Welcome to another installment of the Music Mixer series. As usual Nick, Mason, and Joe came together to take on some current musical topics, and this month were joined by guitarist Joey Frevola. Joey is a member of Kyros (formerly Synaesthesia), and Edge of Reality, and added his insights on all the topics, but specifically our final topic which was the ability of the internet to bring musicians together. Joey, a native Floridian, found himself in a band on the other side of the ocean through the power of modern communication.
Along with his thoughts, Joey provided some excellent new music for the program. Edge of Reality is currently working on their second album, Vicious Circle, and you’ll hear two early mixes from that album in the course of the podcast. Want to check out their first album, Elephants in My Pajamas? You can listen to the entire album FREE, right here! Of course if you enjoy it, it doesn’t hurt to throw a few bucks their way as well!
For his other band, Kyros, Joey provided an updated mix of “The Lamb, The Badger & The Bee”, which can be found on their Beta EP. You can visit their online home here, and purchase the EP and other merchandise here. Sales help fund their new album, so be generous!
The first topic of the Mixer was Dream Theater, and their new double disc rock opera, The Astonishing. Not only is this an ambitious studio project, but the band already has dates booked worldwide to play the album in its entirety, and as such this marks a big moment in the band’s career. We mentioned during the mixer that the band has set up part of their website as a reference guide for the album and its story, and you can check that out here. The band also recently released a video for “The Gift of Music” which you can check out below, and you can purchase the full album here.
From there the discussion turned to the other major rock opera released in January, Ghostlights from Avantasia. Opinions remained divided as we assessed its strengths and weaknesses in comparison to The Astonishing, paying extra attention to what multiple vocalists can do for this type of album. You can grab the Avantasia album here, and check out some music from the album below.
Then we moved to an upcoming album, All That You Fear is Gone from Headspace. I’ve already talked about this album a lot, and will continue to do so, but we had a nice range of thoughts on this from those who have heard it, to those who are still simply riding expectations from the first album. You can buy the album here, and check out the lead single below.
On the heels of our two-part 2015 wrap-up show, we’re happy to bring the Music Mixer series into the new year, and with it, our first guest in the series. On this episode the usual trio of Nick, Mason, and Joe were joined by the guitarist of MindMaze, Jeff Teets. Some of the topics discussed related closely to MindMaze, who have begun work on their third full length album. They will be funding this particular album with a kickstarter, which they have done successfully several times before, and which tied into our discussion of our favorite crowdfunding rewards. They are also working on a concept album, which went with our discussion on the challenges and expectations for such an endeavor.
We also talked about the new Avantasia album due out on January 29th, Ghostlights. We talked about their newest single, “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose”, which can be found below.
We also discussed the myriad of vocalists that will be appearing on the album, along with our hopes and expectations for it. You can get a good sampling of those vocalists in the trailer below.
We started off the show with some discussion of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and their effect on the musical world, especially as they relate to Savatage. We also discussed their somewhat unique place in the rock and metal communities.
Our last topic of discussion revolved around comeback albums; bands that need to come back to active duty, bands that need to rebound from a bad album, and bands who have had some pretty significant comebacks. Listen to some of our examples, and let us know in the comments if you have any of your own, or if there are any topics you’d like to see discussed on the February edition of the Music Mixer.
We spent the first portion of this month’s music mixer talking about the band Jolly, and their deployment of a new business model using Patreon. You can check out this exciting new way to support bands here.
Next up on the discussion was the new Steven Wilson EP and tour. The initial information on the EP can be seen below, and newer tour dates and information is being released regularly on his facebook page here.
22nd January will see the release of a new Steven Wilson album “4 ½”, so titled because it forms an interim release between Steven’s recently released fourth album Hand. Cannot. Erase. and the next studio album.
4 ½ comprises 6 tracks with a total running time of 37 minutes. 4 of the songs originated during the sessions for Hand. Cannot. Erase., and one from the recording sessions for the previous album The Raven that Refused to Sing. The final track is a version of Don’t Hate Me, a song originally recorded by Porcupine Tree in 1998, and is based on a live recording made on the recent tour of Europe with additional recording later done in the studio. The vocals on this new version are sung as a duet between Steven and Ninet Tayeb.
Also appearing on the album are members of Steven’s band over the last few years; Adam Holzman, Nick Beggs, Guthrie Govan (Official), Dave Kilminster, Craig Blundell, Marco Minnemann, Chad Wackerman, and Theo Travis.
