Saturday, November 26, 2011

11/25/11 Rush Heads with Quadrant 4 (@ The Red Parrot Eau Claire, WI)

This show started at 9PM I guess, but I probably didn't arrive until around 9:30. I intended to leave early (like 5pm or even earlier), but with my habits involving procrastinating, I didn't. I wish I had even more so now looking back on it due to the fact the 70+ mile stretch from St.Paul to Eau Claire I was reminded now after the fact, includes many stretches in absolute blackness. In other words, driving 65-70 mph or more, with no road lighting isn't as desirable as with it or of course with DAYLIGHT.

I did manage to arrive at the Eau Claire exit early enough, despite lack of lighting, and getting thrown off by the "Alternate 94" sign. I believe I have now learned, to never take the split/merge near Menomonie with the "Interstate 94" sign because it does actually say "Alternate 94" in fact. I ended up doing that and going a mile or two out of the way and having to turn around.

The unexpected/unforecasted rain of course didn't help either.

But my Google maps directions of course didn't lead me to 1700 Hastings, but going what seemed to be in circles in and out of downtown Eau Claire. I finally stopped at a gas station and got directions to find Hastings and where The Red Parrot was.

When I arrived, Quadrant 4 was already 20-30 minutes into their set. They are it appears, a mostly covers band who plays instrumental versions of a lot of progressive rock, fusion and classic rock. From memory, I recall they played a rendition of "Carol of the Bells" (much like Trans-Siberian Orchestra's), their namesake track which is from Billy Cobham's Spectrum record. Something by Joe Satriani ("Summer Song"?), and War's "Low Rider."

Overall, a cool opening act before the Rush Heads.

As far as the Rush Heads here's a scan of their set list:

Although that's not entirely complete, at least in detail. Steve Stabenow sang/played more than just "Discovery/Soliquy" (off 2112) in that acoustic section. I want to say he did "Lessons" and "The Sphere: Kind of Dream" (from Hemispheres) and perhaps 1 or 2 others.

But overall, the perfomance was good, despite a hiccup or 2 on a few parts of songs. Especially given they only practiced together 7 times. To see Greg Herriges and Troy Berg in this setting was certainly different for me, given I'm used to seeing them in cafe's and libraries doing acoustic music. But overall, the energy and chemistry they have from Greg's solo shows, was not absent here. And Dave Schoenrock added another element, especially in the Rush/Prog fanboy. He clearly knows his Rush like a lot of us.

The different singers were an interesting mix, with Sarah Spindle pulling off quite-well a lot of the Geddy Lee-isms on tunes like "Red Barchetta, "Working Man," "Fly By Night" "The Spirit of Radio," and "Closer to the Heart." Stabenow did a lot of the more falsetto-laden tunes including "Freewill" and "Temples of Syrinx."

The opening R30 medley was maybe my favorite thing of the evening, which was sections of "Finding My Way" into "Anthem" into "Bastille Day" into "A Passage to Bangkok" and finally into "The Voyage Book II: Hemispheres."

I got the chance to chat with the Rush Heads and it sounds like they have some offers to do more shows. In the Twin Cities, and Eau Claire again. I'm not sure what the status of the recently-formed Minnesota Rush tribute band Exit Stage Right is currently.

edit: from their facebook, it appears they have been doing some gigs off and on this year at casinos, but perhaps not as often as they were in 2009 and 2010. So if Rush Heads were to end up gigging a bit in town, especially for benefits like the "Warm the Children" I'd imagine some of the people who I know would be interested in seeing them.

Bruce Peninsula - Pull Me Under [Official Video]

Rather trippy, although this kind of camera-angle layering I have seen before. But with this song it still seems unusual. Good song still, which helps.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brett Stowers departs from Fair to Midland

one link on their fans forum

As many of you know Brett Stowers is no longer in Fair To Midland.
I just spoke with Cliff and here is what he said about the status of FTM and the future.

"We have a great set for the tour and it already sounds tighter than ever with new drummer Logan Kennedy and bass player Ryan Collier. We were lucky enough to have some great fellow musicians to keep Fair To Midland rolling and it sounds as good or better than ever. I'll be releasing a statement soon, but I'm caught up right now in making sure the DVDs are released on time for all of the fans. Sorry this had to happen, but I truly believe it will better the band in the future. We can't just stop what we are doing when problems arise. We have to correct them and go on. eo ire itum."

