CU-Boulder’s Announcement

Ok, I’m loving all of this.  The West!  Scholarship!  Cool Towns!

Going the extra mile for Aisles



One of the most challenging parts about being a prog reviewer is trying to ascertain how many times you need to listen to a particular album before you feel confident enough to deliver a balanced, fair appraisal of what it is all about.

I have never reviewed an album on the strength of one listen, no matter how discordant or lacking it may be. A lot of work goes into every release so I feel a sense of responsibility and respect for the artiste(s) in giving their work a thorough listening before committing my thoughts to type.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting albums are the ones where you feel no matter how many times you play them, there will be something more for you to discover the next time you give it a run-out. One example came in the post in the spring all the way…

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Embrace Humanity, not Ideology

One of the great contributions of the Christian Humanists of the twentieth century–in particular, Christopher Dawson, C.S. Lewis, and Russell Kirk–is the realization that no left-right divide exists beyond the contrivance of those who seek power.  They employ it as a means to divide those who would challenge them.

Some great quotes from Christopher Dawson, 1946.

The virtues of justice and goodwill, the virtues of truth and patience, above all the virtue of prudence. . . . It is only by the exercise of these virtues that it is possible to save society from the political disintegration that threatens it, and maintain an island of society amidst the rival barbarians of Left and Right.

The way of life is the way of justice which turns neither to the Right nor to the Left.

Rush MOVING PICTURES–reviewed in Notre Dame Student Paper 1981


My family and I are in the process of moving to Boulder, Colorado, for the upcoming school year.  One of the terrible parts of any move is the packing.  But, there’s a plus side–things thought lost reappear!  And, so it is with this review I found in a spring issue of the University of Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer.  Dated April 23, 1981, pg. 11, by Tom Krueger.  Forgive the quality of the image.  It’s a photocopy from microfilm run through a Scansnap.  So, in terms of image–blah!  Still, good to have it posted for historical reasons.

rush moving pictures review nd 1981

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Progarchy is Moving! New Address.


cu buffaloFor the next year, yours truly (ed.-Brad) will be living in Longmont, Colorado, and teaching at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  It is my goal to make CU an all-prog rock campus.  By the end of the academic year, I’m hoping CU students will chant things such as Socrates, Petrarch, Spawton, Tillison, Cohen. . . . We’ll see what happens.

Therefore, the physical address of Progarchy, July 1, 2014-July 1, 2015, will be:

Brad Birzer/Progarchy

1710 Whitefeather Drive

Longmont CO 80504


Contact email will still be:

On July 1, 2015, progarchy hq will move back to its normal Hillsdale, Michigan, address.  Thanks for understanding!  Yours, BB

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ELP, William Blake, and Jerusalem – The Divine Conection



Back in the year 1973, Kieth Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer made an interesting decision regarding their album, Brain Salad Surgery. They decided to record their own version of the hymn, “Jerusalem,” and make it the first song on the new album. ELP had made a name for themselves in the world of progressive ROCK. These boys were not touring the Anglican Church circuit playing selections from the hymn book “whilst” citing the English Common Book of Prayer. Far From it. So why include a nearly 200 year old poem by William Blake, which was made a hymn by Hubert Parry in the early 1900s, in their new album? It seems like a strange choice, right? Well, maybe not.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,

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Review: Jason Rubenstein NEW METAL FROM OLD BOXES


Review: Jason Rubenstein, NEW METAL FROM OLD BOXES (Tone Cluster, 2014).

new metalSo.  You’ve been a progger since the 1970s, you’re musically trained, and and you’ve enjoyed a solid if now former career as a software engineer with several major companies.  What do you do?  You write a brilliant, stunning, majestic soundtrack to your life, especially if you live in glorious San Francisco.

I exaggerate a bit, but not much.  This, essentially, is the background to music maestro Jason Rubenstein.  He has just released a rather stunning album, New Metal from Old Boxes (Tone Cluster, 2014; mixed by Niko Bolas and mastered by Ron McMaster).  While many Americans and other citizens of western civilization might simply desire new wine from old bottles, those of us who live in the republic of progarchy can rejoice heartily.  We can have our wine and our Rubenstein!

From the first listen, I was hooked.  This is…

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Breathing, and Meaning It

Peter C. Blum

[This is a re-posting of a comment in response to this blog Post by Tom Morris, for whom I was once a teaching assistant, and from whom I learned some important things about teaching.]

monksSomewhere in my young adulthood, I caught myself assuming (and having assumed for a long time) that repetition is always an enemy of sincerity or authenticity. It’s true that repetition can become empty, but it’s not inevitable. As a teacher I’ve found that I keep repeating some of the same things year after year. The revelation comes in how it is possible to mean them, and to say them like I mean them, more deeply each time. If you think that “ritual” always has to be a bad word, then perhaps you’ve never known someone who lives by ritual as if it is their way of breathing, and who knows that without such breath they could not live.


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Big Big Train: Voices for Real World


Greg Spawton has posted another video snippet on the Big Big Train Facebook page of the band’s preparations for their upcoming live recording at Real World Studios. If you’re a Passenger, it’ll be compulsive viewing!

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New Music Video from Days Between Stations


Here’s the official video for their wonderful song, “The Man Who Died Two Times”, featuring the irrepressible Colin Moulding (of XTC fame). It’s from their outstanding 2013 album, In Extremis. You have to love a band that don’t take themselves too seriously!

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An Announcement



Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that at 8.04pm this evening Salander gave birth to a new album. Everyone is doing fine. We have called it STENDEC. It weighs in at 65 minutes and we hope it will have a bright future. Anyone wishing to view our new arrival can do so via the Salander bandcamp page


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