Friday, January 31, 2014

Toria - Octave (2014)

1/31/14 11:00PM
(from below, but it bares posting a 2nd time).

edit: digging this!..very moody and electronic at points, almost like God is a Astronaut meets Long Distance Calling. Octave cover art

1. Awake 01:55
2. Clear The Mist 03:55
3. Snow Crystals 04:56
4. Urban Wasteland 02:41
5. Water Of The Sun 06:01
6. Facing The Universe 05:47
7. Chasing Storm 03:32
8. Into The Wild 05:51

  12/25/13 10:30AM
Previous Entry

Pretty excited to finally hear this debut record of theirs. My only small issue might be in 1 of the sample clips, I hear some djent, which previously, I don't recall on any of their music. But if it's not extensive, it likely won't matter to me. I do hope they continue using samples, but remember what OSI did after their debut album?

anyway, this debut LP should be coming in 2014, my guess would be in the Spring sometime.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Enchant - TBA (2014)

1/29/14 10:05PM

Hello everyone! Just a quick update: the new album is coming along and it looks like we should be completed around the end of April! That will probably mean a summer release but we will let you know the date as soon as we find out for sure. In the meantime be sure to check out the Transatlantic tour with our very own Ted Leonard on back up guitar and vocals! Check out the Transatlantic web site for your dates. Thanks for your continued support! Peace!

Completed at the end of April, Summer release. 11 years since Tug of War, it should be interesting to find out what they came up with/how different their music may be (if at much or at all) this many years later.

Significant Albums: Marillion - Brave (1994)


When I 1st was told about Marillion, it was May of 1995. Misplaced Childhood was the record I was suggested, being a Rush fan, and I was for the most part immediately won over. So naturally I got to looking for more of their music the Summer of 1995 and soon there after.

They had a pretty big catalog, and I remember seeing this album and Afraid of Sunlight, and being a little thrown off by it. What was it about? It seemed darker than Misplaced Childhood for some reason.

I of course came to learn their history with who was still a relatively new singer in Marillion in 1995, having Steve Hogarth, instead of Fish, the singer on Misplaced Childhood.

I remember though buying 2 cds in particular, Six of One Half a Dozen of the Other, and Made Again, the double live album. And Made Again had a lot of their recent songs/singles per say on disc 1, including a few of the Fish era tracks, and on disc 2 of course was the complete Brave live.

I recall buying Brave at Media Play in 1996, as I stumbled upon, somehow, a receipt recently that I saved when I purchased my 1st cd copy of this album. The Made Again performance along with a bootleg video I picked up at 1 of the local Twin Cities area record shows where the band played the whole thing, I think really won me over to the Hogarth music and this album in particular.

And it sort of helped me through/related to some depression I was going through.

As much as every part of this album works cohesively and is without any song/moment that is out of place (including "Paper Lies"),I think this album has 3 songs that probably reach me more than any other Marillion songs, or maybe songs in general, save for some huge level of sadness or nostalgia on a song like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The Great Escape, Hard As Love, Runaway.

Steve Rothery's tone and phrasing, along with the lyrics especially. I frankly do not have enough space or time to capture how much some of the lyrics on those 3 tracks hit me. Not exactly on a directly personal level, but in a mood/escape/sympathetic/empathetic (or pathetic? lol) ways.

Some of the saddest guitar lines ever. Some of Hogarth's most impassioned vocal lines. He sounds like he's crying throughout, even though he's in voice exactly.

Very much a record that transcended music. The message was extremely powerful, I almost have felt Brave was not so much music or an album, but an out-of-body experience. I still to this day cannot get through it without balling like a baby at times. Why I love it so much? I'm not sure, but the natural human tendency to curl up in the fetal position to feel safe and comfort kind of hits me.

I recall Hogarth talking about playing it and the rest of their music live at the time, with the Brave music/performance being more like a painting that would be displayed in a museum or something,and the rest of their set being like Greatest Hits or something people might enjoy to party to.

I'm sort of at the place where I need to move along for now, just to not invest the time that I don't have right now to dissect so much more about this. In fact I guess the best thing I can include for now is, this very well may be just a preamble or excerpt of what very well could be like a essay (novel? lol) size examination on the *significance* of this album to me.

I almost feel like I love it to death, in that if I ever feel my most down, vulnerable, or needing of some excessive melancholy with nostalgia, and with a 3rd ingredient I don't know if I've ever found again, it is on here.

Justice will have more to add, I just need to find the time and be in the mood. But it may come sooner than later (2014 perhaps).


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fjokra - Happy Together (The Turtles)

This is a pretty sweet cover, almost with a Beach Boys and world-like approach. Fjokra, an Irish singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist I noticed altprogcore mention a few years ago and have been waiting to hear new music from since.

He has made some other covers as well I guess, one being "Electric Feel" by MGMT.

I guess an EP could be coming early this year.

this guy almost reminds me of a cross between Gotye and sElf (Matt Mahaffey). I wonder if he's a sElf fan anyway. Although there's a video on his reverbnation page that sounds more like The Diablo Swing Orchestra meets Mr.Bungle actually, so he's kind of all over the map in some ways.

Monday, January 27, 2014

dredg - I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Tony Bennett/Video)

dredg entered the studio a few months ago, posting some brief thing on twitter about it. It was apparently for this.

Haven't heard it yet of course. But the song is a Tony Bennett song. For some reason though, there's a The Flower Kings song "I Am the Sun" that references it, that always comes to mind. As well as in one passage in Song Remains the Same the double live album/movie from Led Zeppelin, I recall Robert Plant may have sang a part of this tune as well.

What this means for dredg and 2014? who knows. The fanboy in me and many others hope it inspires them to get back to recording at least 1 more record soon. Maybe a year from now, I'll be sitting here happy to have hoped for that.

