Archive: Blog Entries from February, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
2:02PM EST | link | comments (276) |

The big Rush news of the past week was the announcement of the first single from Rush's new Snakes & Arrows Live album - Workin' Them Angels. The official press release stated that the single would impact at Rock radio outlets nationwide on March 10th. I believe this date is when it'll officially begin charting although many stations will be playing it before then. Indeed, it's already been confirmed that the single is being played by a couple of Canadian stations; namely 97.7 HTZ FM out of Southern Ontario and CHEZ 106 in Ottawa. And a few of my station program director contacts have let me know that they've received the single. The copy that's being mailed out to radio stations contains 3 versions of the song; the radio-edit album version (4:19), the live version (5:03) and the full album version (4:55). So start bugging your local stations to play the single!

In the same press release we also learned that the title of Neil's drum solo would be De Slagwerker. There's been some question as to whether this follows the same format as Rush in Rio and R30; naming the solo The Drummer in the native tongue of the country in which the track was recorded (O Baterista for Rush in Rio and Der Trommler for R30). The best explanation I got regarding the title is from Dutch reader Frank W. He notes that in Holland the English word drummer is commonly used but that slagwerker, a more old-fashioned term is also acceptable. The word literally means hit-worker; slag means to hit and werker means worker. Indeed, there's a Dutch magazine called Slagwerkkrant which recently featured Neil Peart on the cover of their 25th anniversary issue.

Earlier this week we learned that the folks at RushCon have officially set the dates for this year's RushCon to coincide with the July 9th Toronto show. RushCon 8 (no theme as of yet) will take place in Toronto from Tuesday, July 8th to Thursday July 10th. It will be the first midweek RushCon yet. More details to come.

Detroit progsters Tiles recently released the video for the track Sacred & Mundane from their new album Fly Paper. Alex Lifeson plays on the track although he does not appear in the video... at least not in his 3-dimensional form. If you haven't checked out the video yet, you can watch it here.

In the first of my setlist-related polls, I asked everyone which of Rush's epics - songs over 7 minutes long - they'd most like to hear on the upcoming 2008 leg. The results should not surprise anybody; The Camera Eye won with 28% of the vote. In a not-too-distant second was Hemispheres with 20% and rounding out the top 3 was Jacob's Ladder with 12%. You can see the full results here. My next few polls will focus on songs that Rush has never played live. This week's question is which of Rush's never-played-live 70's-era songs would you most like to hear on the 2008 leg? I've included 2 Caress of Steel tracks and one Fly by Night track that might have been played at a headlining show on the Caress of Steel tour back in early '76 but have never been confirmed; namely Making Memories, I Think I'm Going Bald and The Fountain Of Lamneth. Even if they had played those, it's been so long I thought I'd include them anyways. So Take the poll and let us know what you think.

There were a couple of notable Rush History anniversaries this past week. On February 26th, 1997 Rush were the recipients of the esteemed Order of Canada. You can watch the video here. And last Wednesday was the 5th anniversary of Rush's induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

Reader Domenic Nardone recently sent me some pictures of his miniature model of Neil Peart's Grace Under Pressure kit. I was completely blown away; it's very impressive as you can see from the images above. I asked Domenic to give me some background and here's what he told me:

I actually started building the model in 1986. Rush had been one of my favorite bands for a few years and I thought it would be cool to build a replica of Neil's drums (being a drummer myself). I just started college at the time and I didn't have much in the way of cash so I started scrounging around my folks' house looking for things I could use that would make good drum shells, cymbals etc. I wound up with a collection of whiskey bottle lids, aerosol can caps and shampoo bottle caps until I found a combination of shell sizes that worked visually to scale.

I then, started cutting out cymbals out of tin can lids and making cymbal stands out of shishkabob skewers and things started to slowly come together. I also used some art board that I was able to get from college to build the drum riser and electronic drums. After about a year, it was finally finished. I was never really quite happy with it but... I settled.

I asked a friend of mine who ran a record store at the time, if he would display it in the store. He was asked tons of questions by his customers - who built it, can he build me one, how much does he want for it? But I was never interested in selling it because I was too attached to it. Plus, I never considered it finished because I always wanted to tweak things that I wasn't happy with.

I had it displayed in my home for a while, but I never really took care of it. It got really dusty, the glue got old, things started to fall apart, so eventually I dismantled it, threw all the pieces in a shoe box, stored it and forgot about it for about 16 years.

One day my 13 year old son finds the shoe box and starts egging me on to rebuild it.....so I did. But this time I was much more creative with it and I took much more care into building it. My son, in turn, became a huge Rush fan!

So now the model sits, locked in my dust-free trophy case, on a revolving stand in my rec room.

He's also created a little video about the kit that you can check out on YouTube at this link, or just watch it below.

Reader The Clansman 2112 let me know about a very interesting episode of the CBC's The Marketplace that aired earlier this week. It's all about online ticket brokers and how they operate. You can watch it online at this link. Here's the synopsis from the website:

If you've tried to buy tickets for a big show recently, you've probably encountered the mystery of the vanishing tickets. Somehow, a concert booked for an arena with thousands of seats will sell out in just minutes.

Then, only moments later, tickets for the same concert will show up for sale on "ticket broker" websites, priced much higher than their face value.

All this begs two questions: How does this happen? And why? Erica Johnson investigates.

It's definitely worth watching.

Finally I want to remind everyone that today is the final day for you to enter the Rush Is A Band t-shirt contest put on by Music Today. Three lucky readers will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition Rush T-Shirt. To enter email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com.

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Good luck to everyone who has entered. Winners will be picked and notified by Music Today sometime next week. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rush 2008 tour ticket sales update
11:39AM EST | link | comments (45) |

S&A liveUPDATE - 3/1@10:00AM: The Music Today fan pre-sale for Charlotte is now up on the Music Today website. It will take place from Tuesday, March 4th at 10AM to Thursday, March 6th at 12PM.

UPDATE - 2/29@11:05AM: The password for the KQRS-sponsored radio pre-sale for the St. Paul show is SNAKES.

Round 5 of the Music Today fan pre-sale is nearing completion (noon today local venue time) although several AMEX presales are ongoing and will continue through tomorrow for the shows in Los Angeles, St. Paul, Kansas City and St. Louis. AMEX pre-sales for Quebec, Toronto and Washington DC end today. Remember, for the AMEX pre-sales the password is just the customer service 800 number (8003272177) on the back of your Gold Card.

Radio pre-sales for both Toronto and Washington DC are going on right now. The Toronto pre-sale is sponsored by Q107 and runs through 10PM tonight; the password is SNAKES (thanks entrenous). The Washington pre-sale is sponsored by 94.7 The Globe and runs through 6PM tonight; the password is GLOBE (thanks Hank N).

There will also be radio pre-sales for the shows in Los Angeles, St. Paul and Kansas City tomorrow. I'm not sure about LA and KC yet but the St. Paul pre-sale will be sponsored by KQRS. No passwords yet.

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale tomorrow:

Jul. 9: Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto info
Jul. 19: Nissan Pavilion - Bristow info

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale Saturday, March 1st:

May. 8: Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles info
May. 22: Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul info
Jun. 7: Starlight Theatre - Kansas City info
Jun. 12: Bell Centre - Montreal info
Jun. 28: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St. Louis info

So after this weekend the only show yet to go on sale is Charlotte, which will go on-sale next weekend with pre-sales next week.

Just a quick note/reminder that all times given on this site and Ticketmaster are LOCAL to the venue.

And as a final reminder, Music Today has graciously offered to run a promotion exclusively for Rush Is A Band readers - just like on the last leg. Three lucky readers will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition Rush T-Shirt. To enter the Rush Is A Band T-Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com.

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until tomorrow. Winners will be picked and notified by Music Today the week of March 4th - March 8th. A big thanks to Music Today for doing this again - it was a big success on the 2007 leg.

That's all for now. I will have some more non-tour-related updates tommorrow.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tiles video for Sacred and Mundane now online
10:52AM EST | link | comments (118) |

Last month saw the North American release of Fly Paper - the 5th album from Detroit prog-rockers Tiles. The album is notable to Rush fans because of its numerous connections to Rush; Alex Lifeson plays on the track Sacred and Mundane, the album was produced by Terry Brown, and Hugh Syme did the album art in addition to playing keyboards on 2 tracks. Earlier this month I had the chance to put forth a few questions about Rush, working with Lerxst, the album and other topics to both Tiles guitarist Chris Herin and producer Terry Brown. You can check out both mini-interviews in this post.

Tiles had planned on releasing a promotional video for Sacred & Mundane in the run-up to the album release, but due to production issues the release was delayed until just recently. The video features the shorter radio edit of the song and - unfortunately - no cameo from Alex Lifeson... at least not a 3-dimensional Alex. From the Tiles website:

We are pleased to release the video for "Sacred & Mundane" (single edit). ... Very special thanks to Mathew Kennedy (Discipline) & Magnetic Cinema for stepping in at a moment's notice after our original producer couldn't get his act together. Although "Sacred & Mundane" features Rush's Alex Lifeson on a host of guitars, he only makes a fleeting two-dimensional appearance in the video in the guise of his alter ego 'Victor' ...just for fun...

You can check out the YouTube version of the video at this link (also included below), or the full uncompressed version at this link. Thanks to Blabbermouth for the heads up.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Snakes & Arrows Live details, Workin' Them Angels single release date
11:27PM EST | link | comments (78) |

[Rush Unveil "SNAKES & ARROWS LIVE"; 2-CD Set Recorded During 2007 World Tour; Legendary Trio Return to the Road in April With First Ever Concert in Puerto Rico; "SNAKES & ARROWS LIVE" Lands on April 8th]

UPDATE - 2/28@9:30AM: According to this Counterparts thread the Workin' Them Angels single is already being played by a couple of Canadian stations; namely 97.7 HTZ FM out of Southern Ontario and CHEZ 106 in Ottawa. They must have obtained an advance copy - or the March 10th release date in the press release is wrong.

Atlantic Records put out a press release earlier today revealing some more details about the upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live double CD to be released on April 8th. We already knew the tracklist and that the CD was the audio from last October's Rotterdam shows. They also confirm that Richard Chycki mixed the album and that they will indeed release a live version of Workin' Them Angels from the CD as a single. The single will impact rock radio outlets on March 10th. I first reported that they'd be releasing a single version of this song back in November although it did not become apparent that it would be a live version until after the live CD was announced. So it looks like some of our speculation from a couple weeks ago was correct. There's still no word on whether there will be some kind of video to accompany the single, as was also rumored. As another treat, they have a more detailed tracklisting (without any misspellings) which includes the name of Neil's drum solo as De Slagwerker. Here's the complete tracklist from the press release:

Disc 1

1. Limelight
2. Digital Man
3. Entre Nous
4. Mission
5. Freewill
6. The Main Monkey Business
7. The Larger Bowl
8. Secret Touch
9. Circumstances
10. Between the Wheels
11. Dreamline
12. Far Cry
13. Workin' Them Angels
14. Armor and Sword

Disc 2

1. Spindrift
2. The Way the Wind Blows
3. Subdivisions
4. Natural Science
5. Witch Hunt
6. Malignant Narcissism - De Slagwerker
7. Hope
8. Distant Early Warning
9. The Spirit of Radio
10. Tom Sawyer

Encore:

11. One Little Victory
12. A Passage to Bangkok
13. YYZ

Unfortunately they seem to have removed the 2 new tracks Spirit of Warning and Encore. ;) Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Next round of Music Today fan pre-sales
12:18PM EST | link | comments (48) |

We already were informed of the fan pre-sale information for this week last Friday, but here is the official announcement from Music Today along with all the details about the Snakes & Arrows Live pre-order promotion, and the t-shirt giveaway contest specifically for RUSH is a Band readers. Note that Music Today is selling pre-sale tickets to the Canadian concerts through a different website URL than for the US dates. The Canadian URL is included in the text below next to each one of the Canadian dates. However, you should not need to re-register for the Canadian dates if you had already registered for the US dates; your US login will work (you should double check just to be sure though).

Tickets for the following RUSH concerts are going on sale through the RUSH ticket Pre-Sale on Tuesday, February 26th at 10AM (local venue time).

Thu, May 8: Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA Buy Tickets
Thu, May 22: Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN Buy Tickets
Sat, Jun 7: Starlight Theatre - Kansas City, MO Buy Tickets
Thu, Jun 12: Bell Centre - Montreal, QC Buy Tickets
Sat, Jun 28: Verizon Wireless Amph. - St. Louis, MO Buy Tickets
Wed, Jul 9: Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON Buy Tickets
Sat, Jul 19: Nissan Pavilion - Bristow, VA Buy Tickets

Don't fret if your city's ticket Pre-Sale is not listed above - please stay tuned to "RUSH Is A Band" for additional RUSH Pre-Sale ticket announcements!!! More ticket Pre-Sales will be announced for RUSH's 2008 tour over the next few weeks - please keep checking "RUSH Is A Band" frequently for the latest Pre-Sale ticket information!!!

Direct Link to the current RUSH Pre-Sale Tour Itinerary - please click here

RUSH Presale Registration Instructions

1. Visit the RUSH Presale Website and enter your email address in the box where it says "Enter Email Address"

2. You will receive an e-mail from Tix@musictoday.com entitled "Rush Fan Community Email Validation." Open this e-mail and visit the validation link included in the e-mail.

3. You will then be redirected from the validation e-mail link back to the RUSH Presale Website. The registration for presale tickets is now complete (Note: You will have to enter your e-mail address again during a later step in the process to purchase tickets.)

All fans who purchase RUSH pre-sale TICKETS in addition to pre-ordering the CD OR t-shirt combo will be entered into the RUSH Snakes & Arrows Contest!!!

* Grand prize winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased. Every city will have one meet and greet winner!

* 5 First Prize winners will receive a HARD COVER TOUR BOOK, comprising of every RUSH tour program from 1977-2004. The book will be personally autographed to the winners by the band. In addition, each of these 5 winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased.

More Prizes

Three lucky "RUSH Is A Band" fans will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition RUSH T Shirt. To enter the "RUSH Is A Band" T Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com:

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Musictoday the week of March 4th - March 8th.

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More Rush oddities from MitA
10:37AM EST | link | comments (63) |

MitA has a few new offerings for us posted at his MitA's Rush Oddities site this month. There's a live cowbell-wipeout-jazz song outro; a version of Virtuality sans the net-boy, net-girl chorus; a live Alex mishap during YYZ; and a live Subdivisions gaffe. You can listen with the provided links or use the player below. There's also a couple of rare photos of Neil cycling in Africa here and here. In addition, MitA has the Lost Power Windows Demo tapes in both flac and mp3 versions available for download. As always, a big thanks to MitA for providing these.

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RushCon 8 dates
9:47AM EST | link | comments (7) |

Now that the on-sale information for the July 9th Toronto show is finally up on Ticketmaster the folks at RushCon have officially set the dates for this year's RushCon to coincide with the show. RushCon 8 (no theme as of yet) will take place in Toronto from Tuesay, July 8th to Thursday July 10th. It will be the first midweek RushCon yet. More details to come.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Music Today fan pre-sales for next week announced
10:12PM EST | link | comments (44) |

S&A liveThe Music Today website has listed its pre-sales for next week. Pre-sale tickets will go on-sale at 10AM (local venue time) on Tuesday, February 26th and run through 12PM on Thursday, February 28th. Here are the dates:

Thu, May 8: Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA info
Thu, May 22: Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN info
Sat, Jun 7: Starlight Theatre - Kansas City, MO info
Thu, Jun 12: Bell Centre - Montreal, QC info
Sat, Jun 28: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St. Louis, MO info
Wed, Jul 9: Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON info
Sat, Jul 19: Nissan Pavilion - Bristow, VA info

I mistakenly had the Charlotte date listed as going on-sale next weekend as well, but either I had it wrong or they changed it; they are actually going on sale the following week. So that pre-sale should take place the week after next (and that will be the last one).

As I'd mentioned earlier today, the Montreal ticket sales will be handled by Admission.com. The Toronto show is still not listed on Ticketmaster although - now that we know the pre-sale will occur next week - we should assume regular tickets will go on sale next weekend. And we just learned about the second show added at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles earlier today. I've updated the tour section with all the pertinent information.

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Rush adds a second show at the Nokia Theater in LA
5:13PM EST | link | comments (10) |

It looks like Rush has added a second show at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles to their 2008 Snakes & Arrows tour itinerary. Last month I'd mentioned that they were planning to do this if the first show sold well. The first show is not yet sold out, but it must be selling well enough I guess. The show will take place on May 8th - 2 days after the first show. They don't have an on-sale date listed yet, but they do have an AMEX and an internet pre-sale listed for next week. This would tell me that tickets will go on regular sale next weekend. We should also expect to see this show included in next week's batch of Music Today pre-sales. Thanks to kinglerxst for the heads up.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:11AM EST | link | comments (89) |

The Rush ticket peddlers gave us the last week off for President's Day. There were no pre-sales and no tickets go on sale this weekend. Next week we should expect to see pre-sales for the shows in St. Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis, Bristow and Charlotte - with regular ticket sales the following weekend. It also was recently announced that tickets for the Montreal show will go on sale through Admission.com on March 1st. So we should see pre-sales for that date next week as well (thanks to duss for the heads up). There's still been no official word on ticket sales for Toronto.

In my last poll I asked everyone how they were getting tickets for the tour. The results are in and it looks like over half of you took advantage of the Music Today pre-sales. About a quarter of RushIsABand readers used the regular ticket sales, and a third of you got tickets from either an online auction or broker. Now that most of us have our tickets our thoughts naturally start to drift towards questions about the setlist. How many songs off of Snakes & Arrows will they play this time? Will they play more old stuff? Will they play one of their epics? etcetera, etcetera... So I thought it'd be fun to conduct a series of setlist-related polls over the next several weeks. I'll first say that I don't have any sort of inside info on rehearsal setlists yet, although others have started some interesting rumors. I'll be sure to post anything that I do learn. But in the meantime we'll just have some fun speculating. For my first question I'll ask you which of Rush's epics - songs over 7 minutes long - would you most like to hear on the upcoming 2008 leg. Take the poll and let us know.

Wednesday we finally got confirmation that the Snakes & Arrows Live CD is indeed the audio from the Rotterdam shows. Last weekend Neil Peart added a new installment to his Bubba's Book Club - the first since last April. There's a new contest up at the Rush Backstage Club, Rush topped FilmCritic.com's list of bands whose music should be turned into a movie, and Rush was named Artist of the Year by the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame.

Rush.com is now advertising on their news page the fact that Rush has been working with Harmonix Music Systems - creators of the hugely popular video game Rock Band - to feature some of their music; something we've known here for a while now. They quote the Rock Band website's comments about the latest Rush song that's available to download for the game - Working Man (first mentioned back in this post:

As Rush songs go, this one's relatively simple: It's from the first album, the only one they made before Neil Peart brought in his brainiac lyrics and impossible drum parts. At the time Rush came off like a more low-brow Zeppelin, with down-to-earth anthems like this one. This seven-minute song is no cinch, however; the instrumental midsection is all but guaranteed to trip you up the first time through. Original Rush drummer John Rutsey promptly disappeared off the face of the earth, but "Working Man" didn't: It's one of the oldies that turns up regularly in their live shows. Maybe they'll even play it on their just-announced summer '08 tour.

Working Man was made available a couple weeks ago and Limelight early last month. Tom Sawyer is included with the game. Now if they're working so closely with Harmonix, why are all the versions of their songs in the game covers instead of the master tracks? One also wonders if this will make it more likely for the band to include Working Man in their setlist this spring. There's also a really cool Rock Band video of Tom Sawyer up on the Rock Band website in the Videos section.

The February 2008 issue of Guitar Player magazine includes a feature entitled 50 Essential Guitar DVDs. Included on the list is Rush's R30. Here's what they say about it:

Sure, the footage from Exit Stage Left is classic, and you can't beat the wild Brazilian crowd in the Rush in Rio DVD, but if you can only get one Rush DVD it has to be R30. The setlist, sound quality, and camera angles just can't be beat. The R30 Overture that opens the show has all-instrumental snippets of "Finding My Way," "Anthem," "Bastille Day," "A Passage to Bangkok," "Cygnus X-1," and "Hemispheres," plus a hilarious cameo from Jerry Stiller. The lack of vocals on this medley allows Alex Lifeson's PRS-fueled guitar tones to really stand out. He and the boys run through a whole bunch of Rush favorites including "Xanadu," "Subdivisions," "Red Barchetta," and "Tom Sawyer" (with a killer Lifeson solo). The show kicks ass from start to finish and Lifeson is in fine form the entire time with his trademark arpeggios, fiery solos, and a humongous tone that fills the arena. If the gig was all you got this would still be a must have. When you factor in all the DVD extras like a bunch of live-in-the-studio performances from back in the day and soundcheck footage, this is an amazing piece of work and a great example of Lifeson working his magic. Zoe. -MB

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Rock photographer Ross Halfin recently uploaded a bunch of new vintage Rush pics to his website. They're black-and-white photos from what looks like the late 70s and early 80s. Cool stuff. You can check them out here.

