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Monday, April 28, 2014

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - April 2014 - "Telescope Peak Revisited"

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - April 2014 - Telescope Peak Revisited
Neil Peart has just posted a new update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog. His April 2014 entry is titled "Telescope Peak Revisited", a reference to the highest summit in Death Valley National Park, at 11,049 feet.

Neil has made many pilgrimages to Death Valley throughout his life, and its backdrop has served as an inspiration to him for many years. In fact, when composing lyrics for Rush's 2002 album Vapor Trails, Neil wrote the lyrics to a song titled "Telescope Peak":
Looking back to the lowest low from the highest high
Way down to the burning white desert from the clear blue sky
On Telescope Peak, salvation just a day away
On Telescope Peak, I could have said goodbye to yesterday
— On the last lonely day

So many dreams are buried there
In ghost towns and abandoned mines
So many dreams are carried there
In the sound of the wind in the pines
— On the last lonely day

It’s the end of something
It’s the start of something too
It’s the end of something
It’s the start of something new
The last lonely day
While the song was never recorded, some lyrical components did make their way into Ghost Rider. Later in the entry, Neil discusses a visit to the Drum Channel studios:
The previous week I spent an afternoon at Drum Channel, borrowing a little drumset in the studio for some casual “explorations.” It was gratifying to learn that my technique remained “ingrained” (I said to Don Lombardi, “The machine still works!”), and that having stepped away from the routine of it allowed me to think in surprisingly fresh ways. It was an enjoyable, rewarding few hours—but after, I thought about doing that every day, like rehearsing for a tour. The idea did not appeal. The same with the 950-mile motorcycle ride to Death Valley and back, and all the packing and unpacking—it did not make me want to go back to doing that every day, like on tour.

But that decision is far in the future—we’ll see which way the wind blows then. Perhaps, as the man said, “longing to do so is certain to recur.”
Perhaps not the most encouraging statement with regards to the immediate future of Rush, but not an uncommon sentiment coming from Neil.

You can read the entire entry via this LINK.

And to check out every News, Weather, and Sports entry Neil has made dating back to 2005, they are all available at the News, Weather, and Sports Archives.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rush Sighting on 'The Colbert Report'

Rush Sighting on 'The Colbert Report'
The latest episode of The Colbert Report included a Rush reference during the opening story, which discussed how the Canadian middle class have surpassed the middle class of the United States in wealth.

Colbert comments "...No longer will people around the world aspire to the American dream of 2.5 it's the Canadian dream of a beaver dam, a maple syrup moat and 2.5 members of Rush; I don't know about you but I don't want to teach Geddy Lee to catch..."

As most Rush fans know, Rush are no strangers to 'The Colbert Report'. The band performed Tom Sawyer on the show back in July of 2008 and have had other references on the show as well.

Thanks to everyone who passed along the news.

Alex Lifeson Visits Ishibashi Music in Tokyo

While vacationing in Japan earlier this month, Alex Lifeson made a stop at Ishibashi Music in Tokyo. During his visit and tour of the music store, Alex not only talks guitars, but also autographs both his Signature series Gibson Les Paul Axcess and his Paul Reed Smith Private Stock signature series Acoustic Guitar.

His visit was filmed and can be viewed via the player below or directly at this LINK.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the news.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rush's Cover of "7 and 7 Is" Will Be Released as a 7-inch Side by Side Vinyl for Record Store Day

Rush's Cover of
Tomorrow, Saturday April 19th is Record Store Day 2014, an annual event when independent record stores across North America offer up exclusive vinyl records from numerous musical groups.

Last year's event included a 10" vinyl containing both the studio and live version of Rush's The Garden.

This year it appears that another Rush release will be offered. According to Encore Records, a 7" vinyl single of Rush's cover of 7 and 7 Is from their Feedback EP will be offered. The B-Side of this Side by Side Series release is not clear but it may include the original version of the song performed by Love.

To find the location of a local record store that is participating in the event this year, click HERE.

Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for the news.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Neil Peart Talks Drum Solos with Rhythm Magazine

Neil Peart Talks Drum Solos with Rhythm Magazine
The March and April 2014 issues of the UK's Rhythm Magazine includes two articles written by Neil Peart titled, appropriately, Neil Peart on Drum Solos.

In Part One of the feature, which appeared in the March 2014 issue of the magazine, Neil breaks down the two 'mini-solos' that he performed during Rush's Clockwork Angels tour:
What if I did two shorter solos, one in each set? Ooh, yes - that had possibilities. Eventually that notion evolved into three 'excursions'. The first was a more traditional solo in the first set, in the middle of an instrumental called, 'Where's My Thing?' (Thus the solo is smilingly titled, 'Here It Is!')

