Friday, May 16, 2014
Updates and other random Rush stuff
Rush celebrated 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 which released a couple weeks ago. First week sales of the release briefly propelled the album back into the Billboard 200 album charts at #127, but it has since fallen back off the chart. 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. Also, John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed/scanned the contents of the box set and made them available online (scans, liner notes). Darryl Sterdan reviewed the release for the Winnipeg Sun this past week and gives it 3.5 stars:
Make that ReVINYLized. Four decades after it introduced Toronto's premier power trio to the planet (or at least the neighbourhood), Rush's 1974 pre-Peart, pre-prog debut album returns in all its analog glory. And a fairly glorious return it is: The eight-song, 40-minute disc - which includes early gems like the sludgy Working Man, the riffy Finding My Way and What You're Doing, along with the cowbell-plonk choogle of In the Mood - has been expertly and superbly upgraded via Direct Metal Mastering, with the original masters being cut straight to copper plates at Abbey Road Studios. To put it another way, minus the tech-talk: Alex Lifeson's guitars are razor-sharp, John Rutsey's drums are more distinct (though still a tad thin), Geddy Lee's bass pops from the mix and his Valkyrie vocals are crisp and vibrant. Naturally, the sonic upgrade is preserved on 200-gram audiophile-grade vinyl inside a faithful recreation of the original Moon Records packaging, right down to the matrix etching on the disc. And of course, it doesn't stop there: It all comes housed in a box with a reproduction of the first Rush promo poster, three band member lithograph, a Rush Family Tree poster and other tchotchkes. As usual with vinyl boxes, the fly in the ointment is the download card: Considering this will set you back $50, you should be able to get lossless files instead of low-grade MP3s. Still, those in the mood for some old-school Rush won't be disappointed.
The band is running a Twitter contest through next Thursday, May 22nd where they'll be giving away a copy of the box set signed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. For all the contest details and how you can enter, just visit this location. In celebration of the release I've asked everyone what their favorite track off the debut album is. Take the poll and let us know! If you haven't already, you can order your copy of Rush ReDISCovered here.
The paperback edition of Clockwork Angels: The Novel was officially released earlier this week. The paperback edition includes a new Headlong Flight cover by Hugh Syme, and can be ordered at this location. The hardcover edition of the book released back on September 1, 2012 and debuted at #18 on the New York Times bestselling list. The 1st of a 6-issue graphic novel version of the book released back on March 19th.
According to a listing on their website, Audio Fidelity will soon be releasing an SACD (Super Audio CD) version of Rush's Presto album. No release date is given, but the listing states that the SACD will retail for $29.99 and was mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Audio Fidelity has already released SACD versions of both Counterparts and Hemispheres.
Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released early last month and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley is best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree. Wesley and his band finished off an East Coast tour in support of the album this past Friday at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA. A video of the band's live performance of Once a Warrior - including Wesley's tackling of Lifeson's solo - can be viewed on YouTube at this location. Prog Sphere has included the album in their list of the 10 Best Albums of 2014 So Far. You can order your copy of Disconnect here.
A one day celebration of Rush and their 40th anniversary will be taking place at the Dreadnought Rock club in Scotland tomorrow, Saturday, May 17th. Rushfest Scotland will consist of a full day of Rush-themed events culminating in a 2-hour set from Scotland's premier Rush tribute band Moving Pictures. For all of the details visit the website or follow them on Facebook.
After defeating Judas Priest last week in round one, Rush is up against Journey this week in Ultimate Classic Rock's Hall of Fame contest. Voting for this round is open through this Sunday, May 18th so go vote for Rush! And Consequence of Sound is running a bracket poll to determine the Greatest Drummer of All Time and Neil Peart made it into the 3rd round last week by defeating one of his idols - Keith Moon. In this next round Neil is up against one of his biggest fans - Mike Portnoy. To place your vote just visit this location
Rush was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back on April 18th of last year at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Rock Hall officially opened a 2013 inductees exhibit just prior to the induction ceremony that was up for most of the past year. The Rush portion of the exhibit included a Neil Peart snare drum, Alex Lifeson's double-neck guitar and a Geddy Lee bass along with various other items. The exhibit also included a three-screen multimedia presentation that tells the stories of the inductees. You can check out some photographs of the exhibit at the Rock Hall website. If you'll be in or near Cleveland anytime this year, I highly recommend checking out the Museum and all the great exhibits that it has to offer. Last year the Rock Hall graciously offered an exclusive discount to the Museum for RushIsABand readers, and they have reinstated the discount for this year as well. With this exclusive offer you can receive $2 off admission in addition to a 20% discount on any new membership. Simply print out this pdf file and present it at the Rock Hall box office to receive your discount. The offer runs through the end of this year. They are also offering a 10% discount on all online orders made via rockhallstore.com through September 30th by using the code FANCLUB14 at checkout.
Foo Fighters drummer and Rush fan Taylor Hawkins appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week with his new side project band The Birds of Satan who just released their self-titled EP a few weeks ago. Hawkins also has another side project covers band called Chevy Metal which has a Rush starbabe as their logo. Hawkins has been spotted wearing his Chevy Metal Starbabe t-shirt on several recent occasions, including the appearance on Jimmy Kimmel as can be seen in these videos.
Reader chrxtopher noticed a Rush reference in the headline for an article on the front page of Vulture.com this past Wednesday. In reference to an article titled When and Where Will Glee Be Set in Season 6? it states: "Least likely answer: the Temples of Syrinx, circa 2112 A.D.". :)
For SB Nation's Helmet Helper column this week, Eric Murtaugh suggests a new helmet design for the Rice Owls football team that incorporates the cover of Rush's Fly By Night album. You can check out the design in the article here.
This Sunday, May 18th will mark the 40th anniversary of Rush's very first concert in the US. This first gig was at an outdoor festival in East Lansing, Michigan at the North Side Drive-In. It was a rainy day and only 1,300 people showed up when several thousand were expected. WMMQ posted an article about the show's anniversary earlier this week which included this poster advert for the event (thanks Wayne R).
We learned earlier this year that Canadian-born actor and musician Keram Malicki-Sanchez had collaborated with Alex Lifeson and 20 other renowned artists for his upcoming Come to Life album. The album was funded through an IndieGogo campaign and will be released this coming May 28th in Canada on Constant Change Music. In addition to playing guitar on the album, Lifeson is also executive producer. The album's cover art and tracklisting were revealed earlier this week via this Exclaim.ca article along with a preview of the 11-minute track The Devil Knows Me Well - which features Alex Lifeson on guitar. You can listen to the preview online at this location. The album will be launched with a Toronto listening party for Indiegogo contributors on May 28th. It will then be made available on Bandcamp, through digital retailers, and on CD through CD Baby. You can find out all the details including how to secure your own copy of Come to Life on the IndieGogo page here. There's also this YouTube video where Malicki-Sanchez discusses the project (at about the 2:35 mark).
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!