Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Albums Countdown: Life Happens

Life fucking happens as I've repeated I can't count how many times in this blog, especially just in the last 9 months since I took my new job, and the last 4, when I decided to bring home my boombox and not listen to anything at work.

So, I'm afraid to say, an actual big, epic countdown, is beyond my ability in terms of time and knowledge of a percentage of these records (and many others I'm sure I am missing).

As I posted like a month ago, I have that all-time/favorite/5-star thing for the on the horizon, and I actually may jump into it tonight, a night I actually do have a little time to blog, being forced to my residence and not my gf's with the sub-zero temps, and snow + terrible driving conditions, even to drive over to her place (and have to warm my car up for 5-10 mins again before coming back here. It would be nice to save a little money on gas here and there as my residence includes heated underground parking, and hers does not, lol).

Blurbs and images, well..we'll see how much I get through before I just throw this sucker up. But then again, I've been known (or know myself to) edit in much of that stuff at later times anyway, which may or may not happen.

Gawd, this echoes of 2008..except, at least in 2008, I had that great admiration for the best stuff. This year? not at this point, but still, it included enough good records to like (and pay for, which I did).

edit: actually, this isn't far different than a typical Sound Opinions Message Board Annual voting post, stripped down, but not without some details.

Checked out, or came close to checking out, and may check out more in the future:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Mosquito
Andrew Stockdale | Keep Moving
Riverside | Shrine of New Generation Slaves
OneRepublic | Native
Jolly | The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)
Jimi Hendrix | People, Hell and Angels
Falling Up | Midnight on Earthship
Eisley | Currents
Editors | The Weight of Your Love
David Bowie | The Next Day
The Besnard Lakes | Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO
Alpha Rev | Bloom
Blackfield | Blackfield IV
Born of Osiris | Tomorrow We Die ∆live
Levin Minneman Rudess | Levin Minneman Rudess

Bought many of these, but other than Fates Warning, I still have yet to hear any of these beginning-to-end

Fates Warning | Darkness In a Different Light
I played it once last week and did enjoy much of it. But I love Fates Warning, so if I ranked it, it could be as high as the top 5. But then again, some of it didn't blow me away, almost like some of the stuff off Inside Out. The closing epic "And Yet It Moves" and "I Am" were among the things that got my attention. But I probably need to listen to this thing 4 or 5 more times to really know how good this is.

Protest the Hero | Volition
a ton of praise, saying it may be better than Kezia. A retro-review and re-countdown may force myself to add and rank this high at that point. I helped them in their Indiegogo campaign, but never heard it, lol. I still have the download from the campaign on my hd though.

White Denim | Corsicana Lemonade
I enjoyed their last record a lot, but it came sort of out of nowhere, and I havent' gotten around to it.

Avenged Sevenfold | Hail to the King
Revere | My Mirror/Your Target

Fish | A Feast of Consequences
A lot of very positive comments about this should demand I listen to it soon.

Timmy Sean | East Coast Girls [EP]
Dead Letter Circus | The Catalyst Fire
East of the Wall | Redaction Artifacts
The Stepkids | Troubadour
Pinnick Gales Pridgen | Pinnick Gales Pridgen
Dug Pinnick | Naked
Russian Circles | Memorial
The Grape and the Grain | Better Keep Digging
The Elephant In The Room | The Collective &The Individual
Casey Crescenzo produced this (1 of a few on this countdown list)

67 Incura | The Lost
66 Arsis | Unwelcome
65 Flaud Logic | Flaud Logic
64 Jamie Lidell | Jamie Lidell
63 The Cloak Ox | Shoot the Dog
62 Graham Butler | Dread Fascination
61 Coheed and Cambria | The Afterman: Descension
60 Long Distance Calling | The Flood Inside 
59 Aaron & the Sea | Cloak & Dagger [EP]
58 Worldengine | Dark Matters
57 Buke and Gase | General Dome
56 Tangled Thoughts of Leaving | Failed by Man and Machine [EP]
55 The Appleseed Cast | Illumination Ritual
54 Cloud Caverns | Blind Willow [EP]
54 Rhye | Woman
53 Nosound | Afterthoughts
52 The Polyphonic Spree | Yes, It's True.
51 The Greening | Eon V. Aeon
50 The Aristocrats | Culture Clash
49 Fitz & the Tantrums | More Than Just a Dream
48 Infantephant | Cyclelicoptippopacalypse [EP]
47 Scale the Summit | The Migration
46 The Winery Dogs | The Winery Dogs

45 Annuals | Time Stamp
I love this band historically, and this album was just okay I guess. Sad how the band ended more or less with it, until something changes ( no official announcement, and they post on Facebook still).

44 Sigur Rós | Kveikur
43 Biffy Clyro | Opposites

42 Shelter Red | The Split Sabre
I enjoy some of this, and I bought the CD and a shirt. Maybe they aren't as in-your-face as I recall..or maybe I heard some cymbals clip at times. Or, more likely, I only got to listen to it once or twice. It is a shame though, with all the Post-Metal worship bands like The Ocean and Russian Circles receive, and next to nobody ever talks about these guys.

41 Bed of Stars | I Fell in Love in the City [EP]
Nice debut EP I know Evan slaved over for a few years with Daniel Victor.  "Nothing Left to Lose" is still the standout track here, but I will admit to not revisiting this EP much after the 1st week or so when it was released. I wonder if he'll be on the next Neverending White Lights LP along with what this project has in-store soon as well.

40 Josh Rouse | The Happiness Waltz
Somewhat return to form for Josh.

39 Karnivool | Asymmetry

38 Renaissance | Grandine il vento
Good, but not addictive as I may have hoped. "Porcelain" is still my favorite. I love hearing Annie sing these new tunes still.

37 Spock's Beard | Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Ted Leonard did add something extra. Time unfortunately forced my hand again. But the brief amount of time I spent listening to this, I enjoyed a lot of it, almost like feeling the Old Beard was back. Neal Morse also wrote some of it, which may be why.

36 Falling Up | Hours
I never got around to hearing the other, acoustic/mostly-piano record from FU. This was traditional sounding Falling Up. The melodies are still there, along with extensive amounts of heavy synths and guitar textures. The concept, I am also still behind on. But, I am still happy to hear anything from Jessy Ribordy. I just worry at times how he requires to work to pay his bills with FU, and The River Empires and even The Gloomcatcher are just a longtime/almost decade or 2 project that will only appear when time and money allows. But, I am not giving up on them, nor my interest in Falling Up either still.

35 Sir Video | On and On/Do What You Wanna/Never Knew
3 really catchy singles in the synthy/dancey Hall & Oates vein. Timmy Sean can really write and produce well at times.

34 Cloud Cult | Love
Shorter album. Some good tracks, but not as breathtaking as 2010's opus Light Chasers. I'm not sure they are capable of making a bad album though.

33 Capital Cities | In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Terrific live show opening for Fitz and the Tantrums in November. Odd how 1 of the members of this groups was in mid 2000's U2-influenced band Aviatic.

The trumpet is probably the best part of their sound. A soaring trumpet harmony can totally work at times.
Is it highly dancey and poppy? yeah, but also catchy and layered? yes. Also using samples at times. I hope they do more of that with their next record actually.

