David Bowie’s Berlin Years, Boxed

The next David Bowie box set, A New Career in a New Town, is coming on September 29. This one covers 1977-1982 (Bowie’s last years on the RCA label), including the “Berlin Trilogy” and other notable collaborations with prog rockers.  Contents on 11 CDs or 13 LPs:

  • Low (with Brian Eno)
  • Heroes (with Eno and Robert Fripp).  A EP of foreign-language versions of the title track is also included.
  • Stage (with the pre-King Crimson Adrian Belew and Roger Powell of Utopia in Bowie’s live band) in 2 versions: the original album and the 2005 version (with songs in the concert running order & bonus tracks, including 2 new ones).
  • Lodger (with Eno, Belew and Powell ) in 2 versions: the original album and a new remix by Tony Visconti (exclusive to the box).
  • Scary Monsters (with Fripp).
  • A new exclusive compilation, Re:Call 3, which includes singles, B-sides, extended versions, and Bowie’s collaborations with Bing Crosby and Queen.

This is my favorite period of Bowie, so I’m genuinely excited for this release.  Lots more details and a price tracker at Paul Sinclair’s marvelous Super Deluxe Edition website.

 

The Return of the King …

… Crimson, that is.  From Discipline Global Mobile:

“King Crimson will be returning to America later this year. The dates see the group performing in some states and cities that have not been visited in a while. Atlanta in Georgia, for example, last had live Crimson music in 2001, while Texas has experienced something of an epic Crimson drought since 1974, not counting ProjeKct Three’s week-long residency in the Lone Star state during March 1999.  The dates posted today on the tours page are as follows.”
19 Oct Bass Performance Hall, Austin
21 Oct Music Hall, Dallas
23 Oct Center Stage, Atlanta
24 Oct Center Stage, Atlanta
26 Oct Duke Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, Raleigh
28 Oct Lisner Auditorium, Washington D.C.
29 Oct Lisner Auditorium, Washington D.C.
31 Oct New Jersey Performing Arts Centre, Newark
02 Nov Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia
03 Nov Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia
06 Nov Orpheum Theatre, Boston
08 Nov The Egg, Albany
09 Nov The Egg, Albany
11 Nov Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown
17 Nov Beacon Theatre, New York
18 Nov Beacon Theatre, New York
22 Nov Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor
24 Nov Hard Rock Cafe, Cleveland
26 Nov Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee

“Purchase details will follow.”

 

Speaking of Crimson droughts, the band last played anywhere in Michigan in 2003, with the last Ann Arbor gig in 1995.  Of course, I have an unavoidable conflict on November 22 (which is also Thanksgiving Eve).  Ah, well, I’ll always have the Chicago Theatre …

Sad News from Los Angeles band “Heliopolis”

In the midst of working on their second album and planning their next show, Los Angeles Prog band Heliopolis is calling it quits. The following, plus an unmastered 14-minute piece from their upcoming album, was posted on their Facebook page today.

Hey, Kerry here.

Well, this isn’t easy to say but Heliopolis have decided to throw in the bowel. I wanted to at least play the gig in August and then assess things; bummed but that’s life. Please know this wasn’t my call, one of us decided to quit and I respect their decision.

As for me personally it’s simply not financially feasible, nor enjoyable, to have a 170 round trip commute to LA every weekend. Also, most of the guys in the band have been going thru significant life issues and we feel it’s not worth continuing on at this point. It’s a hell of a lot of work for all of us, not to mention the expense.

We’ve played RoSfest, MEXICALI PROG, Berkeley, San Francisco, Thousand Oaks and multiple Los Angeles area gigs. We’ve had a damned good run with 10T Records and Bad Elephant Music. I gots no complaints, please believe.

Truth be told, when I was in Mrs Hollow I wanted to record a 3rd album and then quit at the top of our game; I consider Heliopolis’ debut to be the 3rd album in my personal prog-rock trio so my mission is complete.

Now I’m going to take it easy for awhile and watch all the other prog-rock bands at our level spend their money and store their unsold CDs and t-shirts in the basement. 🙂

To our fans and promoters, we’re very sorry. As a token of appreciation for all the support over the last five years here’s the latest and, sadly, final version of the “Barney Miller” song.

