Archive: Blog Entries from December, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff: year-end edition
2:07PM EST | link | comments (45) |

Rush 2012Back in 1976 Rush released their breakthrough 2112 album, which was to become one of the most important prog-rock albums of all time. Since then the album's name and title track have become a sci-fi pop-culture fixture; showing up whenever a need arises to reference some far-off future year, random hotel room number, phone number or passcode. It's safe to say that when Rush was recording the album they had no idea it would have such a far-ranging impact, nor did the notion ever cross their minds that we'd still be talking about it 35 years later on the verge of ringing in the year 2012 - the 2112 pre-centennial! Before you know it we will be plunged into a mysterious cosmic war, only to emerge under the light of the totalitarian Red Star of the Solar Federation 50 years from now in 2062, ushering in an era of peace ... until the year 2112 when one lone individual makes a wonderful discovery in a cave on the outskirts of Megadon - a discovery that changes everything... But before all that happens and we ring in 2012, let's not forget about 2011 - which was yet another landmark year for Rush. The year saw another highly successful Rush tour which gave birth to the band's first ever full-length concert video shot entirely in the US; they wrapped up work on their highly-anticipated 19th studio album - Clockwork Angels; Moving Pictures celebrated its 30th anniversary which precipitated the release of a 5.1 remix of the album; and Neil Peart released another book and another instructional DVD. And those were just a few of the highlights. So let's crank up the GeFilter and take a look back at the year in Rush news in a little more detail.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandThe year began with preparations for a second leg of Rush's Time Machine tour. The theme behind the tour was the band's showcasing of both the old and the new; the old being the performance of Rush's Moving Pictures album in its entirety, and the new being the debut of the 2 new tracks Caravan and BU2B - both to be featured on their upcoming Clockwork Angels album. The tour would see the band heading to several North American cities that had been missed on the 2010 leg, along with a stint across the pond which included the band's first trip to Ireland. On the US leg the band decided to film their April 15th date in Cleveland, OH - the city which broke the band in the US back in 1974. The filming produced the band's 7th full-length concert video which was titled Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland and released on November 8th.

Rush Sector box setsPart of the reason Rush decided to play their Moving Pictures album in its entirety on the Time Machine tour was to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its February 12th, 1981 release. They also celebrated by releasing a 30th anniversary deluxe 5.1 remix edition of the album in early April. The success of this release prompted the band to release remastered versions of their entire Mercury catalog later in the year as 3, 5-album box sets - each celebrating one sector of their career. These Sector box sets included 5.1 versions of Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings and Signals.

In addition to all of their various Rush-related work, the members of Rush also kept busy with numerous side projects - especially Neil and Alex. In the Spring Neil released his 5th full length book - Far and Away: A Prize Every Time, and his third drumming instructional video - Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance - in the Fall. He also made an appearance on Letterman for drum solo week; had a jam session with Stewart Copeland, Danny Carey and Les Claypool; made a surprise appearance at KoSA; and mourned the loss of one of his mentors - jazz drumming legend Freddie Gruber, who passed away at the age of 84 in October.

Alex Lifeson was his normal busy self with a number of side projects in 2011. He played the role of Dr. Figg in the indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, which released in the Fall. He also was involved with the soundtrack to the spy thriller The Double, playing guitar throughout the film and composing the outro track - Don't Look Back. Alex also collaborated with a number of other artists including the David Barrett Trio, Jason Plumb and Tom Cochrane. Outside of movies and music, Alex participated once again in the Brush of Hope charity auction, raising $7000 with his painting Sun Dance.

Although not quite as busy as his bandmates, Geddy Lee kept himself occupied with the Grapes for Humanity charity where he is a member of the board of directors. The organization even created a scholarship in his name and their annual auction raised over $50,000 for charity. Geddy also worked to get funding and writers in place for the film adaptation of Dave Bidini's Baseballisimo, for which he obtained the rights to last year.

Clockwork AngelsOnce the band finished up the Time Machine tour they once again began to focus their efforts on finishing up their Clockwork Angels album - work which they had begun in early 2010 with the recording of Caravan and BU2B. In late August they signed a deal with Roadrunner Records and then hit the studio in October, wrapping up the recording just before the Holidays. They will mix the album after the New Year and plan to release it in the Spring with a tour to follow.

Rock Band 3Now back to the present day for a moment. Not much of note occurred this past week other than Harmonix announcing that Rush's 2112 would be made available as a download for Rock Band next week in celebration of the dawn of 2012. For all the details along with a preview video check out the Rock Band website, and discuss it on the Rock Band forum. Rush's 2112 was the centerpiece of last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and several other Rush tracks have been made available for both Rock Band and Guitar Hero games over the past few years. And just a couple weeks ago a Rush 3-pack was released for the game which included The Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night and Caravan.

Earlier this week, the Ultimate Classic Rock website passed the milestone of their 2,112th post. To celebrate the occasion they decided to take a look back at Rush's 1976 breakthrough 2112 album. The album seems to be getting a lot more attention now that we are fast approaching the 2012 2112 pre-centennial celebration. JAM! included the album's iconic starman image in its gallery of the 50 coolest band logos . There's this advertisement for Czech automaker Skoda's Fabia car, which features a street drummer and highlights the fact that the car has 2,112 different color combinations. And there's this satirical article at SplitSider.com titled My Ex-Girlfriend Reviews The Mix CD I Made Her in High School, by Pedro Salinas (thanks Tamra). The fictional mix tape contains 2112 along with several other Rush tracks. In fact, the only non-Rush track is Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing. :)

RushFanForever let me know that Geddy Lee made Noisecreep's gallery of Rockers That Look Like Grannies. And UK digital radio station Planet Rock named Rush the Best Live Act of 2011 in their end-of-year poll. Rush is also up for several Ultimate Classic Rock year-end awards too, so go vote for Rush!

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been touring recently including some Canadian dates where they have been dropping in a few Rush licks into their set. Here's a clip from their Ottawa show last month where they play a little Rush at about the 2:40 mark (thanks Brad P).

Now let's set the GeFilter on future and look ahead to an exciting 2012 where we'll have Rush's first new album since 2007's Snakes & Arrows to look forward to along with yet another tour. On top of all that, I'm sure the guys will have several side projects in the works and will continue all of their charitable causes. Next year will see the 10th anniversary of the release of Vapor Trails and I wouldn't be surprised if we will finally see that remix that was first talked about earlier in the year. Before you know it, it will be 2014 and we'll be celebrating R40!

And with one more look back in time, here's Rush playing 2112 live in Passaic, NJ back in 1976.

Here's looking forward to a great 2012! Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!!

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Rush wins Best Live Act in Planet Rock end of year poll
11:29AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011UK digital radio station Planet Rock have unveiled the results of their year-end poll and Rush won the award for Best Live Act (thanks Lifeson_Times). Here's what they had to say:

Rush have got nothing left to prove. Their devoted fan base will turn out to see them whenever they can, and their albums will always sell. After nearly 40 years in the business you would think that they might be starting to rest on their laurels.

Wrong.

The Time Machine Tour 2011 may be their best live show for two decades, and that's saying something because most of their other tours have been pretty damn special too.

A three hour set included two songs from their forthcoming album, Clockwork Angels, some of their greatest hits, oh, and the WHOLE OF MOVING PICTURES, all played to perfection.

If you saw Rush this year then than none of this comes as a surprise. The likelihood is that the show you saw is your favourite show of the year. We know this because that's what EVERYONE says who managed to catch one of the band's gigs in 2011.

Exhilarating, remarkable, spectacular... none of these words can quite capture what makes a Rush concert so special, but one thing is for certain - if you missed the band this time round then you seriously missed out

Well said. Rush beat out Roger Waters, The Foo Fighters, Black Country Communion and Slash for the top spot. Planet Rock conducted an interview with Alex Lifeson late last month which you can check out online here. Rush is also up for several Ultimate Classic Rock year-end awards too, so go vote for Rush!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rush's 2112 coming to Rock Band DLC next week
11:46AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Rock Band 3The Rock Band website announced this morning that Rush's 2112 would be released as a download for the Rock Band video game next week, confirming rumors from earlier this month:

Rush's ambitious seven-part suite "2112" will come to the Rock Band Music Store to ring in 2012!

In 1976, legendary Canadian rock trio Rush released their groundbreaking fourth studio album, 2112. With its opening track - a 20-minute, seven-part suite known as "2112" - Rush painted a picture of a sci-fi world in the midst of a revolution, controlled by technology. An alternate take of this epic suite, largely considered one of the most important pieces in progressive rock, comes to Rock Band just in time for the New Year.

"2112" will be offered as three separate playable packages: one combines "Overture" and "The Temple of Syrinx"; the second features "Discovery" and "Presentation"; and the final track brings "Oracle: The Dream," "Soliloquy," and "Grand Finale."

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players have the option to purchase the single Rush "2112" pack, which features all three of the above tracks, as well as one, 20-minute marathon medley of all seven parts of the suite, exclusively available in this special pack. Additionally, as a bonus, players who purchase the pack will receive Pro Guitar and Pro Bass upgrades for all three packages, as well as a Pro Guitar and Pro Bass upgrade for the medley for free! ...

For all the details along with a preview video check out the Rock Band website, and discuss it on the Rock Band forum. Rush's 2112 was the centerpiece of last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and several other Rush tracks have been made available for both Rock Band and Guitar Hero games over the past few years. And just a couple weeks ago a Rush 3-pack was released for the game which included The Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night and Caravan. Thanks to USB Connector for the heads up.

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UltimateClassicRock.com honors their 2,112th post with a look back at Rush's 2112
3:14AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Earlier this week, the Ultimate Classic Rock website passed the milestone of their 2,112th post. To celebrate the occasion they decided to take a look back at Rush's 1976 breakthrough 2112 album:

... The album's epic title track was 20:33 in length and occupied the entire first side of the album. Because of that, the album is often mistakenly identified as a concept album. In fact, that point was just recently debated by VH-1 Classic host Eddie Trunk and his co-hosts on 'That Metal Show.' (As they often do, the hosts agreed to disagree on the subject.) While there was indeed a concept attached to the title track, the entire second side of songs are unrelated to the storyline laid out by '2112,' technically striking it from true "concept album" status, but spirited music fans will continue to argue otherwise. ...

