07 September 2005

Progday '05

Photos, top to bottom:
1. a most appropriate t-shirt for a prog festival
2. Psicotropia
3. The Spacious Mind
4. Happy the Man
5. Far Corner
6. Glenn Phillips
7. Mike Keneally Band

Progday 2005: the 11th in a series of annual festivals celebrating that most schizophrenic of musical sub-sub-subgenres...I've been collecting this music since I was 12 and I still can't tell you what "progressive rock" is. Maybe that's the point.

The tranquil setting was Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The band lineup was appropriately diverse, from the tight symphonic perfectionism of Happy the Man to the psychedelic savagery of The Spacious Mind, there was something for everyone. Granted, Happy the Man are legends, Glenn Phillips was a joy to watch and Mike Keneally was a total GOD of sarcastic rock, but the highlight for me (by far) was The Spacious Mind. It was like being transported to Germany in 1971, and watching the original lineup of Guru Guru in all their noisy, hairy, groovy, trippy loveliness. One bass amplifier and countless butterflies fell to The Spacious Mind's mighty sound.

Between sets, I descended upon the vendors like a beast -- like a barking mad, raving insane record-collector. Most of my music-shopping violence was foisted upon Of Sound Mind and the mighty Greg Walker. Great to have such music-geek temptations out there, in the middle of a vast farm where nobody can see you but other prog-heads.

But no! Stop shopping! Flee back to the stage and continue rocking out like a superstar... Many thanks to Steve Sly and the Progday '05 team for making this happen. A much more complete set of photos & captions is here. I'll add more scenic stuff from the festival (and Chapel Hill) in the next few days.

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