Monday, January 31, 2011

Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Terror and Everything After (2011) (2.0)

Go Stream the whole thing here

Here's the original review link one more time

In celebration of this record finally being released in a mere hours on February 1st, 2011. I figured another brand spanking new entry about it seems like a good idea.

1 Barnaby Bison's Blind 3:38
2 Another Harvard Renaissance 5:17
3 Gods Great Gumball Machine 6:49
4 Noah 3:15
5 Winchester Devil Grass 5:05
6. Weather Maps For Nikolai 4:02
7 Sanctuary 4:30
8 Gunpowder Falls 5:33
9 Bad Canterbury 3:22
10 Forging the Family Name 1:26
11 Mont St. Michel 3:36
12 Ghosts in the Basement 4:55
13 Terror and Everything After 8:01
14 Lazarus 4:11

still amazing, and the best album of 2011 that I've heard, thus far. Hopefully a lot more people will now check it out and catch-on like I did the past few months.

Jeff Wagner: Mean Deviation (progressive metal) Author on UsedBin Radio 2/1/11

So, I've been getting kind of addicted to UsedBin Radio over the last couple of months. Ever since the James LaBrie interview back in October? and more or less realizing it's the kind of music talk show I've wanted to hear and/or host myself at some point. Well, not that every single band/album/topic that is discussed is my thing, but compared to Sound Opinions and Musicheads, there really is no comparison. UsedBin is for the prog rock fan, and the open minded music fan for the most part.

And as some who've streamed the show/downloaded the podcast may have noticed, I've been actively calling in almost every week.

some noteworthy quotes about the book.

There are 2 new books to check out that I contributed interviews to: "The Eric Carr Story" by Greg Prato & "Mean Deviation" by Jeff Wagner -Mike Portnoy

“Mean Deviation zeroes in on heavy metal’s more cerebral, challenging, and even geeky side.”—Ghetto Blaster

“What a massive undertaking… knowledge, passion, skills, and class… this book should be required reading for any metal follower.”— [9.5/10 review]

“The book looks and feels fabulous. Thank you, Jeff Wagner, for this massive information highway for all things progressive metal.”—Paul Masvidal, Cynic/Death

“The book is awesome. I read it in two days.”—Glenn Harveston, ProgPower USA

“Looks cool! I’m looking forward to digging in.”—Jim Matheos, Fates Warning

“We now have a definitive book on the relationship between metal and progressive music.”—Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree

“An expertly researched love letter to the largely misunderstood and often maligned progressive metal scene”—AOL Noisecreep, Holiday Gift List

“Another winner from the folks at Bazillion Points!”—Sea of Tranquility [4.5/5 stars]

“An invaluable compendium”—

“Mean Deviation is a comprehensive history of the genre that fans will enjoy, and future music scholars will use as an essential reference guide.”—Aboutcom

“Jeff Wagner nailed it…another triumph for Bazillion Points”—Metal, 4.5/5 review

This book,  Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal is written by this guy Jeff Wagner who used to write for Metal Maniacs and helps run The End Records now. And the UsedBin guys are having him on their show tomorrow night (February 1st, 2011). And they suggested I send them some questions. So today and this evening, I have come up with a list of bands and albums along with 1 or 2 general questions that may, make sense to ask him.

Are the following bands/albums covered in your book?

Zero Hour - The Towers of Avarice
Green Carnation - Light of Day, Dary of Darkness
In Vain - The Latter Rain
maudlin of the Well - Bath, Leaving Your Body Map
Subterranean Masquerade - Suspended Animation Dreams
Angra (Andre Matos period)
Spiral Architect
Orphaned Land
King's X and Galactic Cowboys

-How much content is on modern (progressive) "extreme" Metal? I'm referring to the wealth of bands who have started in the last 10-15 years. Many of them influenced by Opeth and Dream Theater. But most of them are regarded as being technical death metal , metalcore, psychedelic folk/black metal, or in some cases, really avant-garde and almost theatrical.

-Is there much content on bands like maudlin of the Well and SikTh and how they were in a lot of ways, ahead of their time?

-Is there much content about instrumental acts? Liquid Tension Experiment, Planet X, and some of the Post-Metal groups like Russian Circles, Isis, Pelican, Long Distance Calling (even sludge bands like Mastodon and Burst)

-And related to those, bands that are bordering on Metal (or Heavy/Hard Rock) that are also influenced by progressive rock. Namely bands Tool has influenced. dredg, Fair to Midland, Karnivool

-How much content in the book is about Pain of Salvation ? (and how maybe since Dream Theater, they were/are the most significant and original band in the so-called "progressive metal" genre to come around )

-Did Jeff interview Fates Warning founding member Jim Matheos and did he ask him about the future of Fates Warning and, his desire to work with Mike Portnoy again? (and did he ask Mike Portnoy, about working with Jim Matheos).

-Is there much content about the history of "progressive" metal festivals like Powermad, ProgPower USA and ProgPower Europe.

This whole questioning, and this online Interview with Jeff Wagner got me thinking of two passages on the topic of "progressive" (and progressive metal) that I have almost sadly, always cited as an outlook (if not almost religious statements) on music. And interesting how the 1st, with James Bickers, was nearly 10 years ago in February of 2001. How time flies I guess.

James Bickers journalist, formerly of Progression magazine and the founder of Sea of Tranquility, which was a printed magazine, now exists only online.

Part of my diuscussion with Music Journalist James Bickers at ProgPowerUSA 1.0 February 2001 who emphasized "find the good in everything."

Me: Hi, I wanted to talk to you for my radio show, because you know this stuff. You hear more than most people, and you hear so much of this music. You're in the media, and you're kind of like an expert on it.

Bickers: I suppose I am, but you know, I guess not, because there are so many (bands and albums out there). You know I probably receive 10 or 20 albums a week in the mail and I was just talking to a guy from Bravewords and he talks about how he gets 100 or 200 a week in the mail, and that means there's 180 that I don' t receive or hear. So, I'm not the most up to date guy, but um, TO MY MIND, the big thing to me, is the word "progressive," to me means not sitting still.

Me: Okay. So what listening to so much of this music, and your perception of the people who listen to "progressive" rock, what is your goal?

Bickers: Goal? my Goal I suppose could be for (fans and musicians?) of the (progressive rock) genre is to not just listen to progressive music, listen to Jazz, listen to Country, listen to Hip-Hop, listen to whatever and FIND THE GOOD IN EVERYTHING, that' s the true definition of " progressive."

Me: Yeah, okay

Bickers: Listen to anything. You know, if you take the "progressive" sound; keyboards, weird time signatures, yada-yada-yada that' s REGRESSIVE by its very definition.

Me: You're right.

Bickers: "Progressive" means you take the perceived rules, and you disregard them, then you do what your art says you do.

Me: One perception I've heard before is that its trying something different, trying something new, trying to grow, trying to expand yourself, trying to reach to the the limit; er not to the limit, but trying never to stop, you know trying to do something that you don't know (or think could be done). You're trying to just see how good you really are, or what (exactly) you really can do.

Bickers: Right.

Me: Stuff like that, that' s my take on a lot of bands; the bands that did that for a long time like, Rush for example.

Bickers: Like as far as for like technical skill you mean?

Me: Not even technical skill, I mean trying to experiment, trying to do something different you know.

Bickers: Look where it got Rush?..Rush included on Roll The Bones, they had a Rap.

Me: Yeah.

Bickers: Look where it got them? Their fans turned on them

Me: Yeah I know

Bickers: That' s the antithesis of "progressive." "Progressive" says "there is value in anything that's intelligent." We look to anything intelligent, and yeah we're going to find what intelligent thing we can pull out of it. That's what "progressive" says to me.

Me: You think so, it's whatever we can find "intelligent" in something? Intellectual?

Bickers: I've heard 10's of thousands, well that' s an exaggeration, I'VE HEARD DOZENS AND DOZENS OF "progressive" BANDS THAT OFFER NOTHING NEW.

Me: They' re imitative.

Bickers: That is NOT "progressive." If you don' t offer something new, you're not being " progressive." 

Me: You're probably right.

Bickers: That' s my feeling.

Me: I can see that, I mean that's why I find when bands are trying to do different stuff, or when they' re even LISTENING to different stuff, you can pull more from that you know, like King' s X they don't even listen to any progressive music..

