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Episode 132 : Waterplanet's Kingmakers; A Proggy Kiss; and Moving the Mountain
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July 06, 2018 09:49 PM PDT
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The sea levels haven't quite risen high enough to put us all underwater yet, but until we get there, Baltimore duo Waterplanet (James Hesser and Millie Landrum) will be playing their brand of acoustic, intelligent, genre-bending music. And this July, they'll be playing songs from their album Ghost-Hypnotic and more in various parts of the US on a three-week tour. Host Mark Ashby talks with them about the way they tend to write songs solo and then turn them into something bigger, how 60s pop and punk and many other styles inform their sound, and where you'll be able to hear them out and about. Next Mark gets in on the "reaction video" trend (except it's only audio, of course) as you'll hear pieces of his in-the-moment commentary while listening to Kiss's "prog" album, Music from "The Elder." Does it pass muster? Finally, new contributor Mark Nagy has a proposition for you: Haken's masterful album The Mountain could benefit from a slight shuffling of tracks. Will you agree with his reasons why? Find Waterplanet online at www.waterplanetband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
Waterplanet: "Adrenaline", "Kingmaker", "Something Somebody Said", "Don't Cry", "Sea Shanty (If You Should Go)"
Kiss: Music from "The Elder" (excerpts from full album)
Haken: "Cockroach King", "Because It's There", "Falling Back to Earth"

To hear a previous episode featuring an interview with Richard Henshall of Haken, click this link: http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-038-climbing-the-mountain-with-haken

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 131 : Locked in Cell15; Remembering the Fish; Utopian Dreams
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June 25, 2018 10:03 PM PDT
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Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania keyboardist and singer Robert Richardson has been through a lot in his life, not all of it positive. But he's taken a difficult past and turned it into a productive present with his band Cell15. Following on from the success of their 2014 debut Chapter One, they've just released their sophomore effort River Utopia, and you'll hear his interview with host Mark Ashby about the spread-out nature of the band, why sharing his story in recovery is so important, and whether or not he might have an epic-length track in him someday. The Prog Squad archives are mined for an episode from 3 July 2015 just after the passing of Yes' Chris Squire, but wherein the usual panelists and guest Geoffrey Langley of the Twenty Committee talk Primus, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and rare tracks they'd love to hear live. And appropriately enough, the Triple Track Special's theme this time is "utopia," with additional tracks in that vein from Factory of Dreams and Hawkwind. Find Cell15 online at www.cell15.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Castle Walls" (Cell15)
"Criminal" (Cell15)
"River Utopia" (Cell15)
"Street Lights" (Cell15)
"Voyage to Utopia" (Factory of Dreams)
"Soon" (Yes)
"DMV" (Primus)
"Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" (Pink Floyd)
"How Wonderful" (The Twenty Committee)
"Arrival in Utopia" (Hawkwind)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 130 : Subsignal's Shining Star; ProgStocking Up; and RSD Blahs
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June 10, 2018 08:43 PM PDT
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Last on the show in 2012 on Episode 007, Germany's Subsignal is back in the land of Progtopia, fresh off the release of their newest album La Muerta on May 25. Singer Arno Menses joins host Mark Ashby for a chat about the changes in the band's lineup in the past few albums now to include drummer Dirk Brand and keyboardist Markus Maichel, why long titles and the Spanish language seem to take some prominence for guitarist and lyricist Markus Steffen, and where they can be found on tour later in 2018. Next we'll hear from Rita Drew, one of the organizers of the latest US-based festival, ProgStock, coming to you this October 5-7 in Rahway, New Jersey. Now in its second year, this festival proves with its headliners and support acts that it's going to be a major player on the east coast for years to come. Finally, Mark takes the Potentially Unpopular Position that Record Store Day might not be all it's cracked -- or scratched -- up to be. Visit Subsignal online at www.subsignalband.com, and the ProgStock festival at http://progstock.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Tempest" (Subsignal)
"Even Though the Stars Don't Shine" (Subsignal)
"Some Kind of Drowning" (Subsignal ft. Marjana Semkina)
"The Bells of Lyonesse" (Subsignal)
"Red Dust Shadow" (IQ)
"Another Record" (Genesis)
"La Muerta" (Subsignal)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 129 : Matt Stevens Gets Verbose; and When the Squad Was New
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May 23, 2018 10:27 PM PDT
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Guitarist Matt Stevens should be no stranger to fans of up-and-coming prog and post-rock music, as the band he's part of -- The Fierce and the Dead -- are on quite the tear in the past couple of years. Securing some key opening slot and festival gigs, the band is riding the wave to greater success, the latest chapter of which is the release of their new album The Euphoric on Bad Elephant Music. Stevens chats with host Mark Ashby about how they're controlling the tempo of their increase in stature, how much of the recorded output is live-to-tape or otherwise, and some tales of playing RoSfest in the USA in 2017. For the second half of the show, we set the wayback machine to August 2014 for a listen in on the very first episode of The Prog Squad, just when you thought those shows might be lost forever. Hear what David Elliott, Jason Spencer, and Cliff Pearson were like before they got to know each other better -- it's like a blind date! Visit The Fierce and the Dead online at www.fierceandthedead.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Dancing Robots" (The Fierce and the Dead)
"Truck" (The Fierce and the Dead)
"Parts 7 & 8" (The Fierce and the Dead)
"Verbose" (The Fierce and the Dead)
"Step Beyond" (Yes)
"Lonely People" (Styx)
"I've Seen All Good People" (Yes)
"Time Flies" (Porcupine Tree)
"Hitchhiking to Byzantium" (Anubis)
"The Euphoric" (The Fierce and the Dead)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 128 : Acquiescing with Geoff Barone; Babylonian Prog; and From DC to Denmark
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May 11, 2018 02:31 PM PDT
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Six years ago, multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barone was on the program discussing his conceptual work Conversation Pieces. He's back this year with a somewhat heavier and, in his words, more "to the point" collection of songs titled Acquiescence. With echoes of the likes of Devin Townsend and even some musical theater, this eclectic album covers topics from his ambivalent relationship with the city he came to and later left -- New York -- and how he hopes his children will turn out all right, among many others. Hear some insights into his inspirations and influences in his chat with host Mark Ashby. Lady Obscure editor Lacy Mucklow and her concert-going pal Dave Perrussel (also a LO contributor) have a first-person report of their journey from their homebase in Washington, DC, all the way to Anubis Gate's home country of Denmark for one of the gigs on their "Shortest Tour Ever." And our Triple Track Special uses the theme of Babylon in three songs from prog artists present and past. Find the artists featured here at www.geoffbarone.com and www.anubisgate.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Something Beautiful" (Geoff Barone)
"Faded" (Geoff Barone)
"Precious Pieces" (Geoff Barone)
"Headhunter" (Geoff Barone)
"6:33 to Babylon" (Geoff Barone)
"In These Waiting Arms" (Geoff Barone)
"Babylon" (Glass Hammer)
"Blackest" (Anubis Gate)
"Erasure" (Anubis Gate)
"Babylon" (Aphrodite's Child)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 127 : Wavestar Part Deux; Holozappa; and Great Opening Lines
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April 20, 2018 09:44 PM PDT
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It's been many years since the original electronic-music duo Wavestar of John Dyson and Dave Ward-Hunt got together -- about 35, to be somewhat precise. And although Dyson has produced several solo albums since then, it's been many years since the last release with the Wavestar name came out. Now with Paul Ward and Stefan Whitlan bringing their keyboard and compositional skills to the fold, the band is retagged Wavestar II, and the long-awaited album Nightwinds is now available. All three of the guys chat with host Mark Ashby about the olden days of Wavestar, the importance of the Korg Sigma to the trademark Dyson sound, and how this album went from being a Dyson solo project to a group effort. In the Prog Squad, Cliff, Jason, and David join Mark in discussions about the upcoming Frank Zappa hologram tour, awesome album openers, and bands they were behind the times in appreciating. You can order Nightwinds from www.groove.nl or www.cd-services.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"I.F.O." (John Dyson)
"Voyager" (Wavestar)
"The Velocity of Dark" (Wavestar II)
"Track of Time" (Wavestar II)
"If I Were the Wind (And You Were the Rain)" (Pendragon)
"King of the Tyrant Lizards" (Mothertongue)
"Script for a Jester's Tear" (Marillion)
"Red" (King Crimson)
"Eldritch" (Wavestar II)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 126 : Circuline Is Majestik; Bye-Bye iTunes; and Proggy Jesus
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April 06, 2018 01:20 PM PDT
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New York's Circuline is going live -- on CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, that is. The band first heard from on Progtopia in Episode 094 is making the first of two planned concert products available this May, two years after their appearance at RoSFest in Gettysburg. Dubbed Circulive::Majestik, it chronicles that show in both video and audio form, and if you jump in on their Pledge Music campaign by April 17, you can get some neat perks along with it. Hear from keyboardist Andrew Colyer and drummer Darin Brannon about the process of creating the video version, the planned second live release later this year, and why they won't be touring again until 2019. In the Prog Squad, all four panelists are miraculously present to talk about the rumored demise of iTunes in favor of fully-streaming platforms, whether Gizmodrome truly is a super group, and if music videos still have a place 30-plus years after TV showed them regularly. Finally, Mark makes a plea for recognition of Webber and Rice's musical Jesus Christ Superstar as a progressive masterwork.

