Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coheed and Cambria - The Afterman Volume 1 and 2 (2012/2013)


Volume 1 is coming in October, Volume 2 February.

As I posted earlier

I may jump back on the Coheed wagon if these albums have:

better mixing on the cymbals
more prog, less pomp
have a producer like David Botrill involved in the writing.

I am curuious what this could be like with Josh Eppard back behind the drums. More to add soon and down the road.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bend Sinister - Small Fame review of sorts + 2 new videos

1. She Don't Give It Up
2. Don't You Know
3. Man of Faith and Virtue
4. One Shot
5. Got You on My Mind
6. My Lady
7. We Know Better
8. Give It a Rest
9. Hot Blooded Man
10. Black Magic Woman
11. She Lost Her Rock and Roll
12. Quest for Love

As a longtime fan of Bend Sinister, I am definitely not disappointed with this record. The songwriting is more concise and shorter overall, but at the same time, most of the songs on Small Fame have something to enjoy. And it flows pretty well, much like their last record Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers. Is it as progressive rock influenced as their other records? maybe not. I'm not sure it matters though, as Bend Sinister are now more than before, only part prog, but also a big part power-pop and classic rock among other styles. And I guess overall, for the better, as if they stayed totally progrock, I'm not sure how long they'd be around or even have as good a chance of finally catching on to a wider audience.

The biggest highlights are the opening "Rush meets Hall & Oats"-inspired number "She Don't Give it Up," "My Lady" with it's call and response vocals ("Has anybody seen my lady?..[yelling] Has anyone seen my girl!") along with a great Hammond organ part. "Hot Blooded Man" is one of the others I always look forward to, as it has this badass groove to which both the keyboards, guitar lines and vocals all help create. It changes times, has a great call-and-response type verses, and like many other great Bend Sinister tunes, it seems to shift gears rather well. I actually think it's one of those songs that I could go for it going on for twice as long as it is. I imagine when the band plays it live, they have, as it sounds like something that would go over rather well live. The high energy is impossible to ignore.

Of course the 1st track I fell in love with the most "Quest for Love" still remains the best tune, although like "Hot Blooded Man" if it were longer, it might be even greater. That being said, it is a great example of doing prog in a short/radio-length-friendly way. Sound-wise, there isn't another tune on this record, or maybe any song they've done, that it compares to. But I can't deny, it does remind me a lot of Iron Maiden among a few others. The tight guitar and keyboard lines, with Dan Moxon's almost chanty-like vocals just seem to channel that "epic" feel, idea, etc.

The drum work on this record is consistent, and by that I mean, you always notice Jason Dana. Every track pretty much, although he also has played on everything Bend Sinister's has released since Stories of Brothers. I just think his work on here stands out, and despite the fact the heart of their sound is very pop-oriented, he's both technical and tight enough to not sound like a session drummer.

I suppose one thing that is worth adding is while every other track I enjoy.

"Give it a Rest" and "Got You On My Mind" both of I knew/had heard and liked from the On My Mind EP released in March.

"Man of Faith and Virtue," is playful and includes a lead keyboard part which is sort of trademark of the Bend Sinister sound.

"Don't You Know" has a fun, upbeat, driving chorus "Don't You Know Why I'm Still in Love With You"

"One Shot" has this almost Billy Joel-like chorus to it("Big Shot"?).

"Black Magic Woman" (no, it's nothing like the Santana tune) is sort of a darker slow, bluesy ballad, that would almost fit well on a Led Zeppelin album ("Since I've Been Loving You"?).

"She Lost Her Rock and Roll" includes this big, grandiose Vocal and guitar interplay. As much as "Quest for Love" almost defines the word "epic," this tune almost could be described in that way as well, and works rather well in transition to the closing track.

The one likely skippable tune for me is "We Know Better" which I'm struggling with to like. The chorus just is bland and it gets repeated over and over. I can't help but wonder if "Things Will Get Better" off 2010's Spring Romance EP, would have gone *better* here. But I suppose given that song is older, the band might not have felt it belongs with this newer collection of songs.

All in All, this record is a top 5-10 Album Index contender, although I'd be lying if I didn't rank this record slightly below both Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers and Through the Broken City. But both of those records I love immensely, and like the new House of Fools and Ramona Falls (and Emanuel & the Fear it appears), this is by no means a disappointing record.

Now whether it finally enables them to breakthrough in America, it is up in the air. But maybe the biggest thing is for that, Dan Moxon mentioned this is their 1st album that will be receiving distribution in the US. And they plan to finally tour in the States this coming Fall (likely East Coast since they already are confirmed for the CMJ festival again, in NYC), and then hopefully at least 1 somewhat widespread tour in early to mid 2013. Because honestly, I think it is kind of Do or Die for them. This may be their "One Shot" as their song says. But at least they are finally going to get a shot. If their tour doesn't hit Minnesota, I can't see myself not traveling to Chicago or another city to finally get to see them after 6-7 years of wanting to.

Here's their latest video for "Don't You Know" and another recent video for an unreleased/b-side with the preorder "The Road Divided"

PGI#4 - Bend Sinister, The Road Divided from playground.is on Vimeo.

Emanuel & the Fear - The Janus Mirror (2012)

7/30/12 9:58AM

The whole thing can be streamed now, and there's a preorder there which includes a direct download. Damn, I wasn't expecting it until September. Very cool and pleasant surprise to get on this Monday morning.

The only drawback at the moment, I'm at work, thus I won't be able to check it out until this afternoon.

7/14/12 5:40PM

Another stellar track from the album "Samuel." Wow, this record is starting to raise the bar a bit. It may be my most anticipated new album now (perhaps until if/when The River Empires next record comes)

7/2/12 4:48PM

another excellent track.

Via our lovely label in Germany, here is ANOTHER song from the album, this is the first track on the new record

6/25/12 2:00AM


5/2/12 6:34PM

In light of the wonderful show we have tonight with Leverage Models, we figured we'd post the first teaser of what our new LP is going to sound like. Hope to see you all tonight at Emanuel and the Fear/Leverage Models @ Mercury Lounge

Not a ton to add of course at this point, as I haven't even heard whatever audio is on that short clip yet. But these guys have written some tremendous songs, so naturally there is a good amount of optimism about this. Listen had many of those great tracks, although at the same time, the whole album I never found myself attached to. 2011's EP Hands I can say more or less the same about.

Still, such great potential, especially just checking out the video I passed along in a previous entry a few weeks ago; this new song "Wooble" is just awesome.

More to add in due time of course.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kimbra interview: Writing/Ben Wienman (TDEP) collaboration?

good interview with some information about her upcoming plans. She is going to be writing (and maybe demoing?) some new music soon in Montreal, Ca of all places with producer Damian Taylor, who also remixed "Two Way Street" which can be streamed here.

She mentions some possible collaborations, which among them, Ben Wienman of The Dillinger Escape Plan.

a little more here in the article here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vektor: 2012 Summer Tour

As I posted on mp.com:

Sucks to be a fan and live in Minnesota, but damn it must be nice if you're hailing from spots like Warren, Michigan Lincoln, Nebraska and Idaho Falls, Idaho, LOL. So typical, but then again, if they played MN it would likely be at Station 4, which does not have Air Conditioning course, thus , a Sauna.

