Archive: Blog Entries from December, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rush to tour South America in late 2009?
10:21AM EST | link | comments (136) |

UPDATE - 12/30@2:20PM: Many thanks to everyone who sent in a translation. Here's one from reader GeddyJr who happens to be a professional Spanish translator:

Rush is packing its bags for Chile

As with Queen, the station (Canal 13) got together with local producers and came to an agreement to bring the trio here in 2009. It's one of the most anticipated performances in recent memory.

Almost like Radiohead or Madonna, for years the arrival of the Canadian trio Rush has been one of the greatest unfulfilled promises of local megaevents and the confessed dream of an enormous community of devoted fans that grew up in the rock-and-roll virtuosity of the 70's.

Despite often the multitude of rumors (a while back it was said that they would come in May), the negotiations now offer solid evidence of progress. Eventos 13, the concert production office of Canal 13, met with two local producers almost a month ago and closed a financial deal for the group's debut in Santiago.

Initially, the plan was to bring the group here in March, but problems with the group's schedule and the abundance of events during that month precluded that possibility. The last date that was agreed upon is during the last few months of next year. [Translator's note: Keep in mind that the seasons are reversed in South America, so this will be a summer tour in late 2009.] The venue hasn't been decided yet, but industry sources are sure that the Canadians' elevated price tag and strong drawing power in Chile will demand an arena capacity of more than 15,000.

Even the National Stadium has been considered. Chile's last game in World Cup qualifying is during the first week of October, and the stadium's availability and capacity both make it the best choice for the event. Other options would be the Pista Atlética (Sports Stadium) or the Club Hípico (Horse Track), which will host Iron Maiden on March 22. Furthermore, managers of Calle Blanco Encalada have organized a meeting in the next few days with executives of UC-TV - the same people that agreed to participate in Queen's recent show in November, produced by DG Medios.

Rush's tour through Latin America, which will also include Brazil and Argentina, would be an incredible realignment of effort. The band closed its "Snakes & Arrows" tour on July 24 in Indianapolis and has said that they will rest in 2009. This could be a real treat for their South American fans, the greatest Rush fans in the world. Many Chileans traveled to Brazil in 2002 and appear in the DVD that the group recorded in that country.

----- snip -----

Chilean newspapper El Mercurio is reporting that Rush is in negotiations to tour South America sometime late next year. The article is in Spanish but from what I can glean from it, the band would potential play several dates at larger arenas (15000+) in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. If anyone is willing to translate the article, I'd really appreciate it; my Spanish is mediocre at best. The article talks about how originally the band was supposed to tour South America last May, as I'd reported on this site. It also mentions how this would be an unprecedented move since the band closed out the Snakes & Arrows tour back in July and have stated that they'd be taking most of 2009 off. Here's the original article in Spanish and here is the loose Google translation. If true, this is great news for all the South American fans. More as I learn it and I'll try to get a better translation of the article. Thanks to Hugo F for the heads up.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Geddy and Alex on That Metal Show
9:55AM EST | link | comments (49) |

UPDATE - 12/31@2:35PM: The entire episode is now up at the VH1 Classic website (thanks bruckler2112).

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were guests on last night's episode of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic. The show is a hard rock and heavy metal themed talk show hosted by DJ Eddie Trunk. Geddy and Alex appeared on the 7th and final episode of the show's inaugural season (outside of a best of show next week). Eddie gushed over the guys as they came out to Limelight playing in the background and immediately made it known how upset he is that Rush is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Geddy and Alex gave their standard reply of how it doesn't mean much to them whether they are inducted or not because they have no control over it. They then touched on a number of subjects including Rock Band (which Alex had discussed at length in this recent interview), the Snakes & Arrows DVD, why they've been filming and releasing to DVD their recent tours, comedy on stage and on their DVDs (Geddy explains the dryers and chicken rotisseries), and checking baseball scores during intermission (as shown in this preview video). After the first commercial break they then came back and talked about the band's longevity. They joked about how Neil was the new guy in the band and how they are thinking of finally starting to pay him. They then explained how their friendship is the main reason they've been able to keep the band together for 34 years, and talked a little about the early days of Rush. Alex mentioned how they are still into drugs ... prescription drugs. Alex and Geddy stuck around for the rest of the show and occasionally broke in with a comment or two. In the Throwdown segment, the question was who was the hotter video vixen Tawny Kitaen or Bobbie Brown. Geddy and Alex both voted for Tani - who won the Throwdown. In the What ever happened to segment they discussed White Lion's Vito Bratta. Eddie brought Geddy and Alex into the discussion and they talked a little about the business side of music and how Rush decided early on to split everything equally among the three members - which was a contributing factor as to why Rush has managed to stay together for so long. All in all the interview was very loose and funny with a lot of joking around. They should be posting the entire episode up on the VH1 Classic website in the next couple days.

Related Posts:
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show video preview]
[That Metal Show Throwdown: Rush Fans versus The Kiss Army]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show appearance air date]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show interview pictures]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show interview with Eddie Trunk]
[Alex and Geddy to be guests on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show]

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:37PM EST | link | comments (25) |

Not much happened this week with regards to Rush news due to the Holidays. About the only thing of significance was that this past weekend we got to see a preview of tomorrow night's Rush appearance on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show. Geddy and Alex will be the guests on the final episode of the show's inaugural season which airs tomorrow at 11PM EST.

In its fourth week of release the Snakes & Arrows DVD is hanging on in the top ten at #8 on the Billboard Top Music Video chart - down from its #5 position last week. I have a couple more stellar reviews to report. BlogCritics Magazine contributor Paul Roy gave the DVD 9 out of 10 stars for the performance and 10 for the production. Here's a snippet:

... Rush have just released what is probably their best concert DVD to date - and they have about 20 others to compare it to. Where other Rush DVDs have been frustratingly deficient in at least one key area, such as Rush In Rio's killer performance being marred by a crappy audio mix, Snakes & Arrows Live finally gets everything right. ...

You can read the entire review here. Tom Gibbs of Audophile Auditions gave the Blu-ray version of the DVD 5 stars. Here's what he had to say:

... Technically, this disc is just about flawless. The image quality of the Rotterdam concert is little short of magnificent, with superb image definition, excellent contrast and loads of detail in a very film-like presentation. Colors are bright and vibrant, but not oversaturated. The DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is also superb, but then so is the uncompressed PCM stereo - it's just a win-win for whatever your preference is. ... Very highly recommended - Rush fans will rejoice, and the uninitiated will probably quickly become converts. Five stars!

