29 February 2008
Änglagård are discussing the possibilities of re releasing the old albums and Jonas, Anna and Johan have started to meet up once a week to play around with some new material. I have heard a quick ricochet and it sounds really promising. Who knows what the future brings…
Source: Mattias Olsson's website, http://www.roth-handle.nu/
(Mattias is the drummer for Änglagård)
Yes to re-group with a world tour
Yes have new management and are in negotiations around a North American tour this summer, coinciding with their 40th anniversary.
Who will be in the band?
The band will include Anderson, Squire, Howe and White, but it appears that they will be without Rick Wakeman. Reports suggest that Oliver Wakeman, Rick's eldest son, will plays keys instead. The key point of contention seems to have been the length of the tour. Chatting with fans after a solo show in early Nov, Wakeman confirmed he had been in discussions with the others about touring in 2008 and that he wants to do a tour, but that they could not agree on what form the tour should take. He explained that he is limiting himself to 25 shows a year, but that the others want to do a tour of over 100 dates. He was quoted as saying, "They're mad—Jon's voice would never stand up to it." Wakeman has semi-retired from touring.
New music is also planned: in a late 2007 interview, Squire said:
"The thing about Yes is we've always challenged ourselves to do different things, bring different things out, approach music differently, and stretch the boundaries of our capabilities under the banner of it being Yes. Next time when we're in the studio, which might be in a years' time or something like that, I'm sure we'll look at certain ways of doing things in a different fashion. Some things will work, some won't - but we'll give it a go."
In a Nov 2007 Notes from the Edge interview, asked what he saw as the major goal for Yes in 2008, Squire said, "Well, it would just be nice to playing to people again and that stuff. Hope everyone has a good time, enjoys it. As far as an actual set list, we haven't really discussed that yet."
There's loads more information on the site linked above which goes into some greater depth on the whole evolving situation.
28 February 2008
Miles, who had been suffering from congestive heart failure, died in Austin, publicist Duane Lee said.
Miles, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska, was performing with his father's jazz-influenced combo by the age 11. He then went on to play for The Delfonics, The Ink Spots and Wilson Pickett, according to his Web site.
He co-founded the band Electric Flag in 1967. He also co-founded the Band of Gypsys with Hendrix and Billy Cox, the Web site said.
Miles was drummer on Hendrix's landmark Electric Ladyland album before officially joining Band of Gypsys a few months later. Miles is best known for "Them Changes," a song he wrote and performed.
27 February 2008
On the radio at z88.9 The Pulse, http://www.z889.org in the Greater Philadelphia area
Online at Aural Moon, http://live.str3am.com:2010 (Broadband) or http://live.str3am.com:2020 (Dial-up)
Call-in number: 1-609-894-8900
Visit http://www.gagliarchives.com to find out more about this excellent progressive rock radio program.
Enjoy a free downloadable concert sanctioned by Radio Massacre International by going over to
and click on "ON DEMAND." There, you will find 3 tracks of RMI's live set on the show from a few weeks ago (Radio Massacre International will be performing at this year's NEARfest).
26 February 2008
New core lineup announced as Brislin, Dunnery and Nardelli
Nardelli is the lead singer, songwriter and overall "main man" of The Syn. In the past, The Syn has included Yes members Chris Squire, Pete Banks and Alan White in its ranks, and currently boasts a lineup that is every bit as impressive. Nardelli is joined by Francis Dunnery on guitar and vocals and Tom Brislin on keys and vocals. Dunnery is probably best known for his work in the legendary band It Bites and for his great solo work. He also played in Robert Plant's band (the Led Zepplin connection continues with Umbrello Records featuring John Paul Jones on their up-coming Julie Felix release). Tom Brislin was the very talented keyboardist for Yes on their symphonic tour and not only has worked with Meatloaf and Debbie Harry but also has his own band called Spiraling, which has developed quite a following. The Syn will also be joined on the new album by a number of very notable guest performers.
The CD release will mark the launch of Nardelli's US operation. His new company - based in New York - is Umbrello Music Entertainment. UME's main focus will be delivering quality music via such Web 2.0 portals as IPTV, mobile telephone and multi-digital download. "Technology is transforming the industry." says Nardelli. "You can either be a part of it or sit back and watch. Either way, it's going to change the way music is presented from here on out."
In step with his innovative style, Nardelli will lend his vocal and songwriting talents to "14 Hour Technicolour Dream: The Virtual Band." This side-project will feature the talents of many individual musicians working together - virtually - from locations throughout the USA. Participants signed onto the project thus far include Umbrello Records recording artists Kurt Michaels and Anton Roolaart, the California-based indie band The Tomorrowes, and both indie recording artist/producer Kevin Still and vocalist/project executive producer Steve Sikes-Nova. 14HRTD:TVB is currently underway with plans to have its first Nardelli-penned song ready for release around the same time that Big Sky will be released worldwide.
25 February 2008
Day 90 post transplant
Up until about 3 weeks ago, Andrew was doing fantastically. None of the expected side-effects had occurred and he was released from hospital just before Xmas. He certainly couldn't run a marathon, but we enjoyed the holidays with a new, and very grateful, perspective. Andrew began to slowly return to work, getting in a few good hours of writing and recording each day. It looked as if he really would "sail through" this intense and aggressive treatment...
Things took a turn in early February and he has suffered a bit of a setback, being readmitted to hospital where he remains until the doctors can "put him right" (as his chief consultant put it). I am reassured on a daily basis that they are as optimistic as ever so I do not worry unduly. But I have been honest with you all from the start and will continue to be so by telling you that he is a bit down-spirited, and quite taxed in his energy. If I could take his place, I would. How many of us wouldn't offer ourselves for someone we love? But, it doesn't work that way. This is Andrew's path and none of us can alter it. We can, however, continue to send him our support. I know for certain that all those candles burned an energy straight to his heart and left a light. He could use a few more, I think, to lift his spirits. If you can, please light an Hour Candle for him and spend just awhile sending him your unique, positive energy. No matter how strong we are, an indefinite stay in a hospital can set the dark thoughts in motion. Throw a little light if you can.