Reader John let me know that Cars.com's recently released list of their Top 10 Car Songs includes Rush's Red Barchetta at #10. Here's what they said about it:

In an era where large SUVs seem to block out the sun and the U.S. government is trying its darndest to regulate fuel economy, a 1981 sci-fi song about a nearly extinct Ferrari doesn't seem so far off. Although the abundant safety features in today's cars may not lead to the reckless driving mentioned in the song, it's a scary future for any sports-car nut.

Reader mrdriven alerted me toa a Rush sighting in the 2007 book The Enlightened Bracketologist - The Final Four of Everything. Under the topic of Long Songs 32 studio songs of at least 10 minutes in length are listed. On pages 55-56 Rush's The Camera Eye goes up against Pink Floyd's Echoes and unfortunately loses.

The King of Kong is a recently-released documentary from filmmaker Seth Gordon. The film follows a pair of diehard video game fans as they compete to break World Records on classic arcade games. ReelzChannel recently sat down with the filmmakers and one of the subjects of the film - Steve Wiebe - for an interview. There's one scene in the movie where Steve - also a drummer in addition to a video game nut - plays Neil Peart's The Rhythm Method drum solo. The interviewer asks him about it and they talk at length about it and how it fits into the film:

Steve, in the a scene in where you're playing the drums, is that from RUSH?

Cunningham: Yes. Wow!

Wiebe: You've heard the Rush solo. I'm very influenced by Neil Peart.

Is that "The Rhythm Method?"

Wiebe: I haven't had any lawsuits from Neil yet. [Laughs]

Gordon: I want to talk more to that because I think that figures in a really interesting way with his ability to beat one of the two guys in the world that can play Donkey Kong at a totally elite level. When he was nine years old, he figured out that drum solo by working with Irv.

Steve: With Irv, my friend.

Gordon: Now DVD's are sold that teach you how to play that solo, but he figured it out when he was nine.

That's remarkable. Neil Peart is recognized as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

Gordon: And the way he figured it out was he broke it down into patterns that you have to execute in order and the way to beat Kong is by recognizing the patterns that are executing, that are random, and navigating your way through it, grouping everything so you can maximize the points and get a million and the kill screen. I think that Rush was an example of the thing that makes him uniquely able to play this game the way he does. It's sort of like his Jedi pattern recognition gift.

Wiebe: Neil's very technical too.

He's The Professor.

Cunningham: That was a moment for us in filming because whenever you're following someone, it's like are they going to be compelling enough? Are audiences going to want to follow them? Steve is absolutely Steve: kind of a normal guy. And we spent a couple of days interviewing him and I had heard and he told us about how he was a drummer in a band. And I was actually downstairs because I was interviewing Derek (Wiebe's son) whose drum set he's on. I don't know if you noticed but that's a Costco kid's drum set that he's wailing on. I'm downstairs interviewing Derek and Seth's like, "Sure I'll go up and shoot what he's doing," and all of a sudden this noise starts coming out and Derek, his son, who loves when he plays drums and is learning how to play too, he just takes off up the stairs to go follow him and I walk into this room and here is a grown man on a drum set that's like this big, wailing away. It was those moments that we started to think wait a minute, he's not just some normal father of two. There's an amazing talent there. There's just a different type of talent; you have to dig deep to find it. And that was one of those moments for us. And Seth when we got back, he's like, "I hope I got that sound. It was so loud in there." We listened to it.

Gordon: It sounds pretty good.

Cunningham: Yeah. It captured it great.

Thanks to Brent for the heads up.

Roger Schlueter of the Belleville News-Democrat runs a column where he answers questions from readers. Earlier this month he was asked about a legendary mid-70s Rush show at Belleville Area College. He didn't initially get much information but was soon inundated with emails from folks with information about the show. He then posted this follow-up article where he presents his proof that they did indeed appear there on April 18th, 1975. It's an interesting little story. Thanks to Spindrifter for the heads up.

KnuckleBonz is an online company that creates realistic hi-end sculptures of various rock musicians. They currently don't have any Rush sculptures, but they have opened up voting to determine who should be the next addition to their Rock Iconz line of sculptures. You know what to do. To submit your vote for Rush send email to tellus@knucklebonz.com. Thanks to Peart#1 for the heads up.

Speaking of sculptures of Rush, reader Patrick W pointed me to this story in the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper about Canadians who are dedicated to getting statues of famous Canadians erected in and around Toronto. They list Geddy Lee among their suggestions for people to honor with a statue.

Sean related an interesting story to me regarding Neil Peart's original Tama Kit. The kit apparently is currently owned by a guy named Adam Roderick who won it in the Modern Drummer giveaway back in the 1980s. He uses the kit in tribute shows to Rush with his band Trilogy, but does not promote the fact that he uses Neil's old kit; it's sort of a little secret for those in the know. So if you're interested in seeing the kit up close and personal, go see Trilogy - that kit you will see is no replica, it's the real deal. Here are a couple videos of the kit in action with Trilogy; Armor and Sword, Chemistry.

And since it's the weekend, I'll end with a Rush beer reference. Reader scottc let me know about a website out of Minneapolis called Brew 52 that is dedicated to sampling a Minnesota brewed beer each week (a noble cause indeed). This week's beer is Flat Earth Cygnus X-1. From the description:

This robust English style porter has an add twist, rye. Rye is used in making Canadian whiskey. It was created as a tribute to our favorite band - Rush. Cygnus X-1 has a creamy mocha chocolate flavor with a hint of spice. It has a slightly dry finish leaving you wanting more. English hops balance out this 6.5% ABV beer. Now Available year round! SRM - 25, ABV 6.5%, IBU 40

Sounds tasty. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rush named Artist of the Year by the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame
10:30PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Progressive Rock Hall of FameThe Progressive Rock Hall of Fame project recently announced its awards for 2008 and Rush was named Progressive Rock Artist of the Year. Also, Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet - on which Alex Lifeson made a guest appearance - was named Progressive Rock Album of the Year. Here's a little bit about The Progressive Rock Hall of Fame project from their website:

The Progressive Rock Hall of Fame Project is not just another new site. Its purpose is to legitimately set in motion a real and viable way to honor those involved in music's highest artform - yet it has been sadly overlooked by most all of the other music organizations since its inception. Progressive Rock is music advanced to its highest level, lyrically, melodically and rhythmically. With this in mind we hope to unify this great form of music by providing not just a site but a home for all involved in this field from musicians, labels, radio stations, Progressive press outlets and fans of this genre. ...

The conception of The Progressive Rock Hall of Fame began when NARAS voting member Laurie Larson, learned that the only Progressive Artist on the list to nominate for a Grammy did not win. She was online with another NARAS voting member Jim Roberts and launched the site immediately. As the idea flourished she was joined by her friend Nick Katona. ...

Thanks to The B-Man for the heads up.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snakes & Arrows Live from Rotterdam double CD
11:19AM EST | link | comments (87) |

Rush.com just sent out an email advertising the upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live double CD. They confirm the release date as April 8th and give the tracklist - information we already knew. But the new bit of information is the confirmation that the audio is indeed from the 2 shows that were recorded in Rotterdam last October, as we had suspected. For the sake of completeness, here's the tracklist again:

Disc 1
1. Limelight
2. Digital Man
3. Entre Nous
4. Mission
5. Freewill
6. Monkey Business
7. Larger Bowl
8. Secret Touch
9. Circumstances
10. Between the Wheels
11. Dreamline
12. Far Cry
13. Workin' Them Angels
14. Armor and Sword

Disc 2
1. Spindrift
2. The Way the Wind Blows
3. Subdivisions
4. Natural Science
5. Witch Hunt
6. Malignant Narcissism - Drum Solo
7. Hope
8. Distant Early Warning
9. The Spirit of Radio
10. Tom Sawyer
11. Encore
12. One Little Victory
13. A Passage to Bangkok
14. YYZ

You can pre-order the CD throught the Music Today pre-order site or various other online vendors such as Amazon.

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New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
10:01AM EST | link | comments (13) |

Tourbook Collection[Win A Special Edition Of The Complete Tourbooks!!]

The Rush Backstage Club has a new contest up. This time you could win a special limited edition version of the Complete Tourbooks collection. From the website:

This is an ULTRA-LIMITED edition of "Rush - The Complete Tourbooks". This book is one of only 5 copies debossed with a special red foil on the cover. 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 red 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.

This contest closes on March 15th. To sign up go here. Good luck!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Rush tops list of bands whose music should be turned into a movie
9:55PM EST | link | comments (51) |

[10 Other Bands Whose Music We'd Like To See Turned Into a Movie]

UPDATE - 2/19@9:34AM: I should note that there was a 1985 animated television movie (it was just 30 minutes long though) called The Body Electric that used and was inspired by the music of Rush.

FilmCritic.com currently has a feature up on their home page titled 10 Other Bands Whose Music We'd Like To See Turned Into a Movie. The list was inspired by last year's Beatles-inspired rock musical Across the Universe (recently released on DVD) where filmmaker Julie Taymor stitched together a film based on dozens of unrelated Beatles songs. Topping their list was ... Rush! Here's what they had to say:

It's hard not to cheat since some of the Canadian supergroup's classic albums from the '70s tell entire stories on their own. But we'll bypass 2112 mysticism to cobble together a post-modern story of an oppressed society ("Red Sector A") ruled by evil corporations ("The Big Money") which inspires an impressionable, young kid ("Tom Sawyer") to break free of his shackles ("New World Man") through the power of music ("Spirit of Radio," "Limelight")... and a fast car ("Red Barchetta"). OK, fine, and then he goes into space ("Cygnus X-1"). Think The Matrix with singing.

I'm all for it! It should be noted that bands who already created their own rock operas or stage productions based on their music were disqualified from the running (The Who, Pink Floyd, ABBA, etc). Thanks to strangedevice for the heads up.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

NeilPeart.net book club update
10:08AM EST | link | comments (25) |

[Bubba's Book Club: ISSUE 9 - February, 2008]

It's been a while but Neil Peart finally added a new installment to the Bubba's Book Club section of his website. This time he reviews This Is Your Life by John O'Farrell, The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud, Unfinished Journey: Twenty Years Later by Yehudi Menuhin, This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin and Metal Swarm: The Saga of Seven Suns - Book 6 by Neil's friend Kevin J. Anderson. He also ends by giving us a homework assignment:

One way in which Bubba's Book Club is like a real book club is that many of these titles have been suggested by other people, friends and strangers alike, and sometimes they were gifts. So thank you to those contributors.

