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Starship Trooper, go sailing on by...
January 16, 2011 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- Prog Rock! --- ... prog rock?

A wee bit of non-YouTube context for the punters...

Tracks in order of appearance:
Genesis - The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
Focus - Hocus Pocus
Yes - Starship Trooper
Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood
Gentle Giant - Nothing At All
Rush - A Farewell To Kings
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus (1st of 4 parts: 2, 3, 4)
King Crimson - The Court of the Crimson King
The Mars Volta - Goliath
posted by spoobnooble (89 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
Prog Rock!
posted by mintcake! at 9:29 AM on January 16, 2011


ProgNotFrog (not youtube, but really great).
posted by sleepy pete at 9:36 AM on January 16, 2011


Camel by kids!
posted by davebush at 9:36 AM on January 16, 2011


prog rock! - prog rock! pt 2
posted by pyramid termite at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Crog Pock!
posted by griphus at 9:39 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I probably would have chosen the epic Supper's Ready to represent Genesis' particular brand of prog. And probably the even more epic Thick As A Brick for Jethro Tull.

But those choices most likely reflect my own predilections more than anything else.
posted by hippybear at 9:39 AM on January 16, 2011




Prog Rock
posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on January 16, 2011


The Mars Volta's lesser known track Frances the Mute is definitely proggier than Goliath, which tends more towards their harder rock sound. If you like this sort of thing (I really, really love this group and specifically its main composer, Omar Rodriguez Lopez), you should check out the album 'Frances the Mute' as well, a sort of concept album with a heavy psychedelic, latin jazz vibe to it, my all time favourite album of all time.
posted by tumples at 9:45 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Truthfully, I can't stand most prog, but I love The Mars Volta. Deantoni Parks is confirmed as their new drummer (at least on the next record), and that's pretty exciting to me.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 9:47 AM on January 16, 2011


Grog Loch!
posted by fairmettle at 9:48 AM on January 16, 2011


and, of course, Starless Part 2
posted by philip-random at 9:50 AM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't get it. Why not just listen to jazz?
posted by IjonTichy at 9:54 AM on January 16, 2011


There's prog, and then there's Henry Cow.
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't get it. Why not just listen to jazz?

Jazz and prog rock, while seeming to be related on the surface, really are not. Many of the classic prog bands don't improvise much on stage, even during their extended solos. Even on the most recent Genesis tour a couple of years ago, the songs were played pretty much exactly as they appear on the albums and often clock in to within a few seconds of the original recordings.

Prog rock is much more related to classical music, specifically symphonies, than it is to jazz, which is more about exploring the space around familiar melodies through improvisation. Jazz fans want to be surprised by the artist, prog rock fans want to ride the same ride again and again.

It's a subtle distinction, but an important one.

And then there is the interesting middle ground. Like, for example, Carla Bley.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't get it. Why not just listen to jazz?

*facepalm*
posted by lifeless at 10:02 AM on January 16, 2011


And jazz doesn't have sequined capes.
posted by philip-random at 10:03 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why not just listen to jazz?

jazz isn't loud enough
posted by pyramid termite at 10:05 AM on January 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


A dissenting opinion
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on January 16, 2011


This might be one of my favorite posts on MeFi. Also, is it just me or are The Decemberists pretty much prog rock? Minus the capes.
posted by blixco at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2011


Come ON, MetaFilter. It's like y'all aren't even TRYING to post links to good prog.

Is there such a thing as "good" prog? Oh, yeah.

Yes, I am totally trolling by deliberately mischaracterizing Can as "prog".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:30 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Where can I get one a them Kieth Emerson armadillo shirts?
posted by fixedgear at 10:33 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Prague Rock!
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:39 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Porcupine Tree: Blackest Eyes
posted by 4midori at 10:40 AM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


My take on prog-rock used to be that it mattered absolutely for maybe four or five years in the early to mid 70s, and then it got not so much stupid (though much of it did) as disconnected from anything remotely relevant to the so-called "real world". And then punk showed up and kicked it off the fast moving train that is pop culture. End of story.

But then I search through a few of the links here, and various YouTube sidebars from there and I find something like this (the young folk from Paul Green's School of Rock ripping through possibly the most complicated song Yes ever put together), or this (some slightly older folk working through a cover of King Crimson's Starless -- note the bassist with the Mohawk), or this (a guy named Francis Dunnery doing a slowed down sorta folky version of early Genesis's most PUNK song) ... and I have to conclude that this shit is alive and well and mutating as all healthy lifeforms must.

