All posts tagged: Dave Gregory

XTC

HEAVEN IS PAVED WITH BROKEN GLASS…: XTC’s “English Settlement”

I can remember that icy and wet Saturday in late February, 1982 as my friends and I made our way into the city on our usual Saturday record trek – that was the routine.  Meet at the ferry; walk up Broadway to Prince Street and start hitting all the record stores.  One of our favorites was Bonaparte’s – The British Record Shop (full name, on the awning) located in what later became Bleecker Bob’s (which was originally near the corner of 8th Street, on MacDougal); this was right before they closed (which was devastating).  Bonaparte’s had everything punk/new wave in a great atmosphere.  The window-lined racks always had that particular week’s new releases – albums were usually $7.99; singles $1.99 (remember – these were imports). On this particular Saturday, I was actually there to get something before I started browsing; I had to have the new XTC album, which just made it over to these shores.  It was called English Settlement; it was a double album and XTC were one of my favorite bands, along …

Vinyl Record Day: Porcupine Tree, “Lightbulb Sun”

Porcupine Tree has been, for well on a decade now, a cult favorite trying to simply be a favorite, but there has been a problem in making that happen. That problem is the box lead member Steven Wilson refuses to be put in. The band started as a home studio project, a solo affair that leaned heavily on psychedelia, hence the trippy group name. The project would soon be fleshed out into a full group comprising Wilson, bassist Colin Edwin, drummer Chris Maitland (to be followed later on by Gavin Harrison), and former Japan synth player Richard Barbieri. With the expanded group ethic, Wilson found the proper tools to stretch out in progressive rock, pop, and even the current metal sound. That metal sound has, unfairly, caused some to blanch at the group’s Tool-like complexity and weight, which are mixed with Wilson’s harmonious, classic rock vocals. And so it goes that radio programmers who need clear-cut lines of demarcation don’t know where to stick Porcupine Tree. For the most part it’s a cop-out, especially with …