According to the National Post, Geddy Lee was recently spotted at Nota Bene restaurant on Queen Street in Toronto. He was there for a private tasting of three different vintages of Dom Perignon (2000, 1993 and 1990 Rose).

Here's a representation of Rush's 2112 album cover using an online Lite Brite clone application. :) Cool.

Reader coolphantom190 let me know that Rush's page on iTunes finally got a redesign.

That's about it. Have a Happy New Year everybody!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!
9:20AM EST | link | comments (39) |

Christmas StarmanAs I'd expected, there's not much is going on this week as far as Rush news goes. I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Saturnalia, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus, etc. I'll have the regular Friday updates for you tomorrow. If you just want to send holiday greetings to everyone or let us know about all the cool Rush swag you received in your stocking, please do so in the comments. Happy Holidays and Merry Rush-mas everyone!!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Geddy and Alex That Metal Show video preview
12:51PM EST | link | comments (58) |

[That Metal Show Sneaks: Rush - The Canadian's Favorite American Pastime]

VH1 Classic's new metal-themed talk show hosted by Eddie Trunk - That Metal Show - premiered November 15th and now has several shows under its belt. Geddy and Alex were interviewed for the show back in October and the interview will air next Saturday, December 27th. VH1 Classic recently made a 41-second video preview available on their website. The preview shows an exchange between the hosts and Geddy talking about how Geddy checks baseball scores during intermission at their shows. Thanks to The Muffster for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[That Metal Show Throwdown: Rush Fans versus The Kiss Army]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show appearance air date]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show interview pictures]
[Geddy and Alex That Metal Show interview with Eddie Trunk]
[Alex and Geddy to be guests on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show]

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Happy International Rush Day!
9:24AM EST | link | comments (21) |

Christmas StarmanUPDATE - 12/21@10:27AM: FYI for all the folks on Facebook: I created an event for International Rush Day here.

Today is the 21st day of the 12th month - often written as 21/12 in many parts of the world. The occasion has become a sort of unofficial Rush holiday in recent years. What better excuse do you need to listen to Rush all day long, watch Rush DVDs, wear Rush paraphernalia, etc? To make it especially significant, do something extra special at exactly 9:12PM this evening; 21:12 in military time. It's also the Winter Solstice (First Day of Winter) and Hanukkah begins at sundown. Happy International Rush Day!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:40AM EST | link | comments (75) |

A new Alex Lifeson interview and another news update from Neil Peart were the highlights of the past week in Rush news. Alex Lifeson spoke with Greg Prato of UGO.com's Music Blog last week and once again raised the topic of a B-sides Rush tour. He also reminisced about touring with Kiss in the early days, TV shows he's been watching lately and the band's future plans, echoing what he's been saying in recent interviews; that the band will be taking a break for most of the next year and possibly begin writing again in the fall. Alex also recently spoke with Artisan News Service about the popularity of video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero and how he believes these games are ultimately a good thing for Rush and for music in general. In his most recent News update at NeilPeart.net, Neil describes his recent 3-day motorcycle trip he took to Death Valley on his new BMW R1200 GS. We also learned earlier in the week that Neil Peart has donated some items to a charity auction for Little Kids Rock. The auction runs through December 24th and Neil Peart has 2 signed Pro-Mark drumsticks, 2 signed DW snare drums and 2 signed Sabian cymbals up for bidding. You can place your bid here.

Rush will be making a cameo in an upcoming film starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel called I Love You Man, set to release on March 20th. The first movie trailer for the film was recently released and it unfortunately doesn't show any part of Rush's cameo. However, there is a scene at about the 2-minute mark depicting the co-stars playing in a band and a picture of the 2112 album cover can be seen in the background. A couple of high quality screengrabs are also available over at IMDB.com (thumbnails above). The first is a more detailed image of the scene from the trailer I'd mentioned. In this image you can also see a King's Skull poster, a Caress of Steel album cover and an Exit...Stage Left album cover. The second image is of the main characters at a Rush concert.

Some Rush fans might remember Jason Segel from his role as Nick on the short-lived NBC show Freaks and Geeks, which contained many Rush references including Segel's character in this scene. Jason Segel also stars as Marshall Eriksen on CBS's How I Met Your Mother. Reader nevetsrush let me know of a small Rush reference in this past week's episode titled Little Minnesota (#75 - Season 4, Episode 11). Towards the end of the episode Marshall and Ryan goes to the Hoser Hut, a Canadian bar in New York City. If you look closely you can see a picture of Geddy on the wall, just to the right of a picture of Paul Schaffer. You can watch the entire episode online at this link.

In its third week of release the Snakes & Arrows DVD has dropped to #5 on the Billboard Top Music Video chart - down from its #2 position last week. Brian B pointed me to this 4-star review of the DVD from Jeff Miers of the Buffalo News. Here's an excerpt:

... this live collection, documenting the band's recent "Snakes & Arrows" tour, is stunning, a treat for both the ears and the eyes, unsurprisingly. What might surprise some is the wry, sometimes absurd humor that the band members trade in. There is a short film feature included here featuring all three members in a Mike Meyers-like parody that is side-splittingly hilarious. The set list is fantastic, too, drawing as it does from the band's entire career. A must-have for fans. ...

Then there's this 6 out of 6 review from Norwegian online webzine Panorama. It's in Norwegian, but reader John lets me know that the reviewer writes that the picture and sound quality on the DVD is among the best he has ever seen and heard. He also praises the Snakes & Arrows album and says it was one of the last year's true highlights.

Reader Chris noticed a Rush reference in this New Yorker article about indicted former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. At a recent fundraiser for his legal defense, there was a slide show tribute of officers fallen in the World Trade Center terrorist attack. The slideshow was introduced with the words Suddenly you were gone from all the lives you left your mark upon from Rush's Afterimage.

Reader rushmixtape5 let me know that on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last night there was an unflattering Rush reference. Conan was listing the cast for his True Life made-for-TV movie of the Rod Blagojevich scandal. Their cast list features Webster (Emmanuel Lewis) as President-elect Barack Obama, Stewie from The Family Guy as Rahm Emanuel, a lego man as Governor Rod Blagojevich, and ... Geddy Lee as Illinois State Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. Conan then declares don't cut to me I don't want to be associated with that!. Here's the video.

Reader State of Grace let me know that The Drum Channel is currently offering free registration! Neil Peart is heavily involved with The Drum Channel which broadcast the recent Buddy Rich Memorial Concert back on October 18th.

