Attention all planets of the Solar Federation ...

Geddy Lee ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Geddy Lee takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! Details and video here.
Neil Peart
New Neil Peart news update for August, 2014 at NeilPeart.net titled Magnetic Mirages. Check it out here.
Lee Lifeson Art Park
New park in Toronto's Willowdale neighborhood to be named the Lee Lifeson Art Park. Details here.
Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence
New book Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence from Robert Freedman now available. Details here.
Far and Near
New Neil Peart book Far and Near: On Days Like These coming October 14th, now available for pre-order. Details here.
Issue 2
Clockwork Angels graphic novel issues #1, 2 3 and 4 now available! Details, previews and more here.
Geddy Lee in Classic Rock #200
Geddy Lee featured in special 200th edition of Classic Rock magazine. Details here.
Geddy Lee Terroni Magazine cover
Geddy Lee cover feature in Terroni Magazine. Details here.
Rush Presto SACD
Rush Presto SACD now available from Audio Fidelity, 20% discount code available. Details here.
Doctors Geddy and Alex
Rush receive Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Nipissing University, accept via video. Details and video here.
Rush debut album
Rush Rediscovered debut album 40th anniversary LP box set now available! Reenters Billboard 200 album chart at #127! Details here.
Rush FAQ
New Rush FAQ book by Max Mobley now available for purchase. Details here.
Rush 2015 Tour
RUSH 2015 TOUR
Alex Lifeson reports in Rolling Stone interview that Rush is planning some kind of 2015 Rush 41st anniversary tour!!! Details here.
Rush is a Band on Facebook
Follow Rush is a Band on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter!
Follow Rush is a Band on Twitter!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:33AM EST | link | comments (19) |

Kevin J. Anderson signing books at RushCon 13 - photo courtesy RushConTonight's the night! The 14th annual RushCon Rush fan convention begins this evening with an opening mixer at the Chelsea Eaton Churchill Ballroom, kicking off a 3-day, Rush-filled extravaganza in Rush's hometown of Toronto. Sunday's guest speaker at the Con will be Clockwork Angels author and good friend of Neil Peart - Kevin J. Anderson. Anderson tweeted out earlier this week that he'll be making a big announcement (or two) at the Convention this weekend:

And I will have a big announcement at @RushCon this weekend. Oh man, a big one. Maybe two. If you guys can handle it. @rushisaband

There's no other indication or clues as to what the announcement will be so there has been plenty of speculation over the past week (how about a Clockwork Angels movie?!). In addition to Anderson, the other guest speakers will be Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider, Rush roadie Tony "Jack Secret" Geranios, and author Martin Popoff. The convention will also include a Saturday night Rush tribute band show with Lotus Land; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; a closing party on Sunday night at Alex Lifeson's Orbit Room with the David Barrett Trio; and more. You can still register online at this location or just register at the door this evening. For all the RushCon details just go to RushCon.org, and be sure to follow all the RushCon action on Facebook and Twitter.

Neil PeartAfter a long hiatus, Neil Peart once again updated the news page on his website yesterday. The August, 2014 entry is titled Magnetic Mirages and in it Neil details a couple of recent trips he took to the islands off the coast of California with his friends Craiggie and Chris Stankee. It's a long update (3 pages) and - as is typical with Neil's prose - is chock full of a number of historical anecdotes and reminiscences from Neil's past, but no news about Rush or the band's future plans unfortunately. You can read the entire update online at this location. And speaking of Neil, as part of MusicRadar.com and Rhythm magazine's online Drum Expo 2014 earlier this week, Neil Peart sat down with David West for an interview where he talks at length about his pursuit of excellence as a drummer. He speaks about all of the different teachers he's had over the years, his influences, his practice techniques and more. Here's Neil discussing the importance of being respected by fellow musicians:

... "There is nothing I would rather have than the respect of other musicians for what I do, but respect is something you have to earn continually. A lot of times people only respect dead musicians because they can't let you down. Everyone has had that experience of being a fan of someone who suddenly really lets you down. "As a musician it's my responsibility to get better and if people are admiring the work I do then that's even more inspiration to improve and to take it up a notch. The hunger for improvement and exploration and all that really does derive from the acclaim. I know people give me that respect so I feel I have to earn it."