Thank you for your many emails of kind words and concern. I'm sorry I can't reply and hope you will accept my thanks.
(Personal side note: I know how difficult a stem cell transplant can be, having gone through one myself. It's very draining, yet at the same time, it can work wonders. Going on 7 years now from my transplant, it is my sincere hope that AL makes it through this setback so his gifts can be shared with us for years to come.)
24 February 2008
Laser's Edge Records will release the band's debut Hallway of Dreams throughout North America on March 25, 2008.
“As a fan of Within Temptation, I've been following the activities of former members," says Golden. “When I discovered Ivar DeGraaf had created a new project I was anxious to hear it. When I heard Kingfisher Sky's unique and innovative sound, I was anxious to sign them!"
Drummer Ivar DeGraaf formed Kingfisher Sky after leaving Within Temptation. With diverse influences such as Clannad, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Porcupine Tree, the writing resulted in a style that isn't easy to categorize. In one moment the music is dreamy and atmospheric, then heavy and brutal the next.
Featuring classically trained vocalist Judith Rijnveld, the band also includes ex-Orphanage bassist Eric Hoogenboorn, guitarists Daan Janzine and Edo van Der Kolk and keyboardist George Van Offen.
(Thanks to reader Mark C. for bringing this to my attention.)
23 February 2008
NOT CONFIRMED STILL BEING JIGGLED SUBJECT TO CHANGE ETC PROPOSED TRACKLISTING:
A Live Anthology 1982 – 1988
CD 1/2: Live - At The Marquee, 30/12/1982
CD 3: Live - At The Reading Festival 27/8/83
CD 4: Live - tbc
CD 5: Live - At Hammersmith Odeon 14/12/84
CD 6: Live - At Wembley Arena 5/11/87
Bonus CD E.P.
DVD: Live & TV performances at the BBC (in CD size mini sleeve)
New Mark Wilkinson artwork
Replica of original an Marquee or similar early Tour Poster
Early replica tour T-shirt
Booklet to feature pictures, memorabilia and memories of each gig by band members and fans.
21 February 2008
Our first gigs of 2008. Hope to see you there!
Sat. Feb. 23, 2008 - Jug N Strokers, Merrick, NY
Jugs n Strokers 1828 Sunrise Highway, Merrick, Long Island NY. 10pm-3am
Sat. March 1st, 2008 - Brenton's Bar, Tabernacle, NJ
No cover, 9:30pm-1:30am, 21+ - 1375 Route 206, Tabernacle, NJ
* Studio computer issues resolved. New recording in the works.
* Comcast blocks our mail port so Yahoo it is. $50/month for this!
* Still need a GREAT bass player that takes direction & can PLAY!
* Shooting for public performance in 2008... not dead yet!
20 February 2008
Translation (rough) for our non-Francophone readers:
Magma's new pianist is Bruno Ruder. You can find out a little more about him by doing a quick search on the web, in particular here:
19 February 2008
Friday 16th May 2008 Germany: Karlsruhe Substage
Saturday 17th May 2008 Switzerland: Pratteln Z-7
Sunday 18th May 2008 Italy: Voghera Thunderroad
Tuesday 20th May 2008 UK: London The Underworld
Thursday 22nd May 2008 Netherlands: Zoetermeer De Boerderij
Friday 23rd May 2008 Germany: Bielefeld Movie
Saturday 24th May 2008 Belgium: Verviers Spirit of 66
Sunday 25th May 2008 Netherlands: Uden De Pul
18 February 2008
Second band in the main hall will be none other than PAIN of SALVATION. Known the world over for their diversity and quality PoS is also playing a one-off at Symforce II and they will also play their entire show.
Opening in the main hall will be a six piece from Tilburg called TEXTURES. These young guys will release their third studio offering in March/April. Known for their technical metal approach the band has promissed us to play a special progressive set exclusively for Symforce II.
Due to the length of the Opeth and Pain of Salvation shows there will only be three bands in the main hall!
Main attraction in the small venue will be Dutch classic proggers ALQUIN. The band has been around since 1971 and are one of Mikael Akerfeldt's all-time favourite bands. The last time the band played at the 013 they sold out the small venue. In 2008 the band will also record a brand new album, songs from which will most certainly be played during Symforce II.
These are the first four bands for you. Six more acts will be added as time evolves and we'll be informing you as soon as we can.
Tickets go on sale this coming Saturday 23rd February priced 47,50 euros.
May the Symforce be with you!
more info at www.013web.nl
Magenta are delighted to announce that pre-orders on their 4th studio album Metamorphosis have begun via the Magenta shop at : www.magentamembers.co.uk/catalog
The album, will retail at £10 with free postage anywhere in the world. All pre-orders placed via the Magenta shop will be despatched from 22nd March, prior to the album's general release on April 21st. A North American edition released via Lasers Edge will come out on May 6th.
Sound clips of the album will shortly be available from our website and can now be heard via the Magenta myspace page at www.myspace.com/magentauk
We also pleased to announce that we have a special treat for Magenta fans. The Metamorphosis Collection DVD contains over 3 hours of fascinating material filmed over the last few months during the making of the album, including a Dolby 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire album. The DVD contains the following:
1. Making of Metamorphosis Documentary. (52.55)
This includes footage filmed during the recording of the CD and interviews with the album's key contributors
2. Inside the Mix with Rob Reed (55.34)
Rob Reed behind the mixing desk revealing what makes each track tick.
