Friday, January 29, 2016


small milestone.

a little over 9 years, and 200K away from a mill, lol.

Radical Face - The Family Tree: The Leaves (2015-2016)

1/29/16 8:36PM
Amazon Preorder (incl Vinyl)

1. Secrets (Cellar Door)
2. Rivers in the Dust
3. Everything Costs
4. Midnight
5. The Ship in Port
6. Photograph
7. Third Family Portrait
8. The Road to Nowhere
9. Old Gemini
10. Bad Blood

Opening track "Secrets (Cellar Door)"

1/15/16 6:28AM
So, this was coming out per a post or 2 from Ben Cooper last Fall, but now we finally have more details.

The 1st single "Road to Nowhere" is below, and it's good, although it sounds like it will mean more within the whole record. And it sounds like Ben's going to be doing this a little like Clone, by releasing many tracks leading up to the release date which is March 25th, 2016.

Preorder link coming soon per his post below/on FB as well.
Facebook link w/ March 25th Release Date

Facebook Link
Hi Folks,
So I am gonna be releasing some tracks from this album in the lead up to the full thing coming out. I think it's more fun that way.
The first song I'm letting out is called "The Road to Nowhere." It is the follow-up to "The Gilded Hand" off the last album. All throughout the Family Tree records, there's a bloodline that causes fantastic and strange mutations to show up in people. Everything from a little girl who walks on water when she sleepwalks, to two brothers who have regular conversations with their dead relatives. But there's a dark side to this. There are other families with these oddities in their bloodline. Oftentimes the kids who show strange behaviors are abandoned or forced out of their homes and wind-up working in the industrial part of the city. The Gilded Hand is the nickname of a man who provides these children work in his factory, but only so he can experiment on them. He's obsessed with tapping into this odd blood and changing the world with it. Many children who go to work for him are never seen again.
If you've never heard The Gilded Hand, here's a link (
"The Road To Nowhere" follows the story of a boy in that same factory who's abilities only show up in his sleep. He often wakes to find messages written on the walls of his cell, written in his own hand. He has no recollection of writing them, but they always come true. Then one morning, he wakes to find dried blood on his hands and the body of The Gilded Hand on the floor. Not of his choosing, he's freed all the children that'd been collected to work there. Many of them start to follow him as a kind of spiritual leader afterwards.
If you'd like to hear the track, here's a link to the premiere on The Wild Honey Pie here:…/
Also, if you'd like to preorder the album and any of the goodies I'm having made that will go live tomorrow. And I'll hopefully have my website and forum up and running later tonight. Worst case scenario, tomorrow. I am also building a brand new mini-website that will explain all the songs, their stories, and how they connect to each other. It'll be an interactive way to understand the entire project.
Anyway, more soon! It's nice to finally be wrapping all this up. 8 years! Holy hell.
I hope everyone is well.

The Monkees (per 2016 50th Anniv): Working with Andy Partridge (XTC) and others?

1966 was the year The Monkees released their 1st album and the TV Show premiered in September. So, 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of that.

So, obviously the thought is, for a 50-year anniversary they may be planning to do something special. Obviously it could be a tour or 2, with Mike, but Mike has done that a couple of times in the last couple of years. So another thought is, they'll record some new music, something they haven't done in 20 years, since 1996's Justus.

So a few weeks ago my Monkees-aholic fiancee noticed Adam Schlesinger post a pic with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. And so the idea of The Monkees recording a new album with a producer perhaps, and perhaps it being Adam came up.

And now just today, Andy Partridge of XTC posted the below post about writing songs for The Monkees on twitter.

So, it begs the question or questions, what does this mean? Could they make a new album like they did in the 60's, with top-notch songwriters of today (or recent day, XTC of course was most active/well-known for their work in the 80's. Fountains of Wayne even has been a bit out of the game the last 10 years).

And Andy Partridge likely is someone Mike would be familiar with, at least stylistically, XTC and Andy's stuff is odd and quirky, even if it is still poppy.

I guess we'll see, but as a Monkees fan, and being engaged to a rather fanatical Monkees fan, this is certainly intriguing news. Who else could they be working with? Matt Mahaffey? Ben Folds? Dug Pinnick? (he's also been pictued  backstage at 1 a show with Christian and Mike Nesmith) Michael Stipe? (known fan) 1st choice might be Casey Crescenzo, although the odds I'm sure are very unlikely.

I also can't help but think if Kevin Gilbert were alive, he would have a chance to work with them, and the results could have been through the roof, at least in potential

XTC's twitter link

The news from the Monkees camp is positive on the songs I wrote for them,will keep you posted on how things go.

per Facebook

Adam Schlesinger with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, pic posted on January 17th.

edit: and per, another link was shared in reaction talking about Andy and Andrew Sandoval exchanging twitter posts recently and Andy's love on The Monkees


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2015-2016 Albums Anticipation Videos

Not perfect, but also a lot of ground covered in a reasonable amount of time. Many of course I didn't include, and the 3rd actual preview entry likely will include many artists/titles that I failed to mention (Protest the Hero for example)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015-2016 Anticipated Albums ********Part 2********

Okay, so here's the 2nd part, of 3 about anticipated albums for 2015-2016. Most of these seem pretty likely to come out, although no guarantees of course, both on the time frame and if the manage to be released by next Halloween.

But if most of these do, I'm certainly looking at some pretty big blue-chip releases. Of course with most years though, many albums are highly anticipated, and don't fully end up being as addictive as I hoped, while a bunch of other artists I have never heard of, or are new, or I didn't have a clue would be releasing a new album, totally come out of that nowhere place to win me over (see Small Leaks Sink Ships from 2014-2015 for example).


22 - You Are Creating

It's been anticipated for a number of years, and likely would have been released in 2014 or early 2015 had their singer not left. I recall the Summer of 2014 they posted some updates more or less ready to drop the record. But when they made the announcement of their singer leaving, they included that the album would be re-recorded (or even re-written).

Their social media presence has been sparse over the last year, but that doesn't mean they aren't moving to finally putting this long anticipated 2nd record.

We'll see, but I certainly am hoping it does come as I really love more or less all of their music. And their debut record Flux is catchy and addictive as hell.


Israeli duo making piano-driven progressive rock, a bit in the vein of The Reign of Kindo. The singles they released the last couple of years are awesome, and they confirmed they are working on their 1st full length album last Summer. So don't be surprised to see the Anakdota debut album to drop in 2016.

The Barnum Meserve

UK-based chamber rock band put out their Self-Titled debut album in 2015, which I enjoyed and found new fans. But when they announced the info about it, they also talked about how they had written their 2nd album and were working on their 3rd. And that info came out many months before the debut record did.

So logically, the already written (and possibly recorded?) 2nd record could also come out in 2016, to mark a 2nd LP in as many years.


The 5th Blackfield album, which it has been a few years since the release of their last record. And the most recent update confirmed it was coming, and it would involve Steven Wilson again, maybe more than their last couple of albums. And guests, which include Alan Parsons.

I guess my feeling about Blackfield right now is, their last 2 records I don't even remember much about. But 2012 was their last album, so it's been 4 years, and I could go for getting back into them. But if this record doesn't do much for me, it's not a big deal. At the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if this album was pretty good. Perhaps that could have to do with Steven Wilson being more involved again.

British Theatre's Twitter ("Numan" a working song or album title)

Mike Vennart "Something excellent this way comes, January 26th. X" 

With the success of Vennart's record The Demon Joke in 2015, the 1st full-length from British Theatre seems to have more intrigue. And Mike mentioned more than once in interviews in 2015 that British Theatre has a full-length album in the works.

And so he kind of hinted at something there. And I can also include that per The Demon Joke Pledgemusic page, a new Pledgemusic campaign will be launched for British Theatre's debut album soon (likely on the 26th?).

So I suppose the only thing that may prevent this from coming in 2016 would be timing. But it seems like it'll come out relatively soon. And I'm definitely enticed by that, per loving Vennart's work and enjoying the 2 EP's they made previously a lot.

Edit: per another update/email, January 26th (next Tuesday), the campaign is coming.

Bullet Height

Jon Courtney, formerly of Pure Reason Revolution, new band. With a female vocalist, along with his own vocals as well. The 1st single "Bastion," they released recently sounded a bit like some of PRR's last record industrial/electronic rock style. Which I certainly am curious about.

The female vocalist is Sammi Doll, who per Wiki, had done some work with alternative/dark wave/industrial band IAMX, which kind of fits with the initial impression from Bullet Height.

Also interesting how they plan to release a debut record on Superball Music, which PRR had been with along others like Oceansize and now Vennart (and British Theatre perhaps?).

Diablo Swing Orchestra

They posted frequent updates in 2015 from the studio recording. Many over the Summer I recall, or possibly in the Fall. Per their next album seems to be nearing release.

Another band who we haven't heard from in a few years, the last being 2012's Pandora's Pinata, an album I remember being lengthly, but still enjoying a fair amount of it's style of jazzy/dance/quirky prog metal of a sort.
Dream the Electric Sleep

I was pretty won over by this Kentucky-based progressive rock band late in 2014 with their record Heretics. Their singer, almost reminded me of Jimmy Gnecco or maybe closer, Judah Nagler from The Velvet Teen.

And last June? I want to say, they posted about working with Nick Raskulinecz, whose maybe best known for working with Rush on some of their recent records.

So their's multiple reasons to look forward to their next album, which if that was last June, this album could very easily drop in 2016 sometime.

The Faceless

This may be a comeback album for me, as my interest in The Faceless dropped a bit from their last couple of records, after loving their debut record Akeldama.

But I say that per the 1st single, "The Spiraling Void" totally working for me. I think it may be in part from the return of their original singer Derek Rydquist

Also per Wiki, I just noticed a possible title to this upcoming record is "In Becoming a Ghost."

The Family Crest

I was totally won over by the band in 2014, after seeing them open for Mother Falcon at 7th Street Entry, and then picking up their new album Beneath the Brine. And that album ended up being in my top 5 records for 2014.

But after seeing them live a few times since and conversing with some of the members after those shows, they began and have been working on their next work since.

Beneath the Brine, while it gave credits from all the members living in their native San Francisco, also included an incredibly long and detailed list of other musicians from other parts of the States (at least). In other words, they are more or less an rock/pop/folk orchestra of sorts.

But just from the conversations I had, the record they are working on to follow-up BtB is supposed to blow BtB out of the water. Or rather, it's not necessarily going to be a record, but record(s) potentially.

The band I'm sure will come forward in due time about it, but the ambition level seems potentially through the roof, for this next work(s) they put out. It may make Beneath the Brine seem like just a stepping stone.

And how they are making their next records, at least partially, is per their tours and traveling to various towns and working with/recording with different musicians when time allows.

But I almost get the sense this album stylistically may go in many other places, along with just the approach to the subject matter and songs themselves. How they are recorded among other things. A bit like The Dear Hunter's The Color Spectrum perhaps in some ways.

Fates Warning

Midway into this interview Joey Vera mentions Mid-Summer is a projection.

It's well documented how big a fan of Fates Warning I am. And while not every record they've made, I've loved, there is too much history and I suppose admitted fanboy-ism, for me to not be excited for a new album from Fates.

And even with their last record, Darkness in a Different Light, really not including a ton of material I've grown attached to. I do wonder though, as I mentioned in a recent Random Artist Feature about them, how given Jim Matheos (and John Arch) may have wrote the music for the Arch/Matheos Sympathetic Resonance, not too long before Darkness was written; per some of the best ideas Jim Matheos had recently for songs, may not have ended up on Darkness.

But, given it seems Jim's largest focus the last few years has been on Fates, and the band I suppose playing more together, including with Frank Aresti, may make more of a difference in this next record.

And like I wrote there, linked, bassist Joey Vera mentions they are looking to have it out in the Summer.


I have become a mega fan of Fjokra in less than 2 years really.And it could possibly be premature given how limited amount of material to draw from.

But, I was addicted to the Thoughtsteps EP in 2014, and even the Mellowsound Sessions and some of the covers that they have done.

And throughtout much of 2015, Fjokra posted a number of images of recording/collaborating. In NYC I recall, possibly among other places (I forget).

So, I'm hopeful something new will be released from them in 2016. And as a fanboy, I cannot be more excited for it. I would say at this point, there's not another artist who could put out a new album, I'd be more excited for sans for Kevin Gilbert or if Apes and Androids came back.

Rare Futures

I came across this name from memory, in a Reddit AMA Casey Crescenzo did like 9 months ago. I think 1 of the members (the singer?) filled in on a tour with Casey solo or TDH, I forget.

Anyway, I also came to learn of a connection or 2 with this band and the now broken up college-prog band Facing New York, who were a band I liked in the mid 2000's, but never got highly into. But fans of bands like dredg and Kaddisfly I specifically remember loving Facing New York. And then I think they broke up. But I hadn't heard about this band some years later.

And I picked up their 2010 debut disc Dreams of Water in 2015 and enjoyed a good chunk of it. Textured college prog. A bit like dredg or Woven maybe.

And I recall seeing some stuff not long before or after checking that out, about their next record being made on Facebook. So that album shouldn't be too far away.

Edit: So Happy Body Slow Brain is no more, and their new name is Rare Futures (thanks to altprogcore for the update per twitter)


I grew to love Journal's 2010 debut record Unlorja more and more. They make a really impressive style of progressive metalcore. Like Between the Buried and Me or Painted in Exile (or Native Construct).

I just haven't listened to them a lot since that year, but with fond memories, I certainly will be excited to hear a new album from them, which from some Facebook posts in 2015, it seems likely to happen soon.

Spencer Ludwig 
The trumpet specialist from electronic pop/soul/rock band Capital Cities has a solo debut record coming in 2016. Spencer's trumpet work certainly is one-of my favorite parts of Capital Cities sound, so I'm certainly curious to hear what he may do when he is the main songwriter and center of the songs.

I recall the genre listed on Facebook? was "Trumpet-Pop" which when done well, I'm very much into. I even used to play trumpet myself afterall.


Per the latest Pledgemusic Campaign Update:

We’re now back in the studio developing the song ideas for M18 (which is still available to pre order at We begin the new year in good shape, listening to the 6 current contenders currently working-titled:
The Leavers 14m 26sec
El Dorado 12m 18sec
Class 4m 58sec
Things Buried 3m 53sec
New Kings 16m 30 sec
Melt Our Guns – 5m 20 sec
If you can add, then you’ll see there’s already an hour of music on the boil. The time references are current song lengths but will lengthen or shorten depending upon creative decisions currently being taken. It’s also possible that songs will be subtracted and added to this list. Song titles may also change, so don’t write to us asking where things came from and went to!
We have another two or three strong ideas queuing up for development which we are on course to have ready for the “backing track final performance” stage which will take place at Peter Gabriel’s “Real World” studio in late February. It’s all coming together nicely now.

Being a huge fanboy, I'm excited again for a new Marillion album, their 18th studio work. Sounds That Can't Be Made and Happines is the Road, I definitely enjoy, but at the same time, don't find as addictive as some of their other recent records. But some of it is just time spent listening to them, as I likely haven't invested as much time as I wish.

The projected track list sounds interesting enough though. "El Dorado" "The Leaves" and "New Kings" all being of epic length. Might this be a double? I guess we'll see, but they have mentioned more than once, the Spring is their goal for it to be released. I guess we'll see, but it should come out in 2016 sometime.

The Mercury Tree
This Portland, Oregon based mathy/prog band won me over rather well with their record in 2014, Countenance. They combine a lot of different styles, to really work well. From mathrock, jazzrock to metal(core), to progressive rock. The dynamics really work well.

And when seeing them for a 2nd Summer in a row in Minneapolis with Brice Plays Drums, they played some of their newest music and mentioned how they had finished most of their next record and were looking to release it in the Fall.

But obviously that didn't happen, but logically it would be close to done and looking to be released sometime in 2016.

From memory, the new music was more technical and heavier at times, which I'm all for as I really was impressed by it. I recall some of it reminded me of the syncopation of early Cynic.


I recall being introduced to these guys a few years ago from seeing That Drummer Guy's End of Year List. This Barcelona-based band makes a very cool kind of atmospheric progressive death metal.  Their last album was in 2012, and just from going to their facebook, I recall they posted about recording and possibly even being finished with the new record.

Edit: they posted about mixing their next album in January.

So, the album probably will follow not long after.