... It's interesting to listen to '2112' now and ponder how it would be received as an album in today's musical climate. While there are certainly groups that are issuing concept albums/ tracks and similarly lengthy pieces of music in the present, would Rush's music enjoy the same rabid following that they were able to build as a result of the success in their heyday, or would they have a smaller fringe audience similar to the ones currently following other modern progressive rock groups? ...

... Geddy Lee recently told Billboard that there's a fighting chance that they might play the entire '2112' album someday in the future:

"If we were really out of our minds, we would attempt something like [1978's] 'Hemispheres.' If Rush has a cult following, within that cult following there's a following for 'Hemispheres' [laughs]. I'm not sure we're up for that one, but I could see us doing '2112.'"

The album is sure to get even more scrutiny now that we are fast approaching the 2012 2112 pre-centennial celebration (thanks to LanceTheShred for coining that phrase). JAM! included the album's iconic starman image in its gallery of the 50 coolest band logos (thanks OU812112). And there's this advertisement (thanks david) for Czech automaker Skoda's Fabia car, which features a street drummer and highlights the fact that the car has 2,112 different color combinations.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:46AM EST | link | comments (27) |

UPDATE - 12/24@10:06AM: Here's some more Rush from the Sonic Elements Sonic Reality Progressive Rock Project; the outro to Between the Wheels:

----- snip -----

International Rush DayClockwork AngelsThis past Wednesday we celebrated International Rush Day - the 21st day of the 12th month or 21/12 as written in many parts of the world. The occasion has become an unofficial Rush holiday in recent years, and is always a lot of fun to celebrate. The big news of this past week was Rush finally wrapping up the recording of their upcoming Clockwork Angels album. They've spent the last 2 months working with producer Nick Raskulinecz and sound engineer Rich Chycki at Revolution Studio in Toronto, and Rich Chycki posted the following tweet earlier this week:

2 months at Revolution Studio in Toronto. Thanks for the hospitality guys! #wrapped

Although he doesn't explicitly mention Rush in this tweet, it's apparent from other recent tweets and interviews that the Rush recording is what's being referred to here. The fact that the recording is finished has also been corroborated by other anonymous sources close to the band. Rush have mixing booked for after the New Year and should be on track for a Spring release. Guitar World readers recently voted Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandGuitar World posted their list of the Top Ten DVDs of 2011 and Rush's Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland made the list at #2 (thanks RushFanForever). Antimusic.com recently reviewed the DVD and gave it a 3.5/5. The Time Machine Blu-ray was released back on November 8th, but was only available exclusively at Best Buy in the US until just this past Tuesday when all other US retailers began carrying it. If you haven't already, you can order your copy at this link. Now that the Time Machine concert video has been out for a while now, I thought I'd ask everybody how they think it stacks up against all of the other Rush DVDs/videos. Take the poll and let us know. For all the results from past rushisaband.com polls, view the poll archive.

Speaking of Rush live, Rush tour photographer/pyrotechnician John Arrowsmith let me know that he recently uploaded all of his 2008 photos from the Snakes & Arrows tour to the Rush tour photo website. You can check them out at this link. Thanks John!

Rush Rock HallRadio DJ and That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk interviewed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman for his Sirius XM radio show this past Monday evening. Eddie had an informative and respectful 2.5-hour talk with Peresman. It was a great discussion from an educational standpoint in that the nomination/induction process was discussed in painstaking detail, but nothing was really resolved. Eddie mentioned Rush several times during the interview as being one of the most egregious omissions from the Rock Hall along with KISS and Deep Purple, and Peresman mentioned Rush being the most talked about exclusion over the last couple of years. Probably the most interesting portion of the interview was when VH1 executive and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination Committee member Rick Krim called in. Krim is a big rock and metal fan and has been pushing for Rush's induction for all of the 3 years he's been a member of the committee, so it was great hearing his perspective and knowing that he's in there fighting for Rush and other hard rock acts. The entire interview is available for listening on YouTube at this link.

As part of his series of Rush road crew interviews this past summer, Paul at The Canadian Music Scene interviewed legendary Rush producer Terry Brown. Back in July he posted part 1 of the interview where Terry spoke about his beginnings in the music industry, who he worked with, where he worked, and what roles one plays while working their way up the ladder. Paul was finally been able to post part 2 of the interview earlier this week which you can check out at this link. This portion of the interview is particularly interesting in that Terry talks about his history working with Rush. In case you missed them, you can see all of Paul's other Rush road crew interviews at his website here.

2011 Ultimate Classic Rock AwardsThe Ultimate Classic Rock website posted their list of the Top 10 Jewish Rock Stars earlier this week in celebration of Hanukkah (thanks rushrulez. Geddy Lee made the list at #9:

Rush bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib on July 29, 1953. His parents were Jewish refugees from Poland who survived the Dachau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps during World War II. In 2004, when Rob Tannenbaum of Maxim interviewed Lee he described the two most Jewish things about him as "My nose and my sense of humor. I'm kind of a Jewish atheist: I bathe in the racial beauty of Judaism, but I don't really see what that has to do with a belief in God. The only time I pray is on the tennis court."

Speaking of Ultimate Classic Rock, the first annual Ultimate Classic Rock Awards kicked off a few weeks ago and Rush is in the running for several of the awards; Tour of the Year, DVD of the Year, Live Album of the Year, Box Set of the Year. So go vote for Rush! And Alex Lifeson is up for the Guitar World Hall of Fame in the magazine's 2011 Reader's Poll (thanks John H). So go vote for Lerxst!

Mike Smith (aka Bubbles from The Trailer Park Boys) posted a great gallery of photos to Facebook from when he had the honor of touring/recording with Rush a few years back. You can check out the gallery at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

Comedian Patton Oswalt was a guest on Conan Tuesday night and made some observations about the insane logic problems inherent in the Christmas song The Little Drummer Boy. Referring specifically to how he essentially puts the baby Jesus to sleep with a drum solo, Oswalt remarked, Where were you when my baby had croup Neil Peart!? You can watch the video of the exchange online at this link at about the 3-minute mark. It even made TV Guide's Cheers & Jeers Wednesday morning along with The Huffington Post. Thanks to burma.girl and AHSBAND2112 for the heads up. On a related note, Alex Lifeson recorded an instrumental version of The Little Drummer Boy for the 1997 album Merry Axemas. Alex also talked about the song for a recent MusicRadar.com article where they had asked several rock stars to pick their favorite Christmas songs.

Reader RushFanForever located this website which lists all of the various K-Tel and other compilations that Rush songs have appeared on over the years. I remember owning a couple of these on cassette!

Reader WorkingmanDc noticed this sign for a $21.12 special outside of a Manhattan parking garage last week. I think a Rush fan might work there... :)

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson was the guest DJ at the city's Biltmore Cabaret night club this past Saturday night and let his Rush fan colors show (thanks RushFanForever):

... all eyes turned to the deejay booth at the back of the dance floor. Robertson took to the turntables at 11 p.m. wearing an indigo polo shirt under a dark sport coat and sporting a pair of electric blue headphones. He opened with Geddy Lee's crack-ling first words from Rush's Tom Sawyer before sliding into the Black Keys' dancey Dead and Gone. ...

Reader Anthony G let me know that Rush was the answer to the $1000 question in the Canada Rocks category on Jeopardy! last Friday night. The question was:

This arena-rock trio hit it big in the '70s with the Ayn Rand-inspired album 2112

Rush was also the answer to a Jeopardy! question earlier this year. Thanks to Chip H for the screenshot.

Reader hermy had a slow week at work and made a couple of Rush-themed Christmas images utilizing his mad Photoshop skillz. You can check them out by clicking on the thumbnails. And Eric over at the Power Windows site put together this JibJab holiday greeting from the Rush elves:

Happy Holidays everybody!!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy International Rush Day!
12:50AM EST | link | comments (32) |

International Rush DayUPDATE - 12/21@9:29PM: Here's a 21/12, Time Machine-themed image courtesy hermy.

Today is the 21st day of the 12th month - often written as 21/12 in many parts of the world. The occasion has become a sort of unofficial Rush holiday in recent years. What better excuse do you need to listen to Rush all day long, watch Rush DVDs, wear Rush paraphernalia, and otherwise celebrate Rush fandom? To make it especially significant, do something extra special at exactly 9:12PM this evening; 21:12 in military time. For all the folks on Facebook: there's an event for International Rush Day here. Happy International Rush Day!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording
1:02PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Clockwork AngelsAccording to a tweet from Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki from earlier today, Rush has wrapped up their 2-month stint of recording at Revolution Studio in Toronto for their upcoming Clockwork Angels album.

2 months at Revolution Studio in Toronto. Thanks for the hospitality guys! #wrapped

Although he doesn't explicitly mention Rush in this tweet, it's apparent from other recent tweets and interviews that the Rush recording is what's being referred to here. The fact that the recording is finished has also been corroborated by other anonymous sources close to the band. Rush have mixing booked for after the New Year and should be on track for a Spring release. Guitar World readers recently voted Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview]
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz: Clockwork Angels in pre-production; start recording mid-October]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Terry Brown video interview at The Canadian Music Scene
9:01AM EST | link | comments (14) |

[TCMS Interview with legendary producer Terry Brown part II: The RUSH Years]

As part of his series of Rush road crew interviews this past summer, Paul at The Canadian Music Scene interviewed legendary Rush producer Terry Brown. Back in July he posted part 1 of the interview where Terry spoke about his beginnings in the music industry, who he worked with, where he worked, and what roles one plays while working their way up the ladder. Paul has finally been able to post part 2 of the interview which you can check out at this link. This portion of the interview is particularly interesting in that Terry talks about his history working with Rush. In case you missed them, you can see all of Paul's other Rush road crew interviews at his website here.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Eddie Trunk to interview Rock and roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman for his Sirius XM radio show this evening
4:38PM EST | link | comments (27) |

Rush Rock HallUPDATE - 12/22@9:35AM: After listening to more of the show, VH1 executive and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination Committee member Rick Krim called in at one point and spoke about how he has been pushing for Rush's induction for the last 3 years to no avail.

