What? I know the Penn State scandal has been discussed and debated ad nauseum in most American news outlets, and probably a bit around the globe as well, but my professional writing background is in sports, so… you get to hear my take whether you like it or not. And I’ll even relate it to music. Obviously, what has happened within the confines of the school is deplorable, and the oversight by the well-respected leaders who are entrusted with the school’s reputation seems to be staggering. Those accused in the case are entitled to their due process, which should be respected, and all of the facts have not yet been vetted, which is important to remember, but that doesn’t really make it look any better. Joe Paterno, a living legend with a heretofore unblemished legacy, has been fired, and the students rioted accordingly (as you can see above… I kid, rioting isn’t cool). And what of the legendary coach’s legacy now? Now, my musical tangent: it’s 1983, and progressive music fans have been treated to 11 fine Pink Floyd albums ranging from eclectic to genius/legend, all with their own unique and loveable flair. Fans are getting ready for the first Floyd offering since The Wall… and get The Final Cut. Not bad, but definitely a step downhill. And it doesn’t get better, as the boys break out the pooper scooper on us and unleash A Momentary Lapse Of Reason and The Division Bell before calling it quits. Yet, does this tarnish Pink Floyds legacy? It might have in 1987 and 1994, but we still revere the band and their career.

This comparison is incredible unfair, partly because a few bad albums is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the Penn State scandal, but mostly because what happened to the victims is horrific and SHOULD be taken seriously. Hence, the recent firings and shakeups during the week. But I promised a musical element and I deliver on my promises. Actually, the more I think about it, maybe Joe Paterno’s legacy will end up like Genesis: with everything it takes to be all time great and delivering for many years, but with an ultimately catastrophic ending. Without further ado… THE NEWS:

  • Courtesy of Progulator reviewer Matt, I learned that Arjen Lucassen is going to be ripping off a solo album in the near future. Most will know him from his brainchild Ayreon, but he has released albums under Guilt Machine and Star One with the same formula: epic, layered compositions from Arjen with tons of guest vocalists and musicians. But this time, the only lead singer will be the Dutchman himself, and Lucassen has said it will be “an album for open minded listeners.” Stay tuned.
  • Metalstorm.net reports that German Progressive Extreme Metal outfit Obscura will release a new EP, entitled Illegimitation, due out in March of next year. The new release will include some early recordings and new covers, and is virtually guaranteed to be sickeningly brutal. For those of you Prog Rock purists who feel that the unwashed growlers lack musical ability, I challenge you to check out Obscura’s Omnivium — it’s got enough prog for anybody.
  • Admittedly, I was mean to Yes in my last update. After all, I’m a fan of their early work and I have nothing but respect for what they did for the genre, so I’ll make the following announcement sans sarcasm. Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman are releasing “Anderson/Wakeman – The Living Tree In Concert Part One,” a live album from last year’s tour in support of “The Living Tree.” The album is due out November 28.
  • Pete Trewavas is forming a new progressive project with Eric Blackwood called Edison’s Children. Trewavas is probably best know as the bass player of Marillion, who I will always applaud for being one of the few good progressive bands to come out of the mid-80’s. Or maybe the only good progressive band to come out of the mid-80’s. I don’t know, my memory’s a bit fuzzy from banging my head against a brick wall trying to forget the era.