Archive: Blog Entries from August, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:31AM EST | link | comments (7) |

Things remained relatively quiet in Rushland this past week as we head into the Labor Day weekend here in the US, although we did get another news update from Neil Peart last Friday. In just over a month on October 1st we'll see the release of the long-anticipated Vapor Trails remix along with the Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set. This coming Tuesday, September 3rd Audio Fidelity's SACD version of Rush's Hemispheres will get released. There's also the Clockwork Angels concert video which should get released at some point closer to the Holidays.

Neil Peart in his Bubba's bowling shirtAs I'd mentioned above, last Friday Neil Peart once again updated the news page on his website. The August, 2013 entry is titled It's Not Over When It's Over and focuses on the final few shows of the Clockwork Angels tour, particularly the final show in Kansas City:

... The emotional resonance of the final show, in Kansas City, inside us and around us, could only compare to the first show of our Vapor Trails tour, in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 28, 2002. That "new beginning" came after five intensely difficult years since our last performance on July 4, 1997. When that Hartford show was over, I said to our manager, Ray, "It would have been a shame if that had never happened again." He smiled and nodded, and we raised our glasses of champagne.

Eleven years later, that August night in Kansas City was the ultimate tour-ending show in all our thirty-nine years of "roadwork." It affected us in ways we could never have expected, and most of that emotion was centered on the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble. Usually the Guys at Work, band and crew, finish a tour believing it's just a break-that it will all start up again at some point, and we'll all see each other again. All seven of the "stringers" knew that this time it truly was, like the lovely title of a Hemingway story, "The End of Something." ...

Neil also talks about the post-tour bowling party which actor Paul Rudd attended (Rudd made an onstage guest appearance at the Kansans City show), the Red Deer benefit show and more. You can read the entire story on Neil's website at this location.

Speaking of Neil Peart, Back in June of 1994 the St. Catherines Standard published a story written by Peart titled A Port Boy's Story where Neil describes his early childhood growing up in Port Dalhousie during the '50s and '60s. The transcript of the story has been available for some time at the Power Windows website and it's definitely worth a read if you've never seen it before. Earlier this week Eric at the Power Windows site obtained several of the photos included with the original article and added them to his transcription page here. The photos include a mid-60s family portrait of Neil and his siblings Nancy, Judy, and Danny; Neil's 2nd grade class photo from 1959'; Neil in his scout uniform with his father Glen; and Neil at age 14 painting a fence Tom Sawyer-style. You can check out the transcript and photos at this location.

Vertical Horizon Echoes from the UndergroundIn even more Neil Peart news, Vertical Horizon announced earlier this week that their new album Echoes from the Underground will release on October 8th with pre-order details coming soon. Way back in early 2012 we first learned that Neil Peart had played drums on a couple of tracks on the album. The first single is called Broken Over You and was released online for free download earlier last month. Neil doesn't play on this track but plays on the tracks Instamatic and South For The Winter. Here's some video of Neil in the studio with Vertical Horizon from back in early 2012. Neil had also made a guest appearance on Vertical Horizon's 2009 album Burning the Days, playing drums on three of the tracks along with penning the lyrics for one. For all the latest information on the album, visit the Vertical Horizon website here.

limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz BassWe learned yesterday that the Fender Custom Shop has released a new limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass. The guitar is a faithful reproduction of Geddy's bass including 35 years worth of wear and tear. It has an MSRP of $8000, and you can get all the details at Fender.com

This past Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle included a Rush-themed clue. 24-Across was an 11-letter word with the clue Rush job. The answer was ROCKCONCERT. You can check out a scan of the completed puzzle at CrosswordFiend.com. Thanks to Jennifer for the heads up.

Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader was recently interviewed for MadeMan.com and mentions Rush at about the 2:20 mark. You can check out the interview on YouTube at this location (thanks Neils Neil).

Geddy Lee once remarked in a 2011 interview with Metal Hammer that he was a big fan of British comedian Stewart Lee. Reader Andy let me know that at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival Lee (Stewart, not Geddy) has been masquerading as the fictional cult 1980s Canadian standup comic Baconface. In this Guardian review of Baconface's performance, the comic is pictured wearing a mask made of bacon rashers along with a Rush Fly by Night t-shirt.

Here's another minor Rush t-shirt sighting from earlier this year that slipped under the radar. Reader NcstateRush let me know that the winner of this year's Jeopardy! Teen Tournament from back in February was Leonard Cooper. In Leonard's profile video on the Jeopardy website he's sporting a Rush 2112 t-shirt as shown here. You can watch the video online here (just scroll down to Leonard's photo and click on watch video).

This past Tuesday, August 27th Alex Lifeson celebrated his big 60th birthday. In honor of the occasion, Rich Castle at DeathScream.net wrote a lengthy, 2-part review of Alex Lifeson's 1996 solo project Victor. You can check out the review online at this location. There are also reviews of Rush's last 2 studio albums; Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels. In celebration of Lerxst's birthday, here's some video of a much younger (and harrier) Alex arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. It's taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children.

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

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fender Custom Shop releases new limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass
1:58PM EST | link | comments (18) |

limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz BassThe Fender Custom Shop has just released a new limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass. From Guitar Site:

... The guitar faithfully reproduces the neck shape, pickups, wiring and other details of the Geddy's bass along with 35 years worth of wear and tear. Geddy's black '72 Jazz bass had a humble beginning, purchased for $200 with no original case in 1977 from a pawnshop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It went on to become the bass used on some of Rush's biggest hits like Tom Sawyer and Limelight, greatly contributing to the band's success. ... Now Fender Custom Shop has got their hands on the instrument and meticulously replicated every detail, resulting in a limited run replica for a privileged few to appreciate - the Fender Limited Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass. ... The Limited Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass has an MSRP of $8,000. ...

For more information visit Fender.com (thanks Jack S).

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1994 St. Catherines Standard article A Port Boy's Story transcript including rare early photos of Neil Peart
10:17AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Back in June of 1994 the St. Catherines Standard published a story written by Neil Peart titled A Port Boy's Story where Neil describes his early childhood growing up in Port Dalhousie during the '50s and '60s. The transcript of the story has been available for some time at the Power Windows website and it's definitely worth a read if you've never seen it before. Here's Neil describing his first public drum solo:

... My next drumming appearance was at the Lakeport High School variety show. With Don Brunt on piano and Don Tees on sax, we were the Eternal Triangle, and we practiced nights at the school. (Don Brunt would drive us home in his Dad's '65 Pontiac, usually with a detour out to Middle Road, where he could get it up to a hundred).

For the variety show we played a couple of songs, including one original which was titled LSD Forever (as if we had any idea - the only drug we knew anything about was Export A!). My first public drum solo was a success, and I will never forget how I glowed with the praise from the other kids in the show (including, I've always remembered, Paul Kennedy, who has done well for himself on CBC Radio). To a kid who had never been good in sports, and had never felt like "one of the gang," this was the first time I had ever known "peer appreciation." I confess I liked it. ...

Eric at the Power Windows site recently obtained several of the photos included with the original article and added them to the transcription page here. The photos include a mid-60s family portrait of Neil and his siblings Nancy, Judy, and Danny; Neil's 2nd grade class photo from 1959'; Neil in his scout uniform with his father Glen; and Neil at age 14 painting a fence Tom Sawyer-style. You can check out the transcript and photos at this location.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy 60th birthday Alex Lifeson!
7:32AM EST | link | comments (30) |

UPDATE - 8/28@9:33AM: Gibson.com posted this article to their website on Monday as a tribute to Alex on his 60th birthday.

UPDATE - 8/27@8:12AM: Alex is the featured celebrity birthday in today's Toronto Sun (thanks jupeguyowensound).