UPDATE - 12/22@9:10AM: The entire (very long) interview was posted to YouTube (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 12/19@8:15PM: By a strange quirk of fate, I had to take my car into the shop today and was given a rental that has satellite radio. So I've been sitting out in the car since 6:30 (my neighbors must think I'm nuts) listening to the interview. They are taking a short break and are then going to take some calls from listeners. The bulk of the first hour was spent on explaining the ins and outs of the nomination/induction process - which I was already familiar with but I think was helpful and educational for the general public who were unfamiliar and may have had some questions about how it all works. But whenever Eddie delved into specifics, Peresman weaved and dodged, saying that it wasn't up to him who got in and his stock answer when asked about band X was that they didn't get enough votes. Once they did get into specifics, Eddie mentioned Deep Purple, Rush and KISS as the 3 most egregious omissions from the Hall that he could think of. Peresman agreed that all 3 bands were worthy, but didn't get enough votes. Eddie brought up the point that if - after being eligible for nearly 15 years in many cases - these bands hadn't yet even been nominated (with the exception of KISS- who was nominated once), that there must be some reason for it; that something else was going on behind the scenes to prevent them from getting in. Peresman denied there was anything like that going on, but couldn't/wouldn't explain things beyond that. And when asked whether something needed to change regarding the process, Peresman said no; nothing needed to change. They talked a bit about Guns and Roses being inducted on the first ballot on the strength of essentially one album - Appetite for Destruction. Eddie pointed out how ridiculous that was given all the other eligible bands that influenced G-n-R that have been ignored. Eddie also touched on how outrageous it was that it took so long for a band like Alice Cooper to get inducted (they were finally inducted last year). All in all it was a good conversation from an educational standpoint, in that the nomination/induction process was explained in detail. But nothing was resolved and the fact that Peresman couldn't even bring himself to admit that there was a problem with the process was a bit disheartening.

Radio DJ and That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk will be interviewing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman for his Sirius XM radio show this evening. From Eddie Trunk's blog:

... Yes it is true! The President of the R&R Hall Of Fame Foundation is coming to Eddie Trunk Live to discuss the Hall and my feelings about it! Joel Peresman from the Hall will be in studio 12/19 at 6:30PM ET for a discussion about one of my favorite targets, how it works, why it works that way, your calls, and more. Joel does NOT make the decisions on who goes in exclusively, but he is the top guy for the R&R Hall Foundation and hopefully we can make some progress and figure out why these injustices for so many great legendary rock bands have taken place for decades! I appreciate Joel stepping up in response to my years of rants on TV and Radio. Nice to know they are paying attention and he is at least willing to hear us out. ...

Knowing how huge of a Rush fan Eddie is, it's pretty much a given that Rush will get discussed. It should be very interesting. Note that Peresman is the CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation - as opposed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland. While the two are affiliated, the Foundation is the entity responsible for selecting inductees to the Rock Hall, and the Museum itself is just that - a Rock and Roll museum and has nothing to do with who gets selected. The CEO of the Museum is Terry Stewart. If those of you subscribed to Sirius XM radio can listen in and give a report, it would be much appreciated.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:46PM EST | link | comments (42) |

UPDATE - 12/16@2:04PM: Sorry - I hadn't switched over the poll yet. It's up now though. So how does the Time Machine concert video stack up against all of the other Rush DVDs/videos? Take the poll and let us know.

Clockwork AngelsAccording to recent band interviews, it sounds as if Rush has about wrapped up the bulk of the recording for their upcoming Clockwork Angels album. The latest edition of Guitar World magazine contains a short interview with Alex Lifeson where he gives an update on the recording. From the article:

... Alex Lifeson stops short of calling Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels a concept record, but he does admit that a theme runs through most the songs. "We have Caravan and BU2B; both of which we released already and played on the Time Machine tour," he says, referring to the group's extensive 2010-2011 outing. "Those two, along with three other songs, form a suite. The story of Clockwork Angels is in those five tracks."

Longtime Rush fans, who grew up on such multi-song narratives as 2112 and Hemispheres, will no doubt applaud the group's return to its prog-rock roots. They'll also be thrilled to learn that the band isn't paying mind to the length of its compositions. "We're definitely stretching out," Lifeson says. "Most of the songs are over six minutes. We're having fun with them, seeing where they want to go."

The guitarist estimates that Rush has eight songs finished. One track, however, is putting up a fight. "We wrote it, scrapped it, then rewrote it and shelved it again," Lifeson says, laughing. "Right now, we're still considering it. Something's there that we don't want to lose."

The band is working once again with producer Nick Raskulinecz, who in addition to helming albums for the Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains and Evanesence, oversaw Rush's 2007 release, Snakes & Arrows. "Nick is fantastic," Lifeson says. "He's very enthusiastic, has great ideas, gets incredible sounds, and he's so adaptable to our twists and turns."

That includes a more stripped-down, instrumental approach. "The last few records have been quite produced, with many layers of guitars and vocals," he says. "This time, we'd like to keep things simple and direct.

"We'll see if that sticks," he adds after a moment's though. "I might listen to the finished record and go, 'Needs more guitar!' " ...

Guitar World readers also recently voted Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012.

Speaking of Alex, Lerxst was scheduled to make an appearance at Wednesday night's 7th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Concert but was a no-show according to reports by some fans who attended the show. There's no word yet on a reason why he wasn't able to perform - hopefully it wasn't anything serious.

Snag the SnareNeil Peart was a guest on TSN Radio earlier this week and spoke for about 10 minutes about the rigors of touring/drumming, how he stays in shape, the recording of the new album, the Hockey Theme, and the TSN Snag the Snare contest. The podcast is available on the TSN Radio website (you can directly download it as a wav file at this link) and it's also available on iTunes. The Snag the Snare contest closed at 12PM EST today and the 3 lucky winners will get a limited edition Neil Peart snare drum; a replica of the drums used in the recording of the NHL on TSN's Hockey Theme last year.

Reader 1-2-bucklemyshoe pointed me to this glowing review of the Time Machine Blu-ray from Blog Critics' Paul Roy. He gives the blu-ray a 9 out of 10 rating and has this to say:

... The production quality for this Blu-ray disk is stellar. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is about as good as it gets, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track is not too shabby either for you non-surround sound listeners. The video is sharp and crystal clear, and the colors are vibrant. As I mentioned before, I wasn't crazy about the camera direction, but it was certainly better than about 90% of the concert DVDs coming out these days. ...

The Time Machine Blu-ray was released back on November 8th, but was only available exclusively at Best Buy in the US. However, this coming Tuesday, December 20th it gets released to all other US retailers. If you haven't already, you can order your copy at this link. Now that the Time Machine concert video has been out for a while now, I thought I'd ask everybody how they think it stacks up against all of the other Rush DVDs/videos. Take the poll and let us know. For all the results from past rushisaband.com polls, view the poll archive.

Speaking of the Time Machine Tour, reader Sean pointed me to this gallery of photos from the tour from former baseball pitcher turned photographer Randy Johnson. And earlier this week we learned some details regarding a Halifax concert promotion scandal which prevented Rush from hitting Atlantic Canada on the Time Machine tour this past year. The lack of any Atlantic Canada dates on the tour was one of the more high-profile omissions from the tour's itinerary and - as it turns out - it looks like the band definitely did pursue at least one concert date there but were thwarted due to reasons outside their control. An article posted in Halifax's The Coast last week reveals several details regarding the scandal which resulted in Rush being prevented from playing a July show at the Halifax Common. You can read all the details in the article at this link.

Rush Sector box setsA couple of weeks ago Rush and their management acknowledged some minor production flaws in the Sector box sets which were released back on November 21st. Here's what was posted at Rush.com:

We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for 'A Farewell To Kings' inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience - Geddy, Alex & Neil

The band's management has also informed me that they are in the process of setting up an 800 number for folks to get the fixed discs (just replacements for the flawed discs, not a box set replacement), and will have all that information up on Rush.com once the discs are ready to ship. They also shared with me their response regarding some emails they are getting regarding other issues that fans are reporting hearing on the discs:

Please be assured that once the technical issue was found, the entire Sectors masters were revisited (again).

Rich Chycki had good time revisiting By-Tor on All The Worlds A Stage, and the listeners are correct that 'a sound' appears midway through the song. Like the studio version, that is the sound of ByTor-- a phase shifty type of angry animal sound that pops in and out around Alex's guitar solo. It's identical to the original vinyl version. There is no technical issue.

We know Rush fans in particular appreciate that the product being released now is the highest resolution to date, and that can reveal details that weren't apparent previously as well as revealing limitations of past media formats. I'm sure that fans appreciate that the masters are simply not recycled but fully re-transferred and remastered and will enjoy the differences in the products.

The Sectors box set was listed on both the Phoenix Times' list of Five Holiday Gifts for Dad, and NoiseCreep's Holiday Gift Guide.

Rock Band 3This past Tuesday a Rush 3-pack was released for Rock Band DLC which includes The Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night and Caravan. They also hinted at more Rush releases for the near future, so stay tuned.

Rush's Limelight and 2112 were recently made available for the Jammit app. From the Rush Facebook Page:

Rush have teamed up with Jammit, the number one app for you to learn your favourite songs, and have made available Rush's classic songs "2112" and "Limelight".

Rush on Jammit gives you access to the original Rush multi-track masters, with instrument-specific versions available for drums, bass, guitar and vocals with the precise notation and tablature. In addition to being an exceptional learning tool, each Rush song can be analyzed by isolating the individual instruments from the rest of the mix, slowing down the speed (without changing the pitch) and looping difficult sections.

For more information and to listen to some demo tracks, visit the Rush page at the Jammit website. The Jammit app is available for both the iPhone and iPad. The Jammit website also promises more Rush songs to come.

