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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gig #138: Prog Rock Cull (1968 – 1975): Soft Machine, Van Der Graff Generator, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Touch, Popera Cosmic, The Mothers of Invention, Family, Quatermass, Gracious!, Pink Floyd, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Amon Düül II, Matching Mole, Premiata Forneria Marconi, King Crimson, Fantasy, Magma, Todd Rundgren, Gentle Giant, Henry Cow, Magical Power Mako

* curated with the advice of composer/musician/sound designer Lee Ray

 

Soft Machine
Van Der Graff Generator
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Touch
Popera Cosmic
The Mothers of Invention
Family
Quatermass
Gracious!
Pink Floyd
Principal Edwards Magic Theatre
Amon Düül II
Matching Mole
Premiata Forneria Marconi
King Crimson
Fantasy
Magma
Todd Rundgren
Gentle Giant
Henry Cow
Magical Power Mako

 

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Soft Machine Why Are We Sleeping? (1968)
‘”Why Are We Sleeping” is my favorite 3 and a half minutes from the Soft Machine LP, as Ayers distorted bass (and baritone vocals) fights playfully for space with Mike Ratledge’s organ swells, all the while drummer Robert Wyatt swings like a mofo (there’s no guitar on this track), capped off by those haunting female harmonies. Forty five years later and the song is STILL relevant, perhaps even more so- so much happens all around us but so many folks walk through life filled with apathy.’ — collaged

 

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Van Der Graaf Generator Necromancer (1968)
‘When punk hit, only a few ‘progressive’ bands were deemed acceptable; King Crimson, perhaps, but most definitely Van Der Graaf Generator. Formed by the crazed, roaring ‘Hendrix of the voice’, Peter Hammill, in late-’60s Manchester, they were more adventurous, difficult and kaleidosopic than any of their peers; small wonder, then, that John Lydon, Mark E Smith and Julian Cope are fans. “From the outside we must have looked completely mad,” says Hammill today, “because there weren’t then that many bands with saxes or organs or bass pedals, let alone ones without any guitar.”’ — Uncut

 

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (1968)
‘Some of his most radio-friendly hits appear on Electric Ladyland (“All Along the Watchtower,” “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” “Crosstown Traffic”). But buried in the middle, on side 3, is the album’s jewel and centerpiece, “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be),” a proto-prog epic on the art of walking away from the nonsense humanity inflicts upon itself, “not to die but to be reborn, away from the land so battered and torn.” The music is a wild, left-field, Bolero-paced march where Hendrix overlaps his guitars and basses like a string section, affecting oceanic waves and surf, with sympathetic playing by steadfast Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and flautist Chris Wood (on loan from Traffic).’ — Progarchy

 

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Touch Down At Circe’s Place (1969)
‘An American outfit, Touch were led by keyboardist Don Gallucci, who was inspired by The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Complete with a prescient Roger Dean-style landscape on the cover, their only record is nothing less than the missing link between psychedelia and prog rock, with discursive arrangements, expansive solos and adventurous time signatures. Hendrix was said to be a fan. Recorded in 1968, by the time it was released in 1969, the band had already split and any potential recognition was swamped by the deluge of progressive rock proper that year, although the fact that they formed in the mid-60s suggests they may even pre-date King Crimson in terms of progressive musical ideas.’ — Louder Sound

 

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Popera Cosmic Etreinte Métronomique (1969)
‘For the few people lucky enough to have heard the entire album in the five decades since its release, the mythical Popera Cosmic LP is now considered to be France’s first dedicated progressive rock album and the shrouded blueprint for the hugely influential Gallic concept album phenomenon that followed – including Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire De Melody Nelson and Gérard Manset’s La Mort D’Orion.’ — Keepers

 

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The Mothers of Invention The Uncle Meat Variations (1969)
‘By the time the Mothers of Invention’s fifth album Uncle Meat arrived on April 21, 1969, it was evident that Frank Zappa was a creative, prolific and adventurous force. Uncle Meat was the second double album of the Mothers’ brief recording career. Its songs were originally slated for integration into a multimedia project involving a movie by that same name (eventually shelved before evolving into 200 Motels) and a compilation record tentatively titled No Commercial Potential. As a result, Zappa’s latest mad-scientist invention took the increasingly put-upon, ever-recycling Mothers across broader musical terrain than most artists cover in entire careers. They visited disparate realms like jazz, blues, classical, musique concrete and rock. But unlike previous efforts, these directions were combined almost indiscriminately into Uncle Meat.’ — UCR

