2019 Prog (Plus) Preview 2!

More new music, live albums, reissues (regular, deluxe & super-deluxe) and even books about music heading our way between now and Christmas?  Yep.  Following up on my previous post, it’s another exhaustive sampling of promised progressive goodies — along with other personal priorities — below.  Click on the titles for pre-order links — whenever possible, you’ll wind up at the online store that gets as much money as possible directly to the creators.

Out now:

Andrew Keeling, Musical Guide to In the Court of the Crimson King, 10/50 Edition: composer/musicologist/online diarist Keeling’s revision of his 2009 book (the first of a series acclaimed by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp).

Marillion with Friends from the Orchestra: 9 Marillion classics re-recorded by the full band, the string quartet In Praise of Folly, flautist Emma Halnan and French horn player Sam Morris.  Available on CD.

A Prog Rock Christmas: Billy Sherwood produces 11 holiday-themed tracks from the typical all-star cast (members of Yes, Utopia, Flying Colors, Renaissance, District 97, Curved Air and more).  Download and CD available now; LP available November 1.

 

October 25:

King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King (50th Anniversary Edition): featuring brand new stereo and surround mixes in 24/96 resolution by Steven Wilson.  Available in 3 CD + BluRay or  2 LP versions.  (Note that the new mixes will also be included in the Complete 1969  CD/DVD/BluRay box set, which has been delayed until 2020.)

Van Morrison, Three Chords and the Truth: 14 new songs from Van the Man, available in digital, CD or LP versions.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Colorado: the first Young/Horse collaboration since the 2012 albums Americana and Psychedelic Pill, available in CD or 2LP versions.

Continue reading “2019 Prog (Plus) Preview 2!”

Tool, Fear Inoculum

My history with Tool?  Checkered.  I didn’t tune in during their initial rage-metal period at all; if I had, I probably couldn’t have got past the vulgarity or the in-your-face attitude.  King Crimson opening for Tool (in my mind, Tool closing for King Crimson) got my attention in 2001, and I thought that Lateralus was a nifty hunk of knotty art-metal, with lyrical directions that began to clear a path through the bile.  10,000 Days?  For me, a loooong album that started strong, then meandered through one bizarre, tenuously connected detour after another.  It wound up giving me a headache (also my consistent reaction to The Mars Volta).  So no, Tool has typically not been my cup of tea.

Which is why I’m completely — and delightedly — flabbergasted by Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years.  Beyond being as heavy, brainy and cathartic as one might expect, this is deeply thoughtful, richly layered, compelling music — a satisfying, unified work from start to finish that also rocks like a truck full of bricks.  If this is what Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones and Maynard James Keenan have been aiming for all these years, it’s been well worth the wait, because they’ve nailed it.

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Pink Floyd: The Later Years, 1987-2019

Be afraid, Pink Floyd fans — they’re coming for your bank balance!

After 2010’s reworking of their catalog (single-disc Discovery remasters, with Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall also released in multi-disc Experience and super-deluxe Immersion sets), followed by 2016’s massive Early Years set, the Floyd is preparing to unleash The Later Years: 1987-2019 this November 29th.  Focusing on albums and shows from after the split with Roger Waters, you may be surprised at what’s included — what’s not — and what it’ll set you back.  But that’s for after the jump …

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The Big 2019 Fall Prog (Plus) Preview!

What new music, live albums, reissues (regular, deluxe or super-deluxe) and tours are heading our way between now and All Hallows Eve?  Check out the exhaustive (and potentially exhausting) sampling of promised progressive goodies — along with other personal priorities — below.  Click on the titles for pre-order links — whenever possible, you’ll wind up at the online store that gets as much money as possible directly to the musicians.

 

 

  • August:
    • Dave Kerzner, Static Live Extended Edition: recorded at the 2017 Progstock festival.  Kerzner’s complete Static album in concert, plus selected live highlights & new studio tracks.  Pre-orders ship in late August.
  • August 30:
    • Sons of Apollo, Live with the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony: recorded at Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s Roman amphitheatre (the site of previous live efforts from Anathema and Devin Townsend).  Available in Blu-Ray, 3 CD + Blu-Ray, and 3 CD + DVD + Blu Ray versions.
    • Tool, Fear Inoculum: Tool’s first album in 13 years.  Available via digital download, as well as “a deluxe, limited-edition CD version (which) features a 4” HD rechargeable screen with exclusive video footage, charging cable, 2 watt speaker, a 36-page booklet and a digital download card.”  Really. 

