Friday, April 23, 2010

Can't See Rush Live This Tour? There Are Some Other Viewing Options!

I have been waiting for the official trailer to hit before posting anything about this but the guys who did the excellent Iron Maiden Flight 666 documentary have made one about Rush. Called "Beyond the Lighted Stage," it's the first official film about the band and it looks like it going to be kick ass. Oh, and those of you with VH1 and VH1 Classic can see it starting June 26th, just a few days before the start of Rush's Time Machine Tour. Below is the official trailer.

ALSO, according to the sleuths at, the also excellent Classic Albums series put out by Eagle Rock Entertainment is about to produce two 'making of's on Rush - for 2112 and Moving Pictures, both due this September. Sweet! Rush fans, have a great weekend. Lots to look forward to this year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rush To Play 2 New Songs Plus One Really Killer Old One On Tour (Oh, and Moving Pictures)

Two very cool interviews, as noted on today. One is of Geddy Lee, speaking to Rolling Stone about the upcoming tour and playing Moving Pictures all the way through. Some nuggets from the interview:

Why tour in the middle of recording an album?

Everybody was kind of itching to get on the road and try and get in "peak playing form" before we recorded the bulk of the record, just to see what that effect is. In a way, we have this tendency to take a long period of time off, and then we kind of get our chops together and then go record. We thought it's kind of ass-backwards really, because when you finish a long tour, you're in such amazing playing shape that really, that's the time you should go in and start laying down tracks. But of course, you're exhausted by then, so we're trying to figure out if there's another way of attacking it.

Do you think playing Moving Pictures in its entirety may influence the new material?

It's hard to say, I think it's going to be an interesting challenge to play some of those songs, especially "The Camera Eye," a song we haven't played in years and years. Obviously, we'll probably do a slightly newer take on it. You never know what effect bringing older songs back has on you. There are times in the past that we thought, "There is no way we can make this song work," and then you get into rehearsal, you start playing it, and you're really pleasantly surprised how much you're enjoying it. And sometimes it takes on a whole new life.I think we've stopped being kind of cynical about our past in a way, and sometimes having a second look at an older song gives it a whole new story.

What about recording the song “Tom Sawyer”?

“Tom Sawyer” was in many ways the most difficult song to record on that record. I remember even though the writing of the song came together pretty quickly, putting it down on tape was a little difficult. We were trying different sounds, and going with a whole different approach to lyrics — the kind of spoken word thing, getting the right sound for Alex's guitar, and so on. It was kind of a dark horse. And then in the mixing, it all came together. When we finished it, we were so pleased with what happened, because we kind of had the least expectations of it, because of the difficulty we had.I think a lot of musicians probably go through a similar thing, where they have this one song that they beat themselves up over, and then the next thing you know, it's their biggest song.

The other interview is Alex Lifeson talking to Time Out New York, where he reveals that Jacob's Ladder will also be played on this tour:

You’re about to go on the road playing the entirety of 1981’s Moving Pictures, including the 11-minute-long “The Camera Eye.” How do you keep it fresh?

“Tom Sawyer” could have been written eight months ago, with the kind of response it still gets. We’re bringing a bunch of other old stuff back, “Jacob’s Ladder,” too. We’re rearranging it slightly, as with “The Camera Eye,” changing a couple of things, having another crack at it. It’s going to be a lot of fun for us.

Holy shit, I never thought I would ever see this. Rush in 2010 playing Moving Pictures all the way through, Jacob's flipping Ladder, and new unreleased material. I am so stoked to have tickets for this show!

Both interviews are great, by the way. If you are a fan, read them both all the way through.

Lucy In The Ground With Daisies - Buried Lennon LSD Stash Uncovered

I thought I had heard all of the Beatles' rumors and there was no more trivia to be discovered about the band who put out 12 studio albums, 13 EPs, 22 singles, four films and one really bad made for TV movie in just 8 years.

But I had never heard about John Lennon's secret LSD stash that according to rumor, he buried in his back yard in 1967, to completely forget about it. Classic Lennon.

But according to this Yahoo! Music story, this rumor may be true and workers may have the evidence to prove it. Here are the deets:

The rock legend is said to have dug a hole for a vast quantity of LSD at Kenwood, in Weybridge, Surrey only to then forget where he'd put them, leaving the illegal bounty hidden underground forever.

It has now emerged that a group of builders working at the estate, where Lennon lived between 1964 and 1968, have made an amazing and potentially decisive discovery while digging up the lawn. They are reported to have found a leather holdall containing several large, broken glass bottles, plus one that has not smashed.

