Archive: Blog Entries from March, 2006
Friday, March 31, 2006
Guitar lessons from Alex Lifeson?
GuitarWorkshop Plus is a Toronto-based musicians workshop which offers several courses for guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and vocals over 3 summer sessions. What's really cool is that they feature several famous guest artists that share their knowledge and experience with students while visiting classes, conducting clinics and performing concerts. Session 1 runs from July 16-21 (which happens to be the week after RushCon) and features as a guest artist none other than Alex Lifeson himself (Billy Sheehan and Rik Emmett are also slated for that session). You have to apply to be accepted and it costs a good chunk of change, but if you're a Rush fan and can play guitar (and are any good) it might be worth it.
Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee interview in Frets Magazine
[Rush Beat On Different Strings]
Frets Magazine is the premier magazine for acoustic guitar players. The Spring 2006 issue contains a short interview with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee where they talk acoustic guitars. The most interesting tidbit is when Geddy is asked about whether he plays with a pick or with his fingers:
Lee: I play with my fingers and I pluck out bass lines. Acoustics, when you slap them, sound just great. They growl. You can get a nice chunky sound out of them.
Lifeson: Geddy's bass playing is so melodic and that comes from playing bass parts on an acoustic guitar. He would play bass lines right on the acoustic, but he would come up with a lot of guitar parts too. "Closer to the Heart" for instance-he wrote that opening picking part. I heard it and said, "That's so cool-show me that!"
Lee: I forgot that I wrote that lick. He's got a good memory for that kind of stuff. Now that he mentions it, I do remember putting that song together.
So Geddy wrote the opening guitar portion of Closer to the Heart. I'd never heard that before. Cool.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie release date
[Aqua Teen Theatrical Feature to Debut This Fall]
As reported in back in late January, Neil Peart will be making an appearance in the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. Adult Swim recently announced that the movie will be released in theaters this September.
For those of you who don't know, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is an American animated comedy shown on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block. The show's creators are big Rush fans and include several Rush references in the show. There's a good summary of these at Power Windows including this neat video montage. You can also watch the entire "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" episode here.
Exit ... Stage Left DVD tentative release date
UPDATE - 4/6@9:50AM: The June 13th release has been confirmed. It is also confirmed that it will indeed be a box set containing all 3 concerts. The title is Rush Replay X 3.
As reported earlier this month, the Bass Player Magazine interview with Geddy Lee from the March 2006 issue had this to say regarding the Exit ... Stage Left DVD (and other concert DVD reissues):
... This spring, three little letters will make Rush fans very happy: DVD. On the heels of the band's R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD/CD release, the three classic concert videos All the World's a Stage [Grace Under Pressure??], Exit ... Stage Left, and A Show of Hands will finally be released in digital format. ...
Rumor has it that some sort of box set containing all 3 concert DVDs is likely. Alex Lifeson actually said that a box set would "make more sense" in this Billboard interview back in December. However, this is still all speculation as of the moment. Now, Power Windows is reporting (via the Counterparts messageboard) that a tentative, unofficial release date of June 13 has been set but it's still unclear whether it will just be the Exit ... Stage Left DVD or something else (such as a box set). I'll keep you posted as I find out more.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Rush loses ... and wins
As reported earlier this month, Buffalo's 97 Rock is running a March Bandness contest in celebration of March Madness. Unfortunately Rush was defeated by Lynyrd Skynyrd in round 3. The good news is that several stations around the country are running similar contests where Rush is fairing much better. In the KSHE95 (St. Louis) March Bandness competition Rush won it all! Rush has also made it to the Elite 8 in Rock 105's Rock and Roll National Championship. They're currently up against Molly Hatchet (and winning). Go here to vote for Rush (early and often). They also made it to the Elite 8 in WCSX's (Detroit) March Bandness competition where they'll be going up against The Rolling Stones tomorrow at 7AM.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Alex Lifeson interview at AudioTechnica.com
[A-T web exclusive interview with Rush's Alex Lifeson]
Audio-Technica is a Tokyo-based company that designs and manufactures microphones, headphones and other audio equipment. Their website recently featured a short interview with Alex Lifeson. In it he discusses, among other things, his musical influences, why he uses an Audio-Technica wireless system, his "top-secret invention company" and bands that he's currently listening too.
Moving Pictures Live
[Classic Albums Live Promo Video]
Classic Albums Live is a group of musicians who get together and perform rock's greatest albums live note for note. On June 22 they will be performing Rush's Moving Pictures at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON. Last year they performed Rush's 2112 and got great reviews from fans. In addition to the entire album, they also play a set of bonus tracks. If you're in the Toronto area you should definitely try to check this out.
New Gold Rush compilation cover art
As reported by Power Windows earlier this month, Mercury Records will be releasing another Rush compilation on April 25 entitled Gold. It's nothing new though; it's just a 2-disc repackaging of the twin 1997 compilations Retrospective 1 and Retrospective 2. The only difference being that Something for Nothing was dropped and replaced with Working Man. The cover art was recently revealed and is essentially a Hugh Syme re-tooling of the Retrospectives covers; the same janitor is used with all the represented album covers as art on the wall. This time he also includes the dog from Signals.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Neat Rush Medley performed by Singapore prog-rock band ZERO SEQUENCE
[Rush Medley from Singapore band ZERO SEQUENCE]
This a live video of the Singapore progressive rock band ZERO SEQUENCE performing a medley of Rush's Working Man and Black Sabbath's Paranoid with a little By-tor and the Snow Dog thrown in at the end. It's from the 2005 Singapore Street Festival. It's a really neat little arrangement and these dudes seem to be having a blast performing it.
Send Rush to the Elite 8!
