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August 2012 - Issue 95
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Art Decade - Western Sunrise
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an intriguing disc. It’s very symphonic in nature and combines modern and classic prog sounds into something unique and powerful.
Jack Arthurs - Only Dreams Are True
Review by Alison Reijman
The burgeoning trend for artistes to release their own material rather than rely on a record company to issue, market and promote their wares is certainly growing in the UK.
Asia - XXX
Review by Larry Toering
Asia return with their classic line-up for an out of this world album.
Kevin Atwood - Crowded Moon
Review by Gary Hill
Crowded Moon finds Kevin Atwood making his way through a number of instrumental pieces.
Marvin Ayres - Harmogram
Review by Gary Hill
This new disc from Marvin Ayres is quite mellow.
Adrian Benavides - Same Time Next Life
Review by Gary Hill
There is definitely an industrial sort of vibe to this cut. In fact, a lot of it seems close to Tool or even Nine Inch Nails.
Cailyn - Four Pieces
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an intriguing set. It’s four extended instrumental pieces, all built around classical music.
Cerulia - The Wishing Tree, Vol. 2: The Birth of a Titan
Review by Gary Hill
It’s a safe bet that prog purists will hate this EP. I still think it fits into progressive rock.
The Aaron Clift Experiment - Lonely Hills
Review by Gary Hill
These guys have quite an interesting sound. At times they have ties to jazz, but overall they are more of a progressive rock act.
Clark Colborn - Eleanor Rigby (Digital Single)
Review by Larry Toering
Clark Colborn is one of the world’s best kept secrets, or at least that’s what anyone who is familiar with him will say.
Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events
Review by Dan Fredrickson
Fans of Dream Theater will be very happy with this CD; it has everything that their fans would hope to hear.   
Druckfarben - Druckfarben
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an intriguing set of music. At times it sits quite close to fusion.
Effloresce - Coma Ghosts
Review by Gary Hill
Prog purists are likely to call this disc “heavy metal.”
Electric Moon - Cellar Space Live Overdose 2LP
Review by Gary Hill
I was sent a CD of this, but I believe it’s actually a vinyl release.
Toulouse Engelhardt - Toulousology
Review by Gary Hill
Featuring a lot of acoustic based folk textures and some jazz, this one might not be the best fit for progressive rock, but really that’s what it is.
Adam Gilbert - A Generation of Forgotten Kings
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have quite an intriguing album. I’ve included it in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal, but I could understand some folks quibbling with that label.
Gunnelpumpers - Symphonie Improvisé
Review by Gary Hill
Performing purely improvised music is often a daunting experience.
Gunnelpumpers - The Nth Wave
Review by Gary Hill
This is really an intriguing instrumental outfit.
Gunnelpumpers - Tritonium
Review by Gary Hill
What a unique set this is. It features some serious space rock meets jazz meets classical and progressive rock.
G. W. Hill - Excursions: A Sound Painting
Review by Rick Damigella
In the late 80’s and early 90’s I worked as a DJ at a small radio station.
Icarus Himself - Career Culture
Review by Larry Toering
What a great find this turned out to be. Although I just recently came upon Icarus Himself I have much enthusiasm for this release.
Magellan - Keep It (Digital Single)
Review by Vivian Lee
Bay Area progmetallers Magellan's single "Keep It,” at just slightly over six minutes long evokes the saying about good things and small packages.
Mr. Gil - I Want You Back Home
Review by Larry Toering
This is one very hard to describe Polish release, as it is a very slow paced effort, but a very enjoyable disc.
Steve Morse - High Tension Wires
Review by Larry Toering
This is Steve Morse's first real solo outing, and it is still considered one of his very best albums.
October Tree - The Fairy's Wing
Review by Gary Hill
This is a cool melodic prog album. Most of the vocals are female, but there are male vocals, too.
OUiZZZ - Hello, Goodbye
Review by Gary Hill
Part rock, part jazz and part classical, Hello, Goodbye is all instrumental.
Kelly Padrick - Soulmate
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a find.
Johan Randén - Summary
Review by Gary Hill
This guy is a pretty amazing guitarist. He shreds, but yet manages to be melodic at the same time.
Return To Forever - The Mothership Returns
Review by Gary Hill
When it comes to fusion, you just don’t get a much more impressive supergroup than Return to Forever.
Rush - Clockwork Angels
Review by Mike Korn
It's the biggest cliché in the world, but Rush is a band that needs no introduction.
Six Elements - “If -
Review by Larry Toering
Six Elements’ album Primary Elements is a progressive rock tale inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem.
Six Elements - Primary Elements
Review by Scott Montgomery
Instrumentally and compositionally, Primary Elements is largely the brainchild of Michael (Misha) Shengaout (keyboards) and Jeff McGahren (guitars, organ).  
