Saturday, September 23, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents:The Voice of The Moon #014, With The Herbalist (Were the 80's really that bad?)

There is a common believe among popular music collectors about the 80's. Most will tell you that the whole decade was lost in terms of music creativity.

Some others might tell you that the 80's produced music for robots, or out-of-control punks.

These feelings have deep roots in several phenomena that happened at the end of the 70's.
One was the explosion of Disco, a music which lacks any kind of artistic value and which is devoted exclusively to make people dance while suppressing almost all thinking process at the same time.

The other trgedy at the end of the 70's was the catalepsy that trapped many of the great progressive bands of the 70's. Some fell into a cold fusion abyss, others simply stopped making records for sometime.

The political background wasn't too nice either. The whole planet was trapped between two opposite systems: extreme capitalism, represented by Reagan, Thatcher and their gang, and extreme communism, represented by the Holy Supreme Soviet. There were hot spots in Central America and Star Wars was not only a movie but also a defensive project. Nuclear Holocaust was very possible. Fear was our daily breakfast.

Add to this background a high rate of unemployment in Europe and what you get is that unorganized, anarchic movement in pop culture that eventually we came to know as Punk.

Punk was protest in its purest form. Its motto was "No Future". Its weapons: Ugliness, Violence, Radical and Free expressions of Nastiness.

Although Punk was not, musically-wise, a rich movement, some bands grew and matured with time resulting in interesting proposals like Gang of Four, New Model Army, etc.

Parallel to this, the 80's became the era of the pseudo-robots. The release of the album "Man Machine" by Kraftwerk in 1978, gave birth to a whole generation of techno pop androids like Fad Gadget, Orchestral Manoveurs in The Dark, Human League, The Vapors, Devo, and many others which, some more, some less, produced songs guided by the technology, especially drum machines and sequencers. To our ears that music might sound boring and empty of emotion. But of course that was not every case. We know that here and here there are hidden jewels inside techno pop, waiting to be discovered.

My position is that possibly, the most interesting music done in the 80's was composed and performed by those bands and artists inside the so called New Romantic Movement. They also used the technology at hand, but their approach was more poetic, aiming at a higher level or artistic achievement, using exotism, melancholy, and delicacy as tools to deliver not just pop songs, but cultural objects. We could say that the fathers of 80's New Romanticism are composers like David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Jhon Foxx, to name a few.

Finally post-punk and new romanticism had another child: dark wave. A morbid and nihilistic genre that in time evolved itself into goth rock, gloom, neo ritualism, and some other hyper-sensible ways of making music and poetry.

Of Course the 80's were much more than all this. There was also reggae, dub and ska from Jamaica, three genres that had enormous influence at global level. The 80's were also the background on which Rap had its infancy.

It wasn't after all a dry decade. But it was for sure a time of transitions, a decade of forking paths, many of them leading to dead ends, but some leading to our eclectic 2000’s.

So, maybe The 80's were not that bad. They produced the 90's. That's good enough I think.

Anyway, you don't need to believe me, do you?

Listen for your self here ---> Get your Voice of The Moon # 014

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents:The Voice of The Moon #012,With The Herbalist (Now we have a Dirty Dozen so, we have gone rather experimental and freaky)

Twelve .
Twelve Deeds of Buddha.

Twelve Apostols.
Twelve Tribes of Israel
Twelve Astrological Signs.
..and so on.
Although it is not as manageable as Ten, Twelve seems nice and complete.
So, after the very nice reception that #011 had (...thanks for the comments...) I felt encouraged to go a little further and get a bit more experiemental on this one. Of course, experimental is a term too broad and could mean many things. John Cage's prepared piano works were very much experimental and still sound very odd to our ears, but on the other hand Sgt Ppepper's by The Beatles was definetely experimental and avant garde in 1967, and nowadays are part of our lives soundtrack.
Having in mind that the term is vague, I have tried not to wander away into realms that might be sonically too difficult or cacophonic. Don't get me worng. I'd love to play some Stockhausen and Varèse for you, but that kind of music doesn't fit well in radio or webcast format. Academic Avant-garde demands a special mood, a special moment and a special place to be liste listened too.

I don´t think that the public downloading The Voice of The Moon is after that kind of music. (but check our links, under classic and you'll reach some great blogs that deal with those genres).
Anyway I might be worng and maybe you all love Schoenberg, Messiaen, etc. Let me know if that's the case.

So, I decided to explore popular avantgarde. Or some artists that dwell in the fringe of Pop, Rock, Folk and Experimentalism.

This week we'll be exposed to the dramatic ambients created by Holger Czukay, founding member of Can. We'll also be introduced to the nocturnal experiemnts of the Italian collective Doubling Riders. After that, we'll meet a stunning singer whose name is Amy Denio. Near the end I will make you listen to one of my favorites bands. Legendary Pink Dots.

But hey, there's much more!

Give us an ear and we'll blow your soul!

