Posts Tagged ‘chroma key’

O.S.I. 4th album cover?

13th Jan 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

New on

Is it the cover for the 4th album?  OSI responded on twitter with…

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.  It comes out on Metal Blade soon (last we heard was March 2012).  O.S.I. is Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, ex-Dream Theater) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning).

This in from the Mooreatorium

OSI guitarist Jim Matheos revealed some details on OSI’s upcoming fourth studio album in an interview posted today by the music website Hit Channel. In the interview, which was conducted on Jan. 2, Matheos revealed that Metal Blade Records was expected to release a press this week about the album, along with audio samples, song titles and pictures. He also said that there are no guest musicians on the upcoming album and that the band is considering the possibilities of live shows sometime this year.

“You know it’s coming out in March and there is supposed to be a press release coming from Metal Blade next week and basically they asked me not to tell anything about it before the press release because I guess they want to get all the attention when it comes out,” Matheos said. “Kevin and I are really happy with it, but that’s all I can say. There will be a bunch of information released next week as far as titles, pictures and some samples coming out next week on OSI website and on Metal Blade as well.”

Regarding the use of guest musicians, Matheos said: “Not in this one. We decided for this one that Kevin and I we’re gonna take care of everything, except for the drums that neither of us can do. It just turned out that way, we felt comfortable with the material that we were writing and he felt comfortable with all the vocals. You know a lot of times in the past we liked some of the songs that Kevin didn’t felt comfortable doing lyrics and vocals for them for whatever reason so we brought a guest vocalist here and there. For this one it didn’t work out that way so it’s just Kevin, Gavin and I.”

Regarding the possibility of an OSI tour, Matheos said: “You know it’s like the Arch/Matheos thing. It’s hard to put together. We’re talking about it, we may do a couple of shows this year but we’ve talked about it in the past also and has never happened so far and I can’t make promises. I will do everything I can to do it cause I think it will be a great show.”

Full interview link: interview-jim-matheos-fates-warning-osi-arch-matheos

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaUncle Meat


In Progress EP with Kevin Moore

5th Jan 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Update 1/10: streaming song “Plan B” (below).

From the Kevin Moore news website, The Mooreatorium

Experimental rockers In Progress revealed the cover artwork today for their upcoming EP, titled North Atlantic Echoes, which features Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, O.S.I., ex-Dream Theater) on three tracks.  The artwork was done by Sweden-based artist Alessandro Falca, who handled the artwork duties for Moore’s Shine album in late 2010.

“Kevin introduced us to [Alessandro] after Jake [Rosenberg] and I expressed our appreciation of it,” said band member John Dillon of Falca’s work on Shine.  “Alessandro worked closely with us on the art direction, and Jake and I are really excited with the end result.  Just as cool as the cover is the artwork on the interior of the package and the disc itself, which you’ll just have to wait to see when the record starts coming off the presses!”

For more information on In Progress, visit their Facebook page.
For more information on Falca, visit his company website.

Burn It Down: temporarily removed from SoundCloud by InProgress

Plan B” (demo) featuring Kevin Moore on vocals: downloadable, too

This and the 4th O.S.I. album out soon on Metal Blade.  It’s going to be a Kevin Moore-tastic year!

~Dan – np: Year of the RabbitYear of the Rabbit

OSI #4 in Jan 2012 on Metal Blade

20th Jun 11 (Mon) 3 comments

Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel dropped info on the next O.S.I. record (their 4th).  It’ll hit us in January 2012 per this tweet.  O.S.I. is Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, ex-Dream Theater) and Jim Matheos (ex-Fates Warning)… they make some excellent drum-programmed twitchy, sample-driven ethereal prog (like a harder version of Chroma Key).  Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree drums on this one.  Mixing is happening now, based on prior reports.

Samples from their past three records:

The 4th album was originally slated for Fall 2010.  I can wait, but barely…

~Dan – np: Fishtank EnsembleWoman in Sin

Sneak peak at OSI #4? New My Brightest Diamond album?

30th Mar 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Yesterday, Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, OSI, ex-Dream Theater) posted on his twitter a video that based on the sound seems like it may be a sneak peak at the fourth OSI album:

(twitvid opens in new window)

Also, an unrelated twitter news blast as well…

Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) noted that she’s going into the studio on Friday to record her next album, and then shortly thereafter hinted to the name of said albumEverything is in Line.

Score two for new media…

~Dan – np: Derek WebbFuck You (by Cee-Lo Green)

Kevin Moore collaborates on songs with In Progress

25th Mar 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

More news from Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, OSI, ex-Dream Theater) brought to us from The Mooreatorium

Experimental rockers In Progress announced that Moore has collaborated with the band on three songs slated to appear on its forthcoming EP, North Athlantic Echoes. The collaboration materialized last year when In Progress’s keyboardist Jake Rosenberg – who is among the fans credited in Moore’s Shine album – reached out to Moore through his Kickstarter webpage and proposed the idea. Moore’s contributions to the three songs include drum programming, backup vocals and additional production.

“We are still doing final tracking on the EP, but are looking to have it completely wrapped, mixed, and mastered by mid-July,” band member John Dillon told The Mooreatorium. “We intend to do a small physical run of copies once we have material/art finalized.”

The band’s debut album, titled Signal Failure, was released in December and features Mark Zonder on drums. Zonder is the former drummer for Fates Warning and also worked with Moore on Chroma Key’s 1998 debut album, Dead Air for Radios.

To hear an unmastered version of In Progress’s upcoming single, “Chasing Ghosts,” featuring Moore, click below.

In Progress’s “Chasing Ghosts”:

Stay tuned at:

~Dan – np: Piano MagicSeasonally Affective: 1996-2000

Kevin Moore (Chroma Key/OSI) finally on the social…

22nd Mar 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, OSI, ex-Dream Theater) is finally on the social networks…

Kevin Moore’s Twitter
Kevin Moore’s Facebook Page
OSI band page

Some news on the 4th OSI album…

Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree has just laid down drum tracks on a handful of new OSI songs. Jim [Matheos] and Kevin continue to write and record material for the fourth OSI album, their first with Metal Blade Records. Mixing is slated for June 2011.

~Dan – np: Eyal Maoz & Asaf SirkisElementary Dialogues

Kevin Moore’s Shine (order)

11th Feb 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

If you missed the Kickstarter for Kevin Moore‘s Shine (the score/soundtrack to the Turkish film Küçük Kıyamet), you can now order it via a standard method…

Click the above images to go to the website for samples and ordering info.  It’s limited to 1,000 CDs.  I imagine it will surface as digital only at some point.

I’ve had Shine since late, late December… I dig it.  Definitely fitting more in with movie scores, like Ghost Book (his score for Turkish horror movie Okul), compared to his work with Chroma Key or O.S.I.

