Archive: Blog Entries from May, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
8:24PM EST | link | comments (14) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: June, 2012 - Where Words Fail, Music Speaks]

Neil Peart has updated the news page on his website this evening with a story titled Where Words Fail, Music Speaks. Neil talks about the recent Golden Gods Award show where he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the band. He reveals that Alex Lifeson was initially scheduled to accept the award but had to cancel at the last minute, leaving it to Neil to take up the reins:

... Clearly I would have to do it, that's all there was to it-it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. Obstacles would have to be surmounted. Or ignored.

Alex felt terrible about disappointing everyone, and I felt a loyal obligation to bail him out. And besides, it would be too rude for none of us to show up. We are Canadians, after all.

So ... the day my family moved from one overcrowded house where we had lived-and collected junk-for eight years, to another house that was soon overcrowded with boxes to be unpacked and organized, I had to duck into a shower that worked, find some decent clothes to wear (leather crew jacket from our Snakes and Arrows tour-the closest I have to "rock clothes"), and go say a few words that I hoped would be courteous, appreciative, and gracious. ...

Included are some great photos along with Neil's written acceptance speech. Neil then goes on to describe last month's Governor General Awards gala and the events leading up to it. He describes meeting Pete Townshend backstage after the gala:

... We were ushered backstage ... into Pete Townshend's dressing room. Usually I don't care much about meeting celebrities, like the actors or athletes who come to Rush shows, but this was one meeting and photo op I was more than glad to attend. ... To briefly recap a long history, The Who were my first favorite band. ... To the teenage me, Pete Townshend set the example for what a rock musician should be: "He smashes guitars-and reads books!"

So ... meeting him now, forty-odd years later, I remained full of admiration, respect, and gratitude-for his example.

As we shook hands, I was pleased to tell him that my first concert, at age fifteen, had been The Who, with the Troggs and the MC5 opening. He smiled at the notion of losing my concert virginity to that mix!

Pete told us about some volunteer work he had been doing in a British prison, trying to encourage the inmates to explore music. He said, "All they want is decks"-meaning to be DJs, not musicians.

As we turned to leave, I made one last comment to Pete. "I also really enjoyed your prose writing-are you doing any more of that?"

He told me he was just finishing writing his life-which I took to mean in quotation marks, as "life," like Keith Richards' autobiography.

He went on, in his soft, sonorous voice, the accent melodic and pitched perfectly between Cockney and Oxbridge, "A lot of people thought Horse's Neck was about me, but it wasn't, really."
I nodded agreement with that observation. ...

Neil then discusses his collaboration with Vertical Horizon and a recent outing to see the Jack DeJohnette Trio perform at Catalina's jazz club in Hollywood, before ending with some musings on lifetime achievement:

... Well, great art never fails. And we can always try again-try to do better next time. There is always hope in the spirits of those who do try, in words, pictures, music, and everyday living.

"Lifetime achievement" is all about trying, really. The proper reward for any success is love and respect, and perhaps the only award for failure is the opportunity to try once more.

Even if it takes a desperate flight of 5,923 words and twelve photographs-only to fail again.

As Samuel Beckett said, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
There will be another time, another place, another story.
And there is always music.

Be sure to read the entire update at this link.

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Rush Clockwork Angels album 30-second sample clips for all 12 tracks now available
6:19PM EST | link | comments (95) |

To help whet our appetites until the June 12th release of Rush's Clockwork Angels album - now just 12 short days away - Walmart.com now has posted 30-second sample clips of all 12 tracks from the album. You can listen to them at this link. Thanks to snowdog2113 for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels fanpack sampler e-zine now online]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels track-by-track in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels review from music journalist Martin Popoff]
[Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online]
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]

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Inner Volition describes their Governor General's Award ceremony experience with Rush
10:00AM EST | link | comments (8) |

Inner Volition is the young Canadian band that was featured in a short Rush tribute film called Inner Rush that was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The film was shown at last month's Governor General's Award ceremony at the National Arts Centre where Rush was presented with a Governor General's Performing Arts Award. Inner Volition was lucky enough to attend the ceremony and also meet Rush. The NAC website posted an article a couple of weeks ago where one of the members of Inner Volition described the experience:

omg honestly best night of my existence last night. As if going to the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards show wasn't enough, we got a bunch of pictures taken of us on the red carpet (awesome), got to watch an awesome awards show with lots of talented Canadian artists (amazing), and met & talked with RUSH (greatest Canadian band of all time)! Talked with Geddy Lee about bass playing for a while, talked with Alex Lifeson about guitar gear for a solid half an hour, and actually got to meet Neil Peart, the most reclusive man in rock!! :D soooo awesome! took a lot of pictures, and they were so great and nice to us, it was unreal! And after, when we went to a diner at 1:00 in the morning, I've never laughed so hard as when I was in the booth with the rest of the freaks (Inner Volition). I love my life.

In case you missed it the first time, the 6.5-minute Inner Rush video is now available on YouTube. You can check it out below or at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush receive Governor General's Performing Arts Award]
[Rush to receive Governor General's Performing Arts Award this coming Saturday, May 5th in Ottawa]
[Rush wins Governor General's Award]

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Rush's The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987 compilation re-enters the Billboard Top 200
9:25AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Rush's 2003 compilation The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987 has re-entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #161 for the week of June 9th. It had peaked at #62 on the chart back in 2003 when it was released and remained in the top 200 for 7 weeks. My guess is that the surge in sales is likely due to a carry-over effect from pre-orders of the Clockwork Angels album, where people are ordering the compilation along with the new album. Whatever the reason, it's nice to see. Clockwork Angels releases a week from next Tuesday on June 12th in North America. It's expected that pre-orders of the album should propel it into at least the top 5 on the Billboard 200 for the week of its release, if not higher. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clockwork Angels: The Novel official press release
4:44PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Clockwork Angels bookBack in February we learned that sci-fi author and friend of Neil Peart Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album which would be released in the Fall by ECW Press. The official press release announcing the novel was released this afternoon via Anderson's website. From the press release:

... "This is a dream project for me," Anderson says. "I have always envisioned epic stories when listening to Rush music, and now working with Neil, it's possible to translate those stories to the printed page. Clockwork Angels: The Novel turned out even better than we had hoped. I think it's one of my very best books."

"As my 38 years with Rush will attest, I very much enjoy collaboration with like-minded artists," Peart says. "Working up this story with Kevin was one of the easiest, yet most satisfying projects I have ever shared-easiest, because we almost always simply agreed with each other's ideas, and most satisfying because I am so proud of the result." ...

You can read the entire press release at this link. Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be 264 pages long and release this September to coincide with the launch of Rush's North America tour. The press release also reveals that the hardcover edition will contain full-color illustrations by Syme and that the audiobook will be narrated by Neil Peart himself.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels novelization cover art now available]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of Rush's Clockwork Angels album due out this Fall from ECW Press]
[Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album]

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Rush Clockwork Angels fanpack sampler e-zine now online
11:51AM EST | link | comments (12) |

We learned last month in the official Clockwork Angels press release announcement that the album will be exclusively released in the UK on June 11th as a special Classic Rock fanpack edition, with the regular UK release on July 2nd. The fanpack can also be ordered from anywhere in the world, although shipping is higher outside of the UK. It will include the album plus a 132-page magazine with extensive and exclusive interviews with all 3 band members, along with a full track-by-track rundown by the band, an interview with producer Nick Raskulinecz, long time cover artist Hugh Syme and more. Just this morning Classic Rock released a 10-page e-zine sampler of the larger 132-page fanpack magazine. The sampler contains a few sample pages including photos and interview snippets with all 3 band members and you can check it out online at this link. For more details on what's included in the fanpack along with order information, go to this link.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels track-by-track in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels review from music journalist Martin Popoff]
[Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online]
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]

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Total Guitar taking questions for Alex Lifeson interview this week
9:42AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Total Guitar magazine will be speaking with Alex Lifeson later this week and are currently taking questions from fans via Facebook or e-mail. If they pick your question it will be featured in a future issue of Total Guitar and you'll win a set of D'Adario strings. For all the details go here. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

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Stewart Copeland on Rush and his friendship with Neil Peart in new MusicRadar.com interview
9:33AM EST | link | comments (54) |

Police drummer Stewart Copeland was recently interviewed for MusicRadar.com and discusses Rush and his friendship with Neil Peart. Both drummers appeared on Drum Solo Week on David Letterman last year and Neil had mentioned in another interview that Copeland was anti drum solo. Here's how Copeland reacted to that comment:

... Mmm... not so much. I pull Neil's chain on this at every possible opportunity, of course. You know, when I was a kid, I dreamed of playing a 17-hour drum solo. Then I grew up. ...

He was also asked about how Rush's early '80s music was somewhat influenced by The Police:

... "I had only heard of it. I didn't actually listen to Rush albums, and I couldn't tell you one from the other - although Neil is a good buddy. [laughs] We agreed to disagree on certain things, and it is a measure of his greatness as a human being that he is completely over whatever my feelings might be about Rush.

"This truly is the case: He's never heard me say a wonderful thing about his band. He's read a few comments that I wish he hadn't read. In unguarded moments, things tend to slip out. Musicians tend to be snippy about one another, and I'm generally not. I generally love all music and all players.

"There was a time when bands like Rush were the epitome of what The Police were theoretically against, which was an overemphasis on musicality. Our ethos in the early days was about the primal scream and that musical technique was a distraction from that mission. There may have been a few comments that I might have made regarding Rush's position on that debate, and it is really, really to Neil's credit that he's over that debate. And we get along great." ...

You can read the entire interview at this link.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Geddy Lee interview with Terrorizer magazine
8:50AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Terrorizer magazine will feature an interview with Geddy Lee in their next issue and have posted a few excerpts online here and here. Here's what Geddy had to say about the term progressive rock:

"For me, you look at a band like Radiohead, who I am always impressed with, I think they're enormously talented. To me, they're a progressive rock band. You don't have to sound a particular way to be a progressive rock band, and that's my view on it. We are a hard rock band, we are a progressive rock band, but our roots are in hard rock more than they are in ELP or something like that. It's different strokes for different folks. Radiohead are a kind of progressive alt band I guess, but the key is that they're trying to bring other things into their music, and that's what a progressive band does, tries to expand what they are by adding other influences without too much prerequisite."

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:36AM EST | link | comments (27) |

This past week we were treated to a series of new band interviews and magazine articles promoting the upcoming release of Rush's Clockwork Angels album, including a Classic Rock magazine cover feature. The 7-page article is contained in the July, 2012 issue of Classic Rock and the cover (seen here) shows a great picture of the band with the tagline RUSH: Steampunks, Musical Scientists, Goofballs - The Rise and Rise of the World's Biggest Cult Band. John over at Cygnus-X1.net transcribed the entire article earlier this week and made it available online at this location. The article contains interviews with all three band members along with Rush documentary filmmaker Sam Dunn and producer Nick Raskulinecz. It mostly discusses the new album but they also touch on other various other subjects including the untimely passing of Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, the Rush documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage, Alex's acting side projects and the band's future. There were also 2 Geddy Lee interviews; one in the latest issue of Prog magazine, and another in Spin. Geddy spoke mostly about the concept behind and the making of the Clockwork Angels album but also touched on a few other subjects including this interesting update on the much-anticipated Vapor Trails remix in the Prog interview:

That was an idea but it's now been shifted down. Rather than remix the entire album we might now take a bunch of different songs from albums and get different people to remix them for fun, rather than just do Vapor Trails. It's an idea in flux.

Get Rush on iTunesProbably the best Clockwork Angels interview to date is Alex Lifeson's Metal Express Radio interview from earlier this week. Alex talks at length about the new album, with some track-specific analysis of his solos on several of the songs. You can read the entire interview at this link. Then just this morning MusicRadar.com posted an interview with Alex where he dissects the album track-by-track, offering up his unique perspective on each and every one of the 12 songs. He clarifies that Caravan was not re-recorded but just remixed, and BU2B had a new intro recorded to open up the track. Here's what he had to say about the closing track of the album - The Garden:

"The Garden was one of the first songs we came up with for the record. Actually, Ged wrote most of it. He did some work one evening, and I came in the next day and heard that opening bass part and the verse. The idea was that we would keep it simple and heartfelt. The sentiment was very much about being at the end, of being retrospective, so there had to be a sweetness to it.

"Nick was a little wary of it getting too sweet, however. The demo was very acoustic. The piano parts were there, as were the strings, but everything was kind of soft. Nick wanted us to toughen it up some.

"We stepped in a little bit more on the bridges and the choruses - it doesn't have the light strumming of the verses - and we developed the whole middle section. The solo is one of my favorites. It's so suited to the rest of the music. When I listen to it, my eyes well up with tears. There's something about it that grabs me, the way it fits in with the rest of music.

"The outro chorus keeps building and building and building... until it gets to that that final breath. It's a great way to end the record."

You can read the entire interview at this link. There were also a couple more Clockwork Angels reviews this week; one from music journalist and author of the 2004 Rush bio Contents Under Pressure Martin Popoff, who gives the album a 10 out of 10 in this review, and a much more succinct review from UK website UberRock.com.

Author Kevin J. Anderson talks a little about how the idea to write a companion novel to the Clockwork Angels album came about in this article at SFSignal.com:

...[Neil Peart] began writing me about the new concept he had for the next Rush album, a steampunk fantasy adventure, Clockwork Angels, and over the course of about two years we talked about the songs he was writing, the story he had in mind, the characters, the villains, the scenes, and I began structuring it into a novel. ...

