Monday, May 25, 2015

Prog Rock with Charles Hazelwood (on BBC Radio + Online May/Early June 2015)

5/25/15 9:02PM

Part 3 featuring bass and John Wetton (May 25th)

Part 3 is up to stream.


5/18/15 5:54PM
Part 1 featuring drummers and Bill Bruford (May 11th)




This is a 4-part and I'm presuming 4-week series about progressive rock done by BBC Radio.

Hosted by classical conductor Charles Hazelwood.

The link above is from the 1st part, that originally aired and made to stream last week. The focus was somewhat about drummers and an extensive discussion with Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, UK, Earthworks, etc).

The link below is for the 2nd part which just aired and is now available to stream.

Part 2 featuring keyboards and Tony Banks (May18th)

I'll be sure and bump this when the last 2 parts are online,likely the next 2 Mondays.

As for my thoughts about it: I like it, although I wonder if the focus will almost entirely be about the 70's stuff, and for that matter, almost entirely British.


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

2010-2014: Mid-Decade Favorites

Now that over 5 years has past in this (Christian Calendar) decade, I have made a vague list of all my favorite albums released from 2010 through 2014 thus far.

Most of these are albums that I don't feel vastly different than the year/season I heard them, but there are still some here and there that weren't put as highly in the said year/season.

Am I missing some stuff? very likely, but I didn't want to include 100 albums on this thing, so I chose some over others, that in a year or 2 or 10, I may wonder why I didn't, etc.

Anyway, this is a vaguely accurate list at this time.

A few observations:

-2010 clearly has been my favorite or the deepest year for albums thus far. I guess we'll see by the end of 2019 or 2020, 2021, if 2010 ends up being the best year of the decade.

-Maybe due to time, but also just from an all-time favorite thing, I don't think thus far, the 2010's have quite the level of favorites or statement all-time classics that the 2000's do for me yet. Time will of course tell more about that, but I suppose I can try (but not promise, at least when) and do a 2000's favorite albums list, updated, just to compare. I actually think I did at the end of 2009, but not with blurbs. The blurbs of course are the time-consumer, and why these things take so long for me to finish. But given we are over 5 years past the 2000's decade, It may be worth doing an updated version of that decade, even just to see if my comparison of 2000's > 2010's seems accurate.

Or then again, I could just hold off on that and not finish that until 2020, lol. I'll see.



Typhoon - White Lighter (2013)

Epic record that is my favorite among the band's catalog. The dynamics, vocal harmonies and all the instrumentation. This album has so many great things going on. The gang drums and percussion, to the gang vocals, to even the inspiring lyrics.

I even bought this album on cassette tape and have enjoyed even more playing it in my car off and on.


The Family Crest - Beneath the Brine (2014)

Great chamber folk/rock album with a ton of instruments and members singing together. Really impressive production and well-thought of songwriting. The opening title track still being my favorite.

Twilight Cinema cover art
Major Parkinson - Twilight Cinema (2014)

A grower record, that is from a band whose singer threw me off at 1st, sounding a little like Liam Neeson, but with a little time, very much won me over. "Wheelbarrow" is about as good of a progressive rock tune I've heard in recent years. And "Impermanence" is hauntingly good. The rest of the songs I have more or less grown to like more with time. "A Cabin in the Sky" "Heart Machine" "Black River" all have new things to notice with repeated play.

Forest Park EP cover art
Forest Park - Forest Park [EP] (2012)

3 mesmerizing tracks that are all epic in length in a way. "Golden" is just so dreamy. The vocal chanting and trumpet harmonies could not be any better.


Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (2013)

"Get Lucky" is about as catchy a tune made this decade, and I enjoy it still, despite it being played constantly still some 2+ years later. The rest of this album is a very cool trip with a lot of synths and samples that take me on a journey (or tell a story). Nile Rodgers guitar work probably has as much to do with that as anything. Even some of the jazz-rock influence (on the drum work) on songs like "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Contact."

SMALL FAME cover art
Bend Sinister - Small Fame (2012)

A very catchy record that includes some of my Bend Sinister favorites like "Hot Blooded Man" "She Don't Give It Up," "My Lady," "Black Magic Woman" and the *epic* album closer "Quest for Love"


Mutemath - Odd Soul (2011)

An experiment or transition in lineup and sound slightly really worked wonders as this may be my favorite Mutemath album overall. The funky grooves are infectious as hell on a lot of this. I probably think most for that thumping bass in "Cavalries" and some others like "Allies" and 'Quarantine." Another favorite track is "All or Nothing" which features this amazing synth crescendo.


The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum (2011)

This was quite the achievement. 9 EPs, 4 tracks each, and each more or less in a different style. While the whole thing I don't find I listen to all-at-once, there so many good or favorite songs on here, that I still consider it one of the best releases this decade. The Indigo EP still being my favorite.

I also think time and seeing many of the songs live has added to it holding up some 4 years later.


Anathema - Weather Systems (2012)

The style is very much a continuation from We're Here Because We're Here from 2010, and this album is nearly as good. The 11-minute+ "Untouchable" suite it opens with, just alone, has me regard this album among this decade's best. But I do find I usually listen to this all-at-once, as I also love how it flows and the closing melancholy climax with "Internal Landscapes."

I have many memories of listening to this at work while having a bad day or something, and it immediately helping me.


22 - Flux (2010)

Unbelieve-ably catchy melodies on many tracks on this album. High energy, very tight compositions. Another debut album that has very schizophrenic styles that are combined incredibly well for the sake of the song. This album is filled with earworms, from "Gotodo" to "Kneel Estate" to "Plastik."

A very addictive album.


