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Thread: New book "Yes is the Answer"

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    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    New book "Yes is the Answer"

    Anyone hear about this? I recall Jim DeRogatis talking about this on Sound Opinions about 6 months ago. Love him or hate him, I often find it interesting to hear his spin on prog. And it seems this book is done by a bunch of the hipster/pitchfork music journalists.

    I wonder if the book will kiss the ass of King Crimson, while taking pottyshots at ELP.

    http://www.rarebirdbooks.com/post/46...rog-rock-tales




    Yes is the Answer: And Other Prog Rock Tales edited by Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell

    Featuring Rick Moody, Seth Greenland, Charles Bock, Nathan Larsen, and many, many more

    Progressive rock is maligned and misunderstood. Critics hate it, hipsters scoff at it. Yes Is The Answer is a pointed rebuke to the prog-haters, the first literary anthology devoted to the sub genre. Featuring acclaimed novelists, Rick Moody, Wesley Stace, Seth Greenland, Charles Bock, and Joe Meno, as well as musicians Matthew Sweet, Nathan Larson, and Peter Case, Yes Is The Answer is the first book that dares to thoughtfully reclaim prog-rock as a subject worthy of serious consideration. So take a Topographic Journey into a 21st Century Schizoid land of Prog-Lit!

    Released May 14, 1013

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    I wonder if the book will kiss the ass of King Crimson, while taking pottyshots at ELP.
    It will if it knows anything about Prog.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to hear what Matthew Sweet has to say. The rest I've never heard of.

    Oh, and judging by the release date, this sounds like it's been out for a while.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Oh, and judging by the release date, this sounds like it's been out for a while.

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Dinosaur Rock?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    And it seems this book is done by a bunch of the hipster/pitchfork music journalists[/I][/B]
    No-one knows more about prog than those erudite folks at Pitchfork.

    I'd rather eat my own shoe than read it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    Yes Is The Answer is the first book that dares to thoughtfully reclaim prog-rock as a subject worthy of serious consideration.
    Except it isn't. There have been plenty before--two off the top of my head are "Rocking the Classics" and the ELP "Endless Enigma" one.

    Glad to hear the hipster music journos are hopping back on the bandwagon now that prog is semi-popular again.

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    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    Anyone hear about this? [
    I'm reading it now, with only a few pieces remaining. Thus far the back-handed endorsements, qualified defenses, and damning-with-(mostly) faint-praises have come fast and indifferent. Nobody just out-&-out loves the stuff unreservedly, warts and all. Most of the "witnesses" are essentially bystanders with little acquaintance with the music beyond the "Big Five." With one or two exceptions--so far--none are old enough to have actually lived the music; their collective perspective is attenuated and decontextialized. There's no there there.

    Pass, or at least wait for the paperback.....
    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

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    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundchaser93 View Post
    Except it isn't. There have been plenty before--two off the top of my head are "Rocking the Classics" and the ELP "Endless Enigma" one.
    ...and Paul Stump's The Music's All That Matters and Bill Martin's Listening to The Future.
    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    ...and Paul Stump's The Music's All That Matters and Bill Martin's Listening to The Future.
    All of the aforementioned are great books. Another is Bill Martin's wonderful book on Yes: "Music of Yes: Structure and Vision of Progressive Rock." Highly recommended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    A
    Released May 14, 1013[/I][/B]
    So is it appropriately done by hand as an illuminated manuscript?

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    Many of the prog books that have been written, have generally been rather 'academic' in tone. I personally rate Macan by far the best in the field, but it's certainly academic writing, and also in his case very musicological. They aren't the sort of books that would have mass appeal really. The ones I've read that aren't, I think are 'too close' to the music, if you get what I mean.

    I think that whole indie-hipster culture has been a terrible thing for music, encouraging musicians to stay inside a particular box- whatever they claim about their 'eclectic' tastes, that only applies to music deemed 'fashionable'. So it's always the same bands being rehashed, the same influences being namechecked. It's boring.

