ProgBlog

Most people have heard of progressive rock (or prog rock, or simply prog) but the great majority of them treat it with mild disdain (at best) or outright hatred (at worst). Most of the criticism is a mindless rejection based on current trends and a misunderstanding of the genre; “dinosaur” is a common term of abuse, neatly parodied by Adrian Belew on King Crimson’s 1994 album Thrak

 

There is an increasing quantity of literature on the subject, ranging from the analytical or academic (Edward Macan, Rocking the Classics; Kevin Holme-Hudson, Progressive Rock Revisited) to the fairly straightforward lists (Charles Snider, The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock.) There are also thousands of fans out there who not only continue to attend concerts, but also contribute to a growing network of fanzines and on-line forums. Fans are even served by Prog, a glossy magazine from Future Publishing now in its ninth year, entirely devoted to prog in all its forms

 

The ProgBlog has been put together to encourage discussion about progressive rock music illustrated by personal observation

 

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ProgBlog DISCovery

The original aim of the blog was to promote discussion about all and any facet of progressive rock but from time to time, bands and musicians contact ProgBlog with new prog-related material that they want to expose to a wider audience; ProgBlog's album of 2017 An Invitation by Amber Foil was one such approach

 

The DISCovery section has been introduced to better serve the requirements of musicians who contact ProgBlog with the aim of increasing the audience for their music; without music there can be no discussion of music. DISCover some new music here

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The ProgBlog Diary

A list of recent past, present and future happenings in the prog world

 

22/5/2019 Ukrainians VOVK release their debut album Lair. The music is a mixture of styles, including stoner and post-hardcore with smatterings of math rock and prog. According to the band, the title reflects the genesis of the music: "The songs are born in the dens of our mind and played in dark rooms of Kyiv caves. Our music is our lair." Each song reflects the life of the lyrical hero who is constantly searching for himself and his place in the world.

For more information see https://facebook.com/vovkband

 

 

30/5/2019 Release of prog-folk single A Sun-Filled Room from Poughkeepsie, NY prog-folk band The Warp/The Weft. It's been taken from their third LP Dead Reckoning which will be released this coming August. A Sun-Filled Room has got distinctive vocals and an early Peter Hammill solo album-like feel, with lyrical nostalgia over blossoming riffs that lead to a rollicking, not-unsummery carousel of a chorus. Listen to it here: https://thewarptheweft.bandcamp.com/track/a-sun-filled-room

 

 

18/6/2019, 19/6/2019 Last week saw King Crimson play three exclusive UK dates at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the 50th anniversary of the band; ProgBlog went along on nights one and two. The opening night was disappointing and the atmosphere wasn’t quite right, with an audience that seemed disinterested. There were late arrivals and constant rousing from seats, plus a surprising number of instances of ignoring the request to refrain from photography and video during the performance. Though the sound and view from my seat, when my sightline was not obscured by someone leaving for or returning from the bar and/or toilet were good, the band didn’t hit their stride until the second set, the first half having included some of my personal least favourite pieces from their current live repertoire. Night two was a different matter. Seated in a different position, now directly facing the band, I felt the audience were far more responsive and responsible, and the subtly different set list was faultless. The playing was much more assured and reached an intensity similar to that when I saw them in Lucca, Italy and in Bournemouth last year. From overheard conversations as everyone filed out of the auditorium, it appeared that others who had attended the opening two shows felt similarly to me

 

 

21/6/2019 ProgBlog missed the last of the #KC50 Royal Albert Hall performances the previous night because local analogue electronica trio Metamono made their annual contribution to the Crystal Palace Festival on the Friday and I needed to catch up on some sleep before another late night. Metamono had written music for a series of early silent nature films, Secrets of Nature – Sounds Unseen, and performed it live as an accompaniment to the films at the Everyman cinema in Crystal Palace, a venue that has recently been used to host Steve Hackett’s The Night Siren album launch. The short films, produced between 1903 and 1927, were groundbreaking in their day, utilising time-lapse and macro zoom photography; the music perfectly complimented the visuals, retro synthesizers with early 20th century documentaries, playing more of an ambient style than some of their other music

 

 

21/6/2019 Melbourne based prog-metal band Teramaze release their new album Are We Soldiers via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. The album sees the return of vocalist Brett Rerekura and builds upon the progress achieved by their previous album Her Halo, itself described by Prog magazine as “one of the finest prog metal releases of recent years.

Watch the lyric video for the song Weight of Humanity here 

 

 

22/6/2019 Latest CD arrival – 8Ball City by New York City based Eitan Kenner, a self-released album (31st May, 2019) that on first listen is brilliantly executed original music that I'd place towards the jazz-rock end of the prog spectrum. A full review will appear in the near future but for those who can't wait, the album can be ordered from Kenner's Bandcamp page 

 

 

24/6/2019 Latest vinyl arrival – Fjernsyn i farver by Tusmørke (2018). ProgBlog continues to explore Norwegian progressive rock and this proved difficult to resist in the Karisma Records on-line sale (www.karismarecords.no/shop/). I’m impressed by their postal service, too – I ordered it on 17/6/19!

 

 

Coming up in the next month:

 

6/6/2019 Prog the Forest,The Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden

Prog the Forest is a festival in aid of World Land Trust raising money to protect vulnerable rainforests from destruction, featuring seven bands from all over the prog spectrum, plus some guest performances. The show starts at 1.30pm. Tickets £14 on the door

 

 

18/6/2019 Porto Antico Prog Fest, Piazza delle Festa, Genova, Italy

This year the festival features four bands, three with historical links to the city: The Story of the New Trolls, LatteMiele 2.0 and Struttura & Forma, plus ex-PFM bassist Giorgio Piazza and his band €20

 

 

Prog the Forest VOVK - LAIR (web_cover) A Sun-Filled Room King Crimson RAH 190619 (18) Metamono - Secrets of Nature, Sounds Unseen 210619
8Ball City Porto Antico Prog Fest 2019 poster