Archive: Blog Entries from February, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:17PM EST | link | comments (32) |

Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour CD/DVD/Blu-ray was released back on November 19th, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Video charts, with the CD debuting at #33 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The film had a one-night theatrical premiere across North America the night before its release, and a TV premiere on VH1 Classic and Palladia back on December 1st. When it was initially released, the CD was made available via iTunes, but not the concert video. We finally learned earlier this week that the film version is now also available for purchase on iTunes Movies for $15.99 at this location. It's not clear exactly when it was made available, but reader e2 purchased it on January 3rd, so it's been available at least since then. You can see the official trailer for the film here and order your copy at this location (DVD, Blu-ray, CD). Speaking of Clockwork Angels Tour, voting is currently underway in the 2014 Music Express Awards and Rush has been nominated in the following categories: Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance. Voting will close tomorrow so go vote for Rush if you havent' already.

Sexy Intellectual Studios - who is known for making unofficial music documentaries - will be releasing a new Rush documentary titled Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981) on Tuesday, May 6th. Not much is known about the contents of the film except for the cover and that it has a listed running time of 123 minutes. From the Amazon editorial review:

...This film traces the history of Rush from the bar rooms of Toronto in the late 1960s to the world's largest arenas in the late 70s and early 1980s, by which time they were amongst the biggest bands on the planet. Through a stunning combination of rare and classic footage, the testimony of friends, colleagues and those who worked with the group across the years, plus exclusive and archive interviews and a host of other features, this programme makes the very unique history of Rush come alive in a manner previously undocumented.

You can pre-order you copy of the documentary at this location.

The dates and locations of 2 major Rush fan conventions/gatherings - RushCon and Rush RatCon - were announced earlier this week. The 14th RushCon will take place in Toronto the weekend of August 22-24, and the 6th annual RatCon will be held on July 11-12 at the newly dubbed Club Carnie in Marlboro, NJ. For all the RushCon details visit RushCon.org, and to keep up on all the latest RushCon news follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For RatCon, visit the Facebook page for details and updates. From personal experience, both events are a blast and a great way to connect with fellow Rush fans.

Paul Lamere's Music Machinery blog has been getting a lot of press over the past week due to a blog post and infographic posted earlier this week which explores US regional listening preferences using data from a variety of online streaming services. The infographic included with the blog post shows a map of the US with the most distinctive Top-50 artist for each state labeled. With a few exceptions, most of the states have fairly obscure artists listed, but Delaware's artist is Rush.

One of the contestants on FOX's American Idol - Caleb Johnson - indicated that Rush was his favorite band during his Five Things you Don't Know About Me segment on this past week's episode (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net).

In a Facebook post earlier this week, former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung humorously addressed allegations that have been made by some over the years claiming that Styx's 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here was a rip off of Rush's 1976 classic 2112. He claims the similarities are coincidental and then spends about 5 paragraphs on a tongue-in-cheek comparison between the stories told on the 2 albums.

... 2112 has the Red Star of the Solar Federation and the temple of the Syrinx. Neil's thinking big thinks here while Kilroy only has little old Dr Righteous and the Majority for Musical Morality. Wimpy by comparison. Hell Rush had the whole damn galaxy no wonder they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ...

Speaking of 2112, a recent Yahoo! News article discussing the tax revenues from legal sales of marijuana in Colorado contains a Rush 2112 reference in the accompanying photo. The photo in question depicts a pot store employee informing a first time customer about the different strains of marijuana they have available. In the background is a whiteboard indicating the prices of the different strains along with a tax rate of 21.12% jokingly listed (that's not the actual tax rate). You can check out the photo in the article online here (thanks Robert R). And VH1 posted their list of The 20 Longest Songs In Classic Rock History last week and 2112 made the cut:

Rush "2112", Time: 20:33 - This career-making single album-side track is a seven-part suite with lyrics written by drummer Neil Peart telling a dystopian saga set in a future with no music.

Back in the summer of 2012 we first learned that Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo was financing a documentary on legendary bass player Jaco Pastorius, and that Geddy Lee would be appearing in the film. It is being directed by Stephen Kijak and is currently still in post production. The movie's official website posted a few still photos from the film including this one of Geddy Lee. For all the latest news on the documentary's development visit the official website or follow them on Facebook.

Earlier this month Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich sat down with Guitar Center for a video interview and tells a story of how Neil Peart helped turn him on to Tama Drums back in 1984. Neil Peart was one of Tama's primary endorsers at the time, and mutual friend Cliff Burnstein helped set up a phone call between the two where Neil helped convince him. You can watch the entire interview on YouTube here; the part where he discusses Neil comes in at about the 2:12 mark.

Fender Stratocaster has been running a magazine ad listing memorable songs known to have been played on a strat, and one of the songs featured is Rush's Limelight. You can check out the ad here.

In honor of the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, this past Friday CBC Music's Graphic of the Day depicted an image of some Rushian Dolls; Geddy, Alex and Neil drawn as Russian Matryoshka dolls. You can check it out online here.

Mike Adams at TownHall.com posted an article/essay on Ayn Rand, Neil Peart and Rush's The Trees earlier this week. You can check it out online here.

The SCP (Special Containment Procedures) Foundation is a collection of fictional works that its members contribute that deal with the paranormal. It's all fake information, but generally entertaining to read, well-written, and even somewaht believable, despite the strangeness factor. Each entry is given a number/classification in the form SCP-XXXX and reader Cary VP noticed the entry for SCP-2112 describes it as a memetic phenomenon associated with Rush's Caress of Steel album. You can check it out (if you dare) at this location. :)

Rush is featured in a Guardian Liberty Voice article from earlier this week on musical groups with longevity. You can check it out online here.

Tomorrow is the first day of March - the month that will mark the 40th anniversary of the Moon Records release of Rush's debut album. The album was re-released on Mercury Records the following summer. In celebration of the anniversary, Craig Breaden at Progarchy.com wrote a retrospective review of the album which you can check out here. And Dave Banks at GeekDad takes a look back at the album in this post from earlier today. Rush will be releasing a re-issue of the album at some point this year in celebration of the anniversary, although there is still very little information known about the contents. Here's the 1974 Bandstand video of Rush with John Rutsey performing Working Man live:

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

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung addresses similarities between 2112 and Kilroy Was Here
8:39AM EST | link | comments (46) |

In a Facebook post earlier this week, former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung humorously addressed allegations that have been made by some over the years claiming that Styx's 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here was a rip off of Rush's 1976 classic 2112.

... Though I have great respect for Rush, I have never owned a Rush album and know them mostly from their songs that made the radio; Tom Sawyer, Fly by Night, Closer to the Heart. I was surprised to find that I didn't recognize any of the song titles on this album. I guess what I'm getting at is if there are ANY similarities between 2112 and Kilroy it's totally coincidental. ...