Oh, and previously ... and previously. Keep on rocking (progressively, of course) in the free world.
posted by philip-random at 10:41 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously?! No Caravan?
posted by NoMich at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2011


Needs more PFM, (and a translator).
posted by timsteil at 10:46 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome, it turns out I don't dislike prog rock, just Rush. I love it when exposure opens me to new things.
posted by khaibit at 10:48 AM on January 16, 2011


I just need to say the song title: A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers.
posted by ovvl at 10:50 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I prefer my prog rock more spaced out like Hawkwind's Orgone Accumulator which appears on the epic Space Ritual double live album.

Nice post.
posted by Sailormom at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just need to say the song title: A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers

Ah yes, the Van der Graaf Generator with their "lead" man, the Jesus of Angst himself, Peter Hammill, who never fails to remind us that things are MUCH more serious than we imagined. It happens in almost every song, usually betrayed by a certain aural breakdown that is only slightly more difficult to describe than it is to listen to.

Hint: it happens around the 1:40 point.
posted by philip-random at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2011


I like to think my prog rock days are decades behind me. But my dreams still sometimes have an ELP soundtrack.
posted by maurice at 12:02 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Prog Rock?

(Don't give up. It's a suite.)
posted by Decani at 12:25 PM on January 16, 2011


And then punk showed up and kicked it off the fast moving train that is pop culture.

it was already off the train by 1977, done in by disco and AOR - i find the whole punk vs prog thing ironic - prog was pretentious but malcolm mclaren's philosophy of music was a lot more pretentious than elp or yes ever dreamed of being - punk was a revolt against corporate music but ended up being more coopted than prog was

prog's biggest weakness was that the only american bands to take it up dumbed it down considerably to the point where it was just AOR with slightly more difficult arrangements - with the exception of styx, who were faking it all along

that and the fact that anyone can play punk - not everyone can play prog

eventually, it'll make a comeback - just about everything eventually does - there are certainly enough bands around still playing it
posted by pyramid termite at 12:34 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


things are MUCH more serious than we imagined

SILENCE!
posted by ceiriog at 12:40 PM on January 16, 2011


(Don't give up. It's a suite.)

""Here," said I, "is your lot; in this
space, if space it may be called."
Soon we saw the stable and the church,
and I took him to the altar and opened
the Bible, and lo! it was a deep pit,
into which I descended, driving the
Angel before me. Soon we saw seven
houses of brick. One we entered. In
it were a number of monkeys, baboons,
and all of that species, all flying around in scanty gold lame and white robes, dancing idiotically to music that made my teeth hurt and my bowels tighten.

"Lo," said I, "'tis the '70s and thou wilt suffer them for eternity with those more bland than the Bradies and the Partridges."
posted by pyramid termite at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This whole conversation makes me a bit nervous about having signed up for the latest MeFi CD swap.
posted by TheShadowKnows at 12:58 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes -- 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'. True brilliance.
posted by ericb at 1:08 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And probably the even more epic Thick As A Brick for Jethro Tull.

And -- ' A Passion Play.'*
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is it I love early Yes so much, and so utterly despise ELP? I think it has something to do with Yes, in the beginning at least, being more organic - sprung up from seeds of their own sowing, whereas ELP was utterly contrived, and seemed to exist solely for the purpose of bombast. Some of Yes' early catalog is just achingly beautiful, like the verse & chorus of Heart of the Sunrise.

The Bruford/Squire/Howe/Anderson combo was on to something - a combination of noise, repetition, jarring, sudden movement, and serene beauty that added up to a very interesting whole. It's precisely the briefness and rarity of the little sections, like the quick chorus of HOTS that makes it stand out against the backdrop of the insane racket, and makes you yearn for it again and again. They did an interesting contrast thing. Chis Squire seems to be so revered amongst young rock bassists that there's an entire cottage industry of fucking up his bass parts on youtube videos, as I discovered while learning HOTS, myself - I'm not going to link here, but a youtube search of "Yes Bass Cover" will yield some.. results

Bruford appears in Crimson after that again for the Red album, which has probably my favorite prog song of all, Starless. Utterly bleak and despairing, building from a whisper to an outright scream, in one of the most intense walls of sound, at the end. Massive. Just massive. I think prog as a genre was done at the last note of that song, though they re-invented themselves with Discipline, and I love the Belew-era Crimson very much, too.