4 ½ will be released by Kscope on CD, 180 gram vinyl, and blu-ray, with all formats housed in a beautiful die-cut sleeve photographed by Lasse Hoile and designed by Carl Glover. The blu-ray (audio only) edition includes high res stereo, a 5.1 mix of the album, and a bonus 5.1 mix of the new version of Lazarus (recently included on the Transience vinyl compilation). The vinyl edition will include a download code for the album in a choice of FLAC or mp3. The album will also be available digitally on 22nd January from iTunes, Amazon.com, Google Play & Apple Music.
Steven Wilson – “4 ½”
1. My Book of Regrets (9.23)
2. Year of the Plague (4.15)
3. Happiness III (4.31)
4. Sunday Rain Sets In (3.50)
5. Vermillioncore (5.09)
6. Don’t Hate Me (9.34)
Next on the docket was a hypothetical look to the future and the next Transatlantic tour. The band has used both Ted Leonard and Daniel Gildenlow on previous tours as the extra man, so the question is, who does the band turn to on the next tour?
Then we turned our attention to Blind Guardian, their latest album Beyond the Red Mirror, and the subsequent tour. In a rare occurrence, Mason got to see this tour, and so did Joe, so Nick was the odd man out of that discussion. Of course we all gave some input on the album itself, which can be purchased here.
What came next was a general discussion on the merits of waiting in line before shows, or tailgating, as it pertains to meeting other fans and fantastic people. That tied in nicely to an event that had plenty of waiting, Cruise to the Edge 2015. In that discussion we talked about the number of guests compared to the total the ship could hold, and further research has found the double occupancy capacity of the Norwegian Pearl is 2,394. However it should be noted that cabins can, and will often have more than 2 people in them.
Finally, we talked about the first song released from the new Dream Theater album, The Astonishing. You can check out the video for “The Gift of Music” video below, and the interview we referenced during the show here.
Thanks for listening, and we will see you again in January! If you have anything you’d like us to discuss, please leave a comment or hit the email button at the top of the page!
So, you’ve just gotten a new podcast, and it turns out, that unlike the one you normally listen to every week, there is no music with a rude guy cutting off your tune-buzz every fifteen minutes or so. This is because this is the first in a hopefully long series of monthly music mixer podcasts that will compliment the usual music filled endeavors.
The mixers will always involve the three main contributors of the When Prog and Power Unite team: Nick, Mason, and Joe, and hopefully will include other DJs or special guests down the line. We will talk about recent and future music news, tell stories, and hit on some interesting musical topics.
On this first mixer our main topic of discussion was Dream Theater, and their forthcoming album, The Astonishing. What we know so far is that it will be a double album, it will be a rock opera, and it will be played in its entirety on the supporting tour. As a bonus, the band is running a huge publicity campaign to get fans interested in the album, which included having fans sign up for the two main factions in advance, and then getting emails from those factions. You can choose your side and get emails from the faction of your choice here. Additionally you can go to a new part of the band’s website here to follow new developments.
Next we discussed Pain of Salvation, and the direction they’ll be taking with a new album next year. You can check them out on Facebook here. They post in regards to the new material reads as follows:
Additionally, following-up on their latest “Road Salt” releases, Pain of Salvation have now started to work on material for a next studio album effort, which will be a concept album that goes back to the band’s harder and heavier roots of the early 2000’s. Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw has checked in with a brief status report on the band’s current activities as follows:
“We have a few gigs on the horizon, but in all honesty, our true focus is on the next studio album right now. Ragnar and I truly enjoy writing music together, and have that sort of completing-each-other’s-sentences dynamics to our writing that I have only found in very few people over the years. We have very creative writing sessions, and we can’t wait for the fans to hear the new material! You’ll see a hungry and strong Pain of Salvation, confidently returning to a harder and heavier form, musically. Still, as always, without losing the intimacy and originality that has been the trademark of the band ever since the first album. Anyone who has witnessed on stage what today’s Pain of Salvation are capable of, will understand how much I am looking forward to show them what we can do in a studio.”
We also talked a bit about Ghost‘s recent appearance on the Late Show with Steven Colbert, playing their song Cirice. You can check out that performance below.
Finally, before concluding with some bad concert experiences, and laying down some rules for good concert etiquette, we talked a bit about the new album from Trivium, Silence in the Snow, which is available here.
As this is the first podcast of this type any feedback from our listeners would be greatly appreciated! Let us know your thoughts on the topics we discussed, or perhaps throw out some interesting topics for our sophomore attempt in December. As of now we only know Transatlantic and Steven Wilson will be in the mix, and the rest could very well be up to you!