Bickers: Right, right.When you talk to a lot of these artists, when you interview a lot of these artists and ask them " what are you listening to?," there are no "progressive" discs in their collection recently.

Me: No.

Bickers: There are no "progressive" metal discs that they have in the car. You know one thing that I like that about our magazine (Sea of Tranquility) os on the last page it has this thing called the "Listening Room."

Me: Yeah.

Bickers: It's where the writers include what they are listening to. I have the Dixie Chicks and Billy Gilman in there. You know, this is stuff that is far outside of what "progressive" people normally listen to. 

Me: So like

Bickers: You're allowing yourself to hear the good in everything

Me: You think that's the best thing to happen? To try to happen, like for the movement?..not movement, not "progressive" movement, but I' m saying for a lot this music's fans. You think that would be the best thing for them?

Bickers: Yes, as people.

Me: To try to just open up their mind, and try to really, you know not shun the industry .not even shun the commercial bands you know?

Bickers: What I would say is that if your one of those people who listens to only "progressive" rock, you only buy these certain discs, you only listen to things that have a certain sound to them, THEN YOU'RE NO DIFFERENT THAN THE PERSON WHO ONLY BUYS BRITTANY SPEARS ALBUMS. ITS THE SAME THING, JUST THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED.

Me: Yep, okay.

Bickers: You have to open your mind and hear what the music is trying to say.

Me: Diversity, or know that' s the thing I respect about some of these Pain of Salvation for example. I don't know what you think of them.

Bickers: I love them.

Me: I think that they're just so much different, that they're so much more interesting for that reason.

Bickers: Pain of Salvation is like a wakeup call to "progressive" Metal. "Progressive" Metal for 3 years now has been in the post-Dream Theater doldrums.

Me: Every band now wants to sound like Dream Theater.

Bickers: Every band either wants to sound like Dream Theater, or doesn' t want to sound like Dream Theater, and that's like saying "don' t think of an elephant right now" well you can't. Now that I' ve said that, you think of an elephant. If I say don' t sound like Dream Theater, you're going to sound like Dream Theater just because you're trying not to. Pain Of Salvation is the 1st band in years that is something new. And they are "clarion call" to "progressive" Metal wannabes, to just wake up, open your eyes and realize there are only 12 notes in the scale, you put them together however you see fit, you use whatever instruments you see fit, and you make magic.

Me: Let' s try to do something completely that we' ve never heard.before.Like Mr.Bungle. What do you think of Mr.Bungle?

Bickers: I love Mr.Bungle, I have great respect for Mr.Bungle.

Me: Even if you're not a total fan of a lot of stuff he's (Mike Patton) doing, or Faith No More or the other stuff Mike Patton's done. You gotta at least respect that he's trying to you know, just experiment, trying to do something that he' s never heard before.

Bickers: Mr.Bungle is woefully under-appreciated.

Me: I have to get more into Mr.Bungle myself

Paul Craddick, former drummer of the band Enchant.

To my mind, there's an interesting, rough-and-ready division in the world of "progressive" music (a category-name I don't like, in any event) between the more avante-garde/experimental or "free-spirited" wing, and, say, the more -- how to describe it? -- "working-in-a-kind-of-tradition" approach, which could be described in terms of certain dominant characteristics that *almost* sum to a kind of "formula": long songs, working in odd times (and working in them in a definite way), conveying an "epic" feel, addressing "deep" topics lyrically, employing certain sounds, timbres, and textures, and so on. Though I'm certainly guilty of having worked in terms of the latter approach, my heart is definitely with the former -- to me that's where the real "action" is.

A simple way to illustrate the difference is to name a few bands that might plausibly fall under each category. In the latter, I'll put bands like Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, IQ, Kansas, Gentle Giant, post-Gabriel-pre-Abacab Genesis, post-Close-to-the-Edge Yes, etc. In the former, I'd put King Crimson (esp. from "Red" onwards), Gabriel solo, much of Rush, Radiohead, latter Porcupine Tree, and other more unlikely borderline cases -- like The Police, U2, Our Lady Peace, and other bands which don't so much exemplify a genre or sound as go to define one of their own (Primus or Rage Against the Machine even). As an aside, I think it's an interesting exercise to ponder where Marillion might go (or perhaps at different points they belong in different places?!)."

Everything Everything video interview


cool video. I'm a little curious/confused by what they say towards the end of the video. They're already working on a new album? and they want to tour everywhere. I hope that includes Minnesota. But if they're already working on a new album, who knows, we may see another record from them in 2011.

Fleet Kittens - Helplessness Blues (2011) (1.0)

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop

Well Well Well. The band, who early in 2008, released an EP I liked Sun Giant and reminded me of my beloved (and almost entirely unknown) Cavil at Rest, and then went on to release their self-titled full-length record a few months later and became the hipster-est of all hipster bands in a few short months. And I went on to realize the album had 1 or 2 good songs on it, with the rest basically using the exact same idea, on every song.

Okay, fine. But of course the praise I never felt was deserved. But that's the way the Hipfork machine works, right? as I came to learn. And Cavil at Rest went on to become even less like this band, even with their name change to Local Natives and their debut album in late 2009 Gorilla Manor.

That all being said, the Fleet Kittens, could be worthy of their real name (or better) if they would evolve and change their style, even the slightest amount. First off, on Sun Giant they had drums and more electric guitar, than on the lp that followed. They need to do more of that.

But they also need to get away from the same formula of Accapella Folk Music with a bit of acoustic guitar. Change it. Add piano, horns, tom drums, xylophone, even a fucking FEMALE SINGER might help. Just stop writing music as a bloody one-trick-pony as their debut album is/was.

And this new song of theirs, after hearing it once, really doesn't sound much different. 5+ minutes in, there finally is a little bit of drum work and electric guitar. But it's so stripped down and in the background, it may as well not even be there.

Maybe they need a different producer or something. Get Rick Rubin or David Botrill to have them use more loudness, more range, more color. ANYTHING frankly. Get them to show some fucking balls! lol.

But basically, I will check this record out, and if it's basically Fleet Kittens Part 2.0. It's sayonara to this band. But by some miracle they do something new and different, I'll be at least close to back where I was after enjoying Sun Giant.

Eating Crow? no. The mere fact I'm even giving them mention and actually going to listen to this album, more or less doesn't warrant that at this point. The sad thing is, they could be good, if they modified and evolved their sound enough. Could they be even close to as good as Local Natives? fat chance. But unlike some of the other Hipfork groups (Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer), I suppose they at least could climb out of the style-with-no-substance category with the right changes.

I guess we'll find out on May 3rd (or around that time).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blackfield - Welcome to My DNA (2011) (1.0)

1/30/11 6:26PM
New song "Waving." I'm digging it, probably more than Glass House. The strings namely.

1/28/11 6:02AM

release date is March 28th.

1. Glass House
2. Go to Hell
3. Rising of the Tide
4. Waving
5. Far Away
6. Dissolving with the Night
7. Blood
8. On the Plane
9. Oxygen
10. Zigota
11. DNA

1/23/11 3:48PM

new song "Glass House"

download with email submission

or a stream (until it gets pulled)

1/21/11 4:34PM
Samples. Some of these sound similar, a few a little different. I'm mildly intrigued, but I really hope this album has many new sides to this project.


edit: a PRIVATE EMBED? lol. WTF.

1/11/11 6:08AM

twitter post
Steven Wilson on facebook

Steven Wilson - Official page
If you use Twitter you can now follow Blackfield. There should be lots of announcements regarding the forthcoming album and tour dates soon. New official website will launch later this month.
Yes the album is called "Welcome to my DNA". All will become clear when you hear the title track...

Some more stuff to add later of course. This record is expected to be released in March. As that quote from Steven Wilson says, a new website, tour, etc all is coming.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Music Preview: 1st Quarter (January-March)

This/these posting will largely drawing from individual album entries and
this list on "2011 Anticipation"

This is the 1st of I project at least 4 different previews of sorts for records that are or look-to be released during said 3-month period. January-March (1st Quarter), April-June (2nd Quarter), July-September (3rd Quarter) October-End of the Year (4th Quarter).

A lot of blogs and websites do a Yearly preview, and I have done that before, or at least tried to, but it ultimately ends up with some inaccurate details like names of albums and times they may be released. And even some artists and actual albums that have titles, that never actually get released said year.

