Saturday, July 2, 2011

MoonJune Records Celebrating Its First Ten Years

From Moonjune Records:

Thank You for Your continuous support, for reviewing and spinning all 'MoonJunies' all those years. MoonJune Records' cds have been featured/reviewed/spinned in over 55 countries in all 4 corners of the globe and in more than 35 languages. The record label came into being in 2001. The company represents the fruition of vision from entrepreneurial producer, tour manager, promoter and international music impresario Leonardo Pavkovic (also of 2 Plus Music & Entertainment) - and draws its' name from Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt’s famous 1970 epic “The Moon in June”. MoonJune has already long established its' pedigree with “in-the-know” progressive music fans. The focus of MoonJune is to discover and release music by artists from a variety of international settings - exploring the expanding boundaries of genuine, challenging, "non-over-produced music" that cannot be easily categorized into any specific format. The ongoing goal of MoonJune is to support music that transcends stylistic pigeon-holing, but operates within an evolutionary progressive musical continuum that places jazz at one end and rock at the other. The ever-expanding boundaries of these two musical categories have since come to include everything from progressive rock to ethno-jazz, from experimental avante-garde to jazz-rock, and anything in between.

Many more Moons and many more Junes are still to come.

MoonJune is building a brand new website, still work-in-progress, and to be completely ready by the end of this Summer.

SLIVOVITZ - Bani Ahead (new studio album)
MACHINE MASS TRIO - As Real As Thinking (another project by Michel Delville)
MORAINE (new album, live)
simakDIALOG (new studio album)
TOHPATI BERTIGA "Tohpati Bertiga" (new studio album by Indonesian guitar virtuoso)
and many more, coming later this year and in 2012...

Friday, July 1, 2011

ProgDay Pre-Show with FREAK KITCHEN from Sweden


The ProgDay Preshow at LOCAL 506 in Chapel Hill on Friday night, September 2, features the performances of three great bands:
• FREAK KITCHEN (Sweden): Join the acclaimed progressive-metal band and axemaster Mattias "IA" Eklundh as they make their first assault on the US. "...genre defying albums that mix old-school heavy metal, prog-rock, jazz, blues, pop, and every other style under the sun into the mix. There are two things a fan of FK can always depend on...the great and underrated guitar playing of Eklundh, who shows a great mastery of his instrument...(and) the uncharacteristic lyrical approach to FK's lyrics. The songs themselves show hooky melodies and a staccato style of guitar playing that usually leads to an incredible solo. Be prepared for uber catchiness."- Maskofgojira, Don't Count On It Reviews

• THE GALACTIC COWBOY ORCHESTRA (US): Describing themselves as DIXIE DREGS meets RUSH meets MAHAVISHNU's jazz-fusion, it's proggresive rock, it's southern’s really bug-eyed bluegrass from Zeta Reticuli. "GCO need to be heard, to understand just how high the bar for contemporary instrumental music really is in 2011. Fusing together jazz, classical, bluegrass, southern rock, Indian ragas, plus their own original stylings; this with fire, precision and commitment. Their brand new simply bursting with individual and collective excellence and is a proper showcase for just how talented this group is." - John Zeigler

• CAMERON ALLEN TRIO (US): Up-and-coming fusion guitarist Cameron Allen and his trio kick off the ProgDay weekend.
The LOCAL 506 is located at 506 West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. You must be at least 18 to attend and a valid ID is required. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Doors open at 7:30pm and showtime is 8pm. For more information visit the Preshow page on the ProgDay website at

Join MÖRGLBL (France), THE REBEL WHEEL (Canada), UŽ JSME DOMA (Czech Republic), PANZERBALLETT (Germany), QUANTUM FANTAY (Belgium) and FIBONACCI SEQUENCE (US) at this year's ProgDay, the longest running progressive rock festival in the world. ProgDay's 17th edition will take place on Saturday, September 3, and Sunday, September 4 at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, and to hear music from all of this year's bands, please visit progday at

Two more ProgDay bands to be announced.

LEPROUS: New Album Artwork Unveiled

LEPROUS, the Norwegian progressive/avant-garde metal band that recently signed a worldwide deal with InsideOut Music, has chosen surrealistic American artist Jeff Jordan to create the artwork for the group's upcoming album, "Bilateral".

