Archive: Blog Entries from March, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

John Wesley's Disconnect featuring Alex Lifeson released
10:51AM EST | link | comments (9) |

UPDATE - 4/3@1:40PM: For Spotify users, the entire album is available at this link.

Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect releases today in the UK and tomorrow in the US/Canada. Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on the album, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the official music video for the title track can be seen at this location. Thaddeus Wert at Progarchy.com calls the album his favorite of 2014 so far in his review which you can check out here. Wesley was interviewed for both The Prog Report and the Huffington Post earlier this month and in both interviews spoke a bit about the album, Porcupine Tree and working with Alex Lifeson. At one point in the Prog Report interview Wesley talks about how he and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson connected through Rush's music, and how much Alex Lifeson's guitar sound influenced Porcupine Tree's sound on their last few albums (at about the 9-minute mark):

... there was this heavy guitar element to Porcupine Tree that was coming out. I hate to say it but we have to give credit to Alex Lifeson for that. It was kind of a weird sub-conscious thing ...

Later in the interview (at the 16:45 mark) Wesley talks at length about how Alex Lifeson came to appear on Disconnect, and calls his solo on Once a Warrior "classic Alex". You can listen to the entire interview online at this location and order your copy of Disconnect at here.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:16PM EST | link | comments (64) |

Rush 2015 TourLast week Alex Lifeson revealed via a Rolling Stone interview that Rush is making plans to embark on some kind of anniversary tour in 2015. Since that interview was posted no further details regarding the tour have come to light. Given the timing and the band's insistence that they'd be taking at least a year off, it's unlikely we'll see a full length Rush album released before this tour. However, there's always a chance they'll release a song or two before then - similar to what was done with the Caravan/BU2B single release prior to the Time Machine Tour. Here's what Alex had to say about the proposed tour:

Rush wrapped up their worldwide Clockwork Angels tour just seven months ago, but they're already planning a lengthy "41st anniversary" tour for 2015, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson. "The three of us just had a meeting," Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. "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." ...

In celebration of the planned tour, last week's Rolling Stone Readers' Poll asked folks to vote for their 10 Greatest Rush Albums. The results were posted yesterday and you can check them out online here.

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRadio.com posted an article yesterday titled Not Fade Away: Rush's Simple, Straight-Ahead Debut Turns 40 which takes a look back at Rush's 1974 debut album. The article includes some new interview snippets with Geddy Lee from a recent Radio.com interview conducted late last year. Geddy has the following to say about Working Man - the track that helped break the band back in 1974:

... "Our parents were hard-working," ... "Life was a struggle for most people, no one was wealthy. You thought a lot about your future, and what kind of life do you want to live? Is it going to be enough for me to have that kind of life, where it's all about work, and a beer at the end of the day and a hug from your kids, and do it all again? So, it's kind of an ode to that guy who we worked so hard not to be, in a sense. We wanted to be musicians, and that was our ticket out of there. That was our escape for what was sort of inevitable for all of our friends and the world that we came from." ...

Here's what Geddy had to say about the recording of that first album:

... "It's hard to hear the record without going back in time. Your first record is such a milestone. It's like the impossible feat: you never think you're going to get signed, you never think you're going to get to make a record." ... "The first version of our first record was really crappy, and that's when we met the guy who really changed our lives, which was Terry Brown. And he became our producer for the next 10 years and taught us so much about making records." ... "He saved that album, when I think of that album, I think of him, I think of that first session, when we took those poorly recorded versions of those songs, and he decided what was salvageable and what we should just re-record." ...

The band will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of the album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl, which is due for release on April 15th. You can get all the details in the Rush.com press release and pre-order your copy at this location. The band released a 40-second promo video via YouTube earlier today which you can check out here.

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD and vinyl in Europe this month, and the CD is now available as an import in the US/Canada; the vinyl version will be available this coming Tuesday, April 1st. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Guitarist John Wesley will be releasing his latest album Disconnect next week and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on the album, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Disconnect will release this coming Monday, March 31st in the UK and on Tuesday, April 1st in the US, and can be pre-ordered now at this location. 30-second previews of all the tracks on the album are available for listening online here and the official music video for the title track can be seen at this location.

CLOCKWORK ANGELS Cover C by Hugh SymeThe first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels released last week. There are a number of different covers of the issue available as described in this post from a couple of weeks ago. There are 3 standard covers of the 1st issue available (Cover A, Cover B, and Cover C) along with another exclusive Rush and BOOM! Studios cover. The A, B, and C covers are available in comic stores, but the exclusive cover can only be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club or through BOOM! Studios. There are also a number of different subscription packages available as shown on the BOOM! Studios website. Subsequent issues of the graphic novel series will have 2 covers available; the standard cover and the Rush/BOOM! Studios exclusive cover. There is also an exclusive cover of the first issue available for purchase at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend, and yet another exclusive cover available only at Larry's Comics.

Rush 2015 wall calendarThe cover art for the official Rush 2015 wall calendar was recently revealed by NMR Distribution via this product listing on their website, although the theme of the calendar isn't completely clear. The cover has the look of a roadcase and depicts the band's Starman logo in red with a white RUSH explosion logo and the words 2015 Wall Calendar overlain on top of it. This 12"x12", 16-month calendar will officially release sometime this summer and is actually already available for pre-order via Amazon. The band's official 2014 calendar celebrates their 40th anniversary and can be purchased online here.

Last week new Cleveland Indians closing pitcher John Axford asked fans to help him determine what intro song he should use before entering games this season via an online poll. One of the choices given in the poll is Rush's Working Man. The track has made it into the final round of voting where it's up against Sabotage by the Beastie Boys. Voting closes this coming Monday, March 31st so go vote for Rush!

There was a brief Rush 2112 reference in a recent episode of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time (Season 5, Episode 49 - Bad Timing - aired 3/4/2014). Towards the beginning of the episode Princess Bubblegum unveils her new orb-shaped time travel machine, and explains how it works and how it is controlled by a pair of special gloves. The green pair of gloves display the time and, for one split second as she is adjusting the time, it reads 21:12. You can watch the episode online here and the reference occurs at about the 50-second mark, but if you blink you'll miss it so here's a screenshot.

