Archive: Blog Entries from May, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Neil Peart makes Gibson's Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time list
1:37PM EST | link | comments (25) |

Gibson.com posted their list of the The Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time to their website earlier today. Rush's Neil Peart made the list at #2 second only to legendary Led Zeppelin sticks-man John Bonham. Here's what they had to say:

Drummer and lyricist for Rush, Neal Peart is hailed in many circles as the quintessential rock drummer. He's known for his ingenious drum parts and intense solos with lead passages that rock hard and prove the drums, indeed, can be a lead instrument. No Rush concert is complete without Peart's sparking, obligatory drum solo, and his syncopated drumming style certainly has its own distinct sound and aura. You can always tell when it's Peart playing.

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Neil Peart Legends of Classic Rock interview now online
12:28PM EST | link | comments (17) |

Last month just prior to the April 19th Rush show in Hamilton, Ontario Neil Peart taped an interview with Jeff Woods of the syndicated radio show The Legends of Classic Rock to discuss his recently-released 5th full-length book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time. The 25-minute interview aired on The Legends of Classic Rock yesterday and is now available online at this link or by using the player below. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Frankfurt open thread
8:35AM EST | link | comments (29) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 6/3@2:42PM: Here's a review from the Burn Your Ears webzine (thanks Power Windows).

UPDATE - 6/1@4:27PM: Here's a review from Faz.net.

UPDATE - 5/31@7:40AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/30@9:40PM: Here's a review and photo gallery from the Frankfurter Neue Presse (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush finishes up the European leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour tonight at the Festhalle Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, returning to the venue where they filmed R30 back in 2004.
After tonight the band will head back to North America and take a 9-day break before kicking off the third and final leg of the 2011 tour at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC on Wednesday, June 8th. For all of our fellow German Rush fans who are going to tonight's show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Sunday, May 29th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 25
Venue: Festhalle Frankfurt
Place: Frankfurt, Germany

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records
9:40PM EST | link | comments (13) |

The MusicTAP TAPSheet for May 28th reports the following information regarding the upcoming Rush live DVD (thanks rtrushfan):

Concord Records have a RUSH DVD with an undetermined title (for the moment, which makes it a new one) scheduled for September 27.

Although it doesn't explicitly say it, I think it's safe to say that this refers to the live DVD of Rush's April 15th performance at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Concord Records is the company that bought Rounder Records last year, and the last 3 Rush live DVDs were put out by Rounder. Although the release date is currently given as September 27th, judging by past experience it's very likely that it will end up being pushed back into October or even November. But it looks like we will most certainly have a new Rush live DVD by Christmas of this year. In a blog post from couple of weeks ago Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki mentioned that the "Cleveland DVD" is also underway. More details to be had when there are some...

Related Posts:
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Neil Peart to appear on Late Show with David Letterman
5:16PM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 6/2@7:36AM: TV Line confirms Neil Peart's appearance next Thursday as part of the Late Show's Drum Solo Week (thanks Felix R):

... [The Late Show] is dedicating a week's worth of episodes to performances by some of the music industry's top percussionists, starting with a standout solo on Monday, June 6 from the Late Show's very own Anton Fig, the drummer in Paul Shaffer's band. The following night, Letterman welcomes Sheila E. and her world renowned skill with the sticks. On Wednesday, June 8, drum legend Roy Haynes takes the stage, boasting a career filled with Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughn collaborations (to name a few). And rounding out the week is a performance by Rush's Neil Peart, a drummer who is often regarded as one of rock music's greatest. ...

----- snip -----

Entertainment Weekly - Neil Peart on Letterman - close-upUPDATE - 5/27@5:37PM: Here are some scans thanks once again to reader Dawn O.

The latest print edition of Entertainment Weekly (June 3/10 double issue) hit newsstands and mailboxes today and contained some interesting Rush-related news. In a sidebar in the Music Reviews section titled Who's Playing on Late Night & Talk Shows it lists an appearance by Neil Peart on the Late Show with David Letterman as part of Drum Solo Week on Thursday, June 9th. In italics below this it says Drum Solo Week gets Canadian proggy. June 9th is the band's off-day between Greenville and New Orleans but it's not clear at this time whether Neil's appearance will be pre-taped or live, or any other details. More information as I learn it. Thanks to Dawn O for the heads up.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:47AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011Rush finished up their run of UK dates this past week with stops in Newcastle, Birmingham and London. This weekend they return to the two cities where they filmed their 2 most recent live DVDs. Tonight (just a couple of hours from now) they play the Ahoy Rotterdam Arena in the Netherlands where they recorded Snakes & Arrows Live back in 2007, then it's onto the Festhalle Frankfurt where R30 was recorded on Sunday. According to this website the Frankfurt show is sold out, but Rush tweeted this morning that there are still ticket and meet-n-greet opportunities available. After finishing up in Europe the band will return to North America and take a 9-day break before kicking off the third and final leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC on Wednesday, June 8th. Neil Peart's friend and riding partner Brutus checked in from the road in the Netherlands via Twitter this morning and had this to report:

Wanted to add kudos to whoever designed Great Britain and Ireland. They did a really good job...especially with all those single track roads

Greetings from Never Netherlands! From the single tracks of Dartmoor to the streets of Paris. My first time in the city of lights. Pics soon

Apparently Rush has been so impressed by the success of their European tour that they are considering breaking with tradition and headlining one of the large British festival shows next summer as reported earlier this week by rock/metal news site Rush on Rock. Some of the possible festivals being considered are High Voltage, Download and Sonisphere. The show would be part of their planned tour in support of their forthcoming studio album Clockwork Angels. And for those of you going to any of the shows next month who would like to wear a GeFilter t-shirt (as worn by Geddy on tour), you can now purchase one via Amazon.com.

We learned on Wednesday that Neil Peart's interview on the CBC's Strombo (formerly The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos) will air next month on Friday, June 17th. Neil taped the interview way back on March 21st so it's good to finally know when it will see the light of day. According to reports from fans who attended the taping Neil talked about touring, his new book Far and Away and also did a track-by-track breakdown of Moving Pictures. Although both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been guests on the show multiple times, this will be Neil Peart's first appearance. Neil also taped an interview with Jeff Woods of the syndicated radio show The Legends of Classic Rock last month just prior to the April 19th Rush show in Hamilton, Ontario to discuss his recently-released 5th full-length book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time. This interview will be airing on The Legends of Classic Rock this coming Sunday, May 29th. For a list of stations and air times, check out this link.

David Barrett Trio - SonarDavid Barrett Trio - HollowbodyLate last year after the 2010 Time Machine tour Alex Lifeson lent his studio and production expertise to the Toronto-based David Barrett Trio. The Trio recorded three tunes in Alex's home studio - Hollowbody, Sonar, and Disappearance - with Alex producing and Rich Chycki handling the engineering duties. Back in March Hollowbody was made available as an MP3 download via Amazon.com and iTunes and now the second track Sonar is also available. Sonar is a mellow, acoustic-driven, instrumental track with some mind-blowing guitar work in it. You can listen to it on YouTube at this link and download it at both Amazon.com and iTunes. The Trio will be playing at Alex Lifeson's Toronto night club The Orbit Room (580A College St. in Toronto) tomorrow night. They'll also be recording some more tunes after the 2011 leg of the Time Machine tour. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson, Back in January we learned that Lerxst would appear in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's new indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. The film is an adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. Alex will be playing the role of Dr. Michael Figg; a character made specifically for the film who does not appear in the book. Dr. Figg works in a mental hospital where Billy Boyd's character Woodsy is committed for a breakdown after consuming too much Ecstasy. The film is slated to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and an official website was just recently launched. Alex is now shown on the cast list for the film at IMDB.com as well as on the website, and a Canadian release date of September 9th, 2011 is given. You can watch a short clip of Alex Lifeson as Dr. Figg at the film's YouTube channel here. The clip runs about 1 minute and features respected psychiatrist Dr. Michael Figg discussing his radical new treatment.

Pop Matters published their list of The 25 Best Progressive Rock Songs of All Time earlier this week and 3 Rush songs made the list: Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres, Natural Science and 2112. You can check out what they said about each track in this post.

Vintage Guitar magazineVintage Guitar magazine is celebrating 25 years of publication in 2011 and all year long are running a series of giveaways and features that rely on reader feedback. So far they've run polls to determine the Top 50 Guitar Songs of the '60s, '70s and '80s - and are currently conducting a poll to determine the Top Guitar Songs of the '90s (free registration required to vote). Rush's Working Man made the Top Guitar Songs of the '70s list at #48 and both Tom Sawyer and Limelight made the Top Guitar Songs of the '80s coming in at #20 and #27 respectively.

There was a Rush reference on last Friday night's episode (Season 6, Episode 22 - The Man Who Knew Too Much) of The WB's Supernatural. At one point in the show at about the 7:30 mark an amnesiac Sam finds various ID cards identifying him as Jimmy Page, Neil Peart (pronounced Pert), and Angus Young. You can watch the episode online at this link. This is the fifth Rush reference to occur on the show.

The Drum Channel and the film Adventures of Power (featuring Neil Peart) have teamed up to sponsor an Air Drum Battle where entrants could win one of over 100 prizes with the grand prize being a 3000 dollar Pacific drum kit with DW hardware and pedals, and Sabian B8 Pro Performance Cymbals. Entry is free - you just need to submit a video of yourself air-drumming to your favorite song. Our own air-drummer extraordinaire LanceTheShred has submitted his entry where he air-drums to Rush's Red Barchetta at this link. To vote for Lance's video or any other video, just go to this location and rate them from 1 to 5 stars. Voting ends this Sunday, May 29th.

The Rush Backstage Club is now selling limited edition Moving Pictures lithographs for $19.99. These hand-numbered lithographs are printed on heavy textured art paper and only 1000 of them were made.

Rush gets a mention in this review of the JL Audio Fathom f112 Subwoofer at CEPro. When testing the subwoofer's performance the reviewer had this to say:

... The subs showed an immense amount of detail and power. They articulated the low-end of Rush's Snake's & Arrows Live DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on songs like Malignant Narcissism - including Geddy Lee's fretless Fender Jaco Pastorius bass and Neil Peart's massive drum kit - without crushing detail, speed, accuracy and space within the mix. ...

Alex Lifeson is mentioned briefly in this Gibson.com article on the Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar. The article lists 20 Essential Facts regarding the guitar and #15 states Rush's Alex Lifeson used a Gibson B-45 (the J-45's smaller brother) 12-string on the album 2112. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Neil Peart gets quoted in this opinion piece on hate crimes from the Dixie Sun. Author Mark Schurr quotes the line Mad men fed on fear and lies from Rush's Witch Hunt to highlight a point.

Rush get mentioned in a New York Times article about professional social media site LinkedIn (thanks CheeseCorn). It talks about using a headshot for your LinkedIn profile:

... It doesn't need to be a professional headshot. Just stand against a white wall in business attire (or, if you're a software engineer, a Rush t-shirt) and have someone take a cellphone photo of your face and shoulders. ...

By the way, I'm wearing a Rush t-shirt in my LinkedIn profile pic, although it's cropped out of the picture. :)

Reader Neil T let me know about a Rush reference in the Blue Man Group's current show. One of the skits is a demonstration of information overload and involves the Blue Men rapidly paging through e-books on an iPad, one of which is Tom Sawyer, which is described as Tom Sawyer floats up the Mississippi River and into Canada where he joined Rush and wrote songs about Ayn Rand.

The Music Group is a BBC radio show where host Dr. Phil Hammond asks each of his three guests to play the track of their choice for the delight or disdain of the others. On his April 5th show he had astrophysicist Dr. Lucie Green as one of the guests and the song she chose was Rush's Closer to the Heart. The podcast was just made available online this past weekend and you can listen to it at this link - the Rush part comes in at about the 12-minute mark. Thanks to Schuey for the heads up.

This past Wednesday evening around 8PM EST a one-minute, edited clip of Rush's Countdown from 1982's Signals was beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour as the wake-up music for the Shuttle crew, specifically at the request of Mission Specialist Mike Fincke. Here's what Mike had to say after hearing the wake-up:

Good morning to you all down in Houston and across the planet. I just wanted to say thanks for the song. That was by the band Rush and my friends Ken Fisher and Greg Shurtz sent that up for me. And Rush was really inspired by the launch of STS-1 so they included that in their music and it was really inspirational for them and for the whole album. What's really cool about it is that the Space Shuttle program has really inspired everybody across our planet for such a long time. So this song was a tribute to the Space Shuttle program and so we'd like to say good morning.

