Friday, September 29, 2017

Kimbra - Everybody Knows [1B] (2017)

Great new tune! Love the mystical element and the ending very cool and trippy.

It starts out kind of slow, and chill, but like many of her tunes, it is very rewarding by the end.

I am assuming this will be included on Primal Heart, which is expected in early 2018.

It just hit me, of knowing the song of the same name from Leonard Cohen. I doubt the title has anything to with the Leonard Cohen tune, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Kimbra liked that tune.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bend Sinister - The Other Way [EP] (2016-2017)

9/27/17 6:15AM



Really great EP!

maybe their best EP actually. Great energy, catchy as hell, and pristine production!

Move  A Little Slower is a banger. Keyboard led, it builds slowly but gets so uplifting by the end.

Walk the Other Way is catchy as hell!

Get Along has this incredibly guitar solo.

Run is ballsy as hell and filled with energy

Can't wait for the full-length.

Image may contain: one or more people

1. Move A Little Slower
2. Get Along
3. Walk The Other Way
4. Run
5. Rock N Roll
6. Be Alright

7/27/17 10:21PM
I'm presuming this is a Full Length album. The announcements were a bit confusing with what the video showed and then the Cordova Bay Records post on Twitter about "Walk the Other Way" coming August 18th.

edit: The Other Way is an EP, and a full-length is coming later this year!

Bend Sinister's reply to me on twitter

The Other Way will be an EP of 6 songs, followed up with a full length later this year!

The Other Way release date per the video below is September 22nd.

"Walk the Other Way" the 1st single comes out on August 18th.

Single link (Presave) here

Songs on the full length?

Walk the Other Way
12 Years?
Get Along?
Rock N Roll?

Stoked of course.

"Get Along" is awesome regardless if it makes the album. I'm a fanboy and loved Animals (2014) and basically every record they've made.

More details and a link to the new single (YouTube) will give this entry a bump.

Very excited.

Also I am awfully curious to see if they end up on a tour with a band I enjoy (The Dear Hunter? TDH with Coheed, the 2 bands together would be such a good pairing, but of course the stars may usually have to align for these things to happen.).

edit: well given it's an EP, I may be even more pumped for the full-length that will follow soon after.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mike Portnoy's Forum Retrospective (Part 2)


Digital Dementia

Forum Meetups

Roseland Ballroom

The Six Degrees Leak

So there's a ton of anecdotes and memories from the earliest times I was on "The Forum"

First off, I probably did, at least on the forum, explain my username, "angra1." But likely never in here, so I'll go ahead and do it now again.

So 1 of the things I noticed early on hanging out on the Forum and was there were a lot of other features besides the General Chat.

The Chatroom #mikechat which I'll try and add more later to.

Mike's "Hero of the Day" which in the early days, was 1 of the coolest parts of the forum. A featured band/album/movie/director/tv show or something else he would give a THUMBS UP to. Honestly, I really began to miss this feature once he stopped, long before Social Media even. And even with the Forum posting gone now for everyone else but Portnoy and the Admins, I would LOVE to see him do these again ON THERE (along with or instead of Social Media) besides his End of the Year Lists, etc.

Because I can trace maybe a dozen, or 2 or 3 dozen Bands and Movies especially that I got into just from that 1 feature.

Tourography including all the SETLISTS

But getting back to the username, there were pictures of maybe 50 or 100 or more users on there. "Userpics" or something. And this was long before the days of even Avatars mind you. In the year 2000, pictures could take a lot of memory/load time, depending on your connection and the website.

So I wondered what username to pick obviously, and 1 of the things I thought of was, lol, WOMEN somehow. A band like Dream Theater and a progressive rock community, well, didn't have many. But my naive 23 y/o self, single, wondering if I'd ever meet someone, even long distance.

If you were female and a fan of this stuff on an online community, you would have your pick of the litter potentially. So, I somehow came up with the silly idea to PICK A NAME STARTING WITH THE LETTER "A."

Like AAA or AAAA-Painting, etc, it might be the 1st name some woman (or anyone) would see if they look through the userpics part of the forum/website.

And with it being Angra, well I was especially at the time a pretty big fan of the band Angra, and they were maybe the 1st band I could think of alphabetically, so like Kevin Moore said, I thought of a user name and had to register something so I just thought what the fuck?

The "1" was just to sort of add a numeric part and 1 of course. Not necessarily claiming to be their biggest fan there or anywhere, although I came to sort of think of myself as 1 of them. Although ironically, my interest in them dwindled once the split happened and Andre Matos formed Shaman and then went solo, etc.


1st Era 1999-2002 (Part 1...?)

I guess the thing to do is just think about the ERAS so to speak. When I joined, the place had been up and running for almost 9 months I guess, although it was very much still in its infancy. DaveH aka Dave Hatlee had created it/set it up, etc both the website and forum with some pretty modern software for the time I want to think.

But the 1st ERA I guess I see being from that point of inception. Many regulars from other places previously, largely the Ytsejam Email list "The Jam" as it was known signed up.

Many for news and to discuss the new album Scenes from a Memory which was released the previous October I recall. And there was a long, epic topic discussing the story largely that I'll be honest I maybe read once or twice, but never got around to reading all the way through. Hence, why the site was intimidating to me. It may have been 50 or more pages long, I dunno.

Many came there to talk about the live shows, and of course trading bootlegs (which I learned way back in 1995, was a very big part of being a Dream Theater fan, like many bands).

But this ERA I guess may be easiest to look at from the launch point of the site in June or July of 1999 all the way through the last "Crash" per say on 5/18/2002. If you registered before that date, your Registration date was 5/18/2002. And I was 1 of I dunno, 3000? maybe more who had that.

Why I guess that is when the 1st ERA ended, is partially per eventually many people left or posted less. And it was clear many regulars didn't come back after that Crash. Mind you, there were maybe 2 or 3 previous "Crashes" but the 1 in May 2002 always stood out as like the final Big Crash where everyone had to re-register, etc.

But I can say this, like many bands, tv shows, etc (even Cheers, which the Forum it has donned on me, was sort my real-life Cheers in some ways. And Cheers is an all-time favorite show of mine. Also Gary Portnoy wrote/recorded the theme..lots of connections/nuggets, i know :p), I have a FONDNESS for this period of time on the Forum.

I'm not sure if the activity level was the highest, but I guess it just felt NEW and was a time and a place that always had things to read about. I was probably my most active then too, I think. I guess from a Forum/Forum-related and social-with-forumers largely online (and some in-person, both in Minnesota at concerts (DT and prog related) and at Festivals like Nearfest and especially ProgPowerUSA.

But when I went to the forum, and it was often at night/late at night. I would check the General Chat and would very often go to the #mikechat chatroom. I actually think I and many others used to use the Chat more than read or at least post in the General Chat Forum.

Why? well it was instant, and there would be regulars hanging out in there. Weymolith, Esucarys, DaveH, Tabs, mandaX, mabrown, Vampy, Kirby, KorgX3, DTF, Evilgerbil,, Jared Chrisallen, Pellaz....many many others. I do recall both Chrisallen and Jared came along a little later, but they were definitely both regulars in there.

And part of the #mikechat or later on their own chatroom was DaveH's "Digital Dementia" radio show. Which happened spontaneously it seemed. I recall hearing it maybe half a dozen times. And I don't remember if it was the 1st time, or 2nd and on, I recorded a lot of it. On a Mini-disc in fact, so the quality was not great. But I do still have many of those recordings, now packed away in my storage space (although I know where).

Digital Dementia was like Howard Stern, but for Prog and Metal nerds in some ways. Dave was the man on the Mic and in some was a Mac-Daddy, lol. It seemed the limited women who were in the chatroom or who would call in, and would address things adult-related.

Edit: now thinking more about it, it was more Dave coerced them to talking about their sex life, but they always seemed willing/consenting conversations.

So maybe it was more like Dr.Drew. Dave did it well though.

Digital Dementia would go on sometimes 3, 4, 5 or more hours.

Shit, I don't remember how many times I tuned in, and recorded (which I will admit, I probably stopped after 3 or 4 times since those recordings went rather long).

But I can remember 3 shows especially:

1 featured at least 3 callers/calls. 1 being LTE Tabs playing live guitar on the phone. He played some Dokken (calling them "Butt Rock" but not bad "Butt Rock"), and then him playing the guitar solo for "The Spirit Carries On" and also for "Under a Glass Moon" which after he did,

Dave was like "Okay I'm gonna hang up on you now.

LTETabs: "No no no no no. Why?"
Dave: "That pisses me off that you can play that!"

which had me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off (roflmao). I loved it when Dave gave him and others a hard time. It was comedy gold.

But the very same show, was an absolute CLASSIC. The 1 and only DTF called in. Brian from Eastern Canada (Toronto?).

Dave to DTF:"This is like a bad episode of Beavis and Butthead man"

DTF likely was drunk, but even if so, some of the shit he was saying like

"you're a boot" and Dave was like "I'm a Boot?"

and DTF says "Yeah, you're a boot. I always call people a boot, because they don't know what it means." 

part of this is you'd have to hear it, which I wouldn't share it publicly, but I was in TEARS laughing so fucking hard.

Dave: "Who the fuck is Mike Patton?"

DTF: "You don't know Mike Patton is? You're a moron. I'm not going to grace you with his name."

Dave: "Hey, before you go, you have to request a song"

DTF: "Do You have any Winger?"

Dave: "Winger? Do I Have any Winger? C'mon, do I look like a guy who never wore hairspray?"

I guess at some point, I may try and revisit this recording, and transcribe more of it, if not the whole thing. In TEXT like this, the humor may not come across like it did in audio.

But to add to that, I remember that same show Kirby called in. Aka Nicole. And among her stories, she mentioned being in a movie "The Chase" when she did some acting or "stage work" as I recall "The Hitman" who was on the mic as a co-host with Dave at that time.

But maybe the best line was

Dave: What do you do?

Kirby: I do work creating Project Management Software for a company

Dave: Is anyone at your work having sex?

Kirby: Not currently, no.,

Dave: Really? Wow, What a shitty place to work.