Eric Meyer pointed me to this 57-page, post-apocalyptic, Rock Band-inspired webcomic called My Name Is Might Have Been. I won't try to describe it - it's beyond description, but suffice it to say that the bass player character in the strip essentially worships Geddy Lee and makes several references to Saint Geddy. :) Give it a read if you're looking to kill some time.

Award-winning sportscaster Rich Morrata recently published a Best Of list on his blog in which Geddy Lee gets the nod for Best Love It or Hate It Voice. Thanks to nevetsrush for the heads up.

Back in May, I told you about a survey that long-time Rush fan, musician, musicologist and RIAB reader Chris McDonald had put together for a book he was writing on Rush. The book will be an academic (musicological) study of the group published by the Indiana University Press. The survey really helped him out and now he's asking if any RIAB readers can provide him with photos that he can use for the book. If you are interested and have any photos you can contact Chris at rush_survey@hotmail.com. Chris also wrote the article from the July 2008 issue of the academic journal Popular Music & Society that I'd told you about in an update a couple of weeks back. The article is titled Open Secrets: Individualism and Middle-Class Identity in the Songs of Rush. Here's the abstract for that article:

This article examines how the songs of the progressive rock group Rush can be understood as a manifestation of North American middle-class identity, and considers how individualism and escapism play integral roles in the formation of a largely male, middle-class, suburban world view. The article contextualizes and critiques the individualistic nature of middle-class identity, as it is presented by Rush in songs such as Subdivisions and Tom Sawyer.

I have a feeling things might be a little quiet for the next couple of weeks because of the Holidays. Happy Holidays to everybody and may you have a very merry Rush-mas! :)

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Alex Lifeson speaks out about Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Rush
7:46AM EST | link | comments (18) |

[RUSH GUITARIST LIFESON SEES GUITAR HERO SAVING MUSIC]

Alex Lifeson recently spoke with Artisan News Service about the popularity of video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero and how he believes these games are ultimately a good thing for Rush and for music in general.

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson said he sees Guitar Hero possibly saving music for the next generation. Rush recently released their Snakes And Arrows Live DVD, and many kids are familiar with the songs, not just from their parents, but from the Guitar Hero game and others like it. Kids are video gaming to songs like "Tom Sawyer," "YYZ," and others.

Lifeson said that he is seeing more kids at the shows, and from his experience he said it looks like the game is igniting kids' interest in music. He said that can only be a good thing in to change the current pop and gossip dominated music landscape.

"Well, it's a wonderful thing. Through the course of this tour I've noticed how many young kids there were out in the audience, 9, 10, 11 years old, and they were air drumming and air guitaring all these parts to not only to those songs, but to a lot of the songs. Through those games they've been introduced to our music, and from there their parents have just taken it to the next level. It's an amazing thing to view that from the perspective of standing on a stage playing those songs and looking at these young kids getting off on it in such a great way. I'm so hopeful for the future of music because we've gone through a very difficult period, where it's become a lot more poppy and there's been a magic taken out of music, and I hope it's starting to come back. I think a lot of these young kids that start out with Guitar Hero and Rock Band are developing an interest in music and learning how to really play the songs. That is a very hopeful thing for the future of music."

Lifeson was asked if he really feels the game will get people playing real guitar.

"Well, I think it's always great to be able to play a real instrument. These games, these are just controllers. But it sparks something. There's nothing that's quite as exciting as learning to play your first song or figuring out the chords to a song and taking it to the next level and then of course learning to play it well enough that you can start writing your own music. It's just such a wonderful way to express yourself and be creative." ...

Video is also available at this link. Thanks to coolphantom190 for the heads up.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Love You Man trailer available; movie features Rush cameo
1:20PM EST | link | comments (21) |

UPDATE - 12/18@10:26PM: Here are a couple of high-quality Rush-related screengrabs from the movie that were posted over at IMDB.com. The first is a better quality image of the scene described below with the 2112 album cover poster in the background. In this image you can also see a King's Skull poster, a Caress of Steel album cover and an Exit...Stage Left album cover too. The second image is of the 2 main characters at a Rush concert. Thanks to LargerBowl2008 for the heads up.

----- snip -----

Back in June I'd reported that Rush would be making a cameo in an upcoming film from John Hamburg starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. The movie is called I Love You Man and is scheduled to release on March 20th. Rush's cameo was filmed sometime in May during a break on the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour. Paul Rudd described Rush's involvement in a June interview with IESB.net:

... they're [Rush] in the movie and we didn't have any scenes where I engaged with them, I was just a fan dancing in the show, but I got to meet them, and Jason and I actually interviewed them and I was nervous and like, "How do you interview "Rush"?" They seem also to be really a band that has shied away, they've really lived the words of "Limelight", living in the limelight, it's surreal and they can't pretend that a stranger is a long waited friend, I just kept thinking that when I was trying to buddy up to them, but they were very funny and very friendly, and big fans of "Team America". ...

The first movie trailer for the film was recently released. Unfortunately it doesn't show any part of Rush's cameo but there is a scene at about the 2-minute mark depicting the co-stars playing in a band and a picture of the 2112 album cover can be seen in the background (see above). Here's the full trailer:

Thanks to Mike for the heads up.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Neil Peart news update
3:26PM EST | link | comments (57) |

Neil Peart's new BMW on Dante's Peak[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - December, 2008: December in Death Valley]

Neil Peart has updated the News Page on his website, chronicling a recent 3-day motorcycle trip he took to Death Valley on his new BMW R1200 GS (which he had to have painted since they don't come in red!). One of his first stops was the ghost town of Amboy, California:

... For forty miles I cruised through the rocks, Joshua trees, fuzzy cholla and prickly-pear cactus, and tall, spindly ocotillo. Leaving the park at Twentynine Palms, I continued north on the road to the ghost town of Amboy, and Roy's Motel, which appeared in Ghost Rider. In fact, unknown to most people, Amboy also appears on the booklet cover of the Snakes and Arrows CD, and lately, on the new concert DVD, plus at the beginning of the "What's That Smell?" film that played before "Far Cry" during our concerts this past summer. I watched it every night from my "waiting-chair" behind Geddy's ampline (er, rotisseries), before the second set, and it always gave me a smile.