So, the DVD and the December tour are both ON as scheduled.

another link

Brett Stowers
I am no longer a member of Fair To Midland.

It saddens me to have had to watch something I helped nurture for over a decade deteriorate from the inside into the pitiful state it's in today. Fair To Midland owes more to its fans than to move forward in an unprofessional or half-assed way. I'm getting off this boat. It's been a fun ride.. mostly.

Sincere thanks for all the good times!
See you around!

Those quotes pretty much tell the story as far as we know right now. Why he left, and what *legal* issues he refers to I'm sure may come out in some capacity. But the tour with Dead Letter Circus is still supposedly happening, along with the DVDs. I imagine talking to Cliff at the show in a few weeks may allow some of what has gone on of late to be passed along.

I guess I hope this doesn't start a pattern like with Pain of Salvation. But, the heart of FtM I guess 1st and foremost has been Darroh's vocals and Cliff's guitar parts and songwriting. However, to say something significant is/has or is about to happen is probably true.

Ugh, I have to head out to the Rush show, but this is hardly the best news to read about on my 90+ minute. Maybe hearing the Rush will help tonight. I do wonder who this drummer Logan Kennedy is. I just found him on twitter, and it says he's played with a band called Fire to Reason. I've never heard of them of course. But I hope he's able to fill-in well for the tour.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rush Heads (feat Greg Herriges) 11/25/11 Red Parrot Eau Claire, WI

Facebook Link

FridayTime9:00pm until 1:00amWhere Red Parrot Nightclub and Lounge, 1700 S. Hasting Way, Eau Claire, WI

Description On Black Friday, help support Warm the Children with "RushHeads", a musical tribute to the Canadian prog rock icons! Special guests, "Quadrant 4", and ALL donations for local families!!!

-Troy Berg
-Greg Herriges
-Dave Schoenrock
-Sarah Spindler
-Steve Stabenow
-Billy Angel
-A few special guests!!!

Greg Herriges is among the people involved in this benefit/event on Black Friday evening in Eau Claire, WI.

Great event, great cause, afforable, and a fun thing to do on Black Friday evening. Maybe I'll see some others there. Hopefully a review will happen as well soon after.

edit: I also can't forget seeing Troy Berg with Greg again should be cool. Especially in this format. But in the last few years, I don't recall seeing Troy with Greg as much (although I haven't seen Greg as often as I used to just based on time, convenience).

I guess the other musicians involved may have played with Greg at one time, likely back in the 90's. The names I may have seen before, but at the moment sadly aren't ringing any bells. But I do know Greg had played with some folks long before his ethno-prog-folk stuff started. One or two of his groups he did play electric guitar and were influenced by among others, King Crimson. In fact it may never happen, but I and some others would love to hear some of that stuff get released or just made available in some capacity. Maybe stuff like playing Rush will spark more nostalgia and allow that to happen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ted Leonard joins Spock's Beard


To keep bringing you the finest Prog Rock, we’ve brought on board the amazing vocalist/guitarist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Thought Chamber) and Jimmy Keegan (Santana, John Waite), who’s been our tour drummer for close to 10 years now. If you know these guys, you know they’re world class. They bring exciting new energy and creativity to the party.

We regret that Nick D’Virgilio, a founding member of the band, good friend and incredible talent is unable to continue with us due to his other commitments. Please continue to support him, check out his new solo CD “Pieces,” go see him with Cirque du Soleil and follow whatever other madness he's up to. He’s awesome. We wish him the best of luck and the success he deserves. We wouldn’t be here without NDV!

Look for a new live Spock’s Beard DVD and extensive European tour in early 2012, followed by our 11th studio release sometime in the summer. We’re energized and excited, and will be posting updates and sound samples as we progress.

Thank you for continuing to support us through the years and changes. We stay committed to bringing you the finest in Prog Rock and taking it into the future.

If you don't already, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest.

more of a continuation of the NDV news of leaving, but as a fan of Enchant historically, I am rather intrigued by this potential. I suppose it may not matter unless the writing isn't good. And perhaps however good their new album coming next Summer is may indicate how important Ted's writing with Enchant is/was.

But on the surface, he's a tremendous singer, so immediately, that had my curiosity. Now whether their music still ends up being the recipe-prog that a lot of the Beard work has been since Neal left, that has to be something to wonder.

As far as Enchant, I wonder if this means anything given they have been somewhat retired/hiatus for almost a decade anyway. But I hope it doesn't sort of officially put the nail in their coffin. But how much time can pass before you don't wonder anymore. Last thing I recall from them was the ProgPowerUSA show in 2009. I suppose checking-in on their forum might give more insights as to how this may affect them in any way.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Kevin Gilbert

He would have turned 45 today.

check out this footage interlaced in between the live at the Troubadour version of "Joytown"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vektor - Outer Isolation (2011)

11/19/11 10:01AM
the album can be streamed in its entirety here. Pretty badass.

10/4/11 8:42PM

2 new songs and cover art.

9/4/11 3:12AM

This is the title of their upcoming album, and it drops on November 15th. The date is on their facebook page, the title? I'm not seeing it. but, go here and and here see a little noted info. I really only know them from their last record from 2009, Black Future which was a refreshing spin on thrash metal with progressive and some other (black) styles of metal. I probably could go back and revisit it between now and the time Outer Isolation surfaces.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nick D'Virgilio leaves Spock's Beard
The time has come.

It is very hard for me to write this, but as all good things come to an end at sometime or another, unfortunately I have to tell you all that my time with Spock’s Beard has come to a close.

As you may or may not know, for almost 2 years now I have been working for Cirque Du Soleil on the touring show TOTEM. Traveling a bit of the globe with my family on an adventure that has been great, but also very tough. Great because I am finally able to fully support my family with this very unstable life I chose as a musician, but also very tough because this job has made it hard to do other things and the main thing is Spock’s Beard.

For the first time in 20 years I had to miss shows when the band played a few festivals this past summer. Needless to say it was very, very strange not being there. I have been trying to land a permanent resident show for next year which would leave me a little more time to tour with SB but that has not happened yet and I don’t know when exactly that will happen. I recently signed for another year with Cirque because I cannot just get up and quit until something else can takes its place. I am sure you all understand that I have to take care of my main responsibility and that is my family. Spock’s Beard has never been the main money maker for me, or any of the other guys in the band. We have always had to do other things to supplement our incomes and for me now the other thing just happens to be Cirque.

The Spock’s guys want to keep moving forward and it is just Murphy’s Law for SB that everyone else is totally available to tour at the moment and I am not. For many years, I was available for anything but we couldn’t tour as much as we wanted because of other schedules. Now with my job it doesn’t look like I am going to be available anytime soon. I totally understand where the guys are coming from, wanting to tour and make new albums and I have too much respect for them and SB to say that they cannot keep going without me. The guys are eager to keep the ball rolling, and as hard as that is to imagine without me I give them my blessing fully and wish them nothing but the best in whatever they do.

I have had the best time and have made some of the best music of my career with Dave, Al, Ryo, and Neal and will take those memories with me for the rest of my life.

This is not to say that I will never play with the guys again. If all of the stars align in future and I can do something I surely will but for now the guys will be going on without me and I humbly ask all of you SB fans that have been nothing short of amazing, to keep the flame burning for them.

SO for my future, even with the crazy schedule of my Cirque job I have still been able to release a new solo EP “PIECES” recently and even did some solo shows. Those things are easier for me to do because I can do those within the areas that I am living at the time and I am planning on many more solo gigs in the future so keep an eye and ear out for those announcements. I will be going back to London at the beginning of 2012 with Cirque and during that time I will be able to get back down to Rob Aubrey’s studio to do some more sessions with the great BIG BIG TRAIN and even try and finish a project that got started a number of years ago now called “PULSE” with Mike Holmes of IQ fame. I am also writing a lot for more solo music of my own.

Thank you to my family. Your support has been my rock for many years now, I know that will always be there and I am so thankful for that.

Thank you to all of the great guys who have crewed for SB over the years and have gone way beyond the call of duty to get us on and off stage. Especially Rob, Olly, and Tommy. I will for sure miss touring with you guys.

Thank you to the promoters and venues that have opened up their stages to us.

Thank you Jimmy Keegan for holding down the fort while I was up front and kickin ass for SB over the years.

Thank you to all of my amazing endorsement companies.

In closing, THANK YOU to all of the Spock’s Beard fans out there who have given us so much amazing and heart felt support over the years. We could not have done it without you all. It has been an amazing journey for me and I will never ever forget the great times we have shared together.

It’s time for a change…


well, I have a few thoughts about this.

a) Nick of course I see maybe 1st and foremost, with his connection to Kevin Gilbert, as a significant personality within the Kevin Gilbert story, history, etc.

b) Spock's Beard since Neal Morse left really hasn't even been close to the same band. My intention in that feeling is not meaning to knock Nick, but I just know my taste, and there has always been a different, special element missing since Neal left. I just don't find Nick

1) Truly working as a frontman
2) Having the lead voice to really work well as a frontman and lead singer. He's always struck me for having a voice that's suited well for harmonies and backup vocals, not leads
3) Having the songwriting chops. As sad and ironic as it seems, given his relationship and exposure to Kevin Gilbert among others (the Genesis guys?), he just has never made anything that got my attention like those who he spent so much time working with. Although to be fair, I've never heard his NDV solo record Karma which I've always wanted to.

That all being said, I do feel for the Spock's Beard fans, although at the same time, it does raise the possibility I may be more interested in their music again. Ted Leonard of Enchant filled-in on vocals over the Summer at some festivals in Europe (at least 1 is on Youtube in fact), and by some chance he would join them, I immediately will be a lot more curious about their next album.

Also this may open the door for Neal Morse to re-join the band, even just for a 1-off record or something.

With those possibilities or others, I think the thing for me comes down to the songwriting. Spock's Beard, especially since Neal left, has come to sound a lot like many of the generic, plastic-y sounding (keyboard-laden) retro-progressive rock bands. They got away with some of it with Neal, because within that recipe of homage to the bands from the 70's, they came up with a lot of memorable melodies and fun sections that didn't seem to be too cheesy, for all that long (if at all).

Since Neal left, they have done similar things, but without those memorable elements that really stand out. They're almost like IQ, in that they do sound like another recipe-prog band. They're still a little better than the dozens of others who seem to mostly sound the same, but regardless, overall that almost soul-less sound I hear still exists.

If the Beard can bring in someone whose highly notice-able, that has a voice that grabs you, their chances of returning to greatness could happen. Ted Leonard, Neal, or someone else? I'm curious now who it may be.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Umbrella Tree - To the Memory of a Once Great Man (2012)

Kickstarter Campaign

New video for a song from this upcoming album:

This seems to happen a lot with bands I enjoy, but for whatever reason don't manage to keep up with as daily or even weekly as I might want to. Despite "like" ing them on Facebook. But their Kickstarter Campaign isn't too far away from becoming a success in that they have $875 and only need $1000, and they have still almost 2 weeks left.

Umbrella Tree are a band I want to say someone recommended to me on the Sound Opinions forum like 2 or 3 years ago. Likely 2009, but I'm not certain.

edit; yeah early in 2009. In my review of their last record, I wrote this:

ooh..not at all disappointed on 1st impression here. They share qualities with some of the Indie/Psych-Pop bands like The Jealous Girlfriends and The Ebb and Flow, as well as the epic piano-driven nature at times of Wolf Parade. But not having it become too lengthly..much like a group like Big Fresh. Less-is-more.

Gonna have to spend a lot more time with it, but I enjoyed more or less the whole thing. The piano and male/female vocal arrangements worked really well.


And since then, I have become more familiar with them, one thing being Timbre I believe played on one or maybe both of their albums.

But at any case, I'm definitely curious about this new record of theirs, even though I haven't really listened to their music in probably over a year. Given this new record is coming next year, but also next week potentially for the kickstarter pledges, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to revisit their other albums soon.

Happy Birthday Jeff Buckley

happy birthday #JeffBuckley. He would have been 45 today. Kevin Gilbert of course would be turning 45 in just a few days as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Arch/Matheos - Midnight Serenade [Official Video]

not really anything amazing looking visually, but still good to see them, especially John and Frank Aresti together after so many years.

go here if that video gets pulled

O'Brother - Easy Talk (Open Your Mouth)

Oh man (no pun intended), this is sweet, namely the vocal harmonies in the outro.

Damn, Garden Window, O'Brother's new album could be another 2011 sleeper like White Denim's new album (and they both, along with The Felix Culpa RIP, opened/toured with The Dear Hunter recently. Pattern?)and a few others. Another band/album with a goal of soon elaborating on. For now, I'd recommend people to give this song and their new album a go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

RUMOR: Anthony Green to work with Casey Crescenzo + tour with The Dear Hunter?

How do I say this as tactfully as possible: I just noticed some rumors about Casey Crescenzo and Anthony Green working together. I guess for fans of both, or for those fans of one and not knowing the other, if it happens, and they like it, good for them. But personally, unless something dramatically changes with Anthony's voice, I expect to not care much for any of it that involves his vocals.

So naturally I'm also not all that crazy about the idea if a tour were to happen with The Dear Hunter and Anthony Green. But again, if others enjoy that prospect, great. But I can foresee seeing The Dear Hunter and tuning-out or not catching any of Anthony's set, save for if Casey were join him on stage I suppose.

Edit: yep, from the new The Dear Hunter newsletter, the dates below are confirmed with Anthony Green, but not in or anywhere near Minnesota.
So, personally I can't be too upset. If we are to not get a tour here for TDH, at least it's not with a band/artist I love or would love to see them with like 3 or Between the Buried and Me (unlike the Porcupine Tree tour last year).

But, for the emo kids who know Circa Survive and Green in this town, perhaps exposure to Casey and TDH would have been nice. But then again, then those kids would show up at every subsequent TDH show and even hardcore dance. Which, now thinking about that, I'm sort of impartial too given I find the kids Hardcore dancing humorous now. But the past accounts of Circa Survive's fan base (not necessarily in MN mind you) still would not be all that favorable a group showing up, unless they didn't both the people I like (the progheads like myself and of course members of The Dear Hunter and any other band on the bill I might like).

Date Venue Location
1/13/12 Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
1/14/12 The Recher Theatre - Towson, MD
1/15/12 The Loft @ The Chance - Poughkeepsie, NY
1/18/12 Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
1/19/12 Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
1/20/12 Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
1/27/12 State Theatre - St Petersburg, FL
1/31/12 Warehouse Live - Houston, TX
2/1/12 Korova - San Antonio , TX
2/2/12 Mohawk - Austin, TX
2/3/12 Trees - Dallas, TX
2/4/12 Tricky Falls - El Paso, TX
2/6/12 Clubhouse Music Venue - Tempe, AZ
2/8/12 The Epicentre - San Diego, CA
2/9/12 El Rey Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
2/11/12 The Glass House - Pomona, CA
2/12/12 Slim’s - San Francisco, CA
2/14/12 Hawthorne Theater - Portland, OR
2/15/12 Neumos - Seattle, WA
2/17/12 The Complex - Salt Lake City, UT
2/18/12 Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
My .02 + more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

White Denim - "At the Farm"

not enough time now to write, nor maybe enough hearing their new full-length in its entirety to review it. But I've got to for now just post this song, which is the 3rd track off their new, 5th? LP D.

Of course I saw them with The Dear Hunter and Manchester Orchestra a few weekends ago, and was so impressed by their performance, I blindly bought their new album on vinyl.

All-instrumental tune, that is just groovey, fun, happy, and addictive. For some reason, among others, the band I am thinking of when hearing this song or album in the late 60's/early 70's Psych/Blues Rock being Wishbone Ash.

But hopefully a pending review of D will surface and I'll be more certain about that comparison.

Why I suck and need more time..

These are just a few items that add to my guilt/frustration with time. But, with some discipline and change in schedule, I am optimistic this pattern won't be as notice-able (or lack there of) as it seems (at least to me) right now.

The Besnard Lakes + Malajube
East of the Wall + Iron Thrones + Witchden + Earthrise
The Dear Hunter + White Denim + Manchester Orchestra
The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra + Trent Romens

+ at least a dozen or more I'll be able to see on my rym/ concert calendar.

-MN History Center 1968
The Dear Hunter Documentary (Casey's quotes namely)
that list of bands I've never reviewed
Eurologizing bands like PRR, Oceansize, and some others.

Tower Heist

lol I can't even begin right now

lol, I feel like Tim from the Weekly Freak, reviewing concerts that are months if not almost a year old, lol.

11/13/11 Cynic with 3 and Iron Thrones @ Station 4

Okay, given the late hour, people might follow why so many concerts, tv, and movie reviews haven't found their way in here. (Time, discipline, etc. more to add soon. about that)

Iron Thrones: they played 5 or 6 songs I think, and I sensed among the 3 shows I've seen from them, they may have sounded the best from a performance standpoint. Now, just a point to make, when this tour was announced, Anathema was included as another potential band on the bill; but they couldn't make this show, nor the tour I don't believe. I think due to Visa issues, but I shouldn't be quoted about that.