He then spends about 5 paragraphs on a tongue-in-cheek comparison between the stories told on the 2 albums.

... 2112 has the Red Star of the Solar Federation and the temple of the Syrinx. Neil's thinking big thinks here while Kilroy only has little old Dr Righteous and the Majority for Musical Morality. Wimpy by comparison. Hell Rush had the whole damn galaxy no wonder they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ...

You can read the entire thing online here. DeYoung will be playing the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on March 18th for a show that will be taped for an AXS TV special and DVD.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Delaware prefers Rush according to new Music Machinery study
3:06PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Paul Lamere's Music Machinery blog has been getting a lot of press over the last couple of days due to a blog post and infographic posted yesterday which explores US regional listening preference using data from a variety of online streaming services. From the blog post:

For this study, I sampled the listening preferences of about a quarter million listeners that have a zip code associated with their account. update: Listener data is drawn from a variety of music streaming services that are powered by The Echo Nest. I aggregated these listeners into regions (state, regional and all-US). To compare regions I look at the top-N most popular artists based upon listener plays in each region and look for artists that have a substantial change in rank between the two regions. These artists are the artists that define the taste for the region. ...

The infographic included with the blog post shows a map of the US with the most distinctive Top-50 artist for each state labeled. With a few exceptions, most of the states have fairly obscure artists listed, but Delaware's artist is Rush. Go Delaware!

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RushCon 2014 location and dates announced
2:27PM EST | link | comments (2) |

UPDATE - 2/27@10:45AM: The folks at Rush RatCon 2014 have also announced the dates and locations of their 6th annual Rush gathering. RatCon 2014 will be held on July 11-12 at the newly dubbed Club Carnie in Marlboro NJ. More details to follow. Just visit the Facebook page for details and updates.

RushCon 14The folks at RushCon have announced the location and dates for this year's RushCon. The 14th RushCon will take place in Toronto the weekend of August 22-24. From the announcement:

Enjoy 3 days of Rush-filled festivities, including games, prizes, trivia, a memorabilia charity auction, special guest speakers, a tribute band concert and much, much more. Full convention details will be announced later this spring, but we wanted to make sure folks saved the date! ...

For all the details visit RushCon.org, and to keep up on all the latest RushCon news follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981) documentary coming in May
8:17AM EST | link | comments (29) |

Sexy Intellectual Studios - who is known for making unofficial music documentaries - will be releasing a new Rush documentary titled Rush: The Rise Of Kings (1968-1981) on Tuesday, May 6th. Not much is known about the contents of the film except for the cover and that it has a listed running time of 123 minutes. From the Amazon editorial review:

...This film traces the history of Rush from the bar rooms of Toronto in the late 1960s to the world's largest arenas in the late 70s and early 1980s, by which time they were amongst the biggest bands on the planet. Through a stunning combination of rare and classic footage, the testimony of friends, colleagues and those who worked with the group across the years, plus exclusive and archive interviews and a host of other features, this programme makes the very unique history of Rush come alive in a manner previously undocumented.

You can pre-order you copy of the documentary at this location. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Vote for Rush in the 2014 Music Express Awards
10:35AM EST | link | comments (13) |

2014 Music Express AwardsVoting is currently underway in the 2014 Music Express Awards where Music Express readers get to vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry. Rush has been nominated in the following categories: Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance. Voting will close this coming Saturday, March 1st so go vote for Rush! Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour video now available on iTunes Movies
11:45AM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 2/24@12:42PM: Reader e2 mentions in the comments that he purchased the film on iTunes on January 3rd, so it's been available since at least then. iTunes only has the release date listed as 2013, so it's not clear when exactly it was released.

Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour CD/DVD/Blu-ray was released back on November 19th, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Video charts, with the CD debuting at #33 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The film had a one-night theatrical premiere across North America the night before its release, and a TV premiere on VH1 Classic and Palladia back on December 1st. When it was initially released, the CD was made available via iTunes, but not the concert video. However, reader Andrew G pointed out that the film version is now also available for purchase on iTunes Movies for $15.99 at this location (it's not clear exactly when it was made available). You can see the official trailer for the film here and order your copy at this location (DVD, Blu-ray, CD).

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels Tour television premiere tonight]
[Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour video debuts at #1 on Billboard Video Chart, #33 on Billboard 200 Album Chart]
[Clockwork Angels Tour concert film to get TV premiere on VH1 Classic Sunday, December 1st]
[Rush Clockwork Angels Tour CD/DVD/Blu-ray/theatrical release open thread]
[Preview of Rush's Family Goy parody from the Clockwork Angels Tour DVD/Blu-ray]
[Rush Clockwork Angels Tour limited edition deluxe package]

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Metallica's Lars Ulrich on how Neil Peart turned him on to Tama Drums
7:54PM EST | link | comments (48) |

Lars UlrichEarlier this month Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich sat down with Guitar Center for a video interview and tells a story of how Neil Peart helped turn him on to Tama Drums back in 1984. Neil Peart was one of Tama's primary endorsers at the time, and mutual friend Cliff Burnstein helped set up a phone call between the two where Neil helped convince him. You can watch the entire interview below or on YouTube here. The part where he discusses Neil comes in at about the 2:12 mark. Thanks to Coelho for the heads up.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:39PM EST | link | comments (42) |

This past week in Rush-land we got a preview of the different covers for the upcoming Clockwork Angels graphic novel, the Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition was nominated for an Audie Award, we learned that Neil Peart will be writing the foreword to an upcoming Gavin Harrison book, Alex Lifeson was spotted in a 5th grade classroom, Rush was featured in a special space rock issue of Shindig! magazine, and we compiled some reactions from around the web to the recent Walmart Working Man commercial. Boom! Studios released previews of 3 separate covers for the inaugural edition of the 6-part Clockwork Angels graphic novel series earlier today. You can check out the press release including the cover previews here. The graphic novel was written by Kevin J. Anderson with artwork by Nick Robles and will be released in a series of six beginning on March 19th. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are currently available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

The Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for their 2014 Audie Awards (Audies) earlier this week and Rush's Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition was nominated in the category of Package Design. The winners will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 29, 2014, at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. You can check out a complete list of the nominees and categories at this location. The Clockwork Angels: Watchmaker's Edition of the audiobook for Clockwork Angels: The Novel was released last March. The special package was designed by Hugh Syme and contains the seven CDs of the unabridged audiobook, a special booklet, a Clockwork Angels timeline, and an I can't stop thinking big mini poster, all packaged in a full-color WORKING clocktower. You can order one for yourself on Amazon here.

Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison announced via his Facebook page yesterday that he'll be releasing a new book that he co-authored with Terry Branum titled Rhythmic Composition: Featuring the Music of Porcupine Tree. The book contains twenty highly detailed transcriptions by Terry Branam and in-depth commentary from Gavin, along with over 40 great photos and a foreword by Neil Peart. Amazon has a release date of May 2nd listed and you can pre-order your copy here.

Alex Lifeson at The York SchoolAlex Lifeson paid a visit to a 5th grade class at Toronto independent day school The York School this past Wednesday morning. The school posted the following along with this pic to their Twitter feed Wednesday:

Alex Lifeson speaking to our Grade 5 students @rushtheband @ibpyp @CAIS_Schools @CISOntario pic.twitter.com/syjtaot3uk

The January, 2014 issue of Shindig! magazine is a special edition focusing on the Space rock genre of music. The issue contains an article by Marco Rossi where he explores the notion of whether prog-rock pioneers Rush and Yes can be classified as space rock bands. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the article and made it available online here. Rossi argues that despite Rush's many space-themed songs and lyrics, they probably shouldn't be considered as space rock.

John over at the Cygnus-X1.net site launched his new Rush Timeline project earlier this week. It's a graphical, chronological and interactive timeline of Rush's decades-spanning history. While several Rush biographies, calendars and histories have been put together over the years, this is the first interactive timeline of the band's history ever created. In addition to pinpointing important events in Rush's long career, the Timeline also includes additional commentary, photos and videos; and it's easy and fun to navigate. Be sure to check it out here if you haven't already, and give John any feedback that you may have.

With Major League Baseball's spring training beginning this past week, I thought I'd report a couple of baseball-themed Rush news items. SB Nation posted an article (thanks Mars) earlier this week on how Houston Astros manager Bo Porter texts inspirational messages to his players every morning precisely at 6:45AM. They got their hands on a few of the texts and one has a Rush theme:

Porter: "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice" - Albert Enstein

Anonymous Player: that is a rush song. it is literally 6:45 in the morning please stop

And MASN Sports posted an article this past Monday on how Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams places a lot of importance on music when developing routines in baseball, focusing specifically on walk-up music:

... Williams initially refused to choose a walk-up song in his playing days when that concept was brand new, saying that he didn't need one. Eventually, when team staffers persisted, Williams let teammate David Dellucci to pick his song for him - "Tom Sawyer," by Rush. "I enjoy something that's got a good beat to it, that I can hear the bass of it," Williams said. "Especially on the field, because ... classical, it's hard to get that rhythm. I don't know about hardcore rap, but something that's got the constant (beat), so that we can time things on the field." ...

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of Rush's A Show of Hands concert video on VHS and Laserdisc. The concert was filmed at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England in April of 1988 on the band's Hold Your Fire tour. It was also released on DVD as part of the Replay X3 box set on June 13, 2006 and individually on May 1, 2007. The accompanying CD was released on January 9, 1989. Here's the video of Lock and Key which only ever appeared on the Laserdisc version:

One last note for all of you NetFlix subscribers; the Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary will be made available for streaming on NetFlix this coming Wednesday, February 26th. That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!!

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Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art preview
11:47AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Boom! Studios has released previews of 3 separate covers for the inaugural edition of the 6-part Clockwork Angels graphic novel series due out March 19th. You can check out the press release including the cover previews here. The graphic novel was written by Kevin J. Anderson with artwork by Nick Robles and will be released in a series of six beginning on March 19th. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are currently available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel preview, new interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart]
[Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson talk Clockwork Angels graphic novel in new interview]
[Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rhythmic Composition book from Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison to include foreword by Neil Peart
12:10PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison just announced via his Facebook page that he'll be releasing a new book that he co-authored with Terry Branum titled Rhythmic Composition: Featuring the Music of Porcupine Tree. The book contains twenty highly detailed transcriptions by Terry Branam and in-depth commentary from Gavin, along with over 40 great photos and a foreword by Neil Peart. Amazon has a release date of May 2nd listed and you can pre-order your copy here (thanks RushFanForever).

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition nominated for Audie Award
3:19PM EST | link | comments (35) |

The Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for their 2014 Audie Awards (Audies) which recognize excellence in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment, and Rush's Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition has been nominated in the category of Package Design. The winners will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 29, 2014, at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. You can check out a complete list of the nominees and categories at this location. The Clockwork Angels: Watchmaker's Edition of the audiobook for Clockwork Angels: The Novel was released last March. The special package was designed by Hugh Syme and contains the seven CDs of the unabridged audiobook, a special booklet, a Clockwork Angels timeline, and an I can't stop thinking big mini poster, all packaged in a full-color WORKING clocktower. You can order one for yourself on Amazon here. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson visits 5th grade class at The York School in Toronto
11:20AM EST | link | comments (56) |

Alex Lifeson at The York SchoolApparently Alex Lifeson paid a visit to a 5th grade class at Toronto independent day school The York School this morning. It's not clear exactly why he was there or what he spoke about, but the school posted the following along with this pic to their Twitter feed this morning:

Alex Lifeson speaking to our Grade 5 students @rushtheband @ibpyp @CAIS_Schools @CISOntario pic.twitter.com/syjtaot3uk

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Rush featured in special space rock issue of Shindig! magazine
11:00AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Jan 2014 Shindig!The January, 2014 issue of Shindig! magazine is a special edition focusing on the Space rock genre of music. The issue contains an article by Marco Rossi where he explores the notion of whether prog-rock pioneers Rush and Yes can be classified as space rock bands. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the article and made it available online here. Rossi argues that despite Rush's many space-themed songs and lyrics, they probably shouldn't be considered as space rock:

... the point I'm laboriously trying to get to is that space-referencing lyrics don't automatically make something into spacerock... even if I've yet to be convinced that Rush and Yes comfortably fit into the spacerock pigeonhole - or indeed black hole - it doesn't diminish what either band achieved. As frontline prog progenitors, what they did have in common with spacerockers was the restless, implacable urge to forge ahead, to explore, to discover. ...

