Archive: Blog Entries from April, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set release
6:56AM EST | link | comments (24) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setUPDATE - 5/1@12:16PM: Here are some comments from Geddy Lee regarding the debut album that were sent out with the Rush.com newsletter announcing the release Tuesday:

"There are so many memories associated with the re-release of our very first album that one hardly knows where to begin. Like most first albums, it is sort of a miracle that it came into being at all. We originally recorded most of the songs in a studio in downtown Toronto, between the hours of 2 a.m. until 8 a.m. AFTER we had finished playing 5 sets a night at a local rock club. You can imagine the logistics of that.. good thing that we were so.. er... resilient!

We managed to record an album's worth of material in a matter of days and the engineer who worked with us then mixed the entire record in one evening. After the club date ended we came in to hear the final mix and we were crushed with disappointment, it sounded so ..well... polite .... nothing at all like the way we sounded live and not at all what we wanted. He simply did not understand us. So the next day we ran to our manager for help and we were directed to an ex-pat British engineer and producer named Terry Brown.

We met with Terry and instantly felt we were on better footing. After he had come to hear us play live, he suggested that we come to his studio, Toronto Sound, and re-record many of the overdubs and record a few of the "newer" songs that we had written and then re-mix the rest. It wasn't perfect but it sounded sooo much better and more importantly it sounded like us! Terry saved the album.. no question about that! It began a very happy collaboration between us that endured until 1981 after we had completed the Signals album."

- Geddy Lee on the making of Rush self-titled debut album

----- snip -----

Rush is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl which releases today in North America. You can get all the details regarding what's contained in the set by watching this promotional video and checking out the Rush.com press release. Last week the band announced a Twitter contest where they'll be giving away a copy of the box set signed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. For all the contest details and how you can enter, just visit this location. And MusicVaultz is also giving away a copy of the box set with a Rush Trivia Contest for Canadian residents. In celebration of the release I'm asking everyone what their favorite track off the debut album is. Take the poll and let us know! If you haven't already, you can order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered here.

Related Posts:
[Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set release delayed]
[Geddy Lee on Rush's debut album in new Radio.com interview]
[Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set coming in April]
[Rush debut album 40th anniversary re-issue coming in 2014]

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Monday, April 28, 2014

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
12:23PM EST | link | comments (33) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: April, 2014 - Telescope Peak Revisited]

NP on Telescope PeakNeil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The April, 2014 entry is titled Telescope Peak Revisited and in it Neil describes a recent motorcycle trip to Death Valley and his climb of Telescope Peak, which was the title of a song he wrote lyrics for several years ago:

... Back in 2001, when I was in Toronto with the Guys at Work and trying to start on lyrics for a new album, naturally I had lots of "baggage" to work through. Some of that made it into songs; much did not. One of the lyrics I wrote for the Vapor Trails sessions was titled "Telescope Peak," and though at the time it didn't "sell" to the other guys, I still kind of like it. (Without bitterness, because "Ghost Rider" got put to music, and with coproducer Paul Northfield's encouragement, recorded, so at least one of my "songs of the American road" saw the light of performance. Good enough!)

But here was me in 2001, thinking back to October, 1999, and wanting to write a song called "Telescope Peak." The words still "sing" to me-an uptempo rocker in the verses, then hanging on the line "On the last lonely day" before dropping into a grinding groove for the bridges. The choruses, naturally, in gentler half-time. (When I'm writing lyrics, I always have an imaginary tempo and melody in mind, but never share that with the Guys at Work-just let them take it where it leads them. Good things happen that way.) ...

You can read the entire update on Neil's website here.

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Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue 2 releasing this week
10:38AM EST | link | comments (1) |

UPDATE - 5/2@9:37AM: Bloody Disgusting posted this lukewarm review of issue #2 yesterday.

Clockwork Angels graphic novel #2, standard coverThe second of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels will be released this week on Wednesday, April 30th. In addition to the standard cover that will be available in comic and book stores, there will be an exclusive, limited edition cover available via BOOM! Studios and the Rush Backstage Club. The first issue of the graphic novel was released 6 weeks ago back on March 19th and there were a number of different covers and subscription options made available as described in this post. If they continue with a release schedule of one issue every 6 weeks, issue 3 should be out on June 11th.

Related Posts:
[Kevin J. Anderson on the Clockwork Angels graphic novel]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue #1 preview]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art updates]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art preview]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel preview, new interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart]
[Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson talk Clockwork Angels graphic novel in new interview]
[Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:45PM EST | link | comments (88) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRush is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl which is set to release this coming Tuesday, April 29th. You can get all the details regarding what's contained in the set by watching this promotional video and checking out the Rush.com press release. Earlier this week the band announced a Twitter contest where they'll be giving away a copy of the box set signed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. For all the contest details and how you can enter, just visit this location, and you can pre-order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered here. In celebration of the release I thought I'd ask everyone what their favorite track of the debut album is. Take the poll and let us know!

There was a Rush reference on Wednesday night's episode of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Stephen opened up the show with a report about how the Canadian middle class is now the most affluent in the world, displacing the United States at the number one position. Stephen goes on to state the following:

... no longer will people around the world aspire to the American dream of a house, a white picket fence, 2.5 kids. No, now it's the Canadian dream of a beaver dam, a maple syrup moat and 2.5 members of Rush. I don't know about you but I don't want to teach Geddy Lee to catch. ...

The accompanying graphic displays a photo of the band, with Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and the lower half of Alex Lifeson (2.5 members of Rush) along with a beaver dam and bottle of maple syrup. You can see a screenshot here and watch the complete episode online at this location. There have been a few other Rush references (here and here) on The Colbert Report over the years and the band famously appeared on the show for a live performance back in 2008.

The new Rush book Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio is also slated for an April 29th release, but according to author Max Mobley it likely won't be actually hitting the shelves until early June. Mobley is a veteran music writer (Crawdaddy!, Premier Guitar) who has interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson twice and seen countless Rush shows dating back to the A Farewell to Kings tour. The book comes in at 400 pages and you can check out a copy of the introduction in this post and pre-order your copy of Rush FAQ at this location.

Rob Higgins is the bass player and frontman of Canadian band Dearly Beloved and he also happens to be Geddy Lee's nephew (his mother is Geddy's older sister). Higgins was recently interviewed by MusicRadar.com to discuss the band's latest album Hawk vs. Pigeon, and he also ends up talking at length about what it was like growing up with Geddy Lee as an uncle.

... [Geddy] would get stuck babysitting me. So for me, I was lucky! I was sitting in the corner of rehearsals. He'd have to look after me for the afternoon, so if he was going to rehearsal I was going to rehearsal. I would sit in the corner and watch the band for six hours without saying a word. I was always a quiet observer. They maybe thought I was tuned out, but I was absorbing every interaction, every attempt at a song, every beat, every note. I was so enthralled with all of it. Growing up, he was my cool uncle. My mom would take me over there and we would have family visits. He was the uncle who always had the instruments in a sound proof room in the basement. My mom would visit with the family and I would spend the whole afternoon just bashing around on drums and guitars and basses. ...

