A year ago, my brother Arthur and I decided to start the Proglodytes blog. I had written reviews and features for a few different music sites, and Arthur had run a rather successful music site for religious musicians who didn’t write religious music (called Linescratchers). We both decided that we would take our combined experience, and our love for progressive music, and make our own website. The rest is history. We’ve done some really awesome things, and we’ve had some struggles along the way. But, we’re all really proud of what we’ve built.
In our Progsgiving post, I talked about some of our achievements as a blog. In this post, I wanted to take a look back at some of my favorite posts, podcasts, and moments of 2016. Arthur already mentioned a few of them in his year-end post: the Beav interview, our interview with Emma Hardelin, and the Album Reclamation Project, among others. I’ll highlight some of my favorites that he didn’t mention.
- We did some humor posts for the blog. When we started Proglodytes, we wanted it to be a source for funny commentary on progressive music. Our two biggest humor posts, Progressive Rock Valentines and Progressive Rock Election Day, were coincidentally two of our biggest posts ever, with several thousands of views. They were really fun to make, and both collaborative efforts.
- I really loved the group posts where our review team gathered around the proverbial fire and talked prog. Whether it was our own 2016 Progressive Music Awards Cave Council post where Xerxes, Iris, and I talked about out who we thought should win 2016’s Progressive Music Awards in each category, or our collective review of Devin Townsend’s track ‘Failure’, it was a blast to talk about progressive rock with people who love it as much as I do.
- Talking with musicians was really, really cool. One of my favorite interviews was with Greg Spawton, about Big Big Train, one of my favorite bands. Greg had a wonderful quote about why Big Big Train focuses on quotidian themes instead of escapism: “There are some amazing tales out there in the landscape and we want to tell some of those stories. We don’t wish to romanticize things; many of these industries were hard places to work and the people needed to be very tough, but we don’t think the stories should be lost.”
- Other favorite interviews:
- John Wesley’s podcast interview was just super friendly and insightful, and hearing the story of how he got to where he currently is was way inspiring.
- Talking to Bent Knee was really cool, even though there were some technical difficulties. I loved hearing them talk about their process as a band, and how they have become, strangely enough, MORE democratic as they have progressed as a band.
- The Tea Club interview was a pleasure, because the dudes in The Tea Club are not only amazing musicians and songwriters, but super cool people too. We discuss everything from the name Hitler to Papa Roach’s discography to brotherly love. This one was fun.
- Our Mother’s Day episode was really, really cool. I actually learned some stuff I didn’t even know about my mom. She was one of the people who most instilled in us a love for progressive rock. We also discussed the influence that our Aunt Gina had on all of our musical tastes. She passed away suddenly a few months after this podcast, and so it was special that we were able to memorialize her in this way.
- 2016, for me, was the year of shows. I saw Peter Gabriel and Sting, Ghost, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend/Between the Buried and Me, Spock’s Beard’s amazing performance of Snow with Neal, Nick, and Ted at Morsefest, The Tea Club/Thank You Scientist/Moontooth (review forthcoming), Dream The Electric Sleep, GWAR/Crowbar (probably not reviewing for this blog,sorry), Steely Dan, Advent Horizon, among others. Pics:
- And finally, the Proglodytes Quote of the Year for 2016, from our interview with the incredible Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell of Devin Townsend Project fame:
Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell: I’ve been surrounded by music so much lately… that my idea of a good time is to go home and stare at a wall.
Thomas: I understand that.
Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell: (long pause)……Wanna hang out?
Thomas: Dude, gimme a couple hours and I’ll drive up there, and we can just find the nearest wall.
Arthur: Yeah, we could each take a wall.
Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell: Totally man, I got four.
2017 is going to be a pretty amazing year for prog, with new albums from Tim Bowness, Soen, Pain of Salvation, The Mute Gods, Blackfield, and so many others. Commit to see some of your favorite artists in concert, support them by buying merch and albums, and fill your lives with progressive music. May 2017 be an amazing year for all of you music fans, and on behalf of the blog,
GO PROG YOURSELF.