You can watch the video as was shown live Wednesday evening on NASA TV below or at this link.

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

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Rotterdam open thread
8:26AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 6/7@10:14AM: Here's a review from the Dutch Progressive Rock Page (thanks rushfanben).

UPDATE - 5/30@7:45AM: Here's a review from Maxazine.nl (thanks Patrick S).

UPDATE - 5/29@8:30AM: Here's a review from OOR (thanks Hans).

UPDATE - 5/28@11:27PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website. Here's a review from nu.nl (thanks Power Windows).

UPDATE - 5/27@10:00AM: Neil Peart's friend and riding partner Brutus checked in from the road in the Netherlands via Twitter this morning:

Greetings from Never Netherlands! From the single tracks of Dartmoor to the streets of Paris. My first time in the city of lights. Pics soon

----- snip -----

Rush takes the Time Machine Tour to the Ahoy Rotterdam Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands tonight, returning to the venue where they recorded Snakes & Arrows Live back in 2007. For all of our fellow Dutch Rush fans who are going to the show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Friday, May 27th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 24
Venue: Ahoy Rotterdam
Place: Rotterdam, Netherlands

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rush's Countdown wakes up Space Shuttle Endeavour crew
8:41AM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 5/27@8:20AM: Here's the official NASA mission status report from Wednesday that mentions the song (thanks berjjman).

UPDATE - 5/26@3:56PM: On a side note, Countdown was also played as the wake-up music on Flight Day 12 of the STS-109 Space Shuttle Columbia mission back in 2002 - the final successful mission of Columbia before it disintegrated on re-entry on its subsequent mission, STS-107. You can listen to an mp3 of that wake-up call at this link (thanks Chad S).

Yesterday evening around 8PM EST a one-minute, edited clip of Rush's Countdown from 1982's Signals was beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour as the wake-up music for the Shuttle crew, specifically at the request of Mission Specialist Mike Fincke. Here's what Mike had to say after hearing the wake-up:

Good morning to you all down in Houston and across the planet. I just wanted to say thanks for the song. That was by the band Rush and my friends Ken Fisher and Greg Shurtz sent that up for me. And Rush was really inspired by the launch of STS-1 so they included that in their music and it was really inspirational for them and for the whole album. What's really cool about it is that the Space Shuttle program has really inspired everybody across our planet for such a long time. So this song was a tribute to the Space Shuttle program and so we'd like to say good morning.

You can watch the video as was shown yesterday evening on NASA TV below or at this link (thanks Julian V). This is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-134) and the second to last Space Shuttle mission (STS-135 will be the last and is scheduled for July).

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Neil Peart Strombo interview to air Friday, June 17th
4:29PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Back on March 21st Neil Peart taped an interview for the CBC's Strombo (formerly The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos). According to reports from fans who attended the taping Neil talked about touring, his new book Far and Away and also did a track-by-track breakdown of Moving Pictures. We've been waiting a long time for any word as to when Neil's interview will air and I finally received some information today. Reader zebec contacted the show's producer and was informed that Neil's interview will air next month on Friday, June 17th. So it looks like we have to wait a few more weeks. Although both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been guests on the show multiple times, this will be Neil Peart's first appearance.

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Lifeson-produced David Barrett Trio track Sonar now available
12:59PM EST | link | comments (12) |

David Barrett Trio - SonarDavid Barrett Trio - HollowbodyBack in January I'd mentioned that Alex Lifeson had lent his studio and production expertise to the Toronto-based David Barrett Trio. Late last year after the Time Machine tour the Trio went into Alex's home studio and recorded three tunes: Hollowbody, Sonar, and Disappearance with Alex producing and Rich Chycki handling the engineering duties. Back in March Hollowbody was made available as an MP3 download via Amazon.com and iTunes and now the second track Sonar is also available. Sonar is a mellow, acoustic-driven, instrumental track with some mind-blowing guitar work in it. You can listen to it on YouTube at this link and download it at both Amazon.com and iTunes. The Trio will be playing at Alex Lifeson's Toronto night club The Orbit Room (580A College St. in Toronto) this coming Saturday May 28th. They'll also be recording some more tunes after the 2011 leg of the Time Machine tour. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. You can watch a promotional video for Sonar below or at this link and you can watch a video of the band playing Hollowbody at this link.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: London open thread
8:41AM EST | link | comments (19) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/31@7:43AM: Here's a review from Explore Music (thanks Power Windows).

UPDATE - 5/26@2:10PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/26@8:26AM: Here's a review from The Art Desk (thanks Japes).

Rush finishes up their run of UK dates tonight at The O2 in London. President Obama is in town but it's not clear whether he has tickets to the show - although he will be addressing Parliament. As far as I know Rush will not be addressing Parliament or visiting the Queen, but they will more than likely put on yet another kickass concert for our fellow English Rush fans. Rumor has it that the show is sold out or close to it. For everybody going tonight, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 25th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 23
Venue: The O2
Place: London, England

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rush's Countdown to wake up Space Shuttle crew this evening
4:45PM EST | link | comments (26) |

UPDATE - 5/24@8:52PM: I received an explanation via the CHROMEY Facebook page where the news had originated over the weekend. It looks like the Countdown wake-up call has been postponed 1 day until Flight Day 11 due to that fact that astronaut Mike Fincke is preparing for a spacewalk today and he will not be available to listen to or respond to the song. The new time is Wednesday, May 25th at 6:54pm CDT. We'll try this again tomorrow!

UPDATE - 5/24@8:08PM: Oops. It sounds like somebody was misinformed! The wake-up music was definitely not Rush's Countdown... it was Matchbox 20's Real World. :(

I mentioned this over the weekend but wanted to remind everyone that a one-minute, edited clip of Rush's Countdown from 1982's Signals will be beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour this evening at 8PM EST (7PM CST). It will be played as the wake-up music for the Shuttle crew, specifically at the request of Mission Specialist Mike Fincke and you can watch it live on NASA TV at this link. It will also likely be included as part of the Flight Day 10 highlights to be shown around noon tomorrow. This is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-134) and the second to last Space Shuttle mission (STS-135 will be the last and is scheduled for July). Here's the video for Countdown:

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Rush to play British rock festival show next summer?
1:10PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Clockwork AngelsRock/Metal news site Rush on Rock is reporting that Rush is in negotiations to play one of the big British rock festivals next summer as part of their planned tour in support of their forthcoming studio album Clockwork Angels. From the website:

... Blown away by fans' passion for the their Time Machine shows in the UK this month, the prog rock trio are already planning a swift return to these shores. And the band's Canadian management company is looking at booking a high profile festival slot for summer 2012. Rush have been approached by the organisers of High Voltage to headline next year's Victoria Park shindig. And although the newest rock festival on the block would suit the Toronto trio to a tee there is understandable interest from the UK's big two - Download and Sonisphere. Rush are not known as a festival band but plans are at an advanced stage to book a series of one-off shows next summer. And organisers of the major events in the UK and Europe are lining up to bag what would be the star attraction of the 2012 festival circuit. ...

More information as I learn it.

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Rush reference on latest episode of Supernatural
7:52AM EST | link | comments (4) |

UPDATE - 5/27@10:05AM: The episode is now available for viewing online at this link (thanks Power Windows).

There was a Rush reference on Friday night's episode (Season 6, Episode 22 - The Man Who Knew Too Much) of The WB's Supernatural. At one point in the show at about the 7:30 mark an amnesiac Sam finds various ID cards identifying him as Jimmy Page, Neil Peart (pronounced Pert), and Angus Young. This is the fifth Rush reference to occur on the show. Here's a list of the other 4 from the Power Windows Rush references page:

Wendingo (Season 1, Episode 2, aired September 20, 2005): Fly By Night was heard during the final 30 seconds of the episode.

Phantom Traveler (Season 1, Episode 4, aired October 4, 2005): Working Man is heard as the main characters are in search of a demon.

It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (Season 4, Episode 7, aired October 30, 2008): Dean introduces he and his brother as agents Geddy and Lee (click here for a video clip).

Sam, Interrupted (Season 5, Episode 11, aired Janurary 21, 2010) The brothers go undercover in a mental institution using the names Alex and Geddy.

Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy featuring Alex Lifeson as Dr. Figg
2:44PM EST | link | comments (7) |

Back in January we learned that Alex Lifeson would appear in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's new indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. The film is an adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. Alex will be playing the role of Dr. Michael Figg; a character made specifically for the film who does not appear in the book. Dr. Figg works in a mental hospital where Billy Boyd's character Woodsy is committed for a breakdown after consuming too much Ecstasy. The film is slated to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and an official website was just recently launched. Alex is now shown on the cast list for the film at IMDB.com as well as on the website, and a Canadian release date of September 9th, 2011 is given. You can watch a short clip of Alex Lifeson as Dr. Figg at the film's YouTube channel here. The clip runs about 1 minute and features respected psychiatrist Dr. Michael Figg discussing his radical new treatment.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Rush makes Pop Matters list of 25 Best Progressive Rock songs
11:53AM EST | link | comments (28) |

Pop Matters published their list of The 25 Best Progressive Rock Songs of All Time today and 3 Rush songs made the list: Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres, Natural Science and 2112. Here's what they had to say:

22. Rush, Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres

This was the last side-long "suite" Rush attempted, and it remains the last necessary one any prog-rock group ever did. Not as incendiary or influential as 1976's "2112", it will have to settle for merely being flawless, and the pinnacle of the band's output to this point. By 1978 the trio was truly hitting on all cylinders, musically: arguably the most ambitious of all the progressive bands (which is really saying something), Rush had spent the better part of the decade trying to make a cohesive statement where all elements came together. Interestingly, if not ironically (since irony is anathema to prog-rock) this album/song that studies, and then celebrates the separate hemispheres (of our left/right brains, of our organized/emancipated natures) matches the smarts and technical proficiency with the ingredient that would play an increasingly obvious and vital role in the band's subsequent work: soul.

18. Rush, Natural Science

If 2112 is the album Rush had to make, Permanent Waves is the work that paved the way for a new decade and the next (most successful) phase of their career. The centerpiece of the album is the sixth and final song, "Natural Science": it does not grab you by the ear the way 2112 does and it does not have the immediate, irresistible appeal of "Tom Sawyer", but it's, quite possibly, the band's most perfect achievement. Neil Peart's lyrics, which tackle ecology, commercialism and artistic integrity (without being pretentious or self-righteous) are, in hindsight, not merely an end-of-decade statement of purpose but a presciently fin-de-siecle assessment that still, amazingly, functions as both indictment and appeal. "Natural Science" endures as the last document before Moving Pictures triangulated math rock, prog rock and the fertile new soil of synth-based popular music and did the inconceivable, making Rush a household name.

6. Rush, 2112

Just over halfway into the decade, when many of the old guard progressive rock bands were out of ideas or on hiatus, Rush delivered one of the genre's definitive anthems. 2112 is a harder edged music combining the proficiency of their influences with an aggression that captured the actual urgency attending the sessions. This album sounded -and still sounds-at once familiar and forward-looking, putting Rush somewhere on the sonic spectrum in between Led Zeppelin's adventurous, riff-laden workouts and Pink Floyd's deliberate, almost chilly precision.

The rock media, which had not paid Rush much attention, now took notice and generally found the Ayn Rand-inspired storyline (the multi-track suite, filling up all of side one, updates Rand's early novel Anthem and places the narrative in a dystopian future where music has been outlawed and long forgotten) unfashionably right-wing-an indictment the band found perplexing, and continues to be amused about. In these interviews, each member (particularly Peart, who wrote the lyrics and undoubtedly regrets his youthful shout-out, in the liner notes, to Rand's "genius") makes a convincing case that the inspiration had everything to do with artistic freedom and avoiding compromise, and less than a little to do with politics or social statements. Of course, plenty of pundits (then, now) find Rush-in general and prog rock in particular-pretentious, but the sentiment informing this particular album has more in common with the much celebrated punk rock ethos, with the added bonus that the band are actually quite capable musicians. "2112" remains the album that made possible what Rush would become, and it inspired both peers and pretenders to emulate their purpose and passion, if not their scarves and kimonos.

