31 October 2008

Magenta to headline FMPM 2009

Magenta was formed in 2001 by ex-Cyan member Rob Reed. Debut album "Revolutions" was a mixture of Yes, Genesis, and Renaissance highlighted by the vocals of Christina Booth, a former collaborator with the group Trippa who had also guested with Cyan. The success of this album led to the formation of a live band to perform it, and 2004 saw the release of their first full-band album, "Seven". With a concept based on the seven deadly sins, Seven was a large leap forward that firmly established Magenta at the forefront of the modern British symphonic prog movement. 2006 saw the release of "Home", a concept album with some shorter pieces that combined the established style of the band with a progressive pop influence that Reed has applied in other projects. Regular live performances and festival appearances at Baja Prog, Rosfest, and NEARfest has kept the group tight and their reputation growing.

In early 2008 Magenta released their fourth studio album, "Metamorphosis", on the Laser's Edge label. Upon its release, it immediately went to #1 on the Gagliarchives weekly top 20, bumping Thieves' Kitchen from the top spot. "Metamorphosis" is easily identifiable as a Magenta album but also adds more darkness and aggression into the mix, a daring evolution that has reaped success. FMPM 2009 will be the sole North American show next year in support of this album.

Magenta was originally booked for FMPM 2008, but could not do the show for a very good reason; Rob Reed had a child in mid-September. However we had no question about wanting to work together as soon as possible. We are delighted that it will be next year.

Magenta joins an announced line-up for FMPM 2009 that includes DFA (Italy), Thieves' Kitchen (England), and Rouge Ciel (Quebec). The fourth edition of the FMPM takes place next September 12th and 13th in Montreal, and you can find out more about us at our web-site, at http://www.fmpm.net

Iluvatar to play ROSfest 2009

Iluvatar are a band from Baltimore, Maryland recognized as one of America's premier progressive rock bands. Having a solid foundation in rock music, Iluvatar combines different elements from other genres such as jazz, classical, and psychedelia, and weaves them into sound tapestries that, while pushing the boundaries of the standard rock formula, remain very accessible, even radio-ready. Although often incorporating extended instrumental passages, time signature shifts, strong dynamics, and sometimes unconventional arrangements, the music steers away from the self-indulgence of many artists that fall into the "progressive" genre. The focus remains on creating unique songs with strong memorable melodies and heartfelt vocals. The end result is music that can be appreciated by both the casual listener and aficionado alike.

The band is made up by lead singer Glenn McLaughlin, Dennis Mullin - Guitars, Jim Rezek - Keyboards, Dean Morekas - Bass, Backing Vocals and Chris Mack - Drums, Percussion.

To date the band has recorded three great albums Iluvatar's self-titled debut CD was released on Kinesis Records in November 1993 and quickly became the label's top-seller. Iluvatar re-entered the studio in March 1995 to record "Children", their second album for Kinesis, and firmly established Iluvatar as one of the premier American bands in the 90's progressive movement. In 1997 Iluvatar released their third album "A Story Two Days Wide".

In addition to numerous headlining shows, Iluvatar has played before progressive rock fans at both ProgScape 94 and 96 in Baltimore, one of New York City's ProgNights in 96, ProgDay 96 in North Carolina, and ProgEast in Quebec, Canada. They played to packed theaters in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 1997, and performed in Mexicali, Mexico at BajaProg 98 as well as NEARfest 2000 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Iluvatar are currently in the midst of recording their long-awaited new studio album and they will feature their new music at RoSfest.

For more on information on Iluvatar head on over to the RoSfest website and check out the complete bio and sample the free MP3.

Iluvatar website - http://iluvatar.com/
Iluvatar Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/iluvatar2006
Check out the bands bio and MP3 - http://www.rosfest.com/Performers-2009/Iluvatar.htm

29 October 2008

Po90 archival release tracklisting

Odd that this was not included in the press release...and I could edit that post, but I'd rather just post this under separate cover:

Disk 1:

1. A Man Of Thin Air - From The Album "More Exotic Ways To Die" 2001
2. The Single - From The Album "The Time Capsule" 1998

3. Unbranded - From The Album "Unbranded" 1999

4. Modern - From The Album "No More Travelling Chess" 1999

5. The Media Pirates - From The Album "The Corner Of My Room" 1996

6. Promises of Life - From The Album "The Time Capsule" 1998

7. Blues For Lear - Previously Unreleased Version with Roine Stolt 2002

8. Space Junk - From The Album "Unbranded" 1999

9. Petroleum Addicts - From The Album "More Exotic Ways To Die" 2001


1. Afterlifecycle Sequence From The Album "Afterlifecycle" 1997

2. Embalmed In Acid - From The Album "More Exotic Ways To Die" 2001

3. Four Egos One War - From the UNRELEASED album "A Kick In The Teeth for Civic Pride" 2002

4. Fadge part one - From the UNRELEASED album "A Kick In The Teeth for Civic Pride" 2002

5. A Kick In The Teeth - From the UNRELEASED album "A Kick In The Teeth for Civic Pride" 2002

6. Unforgiving Skies - From The Album "The Time Capsule" 1998

More updates on Stanley Whitaker

I start wondering of this blog is turning into one about medical conditions, but...Stan Whitaker is a special guitarist, one I genuinely wholly enjoy, and I want to keep people abreast of the ongoing situation with him.

First off, an expansive article on the Baltimore Sun website. I won't paste it here, but follow the link and read.

In musician's illness, help comes from the state

The article mentions the upcoming benefit show, which you should consider attending if you are in the area. Here's some info from bandmate Bill Plummer:

We're coming up on the next benefit for Stanley on November 9th at 2pm in Baltimore, MD at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

Crack The Sky will be headlining. Other bands to play are Oblivion Sun, Hectic Red, members of The Rayvns, Paul Reed Smith and School of Rock led by guitarist Bryan Ewald.

OS rehearsed yesterday and Stanley was able to make the rehearsal for a good bit. He's doing great all things considered and I was pleasantly surprised that he had the energy to make it at all. The radiation treatments are certainly creating a great deal of discomfort for him as well as decreasing his energy. This was to be expected but it didn't show up in his playing. We'll be doing about a 30 minute set.

Thanks in advance to everyone offering their services and making donations. We all look forward to seeing you there.

At least a portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. Go to www.whitakergiftfoundation.com for more details.

Let's help Stan beat this thing.

Parallel or 90 Degrees announce archival release "A Can of Worms"

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 28 October 2008 – Although Andy Tillison Diskdrive's THE TANGENT project is well known in Progressive Rock circles, the music of his earlier band Parallel or 90 Degrees (Po90) is less known, yet highly respected among many. With all their albums long deleted availability has been difficult, this compilation of the band's work from 1996 to 2001 with as a bonus over 30 minutes of brand new tracks, is a perfect introduction.

This double CD is a comprehensive selection across all 5 albums also includes several new and unreleased tracks from 2002 album sessions, put on hold by the emerging success of the Tangent. This includes the Po90 original of "Four Egos, One War" (later re-imagined by The

Tangent) and a version of "Blues For Lear" featuring the guitar and vocal of Roine Stolt. The bands acclaimed "Afterlifecycle" suite is also presented as a continuously running track for the first time.

"I've had a copy of the unreleased material since it was first recorded and before The Tangent, and I loved it, so I'm really excited to be involved in finally releasing it and having a chance to
get some of their back catalog available again.", said Shawn Gordon, President of ProgRock Records.

This album is a long awaited chance to sample the music of a band whose contribution to the continuing life of Progressive Music has been considerable, yet sadly overlooked in the success of surrounding projects. Those people who enjoy the music and lyrics of the Tangent will find themselves with more gems from the same writer, and although different in character from the better known band, still as alert and real.

Yes announce benefit concert

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27, 2008—With the eagerly anticipated 30-city “In the Present” tour getting underway Nov. 4 in Ontario, band members Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White of YES have agreed to donate a portion of proceeds from their Nov. 23 concert at Albany’s Times Union Center to STRIDE Adaptive Sports.

The volunteer, non-profit organization provides more than 3,500 adaptive sport and recreation lessons annually to children and individuals with special needs with 200 instructors serving 850 families, offering free programs in 15 different activities and locations. STRIDE is an affiliate member of Disabled Sports USA, Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors; and an official Red Cross Provider.

The members of YES will donate $10 from every $38.50 ticket sold to STRIDE for their Fourth Annual Wounded Warrior Snowsports Event, with 15 members of the armed forces who have sustained permanent injuries during their service brought to the Albany area on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 for a weekend of Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding at Jiminy Peak, Mountain Resort.

All funds from ticket sales will go directly to cover the cost of transportation, lodging, food, clothing, entertainment and gifts for the Wounded Warriors and their families.

The event will open at Michael’s Banquet House in Latham, N.Y., with dinner and entertainment on Feb. 27, 2009, with tickets available for $30 to the public. For more information on the event, visit STRIDE’s website at www.stride.org. To purchase tickets to the YES concert, contact Katie Moshier at the STRIDE offices in Rensselaer, N.Y., at kmoshier@stride.org.

“We are delighted to lend our hand to this very worthy organization,” said the band. “We are glad to do what we can to support the officers and soldiers who have sacrificed so much to defend their country.”

The “In the Present” tour, which will hit a total of 30 cities in November and December, features Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White playing selections from hit albums like Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans and 90125 along with audience favorites like “Roundabout,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and “I’ve Seen All Good People,” some of the enduring classics that have made YES the most influential and groundbreaking progressive group in rock & roll.

The tour will get underway at the Hamilton Place Theater in Hamilton, ON, on Nov. 4 and run through Dec. 17 at the Hard Rock Casino in Miami., featuring guitarist Howe, bassist Squire and drummer White, joined by keyboardist Oliver Wakeman, the son of YES’ Rick Wakeman, and vocalist Benoit David, a Montreal, Quebec, native and vocalist in several YES tribute groups, who was discovered by the band on the Internet and invited on the tour.

The group’s itinerary includes performances at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Nov. 14, Baltimore’s Ram’s Head Live Nov. 16, Cleveland’s House of Blues Nov. 25, Detroit’s Fillmore on Nov. 26, Cincinnati’s Taft Theater Nov. 29, St. Louis’ The Pageant Dec. 2, Chicago’s Chicago Theater Dec. 3, Atlanta’s The Tabernacle Dec. 7, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Dec. 10 and Orlando’s Hard Rock Live Nov. 14, with more dates to be announced.

27 October 2008

Hugh Hopper news update

Another older article, but again, just found out today.

From his website:

Well, the back pain disappeared, but in June I was diagnosed with leukemia.

I am having ongoing treatment and it's going well. Chemotherapy has advanced a lot recently and it's not the horrible ordeal it used to be. I had no real problems with the chemo. Had some minor infections after the course finished, but that's because the body has no defences for a couple of weeks.

The team at Canterbury Hospital are brilliant - really supportive, and the hospital is part of a national Clinical Trial, so they always have the state of the art medication and no funding problems.

I have to start another course of chemo soon which means I can't travel to do gigs, but I am feeling positive about my life. My dear love Christine has been a miracle worker, making sure I have all the best food and supplements. It's actually harder for the people around than it is for me - I just have to relax in hospital, being cared for.

Fred Baker and Roy Babbington have been doing the Soft Machine Legacy gigs in my place. Roy of course was a guest already on Soft Machine albums and took over from me when I quit the group in 1973. And Fred from Phil Miller's In Cahoots is a wonderful player - much better than me technically!

Onwards and upwards!

Red Masque - Pay what you want MP3s and upcoming show

Pay-What-You-Want Full Album Downloads from The Red Masque! Plus Halloween Show!

Halloween Present for You
The Red Masque's debut EP, "Death of the Red Masque" (2001), and debut album "Victoria and the Haruspex" (2002) are now available for digital download through the band's site. You can pay whatever price you want via the Paypal donation button beside each of the file links. Please visit http://theredmasque.com/downloads.html for details and for the links.

UPCOMING SHOW: On Saturday, Nov. 1, The Red Masque will be performing at Orion Sound Studios in Baltimore. Improv-band Thee Maximalists will also be performing. Costumes are encouraged for this Halloween-themed show and there will be prizes and other surprises. Showtime is 8 PM. All Ages. $15. Please visit http://theredmasque.com/shows.html for information.

Jakko Jakszyk - Don't Buy My MP3's!

Want to buy Jakko Jaksyzk's solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club? Or releases by the 21st Century Schizoid Band? Frustrated that they are out of print, but happy to see them on a legitimate MP3 download service?

Well, don't buy the songs.

Read on to find out why:

Regular visitors to this site will know parts of King Crimson’s back catalogue was made available for downloading despite a contractual clause expressly forbidding such distribution

Jakko Jaksyzk reveals that this is precisely what has happened to titles such as his solo album, The Bruised Romantic Glee, as well as all of the albums by the 21st Century Schizoid Band. Despite digital rights being excluded from their agreements with the label, Jakko’s album has been made available at a variety of legal online providers.

As if that wasn’t bad enough the launch of the CD version of Jakko’s Glee Club album was stymied when the distributor of the record collapsed in 2007.

