Prog V3.0 Discussion Thread

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I get up, I get down....

MaresNest, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:15 (five years ago) link

What is the "v3.0" for?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:17 (five years ago) link

y

I kinda wanted to start a thread (almost certainly doomed) about Prog 3.0 and the monthly Prog magazine that comes out, to see if anybody else scours it to try and extract any good modern progressive/whatever bands. So far, for me, Regal Worm, Kitten Pyramid, Cranium Pie and a few others spring to mind.

I like a lot of Prog and I enjoy reading articles about Caravan and Stackridge, but so much of the new music they cover is poor, the cover mount CDs can be particularly hilarious with amazing sub standard bedroom demo artists.

― MaresNest, Friday, September 4, 2015 8:38 AM (5 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The announcement of the chart coincides with the annual Progressive Music Awards, at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London on Thursday night.
Among those being honoured is founder member of Genesis Tony Banks, who will receive the 2015 Prog God Award.
lol

― soref, Friday, September 4, 2015 9:55 AM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

last year's winner Peter Gabriel with his Prog God Award:

*PICTUR OF PETER GARBULE*

― soref, Friday, September 4, 2015 9:58 AM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The absurdity of this chart is to be expected given an overly broad definition and the list being based solely on sales figures.

FWIW I like the new Tim Bowness record well enough although not as much as his earlier recordings, either solo or with No-Man. Top prog for me so far this year include Echolyn's I Heard You Listening and Vespero's Fitful Slumber Until 5AM.

― doug watson, Friday, September 4, 2015 10:26 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

2016 Prog God Award - Steve Hackett
2017 Prog God Award - Mike Rutherford
2018 Prog God Award - Phil Collins
2019 Prog God Award - Anthony Phillips
2020 Prog God Award - Ray Wilson

― Fields of Fat Henry (Tom D.), Friday, September 4, 2015 10:29 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

2021 Prog God Award - Jonathan King

― sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, September 4, 2015 10:59 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I like a lot of Prog and I enjoy reading articles about Caravan and Stackridge, but so much of the new music they cover is poor, the cover mount CDs can be particularly hilarious with amazing sub standard bedroom demo artists.
How much do you have to pay to get a track onto those covermounts anyway? Most bedroom prog guys work in IT I think so they can afford it, however much it is.

― めんどくさかった (Matt #2), Friday, September 4, 2015 11:16 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

MaresNest i could get behind a prog 3.0 thread since this revival has been one of the more interesting musical developments over the past few years. you're totally right about how frustrating it is to sift through the new stuff since a lot of it sucks. (feel the same way about punk rock.) those low points (and there are a lot of them) are dreadful, and the high points are rarely noticed outside of place like progressiveears. it takes work to keep discovering good new stuff, and the mainstream press pretends that 'good new prog' doesn't exist, in favor of detailing every nuance of development in indie rock, metal, hip hop, and dance music, no matter how mediocre or fleeting. somehow unlike those other modes of creativity prog is defined by and dismissed because of its worst elements, or like there's a game of musical chairs going on, and prog can never have a seat at the table, or something. and then an album like the new IRON MAIDEN will come out and it's like come on people, there's something happening here!

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 4, 2015 11:33 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I haven't heard any proof that a prog-revival is any good but I haven't been listening. The folk-rock revival that went mainstream a few years ago was sooo bad. There are songs on the radio that I can't picture without the worst hamboning (imagine the shoryuken hand configuration and alternating leg blasts to a beat)

― The Once-ler, Friday, September 4, 2015 12:11 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Reading the magazine is kinda interesting as it simultaneously deals with the 70s stuff, the 80s revival and the more diffuse idea of what's going on now, which takes in a reasonable amount of genres from Freak Folk to Cinematic Goth Metal, what's certain is that it's hard to tell if there is any unified kind of revival or dialogue, or perhaps that's not the point and it's just the magazine's own dialogue that is imposed on a bunch of disparate bands.

― MaresNest, Friday, September 4, 2015 12:32 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It would be nice to have a breezy, here-check-out-this-band, youtube thread on Prog V3.0, however like punk-rock, there's the endless möbius loop of discussion about what *is* Prog? are they Prog? what does progressive music mean?

― MaresNest, Friday, September 4, 2015 12:41 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the all-over-the-placeness of 'Prog' is a feature for me, not a bug, as with 'MOJO' and 'The Wire'. but reading 'Prog' is nowhere near the same experience as 'MOJO', 'The Wire', or even 'Uncut' -- the quality of the writing (and editing) doesn't come close to comparing; it's almost more like a lost of press releases strung together . . . but at least someone's finally acknowledging that proggy stuff is being released, and that's there's a lot of good stuff that got overlooked in the past, and collating a lot of this information in one place

i'd be into that thread . . . there've been attempts in the past i'm too busy at the moment to pull up from the archives, but not a dedicated 'rolling prog 20xx' like with psych or tompkins square. i think that would be cool. prog is so stigmatized that acknowledging its existence in and of itself feels like work, so i could very well see that thread facing an early demise of attrition

i think the stigma clouding prog in part fuels the endless mobius loop of discussion of what it *is*. aficionados proceed from a defensive posture because for whatever reason it's one of the few underdog modes of expression it's okay to pile on. just putting together for the sake of discussion a loose canon of neo-prog -- RUINS, MARS VOLTA, MEW, STEVEN WILSON, SIGUR ROS, GUAPO, RADIOHEAD, MOTORPSYCHO, BATTLES, etc. -- is potentially a fraught exercise because even people inclined to listen to prog without prejudice might take offense that a band they feel vicariously cool listening to could be considered 'prog'

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:04 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Van Der Graf Generator did 9/11

― Hammer Smashed Bagels, Friday, September 4, 2015 1:05 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I think it's coming,
All signs are very near, all signs are that
Pain shall come
And change shall run
Down through my heart
And shake my knees
And now it is coming,
All around is the humming
Of the World.

