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maani View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Broadening" The Site?
    Posted: March 07 2004 at 21:04

I notice that the Prog Archives site is about to add a number of new "faces," among them Bill Bruford's Earthworks.  The site already includes Bruford's solo career, as well as Brand X (mostly due to Collins' presence).

But do these artists actually belong on a progressive "rock" site?  (Indeed, does Mahavishnu Orchestra?)  That is, does simply having been in a "prog rock" group thereby qualify an artist to appear on this site - even if their solo or other work is not actually "prog rock?"

It is true that the site is called "Prog Archives," not "Prog Rock Archives."  However, the "definitions" provided by the site are for prog rock, not prog jazz, and the "sub-genres" are all prog rock genres.

Some questions, then:

1.  Where exactly are the dividing lines between "prog rock," "rock-jazz fusion," and "prog jazz?"  Can these lines even be drawn?

2.  Do all three of those categories belong on this site?

3.  If they do, does this open a "can of worms" with respect to the many, many groups who are not represented here?  For example, there is a discussion thread on whether John Zorn is prog rock.  Some of what he does may be qualified as such, but not enough (overall) to place him in a "rock" category.  However, if "rock-jazz fusion" and "prog jazz" are included on the site, then Zorn would certainly qualify (as would Fred Frith et al).

4.  If it does open a "can of worms," is this necessarily a problem, or should the site be expanded to include those other categories and the artists representing them?

All comments and discussion are welcomed.

Peace.

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Joren View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 07:12
Originally posted by maani maani wrote:

I notice that the Prog Archives site is about to add a number of new "faces," among them Bill Bruford's Earthworks.  The site already includes Bruford's solo career, as well as Brand X (mostly due to Collins' presence).

But do these artists actually belong on a progressive "rock" site?  (Indeed, does Mahavishnu Orchestra?)  That is, does simply having been in a "prog rock" group thereby qualify an artist to appear on this site - even if their solo or other work is not actually "prog rock?"

...

3.  If they do, does this open a "can of worms" with respect to the many, many groups who are not represented here?  For example, there is a discussion thread on whether John Zorn is prog rock.  Some of what he does may be qualified as such, but not enough (overall) to place him in a "rock" category.  However, if "rock-jazz fusion" and "prog jazz" are included on the site, then Zorn would certainly qualify (as would Fred Frith et al).

4.  If it does open a "can of worms," is this necessarily a problem, or should the site be expanded to include those other categories and the artists representing them?

You've got a point there!  But watch out!: I think there is nothing harder than defining music!

P.S. JOHN ZORN! JOHN ZORN!



Edited by Joren
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dude View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 07:24
when i first came to this site i assumed(and still do)that prog Archives meant PROG ROCK and i would have to agree with MAANI on the question of what can be included under the intended definition,(if my assumption is correct).Jazz as an influence can certainly be found in bands that few would argue are "PROG ROCK"(gong springs to mind) but does jazz as experimental,fusion etc qualify? this of course goes back to previous threads as to the defenition of prog but the displays and presentation of this site would suggest to the new comer that this is a Prog rock site and not really a jazz or blues(in their various adventurous forms) site MAANI,S "can af worms" lies in the defenition(with its boundaries and limitations) of "PROG" something that we perhaps both as visitors and members(such as myself) and site admin still have to come to grips  with for instance there is a "IS YWINGIE MALMSTEEN PROG ROCK" THREAD...i always thought he was a(very good) straight metal guitarist and therin lies the dilemma....JIMMI HENDRIX was certainly "progresssive" in his use of the guitar but i personally dont think he qualifies for this site!!!.......AND ROUND AND ROUND WE GO!!!! I think there should be a limit to what qualifies as prog(if rock it be then that is a start!!) but that brings up the question WHO'S LIMIT!? thanks for bearing with me ,i am more at home with the silly stuff than this i think i,ll go back to my electronics books!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 08:44
I don`t even want to get into this one! But I have one small question. Why is The Mahavishnu Orchestra classified as Canterbury in the archives?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 09:42

GURU GURU! WHEN THE FREAK IS GURU GURU GOING TO BE ADDED TO THE ARCHIVES?

