Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ramona Falls - Coils (2016-2017)


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Preorder for either Translucent Red and Clear vinyl for Coils, this 3rd album from Ramona Falls, Brent Knopf's band. Brent, formerly of Menomena, released 2 previous albums from Ramona Falls, which I really love.

Coils (Limited Edition LP) - Clear disc. Pre-Sale

 $20.00 or more
Coils - the third Ramona Falls album, as a limited-edition full-length LP. Disc color available in either translucent red or clear. Pre-sale. Anticipated ship date of July 10th. You'll also receive a link to a digital download of the album once it's released.
Coils - the third Ramona Falls album, as a limited-edition full-length LP. Disc color available in either translucent red or clear. Pre-sale. Anticipated ship date of July 10th. You'll also receive a link to a digital download of the album once it's released.

The email list received a download link to the 1st song/single "Prayers" which is quite good. At 1st sounds a bit odd vocally, almost spoken, but it transitions really well. Very orchestral and layered.

The email also included a cool animated series of images for the song, which shows someone going down an escalator, undesirably, lol. Not unlike Ramona and Brent's previous art.

July 10th it says there is the "anticipated" shipment date, so it hopefully should be released in early July. I'll try and edit/bump the track list and more comments then.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Hotel Junk Box (2016-2017)


Release date as it says below is Friday June 30th.

A few months back, they shared the new song "Electric City Rivalry" which can be streamed/downloaded at https://www.hoteljunkbox.com/

And as the track list shows for Hotel Junk Box below, is part of this record.

I am biased as I love these guys and a great number of their songs. And namely, consider Terror and Everything After as an all-time classic (debut album). So naturally, my interest is rather high for any new music from them. 2015's New World Sundown I did like a good amount of as well of course.

I guess though my take on what this album may be is sort of a combination of music from different times. Kind of like Enchant's Time Lost or even Nuts and Bolts from Kevin Gilbert in some ways.

The 5 new songs, including "Electric City Rivalry," I see is where HOTLT is at now.

The b-sides and demos? sure, some gems may be found.

One song that I likely posted in the past about in here, but is probably worth mentioning again being "Son of the Iron Sheep" can be streamed and downloaded on their Bandcamp Page Here. I recall loving a ton and felt was as good as much of the Terror and Everything After work.  That track is not on this album, however, per the post below, "Boomerang" is.

I just recall between adding "Weather Maps for Nikolai" and "Son of the Iron Sheep" I was totally thinking these guys could do no wrong. And those were all during that period, which is why "Boomerang" may be the track I'm most looking forward to on this album,

But, we'll see how this goes. I'm certainly excited to get all these new tunes to hear from these guys, and as the end of that post says, they are working on their next record, which I wonder if the 5 new songs on Hotel Junk Box fit more in with this approach/style, and their next release will be something a little different? who knows. I'm also just happy they are still releasing and making music (per many other very talented bands not able or even wanting to, etc).

I'll also be sure to bump this next week or a little later with any more thoughts (or a video?). Unfortunately, I'm still amidst the process of moving my stuff into storage. My Social Media presence isn't 100%, etc. Hopefully come July though I will have more time.  But from now until as it turns out, July 3rd 6AM, I am supposed to be focusing on Boxing things up, purging, cleaning, etc.

Moving is a bitch of course.

Our new album, 'Hotel Junk Box', will arrive 6/30. The album features five new songs, as well as 14 rarities and b-sides from the Hotel vault. We wanted to compile a lil somethin' for all you cats who have been around since the beginning. The majority of these rarities have never been released. The five new jams were recorded over the past year or so, featuring AJ, Brandon, Dan A., Dan B., Jon, and Justin. Fevers and Electric City were written during the Old Dominion era, Boomerang was a Terror leftover, The Fool was a New World Sundown leftover, and The Escape Artist dates way back to '06. We 2017ified them and we're really proud with how they turned out. We hope you guys enjoy the tunes. In the meantime, we'll keep working on LP5. 