3. Interview with Rob and Steve Reed (21.00)
Rob and lyricist Steve Reed talk about the origins and concept behind the album
4. Interview with Steve Reed (9.09)
Steve Reed talks about the lyrics and concepts behind each track
5. Complete Dolby 5.1 Surround Mix (53.00)
The whole album presented exclusively in glorious Dolby 5.1 surround sound
6. Prekestolen Video (3.43)
Studio Montage video of the Prekestolen track
The DVD will be in one format - NTSC - and will cost £13, with free postage worldwide. For the time being it will ONLY be available via the Magenta shop, prior to a general release later in the year. The DVD can be pre-ordered now, and will be despatched from 22nd March, at the same time as the album.
..and we've now added a download of the first 12 minutes of The Ballad of Samuel Layne, available from the front page of the Magenta website at www.magenta-web.com or by following this link:
What this means for future scheduled shows, the release of Emehnteht-Re, and so on, I do not know. Word was that the new album was nearly complete...hopefully these departures will not result in the work being scrapped.
Again, I do not have the specific announcement in front of me, and my French is almost less than non-existent, and the forum admins are taking their own sweet time in processing my request, so...more as I have it.
News link here: http://forum.aceboard.net/24700-2449-13688-1-Changement-personnel.htm
16 February 2008
I am happy to announce that the current White Willow nucleus of Lars Fredrik Frøislie and myself has been augmented by drummer Mattias Olsson (Änglagård, Molesome) and singer Rhys Marsh (Mandala, Rhys Marsh and The Autumn Ghost). Further announcements soon.
This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make, but it is with great regret that we have had to cancel ProgPower UK 3.
We have made no secret of the financial difficulties that have dogged our first two years, which is why we made a significant number of changes for year three. However, ticket sales have been extremely poor and, as a result, there is no way we can stage the festival without losing a substantial amount of money again.
This decision has not been taken lightly and we are fully aware of both the disappointment and inconvenience it will cause. However, we simply cannot afford to keep pumping money into ProgPower UK and we can assure you that we are as disappointed about this as you no doubt are.
As a result of this, ProgPower UK LLP will cease trading with immediate effect.
Ticket holders who purchased tickets via cheque or Paypal through the ProgPowerUK website will be refunded by the method through which the tickets were purchased. This will be done within twenty-eight days.
If you purchased tickets at Bristol Ticket Shop, please contact them directly for a refund.
Please direct any enquiries to email@example.com All enquiries will be dealt with, but please be patient.
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us over the past three years, and also thank Rene Janssen and his team for giving us the opportunity to make ProgPower UK a reality.
The ProgPower UK Team
16th Feb 2008
15 February 2008
38 songs/performances on video, including music videos, concert and television performances from that decade. Much of the footage has never before been released commercially!
Included on the DVDs are the band's 1973 appearance on 'Top Of The Pops', as well as their last filmed performance with Brian Eno at the Montreux Golden Rose Festival [the first six cuts on DVD 1, including the Golden Rose performance of Editions Of You, are all with Eno from '72-'73] Also featured is the band's performance at the 'ABBA In Switzerland' special and four songs from their 1979 concert at the Manchester Apollo.
Disc 1 (1972-1976)
'Re-make/Re-model' 06/72 Royal College Of Art
'Ladytron' 06/20/72 Old Grey Whistle Test
'Virginia Plain' 08/24/72 Top of the Pops
'For Your Pleasure' 11/25/72 Full House
'Do The Strand' and 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache' 04/03/73 Old Grey Whistle Test
'Editions Of You' 04/29/73 Golden Rose Festival
'Pyjamarama', 'Amazona', and 'Psalm' 01/23/74 Musikladen
'All I Want Is You' 10/04/74 Top of the Pops
'Both Ends Burning' 10/75 Empire Pool, Wembley
'Love Is The Drug' 10/09/75 Supersonic
'The Thrill Of It All', 'Mother Of Pearl', 'Nightingale', 'Out Of The Blue', and 'Street Life' 01/23/76 Stockholm
Disc 2 (1979-1982)
'Dance Away' 04/16/79 ABBA In Switzerland TV Special
'Manifesto', 'A Song For Europe', 'Still Falls The Rain', and 'Ain't That So' 05/06&07/79 Manchester Apollo
'Angel Eyes' 08/79 promo video
'Trash' 1979 promo video
'Over You' 05/15/80 Top of the Pops
'Oh Yeah!' 08/07/80 Top of the Pops
'Same Old Scene' 11/80 promo video
'Rain, Rain, Rain' and 'Flesh And Blood' 12/19/80 Rockpop In Concert
'Jealous Guy' 02/81 promo video
'The Main Thing', 'While My Heart Is Still Beating', 'Avalon', and 'My Only Love' 08/27/82 Frejus, France
'More Than This' 04/82 promo video
'Avalon' 06/82 promo video
Bonus Track 'The Main Thing' 1982 promo video.
14 February 2008
The Laser's Edge will release Metamorphosis on May 6, 2008.
"I've been a fan of the band since their debut," says Golden. "We've had quite a bit of success offering the band's releases through our retail website. When I was approached by the band to collaborate on the release of Metamorphosis, it felt like fait accompli. I'm honored to be working with the band."
Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter.
"I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people," says keyboardist Rob Reed "It will challenge many people's preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound."
The album also marks the band's return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, and a new, richer sound with the addition of strings. "Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record." Reed says. "Christina Booth's vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date."
Magenta was formed in 2001, quickly capturing the attention of progressive rock fans around the world with a sound influenced by the icons of the past. Over the years the band has performed at virtually every major progressive rock festival in the world including gigs at Rosfest, BajaProg, and Nearfest. Year after year, the band has received awards from various progressive rock publications. In 2007, the band won two awards from the esteemed British Classic Rock Society including Best Band and Best Female Singer.
