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    Posted: May 20 2014 at 16:21
I have a signature from Progfreak, a site I contribute to regularly, and the usual signature is my album playlist, which is fine. You will see it below, and note I listened to the wonderful STCBM by Marillion.

Except, that playlist does not really tell the true extent of my music listening. It only tells the whole albums I listen to.

There are sometimes huge gaps in this. This is because I do not, as with many others, always listen to entire albums. Fairly often, for example when I am relatively merry/pissed (delete as appropriate) on a Saturday night, at lunch time at work, or just plain in the mood, as with tonight, I like to have a mixed playlist of individual tracks.

Basically, I rip every cd I purchase (I am old fashioned, and like to have a physical copy of my music. Like Dean, I don't trust sites on the net enough to think they will be there forever) to my laptop, and this gets uploaded to the cloud thingy I pay for with PC World, and listen via an app on IPad. Isn't technology wonderful?

So, why this blog? Are there a pile of people out there who really care what Mr Laz listens to on a balmy Tuesday (or any other) evening? Not at all. Indeed, I suspect that only the wife and dog would be even fleetingly interested (my son's attention span for Dad's music rules him out).

No, this is for my rather sad completionist tendencies. I have the PF log for whole albums. This blog is for the gaps.

It is also, though, for the thoughts sometimes of why and what, of random things, and of where I am. You see, I am a frustrated novelist, and this site is really the only place I can vent my inner thoughts, hopes, fears, and opinions without prejudice.

I am happy tonight. The tracks I listen to tend to mirror my mood, although this is not always the case. I spoke to my eldest friend, Dave, to catch up (we do not do this often enough), and to remember especially Jim, our old friend, who died too young at 49 last week. RIP. But, it was, overall, a happy conversation. I do not have many close friends, but I am blessed with the ones I have.

So, tonight's playlist:

Blue Room. David Minasian. This from one of my favourite symph albums.

The Wanting Comes In Waves. Decemberists. American rock at its best.

Arc of the Curve. Fish. Who doesn't enjoy a bit of Dick?LOL

Wish You Were Here. Fleetwood Mac. No, not the Floyd classic, but the achingly beautiful Christine McVie track. I love this woman's music. The vinyl record Fleetwood Mac Live has a set of photo's of the band after a night's work. I fell in love with McVie when I first got this. Her look of pure exhaustion and longing is worth the price of the album alone, and I thought her commercial sensibilities a perfect foil to Buckingham's more adventurous compositions.

Are Friends Electric? Gary Numan. One of the most influential, and best, singles of all time. I fell in love with this on release.

No Return. Harvest. Fantastic modern female fronted pop prog.

Lasts, or Eschaton. Charlotte Church. This set of EP's, and this track in particular, were THE revelation of 2013 to me. I will get around to proposing this for PA addition when I can, because it is psych prog pop at its finest. 

The Road of Bones. IQ. They excel and delight. Again.

Constellations. IQ. From the special edition of the new album. This is one of the finest tracks this lot have ever recorded. Staggeringly good.





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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2014 at 16:39
Always a pleasure to read you Steve, and I gotta say that there is something about the Daves. Hell just ask the PA pear! We are taking over.....albeit very slowly:-P

Love that you included Gary Numan. He means the world to me, especially the futuresque and icy synth work of his back when he was part of Tubeway Army. There are some old friends of mine that always play Replicas at parties. Never fails. What the hell, most of the times it's me.

Btw Steve, are you all healed up by now, or does it still hurt like a *NI!*?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 00:56
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Always a pleasure to read you Steve, and I gotta say that there is something about the Daves. Hell just ask the PA pear! We are taking over.....albeit very slowly:-P

Love that you included Gary Numan. He means the world to me, especially the futuresque and icy synth work of his back when he was part of Tubeway Army. There are some old friends of mine that always play Replicas at parties. Never fails. What the hell, most of the times it's me.

Btw Steve, are you all healed up by now, or does it still hurt like a *NI!*?

Thanks David.

Replicas is a great old LP. Most of my listening is prog, but the occasional pop, folk, or metal does creep in!

