Author Archives: Time Lord

Distorted Harmony: Calling Blackjack on 2014


Why do I love all those “best of” lists at the end of the year?

Because I get to learn about so much great music that I somehow missed.

Then, I get to spend most of January catching up!

For this reason, I really love January. It’s always full of excellent discoveries!

Last year I gave my Top 20 of 2014, but now, after spending the first half of January listening to excellent discs that I missed, but learned about from others, I am calling “blackjack” on 2014.

Yes, that’s right: 21.

One of the very greatest albums of 2014 was Chain Reaction by Distorted Harmony.

I am officially adding it to my Top 21 list.

This January (2015), I find myself returning to Chain Reaction again and again.

I have playlists full of stuff to listen to, but then suddenly, at the last minute, I will push it all aside, because I want to hear Chain Reaction again!

I will post a review soon, but in the meantime, I recommend you check out this fine disc that deserves a place in the upper echelon of 2014’s very best prog metal.

If you’re a friend of liberty, and an enemy of ideology, perhaps you will find your way into this album through the quite excellent track “Children of Red.”

Prog on!

children-of-red

New Year’s gift of music opens up wondrous world

Dave is the CEO of Sonic Reality, a software company that samples instruments and programs sounds. This has put him in personal contact with the top talent in the music industry. For example, Dave worked with Simon Collins, son of Phil Collins, to form the group Sound of Contact, and Dave co-wrote and co-produced their debut album, Dimensionaut (2013). While Dave’s latest album marks his debut as a solo artist, New World (2014) is still a collaborative effort with many famous “big name” musical guest stars. In other words, this is the world Dave moves in, a world where the exchange of CDs between music industry types is not an unusual daily event.

But for that 17-year-old boy, it was something special. …

Read the whole story here.

Album Review: LEAH — Kings & Queens

LEAH-KAQ

Sonic Cathedral reviews LEAH — Kings & Queens:

Leah’s 2012 debut, Of Earth and Angels, came out of nowhere and blew me away with its catchy, epic music and beautiful, ethereal vocals. Naturally, I bought her follow-up EP,Otherworld, but didn’t like it as much, since it was much mellower (except for “Dreamland” with guest Eric Peterson).

Thus, I was very excited to learn that Leah’s next release would feature Delain guitarist Timo Somers. I figured Timo was exactly what Leah needed to find her heavier sound again, since he has contributed some of Delain’s best guitar work. As an added bonus, Timo produced and arranged the album and also recruited ex-Delain drummer Sander Zoer.

Does Leah’s new team deliver? Yes. Kings & Queens is epic, heavy, and beautiful. Timo contributes excellent riffs and solos; Sander provides driving rhythms along with bassist Barend Courbois (from Blind Guardian); and Leah sounds as delicate and ethereal as ever. Her voice is high, clear and perfect, much like Liv Kristine’s.

The music, voice, and lyrics evoke far-away lands and heroic stories. Leah has explained: “One theme in particular is the historical and metaphorical grip around our throats we feel from top-down agendas that threaten our freedoms. It seems to be a never-ending game of chess between those who demand power and those who would preserve freedom. It’s the theme of every good fantasy book and film, and the message rings true for even our modern world. In addition, the line-up and stellar musicianship of the guys who came on board this project heightened the sheer epicness and caliber of the music itself.”

Read on at the Sonic Cathedral link and discover the rationale behind their 8 out of 10 rating.

Dave Kerzner on Kevin Gilbert

Dave Kerzner remembers his old friend Kevin Gilbert:

Here’s the background of a virtual “Thud Reunion” that happened on the songs “Theta” and “My Old Friend” from New World/New World Deluxe Edition. Back in the 90s I used to play with a brilliant artist named Kevin Gilbert and his band called “Thud” which also featured Nick D’Virgilio on drums. While I’ve worked with Nick again since, I had not played with Thud’s shredding guitarist Russ Parrish (aka Satchel from “Steel Panther”!) and genius tabla player Satnam Ramgotra since then. Flash forward 18 years and we’re all playing together again on my album on a song I dedicated to Kevin. That was something very special and meaningful to me and I think to them too. Kevin was a virtuoso musician and exceptional lyricist. He sadly passed away at an early age not more than a year or so after we all played together. But, his music lives on and is worth checking out! Here’s a song called “Joytown” which not only has myself, Nick and Satnam on it but I do a little keyboard solo on the Wurlitzer EP (a sound I used on Theta/My Old Friend) with a little funny shout out from Kevin. The lyrics of this song (and all of his songs) are clever, quirky and unique. When I wrote the words for “My Old Friend” I stretched myself to “Kevinize” it a bit in his honor.

Playing with him and just knowing him raised the bar for lyric writing and music recording for me. He’s been a big influence in many ways. I’ll never forget the speech he gave to me about singing my songs. It only took me another 18 years to release them! Here’s “Joytown” by Kevin Gilbert, performed by “Thud” Live at the famous Troubadour in West Hollywood, California in 1995.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVLqfN-tv8w

The Prog Masterpiece of 2015: Now Available!

INSTANT DOWNLOAD
 

The Deluxe Edition of Dave Kerzner’s “New World” is a 143 minute+ expanded version of the album “New World”. It’s a concert-like cinematic audio listening experience complete with additional atmospheric segues, instrumentals and new vocal songs that all fit within the original concept album’s storyline. It comes with a deluxe pdf booklet with lyrics and liner notes. For more information on Dave Kerzner and New World visit:
www.davekerzner.com

credits

released 13 January 2015

Dave Kerzner – Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Sound Design
Fernando Perdomo – Guitar, Bass
Nick D’Virgilio – Drums

With Special Guests:
Steve Hackett • Guitar on Stranded and Redemption
Francis Dunnery • Guitar on New World, Premonition Suite and Redemption II
Russ Parrish • Guitar on My Old Friend
Colin Edwin • Fretless Bass on Into The Sun
Billy Sherwood • Bass on Crossing Of Fates
Keith Emerson • Cameo Moog Solo on Crossing Of Fates
Simon Phillips • Drums on Crossing Of Fates
Durga McBroom • Vocals on Stranded, Ocean of Stars, Premonition Suite, In The Garden, Redemption and The Way Out
Lorelei McBroom • Vocals on Ocean Of Stars and Solitude
Jason Scheff • Vocals on Stranded and Redemption
David Longdon • Vocals on New World and Biodome
Heather Findlay • Vocals on Into The Sun and The Traveler
Emily Lynn • Vocals on Solitude, Redemption, Premonition Suite and The Way Out
Lara Smiles • Vocals on Solitude
Maryem Tollar • Exotic Vocals on Theta and My Old Friend
Christine Leakey • Vocals on Ocean Of Stars and Premonition Suite
Ana Cristina • Vocals on Stranded and Premonition Suite
Satnam Ramgotra • Tablas on Theta

Produced by Dave Kerzner

Mixed by Dave Kerzner
except “Stranded” mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and Dave Kerzner

Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll 1983 on Rush (Part 2)

RS-Rush-1983-B

Following up on Part 1 of my post, here is what the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia had to say about Rush in 1983.

It’s hilarious how much of the entry is devoted to Geddy Lee’s solo participation in the novelty song “Take Off“.

Why not talk more about the band’s musical achievements on their own albums?

The whole entry reads like a grudging acknowledgement of Rush’s album sales, with a tone of reluctance of having to recognize the facts. The compliments seem back-handed.

It strikes me as typically mean-spirited to focus on the commercial success of a tangential novelty song, rather than to describe in more detail the band’s interesting musical development and impressive album-length output.

Sigh… this entry “echoes with the sounds of salesmen” too much for my liking!

Dave Kerzner — “Recurring Dream” from New World Deluxe Edition by @DaveKerzner

The Deluxe Edition of Dave Kerzner’s New World is coming out this week on Bandcamp and iTunes!

Here’s one of the new tracks, called “Recurring Dream”:

https://soundcloud.com/davekerznerband/recurring-dream

Don’t miss out on being part of this epic event. We are witnessing one of the greatest prog albums ever being released!

Last year we heard the one-disc album, and now soon we will have the deluxe 2-CD version.

Be there as witness, as the accolades come slowly pouring in, as more and more people are realizing what a magnificent prog achievement this is.

New World Deluxe Edition will be available on CD this month from http://www.davekerzner.com

Prog on!

Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll 1983 on Rush (Part 1)

RS-Rush-1983-A

This is from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, edited by Jon Pareles and Patricia Romanowski (New York: Rollin Stone Press / Summit Books, 1983), p. 485.

Back in the days before the Internet and Wikipedia, this was the way we would know the birthdays of the musicians in our favorite bands.

I used to read the entries in this book over and over again. Back in the day.

Is the 1983 Encyclopedia entry as obtuse as the Rush entry in the 1979 Record Guide?

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Rolling Stone Record Guide 1979 on Rush: Hilariously Obtuse

RS-Rush-1979

This is from The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with John Swenson (Random House / Rolling Stone Press, 1979), p. 336.

The review was written by “A.N.” which stands for “Alan Niester” who we are told (p. xvi) “is a high school teacher in Toronto who writes for a variety of American and Canadian magazines.”

For those of you not familiar with the rating system, a square means zero, or “worthless” (p. xiii).

Sorry, Alan, the first Rush album I ever listened to was A Farewell to Kings … and it is a five-star tour de force of excellence. “Xanadu” and “Cygnus X-1″ are mind-blowing and innovative. I remember someone had left the vinyl gatefold album in the high school band room; I saw it at the end of the day there and borrowed it overnight. I returned it the next day, my life having been changed forever!

Wow … it seems Alan really hated the music that some of his brighter students were listening to!

To quote Spinal Tap: Alan is currently residing in The “Where Are They Now?” File.

Prog Rock Pond Scum Set To Bum You Out!

Greg Spawton comments:

‘Prog is a prison': Mr Fripp in Classic Rock. I prefer to think of it as a broad church.

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