The Best Prog of 2016, Part I

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The best album of 2016: Glass Hammer’s VALKYRIE

What a year.  I would guess that when historians look back to 2016, they will see it as a year of extreme violence and angry populism.  Sadly, both the violence and the politics revealed themselves from time to time in the prog world, but not detrimentally so.

Life, dignity, and art remain, however, no matter what the politicians scream.  And, praise the Lord we have good music to heal so many hurts of this broken world.

Glass Hammer, VALKYRIE.  Not just the best GH album, but one of the greatest rock albums ever made.  Susie has never sounded better, and GH has gone well beyond their comfort level to explore a full-blown novel in this terribly moving story.  This album strikes that perfect—and all too elusive—via media, balancing beauty and innovation.  VALKYRIE is, undoubtedly, my favorite album of the year.

In the next several spots, I have to wrestle with myself.  Frankly, any ranking after VALKYRIE, would change day by day and, perhaps, even hour by hour.  So, I offer the following loves.

Continue reading “The Best Prog of 2016, Part I”

Neal Morse, Superstar: The Similitude of a Dream

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Radiant Records, 2016

Here’s the best way to sum up the new Neal Morse Band album.

  • If you loved SNOW, you might or might not love THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.
  • If you loved SOLA SCRIPTURA, you’ll definitely love THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.
  • If you loved THE GRAND EXPERIMENT, you’ll think THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM is good, but not great.
  • If you have not heard of any of the albums mentioned above, but you’d like to try some of Neal Morse’s music, you definitely DO NOT want to start with THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.

Every one of Neal Morse’s post-Spock’s Beard album seemed to get better and better: TESTIMONY; ONE; ?; LIFELINE; TESTIMONY 2; and MOMENTUM.  With the exception of SOLA SCRIPTURA, Morse seemed incapable of making a mistake.  Though I dislike SOLA SCRIPTURA not only for its themes and lyrics and for its music being over-the-top bombast, I was certainly willing to forgive these problems — especially given the honest spirit in which the album was written, produced, and performed.

What about THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM, then?

Continue reading “Neal Morse, Superstar: The Similitude of a Dream”

Some Random Prog Thoughts

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Press play.  Repeat.  Thank you, Glass Hammer.

My apologies for being so quiet for a bit now.  After the great visit by the Reverend John Simms and his beautiful bride, Jude, I’ve been working on tons of things not directly related to music or to progarchy.  Mostly classes and lecturing, but quite a bit of traveling as well.

Yet, at the back of everything, prog keeps reminding me what matters most in the world–hearth, home, kids, my students, beauty, truth, and goodness.

I’ve been rather obsessed with a few albums through the first third of this academic semester: Glass Hammer’s VALKYRIE; Marillion’s FEAR; and SAND’s SLEEPER.  If you’ve not gotten these yet, please do so.  They have  been in constant rotation.

Continue reading “Some Random Prog Thoughts”

Get ready to Pre-Order the new Neal Morse Band album

Pre-orders begin at 10am Friday Sept. 9!
 
You Must Be Registered at www.radiantrecords.com to receive the free downloads that will come with your pre-order! Register now so you’re ready! 
(We suggest that you go to www.radiantrecords.com  

now to make sure your username and password 

 

work correctly)
 
The first 200 preorders of the SE or Vinyl versions will receive a 5″ 7″ exclusive framable photo of an actual lyric sheet signed by Neal Morse. And free downloads of 2 tracks from the album!
This is gonna be great!
Thanks,
The Radiant Records Team

Only a Few Neal MorseFest Tickets Left

[Morse]fest 2016 is only two weeks away! Guarantee your spot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
 
[Morse]fest is July 1-2, 2016 in Cross Plains, TN. Remaining ticket options are listed below:
Double Night Tickets (20 tickets remaining)
  • Entry into both Friday’s “Unplugged Storyteller” concert AND Saturday’s “SNOW” concert
Single Night Ticket – Friday (100 tickets remaining)
  • Entry into Friday’s “Unplugged Storyteller” concert
“Unplugged Storyteller” (Friday)
Featuring Neal Morse, Nick D’Virgilio, Casey McPherson, and Eric Gillette. Join us inside the minds of these incredible artists and see where these songs began and what made them the unforgettable songs they are!
 
“SNOW” (Saturday)
For the first time ever, the original members of Spock’s Beard will perform the legendary prog epic “SNOW” in its entirety. The show will include encores and more featuring ALL Spock’s Beard members, past and present, including Neal Morse, Alan Morse, Dave Meros, Nick D’Virgilio, Ryo Okumoto, Ted Leonard, and Jimmy Keegan.
Don’t wait any longer. Get your tickets here.


We look forward to seeing you,
The Radiant Team

Neal Morse Band: aLIVE again

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Forthcoming, August 2016

The amazing new Neal Morse Band “Alive Again” DVD/2CD Set and Blu-ray will now be released worldwide August 5th.  Pre-orders will begin 9:00 a.m. CDT June 21st.

Radiant’s Special Offer! The first 100 pre-orders of either version will receive a tour setlist signed by the whole band. This rare exclusive collectors item is only available through RadiantRecords.com

 

Track Listing

CD 1

1    Alive Again Intro
2    The Call
3    Leviathan
4    The Grand Experiment
5    Harm’s Way
6    Bill’s Keyboard Solo
7    The Creation
8    There Is Nothing That God Can’t Change

Total Time  65:22

CD 2

1    Waterfall
2    Eric’s Gtr Solo
3    In The Fire
4    Alive Again
5    Rejoice
6    Oh Lord, My God
7    Reunion
8    King Jesus

Total Time   73:50

Riding on the tremendous success of their breakthrough album, The Grand Experiment, The Neal Morse Band set out on a tremendously successful world tour in the spring of 2015. Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy have teamed up with Randy George, Eric Gillette, and Bill Hubauer to create one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all time. Full stop. The Alive Again package shows them at the top of their form performing for a rousing audience in Holland March 6, 2015.

Audio mixed by Rich Mouser

 “The Neal Morse Band is a force of nature. They have evolved into a great live band, one that is as good as there is in music and they really shine on this live set. The performances here are jaw-dropping and might have you giving a standing ovation from your couch.” – Roie Avin, The Prog Report

[N.B. progarchy loves the views of Roie Avin!]

[N.B.II, my only complaint is that this does not include a live version of “New Jerusalem,” the single greatest song Morse has written!]

 

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.