And the last memorable portion of this particular show had 2 callers.

KorgX3 (or just Korg? aka Chuck who was from either Idaho or Montana, I forget) and EvilGerbil who was from somewhere in California I think.

There was talk about crushes and sexual exploits, and eventually some stuff about toothbrush and someone's dad using hair follicles and a magazine. AKA Some weird, OUT THERE SHIT, although for 2000 or 2001 or whatever maybe it was, but maybe today, it may not seem so much.

But my favorite line was probably

Dave: He totally stole your thunder Gerbil. He took the Golden Dementia Award right from under your brow.

So to wrap up (for now) the Digital Dementia portion, there were a few other memorable shows, namely with JKasper and Esucarys and some of the Partys. Also the dude from Pope's Pizza. I guess Dave received a complementary Pizza from them on 1 or more occations.

Digital Dementia eventually became and Dave along with Weymolith and some others migrated it over to that site. It was an online radio station/network for many years. Sometimes having interviews with the likes of Portnoy of course and even Kevin Moore.

I wasn't able to follow it/listen etc as much once it migrated over there, but I did sometimes and was on the forum there. That was maybe 2003 2004, 2005. I'm not sure when it ended. Maybe around 10 years ago I thought I saw Weymolith mention on Facebook.

per the time tonight. This Era or Chapter will try and resume sometime tomorrow. The 1st ERA though, is likely not DONE with just a whole schpeel about DD, because like I said up above, this was a HUGE time to be on the Forum. But per length and timing (and I often hate writing a whole shit ton of stuff out and then just have to leave it in Draft Form), I'm gonna put this up and see what I can get to tomorrow and/or over the next few days. Somewhow this weekend though being my 1st Wedding Anniversary and a Trip to Duluth, I dunno how far I will get with this.

But, this is already a NOVEL of course. But we're talking a long 17+ years of my life telling about the time I wasted. It was never going to be SHORT, lol.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mike Portnoy's Forum: A Retrospective (Part 1)

If/when I actually do have the allowed amount of time, which sadly again, isn't now, which probably means this entry will be written as various times.

And it may not be this week. Although next weekend might work per Colonscopy Prep, etc.

But to start, when I like many others started using the Internet, probably post my 1st year of College, or even 2nd Year of college I suppose around 1995 or 1996 (my 1st year was 1994-1995), I was getting into new music per I had done a radio show in college (WRFW in River Falls, WI), and my love of Rush and discovery of more of Pink Floyd's catalog (among others..Led Zeppelin I consider of course my 1st favorite Rock Band), I got into the habit of seeking out and sharing names of new bands.

Dream Theater and Marillion May of 1995 were 2 biggies for me. Both I found from the Rush DejaNews Group.

And even more than Marillion, Dream Theater's music and their influences and FANS I found were going to lead me to doing this more and more. And Mike Portnoy, while being an incredible drummer and involved in so much of Dream Theater Songs and Albums, I was drawn to for his TASTE IN MUSIC and entertainment (Movies and Televsion).

So from around 1996 I want to say through nearly the end of the decade, I was following Dream Theater's activities as much as I could at music stores, in magazines (Metal Edge namely), and of course the new Internet (Mozilla, Netscape..and other browsers I'm forgetting now).

I never understood why there wasn't a, or rather why the band or even label couldn't gain the rights to own it, because it was owned by some guy who bought that url. Not sure what it is today.

So there was "Under a Cyber Moon" which was like a tribute site? I forget. It had a lot of information about the history, lyrics, images. And this was in the days of dialup, so the websites took a lot time to load, lol.

But then there was eventually, Which I don't know if it had a message board initially. I kind of think it didn't, but it may have had a Chatroom, which were popular back then, in the big days of Text-based chatting. IRC and all that was easy and not as slow as actual websites, etc.

So I found myself going there and Mike's site. And of course "The Ytsejam" email list. I specifically remember going there, and being intimidated by the fans obsession with Dream Theater and feeling like a "newbie."

I don't recall what website I found it on, it may have just had the name or something, but I tried to sign up, but never was able to get it to work with my email. I forget.

So I kind of gave up on that, and that was maybe around 1998 or early 1999.

And mind you I was doing this largely at the Library, occasionally at my work (in 1996 I had a job that allowed it), and also frequently on my parents PC.

Pretty sure then in 1999, I setup a Yahoo Email and joined a bunch of "Yahoo Clubs" as they came to be known. I think they were named something else originally. 1 or 2 for Dream Theater. Rush, Marillion and others. They were not identical to the Yahoo email lists.

Anyway, I met some people in 1 of the Dream Theater related Clubs on Yahoo that eventually setup their own smaller, more intimate club, which I cannot recall the name of sadly. Their names, and I typically don't do this, but just for the sake of nostalgia, I'll throw out a few. Anna Lee, Masikus, Scarred2112 (or maybe just Scarred), Rhonda[some numbers], and myself, I can't recall if I went by my email angra_651 or Soundscape (unlikely), or mnprog something.