The Laser's Edge is distributed in North America through Big Daddy Distribution, Fusion III (Canada), Century Media, The End Records, Manic Distribution, and Nightmare Records.
(thanks to Kevin Cosentino for alerting me to this.)
TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan has told MTV.com that the band will soon be reconvening to start kicking around song ideas for the group's fifth studio album.
"We're going to start writing the new TOOL record right away," he said.
Keenan didn't say when he expected the band to start tracking the effort, when it might be ready for release or what it might sound like. But with TOOL's touring schedule wide open for the foreseeable future, he said it's time for the band to buckle down. He also elaborated on TOOL's creative process.
"The music always comes first," Keenan said. "We all get in a room, shut out all the extra noises from the other people and what goes on outside the room and just focus on the four of us, where we are that day. And then we just start making sounds."
TOOL has been nominated for several Grammy Awards over the years, and they've even won three: "Best Metal Performance" in 1997 and 2001; and "Best Recording Package" in 2006 for their most recent LP, "10,000 Days". This year, TOOL was up for "Best Hard Rock Performance" again, for the "10,000 Days" track "The Pot", but they lost the award to the FOO FIGHTERS.
Read more at MTV.com.
13 February 2008
For new readers...welcome. These posts serve a number of purposes:
1) I try to post frequent updates with news about tours, new CD and DVD releases, band news and so on. I get information from a wide range of sources, trying to create a sort of 'one stop shop' feel to things. I'm not infallible, however, and things are filtered through my own personal interests to a degree, but I try to be all inclusive. I don't care what sub-genre of music a band is...if it's newsworthy, and I find the info in a timely manner, I'll try to post it.
2) Interspersed amongst the news posts will be pieces of more opinion-based material. Reviews are one thing, of course...and I'll try not to post them in here. However,
I do have thoughts on the genre...on bands, reactions to newsworthy things, and so on. I'll try to label those posts as such, in order to ensure that you know going in if you're reading cold hard facts or personal opinions.
3) I welcome comments and commentary. If you clock on the post title, it will take you to the blog page, where you can then post your comments or replies. Currently I am allowing all readers to comment...that may change in the future. We'll have to see, especially if the blog gets syndication elsewhere.
Thanks for reading, and welcome to the Cirkus (that's a King Crimson reference ;-) )
Metal Mind Productions proudly presents a brand new DVD release of the legendary Pallas - Moment To Moment. The Scottish neo prog outfit is one of the very first bands of the neo progressive movement of the early eighties. It's an energetic and magnificent band somewhat reminiscent of IQ/Marillion but with more edge. Their music is based on melodic hooks, loud sound and great voice. Moment To Moment DVD offers a real treat for the fans of sublime soundscapes: beautiful and dynamic songs, fluctuating between dreamy melancholy, monumental sadness, and bursting energy. It features a great spectacle, beautifully adorned with wonderful lighting and intriguing visuals, filmed at the atmospheric venue of Wyspiañski Theater in Katowice, Poland in late October 2007. DVD is enhanced with an interview with Alan Reed and Graeme Murray, 2 other video extras ("Tales from the Tourbus" and "The Rehearsal Tapes"), photo gallery, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and other bonuses.
Moment To Moment DVD is also available in a special DVD+CD limited swing case edition with a CD with audio material recorded at the show! It's a must have for fans of good quality progressive rock music!
Both versions of the DVD will be out on 10th March 2008 in Europe and on 15th April 2008 USA (via MVD).
Tracklist - DVD: 1. Warriors, 2. Hide and Seek, 3. Ghostdancers, 4. Cut + Run, 5. Heart Attack, 6. Queen of the Deep, 7. Northern Star, 8. The Last Angel, 9. Invincible, 10. Midas Touch, 11. Fragments of the Sun / Outro, 12. Arrive Alive, Bonus video: 13. Tales From the Tourbus, 14. The Rehearsal Tapes.
CD (swing case edition only): 1. Warriors, 2. Hide and Seek, 3. Ghostdancers, 4. Cut + Run, 5. Heart Attack, 6. Queen of the Deep, 7. Northern Star, 8. The Last Angel, 9. Invincible, 10. Midas Touch, 11. Fragments of the Sun / Outro.
12 February 2008
Here are the FIMAV's 2008 edition's 11 great concerts, The complete programming will be announced on April 8.
Thursday, May 15
Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms + 7
John Zorn The Dreamers (Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wollesen and John Zorn)
Friday, May 16
Fred Frith Cosa Brava
John Zorn Moonchild
Saturday, May 17
Sunday, May 18
Joe McPhee / Raymond Boni / Daunik Lazro / Claude Tchamitchian
Roscoe Mitchell & The Note Factory
Monday, May 19
René Lussier / Martin Tétreault / Otomo Yoshihide
Art Bears Songbook (Chris Cutler, Jewlia Eisenberg, Carla Kihlstedt, Zeena Parkins, Kristin Slipp and Fred Frith)
Well our time with Inside Out has come to a close. SPV is taken over US operations. Jim Pitulski and myself (Eric Corbin) will be moving onto Umbrello Records and The One TV. Websites/MySpace sites will be up soon.
Jim and I are currently managing Bloodclot from NYC. Its an all-star hardcore band featuring members of Biohazard, The Cro-Mags, Pro-Pain and Merauder. Their new album, "Burn Babylon Burn," will be out in early 2008.
I am also currently doing US publicity for the new Pagan's Mind CD, "God's Equation." Release date is January 15, 2008. Great band, great record, but you guys probably already know that.
Our first release for Umbrello Records in 2008 will be the John Paul Jones solo album. I can't wait to sink my teeth into that one.
Please come on over to our new MySpace site and become our friend so we can keep you updated on everything that is going on with us.