The top spot went to King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Rush makes Vintage Guitar magazine's Top 50 Guitar Songs
9:33AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Vintage Guitar magazineVintage Guitar magazine is celebrating 25 years of publication in 2011 and all year long are running a series of giveaways and features that rely on reader feedback. So far they've run polls to determine the Top 50 Guitar Songs of the '60s, '70s and '80s - and are currently conducting a poll to determine the Top Guitar Songs of the '90s (free registration required to vote). Rush's Working Man made the Top Guitar Songs of the '70s list at #48 and both Tom Sawyer and Limelight made the Top Guitar Songs of the '80s coming in at #20 and #27 respectively. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rush's Countdown to wake up Space Shuttle crew on May 24th
7:16PM EST | link | comments (15) |

UPDATE - 5/24@8:53PM: I received an explanation via the CHROMEY Facebook page where the news had originated over the weekend. It looks like the Countdown wake-up call has been postponed 1 day until Flight Day 11 due to that fact that astronaut Mike Fincke is preparing for a spacewalk today and he will not be available to listen to or respond to the song. The new time is Wednesday, May 25th at 6:54pm CDT. We'll try this again tomorrow!

UPDATE - 5/24@8:09PM: Oops. It sounds like somebody was misinformed! The wake-up music was definitely not Rush's Countdown... it was Matchbox 20's Real World. :(

A one-minute, edited clip of Rush's Countdown from 1982's Signals will be beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour this coming Tuesday, May 24th - which happens to be Victoria Day in Canada (the historical date - Queen Victoria's actual birthday, not the official Holiday). It will be played as the wake-up music for the Shuttle crew, specifically at the request of Mission Specialist Mike Fincke at approximately 7PM CDT and you can watch it live on NASA TV at this link. It will also likely be included as part of the Flight Day 10 highlights to be shown around noon on the following day. This is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-134) and the second to last Space Shuttle mission (STS-135 will be the last and is scheduled for July). Thanks to Andrew Olson and CHROMEY for the heads up. Here's the video for Countdown:

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Birmingham open thread
9:36AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/25@4:24PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/25@4:22PM: Here's a review from The Daily Dust.

UPDATE - 5/24@1:42PM: Here is a great gallery of photos from Pete Key that are posted over at Cygnus-X1.net.

UPDATE - 5/24@7:55AM: Here's a review from the Worcester News.

UPDATE - 5/23@6:59AM: Here's a review from the Express & Star.

After a successful show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle last night, Rush marches the Time Machine Tour from Northern England south to The Midlands to play the Birmingham LG Arena in Birmingham. The band will then take 2 days off before playing their final UK show of the tour at the O2 in London on Wednesday. For everybody going tonight, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Sunday, May 22nd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 22
Venue: Birmingham LG Arena
Place: Birmingham, England

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Newcastle open thread
9:06AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/24@1:42PM: Here is a great gallery of photos from Pete Key that are posted over at Cygnus-X1.net.

UPDATE - 5/24@11:18AM: Here's a review from the Shields Gazette.

UPDATE - 5/23@1:45PM: Here's a review from ChronicleLive.

UPDATE - 5/23@9:35AM: Here's a review from Rush on Rock.

UPDATE - 5/22@5:29PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

Rush brings the Time Machine Tour to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England for stop number 21 on the tour and their 8th European date thus far. For everybody going to the show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 21st @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 21
Venue: Metro Radio Arena
Place: Newcastle, England

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:46AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011After playing their first ever show in Ireland, Rush crossed the Irish Sea into Scotland and then marched the Time Machine Tour south to Merry Old England this past week, playing a show in Glasgow last Saturday, and shows in Sheffield, England and Manchester, England on Monday and Thursday respectively. They'll round out their mini-tour of England over the weekend and into next week when they'll play dates in Newcastle, Birmingham and London's O2 Arena. After that they'll head back to mainland Europe for one show in Rotterdam and another in Frankfurt before returning to the States for the final leg of the 2011 tour beginning with a June 8th show in Greenville. Whereas Rush's next U.S. show will be in Greenville, their first ever U.S. show happened 37 years ago this past Wednesday when they played at a festival at the North Side Drive-In in Lansing, MI back on May 18, 1974.

Speaking of the tour, for the last couple of weeks Neil Peart's friend and riding partner Brutus has been updating a new Bubba's Bar and Grill Twitter feed (@RoadRash66) with some notes from the European road. Here's his latest tweet:

Manchester, just in from Wales and The Peak District. Morrow we go play in North York Moors Nat Pk. Bubba is The Cow Whisperer! Good story.

You can follow Brutus's tweets at this link. How can you tell that it's really Brutus? Follow the link in the footer of the Bubba's Bar and Grill cooking forum. And if you didn't know already, you can follow Rush is a Band on Twitter as well.

Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki posted to his blog earlier this week to update us on his recent projects. He's spent the last several weeks working on the new Dream Theater album but took some time off to see Rush in Hamilton last month with Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie and session drummer Alex Tukatsch (of the David Barrett Trio). Rich posted a preview of Sound and Vision Magazine editor-in-chief Mike Mettler's 5-star review of Rush's Moving Pictures 5.1 Deluxe Edition which will appear in the Summer 2011 issue of the magazine. Rich also weighs in on the recent glowing Blu-ray.com review of the remix and their mention of lossless LPCM 2.0 fold down:

... there is a mention of a 'lossless LPCM 2.0 fold down' of the album which I've seen mentioned a few times around the web. The fact is, I didn't do a fold down of the 5.1 mixes as my goal was to not remix the album per se but to present the album in an engaging 'new' format (5.1) for the fans. The 2.0 is a hi-res transfer and remaster of the original stereo mixes done in 1981. ...

Chycki closes by saying that work is underway on the Cleveland live DVD and that he'll have more details to report when there are some. You can read Rich's entire blog post at this link. Sales of the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix (CD+DVD, CD+BD) continued to keep Moving Pictures hanging around the Billboard 200 this week where it currently sits at #181 for the week of May 28th. The album has appeared in the Billboard 200 all but one of the weeks since its re-release on April 5th, reaching as high a #51 and making a total of 75 weeks that the album has been on the charts since its initial release over 30 years ago.

Speaking of Moving Pictures, the Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win one of five limited edition Moving Pictures lithograph posters. For more details and to enter go to this link. And also don't forget about their weekly meet-and-greet contest which is still going on. If you haven't entered that one yet you can do so at this link.

Classic Rock presents ProgIssue #16 of Classic Rock's Prog magazine hit newsstands last month. The issue features Rush on the cover along with a 10-page spread on the band including an extensive interview with Neil Peart and interviews with Geddy Lee. A couple of weeks ago I posted a few excerpts from the feature, but earlier this week the entire article was made available online thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net. You can check out the complete transcription of the article along with scans of all the images at this link. Both Neil and Geddy discuss Rush's upcoming 19th studio album Clockwork Angels among other subjects. Neil Peart is anxious to get the album done:

... "I feel a certain urgency, I really want to get that record made while I'm still able to," he says. "It was hard for me to set the album aside to tour, this really means a lot to me, I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise, so I really want to get it done while we still can." ...

Geddy talks about the conceptual nature of the album:

... "We have about six songs finished and waiting to go into preproduction and then be recorded. ... "We're going in a conceptual direction on this record, for sure," says Lee. "We started with a 10-minute song idea that then turned into a concept and it's feeding off itself. ... We're spending so much time on this concept. It's been fun, because we haven't gone down that road in a while. Let's see if we can pull it off!" ... "It's not just the fans! We're hoping for another great Rush album ourselves!" ...

There's also a piece where Geddy discusses the Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition. Be sure to check out the complete article at this link.

Speaking of the 30th anniversary of Moving Pictures, to help celebrate the anniversary NMR Distribution released their 2011 Rush wall calendar last year with a Moving Pictures theme. The year prior they celebrated the Permanent Waves 30th anniversary with a Permanent Waves themed 2010 wall calendar. As was announced earlier this year, they will continue this pattern in 2012 by celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of Signals with a Signals-themed 2012 wall calendar. Signals was released on September 9th, 1982. The calendar is now available for pre-order through Amazon and other retailers. Although an official release date of September 1st is given, judging by past years the calendar will likely ship sometime in late July or early August.

Premier Guitar Magazine, June 2011Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee are featured in the June issue of Premier Guitar magazine for a two page photo spread in the Opening Notes section which you can check out online at this link. The photo is taken from Rush's April 17th show in Auburn Hills and is accompanied by a caption with a brief description of Alex and Geddy's gear.

There's a new interview with Geddy Lee in today's issue of the Birmingham Post. Geddy talks about wine, the tour, having fun with his bandmates, the making of Moving Pictures and how he stays healthy while on tour. You can check out the entire article/interview at this link. Rush plays the Birmingham LG Arena this Sunday, May 22nd.

Earlier this month we learned that Geddy Lee makes a guest appearance on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue on Rounder Records. The album is a collection of traditional and original Klezmer and Rumanian music that was produced by longtime Rush friend and collaborator Ben Mink. Geddy Lee plays the electric bass on When I Close My Eyes and does the vocals on March of the Shikker. An mp3 of the latter track was recently made available online at Jewcy.com. Geddy doesn't really sing on the track, but he does show off his mad Yiddish skillz. You can download the track at this link or listen to it in the player below.

The album is also available for download on both iTunes and Amazon.com.

While on the subject of Geddy, UK metal magazine Metal Hammer recently spoke with him about British comedian Stewart Lee. Apparently Geddy is a big fan:

.... "My wife and I come to London a lot and we go to a couple of the comedy places, and one time we saw Stewart Lee. He's fantastic. So funny. ... You have to spend a lot of time immersed in British culture to understand all of his jokes, ...Everyone should know that Stewart Lee is truly brilliant." ...

You can read the full article/interview at this link.

Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group) will be releasing a new covers album titled By Invitation Only next month which contains several previously-released cover tracks including the Michael Schenker Group's cover of Rush's Finding My Way with Sebastian Bach on vocals which originally appeared on the band's 2008 album Doctor, Doctor: The Kulick Sessions Thanks to BW&BK for the heads up.

Tool drummer Danny Carey recently turned 50 and celebrated with a birthday bash at the Smog Shoppe in Culver City last Friday, May 13th according to the May 16th news entry at the Tool website. Although Neil Peart was not in attendance (obviously - since he's in Europe) he did send Danny some birthday wishes via a video titled Made it to 50. The news entry also sheds some light on an earlier entry from last month which stated that Danny had recently gotten together for a drumming/recording session with Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland and Les Claypool. It reveals that the session occurred at Copeland's house in Los Angeles, that Danny was playing the flute, and - best of all - it confirms that some video exists, which hopefully will see the light of day in the near future.

Rush Rock HallOhio governor John Kasich posted the following to his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon:

Just met w/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board & demanded to know why @RushtheBand isn't in the @Rock_Hall of Fame

So either he's a Rush fan, or all the pressure and angry emails from his Ohio Rush fan constituents has finally pushed him to action. On a related note, it was announced earlier this week that the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 14th at Public Hall in Cleveland. Hopefully the Governor will pull some strings and help get our boys in this time around. :)

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot was on Rockline last week promoting the band's first ever live album Mirrorball which is set to release on Tuesday, June 7th. When discussing career making live albums he brings up Rush's first live album - 1976's All the World's a Stage. The topic of discussion got to how some live albums are often better than a band's studio recordings and cites albums from Thin Lizzy, UFO, KISS, Rush and Cheap Trick as examples.

... For people in our generation, they absolutely were career breakers ... Rush broke England on All The World's A Stage, and for us growing up as kids in England, these albums started people's careers off, then you'd go back and get the studio albums, and you'd listen to them and go 'oh dear, they're not as good as the live albums'". ... "I think it's what you hear first is what you get used to." ...

You can listen to the entire interview at this link.

As mentioned earlier this month, the Geneva Centre for Autism held their annual gala and art auction - The Autists - Tuesday night at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto. In the lead-up to the event they ran an online silent auction which included a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Model guitar signed by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. The winning bid for the guitar ended up being $3,050.

There's a new restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden that was opened recently by members of the Swedish metal band In Flames. The restaurant is simply named Restaurant 2112 as a tribute to Rush's 2112 album. For more information on the restaurant and to check out some pictures you can go to their website or visit them on Facebook.

The awesome folks over at Rush Radio are working on an iPhone app to be available through the Apple app store for FREE! More details as they become available.

Rush playing cardsNMR Distribution will soon be releasing a set of Rush-themed playing cards. Judging by the photo on display at the NMR website it looks like the cards have photos of the band on the front face and a yellow on blue Rush logo on the back (thanks Marshall B).

Reader Jeff C noted that in this past week's issue of People Magazine (Kate Middleton's sister on the cover) the crossword puzzle featured a Rush clue for 58 down: Rush's "Vital _____".

