Progressive Ideas

blogged by Michael Popke and Marc Garrison

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

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.

Live Alan Parsons disc offers up a bit of nostalgia

The Alan Parsons Project never performed live, because the band’s namesake reportedly claimed his brand of sophisticated, breezy and keyboard-driven orchestral pop was difficult to recreate outside of the studio. But thanks to technology advances, that all changed in the mid-1990s

‘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.