An unofficial Lennon blogger has reportedly spoken to the foreman from the construction company and obtained photos of their findings, which you can see here. "The bottle that has been discovered intact is the only remaining one, and luckily I will look after that one safely now given the provenance... a leather bag with two clasp handles seems to have been what these items were buried in. The bag has almost completely rotted away," explained the builder.

So, can we expect that one vial to be auctioned off to someone who wants to take a trip down memory lane? If so, it probably would not work. According to Ask Erowid, "the primary catalysts for the decomposition of LSD are heat, light, oxygen, and moisture. LSD's shelf life can be significantly extended if exposure to these are minimized." I'd venture to guess that Lennon's stash has lost its potency. Still...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Soundgarden Set List from First Reunion Gig

Soundgarden played their first reunion show last Friday April 16 at the Showbox in Seattle. Billed as Nudedragons – an anagram of Soundgarden – here’s the set list. Interesting they stayed away from major hits like Black Hole Sun, and got the other big hit Spoonman out of the way right off the bat!

According to, here it is:

1. Spoonman
2. Gun
3. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
4. Rusty Cage
5. Beyond The Wheel
6. Flower
7. Ugly Truth
8. Fell On Black Days
9. Hunted Down
10. Nothing To Say
11. Loud Love
12. Blow Up The Outside World
13. Pretty Noose
14. Outshined
15. Slaves And Bulldozers

1. Get On The Snake
2. Big Dumb Sex
3. Waiting For The Sun (by The Doors)

According to a report from

On Thursday afternoon, Seattle radio station 107.7 "The End" began tweeting about the possibility of a "secret" show, and news soon spread that fans on the band's e-mail list would receive information on when and where it would take place. When word got out that a band going by the name "Nudedragons" (an anagram of Soundgarden) would be playing on Friday night, fans began stalking Twitter and Ticketmaster, awaiting the moment that tickets would go on sale. According to local news reports in Seattle, the available tickets sold out in less than 15 minutes.

"That's Kim. That's Ben. That's Matt.," Cornell informed fans, pointing to his stagemates, halfway through the band's almost two-hour set, which included a run of more than an hour of nonstop rock before a short break. "And that's Chris," responded drummer Matt Cameron, bringing a cheer from the hometown crowd, who appreciated the introductions, though they were hardly needed.

"It's a rehearsal, so if we f--- something up, we're probably going to go through it again," explained Cornell, just before tearing into "Outshined," off 1991's Badmotorfinger. From the fans' perspective, however, the show appeared to be a rehearsal in name only, with the crowd holding tight to every note, drumbeat and guitar riff sent their way.

If the throwing of a guitar symbolizes all things rock and roll, then clearly bassist Ben Shepherd is ready to make a go of it. After tossing his bass in what many hard-core fans recognize as the "end" of the band back in February 1997, it probably won't go unnoticed that Shepherd did the same thing to close Friday night's show, in what could be seen as an effort to go back to the way things were — with Soundgarden as the heavy, loud powerhouse that exemplified the early-to-mid '90s.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jeff Beck Pulls A Tony Iommi

Ouch! This is why I stay away from power tools and sharp knives at all costs. Even in the skilled hands of guitarist/auto mechanic/chef Jeff Beck, they can wreak havoc.

Beck's latest album was delayed while the virtuoso healed from a rather scary event last fall.

Beck tells USA Today, "We had these massively long carrots. For some stupid reason, I started slicing them lengthwise. I got a bit lazy, and I put full force on the carrot, and it slipped over. Next thing I know, I'm on my knees, going, 'Oh, dear, that's the end of me.' Or words to that effect."

According to the USA Today story (which is an excellent lengthy profile of Beck, by the way):

The tip of Beck's left index finger — the one that flies up and down the neck of his Fender Stratocaster, bending and caressing metal strings like an artful demon — was a bloody nub, "barely hanging on." To make matters worse, he still had work to do on his first studio album in seven years, Emotion & Commotion, which is out today.

The next morning, a surgeon stitched it so expertly that Beck was out of commission for only seven weeks (he practiced chording with his three good fingers) and now sports just a hair-thin scar as he embarks on a 25-date U.S. tour beginning Friday in San Francisco.

Other reports have Beck raising the insurance on his fingers, just in case:

He therefore has now raised his insurance cover on his hands five-fold - making his 10 digits worth 7 million pounds. The news was confirmed by a source close to him, "Jeff was making a stew when he cut his finger clean off. Thankfully surgeons were able to patch it up. But now he''s taking no chances and has upped his insurance to 1million pounds per finger."

Worth it? Hell yeah! Watch this (the chick on the bass ain't bad either):

Monday, April 12, 2010

Roger Waters U.S. Wall Tour Dates Announced

According to an article on, Roger Waters has announced dates for his upcoming solo tour, which will feature the full stage production of The Wall, 30 years after the original album was released by the Floyd.

