...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

ZENIT/CRIS ROVERSI REVIEWS

http://freq.org.uk/reviews/zenit-cristiano-roversi/

Zenit – The Chandrasekhar Limit/Cristiano Roversi – AntiQua
Zenit - The Chandrasekhar LimitIt seems that prog rock is alive and well in Europe again, which is a fantastic thing. And two of the countries that were most feverish about the original bands in the ’70s here prove their worth with these two releases from Galileo Records.
like a stripped back Topographic Oceans.
Zenit (from Switzerland) begin their album with with “Awaken” – not a cover of the Yes song, but an opus of their own. Acoustic guitars and gentle vocals open, before organ and drums hit in and the song take flight. Some wonderful Moog playing takes us through to a quiet piano section. The is very reminiscent of early Marillion at times; at other points, as in the lead guitar section, it feels sometimes we are knocking on the door of Rush. This hints more in the direction of the ’80s prog revival acts such as IQ. “Cub Lady” is a bittersweet acoustic interlude with a majestic bass line. Next up is “PiGreco,” a jaunty 9/8 style drum patterns scattered around underneath jazz piano chords. When the staccato chorus comes in I am reminded of early Magma. Some quite moving lead guitar feels out its more reflective middle section. The track ends with some epic Moog and guitar and an almost Steve Howe flourish.
“Matrimandir” has tribal drums and a sparkling Rick Wakeman-like lead keyboard line for its intro. From here on in we venture in to Yes eastern tonal territory, like a stripped back Topographic Oceans. Chanting vocals also help this analogy, and the vocals at time do sound like Mike Heron from the Incredible String Band. A lovely jazz workout middle section takes the track elsewhere with some guitar licks sounding like the late Peter Banks. When it moves into its acoustic section you can breathe in the influence of Trick of the Tail-era Genesis. Over its 17 minutes, the track takes you through various different landscapes but works best when it gets pastoral. “Pulsar” starts with a skiffle type shuffle that blends in with Howe-style atonlisms on guitar and some steady piano work. When the rhythm breaks through we are taken on a Asia style ride of how to play prog.
it’s great to hear some proper Vocoder vocals
The last track on the album is “The Daydream Suite,” the bands 24 minute magnum opus. It opens with some rather pretty Tony Banks-style piano playing before we move into the song proper. With some rather uplifting singing and chords we move back into Marillion territory by way of Pink Floyd. The sections build into an apotheosis of light with touches of shade and it’s great to hear some proper Vocoder vocals as well. The album as whole is wonderfully well played with a lot thought going in to the arrangements especially on ‘Daydream…’ This is proper Prog from its lilting quieter moments to the bombast of its louder sections.
Cristiano Roversi - AntiQuaItalian composer Cristiano Roversi’s album almost seems like a concept record. The opening track “Morning in AntiQua” is quite beautiful, all shimmering Anthony Phillips pastoral acoustic guitars and subtle piano. When the rhythm comes in the electric guitars take us skyward and its here that I hear the influence ofSteve Hackett. “Tales from Solitude Suite” plays out like a marvellous atmospheric score for a Lord of the Rings-style movie, as uplifting chords move into a shadow aspect of darkness while the vocals spin their tragic tale. Here we touch upon early Genesis, especially with the acoustic guitars and Mellotron mixture. “L’amore” is a more straightforward love song similar in feel to Rush’s “Closer to the Heart,” with its lovely acoustic guitar and organ combination. “Nessie Revealed” piles on the atmosphere with Oberheim-sounding synths that create lush landscapes of other worlds.
lush landscapes of other worlds
“Falling” has some female vocals singing over crystalline synths, and she sings of butterflies and spacecraft that gives the sound of LSD-induced dreams that meetFrank Frazetta-style fantasy. The acoustic and flute part conjures up images ofTrespass-era Genesis. “Dimlit Tavern” carries on the album’s fantasy theme as the music guides us into a Tolkien-style Middle Earth and the melody conjures up the images of dwarves and Hobbits drinking in a secluded ale house. A drum machine heralds in “Nirayed’s Secret Diary” and the track builds with its lush melancholic strings. Here again we are verging more into soundtrack territory as some of these pieces could fit exceedingly well within a fantasy film.
sings of butterflies and spacecraft that gives the sound of LSD-induced dreams
“AntiQua” is an elegant instrumental lead by strings and oboe and touched uponAnthony Phillips’ The Geese and the Ghost album at times. In fact I could almost imagine Phil Collins singing over this track, especially by the time theTony Banks-sounding lead keyboard comes in. “AntiQua Evening” is a beautiful piano coda to end the album and bring the entire record to a full circle, satisfying climax. Again the album is beautifully played and especially some of the more subtle numbers work very well. If you like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis this one is definitely for you.
These are two fine prog releases from Galileo, with fantastic artwork adorning both albums and a lot of care taken over both titles. If you are a prog fan check them out.
-Gary Parsons-

CRIS ROVERSI AT GONZO
AntiQua
CD - £9.99

ZENIT AT GONZO

DAN ON THE RADIO



Dear Jon,
Here’s a short piece for your blog that you might like to run:
Dan Wooding will be talking about his two Gonzo Multimedia books -- Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s and his latest, Terry Dene: Britain’s First Rock and Roll Rebel -- on BBC Radio WM (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wm) this coming Easter Sunday (March 31) at around 6:05 AM with presenter, Sior Coleman. Last year, Dan, who now lives in Southern California, paid a visit to London and managed to track down the site of the 2i’s Coffee Bar where Terry Dene, as well many other stars like Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele, were first discovered. You can hear this live Trans-Atlantic interview at the above website or, if you live in the West Midlands, on 95.6 FM.
With best wishes,

Dan

You can listen to the show on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p016bhkr

GONZO WEEKLY NEWSLETTER #19


I have been promising for some weeks that the Gonzo Daily publishing empire would spread "into more traditionally magaziney areas", and I wasn't lying. I have sent out issue nineteen of the Gonzo Weekly newsletter to nearly 2,000 subscribers. Check it out below:

Newsletter #'19 
Newsletter #18
Newsletter #17
Newsletter #16
Newsletter #15
Newsletter #14
Newsletter #13
Newsletter #12
Newsletter #11
Newsletter #10
Newsletter #9
Newsletter #8
Newsletter #7
Newsletter #6
Newsletter #5
Newsletter #4
Newsletter #3
Newsletter #2
Newsletter #1

THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU C.J.STONE, THOM THE WORLD POET, STEVE HARLEY AND COCKNEY REBEL, EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER, GENESIS P ORRIDGE, THEE TEMPLE OV PSYCHIC YOUTH, DAEVID ALLEN, GONG, GREG LAKE, HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK, ALAN DAVEY, HAWKWIND, YES, STEVE HOWE, RICK WAKEMAN, THE SHANGRI-LAS, SHADOW MORTON, IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, BILLY SHERWOOD, GPS, TANGERINE DREAM, HARRIET WADHAM

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Phil Ramone (1934-2013)

NEWS IN BRIEF: BILLY SHERWOOD TO "FIX" QUEENSRŸCHE ALBUM

Acclaimed musician, record producer and engineer Billy Sherwood has revealed via his Facebook page that he has landed "a new gig": remixing"Frequency Unknown", the new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHESherwood writes: "[It] seems there are sonic issues with the previous versions and so I shall be fixing it for all to enjoy. [I am] starting on it [Wednesday] morning [March 27]."

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=188025

UNRELEASED GEM FROM HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK


I have been rummaging in the drawers (oo-er madam!) and I found the song 'Paradise Lost' which I wrote for a song-cycle called 'Herms', which was about the seven new deadly sins. It is about greedy bankers and although I wrote it twenty years ago, it is just as relevant now, I think.



GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Grace Slick - Manhole Theme (1974)



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Manhole
CD - £7.99

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


OSTARA/EASTRA
Eostra.Austron.Ausos.Aphrodite.Astoreth.Astarte
Hathor.Kali.Persephone.Ishtar.Austro/Ausos.
Reverend Bede.De Temporum Ratione.
Eosturmonap(April!).Ostara (Saxon Goddess of Dawn)
Sunna/Sol.Cybele/Attis.Lepus under Orion.
Austriahenea.Awakening!Personal Growth!
Spring!Green!Full Moon!Eggs!Fertility!Change!