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rush Walmart Working Man commercial reaction and backlash
12:06PM EST | link | comments (167) |

Walmart ad campaignWe've known for a couple of weeks now that US retail giant Walmart has been using Rush's Working Man in one of its commercials for a new ad campaign that aims to put the spotlight on the company's recent initiative to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years towards creating new manufacturing jobs in America. The ad has been getting more attention over the last several days due to it being shown during some major TV events including the Winter Olympics, Daytona 500 and the NBA All-star game coverage. Walmart has been the subject of a lot of criticism for their business practices over the past few years, so many fans and pundits are questioning whether giving Walmart permission to use the song was a good move for the band. An article running on the Scholars and Rogues website calls the move one of the biggest betrayals of trust in Rock history and features a Rush starman with the words SOLD OUT stamped on it, although most of the reaction focuses on the fact that Rush is a Canadian band, and the commercial is touting American workers. From the Daily Mail:

As the world's biggest retailer, you might think that Walmart would know a thing or two when it comes to marketing their powerful brand. Their new advert, set in an American factory, gloriously promotes the company's honorable All-American $250 billion pledge, to sell products made in the USA. The ad appears to be faultless in every regard until astute viewers realized that the song chosen to accompany the commercial, the 1974 hit Working Man, is by a Canadian band, Rush. ...

Both The Street (Dear Wal-Mart: Rush is Canadian) and Radar Online (Walmart's Epic Fail: Commercial Promoting Pro American Factories Uses Song By Canadian Band) make similar observations. The Daily Mail also asked Walmart about their choice of using Rush music and a company spokesperson defended the decision:

... WalMart have responded to comments that their choice of Rush to accompany the commercial was anti-American. 'We think American music is awesome too! We just think Working Man is a great song that reflects our commitment to help create more jobs for working men and women in U.S. manufacturing and to help get more American working men and women back to work.' The commercial was produced by Saatchi & Saatchi - their first ad campaign the agency has produced for Walmart ...

It's not the first time Rush's music has been used in a commercial for a major company. Back in 2012 Volkswagen released a commercial for the Passat which featured a man stopped at a traffic light rocking out to Fly By Night (watch it here). Although Volkswagen is hardly as controversial as Walmart so this commercial didn't receive nearly as much scrutiny or backlash, with fans generally giving their approval. So what do you think about Rush's decision to allow Walmart to use the song? Good move? Bad move? Take the poll and let us know. The ad in question is titled Working Man and depicts video of US factory workers while Rush's Working Man plays in the background. There are 60-second and 30-second versions of the commercial which you can check out on YouTube here.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

New Rush Timeline launched at Cygnus-X1.net
9:44AM EST | link | comments (12) |

John over at the Cygnus-X1.net site has just announced the launch of his new Rush Timeline project - a graphical, chronological and interactive timeline of Rush's decades-spanning history. While several Rush biographies, calendars and histories have been put together over the years, this is the first interactive timeline of the band's history ever created. In addition to pinpointing important events in Rush's long career, the Timeline also includes additional commentary, photos and videos; and it's easy and fun to navigate. Be sure to check it out here and give John any feedback you have. Thanks John!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Neil Peart comes in at number 3 on Modern Drummer's 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time list
3:37PM EST | link | comments (100) |

Modern Drummer March 2014I'd mentioned in a Friday Rush updates post a few weeks ago that the March, 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine features their list of the 50 greatest drummers of all time as chosen by their readers. Neil Peart came in at #3 on the list just behind John Bonham at #2 and Buddy Rich at #1. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed Neil's writeup from the feature and made it available online at this location along with the names and rank of all the other drummers making the list. Here's an excerpt:

Neil Peart (b. 1952) joined Rush in 1974; Ron Spagnardi started Modern Drummer in 1977. Since the founding of this magazine, Peart has inarguably been the most visible, most popular symbol of the modern drummer, making it no surprise that he was voted the highest-ranking active player on our list. This seven-time (and counting) MD cover star is ever hungry to learn and improve, digging into musical inspirations from around the world with great relish and adding these ingredients to his own homemade brew with each Rush release. ...

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:39PM EST | link | comments (35) |

Walmart ad campaignThere was plenty of Rush news to report this past week including a new Walmart commercial that features Rush's Working Man, a news update from Neil Peart, Imagine Dragons covering Tom Sawyer in concert, Clockwork Angels Tour receiving some more awards and accolades, and Rush's Signals getting featured in the new issue of Prog along with a new Alex Lifeson interview. Late last week US retail giant Walmart launched a new ad campaign which attempts to put the spotlight on the company's recent initiative to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years towards creating new manufacturing jobs in America. One of the TV commercials in the ad campaign is titled Working Man and depicts video of US factory workers while Rush's Working Man plays in the background. There are 60-second and 30-second versions of the commercial which you can check out on YouTube here. Walmart has been the subject of a lot of criticism for their business practices over the past few years, so fans are split as to whether or not this was a good move for the band. It's not the first time Rush's music has been used in a commercial for a major company. Back in 2012 Volkswagen released a commercial for the Passat which featured a man stopped at a traffic light rocking out to Fly By Night (watch it here).

Earlier this week Neil Peart updated the news page on his website with a new entry for February, 2014 titled Bubba and the Professor. In it Neil gives us a little background on 2 of his better-known nicknames (Bubba and The Professor) and also delves into how he's been spending his time off these past few months and his plans for the rest of his sabbatical. He describes writing a very cute song with his daughter Olivia (although it's unlikely to make its way to a Rush album), the Clockwork Angels graphic novel, another possible book project, working with Peter Erskine and - of course - traveling. Neil talks a bit about his friend and Alex Lifeson's former guitar tech Jimmy Johnson at the beginning of the update when talking about how his nicknames came about. Jimmy did an interview with Performing Musician back in 2009 and talks a bit about his time with Rush and why he left (thanks HannuFIN):

... Jimmy Johnson finally left the Rush camp in '97, once the band entered an understandable sabbatical period following some personal tragedies suffered by his old friend, Neil Peart. By the time Rush decided to get on the road again in 2001, Jimmy was already working full-time for Tommy Shaw and Styx, but he'll never forget the way Alex Lifeson handled the situation. "I finally got an email one day and Alex said, 'Listen, I've written you a message rather than calling you, because I don't want to put you on the spot. If you want to come and work again, we're about to start up, but I know you're in a place with Tommy, and whatever you decide we're still what we were together. Do what's right for you!' I was almost in tears and that's just what I needed to hear! We're still very close. He's a big part of my life, but life has to go on" ...

So if you ever wondered why Jimmy Johnson stopped working as Alex's guitar tech, now you know the story right from the source. You can read Neil's entire update online at this location.

The latest issue of Prog magazine contains a feature on Rush's Signals album with the cover tagline Rush: creating Signals, a synth rock opus!. The feature itself is titled The Albums That Saved PROG: Signals and contains a new interview with Alex Lifeson that was conducted when he was in London last November to receive the Spirit of Prog award at the Classic Rock Awards. Earlier this week Eric over at the Power Windows site transcribed the article and made it available online here. In addition to the Alex Lifeson interview where he shares some of his memories about the recording of the album, the article contains a short sidebar piece with Haken vocalist Ross Jennings.

