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In love with Porcupine Tree

Somewhere around the mid-nineties, I was listening to Pink Floyd around the clock. Later, I slowly approached (and stuck with) David Bowie, to whom I dedicated my Honours thesis. Genesis, and specifically Peter Gabriel, followed. Right around the time I released my book (which is dedicated to Peter Gabriel), I lost my bearing and strayed about in the sea of independent and/or progressive post-rock, encountering bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mono, Explosions in the Sky, and Mogwai. I don't think I'll grow old of those anytime soon.

Lately, however, I've gotten hooked to more modern progressive rock, and in particular Porcupine Tree. And when I say hooked, I mean hooked: I've tried various times to dig the tunes by no-man, a project by the Porcupine Tree singer Steven Wilson which is more ambient in mood, and various excursions into the world of the German Solar Project (more experimental) or Porcupine Tree's sibling project Psychomuzak (more psychedelic). But none come close, I have been listening to Porcupine Tree pretty much consistently for the past 6 months. And I am still in love with what these 4-5 guys produce, especially the four albums Deadwing, In Absentia, Stupid Dream, and The Sky Moves Sideways.

Being a drummer myself (who hasn't played seriously in several years), it is hardly surprising that Gavin Harrison is my favourite, some of the licks he plays send shivers down my spine, and he managed to get me on track thinking about how to pick up percussion again. But I could not imagine the band without Steven's voice and lyrics and guitar solos, Colin Edwin's most enjoyable bass guitar theatre, or Richard Barbieri's innovative synthesiser work. It's pretty cool how 30 years after the term progressive rock was coined, these guys still manage to ride the tide.

If you're in San Francisco, they're coming to the Fillmore on Friday! I've seen two of their shows and was simply ecstatic during and after. And in November, they're coming to Japan. If you know and like `Mono`_, you should just go! I'll definitely be on their next nearby concert!

Interestingly, next to my development of taste of rock music, I've always been a major fan of electronica. I've found, however, that electronic music is far more short-lived, meaning that you grow old of it way faster.

And now I wonder what's next. I feel I may soon return to King Crimson, even though their music is not as complete as Porcupine Tree. Don't ask me to define what I mean with that.

Update: if you're into jogging, "Lazarus" off the `Deadwing`_ album is a really good energiser. Richard plays some very sweet arpeggios on the (synthesised) piano, and about a minute into the piece, Gavin and Colin deliver a truly groovy flow; I sometimes feel as if my legs move without my doing (haha, I just typo'ed "doping") when listening to this track. I guess this applies to much of their music.

And if you're into drums, listen up at 3:18 minutes into the song. It's a very convincing fill on the drums. Gavin has better, but this one somehow strikes me as a damn good combination of innovation, simplicity, and feeling.

NP: Porcupine Tree / In Absentia (Bonus Disc)