Friday, January 27, 2012

Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning (2011)

Grace for Drowning is the second studio solo album by Steven Wilson, producer, songwriter, and frontman of Porcupine Tree. It was released by Kscope Music Records on September 26, 2011. After the release of his first solo album, Insurgentes, Steven Wilson spent time on a number of his other projects. These include Porcupine Tree's album The Incident in 2009, Blackfield's third album Welcome to My DNA, on March 28, 2011, and an on-going project with Mikael Akerfeldt (the leader of the band Opeth) named Storm Corrosion. However, amongst these projects, in 2010, he announced that he had started working on his second solo album as well. - Wikipedia

Steven Wilson - Vocals, Keys, Autoharp, Harmonium, Percussion, Bass Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar
Theo Travis - Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Dave Kerzner - Sound Design
Tony Levin - Stick, Bass Guitar
Jordan Rudess - Piano
Pat Mastelotto - Drums
Steve Hackett - Electric Guitar
Trey Gunn - Warr Guitar, Bass Guitar
Sand Snowman - Acoustic Guitar

Disc I: Deform to Form a Star
1. Grace for Drowning (2:06)
2. Sectarian (7:41)
3. Deform to Form a Star (7:51)
4. No Part of Me (5:45)
5. Postcard (4:29)
6. Raider Prelude (2:23)
7. Remainder the Black Dog (9:27)
Disc II: Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye
1. Belle de Jour (2:59)
2. Index (4:49)
3. Track One (4:16)
4. Raider II (23:21)
5. Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye (8:01)

Van der Graaf Generator - Still Life (1976)

Still Life is an album by Van der Graaf Generator. It was originally released in 1976. The album cover shows a Lichtenberg figure. Jonathan Barnett of New Musical Express, describing the songs on the album, wrote: "They start off with the kind of morbid over-sensibility, y'know.. smart ass existientialist one-liners like that, accompanied by furtive, lurching manic melodies that emphasise the personality disorientation of the whole thing." - Wikipedia

Peter Hammill - Vocals, Guitar, Piano 
David Jackson - Saxophone, Flute 
Hugh Banton - Organ, Bass, Mellotron, Piano 
Guy Evans - Drums, Percussion

1. Pilgrims (7:12)
2. Still Life (7:24)
3. La Rossa (9:52)
4. My Room (Waiting for Wonderland) (8:02)
5. Childlike Faith in Childhood's End (12:24)

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Atom Heart Mother is the fifth studio album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in 1970 by Harvest and EMI Records in the United Kingdom and Harvest and Capitol in the United States. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, England, and reached number one in the United Kingdom, and number 55 in the United States charts, and went gold in the U.S. in March 1994. A re-mastered CD was released in 1994 in the UK, and in 1995 in the US. The album cover appears in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange. The piece is a progression from Pink Floyd's earlier instrumental pieces such as "A Saucerful of Secrets" and even earlier, "Interstellar Overdrive". The "Atom Heart Mother" suite takes up all of side one, and is split into six parts, featuring a full brass section and choir which take most of the lead melody lines, while Pink Floyd mainly provide the backing tracks; a reverse of the 1960s pop music practice of using orchestration as the background, and putting the rock band in front. However, there is one section where a bluesy electric guitar solo by David Gilmour takes the lead. Critical reaction to the suite has always been mixed, and all band members have expressed negativity toward it in recent times. But they appear to have been enthusiastic about the suite in the early 1970s, taking a full brass section and choir on tour just for the purpose of performing this piece; a move which caused the tour to lose money. A later arrangement without brass or choir, and pared down from 25 minutes to 15 by omitting the "collage" sections and closing reprise of the main theme, remained in their live repertoire into 1972, performed in concerts that also previewed The Dark Side of the Moon. June 2008 saw Ron Geesin perform "Atom Heart Mother" with Italian tribute band Mun Floyd over two nights as part of the Chelsea Festival. Geesin introduced it with a history and slide show. The performances featured full choir, brass and noted cellist Caroline Dale, who has worked with David Gilmour. The second night saw Gilmour join Geesin on stage for the performance. The song was extended to over 35 minutes and received many excellent reviews. Side two opens with three five-minute songs: one by each of the band's three resident songwriters, and closes with a suite with sound effects primarily conceived by Nick Mason, but credited to the whole group (and based mostly on musical ideas by Gilmour). Therefore, this album's concept is similar to their previous Ummagumma album, in that it features the full band in the first half, and focuses on individual members in the second half. Roger Waters contributes a folk ballad called "If" which he would play frequently at live shows in support of his Radio K.A.O.S. album, more than a decade later. This is followed by Rick Wright's brass-heavy "Summer '68", a critique of the "rock 'n' roll" lifestyle that would soon become characteristic of Pink Floyd. Next is David Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun", for which a 15 minute extended arrangement spent two years as a key part of the band's live set, and is a staple of Gilmour's various solo tours. The final track, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", is divided into three segments, each with its own descriptive title, joined by dialogue and sound effects of then-roadie Alan Stiles preparing, discussing, and eating breakfast. A slightly re-worked version was performed onstage only once on 22 December 1970 at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England with the band members pausing between pieces to eat and drink their breakfast. - Wikipedia

David Gilmour – Guitars, Bass Guitar, Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals 
Nick Mason – Drums, Percussion, Tape Editing, Tape Collage 
Roger Waters – Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tape Effects, Tape Collage, Vocal 
Richard Wright – Hammond Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Farfisa Compact Duo Organ, Orchestration, Vocal 

1. Atom Heart Mother (23:44)
2. If (4:31)
3. Summer '68 (5:29)
4. Fat Old Sun (5:22)
5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (13:00)

Porcupine Tree - Deadwing (2005)

Deadwing is the eighth studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, released on March 28, 2005. It quickly became the band's best selling album to date, though was later surpassed by Fear of a Blank Planet. The album is based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion, and is essentially a ghost story. Wilson had expressed the intention to eventually have this film script made into a movie. The album produced two singles, "Shallow" and "Lazarus". "Shallow" also appeared in the movie Four Brothers. It can be heard as background music in a bar. The album also produced three music videos for "Lazarus", "The Start of Something Beautiful", and "Glass Arm Shattering". The album includes collaborations with King Crimson's Adrian Belew, who plays guitar solos on the title track "Deadwing" and "Halo", and Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt, who adds vocal harmonies on "Deadwing, "Lazarus", and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". He also plays the second guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". - Wikipedia

Steven Wilson - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards, Hammered Dulcimer, Bass Guitar
Richard Barbieri - Keyboards and Synthesizers 
Colin Edwin - Bass Guitar 
Gavin Harrison - Drums and Percussion 
Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) - Backing Vocals, Second Guitar Solo
Adrian Belew (King Crimson) - Solo Guitar

1. Deadwing (9:46)
2. Shallow (4:17)
3. Lazarus 4:18)
4. Halo (4:38)
5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:02)
6. Mellotron Scratch (6:57)
7. Open Car (3:46)
8. The Start of Something Beautiful (7:39)
9. Glass Arm Shattering (6:17)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (2010)

My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky is a studio album by Swans released on September 23, 2010; it is their first studio recording in 14 years. Swans founder Michael Gira funded the recording of this album by creating the limited-edition album I Am Not Insane and chose several collaborators from previous Swans line-ups as well as his side project Angels of Light to record and tour for this album. My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky has received positive critical feedback for the return of Swans as well as the rich spiritual themes of the lyrics. - Wikipedia

Michael Gira – Electric Guitar, Vocals
Christoph Hahn – Electric Guitar, Mouth Harp
Thor Harris – Drums, Percussion, Vibes, Keyboards 
Chris Pravdica – Bass Guitar 
Phil Puleo – Drums, Percussion, Dulcimer 
Norman Westberg – Electric Guitar, E-bow 

1. No Words/No Thoughts (9:24)
2. Reeling the Liars In (2:20)
3. Jim (6:46)
4. My Birth (3:52)
5. You Fucking People Make Me Sick (5:08)
6. Inside Madeline (6:36)
7. Eden Prison (6:03)
8. Little Mouth (4:12)