The "About":

Behind The Scenes Video -
Download Song Free Here -
Directed, Filmed & Edited - Marc Donahue

Roth Rind - Producer -
Bryce Grimm - Assistant Camera Operator
Shiseido Ruiz - Associate Producer/Location Manager
Michael Shainblum - Additional Timelapses

Music: Dredg -
Track: I Left My Heart in San Francisco Tony Bennett cover
Download Free Here -

I was truly inspired by the song I left my heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett. I already had a passion for time-lapse and of course, the beautiful landscape that is SF. Thinking on how to approach a new project I decided it was best to collaborate with Dredg, a band that I had grown up with and admired. Dredg was equally excited about the prospect of covering one of the best classic songs of our time and morphing it into something artistic and new. We primarily used the Canon 5D Mark III, which has served as an amazing product for our projects. To capture unique movement within our shots we used Dynamic Perception's Stage 0 and the Stage 1 accompanied with Emotimo's TB3 Black Pan & Tilt System. With the backing of these two companies we were able to successfully capture our vision within each composition. 
And of course, what is a project from PermaGrin Films without using our GoPro armada. As we ran around the streets of San Francisco guerrilla style, GoPro's served as an excellent behind-the-scenes tool to show off our techniques. You can find these videos on our instagram -

Motion Control Gear Sponsors:
Dynamic Perception

For licensing & inquires please contact

Special Thanks to:
Stanford Court Hotel -
Parc55 Hotel -
Tracy Rodriguez
Mike Juco 
Scott Keenan
Eric Perez
Matt Cross
Stephen Burich
Leland Mitchell Tong
Patrick Anderson
Sean Parker
Drew Roulette
Mark Engles
Gavin Hayes
Dino Campanella
Brandon Cotter

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Significant Albums: Toy Matinee (1990)

File:Toy Matinee.jpg

It was the fall of 2004. I started a brand new job, and I was being introduced and reintroduced in some ways to both Jeff Buckley and Kevin Gilbert.

I think it was actually before 2004 I heard the name Toy Matinee. It may have been when the 1st OSI album came out, it was brought up in a topic in Mike Portnoy's forum, by Mike himself I think. A trivia question about artists who released a Self-Titled album with a Self-Titled song on it. And among them, Mike mentioned Toy Matinee one of a handful of artists that qualified. And I don't even think he included Kevin Gilbert's name.

But I must have found an mp3 of Last Plane Out or somethine in 2003 or 2004.  But the biggest point was one day I went down to a music store in Apple Valley that I don't believe is around anymore sadly. It was like a Video rental place and cd store, or perhaps a CD Exchange or CD Warehouse. I wish I knew specifically, but I remember seeing 2 copies of Toy Matinee's cd there, for like $5 a piece. I forget why but I snatched up both of them.

I wish I could remember my background at that point with them, but I do recall after that point playing one them constantly at work. I was so blown away by the clean production and nuances. This was such a great sounding pop record. The period it came out didn't matter much to me. Even if it resembled 80's pop, much in the vein of Tears For Fears or something.

It in a lot of ways sounded like pop music done by a prog band. Maybe a bit like Spock's Beard or something, who at the time I was still a pretty big fan of, along with Transatlantic. But I had no idea about Kevin Gilbert's history at that point. Only later I would come to realize and follow how he influenced Neal Morse and Spock's (and of course Nick D'Virgilio).

But this album was THEE album that I found my love for my favorite musician to this day, Kevin Gilbert. Even though I would come to understand that Patrick Leonard of course had a ton to do with how good this record was as well. Kevin just sounded so good on every track. The emotion, the personality, the layering, the production, the clever little bits, the voice overs, the lyrics.

Every thing about this album screamed to me, like where the hell have I been to not have known this before?

I mean every track works so well. Last Plane Out, The Ballad of Jenny Ledge, Things She Said, Remember My Name, Queen of Misery, There Was a Little Boy, the Title track. Turn it on Salvador. I even adore the b-side Blank Page, and still regard it probably as the saddest song Kevin ever wrote in some ways (I know the Song For A Dead Friend lovers will disagree!).

A few of my favorite lyrics (knowing myself, I'll probably edit-in more though, lol):
"And this party is addictive Self-destructive, no doubt So I hope that someone saves a seat for me On the last plane out"
"No One Can Take This Away from Me. The Martyrs and Madmen I learned of in School Will Remember My Name"

I came to learn many things in doing research, to the online communities and email lists about this album. How Kevin left Giraffe to make it, how Sheryl Crow went out on tour with him and is of course on the Live at the Roxy album. To not having Patrick and others available to tour. To at least it making its money back.

A major label release which didn't receive the exposure it should have, blah blah blah.

It came out in 5.1, DTS and Special Editions.
It was award a mastering award for excellent signal-to-noise ratio and clarity, one that the likes of Donald Fagen and Stevie Wonder's albums have won.

I guess the music does speak so much for itself, that trying to go on and on about it isn't as valuable as just listening to it again. I own it on cassette, vinyl and multiple cd formats in fact. And each one of them I can still listen to and love. That may be it's best quality, in that I still am hardly tired of it, even after listening to it 100's of times.

It would belong in some kind of library of congress preservation archive if it were up to me of course. I even tried donating a copy to my local library in Eagan back in 2005, but I forget why they told me they couldn't accept it. Something involving money I think, I forget. I just recall thinking, having a copy in a library might expose it to someone who otherwise never would know about this album, which seemed and still does seem incredibly accessible.

Perhaps decades from now, it will be known better, as I'm sure that much of the most well known 80's (or early 90's) pop music will. I would hope fans of Tears for Fears or Simple Minds among others may remember or find it someday if they haven't yet. But, that of course seems too much like the ole wishful thinking.

Significant Albums: Menomena - I Am the Fun Blame Monster! (2003)


I've been sitting on this blurb for a few days and I need to finally just do it.

I was introduced to Menomena in 2007 I recall when their new record Friend and Foe was buzzing a bit and suggested on the dredg fans forum. I remember liking some of what I heard but struggling with them them at the same time. They had a very quirky style of rock music, that didn't grab me right away. But I think part of that was because I hadn't heard this record.

Once I heard this debut album of theirs, I Am the Fun Blame Monster!, I became more won over. For one thing, I absolutely loved their use of piano. So much so, I came to be reminded of all bands, Genesis. Brent Knopf reminded me a lot of Tony Banks, in placing these subtle, intricate little piano phrases into these quirky songs, that somehow gave me goosebumps and at times just became the parts of those songs I looked forward to the most.

