Blogospheres: Older Posts

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) |

UPDATE - 8/24@1:31PM: Kevin J. Anderson spoke at RushCon today and revealed his second promised big announcement. Here's another tweet from Kelly D with the news:

BREAKING: @TheKJA and Neil Peart are in the process of writing new book called Clockwork Lives. . .!!!!!! @cygnusx1net @rushisaband

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/23@4:52PM: Although Kevin J. Anderson isn't scheduled to speak at RushCon until tomorrow, it seems that longtime RIAB member and RushCon 14 attendee Kelly D managed to get some info on what at least one of KJA's big announcements is in regards to. Here's what she tweeted out less than an hour ago:

BREAKING: @TheKJA to release novella called "2113" in @rushtheband story anthology @cygnusx1net @rushisaband

More news as we learn it.

----- snip -----

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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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alex Lifeson talks tennis in new interview from the Rogers Cup
10:08AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Geddy and Alex in tennis gearAlex Lifeson recently sat down with Tennis Canada's Cameron McLellan for an interview from the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week. Alex really doesn't talk about Rush at all, but when asked what other musician he might want to challenge to a tennis match Alex mentions Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Both Alex and Geddy play tennis and have participated in a few charity tennis events over the years. You can watch the 4-minute interview below or on YouTube at this location (thanks RushFanForever):

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Alex Lifeson guest appearance at Keram's Come to Life release party
4:24PM EST | link | comments (12) |

UPDATE - 8/15@9:58AM: I've also learned from Keram that the other track Alex played on Moving Dark Circles.

UPDATE - 8/14@4:03PM: Here's a great photo gallery from the event including several of Alex Lifeson.

UPDATE - 8/14@3:20PM: Here's some camera phone video of part of an Alex Lifeson guitar solo from the CD release party (thanks Asif K).

UPDATE - 8/14@10:16AM: Keram posted a recap of the CD release party to his blog this morning including another photo with Alex Lifeson in it (thanks RushFanForever).

Keram - Come To LifeCanadian-born actor and musician Keram Malicki-Sanchez collaborated with Alex Lifeson and 20 other renowned artists over the past several years to create his Come to Life album. The album officially launched via a listening party in Toronto for Indiegogo contributors back in late May. An official CD release party was also held last night at the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar in Toronto and Alex Lifeson made a surprise guest appearance along with a few of the album's other contributors. You can see photos of the event on Keram's official Facebook page (thanks RushFanForever). 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. In addition to playing guitar on the album, Alex Lifeson is also executive producer. Alex plays guitar on the 11-minute track The Devil Knows Me Well and also on Mary Magdalene, which you can listen to below or on YouTube at this location.

Related Posts:
[Keram's Come to Life album featuring Alex Lifeson now available]
[Keram Malicki-Sanchez unveils new track featuring Alex Lifeson from upcoming Come to Life album]
[Alex Lifeson guest appearance on Keram Malicki-Sanchez album Come to Life]

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Willowdale Lee Lifeson Art Park naming gets approval
10:26AM EST | link | comments (9) |

According to Classic Rock magazine, 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 yesterday, 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.

Related Posts:
[Geddy Lee on the proposed Willowdale Lee Lifeson Art Park]
[Update on proposed Lee Lifeson Art Park in Toronto's Willowdale neighborhood]
[New arts park in Toronto's Willowdale community to be named after Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson]

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

New book Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence from Robert Freedman now available
8:13PM EST | link | comments (42) |

Robert Freedman is an author, journalist, communications professional and keeper of the Rush Vault website who has just released a new book from Algora Publishing titled Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence. 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. ...

Here's an excerpt from the book's foreword which I had the honor of writing:

"Robert Freedman's book, Rush: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence, brings together all the different treatments of Rush's music into one grand, unifying theme, Aristotelian individualism, and shows the historical context into which the band falls. Whether he's looking at Aristotle, Ayn Rand, humanism, or critics' responses to Rush over the years, Freedman brings it all together in a comprehensive history of Rush's lyrical philosophy and does so in an accessible, down-to-earth manner that I think any Rush fan will enjoy." -Ed Stenger, RushIsABand

And here's an excerpt from an early review of the book by Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class author Chris McDonald:

... With an engaging writing style, Robert Freedman takes stock of all of Rush's albums and considers how they reflect a unified approach to the challenges, possibilities, and problems of life during the late 20th century and the early 21st. The book builds on previous analyses of Rush by Price, Lombardo, Berti and Bowman, taking Rush seriously as pop culture philosophers, and brings further depth to the argument that Rush's music presents a secular, humanistic, and individualistic outlook that is rare in rock music. Rush fans who actively reflect on the group's lyrical messages will enjoy this opportunity to broaden their understanding of Rush against a particular philosophical background. There is an exciting analysis of Rush's recent Clockwork Angels album, making the book not only up-to-date, but providing a clear sense of how Rush's broader philosophy extends into its newest material. Freedman gives a balanced account of the impact of Aristotelian and Randian individualism on Rush, and by extension, the generation to whom Rush spoke.

You can purchase the book directly from the publisher, or from Amazon and other online retailers.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:50AM EST | link | comments (86) |

Rush 2015 TourAlthough Rush is on an extended break for 2014, we are still expecting them to tour sometime next year as Alex pointed out in an interview with Rolling Stone back in March. In case you forgot what he said, here are some excerpts from that interview:

... "The three of us just had a meeting," ... "We said, 'Let's not talk about anything band-wise for the next year. Let's separate ourselves and come back rejuvenated.' Unfortunately, the other people at that meeting didn't hear what we were talking about, so there are already plans being made for spring of 2015. It's going to be a 41st anniversary tour, or whatever they're going to call it." ... "We haven't really talked seriously about what we want to do," ... "But I think we're probably going to lean towards making it a real sort of fan event, and really try to put something together that's very pleasing for the fans across the board. That's always been difficult, for us to sort of balance things." ... "We want to try and play different material this time," ... "I've always wanted to do some rarer Rush material, and this should be a good opportunity to do that. I also think it's going to be a long tour. We just need to stay healthy until then." ...