Despite good reviews in the music press the album has been unavailable thus thwarting many folks. However good news of sorts is at hand. “I’ve now got a company on board who want to get behind the album and it’s going to be reissued next year.” In the meantime, Jakko’s message to fans of his solo work or that of the Schizoid Band is “don’t buy any of the titles via download as the musicians aren’t getting a penny for them."

Jimmy Carl Black (Mothers of Invention) news

From Eugene Chadbourne's home page, http://www.eugenechadbourne.com/:

"There is no easy way to put this, my best friend and longtime partner Jimmy Carl Black is dying of cancer. He had a tumor removed from one of his lungs after we got back from our tour of Japan. That turned out to be the final Jack and Jim Tour.

Cancer was found in his lungs, then it was detected in both kidneys and brain. He has retired completely from the music business and is staying at home with his wife Moni. One can lend support to his medical bills and general quality of life in this situation by visiting THE JIMMY CARL BLACK GIFT SHOP at www.cafepress.com/jimmycarlblack.

I am here to tell you that Jimmy Carl is one of the greatest guys I have ever known. I will never forget my wonderful times with him. Being able to play guitar on top of his backbeat and teach him the things I have learned about self-publishing have to be among the highlights of my career."

25 October 2008

REVIEW: Barr - Skogsbo is the Place

It’s a dreary autumn day here at Casa Bill’s Prog Blog, and it’s appropriate weather for a new CD that just arrived in the post today all the way from Sweden.

The group is called Barr, the album is titled Skogsbo is the Place. It’s a somber, mellow, melancholic 43-minute exploration of pastoral acoustic landscapes, where the skies grow gray, the winds begin to blow with a slight chill, and the sun lies low and tired in the west.

Yes, I’m poetic today. Deal with it.

I blame the music, really. This is gorgeous stuff, even though it is so somber and sad. Dual vocals, male and female, sing with a detachment that is disarming at first, yet on repeated listens just…works. Hearing harmonium featured so prominently in the music is a nice change of pace…it adds an almost funereal aspect to the music that is amazingly fitting. “Summerwind” sets the table for the musical feast to follow, sadness and despair dripping off the bare branches of the arrangement. “Words would do” is beautiful, gentle acoustic guitar, piano and brushed drums resting quietly under pleading vocals from Patrik Andersson.

If you’re looking for an extended track, the album closer “Sister – Lovers alone” would be right up your alley. At just over 10 minutes, it is the album’s longest track, and it feels far shorter than its length would indicate. Andersson and Hanna Fritzson sing wonderfully together…her voice is sweet and pure, while his vocals evoke sadness and loss without sounding forced.

I am really enjoying this record, and if that sounds odd considering that I am constantly mentioning how somber and melancholic it is, well, so be it. There can be incredible beauty in sadness, and I think the members of Barr realise this. Skogsbo is the Place is filled with this dark beauty, and while it may not be something I could bring myself to come back to time and time again, it’s nice to know that there’s something suitable for me musically when I need it.

If you like bands like Pentangle or Fairport Convention, check Barr out.

Words would do

He ain’t a friend, he’s a brother

Calling my name

Skogsbo is the place


Sister – Lovers alone

Patrik Andersson - vocals, guitar

Andreas Söderström - vocals, harmonium

Marcus Palm - vocals, 12-string acoustic

Oskar Schönning / Svante Söderqvist - double bass

Fredrik Ohlsson - percussion, drums

Hanna Fritzson - vocals, piano, flute, glockenspiel


24 October 2008

Rouge Ceil to perform at FMPM 2009

Rouge Ciel is one of the finest "avant-prog" groups (a label they would never use themselves) from Quebec today. A quartet with two ex-members of Le Fanfare Pourpour, they have released two albums to date. "Rouge Ciel" combines rock, folk, Eastern music, jazz, and other styles for a result straddling the line between Quebec's musique actuelle scene and much folk-based avant-progressive such as Volapuk. They have also been compared to Miriodor, Maneige, and Conventum. To be compared to so many different-sounding groups is essentially saying that their exact sound is hard to pin down relative to any one group; it is their own.

The second album, "Veuillez Procéder" (2005), notches up the intensity and complexity and largely dispenses with the more pastoral aspects of the first. It was well received in avant-progressive circles and we have been getting requests to have them play for the last couple of years.

This Winter the band is working out the compositions for their third album, and expect to debut a significant amount of music at FMPM 2009.

Rouge Ciel joins an emerging line-up for FMPM 2009 that includes Italy's DFA and England's Thieves' Kitchen. The fourth edition of the FMPM takes place in Montreal, September 12th and 13th 2009. You can check our web-site out at www.fmpm.net.

23 October 2008

Marillion 'official bootleg' boxed set details

I have been a Marillion fan since my misspent college days, having discovered a clutch of their albums at the old college radio station. For reasons that are not germane to this blog, I find it easier to listen to Hogarth era material than Fish era material, but it is the period from 1981 through 1987 that connects most viscerally with most progressive music fans.

The band is releasing a 6-CD boxed set of live recordings from the BBC and other radio station archives, and it's just the kind of thing that interests me...especially as I probably have a number of these performances from audience or off-air recordings. If you love early Marillion, this set is for you.

"The Early Stages" - Official Bootleg Box Set 1982-1987

6 CD box set, released by EMI Records Ltd., release date 17th November 2008, all previously unreleased.

Packaged in a cardboard fold around dedicated CD box.

CD 1: Live At The Mayfair, Glasgow 13/9/1982
01. Garden Party [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (8.18)

02. The Web [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (10.28)
03. He Knows You Know [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (5.22)

04. She Chameleon [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (5.38)

05. Three Boats Down From The Candy [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer] (5.18)

06. Market Square Heroes [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Minnett] (6.19)

07. Forgotten Sons [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (10.24)

All songs published by Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
Recorded live at The Mayfair, Glasgow on September 13th, 1982 and broadcast by Radio Clyde.

(P) 2008 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Bauer Media Ltd.

Fish: vocals

Guitars: Steve Rothery

Bass and vocals: Pete Trewavas

Keyboards: Mark Kelly

Drums: Mick Pointer

CD 2: Live At The Marquee, 30/12/1982 (part 1)

01. Garden Party [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (8.28)
02. Three Boats Down From The Candy [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer] (6.49)

03. Grendel [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (19.54)

04. Chelsea Monday [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (9.20)

CD 3: Live At The Marquee, 30/12/1982 (part 2)

05. He Knows You Know [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (8.22)

06. The Web [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (11.49)

07. Script For A Jester's Tear [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer] (10.20)

08. Forgotten Sons [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (12.03)

09. Market Square Heroes [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Minnett] (7.39)

10. Margaret [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (11.15)

All songs published by Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
Recorded live at The Marquee Club, London, December 30th, 1982.
Produced by Nick Tauber

Engineered by Simon Hanhart

Mixed by Peter Mew at Abbey Road Studios, London mid 2007.