Vodaphone commercial screenshotEagle-eyed reader Marcel noticed a Rush picture hanging on the wall in this Dutch Vodafone 4G commercial which has been airing regularly on Dutch TV. The photo can be seen right in the center of the wall above the LP rack, and it seems to be this photo of Alex and Geddy taken at the Ahoy in Rotterdam 1981.

Ben Bolch's NBA power rankings from this past Saturday's Los Angeles Times list the rankings in 5 separate categories, all named after Rush songs. The categories in order from best to worst are, The Big Money, Limelight, A Farewell to Kings, Distant Early Warning, and Fly By Night. Unfortunately all the online versions of his rankings seem to leave out the categories, but you can check out a photo scan of the article here (thanks Scott B).

Dream Theater are currently on tour and guitarist John Petrucci was interviewed by The Burlington County Times in the lead-up to their show at the Tower Theater earlier this week. He spoke a bit about the band's progressive rock roots, saying the following:

... "I remember the first time I heard Yes and Rush and it just had such an impact on me. But other bands had an effect on me, as well. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Metallica all had something to do with the music I've been inspired to play. "But Rush and Yes were huge with my friends while I was growing up on Long Island. We loved to listen to the Yes album 'Close to the Edge' and Rush's '2112.' " ...

Reader Dan recently visited a vascular surgeon in Naples, and noticed this humorous sign posted on the door leading to the procedure suite. The sign shows the Rush starman image with the words Intergalactic Endovascular Center of Excellence superimposed over it. Heh. :)

US tire manufacturer Goodyear recently unveiled the designs for its new blimp and are running a contest to determine what to name it. Christophe Silvey at TVMix.com came up with a few naming suggestions of his own including this Rush-themed one:

The Spirit of Radio - since Goodyear's Zeppelin partner is unashamedly playing the 'steampunk' card to attract retro-attention to its endeavors, why not also honor the rocking Rush opener, off their Permanent Waves album, which honors an increasingly archaic medium as well as being perfectly appropriate at sporting events all over the world (better that than 'Tom Sawyer,' I'd say).

Here's the Rush ReDISCovered LP box set promo video that Rush posted to YouTube earlier today:

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

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Geddy Lee on Rush's debut album in new Radio.com interview
1:12PM EST | link | comments (23) |

UPDATE - 3/28@11:48AM: Rush just released a 40-second promo video for the Rush ReDISCovered box set via YouTube which you can check out below or at this link:

----- snip -----

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setRadio.com posted an article earlier today titled Not Fade Away: Rush's Simple, Straight-Ahead Debut Turns 40 which takes a look back at Rush's 1974 debut album. The article includes some new interview snippets with Geddy Lee from a recent Radio.com interview conducted late last year. Geddy has the following to say about Working Man - the track that helped break the band back in 1974:

... "Our parents were hard-working," ... "Life was a struggle for most people, no one was wealthy. You thought a lot about your future, and what kind of life do you want to live? Is it going to be enough for me to have that kind of life, where it's all about work, and a beer at the end of the day and a hug from your kids, and do it all again? So, it's kind of an ode to that guy who we worked so hard not to be, in a sense. We wanted to be musicians, and that was our ticket out of there. That was our escape for what was sort of inevitable for all of our friends and the world that we came from." ...

Here's what Geddy had to say about the recording of that first album:

... "It's hard to hear the record without going back in time. Your first record is such a milestone. It's like the impossible feat: you never think you're going to get signed, you never think you're going to get to make a record." ... "The first version of our first record was really crappy, and that's when we met the guy who really changed our lives, which was Terry Brown. And he became our producer for the next 10 years and taught us so much about making records." ... "He saved that album, when I think of that album, I think of him, I think of that first session, when we took those poorly recorded versions of those songs, and he decided what was salvageable and what we should just re-record." ...

The band will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of the album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl, which is due for release on April 15th. You can get all the details in the Rush.com press release and pre-order your copy at this location.

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Rolling Stone Readers' Poll: 10 Greatest Rush Albums
10:03AM EST | link | comments (43) |

Rush albumsIn celebration of Alex Lifeson revealing plans for a 2015 Rush anniversary tour last week, the latest Rolling Stone Readers' Poll asked folks to vote for their 10 Greatest Rush Albums. The results were posted yesterday and you can check them out online here. The 10 albums in no particular order were Signals, Rush, Clockwork Angels, Counterparts, A Farewell to Kings, Grace Under Pressure, 2112, Power Windows, Moving Pictures and Hemispheres.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vote for Rush's Working Man to be Cleveland Indians closer John Axford's intro song
10:17AM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 3/28@9:13AM: And Working Man has made it to the final round of voting where it's up against Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, so be sure to go vote again!

UPDATE - 3/26@3:35PM: Working Man has made it to round 3 of the voting, so be sure to go vote again!

UPDATE - 3/25@9:51AM: Working Man has made it to round 2 of the voting, so go vote again!

John AxfordNew Cleveland Indians closing pitcher John Axford has asked fans to help him determine what intro song he should use before entering games this season via an online poll. One of the 12 choices given in the poll is Rush's Working Man. It's currently in second place to Sabotage by The Beastie Boys with 16%, so go vote for Rush (thanks Eric at Power Windows)! And while you're at it, keep voting for Rush's Limelight in the March Riff Madness contest; they are still losing to the Kinks in a close race with voting ending today.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rush 2112 reference in Cartoon Network's Adventure Time
2:17PM EST | link | comments (13) |

Reader Colton S noticed a brief Rush 2112 reference in a recent episode of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time (Season 5, Episode 49 - Bad Timing - aired 3/4/2014). Towards the beginning of the episode Princess Bubblegum unveils her new orb-shaped time travel machine, and explains how it works and how it is controlled by a pair of special gloves. The green pair of gloves display the time and, for one split second as she is adjusting the time, it reads 21:12. You can watch the episode online here and the reference occurs at about the 50-second mark, but if you blink you'll miss it so here's a screenshot.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:22PM EST | link | comments (27) |

Rush 2015 TourIn the wake of last year's Clockwork Angels Tour, all three members of Rush made it clear in interviews that the band would be taking at least a year off from touring, squelching any plans for a 2014 tour in celebration of the band's 40th anniversary. However, they also indicated that they did expect that they'd be touring again as early as 2015, and according to a short Rolling Stone interview with Alex Lifeson that was posted yesterday, that's exactly what they are planning to do:

Rush wrapped up their worldwide Clockwork Angels tour just seven months ago, but they're already planning a lengthy "41st anniversary" tour for 2015, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson. "The three of us just had a meeting," Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. "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." ...

