The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Monday, August 22, 2005


From this moment forward: Tablescraps is now discontinued. Instead, the PP Guru has decided to replace it with this sub-column. Because it's all about the PP Guru. Plus - now that it's getting close to the new TV Fall Season - The PP Guru wants to go down on the lot to spy and stalk movie stars who are starring in new shows and new flicks such as Invasion, Related, or Poseidon with no holds barred.

But first a non profit paid PSA courtesy of Dr. Progger:

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Yes performing in 1977. - as your GURU hasn't learnt Tripod images don't travel well.

Wikipedia: Progressive rock

Progressive rock (shortened to prog, or prog rock when differentiating from other "progressive" genres) is an ambitious, eclectic, and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960s, reached the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s, and continues as a musical form to this day. Progressive rock began in England and remained largely a EuropeanAmerican and Canadian progressive rock bands. This music style draws many influences from classical music and jazz fusion, in contrast to American rock, which was more influenced by rhythm & blues and country. Over the years various sub-genres of progressive rock have emerged, such as symphonic rock, art rock, math rock and progressive metal. movement, although there are a few notable

Progressive rock artists sought to move away from the limitations of popular rock and pop music formats, and "progress" rock to the point that it could achieve new forms, often but not always alluding to the sophistication of jazz or classical music. It is complexity, not the virtuosity of the musicians, which most distinguishes progressive rock: mainstream rock has some extremely talented musicians who work solely in simple meters and harmonies.

Progressive rock is difficult to define in a single conclusive way, and outspoken King CrimsonRobert Fripp has voiced his disdain for the term. The major acts that defined the genre in the 1970s (Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Rush and King Crimson) do not sound especially alike - indeed, some, including some of the bands themselves, would deny that some of these are progressive rock bands. (This article shall assume that they are, or at least, that they were in the 1970s.) There is also debate on whether the musical output of artists and bands as varied as Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Phish, Radiohead, and Tool belongs to the genre. leader

Characteristics of progressive rock

Some common, though not universal, elements of progressive rock include:

  • Long compositions, sometimes running over 20 minutes, with intricate melodies and harmonies. These are often described as epics and are the genre's clearest nod to classical music. A very early example (perhaps the first multi-part suite to appear in prog rock) is "In Held Twas In I" by Procol Harum, clocking in at 17:30. Other famous examples include Rush's 20-minute "2112," Pink Floyd's 23-minute "Echoes," and Jethro Tull's 43-minute "Thick as a Brick". More recent extreme examples are the 60-minute "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" by Green Carnation, the 42-minute "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" by Dream Theater, and the 40-minute "Crimson" and 43-minute "Crimson II" by the progressive death metal band Edge of Sanity.
  • Related to and overlapping with these lengthy compositions, many progressive rock songs are made up of shorter parts (often, but not always, explicitly called out on the track list of the album on which they appear) that in some cases could be songs in their own right. Often, pieces are divided into movements in the manner of classical suites. For example, Yes' "Close to the Edge" is divided into four parts, Rush's "Hemispheres" into seven, Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" into nine. Yes' single "Soon" is actually a five-minute excerpt from "The Gates of Delirium," which is over 20 minutes long; similarly, parts of Jethro Tull's aforementioned Thick as a Brick have appeared as songs in their own right on various compilations.
  • Lyrics that convey intricate and sometimes impenetrable narratives, covering such themes as science fiction, fantasy, history, religion, war, and madness. Progressive rock songs are rarely about love or sex and practically never about other staple subjects of popular music, such as dancing or cars. Most progressive rock bands have also avoided direct political commentary, preferring to couch their views in fictional or allegorical settings — for example, Genesis' album Selling England by the Pound is tied together by a theme of commercialism versus naturalism, while Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery gradually progresses from nature to technology to illustrate the dangers of man being replaced by machine. The bands of the Rock in Opposition movement, often regarded as progressive rock acts, are a notable exception, as their work often featured very direct political commentary.
  • Prominent use of instruments unusual in rock music, including electronic instrumentation. Perhaps the most famous example is the extensive use of the flute by Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson. Keyboard instruments including the synthesizer, organ, piano, and Mellotron are very common in progressive rock, much less so (though by no means unheard-of) in other rock genres. Other examples include the use of nonwestern instruments, particularly ethnic percussion. Progressive rock bands have also experimented with technology such as waveform manipulation and editing with personal computer software, as well as utilizing hardware-based technology like wave sequencing and VariPhrase, as found on legendary Korg and Roland instruments, respectively.
    • Perhaps surprisingly, in the progressive heyday, the use of outright orchestras and choirs was quite rare among the most well-known progressive rock bands; the most famous examples from the late 60s and early 70s are probably the title suite from Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother and Yes' second album Time and a Word, both of which predate those bands' most successful, and arguably most progressive, period. More usually, the aforementioned Mellotron was used to simulate strings or a choir. Less well-known bands such as Renaissance did make extensive use of an actual orchestra. Such instrumental choices, particularly the use of orchestras, have become much more common in recent progressive rock.
  • Use of unusual time signatures, scales, or tunings. Many pieces use multiple time signatures and/or tempi, sometimes concurrently (King Crimson's "Thela Hun Ginjeet", for example, contains passages in which some band members play in 7/8 and others in 4/4 to create an "off-balance" effect).
  • Solo passages for virtually every instrument. This contributed to the fame of such performers as guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Neil Peart.
  • A coordination within the rhythm section of the band (typically consisting of the bassist and the drummer). The rhythm section may use countertempos and other techniques that contrast what the rest of the band is doing in conjunction. Notable examples include Chris Squire and Bill Bruford of Yes or Tony Levin and Bruford of King Crimson.
  • Inclusion of classical pieces on albums. For example, Emerson Lake and Palmer have performed arrangements of pieces by Copland, Bartók, Moussorgsky and others, and often feature quotes from J. S. Bach in lead breaks. Sometimes these pieces are significantly reinterpreted; Jethro Tull recorded a version of a Bourrée by J. S. Bach in which they turned the piece into a "sleazy jazzy night-club song" (in Ian Anderson's own words).
  • An aesthetic linking the music with visual art, a trend started by The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and enthusiastically embraced during the prog heyday. Some bands became as well-known for the art direction of their albums as for their sound, with the "look" integrated into the band's overall musical identity. This led to fame for particular artists and design studios, most notably Roger Dean for his work with Yes and Storm Thorgerson and his studio Hipgnosis for their work with Pink Floyd and others. H.R. Giger's painting for Emerson Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery is one of the most famous album sleeves ever produced.
  • The use of sound effects in compositions. This is a particular trademark of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, but other bands did this too; for example, sounds of warfare can be heard throughout Jethro Tull's single "Warchild".

History of progressive rock

Progressive rock was born from a variety of musical influences in the late 1960s. The later Beatles and many psychedelic bands began to combine traditional rock music with instruments from classical and Eastern music. Psychedelic rock continued this experimental trend and began to compose very long pieces, although usually without any carefully thought-out structure (for example, Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"). Bands such as The Nice and the Moody Blues began deliberately combining rock music with classical music, producing longer pieces with deliberate structures. These bands are sometimes considered "early progressive" and sometimes considered a transitional genre between psychedelic and progressive.

Many music historians point to King Crimson as the first "true" progressive rock band; their first appearance was in February 1969. They were quickly followed by other English progressive rock bands, including Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Jethro Tull. It is worth noting that aside from ELP these bands began their careers before King Crimson, and changed their musical styles considerably following the release of "In the Court of the Crimson King"; and as for Emerson Lake and Palmer, they inherited their singer and bassist, Greg Lake, from the original King Crimson lineup.

Progressive rock also gained momentum when many rock fans grew disillusioned with the "Peace and Love" movement. Progressive rock often distanced itself from the "smiles and sunshine" of 1960's pop music and moved towards darker and sometimes more violent themes. For example, Genesis' Trespass includes "The Knife", about a violent demagogue, and "Stagnation", about a survivor of a nuclear attack.

