Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fusion: It's A Mystery

Every town's got crappy prog bands. I'm not saying anyone's actually seen them, except friends, relatives, and whoever happened to be at Splunkyfart's Tavern for Midori Mondays, that night they got booked by accident. It may not even be "prog" so much as "mish mash of stuff put together in a mildly complex and/or messy/arty way." Which the band would likely sum up as "fusion" or "prog" or "North American Gregorian Folk-Jangle Opera." I guess they're harmless. They're too boring for a larger audience, too embarrassing for anyone with any taste, maybe just right for a few lost listeners who'll move on. Also, there's sometimes a whole band of guys who look like total slobs backing a female lead singer in heels, which is always hysterical. Hysterical the way that only misery can be. A treat indeed.

And hey, even bands that aren't crappy, or ambitious, or particularly unmarketable get described in terms of hybrids, if only so that derivative work (rock music, in a word) can sound fresh and energetic on paper: "What if Joni Mitchell had an all-night road rally with Def Leppard!!!" Complexity? Hybrids? Yeah, they can work, but they're just tools that should be driving something larger. It depends on the instinct behind them.

The point is, it's better to make one thing work than make six things not work at once.