[March Bandness '06]
As reported 2 weeks ago, Buffalo's 97 Rock is running a March Bandness contest in celebration of March Madness. Last week Rush defeated Deep Purple to advance to round 3 in the "Slick Tom" bracket where they will face Lynyrd Skynyrd. Voting for this bracket will take place from 10AM this morning until 10AM tomorrow. Go here to vote. Vote early and vote often. Go Rush!
Monday, March 27, 2006
Jam band Benevento-Russo Duo and the standard drummer Rush phase
[Benevento-Russo Duo: Beyond The Sun]
Benevento-Russo Duo is a 2-man jam band in the tradition of Phish whose style blends elements of rock, punk, acid-jazz, and fusion. Joe Adler of Glide Magazine recently spoke with drummer Joe Russo backstage after one of their sold out gigs. When asked about his early musical influences Russo had this to say:
I wanted to be the drummer for Kiss. I don't know if it was the make-up or rock. That lasted for a few years. Then I heard other things ... Zeppelin, legendary. I went through my standard drummer Rush phase, then I got hip to the 70s Miles shit and started going through the jazz. Grew up in Jersey, love the "Jovi." Love really bad music, as you heard backstage, Mr. Big. But yeah, I was inspired to play drums because Kiss had hot girls, wore cool make-up and had fire.
Hot girls and fire: 2 of my favorite things. Are there any drummers who haven't been through the standard drummer Rush phase? :)
Yet another opportunity to vote for Rush
[Rock 105 Rock and Roll National Championship]
Like many radio stations this month, Rock 105 out of Jacksonville is running a rock band tournament listener poll in honor of March Madness. I don't know about some of these matchups (Steppenwolf beat Zeppelin? Molly Hatchet beat Sabbath??) but I still feel obligated to vote for Rush. We can't let them get beaten by ... Twisted Sister! Vote early and often!
Saturday, March 25, 2006
New Music Video: Half the World
[Half the World Music Video]
I've added a new video to the Music Videos page; Half the World off of Test for Echo. Only 2 videos were made for this album; Driven (which you can watch here) and Half the World. It was also the last album they made videos for; none were made for Vapor Trails or Feedback. You can watch the Half the World video here.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Neil Peart's original lyrics sheets
[The Word and the Pictures (Volume 1)]
Andrew Olson is a writer, musician, photographer, Rush fan and owner of AndrewOlson.com; an eclectic website with all sorts of neat Rush-related items including a great section devoted completely to Neil Peart. He recently posted several facsimiles of Neil Peart's original lyrics sheets obtained from the now out of print The Word and the Pictures (Volume 1); a two-volume book published in England around 1979. From the site:
The Word and the Pictures (Volume 1) is a two-volume book published in England around 1979. I believe it was a supplemental tour book for the Hemispheres tour. In this book are pictures of Rush, along with facsimiles of Neil Peart's original lyrics sheets for select songs. Some of the lyrics sheets have appeared in Rush tour books and CD sleeves, but usually as small images that were hard to see.
These lyrics sheets are an interesting window into Peart's creative process. They are much like his drumming: intricate, creative, and structured. From interviews I've read, Neil stopped creating these handwritten lyrics sheets around Hold Your Fire, when he started to compose lyrics on the computer. When Neil delivered the Hold Your Fire lyrics sheets to Geddy, Geddy found them cold and difficult to work with. So Neil went back and printed out the lyrics in a warmer font.
If you're looking to buy these books, they're long out of print. You can occasionally find them on eBay. A friend loaned me this one. Perhaps this book will be reissued at a later date.
These are definitely worth checking out.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Send Rush to the Sweet 16!
[March Bandness '06]
UPDATE - 3/24@10:01AM: Rush has beaten Deep Purple to advance to the sweet 16 (round 3) where they'll go head-to-head with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
As reported last week, Buffalo's 97 Rock is running a March Bandness contest in celebration of March Madness. Last week Rush defeated Sammy Hagar to advance to round 2 in the "Slick Tom" bracket where they will face Deep Purple. Voting for this bracket will take place from 10AM this morning until 10AM tomorrow at this url. Vote early and vote often. Go Rush!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Stick it Out makes the cut for Beavis & Butt-head Vol. 2
[Beavis and Butt-head - More details & Art for Volume 2]
For any of you who are Beavis and Butthead fans, you probably are familiar with the episode entitled Plastic Surgin' wherein the boys watch (and make fun of) Rush's Stick it Out video. If you haven't seen the episode, you can watch it here - the premise; Beavis & Butthead go to a plastic surgeon to get wiener implants. On June 6, Paramount and MTV will release Beavis and Butthead Volume 2 on DVD. TV Shows on DVD reports that one of the 13 videos to make the cut for the DVD will be Stick it Out. I'm sure Geddy, Alex and Neil have been holding their breath on this announcement. They can now finally breathe a sigh of relief. :)
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey DVD release date
[History Of Heavy Metal On DVD]
The heavy metal documentary, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which features Geddy Lee among many other hard rockers, received its U.S. premier at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this Month. Warner Home Video just announced the 2-disc DVD will be released on May 23.
[The reviews are in for Metal: A Headbanger's Journey]
[Heavy metal documentary featuring Geddy Lee: Update]
[Geddy Lee featured in heavy metal documentary]
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Subdivisions with even more synthesizers
[Synth-rock Subdivisions cover]
If you're one of those Rush fans who think that Subdivisions has too many keyboards on it you'll really hate this; it's a music video version of the tune as performed by Toronto synth-rock band TRENCH RUN. I must admit, I kinda like it. It's interesting if nothing else.
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson at Andrew MacNaughtan charity event
A couple weeks ago I posted about the charity auction organized by Rush friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan as part of the Art Gives Hope: A Decade of Music Portraits exhibit. Geddy and Alex were at the event and they were caught on film. Thanks to MitA for the pic.
Secret of Mana Theater presents ... the Rush mix tape
[6 Months Later ...]
I saw this posted on The Rush Forum. Secret of Mana Theater is an online sprite comic strip based on the early 90s Super NES game, Secret of Mana. In the episode just prior to this one, the director proclaims that he is going on a vacation and the characters have to survive on their own. When the main character hears this he excitedly exclaims I finally have time to make the perfect Rush mix tape!. This episode picks up six months later and the main character is still working on his Rush mix tape and says Should I start with Xanadu or 2112?. The director finally returns and hillarity ensues. I particularly like what the main character says when the director gives a Rush Greatest Hits CD as a present. I can certainly identify. :)
Monday, March 20, 2006
Rush heard at SXSW
[SXSW fest of beer, BBQ & music]
Rush made an appearance (indirectly) at this year's SXSW music festival via the Beastie Boys:
When the Beastie Boys kicked off their not-so-secret secret set in the backyard of Stubb's BBQ shack by spinning Rush's Tom Sawyer last Thursday night, it was unexpected but not at all unusual. At this year's South by Southwest music festival, many highlights came from small shows by big names, the outdoor Texan atmosphere, and the sound of Canadians. ...
This Tom Sawyer mix was first heard back in 1998 when Mix Master Mike joined the Beastie Boys and performed it on their 1998 tour. You can listen to a live version of the track here.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
New Live Video: By-Tor and the Snow Dog from Moving Pictures tour
[By-Tor and the Snow Dog Live]
I found this live video of Rush performing By-Tor and the Snow Dog on YouTube. It's an abbreviated version taken from a Medley (By-Tor and the Snow Dog, In the End, In the Mood, 2112: Grand Finale) included on the Exit ... Stage Left Video . You can watch it here.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
eBay alert; Rush R30 Xbox 360 Faceplate
[Xbox 360 Faceplate 1-of-Kind Design RUSH Band Geddy Lee]
If you own an Xbox 360, there's an eBay charity auction going on that may interest you. It's for an Xbox 360 Faceplate with an R30 design. The bidding runs through March 27th and is currently at $255. The proceeds go to The Children's Miracle Network charity.
New Music Video: Driven
[Driven Music Video]
I've added a new video to the Music Videos page; Driven off of Test for Echo. Only 2 videos were made for this album; Driven and Half the World. It was also the last album they made videos for; none were made for Vapor Trails or Feedback. You can watch the Driven video here.
Friday, March 17, 2006
One-year-old drummer likes to rock to Rush
[Julian Pavone: The Little Drummer Baby]
This kid is amazing. He's not even 2 and he can play the drums. Not surprisingly, he's a Rush fan already. From his bio:
While standing only 31" tall and weighing in at 27 pounds, 16 month old [he's 21 months old now] Julian is certainly a star in the making. Playing the drums while sitting atop his father's lap since the age of three months, this rhythmic child could keep a steady beat while rolling around in his mother's womb! Since then, he has progressed to being able to perform drum rolls and actually plays syncopated beats. Too small for his feet to reach the bass drum or high hat pedals, he sits in his high chair playing dad's prized DW's. His favorite bands to rock to include, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Chicago, ToTo and Rush.
Recently, he has applied to the Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Youngest Drummer". At this point in his young career, he enjoys entertaining his family and friends, but is looking forward to beginning his stage career as the opening act for some local talent. Check back frequently to catch the latest news in Julian's young career...
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Vote for Rush
[March Bandness '06]
UPDATE - 3/17@10:45AM: Rush has beaten Sammy Hagar to advance to round 2 where they'll go head-to-head with Deep Purple.
In celebration of March Madness Buffalo's 97 Rock is running a March Bandness contest. You can view the bracket here. Rush is the defending champion. This year they're in the Slick Tom bracket. Voting for this bracket will take place from 10AM this morning until 10AM on Friday. Good luck Rush!
[Limelight: live pre-release]
MitA recently posted this live pre-release version of Limelight on his Rush Oddities site.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
[The Rush Font Project]
The webmasters of Power Windows and Rushable Kingdom recently announced a collaboration called The Rush Font Project. From the website.
The Rush Font Project is a collaboration between Rush fans who have pooled their resources to compile a library of all available PC fonts used in the album art of Rush.
Rushfonts version 1.0 contains fonts for the following albums: Rush, Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel, 2112, All The World's A Stage, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit...Stage Left, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, A Show of Hands, Presto, Chronicles, Roll The Bones, Counterparts, Test for Echo, Different Stages, My Favorite Headache, Vapor Trails, Spirit of Radio (Greatest Hits), Rush In Rio, Feeback and R30.
Once the fonts are installed, the Internet as seen through your browser will be a more beautiful place! Rush webmasters can encode their pages with these fonts to make use of font intensive pages with a Rushian design.
Very cool. I doubt I'll use these on this site, but it's a great thing to have available.
Futurama: "Anthology of Interest II"
[Futurama Episode #47: "Anthology of Interest II"]
I just located the entire Futurama episode #47, Anthology of Interest II. You can watch it here. This episode aired on Jan. 6, 2002. In it Fry asks the "What If" machine what would happen if the world was like a video game. His wish comes true and he is later forced to use his video game skills to save the world from the evil "Space Invaders". He says "All right! It's Saturday night, I have no date, a two liter bottle of Shasta and my all-Rush mix tape, let's rock!". He then proceeds to defeat the "Space Invaders" while listening to Tom Sawyer. This is probably my favorite episode of Futurama for obvious reasons. :)
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Another Rush Compilation ... Yawn
From Power Windows:
Rush "Gold" Compilation by Mercury Records, a mere repackaging of the 1997 compilations, Retrospectives 1 and 2, is slated for an America only release on April 25th. A 2 cd set, it will have the same track listing as the combined Retrospectives disks with the exception of "Something for Nothing" being deleted and replaced by "Working Man". The cover will be by Hugh Syme, a reworking of the Retrospectives covers. - Mar. 14, 2006
So Mercury is trying to squeeze some more money out of Rush. Frankly, I could care less. I'm proud to say that I don't own any Rush compilations nor do I ever plan on it. Why get a compilation when you already have the entire Rush catalog?? :)
RushCon 2006 registration is now open!
As reported earlier, RushCon 2112, the 6th annual RUSH fan convention, will be held July 14-16, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario. Registration is now open. Here are the details from the site:
Convention Registration opened on Sunday, March 12, 2006 to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the release of 2112! As usual, you can register online using Paypal (you don't need a PayPal account) or mail a check or money order.
Pricing (in USD)
$55.00 Adults (19 yrs +) Friday & Saturday events, including "In the Mood" Mixer, Saturday Day events, Charity Auction, and Saturday Night events
$35.00 Students (13 - 18 yrs) Saturday Day events and Charity Auction only
F R E E Child (0 - 12 yrs) Saturday Day events and Charity Auction only
$60.00 SUNDAY: Lakeside Park Tour (19 yrs +) LIMITED TO SIXTY FANS!
A comfortable touring bus will "RUSH" you to Lakeside Park, located in St. Catharines. Ontario (Neil's hometown!). This fun, casual tour includes RUSHy music, food, drink, prizes, and surprises! Exclusive party (hors d'oeuvres and cash bar) at The Orbit Room in the evening. Don't miss it!
Official RushCon Hotel
Days Hotel & Conference Center - Toronto Downtown
30 Carlton Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2E9 Canada
Rates are $125/night CND for single or double. Check with the hotel for triple or quad room rates.
We are all going to have a fun and relaxing time at RushCon 2112. It's a new century and a new take on convention events (with some classic fun times thrown in as well)!
Friday Night: "In the Mood" Mixer
Get out your kimonos and silk scarves (or a nice pair of slacks and shirt) and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album 2112, released in 1976! We'll have groovy RUSH music, funky videos on the big screen, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Don't leave early or you'll miss out on prizes and surprises!
Saturday Day: Moving Pictures Matinee
Roll out of bed Saturday morning, throw on that vintage RUSH concert shirt, and saunter down to the Moving Pictures Matinee--70's TV room style! We're putting together the most, the rarest, the RUSHest of videos, movie clips, concert footage, interviews, and projecting them on a big screen! Includes Trivia games and fun prizes for your entertainment! Think you've seen it all? Don't count on it! Hungry? There will be popcorn and a cash bar if you get the munchies!
Saturday Day: Charity Auction
We are accepting donations for our very popular and very successful Charity Auction. To date, we've raised over $30,000 CND for charity. Please e-mail our Auction Coordinator with your donation!
Saturday Night: To Be Announced. . .
R30 gets a Bitsy Award
[Outstanding Achievements in DVD for 2005]
Last week the ultimate DVD site, Digital Bits, announced the winners of its annual Bitsy Awards for Outstanding Achievements in DVD for 2005. R30 won in the BEST DVD - MUSIC (LIVE/CONCERT) category. Congrats! From the site:
You've really got to hand it to Rush. When they were spanked by critics for releasing their Rush in Rio concert DVD sans anamorphic widescreen enhancement, they learned their lesson well. The DVD team at Anthem and Zoë went back to the drawing board and assembled R30... one of the most rock solid, ground-up music DVD releases we've seen to date. You get the very best looking anamorphic widescreen concert video we've ever seen and enveloping Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. A second DVD offers vintage band interviews and music videos. You get a booklet packed with photos. You even get the complete concert in 2-disc CD format as well. Finally, the packaging is slick and includes an actual backstage pass from the tour, along with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's guitar picks. All that's missing is Neil Pert's signed drumstick and somebody's first-born child. Hands down, any way you slice it, this is THE concert DVD of the year.
Happy 30th anniversary 2112!
[Rush - 2112 (wikipedia)]
"I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as they trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here, just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple Paper in the evening.
"My friend Jon always said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under the Red Star of the Solar Federation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.
I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found something that changed it all..."
Sometime in March of 1976, the greatest album of all time (at least to me) was released; Rush's 4th album, 2112. Just like with Moving Pictures, the exact date of release is up for debate (see the discussion in this post), but most sources place it sometime in early-mid March. I was 6 at the time. My 13-year-old brother bought the album, became an instant Rush fan and was inspired to start playing the bass guitar. Over the next 4 years or so I heard a lot of Rush coming from my brother's room and, interestingly enough, I distinctly remember how I "hated Rush" back then (although all I really knew about them was that the singer had a screechy voice and the music was loud). I was into crappy top 40 music for the most part although in 6th grade I started to get more into rock; bands like Queen and Styx.
Eventually my brother moved out and Rush became nothing but an echo in my mind. Then one afternoon in the Fall of 1982 I was bored so I snooped around my brother's old room. In the closet I found an old cassette tape. On it were the words Rush: 2112 (20:34). What? A 20-minute song? , I thought. I was intrigued. I didn't know that songs could be 20 minutes long. I popped it into my cassette player and for the rest of the afternoon I listened ... and listened some more. I loved it... and I was hooked. And here I am 24 years later and I can still listen to that album over and over again. In fact, I think I'll listen to it again right now. :)
Monday, March 13, 2006
Rush: Chemistry Review
[Review - Rush: Chemistry]
I found this nice little review of Rush: Chemistry in Mote Magazine Online.
Jon Collins does a great job of binding the 30 year history of the band Rush into a compelling 200 page biography. The book feels like you're inside the studios and arenas and tour busses with bass playing vocalist Geddy Lee, guitar player Alex Lifeson and drummer / lyricist Neil Peart. There's an epic filmic quality to the book, thanks to Collins relying largely on quotes from the musicians and dozens of producers, engineers, and other musicians. The timelines for each album are unravelled and examined with great attention to detail: how the songs get created, how tensions in the band get resolved, and other interesting approaches to the life and art of these three boys from the suburbs of Toronto. ...