Like Moonloop, this is another progressive extreme metal band I was introduced to from That Drummer Guy's end of year list in 2012. They hail from Turku which I guess is in Finland. Their last album from 2012, The Treachery of the Senses I really enjoyed. Just scanning my blurb to refresh, their vocals aren't as much about growling as intensity. Sort of a mix of Opeth and Green Carnation in some ways.

When this album comes out: their most recent post on Facebook on December 1st says their album is done. They just need to get the artwork and I imagine how it will be released. But I imagine that stuff will be announced sometime in the near future.


One of my long-time favorites, which like some others on this Anticipation list, I have a large fanboy bias about. 2013's Ballet the Boxer 1 I enjoy, although not as much as any of the other Ours records.

But that's hardly a bad thing or a reason not to be highly excited for this. Probably as big of a reason being, many of the songs Jimmy's written lately, he played for the Black Card Holders on live streams, and they were of course amazing.

Some of the titles from the live streams:
Fallen Flower
New Age Heroin
Miles Away
Ring the Bell/When the Daylight Comes
Cry No More
Got a Feeling
Burn Down the Night

"Cry No More" was certainly one I recall enjoying a lot, as it had this *epic* feel to it.
I guess a word of precaution though given how sparse the info about this record has been the last 6 months. But the last bit I remember was saying the projection was to record it last Summer/Fall in the new "Echowing" studio that was setup in NYC.

However, Jimmy and in some cases, the band have done some live dates here and there, which may have impacted the timing. And just to recall some history, back in 2006, it seemed the Mercy record was going to come out, but it was pushed back for the better part of 2 years. Although that had a lot to do with the record label and possibly working with Rick Rubin's schedule. But also the fact Ballet the Boxer 1 sounded like it may have been rushed for the Pledgemusic campaign's promise, etc I'm not sure if Jimmy and the band want to go through that time-conscience process again, as they don't need to really.

In other words, a campaign may get launched again, but even if it does not, I would only hope but not expect it to be coming out early this year. But there still seems like a chance it'll come out in 2016 sometime at least. Whenever it does, I'm hoping for big things again though.

Pain of Salvation

A band I used to highly love. And I still consider incredibly important in my music taste. With the lineup changes and some style changes, my interest in their recent music isn't as high as it once was. However, I still enjoy the Road Salt records and Scarsick enough. And I recall at least 1 quote or account from a forum talking to Daniel and how the music the band are working on now is heavier and more remiscent of their early albums like Entropia and One Hour By the Concrete Lake.

Although Daniel Gildenlow has posted a ton about Star Wars of late, but that could be just mood and him being a huge fan. But if a SW reference showed up in their next record, it wouldn't be shocking.

The last thing they put out, Falling Home, which was a re-arrangement/re-recording of a number of tracks, and a couple of covers. I actually enjoyed that quite a bit. There was even 1 new track from memory, which was the title track I think.

But as far as timing, the actual PoS Facebook page has posted studio pics recently, so there certainly is a chance their next album could arrive in 2016.

Pepe Deluxe

Pepe Deluxe, a band who came out of nowhere in 2012 with their album Queen of the Wave,which totally floored me. Their style of retro psych/prog/classic pop/rock, with a heavy Dick Dale influence among a lot of others.

Their history of evolving sound, organic and analog sounds, tones, textures, etc and large gaps with albums suggests that their next album may still be a ways away. However, it has been 4 years and they have posted a fair amount on Facebook about recording new music, or about their new music, etc in the last year.

I guess I'm very hopeful something may come this year, but whenever it does, I have very high hopes for it regardless.

Tiny Giant

Chloe of Pure Reason Revolution's new band. They have released 1 or 2 singles in the last year, which impressed me a lot.

The 1st 2 singles, "Heavy Love" and the newest "Seeing Everything As Thought It Is Real" are both excellent, emotional and dynamic rock tracks.

"Dream Pop and Future Rock" is what they describe themselves on FB, which makes some sense. I suppose one thing to wonder is how different will their sound be from the last electronic-driven PRR album and even Bullet Height. And I suppose with Chloe doing the lead vocals more prominently, and maybe not so much of a prog influence but maybe more pop and other styles, I dunno.

I suppose their influences are more varied potentially.

Also the fact Mat Collis is a co-member/writer? of this group adds something, having a background playing as a multii-instrumentalist with Steven Wilson and Katatonia among others.

Kaddisfly- Horses Galloping on Sailboats (Vinyl)
This Link should indicate when it's available.

This is for the vinyl for my 2nd favorite record from 2014-2015. And maybe more importantly, a long awaited follow-up album, that having on vinyl, frankly, any Kaddisfly on vinyl, will be awesome. There was of course a few TEST PRESSINGS made that some paid a pretty penny for ($400 or more?). But when this vinyl does finally come out, it will be less than that I imagine. And the pressing is not 2 12-inches, but a 12 and a 10. And some will be colored.

I'm of course curious about the jacket/liner/notes, etc as well.

And in a perfect world, it sells incredibly well and they decide to press Set Sail the Prairie eventually as well. Baby steps, but we'll see.

Also Transatlantic and Spock's Beard vinyls are also coming/just came out which I suppose are worth adding as I just found out about them. I would guess I'll pickup the TA's and maybe some of the Spock's eventually.

Transatlantic SMPTe.jpg
Transatlantic - SMPT:e February 12th

Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever. February 12th.

Spock's Beard - Day For Night February 5th

Spocks Beard Snow.jpg
Spock's Beard - Snow January 15th

Spock's Beard -  The Kindness of Strangers January 15th

SpocksBeard BewareOfDarkness.jpg
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness February 5th

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Random Artist Feature: Queensrÿche (26 MINUTES)

Here's the latest in this new series of Artist Features on YouTube.