Okay, so that club was easy to chat with, although I came to learn a little clique-ish. It was right around the time Scenes from a Memory came out. And some of them met eachother, but I didn't of course.

Just to avoid too much of the drama again, I'll just say I left that Club with mixed feelings at best.

Where I migrated to? of course's "Forum" or "The Forum" or "General Chat"

And as it turned out, most if not all that same group were there, but I didn't mind so much per it being a MUCH LARGER place.

Now, I had gone to Mike's site for a year or 2 previously, and read some of the topics, but honestly not too many. I recall the biggest reason being I was also INTIMIDATED by so many people there, competition in some sense. And feeling like I might be exposing myself by posting there. And maybe also per not being able to KEEP UP with all the topics that were posted and replied to not every day, every hour, lol.

But in February 2000, around the time of the Dream Theater concert in Minneapolis at The State Theatre I did sign up. Under the user name "angra1."

stay tuned for part 2, hopefully sooner than later....

Monday, September 18, 2017

RIP Mike Portnoy's FORUM

Well, the time has finally come...
I have been contemplating this for a while now and feel it's time to finally move on.
In this age of interactive social media outlets, there are plenty of other platforms for us to all gather info and have discussions and I will always be around watching and participating there. (Facebook & Twitter) 
The Forum will remain read-only and all threads will remain archived (including my Prog Blog and all of my Hero Of The Day posts from the late 90's and early 00's)
I will continue to post tour dates and release dates as they come in as well as keeping the tourography up to date.
Thanks MaBrown, Weymolith, Nippett, Painted Skies and all of YOU who were a part of The Forum for almost 20 years!  

Luv, MP  

I don't of course have the time to post even a fraction of my thoughts about this right now as I only have about 13 minutes left in my break.

So I guess the best thing to do is either plan a lengthly EDIT later, or just write another, more appropriate entry tonight or maybe not until tomorrow.

The reason Mike Portnoy's Forum is being Shutdown or more accurately, LOCKED i.e. No More New Posts will be made, but still all the available history is READABLE and SEARCHABLE I believe. Largely per the topic about Sons of Apollo having too many negative comments. And as stated at the top

The Forum is now read-only 14 hrs. ago

Due to the rise of social media all updates can now be found by following Mike on FaceBook or Twitter.
But I guess the only thing to add for now is what I posted on the dtf
I was on there (angra1) as a poster since February of 2000 (Rane among others, joined the same month).

It has been shutdown before, but for some reason this feels different.

Will have to give a more detailed commentary in allmediareviews later today.

End of an era I guess. The history still exists at least.

And like some other forums that RIP, there is a FB group for it for those interested.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Gritty Gals of Rock'n Blues (WDGY Radio)

The Gritty Gals of Rock'n Blues On Facebook

So I wanted to post something about this show/podcast? that WDGY ("WEDGE-Y" to me, even though they say it "WEE-JEE" like a "OUIJA Board"), airs every Sunday morning at 9:30AM.

I've been tuning into their show since late June (25th I think, as I had it on when I was moving)

These 2 ladies, Cindy Mack and Leslie McKee aka The EFFENHEIMER SISTERS make a neat little 25-30 minute show each week telling the history/story about 1 female musician.

From memory the episodes I've heard

Miss Piggy (from The Muppets)
Patsy Cline
Karen Carpenter
Carly Simon
Linda Ronstadt
Heart (2-Parts)
Dolly Parton

edit: Lydia Pence (of Cold Blood)

I want to guess they also featured maybe some if not all of:
Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin.

And I know they mentioned a couple of weeks back at the end of the Linda Ronstadt episode, they have 1 coming up featuring Carole Kaye (of The Wrecking Crew).

This kind of got me thinking about
the Entry I posted with NPR 150 Female Musician Albums and MY OWN HERE
and their show now, which I suppose it was purely coincidence the 2 female-music aficionados started a show around the time of that NPR list (actually their show began before it was published in fact per the NPR list came out on July 24th, 2017).

But as far as specialty shows and podcasts of late, this has been 1 of my favorites, and I could see more people enjoying their shows. It's just at 9:30AM every Sunday morning, both in the Twin Cities (multiple frequencies: 92.1, 103.7, 740AM and 107.1 in HD) and on WDGY's Website which streams live.

I'm not clear if their shows are podcasted/stream or downloadable at this point (although they should, maybe even just on

And in fact I am likely to call-in to their hotline 855-851-2440 (a440 studios) and leave them a message. Maybe a request or 2 (Annie Haslam of Renaissance namely among others).

What I'm not certain is, are they strictly only featuring women whose music careers go back to the 50's, 60's and 70's? or might they include some from the 80's and even 90's? 

I guess partially per it seems there are a lot of women who have flourished in the last couple of decades compared to previous times..Lilith Fair? 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Dear Hunter late Autumn 2017 tour with THE FAMILY CREST!

We will be heading out on the road this winter with & ! Tickets go on sale this Friday. Where will we see you?

Would LUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHVVVVVVVV to see this tour of course, and there is a Chicago date on December 8th. More dates? a little skeptical based on the free days in that calendar and required travel days.

