Sunday, December 30, 2012

IPRS 117 - It's the End of the World... and Xmas Too

On this year ending (and world ending... if we are to believe the Mayan calender) radio show, originally broadcast on December 21 2012 on UK70s Prog Rock, we go through some World Ending prog songs. And since the end of the world didn't happen during the radio show, we ended with some traditional Proggy Christmas songs.

Don't forget to tell me what are your favourite albums of 2012. Simply write them down in the Comments section. I will compile all I receive and we'll have a count down by the end of January.

I wish everyone a happy New Year. See you all in 2013!

The Playlist was:

1. End of the World, by Asia (Omega, 2010)
2. The End of the World, by Mastermind (Angels of the Apocalypse, 2000)
3. Right to the End of the World Tra-La, by Big Big Train (English Boy Wonders, 1997)
4. And I Wait for My World to End, by Anubis (A Tower of Silence, 2011)
5. End of the World, by Blackfield (Blackfield II, 2007)
6. World's End,Parts I & II, by Pendragon (Not of This World, 2001)
7. The End of the World, by Mostly Autumn (Storms Over Still Water, 2005)
9. Apocalypse: Judgement Day, by The Enid (Arise and Shine, 2009)
10. Apocalypstic, by Panic Room (Visionary Position, 2008)
11. World Without End, by Neal Morse (Momentum, 2012)
12. Christmas 2012, by Ifsounds (Red Apple, 2012)
13. Cicha Noc (Silent Night), by Millenium (Progressive Rock Christmas, 2009)
14. Anticipating Christmas, by Little Tragedies (New Faust, 2006)
15. Christmas Through Your Eyes, by Paul Cusick (Christmas Through Your Eyes CDS, 2010)
16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, by Jethro Tull (The Christmas Album, 2009)
17. I Saw Three Ships, by Marillion (A Very Barry Christmas, 2001)
18. The Little Drummer Boy, by Neal Morse (A Proggy Christmas, 2011)
19. A Christmas Carol from Flanders, by Pax Romana (And the Dance Begins Again, 2009)
20. Christmas Time, by Aside Beside (Tadj Mahall Gates, 2002)
21. Expecting Snow, by Big Big Train (Goodbye to the Age of Steam, 1994)
22. Snow Dance, by Yuka Funakoshi & Chronoship (Water Reincarnation, 2011)
23. When Snow's Falling Down, by Silhouette (Across the Rubicon, 2012)


As always, if you like the music, purchase the albums or the songs through the artists' websites listed above, or through your favourite reseller. Have a great New Year's Eve Prog Party!

Monday, December 24, 2012

What Are Your Top 10 Prog CDs of 2012

It's that time of year again when we look back on the year that has just passed us by so quickly and ponder the good and the bad.

Of the 1104 new releases to date, many are worthy of being in someone's Top 10 of the year.

So once again I ask you, dear reader and dear listener, what are you;re Top 10 Progressive Rock CDs of the year. I will compile the lists and play the Top 20 on a future International Prog Rock Show.

Please write down your lists in the comments section.

Merry Christmas to One and All


To all IPRS listeners and followers on the Facebook page and here on the blogspot page, I wish a very merry Christmas and a prog-tastic New Year.

Frank

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Steven Wilson Album Pre-Order

The new album by Steven Wilson and band The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories) will be released on Kscope on 25th February. The album was written between January and July, and recorded in Los Angeles in September with Steven’s current band line up of Guthrie Govan on lead guitar, Nick Beggs on bass guitar, Marco Minnemann on drums, Adam Holzman on keyboards, and Theo Travis on saxophone / flute. the album was also engineered by legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons.


It is now available to pre-order in 4 different formats from Burning Shed. The deluxe edition comes in the form of a 128 page book, illustrated by Hajo Mueller, and features lyrics and ghost stories.
It includes the 6 track 55 minute album on one CD, an exclusive additional CD of demo versions (which themselves are full band studio recordings effectively presenting a full alternate version of the album, with different performances, solos and ideas), a Blu-Ray including high resolution 96K/24bit stereo, 96/24 instrumental versions, a 5.1 surround sound mix also at 96/24, photo galleries and additional artwork, and a studio documentary filmed by Lasse Hoile.
A DVD-V is also included for those without Blu-Ray players, although this does not include the instrumental versions and the 5.1 mix is a DTS compressed version. This limited edition 4 disc deluxe book edition is presently available for a special early bird price.
There are also standalone Blu-Ray, CD/DVD and 2LP Vinyl editions.

