Donate to Jerry Ewing and PROG/Merry Christmas

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Dear Progarchists,

One of the only (well, probably the ONLY!) good things about PROG being shut down is seeing the amount of support being shown for our beloved friends.  On Facebook, everyone from Greg Spawton to Matt Cohen to Mike Portnoy and beyond has offered great words for Jerry and everyone at Prog.

Mike Morton of The Gift has taken this to the next level.  He’s set up a link to help donate to all of those who just lost their jobs.  Remember, they had no idea this was coming at work.  Not only were they let go this afternoon, they were denied pay for the previous three weeks as well.

Continue reading “Donate to Jerry Ewing and PROG/Merry Christmas”

Jerry Ewing’s Brief and Diplomatic Explanation

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This just appeared on Jerry’s wall at FB (late afternoon, December 19, 2016).  I post it not for reasons of gossip, but simply as news and information.

Of course, I’m totally on Jerry’s side. . . . Sounds like Dickensian nightmare.

Well you’ve heard the rumours. You’ve read the news. It would be remiss of me too say much on a public forum, but they walked in, told us TeamRock had gone into liquidation, no one was getting paid in December, and to vacate the premises there and then. I could rage now about some people, but that will come later. For now, almost 100 good people exit into the cold December night, unaware of whether they can afford a Christmas dinner, or a roof over their head in January. Good people who have slaved over great magazines for great musical causes for many years. Brilliantly talented people: [removed names Jerry lists]. The best of the best. We’ll be back folks. Watch this space…

We love you, Teamrock and Jerry Ewing!!!!

prog-share-logoOnly moments ago, I learned that Teamrock (parent company of PROG and CLASSIC ROCK magazines) has gone under.  Lots of really talented folks are out of work as of today.  For what it’s worth, I am so terribly sorry to know this.  Jerry has been a solid and kind friend to us, and he and his team have brought me (and I’m sorry all of us) hours and hours of entertainment and news.  I was always struck by how professional the layout, the writing, and the art at PROG was.  Perfectionists, all.  They deserve better than this.

Here are a few news stories on the web.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-38370464

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-news/73-jobs-lost-publisher-team-9486316

For what it’s worth, Teamrock, we love you and thank you for everything you’ve done for us, and we wish you nothing but the absolute best.

Susie Bogdanowicz: Best Female Vocalist, 2016

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Susie Bogdanowicz

Dear Progarchists,

Prog Magazine, led by the ever-amazing Jerry Ewing, has asked for a vote of the best of 2016 in a variety of categories.  The Prog Readers Poll, as Ewing describes it:

Here’s your chance to vote in the Prog 2016 Readers’ Poll.  2016 might not be year many of us will remember too findlay, for a variety of reasons. But music is the great leveller, and in music we all seek the great escape. Having just compiled our Critics’ Choice album of the year list, and casting an eye back over the past 12 months, then maybe 2016 did have something going for it… There were great new albums from Marillion, Opeth,Big Big Train, iamthemorning, Radiohead and more. Vibrant gigs from Haken, Public Service Broadcasting, Dream Theater and others. And new arrivals on the scene like Kylver, The Anchoress, Teramaze. Oh, and some blokes called Anderson Rabin Wakeman… Maybe 2016 wasn’t too bad after all… So who made your 2016 a real prog rocker? Let us know – you can fill in the form on Page 25 of the current issue of Prog. or you can e-mail us your picks for the following categories. Use the subject Line ‘Readers’ Poll 2016′, and e-mail your choices to progpoll@teamrock.com.

We’ve never (and I’ve never) done anything like this before, but I ask that you consider voting for Susie Bogdanowicz of Glass Hammer as BEST FEMALE VOCALIST.  I’ve been praising her vocals for well over a decade now, and I find that she simply gets better and better, though I did not think this possible when I first heard her voice.  Her lead vocals on this year’s VALKYRIE by Glass Hammer are nothing less than astounding.  Indeed, I consider her the single best voice in all of rock (in every form) today.

In case you’re in doubt, however, I’ll let you decide for yourself.  Here she is, singing a prog classic.