I dunno if it'll be do-able both from a budget standpoint and more importantly, the wife not making issue (like we would have to plan another trip or 2 as well).

But regardless if I am able to see this tour, I am SUPER EXCITED for The Family Crest to get on a tour with The Dear Hunter. When I saw them a couple of months ago, I mentioned The Dear Hunter and I know some of the band know them, but not sure if they all do.

But the 2 touring together makes a shit-ton of sense musically and fan-appeal. I gotta believe a lot of The Dear Hunter fans have never heard TFC and could go for them. So at least I am curious to see online what kind of reaction the fans get about both bands.

VAVA? I've never heard of, but will have to check out as well.

Esperanza Spalding - Exposure (Making of 77-Hour Stream 9/12/17)

9/12/17 11:46AM
unfortunately i can't check out all that much of it right now per I'm at work, but will try to off and on in the next few days.

Facebook Live Stream Link

9/3/17 2:11PM

Image may contain: 1 person, text

I may have to check some of this out next week if time allows.

I have become a fan of hers over the last year or a bit less. She's progressive certainly, including jazz, funk, soul, pop among her styles.

I like many 1st saw her name pop-up a few years back when she won the grammy for best new artist, over people like Justin Bieber I recall.

She also guested previously on Janelle Monae's 2nd record, Electric Lady.

2016's Emily's D+Evolution saw her appeal more than ever to many, including me, because it was more diverse and featured more vocals.

It was frankly, her doing Prog.

At any case, I am looking forward to this, as many are. At a min. it's forward thinking and an adventurous way of making an album. Kind of Imogen Heap-like in a way.

And it'll be on Facebook as that pic says.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Raphael Weinroth-Browne - Hand.Cannot.Erase (9 Cellos, Steven Wilson)

This is lovely. Kind of reminds me of some of the String Quartet tributes.

I may have to check out some more of this guy Raphael Weinroth-Browne's stuff, per the a Cello-Rock band like Judgement Day's absence of late.

George Michael News

Facebook Link to Clip w/ Nile Rodgers 

Preorder the Album 

George Michael-Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 (album cover).jpg

Listen Without Prejudice / MTV Unplugged Album George Michael

Per being married to a woman whose pretty obsessed with George and especially since him dying last Christmas, this is great news to finally see some activity from his estate.

Nile Rodgers was supposed to work with him not long after he died per he had been to dinner? or at least seen him like 2 days before he died in London.

The album they were meaning to make may have demos that with some work, would be worth releasing.

The documentary? can't find anything yet on it, but with some activity, I wonder if that won't be too far away (maybe around X-Mas?).

The Listen Without Prejudice Deluxe version my wife really wants is finally up to preorder there. 

CD, Vinyl, Digital, etc. Amazon CD link here 

October 20th it shows as a release date.


MEW: Artists recommended like/for fans of them (RIYL/FFO)

Ok, so this is the 1st one of these.

It ended up relatively long, and with blurbs. And I'm sure more names I'm not including will come up, which maybe I'll edit this, or maybe make a 2nd, etc (a Chamber Rock entry I've decided needs to be made in general).

But I can't say if the blurbs especially will continue, especially since I can see many of these being MUCH LONGER in terms of artists. Twitter-length or less and maybe or maybe not a link/youtube video.

I guess I'll see.

Image result for Mew band pic
Mew are a great band who while when I 1st got into them, I found their music reminded me of some music I was familiar with and liked (namely Sigur Ros), I came to feel they were pretty distinct. Their style of Dream Pop/Rock mixed with progressive rock really stood out.

But I did come to discover other bands who shared varying levels of similarities, most of which I enjoy to different degrees.

Team Me: Norway's answer to Mew in a lot of ways. The songwriting (and the energy namely) is what works for me even if they remind me of Mew in a lot of ways.

Jazzkamikaze: Also from Denmark, their 1 album with vocals (that I know of) that is more rock-like, 2010's Supersonic Revolutions is a lot like a Jazzy-version of Mew (or like if The Reign of Kindo has a vocalist like Jonas Bjerre). The closing track "Acropolis" almost seems like the sequel to "Comforting Sounds."

I will include the fact they have some albums/eps I've yet to hear, that may be like Supersonic Revolutions. But the others I did hear were largely instrumental Jazz albums (albeit pretty good though).

Also to note, Marius Neset of Jazzkamikaze, plays saxophone on the new Mew album Visuals.

Deas Veil - the Album All the Houses Look the Same uses some synths and has atmosphere that reminds me of Mew, maybe mostly from Frengers. The vocals, while not identical, are higher pitched like Jonas from Mew. I am a bit slighted with them as I haven't listened to their music in many years. I recall the follow-up album Birds and Cages not being as good, but it is actually rated higher on rateyourmusic. And they followed that one with a Self-Titled album, but that one is not rated as high as the previous 2. Maybe they differ most from Mew being "emo" or even Christian at points, like the band Mae? Regardless, worth checking out if you want to hear music similar to Mew.

edit: songs "Surface," "Shoreline," and "Shadow and City Lights"

Time of Orchids - This band is mostly on here per the vocalist at times sounds like Jonas Bjerre. And the fact they are definitely experimental and progressive. But they probably have more differences than similarities. However, they are (or were) an incredible band, namely if you like experimental, quirky and schizophrenic rock music.