The Reign of Kindo - Play With Fire (2013)

The Reign of Kindo's 3rd album, one which I anticipated for many years, and was not disappointed with at all. From 'The Hero, The Saint, The Tyrant and the Terrorist," to "Dust," "Impossible World," and  "Feeling in the Night,"; and even the poppy "Sunshine" I all enjoy a lot, and find are among the best songs they've ever written. And then "I Hate Music" which is probably still my favorite song on this album, per the music being catchy and still proggy, along with lyrics that speak to me and I imagine many other fans of underground rock, and quality (or lack there of) of mainstream music



Arch / Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance (2011)

Great comeback album from basically the early-mid 80's Fates Warning. I am a big John Arch-fanboy, and I don't know if there's more to explain why I love this album so much. It is not quite as good, but still in league with that incredible A Twist of Fate EP from 2003.

A painting of a samurai warrior in black, red, and white with the name of the album and artist written around it.
Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz (2010)

My favorite Sufjan Stevens album by a fair amount. Even as long as the 25 minutes that "Impossible Soul" clocks in at, and its repetitive element, I find the length does not hurt it at all, as I enjoy its flow maybe as much as the melodies, and harmonies.

Also I don't hear any swallowing into-the-mic from Sufjan really.

Gatherer - So Be It cover art
Gatherer - So Be It (2012)

Original and schizophrenic. Combining many influences, the songs have loud, heavy riffs, and the gruff yet clean screaming/yelling of a sort really complement the instrumental work.

This band sort of has a style of music I've heard other bands do, but not work for me as well. I'm not sure if it's due to Gatherer's singing (and those other band's singing not working for me), or something else. But this album was good off the bat, and just kept growing with time.

"Regular Frontier" and "Thrive" are still my favorites and probably the most accessible, but the rest of the album is filled with songs that offer good things.


Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to Sing (2013)

My favorite Steven Wilson solo record, that while it does sound a lot like modern progressive rock and seems to reference a lot of his favorites from the 70's, I find the song writing and flow of this album worked rather well.

Even if I will probably always associate 2 of the tracks with Kevin Gilbert ("The Pin Drop") and Savatage ("Luminol")


The Red Paintings - The Revolution is Never Coming (2013)

Nearly a decade of time in the making. This album in some ways seems like they incorporated every and the kitchen sink into.

While the mixing can and still does bug me, there is so much wonderful stuff going on, even as political and preachy in some ways it can come across.

"Art Rock" in so many ways. The use of strings and dynamics are among my favorite points to this epic and ambitious work.


3 - The Ghost You Gave to Me (2011)

Time has only had this record age better. From the closing epic "Only Child" to energetic and catchy tunes like "React," "High Times," and "It's Alive."

I'm not sure this is my favorite 3 album, but I also can't say I prefer anything over it.


Jazzkamikaze - Supersonic Revolutions (2010)

Like Mew doing Jazz-pop. Song to song, every track works. Great energy, and hooks. The line/chorus "Music is My Heroin" I never can get out of my head.

This is really an anomaly with this band's sound as they tried doing more poppy/prog music instead of their jazz-centric and instrumental other albums. And they really did it well, but maybe it wasn't in the band's desire longterm.

But this one release they made has some of the best songs I've heard in recent years.

A number of people are swimming under water.
Foals - Total Life Forever (2010)

Foals are a band I've grown to love more and more, and this still remains my favorite of theirs (although I also love their other albums too). "Spanish Sahara" is so good, almost too good. The climax is just perfect and I could listen to that guitar solo for a lot longer than it goes on for.

Blue Blood, Black Gold, Afterglow, Miami, Alabaster, are also all great tunes with their blend of textured mathy catchy prog/psych rock.


Cloud Cult - Lightchasers (2010)

My favorite Cloud Cult album. I kind of see this as the result of all the great work they did on their previous albums, coming together all on one album. Some of the emotional moments totally win me over, like on "Running with the Wolves," the lyrics and guitar solo among other moments.

Also songs like "Room Full of People in Your Head" "Exploding People" they get crazy with the gang vocals and riffs.

And another favorite being "There's So Much Energy In Us" which is the closing piece, which is very much a classic epic closing piece. So much emotion comes out on that, which concludes the story of a sort. Very much the end of a great long journey.


East of the Wall - The Apologist (2011)

A tremendous progressive metal work. Ballsy riffs and incredible flow. The crescendos and dynamics stand out as much as anything else on this album. I probably still regard this as the best progressive metal album this current decade.


Vuvuzela - Hollow Choir (2012)

Waltzy-prog with piano and harp, that is very much less is more. Josh Benash is one of my favorite songwriters of the last decade, and like his band Kiss Kiss, this music works on many levels. The dynamic changes from loud to soft, fast to slow, etc, he and this album has a great knack for.

Man The Animal Cannon cover art
Brice Plays Drums - Man the Animal Cannon (2012)

3 amazing multi-part songs that all have many moments I enjoy. The groove and layers of guitar lines, bass and piano. Each song seems to tell its own story. This very much reminds of the classic progressive rock albums from the 70's like Relayer or Thick as a Brick among many others.


Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here (2010)

Some of my favorite music that goes very deep emotionally. Melancholy rock I don't know if I've ever enjoyed more at points on this album. And this is definitely a record I have grown to love more since its release year. The track "Angels Walk Among Us" maybe being my favorite.



Fjokra - Thoughtsteps [EP] (2014)

Very original blending of styles, that as schizophrenic as the music seems, combining 80's sounding pop with trance, big-band jazz, hip-hop and almost industrial-style metal; somehow the the songs totally work, and each in their own way. The music is all over the place in a good way.

Image of an African American female shoulders up with headgear consisting of multiple buildings and sculptures whilst wearing large triangular earrings she looks into the camera with robotic style metallic shoulder-wear. The background of the image is blue with it darkening away from her head with the title placed across the top of the cover and her name and the words "Suites II and III" of the bottom left hand side whilst four circles three of which are shaded in are placed on the bottom right hand side.
Janelle Monae - The Archandroid (2010)

A record that grew on me more and more. From the poppy and high energy tracks like "Cold War" and "Faster" to the epic narrative of "BabopbyeYa" are some of the many moments that I love about this album.


