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December 2010 - Issue 85
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Aeon Zen - The Face of the Unknown
Review by Josh Turner

The title of this album is a bit of a misnomer since it features well-known talent. 

Bangtower - Casting Shadows
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing outfit. Take Brand X bassist/keyboardist Percy Jones. Add in Neil Citron on guitar.

Blackmore's Night - Autumn Sky
Review by Larry Toering

This review is from the import which comes with a nice package to help the value along. 

California Guitar Trio - Andromeda
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from California Guitar Trio is the first from them with no cover tracks.
Coma - Excess
Review by Gary Hill
Here’s an intriguing album. It does a nice job of sitting between modern metal and progressive rock.
Creation’s End - A New Beginning
Review by Gary Hill
There are certainly people who would consider this heavy metal.
Dakrya - Crime Scene
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of the most intriguing CDs to come into the Music Street Journal mailbox in quite a while.
December People - Rattle & Humbug
Review by Gary Hill
Robert Berry and company are back with a new release of holiday music.
Djam Karet - The Heavy Soul Sessions
Review by Scott Montgomery
The latest (and much anticipated) Djam Karet release is another smashing success for this stalwart California prog powerhouse.  
Dragon Tears - Turn On Tune In F*** Off!!
Review by Bruce Stringer
With Bad Afro Records continuing to release some of Europe’s coolest modern-retro psychedelia, it comes as no surprise that Dragon Tears further pushes the boundaries with a new take on the Peace and Love banter.
Dream Theater - Uncovered 2003-2005
Review by Greg Olma
Dream Theater continues to release great CDs through their Ytsejam Records label.  They have released live discs and demos but this one is kind of odd as it is a compilation of songs from different sources.  
Genesis - Foxtrot
Review by Gary Hill
Foxtrot might not get the attention that is afforded to Genesis works like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but it is really an incredible piece of work that should be in the collection of any Genesis fan or progressive rock fan in general.
David Hayes - In with the Old
Review by Gary Hill
David Hayes is a musician from Chicago and this is his debut disc.
Mike Henderson - White Arrow Project
Review by Gary Hill
Featuring a couple members of Djam Karet, one might expect this disc to sound like that outfit.
Jerry Jennings - Shortcut to the Center
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve generally always put fusion into the progressive rock category.
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
Review by Gary Hill
A couple of these tracks were featured on the Works in Progress album from Kansas. 
Yogi Lang - No Decoder
Review by Gary Hill
This is a solo album from RPWL’s Yogi Lang.
Jim McCarty - Sitting On the Top of Time
Review by Gary Hill
The name Jim McCarty might be familiar.
Marco Mendoza - Casa Mendoza
Review by Gary Hill
This disc does a great job of combining progressive rock, jazz, funk and a whole lot of other sounds into an album that is quite fun.
The Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
Review by Gary Hill
This Moody Blues album is somewhat typical of the group, but in many ways seems less effective than some of the other releases in the group’s catalog.
Richard Franklin Morse - Rychyrd
Review by Josh Turner
It’s a real wonder that there is so much residual talent left in the family to produce yet another marvelous artist.
Carl Palmer - Working Live Volume 3
Review by Gary Hill
While Carl Palmer does a lot of music that was performed by Emerson Lake and Palmer, don’t expect his renditions to sound like that band.
Rick Plester - Rick Plester
Review by Larry Toering
A genius he has been called, and after gracing the ears with this progressive work of art it's no secret why.
Random Touch - Reverberating Apparatus
Review by Gary Hill
Random Touch generally produces a type of music that sits near the RIO style. This album is no exception.
Salim Ghazi Saeedi - Iconophobic
Review by Gary Hill
Iran might not be the first place you’d think of as a hot bed of progressive rock. It is the home of Salim Ghazi Saeedi, though.
Joe Satriani - Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
Review by Larry Toering
After teaming up with his friends in Chickenfoot, just like after he left Deep Purple, Joe Satriani shows a thicker side of himself once again on this multi-flavored release.
Karen Single Band - Wide Open
Review by Larry Toering
This is a mind melting story of the sensational variety.
Transatlantic - Whirld Tour 2010 Deluxe Edition – 2 DVD & 3 CD
Review by Scott Montgomery
This is ridiculous!  Really!  The degree of virtuosity, complexity, and sheer stamina involved in performing this music live is staggering…almost to the point of absurdity.
Ukab Maerd - The Waiting Room
Review by Gary Hill
This project is a spin off from Djam Karet. It shares the explorative nature of that band and the lack of concern for mainstream directions.
Wolfstone - Live / Not Enough Shouting
Review by Larry Toering
Looking back on their only live release to date, Wolfstone combine their highland/rock/folk leanings together for what is a tasty live concert listening experience.
Inna Zhelannaya - Cocoon
Review by Gary Hill
Inna Zhelannaya is a Russian pop-star. The music on this album combines world sounds with atmospheric prog.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Angra - Aqua
Review by Gary Hill
Angra’s version of heavy metal often falls near the realm of progressive rock.
GWAR - Bloody Pit of Horror
Review by Gary Hill
When you get a GWAR album, you pretty much know what you’ll be getting.
Halford - Made Of Metal
Review by Mike Korn
With the sad demise of Ronnie James Dio earlier in the year, nobody can argue that Rob Halford is truly the Metal God.
Heaven and Hell - Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell
Review by Gary Hill
With Ronnie James Dio’s passing, Heaven and Hell are done.
PowerWorld - Human Parasite
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an accessible heavy metal album.
Therion - Sitra Ahra
Review by Mike Korn
Combining the crunch of heavy metal and the multifaceted bombast of classical music is nothing new.
UnSun - Clinic For Dolls
Review by Gary Hill
The whole female fronted epic metal sound has become a bit of a cliché.
Various Artists - We Wish You a Metal Christmas And a Headbanging New Year (2010 Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of a CD I’ve already reviewed – with a few extra cuts.
Withered - Dualitas
Review by Mike Korn
I guarantee this is one of the most punishing and darkest slabs of metal you'll hear in 2010. Atlanta, Georgia would seem an unlikely home for a band as oppressive and crushing as Withered.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Rick Berlin - Paper Airplane
Review by Larry Toering
With a fairly large cast of musicians, Rick Berlin delivers a fine mix of tempos within an American story telling inspired effort.
BugGirl - Dirt in the Skirt
Review by Gary Hill
If you like hard rock that teeters between metal and punk, this one’s probably a great fit.
Peter Doran - Sleepless Street
Review by Larry Toering
This is a modern folk disc with many musical flavors to delight the listener.
The Factory - The Factory
Review by Larry Toering
On this self titled disc, The Factory’s sticker advertises no secret about their influences being the NY Dolls, Stones, Johnny Thunders and the Dead Boys.
Rory Gallagher - The Beat Club Sessions
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have a disc of live recordings from Rory Gallagher.
Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent
Review by Bruce Stringer
