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What is psych folk...?

GUEST,John Miles of Smiles 02 Oct 10 - 12:10 PM
Art Thieme 02 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM
theleveller 02 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Tim the guest 02 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM
Emma B 02 Oct 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 03 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM
Paul Burke 03 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 07:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 10 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 04:22 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Oct 10 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 06:08 AM
theleveller 04 Oct 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 06:19 AM
theleveller 04 Oct 10 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,glueman 04 Oct 10 - 06:32 AM
theleveller 04 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,glueman 04 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM
theleveller 04 Oct 10 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 07:48 AM
theleveller 04 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,glueman 04 Oct 10 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,John Miles of Smiles 04 Oct 10 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
SophFFS 04 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM
brezhnev 04 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Oct 10 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Oct 10 - 03:58 PM
Continuity Jones 04 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Oct 10 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,john miles of smiles 04 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM
Ralphie 05 Oct 10 - 02:56 AM
Ruth Archer 05 Oct 10 - 03:11 AM
theleveller 05 Oct 10 - 03:23 AM
Continuity Jones 05 Oct 10 - 03:41 AM
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Subject: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,John Miles of Smiles
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:10 PM

There was a curiously unresolved writers' discussion on this topic at the Ian Anderson-arranged 'Ghosts from the Basement' Village Thing retrospective at Cecil Sharp House last week.

What do people think of the term?

What do people think of the idiom?

What do people think in general?

Grateful for your thoughts!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM

Alas, the practitioners of this are all referred to as Psycho-ceramics.

Commonly, they are called Crackpots!

Art


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM

Just my opinion, but...

Broadly, pastoral psychedelia from the late sixties and early seventies (or more recent music that plays close homage to that sort of thing), often with a vaguely folky vibe and a folklorish or elf-tastic bent to the lyrics.

Classic examples would be The Incredible String Band, Forest, Dr Strangely Strange, Comus and Mellow Candle (though the last stray into folk rock territory). Contemporary examples might include the wonderfully and frighteningly prolific Kitchen Cynics

Gerald Van Waes' psychedelic folk homestead is as good a place as any to start.

Art, when are you going to bring out a joke book? Actually, on second thoughts don't answer that! ;-)


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM

Ha...at this very moment just listening to Heron. What a coincidence.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Tim the guest
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM

You want to know what psych folk is? Very simply, in it's truest form it is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL1M9yDwrzY


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 04:08 PM

One of 'those' coincidences -

I was listening to devendra banhart's "when they come" accompanying a video celebrating nonviolent protest earlier as today, Gandhi's birthday, was declared International Day of Non-Violence by a vote of the United Nations General Assembly
you tube link


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM

I don't know how we can possibly discuss such a nebulous term as 'Psych Folk' when there are so many obtuse people around who insist on pretending that they don't know what 'Folk' or 'Traditional' mean!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM

Psych folk?

Jung but Growing.
Reich Jung Sailor.
Follow me Down to Karlov.
Analyst Gordon....

BTW Shimrod, do you? (no handwaving now...)


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM

Hi Shimrod - I'll do you a compilation CD! Of course, the vast majority of psych folk has nothing to do with traditional music (though some would say - and who am I to disagree? - that some traditional music fits happily into the psych folk canon, possible examples being Shirley Collins' "Power of the True Love Knot" as well as plenty of individual songs, suggesting of course, that psych folk is all in the mind - BOOM! BOOM!). What psych folk does suggest to me is that it's possible to have pastoral acoustic music that is neither traditional folk, solo singer songwriter stuff nor syrupy acoustic pop.

Pete, not sure I could sit through an entire Heron album (I have a double CD that is to say the least patchy) but I have to say that Lord and Master is a wonderful song.

Tim the Guest... sorry, but that song you linked to was dreadful! Coming back at you with this. True psych folk genius! Caravan by Dulcimer


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:55 AM

Forest - Graveyard. Possibly the psych folk motherlode. Hard to believe, but this group started as an unaccompanied trad trio in thrall to The Young Tradition and the Watersons...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:56 AM

Tudor Lodge - Willow Tree. The easily scared can start from one minute in. From the "heavy on studio production" end of the genre.