Team ChromeyChromey is the classic 1974 chrome Slingerland drum kit that Neil Peart used from 1974-1977 on Fly By Night, Caress of Steel, 2112 and All the World's a Stage. The Critical Mass blog recently posted an interview with Chromey owner Dean Bobisud along with Chromey team member Tom Bronkema. Bobisud purchased the kit via an eBay auction back in 2009, restored it and for the past 2 years has been touring it around the country to raise money for charity with the help of other Chromey team members such as Tom Bronkema. The two discuss Chromey's colored past along with its new role as a means to raise money for the American Cancer Society and other charitable organizations. Here's Bobisud with some background on how he obtained the kit:

To be honest, being a Rush collector, I didn't even put a thought as to the whereabouts of this drum kit or if it even still existed until a fellow collector informed me of the auction. The auction ended on August 9, 2009 with 18 different bidders and placing a total of 53 bids. After the auction, the drum kit was restored back to it's former original playing condition as last used by Mr. Peart and was then decided to share the kit with Rush fans who can appreciate this unique piece of rock history and help raise money for the American Cancer Society. In November 2009, "Chromey" made its first public reappearance in 32 years at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana . We have since been displaying the kit and raising money for charity for the past two years with the help and support of the fans.

You can read the entire interview at this link. For more information on Chromey, check out their Facebook page and the Chromey team page at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer site.

Radio DJ and That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk announced on his blog this week that he will be interviewing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman for his Sirius XM radio show this coming Monday, December 19th:

... Yes it is true! The President of the R&R Hall Of Fame Foundation is coming to Eddie Trunk Live to discuss the Hall and my feelings about it! Joel Peresman from the Hall will be in studio 12/19 at 6:30PM ET for a discussion about one of my favorite targets, how it works, why it works that way, your calls, and more. Joel does NOT make the decisions on who goes in exclusively, but he is the top guy for the R&R Hall Foundation and hopefully we can make some progress and figure out why these injustices for so many great legendary rock bands have taken place for decades! I appreciate Joel stepping up in response to my years of rants on TV and Radio. Nice to know they are paying attention and he is at least willing to hear us out. ...

Knowing how huge of a Rush fan Eddie is, it's pretty much a given that Rush will get discussed. It should be very interesting. Here's a scathing article on Rock Hall snubs from the Washington Times that was posted earlier this week which mentions Rush:

... Rush, the band every critic loves to hate, was snubbed again this year - a streak that's now nearing Ron Santo/Susan Lucci-like levels of absurdity. Nearly 40 years after the Canadian power trio released their first album, the classic rock radio staple is still recording new music, still touring - with all the original members - and still packing huge venues around the world. Rush has 14 platinum albums - 14!

Only three bands in rock history have more platinum albums than Rush: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Kiss. Obviously, the first two are in the hall. The third, brace yourselves, is not. Let that sink in. Kiss is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is a band, keep in mind, that has sold 100 million records - and whose biggest single celebrates the phrase "rock and roll" in its title. ...

Speaking of Rush and the Rock Hall, Boston Herald music reporter and feature writer Jed Gottlieb is running a contest on the Boston Herald Guestlisted blog where he's giving away a copy of the Rush Time Machine DVD. All you need to do to enter is to explain why you think Rush should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For details on how to enter just go here.

The Ultimate Classic Rock website posted an article earlier this week which pointed out how much Neil Peart and actor Tom Hanks look alike. It must have been a slow news week. Here's what they had to say:

Tom Hanks has starred in countless award-winning and box-office busting Hollywood films, and if a movie studio ever decides to make a movie about the life of Rush drummer Neil Peart, they'd be wise to call him cause he wouldn't need much in the way of makeup to look the part.

Peart has starred on Rush songs like 'The Twilight Zone,' 'The Necromancer' and 'Manhattan Project' which also happen to be names of movies, although that part is probably pure coincidence. We won't even mention that Rush's all-time best-selling album is titled 'Moving Pictures.'

And yet none of that has to do with why these two men are on here, as we mentioned, the reason is because they look a hell of a lot like each other. It's kind of scary. Honestly, without Tom Hanks' picture sitting right next to Peart's to cloud your judgement, we would have sworn that were looking at Tom Hanks. Go ahead and cover Tom's face up with your hand and then tell me the face now left doesn't look like that of a two-time Oscar winner?

They also have a poll asking readers what they think.

Reader Gavin O pointed me to a Rush t-shirt sighting on a recent episode of Disney XD's live action TV show I'm In The Band.
On episode 19 of season 2 (Trippnotized) the character Logan is wearing a Rush Fly By Night t-shirt.

A couple of months ago we learned that Alex Lifeson played guitar on some recordings this past May with Canadian singer-songwriter Jason Plumb for his solo project Jason Plumb and The Willing. According to this Facebook post (thanks RushFanForever) the band is about done with the album and expect it to be released in March of 2012.

Reader RushFanForever let me know that 13-year-old drummer Travis Regnier recently took home the grand prize in the Youth Division of the 3rd Annual Roland V-Drums Contest. One of the judges of the competition was Neil Peart drum tech Lorne Wheaton. You can read a Canadian Musician magazine write-up about Travis and the contest by clicking on the thumbnail, and check out a video of Travis on the V-Drums at this link.

Alex Lifeson and his Coppinwood Golf Club (thanks RushFanForever) get a mention in this article on Coppinwood course president Kevin Thistle. The course will be hosting a charity party/fundraiser on December 23rd.

2011 Ultimate Classic Rock AwardsThe first annual Ultimate Classic Rock Awards sponsored by UltimateClassicRock.com kicked off a couple of weeks ago and Rush is in the running for several of the awards; Tour of the Year, DVD of the Year, Live Album of the Year, Box Set of the Year. So go vote for Rush!

Alex Lifeson is up for the Guitar World Hall of Fame in the magazine's 2011 Reader's Poll (thanks John H). So go vote for Lerxst!

While you are purchasing all of your Rush swag for yourself, family and friends this holiday season, take a moment to consider passing on some of that swag to our troops overseas. Tunes 4 the Troops is an organization that collects CDs, DVDs, etc. and sends them to the troops on the front lines. It's a great way to support the troops and Rush at the same time! For details on how you can help, visit the website here. Fox News posted an article (thanks batperez) on the organization earlier this week and briefly mention Rush:

... In addition to new age music, other favorite genres include jazz, oldies and heavy metal. "They'll blare it from their Humvees when they're heading into battle," Radzyminksi's mom said. "Rush, Black Sabbath -- any kind of hard rock." ...

Heavy metal masters Metallica recently celebrated their 30th anniversary and posted a number of video testimonials from other rock artists on their website wishing them a happy anniversary - including Rush. Here's what Alex, Geddy and Neil have to say in their short, 10-second testimonial video:

Alex: Hi guys. Happy anniversary - 30th anniversary - to you guys in Metallica.
Neil: And they said it wouldn't last.
Geddy: Go Puppet Masters! (fist in the air)
Neil: Respect. (with virtual fist bump)

Metallica are huge Rush fans and have been one of the more prominent Rock Hall inductees pushing for Rush's induction. Front-man James Hetfield even mentioned Rush in his Rock Hall induction acceptance speech. You can watch Rush's testimonial video by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Rush, or in this YouTube video at about the 11-minute mark:

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

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alex Lifeson to perform at the 7th annual Andy Kim Christmas Concert this evening
2:25PM EST | link | comments (20) |

UPDATE - 12/15@6:31AM: Reader Andrew W attended the show last night and reports that Alex Lifeson was a no-show for reasons unknown.

Alex Lifeson will be among the performers at the 7th annual Andy Kim Christmas Concert this evening at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. All proceeds from the concert will go to Toronto's Julliette's Place (Homeward Family Shelter). In addition to Alex, performers will include Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene, members of Finger Eleven and Ron Sexsmith. Alex Lifeson also performed at last year's concert and you can check out videos and photos from that event in this post. Andy Kim was recently interviewed ahead of the event for an article in today's Toronto Star and had the following to say about Alex's performance last year:

"Alex Lifeson was there last year and he played on 'Shoot 'em Up, Baby,' 'Rock Me Gently' and 'Sugar Sugar,'" he enthuses. "I knew that the gods of Rush probably found it a sacrilege, but I felt like a kid having someone like Alex playing on my songs. It was just brilliant."

Tickets for the show are $26 CND and are available at all Ticketmaster, Rotate This, Soundscapes, online at ticketweb.ca or by calling 416-870-8000. Here's some video of Alex playing on Rock Me Gently from last year's performance:

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Interview with Chromey owner Dean Bobisud, and Chromey team member Tom Bronkema
1:40PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Team ChromeyChromey is the classic 1974 chrome Slingerland drum kit that Neil Peart used from 1974-1977 on Fly By Night, Caress of Steel, 2112 and All the World's a Stage. The Critical Mass blog recently posted an interview with Chromey owner Dean Bobisud along with Chromey team member Tom Bronkema. Bobisud purchased the kit via an eBay auction back in 2009, restored it and for the past 2 years has been touring it around the country to raise money for charity with the help of other Chromey team members such as Tom Bronkema. The two discuss Chromey's colored past along with its new role as a means to raise money for the American Cancer Society and other charitable organizations. Here's Bobisud with some background on how he obtained the kit:

To be honest, being a Rush collector, I didn't even put a thought as to the whereabouts of this drum kit or if it even still existed until a fellow collector informed me of the auction. The auction ended on August 9, 2009 with 18 different bidders and placing a total of 53 bids. After the auction, the drum kit was restored back to it's former original playing condition as last used by Mr. Peart and was then decided to share the kit with Rush fans who can appreciate this unique piece of rock history and help raise money for the American Cancer Society. In November 2009, "Chromey" made its first public reappearance in 32 years at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana . We have since been displaying the kit and raising money for charity for the past two years with the help and support of the fans.

