I saw Oblivion Sun this week at the Knitting Factory here in NY.
They were great, and I like their CD too (subject to the usual complaints about lyrics and their occasionally sounding too much like Genesis).
Very small crowd, but thunderous applause and yelling after every song. These were NY's hardcore Happy* heads. Mostly men, mostly ancient, sigh.
Besides the new material, the band did a lovely "Leave That..." and for an encore, an improvised jam that led into "I Carved..."
I talked to Stanley before the show. He remembered me, and I told him I had seen you this summer.
I didn't stick around to [say hi to] Frank (I doubt he'd remember me), but I gotta say his songwriting is as amazing as ever. His three tunes on the new CD are standouts. Always surprising chord shifts and a kind of darkness or poignancy or profundity not all of the Happy/O.S. writers have. (Check out "Fanfare" on the MySpace page.)
...I really do idolize his musical abilities and will probably have to send him a fan letter.
I'm tempted to describe him as "an American composer" [which is how he's described on his wikipedia entry], who with time and distance from his genre might be given his due as such. Or is his talent inseparable from the band's/bands'? The solo things he posted to his site didn't interest me much but "Death's Crown" is all credited to him and "Ibby It Is" still gives me goosebumps.
Hope all is well!
PS I am not an unapologetic or unrepentant Prog Head. These guys have state of the art keyboards with computers but the computer revolution seems not to have affected them at all. Hiphop, electro, sampladelia, drum and bass are not a phase they worked through. And thus their sound is a '70s time capsule and I think it will hamper them with finding a younger audience, except for the few that seek out a highly structured music that also "rocks."
PPS *About that Happy the Man YouTube--it's progressive rock a la Yes at their peak but without the gold capes and gnomes dancing around Stonehenge. Just normally dressed older men being very professional about playing extremely loud music at high speed. I believe this to be good.
Letter to a Fellow Prog Head