The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Part 2
I'm not a Monkey anymore swinging off the branch of the Flower King Family Tree
I apologize for the mess of the last entry. I went a tad little overboard with all the font variations and some such. For some unfathomable reason that I couldn't comprehend, it seemed hopeless to fix or to edit. No spaces in between paragraphs- links not working- spell checking on the fritz, who the fuck knows who's minding the limbo shift at cyber wonderland at the time who would allow this kind of shit to go down.
Anyway, I'm bored out of my fucking skull right now. There's been no work for me to do all day which is making me all tense and bothered. And to further exacerabate my discomfort, I'm waiting on phone calls from two females acquaintances of mine on whether or not they are able to attend two separate functions with me. When I got word that they were inviting employees only to a special screening of the pilot for Joey, the unfortunate spin-off of the can't leave well enough alone sityuppiecom Friends, I immediately whisked off a e-mail to Tara de Lis, a online restaurant critic who's crazy about the show - but she hasn't got back to me and neither has the recruitment person to confirm the invites. On Sunday, I want to get a table at the Los Angeles Comic Book & Science Fiction convention to locally celebrate the release of my new book with special guest: Ms. TigerLily - but she hasn't confirmed that it 's definite yet and I need to get a money order in the promoter's hands by the end of Friday.
But my daily woman woes are not the reason for today's entry. It's time to conclude the second half of my comments on last weekend's mighty prog purchases. Sweden's answer to the Grateful Dead, The Flower Kings has just released their eighth album, Adam & Eve on my favorite ground swell home label for progressive rock, InsideOut Music based in Germany or Insideout Music America that's operating out of Pittsburgh. Now I'm sure that there are those who will be arguing with me that technically this would be the band's ninth album - considering that ringmaster Roine Stolt wrote and performed on a solo album called The Flower King a year earlier before forming a group called the Flower Kings who went on to record their debut disc Back in the World of Adventures in 1995. The tour's tagline touts that this is the band's tenth anniversary going out on the road, but I still digress. Roine Stolt's debut however does mark the beginning of his collaboration with keyboard player Tomas Bodin, whose masterful multi- ivory contributions is what attracts me the most to nearly becoming a completist.
I immediately became a convert after first witnessing a appearance they did at a Prog rock festival they did at the Variety Arts Center located in downtown LA just around the corner from the legendary Pantry eatery. Who would have thought that Sweden would boost of some fine musicanship of such rock star stature? Seeing them perform marked the first time that I ever had the hunger or desire to wanting to possess one band's entire discography right there on the spot - (at the time, they only had two albums to their name, the afore-mentioned Adventures and 1996's Retropolis- They did however perform unleased material from their first double disc, Stardust We Are). Soaking in the splendor of heavy swirling Hammond organs and mellotrons was like chiming in with the euphoria of witnessing the birthing spawn of Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson merge in total unison, but it is their hippie inspiration of peace, love and understanding that is expressed so heavily in their lyrics that are akin to what is familar territory already covenanted by the Grateful Dead.
With the help of Dave Mulloy and his online service; Pendragonusa, I was able to get all the obscure albums that they were releasing independently through the band's own Foxtrot label before
Insideout took control of their distribution. Many are stand out acheivements and my mind boggles at how much excellent music they can cram unto one disc. There is a common theme of combining twenty minute or more epics with short digestable three minute songs - but some more than others go on tangents of blending reggae, jazz, and chamber music in short or improvisational interludes. Some even go the distance of being on such double discs as 97's Stardust We Are, 1998's Flower Power (the first disc nearly encompasses a entire 50 minute plus song- The Garden of Dreams!!), and 2002's Unfold the Future. But I can attest that without fail, there hasn't been a year that goes by where the Flower Kings haven't released a new product, and with the body of work that they've managed to record is unmatched by anyone or anything. Even if they were to sound like shit, it still doesn't tarnish the image of impeccable intricate musicanship that can go on non-stop without showing any sign of fatigue. And I have to concede- that the new Adam & Eve is a little on the weak side, BUT it's better than most of what's already out there. I think the nearly twenty minute opening track, Love Supreme (along with the eighteen and a half bookend piece Driver's Seat) has them falling into a proverbial rut. It's sound as if it's just business as usual for the Swede boys espeically with added on soulful singer, Hasse Froberg trying to make some working sense out of some droll lyrics with Tomas Bodin adding a few sqiggles of the Nord synths here and there. Hasse really shines on the short numbers such as Cosmic Circus and Starlight Man. Bodin, who is a worthly contender to picking up from where Patrick Moraz left in his tenture with Yes (if their album, Relayer were to stretched out to ad infinitum) always is the one who contributes to the explorational side of the band when he employs real exotic sounding timbres to his array of sounds, per example on the minute and a half instrumental interludes of both Babylon and Days Gone By. One of the most new puzzling additions to the album this time around is the inaugration of Pain of Salvation vocalist Daniel Gildenlow grunting his way through the harder edgier songs such as the bolero inspired Vampire's View (Vampires - bah, Arena already covered a similar sounding topic on their 1998 The Vistor album) in addition to the title track which I presume were to save this album from becoming too much of throw away material. I don't know what really is behind Roine's motivation to include Daniel in the band or the necessity of incorporating two lead singers but my guess would be the contrast in styles that signfy that maybe Hasse is scaling back on the more complex tonsil duties. Of course this could be the evil dark Irish ale talking to me at 2 AM.
(see previous entry)
The album's cover art is another Heavy Metal magazine homage - the Adam character looks to be a direct swipe from Richard Coben's Den coupled along with a Eve that looks as if she stepped out of a Frank Frazetta Conan paperback book cover.


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