(P) 2008 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd.

Fish: vocals
Guitars: Steve Rothery

Bass and vocals: Pete Trewavas

Keyboards: Mark Kelly

Drums: Mick Pointer

CD 4: Live At The Reading Festival 27/8/1983

01. Grendel [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (18.07)
02. Garden Party [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (6.46)
03. Script For A Jester's Tear [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer] (9.00)

04. Assassing [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (7.45)

05. Charting The Single [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer] (5.21)
06. Forgotten Sons [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (11.41)

07. He Knows You Know [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (5.42)

08. Market Square Heroes [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Minnett] (10.21) (incorporates - 0.13 of The Jean Genie [David Bowie] Publisher: North America - Tintoretto Music (BMI) administered by RZO Music, Inc., Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc. (BMI) o/b/o EMI Music Publishing Ltd., Chrysalis Songs (BMI). Rest of World - Tintoretto Music/RZO Music Ltd., EMI Music Publishing Ltd., Chrysalis Music Ltd. And 1.07 of The Web [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett])

All songs published by Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd. except as stated on track 8.
Recorded live for BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show at the Reading Rock Festival, The Thames Side Arena, Reading, August 27th, 1983.
(P) 2008 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by BBC
Released by arrangement with BBC Music.

Fish: vocals

Guitars: Steve Rothery

Bass and vocals: Pete Trewavas

Keyboards: Mark Kelly

Drums: John Martyr

Percussion: Andy Ward

CD 5: Live At Hammersmith Odeon 14/12/1984

01. Assassing [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (6.50)

02. Garden Party [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (6.52)
03. Cinderella Search [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (6.16)

04. Punch & Judy [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mover] (3.30)

05. Jigsaw [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (7.02)

06. Chelsea Monday [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Pointer/Jelliman/Minnett] (8.13)

Misplaced Childhood part 1:

07. Pseudo Silk Kimono [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (2.53)

08. Kayleigh [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (3.53)

09. Bitter Suite [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (6.02)
10. Heart Of Lothian [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (4.24)

11. Incubus [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas] (9.08)

12. Fugazi [Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley] (10.32)

All songs published by The Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
Recorded live for BBC Radio International at the Hammersmith Odeon on 14th December, 1984.
(P) 2008 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by BBC
Released by arrangement with BBC Music.

Fish: vocals

Guitars: Steve Rothery

Bass and vocals: Pete Trewavas

Keyboards: Mark Kelly

Drums and percussion: Ian Mosley

CD 6: Live At Wembley Arena 5/11/1987

01. Slainte Mhath (5.03)

02. White Russian (6.01)
03. Incubus (8.56)

04. Sugar Mice (7.03)

05. Fugazi (8.15)

06. Hotel Hobbies (4.07)

07. Warm Wet Circles (4.30)

08. That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw) (5.53)
09. The Last Straw (6.13)

10. Kayleigh (4.28)

11. Lavender (2.23)

12. Bitter Suite (8.08)

13. Heart Of Lothian (3.56)

All songs written by Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas/Mosley except Incubus written by Dick/Kelly/Rothery/Trewavas All songs published by The Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
Recorded for BBC Radio 1's In Concert at Wembley Arena, London, November 5th, 1987. First transmitted 7th November 1987

(P) 2008 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by BBC
Released by arrangement with BBC Music.

Fish: vocals

Guitars: Steve Rothery
Bass and vocals:
Pete Trewavas

Keyboards: Mark Kelly

Drums and percussion: Ian Mosley

Backing vocals by Corie Josias

Mastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road Studios, London

10 Questions With...Mark Ptak

(Shunji of Kenso with Alan Benjamin, Henry Ptak and Mark Ptak of Advent)

Today we present the second of a series of interviews with members of Advent. Mark Ptak, one of the two Ptak brothers responsible for vocals and keyboards in the NJ-based symphonic group, has kindly agreed to sit down with me (in a figurative sense) to delve a little deeper into what makes Advent the special group they are.

Read on for more!

1. How did you get your start in music, and with Advent?

MP: Well, I'm told that our grandfather was quite musical (he played the accordion), and our parents could both carry a tune, though they never really played an instrument or anything like that. I guess I really got interested in music because my brother Henry (being a bit older than me) had paved the way in our immediate family. He was always listening to cool stuff, and I'd frequently get some of his LPs passed down to me (Procol Harum comes to mind) and then listen to them in my room until I wore the grooves out of the things while singing to them and/or drumming on a couple of Kleenex boxes. I initially wanted to be a drummer, but since noisy instruments were frowned upon in our house (Henry had already taken up the piano and had amassed quite a collection of classic 70's instruments - quite the eye candy, believe me), I pretty much ended up taking piano/theory lessons from Henry at around 13, then joined some hometown bands by 15 or 16, playing stuff like the "In The Cage" medley by Genesis. Soon, a friend of mine from one of those bands ended up going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, taking up Music Production & Engineering as a major. Talking to him about Berklee was pretty exciting, and it wasn't long before I joined him up there, majoring in MP&E myself as well. While I was in school, Henry had been writing material that he would let me hear occasionally and we had always thought that it would be nice to work together on some of this stuff when I got home. I actually wrote the chorus to what ended up being "Nowhere Else To Go" while I was still in school, and we had paired it with Henry's verses that had existed for that tune already. Not long after, he told me about a guy he had met and started exchanging ideas with back in NJ, and asked me if I wanted to join in that collaboration when I finished Berklee. So, after graduation, I moved back home and finally got to meet the guy that Henry had begun working with. That guy was Alan Benjamin, and that collaboration ended up becoming Advent.

2. Advent's music tends to sound very carefully composed. Are there particular influences that drive or inform this style?

MP: Yeah, it is pretty carefully composed. I guess there is very little improvisation in what we do, save for the initial idea as it literally comes out of the head. Once an idea of any sustainable length exists, we pretty much try it with other bits and pieces we might have lying around to see what fits. It's almost like putting together a puzzle, only we really don't know what the finished picture will look like ahead of time. There are exceptions to this, and complete ideas (more like fuzzy snapshots in the mind) may exist that just need to be sculpted a bit as they're going to disc. But generally, it's been a process of short improvisation followed by intense treatment afterwards. I suppose it's like composing mini-classical works, where attention is given to different sections of the orchestra (band), and having them all work together to produce the overall sound rather than one specific instrument dominating over the rest (unless it's meant to do that, like in a piano concerto or something). At least that's what we've tried to accomplish.

