In An Imperfect World There Are Perfect Beings… And Modern Prog Rock

So yesterday was a crap day… Sorry, it just was.

And you know by now that I do NOT beat around the bush… Life is too short to do anything other than speak from the heart and speak from your truth, wherever and whatever that may be.

On my way to volunteering at KCRW I got stopped for making a left turn onto Malibu Canyon… which I guess you cannot do between 6-9 am, Monday through Friday.  I drive that route all the time as an alternative to the 405, but I guess it is rarely at that hour.  Yes, I went back… and yes, there are 50,000 signs.  I guess I was distracted by the fact that while I was driving my cousin was being buried back in New Jersey, and a lot of my family was hurting and in pain.  I was not distracted to the point of being dangerous, but I did not see the signs.

I asked the cop for a warning… to cut me a break… but considering he already had one dude pulled over when he walked into the middle of the street to wave me down, I could tell it was not gonna happen.  City needs money, and this guy did not care.  Plus, I did not have huge boobs busting out of tight top.  Sorry.  But he did thank me for being so courteous.  AAGGHH!

After that debacle I jumped on the PCH… Well… the PCH was not moving, so it was not quite a jump.  Traffic was so bad I  was about to turn around, go home and crawl back into bed… I even got off at Topanga ready to call it a day… but something compelled me forward.  I wanted to be at KCRW, needed to be at KCRW… I love KCRW!  I would get to see old friends, eat good food, get some great music and most importantly help a truly wonderful station.  If you read this blog you know I love three stations out here… 100.3 The Sound, KCSN and KCRW… WXPN back east is also a fave, so is the classical WQXR, but we’re talking So Cal now.  One of the highlights was talking to an amazing actress I have had a crush on for a long, long time… and assisting her to become an Angel.  Another was a gentleman doing an Angel pledge only to add another $500 for the LA Regional Food Bank.  I admired his generosity and kindness… and longed to have the kind of money to be able to do the same thing.

There was a dude in the room who had a CD that grabbed my attention.  I liked the cover art work, so I asked him if he got it out of the bin… Volunteers get to pick a CD or book out of the bin.  He said it was his album… as in HIS… his band… he was the lead singer, etc.

We chatted.. I told him about the blog… and later that night, Ryan sent me this record.

Perfect Beings Perfect Beings

There is no such thing as perfection… life is flawed… but being at an incredible radio station with some amazing people and randomly meeting someone who sends me a kick ass record is pretty close.  Life works out that way sometimes.  I have seen the other side of it.  This is the good stuff.

I’m an ’80s guy… Prog Rock is in my blood, despite the odd block the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame seemed to have for too many years.  Seems like they finally got over that.  Good thing.

According to the band’s bio Johannes Luley, founder of Moth Vellum, was looking to put together a new project.  So you have Chris Tristam, who has played bass with Slash and Marjorie Fair
Yeah… I am sure y’all know Slash.  Frickin’ amazing… But Marjorie Fair’s Self Help Serenade is one of my FAVORITE albums.  The band has long since broken up, but I just saw the CD at Amoeba, so run.  RUN!

Ryan Hurtgen, my new KCRW buddy, was a songwriter from Nashville, and he and Johannes “envisioned an album that would honor the style of traditional prog rock, while infusing it with a fresh take on melodic lines and lyrics, and by doing so, catapult the genre into our present time.”

Drummer Dicki Fliszar “joined them in the late writing stages”, and with Jesse Nason on keys… the album was recorded this past spring at Luley’s LA studio, My Sonic Temple.  Totally dig that name… It sounds like a good place to pray… or party… or both!

“They loosely based the album on the 2013 sci-fi novel ‘Tj and Tosc’ by Suhail Rafidi – its themes of transformation, self-identity, technology, and love in a post-apocalyptic world were a perfect fit with the music.”

Man I guess I need to read more.  Do not know that book or the author, but the themes hit home… hard.  And they come through brilliantly in each tune, but also as a cohesive, musical whole.  This record is really a stunner.

My favorite, standout tracks are the Beatles/Maca influenced opener “The Canyon Hill”… “Helicopter”, the gorgeous “Walkabout” and “Fictions”… lyrically, this one hit me hard… “These things we do… these chains we cling to… Fictions we love… Do you know my fictions, we love… fictions we love…”

But I have to say, I dig this all the way through… and then hit replay.

All the usual suspects are here… Yes… Genesis… Dream Theatre… Porcupine Tree and Dredge, both of whom I was just talking about with my buddy Jason Wednesday night… but this is no ordinary line up.  This really is something unique… modern prog rock!

It was fortuitous meeting you, Ryan.  Thanks to you and the boys for a great listen… actually several listens so far!


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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