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May 23, 2008

A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun
Posted by Patrick at 08:21 AM *

Robert Rossney explains how the galumphing prog-rock classic “Close to the Edge,” performed to an audience of foot-stomping, fist-pumping parents by the teenagers of New Jersey’s Paul Green School of Rock Omega All-Stars with honest-to-God Jon Anderson singing lead, is in fact just about the most awesome thing you have ever seen.

Comments on A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun:
#1 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:29 AM:

That's a nice story, and Anderson is a mensch.

#2 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:53 AM:

that was awesome.

wow. that P.G. School Of Rock has some amazing talent.

and speaking of... Adrian Belew's new band is him with two kids from the Paul Green School Of Rock: Eric and Julie Slick. and they are simply incredible. when i saw them last August, i was blown away. they completely tear up all those old King Crimson songs. and Eric Slick is the best drummer i've ever seen, live. they're going to be back in Chapel Hill again, in a couple of weeks, and i can't wait.

#3 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:56 AM:

Holy cats. As someone who in his misspent youth wanted to play keyboards like Rick Wakeman, seeing another kid get to play such gloriously overdone music while wearing a cape and having Jon Anderson himself sing vocals is making me at once turn green with envy and red with joy. I am a veritable stoplight of mixed emotions.

#4 ::: Zander ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:38 AM:

Nice story.

of course, it isn't at all difficult to love whatever you want unironically no matter how old you are--you just have to want to love what you love more than you want to be accepted by those who (a) don't and (b) make irony a condition of acceptance--and Yes will rock till the last star goes out. At least partly because Jon Anderson has always been all those things, and if anything meaningful comes through his lyrics it's that.

But it's always nice when someone else sees it.

#5 ::: David Manheim ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:46 AM:

I remember when my dad first played YES for me - it was one of the few bands that he played for me that I actually enjoyed listening to when I first heard them (I grew up listeneing to James Taylor, The Beatles, and the Almond Brothers, among other bands, but it took me a long time to appreciate them.)

This was really nice to see!

#6 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:49 AM:

I have visions of a future School of Rock performance with guest instructor J. Lydon.

#7 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:14 AM:

This story makes me all kinds of happy.

I wonder if any tickets remain to Yes's show at Red Rocks in August...?

*googlegoogle*

#8 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:24 AM:

If you weren't there you can only read about it. (Or watch it on video)

#9 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:36 AM:

the Almond Brothers

Marc has a brother?

#10 ::: hedgeprog ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:48 AM:

Oh wow.

Well, that means CttE is going into the car for
this evening's drive to the gamesmeet, competing
with Magenta and Mermaid Kiss.

(I haven't heard it for, oh, two months ...)

#11 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 11:51 AM:

That made me smile. And say what you will about the pretentious qualities of early yes (or the crappy sell out qualities of their later work), those guys could frakking play, which is what makes those kids so impressive.

#12 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Clarification: the Lee at #11 is not me.

That was indeed one of the most awesome things I've ever seen... and it didn't need Rossney's smarmy condescension to make it that way.

But then, everything anyone needs to know about him is summed up in the fact that he can say, "the golden age of science fiction is twelve," with a straight face. Enjoy your self-consciously "Oh look at me, I'm so grown up" world, Mr. Rossney, while the real grownups leave you in the dust.

(BTW, he also doesn't get the difference between laughing at and laughing with. Check out around 7:00 into Part 2.)

#13 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:31 PM:

Good performance. However, I sold my Yes albums at the age of 14 or so and I have never ever looked back. Prog rock makes me break out in hives.

#15 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 01:50 PM:

As for myself, I liked the pretentious qualities of early Yes.
Great.
Now I've got to go see what Yes stuff is on YouTube.

#16 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 02:44 PM:

I love Yes, wholeheartedly and unironically. (Other lengthy and pretentious things I like include the movie "Magnolia." I'm used to being made fun of; it's okay.) They were still one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

For my money, their cover of "Something's Coming" is one of the happiest songs in the world.

#17 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 04:35 PM:

I love prog rock, but somehow never quite got past "like" with Yes. I'm a Genesis (plus the solo Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett)/Renaissance sort. This is all sorts of fun, and I would love for someone to track the continuing efforts of these students. I get the impression several of them are going to make serious marks on the musical world, from here in.

#18 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 06:50 PM:

Aww, thanks, Patrick.
Was CttE really a third of century ago already?

