Author Archives: Time Lord

Metal Mondays: Haken — Restoration EP

Please support this awesome band by buying the EP!

Their name is Scandinavian (rhymes with “bacon”) but the band is actually English and based in London.

This is some of the best prog ever.

I can’t wait to hear the next studio album from this band, which has been performing at their peak ever since The Mountain.

From “Best Boy Electric” to “Sing to Me”: Steven Wilson on Tim Bowness

Steven Wilson posts on Facebook:

My buddy from no-man, Tim Bowness, releases his fantastic new album Stupid Things That Mean the World on 17th July, a follow up to last year’s Abandoned Dancehall Dreams. I mixed and played a little on that one, but although I’m not directly involved in the new album, Tim has recorded a song for it that we wrote and demoed for No-Man 20 years ago! At that time the song was called Best Boy Electric, but the final finished album track has been retitled Sing to Me. … You can hear our original demo fragment from 1994 on the bonus CD that comes with initial copies of the album.

Pre-order for the July 17 release from Burning Shed:

CD 1 – Stupid Things That Mean The World

1. The Great Electric Teenage Dream 3.58
2. Sing To Me 5.46
3. Where You’ve Always Been 4.07
4. Stupid Things That Mean The World 3.05
5. Know That You Were Loved 6.44
6. Press Reset 3.54
7. All These Escapes 3.06
8. Everything You’re Not 3.40
9. Everything But You 1.12
10. Soft William 1.40
11. At The End Of The Holiday 4.58

CD 2 – Stupid Things That Meant The World

1. Stupid Things That Mean The World (alternate) (Nick Magnus mix) 3.09
2. Best Boy Electric (Sing To Me) (1994 No-Man demo) (Steven Wilson mix) 1.58
3. Know That You Were Loved (alternate, David Rhodes ‘electric version’) (Stephen Bennett mix) 6.29
4. I Still Miss You (Stupid Things That Mean The World, UXB ‘Ambient’ Mix) 6.13

Dave Kerzner, Rush Fan Extraordinaire

Dave Kerzner tells the story on Facebook:

I have a fun story to tell you, especially if you’re a Rush fan. On June 19th, for the first time ever, Rush performed the song “Losing It” live in Toronto (with special guest, the brilliant Ben Mink on violin). Here it is:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXq2KbiW7sc Now, let me tell you some cool events leading up to it that may possibly have had something to do with this happening. I can’t say for certain, but, it seems to have started with a feature Prog Magazine did where they asked various artists what their favorite Rush song is and why. They asked me and I chose the song “Losing It” from Signals because it’s a lesser known track (almost forgotten) yet one of their most beautiful songs lyrically and musically. Here’s the feature Prog did with me on that: https://www.teamrock.com/…/2…/rush-song-of-the-day-losing-it

Then, I sent Ben Mink an email about it just showing my appreciation for him and the song… and apparently so did others including a fellow named Darren who alerted me to this recent live event where somehow both Ben and Rush decided to perform this early 80s song for the first time (they didn’t even perform this song for the Signals tour!) This is a song most Rush fans probably thought would never be played live ever. I certainly didn’t.

This is also apparently their last big tour! Through doing Neil Peart Drums, I’ve become friends with the A&R man at their label, Anthem, and I even shared the Prog article with him (he may have shared it with the band too for all I know). The interesting thing to me is that all of those things ended up being a bit of petitioning that actually worked!!!! The responses to the idea of “wouldn’t it be great if they played ‘Losing It’ live?” were really positive on the net when it was brought up. What’s even better is that these shows in Toronto were apparently filmed for a DVD! This song wasn’t a single. It wasn’t from their biggest album. But, it’s a gem! So, at the last minute on their last tour somehow through either sheer chance or a bit of strong intention and will from myself and others who wanted this to happen… it did! Thanks Jerry Ewing and Prog Mag for your awesome publication that ignites such things as this! I was honored to be asked to participate in the article and now I’m even happier at just the thought that it *might* have contributed to them actually playing it!

By the way, I’m covering this song with David Longdon of Big Big Train for my special Rush tribute album that I’ve been producing. I did ask Ben if he wanted to play on it, but, as we can see he had another idea which is even bigger! You can hear some of the snippets of the Rush covers we’ve done so far with guys like Rik Emmett of Triumph and more on my Sonic Elements Sound Cloud if you’re a modern day warrior…http://www.soundcloud.com/sonicelements

Concert review: Steven Wilson — Live in Vancouver, BC, Canada (Vogue Theatre, June 20, 2015)

I am pleased to report that the Steven Wilson concert in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on Saturday, June 20, 2015, was nothing short of AMAZING. The integration of video images and musical showmanship was pure artistry at its finest.

The venue was the sweet Vogue Theatre, which has beer and wine and other drinks available at a bar downstairs as well as at a bar upstairs in the balcony area. You can take drinks to your seat. The seating was a bit tight, but once you settled in to the concert and got lost in the music, you forgot all about it. Except for my wife, who had a hardcore Wilson fan sitting next to her on her left doing annoying air drumming (I was on her right). Hey buddy, I know every fill too, but I keep it at home! Oh well, everybody stood up for the encore songs at Steven’s invitation, so that was great. Earlier, security had shut down anyone trying to stand up and dance. We did get to stand up and give standing ovations after instrumental extravaganzas like “Home Invasion / Regret #9″ and “Ancestral”. As we should! They were amazing. So great to see live. I love watching top-flight musicians do their thing live.

Locally owned and operated, The Vogue is one of the last remaining theatres from the famed Theatre Row. Take state of the art sound and projection, mix it with phenomenal natural acoustics and a 1940’s art deco interior, and you have the Vogue, utterly romantic and completely unique. With a commitment to good old- fashioned hospitality.

“Routine” — Steven’s favorite song off the new album, as he told the audience.

Here’s the set list. I recommend turning it into a playlist, because it works really well, and I myself have been listening to it since the concert as a playlist, as I have been reliving that magic night in my mind and heart. I highlight in boldface the songs not on Hand. Cannot. Erase.:

First Regret
3 Years Older
Hand Cannot Erase
Perfect Life
Routine
Index
Home Invasion
Regret #9
Lazarus
Harmony Korine
Ancestral
Happy Returns
Ascendant Here On…

The Watchmaker
Sleep Together

Sectarian
The Raven That Refused to Sing

This show was Steven Wilson, with Nick “Blonde Bombshell” Beggs on bass guitar and stick, Adam Holzman on keyboards, Dave Kilminster on guitar, and Craig Blundell on drums/percussion. Steven paid tribute to them all after “Regret #9″ and said they were all better musicians than himself.

Steven also had kind remarks about Vancouver, after they played “3 Years Older,” since he had never been here before. The audience was pretty restrained during the show, like typical polite Canadians, but then started totally freaking out during the encores which he seemed to like. The evening ended with multiple bows as the audience gave a standing ovation that went on and on with thunderous applause and stomping. I guess we saved the loudest appreciation for last and it was a great feeling between performers and the audience as it went on and on to close the night so that the musicians knew exactly how we felt. We loved it!

Cannot Erase Those Hands (Projected in the Background) Because They Are So Darn HUGE!

Cannot Erase Those Hands (Projected in the Background) Because They Are So Darn HUGE!

Steven gave a little speech before “Routine” on the theme “MISERABLE MUSIC MAKES ME HAPPY” (direct quote). If you’ve read interviews with him, you’ll get the idea and know what he said. Same stuff he usually does about the paradox: in such art, we can discover what we share in common, etc.

It was fun hearing “Index” as a set-up for “Home Invasion”. The crowd really went nuts for it and lapped it up. It’s musical theatre, really; I get why the masses go for it. But it’s a bit one-dimensional, lyrically.

“Lazarus” is a beautiful song and one of my favorites. It was a real treat to hear it live, which just made it all that much more powerful. We didn’t get to hear “Transience,” which is one of the loveliest moments on HCE, but that’s okay, we got “Lazarus.” Man, I love that song.

Steven gave a nice little chat before “Harmony Korine” about how it is his tribute to the “shoegazer” genre. It was amusing as he spent a lot of time listing obscure albums and artists he liked and trading this back and forth with audience members, asking who had heard of what. A nice little nerdy way of bonding with the audience: comparing notes on your favorite music.

As for nerdiness, I thought it was hilarious how Steven would walk around on stage and do all his dorky hand gestures as he got into the music; when I told my my wife later that I found this hilarious and endearing, she reminded me that I make the same stupid hand gestures whenever I listen to loud music and get into it!

As for shoe gazing, I felt like gazing at my shoes because of all the disturbing images (people with bird heads, gas masks, screams of anguish) during “Harmony Korine.” But the audience loved all this oogly-boogly scary-scarey stuff during songs like “Watchmaker” and “Index” and “Raven” and so on; I myself find it kind of boring and limited in scope, but it is true that it is all very artistically done, if you like that sort of thing. I guess my tastes are just more classical than modern — I prefer beauty! Thankfully, the music was beautiful enough. The video pizazz was just icing on the cake for people who like icing. I would prefer smaller doses; hey, did you notice all the dopey video gets shut off during the prog instrumentals? Exactly! Point proved… who needs it, really… just inflates the ticket price by giving us, not just a concert, but an “experience”… I’m not complaining, I’m all for it, and no one does it better than Wilson. This was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. The Steven Wilson Experience!

“Sectarian” is one of my absolutely favorite Wilson songs, and so I was thrilled to experience it live — in a much more metal version, to boot! Great stuff… it was meant to be metaled up this way. Well played, Steven, well played…

Can you find Steven? Cannot. Erase. This. Band.

Can you find Steven? Cannot. Erase. This. Band.

If I had to come up with some extra complaint (since here I am, playing the critic), it would be that the sound mix wasn’t as perfect as I would have liked. Man… they should get Steven Wilson to do the mix… haha, but he’s busy on stage, I guess. On the plus side of the ledger, it was excellent that the sound volume was at an absolutely perfect level, so no earplugs were required. That is the way rock concerts should be! It’s time to end the dumb convention of making the music too loud to bear. Why insist on inflicting hearing damage? Anyway, it is great that Steven is using his influence to be a force for good in this area, as in so many others. Bottom line: all the positives blow away any negatives I can think up. This was a supremely excellent concert!

If you get a chance to see Steven live, don’t miss it. He is not just Mr. Prog, he is a musical talent that transcends all genres. Yes, he’ll give you that dose of perfect prog that will make you very happy, but he is one of those rare breed true artists that only comes along once in a lifetime. He can do anything, and he is even utterly pure magic when it’s just his voice and an acoustic guitar. He’s the real deal.

Don’t miss seeing Steven Wilson in your lifetime. You won’t regret it.

So, what are you waiting for? To grow three years older?

Metal Mondays: The Darkness, “Last of Our Kind”

Here’s the title track from the new album out this year from The Darkness, “Last of Our Kind”…

It’s pretty darn great, and the whole album’s not too bad as well…

Check out the guitar solo starting at 2:34, which is very tasteful and nicely paced with a little bit of flash sprinkled in at just the right moments (like around the 3:00 mark)…

Of course, the track’s secret weapon is that nifty falsetto vocal work…

“Takeover” — excellent new track from District 97 @District97

takeover

District 97 has their new album coming out next week.

But you can listen to the totally killer track “Takeover” from it right now — streaming over here.

Prog on!

From Rush with Love: @rushtheband On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

Rush is the cover story on Rolling Stone:

Teenage Neil was a brainy misfit in a middle-class suburb 70 miles from Toronto who permed his hair, who took to wearing a cape and purple boots on the city bus, who scrawled “God is dead” on his bedroom wall, who got in trouble for pounding out beats on his desk during class. His teacher’s idea of punishment was to insist that he bang on his desk nonstop for an hour’s worth of detention, time he happily spent re-creating Keith Moon’s parts from Tommy. For years, Peart wore a piece of one of Moon’s shattered cymbals around his neck, retrieved froum a Toronto stage after a Who concert, and his current drum kit includes a sample trigger bearing the Who’s old bull’s-eye logo.

In their early years, opening for practically every major band of the 1970s, Peart and his bandmates — singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson — were disturbed by what the drummer would later describe as the “sound of salesmen.” “We would hear them give the same rap to the audience every night,” says Peart. “ ’This is the greatest rock city in the world, man!’ That was creepy. I despise the cynical dishonesty.”

Album review: The Mountain Goats — Beat the Champ

Eve Tushnet has a thoughtful review over at TAC of a super-cool new album; here’s a taste:

The songs explore many of Darnielle’s recurring themes: memory, what it’s like to feel nostalgia for a childhood and adolescence that were marked by abuse and fear, the escape into an inner world of imagination, and the way not only gentler emotions but thwarted rage find a haven in that imaginary world. Pro wrestling is a storytelling sport (like figure skating, the sport onto which I passionately project my own issues) and so it’s made for people who need a primary-colors story that’s better than the one they’re living.

The album opens hard on the piano chords of “Southwest Territory” (place is once again a character in the Mountain Goats’ songs), and the songs find a rhythm that alternates between nostalgia and ferocity. There are a lot of fathers and sons in these songs.

Progarchy presents: *Metal Mondays* — Paul Gilbert, “Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar”

In the mood for some more guitar instrumental virtuosity that will instantly rip your face off and slowly melt your brain?

Here ya go! This song is absolutely exhilarating and I find it never fails to lift one’s mood. Enjoy!

Paul Gilbert, “Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar

Progarchy presents: *Metal Mondays* — Flaming Row, “Overture”

Start your day right and make this blazing little instrumental the overture to your entire week.

It has one of those dazzling, unexpected moments of supreme metal transcendence when, after a perfectly executed build-up has established the preparatory musical foundation, the guitar comes sailing in majestically at 2:17 and plays a mellifluous, face-melting solo until 2:44.

This is one of my favorite guitar solos ever. It’s so perfectly thrilling, it just doesn’t get any better than this in the world of inspiring power prog metal. Glorious!

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