Penk's Prog Odyssey: ELP

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Carlsson » 05 Apr 2017, 16:09

Hightea wrote:
:D Actually except for a song or two I didn't start getting into Italian prog until around 2000. Since then its been an ever evolving long list of great Italian prog bands, there are over 100 of them. We thank the festival NEARfest which we attended from 00-10 with introducing me to this sub genre.The organizer was a big fan of Italian prog and brought us the big three (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso , Le Orme and PFM) along with many others. The vendor rooms at NEARfest were another introducion into how big prog is internationally. 1000's of cd's from all over the world that were prog or prog related.
Prog nerd heaven.

PFM
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oooof!

Nice photo too






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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Lord Rother » 05 Apr 2017, 16:56

There's a stack of good new(ish) Italian bands at the moment.




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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby 'O' » 05 Apr 2017, 19:09

Do you always go for the newer stuff, LR?
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby PENK » 05 Apr 2017, 19:46

Hightea wrote:Penk instead of the basic 123 of prog try other prog - Koenjihyakkei, Magma, Shakti or maybe some italian prog PFM maybe? ha you won't get this stuff either. You also stated I like for folk. I'm assuming you won't like the Strawbs because of the vocals.


I think you have it wrong, really. It's not about "not getting" the music. It's always very patronising to say people who don't like something simply don't get it. It's about getting it but finding it lacking. A lot of people are very open to the more expansive, ambitious, challenging and complex side of prog; we just think that many of the most renowned bands make a hash of it.

This thread was started as a response to the way that prog tended to be so divisive on the board, with people either posting - seemingly - nothing but one-line comments about the genre, or just writing it off completely as a joke. For that reason I wanted to stick mainly to the biggest names, and I certainly already like quite a lot of music on the fringes or in related genres like Kosmische and so on; indeed, I rather like the Strawbs too. I think people on both sides of the debate have got a lot out of the thread.

Remember its only an opinion and one style of music we love.


Indeed. And I hope you remember your own advice when I post my next review!
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby Carlsson » 05 Apr 2017, 19:49

PENK wrote: people [...] posting - seemingly - nothing but one-line comments about the genre


Indeed - robust stuff!









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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby PENK » 05 Apr 2017, 19:50

C wrote:
PENK wrote: people [...] posting - seemingly - nothing but one-line comments about the genre


Indeed - robust stuff!









.


Unfamiliar.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Lord Rother » 05 Apr 2017, 20:18

Dog Pickle 'BEAUT' wrote:Do you always go for the newer stuff, LR?


Ok, I'll take that as a serious and well-intentioned enquiry.

Not at all no, but personally I don't think posting up the fact that I'm listening to another Yes, Genesis, Strawbs, Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Camel etc. album may not be as interesting to the reader as something people have never heard before.

I do enjoy discovering and hearing new artists / bands / albums - probably more than the classic albums I know and love even though they may not be as long-lasting as the latter, even for me.

I realise there's not a great deal of interest and indeed a fair bit of active derision about what I post up but as you will have gathered that doesn't really bother me too much.

All that said, I do enjoy bands like Big Big Train (yes, THEM) as much as anything I have ever heard.

But there are definitely some "wins" along the way and as long as someone sometime indicates pleasure at stuff I've put forward them it's all good (for me).

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby 'O' » 05 Apr 2017, 21:20

It's always good to see enthusiasm but I honestly don't hear Big Big Train as prog - of any kind - at all.

Not that that matters, I suppose.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby trans-chigley express » 05 Apr 2017, 22:05

I don't mind people not liking Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson as I am very confident they will be making frequent appearances in this thread in the coming years ;)

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby algroth » 06 Apr 2017, 00:33

PENK wrote:
Hightea wrote:Penk instead of the basic 123 of prog try other prog - Koenjihyakkei, Magma, Shakti or maybe some italian prog PFM maybe? ha you won't get this stuff either. You also stated I like for folk. I'm assuming you won't like the Strawbs because of the vocals.


I think you have it wrong, really. It's not about "not getting" the music. It's always very patronising to say people who don't like something simply don't get it. It's about getting it but finding it lacking. A lot of people are very open to the more expansive, ambitious, challenging and complex side of prog; we just think that many of the most renowned bands make a hash of it.


I really like this, and agree completely. I will say that there is something like "not getting" the music: I know I felt that upon first listening to certain artists. But the feeling I got was not one of being underwhelmed or outright hateful to the music, but of being, quite simply, baffled, and confused. Instead of rejecting the music, however, "not getting it" made me try harder and listen till I did "get it", and now I do have artists of that ilk amidst my favorites - the likes of Captain Beefheart, The Residents and Van der Graaf Generator. But really, this sort of reaction is one only the listener can gauge and determine by themselves - I don't think anyone can be told they don't understand it, especially with regards to artforms that work with more ambiguous codes than language the way music does.