More info and links can be found here.


New Manning CD Update


Work has started on the next Manning Studio album (#14) It is to be called The Root, The Leaf & The Bone and is set for Autumn 2013 release… Nine  new tracks have been composed (in no set running order yet):

1. The Root, the Leaf & the Bone
2. Old School
3. The Forge
4. Autumn Song
5. The Huntsman & the Poacher
6. Decon(struction) Blues
7. Mists of Morning Calling to the Day
8. The Palace of Delights
9. Amongst the Sleepers


The recording line-up will comprise of current (and newly revised) Manning band plus some Special Guests (TBA) It is envisaged that the bulk of this new material will be premiered with the 2013 live dates (ahead of the album release) 2013 – The year of the great Manning excavation!

If you want to learn more about Manning, I've had the pleasure of speaking with him on numerous occasions, and you can download the interviews from the Podcast Tab.



Please see the Manning Website for all the latest details.

IPRS 116: The Symphonic Edition

On the latest International Prog Rock Show, airing on UK70sProgRock every Friday at 2 PM EST and repeated on Sundays at 7 PM EST, I decided to play some Prog based on classical music motifs, some Orchestra's playing some Prog, and some Porg using Classical orchestras. From the birth of Prog music in the psychedelic era, prog has always had a link to symphonic music. Long tracks, sometimes using the whole side of an LP (for you young ones, LPs are coming back into style), with different themes and movements, are archetypes of what Prog aspired to be. This is a style mostly associated with ELP, Yes, and Rick Wakeman.

I also paid hommage to recently departed artists Jon Lord, Michael Dunford of Renaissance, and Dave Brubeck, followed by a slew of new releases.

The play list was as follows:

1. Le Massacre du Printemps (Part I), by The Tangent (A Place on the Shelf, 2010)
2. Pictures at an Exhibition, by Emerson Lake and Palmer (Live at Mar Y Sol Festival, 2007
3. The Endless Enigma Suite, by Keith Emerson Band (Three Fates Project, 2012)
4. City of Gold, by Tony Banks (Six Pieces for Orchestra, 2012)
5. The Battle, by Rick Wakeman (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 2012)
6. Movement three: Vivace – Presto, by Jon Lord (Concerto for Group and Orchestra (2012)
7. Song of Scheherazade, by Renaissance (King Biscuit Flower Hour, 2997)
8. Lt Kije / Rondo, by The Nice (The Nice (Remastered), 2003)
9. Back to Your Moon, by Fish on Friday (Airborne, 2012)
10. You Wonder Why, by Jadis (See Right Through You, 2012)
11. Wild Flower, by Innerspace (Innerspace, 2012)
12. View from the Mountain, by Colin Mold (Girl on the Castle Steps, 2012)
13. Good Times, by The Winter Tree (Guardians, 2012)
14.Whale Watch, by Stick Men (Deep, 2012)
15. Return of the Artisan, by Final Conflict (Return of the Artisan, 2012)
 
As always, if you like the music, encourage the artists and follow the links to purchase their CDs. It's the only way to keep the music alive.

Lifesigns' Self Titled Debut Set for January

Lifesigns' eponomous debut album is scheduled for release on 28th January. It will be a five track offering and early reviews are already calling it stunning!

Lifesigns are John Young, Nick Beggs, and Frosty Beedle. The album also boasts an impressive cast of guest musicians including Steve Hackett, Thijs Van Leer (Focus), Jakko Jakszyk (21st Century Schizoid Band) and Robin Boult (Fish).

Listen to the trailer.


RIP Iron Butterfly's Lee Dorman

Iron Butterfly’s bassist Lee Dorman passed away ‘of heart releated natural causes’ yesterday, Friday December 21, 2012. He was 70.



Here, to remember him by, is a 1968 live recording of In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida. (And if you want to really creep out on this song, go out and rent the Manhunter DVD. It is based on the novel Red Dragon and features the first appearance of Hannibal Lector. It also features this terrific song).

