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American prog

Discussion in 'music' started by kasperhauser, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Contradiction in terms?

    Not sure why it never dawned on me, but I sat listening to Kansas - Point of No Return, trying to compile a list of other American prog bands, and... nada. Zip. From my own collection, I guess maybe King's X, and Zebra, but it's still a pretty poor showing.

    Ok, some Zappa/Mothers stuff ends up on lists of prog, but I really had it in my head that there was an actual "scene" here. Apparently not. Some notable Canadian bands though, I suppose, but really still only a few.

    Am I missing it? Is there something so non-American about prog that for me to even mistakenly think there could be such a thing as American prog constitutes the height of doofiness?
     
  2. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

  3. gassor

    gassor There may be more posts after this.

    America has produced such a rich diverse palette of musical genres that are based on the authentic experience of its people as reflected through Blues, Jazz and Country. Even when put through the blender of pop music development this palette can still produce sounds that are tied to feelings and experience.

    From Bessie Smith to Jay-Z the music conveys emotional understanding, prog rock does not.
     
  4. prowla

    prowla pfm Member

    Kansas - great!
    Dream Theater - brill.
    Alice Cooper - Have a listen to Killer.
    Toto.
    Poco?
    The Chillis can be prog.
    Vai, Satriani?
    Boston.
    Journey
    (Obviously the Canucks: Heart, Rush, and others.)
    Were Styx American?
     
  5. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Dream Theater are new to me - I'll check them out.

    On the subject of bands like Boston, Journey, and Styx (def. American - from Chicago, all except Tommy Shaw, an Alabama man), I never thought of them as prog. Always called 'em "Stadium Rock", for lack of a better term: more artsy than power-ballad "Butt Rock", but not analytical enough to be real prog. Vai and Satch have the analytical thing, but a dearth of unicorn-flavored magyck.

    And Heart - possibly, possibly, especially in their early Led Zeppelin wannabe days. Good one. They're an American band though, from Seattle.

    edit: visual evidence suggests Heart either really were prog, or they found some nice bargains at Yes' yard sale:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Agreed. But we also had bubblegum music, which was a me-too response to our own early R&B filtered back to our shores through the funhouse mirror of the British Invasion. I mean, I know we didn't invent prog, but I sort of thought there would have been a stronger American reaction than the few bands mentioned so far.

    Maybe you're right - maybe prog is so anti- to the blues/R&B tradition that it never had a chance of generating a serious scene here.
     
  7. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    I thought the likes of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were 'prog', but without the Roger Dean album covers.
     
  8. prowla

    prowla pfm Member

    I think the Wilsons were based in Seattle, but the band Heart started in Canada.

    (I also had some vinyl of a band called 1994 that were of a similar vein, but I've never found a CD or download).
     
  9. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I've got quite a few Dead and Jefferson Airplane albums and went to see them a few times.

    They definitely aren't prog.

    Alice Cooper wasn't prog: he's a bit of a genius.

    Nope, the English had the monopoly on crap muso bands with sparking capes, platform-soled boots, and unsightly facial hair.

    Lack of prog bands is one of the few decent things about America.

    Jack
     
  10. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Against that, they did corner the market in noodling jazz-rock.
     
  11. prowla

    prowla pfm Member

    I would say that Killer and Billion Dollar Babies are definitely prog. (They're also my two favourite Alice Cooper albums.)
     
  12. Pete the Feet

    Pete the Feet pfm Member

    A good point in my opinion now we are adults or trying to be.
     
  13. Caliente

    Caliente pfm Member

    Pavlov's Dog - who produced possibly the greatest prog recording of all time... must admit bit of a one off
     
  14. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Thanks, another new one for me. Some surfing has also turned up LA band Spock's Beard, who I've heard of but never heard.

    For the record, I love Alice Cooper's stuff, and adore every note Glen Buxton ever played.
     
  15. muzzer

    muzzer Numb Nut

    Heart are Canadian, saw them live, file under Stadium Rock, great singer but dull as dishwater
    I wouldn't class Kings X as Prog either, more like Heavy Rock.
     
  16. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    David Surkamp - the man that makes Geddy Lee sound like Paul Robeson :D
     
  17. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    The new generation of "Prog" tends to be led by the US such as The Flower Kings and Mars Volta.

    Poco were fairly tepid country rock....
     
  18. prowla

    prowla pfm Member

    Mountain.
    Are Foreigner American?
    Santana.

    The best current prog band are The Mars Volta, who are Mexican. Octahedron is probably their most immediately listenable album.

    Heading down into Latin America, Argentina had Vox Dei, and Uruguay had Psiglo (their album "Ideacion" is absolutely brilliant).

    I've got an album by a Canadian band called Space Needle, Roger Dean artwork, and an opening track that is imaginatively called "Where the f*cks my wallet?".

    Tool are definitely prog, with own album artwork and all that too.
     
  19. dan m

    dan m pfm Member

    The Decemberists album The Hazards of Love is pretty proggy.
     
  20. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Ok, hang on, point of order:

    I'm willing to concede that Heart (formed in Canada of American members) is a "Canadian" band. But the Mars Volta formed in the US, of mostly US (one Puerto Rican) members... Mexican? They are based in Mexico now, but heck, John Lennon was based in New York. Didn't make him American.

    Ok, back to our regularly scheduled prog.
     

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