Earlier this week Rush announced the addition of 3 more dates to the 2013 European leg of the Clockwork Angels tour; a June 2nd show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Holland; a June 8th headlining performance at the Sweden Rock Festival - their first European festival in 34 years, and a June 10th show at the Hartwell Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Fan and VIP pre-sales for Helsinki kicked off yesterday morning and are currently underway. The fan pre-sale for Amsterdam will begin on July 1st with the general on-sale on July 2nd. More details will be released closer to the on-sale date, and the same goes for the Sweden Rock Festival. Tickets for the 2nd Toronto show on October 16th went on sale yesterday at 10AM, and VIP pre-sales for that show are now sold out. Now that tickets are on sale for all of the US/Canada dates, I thought it was time for a new poll. How have you or how will you get your tickets for the US/Canada leg? Take the poll and let us know. Eddie Trunk and Q104.3FM in New York will be hosting a pre/post-show party for the Brooklyn show on October 22nd with Rush tribute band Snakes & Arrows. For details/tickets visit littlefieldnyc.com. In the several band interviews that have been released over the past week the subject of the tour has come up several times. Alex had the following to say regarding the set list in his recent Metal Express Radio interview:

We've been throwing about set lists for the last couple of weeks and the length of the set is creeping up to over 4 hours so we'll have to reign it in and fine tune it. There'll be a good portion of new material and some older stuff that we'll be revisiting that you haven't heard in a long time. There's also a couple that we haven't played live before that we`re thinking about doing. There's quite a few in contention for the final set list. ... [2112] will be in there, in the big hat but we`re concentrating on our new tour right now and that's all we can really think of directly if I can put it like that.

Geddy was asked about the stage show for the upcoming tour in his Spin magazine interview:

... we're gonna expand upon the whole steampunk element that we brought on the "Time Machine Tour." We're gonna have fun with that whole kinda machinery and we're designing rear-screen things and have a fun little movies. Hopefully it can all tie together in some ludicrous way.

And Geddy also had the following to say about the set list in his recent Prog magazine interview:

We're just putting the set-list together right now so I can't really comment on it. We'll have a lot of variety though, and we'll be changing things around a bit. Obviously there's some stalwart songs that you can't drop without fans killing you. But we're trying to mix it up and make it interesting.

For the TMS Top Five segment on this past week's episode of That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk and the crew compiled their list of the Top 5 Keyboardists and making the list at #3 was Geddy Lee. You can watch the complete episode online at this link - the TMS Top 5 segment begins at about the 7-minute mark.

Sean Highkin of pop culture website Digital Refrain recently wrote an essay on Rush titled Wheels Within Wheels: A Completely Subjective History of Rush (Part I: 1974-75) which you can check out at this link (thanks Daniel G).

Google Moog DoodleGoogle helped to celebrate the 78th birthday of the late Robert Moog on Wednesday by featuring a very cool interactive Google Doodle on their home page. Moog was the inventor of the Moog synthesizer which was heavily utilized by Rush back in the '70s. This article at mashable gives the inside story on how this doodle came about.

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.

Yesterday was the 24th of May - the historical date of Victoria Day in Canada, and the date immortalized by Neil Peart in the lyrics to the Rush classic Lakeside Park. Here's Rush performing the tune live from way back in 1976.

That's it for this week. Have a fun and safe holiday weekend everybody!

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Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels track-by-track in new interview
9:26AM EST | link | comments (25) |

Get Rush on iTunesMusicRadar.com has posted a new interview with Alex Lifeson where Lerxst dissects Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album track-by-track. Alex offers up his unique perspective on each and every one of the 12 songs on the album, revealing all sorts of interesting tidbits. He clarifies that Caravan was not re-recorded but just remixed, and BU2B had a new intro recorded to open up the track. Here's what he had to say about the closing track of the album - The Garden:

"The Garden was one of the first songs we came up with for the record. Actually, Ged wrote most of it. He did some work one evening, and I came in the next day and heard that opening bass part and the verse. The idea was that we would keep it simple and heartfelt. The sentiment was very much about being at the end, of being retrospective, so there had to be a sweetness to it.

"Nick was a little wary of it getting too sweet, however. The demo was very acoustic. The piano parts were there, as were the strings, but everything was kind of soft. Nick wanted us to toughen it up some.

"We stepped in a little bit more on the bridges and the choruses - it doesn't have the light strumming of the verses - and we developed the whole middle section. The solo is one of my favorites. It's so suited to the rest of the music. When I listen to it, my eyes well up with tears. There's something about it that grabs me, the way it fits in with the rest of music.

"The outro chorus keeps building and building and building... until it gets to that that final breath. It's a great way to end the record."

You can read the entire interview at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels review from music journalist Martin Popoff]
[Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online]
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clockwork Angels review from music journalist Martin Popoff
12:55PM EST | link | comments (72) |

UPDATE - 5/24@1:08PM: Actually... reader Snaked points out that he did give a rating. 10 out of 10 - can't get much better than that:

... Revered BraveWords.com Editor In Chief Martin Popoff has heard the album and provides (as usual) an in-depth, step-by-step, track-by-track synopsis of the magnum opus we are all just dying to wrap our ears around! Check out his massive glowing 10/10 review below...

----- snip -----

Get Rush on iTunesCanadian-born music journalist and critic Martin Popoff - author of the 2004 Rush bio Contents Under Pressure - has written an extensive review of Clockwork Angels which was posted over at BW&BK earlier today. Here's a small taste of his review:

... A singular Rush triumph results, and yes, before we even get to the music, there really is so much to ponder here, as there's lyrics, light narration, visuals, and then an exo-story by Kevin J. Anderson. And like the best concept albums, the lyrics alone are mostly abstraction, with further abstraction caused by demarcation into their necessary chapters, welcome, so that these hugely ambitious and exclusively dark songs can stand on their own as Rush songs, soon to be mouthed by crowds in the wrongness for this of hockey barns.

But the concept nature is not the least of why this feels like the most unified and purposeful Rush album since Vapor Trails and before that, Signals and its pastels - it's the baffling music, an almost new invention, or new is old, or "the future as it's meant to be" in steampunk parlance. Gone is Alex's trinket of layering in acoustic to accompany the riff (I always thought this sounded like a tear in the woofer), and also gone, then, logically, is any of the tinkle in Rush production, the brightness, which started with Grace and then reared its head to varying degrees and with often enrageable persona throughout, on every album, save I suppose for Vapor Trails. ...

Popoff then goes on to critique most of the album's tracks individually. The review is very positive overall but no rating was given. You can read the entire thing at this link. There was also this short review from UK website Uber Rock earlier in the week which you can check out here. Thanks to snowdog2113 for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online]
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]

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Rush 2012/2013 Clockwork Angels tour updates; Helsinki pre-sales, Toronto on-sale, band interviews
10:04AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Rush.com sent out a newsletter last night with some more details on the pre-sales for the 3 recently-added European dates. Fan and VIP pre-sales for Helsinki began this morning and are currently underway. Note that the newsletter contains an incorrect link for the VIP pre-sale for Helsinki - the link should be http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=finland&query=detail&event=511144. The fan pre-sale for Amsterdam will begin on July 1st with the general on-sale on July 2nd. More details will be released closer to the on-sale date, and the same goes for the Sweden Rock Festival. Tickets for the 2nd Toronto show on October 16th went on sale a few minutes ago at 10AM, and VIP pre-sales for that show are now sold out. Now that tickets are on sale for all of the US/Canada dates (so far), I thought it was time for a new poll. How have you or how will you get your tickets for the US/Canada leg? Take the poll and let us know. Eddie Trunk and Q104.3FM in New York will be hosting a pre/post-show party for the Brooklyn show on October 22nd with Rush tribute band Snakes & Arrows. For details/tickets visit littlefieldnyc.com (thanks ReGorLaTroy). Several band interviews have been released over the past week and the subject of the tour has come up in all of them. Alex had the following to say regarding the set list in his recent Metal Express Radio interview:

We've been throwing about set lists for the last couple of weeks and the length of the set is creeping up to over 4 hours so we'll have to reign it in and fine tune it. There'll be a good portion of new material and some older stuff that we'll be revisiting that you haven't heard in a long time. There's also a couple that we haven't played live before that we`re thinking about doing. There's quite a few in contention for the final set list. ... [2112] will be in there, in the big hat but we`re concentrating on our new tour right now and that's all we can really think of directly if I can put it like that.

Geddy was asked about the stage show for the upcoming tour in his Spin magazine interview:

... we're gonna expand upon the whole steampunk element that we brought on the "Time Machine Tour." We're gonna have fun with that whole kinda machinery and we're designing rear-screen things and have a fun little movies. Hopefully it can all tie together in some ludicrous way.

And Geddy also had the following to say about the set list in his recent Prog magazine interview:

We're just putting the set-list together right now so I can't really comment on it. We'll have a lot of variety though, and we'll be changing things around a bit. Obviously there's some stalwart songs that you can't drop without fans killing you. But we're trying to mix it up and make it interesting.

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour: 3 new European dates added]
[Rush 2012/2013 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour UK/Europe pre-sale info; 2nd Toronto show added]
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour official UK/Europe dates announced]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Geddy Lee interview in latest issue of Prog magazine
3:27PM EST | link | comments (14) |

UPDATE - 5/29@2:52PM: John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire article and made it available online here.

Prog #26The latest issue of Prog magazine (issue 26) hit newsstands today. The issue contains a 5-page feature on Rush where Geddy Lee discusses the band's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Geddy mostly discusses the same subjects that have been brought up in other recent interviews with most of the focus on the concept behind Clockwork Angels. When asked about the conceptual nature of the album Geddy says:

... We never set out trying to do a concept record, but this idea came to Neil and it was the idea that turned into a concept instead of looking for a concept. We've always tried to keep ourselves open and we've never tried to pre-plan our destiny, rather to see where we are at any given time. But this idea struck Neil and we all went 'Fuck it, let's do another one.' ...

He was also asked about the hotly-anticipated Vapor Trails remix and revealed the following interesting bit of news:

That was an idea but it's now been shifted down. Rather than remix the entire album we might now take a bunch of different songs from albums and get different people to remix them for fun, rather than just do Vapor Trails. It's an idea in flux.

The article also contains a short sidebar interview with Rush graphic artist Hugh Syme. Thanks to Tony R for the heads up and the excerpts.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Spin magazine interview
9:22AM EST | link | comments (14) |

Spin magazine posted a short interview with Geddy Lee this morning where Geddy discusses Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Here's what Geddy had to say regarding improvisation on the new album:

... improvisation was something that was on our mind due to the fact that on our last tour we allowed ourselves a few moments to stretch out and those were really exciting parts of the show. As musicians - and also for the audience - it's not often you get to see us just let loose like that. And we are very much creatures of structure, and I think at times that's hindered our records. You can achieve a kind of excitement live and the goal is to achieve that on the record as well, but sometimes you get so focused on the arrangement and this overdub and that overdub that you lose that spontaneous thing that can happen when three musicians are thinking together. When we were writing [Clockwork Angels] we tried to make sure we were jamming and we tried to capture some of those moments.

Geddy was also asked about the stage show for the upcoming tour:

... we're gonna expand upon the whole steampunk element that we brought on the "Time Machine Tour." We're gonna have fun with that whole kinda machinery and we're designing rear-screen things and have a fun little movies. Hopefully it can all tie together in some ludicrous way.

When asked about the chance of playing 2112 in the year 2112 Geddy says he'd be very surprised but there's always a chance. You can read the entire interview at this link.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels and more in new Metal Express Radio interview
11:05PM EST | link | comments (30) |

Metal Express Radio posted an extensive interview with Alex Lifeson to their website earlier today. Alex talks at length about the new album, with some track-specific analysis of his solos on several of the songs along with some comments on the additions of strings - specifically on the track The Garden:

We put down keyboard, sample strings and we really liked it but we thought rather than use sampled strings we'd bring in a real orchestra and Geddy and I were the catalysts for that. He's a real sucker for those sort of things. We decided to bring the strings in and David Campbell did a great job on the arrangement. That really tugs at your heart. I think there`s something that`s really classic about that arrangement and really heartfelt. The song works really well as a closer, the final chapter of the story. That single cello note at the very end is very poignant.

When asked about the set list for the upcoming tour Alex had the following to say:

We've been throwing about set lists for the last couple of weeks and the length of the set is creeping up to over 4 hours so we'll have to reign it in and fine tune it. There'll be a good portion of new material and some older stuff that we'll be revisiting that you haven't heard in a long time. There's also a couple that we haven't played live before that we`re thinking about doing. There's quite a few in contention for the final set list. ... [2112] will be in there, in the big hat but we`re concentrating on our new tour right now and that's all we can really think of directly if I can put it like that.

Alex also confirms that the album was not recorded in surround sound as had been rumored previously. He also was asked about the long-anticipated Vapor Trails re-master:

We've been talking about it for years but every time we try to make a move on it something else comes up and because it's a back burner issue it gets left. We were very close a while back and Rich was going to start remixing it when we finished this record but other things were slotted in but we'll get to it one of these days.

You can read the entire interview at this link. Thanks to snowdog2113 for the heads up.

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Rush Clockwork Angels tour: 3 new European dates added
8:30AM EST | link | comments (23) |

UPDATE - 5/24@3:37PM: Reader Ben points out that it's actually been 33 years (34 next year) since Rush's last European festival gig - Pinkpop back in 1979. The Sweden Rock Festival needs to fix their poster! :)

UPDATE - 5/22@1:01PM: Toronto sports radio station The Fan 590 is running a contest to win a pair of tickets to the 2nd Toronto show on 10/16. For details and to enter go to this link (thanks Bigleaf).

UPDATE - 5/21@10:08AM: Ticket sale information for all 3 dates is now available online and I've also added all 3 dates to the tour section. Tickets for the June 2nd, 2013 show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam will go on sale July 2nd. Tickets for the band's June 8th, 2013 headlining performance at the Sweden Rock Festival - their first European festival in 35 years - will go on sale September 25th. And tickets for the June 10th, 2013 show in Helsinki go on sale next Tuesday, May 29th - which means pre-sales should be coming up this week.

