Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jun 8, 2012@12:29PM | comments

UPDATE - 6/9@12:43PM: Here's a great review from Tom Johnson at Something Else!.

UPDATE - 6/8@4:41PM: Here's a 3.5/5 Clockwork Angels review from the Globe and Mail:

It's back to the future as Canada's favourite prog rockers return to the long-form structures and interlinked lyrics that marked the likes of 2112. (Hey, it's the pre-centenary, right?) While the playing is as fiery and flamboyant as ever, the solos are sharply song-focused, lending the music a strong sense of melodic direction, from the multi-textured title tune to the steely funk of Seven Cities of Gold.

And MSN.com has a more detailed review at this link (thanks MTB2112) which closes with the following comment:

... Although Snakes & Arrows was an excellent album, Clockwork Angels is even better, thanks in part to the thematic and musical focus of Peart, Lifeson, and Lee, and in part to just how vibrant a rock record it is. At times the band rocks as hard as they did on 2112, and others they sound as soulful - that's right, even prog nerds have soul - as they ever have, and they do so with supreme skill and confidence. With the perspective of time, Neil Young's notion of burning out versus fading away seem a little dated now. Instead, with a band like Rush hitting another peak as their career comes closer to its end, there's a third Young phrase that seems even more fitting: "Long may you run."

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UPDATE - 6/8@2:07PM: Reader Alejandro T from Chile just received his copy of the vinyl edition of Clockwork Angels and sent along this photo.

It's been a crazy week in Rush-land as we await the impending release of the band's Clockwork Angels album next Tuesday. However, in this day and age of the internet and a global marketplace, a release date doesn't have quite the same meaning as it used to. Fans in parts of Europe began to receive their Clockwork Angels fanpacks as early as last Saturday, and fans in North America have now also started receiving them. You can check out some photos of the fanpacks in this post. The official release in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia has already occurred, with the UK release on Monday and the North American release on Tuesday, June 12th. With the early release came the inevitable leaks, and Roadrunner has been playing music piracy whack-a-mole all week trying to plug them. Various 30-second samples of all the tracks on the album were released late last week at Walmart.com and this Italian website, and MitA compiled these all into one 12-minute mega-preview clip. Rush is also streaming the entire Clockwork Angels title track via their Facebook page and SoundCloud. John at Cygnus-X1.net got his hands on some scans of the fanpack and was able to transcribe the lyrics and liner notes to the album at this location. And Eric at Power Windows has put together some Clockwork Angels-themed desktop wallpaper at this link. Some reviews of the album are also starting to trickle in. The Toronto Sun gives the album 4 out of 5 stars saying the following:

Meet the new world men. Same as the old world men - but better. A rejuvenated Rush find their way forward by looking back on their 19th disc, re-embracing long-form conceptual work - this full-length narrative follows a young traveller through a steampunk dystopia - while streamlining their sound and playing with reawakened passion and propulsion. Catch the spirit, catch the spit.

Billboard included the album as part of their 40 hot releases of the summer:

It's been more than five years since Rush's last studio album, "Snakes & Arrows," which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. "But we really haven't been away," manager Ray Danniels says, noting that the Canadian rock trio has actively toured behind the release in recent years. For "Clockwork Angels," co-produced by Nick Raskulinecz, Rush has "revisited the idea of a concept record," Daniels says, adding, "This is their 20th record. I'm thrilled that we got there."

Darren Redick of UK digital radio station Planet Rock will be talking to Geddy Lee about the Clockwork Angels album in a one-hour special that will air tomorrow June 9th at 7PM (UK time - 2PM EST). The interview can be heard on Planet Rock - on digital radio, Sky 0110, Virgin Media 924, Freesat 730 and www.planetrock.com. Planet Rock is also running a contest where they are giving away copies of the fanpack along with a signed Neil Peart drumhead. Also, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will be stopping by Toronto's Q107 next week as part of a Clockwork Angels album premiere Q&A session with Jeff Woods. For details and to learn how you could win a ticket to the Q&A, see the Q107 website.

