Sloan gets “Carried Away” on their new LP Commonwealth

The three tracks released so far from the forthcoming Sloan LP, Commonwealth, sound great.

This one, “Carried Away,” the latest, is my favorite so far, no doubt because it is a Chris Murphy song.

He usually pens all my favorite Sloan songs:

Dave Kerzner previews “Stranded” from his New World

Dave Kerzner is previewing the totally awesome track “Stranded” from his forthcoming album New World over on his Soundcloud:

Part 1: Isolation
Part 2: Delirium
Part 3: March of the Machines
Part 4: Source Sublime
Part 5: The Darkness

You will hear many wonderful influences in this stellar track, most obviously Pink Floyd and Genesis.

Dave writes on FB:

Legendary keyboardist/composer Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer premiered “Stranded”, the first song from my album, on Planet Rock this past Sunday! Per his request, they played the entire 10 and a half minutes of it on the radio! Keith told me this today:


“…they played the whole of ‘Stranded”. I haven’t known that to happen since Scott Munie of WNEW played all of ELP’s “Pictures…” – Keith Emerson


Now that it has been introduced to the public in the most deluxe Progalicious way possible, I’d like to share it with you!


This is an early mix of “Stranded” on my Sound Cloud (the final mix is being done by Tom Lord-Alge now).


The song features guests Steve Hackett (Genesis), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Nick D’Virgilio (Kevin Gilbert), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Fernando Perdomo, Ana Cristina and myself on lead vocals and keys.

No wonder it sounds so incredible!

Seven Impale – City Of The Sun

Take a big paper bag. Got one? Good – now toss in some 1970s King Crimson, some Frank Zappa, a bit of the 1969 ‘Crims, a healthy dose of their 80’s classic “Discipline“, a large amount of 90s-era ‘Crims, some Steely Dan, a bit of Toto, a very healthy quantity of the 1970s ECM catalog, a pinch of Edvard Grieg, a modicum of Steve Reich, a soupcon of Ulrich Schnauss’ textures, and some 50’s and 60s Blue Note Records for good measure. Got it all? Great. Now shake.

Keep shaking. Shake hard.

Right. That’s enough shaking. Now: Dump out the contents of your paper bag, and you should get the music of Seven Impale – “City Of The Sun”. Seven Impale - City Of The Sun

“WHO?” I heard someone in the back ask. 

Let’s turn to their label, Karimsa Records, for some details:

SEVEN IMPALE consists of Stian Økland on vocals and guitars, Fredrik Mekki Widerøe on drums, Benjamin Mekki Widerøe on sax, Tormod Fosso on bass, Erlend Vottvik Olsen on guitar and Håkon Vinje on keyboards, and was formed in Bergen, Norway in 2010. The album itself, which was recorded and produced at the Solslottet and Duper Studio by Iver Sandøy, who has produced bands such as Enslaved and Krakow.

The band’s second release, due out in September of this year (2014), is a fantastic Progressive Rock album. Rock? Check. Jazz? Check. Progressing the genre? Oh yeah. Moody, light, heavy, melodic, pounding, dark, making the odd-meters groove? Yup. Most certainly.

Let me tell you, when I first heard the opening track “Oh My Gravity!” from a post on reddit/r/progrockmusic, I flipped. “What the…”, I said to the paper cut-out TARDIS sitting on my crowded desk. “Who are these guys? What is this? This the some of the best progressive rock I’ve heard this year!”, I said.  The track starts out in the middle of the dynamic range, and by the final third of the song is heavy, heavy, heavy.   Slamming guitars, saxophone, key changes that add tension to an already tense situation, rhythmic pounding that slams home the point… and finally the guitar and bass and B3 get us back to a contemplative solace: “…2000 years, and counting“.

Here’s what the press release from label Karisma Records has to say:

Whilst the prevailing influence throughout “City Of The Sun” clearly lies within the Classic Progressive Rock genre, SEVEN IMPALE’s music actually transcends several genres fearlessly and with deceptive ease. The five musically complex tracks that form the album are each distinctly different, something that only a lineup of musicians from a variety of disciplines as diverse as classical orchestra and big band, metal and jazz, and rock and electronica, could hope to create.

That’s a good description, thank you record-label-person. 

The production is clear, the writing and arranging very creative, and the dynamic range between quiet, mid, and heavy is produced beautifully. These guys are not shy about getting heavy, and even less shy about melody and harmonic movement. They’ll pound their fists on the table one moment, and sing about it with their saxophones the next. 