Last night Rush.com posted 3 additional dates to the 2013 European leg of the Clockwork Angels tour - June 2nd at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Holland; June 8th at the Sweden Rock festival in Solvesborg, Sweden; and June 10th at the Hartwell Arena in Helsinki, Finland. No details regarding ticket sales or pre-sales have yet been posted. Thanks to Adrian for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush 2012/2013 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour UK/Europe pre-sale info; 2nd Toronto show added]
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour official UK/Europe dates announced]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rush Classic Rock magazine cover feature now online
5:26PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Yesterday I let you know that Rush is the subject of a 7-page cover feature in the July, 2012 issue of Classic Rock magazine. The cover (seen here) shows a great picture of the band with the tagline RUSH: Steampunks, Musical Scientists, Goofballs - The Rise and Rise of the World's Biggest Cult Band. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire article and made it available online at this location. The article contains interviews with all three band members along with Rush documentary filmmaker Sam Dunn and producer Nick Raskulinecz. It mostly discusses the new album but they also touch on other various other subjects including the untimely passing of Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, the Rush documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage, Alex's acting side projects and the band's future. Geddy recently re-watched the Rush documentary and had the following comments:

... I started seeing things in it that I hadn't noticed the first time," says Geddy, "listening to things a little differently, because when I saw it the first time I really didn't want to - it was hard to watch. Watching yourself talk about your life, it's not for me. But, my god, how strange to see your life up there on a television show in the middle of the night and I thought about all the different people that can't sleep and are having the same experience I am, but they're watching about my life. It's just so bizarre.

"Billy Corgan, he blew my mind. The things he was saying about his relationship with his mother and what Entre Nous meant to him, and even Trent Reznor - those things meant a lot to me. You don't start doing this for any other reasons but your own and, of course, 40 years later, you never expected that you'd still be doing it. And then to hear other people describe your work in such a serious light just makes you feel like you've lived a life and that's such a nice feeling." ...

Here's Neil on the passing of his friend Andrew MacNaughtan:

... "We were very close to him, Carrie and I, to him and his partner, Alex," says Peart. "It was devastating, but more disbelief really. Shocked. It's still setting in. Anyone who's lost someone will know that you keep seeing them. 'Wait, there's Andrew,' you know? I remember he and I attended the South Park Halloween party. This was back in '98. He was an SAS officer and I was Mandy, the English biker chick, a leather-clad, foam-enhanced drag queen. I stood seven-feet tall under a gigantic blonde bouffant. It's weird, I just passed the store the other day. We went to get foam at this place at the bottom of La Brea. Andrew and I went there to buy the padding, then up to Hollywood to get the wig." ...

Neil Peart reveals that the nod to Bastille Day in Headlong Flight was deliberate:

... Long-term fans of the band will find much to love: the thundering Headlong Flight recalls, in part, Bastille Day, while the expansive, multi-layered and intricate title track is as good as anything the band has ever recorded.

Peart says he hopes that song will be in their live show forever. "What was it that Oscar Wilde said: self-plagiarism is style?" says Peart. "We certainly do a few tongue-in-cheek nods to Bastille Day in Headlong Flight - that's deliberate. ...

And the article closes with these words from Geddy:

... "When we were living at the London Hotel here, while we're mixing the first time around before Andrew passed, right around two or three in the morning I'd be just drifting off to sleep and I'd hear this acoustic guitar playing and I'd be, 'I know that sound.' And Big Al would be out on his balcony, which was right underneath mine - he'd had some refreshment, apparently - and he'd be playing to LA. He plays all the time.

"And I would just lie there in the darkness and look up at the ceiling with this huge smile on my face every night even if he had just woken me up. I knew the headspace he was in and I knew what he was doing - he was being Al and he was playing to LA. Those moments are forever - so sweet, so funny."

The magazine also contains a sidebar discussing Alex Lifeson's role of Dr. Fig in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. And there's a glowing review of the Clockwork Angels album which reviewer Dave Everley gives a 9 out of 10. You can read the entire article at this link.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:19PM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 5/20@8:15PM: Here's a short review of the Clockwork Angels album from UberRock.com (thanks snowdog2113). It's a positive review although not as glowing as the ones we've seen thus far.

It was a whirlwind of a week for European Rush fans, as Rush announced on Monday a batch of tour dates for the UK and Germany in the late Spring of 2013 - over a year in advance of the shows! Pre-sales for the 5 UK dates are now complete, with general tickets sales having kicked off earlier today. General ticket sales for the 2 German dates begin tomorrow morning. As expected, earlier this week Rush also announced a 2nd show in Toronto on October 16th. Music Today and VIP pre-sales for this show began a short time ago at 12PM EST and are now underway, with AMEX and other pre-sales beginning over the weekend. General ticket sales for this show will kick off next Thursday, May 24th. The Rush.com newsletter that went out earlier this week also promised that more European dates would be announced shortly. Folks over here in North America are also wondering whether the band will play some more North American shows in early 2013. Hopefully we'll get some more news on that front shortly too.

Earlier this morning I let you know that the complete Clockwork Angels biography/essay written by Neil Peart has been posted online at the Roadrunner Records website. You can access it at this link by clicking on the Biography tab. While we've seen many excerpts from this essay in various interviews over the past several weeks, we hadn't seen the entire essay until now. Neil outlines the entire 3-year history of the Clockwork Angels album - from its inception in 2009 on through the recording of Caravan and BU2B, how the idea for a novelization was born, and the addition of strings from David Campbell in the 2012 mixing phase:

... On the bright side-even the brilliant side-one very special aspect of this project is the lush and exotic string arrangements, by David Campbell. One January afternoon at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, I stood in the control room listening while the strings were being recorded. It occurred to me that all songwriters should experience the sensual delight of hearing their songs performed by an accomplished string section. For example, when these virtuoso artists on violin, viola, cello, and double-bass executed David's plangent orchestration for "The Garden," there was not a dry eye in the studio. ...

You can read the entire essay at this link (click the Biography tab). The album will release in the US and Canada on June 12th (a little earlier in parts of Europe) and will be available on CD, vinyl and as a special edition fanpack. It will also be available as a download and can be pre-ordered via iTunes. The album will be exclusively released in the UK on June 11th as a special Classic Rock fanpack edition, with the regular UK release on July 2nd. The fanpack will include the album plus a 132-page magazine with extensive and exclusive interviews with all 3 band members, along with a full track-by-track rundown by the band, an interview with producer Nick Raskulinecz, long time cover artist Hugh Syme and more. The cover for the fanpack magazine was recently revealed online and you can check it out at this link (thanks Nick B). For more details on what's included in the fanpack along with order information, go to this link. Roadrunner Records is also offering a Clockwork Angels bundle for $40 that includes the album in CD, vinyl and digital formats.

Rush is the subject of a 7-page cover feature in the July, 2012 issue of Classic Rock magazine. The cover (seen here) shows a great picture of the band with the tagline RUSH: Steampunks, Musical Scientists, Goofballs - The Rise and Rise of the World's Biggest Cult Band. The main article feature interview was conducted in Los Angeles during the mixing of the Clockwork Angels album. It mostly discusses the new album but they also touch on other various subjects including the Rush documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage and the band's future (Alex declares, we will be making albums until the day we die). The magazine also contains a glowing review of the Clockwork Angels album, giving it a 9/10 rating and declares that it's their best album in the last 30 years.

Geddy Lee hit the UK radio interview circuit last week, beginning with appearances on both Planet Rock radio and Real Radio XS last Thursday, and continuing with last weekend's appearance on BBC Radio Ulster's After Midnight with Steven Rainey. In all three interviews Geddy spends most of the time describing the concept behind the Clockwork Angels album, but also touches on a few other topics such as how Rush has stayed together after nearly 40 years, the upcoming tour, the Trailer Park Boys, fanboys, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many other subjects.

Although he was in London last week, Geddy Lee is now back in Toronto and was spotted in his usual spot behind home plate at Wednesday night's Toronto Blue Jays game versus the New York Yankees. Deadspin.com dedicated an entire article to Geddy Lee's appearance complete with a photo of Ged watching the game and several bad Rush puns:

... Lee's actually been a Jays season ticketholder in the past, which leads you to wonder what he finds so interesting about the game. Certainly we imagine he was a fan of last season's waiver transaction when Toronto picked up a free Wil Ledezma. While the Blue Jays have called up some flat-out questionable prospects to the Show, don't tell Geddy Lee. What scouts may call a fly by night prospect is somebody the Rush frontman hopes can stick it out and show some grace under pressure.

But Lee's professed a love of being in attendance for other reasons: the signals from a third base coach, or a Bautista slam driven so far it ends up in the trees. Lee believes that in the modern finances of the American League East, it's a new world, man, and someday the Blue Jays will show the vital signs that a pennant might come before 2112.

But mostly he just loves the "Cold beer here!" call of salesmen, of salesmen, OF SALESMEN

Jared Max of ESPN radio sent me this screenshot of Ged and Sportsnet.ca mentioned Geddy in this article, making reference to how Omar Vizquel's walk-on music is Limelight:

Omar Vizquel started at short, and Geddy Lee was there to see it all go down

SR: It's precious that Geddy Lee came to watch Vizquel start and walk up to his song.

AD: And it's precious that we were only three Trailer Park Boys away from that episode of Trailer Park Boys where Ricky kidnaps Alex Lifeson for a private concert. Not to condone criminal activity, but I don't think any of us would be disappointed to find out that Team Unit kidnapped Geddy Lee tonight (and returned him safely) in the spirit of Rush and Canadian television. ...

Yesterday more details regarding this year's RushCon Rush fan convention were released including travel information and the event schedule. They are also putting out a call for Rush tribute bands, vendors, and auction items. The 12th annual RushCon will be held in Toronto at the Hard Rock Cafe Toronto on October 12-14, 2012 to coincide with the Rush concert on October 14th (and October 16th). For all the 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.com also gave a shout-out to RushCon in the official newsletter announcing the 2nd Toronto show pre-sales yesterday:

Thanks to the folks over at RUSHCON who run the 'By-the-fans, for-the-fans' event where fans have an opportunity to raise money for an important charity whilst having an amazing time learning more about the band, getting to know each other and connecting with other fans from around the world. Over the past 11 years- we hear how much those that attend enjoy it! As this second Toronto show goes on sale for October 16th, please note that RUSHCON will be held in Toronto on October 12-14th. For more details please go to http://www.rushcon.org/

Last year Alex Lifeson played the role of Dr. Fig in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. The film is an adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. It premiered last September at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently in the process of raising funds for a worldwide release. To further that goal, they are giving away a bunch of perks/prizes to those who contribute - including a chance to win the very stethoscope used by Alex in the film. For all the details check out this post.

Back in March MIDIpedals.com posted part 1 of an extensive interview they conducted with longtime Rush roadie Tony Geranios (aka Jack Secret). In part 1 Tony talks about the early days with Rush, connecting the non-MIDI Taurus Pedals to Geddy's Oberheim synths, and about the redundant MIDI and sampling setup when they are touring. Part 2 of the interview is now also available. Topics in part 2 include his nickname, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, upcoming tour rehearsals, sausage, chicken, Barbies, his shop in Vegas, and much more! You can listen to both parts of the interview (along with part 1.5) at this link.

A recent article in the Toledo Blade profiles local guitar company Reverend Guitars. In the article owner Ken Haas relates a story of how he gave one of the company's guitars to Alex Lifeson last year when the band played Toledo:

... When Rush played in Toledo last year, Haas finagled his way backstage to talk to Lifeson, the guitarist for the band. He gave him three guitars, including one of the company's newer models, a Sensei, to try out, watching from the side of the stage before the show as the guitarist gave the instruments a workout. Lifeson loved the Sensei and it's now his warmup guitar. While Haas would like to see the Rush guitarist using his guitar on stage, endorsement agreements with industry titan Gibson preclude him from playing anything but its guitars. That's OK with Haas. "I got second-row seats for Rush out of the deal and I was good. For what that guitar cost me, we're even," he said, laughing. "It's all about just as many people as I can meet and that connection. I can't do anything with it now, but who knows what that will be worth in five years?" ...

Reader Nevetsrush2112 noticed this article at McSweeney's titled Bandwiches which describes different bands as if they were sandwiches (??), including Rush:

Rush: Seagrams-marinated grilled flank steak, carbonated pineapple-jalapeño cheese spread, maple-wasabi aioli, hand-milled laser-cut 37-grain flatbread.

As another Rush tour slowly begins to take shape, Eric over at the Power Windows site is reminding everyone to scan their ticket stubs and other memorabilia for his extensive Rush Tour Archive:

As another Rush tour is about to begin, I ask that you please take the time to scan your ticket for the Rush Tour Archive. I have been maintaining this archive for many years now (since the demise of the National Midnight Star), and and with the exception of the Boston Fleet Center show of the Vapor Trails tour, I have a stub or advertisement for every show of the last ten years.

If you can please take a moment to scan your ticket and email it to me, or if you do not have a scanner, take a quality photograph, please do.

In addition, if you have any ticket stubs or advertisements, handbills, photographs of marquees, etc, from previous tours, perhaps you can fill in the gaps? Who knows, you might have a stub for a show that has been forgotten in the depths of time.

My ultimate goal is to be able to provide a complete archive of the touring history of Rush for everyone to see.

If you've never checked out Eric's Rush Tour Archive before, I highly suggest that you do. This page has every known Rush tour and tour date listed along with setlists and scans of ticket stubs and concert posters. It's an invaluable resource for Rush fans.

Reader snowdog2113 recently unearthed a great Neil Peart interview from 1996 and posted it on YouTube. It's a nearly one hour interview with Newsworld International's Pamela Wallin. It's in 5 parts and you can check out part 1 below or at this link.

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

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Clockwork Angels biography/essay by Neil Peart available online
10:28AM EST | link | comments (19) |

UPDATE - 5/20@8:15PM: Here's a short review of the Clockwork Angels album from UberRock.com (thanks snowdog2113). It's a positive review although not as glowing as the ones we've seen thus far.

UPDATE - 5/20@8:13PM: The essay/bio is also posted at Rush.com as a full PDF file complete with images (thanks James W). The essay's title is The Future as Seen from the Past (Or: Yesterday's Tomorrowland).

