Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Hotel Junk Box (2016-2017)


Release date as it says below is Friday June 30th.

A few months back, they shared the new song "Electric City Rivalry" which can be streamed/downloaded at

And as the track list shows for Hotel Junk Box below, is part of this record.

I am biased as I love these guys and a great number of their songs. And namely, consider Terror and Everything After as an all-time classic (debut album). So naturally, my interest is rather high for any new music from them. 2015's New World Sundown I did like a good amount of as well of course.

I guess though my take on what this album may be is sort of a combination of music from different times. Kind of like Enchant's Time Lost or even Nuts and Bolts from Kevin Gilbert in some ways.

The 5 new songs, including "Electric City Rivalry," I see is where HOTLT is at now.

The b-sides and demos? sure, some gems may be found.

One song that I likely posted in the past about in here, but is probably worth mentioning again being "Son of the Iron Sheep" can be streamed and downloaded on their Bandcamp Page Here. I recall loving a ton and felt was as good as much of the Terror and Everything After work.  That track is not on this album, however, per the post below, "Boomerang" is.

I just recall between adding "Weather Maps for Nikolai" and "Son of the Iron Sheep" I was totally thinking these guys could do no wrong. And those were all during that period, which is why "Boomerang" may be the track I'm most looking forward to on this album,

But, we'll see how this goes. I'm certainly excited to get all these new tunes to hear from these guys, and as the end of that post says, they are working on their next record, which I wonder if the 5 new songs on Hotel Junk Box fit more in with this approach/style, and their next release will be something a little different? who knows. I'm also just happy they are still releasing and making music (per many other very talented bands not able or even wanting to, etc).

I'll also be sure to bump this next week or a little later with any more thoughts (or a video?). Unfortunately, I'm still amidst the process of moving my stuff into storage. My Social Media presence isn't 100%, etc. Hopefully come July though I will have more time.  But from now until as it turns out, July 3rd 6AM, I am supposed to be focusing on Boxing things up, purging, cleaning, etc.

Moving is a bitch of course.

Our new album, 'Hotel Junk Box', will arrive 6/30. The album features five new songs, as well as 14 rarities and b-sides from the Hotel vault. We wanted to compile a lil somethin' for all you cats who have been around since the beginning. The majority of these rarities have never been released. The five new jams were recorded over the past year or so, featuring AJ, Brandon, Dan A., Dan B., Jon, and Justin. Fevers and Electric City were written during the Old Dominion era, Boomerang was a Terror leftover, The Fool was a New World Sundown leftover, and The Escape Artist dates way back to '06. We 2017ified them and we're really proud with how they turned out. We hope you guys enjoy the tunes. In the meantime, we'll keep working on LP5. 

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1. Fevers
2. Electric City Rivalry
3. Boomerang
4. The Fool
5. The Escape Artist
6. Duo (Demo)
7. Bad Canterbury (Live Workshop Demo)
8. Aging Archimedes (Acoustic Demo)
9. Make Waves (Demo)
10. The General's Girl (Acoustic Demo)
11. Lazarus (Demo)
12. Howlin' Lessons (Acoustic Demo)
13. Winterside (Live Demo)
14. Temple Arms (Acoustic Demo)
15. Omar the Tentmaker
16. The Guns of Soho (Instrumental)
17. Winchester Devil Grass (Demo)
18. Weathermaps for Nikolai (Live at Nice Garage)
19. Arts n Economics (Live at Nice Garage)
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mike Portnoy: Unannounced Prog Metal "Supergroup" Coming Soon

Among the other projects Mike Portnoy has done/is doing since leaving Dream Theater in 2010:
(The Winery Dogs, The Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors, Metal Allegiance, Transatlantic, Shattered Fortress, PSMS, ex-Adrenaline Mob, ex-Avenged Sevenfold).

This new band/project adds to his resume. And as it reads below, it will be the 1st progressive metal style music he's done since leaving Dream Theater beyond Shattered Fortress really.

