Archive: Blog Entries from September, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rush Working Men CD/DVD compilation tracklist, cover images
4:50PM EST | link | comments (72) |

UPDATE - 10/22@5:09PM: From Rush in Rio: 2112, Closer to the Heart and YYZ. From R30: The Spirit of Radio, Dreamline, Subdivisions, One Little Victory (previously unreleased) and Working Men. From Snakes & Arrows Live: Limelight, Freewill, Far Cry and Tom Sawyer.

UPDATE - 10/13@9:42AM: The DVD is now available for pre-order.

UPDATE - 10/1@9:55PM: Here's the sellsheet for the DVD which indicates that the version of Tom Sawyer will include the South Park intro which means it must be the Snakes & Arrows Live version.

UPDATE - 9/30@9:44AM: And here's the press release as a pdf directly from the Rush website which includes a CD cover image and the DVD cover image.

UPDATE - 9/30@8:44AM: Here's the official press release (thanks RushFanForever). It doesn't really reveal any information that we didn't already know other than to say that One Little Victory will be a previously unreleased version, which one has to assume is the the version that was left off of R30 and that will appear on the R30 re-release. Also a couple of corrections to my list below; Subdivisions was not on Rush in Rio and YYZ was not on R30 but will be on the R30 re-release.

I recently let you know that Rush would be releasing a new CD/DVD compilation on November 17th which will include cuts from their 3 most recent concert DVDs: Rush in Rio, R30 and Snakes & Arrows Live. The compilation will be titled Working Men and Music Tap recently revealed the tracklist (thanks RushFanForever).

Atlantic Records will be releasing Working Men for Rush, which is a 12-track performance collection ("Limelight," "The Spirit of Radio," "2112," "Freewill," "Dreamline," "Far Cry," "Subdivisions," "One Little Victory," "Closer to the Heart," "Tom Sawyer," "Working Man," "YYZ") planned for November 17. Rounder will release the DVD title for this one, same date.

Notice that they did not indicate from which of the 3 DVDs each track would originate, although we can narrow things down a bit. Here's the tracklist along with a footnote indicating which DVD(s) it might be taken from:

Limelight - RiR,R30,S&A
The Spirit of Radio - RiR,R30,S&A
2112 - RiR,R30
Freewill - RiR,S&A
Dreamline - RiR,R30,S&A
Far Cry - S&A
Subdivisions - R30,S&A
One Little Victory - RiR,S&A R30 re-release version
Closer to the Heart - RiR
Tom Sawyer w/South Park intro - RiR,R30 S&A
Working Man - RiR,R30
YYZ - RiR,S&A

RiR - Rush in Rio
R30 - R30
S&A - Snakes & Arrows Live

Things are still a little unclear at this point, but it looks like the DVD will include a companion CD and that you will also be able to purchase the CD by itself. Amazon has it the CD available for pre-order but it's not obvious whether it's the CD/DVD combination or just the CD.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Full-concert R30 on Blu-ray and DVD now available for pre-order
2:40PM EST | link | comments (57) |

UPDATE - 10/16@12:24PM: The release has been delayed until December 8th and I've also confirmed that it will only be available on blu-ray - not standard DVD.

UPDATE - 9/30@5:52PM: According to the Power Windows site the R30 re-release has been delayed until sometime in December.

R30 Blu-ray re-releaseI recently let you know that Rush would be releasing a full-concert Blu-ray version of R30 on November 17th. This version will contain the 8 missing tracks that had been left off the original release. The R30 Blu-ray is now available for pre-order through Amazon at this link. It also looks like there will be a regular DVD version available as well which you can pre-order at this link. Rush will also be releasing a new CD/DVD compilation on November 17th which will include cuts from their 3 most recent concert DVDs: Rush in Rio, R30 and Snakes & Arrows Live. The compilation will be titled Working Men and you can pre-order it at this link.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:47AM EST | link | comments (67) |

Rush and the Rock HallRush was snubbed for the 11th year in a row by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this week. The list of nominees for induction in 2010 was announced on Wednesday and once again Rush did not make the cut. This year's list includes first time nominees Kiss, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, The Hollies, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro and the Red Hot Chili Peppers along with previous nominees ABBA, The Chantels, Darlene Love, The Stooges and Donna Summer.

The new Vertical Horizon album Burning The Days, which features Neil Peart on 3 songs, released earlier this week. Neil plays drums on the tracks Save Me From Myself, Even Now (which he also wrote the lyrics for) and Welcome to the Bottom. You can preview full versions of All Is Said And Done and Save Me From Myself along with extended samples (1 to 2 minutes long) of the other 10 songs at the Vertical Horizon website.

Alex Lifeson's GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lessons for Tom Sawyer and Limelight are now available for purchase as announced earlier this week via Rush.com. For the details check out this post.

Speaking of Big Al, a couple of weeks ago the Canadian vampire/comedy film Suck premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Alex Lifeson has a small role as a border officer in the film. He and filmmaker Rob Stefaniuk conducted a few interviews over the past couple of weeks to promote the movie including this one with MacLeans Magazine. Alex talks about how he became involved with the project:

... It was very simple. John (Kastner) told me about it when it was in infancy I think. They were writing some music and talking about it conceptually. He mentioned it and I said sure, keep me posted and let me know, I'd be happy to. ...

You can read the entire interview at this link. Thanks to ENTREWHO for the heads up.

In addition to his role in Suck, Alex Lifeson also has a cameo in the latest Trailer Park Boys movie - Countdown to Liquor Day - which opens for theatrical release in Canada today. Alex plays a cross-dressing cop in the film as he described in a recent Prog interview. Reader RushFanForever located this review of the film from the Edmonton Sun which reveals a few more details about Alex's role:

... Of course, there's the de rigueur appearance by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, here playing a drunken, undercover cop posing as a transvestite in a gay-prostitute alley (centred around a Chip Wagon that serves alcohol -- man, Halifax is one weird town). ...

Lerxst also had a cameo as a cop in the first Trailer Park Boys movie and was heavily involved with the soundtrack for that film.

On Sunday I let you know that Five-star Drum Shops is holding a drumming event dubbed as The Big Beat on Sunday November 1st. The goal of the event is to raise money for worthwhile causes and also attempt to set a world record by having as many drummers as possible playing at the same time. All who participate in the event will have a chance to win one of many prizes donated by drum vendors including a Neil Peart autographed bass drum head. For all the details including participating locations, check out the press release.

Grapes Under PressureLast week Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson launched an auction of rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization. To check out all of these items and to place your bid go to this link. The auction ends on Sunday. All proceeds will go to Grapes for Humanity.

As many of you are aware, Porcupine Tree has been touring the US in support of their new album The Incident. It's no secret that the members of Rush are big fans of Porcupine Tree and vice versa. Neil Peart makes mention of the band in his books Roadshow and Traveling Music and is also friends with guitarist John Wesley. According to reader Brad Hirsch (of Used Bin Radio) Neil Peart was in attendance at the band's September 19th show at the Nokia in Los Angeles and also attended the after party. The band will be playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto this coming Wednesday, September 30th and we'll all be watching to see if Alex Lifeson will show up. Alex made a guest appearance on the song Anesthetize off of Porcupine Tree's 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet, and rumor has it that the song is included in the band's current setlist. I'd also mentioned in last Friday's post that Porcupine Tree frontman and founder Steven Wilson is currently remixing the entire King Crimson catalog in 5.1 with the full support of King Crimson founding member Robert Fripp who also was a guest musician on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet. Supposedly when Steven is done with King Crimson he would like to give the same treatment to the Rush catalog. The current rumor is that Alex Lifeson has already been contacted about this and is apparently on board with it (thanks Chad!).