So, someone who runs Station 4's facebook page asked for suggested local bands to open this show with Anathema canceling (and Scale the Summit, who will be coming with Protest the Hero in a few weeks). So I and especially my friend Josh suggested a few names (Brice Plays Drums, The Royal Veil and maybe 1 or 2 others), and Iron Thrones were among them. I had seen them with East of the Wall in 2010, and knew they were playing another show with EotW coming up.

So, I am glad they got to open this show, and if I had any reasonable part in helping them out, cool.

And their music, I guess I'd describe as slightly technical metalcore, is kind of hit and miss for me. I really enjoy some of the guitar tones they use, and when they use syncopation. Their vocals are a little hard to gauge given tonally their singer often sounds similar on more than one song. Although to be honest, that's hardly a huge factor for me, nor all that different than a lot of metalcore bands.

But the last point I can't forget is just Station 4. While thankfully tonight was not the Sauna that it can often be, namely in the Summer. The sound issues, namely the mix of the vocals and some of things, continues to disappoint me here and there. The vocals get drowned out by the distortion. It goes in and out, but I've experienced this issue there enough times to not be surprised by it. What they can do about it, I dunno.

My Divided Falling
Battle Cry
Alien Angel
High Times

they didn't have the extra members to jam on the tom drums like at Progressive Nation 2008 or when I saw them at the Entry in 2009. However, Joey and the others still had a great energy which is one of the biggest reasons why they stand out live. Although I'd be lying if the absence of those drummers/drumjams wasn't missed.

But like Iron Thrones, I found Joey's vocals going in and out and muffled at times. Now part of that could be he wasn't always directly on his microphone when he was really extending himself (and his head or neck). However, I spoke to him both after and before the show. And I actually asked him about them playing the song "Only Child" and he said they are looking to debut it at a show on December 30th in their hometown (Woodstock, NY). It making more sense to play it live the right/full way, etc.

But one reason he said they'd never do a song like that at a show like the show tonight is they didn't have a SOUNDCHECK. So, there you go. His vocals were drowned out sounding at times, go figure without a soundcheck.

But overall, especially the energy and some of the songs like "My Divided Falling" and "Alien Angel" really were enjoyable. And the "Bramfatura/Jam/Amazedisgrace" is always worth the price of admission. Joey popped a string on his acoustic and was sorta animated and tempted to smash it. But unlike Pete Townshend or Jimi Hendrix, a guitar smashing doesn't work too well in the budget.

It was cool chatting with him, Billy and some of the other members of 3 afterwards. Joey mentioned that they may, or have been approached to do some kind of split EP with Between the Buried and Me. Also perhaps Josh from Kiss Kiss/Vuvuzela could be working with them, playing with 3 as another guitarist and/or some new original music (if the opportunity was given). While many may not be aware (although not myself before last night) Joey is a big fan of Kiss Kiss. And that may largely be a result of when Three toured with Kiss Kiss, going back to 2006 with Kaddisfly, and I recall at least 1 or more tours a few years later.

As a fan of Josh and Kiss Kiss along with 3, I'd love to see that happen. Also The Dear Hunter as Joey knows and have done some shows with them. A tour with them could happen next year, if the timing were to work. Now whether those 2 bands doing a full-scale North American tour together, and it coming to St.Paul or Minneapolis is still a bit of wishful thinking right now. But logically it would be a great tour, and The Dear Hunter and 3 have gained at least a little more of a following in this town of late.


I'm guessing this is the setlist as it is given for the show from Friday.

Amidst The Coals
Carbon-Based Anatomy
Evolutionary Sleeper
How Could I
Adam's Murmur
Celestial Voyage
Elves Beam Out
King of Those Who Know
Veil of Maya
Wheels Within Wheels
Integral / Integral Birth
Box Up My Bones
The Space For This

given I love Focus, but also think/know it best as a complete, flowing record, this Cynic concert and setlist was a bit hit and miss for me. I do find their new EP Carbon Based Anatomy interesting, but not necessarily addictive or as Cynic-like. But I did enjoy the music from it, the samples and atmosphere tonight. However, compared to seeing the complete Focus back last year, this show didn't engage me throughout.

I will say, the best moments got my attention enough. They have this hypnotic quality often in their music, which really works wonders. And I think the sound issues were less noticed during their set for some reason. But overall I ended up getting an uneven reaction. Maybe it's just the material, mainly the Traced In Air work which I've never loved. Or maybe Station 4 had something to do with it. I would enjoy seeing them at another venue if possible, but the odds seem almost nil for that to happen. And given their interest (and lack of promotion in this town) I suppose there shouldn't be many reasons to be disappointed.

