Rush News

Books on Tape: The Top 10 Collabs Between Authors and Musicians

The new Clockwork Angels novelization is the impetus behind a new story from Spinner.com:
"Can you imagine a world where, instead of fossil fuels, modern machinery runs on the power of steam and everyone's favourite band is Rush?  If so, you've glimpsed into the alternate reality that unfolds in the forthcoming steampunk novel from sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson. The best-selling scribe of over 100 genre books, including titles for the 'Star Wars,' 'Dune,' and 'X-Files' franchises, is writing a companion novel to 'Clockwork Angels,' the upcoming studio album from Canadian prog-rock giants Rush.

"'I take my inspiration from many sources, but music has always been a key to my literary imagination, more than just a soundtrack but a trigger for images, scenes, and strange worlds,' Anderson tells Spinner.  In fact, he dedicated his first novel, 'Resurrection, Inc,' to the Rush album 'Grace Under Pressure,' a nod that spawned a friendship with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart which eventually led to the 'Clockwork Angels' collaboration. Spinner.com, March 2, 2012 (click here for the full story) - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Rush Cover Versions Update

I've recently added four cover versions to the Discography's Rush Covers page and thought I would share them.  All four are unique and worth checking out:
  • "Subdivisions", performed by Anita Athavale on In The Noise, January 11, 2007.  This version has a soft rock/adult contemporary vibe; just a female vocal with piano accompaniment.  Hear it here (begins at the 0:30 mark).
    "Making the album, I was in a place where I was about to put music down: try something else, be normal, make some money, buy a house, whatever else I was supposed to do. That song made me think about choosing that other life." - Anita Athavale
  • "Losing It", performed by the Maurizio Rolli Big Band on Rolli's Tones, August 4, 2009.  An import from Italy, this is an extremely well done jazz band performance which is fairly true to the original arrangement.  A saxophone solo takes the place of Ben Mink's violin.  Hear it here.
  • "Subdivisions", performed by Artok on Above Ground, December 28, 2010.  From Canada, this version pointedly does not include keyboards; that part is faithfully reproduced on guitar.  Hear it here.
  • "Bravado", performed by Gregorian on Masters Of Chant Chapter VIII, September 30, 2011.  Another import, Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs.  Again, a very interesting version.  Hear it here.
- Thanks to Joe Pesch, RushFanForever and Nik Ramone for the headsup!

Did Rush suffer from the Sophomore Slump?

Music journalist Jeff Wagner discusses how the "Sophomore Slump" has affected various "metal" bands, and includes Rush in his discussion:
"Easy call. 'Rush' is like Led Zeppelin and Cream jamming and eating back bacon together. It's fully capable and crammed with energy. But it's derivative. 'Fly by Night,' however, adds Neil Peart to the mix, widens the musical scope, and offers monumental songwriting efforts like 'Anthem' and 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog.' No contest here. 'Fly by Night' wins." - Jeff Wagner, Noisecreep.com, March 1, 2012 - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Neil Peart Featured in April "Motorcyclist" Magazine - Article Now Online

UPDATE: The article "Workin' Them Angels" is now available online at Motorcyclistonline.com.

The April 2012 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine contains the feature article "Workin' Them Angles" written by executive editor Brian Catterson.  Brian, a long-time Rush fan who has written about his rides with Peart in the past (see Cycle World, February 2003), talks about how he had always hope to meet Neil, how he eventually did - and also discusses riding with Neil during the final leg of the Time Machine Tour. In addition to the main article, there are two sidebars, "The Bike That Changed My Life: 2006 BMW R1100GS" with Neil Peart, and a short final article, "How We Roll". - Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the headsup!

"Site Updates" Page Addition

There is a new addition to the Power Windows website, the "Site Updates" page.  You'll find it on the Menu under the "News" button.  This page has been created to document additions to this website which might not necessary be worthy of sharing on the main "News" page, such as additions to the "Inspirations", "References" or "Downloads" pages, or the occasional historical addition to the "Tour" page.  More notably, it will document the frequent ongoing updates to the "Transcript Archive".  To be notified of updates, you can also subscribe to my Twitter feed, and/or "Like" us on Facebook.