Fields - "Anglo-Icelandic" band. The debut album Everything Last Winter that came in 2007 was quite good, and it reminded me of Pure Reason Revolution a lot, but also Mew in some ways. The Dreamy element with some of the bass riffs. A 2nd album was to come in 2009 I think, and it was recorded, with demos on their myspace page, but unfortunately, it wasn't to be per the record label dropped them literally a month or less than the release date in March from memory.

Dreamy vocals between male and female. I even recall on the Mew forum, some people talking about Fields.

Pure Reason Revolution - They're likely going to have to have their own RIYL/FFO, and a larger percentage of Mew fans know them per them touring together and just a common suggestion in the mid/late 2000's.

On paper, the Dreamy moments, namely with the vocal harmonies and some of the trippy layers and textures are what they share most in common. Also a pop element I suppose.

I suppose they largely just fall under being such a good band who have elements that they share enough, and are done well enough, that Mew fans very easily could like them.

Kimbra - She's a huge fan (even addressing her fans online as "Frengers" at times). And she even guested on Plus/Minus (as well as Jonas guest vocals on a bonus track on her last album The Golden Echo)

Musically, progressive/dream pop/rock in a general sense is similar. She uses a lot of falsetto vocals as well. I suppose it's hard to not say or think she's influenced by them, just listening to many of her songs.

Carpark North - This name I guess falls in here largely per I know there was a large percentage of fans among Mew fans. It probably helps that they are also from Denmark (like Jazzkamikaze),

Musically, I only was lukewarm about them. And I don't know how much their sound really shares in common with Mew, but large numbers of taste of a fan base should be worth something.

Paper Route - I'm mainly including this band in that after a couple of really good EPs, they released a debut album that had some moments I thought about Mew. Although they would be more recommended for fans of Mutemath (a band they opened for). I guess with some falsetto vocals including harmonies, and use of synths, I can't help but think some Mew fans may enjoy them.

Sadly, after those original EPs, my interest kind of dwindled. But I guess even just for those EPs, they would be worth checking out.

Dream Pop/Rock.

Crying - I stumbled upon this band within the last couple of months. I don't recall mentioning them in here, although I may have dropped their name once, I can't remember.

They received a fair amount of comparisons to Mew where I saw their name, on the rym message board.

At any case, they have a female singer who does actually sound somewhat like Jonas, but at the same time, has her own voice. A bit like Time of Orchids in a way.

Their music? beyond the vocals, is like Mew in that it uses progressive rock in some ways, and textures. However, the jury is out for me, partially per I hear a lot of Mathrock and 'core elements at points. Why I was not grabbed hugely by them, but I have only heard their debut album Beyond the Fleeting Gales once, and mean to give it more time.

But just based on my perception and the content online about Mew with them, I would guess they would appeal to at least some Mew fans.

Agent Fresco - like Sigur Ros and Fields, they come from Iceland I guess. And they are a band who with their last record, Destrier, they received a fair amount of buzz and with that, comparisons to among others like (22 and The Reign of Kindo), Mew.

I am on the fence about them. I assumed I would really love them, but got a bit lost in their last record, expecting brilliance. And if/when it came, it was so subtle, I struggled to need to go back to it. But unlike some other bands, I kind of think the jury is still a bit out on them.

But per the people who love them, comparing them to Mew, I guess they are a band to not miss in this list. And perhaps with some time, I may feel more strongly about them and even the Mew comparisons, etc.

Astronoid - I'm including this band, even though when I was suggested/saw their name in 2016, Mew's name came up quite a bit. They were saying their music was like if Mew were doing Black Metal.

And, to be honest, that description or the Blackgaze/Metalgaze that is happy in a way, with that contrast, is not bad. But I just found the combination and maybe more so, just the songwriting and PRODUCTION from memory, not working too well for me.

But it did for others, so they are worth including as a suggestion I suppose. They're not the only Metal /Core band I recall within the last few years who Mew's name got mentioned with.

VOLA also is a band whose debut album Inmazes received many Mew name drops. But instead of Black Metal like Astronoid, they combined Djent and some other styles of rock and metal with the Mew-like Dream Prog/Pop.

And like Astronoid, the mix and songs just lost me. The mixing and production from memory, may also have. But like Astronoid, their was enough Mew name dropping from people who enjoy them, they probably deserve a recommendation to some Mew fans who also like Metal.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1 Top 10 UNDERRATED Rush Songs List (and My Own)


The Necromancer
Something for Nothing
Jacob's Ladder
Witch Hunt
Losing It
The Body Electric
Secret Touch

Not a bad list, although it seems to focus on their popular period still.

Here's a list I just came up with today, just using 1 song per album (because I could include 4 or 5 at least from many of the 80's albums easily.