Alex young and oldOn this day back in 1953, our favorite guitarist - Alexandar Zivojinovich (aka Alex Lifeson) - was born in Fernie, British Columbia. He turns the big six-oh today which catches him up with his bandmates; Alex is the youngest member of Rush, being born about a month after Geddy Lee and just under a year after Neil. In honor of this occasion here's some video of a much younger (and harrier) Alex arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. It's taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children. Happy birthday Lerxst!! May you have many more.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Vertical Horizon's Echoes from the Underground featuring a guest appearance from Neil Peart to release October 8th
10:56AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Vertical Horizon Echoes from the UndergroundWay back in early 2012 we first learned that Neil Peart had played drums on a couple of tracks for the next Vertical Horizon album, which was finally completed back in May and is titled Echoes from the Underground. Vertical Horizon just announced this morning that the album will release on October 8th with pre-order details coming soon. The first single is called Broken Over You and was released online for free download earlier last month. We've known for a while now that Neil played on 2 tracks; Instamatic and one other track. Vertical Horizon frontman Matt Scannell recently tweeted that this other track Neil plays on is called South For The Winter. Scannell also spoke about Neil's involvement with the album in a recent interview with CBS Pittsburgh:

... "The other major contribution from a dear and wonderful friend is Neil Peart, the drummer from Rush, plays on two songs. One is called "Instamatic" and his drum performance is a master class. Of course, it's going to be amazing if he's playing on it. He is one of the best ever. He deserves that title. But, this performance in particular to me, is almost like it's sort of an overview of his entire career. I can hear elements from all the different chapters of his development as a player. And it's such an honor to have him play on the record," Scannell said. ...

Neil Peart in studio with Vertical Horizon's Matt ScannellHere's some video of Neil in the studio with Vertical Horizon from back in early 2012. Neil had also made a guest appearance on Vertical Horizon's 2009 album Burning the Days, playing drums on three of the tracks along with penning the lyrics for one. For all the latest information on the album, visit the Vertical Horizon website here.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
9:24PM EST | link | comments (36) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: August, 2013 - It's Not Over When It's Over]

Neil Peart in his Bubba's bowling shirtJust a few weeks after his last update, Neil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The August, 2013 entry is titled It's Not Over When It's Over and focuses on the final few shows of the Clockwork Angels tour, particularly the final show in Kansas City:

... The emotional resonance of the final show, in Kansas City, inside us and around us, could only compare to the first show of our Vapor Trails tour, in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 28, 2002. That "new beginning" came after five intensely difficult years since our last performance on July 4, 1997. When that Hartford show was over, I said to our manager, Ray, "It would have been a shame if that had never happened again." He smiled and nodded, and we raised our glasses of champagne.

Eleven years later, that August night in Kansas City was the ultimate tour-ending show in all our thirty-nine years of "roadwork." It affected us in ways we could never have expected, and most of that emotion was centered on the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble. Usually the Guys at Work, band and crew, finish a tour believing it's just a break-that it will all start up again at some point, and we'll all see each other again. All seven of the "stringers" knew that this time it truly was, like the lovely title of a Hemingway story, "The End of Something." ...

Neil also talks about the post-tour bowling party which actor Paul Rudd attended (Rudd made an onstage guest appearance at the Kansans City show), the Red Deer benefit show and more. You can read the entire story on Neil's website at this location.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:15AM EST | link | comments (11) |

Not surprisingly it was a very slow week for Rush news as Rush and their fans recover from their collective Clockwork Angels tour hangover. The biggest news item on the immediate radar remains the upcoming October 1st release of the long-anticipated Vapor Trails remix along with the Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set. Not too long after that - likely just in time for Christmas - we should be seeing the release of the Clockwork Angels concert video, although we're still waiting on a hard release date for that. There's also Audio Fidelity's SACD version of Rush's Hemispheres which will release a week from Tuesday on September 3rd. Eric over at the Power Windows website has added a wallpaper for the Vapor Trails Remixed edition, as well as eight images from the Clockwork Angels Watchmaker Edition to his Desktop Wallpaper gallery.

The official Rush 2014, 40th anniversary wall calendar from NMR Distribution is now available for purchase via Amazon and other retailers. The 2014 calendar celebrates next year's 40th anniversary of the release of Rush's first album back in 1974. The cover art includes the Rush explosion logo from the band's eponymous 1974 debut in the background with an early, 70s-era live photo of the band superimposed in the foreground with the words 40TH ANNIVERSARY | 2014 WALL CALENDAR. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned all the images from the calendar and made them available online at this location. You can order your calendar today at this location.

Rush's Clockwork Angels album was recently awarded Gold certification by Music Canada on June 27th, 2013. To obtain Gold certification in Canada an album must sell at least 40,000 units. Clockwork Angels still has not received Gold certification in the US where an album needs to sell at least 500,000 units. Rush's last studio album to receive Gold certification in the US was 1996's Test For Echo, and Roll the Bones was given Platinum certification back in 2001. No Rush studio albums have been certified in the US since then, although several Rush videos and compilations have. However, with all the reissues in recent years including the Sector box sets, the recent Atlantic-era reissues (the digital version has already been released) and the deluxe editions of 2112 and Moving Pictures, it's likely that sales of Rush's back catalog have greatly increased in the past few years. As I'd reported last week it looks like Rush has finally requested recertification of most of their back catalog. So we may be hearing of more Rush certifications in the near future.

Speaking of the Clockwork Angels album, Roadrunner Records will celebrate its 30-plus year legacy as one of the most highly regarded record labels in heavy metal and hard rock music history by releasing a 4-CD box set titled XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner Records on October 1st. One of the tracks included on the set is Rush's Headlong Flight off of last year's Clockwork Angels album. Rush signed with Roadrunner Records back in August of 2011 and Clockwork Angels was their first album released with the label.

Author and music journalist Martin Popoff's new illustrative history of Rush titled Rush: The Illustrated History was released back in May. Popoff will be making an appearance to meet fans and sign copies of the book at the Indigo Eaton Centre in Toronto on Saturday, September 7th at 1PM (thanks Andrew W). To order your copy of Rush: The Unauthorized Illustrated History via Amazon, go to this location.

Canadian folk musician Jacob Moon recently announced via his Facebook page that he is working on a new CD titled Fascination which will include covers of Rush's Limelight and Subdivisions. It'll also include covers of songs from Yes, Marillion, Radiohead and Peter Gabriel, along with two new original songs. Earlier this week he launched a RocketHub campaign to help finance the project and revealed more details about the album, which is due out this November. To see all the details and to help Jacob out, visit his RocketHub page. Jacob posted an update to the page yesterday about the recording of Limelight and how the David Barrett Trio will help him out with the guitar parts:

08/22/13: Today I am hard at work on an arrangement of 'Limelight' by Rush. Trying to reharmonize and re-jig some of it while leaving enough of the hooks in place so that you can still enjoy it. I think sometimes there is a temptation to completely overhaul a song in the attempt to re-interpret it, and you can end up losing some of the essence of the song in that pursuit.

Tomorrow I meet with David Barrett to talk about his trio's involvement in the song and we will work on guitar parts. Alex Lifeson produced their CD, and they have a great rock trio sound, but no singer. Wait--I know a singer! Together, I think we will bring the energy the record needs off the top (Limelight will open the CD). ...

Jacob Moon garnered the attention of Rush and their fans when he posted a YouTube video of himself performing an impressive rooftop solo rendition of Rush's Subdivisions a few years ago. The video quickly went viral, and Rush later asked Jacob to perform the song at their Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in March of 2010.

The 2009 Canadian vampire horror/comedy flick Suck - which features a cameo from Alex Lifeson and a number of other rock stars - made the Bradenton Herald's list of the 10 worst rock films ever earlier this week, coming in at #6:

6. "Suck." Alice Cooper, Moby, Alex Lifeson and even Iggy Pop can't save this dismal and aptly titled film about a rock band that turns to vampirism to make it big.

Alex Lifeson makes an appearance in the movie as a border guard. You can get a glimpse of him in the film's trailer at this link (at about the 1:45 mark) and here's a video of Alex's complete scenes.

Sterotude posted a photo gallery of 20 album covers redone with legos earlier this week (thanks Stefan). One of the albums featured is Rush's Moving Pictures, and they use this photo that had previously been featured in a Friday Rush update post from a couple of years ago.

