Chicago Band So Progressive That Everyone Hates Them
Local progressive metal band "Kurt Vonnegut's Oedipus Lunch Meat" (KVOLM) is so progressive that they have drawn scorn from the critics, venue patrons and owners, other progressive rockers, and "mostly the entire Chicago music scene", according to several followers of said scene.
The few in the local Chicago metal-progressive scene that have heard of the band mostly tend to stay away in lieu of their abominable reputation, but those that occasionally venture into a KVOLM show have unanimously detested their time there, citing songs in which each member plays in a different key and time signature, while singing lyrics in what appears to be Aramaic.
"Yeah, I know that some people would say that bringing an elephant on stage and listening to it fart is artistic, and though I doubt they're right, I'll concede to the fact that great art is unrecognizable at its inception," said pop music critic John Degrode. "But this shit… if you could take the sound of someone slitting their wrists, put it to guitars and listen to it for three hours, that would be pleasant compared to the time I spent watching these fucks. If this is art, then I'll take a job at Starbucks and leave all this behind."
Patrons of the various venues that the band has played have also expressed extreme distaste for the band, often threatening to end their attendance. Even those who consider themselves avant-garde or progressive agree that KVOLM exceeds any previously known limits of pretentiousness, post-post-post modernism and meaninglessness.
"No living thing could possibly sit through a half-hour of that show, let alone a whole show, without taking a year-supply of tranquilizers within the first ten minutes," said Greg Holland, music aficionado and repeat concert-goer at Subterranean Theater, where the band had just begun its second hour of licking their instruments as they fed back into amplifiers turned up to full volume.
"I'm always willing to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone trying something new, and even if I still don't like it I'll say to myself ‘only time will tell'. Maybe the apocalypse will give these guys validity, but besides that, I can only pray that I will be able to forget that this day ever happened."
As he walked down the street and wiped a trickle of blood from his ear, he loudly exclaimed, "Who let them on stage? Fuck Sub-T!"
But lead singer and songwriter Gore Killgore merely shrugs negative comments like these off, saying, "Exactly".
"That's the kind of reaction we knew we'd get from the beginning," said Killgore. "Rock music has dried up, blues is dead, jazz is dead, everything is dead, so we have moved beyond the idea of life and death. What we do, I can't even explain."
Chiming in was the band's drummer who refused to give his name, insisting that he has no name: "Can you explain the sound of cheese ageing with 12-bar blues? Didn't think so."
The band's most recent gig, held at the Edgewater Cafe, was empty besides two alleged career alcoholics at the bar, the bartender, and present reporter. It began at 10 PM and ended three hours later after the band had played one continuous song that lacked chord changes, lyrics in any discernable language, rhythmic pentameter, or guitar effects besides distortion.
"I'd say it was pretty successful," said bassist Bulbous McMick in a post-gig interview, as he replaced the blisters on his fingers with superglue after playing sixteenth notes on the E string for three hours. "We didn't have too big a crowd, but the people that were there will be telling their grandkids about us, if the world doesn't end before then."
"It always takes years for true progressives like ourselves to get noticed and appreciated," Killgore elaborated. "In fifty years, people will be listening to our records like the do Sgt. Pepper."
KVOLM claims to have no influences, no goals, no methods and, "nothing that can be described without putting an electric guitar and amplifier in a washing machine together," says McMick.
"If that's so hard for people to understand, than we're better off without an audience," he said contemptuously. "We could sell out to conventions like melody and order, but that would compromise our entire non-vision."
Club owner Bill Burke, however, feels that the band's attitudes towards basic musical principles could use a little changing.
"Giving them the stage was the biggest mistake of my life," said Burke. "I must've gotten their CD mixed up with another band's, because I thought they were going to be an Irish Folk Band. I even promoted them as such, so the crowd arrived ready to dance a jig. Instead, they had to watch the band just stand on the stage, staring into space and breaking the silence once every five minutes with a jolt of noise that sounded like a nuclear blast. For two and a half hours."
The band, despite resounding criticism by everyone who has ever heard of them, remains unfazed, and has chosen to press on.
"We don't have any gigs lined up for awhile, but we're going to be recording for awhile, so that's no big deal," said keyboardist Jim Jansen, who had just finished his post-gig ritual of anointing his Roland keyboard with scented oils. "We're doing a few tracks that last for about ten minutes and don't include a note of music, a sound of an instrument or any sound at all, for that matter. We don't expect it to be a big seller, but those who want to understand will be satisfied."