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Topic ClosedFrogg Cafe poll

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Poll Question: Which is your favourite album?
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avestin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Frogg Cafe poll
    Posted: January 24 2008 at 21:18
FROGG CAFÉ will release a new album this year - Original Frogg Cafe Line-up Reunites in the Studio
 
In light of this, I thought to honour this with this poll about their albums and you can simply tell us your thoughts about their music (which has a very distinct sound).
 
 
 
 
Their bio and the announcement of the new album:
 
FROGG CAFÉ are a Long Island quintet who started off as a ZAPPA cover band, (aptly) named LUMPY GRAVY. Their material is a strong slice of uniquely American prog, an innovative blend of ZAPPA featuring MAHAVISHNU-like violin, CHICAGO-style brass choirs and hints of UNIVERS ZERO. Their music alternates from light, airy piano and violin parts to darker, intense guitar passages, creating a dynamic contrast; the use of the trumpet also adds interesting tonal colours.

Their eponymous album, released in 2002, is complex yet surprisingly accessible, only marred by a poor production (the drums sound a bit muddy). The excellent “Creatures”, released a year later, is a definite step up, perhaps stressing more on the ‘progginess’ at the expense of ‘jazziness’. It’s a complex and symphonic affair, filled with tons of offbeat melodies and instrumental brilliance, with funky keyboards and percolating bass lines often serving as a backdrop for electric violin, trumpet and guitar soloing with the occasional intrusion of woodwinds. It also features a 20-minute epic masterpiece in the vein of early 90’s ECHOLYN.

Definitely recommended for Canterbury fans, especially the excellent album “Creatures”.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :
 
 
 
I am copy-pasting this from the Progressive Ears forum where Andy Sussman from Frogg Cafe has posted this:
 
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year, we have some exciting news!

Frogg Cafe will begin recording a new studio CD with the original members of the band!

The line-up will be:

Nick Lieto - lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards
Frank Camiola - guitars
Andy Sussman - bass, acoustic guitar
Bill Ayasse - violin, mandolin, vocals
James Guarnieri - drums

Steve Uh, guitarist on Fortunate Observer of Time and The Safenzee Diaries, will be stepping down from the band due to creative differences. We consider Steve a dear friend and wish him success with his new project called Sidecar Agogo:
http://www.myspace.com/sidecaragogo Check it out, it's really good! He plays guitar and fiddle on this project and his band just performed for a packed house in Boston a couple of weeks ago.

Also, we will have many special guests including Jim "Skitty" Mullen on Sax and John Lieto on Trombone. We're planning on having some other people drop by too...more on that later. With Frankie back in the band you can expect some crazy stuff to happen. If you want to see what he's been up to since Creatures (besides changing poop diapers) check out:
http://www.myspace.com/cardboardamanda

The new CD will be released at the end of '08 through our good friends at 10trecords
http://www.10trecords.com/ where you can also find all 5 of our CD releases for sale.

More to come soon as things shape up. See you around!

Best,
Frogg Cafe
http://www.froggcafe.com
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2008 at 22:02
No takers?
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2008 at 22:24
By the way, I'll go with Fortunate. It might be a more accessible album (not by much) and there might be a more pronounced flatness of the vocals, but the tunes and playing are great. Creatures is not far behind though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2008 at 22:28
I'll bite Big%20smile
 
Creatures. A great combination of everything that makes Frogg Cafe Frogg Cafe (jazziness, rockiness, humor, Zappaness, experimentation, expert playing (especially in the title track and Gagutz) etc). Fantastic Tribute to Ives as well. 
 
The others are great too (though I was a little dissapointed in FOOT (hah...it spells Foot)), though Abyss...is my favorite FC song. 
Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2008 at 22:30
Originally posted by Man With Hat

Creatures. A great combination of everything that makes Frogg Cafe Frogg Cafe (jazziness, rockiness, humor, Zappaness, experimentation, expert playing (especially in the title track and Gagutz) etc). Fantastic Tribute to Ives as well. 
 
Listen to this man, he knows what he's talking about! Very well described.
You're going to make me change my mind... LOL
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2008 at 10:50
Too close to call really,you can't go wrong with either.Great band.I think "Creatures" holds up better over the long haul though.Thanks for the news on their upcoming release Avestin.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2008 at 11:28
I don't own their first album but the other two are fantastic. Creatures is the best in my opinion. The last song on that CD is amazing as is the first song. The third song though is really not that good! Embarrassed
Best of 2006 that I've heard:
PFM-Stati Di Immaginazione
Zenit-Surrender (Best "unknown" album)
Oaksenham - Conquest of Pacific
2007:
Phideaux - Doomsday Afternoon
La Torre Del Alchimista - Neo
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2008 at 11:30
Originally posted by avestin

By the way, I'll go with Fortunate. It might be a more accessible album (not by much) and there might be a more pronounced flatness of the vocals, but the tunes and playing are great. Creatures is not far behind though.
 
Interesting opinion. I prefer accessibility but yet I enjoy Creatures a bit more and find it more accessible. Oh well! Tongue
Best of 2006 that I've heard:
PFM-Stati Di Immaginazione
Zenit-Surrender (Best "unknown" album)
Oaksenham - Conquest of Pacific
2007:
Phideaux - Doomsday Afternoon
La Torre Del Alchimista - Neo
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2008 at 08:52
Not many fans of FC here in PA, eh?
 
