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MILKWEED

Symphonic Prog • Canada


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Milkweed biography
MILKWEED was a one-shot, very obscure progressive offering by a group of Canadian artists released on vinyl in the late seventies. The album was re-issued in the nineties by SynPhonic Records, and is still carried in that label's catalog.

While information about the project is scarce, this does not appear to have been an actual band, but rather a project to deliver multi-discipline art in the form of a progressive recording. Saxophonist Marcel Lapointe is an established performance artist and chamber musician who has also appeared as a guest artist on world-music recordings such as those of MUSA DIENG KALA, and continues to perform today in the Quebec area. Guitarist Jocelyn Sheehy appeared as a stock musician in the 1974 Francophile film 'Guitare'. Multi-discipline artist Pierre Nadeau appears as vocalist on the album, his contributions consisting primarily of spoken-word poetry recitations. Mr. Nadeau was a well-known concert pianist in eastern Canada who passed away in 2004. The remainder of the members of the project have largely disappeared from the international music scene.

MILKWEED deserve consideration for inclusion in the Archives for the symphonic stylings of their solo effort, and for their semi-legendary status as an ultra-obscure seventies music project.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

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Buy MILKWEED Music


Dairy HeirDairy Heir
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$9.11
$4.99 (used)
MilkweedMilkweed
Import
L'Aller-Retour
Audio CD$74.99
milkweed LPmilkweed LP
SYN-PHONIC
Vinyl$20.00 (used)
Straight From the UdderStraight From the Udder
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$8.99
$8.69 (used)
Further to FallFurther to Fall
2007
Audio CD$10.29
$32.96 (used)
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MILKWEED discography


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MILKWEED top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 16 ratings
Milkweed
1978

MILKWEED Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MILKWEED Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Oh damn, here it is - I am reviewing album I have no idea what to think of. OK, what's god Milk and weed in common ? Nothing, that's what makes it so funny. Just like tunes of this album, dozen of various genres mixed together in a more or less working fashion. Let's name it - jazzy parts, check. Symphonic parts - barely present, but OK. New age, synth pop and other Crossover Prog delicatesen - all aboard. And of course, many more, which I can't imagine at the moment, or are simply too well hidden. All those combined makes a very weird bunch of sounds, but let's face it - this is what some thought schools of Prog are about - just where are the limits of Prog listener, right ?

Anything else other than 3 stars would be out of place here - the music works, somehow, barely, perfectly at other times. Poetry great, but too scarce, songs, even this few of them - uneven. So again - this album is obscure, which makes it obscure, right ?

Madness personified.

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This album has a bit of a reputation for being some sort of obscure prog collectable, based mostly I suppose on the fact that it is obscure and somewhat hard to find which technically makes it collectable. I personally wouldn't classify this as progressive music, but rather more like a lot of 'artsy' new-wave stuff that was coming out around the same time. It reminds me at times of groups like the Vapors ("turning Japanese I'm really turning Japanese I really think so?"); some of the latter Martha & the Muffins stuff (like Milkweed M2M was a Canadian band); the Australian band Flowers (aka Icehouse); and even a little bit like some of Gary Numan's more poppy stuff.

The album is dominated by rather trite synth progessions that don't seem to have much inspiration or direction other than to demonstrate the number of chords and keys that Sergio Gonclaves can hit with two hands. The one distinction for these guys is their propensity for throwing in sometimes-spoken, sometimes-sung lyrics that tell some sort of disjointed pseudo-spacey tale of wandering around an abstractly-defined world pushing buttons and discovering odd beings and situations. I've tried to follow the storyline (there does seem to be one), but in the end the whole thing doesn't make much sense.

The front side of the album consists of three songs that all sound pretty similar: spoken- word rambling, synth progressions and rolling drum rhythms accented by a little bit of electric guitar and sporadic bleats of what sounds like a keytar. Nothing stands out on any of these tracks.