Ari Gold - filmmaker and star of the movie Adventures of Power - continues to tease us via twitter regarding the video of his recent air drum-off with Neil Peart which I'd mentioned in last week's Friday updates post. Ari visited the Drum Channel studios a couple of weeks ago where they filmed the drum-off. In his latest tweet on the subject he did at least include a behind-the-scenes pic of himself and Neil which you can check out here (thanks Asif K). The video should be released via the Adventures of Power YouTube channel in the coming days. The Drum Channel and Adventures of Power will also be sponsoring a charity event on October 13th live at the El Cid in Los Angeles. Since Ari mentioned in a twitter post a few weeks ago that Neil Peart would be helping out with his charity chances are that Neil will be in attendance. If you are not yet familiar with Adventures of Power, I had first mentioned it way back in February of 2008. The film - written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold - first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been making the film festival rounds ever since to rave reviews. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. The film will finally be making its theatrical debut next month. For theaters and show times check out the offical site at this link.

Toronto-born writer/director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) recently premiered his latest film Up In The Air starring George Clooney at the Toronto International Film Festival at Ryerson University on September 13th, and according to Reitman's twitter post on that day the film gets a thumbs up from Geddy Lee:

Just heard Geddy Lee from Rush loves UITA.

Thanks to Shane for the heads up.

Speaking of Geddy, reader Scott_PA let me know about this Geddy Lee quote regarding Bruce Springstein turning 60 that was posted over at Classic Rock Revisited:

GEDDY LEE DOESN'T LISTEN TO SPRINGSTEEN, BUT RESPECTS HIM
This news is brought to you by VH1 Radio's Dave Basner

In just a few days, Bruce Springsteen turns the big 6-0. Much of his life has been spent making music that is so good, even people who might not ordinarily listen to it still respect and admire him for it. Rush singer Geddy Lee is one such person and he told us his thoughts on The Boss.

"I have great respect for Bruce Springsteen. It's not the kind of music I listen to personally. If it comes on the radio, I like the songs, I admire the production but stylistically, it's just not my thing so I've never really followed him like that."

Springsteen turns 60 on Wednesday.

Geddy also was at the Blue Jays game the other night as described in this National Post article:

... Louder still was the cheer Toronto's fans gave rocker Geddy Lee when the stadium scoreboard showed the Rush lead singer in his seat behind home plate.

There's also a video available where you can see Geddy in his seat. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

In last Friday's updates post I mentioned that there was a Rush reference on the Fox News Channel show Red Eye from September 15th. One of the show's commentators Andy Levy quoted Rush's The Spirit of Radio. Apparently he also quoted Rush's The Trees on the Thursday, September 17th show too! Thanks nevetsrush for the heads up.

Reader Dave B sent me this Toronto Star article about a rock mural on an old bar that recently changed owners. The mural featured images and logos from famous rock bands including Rush's starman logo. Unfortunately the new owner painted over the mural. You can view a photo of the mural in the article.

If you didn't see it yet, here's the trailer for the Trailer Park Boys Countdown to Liquor Day movie. Unfortunately Alex does not make an appearance in any of the movie's trailers:

If you get a chance to see the movie this weekend, let us know what you thought of it in the comments. That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Trailer Park Boys movie Countdown to Liquor Day featuring Alex Lifeson releases tomorrow in Canada
11:15AM EST | link | comments (20) |

[Trailer Park Boys take on new role]

In addition to his recent role in Suck, Alex Lifeson also has a cameo in the latest Trailer Park Boys movie - Countdown to Liquor Day - which premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival last Friday. The movie opens for theatrical release in Canada tomorrow. Alex plays a cross-dressing cop in the film as he described in a recent Prog interview. Lerxst also had a cameo as a cop in the first Trailer Park Boys movie and was heavily involved with the soundtrack for that film. This film is apparently the end of the road for The Trailer Park Boys. The trio discussed the movie and their future plans in this JAM! interview, including yet another possible Alex Lifeson collaboration:

So what's next for the boys?

How about a series called The Drunk And On Drugs Happy Funtime Hour?

The pilot -- "about a kids' show gone horribly wrong" -- is to shoot in the spring with, yes, Alex Lifeson in the cast.

As well, Tremblay, Wells and Smith say they're set to play six different roles each, "with a lot of heavy prosthetics," Tremblay said. ...

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up. Here's the film's trailer:

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rush passed over for the Rock Hall in 2010
9:41AM EST | link | comments (100) |

Rush and the Rock Hall[Kiss, Genesis, ABBA, LL Cool J, Red Hot Chili Peppers lead Rock Hall nominees list for 2010]

It's time for the annual snubbing of Rush by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The list of nominees for induction in 2010 was just announced and once again Rush is not on the list. No surprise there, but I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of the choices. This year's list includes first time nominees Kiss, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, The Hollies, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro and the Red Hot Chili Peppers along with previous nominees ABBA, The Chantels, Darlene Love, The Stooges and Donna Summer. I'm really happy that Kiss and Genesis are finally getting a nod. We'll see if the nominating committee is serious about these choices when they finally whittle the list down to the 5 actual inductees in January. I think this bodes well for Rush's chances in the next few years. For a great running history of Rush's now 11-year-old annual snubbing by the Rock Hall, check out this page at the Power Windows site. Thanks to brihar73 for the heads up.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alex Lifeson instructional videos for GarageBand now available
5:00PM EST | link | comments (7) |

UPDATE - 9/30@5:38PM: A short preview video of Alex's Tom Sawyer lesson is now available at the Apple GarageBand site. You can also watch it below or at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

----- snip -----

In his recent Classic Rock presents ... Prog interview one of the things Alex Lifeson mentions being involved with during Rush's break from recording/touring is Apple's GarageBand software. GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts, and is included in all shipments of iLife. The most recent version of the software (iLife '09) includes music instruction, allowing users to buy instructional videos by several popular artists such as Sting, Norah Jones and Ben Folds. In the interview Alex describes how he recorded some instructional videos for the software. Alex's GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lessons for Tom Sawyer and Limelight are now available for purchase as announced earlier today via Rush.com:

If you have GarageBand '09 on your Mac and you have always wanted to learn how to play guitar like Alex, well now's your chance. Apple just released another GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lesson, this time featuring Alex teaching how to play Tom Sawyer and Limelight. In Limelight, after teaching you the classic opening riff of this song, he shows you the distinctive open chord voicings and arpeggios for the verse and chorus, and finishes with a close look at his haunting solo. In Tom Sawyer, he first shows you a simple way to play the intro riff, then breaks down the entire song, explaining his innovative chord voicings and solo techniques. Once you are ready, jam right along with the original backing tracks! You can purchase and download each of these lessons directly from the Lesson Store in GarageBand '09. Check it out.

The guitar used in this session is also up for auction as part of the Grapes Under Pressure charity initiative. click here to bid!

This explains the mysterious secret session alluded to in the descriptions of the items up for sale as part of the Grapes Under Pressure charity auction. In his interview Alex had also mentioned recording lessons for The Spirit of Radio and Working Man but apparently those are not yet available. For more information about GarageBand, visit Apple's website at this link. Thanks to axe for the heads up.

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Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart released
9:17AM EST | link | comments (15) |

UPDATE - 9/22@12:22PM: Reader scott s points out that you can preview full versions of All Is Said And Done and Save Me From Myself along with extended samples (1 to 2 minutes long) of the other 10 songs at the Vertical Horizon website.

The new Vertical Horizon album Burning The Days, which features Neil Peart on 3 songs, releases today. Neil plays drums on the tracks Save Me From Myself, Even Now (which he also wrote the lyrics for) and Welcome to the Bottom. You can listen to Save Me From Myself at the band's MySpace page and Amazon has 30-second clips of all the songs available here. You can order your copy at this link.

Neil Peart first informed us about this side project in one of his News updates on his website back in 2006. Neil and Vertical Horizon frontman Matt Scannell had become friends when Neil moved to Los Angeles as Neil describes in his two most recent books Roadshow and Travelling Music. Matt describes Neil's involvement in this interview from back in 2007 and this article details why the album was delayed for such a long time.