A couple of things that stood out for me were the description of the planned tour as lengthy and fan-focused with rarer Rush material. More details as they become available.

CLOCKWORK ANGELS Cover C by Hugh SymeThe first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels released this past Wednesday. There are a number of different covers of the issue available as described in this post from a couple of weeks ago. There are 3 standard covers of the 1st issue available (Cover A, Cover B, and Cover C) along with another exclusive Rush and BOOM! Studios cover. The A, B, and C covers are available in comic stores, but the exclusive cover can only be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club or through BOOM! Studios. There are also a number of different subscription packages available as shown on the BOOM! Studios website. Subsequent issues of the graphic novel series will have 2 covers available; the standard cover and the Rush/BOOM! Studios exclusive cover. There will also be an exclusive cover of the first issue available for purchase at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle next week on March 28th, and yet another exclusive cover available only at Larry's Comics. Earlier this week Comicbook.com posted a preview of the first several pages from the inaugural issue which you can check out here. There's also this great 5/5 review of issue #1 from Big Comic Page.

... WOW! Robles' illustrations on this are nothing short of spectacular, managing to encapsulate perfectly the writing of Anderson and the feel that Peart gives to all of his works. The use of sepia tones to indicate present time is a nice touch as well, what with the story being mostly told in flashbacks, and gives the whole thing an almost 'Wizard of Oz' feel to it. Everything is so beautifully sculpted that a world is created that manages to be both Victorian Steampunk and Sci-Fi Opera. ...

And here's yet another 5/5 review - this one from Comic Bastards, along with this lukewarm, 3/5 review from Bloody Disgusting. Kevin J. Anderson was interviewed for the Canadian SPACE Channel's Inner Space program earlier this week and spoke for a couple of minutes about the graphic novel and his collaboration with Neil Peart. You can check out the video of Anderson's appearance here (thanks bucklemyshoe).

Neil Peart snowy selfieEarlier this week Neil Peart once again updated the news page on his website. The March, 2014 entry is titled Not All Days Are Sundays and in it Neil talks about enjoying the winter in Quebec with his family, and also dealing with the death of his good friend Steve (Steve was the elder brother of his late wife Jackie). You can read the entire update on Neil's website here.

Last Friday the folks at RushCon released several more details regarding this year's convention celebrating the 40th anniversary of Rush, including travel information and the event schedule. The 14th annual RushCon will be held at The Great Hall in Toronto the weekend of August 22-24. The convention will consist of 3 days of Rush-filled events, including a Friday night opening mixer (location TBD); Rush tribute band show; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; special guest speaker Kevin J. Anderson; and more! There's a discounted 3-day rate available until March 31st, and you can register online now at this location. Applications for the Rush tribute band contest are now being accepted here. 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.

Rush 2015 wall calendarThe cover art for the official Rush 2015 wall calendar has been revealed by NMR Distribution via this product listing on their website, although the theme of the calendar isn't completely clear. The cover has the look of a roadcase and depicts the band's Starman logo in red with a white RUSH explosion logo and the words 2015 Wall Calendar overlain on top of it. This 12"x12", 16-month calendar will officially release sometime this summer and is actually already available for pre-order via Amazon. The band's official 2014 calendar celebrates their 40th anniversary and can be purchased online here.

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD and vinyl in Europe this month, and the CD is now available as an import in the US/Canada; the vinyl version will be available on April 1st. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Rush commemorative 40th anniversary frameRush's official merchandise store at the Rush Backstage Club is now offering Rush commemorative frames in 7 different varieties. There's a 40th anniversary framed LP, a framed discography, a framed Gold 45 album collection, and various Gold and Platinum framed LPs. Prices fall in the $150-$200 range and you can check them all out at the Rush Backstage Club here.

Ultimate Classic Rock is currently running their March Riff Madness contest where they pit 64 classic rock songs against each other in a bracket-style match-up. Rush's Limelight has made it to round 3 after defeating Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak last week. It is currently matched up against The Kinks' You Really Got Me and is losing in a close race. You can vote once per hour through this coming Sunday, March 23rd so go vote for Rush!

Reader Mike W let me know about a 2112 sighting at an Antique Relics Mall in Springfield, Missouri. It's some kind of glass frame with the words Booth 2112 written on it as seen here.

Brad Birzer at Progarchy.com wrote a piece this past week titled Neil Peart: The Most Endangered Species (thanks Don D) where he pays tribute to one of Rush's perfect songs - Natural Science from the Permanent Waves album.

Yesterday marked the 5th anniversary of the release of the 2009 film I Love You Man starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. The film included a number of Rush references and a cameo from the band themselves. Here's the full, extended concert clip from the movie where Rush plays Limelight as the boys rock out in the audience:

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

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rush making plans for a 2015 41st anniversary tour
3:21PM EST | link | comments (72) |

Rush 2015 TourRollingStone.com just reported the following big news regarding a possible 2015 Rush 41st anniversary tour:

Rush wrapped up their worldwide Clockwork Angels tour just seven months ago, but they're already planning a lengthy "41st anniversary" tour for 2015, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson. "The three of us just had a meeting," Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. "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."

The specifics of the tour are still in flux. "We haven't really talked seriously about what we want to do," says Lifeson. "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," Lifeson says. "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." ...

More details as they become available. Thanks to mike d for the heads up.

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Rush official 2015 wall calendar artwork revealed
1:34PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rush 2015 wall calendarThe cover art for the official Rush 2015 wall calendar has been revealed by NMR Distribution via this product listing on their website, although the theme of the calendar isn't completely clear. The cover has the look of a roadcase and depicts the band's Starman logo in red with a white RUSH explosion logo and the words 2015 Wall Calendar overlain on top of it. This 12"x12", 16-month calendar will officially release sometime this summer and is actually already available for pre-order via Amazon. The band's official 2014 calendar celebrates their 40th anniversary and can be purchased online here.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
9:08PM EST | link | comments (34) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: March, 2014 - Not All Days Are Sundays]

Neil Peart snowy selfieNeil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The March, 2014 entry is titled Not All Days Are Sundays and in it Neil talks about enjoying the winter in Quebec with his family, and also dealing with the death of his good friend Steve (Steve was the elder brother of his late wife Jackie). You can read the entire update on Neil's website here.

