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 St Century Schizoid Land Of Prog Lit Extremely disappointing Gave up half way through Some of the essays were mildly interesting, but far too many were clearly by someone who used to be a fan but is embarrassed by his fandom now Look, I know prog music is not wart free but the repetition was tiresome Not serious reviews or analysis, just sophomoric reminiscences. Spotty.Some of the essays were good Some, I m still trying to figure out why they were even in the book One basically amounted to why I don t listen to Rush and another was ode to a deceased heavy metal forum poster who happened to like King Crimson Lots of I was a teenager, geeky and high, so naturally I liked Prog anecdotes.It could have used someactual music discussions.That said, I do havethan a few bands to go research And I really do need to give early Genesis another shot I d never been able to get into them.Bands that were only mentioned in passing that could have usedmeat Can, Caravan, Gentle Giant, Hawkwind, anything after 1990.I did appreciate that one writer said outright that Asia killed prog I don t disagree. Nice little collection of personal essays on Prog Rock As with any anthology, some pieces will speakto you than others, but I enjoyed most of the contents, and the book piqued my interest in several bands musicians I ve skirted around for awhile, inspiring me to check them out If you re a fan of prog you ll find some here to enjoy and some here to disagree with A fun, light read. The essay memoir on Peter Gabriel is worth the entire price of admission alone I think that the book does, however, spend too much time lamenting the fall of progressive rock and trying to justify the music to outsiders I didn t read this book for the apologies and the sheepish defenses given by its authors Just love the damn music and embrace it. I enjoy prog rock pieces, somethan others I ve always liked some groups such as YES, but I have never been a diehard FAN of prog As such I wanted to read this book for information on the bands as well as finding out other people s opinions.I found most of the essays in this collection to be enjoyable a couple were excellent, a couple were somewhat tedious, and one was just poor in writing and attitude In particular, I found There is No Rush by Joe Meno, In The Court Of The CrimsonKing02 by Charles Bock, and Achille s Heel by Wesley Stace John Wesley Harding to be particularly well written and interesting Meno s There Is No Rush is quite entertaining.I really had to think about Yes Is No Disgrace by Matthew Specktor It wasn t the thoughts that I m sure the author wanted to generate with his particular style my thoughts and that of my husband, who also read the book were Why was this included The basis of the essay was what legal writers would describe as tortured there was a grain of conflict that was pushed and pulled out of all shape to fashion an argument What argument That the author was desperately embarrassed of liking YES, didn t understand it, but still liked to listen to it Disgrace was difficult to hack through Perhaps Specktor should ve read Achille s Heel, in which YES lyrics are brilliantly described as syllables of sound And mocking Jon Anderson s voice Have you ever taken a voice lesson Mr Specktor I studied voice privately and was a soloist of classical music I can definitively say that Jon Anderson has a crystal clear, soaring voice The biggest drawback to the book were the NUMEROUS mistakes and misspellings in the text An editor that doesn t professionally proof read a manuscript is showing disrespect to the author or authors Chevy Camaro is misspelled on pg 169 Mahavishnu is misspelled on pg 129 New Wave is misspelled at the end of the book plus there are many other typos throughout The essays are worth reading but the editorial gaffes are unprofessional.Finally, just a note to Rick Moody regarding his Defending The Indefensible good essay, but no way were you and your friends AND your friends mom in a Piper Cub As you suspected, it was definitely a different airplane I ve flown a Super Cub and I assure you there isn t enough room for all of those people on board Gen Y here, born 1990 Was given this book as part of an ongoing cultural exchange with a friend of mine in his 50s Some of the music discussed here has aged well and stayed relevant to my generation In the early 00s, we listened to Pink Floyd as much and as excitedly as the people who were alive at the time Todd Rundgren, although his name recognition is not huge, is also a Gen Y hero and considered a legend largely on the back of A Wizard, A True Star Genesis, though, are completely irrelevant to us I had heard of them before but only listened after reading this collection It s very hard to imagine that the Sussudio and Sledgehammer guys were in a band together, and even harder that they were taken so incredibly seriously Prog overall has not aged well, and most of these writers are embarrassed and self conscious about their geeky passion for acts like Emerson, Lake Palmer Often their personal, heartfelt stories transcend the songs themselves It was interesting to learn about all this music I was mostly only vaguely aware of I can see how fifteen minute synthesiser solos would have seemed like a good idea at the time. The book consists of a number of essays that focusor less on the sub genre of Progressive Rock Most of the essays are autobiographical or semi autobiographical pieces that consist of the authors experiences many of them quite negative growing up listening to, being influenced by, and in some cases trying to avoid, progressive rock music e.g., Genesis, Emerson Lake Palmer, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, Todd Runggren, Styx, etc Overall the essays are a bitcritical of Prog Rock than I thought they would be some of the authors go a bitover the top in their criticism than I care for Yes, some Prog Rock is a bit cheesy and tacky, etc but for some of us its appeals include itsescapist, out side of the mainstream elements, its complexity, creativity, and originality, i.e., somethinginteresting or maybe thought provoking than your tired, straight forward 1980 s style rock n roll pop love songs ,etc. I am pretty sure that I hate Prog music The album covers, the dry ice although to be honest they share some visuals with my beloved glam artists , the capes, the knee length boots for the gentlemen, and the god awful lyrics regarding the future, fantasy, and whatever Its all a form of hell for me The Editors Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell has put together what in theory would be either a torture test or at the very least a death day aimed at yours truly an anthology focusing on the what I consider the horrors of Prog And to be honest I love the book Writers like Rick Moody, Joe Meno Beth Lisick, and others wrote fantastic essays on how Prog has entered and affected their lives Most it seems for the betteror perhaps worst Nevertheless all the pieces in this book are first class works that actually makes one like me for instance give Prog a chance out there in my case, as second chance There is one outstanding essay by Rodrigo Fresan that is probably the best piece i have ever read on Pink Floyd and Stanley Kubrick Brilliant even I never heard of this writer, but I am now a fan due to his original observations on Kubrick s work as well as the world of Pink Floyd Essential reading and the rest is pretty great as well I strongly recommend this book because it was put together with a lot of love and respect for that genre of sound, as well as the terrific writing and thinking that went into this book And for god sake, its Prog I burned through this book in a day and half I loved it so This is not just for Prog fans, it s also for the haters, maybe evenso It s really about memories about growing up awkward and misfit with large doses of weed and masterbation None of the essays focus on two of my favorites Magma or Van Der Graaf Generator Emerson Lake Palmer and Genesis figure prominently There are also essays on Yes, The Nice, King Crimson, Styx and the Caterbury scene Pink Floyd and Utopia I recommend most Out, Angels Out by Tom Junod about Genesis and Peter Gabriel , Defending The Indefensible by Rick Moody laying out the case for and against ELP , Do Gay Guys Listen To Yes By Andrew Mellen answered in the subtitle at least one does and the finale There Is No Rush by Joe Meno who stopped listening to Rush because they led to car crashes and a lifetime of virginity.
Marc Weingarten is an author, journalist, editor and filmmaker He lives in Los Angeles.
- 368 pages
- Yes Is The Answer
- Marc Weingarten
- 07 November 2018 Marc Weingarten