But still, like with Agalloch, the promoters in Minnesota's heads are firmly stuck up their asses's with this one. I'd love to see them, but unlikely on this, possibly their 1st extensive US Tour. Hopefully it won't be their last.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency (2012)

Go Here to stream the Title Track

Briefly: I discovered this band a few years ago from a recommendation on Mike Portnoy's forum and liked them. This is a sideproject of sorts from Tommy Walter of the band Eels. I can't really say I ever got too into Eeels, although a few weeks ago, I caught a song on 89.3 that wasn't bad, that turned out was from Eeels.

But I suppose Eels are more singer/songwriter, College-rock, whereas Abandaoned Pools are more textured and experimental (progressive?) in some ways.

Their record Armed to the Teeth from 2005 is still an album I enjoy from time to time. With this new album, perhaps it'll renew my interest in them a bit more. I recall seeing some quote that mentioned a string section anyway.

And this record is coming out August 28th, so it's not far away. Perhaps a sleeper for the 2012 Index even.

Archive - With Us Until You're Dead [& Wiped Out/Violently EP] (2012)

7/26/12 5:44PM

New interview with Danny Griffiths and the track list is below. I like how he says Violently is not exactly indicative of the whole record, which reminds me of Controlling Crowds and its diversity.

01. Wiped Out 6:20
02. Interlace 4:43
03. Stick Me In My Heart 3:57
04. Conflict 5:01
05. Violently 6:24
06. Calm Now 3:53
07. Silent 5:39
08. Twisting 4:02
09. Things Going Down 1:52
10. Hatchet 4:16
11. Damage 6:50
12. Rise 2:49

Previews of each track here

edit: the previews may not yet be available as they're not playing for me.

5/24/12 2:10PM

Pretty excited for this as Controlling Crowds was awesome, and a great comeback of sorts back in 2009. The Orchestra inclusion adds intrigue among other things just reading that write up from their facebook page.

August 27th for the LP, and July 2nd for the EP. Great these guys are still active compared to say their UK college-prog contemporaries like Oceansize and Pure Reason Revolution.

facebook post

ARCHIVE are set to return with the epic and beautiful new album With Us Until You’re Dead.

Produced by longtime collaborator Jerome Devoise, the album will be released on the band's own Dangervisit Records on 27th August 2012.
Part-orchestral, part-electronic, part-soulful, part-progressive and wholly emotion-soaked, the album is a cinematic and restlessly inventive landscape.

Talking about the new album Darius said “We've always written songs that focused on social and political issues but for this album I really wanted the songs to be more personal - love songs basically. But coming at the subject matter in that non-formatted Archive way.”

“I grew up a massive Otis Redding fan and I wanted to bring some of that soulfulness to the songs, but at the same time to make them twisted and experimental.”

First taster from the album comes in the form of the 'Wiped Out / Violently EP' released on July 2nd. Featuring remixes from the likes of Man Without Country, Sei A and Rosko John, the EP will be released on 12" and download formats.

'Violently' (“one of the darkest and most powerful songs we've ever done” Darius reckons) features new vocalist Holly Martin and comes with a suitably dark promo video directed by legendary graphic designer Brian Cannon who created album covers for Oasis and The Verve amongst others.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Faceless - Autotheism (2012)

7/23/12 7:18PM
Cover, tracklist

01. Autotheist Movement I: Create
02. Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate
03. Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate
04. Accelerated Evolution
05. The Eidolon Reality
06. Ten Billion Years
07. Hail Science
08. Hymn Of Sanity
09. In Solitude

7/17/12 10:21AM
Yup, that's the title, and it drops on August 14th.

Preorder link

7/5/12 4:28AM

some good info and samples. But details on the album's release? nope.

6/27/12 5:35PM
around the 2:45 mark, Mike mentions Autotheism as a "working title."

this link includes a bit more.

The thing is, if it does come out this Summer, info better come rather soon. I'm just predicting here, if we don't have at least the title and more by mid July, it'll be a Fall release instead (Sept/Oct).

Neverending White Lights - Goodbye Video

Haven't checked it out yet, but if/when I get the chance, an edit may happen.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Casey Crescenzo - New Song (live)

not bad, and of course this is a stripped down acoustic rendition of this yet to be titled new tune, that I guess is expected to be on the upcoming The Dear Hunter record.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mercies: Kickstarter for Tour and new 7"

I just backed this, as I typically do for bands I believe in (and realize not even every fan will/will be able to).

Their debut record Three Thousand Days is a terrific collection of jangly power-pop tunes, that is evidence of the high level of songwriting abilities of the members (among other things).

And their new EP The Ballet while different, is also of the quality and among the best EPs released in 2012.

I of course have never seen them live (although I've seen some of the members with The Dear Hunter and The Receiving End of Sirens), but perhaps this Kickstarter campaign will allow them to come to Minneapolis.

The 7" they refer to, I'm not clear as to why, but it doesn't appear is included until you pledge around $55. I guess it might be worth asking about that. I already own a copy of Three Thousand Days, but not a physical copy of The Ballet. I would think the 7" will be available soon after this tour, but it would be nice to get a physical copy of it with my pledge at $25 (even tradiing/exchanging the physical copy of Three Thousand Days that comes with a $25 pledge).

But regardless, hopefully this will become another successful Kickstarter and by some chance, they'll find their way to Minneapolis or St.Paul on this tour their looking for help to fund.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Daniel Johns - Atlas (2012)

I guess this is something totally different from the My Minds Own Melody soundtrack Daniel Johns is doing/did.

It's going to show up in some ads for the Olympics. Hopefully it will be released or available to listen to on its own (if it makes sense) at some point.


Iconic Australian musician, Daniel Johns, winner of 21 ARIA awards and three times winner of APRA’s songwriter of the year, has written, arranged and performed an epic new piece called “Atlas” in a unique collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Qantas. The piece forms the soundtrack for the new Qantas brand and Olympic advertising.

"Creating ATLAS has been a unique experience for me. When Qantas first approached me, I agreed to the project as I was really into the idea of creating a piece of music that represented Australia. I wanted it to sound big, something special. It was a conscious effort to create a good piece of music and not just a jingle. I've also wanted to work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a long time now so it was great to be finally be able to do that. I'm really happy with how the song turned out" - Daniel Johns

Warpaint 7/18/12 @ Paleo Festival in Nyon (Switzerland)

great performance.

New song
Billie Holiday

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anathallo - Floating World VINYL?


The Floating World Project was started by two guys across two countries, with one shared passion. Floating World by Anathallo is one of the most exciting, unique, emotional and colorful releases of the last ten years. It was released in 2006 independently by the band on CD with incredibly unique packaging. Today, we want to release Floating World on vinyl, with just as much attention to detail and quality as the music itself. To do this, we need your help. We have started a fundraising campaign that will go towards the pressing of this wonderful album onto high quality wax, all packaged in high quality materials.

This is a project I just got wind about yesterday from an online friend of mine I know from a few different forums, whose as big a fan of Anathallo as I've ever come across.

Anathallo, sadly, are on hiatus and/or retired for the foresee-able future. However, their music still remains for those to enjoy and discover. This in-effect 1st proper full-length LP was buzzing among the blogosphere and message boards around when it was released in 2006. And it was most fans 1st introduction to the band. It has been regarded by many as their most enjoyed and accomplished work (although, hardly their only, as many fans enjoy more or less everything they released).

Their follow-up LP Canopy Glow in 2008, was released on Vinyl, but this never was.

Just from chatting with this friend of mine a few hours ago, some kind of campaign could be launched to help fund the production of this record on Vinyl. Gatefold, 180 gram 2xLP perhaps. Price may range, but approximately $30 for a standard copy.

I guess right now, this is just an announcement for what may be coming pretty soon. A possible target date for a release could be by November 2012.

I would suggest anyone whose never heard the band or this album, to go online to various sites (youtube, spotify, grooveshark) and check it out. Also if you are one who enjoys Vinyl record collecting, or if you enjoy similar artists such as Sufjan Stevens, The Dear Hunter, Cloud Cult, etc among others.

1 Ame 0:49
2 Genessaret
(Going Out Over 30,000 Fathoms Of Water) 5:32
3 Hoodwink 5:48
4 By Number 5:08
5 Dokkoise House (With Face Covered) 6:00
6 Hanasakajijii
(Four: A Great Wind, More Ash) 4:44
7 Hanasakajijii
(One: The Angry Neighbor) 3:10
8 Inu (Howling) 1:19
9 Hanasakajijii (Two: Floating World) 4:57
10 The Bruised Reed 6:04
11 Yuki! Yuki! Yuki! 1:13
12 Hanasakajijii
(Three: The Man Who Made Dead Trees Bloom) 4:26
13 Cuckoo Spitting Blood 3:05
14 Kasa No Hone (The Umbrella's Bones) 2:08

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Who - Quadrophenia tour Fall/Winter 2012-13

Billboard story

of course as I posted a few weeks ago, here. The BBC documentary is airing in select theaters next Tuesday, July 24th.

Coincidence? I doubt it.

I can claim however to have seen the band perform the whole thing back in 1997 with John Entwistle. This clearly is their best album, and the closest they ever found themselves doing progressive rock.

I guess the cheapest tickets for the Target Center show are $37.50. I guess I wonder if that factors in fees. Otherwise, I'll likely do what I did the last time I saw them, hehe.

"Quadrophenia" Tour Dates:

Nov. 1: Sunrise, FL (BankAtlantic Center)
Nov. 3: Orlando, FL (Amway Center)
Nov. 5: Duluth, GA (The Arena at Gwinnett Center)
Nov. 8: Greenville, SC (Bi-Lo Center)
Nov. 9: Greensboro, NC (Greensboro Coliseum)
Nov. 11: Pittsburgh, PA (CONSOL Energy Arena)
Nov. 13: Washington, DC (Verizon Center)
Nov. 14: Brooklyn, NY (Barclays Center)
Nov. 16: Boston, MA (TD Garden)
Nov. 20: Montreal, (QC Bell Centre)
Nov. 21: Ottawa, ON (Scotiabank Place)
Nov. 23: Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
Nov. 24: Detroit, MI (Joe Louis Arena)
Nov. 27: Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)
Nov. 29: Chicago, IL (Allstate Arena)
Dec. 2: Nashville, TN (Bridgestone Arena)
Dec. 5: New York, NY (Madison Square Garden)
Dec. 6: Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)
Dec. 8: Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo Center)
Dec. 9: Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena)

Jan. 28: Anaheim, CA (Honda Center)
Jan. 30: Los Angeles, (CA STAPLES Center)
Feb. 1: Oakland, CA (Oracle Arena)
Feb. 2: Reno, NV (Reno Events Center)
Feb. 5: San Diego, CA (Valley View Casino Center)
Feb. 6: Glendale, AZ (Jobing.com Arena)
Feb. 8: Las Vegas, NV (The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Feb. 12: Denver, CO (Pepsi Center)
Feb. 14: Tulsa, OK (BOK Center)
Feb. 16: Louisville, KY (KFC Yum! Arena)
Feb. 17: Columbus, OH (Schottenstein Center)
Feb. 19: Hamilton, ON (Copps Coliseum)
Feb. 21: Uniondale, NY (Nassau Coliseum)
Feb. 22: Atlantic City, NJ (Boardwalk Hall)
Feb. 24: Manchester, NH (Verizon Wireless Arena)
Feb. 26: Providence, RI (Dunkin' Donuts Center)

Menomena - Moms (2012) Sept/Oct 2012 North American Tour

7/18/12 3:53PM

New song "Heavy is as Heavy Does"

Shitfork link

6/15/12 12:05PM

New album "Moms" drops September 18th baby!

1 Plumage
2 Capsule
3 Pique
4 Baton
5 Heavy Is as Heavy Does
6 Giftshoppe
7 Skintercourse
8 Tantalus
9 Don't Mess With Latexas
10 One Horse

Brent's of course long gone doing Ramona Falls full-time now (which show last week was awesome by the way, but I haven't had the time to review it of course), but the show they did last March, despite no Brent songs, was still awesome.

With this new album of theirs Moms coming out around that time, so they should play some of the new stuff, which should be cool. And the Minneapolis show is at The Triple Rock. My only complaint is it's a Saturday night in the West Bank, but hopefully I can avoid the crowd and find a reasonable place to park (my new weekend after 6:30 spot?).

Menomena's tour dates page
09/07/12 Menom­ena in Port­land, OR MFNW 2012 United States
09/25/12 Menom­ena in Santa Cruz, CA The Cat­a­lyst Atrium United States
09/26/12 Menom­ena in San Fran­cisco, CA Bimbo’s United States
09/27/12 Menom­ena in Los Ange­les, CA El Rey United States
09/28/12 Menom­ena in San Diego, Ca Cas­bah United States
09/29/12 Menom­ena in Phoenix, AZ Cres­cent Ballroom United States
10/02/12 Menom­ena in Dal­las, TX Granada The­atre United States
10/03/12 Menom­ena in Austin, TX The Parish United States
10/04/12 Menom­ena in Hous­ton, TX Fitzgerald’s United States
10/05/12 Menom­ena in New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s United States
10/06/12 Menom­ena in Atlanta, GA Mas­quer­ade: Hell Stage United States
10/09/12 Menom­ena in Wash­ing­ton, DC Black Cat United States
10/10/12 Menom­ena in Philadel­phia, PA Union Trans­fer United States
10/11/12 Menom­ena in New York, NY Bow­ery Ballroom United States
10/13/12 Menom­ena in Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall United States
10/16/12 Menom­ena in Mon­treal, QC La Sala Rossa Canada
10/17/12 Menom­ena in Toronto, ON Horse­shoe Tavern Canada
10/18/12 Menom­ena in Cleve­land, OH Beach­land Ballroom United States
10/19/12 Menom­ena in Chicago, IL 
 Metro United States
10/20/12 Menom­ena in Min­neapo­lis, MN Triple Rock Social Club United States
10/23/12 Menom­ena in Boise, ID Neu­rolux United States
10/25/12 Menom­ena in Van­cou­ver, BC Bilt­more Cabaret United States
10/26/12 Menom­ena in Seat­tle, WA Show­box at Market United States

Upcoming 2012 Albums

Here's a semi-accurate list for the next few months as of July 18th, 2012.