Back in 2006, when Hugh Syme and I were trading ideas for that Snakes and Arrows cover, we discussed a surreal desert highway scene. As a reference, I sent him one of my Ghost Rider photographs, taken on a stretch of old Route 66, looking west toward the cluster of crumbling buildings at Amboy, with the unmistakable Amboy Crater in the distance. Hugh ended up "building" the scene on that original photo, which had been taken in 1998 (as a slide, in those days). Like the Monument Valley ten-years-apart photo that appeared in a story earlier this year, "South by Southwest," I decided to pause for a ten-year anniversary shot of Route 66 and Amboy. ...

Neil also stops at Devils Hole and Dante's View, and takes a hiking trip in the Panamint Mountains. He also encounters 2 fellow BMW riders from Canada no less, and breaks out of normal shy mode to chat with them a little:

... That day I was giving myself a "talking to" about something, and resolving to kick myself out of my usual shyness, my usual comfort zone. The previous night, as I walked from my room at the Furnace Creek Inn to the main building for dinner, I saw two BMW GSes like mine (one red) in the parking lot. They had Ontario plates, and I thought, "Hmm."

I walked into the lobby a few minutes before my 7:15 reservation, and had a look through the gift shop, and at some of the old photographs on the lobby wall. From the corner of my eye, I saw two guys hesitantly moving my way, and I thought, "Hmm."

One of them called out my name, and I gently corrected his mispronunciation, then nodded, "Yes," and offered a small (careful) smile. They were in their thirties, I would say, quietly friendly and polite (Canadian, after all-we're famous for saying thank you to ATMs), and introduced themselves, shaking my hand. One of them said, "We've read your book!" and I guess he meant Ghost Rider, where I talked so much about Death Valley. Though embarrassed as always by attention from strangers, I have to admit I was secretly a little pleased by this fresh kind of fame-not about hitting things with sticks, or writing mildly cryptic lyrics that people interpreted their own way (for better or worse!), but as a traveler, a travel writer. That was nice. I was still embarrassed, but it was nice.

They went off to the dining room (unusually busy for the time of year, as a marathon was being held the following morning), and I saw them across the room as the host led me to my table. They left me alone to scribble in my journal, while I enjoyed a fine dinner of tortilla soup, lamb with couscous, ice cream with cherries, and pinot noir and coffee. On my way out I stopped by the two riders' table, smiled and said, "Have a good ride!" They returned the sentiment, and that was it.

But when I thought about it later, I wanted to know their story. For one thing, how did they get their bikes from frozen Ontario to Southern California in December, unless they had been traveling a while-like I had done in '98 and '99? ("The Wilderness Years" just occurred to me as a title for that time. I see it was the title of a movie about Winston Churchill, and his famous quote also fits well: "When you're going through hell, keep going.")

Where did they come from? What did they do for a living? What about their families?

So as I hiked up the steep trail, I decided I wanted to make myself do something bold. I promised myself that if those two guys were still at the Inn when I got back that afternoon, I would invite them to join me for dinner. That was about the most unlikely thing I-or anyone who knows me-could imagine me doing. ...

Unfortunately for the 2 riders and for Neil, they were gone when he got back. All in all, another great bit of prose from Neil. No Rush news to speak of, but an entertaining read regardless.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Neil Peart items for bid at Litte Kids Rock charity auction
4:48PM EST | link | comments (45) |

Little Kids RockLittle Kids Rock is a nonprofit organization that provides free instruments and lessons to children in under-served public schools. They are conducting a charity auction that will run through December 24th and several well-known musicians including Neil Peart, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Ringo Starr and others have donated items for the auction. Neil's contributions are 2 signed Pro-Mark drumsticks, 2 signed DW snare drums and 2 signed Sabian cymbals. You can check out all the items and place your bid at this link. Thanks to lerxst62 for the heads up.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Alex Lifeson interview at UGO.com
12:13PM EST | link | comments (39) |

[Interview: Alex Lifeson (Rush)]

Greg Prato of UGO.com's music blog recently conducted an interview with Alex Lifeson which was posted online this past Thursday. Alex mostly talks about the recently released Snakes & Arrows DVD but also had this to say regarding choosing more obscure songs for future setlists:

... I'm always toying with that idea - of really doing a tour, or a set, of more obscure stuff. Kind of stay away from "Tom Sawyer" and "The Spirit of Radio," and explore some more obscure songs. I think the thing with us is, it's "An Evening With," and these are Rush fans that are there to see us play, and I think we can play just about anything we've written, and it would be accepted and there would be great interested in it. It would be really great to play those songs - for us to go on tour and play material that we haven't played in 20 or 30 years...or ever. It would be a different tour, and something I hope we'll consider seriously. It would be really interesting for us, I think. ...

Alex has been touching on this theme of a B-sides Rush tour in recent interviews such as his interviews with the Toledo Blade and Modern Guitars. Hopefully he really means it and can convince his bandmates to go along with it. Alex also reminisces about touring with Kiss in the early days, TV shows he's been watching lately and had this to say about the band's future plans:

We finished the tour in July, and we were exhausted. We had been working hard for the last seven or eight years - I think we'd done four tours, four albums, and a bunch of DVD's. Constantly working. And we all just need to get away from it. So our plan for the next year is to not even think about the band. And then jump into it fresh. I mean, there's a bunch of stuff that we have coming out - the DVD, and we were part of a film called 'I Love You, Man,' that is coming out in the new year. A couple of other film things. There's lots to keep us "plugged in" for the next little while, but we just want to clear our minds of the whole business for a little bit, and jump into it with a renewed energy. Maybe not this late next year, but sometime in the fall of next year, I think we'll get together. Having said that, Ged and I have this habit of getting together sooner than later, and casually starting to do some work. So if we get bored in the new year, we might advance that schedule a little bit. But right now, we're thinking about next fall.

This echoes what both Alex and Geddy have been saying in recent interviews; that the band will be taking a break for most of the next year and possibly begin writing again in the fall. Many thanks to BW&BK for the heads up. Interviewer Greg Prato is a huge Rush fan who also recently issued books about Shannon Hoon/Blind Melon and guitarist Tommy Bolin - both are available for purchase at this link.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:17AM EST | link | comments (36) |

The highlight of this past week in Rush news was the posting of some preview excerpts from an Alex Lifeson interview for Modern Guitars magazine on the Counterparts messageboard. The interview was conducted by Skip Daly - the cofounder of BOS Music as well as the creator of the infamous Rush Petition site. In the excerpts provided Alex talked about his and the band's disappointment with how the Vapor Trails album was recorded. He also discussed the possibility of remixing the entire album because Richard Chycki's remixes of One Little Victory and Earthshine for Rush: Retrospective 3 turned out so well. Alex talked about how he just discovered some old pre-1974 tapes that might have some interesting stuff on them such as recordings of songs like Run Willie Run, Slaughterhouse, Garden Road and other songs that they wrote and played during the early bar days. He also pretty much debunked the rumor that the next tour would be their last, essentially reiterating what he had stated in his recent Toledo Blade interview and what Geddy had intoned in his Billboard interview. They also touched on songs that almost made recent set lists such as The Camera Eye and A Farewell to Kings and how sites such as the Rush Petition help influence their choices. The full interview will be published at the Modern Guitars website in the near future.

