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Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now

GUEST 01 Oct 01 - 06:59 PM
Bruce O #2 01 Oct 01 - 07:50 PM
CarolC 01 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 01 - 08:06 PM
John Hardly 01 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM
CarolC 01 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM
Amos 01 Oct 01 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 01 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM
John Hardly 01 Oct 01 - 08:28 PM
Steve in Idaho 01 Oct 01 - 08:34 PM
AliUK 01 Oct 01 - 08:37 PM
wysiwyg 01 Oct 01 - 08:38 PM
Amos 01 Oct 01 - 08:42 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 08:57 PM
Bill D 01 Oct 01 - 08:58 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Oct 01 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,chrisj 01 Oct 01 - 10:39 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Oct 01 - 11:19 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Oct 01 - 11:30 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 11:36 PM
SINSULL 01 Oct 01 - 11:45 PM
Blackcatter 01 Oct 01 - 11:53 PM
Bert 01 Oct 01 - 11:55 PM
DougR 02 Oct 01 - 12:00 AM
Troll 02 Oct 01 - 12:04 AM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 02 Oct 01 - 12:12 AM
RWilhelm 02 Oct 01 - 12:20 AM
SeanM 02 Oct 01 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Oct 01 - 12:58 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 01:00 AM
Amos 02 Oct 01 - 01:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 02 Oct 01 - 01:09 AM
Snuffy 02 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM
Melani 02 Oct 01 - 01:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 02 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM
Don Firth 02 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 02 Oct 01 - 03:54 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 05:44 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 06:07 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 06:14 AM
hesperis 02 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM
kendall 02 Oct 01 - 08:01 AM
LR Mole 02 Oct 01 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM
Greyeyes 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Den 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM
Big Mick 02 Oct 01 - 09:05 AM
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Subject: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 06:59 PM

Before I make my points (hopefully serious), I'd like to make a couple of things clear:

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that I'm posting as a 'GUEST'

I could quite easily have spent 2 seconds becoming a 'named' guest, or spent a couple of minutes registering in order to become a 'bona fide' mudcat member. The fact that the perception of any comments I have to make may be affected by such considerations strikes me as being so completely absurd, that I choose not to bother.

Those of you who have 'vowed' never to read or respond to anything posted by a 'GUEST' should stop reading now.


To the rest of you,

I have been at Mudcat for a long time. Over 4 years.

Mudcat has changed a great deal since I first came here. Of course, things change. Of course things evolve. Only the dead want things to stay the same.

I'm not complaining about that.

Many people have left this forum in the last couple of years as the focus has drifted more and more away from traditional music. I don't blame them

I've stayed around, agreeing with the idea of letting things evolve.

I have to say that I'm really sad in what it's evolved into.

I don't want to pick on anyone - tell somebody about a great secluded beach, and it'll be full the next morning...

I am a little sad that this place has turned into a chat site, but that's progress I guess.

Anyway, I've posted long enough.

The people I care about here know who I am, and what I think, so I'll leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bruce O #2
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 07:50 PM

Too true, my friend
Bruce Olson, a member of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, has used the name "Bruce O" at Mudcat for several years. I contacted Bruce, and he said he's not the Bruce who posted this message as "Bruce 0" - since the name is so close to the name of a known personality here, it could be misleading. I have asked "Bruce 0" to select another name.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM

I sympathise with what you are feeling. But I would like to ask you a question.

My musical focus is primarily traditional music. But it is instrumental music. I don't have much, if anything, to contribute to discussions about lyrics. And lyrics is most of the musical discussion that happens here. Lyrics, and technical aspects of playing all kinds of instruments other than the one I play.

I'm a relative beginner on the instrument that I play, so I can't really conduct very much discussion about it, and there aren't very many other people in the Mudcat who play my instrument, or who want to talk about it.

If I need a tune, I can search for it myself.

But I am interested in words. And words as they are used by many of the people who seem to gravitate to this forum. I like the way many of the people here play with words, make puns, write poems and limerics, and do other kinds of creative things with words.

It seems that the tendency to like to play with words, and an interest in songs, lyrics, and song writing, seems often to be found in the same people. So this is where I find people whose minds, intellects, and creative capacity are interesting, stimulating, and fun to me.

And I like that I am making contact with other people who share some of my musical interests. People from all over the world. And through some of the chat, I find myself learning a lot of things about the music and cultures of contries all over the world.

I try to contribute to this place in whatever ways I can. I send money when I am able, I have contributed to the calendar, I help people when I have the opportunity to do so. I don't start very many threads, and I usually think very carefully prior to starting the ones that I do. And most of my threads have had a musical component.

