Friday, December 6, 2013

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:25PM EST | comments (43) |

Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour CD/DVD/Blu-ray was released back on November 19th and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Video charts, with the CD debuting at #33 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. It has since dropped off the Billboard 200 chart altogether although it remains on the Music Video chart (the exact position isn't publicly available). The film had a one-night theatrical premiere across North America the night before its release, and this past weekend it had its television premiere on VH1 Classic and Palladia. This television cut consisted of essentially the same 2nd set concert footage that was shown in theaters (they cut With Them Well and Dreamline), but did not include the Can't Stop Thinking Big documentary. It's likely that it will re-air periodically over the next few weeks, so check your cable/satellite listings if you want to catch it. Some more reviews of the release continued to roll in over the past week. There's this short review from, and Modern Drummer's Asif Khan had the following to say in this review of the release:

... The stunning live footage was shot in HD video, and the audio is available in 5.1 HD or 2.0. The disc also contains a documentary showing a glimpse of daily life on a world tour, a nice treat for hardcore fans. Having just celebrated his sixty-first birthday, a focused Neil Peart displays an incredible amount of stamina behind his beautifully crafted DW Time Machine Tour drumkit. Neil is known for his incredible solos, and this marks the first time since 1974 that his traditional spot is split up, in this case into three short but powerful parts, thoughtfully placed as segues throughout the set. Clearly Neil and his mates aren't worried about changing the formula-but long-time fans have nothing to worry about, as Clockwork Angels Tour proves that, four decades in, they're still performing at the top of their game.

There's also one interesting aspect of the live release that I haven't heard discussed much anywhere yet that reader Jeffrey F pointed out to me. Clockwork Angels Tour is the first Rush album (studio or live) that features the real-life likenesses of all three of the band members on the cover (clearly seen at least). Rush in Rio shows the band as just shadowy silhouettes, and A Show of Hands has caricatures of the band - but this is the first cover to clearly show the faces of the band. For my current poll I'm asking everyone what aspects of the DVD/Blu-ray they like. Please take the poll and let us know. Judging by the results so far, not too many folks like the cover despite this unique aspect of it (maybe because of this aspect of it?). You can order your copy of Clockwork Angels Tour at this location (DVD, Blu-ray, CD). Rush is also offering a limited edition deluxe package exclusively available at the Rush Backstage Club for $99.99. Clockwork Angels Tour is also available for digital purchase on iTunes, and is available on Spotify and other online streaming services as well.

This past Friday Rush partnered with independent retail outlets to sell an exclusive 10" picture disc single of The Garden for a Record Store Day sponsored Black Friday event. The disc features artwork from the animated screen projections shown during the song's performance on the Clockwork Angels tour and includes both the studio version of the song and the live version from the Clockwork Angels Tour live release. The disc sold very well and many fans had trouble locating stores that still had it in stock or that weren't sold out. There may be a few left out there, so check the Record Store Day website for a list of participating stores. Also, there are plenty available for sale on Amazon and other online sellers. Sales of the picture disk helped propel The Garden to #5 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart this past week.

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine contains a feature on page 10 where several well-known artists share their current favorite songs, albums and music videos. One of the artists featured is Geddy Lee who describes 5 of his favorite songs/artists including The Who's My Generation, the Fleet Foxes' Your Protector, Björk's Isobel, Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown and Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick. You can read all of Geddy's commentary on the songs in this post and check out a snapshot of the article here.

Neil Peart seems to be keeping busy during his downtime from Rush. He stopped by the Drum Channel studios yesterday with his friend and mentor Peter Erskine as seen in this photo that was posted to the Drum Channel Facebook page.

Rush released their long-awaited remix/remaster of Vapor Trails back on September 30th. Reviews of the remix continue to trickle in including this one from blogger Steve Hurley. You can order the Vapor Trails remix on CD or on 180g vinyl, and order the Atlantic-era The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set (which also contains the remix) here. Speaking of which, the box set made The Star-Ledger's pop and rock boxed sets Holiday gift guide for 2013.

A couple of weeks ago Clockwork Angels: The Novel author Kevin J. Anderson announced plans for a graphic novel version of the book he co-wrote with Neil Peart. BOOM! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in six issues, scripted by Anderson, beginning next April to coincide with the paperback release of the novel from ECW Press. On a related note, Joel Coyle at posted an article earlier this week calling for a movie version of the book. Kevin J. Anderson himself chimed in in the article comments reminding people about the graphic novel version.

