Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More New Music: Long Distance Calling, new OSI

Long Distance Calling - Avoid the Light (2009)

Track List and Observations:

01.Apparitions 12:18..7:30 sorta trippy/mathy/melodic rhythm..awesome build..a few mins later it fades with atmosphere
02.Black Paper Planes 7:19 ..the drums standout in the middle..the syncopation and interplay between the guitar parts..synths, and drums work really well
03.359 7:57...tight drumwork..more subtle spacey synths..5:10 it starts to pick-up again..the layers of clean guitars really work well as it builds..epic
04.I Know You, Stanley Milgram! 10:28..nice grindy rhythm..then goes kind of clean and reminds me of PT..it really builds into a heavy, spacey wall-of-sound
05.The Nearing Grave 7:50 ..Warm/TRIPPY/DREAMY kind of vocals..a bit like Minus the Bear's vox...NICE BELLS OVER DOUBLE BASS
06.Sundown Highway 9:10 ...ANOTHER ENERGETIC RHYTHM..ALMOST REMINDS ME OF dt'S lEARNING TO LIVE..love the acoustic ending.

Okay, this has impressed me a ton, only played it twice. This German-based mostly instrumental psychedelic-tinged progressive post-metal really have composed an energetic, without-filler 55min album here. I am a fan of some *Post* music..actually I'm lying, in the past couple of years I have really found a lot of music labeled as "Post" in some way, to be my thing. But really they either are:

a) NOT the traditionally thought-of Explosions in the Sky or in the case on metalic groups like Isis and Pelican (Mono and some others..most recently Irepress).

b) they are often HYBRIDS. Bands who have a prog rock or psychedelic aspect to their music, with some other quality that is found in "Post Rock"

c) they also focus on SONGWRITING or frankly, don't have length-ly passages that lose (or bore) me.

d) They use a chamber element like trumpet, violin, cello

Groups like Kacica, Oceansize, Do Make Say Think, Nomia, Mutyumu, Clann Zu, Murder By Death I'm thinking more-of.

in the "Post-Metal" vein. Long Distance Calling do belong in the same class with this album as Russian Circles and 2008's pleasant surprise, East of the Wall. And perhaps even a few others I've gotten into of late in Eroica and the Oceansize-esque Meniscus among others.

Atmosphere, muscle, punch, tight compositions, layers, and a nice melodic sense. And actually overall less being more. It's 55 minutes, but it doesn't necessarily feel that long. I put it on twice yesterday, and I couldn't help but have my attention focused on each second; not wanting (or seeming like it should) end.

Give it some more time, but it's a low 80's/4-star album. In my top 10 for 2009. Chances are it won't move-up much, but when it does get passed-up, it'll likely be due to other even better albums (as opposed to it not standing the test of time).

I probably require to checkout their 1st album now as well.

OSI - "Blood"..some thoughts.

a) "Terminal" and especially "Radiologue" are the 2 exceptional songs on this (at least the 1st cd that leaked).

b) OSI have changed and very much may be a 1-album wonder. The textures and layering they used in that wonderful debut record "Office of Strategic Influence" are not used (or incorporated) anywhere close to the same way on this new album nor "Free" overall.

c) I should take the three good songs off "Free" ("Go!", "Bigger Wave" and 1 other I'm forgetting) and burn them with those other two and perhaps the "re:Free" ep into one compilation.

d) A few samples, but pretty much they are limited.

e) My guess is Kevin Moore did a great deal of the songwriting (including the VOCAL-LINES) on both FREE and BLOOD. As opposed to Jim and him, and even Mike Portnoy doing more of it on the debut record.

f) The 1st album flows really well, and in some ways could be regarded as a *suite*. Most if not all of this new album and "Free" are just a bunch of songs really. The mood changes, and not that effectively really.

More specifically with "Blood"..I suppose it may be a little better than "Free" and I want to still hear the Bonus disc material, which includes an extended version of "Terminal" one of the two really good songs on this album. Plus it does have a track Tim Bowness of No-Man wrote and sang on for what it's worth (No-Man being Steven Wilson's maybe 3rd best project, but a big level down from even Blackfield). But "Terminal" I dig maybe mostly with the use of the Zeppelin-like Mellotron. "Radiologue" has a nice hook to it, and I guess features Jim's guitar work, the way I like it. Melodic, thick-toned but not too-in-your-face. And layered enough. I love Jim's guitar work; he 's perhaps my favorite (or like a top 5 or top 10 guitar player for me). But sadly on this album and "Free" there's a bit too few and far between.