You can read the entire interview at this link. For more information on Chromey, check out their Facebook page and the Chromey team page at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer site. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Neil Peart TSN Radio interview now online
11:15AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Snag the SnareNeil Peart was a guest on TSN Radio (thanks hermy) yesterday afternoon at 5:30PM. Neil spoke for about 10 minutes about the rigors of touring/drumming, how he stays in shape, the recording of the new album, the Hockey Theme, and the TSN Snag the Snare contest. The podcast is available on the TSN Radio website, but for some reason it's a wav file instead of an mp3 and doesn't seem to play in the player on their site - at least not for me. Although you can directly download the wav file at this link and it's also available on iTunes. The Snag the Snare contest is for Canadian residents (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec) where the winners get 1 of 3 limited edition Neil Peart snare drums; replicas of the drums used in the recording of the NHL on TSN's Hockey Theme last year. For all the details and to enter go to this link. The contest runs through this Friday, December 16th. The original kit used by Neil is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Neil Peart used this kit to record his percussive-centric version of The Hockey Theme in late 2009. Neil's recording of the song debuted back in January 2010 during a Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs game on The Sports Network (TSN). You can watch this one-minute video for the song which features Neil pounding away on the custom kit along with hockey video highlights interspersed throughout. Neil Peart wrote extensively regarding his experience recording the song in a news update at NeilPeart.net and there's also this making of video which you can watch at the Drum Channel's YouTube page. You can also purchase the track on iTunes.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rush's Limelight, 2112 now available for Jammit app
4:55PM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush's Limelight and 2112 were recently made available for the Jammit app. From the Rush Facebook Page:

Rush have teamed up with Jammit, the number one app for you to learn your favourite songs, and have made available Rush's classic songs "2112" and "Limelight".

Rush on Jammit gives you access to the original Rush multi-track masters, with instrument-specific versions available for drums, bass, guitar and vocals with the precise notation and tablature. In addition to being an exceptional learning tool, each Rush song can be analyzed by isolating the individual instruments from the rest of the mix, slowing down the speed (without changing the pitch) and looping difficult sections.

For more information and to listen to some demo tracks, visit the Rush page at the Jammit website. The Jammit app is available for both the iPhone and iPad. The Jammit website also promises more Rush songs to come.

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Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview
4:31PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Clockwork AngelsGuitar World - January, 2012The latest edition of Guitar World magazine contains a short interview with Alex Lifeson where Alex gives an update on the recording of the band's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. From the article:

... Alex Lifeson stops short of calling Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels a concept record, but he does admit that a theme runs through most the songs. "We have Caravan and BU2B; both of which we released already and played on the Time Machine tour," he says, referring to the group's extensive 2010-2011 outing. "Those two, along with three other songs, form a suite. The story of Clockwork Angels is in those five tracks."

Longtime Rush fans, who grew up on such multi-song narratives as 2112 and Hemispheres, will no doubt applaud the group's return to its prog-rock roots. They'll also be thrilled to learn that the band isn't paying mind to the length of its compositions. "We're definitely stretching out," Lifeson says. "Most of the songs are over six minutes. We're having fun with them, seeing where they want to go."

The guitarist estimates that Rush has eight songs finished. One track, however, is putting up a fight. "We wrote it, scrapped it, then rewrote it and shelved it again," Lifeson says, laughing. "Right now, we're still considering it. Something's there that we don't want to lose."

The band is working once again with producer Nick Raskulinecz, who in addition to helming albums for the Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains and Evanesence, oversaw Rush's 2007 release, Snakes & Arrows. "Nick is fantastic," Lifeson says. "He's very enthusiastic, has great ideas, gets incredible sounds, and he's so adaptable to our twists and turns."

That includes a more stripped-down, instrumental approach. "The last few records have been quite produced, with many layers of guitars and vocals," he says. "This time, we'd like to keep things simple and direct.

"We'll see if that sticks," he adds after a moment's though. "I might listen to the finished record and go, 'Needs more guitar!' " ...

Guitar World readers also recently voted Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012. Thanks to Rush-O-Matic for the heads up and the transcription.

Related Posts:
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz: Clockwork Angels in pre-production; start recording mid-October]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Rush wish Metallica a happy 30th anniversary via video
9:55AM EST | link | comments (15) |

UPDATE - 12/15@11:21AM: They also have a compilation video of all the testimonials lumped together up on YouTube. Rush's testimonial is at around the 11-minute mark.

Heavy metal masters Metallica recently celebrated their 30th anniversary and have posted a number of video testimonials from other rock artists on their website wishing them a happy anniversary - including Rush. Here's what Alex, Geddy and Neil have to say in their short, 10-second testimonial video:

Alex: Hi guys. Happy anniversary - 30th anniversary - to you guys in Metallica.
Neil: And they said it wouldn't last.
Geddy: Go Puppet Masters! (fist in the air)
Neil: Respect. (with virtual fist bump)

You can watch the video by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Rush. Metallica are huge Rush fans and have been one of the more prominent Rock Hall inductees pushing for Rush's induction. Front-man James Hetfield even mentioned Rush in his Rock Hall induction acceptance speech. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012
8:38PM EST | link | comments (10) |

Clockwork AngelsAccording to the Roadrunner Records website, Guitar World readers have voted Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels studio release as the most anticipated album of 2012:

Rush's Clockwork Angels, currently being recorded, was voted as the most anticipated of 2012 by Guitar World readers, who chose the disc via a poll on GuitarWorld.com. Rush beat out Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Tool, Lamb of God and Kiss, among others, to take the top spot with 21% of the total vote. ...

Billboard magazine recently posted a short interview with Geddy Lee where he spoke about what fans can expect from the album, along with some new revelations regarding their feelings on the recording of their last album - 2007's Snakes & Arrows:

The first two [single] releases from this album, "Caravan" and "Brought Up to Believe," are a great indication of where this album's going, although there's much more variety than just what those two songs offer. When I look back at [2007 album] "Snakes and Arrows," as happy as we were with that record, in retrospect I feel we kind of overdid it with overdubs. We'd like to simplify that, just in terms of making sure the guitar, bass and drum sounds are big and loud and clear, and any time we are going to add an overdub, to make sure that it definitely is adding and not subtracting.

The band is currently in the studio finishing up the recording of Clockwork Angels which should be released sometime next Spring with a tour to follow.

Related Posts:
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz: Clockwork Angels in pre-production; start recording mid-October]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Details emerge regarding Rush and Halifax concert promotion scandal
11:23AM EST | link | comments (29) |

[How Halifax's concert scandal played out]

One of the more high-profile omissions from Rush's Time Machine tour itinerary last year was the lack of any Atlantic Canada dates, despite the band expressing a desire to play there. As it turns out, it looks like the band definitely did pursue at least one concert date in Atlantic Canada but were thwarted due to reasons outside their control. An article posted in Halifax's The Coast last week reveals several details regarding a concert promotion scandal which resulted in Rush being prevented from playing a July show at the Halifax Common. From the article:

Last spring, Halifax's now-infamous "concert scandal" broke when city staffer Cathie O'Toole revealed that mayor Peter Kelly and the city's deputy CAO, Wayne Anstey, had improperly extended millions of dollars in loans to concert promoter Harold MacKay's firm, Power Promotional Events, and that the last two of those loans, totalling $400,000, were not repaid. ...

...We can also report that city officials turned down an offer from a promoter who wanted to put Rush on the Common with no financial assistance from the city, because officials instead wanted to go with a Kid Rock concert produced by MacKay, who could not manage to pay Kid Rock's upfront fee without hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from the government. In the end, however, those loans weren't enough, and Kid Rock cancelled his Halifax show because his upfront fee had not been paid, then went and urged the other musicians coming to Halifax to demand more upfront money from MacKay. ...

...On January 29, 2010, Gillet Entertainment Group, a promotion company in competition with MacKay's Power Promotional Events, contacted city staffer Andrew Whittemore about the potential for putting a Rush concert on the Common on July 17 or 24, 2010. On March 11, GEG confirmed the July 17 date, and said the firm was ready to sell tickets.

In the meanwhile, however, PPE had announced a Halifax Rocks 2010 concert for July 23 and 24, with Kid Rock leading the line-up on the 23rd and Black Eyed Peas the 24th. Evidently, this show trumped the Rush show, and so on March 12, Anstey wrote GEG saying there was no way Rush could play the Common.

"We are not prepared to deliver up the Common site for your show this year," wrote Anstey to GEG. "I hope that this decision does not impair the possibility of future ventures in Halifax."

The Kid Rock show, however, was not a solid go. Just three hours after Anstey wrote GEG to prohibit the Rush show, a person---probably MacKay, although his name is redacted---wrote to Anstey saying that "our plans are close to being final and I would like to meet with you to discuss this and seek your advise on our plans to approach Prov Gov't."

The city apparently rejected a Rush concert on the Common from a promoter (GEG) who didn't even ask for government funding in favour of a Kid Rock show produced by a promoter (MacKay) who couldn't put it on without government funding. ...

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

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Win a limited edition Neil Peart replica hockey kit snare drum
8:22PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Snag the SnareRush and TSN launched a contest earlier this week called Snag the Snare where Canadian residents could win 1 of 3 limited edition Neil Peart snare drums; replicas of the drums used in the recording of the NHL on TSN's Hockey Theme last year. For all the details and to enter go to this link. The contest runs through December 16th. The original kit used by Neil is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Neil Peart used this kit to record his percussive-centric version of The Hockey Theme in late 2009. Neil's recording of the song debuted back in January 2010 during a Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs game on The Sports Network (TSN). You can watch this one-minute video for the song which features Neil pounding away on the custom kit along with hockey video highlights interspersed throughout. Neil Peart wrote extensively regarding his experience recording the song in a news update at NeilPeart.net and there's also this making of video which you can watch at the Drum Channel's YouTube page. You can also purchase the track on iTunes.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:13PM EST | link | comments (42) |

Clockwork AngelsThings continue to be relatively quiet on the Rush news front in the lead-up to the Holidays. The big news of this past week came in the form of a short new Geddy Lee interview at Billboard.com where Geddy discusses a range of subjects including the Rush documentary, how his parents being Holocaust survivors influenced his life and music, his baseball memorabilia collection and whether the band would consider playing another album in its entirety - like what was done with Moving Pictures on the recent Time Machine tour:

... We really enjoyed that whole experience. We played for three hours -- you can tuck a 45-minute album in there and still play lots of new things and lots of other things. If we were really out of our minds, we would attempt something like [1978's] "Hemispheres." If Rush has a cult following, within that cult following there's a following for "Hemispheres" [laughs]. I'm not sure we're up for that one, but I could see us doing "2112." ...

