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Can you help with this session?

The Shambles 02 Aug 00 - 04:08 AM
Ringer 02 Aug 00 - 04:11 AM
Ella who is Sooze 02 Aug 00 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 Aug 00 - 05:03 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Aug 00 - 05:04 AM
Callie 02 Aug 00 - 05:05 AM
Giac 02 Aug 00 - 05:10 AM
Lox 02 Aug 00 - 05:24 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM
Bert 02 Aug 00 - 12:59 PM
Jeri 02 Aug 00 - 01:22 PM
The Shambles 03 Aug 00 - 01:53 AM
SINSULL 03 Aug 00 - 12:44 PM
GUEST 04 Aug 00 - 12:31 PM
oggie 04 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM
MandolinPaul 04 Aug 00 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Indigo 04 Aug 00 - 03:17 PM
Easy Rider 04 Aug 00 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,GUEST 04 Aug 00 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Iains 04 Aug 00 - 03:44 PM
JedMarum 04 Aug 00 - 03:58 PM
katlaughing 04 Aug 00 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Aug 00 - 04:59 PM
paddymac 04 Aug 00 - 09:06 PM
katlaughing 04 Aug 00 - 10:38 PM
Ella who is Sooze 05 Aug 00 - 06:12 AM
Micca 05 Aug 00 - 07:11 AM
bbelle 05 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM
The Shambles 05 Aug 00 - 08:14 PM
catspaw49 05 Aug 00 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 00 - 11:45 PM
katlaughing 06 Aug 00 - 12:11 AM
The Shambles 06 Aug 00 - 05:06 AM
MandolinPaul 06 Aug 00 - 09:02 AM
katlaughing 06 Aug 00 - 09:14 AM
katlaughing 06 Aug 00 - 09:47 AM
Sean Belt 06 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM
Callie 06 Aug 00 - 10:54 AM
Jeri 06 Aug 00 - 11:29 AM
The Shambles 06 Aug 00 - 02:50 PM
oggie 06 Aug 00 - 06:43 PM
Bill D 06 Aug 00 - 08:39 PM
JedMarum 06 Aug 00 - 11:42 PM
JedMarum 06 Aug 00 - 11:48 PM
Big Mick 07 Aug 00 - 12:16 AM
The Shambles 07 Aug 00 - 02:22 AM
Ella who is Sooze 07 Aug 00 - 04:40 AM
JedMarum 07 Aug 00 - 07:57 AM
The Shambles 07 Aug 00 - 06:14 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Aug 00 - 07:13 PM
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Subject: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 04:08 AM

Can I ask you to put on your 'thinking caps' and see if you can come up with any solutions to this problem?

A couple of years ago I was attracted to an open session where there were some fine musicians playing some fine music. The music was varied and there was a fine balance between this and the friendly welcome given to all who wished to participate.

A lot of good humoured banter went on, but it seemed to be recognised that it was the love of music that initially drew everyone and that music was the cement that held it all together. There were no 'stars' or special people. There were very few, if any rules, or much need for them.

It was generally recognised that is was a special session.

However due to the success and open nature of the session, a number of people began to be attracted to the session for the friendly atmosphere, as much as for the music. Despite the fact that there were places far more suited to this.

It meant that the music began to form less of the evening. For tunes would be started and joined but that there were long periods in between where you would have to wait until the banter had subsided. Sometimes it seemed to be overlooked, in the general fun, that a tune had been started.

The session became more and more crowded and a lot of good musicians became tired of trying to compete with the personal interaction and jokes, and began to voice their objections. It did not seem to matter how those suggestions and requests for compromise were made. They were given the definite impression that if they did not like the way things were, they could always leave.

Some attempts were made to have the music in one bar and the banter in another but this only highlighted the problem and made the overall situation worse. The noise from the banter tending to drown out the music and the music becoming a little serious, self-conscious and generally less interesting..

The end result was that many musicians stopped coming to the session so frequently and some stopped coming to the session at all.

Whilst accepting that some change is inevitable, it is now difficult to recognise, in its current form, that it is a sessions at all. …..It is now just another night in a noisy pub…… Is this session now beyond saving?….Or of making the attempt?

What was once recognised as special is now in danger of becoming, ordinary………..


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Ringer
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 04:11 AM

Couldn't the musicians agree to move to a different pub?


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 04:46 AM

Try another pub might be a good idea...

I know what you mean though, I have been in sessions like this - and not that I am adversed to it. I find myself sometimes hardly saying a word all night to people I am playing so much music.

Or try another night - but what it sounds like is that the same people start up the tunes every time. Not just the one, but there are ringleaders...

