Posts Tagged ‘Yes’

THE MUSICAL COMET THAT IS LORD RUSS RETURNS WITH FUTURISTIC VISIONS OF THE PAST. HAVE YOU HEARD???

July 17, 2017

The newest take on some established songs, done Lord Russ style! Photo courtesy Russ Brooks

Lord Russ has a past with this blog. That sounds so sordid, doesn’t it? But that ‘past’ is a good one! Lord Russ found me while I was still with Princeton Record Exchange. He took advantage of my open position that “if you have the balls to accept what someone who knows something about music has to say about yours, bring it!” and brought me his first delightful album Heir Of Mystery! Easily the best “indie” (in the truest sense of the word, Lord Russ’ neighbor, Mark Mulcahy and his band Miracle Legion roadied for themselves on their recent reunion tour, set up, tore down, and loaded out, here’s a band that’s been on TV, David Letterman, Adventures Of Pete and Pete, too numerous to list, having to roadie their own shows because that’s how the record industry is now) disc to come my way this year. The fortunate part of the Miracle Legion show was the availability of two new releases, two double live CDs, one from Miracle Legion, and one from Polaris. The difference being, no Ray Neal in Polaris, his place was filled by another Lord Russ neighbor, Henning Ohlenbusch who played lead guitar and allsorts. The CT/Mass music scene is a very intriguing one. If what Fatso Jetson leader Mario Lalli claims is correct, the High Desert/Wonder Valley scene is dead.

But I digress…

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THE MASS EXODUS I HAD FEARED SINCE CHILDHOOD IS HERE NOW!

April 4, 2016

Sorry folks, no photos of album covers or artists performing live in this blog. In fact, we are embracing the here and now, with a morose eye towards the future. I never thought I would be posting something like this, but in the light of recent events (read: the massive amount of influential musicians who are passing away at a pace none of us can keep up with), I really had no choice. This was a necessity above and beyond my ordinary macabre nature.

For me, I think it started with the death of Alan Myers, the original drummer for Devo. It was a severe blow when a short time later, his bandmate and co-founder of Devo, Robert Casale also (and most definitely unexpectedly) passed away.

Then the onslaught began.

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THIRD TIME IS TRULY A CHARM FOR ALAN PARSONS I ROBOT

October 9, 2013
The revised cover for the newest version of The Alan Parsons Project, released earlier this year.  Bonus tracks, in-depth booklet and sanitized sound make this version the definitive for those yet to be initiated into the Parsons pack!

The revised cover for the newest version of The Alan Parsons Project, released earlier this year. Bonus tracks, in-depth booklet and sanitized sound make this version the definitive for those yet to be initiated into the Parsons pack!

My story begins many years ago, 1977 to be exact.  One of my early relaxation techniques was to enjoy some classical music, played at low volume, audible enough to induce calm, not loud enough to encumber sleep, at bedtime.

One night during my second year living in Scranton, my usual FM refuge, the local classical station made the industry standard decision of changing format to MOR Rock.  MOR standing for Middle Of the Road as in, they’ll play your average hit, something by Led Zepplin, ELO (who I love), Bruce Springsteen, but at the same time, play an entire album from time-to-time, some prog stuff, the average, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd (often) and if they went deep with acts like Genesis or King Crimson, it would be “Lamb Lies Down” or “Follow You, Follow Me” from the former (one for the Gabriel era, one for the Collins era), or ONLY selections from In The Court Of The Crimson King from the latter.

I happened to tune in for my nightly fix of musical sedation on one particular night and I heard a 70’s Macho-Manned-Deep-Voiced DJ bring a song from break and announcing that the new 107 was fast-approaching a new feature for their new format, their weekly album show featuring an entire album with only commercial breaks at the flip of side one to two (yes kids, we used to have to get up after a set number of songs and turn this big wax/vinyl disc over and reset it for the last batch of tunes).  I wasn’t sure of what to make of it, where is my usual monotone, refined, and in his own way, sedate radio personality who announces my FM version of Valium?

Testosterone Tom, my new night-time DJ at bedtime was saying the upcoming album was by Alan Parsons who engineered Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, was being featured with his second album (the first with enough mainstream success to garner being considered a weekly album feature) I Robot and yes, it is of the same concept as Asimov’s epic, classic novel I, Robot.  Notice the only change between the two titles is the removal of the comma after the “I” in the title.  This came about to the thinking of the late Eric Woolfson who, after a phone conversation with Asimov himself, came to the mindset that to circumvent the legal issue, the comma would be sufficient change enough to warrant an individual copyright.

