA International Percussion Workshop, Camp & Festival at Castleton State College in Castleton, VT late last month. The Pro-mark drumsticks website posted a short article along with some photographs covering the event this morning:

Pro-Mark artist Neil Peart of Rush made a special guest appearance at the recent KoSA Summer Camp and Workshop at Castleton College in Vermont. The camp is world renowned among drummers and lets students live, learn and work with some of the finest drummers, percussionists and musicians in the world. Neil gave a master class and performed for the camp along with other KoSA faculty like Jimmy Cobb, Zoro, Dom Famularo, Aldo Mazza, Memo Acevedo, Aiyun Huang, Marcus Santos, Allan Molnar, Michael Wimberly, Jim Royle, Carmine Appice, Jeff Salisbury and more!

You can check out the photos at this link. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland Blu-ray now available for pre-order
10:37AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Time Machine Live Blu-rayThe DVD version of Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland was made available for pre-order through Amazon.com a couple of weeks ago and now the Blu-ray version is also available for pre-order at this link. The DVD/Blu-ray was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, engineered by Rich Chycki and is being released on October 25th by Concord Records. No other details have been released as of yet. Pre-order your copy at Amazon (DVD, Blu-ray).

Related Posts:
[Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray release date pushed back to October 25th]
[Rush Time Machine live DVD now available for pre-order]
[Rush Cleveland live DVD/Blu-ray to be titled Time Machine, releases on September 27th]
[Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:04AM EST | link | comments (14) |

Neil Peart made headlines this past week by giving an unannounced 1-hour drum class at The 16th Annual KoSA International Percussion Workshop, Camp & Festival at Castleton State College in Castleton, VT on Sunday. We also learned earlier this week that Neil's upcoming instructional DVD is titled Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance and will be released on October 14th, 2011. On top of that, excerpts from Neil's August, 2011 Rhythm magazine interview were posted to MusicRadar.com on Tuesday.

Online drum magazine iDrum is running a contest where they are giving away a complete Neil Peart Evolution Snare Collection. All you need to do to enter is to signup for a free subscription at this link. iDrum magazine launched earlier this year and their debut issue featured Neil Peart on the cover along with an extensive interview. Part 2 of the interview was then included in the magazine's 2nd issue. The prize package also includes a set of Neil's Sabian Paragon cymbals and a brick of Neil's custom ProMark drumsticks.

Speaking of contests, the Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an autographed Time Machine 2011 Tourbook. The contest will run through August 12th and only one entry per person is permitted. For details and to enter go to this link.

And speaking of the Time Machine Tour, Keith Cousin of industry magazine Pro Audio Review recently caught up with Rush's front-of-house engineer Brad Madix and monitor engineer Brent Carpenter for a feature titled Rush Gets Timeless. The pair discuss how they go about helping Rush achieve such a powerful live sound, focusing specifically on the equipment involved. They also remark on the band's sense of humor and how much they enjoy being a part of the Rush family. You can read the article/interview at this link.

So whatever happened to that Vapor Trails re-mix we were hearing so much about earlier this year? @VonDarkmoor posed the following question to Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Twitter:

@chycki Looking forward to the Vapor Trails remix, when will you be finished working on it?

And Chycki replied with ...

@VonDarkmoor It's in progress but it's labor of love when there's not a lot of other things in motion ... lots going on right now!!

With everything Chycki has going on right now I'm guessing that the re-mix won't be released until sometime next year - which would be appropriate since the 10th anniversary of the release of Vapor Trails will occur on May 14, 2012.

The organizers of last month's RushCon have put up a wonderful wrap-up post over at the RushCon website, complete with a bunch of great photographs. It looks like they had a blast.

Machine Head: Unto the LocustWe learned earlier this week that the special edition of San Francisco metal band Machine Head's upcoming album Unto the Locust includes a cover of Rush's Witch Hunt. The album will release on September 27th via Roadrunner Records and the special edition will also contain a cover of Judas Priest's The Sentinel. Rock AAA recently interviewed Machine Head drummer Dave McClain who had plenty of great things to say about Rush and how big an influence they are/were on the band:

"Three records ago I bought Robb the whole Rush catalogue and that's when our songs started extending with lots of parts. Kinda more challenging ourselves. Rush are responsible for a lot of things, even mentally in this band.

"There was an interview with Geddy Lee (Rush singer) a long time ago where he said 'If we get played on the radio it's going to be by accident.' Because they wouldn't write for radio and that struck a chord with all of us especially in the 'Through The Ashes' where it was a crossroads in our career where we said if we were going to be ousted out of the music business we wanted to go out fighting and be a pure 100 per cent metal band and not worried about what anybody said."