Reader snowdog2113 recently discovered that the complete Clockwork Angels biography/essay written by Neil Peart has been posted online at the Roadrunner Records website. You can access it at this link by clicking on the Biography tab. While we've seen many excerpts from this essay in various interviews over the past several weeks, we hadn't seen the entire biography until now. Neil outlines the entire 3-year history of the Clockwork Angels album - from its inception in 2009 on through the recording of Caravan and BU2B, how the idea for a novelization was born, and the addition of strings from David Campbell in the 2012 mixing phase:

... On the bright side-even the brilliant side-one very special aspect of this project is the lush and exotic string arrangements, by David Campbell. One January afternoon at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, I stood in the control room listening while the strings were being recorded. It occurred to me that all songwriters should experience the sensual delight of hearing their songs performed by an accomplished string section. For example, when these virtuoso artists on violin, viola, cello, and double-bass executed David's plangent orchestration for "The Garden," there was not a dry eye in the studio. ...

You can read the entire essay at this link (click the Biography tab).

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix]
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]

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Rush cover feature in July, 2012 issue of Classic Rock magazine
9:46AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Rush is the subject of a 7-page cover feature in the July, 2012 issue of Classic Rock magazine. The cover (seen here) shows a great picture of the band with the tagline RUSH: Steampunks, Musical Scientists, Goofballs - The Rise and Rise of the World's Biggest Cult Band. The main article feature interview was conducted in Los Angeles during the mixing of the Clockwork Angels album. It mostly discusses the new album but they also touch on other various subjects including the Rush documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage and the band's future (Alex declares, we will be making albums until the day we die). The magazine also contains a glowing review of the Clockwork Angels album, giving it a 9/10 rating and declares that it's their best album in the last 30 years. Many thanks to UK reader Alan D for the heads up and the cover scan.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

More RushCon 2012 details released
3:31PM EST | link | comments (4) |

RushCon 12

UPDATE - 5/17@9:46PM: Rush.com just sent out the official newsletter announcing the 2nd Toronto show pre-sales and gave a nice shout-out to RushCon:

Thanks to the folks over at RUSHCON who run the 'By-the-fans, for-the-fans' event where fans have an opportunity to raise money for an important charity whilst having an amazing time learning more about the band, getting to know each other and connecting with other fans from around the world. Over the past 11 years- we hear how much those that attend enjoy it! As this second Toronto show goes on sale for October 16th, please note that RUSHCON will be held in Toronto on October 12-14th. For more details please go to http://www.rushcon.org/

----- snip -----

The folks at RushCon have just released several more details regarding this year's convention including travel information and the event schedule. They are also putting out a call for Rush tribute bands, vendors, and auction items. The 12th annual RushCon will be held in Toronto at the Hard Rock Cafe Toronto on October 12-14, 2012 to coincide with the Rush concert on October 14th (and October 16th). For all the 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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Rush 2012/2013 Clockwork Angels tour updates
12:13PM EST | link | comments (11) |

UPDATE - 5/17@9:45PM: Rush.com just sent out the official newsletter announcing the 2nd Toronto show pre-sales. There's no additional information in the newsletter than what we already knew, but they did give a nice shout-out to RushCon:

Thanks to the folks over at RUSHCON who run the 'By-the-fans, for-the-fans' event where fans have an opportunity to raise money for an important charity whilst having an amazing time learning more about the band, getting to know each other and connecting with other fans from around the world. Over the past 11 years- we hear how much those that attend enjoy it! As this second Toronto show goes on sale for October 16th, please note that RUSHCON will be held in Toronto on October 12-14th. For more details please go to http://www.rushcon.org/

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/17@8:12PM: Both the Music Today fan pre-sale and the VIP pre-sale for the 2nd Toronto show are now listed on their respective sites as starting tomorrow at 12PM as we had expected (thanks Adrian B).

Pre-sales for the initial batch of European dates for Rush's Clockwork Angels tour are beginning to wind down, with general ticket sales kicking off tomorrow in the UK and Saturday in Germany. The Rush.com newsletter that went out earlier this week also promised that more European dates would be announced shortly. Folks over here in North America are also wondering whether the band will play some more North American shows in early 2013. Hopefully we'll get some more mews on that front shortly too. Tickets for the recently added 2nd show in Toronto will go on general sale next Thursday, May 24th with pre-sales beginning this weekend. The AMEX pre-sale for Toronto is listed at Ticketmaster as beginning this Saturday at 10AM. That likely means that the fan and VIP pre-sales will begin one day earlier, which is tomorrow at 12PM. Neither of these have been officially announced yet nor are they listed at either the Music Today website or VIP Nation. But if you plan on purchasing fan or VIP pre-sale tickets for this show, I'd suggest going with this assumption. Just keep a watchful eye on these sites over the next 24 hours, and hopefully Rush.com will also send out another newsletter. As another Rush tour slowly begins to take shape, Eric over at the Power Windows site is reminding everyone to scan their ticket stubs and other memorabilia for his extensive Rush Tour Archive:

As another Rush tour is about to begin, I ask that you please take the time to scan your ticket for the Rush Tour Archive. I have been maintaining this archive for many years now (since the demise of the National Midnight Star), and and with the exception of the Boston Fleet Center show of the Vapor Trails tour, I have a stub or advertisement for every show of the last ten years.

If you can please take a moment to scan your ticket and email it to me, or if you do not have a scanner, take a quality photograph, please do.

In addition, if you have any ticket stubs or advertisements, handbills, photographs of marquees, etc, from previous tours, perhaps you can fill in the gaps? Who knows, you might have a stub for a show that has been forgotten in the depths of time.

My ultimate goal is to be able to provide a complete archive of the touring history of Rush for everyone to see.

If you've never checked out Eric's Rush Tour Archive before, I highly suggest that you do. This page has every known Rush tour and tour date listed along with setlists and scans of ticket stubs and concert posters. It's an invaluable resource for Rush fans.

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour UK/Europe pre-sale info; 2nd Toronto show added]
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour official UK/Europe dates announced]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Part 2 of MIDIpedals.com interview with longtime Rush roadie Tony Geranios (aka Jack Secret)
10:42AM EST | link | comments (20) |

Jack SecretBack in March MIDIpedals.com posted part 1 of an extensive interview they conducted with longtime Rush roadie Tony Geranios (aka Jack Secret). In part 1 Tony talks about the early days with Rush, connecting the non-MIDI Taurus Pedals to Geddy's Oberheim synths, and about the redundant MIDI and sampling setup when they are touring. Part 2 of the interview is now also available. Topics in part 2 include his nickname, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, upcoming tour rehearsals, sausage, chicken, Barbies, his shop in Vegas, and much more! You can listen to both parts of the interview (along with part 1.5) at this link. Thanks to the interviewer Terry Goyette for the heads up and for the great interview.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rush Clockwork Angels tour UK/Europe pre-sale info; 2nd Toronto show added
6:59AM EST | link | comments (41) |

UPDATE - 5/15@9:50AM: The tour section is now updated. Pre-sales for both German dates began earlier this morning. UK pre-sales begin tomorrow.

The Rush.com newsletter sent out an update last night with more details on all of the various pre-sales for the UK/European dates - some of which are already underway. They've also indicated that they'll be adding a 2nd Toronto show on October 16th as we had expected. Below are all the details from the newsletter. I'll be updating the tour section with the new information later this morning.

Germany Fan Pre-Sales, VIP Packages and General Ticket Onsale Information

June 4th 2013 - Cologne, Germany @ The Lanxess Arena (Einlass: 19 Uhr,Beginn: 20 Uhr)
June 6th 2013 - Berlin, Germany @ O2 World Arena (Einlass: 19 Uhr, Beginn: 20Uhr)
The Exclusive fan pre-sale for RUSH tickets in Germany will begin Tuesday, May 15th at 9:00 AM (local time) on Ticketmaster. Public On-sales will begin on Saturday May 19th at 9 AM (local time). Ticketmaster: www.ticketmaster.de
(Hotline: 01805.969 000 555, Verbindungspreise: 0,14 /Min. aus dem deutschen Festnetz, max. 0,42 /Min. aus dem deutschen Mobilfunknetz)

VIP packages will also be available to purchase, RUSH VIP Clockwork Angels Tour Package Includes:

* One reserved ticket located within the first 15 rows of the stage
* Exclusive Rush Tour Gift Item
* Official Tour Program
* Set of Official Guitar Picks
* Commemorative Concert Ticket
* Commemorative Tour Laminate

UK Fan Pre-Sales, VIP Packages and Regular Onsale Information

May 22nd 2013 - Manchester, England @ The MEN Arena
May 24th 2013 - London, England @ The O2 Arena
May 26th 2013 - Birmingham, England @ The LG Arena
May 28th 2013 - Sheffield, England @ Motorpoint Arena
May 30th 2013 - Glasgow, England @ SECC

Fan Club and Website pre-sales begin on Wednesday May 16th at 9 am local time
Planet Rock, Live Nation pre-sales begin on Thursday May 17th
Public On-sale will be Friday May 18th at 9am local time and will be available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketline.co.uk

The link to purchase UK fan club pre-sale tickets is: http://www.ticketline.co.uk/rush?presale=ilapzxf

VIP packages will also be available for purchase at: http://www.livenation.co.uk/vip/artist/rush-tickets

RUSH VIP Clockwork Angels Tour Package Includes:

* One reserved ticket located within the first 15 rows of the stage
* Exclusive Rush Tour Gift Item
* Official Tour Program
* Set of Official Guitar Picks
* Commemorative Concert Ticket
* Commemorative Tour Laminate

More European dates to be announced shortly.

Due to demand, a second show has been added in Toronto!

Oct 16, 2012 Toronto, Canada @ Air Canada Centre

Ticket pre-sales will begin next week. Details to come!

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels tour official UK/Europe dates announced]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Win Alex Lifeson's stethoscope from his role as Dr. Fig in Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy
9:26PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Last year Alex Lifeson played the role of Dr. Fig in Toronto filmmaker Rob Heydon's indie film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. The film is an adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. It premiered last September at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently in the process of raising funds for a worldwide release. To further that goal, they are giving away a bunch of perks/prizes to those who contribute - including a chance to win the very stethoscope used by Alex in the film:

WIN Alex Lifeson's personally worn Stethoscope-by helping Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy Go Worldwide!

Wanna win the stethoscope worn by Alex while playing the character Dr.Fig on Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy? All you need to do to qualify is support at "postcard & scenes" level or higher, and post Alex's name in the comments section. Go here to win http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/103683

Details: When you contribute you will get the perks listed for your amount, and are eligible to win a stethoscope worn by Alex Lifeson on the set of Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy (and in the film!). The stethoscope is the same shown here for his role as Dr. Fig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfUbHN9Mk4A

Alex's stethoscope will be sealed and signed with a message personally inscribed to you by Alex. All you have to do is contribute to the campaign at "postcards & scenes" level or higher to be eligible and help Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy go worldwide! Make sure to place "Alex" in the comments section after your contribution. However never fear! We will also ask at the end of the campaign where you were referred to make sure that Alex fans are placed in the drawing at the end of the campaign. You can get bonus entries for posting on other facebook pages, and if you email others (when we ask for referrals if anyone mentions your name you will have an extra entry into the contest!). In addition to receiving reward perks for your chosen perk, you will also earn an extra entry per extra $10 contributed (ex: $50 = 5 entries plus 50 plus Special Backer's Collector's Edition blue ray or dvd with Director's cut, with favorite scenes at the end by Rob, Irvine, select cast and their interview, plus never before seen scenes, and a special for your eyes only Q & A portion with cast).. .Support now and help Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy to have a fighting chance against the big guys in theaters world-wide.

You will get something for your contribution in addition to qualifying for the drawing: INCENTIVE REWARDS perks for your contribution include: Personal voicemail "Thank You" messages by Alex Lifeson, signed post cards.... tickets to see the ENTIRE cast at the US & Canada premieres and many more rewards. Still listening? We need your help to bring Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy nationwide and help us to give it a fighting chance against the big guys

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Geddy Lee interview with the UK's Real Radio XS
2:16PM EST | link | comments (13) |

Geddy Lee has been hitting the UK radio interview circuit over the past week, beginning with last week's appearance on Planet Rock radio and continuing with this weekend's appearance on BBC Radio Ulster's After Midnight with Steven Rainey. He was also a guest on the UK's Real Radio XS this past Thursday. Geddy chats about the concept behind the Clockwork Angels album, the Trailer Park Boys, fanboys, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many other subjects. The entire interview lasts about 10 minutes and is available online here. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Rush Clockwork Angels tour official UK/Europe dates announced
8:44AM EST | link | comments (35) |

UPDATE - 5/14@1:38PM: There's also an O2 Priority pre-sale for all the UK dates starting on Wednesday at 9AM (thanks Melissa).

UPDATE - 5/14@11:32AM: Until I hear otherwise, I'm going with the assumption that the Planet Rock VIP and Live Nation VIP pre-sales are separate.

UPDATE - 5/14@11:12AM: Hold the phone... it's possible that the Planet Rock VIP pre-sale and the Live Nation one are totally separate. Still gathering details - everything is confusing as hell as usual...

UPDATE - 5/14@10:59AM: The VIP pre-sale will be sponsored by Planet Rock and to participate you need to register for free at this link.

UPDATE - 5/14@10:37AM: I've added the UK dates into the tour section. Despite the fact that these shows are over 1 year away, tickets go on sale this weekend! I'm still gathering all the details, but it looks general ticket sales for the UK dates will be this Friday, May 18 at 9AM. It also looks like there will be VIP tickets available through Live Nation UK this coming Thursday, May 17th at 10AM.

This past week Geddy Lee revealed in his Planet Rock interview that Rush would indeed be taking the Clockwork Angels to the UK and Europe at some point in 2013. In confirmation of this early this morning Rush.com posted some official dates including 5 in the UK in late May and 2 in Germany in early June with the promise of more dates to come. Here they are:

May 22: Manchester, England - Arena
May 24: London, England - O2 Arena
May 26: Birmingham, England - LG Arena
May 28: Sheffield, England - Motorpoint Arena
May 30: Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
June 4: Cologne, Germany - Arena
June 6: Berlin, Germany - O2 Arena

Related Posts:
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Geddy Lee BBC radio interview tonight
4:43PM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 5/14@9:38AM: The interview is now available outside the UK at this link at about the 23-minute mark (thanks The Clansman 2112).