3. How do you divide up keyboard parts between you?

MP: That's usually been Henry's job for most of the tunes (especially since most of the tunes are his). On occasion, he would give me some of the more complex parts to play, mainly because he has to sing lead quite a bit, and it would be extremely difficult to sing and play some of these parts at the same time. Additionally, since there may be many patch changes on the keyboards during a tune, it would usually depend on who could reasonably reach a particular sound or family of sounds at any one point in the song. If one of us is playing piano style patches, for example, then obviously the other would stick to pad or string sounds, or maybe organ. It's a constantly evolving process right now, one that we're doing our best to perfect, given the highly orchestral nature of the music.

4. Are there particular keyboard sounds that you feel are essential to your style?

MP: Not really, no. It pretty much depends (as I stated above) on what is needed for each particular tune. I do like playing organ-type stuff, probably because I started out playing Henry's old Hammond L-112 when I was much younger, until he sold it to me and got himself a real B3. Personally, I like the feeling of kinda sliding from chord to chord on a Hammond sound, or playing contrapuntal stuff on a clavinet-type sound (yes, I love Giant), or even taking a 12-string-type sound and picking around on that. But it really depends on what's necessary at the time and if I happen to be writing at all.

5. Advent's debut release has been sadly out of print for years. Is there any possibility that rights may be regained for a future re-release?

MP: It's possible, but there are a few things we have to sort out. There's the issue of the Gentle Giant tunes used in our tribute cut, "BITB," as well as a piece by W. Byrd and one by J. Turina that we'd have to get clearance on if we want to include them on a re-issue, I believe. We haven't really taken any steps to contact anyone about those tunes yet, mainly because other things taken precedence lately, such as putting together the live set. Also, many of the songs were mixed in mono. Around the time that Mellow Records was putting together their Gentle Giant tribute CD, we sent them some of our original material (in addition to our GG tribute cut), many of which were not quite polished at the time. They liked them enough to offer to release them as they were, and we agreed. So now we've kinda had to backtrack and remix a few things in order to bring them up to a satisfactory level. "Alison Waits" and "Rear View Mirror" both ended up on Cantus Firmus as remixed bonus tracks, so from that decision alone, I think we've shown that we're aware that these issues need to be dealt with eventually. We'd love to re-release it, but I think we'd also like to spend some time with the remainder of it and make it sound a bit more like it was originally intended. Right now we're pretty committed to the new material, but if we have the time and money to flush it out, I think we certainly would try to do that.

6. While Cantus Firmus has been widely acclaimed by critics, some people have felt that the band's sound is a bit overly pastoral. Do you feel this is a fair criticism, or does it miss out on some of the influences that may have informed the band's sound?

MP: Well, it's hard to know to what degree people are familiar with the stuff you are familiar with, but I guess there's always the chance that a composer may be working on different plane than the listener. Not a higher one, necessarily (though that could happen), just usually a different one - one where interests and influences may not intersect. We don't really worry too much about what part of the band's sound people like or don't like. Our ears usually tell us what sounds good to us, and we just follow it along until we feel that we can't really improve on something for whatever reason. There are a number of different influences within the writing department, but we never attempt to sound specifically one way or another, we just try to make the meal taste good with the ingredients we have, without overusing any of the spices. :-)

7. If you could arrange any classical composition for the band to play, what would it be and why?

MP: Hmm...I like a lot of Bach, and I always thought it would be cool to incorporate his "Jig" Fugue (BWV 577) into one of our tunes somehow. Why? Probably because of the fact that it's a fugue and it has a terribly uplifting quality about it. It's a great way to utilize the energy of a band, I think, especially if you try to include drums when it doesn't really call for it. But I think that kind of thing takes a back seat to our original stuff at the moment.

8. It's been about 2.5 years since Cantus Firmus was released. How is work coming along on the next Advent album?

MP: Swimmingly. That is, we're literally swimming in new ideas and arrangements. Good stuff takes time, I think, and we've probably set the bar pretty high with Cantus Firmus (at least for ourselves). So we aren't going to rush the next one out before we think it's ready. At the same time, though, we know that we want to release it as soon as possible. A lot of time was taken up after the release of Cantus Firmus finding the right additional members and adjusting the arrangements so that they could be played live by the band (which includes six of us now). It took the better part of a year to really do all that and to be able to get the right gig(s) to showcase the stuff. Jim Robinson of the NJ Proghouse (God bless him) was willing to take the chance on our first gig and we're really grateful to him and all the folks at the NJPH for that. Anyway, like I said, we took some time to get that going, all the while intending to jump back into writing new stuff the minute we had a break. It's also nice (though very challenging) to now be able to write stuff knowing that you have two guitarists and two keyboardists in addition to bass & drums to work with. We hope to give the recordings a bit more of a live feeling this time around since we're pretty comfortable with each other as a band at this point. That's another plus that came out of doing things in the order in which we did them.

9. Are there any potential surprises for listeners?

MP: Now Bill, why would I want to tell you that (LOL)? There aren't gonna be any spy rings or snap together toys included inside, if that's what you mean. How 'bout, "...it won't take 9 years this time in between releases." Seriously though, I think we'll be more surprised than anyone else by what ends up on the final mixes.

10. Do you have any final thoughts for us?

MP: Yep. I'd like to offer a sincere thank you to all the folks who supported us in any way, shape or form, whether it be by buying a CD, coming to or assisting at a performance, booking us, reviewing our work, or whatever. We know that times are much different today than they were even a lifetime ago and that folks are much busier than they used to be. And for people to give up precious time in their lives to sit and listen to what we have to offer is something that I'm immensely grateful for. I just pray that we can bring an uplifting spirit to the music to give people an enjoyable listen every time they put it on. God knows we try.

Thank you, Bill, for the opportunity to sit and chat. It was great fun.

Websites of Note:

(above photo from Advent website.)

22 October 2008

Deus Ex Machina return with Imparis

A sextet of violin, analog keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and vocals, Deus ex Machina's sound is a unique and unequaled blend of aggressive jazz-rock mixed with complex rhythms, 1970s-style hard-rock guitar and hints of Rock In Opposition-style avant-progressive rock, all topped by the incredible vocals of Alberto Piras, one of the most extraordinary vocalists working in rock today.

