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Mudcat's Future

Roger in Baltimore 17 Jan 99 - 04:59 PM
Mike Billo 17 Jan 99 - 06:43 PM
Alice 17 Jan 99 - 08:38 PM
gargoyle 18 Jan 99 - 12:11 AM
Bill D 18 Jan 99 - 12:17 AM
Kathleen Morgain 18 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM
BK 18 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM
Sandy Paton 18 Jan 99 - 12:52 AM
dwditty 18 Jan 99 - 05:49 AM
Frank in the swamps 18 Jan 99 - 06:36 AM
bbc 18 Jan 99 - 10:53 AM
The Shambles 18 Jan 99 - 07:17 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 99 - 11:42 AM
Will (inactive) 19 Jan 99 - 03:09 PM
Roger in Baltimore 19 Jan 99 - 05:44 PM
Ian Kirk (inactive) 19 Jan 99 - 06:28 PM
Big Mick 19 Jan 99 - 09:25 PM
catspaw49 19 Jan 99 - 09:59 PM
Dani 19 Jan 99 - 10:15 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Jan 99 - 10:39 PM
Ronn Gilbert 19 Jan 99 - 11:12 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 99 - 11:18 PM
Charlie Baum 20 Jan 99 - 12:09 AM
Dan Keding 20 Jan 99 - 12:37 AM
Dale Rose 20 Jan 99 - 12:40 AM
catspaw49 20 Jan 99 - 12:46 AM
catspaw49 20 Jan 99 - 12:54 AM
Bill D 20 Jan 99 - 01:18 AM
Pete M 20 Jan 99 - 03:49 PM
Bill D 20 Jan 99 - 04:44 PM
Will (inactive) 20 Jan 99 - 09:24 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 99 - 02:29 PM
Alan B 26 Jan 99 - 03:19 PM
Pete M 26 Jan 99 - 03:49 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 99 - 05:01 PM
Cara 26 Jan 99 - 05:37 PM
Lesley N. 26 Jan 99 - 07:01 PM
Will (inactive) 26 Jan 99 - 07:24 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Jan 99 - 12:20 AM
Big Mick 27 Jan 99 - 12:28 AM
Teresa 27 Jan 99 - 04:30 AM
TONYARCHER 27 Jan 99 - 05:16 AM
Roger in Baltimore 27 Jan 99 - 06:22 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 99 - 03:31 AM
Alice 17 Sep 00 - 12:46 AM
The Shambles 17 Sep 00 - 01:49 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Sep 00 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,John Bauman 17 Sep 00 - 11:23 AM
Bill D 17 Sep 00 - 07:56 PM
Tinker 17 Sep 00 - 08:58 PM
momnopp 18 Sep 00 - 08:49 PM
Max 19 Sep 00 - 02:26 AM
Big Mick 19 Sep 00 - 09:30 AM
catspaw49 19 Sep 00 - 09:46 AM
Geoff the Duck 19 Sep 00 - 10:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Sep 00 - 05:24 PM
mousethief 19 Sep 00 - 05:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Sep 00 - 05:43 PM
catspaw49 19 Sep 00 - 05:50 PM
hesperis 19 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 20 Sep 00 - 06:35 AM
Catrin 20 Sep 00 - 08:46 AM
Little Neophyte 20 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM
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Subject: Mudcat's Future
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 17 Jan 99 - 04:59 PM

Talk of Mudcat's future has come up twice for me in the last week. Most recently in Bill D.'s post under the "How Many Mudcatters" thread. Before that, I had a little discussion off the forum with a fellow Mudcatter who had suggested nominating the Mudcat for a best Website award.

Bill D., judging from his underlining, has some strong thoughts and opinions about the issue. Certainly, I have some investment in the Mudcat and therefore I wish it well in the future.

My guesstimate is that a dozen or two of new people have come on as regulars (people who post on threads with some frequency) in the last year. Max recently installed an upgrade to handle the increased load (if my memory serves me well). So, the Mudcat is growing. Can it get too big? Will it lose its home-like feel? I don't know. I am interested in Bill D.'s thoughts and those of others as well.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Mike Billo
Date: 17 Jan 99 - 06:43 PM

I've only been here a few weeks, and I hope it keeps going forever.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Alice
Date: 17 Jan 99 - 08:38 PM

Roger, your point reminds me of an earlier discussion about song circles and hootenannies that outgrew the intimate community feeling that comes from a small, manageable group. If the Mudcat were to be flooded by hundreds of hits a day asking for the same short list of lyrics, it would be a shame. Having the in-depth discussions of music, history, and experiences that we have shared has been the best part of the internet for me. If the discussion threads became overwhelmed by too much transient traffic just asking for lyrics that are already in the DT, that would be a sad result of popularity.

Remember LaMarca? (Whatever happened to LaMarca, last post in April 98?) It would be a shame to discourage questions, because we always seem to be able to either ignore or make something fun out of any topic. LaMarca was always quick to point out when a lyric request wasn't folk or blues related (pop/rock songs). I like this quote from LaMarca, from the thread topic 'What is a Folk Song?'

"I may be a Purist Snob, but I'm a flexible Purist Snob if it helps make traditional music more available!"


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: gargoyle
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 12:11 AM

The good Lord only knows what drew me this eddy on the muddy river of the net....

but I have developed a sincere interest in the "names/comments" floating in cyberspace...and I could care little about the abodes/sexs/mutations inwhich they are configured.