What we try to do in our sessions (it's an unspoken decision) is to make sure everyone starts up a tune set and it goes round the room. So in that way everyone is not waiting for the ring leader to finish chatting, come back from the loo - whatever.

Good luck!

Ella


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 05:03 AM

Gee, this sounds like an alegory about Mudcat ;-}

Murray


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 05:04 AM

We have a similar problem, kept in check (just) by having a 'chairman' if you like, who pointedly asks people at the bar with their backs to the room to do a turn when it comes round... that means that everybody only gets two or three 'goes' of an evening, but there's the usual scope for joining in...


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Callie
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 05:05 AM

I think the originator of the session have the right to impose few but important rules.

Thy shalt come to sing or listen Thy shalt shut up whlist others are singing (respect)

I'm sure the banter can be fun, but people have to show some manners and respect the musicians.

Even at the risk of offending, I think it's worth pursuing!

I don't envy your position.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Giac
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 05:10 AM


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Lox
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 05:24 AM

If I go to a session, it's not solely for the purpose of playing music. To me music is a deeply social thing.

The thing is though, that the people I want to talk to are the people that I want to play with.

Others are effectively "the audience". They get the chance to witness musicians playing live in an informal environment. If they don't give their respect, they lose their privileges.

I used to play in O'Donoghues Pub in Dublin about nine years ago. The session was wicked i.e. the musicians were enthusiastic, encouraging and enjoyed playing together. They were also hilarious fun to talk to during the "in between" bits. The problem with O'Donoghues though is that it is usually rammed to the rafters with loud drunken punters who are attracted by its reputation.

When they got too loud, someone would simply stand up and yell "SHUT UP!". It has a remarkable effect once followed with a simple explanation.

It's a matter of mutual respect. If that isn't there, then move to another pub with those musicians who agree with you.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM

I wouldn't wait until the noise subsided, I would play through it and try the occasional shush or even shut up as suggested above.

Sometimes you will find that the reason for the noise continuting is that people haven't realised that somebody has started playing or singing - even as a musiscain, I have talked over singer until getting a strong stare simply because I coudln't hear rhem.

Ultimately, I agree with Lox's statment regarding mutual respect and fear that a change of venue may be necessary if you can find one.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Bert
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 12:59 PM

You could try electing a Master of Ceremonies.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 01:22 PM

I would think that musicians could drown out the noise if they wanted to. A problem would occur if all the seasoned musicians waited for someone else to start a tune. Another problem would be if the musicians sat around and discussed what was wrong with the session. They would add to the problem, when all they really had to do was start playing. (I can talk in allegory too! :-)


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Aug 00 - 01:53 AM

Allegory, what allegory?


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 Aug 00 - 12:44 PM

Shambles,
I am new to Mudcat but have heard this tale told numerous times before. Another aspect of the change here is the doubling of posts per month to the site - see "Why Is Mudcat So Slow?" I am a little surprised and maybe even disturbed by how this thread is being avoided. Is it a "non-problem" or a temporary glitch? I remember when Baryshnikov became a movie star and the theaters were filled with screaming little teenage groupies. Many of us "regulars" sat out the ballet season for a year but benefitted later from the huge amounts of money that came rolling in for a year or two.
What do you want to happen here? Or what do you think the people who are now dissatisfied want? (assuming you are willing to speak for them). I would think that Jeri has the right idea. Fill the threads with music posts and responses to music posts. Or is it something more? Do some old timers feel (probably rightly so) that their hard work is going unrecognized and their positions are being usurped by less qualified but popular individuals? Or worse yet, individuals who are able to donate more money and buy their way in?

None of my questions are meant as criticism or to provoke. I am grateful for the people who have made Mudcat possible. If I am offending anyone with my post I apologize in advance. That is not my intention. What do we do to make it right assuming it is wrong?


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 12:31 PM

It is beyond "saving" because the people with whom you are upset don't want it saved.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: oggie
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM

Sessions, like Folk Clubs, seem to have a natural life cycle. When the music ceases to be the reason for most people attending, or the distractions outweigh the pleasures, the time has come to move on to patures new.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 02:43 PM

Subtle, Shambles. Old argument ... and I think that GUEST summed it up best:
It is beyond "saving" because the people with whom you are upset don't want it saved.

... and a lot don't think there is anything wrong with it.

But we all have our causes. Keep trying.