Higgins then relays a couple of stories about traveling with the band and being given the opportunity to sit in on recording sessions, and how much these experiences influenced him as a musician. You can check out the entire interview online at this location and learn more about Dearly Beloved by visiting their website or following them on Facebook/Twitter.

Reason Magazine posted an article adapted from FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe's latest book Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto earlier this week. The article is titled You Can't Have Freedom for Free: On Rush, Ayn Rand, and Not Compromising and starts out by describing how Rush's 2112 helped turn Kibbe on to Ayn Rand and libertarianism.

In 1977, I bought my first Rush album. I was 13. The title of the disc was 2112, and the foldout jacket had a very cool and ominous red star on the cover. ... The moment I dropped that stylus, and that needle caught the groove, I became obsessed with Rush like only thirteen-year-old boys can get obsessed. I turned up the volume as loud as I thought I could get away with, and I rocked. Mom shut that jam session down real fast. So I turned down the stereo, sat down, and began to read the liner notes inside the album cover jacket instead. The text inside the cover read, "With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand." What an odd name, I thought. Who is Ayn Rand? ...

He then goes on to use Rush's struggles in developing 2112 after the relatively disappointing sales of their previous album Caress of Steel to exemplify his argument that true innovation comes from not compromising your ideals, despite external pressures. You can read the entire article online at this location and order Kibbe's book here. Kibbe was also a guest on NPR's Weekend Edition a few weeks ago and during the interview a snippet of 2112 was played while Kibbe described how Rush's 2112 inspired him; the transcript of the interview is available here.

The 14th annual RushCon will take place at The Great Hall in Toronto the weekend of August 22-24. The convention will consist of 3 days of Rush-filled events, including a Friday night opening mixer (location TBD); Rush tribute band show; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; special guest speaker Kevin J. Anderson; and more! You can get all the event details here, and register online at this location. 14 applications for the Rush Tribute Band contest were submitted and they've narrowed it down to 3 finalists. Now they need your help to determine the winner. To place your vote just visit the RushCon website here. One vote per person is allowed and voting will run through May 11th. For all the RushCon details just go to RushCon.org, and be sure to follow RushCon on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest RushCon news.

Reader Nancy alerted me to a Rush 2112 reference in the recently-released Knights of Badassdom movie. The comedy-horror film from director Joe Lynch stars Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau and Ryan Kwanten and follows 3 friends who are into LARPing (live action role-playing) as they embark on a LARP adventure where part of their quest involves looting the Temple of Syrinx. The film had a limited US release earlier this year, but was first shown at some film festivals late last year. It is now available on-demand through a number of online services, and can also be purchased on DVD/Blu-ray.

Music Times posted their list of Six Lead Vocalists Who Don't Write Their Own Lyrics earlier this week and one of the featured vocalists is Geddy Lee:

3. Geddy Lee - Rush: Neither bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee nor guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush were ever interested in writing lyrics for its songs. Though the band's original drummer John Rutsey had intended on being chief lyricist, he never submitted any, forcing Lee to quickly write some for the band's eponymous debut album. When Neil Peart eventually replaced Rutsey in 1974, he actually delivered lyrics for Lee to sing.

Thaddeus Wert over at Progarchy.com posted an article yesterday where he gives a retrospective review of Rush's Hold Your Fire album and makes the argument that it's one of the band's finest:

... Do I believe Hold Your Fire to be Rush's finest album? No, I give that honor to Permanent Waves. However, I don't think Hold Your Fire has ever gotten the respect it deserves. Rush plays relatively few songs from it on their tours, and it peaked at #13 on the charts when it was released. If listened to in conjunction with Power Windows, it completes what that album began. Enough time has passed to listen to it with fresh ears, and we can appreciate it for what it is: a successful attempt to craft a radio-friendly album filled with accessible songs. Sometimes you just have to have some fun! ...

Italian virtuoso bass player Alberto Rigoni recently unveiled his Alusonic Alberto Rigoni Hybrid signature bass, and in the accompanying demo video he plays a bit of Rush's Tom Sawyer (thanks Ian D). You can check out the video at this location at about the 3-minute mark. He also posted the full video of himself covering the track at this location.

Reader RushFanForever noticed that there was a quote from Geddy Lee included in the 2011 Queen biography, Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. Here's what Geddy had to say about the band:

Their music was incredibly original in blending hard rock and pop in a way that had never been done before. Obviously, they wrote a lot of catchy tunes that will probably be around forever. They seem to be that kind of band that created that rock/pop anthem that you hear at every sports arena. So, yeah, I think they are a fairly pinnacle band.

A couple of Keep Calm-themed Rush t-shirts recently appeared at teespring.com. The first reads "I can't keep calm. I'm crankin' up the Rush." using various Rush album fonts and the starman logo. You can check that shirt out at this location. The second shows a pair of headphones with the words "Screw calm and listen to La Villa Strangiato." on it, and can be seen at this link

Alex Lifeson was recently vacationing in Tokyo, Japan and stopped into Ishibashi Music for a visit, and was kind enough to allow them to videotape it for the store's YouTube channel. Alex tours the store, talks guitars, and signs both his signature series Gibson Les Paul Axcess and his Paul Reed Smith Private Stock signature series Acoustic Guitar. You can check out the video below or on YouTube at this location.

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

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rush reference on last night's episode of The Colbert Report
3:22PM EST | link | comments (17) |

There was a Rush reference on last night's episode of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Stephen opened up the show with a report about how the Canadian middle class is now the most affluent in the world, displacing the United States at the number one position. Stephen goes on to state the following:

... no longer will people around the world aspire to the American dream of a house, a white picket fence, 2.5 kids. No, now it's the Canadian dream of a beaver dam, a maple syrup moat and 2.5 members of Rush. I don't know about you but I don't want to teach Geddy Lee to catch. ...

The accompanying graphic displays a photo of the band, with Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and the lower half of Alex Lifeson (2.5 members of Rush) along with a beaver dam and bottle of maple syrup. You can see a screenshot here and watch the complete episode online at this location. There have been a few other Rush references (here and here) on The Colbert Report over the years and the band famously appeared on the show for a live performance back in 2008. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up and the screenshot.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dearly Beloved's Rob Higgins on growing up with Uncle Geddy
1:35PM EST | link | comments (36) |

Rob HigginsRob Higgins is the bass player and frontman of Canadian band Dearly Beloved and he also happens to be Geddy Lee's nephew (his mother is Geddy's older sister). Higgins was recently interviewed by MusicRadar.com to discuss the band's latest album Hawk vs. Pigeon, and he also ends up talking at length about what it was like growing up with Geddy Lee as an uncle.

... [Geddy] would get stuck babysitting me. So for me, I was lucky! I was sitting in the corner of rehearsals. He'd have to look after me for the afternoon, so if he was going to rehearsal I was going to rehearsal. I would sit in the corner and watch the band for six hours without saying a word. I was always a quiet observer. They maybe thought I was tuned out, but I was absorbing every interaction, evert attempt at a song, every beat, every note. I was so enthralled with all of it. Growing up, he was my cool uncle. My mom would take me over there and we would have family visits. He was the uncle who always had the instruments in a sound proof room in the basement. My mom would visit with the family and I would spend the whole afternoon just bashing around on drums and guitars and basses. ...

