What has been sown... 

"Nothing can survive in a vacuum. No one can exist all alone." -Neil Peart, "Turn the Page"

The purpose of this blog is to shine a light on music that gets at the heart of what this project is all about. It is our hope that if you find some beauty in Possible Worlds, you will be delighted by these other albums as well. Comments are moderated and always welcome.

 

 

Dream Theater "Images and Words" 

Merry Christmas to all! PW has gone to ground these past ten months or so, bravely (or foolishly) preparing for the recording of PW #2. In and amongst the writing, arranging, transcribing, booking of studio of time, obtaining of musicians, etc., etc., we have been neglectful in certain other matters, such as this blog. So we return with little fanfare to Defining Possibility, and specifically to praise Dream Theater’s mighty Images and Words.

It will be hard to believe for those who came of age in the…

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Marillion "Clutching at Straws" 

Well does PW remember seeing Marillion in a smallish club in Boston. We were only moderately acquainted with the venerable British band at the time, and went out of a sense of curiosity more than anything else. Although the years of their peak influence were long behind them, we knew their importance to people in “the scene” and, frankly, we were curious what the big deal was.

Hearing the packed, sweaty crowd singing passionately along to “Sugar Mice” was an illuminating experience, as it began to dawn on…

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The Beatles "Revolver" 

 

An interesting exercise is to listen to an album and try to imagine what it must have sounded like in the context of when it was made. Strictly speaking, this is impossible: How can we possibly gauge the visceral impact of In the Court of the Crimson King? Was Kind of Blue just another jazz album in 1959? We can’t comprehend precisely how Robert Fripp and company sounded to a young Bill Bruford when the latter heard the former for the first time in a London club; we can try to grasp it only by analogy…

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Richard Thompson "Rumor and Sigh" 

If one were to ask whom we regard to be the greatest living songwriter working within a traditional idiom, PW has an answer ready-made: Richard Thompson. With all due respect to Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, etc., RT is the man. What is even more astounding is the fact that he is simultaneously one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, whether on acoustic or electric. Well do we recall one of our old compatriots in Buckdancer’s Choice listening to one of his live recordings and insisting…

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The Pineapple Thief "What We Have Sown" 

Ah, Mellotron, glorious Mellotron. As the initial strains of album opener “All You Need to Know” kick in, the Pineapple Thief treat their listeners to lush pads of the greatest analog keyboard of all time (sorry, Hammond organ, no offense). Like Radiohead, the Pineapple Thief know how to use this extremely evocative instrument outside of the overtly prog rock context in which it is customarily heard. In the case of What We Have Sown, that context is equal parts 1990’s pop-alternative and indie-rock…

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Kate Bush "Hounds of Love" 

Possible Worlds greatly admires Kate Bush and her music. In her fierce independence as well as her amazing writing she reminds us a little bit of a British version of Prince. Her music has a sort of wistful quality to it, as if Kate (with her it’s always Kate) has some inner connection or conduit to a realm of fairies and magic (with raw terror lurking just around the corner). Something about her music gets us down deep even in the most cynical part of our souls. And that’s not even to dwell on her…

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Spock's Beard "The Kindness of Strangers" 

Spock’s Beard is one of the most important touchstones for Possible Worlds. This is true not necessarily in the particulars of their sound, as the Beard is heavily keyboard-oriented and draws a lot more from the sonics of classic progressive rock than do we. Rather, it is their emphasis on a song-centered approach, in which melodies come first and the frilly bits come after, that we find them so attractive. Singer Neal Morse has an immediately identifiable voice (both compositionally and otherwise), and…

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