Friday, June 16, 2017


Oh, that was a long and busy spring quarter! The good news is that school is finally done and I am home for the summer. It's been so long since my last proper entry so there's a lot to catch up on.

First and foremost, my Marillion endeavor continues to this very day. I now own 14 of their 18 studio albums. The last two I got were Anoraknophobia and Holidays in Eden, as recommended by some fellow Marillion fans. One Marillion fan was kind enough to send me an original vinyl pressing of their first album Script for a Jester's Tear, which has grown to become my favorite of the Fish era albums. Some have asked me what is my favorite of the H years, but I tell them that I don't think I should say until I have heard all of them. I made a goal to have all 18 of their albums by the end of this year, so I am way ahead of schedule. At this rate, I'll probably have them all by the end of the summer. Earlier in my endeavor, I made a plan to get all of the Fish era albums first since there were fewer of them. I eventually picked up Fugazi from one of the local record stores near campus and then Clutching at Straws during a weekend visit to Santa Cruz. Those albums sound so drastically different from all the albums they did with H. They sound like a completely different band! I recently found that their album Misplaced Childhood will be getting what I call the "Steven Wilson treatment," meaning it will be released in 5.1 surround sound and DVD audio. I jumped on to the Racket site to pre-order it, and soon learned that all copies ordered from their site will be signed by everyone in the band except for H (for obvious reasons). One thing about the Fish albums that intrigues me is the lyrical aspect of the music. Fish is definitely a poet, rather than merely a lyricist. What he writes is very innovative and he incorporates poetic elements so well. Sometimes I feel like his poems could be studied in one of my college creative writing classes.

Speaking of Marillion, they recently sold some of the gold vinyl pressings of FEAR on their Racket Records store, so I had to order one of those. Shortly after placing my order, their manager, Lucy, posted on her Facebook page that Ian Mosley had helped pack some of the records and had even autographed the packaging on one of them, so one person would get their own special message from Ian. I thought this was the sweetest thing, and was sure that the person who received that package would be thrilled. It wasn't until about ten days later that I got the ultimate surprise. That lucky person turned out to be me. When my package arrived at my university apartment, I was plenty excited just to have the gold pressing of FEAR, but never suspected that I would undo that wrapping to find the message "PACKED BY IAN MOSLEY. HOORAH!!" written on the cardboard that encased the record. I was completely surprised by this. If I remember correctly, there were about 200 gold FEAR's sold on their website, so I had roughly a 1 in 200 chance of getting this. I did not consider these good odds, so I didn't even bother to hope that I would be the one to get the package with Ian's signature. For the rest of the afternoon, I would stare at that package for extended periods of time just to be sure that it was real and not just in my imagination. I took that home as soon as I was able to so that nothing would happen to it. It's now in the part of my record collection where I keep all my limited edition and rare LP's. I plan to take great care of it.

In terms of concerts, I have been quite busy. In March, I saw the electronic band Shiny Toy Guns at the Regent in downtown LA. I had known about this band for years (since about 2008, to be exact), but only had about two of their songs. I had enjoyed those two songs quite a bit, so decided to give them a try. I had a fantastic time at their show and will definitely be seeing them again. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the two bands that opened for them. The first was an Australian band that I can't remember the name of, but the second was a local band called Kitten, with quite possibly the most energetic frontwoman I've ever seen. I later learned she's actually younger than me, 18 years old, I believe. I watched her do things I had never seen anyone do on stage before, from jumping on the base drum, to climbing on the shoulders of the security guards that stood at the front of the stage. My dad and I enjoyed that band just as much as the main act, so we looked for future shows from them. Eventually, we came across an event called Play Like a Girl that was going to be held at a small club in downtown LA. This was an event in which all of the bands were fronted by women. Kitten was the headlining act. However, it wasn't until we got to the venue at about 5:00pm that we realized that Kitten would not be going on until about 11:00pm. We ultimately got tired and ended up leaving early, but we did manage to catch some of the acts that played in that time. The genres stemmed from indie to goth to rap. I liked all of them, but one that intrigued me the most was an act by a single artist who calls herself The Bedroom Witch. Her style seemed like a cross between indie, goth, and Bowie. She definitely had the stage presence of those early prog legends that I enjoy so much like Peter Gabriel and Bowie (yes, I consider him to be prog). After her act, I went to the merchandise stand, hoping to pick up a CD of hers. I was surprised to find that her music was only offered on cassette tape. I happen to have a small radio that plays cassettes, so I ended up picking one up. It felt good to be supporting new talent. I was happy to find that the tape came with a digital download of the album as well, so I was able to burn it to a CD. On March 24, the one-year anniversary of David Gilmour's show at the Hollywood Bowl, I went with my friend Jean to see the Adrian Belew Power Trio at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. I had been wanting to see Adrian for the longest time, and bought a front row seat the minute I could. It was a ton of fun to watch. His stage presence could not be more of the opposite of Fripp's, so it made me wonder what the chemistry was like between the two of them when Belew was in Crimson. After that show, I got a signed set list and a hug from Adrian.

This month I have quite a few shows coming up within the next week. First, tomorrow night I will be seeing The Moody Blues at the Hollywood Bowl with my good friend Xhana. They will be playing their album Days of Future Passed (which turns 50 this year) with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. I was originally not going to go to this, but ultimately found the time and Xhana was nice enough to get an extra ticket for me. Second, on June 20, I will be seeing Roger Waters at the Staples Center. This will be my first time back at the Staples Center since November 29, 2010, when I saw Roger for the first time during his tour of The Wall. Can't believe it's been almost seven years. Anyway, I picked up a copy of his new solo album Is This The Life We Really Want the day after it was released. Mind you, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It had been so long since he released anything that I wasn't sure if this was going to be good or merely a last attempt to exhaust whatever creative juices he still had. Fortunately, I ended up liking the album more that I thought I would. It was set up the way a typical Roger Waters album is set up, meaning that it is more driven by the concept than by the music. That being said, the music did come off as pretty thin and repetitive at times. It seemed like every other song was accompanied by an acoustic guitar playing G-D-C-Em over and over. Nonetheless, I expect that it will grow on me as I listen to it more, especially after hearing it live. We shall see. Third, I will be seeing King Crimson the very next night, on June 21, at the Greek Theatre. since I had a little money from my job at school, I was able to buy my own ticket, seating myself one section behind the pit, Fripp side. I purposely chose a spot on Fripp's side of the stage so I could watch this band from a different vantage point, as we were on the opposite side when we saw them back in 2014 at the Orpheum. Dad got his own ticket a few sections back later on, since I am more of a Crimson fan than he is.

In terms of future concerts, I bought myself a seat in Row B of the Microsoft Theater for the Yestival event on August 29, where Todd Rundgren and the Carl Palmer Band will be opening for Yes. As long as Steve Howe is still in the band, I will continue to see them. This will be my sixth Yes concert. Lastly, I received the happy news at the beginning of this month that Arcade Fire will be releasing a new album in late July. This news was soon followed by the announcement of a tour, including a show at the Forum on October 20. It was an opportunity we couldn't pass up, so we got tickets to that as well. I guess you could say that I'm pretty booked on concerts for a while.

Keeping an eye on The Killers too, as they recently announced that they have a fifth album, called Wonderful, Wonderful, coming in late September. I have set aside money from work just so I could pre-order it as soon as it's available.

I managed to also catch a few shows in my college town, Riverside, throughout the remainder of the school year. There is a nice venue conveniently located just outside the campus, about 10 minutes away to be exact. Firstly, in April, one of the local record stores held a contest for a chance to win tickets to see Graham Nash. I entered and, sure enough, was soon declared a winner. I won two tickets, but since the show as on a Thursday, my dad couldn't find the time to come down and join me, and I certainly wasn't going to find anyone on campus who would be interested in going with me, so I went alone. The seats turned out to be in the very last section at the very top of the venue, but I didn't mind this. I've learned just to be happy that I'm able to see a show at all rather than complain about the quality of seats. It turned out to be a fun and enjoyable show. I went down to the merchandise stand during intermission to pick up Graham's latest solo album. Funny enough, the guy behind the stand saw me wearing my Marillion FEAR tour shirt and promptly asked, "They still have the tall guy as their singer, right?" I stared at him wide-eyed and responded, "Oh, well, they actually haven't had that guy for about 30 years!" It still blows me away how there are some out there who think Marillion broke up after Fish left when in fact, they never went anywhere.

At Riverside, I also caught Robin Trower in concert in May. I remembered not being thrilled with the first time I saw him back in 2011, but figured that since some time had passed I should give him another try. I bought the cheapest seat offered, which turned out to be in the same section I was in for Graham Nash. I enjoyed the opening act, a two-man band called Strange Vine, that featured one guy on guitar and vocals and another guy on vocals, drums, and keyboards. Yes, he played all of those at the same time. I was impressed with their set. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Trower, as I quickly became bored. As a guitar player myself, I am just not a fan of his sound. To me, it's way too fuzzy and distorted. I prefer clearer, fatter sounding guitars, most notably, like David Gilmour's Black Strat, which to me, will always have the most perfect guitar tone. Even six years on, I found myself feeling the same way I did the first time I saw him. I guess it's safe to say that he just doesn't do it for me.

At the end of March, during my spring break, I was able to visit my good friend Rachel Flowers again for a jam session. I have made it a regular thing now to bring new music for her to try every time I go over. This time, I brought Script for a Jester's Tear by Marillion, Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea by Keane, Red by King Crimson, and Funeral by Arcade Fire. These were all albums that I felt she needed to at least have in her library. We fortunately got to listen to all of them that day. I also brought Hot Fuss by The Killers, but we did not get time to listen to that one.

Well, I'd say that that just about covers everything. Now that I'm out of school I will definitely make time to write more entries here, as well as on the Prog Fusion Database.

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