Of course the Beeb released a prog-doc in 1997. The general consensus amongst the British public (the ones I pay attention to, at least) is that the final three years of the nineties were a sonic slog. A bingeless triumvirate that failed on all accounts to excite anything other than pure, dilapidated comedown. Call it the morning after britpop, the post-grunge slump, in fact call it whatever you like. The fact is everyone and their Mum’s labelled it so. Britpop had an expiry date from day one and I’m pretty sure the word “slump” didn’t exist before Nevermind arrived. 1997 is ground zero for good taste, in that the years that followed did nothing to recommend the culture-spurt of the “cool decade” to anyone. It was also the year I was born. Make of that what you will, but the fact of the matter is… wait, what has any of this got to do with lockdown? Where does Dalí factor into the equation? Who does this 23 year old think he is calling the BBC the Beeb? All worthwhile questions I’m sure (at least that’s what my publicist tells me), however I’m the one who asks the questions here. I raise the hand, I prod the body. So let’s narrow down and chew the fat. No time for pomp and ceremony in this Gen Z thinkpiece!
Oh, we’re talking about Yes? Fuck it, pass me the 8-string.
I’ll be honest with you. This isn’t just about Yes. In fact, they hardly feature at all. I am of course, in true improvisational prog-fan fashion, claiming that prematurely. If I know my methods, this will end up basking (bah-sking) in praise at the helm of some soft nerd’s Yes Reddit page. Reddlayer. Tales From Top Comment Oceans. The Reddit Album. I’ll stop. Sorry Jon. I apologise in advance if I cut things off without warning. My inherent impatience headlines and there’s little to halt it. To alleviate the imminence of such a disruptive trait, I’ll double down on the title of this piece (paraphrased from a brilliant onstage story from Rick Wakeman where he kicked a loose fan offstage, not realising the punter was one Salvador Dalí). No, this isn’t about him either. I left art where it belonged years ago. Here, dear readers, is a list of records that have kept me entertained during this most disorientating of times. This is my lockdown in music:
- Cover Girl, Shawn Colvin (Columbia, 1994)
- Drama, Yes (Atlantic, 1980)
- Extinction of Humanity, Mammoth Grinder (Relapse, 2009)
- The Man Who Died In His Boat ,Grouper (Kranky, 2013)
- Tiny Cities, Sun Kil Moon (Caldo Verde, 2005)
- Asobi Seksu x Boris Split 7”, Asobi Seksu & Boris (Sargent House, 2012)
- Hliðskjálf, Burzum (Misanthropy, 1999)
- Outlandos d’Amour, The Police (A&M, 1978)
- All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Mark Kozelek (Caldo Verde, 2020)
- Please Don’t Touch!, Steve Hackett (Charisma, 1978)
The Red Wine Cowboy