His guitar work (writing) on the 1st album and especially the John Arch EP "A Twist of Fate" was incredible. Maybe he wanted to separate that style a little? Or maybe sadly, he hasn't had a lot of new ideas. C'mon Jim, whatcha been listening to? He should check out some of the newer, spacier guitar work of a lot of the alt-prog and mathy/post bands perhaps?..hell it was 1999, but Todd Rose of Soundscape's guitar work on "Grave New World," especially the diversity of tones he used are light years better and more infectious than much of the last two OSI albums.

So, OSI, they really have jumped-the-shark. I figured I'd give them an 1-album bump in-the-road. But sadly, I think due to Kevin's writing style and Jim's input they are a verrry different band now. And very well may be always. It's too bad. OSI could have been amazing. I can't deny, the potential to have Daniel Gildenlow sing that 27 minute piece on the 1st record I'll never forget. John Arch actually almost became their singer as well. And perhaps without Mike Portnoy involved, the direction changed a lot. And what seems like Jim's main focus musically now, all his Fates Warning ideas are out into this (as opposed to them not being put-into the 1st album?).

Sure it's fine they have Mikael Akerfeldt sing and write a song in "Stockholm" which does bring back that mellotron sound a bit. But it doesn't ultimately sound that much different than if M.A. wrote an Opeth tune with a little industrial feel to it. It sounds like something he left off "Watershed" in a way.

Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson (whose involvement with OSI actually was much better), seem to be the token prog-related players of late. Everyone kisses their asses, when to me, their recent work has become predictable as anything. I wish people would move-on and stop praising things, that are their fantasy music-formulas. And instead, evaluate what they put out FOR WHAT THEY ARE. Dream Theater..hell, even Marillion I try and do that for the most part with. If Marillion puts out a bad or less-than-par album, I am not going to kid myself or anyone else on my opinion.

No OSI are just another name in the underground music genre of prog that were cool when they 1st arrived, but haven't followed-up that 1st impression with nearly the promise they gave. The prog scene is like that. Really predictable, and cyclical. Not unlike a lot of other genres. But I know, just based on experience, there is better and more worthwhile music out there to discover; rather than kid myself into believing the similar style, even recipe-laden music that come from groups who were great in the past, have not *progressed*.

But a lot of the people who listen to OSI, will with this album, and continue-on likely with other albums, to praise their current direction. Sorry, they could have been so much greater than they are. I can't be down though, with the wonderful new album Archive and even that Long Distance Calling album I just posted above, this OSI album likely will become an afterthought. I wasn't expecting it to be great, but still hoped I'd be wrong. O well, people have different tastes for good reason I guess.

At least I will get to see Jim with Fates Warning in September at the 10th (Anniversary) ProgPower USA Festival. Even without Mark Zonder. Jim should be doing the Jim Matheos music I love I imagine.

note: I mean to write up a big TV entry soon. Mainly involving the passing of a lot of recent shows. And some thoughts about some good new ones. In due time. It's been a never-ending intake of music of late as to why, among others factors, it hasn't happened. Plus, I mean to wait until after the final show is done to put it together, which will be in a week or 2.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Post-March Spring Break: St.Vincent and a lot of other music news

St.Vincent: her new album is called "Actor" and will be released on May 5th.


1. The Strangers
2. Save Me From What I Want
3. Neighbours
4. Actor Out of Work
5. Black Rainbow
6. Laughing With a Mouth of Blood
7. Marrow
8. The Bed
9. The Party
10. Just the Same but Brand New
11. The Sequel

Pretty sweet new song "The Strangers" is up on her MYSPACE PAGE and her website

‘Actor’ is available for pre-order now. Early CD and LP orders come with a free limited edition 7” featuring the album track “Actor Out of Work,” and the exclusive, non-album track “Bicycle” on the flipside. more info

