Friday, April 18, 2014
Updates and other random Rush stuff
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 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.
As 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.
Last 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!