The Antlers - Undersea (7/24)
Judgement Day - Polar Shift (7/31)
The Faceless - Autotheism (8/14)
Brice Plays Drums - Man the Animal Cannon (8/16)
Bloc Party - Four (8/20)
Media Addicts - Autonomy (8/24)
Archive - With Us Until You're Dead (8/27)
Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency (8/28)
Minus the Bear - Infinity Overhead (8/28)
The Helio Sequence - Negotiations (9/11)
The Gathering - Disclosure (9/12)
Emanuel and the Fear - The Janus Mirror (9/14)
Muse - The 2nd Law (9/17)
Menomena - Moms (9/18)
Devin Townsend - Epicloud (9/24)
Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra - Theatre is Evil (September)
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made (September)
Brooke Waggoner - TBA (September)
Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax Part 2: Future Sequence (10/9)

The Age of Rockets - Adults (TBA)
Annuals - Born Raised (TBA)
Bed of Stars - I Fell in Love in the City [EP] (TBA)
British Theatre - TBA (TBA)
The Book of Right On - How Many Ways Can You Say That You're Speaking (TBA)
Coheed and Cambria - TBA (Fall)
For the Imperium - TBA (TBA)
The Reign of Kindo - TBA (TBA)
Renaissance - Grandine il Vento (TBA)
The River Empires - Mars/Brighton II (TBA)
Vuvuzela - Hollow Choir (TBA)
Water & Bodies - TBA [EP] (TBA)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Michael Nesmith interview


Go to about the 1:12:20 mark, and music + interview happens. The host played a few of Nez's songs, but also a few Monkees standards for some reason. But as he states, Nez rarely if ever gives interviews, so that is why this is a bit more significant.

He's playing 3 dates in the UK this October, and maybe the other key thing is he is LOOKING to set up some live dates in the US. My guess would be sometime in early or the middle of 2013. But perhaps this Fall or Winter.

As I tell the gf, don't assume, but just hope.

Bloc Party - Four (2012)

7/17/12 4:09PM

Here's "Octopus" and the a REMIX by RAC. Honestly, the RAC Remix is MUCH BETTER, and you can't help but wonder why the band didn't include it on the album.

7/2/12 7:13PM

1. So He Begins to Lie
2. 3x3
3. Octopus
4. Real Talk
5. Kettling
6. Day Four
7. Coliseum
8. V.A.L.I.S.
9. Team A
10. Truth
11. The Healing
12. We're Not Good People
13. Mean (bonus track)
14. Leaf Skeleton (bonus track)

this link includes a handful of these new tracks played live. I haven't checked them out at this point.

The release date for this album is August 20/21st

I guess the things I can add about Bloc Party,

1) With lead singer Kele's solo career, there have been a lot of rumors about their demise. And those rumors apparently being false, I am happy, because his solo stuff never really did much for me (although I probably only listened to a few tracks).

2) Their last album 2008's Intimacy over time, while is/was not bad, I guess historically, will be regarded as worse than their 1st 2 records, A Weekend in the City and Silent Alarm.

That being said, I suppose had Intimacy been a favorite of mine, I'd be more jazzed about this record. But it was just spotty. However, I've always regarded them as being adventurous, and at times when the experiments work, I totally love them.

If they could write even just 1 more track like "Uniform" I wouldn't care how the rest of this record came out. The trailer doesn't really grab me a ton, but it's a trailer/teaser, which at times don't give much if any idea what an album is like.

I also am looking forward to seeing them on September 22nd, depending on schedules and priorities. Kansas is also playing Myth the same evening. If King's X are on the bill, I might find more motivation to see that show (I can't find any confirmation right now, King's X is opening for Kansas at the show at Myth, only some other select dates on the tour with Kansas).

I suppose it may depend on how good the new record is, among other factors, on which show I try and see (or neither).

I also think it's kind of interesting, how in recent years/since I originally got into Bloc Party,  I enjoy bands that I often am reminded-of (or suspect were influenced) by Bloc Party when I hear them. Namely Foals and Everything Everhing, and ironically, I might consider myself more of a fan of both of them now, especially Foals. And all of three of them are British; which makes me just imagine if the 3 bands toured together, lol.

Bloc Party's upcoming Tour dates, including the North American dates with the band Ceremony.

Bloc Party 2012 Tour Dates:
06/29 – Borlange, SE @ Peace and Love Festival
07/05 – Sesimbra, PT @ Super Bock Super Rock
07/06 – Gdynia, PL @ Open’er Festival
07/08 – Turku, FI @ Ruisrock Festival
07/12 – Bilbao, ES @ Bilbao BBK Live
07/13-15 – Ferropolis, DE @ Melt! Festival
07/28 – Byron Bay, AU @ Splendour in the Grass
07/30 – Honolulu, HI @ The Republik
08/03 – Los Angeles, CA @ HARD Summer Music Fest
08/04 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/05 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
08/07 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
08/08 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
08/09 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
08/11 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan
08/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
08/16 – Kiewitt, BE @ Pukkelpop
08/17 – Biddinghuizen, NL @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 – St. Polten, AT @ Frequency Festival
08/24 – Paris, FR @ Rock en Seine
08/25 – Zurich, CH @ Open Air Festival
09/04 – Mallorca, ES @ Mallorca Rocks
09/05 – Ibiza, ES @ Ibiza Rocks
09/14 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
09/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre
09/16 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
09/17 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
09/19 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
09/21 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
09/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
09/28 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
10/12 – Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy
10/13 – Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy
10/14 – Glasgow, UK @ O2 Academy
10/15 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy
10/17 – Southampton, UK @ Guildhall
10/18 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy
10/19 – Manchester, UK @ WHP
10/20 – Cambridge, UK @ Corn Exchange
11/03 – Nantes, FR @ Le Stereolux
11/04 – Lyon, FR @ Le Transbordeur
11/05 – Bordeaux, FR @ Le Rocher de Palmer
11/07 – Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
11/08 – Milan, IT @ Alcatraz
11/11 – Hamburg, DE @ Docks
11/12 – Stuttgart, DE @ Theatrehaus
11/13 – Dresden, DE @ Eventwerk
11/15 – Munich, DE @ Tonhalle
11/18 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
11/20 – Oslo, NO @ Rockafeller

Mike Portnoy + Billy Sheehan + Ritchie Kotzen - TBA (2013?)

This now is finally happening, with instead of John Sykes, Ritchie Kotzen. I forget if/when that was confirmed, although I thought at least 1 rumor was Guthrie Govan to replace Sykes. But so be it. I'm pretty curious about this, Portnoy-doing heavy retro Classic Rock kind of stuff. I suppose it'll come down to the writing and maybe the vocals. I honestly don't know Ritchie Kotzen well, certainly not his vocal work with Poison, and Mr.Big maybe 1 or 2 of the radio hits at best.

But if the writing of the vocal lines don't suck, the odds are, the actual songwriting will factor more for me.

Odds are, I'll enjoy this project more than Adrenaline Mob, and Ritchie's voice more than Russell Allen. So, immediately, it's got more intrigue for me. But at this point, that doesn't mean a ton.

Based on the fact they are just now hitting the studio, 2013 seems like a more realistic release year, but any news that is given still should be worth passing along. And if in fact it's out next year, 2013 keeps looking to have a ton of potential (but that's nothing unusual, for each given year).

mp.com link

Late last year, Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB, FLYING COLORS) and Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH, TALAS) tapped Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) to be the guitarist/vocalist of their new project following a split with John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY).