It’s called “The Challenge” and it’s a true band collaboration. Believe it or not, this is the scratch vocal from the day we did the bass/drums session last October, we had some beautiful vocal harmonies worked out but we never got around to recording them. It’s also unmastered. This song was going to morph into another 10 minute song for a 24-minute suite, and we also had a crazy 10-minute thing called “Cluster B” that I am VERY bummed we’re never gonna record. We had a killer 2nd album happening but it’s just too much effort anymore, for all of us.

To my brothers Michael, Matt, Scott and Jerry – thanks for being the best band I’ve ever had. I’m gonna miss writing music with you guys so much. 😦

To our friends and fans – thank you, sincerely and respectfully, from all of us. It’s been a blast. Be kind to yourselves.

 

 

Sgt. Pepper’s at 50. Meh.

I turn fifty in two months.  I’m about six months younger than SGT. PEPPER’s.

As almost all of you surely know, Apple/Parlophone/EMI/Capitol/Universal has released a new stereo mix of the uber-famous 1967 album.  Just as the convoluted name of the company suggests, the new album comes in a variety of packages from one disk to innumerable ones.

splhcb

Growing up in a family that loved music of all types and genres, I’ve had the Beatles running through my head from my earliest memories.  No one in the house was a fanatic, but we certainly appreciated the music.  My two older brothers tended to like the pre-REVOLVER Beatles best, but I always loved REVOLVER through ABBEY ROAD the best.  For about a six-to seven-year period in my life—mostly in college and early graduate school–I was obsessed with the band.  I bought and read all of the books about the band, and I knew every song and every lyric from REVOLVER through ABBEY ROAD.  I knew the most minute details about the recordings, the controversies. . . well, everything.

Continue reading “Sgt. Pepper’s at 50. Meh.”

soundstreamsunday: “Wardenclyffe” by S U R V I V E

rr7349Scored by S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, the Netflix show Stranger Things can at times seem written around the music, such is the importance of its soundtrack.  The duo’s band creates very similar music but in longer form, developed stories in contrast to Stranger Things’ vignette accompaniments.  If they recall the European progressive synth work of Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream, as instrumental narrative S U R V I V E’s tropes, fresh as they are, are the well-heeled scions of horror and suspense soundtracks of the 1970s and 80s — those coveted analog burblings so influencing rock archetypes that today a band like S U R V I V E can be embraced by a culture that may not have looked so warmly on the be-caped japes of synth lords in their keyboarded cathedrals of yore.  This is a good thing, as is S U R V I V E’s 2016 album RR7349.  The punky, catalog number-as-title approach is embedded in the band’s music, in its wordlessness plain spoken, symbolic of itself, its images so strong — or perhaps its ability to conjure notions and memories of images we’ve grown used to associating with such music — that there’s an enjoyable lack of heavy lifting here.  As instrumental albums go, it’s a seamless ride through the horrorshow.

“Wardenclyffe” is the heart of RR7349; it is an opus of classic thrash metal rhythm, a slow burn, slow bleed psychedelic nod off, an American folk opera circa 2016.  It is everyman music, an electronic field holler to the collective national iThumb and Assemblage of the Hallowed Streaming Box.  Like its mothership album, it is so woven into the now that it’s a blip on the screen; but mark it, for when the future civs recreate our campfire dances, this is the soundtrack.

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 above.

Do Hours Pass? The Timelessness of Newspaperflyhunting’s WASTELANDS

There are few things in the world of music more pleasurable to me than listening to the philosophical-art-drone-wall of sound-innovations of Poland’s newspaperflyhunting.  The band is probably the greatest unknown band in the world.

Yet, they do nothing if not without utter and complete excellence.  So very prog.

To my shame (and business), I have had their latest album, WASTELANDS, for a few months now without formally reviewing it.  Admittedly, I’ve been a bit selfish, hoarding this grand and glorious music all to myself.

Continue reading “Do Hours Pass? The Timelessness of Newspaperflyhunting’s WASTELANDS”