Tag: progressive rock

Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week: Journey, Look into the Future

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Once upon a time, there was a Journey that was not massively successful. I speak of course about the band's first three albums -- which were certainly harder and more progressive than later material, but were nonetheless not very popular. So for this entry let's look at one of those three albums, and the one with the weirdest cover -- 1976's Look into the Future. So it looks like we've got a little bit of an MC Escher thing going on here, but less complex. It does fit with the vibe of Look into the Future, however, which is definitely more progressive and jazzy than the band would become after Steve Perry joined. Journey, which was a five-piece outfit for their first album, lost rhythm guitarist George Tickner and was reduced to a quartet. The four band members, shown here as
Listening Booth — Rush at Stadhalle, Offenbach, Germany (May 28, 1979)

Listening Booth — Rush at Stadhalle, Offenbach, Germany (May 28, 1979)

Listening Booth, Music
I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner, but it's high time I posted a Rush show on this site for the first time. After all, they finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it only seems right. And so inspired by my friends at Addicted to Vinyl sharing an excellent concert from the band's first album tour, I'm sharing one of favorites. This concert was recorded at the Stadhalle in Offenbach, West Germany on May 28, 1979 -- the second-to-last date on the Hemispheres tour. It goes by several names, but the copy I have is called Black Forest. It's a fantastic soundboard recording and the band is, as usual, on fire. Of note is that the entire "Hemispheres" suite is played, as is all of  "2112." Some of the transitions are rather abrupt, but otherwise this is an extreme
In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

Music
I'll admit that at this point in my life as a Rush fan, I'm rather spoiled. I've been going to Rush concerts since they came to Madison Square Garden in December 1991 on the Roll the Bones tour, and I've seen them on every album tour since (as well as the 30th anniversary tour). And the thing is, even a mediocre Rush show is better than most bands on their best night. So for me, the sheer visceral thrill of seeing Geddy, Alex, and Neil live isn't what it used to be. But after sitting out the last few tours, I decided to see the band for the first time since the Snakes & Arrows tour in July 2007. I did so for two reasons -- I caught a peek at some of their set lists from the tour, and I was impressed with the first several tracks I heard from the Clockwork Angels album. But before I ...
“Headlong Flight” — NEW RUSH SONG!

“Headlong Flight” — NEW RUSH SONG!

Music
Let's just get down to it, people. "Headlong Flight" is the first official track released from the upcoming Rush album Clockwork Angels. And yea, verily, it rocketh quite hard. Behold! "Headlong Flight" via Rolling Stone. Love the fact that Rush brought back Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce, as he did a bang up job on Snakes & Arrows. Geddy, Neil, and Alex all sound as energetic as they have in at least 20 years. Looks like I need to set aside some money to see this tour.
Here’s Your Rush ‘Clockwork Angels’ Album Cover and Track Listing

Here’s Your Rush ‘Clockwork Angels’ Album Cover and Track Listing

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Here's a special Wednesday edition of Album Cover of the Week. It's the cover for Clockwork Angels, the upcoming studio album from Rush. It's their first studio LP since 2007's Snakes & Arrows. Behold! The press release doesn't say who designed the cover, but I'm guessing it was Hugh Syme again. It reminds me of that old internet game Alchemy. And wouldn't you know it, but according to the press release this will be a concept album that "chronicles a young man’s quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams.  The story features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, an exotic carnival, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life." Well OK then. Sounds like it could be cool, or it could be a mess
Does it matter if Rush never makes it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Does it matter if Rush never makes it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Music
I've been a Rush fan for, oh, just over 20 years I suppose. It's not exactly the most exclusive club in the world, but it's not like being a fan of the Beatles or Bruce Springsteen either. In most circles, when you tell people you're a Rush fan, they give you a sideways look as if to say, "Oh, that's nice. And do you still play Dungeons and Dragons?" Then there are the pot shots taken by fellow music lovers, who stroke their beards, cluck their tongues, and talk about, "What's to be done with this band with their shrill singer, overly complex songs, clinical drummer, and lyrics about dragons and sorcery?" Ninety-nine percent of the time all that drivel rolls right off my back. But for the past dozen or so years, right about this time, I'm reminded of all the insults and all the m...
Why The Hell Should I Like… Kiss? (The Rebuttal)

Why The Hell Should I Like… Kiss? (The Rebuttal)

Music
Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. I'm a fairly simple man. I like unique, intricate, interesting music, sure, but I'm also a tenacious advocate of the simple, three-minute pop song, and a staunch defender of the notion that, sometimes, a fistful of chords and a catchy chorus is the stuff pop music glory is made of. With that in mind, I'm not sure why I've never found it in my heart to appreciate Kiss. It's not that I grow weary of their party-hearty, sex drugs and rock n' roll mentality: I'll defend to the death the early career
Listening booth — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Toccata”

Listening booth — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Toccata”

Listening Booth, Music
I don't know about you, but there are certain songs and albums that I always associate with particular seasons. One of those albums is Emerson, Lake & Palmer's progressive rock masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery. On a gloomy, chilly October day like today in New Jersey my mind often drifts to the gloomy imagery and sounds of the album. While most fans would probably point to the 30-minute "Karn Evil 9" suite as the high point of the album, I tend to go for "Toccata," the group's adaptation of the Fourth Movement of Alberto Ginastera's 1st Piano Concert. It's a muscular and moody instrumental workout, the type that ELP excelled at in their prime. It's also one of their best classical music interpretations. Keith Emerson steals the show with his ridiculous arrangement and keyboards, b
My favorite music: 1983

My favorite music: 1983

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...