Gong — Angel's Egg
(Charly 119, 1973/1996, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-09-28
The pivot of the Radio Gnome Trilogy, Angel's Egg is one of the most fully realized parables of inner spirituality that ever came from the rock scene and perhaps the album where Zero the Hero is starting to realize a few things along his journey. Space rock, a genre that is now so prolific it's impossible to keep up with all of the releases, sits one of its two foundations here (the other is later Hawkwind), made possible by the groundbreaking synthesizer work of Tim Blake and the guitar playing and writing of Steve Hillage. Primary here was Allen's brilliant lyrics towards the beginning of the first suite, Zero encountering the fear caused by nascent and limiting beliefs, and the overcoming of such, and then later, written by Gilli Smyth, the encounter with the divine feminine with "Prostitute Poem" and "Selene." But these diverse shades are only a preliminary to what is one of the best LP sides in music, as the band "glid" down the "Oily Way" into a great suite and then a series of songs that show Gong could write pop with the best of them. Just like the other two entries in the trilogy, one keeps coming back to the way this story is crafted; on the surface it's like zany science fiction, but the metaphors just seem to shadow an apprehension and retelling of the stories of the esoteric that go back hundreds of years. And this is an approach that would not have been successful if such a fantastic band hadn't been put together to tell it. Don't forget to eat that phone book!
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more