I found one of Neil Peart's explorations from his Anatomy of a Drum Solo instructional DVD on YouTube. The DVD included 2 of these 30-minute-plus explorations where Neil goes through a completely improvised workout on the drums. It's in 4 parts and can be viewed here.
UPDATE - 12/29@3:41PM:reed lover astutely pointed out that it said that voting ended yesterday at 5pm... although it did let me vote. So I guess we'll just wait for the results. Sorry for the mixup. My brain has the post-holiday frazzles. :)
Chicago's 97.9 The Loop is running a contest to determine the top 100 rock albums of all time:
The Loop is on a quest to find out which albums you think are the best of all time!
Below is a long list of the biggest, baddest, most earth-shattering albums in the history of rock. Vote for your favorites and click the submit button you'll find at the bottom of the page. If a favorite of yours isn't listed, you can write it in below in the space provided. Voting ends Thursday (12/28) at 5pm.
We'll tally the votes and play back choice cuts from the Top 100 vote-getters starting on Saturday (12/30) at 10am, culminating at Midnight on New Year's Eve with the number 1 rock album as voted by you!
13 of Rush's albums are up for voting. To vote click here. Vote early and vote often. Thanks to Counterparts member Kozmo4Rush for the heads up.
I just finished recording a version of "I Fought the Law" for the upcoming Trailer Park Boys film. I did the bulk of the recording with the Switchblade. I am blown away by how awesome it sounds. This amp is mind blowing! I will be using it for everything I do now. It is beyond excellent!
fye.com (For Your Entertainment) is running a contest where they are giving away 10 signed copies of Neil Peart's book Roadshow. Sign up to enter the contest here. Thanks to Rush Forum member BB&B for the news.
I found this link to the Flickr Rush Photo Pool recently (can't remember where - some forum I think). It has a lot of cool Rush pics most of which I've never seen before from all eras of the band. It's definitely worth checking out.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Rush to play concert commemorating Quebec City's 400th anniversary in 2008?
Apparently on July 26, 2008 Quebec City will be celebrating its 400th anniversary with a benefit concert along the lines of the Toronto Rocks concert for SARS. The rumor is that U2 will headline and that Rush, among others, may also participate. Here is my extremely loose (if you can do better- please, please do so) English translation from the press release:
Negotiations with the members of U2 regarding their participation in the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebration have taken another step. Representatives of the promoter of the project, Nemex Network, will meet with U2's management in January to discuss details, thus demonstrating the interest of U2 in the project.
The president of the Toronto office of the Feldman Agency, Vinny Cinquemani, who is working with Nemex, seemed optimistic yesterday, after having discussions with U2's management. "The 2008 calendar is open for a concert in Quebec on July 26. So far, we feel very positive. But we'll know more in January", the president of Nemex, Karl Talbot revealed.
Negotiations with other groups including Sum 41, Simple Plan, Rush and Justin Timberlake for their participaton in this 12-hour mega-concert on the Plains of Abraham are ongoing. The objective of this event is to put forth an international flavor and help people in poverty, all the while underlining 400 years of Quebec history.
More details as they become available. Thanks to Counterparts member JordanRud for the news.
If you have Rush in Rio you're aware of the Mx multi-angle viewing options for La Villa Strangiato and YYZ. I just found 3 vids of YYZ from the DVD up on YouTube. Each vid is from the perspective of one of the 3 band members. You can watch YYZ from Neil's, Alex's and Geddy's perspective. Enjoy.
No - not really. But today's Photoshop Phriday theme at Something Awful is Holiday Albums, and user Sudden Infant Def Syndrome decided to transform 2112 into 2512. Here are the results. Thanks to reader jon for the heads up. jon also tells me that SomethingAwful.com doesn't like to be linked to. So if you notice that they removed the link or anything, let me know and I'll post a local copy.
In February of 2003 Rush released their 2nd most recent (2006's Gold is the latest) compilation album The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987. It was a collection of some of the band's popular songs from their self-titled debut album through 1987's Hold Your Fire and reached as high as #62 on the Billboard charts. On November 8, 2006 the compilation was certified Gold by the RIAA. This is the third Rush compilation to have reached Gold status - the other 2 being 1990's Chronicles and 1978's Archives (never released on CD). Thanks to Cygnus-X1.net for the news.
There have been a few random Rush sightings on TV in recent weeks. So I thought I'd summarize them. First off, the playing of various Rush songs as bumper music for Monday Night Football continues as pointed out in this post from earlier today. A few weeks ago we were all treated to a very cool and funny Rush reference on one of my favorite shows - Family Guy. It involved Chester Cheetah, Neil Peart and Tom Sawyer. If you haven't seen it yet, you can check it out here.
There's a new show coming in January from NBC called The Knights of Prosperity. The show follows a group of working class misfits who dub themselves The Knights of Prosperity and attempt to rob Mick Jagger's luxury apartment. In one of the promos for the show (sorry no clip available) the group's "leader" mentions that Tom Sawyer is the Knights' theme song and goes on to sing a few lines.