Rush Clockwork Angels TourVoting closed this past Tuesday in the 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards and Rush came away on top in 3 of the categories; Song of the Year (The Garden), Best Tour of 2013 (Clockwork Angels Tour), and Best Live Album of 2013 (Clockwork Angels Tour). On a related note, Rush FOH Engineer Brad Madix and video director David Davidian both won in their respective categories this past weekend at the Tour Link Top Dog Awards ceremony in Scottsdale, AZ. Rush Lighting director Howard Ungerleider was in attendance and accepted the awards on their behalf. David Davidian has worked with Rush since 2002's Vapor Trails Tour and won Video Designer of the Year and Video Director/Operator for his work on Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour video. Brad Madix shared the FOH Engineer of the Year award with Linkin Park's Ken Pooch Van Druten. You can check out the full list of nominees here and all the winners on Tour Link Conference Facebook page.

Grammy Award winning alt-rock band Imagine Dragons kicked off their 2014 arena tour this past weekend in Boise and have been performing a cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer as described in this Rolling Stone article. The band is coming off a highly successful 2013 which saw them named by Billboard as The Breakthrough Band of 2013 and where Rolling Stone named their single Radioactive the biggest rock hit of the year. You can check out a camera phone video of the band's performance of Tom Sawyer in Boise on YouTube at this location.

Speaking of Tom Sawyer covers, the Montreal Guitar Trio will be releasing their 6th album Der Prinz next week. The album contains an all guitar, acoustic cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer which you can check out on YouTube here. The album will be officially launched at a concert for the Montréal en Lumière Festival on February 20, 2014 at L'Astral, and will be available on iTunes and in stores this coming Tuesday, February 18th. The CD will also release via Amazon in the US a month later on March 18th.

Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first landing in the United States. In celebration of the event, Fox News created their list of 11 bands better than The Beatles?, and coming in at #7 was our favorite Canadian power trio. Led Zeppelin came out on top of the list which you can check out here.

We learned earlier this week that Rush gets mentioned in the acknowledgements in the new Star Wars novel by Joe Schreiber titled Maul: Lockdown. Here's what Schrieber had to say:

... Vigilant readers will also find the influence of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson among these pages, three gentlemen whose music animates much of the action as I initially conceived it in my mind. ...

Virginia-based heavy metal band While Heaven Wept has entered the studio to begin recording their Suspended At Aphelion album and guitarist and primary composer Tom Phillips recently spoke with Blabbermouth.net about it, making several comparisons to early Rush albums:

... "If (2011's) 'Fear Of Infinity' was our 'Caress Of Steel', 'Suspended At Aphelion' is without question our '2112' - and anyone familiar with the stories behind those RUSH albums will understand that where we're coming from is very similar, both musically and circumstantially. ... it is a single, 40-plus-minute monolith divided into 11 parts - in the tradition of the aforementioned '2112' and our own 'The Furthest Shore', 'Finality' and 'Thus With A Kiss I Die', amongst others. Yet, musically... while clearly this is WHILE HEAVEN WEPT... it's very much beyond anything else we've ever done... VERY progressive, but in a harmonic sense more than the technical. ...

Actor and drummer Michael Chiklis was recently interviewed for Modern Drummer magazine and spoke about his drumming influences which include Neil Peart, and also showed off his new DW drumkit. You can check out the interview on YouTube here (thanks Sean).

A recent AskReddit post posed the question of whether anyone had ever won a contest to hang out with a celebrity. Redditor maciballz relayed his story about meeting and becoming friends with Alex Lifeson which prompted a lot of excited replies from other Redditors (thanks Jon P):

When I had cancer, my aunt asked me who I wanted to meet that was famous. I asked for Rick Mercer. 4 days later, he was on my couch drinking an Alexander Keiths. We ended up exchanging numbers, and we have been friends ever since. He even got me and Alex Lifeson of Rush to become friends.. not the exact type of answer you were looking for, but better than "a friend of a friend met..."

KISS will be joining their old tourmates Rush as Rock Hall inductees at a ceremony in New York City on April 10th. KISS frontman Paul Stanley is not impressed with the award and went off on the Hall in a recent Classic Rock interview (thanks King Lionhead). One of his beefs is the Hall's inconsistency regarding which past members of bands get inducted and he mentions Rush founding member John Rutsey:

... So the fact that there are 30 or 40 or 50 or some absurd number of Grateful Dead members all inducted, the fact that all of the Chili Peppers, including people who played on early albums that never amounted to very much are not inducted, the fact that John Rutsey, the drummer on the first Rush album is not inducted, the fact that Rob Trujillo, who's a great guy but didn't play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don't apply to everybody then they're not rules. ...

Here's the 60-second Walmart commercial featuring Rush's Working Man:

That's all for this week. Happy Valentine's Day and have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prog magazine Signals feature with new Alex Lifeson interview now online
10:28AM EST | link | comments (48) |

Last week we learned that the latest issue of Prog magazine contained a feature on Rush's Signals album with the cover tagline Rush: creating Signals, a synth rock opus!. The feature itself is titled The Albums That Saved PROG: Signals and contains a new interview with Alex Lifeson that was conducted when he was in London last November to receive the Spirit of Prog award at the Classic Rock Awards. Eric over at the Power Windows site has transcribed the article and made it available online here. Alex shares some of his memories about the recording of the album including its heavy use of keyboards:

... The problem with Signals, from Lifeson's viewpoint at least, lay not with the songs but in an irregular production. "In a couple of key places there was too much emphasis placed on the keyboards," he explains. "The mix of Subdivisions has always been a disappointment for me. I recall leaning over to push up the faders [to increase the guitar levels in the mix] and Terry would smile and push them back down again."

Lifeson tolerated this situation for a while, 'taking one for the team' in today's parlance - though Lee later related how the normally placid Lifeson returned to the studio with fresh perspective following a few days away, storming into the control room with the statement: "There's not enough guitar on this record for Chrissakes!"

"The language was probably more colourful than that," guffaws Lifeson at the memory. "But look, a band operates on consensus. Everybody else felt we were going in the right direction. To my way of thinking there was an imbalance, but I have no regrets. ...

The article also contains a short sidebar piece with Haken vocalist Ross Jennings. You can read the entire article/interview at the Power Windows site.