As far as contemporary stuff, Porcupine Tree, while more a chip off of the Pink Floyd block, is doing consistently powerful and melodic work in the prog arena today - their drummer is perhaps the bet kit player of his generation, in rock anyway. A serious sight to behold. Way Out of Here is a personal favorite.

Oh, and just for the sake of being obscure and arcane: Nektar: Remember the Future. Kraut rock!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:19 PM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


4midori: "Porcupine Tree: Blackest Eyes [yt] [mefi]"

Blackest Eye? Really? That's the best you can come up with? When there's Piano Lessons? Or the uter beauty that is Fear of a Blank Planet? Bonus points on that for getting name inspiration from Public Enemy.

Of course, I have a soft spot for Shallow.

And then there's Jupiter Island. Nobody's perfect. At least it's better than the fucking Paul McCartney Christmas "song."
posted by theichibun at 1:47 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


RUINS PROG ROCK MEDLEY
will kick your ass.

Two men, bass, drums. Riffs. Yeah.
posted by idiopath at 1:58 PM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


See, I've read through several prog rock posts here on the filter, and while it's very refreshing to find my reverence for Yes is not unique in the world, what I'm dying for are some credible recommendations of good, current prog bands (if any yet exist.). Cause I've spent a fair bit of time over at the prog archives, with only middling success in that pursuit, and some regrettable iTunes purchases (Glass Hammer, Spock's Beard) only to show for it.
posted by newdaddy at 1:59 PM on January 16, 2011


(check the track description for the 39 songs covered, also check the live version).
posted by idiopath at 2:02 PM on January 16, 2011


Or the utter beauty that is Fear of a Blank Planet

Brutal. Robotic. Relentless. Greatest driving song of all time. I get all like FUCK THE RED LIGHTS when that's on in the car.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:02 PM on January 16, 2011


Hello, my name is Ber. I've been progging for most of my life. The genre may not be paying all that well for most of the bands but it is thriving. And there are plenty of well-known bands that flirt with its forms: Decemberists, Mars Volta, Radiohead, Black Mountain... There are festivals like NEARFest. And some of the old monsters are still selling out arenas and even recording new music (Rush, David Gilmour). The metal scene has bands like Opeth and Meshuggah who have enough time signature changes to give Bill Bruford whiplash. It may have been declared dead by the Jann Wenner cognoscenti (but his ilk had trouble with analyzing anything that had more to do with music than lyrics) but it has always mutated and adapted (IQ and Marillion in the 80s, Porcupine Tree and the Flower Kings in the 90s, Dream Theater in both decades). In other words it has always progressed.

I love jazz but first and foremost, but the difference is in the beat (jazz swings, prog rocks - and the kick drum drives the rhythm). And then there is the issue of improvisation. In general the classic prog bands stuck closer to the script but then again so did the Stones in their prime. You had to go to The Dead, Allmans, the Who, Deep Purple, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, or Led Zeppelin to see bands who never did the same thing twice.

I belong to a music forum that is primarily devoted to prog rock. And while the members there can debate key changes in a minor Genesis song to ad infinitum, they can also discuss with equal passion jazz, classical, blues or classic rock (but never never country). In fact the people that I have come to know in this community have a far wider taste in music and more willing to experiment than most alternative rock fans I know, who are usually quite constricted and constipated in their tastes.

Oh, and Led Zeppelin was a prog band.
posted by Ber at 2:08 PM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Newdaddy, check out Progressive Ears.
posted by Ber at 2:09 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG that Giant Hogweed video is awesome. Young Peter Gabriel!
Some More Genesis

More King Crimson

And Prog Rock? Anyway I might as well post it here, because it rules.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:14 PM on January 16, 2011


I don't know if they count as prog, but for a while YBO2 (Why I? and 太陽の皇子) sounded a bit like what '73/74 era King Crimson could have become if it wasn't centered on someone so, um, disciplined.

Speaking of which, they continued to do vital music into this century, though Fripp has (once again) declared himself no longer a professional musician.
posted by williampratt at 2:21 PM on January 16, 2011


prog's biggest weakness was that the only american bands to take it up dumbed it down considerably to the point where it was just AOR with slightly more difficult arrangements - with the exception of styx, who were faking it all along

Actually Prog's biggest weakness is that it was pretty much useless. You can't dance to it, you can't sing along, and the mere thought of having sex to it is terrifying. So why do they even call it rock anyway?

