Category Archives: Prog Rock

Can: Tago Mago

Can – Tago Mago (1971)

Glenn: Deep funk you’d feel weird shaking your butt to. Crisp production, with oddly EQ’d drums — muted. Like what you hear with a head cold or a fever. Two long sound collages — one of which contains my all-time favorite 2 minutes of Can (that’d be the opening of “Aumgn”), and the other of which is made up of shouting, carnival blee-boop organ licks, and delay pedal fuckery. A distanced feeling throughout. So is this emotionless post-rock jamming more to be admired than to be enjoyed? Or is there blood in these grooves?

Jordy: There is vibrant life in these grooves.  As my liner notes quotes keyboardist Irmin Schmidt: Can was like a “mighty, pulsing organism.”   Similarly, I would define the “life” of Tago Mago more in biological terms.  It has a regular heartbeat and bowel movements, for instance.  (Excuse me while I abandon this analogy…) Continue reading

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Filed under 1970s, Experimental, Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Rock, Space rock

Two songs I adore

Cans

Cans

There’s no theme or commentary to today’s post other than it’s Friday and I adore these two songs.

Can – “Mushroom” from Tago Mago (1971)
Califone – “Sawtooth Sung A Cheater’s Song” from Heron King Blues (2004)

What sounds good to you this Friday?

More Califone on SWR

More Can on SWR

Buy the ‘fone

Buy the ‘an

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, 2000s, Acoustic, Experimental, Folk, Post-rock, Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Rock, Roots rock, Space rock

Harmonica Favorites, Pt. 3

Yes.  Yes, please.

Yes. Yes, please.

Talk Talk – “The Rainbow” from Spirit of Eden [1988]

Talk Talk used to be another Duran Duran until they holed up in a church and refused to let EMI hear anything from their fourth LP (Spirit of Eden).  Imagine, if you will, a horrified record executive listening to this commercially unpalatable nonsense, flabbergasted at a lack of anything resembling a single and no way to put on a successful world tour.

In any case, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock (their final LP) are important records, the products of fertile and talented musical imaginations (most notably that of Mark Hollis), records that transcend genre and time.  If someone put out this record last year, it would be hailed as a triumph.  If they had put this album out in the seventies, it would be a hidden gem.

But this is a post about harmonicas, and I have never heard a harmonica sound like this.  All distorted and anguished and writhing, a beast of a thing, a perfect introduction to this brilliant “fuck you” of an album.  I mean seriously, harmonicas from a band that used to be just another new wave band?  Brilliant.

Buy it here

Posted by Phil

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Filed under 1980s, Experimental, Jazz, Post-rock, Prog Rock

“And we’re following the will of the one”

Blind Guardian – “Into the Storm” from Nightfall in Middle Earth [1998]
Blind Guardian – “Mirror Mirror” from Nightfall in Middle Earth [1998]

My coworker and I were singing metal to each other today and I remembered how much ass this album kicks.  I haven’t listened to this album in probably two years, so it was hard for me to pick just one song.  Thus, you get your face melted twice.

Blind Guardian is a German power-metal band.  This album is based on Tolkein’s The Silmarillion.  What else do you need to know?

Buy Blind Guardian/Melt your face

Posted by Phil

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Filed under 1990s, Prog Rock, Rock

“Shine in/Shine on”

Boredoms – “Super Going” from Super Ae [1998]

Here is some mind-expanding minimalist drone punk to laze away a summer Sunday with. Boredoms at 2006 Intonation Festival (pictured above) blew me away with volume and rhythmic attack, but they lacked the tunefulness (albeit in the loosest sense of “tune”) this song soars with. Enjoy.

Can’t buy me Boredom

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1990s, Experimental, Post-rock, Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Punk, Space rock

Cinematic

Rick Wakeman – “Merlin the Magician” from The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975)

It’s been some time since my friend Ben introduced me to Rick Wakeman’s solo work. I recall fondly my whirlwind romance with Wakeman’s first three records: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and this gem.

“Merlin the Magician” is the stand-out track from Myths and Legends. It displays several shades of Wakeman’s brilliance and arrogance. It is, at turns, very beautiful and agonizingly pretentious. But I suppose that is the very hallmark of good prog rock.

Buy RW here

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1970s, Prog Rock

“I don’t understand this reference to ‘prog.’ What is a ‘prog’?”

Shudder to Think – “9 Fingers On You” from Pony Express Record (1994)

A punky take on prog-rock from DC’s other great ’90s rock band.

That other DC band

Buy Shudder to Think

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1990s, Prog Rock, Rock