5/19/2009 Somerville, MA Somerville Theatre
5/20/2009 New York, NY Webster Hall
5/21/2009 Philadelphia, PA Unitarian Church
5/22/2009 Washington, DC Black Cat
5/24/2009 George, WA Sasquatch!
5/25/2009 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
5/27/2009 San Francisco, CA Bimbo’s 365 Club
5/28/2009 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
5/30/2009 San Diego, CA Casbah
5/31/2009 Phoenix, AZ Modified
6/2/2009 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
6/3/2009 Omaha, NE Slowdown Jr.
6/4/2009 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
6/5/2009 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
6/7/2009 Chicago, IL Epiphany
6/10/2009 Lexington, KY The Dame
6/11/2009 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
6/12/2009 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo
6/16/2009 Birmingham, AL Bottle Tree
6/18/2009 Dallas, TX Granada Theatre
6/19/2009 Austin, TX Mohawk

I may have to do that pre-order deal. First Ave again?..BLECH! I should check The Entry's calendar. I suppose given Jeremy Messersmith and Amanda Palmer's acoustic/quiet sections of their show, maybe the lack-of-soundproofing won't affect Annie's show as much if it's more electric stuff. Dunno. It still won't eliminate interference between songs.

maudlin of the Well's free digital album will be available in only a few weeks online! I did put about $12 I recall towards that donation. I'm definitely looking fwd to it, and cautiously hoping the amount of Kayo Dot influence is minimal in the writing. motW = good, Kayo Dot = bad (mostly).

Sound & Shape - The Love Electric (EP) (2009)

Maybe the best EP of this early season. A lot of what I dig in the Mars Volta-kind of sound.


myspace page

Sholi - Sholi (2009)

Sholi's myspace

Bought this disc used a few days ago @Zia in AZ on vacation. I had sampled them previously, but wasn't certain about how much I'd like em. As it turns out, I do like them, but am not blown away or anything (yet). It's a consistent album start-to-finish. Riffy, experimental, somewhat stripped-down at times. Sort of a mix of Deerhoof and The Skeletons just guessing off the top of my head. A bit like the Grammatics album, with song-after-song having some part or energetic section that works, but overall I'm not sure if it'll place quite as high.

Closer to my kind of "experimental" music anyway.


a whole slew of new bands I'm checking out, but sadly, Sholi and perhaps 2 others The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra and Japanese "Progressive Post-Rock" band Presence of Soul are the only ones that have worked for me thus far. But I got like 15 or so new names between blogs and Alternative Press's new "100 Bands You Need To Know for 2009" issue. TFTBO and Sound & Shape, ironically were not among *the 100* though.

Mastodon finally leaked (a full version, the drop date is Tuesday 3/24 like the New Decemberists) and the new dredg album may not be far away either as the 1st teaser/review was posted there. Usually w/ new reviews -> many promos sent out -> a leak. June 9th it's been pushed back to, but we may have a similar CWA situation with a very early leak. I don't mind, the band probably overall doesn't either given they know they have a large and loyal fan-base that will buy it anyway.

Porcupine Tree: New album is due September 21st. It will consist of 2 cds. 1 being 1 single 55minute song, the other individual songs.

I seriously doubt this will be a top 10 candidate just based on how much filler this could have. Really fucking sad, as Steven Wilson seems to be getting highly predictable. But maybe I'll be wrong about that. a 3-album winning streak this decade (Lightbulb Sun, In Absentia, Deadwing) would suggest potential comeback, but INSURGENTES sadly doesn't support the chances of that.

The new Dream Theater album comes out on June 23rd, like Soundscape. It's called "Black Clouds & Silver Linings." 6 Songs on cd 1. A 2nd cd of covers and then I guess an all-instrumental version of it on another disc depending on which version you get. Plus it's being issues on vinyl.

I'll likely, like some of it, but find a lot of it to be wanking filler and/or cheesy lyrics. But I'd love to be wrong. The band need a kick in the ass, but it hasn't come with their last 3. More piano and analog synths. More organic or even acoustic. But 6 songs for them means a few epic tracks, with in all likelihood will include the necessary extended proggy parts they enjoy. Fine. I just don't expect much more at this stage. But like I said, it would mean a lot for me, for them to comeback and make a statement like SCENES FROM A MEMORY or even 6 DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE.

also not a top 10 candidate just based on how huge and deep a year 2009 very likely will be. A top 50 likely, for what it's worth.

