Friday, March 30, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:30PM EST | comments (110) |

UPDATE - 3/31@7:55PM: Rush's Time Machine DVD loses out to Feist in the Music DVD of the Year category at the Juno Awards (thanks Paul at The Canadian Music Scene).

Clockwork AngelsIt was an exciting week for Rush fans as the rumors of a Clockwork Angels listening party that was to take place this past Tuesday turned out to be true, and some details began leaking out Wednesday afternoon. Several dozen journalists and industry insiders showed up and were treated to the entire Clockwork Angels album. They all had to sign confidentiality agreements and agree not to publish anything related to what they had heard for at least 72 hours - which would be this afternoon. So be on the lookout for more details today. From Sniglets at Counterparts:

... if you would have wanted Rush albums in the 80s to have a harder edge then this is your record. The songs are like a winding journey and definitely has a more modern day concept feel to them. Keyboards are present on the record so if you loathe them, sorry! He didn't compare it to any particular album and that was a relief. He said just take 80 to 91 in a blender and that was it. ...

Headlong Flight will be the title of the first single to be released from the album, which they are still aiming to release on May 29th. Since Tuesday's listening party, Roadrunner has been out shopping Headlong First to various folks in the radio industry and the Twittersphere has been abuzz with reactions - all very positive. The track is about 7.5 minutes long and has been described as epic by those who have heard it along with some comparisons to By-tor and the Snow Dog. Here's a sampling of some of the reactions:

In studio right now w Mark from Roadrunner listening to new tune from @RushIsABand called "Headlong Flight." It's awesome. #ByTorIsASnowDog
Lou Brutus - Sirius XM

Just heard new Rush song "Headlong Flight" ..... Holy Fucking Shit!!!!! 7 and a half minutes of pure genius!!!!!! @rushisaband

I haven't had goosebumps like this in years. This is Rush at their finest. Seriously. Fuck this is amazing. @rushisaband

New Rush song sounds like updated "By-Tor." Epic, cool guitar break downs. "I stoke the fires of the big steel wheels...
Dominic Nardella - Sirius XM

Just listened to the new Rush song "Headlong Flight". My pants are tight!..and moist from losing control of my bladder during the massive Alex Lifeson solo. @rushtheband
Mike Hsu - WAAF in Boston

@rushtheband New RUSH single from upcoming CD called "Headlong Flight"...Old school RUSH fans rejoice! It ROCKS 74-77 era! Just awesome!!
Grover Collins - WUBE/WYGY in Cincinnati

From what I understand, none of these radio folk actually have the single in hand - they just had it played for them by a Roadrunner representative. There's conflicting information as to when the single will actually get released, but one radio industry source informed me that a 5.5-minute edit would be hitting radio on April 19th. That's not to say that we couldn't possibly have some kind of online release before then - either of the entire song or perhaps a sample clip. The other information to come out of Tuesday's Lunch and Listen was that Roadrunner would be launching a huge PR campaign for the album over the coming weeks/months, unlike anything Rush fans have seen before. Along those lines, I'm already aware of at least 3 major rock magazines (Classic Rock, MOJO, etc.) that will be running cover features on the band/album over the next few months, and there's also talk of some late-night TV appearances. Also, reader jupeguyowensound let me know that The Fan 590 in Toronto had Humble (from the Humble and Fred podcast) on this morning and he mentioned that he had just interviewed Alex Lifeson a couple of days ago. This probably means that the guys have started hitting the interview circuit, so be on the lookout.

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandThe 2012 Juno Awards ceremony (the Canadian equivalent of the US Grammy Awards) takes place this weekend at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON and Rush's live concert video Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland is nominated for Music DVD of the Year. Rush won a Juno award in this category for Rush in Rio back in 2004 and last year for Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. It's not clear whether any members of Rush will be in attendance for the ceremony, but filmmakers Dunn and McFadyen will be. Here's some photos of the pair from a Juno event last night courtesy Paul at the Canadian Music Scene. The main televised awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, but most of the actual awards - including Music DVD of the Year - are given out Saturday night at a gala dinner.

Neil Peart was interviewed for the latest issue of classic and collector car magazine Hagerty where he talks about his love of classic cars, car model-building, and his own personal collection of classic cars and car models. From the interview:

... The bulk of his model collection today is in that small 1/43 scale. "I acquired a couple of genuine masterpieces of miniaturization," Neil says. "A Ferrari GTO with tiny sliding plastic windows, opening doors, and perfect engine detailing, and a Bugatti Type 35 with the piano wire attaching the bodywork rendered perfectly, as are the leather upholstery and bonnet straps. I define these delightful creations as expensive-and worth it." ...