They start to play the album while I am still trying to figure out where my symphonies went.

“Holy shit this music is amazing”, I thought to myself.  Sequencing synths cascading between individual headphones (closed ear, of course) ushering in dissonant organ tones, giving way to elegant soprano female solo vocal ad-lib.  I was hooked.  I sat through the entire album transfixed.

This memorization led to the purchase of one of Arista’s first acts signed to the fledgling label.  On one of those plastic discs.

The sound of the vinyl on my Krebstar (thanks Pete & Pete) HiFi was about the same as the FM broadcast, sans a few pops and clicks…  So I was elated to get my copy of the primary issue of I Robot on CD.  Then thirty years later an anniversary edition came out in 2007 with five bonus tracks, an unreleased track experiment that turned out to be the intro to the ‘rock’ structure of “I Robot”, three demos and a mash-up of examples or demos of each song into one, continuous song.

Well earlier this year, they came out with a thirty-fifth year anniversary version that has fourteen bonus tracks contained on a second CD, and an expanded booklet with new liner notes written by Parsons.  The above factoids about the album came from those liner notes.  These are worth the price of the disc alone.

Granted, some of the bonus tracks on the thirtieth anniversary edition are the same as on the thirty-fifth anniversary edition.  Those aforementioned five tracks, then some goodies we will discuss later on in the review.

Let me just say, if you need a reason to justify purchasing this new re-issue beyond new liner notes, (that is, for those of you who are not rabid Parsons fans) and nine new bonus features, in side-by-side comparisons in my usual review setting, the mastering on the new release was out of this world!!!  Then when you listen to the album tracks, astonishingly enough, they are cleaner than the thirtieth anniversary version!!!

The saying goes, ‘So clean you could eat off it’ but in this case, it is ‘So clean you can perform surgery on these tracks’.

Prepare the patient…

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JON ANDERSON AND RICK WAKEMAN AT THE SHERMAN THEATER, STROUDSBURG, 11-05-11. COME FOR THE MUSIC, STAY FOR THE COMEDY!

August 16, 2013
Jon Anderson (right) and Rick Wakeman (left) share the stage at the Sherman Theater, share some Yes songs, and share some laughs.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Jon Anderson (right) and Rick Wakeman (left) share the stage at the Sherman Theater, share some Yes songs, and share some laughs. Photo by Lynn Vala

FRIDAY FLASHBACK:  Seeing as Jon Anderson has taken his music to the sea with the recent launch of a prog cruise, BouleBlog felt this would make a good Friday Flashback.  Yes, this tour is long over, but, if you are fortunate enough, you can get tickets to see Anderson headline on the cruise.  Meanwhile, check out a show Anderson and Wakeman played just beyond my backyard in the Poconos.  Keep your eyes open for some hysterical lines from both of them!  Enjoy!

This blog has exposed me to a lot of new music.  It has also brought me close to many artists, opened many musical doors for me, and I learn something new every time I write something.  This review is unique in that while I was fortunate enough to work with the promoter for Jon Anderson, and his subsequent projects, I got to experience what many say is the heart and soul of progressive rock mainstays YES, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman live playing songs from the YES catalog that we all know and love, but also songs from Anderson/Wakeman’s new album The Living Tree.  While this is a review of the live act, I will make a quickie commentary on the album The Living Tree: I am going to get the disc based on the performances I saw at the Sherman Theater.

The Sherman Theater is an old venue in the heart of Stroudsburg, which is undergoing a touch of a renaissance lately.  The Sherman, I would say is undergoing it’s own renaissance, with some new elements and some signs of age.  Will call got our order confused, but such associations with promoters, press agents, etc., usually leads to snafu situations.  Unless person A talks directly to person B, and when I get there I talk to person B, then the situation usually devolves to Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.

While I most likely will recognize the YES tunes, the new pieces from The Living Tree and if Anderson does anything from his new disc Open, I may need help naming them.  Thanks to a cooperative soundman and an equally cooperative stage manager named Neil (if memory serves, no chance of that happening), we managed to take pictures of Jon’s personal set lists.

Ask and you shall receive…

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BILL BRUFORD THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY: A DRUMMER OUT OF TIME

July 26, 2013
Not only does this book give us a drumhead's point of view of one of the greatest drummers to ever pick up the sticks, but it also serves as a 'how-to-run-your-own-band-and-stay-afloat-in-the-cuthroat-world-of-music-management".