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund will be teaming up with auction house Christie's later this year for a guitar and bass auction in New York City to benefit cancer research. The fund was created in memory of the late heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio who died of cancer last year. According to Blabbermouth.net, almost 100 instruments have already been donated for the auction including a guitar from Geddy Lee.

In the latest installment of his music discovery podcast and blog Bands Like Rush, Ben Sommer talks to Tony Bodimead of UK prog trio Lime Shark.

... We're sort of rock but we edge on prog, and we're constantly told we sound similar to Rush, and I mean, to be honest, Rush is one of my favorite bands. I've always enjoyed them like from the early years. And I supposed it must be embedded in me and I can't help it. It's just the way we play and the way we arrange songs. It's not that I don't like, but I'm not keen on playing any covers or songs that sound similar to or like a general sound that some rock bands have. And I think Rush is similar to that. They don't do the norm, they just sort of play what they know on all sorts of directions, which keeps it interesting, and I guess we are the same. ...

You can listen to the podcast, read a transcript and watch the video of the interview at this link. To find out more about Lime Shark check out their website here.

Canadian music producer Jack Richardson passed away at the age of 81 this past Friday. Richardson produced Rush label-mate Max Webster and oversaw the recording of Battlescar - the 1980 collaboration between Max Webster and Rush as detailed here. If you have never heard Battlescar you can do so using the player below or on YouTube.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

The guys from Hughes & Kettner amplifiers recently met up with Alex Lifeson backstage at their May 12th show in Dublin last week for a 3-minute video interview that they posted to their website earlier this week. Alex has been using Huhges & Kettner amps for over 11 years now. They spoke briefly with Alex about the tour and then presented him with their new TubeMeister 18 amplifier - the first one off the production line in fact. You can check out the video below or at this link.

For everybody who has generously donated to the site in the last few weeks, I wanted to send out a big Thank You - it is greatly appreciated. For anyone else who wants to donate you can do so via PayPal at this link. You'll get a free RUSH IS A BAND bumper sticker as a thank you gift.

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

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New interview with Geddy Lee in today's Birmingham Post
9:29AM EST | link | comments (5) |

There's a new interview with Geddy Lee in today's issue of the Birmingham Post. Geddy talks about wine, the tour, having fun with his bandmates, the making of Moving Pictures and how he stays healthy while on tour:

... Honest to god I train and work really hard at staying healthy before a tour," he says. "I really have a very strict regime during show days; my trainer has designed a way of keeping me healthy - it never works but I think he tries anyway!

"You learn what you can take and what you can't take," he adds. "For me it's really important to get a lot of sleep. Being the primary singer it affects me in a different way from the other guys - but I don't know how Neil drums for three hours the way he drums, and rides motorcycles - he's a mad man - but for me the next day is all about sleep.

"After 40-plus years you learn who you are; I'm a bit paranoid, I've become a bit of a germaphobe because of how easy it is to get a throat infection.

"I'm fanatical with washing my hands and staying out of draughts and I do have a fear of hockey arenas because we've done a bunch on this tour already and sure enough I got a throat infection halfway through the tour - coming into these really cold buildings with so much ice on the ground, sooner or later it's gonna get you because the path of least resistance is your poor tired voicebox!" ...

You can check out the entire article/interview at this link. Rush plays the Birmingham LG Arena this Sunday, May 22nd.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time Machine Tour tweets from Brutus on the road in Europe
8:43PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011For the last couple of weeks Neil Peart's friend and riding partner Brutus has been updating a new Bubba's Bar and Grill Twitter feed (@RoadRash66) with some notes from the European road. Here are a few of the most recent tweets:

Manchester, just in from Wales and The Peak District. Morrow we go play in North York Moors Nat Pk. Bubba is The Cow Whisperer! Good story.
6 hours ago

Sheffield, 2 days of Lake District and North Yorkshire Dales. Hardnott Pass! Single lane 30 degree grade & switchbacks. rain and gale wind
16 May

The Dublin crowd is digging it big time. Wonderful ferry from Cherbourg to Rosslare yesterday and on to our hotel w/view over the Irish Sea.
12 May

You can follow Brutus's tweets at this link. How do I know it's really Brutus? Follow the link in the footer of the Bubba's Bar and Grill cooking forum. And if you didn't know already, you can follow Rush is a Band as well.

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Def Leppard's Joe Elliot on Rush's All the World's a Stage
7:57PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot was on Rockline last week promoting the band's first ever live album Mirrorball which is set to release on Tuesday, June 7th. When discussing career making live albums he brings up Rush's first live album - 1976's All the World's a Stage. The topic of discussion got to how some live albums are often better than a band's studio recordings and cites albums from Thin Lizzy, UFO, KISS, Rush and Cheap Trick as examples.

... For people in our generation, they absolutely were career breakers ... Rush broke England on All The World's A Stage, and for us growing up as kids in England, these albums started people's careers off, then you'd go back and get the studio albums, and you'd listen to them and go 'oh dear, they're not as good as the live albums'". ... "I think it's what you hear first is what you get used to." ...

You can listen to the entire interview at this link. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Rush featured in June issue of Premier Guitar
5:03PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Premier Guitar Magazine, June 2011Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee are featured in the June issue of Premier Guitar magazine for a two page photo spread in the Opening Notes section which you can check out online at this link. The photo is taken from Rush's April 17th show in Auburn Hills and is accompanied by a caption with a brief description of Alex and Geddy's equipment. Here's the writeup:

RUSH
April 17th, 2011
Palace of Auburn Hills
Photo by Ken Settle

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee open the show with Spirit of Radio just outside of Detroit on their Time Machine tour, on which the trio is playing Moving Pictures in its entirety-and much more. Lifeson is shown with his all-stock Gibson Custom Les Paul Axcess signature model in Royal Crimson. It's outfitted with Gibson high-output humbuckers, series/parallel switching, a Floyd Rose tremolo with piezo-equipped GraphTech Ghost saddles, and two outputs for a multitude of blending options. Lee does more than hold the low-end with his black Fender Custom Shop Jazz bass, which features the alchemical symbol for amalgamation on the pickguard. Lee signed on with Orange Amplifiers last summer and is now using two AD200 heads routed through two OBC 410 cabs.

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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2012 Rush Signals 30th anniversary wall calendar now available for pre-order
4:06PM EST | link | comments (4) |

This past February 12th, Rush's Moving Pictures celebrated its 30th anniversary and to help commemorate the occasion NMR Distribution released their 2011 Rush wall calendar last year with a Moving Pictures theme. The year prior they celebrated the Permanent Waves 30th anniversary with a Permanent Waves themed 2010 wall calendar. As was announced earlier this year, they will continue this pattern in 2012 by celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of Signals with a Signals-themed 2012 wall calendar. Signals was released on September 9th, 1982. The calendar is now available for pre-order through Amazon and other retailers. Although an official release date of September 1st is given, judging by past years the calendar will likely ship sometime in late July or early August.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Manchester open thread
9:37AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/21@8:59AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website. Here's a great review from Manchester's CityLife (thanks bri_boy).

Rush continues their march across England tonight when they'll bring the Time Machine Tour to the Manchester MEN Arena in Manchester, England. For everybody going to the show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 19th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 20
Venue: Manchester MEN Arena
Place: Manchester, England

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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New Swedish restaurant named after Rush's 2112
7:12AM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 6/1@2:57PM: Metal Hammer magazine recently conducted a video interview on location at the restaurant with co-owner Peter Iwers who had this to say regarding the restaurant's name (at about the 1:40 mark):

... 2112 is inspired from Rush. It was released in '76 ... it's one of the best records in the prog genre ... so we chose 2112 ...

You can check out the entire interview below or at this link (thanks Power Windows.

----- snip -----

There's a new restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden that was opened recently by members of the Swedish metal band In Flames. The restaurant is simply named Restaurant 2112 as a tribute to Rush's 2112 album. For more information on the restaurant and to check out some pictures you can go to their website or visit them on Facebook. Thanks to masterbuilder for the heads up.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guitar autographed by Rush raises $3,050 to benefit autism
11:16PM EST | link | comments (4) |

As was mentioned earlier this month, the Geneva Centre for Autism held their annual gala and art auction - The Autists - yesterday at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto. In the lead-up to the event they ran an online silent auction which included a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Model guitar signed by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. The winning bid for the guitar ended up being $3,050. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Geddy Lee speaking Yiddish on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue
3:01PM EST | link | comments (10) |

Earlier this month we learned that Geddy Lee makes a guest appearance on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue on Rounder Records. The album is a collection of traditional and original Klezmer and Rumanian music that was produced by longtime Rush friend and collaborator Ben Mink. Geddy Lee plays the electric bass on When I Close My Eyes and does the vocals on March of the Shikker. An mp3 of the latter track was recently made available online at Jewcy.com. Geddy doesn't really sing on the track, but he does show off his mad Yiddish skillz. You can download the track at this link or listen to it in the player below.

The album is now available for download on both iTunes and Amazon.com. From the Rounder Records website:

This collection of traditional and original melodies comes from a band of musicians that straddle the North American continent and the traditions of Klezmer and Rumanian music. On this, their debut CD, The Black Sea Station displays a love and respect for their Eastern European roots. They bring this world to life in various scenes - a wedding, an intimate café, village streets, quiet moments and celebrations - all reflecting on and celebrating the rich history and culture of their heritage.

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
2:48PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Moving Pictures lithograph posterThe Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win one of five limited edition Moving Pictures lithograph posters. For more details and to enter go to this link. And also don't forget about their weekly meet-and-greet contest which is still going on. If you haven't entered that one yet you can do so at this link.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ohio governor John Kasich wonders why Rush isn't in the Rock Hall
7:40PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Rush Rock HallOhio governor John Kasich posted the following to his Twitter page this afternoon:

Just met w/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board & demanded to know why @RushtheBand isn't in the @Rock_Hall of Fame

So either he's a Rush fan, or all the pressure and angry emails from his Ohio Rush fan constituents has finally pushed him to action. On a related note, it was announced yesterday that the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 14th at Public Hall in Cleveland. Hopefully the Governor will pull some strings and help get our boys in this time around. :) Thanks to Mark for the heads up.

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Neil Peart wishes Danny Carey a happy 50th birthday via video
2:25PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Tool drummer Danny Carey recently turned 50 and celebrated with a birthday bash at the Smog Shoppe in Culver City this past Friday the 13th according to the latest news entry at the Tool website. Although Neil Peart was not in attendance (obviously - since he's in Europe) he did send Danny some birthday wishes via a video titled Made it to 50. This latest news entry also sheds some light on an earlier news entry from last month which stated that Danny had recently gotten together for a drumming/recording session with Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland and Les Claypool. Few details were given at the time, but this latest news entry fills in some of the gaps:

... best of all were all the homemade video birthday wishes that were sent in. Although I didn't get a chance to see them all, among those that stood out were Josh Freese's "Family Greetings", Ben Sherazi's "Urban Golf", Neil Peart's "Made it to 50", Justin's "Massive bong hit toast" (no doubt Danny's mom's favorite), and the absolutely priceless footage of Danny jamming with Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland and Les Claypool at Stewart's house (I didn't know Danny played the flute). There were also lots of early videos of Danny during his Kansas City rock drummer days, footage of Green Jell-O on tour, and 90's behind-the-scenes Tool shenanigans. And then there was this Bill Brasky-esqe skit at the Cha Cha Lounge with Frank, Aloke Dutta, Kent Brisley, BMB, Chris Pitman, Ben Sherazi and (from Glendale) Rich Estrada. Hopefully some of these videos will make it to "Youtube" or, better yet, onto Danny's website. ...

We had originally thought the session probably had occurred in the Drum Channel studios, but this post confirms that it was instead at Copeland's house in Los Angeles, Danny was playing the flute, and - best of all - it confirms that some video exists. Hopefully some of this video will makes its way onto the internet in the near future. Thanks to Thousand_Mile_Stair for the heads up.

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Hughes & Kettner interview with Alex Lifeson backstage in Dublin
11:42AM EST | link | comments (9) |

The guys from Hughes & Kettner amplifiers recently met up with Alex Lifeson backstage at their May 12th show in Dublin last week for a 3-minute video interview that they posted to their website earlier today. Alex has been using Huhges & Kettner amps for over 11 years now. They spoke briefly with Alex about the tour and then presented him with their new TubeMeister 18 amplifier - the first one off the production line in fact. You can check out the video below or at this link. Thanks to ByTorAndOrTheSnowDog for the heads up.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

MusicRadar.com contest to win front row tickets and a meet-and-greet for Rush's Birminghham show
12:02PM EST | link | comments (16) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011As they'd hinted at on Friday, MusicRadar.com is running a contest this week to win front row tickets and a meet-and-greet for Rush's upcoming show in Birmingham on Sunday, May 22nd. From the MusicRadar.com website:

... courtesy of the band's management, we can offer one lucky person a pair of front row seats at Rush's Birmingham LG Arena show on Sunday 22 May 2011, along with a meet and greet before the performance.

