Song Of The Day 9/22/2014: Caravan - "Golf Girl"



Canterbury Week: I don't always listen to prog. But when I do, it's usually from Canterbury, England. A quaint, small cathedral town with a serious jones for tudor architecture, Canterbury produced the kind of prog I will happily deal with in the late '60s and early '70s. The scene was typified by a lot of different styles. Canterbury musicians didn't go for the thunderous boom and pyrotechnics of more seismic forms of prog; its key conduit was good songwriting. They avoided apocalypse in favor of more localized concerns. They brought in the jazz element more than the other Wagnerian segments of the progulationTM™. And, of course, they hate it when you call it "Canterbury rock." You'll note the distinct lack of nostalgia tours on the concert circuit. Well, here anyway. When you say "Canterbury" in the U.S. people mistake it for those creme-filled chocolate eggs you get at Easter.

So we're going to go a week with this particular style of progressive rock. We won't be hearing about elves, unless they're drinking potions which aren't gonna help. And we're not climbing into a jail cell made out of Keith Emerson's keyboards or planning for space exploration. Hell, I don't even think we're bringing up Ayn Rand this week. I would think we'd run into Chaucer but I honestly haven't checked out the itinerary.

There are two bands all six Canterbury scene fans mention at the core of its genesis: Soft Machine and Caravan. Those two groups grew out of a band called The Wilde Flowers (literary reference!), and they both supplied Canterbury music with about 80% of its constituents. Caravan's "Golf Girl" is my favorite song of the movement, about a gentle server who sells tea to a gentleman playing golf. Again, where messier prog would have flooded the field with locusts, decommissioned robot parts or John Locke, in this song the narrator gets caught in a downpour of golf balls. It can happen.
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