Galahad news from band leader Stuart Nicholson: Welcome to our autumn update on our latest Galahad activities in this, our rather busy, 30th anniversary year. Several projects have now been completed such as the new live album/DVD and Sleepers re-master.
New Live Album 2CD/DVD Solidarity: Live in Konin. Our new live album which was recorded in Konin, Poland on Oct. 26, 2013 as part of European jaunt promoting the Battle Scars/Beyond the Realms of Euphoria albums is now available to purchase from our website merchandise page and will be made available from all the other usual Internet outlets in due course. This album also includes Mark Spencer in the band line up on bass guitar as well as the much missed Neil Pepper’s bass and guitar parts on a couple of tracks.
The package comes as three-disc set including a double-CD live audio album plus a DVD concert film containing the complete show plus a few extras such as a comprehensive photo gallery as well as, an at times amusing, band documentary/interview.
We are also pleased to announce the release of the 20th anniversary edition of our 1995 Sleepers album, our fourth release of 2015! This rather difficult ‘third Galahad album’ has been remastered and generally spruced up by our good friend Karl Groom at Thin Ice Studios. This version also contains a couple of extra tracks, namely “Suffering in Silence” which has never before appeared on the European version of Sleepers plus a new orchestral/vocal re-recording of “Pictures of Bliss.”
When Worlds Collide, 30th anniversary retrospective double album: Unfortunately, work on what is becoming a rather epic project, stalled for a few months during spring and summer 2015 due to the fact that I had a rather nasty throat problem which refused to go away and which delayed the recording of most of the vocals other than those which appeared on our 30 taster EP. However we are pleased to report that all recording is now finished and we hope to have a finished and mixed album by the end of October.
We can confirm the double album will consist of 10 brand new recordings of older songs plus a selection tracks from the last three Thin Ice albums and recent EP’s completing this retrospective. Fingers crossed, When Worlds Collide will be released before Christmas 2015 (our fifth release of the year!), which we feel will be a fitting culmination to what has been an extremely busy and productive 30th anniversary year. >>
Pioneers in the use of cello as the sole instrument within a rock band, Rasputina released a new album titled Unknown, toured cross-country this summer and tours the East Coast this fall. Band directress Melora Creager says of the new album, “Unknown is 14 new songs recorded alone in a dank basement studio. I quite liked it though, that dank basement studio. I didn't feel at all alone. Using only one microphone, the whole album poured out of me in just three weeks -- writing, recording, the whole thing.”
Unknown is a CD-only release, non-digital. Why? At one level, this album is about trauma, Melora's trauma at being hacked— silently and anonymously observed through the Cloud. Conceptually, this album doesn't exist on the Internet. It's a real and physical thing. Anyone who purchases it is known to her.
Rasputina has been inspiring young string players to commit musical sins since 1996. The group's concept was written as a manifesto, and manifested accordingly by Creager as a wily subterfuge for a plot to open audiences to adventure: the funny, the sad, the heavy, the tender — they can all exist together.
The press release quotes the following: In order to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary Galahad will be releasing a historical double CD retrospective with a twist, the twist being that 10 of the tracks included are brand new re-recorded versions of old Galahad songs, some dating back to 1985, the year the band formed, including one 30-year-old track (“City of Freedom”) which has never been recorded before! In some cases the new versions are similar to the originals but in other cases the songs have been re-worked and re-arranged considerably, either way we have tried our best to be sympathetic to the spirit of the originals whilst trying to bring them up to date in terms of their sonic quality. Hopefully, this collection is a fair representation of the Galahad canon and will appeal to existing fans of the band and will also, perhaps, act as a taster to those yet to dip their toes in the world of Galahad music. All tracks are being recorded at Thin Ice, once again, with Karl Groom on engineering and mixing duties. The album will also include guest appearances from Mark Andrews who was our keyboard player from 1988 to 1991 but who is still very much a part of the Galahad family and a dear friend.
Also Daryl Watts will be playing bass guitar on “The Chase.” Daryl is the son of Paul Watts, our first bass guitarist who was a band member from 1985 to 1988, thus here comes Galahad, the next generation! We would like to extend a truly massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us at our 30th anniversary show at Mr. Kyps in Poole back in July plus also humongous thanks to all those who turned up to our two Polish shows in Krakow and Bielsko-Biala with our co-hosts Lizard in September. They were all some of the best shows we have ever played in Poland in terms of atmosphere, audience reaction and general love in the air shown toward the bands. We felt very humbled by all the vociferous support that we received which was a big reminder of why do all this rock and roll stuff in the first place even though we are getting a little long in the tooth! Alas, we only have one more show organized for 2015 which is the Northern Prog Festival on Saturday, Nov. 7 at De Uthof in Siegerswoude, The Netherlands. Thus, we’d love to see a few of you there if you can make it.
Well, that’s about it for now from a very busy Galahad HQ, thanks for your support. Peace, love, happiness, good health and big prog hugs to you all.
Employing elaborate costuming spanning a number of historical periods, Rasputina brings marginalized historical female figures and stories to light in the pop form, using archetypal characters such as Indian princesses, Hawaiian handmaidens and medieval queens.
Oct. 1— Burlington, TV at Higher Ground
Oct. 3 — Troy, NY at Takk House
Oct. 4 — Philadelphia PA at Johnny Brenda's
Oct. 15 — Hudson, NY at Club Helsinki
Oct. 16— New York, NY at Highline Ballroom
Oct. 17 — Northampton, MA at Iron Horse
Oct. 18 — Boston, MA at Brighton Music Hall
Oct. 20 — Baltimore, MD at Ottobar
Oct. 22 — Chesapeake, VA at Chesapeake
Oct. 23 — Carbarro, NC at Cat's Cradle
Oct. 24 — Asheville, NC at Grey Eagle
Oct. 25 — Nashville, TN at Exit Inn
Oct. 27— Atlanta, GA at The Earl
Oct. 28 — Huntsville, AL at FlyMo Theatre
Oct. 29 — Birmingham, AL at Workplay
Oct. 30 — Mobile, AL at Alchemy
Oct. 31 — New Orleans, LA at House of Blues
Stick Men featuring Tony Levin, Markus Reuter and Pat Mastelotto is on tour in Europe as of Sept. 29, for 20 shows. Levin and Pat Mastelotto have just finished the first leg of King Crimson shows and as soon as the Stick Men tour is over, Crimson is on tour again. A very busy season for Tony and Pat!