Commented vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg: "We are proud to announce that we're collaborating with the surrealistic American painter Jeff Jordan and the Spanish designer Ritxi Ostariz for the artwork on our upcoming album. Jeff Jordan is probably best known from his work with THE MARS VOLTA, and his paintings are highly rated all over the world. Ritxi Ostariz did the artwork for our previous album 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' (released 2009 through Sensory Records) and, of course, we want him to be part of this new album. Ritxi, too, is a critically acclaimed designer, and in our opinion one of the very best in his field."

"Bilateral", which was skillfully mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street studios (OPETH, PAIN OF SALVATION, DEVIN TOWNSEND, SYMPHONY X) in Sweden, will be released on August 22 in Europe and August 23, in North America via InsideOut Music. According to a press release "Bilateral" "is set to musically redefine what it means to be progressive rock and/or metal, both for the devotees of the genre and the metal fans looking on from a safe distance."


Einar Solberg - Synth/Vocals
Tor Oddmund Suhrke - Guitar
Øystein Landsverk - Guitar
Rein Blomquist - Bass
Tobias Ørnes Andersen - Drums

SYMPHONY X: More 'Iconoclast' First-Week Chart Positions Revealed

"Iconoclast", the ninth studio album from North America's progressive metal masterminds SYMPHONY X, has registered the following first-week chart positions so far:

Germany: #25
Switzerland: #29
Austria: #42
USA: #76
Japan: #76
Japan (overseas chart): #19
Canada: #105
U.K.: #167

"Iconoclast" sold more than 7,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release.

SYMPHONY X's previous CD, "Paradise Lost", opened with around 6,500 copies back in July 2007.

"Iconoclast" was released in Europe on June 17 and in North America on June 21 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Illustrator and film concept artist Warren Flanagan ("Watchmen", "The Incredible Hulk", "2012") is the talent behind the album artwork. He states, "The idea was to create imagery that was a little darker in tone to previous SYMPHONY X albums and to represent the overall theme of 'Iconoclast' into the artwork. The whole concept came from [SYMPHONY X guitarist] Mike [Romeo], who had a strong idea of what the cover should represent based off the music. I just ran with it. When the album's title was decided on, I focused the image based on the meaning of it. I also wanted to use the band's signature 'masks' but present them in a way that connected to the new album."

SYMPHONY X founder and lead guitarist Michael Romeo has the following to say about Flanagan's art: "We worked with Warren on the last CD, 'Paradise Lost', and have a good relationship with him. When I talk to Warren about artwork ideas, a lot of times we end up making comparisons to films and movies. With the new CD, 'Iconoclast', the music and lyrics have a darker mechanical/technological theme, and I remember us talking about scenes from films like 'The Matrix' and 'Terminator'. From there, we sent him some songtitles and lyrics (songs like 'Dehumanized', 'Bastards Of The Machine', 'Electric Messiah') and just let Warren run with the ball. He has a great imagination and style, and he totally gets what we are trying to convey with the music."

The track listing for the jewel-cased version of "Iconoclast" is:

01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. Electric Messiah
08. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
09. When All Is Lost

The track listing for the 2-CD special edition digipak version of "Iconoclast" is:

CD 1:

01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. When All Is Lost

CD 2:

01. Electric Messiah
02. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
03. Light Up The Night
04. The Lords Of Chaos
05. Reign In Madness

Thursday, June 30, 2011

RUSH, MÖTLEY CRÜE On This Week's 'Hot Tours' List

Canadian rock legends RUSH have landed at position No. 2 on this week's "Hot Tours" rankings with $12 million in box office grosses reported from 16 performances on the "Time Machine" tour,. The totals reported during the past week are from North American dates in April and June as well as three concerts from European markets during May. The top gross among the North American shows came from the Los Angeles market with $1,289,447 in ticket sales from two concerts at Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City (June 20 and June 22). The highest-grossing European venue was London's O2 Arena with £756,910 in ticket sales from a May 25 performance. Top numbers from the band's home country came from the Bell Centre in Montreal, grossing just over $1 million (US$) from a packed house on April 20.

