Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer's Almost Gone...

Today is officially the last day of summer, although in the southern countries of Europe the nice weather it may last one more month...
Every 31 of August I used to listen one specific song. So I'm posting it here for you as well...
The beautifully melancholic "Summer's almost gone" by The Doors.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Prog-Rock Quiz No.2

Ok, here is the hard one!
No competition this time, is Steve Wilson solo.
In the first quiz I didn't know 2 or 3. In this one I think I know 2 or 3! hahahaha
You can give it a shot yourselves as well. But remember to press 'pause' in every question.
Good Luck! :P
P.S: In the end of this video you will see 4 different persons on the screen. If you click on the upper left you will be able to watch another (very hard!) Prog-Rock quiz. This time is Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 19


     Here I will put another album by The Beatles. It was released one year before the legendary ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’, but in my opinion is equally (if not more) important. Because it is an excellent record, it introduced new music forms, and it actually ‘warned’ the world of what was going to follow…
 ‘Revolver’ contains 14 songs and at least the half of them became widely known and gained a very high position in the history of Rock music. ‘Taxman’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ ‘For no one’, just to name a few…
  The record was ranked at No.1 in the album charts both in U.K and USA and remained there for 6-7 weeks. It is considered the second most important album by The Beatles and through the years gained amazing fame, success, sales, and recognition from all the music media, the musicians and the people.
   Together with ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ by Pink Floyd are considered the first psychedelic albums ever recorded. Although ‘The Piper’ is a totally psychedelic album, ‘Revolver’ gains this title mostly because of 2-3 songs with oriental sounds, and for the use of very ‘exotic’ organs (for those years) such as Sitar and Tamboura. Especially this oriental style and these organs will be proved very popular a couple of years later with the ‘explosion’ of psychedelic music.
   I wrote before that ‘Revolver’ gained huge recognition  both from the media and the fans.
So, here are SOME of the ‘Honorary titles’ it gained through the years:
It was placed at No.1 in the list with the ‘All time Top-1000 albums’.
It was No.3 at Rolling Stone magazine’s list with the ‘500 greatest albums of all time’
In 1997 it was voted as the 3rd greatest album of all times in a poll conducted in the U.K, by HMV Group, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM.
In 2000 ‘Q’ magazine placed it at the No.1 on its list with the ‘100 greatest British albums ever’.
In 2001 the TV network VH1 named it as the No.1 greatest album of all times, and exactly the same position was achieved in the ‘Virgin’s  all time Top-1000 albums’.
In 2002 the readers of Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as the greatest album of all times.
I think these are enough, eh?
I have 2 videos from this album for you. The beautifully melancholic 'For no One' and the psychedelic and trippy 'Tomorrow never knows'.
Enjoy them! 


Thursday, August 23, 2012


These are old English Series that I discovered recently.
Having a small break from ‘Sons of anarchy’, I thought to give a try on this one.
The series consist of 3 seasons, of 6 short episodes for each season.
That means that you can finish it in a couple of days easily.
Black boks is a typical English comedy including 3 main characters:
Bernard Black is an extremely antisocial heavy smoker and drinker owner of a small bookstore, that he is lazy, rude, cynical, and perfectly happy with it! His only friend in the world is Fran, the girl from the shop next door, who is actually a neurotic and boyfriend-desperate young woman and Bernard’s  launch time drinking partner.
Third main character is Manny, and accountant that Bernard hires after his old accountant  is on the run, but in the end  finds himself doing almost everything in the shop. Even cooking!
It is a light funny series that I recommend mostly because they are very short and it doesn’t make you bored. (As long as you are fond of the English sense of humor…)
  The rating on IMDB is 8.7, but my opinion is that is overrated.
You can give it a try and see for yourselves…
You can have a small idea on this trailer here:


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Prog-Rock Quiz...

This video is something I knew for sometime now, and I thought to share it with you.
It is a contest about Prog-Rock, between Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth).
That's the first and rather easy one. Later on  a much harder one will follow.
You can also test your knowledge on the subject, but you'll have to be really fast!
Enjoy it!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part. 9

                                  GENESIS: Selling England by the Pound

   It was the 5th studio album by the Genesis, and it was released on 12th of October 1973.
It was their first album that reached the charts, peaking at No.3 in UK, and remained in the charts for 21 weeks in total.
   The beautiful album cover is a painting by Betty Swanwick called ‘The Dream’. The original painting did not feature a lawn mower, the band had Swanwick add it later as an allusion to the song ‘I know what I like’.
   On this album the sound is slightly changed when compared to the previous albums. Is more melodic, more soft and the sound is more ‘illustrated’ I could say, and it contains some of the best moments in the Genesis’ first era. (The one with Peter Gabriel). It also contains their first charting single ‘I know what I like’ that peaked at No.21 in the UK singles charts. (In the B-side of this single was the superb ‘Twilight Alehouse’, one of the best 5 songs of Genesis in my opinion).
   The album opens with Peter Gabriel's the’ a-cCapella’ on ‘Dancing of the Moonlight Knight’, again one of the best 5 songs of Genesis. (Again in my opinion)… (A Capella means singing without music in the background). The sad tune at the start of the song slowly changes, more instruments are added, and the rhythm becomes faster. Many music styles can be found in this song in its many changes before the –again sad- finale.
The second track is ‘I know what I like’ , a rather “Pop” song (for Genesis’ style I mean), that was their only hit single, followed by the epic ‘Firth of Fifth’ with the glorious piano solo in the start.
The A-side closes with the ballad ‘More Fool Me’, the second song that Phil Collins was on lead vocals.  (The first was ‘For Absent Friends’ from the album ‘Nursery Cryme’). (You can read about that album in the same series of posts, at No.1)
The B-side opens with the weird ‘The Battle of Epping Forest’. Even the band was having second thoughts about it, but they finally put it in the record. But its difficulty and complexity made it very hard to be performed live without mistakes. So, after the ‘Selling England…’ tour it was never performed live again.
‘After the Ordeal’ is an instrumental piece with wonderful classic guitar and a majestic piano backing. That song could be used as a (long) intro for the wonderful ‘The Cinema Show’ that is next.  Another great song, one of the finest moments of the album.
The album is closing with the 1.32 – minute long ‘Isle of Plenty’, that is not much of a song, but mostly a reprise of ‘Dancing with the Moonlight Knight’.
Well, now it’s the time to apologise for making this post so long, but this album is a real music diamond, and a great example of the Progressive Rock scene of the ‘70’s.
   As an epilogue, I will put Steve Hackett’s exact words after learning that John Lennon was a fan of this album: ‘When I was with Genesis  I’ll never forget being on tour in the USA in 1973, when we were trying to make it there, hearing John Lennon say on WNEW (New York radio station) that he loved our album ‘Selling England by the Pound’. Even if I never sell another album in my life, I will always remember that. A tribute from Lennon, the great man himself listened to our records. It gave us a heck of a buzz and a real encouragement’.
In the following video you can watch a live performance of ‘Dancing with the Moonlight Knight’ from 1973. The sound is not very good, but I believe it is worth watching this. Also, P. Gabriel is dressed with his famous ‘Britannia’ costume.
   P.S: It doesn’t really matter, but because I mentioned a couple of times in the post about the best 5 songs of Genesis in my opinion, I decided to write them down.
Here they are: (In Chronological order)…
The Knife (Trespass – 1970)
Musical Box (Nursery Cryme – 1971)
Supper’s Ready (Foxtrot – 1972) (But only in the live version that is included in the box set ‘Genesis Archives’)
Twilight Alehouse (B-side on the single ‘I Know What I Like’ – 1973)
Dancing of the Moonlight Knight (Selling England by the Pound – 1973)


Monday, August 13, 2012

Spotlights on: BLACK MOUNTAIN

   Black Mountain is a Canadian band from Vancouver, and they are active since 2004.
Their sound is heavy Rock, with some influences from Progressive and Psychedelia.
They have released 3LP's so far (Black Mountain - 2005, In the Future - 2008, Wilderness Heart - 2010), and 4-5 EP's...
Their first album was chosen as one of 'Amazons' Top 100 editors picks' in 2005. 'In the Future' was finalist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize, and it was nominated as 'Best Alternative Album' in 2009.
The song 'Stay Free' from 'In the Future' was featured on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack.
Their last album 'Wilderness Heart', was ranked at no.45 in the UK albums charts, and at No.11 in the German albums charts.
In 2005 the band was the opening act for Coldplay on their 'Twisted Logic Tour' for a few weeks.
   I was thinking of adding them in the 'Progressive Rock Encyclopedia' I'm posting here, but before I did that, I sat down and listen to their songs again. (It has been sometime since I listened to their records), and finally decided not to. Instead I'm posting them in these series. Because maybe they have some Progressive elements in their songs, a few songs are long with many turns and kind of complicated, but in general I can't call them a Prog band.  But they are a good band, with good musicians, and they surely deserve some attention!
   In order to know them a bit better, I will use some of their own words to describe them:
"Black Mountain is the front line band for the Black Mountain Army, a collective of musicians artists and friends in Vancouver. And by that phrase don't put in your mind any hippie collective, in the sence that we all live together in one house etc... Basically is a circle of creative people and friends who work and help the band in any way they can. Several members of the band for many years now are working for organizations that support the poor and the drug addicted in Vancouver"...
   The only thing I want to add is a big Bravo to these guys!
In the following videos you can watch the song 'Tyrants' live, and the official video of the song 'Wucan', both from the 'In the Future' album.
I hope you'll like them...