I am now out of the air cast, and hobbling about in walking boots, without crutches now, so there is palpable progress. I am doing hydro and physio twice weekly in order to strengthen the foot and leg muscles.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 04:25
Sounds good:-) Silly just how much you can miss your foot huh? I sprained mine a year ago and was absolutely horrified of the prospect of no silly walks, dancing or football taking place the following two weeks:-P

Regarding pop music: Have you ever checked out IAMAMIWHOAMI? Ridiculous name but rather stunning contemporary female fronted group. A bit of Siouxsee and Cocteau Twins in there too;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 15:05
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Sounds good:-) Silly just how much you can miss your foot huh? I sprained mine a year ago and was absolutely horrified of the prospect of no silly walks, dancing or football taking place the following two weeks:-P

Regarding pop music: Have you ever checked out IAMAMIWHOAMI? Ridiculous name but rather stunning contemporary female fronted group. A bit of Siouxsee and Cocteau Twins in there too;-)

Never heard of IAMAMIWHOAMI until your post, to be honest, but anything with a hint of Siouxsie is welcome. Thanks David, I will check them out over the weekend and report back.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 15:23
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.......

I have never blogged before, anywhere. I look at a couple of political and musical blogs for entertainment or debate/infuriation, but have not really been tempted myself until now. 

Mmmmm. This could be the start of somethingLOL

Today, I worked from home, and did too much, really. I only returned to work three weeks ago following my operation, and today was by far the hardest day. For those new to my rumblings on the site, I am a tax inspector. I am charged with tackling high level tax evasion.

Today, I thought I had finished after about eight hours work commencing at 7.30. I thought I was going to close a case for not a lot, when I suddenly had one of those Eureka moments, and realised just why the financial accounts I was looking at were wrong. Only trouble is you have to prove it......Confused Cue another couple of hours analysis. I overdid it, really, but there we go.

Anyway, to today's music. A good playlist, even if I say so myself.

Hope Street. Levellers. There is a story behind this. This week, the PCS Union is holding its annual conference in Brighton. Until three years ago, I was a rather prominent activist, until I opted for a quiet life, and then got a promotion (oh, the irony!). I still keep in touch, and Brighton's finest struck me as a good opener this evening whilst the wife opted for TV.

Start The Sound. Panic Room. A gorgeous track from the latest, Incarnate. The orchestration and Anne Marie's voice are to die for on this.

That's Not My Name. Ting Tings. Enjoyable electro pop. The wife and I enjoyed the debut album (still the only one, I think), and I dip in every now and again.

Asylum. Supertramp. Rick Davies' finest moment, a tremendous story of a descent into madness. Sometimes, I feel........... Don't arrange to have me sent to no asylum....l'm just the same as anyone else...... It's just I write for PA...

The Pass. Rush. Their finest later era track, a story of suicide, but one which, perhaps surprisingly, has me feeling somewhat upbeat after listening. It must be me, because this is raw emotion brought to musical production.

Makin' Love. Rainbow. A slow burning blues track from a mighty fine album, Bonnet's only one with Blackmore. A shame, because it was superb.


Well, in the words of the mighty Tweety Pie, be bur be de bur........that's all folks!


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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 06:00
^ Nice blog Steve. Your candor and humility are as disarming as ever. I'm not familiar with most of the tracks you have listed but just wanted to say that I'm hopelessly addicted to the 'Sailing' track from Mike Oldfield's Man on the Rocks album which you reviewed for PA recently. Was this a single and a smasheroonie song? (I don't listen to any radio ever but it surely deserved to be a massive hit) You warned me of it's uber catchiness beforehand but it's really tantamount to a sleep virus. Glad your on the mend health wise.Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 06:56
Originally posted by ExittheLemming

^ Nice blog Steve. Your candor and humility are as disarming as ever. I'm not familiar with most of the tracks you have listed but just wanted to say that I'm hopelessly addicted to the 'Sailing' track from Mike Oldfield's Man on the Rocks album which you reviewed for PA recently. Was this a single and a smasheroonie song? (I don't listen to any radio ever but it surely deserved to be a massive hit) You warned me of it's uber catchiness beforehand but it's really tantamount to a sleep virus. Glad your on the mend health wise.Thumbs Up

Cheers Iain

Sailing was a single, and was BBC Radio Two single of the week a couple of months back, from memory.