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1. Fevers
2. Electric City Rivalry
3. Boomerang
4. The Fool
5. The Escape Artist
6. Duo (Demo)
7. Bad Canterbury (Live Workshop Demo)
8. Aging Archimedes (Acoustic Demo)
9. Make Waves (Demo)
10. The General's Girl (Acoustic Demo)
11. Lazarus (Demo)
12. Howlin' Lessons (Acoustic Demo)
13. Winterside (Live Demo)
14. Temple Arms (Acoustic Demo)
15. Omar the Tentmaker
16. The Guns of Soho (Instrumental)
17. Winchester Devil Grass (Demo)
18. Weathermaps for Nikolai (Live at Nice Garage)
19. Arts n Economics (Live at Nice Garage)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mike Portnoy: Unannounced Prog Metal "Supergroup" Coming Soon

Among the other projects Mike Portnoy has done/is doing since leaving Dream Theater in 2010:
(The Winery Dogs, The Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors, Metal Allegiance, Transatlantic, Shattered Fortress, PSMS, ex-Adrenaline Mob, ex-Avenged Sevenfold).

This new band/project adds to his resume. And as it reads below, it will be the 1st progressive metal style music he's done since leaving Dream Theater beyond Shattered Fortress really.

Besides Mike, Keyboardist Derek Sherinian who of course was a member of Dream Theater during the release of A Change of Seasons and Falling Into Infinity. And then went on to be part of Platypus and form hyis own band Planet X. Recently worked with Portnoy in PSMS.

The rest of the band?

This topic on the dreamtheaterforums goes over potentially some of it.
Members of Haken?
Eric Gillette?
And then a singer sounds like is part of this. Who?

Some mention of John Arch, although the fact he doesn't typically tour, might end that being the case. Jeff Scott Soto? Who has a prolific career including Journey and working with Derek at 1 point.

The John Arch thing would be a huge thing for me and this project, although he wouldn't be writing music with Jim Matheos presumably, which couldn't be ignored.

Thomas Giles/Rogers from Between the Buried and Me?

1 suggestion for the bassist, if it's not Billy Sheehan whose been working with Portnoy a fair amount lately, was Jason Newsted. Although he doesn't have a prog background really, but that may not matter (neither did Derek when he joined Dream Theater).

I guess when more information comes, I'll either bump this or post a new entry about this new prog metal band of Mike Portnoy's.

Facebook Link

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I have a new band I'll be announcing in the summer. It is premature to give away too much information about that now but I can say that it also involves Derek Sherinian who I worked with in Dream Theater. It is the two of us with an all-star line-up. It is myself and Derek getting back together and picking up where we left off. It's music that is probably closest to Dream Theater out of everything that I have done over the last six years. I have purposefully stayed away from the prog-metal genre because I wanted to spread my wings. But I would say that doing these Shattered Fortress shows has kind of reignited a little interest in revisiting that world from me. Derek and I have formed this new band that will satisfy myself and quench the fans' thirst for something in that vein.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mikael Akerfeldt + Devin Townsend LEAD VOCALS Project?


Opeth's Akerfeldt Working on Project With Devin Townsend: Every Band Member Must Be a Lead Vocalist

"That's been missing in music now, I think - people comfortable with singing lead vocals."

Sounds intriguing. I wonder if Portnoy could be involved, although he's not really a lead singer in the traditional sense.

Steven Wilson, Daniel Gildenlow, Tommy Rogers, and others? who knows.

The Faceless - Black Star [1B] (2017)

meh, "The Spiraling Void" the single they released 2015 was really good and addictive.

This?..eh, not sure. On the surface it almost sounds like a different band. And the drums sound off.

Maybe this will grow on me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rare Futures - No Ordinary Love (Sade)

The wife whose a pretty big fan of Sade, and I'm not getting much of a thumbs up from her. But I think this is tight. Quite smooth, and this kind of tune fits them well.

In speaking with Gavin Castleton at The Dear Hunter show last month, he mentioned they were releasing a covers EP titled Future Castles? including Sade and some others my wife enjoys.

I'll have to share more of them when they show up.