In a recent episode of E!'s The Soup, host Joel McHale makes fun of a Walgreen's ad featuring Celine Dion where Celine appears as a gift under a family's Christmas tree. After showing the ad, Joel says oh man! but I already HAVE an annoying Canadian chick. A girl with a hockey jersey on then runs out and screams something. Joel makes some remarks making fun of Canadians and says, speaking of Rush fans then breaks into a Geddy Lee falsetto and proclaims it's reality show clip time!. You can watch the clip here. Thanks to reader Scott (aka RUSHnATL) for the heads up on this one.
Have any Rush sightings of your own that I may have missed? If so, please share.
Several readers sent me emails regarding the fact that Rush's Fly by Night was played multiple times as the bumper music in last night's Monday Night Football game. This is not the first time we've heard Rush played on Monday Night Football either. Somebody at ESPN must be a Rush fan. Many thanks to everybody for the heads up.
If you don't know already, Neil Peart has had a mySpace page for a few months now. And yes - it is actually him. He even links to it from his official site. He's sent out a few mySpace bulletins too. In the most recent one he mentions this link with the comments:
I will crush whoever did this! Okay okay... I know who made it, and I can't crush him. He's bigger than me... Oh that devious SPQR!
Check out the link - it's very funny. Thanks to reader Neil C for the heads up.
Enter our contest to win our current most popular item, the Kings Hoodie. Last week we sent three boxes of these hoodies down to the studio where Rush is currently recording. They had asked us for a few of them at first, but when the crew saw them, they went nuts and all of the guys wanted one for themselves. We think you will agree when you see the quality of this item! Good luck!
I assume that the winner will be announced around the end of the month. Good luck!
Rush's longtime manager, Ray Daniels, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame this Spring. From the press release:
Ray Danniels, President and C.E.O. of S.R.O. Management Inc. and Anthem Entertainment Group will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame as well as Jim Waters, Chairman of the Board of CHUM Limited. The honours will take place at the Canadian Music Industry Awards on March 8, 2007 during Rogers Wireless Canadian Music Week.
Danniels began his career in the music industry booking bands in Toronto. In 1971, he took on Canadian rock band Rush as their agent and manager. The band was turned down by every record company in Canada, so Ray launched Moon Records (later renamed Anthem) and released Rush's self-titled debut album with an initial pressing of just 1,500 units.
Today, Anthem Records' recent projects include releasing the Trailer Park Boys' movie soundtrack and in November 2006, Molly Johnson's major label debut Messin' Around.
In its 30-year history, Ray and S.R.O. have been extremely active overseeing the careers of such artists as Van Halen, The Tea Party, and Matthew Good.
Congratulations Ray! Thanks to reader Patrick W for the news.
UPDATE - 12/15@12:35PM:Power Windows is reporting that the latest Atlantic release schedule includes the new Rush album on its list of tentative April releases.
I've been MIA all day and just noticed that Neil Peart finally updated the News section of his website. He speaks mostly about the new album and has a lot to say as usual. Basically he confirmed a lot of what we knew already and also gave us the juicy details. Yes - Nick Raskulinecz was/is the co-producer and Rich Chycki was indeed brought in for engineer duties. After some pre-production at a Toronto studio, in November they moved the operation to Allaire Studios in New York's Catskill Mountains for the "serious" recording. To say it went well is a gross understatement. The album should be finished ahead of schedule by the end of the year and final mixing should occur early in the New Year. There's really too much cool stuff to try and summarize it - so just read it yourself. :) I may dissect it some more later - and feel free to do some dissecting of your own in the comments. This quote from Neil pretty much sums it up though: I have never enjoyed the recording process so much, nor been so satisfied with the results. Wow.
An American deal at last! Myriad Pictures of Los Angeles has confirmed that it has purchased U.S. and world rights (excluding Canada) for Trailer Park Boys: The Movie and plans to put the film into commercial release next year.
Founded in 1998, Myriad both produces and distributes movies and is known for taking on unabashedly commercial (Jeepers Creepers II, The Shadow Chaser) and more quirky projects (Stolen, Copying Beethoven).
The $5-million film, based on the popular Canadian TV series on the Showcase specialty channel, had its world premiere in early October in Canada, where it earned $1.5-million on its kick-off weekend -- the highest opening-weekend gross of any English-language homegrown film. Distributed in Canada by Odeon Pictures, the comedy recently completed its commercial first run here, grossing an estimated $4-million.
Back on October 3rd the Trailer Park Boys movie premiered in Toronto. Following the show, there was a live Supergroup concert which consisted of Alex Lifeson's Big Dirty Band and others. A live bootleg clip of the show recently surfaced on MySpace. The sound quality is so-so but it features plenty of footage of Lerxst doing what he does best. You can check it out here. Many thanks to MitA for digging this up. I had also posted a much shorter clip on the day after the show back on October 4th which you can check out here.
The social column in the December 9th issue of Canada's National Post newspaper reports that Neil Peart attended a charity art auction held on November 1st in Toronto. The auction, Art With Heart, is an annual fundraiser put on by the Casey House (Toronto's AIDS hospice) that showcases donated works by established and emerging Canadian artists. Thanks to reader Patrick W for the heads up.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Alex Lifeson to appear on next Porcupine Tree album
Formed in the late 80s, Porcupine Tree is a British rock band whose music is a combination of progressive rock, psychedelia, ambient and, more recently, metal. Both Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson have several times expressed their appreciation for this band. In the latest issue of the Porcupine Tree fanzine Carbon Nation (issue #6) it is revealed that both Alex Lifeson and King Crimson's Robert Fripp will be making guest appearances on the group's next album which is currently set for release next April on Atlantic Records. Thanks to Power Windows for the news.
Userbars are small rectangular images with a 3D appearance that are designed to be put in an Internet forum signature. They're one of the lastest internet "fads". Doug Clements (aka tst4eko) has created several Rush-themed userbars and Power Windows has them all hosted on his site here. Thanks guys!
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Rhythm magazine cover with Mike Portnoy's Neil Peart interview
Ben Wener of the Orange County Register recently wrote an article which chronicles the history of the concept album. Rush gets a mention of course:
... Prog-rock reached its zenith - and then its nadir - as Yes told "Tales From Topographic Oceans," Genesis sacrificed "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," Rush zoomed into "2112" and Jethro Tull got "Thick as a Brick" and so on. ...
There is yet another radio special up on Rush.net. This one is the 2003 Rockline appearance with Alex and Geddy. To listen to this and many other old radio shows and audio clips, just go here and click on the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". For the 2003 Rockline show look for Rush - Rockline (2/5/03) and click on it.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Primus drummer recounts how a "crazy Neil Peart solo " helped him get his start
Most Rush fans are familiar with alternative-metal/thrash-funk band Primus. All three members cite Rush as a major influence and they toured with Rush on both the Roll the Bones and Counterparts tours. After a short hiatus in 2002 they reunited and are currently finishing up a tour. Drummer Tim Alexander recently spoke with The Arizona Republic. He discusses how his career got started and recounts his first professional gig which was as a session drummer:
... "I played what was basically a crazy (Rush drummer) Neil Peart solo. It was completely inappropriate for studio work, but he put me in touch with a band who was looking for a drummer," he reminisces.
That band was Major Lingo, now a veteran of the Arizona music scene, then a nascent group of hippies playing eclectic jam rock in Jerome. In 1985 Alexander packed up his equipment and hopped a Greyhound bus for Flagstaff.
"I had my drums in cardboard boxes and pillowcases and my girlfriend's father drove me down to Jerome. The music was like nothing I'd listened to before, but we clicked and I got the gig," he says. "Lingo was a good time, they introduced me to a lot of different music - I was always basically a Rush-Led Zeppelin kind of drummer and they introduced me to all this ska and folk and world music." ...
Last month I reported a rumor that Tony Geranios a.k.a. "Jack Secret" (guitar/keyboard tech for Rush since the early days) had said that Rush's next tour will begin in the late spring of 2007. There now is yet another unofficial confirmation that a tour will indeed happen - assuming the source is reliable. According to Brazilian metal mag Roadie Crew Rush has been confirmed to play some Brazilian dates in 2007. Here's the (loosely) translated text from the original Portuguese:
AEROSMITH AND RUSH RETURN TO BRAZIL IN 2007 The bands Aerosmith and Rush will return to Brazil in 2007 for separate shows. CIE Brazil announced in an event this past Thursday that both bands were confirmed for stadium shows.
Aerosmith played Brazil in 1994 at the Hollywood Rock and Rush played Brazil in 2002, where they recorded the show for the DVD Rush In Rio.
The exact cities, places and dates for the shows have not yet been confirmed.
Rush were very amazed and pleased with the extremely positive way they were received in Brazil on the Vapor Trails tour, so it's not surprising that they'd opt to repeat the experience. We'll see I guess. Again, not official confirmation but good to hear nonetheless. Thanks to Counterparts member the analog kid for the link.
Win this Rush 30th Anniversary Baseball Jersey. This is a pro-style jersey made from double-knit fabric and sewn with the Rush logo and number 30 on the back. These are in very short supply as we will be discontinuing this item soon, so the winner will be receiving a size XL (the only size left). Good luck!
I assume that the winner will be announced around the middle of the month. Good luck!
Saturday, December 2, 2006
New vintage Rush radio special: NBC Legends 1987 interview
Are you among the fans with the lingering question of who came up with the name of the band or what the Rush Starman logo actually represents? If so, you are in for a treat while Vintage NBC Radio explores The Legend of Rush.
This classic broadcast from 1987 also explores anger, how it is channeled through the band's music, and why. How standing their ground, and not giving up or giving in led to 2112. Hear how Neil's lyrics begin with their own music.
To listen to this and many other old radio shows and audio clips, just click here and look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials".
Friday, December 1, 2006
Exclusive coupon for Rush-inspired jewelry from Between Sun and Moon
Last week in my post about Rush merchandise for the holidays I mentioned Between Sun and Moon - an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise. The site owner, Katy, has kindly offered an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers. Just enter the discount code RUSHISABAND for Free Shipping with a $30.00 purchase! Place orders by 12/12/06 to insure arrival on 12/22/06. The coupon is valid thru the end of next year (12/31/07). Thanks Katy!