Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

postheadericon Yes Union Live DVD, 2CD and Box Set Announced

Update February 14th, 2011: I wrote an extensive review of the Deluxe Edition box set which can be found here.

Update January 12th, 2011: The Special Limited Edition with 2 DVDs and 2 CDs is now available on Gonzo Media Group’s website. Pick it up while it’s still available! 🙂

YesWorld mentions on its website that VoicePrint will release a live DVD and live album that was recorded during the Yes Union tour. Especially the DVD release is possibly the most anticipated Yes release from the past 20 years. At least for me it is.

The Yes Union tour united nearly every band member from the seventies and eighties renditions of the band on stage: Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin (guitars), Rick Wakeman and Tony Kaye (keyboards) and finally the two drummers: Bill Bruford and Alan White.

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postheadericon Review: Joe Bonamassa Rocks the Royal Carré Theatre

The first time I got to know Joe Bonamassa‘s music was when web store Amazon.com recommended me the album “Sloe Gin”. This recommendation was based on the fact that I ordered a couple of CDs and instruction DVDs from blues guitar player Robben Ford. I remember listening to the album “Sloe Gin”, thinking it was okay but not completely my cup of tea, and lost sight of Joe Bonamassa.

(Pictures by @attilladegroot)

That was until a friend of mine mentioned Mr. Bonamassa to me and asked if I was interested to go and see him at the Royal Carré theatre in Amsterdam. That was in 2009. I can’t remember if I said “No thanks, maybe next time” or if the concert was already sold out at that time and I couldn’t go anyway. What I do know is that this particular friend managed to get a ticket for that show in 2009 a couple of days before the show via the Internet, went to see him and was completely blown away. So when I read a couple of months ago that Joe Bonamassa would return to Carré on November 7th of this year, I didn’t hesitate and made sure I was going to be there this time, together with this friend I mentioned earlier.

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postheadericon CD Review: Gungfly – Please Be Quiet

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you mister Rikard Sjöblom. People who prefer listening to progressive rock may recognize this name as the 28 year-old singer, guitar player, keyboardist and writer of the band Beardfish.

Now please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be scared and walk away because I mentioned the words “progressive rock” and “Beardfish” in one sentence. Mister Sjöblom does not deserve that. At all. Certainly not if you took the time and opportunity to listen to the album “Please Be Quiet” that he released under the name Gungfly.

Musical phenomenon

Rikard Sjöblom is a musical phenomenon. He is a master on every instrument he touches. He played practically all the instruments on the album except for a few drum and bass parts on a couple of tracks. An absolute joy to listen to. Except for the standard instruments like guitars, keys, bass and drums, he even gets away with incorporating the accordion on a few tracks.

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postheadericon The Power of Music on Our Bodies and Brains

This is an impressive article that describes the power of music on our bodies an brains. Who had ever thought that you can repair brain damage, boost your immune system or prevent seizures with music?

Read all about it, including the scientific explanations, in the following article.

Amplify’d from www.cracked.com

7 Insane Ways Music Affects The Body (According to Science)

The world is chock full of ear hurt that some people willingly refer to as music. The Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, Conway Twitty; they all produce high quality records and 8-tracks for our enjoyment whether we like it or not.

But music–even terrible music–has a stunning amount of power over our bodies. For instance science says music can…

Read more at www.cracked.com

postheadericon Mike Portnoy Quits Dream Theater after 25 Years of Service

My heart skipped a beat when I read this news on Mike Portnoy’s forum. And at this moment it feels like a truck hit me on the freeway. I have been listening to and following this band for nearly 20 years and I am stunned.

But let’s look at it in a more positive way. Hopefully this frees the way to more cool projects like a new Transatlantic album. Their last album was called “The Whirlwind” blew me away and their live performance was totally out of this world. The best progressive, symphonic rock band I have ever witnessed playing in my life.

So here’s to Mike, the genius, master of drummers, the hardest working musician in the music business.

Cheers, mate! Good luck on your future endeavors!