32 Subterranean Masquerade | Home / Beyond the Pale [Single]
I loved these 2 songs as I savor every ounce of music this project has ever recorded. The dreamy progressive folk metal of a kind. 2014 more is coming, and it's been 10 years since their lone LP Suspended Animation Dreams. But for 2013, this was a nice sample.

31 Everything Everything | Arc
30 Cynthesis | ReEvolution

29 The Royal Veil | King of the Ocean
One of my favorite local bands (from Minnesota), who I saw live perform this whole record. And it was pretty sweet. Sadly, I never got around to listening to this whole album. But having seen it and the Live From Studio 5 on KFAI refreshed my memory enough about it. It's a powerful, methodical, meticulous collection of compositions that like The Red Paintings, the band spent many years refining and perfecting. They style of progressive metal is not derivative; with elements of doom and sludge I suppose, but also more than enough time changes and chops to work for myself and many others.

But, like many others on this countdown, I can't completely say if I adore this album, or if it disappointed me given how little time I have spent listening to it. 

I do know; it has a plethora of influences, from Pink Floyd-ish sections, to bombastic elements I think of The Mars Volta for,  to the intensity of Tool, to even the subtlety of a lot of Jazz-Rock.

28 Evarusnik | In a Poker Slash Refrain
Good record that Mark Engles of dredg played and produced on I think. Almost gothic chamber folk rock of a kind. The Pledgemusic campaign was a success thankfully.
27 Mother Falcon | You Knew
Like Typhoon, another large ensemble of instrumentalists doing rock music of a kind. I remember liking a lot of this, "Dirty Summer" probably the most. These guys could do a tour with either Typhoon or the Polyphonic Spree and have the largest ensemble of chamber musicians in 1 venue for a rock show ever, lol.
26 Leprous | Coal
I like this more than anything else I've heard from these guys. I enjoy In Vain more, but these guys are a lot more unique than most of the so-called prog metal out there.
25 Dream Theater | Dream Theater
Not going to say much as I listened to it 1.3 times. That is all. I liked much of it. But it's still something I am clueless as to how great it may or may not be. Sorry guys, but maybe the concert in April will force me to catch up.
24 Northern Abbey | The Sounds of Glowing [EP]
Another great sublime collection of tracks from this sideproject of Falling Up's Nick Lambert. Its all on their bandcamp of course.
23 The Age of Rockets | Adults
2 or 3 years ago, I likely would have invested the time to hear this whole thing. No time to, and my initial impression of this record was the 1st version was good, but maybe not even as good overall as Hannah. The other versions? I maybe listened to as few tracks here and there. Cool idea, unfortunately, it may take a few years before I know how brilliant it did come out ultimately. At least Andrew still has Field Mouse.
22 Radical Face | The Family Tree: The Branches
I purchased this album on Vinyl at the concert I saw in October. However, I haven't listened to it enough to say if it may belong higher. But the concert from a few months ago supports how good a lot of it is. "The Gilded Hand" is probably my favorite track thus far.
21 Miracles of Modern Science | Meems [EP]
lots of attention for their cover of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," but the million+ people who enjoyed that, should also enjoy this. As good if not better than much of the debut LP Dog Year.
20 For the Imperium | Hail the Monsters
Not as good as the debut, but still different in some good ways. But kind of forgettable overall as I just didn't find the time last Spring to play it enough to enjoy it to even rank it this high perhaps. But, I can't say the records below it are really any better I suppose.

Spiritual Migration cover art
19 Persefone | Spiritual Migration
This album has a lot of great technical stuff on it. And it's much better than their last album.

File:Holy Fire II.jpg
18 Foals | Holy Fire
Love this band. Good album with a few standout tracks.

17 Orphaned Land | All Is One
I definitely enjoyed this, and it's length didn't seem as excessive as ORwarriOR.

Beyond The Ragasphere
16 Debashish Bhattacharya | Beyond the Ragasphere
another excellent, busy, spiritual, style-blending Hindustani-classical record from Debashish. This guy really can't do anything wrong, and his shows are just mind-blowing. John McLaughlin and Jerry Douglas are among the excellent guest musicians.

Get Lost cover art
15 Genders | Get Lost
love a lot of this dreamy, trippy female-driven debut record.

Collisions and Near Misses cover art
14 K Será | Collisions and Near Misses
an early favorite. They remind me of 22, As Tall as Lions and The Dear Hunter among others. Good debut record and certainly a band to watch in the future.

File:Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady cover.jpg
13 Janelle Monáe | The Electric Lady
It's not as memorable as The ArchAndroid, but still songs like "The Ghetto Woman" and "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" rank up there with her best songs. Ambitious though, this record may gain more steam in the future as a grower.

12 Mayer Hawthorne | Where Does This Door Go
pretty consistently good track-2-track. There are some Steely Dan-like songs, and some extremely smooth and slick production. I suppose this is my favorite Mayer record, but I kind of see his catalog as about equal. My Mayer-aholic gf would beg to differ, as she adores his Motown-heavy early stuff even more. 2014 maybe more will come from him as he wrote 40 some songs while making this.

 photo Oursballet_zps83df4713.jpg
11 Ours | Ballet the Boxer 1
I love them, and this was a different kind of record sonically. Like Fates Warning and Protest the Hero, I owe it to myself to spend a ton more time with it. "Sing" is catchy and may be about Michael Jackson. "Devil" sounds like a piece that would be worthy of the Mercy record. "Boxer" I like. "Pretty Pain" "Been Down"..more or less every track I enjoyed, it's just maybe not in terms of Homerun tracks. And I have not listened to the better mixes nor of course the vinyl which is still delayed some 6+ months later.

This album reminds me of the last dredg record in a lot of ways. It still sounds like MY band, it's just not including as many WOW tracks at this point. But bad songs? not really recalling any.

10 The Dear Hunter | The Migrations Annex [EP]
Very nice collection of extras I am not regretting getting on Vinyl. "Old Demon" is maybe the most standout track, but I remember wishing much of this was on Migrant still.

9 The Dear Hunter | Migrant
Different, non-conceptual record for Casey to make. It still has many memorable, strong, powerful moments, even not being as busy or traditional sounding for them (if they even have a traditional sound? lol). "Whisper" "Shame" "Bring You Down" and maybe "Let Go" are the tracks I enjoy the most. The ballads are nice, but not as addictive, although they did sound very good with the strings live. I don't have a lot more to add for now, but Casey continues to take this project in different directions, even if I don't adore the latest release to no end, it's still worth as much time as I can give it.

8 In Vain | Ænigma
great comeback record! My memory is failing me right now, but I just remember thinking it gave me the same feeling as when I went apeshit for them with The Latter Rain back in late 2007. These guys know how to create interesting blackened progressive metal, frankly, WAY BETTER than a lot of the bands who get name dropped so much more. But fuck it. Being down about that rarely seems to make much of a difference. 

Some of the vocal choruses stay with you. "Against the Grain" and "Rise Against" off the top of my head I recall among much of the rest of it. This record, like TLR, flowed quite well (unlike 2010's Mantra from memory).
7 Brooke Waggoner | Originator
I love especially the 1st 2/3 of this album. Compared to her last record Go Easy Little Doves, there's not as much classical, but more pop and energy I suppose.Brooke still stands out as 1 of my favorite female or other, songwriters working today. "Ink Slinger" "From the Nest" "Rumble" among other favorites included.
6 Local Natives | Hummingbird
worthy follow-up to the awesome Gorilla Manor. More subdued at times, or more subtle. But many of the tunes on here will reveal a lot over time.