So, over time with both this record and Friend and Foe, I came to realize how great this record was. It flows amazingly. The dynamics, use of percussion, production, textures like Mellotron if I recall, and other parts totally stood out. Another big part was how they used saxophone.

Sax is not a commonly used instrument in rock. Here and there, namely with Bruce Springsteen and even King Crimson at times (or Jethro Tull some may recall). King Crimson in particular, I came to hear as an influence with Menomena. I'm not certain how much exactly, but from memory when I spoke to both Justin Harris and Danny Seim at some of the shows I saw them in the past few years, I seem to recall asking them about Crimson and them saying they were fans.

Specifics with this record, and like many of these records that are so significant, I find this is another album that works best all at once. Or is greater than the sum of its parts so-to-speak. But songs like "Rose," and "The Late Great Libido," "Cough Coughing," "Strongest Man in the World," "E is Stable," and maybe my favorite track, the nearly 9 minute closing piece "The Monkey's Back" which features Brent Knopf's vocals, driving guitar riffs and what sounds like a combination of an organ and especially wonderful, mellotron patch.

But I wouldn't throw away a second of this album. It is a very complete work, even down to the title, which is an anagram for "The First Menomena Album" to the extensive packaging, which as you flip through the 80-page booklet, it can be flipped-through like a cartoon almost, with the artwork. Some have been given the impression of how young they were, with song titles and their silly, quirky style. But I honestly find it to be unique and a big part of their and this album's charm.

There really isn't another band who sounds like them, nor this album. The at times not-taking-themselves-too-seriously, to at times sounding incredibly emotional and deep/serious and almost sad, comes across throughout this record. It's definitely an album that if it connects with you, it may surprise you. In that you listen to it, and after wards are a surprised how much it can stay with you. And not just on a musical level, but sort of a mood/message/emotional thought-provoking way. Kind of like, what the hell did I just listen to? and wow, I feel like I just woke up from a dream or finished a best selling children's story; like Where the Wild Things Are or Peter Pan or something.

Menomena's 1st album clearly was the culmination of many years of refining song ideas from all 3 members (including lead vocals from all 3, in sort of a Beatles-kind of way. The member who sings lead vocals, I've kind of believed was the main songwriter from said song. And each member has a pretty distinct voice, so it's not hard to distinguish). However, on this debut record of theirs, they showed how they were a 3-headed monster of rather skilled songwriters, and especially on this 1st album, many of their best ideas came and worked together extremely well.

I revisit this record every so often, and every time I think I have finally heard them do something better, albeit the present Menomena, Brent Knopf's now full-time band Ramona Falls, or any of their other work, I keep being denied, in that this was a special record that just happened to be made as their 1st work. And it certainly stands up as many years later, and remains one of my favorite albums of the 2000's as well as all-time.

Painted In Exile News

This update video kind of explains where they are at and why they have been so quiet the last couple of years with news.

1). Their vocalist left, which could be an enormous blow. But the jury is still out on what their music will sound like with a different singer, and even this upcoming single with "guest vocalists."

2) They have members that live in different parts of the East Coast it appears, which explains how stagnant or slow their progress has been to even just write new music.

3) This new single is coming, I thought they said this Spring, so at the very least, that is something to anticipate.

4) sound-wise, it seems they may have changed/change. Beyond even losing their singer. I guess as long as they avoid some of the recent Metal cliches of Djent and Deathcore, or even the standard Math or Post Metal elements, and include more than enough of the jazzy and technical stuff (prog), the other stuff including any Rap, I very likely could enjoy still.

That all being said, I am kind of less enthusiastic about them given the amount of time and now with the lineup changes. I suppose they could totally win me over again like they did when first hearing them in 2009 or 2010 with the Revitalized EP. But I was just thinking how their debut album should have come out by now, or really a couple of years ago. And the fact it didn't even get fully recorded (or even written?), just makes me skeptical that Painted In Exile's opportunity to make a big splash may have came and now be gone.

But, without anything to listen to still, the jury is still out. I just am not expecting amazing things from them after all that's happened. But I certainly want to pay attention when they do put out new music, including this new single.

But hopefully they do find a singer and bassist soon, and even find the means to limit if cut out the long distance collaborating if possible. Although it reminds me of some bands like Fates Warning or even Dream Theater to a small degree with James living in Canada (Subterranean Masquerade also comes to mind, Blackfield as well, although given their distance, that may contributed to where they ended up ultimately).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Anticipated Music Part Two: Decent to Likely

Here's a list of bands/artists who very likely will have records out sometime in 2014. Nothing is certain, but among the stuff I am wondering/thinking about, the odds are higher for them. I'm sure there are many others I'm not including on here, and if time allows, I will post a 3rd preview entry about more of the maybes and wishlists sorts, but with not as much actual hard information about them.

Odds are pretty good they will release something as most people I've mentioned their name have said they have new music, etc. My focus is on Sculptured, Don Anderson's side project, more so, but I can't deny I enjoy Marrow of the Spirit a fair amount and their earlier records as well. For me, their crowning achievement is still The White EP, however, odds of much of the music sounding like that are remote given their history.

Not to discount they put out another interesting EP in 2012, Faustian Echoes which I grew to enjoy the more I heard it. I totally go for when they use the samples.

Weather Systems, We're Here Because We're Here, Falling Deeper especially are all tremendous records with breathtaking dynamics, layers, harmonies and power. They just seem to capture that huge emotional sadness in music and samples and other elements so well.

I almost fear this upcoming record may not turn out to be as good as their recent work, just because their music of late has been so off the charts.

From memory, I recall they were/are looking to release this next LP in the Spring sometime. It is supposed to include more electronic influences, which may be a good thing.

I should go back to the K-Scope podcasts soon and see if there is much more info about it of late, because the Spring isn't too far away.

Regardless of when, I'm pretty sure a lot of people beyond myself will be extremely interested to check it out when it is released.

Brice Plays Drums
This Minnesota progressive rock band that I consider one-of the best bands going in Minnesota or anywhere, have written a 3rd LP and in seeing Michael and Robert Higgins at the Between the Buried and Me concert a few months ago, I asked them about it briefly and they mentioned it was coming along. I recall their goal was to finish and release it by December of 2013. Obviously that didn't happen, but I'm sure there were good reasons for that.