Amplify’d from www.mikeportnoy.com

I am about to write something I never imagined I’d ever write:

After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater….the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision…it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so….

See more at www.mikeportnoy.com

postheadericon Ilse DeLange signeert nieuwe album “Next To Me” bij FAME

Wat een drukte...! (Foto door @susiwan)

Op 26 augustus organiseerde FAME Megastore in Amsterdam een signeersessie met Ilse DeLange om de release van haar nieuwe album “Next To Me” te vieren; een dag voor de officiële release. Ruim drie weken geleden las ik hierover in de nieuwsbrief van FAME die ik in mijn mailbox ontving. Binnen tien minuten had ik mijn aanmelding verstuurd (leve de smartphone met mobiel Internet!) en de volgende dag kreeg ik bericht dat ik met een introducé op de gastenlijst stond. Kijk, daar wordt ik blij van!

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postheadericon Recommended Listening: “To Infinity” by missFlag

In the “Recommended Listening” series on this blog I will write about bands and albums that are not too well-known but deserve more attention. Don’t expect elaborate reviews but short and to-the-point descriptions and characteristics of the bands and their music.

The first album I would like to present to you is the album “To Infinity” by missFlag: an alternative-rock-pop band from Jerusalem, Israel. I stumbled upon this band when browsing artists on MySpace and I immediately liked their sound. I ordered their album “To Infinity” right away and it has been a keeper ever since. Their style is related to Coldplay and Keane but these guys have definitely their own sound and quality that distinguishes them easily from both bands.

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postheadericon DVD/BD Review – Porcupine Tree in Great Shape on “Anesthetize”

Porcupine Tree – Anesthetize – DVD/Blu-ray Disc (2010)

In the past few years I have seen Porcupine Tree perform five times. One of these shows was the show in 013 in Tilburg (Netherlands) that took place on October 15th, 2008. At the beginning of that show the announcement was made that the show would be recorded for a future release on DVD. Lucky me!

“Anesthetize” is the second official DVD release by Porcupine Tree: the progressive rock outfit led by versatile and productive musician/producer Steven Wilson. The concert film is in fact a mix of the recordings of two nights: October 15th and 16th, both recorded at 013.

Strangely enough the band decided to release the DVD more than half a year after their latest album “The Incident”, which was released in September 2009. Usually the pattern is that a DVD is released right after the tour that takes place in support of an album, which was in this case “Fear of a Blank Planet”. For some reason unknown to me the band decided to ignore this pattern.

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postheadericon Revisited: Dream Theater’s Images and Words 15th Anniversary Performance

When I picked up my mail from my mailbox last Friday I was pleasantly surprised to find a package from Voices UK, the UK based Dream Theater fanclub. Since the previous issue was sent to me more than a year ago I thought that they had stopped existing or had totally forgotten about me.

As soon as I stepped into my apartment I ripped open the envelope and I found a brand new fanclub CD inside and the new issue or the fanzine. When I checked the label of the CD I just could not believe my eyes. The CD contained the 15th anniversary performance of the Images and Words album which I attended last year in Bonn, Germany. I jumped with joy! Wow! Fantastic! What a great souvenir of this fantastic concert!

Because it was already late I decided to give the CD a spin on Saturday. I played it at concert sound level and I loved it from start to finish! The sound quality of this fanclub CD is great and the performance is very good, just as I described last year in my review of the event.

What a great way to start the weekend!

(Originally posted on my Last.fm journal)

postheadericon Review: Jean-Michel Jarre Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Oxygene with Tour

Jean-Michel Jarre – Royal Theatre Carré – March 25th, 2008

The moment I saw that tickets where going to be on sale for the 30th anniversary tour of Jean-Michel Jarre‘s Oxygene album, my heart skipped a beat! And the venue that he chose to play this piece of music surprised me even more. Royal Theatre Carré is not a very big venue, which is a big contrast with the enormous outdoor events that mister Jarre conceived in the past. So this was really too good to be true! A friend of mine even managed to get tickets for the third row as counted from the stage. (Kudos to Mosphat!)

