Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Top 20 for 2009 with links

Here we go! On yesterday's show Rick and I unveiled our Top 20 of 2009. The past year was an exceptionally good one for progressive music, and our choices were made doubly hard since we had only heard about 90 to 100 CDs, most of them between the end of August and December. I'm sure that if we waited a couple of months and re-did this exercise, we'd arrive at different results, but for now, these are the ones we chose and presented on our Sunday show.

Update: Welcome IQ fans. Yes, Frequency made both our lists, and I am proud to find out that the band members from IQ noticed. Please, add this site in your favorites and listen to our internet radio show every sunday. For more information on air times, go to our Facebook page.

My Top 20
20. Barbares, by Nemo
19. Number 10, by Manning
18. Beautiful & Monstrous, by Subsignal
17. Actress, by Lobster Newberg
16. Turbulence, by Brother Ape
15. On This Perfect Day, by Guilt Machine
14. Dark, by Metamorphosis
13. Afterglow, by Wobbler
12. Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, by Steve Hackett

11. Jitters, by Po90
10. Focal Point, by Paul Cusick

9. The Whirlwind, by Transatlantic
8. The Underfall Yard, by Big Big Train
7. Soul's Inner Pendulum, by Moonrise
6. Numb, by Blind Ego
5. The Incident, by Porcupine Tree
4. Template for a Generation, by Darwin's Radio
3. Blood, by OSI
2. Down and Out in Paris and London, by The Tangent
1. Frequency, by IQ

Rick's Top 20
20. The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun, by First Band from Outer Space
19. Beautiful & Monstrous, by Subsignal
18. The Thrill of Nothingness, by Cross
17. The Weirding, by Astra
16. Mantis, by Umphrey's McGee
15. Focal Point, by Paul Cusick
14. The Thomas Tracks, by 5BridgeS
13. Blood, by OSI
12. Numb, by Blind Ego
11. Innergy, by Forgotten Suns
10. Frequency, by IQ
9. Please Be Quiet, by Gungfly
8. Jitters, by Po90
7. Black Clouds & Silver Linings, by Dream Theater
6. Destined Solitaire, by Beardfish
5. The Incident, by Porcupine Tree
4. The Underfall Yard, by Big Big Train
3. Down and Out in Paris and London, by The Tangent
2. The Whirlwind, by Transatlantic
1. Anno Domini High Definition, by Riverside

December 20th Show Now Online


Yes, you read correctly. Our show is now available for download. Because of file sizes the show has been seperated in hours, so you can download hour 1, 2 and/or 3 from the december 20th show, which was our last show of 2009. The International Prog Rock Show will now be recorded and available for download on this site. Enjoy!

Download the International Prog Rock Show: Hour 1
Download the International Prog Rock Show: Hour 2
Download the International Prog Rock Show: Hour 3

These files will be available for a limited time, until I find a permanent home for our show.

Have fun and Happy New Year to all our friends and listeners!

Update: I've been informed that the links were not working. New links have been placed and they should work... simply right-click and choose Open New Tab, from there click on the link. If they don't work, write a comment in the comment area of this post.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year End Review 2: Frank's Pick

Follwing the post with Rick's Top 30 CDs (#30 to 21), here is my list of Top 30 albums (#30 to 21). It was a tough choice, and I'm certain that, if done in a month's time, this list would change since I haven't listened to half of the output from 2009, but here goes:

30. Awaking the Muse, by Leap Day
29. Songs from the Liar's Lair, by Ageness
28. The Hazards of Love, by The Decemberists
27. Destined Solitaire, by Beardfish
26. The Thrill of Nothingness, by Cross
25. Nostalgia, by Satellite
24. The Weirding, by Astra
23. The Yumyum Tree, by Ozric Tentacles
22. The Thomas Tracks, by 5BridgeS
21. Radiation, by UKZ

Year End Reviews: Rick's Top 30 (30-21)

As this year comes to an end Rick & I have decided to list our Top 30 albums of 2009. Out of the hundreds of albums that came out in 09, we excluded Singles, Live albums, and Compilations.
Here are numbers 30 to 21 according to Rick (Mine will come a bit later):

