Progressive Metal in 2014 (Long Post!)

Ok, so I admit I'm long to report out what happened at Doom in June. Let's just say that I have some pictures and I will report out. Long story short, I got food poisoning in Baker, California, driving from Long Beach to Las Vegas. Next time I will go to the Mad Greek in Baker and not short change that depressing town by going to fucking Burger King. Yes, I am absolutely clear that Burger King in Baker gave me food poisoning.

Two highlights from Las Vegas: 1.) My favorite band from Doom in June was BigElf. More on that later. 2.) I found a Roberto's Taco Shop, which harkens back to the days I was attending UC San Diego and would eat at Roberto's often. The food poisoning wouldn't keep me from 3 Rolled Tacos and Guac - delicious, but quantity-wise that was about all I could handle.

Anyway, I'm taking a totally divergent track here with this post since I did want to communicate what is one of those serendipidous chain of events that occurs in life which results in something very cool - one of those times when you don't ever really go looking for something really cool, but manage to stumble across it anyway...

So I went up to Washington State to help my mother move from Whidbey Island back to the San Jose area where I grew up. My father died last year and my mother has no love for Whidbey Island and its relative isolation. I flew up there in April, and across 3 days, I drove the moving truck back while she drove her own car. It was mostly uneventful music-wise through WA and OR. Since the moving truck was only equipped with an AM/FM radio, I spent a decent amount of effort trying either to find decent music, or a public radio affiliate that would have news. Most of the time I was lucky enough when I was able to avoid that whole left-hand side of the radio dial rural broadcasting Jesus crap. What is wrong with people living in non-urban areas having nothing but complete saturation of Jesus on the radio, I'll never know.

So there were actually two cool things about this drive. I found two really awesome radio shows. First show was while driving around Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir in Siskiyou County, CA. It was a psychedelic show that had stuff from the early 70s. It wasn't quite metal but definitely was fuzz-toned stuff that had a harder edge to it. I seem to recall even hearing "No Quarter" by Led Zeppelin and that it was called something like "World Stage". Of course I remember the announcer calling out stuff that was dated to the early 70's - and I think some Janis Joplin. I would have liked to have written it down, but if you've driven I-5 through Siskiyou county, you know you're working to stay alive on that road. Doing a search on "public radio siskiyou" brings up "Jefferson Public Radio", and, yes, I remember hearing "Jefferson Public Radio" while driving through. Side note: "The State of Jefferson" is this movement going back, I think, to the 1960's where people living in the northern 1/3rd of California, and roughly the southern 1/3rd of Oregon want each to secede from their respective states and jointly form a new state called "Jefferson".

So I found it just now. The show is called "World Cafe" and can be found here. I'm going to have to look back and see when my trip back from Washington was. I know it was April, but I don't recall exact dates. I hope to find the show playlist. Definitely some cool stuff... Whether that happened be THAT episode of the show I was listening to, or whether that radio show exists to play cool 60's and 70's heavy fuzz tone goodness requires research. Anyway...

THE SECOND COOL THING was, after we'd gotten out of the mountains, my mother and I ended up staying the night in Red Bluff. Well, that wasn't the cool part. Neither was the fact that we packed back up and hit the road sometime around 10 am. The cool part was that while driving from Red Bluff back to San Jose, we managed to get into radio proximity of Sacramento county ( I think I was in Yolo, never entering Sacramento county proper) right around noon. I was, again, trying to avoid more Jesus nonsense, and then it happened, right at noon. I dialed in KDVS and there it was in all its glory, The Prog Rock Palace. Compared to most of what I'd been listening to (some, like World Cafe, was good, most was mediocre or crap), this was awesome. It was so awesome, I told one of my coworkers about the Prog Rock Palace when I made it back into the office the next day.

Back to the main point, I'm posting all of this because I was working yesterday and I remembered the Prog Rock Palace and dialed up an online stream of an archived show. DJ Mark played a section of the show dedicated to Progressive Metal. It was excellent. Progressive Metal is not the sort of thing I usually listen to, but as I said, it was EXCELLENT.

HERE IS THE STREAM. I listened to the whole thing, and while I wouldn't usually spend a lot of time listening to Progressive Rock, the guys putting together and hosting the Prog Rock Palace impressed me while I was driving through Yolo so I decided to give the entire 2 hours a listen. Besides, this won't be a cool online journal if I keep doing the same thing

Starting from 47:28 of the show and running until 1:07:39 there are three progressive metal tracks:
1.) [47:28 - 52:45] Band from Hungary called Turbo. Album is Lost Measure; track is called "Seven Skulls". Who knew that Hungary had any melodic metal in English?
2.) [52:46 - 58:09] Mastodon, Crack the Skye's "Ghost of Karelia", 2009. I've heard of Mastodon, but not really given them much of a listen. I'm impressed.
3.) [58:10 - 1:07:39] Shadow Gallery from Pennsylvania. Singer totally sounds like Geoff Tate from 1980s/1990s Queensryche. The band's sound includes vocal harmonies that Queensryche never used. Musically complicated, but also very interesting. Very well executed. DJ Mark announced the song as "Digital Ghosts". Shadow Gallery has this on the 2009 album "Digital Ghost". If you like old Queensryche, you might be in for a real treat here.
(EDIT: Update 5-DEC-2014: These tracks are no longer available for download and must be looked for individually. YouTube seems to have each of them available for listening)

And just if you happen to be interested, [1:17:29] of this Prog Rock Palace show has a very raw and fuzzed out guitar solo. I don't even know the band or the track!

Pics and report of Doom in June to come. :)

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