I look at the LTLP in surprise. She is making annoyed gestures towards my laptop.

“But it’s Jethro Tull!” I protest.

“That,” she replies, narrowing her eyes like the scary poster of Tony Blair, “is my point.”

One of the great things that I have discovered about Spotify, which – in any event – is the best thing in the world, is that it contains loads of progressive rock. iTunes does not have much progressive rock, as it does not have enough memory, whereas with Spotify it is almost as if your computer has grown a beard. Therefore I have been catching up on all the immense works that I remember from vinyl.

The trouble is that couples work on Venn diagrams when it comes to musical appreciation. The overlapping bit in the middle on our particular Venn diagram does not contain many bands, and sometimes you can have too much Proclaimers or the free ‘Chill Out’ CD that was once taped to the front of the Observer newspaper.

I am a bit cross with her closed mind attitude.

“I think you should give it more of a chance,” I say. “I know progressive rock does have a bit of a bad reputation, but the interesting thing is that the best, most well-regarded stuff – your Genesises, your Tulls, even something like Tubular Bells – essentially consists of a series of cracking tunes linked by short musical bridges. So whilst it’s those bridges that define the genre, if you like, it really just goes back to those cracking tunes, which are the essence of pop music anyway.”

“Aside from Yes,” I admit, “who sound like an explosion in a wank factory.”

I warm to my theme. “So whilst many people have likened Progressive Rock to classical music, I’d say that it’s more to do with the traditions of opera – big numbers with a theme and links.”

I am pleased with my analysis. Sometimes I think that I should have been a teacher; perhaps I might re-train one day. There is nothing quite as satisfying as imparting learning to people.

“I think it’s shit,” she replies.

I am annoyed once more. The problem with being a teacher in the twenty-first century is that trendy teaching theories have made it all but impossible to exclude pupils.

“Can you turn it off now, please?”

I sigh, and close the website down. There is uncomfortable silence. Walking across the sitting room, I turn the television on.

31 thoughts on ““Can you turn that off, please?”

  1. mike says:

    The LTLP had it lucky! Now that my partner has figured out how to navigate the arcane technical intricacies of Spotify, we have been enjoying a veritable I Love 1974-o-thon. Robin Trower, I could handle. But I had to draw the line at Wishbone Ash.

  2. Luka says:

    Loving the Foxtrot reference!

    (Goes to dig out vinyl)

  3. Brian says:

    My favourite!

    I sing that line at least 20 times a day. I now have no friends or family.

  4. admin says:

    Annoyingly, Tubular Bells is not on there any more. Only the ‘updated’ versions. This irks me, even if it wasn’t a real mandolin.

  5. Clarissa says:

    So spotify isn’t a skin cream?

  6. Z says:

    I don’t think the Sage likes my music much but he’s too polite to say anything. Maybe you should suggest to the LTLP that she needs to mind her manners?

  7. Megan says:

    We have the battling Pandora stations in our house. My Tool tends to drown out Enya but has to declare a draw with Breaking Benjamin. However we are all agreed that Red Hot Chili Peppers are long winded and pretentious and System of a Down should have been drowned at birth to save everyone a lot of heartache.

  8. pat says:

    We have a lot of silence here. I’m thinking of getting an eye pod or mp3 but I’ll have to find out what they are really. Just going to look up spotify. It’s lovely the way one picks things up from knowledgeable blogs like yours Jonny.

  9. tillylil says:

    Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Tubular Bells – you must be a teenage throwback from the 70’s.
    Great era for music – today’s kids don’t know what they’ve missed!

  10. Bob says:

    It seems my tiny dot on the Venn diagram intersects less with each passing day. Merle Haggard anyone? … Anyone?

  11. Thick as a Brick, too old to rock and roll and too young to die – your very existence is a Tull Greatest Hits compilation. I must say I’m looking forward to when you turn into Aqualung.

    Does this make the LTLP Cross-Eyed Mary? She deserves a little fun after all…

  12. peach says:


    is all I have to say…

    oh, and:

    LTLP, I was on your side til this!

    Ho hum

  13. guyana gyal says:

    My brother recently bought a new pair of very powerful speakers.

    Now he and his daughter, aged 9, fight for speaker-time. When her mother yells for her to go do her home-work, my niece is not pleased. My brother smirks.

    Just saying.

    ‘Cause I know you have a daughter. Who’s growing.

  14. pinklea says:

    While not a huge fan of Jethro Tull, I would definitely listen to them over the heavy metal crap Porsche Guy loves: Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Metallica … I could go on. But I’d rather subject him to my old Monkees albums now.

  15. Kaptain Kobold says:

    Pah! Spotify is not available in Oz, and I can’t be arsed to set up a proxy in order to fool it into thinking I live in the UK …

  16. Ceeej says:

    Damn you Jonny B, I’m wasting far too much time on Spotify.

  17. Blazing says:

    You’re just Living In The Past, aren’t you?

    I know, because it is on my iPod too 🙂

  18. Are there any jobs going at this wank factory? Though I fear I may be overqualified.

  19. Sue says:

    I’m with the LTLP on this one. I used to think Tull were bearable (for which, read “I wouldn’t turn off the radio just because Living In The Past was playing”) until I lived with someone who actively liked them. Now… no thanks :_|

  20. Lisa says:

    Really don’t mind if [I] sit this one out.

  21. Richard Adams says:

    I’m disappointed. Spotify isn’t yet available in my country (USA). Well, there’s still YouTube for Tull. And Steeleye Span.

  22. Joe says:

    One of the many questions I have about prog rock is:

    Why didn’t it progress?

  23. AndyB says:

    Jonny!! How can you so eloquently explain the intricacies of ProgRock, then diss the greatest exponents of the genre, Yes! And I’d have called Genesis more ProgPop! (That doesn’t mean I don’t like them)

    Can I offer you the following as an example of Yes definately not exploding in that manner

    I would hate to think our Venn diagrams were so far from eacj other!

  24. zed says:

    Oh, who can dislike Ian Anderson? I would never be able to play the flute on one leg if I were able to play it at all.

    Jethro Tull are great. Not in huge quantities though – like many other artists I like.

  25. V@leera says:

    LOL…she is indeed lucky to be alive…
    I think it is a great music to smoke *pot* to…

  26. Oli says:

    I like your taste in music, your missus is obviously tone deaf.

    My girlfriend is also not a fan of my tastes, but she has learned that it is my laptop, my rules. Unless I want anything, at all, in which case she brings my music tastes up and my refusal to change as an argument point.

    Her website is My Vegan Planet if you are interested 😛

  27. Sam says:

    I’m afraid you need to get with the times, Jonny, and buy yourself some Lady Gaga, or somesuch. If you play Jethro Tull someone’ll have the Environmental Health round…

  28. andy says:

    “explosion in a wank factory”

    I’m Still laughing! Best line. EVER.

  29. What DOES an explosion in a wank factory sound like….?

  30. Oli says:

    An explosion in a wank factroy sounds something like a combination of a bird being hit by a car at high speed and a big bag of poop dropped off of a 15 storey building hitting the tarmac.

    P.S was anyone else as upset as me when planet rock went under?

  31. admin says:

    Hullo V@leera and joe and Richard Adams and Ceeej and Laura Jane and welcome!!! (I think I got that right – I’ve lost track).

    I’m not sure we had Planet Rock in Norfolk…

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