Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Prog Is Alive! on WDRT Viroqua 91.9 FM

In the winter of 2015 I was given the green light and appropriate training to launch my own radio show which I titled, quite naturally, Prog Is Alive! My intention with this radio show was to try to help draw attention to the amazing artists who are contributing some amazing music to the Progressive Rock lexicon during this, the 21st Century. I did nine shows before I had to stop because the time commitment of preparing for, airing, and "coming down" from the show was adding too much stress to my already full life as a farmer, husband, father, blogger, podcaster, and massage therapist. The program director at WDRT Viroqua was very understanding. I left with the promise/threat of returning in the Fall when farming commitments diminish. It is now that time. I have been offered a time slot of 3:00-5:00 Central Time every third and fourth Tuesday of the month. We're going to try this out as a temporary test as we are not sure that 21st Century progressive rock music will prove attractive enough to listeners to earn such a "prime time" programming slot. My shows will be pre-recorded in order to be able to broadcast during the Tuesday time slot.
     My mission continues to be adamantly focused on trying to promote the amazing music being produced today and in the past 15 years. There is a veritable prog revival going on which has only increased in terms of both number of artists and number of quality albums that are being produced each year. In fact, I will argue that both 2011 and this year, 2015, rival the 1972/1973 "glory years" of the classic age of progressive rock music. While many artists have picked up the prog torch with the aim of reviving or repeating the sounds and stylings of the "masters" of the 1970s, I have to admit that I have a strong attraction to the artists that are doing innovative, experimental, and exploring "new ground" in music--artists that are interested in making their own distinctive sound as much as is possible--more than the artists who want to perpetuate or glorify the music of the past masters. I am also bery much biased toward the youth who are choosing the "progressive" route for their musical/artistic expression. Knowing that there are so many music styles out there, to know that young people are choosing progressive rock styles over all of the other genres is astounding. These people need to be celebrated, advocated, and praised (if we want them to stay in the prog rock arena).
     So, you will not likely hear any Neo-Prog on my show. Nor will you hear any old-timers--artists hanging on from the 60s, 70s, or 80s--unless they are doing something extraordinarily brave, innovative, or of superior quality--something that is contributing to the forward movement, the "progress" of music. I may occasionally even wander off the beaten track into musical subgenres that some might not consider "true" progressive rock--like neoclassical, nujazz, trip hop, ambient electronica, goth, soundtrack, etc. as the spirit moves me. It is, after all, my show. As opposed to my former show time, Sunday evening from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM--I will have to be more attentive to and respectful of the "afternoon" listening crowd. Thus, you may not hear as much metal, doom metal, technical metal, djent, or on Prog Is Alive! 2.0  The Afternoon Version. I will also be cutting down on the number and length of prog "epics" that I play. (No more play of songs like Edison's Children's masterpiece, "Silhouette," in its complete 69 minute fullness like I did on May 24.)
     My first show back will air on Tuesday, October 20. It will feature a playlist of other new music that 2015 has revealed to me while also showcasing a band that I only recently discovered whose 2014 album, Shiny Eyed Babies, has swept me off my feet and usurped the top spot of my Favorite Album list for 2014 as well as climbed into the #7 spot on my list of Top 500 All-Time Favorite Albums, BENT KNEE. So, tune in--or listen to it on-line at The show will be archived for one week after the air date.