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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!

Episode 122 : Sydney's Progfest; Girls Need Not Apply; and No Edgar, No Problem
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January 28, 2018 07:47 PM PST
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Australia's prog scene is by all accounts booming, and one indication of that was the Progfest show held in Sydney on the 20th of January. Several-time guests Hemina were part of the Poseidon Stage there, and guitarist/singer Doug Skene checks in as a correspondent about the bands that were part of the festival -- most of which are new to us at Progtopia. Jason, David, and Mark chat in the Prog Squad about a UK pub's policy of not booking female-fronted bands and other subjects. Finally, Mark debuts the Potentially Unpopular Position (PUP) to explain why he thinks it's all right that Tangerine Dream pressed onward without their late founding member Edgar Froese.

Featured song excerpts:
"Moonlight Bride" (Hemina)
"The Fragile Serene" (Voyager)
"Proton Bonfire" (Tangerine Dream)
"It Is Time to Leave When Everyone Is Dancing" (Tangerine Dream)
"When Isis Starts to Cry" (Breaking Orbit)

"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 121 : Adam Wakeman, Galactic Cowboys, and Big Big Train
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January 11, 2018 07:25 PM PST
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Our first episode with the new format features host Mark Ashby's interview with keyboardist, guitarist, and singer/songwriter Adam Wakeman. Last heard from in Episode 030, Wakeman is releasing a new album with Headspace bandmate Damian Wilson (interviewed in Episode 107 last year), their second. Hear about the Kickstarter for the album and its unique perks, how he went about booking their tour, and exclusive first listens to excerpts from tracks from their sophomore effort. Next, Lady Obscure editor Lacy Mucklow checks in with her report on the Galactic Cowboys reunion and album release show in Houston on December 1st. Then, the roundtable Prog Squad returns to the airwaves with Mark, Jason Spencer, and David Elliott discussing Big Big Train, the Security Project, and veteran bands they do and don't necessarily need to see live again. Finally, a call to all bands and artists out there for our 30-Second Sales Pitch segment. We want to hear from you so that the world will hear from you, too!

Adam Wakeman's websites: www.wilsonwakeman.com, www.adamwakeman.co.uk

Featured song excerpts:
"Blackpool Clip Joint Racket" (Wilson/Wakeman)
"Kill You with Kindness" (Headspace)
"Always the Lonely One" (Wilson/Wakeman)
"In the Clouds" (Galactic Cowboys)
"Hate Me" (Galactic Cowboys)
"Merry Christmas" (Big Big Train)
"I Have the Touch" (The Security Project)
"On This Battlefield" (Wilson/Wakeman)

"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!

2017 Year in Review!
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December 29, 2017 09:52 PM PST
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Six years down, and while there are some changes in store for the show in 2018, it's that time in the calendar when we look back on what has come in the previous 12 months. You'll not only hear clips from interviews and songs from all the guests we've had on the show in 2017, you'll also learn the winners of Progtopia's year-end awards in eight categories (in no particular order): Best Newcomer, Best Bass Performance, Best Drums Performance, Best Keyboard Performance, Best Guitar Performance, Best Vocal Performance, Best Song, and Best Album. Who wins? Oh, come now. You'll have to listen to find out! When you're finished, catch up with all the full episodes at www.progtopia.com. Thanks for your support and making this another wonderful year!