"Black Balloons" "Mt. Washington" "Breakers" probably still stand out the most. I guess like Mayer Hawthorne or the new Ours record, while this differs from GM a fair amount, it still sounds like THEM and they still know how to sing and write great vocal lines and harmonies (despite working with the dude from The National).

5 Typhoon | White Lighter
A later in the year record I probably only heard twice, but also got totally floored by seeing live. There's far more to say about this album than I have time right now, or the memory yet. But it's a great layered record that includes the trademark chamber-elements that this band of 12-16 members include. 2 drummers among them.
And some of the hipsters actually have noticed, for better or for worse. 

"One Hundred Years" 'Hunger & Thirst" "Young Fathers" are among some of the best stuff. 

I have a feeling, when the time is available, I could grow to love this record a lot more, as I purchased it on both CD and Vinyl (along with the rest of their catalog on Vinyl in fact).

Anathallo, Margot & the Nuclear So & So's among others, aren't around or making this cool kind of chamber rock I love. But these guys thankfully are.

File:Random Access Memories.jpg
4 Daft Punk | Random Access Memories
Great record beyond ":Get Lucky" which has held up as much if not more than Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know." Love the jazzy drumming, and atmosphere like on the "Giorgio by Moroder."
I like more or less the whole thing except that track "Doin' It Right" (not "Touch") which has that gawd awful singer from Animal Collective, Panda Bear.

edit: I forgot/mixed up the title, that's how memorable of a song it is/was, lol.

Great soundtrack-like album.
And no, the fact the hipsters among others shoved it in my face doesn't bug me, because the music stands up.

3 Steven Wilson | The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)
Very intense record, with tracks that follow in the progressive rock tradition. The hints of Kevin Gilbert, Savatage and Oceansize aside, the songs/epics still work.

I guess I'm bait for writing good prog, when it's done by musicians I like. 

I also can't get past how dark it is lyrically, and tonally at times. Even with the subtle/sad parts like the vocal harmonies, alto sax and flute parts.

That concert back in May (on the gf's bday btw, something she'll probably always hold on me, but 8 years is a long time anyway)., had so much heavy, intense, dark, black imagery. I guess Steven gets drawn to it for inspiration (or his inspiration draws it? if that makes any sense, lol).

Better than his previous 2 solo records, and without question better than the last 2 Porcupine Tree albums (even though I still like The Incident)


2 The Reign of Kindo | Play With Fire
Honestly, this record just goes here, because I went apeshit over it the 1st week I got to hear it. I'm not sure I like it more than their debut album Rhythm, Chord & Melody, and in some ways even their last record 2010's This Is What Happens. But, I still found myself falling for it. Nearly every track. Maybe the standout track of 2013 for me being "I Hate Music," least in some ways. The lyrics totally win the award for saying something that I and many other music fanatics want to say, but have not been able to get our voice out to say.

Fuck Reality shows and the shit on Youtube that receives 10 million plays. That's not real music. At least not to them and not to me. It's just a bunch of talent-less ass-kissers.

I can't do this
People call it music but I'm not sure
If there's a difference between the set of blueprints
for radio and just plain noise

I turn my television on to pass me through the night
I'm watching fools try to sing an awful song they didn't even write
I know some tool is just sitting at a desk pulling the strings
They shove their garbage acts down every dial the towers reach

I hate music if that's what you call music, but I don't know
Who approves the shit they pass for music on these shows?
There's no difference between the set of blueprints
for radio and failure

There was a time you couldn't fake your game
They turned the red light on and you delivered the goods
Or you were chased off stage by someone else who could
You were making magic or you couldn't make (nothing) at all

I hate music
If that's what you call music, that's for sure,
If you're amused by the poly-sonic zoo, well, it's all yours
Every day there's a new song being played that sounds like hell
Whoever puts that garbage on the air must love the smell

You can listen to whatever you like
I'll try and keep it bottled up inside
But don't pretend it's not polluting the world
as it plays on and on and on and on

Somewhere they must have lost their way
And threw their souls out for attention and fame
Their taste is bad, their opinions are wrong,
They make awful shit but the radio keeps playing their songs

 Play With Fire has a ton of other moments I could mention, but time is not on my side. I guess I'll just add some track titles: The Hero, the Saint, the Tyrant & the Terrorist, Sunshine-poppy of course, but still way too catchy not to love, namely coming from this band. Feeling in the Night-romantic. Make a Sound, Impossible World-love the piano and ethnic sounding textures.

Fuck, I am probably leaving out 35 great qualities about this record I can't include at the moment, but I should just say, this record is of the quality of their music. Waiting 3 long years to hear it, it was well worth the wait. I love this band, and would love to see them have more success. But I know all too well, that doesn't happen too often when it should.

The Revolution Is Never Coming

1 The Red Paintings | The Revolution Is Never Coming
This record was very original sounding, and that is why I guess I place it on top. It's really all over the map in rock styles. From punk, to cabaret, to heavy almost metal-intense levels of riffs from not only guitars, but violins and a large string section.

It also is incredibly layered, so much so, I almost hate listening to it, given my sensitivity to cymbals and compression.

But my gawd, it's a massive undertaking of sound. A concept album and a rock opera sort of. And it took Trash McSweeney like 8 years to finish. 8 bloody years, or more. He rewrote, reworked, recorded various parts all around the globe. It sounds like he nearly died trying to make it.

But, even with the overly excessive layering, and the extensive lengths (including many with silent sections), along with lyrics that are a little preachy, political and depressing. 

The songs are very good and keep you engaged. The energy is almost off the charts at times. 

Tracks: Wasps, The Fall of Rome, Walls, Street Fell Into My Window, Rain, The Revolution is Never Coming, 

In other years, this may have been defeated just because I'm not 100% in love with it due to the production/mixing. But in terms of ambition, this is in league with stuff like The River Empires and Blood Moon. Why more people in progressive rock circles (among others) haven't noticed? the fuck if I know, as the band constantly posted glaring reviews. And they have been on tours with some big names recently. I guess chalk it onto the huge failure list of course, and maybe the coming years those folks will come around. Or maybe, the production or Trash's vocal style doesn't work for them. It's nothing surprising or new, but still a shame for now.

RIP Benjamin Curtis (School of Seven Bells/Secret Machines)

This I guess doesn't come as an enormous shock as the Facebook post below explains, he had been battling Cancer for quite awhile. But regardless, this is still rather sad.

I can say a few things about Benjamin Curtis. I saw School of Seven Bells play at the 7th Street Entry twice, once with Warpaint on October 13th, 2009. One of the more memorable and surreal concerts I've attended certainly in the last 5 years, if not ever. A show I attended almost entirely to see Warpaint, but I stayed to see SVIIB and frankly was floored by how acid-trippy and surreal their show was. And Benjamin's guitar textures/atmospheres was a HUGE part of that.

They came back the next year, playing at the 7th Street Entry again, on September 19, 2010. And they didn't include the slide visuals, and shortly after Claudia Deheza left the band (I recall later within said tour), but that show was still very memorable (Entry w/ that announcement).

