when demanded to the source

Chuck Klosterman has an interesting opinion in this book about traveling to find popular musical death sites, as he travels the highways for blues legend Robert Johnson and his observation on listening to something that his rock critic predecessor, Lester Bangs as he momentarily became sick of rock in the wake of Altamont , considered revelatory — back to the source of all the rock he listens to — …

“I love blues based rock, but I f^ing hate the blues.”

Hm.  Kind of know and understand the sentiment.  It rhymes with this opinion, in reviewing a book about Prog Rock.

Do you like prog rock, the extravagantly conceptual and wildly technical post-psychedelic subgenre that ruled the world for about 30 seconds in the early 1970s before being torn to pieces by the starving street dogs of punk rock? Do you like the proggers, with their terrible pampered proficiency, their priestly robes, and their air—once they get behind their instruments—of an inverted, almost abscessed Englishness? I don’t. At least, I think I don’t. I like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a kind of wonderful satirical compression of prog rock, a fast-forward operetta with goofy existentialist trappings and a heavy-metal blowout in the middle; I like the bit of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells that became the theme music for The Exorcist. And there are contemporary bands I adore that have been grazed by prog: the moody, alchemical Tool, the obtuse and crushing Meshuggah. But for naked prog, the thing itself, I seem to lack the mettle.

It’s okay to like what indisputably sits on the shoulders of something, but not much take any liking for the inspiration… the fountainhead.

I suppose the last word on Prog rock is this episode of Chris Elliott’s Eagleheart.  I imagine “the blues” gets a little too racially loaded for anything so glib.

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