The discussions are lively, informative, challenging, and most frequently in spheres of musicology I havn't an iota of knowledge....but they teach me.....and the very few bits of my experiences that connnect... bring a sence of fulfillment.

I have never been to a chatroom etc...but have been on the "net" nearly ten years.....to my field of experience the "Cat" is unique.....It leaves you free to "take what you want" and to "leave what you can."

THANX dick,Max,Alice


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 12:17 AM

Alice...check your Hotmail


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Kathleen Morgain
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM

I came for the wonderful database, but have spent a couple of sessions reading past posts. Don't know if I'll contribute much, being a shy person, but very much like this site.

By the way, a year ago I had never heard of song circles, I've just recently started to go to one here in Seattle and am also new to the RUS book. People in the Seattle group seem to be VERY tolerant (buiochas le Dia). No one complained (or even moaned) when I requested "Wild Rover" and "Four Strong Winds" at the same session. But after reading posts here, I think I'll make copies of songs that are not in the book to take with me next time.

Thanks for the great site, and the database.

Slan go foill.

Kathleen


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: BK
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM

Gargoyle; you're sure right; the 'cat really IS unique, and very fine & special indeed. I hope it goes on forever, too, even though I mainly only "lurk."

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 12:52 AM

I guess I'm one of the new arrivals that are still adding comments here and there with great enthusiasm, and are probably adding to the length of time it takes to download a thread. Perhaps the excitement of finding the site takes some time to wear off. I hope you oldtime "Catters" will bear with us until we settle down to making comments only where we really have something to contribute.

I'm here, I think, partly because I feel that I've found the community I've been looking for and missing for a long damned time. It's a relief to refer to Bronson or Sharp or Creighton or Fowke and have people understand the reference. It's also a joy to discover so many people who share a concern for others' feelings and interests, who are willing to put up with the naive beginner, and who can help us tyros over the technical barriers we encounter.

You may find us troublesome for awhile, but, please be patient. We'll calm down eventually, I assume. No one could be more dedicated to traditional music than LaMarca (and George), and I note that you are wondering where she is. Learning great new songs, I'm sure, and getting ready to present their "songs from down under" program at NEFFA this year. So even such as these have to slack off after a bit. Too bad, though. I've gone back and read some of LaMarca's contributions, and I'd love to see more of them.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: dwditty
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 05:49 AM

I've been a Catter since July '97, and things have changed quite a bit. There was the brief chat room trial (hello, bartender), people have come and gone, there used to be more blues threads - now replaced by Celtic, it seems. And on and on.

There is, though, a consistency that keeps the 'Cat going. A strong core of "regulars" (and you know who you are) provide information, encouragement, and humor to gently allow changes to take place without altering the basic attributes of decency, and tolerance, and a great love of music that reside here.

I suspect the Mudcat will change over time, and why not, everything else does. For my part, I feel a great love for you all, and it would surprise me if you didn't feel the same. From that regard, the Mudcat is no different than any other relationship. With love and respect we can accept change in our relationship and, with that understanding, grow (and change) as a community. I know I am much better off for knowing all of you.

DW


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 06:36 AM

I recall a thread, I'm not going to trouble myself to look it up, where I suggested a means of shunting off people who were looking for lyrics to pop songs. Max (that silly little "wet behind the ears punk") made it clear he wanted to keep this forum as inclusive as possible. Well, wouldn'cha' know it, he was right. It may well be necessary in the future to split up the forum into different categories just to keep it managable, after all, who can deal with 100 posts per day on a subject you're interested in? But I'm not going to worry too much. Max is a pretty competant fellow. Fairly rational even. Tactical suggestions as to how to handle the flow could well be useful, but enjoy the irony...according to our age survey, us middle age lumps can let a "slacker" do all the work for us!!!!

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: bbc
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 10:53 AM

Sandy,

Your comments are always a pleasure to read. We each have our own contribution to make, from our personalities, experiences, & gifts. What would Mudcat be w/out our diversities? I appreciate you all!

bbc


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Jan 99 - 07:17 PM

Roger

It is interesting the comment made about the 'down home' feel. It is something that does exist here despite the fact that it is the world that we are talking to and is talking back.

The challenge is I think to try and maintain that friendly 'feel' without creating an exclusive club. We come here on this World Wide Web thing but we are not used to dealing with the world and we all still seem try to make it smaller and more comfortable. It's a bit like bringing your old slippers and a bit of carpet from home. I think that's why there are a lot of the "what size is a mudcatter's ----- ", type of thread.

We seem to be managing that balance quite well at the moment I would suggest.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 11:42 AM

the other day, I had typed 3 long paragraphs inot this box, when I accidently hit 'alt F4' instead of 'alt tab'..and BOOM, all gone! But now that I read Sandy's post and Frank i.t.s., I think it was a sign...they said most og what I was trying to, and phrased it better!

I, also, know that La Marca is busy DOING music( I hear her & George sing and play regularly), whether or not her time allows her to post here...I also agree with Frank that some way of splitting this wonderful forum into categories might be necessary sometime. (I said 1˝-2 years ago that I would like to see 'sister' sites for stuff like rock, singer-songwriter,bluegrass, pop....etc.) I don't doubt that someone will eventually do it..(not necessarily Max, though maybe he could make a few bucks selling software and setting them up!) I no longer come close to reading all the threads, where 2 years ago, I did...and I'm sure I miss a few things I ought to see.

As long as this is an open, free, welcoming place,we will get people who blurr the distinctions about what the sign over the door says "A Magazine Dedicated to Blues and Folk Music"...Max is very tolerant about this, but I **know** that some will give up if the threads get too crowded with requests for some pop-folk song from 1983..(and the chords, please, so I can do it JUST like Jimmy Thudpucker!)

ANY retail store, web site, church, club, political party, restaurant,...etc. who tries to be all things to all people soon discovers that it won't work...there is too much diversity in tastes. Some people are VERY eclectic, but they go to a Chinese place for Moo Goo Gai Pan, and an Italian one for Fetucinne Alfredo if they want it done right. Can you imagine opening a nice little club with an open mic, and saying you were going to have 'music'? It would be worth going a time or two to watch the bluegrass bands glare at the punk-rockers!.. Am I being too alarmist? Perhaps...the bluegrassers and rockers are not likely to swamp this site in large numbers....but even bluegrass has traditionalists and 'newgrass' sub- categories which are better kept apart! It is not that 'X' music is better than 'Y' music...it is just that narrower categories are easier to manage, even if the more eclectic among us browse in several places.

I have already slipped into more preaching than I had planned...*grin*...so lets see what happens...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Will (inactive)
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 03:09 PM

dunno, Bill ... if a bluegrass group and a punk rocker showed up at an open mike for "music", they might emerge as Eliza Carthy or Rufus Wainright. I think I could put up with that.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 05:44 PM

There is one local "open mic" that meets in the summer in a park on a lake. They attract diverse performers and had to set some rules like including "set up time" in your performance time (keeps the drum sets small). They get teenage bands who have just spent a week in someone's basement, poets, some jazz, and folk-singers (of many types). They continue to draw an audience. It helps that it is a nice atmosphere and the admission is free. But it requires a large amount of audience tolerance.

I don't think the 'Cat gets a lot of repeat "pop" requests. We (see I want to be a part) have been gentle with most of those who do "pop in". I can hardly wait to see how a "Led Zeppelin" thread received 7 posts.

The door is wide open on the 'Cat, so it is liable to drag almost anything in (just like those cats). I think we do a good job of keeping the folks who are likely to make it all a better place to be and nudging along those who have other central interests.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Ian Kirk (inactive)
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 06:28 PM

Seems to me the Cat is self regulating in a curious kind of way. Sure folk will drop in and out but those that stick around to post and pass on their comments, knowledge, expertise and all the other good things about this site do so because it is just their kind of site and they keep coming back. Nothing I've seen over the past 6 months or so I've been sticking in my 2c or 0.005 euro makes me think things will change.

On behalf of a friend of mine I dropped in on a site dedicated to train enthusiasts. If I was really interested in knowing the wheel formation of the Duke of Marlborough East Coast Express somebody would have got back to me. He was fascinated. I thought - great site for the train buff but not for me.

Now this site, to those with only a passing curiosity, will not appeal. Those with a passionate interest in the main burden of the subject matter will come back because the FEELING about this site - an odd thing to say about a bunch of electronic communication equipment - but to me it is tangible. It is a very agreeable, comfortable informative, interesting, diverting, educational forum for those folk who love folk. The reason for that is the people who contribute - long may it continue.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 09:25 PM

I have read with interest the opinions of all of you, and noted some of them from `Catters I have great regard for. One of those, Sandy Paton asked us to take have patience with a newcomer like himself. That is the absolute beauty of this place. You have a man who has been helping to keep the traditional forms of music alive for more years than he cares to remember;a man who has forgotten more about the music of the folks than most of us will ever learn; a man, with his wife, who has provided a venue for folk musicians to pass on their music; and he asks us to be patient with him. In my short time on the `Cat I have seen many pop in and disappear, and Joe Offer and others have taught us to be patient with them and assist if we can. And every so often, another good one joins us and becomes a part of our permanent community. I think the future lies in perpetuating that type of civility and love for our art form. It lies in us continuing to share our various talents in a caring way. I don`t know if it will become unmanageable for Max or not. I hope not. I would hate to see us split the `Cat into categories. My musical horizons have been broadened by the fact that I happened to scan through the threads and something that caught my eye. My intellectual horizons have been broadened by the discourse and humor of my friends here. I don`t believe it will ever become impersonal, as people who are not genuinely interested just won`t stay long. It knocks me out how I can hop on this computer, and in minutes I can get the advice of Sandy Paton, Art Thieme, Dan Milner, Barry Finn just for the asking. I wouldn`t change a thing. I believe its future lies in finding ways to keep it just like it is. Freewheeling, informative, inclusive, friendly and (for the most part) civil.

Mick Lane


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 09:59 PM

I'm new to the 'Cat, but in a short time it's become a significant part of my life. From the sublime, to the ridiculous; from new things I can add, to nostalgic memories of the '60's; from lite conversing, to in-depth and thoughtful discussions.......Where else can we find such a home and family on the NET?

Mick, I can only echo what you have said,and Sandy and Frank ITS and Will and Ian and bbc (Hi to Duane too) and Shambles and Roger and on and on et.al. The Mudcat is a wonderful place. catspaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Dani
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 10:15 PM

Thanks, Mick. You've said it beautifully. Some of us (namely, me) are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum here, and it's a good place to be. There are LOTS of you with knowledge and wisdom I can't even pretend to. And then comes a day, not very often over the past couple years, but I know there was at least ONE day when there was someone I was able to be of help to. And the inspiration I've found here will ripple farther than you all will know.

And Sandy, I'm ashamed to say I didn't even recognize your name. Saw it here, then (WOW! what a coincidence?!) on an album I picked up at the library last week. I'm trying to learn some traditional tunes to sing and play with some friends, and picked up an album of Betty Smith's. It's from 1975 - she still around singing? Seems like a pip of a woman, from the notes. Wish I'd been around for the scene she makes reference to.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 10:39 PM

Yes, Dani, Betty Smith is still around, still singing, and has just had a fine book published: Jane Hicks Gentry, A Singer Among Singers (University Press of Kentucky), an in-depth study of one of Cecil Sharp's most important informants. Jane Gentry was kin to the Hicks family of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, a descendant of Council Harmon, source of many of our traditional "Jack Tales." Her daughter was Maud Long, who recorded a number of items for the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress.

The book includes much about Jane Gentry's life, plus words and music to many of her songs, and some transcriptions of her "Jack Tales." Her relationship with the visiting English collector, Cecil Sharp, is also described. This book is well worth the effort it might take to obtain it. First support your local bookstore, but, when all else fails, there are those great Internet book sites....

Betty lives in Hot Springs, North Carolina, and continues to perform regularly.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Ronn Gilbert
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 11:12 PM

I drifted in here by accident about a week ago, and although I have not contributed a whole lot (yet), I have GOTTEN a whole lot of valuable information and amusement. A site doesn't have to be all things to all people in order to be many things to many people. That the same sight can support INTELLIGENT discussions about Led Zep, Nervous Norvus, Richard Dyer-Bennett, 30-year-old television shows, fleas & bicycle seats is proof enough of that. Long live the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 99 - 11:18 PM

gee, how I hope all the rest of you are right and we have little to fear..*smile*...I hope I do not sound strictly like a pessimist...I just believe in contingency plans and keeping an eye on things. Also,I am such a narrow purist about it all, that Will's comment up there...^...is lost on me! I have NO idea who "Eliza Carthy or Rufus Wainright" are! But I am pretty sure I would NOT like the result Will suggests! *grin*...

I do agree that this place is special...I have been here for over 2 years and gotten a great deal of information here and had a lot of happy experiences. I guess I just have a bit of ombudsman in my genes..I often think a see 'virtual eyebrows' raised when I sound off sometimes, and it may affect my local image, but I care deeply about a creation/community that can do what we do!...(I even posted my first midi/ABC song recently, and plan to add a bunch more from some old books I have..)

so...we just keep on keeping on, and may it only get better!!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 12:09 AM

I saw LaMarca today and let her know that she's missed here. She and her husband have been without electricity for the last 4-1/2 days (having had the misfortune to live on the one block in the neighborhood that really got schnockered by the recent ice storm). They've survived well (and so has their geriatric cat), and the power went back on earlier today.

One of the reasons for intimacy on Mudcat is that many of us also have off-line friendships with one another. And while I'm not likely to bump into the bunch of you who live upside down in Australia or other distant places (unless any of you want to visit Maryland or Washington, DC--in which case, the welcome mat is out), I do bump into a significant number of mudcatters (and non-mudcat folkies as well) on a regular basis. This network of ongoing overlapping off-line relationships supplements all the on-line relationships and keeps us civil (at the least) and good friends (at best).

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Dan Keding
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 12:37 AM

I came to the Mudcat because Art Thieme told me that I'd find people who loved the music like I do here at the Cat. He was right. One of the best features about this forum is that people do wander in and out, getting from the threads what they need and contributing what they can. Perhaps someday there will need to be various thread forums for different topics. That won't diminsh the impact of the Cat. The impact doesn't lie with the format it lies with the people who have been attracted to this site and whose passion, devotion and interest for and in folk music keep the Cat so vital. I read with enthusiasm messages from Sandy or Art or Big Mick or Joe or Allison or Harpgirl knowing that with every thread(well almost every) I learn something about the music and the people who love it. For the last fifteen years or so most of my work has been as a storyteller but I love the music and I have to say that most of the time after I finish reading Mudcat's threads I pick up my banjo or guitar and play. If it does nothing more for me than that it has done more than enough. Love you all, Dan


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Dale Rose
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 12:40 AM

Rufus Wainwright is the son of Louden Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle. Betcha that answers your question on that one! The first I heard of him was when he appeared with his mother and his aunt on the Columbia Civil War album based on the PBS mini-series. More recently he has been making a BIG name for himself in Pop music. I haven't listened to any of the right stations to have actually HEARD him, though.

Eliza Carthy is the daughter of Martin Carthy.

Remember, too, that a multimillion seller like Jewel Kilcher has definite folk roots as well. You only have to hear her strange but compelling version of Chime Bells to figure that out. I also read a quote somewhere from Sheryl Crow that she really likes old time string band music. Thing is, there is a whole lot more money doing what she does~~sad but true. Scratch many a rocker and you'll find the soul of a Mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 12:46 AM

Yes Bill, you're a "purist"...in my short time I've seen that. Yes, a worrier and an ombudsman. But have you ever known a really happy, big family that didn't have one as a member? It's kinda' your "job" here. Then there are the "Hail and good cheer , come one, come all" members in a family too... and lots of jobs in the middle. The result is a natural occuring check and balance system that works as long as there is mutual respect. Maybe that's what I find so likable kindly point it out.here...mutual respect. And I've noticed that when one member goes across the "courtesy" line, someone else will

I'm no longer offended by anything in this life...except in the way we all treat each other. Mudcat is different and we can have lots of viewpoints on tons of issues and topics. We can promote divergent opinions. But this isn't a place where anybody hurts another. Thanks to you and other old timers here, it must have begun that way. It is that way now and, as long as we can have this type of discourse, the future is secure.catspaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 12:54 AM

Sorry, don't know what happened but move the words "kindly point it out" after likeable to the end 3 words of that first paragraph. Actually what happened is I'm an idiot.catspaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 01:18 AM

ummm..I have vaguely heard the name Loudin Wainwright, but have no idea what he does....I DID hear Kate & Anna McGarrigle sing once or twice on some radio program...was not impressed...(never cared for whatsername years ago, either..the Indian girl with the shrill voice)...I do admit that my attitude causes me to miss something quite nice occasionally...but I am still up to my neck in wonderful old records and tapes I DO like and have not nearly done justice to yet, so I guess it is ok....

(thanks, catspaw...I needed someone to say just what you did)

now, off to the thread on "Songs to ditch".. *grin*.....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Pete M
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 03:49 PM

Well I've had two previous attempts at a contribution and discarded them, so third time lucky! I suppose like Bill, I have a niggling concern here which won't go away. We all agree that the last thing we want to do is to restrict access or to diminish the range and eclectic nature of the conversations and Mick has put this side of the argument beautifully so I wont try and gild the lily, but there are still potentially very real problems associated with growth and the wide spread of topics.

Technical.

Lets not forget that this site is financed largely by Max's commercial operations and with the best will in the world this must be limited. The resources required by the site: basically processor (power + memory), storage capacity, and telecommunication bandwidth, are all potential constraints and need money to be upgraded. Apart from bandwidth, which is shared, these problems are with the forum as the DT is a static database which can be optimised for searching.

The problem is essentially due to the nature of the Internet, with the indexing of site contents by search engines like Alta Vista, growth in hit rate will normally follow a standard population growth curve to an equilibrium, the problem we are discussing is that the equilibrium level for people searching for / interested in "pop" music in all its forms is probably several orders of magnitude greater than the population for "folk" (especially as Bill and I would define it!), so the strain on the hard resources is likely to continue to grow for a while, and the more we deal with non folk lyrics, the more likely we are to be "found" by people using a search engine to find pop song lyrics etc. As an example the recent "contributions" by juveniles almost certainly arose as a result of them finding the site and indeed a particular thread, by searching the Web for a specific word or phrase. Fortunately trying to elicit outrage from a bunch of pedantic polysyllabic pundits is obviously not as easy as they hoped!

Legal.

Knowing what a litigious society the US is, the fact that the 'Cat is located there may also be cause for concern. Whilst we restrict ourselves to work by Trad and Anon and those song writers who see merit in having their work presented to as wide an audience as possible, there is no problem, but if some smart lawyer decides that us posting the lyrics to "Ode to some gunk I found in my navel after visiting my therapist" violated their clients copyright, there is a real danger that Max may be forced to shut up shop.

Sorry to be so depressing, but if we are going to have this discussion we may as well address all the issues.

Pete M (Catspaw, I suppose I'm the member of the family that sits in the corner muttering "Doom, doom, we're all doomed."?)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 04:44 PM

ah, Pete, if we were 11,000 miles closer, I'd have you over for an ale or Porter, and we'd solve it all!Or at least nod wisely at each other as we 'drove dull care away'...

(I love the line about the navel gunk!) Reminds me of the one I heard here.."Young girls singing their diaries")


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Will (inactive)
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 09:24 PM

I would worry more about Mudcat's future if it became too inwardly focused on a few "types" and categories of music and interests than if it continues to welcome a wide range of questions and discussions. For me, at least, "What is folk" discussions get stale really quickly, whereas questions that spark sidetrips onto the top of Irish mountains and into the roots of popular music are what makes Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 02:29 PM

I have been mulling Will's post for several days, and I know exactly what he means..it DOES get tedious to have the same discussions over & over...but it seems to me, that if we do not have those discussions, the answer will be, by default, that anything goes....and then we will have lost our focus..(sure, that would not happen overnight, but neither did the environmental crisis).

I also get tired of discussions and arguments about 'freedom' 'equality' 'censorship'...etc..but they will surely be eroded by carelessness and those with other agendas if we are not careful... to those who say.."oh, lets just be open and friendly and 'welcome a wide range of questions and discussions.', I reply, "ok, we already DO that..folk music has a fairly wide sweep of issues...let's just be very careful about adding in ANYONES notion of 'wide'....

would I rather just post songs and talk joke about those songs and the people who who post & sing them? sure...and I shall do just that for the most part *smile*..

*shoving the soapbox into the corner and going off to download some lyrics I want to know by this Friday ...*


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Alan B
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 03:19 PM

An interesting thread, but I suspect you miss one of the most important aspects. I read the threads regularly and have done for two years. I find them informative and entertaining. However, for the puroses of the discussion up to now I don't exist, as I don't contribute (well hardly ever). This is either I have nothing to add to the insightful & erudite comments from the regulars, or I'm too slow off the mark to supply lyrics etc before someone else.

But

Please don't forget that the Mudcat is of great benefit to the likes of me, of which I'm sure there are many. Keep up the good work & Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Pete M
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 03:49 PM

Hi Bill,

I'm having to ration my time on the 'Cat at the moment so I've only just caught up with this thread again. I'll take you up on that offer if I ever get to your neck of the woods, I'll bring some Black Mac with me!

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 05:01 PM

quote "yum" unquote


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Cara
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 05:37 PM

Let me see if I can bring together some of the issues I've seen in the past week or so reading threads. First, you all are right to worry about a growing influx of pop-type requests with the shutdown of the International Lyrics server. And I can see that that could be a problem-what are we to say to people who post requests here that used to be referred to the IL server? It seems a shame to turn people away without what they are looking for (especially if someone here knows the answer!), but more of a shame to potentially compromise this forum. However, as a relative newcomer who is constantly scrambling for something fascinating to say instead of just lurking in the shadows and, let's face it, eavesdropping, I think it's great when the threads expand and wander to a point where I can say something. Case in point: the recent "nine hundred miles" thread where I pointed out that Nirvana, of Seattle grunge fame, also did a version of "In the Pines" (same as Leadbelly's, so I learned). There's a folk song most of us young whippersnappers know, but I didn't know it was folk. And, o purists, it really wasn't so far off the track after all. Right? I came here armed with one folkie parent and many, many songs heard and loved in Americanized Irish pubs here in DC. Now I have a lot more knowledge, a lot less productivity at work :), and I just ordered Rise Up Singing. I think that the controls already in place--namely not being of interest to people who don't really enjoy this type of music--will serve us well. Viva Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Lesley N.
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 07:01 PM

I like that line, "as a relative newcomer who is constantly scrambling for something fascinating to say instead of just lurking in the shadows.." However, I scramble for *anything* to say. I usually sit back and just enjoy the wealth of knowledge the forum offers - and occasionally beg for more.

I used DT when it was at Xerox and suffered it's loss once, so I am not going to complain about anything - not requests for pop lyrics or "what is folk".

But if pop requests and the like become too frequent maybe a FAQ would help. Is there such a thing? (I didn't see one - I apologize if there is and I didn't look hard enough!!)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Will (inactive)
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 07:24 PM

For me the main issue about Mudcat is more the tone than the precise content. This is one of the friendliest places on the net, combining fascinating information about music with good nature about people. So long as that tone continues, I don't have much concern about Mudcat's future.

I don't think its likely that simple requests for "pop" lyrics will change the tone and I am regularly amazed and delighted about where those requests can take us. Nor do the requests take up much space and time, if no one has information or interest in the song.

At the same time, though, I do think that there is some risk to the tone if we adopted a "folkier than thou" response to requests for "pop" lyrics. In the minimum, it could take us down the road of spending as much time trying to define what music we should talk about as we do talking about music (and related delights).

So my inclination is to ignore requests that I'm not interested in (some) and don't have information about (many) and try to follow threads that are interesting. Now if only there was more time ...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 12:20 AM

I only wish to point out that all you guys (non-gender-specific) are the Mudcat Cafe. Whither it goes is completely dependent on y'all. Long may you wave!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 12:28 AM

Dick, as long as I have breath I will be here. And when I pass, could I get a plot in the Mudcat graveyard?? ***grin***

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Teresa
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 04:30 AM

Hi! I stumbled on the 'cat a week ago, and now it won't let me go! That's a good thing, thankfully. So why did my ears prick up when I noticed this thread, even though I am a newbie? Well, it's like another home to me, i don't feel out of place, and there's a kind of community spirit I've rarely encountered, much less on a website! So all you regulars keep doing what you're doing; makes me feel inspired to write more songs! Don't know what I ever did without the 'cat. Cheers, all. Teresa from Berkeley


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: TONYARCHER
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 05:16 AM

AM I ALONE IN MY PROBLEM?

THE WORD SEARCH WONT WORK FOR ME I JUST GIVES ME ADVERTS AS TO WHERE I CAN BUY THE CD??????

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A NON PAYMENT CONTRIBUTION SYSTEEM?? RUN BASICALLY BY THE GUYS AND GIRLS OF THE WORLD WHO LOVE FOLK MUSIC

NOT SOME CASH BARRON

OR DID I GET SOMETHING WRONG TODAY???


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 06:22 AM

Tony,

There seems to be a problem with the DT Search. I suspect they will fix it. I hope you stay around long enough to find out your theory about "Cash Barron" is way out of line. The people who run the Mudcat do so from love not money (which is good since there is more love than money here). The adverts you refer to are links to sites that pay the Mudcat a portion of any sales made through those links. I suspect it is a piddling amount.

A final suggestion in terms of net etiquette (netiquette?). When you type in "all caps", it is interpreted as yelling. I suspect you didn't mean to yell, but "all caps" shocks many of us. Try upper and lower case. You will find this a pretty consistent suggestion throughout the internet if you are just beginning.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:31 AM

Hmmmm. I think we got some confusion in communication, but maybe it will unveil something new. When we tried to access the database yesterday, what we got was an error message, plus links for searching for the song at various retailers (and buying CD's and giving Mudcat a little support) - the bottom part, the part of the page that was supposed to have lyrics, was blank because the database wasn't working.
Well, Tony made a comment in another message about having to "buy the CD" to find out about a song. Here's where the mystery starts. Dick replied that the CD is available as a convenience for those who want them, and we don't make any money on it. Does that mean the database is available on CD-ROM, or has Max come up with the CD-ROM archive of the Forum he had talked about a while back? I surmise our ever-inventive Max has come up with a CD for those unable to deal with five floppies. I took to downloading the database years ago. Even though it's available online, it sure is handy to have the whole thing on my own computer.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Alice
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 12:46 AM

I was thinking about this thread today. Looking back, it seemed like such an innocent time. It was before the FAQ. We thought the content of the Mudcat may change because of people asking questions about music that was not folk or blues, like lyrics for pop songs. A larger community now, a larger sphere of topics, spreading out to fringes we did not foresee. Just thought it would be interesting to see this thread again.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:49 AM

"It is interesting the comment made about the 'down home' feel. It is something that does exist here despite the fact that it is the world that we are talking to and is talking back.

The challenge is I think to try and maintain that friendly 'feel' without creating an exclusive club. We come here on this World Wide Web thing but we are not used to dealing with the world and we all still seem try to make it smaller and more comfortable. It's a bit like bringing your old slippers and a bit of carpet from home. I think that's why there are a lot of the "what size is a mudcatter's ----- ", type of thread.

We seem to be managing that balance quite well at the moment I would suggest".

In this respect, I do not have appeared to have changed my mind very much?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:40 AM

RE Cash Barrons (sic)

The latest format for DigiTrad is available on a CD-ROM, for which we charge the exorbitant p[rice of five bucks (US). This inclides the CD, Label, Packaging and postage (no charge for time or labor). It handles either Mac or PCs, and is copy-encouraged.

It will be available for download one of these days, but 30 meg is a lot to download; it can be obtained in the US from:

The Digital Tradition
28 Powell Street
Greenwich, CT 06831

Or from Bill Sables in England, or Bob Blair in Scotland (I'll post their addresses when I get back to my own machine). If anyone knows how I can get rich with this arrangement, please let me know ASAP.

As far as music CD sales are concerned, both Folk-Legacy and Camsco music are distinct entities; NOT part of Mudcat. Both are trying to make folk music available at a reasonable price; both kick in a percentage to Mudcat. Try 'em--you might just like 'em.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: GUEST,John Bauman
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:23 AM

This forum reminds me of the old joke;

A guy walks into a hall with hundreds of folks sitting around tables, casually visting. Every minute or so one of them would stand up and shout out a number, at which point the entire room would break out in uproarious laughter. Curious, the fellow taps one of the participants on the shoulder and asks for an explanation. "We're a convention of commedians and joke writers" says the fellow. "Since we are all so familiar with the material we have simply numbered all the jokes in order to save time." At this point the guy decides to try this out and shouts out "74!". Dead silence. The conventioneer turns back to the visitor, sneer on his face, and says, "You told it wrong!"

Your sieve is of much finer mesh than you seem to be aware. I hope your forum continues for a long, long time. My guess is that it will until your core gets weary of it.

John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:56 PM

gee...reading back, I see I used to sweat over my thoughts more than I do now..*smile*....I said it better then. (But I still mostly agree with me!)

A lot has happened...and some things never change,,,but I and many others are still here.

One thing that IS clear...many of the music questions and issues have been asked and answered and the database is **BIGGER** and the forum is searchable..and there is a 'newbie how-to' teal thread....so--there simply is not the need to repeat song search questions that there used to be...add to this the personal messages and the formation of friendships, and we have a situation where people spend more time chatting and joking and exploring the community. Makes it different! Add to this HearMe and the Radio/TV program and you just can't step into the same Mudcat twice....

besides...NOSTALGIA AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Tinker
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 08:58 PM

Just keep on doing like your doing. This has to be the most fun open classroom going. Between the music lessons, the tech lessons, and the lifeskills keep it lite attitude. Please and Thank You.. Just keep on growing.

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: momnopp
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:49 PM

Now I know to look carefully at the initial date of a thread when I go to read it. . .I read half of this before I noticed the dates! I was wondering how Catspaw could identify himself as "new" to the 'cat.

I love the Mudcat and it's probably a good thing I don't spend any more time here than I do, because my 3-D relationships would suffer. But this is the most wonderful forum for love and appreciation of one another I've come across.

Love to all,

JudyO


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Max
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:26 AM

So far so good, huh? What's next?

Bring it on!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 09:30 AM

I don't know, Max, my friend. Let's just keep looking around corners and see what we find. Naysayers to the contrary, this place continues to be a cutting edge example of what a cyber community will look like and what it can be like. Even the jerks and whiners are important to it, just like in the real world. This place is a fascinating laboratory, that has produced some amazing moments and threads. It has transcended chat and information. Don't believe it? Read back to the Excellent Adventure. Or the Swan/Lane field trip to Toronto to visit our friends at Rick's house. Go and look into the various gatherings, like FSGW. How about our radio show, where old friends as yet unmet have a party each week. Hearme, what a joy. I know that wherever I have the good fortune to travel, I will have friends. And after a few minutes to get over the awkwardness, the music and discussion will break out and all will be well. I don't know what's next, but it is sure great to be part of it. Thanks Max. And thanks to all who make it so.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 09:46 AM

Yeah, what Mick said. He can actually be quite lucid when his blood supply isn't being cutoff by wearing that stupid thong.