~Dan – np: Over the RhineTrumpet Child

Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Kucuk Kıyamet

Kevin Moore’s “Shine” artwork

5th Nov 10 (Fri) 9 comments

As reported about 2 months agoKevin Moore (Chroma Key, O.S.I., ex-Dream Theater) is putting out SHINE – the score to the Turkish film Kucuk Kiyamet (2007).  The Kickstarter micro-funding goal was easily met, and production is underway.  Here is a 6-panel digipack classic Penguin Books-style mock up of the artwork done by Alessandro Falca of Conte di San Pietro:

Alessandro is also currently working on the poster and T-shirt design. The digipack is now finalized and will go to the manufacturer next week. Kevin is hoping to ship preorders late November or early December (2010).

Find out more about the project at:

~Dan – np: dredgThe Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

Kevin Moore “Shine” soundtrack

7th Sep 10 (Tue) 1 comment

Kevin Moore (of Chroma Key, O.S.I. and Dream Theater fame) has started a pre-order fundraising project to release the soundtrack he recorded for the Turkish film Kucuk Kiyamet (2007).  If funding succeeds the album Shine will be released in November, and those who pre-order will receive the CD two weeks earlier than the release date. T-shirts and posters are also part of the funding.

Please visit the “Shine” Kickstarter page for details!

~Dan – np: Beats AntiqueContraption Vol 1

O.S.I. #4

14th May 10 (Fri) 1 comment

As reported on Blabbermouth, “OSI (aka OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE), the hard rock duo formed by Jim Matheos (FATES WARNING) and Kevin Moore (CHROMA KEY, DREAM THEATER), has inked a deal with Metal Blade Records. The band is currently working on its fourth album for a late 2010 release.”

It’s been a bit since their last record, Blood (early 2009?).  It came out and then nothing afterward (no tour, no additional buzz).  It seems they like to do this long period of inactivity and then, “blam!” some excellent news with a CD shortly following.

I. Am. Stoked.

~Dan – np: Lenny KravitzCircus

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#1 to 10)

5th Jan 10 (Tue) 5 comments

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions (1/1/2010 blog link)

  • Dweezil Zappa
  • Tori Amos
  • Celldweller
  • Iron & Wine
  • King’s X
  • Derek Webb

Artists of the Decade (#21 to 25) (1/1/2010 blog link)

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)
24 ~ Peter Mulvey

23 ~ Opeth

22 ~ dredg

21 ~ Holy Fuck

Artists of the Decade (#11 to 20) (1/4/2010 blog link)

20 ~ Pedro the Lion (and David Bazan solo)
19 ~ Jurassic 5

18 ~ My Brightest Diamond

17 ~ Nellie McKay

16 ~ Secret Chiefs 3
15 ~ Over the Rhine

14 ~ Mike Patton

13 ~ Ani DiFranco
12 ~ Johnny Cash
11 ~ Dave Douglas

And now on to the final ten


10 ~ Glen Phillips

At the turn of the decade / century / millenium, Glen’s band Toad the Wet Sprocket were breaking up. He went on to make several solo albums (Winter Pays For Summer being my fave thus far), several mostly brilliant side ventures (Plover, RemoteTreeChildren, WPA, Mutual Admiration Society), and even reunite with Toad for some tours. He’s as active as ever and also quite the tweeter (oft humorous / oft political).


9 ~ Porcupine Tree (and Steven Wilson projects)

Near the beginning of the decade, I was giving up on “prog rock.” Then a buddy told me about Porcupine Tree (thanks, SteveC). 2002’s In Absentia is amazing, and I quickly bought PT’s catalogue. The entire decade was full of Steven Wilson projects – whether Porcupine Tree or his many (and I mean many) side projects.  Speaking of… Steven’s 6th and final Cover Versions CD and 7″ vinyl will be out sometime soon in the coming months.


8 ~ Sufjan Stevens

Illinoise was Paste’s #1 album of the decade. I think it’s in my Top 10 (as mentioned earlier, I honestly can’t bring myself to widdle down my album list to 20 or even 50 for the decade). Illinoise was my first foray into Sufjan’s world. The infatuation was near immediate. He ranges from poppy, to eclectic folk, to avant-electronic, to chamber music… and I think his song titles, while sometimes considered pretentious, put him in my hero list. :) The later part of the decade showed a more secluded Sufjan and a recant on the 50 States “promise.” However, I’m still very excited about what’s up his sleeves for the next decade.


7 ~ John Zorn (Masada and otherwise)

I knew of Zorn in the 1990s (via the connection to Mike Patton and specifically Mr. Bungle), but didn’t get into him until 2003 or so. Even still, I didn’t know about Masada (his klezmer-jazz quartet) until mid-decade. Their recorded studio work was all in the 1990s, but they stayed active touring throughout the 2000s… and John Zorn kept actively writing Masada Book Two – which is a book of music covered by other bands and has seen a dozen fantastic releases on his label, Tzadik. I just counted, and I have 82 John Zorn related disks from the decade (CDs, DVDs, vinyl). So, um, yeah, he’s prolific. The Masada / Bar Kokhba / Electric Masada is my favorite category of Zorn releases; but his Filmworks series, Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Joey Baron & Trevor Dunn), and The Gift / Dreamers band are also key releases. 2010 has 12 new Zorn releases on the docket. *drool*


6 ~ Maynard James Keenan (Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer)

One of the best singers in the world of rock, Maynard has kept busy… this decade: three bands and eight or so albums, several DVD releases, remix albums & singles, vinyl singles, and a new winery. While he doesn’t always nail it every time, his and his bands’ hit rates far exceed most. His solid work ethic points to more releases next decade. A recent interview leads me to believe that the touring side of things may slow down some, but I’m hoping that just means “less touring” and not “no touring.” There have been hints of Tool and A Perfect Circle studio stuff in the near future… and Puscifer seems alive and kicking (and keen on the internet EP thing). Puscifer is hitting the Midwest and East Coast in early 2010.


5 ~ Daniel Johns (Silverchair & The Dissociatives)

2002’s Diorama (by Silverchair) is a contender for best album of the decade for me. Daniel Johns followed that up with a side project with Paul Mac called The Dissociatives. Their self-titled debut (2004) is also a contender for best album of the decade… then Silverchair came roaring back in 2007 with Young Modern – another strong contender. Daniel Johns and his couple of bands has large gaps between studio releases, but they all score high every time for me. They’ve moved well beyond their debut (which they released in the 90s at age 15). 2010 promises the follow-up to Young Modern… so, look out, Best of 2010 lists…


4 ~ Elliott Smith

I found out about Elliott in early 2000, a little bit after Figure 8 came out. I had the opportunity to see him live at Southgate House (Newport, KY) on the Figure 8 Tour. He quickly became an important part of my musical diet. His albums hit me emotionally, but he left us too early (he died of apparent self-induced stab wounds to the heart on October 21, 2003). I still get goosebumps with his music and quite frankly have never been affected by a celebrity’s death like I am by Elliott’s. An album and more of his unreleased material has made its way out since his death. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but if there were one, I’d hope to get to meet Elliott and have a beer with him.