Progressive rock was especially popular in continental Europe. Indeed, progressive rock was the first form of rock that actually captivated countries such as Italy and France. This era saw a great number of European progressive rock bands, most notably Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, and Le Orme from Italy, and Ange and Magma from France. Of these bands, only PFM was significantly successful in the English-speaking world. Germany also had a significant progressive movement, often refered to as Krautrock.

Fans and music historians have a variety of way to categorize the flavors of 1970's progressive rock. The Canterbury scene can be considered a sub-genre of progressive rock, or simply another collection of true progressive rock bands. Other bands took the genre in a more commercial direction; these bands, including Renaissance and Electric Light Orchestra are sometimes classified as "progressive rock", "commercial rock", or "symphonic pop".

Progressive rock's popularity peaked in the mid-1970s, when prog artists regularly topped readers' votes in mainstream popular music magazines in England and America. By this time, several New World progressive rock bands had been formed, including Rush (from Canada), Kansas (from Kansas, of course), and the Dixie Dregs (from Georgia).

With the advent of punk rock in the late 1970s, popular and critical opinion in England and America moved toward a simpler and more aggressive style of rock, with progressive rock increasingly dismissed as pretentious and overblown. This attitude has remained common to the present day, though it has begun to diminish since about 2004.

The early 1980s saw something of a revival of the genre, led by artists such as Marillion, IQ, Saga, and Kate Bush. Groups that arose during this time are sometimes termed neo-progressive. Around the same time, some progressive rock stalwarts changed musical direction, simplifying their music and including more obviously electronic elements. In 1982, the much anticipated supergroup Asia, composed of Steve Howe (Yes), Carl Palmer (ELP), John Wetton (King Crimson), and Geoff Downes (Yes), surprised and disappointed with their pop oriented debut album. In 1983, Genesis achieved international success with the song "Mama", with its heavy emphasis on a drum machine riff. In 1984, Yes had a surprise number one hit with the song "Owner of a Lonely Heart", which contained contemporary electronic effects and was accessible enough to be played at discos, and more recently has been remixed into a Trance single. Many progressive rock fans were unhappy with the direction taken by such bands during this time.

It should be noted that the term "progressive" in the early 1970's had been coined to emphasize the newness of these bands, but by the 1980's the term had become the name of a specific musical style. As a result, bands such as King Crimson which continued to update their sound were not always called "progressive", while some newer self-described "prog" bands purchased vintage mellotrons in order to recreate the sound of early 1970's prog. Fans and hostile critics alike had established "progressive rock" as the permanent name of this genre, and so the connection to the usual meaning of "progressive" became irrelevant.

The progressive rock genre enjoyed another revival in the 1990s with the so-called "Third Wave", spearheaded by such bands as Sweden's The Flower Kings, the UK's Porcupine Tree, and Spock's Beard from the United States. One of the most important bands of the alternative rock movement, The Smashing Pumpkins, incorporated progressive rock into their unique, eclectic style, going so far as to release two albums dealing with the same concept.

In recent years, the most commercially viable category of prog has been progressive metal. These bands are usually happy to be known as progressive, although the music bears very little resemblance to the original progressive rock form, and produce very long pieces and concept albums. Several of the leading bands in the prog-metal genre (particularly Dream Theater (U.S.) and Opeth (Sweden)) cite pioneer progressive hard-rockers Rush as a prime influence, although their music shows more influence from bands such as Yes or Metallica. Tool have cited pioneers King Crimson as an influence on their work. King Crimson opened for Tool on their 2002 tour, and expressed admiration for Tool while denying the "prog" label [1]. Meanwhile, other heavy metal bands not generally considered prog-metal, such as System of a Down, have nevertheless incorporated prog-influenced elements like bizarre shifts in time signatures and tempo in their music. In recent years, a number of heavily classical-influenced goth metal bands have emerged in Europe, most notably Finland's Nightwish; though they probably do not think of themselves as progressive metal bands, fans of the genre often consider them to be such and indeed, several could claim at least as many of the "Characteristics of Progressive Rock" listed above as bands like Dream Theater.

