Alternative Culture Guide: Aspects of (Un)Popular Culture: The Return of Prog-Rock/Prog-Metal Edited by Rev. Keith A. Gordon and Tommy Hash By Todd Taylor

Made up mostly of items originally published on the web at “popular” webzine MondoGordo.com, this is collection contains over 120 reviews of CDs, DVDs, books and zines, plus interviews with “Progressive Rock & Metal’s Top Talents,” and a section of short tributes to rockers who died in 2004 (from Johnny Ramone and Greg Shaw to Dimebag Darryl and Ray Charles to Ol’ Dirty Bastard). Reverend Keith A. Gordon and his staff also toss in a couple of rambling, unfocused essays on issues like “Nashville—What Went Wrong?” and a discussion of how the recording industry is screwing us by not allowing Chinese companies to make and sell pirate copies of popular releases. As far as prog-anything goes, I couldn’t really give a crap, but if you’re interested in that sort of thing there are interviews here with “Neal Morse, Timo Kotipelto, Roine Stolt, Mark Briody, Andy Kuntz, Rich West, Ray Wilson and many more!” There are also reviews of non-prog items, including CDs from the Shemps and Tommy Stinson, as well as the brilliant book Vinyl Junkies by Bret Milano. Bottom line, this is a lot of money for a bunch of not very interesting stuff that you could have read for free at their website if you wanted. –Brian Mosher (Anthem Pop/Kult Publishing , 826 Old Charlotte Pike East, Franklin, TN 37064, <www.anthempopkult.com>)