#19 ::: Robert Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 07:31 PM:

Lee @ #12: Instructive to see how real grown-ups react when they imagine their oxen to be gored. At any rate, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I look down on people who still like Yes into their thirties. I don't. I look down on people who still like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer into their thirties.

Bob Oldendorf @ #18: More than a third of a century, actually.

Browsing through the many, many School of Rock videos on youtube, it's interesting to see the songs they've chosen to perform. For the most part, it's like the world ended in 1976. There are exceptions (there's a wonderful, crazy version of Radiohead's "The National Anthem," and another musician who has played Jon Anderson's role is Gibby Haynes) but most of their selections are from the heart of AOR.

This seems strange. It seems strange that in nearly four decades, nobody has made a record more appealing to the high-school-age stoner than The Dark Side of the Moon. (It's weird to see kids talking about Pink Floyd on their MySpace pages - it's like someone my age developing a teenage enthusiasm for Bing Crosby. I'm sure it happened, but it wasn't commonplace.) Maybe OK Computer is that record, but I don't quite think so.

#20 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:45 PM:

And now for something completely different: Rick Wakeman playing the organ of Lincoln Cathedral

And for the few who haven't seen it yet, the Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Chorus cover an essential song of the mid-70s (this version has less choir and more balalaika.)

I've loved what I unabashedly refer to as "pretentious art rock" pretty much from the moment I heard it. (Sorry, I still like ELP.) I think one of the reasons it appeals to these kids is because it does require a lot of technique, not to mention unmitigated showing off.

#21 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:07 PM:

Robert Rossney @ 19: ELP can kick Yes's ass any day of the week, and when I was in college back in the seventies, a good friend play trumpet and only cared for pre-Petrillo ban sounds, Pops and Bix and out.

#22 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 09:58 PM:

I had a big smile on my face watching CttE and the other videos. There's also one with Jon doing "Roundabout", where I recognize some of the performers from a Paul Green School show we went to last fall. (One of my son's classmates, who's about 7 years old, is in the school, and the show we went to featured everyone from the youngest up to the 'all-star' caliber teenagers you see in the YouTube videos.)

At the show I went to, I was impressed with how they manage to bring out the best in a wide range of ages and ability levels. You have folks who rock out in multiple instruments, but you also have a kid who may just have managed to master a simple rhythm line-- and they arrange it so that kid has a chance to shine with that line.

They've got some really good drummers, both in the show we saw, and in the CttE video online-- to a level that I didn't expect to see in kids. Another thing that came out both in the show we saw and in the CttE video is that vocals are a lot harder to nail than one might think. This partly has to do with age-- kids' voices can change dramatically as they grow up, and it can take a while to get control of it as that happens, especially when you have to hold a line yourself with lots of other sounds going off around you.

But it also seems to take a while to learn *presence*, putting the song across to the audience. I've sung for long enough that I often don't think about what that involves, but watching kids who were at various stages of learning it helped me recognize explicitly some of the things that go into it.

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 10:07 PM:

The dance of the puppets
The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournaments begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the crimson king.

#24 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:01 AM:

Mr. Rossney, #19: Ah, thank you for dropping by so I can say it to your face. I wasn't in the mood to register for a blog I have no interest in just to make a comment there.

One of the childish things most adults manage to put aside is the terror of being thought childish. I hope you get there someday.

C. Wingate, #20: The really interesting thing about AOR, to me, is how well most of it does hold up 30-odd years later. I've been ripping my CD collection to mp3 recently, and there's hardly a waste song to be found on albums from groups like Yes, ELP, Renaissance, and Alan Parsons Project. This stands in sharp constrast with many newer groups whose CDs contain 1 hit, maybe another song that could have been an A-side, another 1 or 2 decent B-sides, and the rest is obvious filler. I'm sure part of the reason for this was the AOR format itself; when any song from an album could get airplay, groups didn't waste album space on filler songs.

#25 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:05 AM:

That is indeed very cool. I loved Anderson's remark at the beginning of the performance: when the students wrote and said they wanted to do the song, he said you gotta be crazy. It's not just at the Paul Green School that the old AOR is still popular; I've heard it playing from MP3s in architecture studios full of young students. The period was one of extraordinary creativity and I do not expect to see such times again in my life. I've commented before that I feel I am a child of a golden age and that this is a very strange thing to know. It's not just that I was young at the time; it was a prosperous time, and a time of extraordinary creativity and liberation. Such times are rare in history; if we could bring them about, that would be a wonderful thing.

#26 ::: hedgehprog ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 05:02 AM:

re #19, Robert Rossney

Lee @ #12: Instructive to see how real grown-ups react when they imagine their oxen to be gored. At any rate, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I look down on people who still like Yes into their thirties.

(fx:cough) fifties.

I don't. I look down on people who still like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer into their thirties.

I still listen to ELP#1 & Tarkus. Feel free to look down on me.

#23,Serge, shouldn't that last line be in italics or allcaps to convey the appropriate force?

#24, Lee, "AOR"? (Age Old Rock?)

... from groups like Yes, ELP, Renaissance, ...

I'm a long-time Renaissance fan myself.

This stands in sharp constrast with many newer groups whose CDs contain 1 hit ...

What are these "hits" of which you speak?

You might like to try Magenta or Karnataka (or many other suggestions which I shall suppress so as to not babble like an idiot).

Oops, too late ...

#27 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 05:55 AM:

Lee @ #24:

It's a funny thing, but if somebody asked me to pick which one out of you and Robert Rossney came out of this conversation sounding childish, it wouldn't be him I picked.

#28 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 06:12 AM:

This is beginning to look like the creationist thread.

#29 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:07 AM:

What I wouldn't give for one more Benefit-era Jethro Tull album!

That said, I'm sure glad the Ramones came along to clear my palate.

When I finally get the vinyl back on shelves and ready to play, I'm digging out that old ELP bootleg of the California Jam show. Unlike some who shall go unnamed, ELP could rock!

#30 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:14 AM:

Jon Meltzer @28:
This is beginning to look like the creationist thread.

Oh, no. Music discussions are way worse. More factions, more infighting, more over-identification between people and views.

I'll be over here listening to Rush, if anyone wants me.

#31 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:30 AM:

God, abi, I had no idea you were a Limbaugh fan. That's almost as awful as listening to squeaky-voiced Canadian Ayn Rand fans. That would be the trifecta.

(I was saying nice things about those three guys yesterday. Where's my copy of Feedback...)

#32 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:33 AM:

Robert@19: Paul Green covers a wide variety of rock styles and eras. The show we went to in the fall had a Motown theme. The next one, we were told, would feature the music of the Butthole Surfers. (And I see from their website that after that comes shows featuring Devo and Dropkick Murphys, both of which, like the Surfers, started playing long after 1976.)

That said, I'm not surprised to see some skew, particularly on YouTube, for music that resonates with the parents as well as the kids. (It's the parents, after all, that are often doing the videoing, and are the ones that enroll the kids and pay their tuition.)

#33 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:39 AM:

John Mark Ockerbloom @ 32: I heard the rough tapes of Devo's first album in the summer of '77 (a perk of the protests at Kent State), and they'd been playing around Ohio for quite some time before that.

#34 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:45 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @31:
God, abi, I had no idea you were a Limbaugh fan.

Yeah, that's me, bending over backwards as they gradually lower the bar and chant, "How low can you go?"*. It passes the time until the dance floor is taken over by a snaking line of participants.

As Serge would say, she stoops to Conga.

-----
* Actually, the Limbaugh/Limbo analogy has a lot of joke potential ("One is an exercise in how low you can bend over backward as the bar is inexorably lowered. The other is a dance.")

#35 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:30 AM:

Hedgeprog @ 10 "Well, that means CttE is going into the car for this evening's drive to the gamesmeet, competing with Magenta and Mermaid Kiss."

I'm seeing Mermaid Kiss live tonight, supporting the equally wonderful Breathing Space. Sadly I'll be surprised if tonight's gig attracts more than a hundred people.

I don't know what things are like in the US, but over here in Britain anything connected with 70s-style progressive rock is utterly marginalised by a critical establishment that considers the sort of lumpen pub-rock churned out by the likes of Oasis and their imitators to be the height of musical achievement.

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:44 AM:

hedgehprog @ 26... Yes, I should have italicized that last line. By the way, someone made a comment earlier in this thread about today's 20-year-olds being interested in that kind of 'old' music would be like one of us (I'm almost 53) having been fans of Bing Crosby back in the days. That's one reason why I posted that excerpt, besides my still being a fan of King Crimson, and Yes(*), and probably Gentle Giant if I came across their music after years of not having heard them. It was a blast from the past for me when Court of the Crimson King was used in Children of Men, and a wonderful musical discovery for one of the kids who hangs around ML.

(*) Does anybody else who was at the 1993 worldcon in San Francisco know that artist Roger Dean was there?

#37 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:46 AM:

Abi @ 34... As Serge would say, she stoops to Conga

#38 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:55 AM:

But the new King Crimson is a lot better than the old King Crimson.