Of course even I occasionally find myself singing an old Yes song- but I try to keep that behavior behind closed curtains, not in public. And it's not like I'm singing the words, but rather the riff that goes "bamp babamp bamp. Bamp babamp bamp. Bamp babamp bamp bamp bamp BAUMP."

Somebody really needs to strip out that riff and put it in a modern mash-up. It's sad to see it languishing away in post-hippy music.

eventually, it'll make a comeback - just about everything eventually does - there are certainly enough bands around still playing it

As in eventually, some producer will decide that it's the Next Big Thing, and this will be annotated by the music media. But at least when it DOES happen, the singer will probably be rapping the lyrics.
posted by happyroach at 2:23 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am frequently laughed at for including Ambrosia in my list of favorite Prog Rock bands, but their early albums were one "chart bait" song and some seriously out-there stuff... best example:
Mama Frog part 1 (yeah, they put a reading of "Jabberwocky" into the song - the original album cut also included a voice track of a guy with a redneck accent saying 'damnedest thing I ever...'), Part 2. Less extreme examples: Nice Nice Very Nice, Time (Waits for No One), Drink of Water.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:28 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am frequently laughed at for including Ambrosia...

Anyone who makes an actual song out of one of Bokonon's calypos is aways alright by me.

One thing that's great about getting older is I have become totally unrepentant about my taste in music. Guilty pleasure? No. Either it's not a pleasure, or it is. No guilt. You don't like it? Fine -- I'm not going to be embarrassed by the things I enjoy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:34 PM on January 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


happyroach: The most recent Kanye West album contains a recognizable sample of 21st Century Schizoid Man.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:35 PM on January 16, 2011


And you gave Elephant Talk a miss.

This thread should have a trigger warning. I'm back there in the Drews (middle name Justice) basement with the Marantz reciever/amplifier (25w a side) and the Technics SL-220 turntable and the Cerwin Vega speakers. Blub blub hiss is the refrain and I can see the reel-to-reel pay slowly left to right as I anticipate another frosty ether.

Best of times, worst of times.
posted by vapidave at 2:36 PM on January 16, 2011


You can't dance to it, you can't sing along, and the mere thought of having sex to it is terrifying.

Nope, not dance music, which contributes to its image as 'music to listen to stoned' although I, personally have never been into mind-altering substances for which I have substituted several of the best Prog Rock bands. Sing along? Hell yeah, more work to remember the usually-non-repeating lyrics, but if you have a favorite hook ("LONG DISTANCE RUNAROUUUUUND..."), that's enough. And as for sex (TMI follows), my never-gonna-top-this sexual experience featured the full 29-minute version of ELP's "Karn Evil 9" playing (originally to drown out this noisy couple), but I take great pride in lasting until the moog-sequenced ending. There's a reason Bowie's "Suffragette City" is 3:30, and the "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am" lyric is at 2:55, that is NOT my thing.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:43 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


And you gave Elephant Talk a miss.

KROQ's "80's New Wave" format was considered to be diametrically opposed to all things Progressive, but they played King Crimson in '82 (before the format was totally set in stone), and Elephant Talk, Heartbeat, Thela Nun Ginjeet and Neal & Jack & Me all made their Year-End Top Songs list. And I respected them for that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


what I'm dying for are some credible recommendations of good, current prog bands (if any yet exist.). Cause I've spent a fair bit of time over at the prog archives, with only middling success in that pursuit

The problem with so-called modern prog is it tends to be "prog" without being progressive (ie: derivative of stuff that was genuinely fresh, adventurous, daring better part of 40 years ago without adding anything to it), which is why I generally gave up looking for anything new in the name of prog back in the 80s. Marillion were the ones that finally buried it for me.

That said, as Ber points out above, there are current bands doing very cool stuff that you can hear is heavily influenced by the prog greats. But they're not just ripping it off, trying to emulate it; more using it as fuel to launch themselves into some phantasmic new universe.

As I linked to above, Midlake and Dungen are two current bands I've really quite enjoyed.

And yeah, Led Zep were definitely prog when they cared to be.
posted by philip-random at 3:01 PM on January 16, 2011


And yes, I do have a license to drive this thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:08 PM on January 16, 2011


Devils Rancher, that was impressive as hell.
posted by feldspaz at 3:46 PM on January 16, 2011


You can't dance to it, you can't sing along, and the mere thought of having sex to it is terrifying.

