Rush invited to speak to business students in Halifax

Rush is coming to Halifax in summer 2013 for a July 12, 2013 date at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Now Saint Mary's University's Sobey School of Business is asking the band to add an item to its itinerary: Come talk to students about how the band takes care of business.

I saw this tweet on Twitter on Friday:



Right away, I invited the author to come on Maritime Morning to talk about it. Spokesperson Charlene Boyce got back to me and we worked out a time.

Sobey School of Business building at Saint Mary's University SMU in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Sobey Building at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
Let's get Rush through these doors and in front of a mic.
So many topics could be explored. How does a band that's also a brand and also a money-making enterprise stay together for 40 years? How does artistic integrity fit in with keeping it profitable? How has a band not famous for commercial hits manage to monetize the heck out of everything? Is there a succession plan if one of the members leaves, dies, becomes disabled, or is otherwise out of service? Who's the boss?

Charlene joined me in studio on Sunday's episode for a half-hour talk about why Rush would be a perfect fit for the Sobey School of Business at SMU, and what Geddy, Alex and Neil could bring to the discussion. Heck, if they can't come, bring some other management from the Rush family, like Pegi Cecconi.

Here's how our conversation went, in two pieces. You can download the clips for later listening if you prefer.





Does anyone have any sway with Rush to make this happen?

We'll keep you up to date on where this goes. Good luck, SMU!

Stuck in Halifax with no SMorgy? What to do while in town

Did the SMorgy cancellation leave you with a trip to Halifax but nothing to do here? If anyone is putting on impromptu shows, screenings, tweet-ups, etc. for those who are here and stranded or for the fanbase at large, please post in the comments and I'll revise the post as I get notes.

You'll want to know how to get around. Metro Transit runs the buses and ferries. Taking the ferry across the harbour between Dartmouth and Halifax is super-cheap and offers an amazing view. But to get from A to B via transit, I recommend using Google Maps and selecting the transit option.

On Twitter this afternoon, @CotB1 wrote "Due to an email delay I'm now stuck in Halifax with nothing to do. F--- you @ThatKevinSmith. Spent thousands on this god damn trip."

That dude came to Halifax all the way from Austin, Texas, to see Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Tell 'Em Steve Dave, Hollywood Babble-On and the rest.

He's from http://www.comingoutofthebasement.com, so I bet he'd be interested in checking out this game store: Games People Play. I had the proprietors in studio today on Maritime Morning to talk about the new shop that focuses on board games and collectible card games, but in a social way. It sounds right up dude's alley. Check it out, man, at 1587 Barrington St.

Hungry? Just up the street, Tempo restaurant is offering a SMorgy cancellation special:


Located in Downtown Halifax, Tempo is a conTEMPOrary urban open-kitchen eatery on the corner of Barrington + Duke. Serving comfort food w/ a twist at 1875 Barrington St. Check the site at tempofooddrink.com

If you're a Kevin Smith fan, you probably have a healthy sexual appetite. The Everything To Do With Sex Show is on this weekend at the Cunard Centre in the south end.

@hfxgirl adds "And if you happen to meet the love of your life at the sex show...there's a bridal show tomorrow! halifaxbridalshow.com."

The best "what's on in Halifax" listings are in The Coast, our city's weekly alt paper. You'll find it in boxes, shops and restaurants all over town, or check the online version at http://www.thecoast.ca/.

Among the events this weekend is the In The Dead Of Winter Music Festival.

Swing by the venue where SMorgy was supposed to be. You won't be able to get into Citadel High School, but it's right beside the Skating Oval where you can pretend to be an athlete, and also next to Citadel Hill, which cleverly disguises the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

And while you're in town, have a donair. It's our local specialty food. It's meat.

Kevin praised the weed in this city. I can't give you any advice about where to find it. Perhaps if you're staying with someone local, they can hook you up. There are a couple of related shops in town, the oldest being Sweetleaf in the north end.

@WarenPeas64 on Twitter has a tip for beer fans: "The Propeller, Granite, and Alexander Keith's breweries. Tour them. Worship them. Trust me." True enough, there are several breweries in the towntown area including the history Keith's Brewery which doubles as farmer's market on the weekends.