For this album, the band wanted to do something different and came up with an idea that presented a fun challenge to themselves. They had never played in France and on the outskirts of Paris, there was a world-class nightclub - Le Triton - that also featured a full recording studio as well as the ability to do a professional video shoot during performances. The band rented Le Triton for 3 days and spent two days recording. They also played a concert which was filmed. The result is Imparis, a double set that comprises a studio album of new material by the band as well as the band's first-ever DVD.

The studio CD contains 45' of new material while the DVD functions as a career overview of their last 10 years, featuring two songs each from their albums Equilibrismo Da Insofferenza, Cinque and Imparis. The concert program of the DVD is 60 minutes of professionally shot and edited live footage of the band performing completely live - there are no 'fixes or sweetening' of the performances and consequently, fans should find it more realistic and representative of a genuine live musical performance by a great, tight band than a typical 'live' DVD.

Also included are extras: interviews (funny and enlightening) + Paris backstage + a short, fascinating, avant-garde, prepared piano performance by Fabrizio of a one of the album's works + excerpts from Chapel Hill [USA 1996] + a totally over the top Italian TV performance [1996] + an charmngly dated music video that the band did in 1993. Total time of DVD is about 2 hours. Since they probably won't be coming to your hometown this week/month/year, this one is a no-brainer for their many fans.

DVD is NTSC, All Regions (Region 0)


FROST*: Experiments in Mass Appeal info

Frost*'s new album Experiments In Mass Appeal will be released on Nov. 17th as regular edition and special edition in a lavish digipack with bonus DVD cont. nearly 4 hours bonus material.

Frost* is Jem Godfrey, John Mitchell (It Bites, Kino, Arena), John Jowitt and Andy Edwards (IQ) plus new singer/guitarist Declan Burke.


01. Experiments In Mass Appeal
02. Welcome To Nowhere

03. Pocket Sun

04. Saline

05. Dear Dead Days

06. Falling Down

07. You / I

08. Toys

09. Wonderland

Disc 2:
01. Bonus DVD: documentary, internet blogs, instrumental mix, etc.

OSI: New album in 2009

New album in spring 2009

Guests: Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) & Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)

Experts consider the music of the creative duo, OSI, a perfect example of inventiveness and innovation. Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos have released two albums to date (Office Of Strategic Influence, 2003, & Free, 2006) and are currently working on their new, as yet untitled third recording, scheduled for release in spring 2009.

Along with Moore and Matheos, the new album will also feature Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. In addition, there will be a guest appearance by Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) on ‘Stockholm’, which the Swede co-composed. Mixing is scheduled to begin in early December with engineer Phil Magnotti.

Pain of Salvation DVD news

Title: The Second Death Of...

Setlist DVD 1:
01. Scarsick (Scarsick)

02. America (Scarsick)

03. ! (Entropia)

04. Nightmist (Entropia)

05. Handful of Nothing (One Hour By The Concrete Lake)

06. New Year's Eve (One Hour By The Concrete Lake)

07. Ashes (The Perfect Element Part I)

08. Undertow (Remedy Lane)

09. This Heart of Mine/Song for the Innocent (Remedy Lane/The Perfect Element Part I)

10. Chain Sling (Remedy Lane)

11. Diffidentia (Be)

12. Flame to the Moth (Scarsick)

13. Disco Queen (Scarsick)


14. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

15. Cribcaged (Scarsick)

16. Used (The Perfect Element Part I)

recent update (8/13/08)

Originally Posted by Daniel Gildenlow
"The DVD is starting to come together, and will consist of two separate discs - one will be the live show from our last tour, and the other one will be a documentary following the band on the 2005 tour, which marked the end of that line-up. The fact that the band has seen such major changes the last two years made it very difficult emotionally to invest time and energy in this product, and it wasn't until the documentary draft was proposed by Per Hillblom that I started to see what this DVD was trying to communicate. We still have a few commentary tracks to record but we are starting to see the end of it."

(on the next album)
"We are starting to get a grasp of the tons of material that I have been working on in my head. My vision is that the next album will be recorded in our rehearsing room, and we have started to prepare ourselves and the rehearsing room for this. The material that I am focusing on for the album at the moment, is some sort of cross breed between the heavy early 70s in the vein of Sabbath/Zeppelin and the dark weirdness of Faith no More/Soundgarden together with a touch of fragile suggestiveness displayed by The Doors/Jeff Buckley. Add some energetic Foo Fighters and you will start to get the picture..."

Michael Manring news

From his latest newsletter:

In recording news, there are two cool new rock releases I got to play on. First is Terror Syndrome, a project organized by Devin Townsend Band drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen (http://www.myspace.com/terrorsyndromeband). I also got to play a solo on the song "Cashmere Shiv" from the new CD by Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis called Zero Order Phase (http://www.jeffloomis.com/). I think fans of complex, heavy music will enjoy these two projects.

For More information, check out the artist's website:

More Zappa archival releases

Article HERE.

Some highlights:

The Zappa Family Trust will kick off a comprehensive campaign to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the late Frank Zappa's albums next month. "Lumpy Money," a three-CD "audio documentary" due out Nov. 25, is the first offering in the series -- and, according to Zappa's widow Gail, the most unique.

The "Lumpy Money" package will feature two separate mixes of each album, done by Frank himself. It will include feature the first official release of the instrumental, Igor Stravinsky-influenced orchestral "ballet" version of "Lumpy Gravy" that Zappa recorded in 1967 for Capitol Records but decided to revamp, adding rock musicians and eventually releasing it on MGM/Verve four months after "We're Only in it For the Money" in 1968. Gail Zappa says a "sister" project will be released shortly after "Lumpy Money" that will contain more music from those sessions.

Other releases in the series will be treated "more as individual albums," drawing material from the Sequin Mines vault underneath the Zappa family home. A new version of "Cruising with Ruben and the Jets," Frank Zappa's third 1968 release, is also being prepared, while the Zappa Family Trust is working on other projects such as a vintage live album from the Roxy in Los Angeles and a set of Zappa's renditions of the compositions French composer Edgar Varese.

20 October 2008

The Enid news...

A bit of bubbling activity at The Lodge with the Enid finally...a year after releasing a few rehearsal clips on their website, Robert John Godfrey has issued forth a few more tantalising tidbits of info for the long patient faithful Enidi...

Read it all HERE.

Some highlights (any time you see "I" below, please remember this is Robert John Godfrey speaking, not yr. obd't blogger):

I have added a great rehearsal recording of "Dark Hydraulic" featuring Jason Ducker on Guitar and Dave Story on Drums. Not perfect but exciting I hope...

It looks like the new band will start touring in earnest from Feb 2009. However there are going to be quite a few low profile warm gigs before then. I am rather rusty and the younger band members need to get used to the way we do things...