3 ~ Sigur Rós

Ágætis byrjun and ( ) may be the most beautiful things that I don’t understand due to language barriers – two perfect albums, if you ask me. This past decade Sigur Rós went on to make four full length albums, a handful of EPs and soundtracks, several world tours, an utterly gorgeous tour documentary called Heima (that rivals Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii in stunning beauty),  and still find time to take time off (well, time off except for Jónsi – who released a duo album with his partner Alex Sommers and is set to release a solo album in early 2010).


2 ~ Radiohead (and Thom & Jonny solo)

One of the most unarguably overrated bands of all-time… yet, one of my favorites. The decade started with Kid A and ended with some Thom Yorke solo activity… it was a full decade of albums, tours, solo work (the aforementioned Thom solo stuff plus two soundtracks from Jonny). They branch out and sometimes get more praise and credit than is merited (I know skads of indie artists doing the “pay what you want” method years before In Rainbows), but I suppose Radiohead were the first formerly major-label / international band to do so.  Anyway, Radiohead, despite public pressure, continue to evolve as a band. That scores major points with me. They’re hitting the studio in January 2010… yippie.


1 ~ Kevin Moore (Chroma Key & OSI)

Yeah, the #1 of the decade who few know about… Kevin Moore left the progressive rock band Dream Theater in 1994, shedding the seemingly antithetic “progressive” constraints of the progressive scene to make his own music.  Chroma Key’s debut Dead Air For Radios (1999) is my #1 album of all-time… but it came out in the late 90s. The 2000 album You Go Now is probably in my Top 10 of all-time as well. The branching out into scoring with Kevin’s solo soundtrack Ghost Book (for the Turkish horror movie OKUL), political/religious-imagery radio/mix-taping with Memory Hole 1, and the new band project with Jim Matheos called the Office of Strategic Influence (aka O.S.I.) solidified Kevin in my favorite artists list. I’m looking forward to more Chroma Key, O.S.I., Memory Hole, or solo work that Kevin puts out… hopefully soon.


As pointed out the other day, the 2010s are shaping up to be a great decade… see you on the other side!

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 1

21st Dec 09 (Mon) 5 comments

Before I get started… happy birthday, Frank Zappa!  Ya hozna!

OK, now on to the music news…

Derek Webb, whose Stockholm Syndrome is seriously gonna rank well in my soon-comingBest of / Favorite CDs of 2009” list, is doing something new for 2010.  He’s going to have a subscription music deal where he digitally releases cover songs each month… and subscribers get to pick the songs.  People who bought/buy a limited edition of Stockholm Syndrome over at the DW store got first crack at selections.

I already put in my votes a couple days ago… Chroma Key‘s “Colorblind” (longshot due to obscurity), Tori Amos‘ “Crucify” (that would pwn), and I think jokingly I put Opeth‘s “Blackwater Park” (even more of a longshot) – but I forget if I recanted and switched at the last minute to something else.  I’m pulling for a “Crucify” cover by Derek – I think he’d do it justice.

The cover songs will likely be a more stripped down, singer-songwriter style when compared to his 2009 record… but those are his roots and how I first got into him; so I’m stoked.  Plus… ya know, if he does Tori Amos’ “Crucify,” I’ll have his babies.

Derek Webb’s “What Matters More” video
{from Stockholm Syndrome}

~Dan – np: Borah Bergman TrioLuminescence

O.S.I. – Blood CD

29th Apr 09 (Wed) 2 comments

quick OSI update

25th Mar 09 (Wed) Leave a comment

Quick update…

As reported earlier, OSI’s third album, Blood, comes out May 19th in the U.S.  The album tracklist and cover is posted over here (previous blog post).  New today… has audio samples from the upcoming album.

The special edition 2nd disc  has the following tracks:

  • No Celebrations vocals/lyrics by Tim Bowness (from No-Man)
  • Christian Brothers cover of the Elliott Smith song
  • Terminal (endless) extended version of the regular CD track


more OSI details

9th Mar 09 (Mon) Leave a comment

Well, the 3rd album from the Kevin Moore (Chroma Key) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) project O.S.I. (Office of Strategic Influence) now has a name, album art, a tracklist, and a release date.  It features Porcupine Tree’s  Gavin Harrison on the drums, and Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH) on “Stockholm.”

01. The Escape Artist
02. Terminal
03. False Start
04. We Come Undone
05. Radiologue
06. Be The Hero
07. Microburst Alert
08. Stockholm
09. Blood

It’s out on April 27 in Europe and May 19 in the U.S. via InsideOut Music.

From Blabbermouth: The creative process which produced “Blood” lasted more than a year. In their now familiar long-distance collaboration, Matheos sent his ideas via e-mail to Moore, who honed them to his own taste before mailing the results back to Matheos. At the end of the day, some pieces were sent back and forth countless times, while others, such as the pulsating metal track “Be The Hero”, required very little exchange. “When Jim sent me his tracks, I had a vocal idea right away,” Moore says of the song. “I think it all came together in a couple of days. I love when Jim sends really heavy ideas, and he doesn’t mind me chopping them up. It was fun to play around with the times signatures by editing, and adding a lot of Minimoog effects and unison lines.”

Unrelated sidenote, Celldweller‘s upcoming long-awaited sophomore album is called Wish Upon a Blackstar.  Out… sometime later this year?

~Dan – np: U2No Line on the Horizon

update on OSI’s #3 album

17th Oct 08 (Fri) 2 comments

As previously mentioned, O.S.I. (a band led by Kevin Moore from Chroma Key / Dream Theater and Jim Matheos from Fates Warning) is being worked on now. This just in from Mikael Åkerfeldt, lead “singer” / guitarist from OPETH, is that he’s contributing vocals to a song…

It’s a very moody song and completely unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I wrote the lyrics and the vocal lines for the piece that I simply decided to call “Stockholm“.

Cool… The album also features Gavin Harrison (from Porcupine Tree) on drums.

~Dan – np: Goddamn Electric BillTopics for Gossip

O.S.I. #3

5th Sep 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

Updated (3/9/09): go here…


Well, I just checked and just last week.  No updates since 2006.

Now this from Blabbermouth

OSI (OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE), the project featuring FATES WARNING guitarist Jim Matheos and ex-DREAM THEATER keyboardist Kevin Moore, has spent the past several months working on its third album. According to Moore, “Gavin Harrison (PORCUPINE TREE) is playing drums on this one; he’s nearly done tracking and it sounds great. Along with guitar, Jim is handling bass this time. I still get to sing but may get some help.”

For those not in the know, Kevin Moore‘s Chroma Key is my favorite band ever.  This is not hyperbole.  Dead Air For Radios is my #1 favorite album ever.  O.S.I. is essentially a rockin’ continuation of Chroma Key for me.

(Kevin / CK promo shot)

I’m stoked.  I don’t care that it snuck up on me.  O.S.I. #2 snuck up on me as well… it makes for a happy present.  Now, if I can only convince Kevin to tour Chroma Key or O.S.I.

