Last summer, in their infinite wisdom, Slate's editors allowed me to indulge a musical and journalistic obsession, and spend a month writing about progressive rock. The result, titled (with a push from Dan Kois) "Prog Spring," made several arguments for the most unjustly loathed pop genre, and told the stories of a few key moments and artifacts from the movement's 1967–1974 apogee.
I'd rarely had so much fun reporting a story, probably because I'd spent a decade or so thinking "man, I really want to write about this music." So! I'm doing it again. I'm off to London for two weeks to commence research and interviews for a book, forthcoming from W.W. Norton, about prog rock from prehistory to now. This year's essay collection Yes Is The Answer was terrific, but this book will be a narrative, with digressions into specific songs and chords and instruments.
For the next two weeks, Slate's great Emma Roller will be pinch-hitting at this blog, and other Slatesters will contribute when they feel so moved. I'll recap The Newsroom's next two episodes with two other reporters, but I'll otherwise be at work on top-secret prog business. If any London readers want to meet up—or, hey, want to introduce me to their uncles who roadied for Nektar, or something—I'll be checking email.