The Beach Boys played a show at the Canadian National Exhibition this past Sunday night in Toronto. Ottawa natives Brothers Dubé opened the show with a five-song performance where one of the brothers was sporting a Rush 2112 t-shirt as shown in this review of the show (thanks Andrew W).

The Hard Rock Cafe recently named American musician Mayer Hawthorne as their very first Hard Rock Artist of the Month. To celebrate the occasion they gave Mayer a tour of the Hard Rock Vault as shown in this VH1 news story. One of the items shown in the news video is Geddy Lee's double-neck Rickenbacker. You can watch the video below or at this location.

Everyone make sure to wish Alex Lifeson a happy birthday this coming Tuesday, August 27th. Our favorite guitar player catches up with his other two bandmates and turns the big six-oh! Happy birthday Lerxst!! That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jacob Moon to include covers of Rush's Limelight, Subdivisions on new album Fascination
3:57PM EST | link | comments (29) |

UPDATE - 8/23@9:28AM: Jacob posted an update to his RocketHub page yesterday about the recording of Limelight and how the David Barrett Trio is involved (thanks RushFanForever):

08/22/13: Today I am hard at work on an arrangement of 'Limelight' by Rush. Trying to reharmonize and re-jig some of it while leaving enough of the hooks in place so that you can still enjoy it. I think sometimes there is a temptation to completely overhaul a song in the attempt to re-interpret it, and you can end up losing some of the essence of the song in that pursuit.

Tomorrow I meet with David Barrett to talk about his trio's involvement in the song and we will work on guitar parts. Alex Lifeson produced their CD, and they have a great rock trio sound, but no singer. Wait--I know a singer! Together, I think we will bring the energy the record needs off the top (Limelight will open the CD). ...

----- snip -----

Canadian folk musician Jacob Moon recently announced via his Facebook page that he is working on a new CD titled Fascination which will include covers of songs from Rush, Yes, Marillion, Radiohead and Peter Gabriel, along with two new original songs. Today he launched a RocketHub campaign (thanks RushFanForever) to help finance the project and revealed more details about the album, which is due out this November:

... That brings us to this moment, where work has officially begun on a new collection of songs that pay tribute to those artists that gave me the courage to be a musician and lit my path for this, my 9th album to date. Containing songs by artists like YES ('Owner of a Lonely Heart'), RUSH ('Limelight', 'Subdivisions'), MARILLION ('Kayleigh/Lavender'), PETER GABRIEL('In Your Eyes'), KEANE('Bend and Break'), TOM WAITS('Pony') and RADIOHEAD ('Letdown'), this is a feast for any modern progressive music fan. Even if those songs are not familiar, I hope that you'll be drawn into the sense of wonder that this music instilled in me. Also featured on this recording will be two new Jacob Moon originals, including "Is That All You Got" and "Revelation". ...

If you'd like to help Jacob out, visit his RocketHub page and donate. Jacob Moon posted a YouTube video of himself performing a rooftop solo rendition of Rush's Subdivisions a few years ago. The video quickly went viral, garnering the attention of Rush themselves who later asked Jacob to perform the song at their Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in March of 2010.

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Geddy Lee's double-neck Rickenbacker featured in VH1 news story
11:56AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Mayer Hawthorne with Geddy's double-neckThe Hard Rock Cafe recently named American musician Mayer Hawthorne as their very first Hard Rock Artist of the Month. To celebrate the occasion they gave Mayer a tour of the Hard Rock Vault as shown in this VH1 news story. One of the items shown in the news video is Geddy Lee's double-neck Rickenbacker. Unfortunately they spelled Geddy's name wrong in the accompanying story!

... Hard Rock historian Jeff Nolan acts as our guide, and he keeps the hits coming with an insane lineup of jaw-dropping items. From seemingly out of nowhere he produces the Rickenbacker double-neck guitar played by Getty Lee of Rush during the Permanent Waves tour in 1980. Now that multi-instrumentalist Mayer has incorporated playing guitar as well as bass into his live performances, he might have to invest in a similar model. If we see him rocking out on one of these bad boys, we'll know where he got the idea! ...

You can watch the video below or at this location.

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Rush's Clockwork Angels certified Gold in Canada
10:12AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Rush's Clockwork Angels album was recently awarded Gold certification by Music Canada on June 27th, 2013 (thanks RushFanForever). To obtain Gold certification in Canada an album must sell at least 40,000 units. Clockwork Angels still has not received Gold certification in the US where an album needs to sell at least 500,000 units. Rush's last studio album to receive Gold certification in the US was 1996's Test For Echo, and Roll the Bones was given Platinum certification back in 2001. No Rush studio albums have been certified in the US since then, although several Rush videos and compilations have. However, with all the reissues in recent years including the Sector box sets, the recent Atlantic-era reissues (the digital version has already been released) and the deluxe editions of 2112 and Moving Pictures, it's likely that sales of Rush's back catalog have greatly increased in the past few years. As I'd reported last week it looks like Rush has finally requested recertification of most of their back catalog. So we may be hearing of more Rush certifications in the near future.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Rush's Headlong Flight to be included on upcoming Roadrunner Records box set
3:40PM EST | link | comments (15) |

XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner RecordsRoadrunner Records will celebrate its 30-plus year legacy as one of the most highly regarded record labels in heavy metal and hard rock music history by releasing a 4-CD box set titled XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner Records on October 1st. One of the tracks included on the set is Rush's Headlong Flight off of last year's Clockwork Angels album. From the press release (thanks Kelly M):

... The set, due for release on October 1, includes 54 tracks spread across four discs, packaged in a deluxe fold-out paneled box, at a retail price of $39.98. Decibel contributor Chris Dick has written the liner notes, which trace Roadrunner's entire history and include quotes from founder Cees Wessels; legendary A&R guru Monte Conner; and artists such as King Diamond, Sepultura/Soulfly/Cavalera Conspiracy mastermind Max Cavalera, Trivium frontman Matt Heafy, Opeth leader Mikael Åkerfeldt, Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, and more. ... The final disc, "Rock For The Ages," focuses on Roadrunner's hard rock contingent with tracks from mainstays such as Rush, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Theory Of A Deadman, Airbourne, Black Stone Cherry, and Korn featuring Skrillex, among others. ...

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:16AM EST | link | comments (30) |

Now what?! The Clockwork Angels tour is in the books so Rush fans will now have to turn their attention to some cool upcoming new Rush releases to tide us over until the next album and/or tour. On October 1st we'll finally see the release of the long-anticipated Vapor Trails remix along with the Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set. Then sometime just before Christmas we should be seeing the release of the Clockwork Angels DVD, although there's been no hard release date set as of yet.

In addition to the above-mentioned releases, Audio Fidelity will be releasing an SACD (Super Audio CD) version of Rush's Hemispheres next month. The original release date as listed in the most recent Audio Fidelity newsletter was given as August 20th, but Amazon now has it listed as releasing on September 3rd. The listing for the SACD at the Audio Fidelity website states that the SACD will retail for $29.99 and was mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. You can pre-order your copy of the Hemispheres SACD at this location. Audio Fidelity released an SACD version of Counterparts earlier this year.

It's been a long time since any of Rush's studio albums have been certified Gold and/or Platinum by the RIAA. Although several Rush videos and compilations have been certified over the past several years, the last time a Rush studio album was certified was back in 2001 when Roll the Bones was given Platinum certification. Rush's last 3 studio albums have yet to receive even Gold certification (sales of 500,000 units) here in the US. However, with all the reissues in recent years including the Sector box sets, the recent Atlantic-era reissues (the digital version has already been released) and the deluxe editions of 2112 and Moving Pictures, it's likely that sales of Rush's back catalog have greatly increased in the past few years. Record companies or the artist need to explicitly request certification and it looks like this may have finally happened with Rush according to a Facebook post from Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki from earlier this week:

Just put in the request ... 26 gold and platinum album sales awards in North America, for all the Rush DVD's and albums over the past 9 years. Unbelievable! I am so blessed. Thanks, guys ... looking forward to many, many more!

