Coming Soon: Dave Kerzner’s Static Live

Dave Kerzner’s fine second album Static wound up on multiple Progarchists’ Best of 2017 lists (including my honorable mentions).  In addition, Kerzner took Static on the road to great reviews — including my raving about his two sets at Progtoberfest III.

Yesterday, Kerzner announced the Kickstarter project for the next logical step: Static Live.  Recorded and filmed at the 2017 ProgStock festival in New Jersey, Static Live will be available in multiple formats, as explained on Kerzner’s Facebook page:

  • Static Live 1CD: just the album Static live (Static is a full CD)
  • Static Live Extended 2CD: 2nd CD has songs from New World featuring Francis Dunnery plus some Genesis, Kevin Gilbert, SOC and Pink Floyd covers. 
  • Blu-Ray: All of Static Live plus the New World songs with Francis and maybe the SOC songs but probably not the other covers unless I’m able to get “sync rights” from the publishers of those songs. I’ll explain how that works in an update. 

For the Kickstarter project, the audio will be available as physical CDs or downloads (mp3, FLAC and HiRes 24/96 in FLAC or WAV).  The video will be available as a BluRay with 5.1 surround sound.  As you travel further up the 20+ (!) pledge levels, you can add audio downloads and/or BluRays of Kerzner’s band live at the 2017 RoS Fest and live in Miami in 2015, as well as items from his back catalog (New World, New World Live and Static itself).

Kerzner admits that he’s had to learn from previous Kickstarter campaigns where release dates were pushed back multiple times; with all these live shows already in the can, his goal is to finish “mixing, editing and post production, manufacturing and shipping” by May 2018.  In less than 24 hours, he’s already raised nearly $6000 of his $10K goal; anything above that amount will go toward further touring in Europe and the U.S.  The Static Live Kickstarter project ends on February 14.  So, I’m off to sell some old CDs …

(P.S. No official word, but I wouldn’t be surprised if audio and video purchase options for Static Live turn up on Kerzner’s Bandcamp page once backers get their copies.)

— Rick Krueger

Album Review: Magick Touch, “Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire”

We’re only halfway into the first month of the new year, and already a solid, superfun metal release is with us. On January 5, the awesome new album from Magick Touch was released: “Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire.”

I learned a hilarious new genre term from Angry Metal Guy’s review of the disc: “DAD METAL.”

LOL! If you are like me, then you’ll say: excellent, dude! Bring on the old school!

This album is pure undiluted fun, and it’s totally guaranteed to lift your spirits on any down day.

Check out the (for me) especially standout tracks: “The Great Escape” (video below, complete with chains), the AOR adrenaline-fused “Believe in Magick,” the slick metal odyssey “Siren Song,” and the magnificent “After the Fire” (which is perhaps my fave headbanger here).

Who says you can’t travel back in time? It’s worth the trip! Especially if you’re a time lord on a quest for the best “dad metal” currently available before the March release of the new Judas Priest album.

Prog fans will note the running time of the title track, which concludes the album: 6:18. Yeah, baby!

Giancarlo Erra’s NOSOUND Update. And, it’s good. Very, very good.

26910375_10155959691929761_3559216785438859479_o
Erra’s view.

There’s not enough space in the world to praise the efforts and successes of Giancarlo Erra.  If you hit the tag “Nosound” on this post, you’ll see what I mean.  We write about Erra a lot, as he never is uninteresting.

The new direction of Nosound sounds wonderful (as described in his post, below), and I’m more than eager to see where Erra takes the band.

Over the last several years, he has progressed from a rather Floydian vision to a rather Mark Hollis-ian vision of music.  I’m guessing–but I do not know–that he’s moving toward an even more minimalist vision, perhaps something akin to Arvo Part.

Continue reading “Giancarlo Erra’s NOSOUND Update. And, it’s good. Very, very good.”

Dolores O’Riordan, requiescat in pace

Screenshot 2018-01-15 13.28.00The news of the death of Dolores O’Riordan, singer and songwriter for The Cranberries, is both deeply saddening and quite shocking, given that O’Riordan was just 46 years old. The band has released a statement saying:

The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries, was in London for a short recording session. No further details are available at this time. Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.

As the statement indicates, O’Riordan was keeping busy, and a quick search of YouTube turns up a number of performances, both solo and with the band, over the past couple of years. Here is an April 2017 performance of “Linger,” one of the singles off of the band’s 1993 hit album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?: Continue reading “Dolores O’Riordan, requiescat in pace”

soundstreamsunday #94: “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac

fleetwoodmacThere is a little irony that Fleetwood Mac hit superstardom ten years into its existence, having jettisoned numerous guitar heroes — including the group’s founder, the inimitable and brilliant Peter Green — and did so as a West Coast soft rock band rather than the grimy British hard blues act that inspired contemporaries and was absolutely formative for Jimmy Page in his vision of Led Zeppelin.  By 1975, beleaguered and getting old in the rock and roll tooth, and years since it had anything approaching a hit, the band made a last ditch, daring sea change that saw them bring on the largely unknown singer-songwriting couple Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who radically reshaped Fleetwood Mac’s sound.  1975’s Fleetwood Mac was their breakthrough, while 1977’s Rumours proved the formula worked, as Nicks and Buckingham brought a finesse of songcraft sorely missing since Peter Green left the band.  More than this, though, the two Americans integrated, rather than overlayed, their sound on Fleetwood Mac.  Onstage, Nicks became Green’s “Black Magic Woman” incarnate, a gypsy witch with a unique vocal power (and a sexual presence that didn’t hurt the band’s progress), while Buckingham, a gifted, complete guitarist, could play lines summoning the group’s bluesy manalishi ghosts while feeding the ravenous pop machine he was building.

The last song on Rumours, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” is an ode to coke, interwoven with the legendary California cartoon of disintegrating relationships and romantic triangles making up Fleetwood Mac’s lore.  It completes side two of the LP as assuredly as “The Chain” begins it, the two songs dancing at the edges of Peter Green’s blues terrors, advancing into soft rock classic dark jazz torches like “Lush Life” while setting the stage for future L.A. creatures like “Babylon Sisters.”  Like the LP it finishes, the song is a dark star, a downer completing one of the unlikeliest of pop albums.  “Rock on, gold dust woman.”

soundstreamsunday presents one song or live set by an artist each week, and in theory wants to be an infinite linear mix tape where the songs relate and progress as a whole. For the complete playlist, go here: soundstreamsunday archive and playlist, or check related articles by clicking on”soundstreamsunday” in the tags section.

My 12 favorite prog albums of 2017 (12 days late!)

bentkneeband
Bent Knee (www.bentkneemusic.com)

(1) “Land Animal” by Bent Knee: One of my favorite albums of 2017, regardless of genre, classification, categorization, etc. As I marveled in my mini-review for Progarchy: “the whole of Bent Knee is, again, hard to describe, a mixture of orchestral-ish passages, raw but tight guitar, polyrhythmic craziness, classically-imbued moments of open tenderness, angst-packed explosions, and much more.” Don’t miss it.

(2) “In Contact” by Caligula’s Horse: The lads from Down Under rarely disappoint, and this powerful, masterful album catches them at the height of their powers. As I wrote in my fairly detailed Progarchy review: “In Contact proves the band is incapable of producing anything less than exceptional, and it is arguably their best work to date.”

(3) “Malina” by Leprous: More pop-ish and less overtly prog-ish than previous releases, this is a lean, catchy, and often anthemic album that still packs plenty of heavy punch while clearly reaching out to a wider audience. Great driving music!

(4) “The Source” by Aryeon: A wild, over-the-top sprawl of an album filled with more hooks than a deluxe fishing kit, equalled only by the number of singers (dozens? hundreds?). Considering the dystopian, apocalyptic nature of the story and lyrics, this is simply aural fun at its best. Ear candy deluxe!

Continue reading “My 12 favorite prog albums of 2017 (12 days late!)”