Also, it occurred to me that I might "assign" some future titles for the Book Club, for any interested readers who would like to "read ahead."

I confess that the main reason for such a lame idea is that there are a couple of books I really want to recommend to others as soon as possible, but don't have time to do the author justice right now.

I refer to two linked novels by Newfoundland author Wayne Johnston, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, and The Custodian of Paradise.

A few years back I was asked to contribute to a year-end newspaper article on "my favorite book of the year." If I had been asked last year, I would have named these two.

Enough said. Check them out. (Of the library, or better yet, buy them. Support the poor, deserving author.)

Thanks to Nettie for the heads up.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:13PM EST | link | comments (32) |

Other than the ticket sales and tour updates, there wasn't much in the way of Rush news happening this past week. They lost another Grammy - that was about it.

I also attempted to address some of the more frequently asked questions I've been getting from readers lately; regarding the live DVD and South American dates. No solid information on either front, but it looks like we'll probably see the DVD by the fall, and that South American dates are unlikely to happen.

I've also received a few questions regarding a couple of documentaries that are in the works. The first is a 5-part documentary series shot this past summer during the Canadian leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour that I'd first mentioned back in December. The series is called Backstage Secrets and each one-hour episode follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was filmed in high-def and was originally slated to air this month, although there's been no word of air dates yet. I'm working on getting some info on this and will report it here as soon as I get it.

The other documentary in the works is Sam Dunn's (of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey fame) Rush: The Documentary project. There's no new information on this front either. Last we heard they were calling out to fans to provide rare video footage and interviews, and were aiming for a late 2008 release.

Remember those Neil Peart R30 commemorative drumkits? Back in late 2006 Guitar Center teamed up with Drum Workshop and Sabian cymbals to produce thirty limited edition replicas of the drumkit Neil Peart used during the R30 tour. Well... they finally sold out! So you lost your chance if you wanted one. Thanks to Andy O for the heads up, who has a few of these kits displayed on his Neil Peart site in the replicas section.

Andy also recently posted a very rare photo of Neil Peart's drumkit circa 1974-5 that he had received from Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com.

I missed this last week, but February 1st marked the 10th anniversary of the Power Windows site residing in it's current home on the 2112.net servers. A big congratulations to the site owner/operator Eric, and a hearty thanks for all he does for the online Rush community. I've gotten to know (as much as you can get to know somebody without ever meeting them) Eric via emailing back and forth over the last couple of years, and he is a very nice guy with a great website. To mark the occasion, Eric updated his Power Windows website original Rush art gallery Desktop wallpaper image and made it also available in a widescreen format. Thanks Eric!

Speaking of the Power Windows site, there were a couple of recent additions to the Rush references in pop culture page that I thought I'd note here.

Freedom is a Japanese anime series from legendary producer Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame). In the first scene of Volume 6 of the series (released on January 25th, 2008) the main character is seen wearing a space suit with an Apollo 18 mission patch embroidered with the names Lee, Lifeson, Peart. Check out the screenshot here.

The other reference is from Season 3 (episode #46 - first aired on October 8, 2007) of the Chris Rock sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. During this episode titled Everybody Hates Caruso, Tom Sawyer begins to play when the bully Caruso begins to fight the Asian student, Yao, in the school corridor.

Greg Russell is the web designer behind Neil Peart's website NeilPeart.net and his company Tandem Digital also created the Swingin' Serpents video that was played during Neil's drum solo on the Snakes & Arrows tour. Reader brian andonian just alerted me that this video is posted up on the Tandem Digital website.

There are a few desktop wallpaper images posted in the Rush.com Multimedia downloads section that I was just made aware of. They are live pics from the 2007 tour. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.

The Adventures of Power movie (see this post) website has been updated with several new links and a bunch of review snippets, including one from yours truly. Check it out here.

The Gibson Alex Lifeson ES-355 is now up on the Guitar Center and Musician's Friend websites. The MSRP is $5645! ... although it's been discounted to $3699 on both sites. So if you have some money to burn, you can now own one of these babies. Here's a snippet from the item description:

The Alex Lifeson ES-355 features a maple body, 3-piece maple neck, '57 Classic pickups with individual volume and tone controls, and a Maestro Long vibrola tailpiece. It would be the consummate prog rock machine even if it weren't the chosen axe of the Rush guitarist, but because it is, you know it's got the goods. The Vibrola is one of the least wood-invasive tremolo options, keeping the belly of this archtop guitar remarkably pristine and preserving it's natural resonance. The Alex Lifeson Signature ES-355's individual volume and tone controls for each of the '57 Classic pickups give you full reign over the wide spectrum of tones of which these faithful Alnico II replicas of the 1950s PAF humbuckers are capable. ...

Thanks to ewayte for the heads up.

That's it for now. Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rush 2008 tour ticket sales update
4:02PM EST | link | comments (15) |

S&A liveRound 4 of the Music Today fan pre-sale ended earlier today although several Live Nation/radio station presales are ongoing and will continue through 10PM this evening (local venue time) for the Canadian shows in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver. For all four of the Live Nation pre-sales the password is MUSIC (thanks Brett L). Hopefully you all saw these; I had them up in the tour section yesterday. The Winnipeg show also has another pre-sale running that's just listed at TicketMaster as various. The AMEX (front-of-the-line) pre-sales for these dates ended yesterday, but there is an AMEX pre-sale which began this morning and runs through tomorrow night for the Atlanta show.

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale tomorrow:

May. 24: MTS Center - Winnipeg info
May. 25: Brandt Centre - Regina info
May. 27: Rexall Place - Edmonton info
May. 29: GM Place - Vancouver info

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale Saturday, February 16th:

Jul. 7: Mohegan Sun - Uncasville info
Jul. 22: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Alpharetta info

After this weekend tickets for all shows will be on regular sale except for St. Paul, Kansas City, Montreal, St. Louis, Toronto, Bristow and Charlotte. Right now there are no on-sale dates given at all for the St. Paul, Montreal and Toronto shows. So unless they suddenly decide to put these on-sale next weekend we should have next week off for the Music Today fan pre-sales, since nothing else is currently slated to go on-sale then.

Just a quick note/reminder that all times given on this site and Ticketmaster are LOCAL to the venue.

I've been getting a lot of questions from fans about the South American and Mexican dates, and - unfortunately - I don't have anything promising to report. So I thought I'd recap what we know at this point. The first unofficial mention of South American dates (Brazil particularly) was from a Brazilian metal magazine back in December of 2006. The magazine claimed that Rush had been confirmed to play some dates there in 2007. That obviously didn't happen, but then Alex Lifeson chimed in a month or so later. In a January, 2007 radio interview with Jeff Burrows he stated the 2007 tour would continue into 2008 after a Christmas break and that they'd be hitting South America. This information was then solidified in an April, 2007 interview with Q107 where Geddy and Alex answered fan-submitted questions. So there's no question that they had plans early on to hit some South American dates if possible.

I first received word from my industry sources regarding South American dates in early November. At that time they were telling me that Rush planned to spend at least a couple of weeks touring down there. This information then seemed to have been confirmed shortly after by a couple of Chilean newspapers along with dates of early May thrown out.

Then the official tour announcement press release came out and this is where all the confusion began. There was no mention of South America and it seemed like some other dates had shifted around too (the tour was to kickoff in Puerto Rico rather than Atlantic Canada as I'd previously heard). But shortly after this I received my first look at a venue list and on it were 7 South American dates. Not more than a week later, a Chilean paper reported that the South American dates were in question. My head was really spinning at this point. Although I checked with my sources and - at the time - they did not see any evidence that those dates had been cancelled.

Fast forward a couple weeks to the official tour date announcement. Again, no mention of South America. This worried me. So I worked my sources some more and got this info:

From what I'm hearing South America is still on. Be comforted by the fact that the band doesn't even mention it at all in their press release. No news is good news. Right now they are still attempting to work out the logistics. The original plan was to move from Puerto Rico to South America and then Mexico. This plan got completely turned on its head in recent weeks. I'm not clear on the specific issues involved in why the South American dates had to be shifted out to August, but that's what happened. So right now they are trying to confirm dates/venues and if/when they do, I'm sure they'll let us know.

And that's where things have stood for the past few weeks. But just recently I received a couple of anonymous emails telling me that South America is now out, although I've been unable to independently confirm this. That's pretty much where it stands right now; in limbo. Unfortunately we probably have to assume that the band will not be taking the tour to South America unless we hear otherwise via an official announcement of some kind from the band. If anyone has any information to the contrary, please let us know.

And as a reminder, Music Today has graciously offered to run a promotion exclusively for Rush Is A Band readers - just like on the last leg. Three lucky readers will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition Rush T-Shirt. To enter the Rush Is A Band T-Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com.

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Music Today the week of March 4th - March 8th. A big thanks to Music Today for doing this again - it was a big success on the 2007 leg.

That's all for now. I should have some more non-tour-related updates tommorrow. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rush live DVD status?
10:35PM EST | link | comments (38) |

UPDATE - 2/14@2:45PM: I just received info from a source that the DVD has been given a tentative release date of August, 2008. That's a ways off though, so I wouldn't be surprised if that changes. But it sounds like we should see it by end-of-year at the latest.

UPDATE - 2/14@7:19AM: I'd also meant to remark about the band's rumored desire to film one of the shows on the upcoming leg in IMAX. I'd first heard that rumor back in December but haven't heard any further details. I'm not sure how that figures into all of this, but I thought I'd mention it again.

Ever since Rush announced the release of their upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live release last month I've been getting a lot of questions from readers about the status of the promised live DVD that was filmed in Rotterdam. I don't really have any new information about this, but since so many have asked I thought I'd recap what we know and maybe speculate a little.

We first heard rumblings that Rush would be filming one of the shows for a live DVD back during the first leg of the tour. Then shortly before the Rotterdam shows back in mid-October Rush.com sent out an official mailing stating the following:

Finally, RUSH will be filming a LIVE concert DVD in Rotterdam October 16th and 17th. For more information on this project, stay tuned to the Rush.com email blasts and the website.

And they did indeed film both shows. Neil Peart remarked about the filming in his November 2007 News post on his website:

... we had a day off before a pair of shows at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Those performances would be filmed and recorded for an upcoming concert DVD, and having seventeen cameras and a recording truck present is always a little unsettling. You just never know if the added pressure is going to be inspiring, or nerve-racking. On that occasion, Alex and Geddy and I were fairly ecstatic to feel that we played really well on those two nights. All things considered, they may have represented the true climax of the tour. Sure, there were many satisfying shows among those sixty-four performances, I am glad to report, but those two are permanent. ...

