The Thrill of Fresh CDs

Look what showed up yesterday! Cheers to Lasercd for the prompt delivery.

I originally wasn’t going to purchase Big Big Train’s Stone & Steel Blu-ray because of the supposed issues with it not playing on some American Blu-ray players. Thankfully, it works perfectly on my home player, and I’m glad I was still able to get a copy before they ran out. The packaging is beautiful, much like everything Big Big Train does. I should have bought it a year ago.

My intro to BBT was English Electric: Full Power, so I still haven’t heard the English Electric albums in their original format. I figured I’d add these to my BBT collection before they too are unavailable. I may be young, but I despise the whole streaming thing. When I can afford it, I love to buy actual CDs. Even though I typically use iTunes to listen to music, I love having the physical CD with great packaging and a booklet. If the artists are going to go to such lengths to make a beautiful product, I want to experience it the way it was meant to be experienced.

Thank you to all the wonderful progressive rock bands out there making excellent music and caring enough about your craft to keep going. You make life for the rest of us a little bit easier.

The Night Siren: The Peaceful Resistance of Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett, The Night Siren (InsideOut, 2017)

Tracks: Behind the Smoke (6:58), Martian Sea (4:41), Fifty Miles From the North Pole (7:08), El Nino (3:52), Other Side of the Wall (4:01), Anything But Love (5:56), Inca Terra (5:54), In Another Life (6:07), In the Skeleton Gallery (5:09), West to East (5:14), The Gift (2:45)

I think we all know by now that Steve Hackett is a genius. Over the last several years of this current wave of progressive rock, it seems that everything Mr. Hackett has touched has turned to gold. Indeed, he recently told the fine folks over at Prog magazine that he is currently in one of the most creative phases of his life (Prog 73). Considering his remarkable musical catalog, that is saying a lot. It rings true, however, when The Night Siren and his previous album Wolflight are concerned. They are some of the best albums of his solo career.

Both of these albums include a lot of what some might call “world music.” He features instruments and musicians from all over the world, including Azerbaijan, Scotland, Iceland, and Israel. He even includes both Jewish and Palestinian singers from Israel on the same song. Throughout all of this mix, Hackett’s message is clear: if we can have peace through musical collaboration, why can’t we have world political peace? This is certainly an excellent question to which it seems world leaders have no answer.

One might think that this conglomeration of disparate instruments and styles would create an off-putting wall of noise, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hackett masterfully blends these different influences with his signature guitar licks. The result is truly breathtaking.

Continue reading “The Night Siren: The Peaceful Resistance of Steve Hackett”

DPRP Reviews the New Steve Hackett Album

The Dutch Progressive Rock Page has just published a great issue focused solely on Steve Hackett’s new album, The Night Siren, due out on March 24. The issue includes a short interview and three separate album reviews, including one by yours truly. Yes, shameless self-promotion. The Night Siren is a fantastic album, and this DPRP reviews issue shouldn’t be missed.

http://www.dprp.net/reviews/2017-022/

Harken to the Night Siren

hackett1

Steve Hackett The Night Siren

 

Now I’ll be honest the latest Steve Hackett album I have heard is 1994’s Blues With a Feeling, which is not your typical Hackett record, and whilst I have the premonitions set, with the lush 5.1 remastering of his early solo works, despite having heard him guest on other albums, and seen him live several times, cost and life getting in the way have stopped me getting some of his more contemporary work.

Still, he is the only former member of Genesis who is putting out new material on a regular basis, advancing and expanding his sound, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarist in prog, and this album, as it should be is a mighty impressive contemporary prog record.

Continue reading “Harken to the Night Siren”

Progarchy Radio–Halloween 2016

dead-man
From 1985: Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s Party

An appropriately bizarre episode of progarchy radio–featuring only SPOOKY songs!  Featuring Oingo Boingo, Glass Hammer, Matt Stevens, Japan, Gazpacho, Black Vines, The Cure, Steve Rothery, Steve Hackett, U2, Rush, Steven Wilson, Spock’s Beard, Advent, Mazzy Star, Cosmograf, and Simple Minds.

Enjoy!

 

Progarchy Radio Episode 8

prog radio.001
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.