ProgDay, the International Progressive Rock Music Festival, is a musical feast that serves up inscrutable time signatures, arcane lyrics and feats of musical prowess that will leave you, mouth agape, to ponder the wizardry of its perpetrators. Now in its eighth year, the fest draws fans, nay believers, to gather in the verdant meadows of Storybrook Farm (a short drive outside Chapel Hill) to observe this annual rite as notes, harnessed into complex poly-rhythms, are released into the ether to commingle with the Music of the Spheres. Translated, this means you're going to see a lot of guys nodding sagely as national and internationally known progressive bands perform on an outdoor stage. This year Peter Renfro, a guy who works all year to assemble a truly amazing international lineup, brings two classic prog bands to the Triangle: '70s Deutsch funk/jazz/rock innovators Kraan (pictured above circa 1972) and U.S. symphonic rockers Happy the Man. Other acts include Avant Garden, Djam Karet, Izz, The Muffins, Tempano, Thieves' Kitchen and others. In addition, there'll be vendors selling hard-to-find music periodicals and CDs ranging from Krautrock and classic prog to stuff you'll never find anywhere else.
In an interesting side note, renowned English album cover artist George Underwood, who's done cover art for Bowie (Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust), T. Rex, Gentle Giant, Mott the Hoople and more, will attend the fest. Underwood's original works and prints will also be displayed at the Apex Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Aug. 30 from 2-8 p.m., sponsored by Kreative Concepts LLC. For musicians interested in technical prowess and fringe music, there's really nothing quite like ProgDay. The two-day, eight-band fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, at Storybrook Farm. Go to www.progday.com for details. --Angie Carlson