So the interest in stripping it down to quarters, is to do it in a shorter window of time and hopefully the accuracy and immediacy of the information will be at a higher clip.

But this is also just guesswork on my part. Some of this particular preview/forecast actually isn't entirely a preview but relatively new reviews instead given I have heard a number of these records. And in fact many of the records talked about in these, that will likely be the case, partially due to them already being released, but also the ole leaked-early situation (avg used to be about 3 weeks, but it can be many months of course, and it also can be even after a street date believe it or not).

I've made up a figure or odds rating on some of these due to there's no guarantee they actually get released when they are expected/projected. "a.o." being "anticipated odds" and it's out of 5. 5 out of 5 being the best/most likely chance it'll come out then. And 0 out of 5 being no chance it'll be released when it has been expected/projected.

Also of course there will inevitably be records I'm totally unaware that get released (or leak and then get released later) of by artists I know, but just weren't up on that new record news. And of course, a large oncoming list of records, eps and what not of artists who have albums come out which I've never heard of, or never heard (but maybe heard-of).

That last chunk is probably my favorite part. The Apes and Androids and Emanuel & the Fear's out there right now, waiting to be discovered. What I guess will ideally happen is either a bump of said older Preview entry with that undiscovered or unknown record's info. Or more likely, an extra section of "to add to last quarter's preview/reviews" part. This 1st Quarter Preview/Review doesn't have any at this time (although it may since those kind of releases can pop up any day/hour and easily by the time this thing gets published).

Modern Skirts - Gramahawk
d: 1/15/11

A power-pop band whose put out 2 other albums I've heard/own. Having listened to this one a couple of times, it's a bit different in that they added more electronic textures. But overall, I'm finding less here to enjoy sadly. Maybe it'll grow some.

"Bumper Car" and "Happy 81" available to download here

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
d: 1/18/11

Alt-country Folk with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck on board. Not The Crane Wife nor Picaresque. For what this is, it's okay, but not really something I attach to. Maybe later in the year I will.

"Calamity Song" Youtube stream

Amanda Palmer - Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
d: 1/21/11

Amanda's mostly live recordings from down under of all unreleased songs I guess. But honestly, it comes across as sort of a comedic live b-sides album. Perhaps a few of these tunes will end up on her next record.

"Ship Song" Youtube Stream

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
d: 1/25/11

I want to get into this band more than I ever have. On paper, they have a lot I like. This album, early on, is more or less par for their course. Not any bad songs, and a few with some great moments to enjoy. Maybe seeing them live next month will jump start more appreciation for this album. And perhaps more of their back catalog, as I'll confess really only being familiar with 2008's Offend Maggie somewhat.

"Super Duper Rescue Heads" Youtube Stream

Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Terror and Everything After
d: 2/1/11

More or less what needs to be said, is in this review I wrote a few weeks ago.

But something to add I suppose, is right now and probably for the entire 1st quarter of the year, there is this album, and then everything else. Water & Bodies, Neverending White Lights and Protest the Hero are probably the only records that may give it some pressure this quarter. Although, as I have come to learn, I love to and have been often wrong about those things.

Stream "Bad Canterbury" on their facebook page

...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead
d: 2/4/11

I actually saw this band open for Dethklok a few years ago at the University of Minnesota. Not that that show left any lasting impression with me. I've seen their cds at Cheapo and have known about them for many years. I think they even covered the Genesis song "Back In N.Y.C." on 1 record (or maybe live?).

And they share a label (Superball Music) with Oceansize, Pure Reason Revolution, Long Distance Calling and dredg among others.

But to say I'm even mildly intrigued by this album would probably be wrong. But I know about it, so it's still one to be aware of, and might be worth checking out at some point in 2011.

Stateless - Matilda
d: 2/7/11

3-stars. This thing leaked awhile ago and I haven't been attached to it. But it does include like 5 or maybe 6 tracks that are good. It's just not at the level of their 2007 Self-Titled debut record unfortunately. It's not terrible either. However, it may find itself getting passed up by many other records this year in the 2011 Index race.

Stream "Assassinations" on Youtube

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore
d: 2/8/11

Well, I just heard this a bit ago via pc speakers, and I gotta say, I was a lot more impressed than I expected. I did/do enjoy 2008's Neptune City off an on, back in 2008 mostly. I even saw her live that year. But I am guilty of not revisiting it much since that year. This new record might be so good, I may be forced to again.

This might be a sleeper record. Some really nice guitar work on it along with an epic nature. 1 tune has some great twangy tones. The closing piece is rather epic too. Wow Nicole, what do you have here?

edit: I've played it twice with headphones since, and frankly, it's A LOT BETTER than I expected. It's different in many ways from Neptune City A lot of varied styles explored. Namely bluesy rock including 1 piece with a distinct twang part.

Definitely the 1st real surprise of 2011, and less than a week ago I had no idea she even had an album coming out.

"Vultures" Youtube stream/video

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
d: 2/14/11

Not a ton to say, given I barely would say I'm a fan. It's post-rock, and they are regarded as one of the biggest names. I've heard maybe 2 or 3 songs by them in my time, that I thought impressed me.

Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling
d: 2/18/11 - 2/22/11 (US)

The 1st tune below is not bad, but I'll confess to being a little gun shy about pre-ordering this album. Why? I have been burned before doing pre-orders. LDC doesn't really deserve that I suppose given I loved their 2009 breakthrough Avoid the Light. However, it may be hard to match or even top that.

I'm still excited to hear this, but I may just delay my hardcopy purchase for a bit.

Stream "The Figrin D'an Boogie" on Youtube

Water & Bodies - Light Year
d: 2/22/11

This is it. The first big work these guys have made since 2007's Set Sail the Prairie. The sampler/teaser they posted emphasizes strings. So will this album be rather orchestral? I'm kind of optimistic about that aspect of this album.

Some of the tunes from their eps "Celebration Song," "Free World," "Written & Read," and "Moments in a Life" are included on this record. However, I think the versions on this may be a fair amount different.

I really love these guys and of course Kaddisfly's music. And have been intrigued for the past 2+ years about this new project of theirs. Unlike some, I am not meaning to compare it to Kaddisfly, but, I think it is fair to have big hopes. Especially with some of the comments from some people on the forums about it.

I guess that is partially why it is a bit of a make or break for others and myself a bit. I dunno. I suppose no matter what, Kaddisfly is not gone/done forever, but how good this becomes may dictate my feeling about my interest in their work.

I should know soon, as being someone who donated/pre-ordered via their Kickstarter campaign, I should be hearing this a little early I guess (like the 1st week in February even).

edit: a new song "Lonely Night" can be streamed and downloaded (email list) on their homepage there.

Album Teaser

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - All Out of Peaches
The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - Songs We Didn't Write, Vol. 2

d: 2/26/11

"NewGrass Art Rock" as they are being called I guess. These guys are prog and bluegrass and fusion and bluesy. I have enjoyed both their lives show(s) and their 1 proper studio record 2009's Lookin' For a Little Strange over the last couple of months. John Wright of Lehto & Wright is of course a big part of this band, along with his wife Lisi and 2 others Dan Neale on guitar and Mark O'Day on drums.

One of the best "prog" related groups (or any groups for that matter) from Minnesota. They are releasing both of these cds on February 26th at their "Double CD Release concert" at Minneapolis Urban World Theater.

I'm pretty excited about that show and the 2 cds, namely All Out of Peaches. Lehto & Wright's Children's Songs of course got out of the gate early last year and stayed near the top all year. Can another one of John Wright's albums repeat that again in 2011? We'll see.

The Human Abstract - Digital Veil
d: 3/8/11

I like/liked 2006's Nocturne their debut album, to a point. Kind of a kid-sister band to Protest the Hero. And the truth is, I never really spent much time with their follow-up 2008's Midheaven. But that record was constantly dogged on, that I gave those reviews the benefit of the doubt.

So, I'm kind of at a low expectation here. If this is good, I'll be happy and surprised. But if it sucks and ends up sounding like a PtH tribute or sort of run-of-the-mill djent-y metalcore. I can probably completely forget about this band.

They're not as good as Protest the Hero. They never have been. Some people like to say they are, lol. Sorry. But, what might be nice is if they would do something totally new and different than PtH, I might be more curious than I am.

