30 December 2014: Sadie Norkin, Theo, Yes

We'll begin the show with Sadie Norkin's recent 4 track EP release: "Creating New Life".
Sadie Norkin is a young guitarist, mulit-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter located in Southern California thriving on her love of progressive influences. After playing the violin for 4 years she started picking up the guitar at ten years old. Sadie has learned to take all of her various influences and combine them into her own uncompromising unique sound. I first discovered her playing covers of Porcupine Tree songs on YouTube.  She is a superb and creative musician.
You can find her on Bandcamp by clicking on her name above or find her on Facebook here:

Next we'll feature the brand new release from THEO:  The Game of Ouroborus
Formed by world reknown keyboardist Jim Alfredson (organissimo, Dirty Fingers, Janiva Magness, Greg Nagy Band, Root Doctor) THEO harkens back to the keyboard-centric superbands of the 1970s like Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake and Palmer, but with a distinctly modern and bold approach.
        THEO also represents a return to the concept of the keyboardist as a vital and irreplaceable part of the group, rather than a mere sideman.
        The intrepid and dynamic music is paired with auspicious lyrical themes of corporatization, consumerism, loss of innocence, exile, and the obsession with celebrity. Lead vocals are handled by Alfredson himself. Usually relegated to background duties, Alfredson's surprisingly flexible baritone voice shifts from soaring muscularity to intimate falsetto and everything between.
          The eponymous debut album features six tracks including an epic three song opening suite comprising 24 minutes. 
Track Listing:
1) The Game Of Ouroboros - 9:42
2) The Blood That Floats My Throne - 8:17
3) Creatures Of Our Comfort - 6:45
4) These Are The Simple Days - 8:03
5) Idle Worship - 13:27
6) Exile - 11:14
Jim Alfredson - keys, lead & backing vocals
Gary Davenport - bass, fretless bass, Chapman Stick
Kevin DePree - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Jake Reichbart - guitars
Special guests:
Greg Nagy - 12 string guitar on 'The Game Of Ouroboros', chunky rhythm guitar and backing vocals on 'Exile'
Zach Zunis - lead guitar on 'The Game Of Ouroboros'

 Finally, if time permits, we'll feature cuts from the brand new Steven Wilson stereo remix of the classic Yes album, Relayer.
From Wikipedia:
Relayer is the seventh studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released in November 1974 on Atlantic Records. It is their only studio album recorded with keyboardist Patrick Moraz in the band's line-up; he joined in August that year after Rick Wakeman left over differences regarding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) to pursue his solo career.
Relayer has a similar format as Close to the Edge (1972), with one track occupying the side one and two tracks situated on side two. The album saw Yes experiment with elements of jazz fusion.
Relayer was mostly well-received with music critics and its commercial success continued the band's popularity in the 1970s. The album peaked at number 4 in the UK and number 5 in the US. The closing section of "The Gates of Delirium", titled "Soon", was released as a single in January 1975. The album is certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Track listing

All tracks written and arranged by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Patrick Moraz[nb 2], except where noted.
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "The Gates of Delirium"   21:55
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Sound Chaser"   9:25
2. "To Be Over"   9:06


Additional personnel
  • Eddie Offord – engineer, production
  • Gennaro Rippo – tape operator
  • Roger Dean – sleeve design and illustration
  • Brian Lane – co-ordinator (band manager)
  • Jean Ristori – photography