I feel badly for anyone who's ended up stuck here because of the SMorgy cancellation, but please make the best of your stay. It's cold this weekend, but it's a great city and there's lots to see. Make the best of it and please come back when Kevin brings SModco shows back!

And if you missed it the first time, listen to my interview with Kevin Smith promoting SMorgy. All his praise of Halifax still applies.

Rush HD multi-cam video editing

The Rush Fan Film Project has been taking YouTube clips of the Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour and cutting them into gorgeous HD concert videos with an aim to assembling a start-to-finish compilation of the entire show from a fan perspective.

I got in touch with the project's creator and asked if I could get in on the action. He said there were a few songs left to do, and I was welcome to take a crack at them.

My first cut of The Pass did not impress, as it was too busy compared to the rest of the tracks. The quality of the source video was also weak, and the performance on this particular night was sub-par. Still, I think parts of it look cool.



I went back to the drawing board and did a completely new cut from another night. The pacing came out much better and I think it reflects well on The Pass. A better performance, too.



This week, I did an initial edit of Middletown Dreams. Standing by for word from @RushFanFilm on how it goes over.

Hey, if you like my Rush videos or any other YouTube clip you see at bigasssuperstar.com, please click 'like' and consider subscribing for more.

RUSH in Halifax in 2013: CONFIRMED! Clockwork Angels tour heading to Halifax

UPDATE: Rush will play the Halifax Metro Centre, Friday July 12, 2013.

It's true! Rush fan club members awoke this morning to an email announcing dozens of more shows for the Spring and Summer 2013 legs of the Clockwork Angels tour.

Just weeks after podcaster, author and filmmaker Kevin Smith, on a Rush-and-kush streak  in sunny Los Angeles, said he would try to get Rush to come to Halifax, it appears the dreams of music fans have come true.

RUSH coming to HALIFAX in SUMMER 2013 to tour CLOCKWORK ANGELS!

The email from RUSH.com says:
Crazy-looking man with Rush Hemispheres album
Scott is too excited to see Rush again.
Rush is coming back to Halifax in 2013.
  
“Stay tuned for additional tour announcements for the summer dates that will resume when the band returns from their European leg in June. These will include but not be limited to Hershey, Wantagh, Saratoga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Boston, Calgary, Vancouver, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, and will finally see RUSH return to Grand Rapids and Halifax for the first time in decades!"

Decades, indeed. It's been more than 25 years since Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart played Halifax.

The last time was November 2, 1987, when they performed at the Halifax Metro Centre with Chalk Circle. No, the concert you saw on Trailer Park Boys was not real. The footage in that episode was shot at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. I was there when Bubbles came out with Alex's guitar. What a moment.

I haven't seen Rush in person since I moved to Halifax in 2005. I've seen them in Toronto on the tours for Presto, Roll The Bones, Counterparts, Test For Echo (twice), Vapor Trails, Feedback....was that a tour?

It's not clear whether this development had anything to do with the Rush The Hill petition campaign. Maybe it did. Maybe Kevin Smith used his extensive entertainment industry connections to grease the wheels. Maybe Rush has already played all the Big Money venues and is doing the next leg because they are benevolent and omnipotent rock gods. Maybe this is karmic payback for all the shenanigans of the City Hall cash-for-concerts scandal.

I don't know. I JUST WANT TICKETS.

Rush Halifax Clockwork Angels concert date has yet to be announced, but I'll let you know when I find out.

Halifax city clock on Citadel Hill, with Halifax Metro Centre and downtown in the background on a sunny day with blue sky.
Halifax Metro Centre, where Rush
last played in 1987 when Alex was
skinny and Geddy was surrounded
by synths.
Dates announced today for the Spring 2013 leg include:

April 23 Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
April 26 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
April 28 Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
May 1 Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
May 3 Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
May 5 Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live At Virginia Beach
May 7 Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena
May 9 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
May 11 Atlantic City @ Etess Arena


And since some don't believe it until they see it -- who can blame them after years of rumours -- here's a screenshot of the email that went out today.

There you have it! Rush returns to Halifax in 2013 for the first time in a generation.

Under The Stairs, Episode 4: Kindergarten Scrapbook



The latest episode of Under The Stairs takes me back to kindergarten.