If you haven't read this book yet I suggest you do so. I just finished it myself a couple weeks ago and loved it. For a summary of reader feedback from Amazon and the Counterparts messageboard, check out this post. There's also this entry on the author's blog which details the typos, editing errors and factual inaccuracies that have been found in the book so far.
The few common criticisms that have cropped up so far are the placement of footnotes at the end of the chapter rather than the bottom of the page; the lack of color photos; and a lack of "new" interviews. I agree with the criticism regarding footnotes; placing them at the end of the chapter was a bad move - I just ended up ignoring them because I didn't want to lose my place. That's about it though. No color pics? Big deal. Just go on the internet if you want color pics; there are so many out there floating around the web that this criticism is unfounded. And as far as no new interviews?? I just didn't see that; there's plenty of new material in my opinion. Besides, the real strength of the book is how expertly Jon compiled all this information and put it all "under one roof"; better than anyone else has to date I might add. Not to mention the fact that Jon is a great writer; the book wasn't just a bunch of facts strewn dryly together - he made it interesting.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Cool vintage Rush pics
[Flickr: 70's Rock & Roll]
18% Gray at Counterparts found these great Rush pics on flickr. There are 12 Rush pics in the set (also several Heart and Cheap Trick pics too). 7 are from the Permanent Waves tour and 5 are from the Hemispheres tour. Nice find. The photographer (Photocat62) posted this description of the photos:
Came across these negs a while ago and they are still in really good condition. Shot these back in 1978-79 when I was still in high school in Victoria BC. Didn't really know what I was doing with a camera but somehow still managed to get some pretty decent shots! I still have a few more images to scan up and will add them when I have time. Leave a comment if you like!
He's way too modest if you ask me.
Neil Peart: Anatomy of a Drum Solo excerpts from Drummerworld
[Element 2: Waltz]
[Element 3: Floating Sphere]
[The Big Band Finale]
Here are a few excerpts from Neil Peart's instructional DVD Anatomy of a Drum Solo found at Drummerworld. They also have a good synopsis of the DVD:
'Anatomy of a Drum Solo' presents newly-recorded, in-studio footage of legendary RUSH drummer Neil Peart discussing, in detail, his approach to soloing. Using a solo recorded in September, 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany as a framework, Neil talks about each segment of this nine-minute tour de force which is a feature of each Rush performance. He describes the inspiration and the conceptual thinking behind each part of the solo and discusses, and often demonstrates, the technique necessary for playing that segment.
'Anatomy of a Drum Solo' also features:
Two explorations - completely improvised workouts at the drums, each over thirty-minutes long
A never-before-released solo recorded in Hamburg, Germany in September, 2004
"O Baterista," Neil's Grammy. Award-nominated solo
Rush performances from Frankfurt '04, all shot from the perspective of the drum cameras...
[Anatomy of a Drum Solo Review] (March 10, 2006)
[Flashy new Anatomy of a Drum Solo page at Hudson Music] (February 16, 2006)
[Anatomy of a Drum Solo Review] (January 11, 2006)
[Anatomy of a Drum Solo Reviews] (December 20, 2005)
Saturday, March 11, 2006
New Video: By-tor and the Snow Dog cartoon from Vapor Trails tour
[By-tor and the Snow Dog cartoon]
I've added a new video to the Live Videos page. It's the animated short video featuring cartoon representations of the band that played during By-tor and the Snow Dog on Rush's Vapor Trails tour. You can watch it here. The sound isn't too great but the video quality is good. Enjoy.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Anatomy of a Drum Solo Review
[Riffs: Music on DVD]
Here's a short but sweet review of Neil Peart's Anatomy of Drum Solo instructional DVD from the Nashville City Paper online:
Whether you enjoy, detest or are just lukewarm towards the music of Rush, there's no denying the rhythmic talents of their drummer Neil Peart. He's among a handful of rock percussionists who can hold their own with the best stylists from any genre. Anatomy Of A Drum Solo (Hudson Music) is a two-disc set that visually deconstructs Peart's solo on "Der Trommier," offering his analysis of the notes he's chosen and why, as well as discussing his entire approach to drum soloing. The second disc includes more interviews and analysis, including a discussion with Peart's drum tech, plus performances with Rush of "Tom Sawyer" and "Subdivisions," and a previously unreleased solo from Rush's 1994 Counterparts tour. In addition, there's a note-for-note transcription of "Der Trommier" available as a PDF for players, and viewers can even pick their own edits of Peart's performance on that song, as well as access audio-only tracks "Momo's Dance Party" and "Pieces Of Eight." While a hefty portion of Rush's music doesn't do that much for me, Peart is a brilliant, imaginative and ferocious drummer. There's plenty to admire on Anatomy Of A Drum Solo.
Rush Blog Roundup
It's that time again; time for the Rush blog roundup where I compile recent Rush-related posts from around the blogosphere.
This dude has a blog diary documenting his exercise regime. On day four he says:
... Funny thing happened today, I ran into one of my child hood rock idols. Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush, he was cool. I'm going to make my actual workout plan as soon as I finish writing this, I have warmed up my body to the point that I can begin a plan. June 21, I can do it, no problem. ...
That's it?!? He was cool?!? This guy is way too focused on his workout plan. :)
Deuce's Stay Wild is a blog which contains news and commentary on the music industry, recording artists, albums, electronics, and instruments. This post talks about how bands are signed and references an Alex Lifeson interview from Guitar Player:
From what I know of the industry, bands that are fortunate enough to be signed are expected (and no doubt pressured) to release albums that sell in huge quantities. Those that don't meet this expectation are, mostly, cut loose.