Also, back in April the band posted a making of the album video to Youtube. In the video they show off their Jam Room which includes a collection of posters of all of our favorite bands, the bands that meant something, and helped create what we became; a Rush 2112 poster is prominently featured. At the 4-minute mark of the video, drummer Dave McClain is shown wearing a Permanent Waves t-shirt. When Machine Head released their sixth studio album The Blackening a few years ago frontman Robert Flynn told MTV in an interview that the band was on a Rush kick while recording that album.

Reader jimmackey let me know that syndicated sports radio show Petros and Money made Geddy Lee their person of the day last Friday in celebration of his 58th birthday. They talk about Geddy and Rush for a couple of minutes towards the end of their broadcast, giving a biography of sorts and having plenty of nice things to say about him. You can listen to the podcast at this link at about the 34:30 mark. And UltimateClassicRock.com celebrated Geddy's birthday by listing what they think are the top ten Rush albums at this link (thanks Andrew W).

Speaking of Geddy, he gets mentioned in this blog post at About.com on a very talented and generous 16-year-old autistic artist named Jayson Halberstadt:

... Aside from his philanthropic activities, Jayson has received recognition from some of his heroes such as Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Geddy Lee from the band Rush who sent autographs for his "awesome" pictures. ...

Reader RushFanForever pointed me to this print at Pop Chart Lab which depicts a Periodic Table of Heavy Metals, where each entry in the chart represents a heavy metal band color-coded by genre. Rush is included in the Proto Metal category with a designation of Rh.

Reader jg2112 noticed a Rush reference on Cartoon Network's The Regular Show in the show's debut episode which first aired last September. The episode revolves around a magic keyboard that grants wishes. At one point in the show the lead characters Mordecai and Rigby start playing a song on the keyboard which is an obviously rip-off of the riff from Tom Sawyer. You can watch/listen to the reference on YouTube at this link at about the 5:55 mark.

Reader Gourdy Lee wanted me to let everyone know about his fantasy football league for Rush fans over at Yahoo! Sports. The ID is 126583 and the password is limelight1. He has one spot left that he is looking to fill.

This past Monday, August 1st marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of MTV. Back when the station still regularly played music videos in the early-mid '80s, Rush videos were a regular part of their rotation. Here's a collection of old MTV Rush interviews/features from the Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows eras:

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

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Win a Neil Peart Evolution Snare Collection at iDrum magazine
12:01PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Online drum magazine iDrum is running a contest where they are giving away a complete Neil Peart Evolution Snare Collection. All you need to do to enter is to signup for a free subscription at this link. iDrum magazine launched earlier this year and their debut issue featured Neil Peart on the cover along with an extensive interview. Part 2 of the interview was then included in the magazine's 2nd issue. The prize package also includes a set of Neil's Sabian Paragon cymbals and a brick of Neil's custom ProMark drumsticks.

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New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
10:01AM EST | link | comments (9) |

2011 Time Machine TourbookThe Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an autographed Time Machine 2011 Tourbook. The contest will run through August 12th and only one entry per person is permitted. For details and to enter go to this link. Thanks to Kelly P for the heads up.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Excerpts from Neil Peart's August, 2011 Rhythm magazine feature
12:34PM EST | link | comments (20) |

Last month we learned that the August, 2011 issue of the UK's Rhythm magazine contains an 11-page cover feature/interview with Neil Peart. Included in the feature is a guided tour of the Time Machine Tour kit from Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton. MusicRadar.com has posted several photos from the kit tour to their website along with a few snippets from the interview where Neil talks about what drives his timekeeping, improvisation, and the benefits of touring:

"The real test of a musician is live performance. It's one thing to spend a long time learning how to play well in the studio but to do it in front of people is what keeps me coming back to touring, because I really don't like it but it's necessary.

"For me to call myself a musician it's necessary to play live and it rewards so much, not just in the pay cheque sense but what it does for my playing. I feel it through a tour, I feel it at the end of a tour, all that I've gathered and especially now that I am improvising so much, all that I am exploring, all the new ideas I have."

You can check out the complete feature preview at this link.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

New Neil Peart instructional DVD Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance to release October 14th
3:56PM EST | link | comments (18) |

According to Music Dipatch, Neil Peart's new instructional DVD - which he'd first mentioned in his February, 2011 news update at NeilPeart.net - is titled Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance and will be released on October 14th, 2011. From NeilPeart.net:

... The theme for our next collaboration seemed obvious: live performance, preparing for it and surviving it. In early 2010 we began collecting material, now augmented by a new member of the Hudson Music team, Joe Bergamini. ... In April, 2010, the Hudson Music crew joined me at Drum Channel in Oxnard, California, and filmed several days of my rehearsals for the Time Machine tour. In July they filmed an entire Rush show, in Saratoga Springs, New York, with supplementary "drum-cams" on me. They also captured the soundcheck and pre-show warmup, when I did a bit of talking to the camera, as I had during the Drum Channel filming in April. However, we would need to shoot some more "talkie bits" to go before each of the songs from the live show, explaining about special problems or challenges in a particular song, and technical highlights. ...

