Rush have released six live DVDs during their 40-year career. Their seventh, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, was filmed at Quicken Loans Arena on April 15. Due out this week, it's the band's first concert DVD recorded in the U.S. — and the choice of Cleveland was a no-brainer, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson.
"We have a long history with Cleveland," he says. "It really was the starting point for us: the first real American gig we had was in Cleveland, and our first record broke there in 1974. It just seemed right to do it there."
Best of all, the concert features Rush's classic 1981 album Moving Pictures played in its entirety. (Take note, obsessive fans: The show is also available on Blu-ray, and a new live album, Moving Pictures: Live 2011, is out this week too.) Time Machine also includes other songs from the band's long career, like "The Spirit of Radio," "Subdivisions," and "Closer to the Heart."
"Everything was perfect about that show," recalls Lifeson. "It was a good show for us. But timing is important. You don't want to be too early in a tour, you don't want to be too late in a tour. You want to catch it at the crest of the energy level. We were really in the pocket that night."
Rush are now in the studio working on their 20th album, Clockwork Angels, which is due out sometime next year. A couple of the songs ("BU2B" and "Caravan") showed up in set lists this year and even appear on Time Machine. Lifeson says he's ready for some new songs after spending 2011 revisiting older material. Of course, he also knows Rush will never make a clean break from a classic like Moving Pictures — especially in Cleveland.
"To present that album the way it was recorded was a nice chance to celebrate it," he says. "We were really excited to be in Cleveland that night. Cleveland has a very special place in our hearts. I sincerely mean that."
TANKS GIVING: Like Guns N' Roses and Bright Eyes before them, artsy noise rockers Scarcity of Tanks will release two new albums on the same day. Mark your calendar for January 22 — that's when the six-member band, led by Matthew Wascovich, will put out Vulgar Defender and Fear Is Not Conscience. The two albums follow Sensational Grade, the group's most recent record and one of the best local albums of 2011. You can see Scarcity of Tanks open for Crystal Antlers at Now That's Class on Sunday.
RIGHT ON TIME: The hip-hop duo Kounterclockwise released its debut album, Daylight Savings Time, last weekend, and it's been a long and painful time coming. Lead MC Deacon Burns lost use of both legs following an accident four years ago. After two years of recovery, most of it spent in bed, Burns — along with his wife and collaborator, Kaya Rogue — got down to business recording. The album's 16 songs, which cover the spectrum of hip-hop, tell a story of sorts about survival. Daylight Savings Time's cover art features a cartoon drawing of the couple, Burns in a wheelchair, standing in front of a Cleveland neighborhood. You can hear some cuts at myspace.com/kounterclockwise.