LINK: Yes' Alan White on the Early Days: "People Thought We Were Crazy"


AlanWhiteYesDrummer.JPG
Maxink via Wikipedia
If there exists one genre of popular music with the most cantankerous and anal fans and critics, progressive rock would take the prize. Some of rock's most talented musicians work in the genre. They often bring experience from classical music and a working knowledge of music theory. Some of the bravest musical experiments were pioneered within the genre, yet rule-breaking is received with much doubt. One long-suffering band of this aspect of prog rock is the U.K. act Yes, which made its recorded debut in 1969.

As much of a devoted following as Yes has, it has often been haunted by criticisms of its ever-shifting lineup. Then there's the arty ponderousness and its sellout for new-wave pop appeal in the early '80s. When Alan White first joined the band in 1972, replacing Bill Bruford, the first album he participated in wasTales From Topographic Oceans, a double LP of four songs that averaged 20 minutes. "A huge, long project," he recalls of the album, speaking over the phone during a tour stop in Aspen, Colorado. "It was about six to eight months until we finished the album, so we spent a long time doing that."

To top it off, White says, the band would perform the album in its entirety during a subsequent tour. "In fact, we were one of the first bands that did that concept of doing one whole album onstage," he says. "People thought we were crazy, but a lot of people came to those concerts." 


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99

LINK: Yes at Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, with Commentary by Ed Matus

From left - Geoff Downes Jon Davison Chris Squire.JPG
Ana Morgenstern
Better than: A Yes greatest hits show. 

Consider me won over. 

I had a feeling seeing Yes live would crystalize the band for me. For all these years, I have been a fan of certain bands of progressive rock (though not necessarily of the genre as a whole), I had never given Yes a full album's chance. Here they were stopping in South Florida while on tour playing three select albums from their catalog: The Yes Album (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), and Going For the One (1977). Though, for some unexplained reason, Going For the One was dropped from last night's show at the Hard Rock Live. In fairness, Hard Rock never advertised that as one of the albums that would be played that night, though drummer Alan White told me during my interview with him that it would appear.

My co-pilot on this interstellar aural journey, as in my last classic prog rock live review, for the night was Ed Matus, a local musician who despite being known as an electronica artist has never hidden his affection for bands of the progressive rock genre.

Read on...

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99

Special Easter Holiday offer from Chanoyu Records



Special Easter Holiday offer from Chanoyu Records

FREE DOWNLOADS

Buy SLY GUITAR from the CHANOYU RECORDS shop and get 3 free digital downloads from WABI SABI 21©.

This offer is only available until the 1st April.

WABI SABI 21© is an album of electronic music inspired by The Japanese Tea ceremony.

Meanwhile SLY GUITAR is getting a great response from people who have already bought a copy:

"It has been a long time since I heard an instrumental album I liked as much. It is in daily rotation with The Next Day...compliment indeed."

CLICK HERE TO BUY SLY GUITAR WITH FREE DOWNLOADS
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Saturday, 30 March 2013