FMQB Productions in association with Anthem/Roadrunner Records will be airing a 1-hour Clockwork Angels special titled Inside Rush: Clockwork Angels beginning next week on June 11th. The special will be hosted by Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. From the FMQB website:

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins will interview members of one of his favorite bands, Rush, as the Canadian Rock veterans prepare to release their 20th studio album Clockwork Angels. Corgan will chat with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson for an upcoming FMQB Productions special, Inside Rush: Clockwork Angels, airing on radio stations across North America starting June 11. Clockwork Angels arrives in stores on June 12. ...

Canadian music store chain Long & McQuade is running a contest where you could win a pair of concert tickets and a meet 'n' greet to one of Rush's Canadian dates on the upcoming Clockwork Angels tour. For details check out this link.

Austrian heavy metal site Stormbringer.at posted a 16-minute interview they conducted with Geddy Lee on a recent trip to Europe earlier this week. Geddy talks Clockwork Angels, covering several of the same topics that have been covered in other recent interviews. You can watch it at this link.

Clockwork Angels bookA sampler booklet of the Clockwork Angels novel was distributed to industry professionals and booksellers at the Book Expo America in New York City this past week, and author Kevin J. Anderson was on hand to sign some copies. Anderson posted several photos taken by photographer John DeNobile from the book signing on Tuesday to his blog earlier this week along with the following report:

... it was off to the BEA show for the day, lunch with my agents, and then an afternoon signing at the ECW booth where we gave out copies of the special color sampler booklet of CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Novel - special introductions by Neil Peart and myself, the first three chapters, the lyrics to Caravan, and three color paintings from the book. I signed for a long line of people, and also gave out DEATH WARMED OVER postcards. ...

Clockwork Angels: The Novel will release via ECW Press this September to coincide with the launch of Rush's North America tour.

We learned yesterday Neil Peart's red Tama Art Star custom drum kit which he used in the early '80s is now up for auction via Julien's Auctions. From the listing:

A Tama Superstar drum kit, custom made for Neil Peart, drummer from the band Rush. The kit was used by Peart for recording on three Rush albums, Signals (Anthem, 1982), Grace Under Pressure (Anthem, 1984), and Power Windows (Anthem, 1985), as well as all live shows played on the concert tours that followed the release of each album. Peart also played the kit in nine music videos for the singles that were released from each album. As well, Peart can be seen playing the kit in the RUSH concert video "Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984" (Anthem, 1985) which was recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada, on September 21, 1984. The kit was originally given away by Peart to the winner of a contest that was held in Modern Drummer magazine in 1987. ...

For all the details check out the listing at this location.

Modern Drummer July 2012Speaking of Neil, the July, 2012 issue of Modern Drummer hit newsstands earlier this week and it contains the results of the magazine's 2012 Readers Poll. Neil Peart ended up winning in both the Best Prog Drummer and the Best Educational DVD (for Taking Center Stage) categories. From the magazine:

As the old joke goes, if an entry for progressive rock drummer were in the dictionary, it would be Peart's face that you'd see. Neil's a bona fide cultural touchstone, nearly forty years into his career - but somehow he seems more active than ever. Last year saw the Rush drummer/lyricist appear on MD's December cover, release the book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time, participate in the legendary Canadian band's Time Machine tour, release the DVDs Taking Center Stage and Fire on Ice: The Making of the Hockey Theme, and anchor the first drum solo week on Letterman.

Rounding out the top 5 Prog Drummers were Mike Mangini at #2, Todd Sucherman at #3, Marco Minnemann at #4 and Carl Palmer at #5.

As part of their Decebrity Playlist series, yesterday Decibel magazine posted a playlist of Rush songs as chosen by several hard rock and heavy metal artists. The article includes commentary from the artists themselves, such as these comments from King's X bassist dUg Pinnick on Xanadu:

I was watching Don Kirshner's Rock Concert on TV way back in the day. I had never heard of Rush, then the band played "Xanadu" live! It fucked me up for life! That song has everything great about non-commercial songwriting-it gives me goosebumps and makes me feel good inside. I really don't know why, maybe for me it was the first prog tune that wasn't dark and chaotic. All of the parts really flowed together as opposed to the normal mathematical prog trainwrecks within the same magnum opus that I was accustomed to and loved. The bass lines are very moving and Geddy was singing with a lot of soul. Love that band. King's X was managed by their manager Ray Daniels for a few years back in the day, but we never got to tour with them-contrary to the rumor that we did. I wish!