* Artist/Event: RUSH
* Total Gross: $12,085,395
* Show Dates: April 12-June 22
* Show Venue/City:
- United Center, Chicago, Illinois
- Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
- Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
- Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
- Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
- O2, Dublin, Ireland
- Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester, U.K.
- O2 Arena, London, U.K.
- New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Lousiana
- Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
- Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas
- U.S. Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
- Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, California
- Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, California
* Total Attendance: 152,085
* Capacity: 158,426

* Artist/Event: MÖTLEY CRÜE
* Total Gross: $3,472,743
* Show Dates: June 7-19
* Show Venue/City:
- Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, Texas
- AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
- Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
- Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California
- Red Rock Casino Amphitheatre, Las Vegas, NEvada
- USANA Amphitheatre, West Valley City, Utah
* Total Attendance: 54,532
* Capacity: 54,532

According to, Concord Records will release a RUSH DVD and Blu-ray titled "Time Machine" on September 27. The disc will most likely contain footage of RUSH's April 15 concert at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio filmed by the award-winning documentary makers Banger Productions from Toronto in Canada, who have received international critical acclaim for their previous movies "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey", "Global Metal" and the RUSH documentary called "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage".

RUSH's Cleveland performance of its "Time Machine" show was filmed as a tribute to the U.S. city that first played the band's music.

Cleveland is remarkable for being one of the very first U.S. cities where RUSH performed, in addition to being the first city to provide American airplay.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – 28 June 2011 – Xanadu was founded in May 2008 by a couple of
local Polish musicians, who felt the need to play ambitious music with a hint of melancholy, yet
with some rock inside. This is, in a sense, a continuation of "the old Xanadu" from the 90's -
Hubert Murawski (drummer) binds the two bands,while Mariusz Duda went on to form Riverside.
"The Last Sunrise" is an intelligent mixture of ambitious and emotional music with significant
rock character. Comprised of 7 exceptional pieces constituting the essence of prog rock.
The band had this to say: "Xanadu was founded in May 2008 by a couple of local Polish
musicians, who felt the need to play ambitious music with a hint of melancholy, yet with some
rock inside. This is, in a sense, a continuation of "the old Xanadu" from the 90's - Hubert
Murawski (drummer) binds the two bands, while Mariusz Duda went on to form Riverside. "The Last Sunrise" is an intelligent mixture of ambitious and emotional music with significant rock
character. Comprised of 7 exceptional pieces constituting the essence of prog rock.".

"DJ Joel Craig coined a term when the Riverside "sound" started coming out of Poland called
"Progski" to describe it. I love me some Progski and Xanadu really embodies it, really pleased to
have them with us.", said Shawn Gordon, President of ProgRock Records.

"The Last Sunrise" is the first release from Xanadu and is available for immediate ordering at
a $2 discount till mid-July 2011 and will be shipped in mid-July, audio samples, information
and ordering can be found at

MIKE PORTNOY: I See Sensational Headlines On Certain Web Sites That Misrepresent What I'm Doing

Drummer Mike Portnoy spoke to AOL's Noisecreep earlier this week about his roller coaster life in the nine months since he left DREAM THEATER, the band he co-founded and led for 25 years.

"The thing that breaks my heart," stated Portnoy, "is that some of the fans rely more on what's reported about me than what I'm actually saying at the moment. I see all these sensational headlines on certain web sites that misrepresent what I'm doing, and there are fans that react to that without knowing the real truth. I always try to offer sincere, heartfelt explanations through social media sites, and sometimes that gets lost.

"This past year for me featured the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. I mean, after spending 25 years in DREAM THEATER, something I'll never be more proud of, and then the experience [recording and touring] with AVENGED [SEVENFOLD], it's been some pretty extreme emotional stuff."

Portnoy is currently playing in a new band called ADRENALINE MOB alongside SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP), bassist Paul DiLeo and STUCK MOJO/FOZZY axeman Rich Ward. The group made its live debut last Friday, June 24 at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City and is presently seeking a suitable record label to release its already completed debut album.

"[My wife has] heard pretty much everything I've ever done and she says [ADRENALINE MOB] is her favorite stuff," Portnoy told Noisecreep. "That means something to me."

