News from Think Tank Media
The official newsletter of Erik Norlander, Lana Lane and Rocket Scientists
Welcome to THE PASSING PARADE
Issue #11: August 25, 2009
Caps are for emphasis only.
No table of contents which means you have to
read the entire issue to find out everything that's happening.
A NOTE FROM ERIK
Welcome to the latest issue of The Passing Parade, our aperiodical newsletter which covers the activities of our Think Tank Media artists. This is issue will depart from our usual format just a bit. I have been occupied with several diverse projects over the last several months, and I would like to tell you about all of them. So rather than the usual ERIK NORLANDER / LANA LANE / ROCKET SCIENTISTS sections, this issue will be more of an informal letter from yours truly updating you on our recent events from my perspective. I hope you find it interesting!
El Dorado Hills, California, August 2009
photo by Audrey Buchina
MARCH of 2009 concluded with a really nice Rocket Scientists concert at The Winchester in Lakewood, Ohio (right next door to Cleveland). Mark, Don and myself were joined by drummer Chris Quirarte and guitarist Jim Williams who had of course played with us all through 2008. Lana made another great guest vocal appearance with the band, and in addition to her singing a few Rocket Scientists songs, we also played the Lana Lane songs, "Queen of the Ocean" and "Project Shangri-La", the latter in honor of the recent Best of Lana Lane 2000-2008 CD release. It was an especially nice tie-in because both of these Lana Lane songs were co-written with Rocket Scientists vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite. This evening we were also joined by guest vocalist John Payne, of course from ASIA featuring John Payne. John sang on the songs "Revolution Road", "Picture Show" and "Project Shangri-La", and we also performed two ASIA songs, "Who Will Stop the Rain" and "Desire". You can imagine how great those all sounded with John, Lana and Mark ... 3 lead singers in 3 part harmony. But the evening didn't end there. The day before, we were given a fantastic tour our the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Our friends at NASA provided the band with some incredible footage of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing mission which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. In honor of the moon landing, Rocket Scientists worked up a special live version of the song "Sky Full of Stars" from my 2003 Music Machine album which we performed along with the NASA video projected behind us. We have posted an HD video of that performance on YouTube. Because of YouTube's new 10-minute limit, you can watch the video in two parts here:
Rocket Scientists - Sky Full of Stars - Live at the Winchester 2009 - PART ONE
Rocket Scientists - Sky Full of Stars - Live at the Winchester 2009 - PART TWO
In other Rocket Scientists news, the 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival 2008 compilation DVD is now available at the festival's 3rprogfest.com web site. The DVD contains 3 songs from the Rocket Scientists set, "Sky is Falling", "Better View" and "Revolution Road", 21 minutes in all. Personally, I think the video and audio quality of these songs is exceptionally good, and I'm really happy to have us involved in this release. We have just posted an HD video of "Revolution Road" on YouTube so you can have a look for yourself:
Rocket Scientists - Revolution Road - Live at the 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival 2008
APRIL of 2009 marked the delivery of the Roswell Six - Beyond the Horizon recordings. Actually, I sent off the final mixes to the mastering studio the morning I left for the Rocket Scientists Ohio trip. The Roswell Six album was complete and on its way to the world! After this, Lana and I spent a nice few weeks in Sweden and Germany, our first "real vacation" in several years.
MAY of 2009 brought an interesting invitation. There is a band called BIG NOIZE which is a hard rock supergroup consisting of Joe Lynn Turner (v), Phil Soussan (b), Carlos Cavazo (g) and Simon Wright (d). Big Noize plays songs from all of the members' previous bands which include Deep Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy, Dio, Quiet Riot, AC/DC and others. The original Big Noize drummer was Vinny Appice whom you'll know from Lana's Project Shangri-La, Gemini and Return to Japan albums as well as my Music Machine album. But when Vinny's Heaven and Hell band kept him too busy to keep up with Big Noize, the excellent Simon Wright was brought in to helm the drum duties. Big Noize asked me to play keyboards with them for a European tour focusing on Spain and the Canary Islands. This was a lot of fun, and we had so many great shows. Aside from the playing with these great musicians, the highlight for me was getting to play the organ solo on "Highway Star" night after night. Here's a fun photo from the keyboards from our concert in Bilbao, Spain taken during Phil's bass solo:
JUNE of 2009 saw the beginning of summer touring for ASIA featuring John Payne. We began in Biloxi, Mississippi and then continued on with several shows in the Northeast and Midwest. We also played a free outdoor show in Woodland Hills, California as part of their "Concerts in the Park" series in Warner Park. The police estimated the crowd at 7,000 people for that one! The band is sounding better than ever, and I am pleased to see so much forward momentum. I've been playing my songs "Dreamcurrents" and "Neurosaur" as my solo set with ASIA featuring John Payne, and that seems to work really well in the context of this band. Here is a photo from the keyboards from our August concert in Oshkosh, Wisconsin:
JULY of 2009 was filled with continuing dates with ASIA featuring John Payne, but in the midst of that tour, I was able to sneak off to Ohio for a brief detour. After the success of the Rocket Scientists show at The Winchester in March with using the NASA footage, I was invited to play a solo set at the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival with video accompaniment going through the entire 80-minute show. I was joined by three excellent Ohio musicians, Ron Redfield (g), Mark Matthews (b) and John Piascik (d), who helped me deliver an exciting set of instrumental music by my solo albums as well as the Rocket Scientists and Lana Lane albums. Our set was performed in a beautiful theater in downtown Cleveland with a really incredible rear projection video system. Here's a photo from the gig:
photo by Byron Nemeth
AUGUST of 2009 gave me a couple of weeks at home between concert dates with ASIA featuring John Payne. During this time, I recorded Lana's vocals for a new, soon-to-be-announced project that her cousin, rocker Davy Vain, has just completed. Davy helped us a lot with the Red Planet Boulevard album, and it's great to see them working together again. Lana continues to explore new ideas for her own next release, and we are still promoting the recent (and very deluxe!) Best of Lana Lane 2000-2008 double CD package with Japanese imports still available in our web store.