Paul.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,Indigo
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 03:17 PM

Lox, Oggie and Dan are all right. In the country pubs in Wexford & Wicklow County they would simply go "Shhhhh Lads, we can't hear the singer/musician, whatever', it was that simple. But, after some years the sessions do die a natural death, just evolution in life. Some grow to other interests and some move to other pubs for one reason or another. The answer is simple, find a new pub. I did and met a lot of new friends. Learned new music, & have a lot of nice memories of the 'good old days' to chat about with my new friends. It is hard to accept sometimes but things just never stay the same.

Regards Indigo


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 03:36 PM

I'm amazed at how few people "Got It". Shambles, aren't you talking about The Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 03:42 PM

Okay, Okay... I'll solve your session problem, but only if you'll promise to help me achieve an orgasm everytime and still be respected in the morning. We're talking about fun here, aren't we ? ?


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,Iains
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 03:44 PM

From what I have seen, sessions have an inherant anarchy that attracts the musicians in the first place. To formalise the session inevitably kills it. Evolutiom is a fact of life and has to be accepted. Progress always occurs, unfortunately not every perspective sees this as a benefit.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 03:58 PM

I've been to alot of sessions, and seen a lot of evolution, Sham .. I believe guest Dan hit it on the end ... it's beyond saving. If it's still worth your while, even its diminshed state, you may continue to enjoy it ... but I suspect the old magic is gone, and you'de do best to try to find (or create it) elswehere.

I know the best session I have avaialble in here in Dallas, has some of those frustrations ... sometimes I wonder why I even show up - but, I go and I sit for 5 hours each time, and I have never been when 2 or even 3 of those 5 hours was magic! So that's what makes me go back. Still, this jam has a long history, and some very good hearted folks at its helm - and it is has one rule; there are no rules!


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 04:07 PM

That's the way I read, Easy Rider....


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 04:59 PM

Why are you meeting in a pub, a place where anyone can come in whether they are interested in music or not? In addition, the more people drink, the louder they tend to talk and the less aware they become of what is going on around them.

Why don't you get together with the real musicians and find a new place to meet? If drink is essential, find a place where you can bring your own.

Hey, I was in a pub in Ennis, Ireland not long ago, and a small group was playing wonderful traditional music. I counted, and there was a grand total of 6 people (musicians included) who were paying any attention at all. Everybody else was trying to shout over them. So why were they there?

Afterthought - this pub had a bodhran nailed to the wall so no one could play it. An apt metaphor, I thought.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: paddymac
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 09:06 PM

I'm still "HTML challenged" and can't do the blue clicky things. But, there was a thread about a year ago called "Elite Sessions" which hit on every aspect of the problem I could imagine, and then some. Someone able might "link" that thread to this one for easy reference.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 10:38 PM

Here ya go, paddymac, though I still think Shambles is referring to the Mudcat, once again: Elite jam session thread


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 06:12 AM

hmmmm right so leeeeeeenia

pubs are a great place to go for a session, second in line would be the traditional in someones kitchen

But then after a while you get evicted from kitchen, so then pub is the next best thing...

The session in a pub is a good place as it is usually somewhere fairly local for everyone to be able to get to. It is, if you like a middle ground for everyone to meet. And I suppose it has evolved from the early days when the musician would play in public places for people to dance to the music. Like at the crossroads, or in a pub. Most of the time the music is there to be danced to - often spontaneously people at our sessions get up and do a round of dancing - sets, or reels, or a bit of sean nos, what ever takes their fancy.

MOst of the sessions I go to in pubs are pretty good in the way that you can hear each other or the music. And if people want to chat, then that's fine too. However, if someone starts to sing in the pub then automatically people will hush and listen. But then perhaps that's because I go to pubs where most people have a bit of interest in the music and like to hear singing etc.

Though I have to admit, I love sessions in kitchens - nice and cosy.

Regards

Ella


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Micca
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 07:11 AM

The main difference between this topic and the Mudcat, to state the obvious, is that here the conversation doesn't drown out the music , as we have the choice to listen to either,both, or neither. if there isnt enough music PLAY MORE, if you dont like the conversation or BS dont read/listen to them. but in pub sessions there is even more of a tendency to become "cliquey" and only "recognised" musicians/singers or friends of the organiser get to play, that , thank heavens doesnt apply here.Personally I LOVE IT HERE, I have a limited tolerence of long continuous Irish music sessions, so I only attend occasionally, I have limited knowledge of Irish Gaelic, so I read those threads rarely.
It is choice, and this place is unusual and special because it is easy to seperate what each individual regards as " wheat" and " chaff".


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: bbelle
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM

Roger ... You keep beating the same old dead horse. I guess, if you can't get in one way, you are bound and determined to try another way, even if you cloak it it anonymity. Yes, this thread is not all the different from the anonymous flamers or guests.