Alex also performed at the 4th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show Wednesday night at The Mod Club in Toronto, ON. You can see a bunch of great pictures and video in this post.

We learned yesterday that - according to the official sellsheet (thanks to Power Windows) - the release of the Retrospective 3 greatest hits package has been delayed yet again. The official release date is now February 24th.

Neil Peart will be among the 50 drummers featured in the Cut To The Drummer art show and drumming event to be held at the Steam Whistle Gallery in Toronto this coming February. For all the details check out this post.

In its second week of release the Snakes & Arrows DVD has dropped to #2 on the Billboard Top Music Video chart - down from its #1 debut last week (thanks Snoscootr). Darryl Sterdan reviewed the DVD for The Ottawa Sun and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Here's the review:

Rush's new three-DVD concert video has everything you want from Dirk, Lerxst and Pratt: Virtuoso musicianship, all the requisite epics, a killer drum solo -- and plenty of goofball antics (this may be the only music video with a blooper reel). What it doesn't have: The usual closeups of hot chicks in the front row (unless you count the Barbie dolls on Alex's pedal board). Go figure.

Thanks to Armeee for the heads up.

Earlier this year I'd mentioned the Flat Earth Brewing Company in Saint Paul Minnesota because they feature a Cyngnus-X1 Porter as a tribute to their favorite band - Rush. For the month of December, they are holding their Porterfest event at the brewery and featuring several additional infused versions of the their Rush inspired Porter. Here's the calendar along with the featured brews:

* 12/4 - Hold Your Fire Porter - Spice & Ancho Pepper infused Porter
* 12/11 - Mystic Rhythms Porter - Raspberry infused Porter
* 12/18 - Freewill Porter - Vanilla infused Porter
* 12/23 - Snow Dog Porter - Peppermint infused Porter
* 12/31 - Big Money Porter - Wood aged Porter

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Several folks sent me this link from online satirical news site The Onion. In their Monday edition of American Voices they feature a story titled Acorns Missing In Northeast and ask their readers what they think. Plumber Kevin Smerker states the following:

It looks as though the revolt of the Maples as foretold by the bard Geddy Lee has finally come to pass.

Good stuff. The Onion is known to occasionally reference Rush in their stories such as in this infamouse article from 8 years back titled Congress Debates Coolness Of Rush.

Speaking of satire and Rush, Ray of the Rush Fan Film Project has been keeping himself busy lately by creating a few satirical Rush Celebrity Interviews. So far he's interviewed Neil Diamond, and Debra Messing & John Leguizamo. Funny stuff. And if you haven't seen the La-Pre-Show Strangiato Rush fan tribute video yet, you can check it out here.

Ever since Rush has released the master track versions all the tracks on Moving Pictures for the Rock Band video game, a few industrious folks have been isolating the individual tracks and posting them to YouTube. YouTube user MasterTracks18 has posted versions of the drum track for YYZ, the bass track on Tom Sawyer, the Limelight vocal track and the vocal track on Tom Sawyer. Very cool. Thanks to John for the links.

Reader Doug B let me know about a company called Axe Heaven which makes miniature replica guitars of famous musicians. They have 2 Alex Lifeson replicas, a Geddy bass replica and a Geddy 3-bass set replica. Miniature versions of Geddy and Alex are not included. :)

Reader Pat let me know that this year's Best American Essays collection includes On Celestial Music by Rick Moody, originally published in Salmagundi in 2007. In it, Moody considers the power of music, hypothesizing which music we might listen to in heaven. In section 3, The Heavenly Jukebox, he writes, "Could I, for example, hear The Spirit of Radio by Rush in heaven (assuming I'm virtuous), even though I won't allow myself to listen to it on earth because it is simply too embarrassing? What if hearing Rush would (arguably) make me happy for all eternity?" And later he returns briefly to it in the last sentence of the essay: "All kinds of other music are apparent in this [celestial] music, even though they are lost, all possible music is contained in this infinite music, so Otis Redding is in there, and Simon and Garfunkel, and Funkadelic, and Arvo Pärt, maybe even Rush, because everything is in there, and in this way I am gone and gone is good, but I am also a very excellent musician and no one is any better, except the artful arranger of all sounds."

Here's a bootleg video of the Smashing Pumpkins performing a bit of Tom Sawyer and YYZ at a show at the Palace Theatre in Cleveland last month.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pictures and video of Alex Lifeson at the Andy Kim Christmas Show
9:07PM EST | link | comments (34) |

As I'd mentioned last week, Alex Lifeson performed at the 4th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show last night at The Mod Club in Toronto, ON. All proceeds went to the Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation. Along with Lerxst, several other prominent Canadian bands/musicians performed; Ron Sexsmith, Larry Gowan, Dru, Broken Social Scene, John Kastner and The Kings. Enviro_tech over at the Rush Tour Forum was lucky enough to attend the show and posted a little review along with several pictures and a couple of videos. Alex came out toward the end of the show with John Kastner and his band and played a couple of songs including The Beatles' Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey. After Alex's set was the grand finale all-star jam with Andy Kim's big hit Rock Me Gently. Alex stayed on stage and was joined by several of the other performers. Here's the video of the finale:

Here's Andy introducing Alex:

And here are a bunch of great photos.

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Rush: Retrospective 3 release date pushed back to February
10:08AM EST | link | comments (48) |

Late last month we learned that Rush was offering a Deluxe Fan Pack version of their upcoming Retrospective 3 greatest hits package which you can pre-order here. The pre-order site states that the album will hits stores in March. But at the time, most online retail sites still had the release date listed as January 27th and still do. However, according to the official sellsheet (thanks to Power Windows) for the album the official release date is now February 24th. Not quite March, but close enough - and I wouldn't be surprised if there are further delays forthcoming.

