Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is Porcupine Tree going on hiatus?

Say it ain't so!! Here’s a brief extract of an interview with Steven Wilsonthat was aired on Planet Rock Radio on April 6th:

“In essence, Porcupine Tree has probably run its course, I believe the band have reached a peak both musically and commercially and with my own change in musical direction, it would seem to me to be the appropriate time to put the band on a hiatus. I’ve enjoyed the extra freedom of being a solo artist and how it allows me to be more diverse than within the context of a band. I’m sure the band will appear again in some form, but not in the foreseeable future, I have a large backlog of musical ideas, I would like to see them come to fruition outside a band context, I trust most Porcupine Tree fans will see the greater picture and look forward to these exciting projects”
At least we will be getting more music by this great composer. 

Van der Graaf Generator Legend Judge Smith Creates A Movie For Your Ears - A New Concept CD 'Orfeas'

More news from Glass Onion:
Independent composer and recording artist Judge Smith, who in 1967 co-founded with Peter Hammill the influential underground band‘Van der Graaf Generator’, has created a movie for your ears –a new concept CD titled 'Orfeas'; a retelling of the ancient myth of Orpheus, the magical musican who travels to the Land of the Dead in search of the lost Eurydice. Since his Van der Graaf Generator days, Judge Smith has been responsible for a wide variety of music projects, including four stage-musicals (with productions at the Edinburgh Traverse, Sheffield Crucible and the Lyric, Hammersmith), opera and cantata libretti, songs for the ‘70s TV show ‘Not The Nine O’clock News’, and songs recorded by Peter Hammill and Lene Lovich. His film ‘The Brass Band’ has won several international awards. Judge Smith's music is complex in structure and often fragmented, but is always tuneful and strangely memorable, with humor never far from the surface. In the course of a twenty-year independent solo career, he has released ten CDs and DVDs.

My principal interest is in telling stories with words and music,”explains Judge. “Some of my CDs are collections of songs, the usual format for an album, although people say that my songs are unusual and idiosyncratic. However, three of my projects are in a different category. Over many years, I have developed a new way of making extended musical narratives that I call ‘Songstories’, which are more complex than song-cycles or ‘rock operas’. They are not‘musicals’ either, since they are pretty well un-stageable, and are each intended to be being complete as an ‘audio experience’.The three Songstories are all very different. The first, ‘Curly’s Airships’,a double CD with a running time of two hours and twenty minutes, was completed in 2000 after six years full-time work, and tells the story of the 1930 R-101 Airship disaster. It is probably one the largest and most ambitious pieces of rock music ever recorded. The second,‘The Climber’,released in 2009, in complete contrast, is performed by me with an unaccompanied Norwegian male voice choir, and a double bass. The third Songstory is ‘Orfeas’,my own interpretation of the Classical myth.”
This Songstory uses wildly contrasting styles of music to tell its story, including instrumental Rock, Mediterranean guitar music, modern classical string sextet music, classical Trance dance music and Death Metal. 'Orfeas' also features a radical, and little-known, technique for transforming recorded speech into melody. “As far as I am aware, I am the only person making work like this, and I think it would be probably fair to say that no one else does what I do,”says Judge.
“Best known for his role in the formation of Van de Graaf Generator, Judge Smith is clearly not an artist with much interest in toeing the line. 'Orfeas', a three-act 'songstory' in which Smith and a host of guest performers re-imagine the titular Greek legend as he headlines at Wembley Arena, is effectively an exercise in schizophrenic musical theatre, replete with rambling soliloquies and plot-revealing dialogue set to avant-garde chamber music, that takes in everything from Jaunty rock radio-jingles and ethereal pop.” Dom Lawson – Classic Rock Presents Prog.
In recent news, on November 6, 2011 a performance of Judge Smith's 'The House That Cried' was held in Como, Italy. The show also took place on November 20, 2011 in Chiasso, Switzerland.

Johan Randén Releases Third CD 'Summary' On Reingold Records

News from Glass |Onyon:
Much to the anticipation of guitar aficionados around the world, on May 4, 2012, one of Sweden's youngest and most talented guitarists, Johan Randén, releases his third solo-album 'Summary' on Reingold Records, home to prog superstars the Flower Kings. 'Summary' is a musical journey that takes us through guitar picking à la Steve Morse in the country influenced track "Country Maniac", to beautiful bluesy and tasty woodwork à la Jeff Beck in "Floating Around". On this record Johan proves that he´s not only a guitarist but also a great songwriter and producer, with the guitar always in focus. Bengan Andersson, Sven Lindvall, Staffan Astner form the backbone of "Summary".

