Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Station Story: Prog Rog

If you created a QuickMix with my Prog Rog and Pioneers of Electronica stations, you'd basically have everything I was listening to in high school. I lived in Hermosa Beach in Southern California at the time, and a few blocks away was a Music Plus store which was part of a regional chain of record stores. There was a small bin for electronic music which single handedly weaned me from the easy listening radio stations that my parents listened to in the car.

The first record I ever bought was Walter (later Wendy) Carlos' Switched On Bach when I was in third grade. The synthesizer captured my imagination even at that young age, and so when we moved to So. Cal. and I started high school it was a natural progression for me to start listening to the electronic music of the era and rock groups which featured synthesizers which, at the time, meant Progressive Rock.

The holy triumvirate at the time were ELP, Yes and Genesis. But, thanks to some staffer at Music Plus who'd handwrite little reviews on address stickers and put them on selected albums in the import bins, I also discovered Novalis and Goblin during that era. I was so pleased when these latter two groups were covered by Pandora this year. Oddly, though I did purchase a copy of "Leftoverture" at the time, I did not consider Kansas to be Prog Rock at all then though I do now. I also was skeptical about Queen because their albums of the time boasted that "no synthesizers were used on this record". But I eventually accepted them into the fold as well.

Pandora has helped me flesh out the station a bit. The most out-there band in the set has to Ruins which came long after the others on the station, but provide some truly interesting and difficult (in many senses) tracks. On the other hand, Starcastle, PFM, Van Der Graaf Generator and Egg are all much more central to the genre.

The station occasionally strays into more mainstream rock one side and Fusion on another, and, in general, the station is below average on the monthly listening tests. Nevertheless, some of my favorite music from my high school days is played by this station.

1 comment:

OGRastamon said...

I wasn't introduced to Wendy Carlos until high school (by my music appreciation teacher). I find it perverse that it was your first album (mine was the Grease soundtrack).
So are you familiar then with the artist known as *snicker* Dick Hymen?