NEWS: Dream Theater, Zappa Plays Zappa on Progressive Nation

Phwoar! Check this out! It’s at this point that I’m going to cash in everything I own to follow this tour around. Who’s with me?

New York progressive metal veterans DREAM THEATER will take their Progressive Nation tour back on the road for its second incarnation with a run through America and Canada in July/August 2009.

In addition to a headlining set by DREAM THEATER, this year’s package will feature the outstanding musicianship of ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA as well as two incredibly talented imports from Sweden: PAIN OF SALVATION and BEARDFISH.

Progressive Nation was created by DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and its successful inaugural run in 2008 also featured OPETH, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and THREE.

Portnoy once again hand-picked all of the bands for the 2009 bill based on their diversity and musicality. He comments: “This year’s lineup is so exciting for me. Every band is bringing something very unique to the package to create an incredibly well rounded musical experience. I am just as excited to be watching all the bands from the side of the stage as I am to be performing with mine in the center of it!”

Fresh on the heels of his Grammy win, Dweezil Zappa is pleased to announce his plans to join forces with DREAM THEATER as part of the Progressive Nation 2009 tour: “It’s no secret that I started ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA with the intention to diversify and expand the audience for my father’s music. I figured I’d probably have to do it one concert at a time. Playing with DREAM THEATER on the Progressive Nation tour is a great way to accomplish that goal. Music fans who are seeking something to challenge their senses should definitely consider attending this great bill.”

Portnoy adds: “It is an absolute honor for me to have ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA on board. Frank Zappa is one of my all-time biggest heroes and his music practically invented the term ‘progressive.’ Dweezil is doing an amazing job carrying on the tradition of his father’s daring spirit and like his dad, has surrounded himself with a band of jaw-dropping, incredible musicians.”

Sweden’s PAIN OF SALVATION will bring their unique brand of cutting-edge progressive metal to Progressive Nation. Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw comments: “We are truly very happy to be part of the Progressive Nation tour, and to be back in the States again and bring all the sweat and flesh to our music and our well deserving American fans. We feel honored to have been asked.”

Gildenlöw also joked: “Actually, Mike has been on our backs now for two years in what we believe to be a personal campaign, bordering on harassment, to make us come over. So when he asked us about Progressive Nation, it was a joy to finally be able to say yes. And if Mike didn’t give up on us, then hopefully America hasn’t either.”

Vocalist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom of BEARDFISH is equally excited: “When we read on a website that Mike Portnoy had our album ‘Sleeping in Traffic Part 1’ among his favorite releases of 2007, we just couldn’t believe it and we were really happy about it! And now we once again gasp for air since we’ve been asked to join Progressive Nation 2009 together with DREAM THEATER (one of the biggest bands in this genre today!), PAIN OF SALVATION (hey, fellow Swedes!!!) and ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA (being a HUGE Zappa fan myself, I think this is really cool!). Since we’ve only played the U.S. once before we simply can’t wait to come over and rock out!”

Progressive Nation will be the first North American tour for DREAM THEATER in support of the band’s newest Roadrunner Records CD, which is slated for a June 2009 release.

Rock star vinyl toys – what would you like to see?

According to Plastic and Plush, Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez will appear at Atomic Books in Baltimore for an in-store appearance and signing for his Kill Audio vinyl toy and comic The Amory Wars on February 13 (more details at Plastic and Plush, so hit that link). That’s pretty cool, and Coheed and Cambria are pretty ass-kickin’, but it begs the question: what bands/artists would you like to see vinyl toys, or even action figures, of? What features would they have? (By the way, I’ve been trying to add a photo of the Claudio Sanches toy, but blogger keeps returning internal error messages when I try to upload photos, so I’ll try again later).

Mrs I Heart Guitar, who alerted me to the Plastic And Plush article (thanks baby!) suggests a Jeff Beck doll with detachable hair. Hehehe. Here are some of my suggestions:

An on tour/at home Steve Vai. When it’s in on-tour mode, this toy wears Versace shirts and has long hair. For at-home mode, you switch it to short hair and a Starbucks t-shirt.

Pick Flickin’ Yngwie. Spring-loaded mechanism is capable of flicking miniature guitar picks into an audience that’s comprised of your collection of Star Wars figures (including Bib Fortuna throwing the metal horns right up front). Adjustable slats allow the figure to go from 2003 chubby Yngwie to modern Slimwie.

Eddie Van Halen. With interchangeable homemade, Kramer, Ernie Ball/Music Man, Peavey, Charvel and EVH guitars.

Joe Satriani. The medium of the vinyl toy is perfectly suited to capturing Satch’s chrome dome.

Coldplay. Same as the Satch toy, but maybe nobody will notice.

So what are your suggestions?

CLICK HERE to search for vinyl toys on eBay.

CLICK HERE to search for vintage action figures on eBay.

NEWS: Jane’s Addiction to tour Australia?

According to Adelaide Now, the reunited Jane’s Addiction are planning an Australian tour. This is especially good news for folks who had heard the industry chatter about five years ago that they were going to tour for Strays, but then broke up!

The report about Jane’s comes from Screaming Jets vocalist Dave Gleeson. The Jets played a showcase gig at L.A’s Key Club on February 3 to promote their latest album, ‘Do Ya,’ which features percussion contributions from Guns ‘N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver’s Matt Sorum, and was mixed by Steve Salas.

According to the article…

The Screaming Jets’ frontman was in LA with the band as they relaunched themselves there after a decade, but he still managed to pick up some music scene goss for us on the way.

While chatting at the after-party with guitarist Dave Navarro’s manager, “our” Dave got the scoop that Jane’s Addiction is heading to Oz this year.

Awesome. Awesome to the max. I freakin’ love Jane’s and I’m really looking forward to this one.