The view we had on the stage was very impressive with a large amount of old, vintage synthesizers in front of us, centered around four performers in total. Mister Jarre of course stood in the center of the stage, completely surrounded with keyboards, synths and organs. Lots of the instruments were at least 30 years old or more. During the short introduction speech, Jean-Michel told the audience that all of these old instruments needed to be handled like “old ladies”. Each instrument needed to be tuned separately, which the performers did live in front of the audience. Can you believe this? Unforgettable!

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postheadericon CD Review: Moongarden Opens the Gates to Great Music

Moongarden – The Gates of Omega (2001)

As you could have read in one of my previous journal entries I was having quite some trouble getting Moongarden‘s album “Round Midnight”. Because I got a gift coupon for my favorite local record store I decided to let them try and get an other album of this great band called “The Gates of Omega”.

This almost turned out to become a disaster! It took them more than two months to get a hold of a copy. But the good news is that they did succeed! And I am a happy camper now!  🙂

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postheadericon CD Review: The Sum of Too Much Flower Kings

The Flower Kings – The Sum of No Evil (2007)

Yep, this record is definitely Flower Kings! The fantastic guitar playing, the great keyboard sounds, the magnificent bass chops, it’s all there!

There is only one problem: it’s too much. Far too much! At least in my humble opinion. One epic song I can handle, but not four. It’s just too much prog, too bombastic, arranged too death with yet another section added and another section, and another. Structure is totally lost at some places. It’s just too much.

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postheadericon Review: Porcupine Tree Performs Latest Album and More

Porcupine Tree (support: Pure Reason Revolution) – Melkweg – June 28th, 2007

My first introduction to Porcupine Tree was the album “Stupid Dream”. I read a raving review about the album in a Dream Theater fan club magazine and got interested in the band. After listening to a couple of tracks in the record store I decided to give the album a try and bought it. I would never have thought that now, eight years later, I would be sitting here writing a review for one of their concerts.

I saw Porcupine Tree earlier once, also in Amsterdam in Paradiso, and they played perfectly that evening. The DVD “Arriving Somewhere…” is a nice memory of this tour for me. You can imagine I was really looking forward to this concert.

And what a hell of a concert it was! What a terrific show! The band played absolutely great and the sound was fantastic! It was pretty loud, but it never got annoying (at least where I was standing in the venue).

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postheadericon Review: Dream Theater Celebrates 15 Years Images & Words

Dream Theater (support: Riverside) – Museumsmeile – June 16th, 2007

Finally I have recuperated from my trip to Bonn, which is almost a 4 hour drive from the place where I live. Yesterday a friend of mine and myself had the privilege to see a very special Dream Theater live show. When we took off on Saturday morning to Bonn we did not have the slightest idea what would happen during that show. I can tell you I was flabbergasted and extremely happy that I was there to experience it!

But what am I talking about here? I think the people that were there and the biggest Dream Theater fans know what I am talking about. To celebrate the fact that “Images & Words” was released 15 years ago, the band played the whole album from start to finish! This was so extremely cool!!!

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postheadericon Coincidence or the Law of Attraction at Work?

More than a week ago I got a message on my cellphone from a friend of mine: “Guess what’s in my CD player right now?!”

This could mean one of two things:
1) He bought the latest Rush album “Snakes and Ladders”
2) He bought the latest Dream Theater album “Systematic Chaos”

I called him back to find out which one was true. It turned out to be the second option. He was pretty enthusiastic about the new album. I did not know that the new Dream Theater was already for sale in Holland, so after work I drove to the nearest record store and picked up a copy of the special edition.

The new record is pretty good! I have played it a couple of times now and it is still growing on me. When I listened to it the first time, tracks 1 to 4 stuck immediately! Of course I heard their free single “Constant Motion” already and saw the video of “The Dark Eternal Night” already on YouTube, so that may have helped here. The second half of the album took more time to get into, but it’s getting better and better with each spin.

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