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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Aug 17, 2012@12:29PM | comments

UPDATE - 8/17@4:44PM: Here's a Clockwork Angels review from today's Joplin Globe.

After bouncing back into the top 20 last week due to Amazon's 99-cent deal, Rush's Clockwork Angels album has fallen to #81 on the Billboard 200 in its 9th week of release. Clockwork Angels also finally became available on Spotify this past week (thanks Josh), and BlogCritics posted this excellent review of the album saying the following:

... In the end, Clockwork Angels is another demonstration that old bands like Rush, Asia, Van Halen, and Metallica not only still have high-octane gas in their tanks, they're still capable of work that moves beyond what they've done before. Whether you want to take the time to dive into the storyline and analyze Peart's poetic visions or not, the material on the album is absorbing, often intense (in the best sense of the term), and hits you physically, mentally, and perhaps emotionally. If it's not the best album of the year, I really want to hear the other contenders for the throne. Further, I wonder if Clockwork Angels will ultimately be measured against other concept albums from the '60s to the present and be found one of a very august company.

The album has also been nominated for Album of the Year in the 2012 Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and Rush is up for Band of the Year as well. To cast your vote for Rush go to this location. Don't forget that last month Clockwork Angels was also nominated for Album of the Year in the first annual Prog magazine Progressive Music Awards which will take place next month in London. Voting will be closing soon, so if you haven't voted for Rush yet you can do so at this location.

Clockwork Angels bookLast week SciFi Pulse posted their A+ review of Kevin J. Anderson's Clockwork Angels novelization, saying the following:

Dazzling locales, memorable characters and high adventure that will make you think long after you're done. What more can you ask from a book?

Today they posted an exclusive interview with Anderson where the author discusses the novel along with his other collaborations with Neil Peart. When asked about all the nods to Rush lyrics contained in the novel Anderson had the following to say:

... I have been immersed in Rush music and lyrics for most of my life, and so when I wrote the prose, I found many natural ways to drop in familiar lines from songs. But I wanted it to be "natural" rather than a clunky nudge and wink. If you aren't familiar with the lyrics, I doubt you'll even notice the nods. But if you do know Rush, you'll appreciate them.

You can check out the entire interview at this location. Anderson posted the following information to his blog last Friday regarding the world premiere book launch of Clockwork Angels: The Novel:

Toronto fans, we will be launching CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Novel, first time ever on sale, on Thursday evening, August 23 at the Richmond and John Chapters (142 John Street) at 7:00pm. I'll be in Toronto as a guest at Fan Expo throughout the weekend, but this event-open to the general public-will be the first time the novel is available for sale. I will give a talk, answer questions, and autograph books...lots of them, I hope!

For further details, see chapters.indigo.ca. This event is free, and I do not charge for autographs.

US fans, you'll have to wait an extra week. I WILL have plenty of copies for sale on August 31 at DragonCon in Atlanta.

For a complete list of upcoming appearances/signings check out this post at Anderson's blog. Last week a free pdf version of the Clockwork Angels sampler booklet was made available for download at this location. The preview booklet includes introductions by Neil Peart and Anderson, the first three chapters in the novel, lyrics to Caravan and some of the artwork. Anderson also still has hardcopies of the booklet to give away. For details on how to obtain a hardcopy check out these instructions. You can check out the Lofty Oaks review of the novel from earlier this week here, and pre-order the audiobook version of Clockwork Angels (narrated by Neil Peart) at this location, and the hardcover edition here.

Neil Peart photo by Andrew TolsonThere were a few new Rush magazine features to report this past week. Maclean's magazine ran an interview with Neil Peart earlier this week where they spoke with Neil at the band's Toronto rehearsal studio regarding the Clockwork Angels album among other subjects. Neil said the following regarding how he'll approach his drum solo on the upcoming tour:

... [In the past], my ambition was not a humble one, to try to play with superhuman perfection in the studio and then reproduce that every night. Once I had defined myself as a compositional drummer, I thought, "Well, I want to be an improvisational drummer." I think in the recorded drum parts on this album, you can sense the excitement and danger: "This guy never played that before, and he just barely made it." I'm going to cut myself completely loose this tour; I'd always composed and choreographed a tour solo and then improvised within that framework, and this time, I'm throwing that out.

You can read the entire article/interview at this location. As a companion piece to the Neil Peart interview they also ran an article on Rush's six most-beloved concept songs which you can check out here.