Besides Mike, Keyboardist Derek Sherinian who of course was a member of Dream Theater during the release of A Change of Seasons and Falling Into Infinity. And then went on to be part of Platypus and form hyis own band Planet X. Recently worked with Portnoy in PSMS.

The rest of the band?

This topic on the dreamtheaterforums goes over potentially some of it.
Members of Haken?
Eric Gillette?
And then a singer sounds like is part of this. Who?

Some mention of John Arch, although the fact he doesn't typically tour, might end that being the case. Jeff Scott Soto? Who has a prolific career including Journey and working with Derek at 1 point.

The John Arch thing would be a huge thing for me and this project, although he wouldn't be writing music with Jim Matheos presumably, which couldn't be ignored.

Thomas Giles/Rogers from Between the Buried and Me?

1 suggestion for the bassist, if it's not Billy Sheehan whose been working with Portnoy a fair amount lately, was Jason Newsted. Although he doesn't have a prog background really, but that may not matter (neither did Derek when he joined Dream Theater).

I guess when more information comes, I'll either bump this or post a new entry about this new prog metal band of Mike Portnoy's.

Facebook Link

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I have a new band I'll be announcing in the summer. It is premature to give away too much information about that now but I can say that it also involves Derek Sherinian who I worked with in Dream Theater. It is the two of us with an all-star line-up. It is myself and Derek getting back together and picking up where we left off. It's music that is probably closest to Dream Theater out of everything that I have done over the last six years. I have purposefully stayed away from the prog-metal genre because I wanted to spread my wings. But I would say that doing these Shattered Fortress shows has kind of reignited a little interest in revisiting that world from me. Derek and I have formed this new band that will satisfy myself and quench the fans' thirst for something in that vein.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Timbre - Sing into the Dark [1B/Video]

Love it.

Ours - Spectacular Sight (2016-2017)

6/13/17 12:20PM

bumping this as this album is only a couple of weeks away.

And lucky enough for me, being a Black Card Holder, they were kind enough to send a sampler of 3 songs to download yesterday.

Slipping Away
Don't Lose Yourself
Across the Clouds

Love them all, "Across the Clouds" is mesmerizing and maybe my favorite among them.

We may not get a ton of information about this album until release day on the 27th per that sampler came from bandcamp and some artists have done the whole little-to-no-info with a Bandcamp release. Not even a preorder.

I'm cool with that, but still totally anxious to hear the rest of this. The reasoning behind the sampler was in the email the CD Release show on June 17th (in NJ) was supposed to have the album for sale, but I guess it won't be. But the sampler is not a band alternative.

edit: just got an Updated email.

the album is being pushed back for reasons beyond the band's control I guess. Some 40 songs were considered initially, 20 are still in the running.

So it won't be released on June 27th I guess.

This sampler certainly helps. Very excited still, it may just not come out for a few more months. No biggie.

And I do plan on buying it even for the fact as a Black Card holder, they are going to send it to me for free. I just want to give the band money regardless. Plus hardcopy, vinyl of course, etc.

1/25/17 7:18PM

OURS record release party for their upcoming new record Spectacular Sight will be on Saturday, June 24th at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ.  Click HERE for tickets.

OURS will perform and sign copies of their upcoming new record.  Special performances by Intrepid, Ronnie Shingelo and Hannah Gernand.  Doors 6pm.  All Ages.

11/12/16 11:18AM
Below is from the latest newsletter.

Ours new album III drops next Spring! A free download of a new song for those going to the show in NYC 1-week from tonight at the Bowery Ballroom. Hopefully that track will be streaming on their FB/Website and YouTube/Soundcloud, etc soon after.

Why the title III? Not Ballet the Boxer Part 2, etc..I can only guess it may sort of be like a 3rd Chapter (Chapter 3: Money, lol) sort of in the history of the band.

Or maybe the III symbolizes a number of things.

I also can't help but think of the band Three as well and what seems like a lot of parallels and similar fanbase in some ways.

