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New Anthology Takes Aims at Progressive Rock Haters

We love the title of Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell‘s new anthology Yes Is The Answer. That’s because the “Yes” doubles as the name of a top band from the progressive era this collection of essays wholeheartedly defends.

Joining Weingarten and Cornell Thursday June 13 at Skylight Books in Los Feliz for a 7:30 p.m. reading-signing event will be contributors John Albert (former member of the bands Christian Death, Bad Religion), James Greer and Margaret Wappler. From Weingarten’s book intro:

The haters weren’t all wrong, of course. Prog was ridiculous. But never underestimate a young boy’s finely honed sense of irony. We loved some of this stuff precisely because it was overblown. It’s kind of like when Evel Knievel jumped over thirty cars – you mean, he did that? We would laugh at some passages, marvel at others – it was all part of the ongoing conversation about Prog.

And yes, it was pretentious. That’s why we liked Prog Rock; it strived for something beyond what we were hearing on AM radio. We didn’t give a damn about rock’s first principles, all that three chords and the truth business; give us Prog Rock’s grandeur, its mushy mysticism, its blissed-out mystery.

Others featured in this “first literary anthology devoted to the progressive rock sub-genre” include Esquire magazine journo Tom Junod, novelists Rick Moody and Joe Meno as well as musicians Matthew Sweet and Peter Case. Weingarten’s eclectic background encompasses non-fiction books, documentary filmmaking and reality TV, while Cornell is the founder of LA-New York literary PR firm Rare Bird Lit.

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