Cloud Cult - You Never Were Alone + Pain of Salvation

So I'm seeing Cloud Cult play the full The Seeker album tonight at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, with I guess the entire film sync-ed to their performance.

Pretty excited for that, including finally getting to hear/see "You Never Were Alone" live. It'll probably bring me to balling tears, but so be it. This song does every time I hear it as does a lot of the rest of The Seeker.

1 thing though I probably meant-to, but never was able to pinpoint, is a similarity in 1 thing. The little piano section about midway through "You Never Were Alone," is awfully similar to a piano part in Pain of Salvation's song "The Perfect Element."

A very sad, emotional piano part, that totally works incredibly well on both songs. And oddly enough, it was just earlier this year I heard a similarity in a Pain of Salvation song "The Taming of the Beast" with Cloud Cult's song "Sleepwalker."

The 2 bands I'm sure are totally unaware of each other, but odd how I hear these little similarities that are almost eerie.

More to add maybe at a later time about this song, but I can say, I had another dream last night where I was hanging out with Kevin Gilbert and I suggested he cover a Styx song ("Babe"? maybe) among a list I gave him some how of songs. And he was kind of laughing at me and asking me "are you serious?"..why this relates to this song, is kind of related to the whole The Seeker concept about time/space and reality. People who were gone before, and people who will come in the future.

Deepak Chopra. If ever get a chance to talk to Craig Minowa, I hope I remember to ask him about Deepak and Metaphysics.

Steven Wilson - To the Bone (2016-2017)

6/9/17 12:21PM
Haven't heard it, but here's another new song, more electronic I guess.
"Song of I" Stream 

Official Video Stream 

6/2/17 10:45 PM

"The Same Asylum as Before" Streaming Here

It's also streaming on YouTube.

Very good track. Reminds me of some of the more riffy yet catchy Porcupine Tree.

5/8/17 10:51PM-5/9/17 10:36AM

edit: official site's details including cover and some Tour dates (Europe so far)

Per the below link, the title is To the Bone and will be released on August 18th.

The image below I don't believe is a confirmed cover art, but who knows, maybe it'll end up being the cover or in the artwork for the album.

The video below is for "Pariah" and as noted, features Ninet Tayeb whose been working with Steven now for a few years (and was on Hand.Cannot.Erase if I recall).

There's also a little clip linked below from Facebook that show the track list.

5/9/17 10:30AM
Also among other details about this album (progressive pop in the vein of Peter Gabriel's So as noted in the link below), Andy Partridge of XTC (who recently wrote a great tune "You Bring the Summer" for The Monkees last album), co-wrote 2 songs I guess on this album. Which the description of "progressive pop" seems fitting in a lot of ways.

"progressive Pop" when done well, is actually one of my favorites kinds of music; and Steven has good history in that style with many songs from Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and his Solo records at times.

Also the title. It's odd how there's a lyric I recall in the new Pain of Salvation album that uses that? and also years ago, Oceansize used that phrase on Everyone into Position I recall. Common phrase, I know, but those 2 come to mind.

prog-sphere sitory

1. To the Bone
2. Nowhere Now
3. Pariah
4. The Same Asylum As Before
5. Refuge
6. Permanating
7. Blank Tapes
8. People Who Eat Darkness
9. Song of I
10. Detonation
11. Song of Unborn

Short clip

This is the track ‘Pariah’, a duet with the wonderful Ninet Tayeb.

Clip of the title track.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Contortionist - Clairvoyant (2016-2017)

I noticed some stuff about this one the other day. The new album from The Contortionist, Clairvoyant, which comes out on September 15th.

I enjoyed Language a fair amount, surprisingly, back in 2014. The whole "ebb and flow, ebb and flow..." I will always think of it for.

I haven't checked out the 1st single "Reimagined" yet, but I've seen mixed comments about it (different, but still good).


1 Monochrome (Passive)
2 Godspeed
3 Reimagined
4 Clairvoyant
5 The Center
6 Absolve
7 Relapse
8 Return to Earth
9 Monochrome (Pensive)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Red Planet with Bill Carrothers - Red Planet with Bill Carrothers (2016-2017)

So this new album was released on April 14, 2017. I just noticed Dean Magraw post about it today on Facebook.