You all probably know how important MOOG instruments are to me as an artist and how much I use them in all of my productions. So you can imagine my delight when I was asked to perform at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California for the opening of their "Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog" exhibit. I will be appearing on Saturday, August 29, 2009 along with Keith Emerson (no pressure there! ;-). As I understand it, the show is already sold out. Keith is bringing his famous "Monster Moog" modular synthesizer. Because of the stage space available, it isn't really practical for me to bring my modular system as well, so I will playing a rig of smaller Moog keyboards including the Moog Voyager and my recently restored 70s Minimoog Model D. To complete my rig for the evening, I have been generously loaned Bob Moog's Memorymoog Plus keyboard from the inventor's own archives and the Bob Moog Foundation courtesy of Bob's daughter and Executive Director of the Foundation, Michelle Moog-Koussa. Here's a photo of this famous Memorymoog between workouts in my studio:
As we complete our summer touring, we'll be going back in the studio to start some new projects and wrap up some older ones. A live Rocket Scientists DVD/CD compilation is in the works, and Mark and I hope to have that done sometime in the near future. The Roswell Six - Beyond the Horizon album and its companion novel, Terra Incognita: The Edge of the World are both out now with special bundles available at http://www.progrockrecords.com. Our web store continues to offer some great prices on Lana Lane, Erik Norlander and Rocket Scientists titles, so if you're looking to expand your collection, please stop by http://www.thetank.com. And as always, thanks for listening!
ON THE WEB
Below is a list of just some of the places to find Erik Norlander, Lana Lane and Rocket Scientists info on the Internet.
Think Tank Media official web site: http://www.thetank.com
Erik Norlander official web site: http://www.eriknorlander.com
Lana Lane official web site:
Erik and Lana's MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/eriknorlanderandlanalane
Erik and Lana's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/ThinkTankMediaMusic
Rocket Scientists MySpace page:
Rocket Scientists YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/rocketscientists
Mark McCrite's MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/markmccrite
Don Schiff''s MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/donschiff
The Asia featuring John Payne MySpace page is located at http://www.myspace.com/asiafeaturingjohnpayne
The Asia featuring John Payne web site is located at http://www.theasiaband.com
The Roswell Six MySpace page is located at http://www.myspace.com/roswellsix
CD / DVD AVAILABILITY
You can order Lana's Best of Lana Lane 2000-2008, Red Planet Boulevard and Gemini CDs, 10th Anniversary Concert DVD, Erik Norlander's Hommage Symphonique CD and Live in St. Petersburg DVD, the Rocket Scientists Revolution Road CD and Looking Backward box set and all of their available back catalog at http://www.thetank.com. Select titles are also available at progrockrecords.com and at CDBaby.com. International secure ordering and shipping.
In Europe, Think Tank Media titles are distributed by Bertus (Benelux) and Musea (France) and sold through Empire Music and Just For Kicks Music in Germany along with many other fine companies throughout Europe. Select Lana Lane titles are released on the Frontiers and Diversity Media labels in Italy and Germany respectively.
In Japan, Think Tank Media titles are nationally released by Marquee, Inc. on their Avalon and Belle Antique labels. http://www.marquee.co.jp
All CDs are also available for sale at shows so be sure to support independent music and purchase CDs for yourself and all your friends and family! Music is the gift that keeps on giving.
For our friends in the USA, please ask your local retailers to stock the CDs which are now distributed by ProgRock Records and Ryko Distribution.
WHERE TO DOWNLOAD
Think Tank Media recommends http://www.mindawn.com for your primary digital download source. Many bonus tracks are available on Erik's, Lana's and Rocket Scientists' Mindawn pages. You can also legally download the songs and albums of Lana, Erik and Rocket Scientists on the Apple iTunes, Yahoo Music, Rhapsody and Music Match services. Please avoid peer-to-peer file sharing services that violate international copyright law.
Thanks so much for reading The Passing Parade. We appreciate your continued support. If you have any feedback, please email us at SergeEnt@aol.com. We always enjoy hearing from you. Remember to tell all your friends about the Erik Norlander/Lana Lane/Rocket Scientists newsletter and their music! Please invite them to join this mailing list.
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