Live music prog extravaganza tonight at Vancouver’s Space Centre!

44305581_301424893783976_1512316207498264576_oDaniel James’ Brass Camel honours progressive rock legends tonight, underneath the unreal visuals of the HR MacMillan Space Centre’s 360 degree Star Theatre: Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, Rush, and more!

Video from the rehearsals is viewable here and here.

Buy tickets here.

Get the DJBC band’s new album here and also on iTunes.

Prog Rock at the Planetarium: Vancouver, Nov 2


Maybe you have seen a Pink Floyd laser light and music show at the Planetarium, long ago. But what about this genius idea? A live band prog extravaganza at the Planetarium!

Daniel James’ Brass Camel is putting on a show in Vancouver (tickets now available) with the ultimate in prog rock visual accompaniment. I saw their August 18th show in Vancouver, as an eleven-piece band (including horns and backup singers), at the Fox Cabaret, where they played almost all the tracks from their incredible new album (soon to be available online for digital download), played to the hilt, along with some Sturgill Simpson, Parliament, and Led Zeppelin tunes. The show was a top-notch display of meticulous musicianship.

I can therefore recommend that you don’t miss this future chance to see Daniel James’ Brass Camel live, now celebrating their new release in the grandest of style. The Fox Cabaret show had a volume level that was too loud for such a small venue, so I am hoping they’ll take a page out of Steven Wilson’s playbook and set the volume level at optimal human range for the Planetarium. If you saw Wilson the last time he was in Vancouver, you’ll know what I mean: he does a perfectly crafted multimedia show, with no earplugs required, as he sets the volume level at just the right setting, in order to fulfill every audiophile’s dream. (By the way, Wilson returns again this year to Vancouver.)

Having to use earplugs at a musical event is always a sad situation, just as it would be ridiculous to have to wear a blindfold or sunglasses at a Planetarium show. The promise of prog rock music is that it enhances our sensory experience, not dulls it. I am betting that this November 2nd show will be not just one small step in the right direction, but rather one giant leap for all prog-kind. (Why aren’t more prog bands doing this genius idea??? In any case, Daniel James’ Brass Camel is leading the way.)

The last time I spoke with Daniel, he was trying to secure a set of tubular bells for the November 2nd event. It sure sounds like he’s getting ready to do this right and give Wilson a run for his money! Prog right on, wayward sons.


The Vancouver prog-funk ensemble that calls itself Daniel James’ Brass Camel has conspired to take you on a trip through the universe in Vancouver’s only 360 degree star theatre. Underneath mindblowing visuals, DJBC will be performing a swathe of progressive rock classics by such artists as King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis, Yes and more. They will be joined by a handful of special musical guests who will join the Camel and lend their talents to this progressive extravaganza.

Alcoholic beverages and light snacks will be available before the show and during the short intermission on the planetarium’s Star Deck.

Doors at 7:30
Performance 8:15-10:30 (15 minute intermission)
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC

V6J 3J9

Discovered Hidden in a Vancouver Record Shop, the Magical Goblet of Prog


Back before the Internet days, we used to hunt down rare albums via crosstown visits to obscure record shops. Nowadays, with Amazon and eBay and online third party retailers, this experience never happens anymore, since you can source whatever you need digitally, either immediately, via YouTube, or virtually, purchased through one of the aforementioned online retailers with global reach.


Well, it almost never happens anymore. Imagine my surprise when I found out that local guitar virtuoso Daniel James released a funky prog rock album back in May with his band Brass Camel. Their Facebook page says it’s available at three uber-cool Vancouver indie record stores. In vain I sought to find a digital download online, so I happily saddled up, just like in the goode olde days, and made the one-hour trek into town to buy this rare prog album that cannot be bought online (not even from those three Vancouver retro retailers) but only in person, at a record store that is actually a RECORD store (i.e., with wall-to-wall vinyl in plastic collector’s bags).


Man, what an experience. I hadn’t felt the thrill like this since I was a teenager waiting outside a record shop waiting for it to open. Sure enough, I arrived today in Vancouver fifteen minutes before opening time, and I had to stand out on the sidewalk peering in the window, as the lone employee inside pointedly ignored me. In an age of instant downloads, does anyone ever feel such excitement these days? I was getting a total kick out of this happy retro vinyl buyer’s experience, and my only regret was that I was going to be buying the album on CD when the store opened, since there is no vinyl release yet.


The record store dude unlocked the door promptly on the hour. Suddenly a second employee magically appeared out of nowhere on the sidewalk and slipped past me into the store as the glass door swung open. I had to cool my heels another minute as employee number one put out a sidewalk sign and then he finally let me in. When I asked for the Daniel James Brass Camel CD, he had never heard of it. But he eventually found it in a basket of CDs filed alphabetically in envelopes behind the counter. Then he had to walk across the store to find the empty gatefold CD jacket on a shelf, and next insert the CD from the back-counter envelope, and — voila — sell it to me. And get this, which was the ultimate thrill to cap the experience: they only had one copy in stock, and my long trek had paid off big time, with me capturing the last disc left! Oh man, what a thrill. Brought back so many good memories of hunting down rare albums back in the glory days!


Well, I am happy to report the album was a great pleasure to listen to all the way home. I will follow up this post with a review of the progtastic DJBC album soon. For now, I just wanted to let you know that the magical experience of hunting down the Holy Grail of Prog is still alive and well in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Prog on, chillun!