Continue reading “The Big 2019 Fall Prog (Plus) Preview!”

In Concert: Olé ELO!

Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids Michigan, July 23, 2019.

Parsing this band’s name closely pays off.  This isn’t an Electric Light Orchestra reunion by any means; rather, it’s reclusive ELO main man Jeff Lynne, touring North America with the music that made his bones for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Armed with fistfuls of Top 20 hits and key album tracks, Live Nation’s deep pockets, a dozen top-notch hired guns — including progressive rock role players Milton McDonald (Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe) on guitar and Lee Pomeroy (Anderson Rabin & Wakeman, Steve Hackett, It Bites, Headspace) on bass — and visual production rivaling Pink Floyd, Lynne delivered the goods to a pumped-up, near-capacity crowd Tuesday night.  Sure, the show was polished and manicured (and doubtless click-tracked and auto-tuned) within inches of its life — but it was also irresistible to the ears and dazzling to the eyes, an unalloyed pleasure from start to finish.

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The Progarchy Interview: Tim Bowness, Part 3

In Part 1 of Tim Bowness’ latest Progarchy interview, Tim discussed his previous solo albums, working again with his first band Plenty, reuniting with Steven Wilson for fresh No-Man music, and how it all feeds into his new album Flowers At The Scene (released March 1 on Inside Out Music).  Part 2 was an in-depth look at the new album’s music and players.  To finish up, the conversation branches off into the process of writing, the genesis of Tim’s label/online shop Burning Shed, the state of the music business and more!  Note that [brackets] below indicate editorial insertions.

I’ve always found your lyrics very, again, distinctive and appealing.  The words for your songs, if you read them on the page, they look very sparse; they’re epigrammatic, or they’re almost like a hymn text.  But they convey a lot of emotion and meaning when you sing them – It’s like you hear what’s behind them, kind of like a minimalist take on lyrics.  Was there anyone who particularly influenced how you write lyrics – or melodies, for that matter?   Where do the words come from for you?

I think the words in some ways came before the singing, because I used to like poetry, before I ever really was in a band.  So I’d always loved reading, and still am a fairly avid reader of novels and poetry.  There were a lot of lyricists I adore, so, I think … Joni Mitchell is an absolutely fantastic lyricist.  But I can’t say there’s any lyricists I’ve been particularly influenced by.

I think that, in terms of that pared down style, I guess I always quite liked people like Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter and Raymond Carver.  Certain writers like that.  And, although I don’t think I’m anything like them, that might be the core influence.  And there’s also, there’s an English poet called Ian Hamilton, who has a very sparse approach, and I always used to like his work.

And so in some ways, it’s kind of closer to that; it’s closer to the poetry that I grew up reading, without being particularly like it.  And as I said, I’m a fan of many singers, many lyricists.  Again, Roger Waters, fantastic lyricist, fantastic concepts, but I can’t say it’s particularly influenced me.  So maybe it comes from outside of music, the lyrical element of what I do.

Plus, I also think it comes, of course, from my own experiences, my own obsessions, my own emotions.  So that’s thrown into the mix.

Would Philip Larkin be in the mix?  It just occurred to me that was another person that kind of worked in that epigrammatic, lyric style?

Yeah, very much so, yes indeed!  The Collected Works of Philip Larkin are on my shelf.

Well, it’s amazing how busy you are, because along with all of what you do – your solo work, No-Man — you also co-direct one of my very favorite online shops!  And it’s certainly a favorite of all of us at Progarchy.  Burning Shed is just a wonderful place to buy music from, even across the pond.  You’re listed as a co-director; what does your role there involve?

Well, I still – the newsletters you receive, I write them.

Oh, OK!

The text that goes on the site, I write it.  So I suppose, in a sense, Burning Shed was my idea of a company.  So I started burningshed.com as an idea of doing cost-effective, experimental solo albums.  And so initially, we released three CD-Rs.  So the idea was originally in 2001, online, on demand, cost-effective solo albums that labels wouldn’t be interested in.  So Steven [Wilson] gave us a Bass Communion album; I gave a Samuel Smiles live album; Roger Eno gave an ambient album.  And almost from the off, it did better than we thought it would do.

Continue reading “The Progarchy Interview: Tim Bowness, Part 3”