Their new DVD-A Deadwing is superbly recorded.
Yes, though I'm at best a casual fan. I came into them through their inclusion on a space rock boxed set from Cleopatra records (featuring an older, more "space rock" long guitar/synth jam track from maybe '96 or so) - I find them like a modern Floyd, though I never did identify with Floyd.
I just purchased "In Absentia" and my wife and I listened to it once when not paying much attention to it... a few weeks later, we listened again and wondered what the heck we were listening to, since all the songs sounded like we've known them for years, and we then realized it was only our second time through the disc. A really amazing outfit - I wonder if they'll eventually be given the credit Radiohead has gotten, as they seem to fit that niche between pop and space, and maintain an edge, and their material is of truly great quality.
My exposure is: In Absentia, Up the Downstair, Stupid Dream
And, yes - "Stupid Dream"... what a song!
ps - I own two alephs ; )
pps - my initial interest came via the Ozric Tentacles/Hawkwind sort of angle of their earlier material. Their newer material is not of that sort, and my horizons have expanded with them and I continue to enjoy their new work. Again, top quality outfit.
I saw them in Atlanta thursday. They are great but the sound was very bad. I have all of their albums. I have recently been buying their vinyl releases. For comparison purposes I played the CD, DVDA and LP version of Deadwing all at the same time and skipped back and forth between the three with the remote. The vinyl sounds the best.
Been using Voyage 34 as a reference for years. The original vinyl has mind-blowing bass. The new vinyl reissue is not bad.
I've not seen Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun on LP but I have everything else. I tuned into them about 1991.
When they were in town here last month I got to open for them which was totally awesome!!! So I geeked out and got everyone's signatures on a copy of Deadwing (LP) that I brought along. My show went well too.
I saw them at the TLA in Philly a few years ago and walked out. I do have and thoroughly enjoy all of their LPs on vinyl. Have not heard the most recent. As stated above a psyche prog band of merit, at least in the studio. Maybe it was a bad night as their live LP Coma Divine has seen heavy rotation on my turntable. Check out the On the Sunday of Life LP.
"In Absentia" was on my Hot Rotation for nearly a year. "Lightbulb Sun" is terrific too, but both have been recently supplanted by the re-mastered and wonderful "Signify".
"Deadwing" could be "In Absentia II", in my opinion. It's good, but nothing new.
I saw them in LA a couple weeks ago with Robert Fripp opening. I thought their live mix did a disservice to the stunning sound of their recordings.
I think we were lucky here in Minneapolis. The sound was great. The performance was great too, even though coming off of 7 days of straight performance. I saw Paul Bolin of Stereophile in the audience. He's a big fan.
I think in many ways Signify was the crossover from their early instrumental to their more recent sound- vocals were suddenly more polished and composition, which was always accessable, became really first rate.
The Coma Divine LP has an extra side of material not found on the CD. Although not the best sound, the LP has worked its way to the top of PTree for me.
Musical artists and performances are probably more preferential than gear is.
Having said that, i purchased Lightbulb Sun by Porcupine Tree based on many of the raves i read about the band / disc on the net. After listening to it at least a dozen time, it never really did anything for me. It's kind of vague and bland, not even suitable for enjoyable background music in my opinion. Obviously, i'm in the minority here, but i'm kinda used to that : ) Sean
Ashra- PTree has been to the TROC in Philly twice, this year and 2004, where they opened for Opeth. Both times the sound has been horrible, not sure if it's the band's or the venue's PA system at fault. 2001 at the TLA, 2002 at the TLA and 2003 at the Tower had stupendous sound quality, try to catch them somewhere other than the Troc, they'll be doing a fall tour this year.
Stupid Dream is their most acessable (and my personal favorite) release, but it's currently OOP, should be re-released in the near future.
Alephman: With all of the raves that this band gets, i was tempted to buy another one of their discs just to give them a second chance. Then again, i bought Lightbulb Sun as many others suggested over at AA, so i didn't want to end up with two discs by the same band that simply collect dust. You know the old saying, "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"....
What are the major differences between Stupid Dream and / or Signify and the disc that i have ( Lightbulb Sun ) ? Sean
PS... As a general rule, i typically prefer bands when they are on smaller labels. While it is true that they typically end up with glossier production due to big label money in the studio, it seems like many lose their creativity and / or the subtle things that make the band unique get lost in that big label production. I'd rather deal with slightly lower sound quality of good music than a highly polished recording of a "turd-like" performance.
I'm with Sean on this. Gave it numerous tries and couldn't get through the whole disc ( In Absenthia) each and every time. Bland, repetitious, pretentious, nothing innovative. Fairly good technically though, but techical savvy is not nearly enough for me to enjoy the music. I just can't get a point in it all. "Vague and bland" really describes it. Total lack of emotion in the absence of musical ideas. IMHO.
As a side note, just bought White Stripes " Get behind me Satan"- exact the same story. And I do have and like their previos one.
Richmon: I'll give those tracks a shot sometime this weekend and let you know what i think. Thanks for the specifics.
Maril: I'm with you all the way. The "total lack of emotion in the absence of musical ideas" is what i felt about Lightbulb Sun.
I'm also with you on the new White Stripes disc. Not only does this one feel kind of "forced" i.e. trying to push out artistic ideas before they've fully formed in order to cash-in on their current popularity, but Jack really needs to get away from the production methods that he's been using lately. The last "all tubed" disc didn't sound nearly as good as it should have and this new one has some real "sonic messterpieces" on it too.
Obviously, he's in control of the band and their sonic destiny, but i don't think that the path that he's taking is beneficial to them or the desires of their fan base. The only people that are really digging this disc are those that are brain-washed into thinking that the White Stripes can do no wrong and / or believe everything that they read in the press.
Please bare in mind that these comments come from someone that has been a very vocal supporter of Jack & Meg White aka The White Stripes in the past. Zaikesman and i have gone back and forth on this subject a few times quite a while back. Sean
If you are looking for one and only one Porcupine Tree album to introduce yourself to the band, my recommendation is either Signify or Coma Divine. Both are available on LP. Either of these gives you an idea of the extended jams that are the ear candy of the earlier LPs, yet contain the tighter vocal harmonies and shorter songs that are characteristic of the later material.
Shesmovedon is a favorite of mine regardless...
Chroma Key is another band that's similar to PT (though somewhat darker) and worth a try if you like PT. I have "You Go Now" and "Dead Air For Radios" which are both very good. Also OSI (Office of Strategic Influence) is an off-shoot of Chroma Key that's a must have. Steve Wilson makes an appearance on the OSI CD which includes a bonus cd with a really good cover of Pink Floyd's "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun".
Chroma Key just released a new CD last November that I haven't heard, but just ordered.