New PROG Magazine is Out

And, Jerry Ewing gets ever more interesting.

A great issue:

The latest issue of PROG--edited by the incomparable Jerry Ewing--is out.

The latest issue of PROG–edited by the incomparable Jerry Ewing–is out.

Waterfall by Neal Morse Band

Certainly one of the single best songs of 2015.  So, so beautiful.

“Please take my sorrow far from me.”

Happy Birthday to Mike Portnoy!


Progarchy would like to wish a slightly belated happy birthday (April 20) to the king of cool, the god of the drums, the one, the only, MIKE PORTNOY!  Mike, thank you so much for your contributions to music over the years.  Your music is incredible, and we anxiously await your future releases.  You truly are the best!

Sound of Contact reunites! Secretly working on second album…

This is very good news:

Says Kerzner of their first group writing session: “Almost immediately it felt like no time had passed and it was great to see everybody again… We never really had the chance to explore writing and recording together as a four-piece. It was always from either a song Simon or I brought in, or a three-piece collaboration with either Matt or Kelly on guitar and bass. To me, this album [already] has more of a true rock band feel to it.”
Sound Of Contact are on a creative roll and hope the as-yet-untitled album will be released early next year, although they’ve yet to finalise its themes.

Everybody Wants to Rule the Quantum World

Physicist Paul Halpern has a unique interview with Tears for Fears’ Roland Orzabal about quantum physics:

Quantum indeterminacy is normally not the stuff of hit singles or music videos. Yet for a brief shining moment in the mid-1990s it was. After reading numerous popular accounts of physics, songwriter and musician Roland Orzabal, co-founder of Tears for Fears, delved into such ideas in the lyrics of two of his songs: “Schrödinger’s Cat” and “God’s Mistake.” I was privileged to interview him about the background behind those works.

Radiant Spotlight on Mike Portnoy


Greetings from the Radiant Team!




 Mike Portnoy

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 7.07.14 AM 

It is no secret – Mike Portnoy is one of the best known and widely praised prog-rock drummers in the history of the genre! Mike’s long list of awards includes 30 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards: Best Rock Drummer of 2014, Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010 & 2013, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine’s record of 13 times), Best Clinician (twice), Best Recorded Performance of the Year (8 times), and the list goes on and on! 

Go behind the scenes and behind the drums with Mike Portnoy both in the studio and on the stage in these spectacular drum cam DVDs! Each release has multiple audio options including Mike’s isolated drum and vocals tracks and more! (Including an audio commentary by Mike & Neal Morse on the T2 Live Drum Cam DVD). 

Get this entire Mike Portnoy drum cam DVD collection  



Stay tuned for more Featured Artists coming twice a month!



Radiant Records

20 Looks at The Lamb, 15: Give My Regards

Regards, these are.  And I give my regards to Broadway. Broadway is a street I’ve never seen.  New York is a city that I’ve never seen.

Oh, I’ve seen it on television, of course. But that opens a question about seeing.  As if the questions up to now have not been about seeing.  But regarding in the sense intended here is not just seeing, if by seeing you mean only some mysterious physiological alignment of rods, cones, and wavelengths.  Wavelengths are those things that we’re supposedly “on.”  Together, we are supposedly on them.  “On the same wavelength.”

NoRaelI’m thinking of how I see the things that I’ve never really seen.  I have regard, or a regard, for a thing that I’ve never regarded in person, “in the flesh” (“Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel”).  To listen in a way that makes the listening a gaze… doesn’t that mean seeing what one has never seen?  Isn’t it like going somewhere that you’ve never gone?

If I tell you to give my regards, it means that I won’t be there.  And it might be that my regards are just like that.  They might be the regards of someone who is never there.  I think that I’ve become Rael (become real?), waiting for the windshield, caught in the cage, slipping into the doktor’s waiting room, chasing the raven…  But I’ve never been there, and I have not seen any of those things.  My regard is from here, not from there.  I’m live, but not in person.

This is not just a spatial dislocation made metaphorical.  It’s more like a metaphysical mark of music.  No, scratch that; not music as thing.  It’s latent in any listening.  Let’s not forget that listening is a verb.  It seems like the doings of many verbs can be done, can be accomplished.  But a verb, just insofar as it is a verb, is a doing rather than a done/accomplished.  If it’s present tense, that is.  And the verb ‘listening’ can be present tense even though I am not present.  I have to be absent in order to send my regards.  So the regard is a present-tense non-presence.  And hopefully when I send it, it comes as a present (a gift).

Consider Rael’s story in this regard (ah, see what I did there?):  His “problem” is that he must get his own regard, and give his own regards (to Broadway, among other places).  He keeps finding himself in different places, different spaces, maybe even different worlds.  He wonders at that uncanny window in the bank above the gorge, where is “home,” as opposed to just another dream.  To have a regard toward home, to send one’s regards there, involves leaving home.  It’s a window, so it seems like he can go back, but can he go back?  Can we ever go back?  Is going back just the same, in the end, as stepping into another dream?

And a possible kicker:  Is finding the regard, sending the regards, ultimately seeing…  is it the same as no longer regarding “the problem” as a problem?

Suppose it really is only knock and knowall.

Suppose you’ve got to get out to get in.

Hop on that misty mountain.  (“And baby, baby, baby, do ya like it?”)

That we CAN like it.  That would be good news.  Take it, with my regards.


The Twilight Sad

Mark Judge writes:

For the past several years my favorite band has been The Twilight Sad, a group from a small town in Scotland. The Twilight Sad mixes Scottish folk melodies with driving rock rhythms and swirling noise. The effect is both hypnotic and exhilarating; the songs delve into tragic themes: love lost, grief, death, betrayal and lies. This has earned the band’s style the nickname “Scottish miserablism” in the press. This is a cheap term that reveals secular bias of the entertainment press. Rock critics love anger, aggression, and rage; what they can’t tolerate or understand is the “swath of pure beauty and mystical awe” that Lester Bangs identified.

It is that holy swath that informs the best pop music, from the Beatles to ballads of Sam Smith, from the Catholic-saturated imagery of Bruce Springsteen’s songs to the dream world of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams.” It’s the God thing.

In his piece on poptimism, Chris Richards writes: “For a good critic, listening to a recording should be like a skeptical stroll around the new-car lot, not an unwrapping frenzy on Christmas morning.” He has it exactly backwards. Listening to a new pop music record should have exactly the anticipation of Christmas morning. Although if it turns out to be a truly great work, I would use a different example from the liturgical calendar to describe the experience: Good Friday followed by Easter Sunday.

“Enter Sandman” is kid’s stuff… but you already knew that

The Warning — “Enter Sandman” : H/T Erik Heter

The Emergence of Dystopian Literature in the 20th Century

Over at The Imaginative Conservative, I had a chance to post (though the graces of the main editors, Winston and Steve) the second part of a multipart series I’ve written on dystopian literature.  My argument is that dystopia is the natural and most important genre of the twentieth century.

I realize this is not quite a music post, but there’s so much science fiction and so many dystopian themes in rock and, especially, in progressive rock, that this might be of interest to a number of you who might not visit The Imaginative Conservative on a regular basis (And, just FYI, our form of conservatism is artistic, not political).  Additionally, at one point in the series, I analyze Rush, the various projects of Arjen Lucassen, and the same of Andy Tillison.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.  And, of course, feel free to leave any comments and/or reactions.  I’m hoping this series will serve as the basis of a book.


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