That said, I think I do understand where Hightea comes from, inasmuch as bands from the currents of Zeuhl or RIO tend to give greater predominance to the modern classical/avant-garde jazz elements of their fusion than other bands in prog, and which make them more inaccessible to the listener that is looking for more traditional pop hooks, rock-like riffage and the likes. It's not so much that they are harder to get, and instead that they are harder to get into if, as is usually the case with the average listener, one approaches these from a mostly rock-based perspective. Having said all this I'm not suggesting you are the average listener either, and I think it's a fair assumption to make that most in this forum aren't.

Remember its only an opinion and one style of music we love.


Indeed. And I hope you remember your own advice when I post my next review!


Uh-oh, I suspect ELP's coming up next. :lol:

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby algroth » 06 Apr 2017, 01:07

Hightea wrote:
algroth wrote: There are plenty of bands from the 80s onwards which I love whether they be what I or the world in general consider to be prog, to which I would add the likes of Ahvak, Koenjihyakkei, Honduras Libregrupo and Alamaailman Vasarat as some more examples. I listen to plenty of modern prog because I have plenty of love for the genre and *want* to find new stuff to enjoy regardless of period, but it doesn't mean I won't speak out against a negative trend when I see it, such as what I mention above. Your comment to rap would have to do more with my perception of country, for example, which is why you don't see me writing anything about the matter, but this is an area I'm pretty familiar on and which should appeal to me as a lover of progressive and experimental music in general, and which in general doesn't for things that, to my ears, is clearly fault of their music and not a "tin ear" for the genre. It may be at odds with the views of people who love it, sure, but in the end these are all opinions, and thus no less relevant a position than yours or any other's.


Also agree its your eyes and your opinion. However you do puzzle me with your attitude with Steven Wilson. I just don't see this so called soulless of his music. Steven Wilson is not a Yngwie Malmsteen type. Maybe its you can't handle him mixing several genre into his music and you think he is only doing a half as job at each one? Sorry don't see it and as someone who is always looking for new music I tend to find Steven Wilson to be quite interesting and the directions he goes always peak my interest more.


So, just to clarify I don't think I ever called Steven Wilson soulless, or argued the lack of passion he has for the genre. I think he certainly has both and I think his music stands as testament to his love for the scene - whether that passion or soulfulness translates to his music being more resonant to me, that's another matter (and, personally, I would have to say it doesn't). Likewise I would have to echo what Penk says in the first part of the post and say that prog has usually its own feel and its own result that is derived from its influences, and I judge music based on that more than how they are with regards to a certain genre or other - I don't care how Wilson and his bands play as alt-rock, metal, prog, post-rock or else, I care how the music plays as a whole.

Despite that, with Wilson's music I do feel that it often feels too focused on imitating the cadence of classic prog at a very superficial level: it reminds me of the 14-year-old me, trying to write a great prog epic and going about it with a stunting attention for form over anything else, worried about starting this way, leading to a sudden break with a dissonant riff, then breaking to a more melancholic section before returning to a quite moment, all because it's how the prog acts did it. At this time I wasn't asking myself *why* prog artists did things the way they did, to what purpose and effect, and to some extent I feel this same problem about Wilson's music: for all the clinical and meticulous approach to his work, it feels like he never asked why. Though I never brought up Ywngie Malmsteen, in this regard they do both remind me to one another. A more immediate example for me would be with Eli Roth: I am under no impression that Roth isn't the horror geek he claims to be, I have heard interviews with him and I think his passion is pretty undeniable; yet when speaking of his love for Takashi Miike's Audition for example, it is interesting to note how he focuses on the last ten minutes, which is where all the torture and gore reach the usual heights of the "torture porn" scene, yet ignoring the hour and a half worth of content that built to this climax, cleverly subverting genre tropes and creating a thoroughly engrossing and increasingly chilling story which gave it the weight and purpose it had. It is not surprising that his cinema seems to imitate to great effect the aesthetic and grime of giallo, Z-class cinema and the likes, but fails to grasp the essence of what made the best films in those genres good. Wilson's music recalls this funnelled focus on surface details to mind, and for this reason I often find his music forced, clunky, and simply not as interesting or compelling.

Anyhow, I know some users here will think I'm talking out of my arse, but it's what I feel. You can take my observations or leave them. I'm not saying I'm right, but it's the impression I get all the same. And I have heard not only his work with Porcupine Tree but with No-Man, Blackfield and solo too. I get the same feeling in each (Blackfield to a lesser extent than the others).

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby algroth » 06 Apr 2017, 02:21

Hightea wrote:
C wrote:As my dear learned and esteemed friend Hightea mentioned - Italian 70s prog band PFM

Try this:










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:D Actually except for a song or two I didn't start getting into Italian prog until around 2000. Since then its been an ever evolving long list of great Italian prog bands, there are over 100 of them. We thank the festival NEARfest which we attended from 00-10 with introducing me to this sub genre.The organizer was a big fan of Italian prog and brought us the big three (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso , Le Orme and PFM) along with many others. The vendor rooms at NEARfest were another introducion into how big prog is internationally. 1000's of cd's from all over the world that were prog or prog related.
Prog nerd heaven.

PFM
Image


With regards to the Italian bands I'm more of the Banco bandwagon as well, I think Io sono nato libero at least is a really really good album, "Canto nomade per un prigionero politico" in particular a wonderful track. PFM I'm a tad less keen on, though they have some good things too. Le Orme's pretty good too when it comes to that ELP-esque keyboard-led prog (based on what I heard so far of them anyhow). Other favorites in the scene include Il Balleto di Bronzo, Jumbo and Osanna.

That said, the one thing that relly delayed me into getting in the scene is that the vocals are for the most part a very, very acquired taste. I'll be honest, I thought they were outright dreadful the first time I heard them. I grew into appreciating them in time but I do think they're still the primary barrier to face so as to get into the scene, and considering both the influence Hammill had on the scene and Penk's throughts on Hammill I would advice some caution when recommending these.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby zoomboogity » 06 Apr 2017, 02:52

algroth wrote:I'd also be interested in hearing your thoughts of Van der Graaf Generator


He listened to H To He a few pages ago. I wouldn't have recommended that one, or Pawn Hearts either. I'd go for The Quiet Zone or Godbluff. There are about half a dozen Hammill solo albums that would be better than any VDGG albums as an introduction.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby algroth » 06 Apr 2017, 03:41

zoomboogity wrote:
algroth wrote:I'd also be interested in hearing your thoughts of Van der Graaf Generator


He listened to H To He a few pages ago. I wouldn't have recommended that one, or Pawn Hearts either. I'd go for The Quiet Zone or Godbluff. There are about half a dozen Hammill solo albums that would be better than any VDGG albums as an introduction.


I would have probably thought of it a decent introduction myself. That and Godbluff... The Quiet Zone less so, just because I don't find it a particularly good album. Anyhow, I had written that before his VdGG review. :)

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby zoomboogity » 06 Apr 2017, 04:10

Oops. :D Gotcha, I just saw it on this page, my mistake! With some bands, their best isn't what I would suggest for a new listener. Pawn Hearts is great, just not right away.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Hightea » 06 Apr 2017, 04:37

algroth wrote:
yomptepi wrote:If music was made by artificial intelligence, then it would sound like porcupine tree. Everybody else's ideas and inspiration run through a processing chip, and recycled as something original. It has no soul, no spark, no energy, no inspiration, no passion, no art. It is sterile and unconvincing. It is, as a great man once said, nothing more than derivative clap trap. A turd.


I would agree, and would add that I feel this way about much of what is nowadays called "prog" as well. The more hardcore scene is nowadays filled with stagnation and regression, bands who are content enough to sound like the real thing or respond to all the aspects that gave prog a bad name, but not really looking forward or playing with the academic trends of the present. To me, there is more genuine prog in Swans' latest albums, Boredoms, David Bowie's Blackstar and so on than there is in the works of Steven Wilson, Big Big Train, Beardfish or the likes.


Sorry when I saw you agreed with yomptepi I took that as you agreed Steven Wilson had no soul, no spark, no energy.


algroth wrote:
So, just to clarify I don't think I ever called Steven Wilson soulless, or argued the lack of passion he has for the genre. I think he certainly has both and I think his music stands as testament to his love for the scene - whether that passion or soulfulness translates to his music being more resonant to me, that's another matter (and, personally, I would have to say it doesn't). Likewise I would have to echo what Penk says in the first part of the post and say that prog has usually its own feel and its own result that is derived from its influences, and I judge music based on that more than how they are with regards to a certain genre or other - I don't care how Wilson and his bands play as alt-rock, metal, prog, post-rock or else, I care how the music plays as a whole.


See I get this opinion. Just note for me I'm looking for someone or band to do what Wilson is doing. Mixing alt rock, post rock, jam band and prog let alone anything mixing genre and multiple influences. If you don't like it and don't see how it blends. Sorry can't agree Ptree and SW's solo works both have several epic songs for me and he has done a great job of mixing styles and making them work. You guy do have me rethinking about some of his other works that maybe I don't like as much because they are pushing the limits too much, I'm usually turned off to the more metal side of SW. Actually its something that turned me off in the early 00's live shows. However, the acoustic set at Radio City a few years ago was them at their best. The later Ptree starting with the album in question has Galvin Harrison on drums another reason I love IA. Galvin is so good Fripp stole him.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: King Crimson

Postby Hightea » 06 Apr 2017, 05:15

PENK wrote:
Hightea wrote:Penk instead of the basic 123 of prog try other prog - Koenjihyakkei, Magma, Shakti or maybe some italian prog PFM maybe? ha you won't get this stuff either. You also stated I like for folk. I'm assuming you won't like the Strawbs because of the vocals.


I think you have it wrong, really. It's not about "not getting" the music. It's always very patronising to say people who don't like something simply don't get it. It's about getting it but finding it lacking. A lot of people are very open to the more expansive, ambitious, challenging and complex side of prog; we just think that many of the most renowned bands make a hash of it.


I don't have a problem with you not liking it its the terms you use are just plain wrong. Sorry calling almost any form of music soulless is heartless to me. A musician esp. a successful one has put the time, effort and heart into his instrument for years. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it soulless.
It can suck but its not soulless. Sorry I've sat in enough rooms talking to musicians to ever call someone as having no soul or energy in their music. Also this idea that a band decides and calculates when and how a solo is doesn't make it any less great. Noodling doesn't have to have a natural or in the case live improv feel. It's something made up in some music god rule book. Some don't do it well but then their is someone like Fripp who calculates every step of the way and its beautiful.

By the way Penk keep them coming I like this thread and does have me thinking. I'm assuming you going for ELP a band where I get the knocks although it's only in some of their albums. Also interested in your thoughts on Emerson after what I heard from you about Wakeman. Although be prepared I will have a comment. ;)

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By the way there is plenty of prog we do not like! Also I came to this board in hopes that some people can help me find more music. I continue to search for music I've never heard but might love. I've been thru 45+ years of listening to all kinds of music. I need a new catchy tune or hook weekly.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Hightea » 06 Apr 2017, 05:17

algroth wrote:
zoomboogity wrote:
algroth wrote:I'd also be interested in hearing your thoughts of Van der Graaf Generator


He listened to H To He a few pages ago. I wouldn't have recommended that one, or Pawn Hearts either. I'd go for The Quiet Zone or Godbluff. There are about half a dozen Hammill solo albums that would be better than any VDGG albums as an introduction.


I would have probably thought of it a decent introduction myself. That and Godbluff... The Quiet Zone less so, just because I don't find it a particularly good album. Anyhow, I had written that before his VdGG review. :)


I agree if you asked me 30 years ago I would have said H To He or pawn hearts but today i would go with a solo album or Godbluff.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby algroth » 06 Apr 2017, 05:27

Hightea wrote:
algroth wrote:
yomptepi wrote:If music was made by artificial intelligence, then it would sound like porcupine tree. Everybody else's ideas and inspiration run through a processing chip, and recycled as something original. It has no soul, no spark, no energy, no inspiration, no passion, no art. It is sterile and unconvincing. It is, as a great man once said, nothing more than derivative clap trap. A turd.


I would agree, and would add that I feel this way about much of what is nowadays called "prog" as well. The more hardcore scene is nowadays filled with stagnation and regression, bands who are content enough to sound like the real thing or respond to all the aspects that gave prog a bad name, but not really looking forward or playing with the academic trends of the present. To me, there is more genuine prog in Swans' latest albums, Boredoms, David Bowie's Blackstar and so on than there is in the works of Steven Wilson, Big Big Train, Beardfish or the likes.


Sorry when I saw you agreed with yomptepi I took that as you agreed Steven Wilson had no soul, no spark, no energy.


Ah, no, I was agreeing with the general sentiment more so than the word-for-word post. As in, I assumed the whole "no soul, no passion" bit to be part of what he meant about his music feeling sterile and unconvincing, and on that front I agree even if I would not use those words to carry across the idea.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Porcupine Tree

Postby Lord Rother » 06 Apr 2017, 07:04

Jeez, so many words.

I just like Porcupine Tree's music.

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