You can read the entire interview online at MusicRadar.com here. As part of Drum Expo 2014 MusicRadar.com is also running a poll to determine the greatest drum song intro, and Rush's The Spirit of Radio is one of the choices. So go vote for Rush!

There was another Rush reference on Wednesday night's episode (Season 2, Episode 7 - Lamia) of the FX police drama The Bridge which complements the reference that occurred on the season 2 premiere last month. In that episode the character Daniel (played by Matthew Lillard) - who has substance abuse problems - goes to see his AA sponsor (played by Brian Baumgartner) who is wearing a Rush Grace Under Pressure t-shirt, and the 2 have a discussion involving Rush. Wednesday night's episode opened with the 2 characters in Daniel's apartment, both wearing Rush t-shirts (this time Daniel has the Grace Under Pressure shirt and his sponsor wears a Rush explosion t-shirt), doing cocaine and rocking out to Rush's The Spirit of Radio. The episode is available online for FX subscribers (you have to login with your cable TV provider) at this location.

NMR Distribution recently added a Rush Starman tin lunchbox to their large line of Rush merchandise seen here. This classic tin lunchbox measures 7.75" x 6.75" x 4" and is now available for purchase at this location. NMR Distribution also makes Rush playing cards, posters, and the official Rush calendar. The 16-month, 2015 Rush wall calendar also features the Rush Starman and is available here.

The Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage made Rolling Stone's list of the 40 Greatest Rock Documentaries earlier this week, coming in at #29 (thanks RushFanForever):

Few bands have had such a divide between critical praise and fan adulation as Rush. Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's straightforward doc chronicles the Canadian group from its beginnings as a high school band to the arena-filling prog behemoths they would become. Trent Reznor, Les Claypool, Jack Black, Kirk Hammett, Gene Simmons and Billy Corgan all appear to laud the group's music and influence, but this one makes the list for the treasure trove of archival footage geared toward the Rush completist (including a teen Alex Lifeson fighting with his parents about not finishing school). When the film was released, the self-described "world's most popular cult band" were still three years away from their Hall of Fame induction, but Stage functions as the cinematic accompaniment to that cherry-on-top honor. JN

Robert Freedman is an author, journalist, communications professional and keeper of the Rush Vault website who released a new book from Algora Publishing titled Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence a couple of weeks ago. Here are some comments about the contents of the 178-page book from the author's website:

... Thanks to the work of lots of other people, including Chris McDonald and Durrell Bowman, whose books and Ph.D. dissertations paved the way for many of us who spend a lot of time thinking about the band's music, I found lots of great work to draw on. The one thing that was missing, in my view, was an overarching narrative that put everything the band has done under a single, unifying theme. It was my intention to do that in my book by showing how all of the band's music can be understood as an expression of classical liberalism rooted in Aristotelian individualism. ...

You can read an excerpt from the book's foreword which I had the honor of writing, and check out an excerpt from an early review of the book by Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class author Chris McDonald in this post. The book is available for purchase directly from the publisher, or from Amazon and other online retailers. And speaking of Rush and philosophy, Progarchy.com contributor eheter posted an article earlier this week where he argues that Neil Peart's lyrical philosophy is an example of Stoicism. It's a lengthy article which uses several examples from Rush's library of lyrics to illustrate the author's point. It's titled The Stoic Wisdom of Neil Peart and you can read it online here.

Calum Slingerland at Noisy.com posted a retrospective review of Rush's Moving Pictures this past week which you can check out here.

Geddy Lee made a stop at Long & McQuade in Yorkville earlier this week and posed for a photo which you can check out on the Long & McQuade Regina Facebook page (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

Runners World magazine is running a poll to determine the Best Running Songs and Rush's Marathon was one of the songs nominated in the 2nd heat. Unfortunately it did not make the final cut, coming in a distant 6th out of the 8 songs in their heat. You can check out the results so far at this location (thanks Ken M).

