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."