Friday, February 26, 2010
Updates and other random Rush stuff
UPDATE - 3/1@6:32AM: No Rush. Moving on now...
UPDATE - 2/28@5:04PM: From CBC News (thanks Syriux):
... Reports indicate Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and rock band Rush may all perform at the closing, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m. local time. Those names haven't been confirmed ...
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UPDATE - 2/28@10:02AM: A commercial for the Olympics closing ceremony was running on NBC last night and they mention Neil Young, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback as performers. I've confirmed that these artists along with Alanis Morrisette were present at the final dress rehearsals but Rush was not. So it looks unlikely at this point that Rush will be performing.
On a positive note, I managed to get some updated information regarding the tour. The band is still working on finalizing a few dates so the announcement could come as early as later this week. They are looking to start in mid-late June at a city/venue in the Southeast US.
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UPDATE - 2/27@9:52AM: This recent Toronto Star article speculates regarding the performers at tomorrow's Olympics closing ceremonies and mentions Rush. They cite Rush's affiliation with the Games' headline talent producer Sam Feldman:
.... Toronto rockers Rush, also members of Feldman's flock, are factoring into the rumour mill, as well. A publicist for the trio cited a non-disclosure agreement when asked to comment on rumours of their involvement. ...
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Things were relatively quiet this past week as Rush fans wait patiently for some kind of official announcement regarding the 2010 tour and also wonder whether any of the rumors are true regarding Rush possibly performing at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony this Sunday. The last I'd heard, the tour announcement was supposed to be coming towards the end of February, which is where we are currently at. But knowing how these things go I wouldn't be surprised if it gets delayed a bit, though I don't see how they could delay much beyond the middle of March if they plan on touring by Summer. There also has not been so much as a peep from the Rush camp since Neil Peart's Canadian Press interview last month, which we can only hope means that they are cooking up something big. I also noticed that Neil Peart's drum tech Lorne Wheaton posted the following to his MySpace page on February 14th: Waiting for decisions to be made..... Hmmm... I wonder what that's all about. If Rush does end up playing the Olympics closing ceremony Sunday night - that may also affect the timing of the tour announcement. Maybe they want to somehow coincide the performance with the announcement or at least wait until shortly after the performance. I continue to hear rumors that Rush will be playing, but in light of how everything went with the opening ceremonies I'm taking everything with a large grain of salt. Here's one positive sign though; closing ceremony producer David Atkins said the following on Wednesday night:
...the three-hour pageant would be a "celebration of Canadian humour, talent and innovation" featuring several well-known Canadian performers and rock bands. "Canada has an embarrassment of riches in those departments," Atkins said ... "It's going to be a very contrasting night to the opening ceremony." Atkins said the globally televised event will capture the "spirit of the Games" and be an occasion for the athletes to "let their hair down." ...
It sounds like the closing ceremony will be a more casual affair than the opening, with a rock-and-roll sort of vibe, so Rush would certainly be a good fit. This CTV article also had the following to add:
... As for who will appear in the closing ceremonies, Michael Bublé is a safe bet, given his huge interest in the Games, the fact that he's local, and that he hasn't done anything official with the Olympics since the torch relay. Shania Twain also carried the torch but has not yet appeared in Vancouver. There are rumours Neil Young will perform. Other big Canadian acts who haven't made an appearance at the Games yet include Avril Lavigne, the Tragically Hip and Rush. Celine Dion's publicist has said she won't participate. ...
We'll just have to wait and see.
In addition to waiting for a tour announcement and the Olympics closing ceremony, we're also awaiting some official word on the Rush documentary, although we've had plenty of unofficial news. On Wednesday Power Windows reported that Rounder films has set a tentative release date of May 18th for the documentary and that we can expect an official announcement shortly. Late last month we received confirmation that the documentary had finally been completed and would be released this Spring - most likely at a film festival(s). Then last week we received word via TNMS member Oz that the theatrical premier would occur at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York which runs from April 21st through May 2nd although this has yet to be confirmed.