Blackfield also may have a new album out in 2009. Coheed and Cambria and Alter Bridge were a couple of others.

Oceansize has a new EP they are working on right now too that should be out in the Fall. They're on twitter if anyone is up for reading more about it. Keywords: Mike Vennart

The Dear Hunter are working on ACT III in the studio right now; really they have for a few months. They have I guess 14 or 15 songs (or movements), 1 being an in instrumental. Another having a working title "Poison Woman" that I guess has a ragtime feel to it. Their goal to have it out is "by Spring" but given how little info is finalized, my money is Aug/Sept-ish.

Subterranean Masquerade I got a message back from on myspace about "In Pastille Colors" the other day. But really no info about if/when it'll be out. Just that they've been working on it for the better part of 3 years.

Orphaned Land on the other hand will be finally releasing "The Neverending Way ORWarriOR" finally in October (projected). Steven Wilson is NOT producing (apparently, whatever that means), but will be mixing and playing keyboards on it. And done via mail/email I guess given schedule. Perhaps the reason he's not technically producing it now is due to that and not being able to be in Israel with the band. I put on 2004's "Mabool" last week and I can't deny, that album has some awesome moments throughout; that with Wilson on board and their progression as songwriters since, it could be a big sleeper for Metal album, or just plain a top 5 or top 10 album for '09.

fuck, I got a ton of other pieces to add, but of course time is always at a shortage. TV and the Synecdoche, NY DVD among others. I now have a portable DVD player.

Gophers (Men's basketball) lost badly to Texas in the NCAA's. It's not surprising. They weren't playing that well, and team's have figured out how to defend and score on them. If their press doesn't work (or they DON'T USE IT OFTEN, AND EARLY) they don't win usually. 2009-2010 is their year, but I'm not convinced Tubby's that great a coach (here at least, and yet). So far, my bracket looks pretty good like most, with mostly favorites winning. I'd rather have seen American beat Villanova just to screw up others brackets. I have Louisville beating North Carolina I recall in the National Championship game.

Catching up on TV. Castle is good. Breaking Bad I also am on board with. Bryan Cranston is very different, but still quite entertaining in it. I don't get what all the fuss is about that dry 50's drama Mad Men on American Movie Classics Channel. I was highly underwhelmed and bored. The audiences for Breaking Bad and that show seem pretty different, yet they air them back-2-back on Sunday nights for some reason.

Y: The Last Man I read the 1st graphic novel "Unmanned" over my Spring Break in Arizona. It's from Lost writer Bryan K. Vaughn Really intriguing Post-apocalyptic story. There's 8 more I guess, and I have almost all of them on request now at the library. Being a fan of Jeremiah and the use of that story setting, I am looking forward to going through the rest of the series. When I'm done, I'll try and write a more thorough review. It's nice to have some reading, even if they seem more like glorified, but closer-to-real-world comic books. They take a lot less time to finish (presumably).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Soundscape - Grave New World (2009)

Soundscape - Grave New World

Official release date: June 23rd, 2009

Soundscape is:

Rob Thorne (Rob Volpintesta) - Vocals, Keyboards, Piano, (and lyrics?)
Todd Rose - Guitars
Scott Waite - Bass
Lou Caldarola - Drums

Soundscape is a four piece Progressive-Rock group built on the philosophy that in the music industry music is what matters most, and everything else is secondary. Spiritual to thunderous and always precise, their music captures a wide range of expression through soaring melodies and dynamic instrumentation. This high standard of professionalism in composition, musicianship and performance was established in June 1996 with the completion of their first album Discovery. Containing over 78 minutes of music, the record is a virtual showcase for the band's skill, expertise, and talent for song writing. 12 songs take you on a journey through the life of a young boy into manhood as he comes face to face with the questions and realities of sex, religion, society, politics, drugs and war.

Featuring the soaring vocals and intricate keyboards of Rob Thorne, the guitar wizardry of Todd Rose, the explorative bass of Scott Waite and the imaginative drumming of Phil Suarez, the live show has been described as a "magical and intense journey," forging the path to a new musical experience that comes as a much welcomed breath of fresh air.

