Peter Hamill, “The Unconscious Life”: A track from an amazing live
performance. In general, I’m not a big fan of live recordings – you really need
to be there for a live performance. There’s a dynamic between the performer
and the audience in live music, and in a recording, you’re listening to it from
the outside – so you can feel that there’s something missing. This recording has an
intensity, an intimacy, which is extraordinary. And it’s a great song, too.
Valley of the Giants, “Whaling Tale”: Valley of the Giants has taken its
place as my favorite post-rock band – surpassing even “Godspeed You Black Emperor!”.
This track is very godspeed-like, but it manages to carry it out better than
even Godspeed would have.
Black Math Horseman, “Deerslayer”: This is a hard group to describe.
It’s sort of like a cross between Mogwai, Sonic Youth, and King Crimson. They’re not really post-rock, and they’re not really prog rock, but they’ve got elements of both. They’ve got a really great sound. I haven’t listened to them enough to get a really
good feel, but they’re definitely worth a listen.
The Flower Kings, “The Rainmaker”: What can I say about the Flower Kings
that I haven’t said before?
Marillion, “The Only Unforgivable Thing”: a vaguely poppy track from
Marillion’s second-best album. It’s slow, with the feel and structure
of a pop ballad, but the lyrics are very un-ballad-like, and it’s got a ton
of subtle complexity. Classic Marillion.
Riverside, “Cybernetic Pillow”: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned
Riverside before. They’re a really fantastic neo-progressive band from
Poland that I discovered lately. They’re really remarkable – they’ve got
an amazing sound, which is very distinct from anything else. Most neo-prog
bands, you can listen to, and say their main inspiration is Genesis, or Yes,
or Pink Floyd, or whatever. With Riverside, I can’t do that. They sound like
themselves, and nothing else. I’ve embedded a Youtube live video of this
Gong, “Damaged Man”: A very typical Gong track, if there is such a thing.
Porcupine Tree, “Sentimental”
Rush, “Red Lenses”: a nice old classic Rush track.
The Reasoning, “Shadows of the Mind”: another recent discovery for me;
The Reasoning is a decent neo-prog band. They’re not great, but they’re good,
and they do some terrific multipart vocal harmony.