prog Archive

Album Review: Dewa Budjana — Naurora

The potential downside of remote recording is that – when it’s not done well, which is often – it can robe the music of the feel of of spontaneity, the vibe that comes form musicians playing together in real time. The upside, of course, is that an artist can enlist the participation of collaborators who

Album Review: Nektar – …Sounds Like Swiss

Nektar was one of those bands that got lost in a sea of great music. Though they were British, being based in Germany certainly didn’t help gain them exposure in places like the U.S. So despite the high quality of their music – especially on albums like 1971’s Journey to the Center of the Eye,

Mushroom: Don’t Sit This One Out

When critics try to describe Mushroom, they call upon labels like krautrock, free jazz, freakout, ambient and electronic. Launched in 1997 by drummer Pat Thomas, Mushroom is all of those things and none of them. The San Francisco instrumental collective played its first-ever gig at The Make Out Room; now, more than 24 years later,

King Crimson’s Brutal Finesse, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Songs like “Indiscipline” have undergone nearly total reinvention: where in the ‘80s, Adrian Belew delivered the song’s odd, inscrutable lyrics in spoken-word fashion, these days Jakko Jakszyk sings them, applying a heretofore undiscovered melodic quality to the song. Yet the whiplash percussion dialogue (trialogue?) among Mastelotto, Stacey and Harrison keeps the

King Crimson’s Brutal Finesse, Part One

Some bands make a career out of writing and recording the same album over and over. Close your eyes and there’s little difference between the albums made by classic rockers Boston in the ‘70s and the ones they put out decades later. For all their appeal, there’s not a world of difference between Oasis’ 1994

Album Review: Mahogany Frog – In the Electric Universe

These days, much of what sees release through Leonardo Pavkovic’s venerable MoonJune label tends toward jazz/fusion. That’s great, as the label brings some of the best those styles have to offer to a wider audience. But it’s nice to find the occasional progressive rock entry, something that – while ambitious – appeals to a slightly

Album Review: Various Artists — Still Wish You Were Here

My standard disclaimer where tribute albums are concerned is that the concept if dodgy on its face, and that it rarely succeeds. But for every rule here is an exception, and I’m holding in my hands the most recent example thereof. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here is a monumental album, one best not messed

Album Review: Stephan Thelen — Fractal Guitar 2

Stephan Thelen is a modern classical composer; he has been commissioned by Kronos Quartet to write a piece. His creative worldview encompasses a wide vision, as this new release demonstrates. Working with a staggeringly impressive assortment of guitarists, he has created a work that’s most assuredly not classical. The moody, vaguely sinister album has solid

Album Review: District 97 — Screenplay

Like, I suspect, more than a few potential listeners, I looked askance at District 97 when I first heard of them more than a decade ago. What possible skill could a former American Idol finalist display in the progressive rock idiom? Well, I and others like me were quickly set right: Leslie Hunt has an

30 Days Out, May 2021 #1: Mayday AVL, the Wooks, DeeOhGee, Doom Flamingo

The time last year the term social distancing was just starting to creep into wide usage. And use of the term pods to describe clusters of seating at concerts was a thoroughly alien concept. But here we are heading toward the middle of 2021, and while live shows are indeed returning, the ground rules are