Soundscape's mypsace page
Soundscape link on Angelthorne Music's site
Todd Rose's website

This is what could be the 1st of many commentaries and reviews of this highly anticipated album, that was finally mixed and mastered and made available in 2009 (June 23rd, 2009 is the street date).

This is an early review, and I mean to note how a lot more will be elaborated and perhaps changed in some ways in further entries.

I do have a personal bias, given this band's lone full-length cd, 1997's "Discovery" is one of my absolute favorite albums of all-time. So, perhaps this review should be taken with a heavy grain of salt by others.

But for me, it is or feels like having an all-time favorite album come out again, but it's all new music. Like a 2nd time falling-in-love or something. I'm not sure how else to describe it. But the fact it's been 10 years of hoping, but doubting it would ever happen, to finally actually realize it is, is highly significant.

Some general observations:

The energy, layers, textures, melodies, experimental aspects, dynamics, tight and clean production, with bass and drums mixed incredibly well. This album's a monster. A ferocious force of chords and thick melodies, frequent time changes that experiment yet seem to all fit together well, not losing sight of the concept or the songs themselves.

This thing has balls-to-the-wall. The heavy synths coming at you left and right, and it's like a battle between all four band members. The drums, the crunching guitar textures and the hugely FAT bass lines. Lou Caldarola is a fucking beast on the kit at times.

One big thing that makes Soundscape standout to me, is they know how to be technical, yet still be melodic, and compose songs really well. Perhaps maybe even more on this album, they composed them within a large concept. You can't exactly label or pigeonhole their sound. Which in a lot of ways is the blueprint of what I love in music or art; and for that matter in theory anything "progressive."

They went deep this time with me and scored Big-time. Like 10 or 20 fold perhaps. They know when-to-be, and when not-to be epic or extend parts or songs out really effectively. Which seems to be pretty rare in most or any kind of music labeled "progressive" or "technical."

1. The Server 0:39

2. Grave New World 6:31
"Your Children are My Children, and your losing losing control. My Children are your children, a generation without a soul"

3. Digital Lover 5:05

4. Man and Machine 4:16

5. So Alone 7:54

Soothing synths work really well with the guitar. Very pretty, sad, and a gorgeous theme on guitar. The climax soars, which is a classic Soundscape writing element.

I love the part
"can someone see meeee in the loooookeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen glahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhsss"

The Man and Machine suite's production upgrade is impeccable. It's like they totally rewrote and re-recorded it.

6. Concentration 8:30

The ending is orgasmic to this song; it totally blows up. And then they say "Somebody unplug me!" referring to a computer or AI I imagine.

7. Big Brother 4:01

The lead bass-line rules on this piece, kind of Rush-like. Wonderfully catchy or poppy at times. I love the bridge with the trumpet-like patch. And the playful vocal harmonies echoing a previous vocal-line at the end: "Runs my fingers through my hair."

8. Age of Wonder 13:49

One part of this song that stands out is the (new?) use of experimenting with higher range double or triple tracked vocal harmonies.

I also like how they use sound-bytes here in the 1st movement.

Then it later has another great, soothing, ambient, synth transition section.

9. Generation Why 6:42

Very cool mystical vibe at the beginning here.

Soundscape's music creates an atmosphere that feels like magic at times for me. Very story-oriented, highly thematic. It's like they transport me to somewhere else, where the story is being told. I'm brought-in. It almost feels like a huge illusion at times.

10. Zombie Nation 7:41
A few lines I captured so far in text:

"Can you feel the waves washing over your mind?"

"A chemical reaction brings you back into the world again"

Is the story referring to something involving Virtual Reality? Perhaps influenced by stories (or movies like) The Matrix or Lawnmower Man?

"I've got your mind in this little pill" (not sure if this is exactly accurate, just a guess).

"What once was a gift became a curse!"

11. Resurrection 11:52

This piece is beautiful, and sadly the band's Swan Song. I love the piano/vocal intro. It's almost in the vein of "Spirit of Adventure: Dreamscape" (the final epic piece on 1997's "Discovery") A soaring epic ending song. It's like they took that to three or four more levels of extended beauty at times on it. And incorporated it with some additional elements.

