Jammin’ in the Kingdom with Chris Cornell [from Progarchy]

And I’m lost, behind
The words I’ll never find
And I’m left behind
As seasons roll on by

Thus far, 2017 has been a rather amazing year when it comes to rock and prog.  PROG magazine is back and better than ever.  Thank the Good Lord for Jerry Ewing.

The music releases–already and forthcoming–this year are nothing less than stunning.  Big Big Train has released the finest of the band’s career, and The Tangent’s new release has yet to come.  Steven Wilson is coming out with a progressive pop album, and newspaperflyhunting and Bjorn Riis have, as with BBT, released the best thing either’s written and done, thus far in their respective careers.  There’s a new Anathema that is pretty good, and Steve Hogarth seems, at the moment, unstoppable with Marillion as well as with Isildur’s Bane.

Now I want to fly above the storm
But you can’t grow feathers in the rain
And the naked floor is cold as hell
This naked floor reminds me
Oh the naked floor reminds me

As I type this (having just returned from a conference on libertarian thought in 1840’s France), I have just received in the mail two grand packages.  The first I opened is Steven Wilson’s remix of Jethro Tull’s SONGS FROM THE WOODS.  The second is Aryeon’s signed five-disk ear-book, THE SOURCE.  Honestly, I’m not sure how to react with anything that would be regarded as decorous.  I’m a 13-year old boy, at the moment, just having had my first listen of MOVING PICTURES.

Holy schnikees.

Sleeping with a full moon blanket
Sand and feathers for my head
Dreams have never been the answer
And dreams have never made my bed
Dreams have never made my bed

And, yet.



What a dark cloud hanging over the American scene as well with the untimely and tragic death of Chris Cornell.  I love Cornell’s music, but I’m especially taken with his song “Seasons,” which appeared in the classic early 90’s movie, SINGLES, and again, critically, in MAN OF STEEL.


While I don’t and probably shouldn’t understand suicide, I certainly know–all too well–the kinds of things that would lead someone to it.  That written, I would beg anyone NOT to do it, of course.  Today may be a dung heap, and tomorrow, too.  But, at some point, the dung heap has an ending, and we will certainly see the sun again, even if the smell of the dung lingers.  I can’t judge Cornell, nor would I presume to do so.  But, I do feel intensely sorry for him and for all the surviving members of his family, who must just be in anguish beyond description.  If there is a God, I presume He must be utterly merciful.  Perhaps more than anyone, a suicide deserves the pity and mercy of He who made all things and redeemed–through His own death–all things.  And, even if He had second thoughts about a suicide, His mother would chastise Him for such thought.  Like turning water into wine, she would scold Him, telling Him to get his priorities straight.  She would enfold the suicide in the majesty of her own robes of mercy.

At least I think she would.

If I should be short on words
And long on things to say
Could you crawl into my world
And take me worlds away?
Should I be beside myself
And not even stay

Cornell, as it turns out, was a man of great faith, and he had converted to the Eastern Orthodox religion over a decade ago.  He overcame many of his addictions and bad habits, and he gave much of his time and money to the poor.


Cornell was, by any standard, a good man.  A man, to be sure.  But, a good one.  The world still has need of him.  Why he couldn’t see this, I’ll never know.  I would guess, however, that after Mary talks to her son, Cornell will enter the kingdom, and he’ll let Jimi know just how nice Seattle has become.  They have a lot to talk about.  And, they need to jam.

2017 will be remembered for its great heights and its great failures.  To the Cornell family, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.  And, Chris. . . we love you.

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