Send us your art for the next Lickerish Quartet EP, “Threesome Vol. 2!”We will be posting our favorites to social media and if your design is chosen for the EP, you’ll receive a special gift and a personal video message from the band.
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius will be live-streaming their first full band performance since March 2020 from a friend’s (Matt Vanacoro) studio! The performance will culminate with the WORLD PREMIERE of a new Song & Video STORM SURGE!
STORM SURGE will NOT be available to the public until late September early October. The band are making this early access to the song an EXCLUSIVE for Virtual Progstock attendees.
A little over a year ago, my son Max was playing a short piano piece by 19th-century composer Friedrich Burgmüller, called “The Storm.” The piece was stuck in my head because I would hear him practicing it every day. I started to imagine it as a rock power ballad and began to sketch out a slowed-down version with the basic chord changes and structure.
I was imagining a cello replacing the ostinato part played by the left hand on the piano, so I asked my friend Ruti Celli, who I met on Cruise to the Edge last year when we played with Dave Kerzner and In Continuum, to contribute her beautiful part.
Our drummer, Jason Gianni, had a sketch he never finished that he thought would be a perfect fit in the middle of the song. I layered a huge string orchestra on top of that section and recruited the great guitarist/producer Fernando Perdomoto laid down a soaring guitar solo.
Next, I was hearing a flute during the breakdown section that followed. We have never had a flute, or any woodwinds for that matter, on one of our recordings! I asked the genius multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers to play the flute and lay down a piano track for the song. Rachel has been blind since age 3 and plays piano, flute, bass, guitar, drums, stick, sings, and records and mixes her own albums! I’ve met and worked with a lot of gifted people in my career, but don’t think I have ever met a person with this level of talent! Check out the documentary about her, Hearing is Believing, on Amazon Prime.
Finally, I’ve been into the idea of using outside singers inStratospheerius. Up until his time, I have always been the lead vocalist. The new album we are slowly putting together will feature many special guests.
We’ve been longtime fans of the 80’s Canadian band SAGA best known for hits like “Wind Him Up” and “On The Loose.” When we played the afterparty at ProgStock Festival afterparty back in 2018, Saga’s lead singer Michael Sadler caught our set after his performance at the festival, and was raving about the band! We were incredibly humbled to receive such words of encouragement from such an iconic artist.
We felt Michael’s voice would be perfect for this song! He ended up contributing a jaw-dropping vocal performance, enhancing the melody, and adding Queenesque harmonies. As a side note, he and his wife Gwen turned out to be some of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever worked with.
Storm Surge is about the anxiety we all feel in these uncertain times. With the global pandemic, the fight against racism and the continuing struggle for social justice, climate change, political upheaval, economic turmoil, and a future of uncertainty, there is a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.
Stratospheerius is: Joe Deninzon – lead vocals/electric violin Jason Gianni- drums Michelangelo Quirinale – guitar Paul Ranieri – bass
Storm Surge Video and Single Special Guests Michael Sadler: Vocals Rachel Flowers: Keys and Flute RutiCelli – Cello Fernando Perdomo Guitar Tracked by Rave Tesar (Renaissance) Mixed and mastered by Rich Mouser (Spocks Beard, Dream Theater) Label: Melodic Revolution Records
The pandemic has closed music venues and brought in-person live music performances to a screeching halt. We don’t know how long we will have to wait before it will be truly safe to stage a festival, but we will be back! Meanwhile, we will be bringing music right to you with some great shows from artists performing live in their homes or home studios. The series will be presented every Saturday night, 5PM – 10PM US Eastern, starting on August 1, 2020, followed by Gagliarchives Radio Philadelphia on the HOUSE of PROG – Music Page. Some Saturdays we will start one hour early at 4PM to accommodate artists live streaming from Europe.
The individual performances on StageIt are separate shows. Audience members will purchase a ticket to each performance individually, not the whole night as a block. Some shows will be 45 minutes and others will be 90, so we may have as few as 3 shows or as many as 6 on each Saturday night.
StageIt is all about experiencing music in the moment, duplicating the live music experience as closely as possible. You have to be there to see it, just like you would in a venue, so shows are only available on their site during the performance window. Some of our artists may choose to capture their shows and make them available later on some other service (YouTube, Facebook) and we (ProgStock) may even capture some of the shows, with artist permission, of course, but the shows will not be available on StageIt outside the show window.