At any case, as a huge fan of Ours, I can't wait to hear this album of course.

 photo Ours - III ad Spring 2017_zps2iqcrhch.png

FREE New OURS Song Download, from Ours Forthcoming Record III,
to everyone who attends the Bowery Ballroom show on 11.19.16!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Subterranean Masquerade - Vagabond (2016-2017)

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and people playing musical instruments

Jeez another announcement, lol. Stoked for this one as I love their whole catalog including 2015's The Great Bazaar.

September 1st is the release date.

"Vagabond" by the way, I think of the Kiss Kiss song. Also cool they are signed for a 2-album deal and plan to tour extensively. Maybe North America finally? (Minnesota hopefully if so, like maybe if they open for a bigger/more well known band, etc..Opeth..Katatonia..etc)

Also worth noting is I guess this will be the 1st album without Paul Kuhr on vocals, but they have Kjetil Nordhus back (singer from Green Carnation), and Eliran Weitzman along with Tomer Pink to fill the growling need,

Facebook story

Israeli/Norwegian prog-rockers Subterranean Masquerade have signed with the Swedish label ViciSolum Productions (Persefone, Loch Vostok, a.o.) for a 2-album deal, starting off with the newly finished album "Vagabond", set for release on September 1st. The band features members of Orphaned Land and Green Carnation, and is one of the most exciting ethnic-influenced prog-artists to emerge from the underground layer these days. It's prog-rock, but it's also psychedelic 70'ies metal. It's "Jesus Christ Superstar" but it's also Israeli folklore and traditional heavy metal - all wrought through the grinder and delivered perfectly by a bunch of very talented musicians.

The album was mixed by Christer Andre Cederberg (Anathema, Tristania, etc.) and mastered by Tony Lindgren @ Fascination Street studio, which has secured the final crunchy approach in the sound, so all parameters are met for ultimate quality.

Tomer Pink (guitars) on the signing:
We all at Subterranean Masquerade are very excited to be a part of the Vicisolum family and together with them bring our music to the world. We can't wait for you to hear our new album and see you all at our shows.

The band is expected to tour extensively, in support of the album.

Kjetil Nordhus - Vocals
Weitzman Eliran - Growls
Tomer Pink - Guitars
Or Shalev - Guitars
Shai Yallin - Keys
Golan Farhi - Bass
Matan Or-El Shmuely - Drums
Ilan Arad - Brass אילן ארד

Subterranean Masquerade online:

2004: Temporary Psychotic State (EP)
2005: Suspended Animation Dreams
2013: Home (EP)
2014: The Great Bazaar
2017: Vagabond

Everything Everything - A Fever Dream (2016-2017)

itunes listing

Release date August 18th.

2015's Get to Heaven I love and found to be my favorite of theirs. Definitely excited for this. the 1st single "Can't Do" which a clip of is up on their Twitter page (multiple times)

Image result for everything everything - a fever dream
1 Night of the Long Knives
2 Can't Do
3 Desire
4 Big Game
5 Good Shot, Good Soldier
6 Run the Numbers
7 Put Me Together
8 A Fever Dream
9 Ivory Tower
10 New Deep
11 White Whale

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mikael Akerfeldt + Devin Townsend LEAD VOCALS Project?

Opeth's Akerfeldt Working on Project With Devin Townsend: Every Band Member Must Be a Lead Vocalist

"That's been missing in music now, I think - people comfortable with singing lead vocals."

Sounds intriguing. I wonder if Portnoy could be involved, although he's not really a lead singer in the traditional sense.

Steven Wilson, Daniel Gildenlow, Tommy Rogers, and others? who knows.

The Faceless - Black Star [1B] (2017)

meh, "The Spiraling Void" the single they released 2015 was really good and addictive.

This?, not sure. On the surface it almost sounds like a different band. And the drums sound off.

Maybe this will grow on me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rare Futures - No Ordinary Love (Sade)

The wife whose a pretty big fan of Sade, and I'm not getting much of a thumbs up from her. But I think this is tight. Quite smooth, and this kind of tune fits them well.

In speaking with Gavin Castleton at The Dear Hunter show last month, he mentioned they were releasing a covers EP titled Future Castles? including Sade and some others my wife enjoys.

I'll have to share more of them when they show up.

Cloud Cult - You Never Were Alone + Pain of Salvation

So I'm seeing Cloud Cult play the full The Seeker album tonight at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, with I guess the entire film sync-ed to their performance.

Pretty excited for that, including finally getting to hear/see "You Never Were Alone" live. It'll probably bring me to balling tears, but so be it. This song does every time I hear it as does a lot of the rest of The Seeker.

1 thing though I probably meant-to, but never was able to pinpoint, is a similarity in 1 thing. The little piano section about midway through "You Never Were Alone," is awfully similar to a piano part in Pain of Salvation's song "The Perfect Element."

A very sad, emotional piano part, that totally works incredibly well on both songs. And oddly enough, it was just earlier this year I heard a similarity in a Pain of Salvation song "The Taming of the Beast" with Cloud Cult's song "Sleepwalker."

The 2 bands I'm sure are totally unaware of each other, but odd how I hear these little similarities that are almost eerie.

More to add maybe at a later time about this song, but I can say, I had another dream last night where I was hanging out with Kevin Gilbert and I suggested he cover a Styx song ("Babe"? maybe) among a list I gave him some how of songs. And he was kind of laughing at me and asking me "are you serious?"..why this relates to this song, is kind of related to the whole The Seeker concept about time/space and reality. People who were gone before, and people who will come in the future.

Deepak Chopra. If ever get a chance to talk to Craig Minowa, I hope I remember to ask him about Deepak and Metaphysics.

Steven Wilson - To the Bone (2016-2017)

6/9/17 12:21PM
Haven't heard it, but here's another new song, more electronic I guess.
"Song of I" Stream 

Official Video Stream 

6/2/17 10:45 PM

"The Same Asylum as Before" Streaming Here

It's also streaming on YouTube.

Very good track. Reminds me of some of the more riffy yet catchy Porcupine Tree.

5/8/17 10:51PM-5/9/17 10:36AM

edit: official site's details including cover and some Tour dates (Europe so far)

Per the below link, the title is To the Bone and will be released on August 18th.

The image below I don't believe is a confirmed cover art, but who knows, maybe it'll end up being the cover or in the artwork for the album.

The video below is for "Pariah" and as noted, features Ninet Tayeb whose been working with Steven now for a few years (and was on Hand.Cannot.Erase if I recall).

There's also a little clip linked below from Facebook that show the track list.

5/9/17 10:30AM
Also among other details about this album (progressive pop in the vein of Peter Gabriel's So as noted in the link below), Andy Partridge of XTC (who recently wrote a great tune "You Bring the Summer" for The Monkees last album), co-wrote 2 songs I guess on this album. Which the description of "progressive pop" seems fitting in a lot of ways.

"progressive Pop" when done well, is actually one of my favorites kinds of music; and Steven has good history in that style with many songs from Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and his Solo records at times.

Also the title. It's odd how there's a lyric I recall in the new Pain of Salvation album that uses that? and also years ago, Oceansize used that phrase on Everyone into Position I recall. Common phrase, I know, but those 2 come to mind.

prog-sphere sitory

1. To the Bone
2. Nowhere Now
3. Pariah
4. The Same Asylum As Before
5. Refuge
6. Permanating
7. Blank Tapes
8. People Who Eat Darkness
9. Song of I
10. Detonation
11. Song of Unborn

Short clip

This is the track ‘Pariah’, a duet with the wonderful Ninet Tayeb.

Clip of the title track.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Contortionist - Clairvoyant (2016-2017)

I noticed some stuff about this one the other day. The new album from The Contortionist, Clairvoyant, which comes out on September 15th.

I enjoyed Language a fair amount, surprisingly, back in 2014. The whole "ebb and flow, ebb and flow..." I will always think of it for.

I haven't checked out the 1st single "Reimagined" yet, but I've seen mixed comments about it (different, but still good).