Geddy Lee ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeEarlier this week, both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were nominated to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Geddy Lee was nominated by Primus bassist and Rush friend Les Claypool in this video, and Alex Lifeson was nominated by Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys in this video. On Wednesday Geddy Lee accepted the challenge and posted the following video to Rush's YouTube channel, which includes a guest appearance from the Rush bobblehead dolls. He then forwarded on the challenge to Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies, actor Jay Baruchel and baseball legend Randy Johnson. Since Geddy made the challenge, all 3 of his nominees have accepted; Jay Baruchel's video is here, Randy Johnson's video is at this link and you can watch Ed Robertson's challenge video here.

This coming Wednesday, August 27th our favorite guitar player Alex Lifeson will turn 61 years young! Happy almost birthday Lerxst! That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
1:03PM EST | link | comments (13) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: August, 2014 - Magnetic Mirages]

Neil PeartNeil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The August, 2014 entry is titled Magnetic Mirages and in it Neil details a couple of recent trips he took to the islands off the coast of California with his friends Craiggie and Chris Stankee. It's a long update (3 pages) and - as is typical with Neil's prose - is chock full of a number of historical anecdotes and reminiscences from Neil's past, but no news about Rush or the band's future plans unfortunately. You can read the entire update online at this location.

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Geddy Lee accepts Les Claypool's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
9:49AM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 8/21@10:58PM: Randy Johnson accepted the challenge as well; here's his video (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 8/21@10:27PM: Ed Robertson also accepted Geddy's challenge and posted this video (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 8/21@4:01PM: Jay Baruchel accepted Geddy's challenge and posted this video.

Geddy Lee ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeA couple of days ago, Primus bassist and Rush friend Les Claypool nominated Geddy Lee for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in this video. Yesterday evening Geddy Lee accepted the challenge and posted the following video to Rush's YouTube channel, which includes a guest appearance from the Rush bobblehead dolls. He then forwards on the challenge to Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies, actor Jay Baruchel and baseball legend Randy Johnson. We'll now have to see whether Alex Lifeson will also accept his challenge from Bubbles!

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Rush reference on last night's episode of FX's The Bridge
8:18AM EST | link | comments (2) |

The Bridge Ep 7, Season 2 Rush referenceThere was another Rush reference on last night's episode (Season 2, Episode 7 - Lamia) of the FX police drama The Bridge which complements the reference that occurred on the season 2 premiere last month. In that episode the character Daniel (played by Matthew Lillard) - who has substance abuse problems - goes to see his AA sponsor (played by Brian Baumgartner) who is wearing a Rush Grace Under Pressure t-shirt, and the 2 have a discussion about Rush. In last night's episode, it opens with the 2 characters in Daniel's apartment, both wearing Rush t-shirts (this time Daniel has the Grace Under Pressure shirt and his sponsor wears a Rush explosion t-shirt), doing cocaine and rocking out to Rush's The Spirit of Radio. The episode is available online for FX subscribers (you have to login with your cable TV provider) at this location. Thanks to Geddimus Prime for the heads up.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Neil Peart on his pursuit of excellence as a drummer in new Drum Expo 2014 interview
8:14AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Drum Expo 2014As part of MusicRadar.com and Rhythm magazine's online Drum Expo 2014, Neil Peart sat down with David West for an interview where he talks at length about his pursuit of excellence as a drummer. He speaks about all of the different teachers he's had over the years, his influences, his practice techniques and more. Here's Neil discussing the importance of being respected by fellow musicians:

... "There is nothing I would rather have than the respect of other musicians for what I do, but respect is something you have to earn continually. A lot of times people only respect dead musicians because they can't let you down. Everyone has had that experience of being a fan of someone who suddenly really lets you down. "As a musician it's my responsibility to get better and if people are admiring the work I do then that's even more inspiration to improve and to take it up a notch. The hunger for improvement and exploration and all that really does derive from the acclaim. I know people give me that respect so I feel I have to earn it."

You can read the entire interview online at MusicRadar.com here.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Les Claypool, Bubbles
7:50PM EST | link | comments (15) |

UPDATE - 8/21@10:50AM: Geddy Lee accepts the challenge!