The product description reads as follows:

Filmed in various locations over the course of a year, Neil Peart takes you on a behind-the-scenes look at Rush's 2010-11 Time Machine tour. This includes rare and exclusive footage of Neil's personal pre-tour rehearsals and backstage events at a Rush concert (including a visit to the soundcheck, and an unprecedented backstage interview as Neil warms up for the show). Neil also presents a detailed look at every single song in the tour's set list. Each song features analysis and demonstrations by Neil, which are coupled with a detailed PDF eBook containing transcription of his parts. At the end of each song discussion, the viewer is transported onstage to a Rush concert to see the actual live performance of the song from the perspective of the drum cameras only. 6 hours, 40 minutes.

The cover depicts a photo of Neil Peart throwing a drum stick up in the air which you can check out here. At the time of the update he'd also launched a website for the book at TakingCenterStage.net, but the content has yet to be updated; it has only a photo along with links to a Facebook page and Twitter feed (neither of which have been updated recently).

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Neil Peart gives unannounced drum class at KoSA workshop
3:05PM EST | link | comments (8) |

According to a post on the Hudson Music Facebook page yesterday, Neil Peart gave an unannounced 1-hour drum class at The 16th Annual KoSA International Percussion Workshop, Camp & Festival at Castleton State College in Castleton, VT over the weekend. The Facebook post includes a picture of Neil at the workshop along with this caption:

An unannounced class by Professor Neil Peart at Kosa/Vermont. A pretty special day...

A special day indeed! Hudson Music also added the following details in the comments on the Facebook post:

Neil did a great class and played drumset with a small percussion ensemble and he also played djembe with them to close out the class. A good time was had by all....

Wow. Thanks to Ken for the heads up.

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Pro Audio Review feature on Rush's Time Machine Tour
11:18AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Geddy and Alex with some of Rush's road crewKeith Cousin of industry magazine Pro Audio Review recently caught up with Rush's front-of-house engineer Brad Madix and monitor engineer Brent Carpenter for a feature titled Rush Gets Timeless. The pair discuss how they go about helping Rush achieve such a powerful live sound, focusing specifically on the equipment involved. They also remark on the band's sense of humor and how much they enjoy being a part of the Rush family:

... The band members are legendary for their sense of humor, so on this tour, they share the stage with a sausage maker, a "time machine" called The GeFilter, crewmembers wearing chicken and gorilla suits who jam stuffed animals in the sausage grinder, and more-not to mention the occasional celebrity cameo by Blue Man Group, Jack Black and others. "On the last leg, there was a guy in a hot dog suit, and the gorilla and the hot dog started slow dancing on the stage," Madix recalled with a grin. "I thought when that happened, they actually might stop playing. It was the only time I've ever seen them kind of go to the other side of the stage-they couldn't watch." On the other hand, moments like those are part of what keeps the audio team coming back, year after year. "They are a pleasure to work for; that's all I have to say," Carpenter mused. "It's the best gig in rock 'n' roll."

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

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Machine Head covers Rush's Witch Hunt on special edition of their upcoming album Unto the Locust
10:20AM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 5/3@9:49AM: Here's the track on YouTube (thanks Hannu P):

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/2@9:22AM: Rock AAA recently interviewed Machine Head drummer Dave McClain who had yet more good things to say about Rush and how big an influence they are/were on the band:

"Three records ago I bought Robb the whole Rush catalogue and that's when our songs started extending with lots of parts. Kinda more challenging ourselves. Rush are responsible for a lot of things, even mentally in this band.

"There was an interview with Geddy Lee (Rush singer) a long time ago where he said 'If we get played on the radio it's going to be by accident.' Because they wouldn't write for radio and that struck a chord with all of us especially in the 'Through The Ashes' where it was a crossroads in our career where we said if we were going to be ousted out of the music business we wanted to go out fighting and be a pure 100 per cent metal band and not worried about what anybody said."

----- snip -----

Blabbermouth reports that the special edition of San Francisco metal band Machine Head's upcoming album Unto the Locust includes a cover of Rush's Witch Hunt. The album will release on September 27th via Roadrunner Records and the special edition will also contain a cover of Judas Priest's The Sentinel. Back in April the band posted a making of the album video to Youtube. In the video they show off their Jam Room which includes a collection of posters of all of our favorite bands, the bands that meant something, and helped create what we became; a Rush 2112 poster is prominently featured. At the 4-minute mark of the video, drummer Dave McClain is shown wearing a Permanent Waves t-shirt. When Machine Head released their sixth studio album The Blackening a few years ago frontman Robert Flynn told MTV in an interview that the band was on a Rush kick while recording that album. Thanks to Jeremy M for the heads up.

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