Geddy Lee will be guest on BBC Radio Ulster's After Midnight with Steven Rainey tonight at midnight (7PM EST). Although it will be available online it seems to be geographically restricted to the UK. There's a 3-minute preview clip available for listening currently, but the entire interview should be available after the show airs. From the website:

Steven Rainey catches up with Geddy Lee of Canadian rock band Rush. The band are about to release their 19th studio album and Steven gets an inside look at the making of the record, as well as the secret behind staying together after over four decades as a band.

Geddy was a guest on the UK's Planet Rock radio earlier this week and you can check out that interview at this location (at the 41-minute mark). Thanks to Jon P for the heads up.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:20PM EST | link | comments (25) |

The third and final round of pre-sales for Rush's 2012 Clockwork Angels tour are just about complete, with general ticket sales kicking off today. This third round included 11 dates: Indianapolis, Columbus, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, Charlotte, Tampa and Seattle. As of this post VIP ticket packages still remain for Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Montreal, Boston, Cleveland, Charlotte, Atlanta and Phoenix. Live Nation, radio and venue pre-sales for most of the Canadian dates will run today from 10AM to 10PM. For more information including passwords (where available), just check out the tour page, and for more details on how all the pre-sales work check out my ticket sales and pre-sales guide. General ticket sales for Indianapolis, Columbus and Tampa began earlier this morning at 10AM with all 5 Canadian dates, Cleveland and Charlotte going on sale tomorrow at 10AM, and Seattle on Monday at 10AM.

Geddy Lee was interviewed yesterday by Darren Redick of the UK's Planet Rock radio and had a little news to report regarding the tour. When asked about the possibility of a UK/European tour Geddy said:

Yes, we are coming over. I guess I'm probably not supposed to announce it yet. But we're working on the details now. I hope to be here in the Spring of 2013.

Darren also asked Geddy how they'd be changing up the stage show and visuals given that much of the steampunk theme of the Time Machine tour will likely carry over to the Clockwork Angels tour:

We're kind of redesigning a few aspects of the set. It will be a different show but it'll still have the same kind of steampunk aesthetic vibe. ... with new videos

And when asked about whether they'd be recording a live DVD for this tour Geddy remarks:

We haven't discussed it yet but I imagine so. It's become kind of a regular thing for us. When we put a new tour together, because of the fact that they are all so different from each other visually, it's nice to have that historical record. So - yes - we probably will film it at some point.

Get Rush on iTunesThe first reviews of the Clockwork Angels album came out earlier this week. On Monday Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com posted his colorful, track-by-track review of the album at this link. Next up was Dominic Hemy of The Digital Fix who had this to say about the title track:

Now we're getting stuck into new territory! What immediately jumps out at you about the title track is how it harks back to the Rush of the late 70s. The various sections that make up this mini masterpiece feel slightly indulgent yet sit together so comfortably. The feel too, is very evocative of that era - lurking somewhere between 'Xanadu' and 'The Trees', albeit far more powerful than they have ever been.

And there was also this track-by-track review from Riff Magazine, and this short review from PlanetMosh.com. The most interesting thing about that last one is that it includes The Pedlar 1 and The Pedlar 2 in the track list, making a total of 14. Although these may just be lyrical connectors and not actual tracks. It's a bit confusing because the press track listings don't include these apparently but the back of the album does.

Nick Raskulinecz in the studio with Neil PeartIn addition to their review, MusicRadar.com also posted an interview that Bosso conducted with Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz which you can check out here. Nick first talks about how the recording differed from that of Snakes & Arrows:

... "This one we started from scratch. They didn't talk about doing a concept album - that came later. But when I sat down with them three years ago, I said, 'I want to hear unbridled Rush. I don't want to focus on three-and-a-half minute songs; I don't want verse, chorus, verse, chorus - none of that. I want you guys to play, no holds barred. Let's just make music.' And that's what we did." ...

He then goes on to discuss how songs were constructed and tracked, and how Neil's steampunk concept came to life:

... "That really started to come to light in Toronto. Two weeks or so into it, as Geddy and Alex were writing more music, we all kind of looked at one another and said, 'Hey, this is really turning into something. It's tying together.' Then one day, Neil walked in the room and said, 'It's done. I finished it.'

"For the next 20 minutes, Neil talked about this vision he had for the concept of the record, and it was one of those moments I'll never forget. Listening to him, watching him speak - it was amazing! I wish we were filming him so we could put it on YouTube. And right there, the whole record just clicked. Once Geddy and Al heard where Neil was going, they churned out some amazing music. I think Headlong Flight came the next day." ...

You can read the entire interview at this link.

Clockwork Angels novel coverBack in February we learned that sci-fi author and friend of Neil Peart Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album which would be released in the Fall by ECW Press. Yesterday Anderson posted the book's cover art to his blog which you can check out here. The artwork simply uses the Clockwork Angels album cover art over a black background and cites Anderson as the author with a subheading which reads From a story and lyrics by Neil Peart. The book is slated for release on September 1st, 2012 under the title Clockwork Angels: The Novel and will be 264 pages long. It can be pre-ordered at this location.

Rush with their GGPAAs - Paul Beaulieu, The Canadian Music SceneThis past Friday evening the Governor General of Canada - David Johnston - presented the Governor General's Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for Lifetime Artistic Achievement to Rush during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The following evening there was a public Gala at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in honor of the award recipients where all 3 members of the band were in attendance. The band was introduced by South Park creator Matt Stone who had the following to say:

... "I remember buying their cassettes, tearing home on my BMX, running inside and throwing them into my Walkman, and sitting down to my drum set and just destroying my mom's afternoon," Stone recalled. "Rush was definitely the first band I ever loved." ...

They then showed a short 6.5-minute film tribute to Rush produced by the National Film Board of Candaa called Inner Rush which you can check out online at this link. From the website synopsis:

This short film pays tribute to Rush, one of rock's most successful and popular bands of all-time. 'Humility' and 'rock and roll' don't usually appear together, yet the members of Rush (Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson), reflect here on a career of making music built on craft, heart and a uncompromised commitment to push the limits - to always 'get better'. ...

Rush did not perform at the Gala, but a children's choir did a short version of The Spirit of Radio which was then followed by the full National Arts Centre Orchestra doing a version of Tom Sawyer which you can check out in this camera phone video. There was also one very cool additional surprise. The final honoree was Des McAnnuf - a director who had put together a musical theatre version of Tommy back in 1993. The closing number was he and his house band doing a medley from Tommy. They began with I'm Free and as they finished that up they introduced a special guest - The Who's Pete Townshend - who joined in on Pinball Wizard followed by We're Not Gonna Take It. Given that The Who were such a big influence on Rush, this was very appropriate. The band did get to meet Townshend and had their picture taken with him which you can check out here. The award ceremony and Gala were covered extensively in the Canadian press and several photo galleries are available online. Paul from The Canadian Music Scene posted a batch of photos from the Red Carpet before the Gala at this location. There's also this photo gallery from the Toronto Star, this one from The Calgary Sun, another from the Ottawa Citizen which includes one photo of Geddy with his mother, and this extensive photo gallery from photographer George Pimentel which includes the shot of Rush with Pete Townshend that I'd mentioned above. For complete coverage of the event, check out this post.

Jason Plumb and The Willing - all is more than bothThe debut album from Canadian singer-songwriter Jason Plumb's solo project Jason Plumb and The Willing released back in March. The album is titled All is More Than Both and features a guest appearance from Alex Lifeson on the track LOSIN' which you can listen to at this link. Plumb was recently interviewed for the Calgary Herald (thanks Eric at Power Windows) and explains how Lifeson became involved in the project:

"The Alex Lifeson thing, that happened by absolute fluke," he says of the Rush guitarist's work on the track Losin'. "We started going through the songs and wondering which iconic Canadian guitarist could make an appearance on the record. . . . I thought, 'Well, Alex Lifeson, that would be really amazing. If we could get (him) that would be a real coup.' And he actually just happened to walk into the control room some days later."

The album also features appearances from Ed Robertson and Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies along with several other Canadian musicians. You can purchase the LOSIN' track with Alex Lifeson via Amazon or via iTunes, or purchase the entire All is More Than Both album (Amazon, iTunes).

Mojo magazine June, 2012I'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Rush is the subject of an 8-page feature story in the June, 2012 issue of Mojo magazine. The entire article has been transcribed by John at Cygnus-X1.net and posted here. It's essentially a short biography of the band and doesn't contain any new interviews or information on the new album.

San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub mentions his favorite band Rush in this article profiling bay-area sports talk radio personality Marty Lurie:

I'm sure there are people out there saying "I'd love to have a job getting paid to talk about baseball," but that's a fundamental misconception. Take the hobby, pastime or celebrity that you love the most. In my case it would be the band Rush. I would consider it a joy to talk about Rush with fans for an hour. It might be fun to do an entire afternoon. But two afternoons? Twenty afternoons? Every weekend, year after year, decade after decade? With fans bringing up the same old complaints that the band overpaid for Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee needs to be traded for another bassist? I wouldn't last a month.

Rush's YYZ makes Ultimate Classic Rock's list of the Top 10 Drum Songs (thanks Duffy) coming in at #3:

Neil Peart has been proving himself as one of the most technically advanced drummers in rock for decades now. But if he and his bandmates are trying to avoid that "Nerd" tag, maybe figuring out how to play the airport identification code for their local Toronto airport in morse code on each of their instruments, as they do on this track from 1981's 'Moving Pictures,' wasn't the right move.

Bradly Birzer recently penned an article for the National Review on progressive rock titled A Different Kind of Progressive which makes heavy reference to Rush:

... It's hard to imagine that my generation has not been significantly influenced by the libertarian lyrics of Neil Peart of Rush. I write this with absolute certainty regarding myself , and with only a little trepidation do I speak for many when making this huge claim. "From a better, vanished time ... " Peart understood.

As I watched Rush play "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report a few years ago, none of the song's power or intensity seemed diminished to me. In ridiculous public-school detention in 1981, as a lonely and confused 13-year-old, I could relate to Peart's "his mind is not for rent to any god or government." While I've certainly and happily rented my mind (for what it's worth) to JPII and B16, I've never given a moment - even in charity - to the government. A year later, when Peart wrote, "Some will sell their dreams for small desires," I assured myself I would fight for integrity and human dignity. Do I give the NRO reader the mind of a 14-year-old raised in a dysfunctional family in otherwise idyllic Kansas? Yes, I do.

But, good Lord. What would I give to know that all 44-year-olds had once taken such words to heart while in junior high? ...

Reader Adam M let me know about a guy named Bob Rush who is running for Assembly in California. He has a website up at www.rush2012.com. :)

For all of you with streaming NetFlix service, Rush's 2112/Moving Pictures Classic Albums special is now available for free streaming. You can add it to your queue at this link (thanks Alec P).

Reader RushFanForever recently located a video on YouTube from 1994 depicting some behind the scenes coverage of the Roll the Bones video shoot. It shows the band making the video and includes interview snippets with the band members and the video director. You can check it out at this link.

This coming Monday, May 14th marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Rush's 2002 comeback album - Vapor Trails - which marked the end of the band's 5-year hiatus after the personal tragedies suffered by Neil Peart in the late '90s. The album was Rush's 17th studio album and peaked at #6 on the Billboard album charts but has yet to be certified Gold. Vapor Trails has been widely criticized by fans over the years for its production and sound quality. Re-mixes of 2 tracks from the album - One Little Victory and Earthshine - were included on Rush's 2009 compilation album Retrospective 3 and were generally well-received by fans. Back in February of last year Alex Lifeson and Rich Chycki both confirmed that a complete re-mix of the album was in the works, but there's been no word on the project since. It's speculated that it may have been put on hold after Rush switched record labels late last year.

Here's the video of the choir version of The Spirit of Radio along with the NAC Orchestra's rendition of Tom Sawyer from last weekend's Governor General's Performing Arts Award Gala:

That's all for this week. Only one month left until the release of Clockwork Angels! Have a wonderful weekend everybody.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Clockwork Angels novelization cover art now available
7:44PM EST | link | comments (25) |

UPDATE - 5/10@8:26PM: Also from Anderson's blog post:

We're very pleased to show off the just-released cover for Clockwork Angels: The Novel-one of my most beautiful covers ever. The central image is from the forthcoming Rush album, with the type and cover design by Neil Peart. ECW will publish the hardcover in September (available for preorder now), a full-color volume with paintings and complete lyrics (and the novel itself, of course). From the sample pages I've seen already, this will be a gorgeous book.

The novel is a colorful steampunk fantasy, and I think it has a great deal of heart. Neil and I are very pleased with how it turned out-the creative synergy was amazing. Clockwork Angels: The Novel follows the story mapped out in the songs of the album, but the book isn't only for Rush fans (then again, who isn't a Rush fan???). I hope you'll all enjoy the read. ...

----- snip -----

Clockwork Angels bookUPDATE - 5/10@7:56PM: Kevin Anderson also announced the cover art via his blog not long ago and included a nice high-res version.

Back in February we learned that sci-fi author and friend of Neil Peart Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album which would be released in the Fall by ECW Press. Amazon.com recently added the book's cover art to its listing here (thanks Lerxster). The artwork simply uses the Clockwork Angels album cover art over a black background. The book is slated for release on September 1st, 2012 under the title Clockwork Angels: The Novel and will be 264 pages long. The cover art cites Anderson as the author with a subheading which reads From a story by Neil Peart. From Anderson's blog announcement of the novelization:

... I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of Rush's Clockwork Angels album due out this Fall from ECW Press]
[Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album]

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Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates: pre-sale update, UK/European tour, DVD/BD news
7:09PM EST | link | comments (5) |

The third and final round of pre-sales for Rush's 2012 Clockwork Angels tour are beginning to wind down, with general ticket sales kicking off tomorrow. This third round included 11 dates: Indianapolis, Columbus, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, Charlotte, Tampa and Seattle. As of this post VIP ticket packages still remain for Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Montreal, Boston, Cleveland, Charlotte, Atlanta and Phoenix. Various CITI, Live Nation, radio and venue pre-sales have ended for the US dates, as have the AMEX pre-sales for the Canadian dates. Live Nation, radio and venue pre-sales for most of the Canadian dates will run tomorrow from 10AM to 10PM. For more information including passwords (where available), just check out the tour page, and for more details on how all the pre-sales work check out my ticket sales and pre-sales guide. General ticket sales for Indianapolis, Columbus and Tampa begin tomorrow at 10AM (local venue time) with all 5 Canadian dates, Cleveland and Charlotte going on sale Saturday at 10AM, and Seattle on Monday at 10AM.