Lehto and Wright - Children's Songs (2010)

4 tracks, and over an hour in length. The 32-minute "Children's Songs" probably alone, makes this one of my favorite records this decade (or ever), with its incredible flow and how each movement transition really into the next. And the references from Bartok, to Chick Corea to Led Zeppelin.

But the other 3 songs also add a ton to how great this album is. Some of the folky acoustic and electric guitar work, with dynamics, and that Celtic tinge of storytelling that I am always charmed by. "Betsy Bell and Mary Gray" including many moments of that.

This is as good of a modern progressive rock album I have heard. It very much harkens back to the tradition of the likes of Yes or Jethro Tull, but somehow does it in its own way.


Kimbra - Vows (2011)

Like Hotel of the Laughing Tree's debut record, this album clearly was the result of many years of work and fine-tuning her songwriting craft.

It has so many moments to enjoy, from the upbeat energy of songs like "Cameo Lover" and "Two Way Street" to the twists and turns on the opening track "Settle Down" and "Call Me." Even ballads like "Wandering Limbs" "Withdraw" and "The Build Up."

Her cover over "Plain Gold Ring" and "Good Intent" among the rest of the record also stand out. I think I wrote at the end of 2011, this album is so good, I'm not sure if she'll ever be able to top it. But the good news is, it is a debut album and she has hopefully a long future ahead of her still.


Pepe Deluxe - Queen of the Wave (2012)

A 45-minute "Pop Opera" that the influences and styles are quite deep.Maybe the thing that stands out most about it is beyond the incredible amount of thought and production quality used in it's making, they managed to make a retro-sounding record still sounding modern somehow.

The Dick Dale influence shows up frequently, but it also is incredibly tastefully arranged. Also the vocal styles and arrangements, to the energy, hooks, instrumentation. That actually may be as big of a thing that makes it standout, given the organic and unique use of retro instruments including an actual Stalacpipe Organ which I guess they waited for a couple of years to access.

This album really is an album-lovers album with so many details included, that it likely will be offering new things to receive many years from now.


Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Terror and Everything After (2011)

Amazing record that has stood the test of time and many years of repeated play. It's one of my favorite energy records, that through the whole album, there's a handful of songs or sections that I always look forward to. From the solo and uptempo synths in "Weather Maps for Nikolai" to the harmonic and incredibly catchy melody in "Bad Canterbury" to more or less every track keep offering new and enjoyable things.

This record seems like the result of many years of perfecting songwriting ideas and chops that it came out as a monster debut album that is a statement record and one I likely will always love.

Epilogue cover art
The River Empires - The River Empires (Epilogue) (2010)

This album still seems claims my taste as the most ambitious and maybe original record this current decade. Why? I'm not sure, but part of it being so grand and with big ideas and big-in scale. Part of it telling this sort of creative story thematically. I mean musically, it is a great blend of acoustic styles of bluegrass, chamber or baroque, singer/songwriter, cinematic and/or field recordings, and progressive folk/rock/pop etc. Which I suppose other albums have explored as many if not more styles, but I guess I can't say I was won over by them as much.

It's an 88-minute album, that actually doesn't *feel* nearly as long, in that I honestly listen to it and don't feel like stopping it until it's over.

The concept of a Scifi or fantasy story of some characters adventures (2 boys finding a bottle that changes their lives forever?) in the forest? country-environment? a circus? out in nature? a jungle?, etc all come to mind each time I hear it, yet it still reveals new things after many times hearing it.

And the songwriting is rather memorable. The themes and different melodies or string arrangements are just a couple of things that come to mind.

All of that and more I guess why at this point, this album stands out the most over the 1st 5 years of the 2010's. I guess we'll see by the end of 2019 (or 2020/2021/2022 if anything has grabbed me any more, but if not, this is a record I'll likely always love).

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Video Update/Rehash (18 minutes)



A new video on a day-off. Some rehash about the Rush show in St.Paul last week, The Color of Air and The Music Life podcasts and Baliset, along with some thoughts about my continued growing interest in XTC and their catalog per the Benefit Concert the other night.

I at least did use the timer this time, which now gives me an idea as to how to preferably use it, in that not to stop at the moment it goes off, but to offset the amount of time for the video by a few minutes. In that I set it for 14 minutes, but it ended up over 18. So, if the goal is 15 or less, set the timer for around 10-12, etc.

Mutemath - Vitals (2014-2015)

On the surface, this seemed a little too cryptic to follow. But I'll admit, I didn't put the 2 and 2 together with their revealing images this past week to actually SPELL IT OUT(now I have, and by cropping the image below).

I still say some more specific, credible detail about this should be included. A release date, or even just by saying "Our new album is called Vitals" or something.

But whatever, I'm going with this and the spelling-out seems to be clear enough. I'm not sure if rateyourmusic would love that, although with titles, they typically don't care (it's more of the artwork, release date, etc being added later).

When all that good stuff like release date, track list, likely the real album cover art (I doubt it'll be the pic there), I'll be bumping this entry of course.

Facebook link

#MMLP4 = VITALS




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mutemath - New songs live

5/21/15 6:02PM

The new/upcoming 4th full-length album may be titled "Vitals"..but then again, it could be a reference that it is *vital* information or something referencing those images there or maybe a song title on the upcoming Mutemath album.

A user on there claims that is the title, however, I can't find anything that actually verifies their credibility being a manager or or some inside connection with Mutemath. But, odds are they are correct with the below post.

I'm sure that info will come soon along with a track list, release date, artwork, and at that point, i'll start a whole new entry of course.
Facebook post

#MMLP4 = VITALS




Mutemath posted a new pic and a video of drummer Darren King the other day on their Facebook

Which leads many to speculate a new album announcement isn't too far away. So with that, I noticed
a guy on Incubus fans forum shared a bunch of YouTube links of new songs over the last few years that likely will be included on their upcoming record.

Where We Once Were




Hit Parade



Startle


Just Human / That's All You Get


Monument



Stratosphere



Used To



Composed


Light Up

What the Hell: Yes-My Album Rankings (+link to Stereogum's List)



Stereogum Article by Phil Freeman

I'm not sure if this list and article was inspired by the sad news about Chris Squire's Leukemia diagnosis the other day, but if so, I can follow why.

The list this guy ranked and wrote about there is of course another 1 of these *lists* and has some baffling things about it like The Ladder, Tormato and especially Drama being as low as they are while Talk and Big Generator (and the highly overrated 90125 in my minority opinion) being as high as they are.

But I'll credit it for at least ranking Relayer as high as it did and also I can't disagree with putting Yessongs on top.

So I'm deciding to do a ranking of my own, but I'm not including the live albums; but I can just say I find Yessongs one of the best albums Yes ever released and best live albums ever. And Yesshows to be an album I do like, maybe because it has both "The Gates of Delirium" and "Ritual" on it.

However I am including Keys to Ascension 2 namely since it includes a studio recording of one of my favorite Yes tracks in the epic "Mind Drive."

Some of the others like Keys to Ascension,  the BBC Sessions and a few others like the Remixes, etc I either have not heard, nor even if they include music that was not released on 1 of the proper studio records, and/or live. Or it just has not been in my listening experience all that much at this point.


21. Open Your Eyes
20. Heaven and Earth
19. Union
18. Big Generator
17. 90125
16. Fly From Here
15. Magnification
14. Talk
13. ABWH

----------------------------------------------------
12. Yes
11. The Ladder
10. Tormato
9. Time and a Word
8. Keys to Ascension 2
7. Going for the One
6. The Yes Album
5. Close to the Edge
4. Tales from Topographic Oceans
3. Fragile
2. Drama
1. Relayer

Solo Records (short list)

These are probably my 4 favorite solo albums from members of Yes. I own many others, but like Phil Freeman's comment about so many of them, I'm not going to rank the rest as it gets too scattered then. I don't even own any Flash or Strawbs or you name it if you want to take more than 1-degree of separation (like UK..who I am a fan of though, or Asia who I'm not really into anything by..or Patrick Moraaz solo and other collaborations, which include work with The Moody Blues, etc).

4. Bruford - One of a Kind
3. Steve Howe - Beginnings
2. Jon Anderson - Olias of Sunhillow
1. Chris Squire - Fish Out of Water

I do not own, nor have heard any of Rick Wakeman's solo records sans for the White Rock record. Although  by many accounts the Six Wives LP is his best, also maybe not coincidentally like Squire, Anderson and Howe (or even Steve Hackett for that matter), his 1st solo record.

Mike Vennart - The Demon Joke (2014-2015)

5/21/15 7:57AM
Link/Story about new track "Don't Forget the Joker" new ballad.

A little simpler tune, but the emphasis on the lyrics makes sense. "Centre Piece" of the album lyrically, etc.



5/7/15 12:02PM


Stream the new and improved version of"Operate"

Some stuff in that article mentions the retail release date of The Demon Joke being on June 22nd per Superball Music.

I actually agree with Mike's understandably biased comments about Operate, as it is heavy and catchy. Will it reach a wide/wider audience than Oceansize's most accessible tracks? Maybe if it received the right amount of promotion, but of course to expect that would be silly.

Yep, 89.3, The Needle Drop, Consequence of Sound, Pitchfork, Sound Opinions, All Songs Considered, etc and their trend-rock consumers could and very well would go for Operate and the rest of this record, but I might suspect I'd have a better chance inventing my own kind of ginger beer than that actually happening.

Regardless, Operate might very well be the catchiest most melodic song Mike's ever written and it certainly only adds to the optimism for this record coming to the pledgemusic backers in only a few weeks.


3/24/15 4:59PM

"So. That’s why the album is called ‘The Demon Joke.'"

edit: a lot of details about the album and the title, and the background of the recording of the record, for those who pledged.

Album Art link






3/14/15 4:01PM

Not a ton of news, but per Mike's Twitter, the "Target" (or Goal?) was met within 5 hours I guess, lol.

edit: 5 HOURS, not days,

Also a new official Facebook Page was set up.

https://www.facebook.com/vennartvennart

3/6/15 4:48PM

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/11279

Just pledged and received immediate download of the track "Infatuate"
pretty nice.

Looks like the CD comes on May 25th and Vinyl June 15th.

Title? "Divert Crisis" or something else? S/T?.kinda doubt it.

Also unclear about the actual "Goal" percentage as they typically show on Pledgemusic Campaigns. Maybe there is none? it just says 80 days left.

1/11/14 9:24AM

Full length debut record coming soon. If you follow his his twitter page he's been talking about it for awhile. It looks like this record will be released on Vinyl too.

http://mikevennart.tumblr.com/

Divert Crisis

Having spent nearly 5 years keeping myself occupied - and having a little too much fun - playing guitar for the beautiful Biffy Clyro, I’ve spent an awful lot of time working out exactly what kind of music I want to make. I’m happy to report that my first ‘solo’ record is on the way. 
Those inverted commas are important - an old friend has been of invaluable help in pushing these songs up the hill. Countless sketches were made in posh hotel rooms in every corner of the globe, and some were then given focus and cohesion in the form of vocal melodies written by my former Oceansize cohort, Steve Durose. We’re kind of like a weird-rock Elton and Bernie. 
The record also features keyboards from none other than Gambler, former Oceansize guy and my partner in British Theatre. Drums were beat with exceptional vigour by Dean ‘Denzel’ Pearson. His playing is so good it’s actually kind of hilarious.
Upon the release of this full length album, I’ll be taking these songs - with these very men - on tour.
Expect announcements of shows as and when we’re allowed to reveal them.
It’s been a long journey, dreaming up even the impetus for much of this material. I’m glad i arrived at a point where i’m once again making music that i want to hear.
The record itself? It is a beautiful, noisy, fuzzy, epic, heavy, stupid, annoying, confrontational journey. It is fucking ace. 
I can’t wait to get it out there.

MJV


x

2/7/14 10:29AM
New song/single from ex-Oceansize frontman Mike Vennart. I have no idea if this is his focus now, more than British Theatre, or if this will be like Josh Benash from Vuvuzela, where Mike will still be active doing British Theatre music and work on his own solo music. Granted, we haven't heard much if anything from British Theatre for over a year, which is puzzling and might suggest this solo work of his will be more of his focus, along with playing guitar with Biffy Clyro live in Europe.

The song itself is okay. Not blowing me away, but it's not bad, and may grow a bit.

edit: I'm digging this song a little more now. It reminds me a little of the music from Self Preserved..

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

XTC on David Letterman 6/30/89 + Tonight Letterman/XTC Tribute-in Minnesota



So fitting to find this, although I recall once before, probably last year finding it after the XTC tribute.

But tonight, May 20th, 2015, on the day/night of David Letterman's final Late Show/Late Night hosting show (as far as we know), a friend of mine tracks this video down of XTC on there on June 30th, 1989. On "Late Night" on NBC, the show I preferred like many of David Letterman's.

But also it so happens that tonight is the 3rd? Annual XTC Tribute/Benefit at the Icehouse in Minneapolis.

So, this could not be more fitting. I'm going to head out now and have some dinner at The Icehouse finally (inspired by Dara Moscowitz-Grumdahl's endorsements I recall on WCCO Radio).


Timbre - Sun & Moon (2014-2015)

5/20/15 6:43PM



Facebook link

She opens for of all people, Ben Folds on Saturday 5/23. Hopefully a lot of new fans will be made from that.

5/15/15 5:03PM

For what it's worth:
It's gone up to #5 on rateyourmusic.com's 2015 Chart



4/7/15 11:25AM

It's finally released today, 4/7/15. The Digital release on various sites including of course Her Bandcamp which is Embedded Below and the money goes DIRECTLY TO TIMBRE.

Also the DOUBLE COMPACT DISC PER CDBABY.COM

I've been listening to this double album a bit more since my initial posting a couple of weeks ago, and can say I enjoy a lot of it and it should be pretty high in the upcoming midseason countdown list. I also hopefully can make a YouTube Video review about it soon with some hopefully somewhat brief comments.




3/27/15 5:30AM

It was sent as a download the Indiegogo backers yesterday, so I received my download and gave it a go of course.  The track list breaks down below:

As far as a take: this is an EPIC record, not only, but of course a lot just due to the length.

My early highlights would definitely include "Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun," "Singing and Singing," "Chicago Pier," "Song of the Sun," and "Your Hands Hold Home."on Sun. On Moon, "As the Night" for sure. "St.Cecilia" I do like, although I may have to revisit that live version below, as it definitely is an extensive.

The Moon stuff I can tell will have to grow some, which I'm unclear especially about the extensive all-Choral piece "Sunset (O Lux Beata Trinitas."

I'm going to have to spend quite a bit of time with this, and lord knows Timbre and all the people she had help her with this, did. But as far as addictive-ness, I'm wondering about the Moon portion as much as Sun. Sun definitely includes a lot of Timbre's traditional style of music along with some new things. Moon is more classical/chamber/baroque/orchestral and operatic which the Opera or Opera-music can be gray in feeling for me at times.

I dunno, there's definitely a ton to take-in and an extensive amount of brilliant music on this album, which I was thinking it almost could be looked at like some other double records I like, such as Marillion's Happiness is the Road or something, as 2 companion but still SEPARATE records really.

Is it going to be a favorite 2014-2015 record for me? it certainly could be rather high on the countdown list, but the jury is out still for me early on, as it is a lot to compare and measure up. I mean it is the blood, sweat and tears for Timbre for the better part of 5 years, so go figure it's such a Magnum Opus. Perhaps my ability to love extensively long works of music has become more picky, conservative or at least more challenging recently?

I dunno. I do know I love a lot of this, and it includes some amazing stuff. "Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun" alone is about as proggy as anything I've ever heard from Timbre, which is worth the price of admission alone for this album.



Sun
1. Sunrise 3:38
2. Song of the Sun 5:23
3. Your Hands Hold Home 8:18
4. The Persistence of First Love 2:55
5. Singing and Singing 7:21
6. Of Waving Woods and Waters Wild 2:32
7. I Am in the Garden 7:40
8. Chicago Pier 6:27
9. Morning Birds 2:00
10. Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun 5:50

52:04

 photo Timbre - Sun amp Moon - Timbre Moon Panel-1800px-by-1800px_zpse4stxz0d.jpg
Moon
11. Sunset (O Lux Beata Trinitas) 10:57
12. Of Cloudless Climes and Starry Skies 4:17
13. St Cecilia: An Ode to Music 13:25
14. As the Night 8:17
15. Sanctus 4:34
16. Day Boy: Photogen Sees the Moon 16:39

58:09

Total Time:
110:13
or
1 Hour, 50 minutes 13 seconds

3/17/15 4:56PM

Tracklist is posted there. and the listing on her bandcamp.

The below tracklist is 16 tracks, so I'm wondering if both "Sun" and "Moon" both include 8 tracks each?

I guess we'll find out soon enough.


http://timbre.bandcamp.com/




1. Sunrise
2. Song of the Sun 05:23
3. Your Hands Hold Home
4. The Persistence of First Love
5. Singing and Singing
6. Of Waving Woods and Waters Wild
7. I Am in the Garden
8. Chicago Pier
9. Morning Birds
10. Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun
11. Sunset (O Lux Beata Trinitas)
12. Of Cloudless Climes and Starry Skies
13. St Cecilia: An Ode to Music
14. As the Night
15. Sanctus
16. Day Boy: Photogen Sees the Moon

Sun & Moon is the exploration of an idea: no art exists on its own. Art always influences art. This album explores the deep intrinsic relationship between popular music and classical music. “Sun” features music written and performed by my band, while “Moon” features classical music I have written for solo harp, harp & oboe, orchestra, and choir. 

Playing with the ideas of reflection, shadow, light, and darkness, the two halves of Sun & Moon reflect one another, mirroring the relationship between these two art forms. Many of the musical themes pass back and forth between the two sides. A four-note motif begins “Sunrise” and ends “Sunset”, representing the space between light and dark, where everything blends together. This motif can be heard throughout both sides of the album, constantly blurring the thin separation between them. 
With Sun & Moon I strive to paint vividly with the light, the joy, the passion of modern commercial music, and the darkness, depth, and richness of classical music, and show that together they can communicate beauty in greater depths than either can alone. My hope is that through experiencing these two languages of art, listeners will have a new, deep, and visceral experience of beauty, for beauty is more than an idea, but is a reality that is meant to be deeply known and experienced. 
-Timbre 


“Your eyes, they are so black. Darkness can’t see, of course. I will be your eyes, and teach you to see.” - The Romance of Photogen and Nycteris, George MacDonald
credits
releases 07 April 2015

3/10/15 8:23PM

New song "Song of the Sun"..pretty great, love the vocal harmonies.

http://www.utne.com/arts/song-premiere-timbre-song-of-the-sun.aspx

Some info about the record: Sun is the chamber/folk material, and Moon has the classical work.


2/23/15 7:15PM

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! SUN & MOON will be released world wide April 7th!!!!





4/5/14 8:30PM

not new, but this is amazing. The instrumental section around 3:40 is breathtaking. Can't wait to hear this record.




6/20/13 8:47AM
Today is my birthday, and wow, what a cool way to wake up and find out Timbre somehow raised nearly $5,000 in the last 24 hours to reach her goal!

$10,005

I suspect the last few pledges may have been rather large, and to push her over the hump being just $5 past the $10K

Regardless, this is awesome to see and look forward to. Now I almost expect a masterpiece, which I'm sure Timbre is capable of, but with the needed amount of cash, this record can be made purely as she sees fit, and thus, that much greater.


6/8/13 11:39AM
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-timbre-record-a-double-disc-album-that-will-unite-two-worlds-of-music/x/2421326

Keep at it Timbre! $5800 left to go in the next 12 days. You Can Do It!.



Just to remind people who don't know Timbre, it's songs like this show how brilliant her music is.




5/7/13 5:55AM

the write-up below is from the Indiegogo Campaign. $10K in about a month-and-a-half. I think she can do it, but $10K is not nothing.

It sounds and I'm sure will be amazing. Double album at that. And it'll be coming in 2014 of course.

"St.Cecilia" sounds like it would be worth having this album for alone.





"Sun and Moon"

Art does not exist alone... art creates art.

This is the idea behind my newest project, "Sun and Moon". This double disc record explores the deep connection between classical music and modern songwriting. One disc, "Sun" will feature songs written with my band, songs about friendship, love, grief, nature, even a song based on a children's fairy tale (more on that later!). The other disc, "Moon", will feature a variety of classical music that I've written, from a harp and oboe duet, to a piece for full orchestra, choir, harp, and solo soprano (me!).

Both discs will feature many of the same musicians. Themes and ideas will pass back and forth between them, playing with ideas of dark and light, day and night. My desire is to show that classical music and "popular music" are deeply connected, as they have always been. Classical music and popular music each have their depth, their energies, their forms of communication, and together they can speak to us in even deeper and more beautiful ways.

I grew up in a completely classical world, listening to only classical and choral music until I was in my teens. I have sung classically from as early as I could stand up and make sounds, and have played harp classically for 20 years. I have been composing for a few years as well, and have had my pieces performed in cathedrals all over the world, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and St Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have also performed vocally with composer Eric Whitacre in Carnegie Hall for the premiere of his choral cycle, "The City and The Sea."

 Over the past 7 years, I have slowly found my way into a new world of popular music, writing songs  with my band and playing with a ridiculously diverse collection of bands, from people like mewithoutYou, the Chariot, Brooke Waggoner, to bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Jack White of the White Stripes. I have found a deep undercurrent of passion and art that connects these worlds, and I want to help my listeners plunge into the depth of those waters with me. 

I believe this album will introduce many listeners to classical music in a new way, in a way that can be attached to and felt. I also believe this album will take listeners into different depths of spiritual and emotional experience, as the different kinds of sounds take them to new places. I believe in this record, and I know I will be more proud of it than anything I have done yet! 

I also believe that the way we think about making music is changing. Music is not a commodity to be made and sold and consumed. Music is a form of deep expression, something that moves between souls, back and forth. I am so passionate about the idea of partnering with listeners. I am making this for you, to communicate with you, to share with you... and I cannot make it without you.

WHAT WE NEED:

Our ideal budget for this album $20,000. That seems like such a big number, but recording an orchestra and choir(100 +people) is not something an independent artist often undertakes. We have set our minimum goal at $10,000, but to be able to go beyond just tracking and actually master, print, and promote this album, we need $20,000. We have already invested around $5,000 into it so far, and had to stop due to lack of funding. We will be starting back up in June if this fundraiser is successful!

Money will go towards:

-Tracking in Nashville and in Cincinatti

-Paying musicians (orchestra, choir, guest musicians)

-Travel

-Engineering and mixing fees

-Mastering

-Printing (super expensive for a double disc)

-Artwork

-Promotion 

The CRAZY thing with this whole project is that fact that I even have the opportunity to write for an orchestra and for a world-renowned a capella choir. I have a beautiful relationship with my alma-mater, Trevecca University, and their music department is working on this project with me. So few composers get the chance to even hear their music performed. This is a ridiculously rare opportunity and I am SO grateful! It should cost $50,000 or more to record 2 different orchestral pieces and two a capella choral pieces, in freaking CATHEDRAL. The fact that we are able to do this for only $20,000 is a little crazy. 

WHAT WE WANT TO GIVE YOU:

All perks include early download of album! 

