I have a few news updates on the Rush and Rock Band front to report. Last week I reported the rumor that Rock Band 2 would include Rush's The Trees as one of the featured tracks. This is no longer a rumor; the entire tracklist for the game was revealed just a couple of hours ago via the Rock Band forums and The Trees is on it. You can check out the entire list at this link. Thanks to Lennox2288 for the heads up.
There's an article in today's New York Times talking about how video games such as Rock Band are increasingly being used to market music. Rush is mentioned and Andy Curran of Anthem was interviewed for the piece:
... Rock Band has been an especially important promotional vehicle for bands that no longer get the radio play they once did. “On the last tour we started seeing young people who had heard of the band from Guitar Hero and Rock Band,” said Andy Curran, an executive at Anthem Records, the record company for the band Rush. So Rush gave Rock Band an alternate version of its song “Working Man,” which proved so popular that the group is now thinking of making it available through Apple’s iTunes store. It is also talking with MTV about selling a full album through Rock Band, Mr. Curran said, as well as some other projects. ...
Thanks to Sidecut for the heads up.
Last week master track versions of Working Man and Closer to the Heart were made available for download for the game. The Working Man track is especially notable because it includes an alternate guitar solo. Alex Lifeson discussed the origins of this alternate-master track in this video interview that was posted on the Rock Band website last week. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube you can listen to the track at this location or watch the video below.
And don't forget that I've teamed up with Atlantic Records to help promote a Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes that they are running where you could win a prize pack including a Rock Band Special Edition game, a signed Rush lithograph, a Rush t-shirt, Snakes & Arrows and Snakes & Arrows Live! The contest runs through July 21st and you can visit this page to enter. Rush and Rock Band are also teaming up with ClearChannel.com to offer a similar contest which you can enter at this link.