Related Posts:
[Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart delayed]
[Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart]
[New Vertical Horizon album featuring Neil Peart due out this summer]
[Neil Peart site update: new album news, a side project and the West Coast Kit]

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Five-star Drum Shops Big Beat: win a signed Neil Peart drum head
7:24PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Neil Peart signed drum headCalling all drummers! Five-star Drum Shops is holding a drumming event dubbed as The Big Beat on Sunday November 1st. The goal of the event is to raise money for worthwhile causes and also attempt to set a world record by having as many drummers as possible playing at the same time. All who participate in the event will have a chance to win one of many prizes donated by drum vendors including a Neil Peart autographed bass drum head. From the website:

Twenty-four of the top percussion vendors in the industry have donated merchandise totalling more than $180,000 in retail value for the Five-Star Big Beat that will occur in 11 cities in North America on Sunday, November 1, 2009.

Each participating store will be giving away about $16,000 worth of drum gear to participants in this exciting charity event that will benefit the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation and in some cities, the addition of a local charity as well.

Plus, one lucky winner in one of the 11 cities will get a bass drum head with the Rush "Snakes & Arrows" artwork, autographed especially for this occasion by iconic drummer Neil Peart!

For all the details including participating locations, check out the press release. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
2:30PM EST | link | comments (48) |

A lot is happening in Rush-land as of late so I'll get right to it. About an hour ago I let you know that Rush will be releasing a new CD/DVD compilation this coming November which will include cuts from their 3 most recent concert DVDs: Rush in Rio, R30 and Snakes & Arrows Live. The compilation will be titled Working Men and is slated for release on November 17th. The compilation will also be offered as a standalone CD. The CD/DVD combo is already available for pre-order at Amazon at this link. But I think the even bigger bit of news is that a Blu-ray version of R30 which will include 8 additional tracks - meaning the full concert - is also slated for release on November 17th!

Alex Lifeson as a border officer in SuckLast Friday the Canadian vampire/comedy film Suck premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Alex Lifeson has a small role as a border officer in the film and was present at the premier as shown in these photos: [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]. He also showed up at the after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto and joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack. You can check out a bootleg video of it here. The film has already sold its distribution rights to bigwig Canadian motion picture distribution/production company Alliance Films, so it should be hitting theaters later this year - hopefully in the US and UK as well as Canada. Reader RushFanForever located this MSN article about the film where Alex Lifeson is interviewed:

... Their big thing is to eat raw meat thrown at them while on stage. The leader, of all people, is Moby.

"He was great!" exclaims Rush guitarist Lifeson, who is unrecognizable in "Suck" at first blush as a rubber-gloved, gruff U.S. Customs agent near the Niagara Falls border.

"You know, Moby's a strict vegan," Lifeson laughs, recalling the sight of the bald electronica star dressed up like someone out of Judas Priest. "This role - he's so brilliant. He was totally into it, apparently."

Lifeson was the first big name on the "Suck" train - though he was originally going to contribute music to the film. He and Stefaniuk had met years earlier at a New Year's Eve party, and when Lifeson saw what his friend was doing, he wanted in. The 56-year-old was encouraged to take a role, which was right up the alley for a musician whose day job put him and bandmates Geddy Lee and Neil Peart at the centre of this year's Paul Rudd hit comedy "I Love You, Man", and who will also return on his own in the upcoming "Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day".

"We've been travelling across the border for 35 years," notes Lifeson, back to his familiar blond and looking nothing like the burly border guard. "We run into some great agents, and we run into some very power-hungry agents. And that was the one that Rob wanted - that bitter, angry soul that's got the power and is not gonna let anybody into his country." ...

As noted in the above article, Alex Lifeson also has a cameo in the latest Trailer Park Boys movie - Countdown to Liquor Day - which premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival yesterday evening. Alex plays a cross-dressing cop in the film as he described in a recent Prog interview. Lerxst also had a cameo as a cop in the first Trailer Park Boys movie and was heavily involved with the soundtrack for that film.

Alex was not the only member of Rush featured at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. Geddy Lee was appeared in a short documentary film from director Bruce McDonald called Geddy Lee at Massey Hall earlier this week. The film was part of the City Sonic Project - a collaboration between Toronto documentary film companies which paired Canadian music artists with award-winning Canadian filmmakers to create short documentary films about the artists' connection to places where their musical lives were transformed. The 5-minute film can be viewed online on YouTube at this link. Power Windows noticed that at one point in the documentary Geddy mis-remembers first playing Massey Hall in 1975, and then later that year after Fly By Night had come out. Rush actually first played Massey Hall on October 24th, 1974 opening for Nazareth as described in this October 1974 Billboard Magazine article.

Not to be outdone by his bandmates, Neil Peart also has a small role in a film that will get its theatrical release next month although it first premiered over a year ago. I first told you about indie film Adventures of Power way back in February of 2008. The film - written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold - first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been making the film festival rounds ever since to rave reviews. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. For theaters and show times check out the offical site at this link. Earlier this week reader Asif K let me know that the Drum Channel posted the following update to their Twitter page:

Neil Peart and Ari Gold of Adventures of Power in the studio today for an air-drum-off! Mon Sep 14 at 2:57pm

Then just a few hours ago Ari posted the following update to his Twitter page:

Power is off to Toronto to find the rest of Rush, after jamming with Neil Peart in California on Monday.

Asif followed up with Ari Gold and he confirmed the video shoot and said it's being edited this week and should be available for viewing on Youtube sometime next week. I'm not sure what Ari is going to do once he finds Alex and Geddy. :)

Grapes Under PressureYesterday afternoon Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson launched an auction of rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization. To check out all of these items and to place your bid go to this link. All proceeds will go to Grapes for Humanity.

On Wednesday I let you know that the 2010 Rush wall calendar finally began shipping this past week. John over at Cygnus-X1.net received his copy and has scanned all the images from the calendar and made them available on his site at this link. The calendar celebrates the 30th anniversary of Rush's 1980 classic Permanent Waves and feature several photos from the album's recording sessions. You can order your copy at this link.

Yesterday I alerted you to a great interview with Rush's first roadie Ian Grandy that Skip Daly conducted for GuitarInternational.com. Ian worked for Rush from 1969 to 1983 which makes his point of view of the band's history highly unique since he was present from when Rush played high school gyms in the late '60s and early '70s on through to when they were selling out massive arenas in the early '80s. The article is a must read for any Rush fan. You can check it out at this link.

Ultimate Drum Play-Along RushThe Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush book/CD from Alfred Publishing released this past Sunday. It is a companion to the already released Ultimate Guitar Play-along Rush (released back on April 15th) and Ultimate Bass Play-along Rush (released back on June 17th) titles. You can order your copy at this link.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a signed 16" X 22" R30 lithograph. The contest ends on September 28th and you can sign up to enter at this link.

It's been a while since we've had a good Rush rumor to speculate about so here's a new one. Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree is currently remixing the entire King Crimson catalog in 5.1 with the full support of King Crimson founding member Robert Fripp who - along with Alex Lifeson - was a guest musician on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet. Supposedly when Steven is done with King Crimson he would like to give the same treatment to the Rush catalog. Now here's the rumor part; apparently Alex Lifeson has already been contacted about this and is on board with it (thanks Chad!). This sounds promising! Porcupine Tree's new album The Incident released this past Tuesday.

Alex Lifeson is featured in the October 2009 issue of Golf Digest in a short article on custom golfwear designer Ralph Dunning. There's a picture of Lerxst being fitted for some custom golf threads and a few quotes as well:

... Guitarist Alex Lifeson, a part owner of Coppinwood and co-founder of the rock band Rush, is one of Dunning's best customers. He came to the service after growing weary of the "compromise" required by off-the-shelf golfwear. Lifeson says he palys golf exclusively in Dunning clothing. "I can't ever go back to off-the-rack shirts," he says. "I just feel better in custom-fit gear."