A little bit about the new Album (Far Out - Working Title):

The following topics form the underling dynamic of The Enid's long awaited and still incomplete album - but I have now crossed the Rubicon with this task and I can be certain it will be finished, God willing.

The music itself paints a hopeful vision of a post-apocalyptic future. In fact this is the most optimistic music I have ever composed.

Yet it is also a warning - a picture of what the future can be but only if we are prepared to make the sacrifices now in order to have it. It could also be prediction of what we will never amount to - A Bridge Too Far.

Now Playing...

I took an enforced weekend off...spent it in bed with a nasty cold. I'm back on my feet and will be updating furiously this week...or as furiously as my time will allow ;-)

In any event, here are the albums that are currently getting a lot of spins here...

Marillion - Happiness is the Road Volume 1: Essence
Marillion - Happiness is the Road Volume 2: The Hard Shoulder
Cardboard Amanda - Cardboard Amanda
Karmakanic - Who's the Boss in the Factory

Strawbs - Hero & Heroine
Strawbs - Ghosts
The Enid - In the Region of the Summer Stars
The Enid - Aerie Faerie Nonsense

"I used to be half empty, but now I'm half full..."

Gryphon reunion show postponed

I know this is a little old, but I just saw this bit, so I am posting it here as well:

Due to lack of venue availability for the current year, we have been forced to postpone the Gryphon reunion concert until next year. We are sorry to have to do this but please be assured that as soon as we have finalised a venue and date for the gig, we will announce it without delay.

The album project is moving forward, (albeit slowly) and we will also be announcing updates on this as more is completed.

Thank you for your continued support for the band and be assured that you have not seen the last of us yet!

Renaissance DVD to be released

Light details HERE.

To be released 24 November 2008 in the UK.

"Legendary prog-rocker Renaissance perform live during a US tour, following the release of their hit 1976 album SONG OF SCHEHEREZADE. Tracks include 'Running Hard', 'Ocean Gypsy', 'Mother Russia', 'The Festival', and many more."

Page states 120 minutes, which is significantly longer than the typical Renaissance concert of that era. It will be interesting to see what's actually on this release. Renaissance is one of my favourite groups, and it was an honour to finally meet Annie Haslam several years ago.

Thieves' Kitchen signed to FMPM 2009

Thieves' Kitchen has taken the progressive rock community by storm in 2008, with the release of their fourth album The Water Road. Featuring new keyboardist Thomas Johnson, formerly of Änglagård, this album combines ear-catching melodies and intricate complexity the way all the best progressive rock does, with non-rock influences, dynamic contrasts, and a wide variety of instrumentation. Their love of impossible time signatures and jazzy inflections inspire comparisons to the Canterbury scene, while Amy Darby's soaring voice and evocative lyrics are always compelling.

Founded by guitarist Phil Mercy and bassist Paul Beecham ten years ago, only Mercy and drummer Mark Robotham remain from the first album, 2000's Head. After their 2001 release "Argot" with new bassist Andy Bonham, they were invited to play Mexico's Baja Prog and North Carolina's ProgDay music festivals in 2002. In typical fashion, a four-song set from this group took 75 minutes to perform. 2003's Shibboleth was their first to feature vocalist Amy Darby and sees the beginnings of the jazzier influences coming to full fruition on "The Water Road". This newest album, five years in the making, went through extensive phases of composition, arrangement, and recording. New keyboardist Johnson proves a suitable foil for Mercy, able to provide powerful and aggressive counterpoint or a melancholy aural backdrop where appropriate. Unsurprisingly, this album is turning up on a number of top ten lists for 2008, as it appeals to fans across the spectrum of the genre, and was the #1 album on The Gagliarchives for several weeks. Thieves' Kitchen is now playing several engagements across Europe in support of The Water Road.

With increasing demand on this side of the pond, and a growing audience of admirers in Quebec, the time was right to extend an invitation to Thieves' Kitchen to play at FMPM 2009, and much to our delight they have accepted. This will be their first ever appearance in Canada and their only festival performance in North America next year.

The fourth edition of the FMPM takes place September 12th and 13th 2009 at the Pierre Peladeau Center in Montreal. Our web-site is being updated and will be fully operational in a few days. Already announced for the 2009 line-up is DFA from Italy. We hope to have more line-up announcements in the coming weeks.

17 October 2008

DFA Announced for FMPM 2009

The best things in life come to those who wait, a saying well known to fans of Italian four-piece DFA. Before 2008's #4, their last studio album was 1999's Duty Free Area. Simply put, they are one of the best groups in the world in the style of symphonic fusion, combining incredible technical virtuosity with a gift for memorable, dynamic melodies. With the #1 album on the Gagliarchives for eleven straight weeks following its release, DFA is "one of the best of the new breed" (All About Jazz), and #4 is "a worthy successor to The Rotter's Club" (Billboard.com) and "an unmitigated success" (Aymeric Leroy). And while fans of Canterbury music might see DFA as the reincarnation of National Health, they are undeniably an Italian prog group and reminiscent of some of the great jazz rock groups from that country such as Arti e Mestieri and middle-period PFM.

DFA's first two releases, Lavori in Corsa and Duty Free Area, make quite a splash when they were first released, and are now available on the 2-CD compilation Kaleidoscope. Their live performance at NEARFest 2000 brought down the house and is still talked about today. Over the years people increasingly wondered whether DFA were still together, whether they would ever release a new album, and if so whether it could possibly live up to the standards set by their early work. The answer to all these questions is an emphatic "YES", and at FMPM 2009 we expect DFA will once again bring people to their feet in their first ever Canadian appearance.

The fourth edition of the FMPM will be taking place once again at the Salle Pierre Mercure (Pierre Peladeau Center), September 12th and 13th, 2009. We will be updating the web-site over the next few days. DFA is the first band announced for next year's event. We are hoping to have two more announcements out this month.


10 Questions With...Gary Lauzon

One of the nice things about spending time on musicians’ fan forums is that you get to meet a lot of people who have their own bands. It’s probably pretty obvious that if you are hanging out at a forum for someone like Mike Portnoy, the majority of bands from other forum members would show Dream Theater as a major influence. While this may be true in theory, in practice I’ve not really seen it that much.

I ‘discovered’ the Canadian band The Rebel Wheel on the Mike Portnoy forum, and had the opportunity to review the band’s second album, Diagramma…first in the original independent release form, and then as reissued by 10T Records a few months later. I had this to say of the album:

“The Rebel Wheel offers a diverse selection of sounds and styles on the 43-minute Diagramma. Far from presenting a disjointed idea of what the band has to offer, it instead shows a group unafraid to mix things up. Strong songs and stronger playing mark this as an album well worth checking out.”

