Sam Healy–while complying with Big Euro Brother laws, regulations, and microintrusions–offered a wonderful teaser/trailer for the forthcoming North Atlantic Oscillation album, coming sometime this year.
Granted, it’s only a full-eighteen seconds worth, but it’s eighteen more seconds then we had before. . .
NAO, THE THIRD DAY (Kscope/Snapper, 2014). Tracks: Great Plains II; Elsewhere; August; A Nice Little Place; Penrose; Do Something Useful; Wires; Pines of Eden; Dust; When to Stop.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.–GENESIS, Chapter 1
Though NAO’s Sam Healy is not religious in the least, there might be something culturally reflective here. I have no idea, frankly. But, I’m sure I’m not the only who imagined the Jewish creation story when reading the title of NAO’s third album.
Whatever the origin of the title, I was actually prompted to re-reveiw the album because of listening to the NAO compilation, LIBRARY STRIKES THE LIBRARY TWICE. Listening to the three tracks on that “best of,” taken from THE THIRD DAY, and listening to them out of context gave me an entirely new perspective on the 2014 album.
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.
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.
I’m back! After two months at 10,000 feet above sea level and almost no internet, I have high speed! So, what do I do with my access. . . I record progarchy radio episode 9. Music from The Tangent, The Ben Cameron Project, The Pineapple Thief, Frost*, Oceansize, Riverside, SAND, Karmakanic, Simple Minds, Nosound, Roswell 6, Tool, Threshold, Jason Rubenstein, and Cosmograf.