Neil Peart Claims He Is Retired From Rush

 Neil Peart of Rush, Photo credit Matt Hayward

Neil Peart of Rush, Photo credit Matt Hayward

In an interview with Drumhead Magazine Neil Peart of Rush has intimated that he is retired from music. He has released an anecdote that suggests he has accepted that he is retired.

Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as ‘My dad — He’s a retired drummer.’ True to say — funny to hear. And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game.”

 

This news comes on the heels of Geddy’s Lee’s recent admission that the touring future of Rush was in doubt since the members couldn’t agree about future bookings. Both Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson have recurring health problems (tendonitis) that have put the future of the band, and the future career of one of the most iconic drummers ever in doubt.

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VLY – I / (TIME)

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VLY is an international project brought to light by the opportunities afforded by the technology of today… a disparate and loosely connected group of musicians brought together by a series of thought processes and online links, covering the US, Britain, Italy and Sweden. The brainchild of Karl Demata (Crippled Black Pheonix), the digital airwaves brought his ideas to the ears, and subsequently voice, of Keith Gladysz and I / (TIME) (Lazers Edge) began to pull its threads together and weave the dreamcatcher of ideas that would form their debut.

With serene progressive rock as the spine, the ribs of the Frankenstein’s monster cover classic rock, lush textures, psychedelia, and singer-songwriter pop, as well as, on a track like ‘Hypnotic’, building swathes of vocal repetition to mirror the song title, while touches of Americana decorate ‘Dark Days’. The musicianship is exemplary as Italian keyswoman Elisa Montaldo steps from background adornments to the forefront and back again, with the delicate piano touches of ‘Time Remembered’ setting up the meandering ‘Silver Beeches’, or the wall of sound that accompanies the rockier and more substantial ‘Out Of The Maze’ filling and encompassing, her use of organ and synth sounds reminiscent of Richard Wright with some beautiful minor key selections and enhancements; indeed ‘Perfect Place’ is an eight minute tribute to Pink Floyd.

Playing in the same child’s playground of the heart as Tim Bowness, both lyrically and musically, VLY have found a way to marry progressive with emotive and to prove that collaboration can be successful and effective, even if carried out remotely, with individuals trusted to bring their own emotive footprint.  While there are variants of style, in the main, clean guitars shimmer, Montaldo and Mattias Olsen create soundscapes to guide and Gladysz, vocally pitching somewhere between Geddy Lee and Papa Emeritus, is the hand to hold to walk us benignly through.

While several of the songs blur into one progressive post-rock psych-flecked confluence, at its best I / (TIME) is a varied and successful experiment. To truly capture the heart, perhaps emotions need to be played with more earnestly, but Demata and Gladysz should continue their experiment, for VLY should be viewed as nothing other than a success.

 

7.5/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

Rock Icons Premiering On Vh1 Classic February 21st

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The World Premiere of Rock Icon will be airing on Vh1 Classic on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 10 pm EST/9 pm Central for the first episode featuring Geddy Lee of Rush. The show was created by Sam Dunn of Banger Films (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Iron Maiden: Flight 666). International syndication information will be announced at a later date.

The following is a list of all ten artist air dates for Season One.

Geddy Lee: Feb 21
Rob Halford: Feb 28
Ted Nugent: March 7
Ann Wilson: March 14
Dave Mustaine: March 21
Nikki Sixx: March 28
Slash: April 4
Daryl Hall: April 11
Joe Elliott: April 18
Billy Corgan: April 25

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Banger Films’ Rock Icons Launching Rock Icons via Vh1

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Metal anthropologist/film maker Sam Dunn of Banger Films will be launching his Rock Icons show on Vh1. A statement was issued on the matter:

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Greetings Bangers…
Happy New Year!
We’re kicking it off with a huge announcement about our newest television series, premiering next month on Vh1 Classic: Rock Icons.

Watch a teaser video here.

Over the past year, I’ve been travelling to meet with some of the biggest names in rock and metal music. Some of them will be very familiar to you, like the metal heroes I’ve had the privilege to interview before, people like Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Geddy Lee of Rush and Slash. I’ve also had the chance to sit down for the first time with such iconic artists as Ann Wilson of Heart and Daryl Hall. I traveled to Dave Mustaine’s winery, Nikki Sixx’s radio studio, Billy Corgan’s home and even got invited back to the Texas sanctum of Ted Nugent. It’s been a blast really getting to know each of these musicians and I can’t wait to share their stories with you.

With Rock Icons, we feel strongly that what we’ve made is a different kind of music biography show. One that’s actually about the music and what drives these artists to create the way they do. Truly, what makes them an icon.

Mark your calendars and tune in each Saturday night! (If you are outside of America, sit tight for further announcements about Rock Icons coming to your country.)

Rock Icons premieres Saturday, February 21 at 10pm EST on Vh1 Classic. And the first episode features one of our fave artists of all-time, the remarkable Geddy Lee.

