June 24, 2011 Playlist

"Tarkus" by Emerson Lake & Palmer (1971)
Emerson Lake & Palmer  "Tarkus"  1971 (UK)
This is perhaps the most legendarily uneven album in the history of progressive rock.  The first side contains the title track, which is ELP's tour de force and arguably one of the greatest prog jams of all time.  But the other side is among the cruddiest collection of half-baked songs this band ever released.  But it's well worth a listen, because that song "Tarkus" really is something else!  Twenty minutes of Emerson's spectacular synthesizer cadenzas over Palmer's insane polyrhythms and odd meters -- while Greg Lake contributes some of his most pompous lyrics and stentorian singing.
Here's a live performance of "Tarkus" from ELP's heyday.  In case you're wondering what a "Tarkus" is, it's that half-armadillo/half-tank varmint depicted on the album cover (this song is supposed to be a "metaphor about war," I think).  Two more classic prog epics in the ELP canon include "Pictures At An Exhibition" (based on the famous classical piece by Mussorgsky) and "Karn Evil 9" (which is about a giant computer that runs a carnival, and is also probably a metaphor for something really heavy & serious).  Another legendary British prog band of the 1970's would be Van der Graaf Generator, who have released a new album this year.  And get ready -- next week it'll be time for the annual salute to P-FUNK!
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
Buffalo Springfield Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing (by Neil Young) Buffalo Springfield 1966 USA/Canada
Buffalo Springfield Rock 'n' Roll Woman (by Stephen Stills) Buffalo Springfield Again 1967 USA/Canada
Neil Young Buffalo Springfield Again Silver & Gold 2000 Canada
Crosby Stills Nash & Young Southern Man (live - by Neil Young) Four Way Street 1971 USA/UK
Emerson Lake & Palmer Tarkus Tarkus
1971 UK
Van der Graaf Generator Highly Strung A Grounding In Numbers (N) 2011 (Esoteric) UK
The Grand Astoria Oh Yeah (Can) Roqueting Through Space (N - various artists) 2011 (Fruits De Mer) Russia
The Cult Of Dom Keller God Shaker EP 1 2009 UK
White Hills Counting Sevens White Hills (N) 2010 (Thrill Jockey) USA
Bardo Pond Don't Know About You Bardo Pond (N) 2010 (Fire Records) USA
White Fence And By Always White Fence Is Growing Faith (N) 2011 (Woodsist) USA
Grails Almost Grew My Hair Deep Politics (N) 2011 (Temporary Residence) USA
Floored By Four
(Mike Watt, Nels Cline, Yuka Honda, Dougie Brown)
Nels Floored By Four (N) 2010 (Chimera) USA/Japan
Camden (Daughters Of The Sun) I Am Still Cold Living Image (N - cassette) 2011 (Moon Glyph) USA
Psychedelic Horseshit Tropical Vision Laced (N) 2011 (FatCat) USA
Black Tempest   Merunatia Secret Astronomies (N) 2011 (Tempest Towers) UK
Bon Iver Perth Bon Iver (N) 2011 (Jagjaguwar) USA
Elven Thief (Daughters Of The Sun) Side A (untitled) Elven Thief (N - cassette single) 2011 (Never Ender) USA
MV & EE Tea Devil Country Stash (N) 2011 (Three Lobed) USA
Lunar Dunes Svalbard Galaxsea (N) 2011 (4Zero) UK
Rotary Connection Tales Of Brave Ulysses (Cream) Songs 1969 USA
Parliament Liquid Sunshine Motor Booty Affair 1978 USA
Funkadelic Nappy Dugout Cosmic Slop 1973 USA
Funkadelic You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure Cosmic Slop 1973 USA
Back to playlists         Back to main