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(TV) Semi-OT: Genre of Television? / Prog Rock: Television's millions of new fans?
a) Given: Television was never 'progressive rock' in the sense of EL&P,
Pink Floyd, or Genesis.
b) But couldn't they be classified in the 'better', current sense of the
word prog rock
(restoring art to modern rock, allowing innovative musicianship to be
of reviled [see Joey Ramone quotes below])?
c) Anyone heard any of the 'prog rock' bands groups mentioned below?
and *d)* If Television releases a new album it should be released by/on
ProgRock Records. An since Television is playing festivals this year, the
consider playing the Prog-rock festival circuit, and turn-on these younger
fans to real
musicianship ---millions of potential new Television fans who would be open
Television's music. (E.g., Television's live, more improvised, extended
their earlier stuff, plus newer songs like "Persia" or even the 12-minute
"1880 Or So". )
And then Tom could buy that that ranch that he's always wanted : >) .
[As usual, since you have to be a Boston Globe daily subscriber to
the link, I was forced to copy and paste the entire article.]
POP MUSIC : "Prog rock :Epic solos, Song suites, Concept albums.
Cue the bombast - it's the return of prog rock"
By Renie Graham, Boston Globe Staff | May 8, 2005
Say this for prog rock -- its musicians certainly know how to play.
After all, an artist can't dive into a 20-minute solo liberally seasoned
with dollops of jazz,
salsa, and classical music without possessing an overwhelming command of his
It was those adventurous musical journeys that distinguished such 1970s rock
stalwarts as Genesis
(during Peter Gabriel's tenure), Rush, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Of course, what some fans most loved about progressive rock -- its willful
indifference to a single style,
its elaborate, even rococo musicality -- is exactly what drove others to
distraction. As the music
grew more excessive, many began to dismiss it as little more than a rambling
series of obscure
noodlings, interminable solos, and self-important ''song suites."
Whereas prog rock once meant expansive musicianship, it soon became
synonymous with creative bloat,
pretentiousness, bizarre lyrics favoring medieval references, and
regrettable sartorial choices such as
Gabriel's flower-petal headgear. David Kamp and Steven Daly's ''The Rock
Snob*s Dictionary" calls
prog rock ''the single most deplored postwar pop music."
Yet this once-maligned genre has been experiencing a comeback. With new
acclaimed albums by such
bands as the Mars Volta, scheduled to play Worcester's Palladium tomorrow
and Avalon on Tuesday,
Queens of the Stone Age, . . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead,
and Porcupine Tree, prog
rock is again being hailed for restoring art to modern rock, allowing
innovative musicianship to be revered
instead of reviled.
''This is also some of the best entertainment anyone will ever see, and what
we're seeing is
a throwback to the great bands of the 1970s," says George Roldan,
copromoter of the
Rites of Spring Festival, which had its second annual gathering last
weekend, outside of
Philadelphia. The three-day event featured 11 prog-rock bands including
Magenta, and Arena. Explaining the draw of prog rock, Roldan adds, ''It's
restoring art to modern rock, allowing innovative musicianship to be revered
instead of reviled,
the performance level, and it's all original music. There's nothing else
like it, and that's what a
whole new generation is being drawn to." Formed in 2001 by guitarist Omar
and singer Cedric Bixler Zavala, after the sudden demise of their band At
the Drive-In, the Mars
Volta is touring in support of its aggressive, hypnotic sophomore album,
''Frances the Mute."
A song cycle featuring five distinct suites based on a diary found by Jeremy
Michael Ward, a
band member who died two years ago, it's ambitious and nervy, and a perfect
follow-up to their
stunning 2003 debut, ''De-loused in the Comatorium." That album was a
critical success and
sold more than a million copies worldwide. ''Frances the Mute" debuted
in March at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
''The fact that Mars Volta is on the charts and getting played stuns me,"
says Shawn Gordon,
president of ProgRock Records, which he founded in 2002. The label is home
bands as Jack Yello, Man on Fire, and Frameshift.
''They're what I consider avant-garde," Gordon says, ''and God bless 'em for
able to pull it off."
