Friday, July 10, 2009

Musical Interlude:

Here's another video that I'd forgotten all about:

The band, the tune, and the album all had the same name: "Art in America". The track was a minor hit in 1983, and I remember seeing this video around that time - probably on a late night music video show on a UHF channel. An employee at a record store I frequented at the time loved playing Art in America's eponymous album. Their sound was a bit unique - it's not every day that you run into a rock band that includes a harpist. The sound is mostly late 1970s/turn of the 1980s progressive rock, perhaps a bit on the mellow side. The cover art was similar to that of more well-known prog rock bands, meaning that they were clearly marketing their record toward fans of Yes, Rush, Asia, and so on. I had a feeling at the time that they were sort of in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unlike a lot of prog rock from the period, the recording is actually quite refreshing: AIA wasn't particularly pretentious, the lyrics were relatively down to earth (no silly song cycles about hobbits) and they avoided the temptation to bury legitimately well-written songs under layers of big beats and synthesizer effects (which by 1983, too many had given in). In other words, no gimmicks, just the goods. The video itself is actually more interesting that most, if for no other reason than there's less of the band lip-syncing in front of a camera, and more of an effort to tell a story.

Apparently, they're still together, and have a Myspace page.

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