But that tells me that it's an album they still mean to release, likely in 2014 instead. I guess with their activity being a little sparse of late, the timing could be a little while. But it's still definitely worth keeping in mind.

And for good reason as both of their previous records were tremendous, especially 2012's Man the Animal Cannon.

Josh Benash
This is another late entry as I saw just on Facebook yesterday, him posting about a new EP coming this Spring.

I enjoyed much of his debut solo record from 2012, The Dismal; the Beautiful, although not as much as the music he's done with Kiss Kiss and now recently Vuvuzela. But, there was still enough to like beyond some of the overt attempts at black comedy, that it didn't matter.

And who knows exactly how similar this EP will be to that record. But Josh has been more than consistent enough in his work to not want to check out and almost expect something interesting.

British Theatre
This is new project from 2 of the key members of Oceansize, singer/guitarist/songwriter Mike Vennart and Guitarist/Keyboardist Richard "Gambler" Ingram. They released 2 good EPs in 2012. The 2nd Dyed in the Wool Ghost in particular had a number of moments I enjoyed. And I remember there being talk of a full-length even in 2012 after that 2nd EP was released, but obviously it never happened.

And not much news in 2013 surfaced that I recall, but given it has been over a year now, that full-length could be that much closer to coming.

But this one is more in the *decent chance* given how little I've seen and even they have mentioned it online. I recall seeing Mike Vennart saying he was loving the new Warpaint album the other day on twitter for what that's worth.

Also known as Chloe Alper, 1 of the main songwriters from Pure Reason Revolution, has been working on her own music since the ending of PRR a few years ago. I know 1 of the songs she made ended up being used/was-for an Eljah Wood film that screened at the Cannes Film Festival I think in 2012.

But as far as what likely will be a debut LP, she posted this recently on Facebook.

We spent all of last year recording and we're now 6 (SIX!!) tracks into an album. 2014 is going to be stupendous.

Style-wise, from hearing a single or 2 from memory, her solo music has sounded more pop-oriented, but hopefully pop or poppy in a good way.  I remember seeing something about Tom Bellamy from The Cooper Temple Clause was working with her, as he had worked on a bit of the last PRR record Hammer and Anvil as well.

Casey Crescenzo
This release will be coming in 2014 as Casey posted they are mixing it right now. I guess a few things spring to mind about it.

a) It has no performing from him at all. Which may not impact how good it is. But it is something to keep in mind certainly.

b) it's a large Symphonic piece, which I would look at like a conceptual piece of classical music really. Not exactly The Dear Hunter of course.

c) It is a concept I guess, or there is some concept to it, albeit a story or whatever. Generally, Casey has incorporated concepts or stories well with his music. Hopefully this will be no different (and not have much if any of what some operas per say can have for me, where the lyrics/dialogue can seem melodramatic and cheesy).

d) I'm not clear if there will be any vocals/singing or even chanting at all on this. For some reason, I'm a little skeptical. It may just be all instrumental music which I am totally fine by.

e) When it is finished, I'm sure updates will happen. Given he is mixing it right now, A Spring or Summer release date seems likely.
Video Clip

The Dissociatives
I'm very excited to hear something new from these guys after 10 years. It may just be a few tracks or an EP for now, but regardless, as a fan of that debut LP and Daniel Johns namely, to any new music from them is something to look for ward to.

Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings
I guess this is coming out under that title. I can only say a few things about this project. They remind me of Mr.Bungle or Faith No More in a lot of ways (or even For the Imperium), and made a pretty cool, slick, almost Rock Opera-type record a few years ago which I will admit enjoying some of. Except for the fact their singer too often swallowed into the microphone, I never could go back and listen to it.

If the swallowing-into-the-mic goes away, I may be totally on board with this band and this new album of theirs. But that is obviously uncertain at this point. I do know a lot of people enjoy them so I hope they become aware of this record of theirs.

Just using Google, it looks like it may be released in the Spring.

10 years ago or more, I used to LOVE this band, and I still enjoy their music enough. But it has been now 10 years since 2003's Tug of War was released. And they posted an update on Facebook around the end of 2012 about how they will released a new album in 2013. It obviously didn't happen. I'm not sure if it was due to money or time or both. Ted Leonard is now the lead singer of Spock's Beard and actually will be helping out Transatlantic on tour in the coming weeks/months with some news about Daniel Gildenlow having to miss some of that due to an illness.

So Ted has been pretty busy of late. But I would like to assume that announcement about this long awaited follow-up to Tug of War was finally going to come soon. I suppose once Ted's work with TA is over, and whatever else they didn't finish with this record in 2013, will dictate if/when this album does get released.

But I would anticipate its chances to be good given it's been over a year now since that announcement.

I enjoy pretty much everything the members of this band have done from their awesome debut LP So Be It from 2012, to the new a bit electronic-influenced track "High Fives" to even the EPs from when they were even more chaotic and known as This City Sunrise.

They posted an update or two over the Summer about being in the studio and then that excellent new single
When? I guess it's still unclear, but given that they spent a good amount of time in the studio in 2013, it may mean Spring or Summer.

Entry about "High Fives"

Hotel of the Laughing Tree
This band is one of my recent favorites, without question. Terror and Everything After is a STAPLE recod, no matter what else they ever do, that record should be something I will like and enjoy for decades.

And the EP they released in 2012 The Mammoth Skin Pt. 1 was more or less a continuation of that style and quality, as I listened to it probably a few dozen times.

I have been fortunate enough to be in contact with some of the members, namely guitarist Brandon Peterson and a few months ago he messaged me on FB mentioning how the band have written enough music that this record of theirs could be a Double album. Which given how much I enjoy everything they've done, I can't 
help but be pretty giddy about that.

But I guess I'll only know when getting the chance to hear it. As far as details, one possible title could be the obvious The Mammoth Skin Pt. 2, but nothing has been announced or even hinted yet by them.

But they spent a great deal of time in 2013 working on this album, so it seems rather likely it'll get released in 2014. Spring or Summer is the vague guess of course.