I pull my kindergarten scrapbook out of the memory box and take you through my first year of school. See what passed for childhood achievement in 1978. Look at my coloring. Look at my drawing. Look at my alphabet and number. See how I depicted life at home.

After shooting this, I visited with my sister and witnessed my nephew making his own HD videos, complete with dot-com calls to action. He's the same age I was when I did this scribbling.

Please click "Like" after watching and make sure you're subscribed to my channel so you can get all the videos!

Interview with Kevin Smith about SMorgy in Halifax

#SMorgy Cancelled!

After slashing Day 2 and merging the 'casts into a single day due to TV commitments in LA, Kevin Smith has announced that the inaugural #SMorgy in Halifax is cancelled.

Why SMorgy was cancelled:

The reason given [read it for yourself and see about refunds] is perfectly cromulent: his daughter Harley, now a 13-year-old bass player who's said of have some chops, has had her band advance to the finals in the local Battle of the Bands. In a dilemma worthy of a romantic comedy, @thatkevinsmith was forced to choose between the event that would take his brand to new heights of spectacle and respect, and the achievements of his pubescent daughter.

Kevin, as much as everyone here will miss you, the Tell 'Em Steve Dave crew, Ming, Mike, the Mrs. and Ralph Garmin -- go be a dad. The only thing I can think of that would make your fans love you even more would be seeing you be an even bigger part of that girl's life.

One tip: A band that can nail a Rush tune will win any Battle of the Bands. If their vocalist can do it, Red Barchetta. Otherwise, go with YYZ and be sure to tweet a picture of the trophy. Better yet, a video of the performance.

Come back soon, guys!

---

I've been a Kevin Smith fan since a few days after I first rented Clerks from an indie video store on Yonge north of Eglinton in the mid-1990s. I didn't much care for it at first, but when a coworker began repeating some of the lines from the movie, I recognized how funny it really was. Mallrats was good, Chasing Amy was great.

I really got into the Smith thing after watching An Evening With Kevin Smith, a video presentation of one of Smith's famously long question-and-answer stage appearances. Some years later, I'd be in the audience at Toronto's Massey Hall for the taping of An Evening With.... part 2, Evening Harder.

I moved to Halifax and supplemented my radio pay by doing voiceover work for Eastlink, the local cable company. A fun lady named Meghan worked on the other side of the desk, running the recording equipment and coaching me on how they wanted the lines delivered. That's what producers do. She told me about a podcast called SModcast. Kevin Smith, she said, sounded high as a kite as he and his movie producer friend Scott Mosier, went on wild and hilarious trips of imagination.

Kevin Smith Smorgy in Halifax, Spatz Theatre, January 2013I loaded up my iPod with lots of SModcast and devoured the back catalog. Eventually Kevin expanded SModcast to a network encompassing other shows: Highlands, A Peephole History, in which he and friends gave an oral history of their small New Jersey town; Tell 'Em Steve Dave, where his buddies Walter and Bryan traded ball-busting insults; Blow Hard, which saw loudly gay Toronto documentarian Malcolm Ingram stumble drunkenly from misadvanture to misadventure. Further shows followed. SModcast became an empire and started touring.

My Kevin Smith fandom never waned! When he auctioned off a crap-ton of View Askew stuff in the "sell the past to pay for the future" event, I bought the clapper from his Diet Coke commercial. Still in the box. Don't know what to do with it. Wife's not impressed, but that's life when you're a nerd.

Now Kevin Smith is bringing the whole podcast family to Halifax for the first-ever SMorgy. It'll be a weekend of live tapings and other shenanigans at Citadel High's Spatz Theatre. For ticket information, see the Smodcast Smorgy web site.

On Friday night, minutes after touching down at Halifax Stanfield Airport and before getting home after a lengthy Christmas vacation in Ontario, I dipped into the station for an exciting interview with Kevin Smith.

We talked about podcasting, the intimacy of radio, the interestingness of integrity, and the legendary power of Rush. Nerdgasm. It was, at least from my perspective, a really deep and personal talk.

Listen to the whole thing right here via my Soundcloud page:

Kevin Smith talks SMorgy with Scott Simpson on News95.7 Halifax by Simpson957


Thanks to Kevin and his crewmates Jordan and Meghan for making this happen. I had a blast and would gladly have talked to him for another few hours.

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the...