2 December 2014: Blow Up Hollywood and Discipline: Live Releases

Over 12 years and 7 critically acclaimed albums, ambient pop-rock collective Blow Up Hollywood has created an expansive and adventurous body of work that manages to be both highly emotionally charged and majestically anonymous. Helmed by Steve Messina, and backed by trusted friends and collaborators, Blow Up Hollywood has put its distinct fingerprint on warped Americana, dark wave, post rock, noise, jazz, classical, freak folk, and any other music medium they felt like inhabiting. But when Messina’s personal life became painfully complex, he stepped out front and crafted the most direct and vulnerable album in Blow Up Hollywood’s career, the stunning, Blue Sky Blond.
“This one is from my heart. It’s more personal than any record I’ve made,” Steve Messina reveals. “While making it, I went through a time where I never felt more alone. Life was a big mystery, everything felt so uncertain. I didn’t even think I was going to make music anymore. I felt like someone took an eraser and wiped away the board with the intricate mathematical equation that was my life.”
Blow Up Hollywood was founded in 2001 as a middle finger to the music business and pop conformity. Restlessly creative, the band explored the musical equivalent of art house films and literary fiction with a chameleon-like tendency to authentically infiltrate a myriad of music idioms. The band’s debut was written during a freewheeling 3-week retreat with Messina and friends ensconced in a beach house in West Hampton, New York. The band went on to garner acclaim from indie tastemakers and a dedicated cult following. Blow Up Hollywood’s most popular release was the concept album The Diaries of Private Henry Hill. The record was based on the journal entries of a young, deceased soldier from the Iraq war. The album won the group high praise and greatly expanded its profile, culminating with a feature on NPR’s All Things Considered, and landing their song WMD on the compilation CD, Body of War, along side such artists as Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan.
Messina illustrated his eloquence with poignant confessional writing on The Diaries of Private Henry Hill. With Blue Sky Blond, he flips through his own diaries and offers a stark survey of his own battles. The album is rife with imagery of oceans and deserts, conveying a vastness and all-encompassing emptiness with titles like “Throw Me A Line,” “Desert Rose,” and “Waiting For My Ship To Come.” “Throw Me A Line” gracefully unfolds with subtle, breathtaking textures and a spacious propulsive quality that’s both comforting and disquieting. The airy, pastoral beauty of “Desert Rose” is in sweet contrast to its message of the fragility of life’s stability. “That song is about getting so caught up in our little world and then something else suddenly takes over and you lose your solid ground,” Messina says. The uplifting and soulfully cleansing “Shine” is an emotional life raft on the album, providing a gospel-like reassurance that everything will be okay.
As a powerful counterpoint to the shivery and lonely feelings Messina was wading through inside, the group of musicians around him gave a supportive and emotionally grounded environment for his songs. During the making of the album, he found his collective had become a band. “I felt support around me, it felt like they had my back,” Messina says. Blow Up Hollywood is officially Steve Messina, vocals, acoustic guitar; Thad Debrock, electric guitar, pedal steel, keyboards; Teddy Kumpel, electric guitar; Steve Bonacio, bass; Dave Diamond, drums; Harvey Jones, piano, keyboards; Nadia Ackerman, vocals; and Anthea White, vocals.
“I feel so much better now, the whole world looks different,” Messina says, assessing his emotional landscape in the wake of finishing Blue Sky Blond. “You know, Blow Up Hollywood is my sanctuary. I don’t think about money or my career; I do this because I have to do it, it’s a catharsis. This is who I am.
Discipline's style and genre has been variously described. The Detroit News describes them as an "alternative band."[17] However, the progressive rock website ProgArchives.com classifies Discipline as Symphonic prog.[18] Doug Levy in Detroit's South End newspaper writes of Discipline, "this is not some kind of over-the-top theatrical rock troupe of sorts as much as it is a welcome merging of both art and tightly-knit (hence the name) modern rock."[19] John Collinge, publisher of Progression Magazine, writes "Discipline’s music demands focused attention–preferably with headphones and lyric booklet, at least on the first spin. Once you’ve locked into Parmenter’s vibe, strong melodies and gloriously edgy accompaniment seal the deal.".[20][21] Mike Ostrich of ProgScape Radio says this about the band's musical style: "The band isn't interested in flashy solos, the song is the most important thing - not too much, not too little. There's not one band member who doesn't bring out the best in the others. Bouda's guitar playing enhances Kennedy's bass, which influences Dzendzel's drums, which only strengthens Parmenter's keyboards and vocals."

25 November 2014: New Releases from Pink Floyd and Big Lazy

 Instrumental guitar noir from the NYC trio's latest release: Don't Cross Myrtle.   The second half of the show will feature the latest (and last?) Pink Floyd album: The Endless River.