COB - Eleven Willows. COB's Moyshe McStaff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart" is probably one of my all time favourite albums and definitive proof that Clive Palmer was the real genius in The Incredible String Band.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM

Bread, Love and Dreams - Brother John. They tended towards the proggy end of psych folk but this is a simple and beautiful song from their best album, Amaryllis.

Trees - The Garden of Jane Delawney. Generally most folk rock than psych folk, but this is a classic of the genre.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM

Stone Angel - The Bells of Dunwich. An obscurity whose lo-fi production values do little to detract from a lovely, song with obligatory psych folk flute. Don't be put off by the slow build up.

Caedmon - Sea Song. The albums a not that great mish-mash of too many influences and they were essentially from the Christian folk-rock sub-genre, but this song is their stone classic. Some blistering and unexpected fuzz guitar, too.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM

And finally as a real treat, one of my favourite ever singers (just listen to that voice!). If you don't click on any of the other links, click on this one. This song also shows that the Hammond organ is a severely underused instrument in folk music...

Shelagh McDonald - Dowie Dens of Yarrow.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend the "complete works" double CD Let No Man Steal Your Thyme that came out a few years ago. Interesting backstory, too: Shelagh McDonald site

PS Apologies for the multiple posts, but for some reason MC wouldn't let me post this as a single message...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:00 AM

Me again above


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:04 AM

Basically Psych Folk is music touching at any point upon the Folk Aesthetic with reference to the more expansive, improvised & ethnically inspired territories associated with Psychedia - although maybe less Lysergic acid diethylamide than Psilocybe semilanceata. So all of the above (I actually passed on the ISB's 'U' double CD reissue for £3 yesterday in Fop, much preferring my original vinyl; I went for Miles Davis' 'Big Fun' for £9 instead!) and more besides: Popol Vuh, early Kraftwerk (up to & including the very pastoral 'Autobahn', but try their third album 'Ralf & Florian' first) Peter Bellamy (especially on 'Merlins Isle of Gramarye' & 'Oak Ash & Thorn') Sarah Clitheroe (whose 1976 set of field-recorded supernatural Child Ballads 'Seven Years a Tongue to the Warning Bell' has yet to be equalled), Daevid Allen (his acoustic trilogy of 'Good Morning', 'Now is the Happiest Time of your Life' and 'N'existe Pas' is very worthy in this respect, but check The Owly Song for some of the finest pysch folk ever). Then of course there's Michael Hurley, and the Holy Modal Rounders school of things, which is an entire psychedelic folk cosmos of its own.

For my money, however, the acid-drenched freely improvised modal medieval alchemical Druid dronings of the Third Ear Band is psychedelic folk at its very highest. Coincidentally, I've just bunged a very rare Sounds of the 70s live set from July 1970 across to Luca Ferrari which you can access freely via the equally expansive (and potentially minbdblowing) but entirely official Third Esar blogspot Getto Raga. Last year I edited some images from hereabouts to the Third Ear Band's 'Eternity in D' from a 1971 live session. This features a more electric sound, but is still replete with the chilling improvised interplay between oboe & violin which typifies their particular (and peculiar) approach. Miles Davis fans will immediately spot the influence of 'Bitches Brew' (the basic riff is ripped off wholesale) but might tale heart that the bass player here is Paul Buckmaster who was a noted influence on Miles's thinking at this time. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfj0oOv240M

Today, Folk Police notwithstanding, the best of Pysch Folk might be found on John Barleycorn Reborn - A Discovery of Dark Brittanica - two further couble CD sets coming soon I believe...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM

And for some truly seminal Psych Folk you don't have to venture too far from the cultural comfort zones!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yBvhIC8d5U


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM

Hmmm, Pseud's Corner is alive and well.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM

Hi Richard! Care to expand?


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM

Pretension, supra.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM

All good! I'm a new user of Mudcat so I thought that this sort of knowing question might be a good way to work out how broad the appetites of members are!