Lifeson usually calls Dunning for new clothes before Rush goes out on the road. In advance of one recent tour, he ordered rough-weather gear so he could play a few rounds when the band reached Scotland. Says the guitarist: "I couldn't believe how comfortable I was despite the weather and, stylistically, the cut and fit stood out."

Many thanks to Chris Herin of Tiles for the scan.

Earlier this summer we learned about a planned rock-n-roll-themed Decades Music Theme Park which will feature a Rush-themed Spirit of Radio Concert Hall. The facade of the building will look like the old radio depicted on the cover of Rush's The Spirit of Radio greatest hits package. Founder and Chief Creative Officer Marty West recently sent me some architectural model images of the concert hall which you can check out by clicking on the above thumbnails.

Reader nevetsrush let me know about a Rush reference on the Fox News Channel show Red Eye from September 15th. One of the show's commentators Andy Levy quoted Rush's The Spirit of Radio saying glittering prizes and endless compromizes shatter the illusion of integrity while mocking rappers.

Reader tangy from The Rush Forum let me know that JamBase featured Rush in their Saturday Eye Candy feature. You can check it out at this link.
Music journalist Steve Janowski recently wrote an article for ReviewFix.com which lists the Top 10 Classic Rock Drummers. Coming in at number 7 is our own Neil Peart. Here's what they had to say:

This drummer is a chameleon who embraces diverse styles and is the band's lyricist. This Canadian born drum ace is known for his technical flair and huge reserve of energy. His style evolved from a derivative of Bonham and Moon to a progressive and jazzy feel. This goes hand in hand with "Rush's" metamorphosis as a band. Peart has played Slingerland, Ludwig, Tama drum kits and most recently has used a 360-degree set by Sabian with acoustic drums in front and electronic ones in the rear. His drum solos are concert staples and are awe-inspiring. They contain unique time signatures and are intricate and challenging. "All the World's a Stage" and "Exit Stage Left" are live albums that display Peart's brilliance. He also released an instructional DVD, "Anatomy of a Drum Solo." Check out 2004's "R30," Rush's 30th anniversary DVD to see and hear a master at work.

Thanks to J.D.S for the heads up.

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the video of the Geddy Lee at Massey Hall short film documentary:

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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New Rush CD/DVD compilation and full concert R30 Blu-ray
1:51PM EST | link | comments (13) |

Rush will be releasing a new CD/DVD compilation this coming November which will include cuts from their 3 most recent concert DVDs: Rush in Rio, R30 and Snakes & Arrows Live. The compilation will be titled Working Men and is slated for release on November 17th. The compilation will also be offered as a standalone CD. The CD/DVD combo is already available for pre-order at Amazon at this link. Also slated for release on November 17th is a Blu-ray version of R30 which will include 8 additional tracks - meaning the full concert! More details as I learn them.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grapes Under Pressure Grapes for Humanity charity auction
9:07PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Grapes Under Pressure[Grapes Under Pressure presents... the Grapes for Humanity Charity Auction]

Earlier today Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson launched an auction of rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization.

The following items are included in the auction:

* A Geddy Lee Signature Fender Jazz bass AND a rare Garrison G-50E Custom Acoustic guitar used by Alex on the Snakes & Arrows tour. They have both been signed by Geddy and Alex as well as by members of Depeche Mode, TOOL,The Fray, Pearl Jam, Judas Priest and many more in Support of Grapes for Humanity.

* A Gibson Les Paul Axcess "Custom Shop" guitar which was used by Alex Lifeson in a recent secret session. The guitar will be autographed and will be accompanied by a signed photo of Alex with the Guitar.

* A Sabian Paragon Diamondback Chinese 20" Cymbal, from Neil Peart's personal kit, with Neil's signature

* A rare limited edition Airstream Epiphone Trailer Park Boys "The Movie" guitar signed by Ricky, Julian, Bubbles, Geddy and Alex.

* A Jane's Addiction prize pack which includes a signed cymbal and poster from their most recent tour with NIN.

To check out all of these items and to place your bid go to this link. All proceeds will go to Grapes for Humanity. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.

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Interview with Ian Grandy - Rush's first roadie
2:43PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Ian Grandy then and now[A Talk with Ian Grandy - Rush's First Roadie]

If you are familiar with early Rush history, you may have heard of Ian Grandy - Rush's first roadie who worked with the band from 1969 up through 1983. Skip Daly (of RushPetition.com) tracked down Ian and interviewed him for a recent article at GuitarInternational.com. Ian shares his firsthand knowledge of Rush history as he remembers it and has some very interesting tales to tell. His point of view of the band's history is highly unique since he was present from when Rush played high school gyms in the late '60s and early '70s on through to when they were selling out massive arenas in the early '80s. In this excerpt Ian describes being present for Neil Peart's audition for Rush:

... We had American gigs lined up and no drummer. We were set up at a rehearsal place and three drummers tried out. The first guy was nowhere, the second guy was a guy they knew and liked but I think all of us knew he wasn't good enough. Then this guy Neil shows up. Geddy looks at me and says "He's a greaseball", because Neil had what came to be called his "submariner" hair style (apparently there is a comic book character named that whose hairstyle reminded Alex & Geddy of what Neil had). Neil had this small, funky, grey drum kit and set it up himself. They proceeded to jam for about forty minutes and I recorded it as best I could with three microphones. After that, Geddy asked me was this guy as good as they thought he was, and I couldn't do anything but agree because I don't think I had ever seen/heard anyone play like he did. They talked together by themselves for quite a while and presto - we had a new drummer. Looking back I'd have to say that worked out pretty well. ...

Grandy also talks in detail about some of the earlier Rush gigs, Rush's manager Ray Danniels, John Rutsey and shares some old photographs including this Neil Peart penned hotel room assignment for Rush's band and crew circa 1976 when there were only 8 people on the road including the band. This article is a fantastic read for any Rush fan; you definitely need to read the whole thing. Kudos to Skip for putting this together.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2010 Rush wall calendar now shipping; scans available
11:02AM EST | link | comments (37) |

The 2010 Rush wall calendar has been available for pre-order since June and was supposed to ship back in late July, but due to delays only started shipping this past week. John over at Cygnus-X1.net received his copy and has scanned all the images from the calendar and made them available on his site at this link. The calendar celebrates the 30th anniversary of Rush's 1980 classic Permanent Waves and feature several photos from the album's recording sessions. You can order your copy at this link.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
9:24AM EST | link | comments (21) |

Signed R30 lithograph[Win a Signed R30 Poster!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a signed 16" X 22" R30 lithograph. The contest ends on September 28th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to thomas for the heads up.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Geddy Lee at Massey Hall short documentary now online
5:23PM EST | link | comments (46) |

UPDATE - 9/14@8:38AM: According to State of Grace, the documentary did NOT screen at Dundas Square yesterday due to technical difficulties. It will instead screen today at 11:30AM.

About a month ago I let you know about the City Sonic Project - a collaboration between Toronto documentary film companies White Pine Pictures and Kensington Communications. The project pairs Canadian music artists with award-winning Canadian filmmakers to create short documentary films about the artists' connection to places where their musical lives were transformed. One of the 13 short films pairs Geddy Lee with director Bruce McDonald. Geddy is followed as he takes viewers on a tour inside the legendary Massey Hall (where All the World's a Stage was recorded). Here's a synopsis of the film from the CitySonic website:

In June 1976, Rush ended their 2112 tour with three sold-out concerts at Massey Hall, an historic event at an historic venue. These shows were recorded for the double-live album All the World is a Stage - an album that broke the band in the U.S., becoming their first Top 40 Billboard hit and paving the way for a string of famous Rush live albums. It was a first for Rush, but not the first time singer/bassist Geddy Lee felt magic on the stage at Massey. Geddy takes us on a tour inside the legendary concert hall and back to the 1970s to reminisce on how getting to watch Cream and Genesis rock Massey Hall as a star-struck teen set the stage for him to make rock music history there himself.