Not only does this book give us a drumhead’s point of view of one of the greatest drummers to ever pick up the sticks, but it also serves as a ‘how-to-run-your-own-band-and-stay-afloat-in-the-cuthroat-world-of-music-management”.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  This week’s Friday Flashback features a book that came out a few years ago.  For all I know it may be out of print or there may only be a few copies left in circulation.  If you have aspirations of forming your own  band, at any level, (amateur, garage, hobbyist, semi-professional or professional) there is educational material within these pages for you to learn from.  The more selfish rationale for reviving this review was, I was completely and totally chuffed when, while reading the Bruford web page, I came across a link to the following review listed on Bruford’s ‘press’ page.  It’s those tiny moments in this avocation that make the hard work, manual labor and occasional dissension among the readers worth it.  Please enjoy!

Back when this blog was in syndication, I wrote an entry about Bill Bruford, announcing his retirement from public performance as of the first of the year.  I was angry, I was hurt, I felt abandoned, and most of all I was disappointed that one of the primary warriors of mundane music had laid down his small wooden swords for the last time.  I could not understand why the world’s greatest drummer would hang it up while he was still undeniably a force in the industry, the industry he labels as ‘the industry of human happiness’.

Sometimes you need a good autobiography to make things clear, to garner the inside perspective.  But be warned, and I was taken aback by what I encountered, the ending of this book is not what you would expect from a player of Bruford’s qualifications.

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EDDIE JOBSON “FOUR DECADES” TOUR & MASTER CLASS PERFORM AT WORLD CAFE LIVE PHILADELPHIA ON SUNDAY, APRIL 21st, 2013!

March 12, 2013

One of the few remaining ‘greats’ of the original progressive-rock movement, returns to the stage with his hand-picked band mates.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I have long been wanting to post something promoting the venue World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.  They undertook a mitosis in that they opened a sister club in Delaware.  This happened right about the time that we relocated Coming Age Conglomo from Allentown to Scranton PA, and shortly after the collapse of the blog syndication.  All of these elements had contributed to this fine, intimate venue being overlooked.  However, today, with the announcement of the death of Peter Banks, we felt it was time to not only celebrate the remaining pioneers of Progressive music, but to also exalt the amazing venue that is World Cafe Live.  From a recent press release of theirs, detailing the appearance of Eddie Jobson.  Perhaps if you can, why not get out and enjoy some of Prog’s founding father’s before they go the route of Bill Bruford and Robert Fripp and throw in the towel…

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Philadelphia, PA – March 12, 2013 – Eddie Jobson, an internationally recognized electric-violin pioneer and keyboard icon, will be sharing his talent with fans at World Cafe Live on Sunday, April 21st, 2013.  The English born musician is considered a forerunner in the progressive rock and experimental rock movements.  Performing in a variety of progressive rock bands including, Curved Air, Roxy Music, Zappa, U.K. and UKZ, Jobson has also spent time on a solo career.

On Sunday, April 21st, fans will be treated to an up-close and personal experience with the talented musician.  Performing music from his past bands, as well as some never-before-performed music from his acclaimed solo albums, audiences are sure to be amazed by the talent they witness on the stage.    Jobson handpicked his band for his ‘Four Decades’ tour, which comprises of Marc Bonilla, Billy Sherwood, Alex Machacek, and Virgil Donati.

VIP ticket holders will also enjoy a pre-concert “Master Class with the Maestro” where Eddie will share his considerable knowledge of music, including the physics of sound and an understanding of the language of harmony. Tickets are currently on sale for the show and can be purchased online at www.worldcafelive.com or by calling the box office at 215-222-1400.

For more information regarding this performance or any press inquiries, please email dferrari@worldcafelive.com

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More information about this tour is available from the Bob Moog Foundation Facebook page:

Legendary synthesist, violinist, composer, and producer Eddie Jobson/UK Official fanpage announces a retrospective “Four Decades” North American tour.

From Eddie directly “These concerts are a one-time-only retrospective of my 50 years of creating music and 40 years of recording, covering my work with Curved AirRoxy MusicFrank Zappa, U.K. and UKZ, and including first-time-ever performances of music from my Zinc/Green Album and Theme of Secrets mixed in with the U.K. classics. There will also be integrated video tying in my other associations with Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson, the Bulgarian Women’s Choir and more.”

This retrospective concert combined with pre-show master class by Eddie is a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed. Find out more here: http://www.eddiejobsontour.com/


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