I agree that psych-folk has become acceptable shorthand for 'skewed pastoralism' in (mainly) transatlantic musics; it's a textural or atmospheric descriptor, and rarely connotes a direct link to 'folk traditions' in the way that many might still like to see the term 'folk' confined to.

John Barleycorn reborn is a good shout in terms of new(ish) British exponents, and re-establishes the connection with the Current 93 axis too. These are all great companion compilations that showcase the (mainly) US side of things:

http://boomkat.com/cds/20477-various-digitalis-gold-leaf-branches
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/549-golden-apples-of-the-sun-compilation/
http://therealnittygritty.blogspot.com/2009/01/various-by-fruits-you-shall-know-roots.html

The latter gave us the name for the first instalment of a (hopefully!) annual bash that we've organised at Cecil Sharp House on 30th Oct:

http://www.milesofsmiles.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 04:22 AM

Never really got the whole Current 93/Coil/Sol Invictus thing. I enjoyed about half of John Barleycorn Reborn, but there is a tendency towards portentious noodling...

There a mention of the Fruits gig on another board. The question was asked, what is meant by "dissident folk"? Fancy elaborating on that one, John? The gig has a wonderful line up, but I'm struggling to understand in what way a gig featuring the grande dame of the UK folk revival (and president of the EFDSS to boot), the son of a folk revival player and purveyor of traditional songs and new songs in a tradition-inspired vein and a band with at least one foot in the 70s folk-rock camp and deeply inspired at least in part by traditional music and early music, is dissident. I'm sure it will be great, featuring as it does three of my favourites, but dissident? It could be suggest that the use of the word in the blurb is a) simply a way of discouraging anyone over 35 to turn up and b) an attempt to rail against a percieved folk orthodoxy... I'n not having a go, just curious.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 05:27 AM

Back in 1988 we recorded the Masstishaddhu / Shekinah album for United Dairies which came out with Current 93's Earth Covers Earth, an album which strikes me as being a bit of a watershed for Psych Folk in general. Weird thing was I had no idea C93 were working on an album of folk songs, nor yet that UD would be symapthetic to such a thing, so having recorded several supernatural ballads (Child #32 and Child #6 amongst them as I recall) by way of demos for the session, we jettisoned them for two side-long instrumentals instead. Although I often wonder how the album would have fared with the ballads, the music is nevertheless entirely acoustic improvised folk music using crwth, cello, hurdy gurdy, assorted flutes, voices, hand drums & percussion and remains inspirational in certain quarters to this day. Both the vinyl & the 2000 CD issue (on Psychedelic Pig) sold out fairly swiftly, but for the curious you can get the album gratis HERE.

Psych Folk is indicative of far wider (and generaly darker) folk sympathies & sensitivities than might ever be hinted at by what happens in clubs, fora, and festivals. For this reason John Barleycorn Reborn is a far purer a statement of musical authenticity than anything tailored for the folk mainstream which must forever be compromised to appeal to an ageing demographic who still reckon Steeleye Span somehow played good music - or else a younger generation rediscovering Steeleye Span (as evidenced by certain comments on my YouTube presentation of a very feral take on Long Lankin).

Psych Folk dares to go out there & as such there can't be enough portentious noodling as far as I'm concerned. Mind you, as I sit here writing this I'm listening to Tangerine Dream's Ricochet reflecting on a skewed pastoralism which is the main reason I dig folk anyway - from Harry Cox to Psych Folk and beyond.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:08 AM

You're contributions to JBR were amongst the good stuff on that album, Suibhne. I'm a firm fan of the well-placed noodle myself, it's the portentiousness of some of this stuff that gets me. I can't help feeling with the purveyors of some of the neo-folk outpourings that 1) they take themselves far too seriuosly and 2) the sense of contrived doom-mongering and old-europe schlock gets the better of them. One minute you're listening to some vaguely interesting and the next minute some bleeder's trying to sell you an album of military style ur-folk bombast by a bunch of spotty oiks from Belaurus with a penchant for neo-nazi imagery and a fistful of third hand sub-pagan, quasi-occultist philosophising. It all seems a little dark, you know, and not in the sense that the magical folk ballads and historical muder ballads are. Makes me right queasy, so it does, which in turn brings about an unstoppable desire to be flippant. Whenever I hear Sol Invictus, I want to shout, "It's BEHIND you!"...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:11 AM

"a far purer a statement of musical authenticity than anything tailored for the folk mainstream"

I'm currently reading Peter Ackroyd's 'Albion – The Origins of the English Imagination' and it strikes me that the resonances that are endemic and enduring in the creativity of English prose and poetry are exactly those that are being tapped into, consciously or unconsciously, by psych folk, especially the supernatural, riddle songs and earth magic. It certainly surprised me just how much of it there is in my own songs. So I think S O'P's statement is correct. We can plot a tradition here that stems from (for example) Ted Hughes, back through the Romantic Poets, Mathew Arnold, Milton, Shakespeare, the Metaphysical Poets, Chaucer, Piers the Plowman and across the silence of the dark ages to Beowulf and beyond.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:15 AM

I'm with you on skewed pastoralism, by the way. This is at the heart of the best folk, psych folk etc. Just that I don't here much of it in a lot of the post-industrial/neo-folk stuff I've listened to, that is in my opinion overrepresented on JBR. It feels more like bedsit music with too many cheap drugs, not enough sunlight and too much time reading about Manson and Crowley.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:19 AM

Rob Young's excellent "Electric Eden" touches on some of the same themes, Lev, and is well worth reading.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:27 AM

Spleen, I read it before I started Ackroyd's book - excellent stuff.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:32 AM

Skewed pastorialism, if that means Blake, Palmer and the New Visionaries has never sat comfortably in the domestic canon. It demands we embrace whimsy, portentiousness, theatricality and a host of stuff the roundheads tried to remove (and continue to try) from the national DNA.
The best of psychfolk is a glimpse of what we've been missing.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM

I think that's right, Glueman. The tradition runs from pre-Christian traditions that were given a more formal shape (and recorded) by Celtic Christianity (including the 'christianising' of sacred sites such as my local Rudston Monolith) then, post Synod of Whitby, by the Roman Catholic church. The dilution began after the Reformation and especially with the Presbyterian influences (with its insistence on the work ethic – see Tawney's 'Religion and the Rise of Capitalism). According to Ackroyd, England has always been the land of dreamers and visionaries, but in a unique 'down-to-earth' way. The renewed interest in paganism, pantheism etc. goes hand in hand with a resurgence in interest in psych folk (or is that just happening in my mind?)

Wow! This is turning into a really interesting thread.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM

The rush to attribute airy-fairyness and outsider status to anything that isn't literal, or 'realistic' - WTF ever that might be - is, if not uniquely English, certainly a speciality of our's. There's certainly a mistrust of expression that isn't prescribed or strictly generic. We trust in The Word and all other forms are relegated.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 07:31 AM

True, but as O'Shaughnessy puts it:

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM

True, Glueman, but the other side of the coin is having to plough through a lot of self-indulgent shite to get to the diamonds. Have you had the pleasure of listening to some of the alleged skewed pastoralists of the neo-folk scene? Here's a bit of Current 93. I actually don't mind a bit of Current 93 in small doses, but it's sobering to think that by far they are one of the best groups operating in the "neo-folk" arena... And at least they're not Sol Invictus...

The other side of the coin of the "roundhead" mentality is the unquestioning acceptance of anything labelled esoteric. There is also a long tradition of gentle enquiry leavened by a health scepticism. For example though I may want to believe that modern Wiccans are the present-day inheritors of an ancient and unbroken native tradition, I am also aware that they are adherents of an invented 20th century religion ("The Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton is essential reading on this).


