Saturday, December 23, 2006

smooth sailing

Last weekend was pretty progged out. Friday I saw the alliterative trio of Hugh Hopper, Fred Frith, and Chris Cutler perform at the Stone, followed by a small, all-night record listening party at my apartment, where at some point this happened:

A new friend brought over a stack of records, and we listened to a lot of great stuff, including but not limited to FUSIOON, SHAMPOO, PICCHIO DAL POZZO, COS, PUSSY, THE WEINBERG METHOD, CHRYSALIS, some incredible Scottish prog, and who could forget RASTAKRAUT PASTA?? I tried to open some minds to the psychedelic efforts of the Four Seasons and the Osmond brothers (a new personal favorite)- but I don't think it went over too well.

Speaking of music that most people pass over-- hopefully I just legitimized my prog "cred" by mentioning a slew of foreign band names, because now it's time for me to come clean about what's really been spinning on my record player all week: easy listening. I guess the seed was planted about a year ago when I started listening to David Axelrod, although I've been partial to smooth sounds (and sweet falsettos) for longer than I can remember. I've also been pretty open about my appreciation of what I call "prog-lite," my unconditional love of the Electric Light Orchestra, my fidelity to just about the entire Bee Gee's canon, and my curious attraction to Todd Rundgren and his big-nosed ballads. Anyone who walked into Big Jar Books during the five(?) years that I worked there and was subjected to "A Dream Goes on Forever" or "Mr. Natural" can attest to that. Recently, however, I've really been dumbing down my groove, perhaps in an effort to balance out the Queen II and give my mind a rest from all of the bullshit I've had to conjure up to make it through my first semester of grad school. I've started to keep a careful eye out for good Moog records, and I'm now totally sucked in to this Enoch Light album:

groovy stuff. There's also the Osmonds thing that I mentioned already, although I'm not ready to really discuss that yet- partly because I'm still in the visceral stage, where I'm thoroughly enjoying certain songs, even though the intelligent-thinking part of me is fully aware that they kind of suck. Right now I'm working on dismantling my critical side, and soon enough I'll be able to convince other people without any guilt!

Here's a list of thirteen albums that I've listened to repeatedly over the past two or three months, because for some reason that's the kind of thing people do on BLOGs. Maybe I'll make one every month?

in no particular order:
1. Sparks- Kimono My House
2. Hawkwind- self-titled (and Spaceritual, too)
3. Sly & the Family Stone- A Whole New Thing
4. Faust- Faust Tapes
5. Tears for Fears- Songs From the Big Chair (I don't care. this album is unreal.)
6. Jones- Chains and Black Exhaust (black psych comp.)
7. Queen- Queen II
8. Pink Floyd- Saucerful of Secrets
9. Hall & Oates- the one with the silver cover, where they look like women
10. Roy Harper- Stormcock
11. George Russell- Electric Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature
12. Donald Byrd- Black Byrd
13. Fripp & Eno- No Pussyfooting

happy holidays!


Peter said...

Everyone's mentioning Big Jar these days: http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.


Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Michael said...

I dunno Ms. Prog Lady, that Osmonds video pretty much set all my synapses on fire! I'll never become immune to the surreal force of their unbridled grins.

Nice catch with the alliterative names--I totally never noticed that at all for any of them and it's kind of amazing to have a trio like that! You might say I'm taken aback by this trivial yet entirely noteworthy observation! Somehow that set sounds different in my memory now! It's, like, tighter.

"Prog On" as I imagine they say somewhere...

the prog lady said...

hi Peter! I learned from your blog that Big Jar now has a website. I can't believe it. I feel like there was a good 2 years where I was the only employee who didn't type with two fingers...

Peter said...

I was just as surprised as you were when I found the site. But things have changed at the Big Jar. It's still not a Wi-Fi hot spot, thanks be to God, but they do burn CDs there these days.

I have to confess that I came to your blog with some trepidation. I came up in the 1970s, when "progressive" rock was arguably in its heyday and in a city where such music was especially popular. Being of a rebellious turn of mind, I naturally hated it. Years later, though, I bought a record by the Roches, and I very much like Robert Fripp's guitar playing on it.

But I like how you write, and I will look in from time to time.

"Jazz and flamenco on," as I imagine they say nowhere.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Peter said...

I thought of you when I saw this:

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Brett said...

I think there's a dedicated box for Moog records at Bleaker Bob's. Not sure how many are "good moog records". I'm assuming many are evil, but you should probably take a sick day and go dig through them just to be sure.