Higgins then relays a couple of stories about traveling with the band and being given the opportunity to sit in on recording sessions, and how much these experiences influenced him as a musician. He tells one story in particular about hanging out with the band at Le Studio when Rush was recording Grace Under Pressure:

... It was fascinating to just be in the studio for hours and have nothing to do, just to see their work ethic. Whether laying down a part on a song or figuring out an overdub or working with a producer to get the most out of a piece of music, it was fascinating to be a fly on the wall. In particular at that studio, because it was a remote location and an intense session for them. ... One of the greatest moments of my entire childhood happened that week actually. Geddy was working on this keyboard overdub for this song called Between The Wheels. He hadn't quite nailed it yet, and I'd been sitting there watching him doing it a few times. I had a pretty good handle on what the part was. So when he left the room, I started fooling around with the keyboard a little bit. The producer was like, 'hey, you wanna put one down?' And I was like, 'yeah, sure, let it roll!' I did my own overdub of the part, or at least my interpretation of the part. When Geddy came back he said 'hey, shall we pick up where we were and listen to the last take?' But instead of playing him Geddy's take he played him mine! That was the big laugh at dinner that night. You know, novel experiences that certainly were inspiring, but also great personal memories that I'll cherish. ...

You can check out the entire interview online at this location and learn more about Dearly Beloved by visiting their website or following them on Facebook/Twitter.

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You Can't Have Freedom for Free: On Rush, Ayn Rand, and Not Compromising
9:54AM EST | link | comments (20) |

Reason Magazine posted an article adapted from FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe's latest book Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto earlier today. The article is titled You Can't Have Freedom for Free: On Rush, Ayn Rand, and Not Compromising and starts out by describing how Rush's 2112 helped turn Kibbe on to Ayn Rand and libertarianism.

In 1977, I bought my first Rush album. I was 13. The title of the disc was 2112, and the foldout jacket had a very cool and ominous red star on the cover. ... The moment I dropped that stylus, and that needle caught the groove, I became obsessed with Rush like only thirteen-year-old boys can get obsessed. I turned up the volume as loud as I thought I could get away with, and I rocked. Mom shut that jam session down real fast. So I turned down the stereo, sat down, and began to read the liner notes inside the album cover jacket instead. The text inside the cover read, "With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand." What an odd name, I thought. Who is Ayn Rand? ...

He then goes on to use Rush's struggles in developing 2112 after the relatively disappointing sales of their previous album Caress of Steel to exemplify his argument that true innovation comes from not compromising your ideals, despite external pressures.

... Peart penned the dystopian lyrics to 2112 thinking about his individual freedom. "I did not think of politics and I did not think of global oppression," he recalls. No, he was thinking: "These people are messing with me!" He and the rest of the band found their inspiration in Anthem, the same novella that had turned me on. "You can say what you want about Ayn Rand and all the other implications of her work, but her artistic manifesto, for lack of a better term, was the one that struck home with us," says the band's lead singer and bass guitarist Geddy Lee. "It's about creative freedom. It's about believing in yourself." ...

You can read the entire article online at this location and order Kibbe's book here. Kibbe was also a guest on NPR's Weekend Edition a few weeks ago and during the interview a snippet of 2112 was played while Kibbe described how Rush's 2112 inspired him; the transcript of the interview is available here. Thanks to Travis B for the heads up.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Alex Lifeson visits Ishibashi Music in Tokyo
9:35PM EST | link | comments (23) |

Alex Lifeson at Ishibashi Music in TokyoAlex Lifeson was recently vacationing in Tokyo, Japan and stopped into Ishibashi Music for a visit, and was kind enough to allow them to videotape it for the store's YouTube channel. Alex tours the store, talks guitars, and signs both his signature series Gibson Les Paul Axcess and his Paul Reed Smith Private Stock signature series Acoustic Guitar. You can check out the video below or on YouTube at this location (thanks RushFanForever).

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:06PM EST | link | comments (54) |

UPDATE - 4/18@3:23PM: As can be seen in this eBay listing, the other mystery artist on the Record Store Day Side By Side single of 7 & 7 Is I mentioned below is Love who originally recorded the track back in 1966 (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRush will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl. The set was originally due to release earlier this week on April 15th but the release has now been officially delayed 2 weeks until Tuesday, April 29th. You can get all the details regarding what's contained in the set by watching this promotional video and checking out the Rush.com press release. To pre-order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered just go to this location.

Rhythm April 2014As a follow-up to their December, 2013 special edition focusing on the drum solo, the March and April, 2014 issues of Rhythm magazine feature a 2-part article written by Neil Peart titled Neil Peart on Drum Solos. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed both parts of the article and made them available online (part 1, part 2). In part 1 of the article Neil breaks down the 2 mini-solos he played on the Clockwork Angels Tour during Where's My Thing? and Headlong Flight, and in part 2 he breaks down his drum solo arrangement that he delivered on the night the Clockwork Angels Tour video was filmed, and also shares his thoughts regarding the future of drum solos:

... these days [the drum solo] is absent from the 'mainstream' of popular music, but I would venture that has been so since the dawn of recorded music. Jazz has always embraced self-expression, freedom, and virtuosity, and that has not changed. Some rock musicians have also aspired to those values, but in the final analysis, it is up to the audience.

The popularity of more adventurous music ebbs and flows, but does seem to endure. Perhaps in these times even the word 'progressive' has evolved from admired, to despised, to mildly respected.

Certainly it has always been true that drum solos are more exciting in concert than on record. Again, drummers have a visual thing going on - what is nowadays called 'optics'. If it is left up to the audience, I believe drum solos will endure. ...

Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released earlier this month and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the entire album can be streamed on Spotify at this location. The official music video for the title track can be seen at this location and you can order your copy of Disconnect here. Wesley is best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree. Wesley will be embarking on an East Coast tour in support of the album beginning on April 29th in Teaneck, NJ at Mexicali Live. The tour will run for nine dates along the east coast of the US including a May 1st concert at the Best Buy Theatre in New York City in support of Blackfield (Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson's final show with the band), and a May 9th show in support of The Winery Dogs at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA.

And keeping on the subject of Porcupine Tree members' side procjects, Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison has released a new book that he co-authored with Terry Branum titled Rhythmic Composition: Featuring the Music of Porcupine Tree. The book contains twenty highly detailed transcriptions by Terry Branam and in-depth commentary from Gavin, along with over 40 great photos and a foreword by Neil Peart. The book is now shipping and can be ordered at this location.

According to the Encore Records website and Twitter feed, the Side By Side Series mystery release for Record Store Day 2014 will be a 7-inch vinyl version of 7 and 7 Is - the 1966 song by Love that Rush covered for their 2004 Feedback EP. The Side By Side Series includes the same song performed by 2 mystery artists, one of which is apparently Rush as shown in this photo. It's assumed that this would be the same version that appears on Feedback. It's not clear who the other mystery artist is, although the track has been covered by several others over the years including The Ramones, Alice Cooper, and The Electric Prunes. Record Store Day 2014 takes place tomorrow, April 19th.