Although Portnoy and Sykes demoed a dozen or so songs at a Los Angeles studio last year, their vastly different work ethics and conflicting schedules were solely to blame for the dissolution of their collaboration.

During an interview that aired on this past Friday night's (July 13) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York'sQ104.3 FM, Portnoy said, "I love John personally, and we get along great — he's a sweetheart of a guy — but I need to keep moving. I can't sit still and kind of wait to make an album over the next three years, I need to put things on the calendar and move forward and get them done, and John's kind of just a 'wait, wait, wait' guy. Sadly, it kind of just stopped in its tracks, and Billy and I said, 'Look, let's do something.' And you [Eddie] were the one, actually, that suggested Richie Kotzen and I thought it was a brilliant suggestion, because he's an unbelievably underrated talent, not only [as] a guitar player but a phemonal singer, and just an amazing songwriter and artist. I think people just kind of lump him, or write him off as the guy that was with POISON and MR. BIG. I think they have no idea what he's really capable of."

He continued, "Me and Billy have already done two writing sessions with Richie, with the three of us, and we have about eight songs done and written and we've got another handful that are ready to go, so we're gonna start the album next month."

When asked to describe the musical direction of the project, Portnoy said, "It's a classic-rock kind of power-trio sound. If you picture the classic-rock bands of… the classic ones — [LED] ZEPPELIN, CREAM, [JIMI] HENDRIX, GRAND FUNK [RAILROAD] — if you take that classic-rock power-trio sound of the early '70s, and then you sprinkle it on top with some of the modern kind of sounds of SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS or BLACK CROWES or LENNY KRAVITZ… It's in that vein; it's kind of a [mixture] of all of those bands. But on top of it all you've got the phenomenal playing that Richie and Billy do, and I could play a couple of things on the drums as well [chuckles], so... And all three of us are singing — Richie is the lead vocalist, obviously, but me and Billy are also singing."

As previously reported, Portnoy and Sheehan, guitarist Tony Macalpineand keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) will join forces this fall, embarking on an extended tour of Europe and Asia. The virtuoso band will play an all-instrumental set consisting of material from each of their solo records and their previous collaborations as well as classic instrumental covers and extended solo spots.

Kimbra live with Janelle Monáe's band 7/14/12

Kimbra starts jamming around the 8 minute mark. This is perfect, but also funny how I'm sure many of the people who are fans of "Somebody That I Used to Know" and the what seems like "Settle Down" (being the single that is being pushed to American audiences, which frankly, it should not be. "Cameo Lover" really should be instead), likely won't have

a) much if any interest in this, because it's not poppy or even all that dance-able (which might be debatable)

b) really have a clue what is going on, since they don't like nor understand Jazz, especially LIVE JAZZ.

But by some miracle some of them do, they'll have a chance to understand how fucking awesome this is.

RIP Jon Lord (1941-2012)

Rest In Peace Jon, at 71 years old.

I had the fortunate experience to see him with Deep Purple when they played at Grand Casino Hinckley along with Emerson Lake and Palmer and Dream Theater in 1998. Nearly 14 years ago to this day.

That show, I caught a pick from Roger Glover that I still have. But as far as Jon Lord, it was a big deal for some, mainly my generation, given he would soon after depart from Deep Purple in 2002.

What also makes me sad, is some friends of mine many years ago, went together and bought some used Vinyl (long before I ever really cared to collect Vinyl), and one of the items we got was an alternate cover Promo of Gemini Suite his 1st solo record. And to this day, I have yet to hear much of it. However, it appears to be on Youtube, which now has finally enabled me to.

(I still am in the market for a turn-table)

another favorite of mine and others, is the title track to 1984's Perfect Strangers (which I'll admit, I 1st heard of via Dream Theater's live cover on the A Change of Seasons EP).

Here's another classic, "Child in Time" performed live in front of a studio audience in 1970.

Minus the Bear - Infinity Overhead (2012)

7/17/12 12:02PM
"Diamond Lightning" ..not bad, although really, the song's best moment is the outro, which leaves me a little unfulfilled. Perhaps the track that follows will add more.

7/2/12 11:15PM

1. Steel and Blood
2. Lies and Eyes
3. Diamond Lightning
4. Toska
5. Listing
6. Heaven Is A Ghost Town
7. Empty Party Rooms
8. Zeros
9. Lonely Gun
10. Cold Company

Here's another new record from Minus the Bear which is being released on August 28th. I'm not sure if they'll find the same place a band like Russian Circles has found for me, in sort of jumping the shark, and I only check out their new music briefly, but don't expect much.

2010's Omni was a big disappointment for me and many others, after I personally loved Planet of Ice. But, I will admit, seeing them last Fall with The Velvet Teen, it was the 1st show I actually felt they lived up to others rave live reviews. Although, that was a tour where they played all of their 1st record, Highly Refined Pirates. And even though I couldn't claim to have loved that album previously, that show has me wanting to revisit/reassess that and their 2nd record Menos el Oso.

The trailer and song "Lonely Gun" stream shared above (and a streaming link in the track list), are not wow-ing me or anything, but have a moment or 2. I guess they do sound more like Omni though, which concerns me. I do like the saxophone at least.

I suppose if this record ends up like Omni or worse, I probably won't have much optimism for their albums again. I suppose just reading reviews might help. But then again, maybe they'll change my mind about their new music live, like they did with their 1st album last fall.

We'll see.


The Antlers - Undersea [EP] (2012)

1 Drift Dive 4:48
2 Endless Ladder 8:30
3 Crest 3:42
4 Zelda 5:31

I'm guessing you have to *like* The Antlers on Facebook in order to stream this. Given I have, I am able to.

fb link

Otherwise, here's some of it.

Honestly, after hearing this, I'm really wondering if they've jumped the shark. Hospice was an incredibly moving and powerful record, which had its slower moments certainly, but also included those huge emotional vocal sections. And frankly, well-written, addictive and with many nmemorable parts.

2011's Burst Apart really did not. All I got from it was boredom. And honestly streaming this collection of 4 pieces, it may be even more boring than Burst Apart.

It's like they now have a fetish for slowcore of a kind, which is some of the most pointless kind of music for me to try and listen to. They almost are becoming like Low, the band they got compared to on Hospice and their previous 2 records, In the Attic of the Universe and Uprooted as well. Which never made much if any sense to me. They should have been compared to the likes of Ours, Neverending White Lights or Blackfield instead.

But seeing all those slowcore/Low comparisons, I wonder if Peter Silberman and the band were exposed to some actual slowcore and decided they wanted to actually make music of that sort.

Blech, o well. Hardly the 1st band whose early work was promising and then floundered.

Muse - The 2nd Law (2012)

7/17/12 11:24AM

Drop Date is September 17th.

1. Supremacy
2. Madness
3. Panic Station
4. Prelude
5. Survival
6. Follow Me
7. Animals
8. Explorers
9. Big Freeze
10. Save Me
11. Liquid State
12. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
13. The 2nd Law: Isolated System

6/6/12 9:21AM

Weird, even having not heard the music that is included with this trailer, it's pretty clear they are going even more political with this one. System of a Down/Serj Tankian? it almost looks like if you took the movie π and emphasized things with Gas prices in relation to the stock market (as the movie π does).

Muse, a band who I've felt for years, should be able to make a perfect record, but have yet to. Although going even more political than their last 2 records? I worry if the lyrical content could start to overshadow the actual music.

