Friday Random Ten

I haven’t done an FRT in a while. I’m really trying to get back to posting more regularly, and I’ve always enjoyed talking a bit about the crazy stuff I love to listen to.

  1. Marillion, “If my Heart were a Ball”: Very appropriate that in my first FRT in a while, Marillion would come up first. There’s just something about these guys, I can’t get enough of them. This is the live version of this song, from the “Live at High Voltage 2010” recording. I love this song on the original recording, but the version they played here is even better.
  2. Gordian Knot, “Shaman’s Whisper”: Wow, but I haven’t listened to this in a while. Gordian Knot is what instrumental prog rock should be. It’s got complexity and skill, but it’s also got soul. This is music, not wankery.
  3. Spock’s Beard, “The 39th Street Blues”: not a bad track, but this album always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s heavy-handed preachy stuff, written by Neil Morse right after his turn to born again christianity.
  4. Parallel or 90 Degrees, “Threesome” : Interesting track from Andy Tillison and Po90. I really love the album that this came from, but this is my least favorite track. It’s got a very heavy electric fuzz effect which always gives me a headache.
  5. Squackett, “Stormchaser”: Here’s something really super. Steve Hackett (of old Genesis) and Chris Squire (of Yes) got together and recorded an album. Amazingly, it really does sound like a blend of Hackett-era Genesis mixed with early Yes. I really like this.
  6. Sonic Youth, “Stil” : I’ve adored Sonic Youth from the first time I heard them. I’ve never been a big fan of much of anything punk-related, except for these guys. I particularly like it when they’re screwing around experimenting with free improvs. This piece comes from one of their collections of experiments, called “SYR2”. Not something that mainstream rock fans will enjoy, but I think it’s brilliant.
  7. Takenobu, “Dark in the City” : This is something that a friend of mine from work turned me on to. I don’t really know how to describe it. Sort-of mellow alt-rock with layered string accompaniment? I don’t know, but it’s so beautiful.
  8. Steven Wilson, “Significant Other” : I learned about Steven Wilson because of Porcupine Tree. But I’ve learned to basically buy everything that he does. From prog-rock to psychedelia to experimental jazz, from original music to remixes of classic old albums, everything that he does is pure gold. This is from Insurgentes, an album that I just can’t stop listening to. You can definitely hear that it’s the same guy who led Porcupine Tree, but it’s got a really unique dark sound to it.
  9. vonFrickle, “Cranium Controller” : Remember what I said about Gordian Knot? vonFrickle is an instrumental prog band that frequently strays into the wankery area. A lot of their stuff is fantastic, but it’s often complex showoff because they want to show off how they can do this awesomely complex stuff, not because the awesomely complex stuff actually sounds good. This track is one of those that feels like complexity for the sake of showing off.
  10. Steve Hogarth and Steven Wilson, “A Cat with Seven Souls” : What do you get when you take the lead singer of my favorite band, and blend his style with one of my favorite all-around musicians? It’s what you’d expect, which is pretty amazing.

2 thoughts on “Friday Random Ten

  1. Phil A

    Steven Wilson – “Everything he does is pure gold”: Damn right! Back in the 90s I thought ‘that’s it, all the best combinations have been taken, Radiohead is probably the last creative band we’ll see’. But I keep being proved wrong, especially by S Wilson and Marillion!


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