So the shows were recorded and the band was pleased with the outcome. Then in November Snakes & Arrows sound engineer Richard Chycki stated that he was working on the live DVD in an interview with BW&BK. He also stated the following in a post on his blog from late November.

As mentioned by Neil Peart and reiterated by countless Rush-fan blogs, a new Rush DVD is in the works chronicling the latest Snakes & Arrows tour. I'm excited to be part of the team once again and hope you all enjoy the final result! ...

Also in November I'd received info from one of my sources that the band would be releasing the Workin' Them Angels single to coincide with the tour announcement in mid-January, and planned to release a video for the song which would use portions of the video recordings from the live DVD that was filmed in Rotterdam. I didn't put two and two together at the time, but it would make sense that if they were to use video from a live version of the song, the single itself would be a live version. Obviously there has not been a single or video released - at least not yet... and they threw us a curveball by announcing the release of the live CD. I thought maybe I'd just gotten the timing mixed up. This prompted me to go back and dig up the email where my source first mentioned the WTA single and video to me and see if there were some details that I may have glossed over at the time - and there were a couple. First off, they had said the single/video would be launched with the tourdates - not launched to coincide with the tour announcement. I had just interpreted it that way. This could obviously mean it would be released in the run-up to the tour in April instead - so we may still see it. Apparently the whole video thing was being pushed by the record label as something to help market the '08 dates. And my source explicitly told me that although the video would be taken from the DVD, the DVD itself would not be released at that time. There was no indication of what form this video would take however. Would it be an MTV-style music video? An internet-release? Or purely just a promotional video? There also was absolutely no mention of a live CD being planned. Maybe that was just the missing piece of information that tied everything together.

All we know about the live CD at this point is that the tracklist is the entire show and it comes out April 8th. We don't know if it's the audio from Rotterdam or not, but I'm betting that it is. It's the only show(s) they officially recorded, the band was happy with the outcome and Richard Chycki had been working with the recordings since late last year. I think it's pretty safe to assume the audio is from Rotterdam.

Now for the speculation. It's certainly possible that Rush planned all along to first release the audio from Rotterdam as a live CD, then release the live DVD later - probably in the fall. This certainly makes sense from a marketing perspective; more stuff for fans to buy = more $$$. Also, the band has stated in the past that they prefer to have some kind of album to support when they go on tour. And even though this was billed as an extension to the Snakes & Arrows tour, they may have felt more comfortable having something new to support. And one other thing - I'm fairly sure that this live album will fulfill their obligation to Atlantic records. So maybe they wanted to finally burn that bridge. Whatever their reasons regarding releasing the live CD at this time, it seems fairly clear that we will see the live DVD eventually - likely by year's end. We'll just have to wait and see I guess. I'll try to get some more concrete information in the meantime.

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Colbert Report Rush sighting
9:55AM EST | link | comments (76) |

Rush on Colbert ReportThere was a fairly major Rush sighting on last night's Colbert Report on Comedy Central. In a segment where Colbert is discussing Rush Limbaugh's influence on the Republican electorate he mentions how John McCain is winning in the Republican presidential primaries despite being opposed by major talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh. He states that this has a lot of people questioning the influence of Rush. Immediately after saying this, a clip of Rush (the band) from their Tom Sawyer video plays. He then interrupts and says Jim, Jim [his director] ... not that Rush. He then goes on about Limbaugh and says ... is Rush [Limbaugh] no longer living in the limelight?. You guessed it... then a clip of Rush's Limelight video plays. He then interrupts again saying Jimmy, Jimmy, that's enough ... stop! I apologize. As you can see my director is a big fan of Rush. He has Geddy Lee posters all over his office.... You can watch the clip below; it begins a couple minutes in. Thanks to AK and the2112 for the heads up.

          

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Music Today fan pre-sale for the upcoming week
1:41PM EST | link | comments (60) |

UPDATE - 2/11@1:59PM: This just in: The Canadian dates are also finally up on Ticketmaster Canada. And there are AMEX pre-sales (aka Front-of-the-line pre-sales) going on right now that began this morning. Check the tour section for details. Thanks to Armeee for the heads up.

We already were informed of the fan pre-sale information for this week last Friday, but here is the official announcement from Music Today along with all the details about the Snakes & Arrows Live pre-order promotion, and the t-shirt giveaway contest specifically for RUSH is a Band readers. Also note that Music Today is selling pre-sale tickets to the Canadian concerts through a different website URL than for the US dates. The Canadian URL is included in the text below next to each one of the Canadian dates. However, you should not need to re-register for the Canadian dates if you had already registered prior to last Friday for the US dates; your US login will work (you should double check just to be sure though).

Tickets for the following RUSH concerts are going on sale through the RUSH ticket Pre-Sale on Tuesday, February 12th at 10AM (local venue time).

5/24 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM CST - Buy Tickets

5/25 - Regina, SK - Brandt Centre:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM CST - Buy Tickets

5/27 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM MST - Buy Tickets

5/29 - Vancouver, BC - General Motors Place:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM PST - Buy Tickets

7/7 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM EST - Buy Tickets

7/22 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park:
on sale Tues., Feb. 12th at 10AM EST - Buy Tickets

Don't fret if your city's ticket Pre-Sale is not listed above - please stay tuned to "RUSH Is A Band" for additional RUSH Pre-Sale ticket announcements!!! More ticket Pre-Sales will be announced for RUSH's 2008 tour over the next few weeks - please keep checking "RUSH Is A Band" frequently for the latest Pre-Sale ticket information!!!

Direct Link to the current RUSH Pre-Sale Tour Itinerary - please click here

RUSH Presale Registration Instructions

1. Visit the RUSH Presale Website and enter your email address in the box where it says "Enter Email Address"

2. You will receive an e-mail from Tix@musictoday.com entitled "Rush Fan Community Email Validation." Open this e-mail and visit the validation link included in the e-mail.

3. You will then be redirected from the validation e-mail link back to the RUSH Presale Website. The registration for presale tickets is now complete (Note: You will have to enter your e-mail address again during a later step in the process to purchase tickets.)

All fans who purchase RUSH pre-sale TICKETS in addition to pre-ordering the CD OR t-shirt combo will be entered into the RUSH Snakes & Arrows Contest!!!

* Grand prize winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased. Every city will have one meet and greet winner!

* 5 First Prize winners will receive a HARD COVER TOUR BOOK, comprising of every RUSH tour program from 1977-2004. The book will be personally autographed to the winners by the band. In addition, each of these 5 winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased.

More Prizes

Three lucky "RUSH Is A Band" fans will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition RUSH T Shirt. To enter the "RUSH Is A Band" T Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com:

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Musictoday the week of March 4th - March 8th.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rush passed over at the Grammys once again
6:43PM EST | link | comments (115) |

Rush lost the Grammy for the Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the pre-telecast Grammy Award ceremony in Los Angeles this afternoon. The song Malignant Narcissism off of their 2007 album Snakes & Arrows had been nominated along with The Ecstasy Of Gold from Metallica, Always With Me, Always With You from Joe Satriani, The Attitude Song from Steve Vai, and the winning entry - Once Upon A Time In The West from Bruce Springsteen. It was the 5th time in their career that they had been nominated in this category, and the 5th time they have lost. Rush's past nominations in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category were for YYZ in 1981, Where's My Thing? in 1992, Leave That Thing Alone in 1995 and O Baterista in 2004. No surprise really.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:17PM EST | link | comments (79) |

UPDATE - 2/9@10:44AM: I mentioned below that the Grammys are this weekend, but forgot to say that the Rock categories - including Best Rock Instrumental Performance for which Rush is nominated - will be given out earlier in the day at the pre-telecast ceremony. This ceremony will be webcast at Grammy.com between 1PM and 3:30PM PST on Sunday.

The third round of Music Today pre-sales for the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour ended yesterday and the next round were announced late this afternoon, including 4 of the Canadian dates, the Mohegan Sun show, and the Atlanta show.

In my last poll I asked everyone how many shows they'd be attending on the 2008 leg. About a third of you are just attending one show, another third 2 shows. 16% of you are attending 3 shows, 9% 4-5 shows, 6% aren't attending any, 2% 6-7 shows, and 5 folks will be attending 8 or more shows. In this next poll I'm asking you all how you'll be obtaining tickets. Take the poll and let us know.

Even without all the tour news, it was a busy week in Rush-land. Earlier this week we learned that the new Snakes & Arrows Live CD would be released on April 8th, and just last night the tracklist was revealed ... and it's the entire show!

This past weekend I posted my mini-interviews with guitarist Chris Herin of Tiles and legendary Rush producer Terry Brown. Tiles just released their latest album Fly Paper and Terry Brown produced it. Chris and Terry talk about the album, Rush and other topics. If you missed it you can check it out here.

On Monday I told you about Tough Break - the unreleased Rush collaboration with legendary roadie Jack Secret. The tune was recorded back during the mixing of Exit ... Stage Left. Neil Peart mentioned the track in the Signals tourbook and ever since it has been the stuff of Rush legend. But just recently it finally found its way onto the internet. If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to it here or use the player below.

Neil Peart recently penned a new article for Drum Workshop that was posted on their website earlier this week. It is the first in a series entitled The Heart and Soul of a Drumset. You can check it out here.

Last weekend I managed to get a screening of a new independent film from writer/director/actor Ari Gold called Adventures of Power. It's a quirky comedy about air-drumming which is chock full of Rush references and contains a cameo from Neil Peart at the end - he even says a couple of lines. You can read details about the film and my review of it in this post. There's also a great trailer up on YouTube.

The 50th annual Grammy Awards ceremony will take place this coming Sunday, February 10th at 8PM and air on CBS. Rush is up for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for Malignant Narcissism. This is the 5th time in their illustrious career that Rush has been nominated in this category, but they have never won. Maybe the 5th time is a charm.

Speaking of awards, Snakes & Arrows sound engineer Rich Chycki has been nominated for a Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammys) for his engineering work on Far Cry. The main cermony will be held at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Sunday, April 6th with a smaller ceremony in Calgary on Saturday, April 5th at the Telus Convention Centre. To check out an interview with Rush where he discusses working on Snakes & Arrows go to this post. Unfortunately Rush was not nominated for any Junos this time around. Thanks to Metal Tim at BW&BK for the heads up.

The Rush Backstage Club finally has a new contest up. You could win a hand-numbered Snakes & Arrows lithograph printed on heavy textured art paper. You can sign up for the contest at this link through February 15th. Good luck!