But we'll get to find out come September (or earlier). Good to finally get this info at least, as they had been quiet for awhile now.

Judgement Day - Polar Shift (2012)

7/17/12 3:37AM

Video for the song "Forest Battle"

7/2/12 5:36PM

Album drops on July 31st. New stuff sounds not all that surprisingly, Jazzy.

Tours now and later this year.


6/14/12 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
6/15/12 Monterey, CA @ East Village Coffee Lounge
6/16/12 San Jose, CA @ The Pocket
6/23/12 Davis, CA @ Davis Music Festival
6/30/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Crucial Fest
7/3/12 Reno, NV @ Strega
7/7/12 Cupertino, CA @ X Bar (Homestead Lanes)
7/12/12 Chico, CA @ Monstros Pizza
7/13/12 Red Bluff, CA @ The End Up Saloon
7/14/12 Redding, CA @ Bombay’s Night Club
7/15/12 Redding, CA @ Caddy Daddy’s Tatoo (6pm)
8/3/12 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (Record release show)
8/12/12 Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman (matinee show)
8/24/12 Los Angeles, CA @ Pehrspace with Silian Rail
8/25/12 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar with Silian Rail
9/2/12 Berkeley, CA @ Rasputin Music (FREE in store performance at 2:00)

also I think this is worth adding, as much as it's old, it's a great, funny video.

4/6/12 3:24AM

I'm looking forward to this. 'Epic Acoustic Metal" without Guitars. This record is all-acoustic I recall, which has me rather curious. Their last record 2010's Peacocks / Pink Monsters was rather impressive.

kickstarter update link

Hey folks,

We're very excited to announce that our record, which you helped make possible, is finally finished. It's called Polar Shift and it's coming out early this summer. More info to come. Thank you again for all of your support!



Ramona Falls - Fingerhold [Video]

Great tune, and this video is compelling and sad. A tragic love story of sorts, torn apart by the death of one, and her partner desiring to want to be with her again.

I suppose this was hardly what came to mind in listening to this song over the last few months, yet, the video/story does fit in a lot of ways.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jessy Calvin Ribordy - Hours [Audio Literature, The River Empires]

I know this may not be for everyone, or even those who love The River Empires, Falling Up, The Gloomcatcher, etc. And as Jessy's post states, it is just something he's doing, that is not impacting the progress of the next The River Empires record.

Why I say that, is I'm sure this is something to allow him to not feel so pressured to get The River Empires record done. I just imagine it to be more of a pleasant diversion, only to re-inspire without overdoing or overthinking everything.

This story Hours, is kind of intriguing, about an adolescent boy whose a student at a boarding school of some sort, that has found himself being led into a mystery of sorts involving a gymnasium.

Facebook post

Okay, I know this may be overwhelming as far as projects go. But I assure all of you, the new album is coming along very nicely and will be out relatively soon. In the meantime, I just can't help myself in letting you guys and gals know about a new little project of mine called Hours. It's an audio novel, releasing chapter by chapter. First chapter is up and downloadable if you are interested! http://hoursthestory.bandcamp.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Coheed and Cambria News (New album Fall 2012)


Coheed and Cambria are set to release a new studio album this fall. Their North American tour with Iron Maiden begins July 24th.

I'm not sure how significant this is, or the info about the live action adaptation. The last 2 albums have been huge drops in quality (not to mention mix). I usually figure after 2 straight duds, a band has jumped the shark. Although at least with Good Apollo 2, there were a few nice tracks.

I suppose a new album is still news worthy for me now, but if this is as bad or any worse than Year of the Black Rainbow, I don't know why I'm going to expect anything like (especially with the progressive influence) Good Apollo 1 or In Keeping Secrets again from them.

I will say, no disrespect to Chris Pennie, but at least Josh Eppard is back with them which likely can't hurt.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pepe Deluxé - Go Supersonic [Video/EP]

Given I can't watch the video with sound right now, it may lose something. I do need to try and send in an Email about what's in Section Number 9.

Facebook Posting

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – GO SUPERSONIC. Plus free music and the Deluxé Edition!

Finally it’s here: our homage to the glorious age of Hi-Fi, when speakers were big and far apart, many people actually built their own systems and portable meant "with a forklift."

To celebrate the release of the video, you can now download the entire Go Supersonic EP for free!

We also need some help from you: we would REALLY like to know what’s in the factory sealed section number 9 of the Nexus? Email your answer to info(at)catskillsrecords.com with the subject “Section number 9” ... and you might win a Queen of the Wave Deluxé Edition! Feel free to post your answer here too: we do pick the winner randomly.


I just realized they have a few other EP's of sorts such as this one with a lot of remixes.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kimbra - Two Way Street [Official Video]

interesting footage, even without the sound from the song. She looks alluring as hell of course.

Queensryche: Geoff Tate out. Suing band


Geoff Tate booted, and now suing the band. It's a nice, LONG read, but worth it if you ever cared for them.

personally, I haven't really cared for anything they've done since Chris DeGarmo left, but this whole fiasco has really exposed Geoff Tate for being the douche many (including Mike Portnoy) have claimed he is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ours - Live 7/10/12 in Minneapolis

This will be an edited entry as there's much to say, and not close to enough time to include it all right now.

But I supposed this show, I'll remember for as much as the Herniated Disc I got earlier in the day, as anything involving the show itself.

Here's the setlist, which is short and standard for this tour I guess.

The Black Card stuff, I'll add more later, about, but it's good to finally understand how it's likely going to work.

Drowning (Elenor Rigby ending)
Get Em Out
Fallen Souls

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Dear Hunter - Announce new Record Label/Album coming

7/10/12 9:15AM
Casey posted on twitter about the new album and a few others things.

here's the fans forum link

Q: "I really liked what you do with the Indigo EP.... I hope to see more of that in the future"
Casey: "id love to do a record of music like that- but it might not be called 'the dear hunter'"

Q: "you mentioned a little while back that you might add other color ep's to TCS, is that still a possibility?"
Casey: "no-i think that collection is done for good... maybe another collection of a different subject matter someday"


Casey: "I would really love to do a planet series"

Thanks to those over there for posting this, including a friend of mine, ZeppelinDT, as I can't seem to actually now find enough of Casey's twitter history feed to link these.

It's good to find out progess is being made already, although I'm hardly surprised given the man has like a zillion ideas for songs I imagine.

Also The Color Spectrum live DVD details aren't too far away it sounds like.

6/19/12 9:30AM

Not that this is huge in terms of details (of the album), and it was well documented in recent interviews, they/he (Casey) would be working on their next record this year. When it'll get released? the addictive/obsessive fan in me wants to say late Fall, but realistically sometime next Spring.

Having their own label, "Cave & Canary Goods" should be nice, as the previous Triple Crown Records situation, while wasn't horrible, didn't exactly fit always perfectly. In other words, many of the other bands on Triple Crown style-wise didn't really mesh incredibly well them. Or, there aren't a ton of arty, ambitious progressive bands on there you could say.

This new imprint label, I'm unclear about. But given at least it is in-effect, their own record label, that does give them more control on who they may get promoted with I would imagine.