I suppose watch this blog space for future news… or this one…


The 4 Elements (Mix CD)

10th Jun 06 (Sat) 3 comments

Posty‘s Not-All-That-Quarterly Compilation
The 4 Elements

It’s thematic, obviously. Some of it is new music, yet most of it is just music I’ve always liked that seemed to fit the compilation’s schema. The liners are not completed, yet. Hell, a test pressing hasn’t even been completed; so the track order might change some. I’m just drumming up interest before I decide how much energy to expend… email me if interested. It’ll likely go out sometime in mid-to-late July ’06

Thieved Art represented by Storm Thorgerson (earth), Karen Kristin (sky),
Julian Stanczak (water), and Dale Chihuly (fire)…

Music Shared without permission, but without ill-intent either, from these artists…

1 On “Avalanche” (from the album Shifting Skin )
2 El Douje “Colision De Mundos” (from the album Worlds Collide )
3 Celldweller “Own Little World” (from the album Celldweller )
4 John Zorn “La Flor del Barrio” (from the album Music Romance, Vol. III: The Gift )
5 Porcupine Tree “Collapse the Light into Earth” (from the album In Absentia )

6 Tristeza “Stumble On Air” (from the album A Colores )
7 Dredg “Ode to the Sun” (from the album Catch Without Arms )
8 Pearl Jam “Thin Air” (from the album Binaural )
9 The Tango Saloon “The Little Plane That Could” (from the album The Tango Saloon )
10 Nick Drake “Pink Moon” (from the album Pink Moon )

11 O.S.I. “Bigger Wave” (from the album Free )
12 Au4 “An Ocean’s Measure of Sorrow” (from the album On: Audio )
13 Chroma Key “Even the Waves” (from the album Dead Air For Radios )
14 The Squirts “Lobster” (from the album Resquirted )

15 Tori Amos “Spark” (from the album From the Choirgirl Hotel )
16 The Times “Laser Beams” (from the album Begin )
17 Heatmiser (early Elliott Smith) “Flame!” (from the album Cop and Speeder )
18 Fantômas “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” (from the album The Director’s Cut )
19 Angeldust “Firestorm” (from the album System 3 )

Think of it as a stroll through a museum installation. The headsets are free this weekend.

And since we’re germophobes… um… go on and keep those there headphones…

~Dan – np: electric masadajohn zorn’s 50th birthday month, vol. 4

Liner info, for those that care-o (fuzzy due to not having a proper Adobe P-Shop install on my new work laptop, had to do this via screencaps & MSPaint… oy…).

THE ORCHARD MIX CLUB: OCTOBER 2005 presented by posty mcposterton in A-to-Z style

14th Oct 05 (Fri) 3 comments


OCTOBER 2005 presented by posty mcposterton in A-to-Z style.

Too much music? Nah, that could never be!

Introduction… well, I’m definitely more of a rock fan; so my compilation is gonna lean more that way than more of the folk/ camps that a lot of y’all have come from… but alas, hopefully you’ll find something new and exciting on here. If something on here is atrociously not your thing… sorry. There may be some heavy riffage goin’ on in parts… again, sorry. And due to the A to Z nature of it all (asinine, I know), sometimes one song doesn’t flow all that well into another… again, sorry. Even with 36 tracks to share, I still feel like I’m cutting off my left arm for the sake of my right sometimes in selecting songs. If you ever wanna hear more of an artist, let me know.

cover art

The following is a glut of information about the artists on this compilation if your interests have been piqued by the Mix CDs. I won’t be offended if ya toss this info sheet, though… ya bigger tosser… Oh, you might wonder why I also note “Indie Meter” for some artists… well, I love a lot of music, but I love to support indie artists a lot, too. I think it’s important to support good music. The downside… I tend to not know songs like Van Morrison’s “Moondance” or Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on first listen, and the first time I heard Over the Rhine covering “Blackbird” I asked Bruce who they were covering (that was 6 years ago, and I wasn’t really big into the Beatles until early 2000). Yeah, my wife laughs at me a lot.

CD #1

(track 01) A is brought to you by The Album Leaf.


Album: In a Safe Place (Sub Pop, ©2004)

Indie Meter: All of The Album Leaf’s albums have been on dinky indie labels, and this one on a larger indie label, Sub Pop. I give him major indie props.


Hails from: San Diego via Iceland (or Iceland via San Diego, depending)

Info: I got into The Album Leaf (aka Jimmy LaValle, formerly of Tristeza) via a Sigur Rós connection (read: a link from their site to some sound samples with the SR guys guesting). This recent album was produced in Sigur Rós’s swimming pool studio in Iceland. I have a tendency to really like organic-meets-electronic-driven, melodic efforts by one-man bands (Ken Andrews/ON & Kevin Moore/Chroma Key being the other notable ones). The Album Leaf has a smattering of about 6 albums/EPs (plus some 7” vinyl)… In a Safe Place is the best place to start. Some of the songs have vocals, but I’d earmark The Album Leaf as primarily an instrumental, soundscape artist. If you like The Album Leaf, I’d say also check out Tristeza (more guitar-y, but still instrumental).

(track 02) B is brought to you by Blackfield.


Album: Blackfield (Snapper, ©2004)

Indie Meter: Released on indie Snapper in Europe in ‘04 and indie Koch in North America in ‘05


Hails from: England and Israel

Info: Blackfield is a wonderful collaboration between Porcupine Tree singer/guitarist Steven Wilson and Israeli popstar Aviv Geffen. Normally I would cringe at a band/album/song combo all having the same name… but, hell, it’s a good song regardless of the triple-team naming with which it is associated. The Blackfield album fits in with the Porcupine Tree catalog, as Steven’s fingerprints are all over this one-off collaboration. I actually hope it becomes more than a one-off, but I don’t mind Steven’s Porcupine Tree stuff either… ;)

(track 03) C is brought to you by Copeland.

Song:No One Really Wins

Album: In Motion (The Militia Group, ©2005)

Indie Meter: Always on indie labels… but about to blow up, if you ask me…


Hails from: currently Atlanta, GA

Info: I got into Copeland based on one of those damn in-store listening booths. J Great packaging, cover art… and when I popped the headphones on, I got an immediate Ken Andrews/Failure rush… when I turned over the CD, I saw that Ken had mixed the album (he’s relentlessly all over the rock scene). Anyway, the best part of Copeland, to me, is Aaron Marsh’s vocals. Enjoy.

(track 04) D is brought to you by The Dissociatives.

Song:Goodbye (Prop Sleepyheadz Mix)

Album: The original version appears on LP, The Dissociatives (Virgin Eleven, ©2004)


Hails from: Australia, the country and continent

Info: The Dissociatives is comprised of Daniel Johns and Paul Mac (and some touring members). Daniel Johns of Silverchair is a rock-n-roll hero of mine. At age 15, he had his first international super-hit (“Tomorrow” from Frogstomp). Alas, Silverchair were just a 2nd rate grunge band at the time. I’ll save my ramblings about Silverchair for Song #S, but just know that my interest in The Dissociatives came from Silverchair (who is now on hiatus while Daniel is busy with The Dissociatives). The Dissociatives’ debut album came out in 2004 in Australia, and I’m extremely thankful that of all countries with high potential for importing CDs to me, Canada and Australia have great exchange rates in favor of us Stateside. It was my #1 album of 2004, BY FAR. The Dissociatives record got international release in 2005… you can get it for a reasonable price at Amazon and iTunes. Do it, you know you want to…

(track 05) E is brought to you by Erin McKeown.

Song:Bells and Bombs

Album: We Will Become Like Birds (Nettwerk, ©2005)

Indie Meter: Former indie-queen now on a biggie.


Hails from: Northeastern U.S.

Info: I first saw her open for Over the Rhine some years back, and I wasn’t impressed. Then I saw her on one of Ani Difranco’s tour DVDs… still not much to get me to purchase her stuff. Then I saw her newest CD above in a listening booth at my local shop, and there was a song that Peter Mulvey sang with her on the CD (he’s a personal favorite of mine). I got the CD, and the Peter Mulvey track isn’t even in the top half of the good songs on this album… and that’s a very pleasant surprise. This record is a pop-folk delight.

(track 06) F is brought to you by Faith No More.


Album: Album of the Year (Warner Reprise, ©1997)

Indie Meter: Never since probably their Courtney Love days were FNM indie. Now they are in the “dead band” category.

Webpage(s): – –

Hailed from: San Francisco, CA

Info: Faith No More (and Mike Patton offshoots) are in my Top 5 Artists of all-time. I just love ‘em… This here is a mellower song from their final album. I’m glad I got to see them before they broke up. My only pain is that the opener for that Fall 1997 Faith No More show was Limp Bizkit, who went on to sell a cagillion records while Faith No More broke up for “artistic reasons.” Faith No More was comprised of 5 very divergent musicians, who at the end of it all, hated each other’s artistic direction. This is what I feel made Faith No More so brilliant: five musicians who wanted something completely different in their sound. It was that great tension that birthed some wonderful music. Oh, and yes, Courtney Love was once their singer… I’m glad that other singers took over and eventually Mike Patton brought it all together.

(track 07) G is brought to you by The Galactic Cowboys.

Song:Still Life of Peace

Album: Space In Your Face (Geffen, ©2003)

Indie Meter: The later part of their career was on the indie label Metal Blade Records. Now they are in the “dead band” category as well.

Webpage(s): – –

Hailed from: Houston, TX

Info: I got into the Galactic Cowboys in the Fall of 1994 – aka freshman year in college. I got into so much new and different music that first quarter alone… my buddy’s band Enslaved (now unfortunately called Gnashing of Teeth) led to Dream Theater which led to the Galactic Cowboys and subsequently King’s X. Anyway, I also got into creating webpages, and in 1995 after I got out of the Air Force ROTC I had all kinds of free time… so I created the 2nd Galactic Cowboys page on the “internet” (but humbly it was the best GC website at the time). It was 1995 – the internet was picking up credibility. Anyway, a bit after starting my little fanpage, I get an email from their guitarist (Wally Farkas). I built up a good connection with them, and for a while was their primary source of web content until they launched their own official webpage about 4 years later. Their bassist (Monty Colvin) is also a painter; and I just recently bought one of his originals… All the above is to say that the Galactic Cowboys have a special place in my heart the left ventricle, I think. Anyway, their music ranged from prog-metal at the beginning into what ended up being a melodic-hardrock at the end (like the Beatles mashed with Foo Fighters or something). The song featured here is in my Top 5 Songs of all-time, which is why I couldn’t cut it even after it was on the chopping block for this compilation about a dozen times. Where else can you get tasty quasi-speed metal riffage, strings, sitar, screwed up time changes, four-part harmonies, and an allegory for Corporate America?

(track 08 ) H is brought to you by Hotel Lights.

Song:Miles Behind Me

Album: Hotel Lights (self-released, ©2004)

Indie Meter: Sold completely indie via their webpage, shows, and CDBaby. Big indie meter points!!


Hails from: North Carolina

Info: The primary vocals and songwriting is done by Darren Jesse, the drummer for the now-defunct Ben Folds Five. Refer to his penned song “Magic” from the Five’s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner CD for more quality songwriting of his. Darren doesn’t drum in this band, though. He plays guitar and sings lead. This song is fairly indicative of their sound… great indie pop.

(track 09) I is brought to you by an Incubus side-project called Time-Lapse Consortium.


Album: Time-Lapse Consortium Live at the Roxy (Epic Official Bootlegs, ©2003)

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: Southern California

Info: As far as I know, this was a band put together for only a few shows in 2003. I hope it comes back in the future for a reprise album or tour… It is the brainchild of Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger and his musician friend Suzie Katayama. It also featured Incubus’ drummer Jose Pasillas and The Roots’ bassist Ben Kenney (who later joined Incubus), as well as horn and string sections. The CD made my Top 5 CDs of 2003 (see the old Actwin archives for proof). It was a delightful surprise. It is primarily jazzy numbers like “Cholula” (named after an authentic Mexican salsa), and it also has a few Incubus songs thrown in near the end, with Brandon Boyd coming out to sing on “A Certain Shade of Green.” It is primarily an instrumental effort, though.

(track 10) J is brought to you by Jude (Christodal).

Song:Brad and Suzy (Petralia Mix)

Album: You’re So Hot I Love You -EP- (Maverick, ©1999), the original version is on No One Is Really Beautiful (Maverick, ©1998 )

Indie Meter: Now completely indie via his webpage, shows, and CDBaby. Big indie meter points!!


Hails from: Los Angeles, CA

Info: Once indie, once Madonna’s whipping boy, now indie again. I saw Jude open up for Ben Folds Five over Memorial Day weekend in 1999 down in Nashville. By his second song, I was a lifelong fan. I bought his only majorly-distributed CD the next day at Best Buy. He went into hiding for a while after his label rejected his follow-up album and made him re-record it. The result was King of Yesterday, which was good, but quite… um, “forced.” He eventually got out of his contract and seemingly disappeared. In late-late 2003, he mysteriously had a new album on CDBaby (I CDBaby). Anyway, for the past few months Jude has been updating his webpage almost daily, like some kind of hard-to-maintain manual blog. It is often humorous, and I proudly say that I try to visit it daily. He’s got several projects in the works… 2006 looks like it’s gonna be a good year for Jude fans.

(track 11) K is brought to you by Michael Kelsey.

Song:Wild Blue Ride

Album: November (H Note, ©2003)

Indie Meter: Completely through his webpage, local shops, and shows… major indie props!