The Fountain of Lamneth (specifically, Bacchus Plateau)
Different Strings\
Vital Signs
The Analog Kid
The Enemy Within
Middletown Dreams
Prime Mover
Red Tide
Alien Shore

Albums to re-listen to soon and (some) upcoming albums for Anticipation

There may be a few others like Broken Social Scene and the Planetarium project, that I mean to, but it has hit me recently how with less than 2 months left, the end of year stuff isn't far away and I should start doing some cramming.

Everything Everything - A Fever Dream
Major Parkinson - Blackbox (per Kickstarter)
Steven Wilson - To the Bone
SikTh - The Future in Whose Eyes?
Timmy Sean - Weeks
Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Hotel Junk Box
Subterranean Masquerade - Vagabond
Anathema - The Optimist
Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day
Ramona Falls - Coils
Solstafir - Berdreyminn
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana (and maybe Murder of the Universe)
Mutemath - Play Dead

other than Mutemath, there's not a ton of new albums I am certain to anticipate: just scanning the Calendar:

Small Leaks Sink Ships
The Contortionist
Ne Obliviscaris
Bend Sinister (both an EP which is certain, and full-length?)
Nordic Giants
Diablo Swing Orchestra
Godspeed You Black Empeoror
Sons of Apollo

In Vain
Native Construct

Likely 2017-2018
Galactic Cowboys
Ours - Spectacular Sight
Tiny Giant
The Reign of Kindo
Pepe Deluxe
Neverending White Lights

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Rest in Peace Walter Becker (Steely Dan)

Image result for walter becker

ny times


No other details were offered, but the guitarist, bassist and songwriter had been in poor health, and didn't participate in two Steely Dan concerts in July. Fagen told reporters in August that Becker had undergone a medical procedure that prevented him from touring.
Becker had performed with Steely Dan as recently as April.

Saw him with the DAN on November 8, 2009 at Northrop Auditorium perform the complete Aja record.

In going through many of the Yearly Albums Calendars in the 70's, I will fully admit to not knowing (but meaning to) many of their albums in full. I did own A Decade

So just reading about his background on Wiki, he was a member and/producer of the band China Crisis whose music sounds familiar, but at the same time, I'm not sure I've ever heard much if any of it before today. 80's "Sophistipop" aka Synth/New Wave pop/rock which a lot of it is good music, but does sound much of its time.

Also learning of him playing in a Jazz band with Chevy Chase in HS and writing/recording the soundtrack for the Richard Pryor film You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat from 1971 with Jay and the Americans.

Also a sort of 2nd degree personal note on definitely both Todd Rundgren and Donald Fagen (and I think Becker). A friend of mine used to talk about selling his music every winter and going to Hawaii. Delivering pizzas while living on the beach in a Tent. And Hanging Out with Rundgren, Fagen and I'd presume Walter Becker as well.

Granted I never saw pics or anything, so only can go by his word, lol.

I really like Steely Dan, although I have never considered myself a fanatic or hardcore fan. But like Billy Joel or some others, I think if I ever do find the time to spend with their catalog and know their albums much better than I do, I may see them and Becker in an even higher light. They were studio masters and pop-music craftsmen. And I think even beyond their many hits, they were perfectionists for all of their writing and recordings, Much like Kevin Gilbert. Which is why I may at some point get into them more, own all of their albums, etc.

It's just too bad it may come after now Walter Becker is gone.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

James Bickers Rest in Peace 9/29/16

9/2/17 10:15PM

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, night and indoor

Here's 1 (likely the only) photo I took with James and his wife Nancy from Prog Power USA February 23-24, 2001 in Lansing, IL at JJ Kelley's.

If I find the time and place, I may try and make a video talking about James and that experience soon. I dunno, maybe around the anniversary. I'm just kind of taken aback by how much learning about him dying has affected me. I suppose some of it is his age, but a lot of it is just as I posted below, he kind of inspired me to do this and just listen to something as important (even if trivial) as the music I listen to every day.

I guess in a way, more than say Earl Root or something, I sort of see or saw him as a mentor to me.

I suppose the likes of people I know a bit online like the Used Bin Guys, Jeff Wagner or Anil Prasad..or Lorenzo or Neesh I might feel similarly, but for some reason they feel more like contemporaries rather than someone I was directly inspired/influenced by.

Mind you, I only met in person James, that 1 time. These others I know, I only know online, but it would be great to someday meet in person as well (I met Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot at least once..but they aren't exactly as consumed by the same underground progressive rock stuff I am; nor is The Needle Drop or some other known music journalists).

8/29/17 12:38PM

James Bickers


Okay, this is really weird how I go to look up the quote of his I like and find out James Bickers, a guy I met at the 1st ProgPower USA festival and founder of Sea of Tranquility, the progressive rock/metal magazine from the late 90's/early 2000's passed away. Not yesterday or last week or month, but nearly 1 year ago.

And reading those articles, namely the 1st one, he was not all that much older than me being only 45.

I feel really bad for not hearing about this sooner.

I followed him on Twitter although I don't read the 900 or so accounts I follow religiously.

And so now taking this in, I will try and summarize my experience with him and his work (for now).

I 1st noticed him having a regular column and reviews in Progression magazine in the late 90's I think. He was one of the only people who wrote about progressive metal/metal in general in there, which being that i loved Dream Theater, especially then, and bands like them, he was 1 of the writers I enjoyed most.