Music is about much more than just lyrics, but if you can't discuss lyrics or guitar chords, it's very difficult to participate in very many of the musical discussions here. What would you have someone like me do? Is my contribution less valid just because it's not about lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:06 PM

Carol,

I have nothing against people like you. You sound both intelligent and interesting. I don't suppose I ever will, but I'd be more than pleased to shake your hand.

It's the increasing number of totally inane non-music threads which are threatening to completely over-run, a once musical forum that have caused me to throw my towel in.

Trust you understand

(just wait for for the "hurray: guest isn't posting any more" replies - they'll make my point)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM

I think it's in a bit of a recovery right now.

I also very much agree with Carol's assessment of the attraction of this site to people who like word-play. I've burned my hand on that stove one too many times here so I don't do much of that cooking, but I sure enjoy the meals!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM

Well, thanks for your kind words, GUEST. Sorry you feel you need to throw in the towel.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:21 PM

And where do you draw the line? When you say "degenerated into a chat group" is it the Song Challenges that discourage you? The Mudcat Taverns? The function threads? The discussion of the 9-11 catastrophe and its ramifications? Obviously you seem to have an ideal in mind whihc constrains people in their communicating to some point in the spectrum from the purely technical aspects of music to the historical, the wider contexts of hsitory and meaning of song, and the creation of new songs, new performances, and on into less and less directly related things -- such as sharing feelings and thoughts, as Carol points out. I'd really like to know.

Whenever someone starts sniping about the "degeneration" of Mudcat into more and more "social" kinds of conversation less anchored to music -- including Song Challeneges and fiction threads -- I get both guilty and irritated. I get guilty because I probably post five times to social or humorous threads for each time I find I can contribute to some purely musical one. But I have always found myself welcome to do so. I get irritated because of the degree I treasure the dialogs and exchanges of information -- for example, the discussions about physics with Bruce O -- as well as the interchanges of creativity, humopr and affection which usually characterize this forum. The irritation comes from thinking that someone might feel that it was "improper" for me to enjoy these friends so much or to threaten the nevironment in which it is possible.

As far as "relevance to blues" and "relevance to folk music", I think there are two ways to interpret that notion. One is relevance to form. This would limit the site to studies of preexisting music, maybe occasional new candidates carefuly screened, emphasis on technique and technical aspects of music, song history and related things. It is clear these are the core that makes the Mudcat what it is in a purely quantifiable sense.

But the other side of that equation is that the reason many of us are folk musicians is out of a deep resonance with what i can only call the spirit of blues and folk music. This spirit is what makes Mudcat feel the way it does,as far as I am concerned -- a happy irreverence, a ready sense of humor, a strong historical perspective informed by the incredible range of past poetry contained in our folk and blues legacy, and a feeling for the long truths that emerge from that legacy over centuries rather than merely weeks.

What would the benefit be of curtailing that spirit for the sake of academic focus? I just don't see it. ESPECIALLY since participation in any one of the many dialogues going on here is completely optional, which leaves you not only in the position of saying that you don't want that kind of thing in your life, you don't want anyone else to have it either!!

That strikes me as an extreme stance to adopt just for the sake of Mudcat "purity". Another question. Assume that those who enjoy a more generalized broad-spectrum approach to things are a bit put off by the academically pure threads -- perhaps they get impatient with efforts to untangle whether "Waly, Waly" first surfaced in the first or second decade of the eighteenth century, either in Scotland or Northumbria, no-one is quite sure, because...

Yet no-one complains that this purist focus dampens the spirit of folk music as it is lived at the 'Cat. They are tolerant enough to ignore the threads that annoy them, read those they love, and get on with life.

Please be assured I in no way intend this as an ad hominem argument. Life is too short! :>)

One final thought. I suspect when you bemoan the passing of the "real" Mudcat of the past that what you are msising is a particular dialogue -- or a particular person. Now that I can understand -- not having someone to talk to with whom you really enjoyed talking is enough to make ya bitter.

But if that is the case, don't spread it over the whole site. If you get the right cause behind the sadness identified, you might even be able to do something about it that would remedy it!!

With best regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM

No Amos, I draw the line when the site maintainers are feeding both trolls and flames--especially when no one else will.

I just looked in on Mudcat this morning for the first time since 9/11. I always stay out of the on-line discussion forums during a political crisis--things get way too ugly, reactionary, and jingoistic for me.

And what did I find? Same old shit, with flags.