Sept. 29— Verona (Italy) Il Giardino
Sept. 30 — Verona (Italy) Il Giardino
Oct. 1— Sofia (Bulgaria) HDK Hall 11
Oct. 2 — Delemont (Switzerland)
Centre Culturelle Regional
Oct. 3 — Sala (Switzerland) Rockland
Oct. 5— Oslo (Norway) Buckley's
Oct. 6 — Malmo (Sweden) Moriska Pavijongen
Oct. 7 — Göteborg (Sweden) Nefertiti
Oct. 9 — Bergen (Norway) Sardinen USF
Oct. 10 — Opole (Poland) Dom Expo
Oct. 11 — Wroclaw (Poland) Zaklete Rewiry
Oct. 12 — Prague (Czech Republik) Lucerna Bar
Oct. 13 — Reichenbach (Germany) Bergkeller
Oct. 15 — Bonn (Germany) Harmonie
Oct. 16 — Zoetermeer (Netherlands)
Oct. 17 — Münster (Germany) Hot Jazz Club
Oct. 18 — Hertogenbosh (Netherlands) W2
Oct. 20 — Verviers (Belgium) Spirit of 66
Oct. 21 — Karlsruhe (Germany) Substage
Oct. 22 — Reutlingen (Germany)
MoonJune Music is booking USA/Canada dates for Stick Men in April and May 2016. The tour will start Apr. 14 and it will end by June 4. The group plans another run of the dates in different parts of the U.S. with Mexico at the beginning of 2017.
Confirmed dates (venues to be announced soon):
Apr. 14, Thu. — Dunellen, NJ (USA)
Apr. 15, Fri. — New York, NY (USA)
Apr. 16, Sat. — New York, NY (USA)
Apr. 21, Thu. — Northampton, MA (USA)
Apr. 22, Fri. — Natick, MA (USA)
Apr. 23, Sat. — Schenectady, NY (USA)
Apr. 27, Wed. — Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Apr. 28, Thu. — Québec City, Québec (Canada)
Gentle Giant’s Octopus remixed
Gentle Giant’s iconic album Octopus has been remixed by Steven Wilson and will be released Oct. 27 in both Blu-ray and regular CD formats.
Originally released in 1972, Octopus is Gentle Giant’s fourth album. The lineup: Gary Green (guitars, percussion), Kerry Minnear (keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, cello, vocals), Derek Shulman (vocals, alto saxophone), Phil Shulman (saxophones, trumpet, mellophone, vocals), Ray Shulman (bass violin, guitar, percussion, vocals) and John Weathers (drums, percussion, xylophone). The album was produced by the band and engineered and mixed by Martin Rushent.
Wilson also remixed Gentle Giant's The Power & The Glory in 2014. Included is a bonus of Steven’s mix of live 15-minute concert performances, “Excerpts from Octopus” from the band's 1976 tour.
New sketches by Roger Dean (who produced the original U.K. album cover) will be included in the new packaging as well as artwork from the U.S. album (an octopus in a jar created by Charles White).
The Blu-ray’s remixed album and added 15 minutes of live excerpts will be in 96/24 PCM, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound Master Audio. The Blu-ray includes instrumental mixes of five of the original eight tracks from this album. Also included is the flat transfer of the original mix of the album.
The Octopus releases will be through Caroline - UMG in North America, and on Soulfood in the rest of the world.
Sonic Voyage Fest
Sonic Voyage Fest, progressive rock’s ongoing traveling festival, returns this fall with events in New York and Michigan.
On Oct. 16, Stratospheerius, Shadow Eden, and Lovetester will perform at Olives in Nyack (Rockland County), N.Y. Olives is online at www.facebook.com/OlivesNyack.
On Friday, Oct. 23, the Sonic Voyage Fest will be at the Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield, Mich. (Detroit). Featured are Tiles, Faded Main, Discipline, plus Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius (www.dieselconcertlounge.net).
On Friday, Oct. 30 the Sonic Voyage Fest takes place at Gussy’s in Queens, N.Y. (New York City). Performing are Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, Shadow Eden, Joe Stump, and Rob Balducci (www.facebook.com/pages/GUSSYS-BARinASTORIA).
On Friday Nov. 13, Shadow Eden and Ad Astra will be playing at Binghamton’s Cyber Cafe West (www.cybercafewest.com/).
On Saturday, Nov. 28 look for the Sonic Voyage Fest to rock Long Island in Bayshore, N.Y. at Even Flow with Joe Stump, Shadow Eden, Stratospheerius and Ad Astra (www.evenflowbarandgrill.com/).
Created Memorial Day 2015 by three incredible bands: Circuline, and Shadow Eden, plus Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, Sonic Voyage Fest’s purpose is to create a night of music that dazzles with virtuosity, ignites the senses, and pushes boundaries. Part of Sonic Voyage Fest’s goal is also to raise consciousness of younger artists and also military veterans’ relationship with music. In all Fest appearances, band members invite dialog between fans and musicians. Band members exchange notes on improvisation and composition, etc.
Fest organizers are looking for sponsors to pay admission for interested veterans or students undergoing financial hardship: Please contact Anne Leighton, who works with Joe Deninzon, at (718) 881-8183 if you can either help financially or know a veteran or student who would benefit from attending.
