Friday, March 7, 2008

Rumors Heard in Myspace, Episode 2

Keeping an ear to the ground can lead to one of two things. You either end up with a really sore ear, or you hear about some really cool stuff that’s about to happen. In my case, the latter has happened and I am here to share some of those findings with you.

Richard Barone, formerly of The Bongos, is in the production phase of a musical / theatrical performance that will incorporate aspects of his new book, Frontman. The performance is due to take place at Carnegie Hall on October 1st, 2008. I, personally, haven’t read the book yet, but sounds like a compelling work that I could lose myself in for hours at a time. If you don’t know much or anything about Richard Barone, Primal Dream is quality stuff and a great place to start you Barone collection. Also, for the Bongos fan, itunes has finally released Numbers With Wings/Beat Hotel after much demand. All fans of exquisite power pop need to check this out. (

Word coming down from Los Angeles is that The Thieves are preparing to go back out on the road. Now, if that doesn’t have everybody around the Ripple Effect Command Center all aflutter, then nothing will. The tour event of the year? Depends on what you like, and for us, it doesn’t get much better. (

There are a number of highly anticipated releases scheduled for 2008. First, legendary rockers King’s X are releasing a new album on the 20th of May. It’s been a few years since Ogre Tones was released, so I’ve been a bit ancy for some new tunes. As always with these guys, I have no earthly idea what musical style they’re focusing on with this album. They seem to change the direction with every album, but there’s one thing that should remain the same . . . it’ll be another great piece of music! (

Kataklysm’s follow up to In the Arms of Devastation will be released in North America on the 27th of May. The title is Prevail and should keep in the great Kataklysm tradition of being the most extreme music on the face of the planet. (

Dream Aria are putting the finishing touches on they’re new disc called Transcend. If you don’t know much about this band, check out the review that mi compadre, Racer, wrote up for their premiere album In the Wake (,) and then go to their page and drop them a line. They’re a great bunch of people on top of being stellar musicians!

Halo Trail, hailing from Belgium, will be in the studio during the beautiful months of March and April to record their new album. The songs that they have posted on their page ( are awesome and I highly suggest you check these guys out before they pass you by. Don’t let it be said that I let these guys slip under the radar. I’m standing on my PC, arms raised to the sky, singing the praises of yet another unheralded group of fine musicians. There’s room on the bandwagon just behind Racer’s huddled form in the corner. Hop on board!

Finally, as most metal fans who are in know should know, Swedish prog-death metallers Opeth ( are preparing to release a new disc entitled Watershed. I haven’t heard of an actual release date, but it seems that the boys have pretty much completed the studio work and are in the post-production phase. Stay tuned . . . once I have a release date, you’ll probably already know too.

Speaking of Opeth, they’ll be performing on the Melloboat festival ( happening on the 8th and 9th of March. This festival is a music lovers wet dream . . . at least, this music lovers. Performing at this gig along with Opeth are their good chums Katatonia, ambient prog rockers Anekdoten (such a cool band), my personal faves Trettioariga Kriget, Qoph, Leaf Hound, Bo Hansson, and the legendary Comus, just to name a handful of the uber-talented musicians afloat on the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, my press pass didn’t make here in time so I’m going to be waving from dry land and wishing all involved a good outing. Hopefully, a similar opportunity will be afforded me in the future because this event is a heartbreaker to miss.

In the flavor of upcoming shows, the second annual Indianapolis Metal Fest ( is scheduled for September 26th & 27th in, you guessed it . . . Indianapolis! I’m not at liberty to disclose the bands scheduled to perform at this point, but let me put it to you this way, you’re not going to want to miss this one. Once I’m given the green light by the organizers of the festival, I’ll hype the shit out the show with as many of the pertinent details as I will have at my finger tips. Stay tuned, Waveriders . . . if you’re a fan of the hard and heavy stuff, you’ll want to pay close attention to the rumblings coming from America’s Heartland!

On a sad note: one of my local record shops recently closed the doors to their store and ended up opening an online shop. Talk about sucking the soul out the music! The store was called Blue Meannie and was located in the East County area of San Diego. This was the kind of store that you could go into just about anytime of the day, flip through bin after bin of music, and shoot the shit with some of the most knowledgeable music fans around. These guys knew their shit and they were always good for guiding like minded music fans in the right direction. Blue Meannie . . . you will be missed, old friend. So, on that note, get out of here . . . go to your local independent record store and hug the cashier. Well, buy something that they recommend first, then hug the cashier . . . it might seem a little too weird otherwise. - Pope JTE

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