steven wilson Archive

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

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… For the title track of To the Bone, Wilson wrote the music, leaving the lyric composition to Andy Partridge, formerly of XTC. “If I’m going to go into a collaborative process, then I want it to be just that,” Wilson says. “Compromise is the wrong word, but you give and take,

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part One)

In some ways, the 2017 album To the Bone introduced a more user-friendly Steven Wilson. Certainly, Wilson’s fifth solo full-length features a good deal of the musically ambitious progressive rock styles that led to his being named Prog Rock King by the 2015 Progressive Music Awards in London. But the record also finds Wilson displaying

A Look Back at ELP with Carl Palmer, Part One

Late-breaking Author’s Note: Very shortly after I turned in this feature for publication — it ran in December on BLURT — news broke that Greg Lake had succumbed to cancer at age 69. Carl Palmer and I didn’t spend a lot of time discussing Greg specifically, but Carl did, as you’ll see, make repeated references

Best Music of 2016: Concerts

There’s a bit of overlap where my best albums and best concerts of 2016 are concerned. And there are some old favorites, too. John Mayall Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC March 11, 2016 It was only around this time that I pivoted to writing as a full-time job (in other words, how I make my living).

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2016, Part 1

Once again, it’s time for some hundred-word reviews. This first set spotlights five archival releases loosely falling into the prog subgenre. Greg Lake & Geoff Downes – Ride the Tiger We head pretty far into the prog-rock weeds for this one. Greg Lake (guitar, bass) of ELP got together with Geoff Downes (Buggles, Yes, Asia)

Album Mini-review: Steven Wilson — 4 1/2

File Next to: Radiohead, Opeth, Peter Gabriel Steven Wilson is possibly the busiest musician of the 21st century. Beyond his leadership of the now on-hiatus Porcupine Tree, he’s recorded and/or toured as (or as part of) Blackfield, No-man, Bass Communion, Storm Corrosion, and I.E.M. His remix work has improved on the already superb back catalogs of

Album Review: Gentle Giant — Octopus (Steven Wilson Remix)

Progressive rockers Gentle Giant released Octopus, their fourth album, in December 1972. Allowing that Gentle Giant’s music is nothing if not an acquired taste, Octopus is among their best work. The album got a long-awaited CD reissue on the group’s own Alucard label in 2011. That release featured excellent sound along with a booklet containing

Album Review: Jethro Tull – Minstrel in the Gallery, 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition

The latest example of Ian Anderson‘s ongoing twofold mission (to encourage a modern-day reconsideration of Jethro Tull‘s back catalog, and to provide be-all-and-end-all versions of those albums) continues with Minstrel in the Gallery: 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition. The 1975 album spawned only one single a-side release (the title track, briefly appearing at #79 on

Album Review: Jethro Tull – WarChild, 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition

Jethro Tull‘s 1974 album WarChild occupies a curious place in the band’s history. Their previous album, 1973’s A Passion Play, had been roundly shellacked by critics. That album certainly had its fans; it made #1 on the charts, though that might have been a coattail effect of their earlier albums. But by the time of