donderdag 13 december 2012

2012 review

A quick look back on the musical year. Below a list that could be my Top 10 over 2012... In no particular order.

Änglagård - Viljans Öga
Rick Wakeman - Journey to the centre of the earth (2012 Studio Recording)
Ian Anderson - TAAB2
Elephant 9 - Atlantis
Ihsahn - Eremita
It Bites - Map Of The Past
Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken - The Death Defying Unicorn
Orgel Vreten - The Merciless Hammond Battle
Rush - Clockwork Angels
The Samuel Jackson Five - The Samuel Jackson Five

Bubbling under we find o.a. Dead Can Dance, Storm Corrosion, Squackett, Om and Muse, the second side of the DeWolff LP and the first CD of Arjen Lucassen's double set.

Okay, good actually, but not qualified for the Top list: Headspace, Neal Morse, Saga, Flying Colors and Coheed And Cambria.

Some comments:

2012 apparently was an orchestral year. Jon Lord made a fine new version of his Concerto, Emerson returns to the scene with his fine Three Fates Project (both Lord and Three Fates are in the bubbling under section too), Rush even worked with an orchestra on Clockwork Angels and Wakeman topped them all with the renewed version of Journey that finally sounds like it should have done in 1974.

(English) neo prog leaves me rather cold lately. It Bites brought a very fine album, but others like Galahad and Big Big Train aren't on my shopping list, despite raving reviews. I guess I'll pick them up eventually when I come across them cheap and second hand, and then I'll may regret not buying them earlier, but hey... priorities...

I'm looking forward to reading the novels based on Clockwork Angels. This year I read the Terra Nova trilogy by Kevin Anderson and was highly impressed (it was IMHO much better than the two CDs based on these books).

Hmm... again 40% of my Top 10 list is Norwegian. Slight chauvinism by an immigrant?

zaterdag 1 december 2012

More Temporary Chapters Online!

Before the serious work on the Q, V, W and Z chapters starts, I've found time to upload the temporary versions for the N, O and P chapters (including appendices).

Find them here:

N Chapter
O Chapter
P Chapter

And enjoy!

dinsdag 4 september 2012

Three Fates Project & Elephant 9 Live

Friday afternoon I was tipped off by a music loving colleague that Keith Emerson would be in town Monday and perfoming live to present his new album at the Parkteatret in Grünerløkka, a rather trendy (and nice) part of Oslo. Sharing the bill would be Norwegian prog/jazz wonderboys Elephant 9… Can you imagine the urge to get tickets?  
Parkteatret proved to be a rather small venue which quite nicely filled up with about 200 music lovers (yes, indeed, for the greater part mature, grey-ish gentlemen). The new album was for sale (of course) and this was the first time I bought vinyl at a gig… (in addition to the CD/DVD, obviously). Cool, but kind of unpractical when you’re standing in a crowded venue…

It took quite a bit of patience before the gig finally started, but then, Norwegians are typically unstressed… Elephant 9 took the stage with keyboardist extraordinaire Ståle Storløkken behind a real roaring Hammond organ accompanied by bass player Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen and drummer Torstein Lofthus. Since this gig I have an addition to my list favourite drummers - Torstein is an amazing rhythm machine who plays incredibly tight and what I like a lot is the way he managed to keep eye contact with the other members (especially Ståle) while hitting everytyhing around him in perfect time. He was centre stage with bass on his right and Hammond on his left and it was hard not to focus just on him. While bass player Nikolai kept a fairly steady pace, it was very much Ståle to do quick runs and experiment on his keys. A shame that he didn’t bring his fender Rhodes for this gig, but then… I understand that he concentrated on the Hammond in honour of one of his major influences, Keith Emerson. Three pieces of about 10 minutes each and the gig was over way too soon.

While some minor adjustments were done on stage, professor in popular music Bjørn Ole Rasch started leading a Q&A session with Marc Bonilla, Keith Emerson and Terje Mikkelsen about their Three Fates Project in particular and their musical past in general. The interview was rather informal and informative, at times also very funny. Bonilla was in excellent mood, and probably the easiest talker of the threesome, but Emerson got obviously most of the questions, something he wasn’t all comfortable with all of the time. Wonder if he was a bit anxious (he said as much, this being his first public performance in almost two years) or if there was something else. He seemed a tad absent at occasions, but then came back with a funny anecdote to react on questions.