According to the article, Waters has "promised to perform an updated version of the original stage show, which included the construction of a massive white brick wall between the audience and performers during the course of the show."

Waters posted the following to his Web site:

30 Years ago when I wrote The Wall I was a frightened young man. Well not that young, I was 36 years old.

It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with it’s concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.

This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.

In some quarters, among the chattering classes, there exists a cynical view that human beings as a collective are incapable of developing more ‘humane’ ie, kinder, more generous, more cooperative, more empathetic relationships with one another.

I disagree.

In my view it is too early in our story to leap to such a conclusion, we are after all a very young species.

I believe we have at least a chance to aspire to something better than the dog eat dog ritual slaughter that is our current response to our institutionalized fear of each other.

I feel it is my responsibility as an artist to express my, albeit guarded, optimism, and encourage others to do the same. To quote the great man, ” You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

Are you shitting me? This is another must-see show, right up there with Rush doing Moving Pictures this summer. Looks like the closest they get to me is one night before the tour closes, in Tacoma - not bad of a drive. And seeing the show near the end of its run should mean the kinks would be worked out of the massive scale and set-up involved. Wow.

Tickets go on sale May 10. Waters' site has more info and is redesigned to support the tour.

The Wall tour dates are below. Regarding pre-sales, like with the Led Zeppelin reunion a couple of years ago, you have to sign up for a lottery drawing to have the chance to purchase a pair of tickets. More info on that is here.

» 9/15 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
» 9/20 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
» 9/21 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
» 9/26 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Consol Energy Center
» 9/28 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
» 9/30 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
» 10/5 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
» 10/8 - Buffalo, NY @ HSBC Arena
» 10/10 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
» 10/12 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
» 10/15 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
» 10/17 - Ottawa, ON @ ScotiaBank Place
» 10/19 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
» 10/22 - Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
» 10/24 - Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
» 10/26 - Omaha, NE @ Qwest Center
» 10/27 - St Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
» 10/29 - St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
» 10/30 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
» 11/3 - New York, NY @ Izod Center
» 11/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
» 11/9 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
» 11/13 - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center
» 11/16 - Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum
» 11/18 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
» 11/20 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
» 11/21 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
» 11/23 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
» 11/26 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
» 11/27 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
» 11/29 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
» 12/6 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
» 12/10 - Vancouver, BC @ General Motors Place
» 12/11 - Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
» 12/13 - Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rush Presale - You're Out Of Luck Unless You Are Rich or a CITI Cardholder

This is massively annoying -- usually I am able to get pre-sale concert tickets before they go on sale to the general public because I subscribe to emails from a band, a venue, or both. In the case of Iron Maiden, I had to pay a $10 fee to join the Maiden fan club, which gave me early access to (great) seats. I happily paid that $10 for this access.

But for the Rush presales on this 2010 tour, you have to have a CITI credit card. CITI card holders can use the first six digits of their credit card account as the password for the presale, and at this time, that's your only option folks. There is no other way to get early tickets unless you are buying the very expensive Rush VIP package.

This blows shit, and luckily a family member has a CITI card so I am all set when my presale goes live this Tuesday. But this is not cool and it rewards CITI customers, not Rush fans. I would think the guys in Rush would not be into this if they knew, but as Gene Simmons says, this is the music BUSINESS and if CITI is paying some bills for Rush on the tour, then I guess that's the deal.

Stinks for the fans, though. Thoughts?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Rush Tour Announced -- Band to Play Whole Moving Pictures Album Live

Now this is what I'm talking about! Rush this morning announced a 2010 tour where the band will play the album Moving Pictures in its entirety, as well as some new material from its forthcoming 20th studio album.

This is a do not miss tour! While the band has done almost all of Moving Pictures at one point or another, there is one song they have skipped over and over -- The Camera Eye. Now we'll get that as well. They come to the Northwest on August 7, at the White River Amphitheater. I have a commitment that day but guess what? It's getting cancelled. No way in Hell am I going to miss this.

Here is a portion of the press release from the band's Web site:

Announced today, The Time Machine Tour is an evening with Rush, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future – and for the first time ever – feature the Moving Pictures album live in its entirety.

The band is currently working on their 20th studio album with producer Nick Raskulinecz (co-producer from 2007's Snakes & Arrows) and in addition to their classics plan to showcase a few new tunes live this summer.

"We were off for a year and a half, and now it's just pouring. Everything is totally crazy and there's not a minute left in the day. We've got these half-dozen songs, and we'll probably go in the studio and work on a couple of them and see how it goes, perhaps release something – and I say perhaps – and then we plan on being on the road," says guitarist, Alex Lifeson.