Squackett - A Life Within A Day
Review by Alison Reijman
If ever there was a perfect dream team then it would have to be the bassist with one of the legendary bands joining forces with the guitarist from another of the bands in the prog pantheon, namely Yes and Genesis.
Stick Men - Open
Review by Gary Hill
Anyone who has heard anything from Stick men will know what to expect here.
Sula Bassana - Dark Days
Review by Gary Hill
What an intriguing blend of sounds we get on this set.
TagYerit - Gazing Globe
Review by Gary Hill
This is arguably TagYerit’s best album. At least I like it better than the rest.
TagYerit - Shimmer
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways this album has more world music and folk than anything else in the TagYerit catalog.
Chris Thompson - Berlin Live And The Aschaffenburg Remains - Live At The Colos-Saal
Review by Gary Hill
This album from Manfred Mann’s former lead singer is a strong live set.
Vajra - Pleroma
Review by Gary Hill
Vajra’s brand of progressive rock is unique and powerful.
Various Artists - The Split Thing
Review by Gary Hill
Space rock is the main order of business on this split.
The Venetian - I Wanna Tell You a Story
Review by Gary Hill
This is a disc that has a bit of a learning curve to it.
Vibravoid - Gravity Zero
Review by Gary Hill
We get quite a cool mix of sounds on this set.
Rick Wakeman - In the Nick of Time: Live in 2003
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from Rick Wakeman is a powerful disc.
Yes - Open Your Eyes – Double LP
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of the Yes album Open Your Eyes on 180 gram vinyl.
ZweiTon - Form
Review by Gary Hill
This is a killer modern progressive rock album.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Candlemass - Psalms For the Dead
Review by Mike Korn
You are invited to a funeral. The deceased is not a "he" or a "she," but a "they."
Elisium - Becoming
Review by Gary Hill
While this disc is not really all that original, it’s quite good.
Bree Rose - Breakthrough
Review by Gary Hill
Bree Rose is a very talented young lady.
Sacred Heart - The Vision
Review by Greg Olma
I guess the old say “timing is everything” is accurate. 
Tank - War Nation
Review by Larry Toering
With a line-up featuring two fantastic guitarists in the shape of Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans, along with former Rainbow singer Doogie White, and rounded out by a killer rhythm section provided by former Bruce Dickinson bass player Chris Dale and drummer Steve Hopgood, this band has completely reinvented its wheels.
Twisted Sister - Live At Hammersmith '84
Review by Larry Toering
Describing live versions of songs can be as challenging as it is redundant, which is why I choose live recordings wisely at MSJ.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Ashpark - Life In Satellites
Review by Larry Toering
Ashpark are an exceptionally exquisite power pop outfit from the Boston area with very folkish inclinations that give them a unique identity that others tend to fall short of these days.
Merrell Fankhauser - The Best of Merrell Fankhauser
Review by Gary Hill
This career spanning retrospective should be of great interest to longtime fans of Merrell Fankhauser.
Foreigner - Alive and Rockin’
Review by Gary Hill
Foreigner got into some seriously generic and one might say “wimpy” music at some points in their career. It lost them some respect in the minds of many rock fans.
Nick Carter Green - ADD (Digital Single)
Review by Gary Hill
It really seems that there is a very healthy hip hop and rap scene in Illinois.
The Hangmen - East of Western
Review by Gary Hill
The vocals here are often in the vein of Stiv Bators.
Sophie B. Hawkins - The Crossing
Review by Gary Hill
Musically this one covers a wide range of territory.
Karney - Love and Respect
Review by Gary Hill
This is a good album that covers music ranging from psychedelic to acoustic rock, straight forward pop rock and even progressive music.
The Missionary Position - Consequences
Review by Larry Toering
This is one hot band that happens to be a NorthWest bunch from Seattle.
Professor Louie - and the Crowmatix – Wings on Fire
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed this group’s last couple discs and dug them, so I was looking forward to this one.
Sam Sherwin - Iodine Cocktails
Review by Gary Hill
Americana and a singer songwriter style merge more often than not here.
Martin Stephenson and the Daintees - California Star
Review by Gary Hill
With a sound that covers a lot of territory, this is quite an intriguing disc.
The Strange Tones - We're On Our Way
Review by Larry Toering
Introducing the merchants of Strange, this outfit call themselves a “crime-a-billy” act, and it only gets more strangely peculiar from there.
Jenn Summers - When Life Gives You Lemons, Make L.O.V.E.
Review by Gary Hill
If you like pop rock music that has some great performances and fairly wide musical range, this is a great one for you to check out.
Jesse Terry - Empty Seat on a Plane
Review by Gary Hill
We get quite a bit of folk music on this album.
Tiebreaker - Tiebreaker EP
Review by Gary Hill
This outfit from Norway have produced a nearly perfect set of tunes. 
