Jerry Lucky Commentary January 2013
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2013 All Rights Reserved
Well here we go again. We made it through the past 12 months that was 2012. A whole 52 weeks or 365 days or 8,760 hours or 525,600 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds. Any way you dissect it, it was a year.
If you’ve been a visitor to these pages for any length of time, you’ll know I like to change it up at the front end. As is my want, I’ve taken some time and dressed the placed up with a new “lick-of-paint” here and some new colours there. Nothing too drastic, just enough to say, “hey we’re still here and still scribbling about Prog.” Every month between 1500 and 2000 unique proggy visitors frequent these pages and it keeps growing bit by bit…even though I seem to do nothing to promote the site. I do appreciate all of you taking time out of busy days to visit. And if you’re in a band looking for a little added exposure, advertising is available on the home page for a mere $10 per month. Sort of like two cups of coffee. In any case, the site may look a tiny bit different but everything is still here just where you left it.
That kind of reminds me of how I like my progressive rock bands. I don’t mind them changing or adding a bit here and there, but I do like to know by the core sound of the band who it is I’m listening to. I know there are some who feel that’s not being progressive, but I don’t care what they think. Seems to me if you have to always be reinventing what you sound like so drastically, perhaps you really don’t know who you are. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a fan of records sounding the same, it’s just that I like bands that are comfortable in their skin and make any changes slowly over time, evolving their sound as those 8,760 hours go by.
Speaking of “sounding the same,” I guess that’s really the issue isn’t it? I’ve always felt that a band should have a sound-style so that you can play a part of that band’s new disc…and your friend can say, “I can name that band in 4 notes.” That was a game I played when I was younger. It would be a rather short lived game if every band changed their sound so much with each release that their “sound-style” was indistinguishable from one disc to the next. No, I like it when I hear something and I recognize who it is (or at least who it might be).
Is it just me, or does it actually seem like we’re in a bit of a “lull” musically in the prog world? Now I know that Prog magazine had their first big annual awards banquet last September, and sure there have been some great discs, but something seems different. Ah! You know what I think it is? Acceptance! What I mean by that is there seems to be not only fewer people saying anything bad or disparaging about Prog, but perhaps more importantly there are many more folks who seem to be quite OK with using it as a positive descriptive. Hey I even saw a rather arty band on one of the late night talk shows and they were sporting the new Mellotron 4000D digital unit. How strange? After all these years it makes for a bit of a topsy-turvey world, don’t you think?
Speaking of new discs, there were some gems released in 2012. Now, as a small-ish website, I don’t usually get releases from the major acts, they’re quite busy securing promotion from some of the more “major” websites, none-the-less I do get more than enough releases sent my way to keep me busy. Many of these come from independents, or bands that I already have some relationship with. Here’s a list of 13 I particularly liked: Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited II, Neal Morse – Momentum, Plastic Overlords – Sonic Astronomy, Echolyn – Echolyn, Landmarq – Entertaining Angels, KingBathmat – Truth Button, Flower Kings – Banks of Eden, Izz – Crush of Night, RPWL – Beyond Man and Time, Gazpacho – March of Ghosts, Mystery – The World is a Game, Indrek Patte – Celebration and last but not least 3rd Degree – The Long Division. There were plenty of other releases, but these seemed to be the ones the resonated well with me.
Oh and then there’s this “digital” thing we call the internet. As I mentioned earlier, I continue to see more and more visitors here and have even continued to sell a few of my remaining books. This is gratifying. Perhaps one of my resolutions this year should be to be more diligent about promoting this site. In the end that will help expose the artists who’ve chosen to send me their music, which in the end is what this exercise is all about.
By the way, I love getting emails from you. If you feel so inclined don’t hesitate to write. I’ll do my best to respond. Now seems to me I’ve got a pile of CD’s and downloads to review. Where should I start?
All the best in the year ahead.