king crimson

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KING CRIMSON IN RETROSPECT: A child's guide to early days in the kingdom

KING CRIMSON IN RETROSPECT: A child's guide to early days in the kingdom

A true story from the battleground of fun: a few fortyjust wags finishing last bottles when someone mentions an album title which reduces the gathering to choking laughter for a good two minutes. As someone observed later, “it’s some album when just the title breaks you up.” True – but the album in question...

Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

As the band most likely to be cited when the discussion turned to "post-rock", this five-piece from Chicago have been critically acclaimed for their magpie tendencies (they lift from prog-rock, free jazz, punk, post-punk, electronica, Can and other equally unconstrained Krautrock bands) but largely haven't connected with an audience...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Midlake: The Courage of Others (Inertia)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Midlake: The Courage of Others (Inertia)

This quintet from Texas -- now on their third album -- has only appeared once previously at Elsewhere, a wonderful track on the collection Secret Love 4. That piece (the sample track posted with that album) was so impressive their name imprinted itself on my memory -- and then this album turns up. In the absence of hearing much else by them...

Pavlov's Dog: Julia (1975)

Pavlov's Dog: Julia (1975)

Sometimes there is just That Voice . . . a vocal delivery which is arresting, sublime, idiotic and otherworldly all that same time. And so it was with the vocals of David Surkamp, the singer with the prog-rock band Pavlov's Dog out of St Louis, who seemed to possess in equal parts the sound of Robert Plant's high drama, Leo Sayer on steroids...

Freur: Pronunciation/Audiobiography/Hold Me Mother (1983)

Freur: Pronunciation/Audiobiography/Hold Me Mother (1983)

A decade before Prince became TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince) and adopted an odd symbol instead of a name, this band of mysterious origins also did the same. They insisted their name was the even more odd pictogram which appeared on the cover of their Doot Doot single, but at the counter-insistence of their record company CBS...

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

This will be reasonably brief because there is perhaps a limited audience for this double CD reissue of the '78 album and EP by an off-shoot of the sci-fi prog-rock band Hawkwind. Inspired by the science fiction of Michael Moorcock, Hawkwind's Dave Brock and Robert Calvert created Hawklords after Hawkwind briefly fell apart (they are still a...

Bernard Butler: Woman I Know (1998)

Bernard Butler: Woman I Know (1998)

Was it Bob Dylan who said something to the effect, "amateurs borrow, professionals steal"? Not to encourage plagiarism, but Bernard Butler certainly took a leaf or two -- if not a whole chapter -- from the Book of Fleetwood Mac for this track which uses Albatross as it's starting point -- but then doesn't go too far with it....

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

Despite the title here being appropriated from David Bowie, this does seem a fair description of Brian Eno, the self-described "non-musician" who made his name in Roxy Music as the flamboyant synth-twiddler who brought an avant-garde sensibility to a band which might have otherwise simply sounded retro and poopy. Eno's sonic...

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

With the (almost) complete Pink Floyd catalogue being re-presented shortly, the Moody Blues arriving on our shores and bands like The Mars Volta, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree pushing the boundaries, there seems to be quite a lot of progressive rock, if not exactly old school prog-rock, out there. Of course it never really went away and...

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

Steven Wilson doesn't sound remotely angry, just weary, when he says a major British newspaper declined to review his new album Grace For Drowning. They said he was too under-the-radar and no one knew who he was.“Well, that's frustrating,” he sighs, “because most of the music they write about is completely unknown and...

Steven Wilson: Grace for Drowning (Kscope/Southbound)

Steven Wilson: Grace for Drowning (Kscope/Southbound)

The highly productive multi-instrumentalist, producer, guest performer and mixing engineer (most notably on the early King Crimson catalogue) Steve Wilson is perhaps best known as the mainman behind Porcupine Tree, the British prog-rock group which has gone its own ambitious way despite the indifference of fashionable media and more hip...

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

Of all the albums in the early King Crimson catalogue -- those between their '69 debut In The Court of the Crimson King and Red in '74 -- Lizard is the one which has most divided critics and fans. Even KC founder and sole constant Robert Fripp has considered it largely unloved, and he doesn't strike anyone as being modest about his music....

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