Too late, with my balance gone,
Dead-eyed doll,
I'm falling, falling
Back to where I began...

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:08 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'd have a few alterations to that neo-prog canon tbh. Generally I despise canons, though, so maybe that is accurate

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:09 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Singer Steven Wilson crowned prog rock king

― anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:21 PM (55 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

So, based on this list (and especially based on that list of bestselling 21st Century prog albums)...is prog just whatever someone decides to call prog? Because I thought I knew but guess I have no idea what prog is.

― Fancy Fantasies (Old Lunch), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:39 PM (37 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i'm with you louis, hence the "loose" in the bad pun "loose canon"

steven wilson is a king of rock period, an ENO of the now, with his own stuff, producing OPETH, and remixing reissues of KING CRIMSON, YES, JETHRO TULL, and GENTLE GIANT. i wonder when he can get any sleep

seems like they're (whoever 'they' are) are trying to pry 'prog' away as a designation for just symphonic prog and classic prog rock -- yes, floyd, crimson, supertramp -- and stretch it to fit contemporary bands who are openly emulating those bands or at least owning up to the influence of symphonic prog and classic prog rock

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:43 PM (33 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'm going to have to post this again, aren't I?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-cKxcUt7X8

^^^this is prog, Old Lunch. This is prog.

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:43 PM (33 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

THAT is prog! dan britton is a genius (birds & buildings is a pretty great band of his, too). guys like this make awesome music and it just sits there, almost totally unnoticed and unheard; there's no frisson or cachet to discovery, like there is say in the psych underground . . . which i love with equal tragic ardor, hearing the two as very much related

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:53 PM (23 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

dan britton is definitely at the good-at-composing & forward-thinking end of the prog revival and i will boost him whenever i can. there's a lot of reactionary or unimaginative cheese (or, worse, instrument wank) in the neo-prog canon but if you know where to look there are also brilliant works and stuff that just wasn't being done a while back

but this is limiting ourselves just to prog qua prog - there's all sorts of progressive or modular songwriting going on across the board, whether metal, pop, avant-garde, indie, electronic or all of the above

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:57 PM (19 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes, that sounds like what I think of as prog. I think I just may have missed the memo that definition of prog had grown to encompass the likes of Air and Faith No More and Kate Bush.

― Fancy Fantasies (Old Lunch), Friday, September 4, 2015 1:58 PM (18 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It is kind of hilarious that Black Holes & Revelations is the 'bestselling prog album' of our time when it only has one vaguely prog song on it (tbf, more or less the greatest - and i use that term guardedly - thing that band ever did)

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:01 PM (15 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i've never thought of AIR or KATE BUSH as anything other than prog or 'proggish'. david gilmour discovered kate bush, she sings on peter gabriel's 'so', and she's released 40 minute songs!

and louis you are totally right. what i'm saying is the stigma clouding 'prog' limits apprehension and appreciation of the inter-genre modular songwriting going on. all these people coming out of the prog rock closet (so to speak) helps clear up reception, i think

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:03 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

never heard Deluge Grander before and am not overly impressed tbh. far from being "forward-thinking", it sounds like it could have been made at any time since the early '70s. that's why I love Wilson, because he's doing something fresh and exciting w/the prog genre. can't hear anything remotely innovative in that clip.

― anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:05 PM (11 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I just bought that Deluge Grander album this week along with the Birds And Buildings debut.

Where's Frogbs been? Is Algerian Goalkeeper totally gone?

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, September 4, 2015 2:08 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

is prog just whatever someone decides to call prog?

If ILM is anything to go by, yes.

― Fields of Fat Henry (Tom D.), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:09 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Deluge Grander is kind of subtly contemporary. It's like prime-era Canterbury-scene keyboard prog with a hefty dose of metal or indie songwriting. The innovation is in the songwriting rather than the sonics.

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:11 PM (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

And the outro is...well, if you get that far YOU'RE IN FOR A TREAT

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:12 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

But you wanted forward-thinking? You wanted postmodern? You wanted completely fucking demented?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE2ulYKK56U

You got what you asked for.

― Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, September 4, 2015 2:14 PM (2 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Prog V3.0 Discussion Thread

We can move over now if we like, can some kind soul cut and paste the last bits of discussion from here? (at work and my attention to the net is spotty)

― MaresNest, Friday, September 4, 2015 2:16 PM (8 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, 4 September 2015 14:18 (five years ago) link

What is the "v3.0" for?

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, September 4, 2015 2:17 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Friday, 4 September 2015 14:19 (five years ago) link

because idk ,Neo Prog was used in the Eighties and I can't think of a better term, it's the third act imho

MaresNest, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:21 (five years ago) link

what bands fall under prog 3.0? i remember listening to a bunch of neo-prog back in the late 90s/early 00s and it mostly sucked in retrospect, was that still part of 2.0? 2.5?

ciderpress, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:21 (five years ago) link

SYD ARTHUR is prog 3.0, no?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsuB4IXEJz8

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 4 September 2015 14:27 (five years ago) link

Certainly, it's just a thread title though, it doesn't have to be too stringent, it's more a way of saying that the stock is risen again, there's devoted press and which bands newish are in the (possibly) momentarily available spotlight.

MaresNest, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:33 (five years ago) link

dammit, which *newish* bands

MaresNest, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:34 (five years ago) link

there's always a bunch of prog on RYM top albums of current year chart but i don't know how much i trust that site's userbase at Prog Liking. its led me astray before

ciderpress, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:35 (five years ago) link

i think my tastes run to more Psychedelic stuff, but occasionally I'll hear an on-point progressive band that I like.

I really quite liked the Big Big Train record from a couple of years back, but I was totally amazed at the very blatant, wholesale lifting of certain very well known themes by Genesis and nobody in the press or on the net called it, which I thought was weird/interesting.

MaresNest, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:40 (five years ago) link

i enjoy that Mondo Drag record from this year, it's in just the right spot between psych and prog for my liking

ciderpress, Friday, 4 September 2015 14:43 (five years ago) link

ugh I'm sort of into this new Dear Hunter album

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Friday, 4 September 2015 16:16 (five years ago) link

been wanting to check that out

i'm way into the new NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS double

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 4 September 2015 16:21 (five years ago) link

Prog is a hard qualifier for me anymore. In the 70s, "progressive" started out vague, but came to mean the kind of stuff that Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc were doing. Once that happened, backlash started, because it was obvious "progressive" was a "style" and not a state of mind. If you label stuff "prog" now, it's like you're conceding the point, and just looking for stuff that conforms to some aspect of progressive rock from the 70s. And really, if I can say a record is "psych prog", the likelihood of me actually considering it a "progressive" piece of art is slim.

So what to even call prog 3.0 then? Is it just artful, technically-interesting rock? (or is "technically interesting" merely a backhanded compliment?)

Dominique, Friday, 4 September 2015 16:23 (five years ago) link

if it doesn't have acts it's not prog

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Friday, 4 September 2015 16:28 (five years ago) link

got it

Dominique, Friday, 4 September 2015 16:33 (five years ago) link

Prog doesn't have to be Progressive any more than IDM has to be Intelligent

MC Whistler (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 September 2015 16:44 (five years ago) link

conceding the point to whom?

"progressive" is a state of mind, though, just like "blues" and "dance" are. there's an impatience with impatience, a longing for expansiveness and discovery that's every bit as legit as wanting to shake your ass (and isn't necessarily mutually exclusive!) even while there's a respect of practice and technique, an appreciation that dumbing everything down isn't necessarily the best thing to do all the time, a longing to escape and overcome disadvantage, limitation, and doubt instead of making jokes about them or romanticizing them, and a concern about social justice that's no difference from the "punk" and "blues" states of mind

xpost

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 4 September 2015 16:45 (five years ago) link

Anyone else a fan of the Monks of Doom? It's essentially everyone from Camper Van Beethoven except David Lowery. They existed pretty much at the same time, and when CVB broke up Lowery claimed (and since retracted) that it was because everyone else was into prog and he was into country or something. Which you can certainly hear in the last two CVB records, that push and pull, and definitely in the Monks of Doom, who have some really cool playing in the vein of ... maybe Brit folk-psych-prog is a good comparison? Plus, they recorded the occasional long suite, like this one (based on an Edward Gorey story):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an8yaBELH84

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 4 September 2015 18:57 (five years ago) link

that's awesome, like a missing link between COMUS and USA IS A MONSTER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2wuQ-EaVCo

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 4 September 2015 19:05 (five years ago) link

there's an awful lot of love that's gotta make a little difference

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 4 September 2015 19:11 (five years ago) link

Prog doesn't have to be Progressive any more than IDM has to be Intelligent

disagree. This is why a "prog" chart isn't very helpful to me. I already know the Flaming Lips and Muse are popular -- what I'm after is rock music that sounds like it's trying to go places we haven't been before. I do believe this is actually what the original prog bands like Yes and King Crimson were trying to do (however close they may or may not have approached that ideal).

conceding the point to whom?

Conceding the point to people who view music through the narrow lens of "genre" and "style" -- admittedly, this is probably most people. It is *certainly* people who are trying make a lot of money from music like concert promoters and record labels. I don't concede this point.

"progressive" is a state of mind, though, just like "blues" and "dance" are.

I do agree with this, I just don't see it reflected a lot in music that gets labeled "prog". Most of the time I see that label, it's applied to new bands who sound like old ones (and are easily marketed to people who probably just want to hear the old stuff anyway). See also blues or punk for that matter. Who is the biggest "blues" artist of our generation? John Mayer. It's because he really stands for the state of mind that is the blues, right?

Dominique, Friday, 4 September 2015 20:42 (five years ago) link

good. don't ever concede that point. fuck them

i don't experience john mayer's music as touched by "blues". he's a white dude with cover model looks, unlike 99.9999% of the listening public. the biggest blues artist of our generation as far as i'm concerned is d'angelo

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:12 (five years ago) link

both definitions have their uses

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:14 (five years ago) link

progressive rock as neverending forward moving continuum vs a style that goes in and out of fashion and gets more codified and formalized with every revivial

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:17 (five years ago) link

john mayer did several straight up blues albums, didn't he?

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:20 (five years ago) link

and by blues i mean, the style of electric blues as propagated by t-bone walker, john lee hooker muddy waters blah blah blah

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:22 (five years ago) link

progressive rock as music made by people who love drugs and guitars and brains and jazz and symphonies and rock music vs a basic three chord style that goes in and out of fashion and gets more codified and formalized with every revival

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:33 (five years ago) link

what?