This new song "Faust" below however, initially isn't doing much for me. There's also another new track on their Facebook, which I am going to pass on at this point.

Stream "Faust" on Youtube

Panic! at the Disco - Vices and Virtues
d: 3/8/11

2008's Pretty. Odd I liked. It was sort of taking their modern power-poppy-punk (emo) style and using a Beatles/Beach Boys or even showtunes element effectively at times.

Well, this 1st tune is not so much evident of that, as from their 1st record 2005's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Which is not as much my thing. I guess 1 song does not define a record. Whether it be more like their debut album, Pretty. Odd or maybe something else, I will check this out. But not with huge expectations.

"The Ballad of Mona Lisa" stream on Youtube

Protest the Hero - Scurrilous
d: 3/22/11

2008's Fortress broke them through to a wider audience. More of the Dream Theater and progressive metal fans especially. But I and some others came to feel, or always did, that their debut album 2006's Kezia is clearly their superior work. 3 things. The acoustic sections, the vocal harmonies (including the female vocals from Jadea Kelly), and as I came to realize recently, the production are all parts of what makes it better.

Well, the video clips look and sound promising. They also include some strings and Jaydea being back.

This album could see the band going further into progressive metal. Which, how they do it, might totally work. Although there's a percentage of their fans that are going to hate it if they do. The ole "they're becoming Dream Theater, lol." So cliche, so predictable reactions. Between the Buried and Me and Pain of Salvation have gone through the same thing in recent years.

I guess I want to hear the finished product before having anything like that cross my mind. These guys are too talented and have too much left to say to not have optimism about their music, even if it has more prog in it (for the sake-of or not).

Why I'm very excited to hear this album. The 3rd week of March (or likely earlier, when it leaks. It could be even in February perhaps).

"Stewdio Pupdate" from 1 month ago

Born of Osiris - The Discovery
d: 3/22/11

2009's A Higher Ground was a big disappointment. No keys, and the production along with lacking memorable moments killed it. Repetitive, predictable breakdowns. It was really the opposite of their charming 21 minute debut album The New Reign from 2007.

So, my optimism isn't high. But like a few others, I will check it out in a make-or-break (like it and rekindle my interest/suck and forget about them) situation. I truly hope it's a comeback record. For various reasons, but the extreme metal and especially Metalcore genre has become kind of stale the last couple of years. A better album from them along with a few others might prove that perception wrong.

Blackfield - Welcome to My DNA
d: 3/28/11
ao: 4.5/5

Both previous Blackfield albums were good records, and in some ways, albums I listened to more than Porcupine Tree. They are kind of part-PT anyway. The 1st record, I will always associate with Ariel Daniel, the 17 year-old Wisconsin girl hardcore PT/Steven Wilson fan who died in November of 2005.

The 2nd record is about as good in terms of depth, but the best songs on the 1st record are a bit better/sadder/more moving.

What happens here? Some 4 years after the last album. The samples sound like a mixed bag of the previous BF music and adding some new things like strings. "Welcome to My DNA" sounds like some joke title or concept album about cloning. Is Blackfield going to go more political? I really hope not. But if the music is good, I won't really care I guess (save for them taking after Serj Tankian).

Stream "Glass House" on Youtube

Obscura - Omnivium
d: March 29th
ao: 4.5/5

This band includes members of Necrophagist among others. The name I think is referencing the classic record by Gorguts. I honestly don't know how much to get excited here. My best memory of this band is seeing their name a lot in 2009 and sampling their last album Cosmogenesis once or twice, and then kind of forgetting about it. And then in the home stretch of 2009, I went back to it and enjoyed it a little more. But it still didn't differ enough from a lot of the technical death metal, for me to want to go back to it. Part of that is mood I guess. So I might owe it to myself to go back again to that album more. And especially when hearing this one, it may help.

But I still ask myself the question I ask about a lot of tech/death albums/bands. What are they doing that is different, distinctive, unique, addictive, etc? I hope to find an earworm, a mind blowing solo, something outrageously funny, or anything that allows them to stand out and gives me reason to go back to playing their album.

"Septuagint" can be streamed here

Neverending White Lights Act III: Love Will Ruin
hopes to release the first single from the album, Neverending White Lights, Act 3: Love Will Ruin, by the end of February, with the full album to follow two to four weeks later.

d: 3rd or 4th week of March
ao: 3.5/5

Kind of fitting timing that this may be released around the time of another melancholy music project like Blackfield. I could probably say about 25 different things for this. But to be as short as possible. Daniel Victor, the mastermind behind Neverending White Lights, from online accounts at least, has SLAVED and STRESSED over this record for FAR TOO LONG.

I really look forward to the day it's released and he can hopefully relax a bit. Because, I really love the music in the 1st 2 NWL albums, and I also like him and care about him (for what that can be worth) as a fan and human being.

The guy is a great talent and this project is really original. He is the lone common part of each song in this project. But every song has a different voice, musicians, etc. A lot of their music is sad or very emotional/passionate. And thus, very moving and pretty much mood-music. But incredible mood-music.

The 1st single comes at the end of February, and I hope everything is good to go soon after that. But if this doesn't drop by the end of March, don't be surprised. This album could have originally been released as far back as the fall of 2009. So, any more kind of delay should not come as a surprise. But if the stars align like they should (and Daniel along with fans like myself deserve), they will and we'll be hearing the 3rd Act in late March.

Between the Buried and Me - TBA
any week/month now.
ao: 2.5/5

The a.o. might have to be bumped up to about 3.5 or more, as the band just posted something on twitter about an update any time "soon."

This is for the EP they worked/have-been-working on. Their next full-length is possibly coming in 2011 as well, but this is 1st.

Assuming it does come SOON, and in this 1st quarter. I will be very excited about it of course. These guys are still among my favorite extreme/progressive Metal of any kind band. Even with the fact 2009's The Great Misdirect didn't entirely work for me. I'm willing to give them a pass certainly. And an EP might be just what the doctor ordered as it may get them to write more concisely. Or perhaps it may be 1 well constructed epic. Or maybe 2.

You think of the great EPs. Music For Nurses, A Twist of Fate, A Change of Seasons. Or even stuff like Distrails Virginia Creeper or Warpaint's Exquisite Corpse. They all don't have any filler. They are all well thought-out. And they also leave you with a lasting hope for more. The ole, "damn, that was good. I can't wait to hear more of this stuff."

BTBAM can and should be able to do that. And TGM actually, had enough ideas in it where had they been refined and isolated, might have found that kind of quality as well.

Bottom line is, Colors, Alaska and even The Silent Circus are more than enough proof this band are elite. Hopefully we'll see a bounce back ep here, and then it'll end up bringing the return level of anticipation for the full-length whenever that comes as well.

"Soon 2" documentary footage

next quarter:
Jeniferever - Silesia
d: 4/11/11
ao: 4.5/5
Sound & Shape - TBA
ao: 4/5
Emanuel & the Fear (EP)
ao: 3/5
dredg - April 19th
ao: 3.5/5
ao: 3.5/5
Fair to Midland - TBA
ao: 3.5/5
The Age of Rockets - TBA
ao: 3/5
House of Fools - TBA
ao: 3.5/5
The Antlers - TBA
ao: 4/5
Between Two Skies - TBA
ao: 2.5/5
Painted In Exile - TBA
ao: 3/5
The Dear Hunter - The Colors Spectrum EPs
ao: 3.5/5
Other Lives - TBA
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving - TBA
The Jelly Jam - Shall We Descend?
ao: 3/5
Falling Up - TBA
ao: 4/5 newest video said June.
Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two
ao: 4/5 the original word was March, so hopefully it'll manage to come out sometime in the 2nd Quarter
Judgement Day - TBA
ao: 3/5 their kickstarter campaign was a success, so it may find it's way to being ready this Spring.
Steve Morse,Neal Morse,Mike Portnoy,Dave LaRue,Casey McPherson Project - TBA
ao: 1/5

3rd and 4th Quarter names:

The River Empires - Mars/Brighton II, Thurisaz - The Cimmerian Years, Akphaezya - Anthology IV, Annuals, The Appleseed Cast, Battles, Bed of Stars, Bend Sinister, Between the Buried and Me, Big Fresh, Bruce Peninsula - Open Flames, Coldplay, Decapitated, The Dear Hunter/The Felix Culpa, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Disillusion, Dream Theater, East of the Wall, The End, Early Ghost, The Faceless, Fates Warning, Fish, The Fleet Foxes, Flying Forms, The Gloomcatcher, Jimmy Gnecco, Imogen Heap, Jazzkamikaze, Kacica, Karnivool, Klimt 1918, Late of the Pier, Local Natives, Marillion, The Mars Volta, Meniscus, Pat Metheny, Mew, Mute Math, Ne Obliviscaris, Opeth, OSI, Paper Route, Ramona Falls, Renaissance, Rush - Clockwork Angels, Russian Circles, Scale the Summit, Shattered -Behold the Sands of Time, Part 1: Uprising, Sigmund Droid, Sigur Rós, A Silent Film, Spawn of Possession, Strange Creatures, Subterranean Masquerade - In Pastille Colors, This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket, Total Babe, Tool, Devin Townsend - Deconstruction, Devin Townsend - Ghost, Transatlantic, Unexpect, Van Halen, Vektor, The Velvet Teen, U2 - Songs of Ascent,, Ulver - Critical Geography, Steven Wilson, Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt - Storm Corrosion, Wolfmother, Yes

  AllMR 2011 Album Preview 1st Quarter by user1544441 

Sarah Michelle Gellar -> Ringer (tv show 2011-12)


Jan 26 2011

Sarah Michelle Gellar's new CBS thriller pilot 'Ringer': The producer spills details! -- EXCLUSIVE

by Tanner Stransky

The networks have been on a pilot-greenlighting tear lately. But which possible show has the potential to be a gem of the 2011-12 season? We’ll go out on a limb here: CBS’ in-the-works thriller Ringer, which—should the pilot get the pickup to series during May’s network upfronts—would mark the much-anticipated return of Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar to regular series television. Granted, Gellar acolytes have been titillated by her possible return before with HBO’s The Wonderful Maladys, only to have the pilot never make it to series. But alas, the potential seems to be there with Ringer. Until now, the show has only been described as drama about “a troubled young woman on the run who hides out by living the life of her wealthy twin sister, until she learns her sibling’s life has a bounty on it as well.” Rather vague. Are you dying for more details? Us, too, so we tracked down Peter Traugott, the pilot’s producer and head of Brillstein Entertainment Partners, the production company behind Ringer, and grilled him about the pilot. Here, Traugott spills more about Ringer’s plot, its enviable star Sarah Michelle Gellar and getting her to come back to network television (she wanted to do cable!), and why the show is indeed a good fit for CBS.

WHAT IS RINGER EXACTLY? “It’s a thriller, for sure,” Traugott explains. “It’s an edgy thriller about redemption and about revenge. There’s a point of view of two twin sisters who grew apart over a tragedy in their past. And one now seeks redemption and the other one seeks revenge. The sister who is seeking redemption has had a much more troubled life. When her fancy pants sister disappears, she takes over her life. She’s living the life of her more successful sister only to come to find out that her life is equally as fraught with danger and complication. Her sister dies in a boating accident. The other sister takes on her persona, only to come to find out that they have a hit out on her.”

WHY CAST SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR? HOW’D YOU GET HER TO COME BACK TO NETWORK TV? “Sarah had started thinking about coming back to TV a couple of years ago and she really wanted it to be something in cable,” Traugott explains. “In part just because of the subject matter you’re able to do in cable. But network television now has cracked that door a little bit and they’ve obviously been doing great stuff in network—and great stuff in cable. Both places are great. And this was a spec script that we had found and my colleague, Rachel Kaplan, had found by these young writers [Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder of The CW's Supernatural] and we flipped for it. Sarah’s manager got it to her, and she fell in love with the piece, too. We had been talking about this group for over a year trying to figure this out. For Sarah, she wasn’t really sure about network just because she wasn’t sure she would get what she wanted. When CBS read this thing and flipped for it and loved Sarah for it, that kind of started her thinking about being more open-minded to doing network because of the subject matter and this piece that she was so excited about.”

DOES GELLAR PLAY BOTH SISTERS ROLES? Yes! “She plays two characters: One is Bridget, the sister who takes over Siobhan’s life—Siobhan’s the other sister. The sisters reunite after having been estranged for a long time, and when they reunite, Siobhan dies. She falls…you know, in a boating accident.” So it’s like Hayley Mills of Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap and its more modern remake? “Yeah,” Traugott admit, with a laugh. “That’s kind of a comedic reference, and a reference old old Westerns—yeah, Sarah’s playing both roles.”

IF SIOBHAN DIES EARLY, DO WE SEE HER IN FLASHBACKS—OR WHAT? Yes, exactly. “You’ll see her that way. Not necessarily tonally nor stylistically, but the show comparable to Damages. I love Damages—by the way, it’s my favorite show—but in the same way that Damages tells part of the story in the present, through the past. Not just flashbacks but through actual stories in the past. That’s what’s happening here. Hopefully if we go to series, the audience will come to understand what the fall out was between Siobhan and Bridget. Why Siobhan would never want to see her sister again, why Bridget was in a kind of dark place in her life—all that stuff will be told as we move forward in Bridget’s stories through flashbacks with Siobhan.

WILL BUFFY FANS BE PLEASED WITH THIS ROLE FOR GELLAR? Duh: yes! “For the Buffy fans, she wanted part of what she initiated. As a matter of fact, her and her manager know this, but I know one thing she wanted to guard against was making sure that she whatever she does in TV, she does something that her fans who had grown up loving Buffy will also be excited about. And we think this show has that quality to it.

HOW WILL THIS PLEASE BUFFY FANS EXACTLY? “It’s a very different show. I mean, Buffy is so specific and a great, cool genre piece,” Traugott says. “But in the same way with Sarah, I think what’s remarkable about her as an actor—and very few people have this ability—she can play both sides well. If you remember Cruel Intentions, she was the villain, but you found yourself kind of rooting for her anyway. That’s what we’re looking for. How do we find something where her character has some edge, there’s some darkness to her, she doesn’t always do the right thing, but at the end of the day, you’re also rooting for her? And that’s what we were looking for in this. Obviously, Buffy was a hero, a kick-ass hero, and we wanted to be true to that with Sarah.”

IS GELLAR’S BRIDGET SUPPOSED TO BE A HEROINE? “It’s not like that, no,” Traugott clarifies. “I wouldn’t say that. It’s not that kind of a show. It’s more of a thriller. But we think it shows a lot of different layers to Sarah, and her character is so interesting and compelling. Very different from the Buffy character, but there’s a lot there for the audience to grab onto.

WHAT’S THE FORMAT? PROCEDURAL? SERIALIZED? “There’s an overriding arc that the writers have kind of figured out for the first several seasons, if we get so lucky,” Traugott says. “But there’s an overriding arc in part of Bridget’s drive of trying to figure out who is trying to kill Siobhan and now her, in Siobhan’s shoes. And week in and week out we will be telling episodic stories, relationship stories, hopefully wish-fulfilling kind of stories, because she is living this kind of fantastical life all the while trying to figure out who’s after her. She’ll be with Siobhan’s husband, which is obviously new to her because she’s in a relationship with a man she doesn’t know but he thinks he knows her. She’ll be dealing with Siobhan’s friends, and they’ll be trying to kind of safe-crack this mystery.”


“You know, to read the script, you would not have thought CBS, but I think when [CBS’ entertainment president] Nina Tassler and her team read it and flipped for it, and we came in and talked about it, they had passion for this. They talk a lot about The Good Wife and how, a couple of years ago, you wouldn’t have thought that the The Good Wife was a CBS show. But you go from a CSI kind of a show—a pure procedural—to The Good Wife, which has a procedural element but it’s obviously very character-driven and has a lot of great story and characters on it. Hopefully, if we do it right, Ringer can be the next evolution of that. That is, on paper it’s not necessarily a CBS show but worked exceedingly well in that Good Wife way.”

WHAT’S THE PILOT’S PRODUCTION SCHEDULE LIKE? “We’re just ramping up now where we’re getting into casting, we’re getting into pre-production stuff, we’re getting into director,” Traugott says. “All of our stuff is starting now. The goal would be to shoot—you know, like all the other pilots—sometime in early to mid March.”