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Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue #1 preview
9:40AM EST | link | comments (2) |

UPDATE - 3/21@1:18PM: Here's a lukewarm, 3/5 review from Bloody Disgusting.

UPDATE - 3/20@1:16PM: Kevin J. Anderson was interviewed for the Canadian SPACE Channel's Inner Space program earlier this week and spoke for a couple of minutes about the graphic novel and his collaboration with Neil Peart. You can check out the video of Anderson's appearance here (thanks bucklemyshoe).

UPDATE - 3/19@4:44PM: Here's yet another 5/5 review - this one from Comic Bastards.

UPDATE - 3/19@11:55AM: Here's a great 5/5 review of issue #1 from Big Comic Page.

... WOW! Robles' illustrations on this are nothing short of spectacular, managing to encapsulate perfectly the writing of Anderson and the feel that Peart gives to all of his works. The use of sepia tones to indicate present time is a nice touch as well, what with the story being mostly told in flashbacks, and gives the whole thing an almost 'Wizard of Oz' feel to it. Everything is so beautifully sculpted that a world is created that manages to be both Victorian Steampunk and Sci-Fi Opera. ...

----- snip -----

CLOCKWORK ANGELS Cover C by Hugh SymeThe first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels releases tomorrow. Comicbook.com has posted a preview of the first several pages from the inaugural issue which you can check out here. There will be a number of different covers of the first issue made available as described in this post from last week. There will be 3 standard covers of the 1st issue available (Cover A, Cover B, and Cover C) along with another exclusive Rush and BOOM! Studios cover. The A, B, and C covers will be available in comic stores, but the exclusive cover can only be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club or through BOOM! Studios. There are also a number of different subscription packages available as shown on the BOOM! Studios website. Subsequent issues of the graphic novel series will have 2 covers available; the standard cover and the Rush/BOOM! Studios exclusive cover. There will also be an exclusive cover of the first issue available for purchase at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 28th, and yet another exclusive cover available only at Larry's Comics.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art updates]
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art preview]
[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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Monday, March 17, 2014

Rush commemorative frames now available at the Rush Backstage Club
9:50AM EST | link | comments (28) |

Rush commemorative 40th anniversary frameRush's official merchandise store at the Rush Backstage Club is now offering Rush commemorative frames in 7 different varieties. There's a 40th anniversary framed LP, a framed discography, a framed Gold 45 album collection, and various Gold and Platinum framed LPs. Prices fall in the $150-$200 range and you can check them all out at the Rush Backstage Club here.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

RushCon 14 event details released, registration now open
12:13PM EST | link | comments (3) |

RushCon 14Yesterday afternoon the folks at RushCon released several more details regarding this year's convention celebrating the 40th anniversary of Rush, including travel information and the event schedule. The 14th annual RushCon will be held at The Great Hall in Toronto the weekend of August 22-24. The convention will consist of 3 days of Rush-filled events, including a Friday night opening mixer (location TBD); Rush tribute band show; Rush-themed trivia, games, multimedia shows, door prizes, etc.; the Rush charity auction; special guest speaker Kevin J. Anderson; and more! There's a discounted 3-day rate available until March 31st, and you can register online now at this location. Applications for the Rush tribute band contest are now being accepted here. 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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Friday, March 14, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:37PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Clockwork Angels Larry's Comics coverThe first of six issues of the graphic novel version of Clockwork Angels will be released this coming Wednesday, March 19th. There will be a number of different covers available as described in this post from last week. There will be 3 standard covers of the 1st issue available (Cover A, Cover B, and Cover C) along with another exclusive Rush and BOOM! Studios cover. The A, B, and C covers will be available in comic stores, but the exclusive cover can only be purchased via the Rush Backstage Club or through BOOM! Studios. There are also a number of different subscription packages available as shown on the BOOM! Studios website. Subsequent issues of the graphic novel series will have 2 covers available; the standard cover and the Rush/BOOM! Studios exclusive cover. There will also be an exclusive cover of the first issue available for purchase at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 28th, and yet another exclusive cover available only at Larry's Comics. That's a lot of covers!

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves was released on CD and vinyl in Europe this month, and will be available as an import in the US/Canada next week. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The release has actually already been available for digital download in Europe since December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers there (but not in the US/Canada). This unofficial release is similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live CD from a few years back, and is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 2LP (4-sided) record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Guitarist John Wesley will be releasing his latest album Disconnect later this month and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley has been hitting the interview circuit to promote the album and recently chatted with both the Prog Report and with Phil Simon at The Huffington Post. In both interviews Wesley reveals how Alex Lifeson became involved with the album, and also discusses all of his other various side projects. At one point in the Prog Report interview Wesley talks about how he and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson connected through Rush's music, and how much Alex Lifeson's guitar sound influenced the band's sound on their last few albums (at about the 9-minute mark):

... there was this heavy guitar element to Porcupine Tree that was coming out. I hate to say it but we have to give credit to Alex Lifeson for that. It was kind of a weird sub-conscious thing ...

Later in the interview (at the 16:45 mark) Wesley talks at length about how Alex Lifeson came to appear on Disconnect, and calls his solo on Once a Warrior "classic Alex". You can listen to the entire interview online at this location, and you can check out Phil Simon's Huffington Post Skype interview with John here. Disconnect will release on March 31st in the UK and April 1st in the US, and can be pre-ordered now at this location.

Speaking of Phil Simon - in addition to being a Huffington Post contributor, Phil is an author, Rush fan, tech consultant, and RIAB reader, and he'll be releasing his latest book this coming Monday, March 17th. It's titled The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions and - like most of Simon's books - it is chock full of Rush references, including a nod to the band in the acknowledgements. When Rush is on tour Phil is known for offering organizations a free speaking engagement provided they buy him Rush tickets and pay travel expenses. Phil usually finds a way to slip a Rush reference into his speeches too. At a Tech Cocktail talk last summer on the fallibility of experts, he used the fact that Rush was once dismissed by the experts to help illustrate his point as shown in this video (at the 7:20 mark).