Heh, my first thought when clicking on Focus' "Hocus Pocus" was "Oh jeez, I remember that one time..." On second thought, never mind!

Hey, here's some Finnish prog:
Elonkorjuu - "Unfeeling"
Elonkorjuu - The Ocean Song
Haikara - Köyhän pojan kerjäys
Charlies - Kinda Hurtin´
posted by medeine at 3:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love music posts except for being reminded that my talent is limited to putting the shiny flat round thing in the thing where it fits and pushing gently.
posted by vapidave at 4:16 PM on January 16, 2011


No Dream Theater???
posted by LordSludge at 4:23 PM on January 16, 2011


I have to admit, I saw a Coheed & Cambria show a couple of months ago... I still don't know much about them, but they struck me as rather proggy. (With a very proggy concept behind their band, too.)
posted by hippybear at 4:31 PM on January 16, 2011


Prog rock is much more related to classical music, specifically symphonies, than it is to jazz, which is more about exploring the space around familiar melodies through improvisation. Jazz fans want to be surprised by the artist, prog rock fans want to ride the same ride again and again.

Well put. Oddly, I have no desire at all to listen to classical, but have always enjoyed prog rock. Go figure.

On the NZ front, Split Enz first album, Mental Notes, was decidedly prog rock (they later went poppy and forgot all the clever, tricky bits).
posted by Sparx at 4:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh...I'm currently listening to Aural Moon, one of my fave online stations. It periodically gives me Dungeons and Dragons flashbacks.
posted by foonly at 5:21 PM on January 16, 2011


If the Venture Bros has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that prog rock is where science comes from
posted by rmd1023 at 6:21 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) )

oh good grief I'm going to be here all night
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:27 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Devils Rancher: "Or the utter beauty that is Fear of a Blank Planet

Brutal. Robotic. Relentless. Greatest driving song of all time. I get all like FUCK THE RED LIGHTS when that's on in the car
"

And then the album slows down and I calm down and the passengers stop freaking out.

And then it starts again. I'm not allowed to listen to that album with certain people in the car anymore.
posted by theichibun at 6:34 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


PROG BRITANNIA

recent BBC documentary concerning the "prog years", told from a mainly UK perspective. Assuming my memory hasn't failed me, this is where Steve Howe (Yes guitarist) stakes his claim on Richard Harris's MacArthur Park as being the great overlooked seminal prog-rock pocket symphony.

special bonus link to Levi Stubbs' take on MacArthur Park
posted by philip-random at 7:18 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the Venture Bros has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that prog rock is where science comes from

It's super-scientist standard issue; witness Walter Bishop's awesome collection of vinyl.
posted by nonliteral at 8:03 PM on January 16, 2011


( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) )

i remember that well, but a sprinkling of clouds was truly visionary, years before its time
posted by pyramid termite at 8:21 PM on January 16, 2011


this is where Steve Howe (Yes guitarist) stakes his claim on Richard Harris's MacArthur Park as being the great overlooked seminal prog-rock pocket symphony.

if anyone's really into that highly arranged 60s pop sound, the two albums richard harris did with jimmy webb, "a tramp shining" and "the yard went on forever" are the epitome of the style, absolute classics

alas, i'm afraid that the funk brothers simply don't match up to the wrecking crew on the 4 tops version of mc arthur park, although levi tries manfully ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:38 PM on January 16, 2011


Prog rock is much more related to classical music, specifically symphonies, than it is to jazz, which is more about exploring the space around familiar melodies through improvisation. Jazz fans want to be surprised by the artist, prog rock fans want to ride the same ride again and again.

That's a pretty obnoxious statement. I might as well say "jazz is a minimally adorned excuse for the players to solo and is more masturbatory form of music than prog" to equalize the bullshit. I don't really believe that statement I just made (but I know professional jazz musicians with awesome senses of humor who do). I just lay it down to, matching insult for insult, try to show the asininity of where this line of commentary is headed.
posted by feldspaz at 9:14 PM on January 16, 2011


alas, i'm afraid that the funk brothers simply don't match up to the wrecking crew on the 4 tops version of mc arthur park,

it's interesting what the head space must have been on those sessions. Did they think they actually had something, some monster hit? Or was it just an eccentric experiment, which the Wrecking Crew nailed and the Funk Bros -- well, they might have been more focused on something else that week?
posted by philip-random at 9:15 PM on January 16, 2011


it's interesting what the head space must have been on those sessions.

a lot of 60s motown albums have filler like that, where they were covering stuff they knew wouldn't be singles but they had to have something for an album - so there it was

i researched it and this is off 1969s' "the four tops now" - which also includes covers of "elenor rigby", "the fool on the hill", and "little green apples"

gotta keep the product coming, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 9:43 PM on January 16, 2011


Well, do you ever get the feeling that the story's too damn real and in the present tense? Or that everybody's on the stage and it seems like you're the only person sitting in the audience?
posted by treepour at 9:48 PM on January 16, 2011


skating away
posted by philip-random at 10:01 PM on January 16, 2011


... on the thin ice of a new day
posted by philip-random at 10:04 PM on January 16, 2011


Pronk!
posted by Grangousier at 11:13 PM on January 16, 2011


Still waiting for Gong's masterpiece "Flying Teapot". The cover alone.
posted by Hickeystudio at 2:09 AM on January 17, 2011


I listen to The Mars Volta in a way that borders on obsessive -- three times as much as any other band, according to my last.fm stats. But I'm also one of those who can't much get into any other prog rock band.

My theory is that TMV is very positively influenced by Mexican and Puerto Rican musical traditions -- I've heard Frances the Mute called their magnum opus and it has some awesome Latin flavour ("L'Via L'Viaquez"!!). And, of course, they have the secret, prolific weapon that is Omar Rodríguez-López.

"Goliath" is, by far, my most-played song (again, thanks last.fm for exposing my repetitive listening tendencies), but I don't think it's their best. (By the way, it's a real mind-fuck to listen to "Goliath" and "Rapid Fire Tollbooth" off Rodríguez-López's album Calibration... and then to learn that "Rapid Fire Tollbooth" came first!) Every TMV album has one radio-friendly-ish song -- "Televators", "The Widow", "Viscera Eyes", "Wax Simulacra", "Cotopaxi" (ok, I guess also "Desperate Graves", they do claim Octahedron is their long-threatened "pop record"), but they're never the best song on the album.
posted by neushoorn at 2:23 AM on January 17, 2011


alas, i'm afraid that the funk brothers simply don't match up to the wrecking crew on the 4 tops version of mc arthur park, although levi tries manfully ...

I tried and failed in my effort to graph or grep that sentence. So I shall microlaser that sentence to; my fundament; my favorite three and one half teeth that I bought with money I borrowed from a gypsy unrelated to me and never repaid; and the next person that is stupid enough to turn their back to me.
posted by vapidave at 3:23 AM on January 17, 2011


...jazz doesn't have sequined capes.

Maybe, maybe not. I can't tell if these capes are shiny or just glittery in this footage.

This is a really good post. Who knew Peter Gabriel had so such swag back then?

Uh, krg prc?

posted by Minus215Cee at 3:29 AM on January 17, 2011


Great post (and great comments too!). So many memories from my "wasted" 20s during the late '80s and early '90s ... my absolute prog rock moment had to be watching Daevid Allen twirling through the audience at the Barrowlands (in Glasgow, Scotland) singing Zero the Hero and the Witch's Spell whilst wearing a sparkly suit and a pointy hat. Happy days :-)
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 4:23 AM on January 17, 2011


I just lay it down to, matching insult for insult, try to show the asininity of where this line of commentary is headed.

If you took my very brief sentence about Jazz vs. Prog as somehow insulting, then you may have way too much personally invested in the conversation. Because it wasn't intended as insulting to EITHER party, and didn't contain any of the laden terms you used in your actually insulting statement about jazz.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 AM on January 17, 2011


Oh, how this post is just making my day! I was such a prog rock nerd in high school and college in the 90s. When everyone else was listening to the Seattle Sound, I was rocking out to my Yes, Rush, Genesis and King Crimson. I listen to Yes and Genesis quite a bit lately.
Love the videos. I can't get over how adorable Peter Gabriel and Jon Anderson were in 1973!
posted by apis mellifera at 10:09 AM on January 17, 2011


A thread about prog rock is filled with additional hours of prog rock, just like prog rock itself.
posted by rhizome at 11:03 AM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Opened comments, hit Ctrl+F and made sure Porcupine Tree got a mention, leaving happy. I want to have Steven Wilson's babies. I also wish I could have thought of a less creepy way of phrasing that after a few minutes of trying.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 11:04 AM on January 17, 2011


Minus215Cee, maybe you want this ensemble.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:22 AM on January 21, 2011


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