For more on the participating acts:
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius— www.stratospheerius.com
The Rob Balducci Band—www.robbalducci.com.
Ad Astra —www.adastraband.com/.
This announcement comes from Leonardo Pavkovic, head of MoonJune Records: Please let me reintroduce to you to one of my favorite musicians—Nicolas Meier. The ever-smiling Nicolas is a fabulous guitar player who was personally referred to me six years ago by none other than drum legend Bill Bruford, earning Bill’s highest recommendation. Nicolas became a very dear friend and finally we started collaborating. I have just returned to New York from Los Angeles—where Nicolas recorded material Sept. 19-20 for his groundbreaking new studio album at MegaTrax Studios on MoonJune – before departing to Japan with Jeff Beck. The core trio includes Nicolas on acoustic guitar and glissentar, fusion icon Jimmy Haslip on bass, and otherworldly timekeeper Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. The album will feature several special guests and surprises, and should reveal even more new directions from the fresh, innovative, chameleon-like musical imagination of Meier.
The album is coming out in spring or summer of 2016.
Further background: Nicolas Meier is a multi-genre virtuoso guitarist of Swiss descent, who relocated to the U.K. around start of the new millennium. Specializing in acoustic, electric and synth guitars, he has capitalized on varied musical opportunities leading several projects: the Nicolas Meier Group (an ethno-jazz unit, featuring MoonJune associated artists Asaf Sirkis and Gilad Atzmon) and Seven7, a progressive metal band. He also is half of a critically acclaimed guitar duo with British jazz guitar master Pete Oxley, and for the past three years has been a full-time member of the band led by legendary guitar god Jeff Beck. (Nicolas is one of only two players to serve as second guitarist for Jeff Beck in the last 30 years; the other being Jennifer Batten.) Nicolas performs on average more than 150 shows annually and also runs his own record label, MGP Records.
He draws from multiple styles, influences and genres. In addition to the aforementioned jazz, fusion, rock and metal projects, Nicolas has displayed musical fluency in classical, flamenco, Turkish, Balkan, tango and Arabic music. Nicolas is a Godin endorsee, playing an array of their guitars including the 11-string glissentar.
His recent recordings include: the latest Oxley-Meier effort, the fabulous Chasing Tales; last year's The Follower by Seven7; and an amazing live CD/DVD release performing with Jeff Beck Group. Nicolas also contributed to several songs by MoonJune artist/Indonesian pianist Dwiki Dharmawan, recorded in June 2015 (the album, Pasar Klewer, also features Mark Wingfield, Gilad Atzmn, Yaron Stavi, Asaf Sirkis, Boris Savoldelli and Aris Daryono). This also is slated for spring 2016 release.
Chasing The Monsoon
Chasing The Monsoon is a new music project fusing strong rhythmic elements and ambient, experimental soundscapes with progressive rock, Celtic and world music influences.
Chasing the Monsoon comprises: Steve Evans, a world-renowned writer/producer who has worked with many artists, recently producing Rihanna’s Live at the O2 in-concert DVD. Steve also produced the award winning Karnataka album Delicate Flame of Desire. Steve plays keyboards, guitars, vocals, programming. Ian Jones is writer and bassist/keys player with U.K. progressive/symphonic rock band Karnataka. Ian plays bass, keyboards, guitars and programming. Ian Simmons is a guitarist, artist and designer. Ian plays lead and acoustic guitars, vocals, programming.
While Evans, Jones and Simmons are at the writing core of Chasing The Monsoon, the project also will feature collaborations and guest appearances. The Chasing The Monsoon debut album features vocalist Lisa Fury (vocalist on Karnataka’s The Gathering Light) and Nightwish’s Troy Donockley on Uilleann pipes and whistles. Troy also appeared on Karnataka’s The Gathering Light and Secrets of Angels.
Next to None
Progressive metal group Next to None has just announced a new set of U.S. tour dates in support of debut album A Light in the Dark, released earlier this year on InsideOut Music. The group features Max Portnoy on drums, Ryland Holland on guitar, Kris Rank on bass, and Thomas Cuce on keyboards and lead vocals.
Oct. 3: Philadelphia, Pa. —The Legendary Dobbs
Oct. 6: Asbury Park, N.J. —Saint
Oct. 9: Hartford, Conn. —Webster
Oct. 10: Worcester, Mass. — Palladium
Oct. 13: Brooklyn, N.Y. —St. Vitus
Oct. 16: Westland, Mich. —Token Lounge
Oct. 23: Philadelphia, Pa. —Bull Shooters Saloon
Nov. 1: Allentown, Pa. —Crocodile Rock
Nov. 8: Allentown, Pa. —Chicago Restaurant
The band released a lyric video for the track “Blood on my Hands,” which you can see here > You can also listen to a stream of the track “You Are Not Me”
Click here >
A new album from U.S. progressive-rock ensemble Unified Past called Shifting the Equilibrium now is available courtesy of Melodic Revolution Records. The group begins a new chapter with Emmy Award winning vocalist Phil Naro (Talas, Peter Criss, DDrive) as full-time member.
A video entitled “Erasure Principle” (the album’s lead track) also has been unveiled. The album went on sale worldwide September 15 after becoming available via pre-order Aug. 28. The first 100 people ordering Shifting the Equilibrium will receive a free digital-only bonus cover of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer classic “From The Beginning,” reinterpreted by Unified Past. Album art once again was created by renowned fantasy artist Ed Unitsky.