IQ Set to Release 2013 Remix of Lush Attic



IQ are set to release the 2013 remix of Tales from the Lush Attic on 21st January 2013 in both a double disc CD/DVD format and on vinyl.

Mike Holmes says: “When we did the 25th anniversary edition of The Wake we took the finished stereo mix and re-mastered it. It made a big difference to the overall sound, but we weren’t able to give it a complete remix because the multi track tapes had been lost in the mists of time. However with Tales we could go right back to the beginning, using the original 24 track tapes to build the mix from scratch.

It was great to finally give this album the mix it deserved. I’ve spent years avoiding the studio release of Tales, just because I knew it could be so much better. It is now.”


The 30th anniversary special edition of Tales of the Lush Attic is a double disc with hard back 32 page book with lots of extras, including the complete remix of the album and a DVD featuring live video footage of material from Tales along with a host of MP3 files, original mixes, audio commentary and previously unreleased writing/rehearsal/demo material.

Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 remix’ will also be available in limited edition vinyl format: 180 gram, gatefold sleeve – 500 black and 500 clear vinyl.

Here is the track listing:

CD
   The Last Human Gateway
   Through The Corridors (Oh! Shit Me)
   Awake And Nervous
   My Baby Treats Me Right ‘Cos I’m A Hard Lovin’ Man All Night Long
   The Enemy Smacks
Bonus tracks
   Wintertell (2012 recording)
   The Last Human Gateway (end section, alternative vocals)
   Just Changing Hands (unfinished demo)
   Dans Le Parc du Château Noir (unfinished demo)


DVD
   The Last Human Gateway
   Through The Corridors (Oh! Shit Me)
   About Lake Five / Awake And Nervous
   The Enemy Smacks (Live at De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Holland: October 23, 2011)
Photo Gallery (contemporary photos and artwork)
DIY Mix of ‘Through The Corridors' : multi-track audio files and mixing software

MP3 files:
   ‘Tales From The Lush Attic’ (original mix: August 1983)
   Seven Stories into Eight (original cassette album)

   Tales from the Lush Attic - audio commentary by Peter and Mike
Further listening:
   The Enemy Smacks (first attempts: November 1982)
   The Last Human Gateway (writing session: February 1983)
   Just Changing Hands (instrumental demo: February 1983)
   Just Changing Hands (rehearsal: February 11, 1983)
   Wintertell (demo: July 1983)
   The Last Human Gateway (first complete version - rehearsal: July 27, 1983)
   Untitled version 1 (rehearsal: August 1983)
   Untitled version 2 (rehearsal: August 1983)
   Hollow Afternoon (demo, original lyrics: 1983)
   Just Changing Hands (Cava demo: 1984)
   The Last Human Gateway (middle section) (1991 recording)


Meanwhile IQ have been writing new material and preparing for upcoming shows. They have had a busy year!

Mike: “2012 was a busy year for us - we've had to rehearse two completely different sets (no mean feat for Tim and Neil) and personally I've spent quite a bit of time on the Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 remix. However, in between all that we did manage to snatch a couple of hours here and there to try out some new material, and I have to say its sounding promising - a bit like IQ in fact. At the moment we've accrued about 30 minutes of stuff, although its far too early to say if we'll actually use any of it or not...
Those of you who have been with us a while will know that time is very, very relative in IQ world, but next year we’ll definitely be concentrating heavily on writing for the first three months, and we'll take a break from writing to play a few live gigs at the end of April. Its always good to test out some of the new material on an unsuspecting public.
I would love to say that we'll have a new album out by the end of next year, but I probably shouldn't put that in writing...”.
  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Marillion Weekend Twofur


We have become accustomed to hearing a classic album in its entirety on Friday nights during Marillion Weekends (Brave in 2002, Afraid of Sunlight in 2003, Marbles in 2005, Seasons End in 2009, and Holidays in Eden in 2011 - the only notable exception being 2007 where they performed parts of Somewhere Else) and themed shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, depending on where the weekends are (Netherlands, Canada, or England) you get to "Swap the band" or an outing, or signing sessions, or simply hobnobbing with fans and band members.

For next year's Marillion Weekend we knew in advance that the Friday night show would be dedicated to the Radiation album. But news has just come out that the band intend to add another classic album to the weekend festivities. On Saturday nights on all Weekends they will perform their classic Brave album in its entirety.