"They took your soul, removed it whole, and filled the hole, with space, in cyberspace"? (a guess on the lyric)

"Will you return to milk and honey, or a technological doom?"

"look around you, remember the good times we had"

This whole song doesn't grab you right away..but after it's done and the whole album is done too of course, it sucks you (or me) in Big-time.

"One mind, One body, One soul in a Grave New World"

The vocal harmonies are effective singing the chorus. It's similar to "Discovery."

It then ends in a classic Soundscape fashion with a breathtaking, upper-range, clean guitar solo. Very fitting, extremely epic, and a perfect way to conclude this record.

Seemingly every part of this album are the way they are for a reason. The song structures, every nuance, every little texture, time change, emotion or emotional part.

I may be drinking the Soundscape Cool-Aid, but it really doesn't matter. This is not the kind of music I get to hear, especially for the 1st time, every day, week, month, year, or even decade I suppose. I honestly am

a) still in disbelief that this finally came out and I'm finally getting to hear it.

b) that I get to now explore another highly in-depth and 76 minutes worth of music from the band who over more or less the last ten years I had basically one 78 minute album to do so with. (Run-on sentence, I know). In other words, I got 3+ years in-depth with "Discovery" more or less, and then another six or so just holding it in a high place. Not ever thinking I'd get to do that again, especially from the same band. But I do.

The production work cannot be forgotten. I'm more or less shocked at how clean the bass and drums sound throughout this recording. Rob Volpintesta had it shelved for all these years I guess due to the lack-of quality for the mix. I totally know why he/they waited, as this is some of the clearest/cleanest and accurately mixed music I have ever heard, especially with how complex and layered it is. Maybe if Yes's "Relayer" were done now, the production might have come out something like this.

Time will of course tell a great deal. But I am thinking not if this album is a Classic, but how much of an All-time Classic will it be. An "Instant Classic" for sure. Perhaps the fastest ever for me. I loved it upon hearing the 1st note.

Many would scoff at this analogy, but among many I might make, I was thinking of The Beatles. When "Abbey Road" came out, how did it compare to "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"? In thinking about how "Grave New World" compares to "Discovery" the comparison to me, isn't that far-fetched. You got two Classic albums, different, yet still worthy of debate from an artistic point-of-view.

Right now I'm torn, but I would not be shocked if it became a stalemate.


Monday, March 9, 2009

The Decemberists - Hazards of Love (2009)

Some very early impressions (ot hopefully added/elaborated on soon).

The Decemberists - Hazards of Love

Well, even given the transcode and a big LACK OF HEARING THE SEGUES LIKE THEY ARE INTENDED TO BE HEARD (with annoying gaps)..I'm still already highly impressed by this. It's like they took what they were doing on THE CRANE WIFE and blew it up into a full-on Concept album or Rock Opera. A handful of tunes or *movements* are sung by female vocalists to voice characters..1 being "Margaret" I guess. SO the biggest thing is taking this whole thing in as a large work, rather than individual songs really. Seems like it's gonna be 1 that'll be the ole greater-than-the-sum-of-it's-parts.

Man 1 piece had a total Deep Purple section..and the theme in "The Wanting Comes in Waves" (and maybe even moreso, the REPRISE for it) almost sounds like something The Dear Hunter would write.

It's 17 tracks and may seem like a bit much to get through, but I'm just suspecting it'll be worth giving this thing some extensive time and see where it goes. It may not have any piece as great as "The Island," but still it very well could be their best work to date.

And it also could be their most accessible to any progressive rock fan.

Friday, March 6, 2009

dredg - "The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion" Info

dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion"

Tracklist -

1. Pariah
2. Drunk Slide
3. Ireland
4. Stamp Of Origin - Pessimistic
5. Lightswitch
6. Gathering Pebbles
7. Information
8. Stamp Of Origin - Ocean Meets Bay
9. Saviour
10. R U O K
11. I Don´t Know
12. Mouring This Morning
13. Stamp Of Origin - Take A Look Around
14. Long Days And Vague Clues
15. Cartoon Showroom
17. Down To The Cellar
18. Stamp Of Origin - Horizon

here's some of that work live:

3. Ireland:

4. Stamp Of Origin - Pessimistic:

7. Information:

9. Saviour:

11. I Don´t Know:


17. Down To The Cellar:


also this also is (1 of) the real cover(s)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March: Bands, Prog Rock info, Concert Calendar

The new U2 album "No Line on the Horizon" I like. About 6 or 7 tracks especially I think work well. Not an AotY candidate or anything, but it's a nice change to being more experimental. Change in production and textures. I dig the piano and strings among others. The new single "Get On Your Boots" however, is probably the worst song on it, lol.