But I can't see myself including a ton about if, if the time allows in 2014.

edit: it sounds like it'll be a full-length and EP, which I might suspect will not include many if any of the same songs.

Daniel Johns
This is I suppose one could say, a long awaited and somewhat largely anticipated record from Daniel Johns, mastermind behind Silverchair and 1/2-of great electronic-powerpop band The Dissociatives. It may or may not be largely material that was written for the Silverchair record that was to follow-up Young Modern. I just recall when Silverchair announced their "indefinite hibernation" a few years ago, it was mentioned how he had a lot of material for a solo record.

And some of the reports over the past few months especially have really hinted at things about this record being largely orchestral, and him working with Van Dyke Parks as he had with the last 2 Silvechair albums.

I'm not sure if this album will receive the enormous amount of hype that even some of the Silverchair's stuff did, but I guess in 2014 we'll find out. The timing of it is still unclear though, but I'm sure when something is announced I'll do what I can to pass it along in here.

This record should come out as she has posted about it constantly, really over the last year. All the guests, from Daniel Johns, to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez to Benjamin Weinman to a host of others. I guess the description from her and some of the interviews sounds like it could be all over the map in terms of genres, styles. She still likes to use the term "progressive pop" among others though. I guess I might expect some pop, soul, prog, maybe psych, orchestral or other styles (funk? metal? electronic?).

I guess ultimately how good this album ends up will just come down to the songwriting. The 2011 initial release of Vows was more or less a flawless record. The 2012 Warner Bros releases of it, to be honest, were just not as good. Some of the news songs didn't go as far with me. Save for maybe 1 or 2, namely "Sally I Can See You."

But even with that, I have hope for Kimbra as a songwriter and just in terms of influences and ambition. The impressive list of guests, including Van Dyke Parks, who just noting his work with Daniel Johns, has me optimistic about his ability to use strings and orchestral arrangements.

I guess I see Kimbra among a group of very talented female artists like Janelle Monae and Imogen Heap (and St.Vincent at one point) namely, in that they have a ton of influences but still end up making their music more about the arrangements. Perhaps Kimbra being my current favorite
Interview quote/link

Klimt 1918
It's been now nearly 6 long years since this Italian post/indie rock group released Just In Case We Never Meet Again (Soundtrack for the Cassette Generation), which likely led many to think they had called it a day. But especially within the last couple of years, they have chimed in on Facebook about new music. I recall in 2012 they announced a title of their next record may "Die Sentimentale Jugend," which it very well may be. But one thing is certain, in 2013, especially the last couple of months, they have posted updates about being in the studio. So, I would take that to mean this next record of theirs will be released soon, quite possibly even by the Spring.
Just In Case wasn't bad, but as I posted a few weeks ago, their finest work still remains Dopoguerra to me. I would love to have this record resemble that one in some ways.

I've never been huge into this band, but they have done some good work over the years still. Their last record The Hunter, unfortunately the production and style wasn't as much my thing as their 3 previous records were I suppose, so that is one reason I'm not following their activity religiously or anything.
But I'll check out this record if time allows still, and at least keep up on what the forums and blogs may be saying about it.

Details? I just noticed they began writing for it early in 2013, and then likely hit the studio in September. So, odds are they are done with recording or close to it and are involved in the post-recording details and it could come out in the Spring or Summer (like most on this list).

Todd Menton
Lead singer of Boiled In Lead. Lehto and Wright I guess will be playing on much of this, which is 1 of the big reasons I'm intrigued by it.
I saw him at a Holiday concert in December and he mentioned how excited he was about it, especially with the contributions from Lehto and Wright.
His solo albums I honestly have not heard, but I know him from Boiled In Lead of course. I guess maybe this will be in the vein of the BiL stuff but with a bit of prog influence? just guessing.

Will the next Mew album finally come out this year? I am banking on yes, just based on how much they've posted online about working on new music and recording. They are not too known to reveal much, as I even recall back in 2009, not much was given and then 1 day they just said a new EP and album would be coming.
They did release that single "Making Friends" for that application they were involved with the design of .
But in interviews and touring, kind of suggests now finally after 5 years, this next album will be coming. I guess timing wise, it may be this Spring or later given how they do take their time with almost everything.
I just know this is a band I absolutely love at times, and many others do as well. They are very unique in their style of progressive dreamy pop/rock. And they rarely disappoint as I enjoy every record they've made, and rarely consider skipping any songs when listening.
Among the best European newer progressive rock bands to discover over the last decade, Oceansize and Pure Reason Revolution may be over, but at least these guys are sill active, even if their output isn't as prolific as some of us fans would really like.

Ne Obliviscaris
They've been posting a lot about recording over the last few months, including mentioning just today they finished recording of their 1st song.
I would take that to believe this follow-up LP to 2012's debut Portal of I, will be coming and potentially in the Spring or early Summer.
My only concern is will it be similar to Portal of I production and length wise? unfortunately that album didn't become as addictive as I hoped by the end of the year due to those 2 factors. But otherwise, it's a remarkable debut record that this band will likely have a hard time matching.

Neverending White Lights
Act IV should be recorded in February. Spring/Summer release hopefully as noted by Daniel Victor in an update only a few months ago. I suppose with Daniel's pace, it might be premature as Act III only was released a couple of years ago, but for one thing, he had a lot of music written and maybe even recorded in some form, for the 2nd part then (and sadly lost due to his place being flooded).
But with the upcoming fan funding campaign for this in March, it may expedite his process and time table for when this comes out. I hope among the guests to see Jimmy Gnecco of Ours of course.
News Entry

They have a song called "Goblin" that was reported over a year ago as being written. And the latest interview Mikael Akerfeldt mentioned working in the studio where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody. He also said some stuff about the material being heavier, which may not mean growling vocals or even all that much heavier than Heritage, which to most, was a departure save for Damnation, and not very heavy at all. But more an homage to early 70's psychedelic and progressive rock, which MA is noted as being quite a fan of.
But given the time they've already spent making this record, it likely will get released this year.
Recent Entry

Don Anderson of Agalloch more 70's progressive rock influenced death metal project. I at times couldn't get enough of their last record, 2008's Embodiment. So much so, I really came to enjoy Sculptured more than Agalloch themselves in fact. Which is why the now 6 years its been since that record has seemed like an eternity in some ways.