Chycki explicitly says North America so several of these certifications may be in Canada where certification is handled by a different entity. It's also not clear whether pre-orders of Rush's upcoming reissue of Vapor Trails or pre-orders of the physical copies of the Atlantic-era box sets will be included (both will release on October 1st), or whether Snakes & Arrows and/or Clockwork Angels has any chance of getting Gold certification. But with sales of all the recent reissues, it's likely that several albums in Rush's back catalog may get Platinum or multi-Platinum certification. The RIAA's database of Gold and Platinum certifications is freely available online and you can check out all of Rush's certifications here (just do a search for "Rush"). More information as I learn it.

Mega baseball fan Geddy Lee has been enjoying his time off from touring by attending some Toronto Blue Jays games. The Boston Red Sox began a series with the Jays this past Tuesday in Toronto and had an off day the Monday before. So a few Boston Red Sox players decided to take in Monday's Jays game and were featured on Yahoo! Sports sitting right behind home plate along with Geddy Lee:

... That's Rush singer and Blue Jays megafan Geddy Lee two seats down from the Boston bros. The guy in the middle? Not sure. But now he has a good story to tell about that time he sat between Geddy Lee and Dustin Pedroia at a Blue Jays game.

Last week CBC News ran a story on Hamilton's renowned dancing guy Jed Lifeson, who happens to be Alex Lifeson's cousin:

... Lifeson was born 58 years ago as Nedad Zivojinovich. When he moved to Toronto as a teen, his cousin Alex took him to his friend Geddy Lee's place so he could hear their new band. Over the next few years, Jed took in every music show he could, whether it be Rush, Santana or Janis Joplin. Santana is a favourite - he's seen Carlos Santana 17 times. ...

There's a professionally-produced documentary video on Youtube, called JED: The Dancing Guy which includes some of Jed's family photos. A young Alex Lifeson is shown in one of the photos as seen in this screenshot (thanks Bri-the-Bri).

Modern Drummer magazine launched a poll yesterday with the aim of creating a list of the top 50 drummers of all time. Each voter gets to pick their top 10 list of drummers, with one vote per email/ip address. To find out more about the poll and to place your vote for Neil Peart, just go to this link (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net).

Canadian folk musician Jacob Moon announced via his Facebook page this morning that he is working on a new CD titled Fascination which will include covers of songs from Rush, Yes, Marillion, Radiohead and Peter Gabriel, along with two new original songs (thanks RushFanForever). Jacob Moon posted a YouTube video of himself performing a rooftop solo rendition of Rush's Subdivisions a few years ago. The video quickly went viral, garnering the attention of Rush themselves who later asked Jacob to perform the song at their Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in March of 2010.

KISS vs. Rush ... in football?! Yesterday the Arena Football League announced that the newest addition to the league will be named the Los Angeles KISS - after the famous rock band and former tourmates of Rush. The announcement caused Tablet Magazine to quip the following:

... Will there be a Jewish duet between Kiss' Israeli-born lead singer Gene Simmons and Rush's Geddy Lee during halftime of the first matchup between the L.A. Kiss and the Chicago Rush? ...

Texas-based heavy metal band The Sword recently performed a cover of Rush's Working Man at an August 7th show at Neumos in Seattle, WA. You can check out a YouTube clip of the performance at this location (thanks Glen R).

This past Wednesday, August 14th was the 39th anniversary of Neil Peart's first performance playing drums with Rush. It was at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh on August 14, 1974 opening up for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann. Rush has released a commemorative poster for the event which you can purchase online here. The band's opening song for this show was Working Man, and you can listen to a bootleg version of the performance on YouTube below or at this location:

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

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Rush back catalog RIAA Gold and Platinum certification coming soon?
11:17AM EST | link | comments (40) |

RIAAIt's been a long time since any of Rush's studio albums have been certified Gold and/or Platinum by the RIAA. Although several Rush videos and compilations have been certified over the past several years, the last time a Rush studio album was certified was back in 2001 when Roll the Bones was given Platinum certification. Rush's last 3 studio albums have yet to receive even Gold certification (sales of 500,000 units) here in the US. However, with all the reissues in recent years including the Sector box sets, the recent Atlantic-era reissues (the digital version has already been released) and the deluxe editions of 2112 and Moving Pictures, it's likely that sales of Rush's back catalog have greatly increased in the past few years. Record companies need to explicitly request certification and it looks like this may have happened with Rush's record company(s) according to a Facebook post from Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki earlier today:

Just put in the request ... 26 gold and platinum album sales awards in North America, for all the Rush DVD's and albums over the past 9 years. Unbelievable! I am so blessed. Thanks, guys ... looking forward to many, many more!

Chycki explicitly says North America so several of these certifications may be in Canada where certification is handled by a different entity. It's also not clear whether pre-orders of Rush's upcoming reissue of Vapor Trails or pre-orders of the physical copies of the Atlantic-era box sets will be included (both will release on October 1st), or whether Snakes & Arrows and/or Clockwork Angels has any chance of getting Gold certification. But with sales of all the recent reissues, it's likely that several albums in Rush's back catalog may get Platinum or multi-Platinum certification. The RIAA's database of Gold and Platinum certifications is freely available online and you can check out all of Rush's certifications here (just do a search for "Rush"). More information as I learn it.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Geddy Lee and Red Sox players attend Toronto Blue Jays game
9:38PM EST | link | comments (20) |

So now that the tour is over, the members of Rush are taking time for some well-deserved rest & relaxation. Neil Peart likely celebrated his daughter Olivia's 4th birthday today at home with family, while Alex Lifeson is probably playing golf. Not surprisingly, mega baseball fan Geddy Lee has been attending some Toronto Blue Jays games. The Boston Red Sox begin a series with the Jays tomorrow in Toronto and had an off day today. So a few Boston Red Sox players decided to take in the Jays game today and were featured on Yahoo! Sports sitting right behind home plate along with Geddy Lee:

... That's Rush singer and Blue Jays megafan Geddy Lee two seats down from the Boston bros. The guy in the middle? Not sure. But now he has a good story to tell about that time he sat between Geddy Lee and Dustin Pedroia at a Blue Jays game.

Thanks to jukebox1742 for the heads up.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:47AM EST | link | comments (168) |

UPDATE - 8/11@9:44AM: Reader CheeseCorn uploaded some great front row videos from the Kansas City show to YouTube including the Wish Them Well dance party, Paul Rudd directing the strings during YYZ, and the final song of the tour (including Geddy's closing comments).

Rush Clockwork Angels 2013 tourAfter over 70 concerts in nearly just as many cities across North America and Europe over the past year, Rush closed out their highly successful Clockwork Angels tour this past Sunday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Actor and Kansas City native Paul Rudd made an appearance at the show, and came out on stage to direct the string section during YYZ. The band will now take a long and well-deserved break from touring for the next year or two, but should be back with a new album and/or tour eventually. Now that the tour is over we can finally talk about the setlist without spoiling it for anyone! Rush tried something a little different with their setlist for this tour, alternating out 4 or so songs each night. As has been their standard modus operandi since the Test For Echo tour, the show followed the evening with Rush format where they played 2 sets with an intermission in between and no opening band. Their first set this time around focused heavily on material from the '80s, particularly the Power Windows album. And the second set consisted of nearly the entire Clockwork Angels album with some old favorites thrown in at the end. The Clockwork Angels String Ensemble accompanied the band for nearly the entire 2nd set, exiting after YYZ. Towards the beginning of the 2012 tour they also experimented with a few different songs to close out the 2nd set and include in the encore. They at first were closing the 2nd set with Working Man and then playing an encore consisting of Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio, but eventually replaced The Spirit of Radio with 2112. They also at one point put The Spirit of Radio back in the setlist to replace Working Man. From about mid-September of 2012 onwards, the 2nd set closer of The Spirit of Radio along with the encore of Tom Sawyer and 2112 would be a standard part of the setlist. The 4 tracks that they swapped out from night to night were the 5th and 8th songs of the first set, and the 8th and 10th songs of the 2nd set. For most of the 2012 tour and all of the 2013 tour, the setlist looked something like this:

Set 1:

Video Intro (Gearing Up)
1) Subdivisions
2) The Big Money
3) Force 10
4) Grand Designs
5) The Body Electric or Middletown Dreams (Limelight occasionally)
6) Territories
7) Analog Kid
8) Bravado or The Pass
10) Where's My Thing (with drum solo)
11) Far Cry

Intermission (Clockwork Angels String Ensemble enters)

Set 2:

Video Intro (The Appointment)
1) Caravan
2) Clockwork Angels
3) The Anarchist
4) Carnies
5) The Wreckers
6) Headlong Flight (with drum solo)
7) Halo Effect (with guitar solo intro)
8) Seven Cities Of Gold or Wish Them Well
9) The Garden
10) Manhattan Project or Dreamline
11) The Percussor (drum solo)
12) Red Sector A
13) YYZ
(Clockwork Angels String Ensemble exits)
14) The Spirit of Radio

Encore:

1) Tom Sawyer
2) 2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx/Grand Finale
Video Outro (Office Of The Watchmaker)

The various combinations of the 4 songs that they swapped out yielded a couple of different versions of the set that we labeled the Night A and Night B sets. Occasionally they'd throw in Limelight which - for the 2013 tour - yielded 4 distinct setlists. This isn't including the special, shortened festival sets they played at the Sweden Rock Festival and the Ottawa Bluesfest (or the Quebec City show that was shortened due to weather). So which of these 4 sets did you think was the best combination? Take the poll and let us know.

To help tide us over until Rush hits the road and/or the studio again, the band announced last week that they will finally be releasing the long-awaited remix/remaster of their 2002 album Vapor Trails this coming October 1st. The album will be made available for purchase individually or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set that will also be releasing October 1st. The Vapor Trails remix is already available for pre-order on CD and on 180g vinyl from Amazon, as is the Atlantic-era box set.

DW Super Solid snare drum signed by Neil PeartA DW Super Solid snare drum signed by Neil Peart, Jim Keltner and Doane Perry is currently up for auction on eBay with all proceeds going to benefit the Hospice of Santa Barbara. Neil Peart's signature is accompanied by a message reading Best wishes to everyone!. The bidding is well over $3000 now and the auction will run through this afternoon. For all the details and to place your bid go to this location.

Rush Fan StoriesEarlier this week we learned about a new Rush book project that is currently in development which will focus on Rush fans. The working title is Rush Fan Stories and the publishers have just set up a website where fans can contribute their stories. From the website:

Would you like to contribute to a forthcoming book about Rush fans? We're coming up on Rush's 40th anniversary. What better way to thank them for 40 years, 20 studio albums, 8 live albums, 37 music videos, 10 video albums, and 165 songs, then to tell them exactly what they've meant to you and how they've affected your life.

Fans of all types are desired to share their Rush stories with the rest of the world. Consider this your place to brag about what you've got, what you've done, and how lucky (and thankful!) you are. If you consider yourself a superfan, this book would probably not be complete without you. ...

The site also contains a short survey that the publishers are asking any and all Rush fans to fill out to help get the ball rolling. To take the survey and for all the details, visit the Rush Fan Stories website.

Author and music journalist Martin Popoff's new illustrative history of Rush titled Rush: The Illustrated History was released back in May. Andrew Matte wrote a review of the book this past week for The National Post and said the following:

... There have been plenty other books about Rush, but this is probably the most complete look at the band and its music. Popoff not only examines each album, but each tour, as well. Popoff and about a dozen guest music journalists provide plenty of insider information for even hardcore Rush fans; there's picture of a shirtless Alex Lifeson in short pants that I'd never seen before and needn't see again. ...

To order your copy of Rush: The Unauthorized Illustrated History via Amazon, go to this location.

Rob Sheffield at Salon.com wrote an article earlier this week titled Rush: How I learned to forgive - and even like - the most hated band of all time (thanks eric). In it he describes the long journey he took in becoming a Rush fan:

...I developed a real affection for the band, as well as an admiration for their devotees, so I guess I was a casual fan. But casual Rush fans do not really count in the grand scheme of things. Real Rush fans are the hard-core believers, one of the most doggedly loyal audiences in the business. And then there are the people who hate Rush just as passionately, who for lack of a better collective noun we can call "the rest of the world." The singular thing about Rush isn't how beloved they are. It's how hated they are. ...

Sports website Grantland used a Rush reference in their About Last Night column earlier this week when discussing a story involving Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel (thanks David H):

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he has spoken to fellow Heisman winner Johnny Manziel a number of times this offseason about the struggles of spending your college career in the limelight. When asked what he told Manziel, Newton broke into a surprising falsetto and said, "The limelight man, circumstances, the big money. It's a Rush, and sometimes you feel like Tom Sawyer painting fences, and sometimes you feel like you're possessed by the spirit of the radio, and sometimes you sign so many things it's just like 'YYZ ... next!' Like you have no freewill. But if you can't see the forest for the trees, you will be nobody's hero." Newton then made drum noises with his mouth for a couple of minutes before shaking his head and saying, "We all want to be the Neil Peart of this game, but sometimes the media loses sight of that."

Heavy metal bass player Patrick Bruders (Goatwhore, Crowbar, Down) picked his list of the Seven Greatest Bass Players of All Time for a MusicRadar.com piece yesterday, and Geddy Lee came in at #6 (thanks drmike):

"To me, what he does is a whole other alien, man. To be able to sing and play and work the keyboard pedals the way that he does, you've got to be a master musician to be able to do what he does. "You've got to have this coordination to be able to pull that off else it's just not going to work. I can't sing and play...I can't even talk and play! "Those guys have been together for 30 plus, 40 years now, it's incredible. They have a solid backbone, a solid foundation, as long as you have that and the guitar player doesn't f*** up then you're ok!"

Speaking of Geddy Lee, Loudwire.com decided to have some Photoshop fun with bass players earlier this week, taking photos of famous bass players and photoshopping in puppies in place of their bass guitars. One of the bass players featured is Geddy Lee. You can check out Geddy with his puppy at this location (thanks Nevetsrush2112).

Apparently Hamilton's renowned dancing guy is Alex Lifeson's cousin according to this CBC News article:

... Lifeson was born 58 years ago as Nedad Zivojinovich. When he moved to Toronto as a teen, his cousin Alex took him to his friend Geddy Lee's place so he could hear their new band. Over the next few years, Jed took in every music show he could, whether it be Rush, Santana or Janis Joplin. Santana is a favourite - he's seen Carlos Santana 17 times. ...

Here's some bootleg video of the final song (2112) from the final night of the Clockwork Angels tour in Kansas City this past Sunday night:

That's all for this week. A very happy birthday to Neil Peart's daughter Olivia who will turn 4 years old this coming Monday, August 12th. Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Rush Fan Stories book coming soon, requesting contributors
3:15PM EST | link | comments (113) |

Rush Fan StoriesA new Rush book project is currently in development which will focus on Rush fans. The working title is Rush Fan Stories and the publishers have just set up a website where fans can contribute their stories. From the website:

Would you like to contribute to a forthcoming book about Rush fans? We're coming up on Rush's 40th anniversary. What better way to thank them for 40 years, 20 studio albums, 8 live albums, 37 music videos, 10 video albums, and 165 songs, then to tell them exactly what they've meant to you and how they've affected your life.

Fans of all types are desired to share their Rush stories with the rest of the world. Consider this your place to brag about what you've got, what you've done, and how lucky (and thankful!) you are. If you consider yourself a superfan, this book would probably not be complete without you. ...

The site also contains a short survey that the publishers are asking any and all Rush fans to fill out to help get the ball rolling. To take the survey and for all the details, visit the Rush Fan Stories website. Thanks to Stevie and John at Cygnus-X1.net for the info.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Signed Neil Peart DW Super Solid snare drum charity auction to benefit the Hospice of Santa Barbara
5:19PM EST | link | comments (9) |

DW Super Solid snare drum signed by Neil PeartA DW Super Solid snare drum signed by Neil Peart, Jim Keltner and Doane Perry is currently up for auction on eBay with all proceeds going to benefit the Hospice of Santa Barbara. Neil Peart's signature is accompanied by a message reading Best wishes to everyone!. The bidding starts at $2500 and the auction will run through this coming Friday, August 9th. For all the details and to place your bid go to this location.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rush 2013 Clockwork Angels tour Kansas City open thread
11:11AM EST | link | comments (99) |

UPDATE - 8/11@9:44AM: Reader CheeseCorn uploaded some great front row videos from the show to YouTube including the Wish Them Well dance party, Paul Rudd directing the strings during YYZ, and the final song of the tour (including Geddy's closing comments).

