Author Archives: Michael Popke

Festivals adjust with the times

With Entertainment Weekly dubbing this concert season the “Summer of Sadness” — many acts have canceled dates, ProgPower USA is now selling single-day tickets for the first time, and admission prices to Lilith Fair have been slashed — the recent news about Projektfest ’10 comes as no surprise.

Symphony X marks the spot

Symphony X has finally entered the studio to begin recording the follow-up to 2007’s Paradise Lost, and the album should be released by year’s end.

11 days, 11 stages and even some prog bands

summerfest.logo

Milwaukee’s Summerfest — billed as “the world’s largest music festival” — begins this week, and I must say I’m excited. Plenty of progressive bands — or at least bands with progressive tendencies — can be found on the Summerfest bill this year. (OK, less than a couple dozen in a field of 800 is not “plenty,” but it’s still more than I recall in past years.)

Rockin’ the boat

Progressive-metal bands take to the high seas on themed cruises, a la the famed Jam Cruise. Now, how about a pure prog cruise?

The ‘Rush’ is on

On Tuesday, Rush issued a two-song digital CD single featuring “Caravan” and “BUTB,” both from an upcoming album expected to be released in spring 2011. While the results are decidedly mixed among fans, this nevertheless is cause for celebration.

‘American Idol’ alum goes prog

American Idol, for better or worse, has given us contemporary pop stars (Kelly Clarkson), modern country cuties (Carrie Underwood) and hard-rockin’ dudes (Chris Daughtry). And this week, Carly Smithson – who finished sixth on Season 7 of the insanely popular singing competition – appeared as the lead singer on the debut album by dark rock band We Are the Fallen, featuring former members of Evanescence.