Other artists featured are Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Shane Clark (3 Inches Of Blood), Sean Reinert (Cynic), Chris Corey (Last Chance to Reason), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne). You can read the entire article at this link. Part 2 will feature even more artists and should be posted in the near future.

Ted Leo and Geddy LeeSpin Magazine posted an article to their website earlier this week titled Ted Leo's Life With Rush: Closer to the Heart. Ted Leo is an American punk rock/indie rock musician who has played in the bands Citizens Arrest, Chisel, The Sin-Eaters, The Spinanes, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. In the article Ted highlights five scenes from his life growing up which involve Rush. It's a great article that any Rush fan that grew up in the '80s should easily identify with. You can read the entire thing at this link.

Earlier this week the Power Windows site reported a Rush reference in the second story in Marvel Comics' Annihilators vol. 1 no. 2, June 2011. The story stars the space traveling adventurers Rocket Raccoon and Groot and is titled There Is Unrest In The Forest, There Is Trouble With The Trees.

Rush was featured as part of Metal Underground's Sunday Old School column this past weekend. They give a brief history/bio of the band and feature a few videos. You can check it out at this link.

Frontwoman and guitarist of the Roxy Gunn Project - Roxy Gunn - was recently interviewed for Glide magazine and had some nice words to say about her favorite guitarist Alex Lifeson:

Oh wow, honestly, Alex Lifeson from Rush has inspired me so much. When I was younger the technicality of Rush was kind of hard for me to understand at the time but, I don't know, there is something about the way he plays that is so complicated but so simple at the same time. I absolutely love him. ...

The A.V. Club posted their guide to the best of prog rock yesterday and included Rush as one of the bands profiled:

... The Police's reggae-accented, technically brilliant pop-rock inspired many of prog's surviving dinosaurs. One of The Police's most vocal champions was Rush, who spun that fresh inspiration into a string of albums (starting with Permanent Waves, prophetically released on January 1, 1980) that marked the band's most successful and creatively fertile decade. A prime example: the knife-edged hooks and Police-like reggae breakdown of Permanent Wave's anthemic "The Spirit Of Radio." Rush's extreme prog makeover marked a sea change in the genre, but it was short-lived. That last gasp of prog's first wave, though, produced some fantastic work. ...

RushFanForever discovered an extended version of a video taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children of a young Alex Lifeson arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. The shorter version that runs about 2 minutes has been online for a while, but this one is the full 7.5-minute clip.

Shinedown narrowly edged out Rush 53% to 47% in Loudwire's latest cage match (thanks Kelly M) this past week. Really?!

Rock photographer Ross Halfin recently posted an old photo of Neil to his online diary entry for March 15th along with these comments (thanks Toronto Writer):

A picture I like of Neil Peart from Rush - one of the truly great drummers. Funny, I always thought of Neil as a technical drummer, but he's a big fan of Keith Moon and if you listen to say Live At Leeds or Who's Next you can hear it in his playing. It was taken as he was about to go onstage at the Ice Palace, Helsinki

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury died this past week at the age of 91. As a tribute to the late author, the LA Times posted their list of 10 musical works inspired by Bradbury's writings. Included on the list is Rush's The Body Electric:

Canadian power trio Rush draw on Bradbury's collection of short stories from 1969, "I Sing the Body Electric," itself inspired by a Walt Whitman poem, during their song "The Body Electric." Taken from the band's 1984 album "Grace Under Pressure," the song, written by avowed Bradbury fan/drummer Neil Peart, features androids, humanoids, system breakdowns, data overloads, lots of random sci-fi terms and "the mother of all machines," a reference to the plot line of the Bradbury story.

Long time Rush Collector Jim from Scotland is selling hundreds of Rare Rush Items through his website at www.resistmusic.com. If you're a collector his stuff is definitely worth checking out.

The last page of the Clockwork Angels fanpack CD booklet shown here references a url at watchmaker.classicrockmagazine.com where fans can receive some bonus content. Contained at this url is a behind-the-scenes video interview with Geddy Lee where Geddy talks about the making of Clockwork Angels for about 6 minutes, interspersed with in-studio footage from the recording of the album. You can check out the interview below or at this link. Also part of the Classic Rock bonus content is a very funny and entertaining, 7-minute video interview with Geddy Lee which you can check out below or at this link.

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

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