To be in with a chance of winning, you'll have to tackle the question below, but first, please be aware that due to the short notice nature of the competition, the winner will be notified by telephone on the afternoon of Thursday 19 May. The winner will also be responsible for covering all transport and accommodation costs themselves.

In short, if you can't get to Birmingham, UK on Sunday 22 May then it's probably not worth entering.

So, to be in with a chance of winning this awesome competition and having a considerably more entertaining Sunday evening than you might otherwise have been expecting, answer the following question correctly:

What is the name of the godlike genius who occupies the drum stool in Rush? ...

Easy enough, huh? Just go to this link to enter. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Sheffield open thread
9:35AM EST | link | comments (17) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 8/22@11:36AM: Here's a review from Sea of Tranquility (thanks Kelly M).

UPDATE - 5/20@12:30PM: Here's a review from the Selby Times.

UPDATE - 5/18@7:51AM: Here's a review from The Star (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 5/18@7:14AM: Here's a review from the Guardian (thanks ByTorAndOrTheSnowDog).

UPDATE - 5/17@1:56PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/16@10:48AM: Rumor has it that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree will be in attendance (thanks greyfriar).

Rush plays the first of a string of 5 English dates tonight when they'll bring the Time Machine Tour to the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. For everybody going to the show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Monday, May 16th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 19
Venue: Motorpoint Arena
Place: Sheffield, England

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD
11:37AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki posted to his blog earlier today to update us on his recent projects. He's spent the last several weeks working on the new Dream Theater album but took some time off to see Rush in Hamilton last month with Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie and session drummer Alex Tukatsch (of the David Barrett Trio). Sound and Vision Magazine editor-in-chief Mike Mettler sent Rich a preview of his upcoming 5-star review of Rush's Moving Pictures 5.1 Deluxe Edition which will appear in the Summer 2011 issue of the magazine, and mentions that a track-by-track interview (I think he means review?) will be available soon at the Sound and Vision website. Rich also weighs in on the recent stellar Blu-ray.com review of the remix and their mention of lossless LPCM 2.0 fold down:

... there is a mention of a 'lossless LPCM 2.0 fold down' of the album which I've seen mentioned a few times around the web. The fact is, I didn't do a fold down of the 5.1 mixes as my goal was to not remix the album per se but to present the album in an engaging 'new' format (5.1) for the fans. The 2.0 is a hi-res transfer and remaster of the original stereo mixes done in 1981. ...

Chycki closes by saying that work is underway on the Cleveland live DVD and that he'll have more details to report when there are some. You can read Rich's entire blog post at this link.

Related Posts:
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition blu-ray release]
[Moving Pictures reenters the Billboard 200 ... again - at #51 this time!]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition initial reviews]
[Moving Pictures 5.1 remix liner notes and images now online]
[Richard Chycki on the future of Rush's catalog in 5.1]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition release]
[Rush's Moving Pictures reenters the Billboard 200 at #137]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition trailer, contest]
[First review in for the Moving Pictures 5.1 surround sound remix]

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Classic Rock's Prog magazine Rush feature now online
7:11PM EST | link | comments (15) |

Classic Rock presents ProgIssue #16 of Classic Rock's Prog magazine hit newsstands a few weeks ago. The issue features Rush on the cover along with a 10-page spread on the band including an extensive interview with Neil Peart and interviews with Geddy Lee. A couple of weeks ago I posted a few excerpts from the feature, but now the entire article is available online thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net. You can check out the complete transcription of the article along with scans of all the images at this link. Both Neil and Geddy discuss Rush's upcoming 19th studio album Clockwork Angels among other subjects. Neil Peart is anxious to get the album done:

... "I feel a certain urgency, I really want to get that record made while I'm still able to," he says. "It was hard for me to set the album aside to tour, this really means a lot to me, I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise, so I really want to get it done while we still can." ...

Geddy talks about the conceptual nature of the album:

... "We have about six songs finished and waiting to go into preproduction and then be recorded. ... "We're going in a conceptual direction on this record, for sure," says Lee. "We started with a 10-minute song idea that then turned into a concept and it's feeding off itself. ... We're spending so much time on this concept. It's been fun, because we haven't gone down that road in a while. Let's see if we can pull it off!" ... "It's not just the fans! We're hoping for another great Rush album ourselves!" ...

There's also a piece where Geddy talks about the Moving Pictures deluxe edition. Be sure to check out the complete article at this link.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Glasgow open thread
7:00AM EST | link | comments (13) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/23@3:51PM: Here's a great gallery of photos from Pete Key over at Cygnus-X1.net.

UPDATE - 5/19@8:21AM: Here's a review from STV Entertainment (thanks ByTorAndOrTheSnowDog).

UPDATE - 5/16@10:26PM: Here's a short, 4-star review from Scotsman.com (thanks RushFanForever) and another from the Herald Scotland.

UPDATE - 5/16@7:30AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

Rush heads to Scotland tonight for show #18 of the 2011 Time Machine Tour where they'll be playing the SECC in Glasgow. For everybody going to the show, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 14th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 18
Venue: SECC
Place: Glasgow, Scotland

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Rush in Toronto Star contest for The Best Toronto Band Ever
6:34AM EST | link | comments (12) |

The Toronto Star is running a bracket-like contest where they are attempting to determine The Best Toronto Band Ever.

All this month, we're asking you to vote for the best band in Toronto's history, March Madness-style. Each day, you'll get a chance to choose between two bands. The winner moves on, the loser goes home. ...

Today they are pitting Rush against The Four Lads. So go vote for Rush!. Thanks to Matt K for the heads up.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Geddy Lee on British comedian Stewart Lee in Metal Hammer
2:39PM EST | link | comments (9) |

UK metal magazine Metal Hammer recently spoke with Geddy Lee about British comedian Stewart Lee. Here's what Geddy had to say about Lee:

.... "My wife and I come to London a lot and we go to a couple of the comedy places, and one time we saw Stewart Lee. He's fantastic. So funny.

"You have to spend a lot of time immersed in British culture to understand all of his jokes," continues Geddy. "For instance, I'd never seen this British show Top Gear and then I went to see one of Stewart Lee's performances and he was absolutely destroying these people. I was laughing but I didn't know what I was laughing about! Then my wife and I returned quickly to Canada and watched Top Gear on BBC World or whatever, and then it all made sense!

"If he could expand his razor wit onto a global level I think he could be incredibly popular, but I get the feeling he's happy to keep making you Brits laugh. He did a great bit about the Cafe Nero places in London and I can't walk past one of those without laughing now. Everyone should know that Stewart Lee is truly brilliant."

You can read the article/interview at this link. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:51AM EST | link | comments (17) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011Rush continued on their trek across Europe this past week playing the a show in Malmo, Sweden this past Sunday and then hitting the Emerald Isle for the first time ever on Thursday to play a show at The O2 in Dublin. Tomorrow they'll cross the Irish Sea and head over to Scotland for a show at the SECC in Glasgow. Then it's on to Merry Old England for a string of 5 dates beginning with a show on Monday at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson conducted a number of interviews in the Irish and UK press over the last week in the lead-up to shows there. On Tuesday Irish radio station Radio Nova aired a Rush special where DJ Marty Miller and Rock Report host Carol Dooley talked Rush for much of the hour and had Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider in the studio to talk about the stage show. Interspersed throughout their chatting with Howard they aired portions of an interview with Geddy Lee that they conducted on Monday. You can listen to the podcast of the interview in this post or at this link. Geddy was also interviewed on Monday by Matt Cooper of Ireland radio station Today FM for an interview that aired on his show The Last Word this past Wednesday. You can check out that interview in this post. Alex Lifeson did several newspaper interviews over the last week including one with JournalLive.co.uk, one with UK newspaper The Star and another with the Sheffield Telegraph.

Alex Lifeson also conducted an interview with MusicRadar.com last week where he talked about Moving Pictures, breaking down each of the 7 tracks on the album. You can check out that interview at this link. And MusicRadar.com looks like they'll be running some kind of contest next week since they posted the above Alex Lifeson article to their Facebook Page along with the following message earlier today (thanks RushFanForever):

UK-based RUSH fans! Make sure you check out MusicRadar on Monday for a massive competition that will allow you to get pretty damn close to your heroes!

The Moving Pictures 5.1 surround sound 30th anniversary deluxe edition (CD+DVD, CD+BD) was released back on April 5th. After its release Moving Pictures re-entered the Billboard 200 after over 30 years at #137 for the week of April 9th before dropping off the charts for the following week of April 16th. It then was back on the charts for the week of April 23rd at #51, at #100 for the week of April 30th, #125 for the week of May 7th, #159 for the week of May 14th and has bounced back a bit this week where it currently sits at #122 for the week of May 21st. Earlier this week Rush announced a new 30th anniversary Moving Pictures contest via their Facebook page.

Test your knowledge of the classic RUSH album by entering the Moving Pictures Contest, featuring visual and audio games and you could win a complete Rush CD collection, an autographed lithograph and a highly collectable Moving Pictures program from the original tour!

To enter the contest just go to this link.

Speaking of contests, UK drum magazine Rhythm has teamed up with Sabian cymbals to offer the chance for you and a friend to get an onstage tour of Neil Peart's Time Machine Tour kit by Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton. Here are the details:

Enter this exclusive competition and you, along with a friend, will be in with a chance to meet Neil's right-hand man, drum tech Lorne Wheaton who will take you onstage for a guided tour of Neil's phenomenal drum set-up (click here for a sneak preview).

The kit tour will take place at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday 25th May, and the prize also includes two pairs of tickets to watch the band perform that evening.



To be in with a chance of winning follow this link and tell us, in no more than 25 words, why you are the world's biggest Neil Peart superfan and deserve this all-access pass to check out Neil's kit. The more creative you are the better!

It looks like residents of countries outside the UK are eligible but they need to take care of their own travel arrangements. Entries will be accepted through Friday, May 20th at 9AM.

Rush made a cartoon-form appearance on Wednesday night's episode of the animated series South Park (Season 15, Episode 3 - Royal Pudding). Here's the episode's synopsis to set things up:

The prince of Canada is about to take a princess and thousands have gathered for the royal wedding. Ike Broflovski is obsessed with it. When they're about to get married, the princess is abducted. All Canadians must find her, and Ike answers the call to arms.

At one point Ike is watching the news where they are covering a candlelight vigil for the princess where Rush is performing. Rush plays a version of Candle in the Wind but with a distinctive Rush sound and Geddy sings the line, ... it seems to me you lived your life like a flower breaking wind... and then farts. Alex then shoots himself and Geddy breaks down crying. You can watch the entire episode online at this link; the Rush part comes in at about the 6-minute mark.

Rush made Gibson.com's list of The Top 10 Rock Trios coming in at #3 behind The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Here's what they had to say:

Via regular reinvention, perseverence and undeniable musicality, Rush have reached legend status. It's a weird set-up: drummer Neil Peart writes the lyrics; Geddy Lee has a "unique voice" and manages to play bass/synths/footpedals and sing it all simultaneously. Alex Lifeson continues to chop out riffs and solos that all bear his unique signature. Rush remain a band no one would ever have invented, yet they remain huge after 37 years together. Even Rush instrumentals can send a crowd ballistic...

You can check out the entire list at this link.

The latest issue of Spin Magazine includes an article titled Playlist: The 30 Greatest Instrumental Songs Ever and Rush's YYZ made the cut. Here's what they had to say:

Rush, YYZ (1981)
With Moving Pictures, Geddy Lee and Co. proved they were mightily virtuosic, historically nerdy (rendering the letters "Y-Y-Z" in Morse Code via various musical arrangements), and capable of damn catchy melodies. Then, of course, there's the drum solo.

You can check out the entire list at this link.

Sonic Reality's Neil Peart Drums Volume 1Last year Sonic Reality released their Neil Peart series drum sample instrument library Neil Peart Drums Volume 1: The Kit for both the Infinite Player software powered by Kontakt and for FXPansion's BFD software. Cakewalk announced just yesterday that it is now also available for SONAR X1 Session Drummer 3. Here's a behind-the-scenes video from the recording sessions for the sample library showing Nick Raskulinecz and the Sound Reality guys setting up the mics and then a couple of minutes of Neil pounding away on his kit. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Greg Prato recently interviewed Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne for an UGO.com article and asked about his memories of opening for Rush back in 1994:

BUZZ OSBORNE: Nothing too dramatic. Their audience hated us something fierce. What a surprise.

