Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 164: Last Seen…Listening to Prog Rock

Surreal clouds - Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 164: Last Seen…Listening to Prog RockCombine the elitism of the staunchest fan of classical music with desperation and a Hammond keyboard or synthesizer and what do you get?

Progressive rock!

Ah, prog rock, you wacky thing. The musical equivalent of an awkward night of Dungeons and Dragons with a table full of mouth-breathing cretins; the music of "nice guys" and straight up assholes who thought the best way to win over the opposite sex was by telling them how wrong they were in their musical choices -- and to prove it, put on Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans or Relayer (or worse for the unsuspecting woman: both albums back to back!).

We are not beyond seeing the weakness and ridiculousness in the things we held [or still hold] dear to us. But come on...entire albums dedicated to a concept was going to win over only a handful of people, regardless of gender. But for those of us who "got it" new worlds opened to us. Prog rock -- largely -- was the realm of desperate men who thought, "If I can't beat the crap out of the jocks, I can at least show off how intellectually superior I am to EVERYONE by my choices in music." (Or maybe you just liked the music -- it's possible.)

If it sounds like we're going to dedicate the next hour to slamming on prog rock and its fans, you're wrong. Cut us, and we bleed musical synthesizer backing layers in weird time signatures, wrapped in fantasy lyrics (and so much more).

We will defend how hokey what we love was [IS!!!] until our last breath.

Yes (<--- see what we did there?)...this is our tribute to the very music that kept us alive through our teen years and into adulthood (and hell, a blood that still flows through us today): prog rock!

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We kick off this episode Living in the Past, when we talk about the very first bit of prog rock we remember listening to. Then we move on to how we define prog rock...and even show our hand and reveal whether or not we find prog rock just a bit hokey or not (and why).

MUTHAFUCKIN' SYNTHESIZERS, Y'ALL!!!

Can prog rock exist without synthesizers? Or, at the very least, we discuss just how important synthesizers are to progressive rock. Closely on the heels of the synthesizer is the concept album in its importance. We discuss not just the appeal of the concept album, but share what we feel is the ultimate concept album. (We match up on this one!)

Prog rock existed in a very tight time in popular culture -- and we'd be remiss to not address the link between prog rock and the many other things that came to light during that time. So we devote time to that.

And while we define what we feel makes up prog rock, there are bands that many don't put on their lists of progressive rock bands. We chat about those bands before coming out and telling you all what are our favorite progressive rock bands.

Face it: prog rock is trippy. We talk about the importance of drug use on the music, and then jump to whether progressive rock is largely the domain of guys -- or if it crosses genders. (But come on...largely, at least, it's a sausage fest!)

In the homestretch we discuss what we deem the ultimate prog rock album -- and wrap it all up with the influence of prog rock on modern music...and even music in the future. (Because we must have waited our whole lives for this moment (X6!).)

Feel free to share your favorite prog rock moments, bands, or anything else in the comments (because if you like prog rock, we know there are few things in life more important than establishing who you are by the bands you still love...and should you feel that's a poke at you, prog rocker-man (face it: odds are, you probably have a penis -- with an exception or two of female regulars to the show!), the person writing this is listening the Jethro Tull's "Jack in the Green" while typing this...and while [Christopher] will admit that there is a bigtime hokey factor on Songs from the Wood, he will stab you in the eye with a holly branch as he draws his last breath in defense that the album is one of the best homage's to nature ever written..)

So yeah, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder...and let your hair blow in the breeze!

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One more thing: in the episode, we tease a fellow podcaster named Mitch Todd about a prog rock tune he was once part of. We say "tease," but if you replace "tease" with "secretly admire," it's probably more accurate. So we give you the best thing to EVER come out of the God-forsaken state, Oklahoma: Zyrian doing "Winds of BAAG." (Down to the featured Wendy's cup, everything about this is GLORIOUS!!!)

And if you want to hear an interview with Shawn on Mitch's podcast, go here.

And to hear Christopher and Mitch come up with a monster on the fly, go here.

Direct download: migs164.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:51pm EDT

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