I even recall talking to Benjamin after maybe both of those shows, telling him about my impressions of the shows and how I always wanted to get into the Secret Machines, but never could, but SVIIB were more my thing.

I also recall seeing something on Facebook, a few months back about his cancer. But I am not sure how long he had been battling it. It may have been like Earl Root, where he had it, but never really made it public, but was dealing with it for many years. I hope not though.

edit: from Wikipedia
Curtis announced in late February 2013 that he had been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma A benefit concert was held in New York in August 2013 and included performances by members of the Strokes and Interpol. Curtis passed away on December 29, 2013 at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York.

Very sad, as he was a talented musician and I'm sure he had a lot more music and many other things he could do in the future :-[


Dear friends, 

Last night, Dec. 29th 2013, we lost our friend and brother Benjamin Curtis to his fight against cancer.

While we had hoped to delay this announcement until a more suitable time when his friends and family could feel better prepared and settled to greet any correspondences from folks attempting to reach out, unfortunately the news has prematurely leaked. So we felt it would be appropriate to at least offer an official acknowledgement from us, in light of all the fans who loved and supported Benjamin and his music. 

We kindly ask that his immediate family, friends & bandmates' privacy be respected during this time, and that instead, any inquires, well wishes, or notes-of-consolation be sent through School of Seven Bells’ management, where it can be shared with them at the suitable time. They can be sent to a special e-mail address here:

If relevant, further information will be made available through the suitable channels in the near future.

We can’t thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough. All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures. We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kevin Gilbert's Giraffe - This Warm Night/Because of You (live)

some discussion in the Kevin Gilbert online fanbase like a month ago about a tape Greg Stone of Stone Trek found/sold on Ebay. A cassette tape of some early NRG stuff. Whoever won said auction, the hope was, they would make it available in some fashion, even just for the email list subscribers., etc.

And I recall it was from a Reel-to-Reel.

This may not be from the same source/tape, but man, for a KG fan like myself, this is like gold. The arrangements sound fantastic, and the clarity is quite fine.

This is a recording from the Yamaha Soundcheck competition that Giraffe ended up winning, and Kevin met Patrick Leonard, Madonna's producer. etc as a result. But there was if not still a video from the Yamaha Soundcheck performance that was on the Troubadour DVD and on Kevin's site at 1 time. And I think it was on Youtube as well. I just question the performance from that being the same as this.

  • This is a digital transfer of a 7" x 1/4" 15ips 2-track reel made by Kevin Gilbert for Greg Stone of San Jose's KOME and 'Stone Trek' fame; the machine is an Akai GX-400D Pro Separate. This 16 September 1988 performance won Giraffe the Yamaha Soundcheck competition finals at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, CA. It also attracted the attention of Pat Leonard, one of the judges, resulting in the Toy Matinee project.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Crimson from Mike Portnoy and Transatlantic

not bad. Kind of a tradition for Mike to share something rare, unique, or often a cover that hadn't been shared previously. It used to be known as "6:00 on a Christmas Morning" (and exclusive to members on his website's forum, and only for a day often) but not being with Dream Theater, any DT stuff I imagine isn't kosher anymore (legally or just socially), per the current Dream Theater members and organization.

But cool Mike is continuing the tradition this year with this video.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Students at McNally Smith cover DT's "Octavarium"

I just wanted to pass this along for among others, fans of Dream Theater and progressive rock, especially in Minnesota. I'm not certain if all of the players covering this Dream Theater piece are students at McNally Smith, but at least Joel Thielman is given the way the video is labeled.

Good cover. Not that there aren't plenty of other well made, even more original interpretations of this piece on Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc out there, as I'm sure there are. But I guess other than the fact the performance is quite good, and I'm sure it required a good deal of time and practicing together.

But the fact it is a group of MINNESOTA MUSICIANS COVERING DREAM THEATER, should say something about PROG ROCK BEING AN INTEREST IN MINNESOTA. Not only to fans, but upcoming, aspiring musicians.

It would be nice if the savants over at 89.3 or even KSJN or Radio K might be aware of this. Even the other obvious local hipster resources like Citypages and The Electric Fetus. Now the Fetus have carried some Dream Theater in the past, but featured them? I doubt much. Like would they even consider trying to have the guys do an in-store for the show in April? somehow I doubt they are on the top of their in-store request list.

I even know someone who works at both the Fetus and McNally Smith actually. I wonder what their thought of a group of students covering a 23-minute progressive rock piece for their recital?

But those issues aside, this is another example of some musicians from my hometown who dig progressive rock and Dream Theater, and may hold hope for more of this kind of (original) music being played, and hopefully written and recorded down the road. I seem to recall the Media Addicts (RIP) members attended and graduated? from McNally Smith as well.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rachel Flowers: Covering Frank Zappa's "Inca Roads" + more

I've never heard of this quite talented young musician until just a bit ago, but I guess her talents have been known for quite awhile among some progressive rock and jazz fans.

As noted, posted above is her cover of Frank Zappa's classic piece "Inca Roads." Quite an interesting arrangement. And I'm not sure if she plays absolutely everything, but it wouldn't surprise me. And I guess she shares a birthday the man himself too, lol.

Here's a video of her playing back some recordings of her own with I guess what is her jazz group?

one of her original pieces live?..this has her playing flute and keys simultaneously, lol.

There are number of other videos on Youtube including a Joe Jackson medley and a bunch of ELP including her covering Karn Evil 9.

I just liked her page on FB, so perhaps more stuff will cross my radar about this young woman's music. But just from watching a few videos and her Inca Roads cover, I'm curious what she may do in the future.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Peter Gabriel - Courage (Radio Edit..unreleased)

This is I guess a track that was recorded during the So period, and a version of it was included on the So Boxed Set, but not THIS version. And Peter Gabriel himself shared it on Youtube along with his email list back in November (not new NEWS exactly).

"Whilst the original version remains exclusive to the So Box Set, this new 'finished' version is mixed by Tchad Blake and has new overdubs from Peter and David Rhodes (guitar). It retains all the spirit and charm of the original version but is now heard through the filter of experience that is the intervening 25 years.

"When So drew to a close I didn't feel the song was delivering in the way I had hoped, so decided not to include it. When we were reviewing all the material from that time, we wanted to take a fresh look at it and get it finished. I always liked the track and very much enjoyed the playing on it, especially the energy of the drums" - Peter Gabriel "

Saturday, December 21, 2013

As Tall As Lions: Farewell Documentary Coming 12/25/13

For Sale on Christmas Day at

they've been posting about this off and on, over the last week or 2 on Facebook. As Tall As Lions of course are still over, finished, retired, broke up, indefinite hiatus, etc since 2011? I know I was down when they broke up, but in truth, I know a bunch of others who were more or less devastated.

To be honest, they ended up breaking up, much like a lot of other bands over the last 5 or more years, so they in a way, were sort of a number in the whole breakup due to not getting big/no major label contract situation. Or maybe just due to losing money and members having other priorities, like family, bills, etc.
But I can't deny, I have come to really appreciate them, and especially their last record from 2009 You Can't Take It With You. I have even come to notice many bands who remind me of them (K Sera and Empires from Chicago in some ways, come to mind among others).

I'll also never forget seeing them floor me on the dredg/RX Bandits tour, namely with the group drum jam at the end. And the last time I got to see them at The Varsity Theater, a show I was loving but ended up leaving a few minutes early because I wanted to see Judgement Day at the 400 Bar the same night. As it turned out, I was early for JD. In retrospect, I wish I had stayed for the whole show and been able to chat a little with the band afterwards.

edit: I just noticed this along with a bunch of other videos from the show I saw them open for Mutemath at First Ave October 17th, 2009.

Although Rob Parr, who was a touring member of As Tall As Lions, but I am not certain was actually on any of their records, may not have been at the last show I saw (whether due to cost, other commitments, or some other reason). Rob though since, has been a touring member of The Dear Hunter, and also has released some music of his own which I recall purchasing. But I've come to really enjoy chatting with him at TDH shows, and ATAL often come up. I suspect he could show up in some if not a lot of the footage in this documentary.

I wonder a bit about the people with this Transcend Motion Pictures and what kind of film or other work they've done. Maybe some other band docs, or documentaries of other kinds?

Also Kimbra, of all people is a fan and appears on a b-side from YCTIWY. Maybe she'll appear as well?

As Tall As Lions Official documentary trailer is here!

Trailer includes a sneak peak of never released B side "To the Sound". A digital copy of the song is included with purchase of the documentary - not to mention bonus live footage. 

Full documentary will be available for purchase on 12.25.13

Also I'll fully admit to not hearing this project of some of the members titled Blocks

Kevin Gilbert - Daystore Promise (re-arrangement of Toy Matinee's "Things She Said")

Fanboy-isms included, this is a tremendous re-arrangement of the Toy Matinee tune "Things She Said."

Quite jazzy.

I likely have heard this among the rarities collections, but if I have, it's been quite awhile. Another example of Kevin Gilbert's genius.

Being - Anthropocene (2013)

This is sort of a long-awaited, long-delayed debut record from this band whose name I first saw maybe around 2010 or 2011 per the (dredg fans forum). A version of the album was shared then on soundcloud. Soundwise, they were kind of a djent version of dredg, for lack of a better way to describe it.

Anyway, since then I have read their Facebook posts, but kind of only kept them and this album in the back of my mind. And I recall even last year, they said this album would be released officially on 12/21. But it did not.

So, 1-year to-the-day, they finally finished it and it's available. I'm assuming the whole band are finally happy with the mix, arrangements, production, etc. I'm streaming it right now, and must say I'm probably enjoying it more than I expected. It does sound a bit like if Gavin Hayes was singing with a djent band in some ways. And I have more or less written off djent, but this seems more tolerable than most of that stuff.

Anthropocene cover art

1.Cosmonaut (Misha Mansoor - Periphery) 05:00
2.DNA 05:20
3.Mindflay (Brian Wade & Josh Clark - Vestascension) 03:23
4.Story For A Muse 04:24
5.A Part, Apart (Brian Kohlhoff - An Obscure Signal 04:39
6.Perpetual Groove 07:08
7.Arcane Academic (Gabriel Riccio - The Gabriel Construct; Travis Orbin; Justin Gosnell - Vestascension) 07:42
8.Escape (Patrick Purves - Life On Repeat; I.V. & Royal - The Fresh Republic) 06:23
9.Sorrow (Andy Gruhin) 05:04
10.Air Atlantic (Spencer Sotelo - Periphery) 04:11
11.The Singularity - Terrans I 05:54
12.The Singularity - Cosmists II (Kento Watanabe) 12:27

Friday, December 20, 2013

Imogen Heap - Hide & Seek w/Choir at Benefit in Seattle, WA

This is a rather breathtaking arrangement at times. I'd love to witness it myself say, at a benefit at a college in Minneapolis or St.Paul?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dream Theater April 8th, 2014 in Burnsville, MN

TM link

Sale is on Wednesday at 10AM. I may try contacting Kyle H and others w/ Sue McLean about promoting this show. But jeez, other than Randy Brecker, I didn't realize that place could pull in big name national touring acts. Maybe Burnsville Performing Arts Center will become a more legit venue in town for Theater-level artists like Dream Theater?

edit: they did get BoDeans there last year, so they do seem to bring in some more well known names, although BoDeans are kind of local anyway.

Who knows, but I hope this show does well, on April 8th, which appears to be a Tuesday night. Just a few weeks after Bend Sinister and Warpaint.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2014 Rock Hall: Peter Gabriel gets IN, but NOT Yes or Deep Purple

Can't find myself to write the rant/analysis/hyperbole I have meant to since the nominees came out in October. But, given the PTO this week, maybe I'll manage to elaborate more on this then.

But for now, here's the news...

Cat Stevens
Hall and Oates
Linda Ronstadt
Peter Gabriel 
Brian Epstein
The E Street Band

Gabriel is nice to see. My girlfriend loves Hall & Oates, although not to the level of Michael Nesmith or The Monkees. Kiss and Nirvana were gonna happen .Ronstadt = Goodbye My Friend and her Michael Nesmith connection I always think of. Cat Stevens, I enjoy the soundtrack from Harold and Maude mostly. I would go for Sufjan Stevens inducting him, but I doubt it'll happen. I also remember Marillion was once on a plane with him that was stopped by security given his muslim name. The E Street Band I enjoy, mostly the 70's stuff, but put much of that with Bruce himself.

2015, maybe The Moody Blues, Yes and Deep Purple, although the biggest issue likely will be each year, more and more artists get eligible. Why I think the Hall should expand the nominees to 20 and the inductees to 10. Far too many older acts who will never get in, or even nominated again if at all with the numbers. O well, maybe more later. Too bad Yes didn't make it.

SikTh - TBA (2012-2014?)

12/16/13 8:42PM

Reunion live, album perhaps next year or soon after as well?

SikTh. Download 2014. It's on.

new twitter account by the way.


What’s the plan for SikTh beyond that?

“Nothing yet. Nothing at all. We wanted to come back and do a really great gig and see how it goes. We’ve got new bands, we have obligations to our careers, but equally, we do want to make new SikTh music in the future at some point. This is a one-off gig for now, and then we’ll see how it goes…”

1/22/12 11:14AM

Article link

Facebook post by the band

More Merch has been ordered guys.. hoodies and girls skinny tee's. we will then look at getting some of the other designs up. btw, Calls for a reunion are amazing.. thanks... OF COURSE we want to... we've never said other wise. It will happen when the times right. There WILL be another SikTh record... and it will be our best... thats a PROMISE. It took us the best part of 2 years to complete the writing of DOADD so I guess you'll have to be patient. Besides, theres a bucket load of riffs that we wrote for album three still sat there - so we'll have a head start next time ;-)

I'm just going with the album could come out this year, but given how long their last record Death of a Dead Day took, and what that message on FB says, it may not come for a few years.

However, news of them making a new album (and back together) while not a huge surprise, is still significant. Since for myself and I'm sure many others who really started getting into them around the time they broke up (2008) or shortly after, the often belief of a great band will become legends since they are now gone, etc

And SikTh, despite what that metalsucks article says, were "pioneering" or at least quite distinct or original in a lot of ways. That's one of the biggest reasons why they stand out to me. Progressive Thespian Metalcore with at times insanely complex compositions. Crazy, yet still within the constructs in making a song and an album work. There's not many bands, metal, progressive, or otherwise, that I see being able to do that, especially as effectively as they have done. So to have another record from these guys is rather big news to myself.