UGO: Did you get a chance to hang out with Rush and jam on "I Think I'm Going Bald"?

BUZZ OSBORNE: Sure why not? We jammed onstage every night with those guys. The guitar player even showed me how to play some of their hardest songs! Songs I'd never even heard of because I never listened to Rush. For the first few shows I actually thought the guys IN the band were the road crew. I didn't know what they looked like. Hell, I never even bothered watching their set! We would get done and I would leave. At one point I even told the bass player, who I thought was simply working for Rush, to "Get me a Coke"...which he did! I told him thanks and that I'd cut him a deal on a Melvins shirt after the tour. ...

You can check out the full interview at this link.

Rush Prog issue - July 2010Last summer Rush and the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage were featured in the July, 2010 issue of Classic Rock's Prog magazine for a 6-page article. John at Cygnus-X1.net recently scanned and transcribed the entire article and made it available on his website at this link.

Reader dman2332 located this list of 65 Greatest Songs for Atheists and Agnostics which was linked from a CNN article about Pitzer College being the first college in the US to offer a major in secularism. The list was compiled by Pitzer College professor Phil Zuckerman. Rush's Faithless comes in at number 11.

This CTV article on the reopening of the landmark Toronto bike shop Duke's mentions Geddy Lee as being one of the many celebrities that have been spotted buying bikes at the store.

Prog rock keyboardist/composer/producer/engineer Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists, Asia) was recently featured in Goldmine magazine for an article titled 10 Albums that changed Erik Norlander's life. One of the albums on his list is Rush's A Farewell to Kings:

The standout album for the power trio of my generation. There was, of course, Cream about 10 years earlier. But Rush added some more modern elements, such as synthesizers, bass pedals and orchestral percussion, along with writing some very compelling long-form songs that do not come off as indulgent - but rather the right length for what they had to say.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

If anyone in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario area is looking to adopt a cat, Geddy Lee - this week's Local 2 Pet of the Week - is looking for a good home. I bet he's an impatient cat... get it? :)

Here's a 1:05 edit of the original rearscreen animation created by Cranbunny for The Way The Wind Blows on the Snakes & Arrows tour (thanks Power Windows):

That's all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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Rush makes Gibson.com's list of The Top 10 Rock Trios
8:38AM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush has made Gibson.com's list of The Top 10 Rock Trios coming in at #3 behind The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Here's what they had to say:

Via regular reinvention, perseverence and undeniable musicality, Rush have reached legend status. It's a weird set-up: drummer Neil Peart writes the lyrics; Geddy Lee has a "unique voice" and manages to play bass/synths/footpedals and sing it all simultaneously. Alex Lifeson continues to chop out riffs and solos that all bear his unique signature. Rush remain a band no one would ever have invented, yet they remain huge after 37 years together. Even Rush instrumentals can send a crowd ballistic...

You can check out the entire list at this link. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Alex Lifeson interview with the Sheffield Telegraph
9:47AM EST | link | comments (20) |

Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed by UK newspaper the Sheffield Telegraph as part of a preview article for Rush's upcoming May 16th show at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena. Alex talks about the tour, Rush fans, and his favorite Rush albums:

... "Snakes & Arrows was a big record for us. There's something about the writing and the production that really hits home. Vapour Trails suffered with production but there's a purity in those songs because they were born out of demos and didn't become dressed up. They were very raw. That's what we were at the time, completely exposed and raw and just coming off this terrible tragedy in the band. They all have their thing about them. 2112 was exciting too, basically written on the road in the back of a car or a cold, damp dressing room in northern Ontario somewhere." ...

You can read the entire article/interview at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Dublin open thread
9:29AM EST | link | comments (23) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/19@1:51PM: Here's a spectacular gallery of photos posted at Cygnus-X1.net.

UPDATE - 5/16@4:35PM: Here's a review and photo gallery from Goldenplec.

UPDATE - 5/15@10:19AM: Here's a great gallery of photos on Radio Nova's Facebook page (thanks Forpadydeplasterer).

UPDATE - 5/14@7:01PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/13@4:42PM: Here's a review from State Magazine (thanks jw).

Rush will play Ireland tonight for the first time ever in their long career. They'll be bringing the Time Machine Tour to The O2 in Dublin for stop number 17 on the tour. Irish Rush fan eyes are smilin' tonight! Geddy Lee did a couple of Irish radio interviews over the last couple of days in the lead-up to the show including this one from Radio Nova and this one from Today FM. And the nephew of a friend of reader LanceTheShred was lucky enough to run into Geddy and some of the crew yesterday on Grafton street in Dublin. They were looking for the Phil Lynott Statue and his friend's nephew helped them out. Rush had become friends with Lynott back in the '70s when they toured with Thin Lizzy. For everybody going to the show tonight, have fun, be safe and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 12th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 17
Venue: The O2
Place: Dublin, Ireland

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rush reference on latest episode of South Park
11:15PM EST | link | comments (26) |

UPDATE - 5/12@7:13AM: The episode is now available online at this link along with some more details. The Rush reference comes at about the 6-minute mark. Rush is performing at a candlelight vigil for the princess where they play a version of Candle in the Wind but with a distinctive Rush sound. Geddy sings the line, ... it seems to me you lived your life like a flower breaking wind... and then farts. Alex then shoots himself and Geddy breaks down crying... :)

There was a Rush reference on tonight's episode of the animated series South Park (Season 15, Episode 3 - Royal Pudding). Here's the episode's synopsis to set things up:

The prince of Canada is about to take a princess and thousands have gathered for the royal wedding. Ike Broflovski is obsessed with it. When they're about to get married, the princess is abducted. All Canadians must find her, and Ike answers the call to arms.

At one point in the episode they mention the Canadian rock group Rush then cut to the band performing for an audience. While playing, Alex ends up shooting himself in the head because he is so distraught from the kidnapping. Coincidentally Royal Pudding happens to be the 212th episode of South Park. Thanks to cartmancop for the heads up.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big Rush fans and friends of the band. They famously created the Lil' Rush concert video that was shown just prior to Rush's performance of Tom Sawyer on the Snakes & Arrows tour.

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Geddy Lee Today FM interview now online
2:59PM EST | link | comments (23) |

Today FMMatt Cooper of Ireland radio station Today FM spoke with Geddy Lee Monday via phone from Copenhagen for an interview that aired on his show The Last Word today at 6:30PM (1:30PM EST). Geddy talks with Matt for around 12 minutes about a wide variety of subjects including why the band has never played Ireland before, why they chose to play Moving Pictures in its entirety on the Time Machine Tour, his favorite three Rush albums, the band's longevity, his friendship with Alex and Neil and why he's called Geddy. I was able to record the interview which you can listen to here or using the player below.

Geddy Lee has been making the interview rounds in the Irish press the last couple of days in the lead-up to Rush's first ever show in Ireland tomorrow at the O2 Arena in Dublin.

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Rush Moving Pictures 30th anniversary contest
11:51AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Rush announced a new 30th anniversary Moving Pictures contest via their Facebook page last night.

Test your knowledge of the classic RUSH album by entering the Moving Pictures Contest, featuring visual and audio games and you could win a complete Rush CD collection, an autographed lithograph and a highly collectable Moving Pictures program from the original tour!

To enter the contest just go to this link. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Win a meet and greet with Neil Peart's drum tech Lorne Wheaton for an onstage tour of Neil's kit
10:08AM EST | link | comments (7) |

UK drum magazine Rhythm has teamed up with Sabian cymbals to offer the chance for you and a friend to get an onstage tour of Neil Peart's Time Machine Tour kit by Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton. Here are the details:

Enter this exclusive competition and you, along with a friend, will be in with a chance to meet Neil's right-hand man, drum tech Lorne Wheaton who will take you onstage for a guided tour of Neil's phenomenal drum set-up (click here for a sneak preview).

The kit tour will take place at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday 25th May, and the prize also includes two pairs of tickets to watch the band perform that evening.



To be in with a chance of winning follow this link and tell us, in no more than 25 words, why you are the world's biggest Neil Peart superfan and deserve this all-access pass to check out Neil's kit. The more creative you are the better!

It looks like residents of countries outside the UK are eligible but they need to take care of their own travel arrangements. Entries will be accepted through Friday, May 20th at 9AM.

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Geddy Lee interview today on Ireland's Today FM
6:40AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Today FMMatt Cooper of Ireland radio station Today FM spoke with Geddy Lee Monday for an interview that will air on his show The Last Word today at 6:30PM (1:30PM EST). From Cooper's Twitter feed:

For @rushtheband fans, I've recorded piece with Geddy Lee for broadcast on Last Word on Today FM after 6.30 Wednesday.
16 hours ago via Echofon

@HendoWan Geddy reveals his favourite 3 albums in interview. They are 3 of my favs but I add Signals, Permanent Waves, Grace under Pressure.
13 hours ago via Echofon

The station has streaming audio available via their website - just look for the Today FM Live link in the upper right. Both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been making the interview rounds in the Irish press the last couple of days in the lead-up to Rush's first ever show in Ireland tomorrow at the O2 Arena in Dublin. Thanks to Martin C and Forpadydeplasterer for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Alex Lifeson interview with JournalLive.co.uk
4:32PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed by JournalLive.co.uk as part of a preview article for Rush's upcoming May 21st show at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena. Alex talks about the tour, the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Moving Pictures and how the band stays in shape on the road:

... "We take very good care of ourselves," said Lifeson, whose rock and roll lifestyle is long over. "We work out, play tennis and eat well.

"Of course on tour we start off with the very best intentions. We have a chef who cooks everything organically and we have diets tailored to our individual needs. But after six weeks on the road the lifestyle takes its toll. By the end of the tour you're just about hanging in there!" ...

You can read the entire article/interview at this link. Thanks to GedFan for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson interview with UK newspaper The Star
3:00PM EST | link | comments (17) |

Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed by UK newspaper The Star as part of a preview article for Rush's upcoming May 16th show at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena. Alex talks about the tour, Moving Pictures, the band's history and Rush fans:

... "For us to be in a band that's recorded so much material that's had this sort of connection with fans is pretty remarkable. We're very fortunate to be part of that, to have our music leave that kind of indelible mark on people's lives. It's an amazing thing."

And the reward has been devotion to almost obsessive levels from some. "We certainly have our share of intense fans that really take every little scrap of anything to do with us very seriously. It's interesting, I don't know if it's scary, that someone can dedicate so much of their life to something like a rock band. Obviously we speak to them in a certain way."

You can read the entire article/interview at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Geddy Lee Radio Nova interview now online
2:50PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Radio NovaUPDATE - 5/12@7:39AM: The podcast is now up on the Radio Nova website (thanks RushFanForever).

Irish radio station Radio Nova aired a Rush special earlier today in the lead-up to Rush's first ever show in Ireland this coming Thursday at the O2 in Dublin. DJ Marty Miller and Rock Report host Carol Dooley talked Rush for much of the hour and had Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider in the studio to talk about the stage show. Interspersed throughout their chatting with Howard they aired portions of their interview with Geddy Lee that they conducted yesterday. Geddy talks about a wide variety of subjects including why the band has never played Ireland before, Moving Pictures, the Time Machine Tour, wine, and his friendship with Alex and Neil. I was able to record the interview which you can listen to here or using the player below. They should also have it available as a podcast sometime in the near future.

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Rush's YYZ makes Spin Magazine's 30 Greatest Instrumental Songs Ever list
11:39AM EST | link | comments (13) |

The latest issue of Spin Magazine includes an article titled Playlist: The 30 Greatest Instrumental Songs Ever and Rush's YYZ made the cut. Here's what they had to say:

Rush, YYZ (1981)
With Moving Pictures, Geddy Lee and Co. proved they were mightily virtuosic, historically nerdy (rendering the letters "Y-Y-Z" in Morse Code via various musical arrangements), and capable of damn catchy melodies. Then, of course, there's the drum solo.

You can check out the entire list at this link. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Alex Lifeson track-by-track breakdown of Moving Pictures
4:05PM EST | link | comments (13) |

[Rush's Alex Lifeson talks Moving Pictures: track-by-track]

MusicRadar.com recently conducted an interview with Alex Lifeson where he breaks down Rush's Moving Pictures track-by-track.