Hails from: Lafayette, IN

Info: My first Over the Rhine concert was also my first Michael Kelsey concert. He was the opener, and he blew me away. His records are great, but his live show is something of legend. I once saw him play a song, break a string, and change the string while not stopping the song. In 2004, he was awarded the top prize in Guitar Center’s Best Unsigned Guitarist search. He’s got 4 records and a DVD-EP, and his music is about half instrumental and half vocal. If you only do one thing in your life from here on out, add yourself to his email list and go see him live if he comes to your town.

(track 12) L is brought to you by Jason Ludwig.


Album: PeLL MeLL (self-released, ©2003)

Indie Meter: A complete DIY-er from Cincinnati… gotta love his tenacity…

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: Cincinnati, OH

Info: All I can really say it that I really dig Jason’s debut CD, and I hope Noctaluca (Jason’s band incarnation) get that damned debut album recorded… they’ve been threatening to finish it for about two years now… in concert, they’ve got a nice Pink Floyd meets Radiohead meets <insert jam-band name> vibe.

(track 13) M is brought to you by Mr. Bungle.

Song:Goodbye Sober Day

Album: California (Warner Bros, ©1999)

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: San Francisco, CA

Info: Mr. Bungle was Mike Patton’s band before, during, and after Faith No More. They are what I’d call loungy-cartoon-beachbum-circus-deathrock. They’ve only released three proper albums, all on Warner Brothers… which was lucky for them, otherwise they’d probably be sued for their logo. They are on a long-term hiatus right now, meaning that Mike Patton is busy with his 80-million other musical and filmic side-projects. I believe that Mr. Bungle’s music is utter brilliance, yet I also concede that it’s not for everyone. It’s on this mix CD to expose your brain to something different. At least listen to it once all the way through… after that, I wouldn’t be offended if you skipped it. Again, it’s not for everyone. It’s definitely up my proverbial alley, though. Me likes me some Bungle.

(track 14) N is brought to you by No-Man.

No-ManSong:Chelsea Cap

Album: All That You Are -EP- (Hidden Art, ©2003)

Indie Meter: Only on European indie labels.


Hails from: England

Info: Steven Wilson sneaks his way onto this compilation once again. This side-project is fronted by Tim Bowness, though. It’s a two-man band of sorts. Tim writes the lyrics and sings, and Steven writes and plays the music. On some of their albums, they also have some additional studio musicians (Porcupine Tree kin and others). Great melodic rock, sometimes painful lyrically.

(track 15) O is brought to you by Office of Strategic Influence.

Office of Strategic Influence - Limited Edition Song:Hello, Helicopter!

Album: Office of Strategic Influence (Inside Out, ©2003)

Indie Meter: One album out on an indie progrock label.

Webpage(s): – – – – – –

Hails from: The members were from Long Island, Montreal, and Costa Rica at the time, but it was recorded in upstate NY.

Info: A “supergroup” with Kevin Moore (of Chroma Key), Jim Matheos (of Fates Warning), and Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theater). You had me at Kevin Moore.” It’s like a Chroma Key record, but it didn’t even start with Kevin’s involvement. Now continuing on for OSI #2, it’ll be primarily Kevin and Jim. Anyway, the album is a loose concept of sorts about the media, political administrations, and the failed attempt of the Pentagon/Homeland Security Department setting up a real “OSI” to make the U.S.’s “war on terror” be viewed in a more favorable light overseas. Given all of that backstory drivel, the music isn’t overtly political.

(track 16) P is brought to you by Placebo.

PlaceboSong:Twenty Years

Album: Once More With Feeling (Astralwerks-EMI, ©2004)


Hails from: England

Info: My favorite “exactly half gay band”… EVER. By the way, that’s their description of their three-piece rock group, not mine. I got into Placebo with their song “Pure Morning.” They only got better after that. The song on this Orchard compilation is actually the previously unreleased song from their culmination of singles compilation put out last year. Most compilations like that are a sign to an end of a band… ya know, record contract fulfillment. I’m relieved that they’re in the studio now for a new release in 2006. Brian Malko’s got a golden voice that bridges the gap between the Placebo sound of britglam and punkrock.

(track 17) Q is brought to you by Queen (via Extreme).

Song:Love of My Life

Album: Song for Love -EP- (A&M Records, ©1992)

Webpage(s): – – – – – –

Hailed from: Boston, MA

Info: Well, you didn’t really want me to put Queensrÿche on here, did you? And, I admittedly don’t own any Queen. They just never were my thing, even though I do like some of their stuff. Rather than Queensrÿche, you all should be thanking me for opting for Extreme covering a Queen song. They even have Queen’s guitarist Brian May on the track. Extreme was/is in my Top 5 Artists of all-time list. Count how many times I say that – I think I’ve got 4 of those Top 5 Artists on this compilation, with my postscript being all about the 5th separate mention of the Top 5 Artists. Say what you will, but Extreme was so much more than the “More Than Words” hairband. They just came out either too late or too early for their time, depending on how you look at it. They were more of an art-rock band, but no one seems to believe me when I say that… alas, this song doesn’t go in that direction either. But trust me, Extreme was an art-rock band. J

(track 18 ) R is brought to you by Radiohead.

Song:Meeting In the Aisle

Album: Airbag (How Am I Driving?) -EP- (Capitol, ©1998 )

Webpage(s): – – –

Hails from: England

Info: Cough… Radiohead is one of my Top 5 Artists of all-time. I yield blindly to Thom Yorke’s will. I’d buy a record of him dumping in a plastic bag, shut up Steve. In other words, I don’t feel as if I have to defend Radiohead. Their music speaks for itself. Some people don’t like it. Some people do… a lot. I’m in the later group.

CD #2

(track 01) S is brought to you by Silverchair.

Song:Tuna In the Brine

Album: Diorama (Virgin Eleven, ©2002)


Hails from: Australia

Info: Cough… my 3rd Top 5 Artists of all-time in a row… OK, I’m done with that for now. Silverchair started out as a 2nd rate grunge band but evolved into an amazing force. Their last two albums, Neon Ballroom and Diorama, are pulled out of my CD racks a lot to spin. Diorama was easily my favorite CD of 2002. The album features the orchestration of the legendary Van Dyke Parks on three tracks (including this track, “Tuna In the Brine”). Silverchair is currently on hiatus, but I hope Daniel Johns and company get back to working up new music soon. They’re only 24 or 25 now; so they’ve got hopefully plenty of time to put out some more great music.

(track 02) T is brought to you by Tool.


Album: Lateralus (Zoo/Volcano, ©2001)


Hails from: Southern California

Info: Tool is one of the most intelligent rock groups around. Sure, some of their content might be questionable to some, per se, but that’s all part of their artistic and conscious striving to be subversive towards the mainstream. This track is one of their most beautiful pieces of music. Much of their music is harsher than this, but it’s all quite stunning music, in my opinion. Maynard James Keenan has one of the best voices in metal – hands down. If you don’t mind the “f-ck your god” lyrics, I’d also recommend checking out Maynard’s other mainstream-subversive band, A Perfect Circle, with former-Tool guitar tech Billy Howerdel and former-Failure guitarist Troy Van Leeuwuen. Back to Tool… Danny Carey plays the most insanely creative drumming that I‘ve heard – but he remains very understated in his approach. Adam Jones’ guitar playing is oft understated as well, while also being oft powerfully abrupt. I don’t know much about their bassist Justin Chancellor, but I’m sure he likes bubble gum as much as the rest of them.