Unified Past is: Phil Naro, vocals; Stephen Speelman, vocals/guitar/keyboards; Dave Mickelson, bass; Victor Tassone, drums and percussion
After almost a decade, American prog-rock act Enchant returns to Europe for live appearances next month in promotion of comeback album The Great Divide, released last year via InsideOut Music. The band has checked in with a special video message about the upcoming tour: Click here>
The tour will be a double-headlining bill featuring Enchant plus Hasse Froberg & Musical Companion, kicking off Oct. 4 at the ProgPower Europe festival in The Netherlands.>>
Oct. 4: Baarlo, The Netherlands—ProgPower Europe
Oct. 5: Berlin, Germany—Magnet
Oct. 6: Munich, Germany—Kranhalle
Oct. 7: Oberhausen, Germany— Zentrum Altenberg
Oct. 8: Russelsheim, Germany—Das Rind
Oct. 9: Stuttgart, Germany—Schocken Club
Oct. 10: Zoetermeer, The Netherlands—De Boerderij
Oct. 11: London, UK—The Underworld
Oct. 12: Bilston, UK—The Robin 2
Oct. 13: Paris, France— Backstage
Additionally, Enchant has confirmed the following appearances in North America:
Oct. 23: Houston, Texas—BFE Rock Club
Oct. 24: Austin, Texa—Empire Control Room & Garage
Nov. 15—19 Cruise to the Edge. Click here>
The Southern California LoopFest is back for another round! The most creative musical event you've never heard of returns to diPiazza’s in Long Beach, 5202 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, for two nights of music and technology wonderment from around the world. The fest runs Oct. 28-29, shows start a 7 p.m. and admission is by donation.
What is a LoopFest? It is a showcase of music and technology performance artists. These artists use hardware and/or software technologies to instantly record and play back sound. It is a diverse, creative, innovative, and fascinating display of talent, science, and art. Looping has been around for decades in academia and avant-garde performance, and incorporates new technologies into making sound. All of the artists are talented, highly creative, highly interesting and amazingly innovative in technologies and styles. >>
Some are noise, some use traditional song forms, some are ambient, some are powerful, some are subtle. This year the SoCal LoopFest features performers from eight states and five countries. Performers of note include L.A’s own Steuart Liebig, Zack Walters of 3rd Alley, Jam band man David Gans, Aldo Caldo’s comedy/musical presentation, vocal looper extraordinaire Alissa Vox Raw from Toronto, Canada and the incredible music and instruments of Cabezas de Cera from Mexico City, Mexico.
Complete lineup, set times, venue, and ticket information is online at: Click here> along with links to artist websites and video recorded performances from previous festivals. Facebook links are available for those who want to personally interact with the festival and performers, as well as links to stream the concerts live.
On November 6, Frontiers Music Srl will release Billy Sherwood's latest, a concept album called Citizen. Sherwood created this concept based on a lost soul that is reincarnated into various periods of history.
“I was inspired by the notion that General Patton believed he was reincarnated on various battlefields through time,” he says. “I wanted to take that concept even further.”
As the songwriter/producer, Billy placed the citizen character into significant moments of history. The leadoff track is called “The Citizen” which sets the stage for what's to come on the recording. “The Citizen” features Billy's longtime friends and members of legendary progressive rock band Yes: bassist Chris Squire and former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye.
Each song places the Citizen into a unique set of circumstances where decisions are made that have serious personal and global consequences. In the song “No Man's Land" (featuring Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs/Kansas guitarist Steve Morse) the Citizen appears as a World War I trench runner who passes the message along to troops that it's time to attack; the Citizen remains behind and is, ultimately, the only survivor. “Empire" (with lead vocals by Alan Parsons plus violin from Jerry Goodman of the Flock, Dixie Dregs, Mahavishnu Orchestra) finds the Citizen as a conscript legionnaire in the final days of the Roman Empire.
“Just Galileo and Me" (sung by Colin Moulding singer/bassist of XTC) shows the Citizen as a protective friend to Galileo, advising the astronomer that he should not tell people the earth is not flat or he will be labeled a heretic. >>
Known as a multi-instrumentalist, Billy performs drums, bass, guitar, keys and sings several of the songs, including “A Theory of Its Own” in which the Citizen appears as companion to Charles Darwin on the evolutionist’s maiden voyage. He sings of Native Americans affected by the Indian Removal Act of 1830 in the song, “Trail of Tears,” which features Patrick Moraz on keyboards. Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett adds his chops to “Man And The Machine,” about an assembly line worker and activist in the late 1890s. "Age of the Atom” is about creation of the atomic bomb and consequent questions of morality; this features Geoff Downes on keyboards. Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess appears on “Escape Velocity,” a song that speaks to political implications of the space race in the 1960s. In “The Great Depression,” Billy depicts a distraught Wall Street investor who has lost everything in the stock market crash and steps out to a final step off the ledge. Rick Wakeman plays grand piano and other keyboards on this one. Finally, in “Written in the Centuries,” performed by current Yes singer Jon Davison, Nostradamus is the Citizen busily composing his many fateful predictions.
Sherwood was handpicked by Squire to fill in for him with Yes before Chris left for cancer treatment and ultimately, his untimely death. Billy started his career in the band Lodgic and then as a member of World Trade, which boasts two critically acclaimed albums. He has produced and engineered for many artists including John Wetton, Motorhead, Queensryche, Paul Rodgers, and Yes. He joined Yes first as touring member on the Talk tour in 1994 and was a full-time member from 1997 to 1999. He recorded two albums with Chris Squire as the Conspiracy Project and released six albums with Circa, the band he formed with original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye.
Citizen is Billy’s eighth album of new material, though he sees this as a group effort, “While I've created a lot of this record myself I couldn't have done it without the amazing talents brought to bear by all the great artists who participated,” he says. “So I feel it's much more of a collective effort than a solo album. It's my desire to take this production onto the stage and some of these amazing artists can help bring this concept to life.”