'It was a beautiful time,' says guitarist Alex Lifeson, recalling the summer of 1980, when he and his Rush mates (singer-bassist Geddy Lee and drummer-lyricist Neil Peart) rented a house in Stony Lake, Ontario and wrote their eighth album, Moving Pictures, together. 'We'd spend the weeks working, and on weekends we'd drive back to Toronto. Rehearsing, figuring out arrangements - everything just flowed. Electricity was in the air.'...In 2011, the whole of Moving Pictures is being celebrated by Rush on stage - they've been playing the album in its entirety since last year - and on a just-issued special edition Blu-ray CD+DVD package, which renders its seven wondrous cuts with a level of sound clarity that Lifeson calls 'mind-blowing. Richard Chycki, who remixed the album, knew he was working with a part of history, and he did an amazing job. He didn't change the record, just expanded on it. When I heard what he did for first time, I couldn't believe it. It was impeccable. It was Moving Pictures in a 3-D box!' ...

Alex then goes on to break down each of the 7 tracks on the album. Here's what he had to say about The Camera Eye:

"A lot of this song came from separate parts that were written and then connected. I think that's why we always had a bit of a problem embracing it fully in its early days.

"It was hard work. The opening was easy, and then we decided to build up to a crescendo. There's a lot going on. It was one of the last really long songs that we would write.

"There's some very difficult playing here. Neil does an amazing job on it. He plays so dynamically, handling all of the changes and shifts in tempo and time. And Geddy, he's playing bass, he's singing, he's playing bass pedals and keyboards - really something else.

"The guitar solo took me a while to get right. Funnily enough, The Camera Eye has now become one of our favorites, and the crowds really respond to it. Our feeling is, we haven't just resurrected a song; we've improved it."

You can check out the entire article at this link. Geddy Lee did a similar track-by-track breakdown of the album for the Cleveland Plain Dealer last month. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Geddy Lee interview tomorrow on Ireland's Radio Nova
3:18PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Radio NovaUPDATE - 5/10@1:21PM: They just spoke with Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider and now Geddy is on. You can listen live via their website and they'll also have a podcast up later.

Marty Miller of Irish Radio station Radio Nova chatted with Geddy Lee today for an interview that will air tomorrow on Miller's show around 6PM GMT (around 1PM EST). Miller posted about it earlier today on Facebook and also put up a short clip of Geddy calling in and asking for Marty which you can check out here. The station has streaming audio available via their website - just look for the Listen Live button in the upper right. Rush plays their first ever show in Ireland this coming Thursday at the O2 Arena in Dublin. Thanks to Forpadydeplasterer for the heads up.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Malmo open thread
9:51AM EST | link | comments (14) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/13@11:06AM: Here's a review from B.T. (in Swedish - thanks Finn).

UPDATE - 5/10@3:28PM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

UPDATE - 5/10@7:43AM: Here's a review from skanskan.se along with the Google translation (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush plays another date in Sweden tonight where they'll be bringing the Time Machine Tour to the Malmo Arena for show number 16. To all of our fellow Swedish Rush fans going to tonight's show, have fun, be safe, and make sure to share your reports, reviews, and photos with us. And happy Mother's Day to all of you Rush moms out there!

Date/Time: Sunday, May 8th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 16
Venue: Malmo Arena
Place: Malmo, Sweden

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:39PM EST | link | comments (23) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011The 2nd leg of Rush's 2011 Time Machine Tour kicked off Wednesday night at the Hartwell Arena in Helsinki, Finland - the first of a series of 12 European dates the band will be playing throughout the month of May. This weekend they'll continue their trek across Europe where they'll play 2 shows in Sweden beginning with a date at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden tonight and then it's over to Malmo on Sunday. After that they'll be playing their first ever show in Ireland when they'll hit the O2 Arena in Dublin on Thursday.

Classic Rock presents ProgIssue #16 of Classic Rock's Prog magazine hit newsstands a couple of weeks ago. The issue features Rush on the cover along with a 10-page spread on the band including an extensive interview with Neil Peart and interviews with Geddy Lee. The pair discuss Rush's upcoming 19th studio album Clockwork Angels among other subjects. Neil Peart is anxious to get the album done:

... "I feel a certain urgency, I really want to get that record made while I'm still able to," he says. "It was hard for me to set the album aside to tour, this really means a lot to me, I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise, so I really want to get it done while we still can." ...

Geddy talks about the conceptual nature of the album:

... "We have about six songs finished and waiting to go into preproduction and then be recorded. ... "We're going in a conceptual direction on this record, for sure," says Lee. "We started with a 10-minute song idea that then turned into a concept and it's feeding off itself. ... We're spending so much time on this concept. It's been fun, because we haven't gone down that road in a while. Let's see if we can pull it off!" ... "It's not just the fans! We're hoping for another great Rush album ourselves!" ...

There's also a piece where Geddy talks about the Moving Pictures deluxe edition. You can check out all the excerpts from the article in this post.

While Rush was on their first break in the 2011 tour last week, Neil Peart took some time to update the News page on his website with a story titled Eastern Resurrection. In this latest installment Neil discusses his motorcycle travels throughout the Eastern US on the first leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour. You can check out the update at this link. Speaking of Neil Peart, his new book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time received a very favorable review from Kirkus Reviews (thanks sean g). From the review:

... Perhaps the book's best and moist poignant chapter is "The Best February Ever," in which the author describes the bucolic setting surrounding his sanctuary in Quebec. His description of nights spent alone sipping Macallan before a roaring fire while losing himself in great books and days spent cross-country skiing over an unbroken winter landscape while focusing on simply appreciating the heart-breaking majesty of the world around him will instantly transport readers to a more relaxed state of mind-and quite possibly drive hordes of peace seekers northward. Not without potholes, but a ride well worth taking for those who seek the journey more than the destination.

Far and Away is Peart's 5th full-length book and was released earlier last month. You can find out more about the book and purchase your copy at this link.

Facebook is changing the way Facebook groups function and will soon be archiving the old Rush is a Band Facebook group. There's no way to transfer existing members to the new Facebook group format (gee... thanks Facebook) so rather than do that I've opted to start a brand new Rush is a Band Facebook page instead. So if you haven't already, please take a moment to Like Rush is a Band on Facebook. Thanks!

The May, 2011 issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine is a special collector's edition featuring the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time as chosen by rock's greatest songwriters including Rush's Alex Lifeson. Lifeson's choice was The Who's Pete Townshend:

... "The Who were always a major influence on everything that Rush ever did, from the very start. While I'd never question the Beatles' right to be regarded as the greatest songwriters in history, nonetheless what Townshend did with the Who made more of a mark on us. What he's generated is an amazing body of work, with songs so diverse yet also connected by the fact that we're dealing with a man who wasn't ever afraid to give us a glimpse into his world, his thought process, [and] the way he dealt with his problems." ... "[He] made me aware that it was OK to for a great musician to prove he wasn't infallible. That's great quality we've never forgotten in Rush... It's so hard to choose just one song to represent what he's all about... The choice would come down to Pictures Of Lily, I Can't Explain, or Run, Run, Run. They're all so different, yet also have that unmistakable strand of Townshend running through them." ...

The Moving Pictures 5.1 surround sound 30th anniversary deluxe edition was officially released back on April 5th. However, while the CD+DVD version was made available via multiple retailers, the CD+Blu-ray was only sold exclusively through Best Buy until just this past Tuesday; other retailers such as Amazon.com now have the blu-ray edition available as well. You can order your copy of the CD+BD at Amazon at this link (here for the CD+DVD). In addition to the 5.1 remix, the deluxe edition contains 3 bonus music videos from the Le Studio sessions, an extensive gallery with previously unreleased photos from the original recording sessions, new liner notes by music journalist David Fricke and 30th anniversary artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme. You can check out the liner notes at this link and all the images here. After its release last month Moving Pictures re-entered the Billboard 200 after over 30 years at #137 for the week of April 9th before dropping off the charts for the following week of April 16th. It then was back on the charts for the week of April 23rd at #51, at #100 for the week of April 30th, #125 for the week of May 7th and is currently sitting at #159 for the week of May 14th. Reviews of the remix have been very positive so far; Big Picture, Big Sound gave it their highest rating of 4 stars: Outstanding, and Blu-ray.com gave it 4.5 out of 5 (thanks Mr. K). In both of these reviews the only negative things they had to say were regards to the extras - particularly the quality of the bonus videos.

We learned earlier this week that Geddy Lee makes a guest appearance on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue on Rounder Records. The album is a collection of traditional and original Klezmer and Rumanian music that was produced by longtime Rush friend and collaborator Ben Mink. Geddy Lee plays the electric bass on When I Close My Eyes and does the vocals on March of the Shikker. The album is now available for download on both iTunes and Amazon.com.

Open Court Publishing's latest installment in their Popular Culture and Philosophy book series - Rush and Philosophy - began shipping from Amazon.com and other retailers earlier this week despite having a listed release date of May 10th. Longtime Rush and philosophy author Durrell Bowman along with Jim Berti are the co-editors of the 305-page anthology which is divided into 4 sections containing 21 essays with a complete title of Rush and Philosophy: Heart and Mind United. You can check out the table of contents here, read the book's intro at this link and order your copy at here.

The Geneva Centre for Autism is holding their annual gala and art auction - The Autists - on Tuesday, May 17th at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto. In the lead-up to the event they are running an online silent auction which includes a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Model guitar that was signed by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart at Rush's show in Hamilton, ON back on April 19th. The guitar includes a certificate of authenticity and is valued at $1,299. The center is accepting pre-bids on the guitar up until 3:30PM on May 16, 2011. As of this post the current bid was an appropriate $2,112. For more information and to place your bid go to this link.

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida features an on-board sound system which allows the rider to choose the song which is played during the ride. One of the secret bonus tracks is Rush's Temples of Syrinx. Check out this instructional video to see how to access the bonus tracks on the ride - the code for Temples of Syrinx is 101. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Reader steveg2112 let me know that crackberry.com used a screenshot of a blackberry playing The Spirit of Radio off of Rush in Rio for this article about an updated Pandora App for Blackberry.

Nick over at TNMS recently picked up the 2003 Jon Collins biography of British prog rock band Marillion - Separated Out - and transcribed a few passages related to Marillion's stints as an opening act for Rush back in the 80's. Here's one from a sidebar titled Rush Unplugged:

Marillion and Rush went out for a meal one evening. Halfway through
the meal, Fish whispered to his own band, 'I think Alex Lifeson has
had a plug job! Hang on, I'll ask him... Excuse me Alex, have you had
a plug job?" Indeed he had benefited from a hair transplant, and he
very kindly discussed it with Mark and Fish, both of whom were
becoming a little thin up top!"

You can check out all of the excerpts in this TNMS post. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Lead singer and founding member of Texas-based alternative rock band And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead (or more succinctly Trail Of Dead") Conrad Keely was recently interviewed for the Baltimore Sun (thanks Power Windows) and spoke a little about Rush's influence:

... My mom got me into Rush. It's one of those relationships with a band that [I've] been listening to since I was a kid. I respect their longevity. But I also kind of relate to [drummer] Neil Peart, the way he had these literary aspirations with their music. I relate to that in a big way. ...

Reader RushFanForever recently picked up a copy of the 2001 book from Canadian bass player Greg Godovitz (Goddo, Fludd) titled Travels With My Amp. The book contains a few references to Rush and manager Ray Danniels including the following excerpt from the chapter Goddo 1981:

Lighve Tour June 10 - July 11

We opened for Rush at the Pacific Coliseum with no sound check. I was pissed off enough to give a great show and we earned an encore, with Geddy watching our entire set from the side of the stage.

And manager Ray Danniels is listed in the acknowledgements as Squatmate/sometime roadie but too proud to admit it/now manages Rush and Van Halen.

Reader Trip let me know of a Rush reference in Wednesday's edition of the webcomic ChannelATE. You can check it out at this link.

John Kadlecik (Furthur, Dark Star Orchestra) was recently interviewed for the Reston Patch and had this to say regarding Geddy Lee:

... A classically trained violinist, [Kadlecik] was a guitar-playing college freshman in 1987 when a friend introduced him to Grateful Dead recordings. "I had already taught myself hundreds of songs by then," Kadlecik said. "I had burned through the entire Rush and Pink Floyd catalogue. I saw Rush recently, and I see [lead singer] Geddy Lee as a bigger influence on my style than Jerry was." ...

Former Rheostatics drummer Dave Clark's current band The Woodshed Orchestra recently released their new self-titled album which includes a track called Geddy Lee. The goofy, 2-and-a-half minute song includes the lyric Geddy Lee is a Canadian National Treasure, playing the bass in the greatest rock band ever. You can purchase the album at this link and watch the video below or at this link.

