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Chris Squire, Bassist and Co-Founder of Yes, Dies
Empress Eve   |  

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire, the bassist and co-founder of prog-rock giants Yes, died today in Phoenix, Arizona, after battling a rare form of leukemia, according a post on the band’s official Facebook page. He was 67.

Born in Kingsbury, England, on March 4, 1948, Squire was suffering from acute erythroid leukemia. Last month, Yes revealed Squire’s diagnosis, adding that he would have to take a break from touring with the group and that former member Billy Sherwood (with whom Squire had recorded and performed) was stepping in for their co-headlining 2015 North American tour with Toto. This was to be the first time Squire would not be a part of the Yes live line-up.

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Free Streaming: Live Track From Chris Squire & Billy Sherwood’s ‘Conspiracy Live’
Stoogeypedia   |  

Chris Squire & Billy Sherwood's Conspiracy Live

Chris Squire, the legendary bass player from the seminal prog rock group Yes, and his former Yes bandmate Billy Sherwood are releasing a new brand new live CD/DVD recording combo package called Conspiracy Live through Pyramid records on April 9, 2013, as part of their project Conspiracy.

Squire, whose unmistakable adventurism on the bass guitar in the formative years of the progressive rock movement, stands right up there with some of the best of all time (on Yes tracks like “Roundabout” and “I’ve Seen All Good People”), takes on vocals and guitar in Conspiracy. His unique singing, coupled with Sherwood’s singing and guitar playing, adds perfect chemistry to the live album, which Sherwood exclaimed triumphantly was “a very special and unique event, that has stood the test of time.”

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Steve Howe Quits Asia; Band Will Continue On With New Guitarist
Stoogeypedia   |  

Steve Howe

The supergroup Asia has announced that they have split with Steve Howe, the legendary guitar player whose work with Yes made him and that band one of progressive rock’s finest ensembles.

In a press release distributed today, the remaining members of Asia, — ex-King Crimson vocalist and bass player John Wetton, ex-Yes and Buggles keyboardist Geoff Downes, and backbeat drum prince Carl Palmer — talked about the split and moving forward to the next phase of the band with a new guitarist.

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MP3 Deal: 300 Classic Rock Songs For $0.69 Each
Empress Eve   |  

The Doors

Amazon is currently offering over 300 Classic Rock songs in MP3 for just $0.69 each right now: 300 Classic Rock Songs For $0.69 Each.

Click the link above and browse the list of tunes, which contains tracks from artists like Aerosmith, Kansas, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heart, Billy Joel, Bad Company, Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Alice Cooper, Yes, Cream, The Doors, Van Halen, and many more!

MP3 songs usually sell for $.99 to $1.29 each, so 69 cents is a great deal! No word on when the sale ends, so grab the songs you want now at the discounted price. Also, all this month, Amazon is offering up 2,000 albums for $5 each in MP3 format, so be sure to check out that hefty selection, too.

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Interview: Yes and Asia Keyboard Player Geoff Downes
Obi-Dan   |  

Geoff Downes

With a new album and juggling tours with two bands, Geoff Downes is having a busy time of it. Tinkling the keys for British prog rock giants Yes and Asia for over 30 years, Downes is considered one of the finest of the genre, and rightly so. This summer, Asia released its superb 12th album, (a roman numerical reference celebrating the amount of years since Asia’s debut release), a scintillating mix of driving, synth-led rock, and sombre orchestral asides.

Before his prog rock legacy began, Downes was part of the British New Wave for a short time in the late 1970s and early ’80s. It was brief, but his and Trevor Horn’s duo The Buggles has incredible longevity thanks to the hit “Video Killed The Radio Star.”

I spoke with Downes about his rock bread and butter, touring with Yes and Asia, handling sudden stardom, and whatever else came up in the heat of the moment…

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: The Yes Album & Tales From Topographic Oceans
Empress Eve   |  

Yes - The Yes Album & Tales From Topographic Oceans

Two totally awesome albums from the band YesTales From Topographic Oceans and The Yes Album – are available right now on MP3 format from Amazon for only $5 each!

First off, let me say that neither album contains their super-mega totally non-representative of them hit “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” If that’s all you know from Yes, then you have a lot to learn. If you know a little about Yes, then you’re probably familiar with songs on The Yes Album like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Starship Trooper,” and my favorite “Perpetual Change.” Every song on the album is great and is highly recommended listening. Now, if The Yes Album is prog rock at its finest, then Tales From Topographic Oceans is prog rock at its most elaborate, with 20-minute tracks! There’s no “singles” on this record, you gotta listen to it straight through, preferably in a black-light lit room (basically, the same way you’d listen to Pink Floyd). My favorite on Topographic Oceans is by far “The Revealing Science Of God” – can’t get enough of it!