All 13 films are premiering as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF in Concert program at Yonge and Dundas Square this week. Geddy Lee at Massey Hall screened today at 12PM and has now been posted to YouTube (thanks RushFanForever). You can watch it below or at this link. There are also a bunch of great production stills from the film posted in this Flickr photo gallery slideshow.

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Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush released today
9:39AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Ultimate Drum Play-Along Rush

The new Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush book/CD from Alfred Publishing that I'd mentioned earlier this month is released today. It is a companion to the already released Ultimate Guitar Play-along Rush (released back on April 15th) and Ultimate Bass Play-along Rush (released back on June 17th) titles. We first heard of this planned release via an advertisement in the June 2009 issue of DRUM! Magazine (the Neil Peart issue). From the product description:

Learn to play your favorite Rush songs with these terrific transcriptions and play-along tracks. The CD contains two version of each song: a complete version for demonstration and a play-along version without drums so you can play with the rhythm tracks. Plus the CD contains embedded software that allows you to slow down, loop and even transpose keys! Plus, there are matching guitar and bass editions available!

The song titles included are Anthem, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, The Temples of Syrinx, Tom Sawyer and YYZ. You can order your copy at this link.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Neil!
8:43AM EST | link | comments (44) |

On this day back in 1952, our favorite drummer - Neil Ellwood Peart - was born in Hamilton, Ontario. Neil turns 57 today which makes him the old man of the band; Geddy and Alex are 56. Happy birthday Pratt! And while daddy celebrates 57 years, his new baby daughter Olivia celebrates 1 month today; she was born on August 12th. :)

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:26AM EST | link | comments (44) |

UPDATE - 9/13@5:35PM: Here's a bootleg video of Alex at the Suck after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. He joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 9/12@8:40AM: Here are some photos of Alex from the Suck premier last night (thanks RushFanForever). [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]

Stealing the Rush news spotlight this past week was Neil Peart's new baby daughter Olivia Louise. Neil posted a news update to his website earlier this week detailing the months leading up to Olivia's birth on August 12th and included a beautiful baby picture. To read this very touching update and to check out the full-res baby picture go to this link. In other Neil Peart news, our favorite drummer turns 57 tomorrow. Happy birthday Neil!

Alex Lifeson as a border officer in SuckThe only other significant piece of news was Alex Lifeson's appearance on the Dean Blundell morning show on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto Wednesday morning to talk about his cameo in the vampire/comedy flick Suck. Alex plays a border officer in the film. You can listen to the podcast of the interview at this link or in this post. Reader RushFanForever located this NOW magazine article about the film which mentions Lerxst:

... In addition to Pop, Stefaniuk found room for Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Moby, Carole Pope and Rush's Alex Lifeson (pictured, right). Moby's the only one of the bunch who sings. Stefaniuk talked the avid vegan into playing the frontman for a band of Buff alo gore rockers called the Secretaries of Steak.

"I liked having actors playing musicians, and musicians being actors," Stefaniuk explains.

"I thought it was really fun to put Henry Rollins in a mullet. I thought it was fun to have Moby play a tough guy. Both Iggy and Alice gave, I think, sophisticated performances. Alex Lifeson should just fuckin' quit Rush and be an actor, he's so funny. He did all these little things, like playing with the typewriter and other subtle things that were so funny. I kept saying,

'Dude, be an actor!'"

The movie will premier at the Toronto International Film Festival this evening at 9:30PM at the Varsity 8 Theater.

Speaking of the Toronto International Film Festival, a month ago I let you know about the City Sonic Project - a collaboration between Toronto documentary film companies White Pine Pictures and Kensington Communications. The project pairs Canadian music artists with award-winning Canadian filmmakers to create short documentary films about the artists' connection to places where their musical lives were transformed. One of the 13 short films pairs Geddy Lee with director Bruce McDonald. Geddy is followed as he takes viewers on a tour inside the legendary Massey Hall (where All the World's a Stage was recorded). All 13 films will have their world premier as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF in Concert program at Yonge and Dundas Square. Geddy Lee at Massey Hall will screen this coming Sunday, September 13th at 12PM. To view a bunch of great production stills from the film, check out this Flickr photo gallery slideshow (thanks RushFanForever).

Back in a Friday updates post this past April I let you know that Canadian hard rockers Helix would be playing a benefit concert for the S.P.C.A. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) this weekend. There actually will be 2 shows, one Friday night in Strathroy, ON at The Portuguese Club and one Saturday night at the Edleweiss Tavern in Kitchener, ON. Prior to the Saturday show there will be will be an auction of various items donated by fellow rockers including a signed Rush lithograph.

Also on the subject of charity auctions, a 2001 Fender Precision bass guitar autographed by Geddy Lee and several other prominent artists was recently put up for auction to raise money for Deftones bassist Chi Cheng. Cheng was gravely injured in a Northern California car crash 10 months ago and remains in a semi-conscious state. His insurance company stopped his coverage last January and to help cover his expenses his friends and family started a fundraising website called One Love for Chi. The auction has since ended, but for more information on how to donate to the fund, visit the website at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

A few of weeks ago I told you about a couple of documentaries exploring the Canadian music scene in the '70s and '80s that would be running on the CBC. The first documentary titled This Beat Goes On finished last Thursday. Reader RushFanForever watched the entire first documentary and part 1 of the second, and gave us a detailed report regarding all the Rush bits which I've added as an update to my original post. The series finishes up next Thursday with part 2 of Rise Up.

This article at PopMatters.com talks about digitally downsizing your music collection and mentions Rush's 2112 as one of those albums ... you just don't touch as they exist to be listened to as a whole, in order, with no omissions ... . I agree.

I found this recent article on the 93X ROCKS! website titled Weezer Stole From Metallica Who Stole From Rush.... It talks about how Weezer's 1994 song Undone - The Sweater Song has a riff that's virtually identical to the main riff in Metallica's Welcome Home - Sanitarium, which itself contains a tribute to Rush's Tom Sawyer (at around the 4:06 and 4:43 marks). Three degrees of riff-ripping I suppose. :)

Reader Ben from the Netherlands sent me a scan of this vintage Rush concert poster from an April 14, 1977 Rush show at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Tim Wilkerson NHRA Racing team has a blog on the official NHRA website. Team manager Bob Wilber is a big Rush fan and in a recent blog post talked about his new Snakes & Arrows miniature drum kit:

.... Back here in Woodbury, despite how tired I was when we arrived home late last night, I was also ever so pumped to see a small box waiting for me on the kitchen island (Alexa, from next door, came over throughout the weekend to watch Da Boyce and get our mail). You may recall when, back in June, Barbara bought a set of fantastic mini- guitars for me, for my birthday. At the time, I firmly stated that if the company in question were to ever produce a miniature set of Neil Peart's drums, from any era Rush has gone through, I'd be the first in line to buy them.

Well, I don't know how close I was to the front of the line, but I went to their website as soon as I heard they had produced his "Snakes & Arrows" drum kit (most of it) and it arrived over the weekend. To be fair, it's actually just the front part of his fully-circular actual kit, which contains a second set of electronic drums behind him (the whole kit is on a riser that spins around when he plays the back kit, so that he's still facing the audience no matter which part of the enormous set-up he's banging away on) but that was still fine by me.
Earlier in this blog I mentioned that I'd been "messing around" for a bit of the day, today, and my first order of business was to unpack, assemble, and set up my cool new drum set. I rearranged a bookshelf just for this occasion, putting my Geddy Lee bass and Alex Lifeson guitar next to the drums, while carefully arranging the toms, snares, and cymbals into something close to the actual kit... It even came with a miniature set of sticks, foot pedals, and a stool... Too cool... Now, if I could just shrink myself down to about 1/24 scale, I could go to town trying to play "Far Cry" or "Workin' Them Angels" from the brilliant "Snakes & Arrows" album and tour...