Geddy also talks about what fans can expect from Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album, along with some new revelations regarding their feelings on the recording of their last album - 2007's Snakes & Arrows:

The first two [single] releases from this album, "Caravan" and "Brought Up to Believe," are a great indication of where this album's going, although there's much more variety than just what those two songs offer. When I look back at [2007 album] "Snakes and Arrows," as happy as we were with that record, in retrospect I feel we kind of overdid it with overdubs. We'd like to simplify that, just in terms of making sure the guitar, bass and drum sounds are big and loud and clear, and any time we are going to add an overdub, to make sure that it definitely is adding and not subtracting.

This is probably the first negative thing the band has had to say regarding the recording of Snakes & Arrows. You can read the entire article/interview at this link. The band is currently in the studio finishing up the recording of Clockwork Angels which should be released sometime this Spring with a tour to follow.

Rush Sector box setsThe other major bit of news that came out this last week was Rush and their management acknowledging some minor production flaws in the Sector box sets. Since the release of the box sets a few weeks ago, several fans have reported issues with the Fly by Night CD on the Sectors 1 set, and with the A Farewell to Kings 5.1 DVD on the Sectors 2 set. Here's what was posted at Rush.com late last Friday evening:

We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for 'A Farewell To Kings' inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience - Geddy, Alex & Neil

MusicRadar.com featured Sectors in an article yesterday highlighting box sets that are available for the Holidays (thanks RushFanForever).

The list of nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2012 was announced back in September and we learned at that time that Rush would once again be snubbed for induction. Earlier this week the Rock Hall announced the list of inductees which will consist of Guns N' Roses, The Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan and the Small Faces. As we have come to expect over the years after the inductees are announced, the press has a field day with discussions of what bands should have been inducted and weren't - and Rush is just about always at the top of their lists. NPR ran an article titled Shouldn't Rush Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?:

... let's consider Rush. As Wired's GeekDad blog wrote in September, the Canadian trio has sold more than 40 million records and has "more consecutive gold and platinum records than everyone except the Beatles and the Rolling Stones."

Even the president and CEO of the Rock Hall concedes the band should be honored. "They simply haven't gotten enough votes to make the ballot," Terry Stewart told Cleveland's The Plain Dealer earlier this year. "I can't tell you why. Based on impact, influence, innovation, and excellence, they're worthy. I think it's just a matter of time before it happens." ...

There's also a poll in the article asking whether Rush should be inducted. Currently over 97% of responders say YES. Pollstar ran an article profiling Rush and KISS as the primary overlooked bands for induction, and are running a poll asking readers which of these 2 bands they'd like to see inducted. You can take the poll at this location. Rush is way out front with close to 80% of the vote. The Globe and Mail posted an article titled What - no Rush?! And other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame oversights which talks about how absurd it is that Guns N' Roses made it in but Rush didn't:

Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone magazine are still hating Rush, unaccountably. Don't make us come down there and have Geddy Lee scream in your ear - the banshee-voiced Torontonian makes Axl Rose sound like a dove cooing in comparison.

And this CBS News article also wonders why Rush and KISS haven't been inducted yet. All of the press coverage inspired blogger and RIAB reader Jaybird to write this satirical piece titled Jann Wenner Explains Omission of RUSH.

Rock Band 3Earlier this week the Rock Band news site RockBandaide.com posted a rumor that Rush's 2112 would soon be coming to Rock Band DLC. It looks like that rumor was partially true in light of the news that the Rock Band website announced this morning the release of a Rush 3-pack for Rock Band DLC which will include The Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night and Caravan. They also hinted at more Rush releases for the near future, so 2112 may still be on the docket for a forthcoming release. The pack will release next Tuesday, December 13th. From the Rock Band website:

Three tracks from Canadian rockers Rush are set to hit the Rock Band Music Store on December 13th! "Fly By Night," from 1975's album of the same name kicks off the pack, followed by a live cut of Rush's "The Spirit of the Radio," one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." The pack is rounded out by "Caravan," which was released as a single earlier this year. These three tracks are just the tip of the iceberg for Rush fans; we'll have even more exciting Rush/Rock Band news before the year's out, so stay tuned!

Rush's 2112 was the centerpiece of last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and several other Rush tracks have been made available for both Rock Band and Guitar Hero games over the past few years.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandThe London Free Press posted their list of 12 Music DVDs of Xmas 2011 (thanks RushFanForever) and Rush's Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland made the list:

Dirk, Lerxst and Pratt turn the clock back to 1981, playing their classic Moving Pictures in its entirety - along with other oldies and two new cuts - in this 160-minute show. Neil even smiles!
RATING: 4 (out of 5)

Guitar World magazine posted their list of 50 Classic Albums Celebrating Their 30th Anniversary (thanks RushFanForever) in 2011 earlier this week, and Rush's Moving Pictures made the cut.

Sonic Reality's Neil Peart Drums Volume 1Last year Sonic Reality released their Neil Peart series drum sample instrument library. It features drum samples from Neil Peart himself and was produced with the help of Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz. Sonic Reality CEO Dave Kerzner recently put together a unique progressive rock project called Sonic Elements, which features a revolving door of musicians from around the world playing classic rock covers and fresh originals that all make use of the various sound elements of yesterday and today with the latest music software instrument and recording technology. The project features several Rush covers utilizing the Neil Peart drums software including a version of Red Barchetta featuring Triumph's Rik Emmett (teaser 1, teaser 2); a version of Limelight (guitar solo teaser, outro) featuring John Wesley and Billy Sherwood; and this instrumental version of Mission. They eventually plan on releasing an entire album of Rush covers and you can follow their progress on Facebook or on SoundCloud. Here's a short interview with Rik Emmett at the Sonic Elements YouTube channel, which includes a short bit at the end with Rik recording some of Red Barchetta.

2011 Ultimate Classic Rock AwardsThe first annual Ultimate Classic Rock Awards sponsored by UltimateClassicRock.com kicked off last week and Rush is in the running for several of the awards; Tour of the Year, DVD of the Year, Live Album of the Year, Box Set of the Year. So go vote for Rush!

Alex Lifeson is up for the Guitar World Hall of Fame in the magazine's 2011 Reader's Poll (thanks John H). So go vote for Lerxst!

Reader RushFanForever discovered a book on progressive rock titled Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960's which was released this past summer. The book makes heavy mention of Rush throughout its pages. For more details go to this link, and here's a Morning Star review of the book.

Axe Heaven miniature guitars and the Power Windows website have teamed up for an exclusive deal for Power Windows readers of free shipping on all domestic orders, and an overall 10% discount for international orders of $75 or more. For all the details go to the Power Windows site at this link.

Veteran English progressive rock band Nektar have announced that they'll be releasing an album of cover songs including a cover of Rush's The Spirit of Radio (thanks John). ELP's Keith Emerson is tentatively scheduled to play on the track.

Alex Lifeson will be among the performers at the 7th annual Andy Kim Christmas Concert next Wednesday, December 14th at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. All proceeds from the concert will go to Toronto's Julliette's Place (Homeward Family Shelter). In addition to Alex, performers will include Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene, members of Finger Eleven and Ron Sexsmith. Tickets for the show are $26 CND and are available at all Ticketmaster, Rotate This, Soundscapes, online at ticketweb.ca or by calling 416-870-8000. NOW magazine is running a contest where you could win tickets to the show. For all the details and to enter go to this link. Alex Lifeson also performed at last year's concert and you can check out videos and photos from that event in this post.

Speaking of Alex, MusicRadar.com recently asked several rock stars to pick their favorite Christmas songs for an article posted on their website earlier this week and Alex was one of the artists they spoke to. Lerxst picked the Little Drummer Boy and here's what he had to say about it:

"I always liked the Little Drummer Boy because of the tonality of the song. There was always something very plaintive about it. It wasn't one of those "up," joyous Christmas songs, which tend to get a little overdone. Actually, I did a version of it a while ago that came out nice.

"On the other hand, I do like upbeat Christmas songs, so I'd say my second pick would be Joy To The World - not anybody's version, in particular; I just like the song itself. It's spirited and very "Ho, ho, ho!" [laughs]

Here's Alex Lifeson's performance of The Little Drummer Boy from the 1997 album Merry Axemas:

That's all for this week. Have a fantastic and Rush-filled weekend everyone!

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Rush 3-pack coming to Rock Band DLC next week
10:21AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Rock Band 3Earlier this week the Rock Band news site RockBandaide.com posted a rumor that Rush's 2112 would soon be coming to Rock Band DLC. It looks like that rumor was partially true in light of the news that the Rock Band website announced this morning the release of a Rush 3-pack for Rock Band DLC which will include The Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night and Caravan. They also hinted at more Rush releases for the near future, so 2112 may still be on the docket for a forthcoming release. The pack will release next Tuesday, December 13th. From the Rock Band website:

Three tracks from Canadian rockers Rush are set to hit the Rock Band Music Store on December 13th! "Fly By Night," from 1975's album of the same name kicks off the pack, followed by a live cut of Rush's "The Spirit of the Radio," one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." The pack is rounded out by "Caravan," which was released as a single earlier this year. These three tracks are just the tip of the iceberg for Rush fans; we'll have even more exciting Rush/Rock Band news before the year's out, so stay tuned!

Rush's 2112 was the centerpiece of last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and several other Rush tracks have been made available for both Rock Band and Guitar Hero games over the past few years. Thanks to USB Connector for the heads up.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced
6:13PM EST | link | comments (56) |

Rush Rock HallUPDATE - 12/13@3:54PM: Here's a scathing article from the Washington Times on Rock Hall snubs which mentions Rush (thanks RicoRoq):

Rush, the band every critic loves to hate, was snubbed again this year - a streak that's now nearing Ron Santo/Susan Lucci-like levels of absurdity. Nearly 40 years after the Canadian power trio released their first album, the classic rock radio staple is still recording new music, still touring - with all the original members - and still packing huge venues around the world. Rush has 14 platinum albums - 14!