Now whether this next album will compare to their other work? who knows. maudlin of the Well's Part the 2nd is good, but has not found the amazing statement-level of their earlier work. So, that is I suppose one reason to not expect something at that earlier level, after a hiatus. Although at least in their case, it'll only be 5-6 years, motW's was nearly 10 (although the music was still written around the period they had been a band before their hiatus/transition).

Transatlantic - And You and I (Yes cover)

Well produced and performed.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Marillion - The Carol of the Bells (Single)

7 minutes, 35 seconds (or 6 minutes and 15 seconds depending how you consider the ending) Not exactly like Savatage/Trans Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24," nor the yet released but awesome arrangement Greg Herriges has put together with this tune (live, as I've heard him play it a few times).

This is more like a Queen thing in some ways, with Marillion's own stamp. The Steve Rothery guitar solo included.

Mysterious video in some ways, including the footage of the band I'm presuming, in costumes, 1 walking while playing a flute. The message "Marillion will return in 2014" has I'm sure most fans curious. A new album? I would love it, but suspect it may be a bit early for them, unless they had some material that didn't make it on to Sounds That Can't Be Made.

However, there's an 2013 interview in 3 or 4 parts linked on other videos from their official account, that I don't recall watching, which may add some answers to the curiosity.

edit: actually I think I did watch it, as it was back in June. O well, it still may answer a question or two I don't remember at this point.

Kimbra Interview about upcoming 2nd LP

Possibly more to add later (in this entry, or another future one) as this is rather extensive interview, but this album sounds like it could be all over the place, hopefully in a good way. She recently posted on Facebook describing it/her sound as "ProgPop" which is not new to others,. but good to see from Kimbra herself.

 "to collaborate on the record includes pop iconoclasts (Daniel Johns, Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Neilson); abstract beat wizards (Flying Lotus, Thundercat); progressive rock heroes (Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Deantoni Parkes, members of Dillinger Escape Plan and Queens of the Stone Age); seductive soul singers (Bilal, John Legend); and the undefinable and legendary composer Van Dyke Parks. And just because that’s not quite enough musical prowess to feature on one album, Prince’s New Power Generation keyboardist Morris Hayes and John Robinson"

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Grape and the Grain: Campaign

As I posted just a few weeks ago HERE, about this new project from Daniel Grimsland, whose the bassist for the band Three. His new somewhat heavy bluesy hardrock band The Grape and the Grain put out a single (and a record earlier this year, which I bought, but have not listened to yet. I imagine it was just Daniel playing everything, and sound-wise may be a bit different than the now full-band sound of TGatG).

But they have a crowd funding campaign per, which is another site I have not heard or seen until they set this up.

I just supported it and it looks like they have 20 days left with a $7,000 goal. Basically until around New Years. Maybe some X-Mas gifts/$ for those interested. Many of the Three fans alone I would think would be intrigued enough to support this. Their sound is intriguing enough, this record may come out as good as many of the Three albums (not necessarily sounding exactly like Three though, which they don't really).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Quick Note about coming List(s)

Just per twitter/facebook:

next Wednesday 12/18 (and Thurs 12/19 and Fri 12/20 in fact) I'm on PTO (medical). But if not before then,A List of some kind may be coming..

Thursday and esp. Friday though, the medical part may end up limiting (or may not) my activity. But my obligations on Wednesday is almost nothing thankfully.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peter Gabriel: Brief Quotes regarding Genesis/PC and I/O

I just noticed this interview earlier, and figured it may be worth passing on. While a reunion with Genesis, is kind of the fantasy/pipe-dream, I think the more SIGNIFICANT and REALISTIC piece of news in this story is his comments about I/O.

I/O, I don't recall the EXACT time it 1st was talked about, but personally, I remember some of my friends talking about it as early as 2001. I know it was at least that long ago, because when I went to Nearfest in 2001, Tony Levin made an appearance with the California Guitar Trio, and afterwards was part of their Meet-and-Greet/Signing. And my friend said he talked to Tony Levin about I/O (or asked him about it). And that was late June of 2001.

So, even before Up was released (or even recorded), I/O was already brought up if not mostly written.
But the gap between Us and Up was what, 10 years? (a quick Google shows 1992 for Us, 2002 for Up). So if I/O came out in 2014 or 2015, the long gap between Up and it wouldn't seem so unusual for Peter Gabriel.

Lol, I also was just remembering a conversation my friend Creighton and likely John and maybe another friend Downtown Tom had on KFAI when I did the monthly+fill-in show back in 2002. I recall a comment Creighton made saying "Well it's not like Peter Gabriel is just sitting around doing nothing. He has done soundtrack work, collaborations, etc."

Things like Ovo, Afro Celt Sound System and all the political stuff he had been doing even around that time.

But I guess even if he reworks/rewrites many of the songs, I and so many fans will be intrigued. Although given how good Up was, and the stuff he's released since which has been pretty forgettable (New Blood, Scratch My Back, And I'll Scratch Yours), which are covers and rearranged versions of older music of his.

Like Transatlantic's 3rd LP. I can't help but wonder if I/O, had it come out around 2003 or 2004, would have been somewhat like Up, but maybe even better. But so be it, I hope it just finally comes out in any form/arrangements. It reminds me of among others, the many Jon Anderson projects that have been talked about, even samples shared, but nothing actually came out (The Big If, the California Guitar Trio collaboration, and even the possibly Jimmy Gnecco collaboration that maybe is more fanboy-in-me after reading about their email exchanges, rather than anything very realistic).

But also as far as the Genesis reunion, still nothing to get hopes up about, but he does sort of have a point about the members being dead thing. But THE LAMB thing, it sounds like Peter may be more up for a movie, than performing it live. Trey Anastasio of Phish has asked Peter to join Phish for a Halloween show, and I guess Trey says the band will not play The Lamb without Peter. But Peter was quoted in a story I read when rumors were coming out this year about it again, saying he can't sing a lot of the material from The Lamb anymore. Even when the band wrote it, it wasn't exactly ideal for his voice/range BACK THEN. Although Gabriel did tour for The Lamb, but why the issues in the writing/recording of The Lamb were as such, the band wrote a lot of the vocal parts without Peter there, and not regarding his interest 100% I guess.

For those unfamiliar, during that period, Gabriel's wife was going through a difficult pregnancy, and he didn't have the necessary time to give to the band as he had in the past.

But perhaps even if Gabriel did reunite to play live, it would be to perform some of the pre-Lamb music (and the stuff he still can sing from The Lamb), instead. Supper's Ready or something like Cinema Show? I'd love to be wrong, but be skeptical as well. Who knows.

But also maybe it would be to write and record new music, in some fashion with those guys? for some reason, that almost sounds like something Peter would be more intrigued by.

But, I'm just dreaming/brainstorming. Just thinking about Gabriel and Genesis is nice regardless. I suppose more could happen next week if he ends up being announced to have been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Peter Gabriel is glad that former Genesis bandmate Phil Collins is considering coming out of retirement.