I mentioned the Between Sun and Moon website in my last update. And since Valentine's Day is less than a week away, I thought I'd mention it again. Between Sun and Moon sells unique jewelry handmade by a fellow Rush fan (Katy). All the pieces are inspired by Rush and named from their lyrics. Your order will come gift wrapped for free along with your personal gift card message. Even if your recipient isn't a fan, they will love a Valentine's Day gift from Between Sun and Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. RushIsABand readers will get Free Priority Shipping with any purchase over $30.00! Use discount code: RUSHISABAND at check out. Order before Monday February 11th to take advantage of this generous offer.

Geddy Lee will be a celebrity judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships this weekend in Toronto. For details, check out the press release.
And speaking of Geddy... did you know he has a Godson? Jhase Sniderman of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights is described as the godson of rock star Geddy Lee of Rush in this article. Thanks to robertkincaid96 at Counterparts for the links.

Reader 1-2-bucklemyshoe let me know that WPDH in New York had a rock and roll championship last weekend and Rush came out on top, defeating AC/DC in the finals, also defeating Pink Floyd, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin. Cool.

In my last couple of updates I pointed out 2 YouTube clips of Alex Lifeson playing at the 1993 and 1994 Kumbaya Festivals. Well, snowdog2113 let me know that he played at the 1995 festival too. Here's the clip.

Comedian Artie Lange appeared on David Letterman last Friday. During his interview he was talking about how broke he was from gambling, claimed that's why he was wearing the same cargo pants he wore at a Rush concert in 1981. :) Thanks to GotRush at The Rush Forum for the heads up.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend!

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Fan pre-sales announced for Canadian dates, Mohegan Sun, Atlanta
5:17PM EST | link | comments (19) |

S&A liveThe Rush.com mailing list just sent out a notice announcing the Music Today fan pre-sales for Canadian dates in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver; the Mohegan Sun show and the Atlanta show. What's odd is that all of these venues still don't even have the show listed on their websites... and Ticketmaster (US and Canada) doesn't have any of them listed yet either. I would assume that they'll be up there soon. Weird. Anyways, Music Today has a separate website for the Canadian dates set up at this url. It doesn't look like you need to re-register if you had already registered on their US site though (my account seemed to work at least) - although you may want to check that out for yourself. I've updated the tour section with the information.

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Snakes & Arrows Live tracklist revealed
7:24AM EST | link | comments (50) |

Earlier this week we learned that Rush's new double live CD Snakes & Arrows Live would be released on April 8th. Now we finally have the tracklist as well. The Music Today pre-order shop recently posted it on their website. Here it is:

Disc 1
1. Limelight
2. Digital Man
3. Entre Nous
4. Mission
5. Freewill
6. Monkey Business
7. Larger Bowl
8. Secret Touch
9. Circumstances
10. Between the Wheels
11. Dreamline
12. Far Cry
13. Workin' Them Angels
14. Armor and Sword

Disc 2
1. Spindrift
2. The Way the Wind Blows
3. Subdivisions
4. Natural Science
5. Witch Hunt
6. Malignant Narcissism - Drum Solo
7. Hope
8. Distant Early Warning
9. The Spirit of Radio
10. Tom Sawyer
11. Encore
12. One Little Victory
13. A Passage to Bangkok
14. YYZ

Looks like it's the entire show. Thanks to snowdog2113 for the heads up.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rush 2008 tour ticket sales update
11:46AM EST | link | comments (181) |

S&A liveUPDATE - 2/8@11:47AM: I missed one radio pre-sale; KGON is sponsoring one for the Clark County show on June 1st. It begins today at 10AM (PST) and you can get tickets at this link. The password is KGON. Many thanks to Xourque for the heads up.

UPDATE - 2/7@10:36PM: Reader salukiboricua reports from Puerto Rico that the local concert promoters there put out a press release in a local paper stating that Rush will arrive in Puerto Rico a full week prior to the show on April 11th to rehearse for the tour. As I've mentioned before, the band is keeping the 10th of April open for a possible second show depending on how sales for the one on the 11th go. Sounds like they'll be there in plenty of time for this to come about if the demand exists.

UPDATE - 2/7@10:10PM: The Concord radio pre-sale tomorrow is sponsored by 107.7 The Bone in San Francisco, and the password is PEART. Thanks to SouthShield Bob for the heads up.

UPDATE - 2/7@5:29PM: The password for the WEBN-sponsored pre-sale tomorrow for the Cincinnati show is FROG.

UPDATE - 2/7@4:41PM: The site has been experiencing technical issues all afternoon. They should be corrected soon Things are back up and running now (for anyone who cares, the site's primary DNS server crashed). Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE - 2/7@1:09PM: Oops.. I totally forget to mention the WDVE-sponsored radio pre-sale that is going on today until 6PM for the Pittsburgh show. To purchase tickets go here and use the password WDVE.

UPDATE - 2/7@12:34PM: The Noblesville show radio pre-sale password is WFBQ (thanks indyice8).

UPDATE - 2/7@12:01PM: It looks like Q95 out of Indianapolis is sponsoring the Noblesville pre-sale. No word on the password yet though. Thanks to scottw for the heads up.

Round 3 of the Music Today fan pre-sale is nearing completion (noon today local venue time) although several AMEX presales are ongoing and will continue through tomorrow for the shows in Woodlands, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Concord, Moline, The Gorge, Clark County, Philadelphia, Noblesville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Atlantic City, Saratoga Springs and Hershey. Remember, for the AMEX pre-sales the password is just the customer service 800 number (8003272177) on the back of your Gold Card.

There are radio pre-sales listed for the dates in Concord, CA on May 4th and Noblesville on June 25th that will be running tomorrow, but I have not been able to figure out who's sponsoring them yet. If you have any information, please let me know.

WEBN in Cincinnati is sponsoring a pre-sale for the Riverbend show tomorrow from 10AM to 6PM. No word on a password for this one yet - if you know it, let me know. Also, 93.5 WTPA FM in Central PA is sponsoring a pre-sale for the Hershey show tomorrow which will run from 10AM to 6PM. The password is FREEWILL.

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale tomorrow:

Jul. 2: Post Gazette Pavilion - Pittsburgh info
Jul. 5: Saratoga Performing Arts Center - Saratoga Springs info

Regular tickets for the following shows will go on sale Saturday, February 9th:

Apr. 20: Woodlands Pavilion - Woodlands info
Apr. 23: Frank Erwin Center - Austin info
Apr. 25: Superpages.com Center - Dallas info
Apr. 26: Ford Center - Oklahoma City info
May. 20: i wireless Center - Moline info
May. 31: Gorge Amphitheatre - George info
Jun. 1: The Amphitheater at Clark County - Ridgefield info
Jun. 3: Idaho Center - Boise info
Jun. 14: Wachovia Center - Philadelphia info
Jun. 25: Verizon Wireless Music Center - Noblesville info
Jun. 30: Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati info
Jul. 4: Marc Etess Arena - Atlantic City info
Jul. 17: Hersheypark Stadium - Hershey info

Regular tickets for the following show will go on sale Sunday, February 10th:

May. 4: Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord info

So after this weekend - outside of the 6 Canadian dates - tickets for all shows will be on regular sale except for St. Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis, Mohegan Sun, Bristow, Charlotte and Atlanta.

Just a quick note/reminder that all times given on this site and Ticketmaster are LOCAL to the venue.

My contact at Music Today has assured me that information on the Canadian dates will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Music Today will handle the pre-sale for these dates and it should run much like it did on the first leg where all the Canadian dates went on pre-sale at the same time. Check out this post and this post to see how it went on the first leg.

Unfortunately, my industry sources are telling me that ticket sales for the 2008 leg have not been all that great. As of a couple days ago, floor seats were still available through Ticketmaster for about 10 shows and there were over 3000 seats left for the Nokia show. They've sold on average 5-6 thousand seats for every show so far with the exception of Red Rocks which is sold out. If this keeps up, second shows at the Nokia, in Puerto Rico, Red Rocks or anywhere else are unlikely. My feeling is that if Rush does not do something on this leg to make the show significantly different from the first leg, ticket sales will continue to do poorly. They did state that they'd revamp the setlist when they originally announced the tour, but swapping out a few songs I don't think will cut the mustard. Now if they were do something like play all of Moving Pictures (including Camera Eye!) or play all of Hemispheres or something similarly earth-shattering... that would pull in the fans in droves. We'll see. Just to be clear, I have no inside info on the setlist yet - I'm just daydreaming/speculating. :)

There was a rumor not too long ago which was started by the annoyingly vague (but usually accurate) Drew2112 over at Counterparts where he stated on December 27th that:

I know people will get angry but the reason will be revealed soon as to what will make this tour extra special and why it will draw more than 2007 as far as attendance

He first assured everyone that the extra special thing was not that it would be a farewell tour. Drew then dropped several vague hints in the form of images and eventually quit the site on January 23rd after being berated by everyone for not being more specific. The hints could have meant just about anything, but most thought they might refer to songs in the setlist. December 27th was several weeks ago, and the only thing that Rush has announced has been the tour dates and the Snakes & Arrows Live CD. I really hope they drop a bomb on us in the form of a completely unexpected addition to the setlist. We'll see...

And as a reminder, Music Today has graciously offered to run a promotion exclusively for Rush Is A Band readers - just like on the last leg. Three lucky readers will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition Rush T-Shirt. To enter the Rush Is A Band T-Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com.

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Music Today the week of March 4th - March 8th. A big thanks to Music Today for doing this again - it was a big success on the 2007 leg.

That's all for now. I will have some more non-tour-related updates tommorrow.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Adventures of Power; Neil Peart's live-action film debut
12:00PM EST | link | comments (61) |

Adventures of PowerUPDATE - 2/6@3:30PM: I can't believe I'd missed this before, but there's a trailer for the film up on YouTube (thanks dinoman).

UPDATE - 2/5@1:11PM: LanceTheShred notes in the comments that Ari Gold (using his Power persona) competed in a competitive air guitar competition two years ago in Minneapolis. He was the only guy in US air guitar competition history to be disqualified for playing air drums instead of air guitar. He unexpectedly played 1 minute of Tom Sawyer and the crowd loved it. Here's the video.

Adventures of Power is a new indie film written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold (not to be confused with the Entourage character of the same name) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. I first heard of the film late last year when I was made aware of its internet movie database entry, which listed Neil Peart among the cast of characters playing himself in the film. Needless to say I was intrigued and dug up what I could about the film online. Writer/director Ari Gold is best known for his student-Oscar-winning 2000 short film Helicopter and has made several other short films in addition to acting in many indie flicks. Adventures of Power is his first stab at directing a full-length film. I recently managed to get a screening of the movie and was completely blown away. If you are a Rush fan and especially if you are a drummer, you will love this movie (I think Lance The Shred will particularly enjoy it). It is chock full of Rush references and yes ... a cameo from Neil Peart; his first speaking role in a live-action film.