UPDATE - 8/6@2:59PM: Here's a review from the St. Joseph News-Press.

UPDATE - 8/5@6:55PM: Official photos are now posted at Rush.com.

UPDATE - 8/5@11:28AM: Here's the final photo gallery of the Clockwork Angels tour from Cygnus-X1.net. Thanks John!!

UPDATE - 8/5@10:10AM: The final setlist of the tour was the Night B - version 5 set. Here's a review from the Kansas City Star.

UPDATE - 8/5@12:11AM: Kelly D reports that actor Paul Rudd (of I Love You Man) came on stage during YYZ wearing one of the String Ensemble shirts and directed the string section.

UPDATE - 8/4@11:02PM: Through the first set it looks like Night B - version 5 (thanks Kelly D). And now that the tour is over and we don't have to worry about spoiling anything for anyone, Night B - version 5 means that they decided to play Limelight in place of Middletown Dreams (played on the regular B set) and played The Pass instead of Bravado (the normal Night A song in this slot). In the 2nd set they should be playing Wish Them Well and Dreamline (rather than the Night A songs of Seven Cities of Gold and Manhattan Project).

Rush Clockwork Angels 2013 tourThis is it. The journey that began back on September 7th of last year in Manchester, NH is about to end. After over 70 concerts in about just as many cities across North America and Europe over the past year, Rush will play the final show of their highly successful Clockwork Angels tour tonight at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The band is due to play one of their Night B sets for the KC fans, and I'll post confirmation of this as soon as I learn about it. For everyone going to the final Clockwork Angels extravaganza tonight, have fun, be safe, and make sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us. A very BIG thanks to Rush, the road crew, SRO/Anthem and the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble for a truly amazing tour. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see them back out on the road again. RUUSSSHHHHH!!!!!!

Date/Time: Sunday, August 4th @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 37
Venue: Sprint Center
Place: Kansas City, MO

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

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Rush 2013 Clockwork Angels tour Denver open thread
1:41PM EST | link | comments (30) |

UPDATE - 8/8@11:38PM: Here's Clockwork Angels: The Novel author Kevin J. Anderson's report on the show that he posted to his blog.

UPDATE - 8/4@12:23AM: Here's a gallery of photos that was posted over at Cygnus-X1.net, and here's a review and photo gallery from Reverb.

UPDATE - 8/3@8:09AM: The band played the Night A - version 4 set and official photos are already posted over at Rush.com.

UPDATE - 8/2@11:45PM: Eric from Power Windows is at the show and through the first set it looks like they are playing the Night A - version 4 set.

Rush Clockwork Angels 2013 tourRush flies the Clockwork Angels tour airship to the Mile-High City of Denver tonight to play the Pepsi Center for the 2nd to last stop of the 2013 tour. The band is due to play one of their Night A sets for tonight's crowd. I'll post confirmation of this as soon as I learn about it. Owner/chef of Denver restaurant Coohill's is a huge Rush fans and will be attending the show tonight. He wrote a piece for Reverb yesterday talking about why Rush is his favorite band which you can check out here. And reader Todd V spotted Geddy and Alex out to dinner with Matt Stone at Frasca in Boulder last night. For everyone going to the show tonight, have fun, stay safe, and be sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us. Rush!!!!!

Date/Time: Friday, August 2nd @ 7:30PM (9:30PM EST)
Show Number: 36
Venue: Pepsi Center
Place: Denver, CO

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

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:30AM EST | link | comments (19) |

It's hard to believe it, but Rush's Clockwork Angels tour is down to its last 2 shows. They'll play a show in Denver tonight and then close things out on Sunday in Kansas City to what looks to be a sold out crowd. This past week the band played shows in Vancouver, Portland and Salt Lake City. The week before that they kicked off the western leg of the tour with a benefit show in Red Deer, Alberta as a replacement for the Calgary show that had been cancelled due to flooding. Earlier this week the band revealed via Rush.com that the show ended up raising $575,000 for the Alberta Flood Relief effort!

... "It is important to be a good neighbour in situations like these, and we are very grateful that we were able to amass such a huge sum that will undoubtedly help many of our fellow Canadians in need. Thanks to our partners who joined us in the effort, to all the great fans from all over Alberta who attended the show, the workers who donated their time along with us, and those fans abroad that supported via the special Flood T-shirt." - Geddy Lee ...

Although its disappointing that the tour is ending, we did receive a great bit of news earlier this week to help tide us over until Rush hits the road and/or the studio again. Yesterday the band announced that they will finally be releasing the long-awaited remix/remaster of their 2002 album Vapor Trails this coming October 1st. The album will be made available for purchase individually or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set that will also be releasing October 1st. The Vapor Trails remix is already already available for pre-order on CD and on 180g vinyl from Amazon, as is the Atlantic-era box set. From Rush.com:

... "Vapor Trails was an album made under difficult and emotional circumstances - sort of like Rush learning how to be Rush again - and as a result, mistakes were made that we have longed to correct. David Bottrill's remixes have finally brought some justice and clarity to this deserving body of our work," says Geddy Lee. "Every song has been given a new life, from the fire of 'One Little Victory,' 'Secret Touch,' and 'Ceiling Unlimited' to the melodic musicality of 'Sweet Miracle' and 'How It Is'... these songs have been redeemed. Thank you David!" ...

The David that Geddy refers to here is Grammy-winning Canadian producer David Bottrill, who - along with Andy VanDette at MasterDisk - worked on the album's remix.

The official Rush 2014, 40th anniversary wall calendar from NMR Distribution is now available for purchase via Amazon and other retailers. Not surprisingly, the 2014 calendar celebrates next year's 40th anniversary of the release of Rush's first album back in 1974. The cover art includes the Rush explosion logo from the band's eponymous 1974 debut in the background with an early, 70s-era live photo of the band superimposed in the foreground with the words 40TH ANNIVERSARY | 2014 WALL CALENDAR. You can order your calendar today at this location. NMR distribution have also released a new 24"x36" commemorative tour poster for the band's first show with Neil Peart on drums - Rush's August 14th, 1974 appearance at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. You can order the poster via Amazon at this location.

West Side Beemer BoyzEarlier this week Neil Peart once again updated the news page on his website with a story titled On Days Like These. Neil describes his motorcycle travels on the summer leg of the Clockwork Angels tour. In one passage, Neil refers to the Vapor Trails remix and how difficult it is for him to listen to the album:

... The band had recently been overseeing a remixed version of our Vapor Trails album, from 2002, as we had never been happy with how it turned out. I found that trying to listen to those songs again was too upsetting, taking me back to a mindset and emotional state that hadn't been good to live through then, or to relive now. I had to "recuse" myself from those judgments, and the Guys at Work understood, of course. ...

Speaking of Neil Peart and Vapor Trails, MusicRadar.com posted their list of the Top 20 Greatest Drum Beats of the Millennium earlier this week and Neil Peart's drum fill on Rush's One Little Victory made the cut at #6. It would have been nice if they got the album it was on right though. I guess it's the thought that counts. Here's what they had to say:

'One Little Victory', from Rush's magnificent Clockwork Angels album is one of Neil Peart's finest and most rocking beats. Beginning with a drum cadence, Peart proceeds to cover all bases throughout the driving pace of the track, following Geddy Lee's insistent bassline and matching the track's changes of pace with a fresh approach each time. His undeniable kit dexterity, time-keeping and invention are all on show once again, yet, crucially, he doesn't forget to rock out.