New Yorker Satire References Rush

Here's a bit of satire just in from The New Yorker on the "newer, sexier constitutions":
Canada has ratified the first update to its Charter of Freedoms and Rights since its adoption in 1982. Based on the song “Limelight” by its most famous native sons, the prog-rock band Rush, it protects Canadians’ pursuit of “the universal dream”—provided that, as the song says, citizens “put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme.” Ratification was briefly in jeopardy due to a heated debate in Ottawa’s House of Commons over whether singer Geddy Lee in fact sings “theme” or “spleen,” but Prime Minister Stephen Harper saved the day; he cast the deciding vote after checking the correct lyrics on the Internet. Afterward Harper told a relatively (for Canada at least) anxious nation, “that’s why you get an iPhone.” - New Yorker.com, February 29, 2012

"Working Man" heard in "Goon"

Rush's "Working Man" is heard in the new movie Goon starring Seann William Scott which was just released in Canada this past Friday, February 24th.  The film will have a limited run in the US starting March 30th; for more details visit imdb.com. - Thanks to Paul Dryer for the headsup!

"2112" Featured on BBC 2's "Sound of the 70s"

2112 was the featured album on BBC Radio 2’s "Sound of the 70s Show" with Johnnie Walker today, February 26th.  This is a national radio station and the program was broadcast during prime-time. Check out the BBC iplayer in the next few days to hear it online.  While not a particularly informative show from a Rush point of view, simply being played on the UKs most popular radio station is a pretty big deal! - Thanks to David Cooke for the headsup!

Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette On Remastering Rush for iTunes

Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette, who recently remastered Rush's Mercury catalogue for the Sectors boxed sets, spoke to Arstechnica.com about the creation of compressed versions of each song specifically for the iTunes Store.
"VanDette explained how mastering varies depending on the age of the original recordings as well as the final output format. Many master recordings for Rush albums are from vinyl's heyday, he said. 'Back then we would try and hide as much top end as possible, knowing that the end users' styli would be crap.  Most listeners today swear they love the bottom end on vinyl, but I remember in the heyday of vinyl, it was all about top end.  If we could only have a clear top end without all those pops and clicks' we thought,' he said, noting the tendency of low-end record players to introduce unwanted noise. 'Back then, bottom was the enemy. It made the grooves [in the vinyl] too wide, and forced us to turn down the overall level of the disc.'"

"The constraints of vinyl aren't a concern when mastering for a CD, so it's possible to boost overall levels as well as low frequencies without ruining the rest of the mix. 'While remastering the classic Rush albums, I added as much LF as I could, always aware not to cloud the classic 'ping' on Neil's snare, muddle Geddy's voice, or bury Alex's guitar,' he said.  'These are some finely balanced mixes, even 35 years later,' VanDette said. 'I wanted to make sure the listener still heard the classic album come through, without it being too loud, boomy, or modern sounding.  Mastering for iTunes was a different challenge.  You can't get around it-when you throw away 80 percent of the data, the sound changes. It was my quest to make the AAC files sound as close to the CD as possible; I did not want them to be any more loud, hyped, or boomy sounding than the CD.'"

"Because iTunes tracks are typically played back on decidedly average earbuds or computer speakers, there is a tendency for some producers to boost bass frequencies to make up for the tinny sound. However, VanDette said, doing so is not really the answer. For one thing, there's no guarantee that playback will always happen on sub-par equipment...Creating iTunes-specific masters for Rush's albums required a more nuanced approach than just boosting the bass. 'The delicate mix balances of a Rush album dictated that I could only 'nudge' the bottom, not really boost it.  For iTunes mastering I focused on making up for the losses created by the iTunes AAC algorithm. Generally, I heard changes in level, bottom, top, punch, and imaging.'  But not every album, or even every song, could be treated the same way. 'On a live album I found the center image was lower, making Geddy's vocal too low in the mix,' VanDette said. 'It was rare to be able to use one static setting for an entire album.'"
 For the full article visit arstechnica.com. - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Rush Beyond The Lighted Stage Coming to Israel

The Israel premiere of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will take place on Sunday at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque at 10 p.m. The debut will be followed by midnight screenings on March 2, 9, 23 and 30.
"...it’s only fitting that it’s a fan of the Canadian progressive rock heroes who’s bringing the film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage to Israel.  'I first started listening to Rush when I was in Israel on a Youth Aliya program in 1981,' says New York native Alex Gutman, who immigrated to Tel Aviv in 2009...Ever since he arrived in Israel, where he works as a 'technology evangelist' by day, Gutman has been in touch with promoters and with Rush’s management about bringing the band here to perform.  But when he heard about the film, he decided to begin with a more modest venture and get the buzz going about the band."
For more info visit jpost.com.

"Changing Hemispheres" Transcript Online

Last November 22nd, a new documentary was released from the UK titled "Changing Hemispheres" which you can order here.  The package includes four all region DVDs, a 116 page book with "masterful and comprehensive text packed with great photographs of the band" as well as "audio interviews with the band members compared and contrasted with the views of a leading team of music journalists, insiders and musicologists."

John with Cygnux-X1.net was taken the time to transcribe the 166 page book for your reading pleasure, which you can read here. - Thanks John for the headsup!

Clockwork Angels Update - PROG confirms May release

The new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog has hit the newsstands, and includes a brief interview with Geddy Lee.  The article confirms that Clockwork Angels will be released in May, and Geddy talks about excitement over the band's switch to the Roadrunner label, after having a poor experience with Atlantic.
"There was something about the people at Roadrunner, they were so into rock, into what we're all about as opposed to some of the Atlantic guys...we were very unhappy with the way we were treated at Atlantic UK, I don't think they really got us, so it was good to go somewhere that did."
Geddy also discusses his eagerness for the next tour:
"The last tour was so great...I can't wait to experience that again.  People seem ta little less afraid to show that they're Rush fans.  I think we all enjoyed it, I don't think I've ever seen Neil enjoy a tour so much."
- Thanks Tony for the headsup!

Geddy Lee on the Moog Taurus Pedals

Moog.com has posted a three part video interview on their site where Geddy Lee discusses the Moog Taurus Pedals.
"Moog visited Geddy Lee in his Toronto studio to get his take on the Taurus pedals, old and new. This is the first of a 3-part series relaying touching stories and musical innovations from the start of Rush's reigning fame to now. In this installment, Geddy talks about his first introduction to the Taurus sound and what he would like to see next from Moog...Minitaur." - Moog.com, January 5th, 2012 Thanks to Jim Pomeranz for the headsup!
The small device near Geddy is the new Taurus Minitaur, which Moog announced at NAMM 2012.

4front's "Malice In Wonderland" Now Available

Joe Bergamini, senior drum editor with Hudson Music and co-producer of Neil Peart's Taking Center Stage DVD, who appeared with him in it as interviewer, is also a talented drummer for the instrumental progressive rock band 4front.  Both Bergamini and 4front's guitarist/keyboardist Zak Rizvi were with the popular New York based rush tribute band "Power Windows" for 11 years.
Their new album, "Malice in Wonderland", is now available; checkout a preview track "Big Scary Monster" now.  The album includes the song "Many Places in a Rush", a tribute to Rush, and features album art designed by Rush's long time art designer Hugh Syme.
"4Front is an instrumental progressive rock band that combines the classic sound of prog with many other stylistic elements to create cinematic soundscapes that will capture your imagination. Combining top-notch playing, intricate arrangements, odd time signatures, and symphonic themes, 4Front prides themselves on being accessible to the regular rock listener via a strong focus on songwriting, not just technical playing. Fans of Rush, Dream Theater, Kansas, Symphony X, The Dixie Dregs, and Genesis will feel like they have known this band forever. But 4Front’s pallette of influences is much deeper, ranging from Billy Joel and Joe Jackson to film composers like John Williams and Randy Newman."  For more info visit www.joebergamini.com/ or www.facebook.com/4frontband.

Members From Opeth, Mastodon, Staind And Machine Head Talk About Their First Rush Memories

"There's a lot of love for Rush. When the Canadian prog-rock trio signed to Roadrunner Records in 2011, it seems that the band had found their spiritual home, with many Roadrunner artists declaring a lifelong love for Lifeson, Lee and Peart.  Check out the clip to see interviews with members of Staind, Opeth, Machine Head and Mastodon in which they talk about what made them Rush fans and much more." - MusicRadar.com, Febraury 8, 2012 (Thanks to Frank Ray for the headsup!)

Geddy Lee Featured in the March issue of Decanter Magazine

The March issue of the UK's Decanter magazine includes a short interview with Geddy Lee in the "My Passion For Wine" column. Geddy talks about how he first became a collector and what his current preferences are.  Below is a brief excerpt; thanks to Douglas Wilson for the headsup!
"I was introduced to fine wine while touring in the late 1970s. Alex Lifeson (Rush's lead guitarist) had a big interest in wine so promoters would sometimes give us wine as gifts...Alex and I always reward ourselves after a show with a good bottle of wine. It's a kind of hobby of mine to find a good bottle in whatever city we're touring in and surprise Alex with that."

Rush "Sectors" - Replacement Disks Now Available

UPDATE: Rush.com has announced that the replacement disks for the Sectors boxed sets are now available:
"Replacement 'Fly By Night' CDs and 'A Farewell To Kings' DVDs are now available.
For US & Canadian fans, please contact Universal customer services team on:
e-mail: FishersCustSvc@umusic.com
Phone: 1-800-288-5942

For fans in the UK & Ireland please contact:
UK e-mail: mk.customerservices@umusic.com
UK Phone: +44 (0) 845 250 0965

For fans in Germany please contact:
Germany e-mail: rush@universal-music.de

For fans in any other country please contact your original Sector store where you made the purchase for assistance in getting your replacement discs.  Universal will ensure corrected discs get to the Sector-buying fans worldwide as soon as they possibly can." - Rush.com, February 7, 2012
The band confirmed the problem back in December, shortly after the sets first went on sale:
"We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for ‘A Farewell To Kings’ inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience – Geddy, Alex & Neil" - December 2, 2011
  • SECTOR 1: Rush, Fly By Night, Fly By Night (5.1 DVD), Caress of Steel, 2112, All The World's A Stage - buy now
  • SECTOR 2: A Farewell To Kings, A Farewell To Kings (5.1 DVD), Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left - buy now
  • SECTOR 3: Signals, Signals (5.1 DVD), Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, A Show Of Hands - buy now
In a new interview with Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette, Andy discusses the new remasters completed for the new Sectors boxed sets.  Andy tells how through Richard Chycki he first was brought in to master Snakes & Arrows Live in 2007, and has also mastered all other Rush releases since that time.  He briefly discusses the state of the original master tapes, the previous Rush remasters, and issues that were discovered in the remastering process. Click here for more. - themasterdiskrecord.com, November 28, 2011
  • Rush.com has added two interviews featuring Mercury-era interviews with Geddy, Alex & Neil, compiled from the archives of InTheStudio.net in celebration of the Sectors Box set release.
  • Multiple wallpaper images from the boxed set booklets have been added to the Desktop Wallpaper page. - Thanks to John @ Cygnus-X1.net for the raw images!
  •  Universal Music has confirmed all 15 albums were remastered in 96/24 then downconverted for CD in 44.1/16; only the DVD has the full 96/24 lossless audio.  However, all 15 albums are going to be available as full 96/24 downloads at HDTracks.com for about $18 each.
  •  Click here for the preview trailer.
"Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) celebrates the legacy of Canadian rock trio Rush with the release of three separate six-disc box sets which together spans their entire historic Mercury Records recording career. Each "Sector" contains five of their 15 Mercury albums in chronological order, all transferred to high resolution 96kHz/24-bit audio and digitally remastered for optimal quality. In addition, each volume includes an exclusive booklet packed with unpublished photos, original album lyrics and credits, and features one album from each set specially remixed on DVD in high resolution 96kHz/24-bit, 5.1 surround sound and stereo, compatible with both DVD-Audio players and DVD-Video players. Each album is packaged in a replica vinyl mini-jacket of the original album release with all three box sets forming a Rush CD road case." - Sectors Press Release

"Based on the strong feedback from the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Universal Records had asked me to remix Fly By Night, A Farewell To Kings and Signals in surround to be included in their ‘Sector’ series of box set releases currently underway. Like Moving Pictures, all the multitrack masters I worked with were transferred from the original analog tapes at 96 kHz/24 bit resolution and this quality was maintained right down to the finished master. Listeners are in for a revelation of new detail for these releases." - Richard Chycki, richardchycki.com, October 15, 2011

Rush Featured On "Metal Evolution"

UPDATE: Click here to view the full episode of the Progressive Metal episode of "Metal Evolution" which heavily features Rush!

"Progressive metal" is featured on the final episode of Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's Metal Evolution which premiered in the US on February 4th on VH1 Classic.  The episode aired the previous Friday, January 20th, MuchMoreMusic in Canada.    Sam Dunn had already stated that Rush will be heavily featured, and in fact all three members of Rush as well as early producer Terry Brown are interviewed.  Other progressive metal bands interviewed include Dream Theater, Queensryche, Yes and King Crimson to name a few.  Click here for more information. - Thanks to Mike Salvini for the headsup!

2.1.12 National Rush Day Wrap Up and American Idol Tryout

Today was Rush Day, February 1st, 2012 (2.1.12), a once in a lifetime occurrence as it will not happen again for another 100 years.  It was a popular day around the net, including various news stories from multiple sources, and culminated in the 2112 listening party hosed by RushCon and Rush Radio at tinychat.com/rushcon.

2.1.12 was also the day of the first known performance of a Rush song on American Idol.  Coincidence?  The song was of course "Tom Sawyer", sung by David Weed of Mountain Home, Idaho.  Unfortunately, David did not make it through to Hollywood, but it was satisfying to hear Randy Jackson say that the singer doesn't sound like Geddy, because Geddy "sounds really good".

Here's a collection of the features that appeared online today:

Rush Tragedy - Andrew MacNaughtan Dead of Heart Attack at 47

We are saddened to pass along the tragic news that Rush's long time friend and photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan, passed away of an apparent heart attack yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 47.  He will be missed! 
"We're deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. – Geddy, Alex & Neil" - Rush.com, January 26, 2012
Here is a portion of tonight's story from the Toronto Star:
"Toronto photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, longtime documenter of Rush’s exploits and the man behind dozens of iconic portraits of Canadian celebrities, passed away suddenly in Los Angeles on Wednesday.  MacNaughtan, in his mid-40s, reportedly suffered a heart attack while in California shooting his old friends, Rush....MacNaughtan’s sharply designed photographs, familiar to most Canadians from magazines and album covers even if they never knew his name, constitute a veritable Who’s Who of CanCon star power. He shot everyone from Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and the Tragically Hip to Peter Mansbridge, Margaret Atwood and the Trailer Park Boys during his career. A three-time Juno winner for album design, he also directed the occasional music video for such artists as Great Big Sea and Michael BublĂ©. (He won a fourth Juno for Music DVD of the Year for Rush in Rio.)   MacNaughtan’s most recent work was nevertheless something of a departure. He published a collection of photographs taken during his travels in Kenya and Tanzania [in November 2010] entitled Grace: Africa in Photographs. Proceeds from the book went to Art Gives Hope, a charity MacNaughtan founded in 2006." - Toronto Star, January 26, 2012
Andrew MacNaughtan started his career from the most auspicious of beginnings.  A huge Rush fan, he knocked on Geddy Lee's front door at the age of 17 and asked for a autograph!  Andrew also started his own Rush fan club, and through Howard Ungerleider he submitted to the band live photos he had taken.  The band loved them and they appeared in the Grace Under Pressure tour book.  That led to a full time gig shooting the Power Windows tour, and it wasn't long before he was shooting album covers for other artists.  His first studio photos of Rush appeared in the Presto album jacket; he is responsible for suggesting to Geddy that he wear his glasses for the photo shoot.  Andrew discussed how he got involved with the band in an interview with The Spirit of Rush fanzine in 1991 which you can read here.  More recently, to promote Rush In Rio Andrew was interviewed in 2003 by Brad Parmerter for FYE.com, which you can read here.

Neil Peart has written a memorial for Andrew MacNaughtan at NeilPeart.net.  Neil starts at the beginning of their relationship, remember how Andrew's live photos of Rush had caught his eye ("they were more vivid, somehow—highlighting both the drama of the rock stage and the personalities of the players"), through the years when Andrew was with the band as both personal tour assistant and photographer ("As for Andrew’s own nicknames, Alex, Geddy, and I...finally settled on 'Zulu.' Perhaps because he was the 'anti-Zulu.'...another of Andrew’s self-confessed qualities was his extreme 'whiteness.' I used to joke that making dinner for him was always easy: meat, potatoes, and over-cooked vegetables"), through the later years including introducing Neil to his wife Carrie. 

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