- Naftule’s Dream, “Speed Klez”: Naftule’s Dream is a
brilliant progressive klezmer band. I happen to love klezmer,
but I think that anyone into jazzy prog rock would also enjoy
them. They’re terrific.
- Oregon, “Celeste”: Oregon is a band that I can’t make
up my mind about. They’re a jazz trio, with most melodies played by
a wonderful oboist. They tend to really push the boundaries –
playing with unusual tonalities, really pushing the edge of
the envelope with their improvisation. It’s quite impressive. And yet,
they frequently leave me feeling cold, like there’s nothing under
- The Flower Kings, “The rainmaker”: Ok, you’ve heard me
babble about the Flower Kings before. They’re the best prog band in
the world today, and quite possibly the best ever. They’re wonderful,
and I’ve yet to hear anything by them that I didn’t absolutely love. Go
buy their recordings.
- Parallel or 90 degrees, “Jitters”: Po90 has a new album! Po90
is Andy Tillison’s original band. Tillison is the co-founder, with Roine
Stolte from the Flower Kings, of The Tangent, another wonderful band.
Po90 has been mostly inactive for quite a while – but they just came
back with a new album, and it’s absolutely terrific. It’s interesting
how different it is from the Tangent – Tillison is the primary composer
for both, but they manage to have very different sounds. Highly
- Do Make Say Think, “In Mind”: fantastic post-rock. DMSY is one
of the best at what they do. If you like Godspeed or Mt. Zion, you should
- Isis, “False Light”: More fantastic post-rock, but from a very
different style. Where DMST is post-alternative, Isis is sort of
post-metal. The vocals take a bit of getting used to, but the overall
quality of the music makes it worth the effort.
- The Clogs, “Tides of Washington Bridge”: Still more fantastic
post-rock, from still another style. As you can tell, I’m a very big
post-rock fan. Part of what I love about it is the breadth of the
genre – it ranges from almost classical like the Clogs, to almost
thrash, like Isis – and yet, it also manages to have a common form
that makes it post-rock. The Clogs are one of my two favorites from
the classical side of the genre. (The other being “Rachel’s”.)
- Red Sparrowes, “Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky”:
iTunes seems to be in a post-rock mood. Red Sparrowes are another
terrific group, from the same stylistic family as DMST.
- Bach, “Wiewohl Mein Herz in Traenen Schwimmt”, from the St. Matthew Passion:
In my opinion, Bach is quite simply the finest composer who ever lived.
And the St. Matthew Passion is probably my favorite of his compositions.
It’s a work of sheer musical perfection. Music just doesn’t get
any better than this. If you can listen to this and not be moved,
then you have no heart.
- Thinking Plague, “Consolamentum”: Every time Thinking Plague
comes up in a FRT, I manage to get something about them wrong. Their
guitarist either has a Google alert set up, or he reads my blog, because
he shows up and patiently corrects my errors. I think of
Thinking Plague as a very unusual post-rock group; lot’s of people try
to categorize them differently, because exactly what they are is a bit
hard to pin down. They’ve got a very unique style that really isn’t
much like anything else I’ve ever heard. They work with odd tonalities,
sometimes verging on atonal; they’ve got vocals, but the voice isn’t
a lead, it’s treated as just another instrument in the mix. It’s not
the easiest thing to listen to – but if you like interesting,
complex, beautiful music that doesn’t stick with conventional
tonality, then these guys are amazing. I found a couple of youtube clips to
include below the fold to give you a taste.