Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson: The Daily Vault Interview

When you think of the big names of progressive rock in the 19'70s -- the bands that really defined the genre -- you can't help but land on the Big Five: Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Jethro Tull. Tull was always a bit of an outlier, manifesting both a cheekier sense of humor (much of it self-deprecating) and a wider musical range (embracing folk music and the use of woodwinds, for example, to a much greater degree than its peers).

The Vault's own Bruce Rusk recently had the privilege of interviewing the man whose name has been synonymous with Jethro Tull for more than 40 years, renowned singer-songwriter-flautist-frontman Ian Anderson. Their interview was candid and revealing on many levels, offering Ian the platform to comment on subjects as varied as his reasons for composing a sequel to 1972's classic Thick As A Brick album, his argument with organized religion, his father's homophobia, and why he hates the name of his own band.  I could say their interview is a great read for any fan of Jethro Tull or '70s prog, but there's really no need to qualify it -- it's a great read, period.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Daily Vault turns 15

The Daily Vault was founded on January 13, 1997, by Chicago-area music fanatic Christopher Thelen (a.k.a. Bob Pierce). Blah blah blah. If you're reading this, you know the deal. The point is, 15 years is a long time. One way to appreciate how long is to turn on the time machine and step back for a moment to January 13, 1997, when:

-- Most Americans had never heard of Osama bin Laden.

-- Cell phones were the size of a Tom Clancy paperback and did nothing but make phone calls.

-- 11% of the population of the developed world, and 1% of the population worldwide, had Internet access.  (Today it’s around 80% and 30%, respectively.)

-- The superfast new dial-up modems about to hit the market offered blazing 56K speed.

-- The “cool” browser of the moment was Netscape.

-- AOL, America’s leading Internet service provider, had recently moved to a new campus in Virginia to accommodate its clearly unstoppable growth.

-- Facebook was called a yearbook, and most people were grateful there was no chat function.

-- Google was a theoretical math concept, not a verb.

-- The Daily Vault was founded by Christopher Thelen.

We're now 7,025 reviews down the road from that epochal day. At this point, 83 different reviewers have contributed over 3 million words of thoughtful, witty, occasionally profane thoughts on the latest music to spin in their homes, cars and offices. We're still here, and we're not going anywhere.