ZENIT REVIEW




Zenit – The Chandrasekhar Limit
Galileo Records
http://www.fragile.net/
Rating: B
Zenit is a band from Switzerland that has been lurking around since 1998.  The band has not exactly set the world on fire with their output, as this is only their third release in all of that time.  What they lack in album releases, however, they make up for in creativity.  The Chandrasekhar Limit is one of the best Progressive rock albums released in recent memory.  The songs are well composed and elaborate and contain originality, while at the same time tipping the hat to their obvious influences, which include Genesis, Marillion, Supertramp, Kansas and Gentle Giant. 
Founder and bass player Andy Thommen says, “We've chosen The Chandrasekhar Limit as the title because this mathematical threshold defines if a white dwarf star remains a star or becomes a black hole... So, as a band we feel that we are passing a crossroads without knowing where this track leads to. We do not know if we are above or below the Chandrasekhar limit. 
“We started writing and demoing the new album with our previous drummer Luigi Pedruzzi. For most of the songs we started on a rough idea by our keyboardist Ivo Bernasconi, then the whole band worked on it, until it was ready for a demo recording. Working on it for us means play it over and over again with absolute freedom to improvise changes, and normally when we get a few 'wow' reactions in the band we know we are close. 
“The longest track 'The Daydream Suite' was different. Ivo had just a basic idea; we started playing on it, it just came one note after the the other, one chord after the other. This was a magic band experience. When we finished recording the demos our drummer left the band. We made one single call to a friend and drummer. As he was teaching drums in Lausanne, we asked him if by chance he knew someone... His answer was 'Me'! Within a bit more than a half a year he was ready to record the drum tracks for The Chandrasekhar Limit with a fresh breath of new energy! In sum, the essence of our way to work is: play it, play it and play it again until it sounds good, and only then you can start recording.”
“There was no structured plan for this album. No plan to make it symphonic, epic, neo or retro...it just came out as it is,” says Thommen. “Here are jazzy and samba rhythms, even Sanskrit lyrics bits and Indian sounds and ambiances. The only thing we wanted to create was an ensemble of very different ambiances and feelings, and transmits to the listener the fun we have playing these songs.”
The band effortlessly mixes surreal Pink Floyd moments with complex instrumental passages.  This is music made for musicians; just like all of the best Prog rock out there.  
While Prog rock is not a popular style of music in 2013, it is awesome that bands like Zenit our doing this, and doing it so well.  
By Jeb Wright
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO

FAR OUT MAN

LINK: Top Music to Listen to While High – Jefferson Airplane


Prospero recently discussed the joys of psychedelic rock. Why not get classic and discover the real psychedelic music from the 60s that started it all? Even if you’re one of those people who hate the Grateful Dead, don’t worry…this is different.
Jefferson Airplane pretty much was the San Francisco sound as far as most people were concerned. Even your parents knew who they were, because one of their songs was playing about every 8 minutes on FM radio in 1967, so they were big successful rock stars. But they stayed close to their political roots (Got a Revolution?) and managed to play free concerts whenever possible. In fact, I think I saw them in concert at least half a dozen times but never paid to see them once!
Jefferson Airplane After_bathing_at_baxters Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/48/After_bathing_at_baxters.jpgWeedists will appreciate Jefferson Airplane’s work especially because many of their songs referred unashamedly to drug use. They were one of the first bands to thumb their noses (mostly) at their record company’s pleas to take out “drug lyrics”, and this in a time when most of the country was still pretty conservative and records would be banned from the radio for little or no reason whatsoever.
One of their biggest hits, “White Rabbit“, talked plainly about pills, acid trips, and ended with “Feed your head”. And to top it off, as a new pot smoker, you’d learn how to hold a joint by folding a paper match around it so you wouldn’t burn your fingers when it got smaller, and then you found that doing that was called a “Jefferson Airplane”, so it all seemed to make sense.
But if you want to hear some of their best psychedelic work, and not just their pop hits, you have to go to their third album, “After Bathing At Baxter’s”. This particular monumental instrumental could only have been produced by the kind of musicians that knew each other really well, with the kind of (possibly drug-propelled) telepathy that you can get sometimes. I recommend headphones and being at least at a [5] for this:
Read on...

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Tales From The Mothership - Roswell UFO Festival 3 July 2009
4CD - £15.00

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Hardboiled Wonderland @ Javalounge 4/21/12 pt.2





CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
As Small As A World As Large As Alone
CD - £9.99


THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


GEOMETRY OF CONVERSATIONS
Linear narratives in a post-Industrial Age/bend into cut-ups Kerouac,Genet,Burroughs
Rap,hip-hop,space jam,Jazz,funk and folk amalgams.Storytelling continues
like a bus that only stops at certain times and spaces.Read between the lines..
Spirals return,circles,ellipses resurrect like Ghost Dances.Tipi talk-talk.Listen!
Gossip over village walls and fences shares emotionality.Page sheets wrap the dead in grief
Memory is made of moments memorable/recounted like hanging chads.
Maths of a room ,addition of personalities,subtract Fibonacci Sequences
Add some Chaos Theory,Harmonic Convergence,New Renaissance-
a stone soup that softens skulls,dilutes the dictatorship of squares and rectangles
and finds sweet repose in ones and twos and tribes of Flash Mob spontaneities
Particle Consciousness?Physics of Communities?Science of Sentience?
Windows within walls.Light enters.Bird wing speech starts to fly.Another open mike!




