Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prog Mix CD: The Pass To...


Hey man, I got a new Prog disc for you! Yep, I cooked this up over the weekend, and it is a dandy! Great symph sh*t that will tickle your toes! More obscure bands for sure, all from back in the great day when Men were Men, Prog was Prog, and Synths were Real Analog Meaty Sweaty VVVVZZZZZSSSSSing humbuckers that would make any Grandma proud! I know you will dig this. In fact, I think you had a hand in it yourself.

Here is the track listing, with the band name linked to a web page where you can learn more about 'em, and possibly hear some more songs. The download links are after the track list.


1. Morse Code - La Marche Des Hommes 11:14 - "La Marche Des Hommes" <1975> (Canada)
2. Pollen - La Femme Ailee 10:26 - "Pollen" <1976> (Canada)
3. Grobschnitt - Ernie's Reise 11:04 - "Rockpommel's Land" <1977> (Germany)
4. Eloy - Poseidon's Creation 11:40 - "Ocean" <1977> (Germany)
5. Anyone's Daughter - Anyone's Daughter 9:10 - "Adonis" <1979> (Germany)
6. Crack - Descenso En El Mahellstrong 5:28 - "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" <1979> (Spain)
7. Fruupp - Old Tyme Future 5:41 - "Future Legends" <1973> (Ireland)
8. Kaipa - Korstag 5:23 - "Inget Nytt Under Solen" <1976> (Sweden)
9. Tantra - Partir Sempre 9:21 - "Misterios E Maravilhas" <1977> (Portugal)

Download Part One

Download Part Two

So STAIEVO, here's the rundown... The disc kicks off with two great Symphonic tracks from Canadian bands, Morse Code and Pollen. And no, Geddy Lee is nowhere to be found! These guys had a nice Genesis influence, but no Petey Gabrieley vox. Then we get three wonderful German mini-Epics, in true Germanic style. No it ain't Krautrock, but good stuff with real strong German accents for extra spice. I am now a huge Grobschnitt fan (try and say Grobschnitt 15 times real fast!), and I love their humour. It is much more desirable than "trailer park pathos!" Eloy are legends, we all know that. Ultimate Space/Psych stuff! Anyone's Daughter materialized late in the game, but their Prog is pure. They are now one of my favorite "little" bands, although I have no idea how tall they actually were!

We then move out of this Canada/Germany thingy to get some more European variety. Crack are from Spain, made one great album, and POOF! And their name is not a drug reference! The almighty Fruupp from Ireland are here as well, and no STAIEVE, it is not a band of mutant Robert Fripp's! Kaipa give the disc a bit of Scandanavian flavor, and also possess the most 8 cent progger of all-time, the ridiculous Roine Stolt who is a MO-FO of a guitar player. Lastly, we have Tantra from Portugal, who know how to play their instruments real well, but also know how to craft a good song. Enjoy the drummer, STAIEVE, because I know you love drummers! BANG, BOOM, CRASH!

An interesting thing to note is that most of the music was created and released in the mid to late 70's, which was when Prog started to slack, and the stupid little punkheads got so self-important (how indulgent!). The key thing to remember is that outside of the U.K. and Italy, the rest of the world ran a but behind in their creation of Prog masterpieces, and it took a while for some of these bands to get off the ground. Still, the late 70's factor of this disc is kind of hard to fathom. But trust me STAIEVE, it is the goods! It would sound great out back this summer, and we can shake our Prog stix at it!

Give Me 8 Cents,
STAIEVE (aka Rudo)

P.S. I post this disc for two reasons: 1) to share the listening experience 2) to expose you to these bands, and their music, which is far, far, far from the mainstream. SUPPORT THE BANDS! BUY THEIR MUSIC! Follow the links to their web sites! They deserve your attention! Here’s a link to the great online "Synphonic" Prog store where you can buy their music!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So Long, ASTRONOMO! :-(

One of the reasons this blog has been so quiet is that my best friend since high school just passed away this past January 15th. His name was Astronomo (aka STAIEVE), and we were friends since 1974 when we met on the high school bus. Music was one of the major life bloods between us, and he introduced me to so many great bands (and I in turn did the same to him). Astronomo introduced me to Neil Young and Yes, both of which have been two of my absolute favorites since 1974. I remember the first time he came over to my house. He brought his copy of "Close To The Edge" by Yes, and my life was forever changed. I didn't get it at first, but I was definitely intrigued, and was quickly drawn in. Sigh... that was a long time ago. But we listened to "Close To The Edge" within the last year! In fact, this past summer both of us were on a huge Yes kick. It just goes to show that good things can go on for a very long time!

But unfortunately, Astronomo came down with the evil bastard cancer in late 2007, and life was a real struggle after that. His illness did bring us a lot closer together as friends, and we shared many a good moment talking serious sh*t, laughing about old sh*t, and experiencing new sh*t. I kept sending him humongous amounts of Prog to listen to. I did that anyway, but when he got sick, the Prog would help take him to different places, landscapes, and realities. It was a good thing!

In regular life, Astronomo was pretty much a quiet, kinda shy guy. Those of us who knew him well could all tell you he was one pretty wild f*cker! He could be crazy. He was known for jumping off apartment balconies, ripping down people's gutters, dancing on the roof, and driving really f*cking fast on the country roads of Michigan, back when we were kids. We smoked many a grit, drank many a jug, puffed many a bong, and looked at girly magazines. We also really enjoyed becoming dads, talking about our kids with big smiles on our faces. We shared life, fun, sadness, and our worlds. He will be missed by not only me, but his family, friends. and co-workers. He has now gone to the great Prog Heaven, where eternity is one giant synthesizer solo on a vintage Moog!!! ROCK ON, OH GREAT FRIEND!!!

Give me anything but 8 Cents,

P.S. When he was younger, people said he kinda looked like Jackson Browne. When he was older, and his hair turned grey, I thought he looked more like Richard Wright!!! To lose both of those grey haired gods within a couple of months is hard. But Shine On You Crazy STAIEVE-HEAD!!!

Astronomo (doing his best Richard Wright impression)