Heavy, dark, symphonic: Bottom of the Morning is Texas duo Pinkish Black’s third album and Relapse Records debut. From the gothic, horror-movie-esque organ intro of opener “Brown Rainbow” to the wistful, fuzzed-out conclusion of final track “The Master Is Away,” Bottom of the Morning is simultaneously dark and catchy, dissonant and melodic, smothering audiences with heavy layers of distorted, repressive gloom that still end up as earworms despite their pessimism. It’s like if Mike Patton’s subconscious got into a knife fight with Goblin. Recorded at Echo Lab Studios in Argyle, Texas by Matthew Barnhart and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Zombi), Bottom of the Morning stands to see Pinkish Black affirm themselves as one of the most interesting and far-thinking duos currently active in the heavy
Magellan will release "War Drum (This Ain't America)" Sept. 9th. The new digital single showcases a "plea for reason" as founder Trent Gardner calls for all major 2016 U.S. Presidential candidates to immediately withdraw from any potential bid for the White House:
“Dear ubiquitous and homogenized presidential candidates from all parties, I don't want to experience a repeat of this predictable and ritualistic dance. It's time to go off script. For America, please stop now. All I can hear is the beating of yet another war drum. Keep us all safe and just go home.”
Of course, this seemingly naive suggestion is roughly the equivalent of an ant going up against Godzilla, but Trent knows he's not alone in his feelings on the subject. We’re too familiar with the pattern. The 2016 presidential election approaches and a sickeningly familiar rhetoric pulses below every interview. Sound bites of disinformation bombard us like the pounding of Zhangu war drums, then are overshadowed swiftly by military-like snares of accusations rising to a frenzy. Soon the ancient music of communication is beaten down into a primal marching cadence once again.
These building rhythms launch us into Magellan’s hard-rocking single “War Drum (This Ain’t America).” This is a fill-the-streets rock anthem for those weary of being fed the “daily spin of the Constitution” served up via 24/7 media. From the opening lyrics (“Camouflaged in the red, white & blue”) you know this song carries a warning and a responsibility. >>
It’s hard not to experience a visceral reaction. The keyboard lines fire like automatic weapons as guitar riffs mimic wag-the-dog “dialogue.” That terse voice repeating “War drum” near the song’s climax chills you with another White House wannabe in soulless cadence.
As “War Drum” ends, the mind conjures visuals matching the cover art—Lady Liberty lists on a blasted landscape as a lone drummer, a remnant of our revolutionary concept of freedom, rattles our consciousness before the nuclear glow.
Will we follow this war dance sheepishly down the gangway? Or will we find a way to loosen the skins and mute these drums? Remember this music as you step into the voting booth feeling disheartened, disengaged, and disenfranchised.
Slip on some headphones to feel surrounded by Trent Gardner’s call to arms which hooks your psyche with a powerful plea for common sense.
Vibe Station—the new album by jazz-fusion guitar maestro Scott Henderson is now available. Henderson is best known as the guitarist for the legendary fusion group Tribal Tech, and also for his work as sideman for Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Weather Report’s Joe Zawinul. He also plays in the group HBC with bassist Jeff Berlin and drummer Dennis Chambers. In 1991, Scott was named by Guitar World as the No. 1 jazz guitarist, and in January 1992, he was named No. 1 jazz guitarist in Guitar Player's annual readers’ poll. His first solo blues album Dog Party won best blues album of 1994 in Guitar Player magazine.
Vibe Station is his most ambitious work to date, and features Travis Carlton on bass and Alan Hertz on drums. The music can only be described as a mixture of edgy blues-rock, funk, and modern melodic jazz, amid a huge soundscape of guitar tones and textures.
Progressive metal act Pagan’s Mind releases a live double-CD/DVD set Oct. 16 on the SPV/Steamhammer label.
An early highlight in Pagan's Mind's career was playing the ProgPower USA festival in 2003, the American edition of what many consider to be the best niche festival in the world. Hard on the heels of the release of Celestial Entrance (their sophomore release), the praise they received in Atlanta was unlike anything the band had ever experienced before.
Pagan’s Mind played the festival again in 2007 (also appearing as the house band for the legendary “All-Star Jam”), and in 2009 returned for the festival's 10th anniversary. On Sept. 11 2014, another historical performance took place at Center Stage, featuring Celestial Entrance in its entirety plus an additional set of “true Norwegian hard-hitting in-your-face space metal,” including the instrumental piece “Full Circle.” That piece comprises the theme of this new live set.
Composer Arvo Part and producer Manfred Eicher have maintained their creative partnership for more than 30 years. Eicher launched ECM New Series in 1984 as a platform for Part’s music, bringing the Estonian composer to the world’s attention with Tabula Rasa. Since that epochal release, all first recordings of Part’s major works have been made for ECM, with the composer’s committed participation. In this special double album, issued on Part’s 80th birthday, Eicher revisits episodes from their shared musical quest. Musica Selecta proposes an optimal crash course in Part on ECM for the newcomer, and evokes fresh associations for the experienced listener with its juxtapositions of pieces, as we are invited to hear the music anew.
Compositions heard on the new release include the legendary ECM premiere recordings of “Es sang vor langen Jahren,” “Fur Alina,” “Mein Weg, Kanon Pokajanen, Silouans Song, Fratres, Alleluia-Tropus, Trisagion, Beatus Petronius,” “Wallfahrtslied/Pilgrims’ Song,” “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten,” “Magnificat,” “Festina Lente,” “Lamentate,” “Stabat Mater,” “Da Pacem Domine,” and a previously unreleased version of “Most Holy Mother of God.
Collaborators include: Gidon Kremer, Keith Jarrett, Susan Bickley, Alexander Malter, Alexei Lubimov, Thomas Demenga, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Lynne Dawson, The Hilliard Ensemble, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir,
Vox Clamantis, Sinfonietta Riga, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Latvian Radio Choir, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, Swedish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Choir, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tonu Kaljuste, Saulius Sondeckis, Dennis Russell Davies, Andrey Boreyko.