From what we know so far the tracklist will contain one unreleased live track (Ghost of a Chance from the 2008 leg of the S&A tour) along with 13 studio tracks. The DVD will contain 10 Atlantic-era music videos along with live videos of The Seeker, Secret Touch and Resist. Also of interest are 2 remixed/remastered versions of One Little Victory and Earthshine off of 2002's Vapor Trails. You can check out the complete tracklist and a full-size image of the album cover in this post.

Related Posts:
[Rush: Retrospective 3 deluxe fan pack; release date pushed?]
[Rush: Retrospective 3 album cover]
[Rush: Retrospective 3 release date pushed back to January]
[Rush: Retrospective 3 greatest hits album tracklist revealed]
[Rush: Retrospective 3 greatest hits album due out in December?]
[Rush to end Atlantic relationship with new greatest hits package; in negotiations with Rounder]

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Neil Peart among drummers featured in Cut To The Drummer art show and drumming event
12:01PM EST | link | comments (19) |

Neil Peart - Cut To The DrummerUPDATE - 12/12@1:23PM: Thanks to Jim we now have an image of Neil's portrait.

Cut to the Drummer is an art show and drumming event in support of F.U.M.S. for the MS Society of Canada Scholarship Fund. It will feature 50 portraits of 50 drummers by 50 artists including a portrait of Neil Peart by Toronto artist Greg Mably. The month-long exhibition at the Steam Whistle Gallery in Toronto will kick off with a one-night-only celebratory reception and Drum-O-Rama on February 5th, 2009 hosted by Darrin Pfeiffer of 102.1 The Edge and Goldfinger, and Aaron Solowoniuk of Billy Talent.

The kickoff reception will include a VIP Preview from 7-9PM which will include a private reception and silent auction. The portraits are expected to fetch between $300 - $2500 each with all proceeds going to the MS Society of Canada Scholarship Fund. The Art Opening and Drum-O-Rama starts immediately after the reception and will run until midnight. The Drum-o-Rama will be a showcase of drumming styles and talents involving local stars and up and comers performing solo or head to head. It promises to be a loud, drummy night, with plenty to see and hear, and some surprises that the event organizers are keeping to themselves. Tickets for the VIP Preview are $150 and tickets for the Art Opening/Drum-O-Rama are $30. You can purchase your tickets via TicketWeb at this link.

Thanks to Metal Tim at BW&BK for the news.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Alex Lifeson Modern Guitars interview preview
5:42PM EST | link | comments (72) |

UPDATE - 1/23@9:41AM: The excerpts are back up now because the entire interview has finally been posted online at the Modern Guitars site.

UPDATE - 12/11@9:48AM: I've removed the excerpts for the time being. I'll post the link to the complete interview at the Modern Guitars website in a separate post once it's available. But if you didn't get a chance to see the excerpts while they were up, here's a brief summary of some of the highlights:

Alex talked about his and the band's disappointment with how the Vapor Trails album was recorded. He also discussed the possibility of remixing the entire album because Richard Chycki's remixes of One Little Victory and Earthshine for Rush: Retrospective 3 turned out so well. Alex talked about the existence of some old pre-1974 tapes that might have some interesting stuff on them such as recordings of songs like Run Willie Run, Slaughterhouse, Garden Road and other songs that they wrote and played during the early bar days. He also pretty much debunked the rumor that the next tour would be their last, essentially reiterating what he had stated in his recent Toledo Blade interview and what Geddy had intoned in his Billboard interview. They also touched on songs that almost made recent set lists such as The Camera Eye and A Farewell to Kings and how sites such as the Rush Petition (which Skip created by the way) help influence their choices.

Judging by the few excerpts that were released this is going to be one heck of a great interview; kudos to Skip.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 12/10@5:45PM: This post was getting really long so I stuck the bulk of it with all the interview excerpts below the fold.

UPDATE - 12/10@5:40PM: More excerpts below the fold.

Skip Daly recently conducted an interview with Alex Lifeson for Modern Guitars magazine. Skip is the cofounder of BOS Music as well as the creator of the infamous Rush Petition site. The interview has not been published yet but Skip was kind enough to post a few excerpts to the Counterparts message board today.

READ MORE...

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Limited edition Rush Starman statue now available
9:41AM EST | link | comments (13) |

A couple of months ago I mentioned that Knucklebonz - an online company specializing in realistic hi-end sculptures of various rock musicians - would be creating their first statue based on album art; a limited edition Rush Starman statue. The statue was just recently made available for purchase. Only 3000 will be created and limited quantities will be available for the 2008 holiday season. The figure stands approximately 9" tall and is painted in a hi-gloss silver paint in front of the red/black star to deliver a 3D version of the iconic Rush logo. You can check out several high-res pics of the product at this link. It comes with a certificate of authenticity and is officially licensed through Rush and Anthem Entertainment. You can order yours here. Thanks to Metal Tim for the heads up.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Rush-inspired handcrafted jewelry for Christmas
1:21PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Rose in the Darkness necklace[Between Sun & Moon handcrafted jewelry inspired by Rush]

Between Sun & Moon is an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise owned and operated by Rush fan and rushisaband reader Katy. Each uniquely handcrafted piece is named for and inspired by the lyrics of Rush. The Holidays are right around the corner and - as she has done several times in the past - Katy is offering an exclusive coupon for Rush is a Band readers! Even if that special lady in your life isn't a Rush fan she will be a fan of Rush inspired jewelry from Between Sun & Moon. I've given my wife (definitely not a Rush fan!) a couple of Katy's pieces and she absolutely loves them. Katy is offering Free Priority Mail shipping with any $30 purchase to rushisaband readers; just use discount code rushisaband and order by December 19th for Christmas delivery. She is also offering Free Standard US Mail with ANY purchase; just use discount code 2112 and order by December 16th for Christmas delivery. Thanks Katy!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
9:39AM EST | link | comments (69) |

UPDATE - 12/6@3:13PM: Also added a Facebook Page for Rush is a Band...

UPDATE - 12/6@11:16AM: For all of you who are Facebook junkies, I just created a group for RushIsABand.com. You can check it out and join the group at this link.