I really chose Queensryche to feature next per that large collection of singls/eps/designed Vinyls and posters I acquired in the last 2 years. Most of them from that 1 store out in Eagan, Cedar Cliff Collectibles

The length is also largely a product of the amount, as I would guess if I had just covered my take on each studio record, it would have only been between 10-15 minutes tops.

And I wish I could have found my copy of Promised Land, but I didn't have hours to spend hunting for it among my cds. I found the large books I got when I acquired these 2 200-300 Jukebox cd players from BestBuy in the 90's, but alas, it along with my other Queensryche cds, were not in there.

Per a comment on there and from Jammindude, I recall being urged to check out Condition Human, which I may finally do again. I remember putting it on 1 day this Fall and finding it okay at best. But I suppose part of my issue is, as it's been with other bands, is how similar the singer may sound to Geoff Tate may ruin it for me.

Per the ProgPowerUSA festivals and some of the bands at the early ones I attended, a lot of bands had singers that sounded almost exactly like Geoff Tate, which always ruined their music for me. Even Power of Omens, who I do enjoy, and Zero Hour eventually, both had singers that did, and it was always difficult for me to not be bugged by.

But maybe after all these years, and it actually being Queensryche themselves, may make a difference for me. I guess I'll see.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Alan Rickman Rest in Peace..... and Celebrity Deaths and Cancer

Story about Alan Rickman dying at 69 of Cancer

I really loved this guy at times, after I think initially not being a huge fan. I don't recall even knowing it was him who played the villain in Die Hard until years later.

But from Hitchikers Guide, to Snape in all the Harry Potter movies, to Galaxy Quest to Bottle Shock (he was a hilarious wine snob/critic), to Nobel Son, to Love Actually. The guy was always worth watching.

I also thought he should have played Count Dracula, in a Christopher Lee-esque way, although maybe that would have been less unique or original. Snape was similar I suppose.

Really sad though, he's gone the same week as Bowie and in very similar circumstances of a secretive cancer.

So to Cancer, this is fitting.

Even though Bowie and Rickman's cancer was secretive, there are many whose is not (like Bruce Dickinson). I would go for trying to find a Wiki page or website that listed them. I only found a couple of gossip sites, here's one:
Celebrities Who Survived Cancer

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More Bowie Tributes: Heroes (King Crimson live, 2000)

Worth a share. Robert Frip of course plays on "Heroes" so I suppose it's not weird for Crimson to have covered this, but it's still a pleasure to see along with the rest of the band do it live, and updated a bit. Belew does a pretty good Bowie.

I'd like to believe Bowie caught Crimson live a number of times, including when they would have covered this.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saigon Kick - Space Oddity

With all the Bowie stuff that has come up and thought about over the past 24 hours of course, this is another one that crossed my mind.

I've always loved Saigon Kick, In fact it's kind of a travesty how little if any content I've ever included about them, as I own more or less everything they did.

And I have strong nostalgia for them in the mid-late 90's, and even through the 2000's.

Time is limited of course for me as I need to head to work; but this song I can honestly say, increased my inteerst in David Bowie's music a lot., While the arrangement isn't dramatically different from the original, there's enough of their stamp on it, to give it distinction.

And it inspired me to see what they said on Social Media yesterday here

Getting a message that David Bowie thought a cover you did “was really good” was a massive career highlight, even if he was just being kind.

And it seems Bowie enjoyed their cover.

As for SK, I really should try and include some content about them and their impressive catalog as they've been a band I've enjoyed for a long time and they are sort of forgotten by the prog/prog-metal scene among others.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dream Theater - The Astonishing (2015-2016)

1/11/16 1:46PM



The review as I posted in the 1st part of the 2015-2016 preview entry, there's already some favorite reviews showing up here as of 1/11/16

Wait-and-see. The trailer really does translate to what I would expect though.

12/4/15 2:07PM

1st single "The Gift of Music"..not bad, not excessive, yet still them.

Cover Art also added below.

11/18/15 1:55PM-11/24/15 6:22AM (Act II Track List edited)

I know it was posted awhile ago, blah blah, but it's worth an update I suppose.

Lot Medieval Cheese within there.

Track List


1. Descent of the NOMACS
2. Dystopian Overture
3. The Gift of Music
4. The Answer
5. A Better Life
6. Lord Nafaryus
7. A Savior in the Square
8. When Your Time Has Come
9. Act of Faythe
10. Three Days
11. The Hovering Sojourn
12. Brother, Can You Hear Me?
13. A Life Left Behind
14. Ravenskill
15. Chosen
16. A Tempting Offer
17. Digital Discord
18. The X Aspect
19. A New Beginning
20. The Road to Revolution

1. 2285 Entr'acte
2. Moment of Betrayal
3. Heaven's Cove
4. Begin Again
5. The Path That Divides
6. Machine Chatter
7. The Walking Shadow
8. My Last Farewell
9. Losing Faythe
10. Whispers on the Wind
11. Hymn of a Thousand Voices
12. Our New World
13. Power Down
14. Astonishing
11/2/15 5:09PM

The selection of "The Great Northern Empire" and "The Ravenskill Rebel Militia" per the email list and it seems part of the concept of this album, has been up for like a week or whatever.

A lot of critical comments online about this, just based on the premise and title alone. I guess my expectation for it isn't all that high anyway. If it's cheesy, so be it, I just hope there's a few moments to enjoy. But the truth is, their S/T album I barely remember much about. A Dramatic Turn of Events was okay, although I hardly find myself longing to go back to it right now.

The Astonishing

Rest in Peace David Bowie

shocked to see the news

an 18-month battle with cancer, which I guess his family kept private understandably.

Jeez, Lemmy and now Bowie.

I don't have time to talk more in detail about my experience with Bowie, but maybe later today or this week i will. It does put his new album Blackstar into a different light.

Rest in Peace Starman.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015-2016 Preview/Anticipation ******PART 1*******


Okay, well this is the 1st part of a 2 or 3 part series of entries about the current and upcoming albums for the year. Of course as I adopted a couple of years ago, the year began November 1st, and so November and December albums are included.

As for this entry, it is the stuff that has come or are scheduled to be released at this point, along with a few that seem highly likely given the information.

The next entry or two though, is where a lot of the blue chips will show up, but of course many may come much later, or of course not even at all.  But to say a lot of the names in the next 1 or 2 are on my mind a lot, is accurate (Fjokra and Pepe Deluxe to name just a couple of them).

But as far as the below list/calendar, it does include some strong and optimistic stuff. Having just heard the Brooke Waggoner album finally in the last couple of days, I can already say that is one I enjoy and should go back to a lot (maybe even an early leader?).

The metal titles seem potentially formidable, with Vektor and Hands of Despair definitely something to be excited about, among some others.

Dream Theater: I just read a couple of actually pretty positive reviews of their new record, which adds something more I suppose.

Cloud Cult's new album and film keeps sounding better and more intriguing.

And then there are the November/December titles, which Falling Up and Mutemath certainly factor into this season's crop. And the SikTh EP/Mini-album as well.


Chris Issak -- First Comes The Night -- album cover.jpg
13: Chris Isaak - First Comes the Night

My fiancee is a pretty big fan, and I did see him a few years ago with her. And I at least can claim to enjoy both his and some covers of "Wicked Game" (Kaddisfly namely). The reviews for it actually have been decent; although the amount I'll be hearing it largely depends on the fiancee's interest and possibly if he comes back into town and we go to see him.

Mutemath Vitals.jpg
13: Mutemath – Vitals
Despite a lot of polarizing feelings about this album from longtime fans, I am enjoying this album a lot. It has great energy, like many Mutemath albums. The use of synths I am finding really work well on this album, despite them usurping the guitar presence.

From the wall-of-sound instrumentals "Bulletproof" and the title track, to tracks like "Stratosphere," "Light Up," and "Joyrides," this album is consistently engaging. I even think some of the slower/more ballad-y tracks still work rather well and don't disrupt any flow to this album.

Where it lands come next November/December is unclear, but I can see myself continuing to listen to it over the next year certainly, especially around the time of the concert at First Avenue on April 3rd.

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13: Falling Up - Falling Up
The final Falling Up album. Some of the initial details were given in the interview I did with Jessy Ribordy last Summer.

My overall feeling about Falling Up has been, I am a fan of their albums, namely the ones since Fangs from 2009. Although I find Fangs to be my favorite, I do enjoy a lot of the music on Sparkling Death Cometh and the Hours/Midnight on Earthship records, but especially the latter 2 I probably didn't invest enough time to fully get into them. Part of that was due to lack of time, and possibly part of that was how they got released, 1-track at a time, I sort of lost momentum in trying to listen to them.

Blech, cutting-to-the-chase, this album is really bloody good. I'm not exactly sure why I am enjoying it more than even the previous records, but I think it could be given how much time and thought I think may have been put into it. As Jessy explained in that interview:

ALLMR: How does it differ from even the most recent Falling Up records like HoursMidnight on Earthship and Your Sparkling Death Cometh, and how is it similar? 

Jessy: Well I’ve taken a lot more time to write this album than the others. YSDC I wrote in about three weeks ha! This one I took three months to really get the songs the way I wanted them. Not to say that the songs lacked anything on those older records. In fact normally I write better under pressure and in a shorter amount of time. Sometimes when I have too much time I second guess myself way too much. But it was different with this album. Time was a good thing. I needed to be in the space that my life was in at the time to really absorb inspiration. But it’s similar in ways of recording. Since we’ve become independent we’ve lived by the standard of not holding back with our albums. We let the songs be the songs that they are meant to be instead of trying to form them into anything for any other purpose than just being music. 

As for tracks, etc the 1st single/video "Into the Woodshop" probably stands as my favorite as it has this great story of sorts it seems to tell. The guitar lines are melancholic and yet beautiful. And the emotion comes across really well in Jessy's vocal delivery.

Other highlights include the opening track "Boone Flyer" and the 2nd epic track "Flora" which each time I listen to it, I notice new things to like. "Hydro" and "The Insect" are a couple other favorites that musically work well, and lyrically, add to the intrigue of the concept/story that it being told with this album, which seems to be about stories about/in a house as Jessy mentioned in the interview.

I guess part of why I may also be enjoying this album so much as it is their final album, and it seems they wanted to go out on a great final note/swan song. The beauty and magic and cinematic element is as great as it's been with any Falling Up album, and much like some of Jessy's other work which I happen to love (The River Empires, The Gloomcatcher). It is kind of bitter-sweet in that sense. And I'm hardly the only one taking notice as on the rateyourmusic page, it is getting rather favorable ratings thus far.

But even though it is their last album, I am really happy it came out so good, and it does have me curious what Jessy and people like Nick Lambert and Josh Shroy will do now. Josh for example, really stands out on this album, probably more than any other record, as his drum work is outstanding. Even how well it is emphasized and mixed. The drums are at times my favorite part of many songs.

I probably will continue with this album from now until next October, and unless something changes, I can't see this not finishing pretty high among my favorites from 2015-2016.


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4: SikTh - Opacities [EP] (December)
The first SikTh release since 2006's Death of a Dead Day. And of course the 1st since they broke up in 2008? and then reformed a couple of years ago to play live.

I do enjoy a lot of this, as I am SikTh fan, and a fan of their chaotic, theatrical and technical style of Prog Metal. 

"Walking Shadows" is the stand out track early-on, and it also doesn't seem to have any of the clipping cymbal mix that is on other parts of this Mini-Album. 

But the compositions are certainly on par with their older work. the djent moments come, but I guess I'm not bothered by them, as much as other more recent bands. And the spoken sections still add charm but don't seem too excessive.

SikTh are back finally, and there isn't another band doing this kind of music like them (or as good as them, although I suppose I would love for uneXpect to comeback at some point and compare).

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11: JennyLee (Jenny Lee Lindberg) - Right On!
Debut solo record from Warpaint's bassist/vocalist. I honestly only checked out about 1/2 of this album, and the jury is still very much out about it. I guess the mellow/moody vibe still seems to be apparent in the writing, which does remind me more of the last Warpaint record from 2014, which overall I didn't love .

But given how little I've heard of this still, and it's her own project, rather than what Warpaint are doing collectively, my expectations aren't as high.


Blackstar album cover.jpg
8:  David Bowie - Blackstar

The 1st single, which was the title track, just remembering, I did enjoy. But not to the point of addiction. I am a David Bowie fan, but not massive; so while I will be checking this out, I don't have huge expectations for it, but if it surprises me, I won't be surprised, lol.

It also only includes 7 tracks, and just glancing on rym, it is being rated rather highly right now. Sleeper?

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15: Brooke Waggoner - Sweven
The 1st 2 singles "Widow Maker" and "Ovenbird" are both really good, and sound like Brooke may be using more orchestral elements on this album, maybe more than on her last record Originator from 2013. 

Although regardless, all of Brooke's records have been really good, so I honestly almost expect to love this thing, and hopefully soon since January 15th is right around the corner.

edit: Stream it in Full here

Thumbs up on "Pennies and Youth"..reminds me a bit of Go Easy Little Doves.
The whole thing, not surprisingly, has impressed me a ton.

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22: Steven Wilson - 4 1/2
The next release which per the title, is like a Half-Release or an EP, etc. Although rym shows it as a full-length. It is 37 minutes of music I guess, for what that's worth.

It includes "Don't Hate Me" which from memory, is a Porcupine Tree track from Stupid Dream. I am assuming the version on this album will be different, re-arranged, etc. 

It also includes the opening 9+ minute "My Book of Regrets" which I think is the track that was played at many shows on the tour of the US I saw last Spring (in Minneapolis), but it wasn't named at that point.

Looking forward to this, although given it is only 6 tracks, 5 new original/ etc I suppose my hopes aren't as high as they would be for his next full-length. Then again, I find Nil Recurring to be one of the best Porcupine Tree records.

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22: The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum
Atmospheric psych/rock band from Canada who are still around. They released something a year or 2 ago which kind of put me to sleep, but I can't deny, I loved the 1 show saw them. I'll check this one out certainly, but even if I don't go apeshit over it, I probably will continue to look at their best heard in concert where their trippy-ness comes out best.

29: Dream Theater - The Astonishing
34 track, and a double Concept album. And the band are to perform the whole thing live next Spring.
And the concept is so overtly-fantasy Game-of-Thrones/Dungeons and Dragons/Lord of the Rings like, at least just based on the track titles, I think I'm hardly alone in just expecting an all-out cheesy nerdfest.

That being said, I am a lifer Dream Theater fan, and will always pay attention to what they make, even with their approach to songwriting/composition in recent years.

This at least has them trying something different, with the big concept and another double-record, their 1st since Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence from 2002.

I guess I don't expect to get attached to this record, but if I somehow enjoy more than half of it, I'll be pleasantly surprised. I guess it wouldn't even surprise me if I and many other fans love it or just forget about it. Which from a time standpoint, is kind of a win-win situation.


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5: Obscura - Akroasis
One of the better technical death metal bands returns with their 1st album since 2011's Omnivium. I do enjoy them, but can't say I love them like some other bands. They do at times sound a fair amount like early Cynic, which is a plus. But I can't forget, how I love Necrophagist, and this band along with Hannes Grossman's solo work has kind of killed the chances of more music coming from Necrophagist. I.e. I kind of see Obscura as the next best thing if Necrophagist never comes back. 

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5: Field Music - Commontime
I certainly will check this out, from this british group who some compare to XTC. I seem to recall enjoying their record their 2010 record Measure, more than Plumb, the follow-up in 2012. Although just scanning their rym, they made music for a film titled Music For Drifters in 2015, so that may be worth checking out as well.

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5: Textures - Phenotype
Another record from Textures, which I know they sort of moved the whole Djent thing along before Periphery sort of mainstreamed it. 2011's Dualism I rated at 2.5 stars, whereas their previous 2 albums I have at 3.5. But their last record was 5 years ago, so the break in time may help. Definitely an album I will check out.

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12: Cloud Cult - The Seeker 
The cover art I'm using is just for the 1st single "No Hell" (and I should edit/replace it when the official cover comes).

Another Cloud Cult album, which I am certainly excited about, as they have yet to put out a poor record, and especially Feel Good Ghosts in 2008, I've enjoyed their music more and more. Love, from 2013 though I did enjoy, not as much as the previous two.

But where this album seems to be different or have more/different potential is the approach. It not only is an album, likely a concept album, but it goes along with a film of the same name. But not apparently a film with any actual heard dialogue, but I guess the album/music is synchronized to.

Quite ambitious idea. Also having Cloud Cult Superfan and How I Met Your Mother/Independent Film Actor/Screenwriter Josh Radnor involved, as he does play a part in the movie.

But the 3 or 4? tracks (No Hell, Through the Ages, No Hell just from memory)  I've heard thus far are all quite good, and sound like Cloud Cult. I suppose the big thing musically is how varied or different the album will seem compared to their others. I recall 1 or 2 clips being mostly instrumental, and given it's used for the movie, there may be more all-instrumental or longer instrumental-features.

15: Hands of Despair - Bereft
Hands of Despair I recall getting introduced towards the end of 2011 and their album Hereafter. That album featured a ton of bone crushing riffs, extremely clear production; plus a very well thought-out and executed blend harsh and clean vocals.

Progressive Death Metal of a kind, that really worked on many levels, that it's sad that they are still unknown, even among the progressive and death metal communities I see online.

And the 1st single "Sleeper" is 9 minutes of a lot of the same. if the rest of the record is like this, I can definitely foresee listening to this record a lot this year.


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4: Tiles - Pretending to Run
I used to be a pretty big fan of this Michigan-based prog rock band, who definitely were big fans of Rush. Namely with their 1st 3 albums, the 1994 Self-Titled debut, Fence the Clear and 1999's Presents of Mind.

The other stuff they've done since, I never got too into, despite some impressive guest musicians from memory (Ian Anderson, Alex Lifeson). 

The list of guests is maybe more expansive on this one:

Pretending to Run was produced by Terry Brown (Rush, Fates Warning) and features a remarkable collection of guest musicians including Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson Band), Mike Stern (Miles Davis), Kim Mitchell (Max Webster), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Kevin Chown (Tarja Turunen, Chad Smith), Matthew Parmenter (Discipline), Mark Mikel (Pillbugs), Joe Deninzon, Max Portnoy (Next To None) and many others.

And I guess this is a Double Concept album, that the band spent quite awhile making, which adds some to the curiosity about it. Although I remember seeing a comment about how given Dream Theater are also making a double concept album, that's being released not too long before this, it may steal some of Pretending to Run's thunder, at least in the progressive rock communities. I guess we'll see.

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4: Ihsahn - Arktis 
I reall enjoyed a lot of 2010's After. The blend of Black Metal and featured saxophone really seemed unique. The follow-up 2012's Eremita, I honestly only recall liking some moments, but still struggling with. And Ihsahn's most recent record, 2013's Das Seelenbrechen, I don';t recall even knowing about, let alone hearing. doesn't give it a bad rating, but it's not scored as high as the previous 2.

11: Vektor - Terminal Redux

2011's Outer Isolation is an awesome record. Pretty much a go-to for modern Thrash Metal for myself, per it's technical and progressive tendencies. Plus like the previous Vektor record, Black Future, has this infectious amount of energy.

Why I am extremely excited to get to hear a new record from these guys. And finally get to see them live for the 1st time with Voivod next month in St.Paul, MN.

The 1st single is below, and hopefully is just a taste of what's to come. 2016 very well may be a huge year for these guys.


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25: White Denim - Stuff
I have enjoyed a good amount of the music from White Denim, ever since being introduced to them back in 2011 or 2012 when they were on the same tour with The Dear Hunter and Manchester Orchestra.

They have this fun style of almost progressive jam-band or progressive blues rock, reminiscent of The Allman Brothers or even Umphrey's McGee in some ways.

Their last album Corsicana Lemonade from 2013, I did enjoy, although it was kind of late as I remember not checking it out very late in the year, or even early in 2014.

The previous LP D, from 2011 I remember being pretty addicted to.

As for this album, the cover are is quite odd, but the 1st single at least doesn't seem vastly different for White Denim, but that also could be a good thing.

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22: dredg - Catch Without Arms (Vinyl) 

A favorite band of mine, and certainly one of my favorites. I already preordered it of course. It looks pristine and highly colorful.

Radical Face - The Family Tree III: Leaves
From some of the updates on Facebook, this album could have come out last Fall, but Radical Face released The Bastards album instead, and Ben Cooper decided to wait until early in 2016 to release this.

I love a lot of Radical Face's music, with the cinematic style of folk-rock. I haven't really felt anything they've released has been bad. The Family Tree series included. And this concept/series may be the final part, from memory when it was introduced a few years ago, which adds even more to the anticipation for this one.
Klimt 1918 – Die Sentimentale Jugend
Klimt 1918-Twitter

No certainty when this album does come out, but they have been posting on Social Media a lot over the last 2 years about writing and recording, including I recall last Summer and Fall.

It's been nearly 8 years since 2008's Just In Case We Never Meet Again (Soundtrack for the Cassette Generation), so the timing of when this does finally drop just seems unclear, year after year. But given their Social media presence and the fact they did recording recently, seems to support it'll finally be coming relatively soon.

I hope so, as I really love a lot this Italian college-prog/post-rock band's music, especially 2005's Dopoguerra.

The Woods Brothers - The Woods Brothers

This is the long-worked on debut record of these 2 brothers from Southern California. The 1st 2 shared songs are really good, namely "Terra Firma" which features Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter on vocals. Casey did a lot of work with them on this record, including producing. As well, members of some other bands, including The Fall of Troy, also make appearances.

Definitely a record to look forward to. which given a lot of the details shared in the last 9 months, it may be released early in the year.