Geddy Lee was interviewed this morning by Darren Redick of the UK's Planet Rock radio and had a little news to report regarding the tour. When asked about the possibility of a UK/European tour Geddy said:

Yes, we are coming over. I guess I'm probably not supposed to announce it yet. But we're working on the details now. I hope to be here in the Spring of 2013.

Darren also asked Geddy how they'd be changing up the stage show and visuals given that much of the steampunk theme of the Time Machine tour will likely carry over to the Clockwork Angels tour:

We're kind of redesigning a few aspects of the set. It will be a different show but it'll still have the same kind of steampunk aesthetic vibe. ... with new videos

And when asked about whether they'd be recording a live DVD for this tour Geddy remarks:

We haven't discussed it yet but I imagine so. It's become kind of a regular thing for us. When we put a new tour together, because of the fact that they are all so different from each other visually, it's nice to have that historical record. So - yes - we probably will film it at some point.

Related Posts:
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Geddy Lee on Planet Rock radio this morning
9:22AM EST | link | comments (59) |

Planet RockUPDATE - 5/21@8:12AM: The interview is now available here (thanks Iconic2112).

UPDATE - 5/10@2:40PM: Darren Redick's show with the Geddy Lee interview is now available for streaming on demand via the Planet Rock website at this location (thanks asif). Geddy's interview starts at around the 41-minute mark.

UPDATE - 5/10@10:20AM: UK/European fans rejoice! Geddy confirmed that the band will be touring Europe in the Spring of 2013. He also confirmed that they will likely be filming the tour and releasing a DVD/BD although didn't give any details.

UPDATE - 5/10@9:54AM: Geddy started off speaking a bit about the Governor General's Award. He then went on to explain the concept behind Clockwork Angels. Now they are playing Far Cry and will speak with Geddy a bit more after that.

UPDATE - 5/10@9:43AM: They are currently playing Headlong Flight and Darren Redick announced that Geddy was there (he's in London?) and would be coming up next.

As I'd reported earlier in the week, Geddy Lee will be a guest on Darren Redick's show on UK digital radio station Planet Rock this morning. He should be coming on at any time now. They'll mainly be chatting about Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album but I imagine that Geddy will also be asked about the potential for a UK/European leg of the Clockwork Angels tour next year. You can listen live to Planet Rock online at PlanetRock.com.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Clockwork Angels track-by-track album review from The Digital Fix
2:27PM EST | link | comments (59) |

UPDATE - 5/11@12:56PM: Here's yet another track-by-track review - this one from Riff Magazine (thanks snowdog2113).

UPDATE - 5/9@5:38PM: And here's a short review from PlanetMosh.com (thanks alexmai). The most interesting thing about this one is that it includes The Pedlar 1 and The Pedlar 2 in the track list, making a total of 14. Although these may just be lyrical connectors and not actual tracks. It's a bit confusing because the press track listings don't include these apparently but the back of the album does.

Fresh on the heels of MusicRadar.com's track-by-track review of Clockwork Angels earlier this week, comes yet another track-by-track review; this one from Dominic Hemy of The Digital Fix. Here's what he had to say about the title track:

Now we're getting stuck into new territory! What immediately jumps out at you about the title track is how it harks back to the Rush of the late 70s. The various sections that make up this mini masterpiece feel slightly indulgent yet sit together so comfortably. The feel too, is very evocative of that era - lurking somewhere between 'Xanadu' and 'The Trees', albeit far more powerful than they have ever been.

You can read the entire review at this link. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview]
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]

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Sonic Reality's Neil Peart Drums Volume 2: The Grooves released
2:15PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Neil Peart Drums Vol 2Back in January Sonic Reality made available a pre-release version of Neil Peart Drums Vol. 2: The Grooves - the follow-up to their highly successful Neil Peart Drums Volume 1. Neil Peart Drums Vol. 2: The Grooves has now been officially released and Sonic Reality is offering an additional FREE set of 72 loops taken from the Rush song YYZ with any purchase. From the press release:

... Neil Peart and Grammy-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz have teamed up with music software developer Sonic Reality to create the new "Neil Peart Drums Vol. 2 The Grooves" sound collection. Over 600 grooves performed by Peart are now available in a variety of loop formats such as Rex, Apple Loops, Acidized Wave, R.A.W., Stylus RMX and more to come. Musicians can use these drum grooves to write their own music, practice, jam or play Rush covers inside their computer recording software or iPads and mobile devices.

"When we did the Neil Peart Drums Vol. 1 Series we wanted to present a digital recreation of Neil's amazing DW kit so it could be played from any midi controller such as a keyboard or an electronic drum kit" says Sonic Reality CEO Dave Kerzner "But for Vol. 2 we now also have the isolated drum tracks of Rush songs performed by Neil and cut up into 1-2 bar patterns that can be re-arranged and used in new music made by any musician or songwriter."...

For more information and to purchase a copy, go to esoundz.com/neilpeartdrums/. You can also hear the kit in action on the Sonic Elements EP XYZ: A Tribute to Rush, which was released last month.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz talks Clockwork Angels in new MusicRadar.com interview
5:47PM EST | link | comments (57) |

Get Rush on iTunesJoe Bosso of MusicRadar.com recently sat down with Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz to discuss the making of Clockwork Angels. Nick first talks about how the recording differed from that of Snakes & Arrows:

... "This one we started from scratch. They didn't talk about doing a concept album - that came later. But when I sat down with them three years ago, I said, 'I want to hear unbridled Rush. I don't want to focus on three-and-a-half minute songs; I don't want verse, chorus, verse, chorus - none of that. I want you guys to play, no holds barred. Let's just make music.' And that's what we did." ...

Nick Raskulinecz in the studio with Neil PeartHe then goes on to discuss how songs were constructed and tracked, and how Neil's steampunk concept came to life:

... "That really started to come to light in Toronto. Two weeks or so into it, as Geddy and Alex were writing more music, we all kind of looked at one another and said, 'Hey, this is really turning into something. It's tying together.' Then one day, Neil walked in the room and said, 'It's done. I finished it.'

"For the next 20 minutes, Neil talked about this vision he had for the concept of the record, and it was one of those moments I'll never forget. Listening to him, watching him speak - it was amazing! I wish we were filming him so we could put it on YouTube. And right there, the whole record just clicked. Once Geddy and Al heard where Neil was going, they churned out some amazing music. I think Headlong Flight came the next day." ...

You can read the entire interview at this link. Joe Bosso also had posted his track-by-track review of the album yesterday which you can check out here.

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Rush Clockwork Angels full album review track-by-track
8:38AM EST | link | comments (122) |

Get Rush on iTunesMusicRadar.com has posted a track-by-track review of the entire Clockwork Angels album at this link (thanks RushFanForever):

... the three men ... who power their way through the sprawling, open-hearted and wildly alive Clockwork Angels know that the best way to avoid creative stasis is to simply be themselves, and in doing so they're growing in sophistication and revealing new depths of feeling at an astonishing rate.

Produced by the band and Nick Raskulinecz ... the album is built around a narrative of a young man's journey towards his dreams, and fittingly, the music comes at you in a nonrepetitive succession of images, textures and moods, many of them strikingly abrupt - the band never hammers a point for too long; they make a case quickly and move on. It's propulsive and heady - by turns dizzyingly sensual, gut-rocking, lofty and raw - but there's a warm, human spirit to the band's rhythmic volleys, and they have an uncanny gift for imbuing even their most orgiastic musical moments with a unity of feeling and purpose.

What's most amazing about the general state of Rush in 2012 - and this is played out vividly throughout Clockwork Angels - is how comfortable they are in their own skin. "The best actors don't let the wheels show," Henry Fonda once said, and in their own idiosyncratic way, Rush never get bogged down in craft. Their songs, epic in scope, abstract yet achingly personal, rendered here with a commanding sonic radiance, are born out of instinct and impulses, unique as a fingerprint and every bit as fascinating. ...

The article then goes on to describe each track in vivid detail, and it sounds amazing. Be sure to read the whole thing. For reference, here's the entire Clockwork Angels track list along with run times:

1. Caravan(5:40)
2. BU2B(5:10)
3. Clockwork Angels(7:31)
4. The Anarchist(6:52)
5. Carnies(4:52)
6. Halo Effect(3:14)
7. Seven Cities Of Gold(6:32)
8. The Wreckers(5:01)
9. Headlong Flight(7:20)
10. BU2B2(1:28)
11. Wish Them Well(5:25)
12. The Garden(6:59)

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog]
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]

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Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: third round of pre-sales begins today at 12PM
7:50AM EST | link | comments (40) |

UPDATE - 5/9@11:26AM: Radio pre-sale password for Columbus is qfm96 (thanks SchemingDemon).

UPDATE - 5/9@10:08AM: Radio pre-sale password for Cleveland is wone (thanks dingus).

UPDATE - 5/9@8:19AM: Various Live Nation, radio and venue pre-sales begin today at 10AM local venue time. Live Nation pre-sales will be using the drumline password again. The Tampa and Seattle VIP pre-sales are now sold out along with Toronto. Music Today fan pre-sales end today at 5PM.

UPDATE - 5/8@11:31AM: There is a venue pre-sale starting tomorrow for the Indy show which will be using a password of BLFCLOCK (thanks Ellen). It also looks like the Live Nation pre-sales will be using the same password as last week: drumline.

UPDATE - 5/8@9:36AM: There seems to be some confusion with today's pre-sale for the Cleveland show. The Quicken Loans Arena says the pre-sale is sponsored by AMEX, but when you click through to the ticketing site it says CITI. I'll assume the ticketing site is correct until I find out otherwise.

UPDATE - 5/8@8:03AM: The Toronto VIP pre-sale is now sold out. CITI pre-sales for Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Tampa and Seattle begin today at 10AM local venue time. AMEX pre-sales for Cleveland and the Canadian dates also begin today at 10AM.

UPDATE - 5/7@2:10PM: General ticket sale for Phoenix is now open. Fan and VIP pre-sales for all eleven dates listed below except for Seattle are now underway. Seattle will kick off in less than an hour at 12PM PST.

UPDATE - 5/7@11:34AM: Music Today fan pre-sales and VIP pre-sales for Indianapolis, Columbus, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, Charlotte and Tampa begin at 12PM EST; Winnipeg and Saskatoon at 12PM CST; Edmonton at 12PM MST; and Seattle at 12PM PST.

UPDATE - 5/7@11:29AM: I spoke too soon regarding the VIP pre-sales I guess; the VIP Nation website is currently being updated as we speak - listing the pre-sales as beginning at Noon today as we had anticipated. Good luck everybody!

UPDATE - 5/7@11:24AM: There is still no official word regarding any pre-sales yet, and the VIP Nation website still lists all of the dates as coming soon. However, all 11 dates are listed at Music Today as going on fan pre-sale today at Noon. I'd go with the assumption that VIP pre-sales will start at Noon too, despite the lack of any official word yet. Better safe than sorry.

UPDATE - 5/7@10:01AM: Montreal is now also listed at Music Today. General ticket sale for Atlanta is now underway.

The second round of pre-sales for Rush's 2012 Clockwork Angels finished off last week and the third round kicks off today. Although there has still been no official confirmation from the Rush.com newsletter, the remaining 11 dates (except Montreal) are now listed at the Music Today website as going on sale today at Noon. These shows are Indianapolis, Columbus, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Toronto, Cleveland, Charlotte, Tampa and Seattle. The VIP Nation website still gives no indication exactly when the VIP pre-sales for these dates begin, but I will go with the assumption that they will also kick-off today at Noon until I hear otherwise - which is consistent with what we've seen on the first 2 rounds of pre-sales. Montreal seems to be a special case however. I should also mention that both Atlanta and Phoenix general ticket sales begin today at 10AM local venue time. CITI pre-sales for the US dates (except Cleveland) will begin tomorrow at 10AM. The general on-sales for all of these dates should occur next weekend, but Ticketmaster still does not have them all listed. I'll be updating this thread along with the tour page as more details come in. For more information on how all of the pre-sales work check out my ticket sales and pre-sales guide.

Related Posts:
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Geddy Lee to appear on Planet Rock radio Thursday
12:25PM EST | link | comments (12) |

Planet RockDarren Redick of UK digital radio station Planet Rock just informed me that he'll be having Geddy Lee on his show this coming Thursday, May 10th at around 2PM (9AM EST). They'll mainly be chatting about Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album but I imagine that Geddy will also be asked about the potential for a UK/European leg of the Clockwork Angels tour next year. You can listen live to Planet Rock online at PlanetRock.com.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rush receive Governor General's Performing Arts Award
10:10AM EST | link | comments (86) |

UPDATE - 7/17@11:40AM: Rush's acceptance speech is now available online at the Governor General's Performing Arts Award web site here (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

UPDATE - 6/1@11:56AM: Steve Gouveia is the guitarist for Des McAnnuf's band and he sent me this video of them performing Pinball Wizard with Townshend from the Gala.

UPDATE - 5/8@11:53AM: The Governor General's website now has a gallery of photos posted as well which you can check out here (thanks Don C).

UPDATE - 5/8@9:27AM: Here's an extensive photo gallery from Saturday night's event from photographer George Pimentel, including one great shot of Rush with Pete Townshend (thanks Andrew).

UPDATE - 5/7@10:18AM: This Ottawa Citizen article includes some comments from Matt Stone, who introduced Rush at the event:

... "I remember buying their cassettes, tearing home on my BMX, running inside and throwing them into my Walkman, and sitting down to my drum set and just destroying my mom's afternoon," Stone recalled. "Rush was definitely the first band I ever loved." ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/6@2:58PM: The Ottawa Citizen has posted a batch of photos (thanks The Sphere) from last night's Gala including one of Geddy with his mother, and there's also a short video of Pete Townshend performing.

UPDATE - 5/6@10:36AM: Here's a photo gallery from last night's event from the Toronto Star and another from The Calgary Sun (thanks Power Windows).

UPDATE - 5/6@9:47AM: Here's a camera phone video of the choir version of The Spirit of Radio along with the NAC Orchestra's rendition of Tom Sawyer from last night's ceremony (thanks TMMB2112):

----- snip -----

Rush with their GGPAAs - Paul Beaulieu, The Canadian Music SceneUPDATE - 5/6@8:43AM: Here's the short, 6.5-minute NFB film tribute to Rush called Inner Rush. You can check it out at this link (thanks djops). From the website synopsis:

This short film pays tribute to Rush, one of rock's most successful and popular bands of all-time. 'Humility' and 'rock and roll' don't usually appear together, yet the members of Rush (Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson), reflect here on a career of making music built on craft, heart and a uncompromised commitment to push the limits - to always 'get better'. ...

Reader The Professor attended the ceremony and reports that Rush did not perform, but a children's choir did a short version of The Spirit of Radio and then the full National Arts Centre Orchestra did a version of Tom Sawyer. And there was one very cool surprise. The final honoree was Des McAnnuf - a director who had put together a musical theatre version of Tommy back in 1993. The closing number was he and his house band doing a medley from Tommy. They began with I'm Free and as they finished that, they introduced a special guest and out walks Pete Townsend, guitar in hand, and they break into Pinball Wizard followed by We're Not Gonna Take It. Given that Rush are all huge Who fans, this seems very appropriate.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/5@10:33PM: Paul from The Canadian Music Scene has posted a batch of photos from the Red Carpet before the Gala at the National Arts Centre which you can check out here. This was the only opportunity for pictures to be taken. Paul reports that during the show all of the laureates sit in the first row of the second balcony along with the Governor General and his wife. Matt Stone of South Park fame was going to be introducing Rush before they were to be showing a short film on the band.

Yesterday evening the Governor General of Canada - David Johnston - presented the Governor General's Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for Lifetime Artistic Achievement to Rush during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. All three members of the band were in attendance. Paul from the Canadian Music Scene was on hand and took a bunch of wonderful photographs from the event which you can view on his website here. There's also this short video of the band from CBC news coverage of the event which you can watch below or at this link. There will also be a public Gala held this evening at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in honor of the award recipients. It's still not known whether the band will perform at the Gala, but there was this hint from the Ottawa Citizen earlier in the week:

.... There's always a musical act among the annual recipients of the GG awards, and typically the musicians do perform. ... Rush, however, usually travels with a stage system that is massive. ... No way that's going to be possible at the NAC, especially during a gala where other performances and tributes will be held on the same stage. So how about - and I'm speculating here - a stripped down, acoustic performance of, say, Tom Sawyer, or Closer to the Heart? ... The National Arts Centre isn't talking, and director of communications Rosemary Thompson is cagey. "We've been sworn to secrecy, but there's going to be one great surprise, one great musical surprise," Thompson tells me. "I can't say anything about whether it's Rush or not Rush, but there's one great musical surprise that'll definitely be worth being there for." ...

The Canadian Music Scene will also be on hand at tonight's Gala and will be posting photos and reports. Eric at Power Windows reported yesterday that at 10:30 PM EST the National Film Board of Canada will be presenting film tributes to all of the award recipients in the NFB.ca Screening Room and via the NFB's apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.

On Thursday the award recipients attended Question Period in the House of Commons along with some other ceremonies on The Hill. Several MPs took photos with the band and posted them to Twitter; here's Tony Clement with Alex and Neil, Peter Braid with Alex and Neil here and here, and Geddy with New Democratic Party MP Mylene Freeman. Here's an article from the Winnipeg Free Press on Rush's visit:

Lots of visitors stop by in the public galleries to watch question period, but few are "closer to the heart" of politicians than a visiting rock star. The prog-rock puns were flying faster than Neil Peart's drumsticks as MPs and ministers paid tribute to the members of Rush in the House of Commons. The iconic Canadian band are in Ottawa along with seven other recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, the country's highest artistic honour.Industry Minister Tony Clement, a diehard music fan, couldn't resist dropping reference to the band as he batted away opposition questions. Lead vocalist Geddy Lee said at a reception later that he enjoyed watching the political theatre in action. ...

The Inside Politics blog posted a video of the exchange between MPs Clement and Angus referenced above - Rush and the other award recipients are recognized towards the end of the video. The Huffington Post also had an article highlighting the Rush-imbued banter at this link.

Related Posts:
[Rush to receive Governor General's Performing Arts Award this coming Saturday, May 5th in Ottawa]
[Rush wins Governor General's Award]

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:27PM EST | link | comments (18) |

UPDATE - 5/4@10:28PM: Here's a short video from news coverage of tonight's ceremony where Rush received the Governor General's Award (thanks Don C).

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/4@6:15PM: Eric at Power Windows reported the following late this afternoon regarding Rush's Governor General's Award honors:

Starting Saturday, May 5, at 10:30 p.m. ET, Canadians everywhere can watch the National Film Board of Canada's online film tributes to rock legends Rush, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, comedienne Mary Walsh and more, as the NFB honours the 2012 laureates of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards at the NFB.ca Screening Room and via the NFB's apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. ...

Also, Paul from the Canadian Music Scene will be on hand at tonight's award presentation at the Governor General's place, Rideau Hall, as well as tomorrow's Gala - and he'll be posting photos and reports over the weekend.

----- snip -----

The second round of pre-sales for Rush's 2012 Clockwork Angels tour are now complete with general ticket sales kicking off today. This second round included 12 dates: Bristow, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Bridgeport, Atlanta, San Jose, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. As of this post VIP pre-sales for Bristow, St. Louis, Las Vegas, San Jose, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston have sold out, but are still open for the other 5 dates (VIP packages for Detroit, Boston and Brooklyn from the first round are also still available). General ticket sales for Bristow, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Bridgeport, San Jose, Las Vegas, and Dallas kicked off this morning at 10AM (local venue time) with San Antonio and Houston going on sale tomorrow at 10AM, and Atlanta and Phoenix on Monday. Looking ahead to next week, we should have pre-sales for at least
Indianapolis, Charlotte, Columbus, Cleveland, Tampa and Seattle. Not all of these are currently listed at Ticketmaster as going on sale next week, but the Citi Private Pass site is listing them all (except Cleveland) as going on CITI pre-sale next Tuesday, May 8th - which means all the other pre-sales will also occur the same week. And although they haven't been officially announced yet, we can be fairly confident that both the Music Today and VIP pre-sales for these dates will kick-off next Monday at 12PM. Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland does not use Ticketmaster or Citi Private Pass, but according to those who have contacted the venue, these tickets will also go on sale next week. And there are still no details regarding any of the 5 Canadian dates, although I suspect that they will also be going on sale next week. I'll be updating the tour page with all of this information as the official word rolls in. Please note that delivery of the Rush.com newsletter seems to be having some issues as I've received several reports of folks receiving the newsletter late or not at all. So don't be completely reliant on the newsletter; be sure to check the various ticketing sites regularly, and I'll have info posted here as well as soon as it comes in. For updated information including passwords (where available), just check out the tour page, and for more details on how all the pre-sales work check out my ticket sales and pre-sales guide.

April 2012 ProgRush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album is the subject of a 2-page article in the most recent issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog titled Angels Are Go!. It's a short article but includes some tasty new details regarding a few of the tracks on the album:

... Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson originally worked on the music together in a basement studio, sometimes with Lifeson giving Peart two demos of a tune - one with a drum machine illustrating rhythmic ideas, the other a click-track. "Alex had put together one collection of ideas that turned out to be most of the song Clockwork Angels,' says Peart. "As soon as I heard its rhythmic feel, which was so different for us, my response was 'I want to play that!'"

Carnies and Headlong Flight were of 'furious jams', and there was an 'immediate spark of connection' with Seven Cities Of Gold, Alex Lifeson says, "We talked about having a raucous beginning that related to the middle 'solo' section, and as the song evolved it took on the appropriate character; entering the city with all the wild, dangerous sensory experience it offers." Peart asserts that Lifeson's solo on The Garden was, "A few takes recorded casually and assembled into an improvised performance that remains his personal favourite." Audiences throughout the Time Machine tour will have already heard the opening tracks, first single Caravan and its B-side BU2B, which were written early in the process. The Wreckers was the result of Lee and Lifeson swapping instruments during writing sessions but, "Once we switched into recording mode," says Peart, "it was back to the same old us." ...

For reference, here's the entire Clockwork Angels track list along with run times:

1. Caravan(5:40)
2. BU2B(5:10)
3. Clockwork Angels(7:31)
4. The Anarchist(6:52)
5. Carnies(4:52)
6. Halo Effect(3:14)
7. Seven Cities Of Gold(6:32)
8. The Wreckers(5:01)
9. Headlong Flight(7:20)
10. BU2B2(1:28)
11. Wish Them Well(5:25)
12. The Garden(6:59)

Get Rush on iTunesYou can read the entire transcription over at Power Windows at this location. The album will release in the US and Canada on June 12th (a little earlier in parts of Europe) and will be available on CD, vinyl and as a special edition fanpack. It will also be available as a download and can now be pre-ordered via iTunes. The album will be exclusively released in the UK on June 11th as a special Classic Rock fanpack edition, with the regular UK release on July 2nd. For more details on what's included in the fanpack along with order information, go to this link. Rob F over at the Rush Vault took some time out recently to dissect the 12 alchemical symbols on the album's cover, and you can check out his analysis at this link. And reader JayBird takes a look at the album's steampunk theme in this recent blog post. Author Kevin J. Anderson is writing a companion novel to the album and was interviewed for a feature in Prog magazine where he shows off his record collection, which includes a lot of Rush (thanks RushFanForever).

Rush at the House of CommonsBack in early March Rush was announced as the recipient of a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. Rush will be receiving the award at a private ceremony in Ottawa this evening, then there will be a Gala held tomorrow evening at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It looks like all 3 members of the band will attend the ceremony since they were all in Ottawa yesterday where all of the Governor General's Award winners attended Question Period in the House of Commons along with some other ceremonies on The Hill. Several MPs took photos with the band and posted them to Twitter; here's Tony Clement with Alex and Neil, Peter Braid with Alex and Neil here and here, and Geddy with New Democratic Party MP Mylene Freeman. Here's an article from the Winnipeg Free Press on Rush's visit:

Lots of visitors stop by in the public galleries to watch question period, but few are "closer to the heart" of politicians than a visiting rock star. The prog-rock puns were flying faster than Neil Peart's drumsticks as MPs and ministers paid tribute to the members of Rush in the House of Commons. The iconic Canadian band are in Ottawa along with seven other recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, the country's highest artistic honour.Industry Minister Tony Clement, a diehard music fan, couldn't resist dropping reference to the band as he batted away opposition questions. Lead vocalist Geddy Lee said at a reception later that he enjoyed watching the political theatre in action. ...

Also, the Inside Politics blog posted a video of an exchange between MPs Clement and Angus, who insert a bunch of Rush references into their banter for the benefit of the onlooking band members. Rush and the other award recipients are recognized towards the end of the video. The Huffington Post also had an article highlighting the Rush-imbued banter at this link. It's still not known whether the band will perform at tomorrow night's Gala, but there was this hint from the Ottawa Citizen earlier in the week:

.... There's always a musical act among the annual recipients of the GG awards, and typically the musicians do perform. ... Rush, however, usually travels with a stage system that is massive. ... No way that's going to be possible at the NAC, especially during a gala where other performances and tributes will be held on the same stage. So how about - and I'm speculating here - a stripped down, acoustic performance of, say, Tom Sawyer, or Closer to the Heart? ... The National Arts Centre isn't talking, and director of communications Rosemary Thompson is cagey.

"We've been sworn to secrecy, but there's going to be one great surprise, one great musical surprise," Thompson tells me. "I can't say anything about whether it's Rush or not Rush, but there's one great musical surprise that'll definitely be worth being there for." ...

Tickets for the gala are available at the NAC box office, or through ticketmaster.ca.

Headlong Flight on iTunesHeadlong FlightThe full 7:20-minute album version of Headlong Flight was released for purchase as a download worldwide last week via multiple channels including Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. It briefly made its way onto the iTunes top 100 songs chart at #91, but has since dropped off - and is currently sitting at #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases in Rock chart. The track has been getting steady rotation on rock radio stations since it's release to radio 2 weeks ago. It's currently sitting at #12 and moving up on the Medibase Rock Chart. You can check out the Official Lyric Video for Headlong Flight on YouTube at this link, and the song is also now up on SoundCloud. The story of the online premiere of the track last month was Something Else!'s top story in April.

Mojo magazine June, 2012Earlier this week we learned that Rush is the subject of an 8-page feature story in the June, 2012 issue of Mojo magazine. The cover tagline reads, RUSH. Alienation. Weed. Epic Insanity! From the Mojo website in this issue description:

RUSH: How the highbrow Canuck proggers fed on Tolkien, Ayn Rand, weed and whiskey, survived critics and personal tragedies to become "the biggest cult band in the world."

Spin May/June 2012And The May/June, 2012 issue of Spin Magazine contains a feature called Interstellar Overdrive in which guitarists from several different bands rate several dozen other guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10 in 5 different categories: Volume, Shreditude, Technique, Emotion and Originality with each rating depicted as a point on a star. Alex Lifeson is one of the guitarists featured and gets a 5 for Volume, a 4 for Shreditude, an 8 for Technique, a 4 for Emotion and an 8 for Originality.

The Toronto Star ran an article earlier this week highlighting the walk-on music for members of the Toronto Blue Jays. Omar Vizquel's music is Limelight by Rush.

Rush is one of my favourite bands and since they are Canadian, I felt it would be appropriate with the Blue Jays. I liked Rush from the time I was 12. Just a completely different sound. I have all their albums. ... I saw the lead singer, Geddy Lee, behind the plate once (Lee is a season-ticket holder) ... now when he comes to games and I'm playing, he'll hear his song.

Io9.com recently posted their list of the Top 10 Albums Every Self-Respecting Science Fiction Fan Should Own (thanks Victor) and Rush's 2112 made the list at #3:

Rush is one of those 1970s bands whose proggy sound and fantasy/scifi lyrics appealed to Tolkien fans and Star Wars lovers alike. One side of this album is devoted to the tale of a dystopian future ruled by "the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx," whose "great computers fill the hallowed halls." The priests' symbol is the glowing red star on the album cover (which became a famous piece of Rush iconography). Basically this is one of the original scifi prog rock concept album moments, and to enjoy it you'll need to take out your irony earbuds and put on your earnest puffy headphones. - Annalee Newitz

Canadian singer/songwriter Selina Martin included a cover of Rush's The Spirit of Radio on her 2010 album Disaster Fantasies. She talks about the song in this recent interview with TheRecord.com:

... Disaster Fantasies also features a remarkable cover of Rush's The Spirit of Radio, a non-ironic take on the iconic FM rock staple described as "a beautiful rendition" by Geddy Lee himself, and recorded partly at the request of musician and author Dave Bidini, a friend of both Martin and Lee. "Chris Stringer, who produced my album, is also a huge Rush fan and a friend of Alex Lifeson's, so I figured if Stringer didn't think it was lame for me to do that acoustic version of the song as a Rush fan, and if Bidini, a pal of Geddy, really wanted me to do that song, then I was just going to figure out a way to do it, and do it. And so I did and I sort of fell in love with it again, I guess."...

Speaking of Rush covers, late last year San Francisco metal band Machine Head included a cover of Rush's Witch Hunt on the special edition of their album Unto the Locust. If you haven't heard it yet, the track is available for listening on YouTube at this link (thanks Hannu P).

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Red Hot Chili Peppers played Toronto's Air Canada Centre last Friday night and drummer Chad Smith showed his Rush love at the end of the show. From the Toronto Sun:

... Smith ... took the final bows alone on stage dressed in sleeveless bright blue overalls while he threw drum sticks into the crowd. "Thank you Toronto, you've been so f---ing cool," he said before adding: "And I love Rush!"

The following day the band appeared on Toronto's 102.1 The Edge to be inducted into the station's Edge Rock of Fame. When asked about the band's choice of Chris Rock to induct them into the Rock Hall, bass player Flea ignored the question and instead said the following:

I just wanted to say - when are they going to put Rush in the Hall of Fame?

You can watch the video below or at this link at about the 1-minute mark.

And before we cut things off for this week, I should mention that this past Tuesday, May 1st marked the 5th anniversary since the release of Rush's last album - 2007's Snakes & Arrows. Happy anniversary! The pre-sale circus continues next week. Have a good weekend everybody!

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Rush Clockwork Angels feature in April, 2012 issue of Prog
11:43AM EST | link | comments (6) |

April 2012 ProgThe April, 2012 issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog includes a two page story highlighting Rush's Clockwork Angels album titled Angels Are Go!. Eric at Power Windows recently transcribed the article and made it available online at this link. It's a short article but includes some tasty new details regarding a few of the tracks on the album:

... Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson originally worked on the music together in a basement studio, sometimes with Lifeson giving Peart two demos of a tune - one with a drum machine illustrating rhythmic ideas, the other a click-track. "Alex had put together one collection of ideas that turned out to be most of the song Clockwork Angels,' says Peart. "As soon as I heard its rhythmic feel, which was so different for us, my response was 'I want to play that!'"

Carnies and Headlong Flight were of 'furious jams', and there was an 'immediate spark of connection' with Seven Cities Of Gold, Alex Lifeson says, "We talked about having a raucous beginning that related to the middle 'solo' section, and as the song evolved it took on the appropriate character; entering the city with all the wild, dangerous sensory experience it offers." Peart asserts that Lifeson's solo on The Garden was, "A few takes recorded casually and assembled into an improvised performance that remains his personal favourite." Audiences throughout the Time Machine tour will have already heard the opening tracks, first single Caravan and its B-side BU2B, which were written early in the process. The Wreckers was the result of Lee and Lifeson swapping instruments during writing sessions but, "Once we switched into recording mode," says Peart, "it was back to the same old us." ...

For reference, here's the entire Clockwork Angels track list along with run times:

1. Caravan(5:40)
2. BU2B(5:10)
3. Clockwork Angels(7:31)
4. The Anarchist(6:52)
5. Carnies(4:52)
6. Halo Effect(3:14)
7. Seven Cities Of Gold(6:32)
8. The Wreckers(5:01)
9. Headlong Flight(7:20)
10. BU2B2(1:28)
11. Wish Them Well(5:25)
12. The Garden(6:59)

Many thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the transcription! You can read the entire thing at this location.

Related Posts:
[Rush Clockwork Angels official announcement, video trailer with Headlong Flight preview, cover art and track list!]
[Headlong Flight single from Clockwork Angels radio and digital release update]
[Clockwork Angels novelization by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart now available for pre-order]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates
2:22PM EST | link | comments (30) |

UPDATE - 5/4@12:27PM: Although it's not officially listed anywhere yet, it looks like the Cleveland show will be going on sale next week. Reader Dean S contacted the venue and was told that general tickets sales will begin on Saturday, May 12th.

UPDATE - 5/4@12:01PM: General ticket sales for Bristow, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Bridgeport are now underway - Dallas gets underway in 1 hour. VIP pre-sales for San Jose and San Antonio are now also sold out.

The second round of pre-sales for Rush's 2012 Clockwork Angels tour are beginning to wind down, with general ticket sales kicking off tomorrow. This second round included 12 dates: Bristow, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Bridgeport, Atlanta, San Jose, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Music Today fan pre-sales for all 12 of these dates closed yesterday at 5PM. As of this post VIP pre-sales for Bristow, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston have sold out, but are still open for the other 7 dates (VIP packages for Detroit, Boston and Brooklyn from the first round are also still available). Various Live Nation, radio and venue pre-sales are still ongoing for most of the dates through this afternoon, with the Live Nation ones using a password of drumline. For more information including passwords (where available), just check out the tour page, and for more details on how all the pre-sales work check out my ticket sales and pre-sales guide. General ticket sales for Bristow, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Bridgeport, San Jose, Las Vegas, and Dallas begin tomorrow at 10AM (local venue time) with San Antonio and Houston going on sale Saturday at 10AM, and Atlanta and Phoenix on Monday at 10AM.

Looking ahead to next week, we should have pre-sales for at least
Indianapolis, Charlotte, Columbus, Tampa and Seattle. Not all of these are currently listed at Ticketmaster as going on sale next week, but the Citi Private Pass site is listing them all as going on CITI pre-sale next Tuesday, May 8th - which means all the other pre-sales will also occur the same week. And although they haven't been officially announced yet, we can be fairly confident that both the Music Today and VIP pre-sales for these dates will kick-off next Monday at 12PM. Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland does not use Ticketmaster or Citi Private Pass so it's still not clear when tickets for that show will go on sale, but it's very possible it'll also be next week. And there are still no details regarding any of the 5 Canadian dates, although I suspect that they will also be going on sale next week. I'll be updating the tour page with all of this information as the official word rolls in. Please note that delivery of the Rush.com newsletter seems to be having some issues as I've received several reports of folks receiving the newsletter late or not at all. So don't be completely reliant on the newsletter; be sure to check the various ticketing sites regularly, and I'll have info posted here as well as soon as it comes in. Also note that Showlist DC is running a contest where you could win a pair of tickets to Rush's September 9th show in Bristow. The contest runs through 5PM this afternoon and you can enter at this link.

Related Posts:
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour: second round of pre-sales begins tomorrow at 12PM]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour updates]
[Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour official pre-sale details]
[Official Rush 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement and dates!]

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Alex Lifeson featured in May/June issue of Spin Magazine
11:02AM EST | link | comments (28) |

Spin May/June 2012The May/June, 2012 issue of Spin Magazine contains a feature called Interstellar Overdrive in which guitarists from several different bands rate several dozen other guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10 in 5 different categories: Volume, Shreditude, Technique, Emotion and Originality with each rating depicted as a point on a star. Alex Lifeson is one of the guitarists featured and gets a 5 for Volume, a 4 for Shreditude, an 8 for Technique, a 4 for Emotion and an 8 for Originality. Thanks to Lerxstcire for the heads up.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rush to receive Governor General's Performing Arts Award this coming Saturday, May 5th in Ottawa
12:09PM EST | link | comments (35) |

Governor General's AwardUPDATE - 5/4@10:29PM: Here's a short video from news coverage of tonight's ceremony where Rush received the award (thanks Don C):

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/4@6:12PM: Eric at Power Windows reported the following late this afternoon:

Starting Saturday, May 5, at 10:30 p.m. ET, Canadians everywhere can watch the National Film Board of Canada's online film tributes to rock legends Rush, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, comedienne Mary Walsh and more, as the NFB honours the 2012 laureates of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards at the NFB.ca Screening Room and via the NFB's apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. ...

Also, Paul from the Canadian Music Scene will be on hand at tonight's award presentation at the Governor General's place, Rideau Hall, as well as tomorrow's Gala - and he'll be posting photos and reports over the weekend.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/4@7:50AM: The coverage keeps coming. The Inside Politics blog posted a video of this exchange between MPs Clement and Angus, who insert a bunch of Rush references into their banter for the benefit of the onlooking members of Rush. Rush and the other award recipients are recognized towards the end of the video (thanks Mark G). The Huffington Post also had an article highlighting the Rush-imbued banter at this link (thanks albatross70).

Rush at the House of CommonsUPDATE - 5/3@5:20PM: Here's an article from the Winnipeg Free Press on Rush's visit to the House of Commons today:

Lots of visitors stop by in the public galleries to watch question period, but few are "closer to the heart" of politicians than a visiting rock star. The prog-rock puns were flying faster than Neil Peart's drumsticks as MPs and ministers paid tribute to the members of Rush in the House of Commons. The iconic Canadian band are in Ottawa along with seven other recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, the country's highest artistic honour.Industry Minister Tony Clement, a diehard music fan, couldn't resist dropping reference to the band as he batted away opposition questions. Lead vocalist Geddy Lee said at a reception later that he enjoyed watching the political theatre in action. ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/3@4:29PM: And there's more! Here's a picture Geddy with New Democratic Party MP Mylene Freeman (thanks Paul N).

UPDATE - 5/3@3:57PM: And here are some more photos of the guys with MP Peter Braid here and here (thanks Paul N).

UPDATE - 5/3@3:51PM: In a follow up to Tony Clement's tweet, apparently all the Governor General's Award winners attended Question Period in the House of Commons today, and attended some other ceremonies on The Hill. Clement posted the following picture of himself talking with Alex Lifeson with Neil Peart in the background (thanks Paul N).

UPDATE - 5/3@2:31PM: Canadian Parlaiment member Tony Clement is a big Rush fan and just tweeted the following (thanks Matt C):

Om gosh Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart are all in the Commons Gallery! I'm gobsmacked.

So it's likely that all 3 members of the band will be at the Gala on Saturday. They'll be receiving the actual award in a private ceremony tomorrow.

----- snip -----

Back in early March Rush was announced as the recipient of a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. There will be a Gala held this coming Saturday, May 5th at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa where the band will be presented with the award. It's still not known whether any members of Rush will attend or - if so - whether the band will perform. From the Ottawa Citizen (thanks Louis G):

.... There's always a musical act among the annual recipients of the GG awards, and typically the musicians do perform. ... Rush, however, usually travels with a stage system that is massive. ... No way that's going to be possible at the NAC, especially during a gala where other performances and tributes will be held on the same stage. So how about - and I'm speculating here - a stripped down, acoustic performance of, say, Tom Sawyer, or Closer to the Heart? ... The National Arts Centre isn't talking, and director of communications Rosemary Thompson is cagey.

"We've been sworn to secrecy, but there's going to be one great surprise, one great musical surprise," Thompson tells me. "I can't say anything about whether it's Rush or not Rush, but there's one great musical surprise that'll definitely be worth being there for." ...

Sounds interesting. Tickets for the gala are available at the NAC box office, or through ticketmaster.ca. Here are Neil Peart's reactions to the award from the Cape Breton Post:

... "We are especially appreciative for the presentation of this lifetime achievement award now - while we are still active (Too active, our families might say!)" said Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart in an emailed statement, noting that the band was putting the finishing touches on its 20th studio album, "Clockwork Angels," with a fall tour planned. "Since our performance 'lifetimes' aren't quite over yet, this high honour is not just a reward; it is an inspiration. We will continue to try to earn it." ...

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers love Rush
11:51AM EST | link | comments (89) |

Red Hot Chili PeppersRecent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Red Hot Chili Peppers played Toronto's Air Canada Centre this past Friday night and drummer Chad Smith showed his Rush love at the end of the show. From the Toronto Sun:

... "We've been coming here for nearly 30 years, we're so grateful to you for coming this evening," said Flea after the band closed their hour-and-40-minute show with Give It Away. But it was Smith who took the final bows alone on stage dressed in sleeveless bright blue overalls while he threw drum sticks into the crowd. "Thank you Toronto, you've been so f---ing cool," he said before adding: "And I love Rush!"

The following day the band appeared on Toronto's 102.1 The Edge to be inducted into the station's Edge Rock of Fame. When asked about the band's choice of Chris Rock to induct them into the Rock Hall, bass player Flea ignored the question and instead said the following:

I just wanted to say - when are they going to put Rush in the Hall of Fame?

You can watch the video below or at this link (thanks entrenous) at about the 1-minute mark.

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