Featured songs/excerpts:
Introduction : "Beneath Enriya" - Prospekt
"You Don't Love Me Anymore" - (iam)warface (Episode 120)
"Black Rabbit" - Vangough (Episode 116)
"Ashes Are Burning" - Renaissance [Annie Haslam] (Episode 115)
"A Journey to Nowhere" - Anubis Gate (Episode 117)
"Hold On" - Bobby Kimball (Episode 110)
"Drown Me" - MindMaze (Progtopia Planetary Premiere 18 April)
"Entering the City of Gods" - Soul Secret (Progtopia Planetary Premiere 12 July)
"Made in Space" - Francis Dunnery (Episode 105)
"Fire Flower Heart" - Tom Slatter (Episode 109)
"Titan" - Prospekt (Episode 114)
"Starless" [featuring John Wetton] - District 97 (Episode 118)
"Thrill Me" - Damian Wilson (Episode 107)
INTERMISSION - Best Song of the Year (???)
"Au Revoir au Reve" - Djam Karet (Episode 106)
"Mirage" - Nicolas Waldo (Episode 113)
"Ascension" - Voyager (Episode 111)
"Beyond the Barbed Wire" - Galahad (Episode 112)
"Borderline" - Karnataka (Episode 108)
"Fractured" - Iris Divine (Episode 119)
FINALE - Best Album of the Year (???)

Episode 120 : Say Their Name - (Iam)warface
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November 13, 2017 08:10 PM PST
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"Rocktronica" is the preferred term for the brand of music created by singer/songwriter Matt Warneford and the band he fronts, (Iam)warface. Drawing on influences as diverse as film scores, grunge, hip hop, and progressive rock, Warneford has forged something that sounds like music you'd hear at the club but would also enjoy in the dark over headphones at home. The industrial bombast combined with incisive lyrical content is not to be missed in the singles they have released so far, including their latest on 17 November, "U Don't Love Me Anymore." Host Mark Ashby spoke with Warneford about where that odd-looking name comes from, how those disparate influences come into his songwriting (or not), and the support they received from a well-known 80s electronic rocker on their shared tour dates. They can be found online at www.iamwarface.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Trigons"
"Golden Army"
"Bleed Out"
"U Don't Love Me Anymore"
"Say My Name"
"Closer"

"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 119 : Iris Divine Takes Back the Fall
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October 16, 2017 01:59 PM PDT
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Despite being separate by a time zone or two for most of the year between Virginia and Colorado, the members of Iris Divine (Kris Combs [drums and keyboards], Navid Rashid [guitar and vocals], and Brian Dobbs [bass]) are a healthy, happy prog metal trio that is continuing to gain fans and favorable critical reception. Their second, crowdfunded album The Static and the Noise was released in early October, and their sound has evolved since debut effort Karma Sown to become simultaneously more technical and more melodic when both approaches are needed. Making a repeat appearance on the show, Combs chatted with host Mark Ashby about how the recording and writing for the second album required open communication over such long distances when they couldn't jam together, why they've so far stayed away from long, so-called "epic" albums and songs, and why his and Navid's differing personalities combine so well on record and in life. They're online at www.irisdivineband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"The Acolyte"
"The Static and the Noise"
"Taking Back the Fall"
"We All Dissolve"
"Like Glass"
"Catalyst"

To hear the previous episode featuring Iris Divine, follow this link: http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-076-sowing-karma-with-iris-divine

"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 118 : Through the Snow Country with District 97
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October 01, 2017 09:17 PM PDT
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They're a Chicago-based band with an American Idol for a singer, but trust us: District 97 is as prog as they come. With three studio albums under their belts, the group (l. to r. Jonathan Schang [drums], Tim Seisser [bass], Leslie Hunt [vocals], Jim Tashjian [guitar], and Andrew Lawrence [keyboards]) has been critically-acclaimed by the likes of Bill Bruford and John Wetton, with whom they collaborated on their own songs and classic King Crimson material. They're setting out this October on the Static Vaults tour with their friend Dave Kerzner and his band, so host Mark Ashby caught up with Schang for a discussion about that Idol connection, how the band has moved from being largely made up of his compositions to a group effort, and how Wetton impacted them in many ways. Find the tour dates online at www.district97.net.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Snow Country"
"All's Well That Ends Well"
"The Perfect Young Man" (featuring John Wetton)
"On Paper"
"Death by a Thousand Cuts"
"The Thief"

"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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