One moment complicated, complex; the next elegant and simple; one moment it’s a nightmare of prime-number-fueled angry metal, the next a gorgeous and plaintive melody, the album is a joy-rode through eidolons, fever-dreams, textures, philosophy, contemplation, quiet rumination, and angular rage. 


Jason Rubenstein is a musician and technologist living in San Francisco, CA. His music can be found at and can be reached at jason-(a) 

Flying Colors — Mask Machine (Official Music Video)

Flying Colors – “Mask Machine” Official Music Video from the new album, “Second Nature” out on Mascot Label Group on September 29 in EU and 30 in USA.

Yes — San Jose concert live on the Web tonight


YES – Live at San Jose Civic

On 19 August 2014 – Watch the YES live show from San Jose Civic CA – FREE – exclusively on Yahoo Screen.

Setlist: FRAGILE & CLOSE TO THE EDGE in their entireties plus 2 tracks from HEAVEN & EARTH plus more GREATEST HITS!

Showtime: 11:30pm ET / 8:30pm PT / 4:30am UK
Check the show time in your location here.

If you are in the USA you can watch the YES exclusive live concert for free on the Yahoo Screen App, available on iOS for iPhone, iPod & iPad and on Android.

If you miss the live event, don’t worry, the show will also be available to view afterwards on the same website.

The Art of Inventioning

Inventioning (2)

Prog has a curious way of throwing the odd curveball from time to time.

Let me explain. Do you recall earlier this year back – in March to be precise -when there was an announcement online about Jon Anderson getting together with session guitarist/producer Michael Lewis and jazz fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty to form a band under the banner of Inventioning?

What a wonderful name, I thought. It speaks of newness, development, forward motion and creativity, all of which are the true essence of prog if you think about it.

Michael and Jon had started collaborating in January 2007, writing and producing songs, the vision being to one day perform them live together.

Explained Michael: “ While producing Some People, a song I had co-written with Jon, I asked Jean-Luc Ponty to cut a violin track on it — which led to an offer from Jean-Luc’s management for Jon and I to do a U.S. and world tour along with Jean-Luc.

“I first raised the concept of the band with Jon while hanging out at his hotel during one of his visits to Seattle in 2012. But he was reluctant to get back into a band situation at that time.”

Again the subject was raised when Yes was nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year. Michael approached Jon again about touring with him and his group of Nashville players who had appeared on the recordings.

This time, Jon said he felt he was ready to tour again with a band, so arranged for him to meet Jean-Luc’s manager. Afterwards, the great man said: “We are a band” and Inventioning was created.

Enter curveball.

We travel forward in time to 25 July, just a few days after Yes unleash Heaven And Earth, their polarising new album on an unsuspecting world. There is another announcement. It is that Jon and Jean-Luc had formed their own new project launched as a Kickstarter campaign.

However, there was no mention in the statement about pulling out of Inventioning. I caught up online with Michael over the weekend to find out about his reaction to this. He said he knew what the new plans were including next month’s show in Colorado.

Very stoically, he told me: “Regardless of my own personal disappointments, I’ve tried to remain supportive and positive towards them.”

Instead of allowing any resentment to get in the way of his masterplan – which he is financing as well as co-founding, producing and playing on – he has let Inventioning continue to develop. That has included revisiting a number of songs he had co-written with Jon which were still at his studio in varying stages of evolution.

Inventioning is now way on the way to releasing its first album called Affirmation, an interesting twist bearing in mind the past history of his erstwhile collaborator. (Yours truly has occasionally referred to Yes as The Affirmatives). However, he is using the original musicians who worked on the other songs.

“There is a financial burden, but I’ve invested so much time and money; I’m not about to stop now! We’ve got the players in place and we plan to follow up the release with a series of tours next year,” Michael declares.

Two clips from the new project were revealed on 8.14.14. The first song, Walking Talking, will be available as a single on iTunes in the coming weeks: and what a beautiful song it is too.

It’s a throwback to the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe era of 1989 but with a modern twist. The electronic opening is the perfect vehicle for the arrival of that timeless, angelic voice, sounding a little more fragile now, but the instrumentation including a rumbling bass, driving rhythm and swirling synth is totally simpatico. There are several hairs on the back of the neck moments including the moment the synth comes floating in, a close harmony section and a jazzy guitar solo. Does that all sound familiar? You will not be disappointed, believe me, but it does leave you wondering what might have been.

Michael, a lifelong Yes fan, who has been a session player and performer for more than 25 years, is carrying on with Inventioning playing guitar and keyboards.