Keeping on the subject of Neil Peart, yesterday Sabian announced that they are releasing a limited run of the Neil Peart 22" Paragon Steampunk Ride graphic cymbal. For all the details check out the press release from Sabian.com. And Buzzfeed's copyranter posted their list of the 10 Best Rock Drummers Ever earlier this week and Neil Peart came in at #1:

I'm putting The Professor #1 for one simple reason: I don't want to be hunted down and drawn and quartered by the Legionnaires of the Rush Army. Also, Peart is precise rock drumming personified. I've seen Rush in concert five times, starting with "2112" tour and ending with "Moving Pictures" (Rush's last good album) tour. To have watched him live, in his prime, is one of my life's joys.

Neil Peart in studio with Vertical Horizon's Matt ScannellWay back in early 2012 we first learned that Neil Peart had played drums on a couple of tracks for the next Vertical Horizon album, which was finally completed back in May and is titled Echoes from the Underground. There's no release date given for the album yet, but the first single is called Broken Over You and was released online for free download earlier last month. It's not clear if Neil played on this track or not, but it doesn't sound like it. At this point all we know is that Neil played on at least 2 tracks; Instamatic and another unnamed track. Vertical Horizon frontman Matt Scannell was recently interviewed for CBS Pittsburgh and spoke a little about Neil's involvement:

... "The other major contribution from a dear and wonderful friend is Neil Peart, the drummer from Rush, plays on two songs. One is called "Instamatic" and his drum performance is a master class. Of course, it's going to be amazing if he's playing on it. He is one of the best ever. He deserves that title. But, this performance in particular to me, is almost like it's sort of an overview of his entire career. I can hear elements from all the different chapters of his development as a player. And it's such an honor to have him play on the record," Scannell said. ...

Here's some video of Neil in the studio with Vertical Horizon from back in early 2012. Neil had also made a guest appearance on Vertical Horizon's 2009 album Burning the Days, playing drums on three of the tracks along with penning the lyrics for one. Vertical Horizon is currently on tour this summer supporting the album as part of the Under the Sun tour. For all the latest information on the album and tour, visit the Vertical Horizon website here.

Alex Lifeson's country homeThe Toronto Globe and Mail ran a feature in the Home & Garden section of yesterday's edition where they profile Alex Lifeson's brand new country home. The house is set on an 8 1/2-acre parcel carved out of a century farm to the north of Toronto. Alex's wife Charlene and Toronto-based architect Dimitri Papatheodorou are interviewed in the article and several photos are on display. From the article:

... "It was pretty obvious that the house wanted to align with the cosmos," [Papatheodorou] says. Now the rolling hills north of Toronto offer a tranquil setting for family gatherings, and the trees provide seclusion for Mr. Lifeson during downtime from a demanding schedule of touring as guitarist for the hallowed Canadian rock band Rush. ... Ms. Zivojinovich says the floor-to-ceiling windows and many walk-outs along the south façade make the large outdoor living room seem like an extension of the interior. "It does feel as if the outside and inside are really connected," she says. Now the Lifesons' young grandchildren enjoy the family haven as much as the adults do. Everyone has started referring to the place in the country by the moniker coined by one young grandson, says Ms. Zivojinovich. "He always asks, 'Are we going to the special house?'"

Speaking of Alex, the Domenic Troiano Guitar Awards Trustees, of which Alex Lifeson is a member, recently announced via a press release their new Domenic Troiano Guitar Awards where three $5,000 prizes will be awarded annually to Canadian guitarists in the categories of Jazz, Multi-Genre and Classical. The press release contains the following quote from Alex Lifeson:

"On June 30, 1967, I saw the Mandala at the North York Centennial Arena. At the side of the stage Donny gave me his autograph and his Mandala button. He told me how important it was to keep practicing and if I worked hard, I might get the chance to stand on stage and play for people some day. I was beaming. He was my first real inspiration and to this day I have a deep love and admiration for a man who truly knew the meaning of soul. I am proud to be a humble part of his enduring influence".

Rolling Stone 1189 coverThe latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine (issue #1189, August 15th) hit subscribers' mailboxes earlier this week and the issue contains a feature where a panel of experts have compiled a list of the 50 greatest live acts right now. The cover tagline reads The Best Live Acts Now: The Greats and What Makes Them Great. Rush made the list at #39 as shown in this scan. The list was also posted online at this location. The print edition just lists Rush at #39 with no accompanying commentary, but the online post includes the following:

39. Rush: Four decades into their career, Geddy, Alex and Neil still put on the same kind of incredible show that destroyed pot smoke-clogged arenas back in the Seventies, mixing oldies like "The Spirit of Radio" and "Subdivisions" big chunks of their excellent 2012 album Clockwork Angels. Neil Peart, now 60, remains the single greatest drummer alive and guitarist Alex Lifeson is almost as versatile and powerful as the dude sitting at the massive kit behind him. "Every song rates a standing ovation," says Metallica manager Cliff Burnstein.

Showstopper: Rush don't play a single song from the 1970s during their main set, but in the encore they bust out three sections of their 1976 magnum opus 2112.

CBC Music has compiled their list of the 100 greatest Canadian albums ever with the help of a diverse array of Canadian musicians, writers, actors and artists. Over the past few weeks they've revealed the list on the CBC Music website and 2 Rush albums made the cut. Coming in at #100 was Rush's Moving Pictures album and at #17 was Rush's breakthrough 2112 album.

Rush Eucon 2013Rush Eucon 2013 Eucon of Steel will take place on Saturday, October 12th at the Queens Social Club in Sheffield, England from 1PM to midnight. The event will future music from Rush tribute band Bravado with all proceeds being donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition to a 2 hour set of classic Rush songs by Bravado, the event will include Rush Idol (live band karaoke where you can play a Rush song or sing a Rush song), a Rush trivia pub quiz, a Rush air guitar competition, a Rush raffle/auction (to raise funds for Guide Dogs For The Blind charity), and plenty of other surprises. There are still tickets available through www.rusheucon.co.uk or via PayPal at sales@rusheucon.co.uk. For all the details visit the Rush Eucon website or follow them on Facebook.

Author and music journalist Martin Popoff's new illustrative history of Rush titled Rush: The Illustrated History was released back in May. PopMatters posted a lukewarm review of the book this past week saying the following:

... Rush fans will easily snatch this book up based on its subject. Non-Rush fans can glean all they may need to know from the band by watching the 2010 documentary. There's no in-between audience that Rush: The Illustrated History will appeal to, although reading it might revive interest in Rush's vast back catalog and potentially grant "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" a few more spins on classic rock radio.

To order your copy of Rush: The Unauthorized Illustrated History via Amazon, go to this location.

Clockwork Angels String Ensemble member Jacob Szekely just released a new self-titled CD with his Jacob Szekely Trio project. The CD just received a great review from The International Review of Music, and Geddy Lee also had some great things to say about it:

"Jacob has produced an emotive, innovative and thoroughly modern fusion of musical styles ... A strikingly original virtuoso cello statement.... Beautifully performed and uniquely arranged." - Geddy Lee

It's available both on iTunes and from Amazon.

One of the recurring themes on FX's animated sitcom Archer, is how Krieger's van mural is periodically updated with with some kind of Rush album-themed design, with 4 different Rush van murals on the show to date. During the season 3 finale Space Race: Part 2 the van was given a Caress of Steel-themed mural with the lettering reading Caress of Krieger (screenshot here). On the finale of season 2 the van had an Exit ... Stage Left-inspired mural which read Exit ... Van Left (screenshot here), and earlier in season 3 the mural had been updated to a Rush Hemispheres theme (screenshot here). And the most recent Rush-themed mural occurred earlier this year (Season 4, Episode 2 - The Wind Cries Mary) when the van's mural was updated with a Fly By Night theme, showing the familiar album cover with the title as Van By Night and the owl's face replaced with an image of Krieger's face (screenshot here). One Archer fan who attended last month's ComicCon in San Diego decided to go ahead and duplicate Krieger's Van by Night mural on their own, real-life van. Reader Tom spotted the van at a Target in San Diego and snapped this photo.