 

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Family Strange Band (1970)
‘Family is an English rock band, active from late 1966 to October 1973, and again since 2013 for a series of live shows. Their style has been characterised as progressive rock, as their sound often explored other genres, incorporating elements of styles such as folk, psychedelia, acid rock, jazz fusion, and rock and roll. The band achieved recognition in the United Kingdom through their albums, club and concert tours, and appearances at festivals. Family were particularly known for their live performances; one reviewer describing the band as “one of the wildest, most innovative groups of the underground rock scene”, noting that they produced “some of the rawest, most intense performances on stage in rock history” and “that the Jimi Hendrix Experience were afraid to follow them at festivals”.’ — collaged

 

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Quatermass Laughin’ Tackle (1970)
‘Power trio of keyboard, bass and drums. Straddling the line between hard rock and prog, there’s a little something here to appease fans of both styles. Keyboards apparently just piano and organ, with the latter being especially hot-wired to make the keyboardist’s style resemble FRUMPY keyboardist Jean-Jacques KRAVETZ, or perhaps Dave STEWART at his most maniacal (see “Dreams Wide Awake” for an example). He can lash out at his organ with a recklessness that puts EMERSON to shame, listen to the solo on “Post War, Saturday Echo” if you don’t believe me. Bass player John GUSTAFSON (pre-ROXY MUSIC) sings in a uncontrolled, manic voice that can often sound gut-wrenching. A couple of tracks (the ballad “Good Lord Knows” and the lengthy jam-orientated “Laughin’ Tackle” include massed strings.’ — Prog Archives

 

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Gracious! Super Nova (1970)
‘Gracious began as a schoolboy lark in 1964, when guitarist Alan Cowderoy and vocalist/drummer Paul Davis banded together to cover pop songs at school concerts. To arouse maximum ire at their Catholic school, the adopted the band name “Satan’s Disciples.” Renamed Gracious (or Gracious!), the band toured Germany in 1968. After playing on a double bill with the newly formed King Crimson, an awestruck Kitcat immediately adopted the Mellotron as a lead instrument for the band. Kitcat and Davis were the band’s composers, and Kitcat in particular lent the group its distinctive sound. He played the Mellotron as a lead instrument, much like a blues organ — that is, with percussive single notes, rather than the grandiose chords favored by bands that used it as a faux-orchestral backdrop.’ — Plain and Fancy

 

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Pink Floyd One Of These Days (1971)
‘”When we started on Meddle, we went into it with a very different working basis to any previous album in so much that we went into the studios with nothing prepared, and did a month of – well, we just called them nothings,” Nick Mason told Ted Alvy of KPPC-FM in 1971. “I mean, they were ideas that were put down extremely roughly. They might have been just a few chords, or they might have been a rhythm idea, or something else – and this was just put down, and then we took a month and examined what we got.” They got there together, swapping musical ideas and – in the case of the album-opening “One of These Days” – even swapping places. David Gilmour took up the bass as the song opens, before being joined by Waters. (You’ll notice the second double-tracked instrument has a flatter sound. “We didn’t have a spare set of strings for the spare bass guitar, so the second bass is very dull sounding,” Gilmour told Guitar World in 1993. “We sent a roadie out to buy some strings, but he wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.”) And Mason takes a rare vocal turn on “One of These Days.”‘ — UCR

 

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Principal Edwards Magic Theatre McAlpine Versus The Asmoto (1971)
‘John Peel saw Principal Edwards Magic Theatre play their debut gig at Portsmouth Guildhall and was so taken by their strongly narrative song suites, accompanied by choreographed dance and mime, that he signed the 14-person collective (including sound engineers and lighting designers) to his nascent Dandelion label, on which Soundtrack was one of the first releases in 1969. The follow-up was The Asmoto Running Band, produced by Nick Mason in 1971, and the band left Dandelion shortly before the label went under. But even without the benefit of the stage show, Soundtrack more than holds its own as a musical statement from this most singular of progressive rock groups.’– Louder Sound

 

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Amon Düül II Between The Eyes (1972)
‘Although it was the French who first took to Amon Düül 2, the British were not far behind and in 1972, Amon Düül came to the UK. A gig they played in Croydon, featuring material from their first two albums, was used as the basis for a live album. Live In London was released at a budget price as a means of introducing the public to the group, and, while well-received didn’t quite do enough to shake the stoner, complacent Britprog assumption that Anglo-American rock was where it was all at. Only with the first generation of punk would that happen. Meanwhile, however, John Weinzierl was gratified that a longhair like himself could walk the streets without raising the suspicion of the authorities that he was a terrorist. “When we came to England we couldn’t believe it. We were allowed in hotels. You couldn’t stay in hotels in Germany. It was ‘hello, love!’ and ‘Come in, love!’ We thought, what’s going on here?” They would support Roxy Music while in London, one of the first UK groups whose sound was affected by the German influence.’ — The Quietus