WHY IS GELLAR PERFECT FOR THIS ROLE? “I’m just a fan of Sarah’s,” Traugott says. “I’m excited that there’s a piece of material she’s excited about and obviously as a producer, I wanna get this show on the air, and as a big fan of Sarah’s, I just want to watch her on TV again. It seems like America wants to, and it seems like CBS was a fan from what I saw. Hopefully if we do our jobs right we’ll have an opportunity. We’re excited. She’s iconic.”

sounds intriguing, although dual roles have been happening recently before this, as Nina Dobrev has been playing one regularly on The Vampire Diaries this season.

I do like Sarah Michelle Gellar, and liked Buffy (for most of it's time on the air). But without Joss Whedon, this is still not a guarantee. I still wish they would/will get her to guest star on How I Met Your Mother and do a reunion with Willow (Alyson Hannigan). Perhaps both shows being on CBS, that may finally happen. SMG on How I Met Your Mother, or Alyson Hannigan on Ringers (or both).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Water & Bodies - Light Year (2011) (1.0)

1/24/11 4:56PM
cover link
posting on their tumblr

Track Listing:
1. Celebration Song
2. Free World
3. Moments in a Life
4. Parallels
5. Echoes
6. The Return
7. Light Year
8. 1980
9. Lonely Night
10. Written & Read
11. Already Gone

Water & Bodies Tour Dates:

February 18 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir w/ The Dimes, Archeology, UHF
February 19 - Seattle, WA @ Skylark Club w/ No Kind Of Rider & Viva La Villians
March 4 - Eugene, OR @ TBA
March 5 - Bend, OR @ Silver Moon Brewery w/ Tango Alpha Tango, Ex Cowboys

the cover honestly, I hate to say it, but it reminds me a bit of promo pics from Pain of Salvation's
Road Salt One
22's "Flux" album cover.

But I suppose once getting to hear the album and realize what it's about lyrically (conceptually?), the cover art might seem more logical.

1/3/11 5:53PM

previous info about how it was funded, etc here

Interlacing the passion and raw hooks of 90's alternative rock with their already-streamlined sound, Water & Bodies' new record "Light Year" will undoubtedly scream to those who want to hear something real. Music lovers from all walks of life will be able to take something positive from this fresh collection of heart-felt, energetic songs.

Available Feb 22, 2011 at
itunes, amazon,, &

Hey all. The new record will be called "Light Year". It will come out Feb 22, 2011. Thanks again for your continued support of Water & Bodies and please help spread the word about the album! You should start seeing your packages first week of Feb!

More details to come: Track list, cover art, etc. But being a "backer" as I am, I'm looking forward to this even before that initial 2/22/11 release date. The 2 eps were good, but I can't deny, this is probably the 1st time I've been really excited about their music since hearing some of the Horses Galloping Kaddisfly stuff.

Jordan Rudess and James LaBrie "Space Dye Vest" (live)

A lot of fans, especially of the Kevin Moore albums with DT, and Kevin in general (and Awake) have been wanting to hear this song played live for ages.

However, my reaction to this where are the Samples? Floating Synths during the climax? sure it's Jordan's interpretation, but I can't help but be pining to hear Gabriela Kulka's interpretation instead, which I just put on and again for the 1st time in many years and remember why I loved her version of this song maybe as much as the original.

GK sdv by AllMR2

I'm curious if Dream Theater will pull it out live as a band, and if Jordan will continue to play it that way. Namely without samples and synths, and adding a little bit of his own jazzy phrasing. Honestly, I almost saw him as Rick Wakeman playing it like that. And while that's his thing, the song itself doesn't seem to call for that. Whereas in Gabriela Kulka's version there, she totally captured the passion, emotion and feel about what the song is about, at least to me. Those sad harmonies, the subtle feel and pace of the piano parts, and the overall dreaminess is on hers. On this new live version with James, I'm not really sensing it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Sundance and Spirit Awards titles to see

New Low: this looks funny. The lead actor almost seems to be channeling Adam Goldberg at times. This is not included at Sundance or the IFP's as far as I know. I just stumbled upon it on youtube. It was part of last year's Sundance Film Festival, which might suggest it'll finally show up at 1 of the Landmark theaters in 2011.

Obselidia: this looks potentially rather moving. It depends if it becomes boring or movies too slow or not. But it resembles 1 of those movies I might see at Lagoon or Edina theater after a bad day at work (or needing to forget about something bad). Therapy film.

First Screenplay nomination at the 2011 IFP's

Tiny Furniture: this also looks funny in a confused early 20's girl dramedy kind of way. It definitely reminds me of some movies I stumble (or used to stumble) upon on Sundance, IFC and lately, Indieplex.

First Screenplay and First Feature nomination at the 2011 IFP's

Everything Strange and New: This looks funny, sarcastic, profound and potentially quotable among other things. A movie that maybe doesn't take itself too seriously.

First Feature nomination at the 2011 IFP's

Sundance premieres:

The Details Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks. No Trailer available at this time.

I Melt With You. This trailer really doesn't do a ton for what the plot/story is about. But whatever, I like Jeremy Piven, Carla Gugino and Rob Lowe. I'm willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, even if that trailer seems to do nothing for me save for some nice visual footage.

Margin Call Awesome cast: Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Simon Baker, Zach Quinto, Stanley Tucci. It might even be a bit over-casted. But the premise is a group of people work at a bank that's about to deal with a huge financial crisis. I'm game.

Margin Call A Contingency plan
Uploaded by teasertrailer. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.

Life in a Day. This is I guess a documentary-like montage of people submitting their daily lives on to youtube. The premise sounds interesting, but after reading some comments, I'm maybe lukewarm at best about it.

Perfect Sense. Ewan McGregor and this atrractive British actress Eva Green in a movie about 2 people who fall in love while the rest of the world is losing their sensory perception. Again, another trailer that really doesn't show what the movie actually is about. McGregor is good in almost everything he does, so that is partially why I'm still on board here.

My Idiot Brother Paul Rudd along with Elizabeth Banks, Zoey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer. Rudd's 3 sisters let him live with them for periods of time until he gets his life in order after being arrested.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

no trailer available at this time, at least that I can find. But this is a movie from the guy who made Super Size Me about how product placement and advertising works and can reveal the all-style/no-substance side of the industry.

I haven't looked at more of the work appearing at Sundance, and the dailies they used to post on their site (they still may). But in other words, I'll have to post something soon about what has been buzzing at Sundance, what to look forward to, etc.

That along with a list I made a few weeks ago of other 2011 movies I'm looking forward to.

But this list is among movies I'm hoping will impress me, like Easier With Practice did last year.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Wishes to Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult

Cloud Cult has announced the cancellation of the band's upcoming performances at First Avenue (January 21) and Lutsen (February 5).

On Thursday, Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa was hospitalized with heart issues. Although the condition necessitates a temporary hiatus from performances, doctors are suggesting a noninvasive heart surgery would likely be performed in the next few weeks to bring permanent remedy to the problem. We apologize for any complications, and we look forward to returning with more energy than ever in the coming months.

If you have concerns or questions about your previously purchased tickets for these shows, please contact the venues directly.

Thanks and blessings to you,

Cloud Cult

weird how in the midst of listening to a lot of their records this past week, I just found out they had to cancel 2 shows they had coming up, including last night at 1st Ave, due to Craig Minowa having to undergo this "noninvasive heart surgery" soon.

also the longest tenured musician in the band besides Craig, Sarah Young who plays cello and sings, is leaving the band. Although I think I had read about that before given it's mainly due to her and her husband whose the band's mgr, are expecting their 3rd child soon.

I hope it doesn't impact their future much, but Craig is the heart and soul of this band. I sure am hoping (praying) this goes well and he is back soon, along with the band of course. But I will continue to feel fortunate for seeing that show at 1st Ave back in November, even more now. That and seeing them with Sarah Young. Although, it's also weird how I believe it was Adrian, Cloud Cult's manager, who was really kind to include me on the guest-list after I told him and Sarah Elhardt after the soundcheck, about losing my ticket.

Sarah Young and her husband Adrian will be missed certainly. But hopefully they're the only ones in the future of honestly, one of my newest favorite bands, which I look to break down a lot of their back catalog soon given I've been listening to a ton of their earlier albums the past few months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apes and Androids - Golden Prize Video (2.0?)

1/19/11 12:10AM

Yes, finally!

1/12/11 6:29PM


here's the little trailer.

