Rush News

New Yorker Satire References Rush

Here's a bit of satire just in from The New Yorker on the "newer, sexier constitutions":
Canada has ratified the first update to its Charter of Freedoms and Rights since its adoption in 1982. Based on the song “Limelight” by its most famous native sons, the prog-rock band Rush, it protects Canadians’ pursuit of “the universal dream”—provided that, as the song says, citizens “put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme.” Ratification was briefly in jeopardy due to a heated debate in Ottawa’s House of Commons over whether singer Geddy Lee in fact sings “theme” or “spleen,” but Prime Minister Stephen Harper saved the day; he cast the deciding vote after checking the correct lyrics on the Internet. Afterward Harper told a relatively (for Canada at least) anxious nation, “that’s why you get an iPhone.” - New Yorker.com, February 29, 2012

"Working Man" heard in "Goon"

Rush's "Working Man" is heard in the new movie Goon starring Seann William Scott which was just released in Canada this past Friday, February 24th.  The film will have a limited run in the US starting March 30th; for more details visit imdb.com. - Thanks to Paul Dryer for the headsup!

"2112" Featured on BBC 2's "Sound of the 70s"

2112 was the featured album on BBC Radio 2’s "Sound of the 70s Show" with Johnnie Walker today, February 26th.  This is a national radio station and the program was broadcast during prime-time. Check out the BBC iplayer in the next few days to hear it online.  While not a particularly informative show from a Rush point of view, simply being played on the UKs most popular radio station is a pretty big deal! - Thanks to David Cooke for the headsup!

Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette On Remastering Rush for iTunes

Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette, who recently remastered Rush's Mercury catalogue for the Sectors boxed sets, spoke to Arstechnica.com about the creation of compressed versions of each song specifically for the iTunes Store.
"VanDette explained how mastering varies depending on the age of the original recordings as well as the final output format. Many master recordings for Rush albums are from vinyl's heyday, he said. 'Back then we would try and hide as much top end as possible, knowing that the end users' styli would be crap.  Most listeners today swear they love the bottom end on vinyl, but I remember in the heyday of vinyl, it was all about top end.  If we could only have a clear top end without all those pops and clicks' we thought,' he said, noting the tendency of low-end record players to introduce unwanted noise. 'Back then, bottom was the enemy. It made the grooves [in the vinyl] too wide, and forced us to turn down the overall level of the disc.'"

"The constraints of vinyl aren't a concern when mastering for a CD, so it's possible to boost overall levels as well as low frequencies without ruining the rest of the mix. 'While remastering the classic Rush albums, I added as much LF as I could, always aware not to cloud the classic 'ping' on Neil's snare, muddle Geddy's voice, or bury Alex's guitar,' he said.  'These are some finely balanced mixes, even 35 years later,' VanDette said. 'I wanted to make sure the listener still heard the classic album come through, without it being too loud, boomy, or modern sounding.  Mastering for iTunes was a different challenge.  You can't get around it-when you throw away 80 percent of the data, the sound changes. It was my quest to make the AAC files sound as close to the CD as possible; I did not want them to be any more loud, hyped, or boomy sounding than the CD.'"

"Because iTunes tracks are typically played back on decidedly average earbuds or computer speakers, there is a tendency for some producers to boost bass frequencies to make up for the tinny sound. However, VanDette said, doing so is not really the answer. For one thing, there's no guarantee that playback will always happen on sub-par equipment...Creating iTunes-specific masters for Rush's albums required a more nuanced approach than just boosting the bass. 'The delicate mix balances of a Rush album dictated that I could only 'nudge' the bottom, not really boost it.  For iTunes mastering I focused on making up for the losses created by the iTunes AAC algorithm. Generally, I heard changes in level, bottom, top, punch, and imaging.'  But not every album, or even every song, could be treated the same way. 'On a live album I found the center image was lower, making Geddy's vocal too low in the mix,' VanDette said. 'It was rare to be able to use one static setting for an entire album.'"
 For the full article visit arstechnica.com. - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Rush Beyond The Lighted Stage Coming to Israel

The Israel premiere of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will take place on Sunday at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque at 10 p.m. The debut will be followed by midnight screenings on March 2, 9, 23 and 30.
"...it’s only fitting that it’s a fan of the Canadian progressive rock heroes who’s bringing the film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage to Israel.  'I first started listening to Rush when I was in Israel on a Youth Aliya program in 1981,' says New York native Alex Gutman, who immigrated to Tel Aviv in 2009...Ever since he arrived in Israel, where he works as a 'technology evangelist' by day, Gutman has been in touch with promoters and with Rush’s management about bringing the band here to perform.  But when he heard about the film, he decided to begin with a more modest venture and get the buzz going about the band."
For more info visit jpost.com.

"Changing Hemispheres" Transcript Online

Last November 22nd, a new documentary was released from the UK titled "Changing Hemispheres" which you can order here.  The package includes four all region DVDs, a 116 page book with "masterful and comprehensive text packed with great photographs of the band" as well as "audio interviews with the band members compared and contrasted with the views of a leading team of music journalists, insiders and musicologists."

John with Cygnux-X1.net was taken the time to transcribe the 166 page book for your reading pleasure, which you can read here. - Thanks John for the headsup!

Clockwork Angels Update - PROG confirms May release

The new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog has hit the newsstands, and includes a brief interview with Geddy Lee.  The article confirms that Clockwork Angels will be released in May, and Geddy talks about excitement over the band's switch to the Roadrunner label, after having a poor experience with Atlantic.
"There was something about the people at Roadrunner, they were so into rock, into what we're all about as opposed to some of the Atlantic guys...we were very unhappy with the way we were treated at Atlantic UK, I don't think they really got us, so it was good to go somewhere that did."
Geddy also discusses his eagerness for the next tour:
"The last tour was so great...I can't wait to experience that again.  People seem ta little less afraid to show that they're Rush fans.  I think we all enjoyed it, I don't think I've ever seen Neil enjoy a tour so much."
- Thanks Tony for the headsup!

Geddy Lee on the Moog Taurus Pedals

Moog.com has posted a three part video interview on their site where Geddy Lee discusses the Moog Taurus Pedals.
"Moog visited Geddy Lee in his Toronto studio to get his take on the Taurus pedals, old and new. This is the first of a 3-part series relaying touching stories and musical innovations from the start of Rush's reigning fame to now. In this installment, Geddy talks about his first introduction to the Taurus sound and what he would like to see next from Moog...Minitaur." - Moog.com, January 5th, 2012 Thanks to Jim Pomeranz for the headsup!
The small device near Geddy is the new Taurus Minitaur, which Moog announced at NAMM 2012.

4front's "Malice In Wonderland" Now Available

Joe Bergamini, senior drum editor with Hudson Music and co-producer of Neil Peart's Taking Center Stage DVD, who appeared with him in it as interviewer, is also a talented drummer for the instrumental progressive rock band 4front.  Both Bergamini and 4front's guitarist/keyboardist Zak Rizvi were with the popular New York based rush tribute band "Power Windows" for 11 years.
Their new album, "Malice in Wonderland", is now available; checkout a preview track "Big Scary Monster" now.  The album includes the song "Many Places in a Rush", a tribute to Rush, and features album art designed by Rush's long time art designer Hugh Syme.
"4Front is an instrumental progressive rock band that combines the classic sound of prog with many other stylistic elements to create cinematic soundscapes that will capture your imagination. Combining top-notch playing, intricate arrangements, odd time signatures, and symphonic themes, 4Front prides themselves on being accessible to the regular rock listener via a strong focus on songwriting, not just technical playing. Fans of Rush, Dream Theater, Kansas, Symphony X, The Dixie Dregs, and Genesis will feel like they have known this band forever. But 4Front’s pallette of influences is much deeper, ranging from Billy Joel and Joe Jackson to film composers like John Williams and Randy Newman."  For more info visit www.joebergamini.com/ or www.facebook.com/4frontband.