(track 03) U is brought to you by Unbelievable Truth.


Album: Almost Here (Virgin, ©1997)


Hailed from: England

Info: I first saw them on tour with Tori Amos. I second saw them on tour with Tori Amos. I third saw them on tour with Tori Amos. Yeah, I am a Tori junkie, and I got hooked on Unbelievable Truth by the third time. They reminded me of a cross between Radiohead and Toad the Wet Sprocket, which is a comparison that still rings true (for me). I came to find out that the reason why they sounded a lot like Radiohead was that their front man was none other than Andy Yorke (Thom’s younger brother). They only released one album on a major, then went quite underground and independently released 2 to 3 albums (depending on your continent) before they eventually called it quits.

(track 04) V is brought to you by Vigilantes of Love (Bill Mallonee).

Song:Solar System

Album: Audible Sigh v. 3 (Meat Market/True Tunes/Compass, ©1999/2000/2000)

Indie Meter: Bill and VOL has been primarily indie for their entire career… except for the brief period when they had one greatest hits and a studio album on a Warner subsidiary.


Hails from: Athens, GA

Info: Bill Mallonee is Vigilantes of Love. Some people love him, some people don’t. This song comes from the third issue of Audible Sigh. It’s my favorite album of VOL’s since the Blister Soul / Welcome to Struggleville era. The trouble is that it got released three separate times on three separate labels with different tracks… a-nnoying, but a great record nonetheless. Bill Mallonee is a prolific songwriter, and I enjoy his brutal honesty. Sometimes he gets too countrified or too sesame street-harmonica for my tastes, but many times he gets it spot on. My wife likes his Snuggle fabric softener song.

(track 05) W is brought to you by Carissa’s Wierd (the misspelling is theirs, not mine).

Song:Ignorant Piece of Shit

“Explicit” Lyrics: None other than the title…

Album: Songs About Leaving (Sad Robot, ©2002)

Indie Meter: Completely indie or self-released, and sometimes very difficult to track down…

Webpage(s): – –

Hailed from: Seattle, WA

Info: I thank [jp/p] from the Orchard for getting me hooked on Carissa’s Wierd. I wish they would learn to spell, though. At first I thought they just took the whole “i before e” rule too seriously, but a look at their liner notes shows that they really just don’t know how to spell many words correctly. Eh… regardless, I love their raw, emotional music. They are now on official hiatus/break-up, but Jenn Ghetto has a couple of albums out and about under the band name “S”…

(track 06) X is brought to you by the X-ecutioners vs. General Patton.

Song:¡Get Up, Punk! (0200 Hours)

Album: Joint Special Operations Task Force (Ipecac, ©2005)

Indie Meter: On Mike Patton’s own Ipecac label


Hails from: San Francisco, CA & New York City

Info: This was way better than the alternative for “X.” J This is a one-off side-project between Mike Patton and the hip-hop turntable crew X-ecutioners. I don’t have much to add other than saying that much of this album is disjointed, but the few actual songs on it are wonderful…

(track 07) Y is brought to you by Year of the Rabbit.

Song:Rabbit Hole

Album: Year of the Rabbit (Elektra, ©2003)

Webpage(s): – – – – –

Hails from: Southern California

Info: Year of the Rabbit is the most recent Ken Andrews band in existence… it’s not officially done, but he’s off working on other stuff right now. I dig Ken Andrews a lot… I first got into him through his solo effort, ON. It’s very organic, yet very electronic pop. Then I got into his old band, Failure. Their album Fantastic Planet is probably one of the most underrated gems in modern rock. It’s utterly fabulous. He also had a cover project called The Replicants that Maynard James Keenan (of Tool) and others appeared on… Since my slots for F, O, and R were taken, Year of the Rabbit appears on this compilation. YOTR is rockier than ON and more polished than Failure. Ken has also produced or mixed upwards of 100 artists… the list is gi-mongous

(track 08) Z is brought to you by Frank Zappa.

Song:Duke of Orchestral Prunes

Album: Läther (Rykodisc, ©1996)


Hailed from: primarily Southern California

Info: Frank Zappa was a prolific songwriting satirist who often wrote ridiculously and often politically. He many times stumbled on to a great thing, but many times he also didn’t know when to quit. He pushed the boundaries of rock, and specifically the concept of the rock composer. After issues with the biggies, he became an astounding do-it-yourselfer. Over his career, he put out over 70 albums of original material, and most likely appeared on a hundred other albums. In his later years, he became more and more avant-garde. My usual standby FZ instrumental track is “Peaches In Regalia” from Hot Rats (I even included it on our wedding music CDs), but I opted for something different in this compilation… and I didn’t want to offend anyone; so I picked an instrumental track. As for essential Zappa, Strictly Commercial (a hits package) is where I started, but other essential albums are Apostrophe (’), Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka

(track 09) 0 is brought to you by Remy Zero.


Album: Villa Elaine (Geffen, ©1998 )


Hailed from: Birmingham, AL

Info: Hmmm… what to say about Remy Zero? I got into them back in 1998 when I saw the video for “Gramarye” on some late-night alternative rock cable-access station. I bought both of their albums at the time for cheap at a used shop… both great purchases at a $5 level. When their last album came out, The Golden Hum, I think I got it the day it came out. I saw them in concert that year, then I watched the first episode of Smallville after one of our weekly Buffy nights. First few bars of the TV show’s opening credits, I blurted out, “holy crap, this is Remy Zero!” Everyone else in the room looked at me like I was a psycho (which is a highly reliable reaction considering the source). Anyway, I thought it was cool that a fairly unknown band has getting such prominent exposure. Apparently this overexposure ended up breaking the band up.

(track 10) 1 is brought to you by Population-1.

Song:Unhappy B-day

“Explicit” Lyrics: Not really, but it does include “shit” a few times.

Album: Population-1 (self-released, ©2002)

Indie Meter: Puts out his albums out independently or also on Polydor Japan

Webpage(s): which will eventually morph into

Hails from: Australia & Los Angeles (and formerly Boston)

Info: Nuno Bettencourt is a rock hero of mine. After Extreme broke up, he put out a great solo album under the moniker of just “Nuno” called Schizophonic. He then put out two albums under the moniker Mourning Widows. The first MW record was still a solo album, and then by the second he made a band out of it. He briefly changed the name of his band to Near Death Experience, and then he changed it to Population-1. And now, two days before the beginning of October 2005, I find out that there are plans to change the name from Population-1 to Dramagods. Oy vey! Needless to say, I think Nuno’s got identity issues or something. All of his post-Extreme days have been melodic power-rock efforts… some showcasing his guitar-playing, but mostly showcasing his songwriting. I’m kind of an idiot, because this song doesn’t really showcase his “great songwriting” (it was just a fun “party” tune). Population-1/Dramagods hopes to release their third record (2nd full-length) in early 2006. Three members of Population-1/Dramagods (definitely including Nuno) are also working with Perry Farrell (of Jane’s Addiction & Lollapalooza fame) and Tony Kanal (No Doubt’s bassist) on a side-project called Satellite Party, which had its live debut at the Chicago 2005 Lollapalooza fest. I have no news about a Satellite Party studio effort…

(track 11) 2 is brought to you by The Jelly Jam’s album 2.