Thanks for all the support with Inside Out! I will keep this MySpace page up until things get completely settled.
All the best,
Roundtable Entertainment, Inc.
'Back in the day,' I used to spend a lot of time in record stores...so named because they carried records. Records are these big pieces of round black vinyl with grooves on them, and you put them on a device called a turntable, and...
Oh wait...most of you know this.
Anyway...I used to spend a lot of time in records stores. I'd browse through the bins, talk to the staff and so on. At the time (I'm thinking 1992-1993 or so), I was getting into a group called Miranda Sex Garden, which started out as a trio of a capella vocalists performing madrigals and evolved into a dark, goth/fetish/semi-industrial group with angelic vocals and a dark, driving musical backing that could be called progressive in its own right. In any event, I'd just picked up Suspiria, their full length rock release, and was raving about it in the local shop when a guy whose musical opinions I generally respected said 'If you like MSG, I have got a band for you.'
I was intrigued, especially as he said that they were lighter by far than MSG, but with a singer that'd blow any of the three female vocalists in MSG away. Sadly, he said, all their albums save for 2 comps were out of print in the States, and the comps, while good, weren't really the best way to check them out. He said, if I bought a few blanks for him, he'd dub copies of a few albums for me to check out. I took him up on the offer, and a few days later I was gifted with a pair of taped labeled 'RENAISSANCE.'
Yes, they were lighter by far when compared to MSG.
And yes, their vocalist blew away Katharine Blake, Donna McKevett and/or Kelly McCusker, perhaps all at the same time.
A few weeks later a friend of mine and I were in Vintage Vinyl in Fords NJ...one of the biggest and best record stores in NJ. They actually had a prog section (still do, and it's one of the best...no real large amount of French prog, sadly, but still...) and as I was going through it, I found...Renaissance CDs...A Turn of the Cards...Scheherazade...Live at Carnegie Hall...Novella...A Song for all Seasons...and a bunch more besides. Sadly, they were all imports, all priced between $25 and $50 a piece...and I didn't have a CD player yet.
I resigned myself to buying the two comps (Tales of 1001 Nights in 2 volumes), on Sire Records and available at stateside prices, on cassette. I wore them out. Played them constantly. And over time, I began to buy the albums...first actually on vinyl, used. Played them all the time. Wore them out. Sang along. Was blown away by their material...the operatic vocals of Annie Haslam...a guitarist who played to add colour and tone to the music, not to solo. A pianist who sounded like he should be playing Rachmaninoff, not 'rock' music. A bassist who blew away Chris Squire, in my not so humble opinion. And a drummer who had to handle some impressively complex rhythms and move a song along that didn't necessarily rock out.
How could this group not have been huge?
Was it the fact that their material was more classically informed?
Was it the fact that they didn't 'rock out' like Yes or Crimson or Tull?
I wish I knew.
Certainly not having their albums in print in the US was not a help. Sire really dropped the ball on that, and the same could be said for a lot of major labels' handling of newer prog...or prog that wasn't played on classic rock radio (ref. echolyn, Annie Haslam on Epic, et cetera). Realistically, Renaissance's fan base in the US was/is in a band that stretches from Boston to DC...the traditional prog corridor in the US. Unlike Rush or Kansas, they didn't have much chance to expand beyond that. The fact that they were at their best live with an orchestra behind them to realise their richly textured compositions was a drawback as well, I'd wager, in terms of touring.
All of this moves away from the point...or points...of all of this.
1) To this day, Renaissance remains one of my most loved groups. I was very nearly starstruck when I got to meet Annie Haslam a few years back at NEARfest...I had to be pushed into going over to say hi and ask for a photo with her, such was my terror of actually being able to say something to someone whose voice I had fallen in love with. For someone whose favourite group is probably King Crimson, meeting Annie was perhaps the biggest highlight of my life.
2) I think more people should check out Renaissance. Seriously. Their material is awesome...the run of albums from Prologue through Azure d'Or is nearly flawless, in my not at all humble opinion. After that...hit and miss...sometimes more miss than hit. But that run of 7 studio albums and 1 live album...almost the pinnacle of musical perfection in 'rock' music.
3) Now that record stores are going the way of the dodo and the passenger pigeon, it's going to get harder and harder to have that kind of communication where discovery is the end result. There ore, of course, some very good web forums out there where one can trawl and dig and look for gems, but I miss the one on one connection I had at the local. One thing I hope in time that I will be able to do is be kind of a 'local' for any of you out there...telling you about what I've found, what I think, and so on.
11 February 2008
Gouveia, Portugal, 5 & 6 April
Beduinos a Gasóleo (Portugal)
Pär Lindh (Sweden)
Les Reines Prochaines (Switzerland)
Thinking Plague (US)
Van der Graaf Generator (UK)
NIGHT OF THE PROG 2008
Loreley Freilichtbühne, St Goarshausen, Germany
Friday 18 July
Saturday 19 July
PAIN Of SALVATION
Sunday 20 July
announced, but not yet scheduled: CIRCA:
10 February 2008
The last in the Myths & Legends series of DVDs, EPOK 4 brings this brilliant retrospective cycle, covering 35 years of musical creativity, to an end.
No special guest players of great renown on this DVD, but we do add 2 highly-motivated and skilled young horn players to give the band some extra muscle in flagship numbers such as "Zëss" and "Otis."
These 4 weeks of sold-out concerts end with a stupendous finale which finds 16 musicians on stage at the Triton giving a mega performance of "Kobaïa," one which will live in our memories forever!
Yet again, the evidence speaks for itself:
"Yesterday, MAGMA’s music was already that of the future, today it remains the music of tomorrow. Yet even tomorrow it will still be unsurpassed."
