Okay, I've been playing around the Phoenix area for a bit and I've noticed that there are actualy a few local bands who are proggy. Since none but about three people read this blog, I think I'm safe to mention them (I won't mention the definitely non-proggy bands we've played with). First up I'm gonna say Straylight. They have a very prog vibe, very experimental. Maybe that's why they're playing more underground clubs. They have a nice blend of commercial heavy rock vocal and rock jam band. Very good stuff.
I also like Attack of the Giant Squid. They have a really tight fusion jazz jam sound with a very Zappa improv edge. Very fun stuff that is definitely not commercial. To make matters worse (commercially) they're instrumental and they have some horns. Oh my god, talk about the commercial kiss of death. What the hell are they thinking!? Please keep it up.
Another I like is Thankful Birds. They played before us at Hollywood Alley last Friday. Unfortunately, I had to stand by the stage door with drum cases while they played (the drummers bummer). But what I heard through the door, and subsequently on their myspace, was blissful. A real Nina Simone kind of vocal with some sweet fusion backup. Like the Squids and Straylight, they're too good to be popular, but if you want a treat check out their myspace site. I think you'll like what your hear.
Please, if you're reading this blog, go hear these bands live. Music is a performance art and it is best experienced live. Sometimes best experienced in crappy little dark bars with shitty sound systems where the bands only get paid a piece of the door. Please, support live music.