Bubbles ice bucket challengeLes Claypool ice bucket challengeUnless you've been living under a rock for the past several weeks, then you are no doubt familiar with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It's an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one's head to help raise both awareness and funding for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) research efforts. Participants usually nominate others to participate and within 24 hours of being challenged, are supposed to video themselves taking the challenge or else donate $100 to the charity. Once completed they can then call out a challenge to other people. Just today, both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were nominated to participate in the challenge. Geddy Lee was nominated by Primus bassist and Rush friend Les Claypool in this video (thanks HighFidelityRob), and Alex Lifeson was nominated by Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys in this video (thanks Clansman2112). We'll have to wait and see if either of them takes up the challenge. So far Neil Peart has not been challenged (at least not that I'm aware of).

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Clockwork Angels author Kevin J. Anderson to make a big announcement at RushCon this weekend
11:14PM EST | link | comments (44) |

Kevin J. Anderson signing books at RushCon 13 - photo courtesy RushConThe 14th annual RushCon will take place at The Great Hall in Toronto this coming weekend! One of the guest speakers will be Clockwork Angels author and good friend of Neil Peart - Kevin J. Anderson - who will be speaking on Sunday. Anderson just tweeted out that he'll be making a big announcement at the Con this weekend:

And I will have a big announcement at @RushCon this weekend. Oh man, a big one. Maybe two. If you guys can handle it. @rushisaband

There's no other indication or clues as to what the announcement will be so let the speculation begin (how about a Clockwork Angels movie?!). In addition to Anderson, the other guest speakers will be Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider, Rush roadie Tony "Jack Secret" Geranios, and author Martin Popoff. The convention will consist of 3 days of Rush-filled events, including a Friday night opening mixer at the Chelsea Eaton Churchill Ballroom; a Saturday night Rush tribute band show with Lotus Land; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; and more. You can register online at this location. For all the RushCon details just go to RushCon.org, and be sure to follow RushCon on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest RushCon news.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rush Starman tin lunchbox now available
8:29PM EST | link | comments (36) |

NMR Distribution recently added a Rush Starman tin lunchbox to their large line of Rush merchandise seen here. This classic tin lunchbox measures 7.75" x 6.75" x 4" and is now available for purchase at this location. NMR Distribution also makes Rush playing cards, posters, and the official Rush calendar. The 16-month, 2015 Rush wall calendar also features the Rush Starman and is available here. Thanks to Joe P for the heads up.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:37PM EST | link | comments (29) |

Keram - Come To LifeAlex Lifeson continues to keep himself busy with a number of side projects while Rush is taking a break. He attended the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto last week and took some time to sit down with Tennis Canada's Cameron McLellan to talk tennis for a short, 4-minute interview which you can check out here. Then this past Tuesday night he made a guest appearance at the CD release party at the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar in Toronto for Keram's Come to Life album which Alex executive produced and played guitar on. You can see a bunch of photos from the event at this link and on Keram's official Facebook page. There's also some camera phone video of part of an Alex Lifeson guitar solo from the event. The album is available for digital purchase via a number of outlets including iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and eMusic; and physical copies can be purchased via Amazon or via CDBaby. Alex plays guitar on the 11-minute track The Devil Knows Me Well, Moving Dark Circles, and also on Mary Magdalene, which you can listen to on YouTube at this location.

The proposal to name a new, arts-themed park in the Toronto neighborhood of Willowdale the Lee Lifeson Art Park - after 2 of Willowdale's most famous residents - received the green light by the North York community council earlier this week, as expected. The Toronto Star recently spoke with Geddy Lee about the proposed art park and here's what he had to say:

... "I know my mom is very happy!" ... "We met with the park architects and were really impressed with the thought and plans they have for it," ... "[Willowdale] is where I met my best friend and bandmate," ... "We were humbly honoured by the suggestion to name the park after us." ... "On tour and during our travels, ... we get to visit and enjoy so many parks around the world and really appreciate having that communal green space that is so important to a vibrant city."

The idea was first put forth at a consultation meeting held on April 22, 2014 by Councillor John Fillon and was then formally recommended by the Toronto parks committee on July 17th:

... Early designs for the area include art installations, a collaborative performance space and even a small bandshell for "acoustic concerts," according to [Filion], who first hatched the tribute plan two years ago. "I was standing around one night with a fellow music lover trying to think of somebody who had grown up in Willowdale who was a famous artist or musician," Filion said. "We both came up with the name Geddy Lee almost simultaneously." The councillor contacted Lee with the idea, and he immediately got on board - albeit with one condition. "He said he was interested and honoured, but also suggested it be named after Alex Lifeson, too," Filion said. ...