He also included a few pics in the post which you can see by clicking on the thumbnails above. Thanks to mr.bravado for the heads up.

Reader nevetsrush let me know that the UK's Planet Rock Radio interviewed Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and gave him a Prog Rock trivia quiz. One of the questions they asked him was to name the four sections of By-Tor and the Snow Dog. He got it partly right; it was a tough quiz. Here's the video link. Porcupine Tree's new album The Incident releases this coming Tuesday.

Charlie L let me know that metromix.com recently compiled a list of 14 bands that they think deserve their own Rock Band or Guitar Hero game and Rush made the cut. Here's what they have to say:

The Game: "Guitar Hero: Rush"
Why Them: Okay, clearly you haven't seen "I Love You, Man." Or "Orgasmo." Or "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters."
Why That Game: Because-as anyone who's played "YYZ" in "Guitar Hero 2" will tell you-Rush's virtuoso musicianship makes it perfect for this rockin' game.
Songs They'd Obviously Include: "Tom Sawyer," "Subdivisions" and "The Spirit of Radio."
Other Songs We'd Like Included: "Working Man," "Far Cry" and all 20 minutes and 38 seconds of "2112."
Possible Guest Stars: Aimee Mann, who sang on the song "Time Stand Still," and their friend, fan, and occasional tourmate Les Claypool of Primus.
LP DLC: "Moving Pictures"

Robert M let me know about a new book titled Music and Cancer: A Prescription for Healing which mentions Rush both in the Preface and later on page 194.

Back in May Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi. You can watch a video of the entire interview in this post. The show's YouTube channel recently posted a couple of outtakes of Alex and Geddy recording some promo spots from the show (thanks DigitalMan745):

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alex Lifeson 102.1 The Edge interview now available
4:37PM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 9/24@11:05AM: Here are some photos of Alex from the Suck premier: [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]. And here's a bootleg video of Alex at the Suck after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. He joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack (thanks RushFanForever).

Alex Lifeson as a border guard in <i>Suck</i> - photo courtesy suckthemovie.comAlex Lifeson and Rob Stefaniuk were guests on the Dean Blundell morning show on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto this morning to talk about Suck and its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. The podcast of their appearance is now up on the station's website at this link (thanks RushFanForever). You can download it here or listen using the player below. The interview begins at around the 26 minute-mark (counting down) and runs 9 minutes or so. There's very little mention of Rush and no news at all regarding any of the band's immediate or future plans.

The film's trailer was released last week and Alex Lifeson's border guard character made an appearance. Suck was shot entirely in Toronto 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. The film is slated for theatrical release sometime in October but you can get a sneak peek of it at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. For theaters and show times check out the TIFF website.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson to appear on 102.1 The Edge this week]
[Trailer for Suck featuring Alex Lifeson]
[Alex Lifeson vampire comedy/horror film Suck cameo details]
[Alex Lifeson to appear in vampire comedy/horror film Suck]

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Neil Peart news update and a baby picture!
9:45PM EST | link | comments (58) |

Olivia Louise Peart[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: September, 2009 - The Ballad of Larry and Suzy]

Neil Peart has once again updated the News page on his website, detailing the months leading up to the birth of his new daughter Olivia Louise Peart. He describes how he projected many of his fears and apprehensions regarding the birth onto a mother hummingbird who had laid her eggs in a nest outside his house, and how he obsessively would keep a protective eye on the nest day after day. In between talk of hummingbirds he had a few things to say regarding his preparations for the birth:

... Carrie and I attended a couple of lengthy birthing classes, which included graphic, gory DVDs of the labor and birth process, and there were painful-sounding descriptions of the complicated (and risky) series of steps, each one demonstrated with a lifesize doll and model pelvis bones. So many things had to happen just right that you wondered how anyone managed to be born successfully.

Most significant to me, so many things could go wrong.

We toured the birthing unit at the local hospital, shared another in-depth class on newborn care, and I signed up for a one-and-a-half hour course on infant car-seat installation and adjustment (seriously-and it was necessary). The last time I became a father was thirty years ago, when my daughter Selena was born in 1978, and it can hardly be overstated how much things have changed in three decades-not least my own blithe self-confidence that, in those days, allowed to me trust that everything was going to be all right. Since Selena's death in 1997, at age 19, I no longer had that faith.

What I did have was a bottomless well of fears for all those I cared about, and in this case, not just for all that could go wrong with the developing baby, and with a mother in childbirth, but recognizing that even given the best-case scenario-a healthy baby-my fears would only be beginning.

August 10 would be the twelfth anniversary of Selena's death, and Carrie's due date was August 12, so I was also sending out supplications to any available deity that the new baby not be born two days early-it would be awful to have her birthday fall on what would always be the worst day in my calendar. ...

But everything turned out just fine:

... On August 12, 2009, Olivia Louise Peart hatched into the world.

In early discussions of a possibly long and painful labor, I had said I might not want to remain in the delivery room. People seemed to think I was squeamish about blood, but it was actually about the pain. I wasn't sure how much of Carrie's suffering I could bear to witness. Blood I can take, in small doses, and my own pain I can stand, to some extent, but not a loved one's agony.

But it worked out all right, and I was able to be in the operating room, masked and shrouded in sterile green, for the entire procedure-holding myself resolved, ready for whatever I might have to handle. ...

... A couple of times lately in Bubba's Book Club I have touched on the notion that "being good" often simply means "behaving better than we are." Now it occurs to me that being good can also be about behaving better than we feel.

Very important, that notion. ...

... Within a minute after Olivia's birth, I was touching and holding her while the medicos cleared her breathing passages, dried her skin, and swaddled her. Then I carried the tiny bundle over to introduce her to her mother. A few minutes later, I accompanied Olivia on her first journey, down a long hallway to the nursery, where she was weighed (seven pounds twelve ounces) and checked over by the pediatrician.

While she lay there in the clear plastic bassinet, I tried to soothe her (the naked weighing had especially outraged her delicate sensibilities, yet I had smiled to hear her strong cry of protest). I reached my finger into her fist, and felt her tiny fingers close tightly around it.

I whispered, "Hold on, baby, hold on."

I was talking to her, and to myself.

What a wonderful update this was; it brings a tear to the eye. Be sure to check out the beautiful high-res photo of Oliva over at Neil's website (just click on the smaller image in the story) too. What a cutie! Thanks to Nettie for the heads up.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Alex Lifeson to appear on 102.1 The Edge this week
12:27PM EST | link | comments (64) |

UPDATE - 9/9@4:39PM: The podcast of their appearance is now up on the station's website at this link (thanks RushFanForever). You can download it here or listen using the player below. The interview begins at around the 26 minute-mark (counting down) and runs 9 minutes or so. There's very little mention of Rush and no news at all regarding any of the band's immediate or future plans.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 9/8@1:55PM: Reader WILLIE informed me that Alex and Rob will be appearing sometime on tomorrow's (Wednesday's) show.