The Treatment - This Might Hurt
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes being exceptionally original or varying things a lot from song to song isn’t extremely important.
Twisted Whistle - Through The Mill
Review by Larry Toering
This is another northwest band on my radar that I find deserving of mass exposure.
Various Artists - New Rides of the Furious Swampriders
Review by Gary Hill
This is a CD with a lot of high points, but some low points, too.
Julia Wade - Solos
Review by Gary Hill
It’s obvious from the notes about this disc and the lyrics that this music was inspired by Julia Wade’s faith.
Wilkinson Blades - 4:00 AM
Review by Larry Toering
Wilkinson Blades are a Northwest band on the Shiftone Records label.
DVD/Video Reviews
Bachman & Turner - Live at the Roseland Ballroom NYC BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
How you feel about the performance captured here will have a lot to do with how you felt about Bachman Turner Overdrive.
Cream - Classic Artists: Cream DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is an exhaustive documentary. It really showcases a lot of cool things, from early footage, killer interviews and real insights.
Duran Duran - A Diamond in the Mind BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I remember the first time I heard Duran Duran. Rio had just been released and they were opening for Blondie.
John Lee Hooker - Cook with the Hook – Live in 1974 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This video captures a classic performance from John Lee Hooker.
Elton John - Classic Albums - Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve been a big Elton John fan since I was a little kid. While Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has never been one of my favorites, there’s not a bad EJ record (although some are certainly stronger than others) so it’s interesting to get a glimpse inside this one.
Kasabian - Live at the 02 BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
Why is this band so obscure? At least they are in the US. I’d never heard them before.
John Mellencamp - It’s About You BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I like this a lot. Basically John Mellencamp had a father and son team film his tour on super 8 film.
Osada Vida - Where The Devil's Live DVD
Review by Larry Toering
First of all I have to say that watching bands play live in Polish venues can be quite a sight indeed, as they're some of the most beautiful theaters in the world.
Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil DVD
Review by Gary Hill
To have a concert film of this tour is a good thing. Randy Rhoads had just died and Ozzy was emotionally at a low point in his life, but career wise he was on fire.
Pink Floyd - The Story of Wish You Were Here BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always sort of gone against the grain and considered several Pink Floyd albums to be better than both Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
Robert Plant - and the Band of Joy – Live from the Artists Den DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You really have to admire Robert Plant. He doesn’t want to take the easy route.
The Raconteurs - Live at Montreux 2008 BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
This concert video is great in terms of the technical stuff, like sound and video.
Lee Ritenour - Overtime BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of guitar based jazz, do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Stone Temple Pilots - Alive in the Windy City BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I’d heard bad things about this band, mostly in the form of criticism of singer Scott Weiland.
Taylor Swift - American Beauty: Unauthorized DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Those looking for insights into the life and career of Taylor Swift will find some things to like about this.
Various Artists - Merrell Fankhauser's Tiki Lounge Volume One DVD
Review by Eric Meli
This DVD is a compilation of former surf group The Impacts’ Merrell Fankhauser's cable television show “Tiki Lounge.”
Various Artists - Merrell Fankhauser's Tiki Lounge Volume Two DVD
Review by Eric Meli
This DVD is the second group of selected episodes from Merrell Fankhauser's cable television show “Tiki Lounge” It consists of another six shows including a road trip to the Rock Creek Guitar company, and a very good cover of “All Along The Watchtower” by Fankhauser.
Muddy Waters - & The Rolling Stones Live At The Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The Rolling Stones showed up at a little club on the South side of Chicago to jam with Muddy Waters and others.
Johnny Winter - Live from Japan DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The performance captured here is great. The band is just plain on fire.
Interviews
Adrian Benavides
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Adrian Benavides from 2012
Dethklok
Interview by Kat Heitzman
Interview with Brendon Small of Dethklok from 2012
October Tree
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Greg Lounsberry of October Tree from 2012
Running Wild
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with Rock N’ Rolf of Running Wild from 2012