I'm unable to embed the actual video from that site, but at least it's up online, for public viewing again (hopefully permanently, or at least for much longer than it was about a year ago).

The only thing is, I could swear the video I recall seeing was different. Parts of it showed Brian and David walking down some street, in street clothes I thought. I mean that's outrageous like I remember when I saw it the 1st time. But my memory was not of it as dark. Also I thought the shot of Bill Clinton lasted longer. If you pause it at 1:13 you see him in the car. But you just barely can see him, and I thought his face was a lot clearer (or it was on-screen for much longer).

But perhaps that is an EDIT or ALTERNATE version?

I'm happy regardless. Still wishing they'd do more music obviously, or at least some stuff about their other projects. But being able to finally see this video again is great no matter. 1st news about another John Arch record, and now this. Maybe next, we'll find out they are getting back together, lol. Perhaps that's why the video is online again? Wishful thinking...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Golden Globes

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
The Social Network

Hope: The Social Network
Prediction: The Social Network
Missing: The Ghost Writer, Fish Tank, Easier With Practice, The Square.

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Alice in Wonderland
The Kids Are All Right
The Tourist

Hope: Red (1st choice) The Kids Are All Right (2nd choice)
Prediction: The Kids Are All Right
Missing: City Island, Saint John of Las Vegas (that I've seen) Hot Tub Time Machine, The A-Team (I haven't seen)

Best Director - Motion Picture
Darren Aronofsky Black Swan
David Fincher The Social Network
Tom Hooper The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan Inception
David O. Russell The Fighter

Hope: David O. Russell mainly due to the others and their movies Directing don't do enough for me.
Prediction: David Fincher or possibly Aronofsky
Missing: Roman Polanski for The Ghost Writer

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Jesse Eisenberg The Social Network
Colin Firth The King's Speech
James Franco 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg The Fighter

Hope: Jesse Eisenberg I guess
Prediction: James Franco
Missing: Brian Geraghty for Easier With Practice, Ewan McGregor for The Ghost Writer, Jeff Bridges for True Grit

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Halle Berry Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman Black Swan
Michelle Williams Blue Valentine

Hope: Jennifer Lawrence
Prediction: Natalie Portman
Missing: Katie Jarvis for Fish Tank Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit, Olivia Williams for The Ghost Writer

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Johnny Depp Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp The Tourist
Paul Giamatti Barney's Version
Jake Gyllenhaal Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey Casino Jack

Hope: Kevin Spacey
Prediction: Paul Giamatti
Missing: Andy Garcia for City Island

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Anne Hathaway Love and Other Drugs
Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone Easy A
Angelina Jolie The Tourist

Hope: Julianne Moore
Prediction: Emma Stone
Missing: Greta Gerwig for Greenberg

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Christian Bale The Fighter
Michael Douglas Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield The Social Network
Jeremy Renner The Town
Geoffrey Rush The King's Speech

Hope: Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Prediction: Christian Bale for The Fighter
Missing: Justin Timberlake for The Social Network, Ezra Miller for City Island

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter The King's Speech
Mila Kunis Black Swan
Melissa Leo The Fighter
Jacki Weaver Animal Kingdom

Hope: Mila Kunis for Black Swan
Prediction: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Missing: Kierston Wareing for Fishtank

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network

Hope: The Kids Are All Right
Prediction: The Social Network
Missing: The Ghost Writer

Best Animated Feature Film
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Hope: Toy Story 3
Prediction: Toy Story 3
Missing: n/a

Best Foreign Language Film
The Concert
The Edge
I Am Love
In a Better World

Hope: I Am Love
Prediction: I Am Love
Missing: Music En Espera [Music On Hold]

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Bound to You Burlesque
Coming Home Country Strong
I See the Light Tangled
There's a Place for Us Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
You Haven't Seen the Last of Me Burlesque

Hope: "I See the Light" from Tangled
Prediction: 1 of the 2 from Burlesque
Missing: "Take It Easy Hospital - Human Jungle" from No One Knows About Persian Cats

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplot The King's Speech
Danny Elfman Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahmin 127 Hours
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross The Social Network
Hans Zimmer Inception

Hope: Trent Reznor I guess
Prediction: Danny Elfman
Missing: Various Artists - No Knows About Persian Cats

Best Television Series, Drama
Boardwalk Empire
The Good Wife
Mad Men
The Walking Dead

Hope: The Walking Dead
Prediction: Mad Men or maybe Boardwalk Empire
Missing: Breaking Bad, Rubicon, Burn Notice, Fringe

Best Televison Series, Comedy or Musical
30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
The Big C
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie

Hope: The Big Bang Theory
Prediction: Glee or Modern Family
Missing: Psych, Party Down, The Good Guys, Scoundrels, My Boys, How I Met Your Mother

Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall Dexter
Jon Hamm Mad Men
Hugh Laurie House

Hope: Bryan Cranston
Prediction: Steve Buscemi
Missing: Jeffrey Donovan for Burn Notice, James Badge Dale for Rubicon, Nathan Fillion for Castle

Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama
Julianna Margulies The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men
Piper Perabo Covert Affairs
Katey Sagal Sons of Anarchy
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer

Hope: Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs
Prediction: Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men
Missing: Anna Torv for Fringe, Stana Katic for Castle, Morena Baccarin for V

Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Alec Baldwin 30 Rock
Steve Carell The Office
Thomas Jane Hung
Matthew Morrison Glee
Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory

Hope: Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory
Prediction: Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory
Missing: James Roday for Psych, Bradley Whitford for The Good Guys, Adam Scott for Party Down

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hope Davis Special Relationship
Jane Lynch Glee
Kelly McDonald Boardwalk Empire
Julia Stiles Dexter
Sofia Vergara Modern Family

Hope: Julia Stiles for Dexter
Prediction: Jane Lynch for Glee
Missing: Maggie Lawson from Psych, Magda Apanowicz from Caprica, Candice Accola from The Vampire Diaries (mainly due to the lust factor. I enjoy her scenes more than any other).

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Scott Caan Hawaii Five-0
Chris Noth The Good Wife
David Straithairn Temple Grandin
Eric Stonestreet Modern Family
Chris Colfer Glee

Hope: David Straithairn for Temple Grandin
Prediction: Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family
Missing: Neil Patrick-Harris for How I Met Your Mother, John Noble for Fringe, Peter Krause for Parenthood, Bruce Campbell for Burn Notice, Willie Garson for White Collar, Patrick John Flueger for Scoundrels, Martin Starr for Party Down, Dule Hill for Psych

Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Toni Collette United States of Tara
Edie Falco Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey 30 Rock
Laura Linney The Big C
Lea Michelle Glee

Hope: Toni Collette for United States of Tara
Prediction: Tina Fey for 30 Rock
Missing: Kaley Cuoco for The Big Bang Theory, Lizzy Caplan for Party Down, Jordana Spiro for My Boys, Yvonne Strahovski for Chuck,

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Pacific
Temple Grandin
You Don't Know Jack
The Pillars of the Earth

Hope: Temple Grandin
Prediction: Temple Grandin
Missing: nothing specifically comes to mind.

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Dennis Quaid The Special Relationship
Ian McShane The Pillars of the Earth
Édgar Ramírez Carlos
Al Pacino You Don't Know Jack
Idris Elba Luther

Hope: Ian McShane I guess
Prediction: no idea
Missing: had it aired before the end of the year, Neverland the new Peter Pan re-imagining, but it's not supposed to air until sometime in the 2nd half of 2011.

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Claire Danes Temple Grandin
Hayley Atwell The Pillars of the Earth
Jennifer Love Hewitt The Client List
Judi Dench Return to Cranford
Romola Gara Emma

Hope: Claire Danes for Temple Grandin
Prediction: Claire Danes for Temple Grandin
Missing: nothing comes to mind at this point.

All in all, another pathetic year for the nominations for the Golden Globes. At least Bryan Cranston did finally get nominated (unlike the Emmy's which he has been every year for Breaking Bad). But in terms of movies, the only acceptance I can find with the lack of worthy nominations is the fact 2010 seemed to be a pretty down year for movies. Comedies especially. Among the movies I saw, City Island was really the only true Comedy that was pretty good. The comedies I didn't see, that I want/ed to like Red, Hot Tub Time Machine, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, The A-Team all are missing save for Red, and that's only in the movie itself category (without any individual nominations).