Alex Lifeson as a border guard in <i>Suck</i> - photo courtesy suckthemovie.comAccording to the 102.1 The Edge (greater Toronto area radio station) website Alex Lifeson and Rob Stefaniuk will be appearing on the Dean Blundell morning show sometime this week to talk about Suck and its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. I'm not sure at this time exactly which day or time Alex will be appearing. The film's trailer was released last week and Alex Lifeson's border guard character made an appearance. Suck was shot entirely in Toronto 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. The film is slated for theatrical release sometime in October but you can get a sneak peek of it at next week's Toronto International Film Festival. For theaters and show times check out the TIFF website. Thanks to entrenous for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Trailer for Suck featuring Alex Lifeson]
[Alex Lifeson vampire comedy/horror film Suck cameo details]
[Alex Lifeson to appear in vampire comedy/horror film Suck]

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:19AM EST | link | comments (162) |

Alex Lifeson as a border guard in <i>Suck</i> - photo courtesy suckthemovie.comIt's looking more and more likely that we'll see a new album and tour from Rush in 2010. In his recent Prog interview Alex Lifeson stated that the band would tentatively start work on a new album this Fall. But this was before the recent birth of Neil Peart's new baby. That along with his use of the word tentatively tempered much of the excitement among the Rush fanbase. This was until yesterday when we learned of a much more recent Alex Lifeson interview with NoiseCreep.com where Lerxst addresses the topic of the new album in a bit more detail, addressing both the baby issue and also mentioning a possible tour next Summer:

... "Neil and his wife had a baby just a couple of weeks ago, so he's asked if we can just wait a little bit until he gets settled and see how he feels about getting back to work or when to get back to work. So we're sort of playing it open right now."

Lifeson says he's been doing a little writing at home in Toronto, "just getting myself back into the groove again with recording and stuff like that. I would guess that sometime in the early fall we would get back together and start writing again, and then hopefully by next summer, we'd be ready to tour."

Let's hope that Alex's optimism is shared by the other 2 members of the band. Keep your fingers crossed everybody.

Alex Lifeson also made the news earlier this week when the trailer for the Canadian vampire horror/comedy film Suck made its debut. Alex plays a border guard in the film and is featured in the trailer. For all the details and to watch the trailer check out this post.

Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen were interviewed for the Rush feature in the most recent issue of Prog. We learned several more details regarding the documentary including the fact that the release will not likely occur until next summer. In one portion of the interview they talk about how they shot some video interviews of Neil Peart while biking with him through Quebec, parts of Europe and California. Earlier this week we learned of several behind-the-scenes photos from these Neil Peart interview shoots along with a few other miscellaneous pics posted on the Banger Films (Scot and Sam's production company) website. Just go to this link, click on Photos, then click on Rush in the lower left.

Guitar Hero 5A live version of Rush's The Spirit of Radio is one of 85 songs to be featured on the next installment of the Guitar Hero music video game - Guitar Hero 5 - which was released on Tuesday. When the complete track list came out back in July, the press release listed the version of The Spirit of Radio included as being from 2008 - so it was assumed to be the Snakes & Arrows Live version. But as leaked versions of the track appeared on YouTube over the past couple of weeks it became obvious that it was not the 2008 version but instead some previously unreleased version, most likely from the early '80s. Now thanks to Eric at the Power Windows site, who contacted Rush's management, we finally have all the details regarding the track's origin. It turns out that the recording was taken from a live performance on the Permanent Waves tour at the Apollo in Manchester on June 17, 1980 with producer Terry Brown and engineer Andy Rose using a mobile truck recorder from Mobile Studio London.

Ultimate Drum Play-Along RushOn Wednesday we learned that Alfred Publishing will release an Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush book/CD on September 13th as a companion to its Ultimate Guitar Play-along Rush (released back on April 15th) and Ultimate Bass Play-along Rush (released back on June 17th) titles. We first heard of this planned release via an advertisement in the June 2009 issue of DRUM! Magazine (the Neil Peart issue). You can pre-order your copy at this link.

Sunday I alerted you to the presence of several new audio clips posted over at MitA's Rush Oddities site. All but one of these tracks involve songs from the Snakes & Arrows album. You can check them out in this post or over at MitA's website.

September was a busy month in Rush history. Next Wednesday, September 9th will be Neil Peart and Carrie Nuttall's 9th wedding anniversary, and just a few days after that on September 12th will be Neil Peart's 57th birthday! September 18th marks 41 years since Rush's (the initial incarnation consisting of Alex Lifeson, Jeff Jones, and John Rutsey) first paying gig at The Coff-In coffeehouse located in the basement of an Anglican Church in Toronto back in 1968. And there were a bunch of Rush album releases that occurred in September: Caress of Steel in 1975; A Farewell to Kings was released in 1977; Roll The Bones was released on September 3rd, 1991; Hold Your Fire on September 8th, 1987; Signals on September 9th, 1982; Test For Echo on September 10th, 1996; and All the World's a Stage on September 29th, 1976. So which of these September-released Rush albums is your favorite? Take the Poll and let us know. Here are the results of the last poll where I asked everyone which event would occur first for Rush in 2010; a new album, the Rush documentary release, Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or none of these. The majority (over 40%) said the new album (which seems even more likely now in light of recent events) while the Rush documentary and Walk of Fame induction both got 25%.

Adventures of PowerI first told you about indie film Adventures of Power way back in February of 2008. The film - written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold - first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been making the film festival rounds ever since to rave reviews. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. The movie will finally be getting a theatrical release according to this recent edition of the Adventures of Power newsletter:

... After touring from Thailand to Finland, "Adventures of Power" is at long last coming out in a theater near you! There'll be more information in the next week, but today we're looking for people willing to strap on the headband and help get the word out. Our release is totally independent--we can't buy ads--we need you!

Please write back with the word "volunteer" in the subject line and your city if you want to help, and/or forward this email to your friends.

We'll also be holding benefit parties to support music education for children. Neil Peart and Levon Helm are among the drummers who'll be helping out.

Check out our beautiful new website and trailer here, courtesy of Ludlow-Kingsley: http://www.adventuresofpower.com

Follow our blog with Daniele Frazier and Trenton Duerksen here--new comics and videos and "postcards from the set" updated daily!
http://www.powerthepower.com

More to come, Tweets and Facebook and all that stuff! ...

I've seen the movie and absolutely love it. I'm not clear regarding the details of Neil Peart's involvement with the charity mentioned in the newsletter. As I learn more about that I'll let you know. For showtimes/locations keep checking the movie's website at this link.

Rush gets a very positive reference in the latest episode (Season 1, Episode 9 - Regrets) of the SyFy Channel's Warehouse 13. US Secret Service agents Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) are examining a drawing of an ouroboros - a snake swallowing its tail and forming a circle. Myka comments that the picture is a symbol of self-reflection and simplicity. Pete then adds ... and the best Rush album since Roll The Bones. Snakes & Arrows rocks! You can watch it at hulu.com. The Rush reference occurs at about the 6:35 mark. Thanks to drblood for the heads up.

Andrew Olson has made several recent updates to his Neil Peart fan page including five new kits and one updated kit posted to the Replicas and drum kits page, adding the DW kit that Neil used for his Master Class on the Drum Channel to the Neil Peart setup page, several new photos and a new postcard. Andrew is also now on Twitter at this link. While you're at it, you can also follow Rushisaband, Rush (official), and Power Windows on Twitter too.

I received at least a dozen emails about this next item. MSN's Parallel Universe website ran a feature this past week titled Rock Concept Albums: Triumphs & Travesties. One of the featured albums is Rush's 2112, which author Sean Nelson obviously considered a travesty:

Purists will tell you that only Side 1 of "2112," which contains the seven-part "suite" that gives the album its name, is part of the concept album, since Side 2 is all stand-alone tunes. But then again, only purists have managed to sit through either side of this joyless, math-y, pretentious and dimwitted paean to the "genus of Ayn Rand." And, yes, sic. Classic prog rock sci-fi story elements abound in the "suite," including the ubiquitous cabal that controls all expression (in this case they're called the "Priests of the Temples of Syrinx") and a renegade hero who challenges them. With a guitar. Ugh.