And this record may come out in 2014, but with the limited amount of updates and activity of Agalloch, it's no certainty. But I recall reading a post either last Spring or Summer about new music coming from Sculptured on Facebook under "Matrix Metal."

If/when this album is released, I can say it's one of Metal albums I'm the most excited to hear this year, or any year in the near future for that matter.

Sir Video
The 3 singles from 2013 have me and my girlfriend totally hoping for more music from this project, which might be called 1 of Timmy Sean's alter egos. It's dancey, synthy, energetic and layered. And it's infectious. A 
post just yesterday mentioned there's some big news coming from Sir Video soon. And I can't forget the fact it was posted in the Fall of 2012, they finished the album they were making. So, the 3 excellent tracks from 2013 very likely could be just a sample of what they will include finally this year.

Subterranean Masquerade
Paul Kuhr of November's Doom joins forces with Israeli musician Tomer Pink to form this progressive death metal side project of sorts.Among the returns/reunions that may happen in 2014, this is among my favorites. They released an excellent EP last year titled Home, which I purchased on 7' vinyl, and then was fortunate enough to receive a test pressing of.
The track "Home" really is very much of the same quality and spirit of their highly memorable debut record Suspended Animation Dreams and the EP Temporary Psychotic State. Home along with "Beyond the Pale" which is a song by The Mission, which they more or less made their own in a lot of ways.
I more or less savored those 2 tracks and the bonus song "That Night" which I found on Amazon.They just know how to blend the ethnic flavor with progressive rock and death metal vocals at times, so well. The atmosphere and dynamics work so well, I can't help but be incredibly jazzed to hear this record.
Will it be titled "In Pastille Colors"? that was the title many years ago they mentioned on myspace, but given they haven't recently, I am kind of skeptical. Although that would be a fitting title for them regardless. If it's not the title, maybe a track or lyric will be found with it at least.

And the frequent studio updates suggest this album is not too far away. It wouldn't surprise me if it came out this Spring if not even earlier.

Team Me
With that recent entry and the videos included, I can't add too much more, except just that the videos add some optimism, and likelihood of a release relatively soon. I'm not sure if this album may be more keys driven or not, but I found their songwriting addictive as hell back in 2011 with many of the songs from To the Treetops. I wonder a little bit if this band may blow up and become more for the hipsters, which may not be entirely bad. But if that happened, I would be skeptical if they might recognize their progressive rock influence, but maybe that also would be for their benefit.

I guess we'll see, but the info suggests this album could be out somewhat early in the year.

Roger Waters
I saw some stuff on about Roger having a solo record in the works, ever since concluding his tours of The Wall live back in 2011 or 2012?.. I honestly have never been a huge fan of his solo records, but at the same time, it has been many years since I even spent much time with them. I guess whatever he does, like say David Bowie or Peter Gabriel, I will check it out, without huge expectations. If it surprises me, I'm totally won over, and if it doesn't go far, I can't yupset.
I also thought I read he was making some kind of concept album.
edit: link
ROGER WATERS PLANS SOLO ROCK RECORD: News Release: "In an interview with Rolling Stone, Roger Waters revealed he's recording a new album, not long after wrapping up his The Wall tour last September, telling the magazine he had "finished a demo of it," and that the current version is "55 minutes long." Already, the work is sounding like a concept album of sorts. According to Waters, the unfinished product is "couched as a radio play," about "an old man and a young child trying to figure out why they're killing the children." The former Pink Floyd bassist/singer last released a new album in 2005, with the opera Ça Ira. The upcoming album would be his fifth solo release and fourth in the rock genre. Amused to Death, his last rock release, came out in September 1992, peaking at No. 21 on the Billboard 200. Waters is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Billboard Touring Conference, happening Nov. 13-14 in New York."

I likely wouldn't include them in here, but the posts on some of the forums and Facebook more or less suggest they have an album they are working on, and given it's this early in the year, it may actually be released before the end of the year.

Jon Davison on vocals? I would imagine. The Jon Anderson thing seem very unlikely right now, and the Rock Hall thing sort of killed it for the time being.
In speaking with my Yes expert friend John, he mentioned this album, like Fly From Here, may be an unfinished project of sorts, working with Roy Thomas Baker who I guess worked with them during the making of Tormato, but the material they worked on didn't all end up finished or end up on the record.
So, it seems to be Chris Squire's agenda to complete stuff from the past that warrants being revisited and completed finally. I guess if he's up for doing that, it would likely make more of a difference in this case, to have Jon Anderson singing, but, like I said, that seems like a pipe dream, especially since they are now recording.

Release time is said to be the 2nd half of 2014 per a link on Wikipedia.

Cedric Bixler Zavalaz, ex-The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In's new solo project that I honestly only read a little about, but don't have much memory or experience hearing.

I imagine it could resemble his other bands, but at the same time, he likely may not desire the comparisons directly in style.
Omar's has a dozen records he's working on at once, even all those years in TMV, but Cedric did not. He was more interested in working the songs out, letting them grow and evolve over some time, I recall. The last TMV album from 2012, I guess was written that way, and I think it may have had a lot to do with why it ended up being better than many of their others.
But this is out of left-field in terms of hopes in expectations. He's a talented singer and songwriter for sure, so just having him on it and sing on it in general has me curious.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Anticipated Music: Part One (as of 1/18/14: with Album Titles)

This is the 1st part of my 2014 preview. Of course my time issues will allow when more shows up, but there's without question a long laundry list of "TBA" with artists likely, to probably, to hopefully having music coming. And the remaining list is far from complete, which is why I was a little hesitant to post all of this right away. Because inevitably, I'll remember or find out about a dozen or more artists and titles not long after it.

But Part Two and maybe even a Third part I want to put up no later than Monday evening. But I'll see. The 2nd and/or Third part may have some album titles, but with less of a definitive idea or confidence of them being released in 2014. But there's also a lot of artists that there's a very good chance of a record will come out, even early in 2014, but there just isn't any specific info yet on when or an album title.