I also overheard someone mention they have a new record coming next year. I wonder how much of the ambient, post-rock kind of work (like from their new EP) it'll include.

Kacica: recording?

what I posted the other day here on some kind of page for them on fb, I'm skeptical the actual band members maintain it tho.

check this out (having a browser that translates to English helps, such as Google Chrome)

Sun a little closer to the finished album.
2011.11.03 Thursday23:59

Yesterday was a preproduction at the studio located in Osaka bloomz.
Long time recording is crisp and music 気持Chiyokatta mind.
bloomz three studio albums in the past the birthplace of kacica.
Also fun, there are many that was hard.
Are thus still Yare music together.
This studio is kacica bloomz welcoming everyone and unchanged even when love comes.
Next week-recorded songs.
- 頑張Rimasu! !

so if you notice that date being November 3rd, that certainly is encouraging for recent/current/future music coming out.

Kacica are a band I am continually amazed how much better and more interesting they are, compared to many other bands who they share some qualities with, but who also are hipster darlings (unlike Kacica). But they are from Japan, and over there, the interest level in them may be justified. But, that doesn't help the fact they have some amazing music that more people could and should like. And the potential of a new album coming soon only stresses that point even more.

I hope more comes out soon about it and we'll be seeing their 3rd LP coming sometime in 2012.

Friday, November 11, 2011

dredg - The Thought of Losing You [Video]

a bunch of photos and things here

maybe it'll show up on Beavis? lol, yeah right. I'll have to try and watch+listen later tonight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fair to Midland: Ryan Collier (ex-Opus Dai) to fill-in for December dates

facebook post

12/01 Mesa, AZ – The Underground
12/03 Bakersfield, CA – B Ryders
12/04 Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
12/06 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
12/07 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
12/09 Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
12/10 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
12/12 Cedar Falls, IA – The Wheelhouse
12/13 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
12/15 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
12/16 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
12/17 Flint, MI – The Machine Shop
12/19 Akron, OH – Musica
12/21 St. Louis, MO – Firebird

good to see they have someone to fill-in. I am a fan of Opus Dai, and in fact have been wondering what their status is, since they have posted stuff off and on since their last EP in 2008?

But when Ryan was with them? he may have been with them the show I saw in Minneapolis I want to say the fall of 2006? But I guess he never recorded with them.

He will be on the DVD that Fair to Midland are filming in Flint, MI. I'd love to go, but too many other things to pay-for and do, etc.

I wonder if he may join them full-time, perhaps this tour will be a bit of test? reminds me a little of when Kevin Moore left Dream Theater and Derek Sherinian came on board. Although who knows if Ryan is looking to join the band anyway.

I did read Fair to Midland received around 150 applications last week, lol. Good to know there's interest.

Fredrik Hermansson (also) is leaving Pain of Salvation

facebook announcement from Daniel

"That odd feeling in our stomachs will be even more prominent this time around, since this tour marks the farewell of both Johan and Fredrik. See, I went and dipped my toes into the serious now, but I can't dwell on it too long then I won't have any energy left for convincing ending! Anyway, Léo and I are already guessing who of us will get to be Christopher Lambert in Highlander. Léo does have the youth, energy and motivation on his side. But I have red-hot statistics holding my fort."

after last week's Johan Hallgren-leaving announcement, Daniel writes this. So, Pain of Salvation is now just Daniel and Leo? Daniel could probably benefit from a hiatus for the band. Then they reform after x number of years. Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater? I wonder if Daniel is a little too stubborn to do that, even with all these longtime bandmates leaving.

Who knows, maybe a year or even 6 months from now, the Daniel Gildenlow/Mike Portnoy project will be announced. If it does, somehow it would be nice to see this post cited. The odds are probably better I join Pain of Salvation, than that happening though.

That all being said, Fredrik will be missed, assuming there is a Pain of Salvation sans their upcoming tour, much of which is with Opeth. I always liked Fredrik's work with PoS. The keys always seemed to fit in their music. Never over-used. Similar to the early Dream Theater or even somewhat how Porcupine Tree have used them. Texture instead of chops, etc. Although really since Be, they haven't been as noticed.

Maybe something more will come out with this announcement as to why he also is leaving, whether Fredrik will be doing other music, etc. I noticed on his Wikipedia page earlier how he released something titled "Piano" in 2007 and/or 2009. I have no idea what that refers to, a solo album(s) or something else. But I'm curious about it now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 Micro-Blog:

-House of Fools upcoming 2nd LP Versus the Beast is finally mixed and mastered. How it's released, and of course WHEN still remains to be announced. If I had to guess, they'll Self-release it, and it'll come out no later than March, but possibly as early as January.

-The Steve Morse/Neal Morse/Mike Portnoy/Dave LaRue/Casey McPherson collaboration album is being mixed in NYC right now by Michael Brauer and as Portnoy announced, is expected to be released in March. The title of the album or even the band's name is still un-announced. Morse Code?

-I dug White Denim on Saturday, so much so I bought their new album on Vinyl rather blindly.

-Along with them, and The Dear Hunter's performance, I think if I can find the time today or this week, I'll try and write some things I got to chat with people there, including members of The Dear Hunter. Rob Parr specifically.

-1 note I can add right now about that is I did get to ask Casey Crescenzo about what he knows of The River Empires and their 2nd album. And what he said kinda stuck in my head and while I wasn't totally surprised, still disappointed. Pretty much involving TRE's questionable future. Jessy I guess is not as focused on recording music for it right now, and possibly other things like actual cinema soundtrack work, etc. But I am taking this with a grain of salt, given Casey is not the #1 source behind the band. At the same time having been through this with other bands so often, I am trying to accept their may never be another The River Empires album, or it could be a long time for now. But until Jessy announces something more official, that's just speculation.

-The Neverending White Lights album that is released tomorrow, November 8th, is going to run $10.19 just in shipping costs from Canada, lol. I'm scratching my head about that a bit, especially for a compact disc. If it was Vinyl, I'd totally understand. But I may hold on my hard-copy purchase for a little bit for that reason.

The albums of the year crunch time is now happening. I probably will post a few reports as I am able to make progress with it.

hopefully more to come soon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Dear Hunter - Daytrotter and more

stream/download link

1 Welcome to Daytrotter
2 The Dead Don't Starve
3 Red Hands
4 Home
5 The Inheritance

free mp3 of The Inheritance (acoustic)

a whole bunch of links here. Good stuff as always, and good/funny answers in some of those questions sent in. I'm seeing them again for the 6th time on Saturday. Should be picking up a copy on cd of TCS finally, hehe.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pure Reason Revolution - Valour EP (2011)

“The six track “Valour” EP will be available to download from 6th November for a limited period only and will include the epic new track “Tempest”.

All proceeds from the donation-only EP download will be given to War Child and The Royal British Legion

Thanks for coming by, please sign up to our mailing list before you leave and see you... again on Nov 6th.


The Jelly Jam - Shall We Descend (2011)

1. Who's Comin' Now
2. Stay Together
3. Halos in Hell
4. Same Way Down
5. Barometric Reign
6. March of the Trolls
7. Questions
8. Shall We Descend
9. Come Alive
10. Ten

Pre-Order here

**NEW RELEASE! CD SHIP DATE - 11/28/11**

**PLEASE READ SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS -- Please be aware that if you preorder this title and also purchase other titles (that are currently available) in the same order, the entire order will not ship until 11/28/11**


"Shall We Descend" is the brand-new, third album by The Jelly Jam. This trio is comprised of Ty Tabor (King's X), John Myung (Dream Theater) and Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs/Winger).

"Shall We Descend" is the long-awaited follow up to "2" (originally released in 2004). This album is heavy, cohesive, and sure to please fans of this great band. Features the first single, "Who's Comin' Now" as well as gems such as "Halos in Hell" and "Stay Together."

Rod Morgenstein - Drums, Percussion
John Myung - Bass
Ty Tabor - Vocals, Guitars

10 songs. 48 minutes.

Just checked out the new tune, not bad, yet rather different. Some comments on are comparing it to Porcupine Tree. Eh, maybe a little with the intro riff, but I (naturally) got more of a King's X vibe from it, more than anything.

Although I'll admit to owning at least 1 of their 2 discs, and the 2 Platypus albums, and I can't claim to ever been blown away by any of them. The 1st Platypus record When Pus Comes to Shove I always liked, but found it to be a bit like a less excessive Liquid Tension Experiment.

Also given that this album is coming so late in the year, as far as 2011 albums index factor, I wouldn't expect much. It may by default be given the "didn't listen to enough" category unless it's unexpectedly amazing and addictive for a few days.