The second half of the album consists of the sidelong opus "Out for a Walk", a keyboard- heavy instrumental dirge that vacillates between piano and synth horn/string passages and seems to be loosely based or inspired by classical compositions, or at least is arranged in that sort of vein. I suppose this is the track that earned the band their 'progressive' label.

In all I was a bit disappointed when I finally had a chance to listen to this record. Considering its reputation I expected more. The band is full of relative unknowns in the prog music world, although I've Googled all the band member names and most of them pop up here and there on other records, mostly of a new-age nature. Guitarist Jocelyn Sheehy also appeared as a musician in a b-list movie in the eighties.

This album is a mildly interesting curio due to the lack of information available on the band, and because of the reputation the record has garnered over the years. But as a progressive rock record it falls a bit short, and I have to say in the end this is one that only an obsessive collector (or Canadian music dilettante) is likely to find interesting. Two stars out of five and not really recommended.

peace

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by Nao/Gilles

4 stars A very nice little and obscure album. Where it lacks in originality, it manages to compensate here and there. I also love the band's name, eh eh. One of those things I'd like ProgQuebec to re-release on CD in the future! (Okay, there are probably 20 other albums I'd like them to re-issue first, but that's not the point!)

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Milkweed are a Canadian ensemble featuring vocals, drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, oboe and sax, and this, their only release from 1978, is a rare oddity, lovingly re-issued on vinyl, thanks to Greg Walker's Syn-Phonic label, with a much nicer artwork. The music covers a great scope of styles, from the almost New-Wave synth pop of the first track, 'Nervous Houses' (4.34), to Avant-Garde, Symphonic, and even, thanks to some synth sounds, Neo-Prog. Accompanied by some amusing narration/poetry, the players are often in full-throttle mode, especially the Keyboardist, Sergio Goncalves, who composed all the tracks. The track 'Milkweed' (7.18) is a prime, prog arrangement, and 'Time-Bomb Ticking' (8.10), is a fast and furious jam with some fantastic drumming. The overall production is very crisp and clean sounding, even if a little 'thin'. Side 2 consists of a shorter than usual, side-long composition, 'Out For A Walk' (13.37), and is totally instrumental with 3 distinctive sections. Starting out with some avant-jazz piano backed with upright Bass, this lasts the first 4 minutes or so, then the band comes in with a mid-tempo groove, featuring a long synth solo, which then gives way to the almost baroque sounding end section with piano, oboe and acoustic guitar. A superb album, worth tracking down for all serious prog-heads.

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Weird band from Montréal who did this odd symphonic/poetry album, then just disappeared. In a rather stilted, slightly French-accented voice, vocalist Pierre Nadeau recites some fairly silly and dated poetry (in English) on most of the tracks. Some of the tunes (like "Milkweed") feature a little bit of actual singing in between the recitations. But really, the poetry makes the whole affair a bit laughable.

The music is competently made, with a great variety of instruments adding some interest, but there's little here to get very worked up over. Overall: fairly peripheral.

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by johnnyx

5 stars To Rate an Album 5 Stars It must be Good somewhere. For an Obscure, Independent Band, Garage Warrior from Quebec it's simply a Masterpiece. I just discovered this album this Year (05) but I can say that it's as Good as Sloche, Etcetera, Harmonium and Morse Code Transmission. Really scarce album hope to see it on CD one day.

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 Milkweed by MILKWEED album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 16 ratings

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Milkweed
Milkweed Symphonic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This obscure Canadian progressive outfit released one little gem in 1978 with its side long epic "Out For A Walk". This 7 piece ensemble remarkably mixes modern alternative prog elements aka MERCURY REV with classic late 70's lustre. This album really does not sound at all dated and really carriers a very modern sound and could easily pass for an album of the new millennium. This concept album is really 4 shorter tracks which sets up the side 2 epic long track "Our For A Walk". Vocals are sung in English and are mostly spoken giving the listener a darker atmospheric feeling in nature. Instrumentally MILKWEED blend guitar, bass and drums with oboe, sax and piano into a dark ensemble-like musical structures. The end result is a very avant-garde album which IMHO is completely awesome.

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