prog Archive

For Example: A Look Back at ‘The Nice’ at 50

It’s unfortunate that when the Nice come up in conversation today, they’re too quickly summed up as “the band that Keith Emerson was in before ELP.” That’s a true enough description, but it has the effect of dismissing the contributions of the band’s other members, and overlooking the power of the group as a whole.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Fun: the Men and the Journey of RPWL

German keyboardist/vocalist Yogi Lang first encountered guitarist Karlheinz “Kalle” Wallner in 1988 when the latter was playing in a band called Incubus. Eventually renamed Violet District, the group released its sole album, Terminal Breath in 1992, with Lang producing. Based 40 km north of Munich in Freising, that group met with only modest success, disbanding

Album Review: Moraz & Friends – Random Kingdom

In 1976, Swiss keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz released his debut solo album, The Story of I. In the midst of a successful run as keyboardist for Yes – he’s all over Relayer – and a few years after leading Refugee with former members of the Nice, Moraz crafted an album that combined what we might

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 1

Once again, it’s time for a passel of quick reviews. Twenty in all – ten today, as many tomorrow. All deserve a listen. Titles on vinyl are noted as such (LP). Waiting for Henry – The Gospel of Moby Grape As a serious fan of the star-crossed band name-checked in the title, I had to

British Rock Nobility Convenes Onstage for “The Royal Affair”

Note: I’ve interviewed a bunch of these artists. Blue-highlighted hyperlinks will take you there. — bk In the concert business, package tours are nothing new; as far back as 1959, Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars crisscrossed the country, bringing a busload of hitmakers to American audiences. And legacy acts touring in support of their back

The Drive to 1981 Begins: A Look Back at Robert Fripp’s Masterful ‘Exposure’ (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Fans of King Crimson’s Red receive a wonderful treat with “Breathless.” Though the specific players on each track aren’t noted, the song – very much a cousin to Red‘s title track – features a very progressive Narada Michael Walden on the drum kit, and Tony Levin (of future Crimsons) on

The Drive to 1981 Begins: A Look Back at Robert Fripp’s Masterful ‘Exposure’ (Part 1)

Guitarist Robert Fripp has long been one of music’s most intriguing figures. Largely operating outside the pop mainstream (and, when he can, outside the traditional machinery of the music business itself), Fripp is that unique artist who expects certain things from his audience. He believes – and operates according to a belief – in the

Stranger by the Minute: Porcupine Tree’s ‘Stupid Dream’ at 20

Porcupine Tree began as a ruse; Steven Wilson concocted a backstory for a fictitious band. But the prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalist crafted music to go with the legend, and thus the “group” was born. After a string of albums made essentially at home alone, Wilson put together an actual group and began playing live dates. 1996’s

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… You mentioned Lunatic Soul. To date, you’ve done a very good job of keeping Lunatic Soul as a separate project distinct from Riverside. Do you ever see a time in which the two might blend into a single project? I don’t think so. Of course, I’m the main composer in Riverside,

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… The first three Riverside albums are a trilogy, but recent releases don’t so much have that conceptual continuity. Is the idea of conceptually-linked releases something that you’ve left behind? Reality Dream Trilogy was connected mostly because of the lyrics, mostly because of the Travis Smith [album] covers. And the music, let’s