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I think that whole indie-hipster culture has been a terrible thing for music, encouraging musicians to stay inside a particular box- whatever they claim about their 'eclectic' tastes, that only applies to music deemed 'fashionable'. So it's always the same bands being rehashed, the same influences being namechecked. It's boring.
    I've always just hated it's disdain for musicianship.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    I'm reading it now, with only a few pieces remaining. Thus far the back-handed endorsements, qualified defenses, and damning-with-(mostly) faint-praises have come fast and indifferent. Nobody just out-&-out loves the stuff unreservedly, warts and all. Most of the "witnesses" are essentially bystanders with little acquaintance with the music beyond the "Big Five."
    I bought the Kindle version and gave it a quick skim ... and yeah, this assessment pretty much hits the mark. Self-important essays from hipsters who simultaneously dismiss prog with all the usual cliches and sheepishly claim either to like it, or to have once liked it in a moment of adolescent naivete. Oh, and throw in an abundance of similes that are too clever by half. It's like all the writers are trying to pat themselves on the back harder than their contemporaries for coming up with the cleverest digs-that-aren't-really-digs.

    And yeah, it scarcely moves past the Big Five. There's one semi-interesting article about Canterbury, but that's pretty much it.

    One other essay, about a weirdo who liked Gabriel's Genesis a little too much and went off the deep end after an acid trip, was vaguely interesting, but more for the guy who flipped out than for anything to do with Gabriel or Genesis.

    Save your money.

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I'll wait until it comes to my local library. Based on what you guys are saying there are far better books about prog and this one doesn't seem to go very deep. It might be ok for the beginner though.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    I bought the Kindle version and gave it a quick skim ...
    Goddamnit, I could have sold you my other shoe instead.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    Thus far the back-handed endorsements, qualified defenses, and damning-with-(mostly) faint-praises have come fast and indifferent. Nobody just out-&-out loves the stuff unreservedly, warts and all.
    I hope we all realize that most people outside our cozy world here at PE really do hold these opinions of the prog genre. Not saying it's right, just saying that's how it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Innerviews View Post
    I'd rather eat my own shoe than read it.
    I sure wouldn't sling too many stones at Pitchfork. Again, like it or not, it is one incredible successful music outlet.

    And no, I'm not buying the book... rather have a new shoe.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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    But why would people still think that *now*? To me prog is just another form of music, as valid as anything else out there- it doesn't merit preferential treatment but nor does it deserve to be given back-handed treatment either.

    If anything is tiresome to me, it's the spectre of thoroughly bourgeois hipsters clinging onto the idea of punk and indie rock as some sort of anti-establishment statement- as opposed to prog which is clearly 'establishment' because of the classical references etc. IMHO punk is much more part of the establishment than prog is today, to the point of One Direction's latest single being a 'mash up' of two 70s punk songs. And how do they justify 100 box-sets of The Sex Pistols and The Clash?

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    But why would people still think that *now*? To me prog is just another form of music, as valid as anything else out there- it doesn't merit preferential treatment


    Banish him!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    If anything is tiresome to me, it's the spectre of thoroughly bourgeois hipsters clinging onto the idea of punk and indie rock as some sort of anti-establishment statement. IMHO it's much more part of the establishment than prog is today, to the point of One Direction's latest single being a 'mash up' of two 70s punk songs. And how do they justify 100 box-sets of The Sex Pistols and The Clash?
    Indeed.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    I hope we all realize that most people outside our cozy world here at PE really do hold these opinions of the prog genre. Not saying it's right, just saying that's how it is.



    I sure wouldn't sling too many stones at Pitchfork. Again, like it or not, it is one incredible successful music outlet.

    And no, I'm not buying the book... rather have a new shoe.

    This is true, if by "most people" you mean rock critics in the US and Britain. Of course, "most people" does not include the millions of other listeners who decline to be the self-appointed guardians of public taste. Making generalizations about this group is a different matter entirely. Some of them like prog; others dislike it. Many (if not most) have not even heard of it, and could care less about conforming to the Lester Bangs/Robert Christgau "blues orthodoxy."

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    If anything is tiresome to me, it's the spectre of thoroughly bourgeois hipsters clinging onto the idea of punk and indie rock as some sort of anti-establishment statement- as opposed to prog which is clearly 'establishment' because of the classical references etc.
    For the hipster crowd, yes, that's can certainly be true but...

    I'm going out on a limb, but I don't think that's it. I'm guessing if people genuinely dislike prog, it's because it's prog - because of the music, because of the album covers, and even because of ELP's oeuvre (for example). They hate it for what it is, not what it represents. Not entirely, not always, but yeah, it's out there, and I don't think it can be denied.