... Neil has commissioned 1/24 renderings of his personal cars: a Porsche 911 Speedster, BMW Z8, and a pairing of the Aston Martin DB5 and the modern DBS. Says Neil, "These tiny jewels of intricate craftsmanship give me pleasure just in contemplating them."

The article also includes several great photographs of Neil and his collection of cars. You can read the entire article/interview online here.

Upper Canada College will be hosting their annual Believe in Blue Gala on May 12th at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. Among the prizes to be auctioned off at the sold-out affair is a dinner party with Geddy Lee! From the Gala's official blog (thanks Paul N):

Get Closer to the Heart of Geddy Lee at Barberians
No Subdivisions here!! Join Rush's lead vocalist and bassist, Geddy Lee for an intimate dinner for eight at famed Barberians Steak House. An avid wine collector with a spectacular collection of which most would be envious, Geddy can help you navigate Barberians 30,000 bottle wine cellar that accompanies the great food that Barberians has been known for since 1959. Be entertained by this award-winning musician who has a story or two to tell after decades in the music industry. Dates to be coordinated with Geddy Lee and Barberians.

Speaking of Geddy, yesterday evening he participated as a celebrity judge for RAW! The Great Toronto Tartare-Off at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York. The event was sponsored by Grapes for Humanity where Geddy Lee is a member of the board. Proceeds from the event will go towards a child's education by constructing a needed school in Guatemala and $0.95 of every dollar raised will be donated to the project. Other judges included Corey Mintz, Josh Josephson and Amy Rosen of The National Post.

Evan LangoriaMatt Crossman of Sporting News recently sat down for dinner with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria for an interview which was published to their website earlier this week. Longoria took up the drums a few years ago and among the subjects that came up in the interview was Rush:

... Longoria's most prized possessions are his dogs and his 2008 AL championship ring, but he has another great piece of memorabilia: a drumhead signed by members of the rock group Rush. ... Cool story how he got the drumhead: Rush's singer, Geddy Lee, a huge baseball fan, collects balls autographed by pitchers who have thrown no-hitters. When Rays righthander Matt Garza threw one in 2010, a Lee representative called the Rays to ask for a ball. A Rays clubbie named David Westmoreland (everyone calls him Westy) said, sure, if you send Longoria the signed drumhead. ...

You can read the entire interview at this link.

Voting for DRUM! Magazine's 17th annual Drummies! opened up earlier this month. Neil Peart is in the Drummie Hall of Fame for Drummer of the Year after winning the award for 4 straight years from 2007-2010, but you can still vote for him in any of the other categories. To place your vote, visit Drum! Magazine's website at this link.

Back in 2009 Warner Music Japan reissued Rush's first 12 studio albums as Mini-LP Super High Material CDs (SHM-CDs). According to a listing on CD Japan (thanks David S), all 12 titles will be getting re-released once again in Japan on May 23rd. My assumption is that the Sector box set masters were used for these re-releases but there's no confirmation of that at this time.

California-based rock instrumental trio Points North just released their debut album a couple of weeks ago. It's titled Road Less Traveled and contains a tribute to Rush titled Grace Under Pressure. From The Sun Journal:

... "Grace Under Pressure" offers a respectful nod to Rush. Duffy and Aiello pay skillful homage to guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart. ...

You can purchase Road Less Traveled on Amazon here and find out more about the band on their official website.

Rush's YYZ gets a mention in a recent Victoria Advocate article titled A lousy decade punctuated with greatness which discusses some of the high points of music in the 1980s. Here's what they had to say about the song:

For those unfamiliar with Rush, "YYZ" is a perfect introduction into what an amazing trio of musicians make up this band. The song begins with the drums, which are then joined by the guitar and bass, all playing YYZ Morse Code, the identification code for Toronto's airport. Geddy Lee's bass licks are phenomenal while Neil Pert is, well, Neil Pert. The pair trade off runs, segueing into Alex Lifeson's guitar solo, which has a mythical Far Eastern flair.

It's Rush vs. The Beatles in the final round of Lone Star 92.5's Classic Rock Madness contest. To place your vote for Rush go here.