The late James Jamerson (1936-1983) - legendary house bassist for Detroit's Motown Records throughout the 1960s and early 1970s - was inducted into the Fender Hall of Fame last month. A video tribute for Jamerson included remembrances and congratulations from several notable artists and bassists including Geddy Lee. Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

Alex Lifeson's Toronto nightclub the Orbit Room is featured in this article on Toronto's music scene from the September 2009 issue of Movie Entertainment magazine. Thanks to Louise G for the link.

Modern Drummer October 2009As I'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the October 2009 issue of Modern Drummer contains an article where 30 professional drummers discuss Neil Peart and his influence on their careers, a few of which can be read online here. The issue also contains an interview with Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton conducted by RIAB reader Asif Khan.

Reader JayBird let me know that there's a new classic rock radio station in the DC Metro region that launched last week called 105.9 The Edge. The good news is that they like to play Rush including such songs as Fly By Night and Subdivisions.

New York reader Tom L let me know that a horse named Red Barchetta ran in the eighth race at Saratoga this past Sunday, finishing in 4th place out of 6 entrants.

The latest Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily Reader's Rock List focuses on the best greatest hits compilations. Rush's Chronicles surprisingly made the cut coming in at #12. For the complete list you can check out the article online at this link. Thanks to mhill for the heads up.

Reader Steve J is currently reading a trilogy of books called Star Trek: Destiny and noticed a few Rush references in book one of the series - Gods of Night. One of the characters is named Gary Weinrib (Geddy Lee's real name) and another character is named Lerxst (Alex Lifeson's nickname). The book also makes use of several phrases from Rush lyrics.

Reader Sean noticed this German video interview with Geddy Lee that was recently posted to YouTube. It's from October 19th, 2007 back on the first leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour in Oberhausen:

That's all for this week. Happy Labor Day for all those in the US. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Alex Lifeson: new Rush album, tour possible in 2010
2:38PM EST | link | comments (53) |

[Rush Might Return in 2010]

The one thing that every Rush fan has been wondering about since the band's 2008 tour came to a close last year is when the band will get to work on a new album. In his recent Prog interview Alex Lifeson addressed this topic:

... "Tentatively, we start work on the next album in the fall - I did mention it to Ged before he went away on holiday and he sort of looked the other way. Come September and we'll certainly have some plans, we did the last record, or we started on the last album in the fall and I'd like to do that again, start recording maybe. I don't know who might produce, that's some ways off yet." ...

While this bit of news got a lot of us excited, our excitement was tempered by Lerxst's use of the word tentatively along with the recent birth of Neil Peart's new baby. But Alex addressed the topic yet again and in more detail - including the baby issue - in a recent interview with NoiseCreep.com:

Rush fans take note -- the legendary progressive rock band could be back on the road with a new album in 2010. The trio would love to work again with Nick Raskulinecz, who co-produced the last studio album, 'Snakes & Arrows,' but he'll have to hang on a bit longer.

"I think Nick calls the office once a week," laughs guitarist Alex Lifeson, "just to make sure we're still planning on getting back to work at some point."

Lifeson, lead singer-bassist Geddy Lee and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart played 120 shows behind 'Snakes & Arrows' and "were pretty beat by the end of it," says Lifeson. "We'd been working constantly for the last eight years or so, and really needed a break, and decided to take a year off. We're sort of coming to the end of that period.

"Neil and his wife had a baby just a couple of weeks ago, so he's asked if we can just wait a little bit until he gets settled and see how he feels about getting back to work or when to get back to work. So we're sort of playing it open right now."

Lifeson says he's been doing a little writing at home in Toronto, "just getting myself back into the groove again with recording and stuff like that. I would guess that sometime in the early fall we would get back together and start writing again, and then hopefully by next summer, we'd be ready to tour."

This is very encouraging news to say the least. It's good to hear Alex address the possibility of a Summer 2010 tour along with the new album. It also seems very probable that Nick Raskulinecz will once again produce. The only fly in the ointment seems to be Neil Peart's understandable unwillingness to get back to work so soon after the birth of his child. Although despite this, Alex still seems to think they'll be getting into the studio in the early Fall - which would mean late September or October. Good news indeed. Thanks to James for the heads up.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush now available for pre-order
10:05AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Ultimate Drum Play-Along RushAlfred Publishing will release an Ultimate Drum Play-along Rush book/CD on September 13th as a companion to its Ultimate Guitar Play-along Rush (released back on April 15th) and Ultimate Bass Play-along Rush (released back on June 17th) titles. We first heard of this planned release via an advertisement in the June 2009 issue of DRUM! Magazine (the Neil Peart issue). From the product description:

Learn to play your favorite Rush songs with these terrific transcriptions and play-along tracks. The CD contains two version of each song: a complete version for demonstration and a play-along version without drums so you can play with the rhythm tracks. Plus the CD contains embedded software that allows you to slow down, loop and even transpose keys! Plus, there are matching guitar and bass editions available!

The song titles included are Anthem, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, The Temples of Syrinx, Tom Sawyer and YYZ. You can pre-order your copy at this link. Thanks to Andrew Olson for the heads up.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trailer for Suck featuring Alex Lifeson
10:04AM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 9/1@9:16PM: Here's what the official Suck website has to say about Alex under the Cast section. They also have a nice headshot of Lerxst from the film (thanks RushFanForever):

ALEX LIFESON plays the BORDER GUARD who gives The Winners a hard time at the border until he discovers that like himself, they are musicians. Lifeson is best known as the broadly-skilled guitarist for the rock group Rush, which he founded in 1968. The most successful Canadian music group in history, Rush is the third most prolific seller of consecutive American Gold and Platinum Records and videos, behind only the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

----- snip -----

Back in December we learned that Alex Lifeson would be making an appearance in a Canadian vampire horror/comedy film from writer/director Rob Stefaniuk called Suck. In March we found out some more details about the film including the fact that Alex would be playing a border officer for his cameo. Lerxst briefly touched on this in his recent Prog interview:

.. "There's been more acting. I did a small part in a movie called Suck, it's a vampire film, Moby, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and Iggy Pop are in there too, it's a Canadian director and it looks great, I play a border guard," he says, warming to the subject. ...

The first trailer for the film is out and Alex makes a brief appearance. You can watch it below or at this YouTube link. He comes in at about the 1:15 mark.

Suck was shot entirely in Toronto 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. The film is slated for theatrical release sometime in October. Alex will also be making an appearance in the upcoming Trailer Park Boys movie Countdown to Liquor Day due out September 25th. He'll be playing a cross-dressing cop as he also discussed in his Prog interview. You may remember that Alex played a cop in the original Trailer Park Boys movie a few years back. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up regarding the trailer.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson vampire comedy/horror film Suck cameo details]
[Alex Lifeson to appear in vampire comedy/horror film Suck]

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Guitar Hero 5 featuring The Spirit of Radio (Live) released today
6:36AM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 9/3@8:49PM: According to Pegi at Anthem the track was taken from a live performance on the Permanent Waves tour at the Apollo in Manchester on June 17, 1980 with producer Terry Brown and engineer Andy Rose using a mobile truck recorder from Mobile Studio London. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the info.

Guitar Hero 5As we reported several weeks ago, a live version of Rush's The Spirit of Radio is one of 85 songs to be featured on the next installment of the Guitar Hero music video game - Guitar Hero 5 - which releases today. When the complete track list came out back in July, the press release listed the version of The Spirit of Radio included as being from 2008 which would mean the Snakes & Arrows Live version. But over the past several days many leaked YouTube preview videos of the song have been posted and the track is clearly not the Snakes & Arrows Live version or any other previously released version that I'm aware of. Check it out:

There's an ongoing discussion regarding the track over at Counterparts. The consensus at this point is that it was recorded at some point in the early '80s. If anyone has any further info as to where this version comes from please let us know.

Guitar Hero 5 features 85 songs and is similar to its predecessor Guitar Hero World Tour in that it is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals - but it also has some new features. For details check out the Guitar Hero 5 website. You can order it via Amazon at this link.

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