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All posts for the month November, 2017

I’m delighted to announce that The Ancient One Show No 70, “The Prog Before Xmas III” is now available as a podcast.
The show is a mixture of music and chat from members of the bands appearing at PBX III, namely Abel Ganz, Comedy Of Errors, Long Earth and Tiger Moth Tales. (16th Dec Drygate Brewery, Glasgow)
Thanks to Denis, Hugh, Joe, Gordon, Mike and Peter for the band biogs.

Playlist

1 The Nice – Brandenburger (excerpt as Intro)
2 Abel Ganz – featuring Denis Smith and Hugh Carter and inc Obsolescence Pt 3, Recuardos, End Of Rain, Thank You and Unconditional.
3 Comedy Of Errors – Carousel (Disobey)
4 Comedy Of Errors – Bio featuring Joe Cairney
5 Comedy Of Errors – The Answer (Fanfare and Fantasy)
6 Long Earth – Children Of War (The Source)
7 Long Earth – Bio featuring Gordon Mackie and Mike Baxter
8 Long Earth – Ghosts Pt 1-4 (The Source)
9 Tiger Moth Tales – A Visit To Chigwick (Cocoon)
10 Tiger Moth Tales – Bio featuring Peter Jones
11 Tiger Moth Tales – Hygge (The Depths Of Winter)
12 Comedy Of Errors – House Of The Mind (House Of The Mind)
13 Long Earth – Through The Void (The Source)
14 Tiger Moth Tales – Sleigh Ride (The Depths Of Winter)
15 Abel Ganz – The Danger Of Strangers Pt 1+2(The Danger Of Strangers)
16 The Nice – Brandenburger (excerpt as Outro)

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/columns/5-best-apps-keeping-occupied-road/

Every touring musician knows that life on the road can be massively boring. With all of the travelling and the waiting around in venues to soundcheck, it’s no wonder that stars like Mikael Akerfeldt have lost their enthusiasm for touring.

So if you’re about to embark on a three-month tour, what kinds of app should you download to give yourself some light relief from the tedium?

Music apps

Most musicians will be fairly sceptical about apps like Spotify as they have frequently been accused of ripping off artists. However, all of that travelling means that musicians will get plenty of time to remember why they got into music in the first place by using the likes of Deezer and Apple Music to drown out the background noise from the tourbus.

And with apps like Soundcloud being a handy way to work on new demos with fellow band-members, it gives us all a chance to be a little more productive.

Movie streaming apps

But perhaps the best way to switch off on a long tourbus journey is by watching a movie. Although there’s always options like Netflix, most musicians will probably want something a little more unique.

So this is why all touring musicians should download a bespoke movie streaming package. We’re sure that horror movie fan Kirk Hammett would love the Shudder streaming site, and there’s surely a decent prog-themed movie app out there somewhere!

Gaming entertainment

The gaming realm is one place where all prog musicians are sure to find plenty of suitable touring entertainment. It’s not hard to imagine the likes of Ritchie Blackmore sitting down for an in-depth World of Warcraft session.

And whether you want to embrace your inner orc with the King of Avalon app, or boost your per diems with an Immortal Romance slots game, it’s clear that gaming entertainment helps many touring musicians stay sane.

Travel apps

As touring musicians end up in some pretty bizarre locations, there’s plenty of great travel apps to give them a helping hand.

From the simple benefits of Google Maps helping bands find their hotel, to the LikeALocal app that helps musicians find a suitably rock’n’roll bar, it’s clear that there’s much less confusion in modern day touring than just a decade ago.

Social apps

But as musicians are now meant to be social media stars, then it’s clear that keeping your band’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages updated is essential to boosting your career and making sure that your fans keep coming back.

Whilst there are many who think that these social media sites are making bands seem a lot less interesting, there’s no denying their power for helping to win over new fans.

And obviously it’s these social apps that help musicians stay in contact with everybody back home too. So that whether it’s showing off a photo on Instagram, or making a free phone call with WhatsApp, it shows how technology has made touring a lot less painful for our musical stars.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/columns/5-best-apps-keeping-occupied-road/

Every touring musician knows that life on the road can be massively boring. With all of the travelling and the waiting around in venues to soundcheck, it’s no wonder that stars like Mikael Akerfeldt have lost their enthusiasm for touring.

So if you’re about to embark on a three-month tour, what kinds of app should you download to give yourself some light relief from the tedium?

Music apps

Most musicians will be fairly sceptical about apps like Spotify as they have frequently been accused of ripping off artists. However, all of that travelling means that musicians will get plenty of time to remember why they got into music in the first place by using the likes of Deezer and Apple Music to drown out the background noise from the tourbus.

And with apps like Soundcloud being a handy way to work on new demos with fellow band-members, it gives us all a chance to be a little more productive.

Movie streaming apps

But perhaps the best way to switch off on a long tourbus journey is by watching a movie. Although there’s always options like Netflix, most musicians will probably want something a little more unique.

So this is why all touring musicians should download a bespoke movie streaming package. We’re sure that horror movie fan Kirk Hammett would love the Shudder streaming site, and there’s surely a decent prog-themed movie app out there somewhere!

Gaming entertainment

The gaming realm is one place where all prog musicians are sure to find plenty of suitable touring entertainment. It’s not hard to imagine the likes of Ritchie Blackmore sitting down for an in-depth World of Warcraft session.

And whether you want to embrace your inner orc with the King of Avalon app, or boost your per diems with an Immortal Romance slots game, it’s clear that gaming entertainment helps many touring musicians stay sane.

Travel apps

As touring musicians end up in some pretty bizarre locations, there’s plenty of great travel apps to give them a helping hand.

From the simple benefits of Google Maps helping bands find their hotel, to the LikeALocal app that helps musicians find a suitably rock’n’roll bar, it’s clear that there’s much less confusion in modern day touring than just a decade ago.

Social apps

But as musicians are now meant to be social media stars, then it’s clear that keeping your band’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages updated is essential to boosting your career and making sure that your fans keep coming back.

Whilst there are many who think that these social media sites are making bands seem a lot less interesting, there’s no denying their power for helping to win over new fans.

And obviously it’s these social apps that help musicians stay in contact with everybody back home too. So that whether it’s showing off a photo on Instagram, or making a free phone call with WhatsApp, it shows how technology has made touring a lot less painful for our musical stars.

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/28/von-hertzen-brothers-war-is-over/

This is the seventh album from Finland’s Von Hertzen Brothers and it sees a return to a more prog influenced sound after the last two albums which were more straightforward AOR/Rock. I think that on the strength of the material on display here this was a very wise choice indeed as this album is full of high quality songs and music, yet somehow still retaining a superior melodic flair alongside song very strong musicianship. Having seen these guys live at HRH Prog recently, they are also able to reproduce this astonishing sound live.

The lead single to be released, The Arsonist, has an catchy and infectious singalong chorus needs to be heard to be believed. This is followed by Jerusalem (not the hymn or ELP number) which opens with strong synth lines and urgent drumming before the vocals are introduced, once again strong and clear, as indeed they are throughout the whole album.

[embedded content]

The album is unusual in that each brother produced the songs they wrote, and yet somehow it’s still cohesive and all sounds very good indeed. Yes, it has poppy overtones but that should help recruit new converts to the cause who could then potentially discover other prog outfits, like Anathema, Steven Wilson or Big Big Train perhaps as they begin to grasp the variety within the Prog genre.

Blindsight and Long Lost Sailor are both fine, if not a tad unmemorable, but Wanderlust is a more gentle acoustic number with sensitive vocals and lyrics, offering a change of pace before the two big numbers of Beyond The Storm and War Is Over, both of which are the more epic songs. Beyond The Storm opens gently and has a good riff to it but for the initial section it is a mid-paced number with very earnest vocals and features a string section to give the song more gravitas, which it does well, then at four and a half minutes in a guitar solo is introduced that begins to take the song to greater heights before another impassioned vocal section. It’s all emotive and stirring stuff really and this is overall a great tune as it builds in intensity and greatness. This is a bold and intelligent piece of songcraft with a great production to boot.

The last song on my version is the title track, War Is Over, and at 12:34 it’s the longest and most ambitious track on display, opening with keyboards for the first minute before a guitar is brought into proceedings, strummed languidly but to great effect, heavy with reverb and with a synth matching the guitar line throughout. This is a very effective opening before, at the 3 minute mark the song gathers pace and the whole band crash in with soaring synths. The vocal is introduced, a lyric about the futility of war and how the singer doesn’t want to live in a world where it still happens. There is a lot going on as they pile in guitars, keyboards, drums, layered vocals and the kitchen sink with a production that somehow remains clear, strong and decidedly untacky, bombastic and brave yet somehow it all melds together and provides a very strong song indeed, and a great summation of everything that is good about the Von Hertzen Brothers.

[embedded content]

Yes, it’s gloriously over the top but when it sounds as great as this all the bombast can be forgiven and you can simply revel in the sound to truly enjoy what is a fine album. Very much a return to form and a great album to hear by any mark, highly recommended indeed.

TRACK LISTING
01. To The Ends Of The World (5:08)
02. The Arsonist (3:53)
03. Jerusalem (5:42)
04. Frozen Butterflies (4:03)
05. Who Are You (5:40)
06. Blindsight (5:51)
07. Long Lost Sailor (4:27)
08. Wanderlust (3:55)
09. Beyond the Storm (8:30)
10. War Is Over (12:34)

Total Time – 59:32

MUSICIANS
Kie von Hertzen – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Mikko von Hertzen – Vocals, Guitar
Jonne von Hertzen – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mikko Kaakkuriniemi – Drums
Juha Kuoppala – Keyboards

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Mascot Records
Country of Origin: Finland
Date of Release: 3rd November 2017

LINKS
Von Hertzen Brothers – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tags:



This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/news/barry-weinberg-samsarana-details/
Barry Weinberg - Samsarana

January is coming! Prog Rock singer-songwriter Barry Weinberg is ready to launch his debut full-length release Samsarana. This personal achievement that’s been in the works for years packs 75 minutes on 15 songs. The full track listing and album art are announced today.

With a full grasp of stunning emotions and superior dramatic compositions, the South Florida-based musician has certainly a lot to display on Samsarana. With two stylistically different singles being revealed so far, the album has all predispositions to be labeled as a multifaceted release.

Weinberg commented: “Samsarana’ is the story of a Creator creating a world to experience life only to find it was not exactly what was expected. The image on the cover, designed by German artists, Stefan Wewers and Nicole Unverrict, represents Creation. If you look closely in the sun, you can actually see music from the album. There is also a 13 page lyric booklet with an art piece created for each song by Stefan which will soon be available for download on our website.

Samsarana could also be described as auto-biographical release, written by Weinberg who also performs all guitars, keyboards, bass and vocal parts on the record, with the exception of drums which were recorded by Glenn Welman in South Africa. The album was mixed and mastered at World Beat Group in Southwest Ranches, Florida by Jorge Guzman.

Guzman said: “The music of ‘Samsarana’ spoke to me from the very beginning, so the mixing process was very organic and straight forward. In every track, you’ll find something non-predictable. It does make it a very interesting album. Very solid vocals and guitar solos. The musical textures are very contrasting between them. And the flow of the album is very entertaining and dynamic.”

Samsarana will be released in January 2018. You can hear first two singles for “Beyond the Astral Sky” and “Come Out and Play” on Soundcloud, and they are also available from CD Baby.

Samsarana Track Listing:

1. Conception (instrumental)
2. Creation
3. Welcome to My World
4. This Vicious Circle
5. Come Out and Play
6. Beyond the Astral Sky
7. Taking It All
8. Endless Sea
9. A Passage of Time
10. Perception (instrumental)
11. You Cannot Burn the Fire
12. Come My Way
13. The Way
14. Inception (instrumental)
15. Reception

For more info visit Barry Weinberg’s official website.

Other links:

YouTube

Soundcloud

ReverbNation

Facebook

Barry Weinberg - Samsarana

Barry Weinberg – Samsarana

South Florida Prog Rock Songwriter BARRY WEINBERG Launches “Beyond the Astral Sky” Single

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/barry-weinberg-samsarana-details/
Barry Weinberg - Samsarana

January is coming! Prog Rock singer-songwriter Barry Weinberg is ready to launch his debut full-length release Samsarana. This personal achievement that’s been in the works for years packs 75 minutes on 15 songs. The full track listing and album art are announced today.

With a full grasp of stunning emotions and superior dramatic compositions, the South Florida-based musician has certainly a lot to display on Samsarana. With two stylistically different singles being revealed so far, the album has all predispositions to be labeled as a multifaceted release.

Weinberg commented: “Samsarana’ is the story of a Creator creating a world to experience life only to find it was not exactly what was expected. The image on the cover, designed by German artists, Stefan Wewers and Nicole Unverrict, represents Creation. If you look closely in the sun, you can actually see music from the album. There is also a 13 page lyric booklet with an art piece created for each song by Stefan which will soon be available for download on our website.

Samsarana could also be described as auto-biographical release, written by Weinberg who also performs all guitars, keyboards, bass and vocal parts on the record, with the exception of drums which were recorded by Glenn Welman in South Africa. The album was mixed and mastered at World Beat Group in Southwest Ranches, Florida by Jorge Guzman.

Guzman said: “The music of ‘Samsarana’ spoke to me from the very beginning, so the mixing process was very organic and straight forward. In every track, you’ll find something non-predictable. It does make it a very interesting album. Very solid vocals and guitar solos. The musical textures are very contrasting between them. And the flow of the album is very entertaining and dynamic.”

Samsarana will be released in January 2018. You can hear first two singles for “Beyond the Astral Sky” and “Come Out and Play” on Soundcloud, and they are also available from CD Baby.

Samsarana Track Listing:

1. Conception (instrumental)
2. Creation
3. Welcome to My World
4. This Vicious Circle
5. Come Out and Play
6. Beyond the Astral Sky
7. Taking It All
8. Endless Sea
9. A Passage of Time
10. Perception (instrumental)
11. You Cannot Burn the Fire
12. Come My Way
13. The Way
14. Inception (instrumental)
15. Reception

For more info visit Barry Weinberg’s official website.

Other links:

YouTube

Soundcloud

ReverbNation

Facebook

Barry Weinberg - Samsarana

Barry Weinberg – Samsarana

South Florida Prog Rock Songwriter BARRY WEINBERG Launches “Beyond the Astral Sky” Single

The Progressive Tracks Show #237 (The Unvarnished Thanksgiving), originally broadcast on Friday, November 24, 2017, is now available to download or listen to anytime you desire.

var·nish /ˈvärniSH/

verb   disguise or gloss over (a fact).  

This week we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a truly wonderful holiday spent with family and friends.  But how today’s Americans view the underpinnings of this day (the relationship between European-American settlers and Native Americans) has been highly ‘varnished’ over time.

This week’s Progressive Tracks Show pays musical tribute to the Native Americans, while examining the reality of their plight.

PLAYLIST:

  • The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – “The Theme From The Big Valley” from 100 Greatest Western Themes on Silva Screen Records
  • The Fierce and The Dead – “Chief” from Spooky Action on Bad Elephant Music
  • Barclay James Harvest – “Medicine Man” from Baby James Harvest (Bonus Tracks Edition) on Cherry Red Records
  • Kevin Gilbert – “Indian Burn” from Kaviar: The Kaviar Sessions on The Estate of Kevin Gilbert
  • Kansas – “Cheyenne Anthem” from Leftoverture on CBS
  • John Arch – “Cheyenne” from Twist of Fate EP on Metal Blade Records
  • Solstice – “Cheyenne” from Silent Dance – The Definitive Edition on Cherry Red Records
  • Elton John – “Indian Sunset” from Madmen Across The Water on UNI
  • Iluvatar – “Indian Rain” from  A Story Two Days Wide on Kinesis
  • Zombi – “Spirit Warrior” from Spirit Animal on Relapse Records
  • Primus – “Wounded Knee” from Pork Soda on Interscope Records

If you have comments (always welcome), or suggestions for show topics/music, feel free to contact me anytime via email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org

But first… enjoy the show!

Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack

Audio Player

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/27/dean-watson-sum-of-parts/

Back in 2010 and quite by accident, I stumbled across Canadian multi-instrumentalist Dean Watson with the release of his impressive debut album, Unsettled. Equally enjoyable was Imposing Elements released two years later, at which point Mr Watson fell off my radar again, but by chance he has resurfaced with Sum Of Parts, his fourth instrumental album released in the summer of this year.

As with previous releases, all the instrumentation is by Dean himself, equally adept on both keyboards and guitar. He also has a good ear for a strong melody, an uncanny knack of selecting just the right sounds and there’s a sense of déjà vu with the material, but never one that directly leads to a specific track. Sum Of Parts treads a similar path to previous releases, with an ear-friendly mixture of well written and executed tunes that coax you in and leave you hungry for more. The music is complex, but not overly so, it has a gritty prog-rock edge, but never bludgeoning, it encompasses jazz-rock and fusion elements, but never strays too far from the original ideas and concept.

So perhaps the Sum Of Parts might elude to the diverse influences that go in to making the music, or equally it may be down to the fact that Dean constructs his tracks from the ground upwards. Either way the end result is greater than the sum of it’s constituent parts.

Across the album I sense mid to late ’70s and early ’80s era Jeff Beck, or perhaps more latterly Derek Sherinian’s solo work. Gary Moore’s flamboyant and robust Colosseum II rears its head, as do fellow Canadian’s Saga, in their more rigorous workouts. Hammond organs and parpy synths lead us down different paths, passing fleetingly through the court of a vibrant red monarch, as we surf with an alien, landing on the unlit side of an orbiting satellite. I’m sure you get my drift…

[embedded content]

So with four albums under his belt, why haven’t the greater music buying public heard more from Dean Watson? I believe there are two crucial elements holding Dean back from becoming a recognised figurehead. Firstly we must address the fact that he is studio based and no band exists to support the music. In a previous review I complimented Dean on his programming and the effectiveness of the drum parts, however in the same review I mooted the idea that with the right drummer (and bass player) the material would surely be elevated to the levels his guitar and keyboard skills achieve.

The second ingredient is whether or not the music warrants, or would benefit from, vocals. As someone who listens to a far greater number of instrumental albums than those the which include vocals, it seems a rather strange question. The conundrum is that with much of the instrumental music I listen to, there is little, if any scope for vocals, whereas here there seems to be appropriate spaces for a Michael Sadler or a John Wetton. I’m sure Dean has considered these points and it may be logistical, financial or just preference, and his music is the way that it is…

And that’s not a bad thing really, certainly when you consider that there isn’t a bad track on Sum Of Parts. You can pretty much jump in at track one, or track eight, or anywhere in between, and if the above references have piqued your interest, you will be pleasantly surprised.

TRACK LISTING
01. Sum Of Parts (5:29)
02. The Climb (5:39)
03. Capture 1A (7:12)
04. Song For A Day (5:38)
05. Click Clack (6:32)
06. Sense Of Urgency (6:13)
07. D Day (6:34)
08. Afterthought (7:33)

Total Time – 50:53

MUSICIANS
Dean Watson – Guitars, Keyboards & Programming

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Canada
Date of Release: 1st June 2017

DISCOGRAPHY
– Sum Of Parts (2017)
– Fantasizer! (2014)
– Imposing Elements (2012)
– Unsettled (2010)

LINKS
Dean Watson – Facebook | Bandcamp

Tags:

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Northern Star  23rd  November  2017

Theme Pallas Northern Star

  1. Weird Al Yankovic & Wendy Carlos – Amoeba
  2. ABWH – I’ve seen all good people
  3. Fairport Convention – Who Knows where the time goes
  4. AC/DC – Hell Ain’t a bad place to be
  5. Staff Carpenborg And The Electric Corona – All men shall be brother of Ludwig
  6. Kim Seviour – Call To Action
  7. When Mary – Annies song (from the other side)
  8. Jane’s Addiction – Price I pay
  9. Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains – Thai Noodles
  10. Emerald Dawn – A vision Left Unseen
  11. Firefly Burning – Petrarch (because of you)
  12. Jet Black sea – Cathedral
  13. Focus – Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!
  14. I am The Manic Whale – The Lifeboatmen
  15. Tom Slatter – They Broadcast My Birthday On A Numbers Station
  16. Steven Wilson – Watchmaker
  17. Giraffe – It/Watcher/The musical box
  18. It Bites – The Big Machine
  19. Roy Harper – One of these Days in England

 

Tunein on http://tunein.com/radio/Progzilla-Radio-s242911/

The Google app or the Apple App

Repeat Shows Tuesdays 00.00am GMT & 3.00pm GMT

Podcasts of all the shows are available here

http://www.progzilla.com/category/podcast/northern-star/feed/

Subscribe to the show here

http://www.progzilla.com/shows/northern-star/

If you have an requests or ideas about shows

Or anything else for that matter?

Contact me on Emma@progzilla.com

 

Northern Star  16th  November  2017

 

A Fistful of Gandalf’s Fist

https://gandalfsfist.bandcamp.com/

Theme Pallas Northern Star

  1. Hawkwind – Electronic No 1
  2. Hawkwind – Orgone accumulator
  3. Gandalf’s Fist – The Wanderer goes South
  4. The Kovenant – Bizarre Cosmic Industries
  5. Queen – Prophet Song
  6. Rainbow – Kill The King
  7. Gandalf’s Fist – The Council of Anderson
  8. Gandalf’s Fist – A Visitation of the Mushroom people
  9. Gandalf’s Fist – The Stowaway and the endless night
  10. Gandalf’s Fist – At The Sign of the aperture
  11. Hawkwind – Brainstorm

 

 

Tunein on http://tunein.com/radio/Progzilla-Radio-s242911/

The Google app or the Apple App

Repeat Shows Tuesdays 00.00am GMT & 3.00pm GMT

Podcasts of all the shows are available here

http://www.progzilla.com/category/podcast/northern-star/feed/

Subscribe to the show here

http://www.progzilla.com/shows/northern-star/

If you have an requests or ideas about shows

Or anything else for that matter?

Contact me on Emma@progzilla.com