 

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Matching Mole Marchides (1972)
‘Matching Mole was the first band formed by Robert Wyatt after the seminal Soft Machine experience. An incredibly tight unit featuring Phil Miller (Hatfield and the North) on guitar, Dave McRae (Nucleus) on keyboards, Bill McCormick (Quiet Sun, 801) on bass and Wyatt himself on drums and vocals. Released in 1971 Little Red Record was Mole’s second album. It was produced by Robert Fripp and it features a cameo appearance by Brian Eno. Compared to their previous work, Red Record goes way far beyond the limits of Rock and Jazz. Even if mostly instrumental the album includes “Gloria Gloom” a magnificent song and one of the very first Wyatt’s critical reflections on Music and Socialism.’ — Rough Trade

 

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Premiata Forneria Marconi The Mountain (1972)
‘Italy’s leading progressive rock outfit of the early ’70s, PFM would have remained a purely Italian phenomenon had they not been signed to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Manticore label. Their sound was more distinctly rooted in the pre-classical era than that of their Germanic counterparts. In addition to electric keyboards (synthesizers, etc.), they also relied on violin and flute (recorder, actually) as major components of their music. Their name, by the way, was short for Premiata Forneria Marconi, the name of the bakery that originally sponsored them.’ — Bruce Eder

 

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King Crimson Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973)
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic is a key album in the band’s evolution, because it boldly steps away from a formula that was working well and took a risk by incorporating free jazz improvisations, Eastern European classical influence, and proto-metal harshness. Fripp asked Sinfield (lyrics, lighting, and synthesizers) to leave after Islands, who conceded as Fripp’s harsh and dramatic approach was not congruent with Sinfield’s brand of textural jazz-folk. The rest of the band took Sinfield’s side and left Fripp to pull an all-new lineup together. The effort would prove fateful, and Fripp gathered a group of musicians who were uniquely capable of delivering on the mysterious and experimental inclinations he had for the project.’ — Jessie Browne

 

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Fantasy Circus (1973)
‘Fantasy’s “Paint a Picture” is an example of prototypical progressive rock that appears to be as influenced by The Moody Blues as by King Crimson. In this way, Fantasy compares to Spring, Gracious and Cressida. The band’s original guitarist had died accidentally before this was made and subsequently the lyrics reflect issues of loss, madness and an overall questioning of existence.’ — Fantasy Blog

 

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Magma Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh (1973)
Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh introduces an unrealized song cycle of epic proportions titled “Theusz Hamtaahk” (trans: Time of Hatred) which would have explained the eons between initial contact and universal enlightenment over the course of nine albums. Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh is the final movement of the “Theusz Hamtaahk” and depicts the humanities’ liberation from the mortal coil through commune with the supreme entity Kreuhn Kohrman. After the first four albums the story of Kobaïa becomes nebulous, veering away from the fictitious timeline and into conceptual parables that vary in theme. Of course, none of this can be garnered from the lyrics, which explode from the chorus in the Wagnerian violence of Kobaïan. One must pick through the French liner notes for clues as to the album’s explication, but clearly the intent of Magma front man Christian Vander was to avoid concrete artifice and nourish the cosmic mysteries of the ’70s.’ — Tiny Mix Tapes

 

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Todd Rundgren In and Out the Chakras We Go (1974)
‘Having aborted the ill-fated Utopia Mark I at the beginning of May 1973, Todd Rundgren had reverted to his increasingly lucrative alternative career as a record producer. By July, he was back in New York City, continuing his research with psychedelics and imagining his next solo album. Working well into August, Rundgren padded around Secret Sound, laying down the initial tracks that would become the Todd album. While his earlier psychedelic prog explorations had taken him all over the map on A Wizard, A True Star (1973), he had by now developed something approaching a personal cosmology. For Rundgren, hallucinogenics were not about mere escapism; he needed his trips to be taking him somewhere.’ — Paul Myers

 