Then Sea of Tranquility came out, and it was even more focused. Featuring bands like Pain of Salvation, Enchant, King's X, Fates Warning, and Queensryche.

It was a very well-made, entertaining, and even less-is-more read even compared to Progression. But it didn't last per time and money as I came to learn.

And I was really happy to meet him in person in February 2001 at the 1st ProgPower USA festival, which I was able to have an interview/chat that I later aired on KFAI.

That chat I must not deny, made a very big impact on me and my 25 year old music listening-self.

Among other things, just the fact he mentioned he had a mindset of being open minded with music, and listening to only progressive rock was as limiting as "only listening to Britney Spears albums."

The chat I transcribed I have posted I think more than once online, maybe in my old livejournal even and I would guess on multiple forums. In this blog? maybe once or maybe 1 or 2 other times. The quote about progressive music I know I have frequently.

But IT'S HERE anyway.

But since, I know he was a Renaissance man of sorts, not just with writing and music, but pop-culture and radio, and those links above along with his twitter account add to that.

He had a podcast I guess, which sadly it takes me learn of his passing to now check it out. But so be it, I imagine he would agree better now than never, etc.

Jeez, onl6y 45, and man who may have been far beyond his age's typical amount of wisdom.

I guess he certainly is 1 of the people who largely inspired me to do this and maybe more so, just continue to pursue music listening so passionately.

Also odd how his passing came literally 5 days after My Wedding; and back in 2001 when I was talking to him for those 30-45 mins or whatever, the subject of women came up. Sort of ironic timing.

Rest in Peace James. Sorry to now learn and include some memories of the experience I had meeting you now 16 years ago. The world will certainly miss your work, but myself and hopefully others will help carry on that open-minded approach to consuming and promoting art and entertainment (especially all kinds of music).

Amanda Palmer - Drowned in the Sound [1B] (2017)

So Amanda wrote and recorded this new song, which what seems largely if not entirely for the benefit for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Hence the title in some ways.

I couldn't help but think of the Drowned in Sound Music website even though I'm sure the title has absolutely nothing to do with it.

amandapalmer: i just dropped a brand-new track, written and recorded in 3 days with the help of over 600+ people on my patreon. all the public proceeds from the track benefit Texas Diaper Bank, who are helping alllll affected areas of harvey. 

100% of the proceeds from the download of this song until September 30th will support the Texas Diaper Bank to help victims of Hurricane Harvey across Texas! Read more about Texas Diaper Bank

this song was written as a two-day songwriting exercise on august 29th and 30th, 2017, using input/inspiration/comments from over 600 patrons (you can read those here: it wound up being a response to the insanity of internet politics melded with the recent total eclipse and the devastation of hurricane harvey….and, y’know…other stuff.

read the full backstory & lyrics

if you love this song, please consider joining my patreon to support me, my team & collaborators make MORE


Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, taken by Staff Sgt. Oscar M. Sanchez-Alvarez/Released. This has been modified from the original.
Creative Commons License


released August 31, 2017

music, lyrics, piano, vocals: amanda palmer
engineer: eli winograd @ lone pine studio in kingston, NY
special thanks to ben folds for texting with me before his show in little rock, arkansas, and making me change one rhythm and cut two useless repetitions before the first chorus

Friday, September 1, 2017

Major Parkinson - Blackbox (2016-2017)

9/1/17 10:25PM

1st single, the title/final track (like Mew did with Visuals as the 1st single being the last track on the album).

FB with all the links

Preorder (all formats)

Karisma Records ALBUM Details Link

October 27th release date.

Major Parkinson - Blackbox

1. Lover, Lower Me Down! 4:48
2. Night Hitcher 5:47
3. Before the Helmets 1:46
4. Isabel – A Report to an Academy 9:42
5. Scenes from Edison’s Black Maria 1:47
6. Madeleine Crumbles 5:07
7. Baseball 10:21
8. Strawberry Suicide 2:58
9. Blackbox 5:49

7/31/17 11:28PM

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing, suit and night

Major Parkinson Post on FB confirming signing with Karisma Records, for the distribution outside of Norway.

The title "Blackbox" has been mentioned a couple of times on Facebook, in a subtle fashion. I am assuming its use by the band makes sense. If it is not that and it turns out to be something different, than of course I'll go ahead and bump/edit this entry.

So we signed with these nice people called KARISMA RECORDS for the release of Blackbox outside of Norway. Finally you people should be able to get the record in stores out there in the big world. Happy days ahead!

And the release time frame per Karimsa Records is "Autumn"

I might add though, per the email list, the band mentioned either a September 22nd or 29th release date. Granted, that was long before signing with this label, so it may come a little later.

The Kickstarter for this album was successful and the backers like myself are from a few posts, to receive a download on September 1st, and then have the physical copies shipped. So my vinyl may arrive as early as the 2nd week of September.

Also a comment from the band on the campaign back in April mentions 9 tracks and a couple "lingering around 10 minutes" for what that's worth.

I love their epics usually, so that sounds all the more enticing.