Rise in Progressive Talk

Rise in Progressive Talk

A Story by Mike Espinosa

Progressive talk, commonly called “Prog-Talk” is a genre of talk that was developed as an attempt to elevate talk radio to new levels of artistic credibility.
One of the most popular prog-talk radio stations in KPRO 973, known as “Teh Prog” or “KPROg.” The theme of most of their shows is that the host talks to a meter in an odd time signature. Take this example from Rod Sawyer, from his show “An Odyssey with Rod Sawyer.” When talking about the gay marriage debate, Rod says, “The religious right’s argument against gay marriage is simply ridiculious! I mean, is it that hard to let peoplebe in love?” Rod did this whole speech in 3/8, emphasizing every third syllable, for about 10 minutes.
It was a bit hard to get the hang of in the beginning, but, over time, it became easier. I found certain meters that fit different subjects best. For example, I use eleven/eight (11/8) when I talk about Obama, and seventeen/sixteen (17/16) when I talk about the economy,” Rod said, in 9/8, emphasizing the first, fourth and sixth syllable. He explained that it is the perfect meter for explaining his theory on progressive talk.
Other radio stations have a different approach to progressing talk radio. Lars Omega, of KRIS 1047 “Prog on This, Radio!” does his commentaries over songs by Rush, YES, and Dream Theater. On his discussion about President Barack Obama, Omega talked over the Rush hit Tom Sawyer, saying, “A modern-day warrior / Mean mean stride / Today’s O-bama / Mean mean pride…” and “Today’s O-bama / He gets high on you / And the space he invades / He gets by on you.”
There have been many copycats trying to get on the progressive talk popularity. 
Greg Kriss is the host of a talk show called “Come on! We’re hip, right?” Kriss tries to do commentary over songs like the style pioneered by Omega, but the songs he chooses are not quite up to the standards of many prog-talk critics. 
During his show on Thursday, Kriss commented, “Don’t cha wish Obama was raw like me? Don’t cha wish Obama was fun like me? Don’t cha? Don’t cha?” 
It was clear by the reaction of his ten fans that the answer was, “no.”
In a vastly different branch of prog-talk are the harmonists. These commentators work their magic in odd keys and chord progressions.
The most popular prog-talker in this sub-genre is Pete Harlem, host of “Harlem Renaissance” on New York’s PROG 10.29 FM. 
On the Monday episode of his show, he commented about the trend of some teenagers not caring enough about the ways people see them. He said, “Can you believe these kids? I mean, sure, it’s permissible for them to want to be an individual, but that doesn’t mean they have to stop taking showers!”
During this commentary, he changed chords at every punctuation mark. The changes were: Cm7#9, G9b11, D27#30, A#9$13, and J7. Following his commentary, it was clear that Harlem sunk our battleship.
With all the different variations on talk radio, it is sure that there will be entertainment in talk radio for years to come.
As talk radio legend, Howard Stern said, “I think prog-talk radio may be the future, not because the quality of talk is better and not because there are less commercials... What prog-talk promises to someone like me is no censorship, other than that of the FCC.”

© 2010 Mike Espinosa

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Added on February 2, 2010
Last Updated on February 2, 2010


Mike Espinosa
Mike Espinosa

Covington, WA

- College Student at Western Washington University - Philosophy Major - English with Secondary Education Interest Major - I enjoy academic punctuation and grammar and can edit them quickly. - I am.. more..