Posts Tagged ‘Progression’

Various things including a little Progression hatin’

Tuesday, July 11th, 2000

After Crying seems to have a new official homepage.

The July 10 entry in josh blog sees Josh musing on prog, prog metal, prog fans, and King Crimson (I wonder if he has or has heard The Great Deceiver?). He writes somewhat negatively about, among other things, Dream Theater: “…all technical ability and nothing else really to speak of, except for the tepid compositions…” I find his criticism mostly on the mark — and I wonder how guilty I am, myself — but it leaves me thinking about how subjective the phrase “tepid compositions” is, or perhaps about what exactly it means.

There’s a fairly interesting Adrian Belew interview over at launch.com, in which Belew talks about how difficult the ConstruKction of Light material is to pull off live. An excerpt:

“I really tricked myself, because the lyrics on the choruses of ‘ConstruKction Of Light’ are random words, but each word is assigned to a specific note. The way I wrote the words was I went through and said, okay, every time I sing a G I’m gonna say the word ‘pain,’ every time I sing an E I’m gonna say ‘passion.’ And where there was a note that was repeated a lot, I gave it a second and third word. I wanted it to have a certain internal architecture, and that was fun. But now, of course, trying to remember words that have absolutely no meaning together, while you sing them in five and seven and play in 4/4…that’s gonna give me a headache for a while…”

Jon Fry sent me a couple reviews under the heading “Reviews of Stuff You’d Hate”. He then commented,

I was surprised at the jab at you in the editorial in Progression magazine, and also noticed the lack of mention of Ground and Sky in the “Prog on the Internet” or whatever article. If you ever start a “Ground and Sky in the News” section, you should wear the former as a badge of pride in it. Good day!

Amoeba Music, and I’m an “odd fellow”

Sunday, July 9th, 2000

Oy. Just got back from a nice vacation in San Francisco. I have a nice big backlog of reviews in my inbox and a few interesting tidbits to relate. Tomorrow I’m turning right around and driving a couple hours to play four games of Ultimate, so no more updates til Monday…

Made my usual stop at Amoeba Music and blew a hundred bucks or so there:

  • The Gathering - Nighttime Birds
  • Giles/Muir/Cunningham - Ghost Dance
  • King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon 30th anniversary limited
  • King Crimson - Lizard 30th anniversary limited
  • Tony Levin - Waters of Eden
  • A Silver Mt. Zion - He Has Left Us Alone…
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

I wanted to pick up RuinsBurning Stone (used), a bunch of Yoshida Tatsuya stuff, a 2-on-1 of Gryphon’s Red Queen to Gryphon Three and Raindance, Djam Karet’s Suspension and Displacement, Zappa’s Läther (used), etc etc etc, but I ran out of cash. What a familiar situation.

Unfortunately, due to dinner plans and a rather persistent flu-like sickness that I’ve had for almost two weeks now, I was unable to see the Le Orme show on O’Farrell street Monday night. (ARG!) I’ve heard it kicked some ass and there were only like 20 people there. I will be kicking myself for the forseeable future for missing this, but what the hell.

Here’s a neat tidbit from rec.music.progressive: MP3s of a live Atavism of Twilight performance in 1991.

Interesting comments from an anonymous Ground and Sky fan about the latest issue of Progression, which I have yet to pick up (nicely enough, the local Borders carries the zine quite reliably!):

On your “other resources” page, you note that Progression magazine’s reviews are “invariably positive”. The editorial in the latest issue of said mag (Spring/Summer 2000) has this to say: “One odd fellow who has a prog-rock website noted in his blurb about Progression that the magazine’s reviews are “uniformly positive,” suggesting they’re of little service to the discerning reader. That’s a crock.”

Is the editor referring to Ground and Sky?

Then, three pages later, brand-new columnist Stephanie Sollow discusses music review sites on the web. Maybe there truly are “hundreds” of such sites in existence, as she writes, and so it is impossible to mention them all, but I find the omission of G&S to be particularly glaring.

I don’t know the answers to the questions posed, but I will say this: my take on Progression stands - I read it because there’s not a lot to read in terms of print zines about this genre, but I find the reviews less than useful and the writing less than great. They can take me to task (if they can’t dish out the criticism, can they take it?), but that’s an honest opinion and I’ll stand behind it. As for Stephanie’s article, well, we recently traded banners with no problems at all, and as far as I know she holds no enmity towards this site, so I can’t imagine an intentional omission occurred for any underhanded reasons.

Currently reading Douglas Hofstadter’s acknowledged classic of modern philosophy, Gödel, Escher, Bach. He makes fascinating observations about Bach’s music - I’m sure they’re nothing new or revelatory, but I’ve never read any in-depth study of Bach, so it’s all intriguing stuff for me. Besides that, it’s a great book so far anyway.

Well, it’s been a long week and I have a long day ahead of me, so I’d better catch a few hours of sleep. Till Monday.