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Old 05-21-2010, 01:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
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Default The Prog & Fusion Album Club

The Prog & Fusion Album Club (PFAC) is an initiative sort of birthed by the discussions in this thread :
http://www.musicbanter.com/general-m...ut-how-do.html
PFAC is a loosely organized "club" for listening to and discussing prog and fusion albums. Why those two genres? A lot of the prog I listen to is a bit jazzy and some of the jazz-rock and fusion I listen to is a bit proggy. In my real life experience, people who like prog tend to like fusion and vice versa and the styles often mix, so why not bring the two together in an albums club as well?


How it's done

The general idea is to give a prog or fusion album as homework for each week. Then, every monday, a discussion thread is created for the album which was last week's homework assignment. Which album is the homework assignment is voted for in a 4 days poll which is constructed every thursday. Those who want to participate should suggest albums they would like considered for homework assignment and then that suggestion is included in the upcoming thursday poll.

In order to get people to vote for your suggested album, you should include a little information about it and perhaps some album art to pique people's interest!

Don't worry about committing yourself. You can join once, then never do it again or join every other week or whenever you want. You can vote, suggest and not discuss, anything goes.


Next Week's Homework Assignment Poll
  • Not up yet!


Discussion Threads for previous homework :


This week's (from March 28th, 2011) homework assignment :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anteater View Post
Mu – S/T (1971)


"Captain Beefheart's #1 slide guitarist playing some killer psychedelic blues with friends."

1. Ain't No Blues (4:08)
2. Ballad Of Brother Lew (4:34)
3. Blue Form (4:09)
4. Interlude (1:59)
5. Nobody Wants To Shine (4:12)
6. Eternal Thirst (9:38)
7. Too Naked For Demetrius (2:36)
8. Mumbella Day (3:24)
9. The Clouds Went That Way (3:10)


The world is full of questions that may never be answered: Where do we go when we die? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop? Dude, where's my car? What would Captain Beefheart's Magic Band sound like doing psychedelic/jazzy rock?

We may never get to the bottom of most of those inquiries, but the last of them is brought to light in a spectacularly trippy fashion here on Mu's extremely rare yet fucking amazing 1971 debut, featuring Jeff Cotton from CB on slide-guitar and saxophone, as well as a host of other amazing musicians such as Merrell Fankhauser on vocals. Fun and fantastic while still retaining a very tight experimental edge, this is a work very different in feel and approach to most of Captain Beefheart's menagerie of records, but stands out more than anything Jeff Cotton did with Don Glen Vliet in some places in the sheer grooves issued, but never to the point where you forget to be engaged in what you're listening to.

Don't be fooled by the "blues-rock" tag either; this is a finely varied effort across the map, tipping its hat off to folk and art-rock even while it picks away to a West Coast sunset from 1967 with some sax crying out toward the rising night. Typical blues-bars will suddenly expand into odd time signatures without backing out any inch of melody or lick, a testament to the skill of Cotton and living proof that such a fantastic combination of elements and genre-fusion don't come around very often. This is best illustrated on tracks such as 'Nobody Wants To Shine' and the 9-minute cruncher 'Eternal Thirst', the latter of which morphs into something like Afro-pop midway through and only gets better as the minutes tick on by.



Ultimately, Mu's self-titled does a lot of things right and pretty much nothing wrong. It's got a bit of crossover appeal for nearly everyone, from folks who love the avant-garde to people who go nuclear for the blues and psychedelic rock, sitting at a wonderfully balanced happy place between some of Beefheart's more impenetrable songwriting and some of the more straightforward, dynamic energy that's seen more often in Krautrock and progressive rock circles.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Although noone else have yet to respond, my suggestion for first homework assignment album will be ..

Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior (1976)



This is a fusion album and arguably the most popular in the Return to Forever discography, the band led by keyboardist Chick Corea who previously played with Miles Davis. The line-up here is incredible, Chick Corea on keyboards, Al Di Meola on guitar, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums. Unlike a lot of the improv-flavoured fusion out there, this album is incredibly composed with complex arrangements played with amazing skill. The production is also damn near-perfect!

Supposedly, after recording it, they figured this was as good as they could get and so this was the last RTF album with that line-up, similar to why Bill Bruford left Yes after Close to the Edge.

I obviously know this one, but I'd like to get to know it even better. You should as well!
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is this strictly Prog Rock or does Prog Folk count?
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Prog folk should count as well I think I know I'm not gonna be a genre nazi. It's just rough one or two-word descriptions after all!
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Great! Prog-Folk is amongst my favourite genres i'll have my choice put up in due course
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I know there are a couple or even few more out there who I believe would like to get in on this and I know there's a whole lot who should, so .. Come on guys!
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am so in.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrguy View Post
I am so in.
I would love to do it, but responses have been almost non-existant so .. I'm not sure whether or not to push this idea or not!
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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PUSH IT :p

also, as I only have very limited Internet usage (3gb), I will (probably) do all my "homework" at the end of the month (I.e. When I download all the albums so I run out if internet only a few hours before my new cycle).
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As it is now, I think I'd mostly end up pushing it all on my own .. and then it'll only last a very few weeks before noone bothers with it, me included.

Sorry if I seem like a cynic. If more people get interested at some point, I'm all over this.
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