IQ’s “The Road Of Bones” Is Astounding


If you haven’t already bought IQ’s recently-released “The Road Of Bones” here’s a public service announcement:


CD1 is absolutely stonking (that’s British for ‘good’,) and while most ‘bonus’ discs are rarely a bonus (instead usually filled with oddities and detritus) IQ has actually released something that’s absolutely the opposite.

I consider the The Road Of Bones bonus disc (bones disc? – hur hur!) to be absolutely essential listening. It’s difficult for me to understand why this wasn’t released as a double album – there’s so much top-notch material on these 2 CDs!

For GBP4 on top of the single CD (which is selling at GBP10) you get the bonus disc too. You won’t regret it!

Get it here.

“Executive Summary”

Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!

Indeed, what music they make!

The highest accolade I…

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Elbow; The Take Off and Landing of Everything.



As a reviewer it is sometimes difficult to stand back from an album that you are reviewing and be objective, not let your personal feelings, or things that are happening in your own life colour your perception of the album, and make the review all about you, and not about the album. Sometimes however the parallels between the album and experiences you have had or are going through make this difficult, and it seems that with every track the artist has seen into your soul and written songs all about you. This is where I come into Elbows new long player, the Take off and Landing of Everything. For the uninitiated Elbow are a Lancashire based quintet of Guy Garvey, Mark Potter, Craig Potter, Richard Jupp and Pete Turner, and have been working as Elbow since 1997. The Take off and Landing of Everything is their 6th studio album, and…

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Synergistic Perfection: First – and Lasting – Impressions of Moving Pictures


I. Blown Away

ImageIt was a beautiful spring day.

At least so it seemed. The calendar said it was still February, so officially were still in winter. But Winter 1981 in Lexington, KY, was unseasonably warm.

On that fateful afternoon, I met up with my friend Greg Sims at the end of the school day. We hopped into his Chevy Monza (or, ‘The Monza-rati’ as we called it) and he drove me over to the K-Mart on New Circle Road. I went in, quickly located a copy of the new Rush album, Moving Pictures, made my purchase, and headed back out to the car. Greg gave me a ride home, and then took off, as he had to work while I had the night off from my job.

 I don’t remember the exact day it was when I made this purchase, but it likely was the same day the…

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C.V.–Updated, April 2014

cv spring 2014

Rush’s Finest Album? (Hold Your Fire until you’ve read my analysis!)


The boys were most stylish in 1987. The boys were most stylish in 1987.

The first Rush album I bought was A Farewell To Kings – it was a cutout*, and I had heard they were a pretty good progressive rock trio. Geddy’s vocals turned me off initially, but Neil’s lyrics were very intriguing. The next album I acquired was Permanent Waves, because “Spirit of Radio” was all over the radio, and Geddy’s voice had mellowed a bit. That album remained in permanent rotation on my dorm room’s turntable for months, and I still listen to it often. Moving Pictures upped the ante even more, and Rush were becoming one of my all-time favorite bands. However, to my ears Signals was a letdown – the pervasive whoosh of synthesizers seemed to overwhelm Alex’s guitars, and the melodies weren’t as memorable as those in Moving Pictures. So I skipped Grace Under Pressure, convinced that Rush’s…

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New Arjen Lucassen Project: With Anneke van Giersbergen


Arjan Lucassen has just released the following on Facebook:

Time has come to finally disclose my new project… it will be a collaboration between my favorite female singer Anneke van Giersbergen and me! Expect an epic concept double album, a combination of ‘classical meets metal’ and ‘acoustic folk’. More details later!

arjen and anna

A progarchist take: God bless the Dutch.  Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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H301 Study Guide: History of the American Founding

H301, Founding of the American Republic; Birzer

Study Guide for the Final, 2014


Section 1: Essay.  Worth 40% of your final exam grade.

When asked about the sources influencing the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the venerable third president of the United States answered: “This was the object of the Declaration of Independence.  Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.  Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.  All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc.”

  • The greats of the classical world, Protestantism, Lockean liberalism, and whiggism profoundly shaped the American mind during the founding of the American republic.  Trace and compare the influence and significance of two of the four on the creation of the American mind, 1764-1806.



Section 2: I.D.s./Definitions  There were will be four possible terms on the exam; you will need to answer 3 (and only 3) of them.  Each one will be worth 10% of your final examination grade.

  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Anti-Federalists
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Cato (18th-century editorialists)
  • Cato: A Tragedy
  • Committees of Correspondence
  • Commonwealth Men
  • Conventions (extra-legal) and Associations
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Edmund Burke
  • Enlightenment
  • Federalist-Miami War
  • Federalists
  • First Continental Congress
  • George Washington
  • Intolerable Acts
  • James Madison
  • James Otis
  • James Wilson
  • John Adams
  • John Dickinson
  • John Locke
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Loyalism
  • Newburgh Conspiracy
  • Northwest Ordinance
  • Pacificus-Helvidius Debates
  • Quebec Act
  • republicanism
  • Sam Adams
  • Second Continental Congress
  • Stamp Act
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Townshend Acts
  • Writs of Assistance


Section 3: Short answers: multiple choice; fill-in the blank; quote identification; etc.  Worth 30% of your final examination.

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