Paul NorthfieldLast week the Le Studio Channel debuted part one of their Le Studio documentary Le Studio: Temple of Sound. As an extra treat, this past Tuesday they also posted a 45-minute interview with former Rush engineer and early Le Studio in-house engineer Paul Northfield. The interview was conducted by Brandon Wright of the radio show Signals of Intuition on 99.1 CJAM-FM back on August 28th of last year. Paul shares a number of great behind-the-scenes stories, including how he was hired at Le Studio, how Le Studio operated (with Nick Blagona), how he started working with Rush, some of the recording techniques & equipment he used, the Moving Pictures AMPEX tape horror story, his friendship with Neil Peart, and Paul's role in Neil coming back to drums (the Le Studio secret sessions) and the challenge of recording Vapor Trails. You can listen to the entire interview on YouTube at this location.

Entertainment.ie posted their list of Five of the Best drummers earlier this week and Neil Peart made the cut:

Neil Peart is a force of nature. Creatively speaking, few drummers in music history can top Peart for sheer creativity and drumming ingenuity - not to mention the size of his gargantuan kit. Peart is a drummer's drummer which, by that we mean, few drummers are held in as high a regard by their peers as Peart. Oh, and he also writes a lot of Rush's lyrics which should give you some idea about how obscenely talented this man is.

CBC Music posted their list of the best Canadian album covers earlier this week and three Rush albums made the cut; Test for Echo, Roll the Bones and Signals. You can check out the full photo galley on the CBC Music website here (thanks RushFanForever).

The Wire posted an article earlier this week on The Definitive Taxonomy of Pre-2000 Rock and Rush is used as an example of Dork Rock (thanks Jon P):

Defining characteristics: This is the Dave Barry of rock. The acid-washed jeans. This genre is like how Weird Al tries to subvert music by being funny, but instead of using humor, these bands subvert music through being real rockers. In their estimation.
The best example: Steely Dan.
Qualifying bands: Pink Floyd, Rush, Captain Beefheart, The Grateful Dead, Yes

Greg Prato recently sat down with guitarist Michael Schenker (UFO, The Scorpions) for an interview that was posted at Songfacts.com earlier this week (thanks PLesinski). When discussing the period in the late '70s/early '80s when he was being recruited by other bands such as Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne, Schenker mentions that he almost recruited Geddy Lee and Neil Peart to help him out on a solo project:

... I got my next lineup with Denny Carmassi on drums and Billy Sheehan on bass. That lasted for a month. I almost got Geddy Lee and Neil Peart to help me out on that - we talked about it and they almost did it. We knew each other from the UFO days. We toured a lot together. And then I ended up with Mo Foster and Simon Phillips, who was with Jeff Beck. ...

A couple of clever, Rush-themed t-shirts were made available at teespring.com this week. One is a Rush Tush t-shirt spoofing one of the band's early Hemispheres tour designs, and depicting a starbabe in place of the starman. It's available for purchase here (thanks Bob). The other is titled Rush 100% Volume and is based off the iconic Jack Daniels label. It can be purchased at this location (thanks Fleet).

Reader RushFanForever alerted me to the fact that rushisaband.com gets a mention in the book Sports Fans 2.0: How Fans Are Using Social Media to Get Closer to the Game, which was released last April. On page 73 the author relays a story about how one Rush fan used social media (Rush fan sites such as rushisaband.com in particular) to influence a small aspect of the set design on a broadcast of Mike and Mike in the Morning, referred to in this post from back in 2009. You can read the excerpt from the book on Google Books at this location.

Reader Bill R noticed a Rush starman logo in a very odd location recently; on the window of a chiropractor's office as seen here.

Locke & Key is a graphic novel series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. The final issue in the series was released a few months ago, and Rodriguez was interviewed by Hero Complex to discuss the series (thanks The Elder Mystic). At one point he's asked about how music influences his work:

... Rush, my favorite rock band ever, and their last album "Clockwork Angels." "I can't stop thinking big," the chorus of "Caravan," was a mantra while working in the last two books. So sorry, Joe, I know you hate their music, but "L&K" couldn't have been what it is without them pounding in my ears.

In issue #2 of Locke and Key, Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom, one of the protagonists visits a mental health facility and in one panel you can see the room occupation chart for the hospital floor. Included among the occupants are G. Lee, A. Lifeson and N. Peart as seen here.

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of Rush's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here's Rush's acceptance speech from the ceremony, including Alex Lifeson's legendary blah speech. If you look closely you can see me in one of the audience shots at about the 56-second mark. :)

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend everybody and - for those who celebrate it - Happy Easter!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rush 7 and 7 Is 7-inch Side by Side vinyl release for Record Store Day
11:16PM EST | link | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 4/18@2:39PM: As can be seen in this eBay listing, the other mystery artist is Love who originally recorded the track back in 1966 (thanks RushFanForever).

According to the Encore Records website and Twitter feed, the Side By Side Series mystery release for Record Store Day 2014 will be a 7-inch vinyl version of 7 and 7 Is - the 1966 song by Love that Rush covered for their 2004 Feedback EP. The Side By Side Series includes the same song performed by 2 mystery artists, one of which is apparently Rush as shown in this photo. It's assumed that this would be the same version that appears on Feedback. It's not clear who the other mystery artist is, although the track has been covered by several others over the years including The Ramones, Alice Cooper, and The Electric Prunes. Record Store Day 2014 is this coming Saturday, April 19th. Thanks to Gerry for the heads up.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paul Northfield talks Le Studio and Rush in new interview
9:12PM EST | link | comments (39) |

Paul NorthfieldEarlier this week the Le Studio Channel debuted part one of their Le Studio documentary Le Studio: Temple of Sound. As an extra treat, today they also posted a 45-minute interview with former Rush engineer and early Le Studio in-house engineer Paul Northfield. The interview was conducted by Brandon Wright of the radio show Signals of Intuition on 99.1 CJAM-FM back on August 28th of last year. Paul shares a number of great behind-the-scenes stories, including how he was hired at Le Studio, how Le Studio operated (with Nick Blagona), how he started working with Rush, some of the recording techniques & equipment he used, the Moving Pictures AMPEX tape horror story, his friendship with Neil Peart, and Paul's role in Neil coming back to drums (the Le Studio secret sessions) and the challenge of recording Vapor Trails. You can listen to the entire interview below or on YouTube at this location:

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Rhythmic Composition book from Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison including a foreword by Neil Peart now available
9:27AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison has released a new book that he co-authored with Terry Branum titled Rhythmic Composition: Featuring the Music of Porcupine Tree. The book contains twenty highly detailed transcriptions by Terry Branam and in-depth commentary from Gavin, along with over 40 great photos and a foreword by Neil Peart. The book is now shipping and can be ordered at this location. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Neil Peart on Drum Solos in March, April, 2014 issues of Rhythm magazine
7:14PM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 4/15@9:23AM: John has also transcribed part 1 of the article and made it available online here.

UPDATE - 4/15@8:23AM: It turns out that there was also a part 1 to this article that was published in the March, 2014 issue. In that portion of the article Neil breaks down the 2 mini-solos he played on the Clockwork Angels Tour during Where's My Thing? and Headlong Flight.