We learned earlier this week that Rob Stefaniuk's vampire horror/comedy flick Suck will get its US premier at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX on Wednesday March 17th. The film made its Canadian premier at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and was released to theaters in Canada in October. Alex Lifeson makes an appearance in the movie as a border guard. You can see Alex in the film's trailer at this link (at about the 1:15 mark). Suck was shot entirely in Toronto and also stars Malcolm McDowell, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Moby, Carol Pope, Jessica Pare, Alice Cooper and his daughter Calico, and Dimitri Coates. Alex and Rob Stefaniuk talk about the movie in this 102.1 The Edge interview podcast (at about the 14 minute mark, runs 9 minutes) from just before the Canadian premier. Here are some photos of Alex from the Suck premier: [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3]. And here's a bootleg video of Alex at the Suck after party at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. He joined the band Burning Brides onstage for the song Flesh and Bone which appears on the movie's soundtrack.
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an 11" x 17" Feedback poster. The contest ends on March 10th and you can sign up to enter at this link. I should also note that they are running a sale on several items including a Permanent Waves t-shirt or Kings Skull t-shirt for just $9.99, and a Rush 2010 wall calendar for only $6.99.
If you watched the Superbowl earlier this month, you may have seen the controversial Dodge Charger commercial Man's Last Stand which depicts various dour-looking men as a voice-over ticks off a list of things they must endure from their spouses/girlfriends so that they are able to drive the car they want; in this case a Dodge Charger. A group of ladies decided to create a spoof of the ad from the female perspective called Woman's Last Stand. One of the things they list as having to endure from their men is:
I will listen to Rush and tell you "Yes, if there were a gold medal for air-drumming you would win it"
You can watch the spoof at this link; the Rush part starts at about the 55-second mark. Thanks to John T for the heads up.
Reader, Rush fan, and composer/performer Ben Sommer recently created a music discovery podcast and blog called Bands Like Rush where bands that have some kind of connection or similarity to Rush are interviewed. To kick off the site, Ben interviewed 2 members of Detroit-based progressive rockers Tiles a few weeks ago. For his next installment Ben interviews Mike Hyder - the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for UK-based prog rockers The Treat who Ben found thanks to a suggestion from RIAB reader MajorSkalle. Ben and Mike spend a good deal of time discussing Rush and the pros/cons of constantly being compared to them. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript at this link, and to find out more about The Treat check out their website.
The March 1st issue of Sports Illustrated contains a Rush mention on page 20 in Dan Patrick's Just my type column where he interviews NBA star Steve Nash:
Dan Patrick: Why wasn't Rush playing the opening ceremonies?
Steve Nash: I don't know. I'm wondering if people feel like their stage act is a little rusty right now, or what.
DP: I gotta have Geddy Lee up there instead of Bryan Adams.
SN: You should have gotten yourself on the committee.
DP: I tried to, but I'm not Canadian. I was pushing for Nelly Furtado.
Thanks to Cygnify at Counterparts for the heads up.
Bryce Shoemaker of Seattle's The Stranger magazine recently announced his intention to conduct a Rush Experiment, where he would immerse himself in Rush - a band he never could get all the way into - for an entire weekend in an attempt to finally understand the band. He then posted his conclusions the following Monday. If you ask me, it sounds like this guy already had a low opinion of the band to start with - and to say his conclusions are a little off the mark is a gross understatement. Thanks to glortiz for the heads up.
This was the leadoff track from the album Permanent Waves, released on January 1st, 1980... thus making this song among the first 80's songs ever released! The track, inspired by a Toronto radio station's slogan (CFNY, The Spirit Of Radio) was an ode to the power of Marconi's medium, and also marked the Canadian power trio's first foray into the world of pop songs (well, as pop as a progressive band like Rush was gonna get at the time). Bristling with electricity, and railing against the format-heavy philosophy of commercial radio - the song made no bones about it's stance: "All this machinery making modern music / Can still be open-hearted / Not so coldly charted / It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah, your honesty / One likes to believe in the freedom of music / But glittering prizes and endless compromises / Shatter the illusion of integrity". Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart commented about it to Billboard magazine: "The Spirit of Radio was actually written as a tribute to all that was good about radio, celebrating my appreciation of magical moments I'd had since childhood, of hearing 'the right song at the right time.' However, the song's celebration of the ideals of radio necessarily seemed like an attack on the reality - on the formulaic, mercenary programming of most radio stations, with music the last of anyone's concerns. And yes, it was really ironic that such a song became popular on radio, though it was a kind of litmus test. Some radio guys who 'got it' could hear the song and think, 'That's the way it ought to be,' while others - the shallow, swaggering salesmen-of-the-air - could be oblivious to the song's meaning and proudly applaud themselves, 'That's about me!'"
Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
This weekend Sirius satellite radio's Classic Rewind will be showcasing some of the greatest classic rock guitarists. According to Entertainment Weekly, they've marked the occasion by releasing a list of the top five Guitar Greats from the '70s and '80s and Alex Lifeson makes the list at #2. You can check out the rest of the top 5 at this link. Thanks to Rushman14 at The Rush Forum for the heads up.
Steven Sandor of Vue Weekly takes issue with the choice of Canadian music played at the Winter Olympics in this recent article. He compiles a list of some Canadian music that he thinks should instead be played including Rush's Marathon:
If you want to go classic rock, this is another option. Neil Peart waxes poetic on the spirit of competition and how dreams never die. But at least it's got a beat and Alex Lifeson on guitar. That gives it some Trailer Park Boys cred, right.
Doctor Who Confidential is a BBC documentary series that was created as a complement to the revived British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. On a recent episode Rush's Countdown is used as background music. They play almost the entire song beginning at about the 4-minute mark in this YouTube clip. Thanks to Reed Lover for the heads up.
Doug J alerted me to a veiled Rush reference in a recent episode of ABC's Lost. In the episode The Substitute (Season 6, episode 4) the character Jacob leads Locke down a ladder to his cave ... Jacob's Ladder! Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog noticed the Rush song reference (and also the Huey Lewis song of the same name) and discuss it in this post and in the 2nd accompanying video clip.
Will C located this FishbowlDC wrap up of a Twitter trash talk session between some NBC and ABC reporters earlier this week that includes a Rush mention.
Bruce Miles follows the Chicago Cub for suburban Chicago's Daily Herald (he also is a RIAB reader) and posted the following to his blog yesterday morning:
There's nothing like walking past the weight room first thing in the morning here at Fitch and hearing Rush music blaring. Had a great mix going that had me checking my bag to make sure nobody stole my iPod. Heard "Limelight," "Red Barchetta," "New World Man," "Distant Early Warning" and a rousing version of "Working Man." I may have even won a convert in Sam Fuld, a youngster who said he likes that classic stuff. The magic music certainly does make your morning mood, to quote "The Spirit of Radio." ...
Butch W noticed a small Rush reference in this Woot.com article discussing the Phillips Tunestick FM transmitter for iPods:
... It's an FM transmitter for your iPod, which allows you to listen in your car to the music you already like from your collection at home. We ask you: How are you supposed to stay in tune with mainstream sensibilities if you don't hear Rush's "Tom Sawyer" in heavy rotation? You're going to be in your own little music-elite world, see, totally out of touch with the real America.
Back in the late 70's and early '80s Rush became friends with Warren Cromartie - a baseball player for the Montreal Expos. The secondary school on the Signals back cover was named after him, and both he and the Expos are thanked in the Signals linernotes. Cromartie had a band in the late 80's called Climb (he played drums) and Geddy made a guest appearance doing some backing vocals on their song Who's Missin Who. Reader RushFanForever dug up the song on YouTube and you can give it a listen at this link. See if you can spot Geddy's contribution.
That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!