UPDATE - 4/11@10:14AM: John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire Rush feature and made it available online here.
The first US edition of Swedish magazine Red Hot Rock was published this past week and contains a cover feature on Rush. The issue is available in 2 covers (seen here), one of which features the Rush explosion logo with the tagline Time traveling with Alex Lifeson: Two Interviews!. According to the magazine's website, the inaugural US edition should be available at all Barnes & Noble locations as of yesterday, April 8th. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.
Rush's Moving Pictures album cover in Google Street View
The Guardian newspaper has been running a series of articles where they match up famous locations from art, literature and music with the corresponding location as depicted in Google Street View. The latest installment in this series uses Google Street View to show us the world's cities through the lens of famous album covers, one of which is Rush's Moving Pictures:
Moving Pictures by Rush. The Canadian prog legends illustrate their album with some literal moving of paintings in front of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto in 1981
You can check out the photo online here, and view the other 11 famous album covers featured at this location. Thanks to Tony R for the heads up.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Donna Halper discusses Rush's early history in new interview
Jörg Reiche of the Rock Bottom radio show in Hamburg, Germany recently interviewed Rush discovererDonna Halper to discuss Rush's early history and her role in it. Donna was the music director at Cleveland's groundbreaking WMMS radio station in the mid-1970s, and helped Rush get their big break into the US market when she had the band's debut album played on the station. In this 1-hour interview, Donna talks at length about this early period of the band's history and her role in it, along with describing her ongoing relationship with the band through the years. You can listen to the entire interview below or at this location (thanks Joe P).
Canadian music magazine Music Express has announced the winners in their 2014 Music Express Awards. Rush were nominated for 3 of the awards and ended up winning in all three categories. The band won for Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance. The awards were determined by more than 10,000 Music Express readers who cast their vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry via an online poll. You can check out the complete results online at this location.
"The story of Music Express is told through the unique perspective of Keith Sharp, the magazine's founder and editor. During its seventeen-year existence, Music Express rose from a small, Calgary-based regional magazine to an international publication. The interviews, anecdotes, and stories cover the golden era of Canadian music, with the rise to global status of such icons as Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Rush, Celine Dion, and Triumph. Their stories, as well as many more, are captured together with an array of classic rock photography that provides a unique time capsule."
Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Grapes Under Pressure Wine Event with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson charity auction
Grapes for Humanity is an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community, and Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors. In recent years he and Alex Lifeson have conducted a number of charity auctions to raise money for the organization as part of an initiative that they cleverly call Grapes Under Pressure. This year they are auctioning off a Grapes Under Pressure Wine Event where the winner and a guest will get to hang out with Geddy and Alex for a day. From the Charity Buzz website (thanks Pat M):
Spend an entire day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the Canadian rock band RUSH and have a wonderful wine experience! You and a guest will travel with Lee and Lifeson on a private train to the Niagara winery region outside of Toronto. Your day will include breakfast, picking and learning about grapes, a wine tasting, lunch on the vineyard and a 2-night stay at a Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This package is perfect for wine lovers and fans of RUSH!
You can learn all the details and place your bid at this location. Bidding will run through April 23rd.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set release delayed
The first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angelsreleased a couple of weeks ago. Just prior to the release, author Kevin J. Anderson wrote an article for Rush.com titled Meet the Watchmaker but it somehow fell through the cracks and was never published. So Anderson instead decided to go ahead and publish the article to his personal blog here. The article talks about how Anderson and Neil Peart came up with the concept behind Clockwork Angels, and explains the story of how the graphic novel developed. The article includes some nice quotes from Peart too including this one:
"It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me. The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that Clockwork Angels will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe - a phenomenon I call "artificial reality" - and it is exciting to be a part of it."
Rush will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl, which is due for release one week from this coming Tuesday on April 15th. You can get all the details in the Rush.com press release and pre-order your copy at this location. The band released a 40-second promo video via YouTube last week which you can check out here. On a related note, a couple of weeks ago Alex Lifeson announced via a Rolling Stone interview that the band is planning some kind of anniversary tour in 2015. Alex didn't reveal many details but did mention that they want to "try and play different material this time", and that he's "always wanted to do some rarer Rush material, and this should be a good opportunity to do that". He also anticipates that it will be a "long tour".
Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released earlier this week and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the entire album can be streamed on Spotify at this location. The official music video for the title track can be seen at this location. Thaddeus Wert at Progarchy.com calls the album his favorite of 2014 so far in his review which you can check out here. Wesley was interviewed for both The Prog Report and the Huffington Post early last month and in both interviews spoke a bit about the album, Porcupine Tree and working with Alex Lifeson. At one point in the Prog Report interview Wesley talks about how he and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson connected through Rush's music, and how much Alex Lifeson's guitar sound influenced Porcupine Tree's sound on their last few albums (at about the 9-minute mark):
... there was this heavy guitar element to Porcupine Tree that was coming out. I hate to say it but we have to give credit to Alex Lifeson for that. It was kind of a weird sub-conscious thing ...
