Progarchy Radio is Back

BB #2
Progarchy Radio, Featuring “Adrift.”

Hey Everyone,

I’m sure you thought Progarchy Radio was dead, making its way slowly up the mountains of Purgatory.  But, alas, she has arisen!  Back on earth.  Back in time.

This edition begins with a song our very own Dave Smith wrote (along with lyrics by yours truly), “Adrift.”  From Birzer Bandana’s second album, OF COURSE IT MUST BE, released today.

Birzer Bandana is followed by Nosound to conclude the first set.

Set Two, nostalgia and the 1980s: INXS; Thomas Dolby; XTC; Ultravox, The The, and Talk Talk.

Set Three, the best of 2017: Big Big Train; Newspaperflyhunting; Dave Kerzner; Glass Hammer; and Tricksy Spirit.

Epilogue, Stranger Things: Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein; and Joy Division.

Yours, in the spirit of progarchy radio,

Brad

 

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

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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.”

From Heavy Metal Overload: RIP, Eddie Clarke

It’s already been a tough week in metal, with the passing of both Chris Tsangarides and Iron Man’s Alfred Morris III, but now I’m sad to report that Motörhead/Fastway guitar hero “Fast” Eddie Clarke has passed away aged 67 following a battle with pneumonia. Clarke was the last surviving member of the classic Motörhead lineup […]

via R.I.P. “Fast” Eddie Clarke (1950 – 2018) — HEAVY METAL OVERLOAD

And, Then There Were 7: Poole Leaves BBT

SBS BBT
The last full album from Big Big Train to include founding member, Andy Poole.

Big Big Train is now a seven-piece outfit, as Andy Poole has resigned.

From the band:

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM ANDY POOLE AND BIG BIG TRAIN

Andy Poole will shortly be leaving Big Big Train.

Big Big Train would like to thank Andy for the significant part he has played in the band’s journey and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

Big Big Train will continue with the seven-piece line-up of D’Virgilio / Gregory / Hall / Longdon / Manners / Sjöblom / Spawton alongside the five-piece BBT brass band led by Dave Desmond.

For future live performance, the band has recruited an additional musician to assist with keyboard and guitar work. We will announce details in due course.

We also hope to announce a UK warm-up show for our July 13th Night of the Prog festival appearance at Loreley. We expect the warm-up show to take place on July 11th.

Best wishes

Danny, Dave, David, Greg, Nick, Rachel and Rikard

Continue reading “And, Then There Were 7: Poole Leaves BBT”

The Most Artful of Pop: Natalie Merchant

ACCORD, NY - January 23, 2016 - Natalie Merchant 
credit: Jacob BlickenstaffNo one would ever confuse the music that Natalie Merchant writes and produces with prog.  Not in the least!  Well. . . ok, maybe a bit in the least.  That is, while Merchant is firmly in the folk and pop tradition of American songwriting, she’s also willing to take grand chances.  It would certainly not be out of the realm of reality to call what she does artful pop.  And, artful it most certainly is.

Most recently, Merchant released a rather glorious 10-cd collection of all (almost) of her solo material.  This package from Nonesuch, The Natalie Merchant Collection, is a thing of joy.  The sound of the music is so crisp and the packaging is just perfect.  I will admit, I’m a sucker for good presentation and packaging.  The box is sturdy and the 100-page booklet that comes with the set is just stunning.  This, my friends, is the way to release music.

I must also state—somewhat of an embarrassing admission that might be perceived as sexist by some—that I find Merchant one truly beautiful woman.  When she was younger, she was what one would’ve called in the 1980s, “cute.”  As she has aged, however, she has allowed her hair to grey, and she doesn’t hide the few wrinkles of age.  Thus, I find her absolutely stunning as a middle-aged woman.  Thank you, Merchant for NOT succumbing to the disgusting and plastic culture of “forever young.”

In addition to the solo albums Merchant has released, she also includes in this package a new studio album, Butterfly, and a final disk of “rarities.”  At amazon, you can purchase this package—116 tracks!—for a mere $40.  Quite a bargain, especially given the beauty of the package itself.

The new album, Butterfly, is quite good, but I need a bit more time to absorb it.  I hope to do an in-depth review of it soon.

Of everything Merchant has done, however, I find her 2010 double album—Leave Your Sleep—not only her best, but one of the best albums of the rock era.  Certainly, it should rank in the top 100 of all time.  On it, Merchant playfully yet intelligently reconsiders children’s stories and poetries.  The songs range from the most intense pop to the most whimsical.  It’s pretty much perfect.