Space Chubby Goes Prog

V. Gina Gnome: Hey everybody, I’m sharing the new Space Chubby album on Soulsuck right now. Jury’s still out, but it’s definitely worth a listen. Don’t let the naysayers steer you wrong. Step right up to and get a fresh hot copy of Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster, the brand new record by those purveyors of progressively political prog punk: Space Chubby! P.S. It kinda sounds like they’ve been smoking the reefer a lot, ‘cause there’s a lotta prog here. Just saying.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Whoa, dude, I don’t think Space Chubby deserve to be called prog, despite Rilla the Real Gorrilla’s certifiably uncanny vocal resemblance to Geddy Lee. SALESMEN!!! Ooop ooop ooop OOOOP!!!! Heh. Heh heh. Heh. This new record just sorta sounds like trend hopping to me, like they’re trying to spray this week’s flavor onto last week’s stink, namsain? And that just smells like perfumed shit. And not the good kind of shit either. Heh heh. Heh. Heh heh.

V. Gina Gnome: They’re not trend hopping. They’re expanding their musical pallet, and as part of that they’re trying to “go prog” a little. Obviously, they’re going through some growing pains, but it’s not inorganic or obvious.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Well, being that the trend prior to their album has been for indie superstar bands like Mars Volta and Radiohead to “go prog,” I just gotta say that I feel as though Space Chubby’s late arrival on the trend smacks of inauthenticity. Plus even if it is organic, it’s just not their bag, baby. They were a great indie punk noise band. Every effort they’ve made to expand has fallen flat for me. Hey, uh, can you pass me that remote over there? It’s time for Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” Excellent!! And shit. Heh heh. Heh.

Zorax, Master of the Obvious: Prog is dead. Anyone trying to do anything called “prog” or “neo-prog” today is just looking for an excuse to wank out more than is probably healthy, and they will soon end up on the Dave Matthews Band concert circuit. Prog was part and parcel of an era. Saying “I am prog” today is like saying “I am 1968″ today. It just doesn’t make sense. Bands may make concept albums or incorporate orchestral structures or play mellotrons, but they’re not prog. Except for King Crimson. They birthed the genre and are still entitled to use the term. Even though they don’t.

V. Gina Gnome: Well that’s why I kinda use the term “go prog” kind of tongue-in-cheek, Zorax. Bands like Radiohead and Mars Volta are certainly incorporating prog elements into their music, which is interesting, if not entirely unproblematic artistically.

Zorax, Master of the Obvious: Radiohead and Mars Volta are loathsome and unoriginal. And Flaming Lips, too, for that matter, who are another band who get tagged with the “prog” label. Most bands that are trying to “go prog” these days are trying to tap into an audience that isn’t much interested in anything with that label released after 1978. Ozric Tentacles and Spock’s Beard and Marillion and the like are terrible, terrible bands for the most part. Old Genesis and Yes and such is listenable only because it’s charming in its dated quaintness. But you can’t quaintly date something made in 2005. Plus, the whole charm of prog was that people in ’67-78 were just beginning to figure out that it was possible to merge rock and jazz and classical and such. These days, such mergers are old hat: you already KNOW that you can mix and match just about any styles, so there’s not much novelty there either. Now shut your trap and get with the fluffing! I’m not paying you to upload and critique albums! I’ve got people to do, things to see. Chop chop!

Napoleon Boner Pirate: My favorite prog to fluff to is Yes’s The Yes Album. Part III of “Starship Trooper,” entitled “Wurm” has never failed to get a rise out of a client, with the exception of Drunknard from Space Chubby, ironically enough. I guess Yes needs to do a follow up song called “Chuckun.”

Drunknard: I’ll drink to that.

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