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The Montreal Guitar Trio cover Rush's Tom Sawyer on new album Der Prinz
9:59AM EST | link | comments (12) |

The Montreal Guitar Trio will be releasing their 6th album Der Prinz next week. The album contains an all guitar, acoustic cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer which you can check out below or on YouTube here (thanks Joel L and SaskRushFan). The album will be officially launched at a concert for the Montréal en Lumière Festival on February 20, 2014 at L'Astral, and will be available on iTunes and in stores this coming Tuesday, February 18th. The CD will also release via Amazon in the US a month later on March 18th.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
7:37AM EST | link | comments (61) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: February, 2014 - Bubba and the Professor]

Neil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The February, 2014 entry is titled Bubba and the Professor and in it Neil gives us a little background on 2 of his better-known nicknames (Bubba and The Professor) and also delves into how he's been spending his time off these past few months and his plans for the rest of his sabbatical. He describes writing a very cute song with his daughter Olivia (although it's unlikely to make its way to a Rush album), the Clockwork Angels graphic novel, another possible book project, working with Peter Erskine and - of course - traveling. You can read the entire update online at this location.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rush wins three 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards
12:32PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Rush Clockwork Angels TourVoting has closed in the 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards and Rush came away on top in 3 of the categories; Song of the Year (The Garden), Best Tour of 2013 (Clockwork Angels Tour), and Best Live Album of 2013 (Clockwork Angels Tour). From the Ultimate Classic Rock website:

... In the closest race in this year's awards, Rush's 'The Garden' took home Song of the Year honors, narrowly beating out Paul McCartney's 'Queenie Eye' by 37.4 percent to 36.8 percent. The song originally appeared on 2012′s 'Clockwork Angels,' but it qualified for this year's awards by virtue of a 10″ picture disc release on Record Store Day.

Their 'Clockwork Angels' tour netted them two awards. Again, they faced a strong challenge from Paul McCartney in the Best Tour of 2013 category, but prevailed with nearly 36 percent to McCartney's 28 percent. Fleetwood Mac's reunion was in third place with close to 16 percent.

And in the Best Live Album of 2013 category, the document of their Nov. 28, 2012 show in Dallas also beat McCartney, albeit a package from his first band. 'Clockwork Angels Tour' bested the Beatles' 'On Air: Live at the BBC Vol. 2' 44 percent to 37 percent. ...

Thanks to Travis B for the heads up.

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Rush mentioned in acknowledgements for Joe Schreiber's new Star Wars novel Maul: Lockdown
9:47AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Texas reader Chris C let me know that Rush gets mentioned in the acknowledgements in the new Star Wars novel by Joe Schreiber titled Maul: Lockdown. Here's what Schrieber had to say:

... Vigilant readers will also find the influence of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson among these pages, three gentlemen whose music animates much of the action as I initially conceived it in my mind. ...

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Walmart commercial features Rush's Working Man
10:34AM EST | link | comments (172) |

Walmart ad campaignUS retail giant Walmart launched a new ad campaign this past Thursday which aims to put the spotlight on the company's recent initiative to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years towards creating new manufacturing jobs in America. One of the TV commercials in the ad campaign is titled Working Man and depicts video of US factory workers while Rush's Working Man plays in the background. There are 60-second and 30-second versions of the commercial which you can check out on YouTube here. Thanks to Andy S for the heads up.

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Brad Madix and David Davidian win Tourlink Top Dog Awards
10:00AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Tour Link Top Dog AwardsRush FOH Engineer Brad Madix and video director David Davidian both won in their respective categories last night at the Tour Link Top Dog Awards ceremony in Scottsdale, AZ at the Salt River Talking Stick Resort. Rush Lighting director Howard Ungerleider was in attendance and accepted the awards on their behalf. David Davidian has worked with Rush since 2002's Vapor Trails Tour and won Video Designer of the Year and Video Director/Operator for his work on Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour video. Brad Madix shared the FOH Engineer of the Year award with Linkin Park's Ken Pooch Van Druten. The Top Dog Awards are bestowed upon the very best of the best in the touring community as voted on by their peers. The awards ceremony caps off the highly successful 3-day Tour Link Conference of touring professionals. You can check out the full list of nominees here and all the winners on Tour Link Conference Facebook page. Thanks to Greg Nosek for the heads up and info.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rush's Signals featured in latest issue of Prog magazine
9:09AM EST | link | comments (19) |

UPDATE - 2/13@10:35AM: A full transcription of the article/interview is now available.

UPDATE - 2/11@8:33PM: It turns out the article is a 4-page feature that includes an interview with Alex Lifeson where he discusses the making of Signals. The interview was conducted when he was in London last November to receive the Spirit of Prog award at the Classic Rock Awards (thanks Tony R).

The latest issue of Prog magazine goes on sale this coming Wednesday, February 11th and the Prog magazine Facebook page posted the issue's cover a couple of days ago. According to the cover the issue will contain a feature on Rush's Signals album titled Rush: creating Signals, a synth rock opus! It's not clear whether the feature will entail or whether it will include any band interview snippets. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Imagine Dragons to cover Rush's Tom Sawyer on upcoming tour
3:59PM EST | link | comments (33) |

UPDATE - 2/9@11:14AM: Here's some camera phone video of the band's cover of Tom Sawyer from last night's show:

----- snip -----

Imagine Dragons are a Grammy Award winning alt-rock band from Las Vegas. They are coming off a highly successful 2013 which saw them named by Billboard as The Breakthrough Band of 2013 and where Rolling Stone named their single Radioactive the biggest rock hit of the year. They'll be embarking on an arena tour which kicks off tomorrow night in Boise, Idaho and they told Rolling Stone that they'll be performing a cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer:

During their years as a club band on the Las Vegas strip, Imagine Dragons covered more than 100 songs, by everyone from U2 to the Cure. For their upcoming arena tour, which kicks off on February 8th in Boise, Idaho, the band wants to step up its game, but also pay homage to their early days. The group ultimately chose to learn Rush's "Tom Sawyer."

"It's just an intimidating song," says frontman Dan Reynolds of the 1981 prog-rock classic. "It's so cool, because I found this whole new register. I've been taking additional voice lessons and figuring out how to tune into my upper range more. The band loves prog, so it's kind of their dream." ...

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Rush makes Fox News list of 11 bands better than The Beatles
2:01PM EST | link | comments (22) |

The Beatles arrive in the USToday is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first landing in the United States. In celebration of the event, Fox News has created their list of 11 bands better than The Beatles?, and coming in at #7 is our favorite Canadian power trio:

Call it Revenge of the Nerds, Part 2112: It only took The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame a few decades to recognize what fans have known since the band's "Working Man" days - the collective musicianship of this Canadian power trio has no counterpart. (A legion of air drummers, guitarists, and bassists all just wheedle-deedled their approval in spirited unison.)