Friday, August 10, 2012

DEAD CAN DANCE: Anastasis...

   Dead Can Dance are back! It took them almost 16 years, but the super duo Brendan Perry/ Lisa Gerrard are back together, with a new album and a new world tour!
The new album’s name is “Anastasis” is a Greek word,  (means resurrection), and it was released a few days ago.
   Here I would like to open a-rather big-parenthesis to write a few things first, in order for you  to understand better what I’m going to write afterwards about this album…
[I am a fan of DCD since 1988, and I was lucky enough to watch them live through “Aion” and “Into the Labyrinth” tours. I’m also fan mostly of their first ‘Medieval/dark’ period and not so much of the second more ‘ethnic’ one.  My main problem was that I love almost every song that Lisa Gerrard sings, and very few that Brendan Perry sings, which I find kind of boring. I always wondered why they didn’t try to sing together in a few songs instead of separating the songs of each record in that way. In their last album (before they disbanded) in 1996, they did that and it was great! They were singing together in most songs. Well, unfortunately that lasted only for that record as it seems…  Because in this brand new album each one sings his/her own songs again. (With the exception of the song “Return of the she-King” that they are singing together.]
   Now, let’s take a look at the new album. “Anastasis” continues in the ‘ethnic’ style of “Spiritchaser” (1996), but in a lighter way. Not so many African rhythms, but more Oriental I could say.
But the problem is that the whole record is very low beat and monotonous. The songs lack the usage of percussions which elevated the spirit of the rhythm and gave the style somewhat of a upbeat tempo in their previous albums. But it doesn’t end there. The lowbeat and monotonous style of the album it has effected the way they sing.  Br.Perry’s voice is deep and depressive. Ok it has always been like this, so not so many changes there. But Lisa Gerrard’s way of singing is very different here.  Most of the times she just mumbles and murmurs the lyrics and notes of each song, without any display on her part to the degree of the strength of her voice, something which DCD fans were used to.
   I listened to the record 3 times before sitting down and writing this, and I’m very sorry to say that I can’t make any comparison with their old records. It gives me absolutely no pleasure to admit that, because I was waiting this record’s release most impatiently!
I will not say that is a bad record because it isn’t! But it’s nothing special either.
Maybe I had great expectations for it, I don't know...
   For sure many people will like it, maybe some will adore it! But I’m not one of them I’m afraid.
For the ones that grew up (like I did) worshiping records such as: “The Serpent’s Egg”, “Aion”, “Within the realms of a Dying Sun” etc, this record I’m afraid has nothing new or exciting to offer.
    Now, for all those that are not Greek I will explain a few unknown words you surely have here…
As I wrote before, the name Anastasis means Ressurection.
The second song’s name is ‘Anabasis’. Again a Greek word here which means ‘going up’ (a hill or a mountain)But I’m pretty sure that it refers to the ancient Greek historian/philosopher Xenophon, whose most famous book was   Anabasis .
Third song’s  name ‘Agape’ means 'love' in Greek, and fourth song’s name ‘Amnesia’, well, I guess you all know what that means… :P
   In the following videos you can listen to the songs 'Kiko' and 'Agape', two of the best songs in this album...


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August, the holiday month...