Johan Randén was born to play the guitar. At the age of 12, he played with Freak Kitchen at Sweden Rock Festivaland today at 24, Johan Randén already works as a freelance guitar player, composer, producer and musical director. He has also worked and played with bands and people like Bronk (Staffan Astner, Per Lindvall, Sven Lindvall), Janne Schaffer, Simon Andersson (Pain Of Salvation), Andreas Brobjer (Lady Gaga), Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings, Karmakanic) and many more…

His first solo album 'Lead Guitar',released in 2002 when Johan was only 14 years old, was written and produced by Mattias IA Eklundh from Freak Kitchen. It soon led to Johan's second release 'Version 2.0' in 2005, this time with Johan as co-writer together with producer Christian Alsing. 'Lead guitar' was a succes in Asia and Japan and with his second album, he toured in Japan together with Freak Kitchen were he also recorded a guitar DVD for 'Young Guitar', the biggest guitar magazine in Japan. Johan has been endorsed by both Yamaha and Elexir Strings and currently he is endorsed by Fender Guitars.

2013 Marillion Weekends

This news from the Marillion camp:
Can it already be a year since the last ones?! We are pleased to announce that once again we will be holding THREE Marillion Weekends in 2013.

As usual, the "residential non-stop party" Weekend will be at CenterParcs Port Zelande, Holland on 8–10 March. This is a chance to spend 3 days with Marillion and share your passion with the best 2500+ people on the planet; not to mention experiencing 3 completely different Marillion concerts! Included in this event is 3 nights’ accommodation and you can totally immerse yourself in all things Marillion, from signing sessions to the Museum to the Quiz. If you haven't had this experience yet, simply ask anyone who has - they'll probably tell you no distance is too far to travel!

After that we will be returning to Montreal for a Weekend of shows from 22–24 March.

Finally, after such a success last year, we will be holding another Weekend in the UK – but this time it will be at The Civic, Wolverhampton on 12-14 April.

As always, Friday night is album night and we will be performing the whole of the Radiation album on the Friday nights at all three Weekends. Saturday and Sunday nights are being decided on but rest assured they will be the best yet! We are also lining up a fantastic selection of special guests to support us at these events.

So where can you find out everything about the Weekends? From 27 April check out the Marillion Weekend website for full details of the Weekends - past and future

IT BITES Reveals Second Preview Video

Some news from the It Bites camp:

IT BITES has released their second preview video allowing fans an inside look of their upcoming album Map Of The Past, due out in North America May 8 via InsideOut Music. The first video of the three part series was revealed last week and can be seen here:
The second preview video can be seen here:

Inspired by the discovery of an old family photograph, Map of the Past is a highly personal journey that explores love, passion, jealousy, anger, remorse and loss through the eyes of a previous generation against the backdrop of Britain as it enters a new century and one of the most defining periods of its history. Written by John Mitchell and John Beck over the course of 2011, the album was recorded at Outhouse Studios in Reading and features Bob Dalton on drums and Lee Pomeroy on bass.

It Bites - MotP Cover
Man In The Photograph
Map of the Past
The Big Machine
Cartoon Graveyard
Send No Flowers
Meadow and the Stream
The Last Escape
Exit Song

Friday, April 6, 2012

IPRS 107

Happy Easter! The IPRS has played on Good Friday on UK 70s Prog Rock. The show will replay this Sunday, on Easter, at 7 PM (EST) on that same radio station.

As you've probably read in an earlier post, this show is themed on Easter, so songs about Redemption and crosses and Chist are in order. Have a great Easter everyone and I'll be back in about three weeks with a new International Prog Rock Show, as I will be on vacation near a beach somewhere.

The playlist was as follows:

1. Help Me/The Spirit and the Flesh, by Neal Morse (One, 2004)
2. Redemption, by Ajalon (This Good Place, 2009)
3. The Long Road Home, by Ajalon (Light at the End of the Tunnel, 1996)
4. Jesus on the Barricades, by Agents of Mercy (The Fading Ghost of Twilight, 2009)
5. Pie Jesu, by Robert Fripp (Pie Jesu, 1997)
6. Reconciliation, by Kinetic Element (Powered by Light, 2009)
7. Matthew: The Man, by Iona (The Book of Kells, 1992)
8. Tales of the Great Wars, by Glass Hammer (Lex Rex, 2002)
9. Wooden Cross, by David Sylvan (Gone to Earth, 1986)
10. Grail, by Supernal Endgame (Touch the Sky, 2010)
11. Death, by Blind Ego (Numb, 2009)
12. The Cross, by Enchant (Break, 1998)
13. Redemption, by Antimatter (Leaving Eden, 2007)
14. Easter, by Marillion (Live in Montreal Friday, 2011)
15. The Spirit Carries On, by Dream Theater (Metropolis Part 2, 1999)
16. Ascension, by In Search For (Faith, 2009)
17. An Atmosphere of Miracles, by Iona (Another Realm, 2011)

As always, if you love the music then follow the links above and purchase the CDs through the artists or at your favorite retailer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Friday on UK 70s Prog Rock

On Good Friday, a special edition of The International Prog Rock Show: songs about redemption, crosses, and revelation. Most of the prog artists that will be featured on the show are also considered Christian Prog artists, though not all. Of course, I couldn't do an Easter Friday prog rock show without playing some Neal Morse, as he is the most well known christian artist.
So join me on Good Friday at UK 70s Prog Rock, and enjoy the Easter weekend.

In other news, the new Unwritten Pages is expected to be released later this year, and to give you a sneak peak here is a little teaser of the Fringe Kitchen CD.

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Show 106

On this week's radio show on UK70sProgRock I present the latest releases by new and upcoming prog bands as well as older more established bands. One of those releases is the new Ian Anderson CD TAAB II, the follow-up to 1972's excellent Thick As A Brick. to learn more about why Ian decided to revisit this classic album, and to learn more about the new tour, go to Jethro Tull's website by following the link below.

In other news, a review of the new Delusion Squared is now up in the CD Reviews section of this website. I have also updated the Upcoming Festivals section of the website with the final line-ups for the Fused Festival, the Rock In Opposition Festival and the Night of the Progs Festival. The Crescendo Festival is starting to announce which bands will be make the cut, and a new US festival, The FarFest, has officially been announced and I have listed the bands that are going to appear there.

The playlist was as follows:

1. Savage with Barometer, by North Atlantic Oscillation (Fog Electric, Forthcoming 2012)
2. Espejismo, by Nexus (Aire, 2012)
3. El Fuego dela Ciudad, by Nexus (Aire, 2012)
4. Aching Hunger, by The Reasoning (Acoustically Speaking, 2010)
5. Sacred Shape, by The Reasoning (Acoustically Speaking, 2010)
6. The Big Machine, by It Bites (Map of the Past, 2012)
7. Meadow and the Stream, by It Bites (Map of the Past, 2012)
8. The Last Escape, by It Bites (Map of the Past, 2012)
9. Untouchable, Parts I & II, by Anathema (Weather Systems, 2012)
10. The Storm Before the Calm, by Anathema (Weather Systems, 2012)
11. Quiet Desperation, by Rick Miller (Dark Dreams, 2012)
12. When the Evening Comes, by Rick Miller (Dark Dreams, 2012)
13. The One (Reincarnate), by Rick Miller (Dark Dreams, 2012)
14. Darkness, by InVertigo (Veritas, 2012)
15. Suspicion, by InVertigo (Veritas, 2012)
16. From a Pebble Thrown, by Ian Anderson (Thick As a Brick II, 2012)
17. Old School Song, by Ian Anderson (Thick As a Brick II, 2012)
18. A Change of Horses, by Ian Anderson (Thick As a Brick II, 2012)
19. What If, by Anasazi (Playing Ordinary People, 2011)
20. The Ascent, by Rak (Lepidoptera II, 2012)
21. Gordes, by T.E.E. (Trans Europe Expression, 2012)
22. Rhodanus (River to the Ocean), by T.E.E. (Trans Europe Expression, 2012)
23. Adagio Maestoso, by Kotebel (Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble, 2012)
24. The Infant, by Kotebel (Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble, 2012)
25. Cocoon, by Astra (The Black Chord, 2012)
26. Quake Meat, by Astra (The Black Chord, 2012)
27. 1949, by Also Eden (Think of the Children!, 2012)
28. Think of the Children II, by Also Eden (Think of the Children, 2012)

As always, if you love the music, purchase the albums at your favorite retailer or through the bands' websites linked above.