That's it for this week but before I let you go, reader Mitch18ss pointed out to me that anyone who wants to conceive a child that will be born on 2/1/12 (February 1st, 2012) had better get busy asap! :) Have a great weekend everyone!

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Stockholm open thread
8:40AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/10@7:46AM: Here's a review from SvD along with the Google translation, and another from DN.se and the Google translation (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 5/8@9:54AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

Rush continues their trek across Europe tonight playing the first of 2 shows in Sweden where they'll be bringing the Time Machine Tour to the Globe Arena in Stockholm. To all of our fellow Swedish Rush fans going to tonight's show, have fun, be safe, and make sure to share your reports, reviews, and photos with us.

Date/Time: Friday, May 6th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 15
Venue: Globe Arena
Place: Stockholm, Sweden

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Excerpts from Classic Rock's Prog magazine Rush feature
4:39PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Classic Rock presents ProgIssue #16 of Classic Rock's Prog magazine hit newsstands a couple of weeks ago. The issue features Rush on the cover along with a 10-page spread on the band including an extensive interview with Neil Peart. UK reader Henry W sent along some scans of the article and I was able to transcribe a few pieces. The Neil Peart interview is titled The Beat Goes On and starts off with Neil discussing his 2 major activities outside of drumming; motorcycling and writing. He then talks about how he's anxious to get back to work on Rush's upcoming 19th studio album Clockwork Angels:

... "I feel a certain urgency, I really want to get that record made while I'm still able to," he says. "It was hard for me to set the album aside to tour, this really means a lot to me, I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise, so I really want to get it done while we still can."

"Nick is a very bad influence," Peart continues. "He wants us to be more Rush than we are, it's wonderful, he pushes me in ways I wouldn't dare. In the middle of Caravan there's a ridiculous fill and it was Nick who wanted me to go all the way down the toms and back up again and once I'd done it, my comment was, 'I'm so ashamed!'," he laughs. "He was in the studio outlining his idea to me, and Geddy's sitting down next to us and he looks up over his glasses and says, 'Oh, he wants to make you famous'. I would have never have proposed some of Nick's arrangement ideas to my bandmates, I'm not that brash, we're not that brash ... we're Canadians." ...

He goes on to talk about the band's longevity, Moving Pictures and the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage - which he still hasn't watched yet because of some of the more difficult subject matter involving the untimely death of his daughter and wife in the late 90's that are discussed in the film. He doesn't like to be reminded of those events which were also brought up in an extensive CNN interview with the band last year:

... [the interview] was supposed to be, we thought, a nice light-hearted chat in front of the stage. But even when they've been asked not to, interviewers feel compelled to ask what they think the tough questions are. It's agonizing for me, it's horrible. Why do that? I know they want me to break down on camera because it'll make great footage, but it doesn't make me feel very good. I tried to steer them gracefully away from it as best I could, and I gave them a bit of stick about it later too." ...

Neil then remarks on the band's surge in popularity in the last few years, specifically their appearance in the I Love You Man movie and guest spot on The Colbert Report, where some backstage footage was shot of the band playing (badly) their own song Tom Sawyer on the Rock Band video game:

... "I sucked so bad at that game, it was perfect," says Peart. 'That game was wrong, though, I was playing the right drum part, it had the wrong one, I swear!" ...

There's also a short interview with Geddy Lee titled Oh My God! It Goes On Forever! where Geddy discusses the Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition and gives his opinions on the 5.1 format:

... For me, [5.1 is] the complete opposite of downloading a song as an MP3. I don't care what anyone says, those things sound like crap compared to the original. People say that you can't tell the difference, but you're listening on these stupid little ear buds, so what the f**k? It does sound worse. So yeah, 5.1 is the antithesis of all that. The only way to hear it is in a big room with all the right equipment. It's kind of nice to go against the grain like that." ...

Geddy on re-learning the fan-favorite epic track from Moving Pictures - The Camera Eye:

... I was really gritting my teeth before we set out to learn that song. Alex and I were sitting in my studio at home and we were listening to it, saying Oh my god, it goes on forever! What the hell were we thinking? So we very judiciously eliminated a minute and a half of its 12 minutes. But little did we know how difficult it would be to learn a 12-minute song that suddenly became a 10-and-a-half minute song, because the edits were so subtle that they were harder for us to learn. It really would have been easier to just play the whole damn thing! Ha ha!" ...

Rounding out the Rush feature is a very enlightening article/interview with Geddy Lee discussing Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album:

... "We have about six songs finished and waiting to go into preproduction and then be recorded. We've been kind of afraid to go back to them, because we don't want to start f**king around with them, we liked them at the time. We're very obsessive about fiddling with our own music, so we just said Okay, let's leave them in that state until we're ready to get more serious.

"Alex and I tried to do some writing on this break." Geddy continues. "We've had three months, so we thought Okay, so maybe we should get all of the rest of the record finished ... but Neil just had a baby last year and he needed to use that time to be a dad and to be domestic, and he didn't want to uproot and get into this intense writing session, and that was totally cool. So Alex and I have been getting together regularly and jamming, and now we have a lot of good material just lying around in suspended animation." ...

... "We're going in a conceptual direction on this record, for sure," says Lee. "We started with a 10-minute song idea that then turned into a concept and it's feeding off itself. It's like that question that Steven Colbert asked us in the movie. Are your songs so long that by the end you're influencing yourself? I think we're doing that now. We're like a feedback loop, influencing ourselves now. We're spending so much time on this concept. It's been fun, because we haven't gone down that road in a while. Let's see if we can pull it off!" ... "It's not just the fans! We're hoping for another great Rush album ourselves!" ...

For anyone who would like to get a subscription to Prog or purchase the issue, you can do so via this website.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson interview from the Toledo Free Press]
[New Geddy Lee radio interview at the UK's 106.1 Rock Radio]
[Short Rush Clockwork Angels feature in March issue of Mojo]
[New Alex Lifeson interview in Guitarist magazine]
[Rush's Caravan makes Amazon's 100 Bestselling Songs of 2010]
[Alex Lifeson interview with Chile's Radio Futuro]
[New interviews with Geddy and Alex from the Brazilian press]
[New Geddy Lee interview with Brazil's TV UOL]

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alex Lifeson on Pete Townshend in May, 2011 issue of Classic Rock
11:12PM EST | link | comments (13) |

Classic Rock May 2011The May, 2011 issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine is a special collector's edition featuring the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time as chosen by rock's greatest songwriters including Rush's Alex Lifeson. Lifeson's choice was The Who's Pete Townshend:

... "The Who were always a major influence on everything that Rush ever did, from the very start. While I'd never question the Beatles' right to be regarded as the greatest songwriters in history, nonetheless what Townshend did with the Who made more of a mark on us. What he's generated is an amazing body of work, with songs so diverse yet also connected by the fact that we're dealing with a man who wasn't ever afraid to give us a glimpse into his world, his thought process, [and] the way he dealt with his problems." ... "[He] made me aware that it was OK to for a great musician to prove he wasn't infallible. That's great quality we've never forgotten in Rush... It's so hard to choose just one song to represent what he's all about... The choice would come down to Pictures Of Lily, I Can't Explain, or Run, Run, Run. They're all so different, yet also have that unmistakable strand of Townshend running through them." ...

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Helsinki open thread
7:54AM EST | link | comments (34) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UPDATE - 5/9@8:33AM: Here's a review from HS.fi and the Google translation.

UPDATE - 5/6@9:21AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

Rush begins the 2nd leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour tonight at the Hartwell Arena in Helsinki, Finland - the first of a series of 12 European dates the band will be playing throughout the month of May. Helsinki is 7 hours ahead of us on the US East Coast, so Rush will hit the stage just a few hours from now. To all of our fellow Finnish Rush fans going to tonight's show, have fun, be safe, and make sure to share your reports, reviews, and photos with us.

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 4th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 14
Venue: Hartwell Arena
Place: Helsinki, Finland

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Dave Clark's The Woodshed Orchestra's new track Geddy Lee
6:38AM EST | link | comments (25) |

Former Rheostatics drummer Dave Clark's current band The Woodshed Orchestra have just released their new self-titled album which includes a track called Geddy Lee. The 2-and-a-half minute song includes the following lyrics:

Geddy Lee is a Canadian National Treasure
playing the bass in the greatest rock band ever
All around the world people flock to see our Geddy Lee play.
"Limelight" and "Twenty One Twelve"
and "Tom Sawyer".
How many kids living in the great white North
started up a band because Rush seemed the sort of guys
who would encourage you to start up a band!
How many kids!

The Woodshed Orchestra consists of an eclectic mix of musical styles and musicians whose sound is a tad difficult to describe. From their bio page:

The Woodshed Orchestra is an ecstatic soul-filled communal multi-headed celebration emancipation experience. The Woodshed will take you higher and make you feel the love you need to succeed. Yes it will. The Woodshed will light up your tree, push all the right buttons, stroke your ego till you come to your senses and start to sing and dance with visions of sugar plum love making times dancing in your mind that seem so real to the taste, touch and feel that you'll shout in happiness and cry tears of joy for being alive.

You can purchase the album at this link and watch the video below or at this link.

The track is also available in French, German and Italian. Many thanks to Dave Clark himself for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Geddy Lee makes a guest appearance on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue
4:40PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Geddy Lee makes a guest appearance on The Black Sea Station's new album Transylvania Avenue on Rounder Records. The album is a collection of traditional and original Klezmer and Rumanian music that was produced by longtime Rush friend and collaborator Ben Mink. From the Rounder Records website:

This collection of traditional and original melodies comes from a band of musicians that straddle the North American continent and the traditions of Klezmer and Rumanian music. On this, their debut CD, The Black Sea Station displays a love and respect for their Eastern European roots. They bring this world to life in various scenes - a wedding, an intimate café, village streets, quiet moments and celebrations - all reflecting on and celebrating the rich history and culture of their heritage.

Geddy Lee plays the electric bass on When I Close My Eyes and does the vocals on March of the Shikker. The album is now available for download on both iTunes and Amazon.com. Thanks to John Virant at Rounder Records for the heads up and info.

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Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition blu-ray release
11:37AM EST | link | comments (6) |

The Moving Pictures 5.1 surround sound 30th anniversary deluxe edition was officially released back on April 5th. However, while the CD+DVD version was made available via multiple retailers, the CD+Blu-ray was only sold exclusively through Best Buy until just today; other retailers such as Amazon.com now have the blu-ray edition available as well. You can order your copy of the CD+BD at Amazon at this link (here for the CD+DVD). In addition to the 5.1 remix, the deluxe edition contains 3 bonus music videos from the Le Studio sessions, an extensive gallery with previously unreleased photos from the original recording sessions, new liner notes by music journalist David Fricke and 30th anniversary artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme. You can check out the liner notes at this link and all the images here. After its release last month Moving Pictures re-entered the Billboard 200 after over 30 years at #137 for the week of April 9th before dropping off the charts for the following week of April 16th. It then was back on the charts for the week of April 23rd at #51, at #100 for the week of April 30th, and is currently sitting at #125 for the week of May 7th. Reviews of the remix have been very positive so far; Big Picture, Big Sound gave it their highest rating of 4 stars: Outstanding, and Blu-ray.com gave it 4.5 out of 5 (thanks Mr. K). In both of these reviews the only negative things they had to say were regards to the extras - particularly the quality of the bonus videos.

Related Posts:
[Moving Pictures reenters the Billboard 200 ... again - at #51 this time!]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition initial reviews]
[Moving Pictures 5.1 remix liner notes and images now online]
[Richard Chycki on the future of Rush's catalog in 5.1]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition release]
[Rush's Moving Pictures reenters the Billboard 200 at #137]
[Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition trailer, contest]
[First review in for the Moving Pictures 5.1 surround sound remix]

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Guitar autographed by Rush up for auction to benefit autism
10:57AM EST | link | comments (12) |

The Geneva Centre for Autism is holding their annual gala and art auction - The Autists - on Tuesday, May 17th at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto. In the lead-up to the event they are running an online silent auction which includes a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Model guitar that was signed by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart at Rush's show in Hamilton, ON back on April 19th. The guitar includes a certificate of authenticity and is valued at $1,299. The center is accepting pre-bids on the guitar up until 3:30PM on May 16, 2011. As of this post the current bid was an appropriate $2,112. For more information and to place your bid go to this link. Thanks to John Carere for the heads up.

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