“VIII,” because this is the eighth time that I’ve teamed up with Ragnar of Ravensfjord and our buddy Zess Vurdin of the Kobaian embassy to bring to you prog rock: the good, the bad, and the truly, truly, ugly.
Zess provides most of the “good,” often in the form of obscure bands from around the world. Ragnar is well versed in contemporary U.S. stuff, especially now that we get regular servicing from Cuneiform, an outstanding label with a taste for prog. (And for jazzy bands like Gutbucket, as noted here.) All three of us bring far too much knowledge of prog’s’70s heyday and, unfortunately, its ’80s descent into Phil Collins/Asia territory.
We infuse the show with themes, so scan the playlist below and look for:
* Songs named after their time signatures
* A Bill Bruford retrospective, including solo work, work in unexpected places (Bruford drumming for Gong at a live show? Believe it!), and jazz/fusion dabblings. (That was my contribution; we played just snippets of Watanabe, Moraz, and Earthworks, but the Jamaaledeen Tacuma was good enough for a full 8-minute spin.)
* Solo works of the original King Crimson members! We skipped Greg Lake because he’s gotten, uh, the treatment in past shows, more so than any other prog musician, I’d wager.
* Prog bands from countries of the former U.S.S.R.
* The horror that was 3: To the Power of Three (which I remember hearing on the radio but cannot for the life of me remember any individual song) and this Jimmy Hots thing — Christian prog with heavily permed hairdos — that Ragnar found somewhere.