    I also apologize if you think I'm making "generalizations". I'm not. Again in my experience, I'd say lots of people just don't like "the prog".
    Last edited by strawberrybrick; 05-31-2013 at 12:18 PM.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    For the hipster crowd, yes, that's can certainly be true but...

    I'm going out on a limb, but I don't think that's it. I'm guessing if people genuinely dislike prog, it's because it's prog - because of the music, because of the album covers, and even because of ELP's oeuvre (for example). They hate it for what it is, not what it represents. Not entirely, not always, but yeah, it's out there, and I don't think it can be denied.

    I also apologize if you think I'm making "sweeping generalizations". I'm not, please don't paint it that way. Again in my experience, I'd say lots of people just don't like "the prog".
    Fair enough, but I have encountered more than my share of prog-bashers who hate prog both for its "essence" and "what it represents." For example, in grad school, I met a fellow student who praised punk for saving rock from the twee likes of King Crimson. (Apparently this genius had never heard "21st Century Schizoid Man" or "Larks Tongue in Aspic," but I digress.). For him, and for many others, prog is objectionable because it threatens rock's populist origins. But we will just have to agree to disagree about that one.

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    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progguy View Post
    Fair enough, but I have encountered more than my share of prog-bashers who hate prog both for its "essence" and "what it represents." For example, in grad school, I met a fellow student who praised punk for saving rock from the twee likes of King Crimson. (Apparently this genius had never heard "21st Century Schizoid Man" or "Larks Tongue in Aspic," but I digress.). For him, and for many others, prog is objectionable because it threatens rock's populist origins. But we will just have to agree to disagree about that one.
    This is exactly why I love prog and hate punk.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by progguy View Post
    Fair enough, but I have encountered more than my share of prog-bashers who hate prog both for its "essence" and "what it represents." For example, in grad school, I met a fellow student who praised punk for saving rock from the twee likes of King Crimson. (Apparently this genius had never heard "21st Century Schizoid Man" or "Larks Tongue in Aspic," but I digress.). For him, and for many others, prog is objectionable because it threatens rock's populist origins. But we will just have to agree to disagree about that one.

    I like prog, you know, a lot.

    IMHE, I've found more people that don't like prog because of the music ("essence"), than anything else. Typically, they listened to it when they were young, but now find it holding little lasting value.

    I can't think of too many people that hate prog because of "what it represents", but to be honest, I know a more people that hate "punk" for "what it represents"...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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    So it's always the same bands being rehashed, the same influences being namechecked. It's boring
    I just laugh when I read an interview with some indie band in their early 20's and all they talk about is Iggy, The Velvet Underground and Krautrock.
    IMHO punk is much more part of the establishment than prog is today, to the point of One Direction's latest single being a 'mash up' of two 70s punk songs. And how do they justify 100 box-sets of The Sex Pistols and The Clash?
    Ding! I love the music of The Sex Pistols and I'm a huge Clash fan and like a lot of other punk stuff like The Dead Kennedy's, early Bad Religion, Husker Du and so on, but in the Pistols and Clash's case, they both signed to huge, multinational record companies, they never went the pure indie route like Fugazi did. It's like the Clash lyric "Turning rebellion in to money".......
    I'd say lots of people just don't like "the prog".
    Agree with that. I know it's easy to get defensive about liking the stuff discussed here, but I've never taken it personally like so many people I've met at prog festivals and online seem to. I mean, my favorite band since 1975 or so has been ELP from 1970-74, I've had to develop a really thick skin over the years. Some of the most sneering, contemptuous stuff I've read about ELP has been right here at PE.
    Lester Bangs/Robert Christgau "blues orthodoxy."
    You forgot Dave Marsh. I re-read chunks of Macan's ELP book last night and by about the 900th mention of "blues orthodoxy", I wanted to scream.

    Could it be that a lot of people aren't impressed by the ability to play 8,000 notes a bar (I know I'm not) or that they think a drummer and bass players function is to lay down a repetitive groove or that songs should be concise and to the point and don't like Led Zeppelin doing 35 minute versions of Dazed and Confused anymore than than Yes doing 29 minute versions of Ritual? Nah! They're just musical ignoramuses who if only they could be taught what real music was, they'd see the light.
    ...or you could love

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