#39 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:12 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 38. There have loads of completely different different bands all confusingly named "King Crimson", and almost all of them are or were great. (I don't care for the Lizard/Islands era myself)

Hedgeprog @ 26

Great pity I never got to see the original lineup of Karnataka live - they had the bad timing to split up just at the time I discovered them. I'm really not sure about the new version with just Ian Jones of the original band.

Both The Reasoning (Rachel) and Panic Room (the other four) and are great live bands, though.

#40 ::: hedgeprog ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:24 AM:

Tim @34, 39:

I'm seeing Mermaid Kiss live tonight, supporting the equally wonderful Breathing Space.

I saw them last month, which was a Discovery, picked up Etarlis (which is, as you know Tim, written round a people-fall-into-otherworld story), discovered that they did indeed have drumming, got the rest of the available, and they have ensconced themselves as Permanent Guests in my head. They were supporting ...

Both The Reasoning (Rachel) and Panic Room (the other four) and are great live bands, though.

... Panic Room, who were the band I'd gone to see because of the Karnaraka connection (when I say Karnataka, I mean phases I and II, as opposed to the post-breakup phase III, which I have seen), and I saw The Reasoning last year, yay!

Are you sure you're not me? Because now I'm not sure ...

PS what are Breathing Space like?

PPS Hedgehog's Snap Descriptions #17.3: Magenta: Yes with Annie Haslem on vocals and comprehensible lyrics.

#41 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:35 AM:

I tuned out of prog rock pretty much between Yes and XTC. (Andy Partridge and crew brought some much-needed wit and irony to things, so maybe that's *not* prog, but there are some connections.)

#43 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:48 AM:

Hedgeprog @ 40

Which PR/MK gig were you at? I was at the first one at Lydney - if you were there, I was the guy in the Mostly Autumn T shirt near the front.

Breathing Space - Female vocals again - bit more mainstream pop/rock with prog touches, something of an 80s feel in places. Great live band who deserve bigger audiences.

#44 ::: hedgeprog ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:14 AM:

#43, Tim Hall

Hedgeprog @ 40

Which PR/MK gig were you at?

The Point (wot is in Cardiff for those who might not otherwise know). So alas, we were not co-listeners.

#45 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:44 AM:

Faren Miller #41: I wouldn't call XTC prog, more post-punk, and later on post-punk's bizarre intersection with psychedelia.

Serge #36: Kid, eh? Why I oughta...

Anyway, yes, Children of Men definitely opened my ears to King Crimson, but in general, while you're all listening to your prog, gimme some No Wave, please. Theoretical Girls, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, DNA, Contortions, and Friction FTW, as the kids say.

#46 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:52 AM:

Contort yourself one time!

Let me translate that into Annie Haslam-speak:

Consort thyself one time, milord!

(Yes, I own most of Renaissance's records. Why do you ask?)

#47 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:59 AM:

Pffft.

No Wave. Too serious, too anti-disco.

If you want post-punk, make it The Teardrop Explodes and give it some humour as well as some vague hint that music is to dance to.

#48 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:04 PM:

Oh come on, you can't not dance to Theoretical Girls. And I'm actually dancing to DNA as I type this.

And, OK, maybe I can't think of any direct links between No Wave and disco (although I think there's a definite disco influence on No Wave, no matter what anyone might say), but they're not in opposition--take Brian Eno, say, who put together the No New York compilation, and whose favorite song of the 70s was "I Feel Love".

AND ANOTHER THING: Any band that calls itself "Teenage Jesus and the Jerks" is not overly serious.

I see your pfft and raise you a hmph.

#49 ::: Bob Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:06 PM:

Eek, No Wave. I got to see DNA perform once. At one point in the show, someone who was not me desperately cried out a request: "Play the chromatic scale!"

Either the tent used to be bigger, or there used to be a lot fewer people in it. King Crimson's first big show was at the Hyde Park festival, where they played on the same bill as the Rolling Stones.

I am straining to see the Andy Partridge/prog connection. Barry Andrews, sure. But Andy Partridge?

#50 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Mr Rossney: I'm sad for you. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of music from much past the mid-'90s. I find it sort of thin, and flat. I don't see the words connected to the music. Maybe that's just a fault of what I can find on the radio, but there you have it.

So I guess I'm "stuck" in that stunted space you see.

So what? I don't much care for artichokes either. I'm not missing out because it doesn't please me.

But, and here's where we differ, I don't look down on people who do like them; who can appreciate whatever it is in those artists (or artichokes) which doesn't sing to me.

But you do. And worse (more saddening, pitiable, choose your adjective of choice) you revel in that posturing. You wrote an entire piece to explain that while Jon Anderson was still a hack, he had some redeeming qualities) you think that looking down on such people makes you somehow superior to them.

I could forgive that. But then you came here to defend it by insulting people directly, saying you look down on them for their innocent delights, well you lost me.

Because it's not just stunted, but it's mean, and petty; which I didn't get from your blog piece, but can't miss now.

Not that you have any reason to care, you don't know me from Adam, but that's how I see you now.

#51 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:30 PM:

ethan @ 45... Kid, eh? Why I oughta...

Of course I meant 'kid' in a good way.

#52 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Terry @ 50: I thought this part of the original post was pretty funny:

mystical spirit-child persona, all unicorns and no fucking, like what Stevie Nicks might have been like if she found sex icky.

Which brings me back to my current obsession, The Hold Steady, the lyrics to whose song "Stevie Nix" (they missed a bet not calling it "Stevie Nyx", I say) can be found, along with some really ignorant commentary on their sound, right here.

She said you remind me of Rod Stewart when he was young. You've got passion, you think that you're sexy. And all the punks think that you're dumb.
#53 ::: coffeedryad ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 01:58 PM:

What actually is AOR? All I know about it is "Here come the golden oldies, here come the Hizbollah/ Businessmen from south Miami, humming AOR" and "A mike and boom in your living room, in Hitsville UK/ No consumer trials, no AOR, in Hitsville UK".

And while I may not care much for Yes or ELP, I wholeheartedly defend anyone's right to love their music innocently and unironically as long as I can still have my Foreigner and Rhapsody of Fire.

#54 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Musically, there's nothing like getting into one's minivan at 4:30am and the first thing one hears on the radio is the Village People's Y.M.C.A..

#55 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 02:27 PM:

I wholeheartedly defend anyone's right to love their music innocently and unironically as long as I can still have my Foreigner and Rhapsody of Fire.

coffeedryad, it's a deal. *sticks out hand to shake*

Over at Pandagon, on Friday Random Ten threads, there is often discussion of being an Insufferable Music Snob (Amanda freely characterizes herself this way). One week there was a discussion of whether you can be an IMS and love Dolly Parton unironically. The consensus was that loving Dolly Parton unironically was actually IMSery of the highest order.

So everyone can believe that they are actually just cooler than anyone who can't see the true greatness of their favorite artists. Works for me.

#56 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Coffeedryad @53: "AOR" = "Album-Oriented Radio" (or "...Rock", depending on whom you ask). Basically, it was a format meant to be different from Top 40 by playing any or all cuts found on albums, rather than just singles. WNEW-FM (New York) in the 1970s-early 1990s was a good example.

#57 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 04:07 PM:

I've noticed myself getting a lot meaner about irony in general this last administration, partly because I'm worried and angered about how easy it is for someone like me to end up being ironic instead of doing anything. (I have great respect for people who can sustain irony in parallel with effective social action, and sometimes a bit of irony is glorious on its own. Hence "in general".) I also don't see that many of the people I associate with are suffering from a surfeit of anything that helps them be at genuine ease - not hiding from the world, not drugged or its notional equivalent, but relaxed, aware, and content.

As I write this up, I notice that the last ten tracks played in iTunes here were by Yes, Yes, Bruce Cockburn, Type O Negative, Ultravox, Suzanne Vega, Chicago, the Cruxshadows, the Cruxshadows, and Planet P Project. I dunno.

#58 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 04:09 PM:

I would just like to note that the video link demonstrates that Mr. Townshend was right. Again. The kids are alright.

#59 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 06:46 PM:

Tris McCall's in-your-face defense of Yes is worth reading, even if, like me, your interest in the band is casual (I like Close To The Edge and about half of Fragile). Warning: he's pretty clueless about fantasy.

#60 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:16 PM:

Thanks for the links to the great videos, Patrick. I've been spending a pleasant evening sampling them.

And no, this isn't turning into the creationist thread -- it's got me nodding in agreement with someone that in the past I was ready to call a troll.

#61 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 09:53 PM:

@Hedgeprog: #44 - I've been to The Point a couple of times - last one was The Reasoning/Breathing Space this January. But since you haven't seen BS, we cannot have been co-listeners then either. Vague SF connection - Eve Myles (Gwen from Torchwood) is apparently a regular at prog gigs there)

Tonight's gig in Mansfield was excellent; Mermaid Kiss played much the same set as at Lydney, Breathing Space just about the best of the seven times I've seen them. Pity the turnout was so poor.

#62 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:18 PM:

Erm, I like Dolly Parton's country, bluegrass, and folk songs. Actually, I like a lot of bluegrass and folk songs. Plus blues, R&B, jazz, and some country. The most CDs I have for one person is a tie: Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

#63 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:25 PM:

Serge, #36: Roger Dean! I actually got to chat with him a bit*, and got a book autographed. I think he was a little surprised to get as much recognition as he was getting from the other con-goers.

* Well, actually I babbled like a squeeing fangirl, but he was so nice about it!

#64 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 01:40 AM:

Marilee @ #62, did you ever get the Ronstadt/Harris duet album "Western Wall?" I remember raving about it here a while back; you hadn't known of it then.

#65 ::: Bob Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:55 AM:

Terry Karney @ #50: But you do. And worse (more saddening, pitiable, choose your adjective of choice) you revel in that posturing. You wrote an entire piece to explain that while Jon Anderson was still a hack, he had some redeeming qualities) you think that looking down on such people makes you somehow superior to them.

Honestly, sir or madam, I did not write an entire piece to say that Jon Anderson was still a hack. I wrote the piece to say that what he was doing in April of 2007 was fucking awesome. And as a bonus sub-theme: I used to think this guy was a pompous dipshit, and I was wrong.

Next you're going to tell me that clearly I look down on people who like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, just because I said I do. Don't make me explain that. My tiny soul has been crushed enough for one night.

#66 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:24 AM:

To all the people who are calling one another childish, immature, posturing, and otherwise fundamentally uncool: give it up.

I have real kids, and I know what real immaturity looks like. And you, folks, are not really immature. All that's on display is feather-haired, cape-wearing ProgImmaturity theater. It would be unwise to take it too seriously.

#67 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:59 AM:

abi @ 66: Not take it too seriously? Who are you calling immature?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to break out the Alice Cooper box set.

#68 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:39 AM:

@67: I see school's out for summer ...

#69 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:49 AM:

Groucho Marx was apparently into Coop in his (Groucho's) latter years, seeing in him a revival of vaudeville attitudes.

Hard to forgive the support for Bush, tho'.

#70 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:56 AM:

abi @ 66... Butbutbut... I want to wear a cape. Waugh!!!

#71 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 08:03 AM:

Lee @ 63.. You sw him too? I remember how I was going around the dealer's room when I came across a table displaying Roger Dean's prints and I told the woman I wanted Tale from Topographic Ocean. She asked me if I wanted it autographed and my mind froze up for a moment during which I thought there was no way she could mean what I thought she meant, but she did mean it. There he was, sitting at the table next to us. I don't think I squee'ed, but it was very hard. I did manage to tell him how much I liked his art in a manner that didn't have me walking away wishing I could kick myself in the ass.

#72 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 08:09 AM:

Groucho Marx supported George Bush? I didn't even know Groucho was registered to vote in Texas.

#73 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 08:31 AM:

You know who I mean.

#74 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 08:55 AM:

Bob Rossney: If I misread you, I'm sorry, but all I had to go on was what you wrote, and with not more than two pieces my ability to see your tone of typer is slim, and the humor escaped me.

#75 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:08 AM:

Adrian Smith @ 73: Now I know you're putting me on. Groucho might have supported Jeb Bush, but he would never have been such a cliche as to be a old New York Jew living in Florida. Good try, though!

#76 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:27 AM:

I even have some Kiss albums somewhere.

#77 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Serge, #71: Your experience was somewhat similar to mine, I see. Having heard that he was going to be signing, I hunted around the dealer room until I found the right table, at which point the following conversation ensued:

Me, to woman with books: "Is this, like, the line for the Roger Dean signing?"

Polite British-accented voice from behind me: "I don't know, but this is, like, Roger Dean."

Me: *goes into brain-meltdown*

I saw him again later in the afternoon, in the lobby of the main con hotel, and got up the nerve to go over and talk to him a little more. He was really sweet -- not to mention damn cute! It was one of the high points of the con for me.

abi, #66: I have a cape. In fact, I have three -- a light-grey upholstery velvet for warmer weather, a heavy wool lined with fake fur for "it's seriously cold out there," and a black one with hot-pink music-themed lining fabric for wearing at cons. I think the latter is the most appropriate for this thread.

#78 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 10:40 AM:

Lee @ 77... I have a cape (...) a black one with hot-pink music-themed lining fabric for wearing at cons. I think the latter is the most appropriate for this thread.

Ooooooh... Got a photo for the Exhibition? That being said, ML needs each thread to have a fashion-code icon. It just wouldn't do to show up inappropriately accessorized.

#79 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 11:59 AM:

I'm currently listening to (and enjoying the heck out of) Amon Düül II's Yeti for the first time ever. Does that count as prog? I think it does.

By the way, try typing the html for "Düül" five times fast.

#80 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 12:11 PM:

Lee: I don't have a cape, but I do have a couple of cloaks. I'd really like an opera cape (for wearing to my, occaisional, trips to the opera; or just for playing dress up in town with like-minded friends pretending to be toffs).

For the longest time the cloak was my constant winter wear, well into late spring/early summber (before the backpack camaera bag, with which I looke deformed when wearing a cloak), because it was warm, and cool. Bulky, without being restrictive.

Somehow I managed to do it without being (too) affected. That it was wool, not satin/velvet, etc. probably helped. That I wore it, more because I liked it than because it was a statement probably helped (blue jeans and button downs underneath sort of killed any sense of "mood").

#81 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 12:24 PM:

ethan #79: I had to look up the album, and Amazon has problems with the diacriticals too. They categorize the band as Krautrock, which is distinct from prog as such as far as I know.

#82 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 12:43 PM:

Lee @ 77... By the way, every once in a while I pull out Dean's Magnetic Storm and just enjoy looking at the beautiful art.

#83 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 12:54 PM:

Is it only Cory (cc) who can wear the red-cape-and-goggles outfit? (And scoot down from his wireless high-altitude balloon blogging to intervene in relevant imbroglios.) Or maybe that's open source Opera cape now?

#84 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 02:31 PM:

ethan @ 79, Chris Quinones @ 81: I think the consenus is that Krautrock is its own thing, a different child of psychedelia.

For what it's worth, Amon Düül, Can, Faust, and Neu! do not appear in the Billboard Guide To Progessive Music, and the word "Krautrock" does not appear in the index. The book is generally pretty inclusive of borderline acts.

On the other hand, despite the Billboard imprimatur, it's an idiosyncratic one-man project, and the author (Bradley Smith) may just not like Krautrock much.

#85 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 03:08 PM:

Epacris @ 83... If I may cross-thread, how about a cichlid with goggles?

#86 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 03:09 PM:

I'm fairly familiar-ish with Krautrock, and the Amon Düül II album definitely belongs in that tent, but for one thing it's a few years older than most of what I generally think of as Krautrock (and therefore the sound isn't developed quite the same way as that other stuff), and for another thing, well, it's really proggy. I dunno. I guess it doesn't matter what it is, so long as it's good, right?

#87 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 03:53 PM:

As it happens, I was just ripping ELP's Brain Salad Surgery to our MP3 collection last night. A week or so ago, my wife finally finished playing through every track I'd digitized in our collection, so we started digging through our LPs and figuring which albums I hadn't yet replaced on CD + MP3. We then picked up a lot of great albums, mostly '70s, either via used CD or Amazon download. We should definitely add Tarkus, and while browsing the collection, I realized we had no ELO... gotta remedy that!

Hint for music nuts: Second Spin is a great source for used CDs, and a lot of '70s music has been reissued for long enough that you can easily find it used.

Ethan: How about Y Pants and of course, the quintessential Richard Hell and the Voidoids? Post-punk (and I count No Wave in that) in all its manifold forms is probably my favorite genre.

#88 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:04 PM:

Clifton, I must shamefacedly admit that I had never heard of Y Pants until just now, although a bit of googling indicates to me that they are fracking fantastic and I must acquire NOW. The Voidoids, of course, are completely fantastic.

#89 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:51 PM:

I learned about Y Pants from my daughter (now age 21.) It's a bit embarassing to get thoroughly schooled in music from the periods I lived through from someone who didn't, but man she's turned me on to some great music I should have heard but never did.

The greatest band she turned me onto from that period is The Raincoats. Do you already know The Raincoats? They are oh-my-god the best. Their albums can be found on CD (out-of-print) with modest difficulty, because Kurt Cobain was a big fan, and when Nirvana hit, he persuaded Geffen to reissue all their albums on CD.

#90 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 04:58 PM:

I love The Raincoats (barring most of the reunion album). If you like Moving in particular, you should also check out The Slits' recently reissued Return of the Giant Slits.

#91 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:05 PM:

P.S. The Y Pants song 'Thats the Way Boys Are' seems to fit right into the FLDS discussion.

It's sung as one of those '50s girl group a capella style songs, about how you should just put up with whatever your boyfriend says and does, cause "that's the way boys are", while gradually from the background a woman's terrified and agonized scream rises in volume until it dominates the singing and lyrics. It's both brilliant, and very very difficult to listen to.

#92 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:07 PM:

I like their reunion album too. I have had The Slits on my list for quite a while but haven't got around to buying any yet. There is just so much great damn music to check into.

#93 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:15 PM:

BTW, that link I was recommending above for used CDs should of course have been Second Spin: http://www.secondspin.com/

#94 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:18 PM:

And as long as we're talking feminist post-punk we cannot neglect the Au Pairs.

#95 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 05:22 PM:

I like their reunion album too.

I'll give it another spin and make sure I wasn't just expecting the wrong thing.

#96 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:32 PM:

The Raincoats! The Slits! The Au Pairs! I will faint from happiness!

Clifton, is "That's the Way Boys Are" a cover of the Lesley Gore song? If it is, I'm very excited indeed, as that's one of my all-time favorite woman-hating girl group songs (I tried, with limited coherence, to write about my affection for those songs here on my now pretty much dead blog), and I'm always interested in covers of those.

#97 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 06:44 PM:

If we've gotten around to recommending obscure groups, I'd like to put in a good word for the Rainmakers, a kick-ass group out of St. Louis who never made it as big as they should have. Their style is mostly along the same bouncy, danceable lines as songs like "What I Like About You" or "Girls Talk", but with a noticeably more rockabilly edge. And their lead singer/songwriter is just awesome -- the lyrics are much deeper than most of what you hear on the radio. (Yes, I know, that's not saying much, but he does a lot of social and political themes where the lyrics really matter.)

I recommend Tornado (recently reissued on CD with some bonus tracks!) or The Good News and the Bad News as an introduction. "I Talk With My Hands," from Tornado, is found filk -- it's about the world after the bombs come down.

#98 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:22 PM:

Ethan: 'Thats the Way Boys Are' could well be a cover; I'd never heard the song before, but the lyrics sound authentically '50s "keep in your properly submissive place."

#99 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 09:43 PM:

Linkmeister, #64, yes, I did! I like it!

Serge, #85, how about Cthulhumas?

#100 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Lee @ 97: Insufferable Music Snobbery ahead. I liked The Rainmakers way better when they were Steve, Bob, and Rich. I especially liked the way they set shows up with all three of them in front and the drum kit in the middle. They were an awesome live band with a wonderful chemistry, and I still think they're a good example of what happens when management picks a front man an an effort to make something happen.

#101 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 04:01 PM:

If we've gotten around to recommending obscure groups, I'd like to put in a good word for the Rainmakers, a kick-ass group out of St. Louis who never made it as big as they should have.

The Rainmakers! Loved them back in the day. I think I must have discovered them via WHFS, even though I don't recall it playing them much.

Pity that I only had their albums in LP form, which means they are now mouldering away in a storage room in my parents' place.

#102 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 06:17 PM:

tavella, #101: You can get all their albums on CD from Amazon. I don't ever remember hearing them on the radio; I discovered them by virtue of walking past the music store in the mall while "Lakeview Man" was playing on the store PA. Whatever my previous goal had been was instantly short-circuited; I went in and demanded to know what group that was, and bought the album on the spot!

#103 ::: Zander ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 06:29 PM:

Yay! Prog rock is alive and well! It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking I'm alone in my choice of perversions.

Actually, not that easy: I've found a whole host of bands still keeping the flame alive. The Reasoning, certainly, and also the Flower Kings, Tangent, Transatlantic, Kaipa, Ayreon and lots more. Someone must be listening to them besides me. Mermaid Kiss I hadn't heard of, so that's one to look for.

I wonder if I'd be pelted with rotten fruit if I mentioned the Alan Parsons Project and the Moody Blues? Hmm. Oh well, I've done it now. Just try to avoid the face, okay? :)

#104 ::: Sylvia Sotomayor ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:20 PM:

I would just like to thank C Wingate at # 20 for posting that link to the Leningrad Cowboys et al.

I watched every single clip of theirs I could find on youtube, rented the Total Balalaika Show from netflix, and then spent 45 euros ordering all three of the DVDs and the Total Balalaika Show double CD. I have shared (or inflicted, your choice) the concert on everyone I know, including my parents.

I have even briefly considered a trip to Quebec after Denver WorldCon to see the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble live. Alas, I cannot afford that, too.

Thank you.

-S

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