Hello everybody!
   We are in the first days of August, and propably most of you are enjoying their holidays.
As for me, I don't think I'll go anywhere this year. I'm lucky though cause the place that I live is a holiday town, with many nice beaches very close. So I can't complain I guess...
   I have noticed a huge decrease in the blog's pageviews these last days which means that most of the people that are reading my blog are enjoying the sea and the sun somewhere... :)

   So I decided to cool down a bit as well. That doesn't mean that I will not write here. But I will slow down the rhythm a bit for a couple of weeks. As for the 'Juke Box' posts, they will go on holidays (:P), and will return again on Saturday 1st of September...
I'm wishing a great holiday period to all of you, and I'm waiting for your return in order to continue and maybe expand our little company here...
            Have some great Holidays folks! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part.18


                      BOB DYLAN
           Bringing it all back home
   It was Dylan’s 5th studio album released on March 1965. This album was really important in these years, because for the first time in history of Folk-Rock music Dylan used a full Rock band in the recordings. The album is divided in 2 parts. On the first side all the songs are ‘electric’, meaning that a Rock band was used. On the second side all the songs are ‘acoustic’, which means that Dylan sings only with his guitar. Also in this album  Dylan has started to move away from the protest/political songs, and his lyrics became more personal and abstract. This triggered two things: The fans of Folk-Rock music and protest ballads were annoyed with Dylan’s change, they were alienated, and ‘turned their backs’ on him. But on the other hand, Dylan ‘opened the doors’ to a wider audience, those of Rock music.
And as history has shown, he did very good!
   Many of the songs in this album were written in the summer of ’64, when Bob Dylan was staying together with Joan Baez at a farm in the little town of Woodstock, close to New York.
   Upon it’s release, the album was praised by critics and the media, and that continued also in the years to come. It peaked at No.6 in the USA albums charts, and No.1 in UK.
Songs like ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’, Mr.Tambourine Man’, It’s Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding)’ and ‘It’s all Over now Baby Blue’ would be considered as ‘classics’ in the Rock history, and in the years to come many bands would make cover versions, attaining great success because of these songs. (For example ‘The Byrds’ with Mr.Tambourine Man).
‘Bringing it all back home’ is ranked at No.31 of Rolling Stone magazine’s  list with the ‘500 greatest albums of all time’

                        Highway 61 Revisited
   That’s  Bob Dylan’s 6th album, released in August 1965. The name comes from one of the greatest North American Highways, which connects Dylan’s birthplace in Minnesota to the Southern cities. (St.Louis, Memphis, New Orleans etc...).
The experiment that Dylan started with his previous record (making one side of the album acoustic and the other side electric) continues and expands here. With the exception of the 11-minute acoustic ‘Desolation Row’, the rest of the album was recorded with the support of a full Rock band.
Many great musicians were involved in the recordings, with Mike Bloomfield (guitars) and Al Kooper (keyboard, piano), being among them.
 The album contains two of Dylan’s most famous songs: ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’. ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ is a legendary song in the history of Rock music, whilst ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ is considered as one of the strongest protest songs ever recorded.
   ‘Highway 61’ peaked at No.3 in the USA album charts and in No.4 in UK. It was also ranked at No.4 at Rollıng Stone’s magazine list with the ‘500 greatest albums of all time’.
The single ‘Like a Rolling Stone’  peaked at No.2 in USA and No.4 in UK. It has been praised by the critics and it was at No.1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list with the ‘500 greatest songs of all time’.
   Maybe the highlights of this album are these 2 songs, but there are also many other songs  that are great: ‘It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry’ ‘Queen Jane approximately’ and ‘Highway 61 revisited’ are some of them.
   I will conclude this post with the comments of another great protest-folk singer, Phil Ochs.
When ‘Highway 61’ was released, Phil Ochs stated in the ‘Broadside’ magazine : "Dylan produced the most important and revolutionary album ever made". 5 years later, again Phil Ochs while speaking to a journalist said: "I put ‘Highway 61’ and I laughed, and I said it is so ridiculous. It’s impossibly good, it just can’t be that good! How can a human mind do this?!"


Saturday, August 4, 2012

GFreedom's Juke Box #11...