Rhythm April 2014As a follow-up to their December, 2013 special edition focusing on the drum solo, the April, 2014 issue of Rhythm magazine features an article written by Neil Peart titled Neil Peart on Drum Solos. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire article and made it available online here. Neil breaks down his drum solo arrangement that he delivered on the night the Clockwork Angels Tour video was filmed, and also shares his thoughts regarding the future of drum solos:

... these days [the drum solo] is absent from the 'mainstream' of popular music, but I would venture that has been so since the dawn of recorded music. Jazz has always embraced self-expression, freedom, and virtuosity, and that has not changed. Some rock musicians have also aspired to those values, but in the final analysis, it is up to the audience.

The popularity of more adventurous music ebbs and flows, but does seem to endure. Perhaps in these times even the word 'progressive' has evolved from admired, to despised, to mildly respected.

Certainly it has always been true that drum solos are more exciting in concert than on record. Again, drummers have a visual thing going on - what is nowadays called 'optics'. If it is left up to the audience, I believe drum solos will endure. ...

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy 30th anniversary Grace Under Pressure!
10:09AM EST | link | comments (63) |

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the April 12, 1984 release of Rush's 10th studio album Grace Under Pressure. The album marked a turning point in Rush's career in that it was the first album where the band used a producer other than Terry Brown, namely Peter Henderson. It was recorded in late 1983 and early 1984 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec. Grace Under Pressure peaked at #10 on the Billboard charts and was certified Platinum on June 26, 1984. The album's first single was Distant Early Warning which hit #1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. Here are some clips from the first-ever airing of the Distant Early Warning video on MTV back in 1984, including some trivia about the shoot from VJ Mark Goodman.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:50PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRush will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl. The set was originally due to release on April 15th but according to Amazon and the Rush Backstage Club the release has been delayed 2 weeks until Tuesday, April 29th. You can get all the details regarding what's contained in the set by watching this promotional video and checking out the Rush.com press release. To pre-order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered just go to this location. And speaking of the band's debut album, Jörg Reiche of the Rock Bottom radio show in Hamburg, Germany recently interviewed Rush discoverer Donna Halper to discuss Rush's early history and her role in it. Donna was the music director at Cleveland's groundbreaking WMMS radio station in the mid-1970s, and helped Rush get their big break into the US market when she had the band's debut album played on the station. In this 1-hour interview, Donna talks at length about this early period of the band's history and her role in it, along with describing her ongoing relationship with the band through the years. You can listen to the entire interview at this location.

Earlier this week we learned that the first US edition of Swedish magazine Red Hot Rock hit newsstands this past Tuesday, April 8th and that it contained a cover feature on Rush, including a new interview with Alex Lifeson. John over at Cygnus-X1.net transcribed the feature earlier today and made it available online here. Alex touches on a number of subjects including the band's future plans, reiterating what he told Rolling Stone a few weeks ago regarding a planned 2015 tour:

... We haven't discussed [the tour] too much, but that's just us. All around us, everybody's making plans for us. And it looks like we'll probably be going out next spring. Spring, 2015. So, we haven't discussed anything about the show or about the material or any of that stuff. But we're sort of aiming towards that as the start date for the next tour. But that'll be, I guess, our 41st anniversary tour or 40th plus, whatever. And we'll see how it goes. We need to stay healthy until then, though. ...

Alex also talks about Vapor Trails Remixed, the Rush ReDISCovered LP box set, the Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitar, and more. The issue is available in 2 covers (seen here), one of which features the Rush explosion logo with the tagline Time traveling with Alex Lifeson: Two Interviews!. The magazine is available for purchase at all Barnes & Noble locations.

Back in February we learned that Sexy Intellectual Studios - who is known for making unofficial music documentaries - would be releasing a new Rush documentary titled Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981). The documentary has a running time of just over 2 hours and will be released on May 6th in North America; it is already available for purchase in the UK at this link. A 3-minute video preview was released last month and can be seen on YouTube at this location. You can pre-order you copy of the documentary here.

The first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels released last month. Just prior to the release, author Kevin J. Anderson wrote an article for Rush.com titled Meet the Watchmaker but it somehow fell through the cracks and was never published. So earlier this week Anderson instead decided to go ahead and publish the article to his personal blog here. The article talks about how Anderson and Neil Peart came up with the concept behind Clockwork Angels, and explains the story of how the graphic novel developed. The article includes some nice quotes from Peart too including this one:

"It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me. The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that Clockwork Angels will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe - a phenomenon I call "artificial reality" - and it is exciting to be a part of it."

As I'd mentioned above, the first issue of the graphic novel was released a couple of weeks ago and there are a number of different covers and subscription options available as described in this post. You can order your copy of issue #1 of the graphic novel at this location.

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, and Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors. In recent years he and Alex Lifeson have conducted a number of charity auctions to raise money for the organization as part of an initiative that they cleverly call Grapes Under Pressure. This year they are auctioning off a Grapes Under Pressure Wine Event where the winner and a guest will get to hang out with Geddy and Alex for a day. From the Charity Buzz website:

Spend an entire day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the Canadian rock band RUSH and have a wonderful wine experience! You and a guest will travel with Lee and Lifeson on a private train to the Niagara winery region outside of Toronto. Your day will include breakfast, picking and learning about grapes, a wine tasting, lunch on the vineyard and a 2-night stay at a Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This package is perfect for wine lovers and fans of RUSH!

You can learn all the details and place your bid at this location. Bidding will run through April 23rd and is already well above $20,000!

The Guardian newspaper has been running a series of articles where they match up famous locations from art, literature and music with the corresponding location as depicted in Google Street View. The latest installment in this series uses Google Street View to show us the world's cities through the lens of famous album covers, one of which is Rush's Moving Pictures:

Moving Pictures by Rush. The Canadian prog legends illustrate their album with some literal moving of paintings in front of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto in 1981

You can check out the photo online here, and view the other 11 famous album covers featured at this location.

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD in Europe last month, with a vinyl version also slated for release. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned/transcribed the album art and liner notes and made them available online (album art, liner notes). The vinyl version was originally slated for release on April 1st but looks to have been delayed a bit. The status of the CD is also unclear, as it looks like most retailers no longer have it in stock or are listing it as on backorder. Amazon in the US and Canada had been listing the CD, and even shipped several copies, but now list it as unavailable. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Canadian music magazine Music Express announced the winners in their 2014 Music Express Awards earlier this week and Rush took home the top honors in three categories; Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance. The awards were determined by more than 10,000 Music Express readers who cast their vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry via an online poll. You can check out the complete results online at this location. On a related note, Rush will be featured in a new book titled Music Express: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of Canada's Music Magazine, which is due out May 3rd and can be pre-ordered here. And speaking of Clockwork Angels Tour, Elmore magazine posted a review of the film this past week which you can check out here.

Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released earlier this month and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the entire album can be streamed on Spotify at this location. The official music video for the title track can be seen at this location and you can order your copy of Disconnect here. Wesley and his new album were featured in a Tampa Tribune article earlier this week which you can check out here.

VH1 posted their list of the Greatest Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Instrumentals this past week and topping the list at #1 was Rush's epic La Villa Stangiato from the band's Hemispheres album (thanks RushFanForever):

1. Rush "La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise in Self-Indulgence)"
The final track on the progressive rock band's 1978 album Hemispheres clocks in at 9:34 and was the band's first fully-instrumental release. Drummer Neil Peart has said that they spent more time recording this track than the entire Fly by Night album, but it was worth it - the complex track is considered by fans and critics to be a technical and creative masterpiece.

MSN Autos recently posted a photo gallery of the Most Beautiful Ferraris ever and one of the featured cars is the 1948 166MM Barchetta - the car immortalized in Rush's Red Barchetta (thanks 81rushfan):

The 166MM was a revelation when it premiered at the 1948 Turin Auto Show. The influential Italian auto journalist Giovanni Canestrini hailed it as "absolutely new" and compared its shape to that of a little boat, a "barchetta." The name stuck, and the 166MM's design has proved as timeless as it is elegant and deceptively complex. For fans of the rock band Rush and collectors alike, the Barchetta must be red.

This past week the Trailer Park Boys stopped by Q107's Kim Mitchell Show to talk about their new movie, and Bubbles picked up the guitar and ended up jamming Rush's Closer to the Heart with Kim as can be heard here (thanks Doug T). Trailer Park Boys 3: Don't Legalize It releases on April 18th in Canada. Alex Lifeson had cameo appearances in the first 2 Trailer Park Boys movies, and also famously made an appearance on the TV show in the episode Closer to the Heart.

Back in 1990, Alex Lifeson played guitar on Canadian musician Lawrence Gowan's Lost Brotherhood album. Gowan was originally a member of the '70s-era, Toronto-based, progressive rock band Rhinegold and is currently the lead singer and keyboardist for Styx. In the lead up to the band's upcoming summer tour with Foreigner and Don Felder, Gowan was interviewed by Star Pulse magazine and at one point tells a story involving Alex Lifeson about how his infamous spinning keyboard came about:

... "The inspiration for the 'spinning' keyboard was - I did a video in 1990 with myself and Alex Lifeson (Rush) we had a storyboard where Alex would step out of this 'burning' barn and he's ripping into this solo act and I'm so boring behind this piano so it was during that video that I said, "How about if the piano could spin around?" That was 24 years ago now and I've had it on stage with me ever since. So when I joined Styx which was 15 years ago I wasn't using it at the time so the guys asked, "Where's that spinning piano?" And I said, "Well, if you want to use it I do have it here!" And it's been in every show since!" ...

The Music Times decided to post a list of 6 Bands That Would Be Better With Different Lyricists earlier this week and coming in at #6 was Rush:

Prog bands rarely ever write lyrics that aren't embarrassing, but Rush's Neil Peart takes it to another level of philosophical pretension. Writing lyrics inspired by Ayn Rand is already iffy enough, but a 20-minute song about discovering an ancient electric guitar is strictly Spinal Tap territory. The Replacement: Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who would bring some humanity and nuance to Peart's questionable philosphies.

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's new band The Both will be releasing their self-titled debut album on April 15th and earlier this week shared a video for the track Milwaukee. The video begins with a sketch conversation in which Aimee and Ted decide to let Leo's uncle (played by Leo himself wearing a wig in the video) play drums in the band. Leo's uncle wears a Rush jean jacket in the video which you can see at about the 1-minute mark. Uncle Ed Leo's "notebook" also makes a brief appearance in the video at about the 4:30-mark; the notebook contains a list of his favorite drummers and Neil Peart is 4th on the list. Aimee Mann is known to Rush fans for her backing vocals on Rush's Time Stand Still along with her cameo appearance in the video for the song. Thanks to Gabe for the heads up.

In celebration of Stephen Colbert being named the replacement for David Letterman on CBS's Late Night, Billboard posted their list of the the Top 10 Music Moments from The Colbert Report. Coming in at #10 was Rush's appearance on the show back in 2008:

10) The members of Rush autograph Colbert's hand. "I better not see that on eBay," drummer Neil Peart jokes

Le StudioA few years ago I first let you know about a group of Rush fans that had organized a YouTube channel dedicated to the legendary Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec where Rush recorded several albums including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. The idea of the channel was to collect videos and news stories about Le Studio and help keep fans updated on any revitalization efforts, with the eventual goal of creating some kind of documentary. So after a few years of development, I'm happy to announce that the first episode of this multi-part Le Studio documentary has now been posted to YouTube. It's titled Le Studio: Temple of Sound and can be viewed below or on YouTube at this location. I've watched the first episode and was very impressed with the quality and depth of the content and the attention to detail, especially considering the budget. It's definitely a must see for any Rush fan. To keep up to date on future episodes, be sure to follow the Le Studio Channel on YouTube.

That's all folks! Have a great weekend!!

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New Alex Lifeson interview in first US edition of Red Hot Rock magazine
10:24AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Earlier this week we learned that the first US edition of Swedish magazine Red Hot Rock was published this past week and that it contained a cover feature on Rush, including a new interview with Alex Lifeson. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the feature and made it available online here. Alex touches on a number of subjects including the band's future, reiterating what he told Rolling Stone a few weeks ago regarding a planned 2015 tour:

... We're on holiday and we sort of decided when the tour ended that we weren't really gonna think about what we were going to do for at least a year. We really needed to take a break. We were working pretty steadily for a lot of years, but particularly the last four or five years. And we really needed an opportunity to clear our heads and catch our breaths. We haven't discussed it too much, but that's just us. All around us, everybody's making plans for us. And it looks like we'll probably be going out next spring. Spring, 2015. So, we haven't discussed anything about the show or about the material or any of that stuff. But we're sort of aiming towards that as the start date for the next tour. But that'll be, I guess, our 41st anniversary tour or 40th plus, whatever. And we'll see how it goes. We need to stay healthy until then, though. ...

Alex also talks about Vapor Trails Remixed, the Rush ReDISCovered LP box set, the Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitar, and more. The issue is available in 2 covers (seen here), one of which features the Rush explosion logo with the tagline Time traveling with Alex Lifeson: Two Interviews!. The magazine is available at all Barnes & Noble locations.

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Part one of new Le Studio documentary now available
10:02AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Le StudioA few years ago I first let you know about a group of Rush fans that had organized a YouTube channel dedicated to the legendary Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec where Rush recorded several albums including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. The idea of the channel was to collect videos and news stories about Le Studio and help keep fans updated on any revitalization efforts, with the eventual goal of creating some kind of documentary. So after a few years of development, I'm happy to announce that the first episode of this multi-part Le Studio documentary has now been posted to YouTube. It's titled Le Studio: Temple of Sound and can be viewed below or on YouTube at this location. I've watched the first episode and was very impressed with the quality and depth of the content and the attention to detail, especially considering the budget. Here's a message from Kevin at the Le Studio Channel regarding how the documentary came about and what to expect from future episodes:

... The delay of 2.5 years getting it done was mostly due to limited software and a relatively poor computer for the task. Plus no proper equipment to do the kind of onscreen hosting I always wanted to do. I had the thing nearly complete about 1.5 years ago, but was so disappointed in the quality and "look" of the results that I deleted that whole cut. At that point it was going to have a mere voiceover.

Well over the last year I finally shelled out over $5000 to get a new camera, boom mic, lighting equipment, an entirely new high-horsepower computer with dual 26" monitors for nonlinear editing, and lots of expensive software. I'm not a professional video editor by any means, but it's amazing what a slightly tech-savvy layman can do with the power of good tools.

Future episodes will get even more interesting, as they will involve recent room-by-room walkthroughs of LeStudio in great detail. It will sadden many, but I always knew this story didn't have a happy ending. LeStudio is a tragedy. Sound City was given its documentary tribute by Dave Grohl. Somebody had to give LeStudio some kind of a nod. In many ways, it was a far far better studio than Sound City (on technical levels) regardless of the massive clientele Sound City had, and it's L.A. location. ...

Kudos to Kevin and his team for putting this wonderful documentary together. This is a must see for any Rush fan. To keep up to date on future episodes, be sure to follow the Le Studio Channel on YouTube.

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Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981) documentary preview
9:21AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Back in February we learned that Sexy Intellectual Studios - who is known for making unofficial music documentaries - would be releasing a new Rush documentary titled Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981). The documentary has a running time of just over 2 hours and will be released on May 6th in North America; it is already available for purchase in the UK at this link. A 3-minute video preview was released last month and can be seen below or at this location (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net). Here's a short description of the film from the Amazon editorial review:

...This film traces the history of Rush from the bar rooms of Toronto in the late 1960s to the world's largest arenas in the late 70s and early 1980s, by which time they were amongst the biggest bands on the planet. Through a stunning combination of rare and classic footage, the testimony of friends, colleagues and those who worked with the group across the years, plus exclusive and archive interviews and a host of other features, this programme makes the very unique history of Rush come alive in a manner previously undocumented.

You can pre-order you copy of the documentary at this location.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rush featured in inaugural US edition of Sweden's Red Hot Rock magazine
3:14PM EST | link | comments (4) |

UPDATE - 4/11@10:14AM: John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire Rush feature and made it available online here.

The first US edition of Swedish magazine Red Hot Rock was published this past week and contains a cover feature on Rush. The issue is available in 2 covers (seen here), one of which features the Rush explosion logo with the tagline Time traveling with Alex Lifeson: Two Interviews!. According to the magazine's website, the inaugural US edition should be available at all Barnes & Noble locations as of yesterday, April 8th. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Rush's Moving Pictures album cover in Google Street View
10:16AM EST | link | comments (15) |

The Guardian newspaper has been running a series of articles where they match up famous locations from art, literature and music with the corresponding location as depicted in Google Street View. The latest installment in this series uses Google Street View to show us the world's cities through the lens of famous album covers, one of which is Rush's Moving Pictures:

Moving Pictures by Rush. The Canadian prog legends illustrate their album with some literal moving of paintings in front of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto in 1981

You can check out the photo online here, and view the other 11 famous album covers featured at this location. Thanks to Tony R for the heads up.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Donna Halper discusses Rush's early history in new interview
1:36PM EST | link | comments (47) |

Donna Halper with her Fly by Night gold record and WMMS t-shirtJörg Reiche of the Rock Bottom radio show in Hamburg, Germany recently interviewed Rush discoverer Donna Halper to discuss Rush's early history and her role in it. Donna was the music director at Cleveland's groundbreaking WMMS radio station in the mid-1970s, and helped Rush get their big break into the US market when she had the band's debut album played on the station. In this 1-hour interview, Donna talks at length about this early period of the band's history and her role in it, along with describing her ongoing relationship with the band through the years. You can listen to the entire interview below or at this location (thanks Joe P).

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Rush winners in the 2014 Music Express Awards
9:34AM EST | link | comments (3) |

2014 Music Express AwardsCanadian music magazine Music Express has announced the winners in their 2014 Music Express Awards. Rush were nominated for 3 of the awards and ended up winning in all three categories. The band won for Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance. The awards were determined by more than 10,000 Music Express readers who cast their vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry via an online poll. You can check out the complete results online at this location.

On a related note, Rush will be featured in a new book titled Music Express: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of Canada's Music Magazine, which is due out May 3rd and can be pre-ordered here. From the Amazon product listing:

"The story of Music Express is told through the unique perspective of Keith Sharp, the magazine's founder and editor. During its seventeen-year existence, Music Express rose from a small, Calgary-based regional magazine to an international publication. The interviews, anecdotes, and stories cover the golden era of Canadian music, with the rise to global status of such icons as Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Rush, Celine Dion, and Triumph. Their stories, as well as many more, are captured together with an array of classic rock photography that provides a unique time capsule."

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Grapes Under Pressure Wine Event with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson charity auction
7:04PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Grapes Under PressureGrapes 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, and Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors. In recent years he and Alex Lifeson have conducted a number of charity auctions to raise money for the organization as part of an initiative that they cleverly call Grapes Under Pressure. This year they are auctioning off a Grapes Under Pressure Wine Event where the winner and a guest will get to hang out with Geddy and Alex for a day. From the Charity Buzz website (thanks Pat M):

Spend an entire day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the Canadian rock band RUSH and have a wonderful wine experience! You and a guest will travel with Lee and Lifeson on a private train to the Niagara winery region outside of Toronto. Your day will include breakfast, picking and learning about grapes, a wine tasting, lunch on the vineyard and a 2-night stay at a Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This package is perfect for wine lovers and fans of RUSH!

You can learn all the details and place your bid at this location. Bidding will run through April 23rd.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set release delayed
2:26PM EST | link | comments (47) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRush will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl. The set was originally due to release on April 15th but according to Amazon and the Rush Backstage Club the release has been delayed 2 weeks until Tuesday, April 29th (thanks The Sphere). You can get all the details regarding what's contained in the set by watching this promotional video and checking out the Rush.com press release. To pre-order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered just go to this location.

Related Posts:
[Geddy Lee on Rush's debut album in new Radio.com interview]
[Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set coming in April]
[Rush debut album 40th anniversary re-issue coming in 2014]

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Kevin J. Anderson on the Clockwork Angels graphic novel
5:27PM EST | link | comments (3) |

CLOCKWORK ANGELS Cover C by Hugh SymeThe first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels released a couple of weeks ago. Just prior to the release, author Kevin J. Anderson wrote an article for Rush.com titled Meet the Watchmaker but it somehow fell through the cracks and was never published. So Anderson instead decided to go ahead and publish the article to his personal blog here. The article talks about how Anderson and Neil Peart came up with the concept behind Clockwork Angels, and explains the story of how the graphic novel developed. The article includes some nice quotes from Peart too including this one:

"It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me. The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that Clockwork Angels will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe - a phenomenon I call "artificial reality" - and it is exciting to be a part of it."