Reader double-agent wanted me to let everyone know that Fort Hood Radio will be playing one hour of Rush music next Tuesday, April 3rd from 12-1PM CST.
You can tune in online or requests songs at

Jason Plumb and The Willing - all is more than bothThe debut album from Canadian singer-songwriter Jason Plumb's solo project Jason Plumb and The Willing released earlier this week. The album is titled All is More Than Both and features a guest appearance from Alex Lifeson on the track LOSIN' which you can listen to below or at this link. We first learned about Alex's involvement back in September via a blog post from producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda. The post featured this behind-the-scenes recording session video from last May with Alex wailing away on a solo over the track. The album also features appearances from Ed Robertson and Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies along with several other Canadian musicians. You can purchase the LOSIN' track with Alex Lifeson via Amazon or via iTunes, or purchase the entire All is More Than Both album (Amazon, iTunes). On a related note, Jason Plumb and the Willing bass player Gord Smith has a side project called Creosote, and his debut album Area Man also releases today. The album includes a rocking cover of Rush's Mystic Rhythms which you can preview/purchase via Amazon or via iTunes, and the entire Area Man album is also available for purchase (Amazon, iTunes).

That's all for this week. Let the Clockwork Angels media blitz begin!! Have a safe and happy weekend.



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#110 - Posted 4/2/12 @1:33AM by Micky [contact]

#109 - well said ! Got the point !!
#109 - Posted 4/1/12 @2:06PM by DDZ [contact]

108, what the **** does a band's longevity have to do with this?? That's not the point, that is a different topic. Point is there is good music being made now. And, you're going to be wrong about your statement anyways; almost every band I mentioned has been around for about 10 years now and they are going strong and they are all talented. Others like Kavinsky or VCMG have only been around for a short time, but I like what they do. I can't believe Led Zeppelin isn't around anymore making music, I guess they're just not "consistent". Therefore, the music they have made in the past has no value.
#108 - Posted 4/1/12 @9:32AM by limelighter [contact]

105- the bands you just mentioned won't be around 5 years from now. no consistency.
#107 - Posted 4/1/12 @7:57AM by LanceTheShred [contact]

Thanks for the inside info Keith 82!
#106 - Posted 4/1/12 @2:45AM by Micky [contact]

Agreed with you.
Rush still exists and still gather new fans of different ages right because they have been changed constantly through the years.
Despite some one would love their 1st Phase, someone else would appreciate more their Phase 4.
That's great for me although it might not appeal to me the music out of some particular phases of their career.
My highest disappointment about Rush was when i bought Grace Under Pressure. It took me a long while to "realize" that...LOL.
Agreed also on some great "nowadays" bands, although making music today seems apparently easier but in the end, only REAL AUTHENTIC artists will resist and last.
Nothing is permanent but changes.
#105 - Posted 4/1/12 @2:35AM by DDZ [contact]

#103, Canadian music right now is not garbage, it's just changed significantly from what you were into back in the 80s. There is plenty of high profile garbage coming out of Canada as you mention and a multitude of horrible bands that I don't even want to think about but that somehow are on MTV. From your list of 'good' bands, I get the feeling you got stuck in an 80s rock time-loop and did not bother to keep looking as the years progressed. You're not really going to find popular 80s style rock bands these days just like you're not going to find popular disco bands currently playing these days. Helix is still apparently making music still but no one cares- the field has changed- and if you don't change you get left behind. I saw Yes in concert 12 years ago- they also caught in a time warp- sad and funny to see that their wardrobe was the same as in their heyday- acknowledge the past, don't try to re-live it. Rush is still alive because they adapt and change. Some current and well known and very good Canadian music includes Arcade Fire and Chromeo but neither are really rock, one is alt-rock and the other electro-funk. There is some stellar electro-house-rock coming out of France with bands like Justice. Check out their song called Genesis on YouTube with some good speakers. But hey, you may only like classic rock and that's your prerogative but it doesn't mean the good music isn't being made today: Rush, Justice, Chromeo, M83, VCMG, Muse, Kavinsky... it's just different.
#104 - Posted 4/1/12 @12:05AM by RushFanForever [contact]

Feist is a Canadian singer-songwriter, both as a solo artist and as a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene.

She scored a major hit with '1234' which gained worldwide popularity after being used in the 2007 roll out campaign for the iPod Nano. Ben Mink (who played the violin solo on 'Losing It' and collaborator on 'My Favorite Headache') contributed to the Feist hit below.

#103 - Posted 3/31/12 @11:35PM by limelighter [contact]

feist? really? who are they? besides rush there are no other rock and roll bands that exist in canada, except nickelback. and they are crap. you will never see another band like max webster, triumph, the hip, chilliwack, april wine, saga, helix, the list goes on and on. canadian music right now is garbage.
#102 - Posted 3/31/12 @10:47PM by lifeson70 [contact]

I bet the soup was great.
#101 - Posted 3/31/12 @10:41PM by broughttoyoubytheletterj [contact]

Their going to make aeroplanes out of cows...
If you want to ride in a aeroplane made out of sheep, well (Alex) says -
It's not going to happen, I dont know what to tell you...

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