Song:She Was Alone

Album: 2 (Inside Out, ©2004)

Indie Meter: Small prog-rock label…

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: Texas, New York and Boston

Info: This is a veritable prog “supergroup” of Ty Tabor (King’s X), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs), and John Myung (Dream Theater). It actually started as Platypus (with former-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian), but splintered off into two side-projects – The Jelly Jam (sans Derek) and Jughead (Ty, Derek and Matt & Gregg Bisonnette from The Mustard Seeds). Of the three bands (Platypus, Jughead, and The Jelly Jam), I dig Jughead the most… but they’re all great rock bands.

(track 12) 3 is brought to you by Secret Chiefs 3.

Secret Chiefs 3 photoSong:Knights of Damcar

Album: Book M (Web of Mimicry, ©2001)

Indie Meter: Completely.

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: unsure, but probably the SF Bay Area

Info: No, you’re not listening to a band from the Middle East. You’re listening to a gang of musical fringe players who run in circles with the noiserock, punk, and hardcore underground, including members of Mr. Bungle. No, Mike Patton has no involvement in this group, but fellow Bungles (Trey Spruance, Trevor Dunn, and Danny Hiefetz) are all over the Secret Chiefs 3. The Secret Chiefs 3 catalog is “mostly made up of Indian/Asian-sounding melodies overlayed with wildly cavorting techno rhythms and a tiny bit of metal, infused with a sense of mystery and paranoia from the thematic artwork based on number theory and assumedly Hindu belief systems” (allmusicguide). Most of it fits in with the eclectic Bungle sound – ie: The Secret Chiefs 3 can’t be defined or pigeonholed.

(track 13) 4 is brought to you by Porcupine Tree’s EP that has a “4” in the title.


Album: 4 Chords That Made a Million -EP- (k-scope/Snapper, ©2000)


Hails from: England

Info: I should thank (or blame) both Steve C. and Zayne for getting me into Porcupine Tree. A brilliant progressive band comes along just when I’m about fed-up with progressive rock. Porcupine Tree’s earlier albums are more Pink Floyd influenced, and their most recent albums (In Absentia and Deadwing) have a heavier edge to them. PT comes highly recommended in both the live and recorded setting. Porcupine Tree is also related to two other bands in this compilation… Steven Wilson (the primary songwriter in PT) is also a major contributor in both Blackfield and No-Man.

(track 14) 5 is brought to you by Jurassic 5.

Song:Monkey Bars

“Explicit” Lyrics: Not really, but it does include “shit” a few times.

Album: Quality Control (Interscope, ©2000)

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: Los Angeles

Info: Jurassic 5 is quite frankly one of the few hip-hop groups out there that truly excites me. I enjoy their “old school” style and their art of making the hip-hop sound be a lot about musicality. Their DJs (Cut Chemist and Nu Mark) bring a level of musicianship and playfulness to the band. J5’s MCs also tend to keep it clean (for the most part) and rap about positive and/or thought-provoking topics… not “hoes and gats”… This song (“Monkey Bars”) is just a fun song about the elements of hip-hop.

(track 15) 6 is brought to you by King’s X.

Song:Six Broken Soldiers

Album: Faith Hope Love (Megaforce, ©1990)

Indie Meter: They started out indie, then got signed up for an asinine 14-record contract with Atlantic. Yikes! Luckily Atlantic honored their request to be dropped, and they have been indie ever since 1996.

Webpage(s): – –

Hails from: Katy, TX

Info: I’m going to preface all of this by stating that this song is an aberration of most King’s X songs… it is sung by the drummer, and it’s primarily nonsensical… alas, it had “six” in the title. King’s X is one of those rare bands who have withstood the test of time. They have been around for over 25 years, and they are still active in the rock music scene without having any major hits or chart success. They are a band that has spawned countless influenced-by colleagues – Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Collective Soul included – and gained much respect from musicians all over the world. All three members of King’s X (Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill) have side-projects and solo efforts and remain loyal to King’s X through it all.

(track 16) 7 is brought to you by Zero 7.

Song:Truth & Rights

Album: Another Late Night (Kinetic, ©2002)


Hails from: England

Info: Thanks to Luke for his pop-up Zero 7 Player post before When It Falls came out. Beautiful vocals and smooth jazz. This band became a quick favorite.

(track 17) 8 is brought to you by Elliott Smith.

Song:Figure 8

Album: Son of Sam -single- (Dreamworks, ©2000)

Indie Meter: indie-pop king who somehow got nominated for an Oscar against Celine DionJ

Webpage(s): is a good posthumous webpage

Hailed from: primarily Portland, OR, but also New York City and Los Angeles along his career path

Info: I thank Bruce for getting me into Elliott Smith right before he came to town in 2000. I’m glad I got to see him before he died. He was a treasure, and he is very much missed. This track was from the Figure 8 sessions and made its way onto the “Son of Sam” import single.

(track 18) 9 is brought to you by Buckethead.


Album: Bermuda Triangle (Catalyst, ©2002)

Indie Meter: countless albums on countless indie labels


Hails from: a chicken coop

Info: Buckethead is crazy. He plays guitar like few others. He wears a KFC-style bucket and a white mask during shows and photo ops. He plays guitars with nunchuks. He dances the robot. He’s got an album with Viggo Mortensen that is surprisingly good. He works a lot with Les Claypool and Bootsy Collins. He was in Axl Rose’s latest touring incarnation of Guns N’ Roses. There is very little known about his origins or personal life. Most of his music is in a metal vein, but two of his albums would be well-suited for fans of mellower music: Colma and Electric Tears. I even used some Buckethead tracks in our wedding CDs… J


Enjoy! Sorry for overloading… but once I got the “A to Z” mix concept in my head, there was no smoting it.


PS– You might be asking yourself, “why is Chroma Key clearly absent? Well, I’ve got an OSI track on there, which is essentially Chroma Key on steroids. If you wanna hear some Chroma Key (ie- my #1 favorite band of all-time), just ask me. Or check out some of the following links for sound samples:

The Chroma Key albums Dead Air For Radios and You Go Now have gained my 100% buy-back guarantee… if you buy them and don’t like ‘em, I’ll buy ‘em off your hands for what you paid for ‘em (max $13.95/ea). Honest to God!

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