And, of course,

Keep Listening...!!!
Complete your dozen------>> here

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon #011, With The Herbalist (This Week We get Semi-Classical, Acoustic and Rather Folky)

I try to put my heart and senses in every Voice of The Moon show I do, but at the end of the day, I like some shows better than others. This one I really enjoyed doing and listening to after it was done. I selected to play today two of the musicians that have filled my heart and mind in the last decade. Wim Mertens from Belgium and Iva Bittova from the Czech Republic.Of course there are, as usual, many other suprises.

I am doing my best to improve my spoken English rhythm but only you, my dear friends can tell me if I am doing any better.

I am very grateful for those nice comments we have been getting with this radio show, or webcast or whatever you want to call it.

I must remind you again that The Voice of The Moon is done to give room to things we can’t post in the blog because we avoid posting things younger than 20 years old.

Another thing I’d like to remind you at this point is to visit our archives. Here and there you’ll find some good albums that you’ll want to get.

Final announcement for this week is that I won’t be posting albums myself as often as I used two at least for the next few days because I will be working on other aspects of Prog Not Frog, but please pay attention to what our friends Nahavanda, Algarnas and Micaus are posting. They are doing a great job.
For you. And Because of you.

Be well.
Behave well.

See you again very soon!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon #010, With The Herbalist (This Week We Celebrate Number 10! Back to Basics! Rock!)

Hey! Ten Shows Already! Yeah!, and I am very happy about it because more and more people is downloading the Voice of The Moon.

Thank You!

If you have any suggestion that you think will help to improve the show please leave us a comment and we'll ponder it.

This week we'll play rock. At least what we believe is rock, which of course will be far from the mainstream concept of Rock.

We'll start from the Post Industrial/Big Band dreams of Steroid Maximus, then we'll move to experimentalists like Drums & Tuba, psych & indy Warriors like Bevis Frond, peculiar and forgotten bands Like The Moles and of course a bunch of surprises that I do hope you all enjoy.

This 1oth Show is dedicated to the memory of Laura Casasola. May she play her piano for the Gods. They'll enjoy listening to her.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon, With The Herbalist (This Week We Go to India)

This week we'll make another imaginary journey, this time to the east. We'll be listening to contemporary music, but under the influence of the thousands years old music tradition of India.

We'll experience the mysteries and enigmas of one of the oldest musical heritages of human civilization thru our modern ears.

Hindu Music is still developing in front of our eyes, nowadays interacting, influencing and being influenced by genres like Jazz, Rock, Electronic and other folk expressions like Celtic, for example.

In this journey we'll learn about the experiments done by the french composer Thierry Zaboitzeff, the devotional songs beautifully sung by Ilan Chester, the virtuoso sitar playing of the Spanish Luis Paniagua and of course, a rendition to the man that has done most to give us the music from India: Ravi Shankar.

It will be another eclectic mix, seasoned with the modern touch of experimentalism.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed doing it for you.

Keep Listening...!!!

Go here to get The Voice of The Moon # 009

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Prog Not Frog Radio Presents: The Voice of the Moon # 008 With The Herbalist (One Million Dollars Webcast!!!)

Sorry for the delay.

Although usually I post the The Voice of The Moon every Saturday, I have had some complications. So it is today, Sunday when I finally posted it.

This week's travel starts in Canada with Shalabi Effect a band that belongs to that enigmatic realm that some critics call Post Psych.

Later on we'll jump to Nothern Europe to listen to old bands like Min Bul, a 70's quartet from Norway, and Midaircondo, an all female electronic and visual arts project, that orbits around sound deconstruction/reconstruction.

From Italy we'll meet Per Grazie Ricevuta a side project of the art rock collective Consorzio Suonatori Independenti.

We'll also listen among several other surprises, to a nice Peter Hammill cover.

We'll remember Ian Dury, a quasi forgotten artist from the 80's, and many other sounds
that I am sure that will please your ears.

Enjoy, my friends, this is done for you.

And as usual...

Keep Listening...!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

ProgNotFrog Radio Presents: The Voice of The Moon #007 With The Herbalist (with this particular one we protest against war)


When I announced an anti-war show two days ago I didn't expect to receive some many comments:Actually, we received three kinds of comments:

(1) Plain Stupid Fascist and/or Fanatic comments. They were rejected without any serious reading.

(2) Smart and well articulated comments, but inclined to one side of the conflict actually taking place in the Middle East. They were rejected after serious reading , they were thought about and we respect those who wrote them but we decided not to allow those to be shown in the blog. Thanks anyway for your opinions. By the way, we also believe that there's people pushing this war and taking advantage from the situation there... but before even starting to discuss that we raise our voice to stop violence.

(3) Nice neutral comments from people that understands that war must be stopped, and that also understands that previous to any discussion, consideration, accusation, etc the world needs violence in the middle east to stop.

Those comments were published.

The announcement has been deleted because we now publish the show itself.

We'll be playing music rooted both arabic and hebrew traditions. From the Muslim-Rock of Dissidenten to the exatraordinary Klezmer influenced band called Beirut. From the Rabinic Chant inspired ambient of Wally Brill to the an arabic blues drenched song of Natacha Atlas. From the deep and emotive work of Black Ox Orkestar to the Tuareg Inspired experimental rock of Justin Adams.

All this and more.

Peace and...

Keep Listening...!!!