Only three bands in rock history have more platinum albums than Rush: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Kiss. Obviously, the first two are in the hall. The third, brace yourselves, is not. Let that sink in. Kiss is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is a band, keep in mind, that has sold 100 million records - and whose biggest single celebrates the phrase "rock and roll" in its title. ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 12/8@10:33AM: And here's yet another article - this one from CBS News - wondering why Rush and KISS haven't been inducted yet (thanks Power Windows).

UPDATE - 12/8@9:51AM: The Globe and Mail posted an article yesterday titled What - no Rush?! And other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame oversights (thanks RushFanForever) which talks about how absurd it is that Guns N' Roses made it in but Rush didn't:

Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone magazine are still hating Rush, unaccountably. Don't make us come down there and have Geddy Lee scream in your ear - the banshee-voiced Torontonian makes Axl Rose sound like a dove cooing in comparison.

----- snip -----

The list of nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2012 was announced back in September and we learned at that time that Rush would once again be snubbed for induction. Today the Rock Hall announced the list of inductees which will consist of Guns N' Roses, The Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan and the Small Faces. As usually happens after the inductees are announced, Rush often gets mentioned in the press coverage as one of the biggest Rock Hall oversights. NPR ran an article today titled Shouldn't Rush Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?:

... let's consider Rush. As Wired's GeekDad blog wrote in September, the Canadian trio has sold more than 40 million records and has "more consecutive gold and platinum records than everyone except the Beatles and the Rolling Stones."

Even the president and CEO of the Rock Hall concedes the band should be honored. "They simply haven't gotten enough votes to make the ballot," Terry Stewart told Cleveland's The Plain Dealer earlier this year. "I can't tell you why. Based on impact, influence, innovation, and excellence, they're worthy. I think it's just a matter of time before it happens." ...

There's also a poll in the article asking whether Rush should be inducted. Currently over 97% of responders say YES. Pollstar ran an article profiling Rush and KISS as the primary overlooked bands for induction, and are running a poll asking readers which of these 2 bands they'd like to see inducted. You can take the poll at this location.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee
1:25PM EST | link | comments (89) |

Clockwork Angels[Geddy Lee Talks Rush Legacy: 'Moving Pictures,' Their Next Album & More]

Billboard magazine recently posted a short new interview with Geddy Lee where Geddy discusses a range of subjects including the Rush documentary, how his parents being Holocaust survivors influenced his life and music, his baseball memorabilia collection and whether the band would consider playing another album in its entirety - like what was done with Moving Pictures on the recent Time Machine tour:

... We really enjoyed that whole experience. We played for three hours -- you can tuck a 45-minute album in there and still play lots of new things and lots of other things. If we were really out of our minds, we would attempt something like [1978's] "Hemispheres." If Rush has a cult following, within that cult following there's a following for "Hemispheres" [laughs]. I'm not sure we're up for that one, but I could see us doing "2112." ...

Geddy also talks about what fans can expect from Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album, along with some new revelations regarding their feelings on the recording of their last album - 2007's Snakes & Arrows:

The first two [single] releases from this album, "Caravan" and "Brought Up to Believe," are a great indication of where this album's going, although there's much more variety than just what those two songs offer. When I look back at [2007 album] "Snakes and Arrows," as happy as we were with that record, in retrospect I feel we kind of overdid it with overdubs. We'd like to simplify that, just in terms of making sure the guitar, bass and drum sounds are big and loud and clear, and any time we are going to add an overdub, to make sure that it definitely is adding and not subtracting.

Interesting stuff. You can read the entire article/interview at this link.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz: Clockwork Angels in pre-production; start recording mid-October]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Alex Lifeson on his favorite Christmas songs
9:51AM EST | link | comments (8) |

MusicRadar.com recently asked several rock stars to pick their favorite Christmas songs for an article posted on their website this morning (thanks RushFanForever). One of the artists they spoke to was Alex Lifeson, who picked the Little Drummer Boy:

"I always liked the Little Drummer Boy because of the tonality of the song. There was always something very plaintive about it. It wasn't one of those "up," joyous Christmas songs, which tend to get a little overdone. Actually, I did a version of it a while ago that came out nice.

"On the other hand, I do like upbeat Christmas songs, so I'd say my second pick would be Joy To The World - not anybody's version, in particular; I just like the song itself. It's spirited and very "Ho, ho, ho!" [laughs]

Here's Alex Lifeson's performance of The Little Drummer Boy from the 1997 album Merry Axemas:

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rush's 2112 coming to Rock Band DLC?
11:48AM EST | link | comments (8) |

According to a post on the Rock Band news site RockBandaide.com, Rush's 2112 may soon be available for download for the Rock Band video game. The reports stem from a couple of users who spotted a not currently available December 2nd listing for the track via the Xbox 360 Rock Band store. You can view the screenshot by clicking on the thumbnail. Rush's 2112 was the centerpiece of last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and several other Rush tracks have been made available for both Rock Band and Guitar Hero games over the past few years. Thanks to USB Connector for the heads up.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rush acknowledges flaws in Sector box sets
10:16AM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 12/16@12:56PM: The band's management has also informed me that they are in the process of setting up an 800 number for folks to get the fixed discs (just replacements for the flawed discs, not a box set replacement), and will have all that information up on Rush.com once the discs are ready to ship. They also shared with me their response regarding some emails they are getting regarding other issues that fans are reporting hearing on the discs:

Please be assured that once the technical issue was found, the entire Sectors masters were revisited (again).

Rich Chycki had good time revisiting By-Tor on All The Worlds A Stage, and the listeners are correct that 'a sound' appears midway through the song. Like the studio version, that is the sound of ByTor-- a phase shifty type of angry animal sound that pops in and out around Alex's guitar solo. It's identical to the original vinyl version. There is no technical issue.

We know Rush fans in particular appreciate that the product being released now is the highest resolution to date, and that can reveal details that weren't apparent previously as well as revealing limitations of past media formats. I'm sure that fans appreciate that the masters are simply not recycled but fully re-transferred and remastered and will enjoy the differences in the products.

----- snip -----

Rush Sector box setsSince the release of Rush's Sector box sets a couple of weeks ago, several fans have reported issues with the Fly by Night CD on the Sectors 1 set, and with the A Farewell to Kings 5.1 DVD on the Sectors 2 set. If you've experienced these issues for yourself, you were not imagining things. The band has acknowledged these flaws and have taken steps to correct them as shown by this post on Rush.com late yesterday:

We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for 'A Farewell To Kings' inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience - Geddy, Alex & Neil

Related Posts:
[In the Studio with Redbeard special on Rush Sector box sets]
[Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette on the Rush Sector box sets]
[Rush Sector box sets release open thread]
[Rush Sector box sets preview video now online]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush 6-disc Sector box sets; Fly by Night, A Farewell to Kings, Signals in 5.1 coming November 21st]
[Rush 5-CD Sector box sets to release November 21st]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:18PM EST | link | comments (11) |

UPDATE - 12/2@9:19PM: Rush's Sector box sets is up for Ultimate Classic Rock's Best Box Set of 2011 (thanks Sean). So go vote for Rush!

After a flurry of new Rush releases over the last several weeks, things have finally started to quiet down in Rush-land as the holiday season gets into full swing. The band is currently in the studio trying to finish up the recording of their upcoming Clockwork Angels album before the New Year. Over the last several weeks we've seen the release of Neil Peart's Taking Center Stage instructional DVD, the Rush ABC 1974 live CD, the Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert video/album, and the Sector box sets - plenty of Rush swag just in time for the holidays. Speaking of Rush swag and the holidays, John over at Cygnus-X1.net is once again running his annual holiday contest where he gives away a great package of Rush merchandise to the lucky winner. This year's prize is especially sweet since it contains all three Rush Sector box sets along with the Time Machine DVD, a 2012 Rush Signals wall calendar, and one surprise mystery gift. For all the details and to enter go to this link. Thanks John!

Rush Sector box setsEarlier this week the Masterdisk website posted an article/interview with Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette where he reveals several details regarding his experience remastering the Rush catalog for the recently-released Rush Sector box sets. VanDette has been working with Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on handling most of the mastering duties for Rush since Snakes & Arrows Live, having worked on that album along with Retrospective 3, the R30 Blu-ray and the Moving Pictures deluxe edition earlier this year. Andy discusses his overall approach to the remasters, comments on the condition of the original master tapes, describes some of the different surprises and issues he ran into along the way, and more. You can really tell from the interview that Andy is a huge fan and took this job very seriously:

It was very important to me that these be the best representation of the catalog possible and I think we accomplished that. Look, I'm a fan. When I put up Hemispheres for the first time I nearly cried. I may not have been able to muster every bass riff, or sung every high note in my band, but the memories of trying were overwhelming. I could not let Rush fans down. Each and every one of these albums got the deluxe treatment.

The article also includes a bunch of great photos of the original master tapes that you will definitely want to check out if you haven't already. You can read the entire article/interview at this link.

Syndicated radio program In the Studio with Redbeard will be airing a special next week (the week of December 5th) celebrating the Sectors release. The special features Mercury-era interviews with all three members of Rush compiled from the In the Studio archives. It's also available for listening online at this link or using the player to the left. There doesn't seem to be any new interview segments included but it's worth a listen regardless. John at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned all the images and transcribed the liner notes for all 3 box sets. You can check them out at these links:

Sector 1: [Album Info] [Album Images]
Sector 2: [Album Info] [Album Images]
Sector 3: [Album Info] [Album Images]

You can order all 3 Sector box sets now at this link.

Voices - Tom Cochrane, Andrew Cole, Alex LifesonBack in September we learned that legendary Canadian musician Tom Cochrane would soon be releasing a new 4-song EP called Voices (original working title was Voices At 4 AM) with the title track being a collaboration with several other artists including Alex Lifeson. Last night just before midnight a limited edition run of 50 of the EPs, 5 of which will be signed, were released via www.tomcochrane.com and www.andrewcolemusic.com. The remaining 450 of the complete run of 500 will be released over the coming weeks. You can listen to a preview of the Voices at 4AM track at this link.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson collaborations, late last year Alex produced 3 tracks for Toronto band the David Barrett Trio that were released digitally earlier this year; Hollowbody (iTunes, Amazon), Sonar (iTunes, Amazon) and Disappearance (iTunes, Amazon). All three of these Lifeson-produced tracks can also be heard on SoundCloud at this link. Barrett was recently featured in the latest issue of Premier Guitar magazine for their Facebook Photo of the Month. Barrett had submitted a photo of himself playing Alex Lifeson's doubleneck:

Canadian guitarist David Barrett submitted this photo of himself rocking some stylish duds and digging into an all-to-familiar doubleneck. He says, "Yes, it belongs to Big Al, and yes it's on loan, but no, I'm not giving it back ..." The Al in question is, of course, Rush's Alex Lifeson. Though known as an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist, Barrett is currently working on a rock trio project produced by Lifeson.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up and the scan.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope charity auction took place back in October and Alex Lifeson's 8" X 16", acrylic on stretched canvas Sun Dance painting ended up being sold for an astonishing $7,000. The 2011 Brush of Hope charity auction was a huge success and ended up raising a total of $24,000. The Brush of Hope Facebook page recently announced that they have produced 250 limited edition prints of Alex's 2007 painting for A Brush of Hope that they are currently selling on eBay for $250 each.

Grapes for Humanity is an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors and we learned earlier this week that the organization had voted to create a wine scholarship in his name. From Decanter:

... The board voted unanimously to create a scholarship in his name, in perpetuity, for a student of winemaking at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. To establish the scholarship Grapes for Humanity Canada has committed $26,500, which will be matched by the Ontario provincial government. The income will be used to provide an annual scholarship for a student in the second year of Niagara College's Wine and Viticulture Technician programme who intends to pursue a career path in winemaking after graduation. 'Niagara College is thrilled that Grapes for Humanity Canada is making this significant investment to support student learning and success, and the wine industry,' Niagara College Foundation CEO Sean Kennedy said. Toronto-based Lee, an enthusiastic wine collector, said he is proud to be associated with the foundation. 'Grapes for Humanity Canada is a unique organisation of wine lovers such as myself who have found a way to help people around the world through their passion. And as such it seems appropriate that we now provide some support for our own blossoming wine industry here at home.' The board said they decided to fund the Geddy Lee Scholarship to recognise Lee's contribution over ten years to the foundation's projects - not only financially but by giving his time and organisational skills. ...

Back in September all 3 members of Rush participated in the annual Grapes for Humanity charity auction which ended up raising more than $50,000. On the final weekend of the auction back on September 17th, about 60 wine lovers joined Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson at Union Station to take a Via Rail train to Belleville. They were then bussed to Huff Estate Winery in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County for an event featuring plenty of good wine, good food and great company. A photo gallery from the event was posted online at the Grapes for Humanity website and features plenty of great photographs of Geddy and Alex. You can check it out at this link.

2011 Ultimate Classic Rock AwardsThe first annual Ultimate Classic Rock Awards sponsored by UltimateClassicRock.com kicked off earlier this week. Over the last week they announced the nominees in 10 categories and allowed their readers to vote for the winners in each. Rush is up for 2011 Tour of the Year, their Time Machine DVD is in the running for DVD of the Year, and Time Machine is also up for 2011 Live Album of the Year. So go vote for Rush! (Tour of the Year, DVD of the Year, Live Album of the Year)

San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub posted his list of the best potential Super Bowl halftime acts earlier this week and Rush came in at #1 (thanks John at [Cygnus-X1.net). Here's what he had to say:

A lot of people are going to hate this pick, starting with my wife. But Rush is perfect for this gig. They have a positive vibe, people know their songs and they're remarkably tight for their age. Make it happen. No Geddy, no peace!

Metal EvolutionThe new VH1 Classic show Metal Evolution premiered a few weeks ago in the US and this past weekend in Canada. The show is the brainchild of Rush documentary and Time Machine video director Sam Dunn and builds on the mission first put forth in his groundbreaking Metal: A Headbanger's Journey documentary - in which Geddy Lee had appeared. Geddy Lee made a brief appearance in the second episode of the series to discuss the contributions of Blue Cheer to the roots of heavy metal in the US. There will also be an upcoming episode focusing specifically on progressive metal which promises to make heavy mention of Rush as Sam Dunn states in this recent interview with Spinner Magazine (thanks RushFanForever):

... you take a band like Rush, who is featured heavily in our episode on progressive metal, they were the first band to take the hard rock of Led Zeppelin and the Who and combine it with British prog-rock, bands like Genesis and Yes. So they were combining musical styles that had never really been combined before. So Canadians are a pretty important part of the story. ...

For more information visit the Metal Evolution website.

Reader vbonz sent me this tragic story from the Philadelphia Inquirer which has a Rush connection. Darren Rogers - a concierge at the Chocolate Works Apartments - was brutally attacked on Pine St. in Philadelphia early last month. From the story:

On Nov. 7, the rock band Rush played on Rogers' headset as he walked along the 400 block of Pine Street. It was near 11:30 p.m. The streetlamps threw faint light onto the redbrick sidewalk and onto the crooked headstones of the Old Pine Street Church cemetery. A home security camera caught the next few moments. Two men in hoodies split apart, forcing Rogers to walk between them. One of them threw a punch, knocking Rogers to the ground. They punched and kicked him for 45 seconds. A SEPTA bus passed. The video footage is grainy, but it looks as if Rogers kicked his legs and flailed his arms in defense. Then, in the shadows, a muzzle flashes. ...

Thankfully Rogers survived the incident and is slowly recovering in the ICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Please send your thoughts/prayers his way. For any Philadelphia area readers, local police are asking for help in tracking down the attackers. The security video can be viewed on YouTube, at the Philadelphia police website, or at philly.com.

On a more upbeat note, reader StaceyfromCA let me know that Rush tribute band Caress of Steel will be heading to Kuwait on December 16th to entertain the US troops as they prepare to come home from Iraq. How cool is that!? For more information visit their website at this link.

Reader RushFanForever dug up this humorous mock commercial from a 2005 episode of the Rick Mercer Report which features Rick Mercer as a Rush roadie (he's wearing a Permanent Waves t-shirt) selling a beer called Stem Cell Lager. Speaking of the Rick Mercer Report, now that the holiday season is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, I felt that it was once again about time for some celebrity winter advice from Geddy Lee. This video originally aired on the Rick Mercer Report back in 2004.

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

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In the Studio with Redbeard special on Rush Sector box sets
8:46AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush Sector box setsSyndicated radio program In the Studio with Redbeard will be airing a special next week celebrating the recent release of Rush's Sector box sets. The special features Mercury-era interviews with all three members of Rush compiled from the In the Studio archives. There doesn't seem to be any new interview segments included. It's also available for listening online at this link (thanks RushFanForever) or using the player to the right. John at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned all the images and transcribed the liner notes for all 3 box sets. You can check them out at these links:

Sector 1: [Album Info] [Album Images]
Sector 2: [Album Info] [Album Images]
Sector 3: [Album Info] [Album Images]

You can order all 3 Sector box sets now at this link.

Related Posts:
[Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette on the Rush Sector box sets]
[Rush Sector box sets release open thread]
[Rush Sector box sets preview video now online]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush 6-disc Sector box sets; Fly by Night, A Farewell to Kings, Signals in 5.1 coming November 21st]
[Rush 5-CD Sector box sets to release November 21st]
[Rush signs with Roadrunner Records]

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Voices EP limited edition Alex Lifeson collaboration with Tom Cochrane, Andrew Cole available soon
11:20AM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 12/17@10:42AM: Here's a photo of Andrew Cole, Alex Lifeson, Tom Cochrane and Denis Tougas in the studio on Cochrane's Facebook page (thanks Andrew W).

UPDATE - 12/1@10:54PM: The pre-sale is now under way at TomCochrane.com and here's a short preview clip of the Voices at 4AM track from the Tom Cochrane Facebook page (thanks RushFanForever).

Voices - Tom Cochrane, Andrew Cole, Alex LifesonBack in September we learned via RockstarWeekly.com that legendary Canadian musician Tom Cochrane would soon be releasing a new 4-song EP called Voices (original working title was Voices At 4 AM). The first single will be the title track which is a collaboration with several other artists including Alex Lifeson. Cochrane has been posting several updates on the EP to his Facebook page over the last few weeks including the EP's cover art, and this update from earlier this morning:

At Midnight TONIGHT 12am EASTERN STANDARD TIME we are letting the first 30 Super Limited Edition packs go on SALE!!! Visit www.tomcochrane.com to score yours! PLEASE NOTE a further 20 sets will be available at www.andrewcolemusic.com [TC TEAM]

Which expands on this post from earlier last month:

There are only 500 Limited Edition Worldwide... The first 50 sold will be Super Limited Edition... 5 of the 50 will be signed at random... We are talking about the extremely limited deluxe set of material created by Tom Cochrane & Andrew Cole Feat. Alex Lifeson, Kenny Aronoff, Kenny Greer, Bill Bell Music & Chris Chaney. 50 of these Super Limited Edition "Sets" will be available for pre-order purchase this December!!! The remaining 450 will be sold through our website. (Please note this package will not be available in stores) [TC TEAM]

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson limited edition A Brush of Hope prints coming soon
9:45AM EST | link | comments (4) |

UPDATE - 12/1@4:10PM: These are now available for purchase on eBay (thanks RushFanForever).

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope charity auction took place back in October and Alex Lifeson's 8" X 16", acrylic on stretched canvas Sun Dance painting ended up being sold for an astonishing $7,000. The 2011 Brush of Hope charity auction was a huge success and ended up raising a total of $24,000. The Brush of Hope Facebook page recently announced that they have produced 250 limited edition prints of Alex's 2007 painting for A Brush of Hope that they'll be selling in the near future (hopefully in the next few days) to raise money for the charity. Earlier this morning they posted some more details along with a preview of the print:

ALEX LIFESON limited edition prints coming SOON! Here is a sneak peek at the print. The image is 8 X 10. The page itself is 13 X 15. This is something special! There are only 250 prints available, each one with an original signature by Alex himself! Price is only $250, plus $20 for shipping and handling (Canada and USA. International purchasers should contact us for a shipping quote). Just in time for Christmas!! It comes with a certificate of authenticity too!

Thanks to Get up and go the distance for the heads up.

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