The Social Network, The Fighter, The King's Speech and The Kids Are All Right seem to be big names this year, but among those, I'd be surprised if any I'll like as much as Fishtank, The Ghost Writer, The Square, Easier With Practice or even stuff like City Island or the documentary(like) Exit Through the Gift Shop. There may be a Documentary category where that and/or Catfish shows up, it's just not on the published list (or/nor is it awarded at the Globes ceremony itself, but ahead of time instead).

And the television year, while there still are a fair amount of good shows, including new shows, most of them are on cable, or during the Summer. Now many cable shows are included of course, but the USA Network has the lone nomination of Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs. And while that's all good and fine, given I think she's good in that show and certainly deserving of a nomination, still, where have the nominations been for the list of USA Network actors for the past 5 years been? It's been Tony Shaloub for Monk and then nothing else. No James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell. Heck, even Mary McCormack from In Plain Sight probably has been deserving in the past.

To add to, shows like Party Down, Rubicon, The Good Guys, Castle, Fringe, Parenthood, My Boys, True Blood, Scoundrels, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Lost totally not represented along with those USA Network shows. But that's nothing new for The Golden Globes. Although a few of those have shown up at times, the Emmys do a little better job with including shows like those. You'd think given it's the foreign press who vote for these, a lot more international movies and tv shows might show up. Stuff like Doctor Who and Being Human even, but I wonder if the foreign press still focus their exposure purely to what comes directly from Hollywood.

On the flip side, I do hope The Big Bang Theory and Jim Parsons win, I could see Parsons winning, but TBBT has too much competition. That unwatchable ABC show Modern Family and Glee too much of the media have gone apeshit over for it to have a chance. Yet, it was just given a 3-season extension and a $260 million deal. Like a friend of mine says, with sitcoms (or all of network tv) "there's The Big Bang Theory, and then there's everything else."

AllMR 2011 Golden Globes by AllMR2

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Between Two Skies - Seeing Dawn (demo)

posting on their facebook

it's just a demo, but man, it sounds amazing. There's a lot to say about this band, still probably my favorite band in Minnesota, and the amount of time looking forward to their 1st record. But I ran into Kevin Kildahl from BTS, a few months ago at the dredg show and asked him quickly about the record, and he said Spring seems likely. So I'm thinking finally, after 3 or more years or reasonable anticipation, 2011 will be the year it does finally come out. That demo is more of a good sign that it will.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco: future holds for the name “Ours” ?

January 12, 2011

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year,

I hope that you all had a peaceful and enjoyable holiday. I wanted to take this time to fill you in on what has been going on with me.
I’ve been in the studio re-working a few of the songs from “The Heart”, and creating full band versions of some of the songs that I felt would sound better with more instruments and vocals on them. When I first set out to do this record I just wanted to do a more stripped down production and get as many songs out to you as I could. I didn’t want to release any songs that felt like they should be “Ours” songs though and this created some challenges for me.

Years ago when I first came up with the name “Ours”, I was part of a band that I had played with for years. We took that as far as we could, and in 1995 decided to end it. In 1997 I signed a record deal with Dreamworks as a solo artist, and the understanding was that I would make music under the name “Ours”. That meant that even if it was just me and a cello, it would still be called “Ours”. The name was meant to describe my relationship with the audience, not necessarily the band. I just wanted the music to be limitless. I then struggled and spent years trying to find the right dynamic and chemistry for a band. I played with many different great people, and even though it didn’t always work out, I really did love everyone who had played with us.

In 2003 I had gotten my fill with the politics of the record business, the pitfalls of trying to hold it all together, and I just needed a break. Instead of having a long break, I was met with the sudden inspiration of two new musicians: Static and Locke. They re-ignited my spirit to create music and be in a band. This finally felt like the beginning of something special and right to me. We spent the next six years together and basically inseparable. We toured non-stop and did very long shows that sometimes included self-indulgent jams. Though sometimes even too long and noisy for me, there were times when I was transported somewhere else. That is what music has always been about for me.

Due to the long shows, long drives, singing like it was the last night of my life every night, and the constant grind for all of us, some of us almost didn’t make it. At one time I felt like it was all going to physically and mentally kill me. We wouldn’t dare complain, or stop though because even though it wasn’t always easy, we were together playing music night after night and getting so much love in return from you all. There was no other place that we would rather be. I consider my relationship with April, Race, Locke and Static to be one of my greatest accomplishments in professional life, and one of my most treasured gifts. That said, it was time for a change. We could no longer financially afford to be on the road. I decided it would be a good time to do this solo record.

I didn’t want to go into competition with “Ours”, though “Ours” was originally set up for me to make music in whatever way I wanted to. This was where some of the challenges and questions would arise for me. I chose songs that I felt would sound best without any other personalities or counter parts on them. Everything would be simple and just support the song. However, there were a few songs that were somewhere in the middle, that felt like they still belonged with the other songs. So I put them on in a more stripped down version. I then went out and toured on my own which proved to be an experience that wasn’t very rewarding or fun. I was really getting a bad feeling about touring alone. The shows felt different to me, especially with people talking through my sets which I know can happen with audiences, but some nights I couldn’t even hear myself playing some of the really quiet and intimate songs. I felt that something again had to change.

Just recently I had the opportunity to open up for A-HA’s farewell tour in arenas throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Now even though I’ve always wanted to make integral, personal music that moved people, doing it on a large scale was always a part of my dream. The energy that comes from big crowds like that is just magical to me. I felt I needed a band with me to really get these songs across in the way that they were intended. These shows throughout Europe have re-energized and inspired me to continue creating music and to present it in the way that is best for the song. This means that I will no longer put a boundary on myself or the show for reasons that don’t make any sense. I will be making music in this way from now on and touring with a band, unless it’s a special occasion and then I will do a stripped down show. The shows will be more focused on playing songs than doing long, out of control jams. We will however continue to create music that can hopefully transcend our pain, make us feel joy, and take us to another place. Limitless.

Soon I will be finished with these revisions on “The Heart”, and I then plan to head out on the road with a band in the Spring. I’m not certain what the future holds for the name “Ours” or if I will ever create music under that name again, but I can promise to give you all that I have inside of me, and to create the best music that I can.

Also, due to my experience of playing the solo shows, I realized that maybe those kinds of shows would be better suited in specific environments. Therefore, I am going to save such intimate shows for special occasions and private events which I will be offering to the public for the first time. We have an email address if anyone is interested. Reach out to us and we’ll see if we can fit it into our touring schedule.

Thank you for your love and support. I wish you all the best of health and happiness in this upcoming year.

All of My Love,

This reminds me of some others..Trent Reznor, Steve Morse, Andre Matos..they just changed the name of the group (to their own personal name) they were making music under. The solo show touring will be limited, which saddens me, but I get why. And at least I did get to see one of those, even if it was just for the 35 minutes opening for Greg Laswell last year.

It certainly gives an idea of what Jimmy's plans are. But I think the music coming from him, that was under the Ours name, will just end up being under the Jimmy Gnecco Band name instead.


-In searching for album names or tour dates, the name or word "Gnecco" is incredibly distinctive and rare, as opposed to "Ours" which is a short word and at times made it quite difficult to find. Plus saying "Ours" can sound like "ars" "are's" "hours" or even "aww-ers" or "ow-ers."

-more people will know his name and understand he was/is the band, with all due respect to the talents of the guys who've played in Ours. At least from a writing standpoint.

-The Ours name is established, to a point at least. Like Kaddisfly, he is sort of starting over and may never reach the name recognition he got with Ours. But maybe that doesn't matter in any way to him, nor should it to the fans who will hear and talk about his music no matter how many people they/it reach(es).

-The live jams and acoustic shows are limited if not gone. Well, to a point. If I never get to see him and the other guys jam to "Get Up" or "Live Again" again, well I can hold those memories incredibly high when I did.

All in all, I think this move should be good, however much it does change things. I read that entry as Jimmy really being comfortable in doing this, and learning what makes sense for him to continue his career. He sounds at peace, happy, optimistic, and satisfied of how his future life professionally should be. As a fan, I can only be happy because he seems happy about that.

It's probably also worth adding, the bit about re-recording/re-arranging some of the tracks from The Heart with the full band sounds intriguing. I do hope though, the dozens (or a couple hundred?) of songs that he has written over the years still are recorded of course, in one or more arrangement.