"I'm energized," he added. "Playing in AVENGED SEVENFOLD the last year gave me this taste of sort of recapturing my youth, making me feel like a teenager a bit. With ADRENALINE MOB, that feeling is full force now, and I've never felt better about where I am musically."


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alberto Bonomi of D.F.A. Dies Tragically at Age 48

R.I.P.: Alberto Bonomi of D.F.A. Dies Tragically at Age 48

Posted June 27, 2011

My dear personal friend, Alberto "Il Maestro" Bonomi, the highly-respected and much-loved keyboardist for the legendary Italian prog band, D.F.A., died tragically in his home town of Verona, in an automobile accident yesterday (Sunday, June 26th). He was 48.

Bino was a fabulous musician and composer, and a wonderful, gracious person. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Our condolences go out to his family and friends during this most difficult time.

Alberto Bonomi

Born: September 13, 1963
Died: June 26, 2011

New DREAM THEATER Drummer: 'Rehearsing With The Guys Was Unbelievably Amazing'

Drummer Mike Mangini will make his live debut with progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER on Monday, July 4 in Rome, Italy. He states, "Rehearsing with the guys was unbelievably amazing. It was really physically and mentally rewarding. The whole crew is the most professional group ever. I'm really getting into tweaking the parts to make a mix of the recorded parts and some moves of my own that I think are just plain fun. Hearing those guys right in my ear canals is one smile after another."

DREAM THEATER will release its new album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", on September 13 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was mixed by Andy Wallace, who has previously worked with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, WHITE ZOMBIE, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, SEPULTURA, SLAYER and NIRVANA, among many others.

"A Dramatic Turn Of Events" track listing:

01. On The Backs Of Angels
02. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
03. Lost Not Forgotten
04. This Is The Life
05. The Shaman's Trance
06. Outcry
07. Far From Heaven
08. Breaking All Illusions
09. Beneath The Surface

In a recent interview with Music Radar, Petrucci and Rudess were asked if Mike Mangini contributed to the songwriting on the forthcoming CD. "Mike didn't write with us," Rudess replied. "Basically, we got in the studio and did our thing. We wrote songs and sent them to him. He came in and just nailed his parts. He's incredible. I'm finishing my keyboard parts right now, and I'll go to the computer to see how things are lining up, and I'm just speechless. The guy doesn't mess up!" [laughs]

"We had the demos, had them fully written out, and he learned them and added his own stuff," Petrucci stated. "But every time he would do something, if I said, 'Hey, can you do that again?' he'd do it, and it would be perfect. The guy is… he's out of his mind! [laughs] People are not going to believe how great he is."

"But what's really special about him is, he's not just a technician," Rudess added. "Yes, he plays his parts perfectly, but he comes at everything as a total musician. Everything he does has real soul and a depth of feeling."

When asked how not having DREAM THEATER's former drummer, Mike Portnoy, in the recording and writing process changed the band dynamic, Petrucci replied, "It was a lot quieter. [laughs] Mike Mangini's playing style is different. He plays very hard, but he's got a very deep groove. He almost plays behind the beat just a little bit — even through he's right on the money. He's extremely locked in, but if he does do something technical, he's still right there."

SPIRAL ARCHITECT Drummer Says New Album Is 'Still Years From Release'

Drummer Asgeir Mickelson of Norwegian progressive metallers SPIRAL ARCHITECT has issued the following update on the band's current status:

"Some time ago Blabbermouth picked up 'news' that we were working on a new album. Fact is that we’ve been doing that since we recorded the last album in 1998/1999. However, not very often… We got lots of material but since most of it is old by now we’ll have to see what survives. We also need to write a lot of new stuff. Unfortunately, the album is still years from release."

SPIRAL ARCHITECT was founded in 1993 in Oslo, Norway, when lead guitarist Steinar Gundersen (ex-KING'S QUEST) joined the remains of ANESTHESIA consisting of Kaj Gornitzka (guitar), Lars K. Norberg (bass) and Asgeir Mickelson (drums). From the onset, the band set out to branch off from the music of contemporary innovative metal bands like WATCHTOWER, FATES WARNING and PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. The overall idea was to once and for all integrate jazz-fusion elements with uncompromising metal.

"A Sceptic's Universe" was recorded in June 1998 at Village Productions in Texas with producer Neil Kernon (QUEENSRŸCHE, NEVERMORE, DEICIDE, NILE) and was released in Japan on December 16, 1999 (with the FATES WARNING cover "Prelude to Ruin", originally recorded for the FW tribute "Through Different Eyes", as a bonus track) and the rest of the world on January 18, 2000.

DEEP PURPLE Singer Narrates 'Chopin's Story'

DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan has narrated a Polish documentary on the life of Frédéric Chopin, a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher of French–Polish parentage. Produced by TV Project and directed by Jerzy Szkamruk, "Chopin's Story By Ian Gillan From Deep Purple" aired on the Polish channel Discovery Historia on June 21 and has won four international awards, including "Best Documentary" in Florianopolis, Brazil. A worldwide DVD release is in the works, with more details to be made available in the near future.

"Chopin's Story By Ian Gillan From Deep Purple" clocks in at around 23 minutes, and is accompanied by a 10-minute bonus interview with Ian focusing on his involvement with the project.

Official film description: "The movie is about the rise of extraordinary artistic genius of Frédéric Chopin and documents his Polish years. Ian Gillan, the singer of rock band DEEP PURPLE, takes you on the journey around Poland to show how his home country and the local people helped creating one of the most prominent artists in the history of music. The movie is contemporary take on how a piece of local culture morphed into beloved treasure of European heritage."

For more information, visit the movie's official Facebook page.

Sunday, June 26, 2011 Yes Bassist Talks 'Fulfilling Experience' of Recording 'Fly From Here'


A friendly get-together between old bandmates is what led to the return of former Buggles partners Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes to the Yes fold for the veteran prog rockers' new album, "Fly From Here."

Bassist Chris Squire, Yes' lone constant member, tells that he and Horn -- who sang with Yes during 1980-81, while Downes also played keyboards -- had a sit-down last year to talk about an album Squire had recorded with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Over the course of the conversation, Squire recalls, he and Horn "started talking about whether we thought we might work together again on something." The conversation turned to "We Can Fly From here," a song Yes had worked on during Horn and Downes' tenure in the band but did not make the "Drama" album in 1980. It did show up in the 2005 box set "The Word is Live."

"Trevor said, 'Oh, yeah, we never did do a studio version. Maybe we should get together and do that,' " Squire says. "That was the idea, really to do one song." The piece grew into a six-part, 23-minute epic a la "Close to the Edge" and other lengthy Yes epics. After that, Squire says, "we realized how much we enjoyed working together and expanded into Trevor doing the whole album."

"Fly From Here," which comes out July 12, is Yes' first new studio album in a decade and marks the debut of singer Benoit David, who replaced an ailing Jon Anderson in 2008. It was also supposed to include former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman's son Oliver, who co-wrote the song "Into the Storm" and plays on two other tracks, but Squire says that Horn had other ideas.

"Trevor really thought that the album would benefit from working with Geoff again," Squire notes, "which I wasn't immediately sure about because we were getting on very well with Oliver, and Oliver didn't really do anything wrong. But eventually Trevor did persuade me we'd make a better album with Geoff, and we do enjoy working with Geoff. (Wakeman) has taken it very well, and you know the way Yes is -- he could wind up being back in the band again in a couple of years."

That said, Squire does expect that Yes "is gonna stick with this lineup for a while" and says there's even talk of a follow-up album. "If an album becomes successful, of course everyone is very favorably disposed to want to talk about doing another one," he says. "I hope that does happen because I enjoy working with Trevor a lot, and it's really a fulfilling experience."

Before any of that, however, Yes hits the road July 4 in Camden, N.J., for a U.S. tour with Styx. A European jaunt, meanwhile, begins Nov. 8., by which time Squire hopes the group will be able to dip more deeply into "Fly From Here."

"The (Styx) tour is not going to be an ideal forum to present the whole or even a lot of the new album," says Squire, who hopes to have the album with Hackett out this year as well. "It's more of a summer shed, rock 'n' roll-y tour and we'll have to obviously play Yes songs people are familiar with and squeeze it all into 90 minutes. Later on we'll hopefully go into a format where we have a longer playing time, so we'll be presenting more of the new album."