Labels, schmabels, as long as Casey is still making music of some kind (which he likely always will), it doesn't really matter a ton as their goal isn't to become Coldplay or even as big as The Mars Volta. if it happened, it would be sort of a fluke. But still any wider spread success and exposure still should be nice. Perhaps Kimbra's success and relationship with Casey and TDH, may end up leading to some?

thedearhunter.com link

The Dear Hunter – New Album Announcement


JUNE 19 - The Dear Hunter and Equal Vision Records announces a new partnership, with the launch of frontman Casey Crescenzo’s very own imprint label: Cave & Canary Goods.

Crescenzo, the multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriting mastermind behind The Dear Hunter, elaborates on working with the Upstate NY-based independent label stating, “I am very excited to be to be partnering with EVR and starting Cave & Canary Goods, to release the next record. I can’t say enough good things about the amazing people behind the label. The belief they have put in my music, and my first business venture, is inspiring. I know that together we are going to make some really wonderful things happen in the world of The Dear Hunter.”

Later this Summer, The Dear Hunter will enter the studio with producer Mike Watts. The forthcoming album will be released on Cave & Canary Goods/Equal Vision Records in early 2013.

“I’m incredibly excited to get back in to the studio for the next record. I am even more excited to be creating the record with the help of Mike Watts, who I trust and admire so much. I don’t know what the listening public will think, and the last thing I want to do is make any declarations in an attempt to influence the listener. What I can say, is that I haven’t been more happy, or felt more creative in years, and I am truly anxious to push myself, and my music, to places I still haven’t ventured, and to create the best possible album I can,” explains Crescenzo of the band’s next release.

“After spending a good amount of time debating on whether to continue the Act records at this point, or take another step to the side – the most natural path seemed to be to leave all preconceptions to the side, and to write a record straight from the heart, without any filter of concept or plot.”

Crescenzo is fresh off of the release of the critically acclaimed 2.5 hour, 9 EP, 36-track collection: The Color Spectrum. The ambitious set of recordings was released as a vinyl/digital box set on June 14, 2011 and later released in a CD format. The Color Spectrum is The Dear Hunter’s first release revealing Crescenzo’s sonic interpretation of how he sees the world. Previous releases Act 1: The Lake South The River North, Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, and Act III: Life And Death, followed a very specific conceptual storyline, whereas The Color Spectrum openly tells the story of Crescenzo’s personal experiences and emotions, musically channeled into nine, color categorized EPs.

The album collection has been praised for its ingenuity, diversity, and creativity by the likes of SPIN, Guitar World, Alternative Press, and more. Following the release of the impressive musical anthology, the band performed at the renowned COACHELLA, toured with Manchester Orchestra, and hosted a special performance of The Color Spectrumfrom start to finish in Boston, MA. The entire one-night-only event was filmed and will be released in late 2012. The California-based outfit will next hit the road with Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green, followed by solo dates for Crescenzo with Right Away, Great Captain! – the solo project of Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull.

All upcoming tour dates for The Dear Hunter and Crescenzo can be seen below.

The Dear Hunter w/Anthony Green
Jun 20 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
Jun 21 Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre
Jun 22 Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
Jun 23 St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
Jun 26 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
Jun 27 Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
Jun 28 Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
Jun 29 Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
Jun 30 Vineland, NJ @ Hangar 84

Casey Crescezno w/Right Away, Great Captain!
Jul 11 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
Jul 12 Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Jul 15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Shadow Lounge
Jul 17 Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s
Jul 18 Hamden, CT @ The Space
Jul 19 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Jul 20 Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
Jul 21 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Jul 22 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 Mid Season Index

This is hardly a perfectly accurate list, even right now. This year, like last year, has been filled with for me, many days/weeks with not enough time to take-in albums I before 2011 especially, would have.

In other words, I look to catch up on a lot of music over the next 5 months or so, not only in LISTENING, but BLOGGING.

The keyword is HOPE though, as my schedule with work and the relationship I'm in has really hampered my ability to really write as much and as often as I mean to in here. Will it change? I hope (again the keyword). But I guess I can only assume it won't greatly, save for me taking a day off from work every couple of months for writing, and writing only.

The listening part tho, I wish I could explain, but basically, when you do work that in order to do production like you need to, often all focus should be on the work, and not adding any music. It's the ole right-brain left-brain. My newest position, and the work I've done, especially this year, has required more right-brain work.

I mean there's literally, probably 30 or more albums, I have not heard I mean to, or have only heard once or twice and can't exactly justify ranking high. Even the list below, a few of them I've only listened to a couple of times.

I do the whole Albums Index every year, looking for the cream of the crop. The Apes & Androids and Kaddisfly's, and know, I should require to hear many albums that don't come close to those. But in those cases, it did require time and effort. Sure, reviews can help, but given my taste, I know it's possible (if not likely) I need to do the hunting myself in order to pull those albums in. And with my change in time priorities especially in the last 18 months, it's really not been quite the same as I'm used to.

Not to mention television (watching) and movie reviews.

However, at least I do have a week off coming up soon, which in the near time, should help.

I will say, there still are a lot of records to make their way into this mix, just to name a few:

Emanuel & the Fear, The Reign of Kindo, Archive, Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra, Vuvuzela, The Age of Rockets (maybe if it comes out), Annuals (if it gets released), The Book of Right On, Brice Plays Drums, Bloc Party, Minus the Bear, The River Empires (if it comes out).

So this below should likely be a fair amount different come December.

Rateyourmusic's 2012 Index list

Edit: Some parts of this list may be edited (or reposted) just in due time as I tend to do with the rym list.

1. Pepe Deluxé - Queen of the Wave. Awesome record that's as addictive for it's flow as for it's energy and length. So many moments I enjoy, from the catchy "Go Supersonic" to the riffy "Night and Day."

This album is like a retro-scifi soundtrack being recorded with modern mastering. It so perfectly captures how cool some of those vintage tones and sounds came out in the late 60's and early 70's. I just fall for the romantic element of it.

I pretty much enjoy every moment on it. It's one of those albums I love to continue to play on a weekly if not daily basis. My experience of it being a go-to record is reminiscent of many other Highly played/Ranked albums, or Albums of the Year. That's what I hope for and look for among other things in a top album. If I keep going back to it and enjoying it, likely as much if not more than when I 1st heard it.

I bought it on CD and Vinyl even.

And I'll retract 1 thing I said earlier this year with its chances to be an Album of the Year, being doubtful. I'd say that's long gone. Its chances are highly likely now, since I've played it so many times and still love it.

I know a lot of other folks haven't been wow-ed by it, or even liked it much, but so be it. Is it campy? maybe, but I don't care. I found it a bit cheesy at 1st. But the damn thing just works so well track to track.

The handful of singers, the layers, the influences, the energy, even the story. The last track "Riders on the First Ark" totally works to end its telling of a story of sorts, which I guess it's based on.

I think this is a record I'll be listening to for years, even if the band never makes another album. It reminds me of the evolution or culmination of time and changes in developing a sound that works.

2. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I. This is by default, better than more or less anything else I've heard this year. My initial impression of it was it almost sounded too much like Opeth, but after spending more time with it, I don't think it matters. The compositions, production, the use of violin of course adds a lot to the depth. It is a lengthly record being around 70 minutes, but it is definitely case of an album that flows well enough, the epic journey is more than worth the time it takes to get through it all. If I might compare it to another record, I'd say it has a lot of what I love from In Vain's classic debut album from 2007 The Latter Rain. You listen to this record and each song has those jaw-dropping moments that you always enjoy and look forward to. I think a great deal of how well it came out had to do with how long the band spent working on it, as of course all 3 of the songs on the Aurora Veil ep/demo are included and re-recorded and mastered.