Sylvain Siclier, Le Monde - november 2006
ZESS (32:37) > IN A DREAM (2:14) > THE NIGHT WE DIED (3:46) > OTIS (9:00) > K.A (50:00)
KOBAÏA (9:53) with Klaus Blasquiz, Jannick Top, Rémi Dumoulin, Fabrice Theuillon, Yannick Soccal
DVD all regions – 120 mn - PAL or NTSC - PCM stereo - 16/9 compatible 4/3
Mythes & Légendes – Vol. 4 – ref. VD7N (NTSC) / VD7P (PAL)
Further Magma news...3 dates scheduled for the 40th anniversary Magma concerts:
12 févr. 2009 20:00
CASINO DE PARIS pour son 40ème Anniversaire PARIS
13 févr. 2009 20:00
CASINO DE PARIS pour son 40ème Anniversaire PARIS
14 févr. 2009 20:00
CASINO DE PARIS pour son 40ème Anniversaire PARIS
08 February 2008
I'll likely have a more in depth review of this CD up in the usual location (for new readers, and especially as I've not included a link before, it's Progscape - Where Progressive Rock Lives on the Web...I've been a primary reviewer there since June of 2006, contributing somewhere between 140 and 160 reviews in the past 2 years, along with newer staff writers Paulo André and Chris Piccirillo), but...
Today my copy of the new Taylor's Universe album arrived, featuring Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael Denner as guest soloist throughout. Titled Soundwall, it is perhaps in some ways the most shocking Taylor's Universe album to date. Excising from a past review of one of his albums, I have this to say about his curriculum vitae:
"Taylor has released 23 albums since 1991, either solo, as part of the composed ensemble Taylor’s Universe, or as part of the free group Taylor’s Free Universe. His output covers a wide range of instrumental material…composed, melodic pieces, ambient textures and soundscapes, or completely improvised free music. The name on the label is generally a good indicator of what the contents will offer; albums released under Taylor’s name alone tend to lean toward ambiance and space, while albums under the Free Universe moniker will contain the most difficult and complex material."
Soundwall is neither ambient nor free music, though there are moments that perhaps allude to those styles. The pieces feel incredibly tightly composed, melodic without sounding cloying, intensely played. If past Taylor's Universe albums lean toward lighter, jazzier Canterbury bands at times, Soundwall instead looks to Lizard-era King Crimson and Dave Stewart's Egg for stylistic influences. There is every bit as much wild, unleashed playing as there is tightly reined in interplay that will keep the listener constantly actively listening. It's heavy without being ponderous, showing a side of the group's playing I'd not necessarily heard before.
I don't want to say any more than that, as I want the review to cover things more fully. But damn...this is good stuff. I'd even go so far as to say this is THE Taylor's Universe album to buy if you've never heard him before. Accessible without being simplistic, complex without wallowing in self-aware complexity for the sheer sake of doing so, this is an early front runner for my top 10 albums of 2008 list...
Read more about Robin Taylor HERE.
Other Robin Taylor CD reviews:
On-Plugged in Elsinore
9 Eleven: Live at Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Manipulated By Taylor
It was a heck of a set they performed, too...
Una dolceza nuova
Gioco di bimba
La porta chiusa
Felona e sorona
Sguardo verso il cielo
Rondo e inno di mameli
According to Le Orme's website, the release should be available soon/now, with widespread Italian release in a March-ish timeframe. My hope is that copies will be available at NEARfest 2008 ticket sales day on 29 March...I'd love to come home with a copy and relive a great show.
In other Le Orme news, violinist/keyboardist Andrea Bassato has chosen this juncture to go his own way:
" Dear friends, after ten years of work with Le Orme I feel the need and desire to walk my way - musical and personal - through new paths and times have come for a fresh new start. As you know, everything in life constantly changes and nothing lasts forever.
It was a very intense period that I'll always remember as one of the most training ad important human and professional experience. I'm grateful to Aldo, Michi and Michele for having given me a unique opportunity and having left me a rare and precious legacy of experience and knowledge. I did my best to pay back their trust and not to disappoint their expectations : I hope I got this goal.
I want to say a very special thanks to Le Orme fans for having welcome me with great affection from the very first time and for having supported me with constant warm and exteem; deep and true friendships are born with many of them and I feel they will be long lasting.
Right now the DVD containing the gig we had some time ago in the USA is going to be released : a really amazing live document of what in my memory has been one of our best performances ever and that comes for me, after two remarkable studio records, as a perfect end of all the time spent together with my band mates. I couldn't ask for a better occasion to end this long adventure."
2. Digital Man
3. Entre Nous
6. Monkey Business
7. Larger Bowl
8. Secret Touch
10. Between the Wheels
12. Far Cry
13. Workin' Them Angels
14. Armor and Sword
2. The Way the Wind Blows
4. Natural Science
5. Witch Hunt
6. Malignant Narcissism - Drum Solo
8. Distant Early Warning
9. The Spirit of Radio
10. Tom Sawyer
11. One Little Victory
12. A Passage to Bangkok
07 February 2008
Tues April 29th - Mexico City, Mexico - National Auditorium*
Fri May 2nd - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheater
Sat May 3rd - Oakland, CA - Paramount Theater
Mon May 5th - Seattle, WA - Wamu Theater
Tues May 6th - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum
Fri & Sat May 9th & 10th - Calgary, ALB - Macewan Hall
Mon May 12th - Minneapolis, MN - Myth
Tues May 13th - Chicago, IL - Rosemont Theater
Wed May 14th - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
Fri May 16th - Columbus, OH - LC Amphitheater
Sat May 17th - Cleveland, OH - Time Warner Amphitheater @ Tower City
Sun May 18th - Albany, NY - The Armory
Tues May 20th - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theater
Wed & Thurs May 21st & 22nd - New York, NY - Terminal 5
Mon May 26th - Washington DC - DAR Constitution Hall
Tues May 27th - Richmond, VA - The National
Wed May 28th - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Fri May 30th - Miami, FL - The Fillmore
Sat May 31st - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock
Sun June 1st - Tampa, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
Wed June 4th - San Juan, Puerto Rico - Coliseo of Puerto Rico *
* the Mexico and Puerto Rico dates will be Dream Theater with special guests Between The Buried And Me (Opeth and 3 will NOT be appearing on these 2 dates)
New York progressive metal pioneers DREAM THEATER are set to unveil the maiden voyage of “PROGRESSIVE NATION”. A package tour they will headline that will also feature the talents of OPETH, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and 3.