In keeping with this idea that art creates art, we have partnered with friends from all over the U.S. to create unique pieces of art inspired by "Sun and Moon", which you can claim with a donation to our project! There will also be crochet art made by our cellist, Patrick Rush. We will be using crochet lace doily designs as apart of the album artwork, and those doilies are among the rewards!

Here are the art pieces we have available:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151581735649165.1073741825.16237174164&type=1&l=3363e0a8c6

We also have lots of other goodies, including early downloads of the album, cover songs, house shows, even a piece of my harp. hahaha. but for real.

Just to be clear, we still have at least a year of work to do on this album, including a symphony premiere in november, which will be recorded for the album. All art rewards will be sent out once the fundraiser is over, but all music rewards will be dependent on the album release date. (approx July 2014)

If we don't reach our goal, we will keep working to put this album out ourselves! It might just take a while longer...

 More About The Album: 

"Sun and Moon" will explore many ideas of dark and light, of the mysteries of the unknown and the joy of exploring those places. 

Two snapshots of the album:

"Nycteris Sees the Sun" will be a song on the "Sun" album, and is inspired by a story written by George McDonald, "Day Boy and Night Girl- the Romance of Photogen and Nycteris" (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/macdonald/daynight/files/daynight.html) Photogen has lived entirely in light, and Nycteris has lived entirely in darkness, not knowing the other half of reality even exists. They meet, and must learn to see and love what they fear in the other. Nycteris, the girl, decides that the sun is more real than the moon, that she must KNOW this light, even if it destroys her.  My interpretation of her story expresses her decision to move from the dark of the cave that she knows into the pain and the glory of light. The music moves from a quiet, dark, contemplative sound then suddenly bursts into the frenzy of her joy and pain. Its one of my favourite songs I've ever written!! 

"St Cecilia: an Ode to Music" will be on the "Moon" album, and is written for full orchestra, choir, harp, and soprano solo. It was premiered in april 2012 and was the most incredible night of my life thus far. It explores the language of music, and again draws parallels between two worlds, this time between the natural and the spiritual. Here are my liner notes about the piece from that night:

 "St Cecilia" encompasses a series of concepts that are incredibly important to me as a composer and as an individual. It speaks of the transcendent nature, the spiritual language of music that reaches beyond what can be seen with our eyes or felt with our hands.

 “St Cecilia” also touches on a concept that has enraptured me: the unspeakable Name of God. In ancient Israel, "YHWH" represented the name of God that was beyond speaking, unknowable. Ephesians 3:19 says that we can "know this love that surpasses knowledge". That idea has always resonated with me, that we can know what is unknowable. We cannot fully quantify God, but we can know Him. We cannot fully define God, but we can experience Him. I think this is the unknowable knowing.

 I believe that if God exists, He is the ultimate form of all that is good. He is Love, He is Light, He is Joy. What I centered on for this piece is the idea that He is Beauty. All that is beautiful is a broken form of Him. And so, when we make something beautiful, we are pointing to and experiencing Him.

 These ideas came together for me in this... When we make music, music that is truly beautiful, we are speaking His Name. In song, we can speak the Unspeakable Name of God. We can participate in the mystery of His beauty, and actually hear Him sing back to us.

 St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians. Christian legend says that as she was martyred, she sang praises to God. She died singing, and heard angels singing with her. I was struck with this, the closeness of the two worlds, joined by song. The piece begins with a plea for her to pray for us, with the hope that we too would experience God and touch heaven through music as she did.

 Other Ways You Can Help

Please use the share tools to pass this around to your friends! Together, we can make something completely new!


3/15/13 11:00PM

1 of the new songs "Chicago Pier," which sounds outstanding.


Timbre - Chicago Pier - Whalehead Sessions from Love Greatly on Vimeo.

11/9/12 2:09PM




http://www.facebook.com/TimbreHarp/posts/10151242278454165

I am excited to announce that WE GO INTO THE STUDIO TOMORROW!!!! We're driving to Cincinatti tonight and in the morning, Mason will start putting down our sweet beats!! Haha ;) Thus begins our new album "Sun and Moon" !!!!!!! #timbresunandmoon

 Pretty excited to hear this. 2010's Little Flowers is breathtaking at times, and having seen her twice this past year in my home state, including just over a month ago where she played 1 of the new pieces, my optimism about this record couldn't be higher.

The only thing is, she mentioned to myself and my friend John who was there as well, she has enough music for a double album, but she also didn't really know for sure when it would be coming out. Perhaps due to the fact she may want to release a double album, it may take all of next year to finish, thus perhaps a 2014 release.

But regardless, it's great news she is finally going into the studio to record it.
She is rather active on social media, so I imagine updates will be happening and bumps of this entry in the coming week/months when more info is certain. 

Very cool that both her and Brooke Waggoner have albums coming soon, for my and others female orchestral-oriented pop/rock/etc music fix. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Janelle Monáe - Yoga [Single, + THE EEPHUS EP]

5/19/15 5:33PM
Yoga live on The Tonight Show

Song of the Summer? possibly.


3/31/15 10:34PM
mtv.com story

Story about the EP

This is a single, that is to be on THE EEPHUS EP coming out on May 6th, which is I guess a compilation of songs from different artists from Wondaland Records and Epic (records).

I get the sense these are artists Janelle is a fan of and supports (and mentors(. 1 being Jidenna whose featured on this new Janelle track, and presumably, on the compilation as well.

As for the song, it's not bad, although the lyrics may a bit much ultimately. But it's still catchy, and would have fit well on The Electric Lady.




It seems that she may have been involved with some of the other songs on this upcoming EP, which I may have to check out (beyond "Yoga") from what she talks about in this video below.

Get Well Chris Squire!



USA Today story

He has been diagnosed with Leukemia, which for what it is worth, seems to be a form of cancer that I notice can be beaten (more than others), but ANY cancer of course is unfortunate and a concern.

He has played every single Yes concert since their inception in 1968  I guess, and the tour dates they have scheduled, assuming they still go on, will likely have a replacement.