The band commented:
The production will aim to replicate the original tour, featuring all-new projections and our trademark light show.

It's an amazing opportunity to revisit the live performance, or experience the full power of Brave for the very first time.
As of this writing tickets are selling well and some are available for all three weekends, so get them while they last.

http://www.marillionweekend.com/

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Spock's Beard Available for Pre-Order!

You can now pre-order the forthcoming Spock's Beard CD. From their website:

The preorder for our next CD has finally begun!

We are now taking preorders for a Limited Edition of our 11th studio CD. Target delivery date for the Limited Edition is March 01, 2013.

Proceeds from this preorder are a necessary part of the funding required to put out a quality product, so your support is greatly appreciated!

The title of the CD is “Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep” and will be shipped as a main disc PLUS a bonus disc. This privately released Limited Edition will contain an additional bonus track and some extra booklet pages that will not be on the InsideOut release in April.

As a gesture of appreciation for your trust in Spock’s Beard, by purchasing this CD before it is even finished your preordered copies will be shipped a month before being released worldwide by InsideOut / Century Media.

You’ll notice that there are more preorder options this time, one of which is a digital download. There are also some more expensive packages offered that are quite unique and may be highly interesting to some of you.

So click HERE to check it out! Preorder soon because it is a Limited Edition with only 5,000 units available. (The 5,000 total units available will be divided between digital downloads and physical CDs). Once they’re gone, they’re gone, never to be reissued.

Prog Folk Band The Decemberists on the Simpsons


Message from the band itself:

While the live-action Decemberists are still hibernating, their animated counterparts are poised to debut on The Simpsons Sunday night (December 9) at 8pm ET on FOX (and live on into eternity through the power of syndication). Their appearance isn't a mere cameo - the band also wrote and recorded original music for the episode. And Colin penned his line himself which makes it that much more Decemberist-ier.

The episode, entitled "The Day The Earth Stood Cool," also features the great Patton Oswalt, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. Be sure to tune in via your preferred visual entertainment medium

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IPRS 115

I have been so busy these past few months I had totally forgotten to post the playlist of the only IPRS radio show of November. So here it is. The show always airs on Fridays and repeats on Sundays on UK70sProgRock.

Playlist:

1. Overture, by Shadow Circus (On a Dark and Stormy Night, 2012)
2. From a Point of Existence Parts I-V, by Gandalf's Fist (From a Point of Existence, 2012)
3. Broken, by To-Mera (Exile, 2012)
4. Deadline, by Weend'ô (You Need to Know Yourself, 2012)
5. Montreal, by Marillion (Sounds that Can't Be Made, 2012)
6. Paranova, by Antimatter (Paranova CDS, 2012)
7. Freefalling, by Panic Room (Skin, 2012)
8. Claudette, by Alphataurus (Attosecondo, 2012)
9. Undone, by The Psychedelic Ensemble (Undone CDS, 2012)
10. Suite "O Arquiteto" Part III: Frank Lloyd, by Quaterna Requiem (O Arquiteto, 2012)
11. 1000, by John Galgano (Real Life Is Meeting, 2012)
12. Tron, by Seid (Magic Handshake, 2012)
13. i.b.too, by iamthemorning (~, 2012)
14. Incoherentt Ramblings, by 3rDegree (The Long Division, 2012)
15. Odisea: The Return, by Nexus (Magna Fabulis, 2012)

As always, if you loved the music you heard on the radio show, click on the links above to purchase the CDs directly from the artists.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Michael Dunford 1944-2012

More sad news for Renaissance and music fans everywhere. After having postponed most of the american leg of their latest tour due to Annie Haslam's vertebral compression fracture,we hear that Michael Dunford has passed away. From their website:

Michael Dunford, musical composer and guitarist of the progressive rock band Renaissance passed away on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. He had just returned home from the first leg of the band’s North American tour and suffered a massive Instantaneous Cerebral Hemorrhage while dining at his home in Surrey, England Monday night. He was rushed to hospital where doctors declared his condition irreversible and terminal. He passed away at 11:06 pm GMT, surrounded by his family without having regained consciousness.
(...)
Earlier this fall, Dunford and the band completed recording their first new studio album in twelve years. Grandine il Vento was recorded at Studio X in Ridgewood NJ, USA. All the music on the new album except for one track was composed and arranged by Dunford and features him on acoustic guitars and backing vocals.
Michael Dunford is survived by his wife Clare, sons William (13) and Oliver (10), and sister Judy Kendall. Services will be held at Woking Crematorium at a date to be announced.