I'm right behind you guest.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:28 PM

Amos,

Great post! And may I say, please don't "feel guilty" about participation in the "writing" threads----it's your posts in such threads that make me at least 25% more likely to keep returning to the mudcat!

I think Amos may also have touched on what is really missed about the goodle days---missed people. But I think it may be simpler than that. It may just be missing the enjoyment of hashing over memories, music and philosophies of those the first time. Sadly, one finally runs dry of multiple new topics to discuss. And re-hashing the old ones ain't th' same!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:34 PM

Interesting concept - quit. I've done that a few times in my life - probably more than I'd like to admit. But the things worth doing I've determined to keep at my side. I also keep my quits along with them, my victories as well as my defeats, both can be my allies when I need them.

And I certainly understand the "What/why" of which you speak. But many have stated it before, and most likely will again, read what interests you, respond to what delights or impales you and realize that this is the "Mudcat Cafe; lyrics, forum, and chat." Probably the last bastion of pure unadulterated free palatable speech.

I, like my friend Carol, and others, utilize this forum for so much more than a place to get lyrics. I can get those at a music store. This space in time has piqued my interest in music again - Folk, country, bluegrass, old time music all requires passion and this place is full of it. It is the heart of what I believe the Mudcat to be. It is the heart of what music is for me.

If you are the "notorious guest" that catches a bit of flak from time to time I will miss you. I've gone to mostly posting to the musical parts that catch my fancy and an occasional foray into the netherworld of these asides when they are from the heart. But I read nearly all of the posts on this site unless they clearly have nothing to do with what I care about. And I give them their space. So if you go Guest - go in peace.

Peace - Steve


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: AliUK
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:37 PM

well, this is a suprise. Someone sounding off about how they believe that the 'cat has wandered from its origins. Having been around here for the last five years I think, I have seen it become a forum of people with a common interest discussing things that interest them. Sometimes people disagree, I certainly do. Sometimes people talk about heavy things, and sometimes people light to lighten things up a bit, recently I've contributed to threads as divese as "east Texas Red" the 9-11 tragedy and a thread on farting. This is the spirit of the 'cat as I have known it over the years. Full of good people and good things, what a shame that you feel the need to criticize it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:38 PM

I think people who are concerned about whether Mudcat is still a music site might like to see what is shaping up in cross-referencing what is archived here at Mudcat. And you might enjoy seeing the spirituals project now under construction.

If you looked at those things you would see some good things evolving while you continue to focus on your upsets. One thing you would see is several new and knowledgable members.

I can tell you a lot about how to reach out to people to involve them... if you want to write to me off-threrad to talk about it, you might be surprised how easy that is.

I think what you have not allowed for in your thinking about all this is that the Net itself has changed a great deal since Mudcat began. People who want to know a lot about something don't have to sit at an expert's knee the way they once did... there is so much searchable text on the Net, and so much searchable here at Mudcat thanks to the generous sharing of people in its beginnings, that Mudcat has to become something else.

But what it will become could be affected by your participation, if you would leave off looking backwards and roll up your sleeves and look at the present and the future. It will be equally affected by your departure. It's up to you which direction you put your energy-- but if you put it into leaving, you will not be able to have a positive impact on something you clearly love a whole lot.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:42 PM

I absolutely concur about trolls and flamers. Their pettiness and oppressive immaturity is the only thing that has ever made me want to back off from my favorite web forum anywhere. I stay because I figure I can keep making the 'Cat too good for the likes of them to hang around. In my experience, the nastiest ones tend to fade out quickly when they discover they just can't stop others from communicating.

Me, I like to see others communicating, even when I have no interest in the subject, because I know they are enjoying and thriving on it.

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:57 PM

Relax Kid! (smile) We've all had a horrible shock. I, also, want to get back to what I love most, besides BRIDE JUDY. It will take a while. I think that this might be a "telling" question ... when did you pick up your guitar and sing a song that felt good. We had a hoot last Saturday night. As I was setting the house up for the gathering, I realized that I hadn't felt like singing since Sept 11th. Relax ... we'll all get back to normal ... in a bit. LOVE YA, Bob


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:58 PM

I've been here longer..4 1/2 years or so...and it is not exactly what I'd like.

But listen....how in the hell can ANY forum suit everyone all the time? IF IT IS OPEN it will allow almost anything. That is both the beauty and the detriment of 'openess'....and if it was highly moderated and controlled, with "chat cops", some would bitch about 'those narrow-minded, unfriendly, cold so-and-sos who can't allow discussion or an off-topic remark'..You KNOW they would!

How can anyone pick JUST the right mix of chat and song searches? You wanta be in charge?? You think YOU can satisfy everyone? Pooh!! The internet/WWW is a big place...raise a few $$$ and start a site that YOU run and see how it goes. Yeah, the signal to noise ratio gets a bit lopsided sometimes, but if you HAVE a music topic, it WILL get addressed.

For God's sakes---many of the obvious directions and questions were asked and answered 3 or 4 or more times, and can be found with Supersearch!....But those who asked and those who answered found out they could also meet new people and trade idea...as well as keep up with events-both musical and otherwise- among themselves. Yes, that means asking about a song one day, and trading cookie recipes the next!!!!!

So...what do we have here? We have more than a music database and song search forum...we have PEOPLE who have varying interests in music who also have other interests in life and each other!...That is called a **community**....and in a community, you get neighbors you enjoy and respect, as well as some you don't!.......and let me make the point that it is MUCH easier to ignore the ones you don't like here than the ones who live next door to you!

Not good enough?? You want everyone to 'behave' just like **you** define good behavior? Fat chance!

I could type till my damn fingers fall off trying to make the point that Max has decided that an **open** forum is what he wants....and there'd still be the anonymous whining and flaming & trolling!! If Max asks me, I'll tell him that I'd like ro see some things done a bit different....but ****I**** can live with it as it is!! It is STILL one of the most amazing places on the WWW, sort of resembling a large family that is forever wrangling about where to go and what to have for breakfast...but always getting the needed stuff done!...

I can find a song, make a joke, complain about the president, get sympathy for my sore toe, find out how to re-string a harp, compare notes on wood, find a place to stay in Colorado, ...and yes, get RELIGION, if I've a mind to...and I can complain about religion, or songs ..or YOU and what passes for YOUR attitude.

But, if I complain or help or just nod wisely....it will be Bill D...that's Bill Day, Wheaton MD...doing the talking, unless the subjest is so personal that I need temporarily to ask a question anonymously...(that has happened ONCE in 4 1/2 years!)....I made my early pleas to limit the forum to mostly 'folk/trad' music, and now I just shut up and sort thru things...and I still get a lot of good here.

Now, I suppose that there have been 14 more posts since I started typing this...and I'll confess to a morbid curiosity about which 4 year member felt the need to start ONE MORE useless thread saying "but Mudcat used to be SO much nicer"....but I'll live with my curiosity, just as I live with Mudcat not being exactly as I'd wish....crap...the USA and my Mother and Sears-Roebuck and SEX are ALSO not always exactly what I'd wish, but they're all pretty damn good!......

Think about it!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:59 PM

I'm not convinced that Mudcat is in a bigger mess than when I first started here. The patterns a circular and the same rows crop up. One side will eventually get upset as they feel there is too much "nonsense". The other side will protest with every reason why all conversation should occur. Trollers well aware of the rift frequently stir matters up. Attitudes generally harden and people tend to join one camp or other... (although the last time round, I did observe a little more concern regarding the loss of musical contrbuters - although at the same time I noticed more of the "oh not the same old shit type comments).

If my assessment of the situation is right, this pattern will continue as it has done in all my time here. No prizes for guessing what I believe (as I did early on) is the solution...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 10:39 PM

I for one hope the mudcat never changes. Its just like a local pub. I can drop in any time and even though i'm not a regular(ie,a member) i've gotten to 'know 'quite a few of the patrons and what to expect from them. If at any time the topic bores me or becomes too heated or too technical i quietly slip along to the next group/thread. If i feel angry or insulted i have the option to reply in reasoned tones or with a withering(hopefully) repost, or i can retire from the field so to speak. Sure not many regulars will bother to respond to my contribution but thats not why i'm here anyway. Like others have said above, i'm fascinated by ideas and opinions, the more the better, and i'm almost certain that if i have a genuine query i'll get an answer - i've seen the mudcat in action!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM

Yes ... I LOVE your analogy comparing MUDCAT to the local pub. If you find something interesting and meaningful, then jump in. If you don't, switch tables, or drink your beer in private! But, it's comforting to know that the tavern is always there. By the way, I've always felt that the definition of a "TAVERN" is a gathering place ... just like us mudcatters. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:19 PM

Since this is still pretty polite (and I avoid the "yer an asshole" type threads) here's some thoughts.

Three years and a couple of months ago I discovered Mudcat and practically fell out of my chair! I simply couldn't believe that there were actually 50-100 folks who were almost as obsessed with unpopular music as I was....and were willing to talk about it. What blew me away was that opinions were given based on the information that folks had IN THEIR HEADS!

I was also knocked out at how kind people were in sharing information, and before long I'd formed some interesting long distance relationships with people who actually KNEW a fair bit about rural music. As Sandy Paton said, "it could take YEARS to meet this many knowledgeable people.

The evolution into a much more general forum was absolutely inevitable. We've had dozens of discussions about small (music) groups, sessions, song circles etc. that simply get too general to keep the original fanatics interested.

When it comes to "real life" musical gatherings I'm often one of those fanatics. If it's a bluegrass gathering, I don't want to hear John Denver songs, I want people to care about things like tuning, and in general the "etiquette" that goes along with the musical genre. Same with "Old time rural" music, swing, or blues, or jazz. Unaccompanied ballads are not my forte, but I want to continue to learn as much as I can, and once again, it's fun to be around people who treat the style with respect, and show that they've taken the time to "invest" in the music. In the "real life" world, if a gathering gets too chaotic for my taste, I just bugger off and find another one..or start my own. On the internet, it's much more complicated.

I've gotten to know so many fine people that I care quite a lot about how their lives are unfolding. I simply wouldn't have the time to keep in touch with that many folks if it weren't for the "new" Mudcat. I think a lot of people here are in this situation.

Every so often someone asks in a thread "how to 'fix' us", and my vote ALWAYS goes for a "split forum" (separate music and social sections). Needless to say, very few agree, and the friendly Mudcat gets larger and larger.

This year I started several threads on artists who are HUGELY influential and interesting to me. They are pretty obscure in the "real world" but I had hoped to find more than one or two folks here that would enjoy a discussion. Some catters were quick to provide internet minutiae and websites...that's the kindness part...but I guess what I wanted was a bunch of "like minds" chatting about what these artists "meant to us". Internet info I can (thankfully) now find for myself.

That aspect of the "old Mudcat" (for me) is now gone for the most part, but I can't just find "another group" that's into discussing obscure twenties rural pickers and singers. None exist. I'm not going to get my shorts in a knot about it though (well, maybe when I see an idiotic thread with a hundred posts and one on Asa Martin with five, I'll swear under my breath)...nope, I REALLY like the folks here, and that's still worth my (almost) daily visit. I don't have lesser expectations, just different ones.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:30 PM

Glad your opinion is the same as mine on the split Rick. I know it is a "no-no" but I think the "split" could not only ease the reccuring problems but help the community develop further (at least among those who want that side of things - and I am one of them - even if it doesn't always seem that way and I seem to fall out more with people who like me like some BS that I do with the other side...).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:36 PM

Hi Rick ... I also feel somewhat frustrated. Over the last year I also have started several threads that went blank. They were usually threads searching for some lost, and mostly obscure, music friend. Just as you, I was hoping that someone would jump in there and say something like, "Hey man, I had breakfast with him this morning!" Oh well, such is life. And, like you, I'm beginning to appreciate mudcat for what it is ... an open forum to cuss and discuss things revolving (mostly) around tradional folk music. By the way, I do indeed enjoy your postings. CHEERS. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:45 PM

How very odd: after 3000+ postings as Guest,Bruce O, Mr. Olsen finally decides to become a member. Even odder, after six months of silence, his contribution is "Too true, my friend".

Or is this a different Bruce O? It would be an ugly business if someone were trying to use his identity for their own purposes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:53 PM

Greetings all

I just checked - the first time I posted (as Blackcat2) was on Oct, 21, 1999. So, I've been in and out of the Mudcat for around 3 years.

I am a limited musician - often times made to feel that way at local jam sessions and open-mikes - but around here I've rarely, if ever, been made to feel that way. Everytime I have asked a question about music is is answered. The answer isn't always helpful, but the answerer always is. (does that make sense?)

One time I asked for Irish lyrics to "Jingle Bells" and got a response from someone in Ireland who asked a friend while attending a play that night.

I engage in some of the "serious" discussions, but I'm no expert and rarely contribute much, but I do learn a lot.

I engage in some of the "BS" discussions too - and fairly often contribute. I doubt that I've ever started more that 2 BS threads (and maybe 5 or 6 "serious" ones)

Do I think there are too many "BS" threads? - Yes, but I don't really care - those threads are easy to ignore if I chose to do so - even the ones without "BS" in the title. I also find it easy to ignore "serious" threads that are likely to be outside of my areas of interest.

I remember that soon after discovering the Mudcat I began to see regular discussions of how Mudcat is changing that are identical to this one. I really don't get it. Unless someone goes back and checks the files - how does anyone know if it really has changed. As long as I've been here there have been flamers and other idiots. There have been song challenges. There have been any number of non-music threads at any time. And there have been people who have said they are leaving the Mudcat because it has changed. Yet when I look at the posters, many people that were regular posters when I discovered the Mudcat continue to post today.

To me it is simple -

1) - the longer any webpage exists, the more people will discover it and get involved.

2) - The longer sites like Mudcat exist, the more questions they answer and the less "serious" discussions probably occur (how many times have we seen - "check out this previous thread for the anwer to your question.")

3) - if you think there are too many "BS" threads, why not start even more "serious" threads?

Pax, yall


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bert
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:55 PM

You know, Mudcat was great until people started complaining about it. Mudcat is what you make it, and it seems that Gutless has, for some time now, been intent on making it his own.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: DougR
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:00 AM

I think many of you, who are professional musicians, might not realize that there are many of us here who read musical posts, and find them interesting, but don't have a lot to contribute to them. I enjoy them, but I also enjoy the interaction with others on political threads (and if you are into folk music, how can you not be interested in politics?).

I could get by pretty well without the "Farting in Public" threads and silly stuff like that, but if members of the community enjoy it, okay by me.

I guess I agree with Bill D. Anyone who finds that the Mudcat isn't pleasurable, SHOULD tune out. No hard feelings, no recriminations, just slip softly into that good night. Who knows what the Mudcat will be a year from now? It's a constantly changing community. DougR


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Troll
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:04 AM

Mudcat is like a bar. As long as I feel comfortable here, i'll hang around 'cause theres always something happening. If it changes in ways that I don't like, I'll go someplace else.
I was looking for something when I came here. I can always look again.

troll


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:12 AM

Every now and then, I'll log on and there isn't a single thread that catches my interest, and then I log off and come back in another day or so and this place is great. Informative threads mixed with humorous threads and everything in between.


In the meantime, until I come across a site called

www.everythingrichisinterestedinandnothinghesnot.org

I think I'll stick around here. I've made som great friends here. I've shared some laughter and some pain here. I've learned of some artists to look for.

I've read some of the music threads that I din't have anything constructive to add, and was content to learn.

And when I was a guest, I was a gracious one at that.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: RWilhelm
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:20 AM

Actually, I think Mudcat is just beginning to bounce back. There have always been strong opinions here about politics, religion, and everything else and there has always been a certain amount of flaming. I feel, though, that, at least in the music threads, a lot of the gunslingers have left and there are a lot fewer "farting in public" type threads than there were 6 months ago.

Two things I wish would happen at Mudcat: 1) There were enough music threads that people who came here by accident would know right away it was a folk site. 2) Some of the posters of the past, who really know what they were talking about, would give us another try.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: SeanM
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:45 AM

It's simple enough. It's always easier to stand on the side of the pool and piss in it than it is to break out the gear and keep the thing in good shape.

Simple. Trolls live off the principle, and that's simple, too.

M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:58 AM

Stick around GUEST

We need more folk like you. The "regulars" need to "police" this site by consistantly refering "out-of-MC-topic" posters to e-mail, chat, and other BBS's which can fulfill their needs

The "healing circles" have departed the MC, there is HOPE

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
Proud prophet of the curses of profits through public Parading


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:00 AM

Sinsull,

That was Bruce 0 (zero) posting above, not Bruce O (Oh). Could be the same fellow.

The real Bruce Olsen sure knows a lot about early songs, and I preferred it when he used to share that knowledge with the rest of us.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:06 AM

Second that. He wasn't half bad for a science feller...s


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:09 AM

ER... am I missing something here?

It says at the top Lyrics, Forum and CHAT.....

When I'm at work, I don't talk about work all day, and I bet no-one else talks exclusively about music at various gigs either.

Maybe there should be a separate page for lyrics, but then you'd only get the people not interested in socialising there. I've contributed some lyrics, but only because I happened across a thread that I recognised as something I could contribute to. If it had been on another page, I wouldn't have looked. I tend not to.

I've watched Manitas read his Morris discussion list. It's all music related, not a great deal of life studies or moving moment or political ravings, but he deletes about 2/3rds without even reading it, because it doesn't catch his interest. Put beer or farting in the title and I bet he reads it!

I'm happy with Mudcat as it is, I like the 'pub forum', I've been able to share my wisdom (alright, pontificate), learn new useless facts, drink myself under the table or sit here naked and post, all without major embarassment or being asked to leave. And I know that there are some lurkers of musical reknown who find it just as refreshing and post to the non music threads more than I do!!

It is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM

Are you an early riser, Liz? Or have you been up all night like me? I've spent the last 6 hours reinstalling Windows and video drivers and all that crap.

One of the side effects was that it also gobbled my cookie, which is why I appear as a guest above (too tired to notice).

Still it's good practice for singing into the wee small hours at Llanstock. Having just changed the calendar from June to October, I see that it's now only 10 days away. Whoopee!

Wassail! V

(well I did put a little bit of music-related stuff into my thread-creep)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Melani
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:23 AM

I love this place. It's always fun and interesting. And remember, when someone acts like a jerk on this forum, YOU CAN IGNORE IT. It's only words, after all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM

Who said that?

Yes, I have been known to be up at the crack. I am now going to be late for work and it will cost me a bar of chocolate!!! Damn you all!!!!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM

My main focus is folk music. That's what drew me to Mudcat in the first place, and it has proven to be an incredible rich resource. I have learned a great deal by browsing posts, I've clicked on links that people have posted that have led me to more resources (such as websites other than DT where lyrics and MIDI files can be found) . . . in fact, I have found so many things of value to me in just music alone, that it would take me all night to come up with a partial list (and it's after 11:00 p.m. PDT here and I'm getting pretty sleepy). The base of knowledge and expertise here in many areas is mind-boggling. I know that if I have a question about any phase of folk music (or many other things), I can post a question, and there is a whole think-tank of knowledgeable people out there who will either give me an answer in a surprisingly brief time, or will take a helluva crack at it, or will put me in touch with a website or other reference where I can find the answer. And it has given me an opportunity to contribute whenever I feel I have something to offer. Believe me, to an old folkie, this is manna from heaven.

The Mudcat forum has informed me about all kinds of things in addition to folk music (more information and thoughtful opinions on 9/11 than I could have ever found in the news media, for example), and has also given me a chance to blow-off and exchange opinions and information on a whole variety of subjects, not limited to folk music. Politics, religion, Star Trek, joke threads, all kinds of stuff.

This, I believe, is one of the strengths of Mudcat. On another thread some time back I drew an analogy between Mudcat and hoots I have been to (and will keep going to). It's nothing original with me. Basically, it's the same as the tavern or pub analogy. At hoots, there are a batch of people in the living room making music. There are also a few people in the kitchen, having at the chips and dip and talking about a variety of things. As the evening progresses, people move back and forth between the living room and the kitchen. Song Circles are great. Their purpose is exclusively making music, and if that's not what you're there for, there's no point in you're being there at all. I like Song Circles and I go to them when I can. But I prefer hoots. I go because my friends are there, and I go to make music and to listen to others make music. But I also wander out into the kitchen to take a break, get a fresh beer, and see what's going on out there. Sometimes there are a lot of people are in the kitchen and not very many in the living room. But during the course of the evening, we shift back and forth. I like hoots the way they are.

And I like Mudcat the way it is.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:54 AM

As I have nothing to contribute musically and most of my postings have been requests for info or bad jokes, I couldn't possibly criticize anyone elses's postings. I don't get dragged into circular arguments or flames and have stopped reading poltical or religious threads. It seems that the number of active threads per day is increasing to the stage when I only look at a couple and probably miss a lot of interesting musical things as a result. However, as long as I get free access at work and manage to grab a few minutes to check the threads I'll do so, there is still a lot of interesting stuff here. i don't feel I have to read or be interested in everything posted.
RtS (but what do I know.....?)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:44 AM

No, Mudcat is definitely not like a local pub for me. I can easily find people in a local pub who'd like to discuss Afghanistan, the latest elections, next weeks weather with me or share jokes. But the chances are extremely low that my next neighbour at a bar knows something about folkmusic in the English speaking world. The common knowledge on a special field in this community is what I mainly come for. Everything else is easy to replace for me. I'm surprised by several posts that don't even mention music as a reason for their coming here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM

Well, Wolfgang, it's like my local pub...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:07 AM

Dai, too far for me.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM

Shame, matey, but one day, eh?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:14 AM

Sure.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: hesperis
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM

LOL, the same old argument, over and over. Might as well start a thread to complain that mudcat NEVER changes!

As for me, I came for the music. I stayed for the company. (At least, I came back for it, lol.)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: kendall
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:01 AM

The music is what drew me in the first place, but, I do enjoy discussing other subjects just as I would at a "picking party". Those gatherings would be pretty dull if no one did anything but play music.

A word to the folks who dont like the changes here, I was married to a "control freak" key word WAS. Know what I'm saying?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: LR Mole
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:49 AM

Flipping through the channels this Sunday I came upon a talk by David McCullough on his new biography of John Adams. He said that because Adams and his wife Abigail wrote letters (1,000 we have) on good rag paper, the historian can actually hold their words, and he observed that the act of writing clarifies what we think.The Cat frequently functions like that for me.Getting an entry ready for the readers here forces me to (frequently) get it a little cleaner and straighter, and thus to discover what I think. But also there's time to just be foolish.The mudcat is really quite a thing and seems to have reached critical mass and is now creating itself.Hmm.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM

Mudcat isn't always exactly what I want it to be. Occasionally there are long droughts where threads which interest me do not apppear. However, for what it does it seems to be the only game in town. I cannot find a comparable substitute.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Greyeyes
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM

I first stumbled on Mudcat looking for the lyrics to a song. I found them fairly easily using a forum search and didn't need to ask for help or start a thread. Once here I lurked as a guest for a while before realising how interesting and fun the forum is. My interest in folk music was minimal, and I found most of the music threads pretty much incomprehensible. I stayed almost exclusively in the BS threads, enjoying it enormously. Occasionally I would stumble into a thread discussing the provenance or interpretation of a song I recognised, and I started to become really interested. Once or twice, I even managed to post to a music thread without making a complete prat of myself. After a time I realised that as a librarian I might actually be of some use finding links/lyrics/information for people, and gradually a change of emphasis began to occur in my Mudcat habits.

Now, after just over a year as a member, I cannot say that my interest in folk music is minimal, it is becoming one of the passions of my life, and I spend less and less time on BS threads. Were it not for their existence, however, I doubt I would ever have returned after my first visit. Now I am a convert.

I understand people's frustration with thread topics, but it is called a Café intentionally. There is no café in the world where conversation is restricted to only one subject.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM

I tend to agree with Rick and Jon and before I get anyones's back up, I've been hanging out here for a long time too. I've contributed when I can, positively. I've tried to help people who ask for help wherever I can. I was drawn to this site for the music and I have on occasion joined in non music related chats. I've probably started a couple. I've never started a thread to deliberately provoke anyone or waste anyones time. I have argued and replied sometimes in anger when I felt I was being insulted or patronized. I tend to stay out of threads that don't interest me but I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech (I grew up in N.Ireland) and I think that its great that people can feel that they are encouraged to speak their mind. But it saddens me to see that good music discussions can disappear pretty fast when they are pushed further down the list by some threads that (only my opinion) are pretty inane or just provocative for no good reason. I believe that the two tier system could work. People would still be free to contribute to either. There's no perfect world but this might be a way to address this particular debate. Again just my oppinion. Den


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:05 AM

Mudcat has changed FOR me. Get the distinction? I don't post as much as I used to when I was just a guest here. I don't post as much as when I joined. I find myself starting posts and then realize that what I am saying has been said already. But I read most threads that deal with subjects, songs, or picking styles that I am interested in. If one were to check my tracer list, they would find threads on breath control, singing technique, picking styles, etc.

The so-called "glory days" were what they were because we were all just finding each other, and discussing topics that hadn't been discussed before. As Rick and Sandy point out, one could spend a whole life building a network of knowledgeable people such as we were able to put together over a period of about 8 months. That network was, and is, an amazing resource. I am a folkie with eclectic tastes. Can you imagine being able, with a phone call, to speak with some of the most important people in any number of folk genre. When I think about the resources that I now count as personal friends, it is amazing to me. If you would but stop and think in a serious way about the people you are exposed to here, then you would get a sense of it all.

With regard to the chat, it is one of the few places that Rick and I disagree, but not a lot. There are those "folks" that since they have arrived, the chat has gone from discussion of the issues that spawn the music, to general chit chat. I have participated in a fair amount of this myself. I don't do much of it anymore, mostly because a lot of it has become selfserving. I have seen a little more of the "purity of thought" bullshit than I care for. BUT, it always comes back around to the music and the issues that spawn the music. The odd silly thread doesn't bother me. I remember the "condom" threads. They were hilarious. So were many of the early pub threads. I think it was because they were fresh and inventive and that is what this place really was about. Creative people running with whatever was presented. Unfortunately, but predictably, it has lost its freshness. But it is still the best place on the net, and I love it more now than ever.

It is what it is, and that changes from time to time. Enjoy, my friends. There is no place else like this.

Mick


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