Members From Opeth, Mastodon, Staind And Machine Head Talk About Their First Rush Memories

"There's a lot of love for Rush. When the Canadian prog-rock trio signed to Roadrunner Records in 2011, it seems that the band had found their spiritual home, with many Roadrunner artists declaring a lifelong love for Lifeson, Lee and Peart.  Check out the clip to see interviews with members of Staind, Opeth, Machine Head and Mastodon in which they talk about what made them Rush fans and much more." - MusicRadar.com, Febraury 8, 2012 (Thanks to Frank Ray for the headsup!)

Geddy Lee Featured in the March issue of Decanter Magazine

The March issue of the UK's Decanter magazine includes a short interview with Geddy Lee in the "My Passion For Wine" column. Geddy talks about how he first became a collector and what his current preferences are.  Below is a brief excerpt; thanks to Douglas Wilson for the headsup!
"I was introduced to fine wine while touring in the late 1970s. Alex Lifeson (Rush's lead guitarist) had a big interest in wine so promoters would sometimes give us wine as gifts...Alex and I always reward ourselves after a show with a good bottle of wine. It's a kind of hobby of mine to find a good bottle in whatever city we're touring in and surprise Alex with that."

Rush "Sectors" - Replacement Disks Now Available

UPDATE: Rush.com has announced that the replacement disks for the Sectors boxed sets are now available:
"Replacement 'Fly By Night' CDs and 'A Farewell To Kings' DVDs are now available.
For US & Canadian fans, please contact Universal customer services team on:
e-mail: FishersCustSvc@umusic.com
Phone: 1-800-288-5942

For fans in the UK & Ireland please contact:
UK e-mail: mk.customerservices@umusic.com
UK Phone: +44 (0) 845 250 0965

For fans in Germany please contact:
Germany e-mail: rush@universal-music.de

For fans in any other country please contact your original Sector store where you made the purchase for assistance in getting your replacement discs.  Universal will ensure corrected discs get to the Sector-buying fans worldwide as soon as they possibly can." - Rush.com, February 7, 2012
The band confirmed the problem back in December, shortly after the sets first went on sale:
"We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for ‘A Farewell To Kings’ inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience – Geddy, Alex & Neil" - December 2, 2011
  • SECTOR 1: Rush, Fly By Night, Fly By Night (5.1 DVD), Caress of Steel, 2112, All The World's A Stage - buy now
  • SECTOR 2: A Farewell To Kings, A Farewell To Kings (5.1 DVD), Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left - buy now
  • SECTOR 3: Signals, Signals (5.1 DVD), Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, A Show Of Hands - buy now
In a new interview with Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette, Andy discusses the new remasters completed for the new Sectors boxed sets.  Andy tells how through Richard Chycki he first was brought in to master Snakes & Arrows Live in 2007, and has also mastered all other Rush releases since that time.  He briefly discusses the state of the original master tapes, the previous Rush remasters, and issues that were discovered in the remastering process. Click here for more. - themasterdiskrecord.com, November 28, 2011
  • Rush.com has added two interviews featuring Mercury-era interviews with Geddy, Alex & Neil, compiled from the archives of InTheStudio.net in celebration of the Sectors Box set release.
  • Multiple wallpaper images from the boxed set booklets have been added to the Desktop Wallpaper page. - Thanks to John @ Cygnus-X1.net for the raw images!
  •  Universal Music has confirmed all 15 albums were remastered in 96/24 then downconverted for CD in 44.1/16; only the DVD has the full 96/24 lossless audio.  However, all 15 albums are going to be available as full 96/24 downloads at HDTracks.com for about $18 each.
  •  Click here for the preview trailer.
"Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) celebrates the legacy of Canadian rock trio Rush with the release of three separate six-disc box sets which together spans their entire historic Mercury Records recording career. Each "Sector" contains five of their 15 Mercury albums in chronological order, all transferred to high resolution 96kHz/24-bit audio and digitally remastered for optimal quality. In addition, each volume includes an exclusive booklet packed with unpublished photos, original album lyrics and credits, and features one album from each set specially remixed on DVD in high resolution 96kHz/24-bit, 5.1 surround sound and stereo, compatible with both DVD-Audio players and DVD-Video players. Each album is packaged in a replica vinyl mini-jacket of the original album release with all three box sets forming a Rush CD road case." - Sectors Press Release

"Based on the strong feedback from the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Universal Records had asked me to remix Fly By Night, A Farewell To Kings and Signals in surround to be included in their ‘Sector’ series of box set releases currently underway. Like Moving Pictures, all the multitrack masters I worked with were transferred from the original analog tapes at 96 kHz/24 bit resolution and this quality was maintained right down to the finished master. Listeners are in for a revelation of new detail for these releases." - Richard Chycki, richardchycki.com, October 15, 2011

Rush Featured On "Metal Evolution"

UPDATE: Click here to view the full episode of the Progressive Metal episode of "Metal Evolution" which heavily features Rush!

"Progressive metal" is featured on the final episode of Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's Metal Evolution which premiered in the US on February 4th on VH1 Classic.  The episode aired the previous Friday, January 20th, MuchMoreMusic in Canada.    Sam Dunn had already stated that Rush will be heavily featured, and in fact all three members of Rush as well as early producer Terry Brown are interviewed.  Other progressive metal bands interviewed include Dream Theater, Queensryche, Yes and King Crimson to name a few.  Click here for more information. - Thanks to Mike Salvini for the headsup!

2.1.12 National Rush Day Wrap Up and American Idol Tryout

Today was Rush Day, February 1st, 2012 (2.1.12), a once in a lifetime occurrence as it will not happen again for another 100 years.  It was a popular day around the net, including various news stories from multiple sources, and culminated in the 2112 listening party hosed by RushCon and Rush Radio at tinychat.com/rushcon.

2.1.12 was also the day of the first known performance of a Rush song on American Idol.  Coincidence?  The song was of course "Tom Sawyer", sung by David Weed of Mountain Home, Idaho.  Unfortunately, David did not make it through to Hollywood, but it was satisfying to hear Randy Jackson say that the singer doesn't sound like Geddy, because Geddy "sounds really good".

Here's a collection of the features that appeared online today:

Rush Tragedy - Andrew MacNaughtan Dead of Heart Attack at 47

We are saddened to pass along the tragic news that Rush's long time friend and photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan, passed away of an apparent heart attack yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 47.  He will be missed! 
"We're deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. – Geddy, Alex & Neil" - Rush.com, January 26, 2012
Here is a portion of tonight's story from the Toronto Star:
"Toronto photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, longtime documenter of Rush’s exploits and the man behind dozens of iconic portraits of Canadian celebrities, passed away suddenly in Los Angeles on Wednesday.  MacNaughtan, in his mid-40s, reportedly suffered a heart attack while in California shooting his old friends, Rush....MacNaughtan’s sharply designed photographs, familiar to most Canadians from magazines and album covers even if they never knew his name, constitute a veritable Who’s Who of CanCon star power. He shot everyone from Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and the Tragically Hip to Peter Mansbridge, Margaret Atwood and the Trailer Park Boys during his career. A three-time Juno winner for album design, he also directed the occasional music video for such artists as Great Big Sea and Michael BublĂ©. (He won a fourth Juno for Music DVD of the Year for Rush in Rio.)   MacNaughtan’s most recent work was nevertheless something of a departure. He published a collection of photographs taken during his travels in Kenya and Tanzania [in November 2010] entitled Grace: Africa in Photographs. Proceeds from the book went to Art Gives Hope, a charity MacNaughtan founded in 2006." - Toronto Star, January 26, 2012
Andrew MacNaughtan started his career from the most auspicious of beginnings.  A huge Rush fan, he knocked on Geddy Lee's front door at the age of 17 and asked for a autograph!  Andrew also started his own Rush fan club, and through Howard Ungerleider he submitted to the band live photos he had taken.  The band loved them and they appeared in the Grace Under Pressure tour book.  That led to a full time gig shooting the Power Windows tour, and it wasn't long before he was shooting album covers for other artists.  His first studio photos of Rush appeared in the Presto album jacket; he is responsible for suggesting to Geddy that he wear his glasses for the photo shoot.  Andrew discussed how he got involved with the band in an interview with The Spirit of Rush fanzine in 1991 which you can read here.  More recently, to promote Rush In Rio Andrew was interviewed in 2003 by Brad Parmerter for FYE.com, which you can read here.

Neil Peart has written a memorial for Andrew MacNaughtan at NeilPeart.net.  Neil starts at the beginning of their relationship, remember how Andrew's live photos of Rush had caught his eye ("they were more vivid, somehow—highlighting both the drama of the rock stage and the personalities of the players"), through the years when Andrew was with the band as both personal tour assistant and photographer ("As for Andrew’s own nicknames, Alex, Geddy, and I...finally settled on 'Zulu.' Perhaps because he was the 'anti-Zulu.'...another of Andrew’s self-confessed qualities was his extreme 'whiteness.' I used to joke that making dinner for him was always easy: meat, potatoes, and over-cooked vegetables"), through the later years including introducing Neil to his wife Carrie. 

 Related News

Rolling Stone Readers' Poll: Geddy Lee #10 Most Unique Voice

RollingStone.com has just posted the results of their latest Readers' Poll: "Which Singer Has The Most Unique Voice?"  Coming in at #10 is Geddy Lee:
"Stephen Malkmus said it best: "What about the voice of Geddy Lee? How did it get so high? I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?" I'll answer the last question first: Yes, Geddy speaks with an ordinary voice. In fact, his speaking voice is, if anything, a little on the deep side. You'd never know from talking to him that he's capable of hitting such amazing high notes. Lee's unconventional voice sometimes makes it tougher for Rush to appeal to a first-time listener, but it's hard to imagine the group with any other singer at the helm." - RollingStone.com, January 25, 2012

Sabian's Players' Choice Cymbals Announced

UPDATE: Today Sabian announced the winners of the Sabian Players' Choice Cymbals.  Sabian's Artist Relations man Bob Rupp showed MusicRadar.com the four cymbals that were chosen as the new Players' Choice models by an elite panel of judges: Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl and Terry Bozzio.  Click here to view

The cymbals were chosen by viewers online through CymbalVote.com: "Sabian is introducing four new cymbals at next year's NAMM show - and they want you to choose which metals they unveil.  From 17 October you can head over to www.CymbalVOTE.com and take your pick from the 12 new cymbal models Sabian has created as part of the Players' Choice scheme. At the site you'll be able to see Sabian artists such as Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, Dave Elitch and Stefanie Eulinberg playing the cymbals.  One cymbal will be eliminated each week until only four remain and these four will be unveiled at NAMM.  For more information, please visit www.CymbalVOTE.com." - Musicradar.com, thanks to RushIsABand for the headsup!

Gregorian Cover of "Bravado"

Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. Their latest album Masters Of Chant Chapter VIII, released last September 30th, includes a cover of Rush's "Bravado".  The album is available here, and you can listen here. - Thanks to Joe Pesch for the headsup!

Rush on "Archer", again

Back in April of last year, Rush was referenced on FX's "Archer", when Dr. Krieger's van was painted with an "Exit Stage Left" mural

Last night, during the season three premiere, "The Man From Jupiter", Dr. Krieger has a new van sporting a mural featuring a recreation of the Hemispheres cover, with the words "Krieger Vanispheres" as the headline.  Click here for a recap of the episode which should be online in a few days. - Thanks to Paul Jacobi for the headsup, and Ed at RushIsABand for the screencapture!

"A Brief History Of Time, Part 8"

John Patuto at Cygnus-X1.Net has updated his collection, Rush: A Brief History of Time, an on-going collection of articles and advertisements about Rush that spans every decade from the 70's onward. In Part VIII, John has added 46 new articles; one from the 70's, thirty-one from the 80's, three from the 90's, two from the 2000's and seven from the current '10 decade. The majority of the articles focus around the release of Moving Pictures and Rush's tour in support of their best selling album. - Thanks John for the headsup!