Later in the interview (at the 16:45 mark) Wesley talks at length about how Alex Lifeson came to appear on Disconnect, and calls his solo on Once a Warrior "classic Alex". You can listen to the entire interview online at this location and order your copy of Disconnect at here.
A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD in Europe last month, with a vinyl version also slated for release. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The vinyl version was originally slated for release on April 1st but seems to have been delayed. The status of the CD is also unclear, as it looks like most retailers no longer have it in stock or are listing it as on backorder. Amazon in the US and Canada had been listing the CD, and even shipped several copies, but now list it as unavailable. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.
Matt Kibbe was just 13 when he fell under the spell of a certain rock band.
MATT KIBBE: Well, I was listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, but it was the band Rush really got me starting to read and pay attention to ideas.
MARTIN: On the Rush album, "2112," the band sings of a futuristic society, in which thought and expression are controlled by a top-down autocracy.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "2112 OVERTURE/THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX")
MARTIN: Now, many years later, you could say Matt Kibbe has turned those early teenage notions into a career. He's the head of FreedomWorks, the grassroots organization that helped launch the Tea Party. His latest book is called "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto." ...
A few years ago I first let you know about a group of Rush fans that had organized a YouTube channel dedicated to the legendary Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec where Rush recorded several albums including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. The idea of the channel was to collect videos and news stories about Le Studio and help keep fans updated on any revitalization efforts, with the eventual goal of creating some kind of documentary. After a long period of silence, the channel has finally posted an update explaining the project's current status including when the documentary may see the light of day. You can check it out on the Le Studio YouTube channel here (thanks HighFidelityRob).
Eric at Power Windows reported earlier this week that page 71 of the 2014 Zippo lighter catalog includes two official Rush lighters with a retail price of $30.95 each. One lighter has the album cover from Vapor Trails, and the other has a Hemispheres-era group shot of the band. Unfortunately, the lighters were included in the catalog by mistake and aren't actually available. Apparently the licensing agreement fell through before going into production but after the catalog had gone to print.
The Spokane Arena in Washington state ran a Facebook promotion over the last several weeks where they asked the people of Spokane to tell them what sort of live entertainment they would like to see play the Arena. They posted the results earlier this week and Rush ended up at #20 on their list as shown here (thanks RushFanForever).
Bladder blather Speaking of bathrooms, you can always tell the male or female dominance of an artist by the length of the bathroom lineup. Here's a tip for venues -- if you're booking Rush or a band of that ilk, please re-purpose the ladies bathroom. I haven't left you out ladies -- same should go for any Justin Bieber or Robin Thicke concert.
This past Wednesday Eric over at Power Windows dug up this rare, early Rush radio interview from 1974 that had been posted to YouTube this past summer. It was recorded on October 17th, 1974 backstage at a club called the Travis Street Electric Co. in Dallas, TX. Neil had joined the band just a few months prior to the interview. You can listen to the 6-minute interview below or on YouTube here:
Eric over at Power Windows recently dug up this rare, early Rush radio interview from 1974 that had been posted to YouTube this past summer. It was recorded on October 17th, 1974 backstage at a club called the Travis Street Electric Co. in Dallas, TX. Neil had joined the band just a few months prior to the interview. You can listen to the 6-minute interview below or on YouTube here:
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Rush to enter exclusive sponsorship deal with Walmart
UPDATE - 4/1@6:14PM:APRIL FOOLS!!!! ... in case you hadn't already figured it out. I hope everyone enjoyed the joke! Thanks for playing along and being good sports about it. Let's hope Walmart doesn't try to sue me. Now I just need someone to come up with some lyrics for Walmart Man. :)
Back in February US retail giant Walmart began running a commercial featuring Rush's Working Man as part of its new ad campaign aiming to put the spotlight on the company's initiative to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years towards creating new manufacturing jobs in America. The move garnered mixed reactions from fans and pundits due to Walmart having been the subject of a lot of criticism for their business practices over the past few years. In yet another move that is bound to raise a few more eyebrows, Rush is now rumored to be entering into an exclusive new deal with Walmart where the band will become an official sponsor of the retail chain, similar to recent deals the retailer made with acts such as Journey and The Eagles. In an article from the Hollywood Star released earlier today, April Fulton reports that the deal will make Walmart the exclusive retailer for all of Rush's music and dvds going forward, beginning with a new 5.1 Surround Sound Deluxe Edition re-issue/re-master of the band's debut album (different from the vinyl re-issue due out later this month). This re-issue will include a bonus recording of a modified version of Working Man titled Walmart Man, featuring vocals from American Idol contestant Kaleb Johnsen. The deal is also rumored to include provisions for Rush to appear in further Walmart commercials on TV and radio, along with a possible performance at the company's upcoming shareholder's meeting. Here's a promotional video featuring a snippet from the new Walmart Man track, due out this summer.