Earlier this week Billboard compiled their list of the 40 highest-paid musicians of the past 12 months and Rush made the cut coming in at #35 with a total of $9,050,583.42. Rush also made the list last year, coming in slightly higher at #28 despite making slightly less revenue ($8,719,834.30). Other rock acts that came in higher than Rush were Imagine Dragons (#31), Phish (#25), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (#24), The Eagles (#22), Paul McCartney (#21), Dave Matthews Band (#19), Fleetwood Mac (#10), The Rolling Stones (#5), and Bon Jovi (#4). Topping the list was Taylor Swift with a whopping total of $39,699,575.60. The artists were ranked by U.S. earnings calculated from touring and music sales (including digital and streaming), but excluding revenue from sponsorship and merchandising. You can check out the entire list at this location.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is the latest video game based on the long-running Comedy Central animated series South Park. It's a role-playing style game where players can unlock access to the great nation of Canada - the O Canada level - at one point. The Canada portion of the game is rendered in 8-bit, Ultima-style and a Rush poster can clearly be seen on the wall in one of the houses as shown here. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are both friends of Rush, and a cartoon version of the band appeared in the South Park episode Royal Pudding (Season 15, Episode 3) as shown here. They also created a special Lil' Rush intro video to Tom Sawyer featuring the South Park gang that was used on the Snakes & Arrows tour as seen here.

Ultimate Classic Rock is running their March Riff Madness contest where they pit 64 classic rock songs against each other in a bracket-style match-up. Rush's Limelight has made it to round 2 where it is up against Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak. You can vote once per hour through this coming Sunday, March 16th so go vote for Rush (thanks Kelly M).

American country music group The Band Perry is currently on tour, and at one recent show the drummer broke into the Tom Sawyer drum fill after he was introduced by the band. You can check out a video of it on YouTube here (thanks Craig).

Just in time for St. Patty's Day, Seamus Egan of the Irish-American group Solas was recently interviewed for Fly Magazine. When asked about the kind of music that he connected with as a teenager in Philadelphia in the '80s he says, "I remember becoming obsessed with Rush and 'Tom Sawyer,' so that will give you an indication of where I was at". Thanks to livestarmark for the heads up.

Reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to let you all know that he still needs to fill some slots in his annual rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League in time for their draft on Sunday. It's a 20 Team Roto League where they don't play for money - just for fun and bragging rights, so it's free to join. If you are interested email him at elwood2000@hotmail.com.

Alex Lifeson for the Kidney Foundation of CanadaMarch is kidney health month in Canada and the Kidney Foundation of Canada announced their new free Online Risk Assessment tool via a press release earlier this week. Last fall Alex Lifeson helped raise awareness of the conditions that cause kidney disease with this 30-second commercial spot. The Kidney Foundation of Canada launched an updated version of the commercial which highlights the new assessment tool. The press release mentions the important role Alex Lifeson has played in helping to raise awareness:

The PSA features Rush guitarist, Alex Lifeson, whose family has suffered from conditions that cause kidney disease. "During the Kidney Foundation's 50th anniversary year, we're taking extra steps to empower individuals to actively engage in their kidney health care," says Paul Shay, the charity's National Executive Director. "Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson's participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider - crucial resources for their kidney health management." ...

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend, a happy Pi Day, and a happy St. Patrick's day! Many thanks to Eric over at Power Windows for providing the St. Patty's Starman image.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Alex Lifeson helps launch The Kidney Foundation of Canada's new Online Risk Assessment Tool
11:22AM EST | link | comments (15) |

Alex Lifeson for the Kidney Foundation of CanadaMarch is kidney health month in Canada and the Kidney Foundation of Canada has announced via a press release this morning their new free Online Risk Assessment tool. Last fall Alex Lifeson helped raise awareness of the conditions that cause kidney disease with this 30-second commercial spot. The Kidney Foundation of Canada has launched an updated version of the commercial which highlights the new assessment tool and the press release mentions the important role Alex Lifeson has played in helping to raise awareness:

The PSA features Rush guitarist, Alex Lifeson, whose family has suffered from conditions that cause kidney disease. "During the Kidney Foundation's 50th anniversary year, we're taking extra steps to empower individuals to actively engage in their kidney health care," says Paul Shay, the charity's National Executive Director. "Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson's participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider - crucial resources for their kidney health management." ...

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

John Wesley on Rush, Porcupine Tree, and working with Alex Lifeson in new interview
8:39AM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 3/13@12:52PM: Phil Simon at the Huffington Post sat down with John Wesley for a 10-minute Skype interview earlier today. John talks about the new album along with all of his various side projects, and elaborates on how Alex Lifeson became involved. You can check it out online here.

Guitarist John Wesley will be releasing his latest album Disconnect later this month and Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on the album, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley was recently interviewed for The Prog Report and spoke a bit about the album, Porcupine Tree and working with Alex Lifeson. At one point Wesley talks about how he and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson connected through Rush's music, and how much Alex Lifeson's guitar sound influenced Porcupine Tree's sound on their last few albums (at about the 9-minute mark):

... there was this heavy guitar element to Porcupine Tree that was coming out. I hate to say it but we have to give credit to Alex Lifeson for that. It was kind of a weird sub-conscious thing ...

Later in the interview (at the 16:45 mark) Wesley talks at length about how Alex Lifeson came to appear on Disconnect, and calls his solo on Once a Warrior "classic Alex". You can listen to the entire interview online below or at this location (thanks RushFanForever). Disconnect will release on March 31st in the UK and April 1st in the US, and can be pre-ordered now at this location.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Rush makes Billboard's list of Music's Top 40 Money Makers
1:15PM EST | link | comments (37) |

Rush moneyBillboard has compiled a list of the 40 highest-paid musicians of the past 12 months and Rush made the cut coming in at #35 with a total of $9,050,583.42 (thanks teckler). Rush also made the list last year, coming in slightly higher at #28 despite making slightly less revenue ($8,719,834.30). Other rock acts that came in higher than Rush were Imagine Dragons (#31), Phish (#25), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (#24), The Eagles (#22), Paul McCartney (#21), Dave Matthews Band (#19), Fleetwood Mac (#10), The Rolling Stones (#5), and Bon Jovi (#4). Topping the list was Taylor Swift with a whopping total of $39,699,575.60. The artists were ranked by U.S. earnings calculated from touring and music sales (including digital and streaming), but excluding revenue from sponsorship and merchandising. You can check out the entire list at this location.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rush reference in South Park: The Stick of Truth video game
5:51PM EST | link | comments (4) |