That all being said, these are some-of the artists and album titles which seem likely if not definitely coming in 2014 thus far. Most of them early.

also 1 last note for now: I am thinking of trying something with the whole 2014/Calendar Year, etc and instead of using January-December as a time frame, I am considering using November-October instead..almost a Jewish calendar instead of a Christian Calendar. Just due to albums coming out in November and December for said January-December calendar year, and not getting much attention or due. the Genders album for example.

And the whole January-December Album of the Year thing will change/be done with and be a November-October thing instead; thus an album like Genders - Get Lost would be a new album for this cycle or year, and may be my top record right now for that year/cycle of time.

 File:Alcest - Shelter.jpg
Alcest - Shelter
I don't have tons to say about this, but only that I enjoyed them with Anathema last Fall live. And a lot of the music from that show was recorded for this. It's not too Metal I guess, but more emphasizing acoustics and the "Gaze" and "Post" part of their sound.

Melancholy moments included.

Not exactly fair, but when the Klimt 1918 album drops, the comparisons may still happen. But for many fans, this is a polarizing album; the Metal fans aren't as into it, but the early stuff as well as the more textured/ambient and shoegazey fans are loving it I guess.

released January 17th

Nicole Atkins - Slow Phaser

I enjoyed 2011's Mondo Amore, maybe more than I expected, and just from the 2 new songs and description from Nicole, I wouldn't be surprised to enjoy this one as much if not more. If there's any tracks like "Neptune City" or "The Tower" this will be a record worth revisiting (time permitting of course).

released officially February 4th, although the Pledgemusic supporters will supposedly receive at least a download on January 22nd/23rd (per the Pledgemusic page ).

Girl You Look Amazing single
Red Ropes single

Bend Sinister Announce 'Animals' LP, Premiere New Track
Bend Sinister - Animals
I'm pretty excited about this record as the 2 tracks shared already are excellent. Their last album Small Fame was also, and they haven't really made any even average records, so I would hardly be surprised if this was as good as everything else they've done. More prog? maybe, but some of the quotes about this album sound like it could be a mix of prog, pop and bluesy classic rock kind of stuff they and singer/keyboardist songwriter Dan Moxon has found a niche for.

released March 11th Pledgemusic preorders should receive it earlier though.

Chromeo - White Women
I really dig the latest single "Come Alive." Very polished and energetic. This is my girlfriend's biggest anticipated album for 2014 (save for Michael Nesmith maybe and Mayer Hawthorne perhaps).

released date I don't think has been given, but since they've shared a few tracks already and will be on tour this Spring, a Spring release seems logical. If not, it'll be worth keeping up on when soon after.

released - TBA

Crippled Black Phoenix - White Light Generator
One of the better and almost overly prolific post rock bands over the last 7 or 8 years. I'll check this out certainly. How much interest I have in it may depend on time and its length. Their last record Mankind (The Crafty Ape) was good but long, like most of their others. I, Vigilante remains my favorite of theirs.

released March 17th

Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us
Not huge hopes for this, but the 2 tracks I've heard, I've been pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed them, despite the fact this record may more or less mean the Focus-like music is over, done, and likely never will happen again. But the comparisons to Aeon Spoke, and hearing a little of Aeon Spoke and their style of indie rock of a kind with the Cynic emphasis on technicality and busy lead basslines, is giving me more to think about with this.

released February 14th.

Imogen Heap - Sparks

Many of the songs can be heard Here in likely other mixes and arrangements. The artwork appears on the Deluxe version video and that image from Facebook, but I'll try and find an edit.

I didn't order the Deluxe Boxed Set, mainly since it was like $300 or something. But the songs she's written over the last 3 years sound like some of the most unique of her career. If I recall, she used a lot of tribal and ethnic percussion and strings, as well as new technology of course.

I am kind of unaffected by the fact 2009's Ellipse was disappointing. She just has so much talent and appeal as a songwriter, I wouldn't be surprised if this is an album buzzed about like Speak For Yourself.

Released March 3rd

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - Zombie Mouth
This is supposed to be a double album I guess, and may not arrive until late in the year. But with the successful Pledgmusic, they should have the means to get it made, and hopefully this year.

"New Grass Art Rock" or whatever else you want to call them. Basically, they are one of the best bands in Minnesota, and 1 of the more recognizable groups doing prog rock of a kind here. And maybe the last since Bubblemath to find interest outside of Minnesota, among the prog rock fans.

But in terms of this record, I just wonder if this could be more of a statement than their other 2, even just for the fact it is going to be a double record. They obviously have found a lot of new ideas since their last album 2011's All Out of Peaches. They even are to include some vocals I guess, for better or for worse. Maybe a little Geddy Lee-type? lol..well, who knows, but Lisi Wright is kind of obsessed with Rush anyway.

Released - TBA

Kaddisfly - Horses Galloping on Sailboats
Without question one-of, if not my biggest anticipation for 2014 music. The band members decided they wanted to finally make this record a little over a year ago I am assuming. And they spent some if not a great deal of time working on it in 2013, hoping to have it released by the end of 2013.

But as many come to learn, these things can take more time. And frankly, it will come out when it is ready to come out.

However, they posted on New Years Eve vaguely about it, and a few other little posts in 2013 suggests it could be coming early in 2014. But, nothing has been confirmed, other than the MMXIV (instead of MMXIII). And I did ask about the Rarities/Demos they shared a couple of years ago per Bandcamp Page , and they chimed in by saying those songs are unlikely to end up on this record. Which is fine in a lot of ways, given they are great as they are, but also allows us as fans to likely hear all entirely new music from them.

And "Flowers"? also is next to no chance, given I recall reading that Hopeless Records owns the rights to it and the band don't desire to go through the hoops in order to acquire the ability to release it.

But, that is only 1 thing I recall reading, and shouldn't be regarded as FACT. But, it is/likely would be moot anyway given like the Demos/Rarities, it doesn't seem like they'd want it to be on this album anyway.

That is more than enough said for now, but if/when this thing is released, I would anticipate a lot of content in here and on some of the forums about it. It seems like it's been ages since the Set Sail the Prairie days of 2006/2007/2008.

