Why They Are Just The Coolest Band In The World

September 7, 2015

And also probably my favorite band (but dang…Big Big Train)

 

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My Favorite Song of 2015?

August 22, 2015

Today (August 21, 2015) SPOCK’S BEARD’s brand new album, The Oblivion Particle, dropped.  I went to my “brick and mortar” (Hastings) to see if they had it, as I was willing to pay full retail price rather than get it at Amazon.com.  They did not have it…internet sales here we go again.

A really nice review, by Adam Sears, of this disc is now available at the premier site for al things “prog,” and I urge you to surf over and read it, and “like” it.   http://progarchy.com/2015/08/21/spocks-beard-the-oblivion-particle-a-grower-and-a-shower/

Remember that daily reading of PROGARCHY: POINTING TOWARD PROGHALLA is an absolute must for any proghead🙂

I leave you now with what is my favorite prog song (so far) for 2015. No, it doesn’t have the weight and gravitas of Steven Wilson, or the cutting socio-political edge of Andy Tillison, but man does it reach out and connect to my own heart and soul.

Ladies and gents, I give you : the “BEARD” and “Bennett Built A Time Machine.”

 

Mellotron Set To 11

Prog from a Non-Prog Band #2: Sweet

July 17, 2015

Yes, I do plan to add some actual NEW content very soon (reviews, Top-Ten lists, etc.) but for now, here is another song that has some nascent proggy elements that I really like.

It’s not the killer “rock” chorus (which is good on its own merits) but the almost Genesis like vibe around the 1:18 to 1:50 mark, and again from the 2:25 to 3:00 mark that earn this track inclusion.

 

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Prog from a Non-Prog Band #1: Steve Miller Band

July 10, 2015

I’d like to share a few songs from time to time that I consider to have some nice prog-like elements, from bands that are not usually considered your “typical” prog band.

To-wit:

 

 

 

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THE BEST SO FAR OF 2015 (i.e. My “Faves”)

July 5, 2015

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for several weeks now. I was jostled out of my vegetative state by a couple of recent posts on the premier web site for all things prog: PROGARCHY: Pointing toward Proghalla (the only site you REALLY need to be following! http://progarchy.com/ ) I am constructing this list without the benefit of reading PROGARCHY’s own “The Best So Far” list for 2015 (even though it’s a list for primarily prog metal).

By way of embarrassed admission I must plead lack of funds for not yet owning the new Neal Morse album, Grand Experiment, and the new Steven Wilson album, Hand. Cannot. Erase. Although I have heard most of Wilson’s magnum opus one time from YouTube and other on-line sources, out of fairness to these discs I’m not going to rate them yet…I need proper and extended time with music before making “best of” lists.

sparkAETHER

As it now stands the two runaway albums for me are THE TANGENT: A Spark In The Aether (the genius work of Andy Tillison), and LONELY ROBOT: Please Come Home (the genius work of John Mitchell).   These two albums are almost sure to be in a neck and neck horse race photo-finish as December 31st looms closer and closer. Look for these to be in the 1 and 2 top spots.

Lonely Robot 2

And now, in no particular order, and without any real reviewing comments, I would add the following:

BIG BIG TRAIN: Wassail (sure it’s an EP, but I don’t care…it’s just that darn spectacular and it IS BIG BIG TRAIN…nuff said)

GLASS HAMMER: The Breaking Of The World

THE GENTLE STORM: Diary (the stunning collaboration between Lucassen and van Giersbergen will be near the top 5 I’m betting)

ARGOS: A Seasonal Affair

BEARDFISH: +4636 Comfortzone

ARENA: The Unquiet Sky (great music but also a great weird story inspiration)

JOHN CARPENTER: Lost Themes (I’m a sucker for Carpenter’s stuff but this disc probably will fade out of the top ten and maybe even out of the top 15 or 20; and it’s not really prog is it?)

KARNATAKA: Secrets of Angels

SANGUINE HUM: Now We Have A Light (a sleeper; darkhorse)

MAGIC PIE: King For A Day

My Top-Ten list for 2015 will no doubt have some, or most, of these wonderful slabs of sonic bliss. I can’t wait for the next 6 months of new releases. I can’t wait for the money to actually buy them.

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Chris Squire R.I.P.

June 30, 2015

I don’t always agree with Darren, but I like him and his excellent videocast show.  This is such a fitting tribute.

Mellotron set to Amazing Grace

A Non-Prog (?) War Story Anecdote

June 26, 2015

I had a fantastic time a couple of nights ago as my son and I attended a free concert in our downtown. The city had a free concert and blocked off a whole block for about 1,000 plus fans…of GEORGE CLINTON and his current incarnation of PARLIAMENT/FUNKADELIC. It was fun…but I’m still partially deaf—my own fault.

clinton

I’ve been to concerts before where the music was loud and way too loud. When I saw RUSH a couple years back the concert was incredible but the music was too loud for my ancient (y)ears (yeah, I know “You kids get off my yard!”). Back in the day when I saw HEART, the Wilson gals also put on a killer concert but the sound was distortingly loud for the smallish venue. I felt like the guy at the DEEP PURPLE concert, the one where they were declared the “loudest band in Rock,” who was head banging next to the stack of Marshalls.