Details for StageIt: Shows will be presented on StageIt. To participate, you must have a StageIt account. If you don’t yet have an account, here’s what to do:
Go to stageit.com (on a laptop or desktop, the site is not mobile-friendly for opening accounts, purchasing Notes/tickets, but works on mobile for viewing)
Click Sign Up (upper right corner)
Create a username and password
Click “Buy Notes” (10 notes = $1) – The StageIt system sells Notes in minimum intervals of $5 (50 Notes).
After choosing how many Notes you want to purchase, choose your payment type – it’ll be credit card or PayPal (with PayPal, you do not need to have an account, you can use a credit/debit card as a guest).
You will also be able to tip the artists before, during and after the shows with Notes. Consider loading up your account now, so you can have some fun with tipping while supporting your favorite artists. Tips show up on the screen as colored bars and many artists view them as the alternative to applause!
Pricing: Starting in September, 45-minute shows will have a minimum ticket price of $4.00 (40 Notes) and 90-minutes shows will have a minimum ticket price of $8.00 (80 Notes), with prices in US Dollars. You can pay more, if you have the means, and you will also be able to tip during the show with your StageIt Notes. We encourage you to support the artists at this difficult time.
Show Archive: Saturday, August 1: 5PM: Peter Jones of Tiger Moth Tales (45 minutes) 6PM: Julie Slick – Bassfest (90 minutes) 8PM: Rachel Flowers (90 minutes)
Saturday, August 8: 4PM: Markus Reuter of Stick Men (45 minutes) 5PM: Jean Pageau of Mystery (45 minutes) 6PM: Jimmy Keegan of Pattern-Seeking Animals (45 minutes) 7PM: Paul Bielatowicz of Carl Palmer Band (45 minutes) 8PM: Dennis Atlas of Initiator and Arch Allies (90 minutes)
Frogbelly and Symphony has been postponed to September 12 at 6PM 6PM: Gabriel Agudo (45 minutes) 7PM: André Cholmondeley of Project/Object (45 minutes) 8PM: Bob Richardson of Cell15 (90 minutes)
Following his critically-acclaimed album of collaborations, White Knight, released in 2017 on Cleopatra Records, rock legend Todd Rundgren is releasing a new single “Espionage” from his forthcoming album Space Force. In contrast to its futuristic title, Rundgren returns to the days of yesteryear when artists would release several singles first before releasing an “album,” or collection of singles. Thus, Space Force will be released to digital platforms as individual singles, each with its own unique artwork, every 3 or 4 weeks with the entire album coming in early 2021.
First up is a song as adventurous as Space Force suggests, the ambitious collaboration “Espionage” with Muslim hip hop artist Narcy.
“The song is actually an orphan of White Knight. Narcy and I began the colab in the final days of that album and we couldn’t get it finished in time, so in a sense it’s the first song of Space Force.” – Todd Rundgren
Keep an eye out for more Space Force singles including collaborations with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and idiosyncratic pop stars Sparks as well as a video for “Espionage.”
In other news, now that the convention has wrapped, Todd’s new re-record of his 1973 anthem “Just One Victory” has been provided to the Democratic National Committee for gratis use by all candidates running for public office this fall, from top of ballot down to dogcatcher .
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rundgren began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and front Nazz, the quintessential 60’s psychedelic group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut offering, Runt. But it was 1972’s seminal Something/Anything?, on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer, that catapulted Todd into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to unanimously dub him “Rock’s New Wunderkind.” It was followed by such landmark LPs as The Hermit of Mink Hollow and A Wizard, A True Star; evergreen hit singles include “I Saw The Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Bang The Drum.”
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom has released his new album under the Gungfly moniker, ‘Alone Together’, today. It follows an extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly.
Rikard has also announced that on September 11th, he will perform a live-streamed release concert from his home town of Gävle. He will be joined by Petter Diamant on drums, Robert Hansen on bass and Martin Borgh on keyboards. Find all the details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/319588349115139/
Rikard comments: ”I’m really happy that we were asked by Gävle Konserthus to do a streamed concert in front of a studio audience to celebrate the release of Alone Together. We’re gonna play some songs from the album mixed with a couple of Gungfly classics and also do an interview about the release!”
Rikard comments: “I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!”
‘Alone Together’ saw Gungfly recording as a trio, with brothers and previous collaborators Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. “It was a lot of fun playing both keyboards and guitar because I had come up with a lot of nice parts but I knew early on that I wanted to make the album with the brothers on drums and bass – luckily they were very up for it!” This ‘power-trio’ have focussed on the rock this time, and you can hear that loud and clear: “I didn’t want to smother the production with layers upon layers of keyboards and bells and whistles but instead tried to keep it prog rock with the focus on ROCK. I wanted every instrument to mean something in the mix.” This is evident on tracks like ‘Happy Somewhere In Between’ and the 13-minute epic ‘Traveler’, where Gungfly have never hit harder.