Work is slated to begin on the park early next year with the official opening planned for late 2015 or early 2016.

Drum Expo 2014This morning Music Radar in association with Rhythm magazine announced details of their online drum expo that they'll be hosting next week. Drum Expo 2014 will go live next Wednesday and Thursday (August 20, 21) and feature a number of online interviews, drum lessons and more from a some of rock's biggest drummers including Rush's Neil Peart. Other drummers featured include Travis Barker, Tony Royster Jr., Vinnie Paul, Tommy Lee, and Brent Fitz. It's not yet clear at this time exactly what Neil's participation will consist of, but more details should be forthcoming over the next several days.

The 14th annual RushCon will take place at The Great Hall in Toronto next weekend! The convention will consist of 3 days of Rush-filled events, including a Friday night opening mixer at the Chelsea Eaton Churchill Ballroom; Rush tribute band show with Lotus Land; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; special guest speakers Howard Ungerleider, Tony "Jack Secret" Geranios, Martin Popoff and Kevin J. Anderson; and more! You can register online at this location. For all the RushCon details just go to RushCon.org, and be sure to follow RushCon on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest RushCon news.

Robert Freedman is an author, journalist, communications professional and keeper of the Rush Vault website who released a new book from Algora Publishing titled Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence earlier this week. Here are some comments about the contents of the 178-page book from the author's website:

... Thanks to the work of lots of other people, including Chris McDonald and Durrell Bowman, whose books and Ph.D. dissertations paved the way for many of us who spend a lot of time thinking about the band's music, I found lots of great work to draw on. The one thing that was missing, in my view, was an overarching narrative that put everything the band has done under a single, unifying theme. It was my intention to do that in my book by showing how all of the band's music can be understood as an expression of classical liberalism rooted in Aristotelian individualism. ...

You can read an excerpt from the book's foreword which I had the honor of writing, and check out an excerpt from an early review of the book by Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class author Chris McDonald in this post. The book is available for purchase directly from the publisher, or from Amazon and other online retailers.

An Orange Amplifier signed by a number of rock artists including Rush's Alex Lifeson is included in the Team Rock Monster Auction for charity. The auction will run through the weekend and you get all the details and place your bid here.

Rush came up several times during this past Wednesday's edition of the Adam Carolla Show podcast. They open the show with newsgirl Alison Rosen confessing that she was listening to Rush earlier in the day. They then play a soundbite from a previous show where Alison attempts to hum a Rush guitar lick, and the group makes fun of her. They then segue into a discussion on air guitar contests and how Rush songs are better suited for air drumming contests. You can listen to the podcast online here, and the Rush part of the discussion kicks in at around the 3-minute mark. Thanks to William M, Chris C and Digital2112Man for the heads up.

Reader Dave O let me know that Steven Drozd and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips were featured in an interview on the Dangerous Minds website where they talk about progressive music for around 10 minutes. It's an interesting discussion and Rush gets a mention at about the 1:55 mark. You can listen to interview at this location.

40 years ago yesterday, on August 14, 1974, the current line-up of Rush with Neil Peart on drums played their very first live show, opening up for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. They played a short, 4-song set consisting of Finding My Way, In The Mood, Bad Boy, Working Man and a short Neil Peart drum solo - his first ever as a member of Rush. You can listen to a bootleg recording of the set below or on YouTube. It's a horrible recording but it's all we've got!

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Neil Peart to participate in Music Radar's Drum Expo 2014
10:09AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Drum Expo 2014This morning Music Radar in association with Rhythm magazine announced details of their online drum expo that they'll be hosting next week. Drum Expo 2014 will go live next Wednesday and Thursday (August 20, 21) and feature a number of online interviews, drum lessons and more from a some of rock's biggest drummers including Rush's Neil Peart. Other drummers featured include Travis Barker, Tony Royster Jr., Vinnie Paul, Tommy Lee, and Brent Fitz. It's not yet clear at this time exactly what Neil's participation will consist of, but more details should be forthcoming over the next several days.

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