The work of contemporary artists such as Ween and post-rock bands like Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Muse could be said to incorporate some of the experimental elements of progressive rock, sometimes combined with the aesthetic sensibilities of punk rock to produce music which many find challenging, innovative and imaginative. A better example of a contemporary post-rock band however is probably The Mars Volta, who are notable for intentionally fusing punk with progressive rock, two elements once polar opposites. Among more experimental and avant garde musicians, the Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu publicly cites progressive rock bands as a prime influence on his work.

There are also a number of contemporary prog bands, such as Mostly Autumn that combine Celtic, and sometimes pagan, influences with earlier prog rock styles. Other bands of note incorporating progressive rock into their sound, both signed and unsigned, include the Blood Brothers, Dog Bone Sanctuary, Coheed and Cambria, Dolour, Mastodon, Foo Fighters, Ruby Doe, Turn to Fall, Vendetta Red, and Vindaloo.

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Lucky, Jerry. The Progressive Rock Files Burlington, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc (1998), 304 pages, ISBN 1896522106 (paperback). Gives an overview of progressive rock's history as well as histories of the major and underground bands in the genre.
  • Macan, Edward. Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture.ISBN 00195098870 (hardcover), ISBN 00195098889 (paperback). Analyzes progressive rock using classical musicology and also sociology.
  • Martin, Bill. Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock. Peru, Ill.: Carus Publishing Company (1998), 356 pages, ISBN 081269368X (paperback). An enthusiastic analysis of progressive rock, intermixed with the author's Marxist political views.


The PP Guru is gearing himself for a Prog filled Labor Day Weekend and here's his handy how-to-guide. Articles also cover the career growth of modern bands amongst the likes of Marillion, Porcupine Tree, and Radiohead. Usually on holidays like Labor Day or Memorial Day, the PP Guru usually locks himself away in his PP Guru sanctum sanitorium, lights up the cherry incense, slams down the Green Apple Martini slurpees and goes on a all day and all night kaleidoscopic sugary rush ride through some new progressive rock albums and DVDs.

Lots of early seventies keepsakes throughout. Hey, The PP Guru wants to know what were you doing back on ...
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July 25, 1969? It was the day when Atlantic Records released the first Yes Album. In celebration of the new Yes: And the Word is Live boxset being released tomorrow, the PP Guru is going go through a literal trip through time by listening to every Yes studio album in chronological order for the next 3 three weeks and wants to know what the hell were you doing on that day of the album's release or what were you doing the day that you first sat down and listened to it.

The band's personal were Jon Anderson, vocals, Chris Squire, bass and vocals, Bill Bruford, drums, vibes, Tony Kaye, organ and piano, and Peter Banks on guitars.

Best songs: Harold Land, Beyond and Before, Looking Around, Every Little Thing (tribute to the Beatles- listen to Squire thumping out the theme to Day Tripper before Anderson begins singing to the first verse), and the second edit of Something's Coming (available on the remastered version ) which went on to prove that it was hip for young cats like the PP Guru to be listening to Sondheim and Bernstein.

And what were you doing that day, PP Guru? Probably watching man take his first step on the moon.

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July 1969

The PP Guru checked out Four Brothers this past weekend. Didn't think Sofia Vergara was that hot - she just played some constantly horny chick that had her clothes on constantly all the time. The PP Guru is old enough to know that it's physically impossible for people to have sex with their clothes on. It only works when the clothes come off or when the pantyhose get roughly ripped off and she isn't wearing any panties. Otherwise, people would be walking on the streets with all their stains showing and making their local dry cleaning professionals very rich Not everybody can be Monica Lewinsky, you know. (FYI - she is also a dangerous driver).

But he would like to complement the music editor guy who picked Porcupine Tree's latest single, Shallow to be in the shuffle of the songtrack. Yes, the prog rock world is certainly getting healthier and healthier these days. As transmutated through a time capsule to:

~ Coat


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