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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why is Rush suddenly living in the cinematic limelight?

Something I can't figure out about 2009 is the resurgence of Rush. Not the emergence of Rush Limbaugh as the de facto head of the Republican Party (although I can't figure that out, either), but the prominent appearance of the Canadian band and its music in new movies. The web site Rush References keeps an exhaustive tally of Rush appearances in pop culture, including three film comedies released within weeks of each other which specifically footnote tracks from the Moving Pictures album:

In Fanboys (a film that sat on the shelf for at least a year), Dan Fogler's slobby sidekick character insists on playing nothing but Rush in his van during the cross-country road trip.

In I Love You, Man, the roles played by Paul Rudd and Jason Segel bond over a mutual admiration for Rush, which includes jam sessions of "Tom Sawyer," a live concert by the band and the stars' closing credit performance of "Limelight."

In Adventureland, opening April 3, a minor character describes, in great detail, his moment of glory playing "Limelight" at a talent show.

I hesitate to read much into the sudden veneration of Geddy Lee, et al -- for what you say about their company is what you say about society, after all. I have a hunch it reflects the age of Hollywood's creators and how old they were when they were in high school. But it's not just movies. Creative Loafing's former music editor Heather Kuldell drew my attention to an elaborate montage set to "Tom Sawyer" on an episode of "Chuck" (which kind of stole the concept from "Futurama"):

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