Roger’s “2011 – A year in review”

Firstly a big Thank You to anyone who actually reads my nonsense. I’d still do it if no-one came, but sloppy kisses to ya anyway…xxxxxxxxxxxx!

2011 was a wonderful year for new progressive music, and almost totally crap in every other respect, but hey, let’s not dwell on that!

2011 was also a year in which my amateur music scribbling pastime took off exponentially, and was a year in which I discovered, well confirmed actually, as I had always suspected as much, that “prog” is rarely the same as “progressive”, and if you’ve followed any of my wibble then you’ll already know my feelings on the subject, and you don’t want me going off on one here, do you? Well…I might, a bit, somewhere nearer the end.

Presented below are my music year highlights (and some lowlights)…all completely subjective of course. It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to, or summat…

Albums of the year

In the order they were retrieved from my fog-shrouded brain, these albums are all worthy of your attention. I have not indicated which I thought was the best, as that changes every week, but those in bold vie for top place in rotation. No compilations or reissues allowed, and links go to reviews. Some of those without reviews will no doubt appear either here or over on DPRP later, as the Yuletide alcoholic fug clears, so watch this space(rock)! 

Amplifier - The Octopus
Memories Of Machines - Warm Winter
Jo Hamilton - Gown
Van Der Graaf Generator - A Grounding In Numbers
Herd Of Instinct - Herd Of Instinct
Jakszyk Fripp Collins - A Scarcity Of Miracles
Grails - Deep Politics
Gosta Berlings Saga - Glue Works
Sleepin Pillow - Superman’s Blues
North Sea Radio Orchestra – I a Moon
No Man’s Land - Drowning Desert
Serena Maneesh – No. 2: Abyss in B Minor
Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning
Magazine - No Thyself
Abrete Gandul - Enjambre Sismico
Kalutaliksuak – Snow Melts Black
Levin Torn White - Levin Torn White
Dave Willey & Friends – Immeasurable Currents
Øresund Space Collective – Sleeping With The Sunworm
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
Pythagoras – The Correlated A, B, C
Knitting By Twilight – Weathering

True to form, only two of these featured on Andy Read’s DPRP writers’ top 15 of 2011 radio show, Amplifier (no.11) and Steven Wilson (no.2), which just goes to show I’m off on a Tangent (arfarf)!

Cover of the year

Pythagoras – The Correlated A, B, C

A triple fold-out sleeve that contains a seven inch single (Part A), a ten inch LP (Part B), a twelve inch LP (Part C), two CDs which contain all the tracks from the three pieces of vinyl plus a bonus track, and finally but not least, four art prints!

Gig of the year

Burning Shed 10th Anniversary Celebration – Leamington Spa Assembly, starring no-man, Theo Travis, Pineapple Thief redux, Giancarlo Erra, Resonance Association. An evening of true art.
Runner-up Cressida at Camden Underworld – A truly magical evening by a band who hadn’t played together in 40 years.

The Hardest Working Man In Showbiz Award

Could only be given to one Steven Wilson. In between a touring a new Blackfield album, remixing two Crimson albums, remixing for Caravan and Jethro Tull, twiddling knobs for Opeth and Memories of Machines, appearing with no-man, recording and releasing his marvy solo album and then touring it, Mr Wilson still found the time to redecorate his studio in a fetching shade of black. He put some shelves up too, and maybe creosoted the fence. Does this man ever sleep?

This is all far too cheery, so, let’s get acerbic!…

The “Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before” award

Jointly won by Glass Hammer and Wobbler who both seem to desire to be Yes circa 1973 when they have more than enough talent to create their own sounds, and all while their heroes are still making new music. If Yes were defunct I could almost understand it, but what they feel about these copyists must be a mixture of pride, bemusement and annoyance. Sorry, but I just don’t get it.

Oxymoron of the year

Goes to the Head of Music at BBC Radio One, one George Ergatoudis, who captained the Sheffield Uni team on the Xmas series of graduate University Challenge. He not only failed to guess Nashville from the clue “Grand Ol’ Opry”, but also didn’t recognise the fab Wake Up Boo by The Boo Radleys. Obviously his job title is an oxymoron, or maybe it’s because Radio One now plays wall-to-wall crap and wouldn’t recognise proper pop culture or a decent tune if it was bit on its collective testicles by Sir Paul McCartney? Me, I couldn’t possibly comment.

That’s all folks! See you all in 2012, have a great New Year’s Eve….right, it’s off down the shops now to stock up on booze and the ingredients for a turkey curry.

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

1 Comment

  1. Raffaella Berry

    January 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Great write-up from Roger as usual! I will post my own 2011 retrospective as soon as possible – still haven’t got back in the swing of things after my vacation, and have a lot to catch up to.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

%d bloggers like this: