What about Prog ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeAW, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Prog is such an amorphous music genre, taking in such variations and subcatagories as Prog-Rock, Prog-Folk, Prog-Metal, Prog-Bluegrass, Prog-Alternative, Prog-Electronic, Prog-Jazz, Prog-House, Prog-Trance, Prog-Big Band.

    I just picked up the NTSC version of the new Genesis 2DVD set, and therein is included variations just within one groups ouvre !

    For me, I take my straight! Genesis, Gentle Giant, Focus, Yes, King Crimson, ELO...early ELO, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, Faust, Caravan, PFM...

    How about you ?
     
  2. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Much that was shrouded has now become clear.
     
  3. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Thanks for contributing, Andrew.
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Boy, I used to be a real hardcore progger. Andrew, if you dismiss everything a person says because they like some prog, than I guess you could just skip my posts as well.


    Quote:



    For me, I take my straight! Genesis, Gentle Giant, Focus, Yes, King Crimson, ELO...early ELO, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, Faust, Caravan, PFM...






    Interesting list. Here's my breakdown:

    Genesis- in true prog fashion, I only like the stuff from Nursery Crymes to Wind and Wuthering, especially Foxtrot and Selling England By the Pound. Sure, some of it is just silly, but that's part of the fun. Though Collins is technically a better singer, Gabriel has more personality, and that matters more to me. I'm definitely in the school of thought that doesn't like what they did after Hackett left.

    Gentle Giant- I love this band. Goddamn they play some crazy stuff. Like Genesis, they have kind of an absurdist quality in their music, so it's certainly not for everyone. Theirs is a type of music I can spend hours listening to in so many levels.
    "In my way did I use you, do you really think I abused you? On Reflection now, it doesn't matter..."

    Focus- never heard 'em.

    Yes- I went through my Yes obsession phase in college, like all good proggers do. I still think Close to the Edge, Fragile, Relayer, and even Tales From Topographic Oceans are great. And, of course, it ain't Yes without Steve Howe.

    King Crimson- This is probably my favorite band ever. I've written a bit about Zeppelin, Dreamtheater, Rush and the like, but even they don't compare to Crimson in my book. Oh sure, they started off as a "prog" band, but the stuff they did after they got Bruford was their best. Lark's Tongue In Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, Red, and Discipline are masterpieces. They are the only "prog" band that successfully reinvented themselves for the 80s, IMO. The kicker is that they are playing amazing, fresh material now. I saw them in concert- phenomenal. They have more to say than any band around.

    ELO- I'm sorry, I just don't see the appeal of this band. Lame, lame, lame. It's like a combination of the Beatle's worst material and the Moody Blues- not good in my book.

    Jethro Tull- When I think of great songwriters (Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Lennon-McCartney, Simon), Ian Anderson is definitely one of those at the top of the list. Putting all prog stuff aside, the man was just an amzing writer. Combined with the personality of his voice, and there are some truly beautiful songs, especially the acoustic stuff. Even the anti-prog people might like Songs From the Woods- acoustic based songs with an English folks flavor. Wonderful. And yes, I do like A Passion Play, one of the most derided (unfortunately) albums of prog. Almost all of their 70s output is wonderful. Sadly, they didn't age well.

    Procul Harem- haven't heard 'em. But from what I read about them, they may not be my cup of tea. I don't like the Moody Blues and other "light prog."

    Faust- never heard 'em.

    Caravan- they're fun for a listen now and then. I have a 2 disc anthology. It's alright, rather cute.

    PFM- three cheers for Italian prog! PFM is great.
    MikeAW, do you have the original Italian versions of the albums or the English ones from Manticore? If the latter, I highly recommend the Italian ones.
    Although I only have two of their albums, I love this band. Beautiful melodies and arrangements.

    Banco (don't remember their full name) is another great 70s Italian prog band. Wereas the singer from PFM is folk-ish, the guy from Banco is more operatic. At their best, Banco was wonderful.

    Deus Ex Machina is a modern Italian band. Highly recommended. The dude sings in Latin and has an insane voice- extremely powerful. Instrumentally, their very amitious.