This CD actually made me do some really involved research. Not for this review, but for my own understanding of what the Killing Joke of 2010 are actually on about.
Albert King - with Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session – CD/DVD Deluxe Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This is an incredible release.
Jesse McReynolds - & Friends – Songs of the Grateful Dead
Review by Gary Hill
As the title declares, the songs here were all original Grateful Dead tunes.
Bill Mumy - Glorious in Defeat
Review by Gary Hill
I really like Bill Mumy’s music.
Mark Newman - Walls of Jericho
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Mark Newman is well rooted in classic rock. It would have been quite at home if released in the 1970s.
John Norum - Play Yard Blues
Review by Gary Hill
Those of you who clamor for and crave the old school bluesy rock that was so popular in the 1970s would do well to latch onto this slab of musical mayhem.
Frank Palangi - I’m Waiting (Single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is just one song, so we’ll cut out the overall review here, except to say that Frank Palangi is an artist from New York state and this track will be part of an EP to be released in 2011.
Sister Hazel - Heartland Highway
Review by Gary Hill
Sister Hazel is one of those bands that are just plain consistent, no matter how you slice it. 
The Superbees - Top Of The Rocks
Review by Larry Toering
Dave James leads the Superbees with a six-track power packed release that is out of sight. 
Ronnie Wood - I Feel Like Playing
Review by Gary Hill
Ronnie Wood is, of course, best known for his work in the Rolling Stones.
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction - We Are Volsung
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked this band a lot.
DVD/Video Reviews
The Bee Gees - In Our Own Time DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In many ways the real charm of this DVD is the discussion of the Bee Gees as a family.
John Cale - Live at Rockpalast DVD
Review by Gary Hill
While this is billed as John Cale and Band, the first is a more stripped down performance.
Phil Collins - Going Back – Live at Roseland Ballroom, NYC DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Understanding the event is important when coming into this DVD.
Delerium - Epiphany DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always had a deep love of this type of music – trippy sort of ambient electronica meets rock – sort of along the lines of Enigma.
Dream Theater - Images And Words Live In Tokyo/5 Years In A Live Time DVD Set
Review by Greg Olma
This DVD set is a no frills set that basically took the two videos and put them on DVD.  I’m not complaining.
Dream Theater - Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Dream Theater never do anything half way.  They created the masterpiece Metropolis: Scenes From A Memory and then decided to play the whole thing on tour.  
Dream Theater - Santiago, Chile 12/6/05 DVD
Review by Greg Olma
I have said it many times, Dream Theater are a band of the fans for the fans.
The Everly Brothers - Reunion Concert: Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD
Review by Gary Hill
How you feel about this release will depend at least in part if you already own it or not.
Fair Warning - Talking Ain't Enough - Live In Tokyo DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit I’d never heard of this band before. As good as they are, that’s a shame.
Final Conflict - Another Moment in Time DVD
Review by Mark Johnson
As with any live album, the mission is to try to capture on film, the excitement of a live performance.
FromUz - Inside Seventh Story DVD
Review by Mark Johnson
This is a live performance video of FromUZ playing their latest album The Seventh Story in its entirety.
Kenny G - Live at Montreux 1987/1988 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD features two live performances from Kenny G on one DVD.
Rory Gallagher - Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher & the Beat Club Sessions DVD
Review by Gary Hill
What a great release this is! First, we get a comprehensive biography of Rory Gallagher.
Heaven and Hell - Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Now that Ronnie James Dio has passed away, this is a reminder of the final tour of Heaven and Hell (the Dio led version of Black Sabbath).
INXS - Mystify DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I was never a big fan of INXS, but you can’t deny that they were a killer rock band that never seemed to lose the groove.
Michael McDonald - This Christmas Live In Chicago DVD
Review by Gary Hill
One might gather from the title that all the music included here is Christmas music.
Roger McGuinn’s Thunderbyrd - West Coast Legends Vol. 4 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Roger McGuinn was certainly best known for his work in The Byrds. Some of the music in this concert come from that legendary band’s output.
Kylie Minogue - Kylie: Rare and Unseen DVD
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of how you feel about this DVD will center on your expectations going in to the event.
Pendragon - Concerto Maximo DVD
Review by Mark Johnson
I must state before writing the review that I have been a fan of the band for about five years. I have most of their albums, but only one of their DVDs.
Pink Floyd - Classic Albums The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Many, apparently the band included, consider Dark Side of the Moon to be the best album Pink Floyd ever did.
The Rolling Stones - Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This was an actual concert film produced to run in theaters (remember the days when they did those all the time?). As such, the quality is stunning, but a little dated.
Eric Sardinas - and Big Motor – Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of Eric Sardinas (and fans of killer blues based, hard rocking guitar work in general) should probably pick this up, but they also should probably get a bit of a warning.
Michael Schenker - Group - Live In Tokyo: 30th Anniversary Japan Tour DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed the actual concert here in more detail in the CD review that is also included in this issue, so this review will focus more on the DVD itself.
John Scofield - New Morning-The Paris Concert DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Jazz guitar can be a wonderful thing, in the hands of the right performer.
Shadowland - Edge Of Night DVD
Review by Mark Johnson
Maybe they had a dream they were members of Marillion during the Fish era.
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Blues DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The format of this set is a bit different than some of the others in the series.
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Country and Western DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Don’t pop this in expecting some kind of documentary detailing the history of country and western music.
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Gospel DVD
Review by Gary Hill
“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.”
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Rhythm and Blues DVD
Review by Gary Hill
While this is in no way a documentary, you can learn a lot about rhythm and blues from watching the performances captured here.
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Rock N Roll DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You might think from looking at the cover and title of this DVD that it’s a documentary chronicling the history of rock and roll.
Various Artists - America’s Music Legacy – Soul DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is a concert from 1983 and while the staging and other aspects have a tendency to be a little silly or dated, the performances make it all worthwhile.