1 Monochrome (Passive)
2 Godspeed
3 Reimagined
4 Clairvoyant
5 The Center
6 Absolve
7 Relapse
8 Return to Earth
9 Monochrome (Pensive)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mutemath - Play Dead (2016-2017)

New Mutemath album Play Dead.

1st single "Hit Parade" below. I'll be honest, I noticed this pop-up in my YouTube feed and didn't recognize the title, but thought it was an old song.

It is sort of, in that Paul posted on twitter the band had been tweaking it here and there live I guess for awhile.

How this new album will compare/be received? I dunno as I know a lot of fans who didn't like the more electronic-driven Vitals from 2015. Personally, I still enjoyed that record a lot, so I'm not concerned.

'Hit Parade' - The new single off MUTEMATH's forthcoming record 'Play Dead' - Out Now:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Red Planet with Bill Carrothers - Red Planet with Bill Carrothers (2016-2017)

So this new album was released on April 14, 2017. I just noticed Dean Magraw post about it today on Facebook.

I likely would have known about it a little while ago per just seeing him at Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown St.Paul on the 1st Tuesday of each month, but for many reasons, really since my wedding back in September, I haven't been able to go. Maybe 2 or 3 times from memory, and I think the last was in March.

Anyway, so I immediately ordered a CD copy per the bandcamp link below which also included a Digital Download of course. And I gave it a go today.

Fantastic in a lot of places.

Jazzy, Jazz-Fusion? Jazz-Rock even at points., "Living Space" is awesome. "La Luna" "Ann R Chi Suite" among others caught my attention. "Unseen Rain" is another. slower, but still highly mesmerizing.

I adore the debut album from Red Planet Space Dust from 2009. Live record, but one of the best live records I've ever heard.

This album is mostly studio recordings. Which it is the 3-piece Red Planet of Dean Magraw (Guitars) Chris Bates (Upright Bass), Jay Epstein (drums). But of course per the title, it is a collaboration with jazz pianist Bill Carrothers, whose a name I know, but can't claim to cite anything specific. But I recall he's well respected in the Jazz world, etc.

But I can definitely see going back to this record a fair amount as I enjoyed a lot of it already. And it kind of fills my Dean Magraw-void of late, as some of the stuff reminds me of the interpretations of Coltrane, Mingus, etc I see him, Davu Seru and others perform once a month at the Dog.

Although the lineup is different, the Dean Magraw vibe is very present of course, including some sweet acoustic guitar layering. And the other Red Planet guys stand out, almost in new ways. Some brush work from Jay Epstein at times, but still some incredibly busy playing as I love from him.

And certainly Carrothers adds a lot to this. So much so, I would be very curious to see him live with Red Planet, timing allowed of course (which may not be in my cards, or even to see Dean this coming Tuesday).

1. Ann R Chi Suite 09:19
2. Big Nick 05:24
3. Come Dance With Me 03:28
4. Unseen Rain 06:24
5. Living Space 08:33
6. Music Is a Weapon of Hope and Healing 05:18
7. La Luna 08:08
8. Freedom For the Broken 02:11
9. Reflections 06:53
10. Think of One 04:35

Small Leaks Sink Ships - Golden Calf (2016-2017)

article of "Cross Chatter" the b-side on the new Small Leaks Sink Ships 7" single "Antipode."

The band on the song

"“The song ‘Cross Chatter’ seems to wrestle with the idea that no matter which side you stand on, both social and political, humanity would rather point the finger at one another instead of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. The track reiterates the fact that, ‘it’s all the same.'”

We’re pleased to bring you the premiere of Small Leaks Sink Ships’ new song “Cross Chatter” (listen below). The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming album Golden Calf, which is scheduled to be released at the end of summer 2017 on Lefse Records.

"Dancing Devil" and this song are both awesome, and with my love for their last record Face Yourself and Remove Your Sandals, I'm pretty excited about Golden Calf.

"End of the Summer" Suggests September of course, so maybe by the 3rd or 4th week of September or early October, it comes out within my Calendar Year for albums ending of Halloween.