Jean-Michel Jarre is one of electronic music's most important and influential figures and Electronic Part 1: The Time Machine--due out Oct. 16 on Ultra Music – is his most ambitious project so far. Under the working title E-Project, Jarre recorded the album with 15 collaborators, showing the true extent of his range, his reach and his influence in the wider music world. Tapping new artists like Gesaffelstein and Little Boots (look for the video for their track “If ... !”) alongside electronic music veterans such as 3D of Massive Attack and Moby, and fellow pioneers Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter, Electronica … shares Jarre's own personal vision of electronic music over the decades.
“I've wanted to tell a story for a while regarding electronic music history and its legacy from my point of view and experience, from when I started to nowadays,” Jarre says. “So I planned to compose for and collaborate with an array of artists who are, directly or indirectly linked to this scene, with people I admire for their singular contribution to our genre, that represent a source of inspiration for me over the last four decades I have been making music, but who also have an instantly recognizable sound. At the outset, I had no idea how this project would evolve, but I was delighted that everybody I reached out to accepted my invitation.”
Says Anthony Gonzales (M83) of the coming together of their track “Glory,” which was released as the first official single this past May: “JMJ for me is a pioneer. He did so much for electronic music and especially for my generation of artists-such as Daft Punk, Phoenix, Justice ... We met after one of my shows in Paris and we started to talk about a collaboration on his album. For me it was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with one of my favorite artists of all time.”
So far, Jarre has shared tracks of collaborations with M83, Gesaffelstein, Massive Attack's 3D and Tangerine Dream-the latter being one of the last recorded works of the late Edgar Froese. The full track list for Electronica 1: The Time Machine reveals new collaborations with Moby, Boys Noize and Armin van Buuren, underlining a taste for dance music which Jarre also showed off on his recent remix record with the likes of Above & Beyond and Steve Angello. >>
“Jean-Michel is a big inspiration for me,” Armin van Buuren says. “He has really been one of the reasons why I went into electronic music. He was a pioneer in many ways, and I was really inspired by that. Trance music would not sound the same without his influence.”
Electronica … also sees Jarre branching out and working with French duo Air, U.K. group Fuck Buttons, Laurie Anderson and even The Who's Pete Townshend, hinting at the record’s all-encompassing diversity. Vince Clarke, formerly of Depeche Mode and founder of Erasure, appears on two tracks, and says that the two artists share an “appreciation of the beauty, of the simplicity, of the sound of our synthesizers.”
Instead of just making music remotely, Jarre took a hands-on approach to Electronica … by getting to know his collaborators and working with them in person. That careful process ensures that the album has a cohesive and unified feel despite its diverse collaborations and wide range-the true mark of a visionary.
“It would be very easy for him to sit in Paris and just e-mail with people and have them send things back,” says Moby of his experience with Jarre on “Suns Have Gone.” “But to actually physically go to sit down with every one, on multiple occasions – to be in a studio with people and really push them to almost look at different parts of themselves as musicians. I think that really will make this album quite interesting. To me, it's not just about electronic music collaborations, it's about humans coming together and collaborating in a very unique way.”
British progressive-metal trio Godsticks has a new album out titled Emergence and an interesting 11-minute YouTube documentary about the album’s creation. The band hits the road in October for a series of live dates in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.
The Aaron Clift Experiment
Out of Austin, Tex. comes the Aaron Clift Experiment with a new progressive rock album entitled Outer Light, Inner Darkness. This is the group’s second release, distinguished by intricate compositions, complex arrangements and virtuosic performances.
Band leader Aaron explains, Outer Light, Inner Darkness is a concept album about duality: light vs. darkness, individual vs. group, hope vs. despair, etc. Songs in the first half of the album detail the conflict between these opposing forces, while the songs in second half of the album are a journey toward reconciling the extremes. The album culminates with 'Bathed in Moonlight,' a song about how humanity can learn to embrace its outer light and inner darkness and become one with both sides of its nature.”
Watch the new video for “Kissed By The Sun”:
Just as scientists conduct experiments by using their knowledge to explore the unknown, The Aaron Clift Experiment combines elements of classic and cutting-edge music into an innovative whole. The band's original material draws from a wide range of influences – from classic progressive rock acts like Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Rush to modern groups like Porcupine Tree and Opeth to classical and jazz composers like Beethoven, Schubert, and John Coltrane. In 2012, the band debuted with Lonely Hills.
Says Aaron, “Although The Aaron Clift Experiment started as my solo project, Outer Light, Inner Darkness marks [our] birth as a full-fledged band. Unlike the first album, in which I wrote all the songs and arrangements, the songwriting and arranging process for the second album was a largely collaborative process, with all of the band members contributing elements to the sound that makes the album our most diverse to date. One of the fun challenges of co-writing between me and my band mates is that we all have very distinct songwriting styles and music preferences. As a result, we all pushed each other to write outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes this could be disorienting process, but in the end, it helped us write our strongest songs to date. The song ‘Aoide, Goddess of Song’ was in a way my commentary on what it can be like to come up with brand new music.”
The band’s lineup comprises Aaron Clift (vocals/keyboards), Eric Gutierrez (guitar), Joe Resnick (drums) and Devin North (bass).
After release of four progressive rock/fusion/ambient solo albums (Something Different, Rebirth, Three Wise Monkeys, Overloaded), which featured contributions from musicians such as drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), keyboardist Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater), singer Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and many others, Italian composer and bass player Alberto Rigoni announces that he is now working on a new album.
“I've just started the composition of a new album that will be called BASSorama. Since I'm an eclectic guy, this time the music will be quite experimental, with funky, electro, rock, fusion and ambient influences,” says Rigoni. “I've also invited, as special guests of the album, some of the best bass players from around the world, such as Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish, who will contribute amazing bass grooves (more artists to be announced soon). The album will be released in digipack CD and digital format by the end of 2016. Digital songs may be released one by one during 2016. A single song along with a video will be released this autumn.”
As an independent artist, Alberto is looking for supporters who can help him fund the production (recordings, mix, mastering, artwork etc.) of BASSorama. He has started a fundraising campaign that will end Dec. 31.
You can support Alberto's new album clicking on the following, click here>
A preview of the new album can be heard at, click here>
“I have traveled far from another place … come to learn from your race … ” Nik Turner intones at the outset of “Adjust The Future,” the leadoff track from his forthcoming space-rock/jazz-fusion magnum opus Space Fusion Odyssey, scheduled for launch on October 16. The track, like the album as a whole, features Turner’s complex, jazzy improvisations on saxophone with support provided by a talented and diverse group of musicians including Steve Hillage and Gilli Smyth of ‘70s prog legends Gong as well as Chris Poland of metal giant Megadeth and Jurgen Engler of German industrial band Die Krupps. The video mixes footage of Turner with some mind-blowing experimental video manipulations that harken back to the psychedelic backdrops Turner’s former band Hawkwind would frequently perform in front of.
Check out the video for “Adjust The Future”, click here>
Space Fusion Odyssey is perhaps the most musically ambitious undertaking Turner ever has attempted, stretching his already prodigious saxophone and flute playing skills to create instrumental soundscapes that entrance, confound, and stimulate. A crew of fellow musicians dubbed the Interplanetary Arkestra (in a nod to the great Sun Ra), help bring Turner’s vision to life such as legendary jazz drummer Billy Cobham, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, Steve Hillage of Gong, Soft Machine’s John Etheridge, Amon Duul II founder John Weinzierl and more. The CD comes packaged in a special mini-LP gatefold with a 12-panel poster while the vinyl comes in a deluxe 12-panel poster fold-up jacket and a gorgeous starbust colored vinyl.
In addition, this year will see the publication of The Spirit of Hawkwind 1969—1976, the definitive biography of Hawkwind’s early years as told through the eyes of Nik Turner and written by music historian Dave Thompson. The hardcover book contains 300 pages of rare and unseen photos, a comprehensive discography, and Nik’s 1975 U.S. tour diary plus reproductions of the 1971 “Galactic Tarot” card deck (designed by celebrated graphic designer Barney Bubbles), the 1972 “Sonic Attack” 7-inch promo one-sided single in a cloth bag, and the 1971 “In Search of Space” 6-by-9 20-page promotional booklet. It’s a feast for Hawkwind fans everywhere.
Hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” Joe Deninzon will be performing his seven-string electric violin “Dream Diary” concerto with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. This performance takes place at Emens Auditorium on the campus of Ball State University, 1800 W. Riverside Ave., Muncie, Ind. For ticket info, please call the Emens Box Office at 765-285-1539.
A 14-time BMI Jazz Composer’s grant recipient and winner of the John Lennon Songwriting contest, Joe is lead singer and violinist for the progressive rock group Stratospheerius, which had its fifth album,
The Next World, released on Steve Vai’s Digital Nations label. Joe also is a member of the Latin classical hip-hop string quartet, Sweet Plantain. His work as a violinist and string arranger can be heard on more than 100 CDs and jingles. Deninzon has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, and dozens of other projects.
As an educator, Joe has taught rock violin at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp. Mel Bay Publications released his book, Plugging In on electric violin technique. Joe holds Bachelor’s degrees in Violin Performance and Jazz Violin from Indiana University and a Master’s in Jazz/Commercial violin from Manhattan School of Music. >>
“Dream Diary” was inspired, in part, by Joe’s roots in studying classical music and falling in love with ‘80s/’90s guitar virtuosos such as Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt. Stating his best ideas come to him when he dreams, Joe’s “Dream Diary” concerto offers surreal imagery and is “very dream-like.” In the concerto, Joe also uses rock guitar effects on his violin such as distortion, delay, whammies, wah-wah, and loops.
Appreciating his style and passion, MSO Artistic Director/conductor Douglas Droste approached Deninzon with an idea for a concerto for rock violin and orchestra. “I cannot wait to bring this concerto to Muncie, with the hopes that it will attract new audiences and give our long-time concertgoers a new twist on an old genre,” he said. The two recently collaborated on a high school orchestra event at Oklahoma State University. Also on the program are Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” As part of the 3:00pm pre-concert talk, Deninzon will share
more about his work.
California-based progressive rock act Perfect Beings releases its second album, Perfect Beings II
on Oct. 16.
Performing live throughout 2014, the band tightened up its sound and reportedly has evolved into an even more solid unit. Recorded at the band’s home base studio in Los Angeles, My Sonic Temple, the material started to take shape in early 2015. Everybody in the group was excited about the strength of the new compositions. Singer Ryan Hurtgen’s impressionistic songwriting style is said to be even more present on this record, underscored by guitarist Johannes Luley's lush and cinematic production.
Perfect Beings II combines progressive, experimental, classical, ambient, rock, jazz and pop motifs carrying Perfect Beings’ unique signature.
The first guest vocalist for the new Avantasia album and tour has been announced. Jorn Lande will appear on Ghostlights, which is scheduled for release in early 2016 via Nuclear Blast. “It is with great pleasure that I can announce the ‘Beast From The North’ will join forces with Avantasia once again, the ‘Striking Viking,’ Jorn Lande!” commented project main man Tobias Sammet. “We've just finished his vocal recordings and he sounds—what a surprise -- killer! Jorn is a monster! It is with even greater pleasure to let you know that Jorn is gonna do the world tour next year, kicking off in March! Avantasia live -- three hours every night, from the Metal Opera to the new album Ghostlights. We'll be an epic lineup and we'll deliver an epic show! Stay tuned!”
Mar. 4 Germany –Berlin, Huxley’s
Mar. 5 Germany –Hamburg, Große Freiheit
Mar. 6 Germany — Bremen, Aladin
Mar. 8 England–London, The Forum
Mar. 9 France–Paris, Le Trianon
Mar. 11 Spain–Barcelona, Razzmatazz 1
Mar. 12 Spain–Madrid, La Riviera
Mar. 15 Germany–Frankfurt-Langen, Stadthalle
Mar. 16 Czech Republic–Prague, Forum Karlin
Mar. 18 Germany–Kaufbeuren, All-Karthalle
Mar. 19 Germany–Bamberg, Brose-Arena
Mar. 20 Germany –Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
Mar. 22 Italy–Milan, Alcatraz
Mar. 24 Switzerland–Pratteln, z7
Mar. 25 Switzerland–Pratteln, z7
Mar. 27 Slovakia–Banska Bystrica, Ice Stadium
Mar. 28 Slovakia–Bratislava, Sportshall
Mar. 29 Austria–Tröpolach, Full Metal Mountain
Mar. 31 Germany–Saarbrücken, Saarlandhalle
Apr. 1 Germany–Ludwigsburg, Arena
Apr. 2 Germany–Fulda, Esperantohalle
More dates in other countries in the works!
Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson celebrates the life and times of the English agricultural inventor, Jethro Tull, with a short eight-stop tour in North America this Nov. 1—11. The show tells the story of the original Jethro Tull's life, reimagined as if in the near future and illustrated with Anderson's best-known songs from rock band Jethro Tull's repertoire.
The performance is in a quasi-operatic structure with virtual guests on video and some additional newly written songs to round off the elements of the story. “Heavy Horses,” “Farm on the Freeway” and “Songs From the Wood” join “Aqualung,” “Living in the Past,” “Wind-Up,” “A New Day Yesterday,” “The Witch's Promise,” “Locomotive Breath” and other favorites – some with slightly rewritten lyrics to better tell the tale. Accompanied by David Goodier (bass), John O'Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and surprise virtual guests, Anderson begins the touring schedule in the U.K. followed by Russian, European and South American dates before the end of the year.
Nov. 1 Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Ill.
Nov. 3 Fox Theatre, Detroit, Mich.
Nov. 5 CITI Performing Arts Center, Boston, Mass.
Nov. 6 Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Nov. 7 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pa.
Nov. 8 Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Conn.
Nov. 10 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, N.Y.
Nov. 11 New Jersey PAC, Newark, N.J.
PledgeMusic and Marillion are joining forces to take direct-to-fan to a new level in the launch of an upcoming new Marillion album, which will be released in 2016. Marillion has long demonstrated its prowess in working with fans. Marillion started the “direct to fan” (or crowd-funding) business model in 1997. The pioneering work they have done through their fans on the Internet has paved the way for bands to truly operate independently in the digital age. The PledgeMusic model has carried this forward and is proud and honored to be working with Marillion on the group’s new album. The PledgeMusic Marillion campaign launches on Sept. 1 and contains a range of offers for fans from exclusive signed and limited CD and vinyl editions to private gigs at the band’s own studio. All the details and ordering information are at: Click here>
Benji Rogers, President & Founder PledgeMusic cites Marillion as a pivotal influence on the formation of PledgeMusic in 2009: “Partnering with Marillion in 2015 is an incredible honor for me personally and for the team at PledgeMusic. Their pioneering approach to direct-to-fan was both and inspiration and a guiding light for PledgeMusic from business plan to launch and beyond and we could not be more excited to have them as part of our story.”
Malcolm Dunbar PledgeMusic Co-founder, President UK & Europe says the new Marillion project “represents a high water-mark in the scale of offers and experiences that can be made available to fans. We look forward to an exciting and groundbreaking campaign with Marillion and the PledgeMusic community of music fans and further partnerships that demonstrate the power and reach of the direct-to-fan model.”
Detroit-area progressive act Discipline will perform a local one-off “preflight” show Sept. 26 to brush up for its appearance at the Summer’s End Festival on Oct. 3 in the U.K. The 9 p.m. concert will occur at Popps Packing, 12138 St. Aubin, Hamtramck, MI 48212. Doors open at 8 p.m., a $5 donation for Popps Packaging is requested.
The Summer’s End Festival is Oct. 2–4 in Chepstow, Wales, U.K. Lineup is as follows:
Oct. 2—Celestial Fire, Abel Ganz, Simon Godfrey
Oct. 3—Pallas, Discipline, 3rDegree, Light Damage,
The Fierce and the Dead
Oct. 4–Magic Pie, Mystery, Credo, Introitus, The Gift. Official site: www.summersend.co.uk
Symphonic rock icons Renaissance featuring legendary singer Annie Haslam will play eight East Coast U.S. shows in October. Responding to requests from fans, Renaissance will perform “Song For All Seasons,” “Sounds of the Sea” and “Northern Lights” along with favorite classics while also debuting “Immortal Beloved” from critically acclaimed album Symphony of Light on this tour.
Legendary keyboardist Patrick Moraz, best known for his work with Yes and the Moody Blues, as well as his innovative solo career, will make a special guest appearance with the band at the Victoria Theater at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. on Oct. 9–10.
Renaissance toured Europe in April, for the first time in more than 35 years and recorded the London Union Chapel show for a live DVD to be released soon. The current personnel of Renaissance comprises Haslam on lead vocals, keyboardists Rave Tesar and Tom Brislin, Mark Lambert on acoustic guitars, Leo Traversa on bass and Frank Pagano, drums. >>
Renaissance Tour Dates
Oct. 8 Landmark Theater, Port
Oct. 9 Victoria Theater/New Jersey PAC,
Oct. 10 Victoria Theater/New Jersey
PAC, Newark, N.J.
Oct. 11 Rams Head On Stage,
Oct. 15 Fairfield Theater Stage One,
Oct. 16 Infinity Music Hall & Bistro,
Oct. 22 Shalin Liu Performance Center,
Oct. 23 Tarrytown Music Hall,