Adventures of Power is a quirky, unconventional movie in the tradition of Napolean Dynamite (picture Napolean Dynamite meets Footloose meets Rocky) which only takes itself half-seriously most of the time but is also surprisingly touching at times. I'll attempt to summarize it while keeping a straight face; believe me - a difficult thing to do ... this movie is hilarious. It follows Power (played by Ari Gold), a nerdy copper miner from Lode, New Mexico who has a passion for drumming. He became hooked on the drums after hearing Tom Sawyer on the radio after his mother's funeral when he was a boy. The problem is that his father never allowed him to learn to play the drums - so he instead air-drums. Power lives in his hippie Aunt's (played by Jane Lynch) basement, which he has transformed into a shrine to Rush and Neil Peart (his hero). The highlight of his week is displaying his air-drumming prowess on talent night at his aunt's bar. Unfortunately nobody in his small town seems to appreciate his skill except for a local boy who Power has taken under his wing after the boy's father died. After the miners - led by Power's father (played by Michael McKean) - go on strike Power heads to Mexico to participate in an air-drum-off. While there he nearly dies attempting to air-drum Tom Sawyer and is spotted by an air-drum trainer (played by Steven Williams) from New Jersey who asks him to come to Newark to train with his air-drum team. The rest of the film chronicles Power's adventures getting to Newark and training for the ultimate air-drumming competition. Also starring in the film is Adrian Grenier as Power's rival and a sort of quasi-villain, and Shoshannah Stern as Power's love interest. I won't reveal the details of Neil Peart's cameo so as to not spoil anything, but he shows up towards the end of the film and says a couple of lines.

Since the film just debuted, it's too early to know where or when it will be shown in theaters. But there is a rudimentary website up where you can sign up for a mailing list, and a MySpace page has been created as well. You can also check out this great review from Quint at Ain't It Cool News and this Sundance interview (which I've also included below) with stars Ari Gold, Adrian Grenier and Shoshannah Stern. The interview also includes a few clips from the film. This is definitely a movie that Rush fans will enjoy.

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New Neil Peart Drum Workshop article
7:46AM EST | link | comments (43) |

Neil Peart and DW Drums[The Heart and Soul of a Drumset: Chapter One - Bass Drum Heartbeat]

Drum Workshop has a new article penned by Neil Peart up on their website which is the first in a series entitled The Heart and Soul of a Drumset. In this installment Neil talks about the 23-inch bass drum on his new Snakes & Arrows kit and how it came about.

... Once I got my hands - or my foot - on that 23-inch bass drum, I was sold. As John had suspected, it retains all the response and dynamics of the 22-inch, but adds the punch and bottom-end of a 24-inch. For me, the bass drum is the heart of the drumset, and this heart, like a good drummer, is both strong and sensitive. ...

As an added bonus there's also a video up where Neil discusses his X shell and hybrid kit and expounds on the great skill of John Good from DW Drums. Many thanks to Mark for the heads up.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Tough Break; unreleased Jack Secret collaboration with Rush
3:26PM EST | link | comments (25) |

[Tough Break]

UPDATE - 2/5@8:07AM: Apparently this mp3 version was ripped from a bootleg titled Power Run that was recorded at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on April 16th, 1986. It's listed as a bonus track called Tough Break by the Fab Pros which was recorded in 1981 at Le Studio by Rush and friends. Thanks to Burger King Diamond at Counterparts for the link.

Back during the mixing of Exit... Stage Left Rush along with crew members Jack Secret (aka Tony Geranios) and Skip Gildersleeve recorded a song written by Jack Secret called Tough Break, as chronicled in the Signals Tourbook by Neil Peart:

We were getting a little bored with inactivity. During the mixing
of "Exit... Stage Left" there was really not much for us to do except
say "it sounds good" or "it doesn't sound good".

I had been working down in the little studio, cleaning and renovating
an old set of Hayman drums that were kicking around, and had started working on a "Jack Secret" song with Jack and Skip from the crew. Geddy and Alex soon joined in on keyboards and rhythm guitar, and we later recorded the song ("Tough Break") up in the studio. ...
- Neil Peart

Per the the US copyright database there are 4 separate listings for a Dean Anthony Geranios (aka Jack Secret) including Tough Break and one other song called White Flag which has lyrics attributed to Neil Peart. Until recently I had never heard either of these songs.

Just over the past week, an mp3 version of the song Tough Break has been making the rounds online. I've received it via email from several readers already and there's a thread over at Counterparts discussing it. From what I understand it's definitely legit. So here it is. Make of it what you will.

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Music Today fan pre-sale for the upcoming week
11:56AM EST | link | comments (42) |

We already were informed of the fan pre-sale information for this week last Thursday, but here is the official announcement from Music Today along with all the details about the Snakes & Arrows Live pre-order promotion, and the t-shirt giveaway contest specifically for RUSH is a Band readers. I should also note that the Snakes & Arrows Live CD is being given a release date of April 8th according to Amazon.com (thanks Mark).

Tickets for the following RUSH concerts are going on sale through the RUSH ticket Pre-Sale on Tuesday, February 5th at 10AM. Click here to purchase tickets.

04/20/08 Houston, TX Woodlands Pavilion
04/23/08 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
04/25/08 Dallas, TX Superpages.com Center
04/26/08 Oklahoma City, OK Ford Center
05/04/08 Concord, CA Sleep Train Pavilion
05/20/08 Moline IL iwireless Ctr (formerly Mark of The Quad)
05/31/08 Seattle, WA The Gorge Amphitheatre
06/01/08 Portland, OR Clark County Ampitheatre
06/03/08 Boise, ID Idaho Center
06/14/08 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
06/25/08 Indianapolis, IN Verizon Amphitheater
06/30/08 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
07/02/08 Pittsburgh PA Post Gazette Amphitheater
07/04/08 Atlantic City, NJ TRUMP TAJ MAHAL/TAJ ARENA
07/05/08 Saratoga, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
07/17/08 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium

Don't fret if your city's ticket Pre-Sale is not listed above - please stay tuned to "RUSH Is A Band" for additional RUSH Pre-Sale ticket announcements!!! More ticket Pre-Sales will be announced for RUSH's 2008 tour over the next few weeks - please keep checking "RUSH Is A Band" frequently for the latest Pre-Sale ticket information!!!

Direct Link to the current RUSH Pre-Sale Tour Itinerary - please click here

RUSH Presale Registration Instructions

1. Visit the RUSH Presale Website and enter your email address in the box where it says "Enter Email Address"

2. You will receive an e-mail from Tix@musictoday.com entitled "Rush Fan Community Email Validation." Open this e-mail and visit the validation link included in the e-mail.

3. You will then be redirected from the validation e-mail link back to the RUSH Presale Website. The registration for presale tickets is now complete (Note: You will have to enter your e-mail address again during a later step in the process to purchase tickets.)

All fans who purchase RUSH pre-sale TICKETS in addition to pre-ordering the CD OR t-shirt combo will be entered into the RUSH Snakes & Arrows Contest!!!

* Grand prize winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased. Every city will have one meet and greet winner!

* 5 First Prize winners will receive a HARD COVER TOUR BOOK, comprising of every RUSH tour program from 1977-2004. The book will be personally autographed to the winners by the band. In addition, each of these 5 winners will receive a Meet-and-Greet opportunity for the winner and one guest in the city where tickets were purchased.

More Prizes

Three lucky "RUSH Is A Band" fans will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition RUSH T Shirt. To enter the "RUSH Is A Band" T Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com:

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Musictoday the week of March 4th - March 8th.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chris Herin of Tiles and Terry Brown talk Fly Paper, Rush
5:25PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Tuesday saw the release of Fly Paper - the new album from Detroit progsters Tiles. Alex Lifeson plays on the track Sacred and Mundane, Terry Brown produced it, and Hugh Syme did the artwork and played keyboards on a couple of tracks. As I'd mentioned earlier this week, both Tiles guitarist Chris Herin and producer Terry Brown were kind enough to answer a few questions for all of us here at RushIsABand.com.

First up, Chris Herin. Chris discusses Rush, their influence on his music, what it was like to meet Alex Lifeson, and how Tiles hooked up with Terry Brown.

RIAB: How did you become a Rush fan and what's your favorite Rush album?

CH: It was March 1976. I went to a friend's house to work on a science assignment - but it ended up being the catalyst for my musical development. He played Secret Treaties by Blue Oyster Cult; 2112; Kiss Alive; and a variety of Ted Nugent. I didn't really gravitate to 2112 until exactly the 3rd listen. Then it hit me. It was the power and the energy... Geddy's voice and the intricacies of the drums - and of course the guitar playing. It was heavy - but not a "distorted" heaviness that is prevalent today. I saw my first Rush concert from the 3rd tier of Cobo Arena in Detroit January 10, 1977. I barely made it because I couldn't drive and had to find someone who could! The ticket was $6.50... and I've been a fan ever since.

Favorite Rush album(s)? 1975 - 1982... with a nod to Counterparts, Vapor Trails and Snakes & Arrows. I like all Rush albums, don't get me wrong... the songwriting and musicianship always deliver; I just prefer the progressive-polyrhythmic-fusionish material to more straight ahead melodic pop-rock songs.

RIAB:What specific influence has Rush had on your music and personal playing style?

CH: Rush hasn't been the huge songwriting influence as people suspect. Yes, they're clearly part of my musical cellular structure - but blended in with Elton John, Led Zeppelin; Jethro Tull; Kansas; Rabin-era Yes; and other influences. I have an extensive background in jazz and jazz fusion. So when Rush went in that direction between 1977 and 1981 I really took a fancy to that aspect of their playing. I always find it interesting that so many Tiles reviews claim we sound like late-80's early-90's Rush... which is decidedly not the era of Rush that influenced me.

However, I did spend untold hours learning the guitar parts to every Rush song from 1974 to 1984... (once the keyboards really took over there wasn't as much guitar to latch on to). For some reason, I found myself in bands where I needed to find a way to fill out the sound - so Alex's use of arpeggios, pedal tones and suspended chords became a part of my playing vocabulary.

RIAB: How did you hook up with Terry Brown and what's he like to work with? Do you plan to continue working with him in the future?

