Friday, April 11, 2014
Updates and other random Rush stuff
Rush 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
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
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. 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!!