 

Various Artists - Romantic Warriors: A Progressive Music Saga DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
In many ways this documentary echoes some ideas about the music business that were discussed on Before The Music Dies.
Various Artists - The Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy and Lou: 1971-1973 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This documentary is an intriguing one. It serves sort of like a thesis paper.
Velvet Revolver - Live in Houston DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you haven’t heard Velvet Revolver, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard some of the members of the band in other projects.
Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1962-1969 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you’ve seen a lot of documentaries on the Beach Boys or Brian Wilson, you’ll probably learn nothing new from this DVD.
Johnny Winter - Live through the ‘80s DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Johnny Winter is especially talented and this great DVD captures the guitar slinger himself in a number of live performances over the years.
Interviews
Bangtower
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Bangtower from 2010

California Guitar Trio
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Bert Lams of California Guitar Trio from 2010

Creation’s End
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Rudy Albert and Dario Rodriguez of Creation’s End from 2010
Echo Us
Interview by Mark Johnson
Interview with Ethan Matthews of Echo Us from 2010
David Hayes
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with David Hayes from 2010

Yogi Lang
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Yogi Lang from 2010

Rick Plester
Interview by Larry Toering

Interview with Rick Plester from 2010

ScienceNV
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Science NV from 2010

Yoso
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Billy Sherwood of Yoso from 2010

Book Reviews
Todd Rundgren - A Dream Goes On Forever - The Continuing Story of Todd Rundgren Vol. 2: The Utopia Years – written by Billy James
Review by Gary Hill
Since the majority of this book, as the subtitle suggests, is about Utopia, I’m putting it under progressive rock. This is the second volume that Billy James has written about Todd Rundgren.
 
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