prog Archive

Album Review: All India Radio — Space

From the outset, All India Radio is all over the map. The name suggests a group from the Indian subcontinent, and the music draws clear inspiration from British late-period psychedelic/space rock (most notably Pink Floyd) and late-late-period American psych revival (specifically Flaming Lips). After all that, All India Radio is actually an ambient/chillwave group from

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Four)

Continued from Part Three… Redux ’92: Live in Japan (1993) Six years after disbanding, Utopia surprised most onlookers by regrouping for a run of concerts in Japan. The shows were well-received, and a live recording was released on compact disc and video the following year. “I look at that video,” Sulton says, “and I think,

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… Utopia (1982) Meanwhile, Rundgren, Wilcox and Powell had continued without Sulton, adding bassist Doug Howard as they began work on a new album for Network Records. The new-wave flavored Utopia featured some of the band’s strongest songwriting to date. “It was a very collaborative period,” says Wilcox. Once Sulton came back

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Ra (1977) The most durable Utopia lineup now in place, the band made a concerted effort toward internal democracy. Or at least as much of a democracy as possible when the group included Rundgren, a star with his own separate record contract. “It was as democratic as any marriage is democratic,”

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part One)

In 2018, one of the unlikeliest reunions in rock history became a reality. Todd Rundgren’s Utopia – or at least three-fourths of its 1980s lineup – came back together for a two-month tour, one that would survey the band’s musical journey from a groundbreaking progressive ensemble to a more conventional (yet distinctive) melodic rock band.

Multiple Discs, Multiple Artists (Part 1 of 2)

It’s purely happenstance, but at the moment I have two discs each of archival/reissue/compilation music from seven acts. (Actually, I have three discs each by three of those, but I’m trying to shoehorn these reviews into a theme, so work with me here.) These diverse releases cover a lot of stylistic ground, and they’re all

Chasing the Sound of Yes, 50 Years On

Steve Howe laughs when asked what it is that keeps playing in Yes fresh and interesting for him. The guitarist has been a member of Yes for most of the years since 1970; he’s the closest thing the British progressive group has to an original member. The band has embarked on dozens of tour, released

Book Review: Richard Macphail — My Book of Genesis

I really enjoy reading behind-the-scenes and/or personal memoirs about the different corners of the music world. While reading autobiographies by big names has its rewards, I tend to find greater pleasure in the stories as told by those close to those figures as opposed to books authored by the “stars” themselves. I find that just

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 2

Here’s ten more quick reviews of new music worth your time. Beth McKee — Dreamwood Acres This lovely clutch of original songs features the sultry, soulful vocals of McKee, and the rich instrumentation is built around McKee’s classic electric piano (Wurlitzer, Rhodes), which she plays in a straightforward, non-fussy manner. Imagine Bonnie Raitt playing keys

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 1

For years now, I’ve engaged in an occasional series of reviews in which I limit myself to 100 words. The point isn’t at all to give short shrift to these fine releases; instead, it’s to cover albums that would otherwise go unmentioned only for lack of time. Speaking of time, all of these releases are