GURU GURU



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Alexander View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 10:57

Originally posted by Vibrationbaby Vibrationbaby wrote:

I don`t even want to get into this one! But I have one small question. Why is The Mahavishnu Orchestra classified as Canterbury in the archives?

Well, on this site, they are just being general. Canterbury here will refer to Jazz-Rock or R.I.O.(Avant-Prog)

On A Dilemmia Between What I Need & What I Just Want

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 12:11
So much music, so many pidgeon holes......

There's no doubt that certain musicians (Malmsteen, Hendrix, Holdsworth, McLaughlin, et al), are progressive, innovative, sometimes maverick musicians, but does this necessarily mean their music can be defined as progressive rock - one does not, by definition, lead to the other e.g.:

Hendrix was a progressive rock guitarist, therefore his music can be defined as progressive rock...

NAH!!

On a previous thread I argued a similar point by pointing out that given a majority of the music referred to on this site, the actual term which should be used is regressive rock, i.e. the form of music primarily produced from the late '60s to the late '70s involviong long passages of well crafted music played on certain kinds of instruments - Hammonds, Mellotrons, double necked guitars etc etc. Exactly how many pidgeon holes do we want to cram our favorite music into?

I think, given the diverse range of musical tastes obviously in evidence on this site, it is inevitable that threads will appear recommending, or discussing music which does not necessarily fit into the (for example) Yes/Genesis/ELP mould - this can only be a good thing, as such discussion groups are a superb way of being introduced to music you may not have previously considered.

Anyway, that's my 2 cent's worth...

By the way, I've looked on the archives but cannot find any albums by Can Of Worms - were they a later offshoot of Can, or the precurser to them??


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 12:25

All:

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.  I thought I would add a couple more.

When one clicks on "Prog Rock?" on the top bar of the home page, the first thing that appears is "What is Prog Rock?" (emphasis mine).  Thus, perhaps the place to start would be to define "rock" first, and then modify it to define "prog" rock.  This would, of course, lead to many of the same problems of "definition" that we are already encountering in simply defining "prog rock."  But my guess is it would be easier to draw some sort of line between "rock" and "jazz" (or even "rock" and "fusion") than between "prog rock" and "prog jazz" (or "rock-jazz fusion").

Following the definition of "prog rock" given by the administrators of the site (and they are certainly entitled to define it any way they want), there is a list of "Prog Styles."  These currently include six: Art Rock, Canterbury Scene, Krautrock, Psychedelic/Space Progressive Rock, Symphonic Progressive Rock, and Zheul.  We then find a handful of sub-categories within these.

My feeling is that there should probably be more listings under "styles."  Indeed, the "sub-categories" are, to varying degrees, really separate styles.  In any event, the sub-categories are not, in my opinion, entirely correct.  As one person noted, the entire sub-category of "jazz-fusion" (which should probably be retitled "rock-jazz fusion") does not belong under Canterbury, but should have its own listing under "styles."  Indeed, this would seem to be the "style" (not sub-category) under which artists like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X, solo Bill Bruford (including Earthworks) et al should be listed, if they are going to be included in the site.

It would seem that it is this category - "rock-jazz fusion" - that presents the most "problems" re opening that "can of worms" I mentioned.  Because having a "rock-jazz fusion" category, we then have to consider the "line" between that and "avant-garde jazz."  For example, Brand X is clearly "rock-jazz fusion."  Oregon, however, would be classified as "avant-garde jazz," and would probably not fit under any category of "prog-rock" or "rock-jazz fusion."  Artists such as John Zorn and Fred Frith, among many others, would find themselves in the "twilight zone" between the two.

Continued discussion is encouraged.

Peace.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 15:23

Determining the boundaries of prog rock is extremely difficult. For instance I regard Led Zeppelin as a progressive band for their time. AND they were a rock band.So doesn't that make them a Progressive Rock band then ??!

The evidence:

Kasmir

Dazed and Confused

Achilles Last Stand

These are NOT 'Blues' numbers or 'Heavy Metal'! That doesn't leave too many pigeon holes?!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 16:23

I think you should keep the general definition (if there is one ) for prog rock in mind. Prog rock (part of it, actually) used to be called symphonic rock. Led Zeppelin is not symphonic. Of course that's not the only point. What is the point, is that if a band caused a big change in the history of music, or played quite differrent or complex music, or had great, progressive musicians, that doesn't necessarily mean the band's music can be qualified as prog rock.

To get back to the defenition: In my opinion, Prog rock is a form of rock music in which several styles of music (for example classical, jazz, folk, electronic) are blended together in fabulous, experimental, challenging (and, most of the time, lengthy) compositions. The use of weird instruments, or instruments that were never used before in rock music (like the mellotron, flute, violin), or the beautiful melodies combined with great songwriting and technically advanced musicians are the beautiful things of progressive rock. Progressive rock is (rock) music that moves, questions, but most of all challenges the listener. Prog is daring, complex and beautiful. For me, music is food, I need it! And if music is food, than prog rock is a delicatesse!

I hope I've made my point clear. It took me a while to write all this down in English.

Reactions are welcome, of course!



Edited by Joren
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 16:45

Jim/Richardh/Joren:

Thanks for your continued thoughtful comments.  I have made similar comments re Zep, Hendrix, etc. on other threads, particularly the "Fly Like An Eagle" thread, which is "must reading" re the discussion we are having.  There, I discuss the difference between "stumbling upon" what I call "progressive sensibilities" (or even using them consciously on occasion), and having a conscious, deliberate approach to songwriting, arrangement and production that is "progressive" in nature.  In this regard, Zep fails the test: yes, Kashmir, Achilles et al may qualify as "progressive" songs.  But Zep never approached their music - in toto - from a "progressive" standpoint.

Peace.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 20:57

Hey Manni, I must admit when I joined, that I thought Prog Metal and it's many sub-genres would be discussed  . I also thought the newer Prog Rock/Metal bands would also be involved but lo and behold many of the members haven't made it out of the sixties, seventies and eighties  .

Ironically they complain that there's nothing good around anymore. Hey I'm not knocking their Dinosaurs, I like em too but they need the wake up and smell the roses.

We are in the midst of a Prog Rock/Metal renaissance. I've never heard so much good music and that includes the 60s, 70s & 80s  and I go back to the mid fifties. It's not that the bands are better, they're not, but technology is better. Picture the way a movie was done in the sixties or seventies and picture how a movie is done today. Trent Reznor is a one man operation as is Hollenthon and Nicodemus. Many groups I like are actually two people, a man and a woman and they sound like they have an orchestra behind them.  

Why am I bringing this up? I'm not sure. I guess it's because we haven't even let all the relatives of prog rock (much to my chagrin) in to the site and we shold do that before we'd consider any other forms of music.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2004 at 22:24
Originally posted by Vibrationbaby Vibrationbaby wrote:

GURU GURU! WHEN THE FREAK IS GURU GURU GOING TO BE ADDED TO THE ARCHIVES?

GURU GURU

GURU GURU is appearing on the ARCHIVE
http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_BAN D.asp?band_id=943

 

Prog On !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2004 at 02:35

semismart:

Forgive me if I offended your sensibilities.   I did not mean to infer that some prog-metal is not "legitimately" prog.  There is certainly some very good prog-metal out there (although they may be on the "softer" side of prog-metal, I've come to like ARK alot!).  Nor do I have my head in the sand right now (not that you suggested that of me personally).  As an "official" reviewer, I am able to, and do, download quite a bit of newer prog, including some prog-metal.  And though it is not my "favorite" subgenre, when I do review it I try to do so a open-mindedly as possible.  I would hope that my fellow "prog reviewers" are doing (or would do) the same.

Please let me know what groups you think I might like in the prog-metal genre.  I am always open to education!

Peace.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2004 at 04:11
I think the newer prog (metal AND rock) is not as original as the seventies supergroups. I DO like the songs from Porcupine Tree I downloaded from the website, but take Flower Kings, for instance: Great technique, skilled musicians, but the songs are so so... pretty boring. Originality, for me, is very important!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2004 at 22:26

Joren:

At the risk of sounding "petulant," you tread dangerous ground when you talk about "originality."  A "devil's advocate" might appropriately ask: "What is original?" (in prog).  After all, almost every prog band after the first seven or so "masters" (Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, ELP, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, maybe one or two others) were "influenced" by one or more of them.  Thus, "originality" in prog becomes (as I've posited in some of my reviews) how well a band "channels" its influences into something "new" and/or compelling.  If they "wear their influences on their sleeve," they fail this test.  If their influences are "mixed up" and what comes out the other side has some degree of originality, they pass.

I invite you to click on my name and read some of the reviews I've written (not counting the long "Church" series).  Many of them deal with this issue, and I find myself having to review many albums with this "yardstick" in mind.

In the end, however, I, too, am looking for some sense of "originality" - at least within the confines of obviously (or even subtly) influenced music.

Peace.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 04:02
And you don't give many albums five stars (except for Pink Floyd albums ), I believe that is a good thing.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 20:02
Originally posted by maani maani wrote:

semismart:

Forgive me if I offended your sensibilities.   I did not mean to infer that some prog-metal is not "legitimately" prog.  There is certainly some very good prog-metal out there (although they may be on the "softer" side of prog-metal, I've come to like ARK alot!).  Nor do I have my head in the sand right now (not that you suggested that of me personally).  As an "official" reviewer, I am able to, and do, download quite a bit of newer prog, including some prog-metal.  And though it is not my "favorite" subgenre, when I do review it I try to do so a open-mindedly as possible.  I would hope that my fellow "prog reviewers" are doing (or would do) the same.

Please let me know what groups you think I might like in the prog-metal genre.  I am always open to education!

Peace.

Hey Manni, you did not offend my sensibilities. Far from it.

I'll admit my tastes run a little heavier than most of the forum members. I'm 62 years young and I've got almost all the acknowledged masters on vinyl, so I haven't heard them for awhile. Funny thing is except for Pink Floyd and maybe Renaissance, they weren't even my favorites then, so the way everyone reveres these old prog bands and keeps lamenting, hows there's nothing good anymore makes want to scream.

I wonder what they're listening to. If you liked GenisisPendragon, Marillion or Mostly Autumn even Arena should fill the bill. You like YesBeyond Twilight and some songs by Dark Moor remind me of them. ELP try Arcturus or Everon. Dream Theater - DGM sounds like a clone.  Queen - There are songs by Blind Guardian that sound oh so close, the seventeen minute masterpiece, "And Then There Was Silence", is one.  And that's without getting into the sub genres where I spend an equal amout of time where bands like Therion, Heavenly, Nightwish and Lacuna Coil and scores more reside.

Anyway I hope nobody takes offense at my little rant.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2004 at 06:24
Originally posted by semismart semismart wrote:

...

I'll admit my tastes run a little heavier than most of the forum members. I'm 62 years young and I've got almost all the acknowledged masters on vinyl, so I haven't heard them for awhile. Funny thing is except for Pink Floyd and maybe Renaissance, they weren't even my favorites then, so the way everyone reveres these old prog bands and keeps lamenting, hows there's nothing good anymore makes want to scream.

...

You're 62 years young? Why does your profile say you're from '48 then?

Well, anyway, it's still a surprise that you like such heavy music. I thought metal was only for the very young people...



Edited by Joren
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2004 at 11:04

[/QUOTE]

 Funny thing is except for Pink Floyd and maybe Renaissance, they weren't even my favorites then, so the way everyone reveres these old prog bands and keeps lamenting, hows there's nothing good anymore makes want to scream.

Anyway I hope nobody takes offense at my little rant.

[/QUOTE]

No Offense.

I agree about today's prog being looked down upon. Bands like Echolyn, IZZ, Land of Chocolate, Salem Hill and Singularity, have taken their influences and moved ahead. I'm revelling in all this new music. Porcupine Tree is awesome. So many bands I haven't had time to discover.............. yet.

Of course, i've also gone back and found bands I'd missed, VDGG, Happy the Man, Gentle Giant, Camel. The list is long.

Kwit Bitchin', keep listening.  

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