Progarchy Radio Episode 8

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Episode 8.

Welcome to our eighth podcast, recorded June 14, 2016.  This 2+ hour podcast features music from Cosmograf, Frost*, District 97, Steve Hackett, Gandalf’s Fist, Eric Gillette, Talk Talk, Traffic, Ordinary Psycho, Miles Davis, and Tears for Fears.

Progarchy Radio Episode 7

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Episode 7

Hey everyone, my apologies for taking so long to get episode 7 recorded.  Still, I hope you enjoy it–over two hours of prog and New Wave.  This episode features new songs from Big Big Train, Frost*, Mike Kershaw, Airbag, and Ayreon.

In addition, songs from Neal Morse, The Tangent, Salander, The Reasoning, New Model Army, New Order, Foo Fighters, Catherine Wheel, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Cure.

Review: Frost* – “Falling Satellites”

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No matter their level of activity, all’s right in the prog world when the on again/off again ensemble known as Frost* is in “On” mode.  Many of us have closely – and happily – followed the twists and turns of writer/keyboardist/vocalist Jem Godfrey’s group since they released the landmark album “Milliontown” back in 2006.

For those who may not have been exposed to the band back then, “Milliontown” was something altogether new, or at least sounded altogether new – an accessible, expertly-produced, keyboard-heavy, dense, dynamic, and at times industrial-sounding blend of prog rock not for the faint of speaker cones. It was not to be mistaken for yet another prog band channeling the 70’s with all the cliches that go with that era (band names withheld to protect the guilty). As a fan of modern prog, “Milliontown” easily became one of two of my favorite albums of the last 15 years – the other being It Bites’ “The Tall Ships” – and not a week has gone by in the last decade when I haven’t given at least some of “Milliontown” a listen (no, really).

Continue reading “Review: Frost* – “Falling Satellites””

The Whimsy of Frost*

Review of Frost*, FALLING SATELLITES (Insideout Music, 2016).  Release date: May 27, 2016.  Tracks: First Day; Numbers; Towerblock; Signs; Lights Out; Heart-strings; Closer to the Sun; The Raging Against the Dying of the Light Blues in 7/8; Nice Day for It; Hypoventilate; and Last Day.

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Our name is Frost*

How do you do?

We’re here today to play for you.

We’ve come all this way.

We came on a plane.

We’re from the U.K., where it always rains.

Apart from Nick and his beautiful locks—but he’s only on loan from his friends in Spock’s.

 

To play some songs.

That is why we are here.

Although we plan to also drink your beer.

 

Any fan of Frost* knows this full glorious intro by heart.  In the Birzer household, it’s one of those little things that helped me convince my wife and kids that prog was not just a brilliant genre of music, but also a rather hilarious one.  For years, we began every car trip (whether local and just around town or on one of our insane three-week odysseys into the American West) by playing this song.  Of course, being rather silly, we changed every instance of Frost* to Birzer*.

A little bit of familial pride, I suppose, but also always resulting in immense and prolonged laughter.

Continue reading “The Whimsy of Frost*”

Progarchy Radio Episode 2

Getting far more comfortable with this, though I still have a relatively steep learning curve.  A huge thanks to my somewhat co-host, Veronica Rose Birzer (age 4).

Playlist: Neal Morse Band, Lifesigns, Love Spit Love, Mew

Galahad [transition between these two songs could’ve been smoother!], Frost*, Matt Stevens

Steve Hackett (x2), Kevin McCormick

Enjoy!

 

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VIDEO: “Heartstrings” by Frost*

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade (!) since the release of “Milliontown” by Frost*.  It was an album that seemingly came out of nowhere and didn’t sound quite like anything in the genre – a dense, dynamic, keyboard-heavy, and at times industrial-sounding album full of killer playing and plenty of memorable melodies.

The brainchild of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jem Godfrey, “Milliontown” remains one of my all-time favorite albums. I’m not sure a week has gone by in those 10 years without my giving at least one or more tracks from it a listen. Since then, the band released a follow-up album, “Experiments In Mass Appeal,” played quite a few gigs, went through some lineup changes over the years in the rhythm section department, released a couple live albums and bonus tracks, and has been an on-again, off-again unit since “Experiments.”

Well, the band is very much on again as Godfrey, John Mitchell (It Bites, Arena, Kino), bassist Nathan King (Level 42) and drummer Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson of late) have recorded “Falling Satellites,” their third full-length album and first in nearly eight years.

Never a group to do the obvious thing – a look at their many “Frost* Reports” and live videos kicking around YouTube will more than prove that point – the Frosties gathered at Rockfield Studios several years back to record some of their tunes live off the floor.  One of those tracks,”Heartstrings,” is well known in the Frostiverse, but will see its studio debut on “Falling Satellites,” which will be released May 27th.

(By the way, it’s not like you need me to connect any prog dots for you, but if Rockfield Studios sounds somewhat familiar, it could be because Rush recorded “A Farewell To Kings” and “Hemispheres”at the Wales-based studio)

Taken from “The Rockfield Files” DVD, Godfrey excerpted and posted this beautifully-shot and edited video for “Heartstrings” earlier this week. Enjoy!

Frost* – The Rockfield Files DVD Trailer

Lest anyone think the lack of Jem Godfrey’s often hilarious “Frost* Reports” means the band have been hibernating, fear not: The boys are back with a new DVD just in time for the holidays!

Aside from brilliant re-workings of Frost* staples, the photography and lighting are REALLY good here, so do check out this trailer. Cheers!