I do not, though, think it unduly troubled the hit paradesLOL


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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 15:16
Well, this blog is, after only a couple of days, becoming rather like a comfortable pair of slippers. It seems like it has been here (on my feet) for ever. I was considering starting one of those Blogspot thingies, and open my innermost thoughts up to the entire Blogosphere. But then I thought, am I really ready for fame? The adulation of all those spotty, angsty, kids hanging on my every word for some form of inspiration to bring meaning to an otherwise pretty pointless life? 

Nope. Not for me. Methinks the relative obscurity of some wonderful friends on the world's best prog site is more than enough!

I might leave you all, though, if this blog does hit paydirt. Just how mercenary are we all, in our deepest selves, eh?

Talking of which, I saw a report in the paper that Led Zep, or Page specifically, ripped off Spirit's riff for Stairway, and the bloke who wrote and played said riff has engaged Messrs Sue, Grabbit, and Runne. The fact he has been lying dead in an American grave for years does not seem to have put him off much. Must have been all that Californian sunshine! There is, of course, a passing resemblance if you listen carefully enough, but, then again, Hemingway stole all of my best lines, the b*****d. One of these days, I will call for my dues, promise!

Anyhow, this evening's little musical interlude following a morning of hydrotherapy and a bit of work this afternoon:

This Green and Pleasant Land. Pendragon. I am really looking forward to the new album this year. This was the highlight from the magnificent Passion (although piles of people posting on PE seemed to think it was a gem from Pure?!), and has been played for no other reason than I voted in the EU elections today. I am, as a civil servant, supposed to be neutral. Well, fine. In an entirely neutral fashion, I loathe all of the main parties (cheeks of the same dirty arse), ragbag Trots, and Nationalists who, incredibly, claim to loathe centralised UK rule, but commit themselves to Brussels (Leanne, please realise the ridiculous nature of this stance). Doesn't really leave one with a great deal of choice, does it?

A Scarcity of Miracles. King Crimson ProjeKCt. Mmmmmm......jazzy, man.

The Quiet Room and How You Gonna See Me Now. Alice Cooper. Strangely, I seem to be rather into songs about madness at the moment.....any quacks out there to help?

Judas Unrepentant. Big Big Train. Probably the single track highlight of 2012. I still cry almost every time I hear Longdon singing Victorian Brickwork (see my review of The Underfall Yard). This, in contrast, is just stunning prog rock, and such an uplifting track.

Memory. Nick Magnus. From the new album, N'Monix, another mighty fine work. Review to follow next week, but, suffice to say, he has found another beautiful female voice to shine as a guest artist on a single track.

Bully. Judie Tzuke. One of the most intense songs ever written, by a beautiful and extremely talented artist. I just love the way this track builds up to an emotional climax.

Well, that is all. Thank you, again, for reading my ramblings.

No blog tomorrow, because it is going out to town drinkie night.

Ah......Friday........beer.........taxi..........


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Post Options Post Options   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 16:17
Originally posted by lazland

Memory. Nick Magnus. From the new album, N'Monix, another mighty fine work. Review to follow next week, but, suffice to say, he has found another beautiful female voice to shine as a guest artist on a single track.
 
Yes indeed Steve. Finding some interesting stuff in this 'ere blog of yours. Keep up the good work, my friend!
 
You might be interested to watch the lady in question actually recording her input for this track:
 
 
More of Nick's YouTube uploads here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfi5RrlFmvzwVfkBQIY-VnA. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 19:02
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Always a pleasure to read you Steve, and I gotta say that there is something about the Daves. Hell just ask the PA pear! We are taking over.....albeit very slowly:-P

Love that you included Gary Numan. He means the world to me, especially the futuresque and icy synth work of his back when he was part of Tubeway Army. There are some old friends of mine that always play Replicas at parties. Never fails. What the hell, most of the times it's me.

Btw Steve, are you all healed up by now, or does it still hurt like a *NI!*?


I'm a fan of the NUMAN as well. You could probably call me a 'NUMANOID.'
How Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope beat IQ's The Road Of Bones in the Prog album of the year category at this years Prog awards (2014) is beyond me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 20:20
Steve, I don't have any time to read much of anything these days.....but I'm very happy to see you start up a blog here.  Good luck and maybe I'll stop by for drinks some time...Thumbs Up


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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 21:17
Originally posted by Finnforest

Steve, I don't have any time to read much of anything these days.....but I'm very happy to see you start up a blog here.  Good luck and maybe I'll stop by for drinks some time...Thumbs Up


Me too. THE LAZ rocks!!
Blog on...blog on.
How Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope beat IQ's The Road Of Bones in the Prog album of the year category at this years Prog awards (2014) is beyond me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2014 at 00:53
Why, thank you chaps. It is great that you are stopping by!Hug


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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2014 at 20:59
Originally posted by lazland

Why, thank you chaps. It is great that you are stopping by!Hug


I like your playlist and I like that you chose some non Prog acts as well. Good diversity.
Listen, I wanted to ask you what Gary Numan albums you really enjoy?
I really love his live album 'Living Ornaments' pt 1&2. It's awesome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2014 at 15:56
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by lazland

Why, thank you chaps. It is great that you are stopping by!Hug


I like your playlist and I like that you chose some non Prog acts as well. Good diversity.
Listen, I wanted to ask you what Gary Numan albums you really enjoy?
I really love his live album 'Living Ornaments' pt 1&2. It's awesome.

I have Replicas and The Pleasure Principle, both of which are excellent. How about persuading me to buy Living Ornaments with a short review?


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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2014 at 15:58
Saturday night, which very nicely follows on from Saturday morning.

It has been a nice day, although not weather wise. We have had three days of extremely wet West Wales weather now. I live in a gorgeous part of the world, but, by God, it gets wet here. Therefore, the outdoor work plans came to naught.

Following a normal sort of day shopping and a couple of pints at The Prince of Wales pub, I did some ironing, which is my main domestic chore (a hangover from the short time I spent in the RAF), and listened to two of my five star reviews this year:

IQ, Road of Bones, which gets better each time I listen. The contrast in emotions in what is, at the end of the day, an extremely dark subject matter, is stunning. It gets better each listen.

Steven Wilson. The Raven That Refused To Sing....a work of utter genius. I know, for a fact, this album, when I am still listening to it in 2044 (I will be 80!), it will be on the same terms as when I listen to Nursery Cryme now in 2014, 33 years after the initial release.........I hear something new each time it is played, a frisson of emotion every time it gets spun. Surely this is the definition of musical emotion and pleasure?

I might do a re-review of the five star albums I have reviewed here. The mark of genius, surely, is whether you still feel the same after a period of not listening to it. Does it still stand out? Is it still head and shoulders above all others? This, I think, will be a project for the near future.

End of the night? Watching Man of Steel with my son. Happy days!


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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2014 at 13:53
Sunday was, traditionally, a rather lazy day in Lazland. You know, the only lie in of the week, closeness with your loved one, a trip up to the in law's for a sumptuous Sunday lunch, a lazy afternoon, and prog in one's ear holes whilst the wife watched a Simon Cowell programme, all washed down with a couple of pints of finest ale.

Some of the above still happens, but with a bit of a twist since we started multi generational living a couple of years ago. My father in law has Dementia with Lewes Bodies, which is rather more akin to Parkinson's Disease than Alzheimer's, although he was, initially, misdiagnosed with the latter, and was placed in a local nursing home. We, or rather my lovely and dogged wife, alerted the doctors to the misdiagnosis, and he was put on medication appropriate to his condition, and the improvement was immediately palpable. 

He was shockingly unhappy at the home, as he was in a unit with a whole load of people who literally did not know what time of day it was, let alone what day it was. A tragic condition.......Lewes Bodies is different. There is a whole load of conscious lucidity amongst the hallucinations and similar episodes.

So, we all brought a rather lovely big house together (our old house was being refurbished after a fire, and is now let out), and brought him "home".

The past fourteen months have been interesting. He is a lovely, gentle man, hardworking in his day, and demanding of respect. His condition, though, is getting much worse, both physically and mentally. He is, and I say this with the utmost respect and humility, very hard work now. I sat with him this afternoon whilst the mother in law had a lie down (she had a terrible night with him last night, but did not call us and allow us to help her - they live in the apartment downstairs, and we have the upstairs main home), and, without going into the gory details, have to physically help and enable basic toiletry functions. I do not mind. It is a pleasure to help, but we want to put in place more assistance such as respite care, and this is being resisted by his wife, who wants to continue doing the bulk of the care, this at the expense of her own worsening health.

The above is a synopsis of the issues affecting us as a family at present. A very difficult situation. Sometimes doing the "right thing" seems to be no such thing, or at least does not help in the longer term.........

I would appreciate the comments of those of you who have similar issues, or know of similar situations. A problem shared, and all?..........

Anyhow, to tonight's musical delight, and what a delight it is. Our friend's over at Progstreamingclassic.com have placed, for our utter delight and musical orgasmic pleasure, Marillion's Somewhere In London, presently remixed and re released by Madfish as both the original DVD and, now, a cd as well. It was a live show in London in 2007 recorded during the Somewhere Else tour. Listening to this as I write reminds me just how much good and emotional material is present on that album (Hogarth was, at the time, going through a divorce, and it shows). 

I never got this at the time of release, simply because, financially, I could not really justify it. It wasn't as if I didn't already have a shed full of live material from the band.

This, though, is a rather special release. My son has kindly "agreed", via the good offices of my stunningly beautiful wife, to get me this for Father's Day. I am indeed blessed.

Progstreaming is a site we, as PA members, should try to support as much as we are able. The opportunity to listen and rate before we buy is important, I know, for many, and the site always has the cream of the best releases, and you will find a gem amongst these from an artist you simply have never heard of. Go on. Go over. On the main site, they presently have the stunning Edison's Children new cd, something I regard as being utterly essential and brilliant. There is also the new Ian Anderson, which I have not gotten around to getting yet, so I will give this a spin later, or tomorrow. On the classic site, not only do we have this fantastic live  Marillion, but also the incredible Edison's Children debut album, In The Last Waking Moments, an album I put in my top five of all time, this in nigh on 40 years of listening.

As I close this rather long blog entry for tonight (my apologies), Fantastic Place is bursting in my ears. A song and story of love, longing, and fearful hope. It is something like where I am this showery evening.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2014 at 14:16
I feel you Steve. My grandfather sounds awfully close to your father in law. He's an old retired lumberjack, who before that was a farmer. So hard working all of his life, used to using his body and telling people he was on top of whatever issue he could help out with. Now he can hardly move. My folks and myself very often have to come and help him get out of bed, in and out of the house etc etc. My grandmother though wouldn't hear anything of professional help. You know like in a nurse dropping by 2 or 3 times daily to help out. No no no, she could definitely take care of her husband.
Then he got something called helvedes ild which translates into Hell Fire. He felt like his whole body was on fire, and there was little we or my grandmother could do to ease his pain. We called for a doctor, and he came and prescribed something. Anyway, we talked to him about the problems he'd been having, also the toilet thang, and then kindly asked him whether he'd like to give it a shot. Maybe the doc saying the same things we'd been saying would help.
It did, although first after we'd "translated" his words into geriatric speak:-P

I'm not sure any of this helps Steve, but let me say this: peace has arrived here after all of this. Oh the joy!

Edited by Guldbamsen - May 25 2014 at 14:18
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2014 at 15:02
Loved several of your song choices, Laz. I've enjoyed The Decemberists' The Hazards of Love since its release (and that album is prog, don't you think?), and Big Big Train's English Electric 2 (and "Judas Unrepentant" in particular) and S. Wilson's The Raven Who Refused to Sing for the last year or two. I'll delve into a few that you mentioned that I am less familiar with. 

Keep up the good listening.Wink
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