South Park: The Stick of Truth is the latest video game based on the long-running Comedy Central animated series South Park, and was released this past week. It's a role-playing style game where players can unlock access to the great nation of Canada - the O Canada level - at one point. The Canada portion of the game is rendered in 8-bit, Ultima-style and a Rush poster can clearly be seen on the wall in one of the houses as shown here (thanks G2112). South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are both friends of Rush, and a cartoon version of the band appeared in the South Park episode Royal Pudding (Season 15, Episode 3) as shown here. They also created a special Lil' Rush intro video to Tom Sawyer featuring the South Park gang that was used on the Snakes & Arrows tour as seen here.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:52PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Rush ReDISCovered LP box setEarlier this week we learned that Rush would be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their debut album with a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set containing a re-mastered version of the album on 200g vinyl, along with several other extras. From the Rush.com press release:

... To mark the band's 40-year recording career, on April 15, 2013, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will celebrate with the vinyl reissue of the original Moon Records (pre-Mercury) release of Rush, as part of Universal's reDISCovered vinyl series. Housed in a sturdy, custom box with a lift-off top, this landmark album is pressed on 200g, audiophile grade vinyl, from the original 1974 analog stereo masters, cut to copper plates using the Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) process at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Rush also features the original Moon Records jacket art, complete with the original MN-100-A/B Matrix etching, and will include a 16″x22″ reproduction of the first Rush promo poster, three 5″x7″ lithographs of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and John Rutsey, a 12″x12″ Rush Family Tree poster, and a digital download card for a free digital copy of this newly remastered release. ...

You can check out a photo of the box set contents here and pre-order your copy at this location.

Caleb JohhsonThe month of March (exact date unknown) marks the 40th anniversary of the Moon Records release of Rush's debut album. Undoubtedly the biggest hit from that album was the closing track Working Man - the song that ultimately broke the band in the US back in 1974. So it was very timely that American Idol finalist Caleb Johnson decided to choose this very song for his Home Week performance on this past week's episode. In the beginning of his segment Caleb explains why he chose Rush's Working Man, telling stories about his hometown and the personal relevance of Rush and the song to him. He concludes his segment by saying that, I'm really excited and thrilled to sing some Rush on American Idol. He then gets introduced by Ryan Seacrest and reiterates that Rush is his favorite band of all time. He then belts out a truncated, 2-minute version of the Rush classic that the judges really liked for the most part. Here's the video including the intro segment and judge's remarks, and here's the higher-quality, official YouTube video of just the performance. Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo! TV had many great things to say about the performance and the judge's responses:

Last week, Caleb professed his love for Rush. That had me stoked, but I still never thought I'd hear a Rush song on "Idol." Ever. I just didn't think the powers-that-be would allow it, or Rush would clear it, or Caleb would take the risk. But this week, Caleb surprisingly took on Rush's "Working Man" - and he worked it, all right. I would have preferred "Tom Sawyer" or "Red Barchetta," but hey, it was A RUSH SONG ON "AMERICAN IDOL," belted with full-gale force, ending with a dramatic collapse to the floor, so I sure wasn't going to complain here. This was kind of awesome. I just wish Harry had thought so. Harry called the performance "predictable," despite the fact that, like I just said, I doubt anyone had ever predicted there'd be a Rush cover on this show. Harry also blasted Caleb for being too "consistent," which made no sense. What's wrong with Caleb being consistent, if he's consistently awesome? Thankfully, Keith and J.Lo were kinder. Keith told Caleb, "You're seriously one of the best singers I've heard in a long, long time," and Jennifer said, "I love you. You're what I've been waiting for all night." Now please excuse me while I (wait for it) rush to my phone to vote 50 times for Caleb.

Dave Holmes at Vulture magazine also chimed in with some comments of his own about Caleb's performance:

Rush! On American Idol! Weird, wonderful things are happening this season. Caleb is definitely the most committed to putting on a show, and he gives "Working Man" the big-personality treatment that Geddy Lee never could. ...

And here's a post-show interview with Caleb where he responds to the judge's comments and talks about his love of Rush.

In keeping with the Working Man theme, reader Brian let me know of a Rush reference in Marvel Comics Night of the Living Deadpool issue #2, which was released back on January 29th. In one scene Deadpool hums a couple of lines from Rush's Working Man as shown in this scan. And reader rushfanben let me know that Scandinavian metal band Grace.Will.Fall will be releasing a new album later this month titled No Rush. The album's cover is a tribute to Rush's debut album and uses the same Rush explosion font and background, spelling out the band's name. You can check it out on the band's website here.

BMW ON, March 2014 Neil Pear featureNeil Peart is featured in the March, 2014 issue of the BMW Owners News (BMW ON) for an interview feature conducted by Don Argento titled Backroads & Backbeats: Neil Peart takes the Scenic Way to Work. In it Neil Peart talks about his habit of traveling by motorcycle between shows on Rush tours, and why he prefers BMWs:

... Peart doesn't really love motorcycles as objects, but more like what Melissa Holbrook Pierson called "The Perfect Vehicle." He considers one motorcycle, his GS, to be all he needs. He turns them over every 50,000 miles, selling them to friends, and all are accounted for. He calls them the "GS Geezers," and is now riding "Geezer 7." What's so significant about 50,000 miles? He explains, "For me it's kind of the benchmark. Like cars, motorcycles have an arc. For a two-cylinder motorcycle to have a trouble-free 50,000 miles is pretty admirable to me." ...

He goes on to describe how he got into motorcycling in his 40s and goes over his typical daily routine when traveling on tour. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the entire article and made it available online here.

A few weeks ago Boom! Studios released previews of 3 separate covers for the inaugural edition of the 6-part Clockwork Angels graphic novel series due out later this month. Last night Kevin J. Anderson posted an update to his blog explaining all the various covers that will be made available, including a couple of others that were not included in the Boom! Studios release:

BOOM! Studios will release the first issue (of six) of CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Graphic Novel, scripted by me and with art by Nick Robles in a few weeks. The comic will debut at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 28, with a special exclusive cover for ECCC. There will be three variant covers in comic stores, an exclusive cover for the rush.com and BOOM! websites, and a limited cover for distribution with the Larry's Comics chain. All copies are about $4 retail.

