Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

The Incident – Porcupine Tree [#632]

Unknown-6.jpegPorcupine Tree‘s tenth and final album, The Incident draws heavily from other progressive rock bands and especially shows influence from Pink Floyd in their homage Time Flies which has clear elements of Animals and Dark Side of the Moon woven stylistcally throughout the song.

The first time I properly listened to this album was while doing research for today’s post and was frequently surprised by the elements that appear throughout the album. THe aforementioned Pink Floyd homage and even stylistical similarities to David GalasCataclysm.  Definiately the icing on the Porcupine Tree Cake, the album has grown on me over the weeks and, if you’re a prog or Pink Floyd fan, I think you too might be tempted to lean favorably towards it.

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In Abstentia – Porcupine Tree [#621]

As a mature media student at Huddersfield Uni, it was fun, and refreshing, to discuss similar musical tastes with my lecturers during tutorials.

During one long discussion about the joys of Prog when we should have been discussing Media Theory, my lecturer asked me if I knew about Porcupine Tree. I said I didn’t. Reaching over to the bookshelf above his desk, he picked out a copy of In Absentia and told me that my homework was to listen to the album.

I was late handing in the assignment. Probably now nearly ten years late. To be fair, I’ve listened to some of the tracks admittedly not all but what I’ve heard I have enjoyed. Indeed, Blackest Eyes has featured in a number of my in-car playlists over the past few years. It is the band’s seventh album coming between Lightbulb Sun and Deadwing and features several songs seemingly about serial killing. As you do…

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Fear of a Blank Planet – Porcupine Tree [#464]

Fear_of_a_blank_planetPorcupine Tree are another band that surprise me by hiding their albums of consistently good music in my collection. A prog band with more facets than a box of jigsaw pieces. Blank Planet is their ninth studio album with guests Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Alex Lifeson (Rush).

In the last days of my degree, I was a mature student so this was quite recently, my television production lecturer and I bonded over our similar music tastes. I guess it was refreshing for him to have a student that understood prog and one who appreciated him getting Bill Bruford in to give us a lecture about media and drumming. So after an obscure prog band swap, he told me about Porcupine Tree. He told me I “should” like them. Now, long term readers of this project will recall how me “should liking” a band usually ends with “no I don’t”, but this is one of those rare occasions were they’re actually growing on me. I have now listened to this album for a grand total of 5 times and yes, it is growing on me.

In true prog tradition, Fear of a Blank Planet is a concept album based on the book Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis but with the twist being sung from the viewpoint of the child of the books protagonist. It’s suitably dark in tone with an apocryphal tale to tell about the growing reliance on technology amongst the youth.

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Deadwing – Porcupine Tree [#350]

Porcupine Tree - DeadwingAs you know, if you have been following this blog closely, I have a lot of music. We are only just at entry number 350 and thats after I’ve deleted some albums from my collection that I simply could not be bothered to listen to.

Indeed, there are many albums still to come and there are many that I will hold up my hands to and say “I’ve never listened to this album in my life!”. However, because I believe in quality research when it comes to writing, I do actually listen to those albums before I write an entry.

And so, with approximately three hundred and fifty albums talked about within these megabytes, we come to Deadwing by Porcupine Tree. Now you might remember the last
time we met Porcupine Tree on Stegzy’s Music Project and I talked about how I was introduced to the band’s music by my television productions lecturer and how now I’m middle aged and don’t have time to listen to music like I did in the past. I also talked about how I listened to Coma Divine for the first time and caught myself doing air guitar.

Guess what? Well, recently I obtained Elite:Dangerous and I have been flying around the galaxy with music on in the background, just like I used to do when I was unemployed in the nineties. This enables me to listen to albums in their entirety, just like in the olden days rather than by listening to music on a Saturday morning and hastily cobbling together a few hundred words about the music I’ve just listened to.
Anyway, such circumstances enabled me to listen to Deadwing in its entirety for the first time the other day. Indeed, the experience once again caught me doing air guitar and tapping my foot along to the music. Not bad for only the third Porcupine Tree album I’ve ever listened to.

Deadwing is a concept album about a ghost story. Nobody is entirely certain what the ghost story actually is simply because the band won’t say. In true Prog fashion, lead singer Steven Wilson knocked together a screenplay with his pal and then set about writing the accompanying soundtrack. Of course this was many years ago and the screenplay is still to actually become a corporal entity. But not to worry because you can listen to the excellent music well in advance and make your own screenplay up in your head. With better special effects and a cast of whoever you fancy.

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Coma Divine – Porcupine Tree [#290]

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 09.04.05A confession: middle age and life commitments give me little time to explore and enjoy new music these days. So in an effort to write this entry I actually had to listen to the album itself.

Back when I was a student for the second time, late noughties, my television production tutor Andy Fox, my audiences lecturer and I would frequently discuss the pros and cons of Prog. Foxy suggested that I try out Porcupine Tree, a neu-prog band that was rising in popularity through the advent of the intarwebz. So I did.

I did what I usually did in those situations, download as much as I could for later listening to. Of course, life then got in the way and aside from a number of songs from various albums, I never really spent much time with an entire album. Until this weekend.

The newer reader might be fooled into thinking that I write entries for the music project on a daily basis. I don’t. I try to get as many items written up over the weekend at a when most people are curled up on the couch with a bacon sandwich and a copy of the Guardian.

So on a cold, damp bacon smogged Saturday in March I sit in Gnomepants cottage listening to Coma Divine in its entirety for the first time ever. I even caught myself doing some air guitar and moshing. Coma Divine is a best of/live compilation recorded live in Rome in the late 1990s and, as if to prove a point, it showcases Porcupine Tree’s earlier music, a period often over looked by people coming new to a band. I found it highly enjoyable on a first listen. I haven’t found any songs I’ll add to my “Got to listen to this now” list but they are inoffensive and I’m sure over the next few months I’ll listen to them again.

 

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