This past week in Rush news was pretty much all about Alex Lifeson. Sunday's Toledo Blade featured an interview with Lerxst where he had a lot to say about the band's future and confirmed much of what Geddy Lee had revealed in his recent Billboard interview. Alex even teased us all a bit by mentioning how their producer Nick Raskulinecz is pushing them to think about doing another concept album! On Tuesday we received a triple dose of Alex Lifeson news. We learned that Alex would be appearing in an upcoming Canadian vampire horror/comedy film from writer/director Rob Stefaniuk called Suck; he will be performing at the 4th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show on Wednesday, December 10th at The Mod Club in Toronto; and we also got to see a bunch of photos of Alex (complete with mustache!) from the Orbit Room's 14th anniversary party which was held this past Saturday. And that's not all! Wednesday the nominees for the 2008 Grammys were announced and Alex Lifeson's live performance of Hope from Songs For Tibet: The Art of Peace was nominated in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category. Whew...

On Saturday longtime Rush keyboard tech Jack Secret (aka Tony Geranios) posted his recording of the track White Flag - which Neil Peart wrote the lyrics for - to his MySpace page. Also posted is the Rush collaboration Tough Break which was first posted online earlier this year.

Rush was also mentioned in Saturday's episode of VH1 Classic's new metal-themed talk show hosted by Eddie Trunk - That Metal Show. The Throwdown segment of the show pitted Rush Fans against The Kiss Army. You can read all the details in this post.

The full concert video of the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert is scheduled to be available on-demand via the Drum Channel website on December 23rd, and then on DVD and Blu-ray sometime in 2009. The Drum Channel recently posted a 5-minute online preview which you can check out here.

Rush's Snakes & Arrows DVD was released on November 24th and we learned yesterday that in its first week of release it topped Billboard's Top Music Video Chart at #1. Speaking of the Snakes & Arrows DVD, here's a review of it from the Austin American Statesman's Rob Palladino.

Now that the DVD is out and most of you have been able to see it, I thought I'd ask everyone how it stands up against other Rush live videos/dvds. I posed this same question back in October of 2007 and at that time Rush in Rio was the overwhelming favorite with 50% of the vote. Here are the complete results of that poll. So which of Rush's live dvds/videos is your favorite? Take the Poll and let us know.

In our last poll I mirrored the poll on the RushCon site asking folks where they prefer RushCon 9 be held. And just like RushCon's poll, the overwhelming winner with nearly 40% of the vote was my hometown of Cleveland - the city where Rush got its first big break thanks to Donna Halper and WMMS. If you didn't read my post detailing the importance of Cleveland in the history of Rush you can check it out here. The RushCon organizers are putting together a report regarding the RushCon 9 location and will let us know when it's ready.

Reader mr soul pointed out to me that the newly-revamped official Rush MySpace page contains an embedded music player with every Rush song from every album in it. Cool.

Cycling apparel company Primal Wear recently introduced a Rush 2112 Men's Cycling Jersey. It features the 2112 album cover and is club cut with a 3/4 hidden zipper, 3 rear pockets, and 100% Prosensor Advanced Moisture Transfer and Comfort Technology. The jersey retails for $79.95 and can be ordered here. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Tragically_Hip over at Counterparts has unearthed Neil Peart's 9th grade yearbook picture. It's from the 1965/66 school year at Lakeport High School in St. Catherines, ON. It was likely taken in 1965 right around Neil's 13th birtday. Here's the full picture of his class, and here's Neil's pic blown up.

The Power Windows site recently let us know that the songs of Rush are the subject of a new article found in the July 2008 issue of the academic journal Popular Music & Society. The article is titled Open Secrets: Individualism and Middle-Class Identity in the Songs of Rush and was written by Chris McDonald. Here's the abstract:

This article examines how the songs of the progressive rock group Rush can be understood as a manifestation of North American middle-class identity, and considers how individualism and escapism play integral roles in the formation of a largely male, middle-class, suburban world view. The article contextualizes and critiques the individualistic nature of middle-class identity, as it is presented by Rush in songs such as Subdivisions and Tom Sawyer.

The release date of Neil Peart's Roadshow Illustrated Companion has been pushed back yet again. It was originally scheduled to release in September of 2007 and was later pushed to July 25th. The latest release date listed on several online retail sites is December 15th (Amazon says December 25th), although the Rounder Books website says nothing at all about the book. We'll see what happens but I'm guessing that you won't be receiving this in your stocking this Christmas. :)

In April we learned about a Neil Peart Studio ProFile project from Sonic Reality. Sonic Reality originally had hoped to release the profile by the end of this year but it now looks like it won't be released until at least April of 2009. Thanks to Andrew Olson for the heads up.

According to Moving Target Geddy Lee is featured in issue #40 of the UK's Bass Guitar Magazine. The magazine also contains a poll of the 40 best bass lines ever and Rush's Digital Man came in at #38.

Alex Lifeson gets a mention in this article on guitarist Stephen Bennett:

Alex Lifeson of the rock band Rush recently saw Bennett play in Toronto, looked him up, and learned some things from him that he incorporated into the new, largely acoustic Rush album.

Thanks to Lerxst Is God for the heads up.

The Rush Fan Film Project debuted its La-Pre-Show Strangiato Rush fan tribute video last night. This 10-minute plus video brilliantly intermingles Rush's La Villa Strangiato with photos and short videos of Rush fans from the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour as they follow the Rush Tour forum banner across the continent. The goal of the Rush Fan Film Project is to celebrate and document Rush fandom. From the site:

This site is a tribute to the greatest fans in music. Rush fans are an interesting group. We come from all walks of life and disagree on many isuues, but all LOVE this band. There's a near Deadhead-like devotion to this group (maybe a little less weed and a little more beer). Many fans will do extensive travel to catch as many shows as they can on each tour, while others may only go to their local shows but are quick to point out that they haven't missed a local show since 19**. Alot of fans don't care for certain albums, or have even dismissed any new material since whatever album, yet they are still inspired to attend shows, post on message boards, perform their own covers on youtube, etc.

I'm not using this site to discuss the band or it's music, just the fan's devotion to it. I will post original fan made content I may come across, or have sent to me on the Rush Fans being Rush Fans page. Tribute bands are invited to send me their feature youtube clip for inclusion on our tribute band page. Fans with Rush related vanity license plates are invited to send me a picture for the license plate page.

Well said. I suggest you check out the site if you haven't already. Here's the video:

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snakes & Arrows DVD debuts at #1
10:31AM EST | link | comments (55) |

Rush's Snakes & Arrows DVD was released on November 24th and in its first week of release it has topped Billboard's Top Music Video Chart at #1. This was Rush's first DVD to be released on Blu-ray as well as standard DVD. To celebrate the release both Rush's official site and their official MySpace page have received a DVD-themed makeover. Several great new photos from the DVD shoot have been posted to Rush.com in their Multimedia: Rush on the Road section. There are also several teaser videos from the DVD online; namely The Larger Bowl, 2112, YYZ, The Spirit of Radio, Far Cry and Limelight. Many screenshots and a description of the menu/packaging can be seen here, and Easter Egg info is available here. Geddy also had a lot to say about the DVD in a recent Billboard interview and Alex in this recent Artisan News Service interview. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Snakes & Arrows DVD release open thread]
[Geddy Lee on the DVD and Rush's future in new Billboard interview]
[Snakes & Arrows DVD screengrabs]
[2112 video from the Snakes & Arrows DVD]
[YYZ video from the Snakes & Arrows DVD]
[Rush Snakes & Arrows DVD teaser]
[Rush Snakes & Arrows DVD official press release]

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Rush's Hope nominated for Grammy
9:30AM EST | link | comments (38) |

The Grammy Award nominees for 2008 were announced last evening and for the 6th time in their career Rush has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category. This time Hope: Live for the Art of Peace off of Songs For Tibet: The Art of Peace was nominated. The complete list of nominees is as follows:

Category 19: Best Rock Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal. Singles or Tracks only.)

Castellorizon
David Gilmour
Track from: Live In Gdansk
[Columbia]

Suicide & Redemption
Metallica
Track from: Death Magnetic
[Warner Bros.]

34 Ghosts I-IV
Nine Inch Nails
Track from: Ghosts I-IV
[The Null Corporation]

Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace)
Rush
Track from: Songs For Tibet: The Art Of Peace
[Art of Peace Foundation]

Peaches En Regalia
Zappa Plays Zappa
[Strobosonic/Razor & Tie Entertainment]

The 51st Grammy Awards will take place on February 8, 2009 and be broadcast live at 8PM EST. 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, O Baterista in 2004, and Malignant Narcissism in 2007. They have lost every time. My guess is that - considering the competition - they'll probably lose again. Although maybe the 6th time's a charm? :) Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Photos from The Orbit Room's 14th anniversary party
9:28PM EST | link | comments (45) |

As I'd mentioned a couple weeks ago, Alex Lifeson's Toronto night club - The Orbit Room - held their 14th anniversary party this past Saturday, November 29th. Big Al usually shows up for this annual soiree and this year was no exception. The Canadian Music Scene was also in attendance and took several photos which they recently posted to their website here and here. I've included a few of them along with the newsletter ad for the event (thanks State of Grace) above. Also in attendance were co-owner Tim Notter, Kim Mitchell, Ricky from The Trailer Park Boys, RushCon manager Judy, RIAB's own State of Grace and rear view mirror and many others I couldn't recognize. Looks like everybody had a blast!

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Alex Lifeson to perform at the Andy Kim Christmas Show
3:58PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Alex Lifeson will be performing at the 4th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show on Wednesday, December 10th at 8PM (doors open at 7PM) at The Mod Club in Toronto, ON. Ron Sexsmith, Larry Gowan and Dru are also confirmed to appear. All proceeds will go to the Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Thanks to Metal Tim for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson to appear in vampire comedy/horror film Suck
10:00AM EST | link | comments (25) |

A couple of weeks ago I alerted you that Alice Cooper had mentioned on his radio show that he was working with Alex Lifeson on a Canadian vampire horror/comedy film from writer/director Rob Stefaniuk called Suck. The internet movie database entry for the film states that the film is currently in production and set to release sometime next year although Alex Lifeson is not yet listed among the cast. However, a few days ago ShockTilYouDrop.com confirmed Alex's involvement with the film although no further details regarding the scope of his involvement were revealed. The film began shooting in Toronto last week and also stars Malcolm McDowell, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Moby, Carol Pope, Jessica Pare, Alice Cooper and his daughter Calico, and Dimitri Coates. Here's a synopsis of the film:

... Written and directed by Stefaniuk, Suck is about a group of musical wannabees in search of immortality and a record deal. The rock band The Winners have sunk so low, they will do anything to make it big. After a life-changing encounter with a vampire, they rocket to stardom only to discover that fame and fortune are not all they're cracked up to be.

Stefaniuk (Phil the Alien) stars as the lead singer of The Winners, Jessica Pare (Wicker Park) plays bass and is the first band member to succumb to the blood lust. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Halloween) plays a vampire hunter who is afraid of the dark and Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) is the band's manager.

Coates, meanwhile, is the vampire who converts the band. Pope will play a club manager, Rollins, a radio show host, and Moby, the lead singer in the rock band Secretaries of Steak. Iggy Pop plays a music producer and Calico is a bar maid alongside Alice Cooper who plays a sinister bartender who haunts the lead singer. ...

Sounds like Academy Award material for sure! Thanks to Blabbermouth.net for the heads up.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Buddy Rich Memorial Concert video preview
8:44PM EST | link | comments (19) |

On October 18th the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and the entire event was streamed live on the Drum Channel. The full concert is scheduled to be available on-demand via the Drum Channel website on December 23rd, and then on DVD and Blu-ray sometime in 2009. They've posted a free preview online which you can check out at the Drum Channel site, YouTube or just watch it below:

Thanks to Andrew Olson and coolphantom190 for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Buddy Rich Memorial Concert recap]
[Buddy Rich Memorial Concert open thread]

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That Metal Show Throwdown: Rush Fans versus The Kiss Army
2:43PM EST | link | comments (43) |

VH1 Classic's new metal-themed talk show hosted by Eddie Trunk - That Metal Show - premiered November 15th and now has 3 shows under its belt. Geddy and Alex were interviewed for the show back in October and they'll be appearing on the December 27th episode. In the latest episode which aired Saturday night, Jay Jay French and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister were guests. In the Throwdown segment, co-host Don Jamieson posed the question who has the most loyal fans, Rush or Kiss? Co-host Jim Florentine and Jay Jay French both voted for Rush, but everyone else voted for Kiss causing Rush to go down 3-2. Don Jamieson supports his Kiss vote by saying that there's no Rush condoms ... there's no Rush toothbrush, there's no Rush toilet paper... and Jay Jay French defends Rush by saying you know why that's the case? Because Rush has class ... Rush fans truly appreciate that band.... Damn straight! You can watch the entire exchange at the VH1 Classic website here - the Throwdown segments begins at about the 2-minute mark. Thanks to Neil_Rulz for the heads up.

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