But while he won’t rule out a classic lineup reunion of the influential prog band, he’s not fully convinced it will ever happen.

Collins retired in 2011 but last month suggested he was reconsidering the decision, saying: “I have started thinking about doing new stuff. Some shows again, even with Genesis. Everything is possible.”

Asked what he thinks of his former colleague’s comments, Gabriel tells Rolling Stone: “Good! I think he got himself into a bit of a hole, and that’s great news he’s coming out of it. It doesn’t have to involve work – but if it does, that’s a great indicator.”

His reaction leads to the inevitable question about a Genesis reunion, with the possibility having been raised on several occasions over the last decade. Gabriel replies: “It’s never been ruled out. I’m trying to picture a time when it would top my priorities list though.”

But he adds: “If you’re gonna do it, you gotta do it before you’re all dead, right? I was thinking about that the other day. We’re quite lucky – looking back at other bands of our generation, there’s usually one or two missing now. So you do get a sense of the clock.”

And he thinks the chances of staging a live performance of classic album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway are slipping away. “I’m getting older,” he says. “My voice has dropped a tone since the Genesis days. That’s a fact of life. I still sort of think through film ideas for The Lamb.”

Meanwhile, he’s aiming to complete the solo album he began in 2005, to be entitled I/O. “I really need to stop doing other things and lock myself away for a while,” he reflects. “It probably hasn’t moved nearly as much as I would have liked to in the intervening time. The songs are still there, but some of them I would redo now; and there’s some new stuff as well.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

RIP Richard Coughlan (drummer from Caravan)

He was Caravan's drummer, I guess throughout their entire history.

I saw Caravan live in 2002 at Nearfest, and they were really good. I would assume he was with them at that show.

I remember when prepping for that show, namely with my radio show on KFAI, my friend John was stressing to me not to miss Caravan. And the song below "For Richard" whether it was written for Richard Coughlan, Caravan's Richard Sinclair, or some other "Richard" at least showcases how great Caravan could be, especially live.

Caravan's Facebook

"It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that Richard Coughlan passed away on Sunday 1st December.

Richard was a founder member and drummer for Caravan for over forty three years. Richard died at his home and had been in poor health for the last few years.

He has played on all of the band’s releases to date and was one of the early birds in the history of the Canterbury bands having sessioned with The Wilde Flowers and predecessors. Despite not being well Richard played percussion at Caravan’s reunion gig in London in December 2010 and received a standing ovation.

His unique style of playing and wonderful character will be sorely missed. We pass our sincere sympathies to Richard’s wife Sue, his daughter Beth, and all his family.

We will publish a fuller obituary in due course and will have a book of condolences on the website so that his friends and fans can leave a message.

Richard was 66 years old
May he Rest in Peace."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Capital Cities - "Breathe" (Pink Floyd cover ft. Tupac Shakur)

This is actually pretty sweet. I know there are many who may enjoy Capital Cities that are Pink Floyd fans who probably would cringe at hearing Tupac on the same remix/mashup/cover but whatevah.

Capital Cities are a great new group, and this interpretation is nice, and I can't even claim to be a fan of Tupac really (although I don't hate him, I barely know his music; I know him more from some of the movies he was in actually).

FWIW: Dream Theater: The Enemy Inside GRAMMY NOMINATION

Not that the Grammy awards mean much (if anything), but a couple of years ago when Dream Theater was nominated, it did cause a little bit of extra buzz for them at least. And of course they didn't win (The Foo Fighters won, blech).

But just to see them nominated again says a little bit in terms of their recognition and visibility in the music industry.

Of course this award likely won't be shown on the Awards show during Television Broadcast anyway, nor will 75% or more of the Awards anyway, which kind of says enough about how irrelevant and non-credible The Grammys to begin wthi.

Daft Punk I think is the 1 artist that received a lot of nominations, I'm sort of rooting for (and perhaps Robin Thicke per the girlfriend's fandom).

As far as whether Dream Theater will win? I'd be surprised, especially considering Black Sabbath are also in this category. There's a much better chance Yes gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next Spring, than Dream Theater winning this, but I guess I will have to at least pay attention to the results when they happen in a few months.


Track from: Anthems
Label: Megaforce

God Is Dead?
Black Sabbath
Track from: 13
Label: Vertigo/Republic

The Enemy Inside
Dream Theater
Track from: Dream Theater
Label: Roadrunner Records

In Due Time
Killswitch Engage
Track from: Disarm The Descent
Label: Roadrunner Records

Room 24
Volbeat Featuring King Diamond
Track from: Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
Label: Republic Records

Typhoon - Young Fathers [Official Video]

Nice video. Boy hanging out in forest with a friend likely created by his imagination. Like The Dear Hunter's latest video for "Shouting at the Rain,"..I am reminded of (Spike Jonze's) Where the Wild Things Are with this one too.

Good song too of course.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope (2014)

12/2/13 9:04PM
New song and video for "Shine." Just looking at many of the comments, I don't agree with the majority of them. This song isn't bad, it's just a ballad. Amazing? no, but for what it is, even at 7 and a half minutes, it's actually decent enough. Nice guitar solo namely from Roine.

10/23/13 2:36PM

Okay, another update nearly 1-week late. Life happens, what can I say?

I am looking forward to this album coming out on January 27th. Kaleidoscope? if I recall, there was at least 1 somewhat accomplished cult psych band from the 70's with that name. Inspiration? doubtful, but it came to mind in thinking about the title.

Structurally, this album reminds me of SMPT:e for what that may be worth. My guess is, a few epics, and 1 or 2 shorter pieces.

Whether it's close to as good as either the debut album or Bridge Across Forever, I'm kind of at a wait and see since The Whirlwind ended up being a large bloated mess, with not too many memorable moments/sections that those 1st 2 LPs had that I totally loved about this band, and how they always stood out from more or less all of the "retro" sounding prog rock groups. Or even, more than both The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard were in some ways.

I have always felt, TA is like taking the best elements of Spocks and TFK's making them better.

I also have often wondered what this project could have been like with Jim Matheos and with the name "Second Nature"..and even how/what it may have been like with Kevin Gilbert involved. But, all "what ifs" of course.

Also the tour includes Daniel Gildenlow again (but not the album? I would love to see him get involved, but I guess that'll never happen. But even just ANY ORIGINAL MUSIC project with Mike Portnoy would be welcome to see happen at some point, OSI? lol).

The tour itself is coming to the States, but Chicago of course is the only date relatively close. Obscure Prog Rock and doing full-scale US tours affordably, just never has and probably never will happen like it did in the 70's.

Transatlantic reveal new studio album ‘Kaleidoscope’ and 2014 World Tour! 

Progressive-rock super-group Transatlantic, featuring Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas will release their brand new fourth studio album ‘Kaleidoscope’ on the 27th January 2014. The track-listing for the forthcoming record is as follows and the beautiful artwork for the release can be seen below: 


1. Into the Blue
2. Shine
3. Black as the Sky
4. Beyond the Sun
5. Kaleidoscope

The band will also embark on a 6-week World Tour that will see them joined once again by Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw as a 5th touring member. As part of the extensive tour, the band will also headline the Progressive Nation At Sea 2014 Cruise from the 18th till the 22nd February alongside 22 other leading Prog acts including Adrian Belew Power Trio, Devin Townsend Project, King's X, Anathema, Spock’s Beard and many more. This unique performance will see the band performing a very special encore of classic Yes material with the legendary Jon Anderson on vocals. You can find more details on PN14 here: 

An Evening With Transatlantic 2014 World Tour: 
Jan 31st - Los Angeles, CA - El Segundo Performing Arts Center 
Feb 1st - San Francisco, CA 
Feb 2nd - Everett, WA - Everett Music Hall 
Feb 4th - Chicago, IL - The Arcada Theater 
Feb 5th - Quebec City, Canada - Theatre Du Capitole 
Feb 6th - Montreal, Canada - L'Olympia 
Feb 8th - Philadelphia, PA - Keswick Theater 
Feb 9th - New York City, NY - Highline Ballroom 
Feb 11th - Mexico City, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan 
Feb 13th - São Paulo, Brazil - Carioca Club 
Feb 14th - Buenos Aires, Argentina 
Feb 15th - Santiago, Chile 
Feb 18th to 22nd - Progressive Nation At Sea 
Feb 27th - Madrid, Spain - La Rivera 
Feb 28th - Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz 2 
March 2nd - Milan, Italy - Alcatraz 
March 3rd - Rome, Italy - Orion 
March 5th - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7 
March 6th - Karlsruhe, Germany - Substage 
March 7th - Munich, Germany - Muffathalle 
March 8th - Berlin, Germany - Astra 
March 9th - Cologne, Germany - E Werk 
March 11th - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix 
March 12th - London, England - The Forum 
March 13th - Tilburg, Holland - 013 
March 14th - Tilburg, Holland - 013 
March 15th - Paris, France - Le Bataclan 
June - Sweden Rock Festival 

For more information visit: 

9/27/13 10:12PM

Coming in January?

“@Vikernest777: @MikePortnoy Any info about the new Transatlantic album?” OUT IN JAN...TOUR IN FEB/MARCH...INFO SOON

5/30/13 5:47AM

Update from Portnoy:

From MP: The TA4 Sessions went splendidly fantastic! (I think I've been hanging around Pete too much these past weeks...haha!) I won't disclose any details, but I will say the album is about 75 mins long and has 5 songs (2 Epics & 3 "normal" length) and we also recorded 8 Covers for a Bonus Disc as well! Release is expected for the beginning of 2014...more info to come later in the year...

Doesn't mean much, as the last album had other "shorter songs" on the bonus disc if I recall. But on the surface, it sounds more like the 1st 2 records in terms of structure., But it's all about the quality of the music, regardless of length.

3/29/13 9:38AM

Neal Morse has confirmed that prog supergroup Transatlantic will start work on their fourth album in May.
It follows a recent European tour featuring the Neal Morse Band and The Flower Kings, which brought together prime movers Morse, Roine Stolt and Mike Portnoy – leading to fan speculation that a studio project might be in the works with bassist Pete Trewavas.

According to DPRP, Morse says: “We have set dates in May; and, my friends, it is actually happening! Before I left for the tour, and even just a few days ago, I have a lot of really strong prog music ideas that I’m really excited about presenting to the guys.

“But, of course, everything has to be kind of secret until we actually do it – so I can’t say or tell much more. We’re all really excited about it.”

He believes the follow-up to 2009′s The Whirlwind could appear early next year although he adds: “Who knows? I’m just glad we’re doing it!”

The Neal Morse Band and The Flower Kings have announced a US appearance at La Mirada Auditorium, Los Angeles, on May 7. “Mike recently became available in May,” says Morse, “and I knew TFK were in the States for RoSfest; so I sent a few emails, and here we are. We had such a great time in Europe and we want to share it with our friends in the States. I just wish we could do more.”

This isn't the biggest news, of news, as Portnoy has especially been asked about the next TA for a few years now, and he has said it likely would happen, just a matter of when.

But the plan now is to write and likely record it in May.

I'm looking forward to it, although my feeling about TA and The Whirlwind sadly isn't all that favorable. Mainly since I adore both SMPTe and especially Bridge Across Forever so much.

In other words, I am hoping this new album will have the magic of those early 2000's lps, and NOT the bloated nature of The Whirlwind from 2009. I'm a bit skeptical it will though just given the recent music Neal Morse has written. But I'd love to be surprised.

I wouldn't expect it to come out until 2014 though.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Royal Veil: Live From Studio 5 (at KFAI)

This performance/interview was conducted a few weeks ago, but it's only now I'm checking some of it out. However, I haven't listened to all that much of it yet (just the 1st 10 mins of the video), but hopefully time will allow for that soon (along with a few other things just online like The Polyphonic Spree documentary and the latest update from Rob Thomas about the Veronica Mars movie).

But it is cool the radio station I volunteer at (and wish I could more in the last 2 years, but sadly, my time has been compromised per work, gf, and other things unfortunately), had a local band I really like and support included on 1 of their shows.
Entire (1 Hour?) Show, Perfromance, Interview Stream/Download

Goblin @ The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis 11/30/13

Here's my post from Facebook last night when I got home:

I just got back from seeing Goblin w/ Zombi . Good show, and I can call myself a Goblin fan now. The crowd however, I'd say at least 2/3 of, did not come across as a group that would enjoy 1970's Italian progressive rock at all. And I would guess more than HALF of Goblin's set was NOT FROM SOUNDTRACKS, i.e. the 70's progressive rock influenced by bands like King Crimson and Genesis (or PFM and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso). The majority of the crowd were mostly Horror movie fans, and Gothic Rock/Gothic Metal fans. But, the music Goblin were playing, was more or less not what I would suspect, be the kind those people lean towards. 

In other words, I wouldn't be surprised the majority of the crowd had no idea what they were listening to, lol. Which I find both funny and yet shocking at the same time. I mean if these folks really dig Goblin, than I would think they would also include the likes of Genesis, PFM, Il Balletto Di Bronzo, and the like.

Here's a setlist from Englewood, CO that I am just going to assume is close-to the same if not identical.

Magic Thriller
Mad Puppet
Dr. Frankenstein
E Suono Rock
Non Ho Sanno / Death Farm
L'alba dei Morti Viventi / Zombi
Mad Puppet's Laugh / School At Night / Profondo Rosso



But to add to my Facebook post from last night.

-the pieces presumably from the Soundtracks like Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead and a few others, had Video Clips on a screen behind the band shown while the band played. At points the music they were playing fit those clips (many of which seemed to be on repeat, and were pretty much a MONTAGE of scenes from those films, although almost entirely focused on the dramatic and GOREY scenes from those movies).

I guess this is the 1st tour Goblin has done in the States in 38 years (and/or their 1st tour ever of North America). And it very well may be their only tour.

I may be forgetting, but I thought I read this tour was like some of the Trans Siberian Orchestra tours, where in order to as many cities as they could, they split the band up into 2 groups. I.e., we saw only 1 of the lineups for Goblin last night.

The people at this show, did not at all appear to be progressive rock fans. I would guess at least 2/3 or more of them only came to see the band play along to clips of Dawn of the Dead. Which is fine I guess, but not my motivation at all. I enjoy horror movies, but Zombies? typically no. And when gore seems to be the focus (especially the clips they showed/repeated/isolated).