Browse all 1,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.

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Music Review: Asia ‘XXX’
Stoogeypedia   |  

Frontiers Records
Release Date: June 29, 2012

XXX, the newest album by the progressive rock group Asia and it marks the third release since the original members reunited, and for fans of this group, who got their start 30 years ago, there will no disappointments whatsoever. Others, however, might see the musical circumstances rather differently.

Asia, which is a group made much in the mold of those other supergroups like Cream or Blind Faith, is comprised of John Wetton on bass and vocals, Geoff Downes on keyboards, Carl Palmer on drums, and the great Steve Howe on guitar. These men came from more adventurous prog rock groups such as Yes, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. They shed their respective gymnastically sonically hyper-arranged skills that they ultilized during their tenures in these aforementioned bands and gave a more leaner, tighter, realized progressive pop sound in Asia, even spawning hits like “Heat of the Moment,” and “Don’t Cry,” which remain unabashed 80’s anthems. On this newest release, XXX, the band is firmly still mired in that sound, which is almost like a zeitgeist for the group, as all songs included on the album sounds like artifacts from that time, without missing a beat one iota.

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Original Members Of Asia To Celebrate 30th Anniversary With New Album & World Tour
Empress Eve   |  

Asia 30th Anniversary Tour

The original members of the rock band Asia will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with a new album (on CD+DVD and CD), DVD, and a world tour, as well as a reissue of their debut album.

The original line-up — Geoff Downes (keyboards), Steve Howe (guitar), Carl Palmer (drums), and John Wetton (bass, lead vocals), will release a new studio album called XXX on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 in the U.S (June 29 in the UK), and will embark on their 30th Anniversary World Tour later this year.

Along with the new album, Asia will also release Resonance, a DVD concert film from the group’s 2010/2011 Omega World Tour, as well as a collectors’ edition of their eponymous 1982 debut album, which contains their hit song “Heat Of The Moment,” which you might remember featured prominently in the Steve Carell comedy 40-Year-Old Virgin.

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Interview: King Crimson Bass Player Tony Levin
Obi-Dan   |  

Bass Player Tony Levin

For over 40 years bass player Tony Levin has been one of the very best in the business. He has played with King Crimson, released a number of solo albums, and has recorded and played with countless artists including Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Brian “Head” Welch, and Alice Cooper to name a few. Recently he teemed up with guitarist David Torn and Yes drummer Alan White on the fantastic new album, Levin Torn White.

The original blogger (he was doing it before it even had a name) gave me some great answers to my email questions, and explains just what in the name of prog ‘funk fingers’ is.

Geeks of Doom: Hello Tony, how are you?

Tony Levin: Quite well. Writing from the tour van, on a 7-hour drive from Atlanta, GA to Carrboro, NC – doing what I love to do (well, not driving in the van…) bringing my music to people.

Geeks of Doom: How did your latest band Levin Torn White come together?

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: Van Halen ‘1984’, Best Of Yes, KISS, Blondie
Empress Eve   |  

 van halen 1984Amazon currently has some great albums on sale in MP3 format for only $5 each through the end of July. Here’s some of my suggestions from the 100 albums available in this sale.

Van Halen: 1984
The album, released in the year 1984, was the band’s final effort with charismatic frontman, singer David Lee Roth, and also spawned chart-topping hits “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot For Teacher.”

KISS: You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best!!
Best of album of KISS tunes from the original “make-up” line-up. Twelve songs, all good — “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Beth,” “I Stole Your Love” — I could go on and just name all 12 songs basically. Also includes live version of “Take Me,” as well as a 17-minute audio interview with the band conducted by Jay Leno.

Yes: Highlights – The Very Best Of Yes
A collection of awesome songs by prog rock band Yes, including the insanely big hit “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” which I always felt did not represent the sound and immense talent of this band. Instead, take a listen to “Starship Trooper,” “Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Wonderous Stories,” and “Long Distance Runaround” from this Best Of album. All masterpieces, I promise.

Blondie: Best Of Blondie
When I was around 8 years old, I taped a penny to one of those BMG order forms and picked Best Of Blondie as one of my four albums to get for only one cent. Til this day, this is one of my favorite best-of albums to listen to. This collection contains 12 songs from the band Blondie, fronted by Debbie Harry, and chances are, you know most of these tunes: “Call Me,” “Rapture,” “Heart Of Glass,” “Dreaming,” “The Tide Is High,” “One Way Or Another,” and a bunch more.

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