I likely would have known about it a little while ago per just seeing him at Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown St.Paul on the 1st Tuesday of each month, but for many reasons, really since my wedding back in September, I haven't been able to go. Maybe 2 or 3 times from memory, and I think the last was in March.

Anyway, so I immediately ordered a CD copy per the bandcamp link below which also included a Digital Download of course. And I gave it a go today.

Fantastic in a lot of places.

Jazzy, Jazz-Fusion? Jazz-Rock even at points., "Living Space" is awesome. "La Luna" "Ann R Chi Suite" among others caught my attention. "Unseen Rain" is another. slower, but still highly mesmerizing.

I adore the debut album from Red Planet Space Dust from 2009. Live record, but one of the best live records I've ever heard.

This album is mostly studio recordings. Which it is the 3-piece Red Planet of Dean Magraw (Guitars) Chris Bates (Upright Bass), Jay Epstein (drums). But of course per the title, it is a collaboration with jazz pianist Bill Carrothers, whose a name I know, but can't claim to cite anything specific. But I recall he's well respected in the Jazz world, etc.

But I can definitely see going back to this record a fair amount as I enjoyed a lot of it already. And it kind of fills my Dean Magraw-void of late, as some of the stuff reminds me of the interpretations of Coltrane, Mingus, etc I see him, Davu Seru and others perform once a month at the Dog.

Although the lineup is different, the Dean Magraw vibe is very present of course, including some sweet acoustic guitar layering. And the other Red Planet guys stand out, almost in new ways. Some brush work from Jay Epstein at times, but still some incredibly busy playing as I love from him.

And certainly Carrothers adds a lot to this. So much so, I would be very curious to see him live with Red Planet, timing allowed of course (which may not be in my cards, or even to see Dean this coming Tuesday).

1. Ann R Chi Suite 09:19
2. Big Nick 05:24
3. Come Dance With Me 03:28
4. Unseen Rain 06:24
5. Living Space 08:33
6. Music Is a Weapon of Hope and Healing 05:18
7. La Luna 08:08
8. Freedom For the Broken 02:11
9. Reflections 06:53
10. Think of One 04:35


Friday, June 2, 2017

Bucket List of Artists I've yet to see Live

This was a list I made in 2013.

The Reign of Kindo
Imogen Heap
Hotel of the Laughing Tree
Andre Matos
Jan Hammer
Eric Johnson
Godpseed You Black Emperor
The River Empires
Pepe Deluxe
Faith No More
Arch Matheos/John Arch
Zak Stevens
Sigur Ros

I can't think of any off the top of my head to add other than Fjokra and Small Leaks Sink Ships for sure. Some others? bands like Bent Knee, iamthemorning, Textures, Spawn of Possession, Major Parkinson, Bruce Peninsula, Neverending White Lights, 22.

And I can remove thankfully Agalloch (2015), Godpseed You Black Emperor and SikTh (2016), and hopefully in a couple of months The Reign of Kindo.

Vuvuzela/Kiss Kiss (but maybe not Josh Benash), Fish, Andre Matos and The River Empires (but not necessarily Jessy Ribordy and possibly other projects of his) all seem pretty unlikely per they seem somewhat retired.

Which leaves among some of those, people like Imogen Heap and maybe John Arch/Arch Matheos being the longest wait.

I suppose I am missing some others like U2 or even Paul McCartney. But that has a lot to do with cost and crowd-size, although I felt the same about Springsteen many years ago, and then was lucky enough to get tickets from my Aunt who ended up with extra tickets that were better than the original ones she got.

The Reign of Kindo - Dreams (Fleetwood Mac, Acoustic)

Wonderful new cover of this Fleetwood Mac classic.

Per their Patreon it can be downloaded of course.

They also of course shared a new song the other day "Return to Me" which is quite good. Love the way it gradually builds.

6 new songs and other stuff have been included in their Patreon. And it's interesting it says they are bringing in almost $3200 per song, which is actually pretty incredible if you think about it.


