Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hoping for Good Luck On Kismet...

Alibi Jones heads to the planet where he's been told he's a dead man – Kismet! Alibi is in disguise, travelling with a Dakhur delegation led by Rakhar of the Dakhur, dressed up as a tall Dakhur female. Will they succeed in their mission to free Kit? Katie, too? Can Alibi stay undiscovered – and alive? The trip to Kismet begins in Chapter Eighteen of Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur. Host, writer and narrator Mike Luoma presents free audio science fiction adventure on every episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio – The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue! 

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Friday, January 26, 2018

My Favorite New Album Is Amazing. And It's FREE - Go Get IT!

I'm going through that first flush of love with an album, where you listen to it again and again, where you're figuring out lyrics (what? what does that even mean?), and discovering new sounds in the layers in the mix as they unpack with repeat exposure - repetition allowing the sound to expand the way a fine red wine opens up as it breathes. And yet? You can't listen to it every time you want to, lest you burn out on it - one must be careful! Though with such immersion actual listening isn't always absolutely necessary anymore, as the music now rotates on the radio in your mind... a beautiful thing!

I wish it happened to me more often... as a long-time radio veteran, I've heard so much music. Between what's sent to me promotionally for possible radio play and what I seek out and explore on my own, I'm exposed to new music every day - which I love, don't get me wrong. But hearing that much, you do get a little jaded and harder to please over time. Sure, you find lots of stuff that's really good, and songs you know folks will like that you can play on the air, but stuff that really hits YOU, that penetrates down deep, cracks through your crusty, jaded exterior? That stuff doesn't come around very often.

When it does? It's AWESOME!! Then I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Tell the world how AMAZING the music is! Play it for everyone I know. Write blog posts about it (!) Give it to people, if I can - love to share music, so when there's music I really love, I get the powerful urge to share it around.

Very happy I can share Polygondwanaland with you! This unexpected pleasure came my way via a tip on facebook left on a thread I was part of. Glad I noticed. Because it's the best Progressive Rock album I've heard in a long, long time! Didn't expect I'd be saying that about one of the FIVE albums released last year by Australian psych-rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Yeah. Five. Beginning in February with the experimental Flying Microtonal Banana, followed by Murder of the Universe, then their cosmic jazz collaboration with Alexander Brettin, the Los Angeles-based Mild High Club, Sketches of Brunswick East. Polygondwanaland came out in mid-November, and number five Gumboot Soup in the final days of December. It was an article on Gumboot Soup's release shared on facebook that spawned the Polygondwanaland tip.

I knew of the band, had sampled some of their earlier stuff but didn't really like it. Don't remember now what album that was. Didn't like their name too much, either. Seemed silly. But Ed Pinka from ATO's Promotion department, King Gizzard's label, kept sending me their material, said he thought I'd be into them, probably not for the radio, but for my own ears. He kept trying. But my copy of Flying Microtonal Banana just sat there, unplayed. Sometimes that happens, there are things you mean to get to but just, somehow... don't.

I'd heard they were trying to release five albums in 2017. A comment on the shared article said "Crumbling Castles" on Polygondwanaland, the last album, was pretty killer. Spotify had some crazy promotion where you could sign up for three months for ninety-nine cents, so I'd done that in mid-December. Made it easy to call up Polygondwanaland and proceed to blow my mind. It was as if I was listening to an album made especially for me. Hit me that strong.

This was not expected.

"Crumbling Castle" is indeed killer. In some ways, the ten-minute plus long first song sets the tone for the rest of the album, with shifting, complex time signatures, intricate drum fills, interweaving guitars, arpeggiating synthesizers, and the occasional psychedelic freak out sort-of-tamed in service to the song.  But the heavy final minute or so then gives way to the much lighter and more intricate second track, "Polygondwanaland" - which flows into the next track, and the one after that.

A word about the track listing - it lies. Looks like there are nine songs after "Crumbling Castle". Not really. There are three, as they run together in sets of three - "Polygondwanaland - The Castle In The Air - Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet", "Inner Cell - Loyalty - Horology", and "Tetrachromancy - Searching...-The Fourth Colour" - each about ten minutes long. And very delicious! They also refer to each other lyrically, giving all nine, er, three, a sense of interconnectedness.

The lyrics are vague enough to allow for interpretation. Each triptych seems to see a fantasy played out to a twisted extreme - an adventure getaway back in time, too bad the dinosaurs will eat you - resist a tyrant only to become tyrannical, raise a leader who demands loyalty, who finally thinks himself a god and destroys you - there is a magical fourth colour you can train yourself to see, maybe, or not, until you do and think yourself a god. That's my interpretation of them. Could be right. Or not.

The lyrics sound really cool when they're sung in the context of the music. Plus, I prefer vague and mysterious to cliched and banal. Don't you?

And the music is amazing - cool time signatures on a nice mix of percussion, sweet acoustic, finger-picked guitar and powerful electric leads, occasional retro-cool keyboard solos and fills, a spoken word section, even a tastefully applied flute! As an older Prog Rock fan, I found the vocals and phrasing at times reminiscent of classic Canterbury Proggers Caravan. Even the music, at times, reminded me of Caravan, albeit with a bit more muscle. Which made me quite happy, actually. Always liked "harder" edged Caravan songs, and kind of wished they'd done more, even evolved in that direction.

Ta-da! King Gizzard has fulfilled my wish! My wish was their command!

I'm joking. Sort of.

It's not just Caravan, there are shades of several classic Prog Rock bands haunting this album, including Gentle Giant, Wishbone Ash, even a little of the other King, Crimson. Not sure that's intentional, because it sounds effortless and natural. This isn't an homage, nor a tribute. There's authenticity to the expression. This is King Gizzard, not any of those other bands.

Wonder if they've got any more like this in them? I'm a little afraid King Gizzard won't ever make an album like Polygondwanaland again. This could be their one and only lighter Prog Rock album. They did give it away - what does that mean? Did they give it away free because it was kind of a joke to them? I hope not. I think it's brilliant - a superb album.

And you can get it for free! Go to their site via the following link - they have audio files (mp3s/wavs) for regular downloads and sets mastered for CD and vinyl. Plus, album artwork!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vatican Assassin #4 of 4 Out Today!

Now you can read the entire new, full-color edition of VATICAN ASSASSIN: The Graphic Novel, as Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Comics today proudly releases issue four of four!

Head to comiXology and DriveThruComics to get issue four and the rest of VATICAN ASSASSIN: The Graphic Novel as digital downloads. VATICAN ASSASSIN: The Graphic Novel appears for the first time in FULL-COLOR thanks to the work of noted Argentinian artist Juan Carlos Quattordio (ZENITRAM)!

"Juan Carlos' color work takes the whole book to a new level," writer and letterer Mike Luoma said. "The color really brings out how cinematic Cristian Navarro's vision is in his original art, something that wasn't always as immediately evident in the original black and white edition."

VATICAN ASSASSIN is a science fiction adventure set in the not-to-distant future. Bernard Campion - 'BC' - visits Lunar Prime, neutral city on the Moon, on a mission - assassinate the Governor. If he's successful, reverberations will impact the survival of the entire human race!

It's 2109 - BC tries to take care of his "business" during an out of control interplanetary war between The UTZ - Universal Trade Zone - the commercial power of Earth - and the UIN - the Universal Islamic Nation - based on Mars. BC poses as a priest - but he's really an assassin for the Pope of the New catholic Church!

Issue four - of four - of VATICAN ASSASSIN: The Graphic Novel - out today at comiXology and DriveThruComics! From Mike Luoma, Cristian Navarro, Juan Carlos Quattordio, and Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Comics!

Be sure to look for the collected graphic novel in print and digital in mid-March, from Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Mission to Hur

Alibi Jones is on his way to the planet Hur on a mission for his Aunt Anita – the reptilian alliance known as the Greater Tah just "annexed" Dakhur space, and Rakhar of the Dakhur has asked for help. Will that help lead Alibi to Kismet – where he's told he's a dead man? Mike Luoma – host, writer and narrator - presents Chapter Seventeen of Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur! Listen in for free audio science fiction adventure every week. The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!   

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Vatican Assassin Mix From An Old Notebook

Found an old red notebook, open to a page titled “Mix Tape for the Vatican Assassin“, and decided to put this Spotify mix together based on what was laid out on that page. Made these notes many years ago. If I remember right, this wasn't exactly a soundtrack, but instead, music to read the book by - "for Chapters One through Twenty" anyway, according to the note at the bottom - have no idea why it stops there.

A few things I had to change or modify. Spotify didn’t have The Tea Party covering “Paint It, Black”, so I opted for The Band of Susans' version. Nor did Spotify have Spock‘s Beard doing “Beware of Darkness” - as the SB version really owes a lot to his take on the song, I went with Leon Russell's interpretation. Not sure why I wanted The Days of the New covering "The End" - went with The Doors original, instead. It's not quite the version of "Joytown" by the late, great Kevin Gilbert that I wanted, but it works. And I couldn’t break up the versions of Holst’sMars” the way the notebook suggests, either. So, given limitations, this, then, is the modern approximation of the notebook's mix tape! 

With issue four of four of Vatican Assassin - The Graphic Novel on the way a week from Wednesday, on January 17th, the time might be right to listen to this mix while you catch up with the first three issues of the Graphic Novel! Get 'em at comiXology and DriveThruComics.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


Some Very Bad News just might vindicate Alibi Jones... Seems Alibi was right all along about the imperialist intentions of the reptilians known as the Greater Tah. They just "annexed" Dakhur space! Will Alibi's exile on Sloan now end? Find out as host, writer and narrator Mike Luoma brings you Chapter Sixteen of Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur, this week on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio! Listen in for free audio science fiction adventure every week – The Adventures of Alibi Jones!   

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