3. Bend Sinister - Small Fame. I'll admit, I am cheating a bit here, having only heard this record 2-3 times via the stream online. It does drop this coming week anyway, and 3 of the tracks "On My Mind," "Give it a Rest," and "She Don't Give It Up" I have spent enough time with already before the online stream last week. But even with early impressions of the rest of it, I sense this is another record like their last album Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers where it is without a track to skip, and every song offers something to enjoy or look forward to.

"Quest for Love" I already sense is 1 of the best tunes they've ever written, very *epic* sort of in a Iron Maiden or Queen sort of way. " My Lady" "Don't You Know" "Hot Blooded Man" "Black Magic Woman" just re-scanning the track list and remembering, were some of the others that I'm already digging. Sound-wise it may not be a huge departure for the band, but the songwriting also isn't a departure, which is often all I hope for with an artist with their new album.

4. Gatherer - So Be It . A pleasant surprise coming from an endorsement from a native of down under, Kimbra. These guys have their own sound, which coming from the evolution of their sound from This City Sunrise, the band previous name. They know how to compose songs that incorporate harshness with beauty. Dynamics are a plenty. The drumming and vocal harmonies are among other parts which keep me going back to this album. Track-wise, the single "Regular Frontier" and "Thrive" may be the most accessible, although like a lot of great records, this one seems to have songs the more I hear them, the more I enjoy them, and notice new things about them to like.

5. House of Fools - Versus the Beast Consistently good throughout. It's been a long time coming for various reasons. I love Live and Learn, and while this is probably not quite as good an album as that, it is still more than good enough to have me going back to it and with each listening.

Will it help them catch-on like I always thought they could? I assume no. But that is status quo, save for they are still a band making music. I at least hope that can still happen.

Pretty much every track has something enjoyable. Specifically, the guitar solos, including some of House of Fools trademark southern-bluesy double (or triple even) solos, are perfectly placed and fit each song's mood. There's a bunch of them.

Song-wise, "Time" "Dogfight" and especially "Need to Be Free" stand out the most. Although, I'll admit the demo of "Need to Be Free" on Fresh Hot Shit, I may still prefer a little due to my love of fat, bubbly keys. But they added an interesting element by using a lot of vocal distortion. Some of the other songs that continue to grow for me include "Daylight," "Johnny Utah," "Another Place," "Oblivion," and "Pick or Choose."

here's the rest of my review on rym

6. Anathema - Weather Systems. I have enjoyed this album close to as much as their last proper record We're Here Because We're Here. Although admittedly, Anathema make rather melancholy music, that best works for the mood I desire, so often it doesn't become addictive right away.

But specifically, the moods, and the drum work are what I can say at this point, standing out. The "Untouchable" suite opening the album, and the closing piece "Internal Landscapes" are among the most memorable. Probably with the samples about the man claiming to experience dying I suppose helps.

This may end up higher than WHBWH due to my previous interest, hopes, etc for this record. Although I'm skeptical if I will find it better or even as good as its predecessor.

But with this album following WHBWH, Anathema have become one of the most interesting bands making college-prog of a sort today.

7. Ramona Falls - Prophet. "Spore" stands out as one of the best, most memorable tracks of 2012. I have that song in my head for hours after I hear it.

It couldn't be this galaxy is lifeless
I keep on searching for a sign Olly oxen free, my telescope is watching For any trace you leave behind"

"Take off the veil Let yourself be found. Ready or not, here-I-come."

That is the standout song on it, but I definitely find it shares in common with the 1st RF's record Intuit, not having a weak track. I suppose in a way, it's an album like that record, but includes 1 or 2 of the best songs Brent Knopf's ever written.

"Archimedes Plutonium," "Bodies of Water," "Brevony," "Proof," "Fingerhold," "If I Equals U," etc, all tracks that work here. I guess I enjoy some of the textures Brent used on this album, specifically the strings and keyboard patches.

Like House of Fools, I am pretty convinced the progressive rock scene will never latch on to them. For whatever reason, it just never happens. They're too college-rock sounding, or not technical enough, or something. But I suppose seeing it happen as often as I have, I've become accustomed to it and reminding myself and others of it in writing/talking about it. Maybe it'll become a fun sarcastic cliche? lol.

8. Lehto & Wright - November. Not as jaw-dropping as 2010's Children's Songs, but this still includes more than enough music to compare favorably with the rest of their extensive catalog. Even the Bob Marley and Bob Dylan covers, "Redemption Song" and "Tom Joad."

They didn't leave their proggy side either with the opening suite "The Humors of Tuaimgreine / RakishPadddy / The Callahan Stomp" along with the closing piece "Dominion of the Sword." Really nice dynamics and guitar work on both of those.

9. Josh Benash - The Dismal; The Beautiful

Pretty impressed how trippy, layered, experimental, yadayada, this album is. Not too surprising, given how outside the box a lot of Kiss Kiss's music is. But this definitely differs in enough good ways.

Lots of humor, and surreal parts are going to give me enough reason to go back to this a lot early in the year.

10 The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

I am on board with this more than any record they've made since Frances. Some of the best vocal lines Cedric has ever come up with. The electronic element adds something, and the lack of clipping cymbals along with lack of repetitive-ness helps this one a lot.

11 Umbrella Tree - To the Memory of a Once Great Man

I enjoy a fair amount of this experimental electronic dark-pop. Nice saxophone, and an intriguing story. Nice blend of male and female vocals. I believe Timbre may have participated again with this.

This album actually was made thanks to a Kickstarter campaign which I was a supporter of. Enough so, the band thanked all those who put in enough for the Vinyl which it and a compact disc release I recall is expected sometime later this year.

12 Sucré - A Minor Bird

sublime, tasteful, very nice orchestral arrangements. "No Return" may be my favorite track, early on.

13 Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Piñata

14 Northern Abbey - Northern Abbey [EP]

Much in the vein of The River Empires. Sublime.

15 Forest Park - Forest Park [EP]

Terrific atmosphere. This is a side-project, I guess from some of the members of Portland, OR-based Chamber rock group Typhoon. After listening to this enough, I'm not sure if I don't like this more.

a 3-track, 24 or so minute EP.

16 Mercies - The Ballet[EP]


17 Memoryhouse - The Slideshow Effect

Like their debut EP, this is still dreamy and catchy. "The Kids Were Wrong" maybe the most accessible.

18 Crippled Black Phoenix - (Mankind) The Crafty Ape

Epic record, and not one I've been able to digest fully at this point. It doesn't stray all that much from their other albums, with the infectious blend of Ennio Morricone and Pink Floyd influences. With Floyd, the Meddle-era seems to be notice-able as much as any. I do still feel this band/project, which is related to, among others, Mogwai, has taken the baton from the likes of Clann Zú and Murder by Death in doing progressive rock of a sort that emphasizes country/western music effectively. Too bad those other two aren't anymore.

19 Rush - Clockwork Angels

a pleasant surprise.

20 Jazzkamikaze - The Return of JazzKamikaze

Pretty much back to their purely jazz/jazz-rock roots. Has not blown me away, but still enjoyable enough.