Progarchist Journal, June 18, 2013

Spawton bass
BBT bassist, lyricist, and composer extraordinaire, Greg Spawton. Photo by Willem Klopper.

What more can one write than: 2013 has already proven to be one of the finest years in prog history.

We’re not even quite halfway done with the year, and just consider the number of quality (an understatement) releases: Big Big Train’s English Electric, Vol. 2; Cosmograf’s The Man Left in Space; Nosound’s Afterthoughts; The Tangent’s The Rite of Work (translated!); Shineback’s Rise Up Forgotten; Days Between Stations’s In Extremis; Majestic’s V.O.Z.; Riverside’s Shrine of New Generation Slaves; Sanguine Hum’s The Weight of the World; and Lifesigns’ Lifesigns.  Additionally, BBT, Matt Cohen, Matt Stevens, Leah McHenry, IZZ, Heliopolis, Arjen Lucassen, Glass Hammer, The Advent, Kevin McCormick, Transatlantic, The Flower Kings, and Gazpacho are working on new material.

If I forgot anyone, please forgive me.  So much greatness is emerging, that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

When I see comments on the web to the effect of “sure, there’s lots of stuff coming out, but it doesn’t live up to the past,” I just scratch my head.

Are you kidding me?  Name another time when so much intensity, diversity, meaning, and beauty has sprung forth from the prog community?  There are several recent releases that I would argue beat (though, of course, they build upon) any thing that’s come before.  But, why compare?  Let’s enjoy what we have and give some thanks.

Consider other developments in the prog world:

  • David Elliott has founded Bad Elephant Music
  • Kev Feazy of The Fierce and the Dead is a dad.
  • Prog fan, Richard Thresh, is a father yet again, as well
  • Billy James of Glass Onyon is promoting prog like a wonderful mad man
  • First lady of Prog, Alison Henderson, is one of the three winners of Playtex’s Ageless Generation competition to find women who are fabulous and over 50
  • Brian Watson has created much of the art for the forthcoming The Tangent release
  • Willem Klopper, Captain Redbeard, Craig Farham, and Nick Efford reveal prog-inspired art and photography by the week
  • Russell Clarke also gives us prog-inspired photos of his Norwegian Forrest Cats (well, ok, this is not quite as proggy as I’m suggesting)
  • Back to a serious note, 3RDegree and John Galgano are touring in the U.S.

. . . . and the list of accomplishments go on and on. . . . Bravo!

We’re truly sad to have lost Ray Manzarek to the ravages of time, and Chris Thompson of Radiant Records to another profession.  But, of course, we recognize this is life.  And, we wish all well.

On the front, the progarchists remain unified in their vision of attempting to match our writing quality and thoughts with the excellence of the music being made and created, past, present, and future.  Our site is not even a year old, and we have 760 of you who receive every single post via email, and anywhere from 100 to 1,000 visit the website on a daily basis.  Folks as profound as Greg Spawton, Matt Stevens, Giancarlo Erra, and Andy Tillison have offered their kind thoughts about the site.  A huge thanks to all who have supported us.

A few interesting additional notes

for Brad
Our own progarchist, John Deasey, and Matt Stevens.
prog demi god Robin
Master of Prog and Chronometry, Robin Armstrong.

Matt Stevens has started a video series on Youtube, answering questions presented to him.  In this one video––you’ll get a sense of Matt’s integrity and genius.  In under three minutes, he demonstrates more confidence and virtue about art and humanity than a myriad of academic books have done over the last 30 years.  Atheist or theist, I say, “God bless you, Matt!”

Also, as we all well know, most proggers can’t afford to live only on the profits of their releases.  Such, of course,  is a rueful comment on modern life, but it’s also simply a reality.  So, for this journal entry, let me praise the other business/pursuit of Cosmograf’s Robin Armstrong.  We all know the kind of professionalism and artful sense Robin brings to music.  He does the same as an entrepreneur.  Just check out his website,, a witness to his mastery of all things chronometric!

Please support Robin not only in his music, but in his excellence as a businessman as well.

Thanks for reading all of this.  Rising pizza dough beckons me. . . .