The album cover features a painting by American artist Kevin Sloan (The Flower Kings). Rikard comments of the piece: “I had just written lyrics for the song ‘From Afar’ and was looking at Kevin’s paintings when I came across this one and I couldn’t believe the connection, particularly the lyric “A million eyes watching glimpses of each other’s lives””.
The full track-listing for the album is as follows:1.Traveler 2.Happy Somewhere In Between 3.Clean as a Whistle 4.Alone Together 5.From Afar 6.On The Shoulders Of Giants 7.Grove Thoughts (Bonus Track) 8.Shoulder Variations (Bonus Track)
The bandwill come to the UK for 3 select live dates in October 2021. The band will play London & Manchester, co-headlining alongside the Robin Armstrong-led Cosmograf, before continuing on to Summer’s End Festival. The dates are as follows and are on sale now: Friday 1st October – Dingwalls, London Saturday 2nd October – Academy 3, Manchester Sunday 3rd October – Summer’s End Festival, Chepstow
Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their recent studio albums.
After almost two years of search, the Chilean rock group Aisles welcome their new singer, Israel Gil, with the re-recording of the song “Smile of Tears”. The track, taken from the album “In Sudden Walks” (2009), has a strong electronic influence from Depeche Mode’s eighties era, brought to the 21st century. “This song affects me a lot because when we recorded it, social distancing and the pandemic were starting in Chile –says Israel- the title makes a lot of sense to me, because in these lockdown days, with video calls and contact through social media, you pretend on camera that you are happy, but you are suffering on the inside”. Germán Vergara, Aisles’ guitarist and producer, points out that they chose this song because “we have rarely played it live and we thought that this was a good opportunity to bring it back and to introduce Israel to our audience”. Israel is replacing longtime vocalist and founding member Sebastián Vergara, who stepped down as frontman of Aisles in October, 2018.
Israel, a classical trained musician and student of Music Theory at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, was discovered through the social network Vampr, an app that connects musicians from all over the world who share interests. German explains, “we liked his voice because it is honest and clear, it is very special”. Israel adds: “I saw this band in the app, German sent me a message because he liked a video I posted, and after that first contact I had a revelatory moment: singing would become my priority. I had never bet this much in my life”.
After an intense audition process, where the musician had to learn old and new songs of the band, Israel was chosen because of his motivation, his discipline, his attention to detail and his friendliness. “We feel that he has been part of the band for years –says German- even though we have really shared just a few months. There has been a lot of chemistry, a lot of conversation. We need to work with someone that makes you feel comfortable, because the creative process is too intimate”. Israel adds: “After the audition process, I realized this is the path I want to follow, I want to see how this mechanism works. In this band, there’s a constant search and there are also different opinions, which makes it complex and also extremely motivating”.
Aisles, formed also by Rodrigo Sepúlveda (guitar), Felipe Candia (drums), Juan Pablo Gaete (keyboards, synth) and Daniel Concha (bass), are working on their fifth studio album, which will be released by June, 2021. “Most of the music is already recorded, we only need to record the voice and we hope to start showing new material starting on January”, says German. This album leaves behind the sound and visual complexity of “Hawaii” (2016), keeping the melancholy and instrumental passages that have defined Aisles throughout their career, adding influences as Porcupine Tree and Animals as Leaders.
Based in Santiago, Chile, and having released four highly acclaimed studio albums, Aisles have become South America’s most important progressive band of the past two decades.
The group has toured the Americas, Europe, and done extensive touring cycles in Chile, opening for household names such as Marillion and Focus.
Their latest studio album, ‘Hawaii’ (2016), was called a “masterpiece” and chosen among the best albums of the year by media outlets such as Prog (England), Neoprog (France), Raw Ramp (England) and Chile’s premiere rock magazine, Rockaxis.
After parting ways with long-time vocalist and founding member Sebastián Vergara in late 2018, Aisles has found a new singer and are starting anew with a different line-up and a new sound. The band will start releasing new music in September 2020, leading up to their fifth studio album, to be released in the second semester of 2021.
Check our live from home video if you want to see Israel in action
For the time being, “Smile of Tears” is only a digital release. But don’t get discouraged, we might release it on a special limited edition in the forthcoming months. You can download it on Bandcamp, and stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, and more.
Israel Gil: lead singer Germán Vergara: guitar Rodrigo Sepúlveda: guitar Daniel Concha: bass Juan Pablo Gaete: piano, keyboards Felipe Candia: drums, percussion
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