Dare I note, she’s even better than the original vocalist!  Heresy, I know.  Still, proof as well that Bogdanowicz deserves best female prog vocalist of 2016.

Thanks!  Yours, Brad

Jerry Ewing: Correct as Usual

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Our fearless leader, Jerry the Viking.

A fascinating opinion piece by the editor of PROG, our friend and ally, Jerry Ewing.

The whole scenario raises one or two interesting points which – the most obvious of which is does Robert John Godfrey have a point? And if he does, were his points of reference correct in relation to that. And ultimately, does it really matter? On this latter point my personal feeling is not really. The history of rock music is littered with verbal spats between artists, most adding a soupçon of enjoyment to the crazy world of rock’n’roll for a short while, but few, if any, leaving any lasting effects on the careers of the protagonists or remaining embedded in the memory of all but the most zealous fan.

http://www.teamrock.com/features/2016-03-08/oh-robert-you-ve-gone-and-done-it-now

Jerry Ewing and PROG: A Class Act

prog 2015 programmeMy September 2015 issue of PROG arrived today in Michigan.  Wow, do I love this magazine.  The iPad app/version is wonderful, but it’s so very nice to hold a tangible issue in my hands.  Even the distinctive magazine smell is nice.

Much to my delight, PROG also included a copy of the PROGRESSIVE MUSIC AWARDS PROGRAMME 2015 with the issue.  Definitely thoughtful and well done.

Excellence is . . . well . . . excellent in whatever form it takes.

Thanks, Jerry and PROG!

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Neil Peart: Cultural Repercussions Now Available

As any Neil Peart fan well knows, the great man just celebrated his 63rd birthday and his sequel to his co-authored novel, CLOCKWORK LIVES, comes out tomorrow. We all eagerly await with intense and immense anticipation this new work by Peart and Hugo-nominated science-fiction author, Kevin J. Anderson.

Out September 15, 2015.
Out September 15, 2015.

I must also proudly note that my intellectual biography of the world’s greatest drummer comes out tomorrow as well. NEIL PEART: CULTURAL (RE)PERCUSSIONS (WordFire Press). It will be available in paperback ($14.99) and ebook ($5.99) but is now available for pre-order.

http://www.amazon.com/Neil-Peart-Repercussions-depth-professional/dp/1614753547/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1442243061&sr=8-1

I have to thank a lot of folks for their encouragement with this book project, and I hope I give everyone due credit in the book. When I read the works of Steve Horwitz and Rob Freedman, I just knew that I had to write a book on Peart. I’ve loved Neil Peart’s words and musicianship since first encountering MOVING PICTURES in March 1981. I was in seventh grade, and I’ve never been the same. To me, Peart fits in the same category as J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, and Milton Friedman as influences on my young life. As Peart has grown, so have I. And, so, I presume have most of us.

This book also turns out to be my fifth published biography. The other biographies, however, have been almost completely academic. When I first started to write this book, I’d wanted to write an autobiography with the emphasis on how Peart shaped my own life and thoughts on a variety of things. Even during the first draft, I started deviating from this plan. By the final product, I’d left in only a few personal experiences. There are two reasons for this.

First, almost everyone who reads the book wants to know about Peart, not me. Second, some of the experiences are still too painful to make public fully. I can only state that Peart’s art and example has meant as much to me and my life as any figure outside of my family.

In the book, I focus on Peart as a man of letters, one of our greatest in the English language. I was pretty thrilled when PROG’s Johnny Sharp wrote:

But author Bradley Birzer does go a little over the top in his gushing praise of his subject. When an intro mentions Peart in the same sentence as Socrates and Cicero. . .

He’s completely correct, of course. But, you should’ve seen earlier drafts! Ha. Anyway, if you like what we do at progarchy, you’ll like the bio.

Actually, I was just thrilled that my favorite magazine reviewed my book! Even if Sharp had hated it, I’d still be pretty honored that Jerry Ewing and Grant Moon took it seriously enough to review. Still, I’m so glad Sharp actually enjoyed it!

Here’s hoping you will as well!