It's been an exciting week for Rush fans and we can look forward to June being a very exciting month! In less than 2 weeks Rush will be releasing 2 new studio tracks for digital download; Caravan and BU2B. On Wednesday Amazon.com started listing the two tracks with a release date of Tuesday, June 1st. Both tracks are described as single versions with Caravan's running time at 5:40 and BU2B's at 4:21. You can buy them together or separately, and if purchased together a digital PDF booklet is included. A CD single version will be distributed with the Rush VIP pre-sale ticket packages being sold for the band's upcoming Time Machine Tour. The word is that the CD single will also be made available for purchase on the tour and through the Rush Backstage Club, and that they are exploring other formats for distribution such as FLAC. I'm assuming that the Caravan single will also be released to radio around the same time as the digital release as Alex Lifeson indicated in a recent Q104.3 interview. A good portion of the lyrics to Caravan are visible in the background of the higher-res version of the single cover, and fans have been having a lot of fun deciphering the visible lyrics and trying to figure out what BU2B refers to. We'll know for sure a week from Tuesday - hopefully sooner. The new tracks were recorded last month in Nashville with producer Nick Raskulinecz and are 2 out of the 6 that Rush has written so far for their upcoming album.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will be released on DVD/Blu-ray on June 29th in the US/Canada and will include a bonus disc with over an hour of extras. On Monday the tracklist of the bonus disc was revealed and a UK release date of July 5th was announced. For all the details check out this post. The film will get a limited theatrical release in North America and Europe the second week of June. A list of US cities/theaters can be seen here, a list of Canadian cities/theaters are at this location, and European release information can be found here. The documentary will get its television premiere on VH1 and VH1 Classic on June 26th. You can check out all the coverage of the documentary's world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival including photos, videos, reviews, interviews and news articles in this post; for Canadian premiere coverage at Hot Docs see this post. To listen to Geddy and Alex discuss the documentary on the radio interview circuit check out this post, and go here for their CNN interview. The official trailer for the film can be viewed at this link along with these 2 preview clips.
We are less than 6 weeks away from opening night of the Time Machine Tour and the band is busily rehearsing in Toronto as confirmed by Neil Peart drum tech Lorne Wheaton's latest MySpace status update:
Back in YYZ for rehearsals. Mood: happy
Posted at 12:32 PM May 17
Since most Rush fans have by now obtained tickets for the tour, for my next poll I thought I'd ask everyone how they got their tickets. Take the Poll and let us know. You can check out the results of the last poll where I asked everyone how many shows they plan to attend on the Rush Time Machine Tour at this link. About two-thirds of you are only attending 1 or 2 shows with one person indicating they'll attend 16+ shows! I asked this same question for both the 2007 and 2008 legs of the Snakes & Arrows tours too. It's interesting to compare the results.
Speaking of the tour, VH1 Classic and Live Nation are teaming up to run an I'm With the Band sweepstakes through Facebook. They're giving away tickets, merchandise and backstage passes to different summer concerts including Rush's Time Machine Tour. If you're on Facebook, you can enter at this link. Thanks to The Professor for the heads up.
Last month I reported how Toronto casting agency Jigsaw Casting had posted a casting call to their Facebook group page calling for Rush band member look-a-likes ages 15-19 for a short mock-u-mentary film on the early days of Rush. It turns out that this film will be used as part of Rush's stage show on the upcoming Time Machine Tour. Auditions occurred in Toronto this past week. Reader Mark K's drummer son tried out for the role of a young Neil Peart on Monday and should hear back any time now as to whether he got the part.
Reader Big Rush Fan Mark wanted me to let Buffalo area Rush fans know about a petition that Buffalo's 97 Rock is circulating to try to get Rush to play somewhere in Western New York. It turns out that this petition may not be necessary as I've been hearing rumblings lately that Rush will be adding a show in Darien Lake, NY for sometime in September.
Back in early April a member of the Pearl Drummers Forum reported that Rush was doing some pre-production work in a Toronto studio and even posted some pics. From the pics it was pretty apparent that the studio was Cherry Beach Sound. This information has now been confirmed via this press release from last week:
... Just last month Cherry Beach Sound hosted Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame members and rock legends, Rush who were in Toronto working on a project.
Geoff Reading of The Weekly Volcano wrote an article a couple of weeks ago for his Wednesday Reading column titled F**kin' Rush, dude!. The article kicks off with these paragraphs:
I found a 2112 cassette tape in my P.E. locker midway through seventh-grade. I got home and put it in my mom's shoebox-sized player recorder - the kind with the little toggle switch. Just play, stop and forward. The tape was already rewound to the beginning of side one.
"Overture/Temple of Syrinx" blew my little sevey head CLEAN OFF. It was the most stunning thing I had ever heard. It screamed at me, "ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?!! LIFE IS ALL AROUND US BEING LIVED!! DON'T SLACK! LIVE!!!!" ...
He goes on to describe his entire Rush story. It's a very entertaining article that I think a lot of Rush fans can identify with. Coincidentally, finding a beat-up 2112 cassette tape in 7th grade is exactly how I got into Rush too. :)
Speaking of 2112, The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto included a veiled Rush 2112 reference in his Best Of The Web column last Friday. Down towards the bottom of the post he highlights this Daily Mail article as follows:
And the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
"Drugs to Help Us Live to 100 May Be Available From 2012"--headline, Daily Mail (London), May 14
Thanks to Will C for the heads up.
In the latest installment of his music discovery podcast and blog Bands Like Rush, Ben Sommer talks to guitarist Kevin Hufnagel of New York instrumental progressive metal band Dysrhythmia. While a much heavier sounding 3-piece than Rush, anyone who values complex and challenging song structures along with musical virtuosity may want to check out Dysrhythmia's music. To find out more about the band check out their website at this link. You can read the entire interview or listen to the podcast at this link.
Reader jay c let me know about a posting at NPR's All Songs Considered blog where they ask readers to take a quiz where they have to listen to 10 drum fills and identify the song/artist. One of the choices is a Rush song; I won't say which one though - you'll have to take the quiz.
Tea Party candidate Rand Paul (son of Congressman and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul) won the Republican Senatorial primary this past Tuesday, causing a lot of buzz in the press. Although he's not actually named after Ayn Rand (it's just short for Randall), Paul does happens to be a Rush fan and is known to play/quote Rush at his campaign rallies as I'd mentioned last year. In his victory party Tuesday night he arrived to Rush's The Spirit of Radio playing in the background. One supporter got to travel with Paul last summer and reported the following on his blog (thanks muskies-n-rush):
... I learned that Rand Paul is a fan of the best band ever: Rush. You heard it here first: Rand Paul loves Rush music. He said that sometimes in speeches he likes to highlight government corruption and the GOP's drift from its core values by quoting from the Rush song "Spirit of the Radio" which says "Glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity." He also likes "The Trees." ...
Earlier this week I let you know that CNN ran a story recently covering the Rush documentary titled No stopping rock's Rush. CNN's Andrea Mineo interviewed Alex and Geddy along with Rush documentary filmmakers Scott McFadyen and Sam Dunn. You can watch the 3-minute piece below or at this link.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!