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with bassist Gary Lauzon. We touch on a wide variety of subjects, including band history, literature, influences, and a few teasers for the band’s upcoming release!

1) Who are you (Name, band, instrument played)?

GL: People call me Gary Lauzon, I play with The Rebel Wheel, instrument played for the moment is a 4 and 5 string bass. I also play bass pedals and keyboards and maybe a little guitar on the forthcoming album.

2) In 100 words or less, tell me about The Rebel Wheel.

GL: The Rebel Wheel is a modern progressive-rock ensemble based out of Ottawa Ontario. With influences that range from Gentle Giant to Frank Zappa via Genesis and Rush, the band features a frenetic mix of rock aggression, odd-meter vamps, and turn-on-a-dime arrangements. Originally formed in 1991 as a fusion-based midi ensemble, the floating lineup has gradually solidified to the current four piece featuring guitars, keyboards, drums, bass, sax and vocals. Since its inception, the music has focused more on modern and traditional Progressive Rock.

3) What is the wheel rebelling against?

GL: Note this answer was provided to me from David (Campbell), who's steers the ship for the band.

We're not rebelling against anything really. The name is based on a book by William Kotzwinkle called Dr Rat. Dr Rat is a laboratory rat who has become something of a genius (kinda like The Brain form Pinky and The Brain...a show I am convinced was inspired by the novel). The lab animals create a "rebel wheel" wherein the animals join hands and revolve faster and faster and they telepathically communicate to all the other animals on earth (a kind of a animal psychic hot-line), rebelling mostly about cruelty to animals (animals in research). The story resonated with me because I like Kotzwinkle's imagery, and I later wrote the score for a Nature of Things show called "Animals In Research". I decided to take the name for a band.

4) How did you find the reaction to the band's 10T records release?

GL: Well the whole band and especially myself were in disbelief. I remember I was driving back from Montreal and got an email from David on my Blackberry that read, label potentially interested in signing us, needless to say I pulled on the side of the road and immediately called David. 2-3 months after we were signed and our second record (Diagramma) had a street date of May 14th 2007 with 10T Records based out of Atlanta GA.

5) The re-release of Diagramma followed very quickly after the indie release. Was that why you guys added the extra tracks?

GL: 10T liked our indie CD a lot but they felt it was a little short, barely clocking over 40 minutes. They wanted to re-release the CD with a different cover and digipack, and add some more material to it. We had 2 songs on the go that we anticipated to release on our next CD, but in order to make the CD closer to an hour we rushed in the studio and recorded “Arachnophobia” and “Awakened,” which are 2 of the stronger tracks on Diagramma.

6) How does the band work up their material?

GL: In general, for about 85% of the material David writes it in his studio, usually it's bass, synths, drum loops and drum programming. We then learn the demo and bring on our ideas and the songs usually take form this way. Think of it as a blueprint. Some songs are written by other band mates, like “Arachnophobia” was written by myself and “Awakened” was written by our other guitarist who is no longer in the band. For the next CD we anticipate the same formula, since I'm bringing in a sequel to “Arachnophobia.”

7) The Rebel Wheel has had a few lineup changes, like most bands. Do you feel the current band is the 'classic' TRW?

GL: Since we acquired the drumming services Aaron Clark last November, we feel we're on the top of our game and there's no doubt in any of our minds that this is the classic TRW. We did lots of gigs recently, including a pre-show for RoSfest, a show in Quebec City and one 2 weekends ago in Toronto for the NUANCE festival which was our best performance yet (which I'm listening to right now for the first time)

8) What do you do when you're not rocking out with The Rebel Wheel?

GL: I'm playing Rock Band of course!! Call me a wannabe drummer but I'm having a blast with this game! Other then that I play other video games with my gf, she's discovering RPG’s. I spend a lot of time working/organizing a festival I organize called Progtoberfest (progtoberfest.ca) in my hometown Ottawa. Other then that I like to hit the gym to try and stay in shape. I also bowl in 2 bowling leagues and I'd say that it is my talent even over music.

9) What's out there new musically that's blown you away?

GL: In the last year I'd have to say Oceansize's last album Frames. Everything about that album leaves me in awe. I've been listening to lots of Spaced Out, Brand X, it's kind of funny how I kind of switched from Prog Metal to fusion. Planet X is also a CD that gets a lot of mileage in my CD player. How could I forget Riverside, saw them again last month and still have chills!

10) What's next for you and the band?

GL: Well right now David is doing some shows with Bob Drake. Once he returns we're starting to rehearse the material for our next album, it's pretty much all written, with the exception of one tune. We will then hit the studio by year's end. Our goal is to release the CD in June 09. I could tell you that the name of the CD will be called: We are in the time of Evil Clocks and it will feature a 35-minute track called “The Discovery of Witchcraft.” Stay Tuned!

I'd like to thank you for interviewing me, and of course supporting our band.

Links of Note:
http://www.progscape.com/rev-143.php (original release review)

http://www.progscape.com/rev-192.php (reissue review)

(Photo of Gary Lauzon by
Greg Yantz. © 2007 Greg Yantz)

16 October 2008

SETLIST: Porcupine Tree (DVD shoot #1)

Obviously, spoilers follow. I'll give a few spaces, but if you read on, don't get upset at me...

(spoiler space)

The setlist for the first show shot for the next Porcupine Tree live DVD, as relayed by an attendee of the show:

Fear of a Blank Planet
My Ashes



Way out of Here

Sleep Together

-short break-

Stars Die

Open Car

What Happens Now

Wedding Nails

Dark Matter

Half Light


Blackest Eyes

Sleep of No Dreaming

Nice to see a good little clutch of songs from Signify and The Sky Moves Sideways...a shame that this show did not feature the abridged TSMS the band played a few times earlier in the year, but more shows are to follow, so the opportunity still exists.

Now, to convince them to dust off "Voyage 34" again...

15 October 2008

3RP 2009 festival signings

1) Singularity

(Bio snippet from Progarchives)
A three-piece band from Colorado, SINGULARITY have dispensed nearly all their RUSH influences in favor of an extremely classy and spacey symphonic rock. They are one of the greatest USA underground progrock talents. The music and lyrics reflect the band's diverses influences, which include RUSH, MARILLION, SPOCK'S BEARD, GENESIS, and many others.


2) Phideaux

(Bio snippet from Progarchives)

PHIDEAUX Xavier is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, employing the drumming of Rich Hutchins, producer Gabriel Moffat and a revolving cast of supporting musicians. He has released several progressive/psychadelic inspired albums since 2003 and includes Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, and early Genesis (among many others) as influences.


3RP 2009
August 8-9,2009