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 07:48 AM

Sorry, that's a "healthy" scepticism. "Health" scepticism is what Mrs Cringe has when I say I have the flu.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM

"the other side of the coin is having to plough through a lot of self-indulgent shite to get to the diamonds"

LOL! Certainly it doesn't mean that critical faculties should be suspended. BTW - know what you mean about Heron. 40-odd tracks on the double CD has left the mind seriously numbed.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 08:41 AM

Not sure what's meant by psychfolk and I don't think anyone else is. I imagine it's the inheritor of the soft folk jazz rock of bands like Pentangle. There's a sense in which the iconoclasts who found deviousness in polyphony and seduction in statuary still find moral corruption in unmotivated repetition and musical tropes.
Unfortunately the visionary impulse is too readily branded as dungeons and dragons and there's little chance of escaping that cliche with roundheads like Richard Dawkins or the musical and artistic establishment Thou Shalt'ing from the inside of the Groucho club.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,John Miles of Smiles
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 08:50 AM

Fair enough to ask about dissidence, but I hope it's not too unreasonable to apply the term to all of the artists involved!

The point of the show was to put together a line-up that speaks to (but pushes the envelope for) traditionalists whilst attracting WIRE-schooled fans of lysergic folk to investigate cornerstones of the folk establishment (eg Cecil Sharp House and the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & Archive). We're hoping for cross-pollination of audiences as well as musicians, and have been trying to reach out to trad promoters like The Goose is Out and Pull Up the Roots as much as our traditional promoting peers like Upset the Rhythm, Colour Ride and Knom (which has morphed into The Local in recent times). If you have a look at our past shows at Cecil Sharp House hopefully this impulse will be clear there too! http://www.milesofsmiles.co.uk/past_events.html

In terms of this bill - Shirley, despite being the President of EFDSS, is a maverick voice sitting largely outside of and sometimes at odds with prevailing orthodoxies. We've been corresponding with her about this show for a while, and some of her proposed picks would've put hair on people's chests, for sure. In terms of her own music also, I think some of the wilder collaborations with Dolly and with Davey earn the epithet 'dissident'.

Alasdair has always had good trad credentials, but anyone with half an ear can hear in his guitar style as much from early 90's post-rock and what was originally termed 'emo' (a label that's shifted a long way in the water over time! I mean Rites of Spring, Joan of Arc, etc) as from traditional players. Anyone who's seen him live will be aware of his willingness to subject his material to savage extrapolations, feedback squalls and furious free drumming. He's collaborated widely with artists across the spectrum outside folk from Will Oldham and Jason Molina to Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson, with whom he plays (alongside Lavinia Blackwall and Mick Flower from Vibracathedral Orchestra) in Black Flowers.

Trembling Bells owe a strong debt to Pentangle, Fairport Convention and the like but Lavinia's early music roots bring the band into proximity with Nico's The Marble Index or modern Hildegaard von Bingen devotees like Fursaxa and Valet. Alex's credentials are the most 'out there' of all, right down to ongoing collabs with Jandek and Ashtray Navigations.

Sorry to rant, and I hope that explains adequately. In short, over 35s are not only welcome, but – if they aren't there – then the guiding philosophy of the event will have been confounded!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

Thanks, John. I was playing devil's advocate to some extent - as a long-term reader of the Wire, I do get a little weary of seeing terms like "dissidence" bandied about. Anyway, yours is an excellent response and one that I think hits the nail on the head. It makes me wonder (and this is a point that has been made before by others) whether if "Death and the Lady", for instance, was a new album, it would be seen as too exploratory for mainstream folk radio? I think it probably would.

That Black Flowers album you reference is really very good, by the way. I hope it's not a one-off collaboration - I'd like to hear more from them.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: SophFFS
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

This is quite a nice current band who are frequently labelled psych folk: http://www.myspace.com/thestealsmusic


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM

I can't think of any psych-folk right now, but I do think that present-day commercial country has turned into psych-country. What little I hear of it sounds like somebody reporting on their latest session with a therapist.

The only example I can provide is pretty old. May have been the first in the trend, but it shows what I mean -


Night is dragging her feet
I wait alone in the heat.
I know, know that you'll have your way
When you have to go home
No's a word I can't say.
'Cause it gets me nowhere
to tell you 'no'.
And it gets me nowhere
to make you go.
Will a little more love
make you start depending?
Will a little more love bring us a happy ending?
Will a little more love make it right?

