Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

ProgDay CD Purchases

Expand Messages
  • biceeichler
    It s a slow afternoon (the server I need to work with is down), so to kill time I figured I d write up some first impressions of the CDs I bought at ProgDay
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 16 11:03 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      It's a slow afternoon (the server I need to work with is down), so
      to kill time I figured I'd write up some first impressions of the
      CDs I bought at ProgDay this year. For what I think is the first
      time, my purchases were entirely from bands that played the festival
      this year or in the recent past.

      At the preshow I picked up National Holographic's "Enigma" and
      "Trance Encounter" CDs, because they were having a 2-for-$15 sale.
      I think "Enigma" is a recent one and "Trance" is older, but to be
      honest I can't really tell much difference. It's good stuff,
      mostly (entirely?) improvised on various keyboards, samplers and
      drum machines. Very atmospheric, spacey and hypnotic. Good
      background music for work. I doubt I'd buy any more of their CDs
      though, because like Ozric Tentacles, even though they're good,
      once you've heard one album you've pretty much heard them all.

      First thing Saturday I hit the vendor tent looking for CDs from
      Cabezas De Cera and Amarok. I really liked both bands last year,
      but only had enough money to buy one CD from each. So this year
      I picked up CDC's "...un segundo" and Amarok's "Mujer Luna". The
      CDC disc sounds very similar to their first album, which is the
      one I bought last year. Kind of mechanical sounding, very avant
      in places, fairly angular yet somehow melodic and catchy at the
      same time. Some nice, flashy stick work, lots of wind instruments
      and that homemade metal acoustic guitar thing. Good disc, but I
      still think I like the first one better. Maybe this one just
      needs a while to grow on me.

      The Amarok CD sounds a lot like the one I bought last year
      ("Quentadharkën") - symphonic prog with lots of Spanish touches.
      Very nice female vocals, and some not-so-nice male vocals on
      one track. Reading the lyrics in the booklet makes me glad that
      they sing in Spanish. Maybe it's just a bad translation. Overall
      I think I prefer Quentadharken, but this disc is good too. I just
      wish it didn't have that painting of a naked chick on the cover;
      when I take it to work I have to turn the booklet inside out in
      case anyone sees it lying on my desk. My wife's comment on
      hearing the CD is that she thought they sounded like what Yes
      would have sounded like if they came from Spain.

      Also on Saturday I saw that the Muffins were selling "Loveletter #2",
      so I grabbed a copy. It's made up entirely of improvisations they
      recorded with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, which made me expect
      some very unstructured, very avant sounding music. You know, the
      annoying honking sax factor. There are some avant moments on the
      disc, but overall I was surprised at how "composed" and melodic a
      lot of the CD sounds. Good stuff.

      After Psicotropia's set on Saturday I went and bought a copy of
      their new CD/DVD release "Grog". The band's manager asked if I
      wanted it signed, so I said OK and she rounded up the three band
      members and got them to sign it. I should have realized that the
      DVD wouldn't play on my TV at home, but it does play on the
      computer. Both the DVD and CD have a "home made" look to them,
      and the CD has trouble playing in my car's CD player. But it
      plays fine in all the other players I've tried, and the music is
      pretty good. All instrumental, it sounds like a mix of Primus
      and Rush to me. The disc is only 47 minutes and the DVD is only
      30, but any more might be overstaying their welcome. I particularly
      like the CD's title track where they try to work in just about
      every style of sound possible from heavy metal to jazz to goofy
      noises and whooping laughs.

      My last purchases on Saturday came after The Spacious Mind's set,
      when I bought their new live album "Do Your Thing But Don't Touch
      Ours", and their new studio disc "Rotvälta". I'm not sure why I
      bought two discs, because I didn't really enjoy their set all that
      much, but the CDs have really been growing on me. Very long, very
      spacey improvs that never seem to gel into anything, the discs
      makes for great background music at work. My wife's comment on
      hearing it is that it sounds like music to get stoned to.

      I wasn't going to buy any more CDs, but on Sunday I enjoyed Far
      Corner's set enough to pick up their self-titled disc. I'm glad
      I got it, because with each listen to my tape of their set I'm
      liking this band more and more. And the CD is really good too.
      I didn't notice the ELP influence when sitting at Storybook, but
      it comes out more with each listen, particularly in the song
      "The Turning". ELP with a flashier bassist and a cello added
      to the mix, trying to play music inspired by U Totem or X Legged
      Sally. Not really sounding much like those bands, but coming up
      with something closer to that then to ELP. Hard to describe,
      but good.

      My final purchase of the weekend was Glenn Phillip's "Echoes"
      2-disc anthology. I expected to like his set, and through the
      first half or so I was in the "I like it, but not enough to buy
      a CD" mode. But then he played the wicked "Guitar Intro" to the
      song "I Want to Talk to My Girl", and from there on out the set
      really seemed to gain a lot of steam. The music still doesn't
      sound very "proggy" to me, but I like the stuff on Echoes. Sort
      of more low-fi sounding Joe Satriani type of guitar hero album.

      That's the pile - only 10 CDs this year. I actually came home
      with almost $100 in cash left. I must really be slipping. I
      blame the lack of a Wayside table for my inexcusable lack of
      CD purchasing.

      -- Bob "Bice" Eichler
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.