This reality was confirmed for me in a Guitar Player interview of Rush's Alex Lifeson. On the subject of the longevity of bands Lifeson stated, "the way record companies work is completely different than it was 30 years ago. Record companies have become speculators, rather than developers. Nowadays, you have to come in with a completed record, and it's released on spec. If it instantly does okay, you might get a deal. If it doesn't, you'll get dropped." ...
UK band Livid has a blog too. Band member Ency thinks Geddy Lee has placed a curse on the band:
... Then, it's Wednesday and we've got a gig at The Limelight** in Crewe, playing with our good buddies Dirt. It's been ages since we played there, and we were looking forward to it being a good 'un, as last time we were there, Psy's guitar committed electrical suicide.
Did this time, too. Perhaps Geddy Lee has placed some kind of a curse on us? Other than that, great gig, though. ...
** "Yes! It IS named after that song by Rush. Whaddya mean, you've never heard it? Rush rule! Anyone...? Ah. It's just me that thinks that, is it?"
John at Spitfire's Hurricane discusses how, like many fans, Rush inspired him to read Ayn Rand:
... A fondness for Rush at an early age lead me to delve into the writings of Ayn Rand. Why Rush had to do with Ayn Rand in those days was due to the fact that primary lyric writer and drummer extraordinaire, Neil Peart, had dedicated the 2112 suite "to the genius of Ayn Rand". In retrospect, I think even Peart would back away from that observation, but at the time, Rand had a pretty powerful impact on me. ...
He's right; Peart has backed away from Ayn Rand and objectivism a bit basically saying that he is "no one's disciple", although he was heavily influenced by her writings back in the 70s.
Will Grigg at the New American Birch Blog reflects on how rock is settling into middle-age and quotes Geddy Lee:
The music of adolescent rebellion has now settled into late middle age, with rock stars in their seventh decade topping the charts and selling out concert tours. ... Paul McCartney, co-writer of the Beatles standard "When I'm 64," will reach that age this year - while fronting a band of musicians young enough to be his grandchildren.
How do we account for the hegemony of Geronto-rock? "Craftsmanship hardly ages at all, and smarter songwriters have used it to defuse the issue of age itself," comments London's Guardian ...
... In 2002, Rush, the incomparable Canadian power trio, toured Brazil and were astonished to be the focal point of mob scenes - the first time they had been greeted in such frenzied fashion during a career spanning three decades. "It's not like we're Justin Timberlake or something," comments bass player/keyboardist/vocalist Geddy Lee in the Rush in Rio documentary.
Exactly. And neither are the other senior citizen acts dominating the popular music scene. This is why their music will endure ...
Irene apologizes to Neil Peart:
Well, I thought about what I wrote re: Rush's "horrible lyrics," and I have to take the word "horrible" back. Sometimes they're not to my taste, and sometimes I can't help laughing when I contemplate the meaning of the song "The Trees," but that could just be my own tiny mind trying to contemplate something that's way too deep for it. Because now on second look, those lyrics are actually pretty, uh, pretty (scroll down).
I mean, I get it with the Ayn Rand and the Tolkien references: the guy reads. I can respect that, and acknowledge that there are lots of literature references in their lyrics that I don't know, because I'm not as well-read as I like to pose at.
And, hello, the only "A" paper I wrote in the 12th grade was about Ayn Rand, so who am I to talk? I'm no objectivist, but I really enjoyed reading her books. What 18 year old hasn't yet? And I saw Axl Rose once giving an interview on MTV about "Atlas Shrugged." I mean, if Axl Rose bought it, can you blame me?
And then I visited the official Neil Peart website, and read an interview Alex Lifeson did on CNN, and found out about the tragedies in Neil's life... and felt bad. I have personally grooved to "Freewill" and "Fly By Night," and I should not be passing myself off as too cool to admit that I like some Rush songs.
I even bought a T-shirt at the first Rush show my old boyfriend Drew dragged me to (he wasn't old, but the fact that he was my boyfriend is), and promptly lost it under my seat. I wanted one with the magician's bunny on it but they were out of them.
So, Neil, I'm sorry. Are we cool?
I'm sure he'd accept your apology if he ever read your blog. :)
Darth Saul can't pronounce Alex Lifeson's real last name (me either), but he makes a good case as to why Lerxst should be considered a "guitar god":
Alex Zivojinovic: That's actually Rush's Alex Lifeson's real last name; I have no clue how to pronounce it though. ... I've been listening to Rush for well over 20 years now and I think that Alex is quite possibly one of the most underrated guitarist in the rock industry. There lots of guitarists who are credited as being the best guitar gods ... but I think that Alex should rank right up there, and in many ways he far surpasses many of those guitarists with his versatility. He makes the guitar scream, weep (to borrow from George Harrison) and even whisper softly.
Alex is not afraid to try different sounds on his guitar work, be it classical guitar, six string, or twelve string. He uses effect pedals and synths to enhance the sound, but not to drown out the integrity of the bands sound. There are times when the guitar work seems to be limited, with more emphasis on the keyboards which may come across as if he doesn't have much in the way of varity. But if one listens to his work over the 30 years, he's one of the few guitar players that is a bit difficult to identify by the sound, there is no "Alex Lifeson" sound. Eddie Van Halen is an example of a guitar player who can be identified by his "sound." Van Halen is a fantastic guitarist, but compared to Alex, he has a sameness that can actually get a little boring to listen to. On all of the Rush albums, Alex has a fresh sound, be it in riffs or solos. ...
I think he hit the nail right on the head. Well said darthsaul!
Astrogirl has been having disturbing dreams about Geddy Lee and Warren Zevon:
... I like to listen to my entire music collection on random shuffle, and was doing so last night when it threw up Rush's "Fly By Night." It was a live version, and cut off kind of abruptly at the end, to be immediately followed by "I'll Slow You Down" by Warren Zevon. Hey, cool, I thought. It's like a sort of dialog: the second song could be a reply to the first one. (Because it's basically "Sorry, but I'm outta here" followed by "Fine, go. I'll just sit here and wallow in self-pity.") And I was amused for a bit, but then I thought, hey, wait, that sort of makes it sound like Warren Zevon and Geddy Lee were having a relationship, and ewww. THERE IS INCREDIBLY DISTURBING RPS IN MY BRAIN NOW! MAKE IT GO AWAY! ...