As I'd mentioned above, the first issue of the graphic novel was released a couple of weeks ago and there are a number of different covers of available as described in this post. There are 3 standard covers of the 1st issue available (Cover A, Cover B, and Cover C) along with another exclusive Rush and BOOM! Studios cover. The A, B, and C covers are available in comic stores, but the exclusive cover can only be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club or through BOOM! Studios. There are also a number of different subscription packages available as shown on the BOOM! Studios website. Subsequent issues of the graphic novel series will have 2 covers available; the standard cover and the Rush/BOOM! Studios exclusive cover. There was also an exclusive cover of the first issue available for purchase at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle last weekend, and yet another exclusive cover available only at Larry's Comics.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue #1 preview]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art updates]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art preview]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel preview, new interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart]
[Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson talk Clockwork Angels graphic novel in new interview]
[Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:41PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRush will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their 1974 debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl, which is due for release one week from this coming Tuesday on April 15th. You can get all the details in the Rush.com press release and pre-order your copy at this location. The band released a 40-second promo video via YouTube last week which you can check out here. On a related note, a couple of weeks ago Alex Lifeson announced via a Rolling Stone interview that the band is planning some kind of anniversary tour in 2015. Alex didn't reveal many details but did mention that they want to "try and play different material this time", and that he's "always wanted to do some rarer Rush material, and this should be a good opportunity to do that". He also anticipates that it will be a "long tour".

Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released earlier this week and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the entire album can be streamed on Spotify at this location. The official music video for the title track can be seen at this location. Thaddeus Wert at Progarchy.com calls the album his favorite of 2014 so far in his review which you can check out here. Wesley was interviewed for both The Prog Report and the Huffington Post early last month and in both interviews spoke a bit about the album, Porcupine Tree and working with Alex Lifeson. At one point in the Prog Report interview Wesley talks about how he and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson connected through Rush's music, and how much Alex Lifeson's guitar sound influenced Porcupine Tree's sound on their last few albums (at about the 9-minute mark):

... there was this heavy guitar element to Porcupine Tree that was coming out. I hate to say it but we have to give credit to Alex Lifeson for that. It was kind of a weird sub-conscious thing ...

Later in the interview (at the 16:45 mark) Wesley talks at length about how Alex Lifeson came to appear on Disconnect, and calls his solo on Once a Warrior "classic Alex". You can listen to the entire interview online at this location and order your copy of Disconnect at here.

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD in Europe last month, with a vinyl version also slated for release. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The vinyl version was originally slated for release on April 1st but seems to have been delayed. The status of the CD is also unclear, as it looks like most retailers no longer have it in stock or are listing it as on backorder. Amazon in the US and Canada had been listing the CD, and even shipped several copies, but now list it as unavailable. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Matt Kibbe, CEO of FreedomWorks, was a guest on NPR's Weekend Edition this past Sunday to talk about his new book Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff. A snippet of Rush's 2112 was played for the segment when Kibbe described how Rush helped him find his libertarian voice. Here's an excerpt from the show's transcript (thanks Snow Cat):

Matt Kibbe was just 13 when he fell under the spell of a certain rock band.

MATT KIBBE: Well, I was listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, but it was the band Rush really got me starting to read and pay attention to ideas.

MARTIN: On the Rush album, "2112," the band sings of a futuristic society, in which thought and expression are controlled by a top-down autocracy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "2112 OVERTURE/THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX")

MARTIN: Now, many years later, you could say Matt Kibbe has turned those early teenage notions into a career. He's the head of FreedomWorks, the grassroots organization that helped launch the Tea Party. His latest book is called "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto." ...

A few years ago I first let you know about a group of Rush fans that had organized a YouTube channel dedicated to the legendary Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec where Rush recorded several albums including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. The idea of the channel was to collect videos and news stories about Le Studio and help keep fans updated on any revitalization efforts, with the eventual goal of creating some kind of documentary. After a long period of silence, the channel has finally posted an update explaining the project's current status including when the documentary may see the light of day. You can check it out on the Le Studio YouTube channel here (thanks HighFidelityRob).

Eric at Power Windows reported earlier this week that
page 71 of the 2014 Zippo lighter catalog includes two official Rush lighters with a retail price of $30.95 each. One lighter has the album cover from Vapor Trails, and the other has a Hemispheres-era group shot of the band. Unfortunately, the lighters were included in the catalog by mistake and aren't actually available. Apparently the licensing agreement fell through before going into production but after the catalog had gone to print.

The Spokane Arena in Washington state ran a Facebook promotion over the last several weeks where they asked the people of Spokane to tell them what sort of live entertainment they would like to see play the Arena. They posted the results earlier this week and Rush ended up at #20 on their list as shown here (thanks RushFanForever).

Canoe posted an article yesterday on the most annoying concert behaviours and Rush gets a mention (thanks ou812112):

Bladder blather Speaking of bathrooms, you can always tell the male or female dominance of an artist by the length of the bathroom lineup. Here's a tip for venues -- if you're booking Rush or a band of that ilk, please re-purpose the ladies bathroom. I haven't left you out ladies -- same should go for any Justin Bieber or Robin Thicke concert.

Rush 1974This past Wednesday Eric over at Power Windows dug up this rare, early Rush radio interview from 1974 that had been posted to YouTube this past summer. It was recorded on October 17th, 1974 backstage at a club called the Travis Street Electric Co. in Dallas, TX. Neil had joined the band just a few months prior to the interview. You can listen to the 6-minute interview below or on YouTube here:

That's all for this week. I hope everyone enjoyed my little April Fools joke earlier this week! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rare early Rush radio interview from 1974
4:59PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Rush 1974Eric over at Power Windows recently dug up this rare, early Rush radio interview from 1974 that had been posted to YouTube this past summer. It was recorded on October 17th, 1974 backstage at a club called the Travis Street Electric Co. in Dallas, TX. Neil had joined the band just a few months prior to the interview. You can listen to the 6-minute interview below or on YouTube here:

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rush to enter exclusive sponsorship deal with Walmart
8:00AM EST | link | comments (50) |

UPDATE - 4/1@6:14PM: APRIL FOOLS!!!! ... in case you hadn't already figured it out. I hope everyone enjoyed the joke! Thanks for playing along and being good sports about it. Let's hope Walmart doesn't try to sue me. Now I just need someone to come up with some lyrics for Walmart Man. :)

Rush WalmartBack in February US retail giant Walmart began running a commercial featuring Rush's Working Man as part of its new ad campaign aiming to put the spotlight on the company's initiative to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years towards creating new manufacturing jobs in America. The move garnered mixed reactions from fans and pundits due to Walmart having been the subject of a lot of criticism for their business practices over the past few years. In yet another move that is bound to raise a few more eyebrows, Rush is now rumored to be entering into an exclusive new deal with Walmart where the band will become an official sponsor of the retail chain, similar to recent deals the retailer made with acts such as Journey and The Eagles. In an article from the Hollywood Star released earlier today, April Fulton reports that the deal will make Walmart the exclusive retailer for all of Rush's music and dvds going forward, beginning with a new 5.1 Surround Sound Deluxe Edition re-issue/re-master of the band's debut album (different from the vinyl re-issue due out later this month). This re-issue will include a bonus recording of a modified version of Working Man titled Walmart Man, featuring vocals from American Idol contestant Kaleb Johnsen. The deal is also rumored to include provisions for Rush to appear in further Walmart commercials on TV and radio, along with a possible performance at the company's upcoming shareholder's meeting. Here's a promotional video featuring a snippet from the new Walmart Man track, due out this summer.

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