Doves hitting The Varsity Theater in May makes the upcoming concert plate a bit more frequent in April and May.

20th Bridge Over Troubled Water
30th Bloc Party @ First Ave (maybe)

5th Fair to Midland (The Rock)
10th dredg (Varsity)
13th Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (The Triplerock)
26th Neko Case (State Theater) time/$ permitting
29th Mastodon (The Fine Line)

3rd Leonard Cohen (Orpheum Theater) time/$ permitting
15th Protest the Hero (Station 4)
28th Doves (Varsity)

I'm sure I'm missing a few dates.

OSI's "Blood" is released on May 19th in the US.


01. The Escape Artist
02. Terminal
03. False Start
04. We Come Undone
05. Radiologue
06. Be The Hero
07. Microburst Alert
08. Stockholm
09. Blood

Disc 2

01. No Celebrations
02. Christian Brothers
03. Terminal (endless)

Classic Rock (magazine) Presents: PROG

I'm definitely curious about this new magazine, as I have enjoyed Classic Rock Magazine's special "Prog" issues in the past. So it appears they're going to try to do a semi-regular publication on it.


The already burgeoning prog rock scene receives another welcome boost with the announcement of the imminent arrival of Classic Rock Presents Prog, a new quarterly journal of progressive music that's set to offer prog rock fans a wealth of coverage of their favourite bands, artists and music.

Issue one sets out its stall by covering true giants of the genre like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes and ELP all the way through to modern day protagonists such as Dream Theater, Coheed & Cambria, Queensrcyhe and Porcupine Tree. New acts such as The Reasoning, Frost* and Demians find themselves nestling alongside established prog heroes like Marillion, Rush and Asia.

Packed with exclusive interviews, news and reviews, the whole spectrum of astounding sounds and amazing music gets the Classic Rock treatment in March. Issue One hits the news stands March 25. It's a date you don't want to miss.

Oceansize's Australian Tour

I guess supporting Cog is a big reason how they are able to afford it.

Thu 4/06/2009 NSW Fremantle Metro
Fri 5/06/2009 SA Adelaide The Gov
Sat 6/06/2009 VIC Melbourne Hi Fi
Sun 7/06/2009 VIC Melbourne Hi Fi

Thu 11/06/2009 QLD Brisbane Hi Fi H
Fri 12/06/2009 NSW Newcastle Panthers
Sat 13/06/2009 NSW Sydney Selinas

my curiosity is, if they can afford that, perhaps they could afford something similar soon in the US.

Archive's new album is called "Controlling Crowds" and is listed to be released on March 30th.

The 1st single "Bullets" (youtube link above) I definitely like and am looking forward to this album a lot more than I expected. "Lights" from 2006 was okay, but not of the quality of "Noise" and "You All Look the Same to Me."

Fields album "Hollow Mountains" I've seen 2 release dates listed being March 2nd and March 9th. And of course "March." But with no track-list nor artwork, and some mention on their last.fm page about it's status and the band lacking a record label I guess, it's release date/time is really uncertain.

Kiss Kiss, Local Natives, even dredg to a point, kind of are (or were) in a similar spot. Local Natives at least, last night on the NBC show "Chuck" had 1 of their new songs "Airplanes" played for a short while in the background. Being a Street Team member and genuine hugely optimistic fan of theirs, my jaw literally dropped to the floor hearing that. The point being, they are a fucking great band, and more people should and I gotta believe will like them. Many of those Fleet Foxes ass-kissers (among others..Panda Bear, Animal Collective, Miracle Fortess even) are gonna find out when they get the exposure they deserve. They're just too damn good not to.