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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Giles Martin Remixes)

50 Years Ago today, June 1st 1967, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released by The Beatles.

A landmark record that opened up the flood gates for modern music, rock and roll, and THE ALBUM FORMAT in general.

And now The Beatles have released a Deluxe/Anniversary REMIX version in a huge Boxed Set, etc.

And 1 I may have to pickup soon. But in the mean time, I am finding means to check it out online. And as I the other day posted on Facebook

The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Giles Martin remix is pretty surreal to hear. It sounds like if the album were recorded last week as opposed to 50 years ago.
I can't help but wonder what other records, namely from a similar period, would sound like with similar treatment.

And I'm listening to these again today, back-to-back, track-by-track with the 2009 Remaster/Reissue that I can conclude is in Mono, like many older recordings.

But even beyond the fact the 2017 Giles Martin (George's Son of course) remixes are in Stereo, there is A LOT MORE to them. They sound much more FULL and LAYERED.

Many sections are heavily BOOSTED to the point on the 2009 version you could barely hear them.

And this mind you is listening WITH HEADPHONES ON. Which frankly, can make a very big difference.

I guess I sort of feel like this is Sgt Pepper's reborn, recaptured, touched up, etc and clarity sounds incredible. Almost like they were playing these songs right in front of me live at times.

I suppose some songs differ in the changes than others. "When I'm 64" I suppose just sounds a little boosted. There aren't huge amounts of tracks brought up or anything.

But like "Being for the Benefit of Mr.Kite" and "Within You Without You," 2 of my favorites on Sgt Pepper's really sounds fresh and modern in the up-ing of the levels and clarity.

I can't imagine what many other records from this period of time (late 60's, maybe up through the mid 70's) might sound like with this level of mix improvement.

Now I suppose many prefer the original mixing and even just in Mono, for nostalgia and just wanting it to exist from the time it was made. Myself? I dunno now. This may not hold up over time and I'll just feel the album is still best as it always was, in the original mix. But regardless, this is something cool to check out in the short term for this album and hopefully others (just Abbey Road alone makes me awfully curious).

SikTh - The Future in Whose Eyes? (2016-2017)

6/1/17 10:50AM

Album Stream. 

Will give it a go later and/or tomorrow at work.

Release date is of course tomorrow, June 2nd.

5/15/17 12:05PM

new song "Golden Cufflinks"

*will check out later tonight*

3/31/17 10:14AM
New album coming on June 2nd The Future in Whose Eyes? 

and 2nd song/single along with the usual preorder links, etc.

Stoked of course. Will have to check out the new track "Vivid" later tonight. A reposting of "No Wishbones" is also at the bottom, from like a month ago.

Still can't find a Track List yet though.

Also am curious to hear their new 2nd singer for a full album, etc.

Preorder Link 1
2nd Preorder Link

The kings have returned!
SikTh reveal The Future In Whose Eyes? new studio album details and pre-orders - http://www.sikth.band/

Sikth are back! The Watford mathcore sextet that stumbled upon a sound unexplored, who devised their own Morse code of metal – one that mushroomed into labyrinthine detours and tangents, that ultimately lead to the birth of the djent metal, the band’s whose legacy gave the inspiration for bands like Protest The Hero, TesseracT, Animals As Leaders and Periphery after their hiatus in 2007, are back, with what will be, one of the finest albums of 2017 - The Future In Whose Eyes?

Due to be released on 2nd June on Millennium Night, the newly created label imprint from Snapper Music, home of Peaceville Records and Kscope.

Dan Weller, SikTh’s guitarist and producer proudly states "Ever since SikTh was formed way back at the turn of the century we've tried to self improve as musicians and as song writers. We take our music very seriously. This record feels like the one we've always wanted to make. We spent over a year writing it and pushed ourselves extremely hard - sometimes too hard. Opacities was the rebirth of SikTh but 'The Future...' is our statement - I want this album to define us. I don't care how over ambitious it sounds - we want this record to be heard by every metal fan on the planet."

Pre-order for 2nd June release on Millenium Night - http://www.sikth.band/

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