30. According to Life..., by The Carpet Knights
29. Avoid the Light, by Long Distance Calling
28. Nostalgia, by Satellite
27. Beyond Reality, by Mangrove
26. Fading Ghosts, by Agents of Mercy
25. Face of Our Fathers, by Pictorial Wand
24. Vision, by Martigan
23. Awaking the Muse, by Leap Day
22. Identity, by Airbag
21. Part the Second, by Maudlin of the Well

Numbers 20 to 1 will be revealed during the next show on January 10, 2009.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 20th Setlist and links

What a year! We started out humble radio show in August, after the summer vacations, with about 20 listeners (mostly family). Now we have over 400 members on our Facebook page, and over 1,000 visits to this site. Thank you all for listening. The December 20th show was recorded so as to make a podcast. It will be available here shortly.

For our last show of 2009 we played the following songs:

1. Lessons, by The Elf Project (Mirage, 2009)
2. Where Angels Fear to Tread, by Subsignal (Beautiful Monstrous, 2009)
3. A Verse of Despair, by Pictorial Wand (Face of Our Fathers, 2009)
4. The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun, by The First Band from Outer Space (The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun, 2009)
5. Icarus (Full Moon II), by Moonrise (Soul's Inner Pendulum, 2009)
6. Human Mind, by Silent Memorial (Retrospect, 2009)
7. Willoughby, by Shadow Circus (Whispers & Screams, 2009)
8. Angel, by Shadow Circus (Whispers & Screams, 2009)
9.Lost, by Lobster Newberg (Actress, 2009)
10. Imperial Winter White, by Wobbler (Afterglow, 2009)
11. Storyteller, by I/O Earth (I/O Earth, 2009)
12. Walking in Shadows, by Cirrus Bay (A Step Into Elsewhere, 2009)
13. 19-59, by Nemo (Barbares, 2009)
14. Waste of Time, by Flamborough Head (In Search ofJohn Maddock, 2009)
15. Egoist Hedonist, by Riverside (Anno Domini High Definition, 2009)

We also reviewed the latest Shadow Circus CD, Whispers & Screams. We both found it worth buying. I gave it a 7.5/10 and Rick gave it an 8.2/10. A full review will appear here shortly.

As always, if you loved the music, go visit the bands' websites linked above, and encourage them by buying their CDs.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone

To all our listeners and followers of the blogspot or the Facebook page a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

PS: Comments are now open to all. I finaly figured out how to open it. No need to have a blogger or yahoo or google ID. So you now know what to do... comment, comment, comment!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

They Wish They'd Seen It Coming

The following are two reviews of the latest Po90 CD "Jitters". Rick and I did not consult each other when writing our reviews, so imagine my surprise when I received his review by e-mail and found that he used practically the same opening line I did in my review. Originally the idea was to combine both reviews into one, but I have decided to let both stand as they are. The first review is mine, the second is Rick's. Have fun!

“They wished they’d seen it coming!” So starts the opening track, Interlude, and we wished we’d seen it coming indeed. After a seven years hiatus, Po90 are back in force with an unapologetic rocker of an album called Jitters. Interlude is an instrumental that is very reminiscent of Porcupine Tree’s Signify period, especially in the 5/4 section after the 16th bar, when the piano comes in. It also has a theme that is revisited and added to later on the track Backup. The next track, Standalone, starts off slow with a beautiful piano intro, only to become more chaotic and hectic, apart from a nice little jazzy bridge section. The whole feels like an arena rock song, and the ending testifies to the fact that the musicians thought so too.

Threesome is another chaotic rocker, a natural follow-up to Migraine from 2000’s Unbranded. It follows the same opening beat and pattern as Migraine, if not the same feel. Entry Level has groove, and lots of it. The opening bass line and drum beat draw you in and never let you go! Backup starts of as a continuation of Interlude, and then turns on a dime and changes tone musically until the chorus partially revisits the music of Interlude. A great track that feels like it must have been a lot of fun to play.

The title track, Jitters, starts off with a kind of African drum beat, with lots of sound effects coming in and out. The syncopated beat flows through the song until the rockier chorus. Truly an “amazing” song. I especially love the guitar and keyboard arpeggio bridge. The Dock of the Abyss is Po90’s take on the Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”. They even borrow the first stanza and chorus from Redding’s classic. Although the themes are similar (economic recession), this is pure Po90.

