Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Return of Progressive Rock

It seems that Progressive Rock is making a comeback in the least in adult animation.  Rush was mentioned twice in the season two (2) finale of Archer.  The episode name-dropped the band, their song "Red Barchetta" and parodied the artwork of their famous live album "Exit...Stage Left."  Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have also been featured in Aqua Teen Hunger Force;  While the former was never seen, Peart was granted magical powers in the feature film, playing the "drum solo of life" to resurrect a fallen member of the team.  Rush has also recently been spotted on The Colbert Report and a recent film whose name I can't remember.  In addition to this, The Venture Brothers had an episode revolving around the passing down of the father's progressive albums, including references to Yes and King Crimson. 

Progressive Rock has always been slammed critically, including being completely excluded from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (except for Pink Floyd, who are just generally well-received.)  Despite this, it enjoyed huge record sales and followings during its 70's heyday.  The genre's reemergence--sadly only as a reference--is as baffling as it is long-overdue.  In an increasingly meta stream of pop-culture, references are all the rage (see Family Guy for more information.)  However, most of the throwbacks are to the hedonistic bastardry of the 80's: retro video games, Ninja Turtles and crappy music.  The 80's featured both New Wave and Hair/Glam Metal: genres that also topped charts and were all but forgotten--perhaps shamefully--not a few years after their creation.  Is Progressive Rock the anomaly in this reference-driven media? or does this mean we'll be seeing the re-emergence of New Wave and Hair Metal in another 5-10 years?  If it's the latter, grab your gun: you'll need it to either shoot yourself or the people around you. 

1 comment:

  1. Please no more hair metal! I'm not sure what sub-genre that is, really. But for one day a year, I'd like it, I'm sure.