We haven't really heard much since then (Geddy indirectly mentioned it in his Terroni Magazine interview), but a tweet from Neil Peart drum tech Lorne Wheaton earlier this week seems to offer some confirmation that plans are definitely still underway for a 2015 tour. Lorne is currently on the road with Steely Dan as Keith Carlock's drum tech and in response to a tweet from a fan asking whether he'll continue to work with Keith when he goes on the road with Toto, Lorne said this:

If they decide to tour in the fall, maybe. Still NP's guy, and we will be busy next year. I love working with both though!!

Good news!

We learned early last month that a new, arts-themed park in the Toronto neighborhood of Willowdale is slated to be named after 2 of Willowdale's most famous residents - Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Earlier this week the Toronto Star spoke with Geddy Lee about the proposed Lee Lifeson Art Park:

... "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. ...

The article also mentions the overwhelming support of the online fan community for the idea and the misplaced anger of some fans over the perceived snubbing of Neil Peart.

... Why isn't it being called Rush Park? The perceived snub of drummer Neil Peart is not intentional, the band's publicist explained. It's just that he didn't grow up in Willowdale. (Your move, St. Catharines.) ...

The proposal will come before the North York community council this coming Tuesday, August 12th and is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

The fourth of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels released this past Wednesday, August 6th, and Comic Book Resources posted this preview showing 6 panels from the issue earlier this week. In addition to the standard cover that is available in comic and book stores, there is an exclusive, limited edition cover available via BOOM! Studios and the Rush Backstage Club. The first issue of the graphic novel was released back on March 19th and there were a number of different covers and subscription options made available as described in this post. The second and third issues are also available in both the standard and limited edition covers and can be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club, BOOM! Studios, Amazon.com, or your local comic/book store.

Neil Peart will be releasing the follow-up to his 2011 book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time via ECW Press this coming October. The book will be another collection of his blog posts from the past few years and is titled Far and Near: On Days Like These. A limited edition hardcover version of the book was made available for pre-order from the Rush Backstage Club a few days ago and will release on October 1st:

Neil Peart - Far and Near Limited Edition Hardcover has its own charcoal grey cloth slipcase adorned with a silver stamp of Neil's drumhead logo. Inside the book is a limited edition bookplate that is autographed by Neil Peart. Each book is also hand numbered out of 500. ** Only 500 of these Limited Edition hardcovers were produced**. Get your hands on this rarity before it sells out!

Unfortunately the pre-sale has since sold out and its unclear whether any more copies will be made available. The regular hardcover edition of the book is listed as releasing on October 14th and can be pre-ordered here.

Prog magazine revealed via their Facebook page earlier in the week the cover of their next issue featuring the 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time as chosen by their readers and a number of prog-rock artists. The covers of Rush's Hemispheres, 2112 and Moving Pictures albums are all pictured in the album cover collage artwork gracing the cover. The issue started hitting newsstands this past Wednesday, August 6th. And speaking of Prog magazine, Rush's Rush ReDISCovered LP box set is one of the nominees for The Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award at the magazine's 2014 Progressive Music Awards. Voting closed earlier today and the winner will be revealed at the ceremony which takes place at the Underglobe beneath Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, England on Thursday September 11th.

There was a Rush 2112 reference in an episode of Cartoon Network's Regular Show this past May that we hadn't mentioned yet. During the episode Video 101 (Season 5, Episode 25, May 5, 2014), Eileen calculates the time it will take to shoot a music video and the total shown on her calculator is 2112 as shown here. Thanks to Craig J for the heads up and Eric at Power Windows for the screenshot.

Music Radar posted their list of the 60 Greatest Bassists of All Time as chosen by a readers poll earlier this week and Geddy Lee made the cut at #2 (thanks RushFanForever):

It's Geddy Lee. The Rush man has inspired thousands to pick up the bass guitar, and many of the other bassists in this rundown cite him as an influence. A leading frontman, songwriter and a remarkable bass talent, it's no surprise he remains perennially popular with you guys.

Craig Breaden at Progarchy.com posted an article earlier this week where he profiles a number of Rush highlights on video. It's titled Moving Pictures: Rush on Film and you can check it out here.

Bassist Aaron Gibson recently had his all-bass version of Rush's Fly By Night featured at NoTreble.com, where they shared this exclusive video of the virtuoso bass player playing the cover (thanks Tom):

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

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Neil Peart's Far & Near: Days Like These limited edition hardcover now available for pre-order
10:32PM EST | link | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 8/6@6:16PM: It looks like the Rush Backstage Club pre-sale for the limited edition is now sold out.

Neil Peart will be releasing the follow-up to his 2011 book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time via ECW Press this coming October. The book will be another collection of his blog posts from the past few years and is titled Far and Near: On Days Like These. A limited edition hardcover version of the book is now available for pre-order from the Rush Backstage Club and will release on October 1st:

Neil Peart - Far and Near Limited Edition Hardcover has its own charcoal grey cloth slipcase adorned with a silver stamp of Neil's drumhead logo. Inside the book is a limited edition bookplate that is autographed by Neil Peart. Each book is also hand numbered out of 500. ** Only 500 of these Limited Edition hardcovers were produced**. Get your hands on this rarity before it sells out!

The regular hardcover edition if the book is listed as releasing on October 14th and can be pre-ordered here.

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