The Boom! Studios press release previews look to have been the 3 A, B and C variant covers that will be available in comic stores. These can be pre-ordered via the Boom! Studios website here, as can the special, exclusive lyrics cover for the rush.com and BOOM! websites. There's also an exclusive Larry's Comics special cover, along with the Emerald City Comic Con cover here. Anderson also noted that the paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th with a new Headlong Flight cover by Hugh Syme, and can be pre-ordered here.

Speaking of Kevin J. Anderson and Hugh Syme, this May ECW Press will release a special 25th anniversary paperback edition of his first novel Resurrection Inc., which was inspired by Rush's Grace Under Pressure album. This edition will include an extensive new introduction and afterword by Anderson along with a new cover by Hugh Syme. The book will release on May 13th and can be pre-ordered at this location.

Dustin Petzold at the sports blog Crooked Scoreboard wrote an article earlier this week titled Let's Start a Band: Sports Edition where he puts together a fictional band of well-known sports figures. Because of his baseball mega-fan status, Geddy Lee is assigned the bass guitar duties. Keeping on the baseball theme, reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to let you all know that a few spots are open for his annual rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League. It's a 20 Team Roto League where they don't play for money - just for fun and bragging rights, so it's free to join. If you are interested email him at elwood2000@hotmail.com.

Laura Mazzuca Toops at National Underwriter website propertycasualty360.com recently wrote an article discussing driverless cars and their implications relating to the insurance industry. The article is titled Insuring the Red Barchetta and it opens up with a quote from Rush's Red Barchetta. You can check it out online here (thanks Don L).

Apparently internet cat sensation and YouTube star Lil BUB is a Rush fan as can be seen in this recent video. The video is from Lil BUB's winter cabin and there's a framed Rush picture hanging on the wall as shown here (thanks Rick L).

Andy Greene at Rolling Stone wrote a short piece for RollingStone.com earlier this week where he took a look back at Rush's emotional live return from their 5-year hiatus at their June 28, 2002 Hartford show.

The opening night of Rush's 2002 summer tour was perhaps the most emotional gig in the group's long history. The prog trio spent the previous five years in a state of suspended animation while drummer Neil Peart dealt with the devastating emotional aftermath of the loss of his wife and teenage daughter in the course of a single year. ... It was unclear if he'd ever want to play music again, but in early 2001 Peart was in a much better place with the help of his new wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. ... Rush fans from all over the world flocked to the amphitheater to see the show, and some were in tears before it even started. The removal of a tarp from Peart's drum kit even caused thunderous applause. The show was a tremendous success and they've worked steadily ever since. ...

Here's Caleb Johnson's performance of Working Man from this past week's American Idol including the intro segment and judge's remarks:

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

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Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art updates
11:39AM EST | link | comments (7) |

Clockwork Angels Larry's Comics coverA few weeks ago Boom! Studios released previews of 3 separate covers for the inaugural edition of the 6-part Clockwork Angels graphic novel series due out later this month. Last night Kevin J. Anderson posted an update to his blog explaining all the various covers that will be made available, including a couple of others that were not included in the Boom! Studios release:

BOOM! Studios will release the first issue (of six) of CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Graphic Novel, scripted by me and with art by Nick Robles in a few weeks. The comic will debut at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle on March 28, with a special exclusive cover for ECCC. There will be three variant covers in comic stores, an exclusive cover for the rush.com and BOOM! websites, and a limited cover for distribution with the Larry's Comics chain. All copies are about $4 retail.

The Boom! Studios press release previews look to have been the 3 A, B and C variant covers that will be available in comic stores. These can be pre-ordered via the Boom! Studios website here, as can the special, exclusive lyrics cover for the rush.com and BOOM! websites. There's also an exclusive Larry's Comics special cover (above right), along with the Emerald City Comic Con cover here. Anderson also noted that the paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th with a new Headlong Flight cover by Hugh Syme, and can be pre-ordered here.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels graphic novel cover art preview]
[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, March 6, 2014

Neil Peart featured in March, 2014 issue of BMW Owners News
11:03AM EST | link | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 3/6@12:47PM: John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the entire article and made it available online here.

BMW ON, March 2014 Neil Pear featureNeil Peart is featured in the March, 2014 issue of the BMW Owners News (BMW ON) for an interview feature conducted by Don Argento titled Backroads & Backbeats: Neil Peart takes the Scenic Way to Work. In it Neil Peart talks about his habit of traveling by motorcycle between shows on Rush tours, and why he prefers BMWs:

... Peart doesn't really love motorcycles as objects, but more like what Melissa Holbrook Pierson called "The Perfect Vehicle." He considers one motorcycle, his GS, to be all he needs. He turns them over every 50,000 miles, selling them to friends, and all are accounted for. He calls them the "GS Geezers," and is now riding "Geezer 7." What's so significant about 50,000 miles? He explains, "For me it's kind of the benchmark. Like cars, motorcycles have an arc. For a two-cylinder motorcycle to have a trouble-free 50,000 miles is pretty admirable to me." ...

He goes on to describe how he got into motorcycling in his 40s and goes over his typical daily routine when traveling on tour. BMW Owners News is the official magazine of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and is available for free to all members. Thanks to Rob T for the heads up and excerpt.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Idol contestant Caleb Johnson performs Rush's Working Man
10:54PM EST | link | comments (35) |

UPDATE - 3/6@3:49PM: Here's a post-show interview with Caleb where he responds to the judge's comments and talks about his love of Rush (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 3/6@12:54PM: Dave Holmes at Vulture magazine had the following to say about Caleb's performance:

Rush! On American Idol! Weird, wonderful things are happening this season. Caleb is definitely the most committed to putting on a show, and he gives "Working Man" the big-personality treatment that Geddy Lee never could. ...