Go read the whole thing here. My condolences to Michael's family and friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shadow Circus Preorder with Goodies!

American prog band Shadow Circus is getting ready to release their latest opus titles "A Dark and Stormy Night" (which seems appropriate considering they are from the New York area and were hit by Hurrican Sandy yesterday). The only things left to do are mastering and packaging, and this is where you come in.

The band have decided to "crowdsource", whereby the band offers goodies such as autographed copies of the CD, t-shirts, and a special mention on the CD artwork itself, in exchange for a "specially priced package" available through their website.



From their website:
Every penny we make from these packages will be put towards producing the absolutely highest-quality production and packaging!

Purchase of any package will earn you a special thanks from the band in the CD cover interior, and every package includes a copy of "On a Dark and Stormy Night" personally autographed by each member of the band!

**Note: These items will ship as soon as the CD becomes available, estimated to be no later than November 24th, 2012.
 
The album cover is wonderfully creepy and the subject matter is equally wonderful. The whole album is based on a story titled "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle.

Track list is as follows:

1. Overture
2. Daddy's Gone
3. Whosit, Whatsit and Which

4. Make Way for the Big Show
5. Tesseract
6. Uriel
7. Camazotz
8. Ixchel
9. The Battle for Charles Wallace

So go, listen to some of the tracks, and encourage this wonderful band.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Andy Tillison & Guy Manning Together Again!

"Owing to the recently announced lineup changes in THE TANGENT, the concerts in NOVEMBER at which the Tangent were to appear will now be replaced by four informal gigs by Andy Tillison and former Tangent member Guy Manning who also fronts his own band, 'Manning' ".

This long overdue 2 man show will call on music from the intertwining careers of both artists and is promised to be light hearted and exceedingly varied!

These concerts will be played as support to the remarkable West Midlands based band IO Earth who will be providing an excellent full band show."

 
voce 
The dates:
 
Thu 1st Nov - The Tunnels, Bristol
Fri 2nd Nov - The Peel, London
Sat 3rd Nov - CRS, Maltby
Sun 4th Nov - Robin2, Bilston


And for a small taster, here they are as Gold Frankincense and DiskDrive, with Hugh Banton, playing a Van der Graaf Generator song.


IPRS #114: The Akoustik Manning Interview

Today on the International Prog Rock Show, which airs on UK70sProgRock Radio Station, we had as a special guest Guy Manning. It's becoming somewhat of a yearly event, as we get to talk every year about Guy's latest release.

This past year has been a busy one for Manning, touring Europe and England with both electric and acoustic shows, and this year's release is a special one: an acoustic album titled "Akoustik".

As with The Tangent, Manning's band has had his share of personel changes, and as a result Guy and Andy Tillison will be doing a series of shows together for the fun of it, opening for IO-Earth (More on that in the next post.)

The playlist for this radio show was:

1. Where Are they Now?, by The Tangent (Going Off on Two, 2011)
2. Mantra, by Crisalida (Solar, 2012)
3. Darkness Has Spoken, by
Alan Reed (First in a Field of One, 2012)
4. Focus 10, by
Focus (X, 2012)
5. Tennison Mansion, by
Mostly Autumn (The Ghost Moon Orchestra, 2012)
6. The Musical Box, by
Steve Hackett (Genesis Revisited II, 2012)
7. Antares, by
Manning (Akoustik, 2012)
8. In My Life, by Manning (Akoustik, 2012)
9. The View from My Window, by Manning (Akoustik, 2012)
10. In the Black Room, by
Parallele or 90 Degrees (No More Travelling Chess, 1999)
11. The Night & the Devil, by Manning (Akoustik, 2012)
12. Eleventh Earl of Mar, by Steve Hackett (Genesis Revisited II, 2012)
As always, if you like the music, encourage the artists by purchasing their CDs through the weblinks above.

Play List for Radio Show 113: Summers End Special

A friend of mine, Chris, wrote to me the other day to tell me I forgot to post the playlist for The International Prog Rock Show's 113th episode that aired on UK70sProgRock on the weekend of the Summers End Festival. and indeed I did forget, so here are the songs played during the radio show with links to the different bands' websites.