    I like ELP. Yeah, I know, they're silly with all that keyboard stuff, but I think it's kind of fun.

    Camel is another old English band. Nice melodic stuff.

    Is Frank Zappa prog? He is my god.

    I'm not as big into the 70s prog scene as I used to be, though. I tend to listen to more modern stuff. Marillion, Spock's Beard, Echolyn, Flower Kings.
     
  5. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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  6. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    I love progressive rock. As was previously stated it has so many forms. I agree with much of whats been covered here. Although I like all the various stages of both Genesis and Yes. Mainly because I like good pop music as much as I do prog. The only band I cannot get into that has been metioned is Deus Ex Machina. I was at a prog festival in Los Angeles a few years back and they were on the bill. I have never seen so many people run out of a theater with their hands over their ears before. And this was a hard core prog audience, it was really funny.
    Anyway, I want to talk about some bands that never get mentioned here.
    First and foremost are:
    IQ. With all the prog fans on this board, it truly boggles my mind that no one ever talks about this band. IMO they are by far the greatest prog band out there right now. They started around the same time as Marillion. They have a great lead singer Peter Nicholls, who in the early days would paint his face in concert like Gabriel and Fish did. They are similar to early Genesis, but have their own distinct sound as well. I would recommend you give "The Wake", "Ever" or "Subterranea" a listen. Check out the website www.gep.co.uk for more info on this band. Or download one of the following songs from Kazaa or someplace like that: "Widow's Peak" or "Breathtaker". This should give you a good idea of what this band is about.
    Another band that again started in the early 80's is Pendragon. They have several very good albums. I would recommend: "The World", "The Window Of Life" and their most recent release "Not Of This World".
    Since we have many Spock's Beard fans here, I would suggest they check out music from Kevin Gilbert. He was a long time friend of the band who unfortunately died in 1996. The album "Beware Of Darkness" is dedicated to him. He was an extremely talented musician who could play pretty much any instrument. Check out www.kevingilbert.com for more info about his career and song samples. I would recommend the album "The Shaming Of The True". It is a concept album about the ups and downs of the recording industry, and can be very bitter at times. It is his true masterpiece though. Also try his early prog band Giraffe or another band he did, Toy Matinee. It is so sad that such a great talent was taken from us at such an early age.
    If you guys are still awake here are some other bands worth checking out:
    Arena. "Songs From The Lions Cage", "The Visitor" and "Immortal?" are all excellent. They are a heavier band.
    Pallas. "The Sentinel" and "The Cross & The Crucible" are both very good. Again on the heavier side.
    Discipline. "Unfolded Like Staircase", cool album from this band. Might be hard to find.
    Ayreon. The two part "Universal Migrator". Part 1: "The Dream Sequencer" and part 2: "Flight Of The Migrator". This is an allstar project that includes many cool musicians and singers including Bruce Dickinson and Neal Morse.
    And finally quick shouts for some older classic bands like:
    Nektar - "Remember The Future"
    The Strawbs - "Grave New World", "Bursting At The Seams", "Hero And Heroine" and "Ghosts" are all classic.
    Greenslade - "Greenslade" and "Bedside Manners Are Extra" are recommended for any prog fans.
    And last but not least, another vote for Camel. Andy Latimer's guitar playing is truly beautiful. The song "Ice" is a true highpoint for emotional playing.
     
  7. Ed E Lee

    Ed E Lee Agent

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    I'll admit to being a progger for a few years now. Yes, it's more than the 70's heavyweights that a lot of people have heard (Yes, ELP, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, among others). It's nice what a thriving community it is online. Look at the prog festivals that are held annually. including NEARFest , where incidentally I saw Deus Ex Machina and Banco kick butt on stage. Even congratulating them among other performers after their sets ruled. As far as seeing "hard core" proggers run away from Deus Ex Machina.. to each their own. Let me say this.. when I heard Pendragon "The World", I was thinking.. "at least Journey, Styx and Boston kept it at 4 minutes a pop." Dragged out tired AOR riffs over a 10 minutes or so is not very progressive, IMO. I'll take Deus Ex Machina's creative tasty grooves over that. Like any music genre, if you dig hard enough, there are alot of bands out there to discover. I would have missed out on treats like Anglagard, DFA, Townscream, Isildurs Bane, Kenso, among others if I didn't.
    np: Ben Folds live.
     
  8. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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  9. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Mike Broadman--

    You misunderstand. I am a bigtime prog fan. But, unlike some prog fans, I don't deny the value of other musical styles as a result.
     
  10. ChrisDixon

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    Long time prog fan here. For those who don't follow it closely, there has actually been quite a revival in that genre during the last 10 years. Of course the 70s was the glory days, especially in England (Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant). The 80s was pretty much a prog wasteland, which saw many of the above bands turn primarily to pop music. About the only thing that worked in the 80s was the NeoProgressive movement (Marillion, IQ, Pendragon, etc). Most "prog-snobs" look down on these bands, but the best of them (IQ and Marillion for example) are quite good in their own right. Both of those bands have also continued to put out good output for the last 10 years as well.
    In the early-to-mid 90s, a new crop of great bands began to spring up, such as Dream Theater, echolyn (a personal favorite), and Anglagard. These bands and many others began to acquire a big following over the Internet, and now there are literally hundreds of new prog bands with cult followings and pockets of fans that love what they do. There are also some great festivals (especially NEARFest here in the USA) that showcase the more obscure bands. Now, there are more prog sub-genres than you can shake a stick at (prog metal, RIO, zeul, neo, symph, etc.). If you're interested, do a search for Progressive music on the Ineternet and you might find some great unknown music that really brings out the best in a good stereo/speaker system.
    I run a mostly-defunct Progressive Rock reviews site which describes many of these bands. It is still up for now, and has an archive of about 5,000 reviews. It is no longer being updated though, but you can still see it at: http://www.prog.net
    Chris
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    MikeAW,
    Yeah, I visit allmusic.com all the time. Excellent database, though one must take their reviews with a grain of salt.
    Andrew,
    To be fair, MikeAW has very often expressed interest in non-prog stuff. Sure, sometimes he says things just to piss people off, but it's a healthy mix of things regarding different genres of music. [​IMG]
    Chris,
    Hey, man, I used to visit prog.net all the time. It was a great site and helped me a lot with finding out about new (to me) bands. I even posted a couple of reviews under the handle "meatedream." What happened to the site?
     
  12. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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  13. Ed E Lee

    Ed E Lee Agent

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  14. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    Cool...I was just thinking that I should start a Prog thread to discuss the fact that there are a TON of lesser known prog acts out there (both recent vintage and many from the 70's). Seems like most of you are familiar with that fact. [​IMG]
    I highly recommend checking out the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock as mentioned above. That's where I started reading about some of the unknown bands when I first realized there was more to prog then what FM radio pumped out. Don't misunderstand me - I love the classic prog stuff by Genesis and Yes as much as the next proghead, but I wanted some more.
    It took me awhile to dip my toes in the waters...After all, we were talking about expensive mail orders of CDs from bands in foreign countries. Scary thought. But dammit, there's some extraordinarily interesting stuff out there. I started by trying a few bands that were compared to my faves (the Genesis clones, King Crimson disciples, etc.) and gradually moved on from there. As I moved along, some countries even became particular favourites (ex. Hungary).
    A few examples that spring to mind for no particular reason:
    Anglagard - Mentioned above. Their first album "Hybris" is the mutant child of a Genesis/King Crimson tryst. Dark atmospheric instrumental music.
    Circle - 90's Finnish Industrial Krautrock done without the acid and much better production values. Circular rhythms and riffs that build grooves and layers upon each other.
    Happy Family - The album "Toscco" is like King Crimson on amphetamines after watching way too much violent Anime.
    Korai Orum - If Ozric Tentacles played "world beat" music, they might sound a bit like this. Entrancing head bopping grooves.
    Museo Rosenbach - One of many one album Italian wonders of the 70's. Their album "Zarathustra" has been put down by some people as too straight forward rock, but I find it to be a great mix of both rock and progressive tendencies. Coulda been a contender in the 70's for radio airplay.
    Nuova Era - "Il Passo Del Soldato" is an ELP album without so much of the bombast and more of the songwriting they never quite lived up to (IMHO of course...). Some fabulous keyboard work on this one.
    I've gone to see a band called The Musical Box a couple of times here in Toronto. They recreate (down to the stage patter between songs) Genesis' "Selling England By The Pound" tour and they do it VERY well. Going to see these shows, I get excited when I see hundreds of people showing up and enjoying the music. Unfortunately many of them simply do not care to dig a bit deeper for more from that style. I'm convinced that there's a wider audience for much of this stuff (though probably not as huge as it was in the 70's), but it's dead as far as radio is concerned.
     
  15. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Mike,
    I remember your posts! Prog-Net came to a close because of a combination of user abuses (flame wars in reviews, false/fraudulent names, etc.), and because I grew tired of doing it. It took a lot of work and I have less time these days.
    Ed,
    I honestly meant the "prog-snob" comment in the most light-hearted manner. Back in the Prog-Net days, I'm sure that a few people hung that title on my neck too. I also never had any issues with people in "that newsgroup". I did some good natured jabbing with "OIB", but we got along fine. You have to admit, there is a certain unwritten rule that when you stop liking Marillion and start liking Magma, you've arrived. [​IMG] But you are absolutely right, people are not expected to like each sub-genre, nor is prog the only good music out there, as we all know.
    Chris
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  17. Bob Turnbull

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  18. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    I guess I never arrived either. I bought a Magma album without ever hearing them in college (having read many good things). I did not like it... especially then. It actually became a great running joke with my friends. Every time one of us put up a for sale list in the mail room (where lots of used CD selling went on), we always put Magma Live on it, hoping that one day, some enlightened soul could tell us what we were missing. Never happenend.

    Years later, my tastes have changed, and to some degree I appreciate their... um... uniqueness. They actually are talented musicians, but I can't get passed the vocal style. Some of my post-80s favorites outside the mainstream are (and there are some guilty favorites in there): echolyn, IQ, Porcupine Tree, Solaris, Ten Jinn, After Crying, Spock's Beard, Anglagard, Marillion, Glass Hammer, Dream Theater, The Gathering, Anekdoten, Ayreon, Grey Lady Down, and 20 others that I'm forgetting.

    Chris
     
  19. Ed E Lee

    Ed E Lee Agent

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    Chris,
    No, that's cool about being light hearted. I've heard enough of it on RMP to know that it swings both ways. Personally, I think the "neo" prog snobs take more offense to neo being pummelled than the "avant" prog snobs do when "avant" prog is whacked around. [​IMG] I just find myself in the middle with regards to the music, but not in regards to whatever. I can't say I've had any issues with "OIB" and I've always found his posts to be pretty funny, esp. those who really get frustrated with his positions on prog or such.
    It's too bad you had to beg out of prog.net, since it was a worthwhile pursuit.
    I don't have alot of Magma, but I've heard much worse. I don't think it's more "having arrived" as more "enjoying the ride there".
    By the way, Art Blakey rules.
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Aside from the regular prog lineups (Yes, Tull, Genesis, Gentle Giant, et al) there are a couple others that I really like, the newest discovery being Eloy. Floating, Ocean, and Inside are all great albums, though the singer may take a bit of getting used to.
    Of course Captain Beyond is on my top five list, though they are more rock than prog, they do live in 7/8 a lot. Ex Deep Purple Mk1 vocalist Rod Evans with Iron Butterfly's Rhino and Lee Dorman, and Bobby Caldwell on drums. The ST album is the best, the second, Sufficiently Breathless is "latin space rock".Still cool, but less heavy.
    The first Starcastle was good. Yes, it sounds like Yes.
    Ozric Tentacles are pretty cool as well.
     

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