Essential listening: Moving Pictures (1981)

Led Zeppelin came out on top of the list which you can check out here. Thanks to Bill B for the heads up.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:08PM EST | link | comments (4) |

John Wesley and Alex LifesonThis past week we learned of 2 separate musical side projects that Alex Lifeson has been involved with recently including a guest guitar solo on guitarist John Wesley's upcoming Disconnect album, along with executive producing and playing some guitar on Keram Malicki-Sanchez's new album Come to Life. Disconnect will release on April 1st in the US and Wesley revealed via his Facebook page yesterday that Alex Lifeson performs a mind-blowing guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley is probably best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree. Alex Lifeson played a guest guitar solo on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet on the track Anesthetize back in 2007.

Come to LifeAlex's other side project involves Canadian-born actor and musician Keram Malicki-Sanchez's new album Come to Life. Malicki-Sanchez recently launched an online campaign via IndieGogo to raise the funds he needs to finish the album that he has spent seven years creating along with 20 other renowned artists, one of whom is Alex Lifeson. Malicki-Sanchez met Lifeson while working on the film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, where Lifeson played the role of Dr. Figg. In addition to playing guitar on the album, Lifeson was executive producer and also recruited the help of Rush's mixing engineer Rich Chycki and mastering engineer Andy Vandette. You can find out all the details including how to secure your own copy of Come to Life on the IndieGogo page here. There's also this YouTube video where Malicki-Sanchez discusses the project. He talks about Alex's contributions at about the 2:35 mark.

Earlier this week Comic Book Resources posted a new interview with Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson where they discuss the upcoming graphic novel treatment of the Clockwork Angels novel. The article also included a preview of 3 pages from issue #1 of the comic which is due to for release on March 19th. Here's Peart discussing his personal history with comics:

... "When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, comic books were a very important part of my life. I devoured hundreds of them, I realize now -- all of the superheroes, and everything else from Archie and Veronica to 'Classics Illustrated,'" ... "On a family car trip, I might be allowed to select two new comic books from a drugstore rack, and that was about as thrilling as could be for a suburban Canadian boy. Over the years, I shared all the typical flashlight-under-the-blankets experiences. Comic books entertained me, delighted me, inspired me, and definitely taught me a few things, too," ... "In Grade 8 I won a public-speaking medal for a speech about General Douglas McArthur that was 'researched' in one of the World War II comics that were also popular in that era."... "It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me," ... "The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that 'Clockwork Angels' will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe -- a phenomenon I call 'artificial reality' -- and it is exciting to be a part of it." ...

You can read the entire article/interview and check out the previews at this location. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six issues beginning on March 19th. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will also be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

From The Riser: A Drummer's Perspective IIAuthor and photographer David Phillips launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday to help fund the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2010 coffee table book A Drummer's Perspective. The second book - slated for release later this spring - is titled From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II and will include stunning, behind-the-kit photographs of more than 100 drummers. Neil Peart appears on the book's cover and has also written the foreword. For more information and to learn how to secure your copy of the book along with many other extra perks, just visit the KickStarter project page at this location.

This past weekend RushFanForever dug up an old interview from back in late 2012 with Canadian photographer Deborah Samuel. Samuel worked with Hugh Syme on some of Rush's most iconic album covers, namely Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left and Signals. In the interview Samuel describes her role in photographing these covers and offers up a number of interesting tidbits and pieces of trivia about the photo sessions. You can check out excerpts from the interview in this post and read the entire thing here.

Yesterday we learned about a Rush 2112 reference in the 2012 independent scifi/comedy film The History of Future Folk (the film was released on DVD this past summer). The film tells the exaggerated and hilarious origin story of the real life alien bluegrass duo, Future Folk. In a scene towards the beginning of the film one of the protagonists is chased into a parking garage and runs by a sign displaying the rate for overnight parking - $21.12. You can check out a screenshot here and also watch the film on Netflix (the reference comes in at about the 9:35 mark).

Earlier this week MacRumors.com posted a review of the new features available in the fifth developer beta release of iOS 7.1. One of the new features is a Buy Album button now included with iTunes Radio. In their example screenshot for the new iTunes Radio feature they use Rush's The Spirit of Radio Greatest Hits as seen here.

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently sat down with Guitar Center for an interview at their San Francisco store. At one point he talks about hanging out with Alex Lifeson after a Rush show:

There was another time when I found myself thinking, "Holy sh*t. I'm living my high school fantasy". And that was when I had gone to see Rush and then after the show I was hanging out with Alex Lifeson. We were just hanging out, drinking wine, talking about guitars and I thought, "Yeah - I really made it. I'm really here, right now, hanging out with Alex Lifeson backstage drinking wine." It doesn't get much better than that.

You can check out the full interview on YouTube below or at this link; the Rush part comes in at about the 6:25 mark.

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

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Metallica's Kirk Hammett talks about hanging out with Alex Lifeson in new Guitar Center interview
9:53AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Kirk HammettMetallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently sat down with Guitar Center for an interview at their San Francisco store. At one point he talks about hanging out with Alex Lifeson after a Rush show:

There was another time when I found myself thinking, "Holy sh*t. I'm living my high school fantasy". And that was when I had gone to see Rush and then after the show I was hanging out with Alex Lifeson. We were just hanging out, drinking wine, talking about guitars and I thought, "Yeah - I really made it. I'm really here, right now, hanging out with Alex Lifeson backstage drinking wine." It doesn't get much better than that.

You can check out the full interview on YouTube below or at this link; the Rush part comes in at about the 6:25 mark. Thanks to Chris C for the heads up. Hammett has mentioned Lifeson as being a huge influence several times in the past, and was one of the artists interviewed for the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II featuring a foreword by Neil Peart
3:48PM EST | link | comments (5) |

From The Riser: A Drummer's Perspective IIAuthor and photographer David Phillips launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier today to fund the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2010 coffee table book A Drummer's Perspective. The second book - slated for release later this spring - is titled From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II and will include stunning, behind-the-kit photographs of more than 100 drummers. Neil Peart appears on the book's cover and has also written the foreword. For more information and to learn how to secure your copy of the book along with many other extra perks, just visit the KickStarter project page at this location. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson guest appearance on John Wesley album Disconnect
1:15PM EST | link | comments (6) |

John Wesley and Alex LifesonGuitarist John Wesley is likely best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree, but he's also an accomplished solo musician in his own right. He'll be releasing his latest album Disconnect next month and just revealed via his Facebook page that Alex Lifeson performs a mind-blowing guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior:

7 years ago I was fortunate enough to meet and spend some time with one of my early guitar heroes, Alex Lifeson of RUSH. He's been a HUGE influence on my guitar playing throughout the years, and he's also one of the kindest human beings you'll ever meet.

Now, 7 years later, he's performed a MIND-BLOWING guitar solo on my song, 'Once a Warrior.'

I'm so happy to have Alex on my new album, 'Disconnect,' and I can't wait for you to hear it!

