Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Proggy News

December 3rd, 2005

 Proggy News

Porcupine Tree has announced that their 1999 effort, Stupid Dream, will be reissued anon:

The reissue of Porcupine Tree’s 1999 album Stupid Dream will be available in early 2006 in the form of a 2 disc set containing a remixed and remastered stereo CD, and a 5.1 surround sound DVDA. The 5.1 disc also contains surround sound mixes of “Ambulance Chasing” and the full length version of “Even Less”, the video to “Piano Lessons”, and a photo gallery. This 2 disc edition will only be available to buy direct from the Pocupine Tree Store. A standard CD edition will receive a wider release at a later date, as well as a 2LP vinyl version on US label Gates of Dawn.

A reissue of Lightbulb Sun in 5.1 and stereo is also in the pipeline.

A new book about prog stalwarts Van der Graaf Generator is now in print.

 Proggy News

The inside story of the band is revealed for the first time. The book includes up-to-date commentary from all surviving past and present members, input from over sixty others (including celebrity admirers, associates, former employees, friends, and family members), and is illustrated with over 300 photographs and images (many previously unpublished). Van der Graaf Generator – The Book delves into the intense but humorous, bizarre and often difficult inner-workings of an uncompromising rock group.

If you’ve never heard the strained madness of VdGG, check them out. Don’t let the prog tag fool you – they’re nothing like old Genesis, Yes, ELP, and the like. Sure, there’s odd time signatures and such, but singer Peter Hammill…well, he just ain’t right. Take some odd time signatures, maniacal singing, and arresting atonal sax work and you’ve got VdGG.

Finally I have some sad news. Two of the remaining members of Queen have recruited Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company fame to replace Freddie Mercury and they’re QUEEN + PAUL RODGERS tour is coming to the States next March. (N.B. – original bassist John Deacon opted out) Ticket prices are as high as $200 and guitarist Brian May took to the web to defend the exorbitant prices:

“Well, I sympathize, guys, but I know our tickets are nowhere near as expensive as the STONES, or ELTON, or whatever (they COULD be!),” he wrote. “People are under no obligation to buy these things! We’ve made a decision to work indoors rather than outdoors, so that the fans get a better show. Most bands elect to go out and do the ’sheds’ in the summer to make money. This is about doing the maximum show that is possible, in arenas, which are conducive to a show of the magnitude of ours. Of course the capacities are less this way, so ticket prices will be higher. But, sound-wise, view-wise and show-wise, I’ll personally guarantee it will be worth it!”

$200 to see half of Queen play while Paul Rodgers (of all people!) tries to stand in for Mercury – you’ve got to be kidding. Are May and drummer Roger Taylor that broke? Lose the name, write some new songs, and tour small venues. I just cringe at the thought of Rodgers singing “Bohemian Rhapsody”…

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