This past July the Canada Post officially released a Canadian Recording Artist stamp series featuring Rush and other Canadian artists. A couple of weeks ago the sale of a special, limited edition, signed day-of-issue cover for the Rush stamp was announced via this press release, and all 10 that were available quickly sold out. The Canadian Center for Abuse Awareness obtained one of the UNSIGNED covers and it is currently up for auction to help raise money for the charity. The auction will run through December 13th. For all the details and to place your bid, visit the auction website at

A concert photography book by Erin Feinberg titled Diehards was released earlier this year. The book focuses on photographs of concert audiences and includes an original essay by Neil Peart. Dusty Wright at the Huffington Post wrote a review of the book this past week and recommends it as a great holiday gift.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has introduced a new line of commemorative inductee t-shirts, including this one celebrating Rush's induction. For all the details check out the Rock Hall website here. Also, If you'll be in or near Cleveland anytime over the Holidays, I highly recommend checking out the Rush portion of the 2013 inductee exhibit at the Rock Hall along with all the other great exhibits that the Museum has to offer. To make things even easier for you, the Rock Hall has graciously offered an exclusive discount to the Museum for RushIsABand readers, where you can receive $2 off admission in addition to a 20% discount on any new membership (note that members get a 10% discount on all merchandise). Simply print out this pdf file and present it at the Rock Hall box office to receive your discount. The offer runs through the end of this month.

Los Angeles based hard rock band Heaven Below released a new 4-track EP titled Sleeping Giants this past Tuesday. One of the songs on the EP is a cover of Rush's Subdivisions which features a guest vocal appearance by William Shatner! You can listen/watch the official (and very weird) video of the song on YouTube below or at this link. Shatner says the subdivisions line in the chorus, and the video features his disembodied head during these parts of the song. And the really cool part is Shatner reciting the attention all planets of the Solar Federation... lines from 2112 at the end of the song (at around the 4:45 mark)! You can purchase a download of the track on Amazon or on iTunes. It's also on Spotify.

RIAB bumper stickerThat's all for this week. There's only 19 more shopping days until Christmas! Remember that any donation of $3 or more to the site will get you a free RUSH IS A BAND bumper sticker - and they make great stocking stuffers. :) Have a great weekend everyone!!



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#43 - Posted 12/12/13 @6:48PM by SlappintheBass [contact]

Pretty bummed with the mix on the Bluray.

The overpowering strings on the old stuff is sacrilegious. Saw the show live twice and don't remember the strings being so invasive on the old 3 man classics.

Rant over.....Best live show of my long life...ever.
#42 - Posted 12/10/13 @4:07PM by joerock213 [contact]

The scandal is when are they going to release the secret video of the Test For Echo tour. 2112 in it's entirety!!!!!
#41 - Posted 12/9/13 @9:52AM by Friz [contact]

#37 "I am extremely disappointed to find out that the cd version of "Clockwork Angels Tour" has already dropped off of the charts. An abysmal 33 position on the Billboard Charts is quite unforgivable. From what I have heard thus far, I have been impressed with the cd version."

Enigmaticus, don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way, because I am a huge fan of the band and they most certainly still rock in their 60s, unlike any other band could. However, I think it's a stretch to expect their live albums to keep lasting a decent amount of time on the Billboard Charts. Given the abundance of the band's officially released live albums and the ridiculous amount of quality bootlegs out there that span decades, who is actually going to keep investing in these newer live releases especially when (and it really pains me to say this) Geddy's voice can sometimes take away from the performance.

I'll easily take the older live material where Geddy's voice is so smooth and the band's energy is off the charts versus the newer live stuff any day.
#40 - Posted 12/9/13 @8:07AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

Has anyone seen the most recent YouTube video regarding Yes' induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

As I had stated before, I had voted for: Yes, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and The Meters. There is only one day left to vote, regarding the fan vote.
#39 - Posted 12/9/13 @8:02AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

#38 - Posted 12/9/13 @8:01AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

I like the fact that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have different opinions regarding the categorization of Rush's music. Geddy sees Rush as a being a "progressive rock" group, whereas Alex Lifeson unfortunately relegates Rush to the "hard rock" category.