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 01:02 (five years ago) link

sorry, i meant "both definitions of progressive rock have their uses"

brimstead, Saturday, 5 September 2015 01:03 (five years ago) link

i can't keep up with most so-called "prog" these days because way too much of it sounds like fucking starcastle to me. when i was young i hated neo-prog but god at least with the digital keys they made some token attempt to sound contemporary. yes and genesis weren't even that good in the first place that their music bears infinite retreads. the less said about elp, the better.

there are a couple of oddball groups i liked ok. jack o' the clock's "how are we doing and who will tell us?" was an interesting record. sometimes there are some okay bands at the rio fests (and even at the frank zappa festivals they have in europe)- they're usually a little short on melody, but i do find groups like "ni" and "mirthkon" entertaining. or, let's see, bangladeafy, they're not bad. accordo dei contrari had a decent record with richard sinclair guesting a couple years back. i love alamaailman vasarat, but i haven't heard any of their stuff in years.

the big problem i have with a lot of this stuff is that it seldom has vocals, and when it does have vocals, they're often not very good (i'm looking at you, motorpsycho). i like instrumental music, but there's a thin line between this and jazz fusion, which it seems like cuneiform, which was my favorite label in my '90s proghead days, has gone over to almost exclusively. if you want to do this stuff, you have to be damn good, and most of the bands that dos instrumental music well people don't necessarily think of as prog. the new jaga jazzist record is supposedly "nu jazz", whatever the hell that means. secret chiefs 3's "perichoresis" is either "experimental rock" or "arabic jazz", depending on who you ask.

genre means less than it used to, and to the extent that it does mean something, any remotely talented 21st century band is going to avoid being called "prog" like the plague, which it basically is.

rushomancy, Saturday, 5 September 2015 09:34 (five years ago) link

both you and dominique are right, basically - people like dan britton are the exceptions when it comes to those making self-conscious prog in that their music is sometimes really exciting

& yet

there is an absolute cataract of music i would call 'progressive' or 'modular' or 'unconventionally structured' or 'symphonic' that either avoids the label or combines it with a less damaging signifier (avant-garde, metal, indie, folk etc) and which essentially comprises my entire music taste

i would be very happy to assist you all in a tour of this music. somehow i suspect this thread is more for the stuff that rubber-stamps the four-letter word across its caped back. or the six-letter word now that it's ye olde, reactionary 70's-worship as well as daring plunge into the future

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Saturday, 5 September 2015 09:56 (five years ago) link

that's the thing, sometimes i feel like my music tastes haven't actually changed at all since my '90s prog-head days. the stuff i listened to used to be called "prog" and now it is called "symphonic black metal" or "nu jazz" or "chamber folk" or "abstract hip-hop" or "microhouse" or one of a thousand different things, but honestly, who the hell do the people who come up with these names think they're fooling? it ain't me.

rushomancy, Saturday, 5 September 2015 13:06 (five years ago) link

yes and genesis weren't even that good in the first place that their music bears infinite retreads.

wouldn't say the same about genesis but yes at their peak are as good as it gets, and their influence is every bit as grade-a as the beatles, stones, who, velvets, and zeppelin imo

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 5 September 2015 13:34 (five years ago) link

Yes are definitely up with my all-time greats. Wish there was more Art Zoyd fans.

Dominique: disagree. This is why a "prog" chart isn't very helpful to me. I already know the Flaming Lips and Muse are popular -- what I'm after is rock music that sounds like it's trying to go places we haven't been before. I do believe this is actually what the original prog bands like Yes and King Crimson were trying to do (however close they may or may not have approached that ideal).


But isn't this ambition and innovation something that all music should ideally do? That's why I don't think "progressive" or "punk" as creative ethics are very useful when talking about categories/groupings of bands, as those ethics can be applied to most forms of creativity and some people always have.

When I hear music that sounds redundant to me, I just tend to imagine the band hasn't heard enough music to realise what they are doing has been done better many times over. But that isn't really their fault and if they don't have the access or knowledge of all that music; and even if they did know, if they're having a great time there's maybe no good enough incentive to stop.

I haven't heard everything (or even that much at all) that the early prog bands were into but I'm very sceptical when people say "(x) classical composers and (x) jazz gods done all this before". Such evaluations seem very reductive. I doubt listening to all those influences is going to get me something that makes Tormato redundant (fooking love that album).

I tend to look for prog because I like the symphonic structures, complexity, bonkers sounds, lots of odd mixtures/contrasting elements and often imaginative themes that other rock genres are less likely to use. There's a lot you can do with all that. And some of the stuff that isn't particularly ambitious or innovative is just beautifully done. Who can say that everything they like is innovative and brilliant?

Rushomancy: avoid being called "prog" like the plague, which it basically is

Don't know what you mean by this. Most of the bad/mediocre prog music for the core audience doesn't really have any larger impact, it just stays in obscurity.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 13:36 (five years ago) link

You guys should check out the Doors

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 5 September 2015 13:40 (five years ago) link

Haha!