1. Poor King of Sun, by Believe (World Is Round, 2011)
2. A Kid Called Panic, by Moon Safari (Lover's End, 2011)
3. Singled Out for Battery, by
Knifeworld (Buried Alone, 2009)
4. Severed of Horsehoof, by Knifeworld (Buried Alone, 2009)
5. Infinite Voyage, by
K2 (Book of the Dead, 2005)
6. In Orbit, by
Woobler (Rites at Dawn, 2011)
7. Sequences, by
Twelfth Night (Live at The Target - Definitive Edition, 2012)
8. The Student Prince, Parts I-IV, by
Comedy of Errors (Disobey, 2011)
9. Goodbye World, by
Cyan (The Creeping Vine, 1999)
10. The House on the Hill, by
Manning (Number 10, 2009)
11. Human Nature, by
IQ
(Nomzamo, 1987)
12. Fand 2010, by The Enid (Risen, 2012)

As always, if you liked the music, please encourage the artists by purchasing their CDs through the above links.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unitopia To Release Highly Anticipated New CD 'Covered Mirror'


Much to the excitement of progressive rock fans around the globe, legendary Australian prog ensemble Unitopia is releasing a new CD of cover songs titled 'Covered Mirror' on October 31, 2012. The most well-known and respected progressive rock band to emerge from Down Under, Unitopia is back with a ground breaking, powerful new release!
 
“Making a covers album is always a challenge,” confesses lead vocalist Mark Trueack, “and reproducing classic songs and making them ours was always going to be difficult.We spent a great deal of time coming up with ideas and we are very proud of the results. We wanted to take the listener on a journey or experience, if you like. We fused together progressive, pop and rock music into one smooth sound.”
 
Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Unitopia endeavours to draw from the heart and soul of the listener thought provoking topics such as environmental awareness, political and social upheaval and the hectic pace of life and human relationships in a positive and uplifting light. Using progressive themes as a framework, Unitopia's music includes elements of world, classical, jazz, heavy rock and groove. Mark Trueack (composer/lead vocals/producer), Sean Timms (composer/keyboards/backing vocals/producer) and Matt Williams (guitars/backing vocals/producer) form the nucleus of the band. To complete the line-up, they chose the combined drum/percussion batteries of David Hopgood and Tim Irrgang, Craig Kelly on bass and Daniel Burgess (sax/clarinet/flute/piccolo/didgeridoo).
 
Unitopia released their first album 'More Than A Dream' in 2007 on the Canadian label Unicorn Digital. The band signed a three-album deal with InsideOut Music in Germany in 2008; the only Australian band to have signed with the label to this day. Unitopia's second album 'The Garden', released that year, established the band as one of the premier progressive rock acts in the world. With the release of their critically acclaimed third CD 'Artificial' and a subsequent successful tour of Europe in 2010, the critics were unanimous. “Unitopia has been one of the best live acts on the Progressive Rock scene in the last few years!”
 
The band's performance at the Boerderij, Zoetermeer in the Netherlands during the 2010 European tour was filmed and recorded. A subsequent live CD and DVD 'One Night In Europe' were released in 2011, successfully capturing the excitement of Unitopia in concert. Adding another dimension to Unitopia's conceptuality, renowned artist Ed Unitsky was brought into the fold, touted as the “fourth Unitopian”. Says Mark in a recent interview with Prognaut, “We found each other on the net. He liked our sound so we started the process of getting to know his art, before engaging in his work.”
 
And now Unitopia has taken their music to another level with their new CD of cover songs. “Both Sean and I chose songs that we both liked and wanted to give them our Midas touch,” says Mark. “We wanted to bring these songs together, by bridging nice musical segways.”
 