Six Feet Under
Interview by Kat Heitzman

Interview with Chris Barnes from Six Feet Under from 2012

The Toadies
Interview by Larry Toering

Interview with Rez of the Toadies from 2012

Concert Reviews
Cheap Trick - Live in Rockford, IL, June 2012
Review by Gary Hill
Cheap Trick were playing to a hometown crowd and the band were absolutely on fire.
Clark Colborn - Live in Loves Park, Illinois, June 2012
Review by Diane Hill
It was a hot and humid night but as soon as Clark Colborn started playing I got a cold chill and forgot all about the heat.
Drunken Prayer - Live in Portland, Oregon, July 2012
Review by Larry Toering
A night with such a band as this had been long awaited.
Sean Filkins - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
With both High Voltage and Glastonbury shelved this year due to the London Olympics, there appeared a real gap in the market for a quality summer music festival in the capital ahead of the Games.
Groove Thief - Live in Portland, Oregon, May 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Groove Thief came from the state capital to rock Mill End's, but most had no idea who they were except for the loyal fans who followed them to the gig.

IQ - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
With both High Voltage and Glastonbury shelved this year due to the London Olympics, there appeared a real gap in the market for a quality summer music festival in the capital ahead of the Games.
Iron Maiden - Live in Tinley Park, Illinois, July 2012
Review by Greg Olma

Let me start off by saying that I have been a Maiden fan since 1981.  

It Bites - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
Jon Patrick, promoter of the House of Progression series of concerts at the Peel pub in Kingston, together with Geoff Banks, music manager, promoter and writer put together a weekend event featuring the best of the prog bands that had appeared previously on the rather cramped stage at the Peel.
Magenta (UK) - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
Jon Patrick, promoter of the House of Progression series of concerts at the Peel pub in Kingston, together with Geoff Banks, music manager, promoter and writer put together a weekend event featuring the best of the prog bands that had appeared previously on the rather cramped stage at the Peel.
Pallas - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
With both High Voltage and Glastonbury shelved this year due to the London Olympics, there appeared a real gap in the market for a quality summer music festival in the capital ahead of the Games.
Six Feet Under - Live in Chicago, IL, June 2012
Review by Mike Heitzman
The “18 Nights of Blood Tour” was in its first week and going strong.
The Strange Tones - Live in Portland, Oregon, June 2012
Review by Larry Toering

What a hot night of sizzling blue “crime-a-billy” the Strange Tones put on.

The Tangent - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
With both High Voltage and Glastonbury shelved this year due to the London Olympics, there appeared a real gap in the market for a quality summer music festival in the capital ahead of the Games.
Throwback Suburbia - Live in Portland, Oregon, June 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Throwback Suburbia are a power pop outfit that's been noted as one of, if not the finest the northwest has to offer. This is an act gaining global attention, as well.

Tinyfish - Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012
Review by Alison Reijman
Jon Patrick, promoter of the House of Progression series of concerts at the Peel pub in Kingston, together with Geoff Banks, music manager, promoter and writer put together a weekend event featuring the best of the prog bands that had appeared previously on the rather cramped stage at the Peel.
Wilkinson Blades - Live in Portland, Oregon, June 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Steve Wilkinson, formerly of Gravelpit has a new band called “Wilkinson Blades,” and they hit the Secret Society Ballroom in Portland for their CD release party for their new release titled 4:00 AM on Shiftone Records.

Book Reviews
Various Artists - Rock Progressivo Italiano. An introduction to Italian Progressive Rock written by Andcrea Parentin
Review by Scott Montgomery
This is a confounding book, one that is both pleasing and frustrating.  
Various Artists - Words and Music: Excursions in the Art of Rock Fandom written by Michael Anthony
Review by Alison Reijman
Books written by music fans are very far and few between.
Rick Wakeman - Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s written by Dan Wooding
Review by Gary Hill
This new release is actually a reissue of an older book. It’s a great one, too.
 
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