Friday, 29 March 2013

The Green Violinist - Debut Album Release

http://www.progshine.net/2013/03/news-of-world-1603-2203.html


The Green Violinist start their debut album More Thrill & Never Ending Blessings (2013) dreamy, playfully, enchanting... From there, the music proceeds quietly flowing and full of wonderful harmonies. The songs will catch your attention. Vincent Defresne, leader and songwriter of the band, admits he was inspired by the painting by famous artist Marc Chagall 'The Green Violinist'. He managed to capture the spirit of the picture in an incredible way and to transfer it into music. The result is a wonderful collection of Neoprog-songs containing its fair share of acoustic moments (guitar, piano and violins). But the range goes further including electronic, almost trance-like songs that take you into another world.
The songs were mainly recorded at Jedinakow Studios, the band's own private place of creation and Island of Serenity. Tracks were engineered, mixed and mastered by Vincent's longtime friend and bass player Regis Planque. Also, the album came to realization through the collaboration of a huge bunch of gifted musicians, including a real choir of 50 singers directed by Maestro Patrick Jonnieaux.
Says Vincent, “We're just finishing the recording of our second album, which I am very proud of. I love the process leading to the birth of new songs, the way how almost magically the songs are given to you, how they come and how the ideas to improve them come too. The next album should be a great success for me, and I'm not talking about sales or critical acclaim...I mean artistically I succeed to create the soundtrack I wanted for a world that has changed...Critical mass is reached now, nothing can stop the new world to be revealed and I wrote music about it, to help its birth.”

Tracklist:
1. The Great Scapegoat Seeking (6:24)
2. Velvet Road (6:17)
3. Shy People (4:55)
4. Do Worry Be Sad (13:22)
5. Human Connection (4:06)
6. Any Words You Say Won't Be Enough (3:37)
7. Bad Inheritance (a song to cure) (6:33)

Buy yours HERE.

Source: Press release / Band's website

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
More Thrill and Never Ending Blessings
CD - £9.99

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Keith Christmas 'Forest and the shore' Cropredy Brasenose Aug 9 2012



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Live at the Pump
CD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

THE ART OF BOOKS

starts hand made, individual.Leather bound silences.
Once so precious, chained to pulpits. Read only by priests
Holding the keys to knowledge. Rich in this.Bliss!
Now each again unique/in word and image
Gutenberg and monks new Illuminated Manuscripts!
Antiquarians and Bibliophiles rejoice! Your book has individual voice!
Choice means expressing in your chosen materials
Those aphorisms or cliches that best define your Pilgrim's Progress
Fold page like origami - make new a text for all to see
Unfold new meanings from old texts
What happens next??

Alan White of ‘Yes’ talks ‘Cruise to the Edge’ and early Yes; my profile in “New Times”

Alan White drums. Image courtesy of Yes official siteWhile giant music festivals continue to bring in huge crowds to cities like Chicago (Lollapalooza) and even right here in my hometown of Miami (Ultra), more niche acts with dwindling followers who are growing more affluent are taking to the high seas (see my Weezer Cruise coverage). One of the more recent groups of musicians trying out the cruise music festival circuit are a batch of progressive rock bands who both started the genre and followed in their footsteps. The Cruise to the Edge tour sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida next week, headlined byYes, the band who produced one of the great early ‘70s prog albums: Close to the Edge.


While my more youthful colleagues at “New Times” covered the hanging asses and same-old beats at Ultra, I had an opportunity to speak to two prog legends who will be on this cruise: Yes drummer Alan White and U.K. bandleader Eddie Jobson. Both have landlocked shows, which I wrote about in the two “New Times” publications that cover South Florida.

The first musician I spoke with was White. My article was limited to the “County Grind” blog at the “Broward-Palm Beach New Times.” You can read it by jumping through the logo for the blog below:
county_grind logo

We covered a lot of territory on the phone. 

Read on..

YES AT GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99
 

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