Tracks include:
1. Signs of Life (Prelude) Sean Timms
2. Calling Occupants (Klaatu)
3. Easter (Marillion)
4. Man of Colours (Icehouse)
5. Genesis Medley (Genesis)
The Silent Sun
Suppers Ready
Dancing with the Moonlit knight
Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Carpet Crawlers
6. Rain Song (Led Zeppelin)
7. Even in the Quietest Moments (Supertramp)
8. Can We Still be Friends (Todd Rundgren)
9. Speaking The Truth (Dan Burgess/Matt Williams)
10.Everybody’s Gotta learn Sometime (Korgies)
11.Yes Medley (Yes)

     And You and I
     Awaken
     Close to the Edge
     Soon
     Onward
     South Side of the Sky
     Owner of a lonely Heart
12.To one in Paradise (Alan Parsons)
13.The Way the Waters Moving (The Flower Kings) Bonus Track Remix 2012

To purchase Unitopia 'Covered Mirror':
As of September 24th - www.unitopiamusic.com
As of October 31st - Musea Records - www.musearecords.com
As of December 1st - Bird's Robe Records - www.birdsrobe.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Single by The Psychedelic Ensemble


Earlier this year The Psychedelic Ensemble released a downloadable single title "Silent Sam", available through the TPE website. Now comes a new single, titled "Undone". For those who loved the albums, these are two new additions that are worth the download, til the next album comes along.

Speaking of TPE, is you haven't yet heard the interview I did with the leader of this project you can still download it via the download tab on this page. We discussed all his releases, and got insight into the creative art of making music. He has recently gone through some surgery in July, and is now home recovering. He wrote to me saying: "It has been awful. Slowly but surely I am returning to "normal"." Let's wish him a speedy recovery and a return to good health.

Focus "X" to be Release November 5


One the the most notable Dutch progressive rock bands, Focus, will be releasing their eleventh album (that is, if you count 1985's Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer's Focus) with a stunning Roger Dean cover and logo. Focus are releasing "Focus X", standing in for the roman numeral 10, following Focus 9: New Skin, released 6 years ago, and Focus 8, released 10 years ago.

Legendary progressive rock veterans FOCUS are set to release their new studio album FOCUS X on November 5 via Eastworld Recordings.
 
With their unique progressive rock Focus manifested themselves at the start of the seventies as the most successful and the most appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports.
 
The band is fronted by founder and musical genius Thijs van Leer. Their hits include the instrumentals, "Hocus Pocus", "House of the King", and "Sylvia", and their timeless albums include "Moving Waves", "Focus 3" and "Hamburger Concerto".
 
A new Focus era has arrived. There is a rejuvenated passion in the new compositions that adorn the new album "Focus X", which features a full scale Roger Dean painting on the cover. Thijs van Leer commented “It’s a thrill to have finally completed Focus X; we are all ecstatic and looking forward to playing the new material on the forthcoming Focus X Tour.” This album - and the following gigs - will surprise the loyal fans. They will hear once again all the classic Focus tunes and they will be surprised at the strength and depth of the new material. "Our music is evolution, not revolution", Thijs van Leer once said about the music of Focus.
 
After a comeback which resulted in the well received albums "Focus 8" and “Focus 9”, the band is now back on the frontline, with a fantastic line-up. Also back on the drums is Pierre van der Linden, who is internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, and is still a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who stems from a well-acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, completes the band's current line-up.
 
Focus X is released on November 5 via Eastworld Recordings.


Focus will also be on tour, you lucky europeans, you!!

November 2012 ‘Focus X’ UK Tour Dates
Nov 08 Buxton Opera House
Nov 09 Hessle Town Hall
Nov 10 Glasgow The Ferry
Nov 11 Hebden Bridge Trades Club
Nov 13 Wolverhampton Robin 2
Nov 14 Runcorn The Brindley
Nov 15 Barnsley Birdwell
Nov 16 Fletching Trading Boundaries
Nov 17 Tavistock The Wharf
Nov 18 Sutton Boom Boom Club
Nov 19 Milton Keynes The Stables
Nov 20 Chislehurst Beaverwood Club

LINKS
http://www.focustheband.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focus-the-band/197272485986

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

International Prog Rock Show Back on the Air

It's been over a month since the last IPRS aired on UK 70s Prog Rock radio station. As some of you may know, my wife and I recently bought a house and we used our vacation time to pack and go through all our possessions to find out what to keep, what to give, and what to through away.

It has been a painful task, going through years of accumulated stuff (even ticket stubbs from concerts dating back to 1975!!). It also was a time of elation, as we were finally moving into a house of our own.

Though the boxes are not nearly as empty as I would hope them to be at this point (friends tell me it usually takes a couple of months yet again), enough are unpacked and my recording studio is now functional. And now, after a full month without it, we are now connected to the internet, which means I can now conduct interviews.

All this to say that next Friday, September 28th, the IPRS will be back on the air at its usual time (2 PM EST in North America) and place (uk70sprogrock), and will hopefully repeat on Sunday the 30th at 7 PM EST.

PS:

To all artists wishing to send CDs for review or for airing on the radio show, contact me through the e-mail stated on this page to receive the new address at which to send your press kits and packages.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

UK Prog Legends Curved Air Release 'Live Atmosphere' CD/DVD


Reformed in 2008 after a sabbatical of 18 years, Curved Air's concert and festival appearances in the UK, Japan, Italy, Malta, Germany, Portugal, Holland and Belgium continue to thrill a steadily increasing mass of new and old fans. Their experimental blends of classical themes, electronic sounds and pop/rock energy and beautiful, timeless songs are performed with fire and passion and tremendous musicianship.

Now, much to the excitement of their fans worldwide, Curved Air have released a new CD/DVD titled 'Live Atmosphere' - 'Songs of revolution, insanity, loss, desire and ghosts: a unique compilation of powerful Curved Air songs played by a vital contemporary Curved Air'.

'Live Atmosphere'
includes potent new versions of many of the band's classic early 1970's repertoire, including the hits "It Happened Today" and "Backstreet Luv" as well as fan favorites such as "Propositions", "Phantasmagoria" and "Stretch". Produced by Marvin Ayres it showcases both new and original members of the band and comes with a bonus DVD with a tour featurette and an atmospheric visual collage.

The band, still fronted by Sonja Kristina, selected the tracks after multi-track recording the entire first leg of its Live Atmosphere World Tour. Sonja Kristina elaborates by saying:

"We recorded this album to capture the invention and interplay of these virtuoso musicians. Robert Norton is exceptional - as is Paul Sax, a master violinist, one of the first entrants to the Yehudi Menuhin school - a passionate and brave performer very well qualified to step into Darryl's light. All the band are brilliant players and inspiring people. Chris Harris is literally our root on bass and Kit Morgan the fire on guitar. Great chemistry and communication..."
 
 
Tracks:
1. Atmospheric Overture (intro)
2. Marie Antoinette
3. Propositions
4. Easy
5. Hide and Seek
6. Screw
7. Phantasmagoria
8. Melinda
9. Everdance
10. Back Street Luv
11. Stretch
12. It Happened Today
13. Atmospheric Overture (outro).

'Live Atmosphere' is available from www.CurvedAir.com and other online stores. A new studio album will follow by the end of 2013.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pallas's Ex-vocalist Alan Reed to Release Solo Album

Three years after his stint with Pallas came to an abrupt end, singer Alan Reed is set to release his first fully-fledged solo album. Reed, who's recognizable voice graced Pallas's albums from 1986 to 2008, previously released an EP in 2011 called "Dancing with Ghosts" in which he reworked some songs from his back catalogue and added a couple of new ones. He also released two singles, "Begin Again" in 2011, and "That's Life", earlier this year.


His newest CD, to be titled "First in a Field of One", will be released October 8th 2012, and is a unique collection of songs that provide the perfect setting for the unmistakeable timbre of his voice. The album embraces a number of musical flavours - through celtic folk, world music, and even jazz; - held together by strong song-writing and a passionate sense of identity.

Tracks are:

1. Begin Again
2. Kingdom of the Blind
3. Never Too Late
4. The Bottom of the Bottle
5. Darkness has Spoken
6. The Real Me
7. Teardrops in the Rain
8. The Usual Suspects

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prog Award Results Are In

This week were held the first ever Prog Awards, hosted by Gavin Esler of Newsnight. The awards, conceived by UK's Prog Magazine (formerly Classic Rock Presents Prog) were voted for the most part by the public, other awards being voted by a panel of critics and reviewers. Let's hope it becomes an annual event!

The winners are:

NEW BLOOD: TesseracT

 LIVE EVENT: Anathema

GRAND DESIGN: Pink Floyd Immersion reissues

ANTHEM: Squackett - A Life Within A Day

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Rush - Clockwork Angels

VISIONARY: Peter Hammill

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Genesis

VIRTUOSO: Carl Palmer

GUIDING LIGHT: Steven Wilson

PROG GOD: Rick Wakeman