Circuline is on the web at www.circulinemusic.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Hollow" (Circuline)
"Summit" (Circuline)
"Stereotypes" (Circuline)
"Man in the Mountain" (Gizmodrome)
"Trial before Pilate" (Jesus Christ Superstar cast)
"Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)" (Jesus Christ Superstar cast)
"One Wish" (Circuline)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 125 : Xanima Travels to Planet Hope; An Elephant Trumpets; and We Can't Barrett
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March 15, 2018 06:37 PM PDT
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Sweden isn't just a land of top-quality prog metal; you'll also find some great electronic-based prog there, too. Xanima's newest album Planet Hope was released in late 2017, and you'll hear from singer Jade Ell (pictured) and keyboardist Pelle Händén about their many influences and how they conceptualize their works, as well as why they incorporate spoken word and dance elements into their live shows. Also, Prog Squad panelist David Elliott joins us for a one-on-one to talk about the ins-and-outs of running his label Bad Elephant Music, including the types of demanding journalists that bother him the most. Finally, a Potentially Unpopular Position segment from Mark about why maybe some folks need to tone down their fetish with Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett. Websites to visit include https://xanimamusic.bandcamp.com and www.badelephant.co.uk.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Planet Hope" (Xanima)
"Eternal Truth" (Xanima)
"Ode to Creation" (Xanima)
"Spooky Action" (The Fierce and the Dead)
"Earthbound" (Mothertongue)
"Flaming" (Pink Floyd)
"Bike" (Pink Floyd)
"False Moon" (Astral Dance)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 124 : The Cyberiam Doesn't Blink; Yes Flies Again; and We Get Nostalgic
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March 02, 2018 05:28 AM PST
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Featured in this episode of the show is our interview with three of the four members of Chicago's The Cyberiam. Comprised of (l. to r.) Tommy Murray on drums, Keith Semple on vocals and guitar, Brian Kovacs on bass, and Frank Lucas on keyboards, their self-titled debut album is now out, and with their respective groundings in genres within and beyond prog, it's a fully-formed recording that sounds more mature than most bands' first outings. You'll hear about the making of the album and a lot more besides. Plus, we hear from Yes expert and broadcaster/podcaster Roman Guzman with his and Mark's thoughts about the reissue (with new vocals) of the band's 2011 album Fly From Here. And there's a theme of nostalgia running through this show, with three tracks all dealing with that particular emotion in their own ways. All that and a 30 Second Sales Pitch from Poland's Pinn Dropp!

www.thecyberiam.com
https://pinndropp.bandcamp.com/releases

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Juxtaposer" (The Cyberiam)
"Don't Blink" (The Cyberiam)
"Nostalgia" (The Cyberiam)
"Fly from Here" (Yes)
"Nostalgia" (David Sylvian)
"Nostalgia" (Yanni)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 123 : Whatever Is Wrong with Us -- The Fan Base of Marillion
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February 16, 2018 10:08 PM PST
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Marillionaires. Freaks. Denizens of The Web. They've gone by many names over the years, but one defining characteristic of Marillion's fan base is that they're a family. Intensely loyal, unfailingly generous to each other, and passionate about their favorite band, we spend this special double episode examining these curious folks, of which host Mark Ashby proudly counts himself as a member. With their short US tour in February beginning on the Cruise to the Edge and ending in Dallas, Marillion is swinging through North America for the second time in less than two years including neglected areas in the south, and you'll hear pre-concert views and opinions from some enthusiasts, excerpts from Progtopia's interview with Pete Trewavas from 2016, and a rant/plea from your host about proper concert etiquette and what we all can do about breaches of it.

To hear the Backstage Pass interview with Pete, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/progtopia-backstage-pass-5-marillion-risks-melting-their-guns-as-a-show-of-strength

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Goodbye to All That"
"Whatever Is Wrong with You"
"Most Toys"
"The Sky Above the Rain"
"After Me"
"White Russian"
"The New Kings"
"This Is the 21st Century"
"The King of Sunset Town"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

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