Horns,
Sam Dunn

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Rush And Live Nation Announce R40 Live Tour

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Rush and Live Nation announced that the “R40 Live Tour” would commence this May in North America, and visit 34 cities starting in Tulsa, OK. Celebrating 40 years as an international touring band, Rush is planning a set list representative of their entire catalog.

Tickets for the R40 Live tour will go on sale starting January 30 in select markets at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com.

Tour Dates for “R40 Live Tour”:

May 08 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
May 10 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
May 12 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
May 14 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
May 16 – Austin, TX – 360 Ampitheater
May 18 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
May 20 – Houston, TX – The Toyota Center
May 22 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
May 24 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
May 26 – Atlanta, GA – Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre
May 28 – Greensboro, NC – The Greensboro Coliseum
May 30 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
Jun. 08 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
Jun. 10 – Buffalo, NY – First Niagara Center
Jun. 12 – Chicago, IL – United Center
Jun. 14 – Detroit, MI – Palace Of Auburn Hills
Jun. 17 – Toronto, Ontario, CAN – Air Canada Centre
Jun. 19 – Toronto, Ontario, CAN – Air Canada Centre
Jun. 21 – Montreal, Quebec, CAN – Bell Centre
Jun. 23 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
Jun. 25 – Philadelphia, PA – The Wells Fargo Center
Jun. 27 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Jun. 29 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Jul. 09 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
Jul. 11 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
Jul. 13 – Salt Lake City, UT – Maverik Center
Jul. 15 – Calgary, Alberta, CAN – Scotiabank Saddledome
Jul. 17 – Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN – Rogers Arena
Jul. 19 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
Jul. 21 – Portland, OR – Moda Center
Jul. 23 – San Jose, CA – Sap Center At San Jose
Jul. 25 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
Jul. 27 – Phoenix, AZ – Us Airways Center
Jul. 30 – Irvine Meadows, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Aug. 01 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum

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Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend

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Those who feel that the grand, experimental The Great Cessation was bloated and overlong, or that the fantastic follow-up Atma was a little too commercial, have not truly embraced the second coming of Eugene, Oregon low-end trio Yob. They are, of course, still revered by large swathes of that fraternity and, as a result, this first album in three years seems like it’s been a long time coming.

Atma was all muscle and power; like Leviathan-era Mastodon on zopiclone, with Mike Scheidt‘s remarkable vocals at times a falsetto evoking an angry Geddy Lee, at others Brett Hinds incarnate. Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot) begins by showing a return to the inventive aspects of …Cessation as opener ‘In Our Blood’ sets out with a gently repetitive chord, the mellifluous tones soon riding a colossal riff moving with the speed of a tortoise, augmented by harsh vocals. A brief lull broken by an explosion of noise returns to the crawling weight, from which the track builds to a crescendo aided by an undercurrent of lead running a length of steel through it.

The brutality continues with the ensuing ‘Nothing to Win’, a faster, rolling rhythm with cavernous, semi-tribal drums down in the mix, the power of the shimmering riff almost sickening. Scheidt’s vocal is phenomenal, veering from the roar of a deranged gorilla to screamed choruses, via passages of spat malevolence; while Travis Foster keeps up a sensational pace through the first seven minutes before dictating an eerie, somewhat aboriginal comedown in a remarkable show of drumming.

‘Unmask the Spectre’, with its whispered vocal and subtle guitar initially offers stark contrast before the unstoppable creeping juggernaut crashes in once more, Scheidt’s evil roar reminiscent of Bastard of the SkiesMatt Richardson. The tide is stemmed occasionally by those softer interludes, the voice hushed but frantically straining to be let loose, before returning to that slow, deliberate pounding. A throaty blues lead is employed here giving a mournful edge around the halfway point and breathing real emotion into a track which throbs and glides, briefly deliberating too long before closing in a euphoric crash of snail-like rhythm and spacey atmospherics.

Epic closer ‘Marrow’ sees a reappearance of that post-style jangle, before a laconic powerhouse of a riff leads that high vocal on a psychedelic crush through the cosmos. When the moving keys and a voice so deep it’s almost inaudible bring the track down it introduces a passage of real beauty, affecting leads dragging a titanic, howling riff and some real passion from Scheidt as the swell gradually builds to the desolate coda of what is essentially a prog-doom ballad, and arguably the band’s finest moment.

All four tracks far exceed the ten-minute mark yet, unlike …Cessation’s occasionally meandering nature, none here exceed their welcome. Combining the best aspects of the band’s aforementioned last albums this is a perfect blend of weight, hostility, melody and ecstasy, and will need many plays to yield its full array of splendour.

 9.0/10.0

 

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PAUL QUINN

Primus/Les Claypool Book Due Out In September

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Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool will be released via Akashic Books on September 16, 2014. Authored by journalist Greg Prato, he curated an oral history of all things Primus, and includes a 16 page full color photo insert with rare and never before seen images, and compiled 50 all new interviews with such names as Tim Alexander, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, Geddy Lee (Rush), Mickey Melchiondo (Ween), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Stone (South Park), Tom Waits, and many others.

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