Chris Dixon could write a professional sounding bio, but he feels like a pretentious snob when doing so. Ok, enough 3rd person. I got into prog music during high school in the mid 1980s (ie. the dead zone). While many of my friends were listing to Tesla and Poison, I was blown away by 1970s ELP, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Kansas, Pink Floyd, and other mainstream acts that got radio play. Then I discovered a weekly radio show at that time on WDVE in Pittsburgh called “For Headphones Only” that introduced me to many more obscure bands (that I could never find in the stores of course). Another key resource in this pre-Internet era was the Rolling Stone Record Guide book from 1983. I’d scour the thing for any notion of “art rock” as it was known, and then go out and buy them without ever hearing a note. You can probably imagine my puzzled expression when I first listened to Magma.
In 1998, I was working as a web developer and decided to launch my own prog web site called Prog-Net with a focus on reader-contributed content. Much to my surprise, it took off pretty quickly. Soon reviews were coming in from all over the globe and promo CDs were filling up my mailbox. I couldn’t believe it when Rick Wakeman’s publicist sent me a full press kit for Return to the Centre of the Earth and asked if I’d do an interview. It wasn’t all good though – band spammers, flame wars, name spoofing, etc. Eventually I got really busy with a new job and shut it down in 2002. Yes, I definitely regret that decision.
The next big thing in music for me was the launch of all-you-can-eat subscription services like Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio, and Mog. Instant access to so much content re-ignited my enjoyment of progressive music. The idea for ProgSeeker came about when Spotify announced their new Play feature with the ambitious goal of being the “music player for the web”. Of course YouTube has plenty of interesting prog as well, so I thought a site with curated media would be a good resource for hungry fans looking to discover something new. Let me know if you like the direction, and be sure to pass along any suggestions.