----- snip -----

Caleb JohhsonUPDATE - 3/6@9:11AM: Here's what Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo! TV had to say about the performance and the judge's responses:

Last week, Caleb professed his love for Rush. That had me stoked, but I still never thought I'd hear a Rush song on "Idol." Ever. I just didn't think the powers-that-be would allow it, or Rush would clear it, or Caleb would take the risk. But this week, Caleb surprisingly took on Rush's "Working Man" - and he worked it, all right. I would have preferred "Tom Sawyer" or "Red Barchetta," but hey, it was A RUSH SONG ON "AMERICAN IDOL," belted with full-gale force, ending with a dramatic collapse to the floor, so I sure wasn't going to complain here. This was kind of awesome. I just wish Harry had thought so. Harry called the performance "predictable," despite the fact that, like I just said, I doubt anyone had ever predicted there'd be a Rush cover on this show. Harry also blasted Caleb for being too "consistent," which made no sense. What's wrong with Caleb being consistent, if he's consistently awesome? Thankfully, Keith and J.Lo were kinder. Keith told Caleb, "You're seriously one of the best singers I've heard in a long, long time," and Jennifer said, "I love you. You're what I've been waiting for all night." Now please excuse me while I (wait for it) rush to my phone to vote 50 times for Caleb.

There's also this higher quality video of the performance (just the performance itself) from the official American Idol YouTube channel (so it's not in danger of getting taken down):

----- snip -----

American Idol contestant Caleb Johnson performed a song from his favorite band on tonight's episode - Rush's Working Man. In the beginning of his segment Caleb explains his choice of Working Man for his Home Week song, telling stories about his hometown and the personal relevance of Rush and the song to him. He concludes his segment by saying that, I'm really excited and thrilled to sing some Rush on American Idol. He then gets introduced by Ryan Seacrest and reiterates that Rush is his favorite band of all time. He then belts out a truncated, 2-minute version of the Rush classic that the judges really liked for the most part. Here's the video (thanks Jamie P) including the intro segment and judge's remarks:

I should note that it was also a timely choice given that this month is the 40th anniversary of the Moon Records release of Rush's debut album, on which Working Man first appeared. To vote for Caleb go here.

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Jacob Moon talks Rush, his Fascination album, and touring with a band in new interview
11:32AM EST | link | comments (7) |

Jacob Moon: FascinationThis past November Canadian folk musician Jacob Moon released his latest CD Fascination which includes covers of Rush's Limelight and Subdivisions. The album also includes covers of songs from Yes, Marillion, Radiohead and Peter Gabriel, along with two new original songs. Jacob recorded Limelight with the Alex Lifeson-produced David Barrett Trio and you can hear the entire track on Soundcloud here. Jacob was recently interviewed for Christian Week and talks a little about the album:

... "I wanted to pay homage to the bands that made my career possible," ... "Marillion gave me a boost, Rush gave me a boost ... I've just been really helped by my heroes, which is kind of an odd thing, but they've pushed my career along." Moon ... says his goal with Fascination was to take other people's songs and perform them in a way that his fans would recognize as true to his own sound. "In each case, I've twisted [the song] a little bit," he says. "I think it's an enjoyable thing to hear, when you perform a song in a unique and compelling way-in a way that reveals layers of the song that maybe had been hidden before." ...

Moon typically performs as a solo act but will be embarking on a short tour through southern Ontario, B.C. and Alberta over the next several weeks with a full band, beginning with a free show at the King St. Church in Oshawa, ON this Friday, March 7th. For all the latest news on the album and tour, visit Jacob Moon's website or follow him on Facebook. You can check out some in-studio footage where Jacob and David Barrett talk about The Trio's work with Alex Lifeson, the Limelight recording and more at this link. Jacob Moon garnered the attention of Rush and their fans when he posted a YouTube video of himself performing an impressive rooftop solo rendition of Rush's Subdivisions a few years ago. The video quickly went viral, and Rush later asked Jacob to perform the song at their Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in March of 2010. A slightly different arrangement of this cover of Subdivisions is also included on Fascination and can be heard online here. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage now streaming on NetFlix
9:15AM EST | link | comments (6) |

The 2010 Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage has been available on DVD/Blu-ray for over 3 years now, as well as periodically being shown on VH1 Classic and other TV cable stations. And as of last week it is also available for streaming to the 30-million-plus NetFlix subscribers in the US. If you're a NetFlix subscriber you can watch it right now at this location. The film was distributed by Banger Films and directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn. It made its debut at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival where it won the Audience Award, and was also nominated for Best Long Form Music Video at the 53rd Grammy Awards. A limited theatrical run launched on June 10, 2010 and the film was later released on DVD/Blu-ray in the US and Canada on June 29th of that year.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rush RatCon 2014 location and dates announced
2:29PM EST | link | comments (9) |

RatCon 2014The folks at Rush RatCon have announced the dates and location of their 6th annual Rush gathering. RatCon 2014 will be held on July 11-12 at the newly dubbed Club Carnie in Marlboro NJ; all previous RatCons have taken place at Club Xanadu outside Baltimore, Maryland. The event's tagline is Forty years of "BLAH BLAH BLAH" and it will include a heated pool, Rush-themed food and beverages, contests, prizes, a live Rush tribute band and more! Accommodations, pricing, tribute band announcement, and more info will be announced soon. Just visit the Facebook page and Facebook event page for details and updates. For more info about the origin of RatCon visit the website here.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rush ReDISCovered debut album LP box set coming in April
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Rush ReDISCovered LP box setToday is the first day of March - the month that marks the 40th anniversary of the Moon Records release of Rush's debut album. The album was re-released on Mercury Records the following summer. Back in December we learned that Rush would be celebrating the anniversary with some kind of re-issue of the album, but little was known about the release until just today. On April 15th Rush will be releasing a special Rush ReDISCovered LP box set to celebrate the album's anniversary. From the Rush Backstage Club:

... This release features their debut vinyl album re-mastered with impeccable care at Abbey Road studios by Sean Magee, who has been previously responsible for all recent Beatles vinyl re-masters. The Re-discovered vinyl is encased in a 12 x 12 high quality box. Pressed on audio-phile 200 gram vinyl on the Direct Metal Mastering process, this is the highest quality vinyl currently available. This release contains a re-production of the original 1974 Canadian retail poster (only 500 were ever originally printed) and individual Moon Records publicity photos of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & original drummer John Rutsey. This release also contains a first time ever Rush Family Tree, tracing origins of the band dating back to 1965 and a memorabilia collage of early Canadian and US gig ads, reviews, photos and the first ever Rush bio. ...

You can check out a photo of the box set contents here and pre-order your copy at this location. Thanks to robertrobyn for the heads up.

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