The tour is the brainchild of DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy who explains: “I’ve been wanting to assemble a package tour like this for many years now. With all of the festivals and package tours that go through America, I’ve been talking with our manager and agent for over 10 years now about doing something that focuses on the more progressive, musician-oriented side of hard rock and metal. I decided it was time to stop talking the talk, lace up and finally walk the walk”
While DREAM THEATER co-headlined 2005’s GIGANTOUR along side MEGADETH, as well as embarking on previous co-headlining runs with both QUEENSRYCHE and JOE SATRIANI and opening slots for YES, DEEP PURPLE and IRON MAIDEN, they have primarily built their 22 year career on the road playing solely to their own audience. Portnoy comments: “I’ve always prided myself on personally hand picking new and exciting opening acts to open for DREAM THEATER in the past. Bands such as PORCUPINE TREE, SYMPHONY X, SPOCK’S BEARD, FATES WARNING, PAIN OF SALVATION and KING’S X. In all of these cases, it was important for me to pick bands that I respect and admire but also ones that I know our fans will enjoy. And I think playing with DT has helped expand all of those band’s fanbases as a direct result. I am hoping PROGRESSIVE NATION will continue to do the same thing in offering an audience for more daring and experimental acts that otherwise may not get the mainstream exposure they so rightly deserve.”
Joining the bill for this inaugural run is Sweden’s legendary OPETH who have been enjoying an ever-growing and expanding audience of their own for many years now. DT’s Roadrunner Records label-mates will be ready to unleash their new album "Watershed" next spring and PROGRESSIVE NATION should be a great launching pad for their next World Tour cycle. Guitarist/Vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt adds: "We're very excited about this upcoming tour with DREAM THEATER. It will be the first tour that we're doing in support of our upcoming record, and also somewhat of a dream come true personally as I've been a fan of theirs for a long time. It's quite intimidating to be on the bill with such amazing musicians but obviously we'll try and give them a run for their money and pull out a few nice licks of our own. I guess we'll need to practice a little bit for this....how boring! Yet, I can't wait for this tour to start and I'm sure we'll have a blast with the DT guys as well as together with the other bands on the bill!"
North Carolina’s BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME are enjoying rave reviews and critical acclaim for their latest CD “Colors” and are looking forward to sharing the stage each night with both DREAM THEATER and OPETH. Vocalist/Keyboardist Tommy Rogers comments: "We are very excited to be touring with two bands that have been such an integral part of our musical upbringing. It is a wonderful opportunity to have our music heard by new ears."
Also on the bill with their unique blend of pop, funk and hard rock is upstate New York’s 3 who issued the following statement: "3 is very pleased to announce its participation in the PROGRESSIVE NATION tour. For well over a decade DREAM THEATER has been the vanguard of progressive rock and we are completely psyched to flex with these heavyweights, playing much of our new record "The End is Begun". This package will rock and awe fans everywhere as one of the most important tours of the year. It's a progressive way of music, a progressive way of life....welcome to the PROGRESSIVE NATION tour.”
DREAM THEATER are currently in the middle of their “Chaos In Motion” World Tour which has already traveled extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia in support of their latest Roadrunner Records CD “Systematic Chaos”. The World Tour will continue through March in South America before concluding with PROGRESSIVE NATION in North America.
Portnoy hopes that this first venture of PROGRESSIVE NATION will prove to be a success that can enable himself and DREAM THEATER to continue the package into future years and begin a tradition that musicians and fans alike can count on for quality musicianship and artistic integrity on future tours.
ONE NATION, UNDER PROG...
www.progressivenation2008.com (coming soon!)
Tiles with special guests Discipline
Sunday, March 9th
Tickets $10 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets & the Magic Bag box office - 18 and over please
Doors open at 7pm - show starts at 7:30pm
The Magic Bag
22920 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI 48220
Telephone: (248) 544-3030
And in other newsy-type things, this time from Chad Hutchinson of NEARfest/Progressive Arts/NEARfest Records fame:
"We are starting work on a PRR live album, the NF06 DVD, & a Le Orme 2CD set. Btw Keith Emerson is buying his audio and video. More news to come."
06 February 2008
40th anniversary tour, DVD documentary on the band, and more.
News on Sleeping in Traffic Part II.
Radio Massacre International:
Completely new website...
Two new full songs for download (well, new as of September 2007, but still) of material being worked up for possible forthcoming release.
New album NOW nearing completion...hopefully a 2008 release.
New album in the works since September...possible Summer 2008 release.
Before leaving this morning to pick up my car at the garage, I grabbed my copies of the first two Emerson Lake and Palmer official bootleg boxes. 15 total discs of shows from 1971-1977, mostly focusing on 1972 and 1974, with one brief excursion each to 1971 and 1977. Generally speaking sound quality is...variable, and I'm being kind.
But I didn't buy these expecting stellar sound quality.
You see, I am an avid collector of live music, and ELP is a band generally speaking somewhat less frequently or positively presented in a live setting on record in major release format. Yes, there's the 3-LP WBMFTTSTNE release from 1974 (IIRC), which is highly regarded. There's the somewhat less well regarded In Concert/Works Live release. There's Live at the Royal Albert Hall, which is actually better presented in the 3rd bootleg box to the official single CD release. And then there's a spate of re-releases or King Biscuits or live releases from the late 1990s, near the end.