Disconnect will be available in Europe and the UK on March 31st, and on April 1st in the US via InsideOut Music. For more information visit John's website here or follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Alex Lifeson played a guest guitar solo on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet on the track Anesthetize back in 2007. We also just found out yesterday of another Alex Lifeson guest appearance; Alex plays guitar and executive produced Keram Malicki-Sanchez's new album Come to Life.

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Rush 2112 reference in indie film The History of Future Folk
11:53AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Reader Patrick noticed a Rush 2112 reference in the 2012 independent scifi/comedy film The History of Future Folk (the film was released on DVD this past summer). The film tells the exaggerated and hilarious origin story of the real life alien bluegrass duo, Future Folk. In a scene towards the beginning of the film one of the protagonists is chased into a parking garage and runs by a sign displaying the rate for overnight parking - $21.12. You can check out a screenshot here and also watch the film on Netflix (the reference comes in at about the 9:35 mark).

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alex Lifeson guest appearance on Keram Malicki-Sanchez album Come to Life
2:42PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Come to LifeCanadian-born actor and musician Keram Malicki-Sanchez has started an online campaign via IndieGogo to raise the funds he needs to finish an album titled Come to Life that he has spent seven years creating along with 20 other renowned artists, one of whom is Alex Lifeson. Malicki-Sanchez met Lifeson while working on the film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, where Lifeson played the role of Dr. Figg. In addition to playing guitar on the album, Lifeson also was executive producer as described on the IndieGogo page:

RUSH Fans will want to hear these never before heard tracks featuring guitar work by Alex Lifeson! Alex did more than just play on the record, he became a mentor and executive producer, and in turn brought mixer Rich Chycki (RUSH, Aerosmith, Jonny Lang, Pink) on to mix "Mary Magdalene" which set a new standard for the rest of our mixes and mastering engineer Andy Vandette (Metric, David Bowie, Porcupine Tree) to master the the songs, thus some of the most important people responsible for making Rush records sound like they do.

You can find out all the details including how to secure your own copy of Come to Life on the IndieGogo page here. There's also this YouTube video where Malicki-Sanchez discusses the project. He talks about Alex's contributions at about the 2:35 mark.

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Clockwork Angels graphic novel preview, new interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart
1:24PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Clockwork Angels graphic novel previewComic Book Resources has posted a new interview with Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson where they discuss the upcoming graphic novel treatment of the Clockwork Angels novel. The article also includes a preview of 3 pages from issue #1 of the comic which is due to for release on March 19th. Here's Peart discussing his personal history with comics:

... "When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, comic books were a very important part of my life. I devoured hundreds of them, I realize now -- all of the superheroes, and everything else from Archie and Veronica to 'Classics Illustrated,'" ... "On a family car trip, I might be allowed to select two new comic books from a drugstore rack, and that was about as thrilling as could be for a suburban Canadian boy. Over the years, I shared all the typical flashlight-under-the-blankets experiences. Comic books entertained me, delighted me, inspired me, and definitely taught me a few things, too," ... "In Grade 8 I won a public-speaking medal for a speech about General Douglas McArthur that was 'researched' in one of the World War II comics that were also popular in that era."... "It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me," ... "The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that 'Clockwork Angels' will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe -- a phenomenon I call 'artificial reality' -- and it is exciting to be a part of it." ...

You can read the entire article/interview and check out the previews at this location. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning on March 19th. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be availabl on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Related Posts:
[Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson talk Clockwork Angels graphic novel in new interview]
[Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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MacRumors.com uses Rush as example in review for iOS 7.1 Beta 5 iTunes Radio features
10:54AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Yesterday MacRumors.com posted a review of the new features available in the fifth developer beta release of iOS 7.1. One of the new features is a Buy Album button now included with iTunes Radio. In their example screenshot for the new iTunes Radio feature they use Rush's The Spirit of Radio Greatest Hits as seen here. Thanks to Lee E for the heads up.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Photographer Deborah Samuel discusses her Rush album cover work
3:51PM EST | link | comments (30) |

Reader RushFanForever dug up this interview from back in late 2012 with Canadian photographer Deborah Samuel. Samuel worked with Hugh Syme on some of Rush's most iconic album covers, namely Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left and Signals. Here she discusses her role in photographing the Permanent Waves cover:

... Hugh Syme ... hired me to style the ... cover because of my work in music and fashion. There were already 2 photographers ... who had supplied the background hurricane shot and band shots. I ended up styling the model and shooting the newspaper (Dewey defeats Truman) while another British photographer, Fin Costello shot the Permanent Waves girl and Hugh Syme leaning against the pole waving on the cover. We then took the 4 elements-background hurricane shot by Flip Shulke, Permanent Waves girl, newspaper and Hugh leaning against the pole and printed the 4 negatives onto 1 piece of paper...a feat done before the invention of Photoshop ... took all night to get one image where the register of the 4 images onto 1 piece of paper was achieved.
The work we did on Permanent Waves led Hugh and I to doing numerous album covers together. ...

The model referred to was of course Paula Turnbull, but you may not have known that the man leaning against the pole was Hugh Syme himself. Which brings us to the Moving Pictures cover:

... Seeing as Hugh had put himself on the Permanent Waves cover it was my turn to be on the Moving Pictures cover as Joan of Arc, in one of the 3 paintings that were being moved by the moving men... In being Joan of Arc, I dressed in burlap, stood with my back to a pole with a shutter release cable in my hand, in order to take the picture, while Hugh squirted lighter fluid into a pie plate that was just in front of the lens and tossed in a match. ...

One of moving men was Mike Dixon, and you can see a video interview with him in this post. And then came Exit ... Stage Left, which was extremely difficult to put together as Deborah describes here:

... Paula Turnbull (the Permanent Waves girl) was living in Paris and a top model there. We had to bring her to Toronto from Paris for 1 night to shoot this cover. ... I contacted the vintage clothing store where I had rented [her costume] before and they still had the original sweater and the skirt in their inventory, which was a miracle really. The man who had played the King on The Farewell to Kings covers lived in Alberta and had to be found, and brought to Toronto. He got off the plane the night of the shoot and became very ill meaning we had to find a replacement for the King character within a couple of hours as we ... only had 6 hours to get the shot done. Hugh went out on Yonge Street looking for anyone that resembled the original King character. He found a young man on Yonge Street, who agreed to be the King. In he came ... got dressed up in a King costume and took on the role of the King in the middle of all this mayhem. I often wondered what was going through his mind during the shoot. It had to have been especially bizarre for him to walk into this production at the last moment. ...

Deborah also worked on the relatively simple concept for the Signals album. You can check out the entire, very interesting interview with Deborah at this location.

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