Iona — Beyond These Shores
(WHAD 1300, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01Three albums on now, Iona's latest release shows a higher degree of maturity and refinement overall. Still solidly in the Celtic folk-rock vein, they are in many ways comparable to bands like Clannad and Fairport, but with strong Christian themes running through their songs. Vocalist Joanne Hogg is powerful as ever, and the band supports her well. Led by multi-instrumentalist Dave Bainbridge, they're not afraid to rock, nor are they afraid to explore the quieter introspective realms on the interludes between the vocal tracks. On their last album, all the rock was front-loaded, and the album completely changed (died?) at about the 35 minute mark; this time they've kept the energy level more constant by interspersing the quiet material throughout the album. A long list of guest musicians contributing everything from Uillean pipes to oboe and viola includes, plus none other than Robert Fripp, contributing guitar and Frippertronics. Anyone who enjoyed their previous Book of Kells should be delighted with this one, indeed it is better, yet a bit more polished as well. It should be noted that all three Iona CDs are now available as domestics, on the Forefront label. Highly recommended.
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