Tag Archives: The Tangent

2018 Recap

2018: It was a bad year for Planet Earth, but a pretty good year for new music. Once again a lot of favorites were active this year, including some long-awaited and truly unexpected comebacks. As usual I didn’t get around to everything I wanted to, and I haven’t really been listening to a lot of *new* music, as in artists who have debuted sometime this decade. I guess that’s the price you pay for being somewhat of an obsessive; over time these lists get larger and larger, in part because I’m always gonna be interested in new material by some band I used to dig or am still on the fence about. But 2018 did seem to be unusually busy, especially in its first half. I’ve heard enough for a cursory glance back, as well as a holding spot for the stuff to be listened to later. Which I’ve come to realize is a lot.  This time I’m just gonna do it in alphabetical order, with links to the albums I’ve actually reviewed on here, plus some scattered thoughts.  Italicized albums were among my favorites.
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The Tangent – Not as Good as the Book (2008)


“HOLD ON!!! for a moment! The sky’s as blue as when I was young!
And I’ve as much right to play there as the young guys, beneath a billion-year-old sun
And I still have my fingers, and they still push the keys
‘Cuz everyone I know got older… at the same rate as me”

Recently in the New Yorker there was a piece called “The Persistence of Prog Rock” which explores the continuing fascination with genre, particularly that small pocket of about five years in the early 70’s which produced most of its popular work. For some the appeal of prog was that it was something more, a way to break free of conventional song structures and chord patterns and onto something that could one day be every bit as revered as Bach or Mozart. For others it was just the thrill of hearing guys play such technical music at a breakneck pace, the same way someone might get a kick out of watching someone speedrun an old NES game. But whatever it is, there’s no doubt the genre has persisted; the audience may be smaller and the money may have dried up decades ago, but there was something about that music which infected teenage brains and gave a select few a direction in life.

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