Hee hee. :)
Counterparts message board down for a few days
For any of you who are members of the Counterparts Rush message board (like me) and were wondering why the site was down, here's your answer from the site administrator. This was posted on The Rush Forum:
First off, thanks to RushRevisited for letting me make this note about CP here!
Here's the shortened version. I get a email from my hosting company that they are re-assigning all their users with new IP addresses. I make an announcement stating that CP will be down for a day or two, while this change takes place.
I get an email from my hosting company, cancelling the IP reallocation. So I think everything is gonna be status quo. No issues, etc.
What happens tonight? No CP for me, and a few other folks. I contact the hosting company about this, and they reply, "Your server has a new IP address. Did you not receive the notification of this a few weeks back?"
So, I have to point the domains and the domain name server to the new IP addresses. (How do I do this? Let's call it a very quick education in server maintenance). CP will be down for I'd say 3 - 5 days (probably shorter) while the new IP gets noticed.
So there you have it. I work for a web development company and we also do hosting for most of our clients; this type of thing should never happen. They should have at least put something in place to redirect the old IP to the new one while all this is going on. I'd say that down time will probably be closer to 2-3 days. So I'll have to do without my Counterparts fix this weekend.
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Neil Peart talks Sabians
[Neil Peart talks about Sabian cymbals]
Some of you may have seen this before. It's some sort of promotional video for Sabian cymbals featuring Neil Peart from a couple years back. In it Neil discusses his signature line of Paragon cymbals; how they were developed, etc. He also is shown playing these cymbals both in a studio and in an outdoors setting. It's worth checking out - especially if you're a drummer.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
New Music Video: Nobody's Hero
[Nobody's Hero Music Video]
Counterparts is by far my favorite 90s-era Rush album. They made 2 videos from this album: Stick it Out and Nobody's Hero. I just found the video for the latter song on YouTube. You can watch it here.
In addition, I've added a couple short R30 front row bootleg live vids in the Live Videos section here and here.
There's also a bunch more Rush Tabcon videos to check out.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Buy a Rush print for charity
[Avril, Rush, Nickelback participate in photo auction for Third World relief]
Rush friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan is organizing a charity auction as part of the Art Gives Hope: A Decade of Music Portraits exhibit at Toronto's Monte Clark Gallery which begins today. From the article:
... The more than 60 photos, including shots of Rush, Nickelback and the Barenaked Ladies, were taken by Andrew MacNaughtan, a Toronto music photographer and art director who has created album art photography for more than 100 projects. He had the celebrities autograph portraits he's taken over the past decade.
Money raised will go to families living with HIV/AIDS in Africa via World Vision Canada.
MacNaughtan says he was inspired by last year's Live 8 concert. He hopes fans of the artists will be inspired to become activists for social change in Third World nations.
"Art certainly functions on a personal and visceral level yet it's also beneficial as a consciousness-raising tool," said MacNaughtan.
The auction closes on March 17. MacNaughtan hopes his prints will raise at least $100,000.
2 Rush prints are available; one is a picture of the band from the Feedback EP and the other is a R30 promo photo. There's also a pic of Neil Peart and his drumset outdoors.
New Rush Backstage Contest
[Rush Backstage Club: Win an autographed R30 promo poster!]
Well... I lost the Rush Backstage Club Contest again. The lucky winner of the autographed Rush In Rio DVD was Nicolas Daoust from Quebec. However, the good news is that they're running a new contest! This time the prize is an autographed R30 promo poster. Here are the details from the site:
This poster is 16" X 22" and is signed by all three members of the band. A nice addition for any collector. Just fill out the information below and you will be entered in the random drawing. All people placing orders from the site will be automatically entered in the draw as well.
The winner will be announced on April 1st, 2006.
April 1st? Probably not the best day to announce the winner of a contest. :) Good luck!
Monday, March 6, 2006
Rush TV update: Squidbillies Pilot
In addition to the Geddy Lee clip from the Ringers: Lord of the Fans documentary which was added yesterday, I've added the Squidbillies pilot episode (aired on October 16, 2005) to the Rush TV section. If you're not familiar with the show or the episode, it contains a Rush reference (it's also a really f**ked up show and damn funny). Towards the end of the show Rusty the squid starts hallucinating and we see him onstage jamming out with two guys who are only seen from the chest down. He then yells "All right! I'm in Rush!" and starts to play his moonshine jug. It ends up being a dream though. When he wakes up he tells his aunt, "I had the weirdest damn dream - I was in that band Rush." You can watch the entire episode here.
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Ringer Geddy Lee on "The Lord of the Rings" and "Rivendell"
[Rush TV: Geddy Lee on "The Lord of the Rings"]
I recently watched the documentary film about Lord of the Rings fans - Ringers: Lord of the Fans. It's a great movie which documents the history of the books focusing on its wide appeal and diehard fans. Geddy Lee makes an appearance where he discusses his love of the trilogy and how the books inspired the Rush song Rivendell. I put together a short video of the movie clips which contain Geddy Lee; you can watch them here.
Saturday, March 4, 2006
Unsigned complete Rush tourbooks now available
[Rush Backstage Club: Rush - The Complete Tourbooks]
The Rush Backstage Club is now selling the complete unsigned Rush tourbooks collection for $149.99. Until now, they only had a limited number of signed editions available for $500. Now that they've sold these, they're offering the unsigned edition at a much more reasonable price. Here's a description from the site:
A truly original product, Rush - The Complete Tourbooks 1977-2004. This is a 400 page coffee table book with all of Rush's tour books to date, a total of 15 books. The books have been reproduced and bound together in a black, cloth-wrapped 12" X 12" book. Every cover of every book is printed on cover stock. The front cover is debossed in black and silver foil with the starman logo. There is a two-page introduction written by Neil Peart, detailing his involvement in the design and content of every Rush tour book going back to 1977.