@ Dalt - Yeah for some reason I got more into their rather accessible (and at times poppy sounding) side, but I still like Creatures very much. To me it shows how talented and creative these guys are. The return of their guitarist makes me even more interested in how the music will sound in their new album (especially given what is said in their announcement I posted above).
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2008 at 14:35
Creatures is probably their best work, though Fortunate Observer is also really nice. I am impatient to hear their next work!
Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.
Salvador Dali.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2008 at 17:51
I really enjoy Creatures, but it is the only one that I have heard from them.  I am guessing that I will not be disappointed with the other CDs, when I get around to hearing them.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2008 at 23:29
I agree with mosy voter here on "Creatures" being the best FC album so far... but all of them are great, anyway, so being a loser in this poll doen't mean being a real loser. So far, "Safenzee Diaries" included, every FC album is a winner in itself!!
 
Here's my review.-
 
5%20stars With their sophomore album “Creatures”, Frogg Café, one of the most prominent USA bands nowadays in the prog circles, realized their musical maturity in a most splendorous way. Their style conquered a major level of cohesiveness while giving room to diversification in a cleverly administered fashion. I anticipate that I regard this album as an authenric masterpiece of contemproary prog rock. 'All the Time' kicks off the album with uneasy keyboard layers that eventually give way to an excellent exercise on robust art-rock. The same layers serve as a intriguing epilogue for this track. A very good way to get started, preserving no mystery about the whole band's creativity or each individual musisican's skills. Then comes the namesake track, which is more obviously focused on the archetypical swing of jazz. The main motif follows a solidly sustained series of patterns, all of them elegantly adorned by Zappaesque ornaments that keep things refershingly surprising. The instrumental jams, while full of virtuosity, are sufficiently costrained as to keep the track right on track (ha!). In fact, there is an ethereal aura to the instrumental textures and phrases that come and go. This feeling only gest increased by the emergence of a dreamy marriage of guitar and keyboard layers all through the track's final minute: weird yet delicate this epilogue is, making you want to pinch yourself to check if your listening experience is not a beautiful delusion bue an amazing reality. These are moments when the family air shared by Frogg Café and Echolyn comes to mind (but of course, we are talking about two band with a distinct personality). ‘The Celestial Metal Can’ shows the band at their most bizarre. This is an inscrutable instrumental in which the casual and the formelss seem to jointly reign supreme in the kingdom of musical creativiy. The avant-garde post-modernist chamber thing that invades this track is not out of place since it is dedicated to the memory of musique concrete pioneer Charles Ives. Percussions based on iron pieces, random notes on guitar over-recycled through lots of tape effects, hermetic recitations, brass and violin sounds floating freely in a Dadaist structure created by machine-like sounds, and even some sonic lines emulating the topics of Middle East folklore, all of them create a powerfully challenging kaleidoscope where sound and image seem to converge into one source. This flow ends up landing solidly on a brief beautiful chamber section influenced by the likes of Varese. All this in a 8 1/2 minute span: a delicatessen for all true lovers of musical rebellion a-la Henry Cow. After this exhibition of cerebral trends, comes a catchier set of sounds, an exciting instrumental titled 'Gagutz'. This track sorts of combines the heritages of Pastorius-era Weather Report and 70s Jean-Luc Ponty: a special mention has to go to violinist Ayasse, whose polished leads are really unbelievable... and they remain so with further listens. Not that guitarist Camiola should get ignored, a real Holdsworth thing he does in this one. All in all, it is the 21 minute suite 'Waterfall Carnival' which takes center stage in the album's repertoire (although not literalilly, since it is in the end). Starting with a melancholy mood led by the acoustic guitar, gradually things begin to get more explicitly intense while the synth and the violin gain a bigger relevance. The band behaves in a much relaxed way through the mood and tempo variations, which definitely helps the various motifs to join together in a complete whole. However, it would be fair to note down that below the variaion lies a recurrent evocative candor, only interrupted occasionally by the most abrupt shifts, but these ones are so well done that never get to break down the suite's fluidity. The final section finds the band turning things into their most patently Zappaesque side. "Creatures" is a real great recording. Although its follow-up "Fortunate Observer of Time" comprises a higher degree of sonic strength, "Creatures" surpasses it and its predecessor in terms of diversity, muscular vibe and compositional genius. So far, this is Frogg Café's finest hour (each and every hour of theirs is fine per se), and concerning the value of the album in itself, this is a genuine masterpiece. No good prog collection should skip this gem.


Edited by Cesar Inca - February 07 2008 at 23:36
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2008 at 14:18
I went with Fortunate
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2008 at 17:33
I have "Creatures" and a live disc they were offering as a kind of special bonus. So, I can't say anything about the other album, but "Creatures" is great. I had the opportunity to meet the guys at NEARfest, and they talked about getting the original lineup together. One of the guys had a broken leg, so I thought that may have been the reason. I think it was the bass player though. Nice guys, and I am proud to support them.
a.k.a. H.T.
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