The early Emperor and Immortal albums definitely hit my prog buttons as hard as anything. Oddly enough Ihsahn said a few years ago he was trying to learn about prog but I thought they were always doing it well enough.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 13:43 (five years ago) link

"But isn't this ambition and innovation something that all music should ideally do?"

no. i think the fewer bands that have the "ambition" or "innovation" found in bands like the flaming lips and muse, the better.

here's the crux of the problem: at some point, on some level, chart music is going to be about appealing to the lowest common denominator. that's not a criticism of the charts, but "prog" music is, in theory, about the opposite of that (even if we know in practice it is more often, like any other hidebound genre, like hitting all the right cultural signifiers to appeal to a certain subgroup- here's a mellotron patch, here's a section in 7/8, etc., etc.)

that's not to say music has to be original to be good- i do really like anglagard, who on their first album lifted entire passages from schicke fuhrs frohling- or that i insist on music being original- i don't. merely that far too much of the music which proclaims itself to be "prog" these days is neither original _nor_ good.

best case scenario starting a "prog" chart is about as meaningful as when the grammys started awarding a "jazz fusion" grammy in something like 1980. as i recall, they wound up giving pat metheny a dozen grammys or so over the next decade and then quietly packing up shop.

robert: what i mean is that if you make good music, and it is stylistically "prog", you will do anything possible to avoid being labelled that, because the wider cultural assumption, which i'm starting to think is well-earned with moves like "prog" magazine, the "prog" hall of fame, etc., is that "prog" is a bad form of music. it's sort of the confederate flag of music genres.

rushomancy, Saturday, 5 September 2015 18:21 (five years ago) link

I wasn't referring to the bands in the chart but I agree with the problem of a chart, I just think the "progressive" ethic is a universal thing that can be applied to any creative medium. It's doubtful there's ever going to be the kind of constant flow of good prog like there is with something like metal (although I don't know what state the metal charts are in). Although there's a handful of Flaming Lips tracks I really enjoy.

it's sort of the confederate flag of music genres.

Hardly seems like that anymore. I would have agreed back when "shoegazing" began to stop being a dirty word but the only time I see the stigma is older fans who're still overly defensive about past abuse. Maybe it's one of the genres that gets overly associated by it's worst examples but it's a damn long way from nearly being as disrespected as nu-metal or 00s emo, I'd say even goth still has more stigma. Aside from the odd jokey sneer popping in threads probably mostly by people whose music taste was formed from the late 70s to the late 90s but younger music fans don't care about those prejudices. A lot of the newer fans seem to have come through metal, of course it's always been in metal and they're far less likely to give a shit about being uncool than indie fans.

I understand why some modern ambitious bands wouldn't want to be pigeonholed like that for the reasons they wouldn't want to be stuck with any rock music subgenre tag. Bands like Battles, Mew and Field Music (dunno if you care about these bands but they are fairly successful but not through the core audience to the extent of Steve Wilson) don't seem to mind being stuck with it as long as it doesn't dominate peoples expectations for them (Wilson even said just as much). Newer high quality Rock In Opposition type bands aren't going to resist because that's probably where their fanbase will come from in the first place.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 19:34 (five years ago) link

this constant refrain of 'of course everyone agrees 'prog' sucks' is wrong and really really stale. 'shoegaze' is a great comparison. there was a time when people considered slowdive a joke which is about as wrong as wrong can be. lots and lots of people 'get into' music in part because they are seeking shelter from the wages of being social underdogs or outcasts. the silver lining of critics turning against prog in the mid-70s and keeping that prejudice up 40 years later still is prog has become a sort of 'refuge genre' (one among many) that people can take comfort in

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 5 September 2015 19:52 (five years ago) link

For me the benefit that Yes (apart from one hit) and a few other big bands were a totally fresh experience for me. It felt like this big blast of energy came out of nowhere or an alternate reality where they a big band. Even though the bands were and still are famous it was near enough like exploring Projekt goth music that you never see in physical shops.
Ideally I'd like this music to be very famous for the quality but never played in adverts and only relatively scant radio play. I know there are bands like that but I'm blanking on them.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 20:27 (five years ago) link

I've got mixed feelings about that Prog magazine. I find Malcolm Dome's tireless enthusiasm kind of fascinating. I like that they give long overdue coverage to lots of great bands and talk about reissues of more obscure 70s bands.
But magazine cover/lead feature conservatism that plagues Mojo and Uncut is there (though not as bad as the same 10 or 15 genuine stadium filling megastars over and over again). The newer bands they tend to focus on are just too weak most of the time (and most of them just sound more like overly shiny classic rock revivalists rather than retro-proggers) when they could easily use more space on Ruins, Mew and Battles, who they have covered but it doesn't make sense that they didn't give them even more coverage. The magazine is so damn expensive too but I'm kind of tempted to get the new one now.

The best song by new band I ever heard on those cds was Fierce And The Dead with "On Vhs"
http://thefierceandthedead.bandcamp.com/album/on-vhs

I quite liked "Shadow" by Touchstone, kinda poppy gothy power metal. I don't expect many of you would be into it but I thought it was fun.

But hands down the best thing I heard was The Enid, a 70s band but a new song. Amazing.

But anyway, new bands Anyone?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 21:20 (five years ago) link

Also, I'm not sure what can realistically be expected from those magazine compilations, dunno if it's a complicated thing to secure rights to good music on a regular basis.
Terrorizer is a really good magazine but the few cds I heard from them were mostly average c-list extreme metal.
I listened to all the Mojo, Uncut and Word compilations for a few years and most of the good music was by firmly established bands or already very successful new bands. All the newbies seemed to be Dylan and Springsteen wannabes.
This was one of the compilations!
https://rateyourmusic.com/release/comp/various_artists_f2/uncut_presents__fill_your_head_with_prog___11_mind_bending_classics/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2015 21:47 (five years ago) link

Just been listening to a few tracks by José Luis Fernández Ledesma Q from Mexico. He's been in a few bands starting in 1995 with Niagra Vallis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiO0_kyuDZY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPgSv3VbGJI

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 6 September 2015 12:54 (five years ago) link

As Brian Eno once suggested, the concept of “pretension” is just a hangover from the British class system, with its deep suspicion of anyone attempting to rise above their station. “I’m very happy to have added my little offering to the glowing mountain of things described as pretentious,” Eno wrote. “I’m happy to have made claims on things that I didn’t have any ‘right’ to, and I’m happy to have tried being someone else to see what it felt like.”