Clinton’s P-Funk gave a no-holds barred 90 minute set in 90 degree heat and humidity and I was “raisin’ the roof” with all the twenty somethings, but after the show ended I had a ringing in my whole head and a omnipresent wet cotton in my ears sensation that is now only somewhat lifting 40 hours later. That’s what I get for wanting to stand up front and see the action. I have not been able, or wanting, to listen to any music. I’m hoping this will pass and I can get back to the “PROG.”

And speaking of PROG…Clinton in his own way was progressive. He took the fiery funk of James Brown, fused it with even more attitude and a host of other ingredients and fused rock, jazz, soul, and blues, wrapping it in a cosmic veneer of satire, science fiction, and social commentary to create a new sub-genre. Plus, he gave us the “Mothership” baby.  Though the actual prop wasn’t there the gathered “Star Children” were still “tearing the roof of the sucker.”

mothership

No, not Prog, but progressive, iconic, and lasting entertainment.

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A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

June 17, 2015

TOP TEN Worst PROG Band Names: Almost Chosen

10.  We’re all grateful that Sid kept Roger Waters from going with his original idea: “Fats Bix.”

 9.  With the arrival of Justin Hayward & John Lodge the band kept their original moniker and jettisoned Pinder’s attempt to rebrand them as: “Pre-Menstrual Disco.”

8.  You’ll never know just how close Neal Morse came to selecting: “Scotty’s Kilt.”

7.  Probably staying in Chattanooga helped Schendel & Babb in dropping the original prototype: “Plastic Socket-Wrench.”

6.  Though an articulate history buff, Ian Anderson’s first suggestion was inexplicably: “Homer Llut.”

5.  The real reason Peter Gabriel left the band was that he never got over their unanimous rejection of his own first choice: “Esther.”

4.  Already with a reputation for being disputatious, Robert Fripp almost derailed everything with his tantrum to force the name: “Deuce Puce.”

3.  Peter Banks was immediately sacked by Squire after he stepped on Jon in a mad pique over his high-pitched laughter at the name he thought was decisively perfect: “I Dunno, Perhaps,…Sorta.”

2.  Being grounded and down-to-earth workaday blokes, kept this modest threesome from following their manager’s lead to name the band: “Gregory, Karl, & Keith: The Titanium Trio Treasure.”

– – – DRUM ROLL PLEASE – – –

And the NUMER ONE Worst PROG Band Name: Almost Chosen

1.  In a dream, Geddy Lee was told to name the band: “Sean Hannity.”  He only relented after Alex beat him back to sanity with a Stratocaster case!

 

 

PROG ON THE BRINY SEA?

June 4, 2015

TOP-TEN REASONS

TO TAKE ONE OF THEM PROG CRUISES

 

  1. Even after using the household food budget to purchase CDs,

I STILL have little Johnny’s college fund to take cool cruises!

 

  1. If YES plays Tales from the Topographic Ocean whilst we’re

bobbing through the Bermuda Triangle, my life will be complete!

 

  1. Due to “problems” with my financial lender, “Big Lucky

       Lucifardo” I thought a nice mini-vacation was in order.

 

  1. Just a “wibbly-wobbly” way to get to some darn fine Scuba waters.

 

  1. The Graf Zeppelin “Floatin’ Prog-Flight” was all booked.

 

  1. Where else can I sit next to Steve Hackett and complain about

Wolflight? *

 

  1. Frankly, that “Disco Cruise through the Straits of Hormuz”

just ain’t my cup of tea.

 

  1. My Doctor says I need more Dramamine in my diet!

 

  1. Really tired of being the oldest creepy guy at all the local

concerts.

 

– – Drum Roll, please –

 

And the Number One Reason

TO TAKE ONE OF THEM PROG CRUISES:

 

 

  1. FREE BUFFET 24 HOURS A DAY

 

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* In a not too funny Top-Ten I had to inject some true humor…i.e. Hackett’s new album is very good!!!

 

 

Like Winning The Prog Lottery :)

June 3, 2015

FIRST: An announcement!

Then: A smallish preview.

June 1st has arrived but my copy of BIG BIG TRAIN’s new EP Wassail has not yet winged its way (or, taken a train) to Castle        (n)EVERLAND.  That review will have to wait.

BUT, I’m happier than any time in my music appreciating life (‘cept when I got to see RUSH live) to announce that my hero Dr. Brad Birzer has added me to the reviewer list at the preeminent and best PROG web-site this side of the Sirens of Titan: PROGARCHY: POINTING TOWARD PROGHALLA – –   http://progarchy.com/  As Wayne and Garth would say (they did sing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, so that’s kinda prog-cred) I am not worthy.  I hope to post soon at PROGARCHY and also hope to fool them long enough that I’m not immediately defenstrated.  If you’re not reading, checking, following, and buying all the recommended albums that PROGARCHY showcases, than get with it.  :)   It doesn’t get any better than Brad Birzer and company.

Secondly, I will continue to try and post some old, retro-reviews on this personal blog of mine.  I’m going to be starting a feature I call “FLASHBACK-PROG” and will work my way through old classics that are prog or borderline prog.

Thanks Dr. B, you’re a class act and I’ll try not to let you down.

JW

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The (n)EVERLAND of PROG

Searching For Lost Chords

Stormfields

Christian Humanism in a Post-Modern World

Progarchy

Pointing toward Proghalla