Jerry Ewing’s Mighty PROG: The Real Deal

The gift of friendship. . . and PROG!

The gift of friendship. . . and PROG!

As many of you probably know–and, if you live in the United States, you definitely know–when PROG hits the newsstands in the U.S., it is always two full issues behind what is being released in PROG’s home, the U.K.  Barnes and Nobles carries them as does Hastings.  Booksamillion might, too.  I’m not sure.  Hastings, I’ve noticed, gets them a little faster than does B&N.

Regardless, they’re slow in crossing the Atlantic and appearing on our magazine shelves.  In large part, this is simply because the U.S. does not possess the magazine reading culture that the U.K. does.  Not a great comment on the U.S., but true, nonetheless.  Things such as Soap Opera Digest and Us that one finds at grocery store checkouts sell very well, while magazines and journals dealing with news, foreign policy, science fiction, music (except for Rolling Stone), or anything else that is basically not too ephemeral sell poorly.  Such is life.

Editor Jerry Ewing has worked extremely hard–as he does on all things–to make PROG more accessible here in the States.  And, the iPad app created by Jerry and Teamrock is truly a thing of beauty.  I eagerly download my new copy of PROG the moment it hits the newsstands in the U.K.

Just this week, however, a Facebook friend very kindly–though, he’s probably sick of me whining about not getting PROG quickly enough in the U.S.–sent me a copy of PROG 52.  It features Rush, so this was a double blessing and gift for me.  Indeed, I’m thrilled.  On FB, my generous English friend uses the the latinized version of his name, and I don’t want to take advantage of his privacy.  Still, it was a wonderful gift on his part.  Mark, I thank you profoundly.

Within a half hour of receiving and delving into the actual tangible issue, PROG hooked me.  The iPad app is a beautiful thing, and I do read it fully.  But, there is nothing akin to holding the actual issue in my hand.  The size, the quality of paper, the always excellent writing, and rather eye popping graphics of the real, tangible deal are just so much better than anything the iPad can show.

Even more than than the joy of a book being actually held, the magazine–with its spectacular mix of image and word–is a very, very (very!) nice thing.  So, I splurged–purchased a print subscription within a half hour of Mark’s gift arriving in the mail.

Thank you, Mark.  Thank you, Jerry.  I’m sold.

AudioPlastik – In The Head Of A Maniac – Album Review

Originally posted on The Blog of Much Metal:

00 audioplastik cover

Artist: AudioPlastic

Album Title: In The Mind Of A Maniac

Label: Bad Elephant Music

Year Of Release: 2015

To avoid any lingering confusion right from the outset,  you may already be aware of this band because AudioPlastik began life under a different name or names to be more precise. Both Alpha Flood and Brave New Sky were trialled before the trio settled on the name AudioPlastik. Whatever the name though, it’s a musical collaboration which will more than prick the ears of fans of progressive rock or metal music. The trio is fronted none other than Dec Burke, the vocalist for Darwin’s Radio and Frost* as well as being a well thought of solo artist in his own right. Dec also plays the guitar and is joined by the impressive duo of Simon Andersson (Darkwater, ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s keyboardist Richard West. Being a fan of all of the…

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Love is what remains when nothing remains: “Home” by @GuynGirl

Great new song from A Guy and A Girl:

Most Anticipated Album Releases of 2015 – Part 2

Originally posted on The Blog of Much Metal:

Naturally, as is always the way, there are just far too many anticipated releases during the coming year to fit into one post. Therefore, you’ll be delighted to know that I’ve put this second post together to raise awareness of yet more very important albums that are scheduled to be released during 2015. Based on the content of this and the original Part 1, it really looks like 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year. I’m sure that there will be several surprises over the course of the coming 12 months, but for now, here are some more exciting prospects for the Man Of Much Metal:


I recently undertook an interview with Diego Cafolla of Italian prog metal band Kingcrow, simply because I’m a huge fan and I felt that, based on the quality of the music that they play, have been criminally overlooked by large…

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Humor and Rush: Alex Lifeson Reflects on 40 Years

Photo, courtesy of Toronto's Q107.

Photo, courtesy of Toronto’s Q107.

We’ve always spent most of our time together laughing. . . . After sound check, we have dinner together, and it’s just us in the dressing room for about ½ hour or forty minutes. We all catch up on stuff that’s going on day to day or in our lives or whatever. And it’s also a chance for us to have some laughs, and we always do that, every single day that we’re together. We do that. It’s been a very important part of our longevity, for sure.

–Interview with Alex Lifeson, January 26, 2015. Q107/Toronto

The full interview is just under 20 minutes, and it’s a blast.  Well worth your time.  For the full thing, go here.

“Nails” by Transience — a 6-piece heavy prog rock band from Melbourne, Australia

The Power of Rock: Rush, RED SECTOR A

Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.  May we never forget the martyred and abused.

Kscope Podcast 59 with Everyone’s Favorite Billy Reeves

Is now available through iTunes, Soundcloud, and Kscope.

Highlights from Steven Wilson, The Receiver, TesseracT, Nordic Giants, Gavin Harrison, No-Man, and The Pineapple Thief.

And, of course, Billy Reeves–a highlight in and of himself!

Galahad Wants Fan Input; New Album

Stu Nicholson, a bardic wonder of England, has just posted the following on Facebook:

Next week Galahad will start recording tracks for the up and coming 30th anniversary album ‘When Worlds Collide’ and as such we’d like to get ‘fans’ of the band involved in the project.  Thus, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the band (clean and preferably positive!) in no more than a couple of sentences and we’ll endeavour to include them within the booklet of the release. Please send any thoughts/anecdotes you may have by email to In the meantime we’ll look forward to reading whatever comes our way.

Birzer’s take: brilliant!


Zee Baig’s New Song

Zee Baig, the present and future of American prog.

Zee Baig, the present and future of American prog.

Just now (10am, Central Standard Time), Zee Baig, mastermind behind one of the best American prog bands, Fire Garden, has released a solo song.  It is beautiful, haunting, and earnest.  “Yeh Jahan.”

Please check it out here:


To purchase the first album from Fire Garden, SOUND OF MAJESTIC COLORS (and you should!), go here:

Fire Garden's first.

Fire Garden’s first.


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