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/days-between-wheelhouses-growing-and-getting-f%E2%80%8B-%E2%80%8B-%E2%80%8B-ed-up-in-public-with-miley-cyrus-and-her-dead-petz/

sing it miley

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 6 September 2015 15:54 (five years ago) link

MaresNest i could get behind a prog 3.0 thread since this revival has been one of the more interesting musical developments over the past few years. you're totally right about how frustrating it is to sift through the new stuff since a lot of it sucks. (feel the same way about punk rock.) those low points (and there are a lot of them) are dreadful, and the high points are rarely noticed outside of place like progressiveears.

This is really OTM, it's sad that a band like Birds & Buildings gets so little press anywhere else even though they've gotten great reviews across the board. There are so many bands started by dudes who just grew up loving prog and decided to start a band themselves even if they didn't really know how to write or play. Hell some of these bands even wind up being really good after a couple of albums. But Britton feels like a natural talent, both in writing and in playing, he's the sort of guy I worry is just gonna hang it up some day because he struggles to sell 100 copies of an album he worked a thousand hours on.

frogbs, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 04:00 (five years ago) link

Also I have to point out that I don't see a problem with bands that sound retro or are overly influenced by Yes or Genesis or Rush, as long as they can do it right. So many bands take the genre really seriously and make music that's so long winded and un-fun *cough cough...looking at you Flower Kings* - that's why I don't have an issue with Glass Hammer even though they lift a ton from their influences, their music can really be a blast and you can tell they really have fun making it. Or take this song by a band called Druckfarben that I've previously posted in a Yes thread - I don't care that it so clearly apes Steve Howe's style, it just rules and that's all it really needs to do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBgEmgWzLf8

frogbs, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 04:11 (five years ago) link

damn there are some hot licks there! thanks for posting that

i've been coming around to flower kings, after having a really bad reaction to discovering them immediately post-college, when i was an overt corny indie fuck but secretly, unbeknownst to friends, searching for bands who sounds like YES. part of listening to prog is coping with an imaginary tribunal of robert christgau, lester bangs, and sundry other smug types making fun of you. overcoming that emotional handicap in part involved appreciating glass hammer (especially 'chronometree') which melted away my neurotic misgivings enough to allow time for other old school* revivalists, not just flower kings, but that other 'shameless' roine stolt band, transatlantic, along with wobbler, astra, diagonal, and anglagard

*why is 'old school' "good" in country, hip hop, punk, and jazz, but "bad" in prog? why is prog so often judged by double standards? are people really so shallow they don't realize they're doing it, or is there some weird pleasure (status marker) in sticking it to the prognostic?

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 8 September 2015 13:20 (five years ago) link

I think "old school" prog is accepted in context, as a product of its time. But I find that contemporary (or at least post-heyday) prog tends toward the cheesy, or often does. Possibly because the focus on musicianship so often manifests itself in solos and long songs, both of which are pretty much out of favor or at least a matter of taste, especially if said solos are silly. I suppose that's why I've always glommed on to the slower, post-Talk Talk sort of indie prog. The arrangements and songs are really interesting, but the temps tend to damper show-offery. I'm thinking of bands like These New Puritans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftvICVWLBKY

Otherwise, the punk/metal side of prog remains pretty compelling, whether Tool or Opeth or other technical stuff, maybe because it's got a discordant edge that I think a lot of prog (flights of fancy and all) can lack. Like that nutzo band Shining, which clearly (see below) leans prog but otherwise doesn't sound indebted to the '70s stuff at all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0j4WkoDrtg

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 13:50 (five years ago) link

frogbs, care to recommend a destined solitaire jam?

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 15 October 2018 23:45 (two years ago) link

title track is pretty good. here's a live version - its great if you can get past the fact that they look and sound like Jack Black fronting a prog band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ-KYaBQGRY

frogbs, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 14:30 (two years ago) link

A good quarter of Tenacious D is kind of prog tbf

imago, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:42 (two years ago) link

THE ASTEROID HAS LANDED

https://thumpermonkey.bandcamp.com/album/make-me-young-etc

The title-track is one of the most breathtaking prog compositions of the century so far in my extremely cool opinion

imago, Friday, 26 October 2018 15:33 (two years ago) link

Oh I said that already. That must mean it's super-true

imago, Friday, 26 October 2018 15:39 (two years ago) link

is the title-track as good as "woadscrivened"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4goBiAGYyQ

thanks frogbs for that beardfish. super-dope. could care less what "good" musicians look like tbqh!