Also garnering much attention this spring is Queens of the Stone Age's
to Paralyze," and not just because it's singer-guitarist Josh Homme's first
album without the band's cofounder and bassist Nick Oliveri. Loud and
it's a collection of songs built on dynamic, propulsive soundscapes, not
tried-and-trite radio-friendly hooks.
Earning less attention but no less deserving is Porcupine Tree's textured
released last month. Led by guitarist-keyboardist Steven Wilson, the band
putting out albums since 1991 but received some of the best reviews of their
with 2002's ''In Absentia."
Certainly, it doesn't hurt that prog rock (sometimes called art rock) bands
pummeling music that's as cathartic as it is challenging. It's great music
for the head
and for head-banging. At a recent sold-out Boston appearance, . . . And You
Us by the Trail of Dead singer, guitarist, and drummer Jason Reece said of
Texas-based band, ''We may be pretentious art [expletives], but we like to
Prog rock can trace its beginnings to the 1960s and such classic albums as
''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and even the Beach Boys' ''Pet
of which elevated pop music from mere entertainment into grand art.
''There's a lot of things you can fit into the genre of progressive -- you
could call the
Beatles, Beach Boys, and Led Zeppelin progressive depending on what tunes
listening to," Gordon says. ''Most often it's typified by more complex
integrating world music elements, odd time signatures, and virtuosity."
By the late 1960s, when most rock songs still clocked in at around three
such as England's King Crimson, led by Robert Fripp, began experimenting
compositions unbound by traditional formats and structures. In 1969, his
''In the Court of the Crimson King," which became a Top 40 hit in America.
By the 1970s, such bands as Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis were filling
arenas, as well
as the headphones of fans eager to discern every musical twist and
Inevitably, prog performances became more preposterous, avant-garde, and
downright silly, such as Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson prancing about
performing flute solos.
Soon, John Lydon, the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten, was famously sporting a
''I Hate Pink Floyd" T-shirt on the streets of London, and punk's bracing
three-chord efficiency became an antidote to the prog-rock blahs.
In the excellent documentary ''End of the Century: The Story of the
Ramones," there's a clip,
epitomizing prog's excesses, of Keith Emerson, keyboardist of Emerson, Lake
waist-deep in an intricate Moog synthesizer solo that's both remarkable and
''I saw where musicianship was going at that point in time. It was the drug
era coming into
rock 'n' roll, so everyone was getting into the overindulgence of playing,"
the late Johnny
Ramone says in the film. ''Those long solos -- you felt, 'No way can I ever
be able to play
like this.' Even if you have the talent you'd have to sit there for 15 years
Still, it's that same epic musicianship, some believe, that has revived
''I've been predicting this for a while, and I think it's a backlash against
all the manufactured,
pop-tart type of music that's not good for anything but dancing to," says
also runs progRadio.net, an online prog-rock radio network, as well as the
music service Mindawn.
''It's not interesting to listen to, and there's nothing to the lyrics," he
said of slick pop
confections. ''Christina Aguilera puts an album out and it's called
because of how nasty she is. In what way is that groundbreaking?"
Prog-rock festival organizer Roldan, who also runs Prog4you.com, said new
prog-rock fans may have become familiar with the music by delving into their
collections -- today's 40-year-olds were the ones tripping out on Pink
'Dark Side of the Moon" and Emerson, Lake & Palmer's ''Brain Salad Surgery."
The Internet, he added, has also revived interest in the once-overlooked
''There are more than 50 Internet stations right now devoted to progressive
he says. ''It has propelled prog rock back to a level where it's accessible
to the masses."
With prog rock splintered into numerous subgenres -- from Kraut rock to
psychedelic/space rock -- the genre seems more vital and potent than ever.
Not that prog
rock ever truly went way; bands like Kansas and Pink Floyd have never
and filling venues worldwide. Yet it has been reinvigorated by dedicated
fans and musicians,
again demanding more artistic substance than most radio-ready rock filler
''Progressive rock used to be described as music for intelligent people. It
still is, but it
also has great hooks and melodies," Roldan says. ''These are musicians
the way they want to play it, and kids are digging it." <<...OLE_Obj...>>
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