With him are vocalist Bridgette Lewis who has performed RnB and Blues covers with Michael under the name One Street Over for a number of years. Bridgette sang the original demos that Michael produced for the project and is featured on background vocals when Jon is singing lead.

On drums , you will find Grammy Award-winning Nashville session pro, Brian Fullen and bass will be covered by acclaimed Nashville jazz-fusion bassist, Adam Nitti.

There has been no formal confirmation about who will be playing keyboard for Inventioning. Michael’s plan is to work with L.A. session keyboardist Alessandro Bertoni on a few tracks to see how they gel. Fortunately Bertoni shares Michael’s passion for Prog Rock, Jazz Fusion and the Hammond B3 so watch this space.

With or without Jon Anderson or Jean-Luc Ponty, it sounds as though Inventioning could be one of the next big Prog happenings, so keep a close eye on the website

I certainly will be.

The Stoic Wisdom of Neil Peart

Seneca. Epictetus. Marcus Aurelius. Neil Peart.Rush Discourses

(This is where you do a double take).

No, that wasn’t a misprint.

Rush lyrics (penned almost entirely by Peart from their second album onward) cover a lot of ground. Individual songs meditate on the dreariness of the suburbs, the balance between heart and mind, the individual vs. the collective, intolerance, the perils of fame, nationalism, the tensions of art vs. commerce and so forth.   When you step back a bit to take a wider view, themes that stretch across a number of songs or even albums begin to emerge. Among those that emerge over the course of Rush’s output are themes of Stoicism. So let me just proclaim that Neil Peart is a Stoic and that Stoicism is a significant component in his philosophical approach to life itself.

I should probably give a brief primer on Stoicism here, and will do so with a bit of trepidation, as there are several other contributors to this site whose knowledge of this school of thought and philosophy (or any philosophy) vastly exceeds my own.

The Stoic school of thought originated with Zeno of Citium, who began teaching it in Athens around 300 B.C. It was later adopted by the Romans, including the famous three listed above. A fundamental tenet of Stoicism is to live in agreement with nature, i.e. “the way things are.” Another one is to learn to distinguish between those things which are under one’s control and those things that are not – and to not worry about the latter. A exceptionally difficult goal to attain to be sure, but one well worth striving for. Contrary to popular opinion, Stoicism does not teach the suppression of emotions, but rather that emotions are instinctive reactions to events, while our judgments of the same can either arouse or cool those emotions. Balance is key.

So how does all this tie in with Rush lyrics? Let’s take a look.

Read the rest of this entry

District 97 preview

Attention all Progarchists! Time Lord relays and endorses the following message to you all:

Hi everyone,

We’re delighted to give you a sneak peak at a track from our upcoming 3rd studio album. The song is called Takeover, and was filmed on June 12, 2014 at Martyrs': Please share this video!

If you’d like to hear this and the rest of our new music on a new album, please consider contributing to our Kickstarter, which launches August 25th!

Kickstarter Launch Shows
In celebration of the Kickstarter Launch, we’ll be playing some live shows. There are 2 confirmed so far, with more to be added:

Thursday, 8/28 @ Double Door
Chicago, IL
w/The Chinese Professionals, Riddle House
8 PM, tickets at

Friday, 9/5 @ Q-Bar
Darien, IL

Other News
Chicago is getting its very own Progfest this October! We’re really happy to be playing alongside bands such as Spock’s Beard, Stick Men, Richard Sinclair and many more. Join us for what should be an amazing weekend:

2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
tickets at

Thanks for your support everyone!

Jonathan & District 97

New Tony and Pete Levin Album

Levin Bros Press One Sheet PRESS

New Rush Book No Longer Sold Out


Definitely a must own.

Originally posted on rush vault:


Thanks for the big show of support for my book, Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence. The book has been listed as sold out on Amazon, but as of today the site says it’s in stock. The book was released on Monday, and it’s gratifying to see interest in it among fans of the band.

The book is my effort to show that Rush’s music is unique in just how consistent it holds to a few philosophical moral principles. Starting with the band’s bold statements in “Anthem” and “Something for Nothing” and ending with the 12 chapters of Clockwork Angels, the band over its 40 years has built virtually every piece it’s written on a bedrock of Aristotelian virtue ethics. This idea isn’t unique to me. Several of the contributors to Rush and Philosophy, which came out in 2011, talk about the Aristotelian connection in the…

View original 395 more words


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,149 other followers

%d bloggers like this: