“Self-indulgent” seems to be everyone’s fave epithet for prog rock. Just trotted out there, whether it makes any sense at all. A scoundrel’s request of the readership, but I think it makes sense this time: just do a Google search. You will find a mess of the arbitrary and senseless reflexive.
Dance pop isn’t “self-indulgent” and once one plunges into Mahlerian decadence, I guess that’s something different as well.
What is it about prog that makes “self-indulgent” such a tempting phrase. Is it just one of those phrases that’s needed to meet the meter? (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epithets_in_Homer) . “Self-indulgent progressive rock noodling” will be a tough sell metrically, though, to most but maybe not all.