CH: After our first CD we were looking for a way to take our professionalism to the next level. We approached several "name" engineers about mixing our second CD "Fence the Clear" and Terry was the most responsive. Of course, working with him was a great experience and lead from one project to the next. He simply has a great set of ears and an ability to keep things organic and realistic. He has a sonic philosophy that his contemporaries from the 1970's share. It's what makes Led Zeppelin, early-Elton John, Hendrix, Cream, Queen and other recordings from that era timeless. It's less about perfection and more about emotion and communication. We're focusing on promoting "Fly Paper" right now so we're not sure what the future holds for a potential Tiles #6 - but certainly working with Terry is always a possibility...

RIAB: I know you were able to meet Alex before the Detroit show last year. What was that like and what did you chat about?

CH: Alex is a humble guy - he plays guitar and writes songs in a band that's revered all over the world; but he doesn't exude any of the standard celebrity vibe. He may as well have been chatting to us about landscaping or plumbing... he's the proverbial "regular guy". We talked about amps, guitars, golf, working with Terry (he was unsure how the session would go since they hadn't worked together in so many years - but he had a great time with Sacred & Mundane...). It was encouraging for him to say that he could hear Rush was an influence of ours - but that we had taken that influence in different directions.

RIAB: What are your tour plans for the upcoming year?

CH: We are discussing options with a booking agency to tour through the Midwest and Northeast US this spring - besides doing a bunch of shows in southeast Michigan. It all really depends on how well "Fly Paper" is initially received, since that tells the record company if there's enough interest in the marketplace for us to draw an audience... Certainly, we're willing and able to tour Europe again if the opportunity arises.

Next up, legendary Rush producer Terry Brown (aka Broon). I had about a thousand questions floating around in my mind for Terry, but I managed to whittle it down to 8. :) Terry talks about working with Tiles, working with Alex after nearly 25 years, Snakes & Arrows and what he's currently up to.

RIAB: Since the end of your working relationship with Rush back in the early 80s you've worked with a number of talented artists including Blue Rodeo, Fates Warning, Matthew Good, Alannah Myles, Voivod and - of course - Tiles, who you first worked with on 1997's "Fence the Clear". How did this come about and what qualities did the band and their music possess that first attracted you and caused you to continue working with them from that point forward?

TB: Our first introduction was through a phone call from Chris Herin - we had a good conversation, Chris making me aware of his band and their wish to have me mix their up-coming release. He sent me old and the new material - I liked what I heard and agreed to do the mix. We had a great time working together and the relationship developed over the years and CDs. TILES are all good players who are willing to do their music, their way, with no compromises - it works for me.

RIAB: What in particular about Fly Paper sets it apart from earlier Tiles albums, and what was your favorite part about working on it?

TB: We made a conscious effort to be leaner and meaner on this CD - thank God, because in the end it became quite the production, but very focused - I think. We did less pre-production this time around thereby keeping things more spontaneous when cutting beds off the floor - we also had the luxury of spending more time in the studio to cut tracks.

RIAB: How did the collaboration with Alex Lifeson on the track Sacred and Mundane come about? Was there something about this song in particular that you thought Alex could add something to? Or did Alex gravitate to this song on his own?

TB: I approached Alex to see if in fact he would be up to playing on FlyPaper - he said, "of course" and then I forwarded him three tracks that we thought would be most suitable - the original intent was to have Alex do a solo for one of the tracks, but he was more interested in texturing a track. We got together and Alex jammed along with Sacred and Mundane and asked me what I thought - well... it needed little discussion since it was killer to my mind; I love what he came up with.

RIAB: It had been about 25 years since you'd last worked with Alex Lifeson (am I right on this?). From your perspective, how has Alex's style and approach to music changed over the years? Or has it?

You would be correct there... 25 years - incredible! Alex has matured
and perfected his effortless style of punchy, complex playing, but I
would not say he has changed. He is still pumping out the excitement as witnessed on the last tour and, of course, on Sacred.

RIAB: Many have touted Rush's latest album Snakes & Arrows as a "return to form" in that it incorporates a lot of musical elements from earlier eras of Rush. Do you agree with this statement? Their new producer Nick Raskulinecz - a huge Rush fan himself - is often accredited with pushing the band in this direction; pushing them to embrace their past while still moving forward. What do you think of the album and in particular the job that Nick Raskulinecz did?

TB: Well, firstly this is a guitar record - that's good! Guitars all over it, mandolins and backwards feedback - great sounds. In fact I asked Alex who was playing keyboards - "that's guitars" he said with a grin. Nick did a great job and was totally into the band, I like it.

RIAB: My all-time favorite Rush album (favorite album period!) is 2112. I've heard you mention in other interviews that you'd like to do 2112 in 5.1. I believe Alex Lifeson had stated something similar in an interview last year. What are the chances of this happening?

TB: Very minimal I would say! For two reasons: Alex is pretty keen on mixing 2112 himself and secondly I don't feel 5.1 works without pictures. Although I love Dark Side of the Moon and Yellow Brick Road - to name but two that withstand repeated listens in 5.1. It's really all about melody and production and 5.1 is not going to change that significantly.

RIAB: Progressive rock has experienced a sort of "reawakening" in recent years with the success of newer bands like Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, Muse and many others. Are there any newer bands out that you particularly like and would potentially like to work with at some point?

TB: Run With the Kittens are without doubt my favourite "new" band, but not progressive in style, just in their approach to melody and lyrics (Jim Carrey meets Frank Zappa!).

RIAB: What projects are you currently working on and what future projects are planned?

TB: I am currently working on a Hindu Chant CD and have a progressive guitarist to mix in March - both very cool projects.

A very big thanks to both Chris and Terry for answering these questions. To learn more about Tiles and their past and current projects be sure to check out their website here. And to keep up on Terry Brown and all his projects, visit his website at this location.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:32PM EST | link | comments (65) |

I'm going to step away from the tour news for a moment in this post and cover all the other Rush news that happened this past week, and - of course - all the random Rush stuff too.

Tuesday saw the release of Fly Paper - the new album from Detroit progsters Tiles. Alex Lifeson plays on the track Sacred and Mundane, Terry Brown produced it, and Hugh Syme did the artwork and played keyboards on a couple of tracks. I submitted a few questions via email to both guitarist Chris Herin and producer Terry Brown. I'll have their answers up in a separate post over the weekend.

Working Man was released for the Rock Band video game on Thursday, which I'd mentioned back in this post. Tom Sawyer is a featured track included with the game and Limelight was released a few weeks back.

Atlanta startup company iVideosongs launched their eponymous website this past week. They sell virtual music lessons online, featuring paid video downloads of guitar pros demonstrating their playing technique. Big Al Lifeson is among these featured pros; you can learn how to play Limelight, The Spirit of Radio and Tom Sawyer directly from Lerxst himself. The videos have received rave reviews from fans thus far.

Andrew Olson has added a catalog of Neil Peart's writing to his Neil Peart site. It's a new section of the site with the goal of listing everything that Neil Peart has ever written for magazines, newspapers, websites, and other media. This is a very cool resource; Andy's site just keeps getting better and better. He has also added a new postcard to his Postcards from Neil section and made some tour-related updates.

You may already be familiar with the Between Sun and Moon website - it's on my links page and I usually give it a mention around Christmas and Valentine's Day. And guess what?! ... Valentine's Day is almost upon us. Between Sun and Moon sells unique jewelry handmade by a fellow Rush fan (Katy). All the pieces are inspired by Rush and named from their lyrics. Your order will come gift wrapped for free along with your personal gift card message. Even if your recipient isn't a fan, they will love a Valentine's Day gift from Between Sun and Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. RushIsABand readers will get Free Priority Shipping with any purchase over $30.00! Use discount code: RUSHISABAND at check out. Order before Monday February 11th to take advantage of this generous offer.

Burger King Diamond over at Counterparts found this great thread over at the Talk Bass Forum where Geddy Lee's bass tech Russ Ryan chimes in and talks about Geddy's setup.

Reader Brian U alerted me to this cool Rush group on photo-sharing site Flickr. It's a great place to upload and share all of your Rush and Rush-related photos. There's some neat stuff up there that is definitely worth checking out.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed you to this very cool clip of Alex Lifeson from the 1994 Kumbaya Festival where Alex plays All Along the Watchtower along with Tom Cochrane and others. It turns out he also performed at the 1993 Kumbaya Festival and the video of that performance is up on YouTube as well. Lerxst pumps out some blues and it also includes a short interview with Alex backstage before his performance as a bonus. You can check it out here. Thanks to binks for the heads up.

Reader bryce wanted me to let everyone know about a petition on Facebook that he started. It's a petition for all of the Rush completionists who want Anthem to release Test for Echo on vinyl. It's the only Rush release that has not been given that treatment. To sign the petition you have to be a Facebook member and go to this link.

For those of you who really liked the lost Power Windows demo mentioned back in this post from a few weeks ago, MitA put together some higher quality Flac versions of the files that you can get from this Counterparts thread.

My hometown classic rock station - Cleveland's WNCX 98.5 - is running a survey to determine what artists should be in their Classic Rock Hall of Fame. You can choose up to 20 artists from the list they provide and Rush is one of the choices. To vote go to this link. Thanks to fellow Northeast Ohioan Charles K for the heads up.

Progarchives.com recently asked all of their reviewers, collaborators, and admins what they thought were the best albums of 2007. Reader Stephen let me know that the results are in and Rush's Snakes & Arrows made the cut at #7. Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet (which Alex Lifeson played on) came in at #1.

Let's hope that none of us have the same experience as this Rush fan did when purchasing their tickets. Thanks to Phil for the link.

Blogger Merlin Mann of Kung Fu Grippe makes this interesting observation regarding the video for Rush's 1975 song Anthem off of the Fly By Night album in a recent blog post:

If this were Fantasia, at some point Geddy would hit Neil in the back of the head with that big ole Rick bass, and Neil's mullet would explode into 100 smaller, angrier mullets.

At least that's what it looks like in my dreams.

Thanks to Stephen D for the link. Speaking of Fly by Night, here's a pic of a Fly by Night Pick-up Truck that reader Spindrifter sent my way.

And as a reminder, Music Today has graciously offered to run a promotion exclusively for Rush Is A Band readers - just like on the last leg. Three lucky readers will be randomly picked to receive a Limited-Edition Rush T-Shirt. To enter the Rush Is A Band T-Shirt Giveaway, email the following information to riabbiggestfanzz@aol.com.

* First and Last Name
* T Shirt Size
* Age
* Mailing Address
* Phone Number

Email entries will be accepted until Friday, February 29th. Winners will be picked and notified by Music Today the week of March 4th - March 8th. A big thanks to Music Today for doing this again - it was a big success on the 2007 leg.

Have a great weekend everybody!

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