After this lengthy interview session (in which the audience was allowed to participate), Marc Bonilla was the first to play on stage. His “American matador” featured him solo on guitar with the orchestra coming from disc. As Terje Mikkelsen ironically remarked with regard to the size of the venue: “We had the choice of either bringing an orchestra or having an audience”. It’s a great piece of music with an interesting Spanish (almost flamenco) touch and it was a joy to see Bonilla’s fluent playing.

After that Keith took place behind the Grand piano on the other side of the stage for a piano improvisation (I would have loved to see Keith touch the Hammond that stood so close to him all of the time - but I do understand that he stuck mainly to the piano for this occasion). I’m not really sure what it exactly was he played, but I recognized a bit of “Tarkus” at the start and there may have been a tad of “The endless enigma” been in there as well. But I stand corrected… Marc joined for the closing section with some dreamy guitar lines.

After that the rhythm section of Elephant 9 joined Keith and Marc for a wonderful version of “Stones of years”. Keith led the piece with Grand piano into a really jazzy mood and gradually things moved to a rockier side when Marc’s guitars took over the lead. Awesome!

After this Keith moved from his Grand piano to the synths on the centre of the stage. During the previous piece a horn section (and someone on kettle drums) from the Royal Norwegian Navy had already been waiting on stage, but for the next piece that was to be performed, “Fanfare for the common man”, they were allowed to join in. Terje Mikkelsen conducted the first part, which was the original Copland version with horns, after this the rock band took over (and off) with a smashing version of this classic. Bjørn Ole Rasch joined the group for the occasion providing additional synths. Horn section and band closed off together in a smashing finale - a bit of a shame that the band drowned out most of the sound of the horns.

After a short break Keith returned to the stage for a piano-only version of “Tarkus” (about the first half of the piece) which closed off an all too short evening. Keep your fingers crossed that the Three Fates do return - with a full orchestra!

zondag 12 augustus 2012

L appendix uploaded

Finally... Another chapter added, including pics and all goodies.

Download it here and enjoy!

dinsdag 26 juni 2012

L Chapter published

Finally! To be honest, it took me almost half a year longer than originally planned. Sorry about that. On the positive side, I took the effort to put out a couple of temporary chapters in the meantime and found time to dedicate some time to other projects too.
After the summer vaction I hope to publish the L Appendix along with a string of temporary chapters before taking on seriously the Q, V, W and Z.

The L-chapter is again a rather large file (ca. 85 MB with all pictures) of 238 pages with about 530 entries, 470 reviews and over 1.000 cover pictures. The latter are found at the end of the book (after the index).

For those who just want a text only version (120 pages, 5 MB).

Enjoy, and don't forget to give feedback!

dinsdag 15 mei 2012

maandag 14 mei 2012

We're back!

It's taken a while, but here are the files again in downloadable form. I have a couple of temporary chapters (as well as the full "L") nearly ready for publishing, but let's first do the re-ups:


A Appendix

B (temporary)
C (temporary)
D (temporary)

I Appendix

J Appendix

K (full version)
K (text only)
K Appendix

M-MA (full version)
M-MA (text only)
M Appendix

U Appendix

X (including Appendix)

Y Appendix

Enjoy and watch out for updates (temporary E, F, G and H and full L coming up soon!)

vrijdag 16 maart 2012

Thanks a lot FBI!

As you may have noticed (I did today) all links to the FUJR files are dead and end up on this sign:

Extremely annoying this, since it directly invades my rights and I have done nothing wrong. But this is apparently the typical way of operation of the US government: someone has done something wrong and so let's just treat everyone else as a criminal too, just to be sure.

Will try to find a solution a.s.a.p. (especially because I have some more temporary files ready for publishing). Drop me a line (via fb, or just leave a message) if you need/want the files sooner.