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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, October 20, 2003

EGA mentioned that she was reviewing some new releases, and commented on The Good North: An Explanation that it is "America's answer to British art school rock". I said that, "American art rock is almost inevitably dumber than Euro art rock," but now, having said it, I want to take it back. What I was thinking about, I guess, was "Progressive Rock", and I'd stand by that, for whatever it is worth. I mean, who cares if Starcastle is dumber than Emerson Lake & Palmer, or if Kansas is dumber than Jethro Tull?

What EGA was referring to was art rock, and, I put it to you, for the most part US art rock is smarter, and more influential than English or European art rock. This may actually be the place, in fact, where US bands come out ahead of their Brit cousins, which is not always the case. I mean, start with the most obvious example: is there a British art rock band that can touch the Velvet Underground? The Ramones? I like Roxy Music just fine, but you can't say that they belong in the same room with Talking Heads. (REM maybe.) So I stand corrected.

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