Back-up Vocal~ Complete immersion to help a creative project reach its full potential does have advantages. There are a variety of ways to do it and Hollywood has no shortage of actors who have engaged in the practice. Changing hair styles, gaining or loosing weight and applying color contact lenses are the simple examples. Choosing a strict diet of one type or another may also help an artist get to the center of their creation. The muse may demand radical action to be caught.

That said, Manny isn’t wrong. I’ve done a considerable amount of reading about the history of Yes and their albums. I’ve even discussed some of my findings here in these very pages. Various books, magazine interviews and documentaries have reported on the lengths to which Yes was taken (or dragged, depending on the band member you ask), to realize their “Tales From Topographic Oceans” album. All resources make mention of painted scenery and a life-size, full-color cut-out of a cow brought into to the studio, to create a complete experience during the length of the recording process. Singer, Jon Anderson was seeking to manifest a full, immersive journey to bring new life to Yes and their music. For Anderson, deploying visual references was the best available means of uniting the tangible and the abstract in one. Having landscape paintings and props in the studio was his means of keeping the band focused on his vision for the album. Clearly, Manny has yanked a page from that book, opting for costumes as the gateway for the DBS 3 to transcend. As the estate our boys inhabit continues to expand when I’m not looking, a campus theater presented itself. This was a fantastic surprise because it came equipped with a wardrobe full of viking clothing right when it was needed. It provides our new tale yet another dimension for exploration. Nothing gives a concept album about Norse Mythology better street cred, than authentic threads for the band to wear while they tape it. The entire time they tape it. I will admit that I felt the theater needed a splashy, compelling name. So, for a brief time, I tried to cook up a moniker that packed a colorful ring to it, or was at the very least hopelessly cheeky and loaded with kitch. Nothing worked, until my recent visit trip to Montreal for the Marillion Convention weekend. They played at L’Olympia. The name fit the venue perfectly. A classy title, leaving a light trail of whimsy in its wake to spark the imagination. So, it seemed right to keep mine simple, too. 

Finally, I will let you, my lovely readers, explore the majority of my name-drops as the mood (or ‘the muuuuuse’) may take you. But, I do feel obliged to offer one note. Five Star (no website available) was a British Pop group of siblings from back in the 1980’s. From all research I’ve been able to enact, they had much greater success across “The Pond”. I’m not sure of the degree to which they ever truly broke through on the U.S. Top 40 scene. However, I remember seeing a considerable amount of promotion for them and some of their music videos on TV in England when I visited for 2 weeks back in 1989. My nod to them here was the combination of insomnia meeting YouTube, meeting a “where are they now?” moment in my head. So, they made the cut and got a tip of the viking helmet from the “Mannyacs” crew. Just like the staff and performers of “Le Odeum” back in the day, we truly do our best to THROW DOWN on the High Culture.