This Is All the Fault of Stranger Things …

So apparently, a Twitter user wanted Weezer to cover Toto’s “Africa,” after hearing the iconic 1980s yacht-rock classic on the season 1 soundtrack of Stranger Things.  After the meme went viral, in very short order:

  • Weezer tried to troll Twitter with a cover of “Rosanna.”  The masses were not appeased.
  • Four days later, the inevitable Weezer version of “Africa” dropped.  And it was a hit, scoring their first Alternative No. 1 song in 10 years.
  • Of course, Weezer now had to play “Africa” in concert; Toto synthesizer whiz Steve Porcaro even joined in the fun for the keyboard solo on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”  And last night, Weezer was joined by a very special guest for a even more very special solo:


  • Clearly enjoying the whole thing, Toto (currently on the US leg of their 40 Trips Around the Sun tour), have started covering a Weezer song for their encore:


  • And of course, Toto’s single of “Hash Pipe” will be released tomorrow.

All of which, to quote Robert Plant, makes me wonder:

  • Will Rivers Cuomo crash the stage when I see Toto live in a couple of weeks?
  • Are we witnessing the birth of a new supergroup, the likes of which the world has never seen?  Is a mashup of “Buddy Holly” and “Hold the Line” inevitable?
  • Is all this really the Upside Down’s revenge?
  • Can this astonishing turn of events be stopped before it’s too late?  Should we be frightened of this thing that it’s become?

On the other hand, perhaps we should all just relax.  And plan to tune in to season 3 of Stranger Things.  If only to see what music is hot in Sam Goody’s at … the Starcourt Mall …


— Rick Krueger

Tom Timely Revealed! Glass Hammer being Mischievous.

The Elf KingSo, after several months of curious postings and even a rather great music video, it seems that Tom Timely, aka “The Elf King,” is the Tom of Glass Hammer’s 2000 masterpiece, CHRONOMETREE.

Here’s Tom, himself, from 1983.

Notice the date!  Just about three months before season 1 of Stranger Things begins.  Tom never admits it, but I’m guessing that he lived in Hawkins, Indiana.

Enjoy the mystery!

Some Neglected Music of 2017, Part I

By neglected, I don’t mean by the world.  I mean, by me.

In a few other posts, I have had the privilege of listing my top albums, in the order I loved them.  My 2017 list goes, from no. 10 to no. 1: Anathema, The Optimist; Bjorn Riis, Forever Comes to an End; My Tricksy Spirit; Ayreon, The Source; The Tangent, The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery; Cosmograf, Hay-Man Dreams; Glass Hammer, Untold Tales; Newspaperflyhunting, Wastelands; Dave Kerzner, Static; and Big Big Train, everything released in 2017!

There are, however, a number of great releases from the year that I simply did not have time to grasp fully or immerse myself in the way I think necessary to review properly.  None of this, however, should suggest–to my mind, at least–even a kind of lesser quality or second-hand citizenship in the world of Prog, or in the republican anarchy that is progarchy.

For what it’s worth, I thought each of the following extraordinary as well, and, I hope, when Kronos allows, time to embrace each in the way it deserves.


lifesigns cardingtonLifesigns, Cardington.  I think John Young is a treasure of a musician and composer, and I’m honored to travel this world at the same time as he.  Intelligence radiates from everything the man does, and, even better, it’s an intelligence utterly in the service of good things.  The first Lifesigns was a shock of joy to me.  This one as well, though I’ve just not had the time to dive into it.

When I listen to Lifesigns, I actually think of Young and the band as the anti-Radiohead guys.  Imagine the darkness of Radiohead and then do exactly the opposite, in terms of melody and lyrics.  And, you might arrive at Lifesigns. My favorite track on this new release is nine-plus minute “Different.”

Continue reading “Some Neglected Music of 2017, Part I”

Best Prog of 2016, Part III

Ok, so I’m taking a bit to get through my best of 2016.  It was a GOOD year.  Certainly not when it came to violence or politics, but music.  It soothes my upset soul.  Thank you, fellow proggers.

stranger-things-cdOne quick note before I dive into part III.

I must mention an album (two parter) that brought immense joy to me this year: the soundtrack of STRANGER THINGS.  I’ve had the opportunity to sing the praises of this glorious 8-part nostalgia trip of a Netflix series elsewhere, and I’m terrible at trying to describe and review electronic music.  Regardless, this soundtrack captures the mystery of the series just perfectly.  I’ve seen the series three times, and I’ve listened to the two-CD soundtrack a million more.  Few things will define 2016 as much as this series did.

Ok, back to regular programming. . .

Continue reading “Best Prog of 2016, Part III”