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Gentle Giant So Sincere (1974)
‘Gentle Giant was a progressive rock band that was active for about a decade (1970 to 1980). The band’s signature was complex and sophisticated musical compositions that blended elements of rock, folk, soul, jazz and classical music. Somewhat closer in spirit to Yes and King Crimson than to Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Nice, their unique sound melded hard rock and classical music, with an almost medieval approach to singing. The band was not commercially successful and achieved most of their success through a cult following by their fans.’ — allmusic

 

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Henry Cow Ruins (1974)
‘British progressive pioneers Henry Cow (who actually didn’t take their name from early Twentieth-Century American composer Henry Cowell) gave birth to a whole school of bands whose uncompromisingly anti-commercial musical stance had less to do with punk’s DIY ethic than with Theodore Adorno’s argument that radical ideas require radical forms of expression. Like Robert Wyatt, the members of Henry Cow were openly communist, but they partook of a somewhat academic, insular communism, whereby mainstream bourgeois culture – perceived as an essential foundation for unfair economic practices – comes under attack despite the potential such a strategy has for alienating those in the lower and middle classes who enjoy this same culture being rejected. As so often occurs with self-conscious experimentalists, Henry Cow’s version of radical music-making placed them in the vanguard not of the culture at large but of a vibrant artistic sub-culture.’ — Matthew Martens

 

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Magical Power Mako Silk Road (1975)
‘From what little I can gather from my own research, Magical Power Mako is a trio with a reputation as something like the Yo-Yo Ma of experimental Japanese rock, and this album is a legendary touchstone of the scene, released during the ’70s. The sound starts from a template of basic Japanese folk, and then proceeds to wildly pilfer from every Asian influence one can imagine — there are Indian sitars, Turkish mandolins, and a distinctly Silk Road-ish sound (showcased most prominently on the song “Silk Road”). Add danceable rock rhythms, layer on a heavy dose of swirling psychedelic effects, and Super Record produces a lush, dense, relentlessly creative sound.’ — Pop Matters

 

*

p.s. RIP D.A. Pennebaker. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Everyone, Mr. Ehrenstein announces to anyone interested in buying stuff from his ongoing ‘yard’ sale that, and I quote, ‘I have some Godard on sale including “Sauve Qui Pet (la vie)”. ** Misanthrope, That isn’t surprising but I don’t know if it’s sad. Nothing’s assigned, you know? Sounds like you had a nice, chill weekend in mind. Hope it followed suit. I always think things are going to be all right. And so far, one way or another, that’s always been true. Not that I don’t stress heavily that I’m wrong, of course. Awfully good news that your cloud has dissipated. ** NLK, Hey, man, good to see you! Yeah, he’s beyond. You know, my favorite of his is actually the 3D film ‘Goodbye to Language’. When I saw that it just blew my head off and made a ton of new ideas sprout up in a way that hadn’t happened with me re: a film in a very long time. Thanks a lot for sharing the excitement. Me too. ** Steve Erickson, Agree totally with you re: Godard. The Quietus! Fantastic! That’s a site I look at all the time. Wow, cool, hoping that happens easily. Let me/us know. Hm. Everyone, If the person who mentioned here a while back that they were writing a novel set in late ’70s New York sees this, go back to yesterday’s comments and check Steve Erickson’s slot. I wish I’d thought of Art Zoyd when I was making the gig today. ** Bill, Hi. ‘Lear’s’ a wild one. I can’t remember if I made it all the way through or not. Wow, that was eventful. Very cool. How did the gig and talk go? Lucky them. Yeah, are the protests hugely affecting your stay? From the news, it seems like they must be, but then based on the international news coverage of the Yellow Vest protests, outsiders might have thought I was living in a total war zone rather than a relatively normal seeming Paris with a hampered metro system. ** _Black_Acrylic, I also really hope on your behalf that this coming season is the dream one. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Thanks a bunch. Fave 80s/90s Godard? Hm, ‘Passion’, ‘Hail Mary’, ‘Germany Year 90 Nine Zero’, and, of course, ‘Histoire(s) du cinéma’ off the top of my head. I know of ‘Temple of Mirrors’, but I have never seen it, never met anyone who’s read or owns it, and even Gisele, who’s a giant R-G collector, says she’s never laid eyes on it. Curious, no? It’s so often the script that’s the fatal flaw. The crappiness of scripts in even otherwise really interesting films is a total bee in my bonnet. Hm, I’ll try to check out ‘The Mountain’ or taste it at least. Thanks, buddy. ** Corey Heiferman, Hi. I remember when I first started writing seriously, a teacher said not to ever compare whatever I did to Shakespeare because she thought that kind of thinking killed more aspiring writers than any other factor. Kind of the same with Godard. If I let myself think too much about Godard’s insane genius, it would be very hard to make films with the necessary ambition and hope. So, yeah. Prototype Press does look interesting. I know of it. And they do publish some quite fine writers in my opinion: Anselm Berrigan, Crispin Best, Gabby Bess, Anne Carson, Don Lee Choi, Guyotat, Rosemary Waldrop, … I could go on and on. Good company. Definitely seems very worth approaching. ** Okay. I decided to go back and comb through prog and proto-prog, a genre I used to dig when I quite young but haven’t had much of any use for since, and see what I thought was interesting and might stand up at this point. All with the advice of my friend Lee Ray. And that up there is what landed here. See you tomorrow.

14 Comments

  1. Hey. In 8th grade I named my junior high gym class volleyball team . . . yeah, that’s right . . . the “Van der Graaf Generator.” So . . . ahead of my time. Once again.
    I fell down the rabbit hole of the Godard Day this morning til I realized I’m still traveling, still in London, still things to do out there. Hoping to see Diarmuid and Matthias Vigener, who’s in town for a Kathy Acker symposium, today. Seen a lot of theatre, but really, you don’t care; except the Bridge production of Midsummer Night’s Dream is mind blowing, for any of your London pals who might see this and be wondering. Lots of low comedy, lots of very smart riffing on the ritual roots of the play. Very homo, too. It can be seen in cinemas, as we say here, in October on National Theatre Live.
    Went to the Freud Museum with a therapist of my acquaintance. Wasn’t prepared for the shock of seeing in actuality so many objects I’ve seen in photographs nearly my whole life. Foremost, maybe: The Couch. Almost had a Freudian style panic attack. But after all, he was a person, who had some very provocative ideas, some of which were era changing insights, some of which were a bit loony.
    And the same of Godard. I only have a problem when idol worshipers get hold of him. It’s entirely possible for his films to be a kind of demarcation point in the history of cinema without going on like he’s the only one who ever did this stuff. Like Freud, he was very good at cultivating his legend while promoting the idea that it was a revolution, not his own reputation, that he was fighting for. And yet, it’s hard to think of a filmmaker who ever had such a huge impact on at least intellectual culture outside of the art; I don’t know how many post structuralists I’ve talked with who, because they were ignorant about cinema in contrast to literary texts, had no idea that they were basically quoting Godard as much as anyone they’d actually read.
    Way too much great accessory stuff there. The BFI list of Ten films that influenced him is the most charming part for me. The relation to Orphée suggests why I love some JLG films most, maybe the ones that most treat cinema as a way of representing a mind doing mind things. The denunciation of Schindler’s List was certainly on target. I remember doing a Mythomania piece on it because it was such a stunning example of Hollywood cultism: Spielberg nearly literally presented the achievement of making and releasing the film as equivalent to the achievement of saving hundreds of human lives. Judaism ceases to be a religious faith, a cultural identification, and so much more significantly and transcendently, becomes a ground for blockbuster filmmaking. Yet I do think Godard is so angry about it because he recognizes a kind of inverse image of his own assault on the conventional relation of cinema and lived reality.
    I go on. Miss talking with you and the inspiration you provide me with, all the time. We should make T shirts: “I Survived the Hottest Day in the History of Paris.”

    • Oh, and I met Thomas Moore, who is not only charming but says very nice things about me, somewhat unaccountably. I think your respect for n rubs off on people. Anyway: lifelong friends now. He alerted me that I might see Martin Bladh at the Freud Museum but he wasn’t there, though I did see Heliogabulus prominently displayed.

  2. Shane Christmass

    August 5, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Love me some good prog – actually probably just Soft Machine and Caravan.

    Your list needed Caravan – perhaps some Camel as well.

    You ever heard this: https://youtu.be/bcASPl1oRB8

    Also check out this Robert Wyatt album: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_an_Ear

  3. Godard had perfectly justifiable reasons for his antipathy to “Schindler’s List” — Spielberg’s self-aggrandizement being the most important. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that he has a profound anti-Semitic streak in him that pops up in “Film Socialisme” (one of his best works)

    There’s a film/video of Godard being beaten. Can’t recall what it’s called.

    Nice trip down memory lane today. Did you know that Wong Kar Wai is a humungous Zappa fan?

  4. Prog is my last frontier music-wise. This past year I purchased the first 5 or 6 King Crimson albums. That was something not imagined a few years ago. Also been listening to old Soft Machine, which I think is great. And early Gong! I’m jumping into the rabbit hole. Godard. What a remarkable artist. He reminds me of Scott Walker (and Godard used some of his music in his last film), in that as he gets older, he gets more interesting. And that is remarkable.

  5. Prog is way outside of my map but I did enjoy a few of these – Van Der Graff Generator, Amon Düül II and Magma all do exciting things. Magical Power Mako is a new name for me and is the definite wild card in this pack. Just browsing his discography, the guy went through a crazy camp prog electro phase in the 80s and I’m very into all that.

  6. Hi Dennis,

    Since your topic is prog/proto-prog, I thought I’d leave a tip for anyone interested. I’ve been working on a new movie about a Milwaukee-based musician named Sigmund Snopek III. Sigmund was sort of a prog wunderkind in the late-60s and early-70s. His first band, Bloomsbury People, recorded their first album (which he wrote) when he was around 17. It can be heard here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyjFrk4bXgY

    Bloomsbury People didn’t officially last very long, but Sigmund continued recording proggy stuff under his own name. I don’t see any full albums available on YouTube, but one can find songs from the albums “Virginia Woolf,” “Nobody to Dream,” and “Trinity – Seas Seize Sees.”

    The later career is less proggy, but remains interesting. He collaborated with the Violent Femmes a bunch, and they’ve shown up on each other’s albums over the years. I particularly like his concept album “Baseball,” which is this weird, sprawling pop art masterpiece about the titular game.

  7. I’d never heard Magical Power Mako, but the song you chose is very good. The other artists who were new to me didn’t really impress me. But Van der Graaf Generator’s “Man-Erg” would get my vote as the most intense piece of music I’ve heard. I was tempted to go see King Crimson at Radio City Music Hall this fall till I saw how expensive the tickets are. The RIO scene is interesting – This Heat are an intersection between it and punk, I guess.

    It feels like America is tearing itself apart. Not a new sentiment, but is there any way to make progress on our twinned problems with white supremacy and gun violence? The glimmer of hope that emerged with the Parkland protests and apparent near-collapse of the NRA seems to have faded in favor of a loud, raw cry of rage.

  8. Dennis, thanks for having restored my silly blog post on Barthes & Robbe-grillet the other day, I’ve been shamefully a bit too busy, I just saw it. Hope the reposting was not a difficult work. It’s lovely to see it now, I feel I was better in the past (maybe not.) Congratulations on the MUBI’s selection of PGL. Very nice that it’s streaming 24/7 in the US. Look forward to speaking with you soon extensively about your new work. Please don’t forget to let me know if you drop by nyc by any chance. Otherwise, hope your summer’s been treating you well.

  9. Dennis, Thanks for that. Yeah, me, I’m naturally a worrier. Especially when it comes to friends and stuff. Things usually work out in the first world. (I’m not being flip, just how I see it.)

    I recognize a few names here. 😉

    Man, still got this sore/stiff neck. Almost 2 weeks now. Fucking thing. Though it is better.

    Finished chapter 25 of me novel. Going to go over it once more and then on to number 26. Three to go. Yikes!

  10. Hey Dennis – Didn’t have time to hunker down the prog cull today, but it’s lined up for tomorrow. I’m not much of a fan of the genre, but definitely open-eared about a few of the outliers. Especially intrigued as there are a few bands here who I don’t know at all. In putting this together, did you run across any entire albums that really hold up today?

    Dover Press just published their edition of IC-B’s ‘The Past and The Present.’ Would you be up for doing a day on it? I can get the cover art graphics and likely a short excerpt for you. Hopefully some other material as well, if you’re interested?

    Julian Calendar plays our last gig tomorrow with our loops + samples guru Nelly. Sad occasion, but hopefully it’ll be a memorable show.

  11. Wow, all these names from my youth, and quite a few that I don’t know. I’m enjoying the abstract intro to the Gracious! track; not so much into the heavy duty prog-isms later, though there are many interesting details.

    The gig went nicely, though improvising quintets can be a little tricky to work with. The talk was very pleasant as well, very thoughtful and articulate group of (mostly) young women.

    I think the reality here is not that different from gilets jaunes Paris (except for the specter of the big guns stepping in). Even the subway was running normally through most of yesterday afternoon, and transit only shut down a bit later. It’s a big place, and in a neighborhood that wasn’t targeted by protests, people still went out to dinner and drank and watched sports in the pubs.

    Bill

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