July, 2012 Metal HammerThe July, 2012 issue of Metal Hammer magazine contains an article on Rush titled Kingdom Come. Earlier this week John at Cygnus-X1.net transcribed the entire article and made it available online at this location. Alex Lifeson is interviewed and discusses the recording of Clockwork Angels, the band's Time Machine Tour, the Rush documentary and more. Here's what Alex had to say about his bandmates:

... They're such a tight rhythm section," Alex states, admiringly. "Those guys have telepathy between them. I'm standing in front of Neil and I can feel his playing and the nuances and the subtleties in his playing are just out of this world. When those guys get together it's amazing to watch them work out stuff, because they just do things at the same time without even talking about it. It's pretty amazing." ...

The magazine is a special issue paying tribute to Black Sabbath and contains a sidebar piece where Lifeson heaps praise on the heavy metal pioneers and also explains how Rush met Ozzy Osbourne during the recording of A Farewell To Kings:

"We met Ozzy Osbourne back in 1977, when we were at Rockfield [residential recording studio near Monmouth, Wales] working on our album A Farewell To Kings. He'd stopped by briefly at the studio and my recollection is he was looking for drugs ha ha ha! Unfortunately he left disappointed! We all had a good chuckle about it at the time.

"Black Sabbath are very important to heavy music. Tony Iommi had such an awesome sound, and their riffing was spectacular. They were really the quintessential heavy metal band of that period. They were much heavier than some of their contemporaries like Uriah Heep. They definitely had a sound about them that put them in a category all their own. If Black Sabbath didn't exist, the world would be a quieter place! And they certainly influenced a lot of people.

"My favourite Black Sabbath song has to be Iron Man, because the vocal line was so cool. And it's just a great riff. That droning opening guitar note is so perfect."

The issue contains an additional sidebar piece titled What Rush and Machine Head Have In Common along with a 9/10 review of Clockwork Angels. You can check out the entire feature complete with scans of the included photographs at this location.

Powerplay issue #144Rush is also featured as the cover story in the latest issue (#144) of the UK's Powerplay magazine. Alex Lifeson is interviewed and discusses the Clockwork Angels album.

Reader King Lionhead let me know about this Mental Floss article highlighting 15 albums named after numbers. Rush's 2112 is featured at #15:

If you've already listened to this album, you've likely figured out from the title track that "2112" refers to a year in the future. It's just part of the whole concept album about a futuristic dystopian society. But you may not have known that Ayn Rand may have been its inspiration...

Speaking of Ayn Rand, Neil Peart gets a mention in this CNN article on Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his connection with Rand.

Eric at Power Windows posted earlier this week about Pittsburgh-based Christian rock band ApologetiX, who record song parodies with a Christian twist. They have released 17 albums over the last 20 years including two Rush parodies: Tom Saw Ya parodies Tom Sawyer and was released on 2002's Grace Period, and Timeline from 2011's Wise Up And Rock parodies Limelight.

Eric at Power Windows discovered a page on makeup effects artist Louise Mackintosh's website dedicated to her work with Rush on the Time Machine tour intro and intermission videos. She was responsible for making the guys into cavemen and also turning Alex Lifeson into a large jolly salesman. The page includes several great photographs which you can check out here.

Cathy Rich, Brian Morgan and Alex Kluft are in the process of raising funds via Kickstarter for a Buddy Rich documentary titled Welcome to Nutville. They plan on interviewing a number of drummers including Neil Peart for the film. For more information check out this link.

Several Chicago area Rush fans will be holding a big pre-show party and raffle at The Beer Bistro before Rush's September 15th show at the United Center. In addition to good company, good food and good drink, they'll be raffling off a piece of Rush artwork by Jamie Lester along with a Les Paul (Epiphone) guitar with all proceeds going to The American Cancer Society. You can purchase your raffle tickets online at this link. For more details on the event, check out the Facebook event page.

UK digital radio station Planet Rock is currently running a poll to determine the best rock song of all time. You can place your vote for your favorite Rush song at this link.

John at Cygnus-X1.net recently came across an online MMO game titled 2112. There doesn't seem to be any direct Rush tie-in, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

This past Tuesday, August 14th was the 38th anniversary of Neil Peart's first show playing with Rush at the Civic Center Arena in Pittsburgh opening for Uriah Heap and Manfred Mann. Some audio from that show where the band plays Finding My Way recently found its way to YouTube. You can listen to it below or at this link (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

That's all for this week. Only 3 short weeks until opening night of the Clockwork Angels tour! Have a fantastic weekend everybody!

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