More on Big Lazy: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/10/quit-day-job
More on The Endless River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Endless_River

09 September 2014 Goblin: "Suspiria" & Timothy Pure "Island of the Misfit Toys"

Goblin (also Back to the Goblin, New Goblin/Goblin Rebirth, the Goblin Keys and Simonetti's Goblin) is an Italian progressive rock band known for their soundtrack work. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating soundtracks for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. CD re-releases of their soundtracks have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan. Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009 and in North America in 2013.
Initially named Cherry Five, the band has been influenced by Genesis and King Crimson. Their early work spawned one eponymous progressive rock record, and they were then called in to compose the soundtrack for Profondo Rosso. The band changed their name to Goblin, rewriting most of the score, originally written by Giorgio Gaslini including the famous main theme. The 1975 soundtrack album was a huge hit.[where?] After a reshuffle in their line-up, and they put out an instrumental progressive rock album Roller, before working with Argento again for 1977's Suspiria. Other film soundtracks and a concept album (Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark) followed, then the score for the European version of George A. Romero's 1978 Dawn of the Dead. Tracks 1, 2 and 5 from the European version are also in the American version of the album.
Despite their success, membership continued to be a revolving door, and the band also struggled to maintain their credibility. The remaining members continued to work on further soundtracks, and there was a partial reunification for Argento's Tenebrae (1982) (although each member of the band was credited separately, not as Goblin). The last collaboration with the director took place in 2000, with the film Non ho sonno (Sleepless).

Suspiria (pronounced [susˈpi.ri.a], Latin for "sighs") is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper as an American ballet student who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany, which she discovers is controlled by a coven of witches. The film also features Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosè, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, and Joan Bennett in her final film role.
Timothy Pure biography
American progressive rock band from Georgia has made 3 albums so far, two of them are concept albums. With a lush songwriting approach and a conceptual and highly symbolic perspective on lyrics, the band excels in building up structures of emotional richness that allow for an uninterrupted storyline immersed in drama and sharp social analysis. Their music is a mixture of sweet atmospheres and fine prog passages. Certainly influenced by PINK FLOYD, they manage to produce a typical dark and melodic sound with very strong lyrics.

"Blood Of The Berry" is a concept album that tells a story of love and sacrifice. The music features light and dark musical tones and flows which is what makes this American band so good. The last album "The Island Of The Misfit Toys" (2000) is something more than a prog album: music and words seem to tell us a story you never would be over. This album describes the problems and nightmares children and adolescents deal with nowadays (mainly because of war or child abuse). Matthew Still has a beautiful and emotional voice, the instruments are played in a very subtle way and the production is high standard. Fans of bombastic or overly complex music would be advised to look elsewhere. This is very emotional music which should appeal to fans of concept albums. A must!

02 September 2014 Back to School

Tonight's theme is "Back to School" featuring groups from Alice Cooper to the Kinks to Patti Smith and beyond.

26 August 2014: Jethro Tull and King Crimson

(from Wikipedia) Alongside Thick As A Brick, 1973′s A Passion Play is Jethro Tull’s most overtly Progressive and conceptual release, featuring a complex poetic narrative framed by the most adventurous music of the band’s career.
A #1 US hit on its release, the album offers dazzling virtuoso instrumental passages, evocative synthesiser sequences, and fuses Folk, Jazz and Rock influences in a strikingly unique, wholly Jethro Tull way.
A Passion Play (An Extended Performance) features new Steven Wilson mixes (stereo and 5.1) of the album, alongside Steven Wilson mixes of the infamous ‘Chateau Disaster’ recordings that preceded it.
A Passion Play (A new Steven Wilson stereo mix):
1. Lifebeats/Prelude
2. The Silver Cord
3. Re-Assuring Tune
4. Memory Bank
5. Best Friends
6. Critique Oblique
7. Forest Dance #1
8. The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles
9. Forest Dance #2
10. The Foot Of Our Stairs (+ 2 extra verses found on end of multi-track reel)
11. Overseer Overture.
12. Flight From Lucifer
13. 10.08 to Paddington
14. Magus Perde
15. Epilogue






 Steven Wilson on Remixing King Crimson
In addition to his work on a solo album and the upcoming new album from Porcupine Tree The Incident, in stores Spetember 14th, Steven Wilson has also been working on 5.1 mixes of King Crimson's back catalogue (as mentioned in this previous interview). We asked Steven about his work on the albums and below you can read about what he calls, "a real labor of love"...
The reworking of King Crimson's back catalogue was a real labour of love for me. These are albums I grew up listening to, and their influence on my teenage self still forms a large part of my musical DNA. So to be able to actually go inside the music and hear how it was all put together was both an honour and an instruction. What made it even more enlightening was to have Robert Fripp in the room while I was doing it, recounting (mostly unrepeatable!) anecdotes about the recording process and the people who played on the records. Some of these memories still made it painful for him to hear the music, and often at the end of a session both of us left my small studio drained - he from reliving the music and the struggles involved in creating it, and me from wanting to do the legacy justice.
The job at hand was to create 5.1 surround sound mixes, make new stereo mixes where appropriate, and to mix any out-takes and unreleased material I found on the reels.
The first stage was to have the tapes transferred to digital files by a professional tape archiving company, then to recreate the stereo mixes as closely as possible. Being so familiar with the originals, I aimed to be as faithful as I could, so if you hear deviation from the original stereo mix it's probably because Robert didn't like it the way it was and took the opportunity to change it. The tapes were in various degrees of (dis)organization (and as I write some tapes are still completely missing for In the Wake of Poseidon, and Starless and Bible Black). The 80s albums were carefully recorded, compiled, and annotated, but for many of the earlier albums there were many reels of tracking sessions and alternate takes, so the trick was to find the version used, or which parts of which versions were used. Sometimes a track would be made up of small parts of different takes edited together, as with the title track of Lark’s Tongues In Aspic, which was recorded in about 10 short sections, with multiple takes of each.
For personal reasons one of the very first albums I wanted to revamp was Lizard, which is the one album in the catalogue that tends to divide the fans between those that love it and those that find it almost unlistenable. I’m one of those that adore it, and could make a pretty good case for it being one of the most adventurous rock albums ever made. But I also knew it could work better in 5.1, as it’s almost as if there is too much information bursting out of the tracks to be contained in mere stereo. This is not the case in surround sound, where everything has the space to breathe, and the genius of Lizard’s progressive avant-garde jazz rock experiment finally blossoms in all its glorious folly.
Although originally not part of the plan it become apparent that some of the albums could also be made to sound sonically better in stereo as a result of that tape transfer and remix too, and Lizard was definitely one of those. The debut album In the Court of the Crimson King also benefited from us being able to go back to the original multitrack slave reels – in those days the band were using 8 track recording, and so every time the 8 channels were filled up (say with drums, bass and guitars) it was necessary to bounce it down to a one or two tracks of a second tape in order to keep overdubbing the multiple mellotrons, or vocals. Sometimes this would happen 2 or 3 times before a track was ready to mix, so the instruments recorded first had by then become second or third generation copies, with all the problems that brings (tape hiss, reduced frequency range...etc..). We were able to go back to the very first session tracking tapes and synchronise them with the overdub reels, so for the first time in the new mixes of the In the Court every instrument heard is first generation.
We also found several fascinating out-takes and alternate versions which had never been mixed down before – most of these will appear as bonus tracks on the new editions, which will all be CD/DVD combinations (the DVDs will contain any available archive video forage from the appropriate era, as well as the 5.1 mixes and high resolution stereo).
What impressed me (among many things) about the way these albums were made was the economy of overdubbing - these days I'm used to mixing records where there might be guitars tracked 4 or 5 times, drums split out over 20 channels...etc... But often with King Crimson albums you are hearing what is essentially a live band in the studio, with little or no overdubbing. And yet even with only a guitar, bass, drums line up they still sounded huge. It’s a recording art that has been partly lost in the age of computer recording, where there is no limit to the amount of times that you can layer instruments to make them sound heavier. But sometimes it’s heavier without all the overdubbing – check out the new power trio mix of the title track of Red if you don’t believe me!