I know when the bootleg boxes were announced there was a general feeling of disappointment over quality...the packaging is slight (although the boxes themselves are nice and sturdy), the sound quality, as I mentioned, is variable. Each show is listenable, so it's not as if you are getting discs of noise and distorted static...at the same time, the first two boxes can't be confused for multitrack board recordings by any stretch of the imagination. Having said this, the third box does include a pair of nice FM broadcasts from 1992 and 1993...after the height of their career, but solid performances indeed, and ones I listen to frequently. I still don't have the fourth box...but I should pick it up at some point.
These shows, these performances...raw and rough as they are...show a band that had no peers at the time. There is an almost palpable energy oozing from the speakers like some primordial force. Ignore the rough quality and pop in the Buffalo 1974 show, and be blown away by the sheer cacophony and ordered chaos that is this performance of Ginastera's "Toccata." I'd wager you'd be blown away. This is a band before the rot had set in...still hungry, still wanting to take over the world with their bastard mix of jazz and classical and blues and rock, with the wildest, dirtiest, most distorted Hammond organ on the face of this or any other planet.
It amazes me today that of the big six bands (Crimson, Yes, ELP, Tull, Floyd, Genesis), ELP is most often overlooked. Perhaps it's because of how precipitously they fell...picture Love Beach or In the Hot Seat. Even at their most pop, Genesis never hit quite as close to rock bottom as either of those. Yet, even on those two releases, there are moments of redemption (the former gives us "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman," while the latter gives us "Hand of Truth," and on the Japanese release, "Hammer it Out") worthy of note and attention.
I only saw ELP live once...in 1996, opening for Jethro Tull at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel NJ. Despite their opening length set (only played 65 minutes, if memory serves), they put on a great show. Keith wasn't riding the Hammond, or plunging daggers into it, and Greg's voice was not the teen aged choir boy voice he once had, but the performance was stately and solid. They certainly blew Tull out of the water on this particular night...at least, that's what this audient's ears remember.
It's a shame they couldn't pull their egos together one last time to create a proper send off album. It's a shame that right now, the tepid, mostly vapid In the Hot Seat will be their final studio recorded output. It's great that all three musicians remain active, but...when a good bit of each's set is based around ELP material, one can't help but wonder...
05 February 2008
Due to recent successes in Italy last year I will be discussing more gigs there in May while I am in Milan. There is also the possibility of a show in Malta within the same time frame.
The major surprise is that out of the blue I have been offered a 4 week North American tour in June. This will include the Nearfest festival and will take in a number of US cities, coast to coast, as well as three shows in Canada. This tour is looking very positive and Yatta is confident we can make it work. The dates are already going in the book and I will let you know more about the routing and other details once I get them in this coming week. It's the first tour over there in a very long time and we will need to call on every resource we have available to make it happen.
It is highly likely that Mexican dates will be added at the end of the North American tour.
Another surprise is that we have been contacted about playing possible shows in New Zealand and Australia in February next year. This is in very early stages but to even get an offer to play down there is a first!
There's a great buzz around this project and I feel confident I have something very special happening. Any support you can give through emailing requests to radio stations, putting up tour posters or stickering stars in retail outlets etc is more than helpful and greatly welcomed.
It's our time to shine! :-)
lots of love
Onkel Fish xx
I just got word from Porcupine Tree's manager, Andy Leff, that the band has the following release dates scheduled for 2008:
March: acoustic album (this is We Lost the Skyline)
May: Lightbulb Sun in surround
September: live album
November: Steven Wilson's "sprawling" first solo album
Busy, busy, busy! The customary proviso: Whereas those dates are pretty solid, they're not locked-in 100%.
Meanwhile, as if that weren't news enough, Leff also tells me that he's now handling King Crimson and "working on getting the entire catalog reissued in 5.1," hopefully with mixes done by . . . Steven Wilson! Currently, Leff and Wilson are "waiting on Robert Fripp [who guested on PT's Fear of a Blank Planet and Nil Recurring] to hear Steven's work on some of the older KC stuff before he gives us the green light to proceed."
04 February 2008
I reserve the right to re-evaluate this if necessary.
You should watch for some interesting things coming down the pike from our friends at Caroline Records. They have upcoming 2CD reissues of some Marillion titles that include Fugazi (1984), Clutching at Straws (1987), Misplaced Childhood (1985), Script for a Jester's Tear (1983), as well as Season's End (1989). All of these previous Import titles will be domestically released on March 25.
And if those weren't enough, the label will also reissue 8 Van der Graaf Generator titles in the Japanese-styled mini-LP sleeves. The titles will include Godbluff (1975), H to He Who Am The Only One (1970), The Least We Can Do is Wave to Each Other (1969), Pawn Hearts (1971), The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome (1977), Still Life (1976), Vital - Live (1978), and World Record (1976). These, like their previous announcements, are scheduled for March 25.
My assumption is the Marillion reissues will be the same as the EMI issues from 1997-ish, and as such, no need to purchase, as I have the complete set of 1997 reissues, including the mostly superfluous Best of Both Worlds 2-CD comp...no clue on the VdGG issues, though if these are coming out at domestic prices, I might plump for the VdGG releases. I am only missing Godbluff and Vital/Live of the 'original' band, but I might not be able to resist the lure of a complete set of mini-LP esque issues.
Once they are in hand, I'll let you know how they compare to the EMI/Charisma releases.
Oh, and don't forget...Van der Graaf Generator's new album, Trisector (their first as a trio of Hammill/Evans/Banton), is due out on 17 March.
corrected for typo in dating on one album release, thanks to reader brucekg for pointing this out to me...this will teach me to check things I get from other sites...