Last night's episode of the History Channel's Pawn Stars included a Rush reference when a customer came into the shop to try and sell his collection of Chu-Bops; miniature album covers with a piece of gum inside. One of the albums in the collection was Rush's Permanent Waves, which led to a brief discussion about Rush between Rick Harrison (the owner of the pawn shop) and his son Corey. You can watch a video clip of the reference on YouTube at this location (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net).

And speaking of Permanent Waves, Rush was the subject of the latest Gateways to Geekery in The Onion's A.V. Club yesterday. The article gives an introduction to Rush and instructions on how someone can become versed in their music, beginning with Permanent Waves. You can check it out online at this location.

The New England Patriots inducted linebacker Tedy Bruschi into the Patriots Hall of Fame this past Monday afternoon. To celebrate the occasion, Boston radio's The Toucher and Rich Show posted some audio from a few years ago when they had Bruschi on the program to do some commercial voiceovers. They also ran a little skit/game where Tedy Brushchi transformed into Geddy Bruschi and read some Rush lyrics for listeners who then had to guess the Rush song. You can listen to the clip online at this location.

Reader GeddyJr located this old HBO clip of comedian David Spade from a 1998 HBO comedy special. At around the 28-minute mark Spade goes into a bit involving Rush and Geddy Lee that lasts about 30 seconds. You can check it out on YouTube at this location.

Ten years ago this past Tuesday, July 30th, Rush played to an estimated crowd of 450-500 thousand people at the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert (SARSstock) along with The Rolling Stones, AC/DC and may others. You can watch a video of their entire 35-minute set below or at this location:

That's it for this week. A big thanks on behalf of all my readers to Rush, their road crew, SRO/Anthem, and the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble for one awesome tour. It'll be sad to see it end Sunday. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alex Lifeson's new country home featured in today's Toronto Globe and Mail
11:21AM EST | link | comments (33) |

Alex Lifeson's country homeThe Toronto Globe and Mail ran a feature in the Home & Garden section of today's edition where they profile Alex Lifeson's brand new country home. The house is set on an 8 1/2-acre parcel carved out of a century farm to the north of Toronto. Alex's wife Charlene and Toronto-based architect Dimitri Papatheodorou are interviewed in the article and several photos are on display. From the article:

... "It was pretty obvious that the house wanted to align with the cosmos," [Papatheodorou] says. Now the rolling hills north of Toronto offer a tranquil setting for family gatherings, and the trees provide seclusion for Mr. Lifeson during downtime from a demanding schedule of touring as guitarist for the hallowed Canadian rock band Rush. ... Ms. Zivojinovich says the floor-to-ceiling windows and many walk-outs along the south façade make the large outdoor living room seem like an extension of the interior. "It does feel as if the outside and inside are really connected," she says. Now the Lifesons' young grandchildren enjoy the family haven as much as the adults do. Everyone has started referring to the place in the country by the moniker coined by one young grandson, says Ms. Zivojinovich. "He always asks, 'Are we going to the special house?'"

You can read the entire article and view a photo gallery at this location.

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Sabian announces limited edition Clockwork Angels graphic cymbal
10:28AM EST | link | comments (11) |

Sabian Neil Peart cymbalThis morning Sabian announced that they are releasing a limited run of the Neil Peart 22" Paragon Steampunk Ride graphic cymbal. From Sabian.com:

... While quantities last, Sabian will offer a limited release of the Neil Peart 22" Paragon Steampunk Ride and the Chad Smith 19" RHCP-Edition Holy China in North America only.

The cymbals will be well-known to fans of Rush and the Red Hot Chili Peppers alike - they received a huge burst of fan attention during both the Rush "Clockwork Angels" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Tours, during which SABIAN social media sites were inundated with fans asking where to buy the unique graphic models.

As a result of the huge demand, SABIAN will produce a limited run of 300 of each cymbal in 2013 for Canada and the US. Although both are current production models, these cymbals are printed with an original, eye-catching graphic, and each one is hand-numbered under the bell and packaged in a deluxe custom bag with certificate of authenticity.

Cymbals will be available for purchase later this month.

For more information visit the Sabian.com website here. Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.

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Long-awaited Vapor Trails remix coming October 1st, now available for pre-order
9:33AM EST | link | comments (67) |

UPDATE - 8/19@9:48AM: It's also now available for pre-order in the UK (thanks GedFan).

UPDATE - 8/1@1:58PM: Note that the David that Geddy refers to in the Rush.com post is Grammy-winning Canadian producer David Bottrill, who posted the following to his Facebook page earlier this month (thanks Christopher M):

So...It's late in Los Angeles and I'm just listening to the 1st mastering job by Andy VanDette at Masterdisk of Vapor Trails, a great underrated record by Rush that I finished re-mixing a few weeks ago. This record was written and recorded just after, and about a time of great tragedy, and there were times, I'm sure, where it was uncertain whether the band would ever record together again. I just have to say how proud and grateful I am to have had the opportunity again to work with such creative giants. ...

----- snip -----

Rush will finally be releasing the long-awaited remix/remaster of their 2002 album Vapor Trails this coming October 1st. The album will be made available for purchase individually or as part of a new Atlantic-era Rush box set that will also be releasing October 1st. The Vapor Trails remix is already available for pre-order from Amazon, as is the Atlantic-era box set. From Rush.com:

The Newly Remixed Version Of Vapor Trails And 7-Disc Boxed Set Of Atlantic Studio Albums

Both Are Available On October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino (September 30 internationally)

In 2009, two tracks from VAPOR TRAILS ("One Little Victory" and "Earthshine") were remixed for the Retrospective III collection, setting you all into a frenzy in anticipation of a possible remixed version of the entire album being released one day. That time has come.

The Vapor Trails Remixed album will be available on CD, Double LP, and digital download on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.

"Vapor Trails was an album made under difficult and emotional circumstances - sort of like Rush learning how to be Rush again - and as a result, mistakes were made that we have longed to correct. David Bottrill's remixes have finally brought some justice and clarity to this deserving body of our work," says Geddy Lee.

"Every song has been given a new life, from the fire of 'One Little Victory,' 'Secret Touch,' and 'Ceiling Unlimited' to the melodic musicality of 'Sweet Miracle' and 'How It Is'... these songs have been redeemed. Thank you David!"

The remixed version of VAPOR TRAILS will also be included in the new 7-disc boxed set RUSH: THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007, which features every studio album Rush recorded for Atlantic Records. The collection includes the Gold & Platinum albums Presto (1989), Roll The Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), and Test For Echo (1996), as well as their covers EP Feedback (2004) and the Billboard Top 5 album Snakes & Arrows (2007). THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007 features each album presented in a wallet sleeve that faithfully reproduces the original artwork (except for VAPOR TRAILS, which features a reinterpreted version of the original cover) and is also available on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.

You can pre-order the Vapor Trails remix at this location, and the Atlantic-era The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set here. You can also pre-order the double LP 180g vinyl version of Vapor Trails here.

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Rush makes Rolling Stone's list of the 50 Best Live Acts Now
8:45AM EST | link | comments (19) |

Rolling Stone 1189 coverThe latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine (issue #1189, August 15th) is starting to hit subscribers' mailboxes and the issue contains a feature where a panel of experts have compiled a list of the 50 greatest live acts right now. The cover tagline reads The Best Live Acts Now: The Greats and What Makes Them Great. Rush made the list at #39 as shown in this scan. The list was also posted online at this location (thanks James B). The print edition just lists Rush at #39 with no accompanying commentary, but the online post says the following:

39. Rush: Four decades into their career, Geddy, Alex and Neil still put on the same kind of incredible show that destroyed pot smoke-clogged arenas back in the Seventies, mixing oldies like "The Spirit of Radio" and "Subdivisions" big chunks of their excellent 2012 album Clockwork Angels. Neil Peart, now 60, remains the single greatest drummer alive and guitarist Alex Lifeson is almost as versatile and powerful as the dude sitting at the massive kit behind him. "Every song rates a standing ovation," says Metallica manager Cliff Burnstein.

Showstopper: Rush don't play a single song from the 1970s during their main set, but in the encore they bust out three sections of their 1976 magnum opus 2112.

Thanks to lsorski for the heads up and scans.

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