You are not going to change what the mudcat is. You are the one who insists on calling it a clique, where many of us call it a community.

How many mudcatters have you met inperson or even talked to live on the telephone. (I suppose that's better than dead on the telephone.) I have met many mudcatters and talk to, on a regular basis, many more. These are real people to me. I can hear their voices when they post, as well as, their laughs and their cries. I can vision their body language by reading their words. This is not the faceless society that it was 3 1/2 years ago ... it is real people, with real lives, real triumphs, and real anguish and many of us have bonded in a very significant way.

Everyone who has visited this community and stayed has brought, with them, something to add to the pot. Those who have left, for whatever reasons, have done so at their own will. And, BTW, some of those who have chosen to leave were never contributors on music threads. But, guess what? That, too, was okay.

So, if you want to post only music information, please feel free. But, please, stop initiating threads on cliques and anonymous "sessions." Those threads really take up more room than other non-music threads. You could try doing what some of the rest of do ... if you want information regarding music, start your own thread. And, if it should get buried, refresh it.

I truly do not mean to be disrespectful to you and hope you will decide to become a part of the communist and not the resident antagonist.

jenny


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 08:14 PM

Jenny

I thought that contributors prided themselves of the fact that we all agree to disagree. It now seems that to have and express a view that is not generally held is not welcome. I do not agree with the narrow definition of what the Forum is. Your community idea is fine but it is only one aspect. It continues to be many things to many people and I dearly hope that it will remain to be that.

The fact that you may personally know many people who contribute is fine and I am very happy for you. The question is whether conducting those personal friendships publicly on the forum is best way to do it. Or that it is generally acceptable to everyone that you do. It is not generally acceptable to me and I would hope that you can respect that view even if you may not agree with it.

The fact that there appears to be the beginning of a recognisable 'party' line, is one that disturbs me a little. I did not say that the Mudcat was a clique. I asked how The Mudcat could be defended from such an accusation? When all the devices that a clique would use are freely used by many contributors.

It will never be possible for all of the contributors to the forum personal friendships or even meet, so I will proceed with the concept of a forum that is open and continues to be open to all views. It would be nice if you could address and answer some of the questions I ask instead of commenting on my right to express a view that you consider may not be universally held.

It is not OK to me that people like Dale Rose are made to feel that their contribution is not valued and they are made to feel that have little choice but to leave.

Yes, this thread is not all the different from the anonymous flamers or guests. This thread is completely different, for many obvious reasons…… You know who I am. I may express a view that you may not agree with but I do so in a polite and reasoned fashion and I will continue to do so. If you cannot or will not address the questions and points made in this thread please ignore it..


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 09:12 PM

Shambles........In the 'scenario" you set up a number of pesters suggested that if things didn't change, they would find another session. I don't think that's what you were after. But Dale Rose did seek that option. Dale made fine contributions here and that's without question. When did anyone question the value of his contributions? What Mick did question was Dale's dissatisfaction with a thread that had no interest to him. Dale's only interest in that thread was to say it did not belong here. If you dislike a thread or it has no interest, skip it......or expect some disagreement.

What are these devices in use that you mention a clique would use. I still believe the main criterion needed for a clique is exclusion. From previous threads, you well know that new members do not feel excluded. So what are the devices? Inside jokes? Use of personal nicknames? As soon as new people join in a discussion here we all begin to learn something about them and we often use that info to communicate with them and to make them feel equally included....not excluded. I am well aware that I kid certain people without mercy, Kendall being an obvious example........so what? Does this make Kendall and I cliquish or just friends? Does someone feel excluded by our banter?

And just what is wrong with conducting personal friendships in public? I don't (and never have) get your point on that. Two or three friends are talking and joking at the 'General Store.' Someone else comes in and makes a comment and the others include him in the conversation. If he chooses to walk on by, he has excluded himself. That seems to me to be what happens here. I'm sure that at times comments go unnoticed. Some of mine do and I'm sure some of yours do too, but I don't see where that's a subversive force working at excluding anyone.

Asking if the Mudcat can defend itself versus actually accusing it of having a clique is a study in rhetoric only. If we agree to disagree, so be it. We have been having this discussion for a long time now and you can tell by the responses here that most people don't really see what you see. Please don't say that your scenario was anything but Mudcat....it was. Most didn't pick up on it because they don't see the problem you see.

Jenny did no more than what alison did last week in asking you to not keep harping on this issue. We disagree. Can we stop bringing it back around in a new costume?