Water & Bodies began recording last week, what is I guess to be a 7-song EP that likely will be released digitally. CD and/or Vinyl as well, most likely available through their website and @ Concerts directly from the band. I'm extremely excited to hear these songs recorded after hearing samples live the past few months. I realize this is not Kaddisfly but it may be something even better for all anyone knows. And maybe best, going directly through them, it'll be available rather soon. Like perhaps by April or even earlier.

Soundscape's "Grave New World" I will be hearing in the coming weeks. It's been a 10-year wait, but I am without question overjoyed to finally get to hear it. Expect some kind of in-depth review on this blog among other spots soon after. My s/n on many sites isn't "Soundcape(MN)" for nothing of course :P. "Discovery" is a life-changing record for myself anyway. If GNW is even 1/10 of that, it'll be an AotY contender (to be honest, it already is).

dredg's new album "The Pariah, The Parrot, the Delusion" is coming out on May 19th (same day as the US release of OSI, wow!)

cover art:

Mew's new album is expected in June.

King's X are headlining 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival I guess. Honestly, this is pretty surprising. Maybe it's a $ thing or I'm totally off on their current approach live. I would never expect them to play a "Prog" festival. But then again, many years ago Porcupine Tree did as well. Hopefully they'll do some more touring in 2009 and comeback to Minneapolis, a place they used to never skip (I saw them 10 times from 1996 to 2005 for example).

Muse new album to have a heavy Classical music influence?

bbc article

By Georgie Rogers
6 Music News reporter

The band have their own recording studios at Lake Como in Italy
Muse's new studio album could see them move away from their traditional rock sound to create a more "orchestral", classical offering.

Frontman Matt Bellamy said: "There's some really brilliant songs coming out, some of our best material I think."

The follow-up to 2006's Black Holes And Revelations is expected later this year coinciding with an Autumn tour.

Last month, the Devon band picked up the NME award for best live band for the second year in a row.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music, Bellamy revealed the record's sound could see the band abandoning their traditional rock leanings completely. We'll be knocking on Classic FM's door, you know

Muse frontman, Matt Bellamy

"A symphonic album has turned up here, like a full collaboration with an orchestra," he said.

"There's definitely a few things on the album which are segueing into each other and it's all very orchestral, but that could take over the album, so it could actually be kind of classical act basically, and move away from rock all together.

"We'll be knocking on Classic FM's door, you know?"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pure Reason Revolution "Amor Vincit Omnia" (2009)

Amor Vincit Omnia

1. Les Malheurs
2. Victorious Cupid
3. i) Keep Me Sane/Insane
4. ii) Apogee
iii) Requiem for the Lovers
5. Deus Ex Machina
6. Bloodless
7. Disconnect
8. The Gloaming
9. AVO

I've been playing the new disc, AVO, for about a month now and while I question it's long-term value compared to "The Dark Third," it's definitely an album I've enjoyed the more I hear it. Maybe more of a *grower* than TDT certainly.

Within the large emphasis of electronica, there still is a lot of the familiar PRR sound, at least I have noticed. The vocal arrangements (multi-part harmonies). And it flows pretty well much like TDT.

The 2 pieces most familiar "Victorious Cupid" and "Deus Ex Machina" are probably still my favorite parts of AVO, but "The Gloaming" and "Apogee" for example, have some wonderful sections to them. "Bloodless" as well, is a pretty ballad, somewhat in the vein of "Bullits Dominae" or "The Exact Colour."

"Disconnect" is perhaps the 1 track that a lot of fans will not care-for. I've grown to like it, but it's still the weakest part of AVO.

The title track or "AVO" is wonderful and I think works incredibly well to finish this album. The vocal arrangement is classic-PRR to me.

I also think it's a good thing they did not make TDT part 2, because they seem to want to "progress" of course, and while I suppose they didn't have to necessarily change this far into the electronic or trip-hop vein, say opposed to some other area. I think they pull it off for the most part.

Many people have already expressed both sides of where AVO has them going. Some pretty much have said this new stuff sucks and they lost what they had with their debut album. But some others are like myself, very pleasantly surprised how well they pulled off merging much of their sound and songwriting approach with a twist of electronica. I suppose it may come down to if you like, can tolerate, or dislike electronic music. Or if it may grow on you enough.

83/100 and currently #2 on my 2009 Albums of the Year Race