Hello all!
It's Saturday again, so it is time for me to post my Top-5 songs as usual...
So here they are:

DONOVAN: Atlantis (Barabajagal - 1969)
ROXY MUSIC: In every Dream Home a Heartache
 (Live) (Viva Roxy! - 1976)
DAVID BOWIE: Cygnet Committee
(Space Oddity - 1969)
LED ZEPPELIN: Since I've been Loving You (Live)
 (The Song Remains the Same - 1976)
STRAWBS: Autumn (In 3 parts) (Hero & Heroine - 1974)

 So, let's see if anyone is in the mood to post his/her Top-5... :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

CONCERNING HOBBIT(S)… The alternative video & more…

   After the great success of the trilogy ‘The Lord of the Rings’ there had been a lot of conversations about what should be the next movie in the world of J.R.R Tolkien. Many of us said that the most logical would be to make ‘The Hobbit’,  although a few others were hoping for ‘The Silmarillion’. (Knowing now Peter Jackson’s point of view on the subject, filming the Silmarillion is something impossible! If Lord of the Rings was 3 movies, then they will have to film at least 5 movies to cover Silmarillion!)
   But that’s not our subject today. When I heard that ‘The Hobbit’ was to become a movie, and especially at the hands of Peter Jackson, I became very happy. A little later when I heard that they would film it in 2 movies, I started to worry. A few days ago I read that Peter Jackson himself stated that finally ‘The Hobbit’ will be 3 movies! There I was panicked! 3 movies! The Hobbit? How is this possible?
All of you that already know the book, I’m sure you have the same feelings like me. For the ones that are not familiar with the book let me give you an example.
   Let’s try very simple mathematics here: The Lord of the Rings was written as a trilogy by Tolkien. There are 3 books with about 1000+ pages altogether. So, each of the 3 films dealt with each one of the books. That means that each fılm covered about 300-350 pages. (Plus the extras that P.Jackson fitted in) (Some were very good, some others not).
But’ The Hobbit’ is nothing like that! Nothing! Many people I know that read ‘The Hobbit’ after reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’, were complaining that they found it a bit childish. And they have right. Because ‘The Hobbit’ is a chıld’s book! It was written in a very simple way, and it was meant for children.  Now, the whole book is 300 pages more or less. So, with the simple mathematics we used before, means that each film will cover about 100 pages. How is that even possible?
It will be possible when P.Jackson put in the films his own ideas and the new parts of the plot that I’m sure he is preparing right now. First of all, many characters that are not even mentioned in the book will be part of the movies. Legolas and Galadriel for example.
But under these circumstances, it will be better (and more honest) not to name these movies ‘The Hobbit’. They can find some other altrenative name, like ‘Peter Jackson’s Hobbit’, or The Hobbit – The P.Jackson’s version, etc etc…  hahahah …
   Don’t get me wrong here, I really loved The Lord of the Rings movies, and I really thank P.Jackson for what he achieved! But this thing he’s trying to do now, I don’t know…
Of course it’s all about the money! And I agree. Money is very important in show business. But everything has its limits, don’t you think?
   Speaking for myself, I will go (of course) to watch the movies, but I will go prepared that I will not see ‘The Hobbit’, the book I first read when I was 10 years old and grew up with! (Until the age of 15-16 when I discovered ‘The Lord of the Rings’). I will see a movie that will contain inside some parts of ‘The Hobbit’ among hundreds of other things…
   But enough with the serious talk. Let’s finish this post in a funny way.
I discovered this video sometime ago, and I think it is super!
It needs an update, because it was made in the period  when everybody knew that the Hobbit would be 2 movies. It’s an ‘alternative’ trailer for the movie. Please watch it carefully, and pay attention to the lyrics of the song! Its hilarious!
Enjoy it! hehehe

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The 101st post...

   I’m very happy to announce that my blog has reached 101 posts! (This one is the 101).
In these last 4 months I tried a lot here, and I hope that this blog is keeping you nice company, and maybe learn also a few things on the way. (I did learn a few things from your comments also)…
Now let’s see some stats:
In these 4 months, I have posted 100 posts, the blog had 2630 pageviews, and received 137 comments. (Some of these comments are mine though, as answers to your comments)
I have put categories in every post, in order to make it more organized and easier for you if you want to read only one specific category, instead of searching… (You just click on the category in the bottom of each post, and it shows you only the posts of this category)
And let’s see the percentage of these categories now:
Personal: 28%
Music – Rock: 25%
Music – Prog: 19%
Cartoons: 3%
Movies – TV: 7%
Travels: 6%
Books: 2%
Concerts: 3%
Music – Metal: 2%
New Releases: 2%
Sports: 2%
In the next months I will try to balance it a bit, by putting more posts in the categories that are very low… (But don't forget that this blog's main theme is Rock music)...
And finishing this, I want to thank you all for your support in this blog, by visiting, commenting etc…
Have a great August everybody, and have some great holidays! (If you haven’t gone already)…
George :)