Here is an excerpt from Neil's intro, "Whatever it took, I wanted those tour books ready for the first show, because they were important to me - partly because they fell into my "works on paper" department, but more than that, because I liked them. I had often bought tour books at other people's shows, and kept them as souvenirs, so I understood the value of them to the buyer, and it was (and is) satisfying to see that each of ours was nicer in every way than the one before."
The complete list of tour books is as follows;
A Farewell To Kings
Grace Under Pressure
Hold Your Fire
Roll The Bones
Test For Echo
30th Anniversary Tour
Available only from The Rush Backstage Club.
Friday, March 3, 2006
New Feature: Searchable Rush Lyrics and ... Random Lyrics
[Searchable Rush Lyrics / Rush Discography]
When I first launched this site I had no real plans to post Rush lyrics. There are plenty of sites that do that already. However, I got to thinking that it might be kinda cool to create a searchable database of Rush lyrics. Nobody's done that yet as far as I know. This would also allow me to create a "Random Rush lyric generator", sorta like on CygnusX-1.net. So that's what I did. If you go to this page you'll see a list of all of Rush's studio albums. You can also toggle using the top navigation to view Rush's live, compilation and solo albums. Click through to the album's Lyrics / Details link to view the lyrics. And at the top of each page is a Rush lyric search box. Simply type in a word, words or a phrase; and a list of every Rush song and verse that contains your search query comes back.
In addition to the searchable lyrics, I added a little box over on the right side of the page called Random Sample where you can get a random verse from a Rush song.
So have fun and if you notice any bugs or have any suggestions, let me know.
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Bass Player Magazine Geddy Lee interview and DVD reissues
[Living In The Limelight]
UPDATE - 4/17@11:20AM: Rush Replay X 3 is now available for preorder through Amazon.
UPDATE - 4/6@9:50AM: The June 13th release has been confirmed. It is also confirmed that it will indeed be a box set containing all 3 concerts. The title is Rush Replay X 3.
UPDATE - 3/31@9:30AM: It is rumored that the DVD reissues (be it just the ESL DVD or some sort of box set) will be released on June 13. Once there is an "official" announcement, I'll let you know.
The full Bass Player Magazine interview with Geddy Lee from the March 2006 issue mentioned in this previous post is now available online. It's a good interview; Geddy discusses the different basses he's used over the years, his playing and writing style, and heaps praise on his bandmates. But the most interesting bit is in the introduction. From the article:
... This spring, three little letters will make Rush fans very happy: DVD. On the heels of the band's R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD/CD release, the three classic concert videos All the World's a Stage [Grace Under Pressure??], Exit ... Stage Left, and A Show of Hands will finally be released in digital format. ...
So according to this article, the DVD reissues will come out sometime this spring. For a while, it was being reported that the Exit ... Stage Left DVD would be released on March 7th. This report was later proven false. The latest rumor I've heard is that not only is Exit ... Stage Left ready for release, but that all the DVDs are ready. Exit ... Stage Left had been slated for a March 7th release but apparently the band decided to hold off because they wanted to do something other than just releasing the 3 DVDs separately. The collective speculation is that some sort of box set is likely. Alex Lifeson actually said that a box set would "make more sense" in this Billboard interview back in December. Hopefully there'll be some tasty extra bonus stuff too, but we'll just have to wait and see. Remember, this is all rumor; I'll keep you posted as I find out more.
Rush Rocks the Planetarium
[Sneak Peak: Starry, starry night]
If you live near the University of Texas at Arlington, you'll definitely want to check this out. They've just opened up a new planetarium and every Thursday at 8pm they'll be featuring the "Rock 'n' Roll Show". From the article:
... Despite their astronomically huge egos, rock stars aren't so important in the grand scheme of things, especially when you consider the scope of the universe. But both kinds of stars -- those massive, gaseous bodies, and the celestial kind -- share time in your entertainment.The Planetarium at the University of Texas at Arlington -- the largest planetarium in Texas until someone builds one larger -- opens this weekend.
The main show is "The Stars at Night Are Big and Bright," which takes viewers from Arlington to the edge of the universe, past planets and the Milky Way, through a stellar graveyard and back. The format is digital video projection, which creates an IMAX-like feel.
But, dude, at 8 p.m. Thursdays, check out the "Rock 'n' Roll Show," an interplanetary trip featuring ear-pounding music by the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush, U2, Metallica and, of course, Pink Floyd.
The new planetarium features a 60-foot screen, as compared with UTA's 30-foot Small Roundhouse Planetarium, which still exists for astronomy classes and some public events. (Because volume is cubed, the new one is actually more than twice the size of the old.) ...
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Belated S.S. Professor Pics
[S.S. Professor Tour - Neil Peart's 30th Anniversary Drum Kit]
Professional web designer / photographer Lisa Kuhn has posted a bunch of great pics of the S.S. Professor (Neil Peart's drum kit) when it stopped in San Jose, CA on September 19, 2005. These are definitely worth taking a look at.
New Music Video: Best I Can
[Best I Can Music Video]
I found this video for Best I Can on YouTube. The footage is from Don Kirshner's Rock Concert TV show. It's really grainy and the audio isn't synched up too well but it's still cool to watch. 2 other songs from this episode were included on the R30 bonus disc; In the Mood and Finding My Way from Rush's first album. Thanks to YouTube member eljulian for making this available.
UPDATE - 3/1@9:24AM: I also just found the Don Kirshner's Rock Concert video for In the Mood.
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