That story says Billy Sherwood will fill-in for their Summer tour dates with Toto.

I don't imagine I will be attending any of the shows this Summer nor Cruise to the Edge anyway, but for those who do, they will have to keep this and Chris's health in mind.

All the rock and (prog) stars of my time and before are not so young, this stuff is bound to come up with some of them. It's a bit scary to think all those musician heroes of mine one day will not be around. And the members of Yes certainly are in there, even with Peter Banks passing a few years ago of course.

But for now, I do hope Chris is able to do well with treatment and can beat this of course. And who knows, maybe him and Jon Anderson can let by-gones be by-gones when something like this comes up.


Mother Falcon - Good Luck Have Fun (2014-2015)

Story



This album is being released on August 14th per that story link above.

Details beyond that? not a ton, although I suppose reading through their social media more may reveal more of them. But when a track list, etc comes, I'll bump this entry again.

I enjoy both of their previous albums quite a bit, probably their debut Alhambra more so. They are one of a handful of bands who make these great chamber folk/pop/rock, almost wall-of-sound compositions that I totally go for.

This new track I like, although it sounds a little more stripped down, almost like Miracles of Modern Science in a way (the mandolin?), although I recall there were some parts of You Knew, their last record that was like that.

The Velvet Teen - All Is Illusory (2014-2015)

5/19/15 6:10AM
Stream "The Giving In"

The 1st single.

Meh, it's okay I guess, hopefully with some time and/or within the record, it'll grab me more.

Preorder


3/11/15 5;10AM
Release June 30th, 2015 on Top Shelf Records.
http://www.topshelfrecords.com/discography/126

This is 1st full-length from TVT in nearly a decade, and their last album Cum Laude, I actually have listened to maybe 3 or 4 times, although I believe I own a copy of it on cd.

The Velvet Teen at this point, have 1 record I absolutely adore, in 2004's almost purely piano-driven album Elysium (that I would call rather epic and prog in a lot of ways). There other records, I can only say I'm luke warm about. But, in fairness, I haven't spent a ton of time with them (even though I think I own most if not all, at admittedly, affordable prices on cd).

I don't expect anything as amazing as Elysium with this album, however, given the amount of time and presumably work that has led to this new record, I do have some optimism for this album. I just question whether they'll ever make a record like Elysium again, at least stylistically.

We’re elated to announce that we’ll be releasing a new album from The Velvet Teen this summer. They’re one of our favorite bands and as long-time followers of their music, this album has us the most excited of any to date — it’s an incredibly dynamic album and the perfect culmination of everything this band is truly great at (which, frankly, is a lot). If you’re a fan of bands on our roster like toe, Enemies, Braid, Crash of Rhinos and Prawn, then (and I can’t convey this enough) you’re going to love this band and this album. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.

The forthcoming album is titled All Is Illusory and will be released on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. All Is Illusory marks the band’s fourth album and is the long-awaited and elegant follow-up to 2006’s Cum Laude! that was recorded and co-produced by Steve Choi (Rx Bandits, Peace’d Out) and Roger Camero (No Motiv, Peace’d Out). From its gorgeous, swirling electronics to its harder, angular, ’90s-leaning flourishes of grunge, indie and emo, All Is Illusory is a welcome return for a band whose varied influences are still very much intact after its short silence.

If you’re able to, be sure to see the band on their current west coast tour around SXSW!

03.10 - Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go Records
 03.11 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
 03.12 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
 03.13 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
 03.14 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
 03.15 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
 03.19 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Cheer Up Charlies - Flowerbooking/AV Club Party
 03.19 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Soho Lounge - Topshelf Records Party
 03.20 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Red 7 - Brooklyn Vegan Day Party
 03.20 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Red 7 - Flowerbooking Day Party
 03.21 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ The Highball - Shiner Party
 03.22 - Dallas, TX @ Spillover Music Festival
 03.24 - Denver, CO @ Moon Room
 03.25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
 03.26 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
 03.27 - Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
 03.28 - Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
 03.29 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Get notified when pre-orders for All Is Illusory become available»

1. Sonreo
2, Eclipses
3, Manifest
4. Pecos
5. All Is Illusory
6. The Giving In
7. Church or State
8. Taken Over
9. You Were the First
10. The Veil Between
11. Gtra

http://topshelfrecords.tumblr.com/tagged/all-is-illusory

We’re elated to announce that we’ll be releasing a new album from The Velvet Teen this summer. They’re one of our favorite bands and as long-time followers of their music, this album has us the most excited of any to date — it’s an incredibly dynamic album and the perfect culmination of everything this band is truly great at (which, frankly, is a lot). If you’re a fan of bands on our roster like toe, Enemies, Braid, Crash of Rhinos and Prawn, then (and I can’t convey this enough) you’re going to love this band and this album. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.

The forthcoming album is titled All Is Illusory and will be released on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. All Is Illusory marks the band’s fourth album and is the long-awaited and elegant follow-up to 2006’s Cum Laude! that was recorded and co-produced by Steve Choi (Rx Bandits, Peace’d Out) and Roger Camero (No Motiv, Peace’d Out). From its gorgeous, swirling electronics to its harder, angular, ’90s-leaning flourishes of grunge, indie and emo, All Is Illusory is a welcome return for a band whose varied influences are still very much intact after its short silence.

If you’re able to, be sure to see the band on their current west coast tour around SXSW!

03.10 - Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go Records
03.11 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
03.12 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
03.13 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
03.14 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
03.15 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
03.19 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Cheer Up Charlies - Flowerbooking/AV Club Party
03.19 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Soho Lounge - Topshelf Records Party
03.20 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Red 7 - Brooklyn Vegan Day Party
03.20 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Red 7 - Flowerbooking Day Party
03.21 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ The Highball - Shiner Party
03.22 - Dallas, TX @ Spillover Music Festival
03.24 - Denver, CO @ Moon Room
03.25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
03.26 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
03.27 - Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
03.28 - Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
03.29 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza