Malcolm Guite: Live at the Inklings Institute of Canada (Sep 13, 2019)

Check out the recording above of Malcolm Guite live at the Inklings Institute of Canada on September 13, 2019, sharing poetry and songs. (Note: the music starts at 36:50) The audio is bootleg quality, but permission was given for the recording to be made.

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Richard Henshall Interview: The Progarchy Podcast @RichHaken

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Listen above to the Progarchy Podcast interview with Richard Henshall of Haken.

Henshall takes us track-by-track through his forthcoming solo album The Cocoon.

You will love listening to his inside perspective on the musicians he worked with and all the musical themes and influences on the album.

Look for The Cocoon at the beginning of August. It’s full of thrilling musical explorations that connaisseurs of prog will not want to miss.

The Band
Matt Lynch – Drums
Conner Green – Bass
Richard Henshall – Guitar, keyboards and vocals

Guest Musicians
Ben Levin – Guest vocals on ‘Lunar Room’
Jessica Kion – Guest vocals on ‘Lunar Room’
Ross Jennings – Guest vocals on ‘Twisted Shadows’
Jordan Rudess – Guest keyboard solo on ‘Twisted Shadows’
Marco Sfogli – Guest guitar solo on ‘Lunar Room’
David Maxim Micic – Guest guitar solo on ‘Silken Chains’
Chris Baum – Guest strings on ‘Afterglow’
Adam Carrillo – Guest saxophone on ‘Cocoon’

Music by Richard Henshall
Lyrics by Richard Henshall with the exception of ‘ Lunar Room’ by Ben Levin
Additional drum arrangement by Matt Lynch
Additional bass arrangements by Conner Green
Additional string arrangements by Chris Baum on ‘Afterglow’
Co-produced, reamped, mixed and mastered by Simon Grove at Nerve Studios Additional drum editing by Joe Hamilton
Produced by Richard Henshall
Artwork by Sevcan Yuksel Henshall Portrait painting by Anthony Rondinone

*Correction: Haken L-1VE was actually released in 2018. I mistakenly assumed that because it came before Vector (2018) that it was released in 2017. In fact, they were both released in the same year.

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Pink Floyd — “Moonhead”

The Moon Landing Inspired Pink Floyd’s Most Overlooked Song

A bluesy, atmospheric piece that the band improvised live on the air during the Apollo 11 mission deserves to be more than a footnote of musical history.

Over the decades, “Moonhead” has remained one of the most overlooked entries in the band’s canon, despite its historic status. Pink Floyd was commissioned by the BBC to perform instrumental music live on the air as the Apollo 11 crew’s video and audio signals came streaming in across the emptiness of space, beating the Soviets at the race that had been spurred on by John F. Kennedy’s rousing moonshot speech in 1962.

Pink Floyd was uniquely qualified for the task.

Ancient Empire: Wings of the Fallen

67171265_2461857220754940_7734590682475528192_nAncient Empire’s new album will come out from Stormspell in early or mid-August.

This nifty preview of its cover art (above) suggests a sincere metal homage to Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny and Angel of Retribution.

Also, check out the previous track from Ancient Empire with a “wings” theme — namely, “Wings of Steel” (one of my favorites) from When Empires Fall.

Rock on, Ancient Empire!

Album Review: Lulu Lewis — Genuine Psychic @lululewismusic

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Lulu Lewis serves up a refreshingly quirky blend of art rock on Genuine Psychic. It should make many of you sit up and take notice.

Founded by a husband and wife duo — Pablo Martin (Tom Tom Club, The Du-Rites) and Dylan Hundley (Metropolitan) — Lulu Lewis have established themselves as one of New York’s most versatile underground rock bands over the past three years.

Genuine Psychic is their full-length debut album, presenting us with a highly inventive and unique sound. Call it “Harlem Punk Rock” (a blend of post-punk and goth and soul) — because that’s how they describe what they’re doing. And a rebel punk sensibility definitely infuses each of the tracks here in a highly appealing way.

The sound and style of spiffy singer Dylan Hundley will remind many of us of Emily Haines from the superb band Metric. I am a huge fan of Haines and Metric, and therefore I find very much to like here. Genuine Psychic is likewise a musically intelligent and entertaining offering from the similarly-talented Hundley and Lulu Lewis.

There isn’t a bad track on Genuine Psychic. Each one is terrific, and the album gets even catchier the more you listen to it. If you like your pop whip-smart and off-kilter, this is a disc for you. And Pablo Martin’s clever production has hidden depths that reveal themselves on subsequent listens.

The album is extremely well paced, with chill-out tracks like the ironically-named “Moving Fast” followed by great weirdo-groovy rock-out sessions like the hilariously fun “Intelligent Life.”

The album itself debuts this week, and so Lulu Lewis are playing a release show with the Messthetics at Union Pool (Brooklyn, NY), July 12, 7 p.m. (It should be good, but what I really want to see is them do a show in Brooklyn with Cardi B.)

Lulu Lewis balance their sharp insight and dark poeticism with an appealing air of playfulness. Haunting goth-rock tracks live alongside tongue-in-cheek, synth-driven new wave. It’s all connected by a sonic world of snazzy guitars, crispy rhythm, and ironically lo-fi flourishes. Genuine Psychic recalls rock sounds of the Bowery’s grittiest days, with a perspective that builds on the past rather than copy it.

There is much to enjoy here, so try it out, if you truly are musically adventurous and you do want to have some real fun.

Album Review: The Raconteurs — Help Us, Stranger

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The new album from The Raconteurs proves yet one more time what a generational talent Jack White is.

Help Us Stranger teams him up once again with Brendan Benson (vocals, guitar), Jack Lawrence (bass guitar), and Patrick Keeler (drums), and this magic combination brings out the supreme best from all of them.

Keeler’s drums, in particular, take this album to a whole new level, infusing the tracks with unstoppable momentum and musicality. His synergy with the violin on the last track “Thoughts and Prayers” is notably jaw-dropping.

The songwriting from Benson and White has a diverse range that assimilates and transcends the genre’s tropes. “Only Child” is just one example of how catchy and witty they can be, with their rock even rising to the level of high art. A clear example is the aforementioned “Thoughts and Prayers.”

The band’s all-around genius is especially exhibited on “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying),” which takes a melancholy lyric and surrounds it with remarkably uplifting music. The sympathetic listener comes away supercharged to enjoy life at its fullest.

The Raconteurs rock in way that is rarely achieved by other bands, with the indisputable proof found in completely unhinged tracks like “Don’t Bother Me” and “Live a Lie” and “What’s Yours is Mine” and (my album favorite, with White’s trademark whoops of joy) “Sunday Driver.”

Go for a long drive and turn up the volume. One of the best albums of the year. Connaisseurs of exquisite guitar sounds will find much to feast on here.

Fireworks for the 4th — with Audioslave’s “Cochise”

You want fireworks? We got fireworks…

I drink to health,
while you kill yourself.
And I’ve got just one thing
that I can offer…

I’m not a martyr,
I’m not a prophet,
and I won’t preach to you,
but here’s a caution:

You better understand,
that I won’t harm your hand,
But if it helps you mend,
then I won’t stop it.

Go on and save yourself…