In the middle of the second set, I would take an extended drum break in 'Headlong Flight', for which I incorporated samples of the bass and guitar parts - wanting to create a version of one of my most admired soloing approaches, as exemplified by Steve Smith or Dave Weckl, for example. I speak of 'soloing over the changes', where the solo holds the tempo and structure, while the band joins in on specific hits or phrases. I have not yet convinced my bandmates to help me create that exact 'set-up', but this is a fun approximation. One superior element is that because I trigger the 'accompaniment', I can improvise freely against a set of changes that is random, rather than arranged.
In Part Two of the feature, which appeared in the April 2014 issue of Rhythm, Neil focuses on the arrangements of his Clockwork Angel tour drum solos as well as his thoughts of the future of the drum solo:
Finally, I have been asked about the 'future' of the drum solo. As mentioned, these days it 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.
Both articles are available online for your reading pleasure. You can access them via the links below:
  • Neil Peart on Drum Solos - Part One - Rhythm Magazine, March 2014
  • Neil Peart on Drum Solos - Part Two - Rhythm Magazine, April 2014
  • Thanks to Heiko Klages for providing the scans of the April article.

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Part One of "Le Studio: Temple of Sound" Documentary Now Online

    Part One of
    Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains in the town of Morin Heights, Quebec lies Le Studio; a recording studio built in 1974 by André Perry and Yaël Brandeis. For Rush fans, it has become a mecca of sorts given its rich history. Rush called the studio home for the recording of eight of their albums, including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. Other international artists including Nazareth, The Police, Sting, Cat Stevens, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, Keith Richards, April Wine, Kim Mitchell and Bryan Adams have also recorded albums there.

    However despite all of its rich history, the recording studio closed its doors in the mid-2000's and has since been virtually abandoned, left to decay in the harsh Canadian elements.

    A group of Rush fans were granted access to the studio back in 2011 where they photographed and filmed the building in its then current state. Through some extensive research on the history of Le Studio, the first part in an on-going documentary titled Temple of Sound is now available online.

    It not only covers Rush's extensive involvement with the studio, but also provides a fantastic, in-depth history of Le Studio and the bands who have recorded there. Part One of the documentary is now available online and can be viewed via the embedded player below.

    You can also view the documentary directly at YouTube via this LINK.

    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for sharing the news.

    Rush Featured in First U.S. Issue of Red Hot Rock Magazine - Talk of 2015 Tour Continues

    Time Traveling with Alex Lifeson
    Two interviews with Alex Lifeson, one from March of this year and another from 2009, are included in the first U.S. issue of the Swedish music magazine Red Hot Rock.

    In the interview, which is titled Time Traveling with Alex Lifeson and can be read HERE, Alex once again touches upon the possibility of a 2015 tour, similar to the comments he made last month in a Rolling Stone interview.

    From the Red Hot Rock article:
    "Yeah. You know, you're right. We're on holiday and we sort of decided when the tour ended that we weren't really gonna think about what we were going to do for at least a year. We really needed to take a break. We were working pretty steadily for a lot of years, but particularly the last four or five years. And we really needed an opportunity to clear our heads and catch our breaths. We haven't discussed it 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. Ha ha."
    To read both interviews, which are accompanied by two dozen color photos of the band, click HERE.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Win A Day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

    Win A Day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
    Imagine spending a day with two members of Rush, talking music, sampling wine, sharing a meal. What would seem like a dream to most fans can now be a reality. As part of the John Varvatos 11th Annual Stuart House Benefit, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have "donated" themselves to the cause.

    From the auction listing:
    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!
    Valued at $3,500, bidding for this once-in-a-lifetime event has already surpassed the $20,000 mark.

    Bidding ends on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at exactly 3:32:00 PM EDT. For more information and to enter into the bidding war, please click HERE.

    Thanks to reader Terry Emerson for the news.

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Rush Big Winners of the 2014 Music Express Awards

    Rush Big Winners of the 2014 Music Express Awards
    Last week, the results of the 2014 Music Express Awards, where Music Express readers vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry, were revealed. Rush were nominated in three categories: Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance.

    According to the Music Express website, Rush won all three categories:
    More than 10,000 Music Express readers have cast their on-line ballot for the Long & McQuade 2014 Music Express Awards with Rush and The Headstones leading the way with three awards each.

    Rush, who claimed three ME awards in 2013, repeated again this year, winning Top Group, Top Live Performance (Arena) and Top Compilation Release for their Clockwork Angels-Live Rock record.
    In related Music Express news, Rush will be featured in a new book titled Music Express: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of Canada's Music Magazine. From the Amazon listing:
    "The story of Music Express is told through the unique perspective of Keith Sharp, the magazine's founder and editor. During its seventeen-year existence, Music Express rose from a small, Calgary-based regional magazine to an international publication. The interviews, anecdotes, and stories cover the golden era of Canadian music, with the rise to global status of such icons as Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Rush, Celine Dion, and Triumph. Their stories, as well as many more, are captured together with an array of classic rock photography that provides a unique time capsule."
    The book is scheduled for release on May 3rd and can be pre-ordered HERE.

    Thanks to reader RushFanForever for the news.

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