Lake Street Dive – Good Kisser [Live Performance] @lakestreetdive

Great news… Lake Street Dive has a new album coming out May 4th!

Not only that, but now I will get a chance to see them live again, this time at the famous Commodore Ballroom in downtown Vancouver!

Come and join me, y’all…

Not only are they brilliant songwriters, they also do the greatest covers you have ever heard. Check out their “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and their “Walking on Broken Glass,” and also this gem:

H8ers Gonna H8: Fergie’s Star-Spangled Banner

Haters are always gonna hate: case in point, Fergie’s unexpected rendition of the U.S. national anthem last night.

It was widely ridiculed as the “worst rendition ever,” but its jazzy take is arguably quite fitting.

Does it not bring on some old school cool to the proceedings?

Hey, I like prog, so my distinctively refined tastes diverge quite definitely from those of the masses…

The Sun Will Dance In Its Twilight Hour (2018)

Wilson and Wakeman!

No, it’s not Steven Wilson and Rick Wakeman.

It’s Damian and Adam!

I’m still listening to Damian’s last Headspace album, All That You Fear is Gone (2016), because it’s so good.

But now here’s a disc of dazzling new material since Weir Keeper’s Tale (2016):

Damian and Adam will release their second full-length album on February 16th.

The album, containing 10 brand new songs, will feature Damian on vocals and acoustic guitar and Adam on piano, vocals and acoustic guitar. It also features guest musicians Andy Dunlop (Travis) on guitar, Ash Soan (Adele, Robbie Williams) on drums, Tony Woollard (Damian Wilson) on cello and Hayley Sanderson (Strictly Come Dancing) on backing vocals.
The album will be available as digipak CD and as digital download on all major platforms on February 16th. A vinyl edition will be released on March 16th.

Adam Wakeman

Best known as the keyboard player with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, Adam Wakeman has also released nine albums with father Rick Wakeman as well as releasing four solo albums.

As a classically- trained pianist, his albums cross many genres and styles from classical, to rock. He co- wrote the 2010 platinum selling album Scream with Ozzy Osbourne and has also toured extensively with Travis, Annie Lennox, Will Young, Slash, 10CC and many more. The most recent Black Sabbath The End world tour saw over 81 shows in 30 countries around the world, playing to over 1.5 million people.

Damian Wilson

Damian Wilson is a songwriter and vocalist who has appeared on over 70 separate album releases.

Damian is widely known in the progressive rock genre, for bands and projects such as Headspace, Threshold, Ayreon and Rick Wakeman’s English Rock Ensemble. As a solo artist he has released 5 solo albums, a DVD and a retrospective compilation album. He is currently promoting his latest solo album Built for Fighting

Damian has also worked with Guy Fletcher, Maiden United, After Forever, Mostly Autumn and Praying Mantis. He played the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on their UK National Tour.

Sloan: “The Day Will Be Mine” @sloanmusic

SLOAN, one of Canada’s greatest bands ever (that’s right, we are talking about the Rush-level upper echelon here, folks) has a new album coming out in April. Their brilliant last album was in 2014, and you will remember my Progarchy promotion of it. Here’s the new single, so buckle up and get ready, because it is awesome…

Gungfly: Late to the Party (2017)

The greatest thing about Top Ten lists is that I get to learn about the best stuff during the year that I missed. For instance, take Gungfly’s On Her Journey to the Sun (2017).

I knew of it earlier, but never got around to listening to it. And for the dumbest reasons too: I had no idea how to pronounce either one of Rikard Sjoblom’s names (first or last); I figured solo work by any BBT dude would never be as good as BBT itself; and I had no idea what the hell a “gungfly” was (although I do know Socrates the “gadfly”).

Well, a bunch of Progarchy people, whose taste I trust, put the disc on their year end lists. So, finally, in January, I set aside time to listen. Sure enough, the album is absolutely freaking amazing, one of the best things I have heard in ages. As for 2017, I can’t decide which masterpiece is better: Dave Kerzner, Schooltree, or Gungfly.

In any case, I am now officially revising my 2017 lists, due to Rikard’s amazing achievement. Because I had built-in overlap between my BEST METAL and BEST PROG lists (in order to accommodate this very type of “late to the party” 2018 situation), I can take Sons of Apollo and Unleash the Archers off of my best prog list, since they are already duplicated on my BEST METAL list. Instead, I am swapping in Gungfly and one other worthy artist that I discovered in January 2018 (thanks to all those awesome Progarchy Best Of lists). Curious? Stay tuned, or else take a peek at my revised BEST OF 2017 list.

By the way, I cannot wait to hear the five disc box set coming out from Rikard this year, in 2018! If you haven’t yet pre-ordered, do so now, because it is an amazing deal: Rumbling Box. Click on the image below.

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!

They Might Be Giants: “I Like Fun”

NPR has a preview of the new album coming January 19 from They Might Be Giants:

Flansburgh and Linnell wrap everything in radiantly bubbly power pop, and fuzz-guitar punk, and Beach Boys vocal-harmony flourishes. I Like Fun is a series of lugubrious songs about death, dismemberment and other unfortunate events dressed up for a Friday night joy ride. Of the several missing limbs discussed in these songs, the most disorienting comes just after the joyous Jackson 5-style guitar introduction to “Push Back The Hands:” “You would give your right arm to go back to when you had a right arm.”

Likewise, TMBG look at death from all sides. “I Left My Body” employs a sanguine, Kinks-ish tone to tell of a departure, and it all seems fairly conventional until the line about how “they’re gonna tow you if they think you’re abandoned.” It’s the parking authority as the essence of fear, even in death’s aftermath.

It’s the same vaguely absurd idea-juxtaposition that They Might Be Giants have always dished, just lifted into a loftier place — song-nerdism taken to rococo extremes. When you consider all the songs that these two people have written, it’s downright inspiring to hear them still out there trawling for those divine (and increasingly elusive) moments of pop bliss.