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 26 October 2018 16:42 (two years ago) link

Woadscrivened was a stunner but this is even more ambitious imo

imago, Friday, 26 October 2018 17:01 (two years ago) link

xp well most of their albums have at least one "Tenacious D gone prog" track so I was pretty amused to see the singer did actually resemble him

frogbs, Friday, 26 October 2018 17:11 (two years ago) link

thank you for recommending this because otherwise there is no way in hell i would listen to bands with names like "beardfish" or "thumpermonkey"

dub pilates (rushomancy), Saturday, 27 October 2018 00:00 (two years ago) link

Can I tell u about the Flower Kings

frogbs, Saturday, 27 October 2018 00:07 (two years ago) link

no

dub pilates (rushomancy), Saturday, 27 October 2018 00:48 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I don't know much about them but I am digging these guys a great deal at the moment -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEzWPMflmdw

MaresNest, Thursday, 22 November 2018 15:52 (one year ago) link

this is so good

https://www.orgaan.ch/storkk/

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 24 November 2018 13:58 (one year ago) link

there's a new anglagard side project out, "all traps on earth". this one has more of a zeuhl flavor. but what i love about it is that that they're _still_ copping riffs from schicke fuhrs frohling in 2018. i don't hold it against them at all, there's obviously way more to anglagard than "pictures" imitation, but it made me laugh so hard.

dub pilates (rushomancy), Thursday, 6 December 2018 02:34 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Kinda scratchy, angry stuff, hard to pin down really, but dead good - https://themmooserush.bandcamp.com/

MaresNest, Monday, 14 January 2019 23:00 (one year ago) link

Deluge Grander - Oceanarium

Very nice, very well sustained for a near 80 minute album. One of those rare albums that has pauses between tracks but feels very much like one large composition. Sleeve notes say that the ideas are used in the previous album and forthcoming album (guessed release date was 2018).

The way the fifth track repeats the main part of track four is gorgeous.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 25 January 2019 18:36 (one year ago) link

it's probably the densest prog album I've ever heard - I can't really wrap my head around it. there are a LOT of callbacks to Heliotians (the 2014 album).

frogbs, Friday, 25 January 2019 18:48 (one year ago) link

Oi, you two had best get on this as well https://lostcrowns.bandcamp.com

imago, Friday, 25 January 2019 18:50 (one year ago) link

lol within the first 30 seconds I could pretty much guess who was in that band

frogbs, Friday, 25 January 2019 18:54 (one year ago) link

Some more gritty stuff - https://slunq.bandcamp.com/

MaresNest, Friday, 25 January 2019 18:59 (one year ago) link

these look incredibly cool but lol @ those prices

https://www.hionerecords.com/product/wood-box-set-birds-and-buildings-bantam-to-behemoth/

https://www.hionerecords.com/product/wood-box-set-deluge-grander-august-in-the-urals/

I did wind up getting one of those limited edition Heliotains LPs with hand-painted cover art and lyrics - it's a really cool item, a lot of people who've come over to my house have asked me about it

frogbs, Thursday, 7 February 2019 22:53 (one year ago) link

I'm a bit miffed you have to buy the expensive Heliotians LP to get the CD.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 9 February 2019 11:37 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

good news, both Wobbler and Echolyn appear to be in the studio again

frogbs, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:59 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Supersister - Retsis Repus

Features the two surviving Supersisters, all the main Nits, Freek De Jonge and more.

"I Am You Are Me / Transmitter" and "For You And For Nobody Else" are my favorite tracks because they do what I consider the band's fast signature sound. There's some deliberately retro fuzzy guitar sounds here and there but for the most part, it doesn't sound like they're trying too hard to recreate the old band. "Hope To See You There Again" is unlike anything from their 70s music, one of the melancholy tracks that I imagine are reflecting on the death of two Supersisters.

It's a nice album. As much as I love the band, I never felt any of their original 5 albums were slammers (usually a few songs were slamming good), so it doesn't have to be more than nice but I would have liked a bit more from it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 30 August 2019 15:29 (one year ago) link

A few songs per album were slamming good, I should have said.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 30 August 2019 15:31 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

No idea if there's been a discussion of The Tea Club before, but I am enjoying these guys, it's squiggly in a good way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQRfyEs1D0

Maresn3st, Saturday, 2 November 2019 20:01 (eleven months ago) link

six months pass...

enjoying Deluge Grander - Heliotians

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 24 May 2020 00:28 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Now loving Heliotians. Great stuff.

I know this is 90s stuff (which seems like a strange era for prog, with trends less easy to distinguish? Or much sense of them being part of one larger thing?) but I have to once again praise Cairo's track "Angels And Rage" again, it makes me feel like I'm darting, spinning and whirling at great speed in a gigantic tall maze made by Robert Venosa. Love it so much.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 13 June 2020 23:12 (four months ago) link

I talked about Marge Litch on the power metal thread but now I think they'd be more appropriate here maybe. They've got quite an even mixture of power metal, prog metal (but not dark or remotely brutal), opera, neo-classical and sometimes the synths sound like 90s JRPG music. My initial reaction was that it mostly sounded like power metal but on english websites they seem to be mostly going over well with general prog fans.

Fantasien 1998 is the only thing that's easy to get a hold of outside japan, sadly. It's a remake of their first album (from 1991) and at least one reviewer says that on the earlier version they weren't able to pull it off nearly this well.

It sounds to me like a fast futuristic, big science fiction adventure with occasional visits to stately fairy tale gardens and opera singing demons visiting once or twice. Junko's spotlighted vocal moments are gorgeous, particularly the sweet vocals on "Dealing With The Witch".

Only weaknesses are that the last two tracks aren't on the same level as everything before and that the John Howe cover art was used without permission (I saw him complaining about it on his blog).

This was their last album but they continued on with some different members as a live act and other members formed Alhambra and joined Galneryus (who seem to be really popular). I'll be buying Alhambra albums soon and keep an eye out for rare Marge Litch albums. I totally love this album and wish I could have gotten much more mileage out of it. Terrific fun and brought me close to crying a few times.

Look at them here! Who dressed that guy at the front?
https://www.last.fm/music/Marge+Litch/+images/2f8b8638d60b451688c334b757f9ba47

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 20:17 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

I'm loving Frost's Falling Satellites (which came out in 2016), I waited far too long for this. I've probably said it a few times but a lot of the surface aspects would normally be turnoffs but I love them.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 4 September 2020 23:23 (one month ago) link

they're great!! the new EP (called Others) is really nice as well and has a few neat "how is this the same band" moments

frogbs, Saturday, 5 September 2020 03:26 (one month ago) link

if you don't have Milliontown you'll want to pick that up too. I dig Experiments in Mass Appeal too though its kinda like, I dunno, a good take on Linkin Park?

frogbs, Saturday, 5 September 2020 03:28 (one month ago) link

I have Milliontown and Experiments in Mass Appeal. The track "Milliontown" is one of my favorite songs ever, wonder if they'll ever top it?

Never knew about the EP, I'm sad there's no CD version.

I've never checked out the related bands but I did hear Lonely Robot in shops once and it had lots of nice familiar sounds.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2020 05:38 (one month ago) link

I learned about them because Chris Squire bigged up Frost as a particularly good modern prog band and initially I was mortified by how poppy it sounded (this is over a decade ago) but it won me over shortly.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 September 2020 05:40 (one month ago) link

the pop elements are really why I love 'em, I'm kinda surprised that there aren't a bunch of other bands going for that sound

frogbs, Sunday, 6 September 2020 04:28 (one month ago) link

I also felt that way about Porcupine Tree, Opeth and other modern prog bands to start with, I thought they sung like boybands and my first Todd Rundgren album might have been Liar and that is super poppy in many ways.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 6 September 2020 04:43 (one month ago) link

new WOBBLER album may be all that

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOQp9gCfQA&feature=emb_logo

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 18:03 (one month ago) link

Deluge Grander - Heliotians

This seems a short album for the band but I ended up liking it just as much as the others. Only 3 tracks and "Saruned" is probably my favorite, so rousing. I love their style, like they are doing a soothing series of documentaries about the history of the universe.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 18 September 2020 17:14 (one month ago) link

yea its pretty good, took a lot of spins to really get into it though

Oceanarium is still kind of impenetrable to me, there's just...so much of it

wonder what they're up to now. that 7-album pyramid thing gonna be finished in 2035 at this rate

frogbs, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:06 (one month ago) link

What is that?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:08 (one month ago) link

i know frogbs disagrees by 1 track and i do keep saying this but they are the best example in all of music of a band who will never, ever, ever beat album 1 track 1. i mean king crimson were heading that way and then they knocked out 'starless'. do DG have a 'starless'?

imago, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:17 (one month ago) link

apparently they were gonna do a series of 7 albums, 4 "base" albums (in which Heliotians was one) which would be reworked into two albums which were combinations of two of them (Oceanarium uses some music from Heliotians plus one yet to be released), then one "mega" album that combines elements of all them

he used to have an explainer on the Emkog site but it's gone now. I wonder if it's still in the works or if he got bored of the idea

frogbs, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:18 (one month ago) link

What is that?

their sorta shot at a Magma-/Gong-like multi-album epic theme

The first thing was to come up with 7 album names that would each sound good on their own, and for which the titles could be combined in ways that also sound good and reflect the design of the seven album pyramid. I thought about this on and off for about a year before finally coming up with “Heliotians”, “Lunarians”, “Creek”, “Din”, the combination titles “Oceanarium” and “Cretin” (though maybe I should use “Creaked In”), and the title for the top of the pyramid “Creationarium.” The concept for “Heliotians” is the theory that the Earth is a hollow shell, with a small sun floating in the middle, and lands, oceans, and people living on the other side of the crust. This is actually a real theory, but it’s almost certainly not true. “Ulterior” is sort of about people digging their way to the other side, “Reverse Solarity” is about people flying in through holes in the north Pole, and “Saruned” is more about the concept in general. The seven albums aren’t intended to have any lyrical themes in common. Actually I haven’t put much thought into singing on the next two albums to be released, even though musically, they’re well underway.

http://www.arlequins.it/pagine/articoli/corpointerviste.asp?chi=317

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 18 September 2020 18:24 (one month ago) link

review of the upcoming Wobbler!

https://www.velvetthunder.co.uk/wobbler-dwellers-of-the-deep-karisma/

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 18 September 2020 18:25 (one month ago) link

very much looking forward to that one, From Silence to Somewhere really does feel like a great lost prog LP that would've slotted right in with the best of Yes

frogbs, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:31 (one month ago) link

Thanks for all that about the concept and Heliotians explanation.

I never much liked "21st Century Schizoid Man" to be honest.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:35 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

In a track for track sense, Falling Satellites is definitely Frost's best album. "Tower Block" is just so amazing. Fantastic album, deserved a much bigger audience.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 19:39 (three weeks ago) link

was fun to read discussion of that on the Proggressive Ears forum which is primarily made up of old men..."wait is this what dubstep is?"

the final suite is pretty nuts, really love the gnarly metal riffs they come up with

frogbs, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 20:01 (three weeks ago) link

Just found out that tracks 12 and 13 are bonus tracks, makes sense. The vinyl has an extra instrumental.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 October 2020 21:01 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05AFHeSk5N0

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 17 October 2020 20:50 (one week ago) link


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