This summer's Live Nation promoted tour will visit approximately 40 cities throughout North America beginning June 29th in Albuquerque, NM and finishing October 2nd in West Palm Beach, FL with stops along the way in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Holmdel, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, and more (complete tour itinerary follows).

Rush has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and garnered untold legions of devoted and admiring fans. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place RUSH third after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.

Released in 1981, Moving Pictures was their most successful album, certified 4x Platinum and features some of Rush's most well known songs and perennial radio favorites Tom Sawyer, Limelight and the Grammy-nominated instrumental YYZ.
"Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage" a documentary created by filmmakers Scot McFadyen & Sam Dunn (whose filmography also includes: "Iron Maiden; Flight 666," "Metal, A Headbangers Journey" and "Global Metal") will premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival on April 24th followed by the Canadian premiere at Toronto's Hot Docs festival on April 29th. The band was also recently showcased in the comedy "I Love You Man" where they play themselves in a concert scene featuring actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segal as uber-fans, a performance which has exposed the band to a whole new generation.

Tickets for Rush Time Machine Tour will go on sale beginning April 16th in San Francisco, Uncasville, Saratoga Springs, Denver, Chicago, Wantagh, Seattle and Holmdel at Tickets for performances in Milwaukee, Sarnia and Syracuse go on sale April 17th, check local listings for ticket information.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Iommi and Gillan - Born Again?

One of my secret favorite albums is Black Sabbath Born Again, a very weird version of Sabbath with Deep Purple's Ian Gillan singing. All parties involved admit is was an odd match that didn't quite work out.

However, bootlegs from that tour show that Gillan's piercing shriek worked pretty well for stuff like Iron Man and Heaven and Hell. It's worth listening to -- once.

The album is pretty good too and I'd say it would be fairly classic if it didn't SOUND so shitty. Not sure who produced it by suffice it to say they were going deaf. The guitars and drums are tinny and processed. There are good songs on it, though - the title track, Zero The Hero, Trashed and Keep it Warm are pretty good.

Anyway, I was shocked to see that Gillan and Iommi may work together again soon. According to the Eddie Trunk Web site, Iommi said:

"Ian was at [my place] a few weeks back, and we put a couple of tracks down, just to try and raise some money for Armenia. We raised some money 20 years ago and we wanted to do it again, to be able to buy stuff.

We went over a few months ago because they gave us an Order Of Honor from the president and so Ian and I went over and Pat Cash came. They showed us what the money had bought. They showed us this old music school; it was freezing and the kids had no instruments so we bought them some new instruments — drums and guitars — and we want to build a new school for the kids.

We're going to do a few songs and, hopefully, we can raise the money to afford to buy them a new school. The plans are quite open at the moment.

We've talked about doing a couple of shows out there, but it's about working round what we are both doing — because we [Heaven & Hell] hope touring will start again soon."

Call me interested! In the meantime, feast your eyes and ears on this:

Friday, April 02, 2010

Original KISS Members To Regroup for Reality Show?

This goes into the "snowball's chance in Hell" category but there are some interesting rumors flying around that have the four original members of KISS regrouping for -- get this -- a reality show.

The main rumor is that the band will be looking for people to officially replace them on the road, or more likely for a Vegas-style KISS show.

KissMaskWebzine ran something that basically said:

After months of speculation over the CBS website posting a "RockStar" show featuring Kiss in it's fall lineup and then abruptly taking it down...Now comes word of an A&E reality series all four original members of Kiss.

Ace Frehley had let the cat out of the bag when he was interviewed on Eddie Trunk's radio show last week stating that Gene had contacted him 3-4 months ago about rejoining the band for a reality show.

Think of the sniping that would go on on THAT show? Think the Tom Snyder show times 100. Personally, I don't see Paul Stanley wanting to have anything to do with this anyway. For those who didn't get the Tom Snyder reference, behold:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fools and Dio Cancer Update

First up, the funny stuff. I totally duped my 10 year old by telling him I won a "bring the band to your neighborhood" contest and that KISS would be playing in our back yard for his birthday. Yes he bought it, yes he is gullible and yes I feel kinda bad. But he laughed when I busted out the April Fools on him. Ha ha.

In other news, it looks like Ronnie James Dio is beating his stomach cancer with regular chemo treatments. I stumbled on this report from a Texas station. Watch it a couple of times. They pull the sound down on a very humble Dio a couple of times when I am almost certain he's about to swear. He looks pretty good for a regular old 67 year old with crazy hair in a hospital hooked up to chemo machines.

But seriously, this is good news. Beat that bastard cancer, Dio, and then write some Devil songs about it.