Archive for August, 2016

Howe, Downes lead reinvigorated Yes at Chicago’s Copernicus Center

Posted in Observations & Musings on August 21, 2016 by Christian

I became a big fan of the progressive rock band Yes by listening through my brother’s bedroom wall. I was into rap at the time, so the complex melodies, the sweeping lyrical landscapes, and classical-length compositions were a bit … too much for me at first, but it sowed the seeds, and eventually, I bought my own copies of THE YES ALBUM, FRAGILE, and CLOSE TO THE EDGE so I didn’t have to borrow Dave’s.

They were even my first major-label, arena concert when Dave took me to the then-Rosemont Horizon on May 6, 1991 to see a supergroup version of Yes with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Alan White, and Trevor Rabin representing key eras in the group’s history. And I got to see a version of it again last night at the Copernicus Center in Chicago.


But the current version of Yes featured only Steve Howe (guitar) from the group I saw before. He was joined by Geoff Downes, keyboardist from DRAMA, which they played in full to open the set. (And I recently discovered this is a much better album than I gave it credit for.) Howe and Downes were in fine form … but I was kind of expecting that. Yes musicians have to be in fine form. But who were these other guys, tasked with the recreation of some of symphonic rock’s most difficult passages?

Alan White, who has been the band’s drummer since 1972, is recuperating from back surgery, so Jay Schellen more than ably manned the kit for him at last night’s show, nailing the most difficult parts of “Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil)”. Singer Jon Davison is Jon Anderson’s replacement’s replacement. Like Anderson, he is one of those rare natural alto tenors, and hit every soaring high note while waggling his long brown hair like a latter-day traveling minstrel. If Bluto Blutarski had been there, guitars would have been smashed, I’m sure. But this was the music we were there to see.

Still, how would Chris Squire’s replacement replace probably the greatest bassist of all time? Squire was the last remaining original member of Yes when he died of cancer last summer. How could anyone ever take his place? His trebly tone and hummingbird quick plucking were matched only by his inventiveness. In comes Billy Sherwood … and made me think I was seeing a ghost. Hearing one, too, which is probably more important when you’re at a concert.


I am NOT a camera. I was actually a lot closer than this while I was taking the picture.

Listening to Yes music is an investment. By-and-large, it is not catchy. Hardly ever poppy. But as I find when I return to their music every couple of years, it surprises me how the passages come back, like reading a really good book that you haven’t cracked in years. The last revisit I made to Yes was in 2012 when I was writing LOSING TOUCH, and their music makes several cameo appearances, including “The Revealing Science of God”, which they played last night with note-for-note perfection.

Morgan Dunsmore would have been proud.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Buy now to save on these select horror titles

Posted in News on August 13, 2016 by Christian

Aside from parents, who really 100% likes back-to-school time? As a student, I can remember feeling a sense of anticipation, but there was some dread, too. And to you students out there reading this, believe me, teachers feel the same way.

This year, whether you’re a teacher or a student (or a relieved parent), there’s a way to make this time of year that much more enjoyable: the “Back-to-School 99¢ Kindle Sale” from Post Mortem Press, including my sophomore novel: THE BLACKENING OF FLESH.


Time’s running out to save on these nearly-free ebooks from Post Mortem Press.

THE BLACKENING OF FLESH is about a high schooler who, during the summer of 1984, graduates into a whole new world of terror when he discovers that his house is haunted by five Prohibition-era gangsters. And this time, they’re planning more than a heist.

But THE BLACKENING OF FLESH isn’t the only title that Post Mortem Press is practically giving away. Here’s a list of hidden gems and new horror featuring school-age characters that you can save on now … but only for a limited time:

A teenager’s father is a serial killer. The horror of the silver screen creeps into reality. Magical abilities. Possessed dolls. Dystopian futures. Ghostly apparitions. Nostalgia steeped in the world of the weird. Haunted theaters. Asylums and crypts. Cartels and the patron saint of death. Own them all for less than a buck each, so this back-to-school season, you can save your scratch for college-lined notebook paper.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Get THE BLACKENING OF FLESH at back-to-school pricing

Posted in News on August 7, 2016 by Christian

My last few semesters in college, I held off buying assigned books until I was sure I was going to read them. Saved a lot of money that way, but I’m sure my grades suffered a little bit. Maybe. I know now that there’s a better way to buy books around this time of year: the “Back-to-School 99¢ Kindle Sale” from Post Mortem Press.


That teacher doesn’t look so good.

My ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, is about a kid graduating high school who finds out that his house is haunted by five Prohibition Era gangsters. This one is definitely not for the kids, though. Set during the early summer of 1984, it still qualifies as back-to-school fare because the main character is high school age (or younger), like the rest of these fine, student-centric titles:

Some of those you’ve been putting off buying for a while, haven’t you? Some are brand-new. And some … you’ve never heard of, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Bottom line is, this will all be on the test, so you might as well get while the getting’s good–during Post Mortem Press’s Back-to-School 99¢ Kindle Sale.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.