Pat


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 11:45 PM

Hi, Ella. Nice to see your response to my posting asking why they have to meet in a pub. (What are these other people talking about?) Why not have a session in a church basement, community center, private home or the back of the barbershop? We need to challenge the long-standing connection between the booze industry and traditional music.

Also, if you want to get the young involved, a bar is not the place to do it.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 12:11 AM

Shambles, you know I have never approved of the flaming and other contentious things which have been directed at you. You also know I consider you to be a fine songwriter.

I get frustrated as hell with anyone who writes in innuendos and insinuations. If someone has a problem they need to lay it out on the table and work it through.

To me, it always feels as though YOU are trying to censor anyone who does not conform to your vision of the Mudcat. I will not allow this, for myself, especially when it comes to expressing my care and affection or appreciation for people whom I have come to consider good friends.

The Mudcat is not a rigidly set up entity; it flows with a myriad of personalities. It seems best to try to enjoy the diversity, rather than always try to stem the flow.

kat


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 05:06 AM

Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished. Robert Browning.

I may very well be in danger of killing what I love by constantly questioning it. I think that this is better however, than the monster that we are all in danger of creating when things go unquestioned.

Catspaw the short answer is no. If you choose to plough on an ignore all polite requests for a little compromise from those who do not share your narrow view, and continue create The Mudcat in your image, then I intend to plough on too.

I will wait for the wagons to be ungathered and then I may respond in more detail. For the issue is NOT that someone has dared to criticise, or who that person may be, but what those criticisms actually are.

The session I described is not entirely allegorical. It is interesting however that Catspaw's analogy is set in a General Store. Would not a MUSIC STORE, not be a more accurate one? Does this not spell out what the problem is?

If all the contributors to The Mudcat were first attracted to a MUSIC STORE, can we not just always recognise that and let that be the only exclusivity required?

To love the sound of the music more than the sound of our own voice???


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:02 AM

I've had some great conversations in music stores. Some of them even dared to be about topics other than music, but they usually strayed back that way; music is the common thread drawing people into that store.

Shambles, I really don't think you're going to change anyone's mind. With all due respect, if you choose to keep harping on the same topic, when you know that you won't change anyone's mind, you become a whiner. Worse yet, your name may eventually become as welcome as The G-man's. I'm not saying you're the same, but the result can be the same.

There is a line in some AA prayer that I've heard in movies and such, that goes something like "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change".

Please try to do so

... and please continue to enjoy and contribute to the many music-related threads. I believe that your contributions are always appreciated.

Paul.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:14 AM

What better place for folk music, than a General Store...it is a very common and old tradition here in the United States; quite often there was/is no other store available and one did/does go there to buy their instruments, too.

Shambles, I think you are the one being narrow here. Pat is one of the most flexible, open-minded, and caring people I've ever met. I am aware that we both irritate you. I hope you can at least consider what Paul has advised.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:47 AM

Sorry about leaving the bold on, phoaks. Just also want to say that I am glad people like Woody Guthrie weren't such purists.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Sean Belt
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM

Shambles,

What's your deal? I got into this thread thinking you were bringing a serious question about a session you attend and were looking for serious answers. Several people (many of them the very newcomers who you say are feeling excluded,yadda, yadda) were willing to offer their help and advice in an open and honest manner. Then I find out that it's just a cloaked attempt to air your complaints with the Mudcat and to push your own agenda. I have got to say that I find it insulting. If you've got something to say please come right out and say it. Don't go about sucking people into a deception. That really is unfriendly.

As far as your complaints about people posting non-music related messages in this forum; I sympathize. Really. But that's the way this forum has grown. If you don't want to reaad the BS, then skip it. There is still plenty of interesting, stimulating content to be had on the forum in spite of the chatty bits. As far as I can tell, no one is trying to cut anyone out. And no one is conscoiously trying to make your life miserable. Get some perspective. I've not been around here as much as moonchild, kat/katlaughing, Mbo, Rick, or 'spaw. But I don't feel like I'm not welcome to start a thread or to weigh in on a topic. No one is corrupting paradise here. Maybe I'm wrong or just dim. But the flaming seems to have decreased in the last couple of weeks. And the topics in the threads have seemed to get mor interesting overall.

- Sean


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Callie
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 10:54 AM

Shambles - I responded to your question in good faith, and now feel manipulated by you. I don't know you or your values, and can't know the sub-texts of your postings. Why not call a spade a spade?

Why not get a life?

I'll think twice before responding to any thread of yours - musical or non.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 11:29 AM

Honestly, when Shambles posted this, I was a bit depressed over discussions. Last weekend, there was very little music being talked about. To use the session analogy, it wasn't that the music was being drowned out. It was more like the musicians wandered home or went to join in the conversations, and no one was left to sing or play. Thank goodness they came back and started the music again.

If the music content should drop to almost nothing, I will wander off. If Mudcat becomes not much more than non-musical chat, continuous flame wars and garbage (threads), I won't complain about it, because it's obviously what everyone but me wants. Whining about what I loved about this place being gone would only irritate people.

Regarding cliquiness, no way. This is a very friendly place. People don't even have to like folk music to feel welcome here. (May serve to get them interested.) On the other hand, it's funny that I understood Shambles first message was allegorical. I understood it, because I've read quite a few messages from him. If I hadn't, I certainly would have felt "out of the loop" and manipulated.

Jeri, who's just being a cynical pain in the butt this weekend...(as opposed to most of the time, when I'm an optomistic pain in the butt.)


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 02:50 PM

"The session I described is not entirely allegorical."

When I started to word the thread I realised how close to the Mudcat situation the session was and I needed to tailor the wording very little to additionally reflect this.

I whole-heartedly apologise to anyone who feels that they have been insulted or tricked in to anything.

I would additionally apologise to anyone who feels that I have attempted to manipulate them. I fully admit that I am a complete novice, in that regard.

I have valued all the replies that have been made. It has certainly been very useful to compare the helpful reaction to an unknown (to the posters), session, with the reaction to the idea of the place described being The Mudcat. These have been less than helpful and have concentrated on the personality and motives of the poster, rather than addressing the issue.

Not too surprising that, as it follows a familiar pattern. Is the Mudcat so good that it cannot be any better?

My comments in this thread to The Mudcat in particular, started in my response to Jenny's post.

As I said earlier, I may respond in more detail, when the wagons are ungathered. All I would request is that before you post to 'put the boot in', you read what I have actually said, rather than what I may appeared to, or am accused of having said.

I remain an optimistic pain in the butt.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: oggie
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 06:43 PM

When I ask for information I do so in good faith, when I respond to a post I also do so in good faith. This I regard as common courtesy and I would hope that others do likewise.

The original post describes a situation I have seen before and my response was given on that basis.. I must admit that I did not connect it to Mudcat (but then I am relatively new here). My comments still hold - if it is not what you want then the time has come to move on BUT Mudcat is different to a session in that you can tune out the chatter and spend time with the music, alone or in the company of friends.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 08:39 PM

shambles, I can't think of anyone who approaches issues quite like you do...of all the people here whose 'real' names are known, you impress me as the most enigmatic. We know almost nothing about what you do, who you know, what you laugh at..etc..(not that these are required..just noting that it IS a fairly different approach)

...you move from knowlegable musician to devil's advocate to promulgator of philosophical non-sequitors to outright critic... in a highly unusual way. Many of your posts and ideas are worthy, valuble and insightful, but it is often hard to follow when your point is layered and shaded so many ways.

The one time I said a few things to you on ICQ, you made use of a Monty Python sketch in response to me, with no warning...leaving me a bit non-plussed till you explained..*grin*

The Mudcat is a VERY strange place, with people of highly divergent attitudes, beliefs, tastes... and for want of a better term 'auras', coming together with music serving as basic paste, but with all the idiosyncracies that you might get from a random sampling from the streets of London.

ANY question such as you pose will get responses all over the map...some serious, some angry, some puzzled...and you never seem 'quite' satisfied that we have tried hard enough to plumb the depths of the issue. ...I dunno, maybe I am just tired today...I was about to look up a 'serious' reply to your original question...then I read more and my forehead furrowed and I felt like I'd been tricked...not 'hurt'...just led further than I was in the mood for in an unnecessarily obtuse manner.

*shrug*...I guess I'll just keep on keeping on...you and your attempts to analyze/prod/guide the Mudcat are among the least of my worries about the place...but I do wish that perhaps you could double-space your posts...*grin*...all the better to read bewteen the lines.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: JedMarum
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 11:42 PM

Well, I ain't a new comer, but I guess I responded like one! That is, I took the original post at face value, and commented accordingly. But probably still approrpiately, even if I was addressing the (alleged) allegory.

That is, I go to my favorite session, and expect to spend a lot of time there ... I know only some of that time will "shine" for me, some of it will be a pain in the as*, and some of it will be OK. So with that in mind, I am willing to take what I can get. If it ain't even worth that to me, I don't go. Ditto goes for my participation here. Frankly, I just don't get all the angst and animosity. Who gives a sh*t? If a restaraunt's bad, and I don't like the ffod - I just don;t go back. I don;t continue to go there and complain aout the food! (if I amy use another analogy) - If I felt frustarted with Mudcat, I wouldn't come back. It's simple.

Sure there are threads that don;t interest. Sure there are times when I feel like my good thoughts don't seem to strike a spark anywhere - sure there are time when I scan the therads, and read a few, and don;t feel like to posting to any - SO WHAT??? I come back, nearly everyday - and nearly everyday something or othere catches my interest (and my interests are almost entirely musical - but it's not a relion to me).

I've never been accused of being part of a clique here, and probably never would be ... but I feel wlecome, and have had great communication with so many folks here .. and even met a few in my limited travels.

I just don't get all the bitching ....


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: JedMarum
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 11:48 PM

... by the way; words of wisdom, Bill D., eloquently expressed!

... and - sorry to all for my typographically challenged post above. I hope I got enough of the letters close enough to their correct position - so that it was intelligable!


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:16 AM

Right on, Jed.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 02:22 AM

Such is the God

It is the music that is important. Musicians are just a necessary evil.

Who what or why I am is of little or no consequence. Sometimes what I say might be. If it really matters to you though, you can find out a great deal about me if you look in The Mudcat Songbook or do a name search.

"What else have the Romans done for us?"

Oh and excellent post Mick.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 04:40 AM

Hi Leenia again...

Well, I have been to sessions in all sorts of different places... yesterday on a boat... the other week outdoors.

I think I would tend to disagree with saying that pubs are not a place for children to be. It does depend, on the type of pub whether it is suitable etc. We take kids to our sessions quite alot and I think it is important to introduce kids to sessions and get them started from an early age. The main factor in making this successful is that the pubs where we take the kids are nice ones, the people are all very nice, and the atmosphere is a good one, not the boozy atmosphere, but a country style bar. Infact alot of people locally don't have babysitter options to be able to go to the sessions and leave the kids (who also play very well) at home. So we bring them out. Admittedly they don't stay all night - but they get to know sessions and are included in the very early part of the sessions.

Perhaps it is just me, but I think that introducing kids to the 'pub' atmosphere gets them used to it from an early age and then they respect things alot more and are less inclined to go mad as soon as they are old enough to go out and party. They have an education about pubs and alcohol etc. But that's probably just me, I am a fairly liberal thinker in that respect.

Having said all that. There are some sessions that I would not take the kids to, knowing that it would not be the right atmosphere for them to be there.

I am all for going to loads of differents places for sessions though.

ta taaa

Ella


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:57 AM

good points, Ella .. and I think you're right about the kids learning respect and appreciation for the music and the envirnoment through positive experience in it.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 06:14 PM

In my time as a contributor to The Mudcat, Max and many other individuals have made great positive efforts to add to the appeal of the Mudcat. Including such as:
The DT and projects to provide midi and tunes.
The Midi Tune Site
The Mudcat Song Book
Mudcat Radio
The Resources Site
What's On
The Newcomer's Guide
Hear Me
General fund raising, auctions, meets and many other projects, to whom I apologise if I have not listed their efforts (I knew I shouldn't have started a list).

In that time I have also seen the emphasis on the forum move from discussions on songs and music, to shorter posts on just about anything. This move has been largely the influence of one individual poster.

It is to that person's credit that these public personal exchanges have come to represent to many people, what they think of when they talk of The Mudcat. It is the example that he sets, that is followed.

I am sure that Catspaw is a nice bloke. I have read many of his more considered and thoughtful postings with interest from the time that he first started posting on The Mudcat. His influence, due largely to the sheer volume of those postings, even if nothing else has been remarkable.

What I question is whether that influence on The Mudcat has been a good one?

I may be missing something but I am under the impression that he is not a god but a human being. Human beings screw-up, but not apparently Catspaw. For I do not think that he has ever accepted any criticism (certainly from me), as having any validity.

Over that time there have been many objections as to this change of emphasis and many heated exchanges. A number of posters do not post as often and some have stopped contributing altogether. The designation of threads with BS was introduced to help with this but has not prevented many posters leaving after being made to feel as if they did not 'fit', any longer.

Some objectors may have made demands that were unrealistic but many have made many more reasonable requests and suggestions as to how all tastes could be accommodated and compromise reached.

It seems now to have reached the stage where even to make the mildest of criticisms is to risk personal attacks and name-calling. To be told in effect if you don't like it then you can leave. I don't wish to change anything, I am, like many others before me, just asking if my view can be accommodated please?

If Catspaw wishes to adopt the title of 'the most important Mudcat person' and speak for "most people", that is perfectly fine by me. All I ask is that he accepts fully the responsibility of that position and sets a good example. For if everyone was to follow the example he currently sets, 'Shorty' (one of the Mudcat servers) would lie down and die under the strain. Or follow the example, of the length of this post.

My requirements are of no more importance than anyone else's requirements but they are fairly modest. Despite always stating them in a polite and reasoned fashion over a period of time both publicly and personally they have never been respected by Catspaw. Who continues to set the questionable EXAMPLE of doing exactly what he wants to do when he wants to do it. In the full knowledge that his EXAMPLE will be followed. When it is followed, he then tends to use this as demonstration that his course of action was correct.

This is what I would like to be accommodated…

1…To TRY and send personal stuff, that is of no interest to anyone other than the poster being addressed, by the use of personal messages or E mail.

2….To TRY and always remember that music is what has drawn Mudcatter's here and to respect the views of those who may not share your particular vision of what The Mudcat is.

3…To TRY and recognise the importance of what is being said rather than WHO is saying it.

It is not necessary to agree with those three points but all I ask is that they can be recognised to be at least as valid as any other consideration. I feel that if an attempt were made to try and follow them, they would also help to rid The Mudcat of the flamers who feed on all this personal stuff being expressed publicly.

Catspaw asks "What are these devices in use that you mention a clique would use?" A good and reasonably typical example is contained in his post to this thread. How many names of other (like-minded) posters were mentioned in that post? How many times was the word 'we' used? Am I included in 'we'? I don't feel so. I am a Mudcatter of long-standing, I just have a different opinion. I may be entirely alone in that opinion but that does not automatically make me outside of anything does it? Or does it?

I am not a flamer. You know who and where to find me. The test of whether The Mudcat is considered a clique or not is how people like me are viewed and treated. If I or people with different but politely expressed views are excluded from anything, or subject to name-calling, because those views are not standard, then it plainly is a clique. This is by using your definition of the word.

What is the object when you take the trouble to post publicly to add nothing to the thread but to say' excellent post ____'?…. Could it be that you hope that _____ will then feel inclined to reciprocate at some future date? Have you such a high opinion of yourself that you feel that the poster should be honoured by the receipt of post containing only a 'Catspaw seal of approval' and that everyone else reading it will be just as thrilled with your words as you are.?

If you only wish to express appreciation, why must it be done publicly? Is it not the difference between just clapping, and standing up and saying in effect 'look at me folks, I am applauding?

It is accepted that public posting of only insults is not OK, why should only posts containing ingratiating public mutual backslapping and compliments be different? I find them equally offensive. The Mudcat is not a general store. And it is not in America only. The whole world is watching your personal exchanges..

I feel that what you have succeeded in creating on the forum (which is mainly about ideas). Is just another chat room (which is about personalities). But the worst aspect of it to me, is that this chat room is a parasite feeding on all the talents, interests, skills, enthusiasms and good intentions of all the contributors drawn to a fine folk/blues music site.

When all the blood has been drawn, and no new (musical) blood will be attracted to replace it, all that will remain is just another chat room. …With the flamers.

Please don't all rush to defend poor old Catspaw, I'm sure he will be perfectly able to defend himself.


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Subject: RE: Can you help with this session?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:13 PM

Maybe it's my warped mind, or too much reading Pilgrim's Progress, but I knew Shambles' scenario was allegorical as soon as I'd read it. I was surprised at how many missed it, even after two or three nudges from wide-awake cats.

But please don't ban all imagery, Callie and others. If you were fooled, take it on the chin, like Jed did (some good sentiments, Jed). Where would folk songs and poetry be without imagery?

For my part, as one who must surely be in Shambles' sights, while at the same time having upset his enemies, I am resolved to move at least at little in his direction.

In future I may well be sucked into non-musical threads, but I'll not start any. I started a thread about prisoner releases in Ulster recently. I had intended it to be thought-provoking, but it turned out that some people - not unreasonably - read it as just provocative. The thread turned up some useful banter in the end, but more by luck than judgment, on my part.

So when it comes to starting threads, I'll stick to music-related. My small contribution to making sure, as Joe Offer put it in another thread, that any newcomer, referred here for music reasons, is going to see at least a few music threads among the dozens listed.

But I can only go with you so far, Shambles. In fairness to Catspaw, I'm sure I've seen him reconsider posts several times, and he's entitled to have that said by a non-clique third-party, even if he's capable of saying it himself.


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