Finally we have the beautiful and atmospheric The Death of Jade. This might be Po90s most important song. This song is about reality TV, and the numbing effect this might have on the people watching. Inspired in part by the real life story of Jade Goody, a young woman who was a Loft Story participant in the UK, and had her last months of life filmed for TV (she died at the age of 27 of uterin cancer, although her death was not filmed), this is a perfect ending to a wonderful album.

Some people might think, Andy Tillison included, that I am uncritical of his musical output, having given a 10/10 for The Tangent’s Down and Out in Paris and London, but I must say that both Po90 and The Tangent have surpassed themselves in 2009. The only sour note I will leave you with is my rating of the cover design of the CD: I really hate it! The previous Tangent album was called “Not As Good As the Book”, and this Po90 CD should have been called “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”. It is horrible, but what’s behind it is worth it.

Rating: 10/10.

Reviewed by Frank Marceau


"They wished they'd seen it coming"! That's how I reacted after I heard the first notes of this "in your face" album! This is how the instrumental intro track "Interlude" kicks off. If you are Porcupine Tree lovers,you will relish many of the songs here.This first number is quite reminiscent of "Signify" and"Mother and Child Divided".

The second, "Standalone", starts with soft piano and ends up being a great rocker prog song. Excellent guitar playing. We get a jazzy bridge at about the halfway point. The third offering,"Threesome" starts like a "Nine Inch Nails" tune. This song is actually
"Migraine part 2"!! This is an experimental tune that works, with it's industrial sound. Tillison even sings in french.

"Entry Level" starts with a funky bass and drum beat. A song that is as intriguing as it is bizarre, with a catchy chorus/refrain. Modern prog at it's best, with hints of "Porcupine Tree". "Back-up" starts like something you would hear on an "Opeth" album,t hen gets trippy... this song also flows greatly with the rest of this album.

"Jitters", the title track rocks! Tillison and the rest of the band really shine on this track, with hints or similarities to Canadian band MYSTERY, with a wonderful "GENESIS/MYSTERY middle section, before the singing pick up from where it had left off.

"On The Dock Of The Abyss" is a song about "disaster" movies (the likes of "Towering Inferno"/"Earthquake"/and in this case"Airport"), with Tillison singing Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay", which was a song about not finding work, as for this one is about present reality of no work, economics and world recession ("sitting on the dock of the Abyss..."). Groovy thecno electronic funk rock tune!

And last but not least, "The Death Of Jade", has Tillison singing in french again. A little difficult to understand what he's saying (for the first 2 or 3 listens...) very atmospheric beginning, which grows into a crescendo and then settles back down til the end.

This album may only be 43 minutes long, but is probably one of the 3 cds you want to buy to add to your collection. A must for all proggers, and non-ones too!

A 10/10.

Reviewed by Montreal Rick

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tomorrow on the International Prog Rock Show

Tomorrow will be the last International Prog Rock Show of 2009. We will play a lot of the new stuff we received or acquired during the year that still hasn't been played on the air. The Po90 review that Rick and I are writing will be published on this site later today, and we may have a few reviews live on the air.

Last week's show was a special one, with Andy Tillison of The Tangent and Po90 as our special guest. The set list for this show was as follows:

1. Standalone, by Parallele or 90 Degrees (Po90) (Jitters, 2009)
2. A Man of Thin Air, by Po90 (More Exotic Ways to Die, 2002)
3. The World We Drive Through, by The Tangent (The World We Drive Through, 2004)
4. Modern, a Peter Hammill cover by Po90 (No More Travelling Chess, 2002)
5. Grand Canyon, by Refugee (Refugee, 1973)
6. Jitters, by Po90 (Jitters, 2009)
7. Threesome, by Po90 (Jitters, 2009)
8. Backup, by Po90 (Jitters, 2009)
9. The Canterbury Sequence, by The Tangent (The Music That Died Alone, 2003)
10. Lost in London, by The Tangent (A Place in the Queue, 2006)
11. Perdu dans Paris, by The Tangent (Down and Out in Paris and London, 2009)

We had a great chat with Andy Tillison, who was very generous with his time, and we appreciate it.

As always, if you loved the music - buy the CDs, you won't regret it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Someone Stole My Review

(Update below)

I just found out today, by surfing the net, that someone stole my review of The Tangent's latest album, and published it under his name (or nickname) on the ProgArchives site. Word for word!

I don't know how I should feel about this. Firstly, I'm flattered that this review was considered good enough, well written, and intelligent enough that someone would like to appropriate it for himself. And the fact that it is a flattering review (5 stars) ,about a band I care about, has helped its being listed in the ProgArchives in the top ten for 2009.

On the other hand, it is still theft. If he had copied it and attributed the review to me, I would have been proud. But no! The thief, who calls himself Bernal Prog, is someone who joined the ProgArchives on December 3 only to post my review and rate 5 other albums.

I am not a collaborator on ProgArchives (I might become one someday, but not right now), and cannot do a thing about this theft, except mention it here and hope for readers to complain to the ProgArchives about this person. At least to put the right attribution, cause it's still a great album and deserves the stars it earns.

Update: Thanks to MontrealRick and Andy Tillison himself, ProgArchives have now deleted the review. It seems that a lot of overenthusiastic fans were hoping to make "Down and Out in Paris and London" number 1 in the Top 100 of 2009 poll on ProgArchives. Some took other reviewers' reviews to boost the rating. Although Rick and I do believe this CD deserves all the praise it can get, it should get it the old fashioned way... with no cheating.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today on the Show

Well, the show started early today, at 10 before 3 EST here. We have as a special guest Andy Tillison, frontman and main composer of both Parallel or 90 degrees and The Tangent. Stay tuned for a fun interview and lots of great music.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Next week's show

Next Sunday on the International Prog Rock Show we will have Andy Tillison of Parallele or 90 Degrees and The Tangent on the air with us, live from Leeds (Sounds like the name of a Who album, doesn't it!).

Yesterday's show on

Last Sunday's International Prog Rock Show (featuring MtlRick and I) was pretty laid back, compared with last week's show, in which we had three members of Hamadryad live in the studio.

First, we mourned the loss of two musicians:

Eric Woolfson, of Alan Parsons Project fame, died of cancer on December 2, 2009, at the age of 64. He was the main songwriter, and sung all the guide vocals on every APP album up to Gaudi. He is best known for having sung on such hits as "Time", "Nothing Left to Lose", "Eye in the Sky", "Silence and I", and "Don't Answer Me". After leaving APP he wrote musicals, some of which were based, and used songs from, material written for the Project.

Pim Koopman, though less well known than Woolfson, left his mark on the music scene as the drummer and co-founder of Dutch progressive rock band Kayak. He died at the young age of 56 on November 23, 2009. Although he left the band in 1976, he returned to the fold in 1999, and had been with them every since. He co-wrote many songs, and sang lead vocals on some of the early material. His passing brought an end to Kayak's last tour supporting their new double album. The future of the band is now on hold, unfortunately, and I personaly hope that Ton Sherpenzeel and his band mates do continue to write and play their wonderful music.

We also announced the winners of the Hamadryad DVDs and T-shirts: Louis Cossette, of Montreal, Canada, and Kaz Paul, of New Jersey, USA.

Now, on with last Sunday's set list:

1. To One in Paradise, by The Alan Parsons Project (Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1975)
2. Close to the Fire, by Kayak (Close to the Fire, 2000)
3. The Weirding, by Astra (The Weirding, 2009)
4. The Hazards of Love, Part 1/A Bower Scene, by The Decemberists (The Hazards of Love, 2009)
5. Laboratories of the Invisible World, by Maudlin of the Well (Part the Second, 2009)
6. Ashes, by Pain of Salvation (The Second Death of P.O.S, 2009)
7. Prince of War, by Pictorial Wand (Face of Our Fathers, 2009)
8. A Rite of Passage, by Dream Theater (Black Clouds and Silver Linings, 2009)
9. Voyager, by Mangrove (Beyond Reality, 2009)
10. Repaint the Sky, by Satellite (Nostalgia, 2009)
11. Boatman's Vision, by Martigan (Vision, 2009)
12. News, by Forgotten Suns (Innergy, 2009)
13. She Moves Through the Fair, by Minimum Vital (Capitaines, 2009)
14. Lost, by Silent Memorial (Retrospective, 2009)
15. Going Home, by Eureka (Shackleton's Voyage, 2009)
16. In My Country, by Hamadryad (Intrusion, forthcoming)

And, as always: "If you loved the music, go buy the CDs, it encourages the musicians to make more!"