Released - TBA

Jeremy Messersmith - Heart Murmurs:
I honestly have only heard the 1st single from last fall "Tourniquet" once or twice. I recall at the 89.3 listening meeting I think. And I kind of liked it, but I don't tune into 89.3 much, and have not found the time/desire to play it on my spare time, nor the other new single released more recently.

But that being said, I enjoy some of Jeremy's music enough, this should be worth checking out. I thought I read this record is supposed to be a bit different than his folky/chamber Beatlest-ish pop and maybe more kinds of textures and things he brought in. Darker? I forget. But then again, the sources were from a lot of the Twin Cities media hipsters who love to champion him it seems because it's cool, rather than for whether his music is really fascinating or not (i.e. if he was some artist from some remote part of Idaho, and they liked him a ton, they likely wouldn't even mention his name because he's not *hip* enough).

But that's not ultimately what's important, it's what is on this album, and hopefully this will be his best record, regardless if he breaks through and becomes a Pitchfork darling and ends up at the Grammys next year like Bon Iver.

released February 4th

The Pneumatic Transit- Concerto for Double Moon:
Ex-Exotic Animal Petting Zoo guitarist Jeff Zampillo's double debut LP that apparently features a lot of orchestral music.

This should be released in 2014, and it sounds like somewhat early, like in the Spring. I hate to think about albums like Sucre's debut and especially The River Empires, but I can't avoid it in some very good ways/for very good reasons.

But then again, that is likely me just wanting something to happen that with absolutely no knowledge of this music having not heard a note of it.

But certainly on paper, this has potential, ambition and intrigue written all over it. And Jeff himself has contacted me per Facebook, so I already am one-step ahead of where I might be with other artists as he sounds like a great, personable guy. But I recall he mentioned to me how this is a massive record in terms of tracking and instrumentation and it will require a great deal of time to finish it in the studio whether it be recording, mixing and other stuff. But it wouldn't surprise me to hear from him when it is ready.

released - TBA

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
I don't have a lot to say about this or her. I like her as a person and respect how she is so into doing whatever she wants, including experimenting. But I just have not been able to enjoy her music all that much since her debut album Marry Me from 2007. Maybe another way to put it, I don't hear the early King Crimson with Annie Haslam influence as much since then.

And she has sort of become an enormous artist for the hipsters, which only hurts my impression of her fans unfortunately.

I still will try and check this out if the time allows, but I kind of see her with the likes of Russian Circles or even Minus the Bear a bit. I have fallen out of love with her recordings enough to not care, or just not expect much now.

I would still see her live though, especially with her old band from the Marry Me days. And if she ends up on the Grammys, I guess I would still be happy for her. At least I have the memories both in ink and photos of those shows and meeting her afterwards regardless.

released February 24th.

Timbre - Sun and Moon
This is another double LP that I forget if was made purely on concept, or if Timbre had so much music and the songs seemed to go well together with each of the "Sun" and "Moon" traits, that it was inevitable.

But she thankfully was able to successfully complete an Indiegogo campaign to support the making of all the music and everything else that is going-into/has gone-in to the creating of this record.

Timbre's has released a bunch of excellent harp/string-driven records previously, the last being 2010's Little Flowers which is a record I likely will always love.

I recall she had the services of a number of musicians and possibly choirs/singers for much of this.

As far as its actual release time frame, I don't know yet, as Timbre has been busy playing music on the set of the ABC TV Series Nashville I guess, along with doing some touring the last few months, she hasn't really posted much about the progress of this record in awhile. Which makes me wonder if it'll not come until a bit later in the year. But I recall originally she wanted it to come out in 2013, and then realized when it became a double record, 2014 was more likely.

released - TBA

Toria - Octave :
Latvian heavy Post Rock band whose used samples in the past, that I assumed were among many groups that just ended/disappeared after I discovered them at 1 point over the last 7 or 8 years.

When it comes, of course their Facebook likely will have it, along with their Bandcamp I would think the Octave will be available for digital download.

I have been contacted by 1 of the members per Facebook and I thought I recall him mention they recorded this album in August or this Fall, and were looking for it to be released during the Spring of 2014. But who knows at this point; it could be out in 2 weeks for all I know.

released - TBA

Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope:
I shall be checking this out and depending on how much I enjoy it, it may or may not include a lot of comments from me.

I loved their 1st 2 albums anyway. And I still maintain, there is not another band I'd rather hear make this kind of retro progressive/classic sounding rock.

If the epics work though, I may feel like it's 2001 again. But if not, more like 2009. I just hope it doesn't resemble the Neal Morse solo albums too much..i.e...I hope Pete and Roine got their share of the songwriting in it, maybe more than on The Whirlwind.

released January 27th

22 - You Are Creating
Rather optimistic about this album, after really enjoying everything they've done the last 4 or so years. Flux, their debut album, of course being my favorite.

The shifting dynamics and catchy energy they have at times is impossible for me to ignore. Maybe this will become rather addictive like Flux was for a little while in 2010 and 2011. And they may blow up a bit on the forums when it's released.

When? no details, but with the album title and note about them recording now, it could be this Spring or maybe Summer.

released - TBA

U2 - Songs of Ascent
I read something about Danger Mouse along with Chris Martin from Coldplay being involved in the producing. I will certainly check this out as I do with every record they release. The Nelson Mandela tune was nice, and I am happy they won the Golden Globe for it.

released - TBA I thought I saw April or at least in the Spring sometime.

Warpaint - Warpaint:
I've listened to this once, partially in the background unfortunately, and liked some of this. Hopefully I'll have time soon with headphones or at least focused listening at home (possibly this weekend even, like on MLK day on Monday when I only have Overtime to work, but no 6:15AM start time at work thankfully).

From what I've seen, the early reviews are divided, but many aren't crazy about this. I'm wondering if that is because much of this is more methodical and slower paced. Or maybe the vocals are not upfront as much? I'm unsure But.for some reason the fanboy in me will probably like this about as much as the Foals record last year or even the Local Natives follow-up.

I hopefully will know soon though as my vinyl should arrive next week.

released January 20th