Seriously, we discuss this from time to time and reading the above reminds me that "the more things change the more they stay the same." We have more people now and hence a few more pesky issues that come up, but the same things that we liked about the 'Cat are still there and I'm inclined to agree with Blind Waxin' Max.....So far so good...What's next?

We've had tons of improvements and a lot more face to face contact since this thread originated and most things seem to be moving in the right direction with the occasional burp just to keep it interesting.

Thanks Max....But thanks to all the 'Catters too. Helluva' place..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 10:31 AM

Someone above mentioned a Jokewriters' Convention where they clled out numbers, because the jokes were so well known to them all.
A friend of mine went to one and shouted out "742" and everyone laughed.
When he asked why they were laughing so much, someone said "We've not heard that one before"!
Quack. p.s. I like the mudcat because of its eclectic mix of knowledge and interests. There is so much to dip into. I suspect that regular visitors will gravitate towards threads which suit their personality, and therefore make their Mudcat Friends within a particular school (fish joke -Number 643 I think?) of thought.
This means that it can hold many diferent shades of opinion without too much aggravation and falling out - Plus it embodies an old principle that you can call your friends names but you must be polite to strangers!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:24 PM

Twenty whole months - my God, that's prehistory...Before I came here anyway. Time passes differently here. Thanks Alice for pushing the timewarp button, and bringing this one up.

But as spaw says, not too much has changed. Still some people saying "this is a wonderful place", and others saying "but it's not as good as it used to be".

In the words of a song I tried to find but couldn't, "these are the good old days."

But it was strange and sad, seeing gargoyle as a friendly part of the circle, in the light of what developed afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:30 PM

That song is "Anticipation" by Carly Simon.

Blue Clicky to same

Well I for one am glad I found the 'Cat, and I have had very positive experiences, with people saying nice things about me and to me, and I've learned a lot about folk and traditional music (I'm keeping a list of names I learn about here to go look up and listen to!).

Thanks to everybody who has made my short (so far!) stay very pleasant!

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:43 PM

Yeah, mouse, that's the one I was pointed to when I asked - but it's not the song I remember, or rather don't remember, which was a pretty raucous number about getting drunk and having a good time, on the Old Grey Whistle Test. I think so anyway, because it was late at night and I was a bit drunk and having a good time at the time.

Still, the point lies in that line. Whatever time you are in is for some people the time of their lives.

When I was a kid I said to my mother "when I grow up, I'm going to be a musician". She said you have to do one or the other, you can't do both. I heard that from some folkie musician recently, can't remember who. Sums up a lot of what I like about the Mudcat - and it explains some of the squabbles as well.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:50 PM

Are you calling me immature Mac?

Are not, are not!! I'm gonna' tell on you and I'm gonna' take my guitar and go home!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: hesperis
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM

Spaw - yes, you are immature, but not about truly important things!

Several people complain about the BS threads, and the Non-Music threads, and I would like to say a few things about that:

1. Music comes out of life, out of interactions between people and their environment. To me, discussions about life enrich my musical sensitivity.

2. In all the bands and orchestras I've been in, my best musical and personal experience so far is my Brass Quintet. (Which plays some classical arrangements of folk music, so bear with me!) We joke around all the time, discuss our personal lives, bitch, complain, yada-yada. The music we make together is incredible. Two people started out playing together 6 years ago, I came by 3 years ago, one of the Trumpets came 2 years ago, and our Trombone player came last year. We only decided to be a quintet last year, and we have already blown several audiences away, and won several scholarships and awards in area Kiwanis Music Festivals. Sometimes we can't even play the music the day before a performance, and somehow we always pull through. Because the personal connection is there as well as the musical 'chops'.

3. I don't know anything about folk music, and I would love to know more. So I hang out at Mudcat, and contribute when I can. The BS threads keep me coming back. The BS threads are where I connect to people here. Occasionally, when I know what to look for, I do a search in the DT.
The BS threads are where I can be a part of this Mudcat community. Hopefully, I've made some friends here, and I definitely have a whole list of music to look up. (Time, I need more time, where do I find more time...)

Draw your own conclusions, as always.

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:35 AM

WOLFGANG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Catrin
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:46 AM

I love this place. Somebody mentioned above that time works differently in Mudcat. I think that's true. I have only been around a few months - but it feels like ages. Forever. I have said this in other threads recently but I'll say it again.

I have received nothing but genuine warmth, welcome and support since I started posting. Help with lyrics, cheer-ups when I was having a bad time at work, wonderfully exquisite moments on Hearme.... I am extremly proud of being the recipient of a mudcat 'snog of the week' award and I have met some UK catters face-to-face.

In October I am off to the UK gathering - yippeee!

Friends all over the world too.

Thank you thank you Max!

This place is wonderful and full of wonderful people. Don't change a thing.

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Mudcat's Future
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM

I figure the Mudcat's Future can only be built on the Mudcat's present, so we might as well focus on what is amazing about it now. Then we will have good building blocks to work with.

Little Neo


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