Ugh!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: brezhnev
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM

brilliant defence of dissident folk. looking forward to the Kirsty Wark in-depth analysis on newsnight review. shame the efdss don't use the d word in their advert for the gig, though. that would have made it perfect.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 03:38 PM

It appears to be an auditory precursor to vague modern "paganism".


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 03:58 PM

For this reason John Barleycorn Reborn is a far purer a statement of musical authenticity than anything tailored for the folk mainstream

I'm thinking purely in terms of musical creativity; unfettered according to the pastoral aesthetic which might hint at the received spectral dark, but is in no way bound by it despite journalistic tendancies to round things off. Few of us are so single minded to take things that seriously - however so seriously we take our music, we don't take ourselves seriously.

Now, it's off to Rosslyn Chapel on BBC4!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM

Question for John Miles-of-Smiles

You say

"We've been corresponding with her (Shirley Collins) about this show for a while, and some of her proposed picks would've put hair on people's chests, for sure"

Just curious why you chose such an obvious and alopecic line-up then? Who were her proposed picks?

Don't get me wrong, I love Shirley Collins & Alasdair Roberts' music, but don't see them in any way dissident. Trembling Bells are more challenging, but simply in the way I'd find it a challenge to sit through their album again without dropping-off to sleep and dreaming of Rising Damp, flared trousers and The Good Life.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 05:37 PM

Rising Damp

Dear God, but wasn't that sit-com perfection? The working title (and stage play from which it derived) was The Banana Box which I've always thought a giood name for a band. I watch the ITV3 re-runs in a state of near hysterical reverence; for those of us without religion watching Rossiter, De La Tour, Beckinsale and Warrington is as close to the divine as it gets.


The Good Life

As often as they repeat it, the last ever episode has only ever been shown once...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,john miles of smiles
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM

Hmm, against my better judgement when responding to gentle trolling - I hope I did a fair job of justifying the dissident tag above. Many of Shirley's suggestions were a long way outside the trad continuum, but the bands that were selected were the ones that both parties had included on their original lists. Consensus brought us to a line-up that we're really happy with, and which suits the aims that I mentioned.

It's your prerogative to dislike Trembling Bells, but anyone who has heard Death & The Lady, Appendix Out, Black Flowers or Directing Hand will have stared directly into the shadows that still cling in the corners, bringing additional tension and depth to all three acts.

Despite the clear recent acceleration of Ali's search for the source, personally I'm still baffled when people claim him a traditionalist. Even those who have only heard recent output or seen his more accessible shows should be able to sense the subtle-but-acute modernism of his guitar work, let alone his original lyrics.

I don't know what your preferred sonic tipple is, but come down to one of our December shows if you want to contemplate the abyss directly!

Besides, I'd rather not dwell on my own gigs - more opinions on psych folk please, people!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Ralphie
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 02:56 AM

What on earth are you all talking about?
I play music.
I accompany singers.
I don't have a label.
It really dosen't matter.
Psych Folk?
Get a life......(Try Lidl or Morrisons)


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 03:11 AM

"...will have stared directly into the shadows that still cling in the corners..."

"Despite the clear recent acceleration of Ali's search for the source..."

"...come down to one of our December shows if you want to contemplate the abyss directly!"


Usually this kind of portentious, self-regarding bollocks is intensely irritating, but happily on this occasion it just made me laugh. Keep 'em coming!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 03:23 AM

John, thanks for the heads-up on Black Flowers - not heard them before (nice soundtrack to the gothic garden we're planning!).


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 03:41 AM

Thanks Jon Miles Of Smiles - I didn't consider it trolling, I was merely questioning why something which in your words could have put hairs on our chests became the same-old-same-old - however very good 2 of the 3 same-olds are. But you've answered the question - it was a compromise. Fine. Consensus, sorry. May I ask, who were Shirley's suggestions?


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