Personally, I see Rush as being the world's greatest "progressive rock" band, period and the greatest rock group in two different centuries, with only The Beatles sitting in a higher position, number one, regarding influence.
#38 - Posted 12/9/13 @8:01AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

I like the fact that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have different opinions regarding the categorization of Rush's music. Geddy sees Rish as a "progressive rock" group, while Alex Lifeson unfortunately relegates them to the "hard rock" category.

Personally, I see Rush as being the world's greatest "progressive rock" band, period and the greatest rock group in two different centuries, with only The Beatles sitting in a higher position, number one, regarding influence.
#37 - Posted 12/9/13 @7:53AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

I am extremely disappointed to find out that the cd version of "Clockwork Angels Tour" has already dropped off of the charts. An abysmal 33 position on the Billboard Charts is quite unforgivable. From what I have heard thus far, I have been impressed with the cd version.

Regarding the BluRay version: I think that the documentary is great and most of the performances on the disc itself are outstanding. As far as the sound is concerned, I have been having some issues with hiss on my left speaker, while playing it in the standard version, however this is most likely attributable to a bad cable. When using the 5.1 format, that problem disappears, although the instruments do not appear to have the greatest definition. Unfortunately, the song which appears to have the most notable hiss is 'The Garden.'

Most of the other songs are fantastic, however.
#36 - Posted 12/9/13 @12:10AM by drummerboy2112

So almost 3 weeks with the blu ray.

I have a few systems in my home, one a theater room that's 7.2 and our family room that has an installed in wall/ceiling 5.1 system. The 5.1 corrected almost all the faults that I found. Not sure if losing 2 speakers made up for it, ie sending the cymbal and snare sounds to the front speakers, but I hear everything a bit better. Not totally perfect, but def listenable. This follows the line that if I keep removing speakers, down to 2 (ear buds) then the signal containing all the instrumentation will be easily sent either left or right. The most obvious sounds that cut through the best are all of Neil's electronics (synthetic), Ged's keyboards (synthetic), and the guitar (with all his effects, basically synthetic). The bass guitar destroys my rooms even flatlined, so I roll off some bass to make it more palatable.

After a few more listens, and views, the video cuts are not as drastic once the sound improves.

I got the DVD, and it seems to be more clear.

The mix is still the rate limiting factor and needs to be addressed, but I would recommend watching the blu ray or dvd firstly thru just your TV speakers or 2.0, and add speakers per your personal preference.

My rec to the boys:

1) Forgo the loudness war - Over the past 10 years, Ged is trying to keep up his volume, bless his heart, and something usually gives. Either his will to sing or control and strength of his voice (or both). He used to sing with tremendous economy on stage. He began using pre-amps (SansAmp PSA-1 since TFE 1996) that BOOST!! his sound greatly and that has changed the overall tone of the bass. Also, the in-ears (starting in 2002) could also be affecting how he thinks he should sound and exert. Try talking to someone with cotton in your ears and they are going to quickly tell you to stop shouting! lol, That being said, he still sounds good (to me) and he nailed the ending of Grand Designs every time I saw them and on the video. Neil's drums (DW since TFE 1996) are (to me anyways), WAY louder and boomier than the past Ludwigs and Tamas, ie greater volume. That boominess is fighting for space with Ged's bass. This only serves to occupy just enough more frequencies at the lower end, to affect the overall sound. Also listen to The Body Electric and The Garden during the verses on the video, the overall sound of the band KILLS! So damn pleasant, I could listen to these verses, all day.

But to be fair, to be on the road, is HIGHLY demanding psychologically (we know the physical toll) so I love the boys and crew giving it all they have on stage and this video shows it (again).
#35 - Posted 12/8/13 @4:51PM by warrencromartie [contact]

Jupeguy. Great point. Also, listen to another album Geddy produced-"No Static" by Wireless. Geddy did a great job on that album. A very live sound to the album. Too bad he didn't produce the C&A live DVD.
#34 - Posted 12/8/13 @12:38PM by jupeguyowensound [contact]

#33 I've never heard of "Clean Slate" but I'm going to check into it and see what I can find. Thanks

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